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Community Foundation Grant Application Deadline February 15

The Free Press WV

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates of Doddridge County, Ritchie County, and the Little Kanawha Area (PACF) is currently accepting applications for grants for the spring cycle of its Community Action Grants Program. 

The Foundation’s application process is online; the application deadline is midnight on February 15.

Organizations apply to the Foundation and/or any of the affiliates on the same online application form, the Foundation’s Community Action Grants Application. 

To access the online application form, visit the Foundation’s website, www.pacfwv.com/Grants.

To be considered for a Community Action Grant, an applicant must be a private, nonprofit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a public institution. 

Either the applicant or program to be funded must be located in the Foundation’s eleven-county geographic service area (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio).

Priority counties for grant support are: Wood, Wirt, Doddridge, Ritchie, Roane, Calhoun, and Gilmer.

The Foundation provides support for capital and equipment projects, program development, technical assistance, training, capacity building projects, and, under special circumstances, operating support.  Submitted applications are considered for support from a wide variety of grant funds available to support charitable projects throughout the region.

The Foundation’s grantmaking guidelines provide additional information on eligibility and priorities for all types of grants; visit the Foundation’s website at www.pacfwv.com/Grants to access the grant guidelines and application forms. For more information, contact Marian Clowes at 304.428.4438 or ‘info@pacfwv.com’.

The Free Press WV

Most WV Counties Show higher unemployment in November 2018

The Free Press WV

A majority of the state’s 55 counties showed an increase in unemployment in November.

According to to county jobless numbers released Friday by WorkForce West Virginia, 26 counties had an increase in joblessness last month, 21 counties showed a decrease while eight counties remained the same.

The counties with the highest unemployment last month were McDowell (9.2), Calhoun (8.8) and Wyoming (8.0) counties.

The county with the lowest unemployment rate was Jefferson County (2.9).

WorkForce West Virginia released the overall state unemployment rate for November, 4.6 percent, last week.

That was unchanged from October.

EQT Students of Excellence Scholarship 2018 Recipients

The Free Press WV

EQT Foundation, the philanthropic arm of EQT Corporation, is proud to announce the 2018 EQT Students of Excellence Scholarship recipients.

The accomplished students come from both large and small schools across West Virginia.

As an integrated energy company with an emphasis on Appalachian-area natural gas production, EQT has awarded $1,000 scholarships for one student from West Virginia counties, four at-large $1,000 scholarships scattered throughout the state, as well as six “full-ride” four-year scholarships, each up to $18,000 per year, to students interested in studying engineering, geology, computer science/information technology, energy or land management and environmental or safety science.


The “full-ride” scholarship winners are:

  • Tylee Oldham - Hurricane High School in Putnam County
  • Brooke Burns - Scott High School in Boone County
  • Catherine Stodola - Herbert Hoover High School in Kanawha County
  • Lian Dunlevy - Morgantown High School in Monongalia County
  • Justin Lovell - Shady Spring High School in Raleigh County
  • Safa Afnan - George Washington High School in Kanawha County


The $1000 scholarship winner’s are:

  • Zoe Payne - Barbour County
  • Victoria Parello - Berkeley County
  • Kayla Hartsell - Boone County
  • Michael Lemon - Braxton County
  • Abigail Nickerson - Brooke County
  • John Swanson - Cabell County
  • Megan Meadows - Calhoun County
  • Michael Willis - Clay County
  • Emily Spadafore - Doddridge County
  • Mason Harp - Fayette County
  • Kaylene Snyder - Gilmer County
  • Megan Kite - Grant County
  • Kara Vaughan - Greenbrier County
  • Della Moreland - Hampshire County
  • Chloe Molish - Hancock County
  • Aden Funkhouser - Hardy County
  • Hayley Woods - Harrison County
  • Brandon Cochran - Jackson County
  • Haya Moushmoush - Kanawha County
  • Kenton Linger - Lewis County
  • Lillian Lucas - Lincoln County
  • Elijah McComas - Logan County
  • Kristine Waddell - Marion County
  • Lydia Knutsen - Marshall County
  • Allison Henderson - Mason County
  • Hailey Mitchem - McDowell County
  • Trey Lennox-Kowalewski - Mercer County
  • Kyle Breedlove - Mineral County
  • Hannah Vorndran - Monongalia County
  • Chandler Mills - Monroe County
  • Logan Riffey - Morgan County
  • Anna Hamilton - Nicholas County
  • Norman Lee - Ohio County
  • Claire Heavner - Pendleton County
  • Laci Hashman - Pleasants County
  • Mathias Solliday - Pocahontas County
  • Henry Cerbone - Preston County
  • Olivia Hart - Putnam County
  • Victoria Mackowiak - Raleigh County
  • Susan Riggleman - Randolph County
  • Nikita Collins - Ritchie County
  • Dylan Hammack - Roane County
  • Marcella Aguilar - Summers County
  • Amy Frosch - Taylor County
  • Matthew Dellinger - Tucker County
  • JoLee Walton - Tyler County
  • Logan Whithair - Upshur County
  • Nicholas Bowen - Wayne County
  • Erin Kidd - Webster County
  • Hannah Loy - Wetzel County
  • Sara Almashy - Wirt County
  • Josie Brothers - Wood County
  • Myleigh Stewart - Wyoming County


The “At Large” $1000 recipients are:

  • Noah Sampson - Monongalia County
  • Davis Warmuth - Ohio County
  • Eric Hamilton - Kanawha County
  • Jay Wessels - Kanawha County.

A total of 345 high school students from across West Virginia was nominated by teachers, principals, guidance counselors, family members and the students themselves. A team of volunteer judges were then tasked with the difficult responsibility of choosing the “best of the best.” The judges looked for students who demonstrated strong academic performance and who participated in community service and extracurricular activities.

The scholarship program which is presented in cooperation with NCWV Media and The State Journal, has grown each year since EQT became the title sponsor in 2009.

