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On June 30, the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company released an update on their recent response calls for the first half of the 2020 year.

According to the report, the department has seen a busy six months, with a total of 157 calls answered by Company 400.

“These fine men and women put in countless hours training and drilling to ensure the citizens of the community and surrounding areas have the best possible help available in their times of need,” a representative for the company said in the report.“With the current situation at hand with the virus we are facing, it has made it hard for any type of fundraising to be done. The rise in numbers also means a rise in expenses so the continued support that the community shows is awesome and as we start fundraisers here soon, all support is greatly needed and appreciated.”

The highest call volume handled by the department was in emergency medical service assists, which accounted for 39 of the department’s responses.

Other responses included: 32 motor vehicle accidents, 15 smoke investigations, eight structure fires and five mutual aid calls for structure fires.

Top responders for the year have been: Dalton Ours with 107 calls answered, Marshall Collins with 103 calls answered, Deputy Chief Nathan Keen with 100 calls, Chief Bobby Funk with 88 calls and Paramedic/Captain Hunter Whetzel with 72 calls answered.

“As always, a huge thank you to all members for their continued time and dedication to Co. 400,” the report said in closing. “Keep up the awesome work and thank you to all the individuals and businesses that continue to show amazing support for the PVFC Co. 400. The Fightin’ 400 looks forward to continuing to answer every call and continue to give the best help possible to the awesome community.”

In order to help recover some of the funding loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled multiple key fundraising efforts by the department, volunteers with the company held a bucket brigade over the holiday weekend.

The journey from city planner to homesteader and author

When moving to Peeper Pond Farm in rural Pendleton County, the most important thing for the Umlings was self-reliance. For David Umling, it had been a lifelong frustration after leaving his family’s dairy farm in New Hampshire to see a society so reliant on outside amenities. As time passed, the couple decided to take up the life of homesteaders, working to provide for themselves in as many ways as possible. After a search that led them all over the country, the two settled on the beautiful landscapes of West Virginia to call home.

“I grew up in a very traditional lifestyle, a dynamic of self-reliance, that was the core of my life for a long time,” Umling said. “Whereas I found the society I transitioned into was a money-based society, a society of dependency. Dependency on money, on other people and on convenience. The two societies are very distinctly different and a lot of people in cities never experience that self-reliance in any meaningful way and I think that is a shame.”

“I realized a lot of people here have lived the life I had,” Umling said. “To me, that life has meaning and that is why I am here. I may not have been born here but I am choosing to die here, because these are the people that I want to be around.”

A Petersburg man has pleaded guilty to attacking his then-girlfriend and purposefully strangling her in an attempt to take her cell phone. The woman, who was able to escape and call for help, said the attack was an attempt to stop her from calling the police.

Earlier this month, Kevin D. Dillow, 30, of 798 Haven Farm Circle, Petersburg, pleaded guilty to one count of strangulation, which carries a potential sentence of one to five years in prison.

Seven local fire departments responded to a fire on Thursday morning that destroyed a home in Petersburg.

Despite a year cut short by the pandemic, Petersburg High School hosted both an award ceremony and a graduation last week.

However, to ensure the events fell within guidelines given by the state, both were held at the Viking Memorial Field with graduates and attendees asked to remain six feet apart and masks were encouraged.

The Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company 400 appeared before the Grant County Commission last week to update the county on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on their operations.

During his report to the commission, Hunter Whetzel of the PVFC explained the funding for the company comes from three primary sources: donations from the community, a $12,000 a quarter input from the state and a $10,000 annual input from the county.

“The biggest impact has come from not being able to have a single fundraiser this year,” Whetzel said. “That is the majority of our income as a department.”

Response to the U.S. Census is finally picking up steam in West Virginia with a reported 53.2% of the state’s population responding so far. Of that total, 34.9% of the responses were through internet reporting available at 2020census.gov.

While the numbers are starting to increase, the state is still behind its final 2010 reporting number of 59.1% and over 10% behind out neighboring state of Virginia (66.5%), Maryland (65.6%), Pennsylvania (64.9%), Ohio (66.3%) and Kentucky (65.2%).

Two men were arrested earlier this month after their vehicle was stopped in Grant County going more than double the posted speed limit.

On June 9, Deputy J.E. Rohrbaugh of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department was conducting road patrol on Corridor H when he observed two vehicles traveling at the speed of 119 mph near the Patterson Creek off ramp.

As the state begins to reopen following nationwide shut-downs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health and recovery programs across the region are now facing a new set of distressing numbers.

According to a report from the Potomac Highlands Guild (PHG), the region has seen more than double the average of drug overdoses following the state’s quarantine.

The Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company received three calls on June 18 to help handle water rescue efforts as kayakers and canoers in the area became overwhelmed with rising waters.

The first call, which came in at approximately 3:15, was dispatched to assist Pendleton County teams with the search and rescue of a kayaker. According to the report, the kayaker was unable to get out of the water at their intended spot and had been washed to an unknown location.

The Grant County Parks and Recreation Department announced plans to host their annual Independence Day parade in Petersburg.

This announcement came after a previous decision in May to cancel all events surrounding the Fourth of July holiday except the annual fireworks display. This cancellation included a concert, which was originally to be hosted a the Petersburg High School football field.

The decision to cancel was due to regulations from the West Virginia governor’s office to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. on July 4, with its route running from the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Petersburg, down Virginia Avenue, to Main Street and ending at the Petersburg City Park.

According to the office, approximately 20 entries have signed up to participate in the parade, down from 40 participants last year.

For more information on the parade or for instructions on how to participate in the parade, contact the Grant County Parks and Recreation Department at 304-257-1725. Lineup will begin at 10 a.m.

The fireworks, which are also scheduled for July 4, are set to begin at 9:30 p.m. near the Petersburg High School football field.

The public is asked to respect social distancing guidelines during both events.

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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