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Program | Travel | Tour

Program, Travel, Tour

GSC Students and Faculty Travel Abroad

GLENVILLE, WV—Some studies have found that less than 10% of higher education students in the United States travel abroad at some point prior to their graduation. Through several initiatives, Glenville State College is aiming to provide more opportunities for our students to experience the cultural exchange that happens when learning is explored on a global scale. In addition to new projects like Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses where students get to interact with their peers in other countries, GSC students are also participating in traditional study abroad trips.

Just this summer a group of students and faculty traveled to London for a study abroad experience. Members of the GSC Honors Program had discussed the idea of such a trip and worked hard to make it a reality. They talked about who would go and what they would do while they were there, but first they had to raise the money to cover the travel expenses. They held spaghetti dinners, basket raffles, and collected donations to pay for the travel expenses of the trip.

The Free Press WV
(L-R) Melissa Davis, Morgan Allen, Dr. Jonathan Minton, Dr. Sallie Anglin, Larisa Gordon,
and Nancy and Dennis Wemm pose for a photo in front of London’s Tower Bridge


The students who attended were Morgan Allen, Larisa Gordon, and Melissa Davis. They agree that the ability to see another culture firsthand was truly unique. “I have a newfound respect for how different cultures interact all living together as one,” said Allen. “I enjoyed seeing the sights of London and the history behind them. After my study abroad experience, I have gained confidence and drive to continue traveling in the future,” added Gordon. Allen and Gordon are both Honors Program Students and Davis is a Hidden Promise Scholar.

While in London the group toured art museums, castles, and Stonehenge. They also took part in a theater class and visited sites where popular movies like the Harry Potter series had been filmed. In addition to the students, GSC Professor of Communications Dennis Wemm and his wife Nancy, GSC associate Professor of English Dr. Jonathon Minton, and former professor Dr. Sallie Anglin took part in the trip.

“Employers throughout the U.S. consistently emphasize the advantages of global competencies in the hiring process. These competencies may be acquired through education abroad, which now includes internships or service-learning projects. What this means for students is that, in addition to being fun, traveling is also an investment in one’s career after college. All other things being equal, Melissa, Morgan and Larisa may be offered jobs precisely because they participated in an education abroad experience,” said Dr. Megan Gibbons, GSC Assistant Professor of Spanish and Director of International Programs.

In a world where nearly every occupation is untouched by globalization, experiences like these are very valuable for students. Plans are being made for other study abroad trips specifically for criminal justice and environmental science students as well as trips to World War II battle sites. Currently, eleven students have signed up for the criminal justice in London trip being offered in May 2016.  Other destinations available to students next year include Canada, Germany, and Mexico.

Students in the Honors Program extend their thanks to community members who donated to their fundraisers and specifically to the Corner Stone Café, Waco Oil and Gas, Flying W Plastics, Glenville Advance Auto Parts, Joe and June Evans, the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department, Watch Me Grow Daycare, the Glenville State College Office of Admissions, and the GSC Foundation for helping make their trip possible.
For more information about programs such as these, contact Gibbons at or 304.462.6328.

Troy Elementary ABBITs Trip

The Troy Elementary ABBITs(a’s and b’s because I try) traveled to
Blennerhassett Island in Parkersburg on May 28, 2015.

Students took the ferry to the island.

They received a tour of the mansion and a horse drawn carriage around the island.

The following students participated:
Tierra Law(6), Ally Frymier(6), Ty Wellings(6), Jo Lilly (5) and Zack Collins(6).

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia (GoToWV) Unveils 2015 Official State Travel Guide

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia (GoToWV), joined by the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, local businesses, and travelers, unveiled the 2015 Official State Travel Guide at the I-77 South Welcome Center in Williamstown, West Virginia.

“This year’s travel guide provides folks with everything they need to plan a fun and exciting getaway with friends and family.  Combined with recommendations from our knowledgeable and friendly staff at our Welcome Centers, this guide can help you map out your wild, wonderful West Virginia adventure,” Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin said.

The Gilmer Free Press


Mark Lewis, President and CEO of The Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said he was pleased to assist in hosting the official debut of the 2015 Official State Travel Guide. He went on to say, “The guide showcases all the gems that make West Virginia shine. Here in the Greater Parkersburg area, that includes a variety of unique attractions, from the 19th century elegance of Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park to the promise of outdoor adventure on the North Bend Rail Trail.”

