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Latest West Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT

Latest West Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 3:23 AM EDT
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OBIT-POWERBALL WINNER

From Powerball winner to scandal: Jack Whittaker dies at 72

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Andrew “Jack” Whittaker Jr., whose life became rife with setbacks and tragedy after winning a record $315 million Powerball jackpot in 2002, has died. He was 72. Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlor in Hinton on Tuesday confirmed Whittaker’s death. A funeral home official says Whittaker died of natural causes. Whittaker became an instant celebrity when he claimed what was then the largest U.S. lottery jackpot won by a single ticket. But he quickly fell victim to scandals, lawsuits and personal setbacks. His wife left him and both his daughter and drug-addicted granddaughter died. He also lost a home to fire.

CONFEDERATE PLAQUE REMOVED

Confederate marker removed from West Virginia monument

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A marker has been removed from a century-old Confederate monument in West Virginia. News outlets report the city of Charleston took down the plaque Monday from the Kanawha Riflemen Monument at Ruffner Memorial Park. The land was given to the city in 1831 and converted to a park in 1920. The monument resembles a tablet with benches on each side. It was installed in 1922 by the Kanawha Riflemen Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The tablet had been dedicated to those who served in the Confederate Army. The city says removing the marker was the right thing to do.

TRAIN FATALITY

West Virginia man fatally hit by train is identified

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Police have identified a West Virginia pedestrian who was hit by a train and died. Police said Monday the man was 30-year-old Michael Adam Woodrum of Charleston. Charleston police said officers were called to the scene early Saturday when the man was hit by a CSX train southeast of downtown. The man died at the scene.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-WEST VIRGINIA

Governor: 'No point' to debate axing of top health official

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is done talking about why he pushed out a top health official during the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican governor deflected multiple questions Monday about the forced resignation of former public health commissioner Cathy Slemp as he continued to doubt the accuracy of the state’s virus caseload. Justice has vented about a possible overstating of the state’s active caseload, floating the idea that the tally could be exaggerated by around 300 cases, while providing few details. He has placed the blame on Slemp, who has decades of public health experience, and suggested she was responsible for the discrepancy before having her removed from her post last week.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-COURTS RESUME

Jury trials can resume in West Virginia's court system

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Jury trials can resume in West Virginia’s court system. The state Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for trials to resume starting Monday. Guidance given to judicial officers on Friday outlined ways that judges and circuit clerks can protect health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic. Chief Justice Tim Armstead says defendants’ rights related to a trial by their peers must be respected even during a sustained health emergency. He says trial participants will be required to wear masks in courtrooms and related facilities, and social distancing will be enforced.

ESCAPED SUSPECT-FOUND

West Virginia Police: Escaped murder suspect captured

HOLDEN, W. Va. (AP) — West Virginia State Police said a man accused of murder was captured by authorities Sunday night after he escaped from a transport van earlier in the day. Dominick Joseph McClung escaped from a parked Donald R. Kuhn Juvenile Center transport van at a convenience store Sunday at 4:30 p.m. McClung was captured by State Police around 8 p.m. and was to be booked in the South Western Regional Jail. McClung was arrested last fall and charged with first-degree murder in the death of 68-year-old Karen Yeager. Parkersburg police said Yeager was fatally stabbed and strangled. It’s unclear whether McClung had an attorney.

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