The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 31, 2013

Top stories of 2013

By Wendy Holdren

January

Jan. 1: The White House reached a New Year’s Eve accord with Senate Republicans to avert the fiscal cliff in a budget deal.

Jan. 2: Jesom Edward Culver’s birth Jan. 1 was reported. Jesom, the 9 lb., 6 oz., son of Frank Colver and Evangeline Tiede, was the first baby born at Raleigh General Hospital in 2013.

Jan. 3: The financing of a proposed public swimming pool in Greenbrier County was challenged by four county residents.

Jan. 4: Warren Ashby Thornhill, a co-founder of the Beckley Area Foundation who helped to build the YMCA of Southern West Virginia, died Jan. 2.

Jan. 5: The community walk-ed through the new Marsh Fork Elementary School in Raleigh County.

Jan. 6: The Raleigh County Prosecutor’s office became the focus of a facelift.

Jan. 7: Public comments were being solicited on the proposed expansion of the Beech Ridge Wind Farm in western Greenbrier County.

Jan. 8: A person was shot dead near Lewisburg after a standoff with Lewisburg police.

Jan. 9: University of Char-leston Beckley’s campus open-ed with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Jan. 10: Register-Herald publisher Frank Wood was named the United Way of Southern West Virginia’s 2013-2014 fundraising campaign chairman.

Jan. 11: Beckley Police Sgt. Frankie Shelton was named Governor’s Highway Safety Program “Officer of the Year” for the 14th year.

Jan. 12: U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced he would not seek a sixth term.

Jan. 13: Rep. Nick Joe Rahall III announced that he would enter the race for the U.S. Senate.

Jan. 14: Beckley Police Cpl. Jamie Blume announced the addition of Ciro, a 19-month-old German shepherd, to the K-9 unit.

Jan. 15: Gov. Earl Ray Tom-blin took the oath of office as West Virginia’s governor.

Jan. 16: Federal prosecutors decided to delay involvement in a long-lingering civil suit by former Massey Energy shareholders who said the coal company lied about its safety record to inflate stock prices.

Jan. 17: President Barack Obama urged Congress to require background checks for all gun sales and ban both military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, in the wake of shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Jan. 18: Former Upper Big Branch superintendent Gary May was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 21 months in prison and three years supervised release, in connection with an explosion at the former Massey Energy mine in Raleigh County.

Jan. 19: Marsh Fork Elementary School was dedicated in a special ceremony which was attended by Sen. Joe Manchin.

Jan. 20: Congested jails were a topic of study by Sen. Bill Laird, D-Fayette, who said he and other lawmakers planned to research the problem, which had to be addressed.

Jan. 21: President Barack Obama, was sworn into his second term of office in Washington.

Jan. 22: Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated in Lewisburg with a gathering of 320 citizens.

Jan. 23: Raleigh County was getting $35,000 per quarter in 2013 in tax proceeds generated by methane derived from coal waste dumps, and the windfall was being applied to infrastructure needs, Commission President Dave Tolliver said.

Jan. 24: St. Francis de Sales Catholic School seventh-grader Nikki Zinzuwadia took first place at the annual Raleigh County Spelling Bee.

Jan. 25: Sen. Joe Manchin announced plans to push for a rural health clinic in the Marsh Fork area of Raleigh County.

Jan. 26: A snowstorm left the region covered in snow, as an icy blast hit the area.

Jan. 27: Raleigh County Schools officials announced that pre-K students would be assigned a school instead of automatically attending a feeder school for the district.

Jan. 28: NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton was guest speaker at the Big Atlantic Classic Tip-Off Banquet.

Jan. 29: The West Virginia Education Association and the state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers opposed drug testing for teachers and students in Raleigh County.

Jan. 30: Raleigh County Sheriff Steve Tanner announced he would not enforce federal gun laws.

Jan. 31: University of Char-leston - Beckley President Dr. Jerry Forster announced the Golden Eagles would be flying when the university added an athletics program in the fall.

February

Feb. 1: Beckley man gets 20 years from murder plea after killing his girlfriend.

Feb. 2: Community groups get together to change “culture of violence” in Beckley.

Feb. 3: Local father shares the story of losing his son to 2007 gas explosion at Ghent Little General store.

Feb. 4: Major fire destroys Gospel Truth Lighthouse Church in Sophia.

Feb. 5: Schools around the region have maxed out their snow days.

Feb. 6: Report shows teen birth rate soars in McDowell County while falling in the rest of the state.

Feb. 7: Violence expert tells school and law officials to cut out violent media to make schools safer.

Feb. 8: Former MSU students get tied up in appeals from the school and can’t get new financial aid.

Feb. 9: Worker crushed to death in Pocahontas Coal Co.’s Affinity Mine.

Feb. 10: Fayette County citizens pass levy that puts $9.3 million into schools for next five years.

Feb. 11: Auditor calls for replacement of Jackie Withrow hospital because repairs cost more than building a new hospital.

Feb. 12: Ethics Commission schedules conference for Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh, who is charged with nine counts of ethics violations.

Feb. 13: Gant Montgomery named Beckley’s chief of detectives.

Feb. 14: Gov. Tomblin turns his focus to education and calls schooling in state “unacceptable.”

Feb. 15: Rahall warns budget cuts take away funds for King Coal Highway and Coalfields Expressway.

Feb. 16: Department of Labor asks judge to shut down coal slurry since it hasn’t been inspected and certified for two years.

Feb. 17: Report says Fayette County ranks 51st out of 55 counties in teen pregnancy rates.

Feb. 18: Fayette County citizens ask Legislature to extend waterline so they can have running water.

Feb. 19: Rep. Nick Rahall receives Truman Award from National Guard.

