(304) 257-1844

 For information on vaccinations available contact the Grant County Health Department at 304-257-4922 (Petersburg) or 304-693-7616 (Mount Storm). Vaccination is available for anyone five years old or older. Anyone interested in receiving the vaccine can contact the Grant County Health Department at 304-257-4922. As of Jan. 9, there are 189 active Covid cases in the county with 3,278 total cases, 3,038 of which have recovered and a total of 50 deaths listed as Covid related. Note: The CDC has released updated quarantine and isolation guidance.

 If a person tests positive for Covid they: may Release from isolation after the 5th day if no symptoms, or symptoms improving; are asked to wear a mask through day 10. Exposed individuals (Contacts): If fully vaccinated in last 6 months or fully vaccinated and had booster: no quarantine required unless symptoms are present; recommend testing 5 days after exposure and wear a well fitted mask for 10 days when around others. If vaccinated over 6 months ago and have not received booster dose: Quarantine for 5 days after last exposure and wear a mask for 10 days.

 A Grant County man is facing multiple charges, including trespassing and assault, following an incident in December in which he was allegedly illegally living in a home owned by someone else in Maysville.

 Laverne Lane Strawderman, 44, of P.O. Box 286, Maysville, is facing several charges after officers with the West Virginia State Police Department responded to a trespassing call in the afternoon of Dec. 8.

 When the officers arrived at the scene, they met with the property owner who told them Strawderman, the previous owner of the location, had been continuously coming onto the property, breaking into the structure and attempting to live there.

 The owner provided the officers with a court order showing that Strawderman was no longer an owner of the property. The owner said he had not given him permission to be on the property. On the day in question, the owner had been approached by Strawderman, who began yelling at the property owner and threatening to shoot him.

 Last week, the Grant Memorial Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of hospital chief executive officer (CEO) Bob Milvet.

 Milvet’s resignation comes after serving as CEO for 3 years and 4 months. Milvet said in his resignation he plans to pursue other opportunities closer to his family.

 “Since Mr. Milvet joined GMH in 2018, his leadership has positioned the hospital to meet the future health care needs of the community,” said board chair Tammy Kesner.

 The board said they are currently working to place an interim CEO to ensure GMH continues to provide quality health care and moves forward in this ever-changing environment.”

 “I am very proud of the accomplishments over the past three years,” Milvet said. “Our financial position is strong, the organizational culture has significantly improved, our quality and satisfaction scores continue to climb, and we are offering more services today than three years ago.”

 During a recent listening tour hosted by the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, community members were asked to weigh in on how the $1.6 billion of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) should be spent in West Virginia.

 “Our goal is to get input directly from the people of West Virginia where these funds would be best used and make the greatest impact,” said executive director Jill Upson. “I know there was a question of spending, from the lottery and the Babydog contest, where some people asked ‘why are you spending money on this?’ So this is an opportunity to get that input.”

 Over the next year, Upson will complete a tour of all 55 West Virginia counties where she will be getting input from community leaders and residents on how they feel the funds should be spent.

“The governor is going to go to the legislature and say, these are the categories based on feedback from the 55 counties, that need the most attention,” Upson said. “The legislature will then decide yes or no on those topics.”

 The first segment of a special deer hunting season for youth and senior citizen hunters and hunters with a Class Q/QQ permit opened in West Virginia last weekend.

 The first segment of the Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS Deer Season was Oct. 16-17. The second segment will run Dec. 26- 27. During the special season, hunting is permitted on private and public lands in 51 counties with a firearms deer hunting season.

“This special antlerless season provides an excellent opportunity to pass on hunting traditions to youth hunters,” said Nick Huffman, a wildlife biologist for the WVDNR. “This season also provides a tremendous opportunity for seniors and hunters with a Class Q/QQ permit to enjoy this unique hunting experience at a time when there is a noticeable reduction in hunting pressure.”

 Kids 8-17 may participate in this special season. Senior citizens 65 and older, who have a resident Class XS lifetime hunting, trapping and fishing license, may also participate.

