Berkeley County

The Paloma Crisis Stabilization & Detox Center is located on Wilson Street in Martinsburg, W.Va. It's the first of its kind in Berkeley County since the 1990s.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s been more than 20 years since Martinsburg had an in-patient detox facility. That changed Friday.

The open house for the Paloma Crisis Stabilization & Detox Center attracted dozens from the community. The project took two years and was funded through a state grant of more than $1 million. The center will offer 16 beds to people with substance use disorders. It will be open 24/7.

Angie Gray, Nurse Director for the Berkeley-Morgan County Health Department, shows a box of sealed, sterile syringes given to participants in her harm reduction program.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Across West Virginia, people are fighting back against the opioid epidemic and pushing the message of recovery. Some of these people run harm reduction clinics – which sometimes include needle exchanges. We meet a nurse in the Eastern Panhandle who runs one of these programs.

Deer
David J. Phillip / Associated Press

West Virginia officials have placed restrictions on the disposal and transport of deer carcasses in two more counties in response to a disease.

The state Division of Natural Resources says in a news release the restrictions start July 1 in Berkeley and Mineral counties. The restrictions are already in Hampshire, Hardy and Morgan counties.

Lisa Melcher's daughter Christina pictured here with her two children, Anthony and Jasmine. Christina died of a heroin overdose in May 2017. Lisa says Christina is the heart of the Hope Dealer Project and came up with the name.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group of people fighting the opioid epidemic in Berkeley County is garnering national attention (The New Yorker, CBS). In the Hope Dealer Project, three women work together to drive people struggling with addiction to inpatient detox or rehabilitation centers – pushing the message that recovery is possible.

Water
Jasonanaggie / Wikimedia Commons

The City of Martinsburg has sued the federal government over alleged chemical contamination of a drinking water plant.

Martinsburg attorney Kin Sayre filed the claim this month, requesting the Air National Guard pay for damages caused by high levels of two chemicals that the city said seeped into the water supply at the Big Springs water filtration plant in Martinsburg in 2016.

The Opequon Creek that borders Berkeley and Jefferson Counties has completely flooded a bridge in Martinsburg near Grapevine Road. Photo taken on May 17, 2018 at 7:22 p.m.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

 

Final Update on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 3:17 p.m.

 

After several days of continuous rainfall, the Eastern Panhandle is no longer under a flood warning or flood watch by the National Weather Service.


Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

Officials in one West Virginia county say they're spending less on jail by routing some offenders through alternative programs instead.

The Journal of Martinsburg reports Berkeley County's bill for the Eastern Regional Jail was down to nearly $646,000 for the three months ending in February, from nearly $800,000 during the same period the year before.

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, speaking during a Senate floor session.
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography


State lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle met Tuesday for the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce's annual Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast in Martinsburg, where education and the teacher pay raise took center stage.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Hundreds of West Virginians travel from the Eastern Panhandle to Maryland or Washington D.C. every weekday for work. These commuters catch the Maryland-based MARC train, or Maryland Area Regional Commuter.

But during this year’s West Virginia Legislative session, lawmakers debated the future of the MARC train in the state.

Maryland threatened to discontinue MARC service to West Virginia unless certain provisions were met.

Lydia Boggs Shepherd
e-WV Encyclopedia

Society hostess Lydia Boggs Shepherd Cruger was born in present Berkeley County on February 26, 1766. Her family moved near Wheeling in 1774.

Lydia and her husband, Moses Shepherd, became wealthy landowners in the Wheeling area. Their magnificent home, Shepherd Hall, hosted six U.S. presidents. One of the most famous stories about Lydia involves a visit from Senator Henry Clay.

Aneesh Sompalli (center) speaking at a Gereration West Virginia event in Shepherdstown.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Generation West Virginia’s local Eastern Panhandle chapter hosted a panel discussion at Shepherd University Thursday night with four young locals who decided to stay in West Virginia to build their careers.

Gas, natural gas, pipeline, energy, valve
Dollar Photo Club

Regulators have approved a construction stormwater discharge permit for Mountaineer Gas Co.'s proposed natural gas distribution line expansion in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle.

The Department of Environmental Protection said in a news release Wednesday the permit gives the DEP wide-ranging inspection and enforcement authority for the project.

Procter & Gamble Headquarters in Cincinnati, OH.
Derek Jensen / wikimedia Commons / user: Tysto

Officials from Procter and Gamble have announced additional products will be manufactured at the Martinsburg plant and, as a result, more employees will be needed.

Since construction began in 2015 for West Virginia’s Procter and Gamble plant, the organization estimated a need for 700 full-time employees to be hired by 2019.

October 18, 1778: Martinsburg Incorporated

Oct 18, 2017
Martinsburg took off with the arrival of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad IN 1842.
e-WV / WV Humanities Council

The town of Martinsburg in Berkeley County was incorporated on October 18, 1778. The place had been settled originally by Joseph and John Morgan in the 1740s. But it was Scotland native Adam Stephen who put Martinsburg on the map. Stephen established mills along the banks of Tuscarora Creek, built himself a limestone house, and, in 1773, laid out the town. He named it for Colonel Thomas Bryan Martin, a nephew of Lord Thomas Fairfax, who owned much of the present Eastern Panhandle.

