Around the State

Jail, prison misconduct claims cost W.Va. millions

CHARLESTON (AP) — Sexual misconduct claims at prisons and regional jails have cost West Virginia nearly $12 million over the last decade.

Board of Risk and Insurance Management records show that prisoners and their lawyers received more than $5 million in settlements and fees from Jan. 1, 2003, to June 1, 2013.

Another $6.6 million was spent to pay the state’s lawyers, special investigators, expert witnesses and court fees.

The number of sexual misconduct claims rose from 21 in 2008 to 83 in 2010. The number then declined to 45 in 2011 and to 26 in 2012. Two claims have been filed this year so far.

 

MORGANTOWN

Hospitals considers dropping docs’ white coats: WVU Hospitals is considering replacing doctors’ white coats and ties with scrubs.

Vice president Matt Loos says the proposed change in attire is an effort to control the spread of infections.

Loos says the neonatal intensive care unit has seen a dramatic decline in patient infection rates since a similar policy was implemented.

Loos discussed the proposed change during a WVU Hospitals Board of Directors meeting last week.

 

SCOTT DEPOT

Man hit, killed by train: Police say a man has died after he was hit by a train in Putnam County.

Putnam County sheriff’s deputies said that Tyler Kincaid of Winfield was walking on the tracks in Scott Depot when he was hit around 3 a.m. Sunday.

Deputies say the westbound train’s conductor blew the whistle, signaled and braked to slow the train down.

 

BLUEFIELD

Hospital workers get snakebite training: A Mercer County hospital is preparing for the upcoming Boy Scouts of America’s national jamboree by educating employees about snakebites.

An education program at Bluefield Regional Medical Center included information on caring for patients with snake bites and a live demonstration with several types of snakes.

Representatives of health care company BTG and the U.S. Forest Service conducted the program on Friday.

West Virginia is home to two venomous snakes, the timber rattler and the copperhead.

More than 35,000 Scouts are expected to attend the 2013 National Scout Jamboree July 15-24 at the Summit Bechtel Family Reserve in Fayette County.

 

CHARLESTON

Hearing set on civilian review board: An August hearing is set on whether the city of Bluefield should release records of a civilian police review board’s work.

Attorney Ed Hill requested the records last September. Hill says he doesn’t believe the city has complied with its agreement to establish the board to review police misconduct allegations.

The agreement is part of $1 million settlement of a lawsuit filed in 1998 by the late Robert Ellison.

Hill represented Ellison, a black man who alleged that he was beaten by two white Bluefield police officers. Ellison was left paralyzed and died in 2002.

After Hill requested the records, an attorney for the city asked a federal judge to clarify the agreement, which says information obtained by the panel is confidential.

 

JONBEN

Man killed in exchange with deputies: The Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a Jonben man who allegedly fired a shot at deputies before he was killed by return fire.

The deadly exchange occurred last Friday when deputies said 46-year-old Charles Warren Wickline fired at them.

The officers went to Wickline’s home on Thursday and he fled. Deputies said they found him early Friday and he took cover behind a tree and fired the shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wickline was on home confinement as a condition of bond on a charge of child neglect resulting in death. He was arrested in July 2012 after allegedly backing a vehicle over a 13-month-old boy.

 

WHEELING

Man gets 10 years on federal firearm conviction: A 28-year-old Wheeling man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for threatening to kill his girlfriend, her father and her brother with a semi-automatic rifle.

The government says Jordan L. Laudermilt was sentenced last Thursday on a charge of a felon in possession of a firearm. He was found guilty after a jury trial in February.

The conviction stems from an incident in Ohio County in February 2011 during which Laudermilt demanded cash from his girlfriend. When she refused, he threatened to shoot her and the other family members.

Besides the prison term, Laudermilt will be on three years of supervised release after he completes his sentence.

 

SUTTON

Vandals damage 30 school buses: Police say vandals caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to Braxton County’s school bus fleet.

Thirty of the county’s 32 buses at a depot in Sutton were vandalized. The vandals broke windows and glass doors and discharged fire extinguishers inside the buses.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. Andrew Shingler said that two teenagers from the Little Birch area told police that they were involved. He says charges are pending. Shingler says there’s a possibility others were involved and the investigation is continuing.

Businesses in the area have contacted state police and offered security footage to aid the investigation. Brenda Wells with Braxton County Schools says the buses were insured.

 

NITRO

Toys destined for sick kids stolen: A faith-based charity says someone made off with toys that had been collected for sick children.

According to Basket of Hope, the toys were taken from a storage locker in Nitro sometime within the last week.

The organization relies on donated money and gifts of new toys to fill baskets destined for ill children.

The stolen gifts included dolls, action figures, accessories and merchandise that had yet to be sorted.

Basket of Hope has branches throughout the country.

 

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