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Top stories for month of Nov. included presidential election, N

by Nora Edinger

REGIONAL EDITOR

November brought a bizarre presidential election and the resignation of Mountaineer football coach Don Nehlen to the front page.

In an unusual move that mirrored the nation's ambivalence about the presidential race between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush, West Virginia surprised many pundits with a majority vote for Bush. The overall race remained undecided throughout the month as the world waited for a final result from Florida.

Nehlen made his public announcement Nov. 4, following a loss to Syracuse University. Rich Rodriguez, formerly offensive coordinator at Clemson University, was named as his replacement later in the month.

In other November news:

n Jeffrey Alan Quickle, 39, of Lost Creek, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the 1999 shooting death of a Laurel Valley man.

n Harrisville was picked as the site for a new Spectrum Astro Inc., plant, which will manufacture thermal blankets for spacecraft and satellites.

n Bridgeport High School won its sixth state football championship.

n Department of Highways officials announced the Bridgeport bypass, also called state Route 279, would not open until summer 2001.

n Clarksburg was awarded $150,000 from the state Housing Development Fund to demolish abandoned buildings.

n Michelle Mero, a Salem teen missing since May, was located in Parkersburg and returned to the custody of her mother.

n Gary James Johnston, principal at West Milford Elementary, was convicted of two misdemeanors connected to driving while drunk.

n A public hearing on a Harrison County smoking ban was pushed into January.

n The final transition in the merger of One Valley Bank into BB&T was completed.

n Democrat Bob Wise ousted incumbent Gov. Cecil Underwood.

n Brian Ashcraft, 31, of Clarksburg was given a maximum sentence for the 1999 first-degree (with mercy) murder of his ex-wife, Heather Csutoros Ashcraft, and the voluntary manslaughter of firefighter J.T. Honce. The concurrent sentences require he spend at least 18 years in prison.

n Members of the Clarksburg City Council met with firefighter union representatives concerning a dispute about the minimum number of staff per shift.

Regional editor Nora Edinger can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at nedinger@exponent-telegram.com.

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