U.S. Plans Refunds to West Virginians under Affordable Care Act

The Gilmer Free Press

More than $900,000 in refunds from insurance companies are headed to 8,300 consumers in West Virginia.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced the payments Thursday, crediting the Affordable Care Act.

Burwell said the refunds in West Virginia will average $177 per family.

The payments are being made under a provision of the act that requires insurers to make the refunds if they spend an excessive amount on red tape and bonuses for executives.

Virginians entitled to a refund will get the money through a check in the mail or in a reduction in future premiums, among other ways.

Harris Poll Examines Amount of Free Time for Kids

The Gilmer Free Press

What’s the ideal mix of scheduled and free time for a developing mind? Is there one? And what sort of mix today’s children experiencing? Well, with parents of K-12 students reporting their children spend an average of 38.4 hours per week on scheduled activities during the school year (including school time, extra-curricular school activities and other scheduled commitments), while maintaining an average of 19.1 hours of free time, this finds America’s school-aged children with a roughly 2:1 ratio of scheduled to free/leisure time.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,241 adults (of whom 457 have school-aged children) surveyed online between June 11 and 17, 2014. (To see the full results including data tables, click here)

Of course, every average has its outliers. Looking at hours per week spent on “other” school activities outside of normal school hours, the average weekly commitment is 8.1 hours. However, parents of one in ten elementary students (10%) and those of nearly two in ten secondary students (17%) say their child spends no time on such commitments in a typical week. On the other end of the spectrum, similar percentages (12% and 18%, respectively) report their children spend 15 or more hours on such pursuits.

As for other scheduled activities, parents report their school-aged kids spend an average of 4.2 hours on activities such as lessons, tutoring, and non-school sports. Looking again to the extreme highs and lows, a fourth of elementary parents (25%) and nearly four in ten secondary parents (37%) say their kids spend no time on such endeavors in an average week, while over one in ten report their children spend 10 or more hours on such activities (12% elementary, 15% secondary).

As for free time, there is quite a variety of experiences evident in American schoolchildren’s lives. 19.1 hours is the average amount of weekly free/leisure time parents report, but four in ten elementary parents (40%) and over half of secondary parents (53%) report their children have 20 or more hours of free time per week. Meanwhile, a third of elementary parents (33%) and a fourth of secondary parents (26%) say their child has less than 10 hours of weekly leisure time.

The Kids Are All Right

We hear a lot in the news these days about the issues facing children growing up today, but, overall, strong majorities of parents believe their child is happy (94%) and that their child is very imaginative (85%).

In one finding of interest – those parents whose children have more free time in a typical week are more likely to report both that those children are happy (82% among those whose children have under 10 hours of free time, 100% 10-19 hours, 98% 20+ hours) and very imaginative (74%, 90% and 89%, respectively).

Nine in ten parents also think it is important that their child be exposed to a broad variety of experiences (91%), while nearly as many believe their child has enough free time to do things they want to do (88%).

While minorities report struggles with their children’s scheduling and free time, they are nonetheless notable percentages of American K-12 parents. Specifically, one-fourth feel pressured to put their child in activities that other children are doing (25%) and over two in ten worry that their child is over-programmed, without enough free time (23%), and feel their child’s schedule is difficult for their household to balance (22%).

Perhaps not surprisingly, parents whose children have 15 or more hours per week of combined extracurricular and other “scheduled” time are much more likely than those whose children have under 15 hours to report feeling pressured to put their child in activities that other children are doing (21%

Balancing Act

Looking at related issues among the general population, nearly nine in ten Americans (87%) believe undirected play is important to a child’s development, while three-fourths believe it is important that children be kept busy (75%).

Over three-fourths of U.S. adults (77%) believe that parents today tend to “over-program” their children’s time; this opinion is especially strong among Baby Boomers and Matures (81% and 84%, respectively, as compared to 69% of Millennials and 76% of Gen Xers). Moreover, six in ten (60%) believe children have less free time today than when they were in school.

One factor in this perceived over-scheduling could be a desire to keep up with the Joneses, as eight in ten Americans (79%) believe parents today often schedule activities for their children just because all the other parents are doing the same thing.

However, where some see a crowded calendar, others see the opportunity for new experiences, and nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) wish they had the opportunity to have as many different experiences as children do today. This sentiment is significantly stronger among those with school-aged children (73%) than among those without (62%).

West Virginia to Receive Federal Funding for Studies on Long-Term Health Effects

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia will receive federal funding to understand the health effects of the January 09 chemical spill, which tainted the water supply for hundreds of thousands of people.

On Wednesday Senator Joe Manchin met with federal, state and county officials to discuss long-term studies.

Those in attendance included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute of Health (NIH), WV Health and Human Resource Cabinet Secretary Karen Bowling, Dr. Letitia Tierney and Dr. Rahul Gupta of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

According to Manchin’s office, this is the first time all parties have met together.

The NIH and the CDC will be conducting the studies. They are estimated to take a year and cost between $750,000 and $1.2 million.  Studies will include model predictors & animal testing to determine developmental & gene effects.

The CDC and the NIH have agreed to do animal testing to see effects of MCHM at very low levels. They believe this will help them determine whether it will have any long term impact on people.

For months state and county officials have lobbied for money to study crude MCHM, the chemical that tainted the water supply for 9 counties.

In February, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin asked for additional tests to determine the health effects of consuming, breathing of coming in contact with the chemical.

The CDC responded with a letter in March, saying long-term effects were “unlikely.“ The agency described plans to only track trends with pre-existing resources, such as birth defects surveillance, cancer registries and health systems data.

The CDC, National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Toxicology Program, and NIH’s National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences will work with state officials to design and conduct the testing, including bringing a team of experts to West Virginia.

Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV, hosted the meeting between CDC and top officials in Washington, D.C. on July 23.

Those in attendance included Dr. Tom Frieden, director of CDC; Dr. John Bucher, Associate Director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Toxicology Program; Dr. Robin Ikeda, Acting Director of the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Mary Gant, program analyst at the NIH’s National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences; Secretary Karen Bowling, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources; Dr. Letitia Tierney, Commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health and State Health Officer; Dr. Rahul Gupta, Health Officer and Executive Director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Manchin said he was pleased with the cooperation from federal partners.

“We have all agreed that it is necessary to conduct additional scientific testing to rebuild West Virginians’ confidence that the water they use and drink every day is safe for themselves and their children, and to ensure there is a clear understanding of any potential long-term health impacts,” Manchin said in a news release July 23. “These tests should be completed within a year, at which point we will come together to assess the findings and determine what additional steps we will need to take. In the meantime, I thank the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, Secretary Bowling, Dr. Tierney, and Dr. Gupta for coming together to continue to monitor the health effects of exposed West Virginians. I am very confident we are moving in the right direction and I am truly grateful all relevant parties came to the table today.“

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said he is working closely with the DHHR on receiving the funding.

“My administration, particularly DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling, has worked with local, state and federal partners to secure funding for additional MCHM tests and long-term medical surveillance to assess any potential health implications for our residents as a result of the Jan. 9 Elk River chemical spill. We appreciate the assistance of the CDC and NIH and look forward to moving forward with the process,“ Tomblin said.

Gupta said he was surprised by the call to go to D.C., but pleased with the results.

“I was excited to meet in Washington, D.C., this morning with Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Senator Joe Manchin to discuss toxicological testing relating to the July 09 chemical spill,“ Gupta said. “Dr. Frieden committed to providing further surveillance measures based on findings of toxicological testing. The National Institute of Health committed to these tests during this morning’s meeting. In addition, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences also committed to continuing studies. After all these months, it’s positive we are moving forward, particularly with developing independent studies which will give our citizens more confidence in their outcomes. I am glad Karen Bowling, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, and Dr. Letitia Tierney, state health officer, were present, so we can have a unified front moving forward to solve this problem. I am also grateful to Senator Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for being persistent in seeking broad-ranging national solutions to the chemical spill problem.“

Study: One In Ten Juvenile Detainees Thought of Suicide

The Gilmer Free Press

Approximately one in ten juvenile detainees contemplated suicide within the six months prior to entering detention, according to a new bulletin from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Significantly more females than males had thought about suicide.

In Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth, researchers present data from a long-term study of the thoughts, behaviors and psychiatric disorders of 1,829 juvenile detainees in Cook County, Ill.

The authors found that 11 percent had previously attempted suicide, and more than one-third thought a lot about death or dying in the six months prior to entering detention.

Fewer than half of detainees with recent thoughts of suicide had told anyone about their suicidal thoughts.

Previous research has shown that past suicide attempts are a powerful predictor of future attempts and detained youth are at greater risk for suicide than youth in the general population.

In this bulletin, the authors conclude that juvenile detention facilities should screen for suicide risk and increase psychiatric services.

This bulletin is the fourth in a series on the findings of the Northwestern Juvenile Project, a longitudinal study of the mental health needs and outcomes of juvenile detainees.

TITLE: Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth

AUTHORS: Karen M. Abram, Jeanne Y. Choe, Jason J. Washburn, Linda A. Teplin, Devon C. King, Mina K. Dulcan and Elena D. Bassett

PUBLISHER: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,


The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at

Theatre West Virginia Back from Brink for Summer Season

The Gilmer Free Press

Less than two weeks remain in Theatre West Virginia’s 54th season, a performance season that almost did not happen because of financial issues.

“Last September, the Board (for Theatre West Virginia) at the current time voted to close it down and then we got a group of folks together in January and said, ‘No, not on our watch,” Scott Hill, current manager of Theatre West Virginia, said.

The company has returned with the traditional historical drama, “Hatfields & McCoys,” which tells the story of the famous family feud.

It runs through August 02, 2014 at Grandview’s Cliffside Amphitheatre in Raleigh County.

“We just had to make some fundamental changes, understanding that the funding, how it had been funded in the past, is not going to be how it’s going to be funded in the future,” Hill said. “We had to step up and make some changes and we were able to do that.”

First founded in 1955, Theatre West Virginia is now operating more efficiently with the help of volunteers who invest their money and their time.

That operation is drawing crowds.

Hill said attendance for the shows has been good, so far, with people from 28 states and five countries on hand already this summer.

At times, Hill said show attendance has topped 600.

On this week’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Hill seemed confident about the future of Theatre West Virginia.

“We’re going in the right direction. Our crowds are good. Our support financially from some of our sponsors are coming around and, I think when we go to the Legislature in January, there will be a much different story to tell and we’ll give them some confidence in funding Theatre West Virginia again,” he said.

Altogether, 17 shows for “Hatfields & McCoys” are being staged this summer.

More information about Theatre West Virginia is available at

Show tickets can also be ordered by calling 304.256.6800.

West Virginia’s Latest News - 07.24.14

The Gilmer Free Press


One man is dead after a motorcycle accident in Braxton County, WV.

It happened in the area of Frametown Hill at Frametown at 6:00 PM. Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

The man’s name has not been released.


An 18-wheeler tractor trailer traveling southbound on I-79 wrecked into a mountainside after hard rains caused the driver to drive off the roadway on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 near Clendenin between the 15 and 16 mile markers.

The truck was carrying partial packages for UPS.

A large diesel fuel leak occurred due to the accident.

Dams were set up on the side of the road to contain the leak.

The driver only suffered minor injuries to his wrist and was not taken to a hospital.


A Charleston attorney has been found “not criminally responsible” for a shooting that happened at his home last year. The charges were dismissed Tuesday against Mark Bramble.

The 50-year-old Bramble was arrested last August and charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment after police said he fired multiple shots from his house in a South Hills community. No one was injured.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster agreed with three forensic psychiatrists who examined Bramble and reached similar conclusions about his state of mind during the incident. They said he was competent to stand trial but not criminally responsible. One doctor said he was bipolar at the time.


Law enforcement from across the southern part got a unique perspective on the NPLEx system from a cop from Louisiana.

Detective Chris Comeaux with the St. Tammany Parish Police Department called NPLEx or National Precursor Log Exchange, a must when it comes to tracking down meth labs.

Comeaux was in Bluefield for a conference aimed at helping West Virginia law enforcement become more comfortable with NPLEx which came on line across the state in January 2013.

He got his start with NPLEx when Louisiana brought the system on line in July 2010. He said NPLEx almost immediately had an impact on the meth problem in his state.

With NPLEx, the computerized system connects pharmacy with pharmacy to prevent smurfers from going around town buying up pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in meth. Law enforcement can use the system right at their desks to find out who’s purchasing the drug and which pharmacies are selling the most products. He said each officer can customize searches to assist in their investigation.

The West Virginia Retailers Association, the National Association of Drug Investigators, the West Virginia Sheriff’s Association and the West Virginia Municipal League sponsored Tuesday’s seminar. There have already been similar workshops in Beckley, Bridgeport, Charleston and Vienna. Four more are planned for later this year.


Health Departments in the northern panhandle are preparing for what could be a rush of people who want to be tested to find out if they’ve been infected with hepatitis B and C or HIV.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources announced Monday patients who received care at a the Valley Pain Management clinic in McMechen could have been infected with the diseases after staff at the site allegedly reused syringes on more than one patient.

Pain clinic patients can call their local health department. Someone will screen them to make sure they have been exposed and then they’ll set up a date and time for the test. However, Francis said the test may not link the infectious diseases back to the clinic.


A man turned himself into police after exposing himself to two female juveniles in Nitro, WV.

37-year-old Douglas Spry was arrested Wednesday, July 23, where he was charged with indecent exposure.

On May 23, Nitro Police responded to the area of the Nitro boat ramp, in which a white man, Spry, was hiding in the bushes, pulled his pants down, and exposed himself to two female juveniles.

The juveniles told police they immediately left the area to walk home, in which they saw Spry drive past them several times.  They were able to get a description of the vehicle, along with a partial vehicle registration.

On May 24, the juveniles were looking through their telephone at photographs they had taken from the previous day, and found a photo of a man, Spry, in the bushes.

On June 04, an anonymous caller identified Spry from a Facebook post, and also gave information about Spry’s vehicle that he drove on the day of the incident, which matched the information the juveniles gave police.

Spry was previously arrested on July 16 for possession of marijuana after being a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for traffic violations.  Police received consent to search the vehicle, in which they found several items of drug paraphernalia and drugs inside the vehicle.

