Sustained Outrage

Planes, jails and parking tickets

A couple of interesting stories out in the news today…

First, there’s a report from The Dominion Post of Morgantown (Subs Req’d), picked up by The Associated Press,  that details the flights and costs of a plane leased by West Virginia University. Using the state’s Freedom of Information Act, the newspaper obtained records that show WVU spents nearly $800,000 a year on the plane. Between Jan. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008, more than 300 trips were taken. Charleston was the most frequent destination.

Next, the AP is reporting that former Wyoming County Council on Aging Director Bob Graham is appealing a ruling that blocks his attempt to be compensated for spending 13 months in a federal prison. Graham was convicted in 2006 on one count of cashing out $31,000 in sick leave without the approval of the council on aging. A federal appeals court later overturned Graham’s conviction. Recall that Graham first made news because of reports of his more than $450,000 annual salary running a non-profit in Southern West Virginia.

Citing a new study by the Pew Center on the States, the AP is also reporting that one out of every 68 people in West Virginia was either in jail or on probation in 2007.  “That’s a significant increase over the previous 25 years,” the AP reports. “The cost of the state’s corrections system also skyrocketed, from $62 million in 1998 to $181 million in 2008.”

Finally, if you’re a news reporter, be careful where you park when you visit the Kanawha County Judicial Annex.  As the Gazette’s Gary Harki reports:

Two days after a reporter from WSAZ-TV filed a complaint against Kanawha County Magistrate Tim Halloran for locking his courtroom during a hearing, a WSAZ vehicle was ticketed twice outside the Kanawha County Courthouse Annex at Halloran’s request.