G-LtE™: State of the Mingo County School System 1998-2014

The Gilmer Free Press

State of the Mingo County School System 1998-2014
Addressed to the Citizens
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it”. William Shakespeare

The Williamson Daily News chose First Year of a State Takeover as the # 1 story for 1998. Sixteen years later, 2014, this may no longer be a # 1 story but it is history. The state board of education is and has been for all practical purposes in control of education in Mingo County during this period of time. This is said because for a short period of time the Mingo County School System was given partial control. Partial control in reality is a polite way of saying to county boards “We see a little hope that you see things as we would like for things to be in totality, but you are still under control”. Since the state appointed each and every County Superintendent of Mingo County Schools from 1998 until the present day, the state has essentially controlled Mingo County in the operation and direction of its education system.

The January 08, 1998 state intervention (takeover) was the result of the Office of Education Performance Audit conducted by the on-site review board in October 1997. Findings of this review board included a “deficit in finances, lack of leadership, low test scores, and poor academic achievement.” According to the agreement between the state board and the local board, the state “took immediate financial and supervisory control” of the Mingo County education system. Assistant Superintendent Johnny Fullen was named acting superintendent of Mingo County Schools.

About a month later, on February 13, 1998, the state announced that John T. Mattern, former Preston County superintendent, would become the new superintendent of Mingo County Schools. Not too long after Mr. Mattern assumed the office of superintendent, the talk of the consolidation of some of the schools was intensified. After a short time, Mr. Mattern decided to go north, and his assistant Mr. David Temple was appointed by the state to become the next superintendent.

Mr. Temple was a congenial and an easy going person, but he also, after a very short period went south north to, he said, be closer to his home and family.

Two events concerning state interventions are worthy of mention and remembrance. First, pursuant to WV Code 18-2E-5, The West Virginia Department of Education DECLARED that a state of emergency existed in the school system and voted to confer Non-approval status on the Mingo County School System. Secondly, a result of the “limited agreement” in Mingo County was the “removal” of the incumbent superintendent. Mr. Everett Conn thus became the last superintendent of schools in Mingo County appointed by the local board of education.

In May of 2002, the people of Mingo County elected Mr. Mike Carter to the Mingo County Board. Mr. Carter had stated as part of his platform that he was in favor of keeping schools in their local communities. This stance must have been well received by the voters as Mr. Carter won a seat on the board. Later, Mr. Carter`s position regarding the closing, merging and reconfigurations was evidenced in a June 21, 2004 regular school board meeting. This meeting will be further discussed at a later time.

Sometime in 2002, after the departure of Mr. Temple, the state board appointed a Logan County resident, Ms. Brenda Skibo, the new superintendent.

Note: The West Virginia Legislature took action and passed legislation that allowed a person living in a contiguous county to serve as a county superintendent! During her tenure, Ms. Skibo drove a board owned vehicle an estimated 50 miles round trip from Logan County to Mingo County. When asked about this perk and why this was being done, her answer: “I might be called out some time for an emergency”. How many `emergencies` caused her to be called to Mingo we may never know. What is known is that a new, white Ford Taurus, Serial Number 1FAFP52U8XG126195 was sold December 12, 2009 at auction for $1,000.00. No log was ever found for the public/private use of this vehicle.

During 2003 the events leading up to the aforementioned proposed school closures, mergers and reconfigurations, the realization that these were possibilities of happening awakened and energized many of the citizens of Mingo County. As announcements and newspaper publications were circulated, the attendance at the closure hearings were well attended and spirited. Statements from some members of the board were to the effect that “consolidation” was a `done deal` and if you” don`t like what we are doing vote us out.” This only intensified and added fuel to the volatile situation.

Part Two

My telephone rang early that cold mid-January 2004 morning. My retirement from the MCBOE fifteen years earlier as a teacher, curriculum director and treasurer was not receptive to early morning calls. “Hello”, I said. “Bill, this is Mitchel Chapman and I am asking a favor. I want you to run with me for the board of education.” Mitchel and I had become good friends and we had known each other for close to 30 years. Some of those years were at the local board of education offices on Alderson Street in Williamson. Mitchel had served as an assistant superintendent while I was board treasurer.

“Mitchel, I will need time to discuss this matter with my wife and to weigh the implications of seeking political office”. I knew as well as Mitchel that the decision had to be made in just a couple of weeks due to the deadline for filing for office in the next election. Little did I know the enormity of the weighty matters nor how much time would be consumed in weighing those matters during the next ten years of my life.

On January 27, 2004, I filed my papers as a candidate for the office of board of education in Mingo County. The weighing of the implications began early, even before the May Primary in Mingo County.

A letter with the date of April 26, 2004 from Dr. Clacy Williams, Executive Director of the West Virginia School Building Authority was interesting, to say the least. This letter, addressed to Ms. Brenda Skibo, Superintendent of Mingo County schools, contained the following quote: “We are pleased that you will be receiving SUFFICIENT funds from the School Building Authority to address your project”. This quote became a classic SBA misquote for millions of dollars from the school funds of Mingo County. More to come about money from local funds for the project.

In the Mingo County Schools Executive Summary regarding the closure, consolidation, merger and reconfiguration data made available for public viewing from April 19, 2004 through June 07, 2004, the following is noteworthy, “the new comprehensive high school to be located between Varney, West Virginia and Taylorville, West Virginia, ON A MOUNTAINTOP INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT SITE, is in violation of Legislative Rule 202.03. This Legislative Rule 202.03 states “For the safety of the students, the site SHALL be located away from hazards and undesirable environments, such as: 202.03 E. Taverns, fire stations, bulk storage plants for flammable liquid, and PROPERTY ZONED AS INDUSTRIAL. Finally, in a letter dated July 30, 2004 addressed to Ms. Brenda Skibo from Dr. David Stewart, the following was included in his letter “to be located … on a mountaintop industrial site.

Surely Dr. David Stewart, State Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Brenda Skibo and possibly the site committee and the CEFP chairperson should have known that the location of the new Mingo County Comprehensive High School was destined to be on mountaintop land classified as industrial. We should however, in reading this summary, note that Building sites MUST be located above the 100-year flood plain as determined by the U. S. Corp of Engineers! Since this site is located at an approximate elevation of more than 1900 feet, Noah may be needed once more if flooding becomes an issue.

One other Legislative Rule to make note of regarding school sites is rule 202.04. This rule states: Public service facilities, which MUST be available for a school site include: water, gas, telephone, electricity, sewage disposal, fire protection, and transportation. Had adherence to and compliance with this rule been followed hundreds of thousands of tax dollars could have been saved. Instead a building was built on land that had no water, no electricity, no sewer nor gas. Water trucks were purchased to transport water for block laying and other needs, generators, which consumed hundreds of gallons of expensive diesel fuel, were purchased to supply electricity for heat, to operate tools and supply lighting. .Portable toilets had to be utilized for waste disposal. The real problem, aside from the cost to the taxpayers, was the fact that the School Building Contract stipulated that ALL temporary services were to be supplied by the contractor. Dr. Mark Manchin, Executive Director of the School Building Authority, was never able to explain in writing with evidence as to who paid for these temporary utilities.

Another implication that was placed on the scales was the result of the Legislative Audit article printed in The Legislature on May 21, 2004. Some of the pertinent points made by this audit were:

    1. “Project selection for funding by the (SBA) lacks accountability” and “neither the School Building Authority (SBA) nor the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) maintain sufficient information to study the effects of consolidation on student achievement.

    2. In this same article the Legislative Auditor, Mr. Aaron Allred noted the destruction of some needed records and other complications … reduced the level of accountability and was in apparent violation of the Public Records Management and Preservation Act.

In a reply to a request for expenditures for the New High School dated May 30, 2008 from Mr. Edward Lovitch, treasurer of the board, he provided the following information:

Williamson, Shriver, Gandee (architectural firm), was paid $ 7,500.00 on April 16, 2004. The same firm was paid $61,694.12 on May 21, 2004 and $93,546.20 on August 26, 2004, for a total of $162,740.32. These expenditures were made before a deed was issued by Nicewonder Contracting, Inc., (NCI).

An incorrect deed was transacted on April 10, 2006 and the corrected deed was nor forthcoming until September 15, 2010. This would appear to be problematic since these expenditures were made prior to any evidence of land ownership.  This would seem to make clearer the intentions of the board and others that the new project was a `done deal` but that it was so `done` that the expenditure of public money to a firm prior to the legal approval of the aforementioned actions. These expenditures were made almost two years in advance of even a highly questionable deed of conveyance. The School Building Authority and the West Virginia Department had given approval to these actions.

The major portion of the above expenditures were paid for the beautiful and colorful schematics for a new school somewhere on a mountaintop, zoned as industrial, in the vicinity of Newtown. The puzzling part about spending money on something not owned was that the schematics soon mysteriously disappeared! The site for these schematics was changed also!

This discovery was made when a second set of schematics suddenly appeared in the board offices. It was very clear that the new high school schematics had very little resemblance to the earlier schematics. So, for some reason or reasons, the drawings were changed. The second discovery made was that the site itself had taken on a different look. When Dwight Dials, the state appointed superintendent of Mingo County schools was asked why these changes were made his response was “The old site would not accommodate the `new` school so it had to be relocated!”

Relocated it was! Right smack dab on top of previously deep mines. On one of the few highly scrutinized and monitored trips to view the site, Mike Carter and I asked Mr. Mike Castle why the site of the new school was below grade adjacent to the King Coal Highway. His answer: “We had to remove some old burning mines before we could prepare the site. Surely, you would not want the school located above burning mines! Interesting to say the least was the revelation that the recovered burning mine fires also produced approximately $70,000,000.00 to $80,000,000.00 in coal.

The MCBOE, as a group, consisting of Dr. J. D. Endicott, Despina Kapourales, Dr. Jerry Mounts, Mike Carter and President J. Fullen met for their final board meeting on June 21, 2004. Two of these members, Dr. Mounts and President Fullen, both well-known and respected gentlemen, were defeated in the May Primary election. This meeting had perhaps more discussion and ultimate violations regarding the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan than any known.

It was at this meeting, chaired by President Fullen and attended by all board members that caused more concern in the days to follow than any other meeting in remembrance. Under the Item for New Business page two of the minutes, Superintendent Skibo recommended approval of the following consent items:

    1. Action on School Closures and Reconfigurations Effective at the end of the 2006-2007 School Term and/or upon the Completion of the New Mingo High School. (See June 21, 2004 minutes for details). Mr. Carter requested that he strongly disapproves of the closure/consolidation action and requested that it be tabled to a future meeting. (There was no further discussion or action on the motion).

    2. Authorization to Accept School Building Authority Contract for the New Mingo County High School. Superintendent Skibo recommended that the board approve the contract as presented. Dr. Endicott moved to approve the School Building Contract as presented. Seconded by Dr. Mounts, the motion passed by 4-1. Mr. Carter voted “no” on the motion.

    3. Approve the Architect`s Schematic Design Phase Drawings for Mingo Central High School.

Superintendent Skibo recommended that the board approve the Schematic Design Phase Drawings as presented by Mr. Shriver.

Mrs. Kapourales moved to approve the Schematic Design Phase Drawings as presented. Seconded by Dr. Endicott, the motion passed 4-1. Mr. Carter voted “no” on the motion.

It is at this point that the two items above, 2 and 3, that further weighing needs to be done.  First, the School Building Contract of West Virginia with the Board of Education of the County of Mingo was dated “THIS THE 1ST DAY OF JULY, 2004”. This question was presented to the Executive Director of the West Virginia Ethics Commission, Mr. Lewis Brewer, regarding the postdating of a contract. Mr. Brewer`s reply in part states “postdating a contract to materially affect the legal status of a party may, in certain circumstances, constitute either civil or criminal fraud”. Mr. Brewer further stated that this matter may be brought to the attention of the county Prosecuting Attorney. Note: This and other questions regarding legal/illegal matters were brought to the attention of the PA. His response was that as PA he had to represent both the school board and the superintendent and it would be a conflict of his interest. When the request for legal counsel was requested from the WVDOE the reply was that if the local board had legal matters that needed attention we could send them to the WVVDOE`s staff attorney. (See Brewer email dated January 31, 2006 9:38 AM).

The SBA contract stipulates certain mandates the County Board SHALL meet to validate the SBA contract. Section 8 of this contract states emphatically that… The County Board hereby covenants and agrees that it SHALL not proceed with the building design (Schematic Drawings) for the school without FIRST securing a clear and free title to the property where the SBA funded facility is to be constructed, or without securing a right-of-entry as a result of a condemnation proceeding initiated to secure the site where the SBA funded school is to be constructed.