 Resident youth hunters 8-14 don’t need a hunting license, stamps or hunter safety education card, but must be accompanied by an unarmed, licensed adult who may not hunt. Resident youth hunters 15-17 must comply with all licensing requirements, but don’t need a Class N Stamp.

 The WV Community Development Hub announces the launch of the Downtown Appalachia: Revitalizing Recreation Economies (DARRE), a strategic three-year initiative to build local economies. Eight communities in the Monongahela National Forest region in West Virginia will participate: Cowen, Elkins, Franklin, Marlinton, Parsons, Petersburg, Richwood and White Sulphur Springs.

 The central partners of the program, the WV Community Development Hub, the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center at WVU and Partner Community Capital (formerly Natural Capital Investment Fund), combined bring more than 30 years of experience in community engagement, property redevelopment technical services, financial investment and lending, and strategic planning.

Grant Memorial Hospital will be expanding their services to include pediatric speech therapy.
Last week, GMH announced their partnership with Children’s League, a nonprofit organization that has been serving children and families since 1934 with a focus on special needs.
The organization will be providing after-hours services in the hospital’s medical office building starting in September.
The announcement of the program was attended by Children’s League board member and local attorney, John Athey, speech pathologist, Danielle Webster, Chair of the Grant Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, Tammy Kesner, Children’s League Executive Director, Kathy Growden and GMH Chief Executive Officer, Bob Milvet.

U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.) introduced the Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021. This legislation would help financially support local news organizations through tax credits to incentivize hiring more journalists, subscriptions, and advertising from local small businesses.
“The COVID-19 pandemic made it crystal clear that local reporters and newsrooms are essential to keeping the public informed and safe, but their importance spans well beyond health emergencies,” said Sen. Cantwell.
“At its core, local news is about holding the powerful accountable. The strength of our democracy is based in truth and transparency, and local newsrooms are on the ground in our communities asking the critical questions, countering misinformation, and telling our stories. We have to protect these vital parts of our communities, because once they’re gone, they’re gone.”

Early on Sunday morning, a thief broke up an iconic duo when they knocked over and then stole Jake Blues from his place next to his brother, Elwood, at the Gary Michael Building on North Main Street in Petersburg.
The Blues Brothers statues have stood in front of the building for nearly 20 years and have become a well-known tourist scene, with many out-of-town visitors stopping to take photos with the statues. The building also regularly plays Blues Brothers music through an outdoor speaker system in honor of the pair.
The Blues Brothers were an American blues and soul revivalist band founded in 1978 by comedians Dan Aykroyd (as Elwood Blues) and John Belushi (as Jake Blues) as part of a musical sketch on “Saturday Night Live.” Belushi and Aykroyd would later go on to star in a film in 1980 titled, “The Blues Brothers” that featured the pair.
Petersburg mayor Gary Michael, who owns the building, is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can help recover Jake.
Michael said the odds of discovering the kidnapper’s identity are high, because while the crime occurred at approximately 4 a.m. on Aug. 1, the pair stood in a well-lit location and the theft was caught on camera from inside the building.
As a set, the statues are valued at approximately $4,000 and Michael says he fully intends to file a police report on the theft.
“They might as well just return it, they are going to be very hard to replace,” Michael said. “It’s not like they can really do anything with it, just about anyone who sees it will know where it belongs.”
At this time, no ransom has been requested.

Grant County Farmers’ Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday at the city parking lot in Petersburg near the tennis courts.
Grant County Board of Health meeting dates and times at the Grant County Health Department will be posted.
Grant County Board of Education meets the second and fourth Tuesdays on every month at 5:30 p.m. at the board office on Jefferson Avenue.
Grant County Commission meets the second Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m. and the fourth Tuesday of the month at 3:30 p.m. in the courthouse, lower level conference room.
Petersburg City Council meets the first Monday on the month at 7 p.m. in the Gary Michael building on South Main Street.
Want your meeting listed? Email news@grant countypress.com or call 304-257-1844.

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