Wood County

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Lawmakers of both parties are mourning the loss of Republican Del. Frank Deem. The Wood County politician was a fixture at the Capitol for several decades, having served in the Legislature a total of 48 years between the House and Senate.

Photo courtesy of Wood County 911

West Virginia environmental authorities have approved cleanup plans by the owners of the industrial warehouse that burned for a week in Parkersburg.

Courtesy of Wood County 911

West Virginia emergency officials say federal guidance following the warehouse fire that smoldered for more than a week in South Parkersburg shows spikes in the soot initially detected in the air.

Wood County 911

Multiple warehouse facilities belonging to a group of companies that owned the West Virginia warehouse that burned for more than a week have been inspected.

Wood County 911

Officials in Parkersburg say a fire at a warehouse storing recycled plastics has been extinguished after burning for eight-and-a-half days. 

The exact contents of the warehouse have yet to be released. Officials say materials data that was initially handed over by the property owner is outdated and other documentation was destroyed in the fire. 

Wood County 911

West Virginia emergency officials say a warehouse fire that began last week is nearly out.

Lubeck Fire Chief Mark Stewart estimates that the fire in South Parkersburg is "90 percent" extinguished from ongoing efforts by firefighters.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For the latest on the fire in Wood County, see here.

West Virginia regulators on Thursday ordered the Maryland company that owns a South Parkersburg warehouse that burned for days to disclose what materials were consumed by the flames and to spell out plans for disposing of the debris properly.

Wood County 911

Two volunteer fire chiefs warned West Virginia officials nearly a decade ago about the potential for major fires at local warehouses, one of which has now been burning for days.

Washington Bottom Fire Chief K.C. Linder and Lubeck Fire Chief Mark Stewart wrote a letter dated July 22, 2008 to the State Fire Marshal after Lubeck firefighters had issues accessing a warehouse fire in Parkersburg, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Photo courtesy of Wood County 911

For the latest on the fire in Wood County, see here.

Wood County is under a state of emergency as an industrial fire continues to burn at a warehouse just outside Parkersburg city limits. Gov. Jim Justice joined state and county officials to discuss ongoing efforts to put the fire out and to address residents’ health concerns.

Still, a lot of questions remain about the incident and how it might affect residents of the surrounding area. Here’s what we know (and what we don’t know):

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, if you talk to grandparents raising grandchildren, most will say it’s not an easy task. In addition to dealing with their own physical and mental health, they also have to manage the physical and mental health of their grandchildren – which often means dealing with anxiety, aggression and anger.

In the fourth installment of our series on grandfamilies, Kara Lofton reports that for some families, partnering with schools can make a big difference.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For the latest on the fire in Wood County, see here.


Updated: October 24, 2017 at 12:38 a.m.


Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency in Wood County on Monday afternoon, following an industrial fire that has burned at the former Ames tool plant since early Saturday morning.

Courtesy of Wood County 911

For the latest on the fire in Wood County, see here.


Updated: Oct. 23, 2017, at 5 p.m.


Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency in Wood County Monday afternoon in response to an industrial fire in Parkersburg that has burned since early Saturday morning.


The fire was reported at about 1 a.m. Saturday at the old Ames tool plant, just outside Parkersburg city limits.

Wood County 911

For the latest on the fire in Wood County, see here.


Updated: October 22, 2017 at 10:36 p.m.


With resources and funding in question, officials in Wood County are still trying to determine how to deal with a large industrial fire just outside of the city limits of Parkersburg. The fire, which started about 1 a.m. Saturday and destroyed a warehouse facility, is expected to burn for days as local officials still have no timeline as to when the fire will be out.

Dollar Photo Club

Another West Virginia county has been designated as an area with high drug trafficking.

Wood County, West Virginia and fifteen other counties nationwide are being added to the list of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.

Loadbeta / Wikimedia Commons

Japanese truck maker Hino Motors Manufacturing said Wednesday it is moving its West Virginia assembly plant about 20 miles to a larger location at a former retail distribution center.

