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Long-time IT director selected to head Morgantown-based West Virginia Network

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Network has selected Dr. Carl Powell to serve as the next director.

Powell has a long history of serving as vice president and chief information officer at universities in Colorado, Michigan and Ohio. Powell most recently served as a independent technology and management consultant and chief information officer for the Columbus, Ohio Metropolitan Library.

Interim chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Sarah Tucker said adding someone with this level of experience will be an asset for customers, students and the expansion of high-speed broadband.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Powell to West Virginia and look forward to his leadership in this critical need area of our state,” Tucker said. “From saving money through shared technology services, to increasing access to online classes to helping our state improve rural broadband internet access, I’m confident Carl will be a tremendous asset for all of our schools and communities.”

Powell will be responsible for a staff of 55 information technology and higher education professionals and a statewide communications network, providing Internet access, database and information technology support to the West Virginia’s public schools, colleges and universities, libraries, courts, county government and other government organizations. Powell will instrumental in WVNET online learning and administration resources and support systems, such as Blackboard and Banner.

WVNET also operates the West Virginia Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System’s (WVROCKS) an online portal for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. WVROCKS allows college students in West Virginia to enroll in courses at their home institution, but that may be taught by shared faculty from multiple campuses. The online component gives students greater access to the courses they need to complete their degrees on time.

“I am honored to be joining the team at WVNET. They are an exceptional group of talented individuals focused on the future vitality of West Virginia,” says Powell. “I look forward to working with this dedicated team to provide the technology services and support that our universities, colleges, and K-12 schools need for today’s challenges and for tomorrow’s opportunities.”

Powell education credentials include a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in computer science from Kent State University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Cleveland State University.

Morgantown-based West Virginia Network was founded in 1975 to provide networking services between the state’s universities. It is one of the nation’s oldest research and education networks and today is a division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission that continues its original mission to provide high-quality, low-cost academic research and technology services.

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

Fairmont/Morgantown Housing Authority wins federal grant for affordable housing vouchers

WASHINGTON D.C. – The the Fairmont/Morgantown Housing Authority has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of $132,152. The announcement came Monday from U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The grant will be used to fund Mainstream Housing Choice Vouchers to assist disabled residents find affordable housing.

“My staff and I are very excited to hear of the Fairmont/Morgantown Housing Authority’s successful bid for additional Mainstream Housing Choice Vouchers to help disabled community members find affordable housing,” U.S. Senator Shelley Moore-Capito (R-W.Va.) said. “I’m glad that my office was able to work alongside the FMHA to ensure eligibility and secure these critical tools. This is a great example of how the expertise we build here in Washington benefits West Virginians at the local level.”

“Everyone, no matter their circumstances, deserves to have a roof over their head. Access to affordable housing helps individuals to get back on their feet and gives them a hand up, not a hand out so they have the opportunity to contribute to their communities. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee I am proud that West Virginia is receiving this funding, and I will continue to fight to ensure that everyone has a roof over their head and a place to sleep,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

Preston County man accused of brutally killing kitten

PRESTON COUNTY, W.Va. – West Virginia State Police allege Eric Lyons, 44, smashed and killed a kitten with a cinder block in Kingwood.

Police say a resident told police she was arguing with Lyons when he picked up the cinder block a trew it down on the kitten. The resident told police the kitten stopped moving and began to breath rapid and shallow, then stopped breathing and became unresponsive.

The owner of the pet told police the kitten was fine when he left earlier in the day.

During the investigation troopers found the dead kitten in a box and the cinder block nearby.

Lyons was taken to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail and charged with cruelty to animals. He is being held lieu of a $35,000 bond.

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

New practice facility proposed for Mountaineer Marching Band

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Alumni and WVU officials have announced plans to build a rehearsal facility for the 330 member Mountaineer Marching Band.

“The Mountaineer Marching Band has been an integral part of WVU’s character and pride, bringing their enthusiasm and love of West Virginia to every football game, basketball game and appearance around the state and country,” said Keith Jackson, dean of the College of Creative Arts. “One of the most recognizable icons of our land-grant institution, The Pride has long deserved a dedicated rehearsal space and we are excited to bring this project to life.”

Currently the band practices in a parking lot of the WVU Coliseum. The new facility will be on the Evansdale Campus replacing Hawley Field.

The proposed design includes a football-field-sized turf field, a pavilion to protect users from the elements, lighting and sound systems, and climate-controlled storage for instruments and uniforms.

“A new facility will enhance the Pride of West Virginia in a number of ways,” said Scott Tobias, director of Bands. “A turf field will allow the band members to rehearse on the same surface on which they perform in Milan Puskar Stadium, while lights and a pavilion will help us avoid the loss of rehearsal time due to weather and early sunsets late in the fall. Climate-controlled storage will greatly extend the life of our instruments and uniforms.”

When not in use by the band, the facility will be available to WVU Athletics and the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences.

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

First shot of winter weather on the way

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Accuweather meteorologist Joe Lundberg says we’ll get an early blast of winter weather Monday into Tuesday.

Lundberg was a guest on Talk of the Town Monday and said it’s possible some areas could get up to three inches of snow.

“Some places might get as much as three inches when all is said and done,” Lundberg said,”It’s not going to be a big snowfall, but the fact that it’s coming a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, mid-November, it’s just going to be a rude shock to the system after being 60 degrees.”

