Looking back on 2007
Cost is estimated at $11 million for the new Morgan County Courthouse and county office complex. Design ideas are in the works. About
70 people attend a public meeting to discuss
Fairview Drive residents, and others affected by a sewer line expansion, continue to oppose the project, required hookup and land condemnation for lines. The Warm Springs Public Service District moves ahead with the project. Some sewer system customers also voice opposition to a rate hike at a public hearing.
Glen Stotler is re-elected president of the Morgan County Commissioners.
Gina M. Groh, former assistant prosecutor in Berkeley and Jefferson counties, is appointed by Governor Joe Manchin to the new judgeship in the tri-county area. She assumes judicial duties in Morgan County in February
Thomas Hall resigns from the Town of Bath council.
The Berkeley Springs Lady Indians are champions at the Hancock Holiday Classic.
Derek Hovermale claims the only individual title for Berkeley Springs in the Jason Eades Memorial Wrestling Tournament.
About 4,500 notices are sent to county property owners warning them of higher real estate assessments.
Plans now foresee a bike and skateboard park near the Morgan County School Board offices in North Berkeley.
The Bath Town Council approves police request for a K-9 unit.
The winter's first measurable snow, an inch or so, falls Sunday, January 21, after a mild month.
The Morgan County Commissioners okay purchasing 80 acres along Fairview Drive for a new Morgan County War Memorial Hospital, at a cost of $1,458,600.
After a mild January, February hits hard with bitter cold. Snow and ice close schools for four days.
A proposed Morgan County Billboard Ordinance is sent back to committee for more work before it can be considered by the Morgan County Commissioners.
A Presidents Day feature story in The Morgan Messenger about presidents who visited the Berkeley Springs area attracts attention. So does a story about Marjorie Ours, the first woman elected as a Morgan County Commissioner, back in 1980.
Four Berkeley Springs High School wrestlers claim titles in the Potomac Valley Conference Wrestling Championship.
Three Berkeley Springs High School wrestlers win regional championships. Cody Reed, a junior, wins a state title at the State Tournament, while Derek Hovermale claims a second, and Tyson Bennett a third.
The Sheriff's new SWAT Team begins operations and immediately takes part in two drug raids.
School Superintendent David Temple announces that he will retire at the end of the June after four years here.
The Morgan County Commissioners are again asked by a group of citizens to consider a county nuisance law.
Betty Lou Harmison is honored as a History Hero for her life's work.
The Bath Town Council votes against turning part of Liberty Street over to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.
The Duckwall Bridge on Virginia Line Road is repaired.
A group of Morgan County builders and contractors ask the Morgan County Commissioners to establish a building inspection process.
The Boys Basketball Team from Berkeley Springs High School wins their third straight Region II, Section II title.
Three young Maryland men are charged with attempted murder and arson. They allegedly tried to burn down a trailer on Mt. Nebo belonging to the grandparents of one of them. The grandparents were inside at the time.
Morgan County teachers vote not to participate in a one-day walkout called to pressure legislators to approve a larger pay raise.
The Morgan County Commissioners approve a 2% property tax hike to help pay for a new courthouse.
United Wreckers of Martinsburg begins tearing down what remains of the Morgan County Courthouse and government complex.
The Town of Bath Police Department adds a police dog, Officer Butch.
The Morgan County School Board keeps the same special levy rate despite higher assessments. They will now be taking in $4.5 million from the special levy. When voters approved the tax in 2003, they were told it would bring in $2.9 million a year. In an editorial, The Morgan Messenger urges the board to cut their rates.
Work gets under way on the new sewer plant and sewer line extensions in Berkeley Springs.
The Morgan County School board votes to reduce their special school levy rates by 5%. The reduction is slightly more than the amount that the county government is raising their tax rates to help pay for a new courthouse.
The Berkeley Springs Boys Track Team wins the first-ever Berkeley Springs High School Track & Field Invitational Meet.
People in the Paw Paw area petition for better cellular phone service. By month's end, more than 475 people sign petitions.
