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The Voice of West Virginia

Bonus photo gallery: Martinsburg claims Class AAA title

WHEELING, W.Va. — Bonus photo gallery from Martinsburg’s 49-21 win over Cabell Midland in the Class AAA state championship game.

(Photo gallery courtesy of John Hagley Photography)

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Mohigans want to go “Back to the Future” as search for new football coach is underway

MORGANTOWN – Who can lead Morgantown High Football “Back to the Future?” That was the question posed by the official Morgantown High School Athletics Twitter account Monday, as it announced the posting for the job of head football coach.

The reference to Michael J. Fox’s 1985 blockbuster, alludes to returning the program to its run of football dominance in Class AAA that spanned nearly two decades.

From 1995 to 2013, Morgantown made 19 consecutive playoff appearnces, won four state championships (2000, 2002, 2005, 2006) and finished runner-up one other time (1998). The Mohigans also reached the state semifinals eight times during that run.

Since 2013, Morgantown has record just two playoff wins.

Former Head Coach Matt Lacy stepped down in November after four seasons at the helm. Morgantown posted a 22-23 record during Lacy’s tenure as head coach making three playoff appearances and advancing to the semifinals in 2016. However, Morgantown was defeated in the first round of the playoffs in 2017 and 2018 and failed to reach the postseason this past year.

The job drew interest from applicants from as far away as Florida when it was last posted in the spring of 2016 when current MHS Athletics Director John Bowers stepped away from the job to take job in school administration.

According to the posting, applications will be accpeted through Jan. 10, 2020 and interviews will be scheduled after the first of the year.

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Bunker Hill shooting under investigation, search for third suspect continues

BUNKER HILL, W.Va. — Two men have been charged after a shooting at a nightclub in southern Berkeley County.

West Virginia State Police responded to a shots fired call at Elysium Gentlemen’s Club along Winchester Avenue Saturday morning at 12:33. On scene, troopers learned two men exchanged gunfire in the nightclub’s parking lot after an earlier argument between two females.

22 year old Kameron Hymes of Winchester, Virginia was taken to Berkeley Medical Center for a gunshot wound in his right arm. Hymes has been charged with wanton endangerment and prohibited person (in possession of a firearm).

27 year-old Kenyatta Weedon of Hagerstown, Maryland was also arrested on scene. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit malicious wounding and prohibited person (in possession of a firearm).

Troopers are still searching for a third suspect who allegedly shot Hymes. If you have information, call West Virginia State Police at 304-267-0001.

The investigation is ongoing.


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Monongalia County residents trek to Canada for low-cost insulin

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – About 15 people made the approximately 600 mile round trip from Morgantown to Niagara Falls, Canada to purchase low-cost insulin Sunday.

The trip was organized by Monongalia County Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer and Adrian Olmstead from the local chapter of West Virginia Insulin For All.

Between 2012 and 2016 the cost of insulin nearly doubled, during the same period the cost of Humira has gone from $1,940 to $4,338 and the story continues as the cost of 36 other popular prescription drugs has increased more than 50-percent.

Olmstead says she was able to save a significant amount of money.

“At least a three-month supply of short-acting and long-acting insulin and probably saved around $400,” Olmstead said.

Increased costs have led to rationing or not taking insulin that has resulted in hospitalization or death.

West Virginia Legislature

Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia

Fleischauer says she is working with Jordan Hill, Chair of the House Health and Human Resources Committee, to pass legislation that would limit the co-pay for insulin. It’s modeled after the Colorado law that limits the co-pay to $50.

Fleischauer also says she has co-sponsored legislation to allow pharmacies to fill emergency prescriptions for life-saving medicine (sometimes called Kevin’s law) after Kevin Houdeshell, who died after a pharmacy would not fill his expired insulin prescription on New Year’s Eve.

But, she says passing the bill during a 60-day session will be a challenge.

“We have drafts of bills we’ve been working on, “Fleischauer said, “I hope we can get it in, it’s very short because it has to go through the committee process, it has to be voted on three separate times in the house and the senate.”

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One dead in single-vehicle accident in Mason County

HARTFORD, W.Va. — One person is dead and another is in the hospital following a vehicle accident in Mason County on Sunday morning.

