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A Grant County man who was indicted on several counts of sexual abuse on a young child has pleaded guilty to charges of producing child pornography.

Jasper E. Shook, 32, of 2137 Kellers Ridge Rd., Petersburg, pleaded guilty in a federal court to conspiracy to commit production of child pornography, one count of aiding and abetting possession of child pornography (depicting a child under the age of 12), and one count of aiding and abetting production of child pornography.

The former treasurer of the Grant Memorial Hospital Auxiliary admitted late last month to embezzling more than $12,000 from the organization.

County Commission hears presentation on massive hydropower proposal

Following an approval by the commission last week, the Grant County Development Authority (GCDA) officially took possession of a section of land previously owned by the Grant Memorial Hospital Foundation Trust.

The land, which is informally referred to as the Reed Dolly Farm, was purchased from Stephen Dolly by the foundation in 2016 as the goal site for a new hospital.

The land was purchased for $600,000 with plans for the hospital to pay back the foundation at a 2% interest over the course of seven years.

The land spans approximately 59 acres and is located west of state Route 42.

As the associate vice provost and assistant dean of undergraduate academic affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Amanda Knapp wears a lot of suits. However, one suit that is more surprising to those that meet the successful mother of three, is the one she wears while racing off-road motorcycles.

Knapp is a sponsored rider in the Supercross Circuit and has been featured in national campaigns, including Toyota’s Make-Up to Mud and American Motorcyclist Magazine’s Changing Perceptions.

During the Jan. 23 PITAR meeting, Raj Masih of the Potmac Highlands Guild discussed the dangers of an increase in a unsuspected over-the-counter medication. PITAR is a community substance abuse coalition with representatives from multiple local organizations, including law enforcement, Grant Memorial Hospital, Grant County School District, the Grant County Health Department, local churches, Potomac Highlands Guild and multiple other local agencies.

During the most recent meeting, Masih explained his concerns around a growing abuse of Imodium, an over the counter antidiarrheal medication.

Late last month, Grant Memorial Hospital presented an updated report that showed a sizable positive change in the financial wellbeing of the county’s hospital.

During their regularly scheduled board of trustees meeting, chief financial officer, David Applewood, presented updated financials from the month of December 2019.

As of that time period, the hospital showed a positive year-to-date gain of approximately $282,000. This is compared to the previous December 2018 report that showed a loss of more than $1 million. Grant Memorial Hospital’s financial year began in July.

A unique program is working to clean up some of Grant County’s waterways while also putting dislocated workers back into the local workforce.

The program has been working in Grant County since March 2019 and has made improvements on multiple waterways, including at Welton and Echo parks. So far, the crews have completed more than a dozen projects and have permission to do upwards of 20 more. They have worked with both local landowners, as well as Grant County government leaders, to locate areas most in need of cleaning.

One of their largest projects has been Welton Park, from which they removed a large amount of debris, including tires. This cleanup not only made the river a cleaner place for outdoor recreationists, but also directly helped the county’s flood conrol.

The mountains of Grant County will soon see new wind turbines following an update from Clearway Energy Group concerning a power purchase agreement between the company and AEP Energy and Toyota.

On Thursday, Clearway announced that it signed power purchase agreements with the two companies for its new 110-megawatt Black Rock wind farm, which will be located in Grant and Mineral counties.

Petersburg’s role in the Mon Forest Towns Initiative, a program aimed at fostering a sustainable recreation economy for communities throughout the Monongahela National Forest, is moving forward.

During last week’s meeting of the Petersburg City Council, Bob McCalley, the city’s representative in the program, presented an update on the initiative.

Last year, Petersburg was one of 10 towns that signed a memorandum of understanding within the program. Along with Petersburg, six towns from the northern end of the forest also signed the memorandum including: Franklin, Davis, Thomas, Elkins and Parsons. The tourism-based program is aimed at local beautification and the promotion of local outdoor recreation.

Newspaper advertising and the possible purchase of a new building topped the agenda at the Jan. 28 meeting of the Grant County Commission.

During the meeting, the commission spoke with Camille Howard, editor of the Grant County Press.

Howard attended the meeting to discuss her concerns with West Virginia house bill 4025 (HB 4025) currently moving through the state legislature.

This bill will reduce or eliminate the requirement that legal notifications run in local newspapers and will instead place them on a central government overseen website.

In her address to the commission, Howard said this action would negatively impact the community and limit transparency for many in the state.

Pursuant to felony drug investigations in Grant County conducted by Sheriff B. W. Ours, a Grant County man with multiple outstanding drug warrants was arrested late last month.

On Jan. 26, Nathan Bradley Cook, 36, of Edgar Avenue in Petersburg, was arrested for felony drug warrants derived from a drug investigation conducted by the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.

During the course of the investigation, Cook conspired to deliver and distributed Alprozolam, a schedule four drug.

Petersburg, WV

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Editor - Camille Howard;
News Editor - Erin Camp;
Advertising Manager - Tara Warner Pratt; 
Graphic Designer - Jesse Hedrick;
Print Shop Manager - Richard Knight; 
Bookkeeping - Peggy Hughes;
Circulation - Mary Simmons

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