Category: News (Page 1 of 3)

Man Arrested in Franklin for 2014 North Carolina Homicide

Early Lynn Isner, Sr.

Early Lynn Isner, Sr., 59, was arrested Sunday in Franklin and is being extradited to North Carolina. Isner is charged, along with his ex-girlfriend, with the murder of his son-in-law, Arwayne Singhal.

In a press release released Wednesday by the Onslow County, N.C. Sheriff’s Office, Singhal’s body was discovered in a grave in a remote pasture area in Richlands, N.C. He had been reported missing in March of 2014, and investigators suspected foul play. The trail ran cold in the ensuing three years, but recent information that came to light led detectives to the body’s location.

Detectives traveled to Franklin on Sunday to interview Isner, and ultimately made the arrest. According to the press release, in addition to Isner, authorities arrested Jacqueline Joan Hasley, 74, of Maysville, N.C. in connection with the murder.

Isner is charged with one open count of murder, and Hasley is charged with accessory after the fact to murder. She is currently being held on a $250,000.00 secured appearance bond.

The Onslow Sheriff’s office can be found here.

Swilled Dog Hard Cider Earns Awards at Largest International Cider Competition

Swilled Dog Hard Cider, a West Virginia hard cider company that launched in January, has achieved international recognition for four of its cider varieties.

The family-owned company, which prides itself on crafting refreshing, crisp hard apple ciders, recently became an award winning cider company. In April, Swilled Dog entered GLINTCAP (Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition), the largest cider competition in the world.

“We competed against the biggest cider companies in the world,” cider maker and co-owner Jill Gallaher said. “And we are thrilled to be recognized alongside them and even above them in some cases.”

The limited edition West Virginia Scrumpy earned Silver in the Heritage Cider- Dry category. All of the apples in this cider were donated from West Virginia residents and the company donates
100% of the proceeds to local, West Virginia charities. Granny’s Gold, Swilled Dog’s Winter/Spring seasonal also earned Silver in the Specialty Cider and Perry category. Two of Swilled Dog’s Flagship ciders, Bunny Slope and Walk the Dog earned Bronze in the Hopped Cider and Heritage Cider- Dry categories, respectively.

Co-owner Brad Glover believes this puts a spotlight on West Virginia.

“I think this shows that West Virginia can make great hard cider and can be a player on the national stage. We’ve received such an amazing response from the people of West Virginia, which has allowed us to scale up and grow very quickly while also giving back to our communities. We want to continue to represent our wonderful state and give the residents of West Virginia a delicious, local product.”

Swilled Dog gives at least 1% of sales to West Virginia charities and is now available statewide after recently partnering with Mountain State Beverage for distribution.

Swilled Dog just released its Summer seasonal, Island Vibes, which is a pineapple apple cider. Caramel Apple, one of the company’s much-anticipated flagship ciders, has also just been released.

“We would have loved to enter these two ciders into the cider competition this year but they weren’t ready in time. We think they would have done very well,” said co-owner Chris Lemmon.

Article from submitted press release

PCHS is Top-Ranked Class A WV School According to U.S News & World Report

U.S. News and World Report has released their annual list of the best high schools, and a familiar name is sitting near the top of the West Virginia list.

Pendleton County Middle/High School is ranked 13th of the top high schools in West Virginia, but is the highest among Class A schools on the list. The report cites a 94% graduation rate and a 14.5 rating for college readiness (35.5 is the high water mark for this rating for West Virginia schools – most schools ranked under 10).

Other high schools in the Potomac Valley Conference were not far behind. Pocahontas County High School ranks just behind Pendleton at 14, East Hardy High School ranks 16th and Petersburg High School ranks #31 (though the rankings are not officially numbered after 21) Moorefield is 70th on the list; however, they are listed with a higher graduation rate,  at 97%.

The calculations for ranking the schools, according to the U.S News and World Report website, list four criteria: Students perform better than expected in their state, disadvantaged students perform better than state average, student graduation rates meet or exceed a national standard, students are prepared for college level coursework.

Pendleton County High School was awarded a bronze medal for their ranking, along with 28 other schools. Only five were awarded a silver metal, and none were given gold.

Introducing Old 55 Magazine

After a year and a half in the works, Old 55 magazine has made its debut.

Conceived while on vacation in Arkansas in October of 2015, Old 55 Magazine is a pictorial publication covering the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia with specific emphasis on Pendleton, Hardy and Grant Counties.

The magazine is a joint project between Pendleton New Media (owner of Pendleton News) and the R.E. Fisher Company, Inc. – the publishers of the Moorefield Examiner.