Feb. 20: Mayor Pugh’s ethics hearing moved to May 1 after deputy counsel leaves the commission.

Feb. 21: Affinity Mine shut for one-hour after two deaths in two weeks.

Feb. 22: Prison chief tells Legislature that crowding in prisons has reached a crisis level.

Feb. 23: Rockefeller and Rahall introduce miners pension bill.

Feb. 24: Mining safety officials working to finish safety talks and get back to work.

Feb. 25: Heart of God Ministries celebrates Black History with special service.

Feb. 26: Senate President says school boards need more control if schools will succeed.

Feb. 27: Fire in Hinton destroys entire city block; police charge a suspect with arson.

Feb. 28: Gov. Tomblin introduces bill to require payment sales tax on online purchases.

March

March 1: David Hughart, 54, the former president of Massey Energy’s White Buck Coal Co., admitted to U.S. District Court Judge Irene Berger that he conspired to impede the Mine Safety and Health Administration and conspired to violate mine health and safety laws.

March 2: Gov. Earl Ray Tom-blin dispels rumors about a massive education reform bill.

March 3: A proposed Greenbrier County fire levy flamed out as voters rejected the measure by more than a two-to-one margin.

March 4: Raleigh County Commission President Dave Tolliver says commercial development was excellent in 2012, with over $61 million in total new construction.

March 5: President Obama selected Hinton native Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his budget director in the midst of a bipartisan battle over government spending.

March 6: Beckley Police Department discovered what they suspect was a meth lab on South Fayette Street across from the Stratton Elementary School; Mark Anthony Lyons, 44, was charged.

March 7: Hinton arson suspect Billy Joe Gill is now also charged with two counts of attempted murder according to the Summers County Prosecutor.

March 8: Officials at the West Virginia Parkways Authority monthly meeting discuss tolls and speed limits.

March 9: Raleigh County Commissioners prepared to complete the 2013-2014 budget, anticipated to be approximately $14.8 million and officials are requesting additional funding for staff.

March 10: Liberty High School theater and music teach-er Everett Jeremy Rodriguez is one of 20 finalists across the nation to win a $10,000 classroom grant through the Great American Teach-off.

March 11: A Senate Select Committee on children and poverty is set to meet in Beckley to discuss issues relating to children and poverty.

March 12: A nearly unanimous West Virginia House of Delegates approved a measure that would repeal a handful of municipal gun control ordinances.

March 13: Due to West Virginia's Regional Jail system ov-ercrowding, the Senate agreed to make more inmates eligible for parole with good-time credits.

March 14: The Catholic Church found a surprising new leader, a pioneer pope from Argentina named Pope Francis.

March 15: During a Raleigh County Board of Education meeting, members of the public announced they hope to have Stratton Elementary School placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

March 16: New River Community and Technical College is proceeding with plans for renovations of a building intended to be a fine arts and aquatic center despite the pending legal case.

March 17: Mount Hope Heritage and Hope and The Center of Hope, both nonprofit organizations, argue over the use and ownership of the old Mount Hope High School.

March 18: Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick discusses the state’s growing coyote population.

March 19: After weeks of intense hearings, the education bill passes 34-0 with a few tweaks.

March 20: Gov. Tomblin ordered a freeze on hiring for all executive agencies under his authority, due to tax revenues that could lag below expectations up to $70 million.

March 21: Senate Select Committee on Children and Poverty met with community members to discuss solutions related to children and poverty.

March 22: After leaving Raleigh General Hospital 12 years ago, David Darden will return May 1 to serve as Chief Executive Officer.

March 23: Fayette County Commission approves a $9.9 million budget, and officials say budget increases can be traced to drug addiction and drug related crime.

March 24: University of Charleston - Beckley picks up radiologic technology, an old Mountain State University program.

March 25: Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce plans to honor miners who died three years ago during the Upper Big Branch mine explosion.

March 26: Beckley VA Medical Center hosts groundbreaking for two new patient care enhancement projects, which are set for completion in early fall 2014.

March 27: Rep. Nick Rahall, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, says he will not support gun control legislation.

March 28: Greenbrier Valley Airport is on the Federal Aviation Administration's list of 154 contract towers slated to close; Airport Authority exploring all options.

March 29: The House of Delegates passed a bill making seatbelt violations a primary offense.

March 30: The murder trial of 60-year-old Gerald Wayne Little has been moved from Mercer to Raleigh County.

March 31: Officials seek answers about the safety of waste fluids from oil and gas drilling being pumped underground in Fayette County.

February Feb. 1: Beckley man gets 20 years from murder plea after killing his girlfriend.

Feb. 2: Community groups get together to change “culture of violence” in Beckley.

Feb. 3: Local father shares the story of losing his son to 2007 gas explosion at Ghent Little General store.

Feb. 4: Major fire destroys Gospel Truth Lighthouse Church in Sophia.

Feb. 5: Schools around the region have maxed out their snow days.

Feb. 6: Report shows teen birth rate soars in McDowell County while falling in the rest of the state.

Feb. 7: Violence expert tells school and law officials to cut out violent media to make schools safer.

Feb. 8: Former MSU students get tied up in appeals from the school and can’t get new financial aid.

Feb. 9: Worker crushed to death in Pocahontas Coal Co.’s Affinity Mine.

Feb. 10: Fayette County citizens pass levy that puts $9.3 million into schools for next five years.

Feb. 11: Auditor calls for replacement of Jackie Withrow hospital because repairs cost more than building a new hospital.

Feb. 12: Ethics Commission schedules conference for Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh, who is charged with nine counts of ethics violations.

Feb. 13: Gant Montgomery named Beckley’s chief of detectives.

