The Voice of West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If there was concern for Keyser coach Scott Rohrbaugh how his team would handle a stage the Golden Tornado hadn’t been on in 26 years Friday, it was put to rest throughout a solid performance during a 7-2 victory in a Class AA semifinal against Shady Spring.
The win allows the No. 2 Golden Tornado (21-6) to face top seed Winfield for the Class AA crown on Saturday at GoMart Ballpark.
“They’ve been through the grind. I told them we went and played at PNC Park last year. It’s the same kind of field and I said guys we’re playing baseball,” Rohrbaugh said. “It’s the same game. We’re just playing at a different field. They’ve shown a lot of maturity this year, even though most of them are juniors and sophomores. They’ve been playing for a while and have experience.”
Caden Youngblood’s first-inning sacrifice fly plated Noah Broadwater for the game’s first run to give KHS the early lead, though the Tigers battled back to get even in the second when Adam Richmond stole third and scored on a throwing error.
Shady Spring (21-12) held its first and only lead in the top of the third when starting pitcher Cameron Manns helped his cause with a run-scoring single with two outs that left Keyser facing a 2-1 deficit.
But Broadwater, who did a bit of everything in the win, responded with a single to score teammate Bubba Bean, who had led off the home half of the third by working a base-on-balls.
After Broadwater stole second, he moved to third on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on Seth Healy’s sac fly.
“Whenever we can get some runners on and use our speed, that helps. When we start getting something going just a little bit, from experience this year, we build on that and the guys keep hammering at it,” Rohrbaugh said.
The Tigers got the tying run to third and go-ahead run to second when they came to bat in the fourth, but KHS starting pitcher Evan Jenkins recorded a critical strikeout facing Aiden Calvert and escaped unscathed to keep his team on top.
Shady’s Colten Tate was thrown out at the plate in the fifth on a Richmond single that led to Patrick Liller throwing a strike to the plate for the second out. The Tigers still had a chance to break through later in the inning as they loaded the bases for Parker Brown, who struck out.
Defensive miscues cost the Tigers dearly in the bottom of the fifth and Logan Rotruck worked a two-out walk, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on that same sequence on a separate error in the outfield.
“The key thing was the overthrow and bobble in centerfield,” Shady coach Jordan Meadows said. “Once they scored that fourth run, you could see our mannerisms go down a little bit.”
After he’d come on top record the final out of the sixth inning as a pitcher, Broadwater belted a run-scoring triple to spark Keyser’s three-run sixth, which also featured RBI singles from Healy and Liller.
Broadwater was 3-for-4 with three runs and he drove in a pair.
Jenkins picked up the win after throwing 5 2/3 frames with two runs allowed, only one of which was earned. He struck out seven, surrendered six hits and walked two.
“His fastball was on. He was throwing strikes and filling up the zone,” Rohrabugh said. “He’d get ahead in the count and usually go with his off speed. He kept them off balance fairly well.”
Manns took the loss after allowing four runs on four hits in five innings. He struck out six and had five base-on-balls, before Tate allowed three runs in his lone inning of work.
Manns also had two hits in defeat, though Shady was 4-for-22 otherwise.
“We didn’t score after the third inning. We have to put the bat on the ball and score runs,” Meadows said. “We had second and third one inning and bases loaded one inning. With guys on base, you have to execute and get that big hit in the state tournament to move on. We didn’t get it last year or this year, but good job by Keyser and my kids battled. Two years in a row — it’s an honor.”
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West Virginia hoped the start of the Lexington Regional would change late season struggles that cost the Mountaineers an outright Big 12 Conference championship and an opportunity at hosting.
Instead, one game into the postseason, West Virginia is on the brink of elimination after the Mountaineers struggled defensively and failed to get a hit with runners in scoring position over 11 attempts in what amounted to a 12-6 loss to Indiana at Kentucky Proud Park.
West Virginia will attempt to prolong its season at noon Saturday against Ball State, which suffered a 4-0 loss earlier Friday to host Kentucky. A loss would leave the Mountaineers with a seven-game skid to end the season.
The Mountaineers (39-19) had separate early one-run leads, scoring first and overcoming a 3-1 deficit for their second.
