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This Hour: Latest West Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment

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Ex-W.Va. mayor pleads guilty to drug charges

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - Former Bridgeport Mayor Mario Blount has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges.

Media outlets report Blount entered the plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg to conspiracy to possess and distribute schedule II controlled substances, distribution of oxymorphone and false or fraudulent material omission.

Blount is a pharmacist who announced his resignation as mayor Monday night at a City Council meeting. He was elected in 2013.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld says as part of the plea agreement, Blount must surrender his state pharmacy license and cannot apply for reinstatement.

Federal agents arrested Blount in June. Last October a task force raided pharmacies operated by Blount's employer, Best Care Pharmacy, in Bridgeport, Lumberport and Belington.


CDC wraps W.Va. trip to talk spill health tracking

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Federal health officials have finished a three-day Charleston visit to discuss medical monitoring options after a January chemical spill contaminated water supplies to 300,000 people.

State health officials say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not be directed at the specific population exposed or focus on a specific event. It will monitor the state's overall health indicators.

Officials say they are weeks to a month from deciding their tracking plans.

The spill spurred a tap-water ban for days.

Hundreds of people went to the emergency room in the two weeks after the spill, many after a tap-water ban was lifted. Some symptoms were rashes, nausea, vomiting and itching.

The visit follows a July commitment that the National Toxicology Program will spend $750,000 to $1.2 million on additional studies.


W.Va. pharmacy head faces additional charges

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Barboursville pharmacy president has been indicted on drug and money laundering charges.

The indictment filed recently in U.S. District Court in Huntington charges 36-year-old Kofi Ohene Agyekum with distributing or conspiring to distribute oxycodone and hydromorphone pills and 36 counts of money laundering.

Agyekum is president and director of KAYPAT Medical Inc., which did business as A+ Care Pharmacy.

He had been arrested last month on a charge of trying to evade federal cash reporting requirements. Federal law requires financial institutions to report cash transactions exceeding $10,000 to the federal government.


New conservation area in W.Va. dedicated

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A seven-mile stretch of the Cheat Canyon in northern West Virginia is the state's newest natural conservation area.

A dedication ceremony was held Friday for the 3,800-acre forest upstream of Coopers Rock State Forest.

A public-private partnership that included the Conservation Fund, the Nature Conservancy and the state Division of Natural Resources raised more than $7 million to preserve the canyon. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says the efforts are a result of decades of work.

Cheat Canyon is diverse in plants and animals. More than 10 endangered, threatened or rare species live there, including the flat-spired three-toothed land snail, and the Indiana bat.


World's top paddlers tackle Md. whitewater course

MCHENRY, Md. (AP) - The world's best whitewater paddlers are preparing to compete in western Maryland.

Athletes from 46 countries are participating in the canoe and kayak whitewater slalom world championships beginning Thursday at the Adventure Sports Center International in McHenry. The event runs through Sunday.

It's the biggest event ever held at the seven-year-old, man-made course. Organizers say they expect up to 10,000 spectators and a $20 million economic impact.

State officials say the championships could help bring the summer Olympics to Washington in 2024 by showcasing the region's ability to play host to an international event.


WVU sees increase in on-campus alcohol arrests

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia University says it made about 100 more on-campus alcohol related arrests in 2013 compared to the year before.

The Dominion Post reports there were 551 alcohol-related arrests on campus in 2013. That includes 257 arrests in student residential facilities.

The 124 arrests on public property in 2013 were down from 345 such arrests the previous year.

WVU says the number of burglaries, larcenies and destruction of property calls also decreased.

WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts says education programs implemented by the department may be a reason behind the change in numbers.

The number of sex offenses rose to seven from two, while simple assaults increased to 66 from 38.

The federal Clery Act requires colleges to report campus crimes to the public.

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