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The continuing question of transparency topped the agenda for last week’s county commission meeting.

The commission met with citizen Jill Long, who questioned the commission concerning the multiple small government committees throughout the county.

Long said that she emailed county manager, Michelle Sites, requesting a list of all these committees and contact information for members on them.

William Chad White, 36, of Petersburg was arrested on drug distribution charges in Grant County.

These charges stem from a lengthy undercover investigation conducted by Grant County Sheriff B.W. Ours and Deputy S. Wratchford.

During the course of the investigation, several illegal drug purchases were made involving White.

At the conclusion of the investigation, arrest warrants were obtained on White for four counts of delivering methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to deliver hydrocodone.

White was arraigned by Magistrate Feaster and his bond was set at $95,000.

If convicted, White could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of $70,000.

Viking urine

Grant County Board of Education asks for community input on the changing face of school policy

On May 14, the Grant County Board of Education was presented a new policy for first reading by county superintendent, Doug Lambert.

“The purpose of this drug testing program is not intended to punish student athletes but instead, help them and deter drug and alcohol abuse among the general student population,” the new policy states.

The policy, which would be enforced throughout the county, is targeted towards preventing drug use for student athletes.

According to the policy, “all students who participate in school-sponsored interscholastic athletics must agree to participate in the Student Athlete Drug Testing program.”

Help me help all of us

As a freshman in the West Virginia House of Delegates, John Paul Hott entered the state legislature to a record breaking session in which more than 2,000 bills were reviewed. It was a session defined by the controversial education omnibus bill that sent teachers all over the state on strike and marred by an uncharacteristic speed, with many lawmakers receiving drafts of bills to be voted on only hours, or even minutes, before going to the floor. 

Hott, who has served in multiple positions in his career, including sitting on the Petersburg City Council prior to running for the state office, said nothing could have prepared him for what awaited at the capital. He was elected last November to represent District 54, which includes all of Grant and portions of Pendleton and Mineral counties.

A program aimed at fighting the rising tide of issues faced by new mothers, especially those struggling with addiction, will be partnering with the Potomac Highlands Guild in the near future.

Rebecca Vandenberge of the Right From The Start program addressed community members during the April 25 meeting of PITAR, a local community substance abuse group, which meets about ongoing efforts throughout the region to reduce and prevent drug use.

Vandenberge explained that the program works with pregnant women and new mothers.

darkened crib

Tommy Lee Rohrbaugh, 25, of 90 Brakes Loop, Petersburg, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to charges of child neglect causing serious bodily injury.

Originally, Rohrbaugh was indicted with multiple charges, including child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, child neglect, gross child neglect resulting in serious injury and malicious assault.

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


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