Mock Prison Riot Set for May 4-7

The Mock Prison Riot is described as a four-day comprehensive law enforcement and corrections tactical training event which includes training scenarios, demonstrations, certification workshops, skills competition, 40,000 square feet of exhibit space and unlimited opportunities for feedback, networking and camaraderie on a global scale.

Well, this year’s event will be taking place May 4-7 within the walls of the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville. The first two days will involve skill competition and the final two days will be training exercises.

This is the 18th consecutive year for the Mock Riot; the initial 15 were funded by the federal government, and since then funding has come from vendors who pay for the opportunity to display their wares, and money raised by a state Corrections Foundation, which is a 501(c) agency.

This year a new source of funding will be coming from a fee charged to individual participants.

While speaking with state Division of Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein, who attended a couple of functions recently at the at the former WVP, including a Foundation meeting, he stated he is hopeful that the Mock Riot will always be self-sufficient.

Three years ago when it was announced that there would be no federal monies forthcoming, Rubenstein said he had received information prior to the formal announcement and as a result the state Division of Corrections was able to spearhead the effort with little difficulty. He said the state was better prepared for last year’s event, and it looks like everything is in place for this year’s Mock Riot, which will take place in three weeks.

Rubenstein said the event is too important to the state of West Virginia, and especially the Northern Panhandle, to miss even one year, as it brings individuals from throughout the United States and some foreign countries.

According to Sharon Goudy, a member of the Foundation, at least 45 vendors will be in attendance. That is 14 more than last year. Thirty-three teams will be participating, an increase of 10 over last year.

As to the number of persons, that figure will not be known until May 4, but at the present time it stands at 750. Of course, these individuals must have accommodations, and thus it is good for the area economy.

Goudy said the number participating has varied over the years, based on the budgets of law enforcement agencies participating in the event.

I have in my possession a 4 1/2 foot piece of teletype paper from the early 1970s, which was a story pertaining to a comprehensive plan for the city of Moundsville. It just so happens that the city of Moundsville some 40 plus years later is in the process of creating a new comprehensive plan. Of course, the old one is to lengthy to publish in this space, but here is some of how the one plan reads:

“MOUNDSVILLE-A Comprehensive plan for the city of Moundsville is currently in the process of being developed by the city planning division of Michael Baker, Jr., Inc., of Rochester, Pa. A preliminary report concerning the utilities and fiscal studies was recently presented to the city planning commission.”

It goes on the state: “The firm began its work in February of this year, and the report is to be completed by late 1970 or early 1971. The city of Moundsville, the federal government and the state planning commission are sharing in the cost of the $31,000 project with the city paying $9,000 over a three year period, the federal government $18,000 and the state planning commission $4,100.”

“The new comprehensive plan will replace a plan which was completed in 1958 by the Morris Knowles firm. The new plan is a projection for a 10-year period beginning in 1971.”

“The comprehensive plan is formulated to guide future development and improvement with such a plan being a necessary pre-requisite to attainment of federal monies or grants-in-aid for capital improvements.”

The Sanford Center in Moundsville will be observing World Book Night USA on April 23 by giving out free copies of the book, “Hoot” along with used books. The event will take place in the community room from 6-8 p.m.

World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the joy of reading. World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading to those who don’t regularly do so.

It is also about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways – through the sharing of stories.

Anyone who would like to donate books, become a corporate sponsor or have questions about the event is asked to call Mary Kovalcik at 304-845-3228.

For the first time in John Marshall High School’s 45-year history, the school will have new head coaches in the same year in both boys’ and girls’ basketball, as the Marshall County Board of Education on Tuesday accepted the resignations of Bill Storm and Mark McCormick, along with that of girls’ assistant coach Melinda Yoho.

Storm has been the boys’ head basketball coach for the past eight years. He also was a co-head coach, along with Pancho Flores, for part of a year. Overall, he has been a part of the school’s basketball program for 30 years.

Storm was the school’s sixth head coach, having been preceded by Tom Ackerman, five years (which included two stints); Bill Francis, five years; Rudy Zatezalo, three years; David O’Dell, six years; and Pancho Flores, 18 years.

As to the girls’ program, it began three years after the school opened during the 1968-69 school year, with Angela Fahey being the head coach for the initial three years. The girls’ program has had only three head coaches. Stanley Blankenship was the Lady Monarchs head coach for 36 years, with McCormick, who had been his assistant for 13 years, taking over in that capacity. McCormick has been the head coach for three years, and recently accepted the assistant athletic director’s position.

The school will also have a new athletic director next year, with Casey Storm having been named to succeed retiring AD Chuck Duckworth. Storm, who has been the assistant athletic director, will also be dean of boys. Prior to being named as the assistant AD, he was a boys’ basketball assistant coach.

While on the subject of sports, Moundsville native Sonny Allen was among those rooting for the West Liberty University Hilltoppers in the National Division II Basketball Championship game.

Allen was the head coach of Old Dominion in 1975, when the Monarchs won the national title. He also had coached Old Dominion to a runner-up national title four years previously.

In 1975 Allen, who now lives in Reno, Nev., was named the National Division II Coach of the Year, and his team that year was named by the Association Press as No. 1 in Division II.

Employees at the Marshall County Courthouse in Moundsville on Thursday welcomed back Brad’s Grateful Doggs, a food vendor service which sets up along Seventh Street several days a week.

Another business which will be reopening this week (Tuesday) will be Johnny & Shar’s Big Dipper as in ice cream. That establishment has on display on its second floor old-time amusement and carnival items.