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Arrests

Arrests

33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties

Clarksburg Division (this includes Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Taylor, Harrison, Doddridge, Pleasants, Ritchie, Gilmer, Braxton, and Calhoun Counties)

The Free Press WV

Thirteen were arrested this week after a federal grand jury returned indictments against 33 individuals from Florida, Mississippi, Maryland, and West Virginia on charges involving methamphetamine distribution and firearms, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

“This is yet another example of the team effort to combat dangerous drugs coming into our state from other states to be distributed by our residents to poison our communities. We will not tolerate any drug traffickers in our communities, nor will we tolerate them setting up shop near playgrounds, schools, and our children. The message is getting louder and louder that if you choose to sell drugs in our district, you will be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law,” said Powell.


Nineteen individuals were named in a 40-count indictment, alleging a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Harrison County and elsewhere from the fall of 2017 to September 2018. Those indicted are:

·      Kedric Pearson, age 34, of Waynesboro, Mississippi

·      Paul Casto, age 55, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Stormy Hawkins, age 25, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      William Koch, age 33, of Anmore, West Virginia

·      Jacob Wright, age 36, of West Union, West Virginia

·      Donald Hickman, Jr., age 43, of Reynoldsville, West Virginia

·      Cody Boley, age 24, of Wallace, West Virginia

·      Byron Higginbotham, age 36, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Jodi Denkenberger, age 28, of Mount Claire, West Virginia

·      Erica Herron, age 37, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      David Weaver, age 33, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Taylor Espinoza, age 21, of Bridgeport, West Virginia

·      Stephen Richards, age 40, of Fairmont, West Virginia

·      Solomon Cottrill, age 32, of Salem, West Virginia

·      Nathan Crites, age 34, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Russell Clark, age 64, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Faith Martin, age 20, of Shinnston, West Virginia

·      Jesse Pack, age 23, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Justin Jackson, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland


In a separate case, a federal grand jury indicted 14 individuals on methamphetamine charges. The men and women are accused of conspiring with one another to distribute methamphetamine in Harrison County and elsewhere from October 2017 to September 2018. Those charged in the 27-count indictment are:

·      Juwan Floyd, age 26, of Tallahassee, Florida                                          

·      Kareem Sampson, age 29, of Morgantown, West Virginia                                      

·      Ramiro Pimentel Jr., age 31, of Clarksburg, West Virginia                              

·      Kelly Wright, age 36, of West Union, West Virginia                                          

·      Teressa Hall, age 33, of Bristol, West Virginia                                        

·      Nicholle Knotts, age 24, of Philippi, West Virginia                                            

·      Chance Ward, age 19, of Buckhannon, West Virginia                          

·      Ashley Wagner, age 27, of Clarksburg, West Virginia                                  

·      Brittany Miles, age 28, of Clarksburg, West Virginia                                  

·      Brandon Mays, age 30, of Fairmont, West Virginia                                            

·      Joshua Langbien, age 28, of Buckhannon, West Virginia

·      Ann Marie Stankus, age 24, of Buckhannon, West Virginia

·      Rodney Rowan, age 23, of Buckhannon, West Virginia

·      Chris Conley, age 35, of Clarksburg, West Virginia


The government is also seeking forfeiture of four vehicles, a house on Winding Way in Clarksburg, and more than $33,000 seized as a part of the investigation. Law enforcement has also seized 15 firearms.


Of the 33 defendants, 25 were detained. Those wanted are:

Ø  Donald Hickman

Ø  Faith Martin

Ø  William Koch

Ø  Erica Herron

Ø  Ashley Wagner

Ø  Russel Clark

Ø  Jesse Pack

Ø  Nichole Knotts

Ø  Kendric Pearson

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda E. Wesley is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Greater Harrison Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated. The United States Marshal Service assisted in the arrests.

The investigation was funded in part by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Man Arrested in Glenville on Drug Charges During Surveillance Operation

The Free Press WV

The Mountain Lakes Drug and Violent Crime Unit arrested a man on a drug charge during a surveillance operation on another man.

On September 17, officers were looking for Duncan Canter in Glenville on a charge out of Braxton County

After seeing Canter outside on North Lewis Street, an officer waited for backup to arrive to make an arrest.

While waiting for backup, the officer saw a silver vehicle with three people inside stop at the address he was doing surveillance. 

The unit said the driver got out and spoke with Canter.

Once backup arrived, officers approached and arrested Canter. 

An officer said inside the silver vehicle he could see a glass smoking device on the back floor board in a shoe, and in the driver’s door handle he could see what looked to be a glass smoking device sticking out of a black bag.

Officers patted down the driver of the vehicle, identified as Gilbert Pimentel, age 29, of California, who told them about a knife in his front pocket. 

Officers said they found a small, glass smoking device along with the knife.

An officer conducted a search of the vehicle and found the black bag in the driver’s door handle containing a glass smoking device with suspected meth residue, along with empty baggies, a white scale with suspected meth residue and approximately 3.11 grams of suspected methamphetamine. 

Officers said they also found a large amount of cash in Pimentel’s back pocket, several small, empty baggies in his wallet and an open backpack in the back seat of the vehicle containing glass pieces for a glass bong and more small, plastic baggies used for drug sales.

After officers arrested Pimentel and put him inside a patrol vehicle, Pimentel managed to open the back door and run toward Glenville State College. 

Officers said they found Pimentel and placed him back into the patrol vehicle.

Pimentel is charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. 

Two passengers who were inside the silver vehicle were released from the scene.

City of Glenville Police Report

The Gilmer Free Press
City of Glenville, WV Police Report
Crime/Ordinance Violation
Officer
Disposition
Location
Active Breaking and Entering Huffman No one around the area no sign of entry and no one around the trailer the subject said people were in Sycamore Trailer Park
Vehicle unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland Plaza
Alarm Investigation Huffman Everything ok employee set the alarm off W. Main Street
Vehicle unlock Huffman Vehicle unlocked Mountaineer Mart
Theft Huffman CI started Mountaineer Mart
Vehicle unlock Garrett Vehicle unlocked Foodland Plaza
One way Street violation Garrett Warning Pine Street
Speeding Huffman Cited W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned registration W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Cited College Street
Improper lighting Garrett Warning College Street
Defective equipment Garrett Warnings Issued for defective Equipment, Unsigned Registration, and Expired Insurance W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Leaving the Scene of an accident Garrett Spoke to subject CI started S. Lewis Street
Speak to an officer Garrett Subject wanted to know if there was any warrants for his arrest Glenville
Speak to an officer Garrett Advised subjects it was a civil matter Center Street
Assist another agency Garrett Assisted WVSP on a n unresponsive subject Newberne Road
Speeding Garrett Warning College Street
Driving without headlights Garrett Warning Fairground Road
Attempt to serve a DVP Garrett Negative contact Charles Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland Plaza
Animal Cruelty Huffman Unable to locate sent information to the Sheriffs Department due to the residence being out of the city Roberts Ridge
Shoplifting Huffman Spoke to manager at Family Dollar she advised they hadn’t called in a shoplifting also spoke to Dollar General and they advised they hadn’t called in either Family Dollar/Dollar General
Loud exhaust Garrett Cited for driving Suspended 1st Offense and warning issued for loud exhaust High Street
Speeding Garrett Cited College Street
Possession of controlled substance Garrett Cited High Street
Speeding Garrett Cited N. Lewis Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked N. Court Street
Trash Complaint Huffman Gave info to DNR due to them already citing once before N. Lewis Street
Trash Complaint Huffman Gave info to DNR due to them already citing once before River Street
Destruction of Property Huffman No Crime was committed Mountaineer Mart
Alarm investigation Huffman Building secure Dollar General
Mental Health issues Huffman Child sent home with mother. CI Started for Possession of knife on school property High school
Serve warrants Garrett Subject arrested Center Street
Assist another agency Huffman Assisted WVSP and GCSD on active domestic Lower Big Run
Speeding Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Loud Music Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland Plaza
Assist Another Agency Huffman Assisted another agency in attempting to locate a driver negative contact US HWY 33 E
Suspicious Activity Huffman Located both vehicles one was waiting on their child to get out of school the other subject was waiting to pick her sister up from work Foodland Plaza
Attempt to Serve a DVP Huffman Attempted to serve a DVP negative Contact Howard Street
Alarm Investigation Huffman Everything ok employee Set the alarm off Dollar General
Attempt to Serve a DVP Huffman Negative contact Howard Street
Child Custody Issues Garrett Court Order enforced Dolliver Street
Attempt to Serve DVP Garrett Negative Contact Howard Street
Parking Complaint Garrett Vehicles were moved Park Street
Suspicious Person Garrett No one in the area River Street
Assist another Agency Huffman Assisted WVSP and GCSD on an active Domestic Lower Big Run
Attempt to Serve DVP Huffman Negative Contact Howard Street
Attempt to Serve DVP Garrett Negative contact Howard Street
Assist another Agency Huffman/Garrett Assisted another Agency on a shots fired call WV HWY 47W
Speeding Garrett Warnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned Registration W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Warning College Street
Defective equipment Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Driving without Headlights Garrett Warnings Issued for Driving without Headlights and Defective Equipment W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Warnings Issued for Speeding and No Proof of Insurance W. Main Street
Non-Active Breaking and Entering Garrett CI Started River Street
Assist another agency Huffman Attempt to locate a fugitive negative contact Glenville
Non Active breaking and Entering Huffman CI Started Walnut Street
Non Active breaking and Entering Huffman CI started Charles Street
Possession of a Deadly Weapon on School Property Huffman Knife confiscated and juvenile petitions filed Gilmer County High School
Assist CPS Huffman Assisted CPS on a removal Glenville

Braxton County man indicted on firearm and drug charges

The Free Press WV

A Burnsville, West Virginia, man was indicted today by a federal grand jury on firearm and drug charges, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Charles William Masters, age 43, was indicted on one count of “Unlawful Possession of a Firearm,” one count of “Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine,” and one count of ”Carry a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime.” Masters is accused of illegally possessing a 9mm pistol while possessing methamphetamine on July 03, 2017 in Lewis County, West Virginia.

Masters faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the first count, up to 40 years incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000,000 for the second count, and up to life incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the third count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

The investigation was funded in part by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Gilmer County man sentenced for illegal possession of a firearm

The Free Press WV

Jeremy Allen Wolfe, of Glenville, West Virginia was sentenced to 92 months incarceration for illegal possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Wolfe , age 32, pled guilty to one count of “Felon in Possession of Firearm” in September 2017.