The contest turned in Indiana’s favor in the fifth when the Hoosiers (42-18) turned that 4-3 deficit into a two-run lead, allowing IU to play from in front the rest of the way.
After consecutive singles to start the fifth, WVU starting pitcher Blaine Traxel committed a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt, bringing the tying run in and setting up Devin Taylor’s sacrifice fly that followed to give the Hoosiers a 5-4 advantage.
Later in the inning, the Mountaineers continued to hurt their own cause when Bobby Whalen, who had reached on the error after getting a bunt down, scored on a wild pitch.
WVU put two on with one out in the home half of that inning, but Grant Hussey bounced into an inning-ending double to play to shortstop.
Logan Sauve’s run-scoring double in the sixth brought the Mountaineers to within 6-5, and after the Hoosiers regained their two-run lead on Hunter Jessee’s sacrifice fly, WVU again got back to within a run in the eighth. That came after Ellis Garcia worked a walk and advanced to third on Dayne Leonard’s double, before scoring on a Sauve groundout to short.
Tevin Tucker struck out to end that inning and Indiana put to rest any thought of a Mountaineers’ rally by producing a five spot of its own in the ninth.
Reliever David Hagaman issued consecutive base-on-balls with one out and after being replaced by Carlson Reed, who recorded the second out, Brock Tibbitts was credited with a two-run triple to right on an 0-2 pitch. Carter Mathison followed with a run-scoring single and Josh Pyne delivered the final knockout blow with a two-run home run that marked the end of Reed’s outing.
A first-inning home run from Landon Wallace gave West Virginia the early lead, though Phillip Glosser’s two-run single, combined with Whalen scoring on a wild pitch, put the Hoosiers in front, 3-1.
Wallace worked a bases loaded walk and a Caleb McNeely sacrifice fly allowed WVU to tie it at 3 in the third.
The Mountaineers nearly squandered a leadoff triple from Braden Barry in the fourth, but he scored on a double steal with two outs.
Leonard was 3-for-4 and scored twice. He was WVU’s only player with more than one hit.
Traxel fell to 7-6 after allowing six runs, only three of which were earned, over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and allowed five hits with three walks.
After IU starting pitcher Luke Sinnard left in the third with an apparent injury, the Hoosiers turned to Brayden Riserdorph, who recorded the win. He logged 3 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on four hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Ty Bothwell was stellar in recording the save, holding WVU to one run on two hits over 3 1/3 innings. Bothwell struck out five of the 13 batters he faced.
Glasser, Whalen and Mathison each had two hits.
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MATEWAN, W.Va. — State police arrested a Mingo County man Friday night in connection with the shooting death of state police Sgt. Cory Maynard.
Timothy Kennedy, 29, of Beech Creek, was taken into custody after troopers and other law enforcement searched for him for about seven hours.
The investigation began at mid-afternoon Friday when troopers, including Sgt. Maynard, arrived in the Beech Creek area to investigate a shooting call. A person had been shot and then once police arrived Maynard was shot. Maynard was transported to Logan Memorial Hospital where he died.
A manhunt began for Kennedy. He was arrested at around 10 p.m. The circumstances surrounding the arrest were not immediately available.
Procession has arrived at state ME’s office pic.twitter.com/u5vMeYdqc4
— Jeff Jenkins (@JeffJenkinsMN) June 3, 2023
Maynard’s body was escorted to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston Friday night where an autopsy will be performed this weekend.
Two state police troopers planned to spend the night with their fallen law enforcement brother. There were a number of troopers, deputies and city police on the scene to pay their respects including Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt.
Maynard was a decorated trooper. He was honored by the state police in 2015 with a Lifesaving Award. He saved a man’s life who was involved in a pursuit in the Eastern Panhandle. The man was trying to take his own life and Maynard, then a trooper first class, saved his life.
Williamson attorney, former state lawmaker, Justin Marcum told MetroNews that Maynard grew up close to Williamson in neighboring Belfry, Kentucky. He said they knew each growing up and maintained their friendship over the years. Marcum said he saw Maynard jogging Friday morning in downtown Williamson.
