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Earlier this month, Grant County was presented with a unique proposal when Tim Williamson, owner of FreedomWorks LLC, presented his goal of constructing a massive pump storage hydro project in the area.

Williamson presented his plan for the Ulysses Pump Storage Hydro Project to the Grant County Commission and received overall support from the commissioners.

Williamson, who is from Harpers Ferry, runs FreedomWorks LLC in West Virginia and said this would be the largest hydro storage project in the world as well as the largest project his company has overseen. The project would consist of an upper reservoir in the Bismarck area and a lower reservoir in the Greenland Gap area. Overall, the surface area of both reservoirs will span 2,181 acres with seven miles of tunnels and provide four gigawatts of power.

Officers from the Parkersburg area are investigating the suspicious death of a Grant County man who was found dead last weekend in Wood County.

According to reports following the incident, Christopher Valkos, 34, of Petersburg was discovered unresponsive in the Greenbrier Garden Apartments in Parkersburg.

Joshua Richard Lofton, 34, of Petersburg was sentenced last week to 78 months incarceration for methamphetamine distribution.

Freddie Baker in front of the squadron’s glider.

For those looking for a unique educational way to give back to the community, the Potomac Highlands Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is currently seeking new members.

On a larger scale, the Civil Air Patrol is a federally funded nonprofit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. In fact, the CAP performs 90% of U.S. inland search and rescue missions on behalf of the U.S. Air Force, as well as disaster relief and other emergency response efforts.

According to their website, the CAP performs three congressionally assigned key missions: emergency services, which includes search and rescue and disaster relief operations; aerospace education for youth and the general public; and cadet programs for teenage youth.

The Grant County Parks and Recreation Department discussed multiple upcoming plans to improve parks throughout the county.

One of the most recent improvements included the installation of new signs at Day Park and South Mill Creek Lake (Dam Site 7). Other upgrades will be rolled out at both these sites as warmer weather moves in, including the installation of sidewalks, new playground equipment and electricity at the pavilions in Day Park as well as new benches at South Mill Creek Lake.

“We have so many great parks in our county and think so many people may not even know they are here,” said parks and recreation director Jim Reel. “We are working to fix that.”


Map, summary and project documents can be found at https://www.freedomworksllc.net

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.

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.

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.

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.

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