Mason County Sheriff’s Office said the single-vehicle wreck happened on West Virginia Route 62 around 4:40 a.m. in the Hartford area.

The passenger in the car was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver was flown to CAMC General, per Mason County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said that the driver may have lost control of the vehicle while making a turn.

The names of the victims have not been released or the condition of the person flown to the hospital.

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Nazi salute warrants house cleaning

So, what are you supposed to do when members of a Division of Corrections class of trainees give the Nazi salute?

You clean house, that’s what.

Last week, the now infamous photo emerged of a corrections training class at the Glenville academy showing most of the men and women with arms raised in what is easily recognizable at the Nazi salute.

This was no personal snapshot, but rather an official-looking photo that included the Seal of the State of West Virginia and the caption, “West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation Basic Training Class #18.”  At the top of the picture it read, “Hail Byrd!”

Byrd is believed to be the last name of a class instructor.  Reportedly, at the beginning of the training period, one of the cadets greeted Byrd with a Nazi salute and “sieg heil.” Apparently, it was supposed to be a joke, but it became a common practice at the beginning of class with other cadets joining in.

The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety (DMAPS) moved quickly when it learned of the practice, interviewing 51 people in just three days. The state immediately fired two correctional academy trainers and one cadet but did not release their names.

Governor Jim Justice and DMAPS Secretary Jeff Sandy are both horrified over the incident.  Justice called the actions shameful, intolerable and unacceptable.  Sandy agreed, adding that a full investigation is underway.

“We are committed to a full and complete investigation that we will present to Governor Justice and to the public once it is finished,” Sandy said. “As terrible as this incident has been, it is critically important that we go by the book to arrive at the whole truth of what occurred and why.”

There are so many things wrong with what the cadets did and what the trainers allowed to happen.

First, the salute is one of the most recognizable symbols of Nazism and white supremacy. The fact that “trainers,” who by the way are supposed to train the cadets on how to identify white supremacy groups is prison, would allow this to take place without, at the very least, using it as a teachable moment, is unfathomable.

Second, these cadets are wearing uniforms of the state and about to head into our prisons as corrections officers.  If this photo emerged after they were on the job, any inmate with a grievance who is not white or Christian would have a built-in piece of evidence to back up their claim.

Third, this is extremely embarrassing for the State of West Virginia and all our citizens.  We already battle negative stereotypes and this photo only reinforces those views.

Fourth, the condemnations and investigation are not because of political correctness. I’m guessing the cadets are not racists or neo-Nazis, but the actions of those who participated, the trainers and anyone else who knew about this and did nothing are just plain stupid.

Can people be fired for doing stupid stuff?  You bet they can.





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Thundering Herd to face Central Florida in Gasparilla Bowl

— By Bill Cornwell

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — For the second straight year, Marshall is bound for Tampa to play in a bowl game.

The Thundering Herd, second-place finishers in Conference USA’s East Division, will face Central Florida in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Monday, Dec. 23. 

Kickoff at Raymond James Stadium is at 2:30 p.m.

The Knights finished second in The American Athletic Conference’s East Division behind Cincinnati.

Marshall (8-4, 6-2) and UCF (9-3, 6-2) played two common opponents this season. The Herd lost to Cincinnati 52-14 and beat Florida Atlantic 36-31, while the Knights lost to the Bearcats 27-24 and beat FAU, 48-14.

Marshall won last year’s Gasparilla Bowl, knocking off South Florida 38-20.

The Herd will enter with an .857 winning percentage (12-2) in all NCAA-sanctioned bowl games, the highest mark nationally among programs that have made at least five appearances.

MU has won seven straight bowl games, a streak that started in 2009 with a 21-17 win over Ohio in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit.

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday is 6-0 in bowl games with the Thundering Herd and will appear in his 28th bowl since entering the coaching ranks. 

The Herd and Knights have played 11 previous times when both teams belonged to both the Mid-American Conference and Conference USA. The Knights lead the series 8-3 and won the last eight meetings after Marshall opened with three straight victories over UCF. 

The last meeting took place in Huntington in 2012, a 54-17 Knights victory.

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Power Rankings: State champs Martinsburg, Bridgeport, Wheeling Central end season No. 1
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West Virginia earns impressive win at No. 10 Mississippi State

The West Virginia women’s basketball team overcame a six-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter Sunday to win at No. 10 Mississippi State, 71-65.

