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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Appalachian Addiction & Prescription Drug Abuse Conference brought recovery and counseling professional to Morgantown last week. The program was developed with the help of the West Virginia Board of Medicine, West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia Board of Nursing, and the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy to address community needs during the opioid crisis.
Dr. Brad Hall is the President/Executive Director of the West Virginia Society of Addiction Medicine, he says we are in a crisis but things are improving.
“Everybody knows we have an epidemic going on, but I believe West Virginia is also epidemic of the solution,” Hall said. “We’ve doing a lot of things right over the years, some of the numbers don’t quite reflect that, but it’s definitely going in the right direction and it’s exemplified by this conference.”
Some highlights of the conference were an update of the current situation, anti-stigma efforts, 12-step programs, responding to addiction, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, addiction & pregnancy, anxiety and ADHD, marijuana, social media gaming and internet addiction and an update on state-level legislation.
Hall said,”Part of addiction, whether it’s sex, drugs, rock-n-roll, TV, gaming, iPhone and other behaviors is somewhat of an attempt to fix an internal hole with an external solution.”
In addition to traditional treatments, the value of spirituality was presented as way to find peace in difficult life situations. Hall says spirituality gives people an understanding that enables them to put difficult situations into perspective.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Justice John Hutchison will come to the Morgantown High School to address juniors and seniors taking a Forensic and Legal Psychology.
On Tuesday, October 22, he will speak at 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. On November 4, he will speak at 9:15 a.m.
SABRATON, W.Va. – When Salisburg, Pennsylvania-based Max Construction began work on the Sabraton McDonald’s they were given 19 days to complete the work.
The restaurant will be rewired, re-plumbed and completely refitted during thos 19 days. Four self-service kiosks will also be added.
The Owner, John Ebert released the following statement to WAJR News:
“The Sabarton McDonald’s has begun construction to modernize and deliver an elevated guest experience with new levels of choice, engagement and service. When the modernization is complete later this month, guests will notice a modern look and feel with new designs and new ways of ordering with self-order kiosks. Additionally, guests’ orders will be delivered to tables by crew members, allowing guests to relax and enjoy a more custom dining experience. We’re excited that now all six of our restaurants in the Morgantown area will offer this new experience and look forward to offering our Sabarton customers a new way to dine at McDonald’s.” – John Ebert, McDonald’s Owner/Operator
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Two Morgantowm men face up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 for federal weapons violations.
U.S. Attorney Bill Powell says DeRon Parrish, 31, and Andre Parrish, 28, entered guilty pleas to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in Monongalia County in November of 2018.
The Morgantown Police Department assisted with the investigation.
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont State University has closed fiscal year 2019 in record breaking fashion. The institution continues to build on cost containment and strategic initiatives implemented in January of 2018.
“The efforts of the entire campus community to be conscious of costs and implement changes to improve efficiency proved to yet again be successful in helping us end the year with an increase in net position of $5.3 million, the largest increase recorded in over 10 years,” Chief Financial Officer Christa Kwiatkowski indicated. “To have two years of positive net position changes is quite a feat in today’s higher education environment.”
The audit, done by Suttle and Stalnaker, will be presented to the Board of Governors during the next meeting.
“Our continued, and growing, financial strength is impressive, but I am most grateful for the fact this was a campus-wide effort,” President Dr. Mirta M. Martin said. “The entire Falcon community understood the importance of long-term financial health, and we worked together to find strategic initiatives that not only contained costs, but did so in a way that ensured we maintained our high standard of academics and service to students and other constituents.”
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A Morgantown man is facing malicious assault charges after allegedly shooting his girlfriend in their home on Cassville-Mt. Morris Road.
When deputies arrived they found the female victim with a gunshot wound to the shoulder and a bloody nose. When questioned, the woman would not tell deputies what happened.
After finding a trail of blood leading to the bedroom, police found a handgun and requested a search warrant.
The woman’s boyfriend, Richard Shanan Jr, 45, was allegedly overheard by neighbors telling the victim “tell them I didn’t shoot you” before police arrived.
Shanan told police initially he wanted to kill the woman, then changed his story and said the shot was fired as he was taking the gun away from her.
Shanan is being held at the North Central Regional Jail.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Morgantown city council has voted to table the Diversity Policy for employees and volunteers.
The goal of the plan is to transform the make up the city workforce and volunteers to reflect the diversity of the city.
The plan was produced by the Morgantown Human Rights Commission over the four after reviewing “best practices” from other cities across the country.
Deputy Mayor Rachel Fetty is concerned that following the plan could actually reduce diversity on boards and commissions. Fetty believes term limits, as proposed, would reduce the talent pool to draw from.
Other concerns are policies about video taping interviews and making them public. Also, processes that could lead to “outing” a person’s sexuality have been brought up as problematic.
