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Continued from last week

The following cases were heard in the Grant County Magistrates Court from Sept. 11 to Oct. 10:

Megan R. Lantz, 30, was fined and assessed $671 after pleading guilty to charges of knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription. In separate charges, Lantz pleaded not guilty to additional charges of knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Lantz’s bond was set at $3,000.

Scott D. Frenges, 60, was fined and assessed $175 after pleading no contest to charges of violating general speed limitations.

Shawn Aaron Stemple, 40, was fined and assessed $181 after pleading guilty to charges of operating a vehicle without a certified inspection or failure to produce a certificate.

Justin Dyer Mongold, 31, pleaded not guilty to expiration of registration and certificate of title. Mongold’s bond was set at $200.

Joshua Cade Iser, 20, was fined and assessed $225 after pleading guilty to charges shooting across a road or near a building or crowd.

Antonio D. Overton, 19, pleaded not guilty to knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Overton’s bond was set at $3,000.

Charles Pisterio II, 45, was fined and assessed $621 after pleading guilty to charges of knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription.

Gary S. Richardson, 44, was fined and assessed $25 after pleading no contest to operating a vehicle without wearing a seat belt.

Gary Dale Nicholas, 54, was fined and assessed $271 after pleading no contest to charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Rodger Andrew Miller, 25, was fined and assessed $271 after pleading guilty to charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Shayla Sperling, 27, was fined and assessed $371 after pleading no contest to charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Dakota Jordan Boley, 39, was fined and assessed $170 after pleading guilty to charges of unlawful injury to or destruction of property.

Lacey N. Emry, 25, was fined and assessed $328 after pleading no contest to charges of knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled without a valid prescription.

Continued next week

By Ravenna O. Redman

Director of Social Services

The employees of Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center has chosen Earl Armentrout as the GRCC resident of the week.

Earl has been a resident of the facility since Feb. 14, 2018. He was born on July 14, 1942, in Harrisonburg, Va., to Foster Armentrout, and Viola (Stonestreet) Armentrout. Earl was the eldest of three, followed by Carl Armentrout, and Rose Rohrbaugh. Rose passed away in 2018.

Foster was a farmer, so Earl spent his childhood working the farm. He had various chores, like milking the cows, feeding the chickens and hogs, and had to cut firewood daily

He went to elementary school at the Carr School in Dollytown. He then went to Circleville High School, where he participated in Future Farmers of America, and eventually earned his high school diploma.

He went to welding school in Tennessee and became a certified welder. He worked for Public Works which was on the pipeline. He also worked in construction at the Stoney River Dam at Mount Storm. He also worked in the Virginia and the DC Metro area, as a welder. He would eventually return home, and work at Advantage, and then American Woodmark, retiring in 2008.

Earl met and married the love of his life, Phyllis (Armentrout) Kisamore on June 14, 1975. It was Earl’s second marriage. His first marriage ended in divorce. However, his second marriage was a success.

Phyllis and Earl enjoyed spending time together. They loved auctions and traveled throughout the area attending them. They would love to visit people. In the winter, they would visit people, and play cards, especially Setback. Earl was well known for playing cards at Harper’s store.

Hunter Sites, Patty Sites, Joni Mayle and Emyioni Whitaker, who all play key roles in running the Haunted Dream Haunt in Petersburg, helped to distribute Thanksgiving meals to 11 families who were struggling this season. The haunt runs throughout October annually and donates a portion of their funds raised to community-aid efforts.

Audience members will be taken back to the “Golden Age of Radio” during this year’s West Virginia Theater East Christmas production. Performance dates are Dec. 9, 10 and 11 at Petersburg’s Landes Arts Center.

Titled “Two For Christmas,” the story takes place at radio station WVTE, where actors are preparing to stage “The Littlest Angel” and “Little Orphan Annie’s Surprise Christmas Party” for a live audience. Both stories are based upon actual scripts from the 1940s, when listeners eagerly tuned in each week to hear their favorite tales.

In “The Littlest Angel,” child stars Shirley Temple (Noel Shreve) and Darla Hood (Madelyn Cook) help a homeless family experience a memorable Christmas, while preparing to narrate the classic tale of Christ’s birth. Cast as members of the family are Amy Long, Claire Long and Alina Carlon. Ryker Harvey plays the Littlest Angel.

