Regional News

WVDEP’s REAP Program Announces More Than $85,000 in Litter Control Grants

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has announced the recipients of the fiscal year 2019 Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP) Litter Control Matching Grants.

The 31 recipients were approved for $85,117.72 in grant funding. Funding for the litter control program is generated through civil penalties imposed on litter violations, as well as state agency facility recycling revenue as described in West Virginia Code §22-15A-4 and §22-15A-5.

Town of Anmoore: $2,500.00
The funding will be used for litter and recycling triple unit receptacles for the town parks.

Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority: $3,000.00
The funding will be used for “No Littering” signage for the county-wide litter program.

City of Bluefield: $4,125.00
The funding will be used for razing dilapidated structures around the city.

City of Buckhannon: $3,500.00
The funding will be used for the city-wide property cleanup program and anti-litter educational materials.

Town of Buffalo: $3,157.00
The funding will be used for dumpster rental fees, landfill fees, personnel wages and mass mailings for a town cleanup event.

Clay County Commission: $2,569.80
The funding will be used for litter receptacles and promotional items for the county cleanup program.

Town of Clendenin: $2,000.00
The funding will be used for anti-littering signage, litter and cigarette receptacles.

Town of Delbarton: $2,500.00
The funding will be used for litter and cigarette receptacles throughout the town.

City of Dunbar: $5,000.00
The funding will be used for razing dilapidated structures throughout the city.

City of Grafton: $2,000.00
The funding will be used for landfill fees for a town cleanup.

Hancock County Solid Waste Authority: $1,296.00
The funding will be used for personnel wages for the county-wide open dump and roadside litter cleanup program.

Jackson County Solid Waste Authority: $3,000.00
The funding will be used for educational materials and a county-wide cleanup event.

Kanawha County Commission: $3,500.00
The funding will be used for landfill fees, advertising and wages for deputies to issue citations and work county cleanup events.

City of Kenova: $2,947.62
The funding will be used for razing dilapidated structures throughout the city.

City of Kingwood: $5,000.00
The funding will be used for razing dilapidated structures throughout the city.

McDowell County Commission: $5,000.00
The funding will be used for razing dilapidated structures throughout the county.

McDowell County Solid Waste Authority: $2,500.00
The funding will be used for Litter Control Officer wages.

Mercer County Solid Waste Authority: $3,000.00
The funding will be used for landfill fees for cleanup events.

New Martinsville Parks and Recreation: $1,197.00
The funding will be used for litter receptacles and liners for the city parks.

City of Parkersburg: $3,000.00
The funding will be used for fencing to contain litter and protect wetlands at the city recycling center.

Pleasants County Commission: $2,500.00
The funding will be used for personnel wages for the county-wide illegal dump remediation program.

Preston County Solid Waste Authority: $2,088.00
The funding will be used for fuel for the Litter Control Officer vehicle for the county-wide program.

Putnam County Solid Waste Authority: $2,500.00
The funding will be used for Litter Control Officer wages for the county-wide litter control program.

Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority: $3,800.00
The funding will be used for a dump trailer for the county-wide litter control program.

Region VIII Solid Waste Authority: $1,900.00
The funding will be used for travel, conference space rental and meeting supplies for regional litter control workshop events.

Wayne County Commission: $2,000.00
The funding will be used for Litter Control Officer wages for the county-wide litter control program.

Webster County Commission: $2,000.00
The funding will be used for Litter Control Officer wages for the county-wide litter control program.

City of Weston: $1,393.00
The funding will be used for litter receptacles for the city-wide litter program.

Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority: $2,500.00
The funding will be used for Litter Control Officer wages and fuel for the Litter Control Officer’s vehicle for the county-wide litter program.

Wood County Solid Waste Authority: $1,143.80
The funding will be used for gloves and trash bags for cleanup events.

Wyoming County Solid Waste Authority: $2,500.00
The funding will be used for fuel, tires and maintenance for the Litter Control vehicle for the county-wide litter control program.

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:

Lewis County Grand Jury Indictments

The Free Press WV

A Lewis County grand jury indicted 41 individuals when it convened this week with Judge Kurt W. Hall presiding.

Among those indicted are several of the 17 individuals of Lewis, Upshur and Marion counties arrested in April on drug-related charges after several months of investigation, including:

  • Joshua Alan Osborne, 29, of Farmington, on one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine and one felony count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine

  • Joshua Ryan McGuire, 31, of Weston, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school and one felony count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school

  • Steven Nicholas Lockhart, 26, of Weston, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and one felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, methamphetamine

  • Cody Allen Richards, 23, of Alum Bridge, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school and one felony count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school

  • David Lynn “Pack Rat” Pickens, 62, of Ireland, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, marijuana

  • David Neal Hicks, 55, of Weston, on four felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school

  • Dana Erik Anderson, 27, of Hundred, on one count of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine and one felony count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine

  • Chasity Marie Knapp, 41, of Jane Lew, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine

  • In relation to a January 2016 drug bust that led to seven arrests, Brent Radcliff II, 34, of Weston, was indicted on one felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, methamphetamine.

  • Also indicted was Nicholas Grant Cutlip, 54, of Weston. Cutlip was indicted on one felony count of retaliation against public officers and employees. He was previously arrested in July 2014 after 84 meth labs were discovered in his Weston home, two of which were operating at the time.

Card of Thanks

The Free Press WV

Card of Thanks

On behalf of the family and friends of Beryl D. McCord, deceased, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Lewis County Honor Guard, the Lewis County ROTC, Reverend Martin Wine, Pastor Robert Mitchell and Lee Ellyson of Ellyson Mortuary Inc. for your help during Beryl’s memorial service at the Knights of Pythias Cemetery.

You were amazing. Thank you.

Patrick Wine


The Free Press WV
June 04, 2018
7:00 p.m.

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick with Council members Dean, Wiant, and Taylor present. Council members Fisher and Huffman were absent.

Pledge of Allegiance

I. Call to Order

Public Comments


A. Approval of Minutes – May 7th, 2018

The minutes from the May 07, 2018 meeting were reviewed. No corrections were noted and minutes were placed on file for audit.


II. Reports


We are currently at 92.88% of the fiscal year budget with revenue at 100% and expenditures at 95.08%. Councilwoman Dean made a motion to approve the financial statement as presented. Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Street Report

The current Street Dept. Supervisor has resigned to take another job. Mayor Fitzpatrick noted that he had just hired a new street worker, Scott McCullough, at $9 per hour and Scott will be on probation status for 90 days. The hourly wage will increase to $10 per hour following the satisfactory probationary period.

Police Report

Chief Huffman was absent. Mayor Fitzpatrick reviewed the police report with council. Mayor Fitzpatrick will follow up with city police regarding procedure for pulling over vehicles along road for safety concerns.

Glenville Utility

A three-inch water line leak was repaired on Beverly Drive. A recent water plant inspection was completed with no violations. There was a sewer leak on a service line on Mineral Road that was corrected.


Nothing to report.

Mayor Comments


* 5K Run

Mayor Fitzpatrick noted that FRN has requested permission to hold a 5K run on August 25 beginning at 9:00 a.m. The City will help patrol this event.

* Folk Festival – Street Closure

The Folk Festival Committee submitted a letter requesting street closures throughout the week for the annual Folk Festival. The City will close Court Street from Main Street to back of United Bank on Monday for construction of the platform for square dancing, close Main Street at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday and 3:00 p.m. on Friday with street closure all day on Saturday. The parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. The Folk Festival Committee will pay $150 for use of the City Park to cover electricity and water. Mayor Fitzpatrick reminded council that he will be traveling to Weirton to attend a WV Municipal League quarterly meeting and will attend the annual training meeting for Flood Plain Management on June 11. Council has already approved his travel reimbursement for expenses.

* Part-time workers for Festival (3)

Requested approval to hire three (3) part-time workers at minimum wage for approximately 30 hours each to work during Folk Festival. Councilwoman Taylor made a motion to hire three part-time workers at minimum wage for approximately 30 hours each for Folk Festival. Councilwoman Dean seconded the motion. Motion passed.

* Ribbon cutting for the Pioneer Stage Blue Grass building on the 20 th/6 p m.

GSC President Pellett requested Mayor Fitzpatrick attend the upcoming ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Bluegrass building (the old Midland Building) on Wednesday, June 20.

* Parade 23rd at 11:00

The Folk Festival Parade will be held on Saturday, June 23, at 11:00 a.m.

* Gadney returning in June

Officer Gadney will return to duty the 18th of June following additional military training.

* Bullet Proof Vest Approval

Chief Huffman has requested the purchase of a new bullet proof vest at a total cost of $1340 to replace his current one. Councilwoman Dean made a motion to approve the purchase of a new bullet-proof vest for Chief Huffman. Councilman Wiant seconded the motion. Motion passed.

* Reed double wide

Burk Reed would like to place a double wide trailor near his garage on Walnut Street following the purchase of his current property for the new round-about location. Councilwoman Dean made a motion to approve the placement of a double wide home at this new location. Councilman Wiant seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Mayor Fitzpatrick requested Councilman Wiant send him the pole number for the street light that is currently out so he can follow up on this for repair.

III. Unfinished Business


IV. New Business


V. Other Business to come before Council


VI. Next City Council Meeting

The next council meeting will be July 02, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

VII. Adjourn

Meeting adjourned at 7:13 p.m.

Jeanette Riffle: Watermelon Heaven

The Free Press WV

My husband’s grandpa, Charlie Riffle, raised one of the biggest watermelon patches around. He lived on the Bear Fork and had a melon patch twice as big as our whole garden. For each hill, he dug a big hole, put in a handful of fertilizer, a shovel of horse manure and enough dirt to fill the hole up level with the ground. Then he took more dirt and made a hill like you would for cucumbers and he put the watermelon seeds in that. That would be a lot of work with hills like that all over a big garden. He sold the melons for 3 cents a pound, so a 12 pound melon would only cost 36 cents. He had men coming every Sunday afternoon to buy melons. When they found out that he had good watermelons, they would come to visit and eat all they could hold and then buy one to take home. This was back in the mid 40’s and early 50’s.  He quit growing melons when he came to live close to his daughter and her family at the Shock log cabin. They had a little house there for him to live in so they could take care of him in his old age and Duane’s aunt and uncle didn’t raise melons. Duane said that he helped his grandpa raise a watermelon patch there one time, but it didn’t do too good so they gave up. It was over across the creek from where my brother, Brock, now owns a little piece for a hay field. Duane’s Uncle Ralph Perrine brought in store bought watermelons and hid them under bushes out in front of the cabin to keep them cool. People would take the salt shakers, cut into those melons, go outside, sit on split bottom chairs,  and spit watermelon seeds out on the ground.  There were always chairs out on the grass, by the back porch of the cabin, to sit out there in warm weather.