“He throws his hand up, runs over and says, ‘What’s up buddy? I’m going to get this day in,” You don’t even think about this stuff, it breaks your heart,” Marcum said fighting back tears.
The only significant time that Maynard spent away from the coalfields was in his first few years as a trooper in the eastern panhandle.
“Even though he got that award (in 2015) he did stuff like that all the time,” Marcum said. “He might not have saved a person’s life every day but he touched people’s lives every day.”
Maynard, who was in his upper 30s, leaves behind a wife and two children and many family members and friends, Marcum said.
“He would give you a hug or a fist bump—just a happy guy,” Marcum said.
The fatal shooting comes one year to the day that Nicholas County Deputy Tom Baker was shot and killed during a shootout in the Birch River area. That shooting was on Friday night, June 3, 2022.
There have been three police officers killed in West Virginia in the last two-and-a-half years including Maynard, Deputy Baker in June 2022 and Charleston police officer Cassie Johnson who died after being shot in early December 2020.
A statement from United States Attorney Will Thompson:
We join with all West Virginians in grief at the loss of State Police Sgt. Cory Maynard, who was shot and fatally wounded in the line of duty earlier today. Throughout this district, our state and our nation…
— U.S. Attorney SDWV (@SDWVnews) June 3, 2023
Gov. Jim Justice confirmed Maynard’s death at just before 7 p.m. Friday.
“I am absolutely heartbroken tonight to report that Sergeant Cory Maynard of the West Virginia State Police was fatally wounded in an incident this afternoon near Matewan,” Justice said.
“Cathy and I share our deepest sympathies and our heartfelt prayers to all of Trooper Maynard’s loved ones and the entire law enforcement community of West Virginia for this tragic loss tonight.
“The brave men and women of law enforcement, and all first responders who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, are an inspiration to us all. I again ask all West Virginians to join Cathy and I in embracing Trooper Maynard’s family, loved ones, and all of our courageous West Virginians in uniform during this incredibly difficult time.”
Body of WVSP Sgt. Cory Maynard now at state Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston. pic.twitter.com/JRpayvwlQo
— Jeff Jenkins (@JeffJenkinsMN) June 3, 2023
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin tweeted:
“I am heartbroken to hear of the death of @WVStatePolice Sgt. Cory Maynard in the line of duty today. I ask all West Virginians to join Gayle & I in praying for Sgt. Maynard’s family, friends, & our entire law enforcement community as we mourn the loss of this brave public servant.”
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito also responded to the death:
“I’m heartbroken to hear of the death of Sergeant Cory Maynard in the line of duty. Our brave men and women of law enforcement and all first responders are heroes and we honor their service and sacrifice.”
Second District Congresswoman Carol Miller called the death of Maynard “an horrific attack.”
“Sergeant Maynard served and sacrificed his life for the safety of our community. Sergeant Maynard served and sacrificed his life for the safety of our community. I am forever grateful to our men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line to protect West Virginia. As we mourn this tragedy, let’s be grateful for Sergeant Maynard’s dedicated service to our state,” Miller said.
U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said, “Throughout this district, our state and our nation, the men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of us all. Today’s tragedy is a grim reminder of the dangers inherent in that sacred task. Sgt. Maynard proved himself an outstanding example of selfless service and dedication to his community, and we mourn alongside our state and the law enforcement community.”
State police are expected to release more information on the investigation Saturday.
Mingo Central High School postponed its commencement Friday night because of the manhunt and out of respect for Sgt. Maynard. It’s been rescheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If Winfield had nerves regarding its first spot in the state tournament in 21 years, they hardly showed them Friday during a Class AA semifinal against Lewis County.
The Generals scored in each of the first three innings, including multiple runs in the second and third, which combined with a strong start from pitcher Karson Frye, led the top seed to a 6-2 victory over the No. 4 Minutemen at GoMart Ballpark.
“No matter regular season records, you’re going to have close games, because teams are playing for their lives and playing for a goal they have and if you lose, it’s your last game of the season,” Generals’ head coach Will Isaacs said. “Everybody gives maximum effort. We’ll take not pretty as long as we win and we’ll take a little bit of luck, too.”
