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More information released on suspect in case of woman’s body found near Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Authorities are painting a clearer picture of the charges and the suspect in the case of a body found on a burning couch in Berkeley County earlier this month.

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department Chief of Staff Eric Burnett said investigators continue to work to determine suspect David Antonio Calderon’s path of travel from the time he illegally entered the United States, to his attempt to claim asylum in Canada, and his eventual arrest related to murder and malicious assaults in West Virginia.

Newly acquired information indicates that Calderon has an extensive criminal history in El Salvador.

Arrests and convictions include DUI, Sexual Assault/Murder, Aggravated Robbery, and Narcotics related crimes, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

“Records obtained by investigators indicate that the accused served time in an El Salvadorian prison from January 15, 1999 until August 02, 2021,” Burnett said. “It is believed Calderon then illegally entered the United States a short time after his release from an El Salvadorian prison.”

Investigators working in cooperation with the FBI and international investigators have acquired additional information regarding the 46-year-old who is also known as David Antonio Sanchez Calderon, is “an illegal alien in the United States, originally from El Salvador.”

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department originally learned of the crime on May 6 around 7:30 p.m. after 911 calls were received for a couch on fire in a field at the 100 block of Golf Course Road just outside the city limits of Martinsburg.

“Baker Heights Company 60 responded to scene, and located a deceased body after the fire was extinguished,” according to Burnett.

Investigators believe they know who the 33-year-old victim is, but they are still awaiting results from the state Medical Examiner’s Office and the positive identification of the victim.

Calderon is currently in custody in Virginia and fighting extradition to face charges in West Virginia.

Police allege Calderon is responsible for violent attacks in Jefferson County before his arrest.

“Investigators with the Berkeley and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Departments continue to investigate this matter, along with cooperation from various other state and federal agencies, including both the Jefferson and Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney’s Offices,” according to deputies.

Any information related to this crime or other agencies with similar unsolved crimes can contact our Criminal Investigations Division (Deputy J. Giangola or Sergeant T. Funk) at 304-267-7000 or forward tips to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department Online Tip Line.

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MetroNews This Morning 5-23-24

Today on MetroNews This Morning:

–The Run for the Wall arrives in West Virginia on their way to Washington

–A disaster declaration from the White House for the April storms across West Virginia

–Capito rips into the Biden Administration for a lack of support for Israel

–In Sports: Championship Thursday has arrived at the state high school softball tourney

Listen to “MetroNews This Morning 5-23-24” on Spreaker.

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Yeager Airport approves next year’s budget, looks ahead to various projects

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia International Yeager Airport is setting aside the funds for ongoing projects and developments that’s continuing to move them into the future.

Wednesday, CRW board members approved the budget for the Fiscal Year 2025 at just over $13 million which starts July 1.

Yeager Airport Director and CEO Dominque Ranieri said this puts them ahead of the game with all of the plans they have in store moving forward.

Dominque Ranieri

“The board has worked very closely with our finance department to do a good job putting together a very attractive Fiscal Year 2025 budget that really puts the airport in the position moving forward with future development and projects,” Ranieri said.

Ranieri said they have now entered the summer construction season and having a solid budget to work with is crucial in helping to manage everything they are trying to do.

She said they have a few projects that are currently out for bid now as well as determining what other construction projects will be forthcoming.

A major and ongoing project in the works at CRW which Ranieri said is going out for bid this week is the GA Apron Expansion project. It will provide additional pavement at the General Aviation Area of the airport for more parking for aircraft carriers.

She said getting this project underway will be a huge advantage for them in the creation of more space at the airport.

“We’re very fortunate, our General Aviation Area is very busy with corporate aircraft as well as the Bill Noe Flight School and other tenants of the airport, so they need additional space, especially when the military is here doing exercises, it gets a little cramped,” she said.

A congressionally directed spending grant is helping to make the over $5 million project happen. Raneiri said they hope to have construction underway on the project by late summer or early fall.

She said they also continue to focus their efforts on the major Airfield, Safety and Terminal Improvement Project.

However, while work on the airfield portion of the project was paused in March to allow for additional planning, Ranieri said their focus has majorly shifted to modernizing the airport’s 77-year-old terminal building.

She said they are currently looking into competing for federally available terminal improvement funds from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Airport Terminal Program to help fund the project.

