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2013: The year in review

By Staff | Dec 31, 2013

Veterans Day is observed in Tyler County, including memorial services with guest speakers.


Paden City Wildcat Boosters officially open the Matthew Barker Memorial Complex for public activities and rental. The building was named to honor the late Matthew Barker.

In response to the tragic events at Newtown, Conn., Tyler County Board of Education (BOE) Superintendent Robin Daquilante informs the board that she will be meeting with staff members from Tyler County Schools to review security matters. Following the review, the BOE utilizes grant money to improve precautions for student safety.

Aleris International’s Bens Run facility in Tyler County is set to discontinue operations on March 1, 2013, a date negotiated between the company and union representatives.

The Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department responds to a call at Brent’s Carryout in Friendly, limiting the fire’s destruction to only the garage section and saving the main part of the business. St. Marys and Paden City fire departments also assisted, while Middlebourne remained on standby.

The Tyler County Public Library opens its doors for an open house to celebrate the completion of its new section dedicated to fiction and nonfiction books. The completion of the section was made possible by donations from local residents and foundations.

The Tyler County Development Authority unanimously re-elects officers for 2013. Those officers are: Barbara Vincent, president; John Hopkins, vice president; Ronald George, secretary; and James McMullen, treasurer.


Ten Tyler Consolidated Middle and High School choir students were honored to be members of the 2013 West Virginia Junior High All State Honor Choir, performing in Charleston on Feb. 2 as part of the West Virginia American Choral Directors Conference.

Natasha Robinson joins Tyler County as the new extension agent for the WVU Extension Office.

Methods for improving Tyler County databases and resources for dispatchers and emergency responders are emphasized at the monthly Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting. The group is also informed of grants it has received for training purposes.

The state Route 2 bridge between the entrance to the Sistersville Country Club and state Route 18, bridge number 48-2-8.84, is named the Brigadier General Timothy Barrick Bridge, after one of Sistersville's native sons. Signs featuring General Barrick's name are unveiled during a ceremony attended by local representatives and residents.

Two former City of Sistersville employees take legal action against the City of Sistersville and two of its leading officials. Civil action papers filed in the Tyler County Circuit Court reveal the claims of former City Clerk Patricia Soliday and former Clerk and Treasurer Diana Mace against the defendant city, Mayor David Fox, and Recorder Julie Schleier. The legal claims include allegations of defamation and hostile work environment.

The Sistersville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6327 holds a special dinner on Feb. 16 at the Post Home to honor the “Blue Blazers” honor guard.

Eight Tyler Consolidated High School Choir students successfully audition for the West Virginia All State Chorus at Brooke High School, earning the opportunity to perform in Charleston

Tyler County Commission votes to extend courthouse office hours in order to help those involved in oil and gas transactions file and attain lease information.

Light covers from the original Paramount Theater find their way home when Suzette Harrison and her sister Rose Branham donate them to the Gaslight Theatre on Feb. 21, presenting them to theater owner Terry Wiley.

Tom Knopp, who is "Walking Out Hunger" by walking 25 miles in every county in W.Va., stops for a much deserved rest at the Wells Inn hotel and restaurant in Sistersville. From Tyler County, he plans to move on to Wetzel County and eventually "zigzag" from the Northern Panhandle to the rest of the counties in the state. His last stop will be in Wayne County, where he lives and performs charity work regularly.


In light of Glenn Casteel’s continued absence from meetings for health reasons, Paden City Council makes use of a newly adopted “absence ordinance” to appoint his son Rick Casteel to the council position.

Paden City Police Department discovers a fire upon responding to a breaking and entering at Quality Aluminum, promptly acting to extinguish files set atop a desk and set ablaze.

The Tyler County Board of Education approves the employment of Ryan Walton as the Head Varsity Football Coach for Tyler Consolidated High School during the March 18 meeting.

Sistersville Police Department tracks down burglary suspects, arresting three and confiscating narcotics. Items stolen included a 55-inch television, an X-Box 360, and 10 X-Box 360 games, approximated at a value of $2,000. They were able to recover everything but the television.