When interviewed by police Spry was asked about the indecent exposure incident, Spry changed his story several times, in which he first denied ever being at the boat ramp, but then said he may have urinated in the bushes.


The National Park Service is tallying up the number of visitors to West Virginia scenic attractions and how many dollars they drive to local communities.

The report looked at attendance in 2013 at the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River and Gauley River National Recreation Area.

Total attendance topped 1.2 million visitors.

They spent more than $51 million and that supported 673 jobs in the area.

The Park Service said the West Virginia numbers are part of a national look at the impact of U.S. parks.

It found that most visitors spending was for lodging, followed by food and beverages and gas and oil.


Traffic traveling west on Route 50 in Clarksburg came to a halt after a truck hauling asphalt overturned Wednesday morning.

A car abruptly stopped to make an illegal turn in the median at around 10:30 AM on Wednesday.

Vehicles behind the driver attempted to brake in order to avoid collisions.

However, the truck ran off the road into the median to avoid hitting cars in front of it, overturned and then hit the car which initially caused the incident.

The driver of the truck was transported from the scene to UHC.

The driver of the car was not injured and will be cited for the illegal turn.


The parents of a 20-month-old boy who died of malnutrition may have violated WIC rules.

Carla Adkins, of Ashton, and Jimmie Edwards, of Milton, were arrested earlier this week and charged with felony child neglect resulting in death.

Their son, Carson, died in March 2013.

Investigators claim the couple would take WIC products and return the child’s infant formula to a store in exchange for money which they used to buy meth.

They were allegedly giving the baby whole milk which he was not able to properly digest and caused his death.

The Women, Infants, Children program provides infant formula to low income families who cannot afford to purchase it on their own.

Adkins and Edwards remain in jail on $500,000 bail each.


Lewis County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Wayne Bailey said he was fired on Tuesday from the full-time position paying about $64,000 annually that he has held since January 2011.

He declined to comment when asked if he was given a reason why. He also declined to comment when asked if he planned any legal action in the wake of the firing.


Police in West Virginia are looking for those responsible for tying a tow rope around the neck of a horse that later died.

The horse was euthanized Wednesday.

Two suspects believed to be male teenagers were seen running away from a pasture where the horse was found Monday east of Martinsburg.

Kija Wilson says her husband owned the horse.

She says the rope was tied so tightly around the horse’s neck that it had to be cut off with a razor.


Federal health officials say they are planning to conduct more tests on the chemicals that spilled into the Charleston area drinking water supply in January.

Authorities say the studies will take up to a year to complete and will address the health impact on humans of chemicals that spilled into the water of 300,000 people.


Freedom Industries and its stakeholders have a matter of days to reach agreement on Freedom’s $2.9 million insurance policy.

Freedom, its insurer and others are in bankruptcy court in Charleston as Freedom seeks to resolve legal issues arising from its spill of chemicals into public drinking water in January.


A judge has thrown out charges of attempted murder in the case of Mark Bramble, the attorney who was accused of firing random shots during a standoff in his Charleston neighborhood.

Bramble suffered from delirium from an over-the-counter-sleep aid and was not criminally responsible for the shooting last August.


The National Park Service says tourist attendance in 2013 at the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River and Gauley River National Recreation Area topped 1.2 million visitors.

The parks agency also says visitors spent more than $51 million in West Virginia and supported hundreds of jobs.


Charleston’s airport could claim sovereign immunity in a lawsuit saying the airport was partly to blame for a tap-water contaminating chemical spill.

Yeager Airport would argue it can’t be sued as a government agency. A Yeager lawyer and board member announced the strategy at a board meeting Wednesday.

A federal lawsuit blames the airport’s now-complete runway project for the January chemical spill that left 300,000 residents without clean water for days.

The lawsuit says Yeager never safeguarded against storm-water runoff, which let water flow to Freedom Industries and erode a tank’s foundation.

Officials say holes in the bottom of the tank led to the leak.

The airport’s insurance policy will cover most legal costs in the case. The airport has hired outside legal representation.


A tanker hauling nearly 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel overturned about 2:15 PM Tuesday near the Bartow Intersection.

The crash sent flames high into the air as the fuel tank ruptured.

The driver of the tanker truck is hospitalized after the crash

A unknown amount of the diesel fuel spilled into the Greenbrier River.

Environmental inspectors were on hand to monitor the leak and try to control the fuel.

Officials say they do not believe the spill posed any threat to water treatment plants downstream.

Movie Review: ‘Wish I Was Here’ - Zach Braff’s Grown-Up Tale with Timely Themes

Some people just want to dislike Zach Braff. The actor once known as the charmingly goofy Golden Globe nominee from “Scrubs” has since become that guy, who’s overly earnest and lends his voice to toilet paper commercials, who uses Kickstarter to partially fund a film and evocative indie music to do the hard work of rousing a moviegoer’s emotions. Never mind that his directorial debut, 2004’s “Garden State,” did well both critically and at the box office. The pitchforks are out, and they’re not easy to put away.

His latest movie, “Wish I Was Here,” isn’t going to quiet the haters. It has all the overly sentimental dialogue, musical crutches and pensive Braff close-ups that annoyed viewers of “Garden State.” And instead of pairing himself up with Natalie Portman, he’s married to a woman played by Kate Hudson.

But here’s the thing: “Wish I Was Here” touches on some timely themes and does so with an artistic vulnerability. You have to hand it to Braff. For a guy who must feel unfairly targeted, he doesn’t shy from being who he is and making, essentially, a grown-up version of “Garden State.”

The Gilmer Free Press

Braff plays Aidan, a struggling actor who hasn’t worked since a dandruff commercial. Providing for the family largely falls to his wife, Sarah, who hates her job in part because she’s sexually harassed by her officemate. Sarah and Aidan have two kids, the devoutly Jewish pre-teen Grace (Joey King) and her hyperactive younger brother, Tucker (Pierce Gagnon), and the family seems to be just barely keeping it all together, amid failed auditions and school drop-offs. But their tenuous balance topples when Aidan’s father, Gabe (Mandy Patinkin), learns his cancer has metastasized.

The part of the story most likely to resonate with 30- and 40-something viewers is about people who are caring for both needy children and ailing parents. It’s a painful juggling act with no winner. Patinkin is wonderful, as always, and he manages to inject so much humanity into a constantly disappointed curmudgeon. This difficult man is dying, and it feels overwhelmingly tragic. Hudson, who we’re so used to seeing phoning it in as the blonde component of a middling romantic comedy, gives a real and heartfelt performance, too.

Aidan and Sarah always seem to be learning on the job. They may be parents, but they don’t quite know what they’re doing. Aidan curses constantly — and has given significant contributions to the family swear jar — and tries home-schooling the children when his father can no longer pay for their private Jewish school, only to realize he doesn’t really know a lot.

The reality of this family’s situation is much more interesting than the fantasy that Braff, who wrote the script with his brother, shoehorns into the story. Aidan has daydreams about being a superhero, but his suited-up parallel life, in which he’s running from a dark figure, doesn’t really pay off in any significant way.

“Wish I Was Here” has been billed as a comedy, and there are some funny moments, but don’t be fooled: This is a tear-jerker. For all its fairy tale reveries and songs from the Shins, the movie manages to dig up some real emotions. Whether you’re among the 46,520 Kickstarter contributors or an avowed member of the anti-Braff brigade, you may just find yourself trying to stifle a sniffle.

★ ★ ½

R. Contains language and sexual content. 120 minutes.

Sports Brief - 07.24.14

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

►   FRESHMAN WORKING AS STARTER AT SAFETY; 4 SIGNEES COULD MISS START OF WVU CAMP:   Four-star defensive back Dravon Henry, who arrived on campus only six weeks ago, seems primed to become an instant-impact recruit for West Virginia.

“Right now, he’s running with the ones at free safety,” coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday. “I don’t know if that’s going to remain because we can’t get out there to coach them and really film it and see how they’re doing. But right now he’s in the mix at free safety as a starter.”

A consensus top-200 national recruit according to Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247Sports, Henry was a two-way star at Aliquippa (PA) High School where he rushed for 5,454 career yards. He also could factor in West Virginia’s return game, especially with Wendell Smallwood’s status made murky by a witness tampering charge in Delaware.

Holgorsen said Henry and four-star quarterback William Crest are two standouts who “bring more to the table” than some of the freshmen forced into early action during recent seasons.

With four members of this year’s recruiting class yet to enroll, Holgorsen said it’s possible the missing players won’t arrive in time for the July 31 start of preseason camp.

Cornerback Jaylon Myers and offensive lineman Justin Scott have not completed the requisite junior college courses, Holgorsen said. Two freshmen—receiver Jacob McCrary of Miami and offensive lineman Dontae Angus of Philadelphia—haven’t qualified through the NCAA clearinghouse.

►   HOLGORSEN: ‘PEOPLE FOLLOW HIM’:   Dana Holgorsen, explaining his midsummer appointment of Clint Trickett as West Virginia’s starting quarterback, said he was trying to combat the team’s leadership void.
“The leadership aspect of it is something that we were missing,” Holgorsen said Tuesday at Big 12 media days. “We had a bunch of guys coming back that played a lot of football but there wasn’t any leadership that was present at the quarterback spot, at the skill spot.

“(Trickett) will be able to take that to another level. People follow him. He understands what it takes to be successful.”

A fifth-year senior transfer coming off an underwhelming debut season at WVU, Trickett reportedly has recovered after missing spring practice with shoulder surgery.

“He’s healthy, 100%,” Holgorsen said. “Arm strength is awesome, body weight is good.”

Even before sustaining a labrum injury in the upset win over Oklahoma State, Trickett was hampered last season by communication obstacles with his coach. Holgorsen expects Trickett’s first full offseason with the team to create better on-field chemistry and timing.

“He’s been out there working with our guys all summer,” Holgorsen said. “There’s a rapport that needs to exist with him and the receivers in order to be successful. They need to understand each and every one of their little nuances when it comes to being able to get open and sign language and a nod here and a cut‑off there. And all that’s starting to exist with him right now with him and the rest of the guys.”

►   MOOUNTAINEERS AND NC STATE:   West Virginia and NC State have finalized a home-and-home series that means the Mountaineers will make two trips to North Carolina early in the 2018 season.

The first matchup against the Wolfpack is slated for on September 15 in Raleigh, two weeks after a neutral-site season opener against Tennessee on September 01, 2018, in Charlotte.

The Mountaineers will host a return game in Morgantown in September 14, 2019.

West Virginia has one vacancy left on its 2018 slate—which figures to be filled with a pay-for-play home game—and two openings for 2019.

►   HOLGORSEN: MOUNTAINEERS “VERY MOTIVATED” FOR 2014:   Head coach Dana Holgorsen opened his press conference telling the media how excited he and his team are to enter year No. 3 in the Big 12 as he focused on a few key reasons why he believed this year’s schedule would play out far differently than the one in his rearview.

“A lot has been made of the disappointing seasons that we’ve had the last couple of years,” Holgorsen said. “Each and every game we’ve been in until the end. Our guys have played hard, they’ve fought hard. The one thing that I appreciate about our guys is that they’re very motivated going into this season.”

A theme that both Holgorsen and the rest of his staff have played up throughout the offseason is how much more depth and experience the roster has compared to each of the prior two seasons in the Big 12.

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►   C-USA COMMISH SEES BRIGHT FUTURE IN CHANGING TIMES: The commissioner of Conference USA sees his league at a “pivot point” with a bright future at a time when he says intercollegiate athletics are transitioning from conference realignment to system realignment.

While the five power conferences are seemingly close to getting the autonomy to make their own bylaws, Britton Banowsky says that won’t prevent leagues like 14-member Conference USA from fielding competitive teams, engaging the fan base and having great programs.

Banowsky said Wednesday at C-USA’s football media day that the five higher-resource leagues — the SEC, Big 12, Pac- 12, ACC and Big Ten — have a lot of history with the other five NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision leagues. He believes the two sides will continue to co-exist much like they always have.


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►   A BUNCH OF SAINTS ROLLING INTO GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV:  The New Orleans Saints find themselves more than 900 miles from home ahead of the start of the 2014-2015 football season.

Members of the NFL team were scheduled to arrive at the Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg on Wednesday afternoon to begin three weeks of training based at The Greenbrier Resort’s new AdvoCare Sports Performance Center.

The Saints are after for a fifth playoff appearance this season under the direction of Head Coach Sean Payton who opted for the road trip to White Sulphur Springs. It marks the first time the Saints have hit the road for camp since 2008.

Payton has said the Greenbrier Valley “offers a tremendous opportunity to our team in a more moderate summer climate.”

The 55,000 square foot training facility, along with three practice fields, did not exist at The Greenbrier Resort just more than 130 days ago when the New Orleans Saints first announced plans to come to West Virginia for training camp.

In all, the cost to build a place for the Saints — on a deadline — is closing in on an estimated $30 million.

All training camp workouts for the Saints are open to the public.

Following a bus tour of Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs on Wednesday evening and strength and conditioning tests on Thursday, team members were scheduled to begin on-field workouts in a non-padded practice session on Friday from 8:50-11:40 AM with a walk through from 4:30-5:30 PM.

A “Picnic with the Saints” will be held Saturday. Tickets for that event are $10.

In all, there will 20 practices for the Saints, including a scrimmage on August 02, 2014.

The team will be at The Greenbrier through August 14, 2014 before returning to Louisiana to complete pre-season camp.

►   BRONCOS’ BOWLEN STEPS ASIDE DUE TO ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE:  Englewood, CO ( - Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has relinquished day-to-day control of the team due to Alzheimer’s disease.

The team made the announcement Wednesday, saying the 70-year-old Bowlen had been privately battling the disease in recent years.

“The Broncos are very saddened that Mr. Bowlen is no longer able to be part of the team’s daily operations due to his condition,“ the club’s statement read. “We continue to offer our full support, compassion and respect to ‘Mr. B,‘ who has faced Alzheimer’s disease with such dignity and strength.“

Bowlen had already placed his ownership share into a trust that is controlled by non-family members with a long-term goal for one his seven children to eventually run the franchise.

“Plans for this trust were arranged by Mr. Bowlen beginning more than a decade ago as part of his succession plan to keep the Broncos in the Bowlen family,“ the statement continued.

