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Reports: Alabama assistant chosen to be Herd’s next coach

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Various reports Saturday by local and national college football writers said Alabama assistant football coach Charles Huff has been offered the head coaching job at Marshall.

Charles Huff (Alabama Football)

Marshall’s Board of Governors is scheduled to meet Monday to take up the selection and contract.

Pending approval by the Board of Governors, Alabama’s Charles Huff will become Marshall’s first Black head coach in program history.

Huff would be the 12th Black head coach in FBS out of 130 programs nationally.https://t.co/dPmob0V1qI

— Grant Traylor (@GrantTraylor) January 16, 2021

Huff, considered one of the nation’s top recruiters, is a Maryland native. He would be the first African-American head coach at Marshall.

Huff would replace Doc Holliday who was told earlier this month his contract was not being renewed. Holliday coached 11 seasons at Marshall. He won one conference championship and 6 of 8 bowl games.

.@Saquon on Charles Huff: “He helped mold me into the player and the man that I am today. I know one day he is gonna make a heck of a head coach, and I will be happy to see that come true.” That day is here. My story on #Marshall’s new coach:https://t.co/eZftf3BLqK

— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 17, 2021

Huff was on the staff the last few years of West Virginia native Nick Saban. Penn State and Mississippi State were among his previous stops.

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Big Second Half Helps Glenville State beat WVWC by 21

— Story by Taylor Kennedy

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — The Glenville State Pioneers remain undefeated as they went on the road to defeat the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats, 106-85. The Pioneers extended their win streak to five regular season wins dating back to last season.

“I thought we were good and very poor in spurts. We scored over 100 points. At the end of the day, you have got to get stops. We are still not there. We have a whole new team, and we are still learning our rotations and press rotations. It has been a story of our year. If you follow our games, we either make these big 14-0 or 12-0 runs and put teams away, or we are coming from behind. All together it will be a good learning experience once we get back on Monday and watch that tape,” said GSC head coach Justin Caldwell.

The win was not easy for Glenville State. The Bobcats jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game, which led to a timeout by Caldwell. Following the timeout, the Pioneers would answer with a 7-2 run leading into the first media timeout.

It would be all Glenville State for the next 10 minutes. The Pioneers would outscore the Bobcats 36-20. But here came West Virginia Wesleyan. In the last two and a half minutes of the first half, the Bobcats went on a 9-0 run. They would outscore the Pioneers 18-9 in the last five minutes. Glenville State led 46-41 at the half.

The beginning of the second half would be a dog fight on both sides, but eventually midway through the second half the Pioneers began to pull away. Caldwell says he cannot take credit for the way his team performed in the second half, instead he applauded his players’ effort.

“I am not going to take credit and say I made any adjustments. I just told them we have to play harder. In the first half, our press, we were not putting any pressure on them. We let them [Wesleyan] get comfortable in it, and we were not forcing any turnovers. On offense, we were stagnant. We did not put any pressure on the rim. They made the adjustments, not me. I think they played a lot harder, and I think we executed better,” said Caldwell.

Throughout the second half, Wesleyan and Glenville State would trade leads and tied a few times. 

“Our pressure in the second half and the fact that we played nine guys versus their five, at some point the other team is going to fatigue, whether it is them missing threes or doing uncharacteristic turnovers eventually they will fatigue. Once your legs wear out then you cannot play. We just knew. We went on either an 8-0 or 10-0 run because of that,” said Caldwell.

Glenville State outscored West Virginia Wesleyan 60-44 in the second half. The Pioneers forced 18 turnovers, and of those forced turnovers they scored 23 points off of it. Caldwell gives credit to his team’s physical defensive play to the conditioning his team has gone through.

“I would not call it efficient, but I think that could be given credit to the fact of conditioning. They [Wesleyan] got tired there at the end, and I think they made a couple uncharacteristic turnovers, and when you have Nick Edwards he had seven steals. It makes it a lot easier when you have that guy flying around out there,” said Caldwell.

The Pioneers finished the game with five players reaching double figures. Caldwell gives credit to the team’s chemistry for the offensive efficiency by his team.

