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Issue discussed during commission meeting

Emergency Medical Service (EMS) employees and concerned community members appeared before the Grant County Commission last week to address changes with EMS coverage, employment and other changes within the county.

The issues during the meeting primarily focused on the potential reduction of Petersburg ambulance crews from two to one as well as general concerns from employees.

Commissioner Tyson Riggleman explained that West Virginia University, who recently partnered with Grant Memorial Hospital, will start running transports from the local hospital beginning next month. This change means that Grant County EMS will no longer be responsible for these services and, as a result, will see reduced call volume.

“With this change, we are going to have to look at ourselves,” Riggleman said. “Current reality, just to give you an idea of where we are today, we had an average of 3.17 emergency calls a day in the county over the course of a two year period. For nonemergency calls, which are transports, from the same time period of July 2021 to July 2023, we averaged about 1.49 transport calls a day. This is going to be huge financial burden for us losing transports.”

Riggleman explained that the county currently has two crews that operate in the Petersburg area and one crew that operates a 12-hour shift in the Mount Storm area. In the past, the commission has vocalized their goal of expanding coverage on the mountain to 24 hours a day, similar to the Petersburg crews. Due to not having an EMS building in the area with overnight or long-term accommodations for employees, this is currently difficult. However, the county is slated to potentially receive a federal grant via Senator Joe Manchin’s office to fund the construction of a building that meets these needs.

Riggleman said that transports can often remove a crew from coverage for long periods of time, with trips to Morgantown taking up to 12 hours round trip depending on the weather.

Riggleman said the current budget designated for the Grant County EMS is approximately. $7.8 million. In expenditures, the service has costs approximately $7.5 million, brought in approximately $3.6 million in revenue and lost approximately $3.8 million over the past few years.

In discussing how to handle the rural EMS system, the commission spoke with Jody Ratcliff, the director of the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services, and Clinton Burley, president and chief executive officer of HealthNet Aeromedical Services.

Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company #400 top responders for the month of August were:

Bowdie Hinkle, safety officer - 15; Marshall Collins, first lieutenant - 14; Hunter Whetzel, deputy chief and Jacob Armentrout, probie - 13; Rodney Hedrick, firefighter - 11; Bobby Funk, chief - 10 Clifton Ours, firefighter - 9; Ashton Barr, second lieutenant and Stephanie Barr, firefighter - 8; Jordan Brashear and Shawn Riggeman, firefighters - 6.

By Ravenna Redman

Director of Social Services

The employees of Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center have chosen Shirley Simon as their GRCC Resident of the Week. She has been a resident of our facility since June 22.

Shirley was born on Sept. 4, 1947, to Raymond and Mary Alice (Crites) Hedrick in Petersburg. She is the second eldest of four children. Her siblings are Linda Borror, Raymond Hedrick Jr. and Mary Ann Barger.

Her father, Raymond Hedrick Sr., worked on the pipeline, and as a family they moved around with him. She lived in nine different states. She eventually went to Petersburg Elementary School and then Petersburg High School, where she attended until 10th grade. She later obtained her GED.

Her sister Linda was dating Doug Borror, and Doug needed a ride for a date. Ralph Simon gave Doug a ride for the date, and met Shirley, who was 14 at the time. They began dating and would often double date with her sister, Linda. On Nov. 1, 1963, Ralph and Shirley were married.

Ralph began working at Mathias Grocery, and soon, their first child, a daughter, Teresa (Shirk) was born. Seven years later, their son, David Simon, was born.

Shirley started selling Avon when the children were small but focused primarily on raising her children. After they grew up, Shirley worked at Heck’s in Moorefield. She also worked at Head Start, working closely with parents. She also worked at American Woodmark and then worked at Wal-Mart for 11 years. Her final position was at Region VIII, assisting elderly people to find part-time jobs. “I loved doing that job.”

