WV teachers’ unions call for strike over education bill

West Virginia teachers’ unions on Monday called a statewide strike over an education bill that they view as lacking their input and as retaliation for a walkout last year.

The strike is scheduled to start Tuesday, leaders of three unions for teachers and school service workers said at a news conference, almost a year to the day after teachers started a nine-day walkout.

“We are left with no other choice,” said Fred Albert, president of the American Federation of Teachers’ West Virginia chapter.

The 2018 walkout launched the national “Red4Ed” movement that included strikes in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Washington state, and more recently, Los Angeles and Denver. Teachers in Oakland, California, have authorized a strike starting Thursday.

Now the movement has come full circle.

The Free Press WV

Both the state Senate and House of Delegates have approved separate and far different versions of the complex bill, but both call for creating the state’s first charter schools. The unions believe charter schools will erode traditional public schools.

After the strike call, the Senate passed an amendment to its bill 18-16 Monday night. The unions have said lawmakers never asked for their insight into what has become a rushed process in the Senate.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said that upon watching the Senate’s actions, “it appears that they are more interested in listening to the outside interests than they are the educators across West Virginia.

“We will work as closely as we can to get a resolution, but at this point, there doesn’t seem to be a resolution.”

Earlier Monday, Sen. Patricia Rucker, a Jefferson County Republican, moved to adopt the Senate’s amended version before senators even had a chance to read changes to the bill, prompting Democrats to protest. The Senate later adjourned for more than an hour to enable senators to catch up.

“Why are we pushing it through with about 10 minutes of advance notice?” said Michael Romano, a Harrison County Democrat. “Here we are with no time to digest it.”

Among other things, the Senate version would allow for up to seven charter schools statewide and provide for up to 1,000 education savings accounts for parents to pay for private school. The accounts would be for special needs students and those who have been bullied.

Proponents say the moves would give parents more school choices. Charter school laws have been enacted in 43 states and Washington, D.C

The House version does not call for such savings accounts and would limit charter schools to one each in Cabell and Kanawha counties.

Like the House, the Senate has removed a clause that would invalidate the entire legislation if any part is struck down. It also removed language requiring teacher pay to be withheld during a strike as long as the school calendar is unaffected.

“We are watching this hour by hour,” Albert said.

Sen. Craig Blair, a Berkeley County Republican, said the bill includes more than $66 million to directly help teachers and school service workers.

“Change is never easy in West Virginia,” he said. “This is the right thing to do. At this moment in time, this is exactly the right thing to do to get a better education outcome for our students.”

Teachers won a 5 percent pay raise after last year’s strike. The current legislation calls for similar raises.

Glenville State Head Football Coach Eric Smith Resigns

The Free Press WV

After two season at the helm of the Glenville State Pioneer football program, Head Coach Eric Smith has resigned to pursue opportunities outside of coaching.

“I’ve often said, coaching football is what I do…it is not who I am. I’m very grateful for the coaches, players, administration, booster, and community for our time here at Glenville. However, this profession often pulls you away from what matters the most…FAMILY! I have always wanted to be present in a real way for my family more than I wanted ball and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Krystal and I are excited to continue to be a part of this great community, however, I am resigning as head coach and will pursue an opportunity outside of coaching,“ Smith stated.

“I applaud Coach Smith’s dedication to Glenville State’s football program over the years and appreciate his efforts to connect with and give back to the community. I am very supportive of the type of program he helped to build where the scholar athlete comes first,“ said GSC President Dr. Tracy Pellett. “We certainly wish him well in his future pursuits.“

During his time at the helm of the Pioneers, Coach Smith finished with an overall record of 9-13 and 8-12 in the Mountain East Conference. Under Smith, the Pioneers finished 9th in year one but went on to tie for 5th in the league in year two (2018).

Smith, who was the 24th Head Coach of the Pioneers, had 15 players earn All-Conference honors and had one All-American. In 2018, the Pioneer offense finished 9th in Scoring, 6th in Rushing Offense, 10th in Passing Offense, and 8th in Total Offense.

“I want to thank Coach Eric Smith for his service to Glenville State College. He has a wonderful family and I have a lot of respect for his reasons in making this move. His hard work has put our football program into a good situation, and as a friend, I am very excited for him to enter this next chapter of his life. It is also exciting that he will now have more time for his family,“ stated GSC Athletic Director Jesse Skiles.

In 2017, the Pioneers finished 5th in Scoring Offense, 4th in Passing Offense, and 4th in Total Offense.

Smith came to Glenville State in 2011 as the Offensive Coordinator. His offense helped produced several outstanding players, including GSC’s All-Time Leading Rusher Rahmann Lee and several other First Team All-Conference players, with the likes of wide receivers Jordan Griffin (2011), Antwan Stewart (2011), Dante Absher (2016), and running back Tevin Drake (2015).

The 2018 season marked Smith’s eighth year on the staff with the Pioneers. He returned to Glenville State College after spending four years with former head coach Rich Rodriguez at both West Virginia University and Michigan. While at WVU and Michigan, he worked directly with the inside receivers. Additionally, he was part of the 2007 Big East/Fiesta Bowl Championship (WVU) and 2011 Gator Bowl (Michigan).

Smith’s coaching history consists of Glenville State College - coaching wide receivers (2003), University of Charleston - coaching quarterbacks (2004), Pikeville College - offensive coordinator and quarterbacks (2005), West Virginia University - graduate assistant (2007), and the University of Michigan - quality control and graduate assistant (2008-2010). Smith earned his undergraduate degree and played college ball at WV-Tech where he now holds three school records in Career Passing Leader, Career Total Offensive Leader, and Career Single-Season 1,000 Total Offensive Yard Performances. He was the winning recipient of the Neil D. Baisi Award (2002) and WVIAC First Team All-Conference selection at quarterback. He was inducted into the WV-Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.

Blake Tasker, the Pioneers defensive coordinator, will take over as the interim head coach. A national search for the 25th Head Coach of the Pioneer Football Team will begin immediately.

Generous Donation Benefits Glenville State Art and Design Students

The Free Press WV

Glenville State College Art and Design students can let their creativity to flow thanks to a generous donation from an award-winning artist.

The Applied Learning Art and Design Computer Lab, located in the Fine Arts Center, was completed in part by Arlinka Worl, a silver and gold Grumbacher medal award-winning artist from Detroit, Michigan. Worl donated funds, art books, and supplies to the lab.

Outfitted with all of the modern capabilities, the Applied Learning Art and Design Computer Lab brings together the traditional art program and the digital design program.

Available to students are: workstation class computers equipped with the full Adobe suite and Autodesk 3D modeling software, a large-format printer, framing and matting equipment, photography lights and backdrops, an art library with a student break room, Wacom digital tablets, a full audio recording studio, and a large projection screen for visual instructions.

“We’re very excited about the enhanced learning and additional capabilities the new design lab brings to our students.  They will be much better prepared for new and exciting careers in the growing creative industry,” said Associate Professor of Art, Christopher Cosner.

The Free Press WV
Glenville State College students utilizing the Applied Learning Art and Design Computer Lab

The lab is only one part of several significant changes that have taken place in the Department of Fine Arts.

In fall 2018, an integrated Bachelor of Arts degree with six unique career pathways was introduced.

Each pathway is designed to meet student needs, as well as industry trends.

Students can choose from paths in Graphic Design, Digital Illustration, Digital Media, Strategic Design, Drawing and Painting, and Ceramics.

The lab is open to all students and holds extended hours.

For more information, contact Cosner at ‘’ or at 304.462.6349.

WV Legislative Update


For me, Capitol events were put on hold late last week by the unexpected passing of Jean’s father, retired Air Force Colonel Rishel Walker.  At the age of 89, a sudden illness and trip to the ER last Thursday became worse overnight, and he passed away Friday afternoon, surrounded by family.  Rishel was a fine man; a dedicated father and husband; distinguished 38-year Air Force and WV Air National Guard veteran; and I could not have asked for a better father-in-law.  Please keep Jean and the family in your prayers.

Through the first forty days, last week was by far the most hectic and contentious of the 60-day session.  At the Capitol, the omnibus education bill – SB 451 – passed the House in a drastically pared-down version and now goes back to the Senate this week.  After one of the longest floor debates in recent memory Wednesday night with nearly forty proposed amendments, we were in session from morning until shortly before midnight.  While the bill underwent major improvements in House Education as compared to the Senate version and House Finance version, I could not support the bill as it left the House on Thursday, due to several factors, including charter schools and the possibility of an increase in property taxes on our residents.

The Senate has several options.  It can accept the bill as is and sent directly to the Governor for his action; amend the bill (which likely would not be accepted by the House); or go through a series of messages between the House and Senate to appoint a conference committee to work out the areas of difference between the two houses.  While I believe, at this writing on Sunday night, the conference committee route is the most likely next step.

There is no guarantee that either the full Senate or full House will accept what a conference committee recommends.  As SB 451 is such a controversial bill with far too many components, it may run until the end of the session before seeing the outcome.

It would have been much simpler and more efficient to run a pay increase bill, as the Governor and legislative leaders promised.  Once again, we have a bill poised to consume the limited time remaining in this session, as it takes valuable time away from other pressing issues in the remaining three weeks.  The regular session concludes at midnight on Saturday, March 09.

The ability to implement the medical cannabis bill passed overwhelmingly during the 2017 legislative session received a boost on Friday as the House passed HB 2538 – the Medical Cannabis Banking Act by a vote of 89-7.  The bill, which now goes to the Senate for their review, creates two state funds: Medical Cannabis Program Fund and the State Treasurer’s Medical Cannabis Fund.  These funds will provide the financial tools needed until competitive bids are solicited from banks, credit unions or non-bank financial institutions.  Eventually, as federal law changes, these contracts will end and funds will be deposited into the state concentration fund.

Also, a bill of which I am a sponsor, HB 2618 passed the House easily on Friday.  The bill deals with elder abuse and financial exploitation of the elderly, disabled or protected persons by means of undue influence and tactics that either threaten or exploit by various means.  I hope the Senate takes up this bill quickly and sends it to the Governor.  Each year, thousands of our most vulnerable citizens are bilked out of their lifetime savings by some of the people they trust most.  This is a serious crime and I’m pleased we are making the penalty a greater deterrent.

Last Thursday was also the annual WV Association of Retired School Employees lobby day at the Legislature, with a great delegation from both Gilmer and Braxton Counties on hand.  It was great to have them in the gallery for the final debate on the current education bill and House proceedings.  These dedicated retired professionals continue to work on behalf of educators and school service personnel, in addition to concerns over PEIA and pension reform for active and retired educators and school service personnel.

I want to thank my Frasier-Singleton legislative intern last week, BCHS graduate and GSC student Luke Bonnett for his assistance on the House floor, in committee and in the office with constituents, colleagues and staff.  Luke has a passion for public service, like all the interns that apply for the week-long program.  I’m certain he will be applying for the Herndon Fellowship intern program next year, which provides a session long stint at the Legislature, along with continuing their academic work.

