Braxton County

Braxton County

Phyllis A. Paintiff

The Gilmer Free Press

Phyllis A. Paintiff

Age 69, of Frametown, WV, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, June, 29, 2013 at home after a long illness.

She was born February 06, 1944 in Greenup, KY a daughter of the late Guy Robert and Charlotte Ann Nichols Shepherd.

She was preceded in death by two brothers.

She was a born again believer of God.

She is survived by her husband, Robert L. Paintiff; her five children, Drema L. Cunningham of Hartville, OH, Carolyn Sue Hall of Lancaster, PA, Shirley M. McCourt of Burnsville, Renni R. Singleton of Frametown and Robert L. Paintiff, Jr. of Elkview;; sisters, Irene Morris of Sutton, Kay Hall of Elmira and Sandra Belt of Elkview; brother, Cecil Shepherd of Wallback; 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Service will be 1 PM Tuesday, July 02, 2013 at Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway with Evangelist Gary W. Maynor officiating.

Burial will be in the Paintiff Family Cemetery, Upper Sleith.

Friends may call two hours prior to the service at the funeral home.

Junior D. Mowery

The Gilmer Free Press

Junior D. Mowery

Age 77, of Belleville and Parkersburg, WV , passed away Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in Camden Clark Hospital in Parkersburg.

He was born October 10, 1935, in Gilmer County, WV; preceding him in death are his parents, Isaac Andrew and Hallie Christine Ford Mowery; and two brothers, Luther Mowery and Guy Mowery.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Emma Wherry Mowery, whom he married June 19, 1978; daughter, Melissa Joy Mowery of Parkersburg; grandson, Matthew Isaac Andrew Mowery of Shirley; sister, Virginia Lona James of Coolville, Ohio; three brothers, Jimmy Mowery of Coolville, Ohio, Douglas Mowery of Weston and Billy Curry of Marietta, Ohio; several nieces and nephews; brothers-in-law, Floyd Yost of Mineral Wells and Robert Wherry of Parkersburg; and sister-in-law, Glenda Kay Lambert of Parkersburg.

Mr. Mowery had worked for the Parkersburg Sanitation Department for 14 years.

As a young man he worked on farms in Lewis and Braxton counties, was a construction worker and had worked in the sanitation industry for more than 30 years.

He attended the Baptist Church in Belleville.

The family received friends from 1 to 2 PM Friday at Straight Fork United Methodist Church, Route 1 in Crawford.

The funeral began at 2 PM with Pastor David Jessie officiating, and burial was in Wimer Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations may be made to your local American Diabetes Association or American Heart Association in memory of Junior D. Mowery.

Tomblyn Whitescarver Funeral Chapel of Buckhannon is in charge of the arrangements.

Army Corps of Engineers Warns of Potential Health Hazard at Sutton Lake

The Gilmer Free Press

The Army Corps of Engineers is warning visitors to Sutton Lake about a bloom of blue-green algae that can produce toxins harmful to small children and animals.

Swimming at the South Abutment Beach at the lake in Sutton is not permitted, but the beach and its facilities are open to the public.

Caution posters have been posted warning visitors about the bloom.

Children are most at risk to the toxins’ adverse effects, which can range from rashes and hay-fever-like symptoms to vomiting, diarrhea and respiratory distress.

The Corps plans to increase the outflow at Sutton Dam over a four-hour period Friday to try to dilute toxins to safe levels.

Sutton Dam Outflow to Increase to Slow Algae

The Gilmer Free Press

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to increase the outflow at Sutton Dam in an attempt to reduce the growth of potentially toxic algae in Sutton Lake.

The corps said Thursday that outflow will be increased over four hours late Friday morning to 1,000 cubic feet per second.

South Abutment Beach remains closed to swimming because of a blue-green algae bloom. But the beach and its facilities are open.

Swimmers and boaters are being advised to avoid contact with the bloom because it could produce toxins. The corps says the toxins can harm children and animals.

There also are blooms upstream and downstream of Bee Run Beach. But the corps says blooms haven’t been reported at Bee Run.

Boat patrols and monitoring are continuing.

Laura B. Kniceley

The Gilmer Free Press

Laura B. Kniceley

Age 101, passed peacefully on June 16, 2013 at the home of her daughter Crisa Anese Berry and son-in-law Jack H. Berry of Stafford, VA.

Laura Kniceley was born on April 30, 1912.

She was the widow of Loat Kinceley.