In November 2014, Wolfe was found in possession of multiple firearms, including three rifles and two shotguns, in Calhoun County, WV.

Wolfe, having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, that is, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, in Gilmer County, WV is prohibited from possessing firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Cogar prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the West Virginia State Police investigated.

Senior U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley presided.

Sheriff: Man Left Children Surrounded By Trash, Animal Waste

The Free Press WV

Deputies in West Virginia say they have arrested a man who left two children younger than 10 years old surrounded by bags of trash, animal feces, bugs and moldy food.

Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley says deputies arrested 44-year-old Wayne Lee Kelly of Wriston on two counts of gross child neglect creating the risk of serious bodily injury or death.

Fridley says deputies found the children surrounded by unsanitary conditions at Kelly’s residence Monday at the request of Child Protective Services.

Kelly was transported to Southern Regional Jail on a $20,000 bond.

Fridley says exposing the young children to filthy conditions is unacceptable.

Loaded Gun Found In Man’s Luggage At West Virginia Airport

The Free Press WV

Federal authorities say they found a loaded gun in a man’s carry-on luggage on Thanksgiving day at the security checkpoint in a West Virginia airport.

According to a U.S. Transportation Security Administration news release, a TSA officer spotted the .380 caliber handgun loaded with three bullets early Thursday morning on a checkpoint X-ray monitor at Yeager Airport.

TSA says Yeager Airport Police responded and confiscated the gun. There was no impact to airport operations.

TSA says the man is from Huntington, West Virginia, but did not identify him further.

The agency says passengers who bring guns to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges and civil penalties from TSA of up to $12,000.

City of Glenville Police Report

The Gilmer Free Press
City of Glenville, WV Police Report
Crime/Ordinance Violation
Officer
Disposition
Location
Speeding Gadney Warnings Issued for Speeding, Unsigned Registration, and No Proof of Insurance W. Main Street
Speeding Gadney Warning W. Main Street
No Seatbelt Gadney Cited N. Lewis Street
Cell phone while driving Huffman Cited for Cell phone while driving and Warning Issued for Unsigned Registration College Street
Speeding Gadney Warning W. Main Street
Alarm investigation Huffman All doors were secure contacted key holder Sheridan Street
Driving while Suspended Huffman Cited Walnut Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland plaza
Welfare Check Huffman Vehicle Left the area prior to my arrival US WY 33 E
MVC Huffman Vehicle left the area prior to my arrival phone pole minimal damage contacted phone company Mineral Road
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Sycamore Road
Assist Another Agency Huffman/Garrett Assisted GCSD/WVSP with an Escaped inmate. Suspect located. FCI Gilmer
Serve Warrants Huffman Suspect arrested for WV Parole Board Center Street
Wrongful Occupation Huffman Served with Wrongful Occupation Center Street
Speeding Huffman Warning W. Main Street
Dog Barking Complaint Huffman Owners warned about the dog barking advised if the problem continued they could be cited S. Lewis Street
Trash Complaint Huffman No One home red tagged door for trash S. Lewis Street
Non Active Domestic Huffman Referred to WVSP due to being out of City Kanawha Street
Assist Another Agency Huffman/Garrett/Gadney Assisted WVSP and GCSD serving DVPO and making an arrest Kanawha Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Cell phone While Driving Gadney Cited N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning Fairground Road
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning Fairground Road
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning S. Lewis Street
Cell phone while driving Huffman Cited Fairground Road
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning Fairground Road
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Gadney Cited College Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Failure to stop for stop sign Gadney Cited for Stop Sign Violation and Expired Registration Fairground Road
Stop Sign violation Gadney Cited Fairground Road
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning W. Main Street
Cell phone while driving Garrett Cited W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Stop Sign Violation Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Cell phone while driving Gadney Cited Fairground Road
Speeding Gadney Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Gadney Cited W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Gadney Cited W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warnings Issued for Defective Equipment and Unsigned Registration card River Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland Plaza
Tree in roadway Huffman Tree fell on power lines and was blocking roadway Mon Power contacted Pine Street
Shots fired Huffman No Shots were fired sound was tree falling onto power lines Pine Street
Speeding Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Expired MVI Gadney Cited W. Main Street
Expired MVI Gadney Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Gadney Cited W. Main Street
Active domestic Gadney All Verbal parties were separated E. Main Street
Shoplifting Huffman Cited Go Mart
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Powell Street
Battery on a School Employee Huffman Investigation Started Gilmer Co High
Speeding Huffman Cited for Speeding and No Seatbelt, Warning Issued for Unsigned Registration W. Main Street
No Seatbelt Huffman Cited W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warning College Street
Speeding Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Driving without headlights Garrett Warning College Street
Illegal lighting Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warning College Street
Speeding Huffman Warning College Street
Reckless driver Garrett Negative Contact WV HWY 5 E
Threats Garrett Caller advised didn’t want to file charges just wanted to let someone know Howard Street
Suicide Gadney Male Subject pronounced DOS Center Street
Stop Sign Violation Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Stop Sign Violation Gadney Cited N. Lewis Street
Speeding Gadney Cited N. Lewis Street
Speeding Gadney Cited for Speeding and failure to produce operators N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning S. Lewis Street
No MVI Gadney Cited for No MVI and Warnings issued for No Proof of Registration and Defective Equipment Fairground Road
Stop Sign Violation Gadney Warning Fairground Road
Speeding Gadney Cited N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning Fairground Road
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning Linn Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning Fairground Road
Serve Warrants Huffman Suspect arrested and transported to CRJ Magistrate Court
Threats Huffman Suspect left the scene prior to my arrival.  No Direct Threats were made to individuals at the restaurant.  Suspect was later located and advised he was not allowed to be on the property or would be arrested for Trespassing Corner Stone
Vehicle unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Gilmer Elementary
Trash Complaint Huffman Warning Issued and was told that he had to have all the trash cleaned up or would be cited N. Lewis Street
Motor Vehicle Crash Huffman No Report Completed subjects exchanged information Foodland
Speeding Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Active Domestic Huffman/Garrett All verbal, no physical contact parties were separated Walnut Street
Large Altercation Huffman Altercation with approximately 30 people involved, fight was broken up and EMS made a transport to the hospital, attempted to locate suspects Powell Street/Go Mart
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Driving without headlights Gadney Cited E. Main Street
Speeding Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Red ribbon Week Presentation Huffman Assisted with a Drug awareness presentation Gilmer Elementary
Speeding Huffman Cited W. Main Street
Assist CPS Huffman Assisted CPS with a referral Glenville
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Gilmer Co High
Speeding Huffman Cited for Speeding and No Seatbelt, warnings Issued for Unsigned registration and failure to change address W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Cited W. Main Street
Active Domestic Huffman All Verbal parties separated E. Main  St
Reckless Driver Garrett Negative contact with the vehicle W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
MVC Garrett Accident Report Completed High St
MVC Gadney Accident Report Completed W. Main Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle unlocked Conrad Motel
Speeding Gadney Warning W. Main Street
Expired MVI Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Gadney Cited Mineral Road
Improper Registration Gadney Cited for Improper Registration and No Proof of Registration Mineral Road
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning Mineral Road
Cell phone while Driving Gadney Cited Fairground Road
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning S. Lewis Street
Speeding Gadney Cited Mineral Road
Assist Another Agency Gadney Assisted WVSP with active Domestic Wabash Ave
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning Fairground Road
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning Fairground Road
Speeding Gadney Cited N. Lewis Street
Improper Lighting Gadney Suspect arrested for DUI W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Gadney Cited W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Gadney Warning College Street
Speeding Huffman Warnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned Registration College Street
Active Domestic Huffman 1 male and 1 female arrested for Domestic Battery Charges Mountaineer Mart
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Conrad Motel

Gilmer County Magistrate Court Report

The Free Press WV
Magistrate Court of Gilmer County, West Virginia
Defendant Offense Disposition
Sampson, John Curtis No Proof of Insurance Guilty Plea
Goodwin, Robin Anita Expiration of Registration and Certificate of Title Guilty Plea
Riggs, Curtis Victor Forging, Uttering, or Attempting to Employ as True, A Forged Writing to the Prejudice Transferred to Circuit Court
Sampson, John Curtis Speeding Guilty Plea
Pulice, Neil Jason Unlawful Disposal Litter > 500 lbs. Guilty Plea Agreement
Pulice, Neil Jason Mandatory Disposal - Subscribe to and Use of Collection Service Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Pulice, Neil Jason Prohibition - Open Dump Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Phares II, David Charles No Insurance Guilty Plea
Blake, Bryon Scott Driving while license suspended or revoked Guilty Plea Agreement
Roberts, Michael Lee Expired Registration No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Roberts, Michael Lee No Insurance No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Black, Heather Battery Upon Another by Making Physical Contact with Force Causing Pain or Injury Guilty Plea
Black, Heather Brandishing Deadly Weapons Threatening or Causing Breach of Peace; Criminal Penalties Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Mepoyle, Anthony William Cell Phone No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Mepoyle, Anthony William No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Ferrell, Robert Gil Driving a Vehicle while in an Impaired State No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Pennebaker, Brian Howard Domestic Battery - Unlawful Use of Contact of Insulting/Provoking Nature Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Neff, Angel Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Valid Prescription No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Hedges, Daniel Pierce Passing School Bus Proceedings Differed
McCumbers, Steven Wayne No Vehicle Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Conrad II, Ronald Gene Underage Consumption No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Gibson Caleb Ray Operation without Certificate of Inspection or Failure to Produce Certificate; Penalty for Misdemeanor Guilty Plea
Sprouse, Elvis Lee No Seatbelt No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Sprouse, Elvis Lee No Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Phillips, Joseph Ray Public Intoxication Guilty Plea
Stevens, Rosaria Frances Speeding Guilty Plea
Blankenship, Josef A Possession of Meth No Contest Per Plea Agreement
Blankenship, Josef A Possession of controlled substance - Marijuana < 15 grams Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Pennebaker, Brian Howard Possession of controlled substance < 15 grams No Contest Per Plea Agreement
Yu, Jonghoon No Operators Dismissed
Lambert, Donald Devon Speeding Guilty Plea
Riggs, Curtis Victor Obtaining Money, Property and Services by False Pretenses; Penalties (Larceny) (5) Transferred to Circuit Court
Riggs, Curtis Victor Wearing Hoods or Face Coverings (4) Transferred to Circuit Court
McNally, Elvin Bronson No Operators Guilty Plea
Roberts, Carl Eugene Illegal Burning of Refuse Guilty Plea
Neville, Jerrett No Proof of Insurance Dismissed

In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►  Three people facing animal cruelty charges

Three people in Gilmer County are facing charges after 11 dogs were allegedly found in the “worst case” the police officer says he has ever seen.

