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No, really, they had an exorcism.

If you haven't heard by now, Arkansas State Senator Justin Harris (Republican, of course) and his wife Marsha are attempting to fight off a huge scandal. They fostered and adopted two little girls, aged 3 and 6.  The 6-year-old had been sexually abused before she came into the Harris home and the Harrises knew of the childrens' emotional disturbances. There were originally three sisters taken into the Harris house but they sent the oldest back to the state before formalizing the adoption.  She was too disturbed for them to care for her, even though they had been warned in advance that she had some severe problems.  

In fact, county DHS workers warned the Harrises not to foster and adopt any of them, because they weren't a good match for these little girls.  But the Harrises pulled strings, got the head of DHS to overrule them, and got the girls anyway.  It lasted 14 months, at the most.  

Harris and his wife "re-homed" the other two girls a little over a year after taking them into their home to a family whose father later raped the oldest girl.  The man was an employee of the Harris' Christian-based daycare facility. The man was fired from the daycare facility in the middle of the "re-homing", ostensibly for excessive absenteeism.  That didn't cause the Harrises to take the little girls back. At the time the arrest came to light Justin Harris went on public record as being sickened that such a thing had happened, but assured the public that none of the children at his daycare were harmed.  What he didn't say was that the little girl who was raped was his own adopted daughter that he had given away to the rapist.

The Arkansas Times is all over this story.  Every couple of days some new information comes to light that directly contradicts the Harrises.  The latest article quotes the Harris family's babysitter, now a college student, previous foster parents of the girls, the children's biological mother, and unnamed sources.  This here is the kicker:  

"The first night I was over there, I just broke down and cried with this little girl because I just felt so bad for her," Goldsborough said.

According to Goldsborough, the two girls were kept in separate rooms that were outfitted with locks, alarms and video cameras. They were not allowed to be around each other because of the Harrises' belief in demonic possession and telepathy, she said.

While Annie would be allowed to roam the house and interact with other family members, Mary was often confined to her room, Goldsborough said.

"We couldn't ever take [Mary] out. I'd watch her from a camera. I think it's crazy. They were adopted, so they're going to want TLC."

Goldsborough said the "exorcism" was performed by specialists from Alabama who came to the house to orchestrate the event. Other sources confirmed to the Times that Marsha Harris told them at least one "exorcism" was performed on the girls.

The babysitter states very clearly that the 6 year old girl was kept isolated from the family.  Previous articles suggest the bedroom in which she was kept was "sanitized" of any books or toys.  They kept her isolated in a bedroom with only a surveillance camera for company.  

The Harris family believed both girls were demon-possessed and could communicate telepathically.  So they scheduled an exorcism. An exorcism was performed on little girls aged 3 and 6.  Let that sink in for a minute.  

Of course the Harrises deny such things occurred, and blame DHS for...pretty much everything.  No doubt there is some questionable behavior in at least one DHS employee, but that doesn't excuse Justin and Marsha Harris for the things they have done to two vulnerable little girls.  

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One coal miner is dead at the Marshall County Mine in Cameron, WV due to a roof collapse. Two more are injured.

Marshall County EMA Director Tom Hart confirmed there was one fatality at the Marshall County Mine Cameron Portal owned by Murray Energy.

One injured miner was transported by helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

Another injured miner was transported by ambulance to Wheeling Hospital.

Officials reported the mine's roof and wall collapsed.

Details of the accident are currently under investigation.

My uncle worked at CONSOL Energy's McElroy mine for many years before retiring.  My 25-year-old cousin works in that mine now as a roof bolter.  Murray Energy purchased McElroy as part of a 3.5 billion dollar purchase of 5 CONSOL mines in 2013, and the names of the mines were changed. The workers are represented by UMWA Local 1638 - the change in ownership didn't affect a current contract.  

In searching for information via Facebook, I see lots of "prayers for the family" but not one person asking WHY this happened.  I fucking hate Murray Energy, which is not a generally shared opinion in the Upper Ohio Valley.  Robert Murray's company is the one who forced employees to donate to his PAC and "pro coal" candidates in the 2012 election.  Robert Murray's company is also the one who forced employees to give up a day's pay to attend a pro-Romney rally in Wheeling.  Robert Murray also sued the Charleston Gazette and coal reporter Ken Ward, Jr. (he's a mensch, let me assure you), for libel in 2012. This is the company that still insists the Crandall Canyon Mine Collapse that killed nine people (6 miners, 3 first responders) was brought about by a naturally occurring earthquake, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary.  

Did I mention I fucking hate Murray Energy?  

This company has a long, long history of safety violations  There are so many it would probably take days to hunt down each and every violation.  Here's just one article about Murray Energy safety, and what they do to fight MSHA.