Feb. 14: Gov. Tomblin turns his focus to education and calls schooling in state “unacceptable.”

Feb. 15: Rahall warns budget cuts take away funds for King Coal Highway and Coalfields Expressway.

Feb. 16: Department of Labor asks judge to shut down coal slurry since it hasn’t been inspected and certified for two years.

Feb. 17: Report says Fayette County ranks 51st out of 55 counties in teen pregnancy rates.

Feb. 18: Fayette County citizens ask Legislature to extend waterline so they can have running water.

Feb. 19: Rep. Nick Rahall receives Truman Award from National Guard.

Feb. 20: Mayor Pugh’s ethics hearing moved to May 1 after deputy counsel leaves the commission.

Feb. 21: Affinity Mine shut for one-hour after two deaths in two weeks.

Feb. 22: Prison chief tells Legislature that crowding in prisons has reached a crisis level.

Feb. 23: Rockefeller and Rahall introduce miners pension bill.

Feb. 24: Mining safety officials working to finish safety talks and get back to work.

Feb. 25: Heart of God Ministries celebrates Black History with special service.

Feb. 26: Senate President says school boards need more control if schools will succeed.

Feb. 27: Fire in Hinton destroys entire city block; police charge a suspect with arson.

Feb. 28: Gov. Tomblin introduces bill to require payment sales tax on online purchases.  March                                                                                                     March 1: David Hughart, 54, the former president of Massey Energy’s White Buck Coal Co., admitted to U.S. District Court Judge Irene Berger that he conspired to impede the Mine Safety and Health Administration and conspired to violate mine health and safety laws.

March 2: Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin dispels rumors about a massive education reform bill.

March 3: A proposed Greenbrier County fire levy flamed out as voters rejected the measure by more than a two-to-one margin.

March 4: Raleigh County Commission President Dave Tolliver says commercial development was excellent in 2012, with over $61 million in total new construction.

March 5: President Obama selected Hinton native Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his budget director in the midst of a bipartisan battle over government spending.

March 6: Beckley Police Department discovered what they suspect was a meth lab on South Fayette Street across from the Stratton Elementary School; Mark Anthony Lyons, 44, was charged.

March 7: Hinton arson suspect Billy Joe Gill is now also charged with two counts of attempted murder according to the Summers County Prosecutor.

March 8: Officials at the West Virginia Parkways Authority monthly meeting discuss tolls and speed limits.

March 9: Raleigh County Commissioners prepared to complete the 2013-2014 budget, anticipated to be approximately $14.8 million and officials are requesting additional funding for staff.

March 10: Liberty High School theater and music teacher Everett Jeremy Rodriguez is one of 20 finalists across the nation to win a $10,000 classroom grant through the Great American Teach-off.

March 11: A Senate Select Committee on children and poverty is set to meet in Beckley to discuss issues relating to children and poverty.

March 12: A nearly unanimous West Virginia House of Delegates approved a measure that would repeal a handful of municipal gun control ordinances.

March 13: Due to West Virginia's Regional Jail system overcrowding, the Senate agreed to make more inmates eligible for parole with good-time credits.

March 14: The Catholic Church found a surprising new leader, a pioneer pope from Argentina named Pope Francis.

March 15: During a Raleigh County Board of Education meeting, members of the public announced they hope to have Stratton Elementary School placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

March 16: New River Community and Technical College is proceeding with plans for renovations of a building intended to be a fine arts and aquatic center despite the pending legal case.

March 17: Mount Hope Heritage and Hope and The Center of Hope, both nonprofit organizations, argue over the use and ownership of the old Mount Hope High School.

March 18: Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick discusses the state’s growing coyote population.

March 19: After weeks of intense hearings, the education bill passes 34-0 with a few tweaks.

March 20: Gov. Tomblin ordered a freeze on hiring for all executive agencies under his authority, due to tax revenues that could lag below expectations up to $70 million.

March 21: Senate Select Committee on Children and Poverty met with community members to discuss solutions related to children and poverty.

March 22: After leaving Raleigh General Hospital 12 years ago, David Darden will return May 1 to serve as Chief Executive Officer.

March 23: Fayette County Commission approves a $9.9 million budget, and officials say budget increases can be traced to drug addiction and drug related crime.

March 24: University of Charleston - Beckley picks up radiologic technology, an old Mountain State University program.

March 25: Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce plans to honor miners who died three years ago during the Upper Big Branch mine explosion.

March 26: Beckley VA Medical Center hosts groundbreaking for two new patient care enhancement projects, which are set for completion in early fall 2014.

March 27: Rep. Nick Rahall, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, says he will not support gun control legislation.

March 28: Greenbrier Valley Airport is on the Federal Aviation Administration's list of 154 contract towers slated to close; Airport Authority exploring all options.

March 29: The House of Delegates passed a bill making seatbelt violations a primary offense.

March 30: The murder trial of 60-year-old Gerald Wayne Little has been moved from Mercer to Raleigh County.

March 31: Officials seek answers about the safety of waste fluids from oil and gas drilling being pumped underground in Fayette County. April                                                                                                          April 1: Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine opens early to serve people during their spring breaks.

April 2: Thousands rally against Patriot Coal after they shed $1.6 billion in benefits for employees.

April 3: Bill that would legalize medical marijuana shot down for third year in a row.

April 4: Mingo Sheriff Eugene Crum shot dead and the main suspect is in the hospital after being wounded.

April 5: Sheriff-killing suspect was “mentally disturbed” according to the suspect’s father.

April 6: Memorials held for victims of Upper Big Branch mining disaster that took place three years ago.

April 7: Budget gridlock could close air-traffic control tower at Greenbrier Valley Airport.

April 8: Nearly 400 law officers attend funeral services for Mingo sheriff.