Daily operations of the team will be assumed by club president Joe Ellis and John Elway will continue to run the football department. Ellis, who will take on the role of CEO, has spent the past 17 years with the Broncos, while Elway rejoined the club in the front office in January 2011.

Bowlen, who purchased the team in 1984, told the Denver Post in May 2009 that he was suffering from short-term memory loss. The family and team told the paper early Wednesday that his condition had developed into Alzheimer’s disease, a brain condition that progressively worsens and has no cure.

“Pat has always wanted the focus to be solely on the Denver Broncos and the great fans who have supported this team with such passion during his 30 years as owner,“ said Bowlen’s wife, Annabel, in a statement. “My family is deeply saddened that Pat’s health no longer allows him to oversee the Broncos, which has led to this public acknowledgment of such a personal health condition.

“Alzheimer’s has taken so much from Pat, but it will never take away his love for the Denver Broncos and his sincere appreciation for the fans.“

Bowlen was one of the leaders in the NFL, serving on ownership committees that included labor and broadcasting.

►   GRONKOWSKI CLEARED TO PLAY: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been medically cleared to take part in all workouts and practices during training camp after recovering from knee surgery.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick revealed the news during a press conference Wednesday morning.

Gronkowski suffered a torn ACL last December in a Week 14 game against Cleveland and underwent surgery in January. There was speculation that he could begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

The 25-year-old Arizona product played just seven games last year and finished the season with 39 receptions for 592 yards with four touchdowns. He began the 2013 campaign on the PUP list while recovering from offseason procedures for his back and forearm.

Gronkowski, entering his fifth season, hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2011, when he caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards with 17 touchdowns. He played just 11 games in 2012 because of a broken arm.

The Broncos have reached the Super Bowl six times during Bowlen’s 30-year tenure, winning back-to-back titles after the 1997 and ‘98 seasons. Denver lost to Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII in February.

►   SEAHAWKS WR RICE ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT:   Seattle Seahawks wideout Sidney Rice announced his retirement on Wednesday, after seven injury-plagued NFL seasons.

Rice had been cut by the club back in February as a salary-cap measure, before being re-signed in April.

“After careful consideration and seven wonderful years playing in the National Football League, including the last three for the Seattle Seahawks, I have decided to retire from playing in the National Football League,“ Rice mused in a statement. “I have enjoyed my experiences with all of my coaches, teammates and passionate Seahawks fans. I take great pride in knowing I was one of the players signed to help build the foundation of the team that ultimately won the Super Bowl. I’ll be joining the 12s in support of the Seattle Seahawks as they take on the challenge to repeat.“

The 27-year-old finished the 2013 campaign on season-ending injured reserve thanks to a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in an October 28 win over the St. Louis Rams. The seventh-year pro totaled 15 receptions for 231 yards and three touchdowns in eight games.

Rice also saw the 2011 campaign—his first with Seattle—end with a stint on IR thanks to a concussion.

“The entire organization would like to thank Sidney for his leadership over the past three seasons,“ said club GM John Schneider. “His time as a Seahawks player displayed the core values that Pete and I aimed to bring to the program and Sidney is a true champion. We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.“

Rice, taken by the Vikings in the second round of the 2007 draft out of South Carolina, ends his career having compiled 243 catches, 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns over 81 games (57 starts). He accumulated 97 receptions, 1,463 yards and 12 TDs in three seasons with the Seahawks.

With Minnesota in 2009, Rice participated in all 16 games and posted career- highs in receptions (83), yards gained (1,312) and scores (8).

►   CHIEFS, RB CHARLES AGREE TO EXTENSION: The Kansas City Chiefs and star running back Jamaal Charles have agreed to a two-year contract extension, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

The new deal will make Charles one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL after he had been set to earn under $4 million this season based on the contract he signed in 2010, and ESPN both reported.

The sides agreed on the deal ahead of the start of training camp on Thursday.

Charles, who was reportedly ready to hold out for more money, did not report to camp by a Wednesday afternoon deadline. He joked on Twitter that he had “no intention” of holding out.

“I just ran out of gas on the way to camp and my cell phone battery died,“ he wrote. “It was a long walk I tell ya.“

Charles, 27, rushed for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 70 passes for 693 yards and seven scores last season. Only Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy gained more yards from scrimmage.

The seventh-year back has gained 5,823 yards on the ground with 29 touchdowns and caught 222 passes for 1,975 yards and 14 scores in 80 NFL games, all with the Chiefs.

►   JETS ADD JASON BABIN: The New York Jets have agreed to terms with linebacker/defensive end Jason Babin.

The 11-year veteran was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars last month after leading the club with 7 1/2 sacks last season. He had just re-signed with the Jaguars in March after voiding the final two years of his previous deal only three days earlier.

Babin started all 16 games for Jacksonville in 2013 and added 40 tackles to his sack total. He had joined the Jaguars late in the 2012 season and played five games for the club after being released by Philadelphia.

The well-traveled 34-year-old Michigan native has 62 1/2 sacks and 347 tackles in 130 NFL games with Houston, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Tennessee and Jacksonville.

To make room on the training camp roster, the Jets released cornerback Lowell Rose.

The Jets also placed guard Willie Colon and linebacker Antwan Barnes on the active physically unable to perform list with knee injuries.

►   EAGLES T JOHNSON SUSPENDED FOR PEDS: Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson has been suspended four games without pay by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances by taking a medication he says he failed to check out properly.

The suspension was reported by media outlets last month and announced by the NFL on Wednesday.

Johnson started all 16 games as a rookie last season after being drafted No. 4 overall by the Eagles out of Oklahoma.

He said in a statement issued by the team that he “mistakenly and foolishly put a prescribed medication in my body to help with a medical issue” while he was training in April.

“I mistakenly failed to clear it with Eagles trainers and check the NFL list of banned substances,“ Johnson said. “I am extremely sorry for this mistake and I will learn from it and be smarter in the future.“

Johnson is eligible to participate offseason and preseason practices and games but will miss the first four regular-season contests against Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Washington and San Francisco.

He can return to the active roster on Monday, September 29.

“We’re very disappointed to learn of his suspension,“ the Eagles said in a statement. “We have spoken to Lane about the details of the suspension. He understood what he did wrong and took full responsibility. The key for him, however, is to learn from that mistake and move forward with his preparation for the 2014 season.“

►   CARDINALS PLACE MATHIEU ON PUP LIST: The Arizona Cardinals placed safety Tyrann Mathieu and tackle Alameda Ta’amu on the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday.

Mathieu is still recovering from tearing the anterior collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his left knee during a game last December, which caused him to be placed on season-ending injured reserve on two days later.

Speaking shortly after the injuries occurred, Cards head coach Bruce Arians stated that the former LSU star wouldn’t likely to be medically cleared for the start of next summer’s training camp after undergoing surgery.

He finished his rookie campaign with 68 tackles, two interceptions and one sack over 13 games.

Ta’amu is also coming off an ACL injury suffered late last season.

Arizona also released wide receiver Kelsey Pope.

►   BENGALS PLACE GRESHAM ON PUP LIST:  The Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday placed tight end Jermaine Gresham on the physically unable to perform list.

The fifth-year pro recorded 46 receptions for 458 yards and four touchdowns over 14 contests last season.

An Oklahoma product, Gresham has spent his entire four-year career with the franchise, totaling 218 catches, 2,262 yards and 19 scores.

Defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi was also sent to the PUP list. The 24-year- old native of Angola and Georgia State product participated in seven games last season—two with Cincinnati—and totaled five tackles with one sack.

►   49ERS PLACE BOWMAN ON PUP LIST: The San Francisco 49ers placed linebacker NaVorro Bowman on the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday.

Bowman suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the fourth quarter of San Francisco’s NFL Championship Game loss to Seattle in January. He will continue rehabbing his knee throughout training camp.

The All-Pro started all 16 games last season, totaling 145 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions, including one which was taken back for a touchdown.

Bowman has spent his entire four-year career with San Francisco, compiling 482 tackles, nine sacks, three interceptions and a touchdown in 64 games.


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►   LEWIS NEEDS KNEE SURGERY, CONTRACT WITH MAVS VOID: The Dallas Mavericks have voided the contract of forward Rashard Lewis.

Lewis had agreed to terms on a veteran minimum contract with the Mavs on July 19, but a recent physical revealed a knee injury that will require surgery.

“It came to our attention during Rashard Lewis’ physical that he is in need of a medical procedure on his right knee,“ Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery and continued success in his remarkable career.“

Lewis appeared in 60 games with the Miami Heat last season, averaging 4.5 points in just over 16 minutes of action.

Over his 16-year career, Lewis has averages of 14.9 points and 5.2 rebounds. He is 45.2% career shooter, hitting 38.6% of his 3-pointers.

►   NETS SIGN BROWN, JEFFERSON:  The Brooklyn Nets signed a pair of 2014 draft picks Wednesday, inking guard Markel Brown and forward Cory Jefferson to multi-year contracts.

Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Brown, the 44th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night in exchange for cash considerations.

He completed his senior season at Oklahoma State, averaging 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

Jefferson, the 60th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers on draft night in exchange for cash considerations.

During his final season at Baylor, he averaged 13.7 points and 8.2 rebounds.

►   FELTON SENTENCED TO COMMUNITY SERVICE IN GUN CASE:   Dallas Mavericks guard Raymond Felton was sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to a gun charge in a New York court on Wednesday.

Felton will perform 500 hours of community service and was also issued a fine of $5,000 after his guilty plea, which stemmed from a February arrest while he played for the New York Knicks.

The Mavericks acquired Felton in a trade with New York last month. Just two days before the deal, Felton reached a plea agreement with prosecutors to avoid jail time. He will be able to perform his community service outside the state of New York.

Felton, then playing for the Knicks, turned himself in to authorities in February, hours after a game against the Mavericks, and was charged with felony possession of a firearm. New York has strict gun possession laws, which normally carry automatic jail sentences.

Reports in February had indicated that Felton’s estranged wife and her attorney brought the gun to police. The two were in the middle of a divorce.

There was speculation at the time that Felton had threatened the woman with the weapon, but that was never established.

Felton averaged a career-low 9.7 points and 5.6 assists for the Knicks last season.

►   TIMBERWOLVES RE-SIGN F HUMMEL: The Minnesota Timberwolves re-signed forward Robbie Hummel on Wednesday.

Hummel, 25, played in 53 games as a rookie last season, averaging 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game.

The Purdue product was selected 58th overall by Minnesota in the 2012 NBA Draft and spent the 2012-13 season with Obradoiro CAB in the Spanish League, where he averaged 10.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30 games.

►   HORNETS SIGN PG ROBERTS:  The Charlotte Hornets signed point guard Brian Roberts on Wednesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Brian is a quality point guard who we believe will play a key role for us,“ Hornets general manager Rich Cho said. “We look forward to having him as part of our team.“

In 72 games last season, including 42 starts, Roberts averaged 9.4 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds. He spent the last two seasons with New Orleans, averaging 8.2 points, 3.0 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 150 games.


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►   HORSFIELD, CROCKER ADVANCE AT U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR: Stroke play co-medalists Sam Horsfield and Sean Crocker both moved on to the second round of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship as they won their opening matches on Wednesday.

Horsfield rolled to a 5 & 4 win over David Laskin. Horsfield won the first two holes on the Nicklaus Course at The Club at Carlton Woods with pars. Laskin birdied the fifth to get within 1-down.

However, Horsfield won three of four holes from the seventh, two with birdies, to push his lead to 4-up. After a pair of pars, Laskin bogeyed the 13th to fall 5-down and when they halved the 14th with pars, Horsfield was the winner.

Crocker rallied from a late 2-down deficit to beat Dylan McCabe, 1-up. The pair split six of the first seven holes with Crocker going 1-up three times, then McCabe answering to square the match.

Crocker took the eighth and ninth to go 2-up, but McCabe won four holes in a row from the 11th to move 2-up. Crocker won the 16th with a bogey, then was conceded the 17th to square things up. A par at the 18th was all Crocker needed to move on.

Both Laskin and McCabe made it through a 9-for-5 playoff to get into the match play portion. Justin Conant, Josh McCarthy and Priyanshu Singh were the other three that moved on in the playoff.

Conant lost 3 & 2 to Will Grimmer, while McCarthy ousted Dominic Foos, 2 & 1, and Singh dropped a 4 & 2 decision to Davis Riley.

Joshua Sedeno and Doc Redman both moved on with 1-up wins in 20-holes. They were the only two that needed more than 18 holes to move on.

William Zalatoris and Braden Thornberry cruised to big 6 & 5 wins, while David Snyder earned an easy 6 & 4 victory.

The match play portion of the championship continues on Thursday and runs through the 36-hole final on Saturday.

►   MEDALIST YIN MOVES ON GIRLS’ JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP: Stroke-play medalist Angel Yin cruised to a 4 & 2 win on Wednesday and she moved on to the second round of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.

Yin, who had the second-lowest 36-hole score in U.S. Girls’ Junior history, took down Julie Luo in their first-round match. The pair traded wins the first four holes before Luo won the fifth with a par to go 1-up.

Yin poured in four consecutive birdies from the seventh to move 3-up. Luo claimed 12 and 13 to get back within 1-down. Yin answered with three straight wins from the 14th to close out the match on the Meadow Course at Forest Highlands Golf Club.

Princess Mary Superal rolled to a dominating 8 & 7 win over Maria Davis on Wednesday, while Kristen Gillman and Samantha Wagner earned easy 7 & 5 victories. Clare Amelia Legaspi rolled to a 7 & 6 win to advance.

Sofia Chabon took down Hannah O’Sullivan in 21 holes. That was the longest match of the day. Yealimi Noh and Anna Zhou needed 20 holes to advance, while Monica Dibildox, Shannon Brooks, Gigi Stoll and Yuka Saso all picked up 1-up wins in 19 holes.

Andrea Lee beat Chakansim Khamborn, 4 & 3. Along the way, Lee had holed a rare double-eagle on the par-5 fifth en route to her win.

The championship will conclude with a 36-hole final on Saturday.


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►   YANKEES PLACE JOHNSON ON DL:  The New York Yankees placed infielder Kelly Johnson on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left groin.

Johnson is batting .219 with six homers and 22 RBI this season. He was hurt in Tuesday’s game against Texas.