Jamey and Suzane Hall and Marjorie Freeman were arrested Wednesday on animal cruelty charges.

According to police, the dogs in their care were starved and infested with worms, fleas, and parasites.


►  Randolph County Schools Hires Gabriel DeVano for Superintendent

The new leader of Randolph County Schools was announced Tuesday in a special Board of Education meeting.

Gabriel J. “Gabe” Devono, the current superintendent of Gilmer County Schools, has accepted the superintendent position for Randolph County Schools and is set to begin July 01.

Devono has served in his current position since July 2014, when he was appointed as part of a “state takeover” of Gilmer County’s school system. Prior to that, he served from 2002 to 2014 as executive director of Regional Educational Service Agency 07, which includes Randolph, Upshur, Barbour and nine other counties.

He said he has met his goals for Gilmer County, and it was removed from takeover status in January.

“I guess I felt I wanted to move on to new challenges,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday evening, adding he is familiar with the Randolph County area thanks to RESA 7, and he is eager to meet with people and organizations in the area.

“I look forward to working with the Board of Education, and my staff and the community,” he said.

Devono already has three goals for his new position: addressing the budget, facilities and communication, he said.

The Randolph County Board of Education had voted January 26 to open a search for a new superintendent and to not renew the contract of current Superintendent of Schools Pam Hewitt.

The action came after board members discussed Hewitt’s performance evaluation during an executive session.

Although BOE members are not able to disclose personnel matters and reasons for not renewing Hewitt’s contract, the school system has faced a number of challenges in recent years.

The Board of Education has made three consecutive unsuccessful attempts to pass an excess levy since November 2015, and the county school system has struggled with declining student enrollment and decreasing funds. In January, the board approved plans to close Valley Head Elementary School, and this April, the board voted to terminate 11 professional positions and nine service positions for the upcoming school year.

The state Board of Education has placed Randolph County on a “watch list,” which means the county must provide monthly financial reports and is under a higher level of scrutiny.

Tuesday’s unanimous decision by the local board followed a hiring process that included consideration of 13 qualified candidates. The board narrowed the candidates down to six and asked the same questions to each person.

“He’s had a lot of experience in dealing with counties in financial turmoil,” board member Rachel Anger said about Devono following Tuesday’s meeting.

Board member Amanda Smith agreed, and said Devono did not shy away from asking difficult questions, and he has demonstrated experience with working closely with the West Virginia Board of Education.

“He just seemed incredibly prepared and professional, and he had researched our county as well, and seems to know what he’s getting into,” Smith said. “He also just had a really good personality, and I think he’ll be great for the community.”

Devono’s position will be based on a two-year, 261-day contract with an annual salary of $115,000, said Donna Auvil, president of Randolph County Board of Education.

Auvil said Randolph County actually will save more than $20,000 per year because insurance and retirement-matching costs will not be paid by Randolph County Schools. She said Devono will be able to retire from his current position before accepting the position in Randolph County.

“In essence it will cost us much less than the current superintendent position,” Auvil said.

In addition to his work in Gilmer County and with RESA, Devono also has experience as supervisor/assistant superintendent in Lewis County from 1989 to 2002, and was assistant principal of Lewis County High School from 1986 to 1989.

The next regular Randolph County Board of Education meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. May 22 at the school board office in Elkins.  ~~  Inter-Mountain ~~


►  Manchin says Comey sought more resources; senator calls for special independent prosecutor

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin confirmed Wednesday fired FBI Director James Comey had recently sought additional resources for his investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.

“That’s a fact,” Manchin told reporters during a conference call. “Comey was seeking more assistance. (It came) with the last week to 10 days.”

Donald Trump fired Comey Tuesday. The White House said Wednesday the President had lost confidence in Comey in recent months.

“He should have fired him then,” Manchin said. “It makes it much more difficult for the administration by waiting until they’re in the throes of knowing now there is an FBI investigation into Russian activity.”

Manchin, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Comey is scheduled to appear before the committee next Tuesday. Manchin and other committee members are calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed to take over the investigation.

“This person would allow report directly to Congress on their investigation and findings. So it would have to be a high-ranking career person. They can’t be in jeopardy of losing their job or (be) fired,” Manchin said.

The White House said Wednesday it didn’t believe a special prosecutor was necessary. Manchin said he believes an appointment would help the public perception of the investigation but the Senate Intelligence will go on with its probe without one.

“It’s not going to impede at all the job we do as Senate Intel,” Manchin said. “I can assure the American public the Senate Intelligence Committee will continue to complete a thorough investigation based on the intelligence we receive and the facts that we have. We will come to the ability to find the truth.”


►  Ritchie County Duo Hoping to Raise $40,000 for American Cancer Society

For sixteen years, David Meeks and Sandy Reed have had a simple philosophy when it comes to raising money for the American Cancer Society.

“Even if one dollar goes towards helping someone survive or helping someone get over cancer–whether it’s by a wig or transportation or a cure some day–when you walk away you feel like you were able to help,” Meeks said.

Meeks and Reed coordinate, captain, and drive the fundraising efforts for a the Cardinal-Simon Relay for Life Team in Ritchie County. They’ve raised around $500,000 by auctioning off windows and doors at a manufacturing plant in Ritchie County since 2001. The windows and doors are brand new, but they are donated by PlyGem Windows and their local affiliate Simonton Windows Manufacturing Facility in partnership with Cardinal Logistics. They are discounted for auction to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

“When this first started, there were only six or seven of us that started it,” Meeks said. “We didn’t know how it was going to work. We had never done an auction before in our life. We just decided to do it, and Simonton gave us the windows. We made that first year $13,000 off of two trailer loads of windows.”

It’s up to the customer to find what they are looking for (though volunteers are there to assist); Meeks and Reed can never be certain of their inventory until they begin unloading the truck at 6 a.m. one Saturday per year to set up the show. But, Meeks said, it offers people a chance to get a product they want and put their money to a good cause.

“Every year the good Lord seems to take care of us, and every year I get in my car exhausted and wore out and thanking the good Lord that it was another successful year and somebody else is going to benefit from it,” he said.

Everything is donated, and that includes the help of auctioneers, volunteers to assist with the labor, and the products.

“We have repeat customers,” Meeks said. “We have people that come back, and some of those folks give a little extra. We’ve been handed donations. They say, ‘Here we want to give this to the American Cancer Society.’ We’ve had folks come and not find what they want and give a donation to the American Cancer Society.”

Often those customers aren’t just West Virginians. Volunteers and customers alike come from as far as Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky.

It can be a stressful day though, according to Sandy Reed. The volunteers are often just as invested in the outcome after a day of grueling labor as she and Meeks are when the final numbers are tallied.

“I’m always anxious to see what the total is,” she said. “All of our volunteers are really waiting at the end. Most of them wait around til we get everything counted up so they’ll know what we made before they go home.”

And what they make goes entirely to the Relay for Life program, a program which is estimated to have raised more than $5 billion nationally for the American Cancer Society since it’s inception.

“When you’re sitting beside a bed of somebody with cancer, please know that there are people out there that care and are doing everything in their power to one day rid us of this awful cancer,” Meeks said.

The 2017 Window Auction for a Cure is fast approaching. At 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, the auction will open at Simonton Windows Manufacturing Facility on Rt. 50 in Ellenboro. The entire process takes place in the adjacent parking lot.

The team raised nearly $40,000 in 2016, which is their benchmark goal for 2017. Their record is $76,000.

Food, refreshments, and restrooms will be available. The event will be held regardless of weather, and tents will be set up if rain does become a factor.

Only cash or checks are accepted.


►  Reporter arrested at Capitol after trying to ask U.S. health secretary questions

A West Virginia reporter was arrested Tuesday at the State Capitol after trying to ask Tom Price, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, questions about the American Health Care Act.

Dan Heyman of Charleston is a reporter with Public News Service and has been in the journalism industry for 30 years. He said he was at the Capitol to speak to Price about the effects of the legislation passed on May 4 by the U.S. House of Representatives.

A criminal complaint indicated that Heyman had entered the space of Price’s Secret Service protection to ask his questions.

There was a media availability with Price in the Governor’s Reception Room about an hour after Heyman’s arrest, although it had not been widely publicized. Reporters from the Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia Public Broadcasting and WCHS-TV asked Price questions about federal healthcare law.

But Heyman was on his own and in the Capitol hallway when he attempted to ask his questions about the effects of changes to federal healthcare.

According to Heyman, Price, who became secretary on February 10, entered through the Capitol’s west wing.

“I had been working on whether or not domestic violence is a pre-existing condition,” he said. States who receive a waiver from the federal government would be allowed to create high-risk insurance pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Kellyanne Conway, counsel to Donald Trump, was also with Price at the time.

Heyman, who was using his cellphone as a recorder, said he reached out his arm and asked Price the question “repeatedly” with no answer.

“At some point, I think (the Capitol Police) decided I was too persistent in asking this question and trying to do my job, so they arrested me,” he said. “I asked if I was under arrest, and they said yes. And I said, ‘If I’m under arrest, how come I haven’t had my Miranda rights read to me?‘”

“They said, ‘Well, we’re not asking you any questions right now.”

Heyman said he waited in an office while officers filed related paperwork. Upon completion, the officers told Heyman he “had the right to remain silent.”

Heyman was charged in Kanawha County Magistrate Court with a misdemeanor of willful disruption of governmental processes.

“(Heyman) was aggressively breaching the Secret Service agents to the point where the agents were forced to remove him a couple times from the area walking up the hallway of the main building,” the complaint said. “The defendant was causing a disturbance by yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price.”

The complaint cited state code regarding intimidating government officials at the Capitol.

“If any person willfully interrupts or molests the orderly and peaceful process of any department, division, agency or branch of state government or of its political subdivisions, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor,” the code states.

Those found guilty could be fined $100 and also be sentenced to six months in jail.

Heyman was released Tuesday evening on a $5,000 bond, which his lawyer, Tim DiPiero, said was paid for by someone associated with Public News Service.