The 2015 Official State Travel Guide, produced by Miles, features whitewater rafting on the cover. The guide is divided into nine geographic travel regions and offers suggestions for outdoor recreation; craft beer, wine and spirits; dining; entertainment; and more. A 2015 calendar of events is listed in the back of the guide.

Request your free copy of the 2015 Official State Travel Guide online, from a member of the GoToWV Team at 800.225.5982 or pick up one at one of the many Welcome Centers and tourist attractions in West Virginia.

Find your adventure in West Virginia at www.GoToWV.com or by calling 800.225.5982.

You can also join the conversation and share your wild, wonderful stories on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoToWV or on Twitter and Instagram @GoToWV with #GoToWV.

Annie’s Project to Be Offered Again by WVU Extension Service - Deadline Approaching

The Gilmer Free Press


Annie’s Project, the popular program which provides risk management education for women in agriculture, is coming back to our local area through the West Virginia University Extension Service.

An advanced level is being added for participants who completed the original training.

Annie’s Project provides training, resources and networking opportunities to help West Virginia women build viable, efficient and sustainable farm businesses.

The first courses cover everything from business planning, finances and marketing to food safety and insurance.

The second level teaches business, estate, retirement and succession planning.

Both groups can expect meaningful networking opportunities that extend well beyond the course.

The program will be offered in Sutton, WV as well as other locations around state during the winter and spring months.

The fee for the course is $25, and includes materials and refreshments.

Some financial aid is available for those who find the cost prohibitive.

Classes are scheduled to start January 20, 2015, at 6:00 PM at the Braxton County High School.

Please register by January 16, 2015 by contacting one of the following WVU Extension Offices- Gilmer, Braxton, or Lewis.

For questions contact one of the following WVU Extension Agents, Daisy Bailey at 304.462.7061 (Gilmer County), Debbie Friend at 304.765.2809 (Braxton County), Bruce Loyd at 304.269.4660 (Lewis County)

By using local experts to provide instruction, Annie’s Project has built a solid track record of success in more than 34 states.

The WVU Extension Service is partnering with the WVU Small Farm Center, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE), West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition (WVFFC), West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit of the Virginias and Farm Service Agency to provide the training in West Virginia.

Boeing 797

Get Ready It’s Almost Here

BOEING 797 It can comfortably fly 10,000 Miles (16,000 km) at Mach 0.88 or 654 mph (1,046 km/h) with 1000 passengers on board! They have kept this secret long enough. This shot was taken last month.


The Gilmer Free Press


The BOEING 797 Boeing is preparing this 1000 passenger Jet Liner that could reshape the Air Travel Industry. Its radical “Blended Wing Fuselage” design has been developed by Boeing in cooperation with NASA Langley Research Centre. The mammoth aircraft will have a wing span of 265 feet compared to 211 feet of its 747, and it’s been designed to fit within the newly created Air Terminals for the 555 seat Airbus A380, which is 262 feet wide.

The new 797 is Boeing’s direct response to the Airbus A380, which has racked up orders for 159 already. Boeing decided to kill its 747X Stretched Super Jumbo in 2003 after little interest was shown for it by Airline Companies, but continued to develop its “Ultimate Airbus Crusher”, the 797 at its Phantom Works Research Facility in Long Beach, California. The Airbus A380 had been in the works since 1999 and has accumulated $13 Billion in development costs, which gives Boeing a huge advantage. More so because Airbus is thus committed to the older style tubular structure for their aircraft for decades to come.


The Gilmer Free Press


There are several big advantages in the “Blended Wing Fuselage” design, the most important being the “Lift to Drag” ratio which is expected to increase by an amazing 50%, resulting in an overall weight reduction of the aircraft by 25%, making it an estimated 33% more fuel efficient than the A380, and thus making the Airbus’s $13 Billion Dollar investment look pretty shaky.“High Airframe Rigidity” is another key factor in the “Blended Wing Fuselage” technology. It reduces turbulence and creates less stress on the airframe which adds to fuel efficiency, giving the 797 a tremendous 10,000 Mile range with 1,000 passengers on board cruising comfortably at Mach 0.88 or 654 MPH, which gives it another advantage over the tube-and-wing designed A380’s 570 MPH.


