Doddridge County: Gas Well Explosion

The Gilmer Free Press

As the result of a gas well explosion eight (8) workers were injured.

The blast happened about 4:00 AM early Sunday morning, July 07, 2013 at a well site off of Brushy Fork Road in New Milton owned by Antero Resources.

Antero Resources confirmed the location of the accident as the Hinterer 2H Well on the Ruddy Alt Pad.

An investigation is underway into the explosion.

Four of the workers were transported to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

The others were taken to in-state hospitals.

There is no word on their conditions at this time.

The company operates 15 drilling rigs, in 7 counties, in North Central West Virginia.

Antero is based out of Denver, Colorado.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the WVDEP inspectors were on the scene early Sunday morning following the explosion.

the West Virginia Department of Oil and Gas was also alerted.

Antero Resources has also contacted a third party to investigate and inspect the well site.

According to Kevin Kilstrom, Vice President of Production for Antero Resources, the well was drilled and completed, and crews were preparing to enter production tubing into the well.

In addition to the well two frack tanks were a part of the accident.

ATV and Car Collision in Doddridge County

The Gilmer Free Press

According to a Doddridge County Sheriff Deputy an ATV driven by Rocky Locke, Age 28, of Doddridge County, WV, struck a car in a T-bone style collision while traveling on Route 23 near Roundbottom Road.

Locke was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital by Air Evac Lifeteam.

The driver of the car did not sustain serious injuries.

Locke suffered extensive injuries and is currently in critical condition at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Harrison County Prosecutor to Seek Charge in Boy’s Shooting

The Gilmer Free Press

Harrison County Prosecutor Joe Shaffer says he’ll seek an indictment of a Jarvisville woman who shot her 11-year-old grandson to death while firing a weapon in the dark at suspected intruders.

Shaffer said he wants a grand jury to consider the case against 57-year-old Tina Owens when it meets in September.

Sheriff Albert Marano says Owens fired multiple shots from a .40-caliber handgun Sunday night.

One pierced the wall of her son’s home about 200 yards away.

The bullet hit William Owens in the chest as he lay in bed.

Other children in the home at the time were unharmed.

Shaffer says gun ownership and the responsibility that accompanies it are important public issues, and 16 citizens should consider it.

He says it’s a difficult but necessary decision.

Grandma Accidentally Shoots 11-Year-Old Harrison County Boy

The Gilmer Free Press

An 11-year-old West Virginia boy died of a gunshot wound to the chest after one of several bullets his grandmother had fired at suspected intruders went through his bedroom wall.

William Owens was lying in his bed just before midnight Sunday when a bullet from the .40-caliber handgun pierced the trailer’s wall and struck him, Harrison County Sheriff Albert Marano said Monday.

Tina Owens, 57, had not been charged as of Monday afternoon, but Marano said the investigation was continuing. The results will be turned over to the Harrison County prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether to pursue charges.

Tina Owens’ home and the boy’s home are about 200 yards apart in the rural area of Jarvisville, Marano said. Tina Owens and her son both went outside their homes when they heard what they thought were intruders.

“She thought they were tampering with her property,“ Marano said, “and she fired multiple times to scare them off.“

It’s unclear whether there were any intruders. Marano said deputies found no one else at the scene when they arrived.

Marano said other children were in the home at the time, but no one else was hurt.

Clay County:  Man Killed after Pointing Gun at Troopers

The Gilmer Free Press

West virginia State Police Troopers shot and killed a Clay County, WV man Wednesday morning, June 26, 2013 while trying to execute a search warrant.

WV State Police Spokesman First Sgt. Michael Baylous says the agency’s Special Response Team and a team from the federal Drug Enforcement Unit knocked on the door of the house on Maysel Laurel Road at 6:05 AM.

“When the Special Response Team knocked and announced their presence the suspect didn’t open the door for them, so they had to breach the door,” Baylous said. “When they did breach the door they encountered the suspect with a weapon pointed toward the troopers.”