The magazine will start out as a seasonal publication offered for free to the public. It can also be accessed digitally with a Moorefield Examiner Online Edition subscription, or it can be downloaded from this website at a later time.

The print version of the magazine will be printed in limited quantities, and is trickling out into the public now. An initial sample of 30 was delivered over the weekend – with an additional 250 projected to be delivered by the end of the week.

The first 30 are hand-numbered and do not contain a volume number, which could make them valuable collectors items in the future. Make sure to pick one up today!

Spring Fest is Coming!

13 is a number that stirs superstition, but the Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce is hoping for 13 to be a lucky number.

The 13th annual Spring Fest, scheduled this year for May 5, 6 & 7, offers the same great family fun with a few new additions, thanks to community involvement.

The centerpiece of the festival, the Trophy Trout Rodeo will be held Saturday morning, and features monetary prizes for catching the tagged fish with the lowest number. Young fishers will have the opportunity to catch trout in the spillway that runs parallel to the river.

The boxcar race will ride again. Like last year, the races will be run in the Franklin Elementary School parking lot. In previous years the race had been run on Confederate Road – the steep road that leads to the Pendleton Community Building; however, the road has become too potholed and uneven to run the race safely. Because of the separation from the rest of the festival area, more amenities will be added to the school lot to better accommodate the crowd.

The Spring Fest Dinner has been a part of the festival since the beginning. This year it has a new name, but still has the same great food.

Additions this year, include the seasonal reopening of Warner’s Drive-In, which plans to show The Fate of the Furious, the eighth movie in The Fast and the Furious franchise. The movie will show Friday and Saturday nights, and drive-in will remain open every weekend until September.

For those who would rather catch a great music show, The Country Store Opry will also be performing Saturday night.

Look for a schedule of events soon.

Pendleton County’s Population Continues to Erode

Pendleton County lost 178 residents in 2016, according to data released this week from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Statistics show that the county’s population stands at just over 7,000 at 7,051, dropping from 7,229 in 2015. In addition, the population of the county has dropped 8.4% since 2010, when the number stood at 7,695.

Pendleton County also dropped on the ranking of lowest populated counties in the state, falling from #5 to #3. Only Wirt and Tucker Counties have smaller population, with 5,806 and 6,926 respectively.

If this trend continues, the population of Pendleton County will dip below 7,000 by this July.

The overall statewide trend follows this pattern. According to the Associated Press, 47 of West Virginia’s 55 counties lost population, with the southern coalfield counties and Kanawha County seeing the most significant decreases. Kanawha saw the largest decrease with almost 2,000 leaving the county.

It’s not all bad news as the Eastern Panhandle has seen a steady increase in recent years, mostly because its proximity to the Washington D.C. area.

This story was updated to include the rankings of lowest populated counties.

Warner’s Drive-In Reveals 2017 Schedule

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2, Cars 3, Despicable Me 3. These are just some of the big name movies set to play at Warner’s Drive-In this summer. See the full schedule here.

The drive-in is set to have its first full summer movies season after closing at the end of the season in 2014. Necessary upgrades forced the outdoor theater’s closure.

Last year the business reorganized as a nonprofit and fundraising efforts began in late June. Because of a huge outpouring of support from the community, the drive-in was able to make the required upgrades and open for a truncated season in the autumn of 2016.

According to the drive-in’s Facebook page, more information is being released this week, which will include new fundraising and advertising information for the summer. Stay tuned. This is just the teaser.

Craig Morgan to Headline Tri-County Fair

Country music artist Craig Morgan will be performing at the Tri-County Fair on Friday, Aug. 4, at 8 p.m.

What has been billed as “The Tuesday Night Big Show” is moving to Friday night this year, according to the press release.

Morgan has made a name for himself as a country music icon, TV host, celebrated outdoorsman and patriotic Army veteran. One of country music’s best-loved artists, the Black River Entertainment artist thrills massive crowds with signature hits, including “Bonfire,” Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “International Harvester,” “This Ole Boy,” Wake Up Loving You” and the six week #1, “That’s What I Love About Sunday.”

Craig received one of country music’s highest honors when he was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. In addition to a prolific country music career, he hosts the award-winning TV show “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors,” now in its seventh season on the Outdoor Channel. Prior to becoming a country music star, Morgan spent seventeen years serving in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves. He is an avid supporter of America’s military personnel and a recipient of the 2006 USO Merit Award.

For more information on Craig Morgan, visit and engage with him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Other highlights for the week’s entertainment include The Easters performing for the traditional Sunday evening Gospel Sing.