Paden City Wildcat Boosters officially open the Matthew Barker Memorial Complex for public activities and rental. The building was named to honor the late Matthew Barker.

Tyler County Commission approves the final steps of state-mandated 911 address changes, noting additional clarifications to the road beyond Friendly Hill.


Two suspects are arrested by the Paden City Police Department on burglary charges and placed in the Northern Regional Jail following an unarmed robbery at the Convenient Food Mart on Fourth Avenue in Paden City.

Tyler Consolidated TSA students win Most Outstanding Chapter at the 2013 Technology Students Association Spring Conference at Cedar Lakes in Ripley, with many students placing first.

Sistersville City Council votes to appoint Recorder Julie Schleier, Chief of Police Ben Placer, and City Commissioner Daniel Grimes for another year in their current positions.

One is hospitalized and two are deceased following a flash fire at Triad Hunter’s Eureka Hunter Pipeline on Twin Hickory Road just outside of Wick in Tyler County. The fire was reported at about 7 p.m. and safely extinguished between 11 and 11:30 p.m. Local first responders turn out to offer assistance.

Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee reveals at a Tyler County Commission meeting that a deal was reached to purchase the Maupin property adjacent to the courthouse for the price of $30,000 through condemnation, for which the commission authorized payment. The property is to serve as a site on which to build an annex for future courthouse needs.

Sistersville Mayor David Fox and Recorder Julie Schleier respond to pending legal claims made against them and the city by former Clerk and Treasurer Diana Mace and former Clerk Patricia Soliday. Mayor Fox and Schleier deny committing any illegal actions brought forth in the claims, which refer to the August resignations of Mace and Soliday and predate the alleged events leading to their departures from employment with the city.

Paden City Council holds a special meeting to discuss the paving of streets and alleyways. Some residents arrive to dispute the paving of Marshall Alley, which runs from the high school to Ann Street and from Ann Street to state Route 2. While some citizens and council members were in favor of paving a “highly trafficked” alleyway behind Paden City High School, others echoed their neighbors’ and constituents’ wishes to focus instead on streets. Council voted to pave the alley.


For their performances at the West Virginia State Regional Concert Band Festival Tyler Consolidated Middle School and High School bands receive a superior rating. This marks the fourth consecutive year for the high school band to receive a superior rating.

Because current Middlebourne Mayor Gayla Fisher is not seeking re-election, two candidates announce their interest to become the next mayor in the upcoming election. Charles Delauder and Chad Swiger look to compete for the position, with Swiger running as a write-in candidate.

Tom Knopp, who is “Walking Out Hunger” by walking 25 miles in every county in W.Va., stops for a much deserved rest at the Wells Inn hotel and restaurant in Sistersville. From Tyler County, he plans to move on to Wetzel County and eventually “zigzag” from the Northern Panhandle to the rest of the counties in the state. His last stop will be in Wayne County, where he lives and performs charity work regularly.

Residents of Tyler County gather for the National Day of Prayer on May 2. Prayers and celebrations take place at the Tyler County Courthouse in Middlebourne at noon and at the Paden City Park at 7 p.m.

Tyler Consolidated High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) win First Place in Land Judging and Home Site at the 62nd National Land and Range Judging Contest, which took place on April 30 at Turner Farms in Oklahoma.

Paden City Police Department responds to a resident’s tip and recovers two stolen PlayStation 3s, an XBox 360, a Nintendo Wii, and 34 video games.

Middlebourne Council begins its May meeting with a moment of silence to reflect on the life and legacy of former city servant Dave Smith, who recently passed away.

Sistersville Council appoints Bill Schleier to the Fourth Ward seat previously occupied by Dave Dietrich, who resigned upon moving to Friendly.

The Silver Knight Concert and Jazz Bands excel in their performances at a competition at Annville-Cleona High School, Hershey Park, Pa., bringing home several major awards.