She is survived by her daughters Annabelle May of Washington, NC and Crisa Anese Berry. Her grandchildren Pamela C. Thomas of Westlake, OH; Bernard S. Berry of Ventura, CA; C. Monique Berry of Burke, VA; Laurie Anne Berry of Manassas, VA; and Jacqueline D. Aker of Vienna, VA. Her great grandchildren are Collyn Berry of Ventura, CA; Mitchell Aker and Madison Aker of Vienna, VA.
She has a great great granddaughter Alice Inez Berry of Ventura, VA.

She is preceded in death by her husband Loat Kniceley, sisters Pearl Woodall and Irene Richardson. A brother Robert Stewart and their son Jack Kniceley.

Laura Kniceley was a member of the Stone Run and Flatwoods United Methodist churches.

She had the honor of being a Flatwoods Belle.

Laura Kniceley cooked for the school and heard of the praise of her food by former students for many years. She was also employed by the Skidmore Truck Stop. She worked up into her 80’s.
She was an avid gardener, quilter, and puzzle enthusiast. She was a voracious reader and often stayed up late just to “see where this goes.” She was a fan of Dolly Parton and loved the Judge Judy Show. She was always ready to dance and could “really cut a rug.” Her sense of humor and laughter were a special part of her.

She has joined her sisters who were very close. Everyone knew the three sisters of Flatwoods.

Please join her family and friends to celebrate her life. She liked a good story and a joke. Please come and share your memories with all of us.

We will miss her dearly.

The Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM at the Flatwoods United Methodist Church.

Light refreshments will be served after the service.

Please contact Laurie Berry at 703.725.5643 or .

County-By-County Unemployment Rates Tell the Story – May 2013


West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.2% in May 2013.

Unemployment rates declined in all 55 counties as well.

Two counties reported an unemployment rate above 10%: Pocahontas (10.3%) and Webster (10.8%).

Three counties reported an unemployment rate at or below 4%.

These included Pendleton (4.0%), Jefferson (3.9%), and Monongalia (3.9%).

West Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell seven-tenths of a percentage point to 5.9%, the first time the state unemployment rate has fallen below 6% since 2008.

County Total Unemployed   Unemployment Rate
MAY-13 APR-13 MAY-12 MAY-13 APR-13 MAY-12
Braxton 420 510 520 7.5% 9.0% 9.1%
Calhoun 220 270 280 7.9% 9.8% 10.2%
Doddridge 160 170 200 5.1% 5.4% 6.3%
Gilmer 170 190 230 5.1% 5.7% 6.8%
Lewis 390 450 510 4.7% 5.4% 6.0%
Ritchie 230 270 310 5.2% 6.2% 7.1%
WV 47,300 52,900 58,800 5.9% 6.6% 7.3%


The Gilmer Free Press


County Total Non-farm on Payroll   Goods Producing Employees   Service Providing Employees
MAY-13 APR-13 MAY-12 MAY-13 APR-13 MAY-12 MAY-13 APR-13 MAY-12
Braxton 4,210 4,280 4,280 540 540 520 3,670 3,640 3,760
Calhoun 1,650 1,610 1,590 ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ......
Doddridge 1,520 1,510 1,350 ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ......
Gilmer 2,590 2,540 2,620 ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ......
Lewis 7,580 7,590 7,680 2,020 2,050 1,990 5,550 5,540 5,680
Ritchie 3,590 3,570 3,480 ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ......

Sutton Lake: Advisory Has Been Issued on Algae Bloom, But People Are Still Swimming

The Gilmer Free Press

Swimming is not forbidden at Sutton Lake, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is strongly advising against any contact with the water.

An algae bloom was discovered in the south abutment beach area of Sutton Lake Friday, June 21, 2013.

The beach was closed and the Sutton Lake Project Manager issued an advisory for the rest of the lake.

But that did not keep the people swarming the lake all weekend long in spite of the advisory of the hazard.

Blue-green algae is common to the lake but times of high temperatures and slow water movement tend to increase its growth.

The bloom can emit toxins, which are harmful to livestock and pets and can be harmful to children.

The presence off the algae bloom baffled Corps water quality experts since the lake flooded just a week ago and the bloom appeared quickly after the water level returned to summer pool.

The lake’s Water Quality Section Group were out Monday doing a lot of water quality sampling.

They were looking for the algae and specifically for the toxins and were doing a lot of water chemistry.

The monitoring will continue and the advisories will remain in effect until the algae decreases in the lake.

Legislative Update – by – Delegate Brent Boggs - House Majority Leader - 06.24.13


Last week was a whirlwind of activities on the legislative front, spanning from the Capitol in Charleston; then north to the site of our State’s first Capital city – Wheeling.  In conjunction with the West Virginia sesquicentennial celebration, the Division of Culture and History and Dept. of Education and the Arts did a great job of coordinating events, bringing in sponsors and keeping costs down while marking this milestone in our State’s history.  Towns and cities across the state held a variety of functions to celebrate the 150th year of West Virginia statehood.

