|At this time of year, we are reminded that the best news story in rural Calhoun WV is the gracious spirit of people helping people, even people they don't know or even like.|
Here are a few of the top 2017 news stories.
CUNNINGHAM SENTENCED IN MURDER OF HEADLEY
3/24/2017 - A Calhoun man, Mark Allen Cunningham, 43, who entered a plea of guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter, a felony, in the death of a Grantsville woman, Pauline Lynette Headley, 59, was sentenced to a determinate prison sentence of 10 years.
The victim was involved in a domestic violence incident at her home on Woody Lane, Grantsville, when she was killed.
See MARK CUNNINGHAM SENTENCED 10 YEARS FOR HEADLEY MURDER
SENTENCINGS IN 2016 BARTLETT MURDER
12/2017 - Calhoun Circuit Court sentenced Derryl Anderson in the murder of Lewis Bartlett III, 37, who was shot to death on Hardman Fork in July, 2016.
Anderson was sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary for Concealing a Deceased Human Body, a Felony. He was given credit for five hundred twelve days incarceration on this charge, according to prosecutor Shannon Jones.
Trudy Dowler was sentenced to five years probation for "Conspiracy to Commit Robbery in the First Degree," a felony. She was given credit for five hundred twelve days of jail time.
Alex Dunn appeared and entered a No Contest plea to Second Degree Murder, a Felony, and Attempt to Commit Kidnapping, a Felony. He will be sentenced on January 18, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., according to Prosecutor Shannon Johnson.
Alicia Walker appeared and entered a No Contest plea to Attempt to Commit Kidnapping without injury, a Felony. She will be sentenced on January 18, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
See 2016: CALHOUN MURDER VICTIM FLED FROM LIKELY DRUG DEAL GONE BAD - Lewis Bartlett Returned And Then Killed
CALHOUN RECOVERING FROM AMBULANCE CRISIS
12/17/2017 - "Ambulance service will continue in Calhoun County," said commissioner Kevin Helmick, after MHHS said they could no longer financially fund the service, and a contract provider defaulted.
Numerous efforts to obtain a private provider have failed, but
Helmick said, "We have created a new ambulance board and have successfully got a loan for the board from Calhoun banks. The money will be used for initial operating expenses until revenue starts coming in."
In that time Minnie Hamilton has stated they will continue service for roughly $16,000 a month to provide one crew and ambulance 24/7.
It is likely that Calhoun voters will be asked in May to increase the Emergency Services Levy, not seeing an increase in about 25 years.
FOUR CAUGHT IN EUGENE STEVENS MURDER
12/20/2017 - Bluegrass musician and former sheriff candidate, Eugene Stevens, 77, was murdered at his home off Norman Ridge when a number of individuals participated in a home invasion, resulting in an exchange of gunfire.
Police are saying that the trigger man is 31-year-old Jamie Miller of Crummies Creek, arrested at a camper in Braxton County, accompanied by his girlfriend, Heather Davis, 27, a Calhoun woman, who is facing multiple counts linked to the crime.
Also charged are Travis Boggs, 25, of Chloe (Stinson) and Evan Lee Hershman, 29, of Clay.
Travis Boggs was seriously injured in the exchange, to then be dumped by his associates at the ER door at Minnie Hamilton Health System.
All are in Central Regional Jail.
See US MARSHALS ARREST TWO MORE SUSPECTS IN STEVENS MURDER - Jamie Lee Miller, 31, Charged 1st Degree Murder; Heather Davis, 27, Charged With Armed Robbery, Conspiracy
CHLOE SHOOTER CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER OF BUTLER
12/11/2017 - A Chloe, Calhoun man, Thomas Wayne Cain, 52, is facing an attempted murder charge related to the shooting of Scott Butler, about 40, on Walnut Road.
Cain is in Central Regional Jail with bond set at $100,000.
State Police, in a criminal complaint said Cain was walking down Walnut Road when he got into a dispute with Butler, and allegedly threw rocks at Cain.
See CAIN IN CENTRAL REGIONAL JAIL FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER - Bond Set At $100,000, Cain Claims Butler Was Throwing Rocks At Him
$94 MILLION COMPRESSOR STATION STILL ON TRACK IN CALHOUN
11/2017 -County Commissioner Kevin Helmick said, "The $94 million dollar White Oak compressor very well could be the greatest financial asset to keep Calhoun County going during the past 50 to 100 years," likely since the early 20th Century coming of Hope and Cabot gas.
The TransCanada compressor, formerly Columbia Transmission, is on a remote ridge top area of the Leading Creek area near the Ritchie County line.
It is currently set for groundbreaking in January or February. Only a few miles of the 165-mile pipeline are located in the county, Helmick said.
Helmick said it's expected to bring the county about $400,000 a year in tax revenue, plus some very good jobs.
See $94 MILLION TRANSCANADA COMPRESSOR STATION "GREAT FINANCIAL ASSET" - Helmick Says Project Could Bring $400,000 Annually To County Coffers
GRANTSVILLE WILL COMMENCE STREETSCAPE PROJECT
The Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Grant programs provided more than $7 million for a variety of improvements, including $350,000 to Grantsville for a Main Street Streetscape beautification project.
THREE YEAR BOIL WATER ADVISORY FOR SOUTHERN CALHOUN
Water customers in southern Calhoun have faced a boil water advisory
for three years, the Mt. Zion PSD is making vigorous efforts to correct a slow moving water problem, but unable to come up with funds.
See MOUNT ZION PSD BOIL WATER ADVISORY STILL IN EFFECT AFTER THREE YEARS - Affecting 48 Customers Southern Calhoun
COUNTY SUFFERS WITH LOSS OF STATE POLICE DETACHMENT IN 2017
A year has passed since the WV State Police Detachment was closed in Calhoun. Despite promises of state officials that the county would likely see improved coverage, that has not happened.
County officials say daily coverage in the county is often spotty, some days there is no officer on duty. Officers are then dispatched from Clay's Big Otter Detachment or other counties.
The agency continues to suffer a severe shortage of manpower state wide.
The Calhoun Commission has made numerous attempts to re-establish the detachment with offers of providing a free building.
ARNOLDSBURG MAN PAUL HUNTER SENTENCED IN DEATH OF RICK THOMAS
An Arnoldsburg man, Paul Hunter, 24, pled guilty in Roane Circuit Court to a DUI charge resulting in the death of a Millstone man, Rick Thomas, 56, in November 2016.
Thomas was heading toward Spencer on US 33-119 on a motorcycle when he was struck head-in by a car driven by Hunter, his vehicle going the opposite direction.
Hunter admitted using meth and marijuana about one hour before the crash.
Roane County Sheriff Todd Cole said Hunter was "tweaking" and appeared to be under the influence of meth at the scene.
Hunter returned to court in November for sentencing by Judge Craig Tatterson.
He was sentenced as a repeat offender, which allowed the 3-year sentence to be doubled to 6 years.
He was given credit for 364 days served.