The Morgan County Commissioners unanimously vote to adopt a County Nuisance Ordinance.
Governor Joe Manchin comes to Berkeley Springs to cut the ribbon at Rankin Physical Therapy & Fitness Center.
In a meeting with the county commissioners, Governor Manchin promises to look at ways that the state can help fund a new Morgan County Courthouse. He says he has the desire to help but doesn't know how the state can contribute to a county building project without setting a precedent.
The Town of Bath Historical Landmark Commission receives a $6,000 grant to continue work on researching historic properties in town.
Joe and Linda Lillard, owners of Washington Homeopathic Products, are named West Virginia Exporters of the Year.
The legal appeals of Denver A. Youngblood, Jr. and Brian Daniel Murray are argued when the West Virginia Supreme Court comes to Romney for a day.
The old Morgan County Courthouse is demolished. At month's end, the job is almost complete and the lot is cleared and leveled for whatever comes next.
The Morgan County Commissioners discuss whether to change political district lines in Magisterial Districts 2 and 3 because Commissioner Thomas Swaim moved from one district to another in 2005. In the end, they make no changes since, according to legal opinions, Swaim may serve until his term is up.
Business owners meet with Town of Bath officials about parking and police issues.
David Banks is chosen as the new superintendent of Morgan County Schools.
A petition calling for a public vote on plans for a new courthouse gathers nearly 600 signatures.
Daniel M. James is named Morgan County's assistant prosecutor.
The Berkeley Springs High School baseball team wins in sectional competition, but not in the regional finals.
Berkeley Springs Boys and Girls track teams win regional track titles. The girls finish second at the state meet. Boys finish third.
Denny Golden and Eric Lyda qualify for state competition in tennis.
Thirteen students graduate from Paw Paw High School. Valedictorian is T. J. Holliday and salutatorian is Jessica Miller.
The graduating class at Berkeley Springs High School includes 146 students. Co-Valedictorians are Eric Lyda and Kelsey Swaim. Salutatorian is Tommy Price.
The Morgan Arts Council celebrates its 30th birthday.
Linda Bolton, Alison Carter, Ann Darling, Jim Hoyt, Amanda Reed, Mekeisha Mayhle and Donna Unger are winners of this year's Morgan County Photo Contest, sponsored by The Morgan Messenger.
Berkeley Springs Water Superintendent Kevin Hancock is arrested on the job, after a brief chase in a town vehicle, on charges of delivery of a controlled substance. The Bath Town Council fires him. In December, he pleads no contest to possession and fleeing and receives a six-month suspended sentence.
The West Virginia Supreme Court orders a new trial for Denver A. Youngblood, who was originally convicted in 2003 of two counts of sexually assaulting a young woman.
Terry Largent is hired as new Berkeley Springs Water Works superintendent.
The Morgan County Commissioners allow the empty courthouse lot to be used temporarily for public parking, an idea proposed by The Morgan Messenger. The Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce contributes $1,600 to cover the cost of graveling the lot.
Kenneth Crites is elected mayor of Paw Paw in the June 5 town election. Julie Kidwell is elected town recorder. Elected to council are Eric Kidwell, Steve Moreland, Rose Newlon, Jeff Palmer and Ed Ridgeway.
Widmyer Elementary School is designated as a School of Excellence by the state.
The West Virginia Supreme Court orders a new trial for Brian Daniel Murray, who was originally convicted in 2005 of failing to render aid at the scene of a fatal accident.
Susan Webster is re-elected mayor of Bath in the June 12 town election. Scott Merki wins a town council seat in a coin toss after tying with David Duncan. Incumbent council members David Crosby, Kenneth Easton, Nancy Harvey and Dale Lutman are returned to office, as is Town Recorder Garnet Marsh.
Lin Dunham is named Morgan County Conservation Farmer of the Year.
Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito is seeking $1.6 million for a new courthouse and $7 million for STS International projects from earmark federal funds.
A June 22 fire destroys Wayside Inn Apartments, leaving 18 people homeless.