Earlier in the week, the Governor called the House of Delegates into the Capitol for the purpose of electing a new Speaker from our membership.  Delegate Tim Miley was selected by acclamation in the majority caucus and was then elected by the full House as the 56th Speaker of the House.  Congratulations to Tim, his wife, Susan and their daughter, Jordan.

Later in the day last Tuesday, members began to move from Charleston to Wheeling for the previously scheduled June interim meetings.  As West Virginia’s first capital city was Wheeling, it was most appropriate that we convene there one hundred fifty years later.  This had been arranged nearly a year in advance and by the request of the City of Wheeling.  In fact, the Governor and Legislature met in Wheeling’s Independence Hall in an event televised live and recorded by WV Public Broadcasting as part of the sesquicentennial celebration.  Governor Tomblin noted that fifty years earlier the legislature and governor had likewise convened in Independence Hall in 1963 for the centennial celebration.  As part this year’s events, a local historian and actor in period dress delivered the address given 150 years ago in the same room by Arthur Boreman, West Virginia’s first governor, to the assembled legislators from western Virginia.

This was my first visit to Independence Hall in Wheeling and it is a must see for those interested in West Virginia history.  The first floor is a great museum containing information and items of historical significance to our State.  The third floor is the courtroom where the foundation of statehood for West Virginia was debated.  Wheeling was selected, due to its relative safe location, tucked to the north between Union controlled Ohio and Pennsylvania.

My recollections of the 1963 centennial celebration consist mainly of two events.  First, the Centennial train made its way through West Virginia towns and cities with rail coaches refurbished into mobile a mobile rail museum of West Virginia history.  As a seven year old student at Davis Grade School, we walked to the train, through the exhibits on board and back to the classroom for a follow up on our questions about our State.  It was a great showcase for West Virginia but years later in the mid-1970’s while on a college trip to Cass, we were shown part of the rusted, ruined remains of the grand centennial train on an overgrown siding track high in mountains at the former logging community of Spruce.  A sad ending for a grand train.  Too bad something similar could not have been put together for the 150th, but so many communities have lost rail service in the past 50 years, public access would have been limited.

The other memory is of the raft constructed locally and floated down the Elk River from Sutton to Charleston in commemoration of the Centennial.  A picture of the raft and some of the men on board is on display near the door at the Century Inn at the Y in Sutton.  As a young boy, it sounded like an exciting adventure on the Elk.  Later in life, I’ve equally enjoyed hearing about the actual event from many of the participants.

Please send your inquiries to the Capitol Office at:  Building 1, Room 224-M, Charleston, WV 25305.  Or, call the Capitol office at 304.340.3220; Assistant to the Majority Leader, Jennifer McPherson at 304.340.3942 or fax to 304.340.3213.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is: “” .

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

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

Watershed Projects Receive Environmental Grant, Including Braxton

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia American Water announced that seven watershed initiatives in Boone, Braxton, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln and Raleigh counties have earned financial support through the company’s 2013 Environmental Grant Program.

This second annual program offers funding for innovative, community-based collaborative environmental projects within the company’s service area that improve, restore or protect watersheds, surface water or groundwater supplies.

A panel of judges selected this year’s winners from multiple grant applications, which were evaluated on such criteria as environmental need, innovation, community engagement and sustainability.

West Virginia American Water awarded a total of $10,100 to the following projects:

· Coal River Group, serving Kanawha and Lincoln counties, is outfitting the Coal River Science & Education Center’s new water lab with scientific equipment to evaluate the water quality of the Coal
Rivers. The group will use this lab to engage local universi students and school groups in river and stream monitoring. The company awarded funding for lab and monitoring equipment.

· Davis Creek Watershed Association, based in Charleston, plans to hold a Watershed Appreciation Day to promote watershed education among area residents. The company awarded funding for a hands-on watershed model learning tool as well as outreach materials.

· Mountain State Clean Streams holds the annual Elk River Cleanup along a 26-mile stretch of the Elk River in Braxton County, removing tons of debris and thousands of tires from the waterway. The company awarded funding for kayaks to aid volunteers in the collection and cleanup process.

· Southern Appalachian Labor School in Fayette County is planning a drug take-back event in coordination with local social service providers and law enforcement for the rural Loop Creek area. The grant covers the cost of advertising, disposal containers and water testing.

· Morris Creek Watershed Association, based in Montgomery servin Fayette and Kanawha counties, continues to expand its water monitoring education project that engages students from elementary school through college. The company awarded funding for pH., conductivity and temperature probes, as well as a flow meter.