April 9: Bill to remove turnpike tolls falls flat in the Senate.

April 10: Oak Hill City Council votes not to fund any Boy Scouts of America projects.

April 11: Sen. Joe Man-chin works with senators from both parties to broaden gun purchase requirements.

April 12: Raleigh County citizens get together to try to come up with ideas on how to lower dropout rates.

April 13: Suspect in killing of Mingo sheriff bought several guns before anyone realized he wasn’t allowed to.

April 14: Bill to reform prisons in West Virginia makes it back to the governor’s desk for signing.

April 15: Local educator says learning to read and write in cursive is important for learning and literacy.

April 16: Explosions at Boston Marathon kill three, injure 144.

April 17: New River Community and Technical College’s Beckley Campus welcomes new president.

April 18: Liberty High School music teacher Jeremy Rodriguez gets $10,000 grant for his department from the Great American Teach-Off.

April 19: Southern Regional Jail says “human error” led to release of accused killer.

April 20: Suspect in Boston bombings captured after gunfire with police.

April 21: One Voice opens center in Beckley to help those struggling with substance abuse.

April 22: Sen. Manchin goes to war with NRA after his suggestion to increase background checks for gun-buyers.

April 23: Raleigh County superintendent says there aren’t enough teach-ers in the workforce these days.

April 24: Court of Appeals in District of Columbia gives EPA permission to block water pollution permit to mine, shutting it down.

April 25: Raleigh County students in grades 2 through 12 are getting their own iPads.

April 26: Parkways Authority say 70 percent of the West Virginia Turnpike is in “good to very good” shape.

April 27: Rep. Nick Rahall warns that the EPA could start attacking the mining industry in full-force.

April 28: Rainelle’s 100th birthday celebration winds down after a day of partying.

April 29: Mount Hope man appeals dumping permit to keep building supplies from torn-down homes away from his yard.

April 30: Former Beckley PD evidence technician gets probation for taking oxycodone from the department she work-ed in.                                      May

May 1: West Virginia residents turned in 4,642 pounds of unwanted drugs during Drug Take-Back Day.

May 2: West Virginia received high marks from a national agency for its pre-kindergarten support.

May 3: Gov. Tomblin announced West Virginia will expand state Medicaid coverage.

May 4: State fire marshal Sterling Lewis retired after 13 years of overseeing state fire safety.

May 5: Concord’s baseball team won the 2013 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

May 6: A commercial dog breeder bill was sign-ed by Gov. Tomblin that would regulate breeding practices.

May 7: Raleigh County hosted the 25th annual Celebrity Night to benefit two local charities.

May 8: Controversy from lawmakers ensued after Gov. Tomblin signed the home rule bill into law.  

May 9: State Board of Education returned control of McDowell schools to the county.  

May 10: The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce spoke up about the need for local educational reform.

May 11: The Greenbrier Valley airport tower announced it would stay open after facing budget cuts.

May 12: UC - Beckley celebrated its first commencement ceremony at Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

May 13: Beckley Area Derby Dames celebrate Mother’s Day with a win over Greenbrier Roller Vixens.

May 14: New scientific study warned that black lung is on the rise among Appalachian miners.

May 15: A former So-phia police officer was awarded $600,000 in a settlement resulting from alleged discrimination.

May 16: Law enforcement officers mourned those lost in the line of duty during National Peace Officers Memorial Day in Fayetteville.

May 17: Rick Thompson left his post as speaker of the House of Delegates for a new role in the Department of Veterans Assistance.

May 18: Shady Spring’s Houstin Syvertson won the state shot put championship with a throw of 53 feet, 9 1/2 inches.

May 19: The Women’s Resource Center raised $19,000 during its annual Chair-ity Auction event.

May 20: Hundreds of West Virginians got the opportunity to preview the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve.

May 21: More than 50 were killed in a massive tornado that tore through the outskirts of Oklahoma City.

May 22: Natalie Coots was named Raleigh County’s 2013 Teacher of the Year.

May 23: Lewisburg stood against Monongahela Power’s proposed purchase of the Harrison Power Station.  

May 24: Primary seatbelt event was signed into law by Gov. Tomblin.

May 25: West Virginia joined in the challenge of EPA regulating greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources.

May 26: The Department of Transportation confirmed that construction of the East Beckley By-Pass will be delayed until at least 2014.

May 27: Beckleyans celebrated the founding of the city in 1838 by Gen. Alfred Beckley.

May 28: Dr. Iraj Derakhshan was listed as state’s No. 1 prescriber of hydrocodone acetaminophen to Medicare Part D participants.

May 29: Complaints were filed against several Oceana officials for alleged wrongdoing.

May 30: West Virginia South was named CNHI Magazine of the Year.

May 31: The New River Community and Technical College Foundation appealed being excluded from the ongoing pool lawsuit.                          June

June 1: State DEP to hear public comment on injection well permit near Lochgelly.

June 2: East Beckley bypass plans changed, delayed.

June 3: Beckley to be site of a governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission highway hearing.

June 4: Gov. Tomblin appoints former Speaker of the House and Raleigh County Delegate Bob Kiss to secretary of the Department of Revenue.

June 5: Suspects in Monroe County murder captured; police allege woman conspired to have her husband murdered.

June 6: Shootings in White Sulphur Springs lead to two arrests; victims in serious to critical condition.

June 7: Mayor Emmett Pugh admits no guilt in settlement with state ethics commission, agrees to step down Dec. 31 — two years before his term ends — pay $7,000 in reimbursements and to not hold any public office for five years.

June 8: Beckley Common Council members react to Pugh’s settlement with the state ethics commission, disagree on whe-ther he should resign.