An awards event where all the recipients will be recognized will take place in March at the State Capitol in Charleston. The date and time of the event will be announced in January

Donation to Support Area Programs Combating Hunger

A recent donation from Erie Insurance® to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) will help boost the region’s “Hunger Fund” that provides a permanent and dedicated source of monies from which grants can be made to support our communities’ backpack feeding programs, summer and after-school feeding programs, and other related needs for children, senior citizens, and other vulnerable populations.

“Food insecurity is a significant issue regionally; too many individuals and families experience hunger,” said Judy Sjostedt, the PACF’s Executive Director.  “Our area’s data shows a great need to improve the Foundation’s grant resources, so we can better meet essential human needs and improve family and economic stability to relieve conditions of poverty.  Our broad service area’s overall poverty rates exceed the West Virginia State average and are well beyond the national rate, but statistics for children under 18 are even more compelling. Looking at the seven counties for which the PACF is the only community foundation funder—Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood – poverty rates in five far exceed the State’s rate for young children.”

The Free Press WV
Representatives from Erie Insurance present a check for $10,000 to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation.
Left to right, Ben Rucker, Dan Hurley, Jay Simon, Greg Hoffman, Julie Posey - PACF, Kam Lawson, and Carolyn Reger.


Created a year ago, The PACF’s Hunger Fund began with generous support from many donors in response to a challenge grant from the Ketelsen family.  In addition to building this important charitable fund, the PACF has held partnership meetings since 2016 with the various area organizations working to address this need, to help identify gaps in service and new resources, and identify ways in which its leadership can be applied to address this critical community issue.

“This gift to the PACF is to build the Foundation’s permanent charitable fund specifically to help address hunger-related projects in our communities,” said Kam Lawson, Erie Insurance’s West Virginia Sr. Business Support Specialist.  “We are honored to support the Foundation with this initiative and thankful to know that more individuals experiencing hunger can be helped through this Fund”

To support the PACF’s regional Hunger Fund, mail a check (made payable to PACF, with “Hunger Fund” on memo line) to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101.  Or give online at www.pacfwv.com/donate.

Foundation’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program Accepting Applications

Attention college students seeking meaningful paid work experience and leadership opportunities! 

Applications are now available for the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates’ (PACF) Civic Leaders Fellowship Program. 

This employment program operates for seven weeks beginning on May 31, 2019 and ending on July 19, 2019. 

The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program offers local students the chance to return to their home communities to work in a career-related field while learning about their hometowns. 

The Free Press WV
Civic Leaders from the Foundation’s 2018 program gather in front of the PACF’s office in Parkersburg, WV.


Students are able to develop connections and leadership skills that may later assist them in finding meaningful employment upon graduation.

To be eligible for participation, students must have successfully completed at least one year of post-secondary education (college, trade/technical school, etc.), be currently enrolled in a post-secondary education program, and have a permanent home address in the PACF’s service region of Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, or Washington County, Ohio. 

The student application is available on the Foundation’s website and must be submitted by February 08, 2019.

During their time in the Program, Civic Leaders are placed at a work site, in a position related to their career interests, where they work four days a week.

On Mondays of each week of the Program, the Civic Leaders participate in leadership activities and programs with other Civic Leaders designed to increase their knowledge of the region and prepare them to engage fully in service to their communities.

Wood County resident Megan Hardway participated in the Foundation’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program 2014 - 2016. 

Through the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program, she was introduced and placed at the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, where she was actively engaged in the day-to-day operations of the Chamber preparing releases, planning events, and serving as liaison for Chamber members. 

A 2016 graduate of West Virginia University, Hardway returned to the area to join the Chamber as a full-time staff member!

“The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program was a wonderful way to gain knowledge and experience in my field, as well as explore volunteer opportunities available close to home,” said Hardway.

The PACF is also seeking organizations that wish to serve as host employers for summer 2019. 

Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and units of government may apply to serve as a host employer for the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program. 

The Civic Leader is provided to the host employer at no cost. 

In exchange, the host employer must be willing to provide supervision and a meaningful work assignment. 

Organizations throughout the PACF’s service region are encouraged to apply online to provide an employment opportunity for one of our region’s college-aged students. 

The host application is also available on the Foundation’s website and must be submitted by March 15, 2019.

To learn more about the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program and to apply to participate as a student or host employer, visit:  www.pacfwv.com/CLFP

Questions regarding this opportunity may be directed to the PACF’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program Manager, Mindi Line, at ‘Mindi.Line@pacfwv.com’. 

Scholarships Available for Area Students

The Free Press WV

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) has launched its 2019 Consolidated Scholarship Application! 

The Foundation administers more than 160 scholarship funds for the benefit of students in its 11-county service area (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio).

Through the Foundation’s online scholarship application, students are given the opportunity to apply for multiple scholarships through one easy application. 

To apply, students must visit the Foundation’s website, www.pacfwv.com/scholarships

This application must be completed and submitted online by midnight on March 01, 2019.

During the PACF’s 2018 scholarship application process, the Foundation awarded more than $331,000 to our region’s students. 

These awards were made possible by many generous donors who established scholarship funds with the Foundation to help our local students fulfill their educational goals. 

Each year, more than 200 community volunteers residing throughout the PACF’s service area assist the Foundation in reviewing the submitted scholarship applications.

To learn more about the 2019 scholarship application process, please contact the Foundation office by calling 304.428.4438 or by emailing ‘info@pacfwv.com’.

The Free Press WV

Hunters in West Virginia harvested 44,572 bucks during the traditional buck firearms season

The Free Press WV

Preliminary data collected from the electronic game checking system indicates that deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 44,572 antlered deer during the two-week buck firearms season which ran from November 19 through December 01, 2018, according to Gary Foster, assistant chief of Game Management with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.

The 2018 harvest was 1 percent higher than the 2017 harvest.

The top 10 counties for buck harvest in 2018 were: Randolph (1,685), Preston (1,607), Greenbrier (1,479), Hampshire (1,471), Jackson (1,379), Pendleton (1,274), Grant (1,217), Hardy (1,212), Kanawha (1,212) and Mason (1,206).

The buck harvest increased in the eastern panhandle (DNR District 2) and in southwestern West Virginia (DNR District 5) and was similar to or slightly down in the remainder of the state.

