- State News
Mingo judge resigns, pleads guilty to conspiracy
Suspended Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy in a scheme to protect the reputation of the county sheriff who later was slain in an unrelated shooting.
Mingo commissioner pleads guilty to extortion
A Mingo County commissioner pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge Tuesday involving a tire dealer.
David Baisden was accused of trying to buy tires for his personal vehicle at a government discount, then terminating the county’s contract with Appalachian Tire when it refused to cooperate.
Baisden, 66, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver set Baisden’s sentencing for Jan. 14.
- Poor acorn crop could affect W.Va. hunting seasons this year
- Lobbyists spend $39,000 wining, dining officials
Audit faults Medicaid fraud efforts
Legislative auditors say West Virginia’s efforts to reduce Medicaid fraud and overpayments are lacking, citing a backlog of 171 cases involving billings from health care providers.
Federal rule changes will help black lung victims
Changes to federal black lung rules are expected to make it easier for coal miners and their families to obtain benefits.
A final rule announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Program implements two amendments to the 2010 Black Lung Benefits Act.
The changes, called the Byrd Amendments, reinstate two provisions that were eliminated in 1981. They were sponsored by the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-.W.Va.
Four banks to pay W.Va. $8 million in credit lawsuit
Four banking companies have agreed to pay the state nearly $8 million to settle a lawsuit claiming they used deceptive tactics to sell credit card protection programs to customers.
Audit: W.Va. tower project ignored purchasing laws
West Virginia’s $38 million expansion of a statewide microwave communications network ignored state purchasing laws, legislative auditors said in a report released Tuesday.
The funding was part of a $126 million stimulus grant awarded to West Virginia to fund a three-prong plan to bring the latest broadband and telecommunication gear to a state where hilly terrain, low-income residents and other factors have stymied previous efforts. The plan includes building 12 towers and refurbishing five others to fill a gap in the microwave communication system for law enforcement and other first responders.
The report says the state grant implementation team didn’t seek competitive bids for the tower project. Instead, they used a Lewis County Commission contract to authorize Premier Construction as the contractor.
Feds will drop one charge against Mingo judge in exchange for guilty plea to another
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday they will drop one conspiracy charge against suspended Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury in exchange for his guilty to plea to a second conspiracy that he was named in last week.
A motion filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston asks Judge Thomas E. Johnston to indefinitely postpone the deadlines in a case that accuses the longtime southern West Virginia judge of repeatedly trying to frame a romantic rival for crimes the man didn’t commit between 2008 and 2012.
Mingo prosecutor fighting to keep his law license
Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks is fighting to keep his law license.
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- Mingo judge resigns, pleads guilty to conspiracy