Finally, I had a wonderful evening last week with the YLA - Youth in Government 8th grade students from Braxton Co. Middle School.  Group leaders Lori Dittman and Amanda Criner, along with students: Haley Butcher, Baylee Lockard, Natalie Rose, Kaylee Criner, Russell Bramble, Justin Bishop, Adam Smith and Addison Grindo.  We enjoyed a great dinner and conversation about pending legislation and their concerns for our county and goals they would like county and state leader to pursue.  These articulate, well-informed and highly motivated young men and women represent our future leaders, business owners, educators and working professionals that will move our State to the next level.  I’m confident we will be in good hands. 

During the legislative session, please send your inquiries to the Capitol office: State Capitol Building 1, Room 258 M, Charleston, WV 25305. My office telephone number is 304.340.3142; Please send your inquiries to my home office as well:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

Hardman’s partners with Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center

Hardman’s Supply has partnered with CGCC and the Calhoun Gilmer Construction Simulated workplace.

The Free Press WV
Standing:  Eric Squires–Manager, Glenville Hardman’s, Bryson Montgomery, Jesse Kargol,
Seth Valentine, Chris Kirkland, Thomas DeVries, Mr. Paul Parsons -Instructor, Zach Sturms.
Kneeling: Ben Knotts, Titus McIntyre, Hunter Helmick

Hardman’s along with Central States Metal Manufacturing Inc. will work with Calhoun Gilmer Construction to supply materials needed for the Star Gazing Cabin and other projects being built at CGCC.

Metal Demos were built and are on display at both Grantsville and Glenville stores.

City of Glenville Police Report

The Gilmer Free Press
City of Glenville, WV Police Report
Crime/Ordinance Violation
Possible MVC Huffman Vehicles and drivers were gone prior to my arrival Mineral Road
Threats Huffman CI started on multiple juveniles Glenville
Forensic Interview Huffman Forensic interview of an autistic child for a criminal investigation Clarksburg
Speeding complaint on Walnut Street Huffman Set up to run traffic control Walnut Street
MVC Huffman Accident report completed E. Main Street
Parking complaint Huffman Unable to locate the vehicle owner and the vehicle was out of traffic lanes Walnut Street
Speeding Jenkins Cited for speeding and expired MVI N. Lewis Street
MVI Expired Jenkins Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Jenkins Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Jenkins Warnings issued for Speeding and No Proof of Insurance N. Lewis Street
Speeding Jenkins Warning N. Lewis Street
Alarm Investigation Huffman Building all secure Advanced Auto
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland
Public service Request Huffman Spoke to an officer from Roane County about some locals that they will be obtaining warrants on Glenville
Vehicle complaint Huffman Referred to state police neither party lived within City Limits Vanhorn Dr.
Remove a subject Huffman Suspect was removed from the property then arrested by State Police for other charges Gilmer Elementary
Open Door Huffman Door had been left unlocked by staff everything was ok Walnut Street
Funeral detail Huffman Traffic control for a funeral Hay City
Alarm Investigation Huffman Alarm was going off because a transformer blew causing power outage Pine Street
MVC Huffman Accident Report Completed High school
MVC Huffman Accident report Completed Hay City intersection
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Walnut Street
Speeding Huffman Vehicle released with a verbal warning due to it being a fireman going on a vehicle fire Walnut Street
Speeding Huffman Vehicle released with a verbal warning due to it being a fireman going on a vehicle fire N. Lewis Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Walnut Street
Victim of an altercation Huffman Located subject and contacted EMS, Subject was transported to Stonewall Jackson for Injuries Walnut Street
MVC Huffman Vehicle and driver left the scene prior to my arrival and no damage noted to the building N. Court Street
MVC Huffman Accident Report completed N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding in a school zone Huffman Cited Walnut Street
Speeding Jenkins Warning N. Lewis Street
Obstructed Plate Jenkins Warning Mineral Road
New Cruiser to get decals Huffman/Braniff Dropped the cruiser off to get decals on it Weston
No seatbelt Huffman Cited for no seatbelt and Failure to change address and warning for unsigned registration Walnut Street
Speeding in a school zone Huffman Cited Walnut Street
Assist a business Huffman/Braniff Cut a lock off their dumpster due to the lock being broken Rite-Aid
Vehicle Unlock Huffman/Braniff Vehicle Unlocked Academy drive
Vehicle Unlock Braniff Vehicle Unlocked Rite-Aid
Evidence Pickup Huffman Picked up evidence from Crime Lab Charleston
Speeding in a school zone Huffman Cited for Speeding in a school zone and No Proof of Insurance Warning Issued for failure to carry operators Walnut Street
Trash Complaint Huffman No one answered the door N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Cited for Speeding and Expired Operators Warnings Issued for Unsigned Registration and failure to change address N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Warnings for Speeding and No Proof of Registration W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warning W. Main Street
Trash Complaint Huffman/Braniff No one answered the door put a door hanger warning on the door N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Cited for Speeding and No Proof of Insurance warning issued for Unsigned Registration N. Lewis Street
Speeding in a School Zone Huffman Cited for Speeding and Warnings Issued for Failure to Carry Operators, No Proof of Registration, and No Proof of Insurance Walnut Street
Parking complaint Braniff 2 parking citations issued Walnut Street
Forensic Interview Huffman Forensic interview for a child on an abuse case Clarksburg
MVC Huffman Accident Report completed Walnut Street
MVC Huffman Accident report Completed Stoplight
Panic Alarm Huffman/Braniff Doors were locked and no vehicles in the parking lot Courthouse
Funeral Detail Huffman/Braniff Escorted a Funeral service Ellysons
Possible DUI Huffman Located suspect he passed all field sobriety tests and a PBT was instructed he was not permitted back on Go Mart Property due to threats made towards employees Go Mart
Altercation Huffman Physical Altercation on Campus both parties refused to file charges. Subjects were separated LBH

Syrup producers invite public to ‘Mountain State Maple Days 2019’

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association will be hosting two Mountain State Maple Days this year to celebrate the state’s growing maple syrup industry. On Saturday, February 23rd and Saturday, March 16th more than a dozen syrup producers will open their doors to “sugar houses” around the state for the public to take a sneak peek into the magic of making maple syrup. In addition, numerous restaurants, shops and hotels will be offering special deals and maple-related attractions as part of “maple clusters.”

“Although maple syrup has been made in West Virginia for centuries, there has never been an effort to industrialize it until recently. But the potential for the industry is huge as our state has more maple trees than Vermont,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “If you want to taste real maple syrup while supporting a local farmer, these are the days for you.”

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) reported West Virginia had 61,000 taps that produced 9,000 gallons of syrup worth $330,000 in 2018. Despite a successful season, the Mountain State has approximately 164 million sugar maples within its forested areas indicating an opportunity for growth. The primary entity trying to tap into this prospect is the West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Associations which has more than 50 members.

“Small producers are leading the charge in West Virginia. It all started when the Maple Syrup Producers Association formed in 2015, and they have been steadily growing in member size, as well as production since,” Commissioner Leonhardt said. “Under my administration, we knew we had to focus more on providing tools to these producers, so West Virginia could tap into this niche market. I am proud of all that we have accomplished thus far.”

Example of “clusters” include the Pocahontas Cluster, being spearheaded by the Convention and Visitors Bureau there, which is putting together a weekend experience that will include sugar camp tours, maple breakfasts, maple dinner options. The Pocahontas County Opera House is offering overnight B&B packages.

Other clusters include Route 220 in the Hardy / Mineral County region, Metro Valley in the Kanawha / Lincoln County region, Wheeling area and the Beckley area, which will feature attractions at Tamarack, one of the state’s premier tourist stops.

For more details, click HERE.

Strawberry Festival Horse and Carriage Parade set for May 11

The Free Press WV

The clip-clop of hooves will echo on city streets on May 11 as horse equestrian teams, carts, carriages and individual riders proceed along the 2.5 mile route for the West Virginia Strawberry Festival Horse and Carriage Parade.

Set for Saturday May 11 at 3 p.m., this year’s parade expects entries from across the “Mountain State” as well as several out-of-state entries. Event Chairman Susie Sheets said, “This should be the largest horse and carriage parade in the history of Strawberry Festival”.

To date, verbal commitments have been received from 32 carriage, wagon or cart owners. At this time, 16 West Virginia counties will be represented with carriages, wagons and carts. The furthest wagon is scheduled from Milltown, Indiana at this time. Dozens of individual horse riders will also be participating.

The following have indicated their plans to attend: Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team (Michigan); the Buffalo Soldiers (Maryland); American Dream Cowgirls Drill Team (Pennsylvania); Ladies Side Saddle Association (Ohio); Love Valley Misfits Drill Team (North Carolina); and 40-some Cowgirls Drill Team, and Barbour County 4-H Equestrian Team (both from West Virginia).

Cash prizes totaling $3,000 will be awarded to winners in various categories along with plaques. All participates will be offered a “down-home” meal of cornbread, beans, ham, fried potatoes, applesauce and shortcake, sponsored and provided by B&L Friendly Kitchen.

At noon, visitors can see a trick riding and drill show by Shadow Montag of Ohio and the Mid America Cowgirls Drill Team. The show will take place in downtown Buckhannon. Live entertainment and additional activities will take place throughout the day.

For additional information on parade applications, contact Susie Sheets 304.613.0103 or email to ‘’. Applications are also available at

WVU researchers assess how a vegetarian diet can help prevent or control diabetes

As West Virginia University works toward becoming the world’s first Blue Zones Certified university, a graduate-student researcher in the WVU School of Public Health is exploring how one of the Blue Zone Project’s tenets—eating an abundance of vegetables—can make individuals with diabetes, and those at-risk of developing the condition, healthier.

Rachel Wattick, a doctoral student specializing in social and behavioral sciences, investigated the association between a range of vegetarian diets and diabetes outcomes. She and her mentor Melissa Olfert—an associate professor of human nutrition and foods in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design—found that whole plant foods play a crucial role in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Their work is part of WVU’s Lifestyle Intervention Research Lab, which Olfert leads.

The Blue Zones Project—an initiative designed to help community members live longer, healthier lives and alleviate their chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes—echoes Wattick’s and Olfert’s findings. The project encourages people to make most, if not all, of their food plant-based. Adopting a vegetarian diet is one way to clear that high bar.

The Free Press WV
WVU Organic Farm intern Ava Melzak holds a bunch of green beans.

The researchers performed a literature review of studies that focused on both diabetes and plant-based diets. Most of the studies were published in peer-reviewed journals within the past five years, but somewhat older studies were also included “if they were extremely relevant or if they touched on things that more current studies didn’t,” explained Wattick.

Across the spectrum of vegetarian diets that the studies probed—from veganism, which excludes eggs, cheese and other animal products, to semi-vegetarianism, which allows occasional meat eating—a correlation held constant: the more a diet relied on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and other plant-based foods low in saturated fat, the more it lowered someone’s risk of developing diabetes.

Among people who already had diabetes, plant-based diets were associated with healthier blood-sugar levels, lower body weight and reduced dependence on insulin and other diabetes medications.

In one study the researchers considered, 39 percent of participants who treated their diabetes with medication or insulin could stop taking the pills or giving themselves injections after they adopted a near-vegetarian diet.