From the above it would seem plausible at that time that the issue of spending public money on something that was not owned should have, standing alone, stopped the “moving forward” on the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP). The question of land ownership itself was a present and real concern, not only for the SBA and WVDOE but for anyone considering spending money or building a structure on property it did not own. Was this oversight or just thinking it`s a done deal?

On July 01, 2004 two new board members took the oath of office and were sworn in as duly elected members. Joining with Mike Carter the new majority was confronted by two members, Despina Kapouralas and Dr. J. W. Endicott, who were seemingly nervous about and certainly emphatic about pushing the CEFP forward. The new board was just as determined not to move forward until it had time to study the issue of consolidation in Mingo County.

There probably were never as many people in attendance at the ensuing board meetings as there were at meetings for the next several months. Easily recognizable among the attendees were the mayor of the city of Williamson, Charles West who later served on the board of education, Prosecuting Attorney Ron Rumora, grandparents and parents, and many, many concerned citizens. Many of these people signed in to speak and speak they did! Most were without question against losing their community schools. Serious questions addressed to the superintendent concerned the location of the new school, the time their children must spend on the bus, what was the total cost for the facility and why not, if consolidation were the only option, use the high schools that were paid for and in excellent shape by making these facilities into 7-12 schools?

Some of the answers given by the proponents for consolidation were this was a golden opportunity to get a first class facility all paid for by the SBA with free land from Nicewonder Contracting Inc. The new school would be able to offer more advanced classes in math and science. Further beneath these arguments there seemed to be a subtle reason that was not voiced; without the school there would be no money for the King Coal Highway.

One of the matters that precipitated the references to questionable if not illegal activities above was a letter. The letter was Dated September 22, 2004, addressed to Brenda Skibo and was signed by Don Nicewonder, President of Nicewonder Contracting, Inc. This letter also referenced the proposed property conveyance to the Mingo County Board of Education. Cogent in this letter are some very interesting statements that have need of further explanation.

In paragraph one of this letter Mr. Nicewonder stated, “I have, based on discussions with you and other interested parties, identified a site that is adjacent to the proposed KCH that will not only satisfy our fill material needs, but will also allow you to develop one of the most beautiful school campuses in West Virginia.”. In paragraph?  is perhaps the real “intent” of the letter. “This letter is intended to set forth in writing NCI.`s intent to convey the above described site, located near Red Jacket, West Virginia, to the Mingo County Board of Education, provided that the BOE proceeds with its plans to construct a consolidated high school on the subject property.”

The first issue concerns ownership versus intended ownership. What public body would go so far as to expend money on property that is not owned? Or better still, how many projects in West Virginia have been approved by the School Building Authority if the land is not owned?  When this question was posed to Mr. Howard Seufer, believed by some to be the foremost attorney on school law in West Virginia, his answer, “None.” Yet, prior to April 10, 2006, under the approval of the SBA and the WVDOE thousands of dollars were spent on this project.

Before exploring other matters regarding ownership of property, a matter concerning the relative educational conditions of the MCBOE during the month of November 2004 needs clarification. Perhaps the most often used measurement of school achievement at this time was the No Child Left Behind Legislation (NCLB). This legislation was signed into law on January 08, 2002, by President George W. Bush. This quote by President Bush is a noble and desirable goal “When it comes to the education of our children…failure is not an option.”

Unfortunately, and some may say thankfully, NCLB did not realize what it had proposed on paper and was abandoned. This is not to say that during its years of existence that all of NCLB`s goals were useless. However, in the minds of many educators unless and until education is a function of local supervision with the support of state and federal money, we, as a nation, will never be able to educate our students as we should.

However, a time when NCLB was used to measure the stipulated national and state goals it proposed, it is interesting to note how well Mingo County schools performed. In the West Virginia Report of Ratings dated November 2004, Mingo County was given “Full Approval” status. The very next year, 2005, Mingo County schools, now operating under state intervention did not receive full approval status.

The issue of the ownership of land to construct facilities consumed time as well as concern. This matte not only raised the brows of the citizens of Mingo County but caused `head scratching` in Charleston. At least one may arrive at this conclusion after reading several letters from the School Building Authority.

The first letter, dated December 09, 2004 is interesting in its language even if it evades legal and contractual agreements. This quote from this letter is found in the third paragraph… “It is our understanding that Mingo County and the construction contractors continue to agree that the site selected for the new school is being prepared with the cooperation of the Mingo County Board (this being the case, why was the board so vigorously and needlessly accused of “not moving forward” with the CEFP?) and in coordination with the architect`s design of the new school. (Please note that a deed of conveyance has not been transacted).In the last paragraph of this same letter the following statements are made, “We continue to monitor the construction progress on the site and access road”, and “I am equally confident that our Authority understood and approved this project based on the fact that a considerable amount of overburden had to be removed from the mountain to expose the actual building site and the site, once prepared, would then become the property of the Mingo County Board of Education”.

The second letter dated January 10, 2005, almost one month prior to state intervention, is a little more `sassy` than the December letter. Some `sassy` and classy statements from this letter states that a grant contract in the amount of $17,399,360.00 was transacted with the Mingo County Board for that amount on July 01, 2004. This is the same contract that was signed by President Fullen on June 21, 2004 and postdated July 01, 2004, nine days prior his leaving office. Further, “To derail or delay the approved project seriously hinders the improvement and quality of educational programs in Mingo County and creates a severe setback for one of the most aggressive and monumental economic development effort(s) in West Virginia”.

In a letter from the board president dated January 12, 2005 in reply to the SBA letter of January 10, 2005, the president stated “This lack of ownership is in and of itself sound reason for this Board to have made the decisions it has made. Moreover, I question the wisdom of the further expenditure of public money under the present circumstances”.

The third letter from the SBA, dated April 07, 2005, less than two months after state intervention, is more in tune with reality than the previous letters. Mr. Williams at least now recognizes the problem of not owning the land for a SBA project but acknowledges that there is a Section 8 that mandates ownership. The reality of this matter also plays out in the effort of the SBA in its April 04, 2005 meeting to waive the ownership requirement. This decision, as stated in this letter, was prompted by Judge Paul Zakaib`s order to cease and desist any progress on the new high school project, as well as a request by Governor Joe Manchin to delay any action until the June 27, 2005 meeting.

To conclude the ownership issue insofar as SBA correspondence the final letter dealing with this issue is one dated May 02, 2006. Not one month after the nefarious conveyance of   property, Dr. Williams finally concluded by saying “I am pleased to find that it (the deed) meets the MANDATE of property ownership that is REQUIRED in our standard SBA contract”. This letter was addressed to Dr. Steven Paine and Ms. Brenda Skibo. I might add as of this date Dr. Clacy Williams, Dr. Steven Paine and Ms. Brenda Skibo have vacated their respective offices.


“Failure has many architects”. William Shakespeare

~~  William Duty ~~

GFP - 04.24.2014
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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Here it is.  Well written history of Mingo County travesty.
This history lesson is being repeated right in YOUR community.
Is everyone “oblivious to the obvious” ?
It is your children and grandchildren who are being cheated.


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Spring Gobbler Season is Rapidly Approaching!

The Gilmer Free Press

Spring gobbler season opens Monday, April 28 and runs through Saturday, May 24, according to Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.  While hunters may kill only one bearded turkey per day, they are allowed two per season.

A one-day youth season will be held on Saturday, April 26.  A turkey harvested that day counts towards the season bag limit of two gobblers.

“Turkeys that are more vocal and prone to come to calls are obviously taken during the first week of the season, but good to excellent hunting can still be had through the end of the season,” said Taylor.  “Some of the best hunts take place in the last week, if not the last days, of the season as gobblers that are interested in breeding easily come to calls.”

Since the typical gobbler harvested is usually a two-year-old bird, the DNR routinely uses the brood reports from two years prior to estimate harvest trends.  On a statewide level, the brood reports from 2012 were lower than the five-year average, indicating that the statewide harvest may be lower in 2014.  There were regional variations in the data.  Hunters in the southern region may not see a decline. Hunters in the mountain and western regions, however, will likely notice fewer birds.

Taylor wants to remind sportsmen and women that hunting turkeys over bait is both illegal and unethical in West Virginia. This activity disrespects the great sport of spring gobbler hunting. He encourages turkey hunters to report any such activity to their local Natural Resources Police Officer. The West Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation pays a reward of $100 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of persons attempting to kill wild turkeys through the use of bait.

Annual GSC Blue vs. White Spring Football Game - 04.24.14

The Gilmer Free Press

For the fourth year in a row the Glenville State College Pioneer Football team is partnering with the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department (GCVFD) for the Annual Spring Blue vs. White Spring Football Game which will be played Thursday, April 24 at 6:00 PM at I.L. & Sue Morris Stadium. The game will feature the 2014 GSC Pioneer Offense against the GSC Defense.

“The Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department provides vital services to our community through the efforts of volunteers. These members regularly risk their lives and take time away from their families for the benefit of our community. We wanted to take this opportunity to show them our appreciation for their dedication, and to help raise some much needed funds for them, last year we raised nearly $500.00 dollars for the GCVFD and hopefully we can do better this year,” said GSC Head Football Coach David Hutchison.

The spring game is free to the public, but the Glenville State College Football team will be collecting donations at the game that will benefit the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department.

Also the month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and during the Spring Game the GSC Pioneers football team will be showing support. The players will be wearing teal wrist bands to show their support. Also there will be an event under the shelter called the “clothesline project.” T-shirts will be hung up that have messages painted on them by survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Students are encouraged to come paint t-shirts with their own massage to support victims of those crimes.

The spring game represents the culmination of spring practice. The Pioneers return 8 starters on offense and 5 on defense from last year’s squad. In 2014 the Pioneers look to improve on the 6-5 mark of a year ago.

The Pioneers will open preseason camp on Thursday, August 9 in preparation for the 2014 season. GSC opens the 2014 season on Saturday, September 6 when they travel to MEC Conference foe Concord. Their first home contest of the 2014 season will be on Saturday, September 13 against West Liberty.

Anyone who cannot attend the spring game but would like to donate to the GCVFD may contact Coach Hutchison at or 304.462.6230.

Alumni Day at Glenville State College Slated for April 26, 2014 - This Saturday

Final plans for this year’s Alumni Day on Saturday, April 26, 2014 have been made. All alumni and friends of the college are invited back to campus. Those coming back to Glenville the evening before and those living within driving distance to campus may want to take advantage of GSC’s spring band concert, under the direction of Professor Lloyd Bone, at 7:00 PM on Friday evening, April 25, 2015, in the Fine Arts Auditorium. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

On Saturday, several activities have been scheduled for throughout the day, including a bluegrass jam session at the Alumni Center from noon until 2:00 PM, a reunion/retirement reception for Professor Emeritus Rick Sypolt in the Land Resources Department at the Waco Center from 1:00-3:00 PM, an Open House with tours of the new Waco Center from 1:00-4:00 PM, a double-header baseball game at the Sue Morris Sports Complex, and a 3:00 PM Senior Recital in the Fine Arts Auditorium.


All activities on Saturday promise to be wonderful opportunities for everyone to socialize, reminisce, and re-establish contact with fellow alums and friends of Glenville State College that they haven’t seen in a while. The Alumni Center, open from noon until 4:30 PM, will be headquarters for the day’s activities.

The College Bookstore will be open from 1:00-5:00 PM on Saturday for everyone to have an opportunity to find that special GSC souvenir and the Robert F. Kidd Library will be open during these hours as well. The perimeter doors of campus buildings will be unlocked during the afternoon, encouraging alums to tour the facilities and reminisce.

The annual meet and greet social time for banquet attendees will be held in the pre-function area of the Alan B. Mollohan Campus Community Center from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, followed by the alumni banquet at 6:00 PM in the ballroom. The evening’s banquet spotlight will be on the Alumni Association’s guests of honor: Alumnus of the Year Rich Heffelfinger’80, Alumni Achievement Award Recipient Kim Wilson ’75, Community Service Award Honoree Mack Samples ’64, Outstanding Public School Educator Awards Phil Tharp ’75 and Kathy (Fox) Tharp ’74, Outstanding Young Alumna Maggie Beth (Smith) Ponton ’06, and Outstanding Young Alumnus Matt Cogar ’10. The spotlight will also be upon the family of Professor Ed McKown ’61 as he is honored posthumously.

Alumna Margaret (Miller) Goodwin ’51 will host a social time at the Alumni Center following the evening’s banquet and Rumble on the Hill will be held that night in the Physical Education Building’s Jesse Lilly Gymnasium.

For planning purposes, prior reservations at $20.00 each are required for banquet attendees.

Contact the Glenville State College Alumni Office at 304.462.4122, local, or 866.239.0285, toll free, for more information about Alumni Day activities and to make your banquet reservation(s).