Grandma Riffle had died ahead of Grandpa and he didn’t stay at the old home place very long after she died. Duane thinks she died about 1954.  We all had feather pillows back then and the feathers formed a crown in her pillow where she lay dying.  Aunt Susie felt it and cut it out of the pillow and she showed it to me one time after I married into the family. I had never heard of anything like that and was trying to figure out what would make feathers do that. She said that her mother was a saint and feathers do that around the head of a saint when they die.

Her name was Sarah Cottrell Riffle. She was a Baptist by faith and went to church when she could but in winter the weather was too bad to walk the distance she had to go to get to church. She read her Bible and lived the Christian life, though.  I have since read about that feather crown inside the pillow of a dying person so I guess there were others that experienced that too.

We have been enjoying watermelon lately. We don’t grow them but Duane brought in a store bought one. My brother, Roger, told us that Grandpa Frank Stewart grew watermelons and he helped. They brought in a hot watermelon one summer day and didn’t wait for it to chill down. They were so hungry for watermelon that they just went in on it and between the two of them, they ate the whole thing.  Roger said he got so sick he threw up and to this day he can hardly stand watermelon. That would do it.

Until next time, stay close to the Lord and just try and enjoy the rest of the summer. We have had a couple sunny days without rain. Maybe our gardens will do better if the rain will slow down.

WV Legislative Update


We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”.  If there was any doubt as to what circumstances this applies, then recall the weather last week.  It was some of the most oppressive summer weather in recent memory.  However, I didn’t complain.  If I were still railroading, the operating cab of an old locomotive would be about 115 degrees.

Although we choose the day weeks in advance, Jean and I decided to take in the WV Arts and Crafts Festival at Cedar Lakes, along with grandkids Kenzie and Carson.  Despite the heat and humidity, we had a great day and had the opportunity to see and meet some of the most talented artists and craftsmen around. 

The impeachment proceedings against one or more West Virginia Supreme Court Justices continue to move forward in the House of Delegates, with the Judiciary Committee beginning the investigation on behalf of the House.  The Judiciary Committee plans to meet, beginning this Thursday through Saturday; then again on July 19 for at least three more days in order to prepare articles of impeachment.  Each current Supreme Court justice is being investigated separately.  Each of the managers appointed on the Judiciary Committee will present their evidence to the full House of Delegates for a vote.  If adopted, it would then move to the Senate, where that body would serve as a jury in the proceedings.

The last several days continue to have ups and downs for higher education in West Virginia. Recently, Governor Justice appointed a blue ribbon commission to examine our West Virginia colleges and universities “so critical to our communities” and also expressing concern over “the continued erosion of their stability”.  Shortly after his announcement, a study was released from a Colorado think tank that was commissioned by the Higher Education Policy Commission.  While at this writing I have not reviewed the entire report, some of the initial recommendations, including combining the board of governors for four institutions - Bluefield State, Concord, Glenville and WV State – are non-starters for me.

Meanwhile, I have made a request to the House Speaker in a phone conversation late last week to serve as one of the three House members on this panel.  Whether I’m appointed or not, I certainly plan to have an active and vocal role, as I believe that higher education and our community and technical colleges have been financially cut to the detriment of our citizens and the economic future of our State.  Moreover, it always seems that discussions begin with GSC being one of the first targets, which offends me greatly as it should for everyone in central West Virginia; alumni and friends of GSC from around the State and beyond; and specifically Glenville and Gilmer County.

GSC has a positive story to tell and remains a vital component in the higher education system.  I think it is an absolute necessity that advocates for our smaller, regional institutions have a seat at the table to look out for their interests, needs and concerns.

Some good news emerged last week on the state budget front, as there should be a small surplus of approximately $20 million dollars for the fiscal year that ended on June 30.  While $20 million is no insignificant amount, when weighed in comparison to a $4.225 billion budget it’s a razor thin margin.  It’s certainly better to conclude the year in the black ink than in the red ink we’ve experienced recently.  However, the overall revenue collections are down in some key areas from previous years.

By law, half of any surplus must go into the Rainy Day Fund.  A portion of the remainder will likely go to:  Office of Drug Control Policy ($5 million); Volunteer Fire Department Workers Comp payments ($2 million); maintenance and expansion of stream flow gauges ($765,000); Division of Tourism ($2.5 million).  These initial priorities were placed in the back of the budget surplus section when the budget was approved.

No one had better rest on their laurels will a slight surplus.  Now that we’re in the first month of the 2019 fiscal year, there still is no report on PEIA from the Governor’s Task Force or from what source(s) the needed funding will be found.

Finally, Jean and I both are experiencing major problems in getting access to or communicating via Facebook.  Apparently, many others are experiencing similar problems, with screens on mobile devices going black.  Hopefully, this can be resolved soon. 

Please send your inquiries to my home office:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

Pat’s Chat

The Free Press WV

The first Sabbath of each month is a busy one for the Seventh-day Adventists.  That is when the special Fellowship Dinner is scheduled and everyone is asked to bring extra food.  We certainly exceeded expectations this past Sabbath with many casseroles and other items.  The public is invited to these first-Sabbath feasts so that we can get acquainted with our neighbors.

Tony and Maria Metzler added joy to the day by choosing to renew their wedding vows with a beautiful service, bride, flower girls, etc.  They had beautifully decorated one section of tables with a lovely tiered wedding cake, balloons, flowers and other items to create an aura of love and peace.  They had written their own vows and read them to each other.  Very sweet.  I repeat my invitation for you to come visit us any Sabbath, but if you want a good food afterwards, for certain, make it the first Sabbath of any month.

The Free Press WV
Ministers and Elders “laying on hands” and praying to ordain Mike Stutler

Another procedure that is much more serious also took place that day.  You can read about how God instructs churches to choose and ordain elders and deacons in 1 Timothy 3 and 4 and Titus, and other places.  It is quite a sobering experience.  Roy Waybright and Michael Stutler are both fairly new Seventh-day Adventists and they were set apart by ordination for special work in the church.  Each of them has special talents that they are already using in the Lord’s work, the spreading the Good News of a loving and soon-to-return Jesus.  They and their families are great additions to our church.

My granddaughter and her family were visiting today and she asked me what I did to keep busy.  My days are always busy, even though more often than ever before I just have to stop and rest or nap.  Everything takes me much more time than it used to.  But I don’t twiddle my thumbs.  I study every day to prepare to teach the Sabbath School lesson on Sabbath.  This includes prayer for myself, my family, and others.  This week, with my daughter’s help, we prepared food for our visitors and for Fellowship meal at church.  I always try to go first Sabbath to play the piano for the group that goes to Holbrook’s for a service there and while I am there, I also visit someone I know who is in the Nursing Home.  All this “doing” keeps me busy, but it does not do one thing to add to my salvation.  Everything I do is meaningless unless I am continuing in my relationship with Jesus, my Creator, my God.  If something I am doing keeps me too busy to spend time with Him, then I am making an idol out of whatever “busy-ness” I am pursuing while neglecting Him, my dearest Friend.


Stonewall Jackson Lake named the best lake in WV

The Free Press WV

Stonewall Jackson Lake has been ranked among the best lakes in the United States by MSN.

Stonewall Jackson Lake was named the best lake in West Virginia on a list called “The Best Lakes in All 50 States,” by Charyn Pfeuffer.

The lake was rated on affordability, scenic beauty and fishing potential.

The MSN feature said: “Briar Point Campground is a favorite spot for front-row views of Stonewall Jackson Lake. Visit the Marina at Stonewall Resort to rent a pontoon boat, Aqua Cycle, or stand-up paddle board.”

Stonewall Resort State Park also has other accommodations aside from the campground.

The resort has 195 rooms and 12 cottages, and there are a number of other attractions, including a pool, spa, fitness center, restaurants, conference centers and an 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course.

Missing Cattle

The Free Press WV

Missing Cattle: 7 head

1 young jersey cow

1 Jersey heifer

3 black heifers

1 red heifer

1 black and white heifer

Missing from Flat Run, Pigeons Run, and Butcher’s Run area.

Contact Colin Sprouse at 304.462.8106

Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards

The Free Press WV
The Free Press WV 

Citing declining enrollment, and increasing reliance on that enrollment rather than the state Legislature for funding, plus competition for students from West Virginia and Marshall universities, a report recommends merging the governing boards of Bluefield State College, Concord University, Glenville State College and West Virginia State University.

The document, from the Colorado-based nonprofit National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, labels those four schools “Medium Risk to High Risk” in sustainability, saying they’re “sustainable in the short-term, but their futures are uncertain.”

The REPORT recommends this move, in the short-term for Bluefield and Concord and in the long-term for Glenville and WVSU, and suggests “initially” retaining the separate boards of governors for Fairmont State, Shepherd and West Liberty universities, “but with additional powers regarding governance of institutions explicitly delegated” to the state Higher Education Policy Commission.

The recommendations include “leaving open” that Concord and Bluefield “could become a single accredited institution” and “the potential of including New River Community and Technical College within the new structure while retaining its unique mission as a community college.”

The report, which includes several other recommendations, also lists negative effects of the state government’s decisions to separate community colleges from public 4-year schools, weaken the power of the HEPC, decentralize governance and cut higher education funding.

And at a time when the presidents of WVU, Marshall and Concord are to co-chair Gov. Jim Justice’s newly formed group to study the funding and sustainability of higher education (the HEPC was already studying a possible funding formula), the report notes that a “major obstacle to collaboration with West Virginia University or Marshall University is a fear that the larger institutions will collaborate only out of their self-interest to stifle competition or ultimately take over the smaller institutions.”

“With West Virginia University admitting more than 35 percent of high school graduates in 22 counties, it seems improbable that all these students would have been the top-performing students in their counties,” the report states. “The more selective institutions are dipping deeper into their applicant pools to the detriment of the regional institutions. ... In the absence of some external forces, this predation will continue.”

“We have not previously seen the report, so we can’t react in detail,” WVU Communications Office Senior Executive Director John Bolt said after being sent the report late Tuesday afternoon. “Nevertheless, I can say without equivocation that West Virginia University is not predatory.”

