Braxton County

Braxton County

Legislative Update – by – Delegate Brent Boggs - House Majority Leader - 07.22.13


Last Thursday, Speaker Tim Miley announced his senior House leadership lineup in the aftermath of his election as House Speaker.  I am pleased to report that he has chosen me to serve as Chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee.  Delegate Harry Keith White and I will essentially switch duties, as he will assume the position of majority leader with my heading the Finance Committee.

Having served many years on the Finance Committee and two as vice-chairman, I intend to hit the ground running.  Meetings with the administration and House Finance Staff will begin this week.  The budget of every state agency, department and branch of government passes through the Finance Committees in the House and Senate.  Additionally, every issue that deals with taxation, pensions or any fiscal activity of or involving state government moves through the committee.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the unique opportunity to serve for the past five years as majority leader.  However, the opportunity to return to the Finance Committee in the position of Chairman is a great opportunity and challenge.  Tim and I have discussed this prospect for a while, but his final decision came late last week.  I appreciate the promotion, and the confidence and support of Speaker Miley in making this appointment.  The change will be effective August 01, 2013.

I am equally pleased that Jennifer McPherson will continue to direct my constituent services, in addition to her current capacity as assistant to the majority leader.  Actually, her job responsibilities entail much more, as she is a close advisor to the Speaker, House leaders and staff.  As I shared with Speaker Miley last week, the continuity in my constituent services and her role with the entire House are both important.

Over the next few weeks, I will share my updated contact information, along with key members of the Finance Committee staff that will be working with me moving forward.

Other changes made by Speaker Miley are as follows with additional changes possible in the weeks ahead.

Judiciary Committee

Chair – Tim Manchin (Marion)

Vice Chair – Mark Hunt (Kanawha)

Education Committee

Vice Chair – Dave Perry (Fayette)

Health and Human Resources Committee

Vice Chair – Fleischauer (Monongalia)

Last Friday night, I was invited to attend a meeting with members of several members of some of our volunteer fire departments in Braxton County.  County Commission member Ron Facemire was also in attendance.  The principal topic centered on the declining number of members in our volunteer fire departments.  This is a predicament that is occurring all across the State.

There are a number of factors that may have a part in recruitment and retention efforts.  Moreover, every county in the state has all or a portion of their residents and businesses protected by VFD’s.

I am always grateful when I witness first-hand the amount of training – classroom, on-line and in the field – which our volunteer fire department members obtain each year on their own time and usually at their expense.  Add to that equipment maintenance, fundraising, time away from their regular jobs and personal family obligations….well, you can see how much we depend on them and how much they give back to the community.  Not to mention the economic benefit of affordable insurance coverage.  Most of all, they respond to protect us all hours of the day and night – risking life and livelihood because of their community-minded dedication to our citizens.  Last summer’s derecho is a prime example of their public service, well beyond responding to fires and accidents.

Legislators worked through the Workers’ Comp coverage dilemma for our VFD’s.  Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves at the Capitol, in our counties and our communities to recognize, support and encourage the next generation of volunteer fire department and fire department auxiliary public servants that we rely on 24/7.  Working together, it’s a goal we can reach that will benefit everyone.

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.

Vanessa Lynn (Craft) Jarrell

The Gilmer Free Press

Vanessa Lynn (Craft) Jarrell

Age 26, of 503 River Street, Gassaway, WV, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, July 21, 2013.

Vanessa was born July 21, 1987 in Dunedin, Florida: a daughter of Rodney Craft and Cindy Craft.

She was married to David Michael Jarrell, Jr., who survives.

Vanessa was preceded in death by paternal grandparents, Fletcher Craft and Leerie Craft, and maternal grandfather, Robert Straley

Vanessa is also survived by two daughters, Nevaeh Jarrell and Ayvah Jarrell at home and one step-daughter, Aleena Jarrell of Little Birch.

Also surviving is mother-in-law, Shelley Jarrell; maternal grandmother, Louise Straley; one sister, Tawnya Kemerer; one special nephew, Joshua Robert Esch; and several Aunts and Uncles.

Vanessa was a Methodist by faith and a member of the Morrison Ridge United Methodist Church.

She was a 2005 graduate of Braxton County High School. Vanessa was a professional shopper and loved going to the mall and trying on new clothes. Vanessa also loved to swim, decorate and to be with her friends. Her biggest joy was making a home for her husband and daughters. Vanessa was a giving person, loved helping others and will be greatly missed.

Family received friends at the Stockert-Gibson-Paletti Funeral Home, 225 Main Street, Flatwoods, on Thursday, July 25, from 4 - 8 PM.

Funeral Services will be held on Friday, July 26, from the Stockert-Gibson-Paletti Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Jim Malick officiating.

