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Local Events

17 Nov 2018 @ 04:00PM - - Oyster & Ham Supper

The Law

Last week, the Grant County Grand Jury indicted multiple individuals on charges ranging from domestic violence and strangulation to destruction of property and drug distribution.

In total, 17 indictments were returned.

Tyson Allen Wratchford, 29, 114 Lawson Cypress Dr., Petersburg, was indicted with second offense unlawful taking of a vehicle.

Curtis The Criminal

Last week, the Petersburg City Council issued a reminder to citizens to lock their vehicles when they park around the town.

“The community needs to continue to lock their vehicles,” said city councilman and the council’s commissioner of the city police Boyd Sites. “Leaving them unlocked invites vandalism and theft. Also, say something if you see something. We as a community need to look out for our neighbors.”

The council pointed to a recent increase in the reports of homeless visitors in the city that have been seen staying in abandoned buildings and outside people’s homes.   

Poor ol' Dave

This Friday, Petersburg will officially be the home of a new restaurant. Poor Dave’s, a family restaurant owned by Dave and Carolyn West will be serving up steak and seafood dishes in the Hermitage on Virginia Avenue.

D. West has been cooking for more than 10 years and, with the support of his wife, have run multiple successful businesses.

“About five years ago we opened Poor Dave’s the first time,” explained D. West. “But we were running three businesses at one time and it was just too much. Now, a few years later, we are glad to open that back up.”

C. West is also the owner of Hayleigh and Nadia’s, another small business in Petersburg.

“So many of our customers became like family to us,” C. West said. “We are so glad to be serving them, and the community, again.”

Apart from the new menu, the restaurant will feature a small bar for diners as well as a newly renovated banquet room that will host events, such as weddings, birthday parties and reunions.

Poor Dave’s will be open from 4 to 10 p.m.

Planting Trees

The small hill in front of Grant Memorial Hospital in Petersburg got a little greener last week as local families and 4-H members gathered to plant trees.

The event was hosted through the West Virginia CommuniTree project, which is responsible for planting hundreds of trees across eight counties. The project is run by the Cacapon Institute.

Since 2012, the project has planted over 6,000 trees and hosted over 200 community projects.

The project was selected during a competitive grant process after the West Virginia University Extension Office reached out to have the area considered.

“One of the main benefits for planting trees, not only they look nice, is that they benefit human health,” explained Tanner Haid, an Urban Watershed Forester with the Cacapon Institute. “It’s really nice to be here at this project. We know that there is a direct connection with planting trees here at the hospital. There are studies that show cleaner air can effect chronic respiratory issues, heart conditions and similar issues. So trees and public health are directly related.”

Haid said the program is looking forward to doing more work in the area and encouraged any organizations interested in beautifying the community through planting trees to contact him at 540-335-0687.


Last week, nearly 4,000 Grant County voters made their way to the polls to cast their ballots for various local, state and national positions as well as two state amendments.

The election had a relatively high turnout rate, with 52.4 percent of registered voters in the county hitting the polls. While this number is low compared to the 2016 general presidential election, which had more than 60 percent turnout, county election clerk JoAnn Harper said it was higher than usual for midterms.  

Of the 7,273 registered voters in the county, 3,809 voted in this election.

The following results have been provided by the Grant County Clerk’s office and the West Virginia Secretary of State. While all precincts have been counted, the results will not be official until the county finishes its final canvassing of precincts this week.

County results also do not include approximately 130 early votes which were cast but not signed by poll workers. These will also be counted during canvassing. 

However, the winners should not change from these results even after the final votes are included. 

Connor Waldron, instructor Kirk Paugh and Stefen Dolly
Connor Waldron, instructor Kirk Paugh and Stefen Dolly

Martial arts has long been recognized as both a mental and physical challenge that pushes its practitioners to self-improvement.

It was this self-improvement that two local students strove to demonstrate last week when they, surrounded by their friends and family, took their black belt advancement test.

The test takes hours and pushes the students to recall training affirmations, answer personal questions, demonstrate their knowledge of their chosen fighting style and prove they are ready to become black belt fighters.

Nigerian Prince

Last week, the Grant County sheriff’s department released an advisory to local citizens on a new round of scam phone calls.

According to the report, these calls can appear as a local number and may be recognized as a business, family or friend familiar to the potential victim.

poor drug addicted child

PITAR, a local community substance abuse coalition, met Oct. 25 in Petersburg to discuss efforts in the community to combat addiction.

During the meeting, the group discussed a new program that will soon be introduced to students in Grant, Mineral, Hardy and Pendleton counties. The program is called SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness and is directed at elementary aged youth and older adolescents.