“It is not appropriate to comment until I have had an opportunity to read and thoroughly review the report,” said Bluefield President Marsha Krotseng, to whom the Gazette-Mail also sent the report late Tuesday.

In a statement, Concord President Kendra Boggess suggested that the data in the report are accurate, but said a Bluefield/Concord consolidation is “only one potential option that should be considered.”

The report says that, “in the longer-term, as suggested by the Consolidated Financial Index, all the regional institutions are at risk of failure. However, that risk varies significantly.”

The report defines “regional institutions” as all public four-year schools but WVU, Marshall, their branch campuses and the School of Osteopathic Medicine, in Lewisburg.

“NCHEMS’ observation is that for the institutions at highest risk, Bluefield State College and Concord University, the challenges are so serious that only a major restructuring will preserve postsecondary education opportunity for students in Southern West Virginia,” the report states. “Implementing this restructuring will require external pressure, leadership, and on-going facilitation to mandate and implement a consolidation of academic, student and administrative capacity of the two institutions.

“Nevertheless, forces at both institutions continue to resist needed changes,” the report states. “Bluefield State College continues to pursue construction of a residence hall, with partial support from a local foundation, with hopes that this will enable the institution to recruit and retain more students. This while Concord has empty dormitory space.”

The report goes on to state that, “Without immediate action to mandate that these two institutions pursue an integrated approach to their future, each institution will continue on its downward trajectory.”

The report, dated April 3, is labeled draft and was obtained from the HEPC by the Gazette-Mail through an open records request.

Neither NCHEMS Vice President Brian Prescott nor HEPC Communications Director Shelli Dronsfield said they’re anticipating any changes to the report. Dronsfield said it hasn’t been released because the HEPC staff is still developing an executive summary and response to the report, planned to be presented alongside the report to the HEPC board in August.

~~  Ryan Quinn ~~

Butler named New River CTC interim president

The Free Press WV

The New River Community and Technical College Board of Governors has selected Dr. Kathy Butler to serve as interim president of New River Community and Technical College until the search is completed to fill the position vacated by the resignation of Dr. L. Marshall Washington.

Butler has over 35 years of experience in West Virginia education, including 26 years in higher education (both public and private) and 10 years in public K-12 education.

She has served as WV Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, working with both the Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System and later served as Special Assistant to the HEPC Chancellor.

At the college level, Butler has held nearly every academic position at Glenville State College: faculty, Dean, Academic Vice President and Provost. Additionally, she also served as a Special Assistant/Counselor to the President at Ohio Valley University.

She holds an Ed.D. in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from West Virginia University.

Jeanette Riffle: Bats in the Belfry

The Free Press WV

Bats in the belfry and one got in the church and was hiding under the organ bench when I went up to my organ last Wednesday night. We are into revival and I play organ before church and after. I yelled for my husband to come and get it before the service turned into a Mississippi Squirrel Revival.In this case a West Virginia bat revival. I thought there was something wrong with it because when I put my cane up to it, it just spread it’s webbed wings but didn’t move. He said they fly at night and sleep in the daytime, so maybe it was just sleepy.

Bats like to get in the bell tower of churches because they like darkness. They do eat insects that fly at night but we don’t like them getting in our houses or the church. One got in my parents house one night and Mom said she batted it all over the bedroom with a broom and finally got it. One other time a chipmunk got in their house and was making noises and keeping them awake at night, when it would go in their bedroom. She had to set a trap for that one.  It was too quick and kept getting away from her. We used to have chipmunks and ground squirrels here, but I haven’t seen any since we took the pan of dog food off the back porch.  That’s what was drawing them. Everything likes dog food.

The last time I wrote a story it was raining, but today it is hot and we have had sunshine all day. We heard on the weather report last night that we had a dry day ahead, so Duane jumped out before 6:30 this morning, started weed eating, and then did trimming on the little riding mower. He came in for coffee and breakfast and then went right back out again to mow with the big mower. Everyone is behind with outside work because of all the rain we have had.

Tomorrow, he has to do more garden work. A friend of mine told me that the weeds got so high in her garden , she had to go in on them with a weed eater. That’s the way Duane has been doing my flower garden for several years, now. A few flowers have come up missing but I’m justglad to get the help as I am not able to go pull weeds anymore.  What will July hold? We will take whatever we get, huh?  Temps in the 90’s are supposed to return this weekend.

This past week we have had sunshine and rain all in one day. First one and then the other all day long as the storms went through. Tonight is the last night of revival at Rosedale Baptist. It’s been a good week.  Enjoy your family and friends and get out to attend the church of your choice.

Until next time, take care and God bless !

WV Legislative Update


The arrival of July ushered in one of the hottest, most humid stretches in recent memory, as we celebrate Independence Day and the unofficial mid-point of the summer season.  Early July also brings hundreds of former residents back to Gassaway during the annual Gassaway Days celebration.  Good crowds, good food, entertainment, amusements, renewing old friendships and a great fireworks show made the 2018 edition another successful weekend event.  Thanks to the sponsors, planning committee, town council members, city workers and Mayor Roach for another great event.  Special thanks also go to the Gassaway Volunteer Fire Department members for their hard work to clean bridges and streets in preparation for the event, along with our State Police and County law enforcement.  Your efforts are very much appreciated in providing a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Fairs and festivals in Braxton, Gilmer and counties across the state rely, in part, on the funding provided through the Fairs and Festivals section of the State budget.  While it’s unfortunate that the funding has been reduced in the past few years, I believe this is definitely an economic development tool to help assist our counties and towns with events that citizens and local businesses enjoy and appreciate.

One of the most vexing problems that affect all our communities – regardless of size – is the dilemma of property that has become dangerous and has become a safety and health hazard to the citizens.  It also is of great concern to adjacent property owners.  Moreover, we also have areas that are often hidden in plain sight and gradually have become havens for drug use – in alleys, abandoned buildings, bridges and other secluded locations.  No community, county or neighborhood is immune, regardless of size, economic development status or any other factors that sometimes differentiate.

Legislation was passed in the late 90’s and expanded a couple years ago to make it less cumbersome for the demolition and removal of dangerous and abandoned buildings.  However, with the financial crunch that all but a few communities are facing these days, simply putting a lien on the property will not, in most instances, begin to recover the cost of razing hazardous structures and hauling it away to an approved facility.  Often, the cost is well beyond the means of property owners, unless fire insurance or other coverage is in effect.

Various methods have been employed by towns across the State.  Glenville is utilizing the assistance of private resources to raze properties long since abandoned and beyond repair.  Huntington has embarked on an aggressive program to take down these structures that have become centers of drug activity.

With this in mind, our communities need some manner of assistance or loan fund from which to draw funds to make some real headway.  For instance, a revolving loan fund – helped with some initial level of funding – could be used to facilitate the removal of dangerous structures that pose a health and safety risk to the neighbors and community.  Charitable grants and tax credits similar to the Neighborhood Investment Program but dedicated to the aforementioned, is another possibility.

Other sources of would need to be tapped and applied for as first dollar funding, including assistance from the owner, the community, and any foundations, organizations of grant agencies that would deem this a needed and beneficial initiative.

Further, incentives should be provided to fence, block or otherwise eliminate those hidden in plain sight areas that promote drug usage and sales.  It may be as simple as cutting some brush and trees in an overgrown area; some chain-link fence to limit access to areas not needed for public necessity; better lighting; a vigorous neighborhood and community watch program.  As we continue to bring our State Police numbers up to full strength, counties and cities will need to plan budgets around law enforcement needs that can step up patrol and deter criminal activities.

Yes, all of this comes at a price.  The cost of what occurs if we choose to do nothing is far greater.  Good things will not happen simply because we ignore problems identified.  It will take a unified effort by all citizens that want safe, clean and more resilient communities that can retain current residents and attract new families. This, along with jobs, increased healthcare access; education and infrastructure improvements are the building blocks that can trigger a new round of growth in central West Virginia.   

West Virginia’s population is dropping like a rock from a bridge.  During the next census in 2020, we will likely lose another congressional seat and with it, much needed representation on the federal level.  Also with that drop comes diminished tax revenue to make our towns and counties healthy, livable, litter-free, and beautiful.  How we respond in the days and weeks ahead will be critical.  Otherwise we will have let a bright future slip from our grasp to the detriment of all. 

Please send your inquiries to my home office:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

Pat’s Chat

The Free Press WV

At the Buckhannon Seventh-day Adventist Church on June 30 we celebrated our Dads a week late with a moving response from some of the audience about their own fathers.  Some of the touching responses brought tears to my eyes.  (I am so sorry that I forgot to ask you, my readers, to “bring a dad” to church.)  There was an appropriate talk by our Pastor Rick Cutright about the Prodigal Son’s father who watched longingly and patiently for his son to return.  Fathers who were there received a gift and, of course, were treated to a delicious meal.

Next week our theme will be the Fourth of July, and the birth of our nation (a few days late) and another delicious Fellowship Meal.  The first Sabbath of each month is our special get-together time for fellowship.  You are invited to join us for worship at 11:15 a.m. especially on any first Sabbath, and stay for lunch with us.  (No, you don’t need to bring anything.  We enjoy sharing with visitors.)  That is the time when most of our members plan to bring extra food and some favorite casserole or dessert and stay for lunch with everyone.  (We also invite you to come earlier for our Sabbath School and classes for all ages at 9:45 a.m. and study with us.  Starting July 7, our new quarterlies will be on The Book of Acts.)

The subject of our quarterlies for the last three months has been Preparation for the End Time.  It has been so thrilling.  Our last lesson was about the Return of Jesus.  “. . . God’s dealings with rebellion will result in fully unmasking the work that has so long been carried under cover.  The results of Satan’s rule, the fruits of setting aside the divine statutes, will be laid open to the view of all created intelligences.  The law of God will stand fully vindicated.  It will be seen that all the dealings of God have been conducted with reference to the eternal good of His people, and the good of all the worlds that He has created.  Satan himself, in the presence of the witnessing universe, will confess the justice of God’s government and the righteousness of His law.”—- Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 338, 339.

When Jesus comes, every eye shall see Him!  The dead who loved Jesus will be raised (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) and those living who love Jesus will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.  (1 Corinthians 15:52)

“All arise with the freshness and vigor of eternal youth.  In the beginning, man was created in the likeness of God, not only in character, but in form and feature.  Sin defaced and almost obliterated the divine image; but Christ came to restore that which had been lost.  He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body.  The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal.  All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave.  Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will ‘grow up’ (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory.  The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ’s faithful ones will appear in ‘the beauty of the Lord our God,’ in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord.  Oh, wonderful redemption! Long talked of, long hoped for, contemplated with eager anticipation, but never fully understood. . . .

