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2012 - The Year In Review

December 27, 2012
Tyler Star News

January: The gymnasium at the James Willison Family Center, formerly Sistersville High School, closes due to safety concerns involving the gym floor.

An investigation is underway after Interim Police Chief Michael Owens discovers money missing from the Paden City Police Department.

Bill Rice, Mark Walker and David Fox file for Sistersville mayoral race.

Article Photos

In March 2012, a mudslide along W.Va. 2 south of Hanford City causes an automobile accident and closes the roadway temporarily. Trees, mud and debris blocked the roadway and hit a car. No injuries were reported as a result of the accident.

The Relay for Life of Tyler County committee members hold their Open House at the Sistersville Elks Ballroom to kick off the 2012 year of fundraising.

February: The Cross family lose their home on Dutch Run Road in Paden City to a fire. Two weeks later Scott Ash's house on 112 South Wells St. burns to the ground.

The West Virginia Senate approves a bill that allows police to ticket drivers for texting or talking on their cell phones while driving.

Sgt. Michael Owens is promoted to Paden City Chief of Police.

The Paden City Council approves an ordinance to increase water rates for 1,345 municipal customers which would become effective on April 1. Similarly, the Middlebourne Town Council passes an ordinance increasing the town's water and sewer rates by 12 percent which becomes effective on April 15.

Award-winning author Austin Boyd returns to Tyler County on Feb. 19-23 to promote his recent novel.

Tyler County grand jurors return 28 true bills against 11 defendants.

A tanker truck owned by Carper Well Service, Inc. and driven by Michael P. Howell overturns on W.Va. 18.

March: Joshua Toothman is sentenced to serve one to 10 years in the W.Va. Department of Corrections by Judge David W. Hummel, Jr. for the felony crimes of breaking and entering, destruction of property and failure to appear in the Tyler County Circuit Court.

The Paden City Council votes to drop an amendment to an ordinance that changes the council position of Recorder from elected to appointed.

The Tyler County Chapter of the Future Farmers of America raise more than $47,000 at the 62nd Annual Ham, Bacon, Egg Show and Sale.

A mudslide along W.Va. 2 south of Hanford City causes an automobile accident and closes the roadway temporarily. Trees, mud and debris blocked the roadway and hit a car. No injuries were reported as a result of the accident.

David B. Fox was elected Mayor of Sistersville. Fox defeats Bill Rice and Mark Walker.

The 2011 National Championship Land and Homesite Judging team from Tyler County FFA Chapter visits the state Capitol to receive recognition for their achievements. The team consists of George Hivers, Emily Wells, Ashley Cochran and Ashley Watson.

April: In a matter of days, two bodies are discovered in the Ohio River.

The Sistersville City Council swear in newly elected officers Mitch Corley, Jason Hood and Julie Schleier.

The Tyler Consolidated Technology Student Association takes the title of The Most Outstanding Chapter (First Place Overall, High School Division) in the W.Va. State TSA competition.

Jessica Seckman pleads guilty to the felony charge of concealment of a child from a person entitled to visitation. Seckman was charged with the crime after fleeing the state with her minor child in September 2011. She and her husband, Joseph Seckman, were apprehended in Flagstaff, Ariz. in Oct. 2011. The Seckmans were the target of a nationwide manhunt which prompted law enforcement searches up and down the east coast and ended with the arrest in Arizona. She was remanded to the West Virginia Division of Corrections and sentenced one to five years with time served.

May: David "PJ" Wells defeats long time member Ralph Boone for a position on the Tyler County Board of Education.

Mayor David. E. Fox accepts a $100,000 budget appropriation from the state to fund the city's ferryboat operation.

The Sistersville Police Department implements a new program called Nixle. Nixle is a web based service that aids the officers in circulating important information throughout the community via text messaging or email.

New Martinsville Native and Former WVU Head Football Coach Bill Stewart dies of a heart attack at the age of 59.

Tara Weese and Sarah Campbell lead the the Tyler Consolidated High School Graduating class of 2012 as Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively.

Tab Mathis accepts the principal's position at Tyler County Middle School promising "to make a great school even better."

June: Peoples Bancorp Inc.,holding signs an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Sistersville Bancorp Inc. which is the holding company of First Federal Savings Bank.

Relay for Life is held on June 1 at the Sistersville City Park.

John D. "Hoppy" Hopkins is elected Mayor of Paden City. Hopkins declares victory over three other candidates which includes incumbent William B. Fox, Cindy L. Slider and Clyde Hochstrasser.

A 78-year old man from Petersburg, W.Va. suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease became separated from his wife and son-in-law while searching for his childhood home near Wilbur. Deputies from the Tyler County Sheriff's Office, along with personnel from the Shirley, Sistersville, Alma, Middlebourne and Doddridge County VFDs organized a search and discovered the man in the woods near his childhood home.