The Gilmer Free Press


The exact date for introduction of the 797 is as yet unclear, but the battle lines are clearly drawn in the high-stakes war for future civilian aircraft supremacy.

The Gilmer Free Press

Annie’s Project to Be Offered Again by WVU Extension Service

The Gilmer Free Press


Annie’s Project, the popular program which provides risk management education for women in agriculture, is coming back to our local area through the West Virginia University Extension Service.

An advanced level is being added for participants who completed the original training.

Annie’s Project provides training, resources and networking opportunities to help West Virginia women build viable, efficient and sustainable farm businesses.

The first courses cover everything from business planning, finances and marketing to food safety and insurance.

The second level teaches business, estate, retirement and succession planning.

Both groups can expect meaningful networking opportunities that extend well beyond the course.

The program will be offered in Sutton, WV as well as other locations around state during the winter and spring months.

The fee for the course is $25, and includes materials and refreshments.

Some financial aid is available for those who find the cost prohibitive.

Classes are scheduled to start January 20, 2015, at 6:00 PM at the Braxton County High School.

Please register by January 16, 2015 by contacting one of the following WVU Extension Offices- Gilmer, Braxton, or Lewis.

For questions contact one of the following WVU Extension Agents, Daisy Bailey at 304.462.7061 (Gilmer County), Debbie Friend at 304.765.2809 (Braxton County), Bruce Loyd at 304.269.4660 (Lewis County)

By using local experts to provide instruction, Annie’s Project has built a solid track record of success in more than 34 states.

The WVU Extension Service is partnering with the WVU Small Farm Center, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE), West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition (WVFFC), West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit of the Virginias and Farm Service Agency to provide the training in West Virginia.

Calling All Bird Lovers! January 16-18, 2015, Is “For the Birds”

Calling All Bird Lovers! North Bend State Park’s Winter Wonder Weekend
January 16-18, 2015, Is “For the Birds”

Bird lovers and other winter outdoors enthusiasts are invited to flock to the 2015 Winter Wonder Weekend at North Bend State Park January 16-18, 2015.

The theme for this annual event is “For the Birds” and will feature bird-related programs, crafts and activities.

Outdoor opportunities will include sleigh riding (weather permitting) and hikes.

The weekend begins Friday afternoon, January 16, and concludes Sunday, January 18, 2015.

Featured guest Bill Beatty of Wellsburg, West Virginia, will provide interesting theme-related programs throughout the weekend.

The Gilmer Free Press
Winter Wonder Weekend 2014


Friday evening features dinner, a family dessert contest and hot beverage bar. Saturday offers a winter bird hike, crafts, a trip to Harrisville, and post-dinner entertainment by Stepping Stone Band.

Sunday is wrap-up day with a morning devotional and final programs.

Games, crafts and other activities will be available at various times.

Reservations for rooms, cabins and meals should be made by January 09, 2015.

Reservations are honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Weekend information is online at www.northbendsp.com under the “events” tab or by calling Wendy Greene at 304.558.2754.

The weekend cost will be $145 per person based on double occupancy. Single occupancy reservations are $170. The rate includes two nights lodging in either the lodge or a cabin, five meals and registration fee, which includes a craft, door prizes and all weekend activities. Lodging for children ages 12 and younger is free. Family rates for cabin occupancy are available.

North Bend State Park is located in Ritchie County near Cairo and Harrisville.

The park is open year-round and is known for its hospitality, service and family oriented atmosphere.

The park hosts Winter Wonder and Nature Wonder weekends annually in addition to multiple special weekend and overnight packaged rates.

To learn more, visit www.northbendsp.com or call 304.643.2931.

“First Day” Hikes at West Virginia State Parks in 2015 - Resolve to Get Outdoors

West Virginia – It’s never early to think about New Year’s resolutions. A healthy outlook combined with getting outdoors more is a good 2015 combo. At least five areas in the West Virginia state park system will offer First Day Hikes January 01, 2015

Participating in the First Day Hikes challenge will be Kanawha State Forest, Blackwater Falls State Park, Cacapon Resort State Park, Pipestem Resort State Park and Twin Falls Resort State Park.

