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Articles written by Lawrence Messina


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  • Late Sen. Byrd's FBI files reveal CIA leak uproar

    LAWRENCE MESSINA, Associated Press

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd obtained secret FBI documents about the civil rights movement that were leaked by the CIA and triggered an angry confrontation between the two agencies in the 1960s, according to newly released FBI records. AP Photo, File Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., is shown on July 4, 1967. Byrd was a fiery orator versed in the classics and was a hard-charging power broker who steered billions of federal dollars to the state of his Depression-era upbringing. Byrd created a stir in the...

  • Bodies of all dead W.Va. miners recovered

    LAWRENCE MESSINA TIM HUBER Associated Press Writers CHARLESTON, W.Va.

    Recovery teams working before dawn today finished the grim task of recovering the last of 29 West Virginia miners killed in the nation's worst coal mining disaster in decades. Jama Jarrett with the state Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training said the last bodies were removed from deep inside the sprawling mine around 2 or 3 a.m. today and were being sent to the state medical examiner for autopsies. Recovery efforts had been stalled in previous days by volatile gases, but teams entered Monday after the tunnels were...

  • Rescuers bang on pipe — no response

    DENA POTTER LAWRENCE MESSINA Associated Press Writers MONTCOAL, W.Va .

    Rescuers drilled into a coal mine where 25 people died in an explosion but got no answer this morning when they banged on a pipe, trying to communicate with possible survivors. Crews needed to bore at least one more hole to release poison gases before searchers could enter the Upper Big Branch mine to look for four people still missing in the worst U.S. mining accident in more than two decades. The company that owns the mine, Massey Energy Co., frequently sidesteps hefty fines by aggressively contesting safety violations, inc... Full story

  • 25 dead in mine blast, worst since 1984

    LAWRENCE MESSINA Associated Press Writer MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP)

    A huge underground explosion blamed on methane gas killed 25 coal miners in the worst U.S. mining disaster since 1984, and rescuers this morning began a dangerous and possibly futile attempt to rescue four others still missing. Crews were bulldozing an access road so they could drill 1,000 feet into the earth to try to find the missing miners feared dead after the Monday afternoon blast at a mine with a history of violations for not properly ventilating highly combustible methane. Rescuers were being held back by poison...