WEST VIRGINIA DRUG DEATHS SHOW DECREASE

Gov. Jim Justice said last week, that our state saw a slight decrease in drug overdoses in 2018. The announcement came after the release of some preliminary data from the state Department of Health and Human Resources, which showed that there were 888 confirmed drug overdose deaths in 2018. DHHR however, estimates that number to go up to 952 overdose deaths. That number though, still shows the first time the state has seen a drop in overdose deaths… marking a 6% drop from 1,017 deaths in 2017. The announcement by the governor, comes on the heels of a major federal grant award to combat opioid abuse in West Virginia.

INWOOD MAN FACING CHARGES INCLUDING 2 COUNTS OF ATTEMPTED FIRST DEGREE MURDER

An Inwood man has been arrested, and is now facing charges including two counts of attempted first-degree murder… all in relation to a standoff that lasted almost an hour, which involved shots fired at law enforcement officers. 30 year old Medo Mohamed Hallack is now behind bars without bond. After he was taken into custody, a search of the house he was holed up in, turned up spent shell casings in a bedroom from where Hallack was shooting and a firearm with a full magazine on the kitchen floor, along with additional ammo and magazines in another bedroom.

SHOTS FIRED IN MARTINSBURG – INVESTIGATION ONGOING

An incident that occurred Friday night on Foxcroft Avenue in Martinsburg remains under investigation by police today. MPD answered a call around 6:20 Friday evening, about shots fired, and when they got there, officers found empty shell casings, and an unoccupied/parked vehicle that had been hit by a stray bullet. According to witnesses, two juveniles fled prior to the officer’s arriva. The investigation is ongoing, and so far, they say charges are pending against the juveniles. The West Virginia State Police and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department are assisting Martinsburg Police with the investigation.

VETS PLAN CAREER FAIR ON FRIDAY

The Martinsburg VA Medical Center will host a Veterans Career Fair on Friday from 10 to 2 at the medical center’s Heroes Health and Wellness Center. The medical center’s mental health program has collaborated with local employers, state and federal agencies, educational institutions, and community programs to provide Veterans a chance to explore future career and educational opportunities. The career fair is open to all Veterans and the general public.

WINCHESTER PAVING UNDERWAY

The City of Winchester will begin repaving several streets today. The first three streets on the list are Eagle Drive; Cork Street; and Shenandoah Avenue…. which will be first on the list. No road closures are expected and one lane will remain open to thru traffic. Travelers are reminded to drive safely in the work zones.

FORMER BERKELEY HEIGHTS SCHOOL EMPLOYEES DEMAND JURY TRIAL

Three people formerly employed at Berkeley Heights Elementary School who were arrested because they allegedly failed to report abuse of a child in their special-needs classroom last fall, are now demanding a trial by jury. Former Berkeley Heights teacher Christina Lester; former teacher’s aide June Yurish; and former teacher’s aide Kristin Douty… all of Martinsburg… were arrested by Martinsburg Police… following an investigation that began when a concerned parent placed a recording device in her child’s hair, which allegedly revealed that the three were verbally abusing children in the class.

JURY SELECTED IN 7-ELEVEN SHOOTER TRIAL

In Berkeley County Court on Wednesday, a jury was selected to hear a case in which a 19-year-old man is accused of kidnapping and shooting another man back in 2016. Asaveon Coleman, of Alexandria, Virginia, is facing a string of felony charges in connection with the incident early the morning of Sept. 18, 2016 at the 7-Eleven on North Queen Street in Martinsburg. A few weeks later, the victim picked Coleman out of a photo lineup. Coleman remains behind bars, without bond. If convicted, he faces a possible life sentence.

DISASTER DEADLINE APPROACHING

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding eligible Private NonProfit
organizations in West Virginia of the Oct. 2 deadline to submit disaster loan applications for physical damages caused by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides on June 29-30th. Private NonProfit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The interest rate is 2.75 percent with terms up to 30 years. Applicants may apply online at www.DisasterLoan.sba.gov. The deadline to submit economic injury applications is May 4, 2020.

LEVINE HIRES HIGH PROFILE ATTORNEY IN ROCKWOOL SUIT

David Levine, a self-proclaimed activist and a very prominent figure in the ongoing controversy over Rockwool, has reportedly hired the services of a Charlottesville attorney known for taking large anti-defamation suits across the country. According to The Journal, Attorney Steve Biss, who recently represented California congressman Devin Nunes in a defamation suit against The Fresno Bee and its parent organization McClatchy Company for $150 million, has been brought on-board. The suit alleges that Rockwool and Jefferson County Prosperity, among others, have “attacked and defamed” Levine for his involvement with anti-Rockwool protests and publications. He is seeking $10 million in damages.

2 SHOOTERS RETURNED TO WEST VIRGINIA TO FACE CHARGES

2 people who are referred to as suspects in the shooting last Saturday night of a Charles Town woman, have been extradited back to West Virginia following their arrests in Maryland. 28 year old Elliott Lansdowne of Maryland, is facing a felony charge of first-degree murder. 20 year old Emma Phillips of Harpers Ferry was charged with felony after the fact. Both are behind bars now, in the Eastern Regional Jail. Both are accused of being involved in the shooting of 28 year old Taylor Poland, who suffered a single-gunshot wound to the head.