The Voice of West Virginia
AUGUSTA, W.Va. — It’s been seven months since Arlene Shelton has seen or spoken to her daughter. Cassie Sheetz, 24, hasn’t been seen since she apparently went for a hike with two friends in the area of Spruce Knob back in March.
Since then, it has been nothing but daily torture for Shelton.
“Every day I cry. Every day I see her picture and I bawl. I talk to her sister and I cry. I dream about her and I don’t want to wake up because it’s the only way I can see her,” Shelton told MetroNews.
This Sunday, friends and concerned residents plan to organize a search in the area of the Huckleberry Trail and the 274 Trail Head at Spruce Knob. Those are the last places the two companions of Cassie claimed to have seen her. Their stories to State Police have been suspicious, particularly to Shelton.
“I know my daughter. She would have never ventured off by herself. She is afraid of the dark. She’s also so loving and kind she would have never left a friend if she thought they were hurt,” she explained.
The two men, one a former boyfriend of Cassie, say they became separated after hearing a noise and then one of them fell. None of it added up to Shelton who has spoken with both men and isn’t satisfied they are revealing all they know. Nevertheless, State Police have followed all leads and nearly all of those leads have dried up.
Troopers have searched the area repeatedly with cadaver dogs, aerial searches, and foot patrols. There has been no sign of her.
“My motherly instinct tells me she’s not up there. I don’t think she’s there,” said Shelton.
But she’s going along with the search because it gets the case back into the media and it gives those who are concerned something to do. Many want to help, but don’t know how.
“All the substantial leads are running dry and the only thing we can think of now is to go up and do our own search. Not that we think we’re any better than the cops, but a lot of people have asked me about a search so that’s why we’re going ahead to do our own,” she explained.
The search party will gather in the upper parking lot of the 274 Trail Head at 9.am. on Sunday. Shelton is conflicted and in reality hopes they find nothing.
“I hope she’s alive. I hope she’s just somewhere and hasn’t been able to contact us. I cling to that hope,” she said.
But that hope has been as difficult as the reality. Shelton now turns her phone off at night. She’s been scammed on at least four occasions with people offering promising leads or demanding ransom for her daughter. At this point, she’s hardened to the scams and the social media gossip and opinion. She’s a tortured mother looking to find her child. The recent Gabby Petito case has brought new attention to the case and rekindled emotions for Shelton.
“It’s weird that it takes somebody being missing and found dead for everybody to notice all of these other missing children. There’s so many in West Virginia, it’s crazy,” she said.
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The WVSSAC playoff ratings are calculated using a points-based system, factoring in each team’s record and strength of schedule.
|14||ROBERT C. BYRD||5.75||2||2||0||118||86||21||2|
|13||WHEELING CENTRAL CATHOLIC||5.4||3||2||0||165||100||24||3|
|24||PADEN CITY HIGH SCHOOL||3||2||2||0||127||54||12||0|
A dispute over the firing of former West Virginia University Athletic Director Oliver Luck from his job as commissioner of the upstart XFL professional football league is heading toward a possible trial next year.
Luck, 61, is suing professional wrestling executive Vince McMahon and Alpha Entertainment over his firing in April, 2020. Luck aims to recover $23.8 million in salary and bonuses.
U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden of Connecticut ruled this month on a range of issues regarding what may be admitted into evidence, including issues surrounding whether Luck improperly deleted information from his Alpha-issued iPhone after his termination.
Among a whole host of rulings on pending motions, Bolden dismissed Luck’s claim that McMahon had breached an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, saying McMahon was not a signatory to the employment contract. But the judge denied a motion to dismiss the same claim against Alpha.
Separately, the judge set deadlines, including a Feb. 4, 2022, joint trial memorandum, leading up to guidance to have the case ready for trial by March 7.
Luck was a three-year starter at quarterback on the West Virginia University football team between 1978 and 1981, earning Academic All-American honors. In 2010, he was hired as the athletic director at the university. He left in late-2014 to take a newly-created position as executive vice president for regulatory affairs for the NCAA.
In June, 2018, Luck was named the commissioner and chief executive officer of the XFL. The league was established by 76-year-old sports entertainment executive McMahon and owned by McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment.
Luck’s contract extended from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2023. He entered into the contract on May 30, 2018.
He received a base salary of $5 million per contract year, and a guaranteed annual bonus of $2 million on the last day of each contract year, subject to his continued employment on the scheduled payment date.
The contract stated that Alpha could terminate Luck “at any time, with or without cause,” and set forth six grounds for termination for cause, including “Mr. Luck’s willful and intentional material misconduct in performance of his duties or gross negligence of his duties . . . , including an intentional failure to follow any applicable XFL policies or directives,” and “Mr. Luck’s willful disregard of the lawful instructions of Mr. McMahon concerning Mr. Luck’s material duties hereunder.”
As the effects of the covid-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020, the XFL’s operations came to a halt five games into its inaugural season. The league filed for bankruptcy that April 13.