Playing right field for the first time, Johnson made a nice running catch in right-center field and struggled running to first in his next at-bat.

The Yankees, after a 14-inning marathon against the Rangers on Tuesday, added bullpen depth on Wednesday by selecting the contract of pitcher Chris Leroux from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

To put Leroux on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated pitcher Bruce Billings for assignment.

►   PHILLIES ACTIVATE C RUIZ:  The Philadelphia Phillies activated catcher Carlos Ruiz from the disabled list prior to Wednesday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants.

He will catch and bat fifth.

Ruiz had been out for nearly a month with a concussion after being hit in the head by a pitch in a game against the Miami Marlins. He was placed on the seven-day disabled list on June 27 and moved to 15-day DL on July 11.

The 35-year-old was batting .257 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 66 games for the Phillies this season prior to his DL stint.

Philadelphia also recalled pitcher Phillippe Aumont from Triple-A Lehigh Valley after Tuesday’s 14-inning loss to the Giants. Aumont is 0-1 in two games for the Phils this season. He has allowed two hits—both home runs—and four runs in 1 2/3 innings.

To make room for Ruiz and Aumont on the roster, the Phillies optioned catcher Cameron Rupp to Lehigh Valley and designated pitcher Jeff Manship for assignment.

►   NATS RECALL WALTERS TO FILL ZIMMERMAN’S SPOT:  The Washington Nationals placed third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday and recalled infielder Zach Walters from Triple-A Syracuse.

Zimmerman, 29, heads to the DL for the second time this season, this time with a right hamstring strain. He was hitting .362 with a .418 on-base%age in the month of July.

Walters hit just .182 with three of his six hits being home runs during a 27- game major-league stint from April 13-May 27. He has collected 15 homers and 48 RBI with a .300 average in 60 games for Syracuse.

►   PIRATES PLACE MARTE ON CONCUSSION DL:  The Pittsburgh Pirates placed outfielder Starling Marte on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Wednesday.

Marte left Friday’s game against the Rockies after taking an Adam Ottavino fastball off his helmet. He played in Monday’s series opener against the Dodgers, but was absent from Pittsburgh’s lineup on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old is hitting .255 with five home runs and 34 RBI over 86 games this season, his third with the Pirates.

Pittsburgh also recalled infielder Brent Morel from Triple-A Indianapolis.

►   INDIANS SEND HOUSE TO COLUMBUS, BRING UP RAMIREZ: The Cleveland Indians have optioned pitcher T.J. House to Triple-A Columbus and recalled infielder Jose Ramirez from the minor league club.

House pitched five innings in Monday’s 4-3 loss to Minnesota and did not factor into the decision after yielding three runs on six hits. The lefty is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 games, all but one as a starter, for the Tribe this season.

Ramirez will join the Indians for the second time this season. He was 2-for-25 with an RBI in 11 games during May. In 60 games for Columbus, the 21-year-old Dominican native was batting .302 with 15 doubles, five homers and 29 runs batted in.

►   CARDS ACTIVATE SIEGRIST FROM DL:  The St. Louis Cardinals have activated pitcher Kevin Siegrist off the 15-day disabled list.

Siegrist had been sidelined since late May because of a left forearm strain. He recently worked 4 2/3 scoreless innings over five appearances during a rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield.

The lefty was 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA and 27 strikeouts over 20 innings in 23 games for the Cardinals this season prior to his DL stint.

St. Louis optioned pitcher Nick Greenwood to Triple-A Memphis to open a roster spot for Siegrist. Greenwood was 1-1 with 4.74 ERA in nine games for the Cardinals since his recall last month, including two perfect innings during Tuesday’s loss to Tampa Bay.

►   ANGELS PUT GREEN ON DL:  The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have placed infielder Grant Green on the 15-day disabled list because of a lumbar strain.

Green tallied his first career walk-off hit in the ninth inning on Sunday, as his single drove in Josh Hamilton for a 6-5 win over the Seattle Mariners. Green made his first career start at shortstop Sunday.

Green been called up three times by the Angels from the minors this season. In 31 contests, he’s hitting .313 with a homer and nine RBI.

The Angels replaced Green on the roster by recalling first baseman C.J. Cron from Triple-A Salt Lake.

►   PADRES’ MAYBIN SUSPENDED 25 GAMES FOR AMPHETAMINE:   San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin was suspended 25 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for an amphetamine he says he was taking to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The suspension, announced Wednesday, is effective immediately.

Maybin is eligible to return to the active roster on August 20.

In a statement issued by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the outfielder said he’s been receiving treatment for ADHD for several years and previously had a therapeutic use exemption.

“Unfortunately, in my attempts to switch back to a medicine that had been previously OK’d, I neglected to follow all the rules and as a result I tested positive,“ Maybin said.

“I want to assure everyone that this was a genuine effort to treat my condition and I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball career. I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and I will take my punishment and will not challenge my suspension.

“I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the entire Padres organization. I look forward to returning to the field and contributing to the success of my club.“

Maybin, 27, is batting .247 with a .286 on-base%age, one home run and nine RBI in 62 games for the Padres this season. The eight-year MLB veteran is a career .248 hitter.

“Cameron has accepted full responsibility for his violation and apologized to his teammates and coaches,“ said Padres manager Bud Black. “We are all looking forward to his return.“

►   ASTROS PLACE OF SPRINGER ON DL:  The Houston Astros placed rookie outfielder George Springer on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quad on Wednesday.

Springer last played on Saturday and has missed the last two games with the quad injury and right knee discomfort.

The 24-year-old, who was selected 11th overall by Houston in the 2011 amateur draft, has hit .231 with 20 home runs and 51 RBI.

Springer ranks second in both home runs and RBI among rookies, trailing White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu in both categories.

Houston recalled infielder Marc Krauss from Triple-A Oklahoma for Wednesday’s game against Oakland.

Krauss has hit .173 with four home runs and 14 RBI in 39 games this season for the Astros.

►   CUBS OPTION OLT, RECALL WADA:  The Chicago Cubs optioned struggling infielder Mike Olt to Triple-A Iowa and recalled left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada from Triple-A on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Olt, who was acquired in the Matt Garza deal from Texas last July, had been on the big league club since Opening Day, but hit just .139 with 12 homers and 30 RBI.

The 33-year-old Wada will start for the Cubs Wednesday night against San Diego.


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►   STARS G HAMMON TO RETIRE:  San Antonio Stars guard Becky Hammon announced she will retire at the conclusion of this season, her 16th in the WNBA.

The 37-year-old Hammon, a six-time WNBA All-Star, holds career averages of 13.1 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds over 440 games.

This is her eighth season with the Stars. She has averaged 8.1 points and 4.1 assists this season.

“Becky Hammon has made a lasting mark on the San Antonio Stars and the WNBA,“ Stars general manager and coach Dan Hughes said. “She has worked tirelessly to become the best she could be on and off the floor. She has inspired in a wonderful way. The beauty of her game has been an amazing thing to have had a front row seat for.“

Hammon was acquired from the New York Liberty in a draft-night deal in 2007. She has made the playoffs 12 times in her career.

In league history, Hammon ranks seventh in total points (5,756), second in 3- point field goals made (817), fourth in assists (1,663), sixth in games played (440), and first in free-throw%age (89.6, min. 300 attempts).


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►   RANGERS, KREIDER AGREE TO DEAL:  The New York Rangers agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Chris Kreider on Wednesday.

Kreider had 17 goals and 20 assists in 66 games with the Rangers this past season, ranking second among NHL rookies in power-play goals with six and fifth in goals.

During the Rangers’ playoff run, the 23-year-old Massachusetts native recorded five goals and eight assists for 13 points in 15 games.

Kreider has skated in 89 career NHL games, registering 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points. He also has 22 points in 41 Stanley Cup playoff games.


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►   NIBALI INCREASES TOUR LEAD IN STAGE 17:  Vincenzo Nibali of Italy increased his overall lead at the Tour de France on Wednesday with a strong third-place finish in Stage 17.

Poland’s Rafal Majka won the stage, a short and grueling 124.5-kilometer mountain trek through the Pyrenees, finishing atop the Pla d’Adet in a time of 3 hours, 35 minutes and 23 seconds. It was his second stage win of the 2014 Tour, as he captured Stage 14 last week in the Alps.

Italy’s Giovanni Visconti was 29 seconds behind in second place, while Nibali made a move to distance himself from his nearest competitors in the overall classification with an attack near the conclusion on the highest category climb. He finished third for the stage—46 seconds behind the winner.

Nibali started the day 4 minutes and 37 seconds in front of Alejandro Valverde and now owns an advantage of 5:26 over the Spaniard, who was another 49 seconds behind the winner in 10th on Wednesday.

“I’ve got a nice lead, but considering (Thursday’s) stage to Hautacam and the time trial, I preferred to go and gain a few more seconds and be even more serene, just in case something would happen,“ Nibali said about why he decided to attack rather than remain with the other top riders.

Frenchmen Thibaut Pinot, Jean-Christophe Peraud and Romain Bardet occupy the next three places. Pinot, who was 11th on Wednesday, is six minutes behind Nibali, while Peraud finished alongside Nibali on Wednesday and remains another eight seconds behind. Bardet is 7:34 off the pace after placing 12th on Wednesday.

American Tejay Van Garderen is still sixth overall after finishing alongside Pino and Bardet on Wednesday.

A trio of Category 1 climbs preceded the highest category finish on Wednesday, the shortest non-time trial stage of the 2014 Tour.

Heading up the final ascent of the Pla d’Adet were four riders, including Visconti, who left the group with about nine kilometers remaining. Majka, though, caught him with four kilometers left and the two stayed together until the Polish rider took off with about 2 1/2 kilometers to go and was not caught.

“I’m just so happy about this result and the results that we have accomplished in the last couple of days,“ said Majka, who owns the polka dot jersey as the leader in the mountains classification.

Nibali had the yellow jersey group a few minutes behind the lead pack at the start of the final ascent, but Peraud pulled away and only the yellow jersey was able to keep up, leaving Valverde with a struggle to maintain his second overall position.

“I was able to recover my rhythm and to limit the damage with Nibali and Peraud,“ said Valverde. “It’s true that I have close rivals in Pinot and Peraud, but Peraud is the one I fear the most because he’s very good in time trials.“

Stage 18 on Thursday is the last of three days in the Pyrenees and the 145.5 kilometers from Pau to Hautacam features two climbs of the highest category—the first up the Col du Tourmalet before a finish at the top of the Hautacam.


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►   NO REFUNDS FOR DIRTY GIRLS:  If you were planning to participate in this weekend’s Dirty Girl Mud Run not only has it been canceled, you won’t be getting any of your money back from the company. Dirty Girl released the following statement Wednesday morning on its Facebook page:

“Charleston Dirty Girls-

It is with great regret we inform you that the Dirty Girl Mud Run will not be held this weekend in Charleston, WV. While the city of Charleston worked diligently and closely with Dirty Girl Mud Run to take all possible steps to put on the event, it can not be held due to circumstances out of our control. We would like to thank the city of Charleston as well as the city officials for all the assistance they’ve provided. Per our policy, we will not be issuing refunds under any circumstances.”

Registration fees ranged from $65 all the way up to $95, depending on when you signed up for the event.

Charleston pulled the plug on the mud run after Dirty Girl and Human Movement, the company that produces the event, were unable to come to an agreement on who should pay to bus participants to and from the site, port-a-potties and remediation after the event was over.

April Hickman Williams posted on the site, “I will be filing a complaint with the attorney general and better business bureau immediately. I will also be filing a negative review with the bbb. This was not “beyond your control” – you didn’t pay the vendors who were contracted for the event.”

Tracy Seirfert McVeigh commented, “This year will be my third DG race. You already have my money for an upcoming race this year, but if you do not issue refunds to the Charleston girls I will not be returning for a fourth year, nor will my team or anyone I reach via word of mouth. And as your marketing team should know, word of mouth is the most influential form of marketing.”


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►   JOVANOVSKI REACHES BAKU QFS: Fifth seed and 2012 champion Bojana Jovanovski was an easy second-round winner Wednesday at the Baku Cup tennis event.

The Serb subdued Poland’s Katarzyna Piter 6-3, 6-1 on the hardcourts at Baku Tennis Academy.

Jovanovski’s quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be Japanese qualifier Misa Eguchi.

A mild Day 3 upset came when France’s Pauline Parmentier dismissed eighth- seeded Slovak Jana Cepelova, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Parmentier will now appear in her first quarterfinal since 2012.

Some other second-round action saw Israeli veteran and last year’s Baku runner-up Shahar Peer overtake Serbian qualifier Vesna Dolonc 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and Eguchi drill Pole Urszula Radwanska 6-2, 6-1. The 183rd-ranked Eguchi is playing in her first-ever main draw on the WTA.

Top seeds Sorana Cirstea, of Romania, and Elina Svitolina, of Ukraine, will see second-round action on Thursday.

Svitolina won her first WTA title at this event last year, beating Peer in the final.

The 2014 Baku champ will claim $43,000.

►   GRANOLLERS INTO QUARTERS; GARCIA-LOPEZ EXITS GSTAAD: Former champion Marcel Granollers cruised into the quarterfinals, while two seeds, including Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, came up second-round losers Wednesday at the Swiss Open tennis event.

The second-seeded Spaniard Granollers grounded Swiss wild card Yann Marti 6-1, 6-4. The 2011 champ will next face fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar on Friday.

Former top-10 Argentine Juan Monaco upended the third-seeded Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 and is now 6-2 lifetime against the Spaniard, while another mild upset came when Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci drove out fellow South American Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 on the red clay at Roy Emerson Arena. Bellucci was the Gstaad champion in 2009 and 2012 and is now 12-2 at this tournament.

Bellucci and Monaco will square off in the quarters.

Another second-round result saw Andujar level Slovenian Blaz Rola 6-3, 6-3, while one final first-round affair saw Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen get past French qualifier Gianni Mina 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3) in a match that was suspended on Tuesday.

On Thursday, top-seeded Russian veteran and reigning champion Mikhail Youzhny will open his week with a second-round match against Frenchman Kenny De Schepper. Youzhny titled here last year with a victory over Dutchman Robin Haase in the final.

The 2014 Swiss Open champ will earn $105,000.