“They trust each other. That is our slogan. Every time we break in a huddle, or we leave practice it is trust. We just feel when we get a bunch of guys that believe and trust each other and share the ball in those big moments you will be pretty good. With seven new guys in our rotation out of nine, we have got to have that,” said Caldwell.

Among those five impressive performances, junior Adrian Scarborough tallied a season-high 16 points and eight rebounds. Caldwell was happy to see Scarborough play at a high-rate against Wesleyan.

“He works hard. He comes in and works. Even when he is not effective on the offensive end he is on the defensive end. Tonight, he was really good. He had six offensive rebounds, and when you get six offensive rebounds and shoot 8-11 from the field that is a pretty good night,” said Caldwell. With him, it is going to come with confidence,” said Caldwell.

The Pioneers Hegel Augustin recorded his ninth 20-point performance. He tallied 24 points against the Bobcats. Juniors Nick Edwards and John Williams recorded double-digit performances. Edwards scored 19, and Williams posted 20 points.

The Bobcats were led by leading scorer Jaylin Reed. Reed recorded his second 20-point performance in three games. Ross Young posted a season-high 20 points.

Glenville State will head back home and welcome Wheeling University for its next game on Wednesday. West Virginia Wesleyan will welcome West Virginia State University Wednesday evening.

Saturday’s men’s MEC basketball scores:

Fairmont State 95, Wheeling 60

Charleston 83, Notre Dame College 60

Davis & Elkins 67, Concord 56

West Liberty 134, Frostburg State 72

WV State 76, Alderson Broaddus 72

Saturday’s women’s MEC basketball scores:

Charleston 67, Notre Dame College 62

Davis & Elkins 67, Concord 65

West Liberty 98, Frostburg State 44

Glenville State 98, WV Wesleyan 53

Wheeling 79, Fairmont State 70

WV State 121, Alderson Broaddus 88

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WVU rallies from 12 down to defeat Oklahoma State, 67-59

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia avenged one of their two losses on the season Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum, rallying from a dozen points down in the third quarter to defeat Oklahoma State 67-59. With the victory, WVU extended their win streak to five games and they became the first Big 12 team to reach the 10-win mark.

“I kept telling the players, ‘Whoever wants it the most down the stretch is going to win this game’. I thought our girls showed a lot of guts,” said WVU head coach Mike Carey.

“We had to go back to our roots and do what we do best,” said WVU guard K.K. Deans. “That’s defense creating offense. We locked down on ‘D’ and got the stops we needed. That created offense. People came off the bench and hit shots.”

Neither team led by more than four points in a tightly-contested first half. WVU led 15-13 after the first quarter.

The Cowgirls took their first lead of the game early in the second quarter. A 7-0 run gave them a 20-17 lead, matching their largest lead of the first half. Both offenses bogged down late in the second quarter and the Cowgirls led 28-25 at the break. WVU missed their final seven shot attempts in the first half while the Cowgirls missed their last six.

WVU’s Kari Niblack (Photo by Dale Sparks)

In the third quarter, Oklahoma State used a 9-0 run to stretch their lead to a dozen at 42-30. Ja’mee Asberry capped the run with five consecutive points. West Virginia quickly responded with an 11-0 run to pull within a point at 42-41. At the end of the third, OSU lead 45-43.

“We just had to find it,” Deans said of the third quarter run. “Somebody had to hit a shot. Somebody has to get us going. Once we got it, we had to keep the gas on.”

A Madisen Smith 3-pointer in the opening minute of the fourth quarter gave the Mountaineers a one-point lead, 46-45. OSU led 52-50 at the midway point of the fourth before West Virginia responded with a 12-2 run to secure the victory. Jasmine Carson doubled the lead from three to six, capping an 8-0 burst with 2:30 to play.

“I don’t think there was any bigger shot than Jasmine’s,” Carey said. “We got a lot of confidence from that.”

The Mountaineers played without their leading scorer and every-game starter Kysre Gondrezick. She attended the funeral of her father Grant, who passed away late last week.

Four Mountaineers scored in double figures, led by Deans’ 18-point effort. “K.K. yesterday had a temperature of 102,” Carey said. “For her to have the game she had with 18 points and 5 assists, you have to give her credit.”

