Calhoun Fire Destroys A Restaurant

The Gilmer Free Press

Firefighters said a fire that destroyed a Calhoun County restaurant Friday morning in Grantsville isn’t only devastating to the owners but also the community.

“My heart dropped,“ said Graham Knight, Grantsville volunteer firefighter. “It’s a sad thing.“

Responding to a fire at Momma T’s in Grantsville has a personal meaning for volunteer firefighter Graham Knight. Knight used to work at the convenience store and on Friday he was fighting to save it.

“The second I came around and saw the flames my heart dropped a little bit,“ he said.

The restaurant went up in flames about 6 a.m. Hours later smoke was still billowing out of the roof.

“We’re in this for a reason, but it’s never good when you see it,“ Knight said.

The owners said they had just opened the store and were standing outside when they heard a popping noise. The next thing they saw was their business on fire.

Grantsville Fire Chief Craig Gherke said firefighters attacked the blaze as soon as they arrived.

“We pulled in, hit it with the deck gun trying to put the flames out,“ Gherke said. “It just spread from the attic into the store area.“

Firefighters had to attack it from the outside at first because the roof started falling, and it was too dangerous to go in the structure. The entire building and everything inside was destroyed. The owners estimate their losses at $500,000.

“This was their livelihood and how they made a living so they’re taking it kind of hard,“ Gherke said.

The owners haven’t decided if they’re going to rebuild.

Knight said this is a huge loss to this community.

“There’s been a lot of good times for everybody in the county and surrounding counties to come to eat here and talk,“ Knight said. “It’s just kind of a homey feel. It’s sad to see it now.“

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but firefighters think it was electrical in nature.

~~  Bethany Simmons - Katelyn Sykes - WCHS ~~

19 Cattle Killed on I-64 after Escaping West Virginia Farm

The Gilmer Free Press

Greenbrier County emergency officials say 19 cattle were killed by a pair of tractor-trailers after they escaped from a farm and wandered onto Interstate 64.

The accident occurred around 1:43 AM Wednesday in the Alta area.

Several cattle were euthanized because of their injuries.

The others were killed instantly.

The accident closed the eastbound lanes until about 5:00 AM.

One driver suffered minor injuries while the other driver was not injured.

Once Again West Virginia Leads The Nation in Deer Collisions

The Gilmer Free Press

Despite a lower rate of deer/car collisions across the United States, West Virginia remains the most likely state in which a motorist will hit a deer while driving.

“There’s been a decline of about 4.3%,” said Dave Phillips, spokesman for State Farm Insurance.

“West Virginia though is still number one.  The average nationally is about one in 174 to hit a deer, but in West Virginia it’s one in 41.”

West Virginia with its miles of rural roadway has held the dubious distinction in State Farm’s annual survey for seven straight years.

“Even though West Virginia remains number one, that’s an 8.3% reduction from the previous year,” Phillips said. “The crashes are down, but there’s still an issue that those deer are out there.”

The average deer/car collision costs 3,000 dollars in repairs.

Montana is the second most likely state to hit a deer where the chances are one in 65.

Iowa is third with a one in 73 chance.

Rounding out the top five of state’s where you’re most likely to hit a deer are South Dakota at one in 75 and Pennsylvania at one in 77.

State Farm’s data suggests November is the most likely time to hit a deer on the highway.

November is the peak of hunting and rutting season for whitetail deer and makes the more vulnerable to a human interaction.

“The thing is to just be alert we’re headed into that season of the year,” Phillips suggested.

~~  Chris Lawrence ~~

Doddridge School Bus Involved In Accident Near Southridge Walmart

The Gilmer Free Press

A Doddridge County school bus was involved in an accident with another passenger vehicle Friday.

Police said the accident took place at about 4:40 PM near the Walmart At Southridge Centre.

Students were on the bus at the time of the accident, but no one was reported injured.

An ambulance was dispatched to the scene as a precaution.

High School Football 2013: South Harrison Student Still in Medically Induced Coma

The Gilmer Free Press

A senior at South Harrison High School is still in a medically induced coma at Ruby Memorial Hospital following an injury that happened during Friday night’s football game against Lincoln High School.

Dylan Jeffries, age 17, collapsed on the sideline after taking a hit.  Later Friday night, he underwent emergency surgery at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown to have a massive blood clot removed from his brain.

South Harrison Principal Greg Moore said, at this point, it’s not clear if the hit Jeffries took in the fourth quarter of the game caused the problem or if the blood clot was there prior to the tackle.

“When he was tackled, the back of his head did the hit the ground.  That initiated whatever happened,” said Moore.  He said Jeffries was called to the sideline where he collapsed after he ran the wrong direction in the play that followed the hit.  He was taken off the field on a stretcher.

Moore said Jeffries is currently on a ventilator and is being monitored.

“They have to keep an eye on the brain pressures because, whenever you do brain surgery, there’s swelling of the brain and, for four or five days afterwards, that pressure goes up and down and they monitor that,” he said.  The plan is to start bringing Jeffries out of the coma later this week.

Moore said a lot of people are pulling together and hoping for the best for Jeffries.  “Down here at South Harrison, we’re the little rural school of the county and it’s a family community down here,” he said on MetroNews “Talkline.”

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High School Football 2013: Player Seriously Injured

The Gilmer Free Press

A South Harrison High School football player is hospitalized following a serious injury during a game against Lincoln Friday night.

According to the Clarksburg Exponent, Dylan Jeffries underwent surgery at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for a blood clot on his brain, which led to swelling.