Tyler Consolidated’s High School Choir travels to New York City and takes the Big Apple by storm, returning home with several impressive awards.

Tyler Consolidated High School announces the Class of 2013’s valedictorian and salutatorian. Darren Heintzman earns the title of the top student in the class, while Allister Seckman is the salutatorian.

The state Route 2 bridge between the entrance to the Sistersville Country Club and state Route 18, bridge number 48-2-8.84, is named the Brigadier General Timothy Barrick Bridge, after one of Sistersville’s native sons. Signs featuring General Barrick’s name are unveiled during a ceremony attended by local representatives and residents.

Memorial Day Services are held at Veterans Memorial Park in Sistersville on Monday. The Sistersville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6327 sponsors and hosts the event with Sistersville Chief of Police, Ben Placer, a U.S. Navy veteran, featured as the main speaker.


Tyler Consolidated High School senior Martina Marie Parrish receives the Adam R. Kelly Memorial Scholarship Award for her winning essay “In Defense of Freedom.”

The spirit of Sistersville High School remains as the Class of ’61 gathers in front of Union Bank to dedicate a bench in memory of their lost peers.

There is bouncing, climbing, sliding, and “boxing” when Tyler Consolidated hosts “Family Fun Day”, an event sponsored by Tyler County Family Resources Network (TCFRN). The gathering offers a variety of entertaining activities on the school’s sporting grounds, as well as educational stations.

Bill Deaton puts in many personal man hours to restore the Wells Family Cemetery in Sistersville. The grounds serve as the resting place of the town’s founding family. He is honored to be named on a plaque citing the name of the cemetery.

Results are in for local elections. Charles Delauder becomes the next mayor of Middlebourne, Bonnie Hostuttler returns as mayor of Friendly, and a charter amendment is passed in Paden City allowing the town’s police chief to live outside of the municipality.

At its June 10 meeting, Sistersville Council appoints Craig Pritchett as a councilman to its First Ward, a seat which completes representation for the city.

Tyler County Board of Education hears from Administrative Director Kendra Johnson and Service Coordinator Peggy Wegman of Westbrook Health Services. The Westbrook employees propose introducing a part-time counselor to Tyler Consolidated to meet with those students who are already attending therapy in their Parkersburg office or at one of their other locations. (The offer is accepted at a future date, after consideration.)

Middlebourne celebrates its 200th birthday with community events and a fairground performance by Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. His performance is followed by a dazzling display of fireworks.

At a special meeting, Sistersville Council examines 14 points against City Water Clerk Alexis Billings and votes to terminate her employment. Prior to the vote, speaking in defense of her job, Billings cites her discovery of “double billed accounts” and states that she has been “set up to be fired” by City Recorder Julie Schleier because she would not remain quiet about the problem.


At Paden City Council’s July 1 meeting, three councilmen and the recorder are sworn in as a result of the June elections. Jim Richmond will represent the First Ward; John Staggers, Second Ward; and Dan Probst, Third Ward. Incumbent Tami Billiter will also continue to serve as city recorder.

The Olive Branch Animal Rescue and Refuge, Inc. hosts its first ever Street Mutts Fundraiser Street Fair June 29 on Charles Street in Sistersville.

The Tyler County Office of Emergency Management receives grants and marches in the State Sesquicentennial Parade.

Sistersville celebrates America’s Independence Day on July 7 at the City Park with entertainment, kids games and activities, swimming, free cake and ice cream, and fireworks.

Middlebourne’s new mayor, Charles Delauder, swears in new members of the town’s council at their regular July meeting. Incumbents Vera Henthorn, Dave Myers, Rodney Miller, and new member Susan Pelikan take the oath of office.

Churches gather on a Sunday afternoon at the Sistersville Spirit Park, along the north end of Route 2 going out of Sistersville, for the first annual Fun Fest Day.

Tyler County Officials take action to develop a “number drawing system”, which eliminates the need for line standers gathering around the courthouse to hold the places of oil and gas abstractors wishing to gain access to the record vault.

