W.Va. inmate charged with threatening president
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia inmate faces federal charges of threatening President Barack Obama and his family.
Robert Dale Tasker is charged in an indictment with three counts of threatening Obama and one count of threatening the president's family. The alleged threats were mailed in December and February.
U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II says the 43-year-old Tasker is an inmate at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail in Belington.
If convicted on the federal charges, Tasker faces up to five years in prison on each count.
A federal grand jury in Clarksburg issued the indictment last week.
Engine sputter heard before W.Va. plane crash
LUMBERPORT, W.Va. (AP) - A preliminary federal report says a witness heard an engine sputtering before a small plane crashed near Lumberport.
The National Transportation Safety Board report says the witness then heard the engine go to full power, followed by trees and branches breaking and metallic sounds.
The witness told federal investigators that he looked up and saw falling trees and branches, and airplane debris descending down the side of a mountain.
The Beech F33A crashed on March 1, killing the pilot, 68-year-old Barry W. Parks of Fairmont. The plane had left Fairmont Municipal Airport shortly before it crashed.
The cause of the crash hasn't been determined. Peter Knudson with the safety board tells The Exponent Telegram that the average fatal accident investigation takes about 12 months.
Tazewell Co. approves agreement for new trail
TAZEWELL, Va. (AP) - Tazewell County has agreed to allow the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority to operate the county's portion of a new trail system.
The county Board of Supervisors approved a memorandum of understanding with the authority last week for the Spearhead Trail.
Supervisor Mike Hymes tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the county will build the trail.
The Spearhead Trail will be open to all-terrain vehicles, bikes, horses, hikers and others. It's an initiative of the regional authority.
The first section opened in Wise County in 2013. Plans call for the trail to be extended through seven Southwest Virginia counties and potentially link with West Virginia's Hatfield-McCoy Trail system.
Berkeley council to help fund preservation project
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - The Berkeley County Council will provide matching funds to repair the roof of a 19th century mansion.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History awarded a $27,000 grant in 2013 for the project. Media outlets report that the County Council unanimously voted last week to allocate $49,010 to the project.
The Berkeley County Alms House once housed widows, orphans and disabled veterans of the Civil War. The stone building is located in the county-owned Poor House Farm Park.
BLUEFIELD PILL INITIATIVE
Defendant in W.Va. pill crackdown to be sentenced
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) - A Princeton man convicted in a crackdown on prescription drug trafficking is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.
Bobby Michael Short Jr. pleaded guilty last November to drug distribution charges. His sentencing is set for 10:30 a.m. Monday in U.S. District Court in Bluefield.
Prosecutors say Short and two co-defendants sold hydromorphone pills to a confidential informant in and around Mercer County. Hydromorphone is a prescription painkiller.
The charges stemmed from the Bluefield Pill Initiative. Launched in 2011, it targets prescription drug trafficking in Mercer, McDowell and Wyoming counties.
WVA CORRUPTION CHARGES
Ex-Mingo Co. magistrate to be sentenced Monday
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A former Mingo County magistrate is heading back to court for sentencing on a federal vote charge.
Dallas Toler pleaded guilty last December to charges that he illegally registered a convicted felon to vote in the 2012 primary election. He's scheduled to be sentenced at 2 p.m. Monday in U.S. District Court in Charleston.
Toler faces up to six months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors are asking the court to impose a longer sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Ruby says in court filing that Toler was a judicial official whose crime occurred in a place where public corruption has been endured for too long.
Ruby says Toler also got involved in cocaine distribution while out on bond.
Charity outreach seeking rural W.Va. volunteers
WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - Catholic Charities of West Virginia is seeking volunteers to help serve rural "food deserts" in the state.
Catholic Charities' mobile outreach program is seeking volunteers to serve the needs of poor and low-income families in a six-county area east of Wood County. The USDA classifies some of those rural, isolated communities as food deserts because of the lack of healthy foods.
The mobile outreach program relies on volunteers to provide healthy food assistance and other services to the rural poor. The volunteers are needed to assist with the WellnessWorks Food Pantry distributions. The program also helps promote healthy nutrition through education, direct service and advocacy.
Volunteers can learn more by calling 304-989-4511.
Magnolia wins Morgantown tree competition
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A saucer magnolia is the winner of Morgantown's first Biggest, Baddest tree competition.
The saucer magnolia is a small low-branched tree with large, saucer-shaped flowers.
The winning tree stands next to the Nardi family's house. Anne Nardi tells The Dominion Post that she believes it was planted in the mid-1950s.
The tree received 151 of 337 votes cast over three days at The DPost.com. A weeping Alaskan cedar was second with 59 votes and a copper beech was third with 30 votes.
The competition capped Morgantown's Year of the Tree 2013.
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