The Associated Press

1CHARLESTON — A West Virginia woman who embezzled disaster benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after heavy flooding more than two years ago has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

The U.S. attorney’s office says in a statement that 57-year-old Pamela Taylor of Clay County also was ordered during last week’s sentencing to pay a $10,000 fine. The statement says Taylor has already paid more than $18,000 in restitution.

Taylor admitted to falsely registering for benefits after the June 2016 flood. Her home wasn’t damaged and she was living in it but claimed it was damaged and she was staying in a rental unit.

In December 2016, Taylor was fired as director of the Clay County Development Corp. after she wrote a Facebook post referring to then-first lady Michelle Obama as an ``ape in heels.’’

Critics say FCC

report overstates broadband


2CHARLESTON — The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband report is being hammered by critics who say it paints too rosy a picture of high-speed internet availability in the U.S.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin joined two dissenting FCC commissioners in criticizing the report released Wednesday.

The FCC’s annual Broadband Deployment Report says the country’s digital divide has ``narrowed substantially,’’ with the number of Americans without broadband dropping more than 18%, to 21.3 million people, between 2016 and 2017.

The commission’s two Democrats issued dissenting statements along with the report that said it was at odds with the reality of internet availability on the ground. Manchin offered a similar critique relating to West Virginia.

The FCC’s data collection methods have been routinely labeled as flawed .


School board

settles with student over bullying


3CHARLESTON — A Kanawha County school board has settled with a student after a 2017 bullying incident resulted with her losing two front teeth.

The student received roughly $27,500 from the Kanawha County Board of Education on Friday, according to news sources.

According to the complaint, the girl was sitting in the front of the bus on her way to an after-school program when another student attempted to lift her up by pulling on her backpack. The complaint then says a separate student slammed the girl’s head into a bus window, which broke two of the girl’s front two teeth.

The family’s attorney says the elementary school did not properly protect the girl from further bullying.


Jerry West to get Presidential Medal

of Freedom

4WASHINGTON  — President Donald Trump says that Jerry West, the pro basketball great, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“The Great Jerry West will be receiving our Nation’s highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his outstanding career, both on and off the court,’’ according to the Trump Saturday night tweet. West, a member of the basketball Hall of Fame who played guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and played college basketball at West Virginia University. No date was announced for the award for the 81-year-old West, who has also worked as a basketball executive.

Trump recently gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to golfing great Tiger Woods and plans to give one later this month to Arthur Laffer, the economist known as a leading proponent of supply-side economics.

Trooper charged

in beating was

previously cleared by agency

5MARTINSBURG — A West Virginia trooper federally charged in the beating of a teenager was previously cleared of wrongdoing in the case by his department.

A recently released West Virginia State Police internal investigation says Trooper Michael Kennedy didn’t engage in criminal conduct during the November arrest of the 16-year-old.

However, Kennedy was later indicted on a charge of deprivation of rights under color of law, which describes crimes committed by on-duty police officers.

Dashcam video shows the teen driver fleeing police and crashing before being kicked, stomped on and punched by officers. Two county deputies in the video were fired and later reinstated. Kennedy and Trooper Derek Walker were fired. Walker wasn’t charged. Kennedy’s trial is set for October.

Mega Millions ticket worth $2M sold

6CHARLESTON — A Mega Millions ticket worth $2 million has been sold in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Lottery says in a news release the ticket for the May 28th drawing matched five numbers and missed the Mega Ball number. The ticketholder also paid an extra $1 for the Megaplier option, meaning the prize doubled from $1 million to $2 million. The ticket was sold at the Pilot Flying J in Sutton.

The numbers drawn Tuesday were 9, 21, 34, 2 and 50, and the gold Mega Ball was 21.


Principal: I


plagiarized Ashton Kutcher speech

7PARKERSBURG — A West Virginia principal accused of plagiarizing Ashton Kutcher in an address to his school’s graduating class says he didn’t mean to use someone else’s work.

Parkersburg High School Principal Kenny DeMoss has issued a statement saying he should have cited his sources in the May 23 speech, but asserted the ideas were his own.

“I did not get all my ideas from Ashton. Format yes, thoughts and ideas were from my heart,’’ he wrote, adding that he’s upset the speech has stolen the focus from graduating students.

A graduate posted a video to Facebook that spliced DeMoss’ speech with Kutcher’s 2013 Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards speech and has since amassed more than 100,000 views. The speeches used similar wording and at times featured identical phrasing.

DeMoss said the widely-circulated video cut out a preface that was supposed to make clear he was going to be folding others’ ideas and thoughts into his speech.

In an email Friday, DeMoss said he’s putting the incident behind him.

“Me and my family are the only ones being hurt here. My accuser isn’t. I love kids and love this school and this will only make me better,’’ he said.

Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook did not immediately return a voicemail seeking comment.

City can’t afford

to timely fix water service

8KEYSTONE — The city of Keystone is in a bind: it doesn’t have the equipment to timely restore some of its water service and it doesn’t have money to get the equipment.

Town clerk and Acting Mayor Vondalere Scott tells news sources the city doesn’t even have enough to pay its regular bills. Scott says Keystone used to get assistance for issues like this, “but not anymore, not in a long while.’’

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the city had a 2018 population of 232. About 80 people get water service from the city and have been without it for more than a week. Scott questions why the state or someone else doesn’t step in to help, but says “that’s just how things go in Keystone.’’

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