Deer hunters have several days of opportunity left this year, including the remainder of the archery and crossbow seasons, which run through December 31.

Muzzleloader deer season will open December 10 and remain open through December 16.

The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season for antlerless deer will be open December 26-27 in any county with a firearms deer season.

This will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season on December 28-31 in specified counties or portions of counties.

In addition, the new primitive weapons “Mountaineer Heritage Season” will be open during the period from January 10-13, 2019.

Refer to the 2018–2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov for additional details as well as county and area listings.


West Virginia Buck Firearms Season Harvest, 2014-2018

County

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Barbour

886

1,281

1,098

984

958

Brooke

251

286

268

175

188

Hancock

200

208

209

157

139

Harrison

930

1,418

1,138

1,017

887

Marion

702

1,190

765

735

677

Marshall

707

818

727

624

637

Monongalia

689

1,023

827

825

750

Ohio

232

290

270

180

197

Preston

1,526

2,046

1,774

1,947

1,607

Taylor

453

732

581

485

491

Tucker

494

783

730

817

754

Wetzel

891

1,144

899

823

676

District 1 Subtotal

7,961

11,219

9,286

8,769

7,961

Berkeley

522

908

737

753

757

Grant

783

1,304

954

1,194

1,217

Hampshire

1,094

1,947

1,197

1,386

1,471

Hardy

920

1,709

1,076

1,198

1,212

Jefferson

385

499

422

419

463

Mineral

835

1,335

922

1,011

1,051

Morgan

412

678

437

503

621

Pendleton

861

1,297

1,088

1,018

1,274

District 2 Subtotal

5,812

9,677

6,833

7,482

8,066

Braxton

921

1,660

1,102

1,233

1,017

Clay

329

618

390

481

438

Lewis

1,166

1,875

1,246

1,216

999

Nicholas

871

1,274

1,044

987

1,060

Pocahontas

831

1,008

921

1,040

988

Randolph

1,291

1,659

1,617

1,633

1,685

Upshur

1,009

1,704

1,399

1,025

1,155

Webster

632

1,080

941

777

937

District 3 Subtotal

7,050

10,878

8,660

8,392

8,279

Fayette

725

1,214

889

927

997

Greenbrier

1,372

1,816

1,447

1,628

1,479

McDowell

0

0

0

 

0

Mercer

402

843

636

593

617

Monroe

1,004

1,462

1,099

1,295

1,189

Raleigh

506

895

648

592

623

Summers

657

999

657

809

701

Wyoming

0

0

0

 

0

District 4 Subtotal

4,666

7,229

5,376

5,844

5,606

Boone

519

868

573

658

672

Cabell

421

641

677

404

642

Kanawha

730

1,547

1,058

1,046

1,212

Lincoln

720

1,312

846

569

957

Logan

0

0

0

 

0

Mason

1,002

1,488

1,267

867

1,206

Mingo

0

0

0

 

0

Putnam

565

1,114

992

624

942

Wayne

528

963

815

448

736

District 5 Subtotal

4,485

7,933

6,228

4,616

6,367

Calhoun

504

1,063

705

740

698

Doddridge

615

1,376

946

947

659

Gilmer

669

1,435

791

875

800

Jackson

1,107

1,870

1,487

1,096

1,379

Pleasants

273

492

334

317

280

Ritchie

1,123

2,024

1,422

1,338

1,065

Roane

927

1,846

1,178

1,186

1,177

Tyler

566

1,064

855

817

566

Wirt

681

1,152

777

734

668

Wood

1,011

1,556

1,193

974

1,001

District 6 Subtotal

7,476

13,878

9,688

9,024

8,293

State Total

37,450

60,814

46,071

44,127

44,572

Project Yoga MOV Establishes Endowment Fund

The Free Press WV

Project Yoga MOV was founded in 2017 by the owners of Full Circle Yoga, Cheryl and Patrick McHugh with the mission of bringing the therapeutic benefits of yoga to the Parkersburg area for individuals who are underserved.  The all-volunteer organization consists of a Board of Directors, Executive Director, Program Manager, and trained yoga instructors.

“Our clients are those who would not traditionally seek-out yoga,” said Cheryl McHugh, Project Yoga MOV’s Board Chair.  “There are so many benefits of yoga, both mentally and physically, and we want to expose individuals to those benefits.”

Currently, with the help certified and trained yoga instructors, Project Yoga MOV provides service to citizens in Wood, Pleasants, and Washington counties in the Mid-Ohio Valley region.  Through their work, the Mid-Ohio Fellowship Home, Wood County Senior Center, St. Mary’s Correctional Center, Parkersburg Correctional Center, Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg, and area elementary, middle, and high schools have introduced yoga to their clients/students.  In addition to these sessions, Project Yoga MOV, with the help of the VET Center, has also introduced yoga to local Vietnam veterans.

“Our yoga instructors have completed 200+ hours of yoga training, in addition to a Trauma Sensitive training,” said Cheryl McHugh.  “We are not here to say what level is your trauma – trauma is trauma.  We are here to provide the benefits of yoga, to help with thought and emotional processing and to teach individuals to breath consciously and feel.  All of these elements together can make a positive difference for an individual.”

Steve Barnhart, Project Yoga MOV’s Veterans Project Manager, can personally speak to the therapeutic benefits of yoga.  A U.S. Army veteran, Barnhart said “I started yoga because my wife’s doctors wanted her to try yoga as part of her chronic illness therapy.  We started at a small studio where there were never more than three or four people in class.  Much to my surprise, yoga was helping me more than it was my wife.  Wanting to expand my practice, I found Full Circle Yoga online.  At first, I was intimidated because I didn’t look like anyone in the pictures online, but once I finally went to a class at Full Circle Yoga, I discovered the peaceful and non-judgmental people inside.  Yoga and Cheryl and Patrick helped me deal with long-standing PTSD/Moral Injury and have truly made a difference in my life.  Now I am advocating for others to attend sessions and helping other veterans experience the positive release that comes with yoga.”

Every Monday at 6:00 p.m. Combat Vietnam veterans are invited to the VET Center in Parkersburg for a private group yoga session.  Additional veteran group sessions are being arranged.  To learn more, contact Project Yoga MOV.

