Panhandle Live is an hour long journey across West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. The area's longest running local talk program offering relevant news, politics, and information to listeners. Host and WEPM news director Hans Fogle has distinguished himself in the news industry and brings that knowledge to the conversation as he discusses the issues of the day with local officials, state leaders, business members, and anyone else contributing to life in Berkeley, Morgan, and Jefferson Counties.
Through Panhandle Live, Fogle provides his listeners with unequaled access to people making the news happen from outside their front doors to the capitol dome in Charleston. It's a daily combination of journalism, fun, and local flavor.
Please Note:The opinions, analysis, and/or speculation expressed on wepm.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or labled as such do not represent the opinons or policies of Prettyman Broadcasting.
Wow, where to begin. We're playing catch up after a busy weekendand a hurricane! Let me start by thanking everyone who came on the air with us during Hurricane Sandy to update listeners about what was happening around the Eastern Panhandle. Thanks also to officials who worked to get information to us so we could share it with the public. As some have said, things went pretty well considering what could have happened so we have much to be grateful for now.
On Friday, Oct. 26th we spoke with Democratic candidate for the 2nd Congressional District Howard Swint. You can check out his campaign online.
We also spoke with the republican candidate for governor in West Virginia Bill Maloney. He explains his stance on the recent endorsements for his opponent from various coal groups. Check out his website for more.
Jefferson County Commissioner Lyn Widmyer also made an appearance Friday. She gave us an update on her end of the Panhandle.
Monday, Oct. 29th, was Hurricane Sandy day! We got updates from emergency responders dealing with the situation first hand and kept listeners up to date on what was happening. We did catch up with the folks from Panhandle Home health to talk about their upcoming Holiday Gala on November 10th.
We also visited with Mountain party Gubernatorial Candidate Jesse Johnson. He is making another bid for office. Check out the interview here and learn more about his campaign online.
Tuesday Oct. 30th we heard more about the aftermath of Sandy and sat down with Republican candidate for the Berkeley County Council Jim Barnhart. He gave his take on the issues and spoke about why he'd like to serve. He does not have a website for his campaign but he did offer his phone number if you'd like to learn more 304 995 4717.
We also got an update on some early voting closures from Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. Check the early voting numbers at the Secretary of State's website.
And we capped it off chatting with West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. He gave an update on state wide efforts to deal with Sandy and gave us an update on his campaign for reelection. The democrat touted some of the positive things going on and was reluctant to address the negative.
And finally today, Halloween, we chatted with Republican candidate for the WV House of Delegates Elliot Simon. He gave us a great run down on how the political system works. He also told listeners a lot about where he sees some room for improvement here in the Mountain State. Check out his website to learn more.
And House candidate on the democratic side John Maxey stopped by as well. He gave us some insights into how he sees the issues and spoke against what he deems negative campaign ads. Check out his campaign online.
And Bryan Clark from the Spirit of Jefferson was in studio. He had some figures to share and it was interesting to see how much money is being spent on races here in West Virginia! Learn more in this week's Spirit of Jefferson.
Another busy day as we count down to the General Election on Nov. 6th, and now only two months until Christmas! That's why we got right down to business this morning starting with Democratic candidate for the 63rd Delegate District Donn Marshall started us off. Find out why he wants a chance to go to Charleston and how he views some of the big issues facing the state.
Next Deborah Helman with Faith Christian Academy joined us on the Frontier Communications Hotline to talk about their 23rd Annual Benefit Auction. There will be over 400 items auctioned and more than 35 door prizes will be given out. The kitchen opens at 4:00 pm! All the details about the event are available at FCA's website.
Michelle Cook and Rick Nappi from the VA Medical Center were next. They shared some important information about the 5th Annual Hero Haven Homeless Veteran Stand Down coming up Nov. 10th from 9:00am to 2:00pm at the VA Medical Center. There are a slew of opportunities for homeless veterans to get help with housing, health, employment and more. There is even transportation available. Learn more at the VA Medical Center website or call (304) 263-0811 ext. 3835 OR ext. 4553. You can also call the toll free number at 1-800-817-3807.