►   ROBREDO, CILIC ROLL INTO UMAG QUARTERS: Reigning champion Tommy Robredo and Croatian crowd favorite Marin Cilic eased into the quarterfinals at the Croatia Open tennis event on Wednesday.

The second-seeded Robredo handled fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 6-4, while the third-seeded 2012 Umag champion and 2011 runner-up Cilic humbled Dutchman Igor Sijsling 7-5, 6-3 on the red clay at ITC Stella Maris.

“It is good that I won in two sets, conditions here are tough with humidity and heat,“ Cilic said. “I have adjusted well to the conditions, but winning as fast as possible is always recommended.“

Up next for the former world No. 5 Robredo will be another fellow countryman, Pablo Carreno Busta, while the one-time world No. 9 Cilic will meet Czech slugger Lukas Rosol.

Also in the second round, a fifth-seeded Rosol doused Spaniard Pere Riba 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 and Carreno Busta moved on via walkover when eighth-seeded Argentine Carlos Berlocq pulled out of the draw.

On Thursday, top-seeded Italian star Fabio Fognini will face Spaniard Albert Montanes in the round of 16. Fognini was last year’s runner-up to Robredo.

The 2014 Croatia Open titlist will collect $105,000.


The Gilmer Free Press

►   TONALIST HEADLINES JIM DANDY STAKES:  Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist tops a field of seven 3-year-olds for Saturday’s $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The 1 1/8-mile stakes is the final local prep for the $1 million Travers on August 23.

Trained by Christophe Clement for Robert Evans, Tonalist will again be ridden by Joel Rosario and break from post 4.

“We have him in the Jim Dandy, but we also want him to make the Travers afterwards, so we’re just trying to keep a little bit of room to work after the Jim Dandy,“ Clement said during a conference call on Tuesday.

The colt won the Belmont Stakes at odds of 9-1 versus 10 other 3-year-olds, including Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome. He came away with a head victory in the final jewel of racing’s Triple Crown

“He gives you the feeling he tries very hard to the end,“ Clement added. “Is it because he tries hard or is it because he’s got the will to win. I’m not exactly sure. But, yes, he always seems to be doing his best from the quarter pole to the wire.“

With three wins from five career starts, Tonalist has banked $957,000.

Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, trained by Dallas Stewart, has been entered after originally being slated for Friday’s Curlin Stakes at Saratoga. Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, the colt has drawn post 6 with Shaun Bridgmohan set to ride.

“He really likes this track. I thought he liked it a lot as a 2-year-old,“ Stewart said. “He was training here. He ran here one time, but it was muddy and it just didn’t work out good. But he trains very well on it and he worked good.“

Commanding Curve is coming off a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes and is still seeking his second career win. Earlier this year he was sixth at Fair Grounds in the Risen Star Stakes and third in the Louisiana Derby. He rallied to get second behind California Chrome in the Run for the Roses as a 37-1 longshot.

The colt has earned $542,434 in eight starts.

Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong will start from the outside post for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, with regular jockey Rajiv Maragh in the saddle.

Owned by Centennial Farms, Wicked Strong posted fourth-place results in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes (dead-heating with California Chrome). The colt will be wearing blinkers for the first time Saturday.

“I really feel he didn’t give us his best (fourth in the Belmont),“ said Jerkens. “He’s run very well, but he needs to run a little better. If (the blinkers) make a little bit of a difference, it’s worth a try. I like his reaction to the blinkers. I think they kept him a little straighter, more into the bridle the whole way.“

Wicked Strong has two wins from eight starts for $884,610.

Here is the complete field for the Jim Dandy: Cousin Stephen, John Velazquez; Legend, Luis Saez; Ulanbator, Julien Leparoux; Tonalist, Joel Rosario; Kid Cruz, Irad Ortiz Jr.; Commanding Curve, Shaun Bridgmohan and Wicked Strong, Rajiv Maragh.

►   SAN DIEGO HANDICAP DRAWS FIELD OF 11 THOROUGHBREDS:  Imperative, winner of the Charles Town Classic, headlines a field of 11 evenly matched thoroughbreds for the 73rd running of the $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday.

The 1 1/16-mile stakes is a prep for the $1 million Pacific Classic on August 24.

Trained by George Papaprodromou, Imperative will start from post 2 with Kent Desormeaux again in the saddle. The veteran jockey will be making his fifth consecutive appearance aboard the 4-year-old gelding.

Imperative, owned by KM Racing Enterprise, is coming off a third place finish behind Majestic Harbor in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita four weeks ago. The 4- year-old son of Bernardini defeated Game On Dude by 1 1/2 lengths in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic on April 19.

Earlier this year he was second to Blingo in Santa Anita’s San Antonio Stakes and seventh in the Santa Anita Handicap behind Game On Dude. The gelding has banked $1,194,620 with three wins, four seconds and two thirds from 16 career starts.

Dance With Fate is the only 3-year-old in the field and will break from post 6 with Corey Nakatani on board.

Trained by Peter Eurton, Dance With Fate will be making his first start since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby to California Chrome. He won the Blue Grass Stakes after getting second in Golden Gate Field’s El Camino Real Derby.

As a 2-year-old he posted seconds in the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner Stakes, and was eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Dance With Fate has won three of nine lifetime starts for $680,050.

Here is the field for the San Diego from the rail out: Battier, Victor Espinoza; Imperative, Kent Desormeaux; Frac Daddy, Joe Talamo; Soi Phet, Mike Smith; You Know I Know, Edwin Maldonado; Dance With Fate, Corey Nakatani; Honduran, Drayden Van Dyke; Summer Hit, Rafael Bejarano; Handsome Mike, Mario Gutierrez; Footbridge, Tyler Baze and Fed Biz, Martin Garcia.


The Gilmer Free Press


Major League Baseball - National League
San Francisco at Philadelphia, 1:05 PM - CSN-Bay, Philadelphia, MLB Net, DSS
Miami at Atlanta, 7:10 PM - FS-Florida, SportSouth, MLB Network, DSS
San Diego at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 PM - FS-San Diego, WGN (America), DSS
NY Mets at Milwaukee, 8:10 PM - SNY, FS-Wisconsin, DSS

American League
Boston at Toronto, 12:37 PM - NESN, SNET, DSS
Texas at NY Yankees, 1:05 PM - FS-Southwest, YES, MLB Network, DSS
Houston at Oakland, 3:35 PM - CSN-Houston, DSS
Chicago WSox at Minnesota, 8:10 PM - CSN-Chicago, FS-North, DSS
Cleveland at Kansas City, 8:10 PM - SportsTime Ohio, FS-Kansas City, DSS
Detroit at LA Angels, 10:05 PM - FS-Detroit, West, MLB Network, DSS
Baltimore at Seattle, 10:10 PM - MASN, ROOT-Northwest, MLB Network, DSS

Canadian Football League
Calgary at Edmonton, 9:00 PM - TSN, ESPN 2

New York at Seattle, 10:00 PM - LiveWell
Phoenix at Los Angeles, 10:30 PM - Time Warner, NBA TV

Major League Soccer
Montreal at Real Salt Lake, 10:00 PM - TVA Sports, CW30, DSS

International Soccer
AC Milan vs. Olympiacos FC, 8:00 PM - FS1

EUROPEAN - Russian Open, 8:00 AM - Golf Channel
LPGA - International Crown, 11:30 AM - Golf Channel
CHAMPIONS - Senior British Open, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
PGA - Canadian Open, 4:00 PM - Golf Channel

Tour de France
Stage 18, 8:00 AM - NBCSN

Natural Resources Commission Quarterly Meeting - 07.27.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Natural Resources Commission Quarterly Meeting

1:00 PM, Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stonewall Resort State Park, Roanoke, WV

The next quarterly meeting of the West Virginia Natural Resources Commission is scheduled for Sunday, July 27, 2014, beginning at 1:00 PM at Stonewall Resort State Park in Roanoke, WV in Lewis County.

The public is invited to attend and make comments. Items on the agenda include:

•  Approval of the 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations

•  Approval of the 2015 Fishing Regulations

GCFRN: Back to School Bash - 08.01.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Yard Sale at 326 Little Bull Run Road - July 24-26, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Yard Sale at 326 Little Bull Run Road

(Smith’s Custom Meat Shop)

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 24, 25 and 26, 2014

from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, books, household items, tools

Camping equipment, camouflage clothing

Miscellaneous items too numerous to mention

Rain or shine.

FPWV1011- House For Sale

House for Sale

Charity Softball Tournament - 07.26.14

The Gilmer Free Press

The United Way’s mission is to advance the common good for local residents by building strong families, supporting independent seniors, and nurturing thriving children.

Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital (SJMH) and Sharpe Hospital, of Weston, Davis Medical Center, of Elkins, and United Hospital, of Clarksburg, are all dedicated to supporting the United Way in their county.

The four hospitals are joining forces and participating in a “Central West Virginia Hospital Challenge” to raise money for their respective United Way organizations in a Charity Softball Tournament.

The tournament is planned for Saturday, July 26, 2014 at Robert Bland Middle School Softball Field in Weston, beginning at 8:00 AM.

The first game pits the two Weston Hospitals, followed by the Davis, UHC matchup at 9:30 AM.

Kevin Stalnaker, COO at SJMH, has been involved with United Way for years and is delighted by the interest from the four hospitals and all of their employees.

He said, “The United Way plays an important helping non-profits in the community and our employees, who are very charitable, are thrilled to be able to give back to the community.”

The rain date is Sunday, July 27, 2014.

Weston: Civil War “Living History” Weekend - July 25-27, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Health Department: Bonnie Bus - August 26-27, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Clerk: Notice to Creditors and Beneficiaries - 07.24.14




The administration of the estates(s) of the following deceased is pending before the Clerk of the County Commission of Gilmer County, 10 Howard Street, Glenville WV 26351.

The names and addresses of the personal representative and the personal representative’s attorney are set forth below.

Notice is hereby given that the estate(s) of the following has been opened for probate.  Any interested person objecting to the validity of the will, the qualifications of the personal representative or the venue or jurisdiction of the court, shall file notice of an objection with the County Commission within ninety days after the date of the first publication or within 30 days of service of notice, whichever is later.  If an objection is not timely filed, the objection is forever barred.

All persons having claims against the estate(s) of the said following deceased, whether due or not, are notified to exhibit their claims, with the voucher thereof, legally verified, to the undersigned, at the County Clerk’s Office on or before October 22, 2014  otherwise they may by law be excluded from all benefit of said estate(s).  All beneficiaries of said estate(s) may appear on or before said day to examine said claims and otherwise protect their interests.

Claims against the estate must be filed in accordance with West Virginia Code 44-1-14a.


Stephen F. Bradfield Timothy B. Butcher P.O. Box 100 None Required None Required
Glenville, WV 26351
Junior Moore Jeane Fay Fisher PO Box 324 None Required None Required
Glenville, WV 26351
Bubby K. Ferguson Bubby A. Ferguson 2016 West Maple Street None Required None Required
Lansing, MI 48015
Emogene Stansberry Mawahna Gifford PO Box 22 None Required None Required
Smithville, WV 26178
Willard C. Turner Marguerite C. Turner 1924 Barbecue Road None Required None Required
Normantown, WV 25267


Clerk of Gilmer County Commission
Jean Butcher
10 Howard Street
Glenville, WV 26351

The date of the first publication of this Notice is : July 24, 2014

The Most Important Problem: It’s Not Conflict, It’s Violent Conflict Management

The Gilmer Free Press

In 2014, the growing list of suffering by violent conflict management includes (but is not limited to): more than 10,000 murders and kidnappings in Nigeria, civil war in Syria, escalated terrorism in Iraq, an asymmetrical bombardment in Gaza, and now somebody, some faction, some government shot down a Malaysia Airlines jet and killed 295 human beings.  The cause of the tragedy – a missile – confirmed by a U.S. official, will guide at least one week of media coverage. We’ll bicker and brood about who done it, how and why until the next tragedy and the next and the next. All the while, we’ll ignore the underlying assumption: that violence is natural, inevitable and an acceptable method for problem solving – so long as it’s done by our guys with our weapons on their guys and their ground.

I don’t care who did it. I care that the victims and their families find justice – at least knowing the absolute truth and receiving reparations and support. But, I don’t care who’s to blame, what weapons they used, which countries/leaders are allies/enemies, who hates Malaysians, Americans, Russians, Ukrainians or any of the typical issues fueling analyses from political science talking heads on mainstream media. There’s only one most important problem anyone should care to address: All violence, from state to non-state to domestic varieties, all weapons, from small arms to nuclear bombs, and all industries profiting from human violence, from manufacturers at every level to dealers of every “legal” degree, have only ever caused more violence, war, destruction and suffering all over the world.  This global pro-violence worldview will shoot us all down from the sky unless we – as international citizens of rational mind – reject the outdated, illogical idea that violence is an acceptable, or possible, means for achieving peace.

Let’s finally start listening to and joining with the voices of positive peace – defined by my mentor and dear friend Tom Hastings, author and professor of conflict resolution, as: “peace and justice by peaceable means.” World Beyond War, a nonviolent international movement to abolish war and build a truly sustainable global peace, has a plan in which we can all participate.  Physicians for Social Responsibility have been working for more than 50 years on campaigns to ban nuclear weapons, reverse or mitigate climate change (a current cause of violent conflict in some areas – especially when violence is the preferred method of conflict management choice) and eliminate toxic waste that violently threatens our very existence on Earth. Online university, media service, research institute and peace development network Transcend International, founded by Prof. Dr. Johan Galtung, father of Peace and Conflict studies, aims to educate the global public on current peace and conflict research and peacebuilding practices, including peace journalism, that will create a positive-peace world. There is also the United States Institute for Peace (can you believe it?!), established by Congress to “increase the nation’s capacity” to use nonviolent conflict management methods. USIP had its funding completely eliminated and reinstated between February and April 2011 – a flagrant message to our peacebuilders that pro-violence politicians can and will cut you – if we let them. 

These are just four examples of organizations and people who have been tirelessly working for peace and nonviolence against the raging current of a pro-violence worldview. Let’s give these four, and the many, many others out there, some jet skis already before the fan simply breaks and we’re all just covered in the feces of this big white elephant we’ve raised.