. . . “Angels ‘gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’  Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms.  Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascent together to the City of God.—- The Great Controversy, pp 644, 645.”

I am looking forward to that day so much.  My beautiful granddaughter and her family are coming next week to visit from Florida.  I am looking forward to that, too, because seeing her is a little bit of Heaven to me.


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West Virginia


Fire damages Upshur County plant

The Free Press WV An expensive piece of equipment sustained major damage in a Friday evening fire at the Aleris Aluminum plant in Buckhannon [ .... ]  Read More

Braxton County man charged after trying to set camper on fire

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

Annual TryThis conference promotes healthy eating, physical activity

The Free Press WVThe weekend included roughly 15 different physical activity options, from zumba, yoga and tai chi to swimming and paddle boarding [ .... ]  Read More

Lewis County man indicted on drug and firearms charges

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

Stellar performance earns State Star honors for WV SBDC coach Susie Higgins

The Free Press WVHer office, based in Buckhannon, serves Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Randolph, Upshur and Webster counties [ .... ]  Read More

Fire claims life in Braxton County

The Free Press WV The blaze occurred near Servia [ .... ]  Read More

Tire collections set in West Virginia in Calhoun & Upshur Counties

The Free Press WV State Division of Highways garage in Buckhannon and at the Cabot Station Recycling Center in Grantsville [ .... ]  Read More

WVWC and WV SPOT to host Universe in the Park

The Free Press WVFriday, June 01, 2018 [ .... ]  Read More

Flooding downpour has caused problems for Calhoun County EMS

The Free Press WV Millstone facility sustains damage [ .... ]  Read More

Case of Bob Henry Baber

The Free Press WVThree-judge panel to take up case of Richwood Mayor Bob Henry Baber [ .... ]  Read More

I-79 south closed in Braxton County

The Free Press WVTraffic Advisory- I-79 south MM-46.5 will remain closed until further notice due to a road buckle.Detour is take Exit 51 Frametown to Rt-4 to Rt-11, back on at MM-46 Servia Rd. Detour travel time is 15 to 20 minutes [ .... ]  Read More

Braxton County: traffic rerouted after highway buckles

The Free Press WVTraffic is being rerouted on Interstate 79 southbound in Braxton County after a section of the interstate buckled Monday night near Frametown [ .... ]  Read More

Dr. Martha J. Kanter to Speak at Commencement

The Free Press WVDr. Martha J. Kanter, executive director of the College Promise Campaign and Senior Fellow at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy, will deliver the keynote address [ .... ]  Read More

Braxton County man admits to firearm and drug charges

The Free Press WV Charles William Masters, of Burnsville, West Virginia, has admitted to firearm and drug charges [ .... ]  Read More

WVWC Crowns Spring Sing King and Queen/Announces Greek Week Winners

The Free Press WVThe first place sorority winner was Alpha Gamma Delta, and the first place fraternity winner was Kappa Alpha [ .... ]  Read More


Webster County teenager jailed after shooting death

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

2 bodies pulled from West Virginia lake after boat capsizes

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Lewis County welcomes new hire to WVU Extension Service

The Free Press WV Midcap was hired by the WVU Extension Service in 2016 as the cirriculum and outreach coordinator in Preston County [ .... ]  Read More

Paraglider crash claims a life in Ritchie County

The Free Press WV It’s unknown what caused the pilot to crash into the trees and also unknown if the weather may have been a factor [ .... ]  Read More

Federal Study: Chemicals Toxic at Levels EPA Thought Safe

The Free Press WVThe chemicals used by a West Virginia factory to make non-stick products are dangerous at levels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had thought were safe, according to a federal study that had been previously blocked from publication [ .... ]  Read More

Rover Pipeline Fined For Water Pollution Violations

The Free Press WVState regulators are fining the operators of the natural gas Rover Pipeline more than $430,000 for water pollution violations [ .... ]  Read More

Wetzel County Farmacy Program to Kick-off this Friday

The Free Press WV Giovianazzo will be working with local growers, securing the produce for each week, coordinating educational and promotional information and act as the liaison between Wheeling Health Right and producers [ .... ]  Read More

Cause of fatal Doddridge explosion identified as Hydrocarbon Well Services-owned storage tanks

The Free Press WV
Hydrocarbon Well Services is a Buckhannon-based oil and gas company that has serviced the Appalachian region for 35 years [ .... ]  Read More


The Free Press WV Top 10% includes esteemed hospitals such as The Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and John Hopkins [ .... ]  Read More

Finalists named for WV Scholar program

The Free Press WV ShaiAnne Williams Webster County High School [ .... ]  Read More

Former DOH worker sentenced in fraud scheme

The Free Press WV Steven Hull, 54, of Jane Lew, WV, entered a guilty plea in February to mail fraud, admitting to inflating expenses between January 2011 and January 2017.  [ .... ]  Read More

Parkersburg Brewing Company wins gold at ‘Olympics of Beer’

The Free Press WVA Parkersburg brewery won a gold medal in the 2018 World Beer Cup, a prestigious competition dubbed the “Olympics of Beer”  [ .... ]  Read More

Lewis County man arrested on drug charges

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

National parks draw 1.7M visitors to West Virginia in 2017

The Free Press WV The spending supported 1,080 jobs and $28.8 million in labor income [ .... ]  Read More

WV State Police Troopers investigate Sutton woman’s death

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Reader's Comments


Genevieve Ransom (Young)

The Free Press WVAge 87, of Goosepen Road, Roanoke, WV passed away on Thursday, July 12, 2018 at her residence following an extended illness. She was born in Frame, WV on November 10, 1930: daughter of the late Robert Sherman Young and Martha Elen (Blackwell) Young [ .... ]  Read More

Dwaine Seckman

The Free Press WV Age 83 of Garland Lane (Sedalia Community), Salem, WV departed this life on Thursday, July 12, 2018. He was born on March 23, 1935 at Center Point, WV, a son of the late Archie and Vanci Robinson Seckman [....]  Read More

Cathy Claudette Moore

The Free Press WV Age 69, of Sutton, WV went home to be with the Lord, Friday, July 13, 2018 at Nella’s Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Elkins. She was born March 25, 1949 in Camden-on-Gauley, WV the daughter of the late Denver & Catherine Stewart Case [....]  Read More

Doris “Jean” Thorne Potter

The Free Press WVAge 68, of Weston, WV passed away with family by her side on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at the Grant Medical Center in Columbus OH, as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. She was born in Ward, WV on July 29, 1949 a daughter of the late James Mitchell Thorne and Jessie Frances Lucas Thorne [ .... ]  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

Robert Stanford “Sonny” Crane

The Free Press WVAge 78, of East 4th Street Weston, West Virginia passed away Thursday, July 12, 2018 and went to be with the Lord. The son of the late Robert L. Crane and Edith (Bailey) Crane, he was born on January 22, 1940 in Newark, New Jersey [ .... ]  Read More

John Wesley Horner

The Free Press WVAge 74, of Roanoke, WV passed away on Thursday July 05, 2018. He was born in Lewis County, WV on September0 9, 1943 to the late Friel and Helen (Hawkins) Horner [ .... ]  Read More

Tristen Patric O’Connell

The Free Press WV Tonight as you gaze at the nighttime sky, you will notice that God has blessed us with a bright new star named Tristen Patric O’Connell, who was born premature at just 21 weeks, on Sunday, July 11, 2018 in Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown [ .... ]  Read More

“Buddy” Sebert Workman

The Free Press WVAge 67, of Weston, WV passed away on Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston following a sudden illness. He was born in Walkersvill, WV on May 11, 1951, son of the late Silbert Harley Workman and Dorthy Dell (Peterson) Workman [ .... ]  Read More

Michelle Lea Maxwell

The Free Press WVAge 46, of Princeton, WV passed away Monday, July 02, 2018.  Born June 13, 1972, in Weston, WV, she was the daughter of William Russell Forinash and Montasue Dotson Forinash of Weston, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Wild Royal “Blue” Discus Boyle

The Free Press WVAge 6, of 144 Hackers Creek Road. Jane Lew, WV passed away peacefully and drifted off to Heaven on the morning of July 12, 2018 in the comfort of his aquatic home with his siblings, and friends by his side, following an extended illness [ .... ]  Read More

Michael Eugene Sinnett

The Free Press WV Age 68, of Harrisville, WV passed away peacefully, July 12, 2018 at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV.  He was born December 27, 1949 in Harrisville, WV, the son of the late Hazel Duelley (Sinnett)  [....]  Read More

Adam Ryan Huntz

The Free Press WV Age 37, of Weston, WV passed away on Monday, July 09, 2018. He was born in Buckhannon, WV on September 01, 1980 a son of Michael Lynn Huntz and Judy Kaye Thoms Huntz both of Weston, WV [....]  Read More

Shirley “Dot” Temple (Smith) Anderson

The Free Press WVAge 81, of Tunnel Fork Road, Gassaway, WV went to be with the Lord on Thursday, July 05, 2018 at her Residence. Dot was born in Charleston, WV on April 23, 1937 to the late James E. Smith [ .... ]  Read More

Franklin D. Helmick III

The Free Press WV Age 41 of Leesport, PA. departed this world on June 26, 2018. He was born on June 04, 1977 in Reading, PA to Kathleen Peterson Morrison and Franklin D Helmick Jr.  [....]  Read More

Sandra Jean (Ryant) Prince

The Free Press WVAge 68, of Homestead Lane, Heaters, WV slipped away peacefully at her home on June 26, 2018. Sandra was born on March 29, 1950 in Cleveland, OH to the late James Elmer Ryant and Rose (Logo) Ryant [ .... ]  Read More

James A. “Al” Haney

The Free Press WV Age 93 of Chapel Route, Gassaway, WV peacefully departed this life and passed on to eternity on June 25, 2018 [....]  Read More

Benjamin Forrest Carr

The Free Press WV On the morning of July 02, 2018 at the VA Hospital in Clarksburg, WV, Benjamin Forrest Carr was carried home in the arms of the angels. Benny was born September 22, 1938 in Wilsie, WV [....]  Read More