Garrett Sites
Garrett Sites

Garrett Sites, 34, of Petersburg, was arrested on Oct. 22, on a series of outstanding drug warrants.

phg and such
Director of finance, Jerrena Auville; executive director, Mike Landis; Raj Masih, MD, MPH, MPHN; former executive director, Craig Curtis; board president, Tom Rowan; board member, Delegate Ruth Rowan; and board vice president, Darlene Casto.

The Potomac Highlands Guild presented their first Craig Curtis Behavioral Health Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to Raj Masih, MD, MPG, MPHN.

The award was named after former executive director Craig Curtis. Masih was presented the award during a retirement party held for Curtis.

U.S. Army Reserve Pfc. Robert Klotz, left, 336th Engineer Company, 463rd Engineer Battalion, 411th Engineer Brigade, 412th Theater Engineer Command based in Weirton, uses his hand to line up the hammer drill as Spc. Colton See, also of the company, pushes the bit into reinforced concrete in a Confined Space Rescue operation of a Structural Collapse Technician at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala, Fla., Oct. 6, 2018. The company is training to become a Urban Search and Rescue Detachment for Command and Control Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Element-A. U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Wood

A large rubble pile at the Florida State Fire College was a testing ground for the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) 336th Engineer Company, 412th Theater Engineer Command, based in Weirton, on Oct. 6.

The company of more than 50 soldiers was required to find and rescue 14 “victims” in the massive Structural Collapse Technician Scenario. Some of the rescues found soldiers lying on their backs in two-foot high by three-foot wide concrete spaces holding a power hammer drill weighing a little more than a gallon of paint to break through eight-inch reinforced concrete to rescue trapped “victims.”

Once the dust had settled, the college certified each soldier in their hometowns in Urban Search and Rescue (USR) and Confined Space Rescue. The soldiers also took a written exam before responding to the scenario. The soldiers spent the last five weeks in USR training at the college. They trained in rope rescues, technical decontamination, vehicle machinery rescue, trench rescues and structural collapse rescues.

The company is training as a Urban Search and Rescue Detachment for Command and Control Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Element-A (C2CRE-A). The USR training which started Aug. 26, ended Nov. 2.

U.S. Army North (AR- NORTH) will hold several external evaluations on Mass Casualty Decontamination and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Reconnaissance where the soldiers will be wearing protective suits and gas masks.

The unit will be validated after a Culminating Training Event and be among Technical Support Force (TCF) units on mission for two years to provide search and rescue. TCF units are high priority elements of C2CRE-A, and under the scrutiny of ARNORTH, U.S. Northern Command, and the Secretary of Defense.

For Spc. Colton See, a civilian diesel mechanic and volunteer firefighter, this certification is going to pay dividends.

“I’m going to take my training and help the people of my community and look for an emergency response team to join,” said See, whose firefighting experience has dealt mostly with vehicle accidents.

The scenario saw for the first time the company working together as a team. Before, it was split into two teams and rotated throughout the disciplines.

Company commander Capt. Kevin Starbuck was impressed with how his soldiers quickly adapted to working with fellow soldiers they hadn’t worked with before.

“For the first time, having all hands on deck was a great thing,” said Starbuck. “Everybody came together quicker and seemed to work together cohesively right off the rip. Everybody seems to be really engaged with it.”

Engaged is an understatement.

One of the rescues found Spcs. Robert Douglas and Michael Thomas standing on a small ledge and using power hammer drills that weigh as much as automobile tires to break through eight-inch reinforced concrete while being bombarded with concrete dust.

“I normally try and stay away from the dust,” said Douglas, who looked like a bag of flour had been dropped on him.

See, who also rescued a “victim” from a confined space, said not only his shoulders got tired but his elbows and forearms also got sore from holding up the hammer drill.

“It gets heavy real quickly,” said See with a laugh.

The soldiers also were able to rescue fellow soldiers.

Sgt. Kyle Kirkbride, a wheeled vehicle mechanic and team leader this day, who volunteered for the mission, admitted it is rewarding to pull a mannequin from a confined space but a whole different story when a fellow soldier is “rescued.”

“It’s much harder, it is kind of a wake-up call on how hard it would be in real life,” said Kirkbride.

Kirkbride, a civilian pipeline laborer, said he intends to be a firefighter once he completes this training.

As Starbuck noted, this is some of the best training his soldiers will receive while being in America’s Army Reserve.

And they are not only assisting the U.S. Army Reserve in being ready for that bad day that no one wants to see but also can be there for their communities.

Spc. See resides in Maysville with his wife, Amanda and their children Hailey, Landen, Zander, Dominic and Aiden.

He is the son of Belinda and Travis Weatherholtz of Moorefield and the late Leslie Ray Smith and the grandson of Hies and Betty Smith and Gary and Edna See.

He is employed as a diesel mechanic with Kessel Mulch of Keyser.

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