Hino Motors Manufacturing President Takashi Ono said the $100 million investment could create up to 250 new jobs.

County officials in West Virginia have expressed concern over what they say is the persistent problem of ignored jury summons.

Wood County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

A city council in West Virginia has voted against a nondiscrimination ordinance that would have extended protections to LGBT residents.

Gage Skidmore / AP Photo

President Donald Trump has tapped a Democratic county clerk from West Virginia to join a national elections panel aimed at investigating voter fraud allegations.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes learned Thursday that he'll join the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

water faucet

Health officials have lifted the "do not drink" water advisory that had been in place in part of Wood County for nearly three months.

The News and Sentinel reports that Wood County Health Department Director Drema Mace announced the lifting of the advisory on Tuesday at the Vienna Utility Board office.

Woodburn Hall

A Parkersburg resident is giving $10 million to West Virginia University to establish two endowed scholarship funds for future students from Wood County.

The university says in a news release that the gift from Mary "Mickey" Welch is the single largest scholarship donation to the WVU Foundation's "State of Minds" campaign. The money will come from six charitable trusts established by Welch that will terminate in 15 years.


Chemical maker SABIC is dismantling its former plant near Washington in Wood County.

SABIC spokeswoman Shelia Naab told the Parkersburg News and Sentinel that a majority of the buildings are being demolished as part of an agreement to sell the property.

Wood County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

Air Evac Lifeteam has closed its base at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport in Wood County.

Multiple media outlets report that the medical helicopter service announced the base's closure this week. The company says the closure is part of an effort to better utilize its resources in places with less access to such service.

Wood County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

A Roman Catholic priest says he plans to withdraw from a substitute teaching job in the Wood County public school system.

The Rev. George Nedeff tells the Parkersburg News and Sentinel that he decided to concentrate on his duties as a substitute priest with the Catholic Diocese of Charleston-Wheeling.

September 2, 1907: Judge John Jay Jackson, Jr. Dies at 83

Sep 2, 2015
Judge John Jay Jackson Jr.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  Judge John Jay Jackson Jr. died on September 2, 1907, at age 83. His long career on the bench and in politics stretched from the West Virginia statehood movement to the early years of the mine wars.

Wood County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

A Roman Catholic priest who also is a teacher has asked school officials to allow him to wear his religious habit in the classroom.

The Rev. George Nedeff is a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. He recently was hired as a substitute teacher in Wood County, West Virginia.

Wikimedia Commons

  Two pain management clinics have been ordered to close after they failed state inspections.

The West Virginia Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification set a May 15 deadline for Hope Clinic in Raleigh County to close. Punnamma Memorial Rehab Clinic in Wood County must close by May 21.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

Wood County plans to acquire and demolish three homes in Happy Valley as part of an ongoing flood mitigation project.

After the demolitions, no permanent structures can be built on the flood-prone properties.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that the County Commission signed off on purchase offers for the properties on Monday. The county is offering a total $587,000.

The acquisitions will be funded with a $710,750 federal grant awarded or the project's latest phase.

SieBot / wikimedia Commons

Vienna officials plan to clean up a former Johns Manville plant site and redevelop it.

The Wood County Commission approved the city's petition to annex the property this week.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp says the city has applied for grants totaling about $400,000 to clean up the property.

Rapp says the city plans to convert part of the property to green space for public use, including walking and biking trails. City officials hope to attract new development to the industrial section.

Wood County deputy clerks are getting a history lesson from a record preservation project.

Records discovered by the workers include the deed for Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett's sale of Blennerhassett Island to longtime friend Joseph Lewis of Philadelphia in 1816.

West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services

Six residents of a Parkersburg juvenile facility are facing charges after State Police say they assaulted correctional officers and other residents and caused thousands of dollars in property damage.

In a press release, Lt. Michael Baylous said the incident occurred at the Lorrie Yeager, Jr., Juvenile Center on Feb. 18, 2014, during a recreation period when residents were in the facility’s dayroom.