TOP CALHOUN NEWS STORIES FOR 2013 - Disappointments, Challenges, Improvements

(01/02/2014)

The top positive story of 2013 is an accumulation of dozens and dozens of stories about Calhoun people who have come to the aid of their neighbors during tough times, through volunteerism, fundraisers or special efforts.

Calhoun's handfuls of emergency responders showing up to help citizens in time of need.

It is neighbor helping neighbor that makes life special in this rural community, including the outreach extended by community organizations.

1. William Seth Denmark of Arnoldsburg was sentenced to a "definite" 25 years in prison by Judge David W. Nibert for the murder of teen David Beach, Denmark pleading no contest to a 2nd degree murder charge, a case that was drawn-out, likely because Beach's body was never discovered. He received credit for three years already served.

DENMARK SENTENCED TO 25-YEARS IN DEATH OF DAVID BEACH

2. Ashley Kreh was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the death of her infant two-month-old daughter, the child dying from what authorities said was blunt-force trauma to the head and a long delay in seeking medical treatment. The child's father, Ordie Rogers. Jr., has yet to be sentenced.

CALHOUN WOMAN SENTENCED TO 40-YEARS PRISON IN DEATH OF INFANT CHILD - Ashley Kreh Eligible For Parole After 10 Years, Ordie Rogers Enters Plea Agreement

3. Thomas Husk, accused of shooting to death John Dale Cyrus, failed to go to trial with numerous attempts failing to seat a jury, with a change venue pending.

THOMAS HUSK MURDER CASE HAS THIRD MISTRIAL - Failure To Seat Jury, Change Of Venue To Another County

4. Four people died in a tragic early morning fire in March on Mud Fork, killing grandmother Darlene Gooslin, 57, and her three grandchildren, Ryan, 7, Patricia, 6, and Aryanne Jackson, 5. The cause of the fire was not determined.

FOUR DEAD IN EARLY MORNING FIRE ON MUD FORK - Grandmother, Three Small Children Victims, Two Survivors Taken To Burn Center

5. The dedication of a new $8.8 million Arnoldsburg Elementary School, providing a modern school facility for southern Calhoun and solving a decades long problem of flooding, construction supported by county voters.

THE DREAM UNFOLDS - New $8.8 Million Arnoldsburg School Dedicated

6. The financial collapse of the Mt. Zion PSD following long-time efforts to keep the district going and developing expansive water service to southern Calhoun, with the temporary take-over of the system by the Town of Grantsville.

MT. ZION PSD BANK ACCOUNT EMPTIED - Company That Brought Lawsuit Says "I Hated To Do It"

7. Calhoun schools rising to Transitional and Success Schools under the state's new improvement model after hitting bottom under the former No Child Left Behind system.

CALHOUN SCHOOLS REPORT CARD: Mixed Bag Of WESTEST Proficiency Outcomes

8. The demise of Calhoun's emergency ambulance service after being challenged by the Calhoun Commission for not being forthcoming with credible audits and accountability.

Further, the Calhoun Commission is asking for investigations regarding the disposition of EMS assets, the agency stonewalling the information, which involves federal, state and county funding, with a number of creditors wanting to be paid.

The ambulance service currently being provided with timely responses by Minnie Hamilton Health System.

CALHOUN COMMISSION SEEKING AUDIT OF DEFUNCT CALHOUN EMERGENCY AMBULANCE SERVICES - Disposition Of Assets Called Troubling

MINNIE HAMILTON WILL BE COUNTY AMBULANCE PROVIDER IN 30 DAYS - Commission Hopes For Smooth Transition

9. A long promise to bring real broadband at affordable costs to rural areas in West Virginia remains just that.

BROADBAND IN RURAL WV: BROKEN PROMISES, BROKEN DREAMS - Dobbins Explains Your Broadband Woes

$22 MILLION "CONNECT AMERICA" FRONTIER GRANT WILL GIVE RURAL WEST VIRGINIANS BROADBAND ACCESS? - Calhoun Will Be CBS News Subject, Poor Broadband Connectivity

10. At least three minor earthquakes were recorded in the Lockney-Stumptown area where marcellus drilling is being conducted, with a state expert saying the incidents are not connected to drilling.

THIRD EARTHQUAKE STRIKES GILMER COUNTY NEAR DRILLING SITES

11. A fifth death by fire happened at Orma where a handicapped Calhoun man could not escape the flames.

UPDATE: FUNERAL SERVICE PENDING FOR DISABLED ORMA MAN PETER CALLANAN - Died In Blazing Inferno

12. Calhoun's Food Pantry issued food to a record number of requests during 2013.

WV food pantries ans social services are bracing for increased requests since Congress did not renew extended unemployment benefits, directly affecting 7,000 West Virginians.

RECORD NUMBERS USING CALHOUN FOOD PANTRY - Families Face High Food, Gasoline Prices, Joblessness

13. The West Virginia State Police continued their efforts to close the Grantsville Detachment and float officers to the county from another detachment.

CALHOUN'S STATE POLICE DETACHMENT ON CUTTING BLOCK AGAIN

14. A fire destroyed a popular Pleasant Hill convenience store Momma-T's.

UPDATE: FIRE DESTROYS POPULAR STORE AND EATERY AT PLEASANT HILL - Three Fire Departments Respond To Blaze

15. The Hur Herald survived to keep site going in 2013, in addition to continuing to suffer woes with adequate access to real, affordable high-speed broadband.


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