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The Law

Last week, the Grant County Grand Jury indicted multiple individuals on charges ranging from domestic violence and strangulation to destruction of property and drug distribution.

In total, 17 indictments were returned.

Tyson Allen Wratchford, 29, 114 Lawson Cypress Dr., Petersburg, was indicted with second offense unlawful taking of a vehicle.

Curtis The Criminal

Last week, the Petersburg City Council issued a reminder to citizens to lock their vehicles when they park around the town.

“The community needs to continue to lock their vehicles,” said city councilman and the council’s commissioner of the city police Boyd Sites. “Leaving them unlocked invites vandalism and theft. Also, say something if you see something. We as a community need to look out for our neighbors.”

The council pointed to a recent increase in the reports of homeless visitors in the city that have been seen staying in abandoned buildings and outside people’s homes.   

Poor ol' Dave

This Friday, Petersburg will officially be the home of a new restaurant. Poor Dave’s, a family restaurant owned by Dave and Carolyn West will be serving up steak and seafood dishes in the Hermitage on Virginia Avenue.

D. West has been cooking for more than 10 years and, with the support of his wife, have run multiple successful businesses.

“About five years ago we opened Poor Dave’s the first time,” explained D. West. “But we were running three businesses at one time and it was just too much. Now, a few years later, we are glad to open that back up.”

C. West is also the owner of Hayleigh and Nadia’s, another small business in Petersburg.

“So many of our customers became like family to us,” C. West said. “We are so glad to be serving them, and the community, again.”

Apart from the new menu, the restaurant will feature a small bar for diners as well as a newly renovated banquet room that will host events, such as weddings, birthday parties and reunions.

Poor Dave’s will be open from 4 to 10 p.m.

Planting Trees

The small hill in front of Grant Memorial Hospital in Petersburg got a little greener last week as local families and 4-H members gathered to plant trees.

The event was hosted through the West Virginia CommuniTree project, which is responsible for planting hundreds of trees across eight counties. The project is run by the Cacapon Institute.

Since 2012, the project has planted over 6,000 trees and hosted over 200 community projects.

The project was selected during a competitive grant process after the West Virginia University Extension Office reached out to have the area considered.

“One of the main benefits for planting trees, not only they look nice, is that they benefit human health,” explained Tanner Haid, an Urban Watershed Forester with the Cacapon Institute. “It’s really nice to be here at this project. We know that there is a direct connection with planting trees here at the hospital. There are studies that show cleaner air can effect chronic respiratory issues, heart conditions and similar issues. So trees and public health are directly related.”

Haid said the program is looking forward to doing more work in the area and encouraged any organizations interested in beautifying the community through planting trees to contact him at 540-335-0687.

A suspended West Virginia Supreme Court justice who was convicted of 11 federal criminal charges has asked for a new trial.

News outlets reported Allen Loughry filed the request last week in a motion that was sealed. Prosecutors acknowledged his request in a brief this week asking for time to file a full response. Because Loughry’s motion is sealed, it’s not clear why he believes he deserves a new trial.

A federal jury convicted Loughry on Oct. 12 of seven wire fraud counts involving his personal use of state cars and fuel cards. He was also found guilty of two counts of making false statements and one count each of mail fraud and witness tampering.

Loughry’s attorney, John Carr, declined to comment. His sentencing is scheduled for January.


Last week, nearly 4,000 Grant County voters made their way to the polls to cast their ballots for various local, state and national positions as well as two state amendments.

The election had a relatively high turnout rate, with 52.4 percent of registered voters in the county hitting the polls. While this number is low compared to the 2016 general presidential election, which had more than 60 percent turnout, county election clerk JoAnn Harper said it was higher than usual for midterms.  

Of the 7,273 registered voters in the county, 3,809 voted in this election.

The following results have been provided by the Grant County Clerk’s office and the West Virginia Secretary of State. While all precincts have been counted, the results will not be official until the county finishes its final canvassing of precincts this week.

County results also do not include approximately 130 early votes which were cast but not signed by poll workers. These will also be counted during canvassing. 

However, the winners should not change from these results even after the final votes are included. 

Connor Waldron, instructor Kirk Paugh and Stefen Dolly
Connor Waldron, instructor Kirk Paugh and Stefen Dolly

Martial arts has long been recognized as both a mental and physical challenge that pushes its practitioners to self-improvement.

It was this self-improvement that two local students strove to demonstrate last week when they, surrounded by their friends and family, took their black belt advancement test.

The test takes hours and pushes the students to recall training affirmations, answer personal questions, demonstrate their knowledge of their chosen fighting style and prove they are ready to become black belt fighters.

Nigerian Prince

Last week, the Grant County sheriff’s department released an advisory to local citizens on a new round of scam phone calls.

According to the report, these calls can appear as a local number and may be recognized as a business, family or friend familiar to the potential victim.

poor drug addicted child

PITAR, a local community substance abuse coalition, met Oct. 25 in Petersburg to discuss efforts in the community to combat addiction.

During the meeting, the group discussed a new program that will soon be introduced to students in Grant, Mineral, Hardy and Pendleton counties. The program is called SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness and is directed at elementary aged youth and older adolescents.

phg and such
Director of finance, Jerrena Auville; executive director, Mike Landis; Raj Masih, MD, MPH, MPHN; former executive director, Craig Curtis; board president, Tom Rowan; board member, Delegate Ruth Rowan; and board vice president, Darlene Casto.

The Potomac Highlands Guild presented their first Craig Curtis Behavioral Health Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to Raj Masih, MD, MPG, MPHN.

The award was named after former executive director Craig Curtis. Masih was presented the award during a retirement party held for Curtis.

Garrett Sites
Garrett Sites

Garrett Sites, 34, of Petersburg, was arrested on Oct. 22, on a series of outstanding drug warrants.

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