July: The residents of Tyler County band together to deal with the aftermath of a severe thunderstorm with winds nearing 70 MPH. The storm downed utility poles and trees, closing roads, leaving 99 percent of Tyler County residents without power, and causing Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to declare a state of emergency for the entire state of West Virginia. Tyler County Commissioner Charles "Pork" Smith opens the next meeting by thanking various people in the community for their neighborly actions following the storm.

Members of the community in Middlebourne begin planning a two or three day celebration in honor of the town's 200th birthday in June of 2013.

The search for homicide suspect Thomas Jack Fritz, age 38, of Sylvania, Ohio, comes to an end on July 17 at a remote cabin near Sistersville. Fritz, who was charged in Michigan for the July 13 slayings of his ex-girlfriend, her pregnant sister and their mother, is found dead in a rear bedroom of what appears to be a life ending, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Joseph Seckman, a subject of a nationwide law enforcement search in September, 2011, appeared in Tyler County Circuit Court on Thursday, July 19, withdrawing his original plea of not guilty to the same one count felony concealment charge and entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of enticing a child from custody.


The 50th Annual Tyler County Fair opens at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 6. Attractions include karaoke, daily performances, arts and crafts vendors, Bingo, carnival rides, commercial exhibits, a flea market, flower show, 4-H exhibits, horticulture displays, livestock exhibits, photography exhibits, poultry and rabbit exhibits and live remotes from Power Country 104 and Knight's Radio WRSG 91.5.

Sistersville Mayor David Fox calls an emergency meeting of the Sistersville City Council after a rash of resignations were submitted by city employees in the seats of county recorder and part-time city clerks.

The 44th Annual Oil and Gas Festival sponsors their annual Queen's pageant on Aug. 11 at Sistersville Elementary School with a nice crowd in attendance at the popular event. Nichole Greene of Cross Lanes, W.Va. is selected to represent the Oil and Gas Festival at the Fairs and Festivals Convention in Charleston in January.

September: Students and teachers in Tyler County settle in for a new school year and take a moment to celebrate that the district is the only county in W.Va. to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress for the 2011-2012 school year.

After the resignation of five city employees less than a month prior, Sistersville City Council votes to accept new council member Colin Marrin and new city attorney Carolyn Flannery as the new city attorney.

John Simonton, who has worked in the oil and gas industry for 51 years, is honored as Oil and Gas Man of the Year at a banquet coinciding with the 44th Annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Expo.

Visitors from across the country come to celebrate the area's rich marble heritage at the 13th Annual Sistersville Marble Festival.

The Paden City Alumni Association presents the Distinguished Alumni Award to 2012 recipient Brian Feldmeier during the halftime activities of the annual Homecoming football game.

October: The 29th Annual Middle Island Harvest Festival takes place Oct. 5, 6 and 7 at the Tyler County Fairgrounds. Activities include breakfast, pumpkin decorating, a car, truck, rod and custom show, a horse show, a bow shoot, Bingo, auctioning of the big pumpkin, soup beans and cornbread making, a baking contest and cider making.

Tyler Consolidated High School Marching Band wins first place honors at the Ripley Band Show. The Knights, in a class with five other bands, outscore all of them.

Paden City resident and bicyclist Guy Snider completes his 80th birthday celebration ride of 40 miles, which puts him at 40,000 miles in a little more than 10 years. For reaching this goal, he receives a plaque commemorating his riding.

Glenn Tarbett of Paden City builds a "Little Free Library" outside of his home on S. 2nd Ave. in order to promote book sharing.


The town of Sistersville participates in ceremonies in observance of Veterans Day on Sunday, Nov. 1, holding services at the Veterans Memorial Park. Local churches and schools also participate in honoring our veterans.

The Tyler County FFA Chapter in West Virginia are one of 37 teams participating in the National FFA Milk Quality and Products Career Development Event. The team, led by advisor Leon Ammons, is awarded a Gold emblem.

The newly formed Paden City Neighborhood Watch holds its first public meeting, where concerned citizens, officials and law enforcement can gather to address issues relating to crime in the city.

Tyler County Commission conducts a meeting on Nov. 15 to discuss the Tyler County Development Authority's plan to acquire a parcel of land from Richard and Naresa Cunningham by means of eminent domain.

Local businesses and nonprofit organizations hold charitable Thanksgiving dinners for those in need, or for those who just want a little company for the holiday.


Gary Todd Headley appears before Judge David W. Hummel Jr. in the Tyler County Circuit Court on Friday, Nov. 30 and pleaded guilty to three felony offenses: two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and attempted incest.

One Paden City street was a great deal quieter on Thursday, Dec. 6, according to residents and law enforcement officials following a drug bust the night before at 213 South First Ave.

The Paden City Wildcast Boosters hosted the official grand opening of the Matthew Barker Memorial Center. The public, public officials and those involved in the project attend to celebrate the accomplishment and enjoy refreshments.

Votes reveal that Tyler County citizens have decided to continue the special school levy. Of 799 voters, 664 (83.10 percent) were for the levy and the remaining 135 voters (16.90) were against it.



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