Interment will follow services in the Morrison Ridge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Nevaeh and Ayvah Jarrell College Education Fund, Bank of Gassaway, P.O. Box 40, Gassaway, WV 26624.

Stockert-Gibson-Paletti Funeral Home of Flatwoods will be handling the services for Vanessa Lynn (Craft) Jarrell.

Bernard Jenkins

The Gilmer Free Press

Bernard Jenkins

Age 91, of Gassaway, WV passed away on July 23, 2013 at his home.

He was born March 17, 1922 to the late Granville Jenkins and Dora Rachel Jenkins.

He was a railroad worker for B&O Railroad.

He was a Baptist by faith.

Bernard is survived by his wife, Mabel Friend Jenkins; daughter, Karen Sue (Cecil) Harris.

He is preceded in death by wives, Helen Jenkins, Sharon Winters Jenkins, Ida Mae Dean Jenkins; sisters Beulah Jenkins, MyCola Jenkins, Eula Jenkins, Orphia Jenkins, Pauline Jenkins, Juanita Jenkins; brother Jessie Vernon Jenkins.

Services will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at the Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway, WV.

Friends may call Saturday from Noon until time of service at the funeral home.

Lillian Lee Bennett

The Gilmer Free Press

Lillian Lee Bennett

Age 93, of Gassaway, WV passed away Sunday, July 21, 2013 at her residence.

She was born March 07, 1920 in Gassaway, WV to the late George and Ora Funk and was also preceded in death by her husband, Robert H. Bennett.

Lillian was a retired Bookkeeper for The Bank of Gassaway & Bank of Richwood, a Homemaker.

She attended Gassaway Baptist Church, a graduate of Richwood High School, and a volunteer at Mountaineer Food Bank, Gassaway.

She is survived by her son; Gary L. Bennett and wife Mildred of Flatwoods, daughter; Patricia Crites of Sutton, grandchildren; Dustin Crites and wife Bridgette, Staci Lynch and husband Nathaniel, Jasmine Bennett, Terra Ghannoum, great grandchildren; Haylie Lynch, Liam Lynch and Skylar Ghannoum.

Funeral services were held 1:00 PM Thursday July 25, 2013 at Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton with Rev. Mark Stump officiating.

Friends called one hour prior the service at the funeral home.

Burial followed at Bealls Mill Cemetery, Gassaway.

Family suggest donations be made to: Gassaway Baptist Church, 400 Braxton St. Gassaway, WV 26624 or Mountaineer Food Bank, 180 Enterprise Dr. Gassaway, WV 26624.

Greene-Robertson Funeral Home is humbled to be serving the Bennett family

Braxton County Deputies Say Woman Died After Hitting Fence

The Gilmer Free Press

A Braxton County woman died over the weekend after her vehicle crashed into a fence.

The woman was driving along WV Highway 4 in Gassaway, WV on Sunday, July 21, 2013, when the accident occurred, Braxton County deputies said.

Deputies said that upon impact, part of the fence came crashing into the windshield, striking the woman.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The woman’s name has not been released.

Limited Bear Firearms Season Permit Applications Now Available

The Gilmer Free Press

Hunters are reminded that a concurrent bear season without dogs will occur from November 25-December 07, 2013 on private land in 19 counties, according to Colin Carpenter, Black Bear Project Leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Lewis, Mercer, Mineral, Monroe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur, and Webster counties will be open for concurrent bear hunting during the traditional buck-gun season by permit only. Resident landowners, their resident children or resident tenants who live on the land are not required to apply for a limited bear firearms season permit or purchase a class DS bear hunting stamp to bear hunt on their own land.

“Counties that will be open for bear hunting during the buck-gun season are above their management objective and need additional bears harvested to achieve their goal,” Carpenter said. “Timing is critical when setting bear hunting seasons, and the limited bear firearms season will occur when the maximum number of hunters are in the woods. This is the first time that hunters in the majority of these counties will have the opportunity to harvest a black bear during the buck-gun season, and we hope they will take advantage of it.”

Each hunter must fill out a separate application that must be signed, dated, legible, complete, and received by the DNR Application Section by August 19, 2013. Successful applicants will be sent an “Eligibility Card” (permit) in October. This permit will indicate the county in which the applicant may hunt and provide instructions for obtaining a class DS stamp. Neither the permit, nor the class DS stamp, is transferrable, and the county of hunt cannot be changed.

Applications will be available at the following locations: online at; hunting license agents; DNR District Offices; DNR Elkins Operations Center; and the DNR Main Office in South Charleston.

Completed applications must be mailed to the Application Section, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 67, Elkins, WV 26241-0067 by August 19, 2013.

