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►  West Virginia Attorney General Urges Credit Card Protections

West Virginia’s attorney general issued guidelines for gas stations and convenience stores across aimed at preventing skimming credit and debit card information.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who queried the outlets about potential problems in May,

Skimmers are devices that can be attached to gas pumps and automated teller machines to intercept information from cards’ magnetic strips and later used to run up purchases.

Morrisey says the guidelines, backed by state and national trade associations, include replacing factory locks with unique locks on gas pumps, ensuring all pumps are well lit and monitored by security cameras, use tamper-evident security labels on each gas dispenser and have staff check pumps daily.


►  Lawsuit Creates Blame Feud Over West Virginia Opioid Crisis

A West Virginia city’s lawsuit against a drug company has led to a dispute over which is at fault in the opioid epidemic.

One of the nation’s largest drug wholesalers is attempting to dilute responsibility for the opioid crisis after Huntington filed a lawsuit against it.

According to its federal court filling, Cardinal Health asserts nearly 2,000 organizations, businesses and medical professionals could potentially be held accountable for the epidemic.

Huntington alleges that prescription painkiller shipments from Cardinal and other distributors helped fuel the problem, which has led to record numbers of fatal overdoses.

A jury may be asked to assign percentages of blame if the case goes to trial, but only named defendants could be held liable and required to pay damages.


►  Man dies after being hit by object along I-79

A man died Thursday night from injuries suffered along Interstate 79 in Marion County, state police said.

Marvin Bell, 56, was on the side of the interstate making repairs to a vehicle near the Kingmont exit when the driver of a utility trailer lost a wheel. The wheel struck Bell. He was later pronounced dead.

Troopers are looking for the driver of the passing vehicle.

The incident happened on the side of the northbound lanes.


►  Woman dies after boat overturned in New River

The National Park Service confirms the identity of a drowning victim in the New River.

A spokesperson for the National Park Service said in a release three people were in a boat Thursday when it overturned near Cunard.  Two passengers were able to swim to shore.  The body of 48-year-old Christina Dawn Schneider of Oak Hill was recovered downstream.

The Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Department and Jan-Care Ambulance responded to the incident.  No further information was available Friday.


►  Alderson Broaddus president addresses probation issue at HEPC meeting

The president of Alderson Broaddus University told members of the state Higher Education Policy Commission Friday a two-year probation handed down against the school by the Higher Learning Commission is “in a unique way it’s an opportunity for us.”

AB President Tim Barry addressed the commission Friday, less than a month after it had been notified of the accreditation problem by the HLC.

HEPC Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Corley Dennison told the commission the HLC’s issues with Alderson Broaddus focus on the school’s finances. The school defaulted on 2012 long-term bonds and has a history of not being able to generate sufficient revenue to meet projected enrollment and retention goals, according to the HLC.

The private school, located in Philippi, was already in financial trouble when Barry arrived in late 2015. He told the HEPC Friday the school has started to get its financial house in order including improving enrollment and cash flow.

“What I feel good about is that we’re ahead for fall enrollment with visits, acceptances, applications and dramatically increased deposits,” Barry said.

Barry said the school has developed a positive relationship with bond holders in recent months and is currently in a two-year forbearance agreement.

When asked how Alderson Broaddus got into the financial shape it did, Barry provided several reasons.

“We moved too quickly in construction of buildings and a stadium and things like that,” he said. “I grew up on an Iowa farm and my father said a million times, ‘If you don’t have it, don’t spend it,’ well, we had it but we quickly spent it. I guess I would have taken $3 million and shoved it into a mattress for an extra year,” Barry said.

The school now has a five-year financial plan, Barry said.

“That sounds so obvious,” he said.

Barry also said he’s worked to eliminate any disconnect between his office and the schools, trustees, alumni and area lawmakers. He said he’s confident AB will do what it has to do to get off probation.

“I’m looking forward to moving through this process during the next two years,” Barry said.

Alderson Broaddus says it has fulfilled all necessary requirements for the provisional certification alternative. The HLC is requiring the school to submit comprehensive evidence and evaluation no later than December 2018 to demonstrate compliance to all accrediting standards. The HLC will review documents in June 2019.


►  Judge declines to dismiss Murray defamation lawsuit

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a defamation suit against The New York Times by Murray Energy Corp. over an April editorial that described the coal mining company as “a serial violator” of federal health and safety rules.

The suit also alleges defamation for saying owner Bob Murray “earned infamy when he falsely insisted that the 2007 collapse of his Crandall Canyon mine, which killed six miners, was due to an earthquake, not dodgy mining practices.”

Judge John Preston Bailey writes the claims are sufficiently plausible for the case to proceed, though both sides agree “that the serial violator statement is, to an extent, a true statement.”

Separately, Baily sent a Murray defamation suit against HBO “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver back to a West Virginia state court.

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