Given the rising cost of insulin, using plant-based foods to shrink insulin doses or eliminate them entirely may be especially beneficial in West Virginia. The state has the highest incidence of diabetes in the nation but one of the lowest average household incomes.

In a recent study that Olfert led—titled “FRUVEDomics” and pending publication—a team of researchers asked 43 young adults to comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate guidelines. Participants were instructed to fill at least half of their plates with fruits and vegetables. All of the participants either had or were at risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Those who stuck to the diet recommendations spent, on average, $29 a week more on groceries than those who did not.

“Is it cheaper? No,” said Olfert. “But you have to weigh the pros and cons of a healthier plate for $29 more a week, versus getting fast food or grab-and-go, high-sodium and empty-calorie, convenient meals in the grocery store. Those are going to be what we consider calorie-dense but nutrient-poor foods, and that is the very crux of what promotes metabolic syndrome.”

“I think it would be interesting to do an analysis of how much people are actually paying for their insulin and comparing it to what they would pay for healthy food,” Wattick said.

Even if someone can’t afford to replace meat with healthy, plant-based foods in every meal, he or she is still better off making some substitutions than none at all.

“The research seems to show that veganism is the most therapeutic and protective diet for controlling and maintaining health with diabetes, but if we consider people’s current habits, and if they do eat meat regularly now, even beginning a semi-vegetarian diet—having meat just once a week—can help,” Wattick said.

In one study that the researchers took into account, the prevalence of diabetes decreased incrementally as people consumed fewer and fewer animal products. Participants who ate a typical amount of meat had a diabetes rate of 7.6 percent. Those the study classified as “semi-vegetarian” had a rate of 6.1 percent. Pescatarians (who eat fish but not meat), ovo-lacto vegetarians (who eschew meat but eat animal products) and vegans had rates of 4.8 percent, 3.2 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

“If you can make changes that you can adhere to, that’s important,” Wattick said. “And you could have your own diet that you follow that is very strict, but then, if you’re visiting family or you go out to eat, it’s okay sometimes to accommodate those situations. It’s not going to totally throw everything off.”

Operating Support Grants Build Capacity

The Free Press WV

As competition for funding increases, many nonprofit organizations face challenges with securing support for their ongoing programming.  In addition, when organizations face a financial challenge, or are going through a growth period, general operating support can be of great assistance to ensure that resources are in place to maintain programs and services. 

Recognizing this, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation offers operating support grants to nonprofit organizations through its Community Action Grants Program, a bi-annual competitive grant application process.  A number of local organizations have received operating support through this important program of the Foundation, but the need continues to grow.

A $15,000 operating support grant to the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg helped them to provide programs for 946 members in 2018. The Club’s services are particularly critical on days of unexpected school closings, such as snow days. 

“Thank goodness you’re here today.,“ said one mother of a Club member at the recent closing of schools for the Day of Mourning in honor of President Bush. “I don’t know what I would have done today if the Club wasn’t open.“ 

According to Ben Shuman, Executive Director, “Providing programs on the days schools are closed is unusual for a program like ours - more than half of Clubs across the country close their programs on those days.“ Operating support helps to ensure that the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg can remain open on those days, providing critical support to children and families.

To learn more about how you can partner with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation to support your favorite area nonprofits with operating support needs, please call us at 304.428.4438.

Mountaineer Food Bank Receives $20,000.00 from Dominion Energy

The Free Press WV

Mountaineer Food Bank received a $20,000.00 grant from Dominion Energy to help support Mountaineer Food Bank’s Project Harvest. “Through this grant, Dominion Energy is reaching across the state to support better access to nutritional food for community members in our service areas,” Christine Mitchell, external affairs representative for Dominion Energy said. “By their efforts, the Mountaineer Foodbank will reach 10,000 children and adults suffering from food insecurity in nearly every county in W.Va.,” Mitchell added.

Project Harvest will focus on decreasing hunger in West Virginia while increasing access of healthy foods in communities that do not have the capacity to regularly distribute them.

“Over the past couple years, Mountaineer Food Bank has placed a strong focus on the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables being accessible to our agencies to aid in improved health and more effectively meet the needs of their clients throughout all of MFB’s existing programs. As a result of this focus, our produce distribution has grown tremendously and the number of programs we are sourcing produce through has increased as well. Those innovative programs include; school produce markets, school backpack and pantry programs, just in time distributions, mobile pantry programs, drop and go’s, Veterans Table programs, RX pantry programs, fresh start programs, silver lining senior feeding programs, and more. Adding fresh produce to each of these programs allows our agencies and programs to offer their clients fresh produce that otherwise may not be available to them,” Becky Conrad Director of Development for Mountaineer Food Bank said.

Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls

The Free Press WV

The demand the huge Atlantic Coast Pipeline was intended to meet is disappearing, according to documents from the corporations behind the project.

Dominion and Duke Energy own almost all of the pipeline, as well as the electric utilities it would supply with natural gas. When applying for a federal permit, they argued it was needed to meet rising electricity demand in North Carolina and coastal Virginia.

But Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said utility filings in those states now show the outlook has changed dramatically - in part because of competition from cheap, renewable energy.

“Dominion is not projecting any increase in natural-gas demand until 2032,” Kunkel said. “Duke is still planning to build some natural-gas plants, but most of that has shifted to the late 2020s.“

The energy companies say they need more pipeline capacity to move fracked gas out of the Marcellus and Utica fields of northern West Virginia, where the price for it is artificially depressed by a transportation bottleneck.

The Free Press WV
Dominion is now telling regulators in Virginia that it expects
demand for electricity from natural gas to stay essentially
flat for the next decade and a half.

The 600-mile pipeline across the three states has faced a number of setbacks, including lawsuits by landowners and conservationists. It was recently announced that the total cost of the project would rise to $7.5 billion, and its opening would be delayed until 2021.

If the builders can get state utility regulators’ approval, they can shift the full expense of the line onto ratepayers, along with a guaranteed profit. But Kunkel said investors in the utilities may be starting to worry about the financial risks.

“The project has been delayed by these court challenges, it’s also over-budget,” she said. “And if the state regulators say, ‘You clearly don’t need all of the gas capacity that you signed up for here; we’re not going to let you charge it to your ratepayers,‘ then that would be a very significant blow.“

Kunkel said the incentives tend to make utilities and pipeline companies overestimate demand and overbuild capacity. She said that’s becoming a more serious issue as climate change poses increasing risks.

Kunkel helped write the analysis for a report from IEEFA and Oil Change International.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

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“But Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said utility filings in those states now show the outlook has changed dramatically - in part because of competition from cheap, renewable energy.“

That is utter rubbish.  There is no “cheap, renewable energy.“  Solar and wind are more expensive, even taking subsidies into consideration.  Hydro is more expensive, nuclear is more expensive.

Claiming otherwise is at best fake news, and at worst deliberate misdirection and lying.  Merely claiming renewable energy is less expensive doesn’t make it so.


Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne  on  02.15.2019

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Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance Available at GSC

The Free Press WV

Free income tax preparation assistance is being offered through a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and the Glenville State College accounting program to help students, faculty, staff, and local residents file their basic federal and West Virginia income tax returns.

Available again this year is ‘MyFreeTaxes,’ which is a simple and secure federal and state tax filing site provided through United Way and powered by H&R Block software. The online tool allows eligible taxpayers with a household adjusted gross income of up to $66,000 annually to self-prepare and electronically file both federal and state returns free of charge by visiting and following the steps provided.

Another option for qualifying taxpayers is the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) ‘Free File’ Program, provided through Glenville State College’s Accounting 399 class. Taxpayers who prefer to have an IRS certified volunteer to assist in the tax filing process or have questions about using ‘MyFreeTaxes’ can go to the Ernie Smith Computer Lab in room 309B of the Harry B. Heflin Administration Building. Accounting students Tyler Canterbury, Luke Carpenter, Wil Mayes, and Valerie Rule are available to assist in preparing your basic federal and West Virginia income tax returns.

The Free Press WV

The site will be open now through April 11 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Please note that no one will be available March 12-14 due to Glenville State College’s spring break.

Those who wish to receive free tax assistance should bring a copy of their 2017 tax return, Wage and Earnings Statements (Form W-2) from all employers, Interest and Dividend Statements (Form 1099), any additional relevant information about income and expenses, and bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit information.

Students who received financial aid should bring a copy of their Tuition Statement (Form 1098-T) provided by the school that lists tuition and fees paid and any scholarships or grants received.

Glenville State College’s accounting program has assisted the campus and the community with income tax preparation for over 21 years.

For more information, contact Cheryl McKinney at ‘’ or 304.462.6263.

Valentine’s Day 2019

The Free Press WV

Have a Very Happy Valentine’s Day

The Gilmer Free Press

The Free Press WV

Lewis-Upshur-Gilmer County Farm Service Agency Announces County Committee Election Results

The Free Press WV

Lewis-Upshur-Gilmer County U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that County Committee elections are over and the ballots have been counted.

  • Clara Mae Spray from Roanoke, WV was elected to represent local administrative area (LAA) #1, Lewis County.

  • Glenn Heaton from Ireland, WV will serve as the first alternate.

  • Steve Snyder from Rock Cave, WV was elected to represent local administrative area (LAA) #4, Upshur County.

  • Robert Hissam from French Creek, WV will serve as the first alternate.

  • Leon Ellyson from Coxs Mills, WV was elected to represent local administrative area (LAA) #6, Gilmer County.

County committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They help deliver programs at the county level and work to serve the needs of local producers. All recently elected county committee members will take office in January 2019 and will be joining the existing committee. Every FSA office is required to have a county committee, and they are made up of local farmers, ranchers and foresters who are elected by local producers.

Nearly 7,800 FSA county committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. County committee members impact the administration of FSA within a community by applying their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs and eligibility.

County committee members impact producers through their decision making and help shape the culture of a local FSA office. They also ensure the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties and are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. Members conduct hearings and reviews as requested by the state committee, ensure underserved farmers, ranchers and foresters are fairly represented, make recommendations to the state committee on existing programs, monitor changes in farm programs and inform farmers of the purpose and provisions of FSA programs. They also assist with outreach and inform underserved producers such as beginning farmers, ranchers and foresters, about FSA opportunities.

For more information, visit the FSA website at or contact the Lewis-Upshur-Gilmer County FSA office at 304.269.8431.