June 9: Clean Air Coalition of New York heading to Fayette County to learn about the health effects of an area coal-fired power plant and surface mining.

June 10: Carter Family Foundation OKs $50,000 grant for student drug testing in the event the Raleigh County Board of Education passes the policy.

June 11: Theatre West Virginia opens 53rd season not knowing it will be its final one.

June 12: Beckley Common Council members continue to debate Mayor Pugh’s future after he reached a settlement with the state ethics commission.

June 13: Pugh says he won’t leave his post early despite pressure from Common Council members.

June 14: BSA official gives an overview of the upcoming Boy Scouts Jamboree, while Raleigh General stages a disaster drill in anticipation of 100,000 Scouts arriving in the area.

June 15: Mingo Delegate Harry Keith White bows out of the race for Speaker of the House, throwing his support to Harrison County Delegate Tim Miley.

June 16: Register-Herald offices and plant close for environmental testing.

June 17: Boys Scouts explain for Jamboree traffic plans.

June 18: First section of New River Parkway opens in Summers County.

June 19: Nearly 2 inches of rain causes heavy flooding in the area.

June 20: Beckley Council relents, agrees to let Mayor Emmett Pugh remain in office through December.

June 21: The West Virginia PSC grants Beech Ridge Wind Farm permit.

Jun 22: Jonben man opens fire on law enforcement officers, is fatally shot.

Jun 23: Register-Herald opens temporary offices on University of Charles-ton’s Beckley campus.

June 24: W.Va. Citizen Action Group files opposition to Appalachian Power’s proposal to purchase existing coal-fired power plants along the Ohio River.

June 25: Sen. Rockefeller asks for better system to address sexual assaults in the military.

June 26: Former Pine-ville town manager sentenced to 18 months in prison for embezzlement.

June 27: A successful WSS City Council candidate asks for a recount. Audrey Burns VanBuren remained the elected council member.

June 28: Editor Butch Antolini announces he’s leaving The Register-Herald to accept post at the Division of Agriculture.

June 29: Register-Herald office and plant reopens after environmental tests completed.

June 30: “Oxyana” filmmaker says the documentary’s message is one of “hope.”                                                                                                       July

July 1: Fayetteville announces plans for an old-fashioned 4th of July celebration.

July 2: Gov. Tomblin visits Beckley to promote a statewide campaign to discourage distracted driving.

July 3: Sen. Manchin has a town meeting in Hinton.

July 4: Greenbrier County Commissioners vote to cancel a lease for a controversial swimming pool and ask New River Community and Technical College to return $1.3 million earmarked for the aquatic center’s renovation.

July 5: Beckley’s fire chief reports that 2012 was a year “full of the unordinary.”

July 6: Monroe and Nicholas counties share $1.5 million in federal money for their Head Start programs.

July 7: Patriot Coal Corp. continues to work its way through bankruptcy and negotiations with the United Mine Workers.

July 8: Jonas Blixt wins The Greenbrier Classic golf tournament.

July 9: Picking season starts at Blueberry Hill.

July 10: White Sulphur Springs City Council rejects former Mayor Tho-mas Taylor’s demand for back pay.

July 11: The Humane Society of Raleigh County stages a fundraising event for the animal shelter, which is at full capacity.

July 12: The National Guard sets up at UC - Beckley in preparation for the upcoming Boy Scout Jamboree.

July 13: Sen. Jay Rockefeller welcomes Scouts to the Boy Scout Jamboree, which is being held at the Summit Bechtel Family Reserve for the first time.

July 14: The McDowell County Commission rescinds an earlier decision to accept county manager Clif Moore’s offer to resign.

July 15: Ansted and the Fayette County Commission team up to consider a sewer system upgrade for an area outside town limits.

July 16: Beckley native Brandon Reece wins the BNI Memorial Golf Classic.

July 17: The Raleigh County Commission allocates $10,000 to have a water line extended, benefiting players and fans in the Big Coal River Little League.

July 18: As part of a community outreach project, teams of Boy Scouts work in various southern West Virginia communities building trails.

July 19: A trial run of “virtual tower” technology at the Raleigh County Airport exceeds expectations.

July 20: Word is received of the death of Dr. Roland P. Sharp, founding president of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

July 21: The King of Sweden puts in an appearance at the Boy Scout Jamboree.

July 22: The 10th annual Friends of Coal Auto Fair wraps up.

July 23: Former WVU quarterback Geno Smith and the New York Jets agree to a four-year, $5 million pact.

July 24: The 2013 Boy Scout Jamboree draws to a close.

July 25: Raleigh County native Clint Ranson is named manager of the Mercer County Airport.

July 26: Blueprint Communities learn how to create better futures for their towns.

July 27: National Park Service awards $46,000 to create a preservation plan for the site of the Battle of Greenbrier River in Pocahontas County.

July 28: Fayette County Schools is participating in a statewide program that will give students in 13 schools the opportunity to eat breakfast, lunch and a snack at school at no cost.

July 29: Two inmates escape from Denmar Correctional Center in Pocahontas County.

July 30: State Police announce the capture of the two Denmar escapees, who were found walking near Richwood.

July 31: Beckley ARH unveils its renovated fourth floor, which is outfitted with the latest technology.                                                                       August

Aug. 1: Former Democrat Evan Jenkins announced Wednesday that he will join the Republican party and challenge Nick Rahall for the 3rd District House of Representatives seat.

Aug. 2: James Roy Belknap, 27, of Nicholas County, pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and will be sentenced Aug. 28.

Aug. 3: A Fayetteville teacher, Kathleen Wade, 57, of Hico, was charged with two counts of battery against two of her students.

Aug. 4: The 24th annual Appalachian String Band Festival was hosted in Clifftop this weekend.

