The Voice of West Virginia
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will hear arguments in Morgantown at the West Virginia University College of Law on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Tuesday, students in the WVU College of Law will be in the audience, and on Wednesday, high school students from Monongalia and Preston Counties will attend.
The Supreme Court usually makes a spring appearance on campus to hear an argument docket.
Doors will open at 9 a.m. at the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom, and arguments will begin at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Justices John Hutchison, Tim Armstead, William R. Wooton, and Haley Bunn are graduates of the WVU College of Law.
The court will hear the following cases in Morgantown:
Rule 20 Arguments
10 a.m., Speedway LLC v. Deborah L. Jarrett, Executor of the Estate of Kevin Jarrett, No. 21-0215.
10:40 a.m., Robert Toler v. Cornerstone Hospital of Huntington LLC, No. 21-0830.
11:20 a.m., Everett J. Frazier, Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles v. Steve Briscoe, No. 21-0991, and Everett J. Frazier, Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles v. Steve Briscoe, No. 21-0990.
Rule 19 Arguments
Noon, State of West Virginia v. Jaquaylla Kessler, No. 21-0674.
12:20 p.m., State of West Virginia v. Henry Jo Ward, No. 21-0806
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law will take center stage at the 2023 West Virginia Construction & Design EXPO in Charleston Wednesday and Thursday.
The show will be held at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.
Contractors Association of West Virginia CEO Jason Pizatella said much of the focus will be on the more than $7 billion in new federal funding that will be used for projects on highway construction, broadband expansion, airport improvements and more in West Virginia.
Those who attend will be able to network and learn from a variety of expert exhibitors, Pizatella said on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
“It’s a great opportunity for people in the industry or those that are thinking about joining the industry to come by and look at the latest and greatest equipment from our manufacturers and dealers,” he said.
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito will speak about the funding as part of the keynote session in the Little Theater at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Others speakers include state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Harold Ward, state Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, West Virginia Water Development Authority Executive Director Marie Prezioso and West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council Executive Director Wayne Morgan.
Pizatella said there will also be speaker from the local Charleston-Huntington area.
“Marshall University’s Brad Smith will be there on Thursday morning. Charleston Mayor Goodwin and Kanawha County Commissioner Salango will be there to talk about sports tourism and the latest on the potential Capital Sports Center near the Charleston Town Center Mall,” he said.
What will see new at the 2023 West Virginia Construction and Design Exposition? Jason Pizatella, Chief Executive Officer of the Contractors Association of WV, discusses this year's event with @HoppyKercheval. WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/OUzEtROp4C
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) March 21, 2023
The state Department of Education will host a Reverse Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Upper Lobby. Community and Technical Education (CTE) Simulated Workplace students will setup industry specific program booths to showcase their technical skills, portfolios, and talents to employers who are looking to hire skilled workers.
Pizatella said workforce has been the biggest challenge in the construction industry. The job fair can hopefully fill those gaps, he said.
“We’ve invited the community and technical colleges, K-12 technical education and employers to be there and see what our students have to offer,” he said.
The show opens from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday.
Registration is free at the show or online at www.wvexpo.com.
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— By Bill Cornwell
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Many 75-year-olds are in the midst of retirement, but that’s not the case for veteran Marshall men’s basketball coach Dan D’Antoni.
During an emergency session Tuesday, Marshall University’s Board of Governors met and approved a three-year contract extension for D’Antoni.
The Marshall alumnus and Mullens native says he’s far from finished in his job of leading the Thundering Herd program for which he played for in the late 1960s.
“I love coaching and I love our team,” D’Antoni said. “My first year here was a dream-come-true and it’s the same as I go into my 10th. I’ve got a great fan base and I enjoy living here. We’ve got a great team coming back. We look forward to adding a bit to what we’ve got and seeing if we can’t make another run and finish up a little stronger in these next three years.”
Marshall recently completed a 24-8 season and finished third in the Sun Belt Conference regular season race. Marshall lost in the Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinals to Texas State, 71-68, in what marked a disappointing ending to a strong season.
The 2022-23 MU squad featured standout efforts from Sun Belt first-team all-conference guards Taevion Kinsey and Andrew Taylor. Center Micah Handlogten won Sun Belt Freshman of the Year honors.
Marshall Director of Athletics Christian Spears says D’Antoni staying in his position brings stability to a MU basketball program riding a wave of momentum.
“I am convinced that if we all stay together, we can do something spectacular,” Spears said. “We have a team that cares about each other, a coach that is committed to our program and our community and a community that rallies behind us all. Combine that with aligned leadership, and we know that great things are in store for our basketball program. Believe it!”
Marshall President Brad Smith is also excited to have D’Antoni return.
“We are so excited to extend excellence by showing our continued commitment and confidence in Coach D’Antoni,” Smith said. “In his nine years, he has done incredible work restoring us to a position of greatness within this athletics program. To win more regular season games this year than we’ve won in 76 years is an outstanding achievement, and we want to continue that excellence for years to come. I am excited and I congratulate Coach D’Antoni and all of Herd Nation.”
D’Antoni says new leadership at Marshall has energized both he and the entire MU Athletic Department.
There were also program improvements, including a new floor and other facility upgrades in the Cam Henderson Center and renovating the Scaggs Family Practice Facility and the Pathway Project.
“You always give credit to the young men who put the time in and got you there. They are the biggest credit, but the second one goes to the support we got,” D’Antoni said. “Giving the look of championship quality — the new practice facility that is going in to recruiting, the Cam being cleaned up and feeling like people are excited about what we’re doing and the recruiting walkways they added to depict our players — you have to have all that.
“President Brad Smith and Christian Spears and our administrative team have provided that, along with alumni such as Wyatt Scaggs, who were big on getting the necessary resources together,” D’Antoni said. “It’s been long overdue for this program going way back. We’re catching up and I think the attitude of winning rolled right with all of that. I’m looking forward to extending that.”
D’Antoni is the second-longest tenured coach in Marshall men’s basketball history behind Cam Henderson. D’Antoni is 164-128 in nine seasons, with seven winning seasons, including four in which the Herd has reached the 20-win plateau.
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — For the first time in history, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hear cases in-person on the Marshall University campus in Huntington.
Judges will hear three oral arguments beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center.
The court is based in Richmond, Va. and oversees nine districts in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.
The Fourth Circuit covers the Northern District of West Virginia and Southern District of West Virginia. The U.S. Court of Appeals is a step below the U.S. Supreme Court.
Patricia Proctor, founding director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy at Marshall, is organizing the event. She said the court’s visit will be inspiring to students who are currently studying law.
“I hope they can gain a serious view of the importance of this part of our government and the process of justice,” Proctor told MetroNews.
Proctor said the U.S. Court of Appeals is considered the most powerful and influential court in the nation after the Supreme Court and have strong policy influence on U.S. law.
“They’re one step removed from the Supreme Court,” she said. “Because the U.S. Supreme Court accepts so few appeals, they hear almost everything by discretion and they take very few of them. Usually the Court of Appeals is the court of last resort for most litigants and they’re making the final decision, so these cases are very important.”
Proctor said the judges are highly respected.
“All of them have been confirmed by the U.S. Senate for lifetime appointments to the court,” she said. “I think that this is just an incredible opportunity to have exposure to something like this.”
About 100 people are expected to attend Wednesday’s proceedings. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m.
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Today on MetroNews This Morning:
–A shakeup at the top of the W.Va. State Police and revelations of the allegations prompting an internal probe
–There are now claims inmates in the Regional Jail were bribed to lie about jail conditions in an internal investigation
–A leading lawmaker has asked for federal regualtors to examine use of CARES Act money by the Justice Administration
–In Sports: The Glenville State women’s basketball team is back into the D-II Final Four
Listen to “MetroNews This Morning 3-21-23” on Spreaker.
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Governor Jim Justice has begun to roll out details of a scandal within the West Virginia State Police that has been the subject of reporting and rumors for weeks. Here are a few things we learned from Justice’s press briefing Monday:
–A State Trooper placed a video camera in the women’s locker room at State Police Academy at Institute. That trooper has since died, and several other troopers destroyed the evidence. It is believed that happened prior to 2017.
Justice said he was appalled by the incident. “If there is anything on the planet that is despicable beyond belief it is this right here,” Justice said.
–A State Trooper found an envelope containing cash at the Mardi Gras Casino at Cross Lanes. Instead of turning it in, he took the money. Justice described the actions by the trooper as “flat out stealing.”
–A Maryland man died during a struggle with State Police along I-81 in Berkeley County earlier this year. State Police have refused to release the dash camera footage to the public, but Justice has seen it and he called it “a very concerning situation.”
–The West Virginia Department of Homeland Security conducted the investigation, but the information gathered has been turned over to federal investigators to determine if any charges should be filed. “We should at least uncover as much as we can get to,” Justice said.
Justice’s statements provide the first on-the-record details about the swirling allegations, but he stopped short of providing additional information. That is probably because Justice simply wasn’t ready to release the results.
However, Monday morning Justice had a hastily arranged meeting with State Police Superintendent Jan Cahill where Cahill said he had resigned. That prompted Justice to at least begin releasing a few details of the investigation.
Cahill has not been implicated in any wrongdoing, but Justice held him responsible as the individual in charge of the State Police. “He has served us as colonel for the last six-and-a-half years. He has done a lot of good,” Justice said. “While there was good, there was also bad judgement at this point in time… bad judgement leads to bad things.”
Justice told Cahill there was “no pathway” for him to continue in the job. The Governor has appointed law enforcement veteran Jack Chambers as acting superintendent.
The months-long investigation was triggered by a whistleblower letter from an anonymous individual who appeared to have firsthand knowledge of the behind-the-scenes actions at the highest levels of the State Police.
The whistleblower also alleged a series of financial improprieties within the upper management of the State Police, and trysts involving male and female troopers. Justice did not address those during his Monday briefing, but he added, “There will be much, much more.”
“The more we dug, the worse it stunk,” Justice said.
If that is the case, then the few revelations so far are just the tip of the iceberg, and that is dispiriting. The State Police are the gold standard for law enforcement in West Virginia, but we are learning that a few in the highest levels of the department have failed to adhere to that standard and violated the public trust.
Justice’s release of a few of the findings in the investigation is a start, but we need to know the rest of the story to fully clear the air.
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The Class A Boys Basketball Team as Selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association
Eli Allen, James Monroe (Captain), Sr. 6-4
Collin Fox, James Monroe, Sr. 6-foot
Trevan Bonner, Tucker County, Soph. 5-11
Connor Bailey, Tyler Consolidated, Sr. 5-9
Colby Barr, Clay Battelle, Jr.
Joey Gollihue, Tug Valley, Soph. 6-1
JW Teets East Hardy, Jr. 5-8, 18.1
Josh Burks, James Monroe, Sr. 6-3, 12.8
Sawyer Van Matre, Wahama (Captain), Jr. 6-3
Preston Luzader, Clay-Battelle, Soph. 6-6
Ashton Lycliter, Tucker County, Jr. 6-4
Caden Ehirim, St. Joe, Sr. 6-4
Cole Burkett, Cameron, Sr. 6-0, 17.1
Parker Davis, Tug Valley, Sr. 6-3
John Rose, Greater Beckley, Sr. 5-11
Clayton Kisamore, Pendleton County, Sr. 6-3
Jacob Beachler, Pendleton County; Landon Bennett, Calhoun; Dale Boone, Greenbrier West; Shaun Booth, Van; Riley Clevenger, Webster County; Ashton Davis, Tug Valley; Gavin Derby, Valley-Wetzel; Santo Dobruska, Madonna; Dillon Dunz, Pocahontas County; Matthew Gadd, Clay-Battelle; Ethan Gray, Wahama; Lance Hartley, Cameron; Ashton Haslacker, East Hardy; Brandon Hileman, Doddridge County; Michael Kanode, Greenbrier West; Anthony Mascio, Madonna; Brayden McClung, Greenbrier West; Ethan McGee, Tygarts Valley; Aiden Miller, Richwood; Levi Morris, Calhoun County; Josh Proffitt, River View; Ethan Rosenau, Tucker County; Colt Sandy, Hundred; Brycen Sawyers, Meadow Bridge; A.J. Skeens, Sherman; Kohlton St. Clair, Clay-Battelle; Brady Strode, Tyler Consolidated; Rayden Triplett, Webster County; Parker Watts, Tolsia; Noah White, Montcalm
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The Class A Girls Basketball Team as Selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association
Ashlynn Van Tassell, Cameron, Jr.
Sydney Baird, Webster County, Sr. (Captain)
Kadie Colebank, Tucker Coutny, Sr.
Abby McDonough, Doddridge County, Sr.
Adyson Hines, James Monroe, Sr.
Ana Young, Pendleton County, Sr.
Allie Ellyson, Gilmer County, Soph.
Kenzie Clutter, Cameron, Jr.
Autumn Block, Tolsia, Sr. (Captain)
Preslee Treadway, Greenbrier West, Soph.
Macy Helmick, Tucker County, Jr.
Carrie Lloyd, Doddridge County, Sr.
Trista Lester, River View, Sr.
Maggie Boroski, James Monroe, Sr.
