Around the State

Suspect in shooting of 2 deputies killed

CRAIGSVILLE (AP) — An 84-year-old West Virginia man who shot and injured two deputies was killed by police Saturday after he emerged from his barricaded house with a weapon, police said.

The death of John Evans outside his central West Virginia home escalated after a 911 call from a neighbor who told police Evans threatened him with a firearm over an unspecified dispute, said Sgt. Michael Baylous, a state police spokesman.

When a Nicholas County deputy arrived at Evans’ house, Evans shot him with a shotgun, Baylous said. The second deputy was shot when he responded to the scene. Both deputies were airlifted to Charleston for treatment of wounds that are not considered life threatening, Baylous said.

State police units and other law enforcement agencies then responded to Evans’ house, sparking sporadic exchanges of gunfire over several hours. “He just went through the house shooting at law enforcement,” Baylous said.

Throughout the standoff, Baylous said, police appealed to Evans to surrender and used tear gas to flush him from the house. “No lines of communication could be established,” he said. Evans ultimately emerged from a back door of the house with a weapon and was killed, Baylous said.

 

NEW MILTON

Eight injured at gas well explosion: Eight people have been injured in an explosion at an Antero Resources natural gas drilling site in Doddridge County.

Doddridge County EMS says the explosion occurred around 4 a.m. Sunday at a well site in New Milton.

Antero vice president of production Kevin Kilstrom said that two crews were preparing to enter production tubing into the well when the accident occurred. He says there was a fire and a possible explosion.

Kilstrom says five contract workers were transported to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh.

Doddridge County EMS says a total of eight workers were injured. The others were taken to in-state hospitals. The victim’s conditions weren’t immediately available.

Kilstrom says the company has notified the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

 

GLEN JEAN

NPS expects thousands of scouts at New River park: The National Park Service is expecting thousands of Boy Scouts to visit New River Gorge National River during the upcoming national jamboree. The park is adjacent to the Summit Bechtel Family Reserve in Fayette County where the 2013 jamboree will be held. The jamboree is set for July 15-24.

The park service says about 2,500 scouts are expected to raft the New River on each of five days during the jamboree. Scouts also are scheduled to participate in daily rock climbing excursions.

Park service river ranger Kathy Zerkle says the jamboree is an opportunity to showcase the New River to young people.

— Compiled with information from the Associated Press

 

 

CHARLESTON

New black lung rules delayed by U.S. regulators: Action on key federal mine safety and health rules are is lagging, including a rule aimed at lowering exposure to coal dust that causes deadly black lung disease.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration was expected to issue the final rule in June, but now it won’t be acted on until September.

Officials did not state a reason for the delay.

Researchers are urging action on the rule’s enactment because of resurgence in black lung disease. It is being seen among younger Appalachia miners who have worked under current dust limits that were intended to protect them from the disease.

Black lung is an irreversible and potentially deadly disease caused by exposure to coal dust.

 

Man claims sheriff’s deputies beat him: A southern West Virginia man involved in a domestic violence dispute two years ago is suing the Logan County Sheriff’s Department over a beating he says a deputy gave him after his arrest.

Charles Allen Simpkins also sued the two deputies who arrested him in U.S. District Court this week over the July 2011 incident near Accoville.

Simpkins says he called 911 during a fight with his girlfriend and went outside to talk to the two deputies when they arrived. Simpkins says he was immediately pepper-sprayed and shoved into the patrol car.

Simpkins claims he was sprayed a second time and threatened with a beating when he asked deputies to lower the window.

His complaint says the deputies then took a roundabout way to the jail, stopping behind an elementary school and pulling him from the car. Simpkins says one deputy was wearing weighted or reinforced black leather gloves, and punched and kicked him repeatedly even though he was handcuffed.

After a while, he contends, the other deputy intervened, telling the deputy in the gloves he couldn’t “see how he has any teeth left.”

The pair then took Simpkins to Logan Regional Medical Center, where the lawsuit says Simpkins was treated for a broken nose, and bruises on his face, scalp, ribs and ankle.

The complaint says Simpkins was charged with malicious wounding, domestic battery and brandishing a deadly weapon.

Sheriff Sonya Dingiss Porter was out of the office Friday and did not immediately return a telephone message about the case. The department has not yet filed a response, and no court dates have been scheduled.

The beating was illegal, malicious and a violation of his state and federal civil rights, Simpkins’ complaint argues.

He’s seeking unspecified compensatory damages for his medical expenses, lost wages, and for physical and emotional suffering. He’s also demanding punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

 

GLEN JEAN

NPS expects thousands of scouts at New River park: The National Park Service is expecting thousands of Boy Scouts to visit New River Gorge National River during the upcoming national jamboree.

The park is adjacent to the Summit Bechtel Family Reserve in Fayette County where the 2013 jamboree will be held. The jamboree is set for July 15-24.

The park service says about 2,500 scouts are expected to raft the New River on each of five days during the jamboree. Scouts also are scheduled to participate in daily rock climbing excursions.

Park service river ranger Kathy Zerkle says the jamboree is an opportunity to showcase the New River to young people.

 

CAMERON

Mayor says drilling traffic pounding roads: Cameron Mayor Julie Beresford says roads around her city are taking a pounding from natural gas drilling-related truck traffic.

Both Beresford and Marshall County Delegate David Evans say they support the Marcellus Shale drilling boom. But they say that they’re concerned about the effects of constant truck traffic on roads.

Evans says he will continue to push for the state to do something to ensure that roads damaged by drilling-related truck traffic are repaired in a timely manner.

Beresford says a more structured monitoring of roads is needed to ensure they are repaired.

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