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West Virginia

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Have A Minute?‏

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The McKinley Capitol Report

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From the Hill to the Mountains

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A Snake Needs a Name: Your Ex’s

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MEC Women’s Basketball Roundup (February 16, 2019)

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The Free Press WV Notre Dame 106, Glenville State 98 [ .... ]  Read More

MEC Women’s Basketball Roundup (February 14, 2019)

The Free Press WV #23 Glenville State 85, Notre Dame 79 [ .... ]  Read More

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Courtney Davis Eyeing GSC’s Rebounding Record

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MEC Men’s Basketball Roundup (February 09, 2019)

The Free Press WV Charleston 102, Glenville State 73 [ .... ]  Read More

MEC Women’s Basketball Roundup (February 09, 2019)

The Free Press WV Glenville State 108, Charleston 97 [ .... ]  Read More

MEC Men’s Basketball Roundup (February 07, 2019)

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Transforming the Dream into Reality

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Advocates of multi-county mountain biking trail eye tourism boom

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West Virginia trout stocking the week of February 11, 2019

The Free Press WV Waters were stocked the week of February 11, 2019 [ .... ]  Read More

The Green New Deal

Trevor Noah shared a trailer for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal [ .... ]  Read More

West Virginia Arbor Day poster contest rules, educational kit, now available online

The Free Press WVAccepting poster entries from fourth and fifth grade classes statewide through March 01, 2019 [ .... ]  Read More

WV hunters harvest 108,856 deer during Fall 2018 through January 2019 seasons

The Free Press WV 018 deer seasons reveals 44,599 bucks were harvested during the traditional buck firearm season, 32,751 antlerless deer were taken during all antlerless firearm hunting opportunities, 26,613 deer were harvested by bows and crossbows in the urban and regular archery/crossbow seasons, 4,234 deer were taken in the muzzleloader season and 659 deer were taken with primitive bow and muzzleloader weapons in the Mountaineer Heritage season [ .... ]  Read More

Report on Himalayan Ice Cap Has ‘Shocking Finding’

The Free Press WVOne-third of the ice cap can’t be saved, scientists say   [ .... ]  Read More

West Virginia trout stocking the week of February 04, 2019

The Free Press WV The following waters were stocked [ .... ]  Read More

FACT CHECK: Global warming hasn’t gone away despite cold

The Free Press WV In the midst of a Midwest cold spell, President Donald Trump is pleading for global warming to come back, but it never went away [ .... ]  Read More

DNR seeks wildlife paintings for 2020 calendar

The Free Press WVThe deadline for submitting artwork is February 15, 2019 [ .... ]  Read More

Could This Be the Next Big Idea on Product Containers?

The Free Press WVWorld’s biggest brands creating reusable containers in new ‘Loop’ experiment   [ .... ]  Read More

Camera Catches Poachers Killing Bear, ‘Shrieking’ Cubs

The Free Press WVAlaska men sentenced in ‘most egregious’ case [ .... ]  Read More

West Virginia hunters harvest 2,606 black bears in 2018

The Free Press WV The 2018 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook predicted an archery harvest similar to 2017 and a decreased December firearms harvest over the levels observed in 2017 [ .... ]  Read More

USDA Farm Service Agency Announces Program Deadline Extensions

The Free Press WV USDA’s Farm Service Agency extended deadlines on many of its programs because of the government shutdown and the emergency nature of many of the programs [ .... ]  Read More

New crayfish species named after West Virginia professor

The Free Press WVA biology professor in West Virginia who studies crayfish now has a new species named after him [ .... ]  Read More

Technology & Science

Events & Announcements

Memory Stick Full of Photos Found in Frozen Seal Poo

The Free Press WVNZ researchers now trying to find owner   [ .... ]  Read More

Battery Life

The Free Press WVIt is time, ladies and gentlemen, to talk about something that we seriously struggle with: The ridiculously-short lifetime of our devices’ batteries!  [ .... ]  Read More

5 reasons why autonomous cars aren’t coming anytime soon

The Free Press WVIn the world of autonomous vehicles, Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley are bustling hubs of development and testing [ .... ]  Read More

Scientists Find Culprit in Starfish Devastation

The Free Press WVWarmer ocean helps deadly pathogen flourish, study suggests   [ .... ]  Read More

NASA Preps for Visit to ‘Mysterious World’

The Free Press WVLife may well live below Europa’s icy surface   [ .... ]  Read More

Scientists Ponder Ocean’s Latest ‘Anomaly’

The Free Press WVThere are fewer unprovoked shark attacks worldwide; researchers aren’t quite sure why [ .... ]  Read More

Apple busts Facebook for distributing data-sucking app

The Free Press WV Apple says Facebook can no longer distribute an app that paid users, including teenagers, to extensively track their phone and web use [ .... ]  Read More

Facebook Pays Teens for Complete Access to Personal Data

The Free Press WVThe program, in place since 2016, requires minors to ask parental permission [ .... ]  Read More

Teen Who Found FaceTime Bug Will Get a Reward

The Free Press WVApple isn’t saying how much Grant Thompson will get for discovering eavesdropping flaw   [ .... ]  Read More

Study: Staring at Screens Stunts Child Development

The Free Press WVChildren aged 2 to 5 who spent more than an hour a day in front of televisions and computers scored worse in developmental tests [ .... ]  Read More

FACT CHECK: Facebook’s murky data-sharing practices

The Free Press WVMark Zuckerberg’s latest attempt to explain Facebook’s data-sharing practices is notable for its omissions as well as what it plays up and plays down [ .... ]  Read More

Do You Charge Your Phone in Your Vehicle?

The Free Press WV Don’t Charge Your Phone in Your Vehicle, unless you have to [ .... ]  Read More

Scientists Heading to One of the Last ‘Unexplored Frontiers’

The Free Press WVNekton Mission will investigate Indian Ocean ecosystems   [ .... ]  Read More

Your Amazon Order May Soon Arrive in This

Six ‘cooler-sized’ Scout vehicles undergoing test in Washington state [ .... ]  Read More

Pope Who Says He’s a Tech ‘Disaster’ Has a New App

The Free Press WV‘Click to Pray’ lets users keep on top of pontiff’s prayers, as well as add their own   [ .... ]  Read More

Founders Day of Giving

The Free Press WV

Pasture and Grazing Improvement Course

The Free Press WV

Mardi Gras Premium Night planned at GSC - 02.21.19

The Free Press WV

GCES Presents: Community Awareness…. 02.21.19

The Free Press WV

Gilmer County Board of Education Special Meetings - 02.25.19

The Free Press WV
Gilmer County Board of Education
Central Office
Monday, February 25, 2019 – 4:30 PM






GCHD Food Handler’s Class - 02.28.19

The Free Press WV

Gilmer Public Library Programs and Events in 2019

The Free Press WV

Taking Orders Now for the Annual Berry and Plant Sale

The Free Press WV
Gilmer County Farm Bureau and WVU Extension Service- Gilmer and Calhoun County will once again be placing a bulk order for Spring Plants and Berries.

The spring plants and berries that are available this year will be strawberries, blackberries, raspberries (both red and black), and blueberries.

We will also be offering asparagus roots and rhubarb crowns.

If you would like to improve your garden by adding one or more of these berry plants contact the WVU Extension Service-Gilmer and Calhoun County respectively at 304.462.7061 or 304.354.6332, and we will mail you an order form.

You may also email ‘’ for a copy of the order form.

Orders and payment is due by Thursday, February 28, 2019, at the close of business, 4:00 p.m.

Once plants arrive all participants will be called and plants will need to be picked up within 5 days.

Plant will be available to be picked up in Gilmer and Calhoun County, at the WVU Extension Office.

Expect plants to arrive the second or third week of April.

Do not miss out on this opportunity to add some fresh berries and perennial vegetable plants to your future family meals.

Gilmer Public Library: Story Time from Space

The Free Press WV

Junior Class Mix-N-Match Basket Bingo - 03.16.19

The Free Press WV

Braxton County Schools PreSchool Registration Day - 03.28.19

The Free Press WV

Gilmer County Preschool Sign Ups and Family Event - 03.29.19

The Free Press WV

Family Turkey Hunting Workshop

The Free Press WV

Upcoming Winter and Spring Gardening Workshops

The Free Press WV

Gilmer Public Library: Japanese Culture

The Free Press WV

Lifeguard Certification Classes Scheduled at Glenville State

The Free Press WV
Individuals interested in earning or renewing certification as a Red Cross lifeguard should make plans to sign up for one of two classes being offered at Glenville State College’s Pool.

Certification classes are being organized for February 16, 17, 23, 24 and May 04, 05, 11, 12.

The classes last from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and take place at the GSC Pool which is located in the Health and Physical Education Building.

Cost for the certification is $225 per person.

Participants, who should be at least 15 years old by the last day of the class, must pass a swim test at the first session.

The test consists of a 300-meter continuous swim using either the front crawl or breaststroke, treading water, hands-free, for two minutes in the deep end of the pool, and completing a brick retrieval within one minute forty seconds.

For more information and to request a registration form, contact GSC Director of Aquatics and Recreation Kathy Gilbert at ‘’ or by calling 304.462.6441.

Gilmer Public Library Programs and Event - 2019

The Free Press WV


Reader's Comments

Sherry Pauline Noble

The Free Press WVOctober 01, 1958 - February 16, 2019. Born in Tulsa, OK. Resided in Glenville, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Peggy Ann (Lewis) Currence

The Free Press WVAge 73, of Sutton, WV passed away Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the Braxton County Health Care Center, Sutton, WV. She was born August 01, 1945 at Sutton, WV to the late Orvil Lewis and June (Morrison) Lewis [ .... ]  Read More

Barbara Jean Gallaher

The Free Press WVAge 67, of Sutton, West Virginia, went peacefully to sleep on February 16, 2019, at her home surrounded by her husband and two daughters, as was her wish. Barb was born November 22, 1951 in Bay Village, Ohio, the eldest child of the late Sarah (Sally) A. Brown and Charles (Blake) B. Pendergrass [ .... ]  Read More

Bernice Riddle Stump

The Free Press WVAge 94, formerly of Russett, WV went to be with the Lord February 12, 2019 at Macclesfield, NC. She was born July 16, 1924, a daughter of the late Ralph and Daisy Smith Riddle [ .... ]  Read More

Nyla Leah Frymier Poole

The Free Press WVAge 82 of Glenville, West Virginia, departed this earthly life in the early morning hours of Thursday, February 14, 2019 at her residence in Camden Flats, with her loving husband and children by her side. She was born September 11, 1936 in Tanner, WV; daughter of the late Eustace and Ploma Grogg Frymier [ .... ]  Read More

John J. Faber

The Free Press WV Age 80, of Gassaway, WV passed away February 12, 2019. He was born to the late John A. Faber and Elsie Hamilton Faber on February 20, 1938 in Alquina, IN [....]  Read More

Wanda “Jean” Heath

The Free Press WVAge 68, of Weston, WV slipped peacefully into the arms of the Lord on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at Ruby Memorial Hospital surrounded by loving family. She was born in Weston, WV on May 10, 1950 a daughter of the late William Howard and Martha Virginia Skinner Krafft [ .... ]  Read More

Phyllis Ruth Alkire (née Beall)

The Free Press WV Born January 4th, 1929 of Gassaway, West Virginia passed from this life on February 13th 2019 to reunite with her loving husband, Denzil Alkire. Together, she and Denzil touched many lives from Hawaii to New York City doing God’s work as missionaries of the Mormon faith [....]  Read More

Frederick John Morris Jr.