“Normally, I would make no comment on a criminal case and recommend to my client that he make no comment,” DiPiero said. “I’ve never had a client arrested for talking too loud or anything similar to that.”

Heyman was wearing the same white Public News Service polo shirt he was arrested in when he talked to reporters Tuesday evening.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled within the next 20 days, according to DiPiero.

American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia also held a press conference Tuesday night outside of the State Capitol on the matter.

Jamie Lynn Crofts, the legal director of the organization, said freedom of the press should not be undermined.

“We have a president that calls the media ‘fake news,’ and resists transparency at every turn,” she said. “Today, a reporter was arrested for trying to ask a question to a member of the Trump administration.”

Crofts said Heyman was not being disruptive based on present information.

“I have one thing to say to anyone who infringes on First Amendment rights: we’ll see you in court,” Crofts concluded.

Heyman, who joined Public News Service in 2009, said he was just doing his job.

“I am supposed to find out if somebody is going to be affected by this health care law,” he said.

Price took part in a press conference Tuesday afternoon after meeting with Governor Jim Justice and others about the state’s opioid addiction problems.

Conway, West Virginia Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch; U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins, R-WV; Recovery Point Executive Director Matt Boggs; and First Choice Health Systems Vice President and CFO Scott Jarrett joined Price at the media briefing.


►  Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Arrest of Volunteer Firefighter

Investigators with the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office have arrested a man for his role in two fires earlier this year in Morgan County.

Alex Gloyd, 18, of Great Cacapon was arrested Friday, May 05 and charged with first-degree arson and willfully and maliciously setting fire to land.

The charges link Gloyd to a February 06 structure fire at 695 Henry Miller Blvd. in Paw Paw, and a March 05 wildland fire off Milo Road.

Gloyd is a member of the Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Department and an honorary member of the Paw Paw Volunteer Fire Department. Gloyd had responded to both incidents as a volunteer firefighter.

The State Fire Marshal offers special thanks to the WV Division of Natural Resources (DNR) police, the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police and the WV State Police.  All agencies contributed to the investigation.


►  West Virginia court affirms civil rights violation dismissal

The West Virginia Supreme Court has upheld dismissal of felony civil rights charges against a former Marshall University football player accused in a 2015 attack on two men he saw kissing.

The justices voted 3-2 Tuesday to send the case of Steward Butler back to Cabell County Circuit Court for further disposition.

Circuit Judge Paul Farrell ruled last year that Butler could not be charged with a hate crime because it appeared that state lawmakers intended to leave protections based on sexual orientation out of the law.

The Supreme Court ruled that state code clearly defines sex as male or female, does not address sexual orientation and that lawmakers have rejected attempts to include sexual orientation since the law was enacted three decades ago.


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City of Glenville Police Report

The Gilmer Free Press
City of Glenville, WV Police Report
Crime/Ordinance Violation
Officer
Disposition
Location
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Stop Sign Violation Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Warnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned Registration N. Lewis Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Elm Street
Fraudulent Check Huffman CI Started Foodland
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland
Speeding Huffman Cited for Speeding and No Proof of Insurance Warning Issued for Unsigned Registration N. Lewis Street
Assist another agency Huffman Assisted Gilmer County Sheriff with active domestic two females arrested Hemlock Road
Unknown medical Huffman Arrived on scene subject had cut his head open he was taken to hospital by EMS College Street
Welfare Check Garrett Everything ok advised caller couldn’t force someone to go to hospital Powell Street
Speeding Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warnings issued for Defective Equipment and Unsigned Registration W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Garrett Warnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned Registration W. Main Street
Disabled motorist Huffman Vehicle Towed Mineral Road
Child porn/Sexual Abuse Huffman CI Started Glenville
Assist Another Agency with warrant Service Garrett Subject arrested and transported to CRJ Perkins Ridge
Assist another Agency Huffman Assisted GCSD with processing for a DUI Courthouse
Dog Bite Garrett Dog Catcher picked up dog for 10 day quarantine owner cited for harboring a vicious dog S. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning WV Hwy 5 E
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Loud Exhaust Garrett Cited for Loud Exhaust and Spinning Tires Walnut Street
Animal Cruelty Huffman Negative Contact with owners Mineral Road
Animal Cruelty Huffman Negative Contact with owners South Street
Assist another Agency Huffman Assisted GCSD with a possible domestic Alice Road
Unruly Juvenile Huffman Juvenile returned to her mother S. Lewis Street/US HWY 33W
Serve Warrants Huffman Subject Arrested Jackson Street
Remove a person Huffman Advised both parties it was a civil matter and they needed to speak to an attorney River Street
Speak to an officer Huffman Spoke to subject advised her that she would have to file a civil suit for possession Powell Street
Speeding Huffman Warning W. Main Street
No Seatbelt Huffman Cited for No Seatbelt and Warning issued for Unsigned Registration E. Main Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Stop Sign Violation Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Warnings Issued for Speeding, Expired Registration, Unsigned Registration, and No Proof of Insurance W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warnings Issued for Speeding, and Failure to change Address W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Cited W. Main Street
Stop Sign Violation Garrett Warning Walnut Street
Speeding Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Battery Garrett/Huffman Juvenile reported a battery at Gilmer County High School Suspect arrested Gilmer Co High School
Speeding Huffman Warning W. Main Street
Stolen Vehicle Huffman CI started Walnut Street
Speeding Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Speak to an officer Garrett Spoke to subject everything ok S. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Cited for No Proof of Insurance and Warnings Issued for Speeding and No Proof of Registration N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Cited for No Proof of Insurance and Warnings Issued for Speeding and No Proof of Registration N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Cited for Speeding and No Proof of Insurance N. Lewis Street
Remove a person Huffman Removed subject from property and advised him that if he came back onto the property he would be arrested for trespassing Rite Aid
Dog bite Huffman Male subject bitten by a pitbull no one knew who the owner of the dog was and the dog wasn’t in the area when I arrived Conrad Court
Speeding Huffman Cited N. Lewis Street
Speeding Huffman Cited W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Garrett Cited N. Lewis Street
Child Chased by a dog Garrett Owner picked up dog and child was fine Whiting Ave
Active Domestic Garrett Everything was ok no domestic Alice Road
Domestic Garrett Female subject taken to hospital for injuries S. Lewis Street
Search warrant/Serve Warrants Huffman/Garrett/ Executed a search warrant for a crime scene and one male subject arrested on multiple charges S. Lewis Street
WVSP/GCSD
Prohibited person with firearm Huffman Subject arrested S. Lewis Street
Noise complaint Huffman No one in the area Pub
Altercation Huffman Subjects involved in altercation had already left the area 1 male subject arrested for fleeing in a vehicle and driving while revoked Hunter Street
Inactive Domestic Huffman 1 female subject arrested and transported to CRJ Howard Street
Speeding Huffman Warnings issued for Speeding and No Proof of Registration W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warnings issued for Defective Equipment x2 N. Lewis Street
Serve DVPO Huffman DVPO was served Magistrate Court
Suspicious Activity Huffman Odor could be smelled throughout the building unable to locate where it was coming from Glenville Gardens
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Senior center
Speeding Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Garrett Warning College Street
Speeding Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Speeding Garrett Warning Mineral Road

Gilmer Athletic Director Charged with Battery Of Student Athlete

The Free Press WV

Police in Gilmer County have charged the athletic director of Gilmer County High School with battery, related to an incident last weekend at the Gilmer-Braxton ballgame in Glenville.

Director Shawn Leo Cole has been charged by the Glenville Chief of Police Brenton Huffman, after the juvenile boy’s mother filed a complaint related to an incident in the school gymnasium.

The complaint, based upon reviewing video footage and photographs, indicates that Cole picked up the player off the floor by his neck and carried him off the gym floor, after he was shooting a basketball.

“Mr. Cole grabbed the ball… and grabbed (subject) with his left arm around the chest…and placed his right arm around area of his neck and picked him up off the floor and carried him off the gym floor and put him down,” says the complaint.

The player was reportedly a middle school student.

The juvenile player’s mother sent photos of her son with what the complaint says showed “red marks on both sides of his neck.”

The juvenile’s mother said she received a text message from Mr. Cole following the incident saying “He was sorry for what happened between him and her son and never meant to hurt him or embarrass him.”

The case will be heard by Gilmer County Magistrate Court.

The Free Press WV

In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►  Governor and First Lady Invite West Virginians to Submit Photos for Military, First Responder Recognition Trees

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin today invite all West Virginians to honor the state’s military men and women and first responders by submitting photos to be showcased on the two recognition trees located in the Governor’s Reception Room during the upcoming holiday season.

“The recognition trees are an important part of our family’s holiday celebration, and Joanne and I are excited to continue this tradition of honoring heroic West Virginians who selflessly serve our communities and our country every day,” Governor Tomblin said. “I am thankful for our military men and women and first responders across our state who put their lives at risk to keep us safe and protect our freedoms at home and abroad. We hope West Virginians will join us in honoring those who have dedicated their lives to protecting us.”

“This time of year, it is especially important that we show our enduring gratitude to our military and first responders, and their loved ones, for continually contributing to the health, well-being and safety of our state and nation,” First Lady Tomblin said.  “The Governor and I hope these recognition trees serve as a way to honor these West Virginians throughout the holiday season and beyond.”

Those wishing to participate are asked to submit photos of their loved ones or friends who have served or are currently serving in the military or as a first responder. The recognition trees will be displayed in the Governor’s Reception Room at the State Capitol Complex during the upcoming holiday season.

Please submit photo copies. Submitted photos will not be returned. The military recognition form and tag can be downloaded here. The first responder recognition form and tag can be downloaded here .

All photos, along with the submission form and tag, must be received by Wednesday, November 30, and should be emailed to or mailed to:

West Virginia Governor’s Mansion
ATTN: Tina Amburgey
1716 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305


►  Jim Justice: Expect to See Improvements in 10 Months

Democratic Governor-elect Jim Justice says West Virginians can expect to see some noticeable enhancements to the state’s sluggish economy in his first 10 months in office.

The billionaire businessman and owner of The Greenbrier resort defeated Republican Bill Cole in Tuesday’s election.

Justice said Thursday he doesn’t have “a magic wand” for running the state. He tries to run his business dealings on a 10-month schedule, and he says residents should expect by late 2017 to see “real live significant improvements.“

Justice says state revenues need to grow significantly, and he hopes to accomplish that across several economic sectors, including agriculture, tourism and the energy industry.

