The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 19, 2012

WV news briefs

The Associated Press

Overdoses caused by synthetic drug chemical

CHARLESTON (AP) — Charleston police say a rash of overdoses has occurred in the city from a concentrated chemical used to make banned synthetic marijuana.

Police said a dozen people have overdosed in recent days on the powdery chemical. Some victims suffered respiratory distress and had to be placed on ventilators.

The chemical normally is used to coat the substance sold on the streets as synthetic marijuana. Detective Lt. Steve Cooper says the chemical that sickened people recently apparently was smoked in its pure form and wasn’t diluted.

Cooper says the chemical was banned by state and federal governments when synthetic drug laws went into effect last year.


W.Va. court warns of  jury no-show phone scam

CHARLESTON (AP) — A state Supreme Court official is warning of an automated phone scam involving threats of jail and fines for failing to show up for jury duty.

Administrator Steve Canterbury says at least three people have reported receiving the calls. He says the state attorney general’s office has been informed of the scam.

Media outlets report listeners to the calls are told they failed to appear as a juror and must provide their credit card information or else face jail time.

People can face jail time and a fine for knowingly missing jury duty, but they normally are notified by summons in person. Canterbury says no one in the state’s court system would ask for financial information over the phone.


Clearon stops production

SOUTH CHARLESTON (AP) — Clearon Corp. is suspending production at its South Charleston plant and laying off 45 to 50 workers.

Plant manager Scott Johnson tells media outlets that production will be temporarily shut down in mid-September and last two to two-and-a-half months.

Johnson attributes the shutdown to poor market conditions.

The South Charleston plant produces bleach that’s used in industrial, laundry and sanitizer products and to clean water in swimming pools.


Town has a new mayor

WAYNE (AP) —The town of Wayne has a new mayor.

Media outlets report first-term council member Mick Sanders was chosen during a special meeting Friday night.

He’ll be sworn in on Wednesday and will serve until next June’s election.

Dwayne Stiltner resigned recently due to family reasons.

His 17-year-old daughter was killed in a traffic accident in late May. He has been on a leave of absence since then.