To solidify their commitment to the Mid-Ohio Valley region, Project Yoga MOV recently established an endowment fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation that will forever provide operating support for the organization.

“The Foundation has a respected reputation in our community and this new endowment fund will help ensure that our organization has annual funding to help us continue our mission,” said Patrick McHugh, Project Yoga MOV’s Executive Director.  “We encourage individuals who are interested in helping Project Yoga MOV with our mission to contact us to learn how they can get involved and make a difference in someone’s life.”

Individuals who would like to learn more about Project Yoga MOV are encouraged to email Patrick McHugh at .  Individuals wishing to donate to support the new Project Yoga MOV Endowment Fund can make their donation by sending a check (payable to PACF with the fund name in the memo line) to:  PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

The Free Press WV


About the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) works with individuals, families, businesses, and civic or nonprofit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of our community.  PACF is a single 501(c)(3) public charity that manages more than 350 charitable funds with nearly $43 million in assets.  PACF works in partnership with its local affiliates to provide leadership and develop philanthropic resources to meet the needs of an 11-county service area.  Since 1963, PACF has helped local citizens support charitable needs and touch every aspect of life in the community in a variety of lasting ways.  For more information about PACF, visit http://www.pacfwv.com or call 304.428.4438.

September was National Voter Registration Month: In WV 5,002 New Registrations in Just One Month

The Free Press WV

Since 2002, September has been recognized as National Voter Registration Month throughout the United States.  National Voter Registration Month is a program sponsored in part by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner is very pleased to announce that during the month of September county clerks registered 5,002 citizens to vote.  All 55 counties registered new voters in September.  A county-by-county breakdown is attached.

“I am very pleased regarding the partnership with our county clerks to register eligible citizens to vote,” Secretary Warner said. “Not only is it important to maintain updated voter registration files, but we must be equally diligent in our efforts to encourage eligible citizens to register to vote.”

National Voter Registration Month for 2018 was an active one for Warner and his office.  More than 30 organized voter registration drives took place in communities throughout the state.  Voter registration drives were hosted by numerous high schools during September.

During National Voter Registration Day on September 25th, Warner attended high school voter registration drives in Cabell, Putnam and Kanawha Counties.  Miss Teen International 2018 Georgia Clark and West Virginia Curator Randall Reid-Smith joined Warner.  Clark is a resident of Alabama and attends college at Troy University. Her platform as Miss Teen International is civic engagement of young people throughout the country.

For more information on how to register to vote or to check your current voter registration go to www.GoVoteWV.com.

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15 West Virginia counties considered economically distressed

The Free Press WV

The Appalachian Regional Commission says more than one-fourth of West Virginia’s counties are economically distressed.

The commission has added Fayette, Summers and Wetzel counties to the distressed category, moving them from at-risk counties.

The commission said 15 of West Virginia’s 55 counties are now considered economically stressed. The others are Braxton, Boone, Calhoun, Clay, Gilmer, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Roane, Webster and Wyoming counties. The commission said that includes about 273,000 of the state’s 1.8 million residents. Lewis, Monroe, Raleigh, Randolph and Upshur counties were downgraded from transitional counties to at-risk counties.

“I think what’s happening is the data is catching up with the reality of the situation,” commission spokeswoman Wendy Wasserman said.

Despite the increase in West Virginia, the commission said the number of distressed counties in Appalachia as a whole dropped by three to 81. The Appalachian region includes 420 counties in 13 states.

“I think this is just another reason and another tipping point for West Virginia communities to diversify their economy, and another opportunity,” Wasserman said.

The commission uses five economic designations for counties to set rates for its funding contributions for projects. Distressed counties are eligible to have as much as 80 percent of project costs paid for by the ARC.

Kentucky has 38 economically distressed counties, more than any other Appalachian state. Tennessee has 10 and Mississippi nine.

Appalachia extends more than 1,000 miles from southern New York to northeastern Mississippi.

Welcome Back to School and College - Students, Teacher, and Staff - 2018-2019

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West Virginia Library Commission Announces Grants to Public Libraries

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Library Commission has presented $187,180 in state grants to 47 public libraries in the state. 

The grants were awarded in June, based on facility, programming, and collections proposals from each library. 

The maximum award is $5,000 per library.

29 grants were awarded for facility maintenance, 9 for collection development, 9 for programming improvements, and 3 for other service enhancements. 

The following libraries received grant funding for their individual projects: 

Belington Public Library $5,000
Boone-Madison Public Library $3,125
Brooke County Public Library $1,000
Buffalo Creek Memorial Public Library $5,000
Burnsville Public Library $5,000
Capon Bridge Public Library $2,500
Chapmanville Public Library $5,000
Cheat Area Public Library $5,000
Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library $4,495
Clay County Public Library $5,000
Craft Memorial Public Library $4,000
Craigsville Public Library $5,000
Fayette County Public Library $3,900
Fort Ashby Public Library $4,460
Gallaher Village Public Library $3,500
Gassaway Public Library $1,000
Gilmer Public Library $5,000
Greenbrier County Public Library $4,340
Kingwood Public Library $2,889
Lowe Public Library $4,000
Lynn Murray Public Library $4,000
Mary H. Weir Public Library $5,000
Mason City Public Library $4,000
McDowell County Public Library $5,000
Mingo County Public Library $4,500
Monroe County Public Library $4,501
Morgan County Public Library $5,000
Moundsville-Marshall County PL $5,000
Paw Paw Public Library $5,000
Piedmont Public Library $5,000
Pioneer Memorial Public Library $500
Pocahontas County Public Library $5,000
Putnam County Public Library $5,000
Raleigh County Public Library $4,500
Ritchie County Public Library $5,000
Roane County Public Library $5,000
Ronceverte Public Library $1,059
Rupert Public Library $1,200
Russell Memorial Public Library $1,500
Southern Area Public Library $4,250
Summers County Public Library $5,000
Summersville Public Library $5,000
Sutton Public Library $2,461
Tyler County Public Library $2,000
Upshur County Public Library $5,000
Valley Head Public Library $3,500
Webster Addison Public Library $5,000

“These grants reflect the critical needs in West Virginia’s public libraries,” said Karen Goff, Executive Secretary of the WVLC. “They will allow libraries to improve their facilities, as well as enhance the programs and services they provide to state residents.”

