2016: Year in review


By Heather Kinder - [email protected]



Many things have hit the headlines of the Coal Valley News throughout the 2016 year. However, here are a few stories which hit headlines a few times in the paper or were seen over a multitude of media outlets as they unfolded.

Hobet site “teased” to businesses

By Owen Wells

MADISON, W.Va. — During an interview with the Coal Valley News Feb. 11, Kris Mitchell, director of the Boone County Community and Economic Development Corporation (EDC), stated plans are moving ahead for the eventual development for the former Hobet mine site.

During his Jan. 13 State of the State Address, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the development of the property on the border of Boone and Lincoln counties.

Boone County Schools losing 77 jobs

By Owen Wells

MADISON — An upcoming move to cut 77 positions in the Boone County School system coupled with the recent approval of a program of yearly raises for the county’s superintendent has caused a furor among parents and reportedly led to scenes of children crying in the halls of a local high school.

In an interview with the Coal Valley News, Boone County Superintendent of Schools John Hudson admitted the optics and timing of the issues are unfortunate; however, Hudson noted systemic issues related to population loss and declining tax revenues are the at the heart of the county’s financial problems.

Veteran’s Memorial vandalized in Madison

By Heather Kinder

MADISON, W.Va. – Two locations were vandalized with paint during the night of Thursday, Sepember 29.

Paint was first found on Scott High School’s field house.

As law enforcement made their routine patrols, they discovered more paint had also been thrown on the veteran’s memorial at the end of the walk bridge in Madison.

Fire destroys country club

By Heather Kinder

MADISON, W.Va – Riverview Country Club was destroyed by a fire Tuesday, November 8.

Riverview Country Club is located on Route 17 in Madison.

Captain Joey Smith from the Madison Fire Department said the call came in around 9:45 p.m.

Smith said, “The fire endangered no other buildings or lives, and was quickly deemed ‘under control’ within a short time after arriving on scene.”

School closures delayed

By Heather Kinder

FOSTER, W.Va – The Boone County Board of Education had a special work session meeting Monday, November 14 at 5 p.m.

However, many decisions were made at this meeting.

The Board of Education has chosen to keep Whitesville Elementary School, Van Jr Sr High School and Van Elementary School open for another year.

Toddler found wandering in street

By Heather Kinder

MADISON, W.Va — A man driving south along Route 85 on his way home around 3 a.m. Wenesday, December 7 reportedly almost hit a toddler in the road wearing only a diaper.

Later that day, the child’s parents, Stephen Brian Ball, 36 and Norrieca Anne Bryant, 25 both from Madison, W.Va were arrested.

According to the criminal complaints filed for Ball and Bryant, they were arrested on felony child abuse charges.

Husband accused of abusing wife for hours

By Heather Kinder

GORDON, W.Va – Kevin Woodrum, 43 was arrested Sunday, December 11 on four felony charges and two misdemeanor charges.

According to the criminal complaint Woodrum was allegedly arrested on charges of malicious wounding, sexual assault, kidnaping, strangulation, domestic battery and domestic assault.

Inmate escaped, later captured

By Heather Kinder

MADISON, W.Va – Justin Keith Branham, 33 from Alum Creek, W.Va reportedly escaped custody from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Monday, December 12 at approximately 12:20 p.m..

Chief Deputy Chad Barker said, “He was being transported on foot back from the courthouse to our holding facility.”

“The inmate ran from the officer watching him,” said Barker. “He was able to get one of his shackles loose and run when they were in between buildings.”

By Heather Kinder

[email protected]

Heather Kinder is a reporter for the Coal Valley News. She can be contacted at 304-369-1165 ext. 1661, [email protected] or on Twitter @CVN_hkinder

Heather Kinder is a reporter for the Coal Valley News. She can be contacted at 304-369-1165 ext. 1661, [email protected] or on Twitter @CVN_hkinder

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