G-otcha™: Regional Jails - Doddrdige County - 09.09.14

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Charles Melvin Merten
Height: 5   6"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birth Date: 02.08.1984
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 09.09.2014
Facility: North Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Doddridge County - Bail: $0.00 SENTENCED MISDEMEANOR

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Rollin Oliver Berry
Height: 5   7"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birth Date: 06.06.1985
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 09.08.2014
Facility: North Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Doddridge County - Bail: $5,000.00 DOMESTIC BATTERY 2ND

West Virginia’s Latest News - 08.08.14

The Gilmer Free Press


A federal judge has accepted the guilty plea of David Runyon, the Delbarton man who prosecutors say had spearheaded a kickback scheme at the Arch Coal mine in West Virginia. Runyon entered his plea Thursday in federal court in Charleston and faces up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines for extortion and tax evasion.


Two Gilmer County women are dead after a car wreck on WV Highway 5 E in Gilmer County, between Glenville and Sand Fork on Wednesday, August 06, 2014 about 5:00 PM.

West Virginia State Police identified the two victims as Brenda Stump, age 49, of Glenville, and Misty Tomblin, age 34, of Glenville.

State Police Troopers said a witness saw Stump’s SUV cross the center line on WV Highway 5 and slam into Tomblin’s SUV.

Investigators said Stump was not wearing a seatbelt.

According to reports, Tomblin was wearing a seatbelt.

They were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

There were no passengers in either of their vehicles.

Although a toxicology report was requested for both drivers, at this time alcohol or drugs do not appear to have played a part in the fatal crash, WV State Police said.


A state official says an overloaded power outlet caused a fire that destroyed the Ballard’s Farm Sausage plant in Wayne County.

The fire occurred Monday morning at the family-owned plant.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Ryan McFarland says the power outlet was in a second-floor office adjacent to a storage area where corrugated cardboard boxes and foam trays were kept.

McFarland says the fire spread from the building to three connected buildings through a false ceiling.

The fire has been ruled as accidental.

No one was injured.

The Ballard family has operated the plant for the past 68 years.

The company produces bacon, pepperoni, lunch meats and other food products.


A Kanawha County delegate, Suzette Raines, says she is dropping her re-election bid.

The Republican official says she’s pulling out of the November ballot for personal reasons though she says she’s been facing a difficult political challenge by Democrats.

Wood County Victims in New York Plane Crash

The Gilmer Free Press

A Wood County man died Saturday morning in a plane crash in New York that also claimed the lives of his daughter and a friend.

Investigators said Fred Kafka, age 63, of Vienna, WV, was piloting the singe-engine craft that crashed near the Lake Placid Airport after apparently losing power.

Kafka was pronounced dead at the scene along with his daughter, Kathleen Kafka, age 24, and Reed Phillips, age 25, of Potsdam, NY.

They were both students at Clarkson University in Potsdam.

New York State Police Troopers say 63-year-old Fred Kafka, from West Virginia, was piloting his plane, which was a 1967 Mooney single engine four seater.  They say his passengers were his daughter, 24-year-old Kathleen Kafka, and 25-year-old Reed Phillips.  Kathleen and Reed were students at Clarkson University in Potsdam.

Sunday, federal and state investigators finished going over the site of a plane crash just outside Lake Placid.

“We just completed the on-scene phase right now,  And that is we’re documenting the perishable information, i.e. that information that once that aircraft leaves, or the weather changes, that information changes.  So that’s what we’ve been doing,“ said National Transportation Safety Board Senior Air Safety Investigator Paul Cox.

The plane was removed from the crash site around 1:30 Sunday afternoon, taken to a state police facility where investigators will go through individual components of the plane. 

“We’re going to be looking at the engine and the propeller,“ said Cox.  “We’re looking at the condition of everything, we’re also looking at examples of where an aircraft may have hit, how it might have hit, what happens after it hits, so we’re looking at a number of different things.  We’re primarily now collecting factual information, not doing analysis.“

Just before the crash, the airport manager says two planes were approaching the same runway from opposite directions, since the winds were calm.  He says they saw each other in plenty of time and veered off to the right as they were supposed to.  One plane came around for another approach and landed safely.  The other, which was the Mooney, still had the landing gear down and may have had the flaps down.  The airport manager said if that was the case, it would have likely been hard to regain a safe airspeed.

New York State Police say the plane banked very hard and climbed very steeply, leveled off at 200 feet, then spiraled down and crashed about a quarter-mile from end of the runway.
Investigators say they still have a lot of evidence to collect and interviews to conduct before they even begin to analyze the findings and figure out what happened.  While it will take a while to get the analysis, the NTSB says in about 10 days they’ll release the basic facts they’ve collected so far.

“Four to six months after that we will put out a factual report which takes that first information and adds to it, and up to a year later will come out a probable cause and an analysis,“ said Cox. 

The Lake Placid Airport manager says, while plane crashes get lots of media attention, other forms of transportation prove to be deadly at times.  He says flying in a properly maintained plane with a good pilot is still a safe mode of transportation.

Police Find Infant Buried in Shallow Grave in Forest

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia State Police are investigating the death of an infant whose body was found in buried in the George Washington National Forest in Hardy County.

State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous says troopers went to the site near Wardensville after the infant’s parents were arrested Saturday in Morgantown.

Morgantown police say 32-year-old Joseph A. Christy was driving a vehicle with a stolen license plate.

The vehicle fled when an officer tried to stop it.

Christy and 26-year-old Summer L. McDaniel were arrested following a chase and charged with child neglect because four children were in the vehicle.

Baylous says interviews by investigators in Morgantown revealed that the couple had buried an infant in the national forest.

No charges have been filed in connection with the infant’s death.

Roane County: Oil Drum Explodes

The Gilmer Free Press

An oil drum has exploded near Gandeeville, Roane County, WV.

A Roane County 911 dispatcher said a 24-year-old male was cutting into an empty 155-gallon oil storage drum at a little after 2:00 PM Tuesday, June 10, 2014 when the drum exploded.

The victim was flown by helicopter to Cabell Huntington Hospital.

According to the dispatcher, a 16-year-old male was also burned.

He was transported to Roane County General with non life-threatening injuries.

