Lewis County Ambulance Crashes into A House

The Gilmer Free Press

A Lewis County EMS ambulance slid off of the road and hit a house, according to Jane Lew Volunteer Fire Department.

The accident happened South of Jane Lew on U.S. Highway 19.

The ambulance was on the way to a call and did not have any patient in the ambulance.

The two EMS workers in the ambulance were injured and were taken to a hospital by another Lew County EMS ambulance.

The extent of their injuries has not been confirmed.

The house suffered extensive damage.

The owner, a woman was there at the time of the accident but was not injured.

She went to the home of some family members nearby.

The Jane Lew Volunteer Fire Department and Lewis County EMS responded to the accident.

WV State Police: 3 Die When Cell Towers Collapse

The Gilmer Free Press


A 300-foot cellphone tower collapsed Saturday and minutes later a smaller tower fell, killing two contractors and a firefighter, authorities said.

The contractors were tethered to the larger tower when it collapsed in Clarksburg, State Police Cpl. Mark Waggamon said. A firefighter with the Nutter Fort Fire Department was killed when he was walking from his vehicle to the scene.

Two other contractors working on the larger tower were hurt and taken to a hospital. Waggamon described their injuries as serious but not life-threatening.

Waggamon said three of the workers were more than 60 feet up on the tower. One of those workers was killed along with a co-worker who was about 20 feet up when the tower toppled.

Two other workers at the site were not injured.

Waggamon said the weight of the collapsed tower put stress on guy wires to the smaller tower. Guy wires are the cables used to support such structures.

The crew was doing maintenance to strengthen the tower’s support when the accident occurred, Waggamon said. He said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.

The towers are owned by SBA Communications, which hired workers from S&S Communications to remove the tall tower’s diagonal supports and replace them with new ones. Phone messages left with the companies were not returned Saturday evening.

Steven Thompson, a member of the Summit Park Volunteer Fire Department, said about three dozen people from eight fire departments in the area responded. He said rescue personnel had to use four-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicles because snow had made a mess of the gravel road leading to the site, which was on a ridge about 200 feet above a main road. He said the first crews still arrived 10 to 15 minutes after the call.

The victims’ names were not immediately released.


Police in West Virginia say three people have died when two cellphone towers collapsed.

WV State Police Cpl. Mark Waggamon says two contractors who were tethered to a 300-foot tower were killed when the structure collapsed shortly before noon Saturday in Clarksburg.

A member of the Nutter Fort Fire Department died after a second, smaller tower collapsed minutes later.

Two other contractors who were also tethered to the larger tower were hurt and taken to a hospital.

Waggamon described their injuries as serious but not life-threatening.

Two other workers at the site were not injured.

Waggamon says the workers were doing maintenance to strengthen the tower’s support when it collapsed.

He says the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.

Names of the victims were not immediately released.

Clay County Man Still Missing

The Gilmer Free Press

A Clay County man last seen Monday, after leaving his home is still missing.

The West Virginia State Police are asking anyone with information into the whereabouts of Joel William Finch, 55, of Pond Gap, to contact law enforcement.

“If you see him, approach him and let him know that he’s been reported as a missing person and then call your nearest detachment of the West Virginia State Police or 911 and let them know he’s been located,” said State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous.

Those close to Finch said he left his home to ask about a job in Dunbar. He had his dog with him and was wearing jeans, a gray-hooded sweatshirt and boots.

Baylous said considering the frigid weather we’ve dealt with over the past few nights, it is very important to locate Finch.

“It’s been extremely cold and it’s not weather you’d want to be out traveling in, especially on foot.”

Baylous said there’s a chance Finch stopped at a friend’s house to wait out the bad weather and just hasn’t checked in with anyone. However, State Police are following up on a tip that Finch was seen Thursday morning in McDowell County near the Kentucky state line.

Baylous stressed the more people that know about Finch and his disappearance, the better chance they’ll have of finding him.

“We’ll just have to hope that this continues to get out there and someone will recognize him and know where he is,” said Baylous.

Body of 79-Year-Old Man Found in Nicholas County, Police Believe He Froze to Death

The Gilmer Free Press

Police in Nicholas County have found the body of a 79-year-old man who had been missing for four days.

Sheriff David Hopkins released a statement that the body of Dana Carte of Craigsville was found Friday in Muddlety.

The statement says investigators believe Carte had driven down a dirt road and his vehicle became stuck and caught on fire.

