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A Grant County grand jury convened late last month and returned a total of 16 indictments, including assualt, reckless driving and grand larceny.

The indictments returned included:

Trevor L. Carr, 20, of 261 Haven Farm Circle, Petersburg, was indicted on charges of fleeing from an officer with reckless disregard. Carr’s charges stem from an incident in March in which officers with the West Virginia State Police were conducting road patrol on Route 42 in Petersburg.

As Grant County’s positive COVID-19 cases continue to increase, the county has reported what is considered to be its first coronavirus related death.

Sandria Glasscock, the county’s public information officer and registered nurse with the Grant County Health Department, released information yesterday, saying the current positive case count is 89 total (86 positives and three probable) with two still hospitalized.

According to the West Virginia Health Department, Grant County’s positive cases have now bypassed Hardy, Hampshire and Pendleton counties.

Joshua Lee Grapes, 39, of Monongalia County was arrested on July 27 following a report made to the Grant County Sheriff’s Department of a man brandishing a gun walking along Route 42 outside of Petersburg.

The Grant County Board of Education announced last week it was their goal to have students return to school four and a half days a week next semester.

“It has been and will continue to be, the intention of the board of education and school system that we will be in school but we will follow the guidelines set forth regarding each of the scenarios and the circumstances we are faced with,” said superintendent Doug Lambert. “We will follow the guidance of the West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) the governor’s office, the Grant County Health Department and board of education.”

The decision to have students back in the classroom came during the board’s July 28 meeting, with the board members and the superintendent expressing their desire to see students return to school for full days on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with students released early on Wednesday for intensive sanitation and cleaning of the school facilities. However, Lambert explained that while returning to school is the board’s recommendation, it could still be changed on the state level.

Many Petersburg locals have already noticed the new striking green and black signs erected at the entrances of the town. Featuring a prominent black bear and depicting scenes of fishing, kayaking and hiking, the signs proclaim to all visitors that not only is Petersburg a notable stop but that it is a tourism destination.

To some, the new signage may seem like a sudden change, however, it is actually a small step in a program that has been underway for years.

The Mon Forest Towns partnership is a collaborative effort by 10 West Virginia towns, West Virginia University, the United States Department of Agriculture, a nonprofit called the Woodland Development Group and the West Virginia Community Development Hub.

The Grant County Chamber of Commerce met with representatives from the Petersburg City Police, West Virginia State Police, Grant County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police to present all officers that serve the county with gift cards to local businesses in an effort to thank the officers for their dedication to protecting the local community.

“I am so grateful to live in Grant County,” said Kirk Wilson, the president of the chamber. “And our local officers are a great example of what law enforcment should be. We at the Chamber just wanted to take a moment and do something to show them they are appreciated in the community.”

Overall, the donation, divided between all the officers, was approximatley $1,560.

Grant Memorial Hospital, its board of trustees, and its chief executive officer Bob Milvet, have responded to a claim of sexual harassment filed against them by former employee Kim Linville, by officially denying her allegations and requesting the court dismiss the case.

Linville filed her suit in April, bringing allegations of misconduct against the hospital, the board, Milvet and the county commission. In her filing, Linville claimed she was wrongfully terminated after she brought light to perceived sexual misconduct by Milvet. She claimed that the board of trustees was aware of the harassment and did not act to stop it. She also claimed Milvet engaged in an “inappropriate” relationship with the hospital’s nurse manager and that it had a negative impact on the work and patient environment.

Earlier this month, a Hampshire County woman pleaded guilty to burglary charges in a Grant County court and has been ordered to pay back more than $6,000 in damages to the Burlington family whose home she robbed.

Sophie M. Holland, 43, of 2 Karen Dr., Shanks, was indicted in March on charges of burglary after breaking into a home on Killbuck Lane near Burlington in Grant County

Since the beginning of July, COVID-19 cases in Grant County have more than doubled, jumping from 16 at the start of the month and currently sitting at 48 positive or probable cases. Of this, there are 26 active cases in the county with three hospitalizations.

“This month should prove that it is here, it is in Grant County,” said Sandria Glasscock of the Grant County Health Department. “We have an outbreak here and while it may have felt like we were safe from it, that isn’t the case.”

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, COVID-19

is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus designated SARS-CoV-2 that spreads person to person. COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in the far east and has since spread rapidly to countries worldwide, including the United States.

Community also warned of new deadly drug in PITAR meeting

 While it may have been a while since they have been in a classroom, local agencies are working to help keep students engaged this summer.

Susan Parker of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spoke during last week’s community PITAR meeting, a local group aimed at improving community health by facing issues such as drug addiction, rehabilitation and suicide prevention.

During their July 23 meeting, Parker talked about the DEP’s Earth Bingo event, where students up to age 18 work to win prizes by learning about nature, conservation and spending more time in the outdoors.

While more definite plans are still unsure, the Grant County Board of Education has now outlined three possibilities for students returning to school in the fall.

West Virginia students were dismissed from classrooms early last semester, with the governor ordering schools to close amid the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Students then switched to distance learning, with teachers providing work packets and online learning options since that time.

As of this time, education possibilities for the coming semester vary widely, with one scenario seeing students back in class five days a week and another scenario seeing all school facilities closed and all learning done virtually.

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

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