The Parsons Advocate

See ball page 4A See heckler page 4A Volume 125 No. 47 Wednesday, November 18, 2020 75 cents (tax incl.) See davis page 4A Davis City Council Learns of Federal Funding Resources for Parks and Recreation Use By Heather Clower The Parsons Advocate Jenny Newland with Downstream Strategies, a consulting firm, attended the Davis Town Council meeting to speak on behalf of funding resources for parks and recreation. She spoke of a federal funding source called Land Water Conservation Fund that recently increased their budget which will assist with land acquisition for public use, maintenance of existing public parks and planning for improvements. Each state determines how the money should be spent with W.Va. working on a five year priority plan with the number one priority being to acquire and develop basic, local parks and play- grounds. “This one requires 50% of the project cost be pro- vided by a non-federal source, so it will cover up to half of a project cost,” explained Newland. There are also long term guide- lines that must be followed when conducting a project through this program, such as the land must remain as a public use location. Newland will be sending a link to Recorder Andy Sny- der that will outline the source for the Town Council to be aware of when considering future projects. A Canvass of Votes Reveal Accuracy in Results By Heather Clower The Parsons Advocate The Tucker County Com- missioners, County Clerk and staff, along with the 2020 Elec - tion Officials met on Monday, November 9 to conduct the can- vass of votes and verify the offi - cial results. Before beginning the task at hand, County Clerk Sherry Simmons asked the offi - cials to rise and take an oath of honor. She then explained the process and the voter’s right to privacy. “By law, Tucker County counted 3,899 ballots, the law states that we count 3% of a pre- cinct, Tucker County falls under the rules of one precinct, it is up to the County Commission at their discretion to choose the precinct that they wish counted,” Simmons stated. After looking over the list of precincts, precinct 24 was chosen as a larger pre - cinct in order to gather a larger percent of hand counted ballots. A total of 385 ballots were cast at this polling location, which was at the St. George United Method - ist Church. Two local races were selected to be hand counted, which included the Prosecuting Attor- ney, separated by 20 votes on election night, and County Com- missioner, Shavers Fork District, with only a two vote difference. Commission President Lowell Moore made a motion to set the recount bond at $300 with Com- missioners Fred Davis and Jon Bush both in favor. Simmons announced there were two spoiled ballots that were returned during early vot- ing and their votes would be counted. A spoiled ballot is one that has been inadvertently marked incorrectly. There were 22 provisional ballots as of elec - tion night and after the review of the sealed envelopes, it was determined 13 ballots would be counted and nine would not be. A provisional ballot is one that the eligibility of the voter is in question and cannot be counted until eligibility is determined. The nine that were not counted were for reasons such as being submitted by a non-registered individual, canceled status, inac- tive status, received after dead- line, and not a Tucker County resident. Jane Greenhalgh read the bal- lots to the committee as they hash marked their sheets to keep count to compare with the machine. She began by reading the 13 provisional ballots which awarded Jon Bush five votes and Mike Rosenau eight within the county commissioner race. For prosecuting attorney, Ray LaM - ora received an additional seven Ball Pleads Guilty Moments Before Jury Trial By Heather Clower The Parsons Advocate A multitude of potential jury members was scattered amongst the seats of the Tucker County Courthouse Courtroom awaiting the selection process for the trial of William “B.J.” Ball, Jr. The Honorable Judge James Courrier presided over the hearing consisting of two counts of retaliation against a state employee, which is a felony offense. According to the complaint, on Tuesday, August 3, 2019, the defendant and Roberta Helmick, an Outreach Coordinator, were leaving family court after a Domes- tic Violence Protective Order status hearing regarding Ball’s daughter and biological mother, Kala Carver. Roger Brown, a Child Protective Service worker, testi- fied in that hearing via telephone informing the judge that no accusations were substantiated and he was clos- ing the case with the mother. Brown informed Ball at that time that he would be filing charges against Ball in Randolph and Tucker Counties for mental and emo- tional abuse against his daughter. The Family Court Judge dismissed the Domestic Violence Protective Order and Ball and Helmick exited the courtroom. As they walked down the hall and entered the stair- well to exit the building, Ball allegedly told Helmick, “I am going to get a gun and I am going to shoot Brown.” The two exited the building when Ball returned to his vehicle and left the parking area. Helmick went to the Tucker County Sheriff’s Office to speak with an officer about the threat Ball made regarding Brown. Once leaving the Courthouse, Ball traveled to the babysitter’s residence to exchange custody of his daugh- ter with her mother. During this time, Ball allegedly made more threats towards Brown. Carver claimed that Ball allegedly had put his hand on his pistol and said, “I have something for Brown when I see him,” said as tapping his pistol with a snake-like grip. Sergeant C.A. Teter of the Tucker County Sheriff’s Department also received a statement from Kurtis Barb stating that Ball had made threats toward Brown, allegedly stating that he had something for Brown when he saw him. Barb also described the pistol with a snake, scale looking grip. Teter was dispatched to BFS to speak with a caller about this incident, but when en route was flagged down by Ball and his girlfriend (at that time), Rebecca Surguy, who wanted to speak to him about the investigation of the alleged sexual assault of his daughter. While speaking to Ball, Teter observed a pistol with a snakeskin print on the hip of Ball in a black holster. Ball took the pistol off and laid Heckler Murder Trial Rescheduled for March 2021 By Heather Clower The Parsons Advocate Emily Heckler, charged with first-degree murder of Marion Heckler, the defen - dant’s step-mother, on April 13 of 2018, appeared via teleconference for what was intended to be a pre- trial hearing for a December trial. Her defense attorneys Brent Easton and Jeremy Cooper were present along with Prosecuting Attorney Ray LaMora. The defense told The Honorable Judge James Courrier that one of their expert witnesses was involved in an accident and would be unable to attend the trial if held at the cur- rently scheduled time. A request was made for a continuance, which LaMora stated, “If the state were in the same position, we’d be asking the same thing, we have no grounds for an objection.” LaMora did request to take into consideration that a new prosecutor for Tucker County will be taking office in early 2021 and would need adequate time to familiarize her- self with the case before going to trial. Emily Heckler, currently incarcerated at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail for first degree murder, appeared for a hearing via teleconference. The murder that hap- pened in 2018 has been set for trial more than once and will now be in March of 2021. The Davis Town Council met to discuss the progress of the Water Improvement Project and the difficulties. Tucker County Clerk Sherry Simmons and staff member Barbie Evans unlock the precinct boxes as requested by the Election Commit - tee to hand count the ballots to determine the accuracy of the counting machine. Tucker County Clerk Sherry Simmons asked all of those involved in the canvass of votes to raise their right hand and take an oath before beginning to count the ballots.