Ranieri said while they receive support on a federal level to make such projects at the airport possible, she said nearly everything they do is centered around fostering a sufficient budget.

“We have to always be thinking about the next ten years at CRW, so everything that we do with regard to budgeting puts us in a position that we can utilize the federal funds that becomes available for airports and really think to the future of operation at the airport,” she said.

Ranieri said they are also making progress on a property claim on their insurance to replace and repair some of the buildings at CRW that had received damage from the severe storms that hit Kanawha County on April 2.

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Winfield scores seven in fourth to ease by Keyser, 11-3

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With Rylee Mangold battling a cut on her pitching hand, Keyser elected for her not to pitch in Wednesday’s Class AA state tournament opener against Bluefield.

Mangold returned to the pitching circle for a winner’s bracket matchup with defending state champion Winfield, and the Generals at bats progressively got better as the game wore on, culminating with a seven-run fourth inning that allowed them to defeat the Golden Tornado 11-3 in five innings.

“We haven’t seen her. She’s a nice pitcher. She threw the ball down in the zone really well,” Winfield coach Steve Hensley said. “Her movement pitches are good and she threw hard. Unfortunate for them and her that she has the injury, but she’s a good pitcher. We adjusted as it went on and did pretty well as the game continued to go.”

Keyser (26-10) gained an early 2-0 lead against Winfield starting pitcher Lilly Chandler, who surrendered a two-run home run to Taylor Likens in the first inning. Likens also homered earlier in the day against the Beavers.

Winfield (25-9) pulled even in the top of the second when Chandler and Rylee McClellan provided run-scoring singles, though the Golden Tornado wasted no time going back in front in the home half of that inning on a Brielle Rout run-scoring single.

In the fourth, the Generals scored seven runs — all with two outs — to gain complete control.

Winfield gained a 4-3 lead on Kennedy Schilling’s ground-rule double that drove in a pair, while Emeri Nelson followed with a single that provided one run and led to an error that brought in a second run.

Evie Loyd’s two-run single and a Golden Tornado defensive miscue made it three more runs for the Generals, who carried a 9-3 lead into the fifth.

“It was a gutty performance by her going out there,” Keyser coach Colton Jones said of Mongold. “It was hour by hour. She had a good warmup and looked good. She gave us everything she had. She has a nice cut and it’s hard to grip the ball, but she gave us everything she had and threw the ball well and had us in there for three or four innings. That’s all you can ask for.”

Chandler drove in a run on a single that led to an error and brought in another in the fifth, while Mattie Carroll worked 3 1/3 scoreless frames with nine strikeouts a and four walks for Winfield.

“Our pitching has been pretty good today and for the most part, when you can throw strikes to work ahead in the count, you can maybe get batters to expand a little bit and put a little bit of doubt on their mind,” Hensley said. “Lilly threw it well and just didn’t get the duration maybe that we wanted. Matti comes in and throws a lot of strikes.”

Jones recognized his team’s struggles against Carroll in particular.

“She’s a good pitcher and threw the ball well,” Jones said. ”We didn’t make adjustments and do enough there, but that’s the team to beat in Double-A. They’re here all the time. We wanted to get in a game like this. We competed and unfortunately just came up short.”

Mangold finished with nine runs and eight hits allowed over 3 2/3 innings. She struck out five and walked six.

Loyd and Chandler each had two hits and drove in two runs.

Keyser was tagged with all three of the game’s errors. The Golden Tornado will next take on Herbert Hoover in an elimination game.

The Generals are one win away from a second straight state championship.

“We’ll give it our best shot,” Hensley said, “and hopefully get a great result.”

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University gets past Washington 6-5 in 9 innings, secures spot in state final for first time

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — University built an early 4-0 lead Wednesday night a winner’s bracket matchup against Washington at The Rock.

Yet it’s the finish that will most be remembered as both teams scored in the seventh inning to send the game to extras, where the Hawks would push across the lone run in the ninth for a 6-5 victory.

“They’re a great team with a lot of spunk in them and I’m proud to be their coach,” Hawks’ head coach Mindy Parks said.

With the win, University (24-9) wrapped up a 2-0 day at the state tournament and will play for a state championship for the first time in program history.

With the game tied at 4 in the top of the seventh, the Hawks got a leadoff triple from Sophia Lehosit, and courtesy runner Madison Walls scored the go-ahead run two at bats later on Ashlyn Weaver’s bunt.