We’ll always have conflict – it’s absolutely natural and inevitable. It’s our beliefs about how we should properly manage, resolve and transform that conflict that determine whether or not hundreds of innocent people are murdered at 32,000 feet, are kidnapped from their homes and schools, or hear a “knock on the roof.”  I’ll let Oxfam America sum it up: “…it is not conflict but conflict management that should be of utmost concern; that is, the ways in which environmental and political stressors interact in the presence of ameliorative or exacerbating institutions are the keys to overcoming violence.”  We’ve got the knowledge, we’ve got the tools, we’ve got the capacity, we’ve got the motivation and we’ve got each other – so let’s get to it.

~~  Erin Niemela - Portland State University ~~

In Gaza, U.S. Citizens are Paying Israel’s Tab

The Gilmer Free Press

A riveting letter is making its rounds from Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor volunteering in Palestine. In it, Dr. Gilbert describes his first-hand account of Israel’s boots on the ground in Gaza – the sounds of F16s, drones and Apache helicopters, “So much made and paid in and by US,” blended with the screams, the smells, the sight of shivers and blood. He pleads, “Mr. Obama – do you have a heart? I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa … I am convinced, 100 percent, it would change history.”

Like President Obama, I’m complicit in this campaign of aggression in Gaza. We all are. The U.S. is using our money to pay for Israel’s party of death.

U.S. taxes are supporting $3.1 billion in Foreign Military Financing to Israel in 2014. Thursday, July 17th, 2014, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $621.6 million in U.S. funding for the U.S.-Israel Missile Defense Program. According to the Congressional Research Service’s April 11th, 2014 report, “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” American taxpayers give Israel’s military campaigns $9.9 million per day – $121 billion in assistance to date.

This money is paying for the destruction of innocence – my tax dollars at work in the massacre of precious children, including a five-month-old baby. I will not be complicit in these crimes against humanity as they’re disguised as self-defense.

It’s a broken record; we’ve heard the lines and the lies before: “We’re only defending ourselves.” This timeless justification for violence has always failed the people. Like Hermann Goering, founder of the Gestapo, voiced at the Nuremberg Trials, “Naturally the common people don’t want war … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Despite the lessons we’ve learned since Nuremberg, it also appears to work in any era – so long as we allow it. Let’s end this great delusion that serves to justify violence and pad the wallets of wartime elites.

What is happening in the conflict is not self-defense. The best defense for the people is an end to violence, which many believe could be achieved by returning to the 1967 borders, allowing refugees of the Nakba to return home and making honest attempts at collaboration toward resolution and reconciliation. Neither Israel’s nor Hamas’ strategies are directed toward peaceful resolution. Both target and terrorize innocent populations, and any use of violence to achieve political goals is morally wrong. I dare say that the greatest proof that peace is possible is that the war profiting elites are working so hard and spending so much money – our tax dollars – to oppose it.

I will not lose hope, however. More and more of us are speaking out about the abuse of our tax dollars and resisting paying war taxes, such as the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee and War Resisters League. And I implore all of us to join these efforts. Because it’s unlikely that President Obama will take up Dr. Gilbert’s offer to spend a night in Palestine, otherwise things might be drastically different: “Nobody with a heart and power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people … The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death. Please. Do what you can. This, this cannot continue.”

~~  Wim Laven ~~

The Stealing of America by the Cops, the Courts, the Corporations and Congress

The Gilmer Free Press

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy

Call it what you will—taxes, penalties, fees, fines, regulations, tariffs, tickets, permits, surcharges, tolls, asset forfeitures, foreclosures, etc.—but the only word that truly describes the constant bilking of the American taxpayer by the government and its corporate partners is theft.

We’re operating in a topsy-turvy Sherwood Forest where instead of Robin Hood and his merry band of thieves stealing from the rich to feed the poor, you’ve got the government and its merry band of corporate thieves stealing from the poor to fatten the wallets of the rich. In this way, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. All the while, the American Dream of peace, prosperity, and liberty has turned into a nightmare of endless wars, debilitating debt, and outright tyranny.

What Americans don’t seem to comprehend is that if the government can arbitrarily take away your property, without your having much say about it, you have no true rights. You’re nothing more than a serf or a slave.

In this way, the police state with all of its trappings—from surveillance cameras, militarized police, SWAT team raids, truancy and zero tolerance policies, asset forfeiture laws, privatized prisons and red light cameras to Sting Ray guns, fusion centers, drones, black boxes, hollow-point bullets, detention centers, speed traps and abundance of laws criminalizing otherwise legitimate conduct—is little more than a front for a high-dollar covert operation aimed at laundering as much money as possible through government agencies and into the bank accounts of corporations.

The rationalizations for the American police state are many. There’s the so-called threat of terrorism, the ongoing Drug War, the influx of illegal immigrants, the threat of civil unrest in the face of economic collapse, etc. However, these rationalizations are merely excuses for the growth of a government behemoth, one which works hand in hand with corporations to profit from a society kept under lockdown and in fear at all times.

Indeed, as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the real motivating factor behind erecting a police state is not to protect the people, but to further enrich the powerful. Consider the following costly line items, all part of the government’s so-called quest to keep us safe and fight terrorism while entrenching the police state, enriching the elite, and further shredding our constitutional rights:

$4.2 billion for militarized police. Almost 13,000 agencies in all 50 states and four U.S. territories participate in a military “recycling” program which allows the Defense Department to transfer surplus military hardware to local and state police. In 2012 alone, $546 million worth of military equipment was distributed to law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

$34 billion for police departments to add to their arsenals of weapons and equipment. Since President Obama took office, police departments across the country “have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.” While police departments like to frame the acquisition of military surplus as a money-saving method, in a twisted sort of double jeopardy, the taxpayer ends up footing a bigger bill. First, taxpayers are forced to pay millions of dollars for equipment which the Defense Department purchases from megacorporations only to abandon after a few years. Then taxpayers find themselves footing the bill to maintain the costly equipment once it has been acquired by the local police.

$6 billion in assets seized by the federal government in one year alone. Relying on the topsy-turvy legal theory that one’s property can not only be guilty of a crime but is also guilty until proven innocent, government agencies have eagerly cashed in on the civil asset forfeiture revenue scheme, which allows police to seize private property they “suspect” may be connected to criminal activity. Then whether or not any crime is actually proven to have taken place, the cops keeps the citizen’s property. Eighty percent of these asset forfeiture cases result in no charge against the property owner. Some states are actually considering expanding the use of asset forfeiture laws to include petty misdemeanors. This would mean that property could be seized in cases of minor crimes such as harassment, possession of small amounts of marijuana, and trespassing in a public park after dark.

$11,000 per hour for a SWAT team raid on a government dissident. The raid was carried out against Terry Porter, a Maryland resident who runs a welding business, is married with three kids, is outspoken about his views of the government, and has been labeled a prepper because he has an underground bunker and food supplies in case things turn apocalyptic. The raiding team included “150 Maryland State Police, FBI, State Fire Marshal’s bomb squad and County SWAT teams, complete with two police helicopters, two Bearcat ‘special response’ vehicles, mobile command posts, snipers, police dogs, bomb disposal truck, bomb sniffing robots and a huge excavator. They even brought in food trucks.”

$3.8 billion requested by the Obama administration to send more immigration judges to the southern border, build additional detention camps and add border patrol agents. Border Patrol agents are already allowed to search people’s homes, intimately probe their bodies, and rifle through their belongings, all without a warrant. As one journalist put it, “The surveillance apparatus is in your face. The high-powered cameras are pointed at you; the drones are above you; you’re stopped regularly at checkpoints and interrogated.” For example, an American citizen entering the U.S. from Mexico was subjected to a full-body cavity search in which she was subjected to a variety of invasive procedures, including an observed bowel movement and a CT scan, all because a drug dog jumped on her when she was going through border security. Physicians found no drugs hidden in her body.

$61 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, one of the most notoriously bloated government agencies ever created. The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers and sub-agencies—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”

$80 billion spent on incarceration by the states and the federal government in 2010. While providing security, housing, food, medical care, etc., for six million Americans is a hardship for cash-strapped states, it’s a gold mine to profit-hungry corporations such as Corrections Corp of America and GEO Group, the leaders in the partnership corrections industry. Thus, with an eye toward increasing its bottom line, CCA has floated a proposal to prison officials in 48 states offering to buy and manage public prisons at a substantial cost savings to the states. In exchange, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and states would have to maintain a 90% occupancy rate for at least 20 years. This has led to the phenomenon of overcriminalization of everyday activities, in which mundane activities such as growing vegetables in your yard or collecting rainwater on your property are criminalized, resulting in jail sentences for individuals who might otherwise have never seen the inside of a jail cell.

$6.4 billion a year for the Bureau of Prisons and $30,000 a year to house an inmate. There are over 3,000 people in America serving life sentences for non-violent crimes. These include theft of a jacket, siphoning gasoline from a truck, stealing tools, and attempting to cash a stolen check. Most of the non-violent offenses which triggered life sentences were drug crimes involving trace amounts of heroin and cocaine. One person imprisoned for life was merely a go-between for an undercover officer buying ten dollars’ worth of marijuana. California has more money devoted to its prison system than its system of education. State spending on incarceration is the fastest growing budget item besides Medicaid.

93 cents an hour for forced, prison labor in service to for-profit corporations such as Starbucks, Microsoft, Walmart, and Victoria’s Secret. What this forced labor scheme has created, indirectly or not, is a financial incentive for both the corporations and government agencies to keep the prisons full to capacity. A good portion of the 2 million prisoners in public facilities are forced to work for corporations, making products on the cheap, undermining free laborers, and increasing the bottom line for many of America’s most popular brands. “Prison labor reportedly produces 100 percent of military helmets, shirts, pants, tents, bags, canteens, and a variety of other equipment. Prison labor makes circuit boards for IBM, Texas Instruments, and Dell. Many McDonald’s uniforms are sewn by inmates. Other corporations—Microsoft, Victoria’s Secret, Boeing, Motorola, Compaq, Revlon, and Kmart—also benefit from prison labor.”

$2.6 million pocketed by Pennsylvania judges who were paid to jail youths and send them to private prison facilities. The judges, paid off by the Mid Atlantic Youth Service Corporation, which specializes in private prisons for juvenile offenders, had more than 5,000 kids come through their courtrooms and sent many of them to prison for petty crimes such as stealing DVDs from Wal-Mart and trespassing in vacant buildings.

$1.4 billion per year reportedly lost to truancy by California school districts, which receive government funding based on student attendance. The so-called “solution” to student absences from school has proven to be a financial windfall for cash-strapped schools, enabling them to rake in millions, fine parents up to $500 for each unexcused absence, with the potential for jail time, and has given rise to a whole new track in the criminal justice system devoted to creating new revenue streams for communities. For example, Eileen DiNino, a woman serving a two-day jail sentence for her children’s truancy violations, died while in custody. She is one of hundreds of people jailed in Pennsylvania over their inability to pay fines related to truancy, which include a variety of arbitrary fees meant to rack up money for the courts. For example, “[DiNino’s] bill included a laundry list of routine fees: $8 for a “judicial computer project”; $60 for Berks constables; $40 for “summary costs” for several court offices; and $10 for postage.” So even if one is charged with a $20 fine, they may end up finding themselves on the hook for $150 in court fees.

$84.9 million collected in one year by the District of Columbia as a result of tickets issued by speeding and traffic light cameras stationed around the city. Multiply that income hundreds of times over to account for the growing number of localities latching onto these revenue-generating, photo-enforced camera schemes, and you’ll understand why community governments and police agencies are lining up in droves to install them, despite reports of wide scale corruption by the companies operating the cameras. Although nine states have banned the cameras, they’re in 24 states already and rising.

$1.4 billion for fusion centers. These fusion centers, which represent the combined surveillance and intelligence efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement, have proven to be exercises in incompetence, often producing irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence, while spending millions of dollars on “flat-screen televisions, sport utility vehicles, hidden cameras and other gadgets.”

In sum, the American police state is a multi-billion dollar boondoggle, meant to keep the property and the resources of the American people flowing into corrupt government agencies and their corporate partners. For those with any accounting ability, it’s clear that the total sum of the expenses being charged to the American taxpayer’s account by the government add up to only one thing: the loss of our freedoms. It’s time to seriously consider a plan to begin de-funding this beast and keeping our resources where they belong: in our communities, working for us.

~~  John W. Whitehead ~~

Movies This Week - 07.24.14

The Gilmer Free Press


Starts Friday, July 07, 2014


Genre: Action, Thriller, Science fiction

The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what she could do with 100%.

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi

The Gilmer Free Press


Starts Friday, July 07, 2014


Genre: Action, Fantasy, Adventure

Now a traveling mercenary, Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) must once again become a hero to help the benevolent king of Thrace protect his people from a savage warlord.

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Ian McShane, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, Rebecca Ferguson, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Aksel Hennie, Reece Ritchie

The Gilmer Free Press

And So It Goes

Starts Friday, July 07, 2014


Genre: Comedy

A self-centered, obnoxious real-estate broker (Michael Douglas) is forced to take over the care of the granddaughter (Sterling Jerins) he never knew existed.

Starring: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Sterling Jerins

Bon Appétit: Potato Salad with No Mayo

The Gilmer Free Press


Recipe makes 6 servings

  2 pounds small new potatoes, quartered
  2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1/2 teaspoon salt
  1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1/2 cup chopped onion
  3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with lightly salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes; drain.

Whisk vinegar, olive oil, mustard, basil, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl; add the potatoes and onion. Toss gently to coat. Let stand until cool, about 30 minutes.

Fold blue cheese and chives into potato salad until blended.

Ask the Doctor: Men Are Suseptible to Osteoporosis, Too


DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a 53-year-old male and have always been thin.
I am 5 feet 10 inches tall and have weighed 120 pounds for the past 33 years.
I lift weights one to three times a week.
A year and a half ago, I had tests that suggested osteopenia, so I had a DXA (DEXA) scan.
It showed osteopenia.
Since then, I have been beefing up on vitamin D and calcium.
On my recent DXA scan, my numbers went down.
My doctor tells me that the osteoporosis numbers are “female based.“
Would my numbers (-1.4) put me in a normal range if there were a chart for men?
Am I doing everything I can do? - S.L.

