POINT PLEASANT — Mason County Sheriff’s Deputies were honored at the Mason County Commission meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Deputy Matt McCormick, Lt. Forrest Terry and Sgt. Clifford “Andy” Varian were presented the U.S. Attorney’s Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Justice from U.S. Attorney Michael Stuart. McCormick was also presented the U.S. Attorney’s Valor Award.
Deputy Justin Veith, who as not in attendance, was also given the Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Justice.
The four were give the excellence award for their work in the case of United States v. Conner Blevins in 2018. Mason County Sheriff’s Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, the West Virginia State Police and the Department of Homeland Security conducted the investigation.
Stuart recognized the deputies for their work in the county on the front lines.
“They rush into danger when we rush away,” Stuart said.
During the meeting, Mason County Office of Emergency Services (OES) Director Dennis Zimmerman spoke to the commissioners about the COVID-19 pandemic. Zimmerman said each time Mason County changes a color on the Department of Health and Human Resources alert map, the county will have to conduct testing for a week. On Thursday, Zimmerman said he estimated if the county has 22 or 23 positive cases in one day, that would change Mason County to “red” on the map.
Zimmerman said he is trying to increase the part-time staff at the 9-1-1 center in case several employees have to quarantine due to exposure to the virus. Commissioners approved to hire Adrian Monroe for EMS and Roberta Hysell, Karria Hall, Keli-Abigail Justus, Brandi Johnston, Faith Mitchell and Maranda Whittington as PRN Telecommunications operators.
In his report to commission, County Administrator John Gerlach received approval to execute a grant regarding the right-of-way at the airport.
Commissioners entered executive session for personnel matters.
In attendance at the meeting were Commissioners Rick Handley and Tracy Doolittle, County Clerk Diana Cromley and Gerlach.
The next Mason County Commission meeting is set for Dec. 3. at 4 p.m.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.