Ruth Ann Hefner

The Free Press WVAge 75, of Town Run Road, Weston, West Virginia, left this earth and has updated her address to the Graceland in the sky and is now reunited with the love of her life Oras “Buck” Hefner, whom she married on September 16, 1964 [ .... ]  Read More

Lewis Jewell Villers

The Free Press WVAge 88 years of age, departed this life on July 08, 2018 in a Hospice room at Ruby Memorial Hospital surrounded by family. He was born at home on Little Creek in Calhoun County, WV on June 15, 1930, a son of the late Walter and Carrie (Cooper) Villers [ .... ]  Read More

Kevin “Porky” Showalter

The Free Press WVAge 43, of Sutton, WV passed away July 09, 2018 at United Hospital Center, Bridgeport, WV. He was born August 05, 1974 at Gassaway, WV to the late Lynn Howard Showalter and Sandra Sue (Bright) Showalter [ .... ]  Read More

Linda Lou Casto

The Free Press WVAge 62, of Crooked Fork Road Weston, WV passed away on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at her home following a brief illness. She was born in Upshur County, WV on November 25, 1955: daughter of the late Betty Lou Rivers [ .... ]  Read More

Forest Junior Morris

The Free Press WVAge 84, of Millstone, WV passed away on Sunday, July 08, 2018 at Roane General Hospital, Spencer, WV following a short illness. He was born May 29, 1934, a son of the late Dessie Morris Wilford [ .... ]  Read More

George F. Winspear

The Free Press WV Age 79, of Buckhannon, WV, passed away Sunday, July 08, 2018 at Crestview Manor in Jane Lew, WV. He was born October0 2, 1938 in New York, NY, a son of the late George G. and Aglae Gates Winspear [....]  Read More

Adele Stanley McDougal

The Free Press WV Today Heaven gained a new soprano. Adele Stanley McDougal passed away in the comforts of her own home surrounded with love. Addie was born April 14, 1934 in Pullman, WV [....]  Read More

James Lee King

The Free Press WVAge 52, of Broad Street Weston, WV passed away on Saturday, July 07, 2018 at his home following an extended illness. He was born in Weston, WV on September 25, 1965: son of the late Harold King and Catherine (Bleigh) Gower [ .... ]  Read More

Norma Ruth Burns-Boone

The Free Press WVof Glenville, WV went to be with her Lord and Savior on July 11, 2018 at age 84.  She was born to the late Jack Carl Burns and Mae Minney-Burns on March 30, 1934 [ .... ]  Read More

James Norman Flesher

The Free Press WVAge 78, of Buckhannon, WV departed this life on Saturday, July 07, 2018 at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. He was born April 13, 1940, in Weston, WV, a son of the late John and Helen Kniceley Flesher [ .... ]  Read More

Dorothy Pauline Dotson

The Free Press WVAge 102, formerly of Calhoun County passed away July 08, 2018 in Bradenton, Florida. She was born January 14, 1916 in Kanawha County, WV, daughter of Dwight Lyman and Opha Mae Hylbert Walker [ .... ]  Read More

Autumn Nicole Means

The Free Press WVAge 27, of Weston, EV passed away Sunday, June 24, 2018. She was born September 13, 1990, a daughter of Clinton Wade Means and the late Betty Brown [ .... ]  Read More

Bergin Sleigh Skidmore

The Free Press WVAge 84, passed away at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital on July 05, 2018. She was born May 22, 1934 in Weston, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Lawrence Burke Riley, Jr.

The Free Press WVAge 83, of Weston, WV passed away July0 4, 2018 at Wyngate Senior Living Community in Weirton, WV following an extended illness. He was born in Weston, WV April 10, 1935, a son of Lawrence Burke Riley, Sr. and Alice Edwards Riley [ .... ]  Read More

Benjamin Elijah Kelley

The Free Press WVInfant son of Travis Kelley and Daisy Posey, passed away Thursday, July 05, 2018 at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. He was born June 25, 2018 in Buckhannon, WV [ .... ]  Read More

John William Oliver

The Free Press WVAge 76, of Weston, WV passed away at 1:14 PM on Thursday, July 05, 2018, surrounded by loving family. He was born in Weston, WV on March 20, 1942 a son of the late William Walter Oliver and Katherine Mildred Ervin Oliver [ .... ]  Read More

Russell Scott Porterfield

The Free Press WV Age 46, of 2nd Street, Weston, WV passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, July 01, 2018 at home. He was born in Richwood, WV on March 08, 1972, to his parents John and Phyllis Porterfield of Jane Lew, WV [....]  Read More

Joseph Alexander Colkett

The Free Press WVAge 28, of Parkersburg,WV passed away July 05, 2018 at Camden Clark Medical Center. He was born October 19, 1989 at La Union Copan Honduras the son of Stephen Vernon and Diana Patchell Colkett of Harrisville, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Royal Donavon Cox II

The Free Press WV Age 65, of Cottageville, WV, passed away July 03, 2018 at Pleasant Valley Hospital, Point Pleasant. He was born March 28, 1953 at Parkersburg, WV, the son of Royal Donavon Cox I of Pullman and the late Mary Virginia Tanzey Cox [....]  Read More

Linda Lou Toothman

The Free Press WV Age 67, of Harrisville, WV passed away July 04, 2018 at Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown, WV. She was born June0 8, 1951 at Fort Campbell, KY, the daughter of the late Hobert Ray and Tencie Pearl Eakle Reed [....]  Read More

Doit Leon Koppler

The Free Press WVCaptain U.S. Army (Retired), age 80, of New Milton, WV departed this life on Monday, July 02, 2018.  He was born in Wabash Township, IL on December 24, 1937, a son of the late Leon F. Koppler and Lila J. Lee Morrison [ .... ]  Read More

Faye Ellen Holmes

The Free Press WVAge 68, of Gassaway,WV,  passed away July 04, 2018 at home. She was born April 24, 1950 in Rome, NY daughter of the late Woodrow Wilson and Marion Vancourt [ .... ]  Read More

Gladys Squires

The Free Press WVAge 94, of Buckhannon, WV, passed away Monday, July 02, 2018, at Mansfield Place in Philippi, WV. She was born July 26, 1923, in Sutton, WV, a daughter of the late Oral B. and Sadie Nutt Lake [ .... ]  Read More

Dianna Lynn Smith

The Free Press WV Age 68, of West Union, WV, passed away July 03, 2018 at United Hospital Center, Bridgeport, WV. She was born November 29, 1949 at Parkersburg, WV, the daughter of the late Raymond P. and Margaret L.Metz [....]  Read More

Georgia “Ginger” Whitehair Atkinson

The Free Press WVAge 78, of Parkersburg, WV passed away Tuesday July 03, 2018 at her residence. She was born on July 15, 1939 in Ritchie County a daughter of the late George D. and Nina (Jewel) Whitehair [ .... ]  Read More

Phyllis E. Frame Wickline McCormick

The Free Press WV Age 87, was born on February 16, 1931 and celebrated the meeting of her Savior on June 30, 2018 after a long illness [....]  Read More

Philip David Skidmore

The Free Press WVAge 59, of the Little Bull Run community of Glenville, WV passed on June 29, 2018 surrounded by his loved ones after a battle with cancer.  He was born to Mary Helen McLaughlin Skidmore and Scott Skidmore at Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi and grew up in the Cedarville/Copen Communities [ .... ]  Read More

Ronald W. “Ron” Collins

The Free Press WVAge 79, of Arnoldsburg , WV passed away quietly at his home on July 03, 2018. He was surrounded by family. He was born June0 6, 1939 in Freed, WV, a son of the late Willie and Nancy Collins [ .... ]  Read More

Ray A. Watts Sr.

The Free Press WV Age 79, of Haddox’s Run, Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 in Parkersburg, WV. He was born on Tuesday, March 21, 1939, in Lincoln County, WV, a son of the late Samuel and Pearl Watts [....]  Read More

Carolyn Sue (Sprouse) Peters

The Free Press WVAge 70 of Clarksburg, WV passed away on Tuesday May 29, 2018 at United Hospital Center.  She was born July 22, 1947 in Butcher Forks, Gilmer County, WV, daughter of Wilbur and Mae Frashure Sprouse [ .... ]  Read More

Janet (Stump) Sturm

The Free Press WVAge 82, of Parkersburg, WV, formerly of Powells Point, NC, departed this life July 03, 2018 at Wyngate Senior Living surrounded by her loving family. She was born November 09, 1935 in Stumptown, WV, the daughter of the late Victor and Ina (Fowler) Stump Fox [ .... ]  Read More

Charles Bratton Groves

The Free Press WVAge 89, of Sutton, WV passed away Tuesday, July 03, 2018 at his residence. He was born August 06, 1928 in Braxton County, WV to the late Charles Bratton & Lydia Margaret Eagle Groves [ .... ]  Read More

Mary Azalee Carr Perrine

The Free Press WV Age 94, of Elizabeth, WV passed away July 03, 2018 at the Willows Center, Parkersburg, WV. She was born April 15, 1924 in Braxton County, WV to the late William Houston and Anna Iowa Dobbins Carr [....]  Read More

Donna Lou Duelley

The Free Press WV Age 52 of Grass Run Road, Normantown, WV; departed this life at 12:17 PM; Tuesday, July 03, 2018 at the Select Specialty Hospital in Charleston, WV; following an extended illness. She was born on October 19, 1965 in Gassaway, WV; daughter of the late Paul and Virginia Burns Jenkins [....]  Read More

Joyce Constance Wheeler

Russell Ross Posey

The Free Press WV Age 92, of Roanoke, WV (formerly of Elkins, WV) passed away at 1:50 AM on Tuesday, July 03, 2018. He was born in Morgantown, WV on September 28, 1925 a son of the late Dewey Ray Posey and Martha Elizabeth Brinkley Posey [....]  Read More

Leone “Grandma” Burrows

The Free Press WVAge 100, of Mantua, Ohio and formerly of Grantsville, WV. She passed peacefully with family members at her side and joined the blessed angels from up above on June 28, 2018. She was the beloved daughter of Trevie and Elizabeth Kelley of Five Forks, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Argle R. Ross

The Free Press WVAge 79, of Gassaway, WV, passed away July 01, 2018 at Hubbard Hospice House, Charleston. He was born January 13, 1939 in Gassaway, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Mable M. Otto

The Free Press WV Age 90, of Charleston, WV went home to be with the Lord on July 02, 2018 after a long illness. She was born on January 01, 1928 in Strange Creek, WV [....]  Read More

Ava Dawn (Patty) Mitchell

The Free Press WV Age 76, of Arnoldsburg, WV passed away at home with family present on June 30, 2018. She was born on July 08, 1941 at Sand Ridge, WV, the daughter of the late Roy and Ava (Powell) Bush [....]  Read More

Linda Marie Carder

The Free Press WV Age 64 of Glenville, WV departed this life suddenly on the morning of Saturday, June 30, 2018 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston. Born November 17, 1953 in Glenville, Linda is the daughter of the late Luther and Hallie Lynch Heater [....]  Read More

Lawrence Thomas Murphy, Jr.