The Gilmer Free Press

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) issued the following statement after health effect results from the Elk River chemical spill were released from a collaborative investigation between the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (WVBPH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR).

“After nearly four months, West Virginians still have palpable concerns and feel unsettled frustration about the safety of their water. West Virginians deserve all their questions answered, as well as comprehensive recommendations on future actions. I urge the Centers for Disease Control to continue working with state health officials to fully study not only the short-term, but also the long-term impacts of the Freedom Industry spill.

“It is clear that a chemical leak like this could have occurred anywhere in the country, and that is why I will fight to pass my bill that would help prevent similar incidents from happening again.”

Shrine Clubs to Sponsor Screening for Children at UHC - 04.26.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Local Shrine Clubs and United Hospital Center are sponsoring the 18th Annual Shriners Hospital local Screening Clinic on Saturday, April 26, 2014, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

The purpose for the clinic is to identify any child who might benefit from treatment in a Shriners Hospital.  Approximately 1,000 children have been treated from past clinics.

Shriners Hospitals for Children® is a health care system of 22 hospitals providing high quality pediatric and other specialty care to thousands of kids each year.  All care is provided without any financial obligation to the patient or their family.

Shriners Hospitals treat problems such as:  club feet, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, scoliosis, hand and back problems, bowed legs, rickets, dislocated hips, spinal cord injuries, burns, and cleft lip and palate.  The age range for children who may be assisted includes newborns to age 18.

The Saturday, April 26, 2014 clinic will be held in the Family Medicine Center, 5th floor of the Physicians Office Building, on the new campus of UHC, I-79 at the Jerry Dove exit.  To schedule an appointment, call 681.342.1600, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Walk-ins will also be welcomed.

GSC Concert Band and Honors Band Concerts April 25-26, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

The Glenville State College Fine Arts Department faculty and staff are preparing for their sixth annual honors band festival. The event will take place on April 25 and 26, 2014.
The honors band consists of high school and middle school students from around the state. These students will rehearse for two full days before giving a final performance on Saturday, April 26 at 7:00 PM in the GSC Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

As part of the honors band festival, the GSC Concert Band members will give their annual performance on Friday, April 25 at 7:00 PM in the GSC Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

“The annual GSC Honors Band Festival is becoming a more popular event every year. For two days, we have roughly 75 students on the GSC campus working on music for a culminating concert. Our concert is the showcase entertainment for the honor band participants and their music teachers and band directors,” said GSC Assistant Professor of Music and Fine Arts Department Chair Lloyd Bone.

Both concerts are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Sheri Skidmore in the GSC Fine Arts Department at or 304.462.6340.

WV AG Warns of Property Rental Scam

The Gilmer Free Press

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning West Virginia residents about a rental property scam.

In the scam, people post fake rental ads on Craigslist or other websites.

Consumers who respond receive information about properties that do not exist, are not available or are owned by someone else.

The supposed landlords often ask for rent up front and promise that keys or a lease will be mailed upon receipt.

In other situations, scammers are hacking into the emails of property owners and sending fake, forged contracts through a website for vacation rental property owners.

These contracts direct the renters to send money either through pre-paid debit cards or money order to bank accounts owned by the scammers.

Morrisey says it is important to verify that rental property is legitimate before sending money.

WV Group Wants Family Resource Funding Restored

The Gilmer Free Press

A nonprofit coalition is urging Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to restore $1 million in state funding for early childhood and other family resource programs.

The Our Children, Our Future campaign to end child poverty said Wednesday it has requested a meeting with Tomblin and is seeking to have the funding reconsidered at an upcoming legislative special session.

The cuts included $388,000 for domestic violence-related programs; $250,000 for in-home family education; $200,000 for child advocacy centers, $150,000 for family resource centers and networks; and $80,000 for child abuse prevention.

Tomblin made the cuts in a line-item veto last month. They were among about $67 million in vetoes in 42 spending areas to limit how much the state dips into its savings.

A Tomblin spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

Bible Verse Removed from Wood County School Gym, Team Website

The Gilmer Free Press

Wood County school officials have removed a Bible verse from Parkersburg South High School’s gymnasium and the school wrestling team’s website.

The team’s use of Philippians 4:13 drew a complaint earlier this month from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation.

The verse states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.“

Wood County Superintendent Pat Law tells media outlets that the verse has been removed from the team’s website, which linked to the school’s website.

The verse also was painted above the doors to the wrestling room in the gym and appeared on the team’s T-shirts.

Law says the verse in the gym was painted over Tuesday.

The foundation’s attorney, Patrick Elliott, says public schools can’t endorse religion.

WV Secretary of State Natalie Tennant Calls Voter Registration Mailing “Misleading”

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia secretary of state is calling an Americans for Prosperity mailing about voter registration “misleading” and “confusing.“

The mailer says the recipient only has a few days to register to vote at his or her current address.

It includes a voter registration card and prepaid envelope.

Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said people have to update their registration only if they move, change their name, or want to switch political parties.

Tennant said legitimate contact will only come from county election clerks, not third-party groups.

Americans for Prosperity state director Wendy McCuskey said the mailer was sent to people who are not registered, based on public record.

She said it was legal and nonpartisan.

The small-government Americans for Prosperity opened a West Virginia chapter in January

A Young Weston Man Is Headed to Prison for More Than Half a Decade for a Federal Drug Crime

The Gilmer Free Press

Chief U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey sentenced Robert Vaughn Barnette II, age 28, to 5 1/4 years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Barnette was sentenced for possession of pseudoephedrine to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

West Virginia State Police and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department investigated, according to the office of U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II.

Law enforcement raided Barnette’s home on February 25, 2013, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Flower previously told the court.

Officers found plastic soda bottles, tubes, lithium batteries, drain cleaner and canning jars, all items that are used to make meth, Flower had told the court.

Barnette told officers he made meth in his bedroom, Flower had told the court.

The sides stipulated that Barnette used the volatile and dangerous shake-and-bake method to make meth.

Barnette bought pseudoephedrine on 14 different occasions within four months, including once on February 24, 2013, at the Rite-Aid in Clarksburg, Flower previously told the court.

Barnette was represented by the office of Federal Defender Brian Kornbrath in the hearing, which was held in Elkins.

State Tree Nursery Accepting Orders through April 30, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

State Tree Nursery Accepting Orders through April 30, 2014WEST COLUMBIA, WV – Spring may have sprung a little late this year, but there is still time to order seedlings from Clements State Tree Nursery.

West Virginia Division of Forestry officials have extended the deadline to order tree seedlings through April 30, 2014.

All trees are bare-root seedlings and are 1 to 2 years old. Seedlings are sold in bundles of 25 and can be mailed directly to the customer or picked up at the nursery.

Clements State Tree Nursery is located in West Columbia, WV, on WV Hwy 62 just 11 miles north of Point Pleasant.

Prices depend on the number of seedlings ordered and there is a 30% discount offered on orders of 5,000 or more.

Orders can be placed online at or phoned in at 304.675.1820.

High School Trackand Field 2014: TRI at ROANE COUNTY - Girls

The Gilmer Free Press
Girls Results

Girls 100 Meter Dash
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 Raines, Josie             09 Roane                    13.62   2  10   
  2 Hudnall, Caity            10 Roane                    14.55   2   8   
  3 Good, Skylar              10 Roane                    15.16   2   6   
  4 Shreve, Kenzi             12 Roane                   x15.36   2 
  5 Goodson, Kylee            11 Roane                   x15.52   1 
  6 Sampson, Kelly            09 Roane                   x15.67   2 
  7 Knicely, Kiersten            Calhoun                  17.03   1   4   
  8 Metz, Kelcie              10 Roane                   x17.05   1 
  9 Stonestreet, Lauren       09 Roane                   x17.90   1 
 10 Rush, Tiffany                Calhoun                  17.98   1   2   
—Illenz, Tiffany           12 Roane                       NT   1 
—Hayman, Josie                Ravenswood Girls            NT   2 
—Barton, Allie                Ravenswood Girls            NT   2 
—Lamp, Kisha                  Calhoun                     NT   1 
—Austin, Halie             10 Roane                       NT   2 
—Smith, Autumn                Calhoun                     NT   1 
Girls 200 Meter Dash
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 Raines, Josie             09 Roane                    28.42   2  10   
  2 Boggs, Nicole             12 Roane                    29.56   2   8   
  3 Fisher, Renee             11 Roane                    29.75   2   6   
  4 Reynolds, Cailyn          09 Roane                   x30.87   2 
  5 Good, Skylar              10 Roane                   x31.14   2 
  6 Shreve, Kenzi             12 Roane                   x32.18   2 
  7 Sampson, Kelly            09 Roane                   x32.57   1 
  8 Hicks, Ashley             12 Roane                   x33.37   1 
  9 Bottenfield, Nikki        11 Roane                   x33.85   2 
 10 Smith, Ashley             09 Roane                   x33.86   1 
 11 Hannum, Amber                Ravenswood Girls         33.95   2   4   
 12 Knicely, Kiersten            Calhoun                  36.75   1   2   
 13 Rush, Tiffany                Calhoun                  38.92   1   1   
 14 Paxton, Sierra               Calhoun                  39.34   1 
Girls 400 Meter Dash
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 Bottenfield, Nikki        11 Roane                  1:16.42   2  10   
  2 Salisbury, Beverly        09 Roane                  1:16.58   2   8   
  3 Hayman, Larissa              Ravenswood Girls       1:18.24   2   6   
  4 Smith, Ashley             09 Roane                  1:19.18   2   4   
  5 King, Adena               09 Roane                 x1:19.67   2 
  6 Hayman, Josie                Ravenswood Girls       1:22.78   2   2   
  7 Metz, Kelcie              10 Roane                 x1:24.79   2 
  8 Fradella, Jamie Lynn         Ravenswood Girls       1:28.24   2   1   
  9 Walls, Burgandy           12 Roane                 x1:30.93   1 
 10 Stonestreet, Lauren       09 Roane                 x1:38.33   1 
—Newlon, Rebbicca             Calhoun                     NT   1 
—Illenz, Tiffany           12 Roane                       NT   1 
—Hoolahan, Genny           11 Roane                       NT   1 
Girls 800 Meter Run
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Blosser, Hillary          12 Roane                  2:53.85   10   
  2 Lloyd, Shania             12 Roane                  2:55.75    8   
  3 Salisbury, Beverly        09 Roane                  3:08.11    6   
  4 Hayman, Larissa              Ravenswood Girls       3:12.87    4   
  5 Fradella, Jamie Lynn         Ravenswood Girls       3:36.30    2   
—Rogers, Noelle            10 Roane                       NT  
—Treadway, Taylor             Ravenswood Girls            NT  
—Smith, Ashley             09 Roane                       NT  
Girls 1600 Meter Run
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Treadway, Taylor             Ravenswood Girls       5:50.30   10   
  2 Love, Taylor                 Ravenswood Girls       6:06.24    8   
  3 Salisbury, Beverly        09 Roane                  7:13.91    6   
Girls 3200 Meter Run
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Treadway, Taylor             Ravenswood Girls      12:42.85   10   
  2 Love, Taylor                 Ravenswood Girls      12:51.03    8   
  3 Lloyd, Shania             12 Roane                 14:02.09    6   
Girls 100 Meter Hurdles
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Hardman, Hannah           10 Roane                    17.88   10   
  2 Blosser, Hillary          12 Roane                    18.20    8   
  3 Fisher, Renee             11 Roane                    18.50    6   
Girls 300 Meter Hurdles
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Blosser, Hillary          12 Roane                    55.98   10   
  2 Fisher, Renee             11 Roane                    56.85    8   
  3 Bottenfield, Nikki        11 Roane                  1:07.05    6   
—Newlon, Rebbicca             Calhoun                     NT  
Girls 4x100 Meter Relay
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Roane County High School Girls  ‘A’                   54.38   10   
     1) Boggs, Nicole 12                2) Hardman, Hannah 10             
     3) Hudnall, Caity 10               4) Raines, Josie 09               
  2 Ravenswood High School Girls  ‘A’                   1:02.41    8   
     1) Currey, Mariah                  2) Hannum, Amber                  
     3) Jones, Brittany                 4) Reynolds, Haylie               
  3 Calhoun  ‘A’                                        1:08.11    6   
     1) Knicely, Kiersten               2) Lamp, Kisha                    
     3) Rush, Tiffany                   4) Smith, Autumn                  
  4 Roane County High School Girls  ‘B’                x1:08.34  
     1) Bush, Kaitlin 10                2) Mace, Katie 12                 
     3) Austin, Halie 10                4) Rogers, Noelle 10              
Girls 4x200 Meter Relay
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Roane County High School Girls  ‘A’                 1:58.89   10   
     1) Boggs, Nicole 12                2) Shreve, Kenzi 12               
     3) Fisher, Renee 11                4) Hudnall, Caity 10              
  2 Ravenswood High School Girls  ‘A’                   2:11.77    8   
     1) Currey, Mariah                  2) Hannum, Amber                  
     3) Jones, Brittany                 4) Icenhower, Chelsea             
—Calhoun  ‘A’                                             NT  
     1) Knicely, Kiersten               2) Newlon, Rebbicca               
     3) Paxton, Sierra                  4) Rush, Tiffany                  
Girls 4x400 Meter Relay
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Roane County High School Girls  ‘A’                 5:55.86   10   
     1) King, Adena 09                  2) Stonestreet, Lauren 09         
     3) Metz, Kelcie 10                 4) Bottenfield, Nikki 11          
Girls 4x102.5 Meter Shuttle Hurdle
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Roane County High School Girls  ‘A’                 1:12.26   10   
     1) Hardman, Hannah 10              2) Salisbury, Beverly 09          
     3) Cherry, Katie 10                4) Blosser, Hillary 12            
Girls High Jump
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Hudnall, Caity            10 Roane                  4-11.00   10   
  2 Good, Skylar              10 Roane                  4-06.00    8   
  3 Hayman, Larissa              Ravenswood Girls       4-02.00    6   
Girls Pole Vault
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Lloyd, Shania             12 Roane                  9-00.00   10   
  2 Goodson, Kylee            11 Roane                  7-00.00    8   
  3 Sampson, Kelly            09 Roane                 J7-00.00    6   