The Hawks had a chance to add to their lead, but stranded a pair that inning. 

Washington (23-7) pulled even moments later after Courtney Greenfield doubled with one out, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Morgan Cave sacrifice fly.

Both teams managed an eighth-inning single, but no more.

Weaver’s one-out triple in the ninth put UHS in position to go ahead.

Bri Royce followed with a ground ball back to the pitching circle, and the Patriots looked to have a play at the plate, but the throw home was not handled and Weaver scored.

It was another instance of aggressive base-running paying off for the Hawks.

“They were going. I was trying to reel them back in a few times,” Parks said. “They went on their own a few times, too. I didn’t send her, but she got in there and it worked out in our favor.”

A run-scoring single from Josalyn Phillips in the first inning put the Hawks on top early, and their advantage grew to 4-0 the next frame when Alexis Elza drove in a pair with a single and Maddie Campbell brought in a run with a single.

But starting with a Zoe Kesterson RBI single in the second, Washington generated four unanswered runs to pull even.

Greenfield provided a run-scoring double in the third and Carly Crowder followed with a single to left that brought in the Patriots’ third run.

A Carly Constantino single to right in the fourth led to a Hawks’ error and the tying run scoring, setting the stage for the tight battle down the stretch.

“We’re feeling really good,” said Parks, whose team will need one win before two losses for a state championhip. “This team has a lot of spunk in them and it’s going to take a lot to beat us twice.”

Both teams finished with 14 hits.

Elza, Campbell, Lehosit, Weaver, Royce and Olivia Masoner had two apiece in the win, while Gabrielle Bibb, Constantino, Greenfield, Crowder and Addison Musser recorded two each in defeat.

Lehosit allowed four runs and nine hits in three innings, while Campbell was especially effective and limited the Patriots to one run on five hits with a pair of strikeouts in six innings.

Kesterson pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and three base-on-balls.

“I was so proud of them for laying it out there, making it happen and stringing every together,” Parks said. “We hit the ball hard tonight, we just hit it at them sometimes. I felt like we pulled through at the end when we needed to.”

Washington will face Cabell Midland in an elimination matchup for the right to battle UHS in the final.

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Varney helps Herbert Hoover avoid elimination with 7-4 victory against Bluefield

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Within 30 minutes of a four-run loss to Winfield to start state tournament play, Herbert Hoover was back at it facing elimination against Bluefield at The Rock.

The Huskies put their resiliency on display early with offensive mettle, scoring three runs with two outs in the opening frame and getting by the Beavers 7-4 to prolong their season.

“They didn’t even have time to think about what happened before,” Huskies’ head coach Missy Smith said. “We just knew it was a new game, let’s go and it worked out. We scored three runs with two outs in the first inning and anytime we can score two-out runs, that’s huge.”

The result allows Herbert Hoover (27-4) to face Keyser in another elimination game Thursday with the winner moving on to battle Winfield in the championship.

Due to a 1 hour lightning delay in the seventh inning of their matchup with the Generals, the Huskies were afforded little time between that disappointing result and a season-saving victory.

“I wish they didn’t think very much at all. I tell them this all the time — they’re good softball players and terrible thinkers,” Smith said. “It worked out for us today and if they think a little less and play a little more, maybe we’d be better off.”

Herbert Hoover managed the three-first inning runs, first scoring on Laila Varney’s double and later on singles by Lexi Kennedy and Addi Chapman, and Hoover added another in the second on Sadi Wehrle’s run-scoring single to lead, 4-0.

Varney threw three scoreless innings to start, before giving way to Hannah Shamblin with Varney having gone the distance earlier in the day against Winfield.

“Much different from what we saw in the first game and much different from what we saw a lot of the season,” Bluefield coach Justin Hall said of Varney. “The last time we saw that velocity with that rise ball is probably when we were at Myrtle Beach. Hand it to her. She kept us off balance with that and we had hard time laying off of it.”

The Beavers (17-7) got to Shamblin and scored their first run on a fielder’s choice, but did minimal damage after having the bases loaded with no outs, with the inning ending on a line drive double play.

Hoover carried that momentum over to the bottom of the frame and loaded the bases with one out, before Kennedy ripped a single up the middle to score a pair for a 6-1 lead.

However, Bluefield, which battle back from an eight-run deficit earlier Wednesday in a 17-14 loss to the Golden Tornado, managed three fifth-inning runs off Shamblin to pull to within a pair.

