Mass. Lawsuit Could Inform Greenbrier County Opioid Lawsuits

By Bobby Bordelon

Governments across the country, including Greenbrier County and several of the cities within, are taking action to not only curb the opioid epidemic, but find funding for this effort by suing several of the drug manufacturers and distributors many consider responsible. One Massachusetts lawsuit filing on January 31 gives a unique look into what the future of the cases could be.

One lawsuit includes Rainelle, Quinwood, and Rupert, spearheaded by Rainelle Chief of Police J.P. Stevens, and takes the fight to drug distributors, companies supplying local pharmacies throughout the western end of Greenbrier County and across the entire state. According to numbers provided by the Rainelle Police Department, between 2007 to 2012, the distributors, including AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Cardinal Health, McKesson Corporation, H.D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co., and The Harvard Drug Group, stocked the western end of Greenbrier County pharmacies with 5,817,380 pills, enough for each and every of the 7,200 residents to receive 134 pills per year.

Read more in the Thursday, February 7, 2019, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.

Baldwin Looks To Back Out Of Plea Deal

By Bobby Bordelon

A hearing expecting to see final acceptance of a plea deal and sentencing turned into the first of several status hearings on Monday, February 4.

Wilburn Lawrence Baldwin Jr. was indicted on one count of felony sexual assault in the third degree in February 2018; according to the prosecutor's office during the December hearing, the offense allegedly occurred 30 years previously. Baldwin was originally set for trial in December 2018, but shortly beforehand, a plea deal was reached between his defense and the Greenbrier County Prosecutor's Office. The trial was canceled and rescheduled as a plea hearing.

Read more in the Wednesday, February 6, 2019, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.

Ronceverte City Council Raises Water Rates To Fix Infrastructure

By Bobby Bordelon

A controversial ordinance raising water rates was passed by Ronceverte City Council during its Monday, February 4, meeting, with many citizens speaking in opposition.

Major problems with Ronceverte's water system pushed City Council seek funding for two infrastructure projects. The projects would address a number of issues, each of which often causes leaks and the subsequent draining of sections of the water system in order to address the leaks.

Read more in the Tuesday, February 5, 2019, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.

Diesel Spill Settlement Approved

By Bobby Bordelon

A final settlement for a class action lawsuit involving a 2015 diesel spill was approved by Greenbrier County Circuit Court Judge Robert Richardson on Monday, February 4.

The class action lawsuit was brought against Woodford Transportation, Woodford Oil Company, and Kenneth Pritt, a truck driver, on behalf of residents and businesses served by the Lewisburg Municipal Water System, who lost water service after a diesel spill contaminated sections of Anthony Creek in January 2015. Pritt was allegedly involved in an accident on Route 92, approximately 12 miles north of White Sulphur Springs in January 2015. The accident separated the diesel tank from the truck, which then fell into a tributary of Anthony Creek and began to leak. The leak dumped approximately 3,795 gallons of fuel into Anthony Creek, then flowing into the Greenbrier River, causing the city of Lewisburg to shut down its water intake valve for the city's water treatment plants. Water resources were depleted by the afternoon of the following day, leaving sections of the community without water.

Read more in the Tuesday, February 5, 2019, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.

Education Bill Passes In Senate, Moves To House

By Leah Tuckwiller

Senate Bill 451, the omnibus education reform bill, has passed in the Senate and was ordered to the House of Delegates during the Senate session on Monday, January 4.

Despite outspoken public opposition and dedicated efforts in the state Senate to either amend or defeat the bill, SB451 moves on with only some of the long list of proposed amendments attached. Senator for the 10th district, Stephen Baldwin, argued on the Senate floor yesterday that the bill's passage is a failure to understand what citizens of the state actually want, given the outcry from the public and from state educators.

Read more in the Tuesday, February 5, 2019, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.

Omnibus Education Bill Passes Committee Of The Whole, Moves On To Full Senate

By Leah Tuckwiller

Senate Bill 451, the omnibus education bill, passed through the state Senate committee of the whole Thursday, January 31, and will be reported to the full Senate today for second reading and another vote.

The Senate heard from Christy Black of the West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council on the topics of Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) and charter schools, both of which Black noted are believed to be a disadvantage to students with disabilities.

Read more in the Friday, February 1, 2019, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.

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