ANSWER: The numbers you refer to are the numbers from the DXA scan, a scan that shows how robust the bones are.
A score of -1 to -2.5 is osteopenia.
It isn’t osteoporosis, but it’s only one rung away from osteoporosis, the score for which is below -2.5.
These scores are based on women’s bones, but they apply to men as well.
The World Health Organization, as well as the rest of the world, uses them for both genders.
Men do get osteoporosis, especially at older ages, when testosterone production wanes.
Some aspects of your story are troubling.
One is your age.
Men at age 53 usually do not have osteopenia or osteoporosis.
The second troubling feature is the fact that with a year of supplemental calcium and vitamin D, your score decreased.
And the third is your weight, even though you have weighed 120 pounds for 33 years.
You are below normal weight for your height.
You might not be absorbing calcium and other nutrients.
Celiac disease - one of the many conditions that affect mineral absorption - can present as osteoporosis without any other osteoporosis signs or symptoms.
You ought to be checked for celiac disease, well as other digestive problems.
Furthermore, you need to explore other causes of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis in a male of your age could be due to a low production of testosterone, an overactive adrenal gland, a tumor of the parathyroid glands, an overproduction of thyroid hormone, prolonged use of cortisone drugs or excessive intake of alcohol.
Those issues deserve investigation.
Other than that, you’re doing all you can do.

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


•  1851 The Upshur County government was organized in Buckhannon.

•  1861 Fearing entrapment, Confederate Brigadier General Henry A. Wise pulled his troops from Charleston to Gauley Bridge, Fayette County.

•  1868 The governor approved an act declaring Willey’s Fork and Road Fork of Fishing Creek, Wetzel County, to be public highways.

•  1902 Mother Jones faced Judge John Jay Jackson, Jr., in court for disobeying his injunction against her speaking. He ruled that she had violated his court order and the bounds of free speech, but suspended her sentence to prevent widespread protest.

•  1970 Governor Moore publicly denied charges by syndicated columnist Jack Anderson implying that Moore had misused $80,000 in campaign contributions and was being investigated by the Justice Department.

•  1992 Governor Caperton fired Linda Grubb from the State Employment Security Board of Review. Grubb, the wife of convicted Logan County Circuit Court Judge Ned Grubb, had demanded reinstatement to her position after being found not guilty on federal indictment charges.

G-MM™: Meditation Moment - 07.24.14


God’s call is a call to holiness.

However, we stray. We begin in innocence, but our commitment does not last. It is an old story that begins in Genesis and continues. Here Jeremiah laments the unfaithfulness of God’s people. He is talking about us! If the Bible were still being written and the prophets still calling people to return to God, the words would be the same—’Be appalled, O heavens at this! They have forsaken the fountain of living waters and gone to drink at wells that will soon run dry.’ But now is the time to return. For we have seen and heard what others have not. There is only one spring, only one source of living water, and that is the Lord our God. Let us go and proclaim it. We are all called to be holy!

Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13. You are the source of life, O Lord—Ps 35(36):6-11. Matthew 13:10-17.

Laura Moore

The Gilmer Free Press

Laura Moore

Age 102, of Harrisville, WV (formerly of Ellenboro & Pennsboro, WV) departed this life on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at Pine View Nursing Home in Harrisville.

Laura was born January 08, 1912, in Beatrice, WV (Indian Creek) a daughter of the late Thomas N. and Luvenna (Bunner) Johnson. Laura worked as a beamer at the Elyria Lace Company in Elyria, OH and was a member of the Pike Church of Christ.

She is survived by her nephew, Thomas E. Johnson (Beatrice) of LaGrange, OH; niece, Ethel Gordon of Wakeman, OH; close friends, William & Nina Seese of Ellenboro, along with several cousins.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Brackie Moore in 1998; niece, Lucille McDaniel; brother, Al Johnson, 4 half brothers and 9 half sisters.

Funeral services will be 12 PM Friday, July 25, 2014, at Raiguel Funeral Home, Harrisville.

Burial will follow in the Haught Cemetery, Beatrice, WV.

Visitation will be from 11 AM - 12 PM on Friday.

Danny Alan Cook

The Gilmer Free Press

Danny Alan Cook

Age 64, of Birch River, WV went to his heavenly home July 21, 2014.

He was born August 11, 1949 in Gassaway, WV the son of Athena Tinney Cook and the late Charles Burl Cook.

Also preceding him in death was his infant brother, Randy Cook.

Danny was a construction worker, served his country in the U.S. Army.

He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church, Birch River.

The time has come for me to leave this life. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which is the Lord, the righteous judge will award to me on that day.

Left to cherish his memory was his mother, Athena Cook of Birch River, brother, Steve Cook of Birch River, sister, Deb Singleton and husband Jim of Sutton, step son, Burke Harris of Mt. Nebo, nephews, Joe Grogg of Sutton, Steven Cook of Birch River, nieces, Stefani Adkins of Charleston, SC, Shannon Triplett of Sutton and several great nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 PM Friday July 25, 2014 at Trinity Baptist Church, Birch River with the Rev. Ronnie Tinney officiating.

Burial will follow at Birch River Cemetery, Birch River.

Friends may call two hours prior the services at the Church.

Loved by all who knew him, RIP Danny, until we meet again.

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

James Herbie “Bud” Henline

The Gilmer Free Press

James Herbie “Bud” Henline

Age 80, of Clover Fork Road, Orlando, WV,  passed away at his residence on June 07, 2014 following a brief illness.

He was born in Walkersvill, WVe on November 23, 1933 a son of the late James L. Henline and Nora Riffle Henline.

He is survived by three brothers: Robert A. Henline of Warren OH, Charles W. Henline of Warsaw MO, and Waitman “Tom” Henline and wife Violet of Auburn; and three nieces and six nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters: Lucille Bennett and Lenna Hibbs.

Bud was an honored veteran of the United States Army and later retired from the Van Huffel Tube Corp. in Warren, OH with several years of service. He dedicated his free time to his primary passion of restoring old tractors and mowers. He was known for his patience, dedication and attention to detail.

Friends and family will gather for a Graveside Service at 10 AM on Friday August 01, 2014 at the Orlando Cemetery with Reverend Russell Furr officiating.

Military honors will be accorded by the United States Army and the Lewis County Honor Guard.

The Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service at 144 Hackers Creek Rd. in Jane Lew is honored and privileged to serve the family of James Henline.

Robecca Roseellen “Becky” Johnson

The Gilmer Free Press

Robecca Roseellen “Becky” Johnson

Age 56, of Five Forks, WV, passed July 21, 2014.

Becky Johnson departed this world on Monday, July 21, to join loved ones awaiting her in heaven, most especially, her daughter Amanda (“Manny”).

Just as she had bid a temporary farewell to “Manny” in 2004, she has now said a temporary goodbye to her husband Mark, sons Daniel (“Boone”) and Randall (“Jake”), and her precious grandbabies, Dan’s son BoDale and Randall’s daughter Mandy Kay and her mother, Savannah “Moochie” Church.

Becky was born December 06, 1957, the third child and first daughter of Ralph and Lois (Wilson) Cunningham, with whom she has now reunited. For now, she has left behind her younger sister Deeanna (Cunningham) Baxter and her older brothers, Ralph and Randy Cunningham; “Aunt Becky” also leaves behind Ralph’s sons, Evan and Jason Cunningham, Deeanna’s sons, Matthew Cunningham, Ricky and Willie Baxter, and the five little ones to whom she was “Great-Aunt Becky”: Matt’s brood - Case, Alissa, Logan and Braxton Cunningham-and their mom Trish, and Evan’s son Owen; completing her immediate loved ones are Ralph’s wife and mother of Evan and Jason, Debbie Cunningham; Dee’s husband and father of Ricky and Willie, Rick Baxter; Randy’s companion, Doris Farrell, and granddaughters, Sadie and Jordy; and her “other sons,“ Jeff Morris and Michael “Weasel” Wease.

In going to be with her daughter, parents, grandparents and other loved ones, Becky leaves her immediate family in the loving hands of an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins from the Johnson and Cunningham and Wilson clans, many of whom were close by her side during her final days.

Becky’s closest companions, Kate Nichols and Aunt Pammie Sue, helped her “get her house in order” before she had to go. When she went, quietly and peacefully, she was being watched over by an old friend she hadn’t seen for some time, Kelly Dawson, and her little sister, Deeanna.

Calhoun County was always Becky’s home, and she seemed to know and always had a smile for everyone there.

She had a special fondness for the gang she worked with at the DOH in Mt. Zion and delighted in bringing home stories about their shenanigans and telling how much money she had made them put in the Curse Jar.

Becky attended Beech Valley Church her whole life and loved her fellow worshipers, many of whom were also kin. Teaching Sunday school there brought her great joy. Getting her to sing a solo, on the other hand, never happened.

Becky’s favorite place to be was not far from her childhood stomping grounds in Beech Valley: just a short trip up to Five Forks where she and Mark made their home. There she could cook and share meals with family and friends, work in the garden, mow the grass, read, spoil the dogs and kids and grandbabies, or just sit in the peace and quiet of early morning with her coffee and thoughts.

Whether contemplating her strong faith in God and the mysteries of this world and the next, or plotting to play a prank on a co-worker or one of her boys, Becky’s mind, just like the rest of her, was never still-until now.

May the Lord bless her and keep her.


The Gilmer Free Press

2014 >>  WayBackWhen™:  July 24

Today is Thursday, July 24, the 205th day of 2014. There are 160 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

The Gilmer Free Press

“The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.“ - Cicero, 55 BC

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.

On this date:

In 1783, Latin American revolutionary Simon Bolivar (see-MOHN’ boh-LEE’-vahr) was born in Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1862, Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, and the first to have been born a U.S. citizen, died at age 79 in Kinderhook, New York, the town where he was born in 1782.

In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.

In 1911, Yale University history professor Hiram Bingham III found the “Lost City of the Incas,“ Machu Picchu, in Peru.

In 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Turkey, was concluded in Switzerland.

In 1937, the state of Alabama dropped charges against four of the nine young black men accused of raping two white women in the “Scottsboro Case.“

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman announced a settlement in a 53-day steel strike.

In 1959, during a visit to Moscow, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged in his famous “Kitchen Debate” with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts — two of whom had been the first men to set foot on the moon — splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1987, Hulda Crooks, a 91-year-old mountaineer from California, became the oldest woman to conquer Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak.

In 1998, a gunman burst into the U.S. Capitol, killing two police officers before being shot and captured. (The shooter, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., is being held in a federal mental facility.)

In 2002, nine coal miners became trapped in a flooded tunnel of the Quecreek Mine in western Pennsylvania; the story ended happily 77 hours later with the rescue of all nine.

Ten years ago:

Without promising what specific steps he would take, President George W. Bush said in his weekly radio address that his administration was committed to relying on the recommendations of the September 11 commission in waging the war on terrorism.

Former Nixon administration official Fred LaRue, who served a prison term for Watergate, died in Biloxi, Mississippi, at age 75.

Five years ago:

Trying to tamp down a national uproar over race, President Barack Obama acknowledged using unfortunate words in declaring that Cambridge, Massachusetts, police had “acted stupidly” in arresting black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., adding he’d invited the Harvard professor and Sgt. James Crowley, the arresting officer, for “a beer here in the White House.“

One year ago:

The House narrowly rejected, 217-205, a challenge to the National Security Agency’s secret collection of hundreds of millions of Americans’ phone records.

A high-speed train crash outside Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain killed 79 people.

Pope Francis made an emotional plea in Aparecida, Brazil, for Roman Catholics to shun materialism in the first public Mass of his initial international trip as pontiff.

It was announced by Kensington Palace that the newborn son of Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, would be named George Alexander Louis.

Virginia Johnson, half of the renowned Masters and Johnson team of sex researchers, died in St. Louis at age 88.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actor John Aniston is 81

Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant is 79

Comedian Ruth Buzzi is 78

Actor Mark Goddard is 78

Actor Dan Hedaya is 74

Actor Chris Sarandon is 72

Comedian Gallagher is 68

Actor Robert Hays is 67

Former Republican national chairman Marc Racicot (RAWS’-koh) is 66

Actor Michael Richards is 65

Actress Lynda Carter is 63

Movie director Gus Van Sant is 62

Country singer Pam Tillis is 57

Actor Paul Ben-Victor is 52

Actor Kadeem Hardison is 49

Actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth is 46

Actress Laura Leighton is 46

Actor John P. Navin Jr. is 46

Actress-singer Jennifer Lopez is 45

Basketball player-turned-actor Rick Fox is 45

Actor Eric Szmanda is 39

Actress Rose Byrne is 35

Country singer Jerrod Niemann is 35

Actress Summer Glau is 33

Actress Elisabeth Moss is 32

Actress Anna Paquin is 32

Actress Megan Park is 28

Actress Mara Wilson is 27

Rock singer Jay McGuiness (The Wanted) is 24

Actress Emily Bett Rickards (TV: Arrow”) is 23

TV personality Bindi Irwin is 16

WV Lottery - 07.23.14


0-8-1       Number of Winners = 113       Total Payout = $6,860.00


9-9-8-5       Number of Winners = 7       Total Payout = $3,900.00


04-09-15-31-36     Hot Ball: 04    


04-10-12-22-31     Power Ball: 03     Power Play: 5

Gilmer County Extension Office Will Be Offering the Hands-on ATV RiderCourse

The Gilmer Free Press

The ATV Safety Institute’s Golden Rules:

1. Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.

2. Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law - another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway.

3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people.

5. Ride an ATV that’s right for your age.

6. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.

7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.

8. Take a hands-on ATV RiderCourseSM and the free online E-Course.

The Gilmer County Extension Office will be offering the Hands-on ATV RiderCourse later this Summer and Fall for anyone that is 14 years of age and older.

If you are interested in participating in this course or having your children please contact Lisa Montgomery, Extension Agent at 304.462.7061 or Email: “”

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press


Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick has announced that the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) Program has expanded to include all counties currently infested with HWA.

“Additional counties were found to be infested this year so our Plant Industries Division Staff expanded our HWA program so landowners in those counties would be allowed to participate” said Commissioner Helmick.

The hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, is a non-native invasive pest that is quickly decimating hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis and T. caroliniana) in the eastern United States” said Quentin “Butch” Sayers, Assistant Director of PID with WVDA.  “Without long-term control of HWA, eastern and Carolina hemlock will be significantly reduced, if not eliminated, throughout its natural range.” “HWA causes damage to hemlocks by depleting the hemlock’s starch reserves, which in turn reduces the trees’ ability to grow and produce new shoots” said Sayers.  “All ages and size classes of hemlock are susceptible to HWA infestations.”