· National Committee for the New River is working to help communities in the Lower New River Gorge area develop comprehensive storm water management programs. The grant helps offset the program’s costs related to outreach materials and a storm water hotline.

· West Virginia Rivers Coalition partners with other environmental organizations to offer watershed learning stations for children in Fayette, Nicholas and Greenbrier counties. The company awarded funding for an educational portable water source demonstration model for use at these learning stations.

“Each one of these seven organizations is making a difference in their communities, and we are very proud to partner with them on these important watershed improvement projects”, said Jeff McIntyre, President of West Virginia American Water. “These grant recipients deserve our support since their projects protect and improve the watersheds that ultimately flow into the waterways that provide the source of our drinking water”.

That Dam Race 5K Set for July 20, 2013

The Gilmer Free Press

That Dam Race 5k is set for July 20, 2013 at 8:00 AM.

The annual 5k walk and run will be held in Sutton, WV as part of the annual Mountain Lakes Festival.

The course begins under the backdrop of the Sutton Dam at the Downstream Recreation Area.

Preregistration is open until July 06, 2013 at a cost of $20.

The first 100 preregistered participants will receive a That Dam Race t-shirt.

Last year, the course record was shattered by runner Samuel Smith with a time of 19:39!

Special guest, Jamie Summerlin, will be on-hand to promote Freedom Run, a book about his experience running across the United States in 100 days. So challenge yourself to run or walk That Dam Race 5k this summer!

To preregister, contact the Braxton County CVB at 304.765.6533 or stop by the office at the Flatwoods Factory Outlet Mall.

Participants can also register online at or download a form at .

Registration will be $25 the day of the race and will start at 7:00 AM at the shelter below the Sutton Dam.

Kathy Sue Dawson

The Gilmer Free Press

Kathy Sue Dawson

Age 56, of Sutton, WV went to be with the Lord on June 21, 2013.

She was born on June 27, 1956 in Barberton, OH the daughter of the late Mary Lou (Majors) Moore Wright and William Clark Moore.

Kathy was a homemaker and a member of Summersville Church of God.

She enjoyed gardening, sewing, bingo and most of all her family.

She is survived by her husband, Carl Dawson, children, Shelby Moore (Jim Lee) of Barberton, OH, Samantha Jarvis (Daniel) of Sutton, Nanette Kelly (Sam) of Birch River, Carl O. Dawson, Jr. (Kathy) of Gassaway, and Josh Moore of Sutton, brothers, Ritchie Moore (Amy) of Toledo, OH, Johnny Moore (June) of Barberton, OH, sisters, Char Husk (Melvin) of Doylestown, OH, Suzie Copen (Bob) of VT. Kathy was also a proud and loving grandma of 9 grandchildren, Ricky, Courtney, RJ, Cory, Levi, Zak, Zaron, Jaden, Isiah, and several step grandchildren, and several loving nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held 1:00 PM Wednesday June 26, 2013 at Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton with the Rev. Billy Dawson officiating.

Burial will follow at Sigler Cemetery, Sutton, WV.

Friends may call one hour prior to the services at the funeral home.

Greene-Robertson Funeral Home is humbly serving the Dawson family.

Elsie Irene Mills

The Gilmer Free Press

Elsie Irene Mills

Age 91, of Parkersburg, WV went home to be with the Lord June 19, 2013, at Chateau Grove Personal Care in Barboursville, WV.

She was born November 22, 1921 in Braxton County, WV, a daughter of the late William Harrison and Onie Mae Layman Weaver.

She was a homemaker and a member of Grace Gospel Church in Pettyville.

She is survived by four daughters, Carolyn Joyce (Daniel) Hurley, Patricia Sue (Larry) Curry, Judy Belinda (Michael) Waitkus, and Pamela Kay (Leon) Roberts; 14 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and two great great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, George B. Mills; a son, George Michael Mills; and several brothers and sisters.

Services will be 2:30 PM Sunday, June 23, 2013 at Lambert-Tatman Funeral Home, Green St., Parkersburg, with Pastor Mike Allen officiating.

Burial will follow at Sunset Memory Gardens.

Visitation will be Noon to 2:30 PM Sunday at the funeral home.

Two Juveniles to Be Charged in Vandalism of 30 School Buses in Braxton County

Two teens have admitted to their roles in vandalizing 30 school buses at a depot in Braxton County, authorities said.

Brenda Wells, director of curriculum and support services for Braxton County Schools, said employees found the damaged buses when they arrived at work Wednesday morning. All but two of the county’s fleet suffered damage. The depot is in Sutton near Braxton County High School.