That inning featured singles from Abigail Matthews, Abigail Richardson and Taylor Maybry, before Madison Lawson cleared the bases with a double to center.

But Varney came back in to pitch and the Beavers could never solve her, striking out 10 times without a hit over five scoreless frames.

“We were fortunate to get up 6-1 and able to give her a little bit of a break, so she was fresh to come back in and finish at the end,” Smith said.

After Varney struck out the side in the sixth, the Huskies added a sixth-inning insurance run on Bella Hass’ single, which brought home Chapman, who had doubled an at bat earlier.

Shamblin finished 3-fro-3 and Kennedy and Chapman added two hits apiece, while Kennedy drove in three runs to match Lawson for game-high honors.

Bluefield pitcher Izzy Smith walked seven and struck out four over six innings.

“Good teams that have pitchers with varying degrees of speed have the luxury of doing that to you and if we see a big difference in velocity from game to game, it takes us one or one and a half times through the lineup and then we can explode,” Hall said. “We didn’t really get that opportunity today because of the way they were able to switch them in and out.”

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St. Marys moves step closer to Class A state title after 9-0 win over Petersburg

(Photos by Teran Malone)

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A pair of big innings to bookend the game and another impressive performance from junior pitcher Cali Masters have St. Marys on the verge of a Class A state championship.

The Blue Devils (30-3) defeated Petersburg, 9-0 in five innings in the winners bracket final. St. Marys will face the winner of Thursday morning’s elimination game between PHS and Buffalo. The championship round is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and the Blue Devils need to win once in two games.

St. Marys defeated Midland Trail, 19-0 in five innings in the opening game of the tournament.

“Nobody likes the 9:30 a.m. game but staying out of the heat this morning and having the later game tonight and being a little cooler environment, I think it really helped the kids,” said St. Marys head coach Lacy Riggs.

Masters pitched the first two innings against Midland Trail. So the Blue Devils were able to secure a pair of wins by keeping Masters to just seven innings in the circle. Against Petersburg, Masters went the distance. She struck out ten batters and eight consecutively at one point. Masters did not walk a batter and she allowed just three hits.

“Kyleigh [Rupert] came in this morning and had a great performance on the mound and let us save Cali. It was awesome.”

The Blue Devils scored four runs in the first inning and five more in the fifth. The first five batters of the game reached base for St. Marys. Brylee McGrady’s three-run double opened the scoring.

“That was key, as long as we could jump on them early. We even went cold for a couple innings and came back. Colaw’s change had us all kinds of messed up. But we bounced back and came through when we needed to.”

Layne Kincaid and Ava Giovinazzo each had two hits for St. Marys.

After finishing as the Class A state runners-up last year, the Blue Devils are in the drivers seat heading into Thursday’s play.

“I haven’t let it settle in yet. One game at a time and one out at a time.”

Sam Colaw, Addison Kitzmiller and Gracie Carpenter had base hits for the Vikings (26-9). Colaw struck out seven batters in five innings.

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Photo gallery: Morgantown defeats Bridgeport, 4-1 to claim Class AAA Region I title

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Photo gallery from Morgantown’s 4-1 win at Bridgeport in the decisive game of the Class AAA Region I best-of-three series on Wednesday. The Mohigans (29-8) advance to the state tournament. Bridgeport’s season ends at 32-6.

(Photo gallery courtesy of Ben Queen/www.BenQueenPhotography.com)

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2024 WVSSAC State Baseball Tournament schedule

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The WVSSAC State Baseball Tournament will be played at GoMart Ballpark in Charleston. The Class AAA semifinals are set for Thursday, May 30. Class AA and Class A semifinals are scheduled for Friday, June 2. The championship games will be played Saturday, June 1.

MetroNews will broadcast all nine games of the state tournament on the MetroNews Channel at wvmetronews.com and on the MetroNews Television app.

Thursday, May 30

(Class AAA semifinals):

No. 1 TBD vs. No. 4 TBD – 4:30 p.m.

No. 2 TBD vs. No. 3 TBD – 50 minutes after Game 1

(As of Wednesday evening, Morgantown/29-8, Martinsburg/33-3 and Cabell Midland/25-9) have qualified for the state tournament)

 

Friday, May 31

(Class AA semifinals):

No. 1 Winfield (29-4) vs. No. 4 Independence (20-12) – 10 a.m.