And Health Officer at the Berkeley County Health Department Dr. Diana Gaviria brought in the Sanitarian Supervisor Jennifer Beamer to talk bedbugs. Turns out these critters are still around and you may not even know you have them! There are a few ways to get rid of the pests, but as Jennifer explains, it is best left to the pros! Listen in and get all the details and check out the Health Department online.
We had a busy day! Craig Blair with the Berkeley County Republican Club started us off talking about a mailer the group has sent out to people all over the county. It has some information on the republican candidates up for election this year. I asked Craig, who is a candidate in the 15th Senatorial District himself, why the mailer did not identify itself on the front as being only republican. He said it was an effort to get more people to read it and learn what the slate of GOP candidates has to offer. You can also get Craig's take on straight ticket voting! Learn more about republicans in Berkeley County at the club's website.
Bryan Clark was in to take us behind the headlines with the Spirit of Jefferson. He previewed the latest edition ad its special 2012 Election Insert. Pick it up on news stands today. We also chatted with democratic candidate for the House of Delegates Stephen Skinner about his campaign. He explained some of his goals and highlighted the differences between he and his opponent. Learn more at
Republican Candidte for Attorney General Patrick Morissey joined us on the Frontier Communications Hotline. He had some criticism for incumbent Democrat Darrell McGraw. The Jefferson County resident has been critical of McGraw from the start, but spelled out his reasons today. Listen in and see what your take is, and visit Morissey's website to learn mroe about the campaign.
Republican running in the 16th Senate district Jim Ruland came by this morning as well. He talked a bit about himself and why he wanted to reenter the political arena. Find out what he wants to accomplish and how he'd like to do it. You can follow up more at Ruland's website.
And we spoke about a raffle that will benefit CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of the Eastern Panhandle. Executive Director Vicki Barnard joined us to talk about a raffle for a chance to meet LeAnn Rimes! The money raised is so important to CASA and the work they do. The drawing is coming up Nov. 8th at the Purple Iris. There are also volunteer opportunities all the time at CASA! Get involved today!
(NOTE TO SELF: Press “publish” when blogging. Being able to access it makes it much better for readers!)
Phil Smith with the United Mine Workers Union joined co-host John Unger and me to talk about the group's endorsements of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in the upcoming general election. The Charleston Gazette reported that republicans are not pleased and have begun to fire back at the UMWA and other coal groups who have given the nod to the democrats in the race. Mr. Smith talks about how the endorsements were made and the significance.
Texie Roden with Shepherd University is in studio to talk about Military Appreciation Day and the Wounded Warriors Project. She and the staff at Shepherd have been gearing up for the big day on November 3rd. Some big opportunities ahead of the football game that day and all to benefit the Wounded Warriors!
Berkeley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster joined us next. He is facing a crowded field in the General Election. The Democrat is running for a second term in office this morning and defended some of the criticisms made in the campaign. You can find out more at his website.
And Lead Tax Partner with Cox Hollida Price LLP Tony Price came by the studio to talk about some changes to taxes that will impact all of us in the months to come. He also spoke about what might happen if Congress takes no action in the weeks after the election. Get a complete run down of tax issues at the CHP website.
John Unger co-hosted the program today as we welcomed Dr. John Clark. He as a free seminar happening in Charles Town at the Inn At Charles Town. The Natural Remedies Health Training Program has some interesting concepts you may be interested in learning more about.
It's national Bus Safety Week and Berkeley County Schools are stretching it into the whole month! Director of transportation Terry Forrest and Communications Coordinator Leah Daniel were in studio to talk about their efforts. Remember, stop sign and flashing red lights means STOP! It sounds like common sense, but a lot of people ignore it every year. More information is available on the school system website.
We were then joined by Dr. Peter Checkovich and Anne Shipway from Blue Ridge CTC for an update on their programs. They are continuing to expand program offerings as they settle into their new home on Apple harvest Drive. It is an impressive facility if you have not had the chance to check it out already.
