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Mountaintop removal protester still in jail

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An activist who tried to deliver a container of dust from a mountaintop removal operation to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin remained in jail this week after being arrested by State Police.

Mike Roselle, 59, of Rock Creek, was being held at the South Central Regional Jail on $10,000 bail. He was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

Roselle was arrested during a Thanksgiving Day incident in which he tried to deliver a container of dust to Tomblin at the Governor's Mansion.

In a press release, Roselle said he wanted the governor to have the material tested, citing scientific studies that show residents living near mountaintop removal sites face greater risk of illness and premature death. Police told him they could not accept such deliveries at the mansion and encouraged Roselle to instead take the material to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Roselle tried to leave a jar of the material on the porch of the Governor's Mansion. State Police troopers and Capitol Police told him to take it with him. When Roselle refused, he was arrested, according to a video of the incident that was posted online.


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