No. 2 Frankfort (20-9) vs. No. 3 Herbert Hoover (20-12) – 50 minutes after Game 1

(Class A semifinals):

No. 1 Williamstown (29-5) vs. No. 4 Buffalo (22-12-1) – 5 p.m.

No. 2 Charleston Catholic (29-3) vs. No. 3 East Hardy (23-6) – 50 minutes after Game 1

 

Saturday, June 1

Class AAA Championship – 10 a.m.

Class AA Championship – 45 minutes after Class AAA Championship

Class A Championship – 45 minutes after Class AA Championship

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Martinsburg marches on to state tournament, defeating Jefferson 3-1 in decisive regional game

(Story by Daniel Woods)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Don’t call him the unlikely hero.

As his head coach put it, the fitting description for Martinsburg’s Christian Alter may be the “forgotten” hero as the right-hander lifted the team onto his shoulders and tossed a complete game while recording three hits at the plate in the Bulldogs’ 3-1 regional series win over Jefferson.

Martinsburg coach Aaron Beiler was confident sending Alter to the mound in the decisive game for the Class AAA Region II crown despite the fact that no Bulldog other than Carson Boober and Lane DeLauter had started a game on the mound since April 29.

“I think everybody forgot about how good Christian Alter was because he hasn’t pitched in a while,” Beiler said, “Through the first 20 games of the season, I think he was a player of the year candidate, was 6-0 on the mound and hitting over .500 so I knew it was in him and had all the confidence in the world in Christian Alter to go out there and boy, did he perform in a big way.”

Alter held a Jefferson offense that exploded for the only multi-run inning of the series in its final trip to the plate during Tuesday’s second game to a single unearned run on five hits, utilizing a pitch to contact approach that took advantage of an Bulldog defense that ranks among the state’s best.

“I just felt like I was locating really well and that was the game plan coming into the game, just locating my pitches and executing and we would be fine,” Alter said.

As if his efforts on the mound were not enough, Alter also got the scoring started for Martinsburg. After Braeden Oviedo drew a two-out walk, Alter split the outfielders with a line shot to right-center that brought Oviedo across the plate and turned into an RBI triple for the pitcher.

From a confidence perspective, there may not have been a better shot in the arm possible.

“That was huge. That definitely made me feel more confident on the mound too, that we had a run. I was a little less stressed up there. That was huge for me. I just went in the box today and was confident in myself that I was going to be able to deliver if I needed to,” Alter said.

Jefferson starter Jett Gross settled in after that, delivering a 1-2-3 second inning while Alter set the Cougars down in order in both the second and third.

In the bottom of the third, Carson Boober managed to square up Gross for a line drive double down the left field line with one out. Oviedo followed with a bouncing ball toward Jefferson shortstop Nayan Dominguez whose throw to first went past Serf Guerra and allowed Boober to spring home and double the lead.

Alter got some help from his defense in the fourth with a relay from Logan Wilt in left field to Oviedo at third, connected by Boober, erased Guerra for the final out but Gross worked around Alter’s second hit to retire the side in the bottom half.

Jefferson managed to string together a pair of baserunners in the fifth with a Brady Roberts walk and a Ty Vickers single. Dominguez smashed a hard ground ball toward Boober at short who lost his footing before popping back to his feet and sending a rushed throw wide of the first base bag.

Roberts never stopped running from second, turning around third and sliding underneath Jamere Brown’s throw for the Cougars’ first run.

The Bulldogs answered in the bottom half though as Brown earned a leadoff walk and pinch runner Brayden Miller reached third when a Dominguez error opened the door for him to sprint home.

With a two-run lead, Alter permitted just two more base runners the rest of the way and worked around a two-out single in the seventh to close the door and send Martinsburg to the state tournament.

“We’re going to enjoy it for a day or two and then we’ll get ready to go. Once you get to Charleston, anything can happen. It’s win or go home. I really like our one, two and three with Christian so I think we’re in a good spot when it comes to single elimination baseball,” Beiler said.

Alter finished the outing allowing the lone unearned run on five hits and one walk with a trio of strikeouts while Gross permitted three runs with just one earned on five hits and two walks in the loss.

Martinsburg improves to 33-3 on the season ahead of the state tournament while Jefferson completes the 2024 campaign at 25-13.

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