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Ryan Quinn

Staff writer
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New St. John’s priest to continue social justice tradition


St. John’s Episcopal Church, the downtown institution known for aiding the poor and advocating for gay rights, has a new priest-in-charge.

That’s the current title for the Rev. Marquita L. Hutchens, w...

West Virginian fights for women’s rights in Gambia


At first glance, it may seem West Virginia and the African country of Gambia have a few things in common. West Virginia is consistently ranked among the poorest states in the U.S. Gambia, a sliver of a nation surrounding...

Business to pay $5K for raising water prices after Freedom spill


A Putnam County convenience store manager and his business have admitted to raising drinking water prices in the wake of the Freedom Industries spill and will pay a $5,000 fine.

State Attorney General Patrick Morr...

A day after gay marriage becomes legal in W.Va., Putnam judge officiates his last wedding


WINFIELD, W.Va. — Same-sex marriage is now legal in West Virginia, but there no longer are any judges in Putnam County performing weddings. The one judge who...

Second WVU fraternity’s charter revoked


A second West Virginia University fraternity has had its charter revoked by its national office, the school announced Thursday.

The release from WVU stated only that Beta Theta Pi had informed the university Wednes...

Putnam hospital’s ‘smoke-free’ bid goes up in smoke


WINFIELD, W.Va. — Putnam County Development Authority board members this week unanimously denied CAMC Teays Valley Hospital’s request for the agency t...

Putnam won’t pass a noise ordinance


WINFIELD, W.Va. — Putnam County commissioners said Tuesday they won’t pass a noise ordinance, despite two residents’ complaints about neighbors emitting a strange v...

Putnam school board won’t lift ban on alumni games at facilities


WINFIELD – Putnam County school board members have finally given alumni an emphatic answer on whether they’ll allow them to host games at school facilities: no.

After a small group of graduates broug...

Lawyers settling Putnam drinking water price gouging suit


Attorneys are settling the lawsuit Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed, and promoted using his office’s money, targeting alleged drinking water price gouging in the wake of the Freedom Industries spill.


Fatal Scott Depot blaze highlights shortcomings in W.Va. fire education


It’s unclear if a working smoke detector could have saved Zachary McDaniel, 9, and Aubree McDaniel, 3, from the fire that killed them last Sunday morning at their home in Scott Depot. <...

Labor employees accuse commissioner of threatening layoffs


State Division of Labor employees in the Weights and Measures office testified Friday that the division’s acting commissioner threatened to lay them off if they fought a plan to transfer them from St. Albans to Ch...

Children killed in Scott Depot fire identified


The state fire marshal’s office has identified two young children killed in a fire Sunday morning in Scott Depot.

Mark Lambert, chi...

2 children dead in Scott Depot house fire


SCOTT DEPOT — Two young children died in a house fire Sunday morning at the Nottingham Mobile Home Park in Scott Depot.

A 9-year-old boy and his 3-year-old sister were taken by a...

Judge says Hurricane landfill has ‘substantial likelihood’ of winning case


A judge said the Hurricane landfill that accepted wastewater vacuumed up from the Freedom Industries site has “a substantial likelihood of prevailing” in a lawsuit the city and the Putnam County Commission ...

Kanawha schools spending $190K more to fix problems with iPad program


To fix early problems with a plan to provide iPads to every middle and high school student in Kanawha County, the county school board approved Thursday changing its system for managing the technology.

The change w...

Witt leads in Putnam family judge race; Poca gets new mayor


Wimpy Jones defeated Mike Potter to become Poca’s new mayor Tuesday in the town’s first local races on the Putnam County general election ballot.

Jones, who’s served on Poca Town Council for ...

Winfield scales back annexation attempt


WINFIELD – Winfield City Council members voted Monday to significantly reduce the amount of land the city plans to annex.

Since council finished drawing up proposed new borders in March, the roughly 2,300-p...

Putnam school board president plans to discuss issue ‘off the record’


WINFIELD — The Putnam County school board president told the Gazette Monday he plans to hold individual, “off-the-record” discussions with other board members about an is...

In 25 years, no local agencies have opted into W.Va. safety program


In the more than 25 years since the West Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Act passed, no local government agencies have volunteered to accept oversight — and the possible punishment it ...

Supreme Court overrules Putnam DUI decision


People arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs must clearly ask the investigating officer in their case for a blood test if they want one, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In ...

Suspect in attack on family to make plea, lawyers say


WINFIELD — A St. Albans man who allegedly tried to kill family members in April plans to plead guilty to lesser charges in the case, according to defense and prosecution lawyers....

