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With just over a week left in the month, the Grant County Health Department has reported 17 new cases of Covid-19 in June.

This number is down drastically from previous months, including more than 40 new case  in May and more than 50 in April. As of the last report, the county currently has only three active cases of Covid-19.

This makes the overall Covid cases for Grant County, 1,445 (1,177 are confirmed positives and 268 are probable). Of these, 1,411 have recovered and the county has reported 27 deaths listed as Covid related.

Free testing is still being offered and the health department is urging everyone to consider being vaccinated against the illness.

The June meeting of the Grant County Board of Education marked a set of bittersweet changes for the county, including superintendent Doug Lambert officially retiring and passing the position to longtime educator and administrator, Mitch Webster.

Lawrence Allen Keplinger, of Lahmansville, was sentenced earlier this month to 136 months incarceration for methamphetamine distribution, Acting U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Bernard announced.

Joshua Caleb Haggerty, of Petersburg, plead guilty to a drug distribution charge.

Two new officers have joined the Petersburg City Police Department after being sworn-in last week.
Jesse Rohrbaugh and Seara Mallow, both deputies with the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, will be working part time with the department.
Both officers were sworn into the position by Mayor Gary Michael during the June 7 meeting of the Petersburg City Council.

Voter turnout during last week’s Petersburg city election showed a vast increase in participation over recent years. A total of 377 people voted in the election, a number that dwarfs the city’s last election which turned out less than 50 voters. Of the 377 participants this year, 203 voted during the early election period, 11 voted via absentee ballot and 163 visited the polls for the official election day.

The Petersburg zoning board heard two back-to-back requests from local businesses hoping to locate inside the city.
Despite objections to both, the requests, which were made by Matt Dolly (concerning a location on Hicks Drive) and Ashley and Justin Bachman (concerning a location at the corner of B Street and Sears Avenue) both received board approval.

Visitors to Grant County’s Turner Park will likely notice several updates to the park’s signage as well as some new safety rules being enforced.
The decision to add the new written rules came as more and more safety concerns began to be voiced by visitors who said they witnessed unsafe, dangerous or damaging actions from other park-goers.
“We have had so many concerns come up lately from visitors,” said James Reel, director of the Grant County Parks department. “We have had people downrange while others were aiming down the barrels, we even had people running out to check targets just as people finished shooting. The maintenance crews have had to come out in the past to pick up pieces of toilet because people drug an old commode out here and shot it up.”

Last week, police discovered the body of Mark VanMeter, 46, along the National Forest side of the North Fork River in Grant County. VanMeter, a Grant County resident, was reported missing in January but had not been seen since December 2020. His body was discovered on March 15. The remains have been sent to the state medical examiner’s offi ce in Charleston to determine cause and time of death.
At this time, the case remains under investigation by the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.

Approves second resource officer at schools

During their recent meeting, the Grant County Commission heard an update about the ongoing efforts to expand high speed internet throughout the county. Last year, the county received a grant through the Grant County Development Authority to conduct a Broadband Feasibility Study to highlight under-served areas and present options for a multi-phase plan to address the issue.
West Virginia House of Representatives Delegate John Paul Hott attended the meeting to update them on the happenings in the West Virginia legislature. Hott explained that, as of the last election, the Republican party has a super-majority in the state, meaning elected officials in the party hold the majority in both the house and the state senate as well as the governorship.  
Hott also introduced the commission via phone to fellow delegate Daniel Linville. Linville serves as the representative for Cabell and Lincoln counties. He is also the chairperson of the Committee on Technology and Infrastructure.

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