The Voice of West Virginia
HAZELTON, W.Va. — The family of Whitey Bulger plans a $200 million wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government in connection with the 89-year-old crime boss’ death at the Hazelton federal prison in Preston County.
Bulger was killed just 11 hours after arriving at Hazelton last October. He had been transferred from another prison.
Bulger was convicted of 31 of 32 federal racketeering charges, including 11 murders, in 2013 and sentenced to two life terms plus five years.
In September of 2014, Bulger was sent to the Coleman II United States Penitentiary in Sumterville, Florida. On October 29, 2018 he was transferred to Hazelton.
The primary suspect in the killing was mafia hit man Freddy Geas, he has never disputed his role in the killing.
“We believe that James Bulger was deliberately placed in harm’s way,” the Bulger family said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. “There is simply no other explanation for the transfer of someone in his condition and inmate status to be placed in the general population of one of the country’s most violent federal penitentiaries.”
At the time of his death Boston Globe investigative reporter Shelly Murphy said during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” that it seemed strange for Bulger to be transferred to Hazelton.
“We know there were people at that prison, not just the guy now suspected in the murder, but others that have Boston ties there,” she said. “It’s just a little strange they would put Whitey in a place with known adversaries.”
Bulger was the third inmate killed within seven months.
The family also says that because of all the civil judgments and restitution orders against Bulger they would never benefit from a court decision in their favor.
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An inmate from the West Virginia Department of Corrections took an ambulance from Ruby Memorial and attempted an escape Friday in Morgantown, police said.
At 2:25 p.m. Craig Allen Martisko, 45, of Granville, allegedly took the ambulance and drove in the direction of West Virginia 705. Martisko was in an orange jump suit and handcuffed when he crashed near Chateau Royale and ran up a hill from Don Nehlen Drive.
A canine officer tracked Martisko to Building 2700 of Chateau Royale where he was attempting to break into an apartment.
The suspect was arrested without further incident.
While fleeing police say Martisko hit a Star City ambulance, several cars and fixed objects. He was examined before being taken back to the North Central Regional Jail.
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A man was shot and killed in Huntington early Saturday morning.
According to police, Sontezz Lomax, 39, of Charleston, previously of Huntington, was shot as he stood near the The Lantern bar at 817 4th Avenue. The shooting occurred at around 2:50 a.m.
Another person was hit by flying debris. The injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Huntington Police Department at 304-696-4420 ext 1025 or the Crime Tip Line at 304-696-4444.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Economic Development Council will hold its annual fall conference next week at the Morgantown Marriott Waterfront Place.
The conference is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday; the WVU John Chambers College of Economics and Business and West Virginia Forward are the presenting organizations
WVU president Gordon Gee, Morgantown Mayor Bill Kawecki and Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom will hold an opening forum.
Marshal University officials and WVU professor John Deskins will also hold presentations. A legislative update and information about the emerging cannabis market are also scheduled.
West Virginia Economic Development Council president Robbie Morris said a major focus of the conference is diversification within the state economy.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth in the auto industry. We have a lot of growth in aerospace. We’re seeing growth in chemicals,” he said. “But there’s other things especially technology-related we want to go after.”
Morris added the event will feature tours of WVU’s athletic facilities and areas of economic development areas around Morgantown.
“Morgantown is obviously a very bright spot in West Virginia, and our economy with so many different developments,” he said.
The two-day event will also offer ways to improve employee recruiting and understand the current workforce.
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LAWRENCE, Kan. — One new coach will have a landmark victory by the time Saturday is over.
Neal Brown is seeking his first-ever Big 12 victory, while Les Miles is trying to pick up his first Big 12 win in 15 years when West Virginia visits Kansas for a 4:30 p.m. EST kick.
Both coaches are also in pursuit of their first winning streaks at their new schools. West Virginia is coming off a 44-27 win over North Carolina State, while Kansas took down Boston College 48-24 last week.
The Jayhawks are by far the bigger strangers to this position. Kansas has not logged consecutive wins against Power 5 opponents since beating Missouri and Minnesota to close out the 2008 season.
“I bet it’s a really good atmosphere,” Brown said. “They’re excited about Coach Miles, and I think they’ll be excited about that win over Boston College.”
Miles, aka “The Mad Hatter,” resurfaced at Kansas after spending two years in the coaching wilderness.He was fired by LSU four weeks into the 2016 season after a loss at Auburn in which LSU ran out of time before snapping the ball on the would-be game-winning touchdown. He coached 11 seasons at LSU after spending 2001-04 at Oklahoma State.