The Free Press WVAge 86 of Weston WV passed away February 12 2019 at home with family and the guidance of Hospice. Fred was born January 13, 1933, in Keene NH to the late Frederick J. Morris, Sr. and Emma Hodgman Morris [ .... ]  Read More

Lewis “Louie” Gail Cottrell

The Free Press WVAge 70, of Nebo WV passed away into rest on Monday, February 11, 2019. He was born November 28, 1948, a son of the late Okey Lee and Alma Nellie Truman Cottrell [ .... ]  Read More

Virginia Joan Starcher

The Free Press WVAge 97, of Minnora, WV went home to be with the Lord on February 10, 2019 at Minnie Hamilton Health System Long Term Care, Grantsville, WV. She was born February 16, 1921 in Calhoun County, WV, the daughter of the late Lester and Maude Hershman Bailey [ .... ]  Read More

Ruth Ann Yost

The Free Press WVAge 96, of Chloe, WV went home to be with the Lord February 10, 2019 at Roane General Hospital, Spencer, WV. She was born at Floe in Clay County, WV on August 30, 1922. She was the daughter of the late John Burton and Belle Vaughan [ .... ]  Read More

Howard J. Ooten

The Free Press WVAge 80, of Arnoldsburg, WV, formerly of Yolyn, WV., went home to be with his Lord and Savior February 10, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. Howard was born November 9, 1938 at Ragland, WV, the son of the late Rosa Mae Burke Ooten – Adkins and Garland Ooten [ .... ]  Read More

Vera Marlene Lyons

The Free Press WVAge 84 of West Union, WV departed this life on Monday, February 11, 2019 and gained her place in heaven with the angels and so many of her beloved family and friends. She was born March 23, 1934 in Bens Run, WV; the daughter of the late Lester and Ethel Mott Dearth [ .... ]  Read More

Norma Lea (King) Carter

The Free Press WVof Millstone WV took Jesus by the hand on February 10, 2019. She was born May 25 1940, the daughter of the late Virginia Berle King of Nicut WV [ .... ]  Read More

Doris Mae Radabaugh

The Free Press WV of Parkersburg, West Virginia passed away Saturday, February 09, 2019 at Camden Clark Memorial Hospital, Parkersburg. She was born December 26, 1942 at Dekalb, Gilmer County, West Virginia, the daughter of the late Oren and Evelyn Davis Radabaugh [....]  Read More

Bertha Jane McClung

The Free Press WV Age 84, of Macfarlan, WV passed away February 07, 2019 at her residence. She was born September 22, 1934 at Calhoun County, WV, the daughter of the late Delmas Glen and Emma Violet Taylor Wagoner [....]  Read More

Timothy Wayne Spinks

The Free Press WV Age 46, of Cottle, WV passed away on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 at Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown.  He was born December 03, 1972 in Braxton County, WV to Darrell Spinks and the late Tressie Louise Greathouse Spinks [....]  Read More

Lewis Earl Collins

The Free Press WVAge 76 of Verona, NY, passed away suddenly on February 10, 2019 at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital while in WV visiting family. His parents, the late Alfred Collins and Hazel Cable welcomed Lewis to the family on March 20, 1942 in Vienna, NY [ .... ]  Read More

Mary “Katie” Catherine (Godfrey) Shaffer

The Free Press WVAge 74, 0f Glenville, WV went to Heaven, on Thursday, February 07, 2019 at the Glenville Center, Glenville, WV following an illness. She was born on August 14, 1944 in Copen, WV to the late Donald Lovell Godfrey and Margret “Maggie” (Ball) Godfrey [ .... ]  Read More

Patrick Dewitt McDonnell Sr.

The Free Press WVAge 85, of Vienna, WV passed away Saturday, February 09, 2019. He was born June 30, 1933 in Pike, Ritchie County, West Virginia, a son of the late Patrick Dorn and Lona B. Dye McDonnell [ .... ]  Read More

John Lawson Simons

The Free Press WV Age 87, of Tucson, Arizona, formerly of Ritchie County, WV, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, February 03, 2019 [....]  Read More

Paul Wade Harris Sr.

The Free Press WVAge 71, of Buckhannon, WV passed away peacefully surrounded by loving family in the comfort of his own home on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 after an extended illness. He was born in Lewis County, WV on February 24, 1947 a son of the late Wayne Harris and Kathleen Rowan Harris [ .... ]  Read More

Edith Virginia Smith White

The Free Press WV Age 104 of Falls Church, VA formerly of West Union, WV departed this life on Wednesday, February 06, 2019.  She was born on June 23, 1914 in Doddridge County, WV a daughter of the late H. Walter and Mary E. Freeman Smith [....]  Read More

Steven Andrew Paugh

The Free Press WVAge 69, of Weston, WV passed away on Friday, February 08, 2019 at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. His mother Cora Vanpelt welcomed him to the world on January 28, 1950 in Weston, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Matthew Wayne Williams

The Free Press WVAge 38, of Grantsville, WV passed away unexpectedly, Monday, February 04, 2019. Matthew was born August 17, 1980, and was a lifelong resident of Grantsville, West Virginia [ .... ]  Read More

Clem “Bud” Morris Weaver

The Free Press WV Age 89, of Little Hocking, Ohio passed away February 07, 2019 at home. He was born July 27, 1929 at Gilmer County, WV, a son of the late Jackson Woodford and Oleta M. Frymier Weaver [....]  Read More

Thelma Elaine Heckert

The Free Press WVAge 72, of Weston, WV went to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 at the United Hospital Center. She was born Weston, WV on March 02, 1946 a daughter of the late Clarence Edgar Alta Leora Bond Boram [ .... ]  Read More

Robert A.(Bob) Parker, Sr.

The Free Press WVAge 76, of Weston, WV has pulled his final load as of February 06, 2019 and is parked safe in heaven [ .... ]  Read More

Tommy Fire King

The Free Press WV Age 68, of Jane Lew, WV passed away on January 30, 2019 in Crestview Nursing Home of Jane Lew, WV following a brief illness. He was born in Lewis County, WV on March 01, 1950: son of the late French King and Anna Bell (Alkire) King [....]  Read More

Jackie “Jack” Lee Brown

The Free Press WVAge 62, of Weston, WV passed away on Monday, February 0, 2019 under the compassionate care of the Genesis Glenville Center. He was born in Lewis County, WV on April 13, 1956 a son of the late Elias Robert and Agnes May Titus Brown [ .... ]  Read More

Lela Mae Coleman

The Free Press WVAge 86, residing at Colonial Place of Elkins, WV passed away on Monday, February 04, 2019 in Davis Memorial Hospital of Elkins following a brief illness. She was born in Weston, WV on August 15, 1932: daughter of the late Robert Donaldson and Cora (Hefner) Donaldson [ .... ]  Read More

Fred L. Dahmer

The Free Press WVAge 77, of Weston, WV passed away Tuesday, February 05, 2019 at Ruby Memorial Hospital. He was born on February 13, 1941 in Deer Run, WV in Pendleton County, WV to the late Fred A. and Leah M. Dahmer [ .... ]  Read More

Margaret Willadene “Deanie” Daugherty

The Free Press WVAge 81, of Canton, OH, passed away February 01, 2019 at her residence. She was born September 27, 1937 at Berea, WV, the daughter of the late Kenneth and Marie Lamm Campbell [ .... ]  Read More

Minoka Pearl Mackey

The Free Press WV Age 91 of Harrisville, WV passed away February 04, 2019 at her daughter’s residence. She was born November16, 1927 at Washburn, WV, the daughter of the late Dewitt G. and Georgia Rexroad Jett [....]  Read More

Wilma (Brown) Pierce

The Free Press WV Age 62, of Gassaway, WV passed away February 02, 2019 at CAMC General after a short illness. She was born May 25, 1956 in Sutton, WV a daughter of the late Thomas Franklin “Amos” Brown and Gladys (Moore) Brown [....]  Read More

Anna Pearl Washington

The Free Press WVAge 88, of Parkersburg, WV passed away January 30, 2019, at the Worthington Nursing Home in Parkersburg. She was born May 02, 1930 in Sutton, WV, the daughter of the late Carl James and Pearl Robinson Johnson [ .... ]  Read More

Lillian Maxine Westfall

The Free Press WV Age 98, of Buckhannon, WV, passed away Thursday, January 31, 2019, at the Grafton City Hospital in Grafton, WV. She was born July 15, 1920, in Horner, WV, a daughter of the late Charlie G. and Isabela “Vesta” Rohrbough Henline [....]  Read More

Harry “Mike” Michael Seckman

The Free Press WVAge 68 of Salem, WV passed away Thursday January 31, 2019 at Salem Center with family by his side.  He was born December 20, 1950 in Clarksburg, WV son of the late Harry Seckman and Veva Mae Bonnell Davis [ .... ]  Read More

Harold “Kitty” Wilson

The Free Press WVHusband, father, grandfather, friend, decorated war hero, scoutmaster, passed peacefully in his home on the morning of January 31, 2019. He was born at home in Chestnut Lick, Gilmer County, WV on August 31, 1922, a son of the late Henderson Bill Wilson and Rachel Ivy Meadows Wilson [ .... ]  Read More

Curtis Eugene Etheredge, Jr.

The Free Press WV Age 57, of Harrisville, WV passed away January 27, 2019 as a result of a trucking accident. He was born December 26, 1961 at Philadelphia, PA the son of the late Curtis E. Etheredge and Caroline Ann Etheredge of Chalfont, PA [....]  Read More

James “Andy” Charles Anderson

The Free Press WVAge 84, of Tunnel Fork Road, Gassaway, WV went to be with the Lord on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at his residence. James was born in Pontiac, MI on June0 9, 1934 to the late Carl Anderson and Anna Marie Huusom [ .... ]  Read More

Joe Engel Chrisman

The Free Press WVWent to be the Lord Wednesday morning, January 23, 2019, after a five month battle with West Nile Virus. He was born and raised in Gassaway, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Jerry Waide Tanner

The Free Press WV Age 68, passed away January 24, 2019 at home, surrounded by his loving family. Born on September 19, 1950 in Gassaway, WV, he was the son of the Russell Waide and Juanita Raider Tanner [....]  Read More

Leonard Edward Bailey

The Free Press WVAge 70, passed away peacefully at his residence on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 surrounded by loving family. He was born in Trap Fork, WV on October 29, 1948 a son of the late Leonard Ray Bailey and Anna Mae Bailey [ .... ]  Read More

Lavena Carol Bennett

The Free Press WV Age 82 of WV Highway 23 N. Salem, WV departed this life on Monday January 28, 2019 in the United Hospital Center.  She was born on January 21, 1937 in Doddridge County, WV the daughter of the late Wayman B. and Edna E. Ford Swiger [....]  Read More

French Alfred Stump

The Free Press WV Age 77, of Grantsville, WV passed away on Monday, January 28, 2019 at Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown, WV. He was born August 24, 1941 in Grantsville, WV a son of the late Harry and Georgia Ward Stump [....]  Read More

Lewis Mitchell “Mike” Starr

The Free Press WVUSAF, TSgt, Ret., age 82, of Volga, WV passed away peacefully and surrounded by loving family on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at River Oaks Nursing Facility in Clarksburg. He was born on March 21, 1936 in Horner, WV a son of the late Carl Eugene and Eulah Adams Starr [ .... ]  Read More

Thomas Isaac Ratliff

The Free Press WVOn January 26th, 2019, he passed away at the age of 77. Tom was born on Long Run, WV on September14th, 1941 [ .... ]  Read More