Aug. 5: As schools in the state open over the next few weeks, educators and law enforcement officers are urging motorists to obey school zone speed and take extra precaution as they drive.

Aug. 6: Raleigh County students will be the first in the state to be equip-ped with new iPads.

Aug. 7: Allowing sales of 15 cold and allergy medications laced with pseudoephedrine on a “prescription-only” basis could actually exacerbate the meth problem in West Virginia, according to an official.

Aug. 8: Everyone is gearing up for the 2013 West Virginia State Fair, which opens Friday.

Aug. 9: Gov. Tomblin was pleasantly surprised by the receptive attitude of new administrator Gina McCarthy, but he emphasized that he is ready to take the Environmental Protection Agency back to federal court over coal regulations.

Aug. 10: Raleigh County Magistrate Charles Humphrey ruled that the first-degree murder case of Gaston Smith, 19, of Beckley, will be sent to the grand jury.

Aug. 11: The Lilly family reunion, one of the world’s largest family gatherings, begins at Flat Top this weekend.

Aug. 12: After three years, Delegate Mike Ma-nypenny’s idea of legalizing marijuana is gaining support.

Aug. 13: The Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways OKs tolls, but does not want to see increased taxes.

Aug. 14: The Humane Society of the United States gave the Raleigh County Humane Society a $3,000 grant in effort to prevent euthanization via gas chamber.

Aug. 15: Sen. Joe Manchin joined Raleigh County business owners and local officials for roundtable discussion about the state of the economy, the Affordable Care Act and the war on coal.

Aug. 16: Federal prosecutors charge Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury with abusing his power and commandeering a southern West Virginia Grand jury in a failed attempt to frame a romantic rival.

Aug. 17: The remains of two people were discovered Wednesday at a Summersville storage company, but State Police say no arrests have been made at this time.

Aug. 18: Day of Hope exceeded its goals of 750 volunteers, 3,000 guests and 35,000 pounds of donated food by 1 p.m. Saturday.

Aug. 19: Kelsey Murphy, one of West Virginia’s most innovative and prolific artists, visited Tamarack to show her specialty cameo glass.

Aug. 20: Public transit in Raleigh and Fayette counties is at risk of going away unless leaders can find a way to negotiate a new funding landscape.

Aug. 21: The fall 2013 semester opened at the University of Charleston - Beckley campus with an estimated 500 new students.

Aug. 22: Although fewer than 2 percent of West Virginia residents currently receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the leader of a nonprofit group says poverty is still plaguing an increasingly elevated percent of the population.

Aug. 23: Wanda Faye Kiser, 61, was charged by Nicholas County law enforcement with two felony counts of illegally concealing a dead body after police discovered the remains in a Summersville storage unit.

Aug. 24: Senate President Jeffrey Kessler is thinking of letting West Virginia voters decide the fate of the proposed “future fund” fed with taxes collected from natural resources.

Aug. 25: The 17th Annual Taste of Appalachia was hosted in uptown Beckley; the crowd was greeted with nice weather, good music and an abundance of food.

Aug. 26: Attorney General Patrick Morrissey says West Virginia will have a huge problem in meeting an Oct. 1 deadline to begin open enrollment under the new federal health care reform law.

Aug. 27: According to a letter sent from Jim Justice to property owners at The Resort at Glade Springs, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is ordering the roadway around Mallard Lake and its dam be raised approximately 40 feet, which would cost approximately $9.2 million.

Aug. 28: Glade Springs Owner Jim Justice continues to disagree with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s “high hazard” classification of the Mallard Lake dam at The Resort at Glade Springs.

Aug. 29: James Roy Belknap was sentenced to four life sentences with no chance of parole for the murders of Steven Hendrix, his girlfriend Amber Martin, his 4-year-old daughter Kaylee and his 6-year-old son Dakota.

Aug. 30: Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler reported that a Federal Corrections Institution - Beckley officer, James Howard Butcher, 41, of Fayetteville, allegedly sold prescription medication from his home to an undercover officer.

Aug. 31: During the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Business Summit, industry leaders predict a gloomy forecast for coal.         September

Sept. 1: A steady decline of manufacturing jobs from the steel mills of Wheeling to the coal-producing southern counties was fueling an erosion of the middle class across the state, lawmakers reported.

Sept. 2: New pseudo-ephedrine drug Nexafed was being touted as a 100 percent tamper-proof fix to the methamphetamine problem.

Sept. 3: Six people were reported killed over Labor Day in three separate accidents in Fayette County.

Sept. 4: The Fayette County Board of Education unveiled its Capital Improvement Plan for the structures and infrastructures of Fayette schools.

Sept. 5: The West Virginia Department of Education offered a new website that would allow parents to track schools’ progress.

Sept. 6: Sen. Joe Man-chin, D-W.Va., announc-ed he wouldn’t support military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

 Sept. 7: A controversy over a dam at The Resort of Glade Springs was resolved between owner Jim Justice and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Sept. 8: President Bar-ack Obama tried to convince a skeptical Congress that it should back him on a military strike against Syria.

Sept. 9: Mount Hope firefighters Virgil Kincaid and Mark Hughes returned to West Virginia after having spent 13 days in Montana fighting seasonal wildfires.

Sept. 10: Sen. Joe Man-chin, D-W.Va., proposed a joint resolution with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., calling for the Syrian government to sign the Chemical Weap-ons Convention and to take concrete steps to comply with the convention’s terms and conditions.

Sept. 11: Former Mass-ey Energy executive who pleaded guilty to giving illegal, advance warning to miners on federal inspectors’ visits between 2000 and 2010 was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, followed by probation, in U.S. District Court.