Girls Long Jump
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Raines, Josie             09 Roane                 16-05.00   10   
  2 Reynolds, Cailyn          09 Roane                 15-01.00    8   
  3 Goodson, Kylee            11 Roane                 12-06.00    6   
  4 Hicks, Ashley             12 Roane                x12-04.50  
  5 King, Adena               09 Roane                x12-01.00  
  6 Barton, Allie                Ravenswood Girls      11-08.50    4   
  7 Greathouse, Bayli         11 Roane                x11-06.50  
  8 Stonestreet, Lauren       09 Roane                x11-00.00  
  9 Hayman, Josie                Ravenswood Girls       9-00.50    2   
—Newlon, Rebbicca             Calhoun                     ND  
—Farmer, Carly             10 Roane                       ND  
—Hannum, Amber                Ravenswood Girls            ND  
—Illenz, Tiffany           12 Roane                       ND  
Girls Shot Put
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Bush, Kaitlin             10 Roane                 30-02.50   10   
  2 Mace, Katie               12 Roane                 30-01.50    8   
  3 Boggs, Nicole             12 Roane                 27-01.50    6   
  4 Parsons, Ashley           12 Roane                x26-06.50  
  5 Reynolds, Haylie             Ravenswood Girls      25-03.00    4   
  6 Rogers, Noelle            10 Roane                x25-00.50  
  7 Smith, Autumn                Calhoun               21-09.00    2   
  8 Lamp, Kisha                  Calhoun               20-01.50    1   
  9 Metz, Kelcie              10 Roane                x19-07.00  
 10 Walls, Burgandy           12 Roane                x18-09.00  
Girls Discus Throw
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Parsons, Ashley           12 Roane                    86-03   10   
  2 Rogers, Noelle            10 Roane                 73-10.50    8   
  3 Mace, Katie               12 Roane                 63-03.50    6   
  4 Austin, Halie             10 Roane                   x56-03  
  5 Bush, Kaitlin             10 Roane                   x51-04  
  6 Walls, Burgandy           12 Roane                   x47-08  
—Illenz, Tiffany           12 Roane                       ND  

                    Girls - Team Rankings - 17 Events Scored
    3) Calhoun                     18                                           

High School Trackand Field 2014: TRI at ROANE COUNTY - Boys

The Gilmer Free Press
Boys Results

Boys 100 Meter Dash
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 Fisher, Troy              JR Roane Boys               12.11   2  10   
  2 Pavalok, Alex             JR Roane Boys               12.28   2   8   
  3 Scott, Luke               SR Roane Boys               12.53   2   6   
  4 Saunders, Jordin             Ravenswood Boys          12.62   2   4   
  5 Withers, Nathan              Ravenswood Boys          12.72   2   2   
  6 Sowders, Brandon             Ravenswood Boys          13.01   2   1   
  7 Johnston, Nick               Ravenswood Boys         x13.38   1 
  8 Wanstreet, Trey           FR Roane Boys              x13.63   1 
  9 Richard, Josh             JR Roane Boys              x13.67   1 
 10 Hughes, Blake                Calhoun                  13.78   1 
 11 Wright, Tommy             FR Roane Boys              x14.48   2 
 12 Quillen, Stone               Ravenswood Boys         x14.76   2 
 13 Hash, Christian              Calhoun                  17.96   1 
—Baringer, Samuel             Calhoun                     NT   1 
Boys 200 Meter Dash
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 Fisher, Troy              JR Roane Boys               23.79   2  10   
  2 Withers, Nathan              Ravenswood Boys          25.31   2   8   
  3 Parrish, Shay                Calhoun                  25.64   2   6   
  4 Sowders, Brandon             Ravenswood Boys          26.31   2   4   
  5 Wright, Tommy             FR Roane Boys               28.26   2   2   
  6 Chrifield, Alec              Calhoun                  30.12   1   1   
  7 Baringer, Samuel             Calhoun                  30.53   1 
  8 Hash, Christian              Calhoun                 x44.81   1 
—Johnston, Nick               Ravenswood Boys             NT   2 
—Quillen, Stone               Ravenswood Boys             NT   1 
—Scott, Luke               SR Roane Boys                  NT   1 
—Hardman, Grant            SR Roane Boys                  NT   2 
—Saunders, Jordin             Ravenswood Boys             NT   2 
Boys 400 Meter Dash
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 McGinnis II, Steven       JR Roane Boys               55.40   2  10   
  2 Johnston, Conner             Ravenswood Boys          58.48   2   8   
  3 Hughes, Blake                Calhoun                1:01.72   2   6   
  4 Jarrell, Chase               Ravenswood Boys        1:02.06   2   4   
  5 Chrifield, Alec              Calhoun                1:05.70   1   2   
  6 Burch, Joe                FR Roane Boys             1:07.64   1   1   
  7 Quillen, Stone               Ravenswood Boys        1:08.32   2 
  8 Henry, Dylan                 Ravenswood Boys       x1:12.96   2 
  9 Lacy, Christopher            Calhoun                1:25.27   1 
—Hardman, Grant            SR Roane Boys                  NT   2 
Boys 800 Meter Run
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Pell, Caleb               JR Roane Boys             2:18.01   10   
  2 Richard, Josh             JR Roane Boys             2:24.87    8   
  3 Pena, Marcus              JR Roane Boys             2:28.28    6   
  4 Johnston, Conner             Ravenswood Boys        2:30.66    4   
  5 Jarrell, Chase               Ravenswood Boys        2:33.62    2   
  6 Stutler, Kyle             FR Roane Boys            x2:39.20  
  7 Boggs, Patrick               Ravenswood Boys        2:40.58    1   
  8 Anderson, Dustin             Ravenswood Boys       x2:49.10  
  9 Burch, Joe                FR Roane Boys            x2:52.90  
—Lacy, Christopher            Calhoun                     NT  
—York, John                FR Roane Boys                  NT  
Boys 1600 Meter Run
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Stutler, Kyle             FR Roane Boys             5:36.89   10   
  2 Anderson, Dustin             Ravenswood Boys        6:03.49    8   
  3 York, John                FR Roane Boys             7:48.06    6   
Boys 3200 Meter Run
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Stutler, Kyle             FR Roane Boys            12:35.51   10   
Boys 110 Meter Hurdles
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Bates, Ryan               JR Roane Boys               17.21   10   
  2 Parrish, Shay                Calhoun                  18.22    8   
  3 Henry, Dylan                 Ravenswood Boys          21.95    6   
  4 Godbey, Tyler             JR Roane Boys               22.86    4   
Boys 300 Meter Hurdles
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Bates, Ryan               JR Roane Boys               42.45   10   
  2 Hamilton, Joe             SO Roane Boys               46.51    8   
  3 Parrish, Shay                Calhoun                  47.09    6   
  4 Wanstreet, Trey           FR Roane Boys               49.36    4   
  5 Boggs, Patrick               Ravenswood Boys          54.59    2   
  6 Godbey, Tyler             JR Roane Boys            x1:02.80  
  7 Henry, Dylan                 Ravenswood Boys        1:05.19    1   
Boys 4x100 Meter Relay
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Roane County High Boys  ‘A’                           46.23   10   
     1) Pavalok, Alex JR                2) Fisher, Troy JR                
     3) Bates, Ryan JR                  4) McGinnis II, Steven JR         
  2 Ravenswood High School Boys  ‘A’                      51.87    8   
     1) Saunders, Jordin                2) Withers, Nathan                
     3) Johnston, Nick                  4) Sowders, Brandon               
  3 Calhoun  ‘A’                                          59.90    6   
     1) Chrifield, Alec                 2) Lacy, Christopher              
     3) Hash, Christian                 4) Hughes, Blake                  
—Roane County High Boys  ‘B’                          X59.17  
     1) Burch, Joe FR                   2) Crihfield, Isiaih JR           
     3) Wright, Tommy FR                4) Weekly, Lucas JR               
Boys 4x200 Meter Relay
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Ravenswood High School Boys  ‘A’                    1:51.02   10   
     1) Saunders, Jordin                2) Withers, Nathan                
     3) Boggs, Patrick                  4) Sowders, Brandon               
  2 Calhoun  ‘A’                                        2:00.41    8   
     1) Baringer, Samuel                2) Chrifield, Alec                
     3) Hughes, Blake                   4) Lacy, Christopher              
—Roane County High Boys  ‘A’                              NT  
     1) Pavalok, Alex JR                2) Fisher, Troy JR                
     3) Bates, Ryan JR                  4) McGinnis II, Steven JR         
Boys 4x400 Meter Relay
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Roane County High Boys  ‘A’                         4:30.11   10   
     1) Burch, Joe FR                   2) Hamilton, Joe SO               
     3) Wanstreet, Trey FR              4) Wright, Tommy FR               
Boys 4x800 Meter Relay
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Roane County High Boys  ‘A’                         9:38.70   10   
     1) Pell, Caleb JR                  2) Pena, Marcus JR                
     3) Stutler, Kyle FR                4) Richard, Josh JR               
  2 Ravenswood High School Boys  ‘A’                   10:07.62    8   
     1) Johnston, Conner                2) Boggs, Patrick                 
     3) Jarrell, Chase                  4) Anderson, Dustin               
Boys 4x110 Meter Shuttle Hurdle
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Roane County High Boys  ‘A’                         1:13.70   10   
     1) Richard, Josh JR                2) Pell, Caleb JR                 
     3) Pena, Marcus JR                 4) Godbey, Tyler JR               

Boys High Jump
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Hardman, Grant            SR Roane Boys             6-02.25   10   
  2 Johnston, Conner             Ravenswood Boys        5-06.00    8   
—Henry, Dylan                 Ravenswood Boys             NH  
—Hamilton, Joe             SO Roane Boys                  NH  
Boys Pole Vault
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Pell, Caleb               JR Roane Boys            11-06.00   10   
  2 Richard, Josh             JR Roane Boys             8-00.00    8   
Boys Long Jump
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Parrish, Shay                Calhoun               19-01.00   10   
  2 McGinnis II, Steven       JR Roane Boys            18-10.50    8   
  3 Pavalok, Alex             JR Roane Boys            17-09.50    6   
  4 Scott, Luke               SR Roane Boys            17-08.00    4   
  5 Johnston, Nick               Ravenswood Boys       17-03.00    2   
  6 Pena, Marcus              JR Roane Boys           x16-05.00  
  7 Wanstreet, Trey           FR Roane Boys           x15-07.50  
  8 Godbey, Tyler             JR Roane Boys           x13-08.00  
  9 Hash, Christian              Calhoun                8-10.00    1   
—Hardman, Grant            SR Roane Boys                  ND  
Boys Shot Put
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Crihfield, Isiaih         JR Roane Boys            34-10.00   10   
  2 Simpson, Josh                Roane Boys            26-09.50    8   
  3 Baringer, Samuel             Calhoun               26-08.00    6   
  4 Weekly, Lucas             JR Roane Boys            24-08.00    4   
Boys Discus Throw
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Crihfield, Isiaih         JR Roane Boys               93-04   10   
  2 Simpson, Josh                Roane Boys               63-11    8   
  3 Weekly, Lucas             JR Roane Boys               63-10    6   
                    Boys - Team Rankings - 18 Events Scored
    1) Roane County High Boys     265        2) RAVENSWOOD HIGH SCHOOL BO  91   
    3) Calhoun                     60                                           

Gassaway: Ramp Dinner - 04.27.14 - This Sunday

The Gilmer Free Press

1st Annual Michael Garrett Softball Tournament - 04.26.14 - Registration Deadline Today

The Gilmer Free Press

The Bundy Paradigm: Will You Be a Rebel, Revolutionary or a Slave?