Troopers fired and the man was killed.

He is identified as Richard Dale Kohler, age 66, from Maysel.

“Troopers had to respond to the immediate threat,” Baylous said.

State Police officers were attempting to serve the search warrant as part of an ongoing drug investigation.

Baylous said once they saw the man with the gun pointed at them there was no time for negotiations.

“When something like that happens you immediately revert back to your training and your instincts and your knowledge that you’ve accumulated through the years and you respond to the threat,” Baylous said.

An Accident in Doddridge County Claims One Life and Multiple Injuries

The Gilmer Free Press


Those involved in accident were:

Mindy Weaver, age 30, of Bridgeport, WV who died was traveling west and lost control of her vehicle.

Vehicle which was collided by Weaver was driven by David Naill, age 43, from Maryland.

Karen Lemmert, age 43 from Maryland was passenger with Naill.

Lemmert and Naill sustained injuries and were transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown and listed in critical condition.

A juvenile passenger in Weaver’s car was also flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital.


The accident happened on U.S. highway 50 on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 about 5:40 PM.

According to West Virginia State Police a car travelling west crossed the median and hit a car travelling eastbound near the Long Run Road in Doddridge County, WV.

West Virginia State Police has confirmed one person was killed and three others were flown from the accident.

HealthNet and AirEvac Lifeteam were both on the scene.

Three people injured were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown by medical helicopters.

No Names have been released by the officials.

WV State Police as well as Doddridge County Sheriff’s Deputies, Doddridge County Ambulance Authority, Doddridge EMS and West Union Fire Department were at the scene og the accident.

Ritchie County: Accident Claims Life Of Woman, Juvenile Passenger

The Gilmer Free Press

The Fatal accident happened just about 7:40 AM Saturday morning, June 22, 2013 at the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and Simington Drive near Ellenboro, Ritchie County, WV.

Cheryl Horner of Pennsboro, and a young female juvenile were traveling in a 2005 Dodge Ram Truck westbound on U.S. highway 50, when a 2007 MAC water tanker truck, owned by Jay Bee Oil and Gas Incorporated of Union, NJ traveling south bound on Simington Drive struck Horner’s vehicle.

Both driver and the passenger of the Dodge Ram truck were pronounced dead on the scene.

The MAC water tanker also struck a 2013 Kenworth tanker truck owned by West Virginia Oil Gathering LLC of Frazeysburg, Ohio, traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 50, carrying crude oil.

The MAC truck driver has been identified has Caitlin Hines, of Parkersburg, WV.

The Kenworth truck driver, Andy Cornell of Belpre, Ohio was not listed as receiving any injuries.

Hines was taken to Camden Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg.

The West Virginia State Police, Ritchie County Sheriff’s Department, Pennsboro Police Department, Volunteer Fire Departments from Ellenboro, Pennsboro, and Harrisville, Ritchie County Ambulance Authority, Ritchie County Emergency Management, WV Department of Highways, and Public Safety Commission all responded to the accident.

Jane Lew: West Virginia State Police Investigating Stabbing

The Gilmer Free Press

A man was supposedly stabbed around 8:00 PM Sunday, June 23, 2013 on Broad Run Road in Jane Lew, WV.

Stabbing happened during a family fight when the man’s father sent his son to hospital.

The man was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

The West Virginia State Police has not released any information about the incident because the case is still under investigation by State Police in Lewis County.

School Buses in Braxton County Has Been Vandalized

The Gilmer Free Press

Nearly every school bus owned by the Braxton County school system has been vandalized.

One by one the windows and windshields were broken out of 30 vehicles sometime early Wednesday morning in a parking lot near Sutton.

Braxton County Director of Curriculum Services Brenda Wells told MetroNews Wednesday it was nothing more than senseless vandalism.

“I just can’t imagine who would do that when we are here to support kids. That’s what it’s all about,” she said. “It’s just frustrating to find that people don’t see the big picture of things.”