WVU’s K.K. Deans celebrates the 67-59 win over Oklahoma State (Photo by Dale Sparks)

Kari Niblack and Smith each scored 14. Esmery Martinez notched her seventh consecutive double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Asberry led all scorers with 24 points and Natasha Mack added 15 points and a dozen rebounds.

“(Mack) still got some good looks but we held her to 15. She has been having 30-point games,” Niblack said.

Rochelle Norris got the start in place of Gondrezick. WVU had the same starting lineup for the first eleven games of the season.

“Rochelle only scored four points but she did a great job defensively and had nine rebounds. I thought she did a great job,” Carey said.

Oklahoma State defeated the Mountaineers in Stillwater, 78-73 on December 18. West Virginia (10-2, 5-2 Big 12) is scheduled to host Kansas State Wednesday night.

(Mike Carey postgame Zoom conference)

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Program hopes to incentivize investment in downtown Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The eastern panhandle’s largest city is offering potential investors an incentive in hopes of attracting more of them downtown.

Martinsburg officials announced earlier this week that the city will soon be accepting applications for matching grants up to $5,000 in an effort to help improve the visual condition of properties in downtown Martinsburg.

The grants can be used as part of projects, large or small, to improve a building’s façade. Most non-roof improvements to homes and businesses that bring a visual improvement—including painting, porch repair, brickwork, window repairs, etc.—are eligible for the program.

Martinsburg Director of Economic and Community Development Shane Farthing said the goal is to make downtown more attractive to additional visitors, customers, residents, and businesses.

Application for grant funds must be made before undertaking the work. Full details and the online application can be found at www.considermartinsburg.com/grants.

 

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Longtime Monongalia County facilities director heading into retirement

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Monongalia County Director of Facilities Bobby Doyle announced his retirement after 30 years of service this week.

Monongalia County Commission President Sean Sikora said he regrets the loss of Doyle to the team but acknowledged the financial saving he brings to the county every year by completing many projects in-house that could have gone out for bid.

“Budget time was always a fun time because that’s when I really got to know how much you really save this county and how much your foot print and your finger prints are really all over this county.” Sikora said.

The projects Doyle completed with his crews this year save the county more than $1.8 million. The projects include a gas line repair at the Monongalia County Health Department, sidewalk at the Mylan Park 4-H Extension Building, new kitchen at the Youth Services Center, dining hall at the Mason Dixon Park, a new IT building on River Road, a forensic room at the sheriff’s department, garage doors and HVAC at the MECCA 911 Center, Chestnut Ridge warming hut and a new planning commission room at the courthouse.

Doyle has maintained all county buildings, completed new construction, managed the County Motor Pool, Canine Adoption Center and Litter Control Office since 1990.

I”t’s actually just fitting that we talk about this in this room because this room is from your group,” Commissioner Tom Bloom said. “When people walk in here it is clearly very impressive.”

According to MECCA 911 Director Jimmy Smith, Doyle has been available on short notice to disinfect contaminated buildings and work areas during the pandemic to keep county workers going.

“Anything we’ve needed during this event Bobby has been there for us,’ Smith said. “We bother him on the weekends and we bother him in the evenings.”

Former Commissioner, Ed Hawkins came back to the public meeting to recognize Doyle for support while he was in office and his service to the citizens of Monongalia County.

“I don’t think I could have ever been half of the commissioner I could have been without his aid and assistance,” Hawkins said.

As for Doyle, he has been granted lifetime access to the sheriff’s department shooting range that he helped to construct.

“I would like to thank the staff that got me to this point that I’m at now,” Doyle said. “Like I’ve always said, surround yourself with good people and they will make you look good and that’s happened in the 30 years I’ve been here.”

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Eight virus deaths in Hancock County included on Saturday list of 28 confirmed through DHHR

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Department of Health and Human Resources confirmed 1,475 new coronavirus cases and an additional 28 virus-related death in its Saturday morning report.

The victims included six women from Hancock County, ages 76, 89, 90, 87, 93, 95, and two men from Hancock County, ages 65 and 93, along with a woman from Kanawha County, 67, and two men from Kanawha County, ages 69 and 80.