Morgan Sanitation announces it is seeking a 30% hike in county garbage collection rates.
The Morgan County Commissioners adopt a $75-per-household fee to support county ambulance service, which shows up on this summer's property tax bills.
President George W. Bush headlines July 4 ceremonies, attended by a number of county residents, at the Air National Guard in Martinsburg.
Joan Willard, who has been principal at Widmyer Elementary, is named Assistant County School Superintendent.
Long backups at the Hancock Bridge due to bridge work make it difficult to get back and forth to Hancock at times.
Travel Berkeley Springs reports that based on hotel tax receipts, tourism is off in Morgan County.
Employees sue Morgan County War Memorial Hospital over a pension plan dispute. They feel accumulated funds from an old plan should be distributed to them but the hospital is seeking control of most of the money to use for a new facility.
Four people are injured when a propane stove explodes at a Sleepy Creek campsite, causing a flash fire in a camper. Nichole Robertson of Brunswick, Md. later dies from her injuries.
Four people are airlifted to hospitals with burn injuries following a propane stove explosion on July 24 at the STS International testing facility in Greenwood.
A smoking ban for all enclosed public spaces goes into effect on July 30. The ban was adopted by the Morgan County Health Board in 2005.
Dennis Weese, 46, of Berkeley Springs is killed in a moped accident on July 28.
A political tempest erupts when County Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson takes issue with a planning commission appointment put forth by Commissioners Glen Stotler and Thomas Swaim without public discussion. The commissioners consider ways to make such appointments in the future.
Potomac Airpark at Hancock, W. Va. is sold by U. S. Silica Company to River Bottom, LLC.
U. S. Silica Company is purchased by Harvest Partners, a New York investment firm.
Paw Paw Volunteer Fire & Rescue announce plans to build a new fire hall and work soon begins.
Deputy Sheriff Kevin Barney is stationed at Berkeley Springs High School as the school's first Prevention Resource Officer.
The stock market and real estate world are shaken by a mortgage and credit crisis, but local realtors and bankers say little effect is being felt in Morgan County, other than slow real estate sales.
The Morgan County Commissioners pass an ordinance banning new billboards along the George Washington Heritage Trail route.
A 57-year-old grave is opened so DNA samples can be taken of an unidentified red-haired woman found strangled near the Hancock Bridge in May, 1950. The hope is that the DNA will match a woman last seen in California in the early 1940s. Later, the family of an Ohio woman missing since 1950 also submit DNA samples. No test results are announced by Christmas.
County residents voice strong feelings when revised plans for a new Morgan County Courthouse are unveiled.
A year after the fire that destroyed the former courthouse, county officials continue to seek state and federal dollars to help with rebuilding.
Carl M. Freeman Companies purchase the Benedikt Farm near Berkeley Springs as an expansion of their planned development of the former Coolfont Recreation property. This sparks debate about cluster development rules and the size of the proposed Freeman development.
The Morgan County Grand Jury indicts 44 people on September 4-5, the largest number of indictments ever returned here.
Vernon Kerns, Jr. and Jason M. Payne are indicted for the murder of Keese Bare in 2004. Charred bone fragments from Bare's body were found last year near the Hancock Bridge.
Governor Joe Manchin dedicates, and is the first to use, the new wobble trap shooting range at Cacapon State Park.
County Assessor John Allen Swaim petitions in Circuit Court to take back his no contest plea for filing a false application for an infant's lifetime hunting license in January. He now wants a trial on the charge.
Beth DuVall is named School Service Person of the Year by Morgan County Schools.
Dixie Deering is named Teacher of the Year by Morgan County Schools.
Paw Paw Police Chief Brian Sites is relieved of his duties by Paw Paw officials.
J. Philip Kesecker, Joe Lillard and BB&T Bank are inducted into the Apple Butter Festival Hall of Fame for their efforts in helping the festival through the years.
Two design firms—Perks & Will, Inc. of Washington, D. C. and Valley Engineering of Moorefield—are chosen to design the new War Memorial Hospital.
