The Voice of West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Photos from Capital’s 35-13 win over Parkersburg.
(Photos courtesy of Chuck Roberts)
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RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. — Two suspects were arrested Saturday and charged with the murder of a man whose body was found in a wooded area of Raleigh County, earlier this week.
Franklin Yancey, 24, and William Garretson, 54, both of Glen Morgan, were taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies and charged in the shooting death of 20-year-old Roy Lee Barnes III of Crab Orchard.
Barnes’ body was discovered Tuesday near Whitby.
The suspects are being held at Southern Regional Jail.
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A compilation of tributes from around West Virginia high schools Friday evening to Roane County senior Alex Miller. Miller passed away last weekend.
(Video produced by Taylor Kennedy).
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LAWRENCE, Kan. — West Virginia (2-1) and Kansas (2-1) open Big 12 play on a dreary, overcast afternoon at Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Follow MetroNews for live scoring updates from today’s game.
Kansas 7, West Virginia 7 (12:06)
Quarterback Carter Stanley connected with receiver Kwamie Lassiter for a 28-yard touchdown pass.
The score was set up by a third-down conversion on the previous play. A miscommunication between safety Sean Mahone and cornerback Keith Washington left receiver Stephon Robinson wide-open for a 13-yard gain on third-and-9.
An unlikely Stanley scramble for 19 yards was the play that seemed to fire up the Kansas offense for the first time in the game.
West Virginia is up by a touchdown, but the offense can’t feel good about a three-and-out to end the quarter after starting the possession near midfield.
West Virginia 7, Kansas 0 (7:37)
Kennedy McKoy ran into the end zone untouched from 3 yards out to cap off West Virginia’s opening 13-play, 71-yard drive.
WVU converted a pair of third-and-long plays to keep the drive moving. Austin Kendall hit T.J. Simmons for an 18-yard gain on third-and-11, then found McKoy for a 13-yard reception on a third-and-7. Leddie Brown also converted a short third down on the drive.
Offensive lineman Josh Sills did not make the trip and will miss his second-straight game with an injury. Chase Behrndt will start at right guard.
Left guard Mike Brown is back in the lineup after missing last week’s game at N.C. State with an illness. Slot receiver Tevin Bush is back in the lineup after last week’s one-game suspension.
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SPENCER, W.Va. — Classmates of Roane County High School senior Alex Miller formed a semi-circle around Miller’s painted parking space at the school near Spencer Saturday to say goodbye to their friend who tragically died just eight days earlier when he collapsed during the Roane-Clay football game.
Miller, 17, was remembered in visitation and funeral services inside the school just a few feet away from that space which has served as a memorial this past week. Its newly painted message is that Miller was powered by ‘Angel Wings’ shortly after he went unconscious on the sidelines between the first and second quarters of the Sept. 13 game.
The space is surrounded by Dr. Pepper bottles and cans.
“Alex’s favorite drink was Dr. Pepper and he loved Oreo Blizzards,” Boggs Fork Community Church youth leader Fred Hammack said Saturday when he spoke to reporters outside the school. “Dr. Pepper was his drink of choice and I think these kids have probably drank more Dr. Pepper than they have all year long.”
There were dozens of teenagers at Saturday’s services. Many wearing the maroon of Roane County High but there were also students from other schools and football players from other schools there wearing their jerseys. Hammack said he’s not surprised at the support from both Roane County and the surrounding region.
“They rally. When everything just goes bad this community rallies. I’ve always said, ‘even your enemies will come out,’ and they do,” Hammack said.
Hammack knew Miller on a more personal level having been his church youth group leader. He said Miller had a strong testimony, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that’s what gives hope within the tragedy.
“These kind of days you have to really cling to that. We know we’re going to see him again. I know I haven’t seen Alex for the last time,” Hammack said.
2019 Roane County High graduate Sharalin Metzger traveled from college in Ohio to Saturday’s funeral. She was also in Miller’s church youth group.