The result allows Winfield (29-9) to face the winner of No. 2 Keyser/No. 3 Shady Spring in Saturday’s title game.
Frye helped set the tone by retiring the side in order to start the contest, before WHS produced the game’s first run on a Dylan Kuhl sacrifice fly that brought Xavier Hensley home.
Frye issued his first two of five base-on-balls in the second inning, but recorded one of his 10 strikeouts on Drew Cayton to ensure Lewis (15-11) left a pair of runners on and remained scoreless.
The Minutemen didn’t help their cause in the second on an error that allowed Brett Bumgarner to reach, and he came around to score when Blake Withrow followed with a triple to left. Lewis pitcher Brayden Carter had an opportunity to escape with a two-run deficit, but Hensley’s two-out single plated a pair and put the Generals on top, 4-0.
“I was really hoping that our nerves wouldn’t play a factor because nobody here had actually played in a ballpark like this, but they did last a little bit longer than I thought,” Minutemen head coach Tyler Wood said. ”We ran into a good arm over there. That kid is probably one of the best arms in the state and our bats just didn’t travel down here. It’s as simple as that.”
After Frye logged his third scoreless inning and before Winfield came to bat in the third, there was an extended delay for a medical emergency to the home plate umpire, causing a shuffling of the crew.
The Generals handled the delay better and added to their lead with a two spot in the third. Kuhl singled and reached third on an error, before scoring on a Maddox Shafer sacrifice fly that was dropped and resulted in another Minutemen miscue.
Bumgarner added a sacrifice fly of his own to make it a six-run margin after three.
Trenton Hunt connected for a leadoff single in the fourth that marked Lewis’ first hit, but the Minutemen couldn’t manage to score. Lewis loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and Hunt sent a fly ball to right that looked plenty deep enough to bring home the team’s first run, but there was no attempt to tag up from third. Zach James followed by hitting a fly ball to left for the final out.
“I tell Karson all the time he has overpowering stuff, but he has to trust his stuff in the strike zone,” Isaacs said. “He tries to miss bats and overthrow, but you have to trust your stuff in the strike zone. If he’ll trust his stuff in the strike zone, he may give up a few hits, but he’ll give us a chance to win.”
Frye induced a ground ball to second from Luke Davisson for the first out of the sixth, before having to be lifted as a result of his pitch count. Brycen Brown came on and struck out consecutive batters to keep his team’s six-run lead intact.
Still, making their first state tournament appearance in 37 years, the Minutemen refused to go down without a fight.
Carder’s one-out single in the seventh was followed by a Joseph Aman double that brought in the first run for LCHS. After Withrow came on to pitch, Grant Mealey worked a walk and Hunt reached on an error. James followed with a run-scoring single that enabled the Minutemen to bring the tying run to the plate.
“We fought back again and that’s been our entire season. We get down early and we do not drop our heads or get lazy with anything,” Wood said. “We still fight. You can’t teach that stuff. I am proud of them for that.”
Withrow maintained his poise, however, and struck out Davisson before getting the final out on a Ryder Aman liner to short.
“They put some pressure on us and we cracked a little bit, but you just have to keep playing,” Isaacs said.
Only one of the six runs Carder allowed was earned and he struck out eight, walked one and surrendered five hits.
“Our goal coming in was to be low and away in the zone,” Wood said. “He did a good job with that. We had a couple mental mistakes behind him we just couldn’t recover from.”
Lewis had four of the game’s five errors.
No player had multiple hits in a game that featured nine.
“It’s always best to play in front and I’m going to look at it like we used two relievers that we still have for tomorrow and they’re acclimated to the mound, so they have some experience out there,” Isaacs said. “We’d have liked to have gone without having to bring them in, but you can’t get to the championship without winning the semifinal game. We’re there, so we have a chance.”
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MOUNT HOPE, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin went on a mini-victory tour Friday just a few hours after the passage of the debt ceiling package that includes language aimed at the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
“I think now it’s just crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s and let’s get it built,” Manchin said Friday on MetroNews “Talkline.” “Hopefully we’ll have production by January of next year.”