“It is West Virginia’s invitation to get outdoors as one of the 50 state park systems participating in America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. Hiking or walking at a state park or forest is an activity open to anyone who comes to visit,“ said West Virginia State Parks Programming Coordinator Sissie Summers. “Parks and forests operated by the West Virginia state park system do not charge an admission fee, so it’s fun exercise, hiking beautiful trails at no cost.“

The Gilmer Free Press

“We’re venturing out again the first day of the year in 2015,“ said Kevin Dials, assistant superintendent of Kanawha State Forest, which is near the state capitol in Charleston. Dials led a 3-mile First Day Hike January 01, 2012, with more than 120 people participating. In 2013 and 2014, Dials had close to 200 people hiking and walking. “It’s a great day and we’re looking forward another First Day Hike event at Kanawha State Forest,“ Dials said.

Massachusetts state parks began offering First Day Hikes more than 23 years ago. The National Association of State Park Directors issues a challenge to all park directors nationwide to establish similar First Day hikes.

“Hiking is a year-round activity and the experience is different each time, depending upon the seasons and temperatures,“ said Paulita Cousin, naturalist at Blackwater Falls State Park. The Jan. 1 departure times are 10 AM at Blackwater Falls, 2 PM at Kanawha State Forest, 10 AM at Cacapon Resort, and 1 PM at Pipestem Resort.

“The First Day Hike is open to anyone and leaders will provide hiking program information to those enjoying the first day of the year outdoors,“ Summers said.

Hikers must participate in one the five scheduled hikes to receive a First Day Hike patch. The log card supplied by the hike leader is for recording the hiked distance. Miles are tallied and reported to the national organization and West Virginia patches, new for 2015, will be mailed following the event upon receipt of the log card.

The First Day Hike is one of the special hikes on the West Virginia State Park Hiking Program. However, unlike other special hikes, it is not necessary to be enrolled in the Hiking Program to receive the First Day Hike patch. The Hiking Program is a nominal-fee-based, self-directed outdoor pursuit that logs miles hiked and includes a walking stick reward and cane shields for various mileage plateaus. “Special hikes” are also recognized by cane shields.

Individuals planning to participate in a First Day Hike should arrive at least 15 minutes before the starting time. Hikers should bring water and wear layers of clothing and sturdy, warm hiking boots or shoes, as well as hats and gloves. Hikes will depart on time and return to the starting point. Additional information and other areas providing guided First Day Hikes will be posted on www.wvstateparks.com

Annie’s Project to Be Offered Again by WVU Extension Service

The Gilmer Free Press


Annie’s Project, the popular program which provides risk management education for women in agriculture, is coming back to our local area through the West Virginia University Extension Service.

An advanced level is being added for participants who completed the original training.

Annie’s Project provides training, resources and networking opportunities to help West Virginia women build viable, efficient and sustainable farm businesses.

The first courses cover everything from business planning, finances and marketing to food safety and insurance.

The second level teaches business, estate, retirement and succession planning.

Both groups can expect meaningful networking opportunities that extend well beyond the course.

The program will be offered in Sutton, WV as well as other locations around state during the winter and spring months.

The fee for the course is $25, and includes materials and refreshments.

Some financial aid is available for those who find the cost prohibitive.

Classes are scheduled to start January 20, 2015, at 6:00 PM at the Braxton County High School.

Please register by January 16, 2015 by contacting one of the following WVU Extension Offices- Gilmer, Braxton, or Lewis.

For questions contact one of the following WVU Extension Agents, Daisy Bailey at 304.462.7061 (Gilmer County), Debbie Friend at 304.765.2809 (Braxton County), Bruce Loyd at 304.269.4660 (Lewis County)

By using local experts to provide instruction, Annie’s Project has built a solid track record of success in more than 34 states.

The WVU Extension Service is partnering with the WVU Small Farm Center, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE), West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition (WVFFC), West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit of the Virginias and Farm Service Agency to provide the training in West Virginia.

UHC and Core to Dedicate a Rose for Inclusion on Donate Life’s Float in 2015 Rose Parade

The Gilmer Free Press

United Hospital Center and Center for Organ Recovery & Education to Dedicate
a Rose for Inclusion on Donate Life’s Float in 2015 Rose Parade

Each New Year’s Day, the world focuses its attention on Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game: a festival of flowers, music and sports unequaled anywhere in the world. A tradition dating back to the 19th century, the Tournament of Roses Parade is America’s New Year Celebration®.