The Gilmer Free Press

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
—John F. Kennedy

Those tempted to write off the standoff at the Bundy Ranch as little more than a show of force by militia-minded citizens would do well to reconsider their easy dismissal of this brewing rebellion. This goes far beyond concerns about grazing rights or the tension between the state and the federal government.

Few conflicts are ever black and white, and the Bundy situation, with its abundance of gray areas, is no exception. Yet the question is not whether Cliven Bundy and his supporters are domestic terrorists, as Harry Reid claims, or patriots, or something in between. Nor is it a question of whether the Nevada rancher is illegally grazing his cattle on federal land or whether that land should rightfully belong to the government. Nor is it even a question of who’s winning the showdown— the government with its arsenal of SWAT teams, firepower and assault vehicles, or Bundy’s militia supporters with their assortment of weapons—because if such altercations end in bloodshed, everyone loses.

What we’re really faced with, and what we’ll see more of before long, is a growing dissatisfaction with the government and its heavy-handed tactics by people who are tired of being used and abused and are ready to say “enough is enough.” And it won’t matter what the issue is—whether it’s a rancher standing his ground over grazing rights, a minister jailed for holding a Bible study in his own home, or a community outraged over police shootings of unarmed citizens—these are the building blocks of a political powder keg. Now all that remains is a spark, and it need not be a very big one, to set the whole powder keg aflame.

As I show in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, there’s a subtext to this incident that must not be ignored, and it is simply this: America is a pressure cooker with no steam valve, and things are about to blow. This is what happens when a parasitical government muzzles the citizenry, fences them in, herds them, brands them, whips them into submission, forces them to ante up the sweat of their brows while giving them little in return, and then provides them with little to no outlet for voicing their discontent.

The government has been anticipating and preparing for such an uprising for years. For example, in 2008, a U.S. Army War College report warned that the military must be prepared for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse,” “purposeful domestic resistance,” “pervasive public health emergencies” or “loss of functioning political and legal order”—all related to dissent and protests over America’s economic and political disarray. Consequently, predicted the report=C the “widespread civil violence would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.”

One year later, in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama issued its infamous reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism.” According to these reports, an extremist is defined as anyone who subscribes to a particular political viewpoint. Rightwing extremists, for example, are broadly defined in the report as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”

Despite “no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence,” the DHS listed a number of scenarios that could arise as a result of so-called rightwing extremists playing on the public’s fears and discontent over various issues, including the economic downturn, real estate foreclosures and unemployment.

Equally disconcerting, the reports use the words “terrorist” and “extremist” interchangeably. In other words, voicing what the government would consider to be extremist viewpoints is tantamount to being a terrorist. Under such a definition, I could very well be considered a terrorist. So too could John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., Roger Baldwin (founder of the ACLU), Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams—all of these men protested and passionately spoke out against government practices with which they disagreed and would be prime targets under this document.

The document also took pains to describe the political views of those who would qualify as being a rightwing extremist. For example, you are labeled a rightwing extremist if you voice concerns about a myriad of issues including: policy changes under President Obama; the economic downturn and home foreclosures; the loss of U.S. jobs in manufacturing and construction sectors; and social issues such as abortion, interracial crimes and immigration. DHS also issued a red-flag warning against anyone who promotes “conspiracy theories involving declarations of martial law, impending civil strife or racial conflict, suspension of the U.S. Constitution, and the creation of citizen detention camps.”

Fast forward five years, with all that has transpired, from the Occupy Protests and the targeting of military veterans to domestic surveillance, especially of activist-oriented groups and now, most recently, the Bundy Ranch showdown, and it would seem clear that the government has not veered one iota from its original playbook. Indeed, the government’s full-blown campaign of surveillance of Americans’ internet activity, phone calls, etc., makes complete sense in hindsight.

All that we have been subjected to in recent years—living under the shadow of NSA spying; motorists strip searched and anally probed on the side of the road; innocent Americans spied upon while going about their daily business in schools and stores; homeowners having their doors kicked in by militarized SWAT teams serving routine warrants—illustrates how the government deals with people it views as potential “extremists”: with heavy-handed tactics designed to intimidate the populace into submission and discourage anyone from stepping out of line or challenging the status quo.

It’s not just the Cliven Bundys of the world who are being dealt with in this manner. Don Miller, a 91-year-old antiques collector, recently had his Indiana home raided by the FBI, ostensibly because it might be in the nation’s best interest if the rare and valuable antiques and artifacts Miller had collected over the course of 80 years were cared for by the government. Such tactics carried out by anyone other than the government would be considered grand larceny, and yet the government gets a free pass.

In the same way, the government insists it can carry out all manner of surveillance on us—listen in on our phone calls, read our emails and text messages, track our movements, photograph our license plates, even enter our biometric information into DNA databases—but those who dare to return the favor, even a little, by filming potential police misconduct, get roughed up by the police, arrested, charged with violating various and sundry crimes.

When law enforcement officials—not just the police, but every agent of the government entrusted with enforcing laws, from the president on down—are allowed to discard the law when convenient, and the only ones having to obey the law are the citizenry and not the enforcers, then the law becomes only a tool to punish us, rather than binding and controlling the government, as it was intended.

This phenomenon is what philosopher Abraham Kaplan referred to as the law of the instrument, which essentially says that to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In the scenario that has been playing out in recent years, we the citizenry have become the nails to be hammered by the government’s henchmen, a.k.a. its guns for hire, a.k.a. its standing army, a.k.a. the nation’s law enforcement agencies.

Indeed, there can no longer be any doubt that militarized police officers, the end product of the government—federal, local and state—and law enforcement agencies having merged, have become a “standing” or permanent army, composed of full-time professional soldiers who do not disband. Yet these permanent armies are exactly what those who drafted the U.S. Constitution feared as tools used by despotic governments to wage war against its citizens.

That is exactly what we are witnessing today: a war against the American citizenry. Is it any wonder then that Americans are starting to resist?

More and more, Americans are tired, frustrated, anxious, and worried about the state of their country. They are afraid of an increasingly violent and oppressive federal government, and they are worried about the economic insecurity which still grips the nation. And they’re growing increasingly sick of being treated like suspects and criminals. As former law professor John Baker, who has studied the growing problem of overcriminalization, noted, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. That is not an exaggeration.”

To make matters worse, a recent scientific study by Princeton researchers confirms that the United States of America is not the democracy that is purports to be, but rather an oligarchy, in which “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy.” As PolicyMic explains, “An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military… In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.”

So if average Americans, having largely lost all of the conventional markers of influencing government, whether through elections, petition, or protest, have no way to impact their government, no way to be heard, no assurance that their concerns are truly being represented and their government is one “by the people, of the people, and for the people,” as opposed to being engineered expressly for the benefit of the wealthy elite, then where does that leave them?

To some, the choice is clear. As psychologist Erich Fromm recognized in his insightful book, On Disobedience: “If a man can only obey and not disobey, he is a slave; if he can only disobey and not obey, he is a rebel (not a revolutionary). He acts out of anger, disappointment, resentment, yet not in the name of a conviction or a principle.”

Unfortunately, the intrepid, revolutionary American spirit that stood up to the British, blazed paths to the western territories, and prevailed despite a civil war, multiple world wars, and various economic depressions has taken quite a beating in recent years. Nevertheless, the time is coming when each American will have to decide: will you be a slave, rebel or revolutionary?

~~  John W. Whitehead ~~

Movies This Week - 04.24.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Brick Mansions

Open Nationwide 04.25.14 | 90 min.

PG-13 | Sexual Menace, Drug Material, Language, Frenetic Gunplay, Violence and Action Throughout.

In a dystopian Detroit, grand houses that once housed the wealthy are now homes of the city’s most-dangerous criminals. Surrounding the area is a giant wall to keep the rest of Detroit safe. For undercover cop Damien Collier (Paul Walker), every day is a battle against corruption as he struggles to bring his father’s killer, Tremaine (RZA), to justice. Meanwhile, Damien and an ex-con named Lino (David Belle) work together to save the city from a plot to destroy it.

Starring: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Gouchy Boy, Catalina Denis, Carlo Rota, Robert Maillet

Genre: Action, Crime drama

Distributor: Relativity Media, Warner Bros.


The Gilmer Free Press

The Other Woman

Open Nationwide 04.25.14 | 110 min.

PG-13 | mature thematic material, sexual references, and language.

Three women (Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton) join forces to take revenge on the lying, cheating cad who betrayed them all.

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Taylor Kinney, Nicki Minaj

Genre: Comedy

Distributor: 20th Century Fox


The Gilmer Free Press
The Quiet Ones

Open Nationwide 04.25.14


Tucked away in an estate outside of London, Professor Coupland along with a team of university students conduct an “experiment” on Jane Harper, a young girl who harbors unspeakable secrets. What dark forces they uncover are more terrifying than any of them expected.

Starring:   Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards

Genre:   Drama, Thriller, Horror

Bon Appétit: Grilled Patty Melt with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

The Gilmer Free Press


For the onions:

  2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  1 teaspoon kosher salt
  4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  3 large yellow onions, sliced into rings

For the burger:

  1 pound ground sirloin
  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  8 slices of fresh rye bread, toasted
  8 large slices of Swiss cheese, or a combination of Swiss and American


In a large heavy-bottomed saute pan or Dutch oven over medium heat, combine the olive oil and butter.

When the butter is melted, add the salt, 3 tablespoons of the vinegar, and the onion rings.

Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes, or until the onions are all a deep golden color.

When the onions are done, transfer them to a bowl and immediately drizzle the remaining vinegar over them.

Stir to combine, then set aside.

The onions can be prepared to this point up to 2 days ahead, then refrigerated in an airtight container.

When ready to cook the burgers, prepare a grill for direct, medium heat cooking.

Being careful not to overwork the meat, season the sirloin with salt and pepper, and mix until combined.

Gently shape the meat into 4 oval patties of equal size and thickness (about 1/3 inch thick).

Use your thumb to make an imprint in the center of each patty.

Place each patty directly on the cooking grate and grill for 4 minutes.

Turn and continue grilling until the meat is no longer pink, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Once the patties are made and grilled, transfer to a clean platter.

Meanwhile, begin to assemble the patty melts by layering each piece of the rye toast with a slice of cheese.

Take the bread to the grill and place directly on clean cooking grates for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese begins to melt and the bread is warm and lightly toasted.

Once the cheese has melted, transfer each burger patty to one slice of bread.

Divide the onions between the remaining 4 slices of bread, then assemble into 4 sandwiches.

Makes 4 servings.

Ask the Doctor: Bone Loss May Occur if Active


DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My daughter has been an avid athlete since she was a little girl. She plays basketball for her high school and is the star of the team. She has hopes of a college scholarship. She pushes herself constantly, and practices during any free time she can find.

She told me she has stopped menstruating. I wondered if she might be pregnant, but she says that’s impossible. I know that too much exercise can stop periods. Do you think this is the reason hers have stopped? It doesn’t appear to bother her, but it is a worry for me. What could happen to her if they don’t restart? - L.S.

ANSWER: The female athletic triad consists of disordered eating, loss of menstrual periods and osteoporosis. It could be the reason why your daughter’s periods have stopped.

For some women, “disordered eating” is a deliberate cutting back of calories to attain the thinness of a model. But that isn’t the disordered eating of all females with the athletic triad. For many, it’s simply not eating enough food to provide the energy required by their strenuous activity. As a result, the hormone production needed for normal periods falls off. These women satisfy their appetite for food intake, but they don’t satisfy their caloric needs.

Loss of menstrual periods is a sign of inadequate estrogen production. Inadequate estrogen makes it impossible to maintain bone health. Osteoporosis results if the condition isn’t corrected. A young woman who hasn’t had a period for six months needs a bone evaluation, and that is best done with a DEXA test.

Flashback: What Happened on April 24, ....


•  1884 The Charleston and Pittsburgh Railroad Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Francis V. Greene of Washington, D. C.; Andrew Brockerhoff of Bellefonte, PA; Wayne MacVeagh of Philadelphia; Henry McCormick of Harrisburg, PA; and Johnson N. Camden of Parkersburg. The company’s purpose was to construct a railroad from a point at or near Charleston to a point at or near Braxton Court House (Sutton), Braxton County, with its main office in Charleston.