And something likely to make news this week. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Senator Joe Manchin both have been endorsed by business and labor groups, including the state Chamber of Commerce, West Virginia AFL-CIO, the West Virginia Coal Association and the United Mine Workers union. Now some say their republican opponents, Bill Maloney and John Raese respectively, are trying to discredit these groups. Joshua Sowards, Raese's campaign communications director, told theCharleston Gazette, "The AFL-CIO, an explicit campaign arm of President Obama's Democrat Party, abandoned West Virginia workers years ago. Find out more this week.
This morning we welcomed Thomas Rodd back on the program. He shared some very interesting information regarding the history of West Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle. Turns out the panhandle has always been a very important part of the state. He highlighted a play at Shepherd University featuring J.R. Clifford, an African American resident of Martinsburg who had an historic role. Learn more about the J.R. Clifford Project to see exaclty how important this man was!
Ken Collinson and Jane Yearout stopped in to chat about the Berkeley County Democratic Association. I am always interested to find out what role the party faithful play in an election. Their big dinner is set for this Thursday. Tickets are available at their website.
Jefferson County Commissioner Frances Morgan in studio to make her case for reelection. The incumbent Democrat is facing a rematch against Republican Jane Tabb. You can learn more about Commissioner Morgan's positions at her website.
We welcomed Chief of Voluntary Services at the VA medical Center Dottie Hough in studio. She has been there for more than 40 years! She shared a lot of great information about the important role volunteers play and explained how anyone can help make a difference.
Orientation for Volunteers is held on a monthly basis – at 1 pm in room 1B114 at the medical center – call Dottie or Tricia at 304-263-0811 Ext. 3309/3310 – or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Patricia.email@example.com
Vince Wilson, Parapsychologist and Hypnotist joined us to talk about Halloween at the Haunted Cottage in Harpers Ferry. Vince has been working to make haunting a big business for the Eastern Panhandle. All month the Haunted Cottage has been entertaining with ghost tours, paranormal work shops and more. All the details are on their website.
And Michael Whalton joined us from the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. It's time for the West Virginia Neighborhood Investment Program. This is a project of the West Virginia Development Office and it provides State Tax Credits to individuals and business who support nonprofit organizations that work to help distressed neighborhoods, provide assistance to low-income residents, and fund educational opportunities for individuals with financial needs. The Community Foundation applied for and received a substantial number of these NIP tax credits and are working with area donors to help put them to the highest and best use. Credits are limited! Please contact them quickly if you’re interested. We award credits on a first-come, first-serve basis and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Call Michael Whalton at 304-264-0353 or email mwhalton@EWVCF.org to discuss your charitable vision and to find out more—and reserve your credits.
Bryan Clark was in to take us behind the headlines with the Spirit of Jefferson. Find out what potential impact allowing a new casino in Maryland could have on Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. The latest Spirit hit news stands today and you can also check it out online.
Bryan stuck around to talk about the second debate between President Barack Obama and his
Republican challenger, former Gov. Mitt Romney. The two spared in a town hall style debate lastnight. Bryan and I went over some of the contentious issues and did some fact checking. It may shock you to learn that both had a few exaggerations! Check out some of those with FactCheck.org, a self proclaimed non-partisan group that mostly has rebuttals to what it considers inaccurate, misleading, or false claims by politicians.
And we heard from Paul Espinosa, the republican candidate for the 66th Delegate District. Paul shared some of his own experiences and explained why he would like to serve in the house. He also spoke about his values and where he sees the potential to save some money at the state level. You can learn more about his platform on his campaign website and by listening to the link below.
The VA/Hospice Annual Open House coming up November 7th and we got a sneak peak in our Hospice IN the Panhandle segment. Misty Chicchirichi, RN, MSN, Hospital Liaison-Hospice of the Panhandle and Hospice/Palliative Care Case Manager Ann Crispino joined us to talk about what has come from the collaboration between the VA and Hospice of the Panhandle. The event is free and runs from 8:00 that morning through 5:00 that evening. Learn more at the Hospice of the Panhandle website!