Days before the bankruptcy filing, on April 9, 2020, Alpha terminated Luck’s employment, citing causes that included alleged gross negligence and willful disregard of McMahon’s lawful instructions about Luck’s material duties.
One of the alleged violations crossed the policy of “not signing players with problematical backgrounds and history” when Luck entered into a contract with Antonio Callaway and offered him “a very substantial signing bonus of $125,000.”
The league also alleged Luck failed to carry out in a timely fashion a directive by McMahon to terminate Callaway’s services, leading to the XFL’s liability for Callaway’s injury at practice
And the league cited Luck’s alleged failure to devote substantially all business time to XFL duties after March 13, 2020, when Luck left its Connecticut headquarters for Indiana following the XFL’s cancellation of the rest of its season because of the covid-19 pandemic. The league contended Luck also failed to exhibit “any of the vigor and work ethic required of a CEO of a start-up enterprise in these trying times.”
On April 16, 2020, Luck responded to the termination letter, denying Alpha’s grounds for termination as “meritless.” Luck countered that he had “performed all of his actions or omissions in good faith and with [his] reasonable belief that such actions or omissions were in the best interests of the XFL.”
For example, Luck stated that at the time Antonio Callaway entered into a contract with the XFL, the league did not have a policy in place that would have disqualified him from playing in the league.
Much of the back-and-forth between Luck and the defendants has focused on what should be admissible as evidence, including Luck’s actions with his league-issued cell phone.
The defendants argue that the Luck’s use of the Alpha-issued iPhone is relevant to the parties’ claims and defenses and, so, should be part of the evidence discovery process.
Luck has pushed for only material from the phone that relates to his job to be part of the court record.
“Specifically, [Mr. Luck] requests that Defendants, their counsel and experts be prohibited from disclosing personal information gleaned from the contents of the iPhone utilized by Mr. Luck during his tenure as XFL Commissioner and CEO,” the judge wrote.
The judge is weighing whether the information from the phone is relevant to the defense and “proportional to the needs of the case.”
The post Oliver Luck’s $23 million lawsuit against Vince McMahon’s XFL is set for trial next year appeared first on WV MetroNews.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — County clerks are ramping up efforts to get West Virginians registered to vote.
Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day.
To celebrate the day, Secretary of State Mac Warner visited St. Albans High School in Kanawha County as well as Buffalo and Winfield High Schools in Putnam County. He was joined by Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick and Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood.
Warner said it’s the perfect time to increase their voter registration numbers with it being an off year ahead of 2022 and that lawmakers are redrawing state district lines.
“A lot of changes are going to go on with single member districts, we’re losing a congressional seat, the Census is out. That’s a lot of moving parts,” Warner said on Monday’s “580 Live” heard on MetroNews affiliate 580-WCHS in Charleston.
This year is the 50th anniversary of 26th Amendment giving 18 year olds the right to vote.
Warner said encouraging young people to vote is also crucial at this time when so many are involved in social media during the election process.
“They can’t help but see what’s going on across the world, say in Afghanistan, the border crisis and that sort of thing. These students are in high school have opinions. They’re teenagers. They want to express themselves and what better place to do that than at the polls?” Warner said.
The late U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph of West Virginia is considered the “Father of the 26th Amendment.” The first 18 year old to register to vote in 1972 was Ella Mae Thompson Haddix, now a retired school teacher who lives in Randolph County.
Tuesday’s event was also meant to urge voters to check if their registration is up to date including address changes. To register or make changes, visit govotewv.com. You can also visit your county clerk’s office to register in person.
National Voter Registration Day was first observed in 2012.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A deadline is fast approaching for potential patients of the state’s new medical cannabis program that would allow them to have a card for two years.
Jason Frame, the director of the state Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Medical Cannabis, told MetroNews September 30 is the date that if patients sign up for a card by then, the card would be valid for two years. Registration after Oct. 1 will result in a card that is good for one year.
“We extended the expiration date of the medical cannabis cards for people that signed up early instead of waiting later in the year when dispensaries are actually open,” Frame said.
Frame said as of Tuesday morning there had been around 3,600 applications with just more than half approved. There have been in-person sign-up events through the state during the summer including in Charleston and Morgantown.
Those with a household income of 200 percent of the federal poverty level or less may apply for a waiver of the $50 state card fee. If a waiver is requested, applicants must provide documentation like a W2, paystub or proof of eligibility for low-income benefits.
Medical cannabis was legalized in the Mountain State with the signing of Senate Bill 386 on April 19, 2017. It created the Medical Cannabis Act that allows for cannabis to be used for certified medical use by a West Virginia resident with a serious medical condition to purchase the drug in the forms of a pill, oil and topical forms including gels, creams, or ointments; as well as in a form of vaporization or nebulization, dry leaf, plant, tincture, liquid or dermal patch.
The Office of Medical Cannabis lists serious medical conditions under the Act as:
Position status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Sickle cell anemia
Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain
Terminal illness that is defined as a medical prognosis of life expectancy of approximately one year or less if the illness runs its normal course
Frame said the program has a lot of momentum with signups and credits a strong advertising campaign and word of mouth. The state has 100 dispensaries getting ready for opening later this year.
