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2018: A Look Back At The Year That Was

By Staff | Jan 2, 2019

Members of Air Evac Lifeteam #78’s crew visits the Tyler County 4-H grounds in July 2018, in honor of the county’s first day-camp.

The year 2018 is now history, and thus, your Tyler Star News staff reflects on 12 months of news in Tyler County. We hope you enjoy our annual recap, as we share pieces of just some of the stories we reported on in 2018. For reference, our December 26, 2018 edition of the Tyler Star News shared some of the news from January-June of 2018. This week we cover July 2018-December 2018 and conclude our Year In Review. We look forward to bringing you the local news in 2019, and we wish our readers a Happy New Year.


JULY 2018

In early July 2018, the Tyler Star News published a write-up regarding a deceased Civil War veteran, Eugenius Lemasters, who had finally received a headstone at his gravesite.

Also in our July 4 edition, the Tyler Star News previewed Sistersville’s upcoming Picnic in the Park. The following week included photo coverage from the event.

The Tyler County Family Resource Network hosted a Back-to-School fair in August 2018.

The July 4 edition included a report on a July 27 heavy storm, which brought heavy rainfall and flash flooding. Approximately two inches of rain fell during that day.

In July, the Tyler Star News published a story regarding Bill Deaton, who had beautified Wells Cemetery. For the past several years, Deaton has taken it upon himself to beautify the historical cemetery, which includes the grave of Charles Wells, founder of Sistersville.

Tyler County FFA took home first place in Parliamentary Procedure at the West Virginia FFA state convention, while Madison Campbell was crowned West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival Queen in July.

In other pageantry matters, six young ladies competed for the Tyler County Fair Queen title, which was won by Kellsi Anderson.


Madison Campbell is crowned the WV Oil & Gas Festival Queen in July 2018.


Our August 1, 2018 edition included coverage from Tyler County’s first-ever youth camp, held July 25-27 at the county’s 4-H grounds. The event included representatives from Air Evac and Oglebay Zoo, Sistersville Police Chief Rob Haught and K-9 Thor, and Office of Emergency Management Director Tom Cooper.

The August 1, 2018 edition also included coverage from the fourth annual Ohio River Ferryboat Festival, which included musical entertainment, vendors and artists, and a movie night by the Tyler County Prevention Coalition.

United States Congressman David McKinley paid a visit to the Tyler County Fair in August and spoke about the opioid epidemic.

Meanwhile, August 2018 coverage included a story regarding the prospect of resource officers at Tyler County Schools.

Our August 15, 2018 edition included coverage from the Family Resource Network’s Back-to-School Fair. The event included hand-outs of books, pens, pencils, and backpacks. It also included haircuts and free dental screenings, as well as entertainment by “The Bubble Man” Danny Westfall. Approximately 325 students attended the Fair.

The Tyler Star News picked up awards at August’s West Virginia Press Association Annual Convention and Awards reception. The TSN picked up second place for Best Agency Advertisement, third place Best Special Section in Advertising, and third place Best Special Section – Sports in Advertising.

In Editorial, the TSN received third place for Best Single Issue.

Notably, Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, won the WVPA’s highest honor – The Adam R. Kelly Premier Journalist Award – for his outstanding dedication to the newspaper industry. Nardo previously served as publisher of the Tyler Star News.

In August 2018, the former Centerville Bridge in Alma was dedicated and named in honor of the late U.S. Navy Captain Homer Leroy Smith, a 1943 graduate of Tyler County High School and an American hero.

The State of Tyler County breakfast was held August 22, 2018 and featured speakers Eric Vincent, Tyler County Commissioner; Tina Rush, Markwest Energy Partners’ Local Government Affairs Representative; Luke Peters, Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council’s Project Coordinator; Robin Daquilante, Superintendent of Tyler County Schools; Ryan Thorn, Economic Development Manager for the Office of U.S. Senator Manchin.



The first issue of the Tyler Star News for September 2018 featured a story about Jeremy Keller, Tyler County’s first-ever drug court graduate.

