WV NATIONAL GUARD ISSUES STATEMENT

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, issued a statement concerning the Guard’s current preparations in response to Coronavirus.
Governor Jim Justice has directed the West Virginia National Guard to provide the appropriate level of support to this ongoing situation, as they have done in all previous state emergencies. The West Virginia Guard stands ready to respond to the needs of our state. The West Virginia National Guard Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy at Camp Dawson in Preston County, will remain open during the statewide school closure, as students live and attend the school at Camp Dawson, and therefore do not come in contact with the general population. There are currently no changes to the access of West Virginia National Guard facilities across the state. The Child Development Center located at Joint Forces Headquarters in Charleston, will remain open.

SCHOOL LUNCHES WILL BE PROVIDED

The West Virginia Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition has worked with all 55 counties to open sites to feed children this week. Starting today, more than 500 sites around the state will begin operations to ensure children who require school breakfasts and lunches will receive meals during the statewide school closure caused by the Coronavirus threat. For up to date information, visit www.coronavirus.wv.gov

FIREARMS PLEA

A man from Everett, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to various firearms charges. 30 year old Richard Schreiber purchased stolen firearms, components, and ammunition from Christopher Yates, who was an employee of Allied Security and worked at the National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch in Martinsburg. Schreiber will be sentenced on August 30th. He faces up to 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,250,000 or both.

BUDGET PASSES

Gov. Jim Justice’s general revenue budget for fiscal year 2021 starting July 1st, passed on Saturday, the final day of the 60-day legislative session for 2020. It’s passing this weekend marks the third year in a row that the state legislature has passed a budget for the next fiscal year, without needing an extended session.

CASTLE HAS NEW OWNERS

The castle on the hill in Berkeley Springs has new owners. Berkeley Springs Castle LLC sold the iconic 19th century castle for $1.4 million to VDARE, a nonprofit based in Litchfield, Connecticut. The new owners say they plan to use it for their family, and as office space. It may also be made available for community events. The castle is a national and West Virginia registered historical landmark.. and was built between 1885 and 1891.

VOLUNTEER BILL INTRODUCED

Legislation has been introduced in Charleston, to encourage volunteer firefighter participation. House Bill 4558, if approved, would allow volunteer firefighters in West Virginia, to have the opportunity to file a personal income tax credit for each year of work in an effort to encourage members of the community to take part in volunteer firefighter efforts. It is aimed at trying to address the severe shortage of emergency first responders.

WINCHESTER TO FLUSH

Beginning Monday, March 23, and continuing through October, the Winchester Utilities Division will be testing and flushing all of Winchester’s 1,200 fire hydrants as part of an annual maintenance program. As a result, customers may notice some discolored water, but there will be no disruption of service. For questions, call the City’s Public Utilities Division at 540-667-1815.

MAGISTERIAL CHANGES COMING?

A bill which would increase the number of magistrates in Berkeley and Jefferson counties by one passed in the Senate and is headed now to the House. If it becomes law, Berkeley County would increase from five magistrates to six, and Jefferson would increase from three magistrates to four.

WELCOME NEW CITIZENS

40 people representing 26 different countries became United States citizens Friday during a naturalization ceremony held in Martinsburg. Honorable Chief Judge Gina Groh encouraged the newly sworn citizens to be “a light from many lamps.”

BERKELEY JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF FIREFIGHTERS

A Berkeley County judge has ruled in favor of 36 Martinsburg firefighters who filed a civil lawsuit against the city, alleging current and now-retired firefighters were not properly compensated for holiday pay or overtime over a period of years and received retaliation from the city for their claims.