TABATHA MONTAINIO… CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLEMENT AND SUSPENDED FROM JOB

The alleged embezzler who was arrested for ripping off the South Berkely Little League to the tune of $5,199.37 has been suspended from her job. The board also, after learning of the alleged embezzlement of funds, says they immediately focused on establishing “new accounting transparency policies with broader internal checks and balances.” 37 year old Tabatha Montanio is facing felony charges for taking the money to use for personal purposes while acting as treasurer of the group. They also say the league currently has outstanding bills totaling approximately $15,000. An insurance claim has been filed to assist in recovering as much of the loss as possible. For now, Montanio has been released from the Eastern Regional Jail on a $10,000 bond, but her legal troubles are far from over at this point.

HOLLOWAY NAMED MARTINSBURG OFFICER OF THE MONTH

Patrolman Roderick Holloway has been selected as the Martinsburg Police Department’s Officer of
the Month for January. Patrolman Holloway’s enthusiasm, work ethic, and leadership, has been recognized by both fellow officers and community members. In addition to his outstanding work as a patrol officer, Officer Holloway serves as a member of MPD’s new Honor Guard, and will be one of the police instructors in the upcoming MPD/Martinsburg Initiative Junior Police Academy.

GAS PIPELINE EYED WITH CAUTION

A gas pipeline rupture and explosion last summer is raising related worries about a current pipeline proposal here in West Virginia. Last June, Columbia Gas said a landslide after heavy rains caused its brand new pipeline to rupture and explode. Jim Kotcon with the West Virginia Sierra Club says last summer’s explosion could have been deadly….

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection hasn’t commented.

ARREST MADE IN WENDY’S BREAK-IN

An arrest has been made in connection with a breaking and entering at a Martinsburg Wendy’s back in December. 18 year old John Henline of Martinsburg… a former employee at the fast food joint… was arraigned Wednesday on felony charges of breaking and entering and conspiracy to commit breaking and entering. Investigators say Henline and two others are accused of breaking into the Wendy’s and stealing three cash registers with approximately $133 in them. A warrant has been issued for one other person who is believed to be involved, and charges will also be pursued for a juvenile that is also believed to have been involved. Security camera footage is what led to the arrests after a Wendy’s employee identified one of the thieves as Henline. Henline was detained at the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of a $55,000 bond.

LITTLE LEAGUE EMBEZZLER ARRESTED

The acting-treasurer for the South Berkeley Little League has been arrested after being accused of embezzling more than $5,000 from the league for personal use. 37 year old Tabatha Montanio of Inwood, is now facing a felony charge of embezzlement. Investigators say Montaino withdrew money from South Berkeley accounts, and wrote checks to herself, totalling $5,199.37 between Dec. 29, 2017, and this past August. West Virginia State Police say a witness came forward with knowledge of the thefts, which started the investigation. She has since admitted to taking money, saying she was “down on her luck” and needed the extra money. Montanio was sent to the Eastern Regional Jail on a $10,000 bond, which she has since posted.

GOVERNOR OUTLINES BUDGET PROPOSAL

In his third State of the State address to lawmakers, Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday proposed a state budget that takes advantage of the current revenue boom and cuts some taxes. The governor’s $4.67 billion budget does not rely on any money from the Rainy Day Fund. It does however, increase spending on a number of education- and health-related programs….

The proposed budget estimates about 2 percent growth in state revenue over the next year, with expenditures that will grow a quarter of a percent less than that. The budget plan includes almost $80 million in major new spending programs, which will go toward social services, deferred maintenance, tourism and substance abuse treatment.

FLOOD WATERS FALLING FAST

Flood waters in the Eastern Panhandle are receding fast. Nearly four inches of rain drenched the area this past weekend, causing a number of road closings and pushing area river waters to their edges. According to the National Weather Service, 3 to 5 inches of precipitation fell between Friday and Sunday evening in the Eastern Panhandle. But the water is draining fast, and rivers have already crested in many places. A short dry spell just ahead of last week’s rainfall is believed to have made the difference.

HEDGESVILLE WOMAN CHARGED WITH DUI

A woman from Hedgesville has been is behind bars. Berkeley County deputies say 26 year old Alyssa Linaburg is facing felony charges after being involved in two crashes, then fleeing… all while impaired by drugs. Linaburg… who admitted taking drugs prior to driving, is charged with felony neglect of a child resulting in injury; DUI with injury; DUI with an unemancipated minor; hit and run; hit and run with injury; failure to maintain control; and driving while her license was suspended for the third time. A young boy who was a passenger, was taken to Berkeley Medical Center for injuries. Linaburg is in the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of a $27,600 bond.

I-81 LANE SHIFTS FORECAST

Be aware… nighttime lane closures will occur on Interstate 81 near Marlowe all this week, to prepare for shifting of traffic for the new pavement. If you can avoid that area, you will probably save yourself a lot of time and aggravation. Plan on an alternate route if possible.

MARTINSBURG CITY HOLIDAY SCHEDULE CHANGES

City of Martinsburg Offices will be closed on Monday, December 24th, and remain closed thru Wednesday, December 26th for the Christmas holiday. Normal business hours will resume on Thursday, December 27th. Garbage will be collected as normal on Monday. Tuesday’s garbage will be collected Wednesday, but with NO RECYCLING. Garbage collection will return to normal schedule next Thursday and Friday. The City of Martinsburg Offices will also be closed on Monday, December 31st and Tuesday, January 1st for the New Year’s holiday. Normal business hours will resume Wednesday, January 2nd. As with Christmas week, garbage on Monday, December 31st will be collected as normal. Tuesday’s garbage will be collected Wednesday, along with normal Recycling pick up. Garbage collection will return to normal schedule for Thursday and Friday, January 3rd and 4th. Also note… trash collection will start earlier… at 5 am… on December 24, 26 and 31, so set all trash to the curb the night before or before 5 am the day of collection.