The traditional Tri-County Fair Queen Pageant on Monday July 30 and a lumberjack competition Tuesday, Aug. 1. Wednesday night after the parade The Little Mountain Boys from Piney River Virginia will be bringing Blue Grass Music to the stage and Thursday evening will have the return of the lawn mower tractor pull.

The demolition derby will be held Friday night after the Morgan performance, as well as Saturday, to close out the fair.

Ah, January: Slushy on Monday, Sunny by Wednesday

A flooded hollow near the Pendleton/Grant County border.

Monday brought a wintry mix that capped off a night of rain, which brought high water to the area Monday afternoon. In the higher elevations, the rain turned to snow, making the mountain roads slick and impassable in some areas. At one point, Route 33 was closed on Shenandoah Mountain and on North Mountain, while Department of Highway crews cleared the roads.

By Wednesday, the mess was a distant memory, with temperatures settling in the low 60s.

Not one to be decisive, the weather returns to January norms tomorrow with rain and possible snow showers Thursday and Friday.

Swilled Dog Hard Cider Launching This Month

Swilled Dog Hard Cider, the 2nd hard cidery in West Virginia, will be opening for business very soon.

The family owned and operated, Franklin-based company blends new age cider techniques with old traditions, will be looking to bring its passion for cider making to the people of West Virginia and beyond.

“We are thrilled to bring our ciders to the marketplace,” said Brad Glover, one of the family’s owners. “This has been something that our family has wanted to do for quite some time. We have received such a great response from everyone, and we can’t wait to launch this brand in West Virginia.”

Swilled Dog is also passionate about making an impact.

Glover said, “It is extremely important for us to give back and use our company as a platform to make a real impact in the communities in which we operate and do business. We love the state of West Virginia and want to make sure we are not only giving financially but also giving our time to the causes that we feel most passionate about supporting. Cider is very important to us, but equally important is being part of the solution and to lead the effort in making a real impact in the state through agriculture, education and championing our favorite animal causes.”

Because of this, Swilled Dog has committed to not only give its time, but to also give at least 1% of its annual sales to local communities and charities. As the company grows, Glover said that this number would easily be increased.

Transparency is also a major focus for the Swilled Dog team.

“We want to make sure we are open and completely transparent about our cider-making process and our ingredients,” cider maker Mike Gallaher stated. “We take great pride in our blending of new cider making techniques and traditional processes we have grown accustom to enjoying. We think that the cider industry has come a long way in bringing new styles to the market. From flavored ciders
using hops and other natural flavorings to making more traditional artisanal ciders, we will continue to embrace the trends that move the category forward. We also make sure that the majority of our apples and juice are sourced directly from local West Virginia orchards and farmers. Even with our own orchards being planted with cider-specific apples, our goal is to only increase our percentage of locally sourced ingredients.”

One of the first ciders Swilled Dog will be selling is its 2016 limited edition West Virginia Scrumpy. All of the apples in this cider were donated directly from generous West Virginia residents. Barry Glover, one of the other family member owners and the company’s Operations Manager couldn’t believe the response.

“It was a lot of knocking on doors. Everyone seemed very excited about the prospect that his or her apples would be used in making a local West Virginia product. Once word got out, we had people calling us to see if we wanted to come look at their apple trees. We couldn’t believe all of the generosity.”

Not only will the company be offering the West Virginia Scrumpy, but their lineup will also feature Apple Bottom, a semi-dry more traditional cider, Bunny Slope, a hopped cider produced to attract the craft beer crowd, Spicy Pumpkin, a cider flavored with actual pumpkin and chai tea spices, and Sweet Caramel, a caramel flavored cider. As they continue to experiment with new flavors and apple blends, plans are in the works for more.

Swilled Dog is planning launch events across the state. Operating without a tasting room, the company will focus on creating fun and exciting events and featuring their products on tap and in bottle at local restaurants and bars.

Brooke Glover, the company’s Director of Sales and Marketing, thinks that West Virginia has a tremendous opportunity to put its mark on the hard cider industry that is experiencing quite a resurgence.

“You only need to look across the state’s borders to see the impact hard cider is making in Pennsylvania and Virginia. As hard cider across the country continues to become a bigger segment of the market, West Virginia needs to catch up and show its heritage for apple cultivation and hard cider. Our focus is to first build our brand in the state but quickly become regionally focused. We have big plans for this brand and look forward to putting our mark on the recovery of the industry across the country.”

To learn more about the company and its launch, events, or more, visit their website at

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