The Free Press WVAge 55, of Kearneysville, West Virginia passed away Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at the Hospice Inpatient Facility while surrounded by his loving family. Born August 19, 1962, in Weston, he was the son of Mary Grace Carder Murphy, of Kearneysville, and the late Lawrence Thomas Murphy [ .... ]  Read More

Readers' Recent Comments

Excellent meeting minutes I wish we could see more local news like this..  Where can I find information on the recent lawsuit between the Gilmer County Commission and Prosecutor Hough?  I understand Judge Alsop issued a decision?

By Reader on 07.14.2018


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Praises go to Governor Justice, Dr. Paine, and the entire State Board for producing this outstanding report.

For the first time in memory comprehensive information is included in one source for the public and it is written in an understandable

A request is made to the Gilmer County Board of Education and Superintendent Lowther to produce a similar report by this fall for the specific status of our school system.

We could celebrate achievements for which we excel and we could profit from our weak points as opportunities for corrective measures to take.

Forget about what other counties are doing—we are competing against ourselves.

The often cited excuse that we are just as good as other counties with WV ranking near bottom should no longer be tolerated.

By fall results of recent SAT testing would be available to Superintendent Lowther and the County Board to include in the report.

One advantage of the suggested County report and ones in successive years would be a basis for the public to use to judge effectiveness of Gilmer’s Board of Education and Superintendent Lowther.

The GFP is applauded for its role in being a leader in WV for making education news accessible on the Internet.

By Frank Wiseman on 07.14.2018

From the entry: 'State Superintendent of Schools Delivers the State of Education'.

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Dr. Pellett, you attacked accuracy of the NCHEMS report in your Gazette article today.

It would be informative for you to give an Internet link to the report to permit it to be read and for you to publish a detailed critique of errors in it with backup evidence as proof.

By GSC EMPLOYEE on 07.13.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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A basic truism for a highly successful start up business is to offer a new top quality product in high demand at a price consumers can afford.

Why do Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors reject the concept? Specifically, as printed in the Democrat there is a proposal to establish a premiere five year teacher education program at the College with grads to receive a masters degree in teaching. A program of that type is desperately needed in WV and it is not offered elsewhere.

Word circulating is that Dr. Pellet, the Board of Governors, and dominant members of the County’s elite have summarily rejected the idea.

One excuse heard is that local power brokers do not want WVU involved with the College. Yet, in the Democrat Dr. Pellett is quoted saying that he is working on a new nursing program with WVU’s involvement.

Is the true reason of veto of the innovative teacher education program because Dr. Pellet and the Board of Governors were not originators of the idea to automatically cause its rejection?

Dr. Pellett is invited to explain to the public and concerned alumni why the program would not be in GSC’s long term best interests.

By Why Dr. Pellet and GSC BOG? on 07.13.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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The Glenville mayor is doing an excellent job and the town is lucky to have him on the job. Getting old houses torn down was a kept promise and the town looks much better at those places. Let’s have more of it.

By Citizen on 07.11.2018


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Why is it that when tax dollars were spent on the higher education reorganization study by the Colorado NCHEMS group it is being keep secret from the public? Mr. Boggs how about helping out by informing voters how to get a copy of the report to read and decide for themselves?

By Voters Watching on 07.10.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Oops! Bay of Pigs not Figs. Shows that college profs are not immune to embarrassing gaffs.

By WVU Prof. on 07.09.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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There are two examples in Janis’ book regarding the Kennedy presidency. The first one deals with the group think Bay Of Figs disaster.

Those in Washington associated with invasion decisions considered themselves to be infallible world class thinkers. That mistake prevented critical and constructive review from anyone outside that tight group of political operatives.

The other example covers the Cuban Missile Crisis as an example of masterful diplomacy and planning to prevent a nuclear holocaust. President Kennedy deserved credit because he avoided group think traps from Bay Of Pigs lessons learned.

Higher education decisions in WV are made by individual tight knit Boards of Governors with excessive autonomy and no meaningful oversight.

Also, board members are there through political appointments at local levels. Governors traditionally rubber stamp the recommended appointments.

When serious group think mistakes occur at colleges and universities Boards are conditioned to assume that State bail outs will cover damages.

If private businesses are group think practitioners they never last unless they change strategies to avoid brutal market place penalties.

By WVU Political Scientist on 07.08.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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“Governance Changes Needed at GSC” is 100% correct.

Basically GSC Board of Governors and other leadership positions, have been a result of nepotism and crony friend choices.

Those two ‘tools’ rarely, if ever, give the best persons available to whatever the position requires.

Incest often produces less than desired outcomes as well.

By PAST Time for change @ GSC on 07.08.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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Advice for GSC’s president is to read Janis’book entitled Victims of Group Think.

The theme for the book is that alike thinkers of a group of elites in control can have colossal failures because they believe that their decision-making processes are unworthy of outside scrutiny.

Think about it. Did the airport to accommodate jet traffic at the mouth of Cedar Creek work out and did the federal prison result in economic prosperity with a hefty upsurge with GSC’s

What about the millions of dollars of new construction at GSC? Did it result in healthy enrollments as promised.

Some elites associated with GSC were strong advocates for the ill fated ventures.

GSC has been controlled too long by members of the same families. With the undeniable track record of declining conditions a few resignations would be a positive step.

The nagging governance problem affecting GSC has been shielding elite individuals from personal accountability without penalties for bad decisions.

By Governance Changes Needed At GSC on 07.06.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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Bigger is better? Rarely.

Everyone knows that school consolidation has resulted in failed outcomes.

This is laying the ground work, for an ego driven power grab.  The big institutions have no limit to their desire for money.

Stay small, and if failure occurs, fewer people are impacted.  Too large, and management of that soon turns into a problem.

By Its just planned failure. on 07.05.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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This information including details in the referenced full Report helps put GSC’s precarious standing in perspective. More information can be accessed at

That web site provides SAT student information for WV institutions of higher learning and GSC has the lowest scores.

Inferences from the scores and material in the report are that because GSC gets a large percentage of students from poor counties including Gilmer County, school systems there need improving.

Also, with employers becoming more sophisticated in hiring the best qualified graduates they access information of the type published on the web site given above.

The reason is that institutions with the best prepared students have more rigorous academic programs and they do not have to expend valuable time on remediation.

Provision of this comment is not intended to be a slam at GSC. The purpose is to encourage Dr. Pellett and the Board of Governors to devise a viable strategy for making the College a center of excellence to improve its standing in WV. It is that simple for guaranteed survival in the future.

By GSC GRAD on 07.05.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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We must be wary of how County K-12 achievement information is presented.

From the outset the new school board should focus on exactly how well our students are performing with mastering subjects, and not to fall victim to news unrelated to demonstrated student learning.

For one example the GCHS was awarded for its high graduation rate, but it ranked in the bottom 10% among WV high schools for college and career readiness of seniors.

This is not to say that graduation rates are unimportant, but they cannot be interpreted as fact of a direct relationship with how well students are prepared for college and careers.

For some schools an unusually high graduation rate could be a function of enforced “everyone passes” policy.

The point is that there is need for vigilance when student performance information is disclosed to the public so school board get all of it out so voters can decide where the County’s school system really stands.

By Give All Facts on 07.03.2018

From the entry: 'Governor Justice Announces Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education'.

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Word is that officers on the County’s school board have changed with Doug Cottrill becoming the new president and Shackleford the VP.

Voters request to know what the new board’s plans are for improving the County’s standing with the quality of K-12 education for math, reading, science, and other subjects, and correcting remaining problems at the new grade school contractors have not fixed.

Why not publishing monthly progress reports to cover the new board’s accomplishments? That job would be a good assignment for the new president.

By Voters Watching on 07.03.2018

From the entry: 'Governor Justice Announces Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education'.

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There is no mention of the facts Jumpin Jim defaulted on a 9 million dollar loan, poor record of paying taxes, nor the mess of the RISE flood funds handling. 

No wonder the poor score.  Anyone think it was ‘earned’?

By Jumpin Jim Nose Dives on 07.03.2018

From the entry: 'Low favorable marks for Manchin, Morrisey, Justice in latest PPP poll'.

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This news has great implications for GSC and Gilmer County. The College could form a partnership with the County’s school system to close the K-12 achievement gap.

For years while under State intervention it was denied that a gap existed, and the mantra was that the County was doing as well as the State as a whole.

That was like saying that we are OK with the State being ranked near the bottom for the quality of its K-12 education system and we should be content to wallow at the bottom too.

Ms. Patty Lowther, the new superintendent of schools, states that we must close the K-12 achievement gap and it is within the County’s capabilities.

She and her staff including Shelly Mason the new curriculum expert, principals, and the County’s teachers are actively involved with devising solutions to eliminate problems.

Regarding GSC, Dr. Pellett is on record with definite innovations to improve the College’s standing.

He has an unique opportunity to guide the College to contribute to Gilmer County having the best school system in WV as a model to emulate throughout the State and Appalachia.

In the past the typical Charleston trap has been to collect achievement data without expending successful efforts to interpret its meaning for use in solving under-achievement.

Dr. Pellett, Ms. Lowther, and Shelly Mason, with the help of other professionals in our schools can jettison that long standing road block to make Gilmer County a K-12 education standout.

Dr. Pellett in particular has an unparalleled opportunity to make his mark on guiding the College to improve K-12 education in the County and to let successes spread as examples throughout Appalachia.

There would not be a better way to justify the necessity of the College’s continuing existence for Gilmer County, central WV, and the entire State.

By Good News For WV on 06.29.2018

From the entry: 'Governor Justice Announces Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education'.

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If you can’t trust judges to do the right thing…. is there any reason to trust our whole system of government?  One has to wonder.

Now we are reading a judge likely to be impeached as well as the legislature is considering impeaching the governor?

Are the any honest people running for offices?

By crooks everywhere? on 06.27.2018

From the entry: 'Auditors Seek Answers on State Supreme Court Spending'.

