Photo shows the smoldering remains of the Bartram Chapel Community Church in Fort Gay. The state fire marshal has ruled the fire was intentionally set. File photo

Fort Gay church fire ruled arson

FORT GAY – Investigators say a fire that destroyed a Wayne County church has been ruled arson.

The state fire marshal’s office tells WCHS-TV that the May 28 fire at the Bartram Chapel in Fort Gay was intentionally set. No one was injured.

The church was built in 1897. The state fire marshal is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the fire.

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Brien Scott Bays

Bays enters plea agreement before start of murder trial

Staff Writer

WAYNE – A retrial for a man accused of killing another ended before it started Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Brien Scott Bays of Crum entered a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter of Richard Laney prior to jury selection, according to Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Tom Plymale.

Plymale said Bays was given a 10-year prison sentence. The prison sentence was suspended in favor of an alternative sentence – with Bays serving five years on home confinement and the other five on probation. Bays must also pay $5,000 in restitution to Laney’s widow.

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Jewel City Championship Wrestling coming to fair

Managing Editor

WESTMORELAND – The past several years the Wayne County Fair Board has brought in several new acts to keep fairgoers excited to attend the fair each year.

This year, a new attraction will feature Jewel City Championship Wrestling of Huntington. JCCW began last year locally and features family-friendly entertainment. The group takes canned food donations at every event and is hoping a large venue such as the Wayne County Fair will draw in not only donations but a new fan base as well.

“We try to bring high-quality wrestling to the area,” JCCW representative Gavin Napier said. “We have a lot of local guys on the roster and we are excited to put on this show for the fair.”

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Cattle return to the livestock lineup at Wayne County Fair

For HD Media

WESTMORELAND – Cattle will make an appearance for the first time in a long while at this year’s Wayne County Fair.

Gary Selby is a West Virginia University (WVU) extension agent for Wayne County, and is also an advisor to the Wayne County Fair’s Board of Directors. He said it had been a while since cattle were seen at the fair.

“It’s an ongoing goal of our office and of the fair in general to continue to expand and continue to do more for the citizens of Wayne County,” Selby said.

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Former chief to enter guilty plea

Staff Writer

WAYNE – A former fire department chief will be entering a guilty plea in Wayne County Circuit Court for his role in embezzling money from a local volunteer fire department.

Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Tom Plymale said Mark Newman entered an information, agreeing to plead guilty to two counts of embezzlement and pay the money back in full at the time of the plea hearing.
Newman is expected to appear before Judge James H. Young during pre-trial Aug. 14.

Newman was accused of taking about $24,117 from three of the Prichard Volunteer Fire Department funds.

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Sometimes kids just need a life lesson

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