Kerrigan Salmons, Toslia, Sr.
Ava Dobbins, Gilmer County, Fr.
Jenna Baisden, Man; Ava Barclay, Greenbrier West; Kenzie Browning, Tug Valley; Laikyn Dalton, Clay-Battelle; Haven Deskins, Tug Valley; Addison Dudley, Richwood; Bayley Frashure, Gilmer County; Maddie Fields, Greenbrier West; Emily Gola, Doddridge County; Haley Hunnicutt, James Monroe; Niko Kaufmann, St. Joseph; Mary Beth Meadows, James Monroe; Shea McCoy, Madonna; Maci Neely, Cameron; Kierston Rozell, Meadow Bridge; Tenley Paugh, Doddridge County; Haylie Payne, River View; Charity Reichard, Meadow Bridge; Stevie Starsick, Gilmer County; Kenley Statler, Clay-Battelle; Brooklynn Tinnell, East Hardy; Olivia Vandevender, Pocahontas County; Fiona VanMatre, Wahama; Brylee Wetzel, Tucker County; Ericka Zirk, Tucker County
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Glenville State strives for its depth and pressure to wear on times throughout the course of a game.
In Monday’s national quarterfinal with No. 4 Tampa, that was exactly the case.
The No. 5 Pioneers outscored the Spartans by eight points in the fourth quarter and pulled away for a 78-68 victory at St. Joseph Civic Arena in St. Joseph, Mo.
With the win, Glenville State (33-2) moves on to face No. 1 Ashland in a semifinal Wednesday. A victory would send the defending national champion Pioneers to the national final for a second straight season despite losing almost all of its production off last year’s team.
Tampa (33-2) led 57-54 with inside 9 minutes remaining before a three-pointer from Aline Fevrier pulled the Pioneers even.
Following a three-pointer from former Wyoming East standout Skylar Davidson with 7:12 remaining, Glenville led 61-59, and it would never trail again.
After a Melijah Sullivan layup with 5:30 left allowed Tampa to trail 65-63, the Spartans were held scoreless four more than 4 minutes.
During that time, the Pioneers seized complete control of the contest starting with Kamiyah Lyons’ layup.
The Pioneers upped their lead to six with 3:13 remaining courtesy of a Breanna Campbell jumper, and the margin went to eight 33 seconds later on two free throws from Hya Haywood.
Haywood scored with 1:54 left for a 10-point lead, and two free throws from Mickayla Perdue 28 seconds later left Tampa facing a 75-63 deficit.
Audrey Ramsey’s three with 1:18 to play brought an end to the Trojans’ drought, but it was too little, too late.
The Pioneers got off to a sluggish start and trailed 19-13 after the first quarter, but they were to within a point at halftime as Tampa’s lead was trimmed to 35-34 through two quarters.
Campbell led all players with 28 points and added nine rebounds.
Haywood scored 18 and Perdue 10, while nine Pioneers got into the scoring column.
Three Tampa players had at least six turnovers and the Trojans finished with 26.
Sullivan scored 23 points and made 11-of-13 shots, Sydney Kin added 20 points and 14 rebounds and Sarah Jones scored 15 to go with three steals in defeat.
The other national semifinal will feature No. 2 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 6 Catawba.
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BECKLEY, W.Va. — Beckley attorney Steve New said he has affidavits from three inmates of the Southern Regional Jail that they were bribed by members of the DHS and DOC to give good reports on the jails conditions.
New claimed he knows of at least three inmates who were bribed by the Department of Homeland Security and Division of Corrections into claiming that the conditions of the jail were good. Highly ranked officials of those two agencies would then offer the inmates, “favorable treatment.”
“This needs fixed, and it’s either going to be fixed by legislation, or litigation,” New said Monday on MetroNews Talkline.
The attorney asked for an investigation to be expanded on by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Will Thompson.
An investigation took place last year by the state DHS and DOC, who looked into the conditions and possible problems of the state jail, but New claims the reports are false due to the bribery and that each department wanted to cover up the conditions of the jail.
New said those in charge of the investigation are high up in both departments.
“Very high members of both of those agencies were directly involved with the interviews and bribery of the inmates,” said New.
Governor Jim Justice’s chief of staff Brian Abraham didn’t address the allegations Monday, but did say they are cooperating with federal investigators.
Southern Regional Jail was equipped to house 488 inmates, although according to New, there are currently over 710 sitting at the jail now. 14 deaths have been reported from the jail in a little over the last year.
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