Putnam hospital eyes smoke-free loophole


WINFIELD, W.Va. — CAMC Teays Valley Hospital wants to provide a safe place for employees, visitors and patients to smoke — it just doesn’t want...

Argument over bills led to Bancroft fatal shooting, witness said


Two Bancroft roommates were arguing over bills Tuesday before one pulled out a gun, leading the other to ask “What are you gonna do, shoot me?”

He did, according to a witness statement included in a c...

Putnam considering increasing dental, vision benefits


WINFIELD — The Putnam County Commission is considering increasing employee dental and vision benefits for perhaps the first time in more than two decades — but the changes could...

Putnam deputy’s killer again denied parole


HUTTONSVILLE — The man who shot a Putnam County sheriff’s deputy to death about 25 years ago was denied parole Monday in his sixth hearing since he was locked away.


$2 million Winfield lock repairs may slow commerce


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Huntington District is spending $2 million to repair the main lock at the Winfield Locks and Dam -- work that will likely slow Kanawha River commerce.

Public Affairs Officer...

Putnam schools off-limits for alumni games


WINFIELD – It appears unlikely that alumni of Putnam County schools will be able to play two reunion football games at Buffalo High School’s field next month.

Joey Tolley, a 2005 Buffalo High graduat...

Putnam family judge candidates keep it civil


The candidates vying to replace a Putnam County family court judge ousted partly for screaming and cursing at litigants are keeping it civil.

At an Oct. 7 forum in Teays Valley, Democratic candidate Dave Hill note...

Bail reduction again denied for Hurricane man accused of killing son


WINFIELD, W.Va. – A judge refused again Thursday to lower the $500,000 bail for a Hurricane man accused of killing his 5-week-old son.

Robert Jeremy Smith, 34, of Shank Avenue, is charged with death of chil...

Keith’s Kitchens, supervisor deny sexual harassment


A Winfield business, its vice president and general manager have denied a former employee’s claims that she was repeatedly sexually harassed.

Charles Lavender fired Angela Hatfield from Keith’s Kitch...

Winfield officials reconsider proposed annexation


WINFIELD — Winfield officials are reconsidering their effort to increase their city’s size by 40 percent.

At a meeting Tuesday evening, City Council members discusse...

Culloden man pleads to attempted assault


WINFIELD, W.Va. -- A Culloden man pleaded guilty earlier this month to attempted malicious assault for trying to hit his girlfriend – who was pregnant with his child – with a truck.

Jessie W. Shearer ...

The final nail: Winfield Hardware to close


WINFIELD — In his 1996 book “Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench? Hardware Stores and Hardware Stories,” Vince Staten wrote that there were 307 hardware stores in ...

A year after mass layoff, Putnam health department may get new leader


The Putnam County Health Department may get a new full-time manager of day-to-day operations — more than a year after the local health board laid off the department’s entire staff amid financial struggles. ...

With craft beer plus Everclear, OktoberWest a great deal


Many great things can be said about OktoberWest — West Side Main Street’s largest fundraiser — but one is immediately obvious: it’s a deal.

Prescriptions for pseudoephedrine divide Putnam Senate, House candidates


TEAYS VALLEY — When it comes to supporting requiring prescriptions for drugs containing pseudoephedrine, used to cook methamphetamine, Putnam County voters north of the Kanawha R...

After 25 years in prison, deputy’s killer again up for parole


After nearly a quarter century in prison, a man convicted of killing a Putnam County sheriff’s deputy in 1989 is up for parole again near the end of this month.

Oct. 27 will mark Robert Gray’s sixth p...

Putnam to start transporting students to voting booths


WINFIELD — Putnam County’s school district and county clerk are partnering to increase voter turnout among high school students and hopefully boost their likelihood of becoming ...

Hurricane company suing Putnam’s new IT provider


WINFIELD — A Hurricane company is suing Putnam County’s new information technology contractor for allegedly owing it $65,000.

Airgas explosion trial set for 2015


The trial concerning two former Airgas USA employees suing the company and its plant manger over an explosion last year at its now-closed Putnam County facility has been set for October 2015.

William Lee Parrigan,...

Buffalo councilman accused of violating safety order


WINFIELD -- A Buffalo Town Council member has been charged with two counts of violating a personal safety order protecting a female minor from his alleged stalking and related harassment.

Joseph S. Casto, 51, alle...

Hometown man sentenced for incest with autistic grandson


WINFIELD – A Hometown man was sentenced Thursday to five to 15 years in prison and 20 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to sexually abusing his 9-year-old, autistic grandson.

Billy R. McKnee...

Putnam puts kits in schools to respond to shooters


HURRICANE — After another school shooting this week — this one injuring a teenager in Louisville, Kentucky — Putnam County school officials let the community know Wednesd...