And Bonnie Bell stopped by to talk about a Breast Cancer Awareness Month Event coming up October 27th sponsored by her nonprofit organization Sisters United. Medical professionals from the area will speak at the Inn at Charles Town and share some of the latest medical breakthroughs and innovations regarding breast cancer. The event begins at 11:00am and runs until 2:00pm. For more information you may call Bonnie at (304) 263-6128.
Republican candidate for Berkeley County Council Elaine Mauckw as with us this morning to talk about her bid for re-election. She says there is more to do and touted a few of the things she feels are better after her two years in office. Learn more about her and her campaign with a phone call at (304) 702-3779 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also chatted with Democratic incumbent Natalie Tennant. She wants to serve another term in office and spent some time this morning answering some of the accusations leveled in the campaign. She also explained what has been accomplished in her first term. Learn more at her website.
And Martinsburg mayor George Karos and City Manager Mark Baldwin stopped by to talk some fun and some city business. Of course Apple Harvest is here. Both Mayor Karos and Mr. Baldwin seemed excited to see many of those festivities brought to the roundhouse this year. They also talked about the necessity to create a new wastewater treatment facility for the city. They just floated a bond for the engineering phase. They said the schedule is tight, but the city should be in compliance with new EPA regulations by the 2015 deadline.
The Martinsburg High School Good Times Show Choir is already making apple dumplings for this years Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival! Good Times Booster Co-President Sherri Janelle and choir members Katherine Janelle, Kacy Schaffer, Gab Tabit and Ben Frye were in this morning after getting the dumplings started last night. The sale officially begins tomorrow (10/13) at 1pm in the cafeteria of Martinsburg High School. Be sure to look for the dumplings throughout the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival as it gets started next week. They are just $7 for two!
Teresa McCabe stopped in for an update on what's happening at West Virginia University Hospitals-East. Some construction across the street came up as well as the opening of urgent care in Jefferson County! Also, they have a lot happening for Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Check out everything at their website and sign up for discounted mammogram clinics.
And Pat McMillan and Marie Galazzi were in to talk affordable housing. Marie works with the Partnership for Affordable Housing in Charles Town. A lot of great services! Learn more online.
West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin joined us for Panhandle Live this morning. He was on hand for the unveiling of the state's new new business court division. He spoke about the impact the court could have on West Virginia's reputation with business. He also commended the judges involved, including 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes, the chairman of the newly created division, who are taking on the task for free.
Republican candidate for Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt joined us via the Frontier Communications Hotline. He had some news regarding endorsements he has received from democrats and criticism of his democratic opponent, Senator Senator Walt Helmick, for not openly stating who he would vote for in the upcoming Presidential Election. He went on to say that it was more about what an individual candidate would be able to do rather than who they voted for, but did seem to think it was bad for Helmick to support President Obama. Find out more about Mr. Leonhardt and his website.
Rhonda Singer and Suzanne Potter joined us to preview the upcoming Potter's Bowl. November 4th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm the community will have a chance to come and support the Senior Center's meal program and have a great time, too! Learn more in the interview and at the senior center website. Tickets for the event at just $30!
And we wrapped up talking with co-director of the play “Speak the Word Only”, Dr. Joyce Webb. Dr. Webb brought the play write along as well, Tom Trumble. Mr. Trumble spoke about his experiences in Vietnam and described the importance of being able to share experiences with other veterans. His book “Time to Go Home” took him four decades to complete and eventually evolved into this stage performance. You can get tickets by calling 304-876-3074 or 202-609-9763. The play runs October 19th and 20th at 8:00pm and October 21st at 2:00pm at Shepherdstown Opera House.
West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis joined us this morning. She spoke about the opening of the West Virginia Business Court Division headquarters in Martinsburg tonight (Oct. 10.). Davis spoke about why the court was established and how it will work. She said she thinks it will make a big difference for businesses operating in West Virginia or who may be thinking of doing business here. Davis briefly touched on her re-election campaign at the end of the interview.
