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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. Governor Jim Justice will continue his series of town hall meetings regarding his tax cut plan next week in Clarksburg and Martinsburg.
The governor and secretary of revenue will be at the Bridgeport Conference Center on Monday, Jan. 30, at noon, and on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Berkeley County Clerk’s Office at noon.
The governor took the program to Parkersburg, Beckley, and Wheeling last week.
The House of Delegates has passed his proposal for a 50 percent personal income tax over three years, but the Senate continues to debate options.
Each meeting will also be live streamed for those unable to attend.
GRANVILLE, W.Va. The Town of Granville has plans for a new park along the Monongahela River, and they want the public to help name it.
Entries are welcome by mail, in person, or online and can be submitted through Feb. 28 at 4 p.m.
The top three selections will be determined by members of city council and announced at the scheduled meeting on March 14.
Once the top three are determined, residents will be asked to vote for their favorite.
Entries can be submitted by mail to the Town of Granville, Attn: Park Naming Contest, PO Box 119, Granville, WV 26534. Or drop it off in person at 1245 Main St. in Granville.
Contestants must be 18 years old and residents of Granville. City council members and Granville employees are excluded.
ELKINS, W.Va. – Police in Elkins made two arrests and recovered a quantity of methamphetamine and “gray death” while investigating suspected criminal activity at the High Life Lounge on Beverly Pike on Jan. 27.
“Gray Death” is a mixture of fentanyl and heroin that looks like concrete. Since 2017, “gray death” has been linked to several lethal overdoses, primarily in the southern United States.
Police said they followed a vehicle driven by Brent Shifflet, 33, that appeared to try to evade them to the Walmart parking lot. During this time, police realized who the car belonged to from previous encounters and knew Shifflet, or suspected passenger Megan Floyd, 30, did not have a valid driver’s license.
When police conducted a pat-down on Shifflet, they found a syringe and cash.
In the vehicle, police found a small amount of marijuana, empty baggies, and two more syringes that fell from the center console. In the console, police found a box that contained “gray death,” 50 grams of suspected methamphetamine, bags of pills, Suboxone, spice, and foil consistent with packaging drugs.
Shifflet and Floyd have been charged with possession with intent to deliver and conspiracy. Both are being held in the North Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $25,000 cash-only bond.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Perri Jo DeChristopher has been sworn in as the next judge in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in Monongalia County by the Honorable Robert B. Stone in front of a standing room only crowd.
In West Virginia, the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit is the only one in the state with an all-female slate of judges.
Chief Judge Cindy Scott attended the WVU College of Law with DeChristopher and noted her entire career has been dedicated to being a public servant.
“Judge DeChristopher has served the residents of Monongalia County for more than two decades, and I am confident she is prepared to transition into her role as a circuit court judge without forgetting what it’s like to be a young lawyer,” Judge Scott said.
DeChristopher said as a young lawyer in the Monongalia County prosecutor’s office, she got the chance to work in the courthouse where her father was a bailiff and her mother worked in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. Through the years, she developed a network of fellow prosecutors that helped her continue to grow despite some tough times along the way.
“In my career, I’ve always had the perfect combination of support and motivation to do my best,” DeChristopher said. “As a young prosecutor, I never hesitated to fight the good fight because I knew I wasn’t alone.”
Leaving the first floor and moving to floor three of the Monongalia County Justice Center is heartbreaking for DeChristopher. The co-workers and leaders that have come through the office over the last two decades have left an indelible mark on her.
“I’ve grown up with these folks, and some of them have grown up with me.” They’ve seen me through my best and they’ve seen me through my worst and I will miss every single one of them,” DeChristopher said. “But, this day would not exist and my career would have existed if it not for Marcia Ashdown.”
Former Monongalia County prosecutor Marcia Ashdown attended the ceremony and was emotional as she watched DeChristopher take the oath of office. Ashdown spent 35 years in the office before retiring in 2017.
“I’m very proud to know she thinks well of me,” Ashdown said. “She couldn’t be a better lawyer; she’ll be a wonderful judge; and she’ll treat everybody the way they ought to be treated in the courtroom.”
In addition to judges Scott and Stone, Susan Tucker and former judges Russell Clawges and Debra Scudiere also attended the ceremony. DeChristopher said there were many lessons she learned from those judges as she developed her style as a lawyer.