Nancy Lee Reed

The Free Press WVAge 66, of Weston, WV departed this Earth on Monday, January 28, 2019 under the compassionate care of Crestview Manor Nursing Facility. She was born on July 07, 1952 in North Attleboro, MA a daughter of the late Edward Anthony and Rhea Yvette Cameron Lizotte [ .... ]  Read More

Donna Fay Grogg

The Free Press WVAge 74 of Kanawha Street, Glenville, WV; gained her angel wings on Sunday, January 27, 2019 at the Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV; surrounded by her loving family, following a brief illness. She was born August 02, 1944 in Parkersburg, WV;  daughter of the late Arley and Ivy Boyce Bush [ .... ]  Read More

Shonna Kay Henline

The Free Press WVAge 37, of Roanoke, WV passed away gently into the arms of the Lord on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at the Genesis Glenville Center. Shonna blessed this Earth and the lives of her parents when she was born on July 30, 1981 in Clarksburg, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Gerald “Porky” Faye Postlethwait

The Free Press WVAge 64, of Jane Lew, WV passed away on Sunday, January 27, 2019 in the comfort of his own home. He was born in February 11, 1954 a son of the late Ervin Postlethwait Jr. and Audra Leona Murray Postlethwait [ .... ]  Read More

Victoria “Vickie” Sue (Moore) Conrad

The Free Press WVAge 58, of Copen, WV passed away on Friday, January 25, 2019 with her loved ones by her side in the WVU Medicine United Hospital Center Hospice in Bridgeport, WV. Vickie was born on September 06, 1960 in Elkins, WV the daughter of Pattie Jean (Stalnaker) Moore of Elkins, WV and the late James Russell Moore who preceded her in death on January 15, 2014 [ .... ]  Read More

Beulah Mae Hall

The Free Press WVAge 81, of Virginia, went to be with the Lord on January 24, 2019. She was born on February 03, 1937 to the late Lawrence Johnson and Myrtle Phipps of Clintwood, Virginia [ .... ]  Read More

Jimmy Pritt

The Free Press WVAge 72 of Burnsville, WV stepped into eternity to join his Lord and Personal Savior on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at Braxton County Memorial Hospital due to an apparent heart attack. Jimmy was born on June 26, 1946 at home on Hyers Run, West Virginia to the late Virgil “Buck” Pritt and Elsie (Blake) Pritt [ .... ]  Read More

Paula Kowalski Newsome

The Free Press WVAge 55, of Rosedale, WV formerly of Ravenna, OH passed away Friday, January 25, 2019 at CAMC Memorial after a short illness. She was born August 14, 1963 to the late Stanley and Elizabeth Kowalski [ .... ]  Read More

Elden Lee Pullin, Sr.

The Free Press WVAge 82, of Little Birch, WV passed away Saturday, January 26, 2019 at United Hospital Center, Bridgeport. Elden was born December 16, 1936, in Hyer, WV, the son of the late Elbert Lee & Mary Agnes Bee Pullin [ .... ]  Read More

Margaret Ann “Peggy” Thomas

The Free Press WV Age 91, of Charleston, WV, went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at Thomas Memorial Hospital, South Charleston. She was born September 16, 1927 in Sutton, WV, the daughter of the late John F. Thomas, Sr. & Gladys Hoffman Thomas [....]  Read More

Tiffany Ann Kimble

The Free Press WVAge 32 of Glenville, WV; departed this earthly life on Thursday evening, January 24, 2019 at her residents following a courageous battle with Huntington’s Disease. She was born on September 18, 1986 in Clarksburg, WV; Tiffany is the daughter of Kathy Kimble of Glenville and the late Frank L. Kimble [ .... ]  Read More

Readers' Recent Comments

John & Family,  Sorry to hear of Nyla’s passing!  GOD will take care of you!!  GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU IN THIS SAD TIME !!!  RIP Nyla !

By Anita L. Adams - New Concord, Ohio on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Nyla Leah Frymier Poole'.

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“But Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said utility filings in those states now show the outlook has changed dramatically - in part because of competition from cheap, renewable energy.“

That is utter rubbish.  There is no “cheap, renewable energy.“  Solar and wind are more expensive, even taking subsidies into consideration.  Hydro is more expensive, nuclear is more expensive.

Claiming otherwise is at best fake news, and at worst deliberate misdirection and lying.  Merely claiming renewable energy is less expensive doesn’t make it so.


Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It was brought to my attention there was an article published in the Gilmer Free Press under Reader’s Comments dated 2-11-19.
This was written by Tammy White which many think it was me (Tammy Foster).  Twenty years (or more) “White” was my last name.
My son does take daily medication at the high school (which somehow this is quite a coincidence).  I want to clarify that I DID NOT write that article!
Now that I have straighten this out….. please read what I have say about this situation at Gilmer County High School:
The secretary or secretaries that were mentioned have never been rude to me or my son in person or by phone.  It is actually the opposite!  They are kind, caring, professional and thorough with distributing my son’s meds.
Not only do they make sure he gets the correct dosage daily but they keep a close inventory on the meds and call me when I need to restock them.
It broke my heart to read the negative article written last week and I was appalled my (old) name was on it.
My son and I trust and depend on these wonderful ladies.  We would like to take this opportunity to THANK them for taking excellent responsibility and care of our child and other students.

By Tammy Foster (not White) on 02.13.2019

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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I’m sorry for your loss.

By Danny Nicholson on 02.12.2019

From the entry: 'Vera Marlene Lyons'.

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There is some issues going on at GCHS. I’m starting here in Hope’s that it will be addressed and corrected.  The secretary was rude when I turned in medicine for my son to be taken on a daily basis. Nor is it her business why he takes it, or how often. Anyway, is she certified in giving meds out.  I thought that the school employed a nurse. Maybe she should answer the phone or should I say message on her cell. She had no idea how many I handed in she didnt count them. Talks about her co workers. Then she gets upset nobody talks to her. She is 2 face. Talking about them is very unprofessional.
I hope this is taken care of or my next step is to the state department. Your choice

By Tammy white on 02.11.2019

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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It is welcomed news as reported in the Democrat that Gilmer’s GCES students are making progress in learning math and English Learning Arts.

The principal, teachers, and all staff deserve high praise for the progress. Let’s not forget efforts of students too plus their parents who encourage them at home.

In addition to rates of increase for learning progress it would be helpful to be informed of percentages of students in the different grades who are at grade level for math and ELA.

Nothing was reported about learning progress at the GCHS and the LCES bi-county school. When are reports for those schools going to be given?

By Positive School News on 02.08.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The lights are up at the Linn school.
Often flashing nights and weekends when NO ONE is on school property.

And you expect lights to work….???
when the WVDE, the WVBE built the school with FIVE TOO MANY CLASSROOMS !!??

*** The WVBE is incapable of meaningful education.
Why do you think the WV Legislature created the current ‘education overhaul’ bill without consulting the WV State Board of Ed? ***

By you are joking I guess? on 02.07.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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“The Environmental Protection Agency issued regular updates for about 100 water pollutants almost four years ago ... “

That would have been the Obama EPA, and the intention wasn’t to provide better water, it was an attempt to control business activity through the use of regulation.

In other words, a power-grab by a politician obsessed with it.


Pat McGroyne

By Pay McGroyne on 02.06.2019

From the entry: 'One Charleston Manufacturer Pressing for Delay of Water Rules'.

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Would the County’s school board take action to help improve safety conditions at the LCES?

The way it is now it can be uncertain if children are present at the school to require a reduction of speed to 15 mph while on Rt. 33.

It would eliminate uncertainty if a flashing lights system were to be installed so the lights could be turned on when children are present.

By LCES Safety Concern on 01.31.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Why is it that on Gilmer County’s school system web site biographical information including education backgrounds for all school board members and their pictures are not posted?

Other counties have the information. Why not us?

By School Board Member Backgrounds? on 01.23.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The only reason for our not using a version of the goal-driven Kentucky method would be a veto by controlling elitists opposed to establishing meaningful accountability for Gilmer County’s school system.

Without using the method it would be easier to continue to pawn off information that cannot be used to accurately document progress with student proficiencies for reading, math, science, and college and career readiness.

By School System Accountability Needed on 01.20.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The KY approach would be valuable to Gilmer County for use in disclosing progress of our two schools in contributing to better lives for our children.

For goals for which progress would be off schedule, the tracking approach would be an objective basis for making mid-course adjustments in our school system to get better results.

By using the approach school board members could be more effective with goal-driven governing, and getting results would be the responsibility of the County’s Superintendent of Schools and school principals.

Overall,the approach would establish meaningful accountability which is sorely lacking in WV’s school systems.

By Establish School System Accountability on 01.18.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Accomplished communicators have a knack for reducing complex information to its simplest form for effectiveness in getting messages across.

WV’s convoluted strategic plans for schools must follow the State’s rigid guidelines. The plans are confusing and inadequately designed for establishing accountability for getting results.

Kentucky is making progress with improving K-12 education outcomes and one reason is the clarity of specific goals for its schools and the job being done with tracking results.

Google—-2018 Prichard Committee Update to glean what is being done in Kentucky. The approach could be used for Gilmer’s two schools with a single sheet of paper for each school.

The beauty of the Prichard approach is that instead of relying on confusing and lengthy written out material with undefined abbreviations, technical jargon, and head scratching generalities, specific goals and annual results in achieving them are presented graphically.

Perfect real world example of a picture being worth a thousand words.

Board of Education members why couldn’t the Prichard approach be used for Gilmer County? It would be inexpensive, it could be updated easily on an annual basis, and everyone in the County would know how the school system is being administered to achieve measurable results.

Perhaps Mr. David Ramezan could post Prichard material on the GFP to show its simplicity.

By Advocate For Clarity on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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The scandal of the too small school?
Don’t forget…
The scandal of the too big school is half of the whole state intervention mess.  FIVE rooms more than needed at the Linn, Lewis County school.

Results are from nepotism, cronyism, and educational stupidity….as well as scoffing at those who attempted to sound the alarm.

Bloated egos was the frosting on the Litter Box Cake Mix.

By School Truth is in the Litter Box on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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During intervention the State had dictatorial control of our school system to include all decisions related to the GCES.

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

An investigation is needed to determine who was responsible for the bad decision, and what role the no-bid architectural firm had in designing and constructing the school.

Something major happened to cause the GCES to be built too small. Was something dropped at the expense of adequate class room space as a result of having to spend extra money because a poor site was selected?

Minimally, gross incompetency on the State’s part is the explanation for the disaster foisted onto the County.

A question pertains to the new gym. Lots of effort was taken by the State to try to convince the public that a competition gym instead of a regular gym was needed.

Did the competition gym cost extra money at the expense of needed classroom space? If the answer is affirmative who was responsible for deciding on the more expensive gym?

What about the enormous pit at the GCES? Was money spent on it at the expense of classrooms because something was wrong with the school’s site that was selected by the State?

Nothing similar to the pit has been seen at other sites where new WV schools were built.

Why has there been a failure for a thorough investigation to have occurred to expose the facts?

The obvious explanation is that powerful elitists in control do not want tracks leading to them, and they have veto power over a meaningful investigation including one done by a leading newspaper.