The September 5, 2018 edition also included a write-up on Tyler Consolidated graduates Julian Work, Ross Gorby, and Shianne Ferrell. The trio are members of the university band at WVU.

The Tyler Star News’ September 5, 2018 edition also included photo coverage from Paden City’s 2018 Labor Day festivities.

September 2018 was a frustrating month in terms of weather. On Sept. 10, schools dismissed early as area residents dealt with five to six inches of rain in a matter of 48 hours. For the first time in more than a decade, the West Virginia Oil & Gas Festival canceled all of its Sistersville Park-related events.

Speaking of the Oil & Gas Festival, David Freshwater was named the festival’s Oil & Gas Man of the Year.

Tyler Consolidated High School played host to the 47th Annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival Marching Band Competition. Eleven bands from around the state competed in the parade and field show competitions. George Washington High School received the highest points in the parade competition and was named the “Grand Champion” of the parade. Parkersburg South High School received the highest total of points in the field show competition and was named the “Grand Champion” of the field show.

Tyler Consolidated marked its annual homecoming festivities in September 2018. Josey Jones was crowned the 2018 Tyler Consolidated Homecoming Queen.

Meanwhile, in Wildcat territory, Paige Leonard was named the 2018 Paden City High School Homecoming Queen.

September 2018 also marked the month for the annual Sistersville Marble Festival. This was the 19th year for the event, and the annual commemorative marble featured Sistersville General Hospital.



The annual Middle Island Harvest Festival was held in early-October. The event featured apple butter, sorghum, and corn meal. Students’ Day was held Friday of the festival; the 2018 festival also featured a daily Civil War Reenactment, complete with cannon fire. Middle Island Harvest Teen Queen Morgan Palmer and Queen Breanna Pekula were 2018 royalty.

The October 3, 2018 Tyler Star News featured coverage from the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur Pitch. The top $3,000 prize went to Middlebourne’s B&B Buffet.

The Red Raiders invaded Middlebourne in October, as Tyler County High School held its annual alumni festivities. The theme for 2018 was “Treasured Times at TCHS.” Gloria Stackpole, Class of 1968, served as banquet speaker.

Annual Halloween happenings took place in local communities throughout Tyler County. The event featured the annual Lions Club parade in Sistersville, as well as an event at the Stealey-Green Family Center in Middlebourne.

After years of service to her community, Karen Cain retired from the Wetzel-Tyler Health Department in October 2018.



The November 2018 general election resulted in a win for Tyler County’s Mike Smith, the Republican nominee for Tyler County Commission. Smith will fill the vacancy left by David Kelly, who was appointed to the seat. Notably, Kelly won his bid for the House of Delegates’ Sixth District seat. Republican Charles Clements defeated Democrat Denny Longwell for the West Virginia Second District State Senate seat.

The Tyler Star News shared news in November concerning the Harry E. and Olive T. Barth Charitable Trust’s awards. In 2018, 17 organizations were awarded funds totaling $147,641.

Also in November 2018, a delegation of area residents approached the Tyler County Board of Education with concerns about the state of the football field at Tyler Consolidated.

In November 2018, the county mourned the loss of Assessor Jack Hayes, who was described by colleagues as always being kind and a giving and generous man. Hayes was elected as Tyler County Assessor in 2004.



The Tyler Star News highlighted, in December 2018, the headquarters of the Tyler County Office of Emergency Management. The storage and office space, located at the Paden City Industrial Park, includes an array of equipment to county volunteers and LEPC members.

The Star News also featured the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office in the paper’s Dec. 19 edition. The TCSO moved locations in late summer of 2017. The new facility offers better parking, a more secure area to hold evidence, an interview room, ample space, and a more personable atmosphere.

Speaking of the TCSO, the Tyler Star News was glad to report on Tyler County’s Shop With a Cop endeavors in 2018. The year of 2018 was great for the endeavor, which helped 21 children to have a Merry Christmas.

Sistersville and Middlebourne held official Christmas parades in early December. Jolly Old St. Nick made appearances at both annual events.