24 December 2008

William D. Proudfoot, 1940-2008

Just elected to his tenth term last month, Delegate Bill Proudfoot, D-Randolph, was killed in a Tuesday automobile accident, The Associated Press reports.

The farmer and retired school administrator was most recently vice-chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He previously chaired Natural Resources and Political Subdivisions.

"State Police said Proudfoot lost control of his Ford F-250 and was ejected when the pickup overturned," AP reported. "Several family members who were passengers in the truck were injured."

22 December 2008

W.Va. to Pay $500k to Settle Pinecrest Case

The state's insurer has agreed to pay $500,000 to "11 people testing positive for tuberculosis while either working at or visiting Pinecrest Hospital, or treated there as a patient," The Register-Herald of Beckley reports.

The article cites how recent GOP gubernatorial nominee and former state Sen. Russ Weeks, of Raleigh County, "first blew the whistle" on conditions at the state-run hospital blamed for the infections.

"Weeks has been demanding an inquiry the past four years, maintaining 'a massive cover-up' was keeping the lid on a number of illegal practices at Pinecrest, ranging from bookkeeping to mistreatment of patients," the article said.

W.Va. Evading Deficit Threat, So Far

The Associated Press cites a recent analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures to report that "the Mountain State is among less than a dozen that expect revenues to cover spending during the current budget year."

West Virginia is also avoiding the deficit watch list for 2010, though the analysis warns that the chief culprit behind the coast-to-coast budget gaps -- plunging tax revenues -- is starting to reflect in severance collections.