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Pat McGroyne is spot on.
High speed internet is simply another failure of WV state government.

If the elected in our state, were doing the job expected by voters….we should have very few problems or issues?

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Muddling has another distinct symptom. It is the tendency for administrators in control to emphasize processes and procedures while avoiding disclosure of progress, or the lack thereof, in achieving learning results.

The purpose is another way to avoid personal accountability for school system failures.

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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West Virginia is number one!
Our politicians are the best that can be had.
They are also the lobbyers dream come true.
No one—-can out-muddle our elected reps !

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Suggestion after reading strategic plans for the GCHS and the GCES.

How about the school board requiring that for each school an informative executive summary be written to include——where each school stands on reading, math, and science proficiency, what the term proficiency means to eliminate the confusion, student proficiency goals for the two school, target time to expect goals to be achieved, and a statement to commit to keeping the public informed of progress in achieving the goals at designated intervals (e.g. quarterly) during a school year.

Omit confusing abbreviations and technical terms understood only by a select few in the education field, and written for comprehension by reasonable persons.

Leave it up to the County’s professional educators to determine how to get the job done with continual laser-like focus on getting results.

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Muddling infects federal, state, and local government entities where personal accountability for top officials to get measurable results rarely exists.

Muddling practitioners are famous for passing off information unrelated to measurable proof that effective problem-solving has occurred. A common example is emphasizing how much public money is being spent to attempt to convince tax payers that magnitudes of expenditures are always directly correlated to levels of problem-solving successes.

Muddling by an organization is characterized by the existence of thick planning documents replete with vagueness and lack of clarity, undefined technical terms, and mysterious acronyms.

Muddling thrives on intentional ambiguity and confusion designed to protect muddlers and their organizations.

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Gilmer County is not the only place in the USA that has been faced with its students failing to meet proficiency standards for science, reading, and math.

The difference here is that evidence is lacking to conclusively demonstrate that Gilmer County’s officials in control have exerted proper efforts to profit form powerful lessons learned elsewhere to use that knowledge to help solve learning deficiencies in our schools.

In fact, a convincing argument could be made that the approach in the County has been the one professional planners designate as muddling through.

Classic symptoms of muddling through include failure to thoroughly analyze categories of causes contributing to problems followed up by using the information to develop a comprehensive plan to do the most good in getting better results by treating key causes instead of symptoms.

Muddling typically involves officials assigning blame for lack of progress to outside forces e.g., the “culture”, the State did it to us, and poverty. Haven’t we heard plenty of that?

Muddling must be eliminated if we want progress in solving non-performance problems within the County’s school system. Does anyone disagree?

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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It is unclear after reading school board meeting minutes what progress if any is being made by GCHS and GCES principals in improving student proficiency in reading, math and science.

Why not allocate a few sentences in the minutes to summarize what the two principals reported to the school board?

All it would take to get the critical information out to citizens would be for the new school board to act on this.

Does anyone have a problem with the suggested change to keep Gilmer’s bill paying public informed?

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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“High speed broadband – a necessity for today’s homes, businesses and other institutions – remains a huge unmet need for rural residents, despite promises by a succession of Governors from both parties (a contributing factor in why we’re losing population at a rate higher than any other state).“

I disagree with much of what Mr.Boggs believes.  That said, high-speed broadband is the single most important step the State of WV could take to improve the business climate and provide more opportunities for its citizens.


Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Conversation at local eatery.
Shortly after election.
Individuals were educators.

‘You think we have school problems now, wait until these new folks take the steering wheel’.

‘Students, parents, staff are all going to be in the soup’.

Sounds as if Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving vacation-deer season times have all taken a big hit.  If that is true, the union teachers need to come together, stand their ground, along with parents, and hold this new board accountable.

Have a local strike if need be.
Request resignations.
Vote of no confidence.

Schools employees can win.
You have done it before.
Just stick together.

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Scholarship must be the most important focus in Gilmer County’s schools.

Brought up the ZOOMWV Data Dashboard site to review the most recent State achievement test results for GCHS’s 11th grade.

Folks, Gilmer is in serious trouble. Proficiency for math=24%, reading=41%, and science=24%.

On an A through F grading scales the GCHS gets an F for all three subject areas.

What does the new school board have to show for inroads it has made since last July to make critically needed proficiency improvements at the HS? Citizens deserve answers to the question.

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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A thorough accounting for where all the public money went could be easily achieved by a competent accountant.

Isn’t there a special account at the County’s school board office for expenditures related to all bills paid and who got the money?

Following the money trail always gets results along with verification of means, motives, and access.

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If central office financial records for all public money paid out for everything from site planning, site studies and development, and everything else to get to completion of the GCES and the LES—- what is the reason?

It is known that money was spent on the Arbuckle site and Cedar Creek, and public money was paid out for the LES too.

Were County records for the spending purged and if that happened who ordered the action? The records are either in the County’s central office or they aren’t.

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Hasn’t the time come to finally start naming names and making people accountable?

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

For 3 or 4 months now we keep hearing about the millions of dollars of tax revenue collected.

Millions and millions above ‘estimates’.  Were those ‘estimates’ honest, or fudged to begin with, so as to request higher tax rates?

Well, Justice and the Legislature now have our dollars, what will become of this windfall? Will we see tax rates lowered?  Doubt full, but we should.

Likely this windfall, created by “over-taxation”, will simply create a “party atmosphere” of legislative spending. Watch the Charleston ‘gangsters’ get their wish lists ready this coming session.

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Yes.  The blame Does seem to fall to ‘local’ people. In small places like Gilmer County, it’s just a poker game, boys, and the deep pockets win.  Money speaks volumes where ‘officials’ stay silent.  Go ask for the records, see what they’ve got.

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Teachers and staff knew from the beginning that the GCES was going to be too small. They were ordered by the State to keep quiet about the shortfall and other serious concerns too.

A sixth grader could understood how many rooms were needed by dividing total student numbers to attend the school by how many students should be in a classroom.

Under sizing was the State’s fault and it cannot be rationalized any other way including to assign the blame to local people. Same applies to the over sized LCES.

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There will never be a full, public accounting of the gross mishandling of tax dollars during WVDOE intervention.
Too many local jobs and too many embarrassments of both elected and appointed bureaucrats.
These types cover dirt for each other.

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

One school built short 4 classrooms and another built with 5 too many.  Can it get more stupid than that?
Mr. Degree and Ms. Common Sense seldom travel together.

By Full accounting will never be revealed. Never. on 11.18.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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GCBOE when the two principals give reports at board meeting could the gist of what they said be summarized in minutes to keep the County informed?

It was a welcomed development by the Board to require principals to give reports particularly if there are required updates on progress designed to improve student learning for reading, math, and other subjects.

We still have not been informed about the status of science proficiency at the GCHS based on the latest testing. Why has the State failed to release the data? Were results too dismal?

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If it is going to cost extra money to eliminate over crowding at the GCES the financial information referenced by Do It Ourselves should be presented to Charleston and the press too.

That would help frame a solid case that crowding problems were not caused by Gilmer County because all decisions related to facilities were dictated by officials over whom the County had no oversight authority during the State’s intervention.

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is assumed that all records for spending to include money paid out for the LCES, dropped Arbuckle site, dropped Cedar Creek site, and all bills for the GCES are in the Gilmer Schools central office.

The new GCBOE has authority to get to the truth by demanding a thorough accounting for all the spending.

Afterwards the financial officer in the central office could easily access existing computerized records and to use the information for a report to the GCBOE and the public.

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Notice that most of the ‘officials’ in Gilmer County also hold regular day jobs - sometimes working on more than one paying ‘job’ at a time in the same office space. This common practice is concerning for many reasons, and it needs to be talked about when so many go without.

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There are two views in the County related to the under built GCES. Although the State built the school with inadequate classrooms one group believes that we should move on to let go of the past.

Isn’t this a form of advocacy for a coverup to prevent accountability for the State’s incompetence and mismanagement?

The other group believes that there should be a full accounting for all public money spent up to the time the GCES was completed to include disclosure of recipients of the public money. 

The accounting should be done for all public money spent at the LCES, the Arbuckle site, Cedar Creek, and finally the GCES.

Reasons for the under built GCES should be fully disclosed too. When the State was in control this information was kept secret from the public with loud claims that there was adequate space at the GCES.

Now it is known that there is inadequate space at the GCES and the problem is left to Gilmer County to fix. Only in WV!

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Unprofessional issues,rude commentsand rolling eyes at the high school has become an issue. Being on cell phone talking to boyfriends,when parents etc.going into the office. Since the teachers were ask not to be on them while students in the classroom. The one in the office should not be allowed to talk personal to her boyfriend, or whoever. Also, I hope this is corrected, the personal days, etc that the board provides to staff shouldn’t be allowed to use to work or operate a second job. Let’s get the priorities straight.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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GULMER COUNTY BOE. It is time for me to let you know some issues that is going on at the High school.  I’m hoping this will be addressed at the next board meeting. 1. It should not matter if an employee has a second job or run a business. The priority job is for the board. One should not be allowed to use any time from the board to run your business. There is going on
If they want to run your business than go but not on the boards time. I would like for all employees be treated the equal. They should not be allowed to use the time the board gives them for other jobs.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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While at it there should be an investigation of why the LES was build with too many classrooms and the GCES was built with too few. At the very least what happened is a WV horror story example of the State’s waste and mismanagement.

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is obvious that the GCES has a major space problem.

What options for dealing with the State’s mismanagement to cause the serious blunder are being considered by the Board of Education?

Could the original architectural design for the dropped Cedar Creek site be compared to what resulted at the GCES to accurately determine the extent of classroom space alterations?

If the architectural design at the GCES is different than the original plan for Cedar Creek the next step should be to determine reasons for the changes and where the money originally planned for needed classrooms went.

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It’s long been known that Justice doesn’t happen in Gilmer County “because it all comes down to money”. And for those in charge of handling it and making decisions, it comes down to being competent to do the job,  keep accurate books and accounts and I’m sorry to say, that is seriously lacking in Gilmer County.

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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What is GSC’s BOG’s plan for getting money for the next payment on the $38,000,000 bond loan the Gilmer County Commission approved?

Will the State pay or will the money come from private donations?

Money will have to come from somewhere to avoid a default.

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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So sorry to hear of Kendall’s passing. I have fond memories of him at Uncle Paul’s store and the family reunions. I’m sure he will be missed greatly by those closest to him.
Please accept condolences from me and my family.

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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GSC’s present plight is no secret and its future existence is in question.

Instead of expressing attitudes that GSC is being picked on could the Blue Ribbon Commission reveal why the College “tested out” as it did to fail to get more State money?

Was the “grading system” based on student enrollment trends, retention, time taken to get a degree, academic reputation, inept governance and administration, and other factors to block more funding? Informative specifics were not disclosed.

Teachers know that concerned students who want to do better always seek advice on what needs to be done to get better grades.

Similar to concerned students GSC’s supporters should be informed of what needs to be done to position the College for improved chances for survival to include eligibility for more State funding.

Saying that GSC is being picked on does nothing to help solve its nagging problems.