Jeffries, a senior, was taken from the field on a stretcher midway through the fourth quarter.

Lewis County: Deadly Accident Under Investigation

The Gilmer Free Press

A man was killed Friday night when he lost control of his truck and the vehicle slammed into a tree.

West Virginia State Police Troopers are investigating the crash that took place around 8:00 PM on Georgetown Road.

The victim was traveling alone.

Troopers have not release his name.

Fatal Accident: One Dead in Roane County Wreck

The Gilmer Free Press

A person is dead after a Thursday night traffic accident on U.S. Highway 119 in Roane County, WV.

Police say the single vehicle crash happened at around 9:00 PM between Spencer and Gandeeville.

The victim was pronounced dead at Charleston Area Medical Center

Flatwoods: Woman Dead in I-79 Crash

The Gilmer Free Press

Sheriff’s deputies in Braxton County said a woman was killed and a man critically injured in a car crash Tuesday on Interstate 79.

The wreck happened at around 11:50 AM in the southbound lanes near the 64 mile marker between Flatwoods and Sutton.

Deputies said the driver lost control and the car overturned at least three times ending up in the northbound lanes.

Both the woman and man were thrown from the vehicle.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene and the man is in critical condition.

The man was transported to Braxton Memorial Hospital, where he was being treated for serious injuries.

The deputy said the man was expected to be transported to Charleston by helicopter.

Their names have not been released.

Deputies said speed may have been a factor.

The northbound lanes of I-79 were closed immediately after the crash but reopened by 2:00 PM.

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Daily G-Eye™ : 08.22.13

The Gilmer Free Press
A concrete truck hit the guide wire and pulled the electric pole down and it broke in half.
Mineral Road, Glenville, WV on August 21, 2013

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Doddridge County: WV DEP Says Antero Can Resume Work at Fire Site

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas has lifted two Cease Operations orders issued to Antero following a fire that occurred July 07, 2013 allowing the company to resume activities on the Ruddy Alt pad in Doddridge County.
As a result of the incident, the Office of Oil and Gas issued a Cease Operations order that called for Antero to provide a report that demonstrated the company knew or understood the cause of the July 07 incident, its ability to safely resume operations on the well pad, outline preventive measures to safeguard against future events and confirm that pollutants were contained on site.
Because the agency found the initial report submitted to be incomplete, the OOG issued a follow-up order that continued the cease operations and asked for more detail.
Antero submitted a subsequent report on Wednesday, August 07, that the agency found to be complete. As the company resumes its operations at the well pad, it is required to:
• conduct three levels of review of its pad equipment layout to ensure distances between potential fuel and potential ignitions sources are maximized;
• wait for an OOG inspector to inspect the installation of all new devices before flow back or well work activity begins;
• install cylindrical storage tanks to provide the highest possible outlet of any gas releases to aid in the dispersion of any possible releases;
• latch all hatches on all flowback tanks to minimize potential gas releases directly to the atmosphere;
• implement a mandatory policy for all personnel on the Ruddy Alt well pad to wear portable gas monitors, unless they are accompanied by someone who is;
• evaluate tank and area ventilation systems on the pad and provide that evaluation to the OOG; and
• submit any final reports on investigations of the incident to close out the record on the incident.

Wreck Kills 1 Teen, Injures 10 in Clay County

The Gilmer Free Press

One teenager is dead and 10 are in the hospital after a pickup truck wrecked in Clay County.

West Virginia State Police says the pickup was carrying a group of high school students when the driver lost control.

The truck wrecked on Route 36 near Wallback around 4:00 AM Wednesday, August 07, 2013.

One victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The others suffered non-life threatening to serious injuries and were taken to a Charleston hospital.

The investigation is continuing.

Doddridge County: WVDEP Orders Antero to Provide More Information

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) told Antero Resources they want more information about what the company believes caused an explosion at a Doddridge County natural gas well last month.

Last Thursday’s follow-up order demands that Antero provide all the information the company used in an initial report on the blast.

Click H E R E Read WVDEP Antero Order

The action comes after Antero filed a two-page report on Wednesday that blamed the explosion on a buildup of gas from tanks used to store flow-back water from the process of preparing the well for natural gas production. The report also stated that weather conditions intensified the accumulation potential gas buildup.

Last Wednesday was the legal deadline under an order issued by DEP on July 10, 2013.

DEP inspectors had initially said that the flow-back tanks had exploded, perhaps because of a buildup of either natural gas or other vapors. DEP said that a nearby pump that had malfunctioned could have ignited the gas.

The July 07, 2013 explosion resulted in the deaths of Jason Mearns, age 37, of Beverly on July 28, 2013 and Tommy Paxton, age 45, of Walton on July 24, 2013. Both men were being treated at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Three more men are still in hospital, including Arbogast from Lewis County. Arbogast is a member of Pricetown Fire Department.

The new order did not provide a deadline for Antero to turn in additional information. However, DEP’s original cease operations order remains in effect until the company provides the additional information requested by state officials.

Doddridge County Explosion: Second Death

The Gilmer Free Press

A Randolph County man is the second to die from injuries suffered in the July 07, 2013 gas well explosion at an Antero Resources operation in Doddridge County.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office in Pittsburgh said 37-year-old Jason Mearns from Beverly died Sunday morning.

He was being treated at the West Penn Burn Unit in the weeks since the blast in New Milton, WV.

Roane County resident Tommy Paxton, 45, died last week at the same burn unit from injuries he suffered in the explosion.

OSHA and the West Virginia DEP are continuing their investigations into the incident.

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