First, Justice needs to get a transition team in place. He’s putting that together with consultation from ex-state Democratic Party chairman Larry Puccio.


►  GOP Leaders to Justice: Let Us Help You

Republicans who will hold a rare majority of West Virginia’s six statewide offices are already banding together to try to influence yet another Democratic governor and a GOP-controlled Legislature.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was the lone Republican on the six-member Board of Public Works after he was elected in 2012. That number swelled to four with GOP wins in races for secretary of state, auditor and agriculture commissioner.

All four attended a news conference at the Capitol on Wednesday to put out an early plea to Governor-elect Jim Justice to let them help him fix West Virginia’s many problems. The Board of Public Works meets up to four times a year, and Morrisey said he’d like that to happen more frequently.

“I think that there’s a lot more that we can do if we tap into the great expertise that exists within these constitutional offices,“ he said. “This is a chance to work together. We have to do everything in our power to identify fraud, waste and abuse in government. I think there’s a lot more there.“

JB McCuskey is the first Republican elected as West Virginia’s auditor since 1928. Kent Leonhardt is the first GOP-elected ag commissioner since 1988. Mac Warner ousted two-term incumbent Natalie Tennant for secretary of state Tuesday night.

Republicans also maintained their majorities in the Legislature.

Besides Justice, the only other Democrat in statewide office next year will be treasurer John Perdue, who won his sixth term.

Justice, the billionaire owner of the Greenbrier resort, will inherit as governor the challenge of addressing job losses, especially in the coal industry, and ongoing state budget shortfalls.

Morrisey said the GOP leaders have not heard from Justice since his election and they looked forward to speaking with him.

A former Republican, Justice has touted himself as a political outsider with outside-the-box ideas to create jobs without big cuts or tax hikes. But he’s offered few specifics so far and didn’t immediately return a telephone message from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

He said in his victory speech Tuesday night at the Greenbrier that “we cannot possibly cut our way out of this mess, and you can’t possibly tax our people more than they have today. We have got to grow our way out of this mess.“

He promised only to surround himself with smart people to tackle the most important issues. Comparing it to figuring out how to solve a jigsaw puzzle, he said, “if there’s anything that I would tell you that I would brag about, I’m the best there is at figuring out how to put them together and make it work.“

Some of those puzzle pieces will certainly include finding jobs and addressing the state’s budget problems.

West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in September was the fifth highest in the country. Tax collections for the first three months of the state’s fiscal year were $87.4 million below estimates.

Earlier this year, a sharply divided debate over higher taxes to remedy the budget woes spilled over into a special session that cost the state about $600,000. Eventually, higher taxes were passed on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

One issue on which he agreed with Justice: “We don’t need higher taxes in the state of West Virginia,“ Morrisey said.

In the state Legislature, Republicans picked up four seats in the Senate and now hold a 22-12 advantage, according to unofficial results.

Democratic incumbents who were unseated included Senator Jack Yost of Brooke County and Senator Bob Williams of Taylor County, while GOP incumbent Chris Walters of Putnam County lost.

The seat vacated by Democratic Senator Herb Snyder of Jefferson County went to Republican Patricia Rucker over Democratic Del. Stephen Skinner.

Republicans also were elected to seats vacated when Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, and Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, ran for governor, and when Senator Bill Laird, D-Fayette, didn’t seek re-election.

In the 100-member House of Delegates, Republicans entered election night with a 64-36 majority and didn’t appear to lose more than one seat, although a few races were still too close to call Wednesday, according to unofficial results.


►  WV Names Acting Labor Commissioner

A longtime director in West Virginia’s Division of Labor has been named its acting commissioner.

Mitch Woodrum’s appointment follows the retirement of former Commissioner John Junkins.

The division is part of the Department of Commerce. It oversees licensing and inspecting of businesses operating in West Virginia and enforces labor laws and workplace safety regulations.

A 24-year employee of the division, in 2002 Woodrum was named director of the manufactured housing program. He was appointed director of licensing in 2007 and has been as deputy commissioner since 2014.


►  Voter Turnout Up for WV General Election

Unofficial numbers from the secretary of state’s office show voter turnout in West Virginia was higher than the previous general election but didn’t eclipse the 2008 race.

Figures released Wednesday show 728,248 voters, or 57.2 percent, participated in Tuesday’s election. That’s up from about 55 percent in the 2012 general election and down from about 60.8 percent in 2008.

The secretary of state’s office says the figures will become official after canvassing is complete.

Lewis County had the highest turnout rate at just under 69 percent, followed by Preston County at 68.7 percent and Hardy County at 66.2 percent.

McDowell County had the lowest turnout at 36 percent.


►  11 counties pass Sunday hunting measure

Officials say voters in 11 West Virginia counties have passed ballot initiatives to allow hunting on Sunday on private property.

The Kanawha County Commission says in a news release that unofficial totals show the measure passed there by nearly 23,000 votes. The statement says Sunday hunting will go into effect after the County Commission certifies the election results, which will take at least week.

Ten other counties across the state also passed the measure: Barbour, Berkeley, Harrison, Marion, Mercer, Monongalia, Pleasants, Preston, Ritchie and Wood. It boosts the number of counties that allow hunting on Sundays to 33 out of 55.

Hunting is restricted to private property and requires the landowner’s consent.


►  School Bus Full of Children Accidentally Driven Into Ditch in Harrison County

A school bus full of children was accidentally driven into a ditch on Wilsonburg Road around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, in Harrison County.

According to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, the bus driver got too close to the edge of the road, which pulled the bus into a ditch.

The children were able to get off the bus from the rear exit unharmed, according to the Harrison County Department of Transportation.

The children were able to return to Wilsonburg Elementary, which wasn’t far from the scene of the accident.

Mom of Missing Girl Killed Her with Blow to Head

The Free Press WV

Toddler Aliayah Lunsford was killed five years ago by a “blunt force strike to the head with a handheld object,“ law enforcement has alleged in the criminal complaint against her mother, Lena Lunsford.

During a news conference Friday morning, Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy said the whereabouts of Aliayah’s body remain unknown.

“Today is a somber, yet successful day for the investigators standing in front of you, along with the many others concerned with the disappearance of an innocent 3-year-old child,“ Gissy said. “It comes with great sadness that I report that Aliayah Lunsford ... is deceased. ... I realize there are several questions left unanswered.

“However, I’m sure the one question that is weighing on everyone’s mind is, ‘Have we located Aliayah? The investigation has led us to believe that the one person who possesses knowledge of Aliayah’s whereabouts is now in custody,“ Gissy said.

He declined to offer further details.

The Free Press WV

Lena Lunsford, 34, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was returned to West Virginia Friday morning after waiving extradition. She’s charged with felony death of a child by parent by child abuse. She had an initial appearance before Special Magistrate John M. Coffman and was jailed on a $250,000 cash bond.

Coffman has scheduled a probable cause hearing at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 10 in Lewis County Magistrate Court for Lunsford, also known as Lena Conaway and Lena Marie Lunsford-Conaway.

Circuit Judge Jake Reger has appointed Clay attorney Barabara A. Harmon Schamberger to represent Lunsford. Schamberger, who’s been practicing law almost 20 years, declined to comment, saying it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to do so in “a case pending before the court.“

The strike to Aliayah’s head was made knowingly and intentionally on Sept. 24, 2011, Lewis Sheriff’s Deputy E.E. Carpenter has alleged in the criminal complaint, and it occurred inside the rental property in Bendale at which the Lunsfords were living.

“Present witnesses observed the aforementioned strike and thereafter stated the child victim fell to the ground from the injury sustained to her head,“ the complaint alleges.

“Further information stated the defendant did NOT initially provide help/medical assistance to the child victim and additionally did not allow others present to provide medical assistance and/or contact medical personnel to assist the child victim, who was visibly suffering from trauma caused by the strike,“ Carpenter has alleged.

“Within hours of the strike, the child victim died,“ Carpenter has alleged.

“Thereafter, the defendant did knowingly and intentionally take steps to conceal the crime,“ Carpenter has alleged.

“These include, but are not limited to, originating a fictitious narrative regarding the death, destroying evidence, concealing the victim’s body and instructing witnesses to conceal the true circumstances of the victim’s death,“ Carpenter has alleged. “The defendant is the birth mother of the child victim and was under the care and custody of the defendant at the time of the incident,“ Carpenter has alleged. “The aforementioned information is supported by direct witness testimony, officer and corroborative witness testimony and physical/photographic evidence.“

During the press conference, the sheriff also praised the cooperation of the multiple law enforcement agencies that participated in the case.

Lewis deputies, the State Police and the FBI worked hand-in-hand on the investigation from its very beginning, Gissy said. Homeland Security Investigations, the Pinellas County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department and the Clearwater, Florida, Police Department supported the investigation and the arrest, Gissy said.

~~  Matt Harvey ~~

Gilmer Shooting Suspect Faces Murder Charges

The Free Press WV

The Gilmer County man accused of shooting his neighbor now faces murder charges following the death of the victim, Don Singleton, on Friday.

The Gilmer County Prosecutor’s Office and State Police finalized the upgraded charges against Earl Milton Bailey, age 64, of Cedarville, WV, Tuesday afternoon, according to Sgt. R.P. Smith with the Glenville detachment of West Virginia State Police.

Police arrested Bailey on Monday, September 05 following a Labor Day shooting incident in the Gilmer County town of Cedarville.

Police say Bailey went to a neighbor’s residence and fired shots at two people.

One person escaped on foot, but the gunfire hit Singleton in the head.

Following the shooting, Healthnet flew Singleton to Charleston Area Medical Center.

Singleton passed away Friday.

Police originally charged Bailey with attempted murder and wanton endangerment.

Bailey is in Central Regional Jail.

