Around the State

Slain W.Va. sheriff coached suspect in boxing

DELBARTON — A West Virginia sheriff gave boxing lessons to the man charged with killing him when the suspect was a teenager.
Delbarton Boxing Club founder Tommy Diamond says he asked Sheriff Eugene Crum to coach at the club in the early 1990s when Crum was Delbarton’s police chief. Diamond said that one of the boys coached by Crum was Tennis Melvin Maynard.
Diamond said he doesn’t remember any arguments between Maynard and Crum.
The 37-year-old Maynard is charged with fatally shooting Crum as the sheriff ate lunch April 3 in a downtown Williamson parking lot. Maynard was shot by a deputy during a chase and remains at a Huntington hospital.
Maynard’s brother, Leslie, says he never talked about Crum.

CHARLESTON

Student returns to school with NRA shirt: A West Virginia teenager returned to class Monday wearing the same National Rifle Association T-shirt that led to his suspension and arrest after he refused a teacher’s order last week to remove it.
Other students across Logan County wore similar shirts, which display the NRA logo and a hunting rifle, to school in a show of support for 14-year-old Jared Marcum, said his lawyer Ben White.
White said school officials told him on Monday that Marcum’s one-day suspension was appropriate because the Logan Middle School eighth-grader was being disruptive. White disputed that position, saying Marcum was exercising his free speech rights and did not disrupt anything.
“Their version is that the suspension was for disrupting the educational process, not the shirt,’’ White said in a telephone interview.
Logan County Schools Superintendent Wilma Zigmond didn’t immediately return a telephone message Monday
Marcum’s stepfather, Allen Larieris, said Sunday that the teen was waiting in line in the school cafeteria last Thursday when a teacher ordered him to remove the T-shirt or turn it inside out.
Logan County Schools’ dress code, which is posted on the school system’s website, prohibits clothing and accessories that display profanity, violence, discriminatory messages or sexually suggestive phrases. Clothing displaying advertisements for any alcohol, tobacco, or drug product also is prohibited.
Logan police arrested Marcum, 14, after he was sent to the school office and again refused to remove the shirt.

Utilities propose $58M tree-trimming plan: Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power customers would foot the bill for expanded tree-trimming around transmission lines under a plan submitted to state regulators.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission ordered the two American Electric Power subsidiaries to submit a plan after last summer’s storms left thousands of customers without power, some for up to two weeks.
If the PSC approves the companies’ proposal, the increased maintenance would cost about $58 million a year. Appalachian Power says that money would be collected through a surcharge that would add about $2.38 to the average residential customer’s monthly bill.
Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power say their customers already pay for about $11.6 million a year for right-of-way maintenance.

Unemployment drops in every W.Va. county: Unemployment rates fell in all 55 West Virginia counties in March.
WorkForce West Virginia said last Friday that five counties still reported unemployment rates of more than 12 percent, led by Clay County’s 14.6 percent. Others are Webster, 13.3 percent; Wirt, 12.6 percent; and Calhoun and Roane, 12 percent.
Monongalia County continues to have the lowest rate in the state at 4.1 percent.
West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from February’s rate.

4-day celebration planned for W.Va.’s 150th birthday: West Virginia will celebrate its 150th birthday with concerts, parades, a 3-D movie projected on the steps of the state Capitol and fireworks shot from the roof of the state Capitol, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced last Thursday.
The sesquicentennial celebration will open with a statewide bell ringing at 1:50 p.m. on June 20 in recognition of 150 years of statehood. That evening, a Thursday, will be the first of three straight nights of fireworks.
In 2009, then-Gov. Joe Manchin appointed a sesquicentennial commission made up primarily of historians and scholars to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, John Brown’s raid at Harper’s Ferry, the formation of the state and other events.
Senate Majority Leader John Unger represents the Legislature on that commission. Originally funded with $100,000, the commission will serve through 2015.

Bond sale to fund Cacapon improvements set: A bond sale will help expand and improve facilities at Cacapon Resort State Park in Morgan County.
The state Economic Development Authority on Thursday approved minor changes to a resolution that helps clear the way for next month’s sale of more than $24 million in bonds.
The project includes an 80-room addition with a fitness area, an indoor-outdoor pool and a sauna, along with improvements to the park’s 18-hole golf course.
The Legislature last year allowed the sale of up to $52 million in bonds for improvements at Cacapon and Beech Fork state parks.
The authority stipulated that any leftover revenue generated by the bond sale for Cacapon can be applied to improvements at Beech Fork in Wayne County.

BECKLEY
W.Va. jail inmate captured after mistaken release: A state jail agency chief says human error led to the release of a murder suspect who was returned to custody the next day.
West Virginia Regional Jail Authority executive director Joe DeLong says an investigation is underway into Anthony Lee Ramsey’s release from the Southern Regional Jail last Tuesday.
The 51-year-old Ramsey was caught at a residence in Lewisburg last Wednesday morning.
Media outlets report paperwork had been sent to the jail dismissing a magistrate court case involving Ramsey. But Ramsey had previously been ordered held by a circuit court after his indictment on murder charges.
DeLong says there was “clearly a breakdown in communication” involving Ramsey’s release.
Ramsey was initially arrested in January in a fatal shooting at a trailer park in Alta.

Calif. man to enter plea in extortion case: A California man who allegedly tried to extort $13 million from a West Virginia coal executive is now expected to enter a plea.
U.S. District Judge Irene Berger has scheduled a May 9 hearing in Beckley for aspiring actor Vivek Shah. He had been set to stand trial May 13.
All court filings in the case have been sealed. Shah has gone through several attorneys since he was arrested last year, and a motion to postpone his trial was recently denied.
The 25-year-old from West Hollywood was charged with threatening to kill relatives of Christopher Cline, owner of Foresight Reserves coal company, if Cline refused to pay the $13 million.
Prosecutors say Shah targeted four other wealthy victims from Connecticut, Illinois, Texas and Florida, but they haven’t identified them.

LOGAN
Man walking across W.Va. to raise hunger awareness: A food pantry official embarked on a statewide walk to raise awareness for the hungry and money for the food banks that feed them.
Tom Knopp is director of Kenova’s Good Samaritan Center. He plans to walk 25 miles in every county.
The walk started Monday at the Cabell County Courthouse. He expects the trip to take 65 days, finishing in Wayne County on June 24.
The 68-year-old Knopp plans to walk for about six hours each day. He has been preparing for the trip by walking up to 20 miles every day before opening his Kenova barber shop.

— Compiled by Robert Smith with information from the Associated Press

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