No other details were immediately available regarding the victims or their condition.

Ritchie County: Fatal Accident After Motorcycle and Truck Collide

The Gilmer Free Press

Central Communications has reported one person dead after a vehicle collision in Ritchie County on Saturday morning.

It occurred around 11:30 AM on U.S. Hwy 50 near the Ace Home Center after a motorcycle and a pickup truck collided.

A medical examiner was called to the scene.

West Virginia State police report the investigation is ongoing.

The victim’s name has not been released at this time.

Woman Jumps off New River Gorge Bridge, Dies

The Gilmer Free Press

A Michigan woman is dead after officials say she jumped off of the bridge at New River Gorge National River.

The Fayette County Sherriff’s office received a call around 5:30 AM Saturday about a car that had been parked on the bridge.

When deputies arrived on the scene, one of them said he saw the 36-year-old woman jump from the bridge.

Rangers were able to use a boat to retrieve her body from the river.

The woman’s name has not been released.

Lewis County: Elderly Man Dies After Collision

The Gilmer Free Press

An elderly Lewis County man died in a hospital emergency room Monday evening after a traffic accident just off the Roanoke exit off Interstate 79.

A Lewis County deputies said Richard Mccadden, age 84, of Weston, WV, was driving south on U.S. Highway 19 when Timothy Blake, age 18, of Lewis County, WV, exited the interstate and slammed into Mccadden’s vehicle.

Deputies said Mccadden appeared to have suffered minor injuries but died in the emergency room of Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Blake suffered minor injuries.

Deputies said the cause of Mccadden’s death would determine if charges are filed against Blake.

Nicholas County: Man Killed in ATV Crash

The Gilmer Free Press

A Nicholas County man died Sunday, May 25, 2014 in a crash between side-by-side ATVs according to investigators with the Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies said Charles “Chad” Taylor, age 28, of Dixie, WV was operating one ATV and Bradley Taylor was driving the other coming down a hill on Panther Mountain Road.

Bradley Taylor’s machine rear-ended Chad Taylor’s causing it to roll over and land on top of Chad Taylor.

Chad Taylor was taken to Summersville Regional Medical Center where he later died.

Two passengers in the overturned ATV were injured.

The accident took place at about 4:00 PM Sunday.

The investigation continues.

Ripley: Church Outing Ends in Tragedy

The Gilmer Free Press

A 13-year-old Charleston boy drowned Sunday afternoon during a church outing at Parchment Valley Conference Center in Jackson County.

Investigators with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department said the boy was with Emmanuel Baptist Church of Charleston when he got into a kayak, which eventually overturned.

Authorities said the boy was not wearing a life jacket.

Rescue crews searched for the body for several hours and pulled it to the shore Sunday evening.

The boy’s name was not initially released but reports said he was a student at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Charleston and counselors were expected at the school Monday.

GFP: Please Wear a Life Jacket in ALL Water Related Activity
GFP - 05.19.2014

Permalink - Link to This Article

~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Print This Article

What Could Be Human Remains Is Found in Clay County

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia State Police confirm what appears to be human remains were discovered on Monday, May 05, 2014 in the Widen area of Clay County.

Authorities unearthed what may be a partial human skull but full testing has not taken place.

State Troopers are continuing their search in the Dog Run area.

City of Glenville Police Report - April 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