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Alleged Roane County shooter faces attempted murder, malicious wounding charges

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The Free Press WV A Sutton man is accused of pouring gasoline around a camper with a pregnant woman inside and lighting it on fire [ .... ]  Read More

Lewis County man indicted on drug and firearms charges

The Free Press WV John David Davisson, of Weston, West Virginia, was indicted by a federal grand jury on firearms and methamphetamine distribution charges [ .... ]  Read More

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Weston Mom convicted of killing daughter appeals to Supreme Court

The Free Press WV Lena Lunsford-Conaway, who was convicted by a Lewis County jury in April of murder and abuse in the death of her daughter, Aliayah Lunsford [ .... ]  Read More

Teacher accused of drug transactions with student

The Free Press WVGreenbrier County Magistrate Court says 53-year-old Susan Lynn Surber is charged with illegal distribution of controlled substances [ .... ]  Read More

Lewis County man sentenced for firearms charge

The Free Press WV Roger Lee Clem, II, aka “Woody,” of Weston, West Virginia, was sentenced to 37 months incarceration for a firearms charge [ .... ]  Read More

Former special ed teacher pleads not guilty to abusing students

The Free Press WVMarlene Robinson is accused of injuring at least two students [ .... ]  Read More

Lewis County man admits to on drug and firearms charges

The Free Press WV John David Davisson, of Weston, West Virginia, has admitted to firearms and methamphetamine distribution charges [ .... ]  Read More

High school teacher admits to defrauding PEIA

The Free Press WV Thomas Watkins, 60, of Mount Carbon, pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a scheme to defraud the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency [ .... ]  Read More

Webster County teenager jailed after shooting death

The Free Press WVA Webster County teenager is in jail without bail after he allegedly shot and killed a man early Friday morning in a residence near Webster Springs [ .... ]  Read More

West Virginia man faked own kidnapping to get money

The Free Press WV Smith was charged with conspiracy and was being held on $10,000 bond in the Northern Regional Jail [ .... ]  Read More

Ex-Youth Choir Exec in West Virginia Admits to Embezzlement

The Free Press WV A West Virginia woman has admitted to stealing about $98,000 from a youth choir organization [ .... ]  Read More

Warrant out for Jackson County pastor

The Free Press WVDouglas Harper, with Living Water Church in Ripley, was wanted for allegedly sending a teenager inappropriate text message [ .... ]  Read More

West Virginia dad accused of putting his children in dryer

The Free Press WV A West Virginia man is in custody after putting his two children in a dryer, shutting the door and taking videos of them [ .... ]  Read More

Lewis County man arrested on drug charges

The Free Press WV Russell Clarence Foster III, 41, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and marijuana [ .... ]  Read More

Lewis County woman sentenced for her role in an oxycodone distribution operation

The Free Press WV Makyna Kancso, of Crawford, West Virginia, was sentenced to 15 months incarceration for distributing oxycodone [ .... ]  Read More

Webster County man arrested for multi-county pursuit, stand-off

The Free Press WV A multi-county pursuit and stand-off ended with a Webster County man facing multiple charges [ .... ]  Read More

West Virginia ex-city accountant charged with embezzlement

The Free Press WV A West Virginia city’s former accountant is facing charges of embezzling more than $200,000 from the local government over about two years [ .... ]  Read More

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Readers' Recent Comments

During intervention the State had dictatorial control of our school system to include all decisions related to the GCES.

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

An investigation is needed to determine who was responsible for the bad decision, and what role the no-bid architectural firm had in designing and constructing the school.

Something major happened to cause the GCES to be built too small. Was something dropped at the expense of adequate class room space as a result of having to spend extra money because a poor site was selected?

Minimally, gross incompetency on the State’s part is the explanation for the disaster foisted onto the County.

A question pertains to the new gym. Lots of effort was taken by the State to try to convince the public that a competition gym instead of a regular gym was needed.

Did the competition gym cost extra money at the expense of needed classroom space? If the answer is affirmative who was responsible for deciding on the more expensive gym?

What about the enormous pit at the GCES? Was money spent on it at the expense of classrooms because something was wrong with the school’s site that was selected by the State?

Nothing similar to the pit has been seen at other sites where new WV schools were built.

Why has there been a failure for a thorough investigation to have occurred to expose the facts?

The obvious explanation is that powerful elitists in control do not want tracks leading to them, and they have veto power over a meaningful investigation including one done by a leading newspaper.

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Pat McGroyne is spot on.
High speed internet is simply another failure of WV state government.

If the elected in our state, were doing the job expected by voters….we should have very few problems or issues?

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Muddling has another distinct symptom. It is the tendency for administrators in control to emphasize processes and procedures while avoiding disclosure of progress, or the lack thereof, in achieving learning results.

The purpose is another way to avoid personal accountability for school system failures.

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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West Virginia is number one!
Our politicians are the best that can be had.
They are also the lobbyers dream come true.
No one—-can out-muddle our elected reps !

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Suggestion after reading strategic plans for the GCHS and the GCES.

How about the school board requiring that for each school an informative executive summary be written to include——where each school stands on reading, math, and science proficiency, what the term proficiency means to eliminate the confusion, student proficiency goals for the two school, target time to expect goals to be achieved, and a statement to commit to keeping the public informed of progress in achieving the goals at designated intervals (e.g. quarterly) during a school year.

Omit confusing abbreviations and technical terms understood only by a select few in the education field, and written for comprehension by reasonable persons.

Leave it up to the County’s professional educators to determine how to get the job done with continual laser-like focus on getting results.

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Muddling infects federal, state, and local government entities where personal accountability for top officials to get measurable results rarely exists.

Muddling practitioners are famous for passing off information unrelated to measurable proof that effective problem-solving has occurred. A common example is emphasizing how much public money is being spent to attempt to convince tax payers that magnitudes of expenditures are always directly correlated to levels of problem-solving successes.

Muddling by an organization is characterized by the existence of thick planning documents replete with vagueness and lack of clarity, undefined technical terms, and mysterious acronyms.

Muddling thrives on intentional ambiguity and confusion designed to protect muddlers and their organizations.

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Gilmer County is not the only place in the USA that has been faced with its students failing to meet proficiency standards for science, reading, and math.

The difference here is that evidence is lacking to conclusively demonstrate that Gilmer County’s officials in control have exerted proper efforts to profit form powerful lessons learned elsewhere to use that knowledge to help solve learning deficiencies in our schools.

In fact, a convincing argument could be made that the approach in the County has been the one professional planners designate as muddling through.

Classic symptoms of muddling through include failure to thoroughly analyze categories of causes contributing to problems followed up by using the information to develop a comprehensive plan to do the most good in getting better results by treating key causes instead of symptoms.

Muddling typically involves officials assigning blame for lack of progress to outside forces e.g., the “culture”, the State did it to us, and poverty. Haven’t we heard plenty of that?

Muddling must be eliminated if we want progress in solving non-performance problems within the County’s school system. Does anyone disagree?

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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It is unclear after reading school board meeting minutes what progress if any is being made by GCHS and GCES principals in improving student proficiency in reading, math and science.

Why not allocate a few sentences in the minutes to summarize what the two principals reported to the school board?

All it would take to get the critical information out to citizens would be for the new school board to act on this.

Does anyone have a problem with the suggested change to keep Gilmer’s bill paying public informed?

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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“High speed broadband – a necessity for today’s homes, businesses and other institutions – remains a huge unmet need for rural residents, despite promises by a succession of Governors from both parties (a contributing factor in why we’re losing population at a rate higher than any other state).“

I disagree with much of what Mr.Boggs believes.  That said, high-speed broadband is the single most important step the State of WV could take to improve the business climate and provide more opportunities for its citizens.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Conversation at local eatery.
Shortly after election.
Individuals were educators.

‘You think we have school problems now, wait until these new folks take the steering wheel’.

‘Students, parents, staff are all going to be in the soup’.

Sounds as if Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving vacation-deer season times have all taken a big hit.  If that is true, the union teachers need to come together, stand their ground, along with parents, and hold this new board accountable.

Have a local strike if need be.
Request resignations.
Vote of no confidence.

Schools employees can win.
You have done it before.
Just stick together.

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Scholarship must be the most important focus in Gilmer County’s schools.

Brought up the ZOOMWV Data Dashboard site to review the most recent State achievement test results for GCHS’s 11th grade.

Folks, Gilmer is in serious trouble. Proficiency for math=24%, reading=41%, and science=24%.

On an A through F grading scales the GCHS gets an F for all three subject areas.

What does the new school board have to show for inroads it has made since last July to make critically needed proficiency improvements at the HS? Citizens deserve answers to the question.

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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A thorough accounting for where all the public money went could be easily achieved by a competent accountant.

Isn’t there a special account at the County’s school board office for expenditures related to all bills paid and who got the money?

Following the money trail always gets results along with verification of means, motives, and access.

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If central office financial records for all public money paid out for everything from site planning, site studies and development, and everything else to get to completion of the GCES and the LES—- what is the reason?

It is known that money was spent on the Arbuckle site and Cedar Creek, and public money was paid out for the LES too.

Were County records for the spending purged and if that happened who ordered the action? The records are either in the County’s central office or they aren’t.

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Hasn’t the time come to finally start naming names and making people accountable?

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

For 3 or 4 months now we keep hearing about the millions of dollars of tax revenue collected.

Millions and millions above ‘estimates’.  Were those ‘estimates’ honest, or fudged to begin with, so as to request higher tax rates?

Well, Justice and the Legislature now have our dollars, what will become of this windfall? Will we see tax rates lowered?  Doubt full, but we should.

Likely this windfall, created by “over-taxation”, will simply create a “party atmosphere” of legislative spending. Watch the Charleston ‘gangsters’ get their wish lists ready this coming session.

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Yes.  The blame Does seem to fall to ‘local’ people. In small places like Gilmer County, it’s just a poker game, boys, and the deep pockets win.  Money speaks volumes where ‘officials’ stay silent.  Go ask for the records, see what they’ve got.

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Teachers and staff knew from the beginning that the GCES was going to be too small. They were ordered by the State to keep quiet about the shortfall and other serious concerns too.

A sixth grader could understood how many rooms were needed by dividing total student numbers to attend the school by how many students should be in a classroom.

Under sizing was the State’s fault and it cannot be rationalized any other way including to assign the blame to local people. Same applies to the over sized LCES.

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There will never be a full, public accounting of the gross mishandling of tax dollars during WVDOE intervention.
Too many local jobs and too many embarrassments of both elected and appointed bureaucrats.
These types cover dirt for each other.

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

One school built short 4 classrooms and another built with 5 too many.  Can it get more stupid than that?
Mr. Degree and Ms. Common Sense seldom travel together.

By Full accounting will never be revealed. Never. on 11.18.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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GCBOE when the two principals give reports at board meeting could the gist of what they said be summarized in minutes to keep the County informed?

It was a welcomed development by the Board to require principals to give reports particularly if there are required updates on progress designed to improve student learning for reading, math, and other subjects.

We still have not been informed about the status of science proficiency at the GCHS based on the latest testing. Why has the State failed to release the data? Were results too dismal?