Bryan Clark also took us behind the headlines with the Spirit of Jefferson. There is an update on U.S. 340 and the Ryan's Glen subdivision in the latest issue. Mike Brust owns a home in the subdivision. He spoke about the community's efforts to either stop the road from coming through their neighborhood or at least prevent someone else from being in their position. Mike emphasized that they are not anti-340. They would just like to have had some warning. The public comment period for the plan continues through Oct. 14. You can submit a comment at the DOT website.
We previewed “A New Home for Liberty,” a play coming up October 20th and 21st at Shepherd University. Thomas Rodd with the J.R. Clifford Project joined us to talk about the show that tells the story of West Virginia's founding through the eyes of Martinsburg attorney J.R. Clifford. Find out more about this play and the historical character at the J.R. Clifford Project website or call to reserve free tickets at (304) 345-7663.
We also visited with democratic candidate for Berkeley County Council Mark Barney. Mark shared some of his ideas for saving money in the county budget. He also addressed concerns that have risen about his full time job as a teacher in Berkeley County. Learn more abut the campaign at his website.
We wrapped up with Jim Smith. He volunteers a lot of his time at the Dillon Farm Museum. This Saturday and Sunday (October 13th and 14th) from 9 to 5 will be the annual Fall Festival. Jim spoke about the importance of the museum and shared some details about new additions to their displays. Check it out this weekend right across from James Rumsey off of Route 9.
We started the show today with an update from Stefani Pierson, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle. She spoke about the club's work to keep kids educational opportunities going beyond the classroom and shared a statistic that 52% of club alumni say their experiences there “saved their lives.” The club has an individual giving campaign underway. To learn more, check out their website.
Ken Mattson and historian Trudy Slater came by to recap Saturday's celebration of the 225th Anniversary of Gerrardstown. The celebration continues at 10:00am this Saturday with reenactments, live entertainment, food and a lot of history! Trudy spoke about the historic nature of Gerrardstown and lamented some new developments she fears may threaten that. North Mountain Shale, LLC. Has already begun some work on quarrying at North Mountain. A hearing later this month would determine whether or not they can begin in earnest.
And Katherine Ryan with the Ryan Film Institute was with us to preview the annual Dinner with Dracula fund raiser. Ryan said this year's show has all the favorite elements returning including great food, a cast of spooky characters and attractions like 50/50 and silent auction. This year she also added a mystery theater to the mix. Guests who can not make it to dinner can buy dessert tickets for a later start to the evening. The dinner is coming up Saturday, October 20th. Check out the website for more information.
Berkeley County Council President Bill Stubblefield joined us this morning. He addressed the issue of funding the regional jail. Council members discuss the continued increase at their meeting yesterday. He also spoke about the progress being made with the new public safety building and even hinted at the future plans of the CVS building.
We also caught Main Street Martinsburg Executive Director Randy Lewis, which is hard right now. This is a busy season for Main Street! Tomorrow (Oct. 6) from 2pm to 4pm is the 6th Annual Chili Cook Off. Lewis said 20 people are entering and the public is encouraged to come out and try this year's recipes. There will also be vendors, live music and beer. It is also the day for scarecrow judging. And soon down town becomes one of the main staging areas for events surrounding the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival.
Ken Mattson joined us to preview this weekends 225th anniversary celebration in Gerrardstown. This Saturday (Oct. 6) and next Saturday (Oct. 13) there will be all sorts of historical reenactments, vendors, and other activities for the whole family. Information available by calling Kevin at (571) 271-3858.
And Dr. David Moran joined us from Shepherd University. He is a candidate for governor with the Libertarian Party of West Virginia. He gave us a bit of his back ground and spoke about the challenges of not being a republican or democrat in our political system. He also shared his website and a link to learn more about the Libertarian agenda.