City of Glenville, WV Police Report - April 2014
Crime/Ordinance Violation
Defective EquipmentJenkins Warnings Issued for Defective Equipment and No Operators CarriedW. Main Street
SpeedingJenkinsWarning N. Lewis Street
Stop Sign ViolationJenkinsCited for No Seatbelt x2 E. Main Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarnings Issued for Speeding and Expired RegistrationN. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited for Speeding and No SeatbeltW. Main Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarnings Issued for Speeding, Left of Center and No Proof of RegistrationW. Main Street
SpeedingHuffman Warnings Issued for Speeding, Defective Equipment, and Unsigned Registration W. Main Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning Walnut Street
K9 DeploymentHuffman./JenkinsUtilized K9 units and searched High SchoolGilmer County High School
Juvenile Possession of tobaccoHuffmanCitedGilmer County High School
SpeedingHuffmanCited for Speeding Warning Issued for Improper DisplayW. Main Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited W. Main Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited W. Main Street
Defective EquipmentHuffmanWarning N. Lewis Street
Assist another agencyJenkinsSearched VehicleMagistrate Court
SpeedingGarrettCited W. Main Street
SpeedingGarrettCited for Speeding and Improper DisplayW. Main Street
Suspicious Activity GarrettEverything OkRiver Street
Assist another AgencyGarrettAssisted Sheriffs Department on Possible Party negative contactSycamore Road
SpeedingHuffmanWarning N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning N. Lewis Street
Stop Sign ViolationHuffmanCited for Stop Sign Violation and No Proof of Insurance and warning for Unsigned registrationN. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited W. Main Street
Possible overdoseHuffmanEverything ok no overdose and subject refused medical treatmentAcademy Drive
SpeedingHuffmanCited W. Main Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited for Speeding and no Proof of InsuranceCollege Street
Defective EquipmentGarrettWarning W. Main Street
Seatbelt ViolationGarrettCited for Seat belt violation and Failure to Produce OperatorsS. Lewis Street
Assist another AgencyGarrett Assisted another agency on DUI arrestVanhorn Drive
Trash ComplaintHuffmanSpoke to individuals River Street
Defective EquipmentGarrettWarnings issued for Defective Equipment and Failure to Produce OperatorsN. Lewis Street
SpeedingGarrettWarning N. Lewis Street
Vehicle UnlockHuffmanVehicle Unlocked N. Lewis Street
Welfare CheckGarrettSubject transported to Hospital by EMSS. Lewis Street
WarrantsJenkins/ Garrett2 Subjects Arrested33 East
Assist another agency with Active DomesticJenkins1 Subject arrested Roberts Ridge Road
SpeedingHuffmanWarning W. Main Street
Expired RegistrationHuffmanWarnings Issued for Expired Registration and No Proof of RegistrationW. Main Street.
Vehicle UnlockHuffmanVehicle UnlockedFoodland Plaza
SpeedingJenkinsWarning Issued for Speeding and Unsigned RegistrationW. Main Street
SpeedingJenkinsWarning Issued for Unsigned Registration and SpeedingW. Main Street
SpeedingGarrettCited for Driving while SuspendedN. Lewis Street
Expired RegistrationHuffmanWarnings Issued for Expired Registration and No Proof of RegistrationN. Lewis Street
Burning TrashHuffmanCited for Burning Refuse and Creating a DumpRiver Street
Vehicle UnlockHuffmanVehicle UnlockedWaco Center
Talking on Cell Phone While drivingHuffmanCited for Talking on Cell Phone while driving warning issued for unsigned Registration E. Main Street
Stop Sign ViolationHuffmanWarnings Issued for Stop Sign Violation and No Proof of registrationHigh Stree
Stop Sign ViolationHuffmanWarning High Street
Stop Sign ViolationHuffmanWarning High Street
No SeatbeltHuffmanCited for No Seatbelt and No Proof of InsuranceHigh Street
Stop Sign ViolationHuffmanCited for Talking on Cell Phone while Driving and No Seatbelt, Warnings Issued for Stop Sign Violation, Failure to Carry Operators, and Failure to Signal High Street
SpeedingGarrettWarning Issued N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited W. Main Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited W. Main Street
Disabled MotoristHuffmanFire Department got individual out prior to my arrival Mineral Road
LarcenyHuffmanVictim didn’t want to file complaint just wanted law enforcement to be aware of what happenedPowell St
Defective EquipmentGarrettWarning N. Lewis Street
SpeedingJenkinsWarnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned RegistrationMineral Road
SpeedingJenkinsWarningMineral Road.
Loud MusicJenkinsSpoke to Subject and he quieted downConrad Motel
Welfare CheckJenkinsNo One homeHoward Street
Disabled MotoristJenkinsCalled for a Tow Truck and had vehicle TowedN. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning Issued for Speeding and Cited for No Proof of InsuranceN. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning College Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning W. Main Street
Vehicle UnlockHuffmanVehicle UnlockedMcDonalds
Illegal Parking ComplaintHuffmanWarning IssuedHoward Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned RegistrationW. Main Street
Suicide attemptHuffman/JenkinsSubject transported to Hospital by EMSSumac Court
Assist another agency with a Motor Vehicle AccidentHuffman/JenkinsAssisted Sheriff’s DepartmentN. Lewis Street
Expired RegistrationHuffmanWarning Issued for Improper DisplayN. Lewis Street
Structure FireHuffmanHouse wasn’t on fire just appeared to be due to the Placement of the wood stove chimney River Streetreet
Vehicle UnlockHuffmanVehicle UnlockedMcDonalds
Assist EMS JenkinsAssisted EMS subject transported to Hospital by EMS for possible overdoseS. Lewis Street
Vehicle UnlockJenkinsVehicle UnlockedSunoco
Misuse of 911JenkinsSpoke to individual and advised him that if Misuse of 911 system continued he would be ChargedRiver Street
SpeedingGarrettCitedN. Lewis Street.
SpeedingHuffmanWarnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned RegistrationWalnut Street
Talking on Cell Phone while drivingHuffmanCited College Street
SpeedingJenkinsWarning W. Main Street
SpeedingJenkinsCited for no Operators and No Proof of Insurance W. Main Street
Active DomesticJenkins/ Garrett1 Female arrested for Domestic BatteryBrooklyn
SpeedingHuffmanWarnings Issued for Speeding and No Proof of Registration and Cited for No Seatbelt and No Proof of Insurance N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarnings Issued for Speeding and No Proof of InsuranceN. Lewis Street.
SpeedingHuffmanWarnings Speeding and No Proof of Insurance W. Main Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning Issued for Speeding and Cited for No Proof of InsuranceW. Main Street
No SeatbeltHuffmanCited for No Seatbelt and Warnings Issued for Defective Equipment, Failure to Carry Operators and Expired Registration W. Main Street
Alarm InvestigationHuffmanEverything ok Rite Aid
Loose Dog ComplaintHuffman/JenkinsDogs located and brought back to city office till 407 could pick them upKanawha Street
Car AccidentHuffmanIndividuals Exchanged informationFoodland Plaza
Assist another AgencyJenkinsAssisted WVSPUS HWY 33E
Defective EquipmentGarrettWarning Fair Ground Road
Assist another AgencyJenkinsAssisted Campus PDGSC
Possible Disabled MotoristHuffmanVehicle Wasn’t Disabled Warning for Obstructing TrafficN. Lewis Street
Expired RegistrationHuffmanWarning N. Lewis Street
Expired RegistrationHuffmanWarnings Issued for Improper Display and Expired MVICollege Street
911 Hang Up CallHuffmanEverything ok just having phone trouble E. Main Street
Defective EquipmentJenkinsWarning W. Main Street
Serve WarrantsJenkinsArrested 2 male SubjectsGSC
911 Hang Up CallJenkinsEverything Ok E. Main Street
Expired RegistrationHuffmanCited for Expired Registration and No Proof of Insurance Warnings Issued for Failure to Change Address and Unsigned Registration W. Main Street
K9 DemonstrationHuffmanDemonstration and talking about keeping kids off of illegal drugs to Elementary Kids in Conjunction with the Health DepartmentGlenville Elementary
SpeedingGarrettCited N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited for Speeding and No Proof of Insurance Warning Issued for Unsigned RegistrationN. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited N. Lewis Street
Expired RegistrationHuffmanWarning for Improper Display N. Lewis Street
Vehicle UnlockHuffmanVehicle UnlockedFoodland
Alarm investigationJenkinsEverything ok N. Lewis Street
Expired RegistrationJenkinsWarning Issued for Expired Registration and Cited for Expired MVIMineral Road
SpeedingGarrettCited N. Lewis Street
Cell Phone while DrivingGarrettCited N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning College Street
Expired RegistrationHuffmanCited for Expired Registration Warnings Issued for Defective Equipment and Unsigned registrationW. Main Street
Defective EquipmentHuffmanWarning N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanCited for Speeding and No Proof of Insurance W. Main Street
Traffic StopJenkinsWarning for Unsigned RegistrationMineral Road
No SeatbeltHuffmanCited for No seatbelt and Warnings issued for Defective Equipment and No Proof of registrationN. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarnings issued for Speeding and Unsigned registrationW. Main Street
Serve WarrantsHuffman Suspect ArrestedGoodwin Hall
Serve WarrantsHuffmanSuspect ArrestedMagistrate Court
SpeedingJenkinsWarning N. Lewis Street
SpeedingJenkinsWarning N. Lewis Street
SpeedingJenkinsWarnings Issued for Speeding, Unsigned Registration, and No Proof of InsuranceN. Lewis Street
Noise ComplaintJenkins/GarrettWarned about Noise and told to go in the house and stay quietWalnut Street
Assist another agency with a DUIJenkins/WVSPSubject Arrested S. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning N. Lewis Street
Talking on a Cell phone while driving HuffmanCited W. Main Street
Stop Light ViolationHuffmanCited N. Lewis Street
SpeedingHuffmanWarning W. Main Street
Animal Cruelty ComplaintHuffmanCI Started River Street
911 Static on the LineHuffmanNo one appeared to be home Factory Road