Tyler Consolidated High School welcomes two new teaching additions for the upcoming school year with the BOE approving the hiring of Jeffrey Wittmer as a Math teacher and Lori Franks as a Biology teacher.

The swimming is free for three days in Sistersville thanks to the Sistersville Elks Lodge No. 333, which provided free swimming to all children and adults at the Sistersville Pool on July 23, 24, and 25.


At the Local Emergency Planning Committee’s regularly scheduled meeting at the Sistersville Fire Hall, participants fill out forms to apply as committee members of the group

The Sistersville Police Department and residents of Timber Ridge Apartments in Sistersville respond when a young girl is poked by a syringe while playing outside in the area surrounding the apartments.

Paden City Council approves Teresa Shreve as a police matron and Ginger Wilcox as a part-time dispatcher.

Following a discussion in executive session, Sistersville council unanimously moves to sign litigation papers at a special meeting.

After it is discovered that Sistersville Mayor Dave Fox changed his driver’s license to reflect his residence outside of Sistersville, it is determined that he will leave office before his current term expires. This revelation comes about following questions from resident Mark Klages, who also cites the West Virginia Code mandating residency for the seat of mayor. Council determines to appoint a new mayor at a special meeting already planned for Aug. 19.

The Paden City Police Department brings a stop to an illegal tattooing operation following a warranted search of an apartment on 323 South Fourth Avenue in Paden City.

Tyler County Commissioners vote to pay $7,500 quarterly for a total cost of $30,000 a year in order to fund a state-mandated daily report center. Wetzel County, where the center will be located, also agrees to pay a total amount of $30,000 a year. The goal of the center is to ultimately save funds by giving those sentenced for crimes in drug court an alternate sentence. Instead of sending them to jail, which is reportedly more expensive for the county, those charged with low-level offenses may be ordered by a judge to adhere to strict check-ins and checkups. Cases are to be reviewed on an individual basis.

Among a long list of other great performers, the legendary Blue Oyster Cult rocks Tyler County Fair.

Sistersville Council fails to establish a quorum and can therefore not hold a special meeting that was partly intended to accept the resignation of Mayor Dave Fox and vote in a new, interim mayor to fill the remainder of his term. “I’m going to be mayor as long as I can,” says Fox.

Tanya Smith, 46, of 125 N. Sixth Ave. Paden City, is arrested on the felony charges of first degree arson and burning insured property. The arrest follows an investigation by the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office. On June 21 Smith allegedly set fire to her residence at 622 South Third Ave., Paden City. Paden City Police Chief Mike Kelly confirms his original assumption that an explosion of oxygen tanks started the blaze, which destroyed the house and caused serious burns to Smith, the only person home at the time of the fire.

Tyler County Commission opens bids to digitize courthouse records and approves Affiliated Computer Services for the job. A majority of the total digitization is being paid for by funds donated by the West Virginia Oil and Gas Association.


More than 60 participants compete in the annual Paden City Labor Day Fun Run held at Paden City High School. The 5K course leads runners and walkers along a flat course through the streets of Paden City, beginning and ending in front of the school. Awards are presented in several divisions including an award for the participants traveling the farthest.

To complete the unfinished term of Mayor Dave Fox until the March election, Sistersville Council appoints Councilwoman Ann Doig as mayor at its regular meeting. The meeting is held in the Sistersville Fire Hall rather than the City Building, and more than 60 residents attend.

Sistersville honors first responders, veterans, and all those who serve public safety with Heroes Day on Sept. 8. A parade through town is followed by a gathering at the City Park.

The 45th annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival is held. During the festival the West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival Man of the Year, Rich Heffelfinger, is honored at a special banquet.

Curriculum Director Susan Boyles appears before the Tyler County Board of Education to discuss steps toward undertaking the Next Generation Content Standards. According to Boyles, Next Gen is an educational standard based on Common Core and derived by the West Virginia Department of Education.