Miles was roundly criticized for running a Bo Schembechler-inspired offense in the modern era, and sure enough Kansas is another of his run-first teams behind running backs Pooka Williams and Khalil Herbert. But the Jayhawks also used tempo and showed formational creativity at Boston College in the wake of a 12-7 loss to Coastal Carolina.
“Last week looked a lot different than first two games,” Brown said. “It was a mix of spread and what Coach Miles has done at previous stops.”
West Virginia similarly altered its offense in Week 3 after ranking 129th nationally in rushing offense through two games. The Mountaineers used motion, tempo and other previously unseen wrinkles to keep N.C. State’s defense on its heels.
“Neal Brown is doing a great job in his first year,” Miles said. “You can tell on offense, defense and special teams that they’re improving. I think that they’re certainly a team on the rise.”
Make Carter Stanley win: Williams and Hebert are both capable of breaking the 200-yard mark, having done so already over the course of their careers. Williams had 252 yards against Oklahoma last year, and Herbert went off for 291 against West Virginia in 2017.
Not-so-mighty Coastal Carolina limited Stanley to 107 yards and picked him off twice in Week 2. If Stanley is the reason the Jayhawks offense succeeds, you can only tip your cap.
Ball security: Yes, it always matters. But with thunderstorms and heavy winds forecast, an extra premium will need to be placed on everything from snaps to handoffs to read-option plays.
Sam James: James made his impact as a wide receiver perfectly clear last week, finishing with nine catches for 155 yards. But look for him to potentially be a game-changer in the return game against Kansas. The Jayhawks can’t seem to kick touchbacks — 10 of their kickoffs have been returned for an average of 22.6 yards. The elements are there for James to break one.
West Virginia 34, Kansas 19: One of the toughest things for any rebuilding program is turning winning into a habit. It won’t be a bit surprising if Kansas had a poor week of practice after its biggest win in 11 years.
Granted, the possibility of a letdown also exists for WVU. But the Jayhawks are deservedly treating their win over Boston College as a major accomplishment, while the Mountaineers seem to see their win over N.C. State as the first step in a larger picture.
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ONA, W.Va. — Photos from Cabell Midland’s 20-16 win over Hurricane.
(Photos courtesy of John Hagley Photography)
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A closer look at action around the state in Week 4.
Wheeling Central outlasts Shadyside, Ohio
Curtis McGhee threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Creighton with 35 seconds remaining to lift Class A No. 10 Wheeling Central to a 31-27 win over Shadyside, Ohio.
The Tigers (2-2) had gone ahead 27-24 with 1:34 remaining on the fourth touchdown run of the night by Wyatt Reiman, combined with a successful 2-point conversion.
But the Maroon Knights (3-1) had an answer with the late heroics and then made a defensive stand to seal the verdict.
Wheeling Central led 18-7 at halftime, but fell behind, 19-18, early in the fourth quarter.
Jordan Waterhouse’s 55-yard run set up McGhee’s 3-yard TD run with 10:17 to play that gave Central a 24-19 lead at the time.
Rebels roll past St. Marys
Class A No. 6 Ritchie County had its way with No. 1 St. Marys as the Rebels rolled to a 32-2 victory to improve to 3-0.
After St. Marys (2-1) built the early 2-0 lead, Garrett Owens rushed for a touchdown to put the Rebels on top for good.
Ethan Haught then threw a TD pass to Gus Morrison to give the Rebels a two possession lead.
Owens and Tre Moss had second-half rushing touchdowns in the win, while Ritchie’s defense continued with its dominant effort.
Mingo Central hands Sissonville first loss
The Miners (3-1) outscored the Class AA No. 7 Indians, 20-7, after halftime to pull away for a 33-14 win.
Drew Hatfield caught eight passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns in the win, while Mingo Central quarterback Daylin Goad threw for 312 yards.
Parker Shamblin finished with 258 passing yards and two touchdowns for Sissonville, which fell to 3-1.
Keyser dominates in another lopsided win
The Class AA No. 3 Golden Tornado improved to 4-0 with a 49-0 win over No. 12 Weir.
One week after the Red Riders (2-2) won a thriller over Frankfort in overtime, they ran into one of the state’s most dominant units and it proved to be too much.
Keyser shutout its opponent for a third straight week and has allowed a mere seven points this season.
The Golden Tornado led, 28-0, at the half.
Cabell Midland edges Hurricane
Jakob Caudill capped a late 98-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, sending Class AAA No. 1 Cabell Midland to a come-from-behind 20-16 win over Hurricane.
Caudill reached the end zone with 2:44 to play and the Knights (4-0) hung on from there.