National Park Service

Five West Virginia counties will see federal funding to support improvements to their outdoor facilities.

Nearly $800,000 in federal grant money has been awarded to facilities in Tucker, Summers, Wayne, Marshall and Berkeley counties.

Tuscarora Elementary School, Geothermal
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

We hear a lot about coal and natural gas in West Virginia - even solar and wind. But what about geothermal energy? Science indicates West Virginia is the largest geothermal hotspot on the east coast. So why don’t we hear more about it? Well, some counties in West Virginia have been pushing the envelope for a future in geothermal energy use…like in a handful of public schools.

Procter and Gamble, P&G, Bounce, Martinsburg
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Construction of the upcoming Procter and Gamble site in Martinsburg is well on track, but the company is still looking for 400 new hires to work the plant once fully built.

Since groundbreaking in September 2015, the Procter and Gamble site in Martinsburg has been the work zone for an average of 1,000 construction workers.

 

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park played host to a naturalization ceremony Tuesday morning for 19 new U.S. citizens.

Produnis / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University says a mobile mammography center will visit Berkeley and Morgan counties this month.

The vehicle, known as Bonnie's Bus, offers digital mammograms and breast care education for women. It's provided by WVU Medicine and the WVU Cancer Institute.

Daryl Cowles
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Eastern Panhandle lawmakers met for a Legislative Wrap-Up panel in Martinsburg Thursday, and figuring out the 2018 state budget was at the forefront of lawmakers’ minds.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Tourism

On February 17, 1735, pioneer Morgan Morgan was commissioned a captain of militia in present Berkeley County. Nearly three centuries later, a successor to Morgan’s militia regiment is still going strong.

The militia’s original purpose was to protect settlers against Indian raids. Then, in the early decades of the nation, the militia took part in every American conflict: from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War. One of the first state militia units reorganized after the Civil War was the Berkeley Light Infantry.

On February 1, 1798, publisher Nathaniel Willis shortened his newspaper’s name from the Potowmac Guardian and Berkeley Advertiser to just Potomak Guardian.

  

Why is this paper important? It’s the oldest known newspaper from present West Virginia.

Nathaniel Willis was a native of Boston who’d taken part in the Boston Tea Party and fought in the Revolutionary War. He founded the Potowmac Guardian and Berkeley Advertiser in Shepherdstown in 1790.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s historic rehabilitation tax credit was put in place to encourage developers and property owners to take some of the state’s crumbling, historic structures and get them back into working order. The credit is also supposed to encourage the creation of local jobs while repurposing the underutilized buildings.

But the state’s tax credit is 10 percent, and a coalition of architects, economic developers, and others say that’s not enough to encourage the community development they’d like to see. That same group is now traveling the state looking for support as they prepare to ask state lawmakers to increase the tax credit.

At the end of the Civil War, Lamon was dispatched to Richmond, making him unavailable to guard the president on that fateful night at Ford’s Theater.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

On January 6, 1828, Ward Hill Lamon was born in Jefferson County. He was raised at Bunker Hill, in Berkeley County, before moving to Danville, Illinois, at age 18. In 1852, Lamon’s life took a historic twist when he became the law partner of a former congressman—Abraham Lincoln.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

With only two days left until Christmas, how many of you are still out looking for that one final gift? Well, there’s lots of ways to find that last present – big superstores, malls, or online – but what about shopping locally?  The West Virginia Small Business Administration says, small, local businesses employ nearly half of all West Virginia workers.

 

Procter and Gamble, Procter & Gamble, P&G, Construction
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s first Procter and Gamble manufacturing site located in Martinsburg has been accepting job applications since October 2015, and now the first employees for the plant have been hired. By 2019, about 700 total employees are expected to be working on the site, but there are plenty of hoops to jump through before production actually begins.

 

If you’re out-and-about West Virginia bookstores or gift shops this Christmas, you may come across a coffee-table book set titled, Panhandle Portraits: a Glimpse at the Diverse Residents of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Procter and Gamble in Martinsburg has hired its first 26 employees and expects close to 300 by the end of 2017. Those employees will work at the manufacturing facility being built in the Eastern Panhandle that was announced last year.

November 17, 1766: Pioneer Morgan Morgan Died

Nov 17, 2016
Pioneer Morgan Morgan was an influential member of the Bunker Hill community and helped found Christ Episcopal Church. Today, his grave is part of the church’s cemetery, and a log cabin he built stands nearby.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Morgan Morgan, Bunker Hill, Berkeley County, Christ Church Episcopal Church, Potomoke

Pioneer Morgan Morgan died on November 17, 1766. Generations of schoolchildren grew up being taught that Morgan was the first permanent white settler in present West Virginia. Now, though, we know that others came before him.

Dollar Photo Club

Shepherd University is partnering with Berkeley County Schools and the Martinsburg Police Department to help combat opioid addiction. A new initiative hopes to identify basic causes of drug abuse in at-risk families.

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