The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

August 18, 2012

State news briefs

(Continued)



W.Va. gets $2.6 million in unspent highway money

CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia will have access to $2.6 million in unspent federal highway funds for transportation improvements and job creation.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday that more than $470 million will be made immediately available nationwide for projects such as repairing crumbling roads and bridges. States must identify how the funds will be used by Oct. 1.

The money initially was allocated to the Transportation Department for special projects known as earmarks from 2003 to 2006. The Republican-controlled House has since banned earmarks, which are provisions tucked into spending bills for lawmakers’ pet projects.  

But LaHood says money awarded by previous Congresses should be spent to improve the nation’s highways, transit systems and ports.

 



State gathers more data for storm aid appeal

CHARLESTON (AP) — A state official says a storm damage review provides more data for West Virginia’s appeal of the federal government’s denial of disaster assistance for individuals.

Homeland Security and Emergency Management director Jimmy Gianato tells the Charleston Daily Mail that damage in more than a dozen counties has been reassessed.

A June 29 windstorm and subsequent storms left three people dead and more than 680,000 customers without electricity across the state.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the state’s request for federal assistance to help governments pay for public damage.

But FEMA denied Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s request for aid for individuals.



Court won’t remove judge from former cop’s case

Wheeling (AP) — Ohio County Circuit Court Judge Arthur Recht will continue to hear the case of a former Wheeling police officer accused of sexually abusing several women.

Media outlets report the state Su-preme Court on Thursday denied a motion by Matthew Kotson’s lawyer to remove Recht from the case.

Lawyer Robert McCoid’s motion claimed recent statements by Recht raise questions about the judge’s impartiality and impede selecting an unbiased jury.

Recht denied the allegation in a response filed earlier this week.

Kotson was indicted in January on sexual abuse, sexual assault and burglary charges. He faces separate trials with the women he’s accused of sexually abusing. The first trial is set for Sept. 4.

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