Ralph had left Mathias Grocery and began to work at American Woodmark. He retired, so in 2010, Shirley joined him in retirement. “We wanted to spend time together.” During this time, Shirley also began taking care of her mother, Mary. “I was glad that I was available to help her.” Her mom passed away in 2019.

By Brenda Sites

The Grant County Association of Retired School Employees enjoyed a morning outing Sept. 7, to Bob’s Gameroom in Maysville.

Upon arrival the group had time to visit and meander through Bob’s exhibit area. Bob’s museum contains many displays of local Grant County historical businesses. He also has many artifacts from the old Petersburg High School building.

Bob took the group on a verbal tour of his collection telling old local stories about various displays.

The group was then escorted into the game room area where, in the 1940s room they listened to a 1941 Wurlitzer juke box. The sound was astounding.

Next, with the help of server Dave Adkins, the group was treated to sundaes in the 1950s soda shop room. All were having a great time with some couples even dancing to the 1950s jukeboxes.

The visit ended with a four minute video of 1950s times and music. The sounding of the old school bell concluded the morning visit.

The following cases were heard in the Grant County Magistrate Court between August 8 and September 8:

Kristy Lee Wratchford, 45, was charged with child abuse resulting in injury. Wratchford’s bond was set at $3,000.

Robert Maxwell Legg, was charged with sexual assault in the third degree against a person under the age of 16 and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian. Legg’s case was transferred to the Grant County Circuit Court and his bond was set at $30,000.

David Keith Kosanic, 44, was fined and assessed $1,833 after pleading no contest to charges of improper use of evidences of registration, certificate of insurance, driving while license suspended or revoked and operation without certified inspection or failure to produce certificate.

Markus A. Calhoun, 44, was fined and assessed $25 after pleading no contest to driving without wearing a seat belt.

Katica May Radich, 25, was fined and assessed $191 after pleading guilty to operating a vehicle without evidences of registration. Radich pleaded not guilty to operating a vehicle without certified inspection or failure to produce certificate and certificate of insurance.

Edward Alverez, 25, was fined and assessed $25 after pleading no contest to driving without wearing a seat belt.

Sean Gilbert Walters, 57, was fined and assessed $190 after pleading guilty to charges of operating a vehicle without a certifi ed inspection or failure to produce certificate.

A Wheeling man is facing fraud charges after allegedly accepting funds to do a rehabilitation on a historical Wheeling cathedral but is now alleged to have heavily misrepresented the work he was doing on the building.

Jeffrey James Morris, 36, of Wheeling, was charged last week with wire fraud.

According to a federal criminal complaint, Morris is charged with fraudulently inducing an individual to provide him with funds to renovate the Scottish Rite Cathedral, a building located at the corner of Fourteenth and Byron Streets in East Wheeling.

It is alleged that Morris, who is the managing member and majority owner of Roxby Development, LLC, caused an investor to provide him with $350,000 to rehabilitate the Cathedral but instead used the funds for other purposes.

It is further alleged that Morris misrepresented work performed upon the Cathedral, the status of the historic tax credits, and the amount of rental income from a purported tenant.

The principal purpose of Roxby Development, LLC, was to acquire and develop real estate in the region, to include the Cathedral, the McClure House Hotel, and the Mount Carmel Monastery.

The Roxby companies received a total of $6.9 million from approximately 20 investors between October 2019 until July 2022.

Grant County’s newest Circuit Clerk, Melanie Biggs, was officially sworn in to the office yesterday.

During the event, Biggs was joined by her family, David Redman, Jenna Biggs, Josh Biggs and Jared Biggs.

The oath of office was administered by Circuit Court Judge Courier.

Biggs is stepping into the position following the resignation of former clerk Angela VanMeter, who accepted a position with the West Virginia Supreme Court earlier this year.

Biggs brings a wealth of experience to the position, having already served as deputy circuit clerk.