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Well thank you, Details Please,  for asking!  So many problems in Gilmer and education is just one.  Look at the town, take a good look around.  Remember who runs unopposed at election time.  Vote.  Make a difference.  Hold authority figures responsible.  Allow videos, minutes and more to be shared on GFP again, for transparency.  Know your neighbors, help a friend.  Be good to each other. Amen.

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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I will truly miss my Uncle Stephen.  Telling me so much information about from gardening to canning. Just to listening to him talk with such passion for everything that he does… he had a sense of humor that always warms my heart.. listening to him play the banjo sometimes even when he didn’t feel good. he is always willing to share his recipes and his ways of doing things… his solar information he was always studying something ... I’m remember one time we asked him where he got his blackberries when it wasn’t Blackberry season and he go there’s a store down the road it’s called Walmart they have everything… He was so funny.  I love you.. xoxo.

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Sorry for your loss. He sure did look like his father.

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Reader 7, please give details for your suggested solutions to the County’s concerns you addressed.

The information would be helpful for consideration by school system administrators and the general public.

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is speculation that the plan is for GSC to convert to an education center for low risk federal inmates. Is this something the County and central WV needs?

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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Dr. Pellett’s commentary in the 10/26/2018 issue of the Gazette includes a statement that GSC is responsible for injecting $28,000,000 into the local economy.

If GSC were to close loss of the money would cause the County to have more severe poverty than it has now.

The pressing challenge is for GSC’s administrators including its Board of Governors to exercise effective leadership to prevent closure.

Why can’t GSC take action on the long standing suggestion for it to be an innovator by establishing a five year teacher education program to enable students to earn a masters degree by graduation time?

Something must be done in WV to deal with the 700 positions for which certified teachers including those for math, science and special education are not in the classrooms.

Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors why is a new teacher education program at the College not a viable option? Nothing else seems to be working.

The need exists, a similar program of excellence does not exist anywhere in the State, and GSC’s status would be elevated by having a masters degree program.

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Paine: Plan to improve math scores to focus on algebra where a third of teachers aren’t certified'.

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GSC could make a valuable contribution to WV by doing a study to report on how grade and elementary schools with excellent results in math and reading did it.

Then, other schools could use the information as guidance instead of going it alone to reinvent the wheel.

With the Ed.D. expertise at GSC it would be a natural to take on the assignment. Dr. Pellett, would you back the initiative?

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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There is reference to signing an agreement with the State for math4life for all WV school districts. What has Gilmer County agreed to do to fix our problems?

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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This important news has potential for making significant progress in improving math and reading outcomes in WV.

It hinges on how quickly advantage can be taken from lessons learned in schools that excelled.

The WVBE could do an analysis of reasons for excelling and to quickly provide guidance information to other schools.

That is the way the private sector approaches problem-solving because chronic failures have consequences and the unfit are weeded out.

Dr. O’Cull could help if the WVBE is not responsive. There could be panels of individuals from excelling schools to make presentations at WV School Board Association meetings to explain what their schools did to make the achievements.

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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A characteristic of a good strategic plan is to simplify language to enable a clear understanding of all its details.

Regarding the comment about abbreviations, a simple fix for them and terms (e.g. lexile) would be to insert an asterisk or a footnote symbol the first time one of them is used to refer readers to a section at the end of the documents where the entries are defined.

This comment is not intended to be a criticism. All specialty fields have a language of their own including the teaching profession.

Suggested clarity improvements in the plans would not be time consuming for principals at the County’s two schools.

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Looked at the strategic plan for the GCES. It is a major achievement for the new GCBE to provide the information to the public.

Suggestion. Could the GCBOE post a meaning of all abbreviations in the plan? Doing that would make it far easier for readers to understand details in the plan.

By Help Understanding on 10.17.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Thanks Mrs. Lowther and the BOE for providing meeting minutes for the public to read.

Those of us who voted for the levy would appreciate receiving specific information for what is being done at the grade school and the high school to make needed improvements for college and career readiness.

Could a current overview and updates throughout the school year be provided to the public?

Why not put the details on websites of the two schools to give the principals a chance to shine?

By Levy Supporter on 10.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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“engage in pedantic colloquy?“

No Bill.

By WEKNOWYOU on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Correct.  I do not wish to engage in back and forth useless ‘banter’ with big words and no results.  What I AM interested in is Gilmer County, in all it’s ways.  Education, Food, Law and Transparency.  Fancy words are often used to hide, divide, and distract..  Plain words speaking truth for the safety and well being of the people is what I’m looking for..  Gilmer is suffering… I want it to stop. I want to see the citizens healthy, educated and strong. I want to see more jobs instead of food banks.  I want Committee meetings for all to see. I want the law to do what it should, when it should.  Plain english would work fine.  Thanks for asking.

By Reader7 on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Lol 7, you do not wish to engage in a pedantic colloquy?

By Smart Feller on 10.13.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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All nice but a small request? Can we simplify some of the language?  Don’t mean to be rude, but fancy works aren’t needed for the Truth.

By Reader7 on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Stop living the delusion the state will fix education.
They have caused the problem.
Remember, for them, job one IS job protection.

Rare in history, that the cause of a problem, has come forth with a solution to what they have caused. They keep resetting testing standards so as not have any ‘yardstick’ they can be measured against.  Apparently people just don’t get it?  And the WVBOE is so happy about that.

By it-ain't-a-gonna-happen. period. on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is a continuum for sophistication regarding what is done with data.

Collecting and compiling it is at the low end of sophistication.

Synthesis is at the high end.

This means using results and other information to make specific recommendations for making improvements.

The State took its typical easy way out by failing to go beyond the data compilation stage.

By Easy Way Out on 10.10.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The comment about need to find out what was done at high performance schools to determine what we could do in Gilmer County to get the same results merits a comment.

The comment flags what is wrong with the State BOE in failing to provide effective leadership.

Does anyone recall a single instance, after tens of millions of dollars were spent on amassing data, when the State BOE did anything to effectively address lessons learned at high performance schools for application at other schools?

Of course not! It is the easy way out for those in high income brackets in Charleston to collect data instead of using it to the maximum to take full advantage of lessons learned.

Could the WV School Board Association help fill the gap?

By Lost Opportunity on 10.07.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Harry, So sorry to hear of the passing of your wife.  I’m also sorry that I never got to know her because if she was anything like you, I’m sure she was pretty special.  Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.  May God’s love be with you my friend.

By Greg Garvin on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Judith “Judy” Carolyn Buckley Rich'.

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What is the BOE’s proficiency goal for English and mathematics and what is the time frame for achieving the goal? That is news citizens want.

Then too, how can citizens at large get involved to honor and to encourage students who improve, and what of a similar nature could be done to give special recognition to outstanding teachers who contribute to improved learning for English and math?

By Positive Changes Made By New BOE on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The BOE and Mrs Lowther deserve high praise for disclosing proficiency information to the public.

It is the first time since 2011 anything like this has happened.

We still do not know about results for science, and it is understood that Charleston is still “working” on it.

Now we know our serious shortcomings in math and English and there is new hope for burrowing out of the mess with everyone in Gilmer working together.

By Thanks Gilmer BOE on 10.03.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Well, dear citizen… sometimes the local ‘law’ gets it wrong.  #truth #JusticeForGilmer

By Transparency matters on 09.30.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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Soooo…...why do we never see a big drug bust in Gilmer?
With the college and others, there are plenty sources.
Seems strange?

By citizen 3 on 09.23.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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If you access it is evident that some schools outpace others for math and English.

For examples look at data for Lizemore Elementary in Clay County, Alum Creek Elementary in Kanawha County, Rock Branch Elementary in Putnam county, and Greenmont Elementary in Wood County.

Gilmer BOE why not assign someone to evaluate what is being done at those school and others to make them State standouts and to apply lessons learned to our elementary schools?

The same applies to learning from others regarding how to get high marks at GCHS.

By Learn What Works From Others on 09.23.2018

From the entry: 'WV and Area Counties Balanced Scorecard for School Year 2017-2018'.

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I have not read anyone blaming our teachers.  Quite the contrary.
There have been some well thought out comments submitted too.
I am old enough to remember when we had few issues about quality education.

Forget Charleston? Better not.
Believe we are still in their “probation” period.
You better check out just what that means.

By GC--still on state probation? on 09.22.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Why not go for it on our own and use the tried and widely accepted Iowa Test of Basic Skills to evaluate learning proficiency of our children?

It is the longest running test in America and it goes back to 1936.

One outcome of using the test is that each grade would be evaluated and compared to performances to schools in other parts of America.

We would probably have to go through hoop jumps of the State’s everchanging testing too.

By Iowa Test For Gilmer on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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To compound complexity of the issue, Gilmer is different from McDowell and both are different than Monongahela.

The implication is that getting out of the crisis must be county-specific and there is no one size that will fit all of WV’s 55 school systems.

Each county is on its own and ones with the best planning, local boards of education, and administrators will shine. Forget about Charleston!

By County-Specific on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Similar to most complex problems there are several categories contributing to WV’s dismal failure in improving education results in our grade and high schools.

Information in referred journal is beginning to show up. Some of the categories include curriculum issues in high schools, block scheduling failures in high schools, inordinate emphasis on sports at the expense of academics, inadequate prep of grade schoolers to ensure that they get firm foundations in math and English Language Arts, failure to instill need for life long learning at early ages, failure for school systems to fund continuing education of teachers to prepare them for newly emerged practices for enhanced student learning, cultural impediments including failure of some families to encourage children and to give them extra learning help at home, dysfunctional families for children to grow up in caused by drug and alcohol abuse and chronic unemployment, grade inflation characterized by too many As and Bs and attitudes that nobody fails so pass them along, failure of school boards to hire the best qualified superintendents and teachers because of local emphasis on favoring “home grow” individuals, failure of school boards to define performance expectations for superintendents to make effective accountability impossible, constantly changing types of State mandated testing to cause chaos and morale problems, poor compensation of teachers necessary to attract and keep the best and the brightest, etc.

To blame all problems on teachers is a cruel travesty.

One of the weakest links contributing to a lack of progress in improving WV schools is that instead of analyzing the full spectrum of contributing problems and focusing on ones with the biggest payoff potential, the trend in Charleston is to constantly apply band aid approaches with hopes that “cures” will be stumbled on accidentally.

By Do Not Blame It All On Our Teachers on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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The problem with preK-12 education in WV is that a holistic and and technically defensible evaluation of contributing factors to cause WV’s problems and how to deal with them has not occurred.

Instead, under direction of clueless politicians ineffective muddling prevails while selling what is done at a particular time as the definitive solution.

How many times have we witnessed muddling over the past 20-30 Years? It still goes on in Charleston.

Why not obtain a grant to have qualified experts analyze success stories around the Nation and use findings to craft a demonstration project in Gilmer County to improve our school system?

Regardless of what we do there must be open minds in seeking out what to do in homes, schools,  teacher education programs in our institutions of higher learning, continuing education for classroom teachers, and to involve various factions in our community to achieve acceptable results. Everyone must band together as a unified team to make it work.

One trap is over emphasis of sports. If the same magnitude of attention and importance were to be focused on solving preK-12 education problems in WV, great strides could be made to benefit deserving children.

By Muddling on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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