US Rep Mooney Hosts Grant Workshop in South Charleston for 2nd District Communities

On August 14th, members of the Pleasant Hill Waterline Association (PHWA) attended a Grant Writing Workshop in South Charleston hosted by U.S. Representative Alex Mooney of our 2nd District. The workshop provided community members and local leaders an overview of federal loan and grant programs available to communities and businesses within the State of West Virginia. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, and multiple state and regional organizations provided participants with information on eligibility criteria and processing for grants and loans associated with infrastructure (water, sewer, broadband…etc.), law enforcement, emergency management and health care.

U.S. Representative Mooney opened the session speaking about the importance of economic growth throughout West Virginia and the importance of our small town’s and community’s involvement in the process. To enable and better serve the region, Rep. Mooney had his staff pull the workshop together and invite community leaders and groups from his 2nd District. U.S. Representative Mooney stated “Everywhere I go people ask about how to access funding for their community projects and programs. So we thought it would be a great opportunity to bring the funding experts to one location and let them explain the opportunities available and how our communities can access those funds.”

The Free Press WV
Members of the Pleasant Hill Waterline Association with U.S Congressman Alex Mooney. Left to Right are Gabby Gregory, Kevin Gregory, Congressman Alex Mooney, and from Covey Engineering in Sutton, WV, Julie Cayton and Krystle Morris.

One of the presenters at the workshop was the USDA’s Rural Development Division. USDA Rural Development is specifically set-up to assist rural communities, with a population of 50,000 or less, with funding through its’ many programs focused on economic and quality of life improvement. From Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants to Rural Broadband Direct

Loans and Grants to over 30 different programs all aimed at improving housing, businesses and infrastructure throughout Rural America.

The USDA Rural Development programs is exactly what the members of the PHWA were needing. This opportunity to see and understand the process and then have the opportunity to directly engage the local, regional, state and federal points of contact. These are the same agencies that will oversee the write-up, submission and ultimately the approval of the grants required to improve the infrastructure for Southern Lewis and Northeastern Braxton County. The PHWA is currently working on securing funding to complete an Engineering Feasibility Study and once that is complete, its focus will then shift to the waterline extension itself.

Linking community groups like the PHWA with the Regional, State and Federal agencies and their programs is a great opportunity for our communities. No one cares more about a community than those that live in it and by empowering the community leaders and groups with this information and knowledge, U.S. Rep Mooney and his team have increased the infrastructure, law enforcement, health and medical opportunities for his district. Chad Story, U.S. Representatives Mooney’s District Director, said they were working on plans to host additional workshops soon. Communities interested in attending the workshops can contact U.S. Representative Mooney’s office for the details.

Kevin Gregory an Ireland WV resident is Director of Fund raising for the Pleasant Hill Waterline Association, Inc., and will be working to raise $50,000 to $75,000 for an Engineering Feasibility Study to identify the Cost to complete two waterline extensions in Southern Lewis and North Eastern Braxton Counties.

There are nine (9) roads where folks reside that need good quality potable water they include; Routes 19/4 south of Lewis county and north of Falls Mills Overlook, Lake Lane Road, Pleasant Hill Road, Gregory Road, Hettie Road, Green Hill Road, Par Valley Road, Milroy Road, and Falls Run Road.

Mr. Gregory, added, “The two main sources for water for approximately 155 residents along these nine roads are; The first could be from West Virginia American Water across the Lewis County line into Braxton County, south down Route 19/4 to Fall Run Road. And the second, from the Burnsville Public Utility Board’s the 150,000-gallon water Tank on Curry Ridge down Route 19/4 north to Pleasant Hill and Lake Lane Roads to all the other roads up on the Pleasant Hill Ridge.”

Julie Cayton is Office Manager at Covey Engineering and her firm has been selected to conduct the Engineering for this multi-million-dollar water line project which will be completed in phases over the next seven to ten years.