Couple Charged in Infant’s Death

The Gilmer Free Press

A Shinnston woman and her husband are charged in what authorities are calling the unintentional suffocation of her 3-month-old son.

The Exponent Telegram reports that 27-year-old Traci Brooke Moore McCoy and 32-year-old Clovis Harold McCoy are charged with child neglect resulting in death and child neglect creating a risk of serious injury or death. Harrison County Magistrate Tammy Marple set bond at $150,000 each at a hearing Friday.

The Gilmer Free Press        The Gilmer Free Press

According to authorities, the infant suffocated Tuesday while his mother was sleeping with him. The woman allegedly had taken two prescription drugs, one of which was given to her by her husband.

Harrison Sheriff’s Lt. Pat McCarty says Clovis McCoy knew his wife was impaired when he left her alone with the baby and her twin sister, who was not harmed.

New River Gorge Eagle Hit by Train, Vehicle Dies

The Gilmer Free Press

A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.

Three Rivers Avian Center executive director Wendy Perrone says the eagle, named Streaky, was euthanized Monday after she failed to regain the use of her legs and her liver shut down.

Perrone said, Streaky could not eat, drink or respond favorably to injections of fluids in recent days.

The eagle collided with the windshield of a passenger train locomotive in the gorge on March 07, 2014. She later was hit by a vehicle.

Streaky and her mate, Whitey, had nested in the gorge since 2010.

State Investigates Water Tank Rupture at Antero Well Pad in Doddridge County

The Gilmer Free Press

State regulators are investigating the rupture of two water tanks at an Antero Resources well pad in Doddridge County.

The Department of Environmental Protection tells media outlets that its inspectors believe the rupture was caused by a buildup of pressure in the tanks.

The rupture occurred Friday at Antero’s Marsden well pad. No injuries were reported.

Antero chief administration officer Alvyn Schopp says the tanks are used to hold water that is separated from gas extracted at the drilling site.

Schopp says the company plans to conduct its own investigation.

Calhoun County: 3 Dead in House Fire

The Gilmer Free Press

Three people died in a Saturday night house fire in Calhoun County, according to the state fire marshal’s office.

The blaze in Grantsville on Leading Creek Road was first spotted around 9:00 PM.

All three people living in inside—a 90-year-old woman, her 60-year-old son and 40-year-old disabled granddaughter—were unable to make it out safely.

There is no official word on what started the fire, but initial reports pointed toward a space heater.

Orma, Calhoun County: Two Injured in Fire

The Gilmer Free Press

Two people were injured in a fire in Calhoun County Monday evening, March 17, 2014.

Investigators said the blaze broke out at just before 8:00 PM at a residence on Lower Nicut Road.

Six people lived there.

Four people got out safely.

Doddridge County Woman Dead In Ritchie County Accident

The Gilmer Free Press

A Doddridge County woman has died after an accident in Ritchie County.

Amber McClain, age 37, was driving on Old Route 50, near River Road, around 6:45 PM Sunday, when she lost control of her vehicle.

Her car went across the road, down an embankment, and ended up hitting a tree.

McClain was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

She was partially ejected from the car and pronounced dead on the scene.

The Ritchie County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation.

Charges Filed in Deadly Barbour County Accident

The Gilmer Free Press

A Pennsylvania woman is facing charges connected to a deadly October accident in Barbour County.

State Police arrested Janel Sturm, age 28, of Beden, PA on two counts of driving under the influence causing death and one count of child neglect resulting in death.

Troopers said she was driving a vehicle that ran off Route 250, north of Belington, on October 28, 2013.

The vehicle rolled, killing her two passengers — Travis Felton, age 29, and Raele Felton, 7 weeks old.

At the time of the crash, State Police said Sturm was under the influence of methamphetamine and other controlled substances.

She was being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $150,000 cash bond.

Harrison County: One Killed in Plane Crash

The Gilmer Free Press


Harrison plane crash victim identified

Harrison County authorities identified the pilot killed in a weekend plane crash as 68-year-old Barry Wayne Parks, of Fairmont.

Investigators said Parks was piloting a Beechcraft BE-33 aircraft Saturday when the plane went down on a hillside near Lumberport.  Parks was the only person on board.

The National Transportation Safety Board was heading up the investigation to determine what caused the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration was also investigating.


Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the Saturday plane crash that killed one person in Harrison County.

The plane, a Beechcraft BE-33, went down shortly after 12:00 Noon on Saturday in the Lumberport area.

The pilot, who was not being publicly identified on Sunday, was killed.

Emergency officials said that pilot was the only person on board.

Those with the National Transportation Safety Board are also involved in the investigation.

G-otcha™: Doddridge County Man Behind bars for Running Over a Girl with His Minivan

Imprisonment Status:  Pre-Trial Felon
Full Name: Jason Christopher Postlewait
Height: 6’  5"
Weight: 300 lbs.
Birth Date: 12.15.1980
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 02.25.2014
Facility: North Central Regional Jail
Imprisonment Status: Pre-Trial Felon

Offender Court Order Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
DODDRIDGE COUNTY - Bail Amount: $0.00
He was driving on Cass Avenue in West Union, WV with three young girls in the back seat.