The 2018 state grants represent a $77,087 increase over the WVLC’s 2017 awards.

DHHR Announces Availability of $1 Million in Ryan Brown Funding

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today announced funding availability totaling $1 million to expand substance use disorder (SUD) residential treatment services in Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Roane counties. The funding is supported by the Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund as part of a comprehensive statewide plan to combat the opioid epidemic.

The Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund, also known as House Bill 2428, mandates that DHHR identify need and allocate additional treatment beds in the state. These beds are intended to provide SUD treatment services in existing or newly constructed facilities. 

“DHHR’s mission is to join with communities and families in providing opportunities for citizens to achieve health and independence,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch. “An expansion in SUD treatment services will result in a decrease of overdose deaths as well as a decrease in economic costs to the State.”

In December 2017, DHHR awarded Ryan Brown funding to SUD programs in six regions. As a result of legislative action, Region Seven was added comprising of Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Roane counties. 

DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities is soliciting applications from vendors who can provide SUD residential treatment services in the designated geographic area by adding to existing programs or developing and implementing new capacity.

The funding is available for one grant and will be awarded based on accepted proposals that meet all required criteria. Proposals must be submitted by August 10, 2018.  Proposal details and requirements are available online: dhhr.wv.gov/bhhf/afa

Students Named to Spring 2018 Honor Lists at GSC

The Free Press WV

The names of students who attained the Glenville State College President’s and Vice President’s Honor Lists for the Spring 2018 semester have been announced.

To be named to the President’s Honor List, a student must have a 4.0 grade point average on a minimum of 12 semester hours.

The students making the President’s Honor List are listed as follows according to their county of residence:

Barbour County: Shania Pennington, Jacob Price

Berkeley County: Alexander Miller

Boone County: Andrew Boktor, Ally Brown

Braxton County: Lucas Bonnett, Kendra Houghton, Ashlee James, Taylor Johnson, Brittany White, McKenze Yanero

Calhoun County: MacKenzie Ammerman, Jerry Basnett, Jacob Petry, Emily Snyder

Clay County: Jessica Beckett, Caitlyn Rogers

Doddridge County: Ryan Mizia

Fayette County: Trevor Wood

Gilmer County: Preston Allison, Katelyn Benson, Heather Coleman, Dravin Gibson, Janeeva Jenkins, Dalton Law, Brian Moore, Brianna Ratliff, Wesley Self, Hilari Sprouse

Greenbrier County: Sarah Brunty

Harrison County: Hannah Mick

Jackson County: Larissa Hayman

Jefferson County: Taylor Corey

Kanawha County: Austin Broussard, Bethany Spelock

Lewis County: Haley Biller, Hannah Blankenship, Destiny Grimes, Kelly Weaver

Logan County: Matthew Zachary

Marshall County: Logen LeMasters

Mercer County: Anna Lusk

Nicholas County: Marlyn Donelson, William Lyons, Elizabeth Messer, Mark Sanson

Putnam County: Joshua Brennan, Madison Null

Raleigh County: Michael Layne

Roane County: Savannah Harper

Webster County: Bryce McCourt

Wirt County: Mary Strong

Wyoming County: Brittany Koutsunis

Out-Of-State: Victoria Peterson (CA), Jacqueline Deary (CT), Brian Williams (MD), Allison Parski (MI), John Routzahn (OH)




To be named to the GSC Vice President’s Honor List, a student must have a minimum 3.5 grade point average on a minimum of 12 semester hours.

The students making the Vice President’s Honor List are listed as follows according to their county of residence:

Berkeley County: Quincy Band

Braxton County: Jordan Batton, Leslee Coffman, Kathryn Dean, Jessica Ellis, Bryan Foster, Brittany Louk, Madison Oney, Christian Pritt, Jonathon Shreve, Jacob Stout, Forrest Taylor

Calhoun County: Hannah Allen, Christopher Cunningham, Johnathan Taylor, Laura Webb, Lindsey Webb

Clay County: Andrea Litton, Gracen Samples, Seth Stover, Braylee Woods

Doddridge County: Alexis Shonk

Fayette County: Derek Bloomfield, Matthew Hackworth, Travis Myers, Kelsey Norris, Destiny Rader, Clayton Swisher

Gilmer County: Jacob Arden, Chandler Ferguson, Madisyn Furr, Thomas Gilco, Lauren Hardman, Wyatt Helmick, Emilie Jedamski, Jaylin Johnson, Amanda Lamb, Matthew Montgomery, Adam Moore, Hannah Moore, Kitric Moore, Analysse Petty, Hayley Summers, Katelyn Weese, Halee Wildman, Carrissa Wood, Trevor Wright

Grant County: Larissa Henry

Greenbrier County: Kerri Arbuckle, Justice Bowyer

Hardy County: Faith Smith

Harrison County: Lia Runyan

Jackson County: Josie Hayman, Evan Merical, Sapphire Parsons

Jefferson County: Michael Dodson, Jasmine Tarman

Kanawha County: Jacob Lutsy, Jeri Potter

Lewis County: Daniel Conrad, Hannah Curfman, Emily Kemper, Michael Marion, Taylor McClain, Heather Montgomery, April Moran, Brooklyn Queen, Sara Sellers, Arikka Smith, Damien White

Logan County: Alec Maynard

Marion County: Morgan Hardesty

Mineral County: Abigail Johnson

Monroe County: Cody Newhouse

Nicholas County: Danielle Bartlett, Charles Baughman, Tabitha Cochrum, Austin Hill, Anthony Mayes, William Womack, J. Cameron Woods