President Joe Biden has said he intends to sign the bill into law.
Manchin talked about the pipeline during an afternoon stop at a Mount Hope site that serves as a storage area for pipeline supplies and equipment. Manchin signs there read “From Start to Finish…West Virginia is the MVP.”
He had a second stop in Charleston later Friday afternoon where he described the benefits of the pipeline at a roundtable discussion.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a proposed 303.5-mile interstate natural gas pipeline. The $6.6 billion pipeline project first got authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017, but its completion has been delayed by regulatory hurdles and court challenges.
The section of the debt ceiling bill dealing with the pipeline says, “The Congress hereby finds and declares that the timely completion of construction and operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline is required in the national interest.”
That section goes on to say Congress ratifies and approves all permits and other approvals required for construction and initial operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The section specifies that the approvals should occur no later than 21 days after passage of the bill. The bill goes on to say that no court would have jurisdiction to review the federal regulatory actions.
Manchin was asked Friday on “Talkline” if there was anything that could stop the pipeline now.
Ready to use stacked up pipeline
“I sure don’t believe so, I think they’ve gone through ever possible review you could go through. They’ve told me it’s the most reviewed project in the country. It’s been through all of the agencies three additional times,” he said.
Manchin appeared in Mount Hope with Robert Cooper, senior vice president of construction services with Equitrans Midstream, one of the construction partners building the pipeline. Cooper said the steel pipe at the state is ready to be installed over the last 100 or so miles of the pipeline.
‘2016-2017 is when we moved the pipe in,” Cooper said.
“Time to use it,” Manchin responded.
Environmental groups are critical of the pipeline language that will be made law. They say their due process rights are being short-circuited.
Monroe County resident Maury Johnson, a community advocate whose property is being impacted by the pipeline, said in a statement to MetroNews that the “preferential treatment” in the legislation is “anti-democratic and most likely unconstitutional.”
“The MVP has constantly failed to demonstrate that it can be constructed according to the law. This action by Congress and the White House to attempt to skirt environmental laws, force the issuance of permits and strip the courts of their authority is an abuse of power and a denial of environmental justice and will surely be met with forceful resistance from across the country,” Johnson said. “Many legislators have cemented their legacy by their vote, whether it was for or against this historically bad provision.”
Johnson also vowed “this fight is not over.”
Royalty owners group praises passage
But the MVP language has support among other West Virginia.
West Virginia Royalty Owners Association President Tom Huber told MetroNews affiliate WMOV Radio in Ravenswood the new permitting language creates certainty for natural gas companies.
“Permitting reform streamlines the process to permit these types of projects going forward, reducing a lot of red tape and making them more attractive for companies to undertake,” Huber said. “These are multi-billion dollar projects and a lot goes into planning them and if you have more certainty in the permitting process you’re more likely to undertake these big projects.”
Manchin credits Capito, Miller
Manchin tried to get permitting language for projects like MVP in exchange for his support last year of the Inflation Reduction Act. The language didn’t make it through because of the Senate’s reconciliation process, Manchin said.
“But I know the process here and I never gave up,” Manchin said Friday.” “I stayed on the point, I kept my head down and we kept working through this.”
Manchin said fellow U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Congresswoman Carol Miller also played a role in getting the MVP language in the debt ceiling package.
“You’ve got to do it with a team effort. Without Shelley’s help, without Carol Miller’s help, you know, we need everybody. Why can’t we work together. Why does it have to be us against them or them against me?”
Capito said Congress has done the responsible thing. She said she personally fought to include the MVP language.
“This package also includes a provision to expedite the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, something I personally fought to include, as well as language to help streamline projects and make it easier to build in America— another area I have advocated for and worked on for years,” Capito said.
Miller said the Mountain Valley Pipeline has been a long time coming.
“Finally, Republicans and Democrats are coming together to finish the Mountain Valley Pipeline which will create more jobs, lower energy costs, and protect our environment. This bill is a bipartisan win for every American.”
West Virginia Second District Congressman Alex Mooney voted against the debt ceiling bill. He said he continues to support the pipeline but could not in good conscience vote for a bill that will increase the nation’s debt by $4 trillion.