The second half of the show, “Little Orphan Annie’s Surprise Christmas Party,” is set at an orphanage, where teachers Grace Farrell (Madison Elliott) and Mary Robbins (Shelly Alt) are organizing an event in honor of Annie (Caroline Anderson). On hand are various characters from the then-popular Little Orphan Annie comic strip, including Potato Face (Jakob Rohrbaugh), Pepper (Mya Ndlazi), Kate (Cook), Molly (Shreve), Joe (Magnus Campbell) and Punjab (Jacy Riggleman).

Donnie Garrett, right, works with apprentice Lisa Stephens at Blenko Glass before an apprentice signing ceremony with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship and the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, Nov. 1, at Blenko Glass in Milton, W.Va. Sholten Singer - member image share, The Herald-Dispatch

 By Fred Pace

The Herald-Dispatch


As many industries across West Virginia are still dealing with worker shortages, Blenko Glass in Milton has been working for the past year with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship and the West Virginia Department of Economic Development to build and implement the first registered glass worker apprenticeship in West Virginia.

Recently, 12 workers at the 129-year-old glassmaking company signed up for the program during a celebratory signing ceremony.

“The apprentice program at Blenko is critical to our mission of preserving West Virginia’s glassmaking history,’’ said David Wertz, a site operations director at Blenko Glass.

“Without a constant stream of well trained apprentice glassworkers, we are at risk of simply being snuffed out of the trade entirely. This means we will have a future and a chance to survive another 100 years and a chance to preserve the legacy of making glass here in West Virginia.’’

While the demand for Blenko Glass remains strong, Wertz said establishing a program that incentivizes workers and recognizes them for their unique skills will help the company to recruit and retain its employees.

“We are starting with nine men and three women,’’ Wertz said. “We are looking to add to that number, and we are hungry for growth. In the future, we look forward to having a completely full production floor and round-the-clock glassmaking like in the glory days of Blenko. We will not only be creating new jobs, but offering careers and benefits that are unheard of in our industry.’’

One of the first employees to sign up was 28-year-old John Shepherd, originally from Poca, West Virginia, but living in Lesage.

“Getting to learn from people who have mastered this skill over the years is exciting and something I am looking forward to,’’ he said. “I like that you get college credits for completing the program as well.’’

Don’t miss the annual Toys for Happiness toy collection this Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at Petersburg Electronics/Radio Shack.

Roof Elf Denver will be up in the air until 650 toys are collected for Grant County kids.

As always, a $10 donation (cash or check) equals one toy purchase and goes toward the 650 count. If you can’t make it on Saturday, donations may be dropped off at the Grant County Press office.

For over 25 years the community has come out to support this event and make a merry Christmas possible for many children.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Grant Memorial Hospital recently received the Gold Award for their commitment to excellence.

This program rewards the successful efforts of hospitals to develop and promote quality improvement activities, inspire leaders to improve the health of West Virginians, and raise awareness of nationally accepted standards of care that are proven to enhance patient outcomes.

GMH received this recognition at the West Virginia Hospital Association annual meeting Nov. 15, held at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs.

Only 10 hospitals in the state received this level of recognition.

All 4-H members between the age 13 - high school are invited to join Grant County 4-H Teen Leaders for projects, input, fun and learning.

This is an nontraditional 4-H group that can be attended in addition to current community clubs.

In teen leaders, 4-Hers can give their input for upcoming 4-H events, design their own events, and get information about teen-specific state level events.

The first gathering is Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. at the Grant County Extension Office on 114 North Grove St.

Thanksgiving-themed snacks will be served and the 4-H year will be discussed.

Grant County Communities In Schools, in collaboration with Child Nutrion, provided Thanksgiving food boxes to 46 local Grant County School families. Pilgrim’s Prepared Plant donated boxes for the event. Helping to organize the event were CIS Coordinators Ryan Colaw, Donica Canoy, Tyler Porter and Kristi Evans.

New space for baseball, softball and archery

Petersburg High School could soon be home to a new athletic training facility, which will house the baseball, softball and archery teams.

