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Upon conclusion of the sentencing, the defendant stood up, looked at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail escort and said “Let’s roll!

A Grant County man is in jail after being sentenced to more than a decade in prison for sexually assaulting a teenager.

Thomas S. Powell II, 30, of Petersburg was sentenced on Sept. 10 by Judge James W. Courrier Jr. after hearing reports from Grant County Prosecuting Attorney John G. Ours and the defendant’s counsel, Brent Easton.

According to the report given by the victim, the incident happened on the “island” near the Petersburg City Park.

Four Grant County residents are facing federal charges for being involved in the distribution of enough fentanyl to kill an estimated 20,000 people

According to a release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia, a total of five people were were indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Elkins on Aug.18 on charges involving a drug distribution operation spanning Maryland and West Virginia.

The object of the conspiracy was to distribute at least 5 grams of methamphetamine and at least 40 grams of fentanyl.

According to a report from Sandria Glasscock, a registered nurse with the Grant County Health Department, Grant County is currently marked as yellow on the state’s Covid-19 risk scale.

The four level metric ranges from green to red and is designed to mark individual Covid levels on a county-by-county basis.

According to experts in the field, isolation, job loss and general fear caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are having an additional consequence on West Virginia’s ongoing drug epidemic.

In information collected by the West Virginia Office of Drug Control Policy from Emergency Medical Service providers and compiled by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, overdoses and overdose related calls have risen statewide.

A Maysville woman was sentenced to serve more than three years in prison during a revocation hearing in which she admitted to violating the terms of her probation.

In July 2019, Trisha Parker Rohrbaugh, 40, of Maysville was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and grand larceny by a Grant County judge. At the time, Rohrbaugh’s sentence was suspended and she was sentenced to probation and participation in a drug rehabilitation program.

Following an investigation that included an accident reconstruction by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, information has been released concerning an accident in June that claimed the life of a motorcyclist in Grant County.

On the afternoon of June 19, the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company and Shirk’s Towing were on the scene of an accident on Rt. 42 (Lunice Creek Highway) near Patterson Creek Road.

From voting amid a global pandemic to introducing new electronic voting machines, the 2020 Primary Election was an event filled with firsts for Grant County.

However, while it may have presented a series of difficulties for officials around the country, the West Virginia Secretary of State and the Grant County Clerk’s office has confirmed that it was a statewide success. The election also marked a unique change for absentee voting eligibility, with options being opened to all registered voters in the state.

As a result a total of 262,362 voters in West Virginia requested an absentee ballot (21.4% of registered voters) and, of those 210,749 (17.2% of registered voters) cast their vote through this system.

During their Aug. 25 meeting, the Grant County Board of Education accepted the resignation of former teacher Jonathan McNemar, who is currently in jail on charges of sexual assault against a student.

The announcement of the charges unleashed a flurry of online backlash, including accusations again the Grant County School District administration. These accusations were addressed during the meeting by both superintendent Doug Lambert as well as individual board members.

“Don’t paint us with a broad stroke,” Lambert said. “Don’t think that this in any way represents our school system, because it does not. This is a serious issue and it is being taken very seriously. Don’t let this tarnish our school system. Don’t let this mark blemish all of the good in this school and in this community.”

A Grant County man is facing charges after a run-in with police during a domestic violence call.

According to the police report, Jeremy Tanner Russell, 26, was arrested on Aug. 23 following a 911 call which reported a domestic fight that had turned violent.

As the country continues to push back against concerns around the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fall 2020 school year is already set to be a unique moment in history. Students are set to head back to school in just a few days but the system they are heading back to is likely to be very different than they may be used to.

West Virginia State guidelines set down by the governor’s office and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) have outlined several new regulations that each county is required to enforce. These requirements are intended to reduce the spread of the virus among students, and as a result, among the community.

“This is about getting our students back into the classroom,” said Superintendent Doug Lambert. “These requirements aren’t decisions that have been made by Grant County, this comes from the state. If we want our kids in school, these are the requirements we have been asked to enforce. Every county in the state will have very similar guidelines this year. If a parent or community member is concerned about these, they can call and talk to me. We are very open about this, this is the situation we are in right now. It isn’t forever but it is literally going to take the community to keep these kids in school. We have to come together on this.”

Students in the Grant County School district may be adding a little extra love to their classrooms this year with the county’s first emotional support dog.

Mia, a two year old Burnese Mountain Dog, is already a working pooch and spends her time comforting those who are struggling with the loss of a loved one.

Mia’s owners, Jeff and Angie Fraley, own Fraley Funeral Home in Moorefield.

Fraley’s husband, Jeff, is the policy board representative from West Virginia to the National Funeral Directors Association. About three years ago, the association sent out a survey to families they had served asking what they would like to see more of in the industry. Nearly a third of respondents said they would like to see some form of comfort therapy dog in the business. According to A. Fraley, one of the most popular breeds in the industry is the Doodle, a poodle mix that is often hypoallergenic and rarely sheds. However, the Fraleys’ hearts belonged to the much larger and much shaggier Burnese Mountain Dog. The couple fell in love with the dogs many years before while traveling in Colorado, a state where the breed is popular.

“They are such beautiful and friendly dogs,” Fraley said. “And they were everywhere in Colorado. The more I hugged on them, the more I spent time around them, the more I knew that they were the dogs for me. So, long story short, we came home from Colorado with Macy (their first Burnese). And after that, we knew we would never have another breed of dog again.”

Grant County remains in the green on the state’s Covid-19 safety assessment metric. This catagorization means the county is safe to start school next week.

According to a report by Sandria Glasscock, the Grant County public information office with the local health department, the county currently has four active cases of Covid with two current hospitalizations.

On Aug. 27, the Grant County Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) received results of one additional resident and one additional staff member that have tested positive for the virus.

Local health staff have tracked all community contacts and provided instructions on self-isolating and monitoring symptoms.

There are three tests pending at GRCC that were tested on Aug. 28. In total, the county has seen 141 total confirmed Covid cases, 130 of which have recovered and six deaths directly related to the illness.

Editor - Camille Howard;
News Editor - Erin Camp;
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Print Shop Manager - Richard Knight; 
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