Ash Cutright is non-binary and president of Morgantown Pride and they want council to hear the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community.
“West Virginia has the largest trans population in the country,” Cutright said,”All I ask is that this plan is presented to city council, that city council and Human Rights Commission sit down with multiple queer led organizations and go over this. Their intentions are good, but there’s a lot of wording in here that’s really concerning.”
Council members have yet scheduled meetings with those organizations.
MORGANTOWN – The licensing agreement to provide the Morgantown Utility Board a path through White Park to construct a raw-water pipeline may have been doomed from the start due to disagreement over language regarding the termination of the agreement and removal of the pipeline.
Now, Morgantown City Manager Paul Brake has promised to deliver another revised document addressing those concerns. That information was only relayed to MUB for the first time approximately 90 minutes prior to it’s meeting to vote on the latest proposal.
Morgantown Utility Board members ultimately rejected the proposed draft agreement for the right-of-way Monday night, instead opting to follow the longer, more expensive route around the park.
Part of the reason for rejection of the agreement was language contained in the document that MUB General Manager Tim Ball told city officials that the MUB members would not agree to, rendering any other provisions requested by BOPARC or others moot.
The provision MUB took exception to reads:
“This agreement and the License granted by this Agreement to Licensee may be terminated by either party for any reason or no reason upon giving 60 days’ written notice. In addition, this Agreement may be terminated by the Owner upon 30 days’ written notice to Licensee of a breach of any term or condition of this Agreement.”
That language was included in the original draft of the agreement first presented during to City Council during the Aug. 27thCommittee of the Whole Meeting. It was also included in revisions given to MUB on Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, despite assurances from the city that the termination language would be addressed.
According to a summary of the negations provided by MUB General Manager Tim Ball, that stipulation in the agreement was identified as a problem in an email from Ball to Morgantown City Manager Paul on Sept. 4.
Ball and Brake met on Sept. 5 to discuss the agreement. According to an email Ball sent to Brake summarizing their discussions, Brake expressed a commitment to preserving the template of the agreement and according to Ball, suggested that MUB should trust that the city would never exercise such authority.
A day later, MUB offered revisions to the document including options to address the termination language.
While MUB officials favored completely removing the provision, they offered a compromise that allowed the city to terminate the contract and order the removal of the pipeline at MUB’s expense, if there was a material breach of contract and a failure by MUB to cure such a breach within 60 days. The paragraph added by MUB also asked for a 12-month period to relocate the waterline if the agreement were terminated.
Those revisions were not included in any of the new drafts of the agreement returned by the city.
In a phone call between Ball and the city manager on Sept. 10, Brake assured Ball that Morgantown City Attorney Ryan Simonton was working on updated language to address MUB’s concerns.
However, the following week, an email from Simonton to MUB Engineer Doug Smith stated the termination language would not be removed from the agreement. Ball stressed, in yet another email that day, that the MUB Board of Directors would not support the agreement if the termination language was included.
The city attorney gave a new hard copy of the agreement to MUB officials during a meeting on Sept. 26 that did not include any changes to the termination language. Finally on Oct. 2, MUB received another draft that included a new provision that provided refunds to MUB for costs associated with construction of trails, an arborist, replacement costs for removed or damaged trees, installation of replacement trees and any trail maintenance fee paid to BOPARC, if the licensing agreement were terminated.
However, the revisions did not account for the cost of the removing and rebuilding the pipeline and the city still had the authority to terminate the agreement for no reason.
Another series of emails from Ball to Brake reinforced the notion that the MUB member would not agree to such a stipulation.
There was no further back and forth discussion on the matter until Monday.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia State Fire Marshal says the male who died in a fire on Green Bag Road October 2 was Glen R. Weaver, 48.
The blaze occurred at the small house in the 800 block of Green Bag Road outside the Morgantown city limits.
Investigators believe the cause of the fire was electrical in nature but have not yet confirmed that.
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – On July 24 Clifton Ruggs, 27, was arrested and charged with first degree murder after allegedly choking his girlfriend, Crystal Stevens during an argument.
Deputy Chief Medical Examiner determined, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that Stevens’ death was a suicide. As a result, after conferring with Stevens’ parents and both Chief Steve Shine and Detective Tyler Hall of the Fairmont Police Department, Marion County Prosecuting Attorney dismissed the first degree murder charge against Ruggs.
Officials say even though there was enough evidence from the scene to satisfy probable cause that Ruggs murdered Stevens, the autopsy report makes it very unlikely Ruggs would be convicted.
The initial report from police said Ruggs and Stevens had been drinking and arguing during the day and into the night. Preliminary reports indicated that Stevens suffered defensive wounds and Ruggs had scratch marks on his body.