DRIVE SLOW IN THE LEFT LANE… GET FINED!

West Virginians finally will see some relief from drivers who insist on driving at reduced speeds in the left lane of highways. A new bill has been introduced that would make it illegal to drive in the left lane of a multilane highway while impeding other traffic. The bill would make the slow-driving practice a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 fine for a first offense and $200 for each subsequent offense. Those behind the bill, say it’s simply a matter of public safety as well as driver convenience. They say many interstate accidents occur while motorists are trying to change lanes to get around a slower driver.

BERKELY DEPUTIES TERMINATED

Two Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputies were terminated Tuesday following the wrap up of an internal investigation into the beating of a juvenile suspect. Deputies C.S. Merson and Austin Ennis were terminated as the result of the investigation, in which two state troopers… Derek Walker and Michael Kennedy, were placed on administrative leave without pay. The incident behind the allegations is said to have taken place during the apprehension of the juvenile. Based on policy and procedure, Ennis and Merson have a right to a hearing in front of their peers, and such a hearing has been requested, but so far, it has yet to be scheduled.

WINCHESTER MAN FACING GUN AND DRUG CHARGES

A man was arrested Wednesday in Winchester on gun and drug charges… Yesterday morning, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Winchester Police Department with the arrest of 35 year old Harry Minter IV, who was wanted for possessing a gun while being in possession of a Schedule I or II drug. Minter was taken into custody without incident, and then locked up in the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center, where he is being held without bond. His arrest came about due to the homicide investigation surrounding the death of Jerry Wayne Reid, Jr. During the course of the investigation, investigators learned that Minter was at Reid’s residence on the night of his death, while in possession of a revolver and crack cocaine. The investigation into Reid’s death continues, and anyone who may have additional details is asked to get in touch with police.

MARTINSBURG MAN SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS MINIMUM

A Martinsburg man, who prosecutors say used heroin as a means to control women he trafficked as part of a commercial prostitution ring, was found guilty of a string of felony charges following a six day jury trial in US District Court in Harrisonburg. 42 year old Kendall Wysinger has been found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, one count of interstate transportation for prostitution, one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of evidence tampering. Next up for Wysinger… sentencing. He faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison but he also could face the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars.

JUSTICE SENTENCINGS DELAYED

The sentencing date for former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Ketchum is being moved, but there’s still disagreement over when it will acually be. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver entered an order yesterday, to move Ketchum’s sentencing to 1:30 p.m. February 27. The original date had been January 30. The judge didn’t specify a reason for the delay. Ketchum’s lawyers then filed their own motion asking to change the new date, citing a conflict. Ketchum pleaded guilty last August to one count of wire fraud, after he admitted using a state-owned vehicle and a state-issued gas card for personal use for golf trips to Virginia. He resigned from the Supreme Court last July, just one day before impeachment proceedings were beginning. Former Justice Allen Loughry also had his sentencing date delayed, after it had been originally set for today. It has now been moved to 1:30 p.m. February 13th.

ONE DEAD IN VALENTINE DRIVE CRASH

One person is dead following a crash on Valentine Drive in Martinsburg. West Virginia State Police are now providing details of the accident that they say happened last Friday. It is believed that medical complications are to be blamed, and there is no indication of any criminal or illegal activity according to investigators. Out of regard for the family, the name of the victim has not been released. Nobody else was hurt.

WINCHESTER POLICE ANNOUNCE ARREST IN HOME INVASION CASE

An arrest last evening by Winchester Police in connection with last week’s breaking and entering of a Jackson Avenue home. 29 year old Eugene Antonio Bell-Washington was taken into custody, and locked up in the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center, where he is being held without bond. He has been charged with breaking and entering while armed, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and brandishing a firearm. A second suspect, 26 year old Ronald Emanuel Johnson, has been identified and remains at large. Anyone with information about his whereabouts, is asked to contact the Winchester Police Department.

MOSS NAMED NEW PRINCIPAL AT WILDWOODS

The Jefferson County Board of Education has named Jennifer Moss as Wildwood’s new Principal. Moss began her career in Berkeley County as a music teacher at Martinsburg South Middle
School. She says it’s exciting to come full circle after spending more than three years as an Assistant Principal at Wildwood before moving into her current role as Assistant Principal at Harpers Ferry Middle School. Moss received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Shepherd University and spent 6 ½ years in the classroom. She got her Master’s Degree in Educational leadership from Grand Canyon University in Arizona, and has worked as an Assistant Principal in Jefferson County for 7 ½ years.

ATTORNEY GENERAL MORRISEY GIVES ADVISORY OPINION REGARDING MEDICAL MARIJUANA

An advisory opinion from West Virginia’s Attorney General could give lawmakers the green light to begin addressing the state’s medical marijuana law while at the same time warning about long-term legal issues at the federal level. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Friday, released an advisory opinion offering the state guidance on how to proceed with implementing the Medical Cannabis Act. The state Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Medical Cannabis, along with the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, have been working to get the program up and running for the July 1 deadline.

BERKLEY COUNTY COUNCIL OK’S NEW DEPUTY MARSHALS

The Berkeley County Council has given the green light for hiring of two additional deputy marshals in order to help cover the growing workload in the county courthouse. Last year, more than 19,000 court cased were heard in Berkely County, between Family Court, Cirduit Court, and Magistrate Court… resulting in more than 122,000 visits by deputies to the courthouse. More are expected this year and at the current staffing level, that schedule would be impossible to address.