“They’ve shown me not all decisions are black and white; compassion is not absent in the courtroom, and I will take a little bit of every single one of them to the bench with me each day, and I thank them for that,” DeChristopher said.
Gabrielle Mucciola was sworn in to take over DeChristopher’s position as Monongalia County prosecutor after a short reception.
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Two people have been charged after a woman was pulled from her car, beaten, and left along I-79 in Marion County.
On January 9, Tony Sprouse, 19, and Kaylee Reese, 20, both of Fairmont, dragged the woman from her car near mile marker 139 on the southbound side and beat her.
The injured victim was left on the side of the road for about 40 minutes with no coat or shoes. Additionally, Sprouse and Reese took the victim’s phone, so she could not call for help.
The victim’s cell phone and laptop were found later by a family member who tracked the location online.
The victim was treated for multiple injuries at an area hospital.
Sprouse and Reese have been charged with first-degree robbery, assault while committing a felony, and conspiracy to commit a felony. Both are being held in the North Central Regional Jail.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Through the Congressionally Directed Spending from the offices of Senators Joseph Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito the Historic Morgantown Post Office Building, Inc. (HPO), will receive $1,000,000. The total cost of renovation of the 110-year-old building is estimated at $10 million.
Last summer, some emergency repairs were made by Sutter Roofing & Metal Co., Arch Masonry & Restoration, and the HE Neuman Company to prevent further weather-related damage.
“We have saved the building from deterioration by replacing the roof and repairing the water leaks along the masonry at the top of the building,” Cardi said.
Building infrastructure is the next immediate priority for the restoration project. Cardi said the current HVAC system will not support indoor events in the winter.
“Updated heating, air conditioning, and electrical—all the mechanical aspects of an old building,” Cardi said.
In the meantime, efforts are underway to raise $200,000 for the indoor renovation plans from Somerset, Pennsylvania-based Landmarks SGA, LLC. According to Cardi, once the plans are complete, they’ll be able to provide that vision to the community.
“Those final plans will get us to the point where we can apply for historic tax credits and new market tax credits so we can go forward with fundraising and the rest of the project,” Cardi said.
The building is the current home for Your Community Foundation (YCF), the Morgantown History Museum, and the Monongalia Arts Center (MAC). But Cardi hopes the building will become a destination for the arts that will enhance downtown Morgantown.
“We just really want to see support from the arts community because we think this building will once again be an art center for other art groups in the county to use,” Cardi said.
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – An improper registration resulted in a drug arrest near the Washington Irving Middle School on Wednesday.
Officers from the Bridgeport Police Department conducted the stop in front of the school, made contact with the driver, and immediately placed him into custody because of an outstanding warrant. After learning the passenger, Anna Lafferty, 32, of Clarksburg, did not have a valid driver’s license, a police canine alerted to the presence of narcotics.
During a search, police discovered Lafferty was carrying a.25-caliber pistol with five rounds of ammunition and had scales, bags with white residue, plastic containers with a white crystal substance, and a notebook that appeared to be a drug ledger.
Lafferty has been jailed in the North Central Regional Jail for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. She is being held in lieu of a $10,000 bond.
PHILIPI, W. Va. A Barbour County woman reported missing recently has been found safe and reunited with her family. Lucinda “Cindy” Miller left a note when she left saying that she was going to Montana to live with an Amish family.
Details are few, but the teen was found through the efforts of state police in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the U.S. Marshals Service, Barbour County 911, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
No other information has been released.
Clarksburg, W.Va. – A Georgia man will spend 50 years in federal prison for distributing drugs in the region and dismembering and disposing of the body of a Fairmont woman to hide her overdose death.
During the trial for Seddrick Banks, 30, the jury heard evidence that Banks traveled from Georgia to West Virginia to distribute more than 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl from different motel and hotel rooms and other locations.
After a fentanyl overdose in a motel in Lewis County in August of 2019, Banks and an accomplice took the body of Courtney Dubois, 20, of Fairmont, to Georgia, where they dismembered her and disposed of her body at a landfill.
Terrick Robinson, William Chappell, and Joel Jimenez have also been sentenced for their roles in the drug operation and the killing of Dubois.