Domestic Violence call leads to firearm arrest

Rodney Allen Mayhew, age 43, of Martinsburg, pled guilty this week to one count unlawful possession of a firearm.

According to the plea agreement reached in federal court, officers were called to Mayhew’s home to serve a protective order involving domestic violence. When officers arrived, Mayhew admitted to having firearms in the bedroom. Officers recovered two pistols and a rifle.

The Mayhew case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.

Mayhew is facing up to 15 years in prison.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Martinsburg man falsifies passport and flees to Guyana

A Martinsburg man pleaded guilty on Thursday to making a false statement in application for a passport to travel overseas.

Bobby Allen Stark, 52, had previous charges pending in Colorado which forced him to surrender his passport.

In October of 2022, he missed his court date for a trial regarding multiple charges including sexual assault on a child and retaliation against a victim or witness.

His whereabouts were unknown until a tip informed law enforcement that he may be hiding out in Guyana.

Stark received his new passport four days after surrendering his previous one, claiming it was lost and then traveled to the South American country.

He was arrested this week after months at large by the Guyanese Police Force Criminal Investigations Department.

Stark faces up to 10 years in federal prison for illegally obtaining a passport on top of the additional charges pending against him in Colorado.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Women dies of overdose in custody at EWVRJ

The West Virginia Department of Corrections announced that 25 year old Morgan Bussard died in custody at Eastern West Virginia Regional Jail in Martinsburg on Monday.

She supposedly swallowed a foreign substance during booking which led to a self inflicted overdose.

The woman was originally arrested when she was spotted using controlled substances with another woman at a pizza restaurant on Queen Street while minors were in the back of the car.

When officers arrived and discovered drug paraphernalia, a struggle ensued as Bussard attempted to hide the substances.

She did not comply with officer requests during booking which was when she swallowed the substance and became ill shortly after.

The incident remains under investigation.

The minors in the car were unharmed and taken into custody of another family member.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Berkeley County blaze claims life of resident and pet

Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department announced that a structure fire in South Berkeley County claimed the lives of a resident and a pet early in the morning of April 26th.

BHVFD was notified of a structure fire with entrapment on the 3100 block of Winchester Avenue south of Martinsburg.

Upon arrival, crews discovered the first victim just inside the front door had already passed away.

Crews continued to search for the second occupant who was located outside the structure and they were treated and sent to a local hospital for further evaluation.

The identities of the occupants have not been released.

No working smoke detectors were found in the home.

Two out of three home fire deaths are a result of fires in homes with no working smoke detectors.

The  recommend changing the batteries when changing clocks for daylight savings time and to have alarms on each floor, in every bedroom, and outside of every interior door.

The blaze is under investigation through the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s office.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Turkey Bowl Revisited

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Greetings From The Booth!

As this is Thanksgiving week, I hope we all take a moment and reflect on the things for which we are truly thankful. We at Royal Broadcasting recently finished our annual Camping For Hunger week-long food drive. In a challenging economy, this year’s CFH raised over 14-thousand pounds of food and about $17 thousand in monetary donations for Front Royal-Warren County C-CAP, and this would not have happened without the generosity of the community. Helping to unload all of that food from the Camping For Hunger Bus Saturday was a humbling an awesome experience, and made me even more thankful for my Thanksgiving meal.

As I write this post, several of our area high school football teams are still alive in the VHSL playoffs, and play in regional championship games tonight (Friday 11-25). The 2b title will go to either Strasburg or Central in what should be a great game. In a Class 3 regional championship game, the Warren County Wildcats have a tough task as they head to Nokesville to take on the talented Tigers. On paper, Brentsville looks like the prohibitive favorite but the games aren’t played on paper.

Thanksgiving always takes me back to a time when I was younger, faster, and less breakable. Like many weekend warriors across the USA, I always participated in a “Turkey Bowl” football game back in the day. For me, that game was usually played on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, and almost always at the Rosemont School lot in Martinsburg (WV). I had the honor of being the captain of  “Woodward’s Skins,” while our opponent was a team led by Todd Lyons, aptly named “Lyon’s Lions.” After all, it’s tradition that the Lions play on Thanksgiving, right?

Like any athletic field, ours had it’s unique qualities. The Rosemont lot ran adjacent to a blacktop playground, so “asphalt rash” was not unusual in one of our Turkey Bowl games. And, although two-hand tag was the preferred style of play, hard hitting was not ruled out. After a full afternoon of football, we left those games muddy, sometimes bloody, but full of memories that have filled the years.

At some point we all got old–I’m not sure exactly when that was–and the Turkey Bowls were just something remembered in group texts and phone calls as we all went our separate ways. But there are times when, as the saying goes, “my mind writes checks my body can’t cash,” and I’m pretty sure I can hit Kevin Funkhouser with a perfect spiral as he runs a fly pattern along the row of pine trees…

If you’re still fortunate to be able to play in your own Turkey Bowl, savor the time…it’s all too fleeting.

Until the next visit from The Booth, Happy Thanksgiving!





Martinsburg’s Mayor passes away after a year on the job

Martinsburg City Council announced the sudden passing of Mayor Harriet Johnson.

Johnson’s death occurred late yesterday Jul. 6 after only a year on the job.

Johnson was the city’s first female mayor in its history.

She is remembered for her contributions to the city and her want to get Martinsburg ready for the next generation.

Johnson is survived by her husband Tom with no cause of death given at this time.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

HSWC welcomes new veterinarian

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The Humane Society of Warren County welcomed a new veterinarian to their team, Dr. Alicia Pownall of Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Dr. Pownall is a graduate of Mississippi State University’s college of veterinary medicine.

She will lead a new project for the Humane Society, a spay and neuter clinic.

The new clinic on John Marshall Highway is currently under renovations and will open later this summer.

The new clinic, the Linda R. Lorber Campus, will offer low cost spay neuter and vaccine services to our community and local rescue groups.

Dr. Pownall has previous experience in a no cost mobile clinic that traveled through Native American Reserves and offered similar services.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Berkeley Co. Sheriff seeks information

Two people are dead and one person has been injured after a shooting in the parking lot of Laddie’s  Bar and Grill in Martinsburg on Saturday night.

The shooting was reported just after 8 p.m. two of the victims were found dead at the scene with the third victim being transported to Berkeley Medical Center for emergency treatment.

His condition is unknown at this time.

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department is enlisting the public’s help in the matter.

Anyone with any information is asked to get in touch with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office at 304-267-7000.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.