Other deaths were a man from Summers County, 66, a man from Tucker County, 78, a man from Jackson County, 82, a woman from Upshur County, 79, a woman from Barbour County, 56, two men from Cabell County, ages 56 and 72, a man from Mercer County, 92, a woman from Harrison County, 74, a woman from McDowell County, 79, a woman from Brooke County, 79, a woman from Fayette County, 86, two women from Ohio County, ages 93 and 84, a woman from Doddridge County, 83, a woman from Wayne County, 85, and a woman from Wood County, 88.

Overall, West Virginia’s daily virus infection rate was back below five percent, at 4.54 percent, in DHHR reporting which included 27,012 total new test results.

The cumulative rate was 5.46 percent.

A downward trend continued for hospitalizations.

Two dozen counties were classified in the red category, signifying “substantial” coronavirus transmission, on the daily County Alert System Map. All counties remained red based solely on infection rates.

For vaccinations, information showed 127,931 out of 132,700 received for initial doses had been administered, a rate of 96.4 percent.

For second doses, 22,966 of 28,275 received had been given to people as of Saturday morning to complete their inoculations for an administration rate of 81.2 percent.

The Bloomberg COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker put West Virginia’s vaccination rate at 7.75 doses for every 100 people which was the best among states.

The national rate was 3.39 doses for every 100 people as of Saturday morning.

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Charleston Catholic’s Hunter Moles gearing up for compressed season

— Story by Taylor Kennedy

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Teams all across West Virginia are gearing up for the beginning of the winter athletics season. The expected start is set for February 15th.

Among those teams is Charleston Catholic. Head coach Hunter Moles will be going into his second season with the Irish. Last season, CCHS finished with a 19-5 record, which earned them the No. 2 seed in the Class A boys basketball state tournament.

“You have to take it one day at a time, and it has been the message to our program ever since our state tournament got canceled last year. Control what you can control. We always say that it is bigger than basketball. That is something that you have to learn in life, and that is that you have to control what you can control,” said Moles.

“You try to be a better person, athlete, teammate, son, daughter, or whatever it is you have to be better every day.”

Coaches have seen their players deal with a lot over the last 10 months. From the unknown and uncertainty of when they are going to play, to know that they have to wait even longer to play. Now, teams have an understanding of when everything should commence. Moles says that he has seen his team go through a lot.

“It has been hard for them. It is something that no one has gone through before. No one knows what is going to happen. They are losing a lot of trusts, and they are losing a lot of hope. That is kind of our job as coaches, athletic directors, and administrators is to try and keep the hope alive. Stay ready, that way you do not have to get ready. Just keep going and stay motivated,” said Moles.

Moles says that it is evident that this is hitting his seniors the hardest.

Charleston Catholic’s Aiden Satterfield (Photo by Greg Carey)

“It has been a tough time for these seniors. It has been a tough time to be a high school athlete. You have to feel for them,” says Moles.

Coaches have not been able to be around their players as often as they would like. Teams cannot gather in a weight room and workout, or gather in a gymnasium and get shots up like normal. Moles says that he is relying on his guys to come prepared.

“We have not been doing anything as a team. It is all up to the kids as individuals to be working out on their own. It is hard to get these high school athletes to realize how to work out on their own. They are still learning that process of doing things on their own. I do not know who is coming in shape. We will see. I am telling them to come in shape, but we are going to see who is going to come in good enough shape because we practice very hard,” said Moles.

There are coaches, however, that will send workouts and basketball drills that their players can go through. For Moles, it is different. Moles wants to see his guys workout on their own, and learn that if they want to be an athlete then they need to do the right things.

“I have not sent any workout because at the end of the day you have to learn how to become a better basketball player on your own. When you walk into the gym, you have to put in the work. I can give you a workout, but if you go through it easy then you are not getting anything out of it. I do not care what they are doing as long as they are doing something. If you are going to be an athlete, you have to take care of your body,” said Moles.

Moles also said that he will check in on his guys, but he also has others helping him out.

“I will check in with them from time-to-time asking who has been working out. I got some people around town. I know who is working out and who is not,” said Moles.

Charleston Catholic lost a lot of guys from last year’s senior class, but the Irish do return a stellar backcourt in seniors Aiden Satterfield and Zion Suddeth. Moles is still high on this year’s team despite losing a lot of guys last year.