Julie, said, “We learned a lot today about how to obtain grant funds and we are also very fortunate to live in an area where there are churches, senior centers, Lions Clubs, and other local organizations as well as individuals who understand the importance of having clear, safe drinkable water in a home. We formed our Association in January of this year and our

fundraising efforts to date have put us over the $10,000 mark and we are now at $10,858 in funds raised all locally. As Congressman Mooney says it takes a community working together to make quality infrastructure improvements and future economic development.”

The upcoming fundraising plans for Pleasant Hill Waterline Association’s include a ATV Poker Run on September 15th in Ireland for more information on this event contact Kevin Gregory, Director of Fund Raising for the Association at 304-452-8444

Editor of the Gilmer Press, there is no need to give me credit for the text or the photo it is 888 words long and you are welcome to edit as you see fit. Hope this helps, and it should be newsworthy to folks in Congressional District 2 who are represented by Alex Mooney.

WV Unemployment rate rises to 5.4 percent in July

The Free Press WV

West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly in July to 5.4 percent, with the number of unemployed residents rising by 100 people.

The most significant employment gains were in total nonfarm payroll employment with 900 positions and the service-providing sector with 1,300 positions.

The biggest losses were in the manufacturing (400 jobs) and mining and logging sectors (300 jobs).

According to Workforce West Virginia, total unemployment has increased by 2,500 people over the last year.

The national unemployment rate declined between in July to 3.9 percent.

Governor Gives State GOP $20k, Has Tax Debts in Other States

The Free Press WV

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has donated a combined $20,000 to the state Republican Party while his family businesses’ have tax debts in neighboring states.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Justice and his wife donated the money to the GOP last month.

The party disclosed the contributions in a report to the Federal Elections Commission published Saturday.

The Lexington Herald-Leader quotes Justice in an August 09 report saying he would pay down the $2.5 million he owes across at least five Kentucky counties as soon as possible.

Rick Randolph is an Albemarle County, Virginia, supervisor.

He says it’s disappointing to see Justice making political contributions before paying on his back taxes and penalties. Justice owes roughly $226,000 to the county.

A Justice spokesman didn’t respond to the Gazette-Mail’s requests for comment.

The meaning of Charlottesville

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16 scholars, activists, journalists, and politicians comment on “how we should think about” what happened a year ago.    Read More:  Politico

There is no such thing as “White Civil Rights.”  Read More:  The Root

WVDEP Accepting Comments on Proposed Stream Crossing Permit Changes

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is accepting public comments on proposed modifications to the West Virginia 401 Water Quality Certification for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Nationwide Permits, one of which is being proposed to assure that the conditions of the permit do not prevent a company from using more environmentally protective methods.

Under WVDEP’s proposed modifications to Special Condition C of the USACE Nationwide 12 Permit, a condition would be added to clarify that environmentally protective methods of stream crossings that take longer than 72 hours would be permitted. Another proposed condition would be added to allow a construction project to use a stream crossing method that is more environmentally protective than the current conditions allow. An additional modification is being made to clarify the need for mitigation for permanent stream impacts that total more than 300 feet.

The proposed permit modifications can be viewed HERE on the WVDEP website:

Comments can be submitted via email at ‘’ or by mail to:

401 Water Quality Certification Program
ATTN: Nancy Dickson
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304-2345

The deadline to submit comments is September 17, 2018.

Trump to rally in Charleston

The Free Press WV

Donald Trump is coming to West Virginia later this month for one of his ‘Make America Great Again’ rallies. It’s scheduled for August 21 at the Charleston Civic Center.

The announcement came Friday from the Trump campaign.

According to organizers Trump is expected “to discuss the benefits that the booming Trump economy is bringing to hardworking West Virginia families, including record-low unemployment and rising incomes. In addition, the President will address the latest on his fights to secure full funding to build the wall and to negotiate fair and reciprocal trade deals that are bringing back manufacturing jobs to America, plus the upcoming confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”

Trump will also “encourage West Virginians to get out and vote in the midterm elections this fall to support candidates such as Patrick Morrisey in his race to defeat Joe Manchin for the Senate and to help protect and expand the GOP majorities in the House and Senate.”