Pleasants County: Jessy Moore

Pocahontas County: Matthew Rao, Nancy Turner

Preston County: Brittany Louk

Putnam County: Sarah Lines, Jacob Stover, Tori Ward

Raleigh County: Jacob Coots, William Harper, Matthew Welch

Randolph County: Daniel Crawford, Kayla Palmer, Kathlyne Simmons

Roane County: Brianna Deel, Sabrina Gonzalez, Kimberly Lee, Chad Leport, Cassidy Taylor, James Williams

Tucker County: Angela Myers, Wiley Raines

Tyler County: Miranda Taylor

Upshur County: Belinda Lewis, Casey Orsburn

Webster County: Jared Romano

Wetzel County: James Goddard

Wirt County: Kristina Lowe, Kia Sleesman

Wood County: Taylor Broadwater, Hannah Dennis

Wyoming County: Ethan Gillespie, Kaci Mullins, Hunter Simmons

Out-Of-State: Giles Guy-Williams (CA), Andre Henderson (CA), Julia Lindberg (CT), Grant Williams (DC), Alyssa Banks (DE), Ryan Nimely (GA), Ai Miyazaki (Japan), Ethan Carr (KY), Haley Wolff (MD), Jacob Ngangum (MD), Julia Lesko (MD), Paranda Uber (MD), Madison Gargus (MI), Jessica Digennaro (NY), Brianna D’Angelo (NY), Isaiah Sattelmaier (OH), Catherine Pelfrey (OH), Chere Davis (VA), Cory Goodhope (VA), John Jeans (VA)

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Obituaries

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Roane County

Freda Mae Parsons

The Free Press WVAge78 of Gandeeville, WV passed away on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at Ravenswood Village Nursing Home following an extended illness. Born on June 16, 1940 in Harmony, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin

The Free Press WVAge 88, of Arnoldsburg, WV passed away on January 09, 2019 at her home. She was born in Roane County, WV on April 18, 1930, a daughter of the late Raymond and Nancy Holcomb Myers [ .... ]  Read More

Paris Foster Parsons

The Free Press WV Age 99, of Spencer, WV passed away on January 02, 2019 at Miletree Center, Spencer, WV. He was born March 29, 1919 at White Oak, Calhoun County, WV. He was the son of the late Cary Benton and Ethel Boggs Parsons [....]  Read More

April Desma Cox Wise

The Free Press WVAge 50, of Parkersburg, WV, passed away December 23, 2018 at Camden Clark Medical Center. She was born April 16, 1968, in Parkersburg, a daughter of Royal Donavon Cox Sr. of Harrisville, WV and the late Mary Virginia Tanzey Cox [ .... ]  Read More

Jesse Russell Miller

The Free Press WVAge 11, of Spencer, passed away Friday, December 21, 2018, along with his mother, Lillie Ann Brown Miller, at the Jackson General Hospital, Ripley, from complications resulting from an automobile accident. He was born January 05, 2007, at South Charleston, the son of Timothy S. Miller of Spencer and the late Lillie Ann Brown Miller [ .... ]  Read More

Ruth Hill Worstell

The Free Press WV Age 90, of Vienna, WV, passed away December 8th at Cedar Grove Assisted Living in Parkersburg after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Ruth was born March 12, 1928 in Greenwood, WV a daughter of the late Dorsey and Georgia (Starkey) Hill [....]  Read More

Margaret Marlene Vineyard

The Free Press WVAge 80, of Arnoldsburg, West Virginia, passed away Wednesday December 05, 2018 at Roane General Hospital after an extended illness. She was born in Clay County, West Virginia on March 11, 1938 [ .... ]  Read More

Franklin E. Sandy

The Free Press WV Age 86, of Spencer, WV, passed away on Tuesday, December 04, 2018 at Roane General Hospital. He was born June 27, 1932, in Calhoun County, WV, a son of the late Charles and Thelma Murphy Sandy [....]  Read More

Robert (Bob) Clarence Richards

The Free Press WVOn November 25th, 2018, heaven gained a new angel, Robert (Bob) Clarence Richards.  Bob was born on July 13, 1933 in Gilmer County, WV to the late Clarence and Bernice Richards [ .... ]  Read More

Paul William “Bill” Tallman

The Free Press WV Age 81, of Wilsie, WV passed away Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at CAMC Memorial Hospital. He was born April 11, 1937 in Gilmer County, WV, a son of the late Trader Beal and Thelma Agnus Ferrell Tallman [....]  Read More

Carol E. Kimble

The Free Press WVAge 83 of Glenville, WV departed this life suddenly on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 at her residence, following a short illness. She was born June 13, 1935 in Rosedale, WV; daughter of the late Trader and Thelma Ferrell Tallman [ .... ]  Read More

James Franklin Bunner

The Free Press WVAge 61, of Harrisville, WV passed away November 05, 2018 at Camden Clark Medical Center. He was born September 23, 1957 in Pennsboro, WV, the son of the late Frank and Wilma Ramsey Bunner [ .... ]  Read More

Letha “Shannon” Bailey

The Free Press WVAge 80, of Ireland, WV, returned to Heaven on October 31, 2018 from the comfort of her home and surrounded by her family. She was born on December 15, 1937 in Sand Run, WV, a daughter of Elmer and Alice Cidney Gibson McCartney [ .... ]  Read More

Millard Ray Wiant

The Free Press WV Age 82, of Spencer, WV, passed away October 03, 2018, at home. Ray was born July 01, 1936, at Glenville, WV, the son of the late Ray and Katrina Powell Wiant [....]  Read More

Patricia Irene Pyatt Jenkins

The Free Press WVAge 79, formerly of Cairo, WV, flew up to Heaven into the arms of Jesus to join her great granddaughter Cailyn Renea Lynch on October 13, 2018, after a long battle with Dementia/Alzheimers. Patricia was born October 24, 1938 to Nathan Chester Pyatt and Clarestine Dulane [ .... ]  Read More

Oran L. “Jim” Siers

The Free Press WV Age 82, resident of Cross Lanes, WV, formerly of Fairmont, passed away on Tuesday, October 09, 2018, after a short stay at Teays Valley Center. Jim was born April 10, 1936, in Floe, WV, a son of the late Orla Siers and Ora Boggs Siers [....]  Read More

