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We need to know

August 25, 2009 - Heather Ziegler
There was an "incident" that occurred Friday night in the Stonegate neighborhood of Wheeling/Ohio County that has left a lot of people scratching their heads and seeking answers. As a news reporter, I followed seven state/county cruisers with lights and sirens on to Stonegate because that's what curious news people do. It's our job. It was obvious there was a standoff between police and a resident inside one of the house's in the neighborhood. Police were running in every direction when I arrived. They were armed, appropriately attired in protective gear. The situation was tense as one county officer asked, no told, people to get back in their homes or cars. Obviously there was a safety issue. I was told to stay behind the cruisers and wait for information from the officers when information was available. It never was. I called another reporter to the scene who was actually working (I was on vacation) and he remained at the scene for about four hours. The result was a photo of police cars that appeared in Saturday's newspaper with scant information as to what happened at Stonegate. If it was a situation that involved mental health issues the public still had a right to know what was going on since it was in an area full of people. While no facts to date have been verified, we were told the situation involved another person in law enforcement. I am very sorry that someone was ill or disturbed and this whole situation occurred. However, it caused more panic, rumors and untruths when the neighbors and media were kept in the dark as to what was happening Friday night at Stonegate.


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