Carte left the vehicle and went into a wooded area where investigators believe he died in frigid conditions.

He had been reported missing by his wife on Monday night.

The Gilmer Free Press
Dana Carte, age 79

Rockefeller Seeks Answers on Long-Term Health Effects of Chemical Spill

The Gilmer Free Press

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, has contacted the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Center for Disease Control to request a study be done on the long-term health effects of the chemical spilled into the Elk River.

Rockefeller has asked for a comprehensive look into the public health risks associated with crude 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, which interrupted water service to 300,000 West Virginia customers.

“I am making this request of two separate agencies with the goal that no stone will go unturned, and no jurisdictional confusion will leave any key question unanswered,” Rockefeller said in a statement Tuesday. “In the coming weeks and months, the assistance of both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be critical for the long-term well-being of the state of West Virginia and its citizens.”

In the aftermath of the spill, Rockefeller requested a U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigation into the root cause of the incident. A team from the CSB arrived in Charleston on Monday.

Rockefeller has been working on a spending package to boost funding for the CSB, which he said is overworked and understaffed.

One Suspect Killed, Two Others Are at Large in Toys R Us Attempted Robbery in Vienna

The Gilmer Free Press

On Tuesday, at approximately 12:57 PM, the West Virginia State Police and other law enforcement officers in Wood and surrounding counties responded to an attempted robbery at the Toys R Us store in Vienna, West Virginia.

One male suspect was shot by a Parkersburg Police Officer at the scene, according to a press release from First Sergeant Michael Baylous, public information officer with the West Virginia State Police.

The suspect died as a result of his wound. Two accomplices escaped on foot.

The two suspects were described as follows: One tall white male, early 20’s, with brown hair and a blue shirt and one white female with blonde hair worn in a bun.

Plane Crashes in Doddridge County Upshur County

The Gilmer Free Press

A small plane crashed in Upshur County near Buckhannon, WV Saturday evening, January 04, 2014.

The plane’s pilot told the Buckhannon Fire Department that he had engine trouble and had to make an emergency landing.

The plane’s parachute system was deployed and the plane crashed on Brushy Fork Road between Jenkins Ford and Buckhannon Toyota.

The fire department said the plane hit a truck when it landed but neither the truck’s driver nor the pilot were injured.

The plane was taken to the Upshur County Regional Airport for further investigation.

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Study: West Virginia Has Nation’s Highest ATV Death Rate

The Gilmer Free Press

A new study says West Virginia has the nation’s highest rate of fatal all-terrain vehicle accidents.

The study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at rider deaths on public roads from 2007 to 2011.

At that time, 1,701 riders died in crashes on public roads throughout the nation.

West Virginia ranked 3rd in the number of deaths with 96.

However, its death rate of 105 per 10 million people was the country’s highest.

Wyoming was a distant second with 70.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous says the popularity of outdoor activities in West Virginia may be a reason for the high rate of ATV fatalities.

Roane County: Man killed in ATV Crash

The Gilmer Free Press

Police in Roane County released information Saturday about a fatal ATV crash that took place on Hank Road Friday afternoon.

Deputies said Alfred Slack, age 76, of Kanawha County died in the crash.

He apparently lost control of his ATV while traveling up a hill to check a tree stand.

The machine went backward and pinned Slack against a tree.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two Deadly Accidents This Morning in the Area

The Gilmer Free Press

Two people were killed in separate vehicle accidents in North Central West Virginia on Friday morning.

The first wreck happened around 6:30 AM Friday on Interstate 79 in Lewis County.

Reports indicated one person died in an accident near the Weston exit, mile marker 99, that involved a tractor trailer and three other cars.

One lane of I-79 was closed in each direction through Friday morning as crews worked to clear that accident scene.

Weston Police are investigating.

In Harrison County, about an hour later, a wreck involving a single vehicle on West Pike Street in Clarksburg claimed one life.

Officials said the vehicle slammed into a barrier wall after 7:30 AM Friday.

Officers with the Clarksburg Police Department are handling that investigation.

Neither victim was being publicly identified on Friday morning.

Squirrel Suspected Cause of Brush Fire in Upshur County

The Gilmer Free Press

Buckhannon fire chief Mitch Tracy says a squirrel likely caused a brush fire that burned about an acre behind the Upshur County Office of Emergency Management.

Tracy says a burned animal was found at the foot of a power line pole.

He says authorities believe a squirrel somehow got into the power line and shorted it out, causing sparks to fall to the ground.

He says no structures were damaged by the fire.

The fire occurred Friday on private wooded property.

G-LtE™: Christian Dawn Starcher Seabolt Disappeared In 2002

The Gilmer Free Press

Four years ago a hunter discovered the skeletal remains of Christian Dawn Starcher Seabolt, an 18-year-old Spencer woman, who vanished in 2002.

Authorities went to a remote area known as Groundhog Ridge to examine the remains, discovered about 25 feet from a rural road.

The remains were sent to the Smithsonian for forensic examination, during which they determined a positive identity.

West Virginia State Police in Spencer indicated to Spencer Newspapers they have no new leads on who murdered the woman, but the newspaper is a lot like our local paper which survives on county commission money from placing legal ads, otherwise could never sell enough advertising to support the rinky dink slink link of a poor excuse for print media.

The 18 year old girl left her mother’s apartment in Spencer, WV to get a pack of cigarettes on August 31, 2002, but what was not said was that Dawn Starcher Seabolt had information on bad cops and local drug dealing. Anybody that was around in those days and knew the girl would tell you the same story.

The Gilmer Free Press
Christian “Dawn” Starcher Seabolt whose body
was found in Wirt County years after she went missing

This story is about complacency and people not wanting to get involved for the reason the matter stinks of police corruption. If you don’t believe those allegations, I would invite you to go talk to her friends who have long since had their ten year high school reunion. Privately they will tell you the young girl had information about a bad cop.

Seabolt was an acquaintance of “Tattoo Vince” Golosow, a Tariff, Roane County man, now is serving time for killing Michael Judson Reid, 52.

“Tattoo Vince” was connected to a number of individuals who resided in Roane, Wirt and Clay counties, but quite frankly had nothing to do with the murder of the girl. “Vince” will tell you himself, why kill one of the few friendly girls in the area. The word is from people in the area was that they were on friendly terms.

Therefore, any savvy investigator knows “Tattoo Vince” in this case is just a patsy, and that false story that he was responsible for the girl’s murder was disinformation released by the local cops, and by the person that was actually guilty of murdering the girl.

This was the ROANE COUNTY version of the murder of FRED HILL 7 years in advance.

“Tatto Vince” Golosow, 58, said Seabolt was a nice girl. He did admit Seabolt used to come around his house.

Sometime after Seabolt went missing, Judd Reid, a friend of hers and Golosow, was murdered.

Golosow was convicted of Reid’s murder in 2004. Golosow, who claims he is innocent of Reid’s murder, is also considered a person of interest in Seabolt’s case by law enforcement officials.

The Gilmer Free Press
Seabolt’s body was discovered off Groundhog Ridge
in this wooded area photographed in
Creston, WV after years of searching.

Moe Starcher the father of the murdered girl thinks his daughter was murdered for attempting to report police corruption. He points to rumors of drug-related law enforcement corruption in the area. His daughter’s claims did not sit well within the law enforcement community, Starcher said.

“What I was told before she came up missing and what I believe to this day:”

“There were some dirty cops in Clay and Roane County. It is well known by many.”

Starcher claims a 911 call was made the day Seabolt disappeared. Officials said the 911 call to which Starcher refers was not made by his daughter.

Officials are working with Starcher to allow him to listen to the recording. Starcher believes the recording the State Police will provide is not the call his daughter made, and that they are covering for dirty county cops the same exact way they have been documented of doing so for the corrupt law enforcement in Gilmer County.

“I was told by a State Police officer that there is a phone call and it was my daughter and now it doesn’t exist. Where does that leave me?”

The State Police are obviously corrupt too!

“I think when (Golosow) said I was on the right track, referring to police corruption, he’s right on that,” Moe Starcher the father of Christian Dawn Starcher Seabolt said.

~~  Author on File ~~

Braxton County: Police Identify Body Found in Elk River in Gassaway

The Gilmer Free Press

Officials in Braxton County have identified the woman found dead in the Elk River earlier this week as that of Barba Chapman.

Sheriff Deputies said the 82-year-old was found Monday at about 11 AM near the bridge going into Gassaway.

An autopsy is currently being conducted on her body by the State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.

Deputies at this point do not believe her death is suspicious.

Investigators said a family member found Chapman’s body.

Doddridge County Sheriff’s Deputy Involved in Rollover Accident

The Gilmer Free Press

A Doddridge County sheriff’s deputy was involved in a rollover accident Monday morning.

He was taken to United Hospital Center and now released he was checked out.