•  1925 The State Capitol Building Commission received the completed West Wing of the new state capitol building in Charleston.

•  1964 President Lyndon Johnson attended a governors’ conference in Huntington and toured eastern Kentucky as part of the War on Poverty.

•  1992 Former Logan County Sheriff Earl Tomblin pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges.

•  1992 A Clarksburg accounting firm revealed that the town of Elkins, Randolph County, had lost over $1 million, due to speculative investments by former Treasurer Glen Wyland.

G-MM™: Meditation Moment - 04.24.14


Jesus appears to the disciples and it takes a long time for them to absorb and believe this unexpected event.

Luke explains it is because their joy is unbounded. It is Jesus who goes out to the disciples and breaks into their lives. They experience their own resurrection of renewed hope and vitality when Jesus appears. In the reading from Acts, the disciples break into other people’s lives as Jesus did. They surprise the people. Peter not only cures a man, but he also teaches about Jesus, his resurrection, and the hope and new possibilities that this implies for people’s lives. The idea of resurrection after so many Easters still has a living vitality that renews hope in our lives and in those with whom we live.

Acts 3:11‐26. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!—Ps 8:2, 5-9. Luke 24:35-48.

You Are invited – Saturday, April 26, 2014 (Joann Ratliff)

The Gilmer Free Press

Joann Ratliff family would like to invite all their friends and loved ones to come out and join them for a celebration of Joann’s life.

The gathering will be held at the Burnsville Community Center on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 10:00 AM until 12:00 Noon.

Charles Rimer Kendall

The Gilmer Free Press

Charles Rimer Kendall

Age 87, of Mineral Wells, WV, formerly of Stumptown, WV, passed away on April 22, 2014 at Camden Clark Medical Center, Memorial Campus.

He was born October 08, 1926, in Calhoun County, WV, a son of the late Alexander “Jack” and Nora V. Fitzpatrick Kendall.

Charles loved his family especially his grandchildren. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his younger years and loved to play music especially the banjo. He played bluegrass with the Harmony Bluegrass, gospel music with the Harris Family and many other groups. He has many, many friends, never met a stranger and would help anyone in any way he could.

He attended Rush Run Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Beverla H. Bennett Kendall; one daughter, Connie Harris (Alva) of Mineral Wells; one son, Kenneth Kendall (Beverly) of Clarksburg, WV; grandchildren, Tammy Harris of Parkersburg, WV; Chuck Kendall (Crystal) of Grantsville, WV and Casey Bryant (Tommy) of Clarksburg; and great grandchildren, Charles Kendall III, Danielle and Shawn Kendall, all of Grantsville; great-great-granddaughter, MaKenzie Bryant of Clarksburg; and a very special family friend, Kate Modock of Elyria, Ohio.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Charles Roger Kendall; and one brother, James Kenneth Kendall.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 26, at Lambert-Tatman Funeral Home, Pike St., South Parkersburg with Rev. Wes Jones officiating.

A graveside service will be conducted at 1:30 PM at Collins Cemetery in Stumptown.

Visitation will be from 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Friday, April 25, at the funeral home.

Joan Evans

The Gilmer Free Press

Joan Evans

Age 75, of West Union, WV, Smithburg community, departed this life on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in her residence surrounded by her loving family.

Joan was born February 02, 1939 at Central Station a daughter of the late Paul E. and Sylvia G. Dillon James.

On June 30, 1961 she married Clarence Duane Evans who preceded her in death on November 11, 2013.

Surviving is one daughter, Cassandra “Sandy” Ewing and husband William “Bill”, Smithburg, one son Craig Duane Evans, Black Lick, one grandson, Clayton Duane Evans, Marietta, OH, one granddaughter, Sarah Elaine Evans, Black Lick, four sisters, Joyce Hollis and husband Lowell, Washington Court House, OH, Linda Campbell and husband John, Pullman, Naomi Cunningham, West Union, Barbara Reed, West Union, one brother, Lonnie James and wife Shari, Greenwood. She was preceded in death by daughter-in-law, Martha Evans, three brothers, Carl, Dewayne and Emmit James.

Joan was a homemaker and had worked at Quality Garments of West Union and Moore’s Store in Smithburg. She enjoyed gardening, canning and was an avid photographer. If Joan didn’t have a camera in her purse it would be in her hand. She has several thousand photos’ that show how much she loved photography. She loved cats and is survived by her three feline friends, Fluffy, Rosie and Sweetie.

Joan was a member of Red Oak Grove Church. She was a witness for the Lord and loved to read the Bible and faithfully read it every day. Even in her last days she requested that it be read to her every night.

Joan’s grandchildren were her pride and joy. When they came to visit, her eyes would light up and a smile would brighten her face. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister and will be sadly missed by her family and friends. The family would like to extend a special thanks to her caregivers, Heather Reed, Barbara Reed and to People’s Hospice and Dr. Paul Davis.

Funeral services will be conducted in the Spurgeon Funeral Home 212 Front St. West Union on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM with Pastor David Moore presiding.

Interment will follow in the Masonic Memorial Park, West Union.

The family will receive friends in the funeral home chapel on Friday, April 25, 2014 from 2-8 PM.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Doddridge County Humane Society 1286 Wiseman Run Salem, WV 26426.

Spurgeon Funeral Home is privileged to serve the Evans family.

Jane Davis Post

The Gilmer Free Press

Jane Davis Post

Age 97, of Jane Lew, WV, departed this life on April 20, 2014, at the Crestview Manor in Jane Lew.

She was born at McWhorter, WV, on May 04, 1916, a daughter of the late Urso and Jessie Saunders Davis.

On May 04, 1936, she married Jacob Showalter Post, who preceded her in death on December 03, 1975.

Mrs. Post is survived by her son, Jacob Davis “Dave” Post and his wife Nancy of Lost Creek; her daughter, Elizabeth A. “Liz” Post of Jane Lew; two grandchildren, Jacqueline Abraham and husband Greg of Lost Creek, Walt Post and wife Karen of Good Hope; four great-grandsons, Joel and Caleb Abraham and Jake and Jeremy Post; a special grandson, Christopher Freeman; and sister-in-law, Martha Davis.

Jane was the last surviving member of her immediate family, having been preceded in death by three brothers, Hugh, Bud and Everett Davis.

Mrs. Post was a longtime member of the North View United Methodist Church and attended Georgetown Community Church.

She was a member of Berlin CEOS Club and the North View Chicken Scratch Club. Jane enjoyed crocheting and made granny cuddles for local hospitals and lap throws for Tammy Lynn Center in Raleigh, NC.

Family and friends called at the Amos Carvelli Funeral Home, 201 Edison Street, Nutter Fort, on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, from 4-8 PM.

Family and friends may also call on Thursday from 9 AM until the funeral hour at 11 AM with Reverend Adam Justice presiding.

Interment will follow at the Seventh Day Baptist Church Cemetery in Lost Creek.

A service of Amos Carvelli Funeral Home.


The Gilmer Free Press

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: April 24

Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“Never practice what you preach. If you’re going to practice it, why preach it?“ — Lincoln Steffens, American journalist-reformer (1866-1936).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On April 24, 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces almost a week later.)

On this date:

In 1792, the national anthem of France, “La Marseillaise” (lah mahr-say-YEHZ’), was composed by Captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.

In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States. (The United States responded in kind the next day.)

In 1913, the 792-foot Woolworth Building, at that time the tallest skyscraper in the world, officially opened in Manhattan as President Woodrow Wilson pressed a button at the White House to signal the lighting of the towering structure.

In 1915, what’s regarded as the start of the Armenian genocide began as the Ottoman Empire rounded up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.

In 1932, in the Free State of Prussia, the Nazi Party gained a plurality of seats in parliamentary elections.

In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, using NASA’s Echo 1 balloon satellite to bounce a video image from Camp Parks, Calif., to Westford, Mass.

In 1970, the People’s Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, “The East Is Red.“

In 1974, comedian Bud Abbott, 78, died in Woodland Hills, Calif.

In 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.

In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.

Ten years ago:

Suicide boat bombers attacked Iraqi oil facilities in the Persian Gulf, killing three Americans and disabling Iraq’s biggest terminal for more than 24 hours.

A U.N. plan to reunify the war-divided island of Cyprus collapsed when Greek Cypriots rejected the proposal in one referendum and Turkish Cypriots endorsed it in another.

In Los Angeles, Vitali Klitschko stopped Corrie Sanders late in the eighth round to win the WBC heavyweight title vacated by the retirement of Lennox Lewis.

Cosmetics queen Estee Lauder died in New York at age 97.

Five years ago:

Mexico shut down schools, museums, libraries and state-run theaters across its overcrowded capital in hopes of containing a deadly swine flu outbreak.

Back-to-back suicide bombers struck near a Shiite shrine in Baghdad, killing 71.

One year ago:

In Bangladesh, a shoddily constructed eight-story commercial building housing garment factories collapsed, killing at least 1,129 people.

Today’s Birthdays:

Movie director-producer Richard Donner is 84

Actress Shirley MacLaine is 80

Author Sue Grafton is 74

Actor-singer Michael Parks is 74

Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 72

Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 72

Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 71

Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 69

Rock singer-musician Rob Hyman is 64

The Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, Enda Kenny, is 63

Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 61

Rock singer-musician Jack Blades (Night Ranger) is 60

Actor Michael O’Keefe is 59

Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 57

Actor Glenn Morshower is 55

Rock musician Billy Gould is 51

Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 50

Actor Djimon Hounsou (JEYE’-mihn OHN’-soo) is 50

Rock musician Patty Schemel is 47

Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 46

Actress Melinda Clarke is 45

Latin pop singer Alejandro Fernandez is 43

Country-rock musician Brad Morgan (Drive-By Truckers) is 43

Rock musician Brian Marshall (Creed; Alter Bridge) is 41

Actor Derek Luke is 40

Actor Eric Balfour is 37

Actress Rebecca Mader is 37

Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 35

Country singer Danny Gokey is 34

Actor Austin Nichols is 34

Actress Sasha Barrese is 33

Contemporary Christian musician Jasen Rauch (Red) is 33

Singer Kelly Clarkson is 32

Rock singer-musician Tyson Ritter (The All-American Rejects) is 30

Actor Doc Shaw is 22

WV Lottery - 04.23.14


6-4-5       Number of Winners = 93       Total Payout = $6,560.00


4-3-4-0       Number of Winners = 4       Total Payout = $800.00


05-07-11-18-37     Hot Ball: 02    


19-25-29-36-48     Power Ball: 12     Power Play: x 4

CommunityImprovement™: GSC Waco Center Will Be Opened to Public on Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ike and Sue Morris don’t dream.  They see a vision and plan for it to come true.  So began the Waco Center some seven years ago.  Upon the center’s opening this Friday night, those plans, along with determined efforts by the Morris family, Glenville State College President Dr. Peter Barr, and his staff, have resulted in a complex that will do exactly what Ike stated he wanted from the beginning; “it will WOW anyone driving down Mineral Road”.

The need for the center was never questioned.  The nationally recognized Land Resources Training Center was housed in a building that was nearly 40 years old and did not have the space or technology to meet the demands of the rapidly expanding needs of the Oil and Gas, Timber and Surveying industries, all of whom are in the midst of expanding workforces and woefully short of qualified candidates to fill open positions.

The Gilmer Free Press

The Lilly Gym is filled with memories, but at half a century since its construction is feeling the effects of age and wear and tear.  The Pioneer basketball program has seen historic results in conference, regional and national play and deserved a place to showcase the efforts of the young men and women carrying the banner for the Pioneer Nation.

Finally, it has been a vision of Dr. Barr since his arrival in Glenville in 2006 to have a medical facility that can expand to meet the needs of the college and the county whenever a medical emergency arises.  Having adequate health care available is one of the first things a potential new member of the Gilmer County community looks for when relocating.

The center will be open for public tours this coming Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Dr. Barr and the entire Glenville State family extend a warm welcome for the entire county to make plans to attend and view personally what a WOW looks like when you walk through it.

GFP - 04.23.2014
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleCommunityImprovement™Events | AnnouncementsActivities | Announcements | RegistrationsSports(2) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Please inform us about the WACO medical center. Will it open immediately, what will be the hours, and what services will be provided? This will be a great addition for Glenville and the Gilmer County Community. Thanks WACO.

By Rosco Pratt  on  04.23.2014

I am a student at GSC and I don’t even know what is going on with that part of the Waco Center and I am there almost daily. I heard that Minnie Hamilton did not want to sign the contract with the college to provide the services, but then again as I read this article I may be wrong. If so there goes another wasted bit of money for GSC.