So another coal miner died last night.  Sadly, it doesn't get a lot of attention when they die one at a time.  There were 16 fatalities last year in coal mines.  In 2015, three coal miners have died to date.  


Meet Eddie Wilson, Lieutenant of the Village of Wellsville, OH police department.  He's a real sweetheart.  Eddie and another policeman were recently caught on camera verbally abusing and threatening a car full of teenagers (UPDATE: confirmed, all teenagers).  Those teenagers and their friends posted and re-posted this short video on Facebook in the last two days. It's been shared repeatedly with local news media who have done nothing with it so far.  It's started an outbreak of "happened to me, too" from other locals.  

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Delorice Bragg is the widow of WV coal miner Don Bragg.  Freda Hatfield is the widow of Ellery Hatfield.  Both men died in a 2006 fire in Massey Energy Co.'s Aracoma Alma No. 1 mine in Melville, Logan County, WV.  

Don Bragg

Ellery Hatfield
(photos courtesy The Charleston Gazette)

Today the two widows filed suit in U.S. District Court in Charleston against the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration for that agency’s failure to take action to prevent the fire that killed their husbands.

Follow me below the fold for more information.

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MSHA announced today that it had ordered closed portions of three Massey Energy Co. coal mines in West Virginia following surprise inspections.  MSHA was following up on anonymous complaints of unsafe conditions.

The inspections occurred at Spartan Mining Co.'s Road Fork No. 51 Mine in Wyoming County, Inman Energy's Randolph Mine in Boone County and Independence Coal Co.'s Cook Mine in Boone County.

Inspectors took control of phones lines in all two of three mines upon arrival, in order to assure that the company could not communicate with those inside the mine to tamper with current conditions.

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If you are not closely following the mine disaster at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, WV that has so far resulted in the deaths of 25 coal miners, let me give you an update:

Rescue teams entered the mine for a third time in the dark hours this morning only to be turned back once again, this time because of smoke found deep inside the mine.  In addition to battling high methane and hydrogen levels within the mine, officials must now deal with a fire of unknown origin, location, and severity.  Only one of an apparent two rescue chambers was able to be checked this time around to determine if 4 missing mine workers had deployed it and used it.  It was not deployed.  The condition of those four miners still remains a mystery, nearly four days following the explosion.

This is all very disheartening, but the following might just make your blood boil--

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I think I must live in one of the strangest little cities in America.

An audio tape has been released to local media and the NAACP.  On this tape the Mayor of Martins Ferry, OH refers to African Americans as "Spooks".

If you care to continue, follow me below the fold.

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My aunt was a nurse.  She took care of other people for 30+ years until she was diagnosed with emphysema.  (Yes, she smoked, and I'll talk about that later.) Her prognosis was bad--she was only expected to live for two years.  She survived for nine years.  Her doctor said she was worn out and she underwent some inpatient treatment at a local hospital.  When she was released just recently she said she felt rejuvenated.  

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This is going to be a relatively short diary.  I don't think I need to add much dialogue to the story.  I want you to see how this man, a war hero, was living.

91 year old World War II veteran and former POW Dwaine Davis is homeless today after his residence collapsed in Flushing, OH.  Mr. Davis lived in a what was apparently a dilapidated home with no running water (and possibly only kerosene lamps for light) in a very small town in Eastern Ohio.

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Senator Robert Byrd has fallen at his McLean, VA home this morning and has been rushed to nearby hospital.  His staff doesn't seem to think he'll need to be admitted. Local news reports--

Ambulances and fire trucks were dispatched Tuesday morning to the Virginia home of Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va after he fell.

A spokesman for his office said he "stood up too fast this morning in his home and fell down," according to a release.

He was taken to the hospital via ambulance and he is currently being evaluated, the release said.

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Richard Gillman's arrest took place several days ago and a bond hearing was held last week.  I'm covering what may be to some old news.  It might be worth repeating.

240 union workers at Republic Windows in Chicago were fired with little notice on Dec 5, 2008.  The company publicly announced on December 3 that Bank of America was ending its line of credit, that the company was declaring bankruptcy and shutting its doors promptly and permanently. The company stated that employee health insurance benefits would be terminated on December 31 (employee insurance had, in fact, already lapsed) and that back pay owed would not be forthcoming. The company acted in clear violation of the WARN Act, a Federal law that requires companies to give workers 60 days' notice before mass layoffs.

More below the fold.

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In a little over one week, three Ohio men have killed their wives, sons, and themselves.  

Our men are programmed that they must provide for their families.  When they are unable do so the end result can be...disastrous.  What a mild word for something so horrible.  Many mental health professionals are warning that stress and depression are sharply rising in this economic recession.

Please follow me below the fold. I want to warn you that some of the information is quite graphic.  But it is important--too important to hide.

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