Sept. 12: Greenbrier County Commissioners expressed frustration with the slow pace of recouping $1.3 million previously allocated for a swimming pool project at the Lewisburg campus of the New River Community and Technical College.

Sept. 13: State Board of Education President Gayle Manchin propos-ed that Meadow Bridge High School in Fayette County be removed from Fayette’s plan for consolidation.

Sept. 14: Rep. Nick Rahall III, D-W.Va., announced that he was introducting legislation to help National Guard and Reserve members receive their VA benefits and services.

Sept. 15: Employment data compiled by WorkForce West Virginia show-ed that education leads the workforce in southern West Virginia.

Sept. 16: State highway officials reported that dozens of West Virginia bridges are at risk of collapse.

Sept. 17: Defense contractor Aaron Alexis of Texas murdered 12 people inside the Washington Navy Yard, then kill-ed himself.

Sept. 18: The Greenbrier County Day Report Center earned statewide recognition, receiving the Gaughan Award for Excellence.

Sept. 19: After 53 seasons of professional, outdoor dramas, Theatre West Virginia closed its doors following several years of financial troubles.

Sept. 20: Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Mi-chael Thornsbury was suspended after federal prosecutors charged him with conspiracy in a web that implicated slain Mingo Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Sept. 21: Dancing with the Stars raised $80,780 for United Way of Southern West Virginia.

Sept. 22: The health panel at the West Virginia legislature heard proposals about legalizing medical marijuana.

Sept. 23: Online megastore Amazon announced plans to begin collecting a 6 percent sales tax n West Virginia.

Sept. 24: State Sen. Bill Laird, D-Fayette, questioned Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubinstein on whether correctional agencies were taking steps to alleviate congestion in the state jails and prisons.

Sept. 25: Dan Bickey, owner of McBee’s Irish Pub in Beckley, proposed that Beckley Common Council fill a vacant lot by placing a memorial statue of Robert C. Byrd and a rain garden, flag and planting area.

Sept. 26: The Joint Committee on Health Plans of the West Virginia legislature learned more about medical marijuana.

Sept. 27: West Virginia State Police arrested 54 citizens on drug-related charges in Hinton.

Sept. 28: The School of Harmony in Beaver started the process of becoming an All-Steinway School of Distinction, an honor bestowed on only 150 schools around the world who teach on Steinway pianos.

Sept. 29: West Virginia prepared to launch a health insurance marketplace as part of the federal Affordable Care Act, but the assistant secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Resources said federal agents had failed to explain the new insurance law thoroughly.

Sept. 30: Burlington United Methodist Family Services announced its annual Pumpkin Festival fundraiser at the Beckley campus.              October

Oct. 1: Seven in 10 West Virginia children are not reading proficiently by the end of the third grade, according to a study released by the National Assessment of Education Process.

Oct. 2: The world’s longest pink scarf — 6,060 feet and counting — was displayed at Tamarack for the fourth year in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Organizers expected the scarf to be 2 miles long by Oct. 31.

Oct. 3: Suspended Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury resigned and pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a scheme to protect the reputation of Sheriff Eugene Crum, who was later killed in an unrelated shooting. Thornsbury’s sentencing is scheduled for April.

Oct. 4: Southern Appalachian Labor School announced plans for a free after-school program, Accent Education, in the SALS Community Center for children in the Oak Hill and Valley District schools.

Oct. 5: University of Charles-ton - Beckley and the Beckley Area Alumni Council announc-ed five new members for the UC - Beckley Hall of Achievement: Dan Bickey, Sherrie Hunter, Linda Sumner, Mona Wiseman and Frank Wood.

Oct. 6: Rocket Boys Festival and Chili Night brought a huge crowd into Beckley and encouraged children’s interest in science through the activities.

Oct. 7: Shawnee Parkway Authority members said the proposed scenic parkway is being held up by a single permit. The only section constructed to date was completed in 2008.

Oct. 8: A McDowell County Holding Facility correctional officer was charged with allowing unauthorized items, including food and tobacco items, into the jail.

Oct. 9: Raleigh County Board of Education approved a policy banning teachers from sending personal texts to students.

Oct. 10: United Way of the Virginias lost its non-profit status; the registration had expired in 2008.

Oct. 11: Peabody Energy Corp. was ordered to settle a drawn-out legal dispute involving the health care benefits for thousands of retirees who worked for Patriot Coal; the cost was estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.

Oct. 12: Ronceverte Council voted to double sewer rates.

Oct. 13: Rick Kelley was named the editor of The Register-Herald. He had most recently served as executive editor of the Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens, Mich.

A carjacking resulted in the death of a 78-year-old man on Saxon-Bolt Road.

Oct. 14: Wyoming County Schools officials outlined how funding from the proposed excess levy would be spent — if approved by voters. The levy passed during the special election in November.

Oct. 15: Raleigh County Community Action Association conducted a needs assessment that cited issues causing poverty in the county, including health, transportation, employment and children’s needs.

Oct. 17: A Beckley drug sweep resulted in 20 arrests.

Oct. 18: Authorities said Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was being investigated by the FBI for suspicion of money laundering prior to being shot April 4 in an unrelated incident.

Oct. 20: The 34th annual Bridge Day included 903 jumps from the New River Gorge Bridge and few injuries.

Oct. 22: Lyndsey Thompson, a Shady Spring High School senior, broke a state soccer record for the most goals scored — 133.

Oct. 23: “Finding Bigfoot,” the Animal Planet channel show, announced plans to visit Fayette County in search of the elusive legend.

Oct. 26: Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce used a retreat to rank areas of concern for the area, including the drug problem.

Oct. 27: The New River Train ran passengers from Huntington to Hinton for the 47th Hinton Railroad Days.

