Category: News (Page 2 of 3)

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

The Antler Room Brings an Artisan’s Hub to Franklin

“Enough with the election. Who wants a painting?” Amy Berg posted on her Facebook page last May. The West Virginia primary election had just passed, and she had just lost a hard fought battle for Pendleton County Circuit Clerk by fewer than 300 votes.

Undeterred, a new passion was blossoming in her life, and it was the popularity of her paintings that led to the opening of the Antler Room, which opens Jan. 6.

See the video below for more.

Celebrating the Season: Main Street Magic Featuring Sweets with Santa

The Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce will is sponsoring Main Street Magic featuring Sweets with Santa this Friday, Dec. 9.

The event will be held on Main Street in Franklin in front of the Church of God. If it becomes to cold outside, the event will be held at The Antler Room next door.

Kids are invited to visit with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, and enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies. Kids can also bring their letters to Santa from him to take back to the North Pole.

2016 Election Results

summit_supercube_web_ready1With a 62% turnout, Pendleton County voters turned out in droves to cast their votes. Below are the unofficial results.

Donald J. Trump: 2,388
Hillary Clinton: 726
Gary Johnson: 73
Jill Stein: 18
Darrell Castle: 7

US House of Representatives (2nd District)
Alex Mooney: 2,010
Mark Hunt: 986

Bill Cole: 1,560
Jim Justice: 1,333
David Moran: 54
Charlotte Pritt: 164
Phil Hudok: 38

Secretary of State
Mac Waner: 1,628
Natalie Tennant: 1,130
John S. Buckley: 266

John “JB” McCuskey: 1,668
Mary Ann Claytor: 910
Brenton Ricketts 205

Ann Urling: 1,200
John Perdue: 1,549
Michael Young: 154

Commissioner of Agriculture
Kent Leonhardt: 1,263
Walt Helmick: 1,772
Buddy Guthrie: 77

Attorney General
Patrick Morrisey: 1,797
Doug Reynolds: 1,029
Karl Kolenich: 111
Michael Sharley: 50

State Senator (11th District)
Greg Boso: 1,420
Denise Campbell: 1,512
Bruce Zeno Breuninger: 67

House of Delegates (54th District)
Allen Evans: 761

House of Delegates (54th District)
Total is combined with Hardy County totals
Stephen Smith: 3,332
Isaac Sponaugle: 4,396
Tonya Persinger: 467

Circuit Clerk
Shalee Dunkle Wilburn: 2,537

County Commissioner
Gene McConnell: 2,597

County Clerk
Elise Miller White: 2,413

Prosecuting Attorney
Kevin C. Sponaugle: 2,418

Donald Hedrick 2,269
Kevin “Red Bone” Cross 531
Patrick Hottinger 345

Carolyn Sponaugle: 2,462






8:00 p.m. update:
The polls closed a half hour ago and the ballots from different precincts are gradually dropping their ballots in the courthouse. Stay tuned.

Pendleton County does not release their results until all ballots are counted. It will be a long night before any numbers are posted, but we will update any changes in the process.

Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce Honors the Community

Business and individual members of the Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce gathered Nov. 3 for the annual banquet and awards ceremony. This year’s dinner was held at the Highlands Golf Club at Fisher Mountain east of Franklin.

Tina Metzer was the guest speaker

Tina Metzer was the guest speaker

Tina Metzer of Eastern WV Community & Technical college’s New Biz Launchpad was the guest speaker, and talked of the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in small communities.


Winners in the awards ceremony were:

Small Business of the Year
Mountain Air Heating & Cooling
Other nominees: King Sings & Graphics, The Outhouse LLC

Environmentally Conscious Business
Pendleton County Farmers Market
Other nominees: Rainbow Farms, Pendleton County Health Department

Tourism Development
Warner’s Drive-In


Accepting the award were Mike Mallow, John Connor and Gail Price

Other nominees: Germany Valley Overlook Cabins, The Gendarme

Nonprofit of the Year
Sugar Grove Lions Club

Tom Mitchell accepted the award on behalf of the Sugar Grove Lions Club from Bill Loving, Pendleton Community Bank President

Tom Mitchell accepted the award on behalf of the Sugar Grove Lions Club from Bill Loving, Pendleton Community Bank President

Other nominees: Fort Seybert Heritage Education Association

Cornerstone Award
Summit Community Bank

summitaa Accepting the Cornerstone award was Kristin Dingess, Summit Community Bank Franklin Branch Manager.

Accepting the Cornerstone award was Kristin Dingess, Summit Community Bank Franklin Branch Manager.

