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News in Brief — 9/14/12

Man gets life for brutal slaying

PORTSMOUTH (AP) — A southern Ohio man has been sentenced to life in prison for what prosecutors say was one of the most brutal murder cases they’d ever seen.

A jury in Scioto County found 35-year-old Raymond Linkous guilty Thursday of bludgeoning and stabbing his victim, then setting him the man on fire while he was still alive.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Linkous and two other men attacked 24-year-old Felipe Lopez over a shipment of cocaine in March. A prosecutor said they hit him five times with a hatchet and crushed his skull, then stabbed him before setting him on fire in the cab of a truck.

Linkous’ alleged accomplices are scheduled for trial later this year.

 

Dozens of buildings being torn down

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal prosecutor says a demolition project in Huntington is a significant victory for the city in fighting crime.

About 50 dilapidated homes are being demolished in a joint project to revitalize the area. Crews from the West Virginia National Guard and the state Division of Highways brought in heavy equipment this week in the Fairfield neighborhood to begin the monthlong process.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says the houses were a magnet for crime, and the project sends the message that drug dealers and thieves are not welcome in Huntington.

Goodwin and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin toured the area Thursday.

Tomblin says the project will “breathe new life back into this community.”

 

Marshall to honor 2 troopers with helmet stickers

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Marshall’s football team is honoring two slain State Troopers with helmet stickers.

The stickers will have a triangle with the words “West Virginia State Police” and include the badge numbers of Cpl. Marshall Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman. They were fatally shot during a traffic stop Aug. 28 near the Wallback exit of Interstate 79 in Roane County.

Media outlets report the stickers will be on the helmets for the rest of the season.

Marshall plays at home Saturday night against Ohio.

 

Judge won’t block W.Va. mine permit for appeal

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge says he won’t block a Clean Water Act permit for a Logan County coal mine while environmentalists appeal it to a higher court.

U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers ruled Thursday that the appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals isn’t likely to succeed.

However, Chambers continued a stay on the permit for 14 days so the plaintiffs can ask the appeals court for relief.

The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and others had challenged the permit for Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources’ Highland Reylas surface mine.

In August, Chambers ruled in favor of Alpha and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The plaintiffs sought an injunction blocking the permit while they appeal, saying mining activities would cause irreparable harm.