Doddridge County Sheriff Mike Headley said Deputy Garner was traveling on U.S. Highway 50 East around 6:00 AM he had the rollover accident.

It happened when the deputy swerved to avoid hitting a deer near Doddridge County Middle School.

Sheriff Headly said, “The patrol vehicle hit the median, then rolled over.”

Deputy Garner was taken to United Hospital Center by Doddridge County Ambulance Authority.

Deputy Garner went back to work on Tuesday.

West Union Fire department and Smithburg Fire department also responded to the accident.

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Gassaway: Body Found By Elk River

The Gilmer Free Press


The body of a woman was discovered in the Elk River near Gassaway Monday night.

Braxton County Sheriff’s Department deputies said Tuesday they have identified the woman, but are not releasing the information.

Deputies said although the woman’s family has been notified, there are other family members out of state who have not yet learned of the tragedy.

The investigation into her death is underway.

The woman’s body has been sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to determine a cause of death.

Deputies would not say if foul play is suspected and would not say who found the body.


Crews were on the scene of a body that was found in Braxton County, Monday, December 02, 2013.

Dispatchers say the body was found Monday night by the Elk River in Gassaway, WV.

The victim has not been identified.

Water Rescue in Webster County

The Webster Springs Fire Department Swift Water Rescue Team was dispatched to swollen Sugar Creek late Tuesday night about 8.5 miles from the community of Diana, south of Holly River State Park.

They found Amy Casteel, age 36, stuck on a fallen tree after she had been carried downstream about a quarter of a mile nearly two hours earlier.

Webster County first responders used generators to get light on Sugar Creek to aid in the rescue effort.

The Gilmer Free Press

Webster County Office of Emergency Services Deputy Director Dale Hall said Casteel and her uncle, Jimmie Hines, age 42, had attempted to cross the creek on an ATV at about 9 PM.

They realized it was too deep and attempted to back out but the ATV overturned in the water. Hines made it out of the water but Casteel did not. It took him about an hour to reach a residence to call for help.

Hall said once the rescue team and other volunteers from the Webster Springs, Hacker Valley and Diana volunteer fire departments found Casteel they determined a highline rescue was the only way to reach her.

He said they took a generator, strung extension cords and set up lights so they could see her.

Once rescuers found her and held a light for her–she was able to get out of the water to a debris pile and stayed there until we could get to her.

A member of the swift water rescue team swam over to the other side of Sugar Creek, other team members then threw him the line and he secured it to the trees.

Hall said the team then used a 4:1 lift and put Casteel in a harness, hoisted her into the air and brought her across on a highline.

She was taken to Webster County Memorial Hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

What could have been just a recovery turned into a successful rescue.

There were between 20 and 30 volunteers on the scene and Hall said they will be extra thankful this Thanksgiving.

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Police ID Pennsboro Man Killed in House Explosion

The Gilmer Free Press

A man killed in an explosion at his home in Ritchie County has been identified.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. Clint Boring says that no foul play is suspected in the death of 73-year-old Robert Lee Holmes.

The explosion occurred at Holmes’ home in Pennsboro on October 21, 2013.

An investigation is continuing.

West Virginia State police and the State Fire Marshal believe the explosion was caused by a natural gas leak.

Doddridge County: Two Injured in Well Site Fire

The Gilmer Free Press

One worker with Antero Resources was still being treated at a Pittsburgh, PA hospital Monday following a Sunday accident at a natural gas drilling site in Doddridge County.

The worker was one of the two injured in a fire that happened while the two workers were reportedly installing a sand separator at a well pad located near West Union, WV.

The accident came just a few months after two workers died following an incident at another location for Antero Resources in Doddridge County.

Fatal Fire in Ritchie County

The Gilmer Free Press

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a second fatal fire in West Virginia from this week.

The blaze took place at about 10:30 PM Monday night at a house on East Miles Ave. in the Pennsboro area.

The victim was a 73-year-old man.

Two Logan County children were killed Monday morning in a blaze near Logan. Investigators said Dontarius Gardner, 3, and Shania Sydney, 4, couldn’t make it out of the back of their duplex on Canton Lane when an electrical problem started the fire.

Minor Earthquake in Braxton County

The Gilmer Free Press

A minor earthquake has shaken the Sutton area in Braxton County, WV.

The National Geological Survey’s shows a magnitude-2.2 earthquake occurred around 5:20 AM. Sunday.

The epicenter was 6 miles west-northwest of Sutton.

No damage has been reported.

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