By Kevin Hardbarger  on  04.23.2014

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Semifinalists Named for MVB Bank West Virginia Scholar Program

The Gilmer Free Press

The 15 semifinalists for the 2014 MVB Bank West Virginia Scholar Program have been announced.

One of the current high school juniors will be awarded a four-year scholarship at West Virginia Wesleyan valued at $125,000.

It is a full scholarship that includes tuition and fees along with room and board starting with the Fall 2015 semester.

The second prize is a four-year $5,000 scholarship at West Virginia Wesleyan, while the third prize is a four-year $2,500 scholarship at the Upshur County school.

The semifinalists are as follows:

Carly Brand, Lewisburg, Greenbrier East High School

Cassidy Duffy, South Charleston, Cross Lanes Christian School

Todd Foster, Craigsville, Nicholas County High School

Miranda Godfrey, Kearneysville, Washington High School

John Goellner, Morgantown, Trinity Christian School

Brooke Hinzman, Elkins, Elkins High School

Joanna Johnson, Hurricane, Hurricane High School

Daniel McNeil, Morgantown, University High School

Devan Perdue, Morgantown, Morgantown High School

Rebekah Perry, Huntington, Spring Valley High School

Kathryn Quillen, Vienna, Parkersburg High School

Karizona Sanson, Summersville, Nicholas County High School

Erick Trent, Point Pleasant, Wahama High School

Ashley Walker, Clarksburg, Liberty High School

Mitchell Winkie, Bridgeport, Bridgeport High School

The semifinalists will next be interviewed before a list of 12 finalists is put up for a vote online.

The winners will be announced in Buckhannon on June 18.

The MVB Bank West Virginia Scholar Program is now in its sixth year.

In addition to MVB Bank, West Virginia Wesleyan and MetroNews, the sponsors for the 2014 West Virginia Scholar Program are the West Virginia Forestry Assocation, the West Virginia Hospital Association and Friends of Coal.

Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Announces NTHS Students for 2013-14

The Gilmer Free Press


NTHS members should be good, honest, responsible students/citizens, who have made a personal commitment to excellence and who agree to uphold the NTHS Standards of Conduct of the organization.
“Individuals under consideration as candidates for NTHS shall be selected based upon the following characteristics which the candidate regularly exhibits and which have been observed by his/her instructor(s).“

1. A desire to pursue a career in his/her technical

2. Dependability

3. Responsibility or higher in the Career Center Program/Lab

4. Credible achievement

5. Cooperation and ability to work well with others

6. Commendable attitude groups

7. Initiative education area

8. Leadership

9. Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and must be 3.25

10. Good attendance

11. Active involvement in organizations such as: student government, CTSO, civic/service


1. Students will be required to have a “BI/ average or better at the Career Center.

2. Students who have a level 2 or level 3 violations at the Career Center are not eligible for nomination during that school term.

3. Students receiving a level 2 or level 3 violation after induction into NTHS will be excluded from membership for one year.

4. Students who have missed five days or more by the end of the 1st semester are not eligible for nomination. (Extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration.)

5. Students who have more than three unexcused absences a year are not eligible for nomination. Late written excuses will not be accepted after nominations have been accepted by the NTHS advisor(s).

6. If necessary, each nominee will be interviewed by the NTHS advisor(s).


Any infringements of these qualities and/or standards by the NTHS member will be discussed in a member/advisor conference. Any penalties will be determined by the NTHS advisor(s).


As a member of the National Technical Honor Society, I pledge to:

• Maintain the highest standard of personal and professional conduct at all times

• Strive for excellence in all aspects of my education and employment

• Refuse to engage in or condone activities for personal gain a the expense of my fellow students, my school, or my employer

• Support the intents and purposes of NTHS while working to achieve the objective and goals of the society

• And to uphold my obligations as a citizen of my community and my country


The one-time membership fee is $25. Included will be a custom certificate with presentation folder, ID card, member pin, diploma seal, decal and white graduation tassel with the NTHS drop. The cost of the Graduation Honor Cord is $12. Grand Total is $37 per individual. The membership costs come from the training program/lab of the student nominated. Other membership benefits include three letters of recommendation, access to the Online Career Center and eligibility to apply for scholarships. Total costs of shipping to C-GCC will be divided equally between the programs/labs with new members.

The Gilmer Free Press

Handmade Quilt Stores West Virginia Family’s Memories

The Gilmer Free Press

Marie Jones was a minute or so into the history of the handmade quilt she was showing a visitor when her daughter, Lois Dittman, made a discovery.

“Right there,“ Lois said, jamming her finger into a purple square of fabric with a flower design in the middle. “That’s from the curtains in my room. I knew it looked familiar.“

If Lois had looked keenly enough through the mountain of quilts on the living room couch, she probably would have recognized other needle-and-thread artifacts, as well.

Fabric from an old Easter dress, maybe. Or another pattern Marie made for a cloth purse a little girl had to have for dress-up day at school.

Quilts are why that visitor came calling on that rain-soaked Friday afternoon.

Marie, 92, is soft-spoken and smiles easily, but don’t let her fool you. She was a sewing machine commando, wielding that Singer like a submachine gun as she made dresses and outfits for her and her six kids.

“Back then, you did what you had to do to get by,“ Marie said. “You had to be resourceful.“

If curtains or clothes were needed, she made them. She hardly ever used sewing patterns, she said.

“I just pictured in my head how I thought it would look,“ she said, “and I started sewing.“

She worked too hard at the time to realize it, but what she really did was stitch together a fabric of memories.

Her house on Pedlar Run Road is the one she was born in, grew up in and raised a family in.

“I go back seven generations,“ she said. “In this living room.“

She went back 75 years with her late husband, Robert, who spied her at grade school one day. The then 13-year-old Robert stitched up his courage and said hello to Marie, who was a year younger.

“He said he thought I might end up being his girlfriend,“ she remembered, as she smiled and looked down at the quilt in her lap.

What did she think?

“I didn’t know what to think. I don’t even know if was paying attention to boys then. He must have known something. He was the only boyfriend I ever had.“

Not too long before Robert died on May 19, 2012, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Robert, who drove a school bus and worked the 60 or so acres of farm that’s home to the house Marie was born in, battled a heart condition off and on, but he always recovered before.

“When he went to the hospital that last time, I never dreamed he wouldn’t be coming home,“ Marie said. “I still haven’t been to his grave. I don’t know if I can go.“

A daughter put her hand on her mom’s and said that didn’t matter.

“He’s not there, Mom,“ Lois said. “He’s here.“

He was, in the form of the sepia-toned pictures and faded Olan Mills portraits of her and Marie sharing their lives, and the lives of all those kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.

Grandkids and great grandkids got her into the quilting business. It was 1991, and Marie was hobbled with a broken foot. There were no more outfits or curtains to sew, so she found a new canvas for her needle-and-thread artistry. Quilting.

That first Christmas, every Jones kid got one.

When the next Christmas came, quilts for the grandkids were under the tree.

~~  JIM BISSETT - Associated Press ~~

Twenty-three great-grandchildren also own a Marie Jones quilted creation that couldn’t be more original.

Macular degeneration eventually stopped Jones’ quilt-making. The vision-robbing disease narrowed her eyesight to the point where she could no longer do intricate needlework.

Lois said she doesn’t need a quilt to wrap herself in good memories of her growing-up years on Pedlar Run Road.

“As kids, we worked hard because we had to,“ Lois said. That’s because their home address was a working farm. There were chickens, cows and pigs to tend to. Somebody had to bale hay and can vegetables.

“I think that’s why we all got along growing up,“ Lois said. As she said, when you were finally done with your chores and had time to play and romp in the hills past the house, why waste your time arguing with a sibling?

“Now that I think about it,“ she said, “I’m not sure I can remember my parents even arguing.

“If we did, by the end of the day we forgot about what it was about,“ Marie said.

Marie doesn’t mind sewing her memories to the visions stitched by her creativity. There were the ones she gave to family as gifts and the ones she bestowed upon friends. She’s got the histories of a good 70 quilts stitched in her memory.

Is Lois a quilter?

“Are you kidding me?“ said a laughing Lois, who has grandchildren of her own. “I don’t have the patience.“

There is an up-and-coming quilter in the family, though, Lois said: Her niece, and Marie’s great-granddaughter, Ashley Marie.

Under the tree this past Christmas was a quilt with Marie’s name on it. Ashley, who is 9, made it (with some help) and added an embroidered inscription: “To Grandma Marie from Ashley Marie.“

“There’s my quilter,“ Marie said, smiling at a new generational thread.

NYT: 50 Years Into the War on Poverty, Hardship Hits Back

When people visit with friends and neighbors in southern West Virginia, where paved roads give way to dirt before winding steeply up wooded hollows, the talk is often of lives that never got off the ground.

“How’s John boy?” Sabrina Shrader, 30, a former neighbor, asked Marie Bolden one cold winter day at what Ms. Bolden calls her “little shanty by the tracks.”

“He had another seizure the other night,” Ms. Bolden, 50, said of her son, John McCall, a former classmate of Ms. Shrader’s. John got caught up in the dark undertow of drugs that defines life for so many here in McDowell County, almost died of an overdose in 2007, and now lives on disability payments. His brother, Donald, recently released from prison, is unemployed and essentially homeless.

The Gilmer Free Press
Welch, WV, is the seat of McDowell County, which has been a public
face of hardship for more than a half-century.
Today, it is burdened with a different, less tractable kind of poverty.

“It’s like he’s in a hole with no way out,” Ms. Bolden said of Donald as she drizzled honey on a homemade biscuit in her tidy kitchen. “The other day he came in and said, ‘Ain’t that a shame: I’m 30 years old and carrying my life around in a backpack.’ It broke my heart.”

McDowell County, the poorest in West Virginia, has been emblematic of entrenched American poverty for more than a half-century. John F. Kennedy campaigned here in 1960 and was so appalled that he promised to send help if elected president. His first executive order created the modern food stamp program, whose first recipients were McDowell County residents. When President Lyndon B. Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty” in 1964, it was the squalor of Appalachia he had in mind. The federal programs that followed — Medicare, Medicaid, free school lunches and others — lifted tens of thousands above a subsistence standard of living.

But a half-century later, with the poverty rate again on the rise, hardship seems merely to have taken on a new face in McDowell County. The economy is declining along with the coal industry, towns are hollowed out as people flee, and communities are scarred by family dissolution, prescription drug abuse and a high rate of imprisonment.

Fifty years after the war on poverty began, its anniversary is being observed with academic conferences and ideological sparring — often focused, explicitly or implicitly, on the “culture” of poor urban residents. Almost forgotten is how many ways poverty plays out in America, and how much long-term poverty is a rural problem.

The Gilmer Free Press
John F. Kennedy, then a senator running for president,
with miners near Mullens, WV, in 1960.

Of the 353 most persistently poor counties in the United States — defined by Washington as having had a poverty rate above 20% in each of the past three decades — 85% are rural. They are clustered in distinct regions: Indian reservations in the West; Hispanic communities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas; a band across the Deep South and along the Mississippi Delta with a majority black population; and Appalachia, largely white, which has supplied some of America’s iconic imagery of rural poverty since the Depression-era photos of Walker Evans.

McDowell County is in some ways a place truly left behind, from which the educated few have fled, leaving almost no shreds of prosperity. But in a nation with more than 46 million people living below the poverty line — 15% of the population — it is also a sobering reminder of how much remains broken, in drearily familiar ways and utterly unexpected ones, 50 years on.


A Scarred Landscape

Much of McDowell County looks like a rural Detroit, with broken windows on shuttered businesses and homes crumbling from neglect. In many places, little seems to have been built or maintained in decades.

Numbers tell the tale as vividly as the scarred landscape. 46% of children in the county do not live with a biological parent, according to the school district. Their mothers and fathers are in jail, are dead or have left them to be raised by relatives, said Gordon Lambert, president of the McDowell County Commission.

Beginning in the 19th century, the rugged region produced more coal than any other county in West Virginia, but it got almost none of the wealth back as local investment. Of West Virginia’s 55 counties, McDowell has the lowest median household income, $22,000; the worst childhood obesity rate; and the highest teenage birthrate.

It is also reeling from prescription drug abuse. The death rate from overdoses is more than eight times the national average. Of the 115 babies born in 2011 at Welch Community Hospital, over 40 had been exposed to drugs.

Largely as a consequence of the drug scourge, a problem widespread in rural America, the incarceration rate in West Virginia is one of the highest in the country.

“Whole families have been wiped out in this county: mother, father, children,” said Sheriff Martin B. West.

“These are good people, good families,” Sheriff West, an evangelical pastor, said of his lifelong neighbors. “But they get involved with drugs, and the next thing you know they’re getting arrested.”