Denzil Earl Rose

The Free Press WV Age 78, of Walker, WV passed away September 29, 2018 at the Worthington Healthcare Center. He was born on December 07, 1939 in Calhoun County, WV and was the son of the late Russell and Mildred Nutter Rose [....]  Read More

Joann Dawson

The Free Press WV Age 75, of Grantsville, WV went to her heavenly home on September 27, 2018, surrounded by her loving family. She was born June 11, 1943 in Big Bend, WV to the late Shirdie and Eulah Hosey Richards [....]  Read More

Paul “Joe” J. Brown

The Free Press WVAge 73, of Sutton, WV passed away Monday, September 24, 2018 at the Genesis Health Care Nursing Home. He was born at Dille, WV on July 15, 1945 to the late Thomas Brown and Rosalee (James Brown)  [ .... ]  Read More

Fred R. Lowe

The Free Press WV Age 83 passed away Friday, September 14th after a brave hard-fought battle with cancer. Fred was born in 1935 in Spencer West (By God) Virginia. He grew up in Grantsville, WV and attended Calhoun County High School, his parents owning the Rainbow Hotel [....]  Read More

Mary L. Metz Pursley

The Free Press WV Age 85, of Parkersburg, WV formerly of Spencer, WV passed away September 10, 2018 at the Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. She was born July 02, 1933 in Calhoun County, WV, a daughter of the late Glenn “Bill” and Velma Fowler McEndree [....]  Read More

Bonnie M. Drake

The Free Press WVAge 96, of Glenville, WV, passed away September 06, 2018, at the Glenville Health Care Center, Glenville, after complications of Alzheimer’s disease. She was born April 15, 1922, at Walton, WV, the daughter of the late Preston Murphy “Pat” and Lessie Virginia Starcher Larch [ .... ]  Read More

Paul Gordon Bailey

The Free Press WVAge 92, of Tariff, West Virginia, passed away at his home on Monday, August 27, 2018. He was born July 03, 1926, in Milo, Calhoun County, West Virginia, the son of Joe R. and Stella Moss Bailey [ .... ]  Read More

Hayward Lee Wilson

The Free Press WV Age 65, of Cairo,WC passed away August 26, 2018 at Camden Clark Medical Center, Parkersburg. He was born September 23, 1952 at Parkersburg, WV, the son of the late Ralph P. and Gertrude Rollyson Wilson [....]  Read More

Eugene “Beanie” Benear

The Free Press WV Age 82, of Spencer, WV passed away August 26, 2018 at the Roane General Hospital in Spencer. He was born May 06, 1936 in Spencer, WV a son of the late Burl and Vernie Nichols Benear. He worked in the timber and as a pipeliner [....]  Read More

Margie I. Williams Evans

The Free Press WV Age 94, of Arnoldsburg, West Virginia, passed away on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at home. She was born June 03, 1924, a daughter of the late Herbert and Ila Langford Williams [....]  Read More

Marie A. Whytsell

The Free Press WV Age 83, of Grantsville, WV, passed away on August 03, 2018 at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg, West Virginia. She was born December 24, 1934 in Albany, New York, a daughter of Joseph and Freda Kegley Albanese [....]  Read More

Helena Booher Siers Fulks

The Free Press WV Age 95, of Spencer, WV went to be with her Heavenly Father on Sunday, July 29, 2018. She was born April 19, 1923 at Orma, Calhoun County, WV, a daughter of that late Ralph and Ota Luzader Booher [....]  Read More

Luie Mae Griffith

The Free Press WVAge 66, of Spencer, WV passed away July 12, 2018, at the Hubbard Hospice House, Charleston, after an extended illness. She was born June 13, 1952 at Beech, Calhoun County, WV; a daughter of the late Andy Osie and Ethel Marie Elswick Duncan [ .... ]  Read More

Joyce Marie Morgan (Williams)

The Free Press WV Age 63, of Arnoldsburg, WV went on to be with the Lord June 26th, 2018. Joyce was born in Roane County, WV on April 05, 1955, the daughter of the late Walter (George) and Helen Williams [....]  Read More

Lenna Cleo Carpenter

The Free Press WV Age 79, of Looneyville, WV passed away Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at home. He was born June 24, 1938 in Calhoun County, WV, a son of the late Commodore and Eulah Eugene Tanner Carpenter [....]  Read More

Vicki A. Wood

The Free Press WV Age 60, of Arnoldsburg, WV passed away Friday, June 15, 2018 at home. She was born January 17, 1958 at Leesburg, Va., the daughter of the late Willard Bert and Virginia Christine Sandridge Upright [....]  Read More

Doyle Duane Smith

The Free Press WVAge 87, of Washington, WV passed away June 12, 2018, in The Willows Center, Parkersburg with his family by his side. He was born May 06, 1931, in West Union, WV, a son of the late Otha E. and Ruth E. (Squires) Smith [ .... ]  Read More

Danny Eugene Laxton

The Free Press WVAge 71, of Grantsville, WV passed away June 05, 2018 at home. He was born June 11, 1946 at Elkview, WV, a son of the late Ulysses McKinley and Cora May King Laxton [ .... ]  Read More

Ella Josephine Clark

The Free Press WV Age 87, of Marietta, Ohio and Spencer, West Virginia, passed away Sunday June 03, 2018 at Letherbark,(Calhoun County) West Virginia. She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Gene L. Clark, of Marietta, Ohio [....]  Read More

Mary Marie West Umstead

The Free Press WVAge 89, passed away May 19, 2018 at the home of her daughter in Johnson City, TN. She is preceded in death by her parents, Willie and Iva West of Spencer, WV, her husband Robert Umstead and her son Robert Umstead II.  [ .... ]  Read More

Arlene Carol Sprouse Harper

The Free Press WVAge 78 of Glenville, WV; formerly of Normantown, WV went to be with her Lord and Savior in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. Born January 23, 1940 at Lockney, WV, Carol is the daughter of the late Edgar Lytle and Hazel Grimes Sprouse [ .... ]  Read More

