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Local News – 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV


Fairmont State University Police Academy to end basic officer training, shift to continuing education

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Fairmont State University’s Police Academy will end the basic officer academy in FY 2024-25 and transition to offering continuing education courses.

“Among our primary focus is to provide learning opportunities that benefit the state of West Virginia in addition to our students,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Dianna Phillips. “After meeting with the Academy leadership, the recommendation was clear—West Virginia’s officers need more opportunities for in-service training. Fairmont State is responding to that need.”

The academy will offer the 16-hour leadership development course designed to enhance the leadership skills of supervisory-level police officers throughout the state. The class prepares those leaders to take the next step in leading their home organizations.

“Next, the Fairmont State team will discuss in-service needs for agencies in our region and across the state,” said Phillips. “It is critical that we identify the changing needs of law enforcement in West Virginia so we can meet those needs.”

Since the Fairmont State University Police Academy launched in January of 2023, 39 cadets have graduated and 14 more will graduate on May 10. That same cadre of instructors will offer the continuing education program.


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

Mon County Baseball and Softball Classic this weekend

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. The expanded Mon County Classic, now the Mon County Baseball and Softball Classic this weekend, will feature wall-to-wall action at Dale Miller Field in Mylan Park and at the Kendrick Family Ballpark. Morgantown High School head baseball coach Pat Sherill are hosting the event Friday and Saturday.

“We have four top-10 teams that will be in town playing, and all the other teams that will be here are top-quality opponents,” Sherill said.

The baseball competition includes teams from Morgantown, University, Wheeling Park, Musselman, Jefferson, Williamstown, Bridgeport, and St. Maria Goretti Catholic, Maryland.

For softball, teams from Morgantown, University, Oak Glen, Jefferson, Cabell Midland, Greenbrier East, and Buckhannon-Upshur will play 11 games at Mylan Park on Lynch Field, ISS Field, and First Energy Field.

“We’re going to do a day pass so you can come and go as you like—that’s $10 cash,” Sherill said. “We’re also accepting donations to the baseball and softball booster programs if you want to do that.”

Baseball games at Dale Miller Field Friday feature a 4:15 p.m. first pitch between Morgantown and Spring Mills.

On Saturday, St. Maria Goretti will face Bridgeport at 9 a.m.

Softball commences at 3 p.m. on Friday and at noon on Saturday, with games on all three fields.

At Kendrick Family Ballpark, St. Maria Goretti will play Wheeling Park Friday at 4:30 p.m., and the University will play Musselman at 7 p.m.

For fans looking to make a weekend of it, there is a weekend pass option.

“Also, a $20 weekend pass,” Sherill said. “You go from field-to-field with no reentry fees. You can come out and check out a 9 a.m. game and come back for an evening game; we’ve got you covered.”

Visit Mountaineer Country CVB also helped with the event.

“It’s a no-brainer,” Sherill said. “We have a great facility, and we have a great community, so let’s try to get people into our community and showcase what we have.”

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

DMV services back up and running
Source: Local News – 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

Simms seeking role as circuit court judge

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Chairman of the Monongalia County Public Defender’s Corporation wants to earn a spot as a Circuit Court Judge.

Veteran Morgantown attorney Michael Simms continues to speak with voters and local lawmakers discussing his goals if elected in the three-candidate race in Division 1 in Monongalia County.

Simms brings close to two decades of legal experience to the race, where he has expressed to voters that he not only has the qualifications for the bench but he also has the temperament.

“People need certainty and they need finality, they come to circuit court because they couldn’t work it out out of court, it’s probably the worst day in their lives,” said Simms. “So if they have a (me as a) judge, who they’ll know is going to apply the law fairly, everyone needs to be heard,” he said.

A priority for Simms is finding ways to positively impact the drug epidemic within North Central West Virginia. To do that, he has called for the establishment of a drug court, similar to a family court or juvenile court in other judicial districts. As the first chairperson of the Monongalia County Public Defender’s Corporation who has seen his fair share of defenses related to drug offenses, Simms feels this would be a good step in the right direction.

“It’s a multi-factorial problem, they’re in an intersection of a lot of different professions there, social work and otherwise, but one of the things that I want to do is a family treatment court,” said Simms on WAJR’s Talk of the Town. “We have two treatment courts already, we have those for the other two seats, and for this Division One seat, I want to start a family treatment court,” he said.

In his 17 years of experience as an attorney, Simms has also served veterans as a pro-bono legal representative for Aspire Services and has worked with clients on a pro-bono basis outside of his work as a public defender. In that time, he has also served clients who have both been first-time offenders and repeat criminals who could very well see Simms on multiple occasions. If he’s elected, Simms aims to use his experience to be able to determine which sentence is best for an individual.

“I’m focused on keeping our community safe, I’m also focused on accountability though,” said Simms. “If you’re suffering from substance abuse disorder, if you’re proactive and you’re accountable, that type of person may be a much better candidate (for parole) than someone who is just here to harm our community essentially, you have to be able to differentiate,” he said.

If he’s elected, Simms also told voters that he will also try to explore options for legal mentorship programs, so residents can have the best legal representation possible, regardless of their circumstances. With the 2024 primary election coming up in May, Simms wants voters to hit the polls and think of his experience and temperament when at the ballot box.