The sheriff’s wife, Georgia Muncy West, has a historical link to the war on poverty. Her parents, Alderson and Chloe Muncy, were the first beneficiaries of the modern food stamp program, traveling to Welch to collect $95 in coupons. Ms. West, one of 15 children, said that unlike many current families, hers remained intact even through the leanest times. She went to work the Monday after she graduated from high school, sent her two children to college and served on the county school board.

The Gilmer Free Press
Poorest County Still Losing the War on Want
A storefront in Welch. Fewer than one in three McDowell County residents are in the labor force.

As coal mining jobs have declined over half a century, there has been a steady migration away from the mountains. McDowell County’s population is just 21,300, down from 100,000 in the 1950s. Those who stayed did not have the education or skills to leave, or remained fiercely attached to the hollows and homes their families had known for generations.

Alma and Randy McNeely, both 50, tried life in Tennessee. But they returned to McDowell County to be close to their large extended family.

The couple married when they were 16. In a family photo album, Ms. McNeely appears in her white wedding dress as if headed to the junior prom. Turning the album’s pages for a visitor, she apologized for its lack of captions. “Mama couldn’t write, so, you know, there ain’t no names in it,” she said.

Ms. McNeely, whose long, dark hair is gathered behind, is known as Maw for being a surrogate mother to many in Hensley, a dot of a community. Her home is a few small rooms under a metal roof, clinging to a hillside.

Her husband worked in sawmills before a back injury in 1990. His disability payments, some $1,700 a month, are the family’s only income.

After marrying, the couple had two children. Their daughter, Angela, gave birth at 14 and was expelled from a Christian school, her mother said. Now, Ms. McNeely is raising Angela’s daughter, Emalee Short, who is 15.

A high school sophomore, Emalee dreams of being a veterinarian or maybe a marine biologist. The house and yard ring with the yelps of a dozen Chihuahuas and other small dogs, some of them strays dropped off by neighbors.

A confident teenager in a “Twilight” T-shirt, Emalee is enrolled in Upward Bound, the federal program that offers Saturday classes and summer school for bright students aspiring to college. “I want to be one of the ones who gets out of here,” she said. “I don’t want people to talk about me” — meaning the recitation of damaged young lives that is a regular part of catching up.

Another photo in the album shows Randy Jr., the McNeelys’ son, known as Little Man. Little Man dropped out of high school six months shy of graduation, “with me sitting here crying,” Ms. McNeely said. He has been in and out of jail but is one of the lucky ones who have found work, at a junkyard run by a family friend.

Although Ms. McNeely encourages her granddaughter to aim for college, which would mean leaving McDowell County, she said that “her other mommy and daddy” — meaning Emalee’s biological parents — “and all her aunts and uncles, they don’t want her to go.”

“They’re scared she’s going to get hurt,” Ms. McNeely said.


Food Stamps and Coal

Many in McDowell County acknowledge that depending on government benefits has become a way of life, passed from generation to generation. Nearly 47% of personal income in the county is from Social Security, disability insurance, food stamps and other federal programs.

But residents also identify a more insidious cause of the current social unraveling: the disappearance of the only good jobs they ever knew, in coal mining. The county was always poor. Yet family breakup did not become a calamity until the 1990s, after southern West Virginia lost its major mines in the downturn of the American steel industry. The poverty rate, 50% in 1960, declined — partly as a result of federal benefits — to 36% in 1970 and to 23.5% in 1980. But it soared to nearly 38% in 1990. For families with children, it now nears 41%.

Today, fewer than one in three McDowell County residents are in the labor force. The chief effort to diversify the economy has been building prisons. The most impressive structure on Route 52, the twisting highway into Welch, is a state prison that occupies a former hospital. There is also a new federal prison on a mountaintop. But many residents have been skipped over for the well-paying jobs in corrections: They can’t pass a drug test.

Sheriff West, a former coal miner who presided over a magistrate court before he was elected sheriff in 2012, said the region’s ills traced back to many failures by elected officials, including local politicians who governed by patronage and state leaders in Charleston, the capital, who took the county’s solidly Democratic voters for granted and never courted them with aid.


Returning for Neighbors

Not everyone with an education and prospects has moved away. McDowell County has a small professional class of people fighting long odds to better a place they love. Florisha McGuire, who grew up in War, which calls itself West Virginia’s southernmost city, returned to become principal of Southside K-8 School.

For Ms. McGuire, 34, the turning point in the town’s recent history was the year she left for college, 1997, when many of the 17-year-olds who stayed behind graduated from beer and marijuana to prescription pill abuse.

Many of the parents of the children in her school today are her former classmates. In some, emaciated bodies and sunken eyes show the ravages of addiction. “I had a boy in here the other day I went to high school with,” she said. “He had lost weight. Teeth missing. You can look at them and go, ‘He’s going to be the next to die.’ ”

Ms. McGuire, who grew up in poverty — her father did not work and died of lung cancer at 49; her mother had married at 16 — was the first in her family to attend college. On her first morning at Concord University in Athens, WV, about 50 miles from War, her roommate called her to breakfast. Ms. McGuire replied that she didn’t have the money. She hadn’t realized her scholarship included meals in a dining hall.

“I was as backward as these kids are,” she said in the office of her school, one of few modern buildings in town. “We’re isolated. Part of our culture here is we tend to stick with our own.” In her leaving for college, she said, “you’d think I’d committed a crime.”

As the mother of a 3-year-old girl, she frets that the closest ballet lesson or soccer team is nearly two hours away, over the state line in Bluefield, Va. But she is committed to living and working here. “As God calls preachers to preach, he calls teachers to certain jobs,” she said. “I really believe it is my mission to do this and give these kids a chance.”

The Gilmer Free Press
Emalee Short played with her dog outside her grandparents’ home
in Hensley, WV, in long-struggling McDowell County.

Ms. McGuire described War as almost biblically divided between forces of dark and light: between the working blue- and white-collar residents who anchor churches, schools and the city government, and the “pill head” community. As she drove down the main street, past municipal offices with the Ten Commandments painted in front, she pointed out the signs of a once-thriving town sunk into hopelessness. The abandoned American Legion hall. A pharmacy with gates to prevent break-ins. The decrepit War Hotel, its filthy awning calling it “Miner’s City,” where the sheriff’s department has made drug arrests.

When coal was king, there were two movie theaters and a high school, now closed. “Everybody worked,” Ms. McGuire said.

She turned up Shaft Hollow, where many people live in poorly built houses once owned by a coal company, their roofs sagging and the porches without railings. At the foot of Shop Hollow, a homemade sign advertised Hillbilly Fried Chicken. Another pointed the way to the True Light Church of God in Jesus Name. “This is one of the most country places, but I love these people,” Ms. McGuire said. She said it was a bastion of Pentecostal faith, where families are strict and their children well behaved.

She and others who seek to lift McDowell County have attracted some outside allies. Reconnecting McDowell, led by the American Federation of Teachers union, is working to turn schools into community centers offering health care, adult literacy classes and other services. Its leaders hope to convert an abandoned furniture store in Welch to apartments in order to attract teachers.

The Gilmer Free Press
Bobby McPeak collected water from a hillside in Welch to use for cooking.

“Someone from Indiana or Pennsylvania, they’re not going to come to McDowell County and live in a house trailer on top of a mountain,” said Bob Brown, a union official.

Another group, the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, is working to create a home visitation service to teach new parents the skills of child-rearing.

Sabrina Shrader, the former neighbor of Marie Bolden in Twin Branch, has spoken on behalf of the group to the State Legislature and appeared before a United States Senate committee last year. Ms. Shrader, who spent part of her youth in a battered women’s shelter with her mother, earned a college degree in social work.

“It’s important we care about places like this,” she said. “There are kids and families who want to succeed. They want life to be better, but they don’t know how.”

~~  TRIP GABRIEL - New York Times ~~

GFP - 04.23.2014
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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Well written article.
We have many of the same situations existing in central WV. Gilmer included.
Albeit thankfully on a smaller scale.
How close are we to becoming another Welch?
You say it can’t happen to Gilmer and our area?
Think again.  Depending on the extraction industry of coal, gas, oil, all results the same.
Don’t say that the College will be our savior either.  It won’t. It can’t.
If it was going to, we wouldn’t be in continual population decline all ready.
When our community starts to resemble Welch, you think that kids will come to Glenville?  Hard enough all ready to get them here.
Of course, we have the city, led by the county commission trying desperately to cover up our problems.
All the work with “dilapidated buildings”.
It is only covering the underlying problems in this community.
Simply treating the symptom, and not the cause of it.  Doesn’t help a thing.

By wondering  on  04.23.2014

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The Gilmer Free Press

Senator discusses public service, importance of public policy with special guest Ted Koppel

At West Virginia Wesleyan College Tuesday, Senator Jay Rockefeller delivered an inspiring message to students and community leaders on the importance of public service and public policy. Rockefeller served as President at West Virginia Wesleyan from 1973 to 1976.

In a wide-ranging discussion moderated by veteran journalist Ted Koppel, Rockefeller reflected on a 50-year career defined by a singular dedication to serving West Virginia—and the policies he championed that drove economic and social development for the nation’s future.

(Read what others are saying about Rockefeller as a champion of public policy H E R E.)

“Public service is an honorable, noble calling. For me, serving the people of West Virginia has been my life’s work, and my profound honor,” Rockefeller said. “I believe that some of the best public policy can be derived from personal experience. To understand people’s needs, you have to put yourself in a place where you can understand their struggles, and their hopes and dreams.”

Reflecting on his own career in public policy, Rockefeller recounted his early days as a VISTA worker in southern West Virginia. He said that was a formative experience which set the stage for policy battles later in his career, including those in health care when he sought to help create the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act; working to create a state-of-the-art, modernized nationwide emergency response system for first responders; fighting for coal miners all across West Virginia – for their safety, their health care, their retirement, their jobs; and creating opportunities for students to compete in the global economy by expanding educational opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

As Rockefeller has said before, he believes West Virginia’s future depends on economic development, public-private partnerships, research and attracting businesses that will sustain the next generations of West Virginians and allow them to compete for years to come. He challenged those in attendance to step into leadership roles to make sure the state is on a path toward success, growth and sustainability.

“The purpose of today’s forum is to inspire the next generation of public servants to pursue, with vigor and dedication, policies that will move our state forward, and keep us competitive both nationally and globally,” Rockefeller said. “That’s what I’ve tried to do throughout my career.”

Obama Pushes Financial Education in Schools

Financial education is taking center stage at many colleges, high schools, middle schools—even some kindergarten classrooms. And the Oval Office is driving the cause.

In proclaiming April as National Financial Capability Month, President Obama said the White House would “renew our drive to give all Americans the tools to navigate the financial world and gain the economic freedom to pursue their own measure of happiness.“

The president reestablished an advisory council earlier this year to counsel him on the most effective strategies to teach kids the basics of finance.

John Rogers, who chairs the president’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, said: “We think we can get young people started as early as first grade. We want to get people involved and engaged so they can build financial capability over time. The same way they get language skills, math skills, science skills that build over time. You want your financial literacy skills to build in the same way.“

Rogers is also chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments, one of the nation’s top money-management firms. He believes children should learn about the financial markets from a young age, just like he did: Rogers was 12 years old when, instead of toys, his father starting buying him stocks for every birthday and every Christmas.

As the founder of Ariel Community Academy, a top-performing K-8 public school in Chicago where financial education is a key component of the curriculum, Rogers knows firsthand how this approach works.

Many studies show most Americans agree financial education is a good thing, yet it is not taught in most schools.

A 2014 survey by the Council for Economic Education found only 17 schools require high school students to take a personal finance course, and only six require them to be tested on these concepts. While the White House cannot mandate that financial education become mandatory in schools, Rogers said the advisory council is encouraging cities and states to look at other model financial education programs.

Most Americans don’t have a budget, and 41 percent gave themselves a C, D, or F when it came to financial know-how, according to a recent survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Rogers said the president’s advisory council is aiming to raise the grade for children—and their parents.

“One of the things we’re going to be working on is finding some pilot cities to get some real firsthand knowledge of how different programs can work and what works best,“ Rogers said.

He points to San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College program as one example that has shown significant promise since launching in 2012. Every child in kindergarten in the city’s public schools is automatically given $50 to deposit into a college savings account. Parents, family and friends are encouraged to save in the account as well.


Sharon Epperson - a correspondent for CNBC covering the commodity markets and personal finance.

WV Symphony Receives Grant for Statewide Tour

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra has been awarded a $20,000 grant to bring live symphonic music to rural communities.

The symphony said Monday that it’s one of 886 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an Arts Work grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The grant will be used to support a statewide outreach tour of rural communities.

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