State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey released a statement after the announcement, stating his excitement for Trump’s stop.

“Trump and West Virginians know that liberal Joe Manchin has failed our state on the issues that matter most by pushing for gun control, funding Planned Parenthood, and supporting Hillary Clinton’s coal-killing campaign,” he said. “President Trump fights for the men and women of West Virginia, and it is time we elect a conservative fighter to the U.S. Senate who will stand with our President.”

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, also released a statement Friday afternoon.

“I couldn’t be happier to see President Trump returning to West Virginia. After years of misguided liberal policies from the Obama Administration that helped cripple our state, President Trump has repeatedly demonstrated a steadfast commitment to improving the lives of West Virginians. His pro-growth, pro-coal policies have helped given West Virginia one of the fastest growing economies in the country, and his fight against the deadly opioid epidemic is in stark contrast to the previous administration,” he said.

“I look forward to hearing the President speak and continuing to support his efforts to make West Virginia great again.”

Trump held a rally last August in Huntington at which Gov. Jim Justice announced he was switching political parties.

Trump last visited Charleston on May 10, 2016, just before the West Virginia Primary Election. He spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at the Civic Center.

The August 21 event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. It is general admission. Doors will open at 4 p.m.

West Virginia attorney general warns of fake check scam

The Free Press WV

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning residents about a fake check scam.

Morrisey says in a news release his office’s consumer protection division has received reports of consumers receiving counterfeit checks in the mail, including several in Lewis County. Because the checks bounce if cashed, the consumers are later required to repay the withdrawn amount.

The statement says consumers have received letters or emails claiming to represent various sweepstakes, employers or shopping programs.

Morrisey says consumers should not accept checks from unknown sources in order to protect their finances.

Residents who believe they are a victim of a fake check scam can contact the division at 1.800.368.8808.

WVDEP In Communication With MVP Following Stop Work Order

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is in close contact with Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) officials following a stop work order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

MVP has reported to WVDEP that it is directing additional resources to already existing environmental staff along the approximately 196-mile route to stabilize work areas and right of ways to ensure that environmental controls are maintained to protect the waters of the state.

Governor Jim Justice supports the building of natural gas pipelines, which will provide significant revenue to the state of West Virginia as additional natural gas is produced and severance taxes are paid. However, the Governor stresses the pipelines must be built in a manner that does not harm the health of West Virginia’s citizens or its waterways. Governor Justice has been in contact with WVDEP Cabinet Secretary Austin Caperton regarding the stop work order issued by FERC.

More information on the pipeline, including a map showing its path through West Virginia, is available HERE

Traffic Backed UP Near Sutton on I-79 After Morning Carsh

The Free Press WV

Southbound traffic on Interstate-79 is halted following a Monday morning crash that sent one person to the hospital.

Dispatchers said two vehicles were involved in the wreck, which occurred at mile marker 62 around 7 a.m. One of the drivers was transported to Braxton Memorial Hospital. The extent of their injuries is unknown.

The section of I-79 is currently a construction zone. It’s unknown if the construction was a factor in the crash.

Area police, fire and EMS responded to the scene. West Virginia State Police is handling the incident.

Feds order work to stop on Mountain Valley Pipeline

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Federal regulators have ordered a stop to the construction of a 300-mile (483-kilometer) natural gas pipeline on a swath of national forest, following a recent decision by a federal appeals court.

In a letter Friday to Mountain Valley Pipeline officials, the Federal Energy Commission said that the company hadn’t obtained rights-of-way or temporary use permits needed for the pipeline to cross federally owned lands since the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals canceled permits last week.

Therefore, it says, construction “must cease immediately.“

Construction of the pipeline, which would run through Virginia and West Virginia, prompted protests earlier this year from environmentalists.

Some protesters have climbed into trees on the pipeline’s path and chained themselves to construction equipment.

One dead after Nicholas County shooting

The Free Press WV

Authorities continue to investigate a fatal shooting at a Nicholas County campground.

The Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the Mountain Lake Campground Sunday. Upon arrival, they found Kathy King, 49 of Lincoln County, deceased. King was pronounced dead at the scene.

Further details such as a suspect or a motive are unavailable at this time. The shooting remains under investigation.

Announcing: Nightingale Awards Recognizing 40 years of Excellence in Nursing

The Free Press WV

The Future of Nursing West Virginia (FONWV) Action Coalition is pleased to announce the inaugural 40 over 40 Nightingale Awards, recognizing 40 nurses who dedicated over 40 years of exemplary nursing service in practice, education, leadership and mentoring. The awards will be conveyed at the Annual Awards Gala on September 29, 2018 at the Embassy Suites.

One such awardee is Deborah Kay Nutter, ADN, RN from Clarksburg, WV is a Staff Nurse in Pediatrics at United Hospital Center. She received the American Lung Association’s Breath of Life Award for her dedication to children with asthma and has served as the full time camp nurse for the asthmatic camp for children since its inception.

Parents of her patients recruited her for that position. She educates the children on managing their disease and taking medications correctly. Her nominator says, “Even though she is officially retired, she still is serving children of our state.“

Gala Chairperson, Karen Wilkinson, BSN, RN, ACM said, “We are proud to recognize the dedication and accomplishments of these exceptional nurses as they continue to improve the culture of health in WV and mentor the next generation of nursing leaders”

Most WV counties experience higher unemployment in June

The Free Press WV

Forty-seven of the state’s 55 counties experienced higher rates of unemployment in June, according to information released Friday by WorkForce West Virginia.

Five counties (Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker, Calhoun, Braxton) showed a decline in unemployment last month while three counties (Greenbrier, Lewis, Hancock) stayed the same.

Calhoun (8.0), Mingo (8.7), and McDowell (8.9) counties have the highest unemployment rates while Jefferson (3.7), Doddridge (3.7), and Pendleton (3.3) enjoy the lowest rates.

The state’s unemployment rate for June was 5.4 percent up from May’s reading of 5.1 percent.

Weston man has been accused of beating, strangling a woman

The Free Press WV

A man was arrested after being accused of beating and strangling a woman.

Justin Fultz, 32, of Weston was arrested after being accused of striking a woman several times in the face, and then strangling his victim until she lost consciousness, according to a criminal complaint.

The victim also says that the suspect hit her in the torso with a board that was broken at some point during the incident.

Fultz has been charged with strangulation, he has been taken to the Central Regional Jail. His bail amount is listed at $40,000.

Alleged Roane County shooter faces attempted murder, malicious wounding charges

The Free Press WV

The suspect in a Roane County shooting was facing initial charges of attempted murder and malicious wounding after being arrested on Thursday morning following a night of searching that closed part of Route 119 near Walton.

Andrew “A.J.” King, 31, allegedly shot two people at a Roane County home, according to State Police and deputies with the Roane County Sheriff’s Department.

“He somehow ended up at this family’s home and they said that he was just erratic, knocking on doors, banging on the doors and was yelling and screaming and so they called 911,” said Taylor Eaton, a WSAZ Television reporter.

She spent Thursday morning near the shooting scene.

Two people were shot in the home around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to investigators.

A woman was expected to survive her injuries, while a male victim was said to be more critically hurt.

Late Wednesday night, investigators said law enforcement officers originally answered an emergency call about threats King was allegedly making toward his grandfather.

At some point, King took off on an all-terrain vehicle which was wrecked next door.

A specific timeline of events was not immediately available.

“They (Roane County deputies) said when he ran away from them that he still had a handgun in his hand and that he raised it at one point at deputies and State Police and so they shot at him,” Eaton reported.

During the search for King through the early morning hours Wednesday, law enforcement officers said he should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

The State Police helicopter was part of the search for King.

K-9s were also used to track King who was eventually taken into custody north of the Ambler Ridge area.

US Hwy 119 was closed around 1 a.m. between McKown’s Creek and Ambler Ridge in Roane County as a precaution during the search and reopened to traffic before 8 a.m.

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