Details concerning bear hunting seasons can be found on pages 36-39 of the 2013-2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

Carolyn S. Stewart

The Gilmer Free Press

Carolyn S. Stewart

Age 65, of Akron, Ohio passed away July 09, 2013.

Carolyn was born August 15, 1947 in Sutton, West Virginia.

For 36 years she was employed at the Akron General Center for Family Medicine. Carolyn had a smile and a laugh for everyone she met. She will be deeply missed by everyone who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her husband, David Stewart; parents, Rozzie and Edna Tinney; brothers, Junior (Mable), Eugene (Phyllis), and Robert Tinney; sisters, Mary (Nelson) Workman, Virginia (Russ) Dambach, Ruth (Amos) Greene; parents-in-law, Don and Ruby Witzke; father-in-law, Burl Stewart.

She is survived by her sons, Gary (Angela) and Scott (Teresa) Stewart; sisters, Rosalie (Leon) Knight and Margaret (David) McKeon; brother, John (Barbara) Tinney; grandchildren, Amanda, Josh, Daniell, Christopher; great-grandchildren, Maeson, Brayden, Landon, and more on the way; mother-in-law, Virginia Stewart; brother-in-law, Dan (Grace) Stewart; numerous special nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place and no services are planned at this time.

Delbert Gene Hosey

The Gilmer Free Press

Delbert Gene Hosey

Age 81, of Copen Road, Exchange, West Virginia passed away on Tuesday, July 09, 2013.

Delbert was born in Braxton County, WV on July 09, 1932 a son of the late Russell Gilbert Hosey and Floda (Spicer) Hosey.

On December 01, 2003, he was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years Mary Jane Hosey.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by two sisters Elane Hosey, Margarette Hosey, and one daughter Barbara Hosey.

Delbert is survived by two daughters Karen Martin of Flatwoods, WV, Angel Bartoszewicz of Lake Worth, FL, and one son, Russell Hose and wife Diane of Copen, WV. Also surviving are grandchildren Alberts Knauff, Rusty Hosey, Jessica Richardson, Alloe Palmeri, Ryan Bartoszewicz, and great-grandchildren Teayria, Janessia Cool, Teddy Richardson, and several step-great-grandchildren. Also surviving is one sister Irene Kelly, one special friend and companion Judy Burroughs, and several nieces and nephews.

Delbert worked in the Steel Mill in Ohio before he returned to West Virginia to work in the timber industry and the coal mines. Delbert later was a school bus driver for Braxton County Schools retiring with 31 years of experience. Delbert’s greatest joy was working on his farm and raising his cattle.

Family received friends on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at the Stockert-Sizemore Funeral Home, 225 Main Street, Flatwoods, WV from 12-3 PM.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 3:00 PM at the Stockert-Sizemore Funeral Chapel with Pastor Delmas Singleton officiating.

Interment followed the services in the Spicer Cemetery in Copen.

Sotckert-Sizemore Funeral Home of Flatwoods is handling the arrangements for Delbert Gene Hosey.

Braxton County Mother Accused in Sons Death Waives Preliminary Hearing

The Gilmer Free Press

The Sutton, Braxton County, WV mother accused of denying medical care to her terminally ill son and then allowing him to die has waived her preliminary hearing.

Valerie Brown, age 38, waived her preliminary hearing on a charge of child neglect resulting in death on Wednesday.

Her bond was also cut in half, from $100,000 cash only to $50,000 cash or surety.

Brown was arrested last week after a West Virginia State Trooper and a Hospice worker found her son dead wrapped in blanket inside her Sutton home along Salt Lick Road.

West Virginia State Police said the body of Levi Burroughs, age 8, was partially decomposed.

Troopers said results from an autopsy for Burroughs are not back yet.

Also on Wednesday, Brown was charged with obtaining goods under false pretenses.

The new charge is unrelated to the death of Burroughs.

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.

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.

Frank Teddy Clowser

The Gilmer Free Press

Frank Teddy Clowser

Age 81, of Chapel, WV (Braxton County) died July 16, 2013 at home.

He was born August 8, 1931 a son of the late Harley G. and Arka B. McElwee Clowser.

He was an oil well driller and an Army veteran of the Korean War.

He played the fiddle and was Baptist.

He was preceded in death by wife, Betty Nicholas Clowser; son, Steven Brent Clowser and brother, Buddy Clowser.

Surviving; children, Frankie Clowser of Gassaway, WV; Mark Clowser of Elyria, OH; Cindy Morgan of Grantsville, WV and Janet Clowser of Gassaway, WV; 12 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Service will be 1 PM Friday, July 19, 2013 at Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway with Rev. Linn Schiefer officiating.