Philip Harmison is the grand marshal of the Apple Butter Festival parade. The 34th annual festival attracts a big crowd on a warm weekend.
The idea of a zoning study for Morgan County dies when County Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson proposes it, but Commissioners Glen Stotler and Tommy Swaim refuse to second her motion.
Laura Smith is named a Woman of Distinction for 2007 by the Girl Scouts of the Shawnee Council.
The Morgan County Commissioners okay the pursuit of funding for a new War Memorial Hospital, which is estimated to cost more than $25 million.
Sam Byrne and Morgan Buzzerd are Homecoming King and Queen at Berkeley Springs High School.
The Frank and Janet Watson family of eight loses everything in a mobile home fire on October 16.
The Berkeley Springs High School Boys Cross-Country Team wins the West Virginia Class AA-A, Region II Championship. Rachel Buser of the girls team wins her fourth straight regional title.
The Berkeley Springs Soccer Team takes the sectional title.
The Lady Indians Soccer Team wins their first-ever Region II, Section III title.
The Carl M. Freeman Companies show their latest plan for The Villages at Coolfont at a public meeting. Now planned are about 1200 homes of different styles, plus business and recreation areas, to be built by 2020. Critics ask how the water system will affect the Warm Springs.
In a statewide poll, West Virginians choose Wild Wonderful as the new state slogan for highway signs. Governor Joe Manchin promises to ask the Legislature to replace Open For Business with Wild Wonderful.
The project to upgrade the Warm Springs sewer plant is now more than halfway done and over 80% of the new sewer lines are in place.
The Morgan County Commissioners continue to weigh options for funding a new courthouse. Loan offers from the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the State Development Office both turn out to be more costly than they had hoped.
U. S. Silica Company announces it will be closing its corporate office in Berkeley Springs by mid-2008. The sand-mining company has been headquartered here for 80 years. The local sand mining operation will continue.
The Girls Volleyball Team from Berkeley Springs High School advances to regional play for the first time ever.
The Morgan County World War II Veterans Memorial is dedicated before a large crowd on Veterans Day.
The Berkeley Springs High School Football Team enters playoffs with an 8-2 record and wins the first round, but loses the second round to Scott High School.
Ella Mabel Kendall, 78, of Leesburg, Va. is killed in an auto accident on U.S. 522 on November 13.
Dr. Matthew Hahn of Berkeley Springs is named an Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner in Maryland. He practices at Tri-State Medical Center in Hancock.
The Morgan County Commissioners apply for a $250,000 grant for a 260-ft. cell tower in Paw Paw.
Hot topic these days: All those stray dogs and cats around Morgan County and how to deal with them. The county's Animal Control kennels and the Humane Society's animal shelter are at capacity.
Kenny Easton resigns from the Bath Town Council. Irene Hedrick is appointed to finish out his term.
The Morgan County Commissioners continue to negotiate for a government low-interest loan to build a new courthouse. They have about $3.4 million, mostly from insurance, in their rebuilding fund, after $1.5 million was spent to get county offices up and going in temporary quarters last year. They appoint an energy advisory committee to look into ways that alternate energy sources can provide for a better and more energy-efficient future courthouse.
After months of discussion, the Bath Town Council drafts a new water rate ordinance that charges more to large volume users.
Some 1,319 deer are checked in at Morgan County stations during the two week gun-hunting season.
The first snow of the season falls on Wednesday, December 15, resulting in a couple dozen minor accidents as well as breakdowns of snow removal equipment.
A class ring found at Cacapon State Park by David Crouse, Jr. is returned to Wanda Bailey of Beckley after 55 years, due to the efforts of Jody Crouse.
Benefits are held to aid Steve Moreland, Paw Paw fire chief and a Morgan County Rescue Squad medic, who was injured badly in an accident caused by a deer running into his vehicle.
Craig Pearrell is named Paw Paw police chief. He will also continue as a corporal with Town of Bath police.
Electricity is knocked out to more than a third of Morgan County by ice and wind on the weekend of December 15-16.