According to Police, none of the girls were wearing seat belts on and the side door to the van was open while Postlewait was driving.

One of the girls reportedly fell out of the car and her leg was run over.

However, Postlewait said that was not the case and if she needed medical treatment he would have taken care of it.

He refused treatment for all the other girls and they are apparently alright.

Missing Lewis County Girl’s 5th Birthday Is Today

The story of a missing Lewis County girl that has touched the hearts of many continues with the release of an age-progressed photo two years after the youth went missing.

Aliayah Lunsford, who went missing from her Weston home on September 24, 2011, at the age of 3, would be 5-years-old today. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has released an age-progressed image depicting what Lunsford may look like if she were to be seen today.

The Gilmer Free Press
How Aliayah Lunsford should look like now

On the two-year anniversary of Lunsford’s disappearance, police were following a new lead, but could not discuss it with The Inter-Mountain in detail. Trained searchers and investigators have been on the case since her disappearance, and continue to follow leads in the girl’s disappearance.

Lunsford has brown hair and eyes, and was 3-feet tall and weighed 35 pounds, according to her missing person’s profile. She was last seen wearing purple Dora the Explorer pajama bottoms, a pink princess sweatshirt, no shoes and was missing her top four front teeth.

Lena Lunsford, Aliayah’s mother, allegedly discovered her missing in the early hours of September 24, but waited two hours before notifying law enforcement officials while allegedly searching for the child. Lena Lunsford told authorities she checked on her daughter at 6:30 AM and returned at 9:30 AM to check on her once more, only to discover she was not there.

The Gilmer Free Press
How Aliayah Lunsford looked like when she went missing

Sgt. Mike Posey of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department led an immediate search of the area for the missing girl. Since then, the West Virginia State Police, the FBI and several community and national volunteers have searched the West Fork River for traces of Aliayah’s whereabouts.

Professional searches have sought clues in the woods near Aliayah’s residence. Child abduction experts assisted in the case for days following the missing persons


Any information about the whereabouts of Lunsford could help officials get closer to bringing her to safety and/or prosecuting anyone who may have been involved with her disappearance. Although the investigation has continued on a local level, the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center still handles much of the investigation.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of Lunsford or the arrest and conviction of anyone who is responsible for her disappearance.

Anyone who has information regarding her disappearance should contact the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center at 304.558.4831 or the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 304.269.8245.

~~  Melissa Toothman - The Inter-Mountain ~~

Juvenile Center Damaged During Riot

The Gilmer Free Press

Authorities are investigating a riot that damaged the Lorrie Yeager Jr. Juvenile Center in Parkersburg.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joseph Martin says six juveniles in custody at the facility destroyed the interior of the commons area.

The youths broke windows, destroyed heating and cooling ductwork and broke sprinkler heads away from piping.

Martin says the juveniles were confined to the commons area and there was no threat to the public.

The riot occurred Tuesday evening. Martin says the center’s staff regained control in about two hours.

The West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services says the investigation is ongoing.

WV Senator Doug Facemire Returns to Capitol after Breaking Leg

The Gilmer Free Press

WV Senator Doug Facemire Returning to Capitol after breaking his leg four days before the start of the legislative session.

On positive note the accident spared him from having to deal with the water crisis in the state’s capital.

That may be the only silver lining in the misfortune that befell Facemire, who admittedly grew stir crazy staring at the four walls of his bedroom in his Sutton home.

Missing Braxton County Woman Found in Morgantown

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia State Police in Braxton County says they have located Angela Cook, age 36, in Morgantown, WV.

Cook was last seen last Sunday in Gassaway about 10:30 AM driving a Toyota 4-Runner.

WV State Police is not releasing further information at this time.

Fayette County Students Injured in Bus Accident

The Gilmer Free Press

More than a dozen Fayette County school students were treated for injuries after their school bus wrecked on Route 61 on Wednesday afternoon.

The wreck happened around 3:00 PM near the Montgomery Bridge in Smithers.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Reports indicated the school bus hit a rock and ran off the road and into a ditch.

As of Wednesday evening, none of the students involved was said to be seriously injured.

Braxton County: WV State Police Seeks Help In Finding Woman Reported Missing

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia State Police are looking for assistance in finding a woman reported missing in Braxton County, WV.

Angela Cook, age 36, was last seen about 10:30 AM Sunday in Gassaway, WV, according to WV State Police.

Cook was driving a white Toyota 4 Runner with license plate 9A2853.

WV State Police said Cook is 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 135 pounds and has brown hair and eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact WV State Police at 304.765.2101.

Lewis County Ambulance Crashes into A House

The Gilmer Free Press

A Lewis County EMS ambulance slid off of the road and hit a house, according to Jane Lew Volunteer Fire Department.

The accident happened South of Jane Lew on U.S. Highway 19.

The ambulance was on the way to a call and did not have any patient in the ambulance.

The two EMS workers in the ambulance were injured and were taken to a hospital by another Lew County EMS ambulance.

The extent of their injuries has not been confirmed.

The house suffered extensive damage.

The owner, a woman was there at the time of the accident but was not injured.

She went to the home of some family members nearby.

The Jane Lew Volunteer Fire Department and Lewis County EMS responded to the accident.

WV State Police: 3 Die When Cell Towers Collapse

The Gilmer Free Press


A 300-foot cellphone tower collapsed Saturday and minutes later a smaller tower fell, killing two contractors and a firefighter, authorities said.

The contractors were tethered to the larger tower when it collapsed in Clarksburg, State Police Cpl. Mark Waggamon said. A firefighter with the Nutter Fort Fire Department was killed when he was walking from his vehicle to the scene.

Two other contractors working on the larger tower were hurt and taken to a hospital. Waggamon described their injuries as serious but not life-threatening.

Waggamon said three of the workers were more than 60 feet up on the tower. One of those workers was killed along with a co-worker who was about 20 feet up when the tower toppled.

Two other workers at the site were not injured.

Waggamon said the weight of the collapsed tower put stress on guy wires to the smaller tower. Guy wires are the cables used to support such structures.