The Gilmer Free Press

WVDA is now accepting applications from landowners who wish to sign up and participate in the WVDA HWA Program to help protect their hemlock trees. Landowners who want to participate in the HWA Cooperative Program must complete an application and submit it with a $100 deposit that will be applied to your treatment costs. The application can be received by calling the WVDA Charleston Office at (304) 558-2212 or downloading at:

Landowners must apply for the program by September 30th, 2014, provide WVDA with a map of their property, and allow WVDA to evaluate their site to ensure it meets the project qualifications:

•  Only private lands within the project area are eligible.

•  More than 50% canopy cover of hemlocks.

•  A woodlot with a minimum of five acres. Adjacent and otherwise eligible landowners may cooperate to meet the minimum acreage requirement.

•  Landowners with less than five acres may qualify if the proposed treatment area is adjacent to land being managed for HWA.

•  Trees must have more than 50% foliage.

•  Trees may not have been treated within the last four years.

•  Treatment must not pose a safety risk to WVDA field personnel.

•  Pesticides used in treatments must be purchased directly by WVDA.

Treatments usually protect trees four-to-five years. Cost share monies are available, however landowners accepted for the program must pay for a portion of the treatments. Applying for the program does not obligate landowners to participate – they may back out if they feel their portion of the costs is too high.

G-Fin™: High Gasoline Prices Push Up U.S. Consumer Prices

The Gilmer Free Press

U.S. consumer prices rose in June as the cost of gasoline surged, but the overall trend continued to point to a gradual build up of inflationary pressures.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday its Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% last month after May’s 0.4% gain.

Gasoline accounted for two-thirds of the rise in prices last month. In the 12 months through June, the CPI increased 2.1% after a similar rise in May.

Inflation is creeping up as the economy’s recovery becomes more durable, a welcome development for some Federal Reserve officials who had worried that price pressures were too low.

The steady increases have led economists to predict that the main inflation gauge watched by the Fed, currently running below the U.S. central bank’s 2% target, could breach that target by year-end as an acceleration in job growth lifts wages.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer prices to gain 0.3% in June and rise 2.1% from a year-ago.

Gasoline prices jumped 3.3% after increasing 0.7% in May.

Prices for electricity also rose, but slowed from May’s 2.3% increase.

Food prices edged up 0.1% in June, the smallest rise since January. Food prices have now advanced for six straight months.

A drought in California last year has been pushing up prices, but the momentum is ebbing.

Stripping out food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI rose 0.1%, slowing after May’s 0.3% increase.

In the 12 months through June, the core CPI increased 1.9% after rising 2.0% rise in May.

Economists had forecast the core CPI rising 0.2% from May and 2.0% from a year-ago.

The core CPI was held back by declines in prices for new motor vehicles and used trucks.

The cost of shelter moderated a bit as did airline fares and medical care services, which were flat.

Gilmer County Farm Show Ambassador Rules

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Farm Show Ambassador Rules

1. Contestants must have completed (IN FULL) the (A) Application and (B) Essay and (C) Scrapbook and return to the Extension Office NO LATER than 4:00 PM on August 15, 2014.

2. Each contestant must be at least 13 years of age on or before the first day of the Farm Show, and no older than 21.

3. Each contestant must be a good/upstanding member of the community.

4. Each contestant must exhibit at the Farm Show.

5. Any 4-H or FFA member who meets the above requirements is eligible. There can be more than one contestant per club.

6. Each contestant will be judged on a one hundred point scale by:

A. A completed application.

B. A 1-2 page essay on “Why I want to be the Gilmer County Farm Show Ambassador? How being the ambassador would benefit me. What 4-H or FFA means to me and how it helps me with everyday life and preparing for the future.”

C. A scrapbook displaying community service and school activities that show what you have done for your community.

D. An interview with the farm show committee, demonstrating your ability to speak in front of others and answer questions. (Upon receiving your Farm Show Ambassador application, the Farm Show Committee will contact you for an interview.)

Each Point (A-D) is worth 25 points = 100 points.

Grammar and spelling will also be judged by the committee.

7. Once chosen the Farm Show Ambassador must:

A. Be present each day/evening of the Farm Show.

B. Hand out ribbons, trophies, etc.

C. Appear with winners of the different categories for pictures.

D. Wear neat appropriate attire - No Shorts, Skimpy Shirts/Blouses, or open toed shoes. Wear a business casual the night of the coronation, Tuesday (Wearing slacks/jeans, dresses etc. and closed shoes not only gives a more appealing appearance of a ambassador, but helps ensure safety..)

8. A premium of $250 will be awarded to the Farm Show Ambassador.


Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today named Sam England as the chief of the Parks and Recreation section and Jerry Jenkins as the chief of the Law Enforcement section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Jenkins was sworn in this afternoon, and England will assume his post Friday, July 25, 2014. 

“Sam has been with the state parks system for more than 30 years and has overseen great improvements at both Stonewall Resort State Park and Chief Logan State Park. He understands the needs of modern travelers and has been instrumental in a number of advancements, including the creation of an online reservation system and wireless guest services,“ Governor Tomblin said. “I’m confident he will bring new enthusiasm to the job and successfully encourage more tourists to enjoy our beautiful state parks.“

“With nearly 40 years of experience as a natural resources police officer, Jerry truly understands the state’s natural resources laws and brings great expertise to this position,“ Governor Tomblin said. “He is a consummate professional, and I’m confident he will serve the Division of Natural Resources well as the new colonel.“

The Gilmer Free Press

“Sam and Jerry are both outstanding public servants,“ said Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette. “Both men have the talent, skills and are motivated to move the Division of Natural Resources to the next level. We’re lucky to have these two seasoned professionals who can hit the ground running in these important positions.“

England and Jenkins fill the positions left by the recent retirements of State Parks Chief Ken Caplinger and Col. David Murphy.

England started working for West Virginia State Parks as a recreation programs coordinator at North Bend State Park in 1984. Since then he has served as park superintendent at Moncove Lake State Park, assistant superintendent at Greenbrier State Forest and superintendent at Stonewall Resort State Park. Since Stonewall Resort became operated by private contract in 2002, his responsibilities were extended to a statewide basis, and he became one of the leaders in bringing electronic reservations, updated computer systems and wireless customer technology to state parks’ lodges. He holds a wildlife biology degree and a MBA, both from West Virginia University.

The Gilmer Free Press

Col. Jenkins joined DNR’s Law Enforcement Section in 1976 as a conservation officer (now known as natural resources police officer). He was promoted to the ranks of sergeant in 1989, lieutenant in 2000, captain in 2004, major in 2006 and has served as lieutenant colonel since 2007. During his career, he has been chosen district Conservation Officer of the Year three times and State Conservation Officer of the Year in 1989. He also has been named a Distinguished West Virginian and was awarded a Certificate of Honor for Heroism for his efforts during the 1985 flood. Jenkins holds an associate degree in Forestry from Potomac State College and a BS degree from West Virginia University.

West Virginia’s Latest News - 07.23.14

The Gilmer Free Press


Two Pennsylvania residents are in custody charged with allegedly murdering three people in a Wetzel County home back in January.

Pennsylvania State Troopers arrested Samuel Spencer, age 25, and Natasha Burns, age 26, both of Wind Ridge, PA, Monday on three counts of first degree murder.

The pair set fire to a house in the community of Littleton on January 14, 2014 that claimed the lives of residents Michael McDougal, age 63, and Carmen McDougal, age 55, and Jimmy Kisner, age 49, of Aleppo, PA.

Autopsies showed the three were killed before the house was set on fire.


A former Mercer County teacher charged with multiple sexual crimes involving teenagers pleaded guilty Monday.

Jonathan Kirk, age 34, pleaded to five counts of distribution of obscene material, two counts of sexual abuse by a guardian and one count solicitation by a computer.

His sentencing is set for August 25, 2014.

The abuse came to light in 2012 when several PikeView High School students between the ages of 16 and 18 came forward, accusing Kirk of sending them explicit photos and demanding pictures of the girls in return. Two of the victims said Kirk had sexual contact with them.

In November 2012, he pleaded guilty to six count of distribution of obscene matter to a minor and one count of first-degree sexual abuse. However, the judge in the case refused to accept the plea because of the relatively little time Kirk would spend in prison for his crimes.

The latest plea calls for Kirk to serve 30 to 40 years behind bars.

Prosecutors said the plea deal will also keep nearly a dozen girls, former students, from having to testify in court about their abuse.


A Fayette County man was killed Tuesday afternoon when the truck he was working on collapsed on top of him.

Loran Jones, age 66, of Danese had the truck up on blocks when the jacks shifted and pinned him underneath.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The initial investigation indicates that this was just a tragic accident.

This accident does not appear to be drug or alcohol related and there is no indication of foul play at this time.


The investigation in Mason County that resulted in the arrests this week of Carla Adkins, age 26, of Ashton and Jimmie Edwards, age 24, of Milton.

They are charged with felony child neglect resulting in death.

Adkins and Edwards would take WIC money and purchase infant’s formula only to return the product for cash and use the money to buy meth.

The boy was only fed whole milk, which he was too young to receive.

The boy’s stomach began to bleed and then the organs began to fail and brain development did not happen.

The child died of severe anemia based on malnutrition.

Carson Adkins died March 2013.

Adkins told troopers she knew her son was sick and needed to see a doctor but put it off.

State Police says infant was only seen one time and that was when he was five months old.

Both Adkins and Edwards are being held on $500,000 bail each at the Western Regional Jail.


A Nicholas County man is dead after a wreck Monday night in a remote part of that county.

John Henry Kinser, age 56, of Belva, was killed when he was thrown out of his vehicle as it ran 225 feet down a mountain.

The rollover accident happened around 8:00 PM Monday, but Kinser’s passenger could not get out of the area to get help until 7:30 AM Tuesday.


A retired West Virginia coal miner has appeared before a Senate panel in Washington, urging Congress to clear a backlog of claims by fellow miners suffering from blacklung disease.

Robert Bailey of Princeton appeared before a panel of lawmakers investigating claims that many miners with black lung disease have to wait years to have their benefits cases resolved.


A West Virginia health official says a patient who developed bacterial meningitis led investigators to a pain management clinic where authorities say they found syringes were being reused.

Health officials in have asked patients of Valley Pain Management in McMechen (muhk-MAY’-kuhn) to be tested for blood-borne infectious diseases as a precaution.


A report out finds West Virginia ranks 37th in the nation in children’s well-being.

The report by the private Annie E. Casey Foundation found the well-being of children in the state has improved over the past 20 years but more needs to be done.


Silver Airways has announced it will begin offering nonstop flights from Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport in October.

Mid-Ohio Valley manager Jeff McDougle says the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved Silver Airways to provide the new service.


The Triple A says gas prices nationwide are tumbling because of abundant refinery production.

That has led to declining pump prices in the U.S. for 25 consecutive days.

In West Virginia, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas now goes for $3.67.

Last week’s average was $3.72.

Pump prices range from a low of $3.47 in Huntington to a high of $3.76 in Bridgeport.

Movie Review: ‘Sex Tape’ - Gags, Hilarity Ensue in Satisfying

Comedy, it seems, is a lot like sex. There’s foreplay, in the form of a set-up, followed by a crescendo of excitement and release created by a mysterious combination of rhythmic repetition and an element of surprise that’s hard to define but easy to recognize when it works. Climax either comes — in the form of laughter — or it doesn’t.

By that measure, “Sex Tape,” about a married couple whose intimate home movie has been accidentally shared with the world, satisfies, albeit in a way that’s less than earth-moving. There are recurring gags — some of which work and some of which don’t — and one very nice surprise. Rob Lowe (who, as it happens, was once the star/victim of his own sex tape) nearly steals the show in a hilariously demented cameo that is — I’m sorry, but there’s no other way to say it — the comic orgasm of the movie.

But first, the foreplay.

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Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz play Jay and Annie, whose boudoir routine has become, well, routine, after having two kids. To spice up their love life, they decide to make a video of themselves having sex, which Jay inadvertently shares when he syncs his iPad with an unknown number of iPads that he has given away as presents. From that point on, the movie is about Jay and Annie’s attempts to track down and delete the copies of the offending video.

But getting to that part takes a while longer than is, strictly speaking, necessary. A substantial chunk of “Sex Tape” is devoted to flashbacks of Jay and Annie in college, when they were, the movie assures us, randy little sex weasels. The movie contains a fair amount of naked derrieres, both his and hers, and contortions you should probably not try at home.

Other scenes introduce some of Annie and Jay’s married friends, including a couple played by Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper. Although necessary for exposition, these scenes are hardly hilarious.

But there also needs to be a reason for the couple to be so upset about the release of their tape. After all, these days, sex videos are rarely career-enders.

That’s where Lowe enters the picture, in the role of Hank Rosenbaum, the chief executive of a family-oriented toy company that’s considering hiring Annie as a blogger and social-
media marketer. Because the job depends on a wholesome image, Annie is worried that Hank — who was given one of those tainted iPads containing her job proposal — will be too shocked to hire her if he sees the video.

This is when the movie gets good.

Annie and Jay visit Hank’s home, where the plan is for Jay to look for the iPad while Annie distracts Hank. Hank, however, turns out to be a tattooed, cocaine-using freak whose mansion, which is decorated with portraits of Hank in the guise of various animated Disney characters and stocked with sex paraphernalia, is guarded by an attack dog.

Too over the top? Not hardly. This extended sequence, which defies all logic, restraint and good taste, is the film’s centerpiece, and Lowe’s performance is great, good-natured fun.

It’s all downhill from there. Despite another late cameo — by an uncredited actor, the mention of whose name would only ruin the delight of seeing him play a porn entrepreneur — the movie’s last 30 minutes feel anticlimactic, after Lowe’s tour de force.

Segel and Diaz are gifted and game comedians, with a lot of audience appeal. But Lowe clearly upstages them, consummating their “Sex Tape” — and making you want to roll over and have a cigarette — while there’s still one reel to go.

★ ★ ½

R for sex, nudity, vulgarity and drug use. 90 minutes.

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