(12/31/2008)
1. BANK ROBBERY - Calhoun's first bank robbery in its' 158 year history, the Arnoldsburg Branch of Calhoun Banks, where a man took $16,000, he and two others are charged with the crime.

2. FACING HARD TIMES - The county, long-suffering from lack of local and regional job opportunities and lack of infrastructure. now facing a major economic recession, the worst since the Great Depression.

3. NEVER ENDING TRIAL - The never-ending Rush murder case, the brutal murders of Ward Groves and Mary Hicks in 2003, the original trial botched by the WV State Police with the WV Supreme Court ordering a re-trial, now a second re-trial request before the court because a state policeman commiserated with jurors.

4. STATE POLICE'S PUBLIC DISCONNECT - An apparent violation of WV's public information laws by the Grantsville Detachment of the WV State Police, declining to release basic information regarding the number of ATVs stolen in the county (reportedly 30-40) in 2008 or other property crime reports that would indicate a crime spree in the county, a Freedom of Information Act denial sustained by their agency.

A continued 10 year history of disconnect with Calhoun citizens, the State Police report sporadic public information, not asking the public for help in solving crimes or reporting about crimes the agency has solved.

5. BIG WATER PROJECT - A fully-funded $5.2 million dollar water project covering 29-miles from Russett, Sassafras Ridge and Millstone to Route 16 south to Chloe, bringing needed public water to those areas, bids reportedly will be put out shortly.

6. COUNTY'S FINANCIAL SHAPE - After suffering financial lows from mandates, jail bills and unexpected expenses in recent years, "Calhoun County is in the best financial shape I've seen in years," says County Clerk Richard Kirby. Always subject to quick change.

7. CALHOUN JOINS STATE VOTING TREND - Calhoun's large majority Democrat voters (DINOS: "Democrats In Name Only") continued the state trend by voting for Republican presidents, in three cycles for Bush, Bush and McCain.

8. FORMER GRANTSVILLE OFFICER SENTENCED - Another law enforcement officer in trouble, former volunteer Grantsville policeman Shane Dellinger (a former Braxton County deputy), will spend 60 days in jail, two years on home confinement, five years on probation, ordered to make restitution, assigned to community service, and required to take drug and alcohol testing - related to fraudulently receiving money from a government grant in Braxton County. His problems in Calhoun was related to "taking money" for a concealed weapons class he could not deliver.

9. E-911 ADDRESSING DONE - Despite struggles, restarts, and defaults by contractors, the county's E-911 addressing was completed this year by local efforts, using official guidelines for addressing and NOT using county taxpayer funds. Some sections of the county have received their designated address, approved by the state.

10. SCHOOL SYSTEM CHALLENGES - Calhoun's school system is focused on numerous efforts to raise Calhoun Middle-High School from negative problems - two state audits, poor test scores, failure to meet No Child Left Behind standards, with an amended board policy to prevent future incidents regarding what the school system declared was "harassment" of a football player during practice.

11. MEGA-POWER LINE CROSSING COUNTY - A wide-swathe, high-voltage, big tower power line proposed to cross the county, delivering electric power to the eastern corridor, opposed by most regional county commissions, the opposition related to costs and benefits to local citizens.

12. REACHING OUT - The hundreds of Calhoun citizens who reached out to their neighbors during trying times, giving their time, encouragement, forgiveness and money, and to those ever dwindling volunteers who show-up and give to their community.

These and hundreds of other stories can be found on the Herald's archives.


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