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Larry Messina to leave Associated Press for WV Department of Military Affairs

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CHARLESTON, WV -

Long-time Associated Press reporter Larry Messina is leaving his post to serve as communications director for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

The announcement was made July 23 by DMAPS Cabinet Secretary Joe Thornton.

Messina will start in his new position Aug. 12.

"I'm excited to have someone with Larry's knowledge and experience on our team, and I'm pleased he has accepted this opportunity to serve within the department," Thornton said in a news release.

Messina has been statehouse correspondent for the AP since 2002. He frequently was nominated for the AP's worldwide Beat of the Week award. Prior to that, he covered legal affairs and special projects for the Charleston Gazette from 1993-2002 where he received several awards from the West Virginia Press Association and the American Bar Association.

"I've always considered journalism to be a form of public service," Messina said in a news release. "I'm grateful for this new opportunity to serve my fellow West Virginians by working for the men and women who have pledged to protect and defend them."

Messina is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit College and received the Archbishop John J. Swint Medal, given to the male graduate who best embodies the spirit of the school.

Messina and his wife, Lesly, live in Charleston with their daughter, Sophia.