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Local Events

16 Nov 2019 @ 09:00AM - 01:00PM - Grove Street U.M. Vendor Show

Last week, a Keyser woman confessed to contributing to the drug epidemic in Grant County by distributing crystal methamphetamine throughout the area.  

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Samantha Jo Guinn, 31, has admitted to a methamphetamine distribution charge following an investigation aided by the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.

High marks in graduation but failing standards in mathematics

Earlier this month, the Grant County Board of Education received a report on the results of the county’s academic “scorecard” given by the state. 

This scorecard is based on student test results, behavior reports and attendance records and evaluates whether the county meets or fails to meet state standards. To give this evaluation, the county’s schools are given one of four qualifiers: does not meet standards, partially meets standards, meets standards or exceeds standards. 

“I am proud of how we performed as a county,” said superintendent Doug Lambert. “Are we where we want to be? No. But we are on our way and I can say with confidence we have some of the best teachers and best students and it shows. We are doing well, but we can always do better. I am a big believer in always pushing to improve.”

Following the official approval of Design Nine Inc., the Grant County Broadband Feasibility Study is ready to begin identifying internet issues in the area. 

The company is based out of Blacksburg, Va., and was originally recommended by the Grant County Development Authority (GCDA). Following this recommendation, the company was then reviewed and approved by the Grant County Commission.

Starting on Oct. 3, more than half a dozen emergency rescue agencies participated in a two day search for a young hiker who lost her way in the Dolly Sods area.

Allison Paige Guy began her hike on Oct. 2 at Bear Rocks Trail just off of Jordan Run Road in Grant County. Friends and family reported to last hearing from Guy at 3 p.m.

Guy reportadly texted her family telling them she was lost before her phone died.

Last week, Sandra Mae Evans, 62, of Petersburg, was sentenced to five years probation for mail fraud in a United States court.

In her plea, Evans admitted to opening an IRA account at Pendleton Community Bank’s Petersburg branch in July 2018.

Friends, family and neighbors celebrated the official opening of QH Design’s new Petersburg location last week with a community ribbon cutting.

QH Design is a custom textile company owned by Colton Hardy, who took over the business from his father. Prior to their move, the business operated out of their home.

During the event, his father, Eric Hardy, said he was proud of his son’s commitment and hard work in growing the business. “He started helping me when he was 15, just small stuff, but when he turned 18 he said, ‘Dad, I want the business’ and I asked him if he thought he could handle it and he said he could. So I took all the money out of the bank and opened a new account with $2,000 in it. I told him then, if I ever have to put money into this account again, you aren’t going to make it. At the end of the first year by himself, he bought out Jamie Royce’s sign shop in Moorefield and brought all of that equipment up to our shop. Four months after that he bought this place and put $30,000 in that business account.”

Republican challenger Woody Thrasher visited Grant County last week to address local residents and promote his ongoing campaign against incumbent Jim Justice.

Thrasher and his team invited the public to attend a meet-and-greet on Oct. 2 at the Moomau-Grant County Library to ask questions about his campaign and to hear issues faced in the community.

One central issue Thrasher focused on during his visit was the need for growth in West Virginia, including continued improvement in the job sector.

“Last year, West Virginia lost 11,000 people,” Thrasher said. “That’s 20 years in a row we’ve lost population. We are the only state in the union that is losing our population. In that 20 years we’ve lost more people than anybody, any other state, and that is a problem. I built my company by driving around to the small communities, to the Petersburgs and the Moorefields and the Keysers and seeing these great, hard-working people whose children are having to leave home to find work and that isn’t fair to them.”

Courthouse facilities topped the discussion in last week’s regularly scheduled Grant County Commission meeting. This discussion included the possibility of a new cell tower in the parking lot, the application of an improvement grant and the discussion of drainage issues faced in the area.

In the Sept. 24 meeting, the commissioners continued an ongoing debate about a potential new cell tower in Petersburg. The tower (which would be installed by AT&T) was originally discussed to be located near an existing tower next to the Grant County Courthouse.

The Grant County Commission responded to two citizens last week about ongoing questions concerning the appointment of the Grant County Clerk, attorney usage, voting in the county and commission transparency.
Commissioners Doug Swick and Jeff Berg were in attendance at the meeting, which was held on Jan. 22.
The first citizen to appear before the commission was Jane Kite Keeling, who came to express multiple concerns.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a recording of a portion of the Grant County Commission meeting that was held on Dec. 22.
I generally record most of the public meetings I attend when a member of the community is set to speak or when an explanation of financials is on the agenda.
Generally, I do not record more mundane sections of these meetings as I am able to keep up with solely handwritten notes and often do not include quotes from general county/city/board business.
However, accuracy is very important to me, especially when it is a citizen there to speak - and this is often when I want to include as many quotes as possible to allow them to convey their message in their own words.
That being said, all the recordings are generally for my own use and had I known the complexity of this meeting, I absolutely would have recorded the meeting in its entirety, as opposed to starting at the first speaker.
Given the passionate tone this meeting took and the large amount of discussion and explanations that were presented during it, I feel it is best to make the recording available to our readers so they can review it themselves.
Listening to the meeting, as opposed to reading the words off the page (or screen) gives a much more accurate view of the tone of the meeting.

Prior to the first speaker on the recording (Alicia Reel, who is reporting the county finances through the county clerk’s office) the commission approved previous minutes, heard a simple budget request re Sandia Glasscock from the Health Department and spoke with JoAnn Harman about hiring an assistant librarian.

Approximate Time Stamps:

Alicia Reel speaks on the county budget until the 2:17:00 mark.
Jane Kite Keeling addresses the commission from 2:18:00 until 8:43:00
The commission (and later the County Clerk) responds to Keeling starting at 8:43:00
Jill Long addresses the commission at 17:42
The commission responds to Long at 20:00:00
Debbie Anderson speaks to the commission concern water clean-up at 29:30:00
The recording ends as Anderson finishes


In what many Keyser officials are calling a happy ending, the historical Alkire mansion in Keyser was sold on the auction block to Burlington United Methodist Family Services.

The sale of the landmark caused controversy in Mineral County after the city declared the building too expensive for the municipality to restore. As a result, the mansion was put up for auction. Multiple citizens expressed concerns about the future of the building, with the sale even including regulations on the preservation of the home.

However, in a positive turn of events, the pre-Civil War landmark will soon serve as a home to children in the care of Burlington United Methodist Family Services. As many as seven young men will inhabit the mansion.

The youths are typically housed on the Burlington Campus; however, the service has said the house will be a more community-interactive home.

The house is located next to the Mill Meadow Park, which boasts a ballfield and walking trails, which will allow the boys (ages 12 to 17) to enjoy the area while in the care of the home.

The Burlington United Methodist Family Services is an agency that works with infants, young children, parents and adults and provides a plethora of services, including residential programs and in-home visits. They also provide licensed social workers who work throughout the community.

In the coming days, the mansion will be refurbished, including electrical and plumbing replacements and the installation of a new fire alarm system.

The agency purchased the home for $25,000, which was the minimum starting price at the auction. The renovation is estimated to cost approximately $250,000. While the number may seem steep, the agency explained the construction of a new facility would cost approximately $1.2 million. This action allows them to not only be part of the history of Keyser but also provide a unique and community-centered home for the boys in their care.

Following the purchase a representative from the agency said they were told by several auction attendees that they would not bid against BUMFS if they chose to purchase it. Michael Price, the chief executive officer of Burlington United Methodist Family Services said he was touched by their actions and that it said a lot about the kindness of the community.

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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