Other nominees: Greer Industries, ParMar Stores

Young Professional of the Year
Josh Byers

Josh Byers accepted the Young Professional award from John Paul Hott of Hott Insurance

Josh Byers accepted the Young Professional award from John Paul Hott of Hott Insurance

Other nominees: Stuart Bowers, LeeAnn Shreve, Ryan Boggs

Outstanding Volunteer
Bruce Minor

Bruce Minor accepted the Volunteer Award from Carolyn Simmons

Bruce Minor accepted the Volunteer Award from Carolyn Simmons

Other nominees: Eve Firor, Alan Miller, Nila Bland, Bob & Millie Tuckerman

Leadership Award
Carole Hartman

Carole Hartman received the Leadership award from Grant County Bank President George Ford.

Carole Hartman received the Leadership award from Grant County Bank President George Ford.

Other nominees: Dave Seymour, Carl Warner, Rick Gillespie

Outstanding Businessperson
Mark Lambert
Other nominees: David O’Boyle, Jamie Hudson, Joe Harper

Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. King Seegar
Other nominees: Paul Morton, Buster Waybright, Dyer Anderson


Halterman & Cooper Chosen as Homecoming Royalty

Luke Cooper and Hannah Halterman were chosen as the 2016 Pendleton County High School Homecoming King & Queen.

Other senior homecoming representatives were James Alt, Tanner Carr, Haley Hartman, Morgan Miller, Connor Hedrick and Caitlyn Wimer.

Crown bearers were Jonah Se and Aubrey Simmons.


Hannah Halterman and Luke Cooper with crown bearers Aubrey Simmons and Jonah See.

Look Outside! There’s a Hunter’s Supermoon

Sunday night marks the time of the year when the moon is closest to the Earth. Known as a supermoon, tonight’s moon also has the distinction of being a hunter’s moon.

According to National Geographic, the October moon “rises about 50 minutes later each day, while the October moon rises just 30 minutes later. That offers more light overall during a 24-hour day, which came in handy for traditional hunters.”

Take a look. It’s a bright one.

Wildcats Stuck in the Mud Against #1 East Hardy

Photo and Information Provided by Carl Holcomb, Moorefield Examiner

For the last few seasons the Pendleton County Wildcats have proved to be a spoiler against the Cougars of East Hardy, having beaten the Cougars in close games the past two seasons.

Despite last year’s loss, East Hardy went on to be the runner-up at the state tournament and Pendleton County was eliminated in the first round. This year, East Hardy sits atop the Division A state football rankings. Could the Wildcats prove to to be the spoiler again?

The Cougars slipped in the mud before against Pendleton County, but this time East Hardy pounced ferociously through the rain for 40-16 victory.

East Hardy meant business going up 27-0 by halftime which included long distance touchdown dialing by quarterback Corey McDonald to Aden Funkhouser (80 yards) and Brett Tharp (98 yards).

The Wildcats were stuck in the mud against a tenacious defense most of the night, but finally scored in the third quarter at 8:45 on a 40-yard run by Trey Cooper and Luke Cooper added the conversion. The Cougars responded with two more touchdowns.

Pendleton County found the end zone once again with 3:02 remaining as Luke Cooper scored from three yards out and connected with Trey Cooper for the conversion. East Hardy stood strong in the mud during this revenge attack.

24 No More – County’s Last 24-Hour Store Undergoing Changes

Main Street Shell has had a lot of changes over its 17-year life.

Long gone are the days of Mean Gene’s Burgers. The restaurant, named after wrestling interviewer Mean Gene Okerlund, was met with great fanfare. Its busy namesake even visited the small venue for the grand opening back in 1999.

Enthusiasm for the restaurant quickly faded, both locally and nationally, and the the chain all but disappeared in 2007. (This was mostly the result of a lawsuit between Okerlund and the restaurant chain’s parent company). Though we hear you can still get a Blazin’ Cajun Burger in Guam.

Longer gone still are the days of Texaco. That bright red T-embedded star hung over the intersection of Routes 220 & 33 next to Pendleton County’s only stoplight. The sign that was its home traded it out for a Shell logo early in the last decade.

Among all of the changes one thing stayed the same – the convenience store part was always open 24 hours.

That changed Sept. 9. According to a signs that have been posted at the store for several weeks, the new hours are listed as 4 a.m. to 12 p.m.

With this, the county will be left without a 24-hour store. The next nearest options being in Petersburg, Elkins or Harrisonburg, Va., depending where residents live.

The change comes just a few months after Main Street Shell was purchased by Par Mar Stores. The Marietta, Ohio based business also owns the Exxon station on the opposite end of Franklin.

“It was purely a business decision,” according to Brian Waugh, Chief Operating Officer of Par Mar Stores. [The store manager] showed us the facts – that we weren’t doing any business during those hours.  Nothing more, or less than that.”

Though Waugh stated that no changes were planned for the restaurant side at this time, he did say there are more changes coming to the convenience store side in the coming months.

“We will be making this store a BP in the fall, with all new graphics, canopy and gas price sign.”

The gas canopy lights off at 1 a.m. was the only indicator that Main Street Shell is now closed between midnight at 4 a.m.

The gas canopy lights off at 1 a.m. was the only indicator that Main Street Shell is now closed between midnight at 4 a.m.

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