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NOTICE

Grant County Lenten Lunches have been cancelled until further notice.

The Grant County Office of Emergency Management and 911 issued information last week about calls they have been receiving from citizens about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The former Hardy County Circuit Clerk charged with contributing to her ex-husband’s manufacturing of drugs has taken an Alford plea, an alternative form of a guilty plea.

Kimberly Ann Hartman, 39, of Moorefield was charged in March 2018 with conspiracy to commit a felony, child neglect or creating substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury, conspiracy and two counts of accessory before the fact to possess pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

The charges claim that Hartman purchased pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make methamphetamine, and delivered it to her husband for his production of the drug. She also faced child neglect charges due to the fact that her children were allowed to live in a home where the drug was being created.

Her husband and two others pleaded guilty last year to charges stemming from the same incident. All three were charged in Hardy County; however, due to Hartman’s position in the court system, the case was overseen by the Grant County Circuit Court and prosecuted by the Grant County prosecutor’s office.

According to documents filed in the Grant County Circuit Court, on Feb. 27, Hartman took a deal in which she entered an Alford plea to the conspiracy, which carries a sentence of one to five years in prison and fine of up to $10,000. All other charges against Hartman were dismissed.

The Alford plea is a form of guilty plea used in U.S. criminal courts in which a defendant acknowledges that the prosecution likely has enough evidence to secure a conviction, but does not specifically admit to committing the crime.

In accordance with the plea agreement, Hartman’s sentence was suspended and she was instead placed on probation with no fine imposed; however, she was sentenced to serve 120 hours of community service. Her probation will last up to five years with the opportunity for early release after two.

Two local pooches are safely back in their home following an unexpected cliffside adventure.

According to family on the scene, the dogs went missing from their home the day before and spent the night trapped on the cliff.

The owner, Brenda Davis, had worked hard to find the dogs when they were finally spotted on the cliffs by someone nearby.

As time passed and officials were unable to move forward with a rescue, John Welton Jr. decided to scale the cliff and attempt to bring the dogs to safety.

After a careful climb, Welton was able to lead the frightened dogs down the cliff and into the waiting arms of their worried owner.

Petersburg may be getting an updated look, thanks to the work being done by the Mon Forest Towns project and the West Virginia Community Development HubCAP (Hub Communities of Achievement) program. The West Virginia Community Development Hub is a statewide nonprofit aimed at economic development.

Stacy Raffo, a community coaching programs associate with HubCAP, attended last week’s meeting of the Petersburg City Council to discuss the partnership and what their involvement will mean for the city.

The Mon Forest Towns project is collaboration involving the U.S. Forest Service, the West Virginia University Extension Office and several small towns and is aimed at building tourism in the Monongahela National Forest region.

Country music star Billy Ray Cyrus will be headlining the 2020 Tri-County Fair in Petersburg this year. A Kentucky native, Cyrus is most known for his breakout album "Some Gave All" that included the lead single "Achy Breaky Heart."

The album debuted on the all-genre Billboard album chart and number one and stayed there for a record breaking 17 weeks in 1992.

Other notable songs from Cyrus include “It Could’ve Been Me,” “She’s Not Crying Anymore,” and “Wher’em I Going to Live When I Get Home?”

Cyrus has also made a name for himself as an actor, performing in “Doc,” a television series in 2001; “Still the King,” a 2016 sitcom as well as with his daughter, Miley, in the children’s show, “Hannah Montana.”

Cyrus has achieved every accolade the music industry offers, including the Grammy Awards, two BET Hip Hop Awards, two MTV VMA Moomen, two Country Music Association Awards, an American Music Award and six Academy of Country Music nominations.

FULL TRIAL BREAKDOWN

It was an issue of inconsistent witness testimony that saw Grant County resident Ray J. Hollingsworth Jr. found not guilty of burglary and grand larceny by a jury of his peers.

The trial was held last Friday with opening statements beginning at approximately 10:30 a.m. and the verdict returning at around 3:30 p.m.

Prior to the start of the trial, Hollingsworth rejected a plea deal in which he would plead guilty to both charges and face concurrent sentences ranging from one to 15 years in prison.

Hollingsworth was accused of breaking into his former father-in-law’s home and stealing six guns: two shotguns, an SKS rifle, a .357 rifle, a Rossi 410 and a Marlin 30-30 with a scope. The crime took place on Aug. 21, 2018, with the burglary being discovered by the home owner on Aug. 22. Hollingsworth was represented in court by defense attorney Brent Easton, the case was prosecuted by Grant County Prosecutor, John Ours and the trial was overseen by Judge Jay Courrier.

Over the course of the day, six witnesses took the stand including: the victim, Larry Vance of Petersburg; the defendant’s ex-girlfriend, Crystal Barr-Bitzer (formerly Barr-Barber) formerly of Petersburg now of Moorefield; Bitzer’s mother Princess Burroughs of Petersburg; the defendant’s former cellmate, Nathaniel Heavner, currently serving time in a state penitentiary; Trooper First-Class B. Thorn of the West Virginia State Police and Hollingsworth himself.

Due to a unanimous resolution signed by the county commission, Grant County will now be recognized as a Second Amendment sanctuary county.

The resolution to classify the county as a designated Second Amendment sanctuary was originally considered early last month, however, was tabled due to wording issues. The topic was considered again during their Feb. 25 meeting, this time receiving full approval from the commission.

The resolution is aimed at ensuring second amendment rights in the county even if laws infringing on those rights are approved elsewhere.

The purpose of the resolution is stated as:

During a special meeting held at the Grant Count Courthouse last Tuesday, local leaders and citizens were presented with the results of the Grant County Broadband Feasibility Study. During the forum, Design Nine, the company who performed the study, provided a potential path to high speed internet that would reach more than 90% of the county.

The ultimate goal of the effort is to ensure all Grant County residents have access to broadband internet. Minimum broadband levels are considered a connection with 25 megabits of download and three megabits of upload speed. However, while this is currently the minimum standard, it has been increasing steadily over the years.

The overall proposed budget would include the installation of two new data towers on county land, nine new towers on privately owned land and four community poles. These towers would be more than 150 feet tall while the community poles, which are similar to telephone poles, would be approximately 60 feet tall. This system would also make use of three existing towers already on county property.

As the 2020 primary election moves closer, Grant County Schools are working to ensure local citizens are informed on the school levy, which will be a ballot item in May.

The levy attempt, which has been approved by the Grant County Board of Education, is aimed at addressing growing issues with school facilities around the county, as well as focusing on school safety and security, reducing class sizes and providing free access to athletic events for all Grant County residents.

As national concerns surrounding school shootings grow, one of the most heavily discusses topics being addressed in the levy plans is safety and security for students and staff.

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.

Petersburg, WV

  • Sunday Chance Rain Showers 71°45°
  • Monday Chance Rain Showers 72°47°
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