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

WAJR-AM

Adult enrollment now open at MTEC

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Adult enrollment for the fall 2022 semester at the Monongalia County Technical Education Center (MTEC) is now open and the entire process can be completed online.

Administrator Michael Johnston said the classes are for learners 18-years-old and breaks are planned for Labor Day, fall break and Thanksgiving. Class schedules are designed to meet the needs of people with job or family obligations that want to add a certification or learn something completely new.

“They start anywhere from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and they go until 9 p.m.,” Johnston said. “So, we have a variety of times that people can come in and learn, so it fits their schedule in the evening.”

Classes range from computer-related topics dealing with smartphones, QuickBooks and a course designed to teach the art of blogging. The classes are held at the MTEC facility on Mississippi Street, Mountainview Elementary School, Eastwood Elementary School, South Middle School and the Westover Annex.

“Phlebotomy technician, sterile processing, and we have technical classes like beginning electricity, home improvement, HVAC and welding,” Johnston said. “And the we have our special interest classes like learning a foreign language or real estate sales.”

Financial assistance is limited, but the Monongalia County Adult Workforce Retraining Scholarship through Your Community Foundation is available to those who qualify. The program is intended for people that lost a job, income or hours since the beginning of pandemic disruptions in March of 2020.

“People that use HEAPS (Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student) have to be qualified through a pell grant can be used for a couple classes,” Johnston said. “But, for the most part it’s paying out-of-pocket on your own, but the classes aren’t very expensive and that’s a help to the community.”

Johnston said classes like oil painting, digital photography, picture framing or stained glass give adults an opportunity to develop a new hobby or skill.

“I tell people all the time that if you’re will to come in here and learn to find something new to do, even if it’s arts and crafts it’s never too late to learn something that you just want to have hobby or something new to do in your spare time.”

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

Citizens launch effort to recall entire Morgantown city council

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A group of Morgantown residents are very concerned about the direction of the city and are mounting a recall petition for all seven city council members. On WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” organizer Todd Stainbrook said current policies are sinking morale across all city departments including police and fire.

“I have people reach out to me everyday within the city, within the workings of the city and I’m hearing more and more about the corruption within our city,” Stainbrook said.

The group also wants municipal elections to be aligned with the general election. Morgantown Municipal elections are currently held on the last Tuesday of April and the group believes the move would increase voter turnout. In the April 2021 municipal election 7.8 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.

The group also wants to change term limits. In the April 2021 election voters approved a change for the terms of service for city council members. By a vote of 945 to 495 voters approved a referendum that will change city council terms from 2-year concurrent terms to 4-year staggered terms. Some of the benefits of a staggered four-year term are stability, is consistent with West Virginia’s larger cities, and elections are still held every two years, sometimes electing a majority of city council.

“Petitions for changing the election date to the general election and we also have a petition for term limits that we would like to have signed as well,” Stainbrook said. ” These are things that need to be done and maybe people will get out to vote.”

Stainbrook cited strong opposition from the public regarding new personnel rules limiting sick time, overtime and paid time off for some city workers including police and fire.

He also cited his frustration with the council opposition to the Big Guns store that is proposed on University Avenue. Stainbrook believes the council members would do something “behind closed doors” to prevent the business from opening.

“Day by day the city administration is waking people up,” Stainbrook said. “By us letting people know what’s gong as well will wake people up,” Stainbrook said.

The new personnel rules come after multiple legal disputes between the city and the Monongalia-Preston Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 87 and International Association of Fifighters Local 313.

Police battled with the city regarding the proposed Special Committee on Community Policing and Citizen Review Board. A Monongalia County Circuit Court judge reduced the investigative authority of the board because it was in conflict with state civil service code. Firefighters were locked in a two year battle with the city over holiday backpay and lost. That also included an allegation by firefighters the city was retaliating against them because of the lawsuit.

“We have to do something now! We have 56 police officers right now and 20 to 25 of those are actively seeking employment elsewhere and if they get a job within a year wehat do we do?” Stainbrook asked. “And that’s not including what’s going on with the fire department- we can’t wait.

Stainbrook did not reveal a source or provide material proof, but he said evidence of the allegations will come out in time.

“To be honest with you, all seven city council members should resign because they don’t want this stuff coming out,” Stainbrook said. “So, if they resign it won’t happen, but if they don’t it’s all going to come out.”

The group will hold a drive-in petition drive at the Burger King at 340 Patteson Drive beginning at 8 a.m. According to Stainbrook, the group will be at the event for “as long as it takes.”

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

Mylan Park hosts ‘Freedom Day’ Saturday

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Mylan Park will host a “Freedom Day” event Saturday.

The patriotic celebration will include a petting zoo, high tunnel tours and food trucks.

“We can get families out and have a lot of fun,” said Heather McIntyre, Mylan Park’s assistant director of marketing and outreach.

“We want to show off Mylan Park. We want everyone to come out and take advantage of all the fun things we have. We’re going to showcase everything.”

All park facilities will be open with some admission specials and a free showing of “Captain America: Civil War.” There will also be field games, potato sack races and a soccer shootout.

“Inside, we’re going to be doing a home run derby with Pro-Performance, pickleball and a basketball shootout,” McIntyre said. “You can also slip over to the event complex for all kinds of fun and games.”

The first 750 guests will have an opportunity to win one of several Mylan Park prizes, including monthly membership packages and membership to the Mylan Park Aquatic Center.

