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2018: A Year In Review

January 2, 2019
Wetzel Chronicle

The year 2018 is now history, and thus, your Wetzel Chronicle staff reflects on 12 months of news in Wetzel County. We hope you enjoy our annual recap, as we share pieces of just some of the stories we reported on in 2018. For reference, our December 26, 2018 edition of the Wetzel Chronicle shared some of the news from January-June of 2018. This week we cover July 2018-December 2018 and conclude our Year In Review. We look forward to bringing you the local news in 2019, and we wish our readers a Happy New Year.


JULY 2018

Article Photos

Arts in the Park was held at New Martinsville's Bruce Park on July 4, 2018.

Our July 4, 2018 edition of the Wetzel Chronicle shared photos from the Back Home Appalachian Arts & Music Festival. We also shared some thoughts from event-goers. 2018 marked the second year of the festival.

Wayne Worth and fellow members of the Volunteer Flood Relief and Recovery Crew were honored at Hundred's annual Fourth of July festivities. The volunteers served as honorary parade marshals, and many of them chose to dress in their flood gear and muck boots, as they did when they came to help Hundred's residents in 2017 after devastating floods.

Also, in July, Paden City held its annual alumni festivities. The late Willard Craig Broadwater, who served as a federal judge, was remembered during this time. Broadwater was a member of Paden City's Class of 1968.

New Martinsville Recorder Kim Whiteman served her first meeting in July, while council bid farewell to former recorder Bonnie Shannon, who wrapped up 25 years of service to her town. Also in New Martinsville, the annual Arts In The Park event was held on Independence Day.

Local FFA organizations reaped awards at the West Virginia state convention in July. Notably, Pine Grove's land judging team won the state championship. Pine Grove FFA also took home third place in the homesite competition.

Meanwhile, in Hundred, members of the Upper Ohio Valley Conservation District, along with friends and family, gathered at Hundred's senior center to bid farewell to Carroll Cumberledge, who served as district supervisor for 35 years.



In August, John J. Mensore, a familiar face to Ohio Valley residents, marked his 80th birthday with an ArtsLink Coffeehouse concert. Mensore began his singing career at age six. His 80th birthday concert featured many popular songs as well as special guests.

August also marked the month for Town & Country Days fun. Five local ladies competed for the title of Town & Country Days Queen, but Sierra Walker won the title. Town & Country Days featured Joe Diffie and Craig Campbell as its top entertainment. Bill Witschey received the T&C Days' Outstanding Senior title.

August was the month for the annual West Virginia Press Association's annual Convention and Awards reception. The Wetzel Chronicle received two third place Advertising Awards. Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register - and former publisher of the Wetzel Chronicle and Tyler Star news, received the WVPA's highest honor - The Adam R. Kelly Award.

Also in August, Wetzel residents Joey Dawson and Tim Martie were recognized by the Wetzel County Sheriff's Office for helping detain a prisoner who had escaped from police custody.



September marked Labor Day and Paden City's ever-favorite Labor Day parade and festivities. Jimmy Fortune returned for another year to Paden City, to headline the holiday entertainment.

September is the month for Shortline Alumni festivities, and in 2018, Matt Van Dyne served as Shortline's Honored Alumnus. Van Dyne has spent years designing clothing for the Hollywood elite, but he has never forgotten his Pine Grove roots. The Wetzel Chronicle was honored to interview him in September.

Also making headlines was more heavy rainfall. In mid-September as much as five to six inches of rain fell in a matter of 48 hours, wreaking havoc and causing cancellations. Fortunately, the Ohio River flooding in the New Martinsville riverfront area was not as bad as first anticipated.

WVU Hospitals and Wetzel County Hospital entered into a management agreement, which became effective on Oct. 1.

September concluded with annual RegattaFest action.



The Wetzel Chronicle's Oct. 3 issue featured coverage from the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce's annual Entrepreneur Pitch, won by Bonnie Henthorn's B&B Buffet. Second place went to Minna's Main Street Salon, while third place went to S&S Diamonds & Fine Jewelry.

Local schools held homecoming festivities in October. Meanwhile, Wetzel County celebrated the opening of the Wetzel County Technical Education Center. The center currently offers a welding program to high school and college students. The WCTEC is the fruition of a collaborative effort among Wetzel County Schools, Wetzel County Northern Community College, and the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce.

Several fall festivals were held in October 2018, including Hundred's inaugural Octoberfest, Wetzel County Autumn Fest, and more.

Meanwhile, folks gathered at the New Martinsville riverfront area to watch the Fifth Annual Matthew Barker Cardboard Boat Regatta, held Oct. 9. Paden City, Valley, and Magnolia high schools attended the event, which is held in memory of the late Matthew Barker.

In October, Air Evac Lifeteam celebrated its 10th anniversary in New Martinsville. The air medical base has 15 employees, including flight nurses, flight paramedics, pilots, an aviation maintenance technician, program director, and membership sales manager.

October concluded with New Martinsville's annual Chili Fest, this year brought to you by the Wetzel County Convention & Visitors Bureau.



The annual Community Festival of Trees was held in November. The event yielded a record amount. Funds went to Journey Hospice, Valley Sportsman's Club, and New Martinsville Lions Club.

The November 2018 General Elections were held, and Delegate Dave Pethtel (Democrat) retained his seat for House of Delegates, Fifth District. Republican Charles Clements received the District Two nod for the West Virginia Senate. Democrat Greg Morris received the nod for the Wetzel County Commission. The "Brunch Bill" option failed.

Also in November, the Wetzel County Commission received three of the Shiben Estates buildings from Shiben Estates, Inc. The families now represented by the estate are the children and heirs of Esther Shiben Peters, Paul J. Shiben, Katherine Shiben Mensore and Edward Shiben, the children of Joseph and Minnie Shiben.

Several local schools honored our county's wonderful veterans on Veterans Day. November 11, 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I. To mark the occassion, Bill Talkington - who served with the Marines in Korea - rang his family heirloom dinner bell 11 times at 11 p.m. on Nov. 11.



December was a magical month for former New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob DeLancey. The 85-year-old former chief was able to take a ride down the New Martinsville Christmas Parade route in the NMVFD's new ladder truck. His evening ended with the breathtaking sight of the truck's ladder extended.

Also in December, Christmas events were held in Hundred and Pine Grove. Pine Grove's "Christmas In Our Town" parade featured Bob and Nell Yeager as parade marshals. The Yeagers are the parents of the late Robyn Yeager, who spearheaded "Christmas In Our Town" three years ago.

The Wetzel County Board of Education honored several at its Dec. 11 meeting. Valley and Paden City high schools received awards from the West Virginia Department of Education and West Virginia Board of Education. Also honored were the Magnolia Lady Eagles Volleyball Team, Magnolia High School Football's Pat Mirandy, Sebastian Stickler, and Mike Hamrick, and Paden City High School Band.

Hundred High School also received some good news in December. The school celebrated the receipt of a $50,000 grant through the WV Department of Education's inaugural "Economic Projects Impacting Communities" competition.

Bob Gorby retired at the end of 2018 after years of service on the Wetzel County Commission.



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