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Cockfighting in West Virginia

By Staff | Apr 8, 2008

W.Va.’s cockfighting laws too cockfighting-esque?

Virginia (you know, our neighbor who went with the South during the Civil War) has recently joined forces with 37 other U.S. states in order to make cockfighting a felony. West Virginia, on the other hand, is part of the 13 that only has it listed as a misdemeanor, giving this bloodsport a potential to make its way to our home state.

Just last week, state police busted 50 people with misdemeanor violations for cockfighting, on top of the 32 that were booked last December, also in McDowell County. Cockfighting usually takes place in rural areas so it would be only a natural progression for cockfighting rings to make there way into West Virginia. In fact, the national Human Society believes that West Virginia’s laws, along with Ohio and Kentucky, are some of the most lenient in the union.

Fossil Fools

It seems even April 1 was more of a fools day that we think. Outside the Capitol Building of West Virginia in Charleston, climate activists staged a demonstration of their very own, “celebrating” the winners of what they are calling “The Fossil Fools Award” — Governor Joe Manchin and coal baron Don Blankenship.

Showing up with eight-foot high model wind turbines and functional mobile solar panels to elaborate on the alternatives to fossil fuel use, these activists from the Student Environmental Action Coalition were dressed to the nines pretending to be Gov. Manchin and Mr. Blankenship.

Advocating on the issue of green jobs in West Virginia (one of the poorest in the union), demonstrators campaigned on the issue that several thousand green jobs in wind turbine and solar panel manufacturing are just across the West Virginia border in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

“The governor of Pennsylvania was able to work with a wind turbine construction company, Gamesa, to get 1,400 new jobs in the next year just across from the West Virginia border,” said Dana Kuhnline, climate activist for the SEAC. “Why can’t we have jobs in the renewable industry in our state? The green jobs market is booming, as is the tourism industry. In the meantime, the coal industry has lost more than 100,000 jobs through mechanization of coal mining and mountaintop removal mining.”

Gov. Manchin has come under fire by his critics for being too much of coal’s friend in the past, opposing federal court rulings that would impose new regulations on mountaintop removal mining, as well as the well-known Marsh Fork Elementary School debacle. Meanwhile it is Mr. Blankenship’s company, Massey Energy, which has a coal processing plant and lake of coal sludge 225 feet from the Marsh Fork school.

“I think that Governor Manchin must be biased in favor of the coal industry, and he is sacrificing West Virginia’s economy, history and potential for tourism for it. The governor says our economy is built on coal, but our state is one of the poorest in the nation. This makes me think that if he was being responsible, he would try something besides coal, if he is really interested in revitalizing the economy,” said Kuhnline.

Local theatre puts W on Trial

Charleston playwright Dan Kehdle, notorious for attempting to tackle controversial topics, has written a drama entitled, “The Trial of President George W. Bush.”

Opening on at 8 p.m. on April 10 for a six-performance double weekend run at the Capitol Center Theater, the play narrates a story of Georgetown lay students who place the president on trial for his deeds and misdeeds.


Contact Ben at bspanner@graffitiwv.com