Bruce Carter, president of United Hospital Center recently signed a Rose Vial with a dedication message for a rose that will appear on the Donate Life Float in the 2015 Rose Parade. The Donate Life Float is sponsored by Organ Procurement Organizations across the country including CORE, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education, the not-for-profit organ procurement organization that covers West Virginia.

“By participating in this event we are honoring those who have donated life to others,” said Carter.  “Donated tissue is transplanted at UHC, which enhances the lives of many North Central West Virginians.”

Each dedicated rose is placed in a vial that carries a unique, personal message of hope and remembrance to honor organ donors, recipients and those touched by organ, tissue and cornea donation. Altogether, these roses create a Dedication Garden that is a featured design element on the Donate Life float each year.

“We are happy to celebrate with the nation, West Virginians who have donated life,” said Juanita Alfred, RN, critical care educator/supervisor at UHC. “It is with deepest gratitude that we honor these families and celebrate the gifts of life given.”

The theme of the 12th annual Donate Life Rose Parade float is “The Never-Ending Story,” featuring butterflies emerging from storybooks to symbolize the enduring power of organ, tissue and cornea donation and transplantation.

The Gilmer Free Press
Standing is Michelle Lester, RN, BSN, professional services liaison with Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE);
Juanita Alfred, RN, clinical educator and supervisor of critical care at United Hospital Center (UHC)
and seated is Bruce Carter, president of UHC signing a rose vial that will appear
on the Donate Life Float in the 2015 Rose Parade.
Each dedicated rose is placed in a vial that carries a unique, personal message
of hope and remembrance to honor organ donors, recipients and those touched by organ,
tissue and cornea donation. Altogether, these roses create a Dedication Garden that is
a featured design element on the Donate Life float each year.
The theme of the 12th annual Donate Life Rose Parade float is
“The Never-Ending Story,” featuring butterflies emerging from storybooks to symbolize
the enduring power of organ, tissue and cornea donation and transplantation.


The purpose of the multifaceted national campaign is to extend the impact of the Rose Parade participation to all corners of the country and ensure a once-in-a-lifetime guest experience, including:

• An effective national and regional PR campaign that places hundreds of stories each year

• Special events for float participants, sponsor representatives and their guests

• Float and floragraphs decorating operations, supplies and volunteer support

• Support for more than 60 local floragraph finishing media events nationwide

• Thousands of dedicated roses that honor donors, recipients and transplant candidates nationally

Each and every New Year, the Donate Life Rose Parade float’s universal, emotional message and the float participants’ moving stories of hope in the face of adversity communicate an uplifting message that inspires people worldwide to donate life. Visit the official Donate Life Float website: www.DonateLifeFloat.org

The 2015 Donate Life Rose Parade Float will be seen by 800,000 spectators, up to 40 million U.S. television viewers, and tens of millions more through news coverage inspired by the deeply meaningful purpose of our parade participation:

• 114 float participants (30 recipient riders, 12 living donor walkers and 72 floragraph honorees) sponsored by organ, eye and tissue donation and transplant organizations inspire news stories that air and publish throughout the three-month season of giving.

• Thousands of roses dedicated by families, hospitals and advocates fill the float with personal messages of love, hope and remembrance.  These roses help to rally communities to remember and honor donors and their living legacies.

• 1,500 volunteer float decorators bring the float to life in front of TV cameras. Parade and Float Theme Each and every year, the Donate Life Float Committee draws upon the Rose Parade theme for inspiration as we craft our float theme, design and national media campaign.

The 2015 Rose Parade theme, Inspiring Stories, is a natural starting point for the Donate Life float, which from the beginning has been about people and their courage in the face of adversity.

Personal Hygiene To Be Donated to Local Elementary Schools

Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital Chief Financial Officer Dodie Arbogast had a terrific idea several months ago.

She realized that there were many young students in Lewis County who might not have accessibility to personal hygiene products.