Frances Madge Chadwell

The Free Press WVAge 91, peacefully departed this life on May 14,2018, at her daughter’s home in Weston, WV, after a long illness. She was born Aug. 27,1926, on Linn Camp Run at Normantown, WV, the daughter of Frank and Olga (Kennedy) James [ .... ]  Read More

Jeannette Lee Simons

The Free Press WVAge 82, of Orma, WV passed away Friday, May 11, 2018 at the home of her daughter, after an extended illness. She was born October 06, 1935 at Spencer, WV, a daughter of the late Dennis Alfred and Goldie McCoy Henderson [ .... ]  Read More

Charles E. Harold

The Free Press WVAge 91, a long-time resident of Glenville, West Virginia, passed away on Thursday, May 03, 2018, at Cedar Grove Senior Assisted Living in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Born May 18, 1926 in Roane County, West Virginia, he was the son of the late Kelley S. Harold, Sr. and Ethel G. Keen Harold [ .... ]  Read More

Nancy Louise Putnam

The Free Press WV Age 77, of Elizabeth, WV passed away April 16, 2018 at her residence. She was born July 05, 1940 at Parkersburg, WV, the daughter of the late Franklin Dale “Jim” and Mary Elizabeth Heater Spears [....]  Read More

Deborah Kay Ray

The Free Press WV Age 56, of Chloe,WV passed away Saturday, April 14, 2018 at CAMC – Memorial Hospital, Charleston. She was born June 30, 1961 at Spencer, WV, a daughter of the late William George and Janice Elaine Drake Conley [....]  Read More

Frances Irene Jarvis Saffir

The Free Press WVAge 81, of Spencer, WV passed away Sunday, April 08, 2018 at the Hubbard Hospice House, Charleston. She was born July 03, 1936 at Ovapa, a daughter of the late Spencer and Dona Jarvis [ .... ]  Read More

Donald Earl “Amos” Burrows

The Free Press WVAge 86, of Davisville, WV passed away March 19, 2018 at his home.He was born February 26, 1932 in Grantsville, WV to the late Walter and Mary Givens Burrows [ .... ]  Read More

Betty R. Watson

The Free Press WVAge 85, of Harrisville, WV passed away March 06, 2018 at Marietta Memorial Hospital. She was born January 25, 1933 at Spencer, WV, the daughter of the late Roy K. and Ethelyn Virginia Wharton Poe [ .... ]  Read More

Beverley J Hall

The Free Press WVAge 75, of Arnoldsburg, WV passed away Thursday, March 01, 2018 at CAMC General Hospital after a short illness with cancer. Our beloved wife and mother was born October 18, 1942 to the late Russell and Oma Nester [ .... ]  Read More

Kennith Lee Straley

The Free Press WVAge 66, of Parkersburg, WV passed away Monday, February 19, 2018, surrounded by family at Camden-Clark Medical Center. Kennith was born May 25, 1951 in Glenville, WV, the son of the late George Stillman Straley, and Edith Bessie (Montgomery) Straley [ .... ]  Read More

Lyla Jean Sharps

The Free Press WV Age 81 of Glenville, WV departed this life in the early morning hours of Monday, February 05, 2018 at her residence in Camden Flats, following an extended illness. Born February 07, 1936 in Apple Farm, WV; (Calhoun County), Lyla is the daughter of the late Edwin E. and Lurland Robinson Stump [....]  Read More

Joan C. Knicley

The Free Press WV Age 65, of Cairo, WV passed away January 28, 2018 at her residence. She was born November 23, 1952 at Ansted, WV, the daughter of the late Amos L. and Luella M. Eastman Boyce [....]  Read More

Kathryn June (Kookie) Harris

The Free Press WV Age 58, of Grantsville, West Virginia was surrounded by her family as she departed this world for her heavenly home January 26, 2018. She was born June 15, 1959 in Spencer, WV. She was the youngest of eleven children born to the late Walter and Euleta Jones of Grantsville [....]  Read More

Jennings Terry Starcher

The Free Press WVAge 65, of Ravenswood, West Virginia, departed this life on January 16, 2018 at his home following an extended illness.  Terry was born March 26, 1952 in Canton, Ohio, a son of the late Edwin Neil Starcher and Wilma McGraw Hughes [ .... ]  Read More

Robert Basnett, Jr.

The Free Press WV Age 72, of Spencer, WV passed away on January 14, 2018 at Roane General Hospital, Spencer, WV. He was born in Calhoun County, WV on May 07, 1945, a son of the late Robert Basnett, Sr. and Virginia Lucille Kerby Basnett of Grantsville, WV [....]  Read More

Darrell Eugene Metheney

The Free Press WVAge 74, of Leroy, WV passed away peacefully, at his home on January 03, 2018 [ .... ]  Read More

Gayle Vannoy Doolittle

The Free Press WVAge 76, of Spencer,WV passed away December 30, 2017 at the Miletree Center, Spencer, after a long illness [ .... ]  Read More

Freddie Veon Kerby

The Free Press WVAge 62, of Grantsville, WV passed away on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at Minnie Hamilton Health System, Grantsville, WV…  Read More

Lora Don Freshour

The Free Press WV Age 85, of Reedy, WV passed quietly in his sleep in the hospital on December 21, 2017. He bravely battled many illnesses. Don was born June 23, 1932 in Cremo, WV (Calhoun County, WV) the son of the late Bertha Starcher….  Read More

Stacil Alva Fox

The Free Press WVAge 81, of Spencer, West Virginia died December 15, 2017 at the Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg, West Virginia. She was born August 10, 1936 in Calhoun County, West Virginia a daughter of the late Earl and Betty Tucker ...

Richard Franklin Bennett

The Free Press WVAge 61, of Spencer, WV left this earth on December 14, 2017. He was born at Gassaway, WV and grew up at Rosedale, WV….

Leonard Newton Miller

The Free Press WVAge 91, of Spencer, West Virginia died December 14, 2017 at the Roane General Hospital, Spencer.

Ruby Lucille Mihlbauer

The Free Press WVAge 93, of Parkersburg, WV passed away December 09, 2017, at Camden Clark Medical Center. She was born December 30, 1923, in Ritchie County, WV, a daughter of the late James Andrew and Minnie Amanda Davis.

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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