The Grant County Board of Education received an update on the project earlier this month, including a joint letter written to the board from the coaches involved. Since the start of the project, the teams and coaches have been holding fundraisers to pay for the construction of the facility.

“Currently, we have $23,723 raised by donations or fundraising,” the coaches wrote. “The largest donation to date was $10,000. We submitted a grant for $20,000 with the U.S. Wild Force Foundation and should know something soon. We also have talked with a representative from the governor’s office and the request has been submitted for up to $50,000.”

According to the letter, the coaches have also requested funds from American Woodmark and other private donors as well as the Grant County Commission. In total, the project is estimated to cost up to $125,000. Of this, $34,923 has been raised, leaving $90,077 still to be funded.

“While it may seem like a monumental task, we have had a great response from individuals to provide in kind services to complete the project,” the coaches wrote. “With individuals donating time and equipment, it has reduced the total cost.”

The letter also pointed to important tasks still being worked on, including utility checks for the ground the facility will be built on and meetings with the fi re marshal.

“Thank you again for giving us this opportunity to create a culture that encourages student athletes to participate and take pride in our programs,” the letter concludes.

The update on the facility was given during the Nov. 15 meeting of the Grant County Board of Education.

The meeting also included an overall positive update from Petersburg Elementary School (PES) principal Dwayne Hedrick on the academic status of the school. This update was given as part of PES’s Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) presentation.

Hedrick explained that, academically, the school remained at or above state benchmarks.

“I really feel like we are doing things right,” Hedrick said. “I know [Superintendent Mitch Webster] has probably shared with the board members where we rank in the state of West Virginia and I feel like these are all the reasons we ranks so high. I am proud of our school and Grant County overall. I feel like we really did our part last year with our scores. We always strive to be higher and higher, and I am proud of our school and our staff.”

A Grant County man is facing up to life in prison after admitting to distributing a large amount of methamphetamine and having a firearm during the crime.

Christian Adam Fisher, 43, of Petersburg pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.

Fisher admitted to having more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and having a 9mm pistol during the crime in February in Grant County.

Grant County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police aided in the investigation that led to Fisher’s arrest.

Fisher faces at least 10 years and up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million for the drug charge and faces at least five years and up to life incarceration for the firearms charge.

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The case is being heard by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of West Virginia, which is overseen by William J. Ihlenfeld II.

Grant County sits in the Elkins division, alongside neighboring counties Hardy, Mineral, Pendleton, Tucker, Hampshire and Randolph as well as others.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.

The Potomac Highlands Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated. The task force consists of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, West Virginia State Police, Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Hardy County Sherifff’s Office, and the Keyser Police Department.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi presided.

Grant County’s newly elected assessor was sworn into office last week and will officially be stepping into the position at the beginning of next month.

Jerry Ours, who won his bid for the assessor position in the Nov. 8 election, will be stepping in to complete the remaining term of former assessor Ralph Layton. Layton retired from the position earlier this year. However, his retirement fell after the primary election period, meaning the seat could only be filled in the interim until a candidate was selected by the Grant County Republican Executive Committee and a general election was held.

The seat was then filled by interim assessor Keith Martin, who was selected by the Grant County Commission.

In West Virginia, county assessors are responsible for maintaining the surface property tax maps. This is an important role as it relates back to countywide tax requirements and property ownership data. Other recently elected county officials who won their seats will step into their positions on Jan. 1.

Ours was sworn in to the position prior to the Nov. 22 regularly scheduled meeting of the Grant County Commission.

Other meetings covered during the meeting included:

• Community member Jane Kite-Keeling addressed the commission about her concerns surrounding the recognition plaque hung in memory of former commissioner Jim Cole at the Grant County Ambulance Authority. Keeling said her issue with the plaque involved the fact that, prior to its purchase, the decision to honor Cole was not an agenda item on the commission agenda and was not voted on by the previous commission. She said she did not want the plaque taken down but did say she had issue with no other county owned building having a plaque in honor of only one commissioner. The decision to honor Cole, who passed away in office prior to the creation of the Grant County Ambulance, was decided by the former commission. However, when the issue was brought to the current commission, it was made an agenda item and voted by the present-day commissioners.

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

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