Broken glass, damaged and discharged fire extinguishers and destroyed cameras littered the lot. Some of the buses had every window broken out, she said.

“We only have two buses not touched,“ Wells said. “It was quite a sight to see.“

The Gilmer Free Press

The buses, including the 89-passenger flat nose vehicles, were parked in lines. The windshields were busted in most of them. The glass doors were shattered.

The vandals also broke out windows with fire extinguishers and then discharged the devices inside the buses, State Police Sgt. Andrew Shingler said.The damaged buses included those used to transport special needs students.

Troopers believe it happened between 11:00 PM Tuesday and 3:00 AM Wednesday.

“It takes a little time and planning to damage 30 buses,“ Shingler said.

A woman heard about the incident on the television news and suspected a teen she knew had been involved. She confronted him and his friend and the pair “spilled their guts,“ Shingler said.

She called the authorities. Troopers and Braxton sheriff’s deputies worked together on the case.

The teens, 16- and 17-year-old boys from the Little Birch area, admitted to law enforcement they were involved in the destruction, Shingler said. Their motives were unknown Wednesday night.

The teens will be charged via juvenile petition but face multiple felony charges including destruction of property and breaking and entering. They were released to their parents Wednesday night.

Shingler hasn’t ruled out the possibility that others were involved and still are investigating.

Wells estimated one of the buses suffered about $3,000 in damages. Shingler estimated at least $100,000 in damages for the fleet.

Wells said the buses were insured and would be repaired.

“We’re certainly looking forward to see who would do something like this,“ she said.

Wells said the bus service is for the benefit of the children and doesn’t understand why anyone would want to damage the buses.

“Had this been during the school year they would have canceled school,“ Shingler said. “There was no way they would have been able to get the kids to and from school.“

The vandals didn’t stop with the vehicles. They also hit the “shack,“ a place at the depot where bus drivers can go in between runs.

“It was torn up pretty badly,“ she said. “The electronic devices, the microwave, the coffee pot, were thrown into the floor and smashed.“

A PlayStation 2 video game system kept in the drivers’ lounge was destroyed and all of its games were stolen, said a former bus driver who did not want to be named. Ketchup and mustard was splattered all over the room.

Shingler said the community is outraged. The phone at the detachment was ringing steadily Wednesday with businesses in that area offering security footage to help in the investigation.

Anyone with information can contact State Police in Sutton at 304.765.2101 or the Braxton Sheriff’s Department at 304.765.5122. Callers may remain anonymous.

~~  Ashley B. Craig - Charleston Daily Mail  ~~

Edith Ann Humphreys Hill

The Gilmer Free Press

Edith Ann Humphreys Hill

Age 84, daughter of the late Levi and Mary Humphreys, was born in Sutton, West Virginia and passed away peacefully in Virginia Beach, Virginia on June 08, 2013, surrounded by family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Charles (CJ) Hill, their 4 year old daughter Linda, two sisters, Mary Lee Doughty and Virginia Wooddell (May 06, 2013); three brothers, Hal (an infant),George and James (Duck) Humphreys.

She is survived by three children, Lora (Bunny) Cutler, husband Roy, David Hill, wife Dawn, and Rebecca Freeman, husband Joseph. There are eleven grandchildren and great-grandchildren; siblings of Edith are sisters Marjorie Hill and Dorothy Soule; brothers Levi, Lon and John Humphreys.

A viewing was held Tuesday, June11, and a graveside service and burial followed at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, June 12 at Rosewood Memorial Park, Virginia Beach.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to a charity of your choice.

School Buses in Braxton County Has Been Vandalized

The Gilmer Free Press

Nearly every school bus owned by the Braxton County school system has been vandalized.

One by one the windows and windshields were broken out of 30 vehicles sometime early Wednesday morning in a parking lot near Sutton.

Braxton County Director of Curriculum Services Brenda Wells told MetroNews Wednesday it was nothing more than senseless vandalism.

“I just can’t imagine who would do that when we are here to support kids. That’s what it’s all about,” she said. “It’s just frustrating to find that people don’t see the big picture of things.”

Only one or two buses were not damaged. Investigators believe those responsible used fire extinguishers as their tools of destruction.

“Our buses are all parked in a long row and you see each bus where the front windows are mainly smashed out and many buses have the side windows smashed out as well. There’s glass all over,” Wells said.

Damage estimates are expected to exceed $100,000. Wells said one bus alone has about $3,000 in damages.

“Some of the buses it’s almost every window,” she said.

State Police Troopers and Braxton County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating.

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