“He was definitely a leader and you could really see Jesus through him and the love he had for God,” Metzger said. “I think he definitely showed the way Jesus is and he loved everyone and I think that’s what people could see through him. He didn’t judge them, he was just friends with everyone.”
Counselors will be back at the school Monday morning, Roane County School Superintendent Richard Duncan said Saturday.
“We want to be here for our kids as much as we can and provide those additional counselors and social workers and support personnel to be with them,” Duncan said. “That’s the biggest thing is just to be with them.”
Duncan said there will be time for review how the school system has responded to the tragedy. He said the number one priority has been Miller’s family and friends.
“Whatever response we have as a system pales in comparison to what the Miller family has been going through and what Alex’s close friends have been going through,” Duncan said. “We do hope that at least we’ve shown when crisis does happen we have ways of being there with people.”
Next Friday will likely be another emotional time when the Roane County Raiders play for the first time since Miller’s death. Duncan said he expects an inspired performance from Miller’s teammates in a home game against Braxton County.
“We’re going to have additional support there for the boys. We’ve been working real close with our coaching staff to make sure our boys have their minds in the right place. It’s going to be tough getting back on the field next Friday night and every Friday night. It’s the new normal,” Duncan said.
A cause of death has not been determined.
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HAZELTON, W.Va. — The family of Whitey Bulger plans a $200 million wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government in connection with the 89-year-old crime boss’ death at the Hazelton federal prison in Preston County.
Bulger was killed just 11 hours after arriving at Hazelton last October. He had been transferred from another prison.
Bulger was convicted of 31 of 32 federal racketeering charges, including 11 murders, in 2013 and sentenced to two life terms plus five years.
In September of 2014, Bulger was sent to the Coleman II United States Penitentiary in Sumterville, Florida. On October 29, 2018 he was transferred to Hazelton.
The primary suspect in the killing was mafia hit man Freddy Geas, he has never disputed his role in the killing.
“We believe that James Bulger was deliberately placed in harm’s way,” the Bulger family said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. “There is simply no other explanation for the transfer of someone in his condition and inmate status to be placed in the general population of one of the country’s most violent federal penitentiaries.”
At the time of his death Boston Globe investigative reporter Shelly Murphy said during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” that it seemed strange for Bulger to be transferred to Hazelton.
“We know there were people at that prison, not just the guy now suspected in the murder, but others that have Boston ties there,” she said. “It’s just a little strange they would put Whitey in a place with known adversaries.”
Bulger was the third inmate killed within seven months.
The family also says that because of all the civil judgments and restitution orders against Bulger they would never benefit from a court decision in their favor.
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An inmate from the West Virginia Department of Corrections took an ambulance from Ruby Memorial and attempted an escape Friday in Morgantown, police said.
At 2:25 p.m. Craig Allen Martisko, 45, of Granville, allegedly took the ambulance and drove in the direction of West Virginia 705. Martisko was in an orange jump suit and handcuffed when he crashed near Chateau Royale and ran up a hill from Don Nehlen Drive.
A canine officer tracked Martisko to Building 2700 of Chateau Royale where he was attempting to break into an apartment.
The suspect was arrested without further incident.
While fleeing police say Martisko hit a Star City ambulance, several cars and fixed objects. He was examined before being taken back to the North Central Regional Jail.
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A man was shot and killed in Huntington early Saturday morning.
According to police, Sontezz Lomax, 39, of Charleston, previously of Huntington, was shot as he stood near the The Lantern bar at 817 4th Avenue. The shooting occurred at around 2:50 a.m.
Another person was hit by flying debris. The injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Huntington Police Department at 304-696-4420 ext 1025 or the Crime Tip Line at 304-696-4444.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Economic Development Council will hold its annual fall conference next week at the Morgantown Marriott Waterfront Place.
The conference is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday; the WVU John Chambers College of Economics and Business and West Virginia Forward are the presenting organizations
WVU president Gordon Gee, Morgantown Mayor Bill Kawecki and Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom will hold an opening forum.
Marshal University officials and WVU professor John Deskins will also hold presentations. A legislative update and information about the emerging cannabis market are also scheduled.
West Virginia Economic Development Council president Robbie Morris said a major focus of the conference is diversification within the state economy.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth in the auto industry. We have a lot of growth in aerospace. We’re seeing growth in chemicals,” he said. “But there’s other things especially technology-related we want to go after.”
Morris added the event will feature tours of WVU’s athletic facilities and areas of economic development areas around Morgantown.
“Morgantown is obviously a very bright spot in West Virginia, and our economy with so many different developments,” he said.
The two-day event will also offer ways to improve employee recruiting and understand the current workforce.
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LAWRENCE, Kan. — One new coach will have a landmark victory by the time Saturday is over.
Neal Brown is seeking his first-ever Big 12 victory, while Les Miles is trying to pick up his first Big 12 win in 15 years when West Virginia visits Kansas for a 4:30 p.m. EST kick.
Both coaches are also in pursuit of their first winning streaks at their new schools. West Virginia is coming off a 44-27 win over North Carolina State, while Kansas took down Boston College 48-24 last week.
The Jayhawks are by far the bigger strangers to this position. Kansas has not logged consecutive wins against Power 5 opponents since beating Missouri and Minnesota to close out the 2008 season.
“I bet it’s a really good atmosphere,” Brown said. “They’re excited about Coach Miles, and I think they’ll be excited about that win over Boston College.”
Miles, aka “The Mad Hatter,” resurfaced at Kansas after spending two years in the coaching wilderness.He was fired by LSU four weeks into the 2016 season after a loss at Auburn in which LSU ran out of time before snapping the ball on the would-be game-winning touchdown. He coached 11 seasons at LSU after spending 2001-04 at Oklahoma State.
Miles was roundly criticized for running a Bo Schembechler-inspired offense in the modern era, and sure enough Kansas is another of his run-first teams behind running backs Pooka Williams and Khalil Herbert. But the Jayhawks also used tempo and showed formational creativity at Boston College in the wake of a 12-7 loss to Coastal Carolina.
“Last week looked a lot different than first two games,” Brown said. “It was a mix of spread and what Coach Miles has done at previous stops.”
West Virginia similarly altered its offense in Week 3 after ranking 129th nationally in rushing offense through two games. The Mountaineers used motion, tempo and other previously unseen wrinkles to keep N.C. State’s defense on its heels.
“Neal Brown is doing a great job in his first year,” Miles said. “You can tell on offense, defense and special teams that they’re improving. I think that they’re certainly a team on the rise.”
Make Carter Stanley win: Williams and Hebert are both capable of breaking the 200-yard mark, having done so already over the course of their careers. Williams had 252 yards against Oklahoma last year, and Herbert went off for 291 against West Virginia in 2017.
Not-so-mighty Coastal Carolina limited Stanley to 107 yards and picked him off twice in Week 2. If Stanley is the reason the Jayhawks offense succeeds, you can only tip your cap.
Ball security: Yes, it always matters. But with thunderstorms and heavy winds forecast, an extra premium will need to be placed on everything from snaps to handoffs to read-option plays.
Sam James: James made his impact as a wide receiver perfectly clear last week, finishing with nine catches for 155 yards. But look for him to potentially be a game-changer in the return game against Kansas. The Jayhawks can’t seem to kick touchbacks — 10 of their kickoffs have been returned for an average of 22.6 yards. The elements are there for James to break one.
West Virginia 34, Kansas 19: One of the toughest things for any rebuilding program is turning winning into a habit. It won’t be a bit surprising if Kansas had a poor week of practice after its biggest win in 11 years.
Granted, the possibility of a letdown also exists for WVU. But the Jayhawks are deservedly treating their win over Boston College as a major accomplishment, while the Mountaineers seem to see their win over N.C. State as the first step in a larger picture.
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