Dear Beaver Countians:
What I am about to say I have said before, but I will say it again, and again, and again: This all must end before people get hurt.
Last night, the “News Alerts Of Beaver County” Facebook group, under its founding administrator Deanna Romigh, was yet again causing needless concern in the community. Romigh shared a post from an individual claiming there was someone on the loose performing pit maneuvers on random vehicles causing them to crash. The post went on to urge people to stay off a local highway for their own safety.
Romigh asserted strenuously that the individual’s claims were true and argued with police when they issued a statement dubbing it “a hoax.” As is usual for her, she took one grain of truth — that there was recently an accident on Route 51 — and used her defective reasoning to twist it into “proof” of a wildly different story.
This is how modern urban legends are born.
I have spoken to multiple law enforcement officials from three separate police departments and can confirm there is no headless highway horseman attacking vehicles in Beaver County.
Friday night, the “News Alerts Of Beaver County” and its administrator Deanna Romigh spread false information about a possible case of coronavirus in the county. Among the symptoms the man professed was that he was bleeding out of his eyes, and had developed an insatiable hunger with a strange urge to eat people.
When some group members attempted to point out the man in question was describing symptoms not of cornavirus, but rather a zombie apocalypse, Romigh began banning en masse. She accused these people of “blaming a victim.” He was her friend, she said, and his claims true.
Others suggested that perhaps the virus had mutated, causing devastating new symptoms. “Prayers, prayers,” Romigh repeated, “prayers, prayers.”
Those reading this may wonder to themselves, who on earth could believe such nonsense? I can not comment as to everyone around the world, but I can say here in Beaver County the answer is one hell of a lot of people.
As our nation battles the coronavirus, a pandemic of stupidity is ravaging Beaver County and Deanna Romigh is its Typhoid Mary.
Over the past month she has personally posted information about how to turn a paper towel into a face mask — fold it like a fan and staple rubber bands to each side to put around your ears. People actually thanked her for the information; officials I have spoken with say the craft project will actually increase, not decrease, your risk of infection.
She has also approved a post urging people to take high doses of daily vitamins to ward off coronavirus infection; officials tell me this will not protect you from the virus but may cause you to suffer kidney damage.
Romigh claims this misinformation is not her fault. But the group is curated, posts do not appear without her first approving them. While I would normally just ignore such a woman, Facebook’s algorithms have gifted her an audience of 40,000 people. Fake news is extremely viral and virulent, making the fears she stokes both far reaching and impactful.
This is not amusing, this is not cute, this is simply dangerous. This is total and complete insanity in a time of real emergency as declared by the President of the United States and leaders around the world.
Those who provide correction or express thoughtful dissent or criticism are often silenced by Romigh, creating an illusion she is omniscient and universally revered.
She can not, however, silence me. So, she instead resorts to other measures.
Romigh may once again claim I am “bullying her” with these words, although any rational person who reads her group over the course of a week should realize she is Beaver County’s biggest bully. Innocent person, after innocent person, after innocent person, falls victim to false accusations. That is not OK.
She may retreat behind her disability again — another of her familiar tactics when challenged. I will say very clearly my statements have nothing to do with the deafness of her ears, but everything to do with what is apparently lacking between them.
Romigh’s claims I am losing subscribers to her are false (our numbers are growing), her claims that I am jealous of her are absurd (gurl as if), and so are her assertions that NBC News is working on a story about how awesome she is.
NBC is working on an article, that’s the grain of truth, but it is in fact a story about how dangerous her group has become and how irresponsible Facebook is for doing nothing to stop it. Beaver County’s 911 Director was interviewed by NBC, as was a local police chief and news outlets — all expressed concern about the damage being done by her group. But the article’s publication has repeatedly been delayed due to shifting news priorities at NBC in this time of national emergency.
Romigh has exploited this vacuum and used the fact she was interviewed by a national news outlet to leverage sponsorship money and validate herself with the public. This small number of local businesses, which include the Beaver Supermarket and the Bridgewater Your CBD Store, appear ignorant or indifferent to the harm she is causing in the community.
I am writing this missive for one very important reason. I have said it before, and I will say it again, and again, and again: This all must end before people get hurt.
– John Paul
Slayer of Zombies and Headless Highway Horsemen
Investigative Reporter / Publisher BeaverCountian.com