The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 20, 2013

W.Va. news briefs

The Associated Press

Goodwin rules out 2014 run for W.Va. Senate seat

CHARLESTON (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Carte Goodwin won’t run in 2014 when former colleague and senior Sen. Jay Rockefeller retires.

Goodwin tells The Associated Press that he’s ruled out seeking either that seat or the West Virginia congressional seat of Rep. Shelley Moore Capito. The 2nd District Republican earlier announced plans to run for U.S. Senate in 2014.

Goodwin’s decision removes a leading contender in the Democratic quest to recruit candidates for these two races.

Goodwin tells AP that working in Washington, D.C., and seeing his wife and their two young children only on weekends doesn’t appeal to him at this time.

Goodwin served in the Senate in 2010 following the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd. The 38-year-old was appointed in 2011 to a commission studying U.S. trade relations with China.


W.Va. man sentenced in crash that killed deputy

WAYNESBURG, Pa. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a West Virginia man to between 25 and 50 years in prison for the death of a sheriff’s deputy during a chase that strayed into Pennsylvania.

District attorney Marjorie Fox said Tuesday that 36-year-old Jerod Green, of Morgantown, will be eligible for parole after 25 years. Green was convicted of third-degree murder last year.

Police were chasing Green last February after a hit-and-run accident. He then crashed into Monongalia County Sgt. Todd May in the median of Interstate 79 in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Investigators say Green had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit and was traveling almost 100 mph when the crash occurred.


Marshall med school expands Mingo services

HUNTINGTON (AP) — Marshall University’s medical school is expanding specialty health care services at a clinic in Mingo County.

Nephrologist Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro began seeing patients at the Larry Joe Harless Community and Health Center in Gilbert on Monday. Nephrology concerns the study and treatment of kidney disease.

Physicians with the Marshall medical school have provided cardiology and endocrinology services at the clinic since 2012.

Shapiro is dean of the Joan. C. Edwards School of Medicine.

The clinic is part of a statewide initiative to provide health care to the most rural areas of the state.


Bill proposes drug tests to get a driver’s license

CHARLESTON (AP) — A bill proposed in the West Virginia House of Delegates would require three separate drug tests before teenagers could get a driver’s license. It is the latest in a string of proposals to expand government-mandated drug testing in the state.

The bill introduced Tuesday would require potential drivers to pass a drug test before they receive a learner’s permit, an intermediate license and a full license.

Last April, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed an executive order mandating drug testing for anyone who participates in government funded job-training programs.

Currently there are proposed bills in the House that would require drug testing for individuals seeking welfare, expand drug testing for coal miners and require health care providers to release the drug testing records of minors to their parents.


Bill to ban pop in schools loses GOP sponsors

CHARLESTON (AP) — A bipartisan bill that would ban the sale of sweetened soft drinks in West Virginia public schools has lost its two Republican co-sponsors.

Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall and Sen. David Nohe had been the two Republicans among the bill’s 10 sponsors. Both asked to be removed as sponsors on Tuesday.

The bill would repeal legislation passed last decade that was supposed to promote healthy drinks in schools, but had unintended consequences, including allowing the sale of soft drinks in high schools.

The House and Senate health committees endorsed the bill during interim meetings in January.

Hall says his withdrawal as a sponsor was procedural. He says he wants to study the bill further before he decides whether to support it or not.


Rally at Capitol targets campaign spending

CHARLESTON (AP) — A consumer advocacy group is calling for changes in campaign spending regulation.

Public Citizen held a rally at the West Virginia Capitol on Tuesday to urge the Legislature to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment that would overturn a 2010 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling, known as Citizens United, gave a green light for corporations and labor unions to spend unlimited cash on campaign ads.

The proposed resolution also would call for a constitutional amendment that would allow the federal and state governments to regulate all types of campaign spending.

West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler said during the rally that West Virginia has an opportunity to take the lead on the issue.


Huntington’s homeless population declines

HUNTINGTON (AP) — An annual count shows the homeless population in Huntington has declined.

Figures released by the Huntington-Cabell-Wayne Continuum of Care show there were 249 homeless people in January, down from 274 in January 2012.

Francie Roberts-Buchanan is director of information and referral services for Cabell and Wayne counties. She tells The Herald-Dispatch that the decline could be due to extreme cold on the day the count was performed.

Roberts-Buchanan says several people couldn’t be counted because they indicated that they stayed with friends or relatives, or in a motel during the cold weather.

This year’s total includes 28 families with at least one adult and one minor child.


WVU board to talk real estate and competition Friday

MORGANTOWN (AP) — The West Virginia University Board of Governors is going to discuss real estate, the spending of public dollars and commercial competition later this week.

Those are the topics on the agenda for a closed-door session Friday in Morgantown. Board Chairman Drew Payne may report on the discussions publicly afterward.

The board has a full slate for the day after the executive session, including approval of a new master’s degree program in periodontics.

It will also discuss possible changes to the policies on students’ rights and responsibilities, students’ academic rights and the student code of conduct.