Alderson Broaddus University filed bankruptcy August 31, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

This action was taken one month after the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission directed AB to offer only limited classes to approximately 20 students during the fall semester. The inability of AB to receive anticipated normal tuition revenue for the fall semester precluded AB’s continued operation.

Further, although AB anticipates receiving an Employee Retention Credit payment from the Internal Revenue Service in an amount in excess of $1,000,000, those funds were not received in time to permit ongoing operations.

The affairs of AB will now be handled by the trustee who will be appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to oversee the collection and liquidation of AB’s assets and the payment of appropriate claims made by creditors.

Potomac Highlands Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol (WV0011P) is asking for the community’s help to join them in remembering and honoring deceased veterans on Saturday, Dec. 16, for National Wreaths Across America Day.

Their goal to place 200 veterans’ wreaths at Maple Hill Cemetery, on the hill in Petersburg.

As of last week, they have met 40.5% of their goal with 81 wreaths sponsored with 119 to go.

Please consider sponsoring a wreath. To purchase visit https://wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/22794/Overview/


WVSOM recipients of Encova scholarships. Third from the right is Allison Harman. She is the daughter of Brent and Becky Harman of Lahmansville

WV Press Association

Eleven aspiring physicians at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) found their student loans more manageable following an Aug. 25 luncheon celebrating their selection as recipients of Encova scholarships.

As of this academic year, the organization’s total contributions to WVSOM students have surpassed $1 million.

A total of $38,000 was awarded for the 2023-24 academic year, with scholarships ranging in value from $2,000 to $8,000.

The scholarships are funded by an endowment the Encova Foundation created at the school in 2016 through its Encova Foundation of West Virginia, when the organization was known as the BrickStreet Foundation.

The Encova Foundation of West Virginia is a charitable arm of the Columbus, Ohio-based Encova Insurance.

Recipients for this academic year were Class of 2024 students Abundance Hunt of Ronceverte and Tanner Moore of Sissonville; Class of 2025 students Abigail Effingham of Kenova and Maria Mace of Morgantown; Class of 2026 student Patrick Farry of St. Albans and Margaret Giggey of Saint Leonard, Md.; and Class of 2027 students Allison Harman of Lahmansville, Autumn Horder of Vero Beach, Fla., Evan Ballard of Foster, Farah Kandil of Ashburn and Amber Meadows of Ghent, W.Va.

James W. Nemitz, Ph.D., WVSOM’s president, said during the luncheon that the Encova scholarships represent the largest corporate endowment provided through the school’s WVSOM Foundation.

“This is an investment that will keep on giving,” Nemitz said. “Encova is doing good things, and that includes recognizing that they want to pay it forward, that they want to take the dollars they generate and help medical students in their future careers. We’re thankful for the endowment, which will continue to grow and enable us to offer scholarships to future students.”

A road rage incident near Davis ended in two deaths, including the suicide of a Tunnelton man at Seneca Rocks.

According to a report by the West Virginia State Police Moorefield/Petersburg Detachment, the incident began late in the evening on Sept. 4 when, at around 10 p.m., Tucker County 911 received a call about a shooting that occurred in Davis. The report claimed that a vehicle driven by Joseph Nelson, 46, of Dry Fork had become involved in a road rage incident. During the interaction, Nelson allegedly exited his vehicle armed with a pipe. Nelson’s son also allegedly left the vehicle armed with a large adjustable wrench.

At that time, the occupant of the other vehicle involved in the incident (a green Toyota Tacoma) fired one shot from within the cab of the Tacoma, striking Nelson in the chest.

The Tacoma then fled the scene.

An officer with the WVSP was nearby when the call was made and arrived at the scene shortly after. Once there, he began to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). However, Nelson passed away from the injuries. The WVSP Crime Scene Team responded and processed the crime scene.

The following day, officers received information identifying Daniel Lee Sanders, 41, of Tunnelton as the suspect involved in the shooting.

A warrant was obtained for Sanders and he was charged with second degree murder.

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