FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Charleston (W.V.) Gazette:The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s appeal of his criminal mine safety conviction, the court announced Tuesday.Justices turned down Blankenship’s petition, including it on a weekly order list of more than 200 cases in which a request for a “writ of certiorari” — the type of order in which the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case — was denied without any reason given or further comment offered.In doing so, the court allowed to stand Blankenship’s conviction for conspiracy to violate federal mine safety and health standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 miners died in an April 5, 2010 explosion.“We are pleased with but not surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision to deny the Blankenship petition,” said U.S. Attorney Carol Casto. “Now, hopefully, the families of those lost and others impacted by the UBB explosion and long history of safety violations can find some closure and begin the long and difficult process of healing.”Two years ago this month, jurors in U.S. District Court in Charleston began hearing testimony against Blankenship in the high-profile case involving charges against a coal executive who was once one of the region’s most powerful figures in a trial that focused on the rampant safety violations at Upper Big Branch in the months leading up to West Virginia’s worst coal-mining disaster in a generation.Blankenship, 67, was convicted of conspiracy to violate safety rules and then sentenced by U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger to pay a $250,000 fine and spend one year in prison, both the maximum allowed under current federal law that classifies criminal mine safety violations as misdemeanors. Blankenship completed his one-year prison sentence in early May, and is currently serving his one year of supervised release. Berger recently modified the terms of Blankenship’s supervised release so that he could report to probation officials in Las Vegas, where he now lives.Earlier this year, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond affirmed Blankenship’s conviction.Blankenship had argued on appeal that Berger incorrectly instructed the trial jury that Blankenship’s ”reckless disregard” of federal mine safety standards amounted to the criminal willfulness needed for a conviction and that Berger was wrong to deny the defense the chance for a second cross-examination of former Massey official Chris Blanchard, a major government witness. Coal industry lobby groups from West Virginia, Ohio and Illinois had warned that Blankenship’s conviction would pave the way for coal executives to be prosecuted for making “tough decisions” necessary to “operate a successful company.”More: US Supreme Court won’t hear Don Blankenship’s appeal U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Coal Exec Convicted in 29 Miner Deaths
THE Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Society (DMLAS)-sponsored Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club MS Cricket Development Programme bowled off last Thursday at the Area ‘H’ ground to a rousing start.Senior Club coach Delbert Hicks with assistance from the Club vice-president Mark Papannah successfully supervised over 60 youths in a three-hour session of physical exercise, fielding and pitch practice.Club Secretary/CEO Hilbert Foster hailed the launching of the RHTY&SC/DMLAS Cricket Development Programme as a major step in making sure that the Club retains its status as one of Guyana’s leading cricket clubs.The RHTY&SC MS has won the Guyana Cricket Club-of-the-Year Award five times – 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and the team also won three national championships among fifty-three major titles since its formation in 1990 by three-time Commonwealth Youth Service Awardee, the St Francis Community Developers.The DMLAS programme runs until the end of 2017 and Foster expressed confidence that it would be renewed for 2018 as the RHTY&SC MS intends to develop a fruitful relationship with the insurance giant.Under the programme, DMLAS is standing the cost of a monthly stipend to the coach and providing balls and equipment for the coaching seasons.The long-serving Secretary/CEO stated that the main objectives of the programme are to make sure that every youth in the Club fulfils his/her potential in cricket, to get them to understand their status as sports ambassadors and role models, to instil the virtue of personal discipline, to promote the importance of physical discipline, to promote the importance of physical fitness and to educate them on topics of importance to them.The programme includes three days of pitch practice along with fitness workouts, practice matches on selected weekends and classroom lectures to be conducted by senior club executives.Topics to be covered are Drug Abuse, Personal Hygiene, Importance of Education, History of Cricket, Laws of Cricket, Structure of West Indies Cricket, Suicide, Depression, among others.The RHTY&SC/DMLAS Programme would only involve members of the club while the Annual Cricket Academy, which is to be held from July 11 to 21, would be open to youths across Berbice.