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Two deputies shot, suspect killed in Ona

ONA — Two deputies with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department were shot multiple times and a man is dead following the execution of a search warrant Wednesday evening that quickly escalated in Ona.

Deputy Jim Johnston was shot twice in his chest, which was protected by a bulletproof vest, and Deputy Jared Cremeans was shot three times — in the hand, shoulder and another location. Both officers were taken to a local hospital and were expected to recover.

Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle said the two deputies were in SWAT gear and heavily protected.

The suspect, Michael Pinkerman, who is believed to be in his late 20s, was killed during the altercation.

Pinkerman’s father, whose name was not available as of press time Wednesday, was also struck by bullets in the hand and taken to a separate local hospital. Zerkle said he is in custody and charges are pending.

Zerkle said deputies were conducting an investigation into some stolen items in the 4000 block of Blue Sulphur Road in Ona earlier in the day but the suspects were not cooperative.

The deputies returned with a search warrant, but the Pinkermans obstructed the door when they attempted to enter. The SWAT team was called in to break down the door, at which time someone in the house fired upon officers.

Zerkle said the two deputies were immediately hit. Zerkle said the best thing was his deputies are alive and will be able to return home.

“Threats and violence against police officers nationwide continue to escalate,” Zerkle said.

He said it was a close call, but it’s what they train for every day.

“God was with them, and they get to go (home) another day,” Zerkle said. “Keep our deputies in your thoughts and prayers.”

Zerkle said the investigation is ongoing and more information will be released in the coming days.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

Marshall student's 'bloody' car crash as 'Carrie' goes viral

HUNTINGTON — Sidney Wolfe didn’t put on a tiara and stage blood intending to become famous for it.

But as quickly and randomly as she struck a deer while driving early Saturday morning, those promised 15 minutes of fame found her on an otherwise miserable night.

Dressed in full makeup, blood and all, as Stephen King’s “Carrie,” the 20-year-old Marshall University student’s vehicle slammed a deer on U.S. 52 in South Point, Ohio, about 1:45 a.m. Saturday while driving home to Huntington after promoting the Paramount Players’ production of “Carrie” at the Fallsburg Fearplex in Louisa, Kentucky.

Inside the crumpled car, a concerned passerby walked up to find a morbid sight: behind all the airbags was a young woman seemingly dripping with blood. None of the blood was actually hers, and Wolfe was conscious and unhurt (save for a small bruise) while the Good Samaritan hurriedly called 911.

Within minutes, a fleet of Lawrence County ambulances, police cruisers and fire trucks surrounded her now-totaled car on U.S. 52 — each shocked at Wolfe’s “bloodied” body.

“Everyone talking on their walkie-talkies was saying like, ‘Make sure it’s really Halloween makeup,’” Wolfe laughed Wednesday in an interview at The Herald-Dispatch.

But at the time, even she worried over what was real blood and what was stage makeup. It was only when the adrenaline faded that she realized she wasn’t harmed.

That could have easily been the end of the story — a funny memory to recall with friends and family at her car’s expense. But after decompressing over the weekend, Wolfe shared the accident on Twitter on Monday afternoon, along with photos of her smashed car and “bloody” face.

“I didn’t even think about it; I just tweeted it really fast,” she recalled.

The tweet read: “If anyone wants to know how my weekend went I totaled my car while dressed up as Carrie and everyone who was a first responder thought I was dead HAHAHAHA IM SO SORRY.” It was quickly shared among Marshall students, and by Monday night had around 500 likes — by far her most popular post at that point. By Tuesday morning, the tweet had more than 1,000 likes, and Wolfe began fielding calls from national media outlets looking for permission to run it.

Her phone rarely stopped buzzing with notifications Wednesday. By last check, the post had been retweeted (shared) more than 70,000 times and liked nearly 400,000 times.

Wolfe’s story has since been shared all over the world, including in The New York Post, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and Twitter Moments. Ryan Seacrest even brought up the tweet during the “Live with Kelly and Ryan” morning show.

Most were just looking to share her post, while some simply published it regardless if she knew or not.