WJLS Radio reporter Keith Thompson and MetroNews affiliate WMOV Radio contributed to this story.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Because of his name alone, Hedgesville junior Lane DeLauter carries with him an expectation to perform at a high level.
DeLauter’s older brother, Chase DeLauter, enjoyed a standout career for the Eagles before going on to star at James Madison, which helped lead to him being the No. 16 pick in the 2022 Major League Baseball draft.
There’s plenty of talent throughout the family and the younger DeLauter showed as much Friday for the No. 3 Eagles in a Class AAA semifinal against No. 2 University. The right-handed junior pitched 6 2/3 innings and held a potent Hawks lineup to three hits and more importantly one run, while the Eagles produced all of their offense in the first inning of a 3-1 victory at GoMart Ballpark.
“His last four or five games, he’s been tremendous on the mound,” Eagles’ head coach Eric Grove said. “I feel so good for him because of the family name and because of the situation. He goes to every ballpark in America and it’s all about, ‘You’re not Chase.’ Well he did something today that means a lot to our community, himself and his family and I’m super proud of him. He needed a moment like this and he went and got it. That’s awesome.”
The result sends Hedgesville (28-8) to the Class AAA title game Saturday against top seed Cabell Midland.
Batting first as the visiting squad, Hedgesville jumped out to a three-run lead during a four-hit frame of University (25-12) starting pitcher Zach Harman.
The first three Eagles to bat reached base — Braylon Conner on a leadoff single, Noah Brown on a double and Jaxson Ruest after working a base-on-balls.
Conner scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch, and a single from Landon Pederson brought Brown home to make it 2-0. Connor Quinn followed with a run-scoring single that left the Hawks trailing 3-0, though from that point forward, Harman settled in and then some.
“This was the opposite script of how we’ve played the last 25 games,” Grove said. “Those three runs, I didn’t know if it was enough, but reversing trends is kind of a thing when you get in these crunch time games. Everybody is a little tighter and I thought this could be a high-scoring game if Lane didn’t have his best stuff, but he did.”
The Hawks got one back in their half of the first when Noah Braham worked a walk with two outs, stole second and scored on Wenkai Campbell’s sharp single.
Hedgesville’s Jaxson Ruest started an inning-ending double play in the third when Braham sent a ground ball his way, but the Hawks returned the favor in the fourth. Harman got Ruest to hit a tapper back to the mound that led to a double play and marked the second straight inning HHS left a runner at third base.
The most important of DeLauter’s eight strikeouts was perhaps the second out of the fourth, when he fanned Gabe Templeton for the second out with Campbell at third base. Gabe Jansen then worked a walk, but DeLauter induced a fly ball off Jett Walters’ bat to end the fourth with the Eagles still leading by two runs.
“DeLauter is a really solid pitcher and he was able to keep us in check to limit what we try to do offensively,” UHS head coach Brad Comport said.
Eagles’ right fielder Landon Pence made a tremendous catch in the sixth to rob Campbell of extra bases and start the inning with an out.
“Those guys made some big plays, too, when we did try to get some momentum, especially late,” Comport said. “That was a big play in right field was a really big play. If that goes our way, things could be a little different, but hats off to them.”
The Eagles benefited from more stellar defense in the seventh to help seal the outcome.
After Walters connected for a leadoff single, Josh Smolkin looked on his way to following with a base hit, only for Conner to come up with a diving stop and the throw to first for the first out. Conner began the game at shortstop but moved to second base after coming up hobbling while running the bases in the first inning.
“It was mainly because he was hurt, so maybe it was better lucky than good,” Grove said. “We’re going to have to evaluate him. He’s our spark plug and would be my candidate for player of the year on this team.”
DeLauter struck out Park Croyle prior to reaching his pitch limit, which allowed Ruest to take over on the mound. Ruest induced a fly ball to right from Templeton to record a save.
Quinn was 3-for-3 and Pence added two hits to lead Hedgesville’s eight-hit attack.