Only one or two buses were not damaged. Investigators believe those responsible used fire extinguishers as their tools of destruction.

“Our buses are all parked in a long row and you see each bus where the front windows are mainly smashed out and many buses have the side windows smashed out as well. There’s glass all over,” Wells said.

Damage estimates are expected to exceed $100,000. Wells said one bus alone has about $3,000 in damages.

“Some of the buses it’s almost every window,” she said.

State Police Troopers and Braxton County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating.

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Braxton County: Frametown Fire Claims Life

The Gilmer Free Press

Another Fire in Braxton County has claimed one life.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office says it appears an electrical problem started a deadly fire in Braxton County.

The fire happened about 10:00 PM Thursday at a trailer about a mile off the Frametown exit.

The victim, a 74-year-old man, was trapped inside the residence in Frametown, WV.

The home was near Granny’s Kitchen, a 911 dispatcher said.

The man’s body was found in the the living room.

Investigators on the scene said there were no smoke detectors in the home.

The victim’s name has not been released.

Frametown Volunteer Firefighters responded to the fire.

Clay County: State Police Says Shooting Was Not Random

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia State Police Troopers in Clay County say the man shot and killed in his garden Tuesday was the victim of a shotgun blast.

State Police Captain David Lemmon said Wednesday Clarence Jack Stone, age 65, of Indore, WVl died of those shotgun wounds to the torso.

Lemmon says State Troopers have spoken with a person of interest.

“We have interviewed persons of interest, person, but again we are going through, as with any case, possible motives. You don’t want to get tunnel vision, remain objective,” Lemmon said.

Troopers do not believe the shooting was random.

Stone was a lifelong Clay County resident who spent some of his leisure time in the community of Hartland Bottom where he tended a garden with another man.

Captain Lemmon said Wednesday it is possible someone saw the shooting or knew of a dispute Stone was having.

“We’re urging anyone in the community having that knowledge or information that could lead to a successful prosecution to contact the Clay State Police Detachment,” Lemmon said.

Evidence in the case has been sent to the State Police Crime Lab. Troopers continued to conduct interviews Wednesday.

The Clay State Police Detachment number is 304.286.3185.

Clay County: Shooting Death Under Investigation

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia State Police in Clay County say a man was found shot to death in his garden Tuesday afternoon, June 04, 2013.

The body, which had been shot several times, was found near a residence on Sycamore Street in the community of Hartland Bottom near Clay.

WV State Troopers are investigating.

The victim was 65.

West Virginia Convictions Mount for Distracted Driving

The Gilmer Free Press

In the first 10 months since a West Virginia law banned driving while texting or talking on a hand-held cell phone, 125 offenders have been convicted of doing just that.

The Legislature passed Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s distracted-driving bill last year.

Drivers caught texting while behind the wheel face fines of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second violation and $300 for subsequent offenses.

Using a handheld cellphone to talk becomes a primary offense July 01, 2013.

Lewis County: Motorcycle Accident Kills a Man on I-79

The Gilmer Free Press

John Lewis Hutton Jr., age 61, of Bridgeport, WV, was Killed about 5:00 PM on Sunday, May 05, 2013.

The accident happened near the mile marker 93 on Interstate 79 in Lewis County, WV.

According to WV State Police he was traveling north with another motorcyclist when he traveled left off of the roadway edge, into the median, struck the cable barrier and flipped off of the motorcycle.

Hutton was pronounced dead at the scene.

Braxton County: Two Tractor trailers Accident

The Gilmer Free Press

The state Division of Highways says traffic is going to be slow moving on Interstate 79 southbound in Braxton County, WV for most of Friday afternoon following an accident that involved two tractor trailers.

The crash occurred between the Flatwoods and Sutton exits in the Noon hour.

The DOH says motorists can expect delays.

One of the two large trucks caught on fire following the crash.

Lewis County: Fatal Traffic Wreck on I-79

The Gilmer Free Press

A Harrison County man was killed in a rollover accident on Interstate 79.