Burial with military rites will be in the Bender Run Cemetery, Chapel.

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

Burnsville Lake Seeking Volunteers

The Gilmer Free Press

Volunteers are needed for the 2013 Recreation Season (which runs through the beginning of December) at Burnsville Lake in Burnsville.

Those selected will be given a free full-hookup campsite at either Bulltown or Riffle Run Campground for providing 20 to 25 hours of work per week.

Typical volunteer duties include:

•  Staffing a Visitor Center

•  Giving Tours

•  Providing Living History

•  Mowing

•  String Trimming

•  Cleaning Facilities and Grounds

•  Painting, Light Carpentry

•  General Maintenance Support

Volunteer support is extremely important to help keep areas open.

Dedicated volunteers have operated the Riffle Run Campground for several years, making it possible to keep that campground open without shortened seasons or reduced services.

There is currently a need for volunteers to do string trimming and cleaning for that area for the remainder of the season.

Those interested in volunteering may contact a Burnsville Lake Park Ranger at 304.853.2371.

Legislative Update – by – Delegate Brent Boggs - House Majority Leader - 07.15.13


It was tough late Sunday morning as Collin and Gavin headed back to South Carolina with Jessica.  It was a busy week for them, with Bible School, lots of outdoor activities, and visits with family.  They played no video games all week and they didn’t seem to miss it at all.  I was pleasantly surprised they truly enjoyed some of the things I take for granted:  walking in the woods with the dog, working in the garden, burning a big brush pile, painting, and other tasks that seen ordinary to me.  Getting all of the grand kids together earlier in the week was a real treat for Jean and me last week and the time invested with them is truly time well spent.

While the grand kids were home, a typical working morning at the farm and in the garden turned into a trip to the emergency room for me.  I want to thank emergency room physician, Dr. Chris Conrad and the entire medical staff of Braxton County Memorial Hospital ER for their great care.  While there, a number of injuries much more serious than mine came through the door.  I was both appreciative and in awe of the quality, personal care they provided that day and for everyone, every day.  That is what they do for all of our community – whether it’s a minor injury or life-threatening event.  Our citizens and community are indeed fortunate to have a quality medical facility located here in central West Virginia.  It bolsters our health, economic development potential and employment opportunities for everyone.

Sunday evening necessitated my attending a meeting at the Capitol until late hours.  In my abbreviated column this week, I know our community is reeling from the media reports last week that involved the tragic death of a young child.  While the facts will emerge as the state police continue their investigation, it points out once again that very young, the aged and the disabled population is the most vulnerable among us.  We must do all we can to protect those that are unable to protect themselves.

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.

WV State Police: Braxton Boy Deceased for ‘A Considerable Amount of Time’

A Braxton County mother was jailed and charged with child neglect resulting in death following the loss of her 8-year-old son.

Sgt. Michael Baylous from West Virginia State Police talked about the case on Friday in South Charleston.

West Virginia State Police were called when hospice caregivers were turned away by Valarie Brown, age 38, at the front door of her Sutton home on several occasions.

Her son Levi Burroughs was under the care of hospice because he suffered from Hurler’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes organ damage and eventual death.

Most children afflicted with Hurler’s Syndrome do not live past the age of 10.

The Gilmer Free Press
Sgt. Michael Baylous

“Obviously, [hospice] felt there was a need to get in there and provide treatment for this child and they were being denied that access,” explained First Sgt. Michael Baylous with the West Virginia State Police.

When the trooper arrived with a hospice worker on Thursday, Mrs. Brown once again resisted letting anyone into the home, but eventually allowed them inside. They found Levi deceased in a bed, wrapped in a blanket, his body partially decomposed.

Baylous said the child had been dead for “a considerable amount of time.”

“The child was denied care, denied care!  Mrs. Brown did not allow Hospice to come in and provide the proper care and treatment that that child needed.”

Investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy. What they find will be key to determining if Brown is charged with a more serious crime.

Baylous said the treatment of the boy was unconscionable.

“Here’s a child, in his last hours, was in conditions…He wasn’t in a loving and compassionate environment,” stated Baylous. “This child died alone!”

Police said they are familiar with Brown and “her pattern of behavior.” She’s been arrested on more than one occasion for drug related crimes.  Now investigators want to find out what she was doing in the last few days of her son’s life.

“We want to know where Ms. Brown was during that entire time and what she was out doing,” according to Baylous.  “Our investigators will work tirelessly on this.”

Brown also has a 6-year old son. He was last seen at the home this past weekend, but was staying with a grandparent at the time Brown was taken into custody.

She’s being held at the Central Regional Jail on $100,000 bail.

~~  Jennifer Smith ~~

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