“With the [Eastern] Panhandle sometimes, if it’s not Jefferson, it’s, ‘well the other guys must’ve gotten lucky.’ I don’t think it’s really a chip. Our kids have played with this tenacity that is newfound for them,” Grove said. “It’s what wins games. You’re not always the most talented, but you have the most heart. These kids have a ton of heart. The talent has caught up and here we are.”
Harman gave a strong six-inning effort in defeat, limiting the Eagles to the three runs. He struck out six and walked three prior to Cody Thomas recording all three outs of the seventh inning.
“That’s what we expect out of Zach,” Comport said. “I could not be more of his performance today, especially settling in after that first inning. He was throwing strikes and they hit the ball hard. To see him throw up zeroes the rest of the way, was expected of him and we’re just so proud of his effort — not only in this game, but throughout the postseason.”
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CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — The Jefferson County Commission narrowly passed an ordinance this week that would prohibit anyone under 18 from attending live performances that depict, discuss, or simulate lewd behavior.
The action has already drawn reaction from the West Virginia chapter of the ACLU.
The ordinance says that minors attending Adult Live Performances “constitutes an immediate, serious danger to the public health, safety, or welfare.”
Citing state code that authorizes county commissions to enact ordinances to eliminate hazards to the public health and safety, the text of the ordinance goes on to define Adult Live Performance as “any show, exhibition, or other presentation in front of a live audience which, (i) in whole or in part (a) is obscene as defined in WV Code §7-1-4(4), (b) depicts, discusses or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, masturbation, specific sexual activities, lewd conduct, or ( c) contains the lewd exposure of real, prosthetic, or imitation genitals, buttocks, or breasts, (ii) appeals to the prurient interest, (iii) lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value, and (iv) is patently offensive to the prevailing standards in the adult community of what is appropriate for a minor child.”
The ordinance prohibits such performance in the county in front of minors. It also prohibits the allowing of minors to be in attendance at such performance. Those in violation are subject to a misdemeanor charge with a possible $500 fine and/or up to thirty days in jail. Those penalties would increase with subsequent infractions.
The West Virginia chapter of the ACLU posted a statement Thursday noting the ordinance was passed on the first day of Pride month, which celebrates those in the LGBTQ community.
“Drag is a celebrated art form that is protected by the First Amendment,” according to the ACLU-WV
The statement promised, “If this ordinance is used in any way to quell the rights of performers, we will not hesitate to take swift action.”
The ACLU-WV statement acknowledges that the ordinance does not outlaw Drag. “But these laws are designed to create confusion and chill free speech.”
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — New Monongalia County Circuit Judge Paul Gwaltney says he is the product of his parents hard work and sacrfice.
Gwaltney took the oath of office in a Friday ceremony in Morgantown. He was appointed recently to replace Judge Susan Tucker who retired.
In his remarks, Gwaltney said we are all products of our experiences and reflected on his hardworking family in Washington state. He said his father, a 45-year employee of the United States Postal Service, worked his shift, came to take a nap, then went to the local school to coach whatever sport was in season, depending on the season. His mother traveled for more than an hour on public transportation every day to sell candy in downtown Seattle.
Gwaltney said he’s humbled by the appointment from Gov. Jim Justice.
“I’m so grateful to the governor for entrusting this position to me. For the opportunity to serve my community in this fashion, I’m so grateful.”
As a criminal defense attorney specializing in child abuse cases, Gwaltney said he traveled to jails to meet with clients to make sure he got all the facts. During this work, he met and began to work with another attorney, James Hawkins, who shared the same passion for his clients.
“I’ve spent many an hour at the regional jails, not overnight but many an hour there,” Gwaltney said. “And I think because of that and my conversations with clients and their families, I do bring a different perspective to things.”
Hawkins said before he met Gwaltney he saw his name frequently on sign-in logs at different jails across the state. Hawkins said that when he finally met Gwaltney in a courtroom and watched him work he was completely impressed and the two became friends and co-workers.
“Nobody will outwork him,” Hawkins said. “Go to court, do your prep, go to jail, start over the next day and on the weekends—that’s who he is.”
Gwaltney said he will run for office in 2024.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After starting up 11 years ago, a program is once again working with area schools to stuff backpacks with food in an effort to feed kids during the summertime.