We had a lot of fun today. State Apiarist with the WV Department of Agriculture Paul Poling stopped in to talk about the state's honey bee population. Things are looking up after some severe declines in recent years. He brought Les Messer, owner and operator of Mountain Meadows Bee Company along to offer a first hand account of what has been happening. The Department of Agriculture has a new book for anyone interested in taking up bee keeping as a hobby or even as a business.
Kevin Knowles and Tom Tucker came by as well. They were promoting this year's Bob Elmer Celebrity Sports Breakfast. It will be at the Holiday Inn on October 20th.
And that same day State Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass will be in town for the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival. He'll be honoring some people in this area out at the Inwood Farmer's Market as part of an event they are hosting.
Starting this off e have a CORRECTION! The Tastes and Sounds of the Town event we spoke about is actually OCTOBER 13th, not this Saturday. But we did not start there this morning. Bryan Clark took us behind the headlines with the Spirit of Jefferson today. He spoke about a couple of legal battles going on, one involving the County Clerk. He also gave us a preview of the Spirit's coverage of last night's (10/2/12) U.S. Senate debate at Shepherd University. Check out the Spirit of Jefferson online and on new stands now.
Next Vicki Shean and Pam Neely stopped by to give us all the details on Tastes and Sounds of the Town. It will be 6pm Saturday OCTOBER 13th at the Clarion in Shepherdstown. Tickets are available on their website and by calling Vicki at (304) 724-6091 ext. 228. It is being hosted by our very own Rona from 97.5 WLTF!!!
And RN Marian Morrison came in to talk women's health. We have been talking about that for a year now! It all started with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We got some more great tips about mammograms, self breast exams and more today. Don;t forget to get more information from the Berkeley County Health Department with how to check, when to check, help with cost and more! (304) 263-5131.
We got started this morning with David Melton from the Social Security Administration. He told us all about Disability benefits. I was pleased to learn that there are incentives to get folks back to work, as well as opportunities for them to do so. Find out more at their website, or call them at 1-800-325-0778.
Tina Dorsey looks ready for the big-mini fair this weekend! War memorial Park will be the scene as various groups and organizations come out to present all sorts of fun events for kids. There will also be a slew of their favorite characters on hand. It's this Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm at War Memorial Park. It will benefit CCAP/Loaves and Fishes, the Salvation Army Angel Tree, and the troops. You can get some more details about the Lady Appleseeds at their website, along with details about Saturday's mini-fair!
We had a full house with the Full Circle Theater. Laura Richards Bakin, Diana Jurand, Brian McDonugh and Rudy Bakin spoke about the Young Actors Theater Lab (YATL), a youth program that they hold throughout the year. The website has all sorts of information about what your child could learn from the experience. They also previewed their plans for the upcoming adult season at Full Circle. Keep your eyes peeled for details about auditions, tickets and show times at their website as well!
And we wrapped up talking about the Be Hive. October 27th the new organization will open its doors in down town Martinsburg. Robin and Mike Schaeffer joined us to talk about character building and how working as a community can help. Check out the interview and visit their website for more information!
Welcome back! Glad to be back at the blog this morning. We've been making some changes on the program, mainly with timing! We now begin every weekday at 9:00am. That makes for a busy schedule but still full of good information!
This morning Jerry Mayhew stopped by to talk about the impact of the Patient protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or Obamacare. He said that the consequences of some parts of that legislation may make affordable care a bit difficult. Still, it sounds like there is light at the end of the tunnel.
We spoke with Linda McQuaid about Apolloween! The haunted theater kicks off October 5th and runs for six scarey nights! There's also more seasonal fun and some events for those who may not like Halloween. Check it out on their website and in the interview.
Tina Combs gave us the big run down for October and even into November with the Chamber of Commerce. The Community Showcase is coming up next month, along with the chamber's annual dinner. Get the complete listing online.
And we spoke with Marshall DeMeritt from Fargo Insurance. He kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness month this morning. Fargo locations are again collection bras for the third annual Bras for a Cause event to raise money for local Relay for Life Events. You can learn more at their site and by visiting their offices.