“I’m not mad. I think it’s hilarious, and more power to them,” Wolfe said.

As it stands, her sudden viral fame hasn’t parlayed into the wild happy ending of a new car — either through crowdsourcing or someone like Stephen King taking the initiative. A Venmo link added to the original tweet has only netted around $50 toward her car fund; in the meantime, she’s driving a family member’s truck.

“All my friends are texting me like, ‘When’s Ellen (DeGeneres) going to put you on to get you a car?’” she laughed.

She actually has, jokingly, reached out to the famed “Carrie” author in a follow-up tweet that itself garnered more than 1,700 likes: “Has @StephenKing seen this yet? Are you proud of me Mr. King?”

“He hasn’t written back yet,” she shrugged. “I’m waiting. I really want him to comment so bad.”

The tweet has, however, done wonders to promote the Paramount Players’ run of “Carrie,” which opens with a 7:30 p.m. and an 11:59 p.m. showing Thursday, Oct. 31, at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, with one more show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. People from across the country began to offer to buy tickets after seeing Wolfe’s tweets.

“One woman even said, ‘You’re the best method actor I’ve ever seen,’” Wolfe added.

In the production, she actually plays narrator Sue Snell — not Carrie. The night of the wreck, Wolfe was filling in as a substitute Carrie after the star, Kate Jackson, fell ill.

But the suddenness of it all has made this week a whirlwind for Wolfe, a Shelby, Ohio, native and the granddaughter of former Huntington mayor Kim Wolfe. She actually majors in accounting at Marshall, though she’s active with the university’s chamber choir as well as the Paramount Players.

But as if it were fate, Wolfe mentioned what her senior superlative was when she graduated from high school in 2017: Most likely to be famous.

“In my head, it’s so weird because I always thought, ‘Am I ever going to go viral? What tweet is going to get me there? Is it ever going to happen?’” she mused. It did, and in the most random way.

Follow reporter Bishop Nash on Twitter @BishopNash.

Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch  

At Wing Fling, 12 local restaurants will be making mass quantities of wings for those who buy an all-you-can-eat ticket.

Trump's Rust Belt revival is fading. Will it matter in 2020?

TOLEDO, Ohio — President Donald Trump once promised that coal and steel would be the beating heart of a revived U.S. economy — a nostalgic vision that helped carry him to victory three years ago in the industrial Midwest.

But a year away from Election Day, that promised renaissance is not materializing and both sectors are faltering in ways that are painfully familiar and politically significant.

Recent data shows manufacturing jobs are disappearing across Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio, states critical to Trump’s reelection chances. On Tuesday, Murray Energy, a major mining firm with close ties to the president, became the latest of many coal companies to file for bankruptcy this year, rattling communities across Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. The news followed recent layoffs at a prominent steel manufacturer in northeastern Ohio and General Motors’ final decision this fall to shutter its massive plant at Lordstown, Ohio.

The turmoil in the manufacturing and mining sectors threatens to undermine Trump’s claim to a booming economy — the bedrock of his and his Republican allies’ campaign strategy — in places where it matters most. While Trump’s economy is benefiting high-tech manufacturing and energy sectors in other regions, the manufacturing slump across the Rust Belt may test whether Trump can retain his appeal to blue-collar workers without having fully delivered on his promise to fatten their bank accounts.

“I don’t think that Ohio is just a lock in the Republican’s column, nor do I think that blue-collar voters are settled on who they’re likely to select,” said Robert Alexander, a political scientist at Ohio Northern University. “There is a lot of economic angst still in the state.”

Recent elections haven’t shown that angst to be aimed at Republicans. After Trump won Ohio by 8 percentage points — the largest margin of any presidential candidate since 1988 — Republicans fared better in Ohio than in many other states in last year’s midterms, nabbing every statewide office but one. Their winning formula was based on overwhelming support from working-class, white voters in small communities where a single company can anchor the local economy.

Murray Energy is based in St. Clairsville, Ohio, a small city near the West Virginia and Pennsylvania borders in a county that voted for Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton by a margin of 40 percentage points. But the company’s footprint is far larger, including 17 mines across Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia, as well as Colombia, South America.