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If it is going to cost extra money to eliminate over crowding at the GCES the financial information referenced by Do It Ourselves should be presented to Charleston and the press too.

That would help frame a solid case that crowding problems were not caused by Gilmer County because all decisions related to facilities were dictated by officials over whom the County had no oversight authority during the State’s intervention.

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is assumed that all records for spending to include money paid out for the LCES, dropped Arbuckle site, dropped Cedar Creek site, and all bills for the GCES are in the Gilmer Schools central office.

The new GCBOE has authority to get to the truth by demanding a thorough accounting for all the spending.

Afterwards the financial officer in the central office could easily access existing computerized records and to use the information for a report to the GCBOE and the public.

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Notice that most of the ‘officials’ in Gilmer County also hold regular day jobs - sometimes working on more than one paying ‘job’ at a time in the same office space. This common practice is concerning for many reasons, and it needs to be talked about when so many go without.

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There are two views in the County related to the under built GCES. Although the State built the school with inadequate classrooms one group believes that we should move on to let go of the past.

Isn’t this a form of advocacy for a coverup to prevent accountability for the State’s incompetence and mismanagement?

The other group believes that there should be a full accounting for all public money spent up to the time the GCES was completed to include disclosure of recipients of the public money. 

The accounting should be done for all public money spent at the LCES, the Arbuckle site, Cedar Creek, and finally the GCES.

Reasons for the under built GCES should be fully disclosed too. When the State was in control this information was kept secret from the public with loud claims that there was adequate space at the GCES.

Now it is known that there is inadequate space at the GCES and the problem is left to Gilmer County to fix. Only in WV!

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Unprofessional issues,rude commentsand rolling eyes at the high school has become an issue. Being on cell phone talking to boyfriends,when parents etc.going into the office. Since the teachers were ask not to be on them while students in the classroom. The one in the office should not be allowed to talk personal to her boyfriend, or whoever. Also, I hope this is corrected, the personal days, etc that the board provides to staff shouldn’t be allowed to use to work or operate a second job. Let’s get the priorities straight.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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GULMER COUNTY BOE. It is time for me to let you know some issues that is going on at the High school.  I’m hoping this will be addressed at the next board meeting. 1. It should not matter if an employee has a second job or run a business. The priority job is for the board. One should not be allowed to use any time from the board to run your business. There is going on
If they want to run your business than go but not on the boards time. I would like for all employees be treated the equal. They should not be allowed to use the time the board gives them for other jobs.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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While at it there should be an investigation of why the LES was build with too many classrooms and the GCES was built with too few. At the very least what happened is a WV horror story example of the State’s waste and mismanagement.

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is obvious that the GCES has a major space problem.

What options for dealing with the State’s mismanagement to cause the serious blunder are being considered by the Board of Education?

Could the original architectural design for the dropped Cedar Creek site be compared to what resulted at the GCES to accurately determine the extent of classroom space alterations?

If the architectural design at the GCES is different than the original plan for Cedar Creek the next step should be to determine reasons for the changes and where the money originally planned for needed classrooms went.

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It’s long been known that Justice doesn’t happen in Gilmer County “because it all comes down to money”. And for those in charge of handling it and making decisions, it comes down to being competent to do the job,  keep accurate books and accounts and I’m sorry to say, that is seriously lacking in Gilmer County.

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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What is GSC’s BOG’s plan for getting money for the next payment on the $38,000,000 bond loan the Gilmer County Commission approved?

Will the State pay or will the money come from private donations?

Money will have to come from somewhere to avoid a default.

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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So sorry to hear of Kendall’s passing. I have fond memories of him at Uncle Paul’s store and the family reunions. I’m sure he will be missed greatly by those closest to him.
Please accept condolences from me and my family.

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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GSC’s present plight is no secret and its future existence is in question.

Instead of expressing attitudes that GSC is being picked on could the Blue Ribbon Commission reveal why the College “tested out” as it did to fail to get more State money?

Was the “grading system” based on student enrollment trends, retention, time taken to get a degree, academic reputation, inept governance and administration, and other factors to block more funding? Informative specifics were not disclosed.

Teachers know that concerned students who want to do better always seek advice on what needs to be done to get better grades.

Similar to concerned students GSC’s supporters should be informed of what needs to be done to position the College for improved chances for survival to include eligibility for more State funding.

Saying that GSC is being picked on does nothing to help solve its nagging problems.

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Well thank you, Details Please,  for asking!  So many problems in Gilmer and education is just one.  Look at the town, take a good look around.  Remember who runs unopposed at election time.  Vote.  Make a difference.  Hold authority figures responsible.  Allow videos, minutes and more to be shared on GFP again, for transparency.  Know your neighbors, help a friend.  Be good to each other. Amen.

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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I will truly miss my Uncle Stephen.  Telling me so much information about from gardening to canning. Just to listening to him talk with such passion for everything that he does… he had a sense of humor that always warms my heart.. listening to him play the banjo sometimes even when he didn’t feel good. he is always willing to share his recipes and his ways of doing things… his solar information he was always studying something ... I’m remember one time we asked him where he got his blackberries when it wasn’t Blackberry season and he go there’s a store down the road it’s called Walmart they have everything… He was so funny.  I love you.. xoxo.

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Sorry for your loss. He sure did look like his father.

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Reader 7, please give details for your suggested solutions to the County’s concerns you addressed.

The information would be helpful for consideration by school system administrators and the general public.

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is speculation that the plan is for GSC to convert to an education center for low risk federal inmates. Is this something the County and central WV needs?

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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Dr. Pellett’s commentary in the 10/26/2018 issue of the Gazette includes a statement that GSC is responsible for injecting $28,000,000 into the local economy.

If GSC were to close loss of the money would cause the County to have more severe poverty than it has now.

The pressing challenge is for GSC’s administrators including its Board of Governors to exercise effective leadership to prevent closure.

Why can’t GSC take action on the long standing suggestion for it to be an innovator by establishing a five year teacher education program to enable students to earn a masters degree by graduation time?

Something must be done in WV to deal with the 700 positions for which certified teachers including those for math, science and special education are not in the classrooms.

Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors why is a new teacher education program at the College not a viable option? Nothing else seems to be working.

The need exists, a similar program of excellence does not exist anywhere in the State, and GSC’s status would be elevated by having a masters degree program.

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Paine: Plan to improve math scores to focus on algebra where a third of teachers aren’t certified'.

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GSC could make a valuable contribution to WV by doing a study to report on how grade and elementary schools with excellent results in math and reading did it.

Then, other schools could use the information as guidance instead of going it alone to reinvent the wheel.

With the Ed.D. expertise at GSC it would be a natural to take on the assignment. Dr. Pellett, would you back the initiative?

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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There is reference to signing an agreement with the State for math4life for all WV school districts. What has Gilmer County agreed to do to fix our problems?

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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This important news has potential for making significant progress in improving math and reading outcomes in WV.

It hinges on how quickly advantage can be taken from lessons learned in schools that excelled.

The WVBE could do an analysis of reasons for excelling and to quickly provide guidance information to other schools.

That is the way the private sector approaches problem-solving because chronic failures have consequences and the unfit are weeded out.

Dr. O’Cull could help if the WVBE is not responsive. There could be panels of individuals from excelling schools to make presentations at WV School Board Association meetings to explain what their schools did to make the achievements.

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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A characteristic of a good strategic plan is to simplify language to enable a clear understanding of all its details.

Regarding the comment about abbreviations, a simple fix for them and terms (e.g. lexile) would be to insert an asterisk or a footnote symbol the first time one of them is used to refer readers to a section at the end of the documents where the entries are defined.

This comment is not intended to be a criticism. All specialty fields have a language of their own including the teaching profession.

Suggested clarity improvements in the plans would not be time consuming for principals at the County’s two schools.

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Looked at the strategic plan for the GCES. It is a major achievement for the new GCBE to provide the information to the public.

Suggestion. Could the GCBOE post a meaning of all abbreviations in the plan? Doing that would make it far easier for readers to understand details in the plan.

By Help Understanding on 10.17.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Thanks Mrs. Lowther and the BOE for providing meeting minutes for the public to read.

Those of us who voted for the levy would appreciate receiving specific information for what is being done at the grade school and the high school to make needed improvements for college and career readiness.

Could a current overview and updates throughout the school year be provided to the public?

Why not put the details on websites of the two schools to give the principals a chance to shine?

By Levy Supporter on 10.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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“engage in pedantic colloquy?“

No Bill.

By WEKNOWYOU on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Correct.  I do not wish to engage in back and forth useless ‘banter’ with big words and no results.  What I AM interested in is Gilmer County, in all it’s ways.  Education, Food, Law and Transparency.  Fancy words are often used to hide, divide, and distract..  Plain words speaking truth for the safety and well being of the people is what I’m looking for..  Gilmer is suffering… I want it to stop. I want to see the citizens healthy, educated and strong. I want to see more jobs instead of food banks.  I want Committee meetings for all to see. I want the law to do what it should, when it should.  Plain english would work fine.  Thanks for asking.

By Reader7 on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Lol 7, you do not wish to engage in a pedantic colloquy?

By Smart Feller on 10.13.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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All nice but a small request? Can we simplify some of the language?  Don’t mean to be rude, but fancy works aren’t needed for the Truth.

By Reader7 on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Stop living the delusion the state will fix education.
They have caused the problem.
Remember, for them, job one IS job protection.

Rare in history, that the cause of a problem, has come forth with a solution to what they have caused. They keep resetting testing standards so as not have any ‘yardstick’ they can be measured against.  Apparently people just don’t get it?  And the WVBOE is so happy about that.

By it-ain't-a-gonna-happen. period. on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is a continuum for sophistication regarding what is done with data.

Collecting and compiling it is at the low end of sophistication.

Synthesis is at the high end.

This means using results and other information to make specific recommendations for making improvements.

The State took its typical easy way out by failing to go beyond the data compilation stage.

By Easy Way Out on 10.10.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The comment about need to find out what was done at high performance schools to determine what we could do in Gilmer County to get the same results merits a comment.

The comment flags what is wrong with the State BOE in failing to provide effective leadership.

Does anyone recall a single instance, after tens of millions of dollars were spent on amassing data, when the State BOE did anything to effectively address lessons learned at high performance schools for application at other schools?

Of course not! It is the easy way out for those in high income brackets in Charleston to collect data instead of using it to the maximum to take full advantage of lessons learned.