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This does not rise to the level of impeachment. “Slick Willy” got a head job in the peoples oval office, and dripped semen on the peoples carpet then lied about it, and according to the democrats back then, that did not rise to the level of impeachment.

By The Silent Majority on 06.21.2018

From the entry: 'Senate and House Democratic Leaders Renew Call for Immediate Legislative Action on Justice Loughry'.

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Something happening is good.
That building has been empty far too long.

Now we shall see if it workable.
Hope for all involved, that their efforts work out for GC and GSC.

By Good on 06.21.2018

From the entry: 'GSC Bluegrass Music Education Center to hold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony'.

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Numbers of new businesses is not the important factor. It is how many new jobs were created for local employees. Politicians like to cite meaningless numbers to crow about and they get by with it too often. Empty store fronts on Main Street have not diminished in numbers. Where are the jobs and what do they pay?

By New Jobs? on 06.20.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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Similar to EDA if Gilmer’s SAT results were rosy the news would be out in banner headlines. Elites see to it to keep peasants at bay.

By SAT Checker on 06.19.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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Straddlin Joe had a chance to embrace conservatism and convert to Republican, as Governor Justice and much of the state has done. Politics in the state are no longer ruled by mine union bosses. It’s time we send him back to Marion County, as we did with Natalie Tennant.

By The Silent Majority on 06.18.2018

From the entry: 'Joe Manchin: Political games would cost West Virginians with pre-existing conditions'.

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If the so called business creation were true?
Wouldn’t the EDA be having all sorts of news releases?
You would think so.

EDA used to have monthly public meetings.
Now only four times a year?

Business things that slim nothing to discuss?
Or maybe secret meetings by the insiders?

By Gilmer EDA...private club ? on 06.15.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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If we can ask Jeff Campbell questions as a Gilmer County official why can’t we get timely information from other officials too?

For an example how did the County do with recent SAT testing?

Superintendents have the information so when is it going to be made public?

Hopefully the newly elected school board will take it on as a priority to get accurate student achievement information to the public with specific plans to make improvements where needed.

By End Public Information Embargo on 06.13.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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If true, this would be great news!

The Gilmer County Economic Development Association should be telling us in press releases who/what/where those new businesses are?

How about it GCEDA President Jeff Campbell?

Lets hear from you.

By reader6 on 06.11.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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Interesting chart.

But….it shows 4 new businesses in Gilmer… each of the past 3 months.
That… TWELVE new businesses!

BUT, BUT, where are they?

By Where are they? on 06.08.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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You will find most ticks down low on grass blades along well traveled trails, where the unfed adults and even larvae and eggs are brushed off by a passing varmint. Another myth is that ticks will jump on you, of the thousands of ticks I have picked off grass blades and dropped in a cup of gasoline, I have never had one jump at me.

By Trespasser Will on 06.08.2018

From the entry: 'Insect-related illnesses are trending up'.

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Ticks don’t go, they are carried there by host animals. They are best controlled by controlling the host varmints in your back yard. As bad as Lyme disease is, from personal experience, believe me you don’t want Rocky Mountain spotted fever either.

By Trespasser Will on 06.07.2018

From the entry: 'Insect-related illnesses are trending up'.

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Rural West Virginia is STILL WAITING for that high speed internet that these two have been promising for 20 years!

By Rural WV still waiting.... on 06.06.2018

From the entry: 'U.S. Senators Manchin, Capito announce funding for rural communities'.

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Dilapidated buildings seem to make the news on a regular basis.

Dilapidated buildings are nothing more than an great indicator of a ‘dilapidated’ economy.

By WV's dilapidated economy on 06.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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I don’t know how the state can say that, male bears have been known to attack for unknown reasons, and of course females will attack if they perceive their cub is in danger. The best thing to do is shut the #### up and don’t be posting on Facebook what you have done.

By Tresspasser Will on 06.03.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia man accused of wrongfully shooting bear'.

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Steve and John,
My deepest heartfelt sympathy to you at this most difficult time.
I will miss your mother, my best friend, immensely! We laughed hard together and we cried together, only as two close cousins could do! We spent many hours on the phone chatting either catching up or talking about cooking, any hour day or night,it never mattered to us.

Our words to each other every time we spoke, “I love you sweet cousin of mine”

God’s Speed until we meet again!💞💓
Rest In Peace for eternity💓

Love you dearly,

Cousin, Jo Ann xoxoxo

By Jo Ann Emrick on 06.01.2018

From the entry: 'Catherine Ann Umanetz'.

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The loss of money at Cedar Creek was only part of it. Money spent on Leading Creek, more money to fill the huge hole at GCES, money to fix land slide at GCES because of poor site design work, money spent to fix various other botches that should have been done right to begin with, uncalled for huge pay raises to select central office staff to buy them off, money for playground equipment when existing equipment could have been used, money for an unneeded payroll clerk at the central office, money for a principal at Troy when the individual did not do the work, and more to include building GCES too small and Leading Creek too large with public funds. Will anything be done about it? Of course not except to continue the cover-up. Money trail too hot to handle.

By Etched Memory on 05.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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Many kudos to both the PACF people as well as their supporters!

Hard to believe how much good they are doing for so many, in just a few short years!

Keep up the good works!

By many kudos ! on 05.31.2018

From the entry: 'Grants Support Area Charities (Little Kanawha Area)'.

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Minney was just another ‘enabler’ for the blatant, bold faced, incompetent, corruption during the West Virginia State Board of Education overthrow of the Gilmer County School System.

Thousands of dollars wasted.  Do not forget the Cedar Creek property chosen by State Appointed Superintendent Blankenship in coercion with the former, ousted, GSC President Simmons.  The money spent clearing forest, the money spent bulldozing a road, until it finally became clear, they were on a ‘fools errand’.

Then to get out of that mess, Blankenship and Simmons,  trade that property, so a school could be built in a flood plain?

‘Education’ and common sense do not always go hand in hand.

If only people were as smart as they think they are.

By Another black eye for state intervention ! on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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All this Minney stuff brings up at least 2 questions:

WHY did state appointed super Devano hire Minney?

Why did the Doddridge folks hire Minney when he doesn’t have the required financial ‘credentials’ to be a district treasurer?

Either poor hiring practices or someone pulling strings.

By questions but no answers ? on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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And to think that OUR own little Gilmer County Library ranks in the top ten of libraries in the whole state!

By WOW--WOW--WOW ! ! ! on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia Libraries Rock Out with Summer Reading Programs'.

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Didn’t Mr. Minney approve paying select employees on payroll, for the days they did not work without board or superintendent’s knowledge or approval? Fortunately, he got caught by the board.

By Ridiculous on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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If you follow the money, you can easily see where all the money went in construction of Gilmer Elementary, why the school has so many physical issues and why there have been problems to get them fixed. Thanks the board for choosing a different auditor.

By FTM on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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There were a lot of corruptions under state control and superintendent Devano. They mismanaged funds and paid off several employees to keep their mouth shut. When the local controlled board chose a different auditor from the norm, they got caught. I think the remaining paid off employees need to talk the facts, quit, or get prosecuted.

By They were bad on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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That was far from the first time Mr. DM had gotten into trouble with the auditors. In previous years, findings for mismanagement of funds were issued against him in connection with other work places leading to dismissal.
The audit which is available on state DOE site couldn’t find any justification of board approval for payments, and mismanagement of funds.

By Don LK on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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He got caught of mismanagement of public funds.

By Jeremy D on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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I hear Gilmer schools treasurer Dan Minney is leaving. Why?

By Just Curious on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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Good to see this program return after having it gone missing under the state appointed superintendent.

It was reported there was no place for it to take place.

Thank you Gilmer County Board of Education for making it happen.

By Some remember on 05.21.2018

From the entry: 'FREE breakfast and lunch this summer for Gilmer County Kids'.

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Sorry to read of your mom’s passing. I remember may times spent in your home with your parents and brothers. Sending love and prayers to you and your brothers.
Sherry Broggi

By Sherry Straley Broggi and Rita Straley on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'Lora Faye Tomblin'.

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Really cool project to all who volunteered and those helping financially as well!

Where’s DR? He never misses these events?

By Very nice project - great volunteers! on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'CommunityImprovement™: Pavilion'.

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The GSC retention post must relate to those beginning in 2014 who planned for 4 year degrees and they dropped out. There probably were students who began in 2014 and they earned 2 year degrees before 2018 so they were not drop outs.

By GSC RETENTION? on 05.15.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Congratulations kids!  Setting up a scholarship fund is a GREAT idea! Where can we get information on who to contact and what local needs are?

By Reader on 05.14.2018

From the entry: 'Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Celebrates Seniors'.

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How large was GSC’s graduating class of 2018 last week and what was its original size the fall of 2014?

Accurate information should be available to indicate retention. One news source reported that 100 graduated in the class of 2018.

By Alumni on 05.13.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Some interesting results.  Should shake the trees a little.

By Spring cleaning! on 05.09.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Local Election Results - May 2018'.

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So sorry for your loss.  Prayers.

By Betty Woofter on 05.07.2018

From the entry: 'Ina Mae (Foster) Clem'.

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Anyone interested in facts for graduation rates after four years of college can access information on WV’s Education Policy Commission web site.

The last time information was reported WV State was listed at 13.6% compared to WVU’s at 35.9%. GSC was at 25.1%.

Comments submitted so far flag a serious problem in WV. Student achievement information is scattered all over with it being reported by the State, the federal government, and testing organizations including ACT.

Because WV lacks an effective State clearing house to sort through the information and to interpret it for practical application in improving our pubic school systems, too much important quality control material is neglected.

When citizens take initiative to obtain the information and they cite it they are often berated to be a form of “attack the messenger”.

Then too there are the perennial apologists who say that everything is “just fine” to help confuse the issue even more to detract from school improvements.

By WVDE Career Employees on 05.06.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Too often students have to go an extra year or longer to graduate from college with under graduate degrees because they were not prepared when they got there to enable them to complete on time.

The 35% graduation rate includes incoming freshmen who do not finish in four years, and it is factual that some of our public colleges have worse records than others.

WVU does above average, but it has large numbers of-out-of state better prepared students.

By R. Page on 05.06.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Rex Page claims we have a college graduation rate of approximately 35%.

In essence that is a FAILURE rate of 65% !

Think of how many dollars are wasted, and how many students are burdened with student loans, that basically will do them little good in life.

Oh yes.  It does pump money into the flawed system.