The Gilmer Free Press
SJMH staff members who participated in stuffing the hygiene bags
(L-R) Kristi Gannon, Peggy Burkhammer, and Tiffany Lowther


Consol Energy was kind enough to provide a grant to make up plastic bags which contain soap, shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, dental floss, and tooth brushes provided by dental hygienist Tammy Thomason.

In the next few weeks close to 1200 students will be receiving these bags.

UHC’s Holds Annual Celebration of Life for Cancer Survivors - 11.16.14

The Gilmer Free Press
12:30 PM, Sunday, November 16 at the Bridgeport Conference Center

From family members to friends, everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by cancer. At 12:30 PM, on Sunday, November 16, 2014, at the Bridgeport Conference Center, the Cecil B. Highland, Jr., & Barbara B. Highland Cancer Center at United Hospital Center will hold its 15th annual Celebration of Life.

Since the events inception in 1999, cancer survivors, their family members and close friends, along with physicians, nurses, social workers and other cancer caregivers at UHC have helped to raise awareness about the battle against cancer.

“This poignant event allows those living with cancer an opportunity to share their stories, learn from oncology experts at UHC and spend time discovering how to enjoy life after the diagnosis of cancer,” said Linda Carte, RN, MSN, AOCN, director of cancer services.  “At the same time we will be honoring these cancer survivors, patients and their guests with the inspiration that truly there is life after a cancer diagnosis—and it’s worth celebrating.”

Cancer survivors and cancer patients from UHC are invited to attend with a guest this event that is held in their honor.  The complimentary program of information, inspiration, laughter, brunch and fellowship will feature Hampstead Stage Company, a national touring theatre company from New Hampshire.  They will be performing Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. 

Each year the cancer center recognizes an individual at Celebration of Life with the Guardian Angel Award.  This is a person who provided significant support to a cancer survivor throughout the survivor’s diagnosis and treatment.

“The Guardian Angel Award has become a cherished, annual honor. It is the one day each year that we pause to recognize that special person who has helped a family member, friend, neighbor or coworker,” said Carte.  “A nominee is someone who has provided significant support throughout the survivor’s diagnosis and treatment.”

If you would like to nominate someone, please send a description of the nominee’s qualifications.  The nomination should be 250 words or less and should reflect how the nominee comforted, uplifted and supported someone who has battled cancer.  Be sure to include your name and a daytime phone number, as well as the full name of your nominee.  Send nominations to Public Relations, United Hospital Center, 327 Medical Park Drive, Bridgeport, WV 26330.  The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 12, 2014.

Both the event and award provides an opportunity for cancer survivors to connect with other survivors, celebrate milestones and recognize the healthcare providers, family, and friends who have supported them along the way. It is a day for cancer survivors to stand together and show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful, productive and even inspiring.

Cancer survivorship is an important issue as it affects nearly 14 million people in the United States.  An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnoses, through the balance of his or her life.  “Celebration of Life ‘puts a face’ on cancer, while at the same time providing hope to all that fight it,” Carte said. “No longer do we need to think the worst when we hear the word ‘cancer’, but rather we need to remember that more people are living longer and better quality lives after cancer than ever before.” 

Active Shooter Mock Drill at Gilmer County High School

Gilmer County First Responders
Hold Emergency Drill at Gilmer County High School

The Gilmer Free Press

It was a cold morinig when three teen shooters at Gilmer County High School caused the school officials call for help in a really bad situation.

How fast could police, fire department respond and medics help the victims? How quickly they could spot and arrest the shooters? That was the focus of a mock drill at Gilmer County High School last Saturday.

Glenville City Police, West Virginia State Police, and the Gilmer County Sheriff officers were the first to respond when the call for help was announce by Lewis-Gilmer E-911 center. Shortly after Glenville State College Campus police responded and kept the cars and parents from entering the school area.

The screams were the first thing officers heard when they entered the high school. They were coming from all directions.

Police officer soon learned four students were shot and three teen gunmen were on the loose. Shooters were not together which made the search more difficult.

It was a mock drill where every minute counted. It was staged by request of Gilmer County Schools Superintendent Gabe DeVano from RESA VII, Gilmer County High school Principal Nasia Butcher, City of Glenville Police and Glenville K-9 unit, Gilmer County Sheriff, West Virginia State Police,  GSC Campus Police, Gilmer County Fire Department, Gilmer County EMS, and Gilmer County Office of Emergency Management in case the real thing strikes.