Police say the man was driving north near the Weston exit Sunday morning when his vehicle rolled several times.

Officers say they could not find the man when they first arrived on scene because he had been thrown into the nearby woods.

Police believe speed may have been a factor.

The man’s name has not been released, although authorities say he was between 25 and 30 years old.

By Indictment or by Public Tip, Slain Mingo Sheriff Waited for Ways to Arrest Drug Suspects

The Gilmer Free Press

The late Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum made it his mission to clean up the county’s pervasive drug problem.

He wanted residents to live without fear that illegal drugs were being sold in their neighborhoods.

He wanted to cut off the flow of drugs that he said often were coming from prescriptions from out-of-state doctors.

Many say he was largely successful in achieving those goals in his short time in office.

He was gunned down earlier this week in a downtown Williams parking

His funeral is Sunday, four days after the 59-year-old sheriff was shot to death in a downtown Williamson parking lot where he ate his lunch each day.

“BUCKWILD”: Carbon Monoxide Killed MTV Star

The Gilmer Free Press

Authorities in West Virginia say a star of the MTV reality show “BUCKWILD” and two passengers all died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Twenty-one-year-old Shain Gandee, his uncle and another passenger were found dead Monday.

Gandee’s 1984 Ford Bronco was stuck in a mud hole, its tail pipe submerged.

It is possible the gas could have filled the cabin because of the clogged exhaust pipe.

The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department says autopsies completed Tuesday confirmed the three men died from the gas.

Their deaths have been ruled accidental.

The victims’ bodies have been released to funeral homes, but no arrangements have yet been announced.

Shooting for the second season of the show set around Sissonville and Charleston has been suspended.

‘Mudding’ Was ‘BUCKWILD’ Reality Star’s Medication

The sport of tearing into trails in backwoods in trucks and all-terrain vehicles, known among enthusiasts as “muddin’,“ is a part of life for many amateur daredevils who love to get dirty in rural West Virginia, just as it was for “BUCKWILD” cast member Shain Gandee.

It was a fitting pastime for the 21-year-old, one of the stars on a show that warned viewers not to mimic the “wild and crazy behavior” they witnessed — swearing, fighting, four-wheeling, even swimming in the bed of a dump truck-turned-swimming-pool.

He and two others were found dead inside an SUV on Monday about a mile from Gandee’s Sissonville home. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday that autopsies confirmed they died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The vehicle was stuck so deep in a mud pit that its tail pipe was submerged; it is possible the gas flooded the cabin because of the clogged exhaust.

In one episode, he describes four-wheeling as a stress-reliever: “This is my medication right here,“ he says before getting stuck in a mud pit and blowing up his engine. And there was no place he enjoyed being more than behind the wheel in the woods, said Gandee’s cousin Ashley Gandee Lewis.

Just two days before he died, Gandee had gone mudding with people he met Saturday at the grand opening of her general store in Proctorville, Ohio.

“He said, ‘Let’s go!‘ And they went,“ Lewis said. “Mudding’s just taking your vehicle and finding the biggest mud holes you can get, and seeing how fast you can get through them. You can fish tail it sideways or get stuck.

“It’s just about having a good time. It’s just about making memories.“

Authorities said Gandee, his 48-year-old uncle, David Gandee, and 27-year-old Donald Robert Myers were last seen around 3 a.m. Sunday at a bar and they told people they were going driving off-road. The SUV was found by one of Shain Gandee’s friends next to a trail used by four-wheel drive vehicles, about 15 miles outside of Charleston.

The network has not said whether it was filming Gandee at the bar Sunday morning or after he left.

A four-wheeling charity event was being planned, with donations going to Gandee’s family for funeral costs.

Jim Humphrey, a salesman at Morgantown Power Sports, said mudding is just a part of the Mountain State’s history. People who live near lakes and oceans buy speedboats and personal watercraft. People who live near mountains and mud buy four-wheelers, he said.

“People around here just like to get muddy and have fun,“ said Humphrey, whose dealership sells 40 to 50 all-terrain vehicles a month at an average price of about $6,500.