Oct. 28: Wyoming County Prosecutor Micheal Cochrane instituted a new policy that prevents domestic battery and domestic assault charges from being dropped once lodged.

Oct. 30: Woodrow Wilson High School’s band was invited to participate in the nationally televised Chick-fil-A Bowl game in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve.

Oct. 31: A partly buried body was discovered on Old Turnpike Road in Harper Heights.                                                                               November

Nov. 1: A Beckley woman was sentenced to serve three to 20 years home incarceration for child abuse and child neglect.

Nov. 2: The Greenbrier Nurseries farmer’s market gets started for its first season.

Nov. 3: Regional graduation rates are up among southern West Virginia high schools.

Nov. 4: Former Raleigh County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Randy Burgess was indicted on new charges.

Nov. 5: Fayetteville residents saw increases in both water and sewer bills.

Nov. 6: The 2013 Spirit of Beckley Campaign kicked off.

Nov. 7: Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick visited Tamarack to push for control of deer farming in the state.

Nov. 8: The Fifth annual Wonderland of Trees event kicks off the benefit the United Way.

Nov. 9: Two Raleigh County men were charged in connection with the Sept. 13 shootings in Greenbrier County.

Nov. 10: A golden eagle was released in Hinton after being nursed back to health following lead poisoning.

Nov. 11: An early morning fire destroys four buildings in downtown Marlinton.

Nov. 12: Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reader’s poll selects Fayetteville as Best River Town 2013.

Nov. 13: The community attempts to regroup after suffering from the devastating downtown Marlinton fire.

Nov. 14: The Greenbrier County Commission voted to sue New River Community and Technical College over pool funds.

Nov. 15: Wyoming County was given designation as a high drug-trafficking area.

Nov. 16: Raymond Page Stoumile, of Beckley, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a 2009 Beckley shooting.

Nov. 17: Concord is ranked third in the nation among four-year colleges in the Best of Vets: College 2014 rankings.

Nov. 18: State emergency medical services rally to oppose a new brokerage system that could cut their revenues.

Nov. 19: Three senior Concord football players were arrested in an alleged home invasion robbery.

Nov. 20: The ribbon was cut on the extension of Woodlands Pinecrest Business and Technology Park in Beckley.

Nov. 21: The DNR found 16 illegal buck racks after a three-county stakeout to catch poachers.

Nov. 22: ARH announced that it will only treat emergency cases for the uninsured.

Nov. 23: West Virginia State Police reports that the state meth problem is “more widespread than we thought.”

Nov. 24: Area doctors raised concern about the newest pain clinic and pharmacy opening on Harper Road.

Nov. 25: A dog helped Valley Elementary students to read as part of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs program.

Nov. 26: Hunters hit the woods for the first day of gun season.

Nov. 27: Beckley Common Council voted to keep and develop a plan for the new downtown “hole.”

Nov. 28: Greenbrier County Commission agreed to update access at former jail building behind the courthouse.

Nov. 29: Thursday evening specials drew thousands out to seek doorbuster deals after their Thanksgiving dinner.

Nov. 30: Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital’s request to have Medicaid reimbursement rates recalculated was denied.                                  December

Dec. 1: An Oak Hill volunteer plans trip to Ecuador.

Dec. 2: Beckley Antique Mall manager is retiring; the business will continue.

Dec. 3: The Fayette County Board of Education will review facilities plan and puts action on hold.

Dec. 4: A Shady High student is arrested for making threats on social media sites; the student allegedly refers to Columbine, the site of one of the country’s worst school shootings.

Dec. 5: Some Shady High students stay home after student arrested for making threats on social media sites.

Dec. 6: Raleigh School superintendent says no alert given for Shady Spring school because arrest preempted threat.  

Dec. 7: West Virginia Eye Institute holds screenings at Health Right Clinic in Beckley.

Dec. 8: Monroe County commissioners weigh impact of Affordable Care Act.

Dec. 9: Distracted driving law nails nearly 400 offenders in five months.

Dec. 10: Jerry and Sherry Rose honored with Spirit of Beckley Award.

Dec. 11: Four mayoral candidates outline their visions for Beckley.

Dec. 12: Fake prescription scheme leads to eight area arrests, including doctor’s receptionist.

Dec. 13: Beckley Common Council may choose one of four mayoral hopefuls, or may choose from outside the pack.

Dec. 14: Local law enforcement officers trained in electronic pseudoephedrine tracking system.

Dec. 15: Raleigh County gets federal funds to help fight drug abuse.

Dec. 16: Sweep nets 54 sex offenders for registration violations.

Dec. 17: Bluefield veterans charity falls short of goal by 20 percent.

Dec. 18: Raleigh General Hospital eliminates 14 positions, mostly in non-patient care.

Dec. 19: Beckley’s comprehensive plan reviewed with city council.

Dec. 20: Fayette County BOE votes to allow Gatewood Elementary to remain open.

Dec. 21: Dignitaries hold ribbon-cutting at Bluefield’s new transit facility.

Dec. 22: Congressman Nick Rahall reflects on changes in Congress.

Dec. 23: KIDS COUNT finds that 73 percent of state students do not read proficiently by the end of third grade.

Dec. 24: No white Christmas predicted; area travelers should have no trouble.

Dec. 25: Region’s legislators expect to face difficult issues.

Dec. 26: United Methodist Temple serves Christmas dinner to 350

Dec. 27: State DEP levies fines against Greenbrier County landfill.

Dec. 28: A Norfolk-Southern train derails in McDowell County; some cars end up in Elkhorn Creek.

Dec. 29: A massive rock slide in western Raleigh County blocks traffic on W.Va. 3.

Dec. 30: Blasting gets under way to remove enormous boulders from W.Va. 3.