Paden City Volunteer Fire Company Lt. Mark Doty’s funeral is a testament to his legacy. A large turnout of residents and firefighters at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and along the streets of Paden City displays community togetherness and the strength of the firefighting brotherhood.

The Tyler Consolidated High School Silver Knight Marching Band competes at the Cabell Midland Band Show, where 18 bands performed. They bring home several awards, including Grand Champion honors.

The Sistersville Marble Festival is held, welcoming marble and craft enthusiasts to explore the area’s rich history in the glass and marble industry.


The Middle Island Harvest Festival occurs Oct. 4-6, featuring entertainers, crafts, and activities meant to celebrate the fall season.

The Gaslight Theater, in conjunction with Sistersville General Hospital, continues to host Halloween 13 events every Saturday throughout the month to bring in donations for Breast Cancer Research and Awareness.

After several discussions with Air Evac, Tyler County Commission strikes a deal with the medical helicopter service to cover the costs of any Tyler County resident flown by the company from the county, or any connecting county, to a hospital. Flights from a few other nearby counties are also included in the deal.

Tyler County residents and a group against Common Core’s Next Gen Standards attend a Tyler County Board of Education meeting to express their grievances with the program. Both sides of the Common Core and Next Gen debate continue to speak before the board of education.

The decision to reinstate a town police presence after years without one is unanimously reached at the regular meeting of Middlebourne Council.

Paden City Park hosts the town’s second annual Fall Fest. Festivities include a promotion of fire safety by the Paden City Volunteer Fire Company, 50/50 raffles, face-painting, baked goods, a classic car show and, of course… plenty of apple butter!

The Tyler County Public Library opens its doors for an open house to celebrate the completion of its new section dedicated to fiction and nonfiction books. The completion of the section was made possible by donations from local residents and foundations.

Sistersville Council accepts the resignation of Councilman Jason Hood. His resignation opens another seat in the Third Ward. The first seat was opened when Mayor Doig left her position on council to complete the term of former Mayor Dave Fox.

UPS Employee Jeff Christner demands a written apology from Sistersville City Recorder Julie Schleier, stating that she called in a “100 percent not true” complaint to his employer.


Bill Fox, whose appointment to the Paden City Development Authority was rescinded for reasons citing state ethics code, appears before Paden City Council stating that it was not an issue with ethics.

Veterans Day is observed in Tyler County, including memorial services with guest speakers.

Resident Mark Walker attends the regular Sistersville Council meeting and alleges that Councilman Bill Schleier took pictures of him. Walker says that the incident has been filed with the West Virginia State Trooper’s Office and declares that “another lawsuit is coming.” Also at the meeting, UPS Employee Jeff Christner returns, alleging that City Recorder Julie Schleier has made another call to his employer. Mayor Doig says she spoke with Recorder Schleier and she denied making that call.

Boggs Pizza and Grill in Middlebourne continues its tradition of hosting a free Thanksgiving meal for all members of the community.

Journey Hospice volunteers sell ornaments to honor loved ones in order to support its continuing services in the surrounding area.

Sistersville’s Olive Branch and Paden City Police Department work together to rescue three puppies from a home where they were neglected.

Common Core debates continue, with the resistance holding a meeting to share their understanding of the standards.


The Tyler County Board of Education approves a resolution during their meeting to support a salary increase for all school personnel in West Virginia.

Tyler County Commission reveals that they have been denied a grant for the fourth time regarding repairs and improvements they would like to make to the second floor of the courthouse.

Middlebourne signs an agreement to lease land to Antero Resources. Mayor Charles Delauder says that they are expecting approximately $30,400 for the deal.

Sistersville Council accepts the resignation of Councilman Bill Schleier.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin visits Momentive Performance Materials Inc. in Friendly as part of his tour to focus on the economy.

After months in which interested candidates could express interest, Sistersville Council unanimously appoints residents Phil Konopacky and Mark Klages to fill the two empty Third Ward seats.

Sistersville Council accepts the resignation of City Recorder Julie Schleier.