Could the WV School Board Association help fill the gap?

By Lost Opportunity on 10.07.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Harry, So sorry to hear of the passing of your wife.  I’m also sorry that I never got to know her because if she was anything like you, I’m sure she was pretty special.  Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.  May God’s love be with you my friend.

By Greg Garvin on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Judith “Judy” Carolyn Buckley Rich'.

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What is the BOE’s proficiency goal for English and mathematics and what is the time frame for achieving the goal? That is news citizens want.

Then too, how can citizens at large get involved to honor and to encourage students who improve, and what of a similar nature could be done to give special recognition to outstanding teachers who contribute to improved learning for English and math?

By Positive Changes Made By New BOE on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The BOE and Mrs Lowther deserve high praise for disclosing proficiency information to the public.

It is the first time since 2011 anything like this has happened.

We still do not know about results for science, and it is understood that Charleston is still “working” on it.

Now we know our serious shortcomings in math and English and there is new hope for burrowing out of the mess with everyone in Gilmer working together.

By Thanks Gilmer BOE on 10.03.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Well, dear citizen… sometimes the local ‘law’ gets it wrong.  #truth #JusticeForGilmer

By Transparency matters on 09.30.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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Soooo…...why do we never see a big drug bust in Gilmer?
With the college and others, there are plenty sources.
Seems strange?

By citizen 3 on 09.23.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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If you access http://www.mywvschool.com it is evident that some schools outpace others for math and English.

For examples look at data for Lizemore Elementary in Clay County, Alum Creek Elementary in Kanawha County, Rock Branch Elementary in Putnam county, and Greenmont Elementary in Wood County.

Gilmer BOE why not assign someone to evaluate what is being done at those school and others to make them State standouts and to apply lessons learned to our elementary schools?

The same applies to learning from others regarding how to get high marks at GCHS.

By Learn What Works From Others on 09.23.2018

From the entry: 'WV and Area Counties Balanced Scorecard for School Year 2017-2018'.

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I have not read anyone blaming our teachers.  Quite the contrary.
There have been some well thought out comments submitted too.
I am old enough to remember when we had few issues about quality education.

Forget Charleston? Better not.
Believe we are still in their “probation” period.
You better check out just what that means.

By GC--still on state probation? on 09.22.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Why not go for it on our own and use the tried and widely accepted Iowa Test of Basic Skills to evaluate learning proficiency of our children?

It is the longest running test in America and it goes back to 1936.

One outcome of using the test is that each grade would be evaluated and compared to performances to schools in other parts of America.

We would probably have to go through hoop jumps of the State’s everchanging testing too.

By Iowa Test For Gilmer on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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To compound complexity of the issue, Gilmer is different from McDowell and both are different than Monongahela.

The implication is that getting out of the crisis must be county-specific and there is no one size that will fit all of WV’s 55 school systems.

Each county is on its own and ones with the best planning, local boards of education, and administrators will shine. Forget about Charleston!

By County-Specific on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Similar to most complex problems there are several categories contributing to WV’s dismal failure in improving education results in our grade and high schools.

Information in referred journal is beginning to show up. Some of the categories include curriculum issues in high schools, block scheduling failures in high schools, inordinate emphasis on sports at the expense of academics, inadequate prep of grade schoolers to ensure that they get firm foundations in math and English Language Arts, failure to instill need for life long learning at early ages, failure for school systems to fund continuing education of teachers to prepare them for newly emerged practices for enhanced student learning, cultural impediments including failure of some families to encourage children and to give them extra learning help at home, dysfunctional families for children to grow up in caused by drug and alcohol abuse and chronic unemployment, grade inflation characterized by too many As and Bs and attitudes that nobody fails so pass them along, failure of school boards to hire the best qualified superintendents and teachers because of local emphasis on favoring “home grow” individuals, failure of school boards to define performance expectations for superintendents to make effective accountability impossible, constantly changing types of State mandated testing to cause chaos and morale problems, poor compensation of teachers necessary to attract and keep the best and the brightest, etc.

To blame all problems on teachers is a cruel travesty.

One of the weakest links contributing to a lack of progress in improving WV schools is that instead of analyzing the full spectrum of contributing problems and focusing on ones with the biggest payoff potential, the trend in Charleston is to constantly apply band aid approaches with hopes that “cures” will be stumbled on accidentally.

By Do Not Blame It All On Our Teachers on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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The problem with preK-12 education in WV is that a holistic and and technically defensible evaluation of contributing factors to cause WV’s problems and how to deal with them has not occurred.

Instead, under direction of clueless politicians ineffective muddling prevails while selling what is done at a particular time as the definitive solution.

How many times have we witnessed muddling over the past 20-30 Years? It still goes on in Charleston.

Why not obtain a grant to have qualified experts analyze success stories around the Nation and use findings to craft a demonstration project in Gilmer County to improve our school system?

Regardless of what we do there must be open minds in seeking out what to do in homes, schools,  teacher education programs in our institutions of higher learning, continuing education for classroom teachers, and to involve various factions in our community to achieve acceptable results. Everyone must band together as a unified team to make it work.

One trap is over emphasis of sports. If the same magnitude of attention and importance were to be focused on solving preK-12 education problems in WV, great strides could be made to benefit deserving children.

By Muddling on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Our heartfelt condolences on the passing of Mr. Ron. I too know this pain of losing a beloved father. Both of these men were taken way too soon. Praying maybe Mr.Ron, my Dad, and all the former Westinghouse employees in heaven are getting together. Love and prayers from, Adrienne and family.

By Adrienne (Trimper) Johnson on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'Ronald J. Vanskiver'.

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West Virginia’s educational failures is NOT because of classroom teachers.

It IS because of the WV Board of Education’s failures of the past 20-30 years.

That 9 member, lopsided governor board is a crime against children and education in WV as a whole.

It needs 3 teachers, 3 general public parent members, and 3 governor appointees.

Until that governors click gang is broken up, you simply see repeats of the past.  NO progress in education.

It will take the legislature to fix it, but they are too busy with the legislature created court system failure, while trying to line pockets with gas and oil money.

By Tell It Like It Is ! on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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What is the plausible rationale for Gilmer not disclosing detailed facts similar to what Superintendent Hosaflook did?

Wood County reported 11,176 students in its 27 schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

In comparison Gilmer had 734 reported students in our two schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

Wood County had 15 times more students than Gilmer and it is reasonable to assume that it was 15 times more demanding to administer with its 27 schools.

If Wood County could get detailed facts out to the public with its significantly higher work load what keeps tiny Gilmer from doing the same?

By Why Gilmer BOE? on 09.18.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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We have not had a responsible, functioning, WVBE for 20 years.
Not one that would accept any responsibility.

They just keep changing ‘score keeping’ so there can be no accurate tracking of student progress.

State ranks 48th or 49th on educational outcomes. Still.
Colleges still have to give remedial classes.

The ONLY thing that changes are the names of the governor appointed players.
And just look at the ‘cost-per-pupil’ spending!
We are about the highest in the nation.

West Virginia State Board of Education = complete failure.  Nothing less.

By just more smoke and mirrors on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released for Public Schools in West Virginia'.

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Never could figure out why working people, retirees, volunteers are picking up trash left by adults?

Not when we have the numbers of bored prisoners we have locked up doing nothing??

By No solution here- on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Adopt-A-Highway Fall Statewide Cleanup Set for September 29'.

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Go to http://www.mywvschool.org to access more official State information about Gilmer’s schools. There are serious red flags in need of immediate corrective attention.

If you access Lewis County schools on the same web site you can review info for LES. Look at the red flags there. Worse than GES.

Instead of using the info to criticize it can be useful in seeking out opportunities for making immediate improvements.

For those who take apologetic stands that Gilmer is doing as well as some other WV counties and everything is fine, it does not mean that inferior educations for our children are acceptable.

By Look At Red Flags on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Who is responsible for Gilmer’s oversight of the LES?

If you access the State’s website you will learn that math and reading is red flagged for the LCES to be as bad as it can get.

Why is it that nothing is reported in Gilmer County about how that school is doing when we know that our sixth grade finishers from over there will go to the GCHS to finish their educations? 

It is like our students who attend LCES are forgotten about. Someone needs to be watching out for them.

By Who Minds The Store on 09.15.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The really sad stories are left out.
The students who accrue debt and for whatever reasons, drop out of school after a year or two.

They have little hope of improving incomes, but still have debt.
More of them than you think.

By More sad ones to be told. on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Information made ‘public’ forces accountability.
Do not hold your breath lest you turn blue.

‘They’ want elected. Get their place at the trough.
Then discover ‘exposure’ makes their work more difficult.

Informed citizens make informed decisions.
Why do we see the same names being elected over and over and over?

By WHEN we're allowed to see it......? on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Lots of work to be done with schools in Gilmer County. 2017-2018 Summative Assessments out today for student achievement.

Gilmer County High School.

For Math
*Exceed or Meet Standards=40% of Students.
*Fail to Meet Standards=60% of Students

For Reading
*Exceed or Meet Standards=36% of Students
*Fail to Meet Standards=64%

The scores speak volumes. What was done to accurately determine causes of failures and what will be done about it? BOE, the public has a right to know answers.

By Public Demands Answers on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The Founding Fathers screwed up, we should not have to work and pay our bills. Let that man behind the tree work and pay for it all.
Free education should be a right.
Free food should be a right.
Free healthcare should be a right. 
Free transportation should be a right.
Free entertainment should be a right.

By Smart Feller on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Thank you BOE members and Mrs. Lowther. Let’s work together at all community levels to make Gilmer County an educational power house in West Virginia. We can do it as an effective team and provision of information will be the key to success.

By Better Times On The Way on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Accountability - good point - and across Gilmer County.  We’ve seen glimpses and pieces of news WHEN we’re allowed to see it, mere mortals that we are. But never any follow up.  And the information come in bits and pieces (remember when we actually got to SEE what the Gilmer County Commission was up to?)  My question is, why do we never see the accountability or repercussion for actions of current Gilmer ‘elite’??

By Transparency matters on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Encouraging news that the superintendent will present her goals for Gilmer Schools on 9/10.

We assume that there will be a commitment for specific goals to achieve, measurable outcomes, completion dates for different steps and final goal achievement, and a meaningful monitoring program to determine if we are on track or there is need for mid-course fine tuning.

If any of this is missing there will not be meaningful accountability. Excellent business plans have all the components addressed above.

By Waiting To See on 09.09.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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