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Month: November 2019

Wheeling Man Pleads Guilty in Connection with 2018 Death

An Ohio County man faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to second degree murder in a 2018 death. Branden Ensminger, 28, of Wheeling, admitted that he killed Rayna Shae Vaughan, 21, in a Wheeling Island apartment in March 2018. Ohio County Circuit Judge David Sims accepted Ensminger’s guilty pleas to second degree murder, gross child neglect, and fraud in connection to an access device. Ensminger agreed to a binding plea with prosecutors. Sims sentenced him Wednesday to 81 to 85 years in...

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Wheeling Fire Crews Respond to Two-Building Structure Fire

The Wheeling Fire Department is clearing the scene of a two-building structure fire in an alley near 18th street. Fire officials said they received a call around 2:30 a.m about a fire in a vacant home at 92 Lane 15. They reported it quickly spread to a neighboring house, 90 Lane 15, which also sustained heavy damage. That home was occupied, but crews said the residents and their dog were able to escape unharmed. According to officials, an investigation is...

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Pennsylvania Increases Tobacco Purchasing Age from 18 to 21

The legal age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products in Pennsylvania is increasing to 21, although there’s an exception for veterans and service members who are at least 18. Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday signed a pair of bills that make the age limit also apply to e-cigarettes and vaping products. They’re banned on school grounds outside designated outdoor areas for nonstudents. Pennsylvania joins 18 other states in making 21 the minimum age. The new age takes effect July...

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Sen. Ryan Weld Announces Re-election Bid

Brooke County Senator Ryan Weld announced he re-election bid earlier this week at the Wellsburg city building. Weld, who was elected to the senate in 2016 after a stint in the House is the majority WHIP and chair of the Military Committee. He spoke with River News and says that veteran issues and substance abuse issues are his top two priorities… Weld is a Republican in the 1st District which consists of Hancock, Brooke, and Ohio counties  and parts of Marshall...

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Bishop Brennan Announces Plan for Bransfield’s Amends

Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Mark E. Brennan outlined a detailed “plan of amends” that has been presented to the former bishop for his cooperation. The plan calls for apologies to those adults whom he was found to have sexually harassed, as well as to the Catholic faithful of the Diocese for the harm he caused and the reputation damage to the Catholic Church in West Virginia. In addition, he is required also to apologize to members of the Chancery staff who were subjected to a culture of intimidation and fear of retribution in performing their responsibilities.  The plan further defines significant...

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