“We anticipate folks will continue to sign-up as a medical cannabis patient throughout the fall. We expect dispensaries to open mid to late November,” Frame said.
“Our goal is to get folks into this process early instead of having a rush of patients trying to sign up in the November, December time range.”
Frame said state residents can register for a medical cannabis patient card at www.medcanwv.org or call the office at 304-356-5090.
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MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Police Lt. Steve Kosek is describing the scene of a weekend murder-suicide in Moundsville as “gruesome,” and something that has left the community shocked.
Kosek revealing additional details about the Marshall County incident that occurred Saturday at 2:10 p.m. on 2nd Street.
According to the lieutenant, Nicholas White, 40, attacked Thomas McKeever, 71, with a machete while he was taking a shower. Kosek said according to witness statements, White then slit McKeever’s throat with a knife and then took his own life with a .45 caliber handgun. The gun belonged to McKeever, police said.
White and McKeever lived together in that house but were not related, Kosek said. Two other adults also live there and witnessed the attack. They called 911, according to Kosek, and the incident was ongoing as the call was received.
“They witnessed this and attempted to intervene. Both were not physically injured,” Kosek told MetroNews.
When the Moundsville police, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police, and Marshall County EMA all responded to the scene, both White and McKeever were dead.
Kosek said the investigation is ongoing but there is not a clear motive at this time.
“Witnesses did state that the assailant suffered from longtime mental issues and substance abuse issues. We do not have a clear motive,” he said.
Kosek said in the 24 years he has been with the department, he’s only encountered a scene of this nature a handful of times. He said it was a gruesome scene but this is what first responders train for.
“It’s something you certainly remember but everyone that does this is trained to do that. You never know if day one on the job you’re going to encounter something like that or 20 years from now, you just don’t know,” he said.
Autopsies took place on the bodies on Monday.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Active COVID-19 cases fell by nearly 1,000 Tuesday, continuing a downward trend from the state’s latest peak of more than 29,000 cases this month.
The state Department of Health and Human Resources confirmed 13,542 active cases statewide Tuesday and announced 10 new deaths. Active cases were above 16,000 on Saturday.
The total amount of deaths is currently 3,578.
Confirmed deaths include a 43-year old female from Marion County, a 75-year old male from Kanawha County, a 72-year old female from Marion County, a 43-year old male from Wood County, a 71-year old male from Hampshire County, a 72-year old female from Preston County, a 92-year old female from Mineral County, an 89-year old female from Kanawha County, a 97-year old female from Marion County, and a 36-year old male from Cabell County.
“We extend our sincere condolences to these grieving families,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch in a news release. “The COVID vaccine is free, safe, and effective. Please take time to schedule an appointment today.”
Hospitalizations remain below 1,000. On Tuesday, the number stayed the same as Monday’s report at 978 hospital patients. There are 291 in the ICU and 193 on ventilators.
DHHR reports as of September 28, 2021, there are currently 13,542 active COVID-19 cases statewide. There have been 10 deaths reported since the last report, with a total of 3,578 deaths attributed to COVID-19. https://t.co/HQcEk8gC9O pic.twitter.com/w4RkTQRnEP
— WV Department of Health & Human Resources • (@WV_DHHR) September 28, 2021
CURRENT ACTIVE CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (84), Berkeley (712), Boone (189), Braxton (148), Brooke (98), Cabell (692), Calhoun (35), Clay (44), Doddridge (63), Fayette (314), Gilmer (35), Grant (129), Greenbrier (291), Hampshire (172), Hancock (224), Hardy (92), Harrison (764), Jackson (244), Jefferson (325), Kanawha (950), Lewis (215), Lincoln (130), Logan (319), Marion (586), Marshall (244), Mason (161), McDowell (238), Mercer (562), Mineral (298), Mingo (277), Monongalia (346), Monroe (84), Morgan (87), Nicholas (201), Ohio (230), Pendleton (40), Pleasants (78), Pocahontas (45), Preston (353), Putnam (447), Raleigh (552), Randolph (119), Ritchie (107), Roane (118), Summers (103), Taylor (133), Tucker (29), Tyler (113), Upshur (203), Wayne (382), Webster (50), Wetzel (149), Wirt (69), Wood (684), Wyoming (185). To find the cumulative cases per county, please visit www.coronavirus.wv.gov and look on the Cumulative Summary tab which is sortable by county.
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SAINT ALBANS, W.Va. — Kanawha County sheriff’s deputies have identified an elderly man who was killed in an ATV wreck over the weakened.
Kenneth Roy, 81, of Saint Albans, lost control of the machine at around 3:45 p.m. Sunday and died.
The crash happened in 1200 block of Strawberry Road in Saint Albans.
Deputies said the man lost control of the ATV and it slid down a hill.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Check out the top plays from around West Virginia in the fifth week of the high school football season.
You can win $100 each week by submitting videos using the Twitter hashtag #MNTopPlay. Hudl links are also welcome.