The crew was doing maintenance to strengthen the tower’s support when the accident occurred, Waggamon said. He said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.

The towers are owned by SBA Communications, which hired workers from S&S Communications to remove the tall tower’s diagonal supports and replace them with new ones. Phone messages left with the companies were not returned Saturday evening.

Steven Thompson, a member of the Summit Park Volunteer Fire Department, said about three dozen people from eight fire departments in the area responded. He said rescue personnel had to use four-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicles because snow had made a mess of the gravel road leading to the site, which was on a ridge about 200 feet above a main road. He said the first crews still arrived 10 to 15 minutes after the call.

The victims’ names were not immediately released.


Police in West Virginia say three people have died when two cellphone towers collapsed.

WV State Police Cpl. Mark Waggamon says two contractors who were tethered to a 300-foot tower were killed when the structure collapsed shortly before noon Saturday in Clarksburg.

A member of the Nutter Fort Fire Department died after a second, smaller tower collapsed minutes later.

Two other contractors who were also tethered to the larger tower were hurt and taken to a hospital.

Waggamon described their injuries as serious but not life-threatening.

Two other workers at the site were not injured.

Waggamon says the workers were doing maintenance to strengthen the tower’s support when it collapsed.

He says the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.

Names of the victims were not immediately released.

Clay County Man Still Missing

The Gilmer Free Press

A Clay County man last seen Monday, after leaving his home is still missing.

The West Virginia State Police are asking anyone with information into the whereabouts of Joel William Finch, 55, of Pond Gap, to contact law enforcement.

“If you see him, approach him and let him know that he’s been reported as a missing person and then call your nearest detachment of the West Virginia State Police or 911 and let them know he’s been located,” said State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous.

Those close to Finch said he left his home to ask about a job in Dunbar. He had his dog with him and was wearing jeans, a gray-hooded sweatshirt and boots.

Baylous said considering the frigid weather we’ve dealt with over the past few nights, it is very important to locate Finch.

“It’s been extremely cold and it’s not weather you’d want to be out traveling in, especially on foot.”

Baylous said there’s a chance Finch stopped at a friend’s house to wait out the bad weather and just hasn’t checked in with anyone. However, State Police are following up on a tip that Finch was seen Thursday morning in McDowell County near the Kentucky state line.

Baylous stressed the more people that know about Finch and his disappearance, the better chance they’ll have of finding him.

“We’ll just have to hope that this continues to get out there and someone will recognize him and know where he is,” said Baylous.

Body of 79-Year-Old Man Found in Nicholas County, Police Believe He Froze to Death

The Gilmer Free Press

Police in Nicholas County have found the body of a 79-year-old man who had been missing for four days.

Sheriff David Hopkins released a statement that the body of Dana Carte of Craigsville was found Friday in Muddlety.

The statement says investigators believe Carte had driven down a dirt road and his vehicle became stuck and caught on fire.

Carte left the vehicle and went into a wooded area where investigators believe he died in frigid conditions.

He had been reported missing by his wife on Monday night.

The Gilmer Free Press
Dana Carte, age 79

Rockefeller Seeks Answers on Long-Term Health Effects of Chemical Spill

The Gilmer Free Press

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, has contacted the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Center for Disease Control to request a study be done on the long-term health effects of the chemical spilled into the Elk River.

Rockefeller has asked for a comprehensive look into the public health risks associated with crude 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, which interrupted water service to 300,000 West Virginia customers.

“I am making this request of two separate agencies with the goal that no stone will go unturned, and no jurisdictional confusion will leave any key question unanswered,” Rockefeller said in a statement Tuesday. “In the coming weeks and months, the assistance of both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be critical for the long-term well-being of the state of West Virginia and its citizens.”

In the aftermath of the spill, Rockefeller requested a U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigation into the root cause of the incident. A team from the CSB arrived in Charleston on Monday.

Rockefeller has been working on a spending package to boost funding for the CSB, which he said is overworked and understaffed.

One Suspect Killed, Two Others Are at Large in Toys R Us Attempted Robbery in Vienna

The Gilmer Free Press

On Tuesday, at approximately 12:57 PM, the West Virginia State Police and other law enforcement officers in Wood and surrounding counties responded to an attempted robbery at the Toys R Us store in Vienna, West Virginia.

One male suspect was shot by a Parkersburg Police Officer at the scene, according to a press release from First Sergeant Michael Baylous, public information officer with the West Virginia State Police.

The suspect died as a result of his wound. Two accomplices escaped on foot.

The two suspects were described as follows: One tall white male, early 20’s, with brown hair and a blue shirt and one white female with blonde hair worn in a bun.

Plane Crashes in Doddridge County Upshur County

The Gilmer Free Press

A small plane crashed in Upshur County near Buckhannon, WV Saturday evening, January 04, 2014.

The plane’s pilot told the Buckhannon Fire Department that he had engine trouble and had to make an emergency landing.

The plane’s parachute system was deployed and the plane crashed on Brushy Fork Road between Jenkins Ford and Buckhannon Toyota.

The fire department said the plane hit a truck when it landed but neither the truck’s driver nor the pilot were injured.

The plane was taken to the Upshur County Regional Airport for further investigation.

GFP - 01.05.2014
CommunityUpshur CountyNewsAccidents

Permalink - Link to This Article

~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Print This Article

Study: West Virginia Has Nation’s Highest ATV Death Rate

The Gilmer Free Press

A new study says West Virginia has the nation’s highest rate of fatal all-terrain vehicle accidents.

The study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at rider deaths on public roads from 2007 to 2011.

At that time, 1,701 riders died in crashes on public roads throughout the nation.

West Virginia ranked 3rd in the number of deaths with 96.

However, its death rate of 105 per 10 million people was the country’s highest.

Wyoming was a distant second with 70.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous says the popularity of outdoor activities in West Virginia may be a reason for the high rate of ATV fatalities.

Roane County: Man killed in ATV Crash

The Gilmer Free Press

Police in Roane County released information Saturday about a fatal ATV crash that took place on Hank Road Friday afternoon.

Deputies said Alfred Slack, age 76, of Kanawha County died in the crash.