Hurricane (1-3) had broken a 13-all tie with a 22-yard field goal from Cole Bumgarner at the 8:04 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Redskins took a 13-7 lead into the fourth quarter, but Palmer Reggio returned a block punt 40 yards for a TD to pull Cabell Midland even.
Musselman no match for Tuscarora (Va.)
The Class AAA No. 2 Applemen were soundly beaten, 35-0, in an out-of-state matchup.
Tuscarora, Va. (3-1) produced the game’s first points on a touchdown pass and doubled its advantage on Ethan Gick’s 3-yard TD run for a 14-0 halftime lead.
Gick fired an 18-yard TD pass to Ryan Upp in the third quarter, and the Huskies’ defense continued to stifle the Applemen (3-1) throughout the night.
Landers sharp in Capital’s win over Parkersburg
Quarterback Evan Landers completed all but three of his 21 passing attempts for nearly 200 yards to key Class AAA No. 7 Capital to a 35-13 win over No. 7 Parkersburg.
Landers threw touchdown passes of 51 and 39 yards to K.J. Taylor and 14 yards to Chance Knox.
The Cougars (3-1) got big plays on the ground as well, with Shawn James reaching the end zone on an 85-yard run and Tay Calloway scoring on a 68-yard run in the second half.
Bryson Singer had both Parkersburg (2-2) touchdowns and finished with 126 rushing yards and 117 passing yards in the loss.
Spring Valley stops South Charleston
One week after suffering a loss to Cabell Midland, Class AAA No. 11 Spring Valley responded with a 33-6 win over No. 15 South Charleston.
Cole Diamond rushed for two first-half touchdowns for the Timberwolves (3-1), while David Livingston fired TD passes of 50 and 41 yards to Corbin Page.
Romeo Dunham accounted for a second-half rushing touchdown for the Black Eagles (1-3), but they never got any closer than 26-6.
Nate Ellis’ 28-yard touchdown pass to Zane Porter concluded the scoring in the contest.
Class AAA: Cabell Midland (4-0), Martinsburg (4-0), Parkersburg South (4-0)
Class AA: Fairmont Senior (4-0), Keyser (4-0), Oak Glen (4-0), Wyoming East (3-0), Man (4-0), Poca (4-0), Liberty Raleigh (3-0)
Class A: Pendleton County (3-0), Ritchie County (3-0), Doddridge County (3-0), Tygarts Valley (3-0)
MetroNews Chick-fil-A Game of the Week broadcast
We have a battle of unbeaten teams Thursday, September 26 as Ritchie County visits Doddridge County. Check out the broadcast in live HD video from Cline Stansberry Stadium at wvmetronews.com.
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WHEELING, W.Va. — Playing with a purpose on both sides of the ball, Class AAA No. 7 Wheeling Park had its way with No. 5 University in the Patriots’ 42-6 win Friday at Wheeling Island Stadium.
“They have more experience than us, more size than us, more speed than us and flat out more talent than us,” Hawks’ coach John Kelley said. “They have a great football team and I really believe they’ll be here in December. If not, they’ll be right there in the semifinals. This is one of the best teams they’ve had since their (2015) state championship team.”
Wheeling Park (3-1) took complete control of the contest in the opening quarter.
After a dropped pass on fourth down prevented the Patriots from scoring on their opening series, Wheeling Park poured it on UHS.
Alex Dunlevy’s 46-yard touchdown pass to Carson Namack got Park on the scoreboard 5:08 into the action, and the advantage grew to 7-0 following the first of six point-after kicks by Andrew Glass.
Dunlevy connected with Shaheed Jackson for a 33-yard touchdown pass on the Patriots’ next series, giving them two offensive touchdowns in a span of 2 minutes for a 14-0 lead.
Both early touchdown passes were short throws with a bulk of the yardage after the catch.
“We want to make defenses have to defend the whole field both horizontally and vertically,” Park coach Chris Daugherty said. “We try to make sure that all gets done early and then from that point, we try to pick what they give us. Tonight, to their credit, they took some things away, but they gave up some things to do it.”
The Patriots needed only 1:42 to go on top 21-0, as University (2-2) quarterback Joseph McBee had his pass intercepted by Hunter Nixon, who returned it 37 yards to the end zone with 3:10 to play in the first quarter.
“They just killed us on the offensive and defensive lines,” Kelley said. “I think he lost his confidence when he threw the pick six and went downhill after that.”
UHS got into Wheeling Park territory on its next series, but McBee’s pass fell incomplete on fourth-and-6.