The event will go from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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

Clarksburg man charged after allegedly threatening woman, growing marijuana

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – State police have accused a Clarksburg man of growing marijuana and threatening to set a woman on fire.

While on routine patrol, troopers were flagged down by a passenger car in Adamston.

The victim had redness around the neck and told police she had just gotten into a fight with Michael Smith, 37. The victim told police Smith threatened to shoot her while pointing a .22 caliber rifle at her and said he “would cover her in gasoline.” The victim also said Smith grabbed her by the throat and picked her up two times.

Smith then allegedly prevented the victim from calling police and threatened to kill police and admitted to growing two marijuana plants outside the residence.

Smith has been charged with cultivation of marijuana, strangulation, wanton endangerment, terroristic threats and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

Smith is being held in the North Central Regional Jail.

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

Mon County commissioners make major gift to Your Community Foundation

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Monongalia County Commission will donate $300,000 towards the Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia $1 Million Match Campaign.

The donation, will establish the Monongalia County IMPACT Fund, which will be used to help fund various scholarships and programs that would directly benefit county residents. With the donation, Mon County Commission becomes the first county commission to directly donate towards YCF’s $1 Million Match Campaign.

“The Monongalia County commission has been the first group or commissioners to say,” Yes, YCF we want to help you with your $1 Million Match campaign,” said YCF President Patty Showers-Ryan. ” Not only that, but at $300,000.”

The Monongalia County IMPACT Fund, will operate much like other IMPACT Funds operated by YCF. The unrestricted endowment fund, will use funds donated by a particular group to invest with the help of a full-time staff of investors which would then use the funds for needs directed as part of the donation.

“It will be unrestricted, so it will allow them to fund opportunities that don’t come up through their normal funding process,” said Monongalia County Commissioner Sean Sikora. ” So, it allows then to be more nimble and address real-time issues.”

With the $300,000 donation directed towards YCF’s $1 Million Match Campaign, it will allow for a separate $300,000 match to be directed towards the YCF IMPACT Fund, which directly benefits five North Central West Virginia counties. Much like the Monongalia County IMPACT Fund, YCF’s separate IMPACT Fund will invest donated funds that can then be used for residents in Preston, Marion and other counties neighboring or are nearby Monongalia County.

“This is a great benefit to our citizens,” Sikora said. “We can take dollars and double those dollars and have those dollars help our citizens and our regional citizens.”

Monongalia County Commission’s $300,000 donation, brings the total amount of donations directed towards the YCF IMPACT funds to $640,000. The $1 Million Match Campaign, started by an anonymous donor, will continue until December 31, 2022 or until the $1 million goal is met. With the commission’s donation, the hope is that their decision will encouraged other donators and fellow county commissions to follow suit.

“We wanted to step up and challenge the other county commissions and municipalities to also step up and take advantage of this great opportunity,” Sikora said.

Your Community Foundation serves Monongalia, Harrison, Marion, Preston, and Taylor Counties.

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

Dead body on Emily Drive identified as missing Clarksburg man

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has confirmed the body found in the median between Emily Drive and I-79 was John Bryce Westerhausen, 58, of Clarksburg.

Westerhausen was reported missing on June 23 and was last seen in a red 2016 Chevrolet Silverado Tuesday June 21. At the time, reports suggested he could have been driving to the Grafton area.

There were no signs of foul play. But the investigation remains active and police would like to talk to anyone that may have seen Westerhausen near the Olive Garden in Eastpointe Plaza or in the Grafton area on the evening of Tuesday, June 21. Information can be left confidentially by calling 304-677-2300.

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

Fairmont Driver Testing station to close, reopen in new location July 5

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The DMV Driver Testing Center at Marion Square in Fairmont will close July 1. Customers will be able to access the services on July 5 at the new location in MIddletown Commons.

Residents that had planned to use the Fairmont location July 1 are asked to conduct business at locations in Morgantown or Clarksburg.

When the Middletown Commons location reopens it will be a full service regional office. Agents will be able to process registrations, vehicle titles, testing and driver’s licenses and ID cards.

Governor Justice is expected to visit the new location in the coming weeks.

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

Tractor-trailer carrying Mountain Dew flips I-79 clean up underway

HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. – A tractor-trailer crash Thursday afternoon injured one person and sent cans of Mountain Dew along a portion of the I-79 median at mile marker 108.

The truck was northbound when it flipped on its side launching the cans from the trailer into the median. Police said there was a driver, his wife and a dog, but did not specify who was transported for treatment.

The interstate was reduced to one lane for the clean up and investigation drastically slowing traffic between Jane Lew and Lost Creek.

The West Virginia State Police and DOH, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Emergency Management and fire departments from Anmoore, Jane Lew, Lost Creek, Stonewood and West Milford responded.

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

WVU students establish fentanyl education task force
Source: Local News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV

Dynamite discovery closes portion of downtown Elkins

ELKINS, W.Va. – Elkins residents are being asked to avoid Davis Avenue between Second and Third Streets. Old dynamite was discovered in the Tygart Hotel, formerly the Gassaway Hotel.

The West Virginia State Police Explosives Response Team arrived on scene just before 4 p.m. Wednesday and issued the order to avoid the area.

Renovations began at the site in March of this year to return the building to a hotel. The building was transformed into apartments in the 1970’s.

The Woodlands Development Group project valued at $1,750,000 is part of $16 million investment into the building.

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