The company’s former CEO Bob Murray is a Trump donor and advocate for his company’s interests. Murray openly pressured Trump to issue an emergency order that would have exempted his struggling company from environmental regulations he said were burdensome. Trump flirted with that idea but never approved it.

Murray said Tuesday the company was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a restructuring that puts at risk the incomes, pensions and health care benefits of roughly 7,000 workers.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, a bankruptcy expert, seized on the news as evidence of Trump failing his voters.

“He made promises to working people all across this country that he would be there on their behalf. Instead he’s been there for the lobbyists, he’s been there for the giant corporations, he’s been there to help make the rich richer and leave everyone else behind,” she said.

Trump bounded into office promising to bring back “beautiful clean coal” and deliver a victory for every factory worker. The message helped him pull out victories in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, where scars from the Great Recession that technically ended in 2009 were still fresh.

For the first two years of his presidency, Trump oversaw an economic recovery that extended across sectors and regions — adding manufacturing and factory jobs in the Rust Belt and beyond.

But recent signs show that trajectory shifting downward quickly, fueled by a slumping global economy and the trade wars escalated by the Trump administration.

So far this year, Ohio has shed 2,400 factory jobs. Michigan has lost 6,200. Pennsylvania has 9,100 fewer manufacturing workers. West Virginia employers have cut 400 mining jobs. And Kentucky has let go of 600 mine workers.

General Motors struck a devastating blow to Ohio by ending more than 50 years of car manufacturing at assembly plant near Youngstown, a labor stronghold where Trump surprised Democrats by winning half the vote in 2016. But for every GM-scale closure, there are other, lower-profile layoffs in other states.

Nearly 950 manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania were lost in May when the cabinetmaker Wood-Mode shuttered. Bimbo Bakeries closed a plant in July in northern Pennsylvania that cost 151 jobs, according to filings with the state.

Earlier this month, Canton, Ohio-based Timken Steel ousted CEO Tim Timken, also a Republican donor, as the company’s stock has plummeted over the past year.

Timken received $4 million in cash as severance. The company eliminated 55 positions in July in order to save $7 million annually next fiscal year, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Separately, roughly 250 Timken Steel employees so far have received extended layoff notices, said Bob Harper, president of United Steelworkers 1123. Factories have been idled at times due to a lack of orders.

Each job at Timken Steel supports about five other jobs in the community, said Harper, who says he thinks the layoffs could turn voters there against Trump.

“Things are going to get worse,” he said. “We’re going to get hurt.”

Timken’s wife is Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken, a chief cheerleader for Trump’s economic stewardship in the state. Asked about the layoffs and Ohio’s economy, Jane Timken issued a statement touting Trump’s record.

“President Trump is committed to bringing good paying manufacturing jobs back to Ohio and the Midwest,” she said, citing statistics largely shaped by Great Recession layoffs that preceded Trump by seven years. “Since he became president, he has brought over 14,500 manufacturing jobs back to Ohio. Compare that to President Obama who only brought 11,700 manufacturing jobs to Ohio during his entire administration. ... Democrats can cry economic wolf, but Ohioans know the truth.”

It’s far from clear that Ohioans are poised to blame Trump for the economic blows.

In Ohio, Dan Wade has worked at Timken Steel for the past 19 years. He was temporarily laid off last week, but says he expects to go back in a few days. He blames the company’s troubles on management, not Trump.

“I’m going to vote for him again. I like him, I like his attitude,” Wade said.

Timken retiree Joe Hoagland, who didn’t vote Trump and won’t in 2020, said he sees no evidence that Trump has been a boon for manufacturing.

“I don’t see any revitalization,” Hoagland said. “When you talk about bringing employment back, you can’t just all of a sudden make the happen.”


Boak reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Ohio, and Anthony Izaguirre in Charleston, W.Va., contributed to this report.


This story has been corrected to show the margin of victory in Ohio’s 2016 presidential election was 8 percentage points, not 12 percentage points.

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