The Hawks did manage to block a 27-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter to keep the deficit at 21, but Tim McCabe sacked McBee on a fourth down play in Patriots’ territory to get Park the ball back.
On the first play from scrimmage of the Patriots’ ensuing series, Dunlevy tossed his third and final touchdown of the night — this one covering 65 yards to Steven Mitchell for a 28-0 lead.
“Dunlevy makes the whole thing go and he’s smart,” Daugherty said. “We put a lot on his table. He makes checks at the line, he’s reading almost everything we do. He has to read the backside of the defense and signal that. He does so much for us. Without him, I don’t know that we could get it all done.”
Although Dunlevy was intercepted by Jaeden Hammack in the end zone later in the half, the Patriots continued to add to their lead.
Rapheal Bradley finished off an eight play, 70-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run 28 seconds before halftime to send the Patriots into the break with a 35-0 lead.
Mitchell’s 1-yard TD run on Park’s opening possession of the second half stretched the lead to 42-0, before UHS scored on a 26-yard run by Eliki Barner at the 2:25 mark of the third quarter.
Wheeling Park won its second straight since a 36-33 loss to St. Clairsville, Ohio, in Week 2. The Patriots have now scored 140 points in their three wins.
“They don’t care who gets the ball and right now, they’re all capable of making a play,” Daugherty said of his skill position players. “That’s hard on a high school defense.”
Things don’t get any easier for UHS next week as it’ll welcome defending Class AA champion Fairmont Senior.
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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Martinsburg scored 31 unanswered points to extend their state-record win streak to 46 games, defeating Academy Park of Sharon Hill, Pa. 45-8. The Knights entered the game with a 4-0 record and they were ranked 9th in Pennsylvania Class 5A by MaxPreps.
“They’re a good football team and the score really does not indicate how close the game was,” said Martinsburg head coach Dave Walker. “We had to fight for everything we got and they’ve got a nice team and they’re going to win a lot of games. So it was a huge win for us.”
Senior quarterback Elijah Banks tossed three touchdown passes and ran for another score. His 12-yard touchdown run gave the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
“I see him getting better each week,” Walker said. “He made some really nice throws tonight and he has been playing really well. He is doing what we expected.”
Academy Park slowed the Martinsburg rushing attack in the first half, But junior running back Naieem Kearney found the end zone three times in the second half.
“First half, they had seven guys in the box and just made it difficult to try to run the football,” Walker said. “Once they loosened up, we were able to find a few seams. We feel like we are pretty balanced and we will do whatever we need to do to be successful.”
A Barry Brown 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter pulled the Knights within six points at 14-8. But those were the only points the Bulldog defense allowed. Senior Teddy Marshall intercepted three passes for MHS.
“Teddy is a great player on both sides of the ball,” Walker said. “We probably don’t get him the ball on offense. We only have one ball and we’ve got a bunch a great players. Defensively, he has a knack for the ball and he is smart player and knows what he is doing and just keeps making plays for us.”
Jarod Bowie reeled in six passes in the first half, including a 38-yard scoring strike in the first quarter. Malakai Brown also found the end zone on a 27-yard reception in the second quarter to make the score 21-8 at halftime.
The Bulldogs (4-0) will now face eastern panhandle rivals Hedgesville, Washington and Spring Mills over the next week before visiting their final out-of-state opponent Salem, Va. on October 18th.
“There’s times we need to have more of a sense of urgency,” Walker said. “Sometimes we are walking around when we shouldn’t be walking around. I worry about complacency a little bit. It is easy to start thinking about how good you are rather than getting better. That being said, they are teenagers. That’s our job as coaches to stay on them. I definitely think there are areas we can improve in.”
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If you’re looking for the West Virginia-Kansas football game, put down the remote control. This one won’t be found via conventional viewing methods.
Saturday’s game is West Virginia’s first foray into Big 12 Now, the Big 12’s new partnership with the ESPN+ online streaming service. The channel is not part of any standard cable package and available only with a $4.99 a month subscription through ESPN.com.
In the long term, conference officials hope to put the league in a better position than peers like the Pac-12 and ACC who have had trouble getting certain cable providers to pick up their networks. In the short term, though, fans will undoubtedly have some headaches adjusting to the new service.
The Big 12 opener between the Mountaineers (2-1) and Jayhawks (2-1) is a surprisingly appealing matchup. Both teams rebounded from disappointing Week 2 performances for emphatic wins in Week 3. Kansas won its first road game over a Power 5 opponent since 2008, bouncing Boston College 48-24. Meanwhile, West Virginia smashed North Carolina State 44-27 after sitting near the bottom of the country in rushing through its first two games.
West Virginia at Kansas
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