He apparently lost control of his ATV while traveling up a hill to check a tree stand.

The machine went backward and pinned Slack against a tree.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two Deadly Accidents This Morning in the Area

The Gilmer Free Press

Two people were killed in separate vehicle accidents in North Central West Virginia on Friday morning.

The first wreck happened around 6:30 AM Friday on Interstate 79 in Lewis County.

Reports indicated one person died in an accident near the Weston exit, mile marker 99, that involved a tractor trailer and three other cars.

One lane of I-79 was closed in each direction through Friday morning as crews worked to clear that accident scene.

Weston Police are investigating.

In Harrison County, about an hour later, a wreck involving a single vehicle on West Pike Street in Clarksburg claimed one life.

Officials said the vehicle slammed into a barrier wall after 7:30 AM Friday.

Officers with the Clarksburg Police Department are handling that investigation.

Neither victim was being publicly identified on Friday morning.

Squirrel Suspected Cause of Brush Fire in Upshur County

The Gilmer Free Press

Buckhannon fire chief Mitch Tracy says a squirrel likely caused a brush fire that burned about an acre behind the Upshur County Office of Emergency Management.

Tracy says a burned animal was found at the foot of a power line pole.

He says authorities believe a squirrel somehow got into the power line and shorted it out, causing sparks to fall to the ground.

He says no structures were damaged by the fire.

The fire occurred Friday on private wooded property.

G-LtE™: Christian Dawn Starcher Seabolt Disappeared In 2002

The Gilmer Free Press

Four years ago a hunter discovered the skeletal remains of Christian Dawn Starcher Seabolt, an 18-year-old Spencer woman, who vanished in 2002.

Authorities went to a remote area known as Groundhog Ridge to examine the remains, discovered about 25 feet from a rural road.

The remains were sent to the Smithsonian for forensic examination, during which they determined a positive identity.

West Virginia State Police in Spencer indicated to Spencer Newspapers they have no new leads on who murdered the woman, but the newspaper is a lot like our local paper which survives on county commission money from placing legal ads, otherwise could never sell enough advertising to support the rinky dink slink link of a poor excuse for print media.

The 18 year old girl left her mother’s apartment in Spencer, WV to get a pack of cigarettes on August 31, 2002, but what was not said was that Dawn Starcher Seabolt had information on bad cops and local drug dealing. Anybody that was around in those days and knew the girl would tell you the same story.

The Gilmer Free Press
Christian “Dawn” Starcher Seabolt whose body
was found in Wirt County years after she went missing

This story is about complacency and people not wanting to get involved for the reason the matter stinks of police corruption. If you don’t believe those allegations, I would invite you to go talk to her friends who have long since had their ten year high school reunion. Privately they will tell you the young girl had information about a bad cop.

Seabolt was an acquaintance of “Tattoo Vince” Golosow, a Tariff, Roane County man, now is serving time for killing Michael Judson Reid, 52.

“Tattoo Vince” was connected to a number of individuals who resided in Roane, Wirt and Clay counties, but quite frankly had nothing to do with the murder of the girl. “Vince” will tell you himself, why kill one of the few friendly girls in the area. The word is from people in the area was that they were on friendly terms.

Therefore, any savvy investigator knows “Tattoo Vince” in this case is just a patsy, and that false story that he was responsible for the girl’s murder was disinformation released by the local cops, and by the person that was actually guilty of murdering the girl.

This was the ROANE COUNTY version of the murder of FRED HILL 7 years in advance.

“Tatto Vince” Golosow, 58, said Seabolt was a nice girl. He did admit Seabolt used to come around his house.

Sometime after Seabolt went missing, Judd Reid, a friend of hers and Golosow, was murdered.

Golosow was convicted of Reid’s murder in 2004. Golosow, who claims he is innocent of Reid’s murder, is also considered a person of interest in Seabolt’s case by law enforcement officials.

The Gilmer Free Press
Seabolt’s body was discovered off Groundhog Ridge
in this wooded area photographed in
Creston, WV after years of searching.

Moe Starcher the father of the murdered girl thinks his daughter was murdered for attempting to report police corruption. He points to rumors of drug-related law enforcement corruption in the area. His daughter’s claims did not sit well within the law enforcement community, Starcher said.

“What I was told before she came up missing and what I believe to this day:”

“There were some dirty cops in Clay and Roane County. It is well known by many.”

Starcher claims a 911 call was made the day Seabolt disappeared. Officials said the 911 call to which Starcher refers was not made by his daughter.

Officials are working with Starcher to allow him to listen to the recording. Starcher believes the recording the State Police will provide is not the call his daughter made, and that they are covering for dirty county cops the same exact way they have been documented of doing so for the corrupt law enforcement in Gilmer County.

“I was told by a State Police officer that there is a phone call and it was my daughter and now it doesn’t exist. Where does that leave me?”

The State Police are obviously corrupt too!

“I think when (Golosow) said I was on the right track, referring to police corruption, he’s right on that,” Moe Starcher the father of Christian Dawn Starcher Seabolt said.

~~  Author on File ~~

Braxton County: Police Identify Body Found in Elk River in Gassaway

The Gilmer Free Press

Officials in Braxton County have identified the woman found dead in the Elk River earlier this week as that of Barba Chapman.

Sheriff Deputies said the 82-year-old was found Monday at about 11 AM near the bridge going into Gassaway.

An autopsy is currently being conducted on her body by the State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.

Deputies at this point do not believe her death is suspicious.

Investigators said a family member found Chapman’s body.

Doddridge County Sheriff’s Deputy Involved in Rollover Accident

The Gilmer Free Press

A Doddridge County sheriff’s deputy was involved in a rollover accident Monday morning.

He was taken to United Hospital Center and now released he was checked out.

Doddridge County Sheriff Mike Headley said Deputy Garner was traveling on U.S. Highway 50 East around 6:00 AM he had the rollover accident.

It happened when the deputy swerved to avoid hitting a deer near Doddridge County Middle School.

Sheriff Headly said, “The patrol vehicle hit the median, then rolled over.”

Deputy Garner was taken to United Hospital Center by Doddridge County Ambulance Authority.

Deputy Garner went back to work on Tuesday.

West Union Fire department and Smithburg Fire department also responded to the accident.

GFP - 12.04.2013
CommunityDoddridge CountyNewsAccidents

Permalink - Link to This Article

~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Print This Article

Gassaway: Body Found By Elk River

The Gilmer Free Press


The body of a woman was discovered in the Elk River near Gassaway Monday night.

Braxton County Sheriff’s Department deputies said Tuesday they have identified the woman, but are not releasing the information.

Deputies said although the woman’s family has been notified, there are other family members out of state who have not yet learned of the tragedy.

The investigation into her death is underway.

The woman’s body has been sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to determine a cause of death.

Deputies would not say if foul play is suspected and would not say who found the body.


Crews were on the scene of a body that was found in Braxton County, Monday, December 02, 2013.

Dispatchers say the body was found Monday night by the Elk River in Gassaway, WV.

The victim has not been identified.

Water Rescue in Webster County

The Webster Springs Fire Department Swift Water Rescue Team was dispatched to swollen Sugar Creek late Tuesday night about 8.5 miles from the community of Diana, south of Holly River State Park.

They found Amy Casteel, age 36, stuck on a fallen tree after she had been carried downstream about a quarter of a mile nearly two hours earlier.

Webster County first responders used generators to get light on Sugar Creek to aid in the rescue effort.

The Gilmer Free Press

Webster County Office of Emergency Services Deputy Director Dale Hall said Casteel and her uncle, Jimmie Hines, age 42, had attempted to cross the creek on an ATV at about 9 PM.

They realized it was too deep and attempted to back out but the ATV overturned in the water. Hines made it out of the water but Casteel did not. It took him about an hour to reach a residence to call for help.

Hall said once the rescue team and other volunteers from the Webster Springs, Hacker Valley and Diana volunteer fire departments found Casteel they determined a highline rescue was the only way to reach her.

He said they took a generator, strung extension cords and set up lights so they could see her.

Once rescuers found her and held a light for her–she was able to get out of the water to a debris pile and stayed there until we could get to her.

A member of the swift water rescue team swam over to the other side of Sugar Creek, other team members then threw him the line and he secured it to the trees.

Hall said the team then used a 4:1 lift and put Casteel in a harness, hoisted her into the air and brought her across on a highline.

She was taken to Webster County Memorial Hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

What could have been just a recovery turned into a successful rescue.

There were between 20 and 30 volunteers on the scene and Hall said they will be extra thankful this Thanksgiving.

GFP - 12.01.2013
CommunityWebster CountyNewsAccidents

Permalink - Link to This Article

~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Print This Article

Police ID Pennsboro Man Killed in House Explosion

The Gilmer Free Press

A man killed in an explosion at his home in Ritchie County has been identified.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. Clint Boring says that no foul play is suspected in the death of 73-year-old Robert Lee Holmes.

The explosion occurred at Holmes’ home in Pennsboro on October 21, 2013.

An investigation is continuing.

West Virginia State police and the State Fire Marshal believe the explosion was caused by a natural gas leak.

Doddridge County: Two Injured in Well Site Fire

The Gilmer Free Press

One worker with Antero Resources was still being treated at a Pittsburgh, PA hospital Monday following a Sunday accident at a natural gas drilling site in Doddridge County.

The worker was one of the two injured in a fire that happened while the two workers were reportedly installing a sand separator at a well pad located near West Union, WV.

The accident came just a few months after two workers died following an incident at another location for Antero Resources in Doddridge County.

Fatal Fire in Ritchie County

The Gilmer Free Press

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a second fatal fire in West Virginia from this week.

The blaze took place at about 10:30 PM Monday night at a house on East Miles Ave. in the Pennsboro area.

The victim was a 73-year-old man.

Two Logan County children were killed Monday morning in a blaze near Logan. Investigators said Dontarius Gardner, 3, and Shania Sydney, 4, couldn’t make it out of the back of their duplex on Canton Lane when an electrical problem started the fire.

Minor Earthquake in Braxton County

The Gilmer Free Press

A minor earthquake has shaken the Sutton area in Braxton County, WV.

The National Geological Survey’s shows a magnitude-2.2 earthquake occurred around 5:20 AM. Sunday.

The epicenter was 6 miles west-northwest of Sutton.

No damage has been reported.

Calhoun Fire Destroys A Restaurant

The Gilmer Free Press

Firefighters said a fire that destroyed a Calhoun County restaurant Friday morning in Grantsville isn’t only devastating to the owners but also the community.

“My heart dropped,“ said Graham Knight, Grantsville volunteer firefighter. “It’s a sad thing.“

Responding to a fire at Momma T’s in Grantsville has a personal meaning for volunteer firefighter Graham Knight. Knight used to work at the convenience store and on Friday he was fighting to save it.

“The second I came around and saw the flames my heart dropped a little bit,“ he said.

The restaurant went up in flames about 6 a.m. Hours later smoke was still billowing out of the roof.

“We’re in this for a reason, but it’s never good when you see it,“ Knight said.

The owners said they had just opened the store and were standing outside when they heard a popping noise. The next thing they saw was their business on fire.

Grantsville Fire Chief Craig Gherke said firefighters attacked the blaze as soon as they arrived.

“We pulled in, hit it with the deck gun trying to put the flames out,“ Gherke said. “It just spread from the attic into the store area.“

Firefighters had to attack it from the outside at first because the roof started falling, and it was too dangerous to go in the structure. The entire building and everything inside was destroyed. The owners estimate their losses at $500,000.

“This was their livelihood and how they made a living so they’re taking it kind of hard,“ Gherke said.

The owners haven’t decided if they’re going to rebuild.

Knight said this is a huge loss to this community.

“There’s been a lot of good times for everybody in the county and surrounding counties to come to eat here and talk,“ Knight said. “It’s just kind of a homey feel. It’s sad to see it now.“

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but firefighters think it was electrical in nature.

~~  Bethany Simmons - Katelyn Sykes - WCHS ~~

Click Below for additional Articles...

Page 1 of 6 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

Mike Romano


Click on the Flags to See the Number of Unique Visitors Reading The Free Press The Gilmer Free Press

Copyright MMVIII-MMXIV The Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved