The Times West Virginian

Local News

December 29, 2013

Eventful 2013 marked by local, national events

FAIRMONT — As we anticipate the start of a new year, we can’t help but look back at the events that shaped the year 2013.

Heartache. Celebrations.

Loss. Rebirth.

Scandals. Resolutions.

Will 2013 go down in history as the year everyone will talk about for decades to come? Maybe. A lot happened in 2013 to remember.

The staff of the Times West Virginian pored through the 362 editions of our newspaper — remember, there are a few days left in the year for news — to come up with the highlights of the year.

We’ve done this in anticipation of our annual Year In Review special edition, which debuts on New Year’s Eve. As you look through the year that was 2013, see if you can pick out which stories our staff selected as the top 10 of the year.

You’ll find the answers Tuesday.

Jan. 1 — The House votes 257-167 to send legislation to the president that will avoid the “fiscal cliff.” The Senate approved the measure on a vote of 89-8 less than 24 hours earlier.

Jan. 2 — Attorneys for ex-schools superintendent Jorea Marple announce plans to sue the state board of education for illegal dismissal.

Jan. 4 — West Virginia University’s basketball team opens Big 12 play as it hosts Oklahoma in a game that symbolizes the start of a new era in a new conference.

Jan. 7 — Alabama proves unstoppable from the outset of the BCS championship game, mounting touchdown drives on their first three possessions, and goes on to beat Notre Dame, 42-14.

Jan. 8 — Fairmont City Council members vote 5-4 to elect Ron Straight as mayor and 6-3 to name Chuck Warner as deputy mayor.

Jan. 11 — After nearly three decades in the U.S. Senate, Democrat Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia says he is ready to retire and will not seek re-election in 2014.

Jan. 12 — Following a weekend of wrestling at the Winner’s Choice wrestling tournament, a trio of Marion County wrestlers comes out victorious — North Marion’s Ryan Elliott at 120 pounds, East Fairmont’s Jesse Roman at 195 and Fairmont Senior’s Vincent Delligatti at 220.

Jan. 14 — Earl Ray Tomblin is sworn in on the Capitol steps for a four-year term as West Virginia’s governor.

A vehicle accident near Consol Energy’s Loveridge mine in Fairview results in the fatality of a drill rig worker, an out-of-town contractor.

Jan. 16 — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., kicks off his “Standing Up for the Next Generation” tour and spends the week visiting schools statewide to discuss ways to make the facilities safer.

Jan. 17 — Former Upper Big Branch mine superintendent Gary May is sentenced in U.S. District Court to 21 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Jan. 21 — President Barack Obama takes his oath of office for his second four-year term.

Jan. 25 — Pierpont Community & Technical College reveals the name of its mascot — The Pride — represented by Montgomery the Lion.

Jan. 29 — Ten leaders and members of the United Mine Workers of America, including Delegate Mike Caputo, D-Marion, are arrested for failure to disperse during a protest in front of the headquarters of Peabody Energy in St. Louis, Mo., over the coal company’s bankruptcy and possible loss of retiree benefits

Feb. 3 — A power outage at the Super Bowl puts the nation’s biggest sporting event on hold for more than a half hour, interrupting an otherwise electric, back-and-forth game that ends with Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens as NFL champions thanks to a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Feb. 5 — One of the biggest issues facing West Virginia’s Legislature in the upcoming session will be the response to the recently released audit commissioned by the governor’s office to investigate and make recommendations for the state’s education system. Representatives from the American Federation of Teachers sit down with legislators from Marion and nearby counties to discuss their concerns with the audit and bring out suggestions for possible legislation down the road.

Feb. 6 — Down 16 points to begin the contest, the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears turn in one of their biggest comebacks in one of their biggest regular-season games, rallying back for a 47-46 win over No. 3 Robert C. Byrd at the Woody Williams Armory.

Feb. 7 — The Windmill Park murders — a mystery that has plagued Fairmont for almost 40 years — may have been solved with the arrest of a man in Florida in the triple execution-style slayings of three Fairmont residents. Eddie Jack Washington, 59, is arrested without incident in Tampa, Fla., by the U.S. Marshals Service, Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, Tampa Office.

Feb. 8 — Eddie Jack Washington, the Florida resident arrested for the 1974 triple Windmill Park homicides, will face three first-degree murder charges in West Virginia. The 59-year-old Alabama native waives his right to extradition in an initial appearance before a magistrate in Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

Feb. 9 — The West Virginia Legislature prepares to tackle the difficult issues that are facing the state in the coming years.

Feb. 11 — With a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI does what no pope has done in more than half a millennium, stunning the world by announcing his resignation and leaving the already troubled Catholic Church to replace the leader of its 1 billion followers by Easter.

The Marion County Board of Education completes its annual evaluation of Superintendent of Schools Gary Price, and a re-evaluation will take place at the end of the school year.

Feb. 13 — West Virginia must ensure that every child finishes third grade reading at that level, offer full-day preschool in all 55 counties within three years, and allow local control of school calendars, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says in his State of the State address. The Democrat also vows to pursue a recent study’s recommendations for easing inmate crowding, predicting $116 million in freed-up funding for public safety over the next six years.

Feb. 14 — Marion County shows how big of a heart it has on Valentine’s Day when the thousands of dollars raised throughout the duration of the Times West Virginian’s Gift of Love food drive are used to purchase numerous cases of nonperishable goods to be distributed between 11 food pantries in the area.

A West Virginia coal miner dies of severe head injuries suffered as he tried to put a loaded supply car back on track at Consol Energy’s Loveridge mine. The mine temporarily shuts down out of respect for 51-year-old Glen Clutter of Baxter.

Feb. 15 — Phillip Reese Bush, who is serving two life sentences for a double murder in Fairmont in 1982, is named in connection to the 1974 triple Windmill Park homicides in three criminal complaints filed at Marion County Magistrate Court.

Feb. 16 — Third-ranked West Liberty University clinches its fourth straight West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season basketball championship at the Joe Retton Arena in front of more than 3,500 fans and a live television audience. The powerful Hilltoppers jumped on second-place Fairmont State early and held off a second-half comeback bid by the Falcons to record a 103-99 victory.

Feb. 20 — Thanks to efforts throughout the community, the United Way of Marion County has reached and exceeded its goal of raising $455,000. Tiffany Samuels, director of the United Way, announces the organization has raised $458,000 during this year’s campaign.

West Virginia University’s negotiations with IMG College over the school’s third-tier multimedia rights are put on “procedural pause” after businessman John Raese, owner of West Virginia Radio Corp., which has held the radio rights for years and also was a part of the bidding process for the Tier 3 contract, questions certain ethical elements of the deal.

Feb. 22 — Eddie Jack Washington and Phillip Reese Bush are indicted  by a special Marion County grand jury on the 1974 triple Windmill Park homicides. Each is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit a felony.

Feb. 23 — Marion County has four wrestling state champions. North Marion’s Ryan Elliott, Fairmont Senior’s Anthony Alvaro, and East Fairmont’s Garrett Onderko and Jesse Roman are able to say that they are now the best in West Virginia.

Feb. 27 — Pope Benedict XVI bids an emotional farewell on the eve of his retirement, recalling moments of “joy and light” during his papacy, but also times of difficulty when “it seemed like the Lord was sleeping.”

After a two-year hiatus, the North Marion girls’ basketball program qualifies for the journey back to Charleston. The Huskies punched their ticket to the Class AA state tournament, holding off Braxton County for a 59-55 home victory in the Region I co-final.

Feb. 28 — Arraignments are set for Eddie Jack Washington and Phillip Reese Bush, who have been indicted for the 1974 triple Windmill Park homicides in Fairmont.

The Fairmont Regional Cancer Center is joining the West Virginia University Hospitals family. WVUH applies for a certificate of need with the West Virginia Health Care Authority to purchase the center, which is located on the Fairmont General Hospital campus.

For the first time in 12 years, Fairmont State’s men’s basketball team finds a way to win in Charleston at the annual West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. The second-seeded Falcons use a high-energy effort and smothering defense to post their first quarterfinal round victory since 2001 when they eliminate seventh-seeded Seton Hill University, 77-63.

March 1 — The Fairmont Senior boys’ basketball team beats rival North Marion to earn the sectional title.

March 2 — For the third time in six years, Fairmont State University’s women’s basketball team claims the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament championship.

March 4 — A summer trial date is set for Eddie Jack Washington, one of two men indicted on three counts of first-degree murder in the 1974 Windmill Park homicides. The trial is later pushed to November.

President Barack Obama nominates Hinton native Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his next budget chief, thrusting her into the center of Washington’s heated partisan budget battles.

March 6 — A May 15 trial date is set for Phillip Reese Bush, one of two men indicted on three counts of first-degree murder in the 1974 Windmill Park homicides. The trial is later pushed to early 2014.

March 7 — The West Virginia Senate approves a home rule measure that would continue the pilot program for another five years as well as invite more participants. The City of Fairmont has expressed interest in joining the program.

March 8 — The Fairmont Senior girls’ basketball team falls to Westside in the semifinal round of the state tournament.

March 12 — Jina Marie Piccalo, of Fairmont, is arrested and charged with terroristic threats following a reported threat toward personnel at the Marion County Courthouse.

Fairmont State’s Gregory Noone, Ph.D., J.D., assistant professor of political science and law, is named the 2012 Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation.

March 13 — Argentine Jorge Bergoglio is elected Pope Francis, becoming the first pope from the Americas, the first Jesuit and the first named Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi, the humble friar who dedicated his life to helping the poor.

March 14 — The North Marion boys’ basketball team falls to Bluefield in the state quarterfinals.

March 15 — The Fairmont Senior boys’ basketball team defeats Bridgeport to advance to the state title game, where it eventually loses to Bluefield.

March 18 — The West Virginia Senate approves an amended education bill, hailed as “a wonderful step” in reforming West Virginia’s education system. The bill is called “landmark legislation” when it passes later in the month.

March 20 — A contractor dies after an accident at FirstEnergy’s Harrison Power Station in Haywood.

March 21 — A new White Hall Business Association is created to promote the town and make sure it continues to succeed.

Fairmont State University officials announce the hiring of the former tournament director of the PGA’s Greenbrier Classic, Tim McNeely, as the school’s new director of athletics effective April 1.

March 26 — Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Weather Service as well as local meteorologists announce plans to establish new operations in Fairmont to manage next-generation weather satellites.

The New York-Penn League announces its intention to relocate the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jamestown, N.Y., franchise to Morgantown once the new baseball stadium is completed, with plans calling for that to be done by the 2015 season.

April 1 — Men, women and children gather at the Charleston Civic Center for a massive rally organized by the United Mine Workers of America as part of its “Fairness at Patriot” campaign, which focuses on the health care, wages and working conditions of coal miners.

Margaret Thatcher dies from a stroke at the Ritz hotel in London.

Twenty-one-year-old “BUCKWILD” cast member Shain Gandee, his 48-year-old uncle David Gandee and 27-year-old Donald Robert Myers are found dead in a vehicle near Sissonville.

April 2 — The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approves the first international treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade after a more than decade-long campaign to keep weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, warlords, organized crime figures and human rights violators.

April 3 — A sheriff who was cracking down on the drug trade in southern West Virginia’s coalfields is fatally shot in the spot where he usually parks his car for lunch.

Pat White, who spent one season with the Miami Dolphins after being drafted as the 44th selection following his senior season, signs a one-year contract after passing a physical and going through a workout at Redskins Park.

April 10 — Flanked by key lawmakers, business and education leaders, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signs legislation bringing reforms to West Virginia’s troubled school system, emphasizing this is merely a start.

April 13 — West Virginia will target its inmate crowding crisis by expanding supervised release and community-based drug treatment, among other steps, after the Legislature passes another key proposal from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s agenda.

April 15 — Two bombs explode simultaneously near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 140 onlookers and runners.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey releases a report that says WVU’s effort to collect bids for its multimedia rights to certain athletic events was conducted with “significant errors and sloppiness” and that it should be rebid.

April 22 — Members of the community gather at Fairmont Senior High School to witness the unveiling of the school’s completed renovations. For more than two years, FSHS underwent extensive upgrades including a new media center, new windows, a new HVAC unit, electrical systems, sprinklers, resurfaced classroom floors, covered walkways, safety features, new basketball hoops, a new girls’ locker room and more.

April 25 — The Rams trade up eight spots to take Tavon Austin when it appeared the New York Jets would select him with the ninth pick. The Rams give Buffalo its first (16), second (46), third (76) and seventh (222) pick for the Bills’ first-round pick (8) and third-round pick (71).

April 26 — The New York Jets magnify the league’s biggest quarterback controversy by selecting Geno Smith early in the second round.

The St. Louis Rams use their third-round pick to select Stedman Bailey to play an outside receiver.

April 29 — More than 6,000 people come together in downtown St. Louis, Mo., to continue fighting for the health care and pension benefits of active and retired coal miners and their families. The protest takes place as the bankruptcy hearings began for Patriot Coal Corp.

May 1 — Sixteen-year-old Rachel Shoaf, of Morgantown, pleads guilty to the second-degree stabbing death of 16-year-old Skylar Neese, of Star City, in the summer of 2012.

 May 2 — West Virginia announces an expansion of Medicaid under the federal health care law, extending coverage to an estimated 91,500 uninsured low-income state residents.

May 6 — The Senate passes a bill subjecting most online shopping to state sales taxes.

May 8 — Fairmont Senior wins the baseball sectional championship against East Fairmont for the 12th year running, 6-1.

May 10 — Pierpont Community & Technical College graduation celebrates close to 500 graduates, the largest in the school’s history.

May 11 — At Fairmont State University’s graduation, more than half the 600 graduating seniors choose to walk to receive their diplomas.

May 15 — Former North Marion High School freshman cheerleading coach Amanda Jo Barker, 31, of Mannington, pleads guilty to three charges involving sexual misconduct with a minor.

May 16 — West Virginia House Speaker Richard Thompson announces his resignation from the West Virginia Legislature to join Gov. Tomblin’s Cabinet as secretary of Veterans Assistance.

May 17 — William Michael Horton Jr. is acquitted of two counts of nighttime burglary and first-degree robbery carried over from a December 2011 trial stemming from a botched robbery attempt in June 2010.

Fairmont Senior’s Nick Trefz wins the state title in the 3,200-meter race.

May 18 — The North Marion girls’ track team takes home two titles, in the 4x100- and 4x200-meter relay teams.

May 20 — West Virginia is given permission to ignore parts of No Child Left Behind in favor of the state’s own schools’ improvement plans.

A destructive tornado strikes Oklahoma.

May 21 — In Morgantown, 200 union workers picket FirstEnergy’s annual stakeholder meeting.

May 24 — Fairmont Senior wins the baseball regional title.

May 30 — Former Grant Town mayor Robert Dale Riggs Jr. pleads guilty to forgery, uttering.

June 2 — The Public Service Commission plans to review billing practices of FirstEnergy after formal complaints.

June 3 — The U.S. Supreme Court clears the way for police to collect DNA swabs from anyone arrested for a serious crime.

June 4 — A missing witness in the William Horton case, Shauille Larue Lewis, 19, is arrested in Morgantown.

June 5 — Former Marion County teacher Michael J. Waller is arrested by West Virginia State Police on four counts of sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust to a child.

The state Supreme Court rules Fairmont General Hospital can appoint its own board members.

June 6 — North Marion’s former standout golfer Caleb Lee wins the Callaway Junior Tour.

An employee of Reclaim Co. LLC is killed while working at the demolition site of the Spadafore Building.

June 17 — North Marion High School’s $240,756 paving project is approved.

June 18 — Tim Miley is elected as the new speaker of West Virginia’s House of Delegates.

June 19 — West Virginia Radio Corp. files a complaint against WVU over athletic media rights.

June 20 — West Virginia celebrates its 150th birthday.

June 24 — The Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.

June 25 — The U.S. Supreme Court rules to strip the Voting Rights Act of requirement that all or parts of 15 states with a history of discrimination in voting get Washington’s approval before changing how they hold elections.

June 27 — The Senate passes a historic immigration bill, offering possibility of citizenship to some illegal immigrants, while also working to better secure the border with Mexico.

July 1 — The Marion County Board of Education approves Chad Norman, former principal of Fairmont Senior High School, to be reassigned to the position of administrative assistant of technology for the Central Office.

Greenfield, Ind.-based Online Transport Inc. officially takes over W.S. Thomas Transfer, which has been in business in Fairmont for more than 100 years.

West Virginia University announces it is bringing back the men’s golf team after an absence of 33 years. The program will go into operation for the 2015-16 school year with a fall and spring program.

July 2 — At a combined work session with the City of Fairmont, the Marion County Commission unveils a plan to redevelop the riverfront property near Palatine Park.

At his arraignment, Morgantown attorney Stephen Sean Murphy is scheduled for trial Nov. 6-8. Murphy was indicted on one count of felony malicious assault of another attorney at the Marion County Courthouse in January.

July 5 — A teenage girl is almost the first drowning victim at Valley Falls State Park in several years.

July 7 — Twenty-nine-year-old Jonas Blixt earns his second PGA win at The Greenbrier.

July 8 — After just a week in office, newly elected White Hall mayor Guy Ward tells council he is investigating some issues dealing with an ordinance from 2003 that allows the town to collect an alcohol beverage tax through the operation of alcohol beverage sales establishments.

July 9 — More than 5,000 people come together in Fairmont for the United Mine Workers of America’s “Fairness at Patriot” rally.

Fairmont 10-11 All-Stars advance to states.

July 10 — Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads not guilty in the Boston Marathon bombing in a seven-minute proceeding that marks his first appearance in public since his capture in mid-April.

East Fairmont Junior High School is among the 97 schools in 39 of the state’s counties that the West Virginia Department of Education names as focus schools, which pinpoints significant learning gaps.

July 11 — The death of a Fairmont man at his residence on June 8, 2013, is linked to Bridgeport physician and Fairmont resident Dr. Edita Milan, who is arrested on charges of felony offense of conspiracy to distribute Schedule II, III and IV controlled substances.

July 12 — The first-degree murder trial of Michael Ian Palmer is continued to the October term of the Marion County Circuit Court.

July 13 — Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman is cleared of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whose killing unleashed furious debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.

July 15 — The Marion County Board of Education approves Tyson Furgason as the new principal of Fairmont Senior High School.

Farmington Town Council approves the second reading of an amendment to raise water and sewer rates in the town.

July 16 — The first National Boy Scouts Jamboree in West Virginia begins at The Summit Bechtel Family Reserve in Fayette County.

July 18 — The remains of World War II U.S. serviceman Sgt. Jerome Kiger are transported from Hawaii to his hometown in Mannington. Kiger died on July 21, 1944, during World War II and his remains were recently identified.

July 19 — Korey Harris, a defensive lineman who was recruited to West Virginia University amidst high expectations, is arrested on a charge of first-degree armed robbery.

July 20 — The Communication Workers of America (CWA) rally to show labor solidarity as the union negotiates an extension of employee contracts with Frontier Communications.

East Fairmont’s undefeated (54-0), 195-pound Class AA state champion wrestler Jesse Roman signs with Division II West Liberty University.

July 21 — Sixty-nine years to the day after he went down with his B-24 Liberator, Sgt. Jerome E. Kiger is finally laid to rest in Mannington.

July 22 — Monongah Town Council votes to pursue the possibility of the restoration of the Blumberg Building across from town hall.

July 23 — Through a bequest from the estate of Fairmont State alumnus William Claude “Bill” Waters, who passed away in July 2012 at the age of 93, the Fairmont State Foundation receives a gift of $730,000 to provide scholarship opportunities for students.

July 24 — Fairmont Senior alumni Reid Amos and Adam Zundell team up as commissioner and associate commissioner for the Mountain East Conference.

July 25 — Kristyn Palmer of Baxter, charged with the first-degree shooting death of her father Everett “Ed” Wilson in December 2011, is set to go to trial Sept. 9.

July 26 — Sidney Arthur Muller, 27, of Fairmont, charged with the murders of four Harrison County men, is arrested in Marion County and arraigned at Marion County Magistrate Court. He is believed to have shot and killed two men in a drug deal gone wrong before going on to shoot and kill a father and son delivering newspapers. He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

July 27 — Upon purchasing property from CSX Transportation Inc., the Marion County Commission and Development Authority make progress on the first phase of the project to develop the riverfront near Palatine Park.

The Fairmont State men’s basketball team signs former Duquesne center Martins Abele.

Aug. 1 — A dedication ceremony is held at the newly renovated Turley Center at Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College, which will house admissions, financial-aid services, registrar, academic advising, international student services, the honors program center, career services and more.

The United Way of Marion County kicks off its 2013-14 campaign. Co-chairs Rosemary and Bill Phillips and their daughter Christy Miller set the goal at $425,000.

Aug. 3 — Peter Lach, 68, of Fairmont, the dean of the College of Fine Arts at Fairmont State University, is arrested and charged with the second-degree sexual assault of a male campus employee. Lach is fired from Fairmont State two days later.

Aug. 4 — Amanda Jo Barker, 31, of Mannington and former North Marion High School cheerleading coach, is sentenced to a one-year lockdown in her home for pleading guilty May 15 to sexual abuse by a parent, custodian or guardian for inappropriate sexual relationships with three minor boys.

Aug. 14 — Unregistered sex offender Kevin Lee Gregory, who escaped from the Marion County Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 13 due to an identification mixup, is found. Gregory switched identifications with his North Central Regional Jail cell mate Bruce Clayton.

Aug. 16 — United Mine Workers of America members vote in favor of the agreement with Patriot Coal Corp. on labor contract terms and heath care benefits for retirees represented by the union.

Aug. 19 — Former Grant Town mayor Robert Dale Riggs Jr., who pleaded guilty to three counts of felony embezzlement, four counts of forgery and four counts of uttering in November 2011 against that community’s volunteer fire department, is sentenced to 30 days in the North Central Regional Jail and three years’ probation.

Highland-Clarksburg Hospital opens its first wing after beginning work in early 2009. The wing treats children and adolescents, with a goal of having the rest of the facility open in January.

East Fairmont High School marks its 20th anniversary with the first day of school. The school opened in September 1993.

Aug. 21 — A federal judge dismisses a lawsuit from 2007 against West Virginia University regarding Heather Bresch receiving a master’s degree from the university.

Aug. 23 — A sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against celebrity cook Paula Deen is dismissed. The suit was filed in 2012 by former employee Lisa Jackson, saying she suffered from sexual harassment and racially offensive talk and employment practices that were unfair to black workers.

Aug. 30 — Fairmont General Hospital announces that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to be stronger financially and more valuable to possible strategic partners.

Sept. 1 — U.S. seeks Congress’ OK for action in Syria. Leaders say physical evidence shows the Syrian government used sarin gas in an August attack.

Sept. 2 — Exercise stations are added along the Mannington rail trail thanks to a grant from the Benedum Foundation to Mannington Main Street.

Sept. 3 — Marion County schools face a new accountability system. Online access to performance data makes a “clearer picture for parents.”

Sept. 4 — The City of Fairmont settles a racial profiling lawsuit filed by a Fairmont State student after a 2011 accident.

Sept. 5 — Riverfront development of Palatine Park gains momentum with “fast-pace” actions of the Marion County Commission and the unveiling of a plan by the City of Fairmont.

Sept. 6 — The City of Fairmont celebrates the opening of a new frac sand storage facility at Transflo Terminal Services, placing the city in the “thick of energy renaissance.”

Sept. 9 — Greg Vandetta is appointed mayor of Monongah after current mayor Bill McCombs steps down due to a conflict between his elected position and his employment as the town’s water plant operator.

Sept. 12 — Donell D. Lee takes a step toward a new murder trial after the state Supreme Court of Appeals returns his 2007 murder conviction to Marion County Circuit Court.

Sept. 14 — The Fairmont Airport Authority receives $733,776 grant from the FFA to construct a replacement taxiway at Fairmont Municipal-Frankman Field Airport.

Sept. 15 — An Associated Press review of federal records finds that 178 West Virginia bridges have been designated “fracture critical” and “structurally deficient,” and are in need of replacement for advanced deterioration.

Sept. 17 — Construction is set to begin at the North Central Advanced Technology Center at the I-79 High Tech Park after the Pierpont Community & Technical College Board of Governors approves $2.5 million in funding for the project.

Sept. 18 — Just in time for the fall sports season to begin, the first section of bleachers at East-West Stadium is completely renovated.

Sept. 21 — Enrollment numbers at Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College go down slightly, with FSU enrollment for first-time freshmen and transfer students up.

Sept. 23 — Robert C. Marquardt steps down as Fairmont General Hospital’s president; Peggy Coster is named the hospital’s interim president and CEO.

Marion Circuit judge Michael Aloi denies a request by the attorney of Phillip Bush (who is indicted for the 1974 Windmill Park murders) for a separate trial date from co-defendant Eddie Jack Washington.

Sept. 24 — Dan Honerbrink, vice president of finance, leaves Fairmont General Hospital. There is no confirmation if this is tied to the resignation of FGH president and CEO Robert Marquardt the day before.

Sept. 25 — Pierpont Community & Technical College receives a $2.289 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor as part of a $25 million grant to the state’s 10 community and technical colleges. Pierpont plans to use the money toward common, curriculum-related goals.

Sept. 26 — The City of Fairmont begins work on a new automated meter reading (AMR) system, which will help the city detect water leaks and decrease the percentage of unaccounted-for water that is produced.

Sept. 27 — A group of local fishing and watershed groups meets in Morgantown to talk about the closure of the Opekiska and Hildebrand locks.

Sept. 30 — Fairmont General Hospital vice president of human resources Jim Harris is no longer employed, the third official to leave the hospital in a week.

Oct. 1 — The United States government goes into partial shutdown mode because of Congress disagreeing on the budget.

Oct. 2 — The Marion County Commission and the City of Fairmont reach an agreement to exchange deeds to the other for green space property. The commission gives Fairmont its property of the 100 block on Adams Street in exchange for the city’s property at Palatine Park.

Oct. 3 — A woman with a 1-year-old girl leads Secret Service and police on a car chase from the White House past the Capitol, attempting to penetrate the security barriers at both national landmarks before she is shot to death, police say. The child survives.

Oct. 4 — SEIU 1199 union workers ratify a new contract with Fairmont General Hospital agreeing to freeze any wage increases for at least a year and have them pay part of their health benefits premiums, which previously they had not done.

Oct. 7 — The Times West Virginian is printed on pink newspaper as a part of Project Pink to raise funds for breast cancer research during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Ruskin Manufacturing Plant in Fairmont announces it will shut its doors in July 2014. The Fairmont location has 185 employees and has been in business for 16 years.

Oct. 9 — Ex-police officer Thomas J. Piccard, 55, opens gunfire on a federal courthouse in Wheeling before a U.S. court security officer shoots and kills him.

Oct. 11 — A logging truck collides with a train carrying passengers on a scenic tour in Randolph County, killing one person and injuring 24 others.

Oct. 12 — Marion County residents vote to renew the school excess levy; 59.48 percent vote for the levy and 40.52 percent vote against.

Oct. 16 — The partial government shutdown ends.

Oct. 17 — An early morning fire completely destroys Chancelo

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    April 19, 2014

  • Swimming Challenge available for children with autism

    The Corridor Chapter of the Autism Society of West Virginia (AS-WV) and the YMCA of Clarksburg will be sponsoring the second annual Swimming Challenge for children affected by autism.
    The swimming challenge gives children with autism the opportunity to attend swimming lessons and work on their swimming skills one-on-one.

    April 19, 2014

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