“I’ll be a judge for everybody in this county, my promise is to hear everybody, to be fair and even with everybody,” said Simms. “I don’t care what your party affiliation is, I don’t care what your socio-economic status is, you’re going to get a fair hearing, and I’ll apply the law equally to everybody,” he said.

Current Division 1 Judge Paul Gwaltney and attorney Natalie Sal are also running for the seat.

Early voting for the primary election begins on May 1 and runs through May 11. Election Day is May 14.

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

Granville Police: Sleepy driver crashes into Mon County Ballpark main gate

GRANVILLE, W.Va. The Granville Police Department investigated a report of a car crashing into the main gate at the Kenfrick Family Ballpark at the Monongalia County Baseball Complex.

Granville Police Department Lieutenant Brian Hill said units responded to the incident around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday and found the car off the road and into the gate.

“The vehicle had crashed into the gate right across from the Courtyard by Marriott, and it basically destroyed the gate and messed the car up pretty good too,” Hill said.

Lt. Hill said the unidentified driver apparently fell asleep, causing the crash. Hill said the driver did not show any signs of impairment.

“He reported that he fell asleep at the wheel and gave no indications other than that,” Hill said.

Lt. Hill said no injuries were reported and no citations were issued.


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

Local high school team contributes to the latest mission to the Moon

HOUSTON, TX.  A Trinity High School group has been selected as a NASA App Development Challenge (ADC) Top Team and spent the last week with NASA engineers in Houston.

Team Spaghetti is made up of Carmelo Kniska and Ben Lohmann, juniors Lucas Kniska and Ethan Tomlinson, and sophomore Marcos Kniska were in Houston from April 15 through 18, showing off the app they created and meeting with industry leaders, NASA engineers, and astronauts.

“They interviewed us, and the interview must have gone well because then we were selected as one of the five teams across the country to go to the Johnson Space Center in Houston,” Carmelo Kniska said.

They developed an app that is basically a video game that allows astronauts to train for the Artemis mission to return to the Moon. The team took more than a month to accumulate the data, plot the points, and make the app user-friendly.

“Based on the data that we got from satellites, which is a bunch of numbers and different data points,” Kniska said. “We actually turned it into a model of the moon so we can see what different parts of the South Pole of the Moon look like.”

According to information from NASA, the first crewed landing near the lunar South Pole is planned for September 2026. The app developed by Team Spaghetti helps visualize one of 13 Artemis landing regions and displays navigation and communication data that could be used in future planning and training for the Artemis program.

“For the upcoming Artemis mission, they’re going to the South Pole of the Moon, and we need to be able to model that,” Kniska said.

Kniska said the professionals at NASA were very welcoming and provided

“They saw it as a privilege to see our app. They were very excited and motivating,” Kniska said.

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

DMV services are down because of hardware problem with agency’s mainframe computer
Source: Local News – 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

Bid document snafu delays Dinsmore Tire demolition

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. During a special meeting of the Morgantown Utility Board on Wednesday, all bids for the demolition of the Dinsmore Tire facility were rejected, and the project will be rebid.

The project had been awarded to Parrotta Paving for $291,000 on April 11.

The project, a demolition on a contaminated site, is not typical work for the Morgantown Utility Board in terms of design or construction, so the services of Lewisburg-based Greenbrier Environmental Group were enlisted as a consultant. General Counsel Jeff Ray said the consultant used an itemized bid sheet that included an item for mobilization and demobilization when MUB legal documents do not offer a pay item for demobilization.

“It was different from the standard MUB bid sheet; it had both mobilization and demobilization listed, and we don’t do that,” Ray said. “So, we thought, out of fairness to all the bidders, we would reject them all and start over.”

According to General Manager Mike McNulty, the deficiency was discovered when the total contract amount for mobilization exceeded the maximum percentage of the total contract value allowed. Upon closer examination, staff found the improper documents that were inconsistent with MUB general specifications and bid requirements.

“That’s where the confusion came in,” McNulty said. “We understand it; we did not see it on the front end, and we do apologize for that. It was a mistake, and our consultant didn’t inform us.”

Ray said MUB typically does include mobilization in projects but never includes an invoice for the contractor to be paid for moving off the project site when it is complete.

“We do not put demobilization in any of our documents,” Ray said. “It’s not something MUB ever pays for.”

Assistant General Manager and Chief Engineer Rich Brooks said that due to the nature of the project, they went to an expert in the field to prepare the bid documents. In the future, Brooks said staff will take a more hands-on approach to prevent this from happening in the future.

“We thought it was prudent to allow our licensed remediation specialist to lead the bid document phase, and that’s not something we’ll do in the future,” Brooks said.

Morgantown Utility Board Chair Barbara Parsons said this is an unfortunate situation that will be avoided in the future to maintain their working relationships with area contractors, vendors, and suppliers.

“Our relationships with vendors are critical to the work we do, and we want to maintain healthy and trusting relationships,” Parsons said. “So to me, transparency, the correction of mistakes if they’re made, acknowledging them, and moving forward are very important to our integrity.”

General Manager Mike McNulty said Parrotta Paving Company, Inc., has always done good work for the utility, and this is no reflection on their ability to complete this project or any future MUB project they would be qualified to bid on.

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

State Supreme Court visits WVU College of Law
Source: Local News – 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

MSHA celebrates final silica dust rule
Source: Local News – 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV