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Lawmakers want to block the release of mugshots

A bill moving through the West Virginia Legislature would prevent state corrections officials from releasing to the public mugshots of individuals who have been arrested. 

The House Judiciary committee has approved and sent the full House HB 4621 which says, “photographs of a person for identification purposes taken by the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation or any other county or state jail facility upon booking into the facility are not public records and shall not be disclosed to the public.”

Bill supporters argue the permanency of an Internet image means the individual is subject to lifetime of potential embarrassment, even if the charge is dropped or they are found innocent.

In addition, there has been a proliferation of for-profit mugshot websites in recent years which charge individuals to have their images taken down. That is an unseemly business, and a legitimate concern. However, the bill as it is currently written, broadly covers all publications and that includes the news media. 

These images are public documents, just like arrest records, and therefore the public has a right to see them, which typically occurs through the news media. They do the work for the public, obtaining the images from state corrections websites and posting them with their stories. 

The pictures provide a more complete story of the individuals who have been arrested, often on very serious charges. Crime and arrests are newsworthy, and it is not the role of the government to decide what is and what is not news. Those images also provide further identification of the suspect. A John Doe accused of night time burglary, as opposed to John Doe accused of pedophilia, is only clarified by a picture. 

The images also help hold authorities accountable. If a mugshot shows obvious signs of being roughed up, the media will legitimately ask questions about the arrest and whether the officers used excessive force. 

So, what if the charges are dropped or the individual is acquitted?   

Leslie Rubin, the veteran news reporter for WCHS TV told me on Talkline Wednesday that she has taken a number of calls from individuals who have been cleared and she has willingly taken down their pictures. That is just one example, but I believe it is representative of other news organizations in the state. I know MetroNews honors those requests. 

Frankly, it may be difficult to revise the bill so it only excludes for-profit websites from publishing the mugshots. A public document or image is public for all, not just a few. So that may complicate the issue for lawmakers. 

But the overriding issue here is the public’s access to arrest records and images that do not harm an investigation. Any attempt to limit the public’s access to that information is government overreach. 

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Amendment to forest bill is rejected, bill passes which aims to better protect state-owned land from wildfires

Story by David Beard, The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Senate held a long but warm-spirited debate on Wednesday over an amendment to a bill designed to protect state-owned forests from wildfires, and bring in cash in the process.

Senators also unanimously passed a bill to help pave the way for the state’s hydrogen industry.

SB 688 is the forest bill. It would allow the Division of Forestry and the Division of Natural Resources to contract for the management of state-owned or state-leased forests, natural and scenic areas, wildlife management areas, and other lands under their jurisdiction for the limited purposes of protecting, preserving, and maintaining the lands from wildfires.

Senators explained during the debate that these would be highest-bid contracts (whoever proposes to pay the state the most for the privilege of doing the job) to companies with experience in managing forested and mountainous lands, to remove underbrush that would serve as a source for wildfires.

The underbrush would be a source for the biomass industry that would use the material to generate energy, and senators see the jobs and economic development potential for the state in encouraging the industry.

Sen. David Stover

Sen. David Stover, R-Wyoming, offered the amendment to exclude state parks and rail-trail lands from the areas open to contracting. He said he’d like to wait a year or two to see if the management program works, and removing state parks would only remove about 10% of the total acreage available for contracting.

Stover noted that the contractors would be removing invasive species overwhelming areas of the forests – chiefly autumn olive and kudzu.

Finance chair Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, opposed the amendment, saying the Commerce secretary told his committee that the bill will aid the management of all the forest areas, including the parks, because parks and wildlife management areas lack the resources for proper management.

Also, he said, the contracts will be subject to scrutiny to ensure the best companies are hired.

There was some concern that the bill might open the parks to commercial timbering but Sen. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, was among those who said it wouldn’t.

It passed 31-3 and goes to the House. Two Democrats and Stover voted against it.

SB 683 removes hydrogen from the list of alternative fuels subject to the motor fuel excise tax.

Tarr said hydrogen has spectrum of uses beyond motor fuel. “The change in code will make sure that West Virginia is competitive in this promising and budding industry.”

A fiscal note on the bill shows it will not affect the Road Fund because there are no hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

Tarr said the state is uniquely positioned, because of its abundant coal and natural gas resources, to be a major hydrogen producer.

The vote was 34-0 and it goes to the House.

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WVU pushes Kansas State to overtime, falls 73-64

West Virginia scored five points in the final six seconds of regulation to force overtime at Bramlage Coliseum before Kansas State went on to defeat the Mountaineers, 73-64.

The No. 10 Wildcats outscored No. 22 West Virginia, 15-6 in the extra session to hand the Mountaineers just their fourth loss of the season.

Trailing 57-53 with six seconds left, WVU junior guard JJ Quinerly hit a three-pointer to pull the Mountaineers within a point. WVU fouled Ayoka Lee, who scored a game-high 34 points. Lee connected on one of two free throws to put the Wildcats up 58-56.

Without a timeout at their disposal, Jordan Harrison drove to the hoop past two defenders and hit a layup as time expired, sending the game to overtime tied at 58.

In overtime, the Mountaineers went cold from the floor, making just 2-of-9 shots. KSU went 9-of-11 from the free throw line to secure the victory.

“I am really proud of our group. I thought that was a really good women’s college basketball game with two really good teams going toe-to-toe and back-and-forth,” said WVU head coach Mark Kellogg.

“I wish we came out certainly on the other end. There’s no moral victories or anything like that for us but I am really proud of our group.”

West Virginia led 13-5 after the opening quarter and they took a 41-35 lead into the final frame.

In addition to her 34 points, Lee grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for the Wildcats.

“Lee is a problem. She is an All-American for a reason. She is one of the best post players in the country.”

Quinerly led the Mountaineers with 23 points.

West Virginia (22-4, 11-4 Big 12) is fourth in the conference standings with three games to play. Oklahoma (13-2) leads by a game over K-State and Texas (12-3). The Mountaineers look to avenge an earlier loss to Baylor Saturday at the Coliseum.

“We don’t have a long time to rest or think about this one. But we’ll get better. Hats off to K-State.”

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Red Dragons get past Parkersburg South in sectional semifinal, 55-43

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Less than one month ago, Parkersburg South had its way with Saint Albans in a 59-42 victory.

The rematch and more important matchup came Wednesday at PSHS in a Class AAAA Region IV, Section 2 semifinal — and it played out nothing like the January meeting.

The Red Dragons made 14-of-25 field-goal attempts over the final three quarters and scored 18 points from the free-throw line over that time, while continuing to excel defensively and putting the clamps on the Patriots in a 55-43 road win.

“They kicked our butts earlier in the year, but in that same game, we went on an 11-2 run at one point in time,” Red Dragons’ head coach Ricky Steele said. “So there were glimpses of doing it right and we just wanted to do it the whole time. We had to execute and get to where we wanted to be. We took the good from that loss, said here’s what we need to do better, here’s what we did well and we need to do that better, too.”

The result enables St. Albans (15-7) to play Friday at Parkersburg in a sectional title game. Regardless of that result, the Red Dragons are assured of a spot in a region co-final with a state tournament spot at stake.

St. Albans sputtered offensively for much of the opening quarter Thursday, though strong defensive play allowed the Red Dragons to hang tight and they faced an 8-6 deficit entering the second period.

From that point forward, St. Albans executed much better offensively, and it began with consecutive close range buckets from Shayla Montgomery.

Montgomery added four free throws on as many attempts soon after, and her third field goal of the frame left the visitors with a 19-12 lead 3:03 before halftime.

Parkersburg South (15-8) then put together its best stretch of the outing, one that featured a Lucie Cline triple and four straight points from Gracie Shamblin to get the Patriots even at 19.

Red Dragons’ point guard Nunu Pannell scored the final four points of the half to send her team to halftime with a 23-19 lead.

“We had several chances early in the game off turnovers and I’m hard-pressed to think of one where we converted when the game was still right there,” PSHS head coach Ed Davis said. “We didn’t take advantage of those chances. Give them credit. They deserved to win.”

Montgomery and Shamblin had 10 points apiece at the break, while the Red Dragons had the advantage thanks in large part to making 8-of-10 free throws over the first two quarters.

In the third, St. Albans got two three-pointers from senior Laynie Binion, who elevated her play following a scoreless first half. The latter triple came in direct response to Shamblin’s trey and allowed SAHS to lead 32-25. It was immediately followed by Pannell’s mid-range jumper and Montgomery’s basket in the post to make it a double-figure margin for the first time.

“I can’t say enough about Laynie Binion and Shayla Montgomery,” Steele said. “Those are two seniors. If they wanted this to be their last game, then there was a way to play for it to be their last game. But those two wanted to continue on. You’re seniors and we have to ride with you. It’s your time to shine. This is what you’ll remember for your lifetime.”

SAHS went into the fourth in front 36-26, though after the advantage grew to 13, Shamblin scored inside and Cline connected from long range to bring the Patriots to within eight.

Binion again had an answer and knocked down her third three of the night, and the Patriots got no closer than nine over the final 4 minutes.

Pannell helped seal the game by making 10-of-16 free throws to key the Red Dragons’ 19 for 28 showing from the charity stripe.

Montgomery made 5-of-9 shots and 8-of-10 free throws to score a team-high 18 points. Pannell added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Binion scored 10 points.

“We try to create memories and that’s why we have the family atmosphere that we do have. This is a memory,” Steele said. “They’ll remember this when they’re 35, 40 years old. It’s special. It may not mean much to many people, but it means so much to us. That’s what it’s about.” 

Shamblin led all players with 21 points, though she attempted 21 of the Patriots’ 48 field goals. No other PSHS player scored more than six points as the home team was held to 15-for-48 shooting and lost the rebounding battle, 31-24.

“They sagged and the sagging man gave us problems,” Davis said. “Once they got the lead, we weren’t real patient and when we were patient and got good shots, they hardly went in and we struggled from the floor. Give them credit. That was a good game plan and they stuck to it.”

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Becoming a High-Value Employee in the Age of AI

Are certain jobs and industries becoming obsolete with the onslaught of artificial intelligence (AI) and job automation? Yes, but studies show that what AI is not replacing are jobs that require soft skills—or innately human skills.

As AI capabilities rapidly advance and more companies take opportunities to use automation, how can you ensure that your child will be a highly qualified candidate who will not only get hired but also stay employed after graduation? The answer lies in career technical education (CTE)—but not all CTE programs are equal. What students need is a CTE program that emphasizes the development of soft skills in addition to technical training.

Since its onset in 1917, CTE has prepared students for work in a wide range of industries and occupations such as agriculture, information technology, health science, finance, STEM, and transportation, to name a few. Traditionally, CTE students have learned hard technical skills through academic courses, hands-on training, mentoring, and internships.

And while CTE helps students develop important skills for industry-specific roles, what some programs lack is the development of soft skills, including professionalism and work ethic; adaptability and active learning; communication; teamwork and collaboration; enthusiasm; critical thinking and problem solving; and the ability to network or manage others.

This is made clear through a recent study in which 94% of human resources professionals reported that they are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill roles. And while some roles require technical skills that are scarce in the candidate pool, what candidates are really lacking, according to respondents, are soft skills, particularly work ethic, communication, and teamwork.

So how do you ensure that you’re choosing a CTE program that will help your child develop soft skills and make them a highly desirable candidate with lower risk of losing their job to automation? One solution is to choose a CTE program that uses project-based learning (PBL) as a foundation.

PBL is a teaching method that exposes students to real-world problems and complex challenges that they could likely face after graduation. These projects take time, effort, and many of the soft skills listed above—collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving—to reach an adequate solution. Not only do students get hands-on training and application, but they also learn to adapt and overcome issues that aren’t always addressed in textbooks. Plus, the emphasis on adaptability can help prepare them for industry changes as AI advances.

With PBL, students learn to use their technical and soft skills to grow into career-ready individuals. And studies show that PBL is effective—according to the Speak Up Research Project, 76% of principals say that PBL develops collaboration and teamwork skills, while 75% of parents say that PBL prepared their children with authentic, real-world problem-solving experiences.

Online schools, such as West Virginia Virtual Academy, use PBL for many courses and it’s integral to their career prep program. Teachers act as coaches and facilitators as students work together through complex real-world issues—mirroring the collaborative efforts they’ll use after graduation.

Let’s face it—the modern workplace is changing, and it’s changing rapidly. Each student needs to be prepared with a set of skills that cannot be replaced by AI, and as parents, we need to ensure that our children receive a well-rounded technical education that fosters soft skills. While we cannot predict how AI will change jobs and industries in the future, what we can predict is that AI will continue to change the workplace. It’s time to prepare our children by building the skills that will make them irreplaceable in a highly technical world.

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House education committee advances their version of bill that gives special education teachers and aides a raise

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Both the Senate and the House are working on their own respective bills that create pay raises for teachers and aides in self-contained special education classrooms.

On Wednesday, the House Education Committee advanced it’s version of a pay raise bill, HB 4902. Lead sponsor of the bill is Elliott Pritt, R-Fayette.

Elliot Pritt

“This bill will, for special ed aides, match the salary to the Third Grade Success Act salary plus 5% and then provide a 10% increase for self-contained classroom teachers,” he explained.

Kanawha County Delegate Mike Pushkin hopes the House Finance Committee, which is where the bill heads to now, will take it up in a timely manner.

“I’ve heard more on this issue than any other issues that we have taken up,” said Pushkin. “It’s at a crisis level, the shortage we have in our special education classrooms.”

Movement on the bill came on the same day as the first ever Special Education Day at the State Capitol. Special education teachers, aides, students, and service personnel were celebrated.

Mike Pushkin

Kanawha County Schools Special Education Curriculum Specialist Rachel Brown is helping lead support on SB 680, which also presents a pay raise to teachers and aides in self-contained special education classrooms. The bill would increase the pay for teachers by 10%, as well as increase pay by 5% for teacher aides in those classrooms.

Brown said the number of special education teachers, aides, and students at the capitol Wednesday advocating for supportive legislation will hopefully make a difference.

“I’m a special educator and one of our best traits is that we always have hope,” Brown told MetroNews Wednesday at the capitol. “We hope, and we have high expectations for our students, and so, all I’m going to say is that I have not lost hope.”

Brown helps support a total of 66 self-contained special education classrooms throughout Kanawha County.

She said the need for a special education employee pay raise follows the ongoing shortages of qualified educators being able to fill the vacancies in those classrooms.

It has been quite the strain on the entire special education department, Brown said, with half of the self-contained classrooms being staffed with long-term subs or alternative certification candidates, or those who have a four-year degree taking an “alternate” path to teacher certification and are only available to fill critical need and shortage areas.

In addition to the ongoing teacher shortages that are particularly hurting special education departments around the state, Brown said last year’s passage of the 3rd Grade Success Act that’s creating jobs for classroom aides in regular education has caused many special education aides to take up those new jobs.

Brown said this is putting an even bigger damper on filling special education teacher aid vacancies.

“First grade in Kanawha has aides, next year second grade is going to all be staffed with aides, and then third grade is all going to be staffed with aides the following year,” she said. “We need to be able to fill these positions in special education, I’ve had classrooms go vacant for long periods of time, I need support in classrooms, I need aides.”

Brown said finding enough qualified workers in these classrooms have already been an issue before the passage of the 3rd Grade Success Act.

She said this is due to the fact that special education is hard work, often handling students who are non-verbal, and it’s a physically demanding job with lots of lifting. Brown said it’s not anything like a general education setting and that deters many from going into such a position.

Sarah Haynes is a coordinator at Nitro Elementary that works in special education classrooms. She said having enough special education teachers and aides in those classrooms is a need that’s reflected across the state.

“I think that we need as many qualified teachers as we can get, I know there are a lot of classrooms that have gone without a qualified, certified teacher, and certainly there are many, many students who are waiting to get those teachers in their classrooms,” said Haynes.

Haynes said, however, there’s something to be said for monetary incentives. She thinks SB 680 would go a long way to alleviate the special ed. teacher and aide shortage needs, and that those educators deserve such an incentive.

“Self-contained teachers have so much responsibility, not that classroom teachers don’t, but there are just so many more things that go along with being a self-contained teacher, so I think it would help with retention, I think it would help with trying to get teachers in those classrooms in the first place,” said Haynes.

Brown said the proposed bill is just the beginning when it comes to the support and resources that educators in self-contained special ed. classrooms need in order to fill and retain all of the vacancies.

“I sat down with Amy Grady on Monday and we talked about some ideas for future steps in the right direction, but it (the bill) would be a first step, and also just maybe a way to recruit a little bit and just retain the people that we have right now,” said Brown.

Senate Education Committee Chair Amy Grady, R-Mason, is the chief sponsor of SB 680.

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Senate School Choice Committee moves bill forward on alternative high-risk population public charter schools

Story by David Beard, The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Senate School Choice Committee advanced a bill on Wednesday to enable the creation of alternative high-risk population public charter schools.

The school would be required to have an unduplicated count of at least 70% of its total enrollment, upon first entry to the school, comprised of high-risk students, and to obtain approval from the Charter School Board certifying the school meets the criteria.

High-risk students are defined as those: who have been expelled; suspended more than 10 days in a school year; wards or dependents of the court; recovered dropouts; habitually truant; have been retained more than once in kindergarten through grade eight; are credit deficient; have a high-level transiency in terms of changing schools; are foster youth.

Students who are pregnant or parenting were originally in the list, but Sen. Donna Boley, R-Pleasants, questioned why.

Committee chair Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, said that sometimes they may not be able to continue attending school and might need some schedule flexibility, such as attending only two days per week.

But Rucker saw Boley’s concern that including them among others who’ve been suspended or expelled might appear as a form of stigma. The committee agreed to her conceptual amendment to move pregnant and parenting students to the bottom of the list, changing the language to indicate students who need greater flexibility in scheduling or have circumstances which would benefit from this type of schooling.

That new language will get tweaked before the bill comes to the floor, they said.

Rucker is sole sponsor of the bill and explained a bit about some of the thought behind it.

As far as attendance, some students might only attend for a short time, until they’re able to return to regular school. Others may stay and graduate from one. The schools offer such things as individualized instruction, smaller class sizes and greeter flexibility.

Sometimes these alternative charter schools are situated inside a traditional school but operate as a charter, she said.

She visited schools in Georgia and Arizona, she said. “It just blew me away how amazingly they’re handling this particular, very challenging population in a very efficient manner.”

Rucker said she believes state code already allows for these alternative charters, but the bill would give some reassurance to charters operating in other states that they are welcome here.

“I don’t know why in West Virginia we have such difficulty with trying something new,” she said. The Legislature has tried to encourage counties to share services, find efficiencies, use flexibility in running their schools and obtaining funding. It just doesn’t seem to be enough to encourage the public schools to try something different.

She hopes the bill would encourage and support more of creative thinking in the public education system, she said.

The committee approved the bill in a unanimous voice vote. It is set to go next to Finance but Rucker said the bill would have no revenue impact so she’ll try to get that waived so it can go straight to the full Senate.

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Discussions are underway with Charleston’s Land Reuse Agency to build more new, affordable homes in the area

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Real estate and development professionals in Charleston are learning about new initiatives to support the need for more housing in the Kanawha Valley area, including an incentive program that would provide up to $50,000 in cash rewards to build new and affordable housing in the region.

They met for the first of two community input meetings hosted by the Charleston Land Reuse Agency (CLRA) to not only learn about the New Construction Incentive Program, but also voice their concerns on the needs and barriers of housing redevelopment.

Wednesday’s meeting was a Developer Roundtable event to discuss the initiative. A City Planner for the City of Charleston, John Butterworth explained more about the incentive program that he said would provide a lot of new opportunities for building new, affordable homes in the area.

“We’re providing $35,000 for the development of new single- family homes within the city, and an extra incentive of $15,000 for development on lots owned by the Land Reuse Agency, so a total of $50,000,” Butterworth said.

He said they are also working on an application to the state for the BUILD WV Housing Development Tax Credit District. This designation would allow for new construction and redevelopment tax incentives to stimulate investment in the city.

Wednesday’s event included a presentation by Bowen National Research about the regional housing study that was conducted last year and was funded by Advantage Valley, a regional economic development organization.

The study found that there were a total of 621 available homes in the current housing supply throughout the region, an availability rate representing just 0.4% of homes. In comparison, the availability rate of healthy and well-balanced housing markets is between 2.0% and 3.0%.

In Kanawha County, the study found that the total available number of housing units was the highest out of all of the ten counties represented in the study at 269 available homes.

Bowen National went on to reveal that there are 57 sites in the region that were identified as potential future residential locations, which they said such sites are necessary in order for the housing market to expand.

Butterworth said as many homes are becoming more and more outdated across the city, there is definitely a need to build new ones.

“We’ve got an older housing stock, we need to build new, safe, affordable homes for working families and individuals here in the City of Charleston and that’s really where the Land Reuse Agency has focused their efforts on, acquiring properties for single family redevelopment, but also conservation and increasing quality of live in neighborhoods,” he said.

After the City of Charleston established the Land Reuse Agency back in 2019, the organization has been working to acquire vacant and abandoned lots throughout the city to potentially be used for future real estate opportunities.

Butterworth said Wednesday’s meeting was specifically geared toward people working in real estate, development, and construction who can help bring the new vision of residential redevelopment to the Capital City. He said their feedback is the missing piece to the puzzle in getting the redevelopment initiatives fully underway.

“We need to hear from our development and real estate community, we need to know what the challenges are and we need to know what they think the potential solutions are so we can work to bring those sort of resources to the table, without that dialogue, I don’t know that we’re going to be successful, so that’s what we’re here to do today,” said Butterworth.

The agency’s next public input session is set for next Wednesday, February 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Roosevelt Community Center. It will provide the opportunity to learn about the current work of the CLRA and provide feedback regarding neighborhood priorities.

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2024 Boys H.S. Basketball Sectional Schedules

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Boys high school basketball sectional tournaments are permitted to begin on Friday, February 23rd and must be completed by Saturday, March 2nd. The sectional champion and runner-up will both advance to regional play. Regional winners will advance to the WVSSAC High School Basketball Championships.

(This list is not complete and will be updated when schedules and seeds are finalized. Some regular season games remain that will factor into seeding.)

Class AAAA

Region I

Section 1

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 John Marshall at No. 1 Morgantown

No. 3 Brooke at No. 2 Wheeling Park

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Wednesday, February 28

No. 4 Preston at No. 1 University

No. 3 Buckhannon-Upshur at No. 2 Bridgeport

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Region II

Section 1

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 Hedgesville at No. 2 Martinsburg

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Spring Mills

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 Washington at No. 2 Musselman

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Jefferson

Region III

Section 1

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 Riverside at No. 1 George Washington

No. 3 Capital at No. 2 South Charleston

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 Oak Hill at No. 1 Woodrow Wilson

No. 3 Greenbrier East at No. 2 Princeton

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Region IV

Section 1

(All games at Cabell Midland)

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 Cabell Midland vs. No. 2 Spring Valley

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner vs. No. 1 Huntington

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 Parkersburg at No. 1 Hurricane

No. 3 St. Albans at No. 2 Parkersburg South

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

 

Class AAA

Region I

Section 1

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 Oak Glen at Weir/North Marion

Friday, March 1

Sectional final

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 Berkeley Springs at No. 2 Keyser

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Hampshire

Region II

Section 1

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 Philip Barbour at No. 1 Fairmont Senior

No. 3 Grafton at No. 2 East Fairmont

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 Lincoln at No. 1 Liberty Harrison

No. 3 Elkins at No. 2 Robert C. Byrd

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Region III

Section 1

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 Independence at No. 1 Shady Spring

No. 3 PikeView at No. 2 Midland Trail

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 Nicholas County at No. 1 Lewis County

No. 3 Herbert Hoover at No. 2 Sissonville

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Region IV

Section 1

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 Point Pleasant at No. 1 Nitro

No. 3 Winfield at No. 2 Ripley

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27 – semifinals

Friday, March 1 – final

(Awaiting schedules)

 

Class AA

Region I

Section 1

(Both games at Wheeling University)

