The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 22, 2012

W.Va. news briefs

The Associated Press

Morgantown gets $1.4 million for runway

MORGANTOWN (AP) — The Morgantown Municipal Airport is getting $1.4 million in federal funds to upgrade the runway and other facilities.

The federal Aviation Administration grant was announced Tuesday by U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin.

Rockefeller says ensuring the structural integrity of transportation centers is critical. He says the money will help keep pilots, passengers and airport staff safe by upgrading and repairing runways.

Morgantown will use the funds to convert Runway 5-23 to a taxiway, remove paint, seal cracks and remark pavement.

Workers will also change lighting and signage at the airport, and the northwest taxiway will be widened.

Mayor Jim Manilla says the money won’t be used to repair hangars rented to private plane owners.

Last year, the number of passengers flying out of Morgantown surged nearly 67 percent.


Jobless rates fall in 32 counties

CHARLESTON (AP) — Unemployment fell in 32 of West Virginia’s 55 counties in July.  

Workforce West Virginia says 20 counties reported rate increases, while rates were unchanged in three counties.

Monongalia County tied for the lowest rate in the state at 4.7percent. Mason’s 12.2 percent rate was the highest.  

West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4 percent, up four-tenths of a percentage point from June’s rate.


W.Va. woman gets 3 years for tax evasion

HUNTINGTON (AP) — A former bookkeeper has been sentenced to three years and one month in federal prison for tax evasion.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 40-year-old Georgiana Ciavarello of Nitro admitted stealing $759,000 from her Charleston-based employer.

She was responsible for drafting checks and making deposits and transfers into Quail Ridge Construction Co’s bank accounts.

Ciavarello admitted she illegally negotiated employee per diem checks for cash, and failed to pay income taxes of nearly $217,000 from 2007 through 2010.

U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers ordered Ciavarello to pay more than $1 million, which includes the embezzled money, the unpaid taxes and Social Security benefits she improperly received.


W.Va. officials investigate possible West Nile case

CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia health officials are investigating the state’s first probable case of West Nile virus this year.

Officials with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department say tests have shown a man in his 40s has tested positive in initial screenings for the disease. He is currently being treated at an area hospital for encephalitis. West Nile is a mosquito-borne disease that causes encephalitis, or swelling of the brain.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that confirmation of the disease may take weeks but health officials wanted to let the public know about it.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes so far this year. And 26 people have died from the disease.