Freshman guard Kirsten Deans poured in a career-high 17 points for the Mountaineers, who improved to 6-1 with their best win of the season.

The victory also marked the highest-ranked non-conference opponent West Virginia has ever beaten.

Trailing 55-49 at the start of the fourth, the Mountaineers held the Bulldogs to 10 points on 2-of-14 shooting over the final quarter.

Deans hit a three-pointer to break a 64-all tie, and she went 4-for-4 at the free throw line down the stretch to help put the game out of reach.

The Mountaineers got off to a strong start and led 36-28 at halftime, before Mississippi State (8-2) put together its best stretch and outscored WVU 27-13 in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs made 9-of-11 field-goal attempts in the third period, before going cold in the fourth.

While Deans’ career-high effort was instrumental in the win, she was one of four double figure scorers for West Virginia. Kysre Gondrezick added 16 points, while Tynice Martin and Kari Niblack contributed 13 and 12, respectively.

Blessing Ejiofor led West Virginia with 11 rebounds off the bench.

Jordan Danberry had a team-high 19 points in defeat, while teammate Rickea Jackson added 15 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

West Virginia outrebounded Mississippi State, 46-34, including 17-12 on the offensive end.

The Bulldogs, national runner-up in 2017 and 2018, also hurt their cause at the free-throw line. Mississippi State made only 15-of-30 free throws, which was a big factor in its second straight setback.

West Virginia returns to action next Sunday at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center against Norfolk State.

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Toledo tops Marshall for second time this season

— By David Walsh

TOLEDO, Ohio — Not as explosive as the first meeting, but the Toledo Rockets did enough Sunday to defeat Marshall, 82-72, in front of 3,887 fans at Savage Hall.

Luke Knapke and Willie Jackson both had double-doubles to lead the Mid-American Conference school past the Herd for the second time this season. 

The Rockets won the first meeting, 96-72, on Nov. 10 in Huntington.

The 6-foot-11 Knapke, who had the program’s third triple-double Wednesday night in an 80-65 win over Cleveland State, connected for 33 points and 11 rebounds. Knapke made 12-of-16 shots, including 4-of-6 from the three-point line. 

His output is the most by a Toledo player since Tyrone Kent scored 37 at Xavier in 2008. He’s also the only Toledo player to reach double figures in every game.

Jackson finished with 11 points and 13 boards. Marreon Jackson was Toledo’s No. 2 scorer with 24 points.

Guard Jarrod West led Marshall with 19 points. Jannson Williams and Taevion Kinsey each had 12 points for the Thundering Herd. Mikel Beyers came off the bench for the visitors and netted 13 points and nine rebounds. Both are career bests. Kinsey has had 10 more points in every game.

“We are back to where we were when I first got here,” Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni said after the game. “I know we’re young, but you can’t keep using that as a reason.”

Marshall (2-6) suffered its third straight defeat. Toledo (7-2) extended its winning streak to four.

Toledo, which made 11 first-half treys and 14 overall in the first meeting, has now made nine or more three-pointers in eight of nine games.

 The Rockets are 24-6 vs. the Herd at home all-time and lead the series, 36-23. Their home mark is now 19-2 since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Marshall returns to action Wednesday against Bluefield State. Game time is 7 p.m. at Cam Henderson Center.

The first half went back and forth. Marko Sarenac nailed a three-pointer 2:07 left in the first half to get Marshall within one at 30-29. Toledo got the final four points when Knapke made one of two free throws and Willie Jackson nailed at trey for a 33-29 lead. Herd starter Iran Bennett played just six minutes and Kinsey 10 due to foul trouble.

The second half played out the same close way as the first. Kinsey’s layup with 8:32 left got Marshall within three at 59-56.

Toledo countered with a three by Marreon Jackson, then a layup and three-pointer by Knapke to push the lead to 67-56 and the Rockets kept the upper hand the rest of the way.

The two big statistics in Toledo’s favor came in second-chance points and at the foul line. 

The Rockets had a 10-0 edge in second-chance points in the first half and 18-6 advantage overall. The home side made 23-of-33 free throws to 6-of-9 for the Herd.

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