“We have the captain of the Class A all-state team, Aiden Satterfield, back. He is 6-7 now he was 6-6 last year. He has gained about 15 pounds. He also recently committed to West Liberty, which is awesome. Zion Suddeth has gained some muscle as well. He had another outstanding soccer season as well. For some reason, he was only on second-team all-state basketball last year. He is going to come back and have a big year. He recently committed to Wheeling University. All they are trying to do is win a state championship,” said Moles.

Charleston Catholic’s Hunter Moles (Photo by Teran Malone)

Along with Satterfield and Suddeth, Moles still likes what he is seeing from the rest of his squad.

“We lost some good players for sure. Anthony Minardi will probably play the point guard position. He played quite a bit last year. I am looking for a big senior season from him. Ferris Murad played quite a bit as a sophomore. He is a very good glue guy. He does not do too many things wrong to be honest he just tries to do everything solidly. Chase Dalporto did not play a whole lot last year, but I will bet he is one of the strongest kids in the weight room in the state of West Virginia. He puts in the work. Then you got J.P. McCutcheon. Another high energy player. Jonathan McComas coming back. I mean John McComas, he was scoring 20 a game in JV. He is between 6-2 and 6-3. He is tall and lengthy, and he can shoot it. Then you got J. Allen Turner as a freshman that can dunk. We got some players. We got some guys that can play,” said Moles.

Moles reflects on what his senior class has had to go through over the last 10 months, and sees how they set the example of getting through tough times as the legacy they will leave.

“I think everyone will remember what they had to go through. They will remember it like, ‘Hey that was the class that their junior year they were in the state tournament and it got shut down and they did not get to play.’ Hopefully, they come out and have a big year and lead by example. Just show they worked through the adversity, and they are going to grow a lot as people this year. They have a really good chance of leaving a great legacy,” said Moles.

The Irish will open the 2021 season at home against the Wheeling Central Maroon Knights on March 5.

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PSC orders Frontier service improvements

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Requirements for system upgrades and additional maintenance are included in orders the state Public Service Commission has filed after a full service audit of Frontier Communications.

Those filings came Friday.

In general, information from the PSC indicated Frontier has pledged to invest at least $200 million in system improvements in West Virginia by Dec. 31, 2023.

Additionally, the company has committed to providing fiber service to at least 150,000 locations before Dec. 31, 2027.

Not meeting the deadlines will come with consequences, according to the PSC.

Frontier filed for bankruptcy last year.

“These orders allow Frontier to proceed with its bankruptcy reorganization, emerge a stronger corporate structure and make much needed investments in West Virginia’s internet infrastructure,” said Charlotte Lane, PSC chair, in a statement.

Rampant complaints about Frontier’s service prompted the PSC audit.

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Union reports ratification for new nurse contract with Cabell Huntington Hospital

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Nurses and nurse practitioners at Cabell Huntington Hospital, a Mountain Health facility, have approved a new three-year contract.

Those with the Service Employees International Union District 1199, representing nearly 1,000 workers, announced the ratification early Saturday after two days of voting on Thursday and Friday at the Double Tree Hotel in Huntington.

“Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital stood united at the bargaining table and they were diligent in negotiating the details of this agreement,” said Joyce Gibson, SEIU 1199 secretary-treasurer, in a statement.

“The new agreement ensures that these vital nurses will have job security and a voice for the patients they serve and it will strengthen quality care, in addition to wages and benefits.”

The contract came out of negotiations throughout 2020 focused largely on health benefits and staffing issues.

Last fall, members of SEIU District 1199 authorized a bargaining committee to issue a ten-day strike notice, if necessary.

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Pedestrian killed along Interstate 79

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — Part of Interstate 79 south reopened late Friday night in Kanawha County after being closed earlier in the evening because of a deadly accident involving a pedestrian.

Emergency officials said one person was killed after being hit by more than one vehicle.

That person had been walking around 7 p.m. south of Elkview.

The victim was not being publicly identified as of Saturday morning.

For a time on Friday evening, interstate traffic was being rerouted off I-79 south at Elkview to the highway entrance at Big Chimney.

A second accident was reported in the traffic congestion in the area.

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