“Even though we may have seen it before and we have acted upon it, we can always learn from our lessons and our mistakes,” said Gilmer County Sheriff Larry Gerwig who was the incident commander for this drill.

This simulation came at a time when there have been several school shootings in the nation.

The officials succeeded in stopping the shooting. All three shooters were shot and killed.

Since the shooters were at random locations at school making it more difficult. One of the shooter looked and acted suicidal before he was shot.

The shooters also manage to shoot a State Trooper. It was not life threatening since he was shot in the leg. He managed to stop the bleeding himself and was right back to search.

Two parents managed to get in school from side door. No one was supposed to cross the line established by the first responder. They were spotted by police and escorted out of school. They were lucky, they could have gotten arrested.

Shooters also managed to shoot containers with chemicals in a lab which resulted in calling the Hazmat unit as well.

Once the scene was cleared by the police, and all the shooters taken care of, the medics arrived to help the injured student and to remove the three students who got killed by the shooters.

“Doing it at a school…it’s a different element, everyone did a great job. There are always some improvements. But if I were to give them a grade it would be an A” said School Safety official Bill Beakstaff from RESA VII.

And that’s why drill organizers say doing this simulation inside a school is important, because in a real-life situation, long halls can turn into what officers call “fatal funnels.” It’s just one exercise in this drill that first responders must master.

“I like to thank the students, teacher, superintendent, principal and all the staff for this drill”, said Sheriff Gerwig.

During the mock drill principal was on the phone calling the responders. Cameras in school were great help for finding the shooters.

Saturday was chosen because the school was closed and in case the parents did not know this was a mock drill, they would not be stressed because their kids were already at home.

Sheriff Gerwig also mentioned all the sheriffs in the state have signed so in case of an emergency they can cross county line to help with emergencies.

Martin Hess, the Gilmer County Fire Chief said: “I am very thankful for the drill and if there is ever a real emergency all the unit will be there and work together. A lot to learn and a lot were leaned. If there was a mistake to be made not was the time, because in real emergency we cannot afford it.”

At this point no one knows about the motive, but it is under investigation.

44 students, 11 teachers and staff, principal; assistant principal, transportation director, and superintendent were involved in the drill.

Close to 100 police officers, medics and volunteers worked on the simulation.

They did a great job.

 

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GSC Forest Technology Students Help at Bulltown

Students, faculty, and staff in the Timber Harvesting Techniques class at Glenville State College recently performed community service by removing declining white ash trees at Burnsville Lake’s Bulltown Campground.

The class was invited to conduct the work by Benjamin Coulter who is a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a graduate of the Forest Technology and Natural Resource Management programs at GSC.

“This community service was a great experience for the students. It allowed them to utilize their forestry skills that they have developed in our program. They also saw the effect that the Emerald Ash Borer is having on our ash trees throughout the state,“ said Assistant Professor of Forestry Dr. Brian Perkins.

The Gilmer Free Press
Members of the GSC group who recently helped removed trees at Bulltown campground
(L-R) Tiffany Jarrett, Mr. Tom Snyder, Holly Crider, Joshua Kaplan, Christina Hensley,
Casey Brown, Danial Finney, Dr. Brian Perkins, Andrew Bailes, and Kyle Troutman


The Emerald Ash Borer is a non-native invasive beetle that kills white ash trees and other native ash species. It was first discovered in West Virginia in Fayette County in 2007 and has since spread to numerous counties. While removing the white ash trees at the campground, students learned about internship opportunities with the Corps of Engineers.

“I am proud to be an alumnus of Glenville State College and I greatly appreciate the group from the Timber Harvesting Techniques class for coming out to remove the white ash trees from the campground,“ said Coulter who graduated with degrees from GSC in 2007 and 2011.

“Our trip to the Bulltown campground was a very good learning opportunity. It provided excellent hands-on experience for safe timber harvesting techniques and work practices. Plus the class got to speak with a Corps of Engineers representative who gave us a lot of great information about internships and future job opportunities,“ said Casey Brown who is a GSC junior and a forest technology and natural resource management major from Valley Fork, West Virginia.

For more information about the Department of Land Resources at GSC, contact 304.462.4135.

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