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 St. Marys vs. No. 2 Magnolia

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner vs. No. 1 Wheeling Central Catholic

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 Ritchie County at No. 2 Parkersburg Catholic

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Williamstown

Region II

Section 1

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 Moorefield vs. No. 2 Petersburg

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner vs. No. 1 Frankfort

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 South Harrison at No. 2 Braxton County

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Trinity

Region III

Section 1

Friday, February 23

No. 4 Summers County at No. 1 Bluefield

No. 3 Westside at No. 2 Wyoming East

Tuesday, February 27

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 Liberty Raleigh at No. 2 Mingo Central

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Chapmanville

Region IV

Section 1

Tuesday, February 27

No. 4 Clay County at No. 1 Charleston Catholic

No. 3 Buffalo at No. 2 Poca

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Tuesday, February 27

No. 3 Wirt County at No. 2 Roane County

Friday, March 1

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Ravenswood

 

Class A

Region I

Section 1

Friday, February 23

No. 5 Hundred at No. 4 Paden City

Monday, February 26

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Cameron

No. 3 Valley Wetzel at No. 2 Madonna

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Wednesday, February 28

No. 4 Wood County Christian at No. 1 Clay-Battelle

No. 3 Tyler Consolidated at No. 2 Doddridge County

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Region II

Section 1

(Awaiting schedules)

Semifinal winners

Section 2

(Awaiting schedules)

Semifinal winners

Region III

Section 1

Monday, February 26

No. 5 Mount View at No. 4 Montcalm

Game 1 winner at No. 1 James Monroe

No. 3 Greater Beckley Christian at No. 2 River View

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Wednesday, February 28

No. 4 Richwood at No. 1 Webster County

No. 3 Meadow Bridge at No. 2 Greenbrier West

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Region IV

Section 1

Monday, February 26

No. 5 Van at No. 4 Man

Wednesday, February 28

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Tug Valley

No. 3 Sherman at No. 2 Tolsia

Friday, March 1

Semifinal winners

Section 2

Saturday, February 24

No. 5 Hannan at No. 4 Gilmer County

Wednesday, February 28

Game 1 winner at No. 1 Huntington St. Joseph’s

No. 3 Calhoun County at No. 2 Wahama

Friday, Mach 1

Semifinal winners

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World War II hero Woody Williams could be honored with statue at U.S. Capitol

Woody Williams, the West Virginian who was America’s last World War II Medal of Honor recipient, could receive a place of honor in the U.S. Capitol.

Hershel “Woody” Williams

The state Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday afternoon advanced a resolution to honor Williams in the National Statuary Hall Collection, which consists of 100 status contributed by the 50 states.

“We’re excited about the prospect of Woody being forever memorialized in Washington, D.C.,” said Senator Mike Oliverio, R-Monongalia.

West Virginia’s two statues for many years have honored Francis Pierpont, who was founding father of the state, and John Kenna, a congressman and senator in the late 1800s.

The resolution would replace the statue of Kenna with one honoring Williams. The statue of Kenna would be moved to the West Virginia Culture Center.

“This is such a tremendous honor. It is something that we were so humbled and excited to hear about,” Chad Graham, the youngest of Williams’s five grandsons, told senators.

He said the statue designation would ensure “Woody’s platform is used to bring attention to others and to bring attention to the great state of West Virginia.”

Williams died in 2022 at age 98.

Williams was presented with the Medal of Honor for his actions on Iwo Jima during World War II. Under constant fire, he used a flame thrower to take out seven Japanese gun emplacements, usually called “pill boxes.” That effort gave Marines a foothold to advance.

He went on to a life of public service, advocating for veterans and for Gold Star families who lost loved ones in military action. Williams died late last month at age 98.

After his death, Williams lay in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. His contributions were celebrated by West Virginia’s congressional delegation and by national elected officials. Williams was one of few Americans and just the first West Virginian to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol.

The resolution advanced from Senate Finance would kick off the search for an artist to produce the statue, direct the governor to provide funding and prompt the governor to send an official request to switch the statue of Kenna with the one for Williams.

“He was just a wonderful man,” said Senator Rupie Phillips, R-Logan.

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