By Wv Has a FLAWED educational system ! on 05.05.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Even with enrolling in colleges where acceptance is noncompetitive, meaning that all applicants with at least C averages are accepted, the graduation rate to get a degree is around 35%.

This fact is more evidence for WV’s failed public education system and solid proof that a major top to bottom over haul is needed.

If we accept the often cited excuse that there is a problem with kids and their families to cause under achievement in school that line of reasoning suggests that West Virginians are inherently flawed. This is untrue and the problem lies with WV’s under performing education system.

By Rex Page on 05.03.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Disgraceful that WV lacks a top quality education system to prepare more high school graduates to be eligible for acceptance into the best colleges where there is competition for acceptance.

The deficiency forces students to attend lower tier places where everyone is accepted.

Why does WV fail to make improvements? It is because education delivery in our State is designed to be void of meaningful accountability for administrators.

By WVDE Watcher on 05.03.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Little doubt the block schedule system at the high school gives GC lower scores.

This has been proven over and over in other school systems.

Its an out dated and antiquated system.  Our board of education needs to get rid of it.

Gilmer County Board of Education….are you up to the job?

By Block Schedule Supported By Blockheads on 05.02.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Hopefully this is the beginning of doing better with getting out school news to Gilmer. It is far better to read timely news than to have to go to the Cornerstone to get it.

We wish Mr. Shuff the best in improving learning results at the HS. If he tackles problems like he engaged in athletics the HS will be put on the map for academic excellence.

When he gets his school improvement plan together everyone in the County will pitch in to help him succeed. Thank you GCBOE.

By Pleased Parents on 05.02.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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Mr. Williams has it nailed down.  Solid.

America’s entire education system is a farce.
Education administrators worry about their job than worry about the children.

Youth is our future.
By creating dummies, do not expect much of a future.

The children are being short changed, robbed.
America is being short changed, robbed.

But the failed administrators keep their jobs.

By Time To Clean the Education House! on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Is this article some sort of a joke ?
Certainly would seem so!

We are almost daily bombarded with chemical spraying from above.
We rarely actually have that clear, deep blue sky that God gave us.

If it happens we do get a clear(?) day, we will have the light blue, almost whispy white cloud sky.

Set a white bowl out in the rains.  Check to see what color the water is after a rain.  You will be
surprised.  Color will vary depending what is being sprayed on a given day.

If it were winter, I’d tell you to look at the snowflakes.  No more are all snowflakes different.  Watch what falls on your clothing, you will see 1,000’s of flakes all the same shape.  Again, depends what toxic material we are being blasted with.

Asthma attacks, ER visits are on the rise.
Do some web searching, plenty of websites report this travesty.  You tax dollars at ‘work’.


From the entry: 'Air Quality Awareness Week is April 30 – May 04'.

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Fraud is not only rampant in education, it consumes Gilmer County..  Those who Have want to keep it any and all costs, and those that don’t, want.  Gilmer needs a good house cleaning of court and legal ‘authorities’ as well if anything is Ever going to change.

By Spring cleaning! on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Fraud is committed in Gilmer County when citizens are told that our high school grads are prepared to be highly competitive for entry into the modern world.

The misinformation conflicts with verification that our grads lag when it comes to being college and career ready.

By being disadvantaged academically too many students drop out of college when they cannot compete and they often must go an extra year at a greater expense to catch-up.

There is another type of fraud not pointed out in the posting. It relates to bragging about the “fine” ACT test scores made by students at the GCHS.

For the ACT the average GCHS score as touted by school officials is close to 20. This may be slightly higher than average State scores, but here is the rub.

Our kids could not get accepted into top quality colleges and universities with stringent academic requirements to include those for ACT scores higher than most made at the GCHS.

What do they do? They attend institutions with relaxed acceptance criteria with some not having any basic requirements for ACT or SAT scores.

As a parent with a son at the Career Center I know that there must be remedial instruction in math and English for success in chosen career fields. It is called embedded instruction.

Because teachers must be hired at the Center for the catch-up it means that tax payers are paying twice (more fraud) for instruction that should have been done at the GCHS!

What can we do? Gilmer County must determine what must be done in our schools to make necessary improvements for the better to enable our kids to be the best they can be after HS. Simple isn’t it?

By We Want Better Schools on 04.30.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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It is easy to see through the motive for avoiding application of the same assessment approach in all of WV’s school systems.

The powerful in control do not want to make achievement results available for voters to compare academic results among districts!

That way opportunities for more accountability in ways school systems are administered will be nipped in the bud.

Interesting isn’t it that for sports minute attention is paid to comparing performances of all kinds of teams throughout WV.

Unfortunately the strategy will be to keep voters keenly focused on sports so they will not ask questions about education spending and how children are doing in mastering subjects in our school systems.

By WVDOE Disgusted on 04.20.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: State might let counties switch standardized test from SAT to ACT'.

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The West Virginia State Board of Education has operated as a “pin the tail on the donkey” bureaucratic nightmare for over a generation.

Currently, it is hard to envision any positive change in their SOP?

Try this, try that.  Change this, change that.
Continual evidence that all is being run as an experiment?
The WVBOE has no real clue what to actually do, in order to fix anything.

Money wasted. Children cheated of a good education.
Parents and taxpayers cheated.  Opportunities missed.

This is the WVBOE legacy.

By State BOE - dysfunctional is an understatement? on 04.16.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: State might let counties switch standardized test from SAT to ACT'.

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Maybe Jimmy can pay some of his tax bills now?

By Justice, pay your tax bills! on 04.15.2018

From the entry: 'City to purchase club owned by the governor’s company'.

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Reread the article and see what a wonderful set of excuses have been set forward.

Taxpayers give the state the funds for education.  It is then properly squandered leaving students with substandard educations.

These people have the audacity to blame the teachers on top of it.

State BOE, suck it up, fix the problem you and your previous board members have created. 

Make President Truman’s desk saying your motto:  “The buck stops here.“

That is, if you are up to it.

By Kanawha Reader on 04.15.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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West Virginia made national news again with its spending per student to be in the top third among the 55 states.

We spend more than $11,000 on average per pupil in our public schools. For comparison Utah spends about $6,500 per pupil and it ranks in the top third for the quality of its education system.

It would be interesting to know how much Gilmer County spends per pupil counting total funding from all sources.

WV is certainly no way near the top third with getting students college, career, and jobs ready right out of high school. Where is all our money going? What could we learn from rural states similar to Utah?

The worst culprit seems to be too many high paid people on WV payrolls who are non-contributers to making better lives for our kids.

By Economist on 04.14.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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Those of us who keep close tabs on student achievement want to know reasons for unacceptable reading, science, and math scores in Gilmer County and what is being done to correct them. For something this important the problems and solutions surely have been looked into.

By R. A. Beasley on 04.14.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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By Don't bring them to Gilmer! on 04.13.2018


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No matter what is going on in the State our concern is Gilmer County. The State reports on Zoom that 10th graders at the GCHS perform at the 35.9% proficiency rate for science.

Proficiency for 11th graders is 37% in math and it is commendable that the rate for them for reading is 64%.

What is being done to make improvements for science and math when students are about ready to graduate from HS? We hope that scores for reading hold up and even improve.

Why do we fail to receive updates for plans for proficiency improvements in the County’s schools?

In other WV counties superintendents provide that type of information on a routine basis.

By GCHS Parents on 04.12.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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This well written article makes is clear what actually a businessman can do.

Businessman turned politician.  Can actually make an entire state look like idiots.  Idiots for electing him at the minimum.

Looks like we have to find the patience to tolerate this bs two more years…...and hope he turns into a one term disaster.

Congratulations to the WV state employees giving him a good lesson. Nice job folks.

By Makin Arch Look Good on 04.09.2018

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: A 'billionaire' should be embarrassed to let schools, local governments, vendor bills'.

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Why is important school system improvement news of the type addressed in the other comment not on the County’s school system’s web site?

Someone in the board office should be assigned to write up news to keep citizens informed.

We are expected to vote in more tax money to run the schools and we deserve to be informed of positive improvements being made with our money instead of taking our support for granted. It works both ways.

By R. Curry on 04.06.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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This is a suggestion for getting breaking news out to the community concerning important new improvements in the County’s school system.

We hear that improvements are being made to increase student performances in mathematics, reading, and other areas. The changes include getting back to basics for math teaching to eliminate achievement gaps.

Would someone write up something to explain the new changes to keep the community informed? One improvement I know is that progress reports come home regularly so families can track how kids are doing.

There is nothing wrong with positive news getting out to demonstrate that Gilmer County is positioning itself to become a leader in public education. The County deserves all the positive press it can get.

By Appreciative Parent on 04.05.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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The Governors and the elected Legislators made the time ripe for the “educators revolt”.

The past 20 years, state employees, all who work outside the ‘capitol complex’ have been dissed.

Put off.  Put down.  Worked around.
That was clearly understood by our state employees.

That dissention was completely ignored by our failed state leadership.

Clearly it was time for action.  Social media was a major player….for the good.

The Governor, the Legislators, have now been put on notice to not ignore state issues, while they feather their own nests.

Now, lets see social media swing into action,  straighten out the Public Service Commission, and their gross failure to hold Frontier Communications lack of customer service to the fore. Some leader needs to step forward and make it happen.

We see what can happen with some leadership.  Social media is the citizens friend.  The election is just a few weeks away.  Its time to build a fire under the Public Service Commission.  Governor Justice you might even give it a shot to fire them…...up?

By J.P. on 03.30.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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We want the County to become WV’s star performer known throughout the State for producing the highest achievement students.

How can this be done? Simple. Establish goals for math, science, and other subjects and aggressively manage the school system accordingly.

This will require establishment of a clearly written, professionally done holistic plan containing specific goals to achieve, establishment of personal accountability at different levels in the school system, accurate and timely reporting of achievement results as we proceed, and applying improved approaches when necessary to keep the plan on track.

We have heard for too long that everything is “just fine” in the County, and we continue to hear it today from some quarters.

Folks, things are not ‘just fine’ when too many of our students leave high school unprepared for college and careers. Where we go from here is the primary responsibility of the elected school board.

Teachers and staffs are more than ready to deal with obstacles confronting them and all they need is to be enabled to do their jobs.

The time is over for continuing to be hampered with lame excuses for why major improvements cannot be made i.e., Gilmer County is too poor, too many kids lack family support they deserve, and keen focus on public education is foreign to the community’s culture.

By Gilmer County Teacher on 03.30.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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