West Virginia has an abundance of designated riding trails, including the 600-mile Hatfield-McCoy Trails network, which lets tourists and local alike traverse seven West Virginia counties. Local officials say riders have come from as far as Alaska and Canada.

But Humphrey, who used to ride two or three times a week, said locals often prefer to forge their own paths.

“That’s part of it, just the adventure,“ he said. “Just getting away from work or whatever.“

That thrill-seeking isn’t without risk. Statistics on off-road fatalities weren’t immediately available, but there were 588 ATV-related deaths reported from 1982-2011, the most recent statistics available from the state Division of Motor Vehicles. Of those, 144 occurred from 2008-2011.

People more commonly use ATVs, not trucks, Humphrey said.

“BUCKWILD” boasted millions of viewers during its first season and had already begun shooting season two, though it was not without detractors, including U.S. Sen. and former West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. He asked MTV to cancel the show in September, telling the network’s president in a letter that the show profits off of “poor decisions of our youth” and that it plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia.

“MTV didn’t make those kids do anything that those kids didn’t already do,“ Lewis said. “It’s not like they forced anybody to do anything.“

Shooting for the second season of “BUCKWILD” has been suspended because of Gandee’s death, according to an MTV spokesman.

Manchin was asked about the show again Tuesday during an appearance in Charleston, but he held back any harsh words.

“It’s just awful for a young person, very bright and promising, to have this happen,“ he said. “The series, that’s immaterial, it really is. This is all about family, it’s about losing a loved one at such a young age.“

MTV’s ‘BUCKWILD’ Cast Member Found Dead

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia authorities say a cast member of the MTV reality show “BUCKWILD” has been found dead, along with his uncle and a third, unidentified person.

Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department Cpl. B.D. Humphreys says 21-year-old Shain Gandee and 48-year-old David Gandee were found Monday in a vehicle near Sissonville.

Humphreys says relatives had been searching since early Sunday morning for both men. They were last seen around 3 a.m. Sunday at a bar in Sissonville.

Humphreys says no foul play is expected.

MTV said in a statement that Shain had a magnetic personality, with a passion for life that touched everyone he met.

Shain Gandee is now the third BUCKWILD cast member to make headlines.

Last week, 24-year-old Salwa Amin was sent back to Central Regional Jail for violating the terms of her previous release.

She was charged in February with two counts of drug possession with intent to deliver and initially jailed on $200,000 bond. That was later reduced to $100,000, but Amin remained behind bars without bond on Monday.

State Police say a multi-agency task force arrested Amin and two other people at a Summersville residence after receiving a tip from an informant. A search found oxycodone pills, heroin and $3,000 in cash.

Another cast mate, Michael Douglas Burford, was charged in February with driving under the influence.

The MTV reality show was filmed largely around Sissonville and Charleston last summer.

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Yeager Airport: Plane Lands Wheels-Up

The Gilmer Free Press

A private twin-engine Navajo aircraft made an emergency landing at Yeager Airport Thursday morning without landing gear.

“It just looked like a normal landing until he got on the pavement,”  said Assistant Airport Manager Brian Belcher who actually witnessed the landing. “You saw the smoke come up and the propellers are all bent up and it came to a dead stop right in the middle of the runway.”

Emergency crews from the airport and the 130th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air Guard were quickly on the scene.  Belcher said although emergency officials were there, it ddn’t appear anybody was injured.

Crews are now working to remove the aircraft without causing further damage.  The tower at Yeager had no advanced warning from the pilot of a problem with the landing gear.

“There was definitely some metal to pavement smoke or debris coming up,” said Belcher. “Looks like the runway is okay and as soon as they get it removed, we’ll do a runway check and get it back open to commercial traffic.”

Belcher said it’s unknown if Charleston was the destination of the small plane or if the pilot diverted to make an emergency landing.  The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are on the scene and will be conducting a full investigation.

~~  Chris Lawrence ~~

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