The Backpack Buddies program is returning across six West Virginia counties, including all of Putnam and Boone Counties, and Kanawha, Clay, Cabell, and Raleigh Counties.
Program Leader, Doug Erwin said after working with the schools to try various ways to get food to children during the summer, such as holding food pick-ups and drop-offs, they realized that many kids didn’t have a means of transportation to get to those locations where the food was being dispersed, so they had to dig deeper on finding an effective way to get the food to them.
“We started looking at ‘how can we help kids in the summertime?’ and we started talking to the teachers and the counselors in the schools, that truly have the core of their being as supporting our kids,” said Erwin.
After starting with three schools in Putnam County 11 years ago, Erwin said getting a simple box directly to the hands of the kids has been the platform for the growing mission.
“What we developed is a box that we work with the post office, it’s a 12×12, we put 23 different items in the box, shelf-stable food, and we actually mail the box to the kids during the summertime,” he said.
The box includes a variety of types of food– fruits, vegetables, pasta, oatmeal and cereal bars are among some of the variety.
The boxes are shipped out every other week during the summer totaling five boxes to the participating families.
While students who receive assistance during the school year are the focus for the enrollment in the summer program, no student who asks for assistance is denied help, regardless of their suspected economic situation.
In addition, Erwin said that the boxes blend in with any other package in the mail in order to not raise any kind of judgement or stigma.
“The best thing about it is the boxes, when we mail it to them, it’s just a box, it looks like Amazon or something that you just bought off of eBay, so there’s no stigmatism to it,” said Erwin.
Erwin said the program and its community partners and volunteers hold their Community Packing Day on the first Saturday in June in Putnam County where they buy all of the food for the summer and pack them into the boxes to be shipped out. This year it will be Saturday, June 3 at 10 a.m. at the Teays Valley Church of the Nazarene.
He said while they have packed a lot of boxes over the years since the onset of the program, they expect to pack over 4,000 boxes for Putnam County alone this Saturday, the most they’ve ever had.
“The need that we have this year is great, we have over 2,000 kids participating which is the most ever that we’ve had, and we’ve been relatively successful over the years since we have had it, we’ve mailed almost 37,000 boxes of food since the program started,” said Erwin.
Erwin said they plan to pack 4,000 boxes in under 2 hours Saturday.
Backpack Buddies will hold the next packing day for Boone County at the Madison Civic Center on Saturday, June 10 at 10 a.m. where they will be packing over 2,000 boxes.
As they have so many boxes to fill, Erwin said they could use as many volunteers as they can get to help out. He encourages civic groups, sports teams, or students needing community service hours to volunteer. He said they will receive a certificate recognizing their participation for their volunteer work.
Erwin also said that while the food gets paid for through grants and donations, already having built up a strong donor base throughout the years the program has been in operation, they are always looking for more donors due to the rising cost of food.
Along with food boxes, the program also provides a personal care box in the week before the start of the school year, which includes soap, shampoo, dental supplies, brushes and nail clippers.
For more information about the Backpack Buddy program, people can contact [email protected].
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The State Personnel Board approved the transfer of about a dozen positions between agencies, an offshoot of the ongoing restructuring of the Department of Health and Human Resources.
The positions are part of the administration of the West Virginia Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Fund, which provides financial assistance to public water systems. The program provides financial support for eligible infrastructure improvements needed to comply with the requirements of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and to protect public health.
The positions will transfer from the Department of Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health.
They will go to the Department of Environmental Protection.
This is happening because of the passage of Senate Bill 561,which authorized the office’s transfer. The bill becomes effective on July 1.
“This bill simply moves administration of the drinking water treatment revolving fund from DHHR to DEP,” Senate Finance Chairman Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, said in explaining the bill on the day it passed that chamber.
The change was an aspect of a bigger division of the DHHR, which was split in a separate bill into three agencies.
With this situation, DHHR and the Department of Environmental Protection agreed in a memorandum of understanding to transfer the positions and maintain the water treatment revolving fund.
There are a total of eleven positions to be transferred. Out of the eleven positions, five are filled and six are vacant.
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