Lundberg says rain will start after 9 p.m. and switch to snow as the temperature drops.

“The problem will be temperatures will be at or below freezing and they’re not going anywhere,” Lundberg said,”Everything that will be wet at that point in time will begin to freeze over and with temperatures not rising much at all tomorrow that will lead to icy travel conditions.”

The Morgantown Public Works Department 10 plow trucks and approximately 3,000 tons of salt on hand to treat, and clear city streets.

Experts recommend motorists take the following precautions:
• Keep your windows clear
Before driving your vehicle, clean snow, ice or dirt from the windows, the forward
sensors, headlights, tail lights, backup camera and other sensors around the vehicle.
• Slow down
Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered

On the road, increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time
to stop for vehicles ahead of you.
• Watch the stops
When stopping, avoid sudden movements of the steering wheel. Avoid locking of brakes
as it will cause a loss of steering and control.

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

WestRidge Business and Retail Park taking shape

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WestRidge Business and Retail Park will soon be the newest economic center in north central West Virginia.

Director of Business Development & External Relations Holly Childs says Fortune 500 tech company Leidos will move into their new 33,000-square foot Agile Center of Excellence later this year and another 90-square feet of class A corporate office space will be available by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

“The Leidos project for example was just granted their certificate of occupancy for their building, so they’ll be moving in before Christmas,”Childs said,”And we have two other office buildings that will be complete in the first quarter of 2020.”

One of the nation’s largest home improvement companies, Menards will open a 175,000-square foot store on 15 acres and Childs says there’s more to come.

“Three-hundred and eighty thousand square feet of new-to-market retail that will start in the spring of 2020 and will be complete in the spring of 2021,” Childs said.

Bass Pro Shops is expected to break ground on a state-of-the-art destination retail location in the spring of 2020.

Childs says many companies have shown interest in the office space.

“Class A corporate office right on the interstate, we don’t have another product like that in this region,” Childs said,”We feel like this is well positioned between South Point and White Oaks as a class A corporate business park.”

Childs acknowledged the support and help from the Monongalia County commission and confirmed they arranged a recent meeting with officials from OpenGov.

OpenGov was considering an expansion in New York city, but is reportedly reevaluating the idea after reviewing the cost difference. The company was also encouraged by the WVU connection to a skilled workforce.

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

MAP plans move to downtown Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Area Partnership has announced plans to move from their current location at 1029 University Avenue to an office at 238 High Street. President and CEO Russ Rogerson says he and his staff will work in the same building with the Monongalia County Development Authority.

Rogerson says they will purchase the building from Monongalia County Development Authority.

“The county owns it and we’re purchasing it through the MCDA, Rogerson said,”We have a staff of five full-time and about five part-time, the chamber is right down University Avenue and we’re space confined there.”

Rogerson says his organization wants to be a part of downtown Morgantown.

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

Fairmont man charged in overdose death

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – A Fairmont man is in the North Central Regional Jail charged with delivery of a controlled substance causing death.

According to a press release from the Fairmont Police Department Robert Haislip provided methamphetamine to a 38-year-old female in his Skyline Drive home on October 19. Haislip told detectives the female became unresponsive and he gave her a dose of NARCAN that was ineffective, then made no further life saving attempts.

The female victim died later at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Haislip is being held in lieu of a $1 million bond.

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

WVU reports a strong financial 2019

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University fiscal year 2019 audit has been completed and for the eighth straight year there were no deficiencies.

Vice president of Finance/CFO Paula Congelio says the net position for the university increased by $6.4 million and the financial health of the balance sheet remains strong.

“We had an increase in cash of about $34 million,”Said Congelio,”Our assets have increased, our cash has improved and our days cash on-hand continue to improve, from a balance sheet perspective we’re continuing to be strong.”

Congelio says by keeping supply and service costs low expenses for the university have only increased by about two percent since 2016.

“Since 2016 our expenses have only grown 2.7 percent or $30 million,” Congelio said,”We felt that was  extraordinarily good since we did have investments in salaries.”

Fiscal Year 2019 revenues were $1.1 billion, down $8.7 million from 2018. the two largest sources of income were tuition, fees, gifts and grants.

Assets of the West Virginia University Research Corporation increased by $2.8 million to $137.3 million in Fiscal Year 2019. WVU secured more than $181 million in sponsored program funding and was recertified by the Carnegie Foundation as a R1 Doctoral University-Highest Research Activity making it one of the 130 strongest research institutions in the country.

Associate vice president for finance, Anjali Halabe says the strong audit performance keeps them very competitive.

“Internal controls over our policies, procedures and processes are very robust,” Halabe said,”We are constantly looking for weaknesses internally so we can work on them and the use those internal controls to ensure things are working well.”

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

Preston County man faces wanton endangerment charges

TERRA ALTA, W.Va. – Preston County deputies are accusing Travis Teets, 34, of Terra Alta, of firing a pistol out a window and running a woman off the road in July of 2019.

Police say Teets was chasing the woman and ramming her vehicle and when she ran off the road Teets got out and pointed a handgun into her window.

When the woman told Teets she was on the phone with Preston County 911 he fled the scene.

Police recovered freshly spent shell casings from the pavement nearby.

Teets has been charged with wanton endangerment with a firearm and is in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

Source: 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WVLocal News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV