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Events and Announcements

Syrup producers invite public to ‘Mountain State Maple Days 2019’

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association will be hosting two Mountain State Maple Days this year to celebrate the state’s growing maple syrup industry. On Saturday, February 23rd and Saturday, March 16th more than a dozen syrup producers will open their doors to “sugar houses” around the state for the public to take a sneak peek into the magic of making maple syrup. In addition, numerous restaurants, shops and hotels will be offering special deals and maple-related attractions as part of “maple clusters.”

“Although maple syrup has been made in West Virginia for centuries, there has never been an effort to industrialize it until recently. But the potential for the industry is huge as our state has more maple trees than Vermont,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “If you want to taste real maple syrup while supporting a local farmer, these are the days for you.”

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) reported West Virginia had 61,000 taps that produced 9,000 gallons of syrup worth $330,000 in 2018. Despite a successful season, the Mountain State has approximately 164 million sugar maples within its forested areas indicating an opportunity for growth. The primary entity trying to tap into this prospect is the West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Associations which has more than 50 members.

“Small producers are leading the charge in West Virginia. It all started when the Maple Syrup Producers Association formed in 2015, and they have been steadily growing in member size, as well as production since,” Commissioner Leonhardt said. “Under my administration, we knew we had to focus more on providing tools to these producers, so West Virginia could tap into this niche market. I am proud of all that we have accomplished thus far.”

Example of “clusters” include the Pocahontas Cluster, being spearheaded by the Convention and Visitors Bureau there, which is putting together a weekend experience that will include sugar camp tours, maple breakfasts, maple dinner options. The Pocahontas County Opera House is offering overnight B&B packages.

Other clusters include Route 220 in the Hardy / Mineral County region, Metro Valley in the Kanawha / Lincoln County region, Wheeling area and the Beckley area, which will feature attractions at Tamarack, one of the state’s premier tourist stops.

For more details, click HERE.

Strawberry Festival Horse and Carriage Parade set for May 11

The Free Press WV

The clip-clop of hooves will echo on city streets on May 11 as horse equestrian teams, carts, carriages and individual riders proceed along the 2.5 mile route for the West Virginia Strawberry Festival Horse and Carriage Parade.

Set for Saturday May 11 at 3 p.m., this year’s parade expects entries from across the “Mountain State” as well as several out-of-state entries. Event Chairman Susie Sheets said, “This should be the largest horse and carriage parade in the history of Strawberry Festival”.

To date, verbal commitments have been received from 32 carriage, wagon or cart owners. At this time, 16 West Virginia counties will be represented with carriages, wagons and carts. The furthest wagon is scheduled from Milltown, Indiana at this time. Dozens of individual horse riders will also be participating.

The following have indicated their plans to attend: Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team (Michigan); the Buffalo Soldiers (Maryland); American Dream Cowgirls Drill Team (Pennsylvania); Ladies Side Saddle Association (Ohio); Love Valley Misfits Drill Team (North Carolina); and 40-some Cowgirls Drill Team, and Barbour County 4-H Equestrian Team (both from West Virginia).

Cash prizes totaling $3,000 will be awarded to winners in various categories along with plaques. All participates will be offered a “down-home” meal of cornbread, beans, ham, fried potatoes, applesauce and shortcake, sponsored and provided by B&L Friendly Kitchen.

At noon, visitors can see a trick riding and drill show by Shadow Montag of Ohio and the Mid America Cowgirls Drill Team. The show will take place in downtown Buckhannon. Live entertainment and additional activities will take place throughout the day.

For additional information on parade applications, contact Susie Sheets 304.613.0103 or email to ‘wildwood0103@gmail.com’. Applications are also available at www.wvstrawberryfestival.com

15th Annual Small Farm Conference to Begin February 13th

The Free Press WV

The 15th annual West Virginia Small Farm Conference is set to begin Wednesday, February 13th at the Charleston Coliseum and Conference Center in Charleston, WV.

The Small Farm Conference is hosted by West Virginia University Extension Services, in conjunction with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) and various partners.

“West Virginia agriculture is unique to what we typically think of when it comes to farming in the United States. We do not have numerous large farming operations as we lead the nation in small, family-owned farms,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “Given our topography, our farmers have to be looking for new, cutting edge innovations and ideas in order to grow their operations.”

This year, the WVDA Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Division will be presenting on new regulations for farmers markets and their vendors, as well as holding trainings on the changes to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In addition, producers have the opportunity to take the Better Process Control School, as well as hear presentations on expected changes from the 2018 Farm Bill. The WVDA will have a table set up during the Small Farm Conference for anyone that wants to register their farmers market, register as a vendor, ask questions about their product or registration or join the West Virginia Grown program. 

“If we are to expand the impact of West Virginia agriculture, it will start with entrepreneurs. This conference allows folks to meet and discuss best practices, as well as obtain trainings and certifications. If you have any interest in agriculture, this is the conference for you,” Leonhardt said.

In addition to WVDA sponsored activities, conference attendees will hear from topic experts speak on issues including: animal production, specialty crops, valued-added products, Farm to School, agritourism and marketing opportunities.

In conjunction with the Small Farm Conference, the Winter Blues Farmers Market will take place on Saturday, February 16, 1-5 p.m. at the Charleston Coliseum and Conference Center. In past years, vendors have sold everything from just-bottled maple syrup to heirloom popcorn, farm-fresh eggs to goats’ milk soap. Producers will also sell fresh vegetables grown in greenhouses and high tunnels in the middle of winter.

For more information, please contact Lisa Jones at 304.293.2715 or ‘Lisa.Lagana@mail.wvu.edu’.

Gilmer County Residents Graduate from GSC

The Free Press WV

Three students from Gilmer County were awarded degrees during the Glenville State College December Commencement Ceremony held on Saturday, December 08, 2018.

  • Amanda Lamb of Normantown, WV graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Education (PreK-K), Elementary Education (K-6), and Multi-Categorical Special Education (K-6).

  • Samantha McCune of Linn, WV received a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with a minor in Social Work.

  • Carissa Wood of Shock, WV graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with a minor in Music.

Founded in 1872, Glenville State College is a public liberal arts college located in Glenville, West Virginia.

The college offers a variety of four-year degree programs and several NCAA Division II athletic teams.

 

The Free Press WV

First Lady Cathy Justice Seeks Entries in Valentines to West Virginia Contest

The Free Press WV

First Lady Cathy Justice and her Student Artist Series announced the new “Valentines to West Virginia” contest Friday. All students in the 6th grade are invited to submit a Valentine to West Virginia that shows or tells what they love most about the Mountain State.

“I look forward to seeing all the creative entries and learning more about what makes our state so special to the students,” First Lady Cathy Justice said.

Students may use writing, photography, painting, drawing, and other art mediums to describe a favorite place, memory, or moment in West Virginia. Valentines must be at least two-dimensional and no larger than 5x7 inches.

They can be created using a variety of materials. Students are encouraged to take their time and be creative!

This contest is the third installment of the First Lady’s Student Artist Series initiative.

On special holidays, she will host different art competitions or projects for students to participate in, encouraging creativity and promoting the importance of the arts within schools throughout West Virginia.  

Students may mail their Valentines to West Virginia to:
The Governor’s Mansion
1716 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25305.

With each submission, students MUST include their name, phone, email, county, school name, teacher name, and teacher email. Valentines will not be returned. Valentines must be received by February 1, 2019. Winners will be announced by Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2019.

Prizes will be awarded to winning valentines.

For questions, please contact the First Lady’s Special Assistant Katie Speece at 304.558.3588 or ‘kate.e.speece@wv.gov’.

Missing Pet

The Free Press WV

Zoe is a 14 year old white shepherd.

She can’t hear and her vision is failing.

She’s skittish due to this.

She was last seen in Cedarville on Saturday, December 1st.

She was walking towards the Chapel/Normantown area.

There is a $100 reward to anyone that finds her even if she is deceased.

Please contact Heather at 304,462,7443 with any information.

GSC to Host Appalachian Studies Conference

The Free Press WV

Glenville State College will host the 2018 Appalachian Studies Conference on Thursday, November 15. The conference will take place at The Pioneer Stage (10 East Main Street, Downtown Glenville) and will begin at 8:00 a.m. Community members are invited to the conference to view presentations from students and to hear the keynote address from Jessica Lilly, host of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Inside Appalachia.

The Appalachian Studies Conference gives current students the opportunity to present their own work in the field of Appalachian studies, including creative projects and academic work. According to conference organizer and GSC Assistant Professor of English Dr. Amanda Chapman, “GSC students will, among other things, present research on topics such as the mine wars and Appalachian folklore, display and discuss Appalachian-inspired art, and play traditional Appalachian music. Refreshments will be served, and the doors will be open to the community as well as to students, faculty, and staff. The conference will be the culmination of the series of events funded by the West Virginia Humanities Council grant, titled ‘We, too, are Appalachia: An Exploration of Identity and Place.‘ Given that Appalachia has been the subject of so much national media coverage in the last few years, we believe that it is important for Appalachians to reflect on their own home and identity, to have a voice in representing this diverse region.“

For more information, contact Dr. Chapman at or call 304.462.6328.

ADAM TANNER’S KILLING LAURA JAMES TO BE PERFORMED AT THE LANDMARK STUDIO FOR THE ARTS IN SUTTON

The Free Press WV

Adam Tanner’s original two-act play, Killing Laura James, is a riveting tale of love and loss that will open October 11 in Sutton, WV.

This is a love story told by Miles Thomas, a man whose life did not turn out the way he imagined it would. After a tragic occurrence, Miles attempts to adapt to a new way of life. Isolated, deprived, and desperate he contrives a plan to get his old life back, perhaps just not in the way he wished. Along the way, his wife and son influence his decisions and ultimately the fate of Laura James.

Killing Laura James will be performed at the Landmark Studio for the Arts, 401 Main Street, Sutton, West Virginia on October 11th, 12th, 13th and 18th, 19th, 20th at 7:00 pm.

Reservations can be made by calling 304.644.3166.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $10 for Seniors(age 60+), and $5 for students. 

Adam returns to the stage as Director and also the lead in a captivating portrayal of Miles Thomas. Joining him are Mary Stewart as Allison, Noah Hamrick II as Harvey, and Stephanie Stewart as Laura James. 

You won’t want to miss this intriguing tale that will both shock and delight you, while at the same time giving you insight into the darker recesses of the human mind.

Come see for yourself as Adam Tanner and his talented cast bring this modern day thriller to the stage.

GCPSD: Main Waterline Break

The Free Press WV

The Gilmer County PSD had reported a main water line break.

This will affect approximately 85 customers in the Troy/Linn area and Upper Ellis Road.

A boil water advisory is in effect until further notice.

Any questions may be directed to the GCPSD @ 304.462.4272.

WVDA Warns Public to be on the Lookout for Exotic Tick

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is advising the public to be on the lookout for a potential, new tick threat to West Virginia.

On Monday, May 14, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, IA confirmed the finding of the Haemaphysalis longicornis tick (otherwise known as the East Asian or longhorned tick) in Virginia.

The tick appeared on an orphaned calf found on a beef farm located in Albemarle County, VA.

“Our beef industry is the second largest agricultural commodity in the state. This exotic tick is a threat to angus and beef farmers a like,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “We are asking the public to be aware this tick may already be in West Virginia.”

In late 2017, the longhorned tick was found initially in New Jersey.

No known direct link exists between the Virginia farm and the area in New Jersey where the tick first appeared.

The WVDA is working with the United States Department of Agriculture and other West Virginia stakeholders to determine if the tick is present in the state.

Active tick surveillance and livestock infestation investigations have been initiated.

Suspicious ticks will be submitted to the NVSL for analysis and confirmation.

“Livestock producers, animal owners and veterinarians should notify the State Veterinarian’s office if they notice any unusual ticks, or ticks that occur in large numbers on an individual animal. Typically, these ticks are seen in the greatest numbers in spring and fall but can persist through all four seasons, especially in warmer weather,” said State Veterinarian Dr. James Maxwell. “Livestock producers can work with their veterinarians to develop a tick prevention and control program.”

For more information, please contact the WVDA’s Animal Health Division at 304-.558.2214.

Missing Dogs

The Free Press WV

Mother’s Day 2018

The Gilmer Free Press
Happy Mother’s Day to my dear Mom,

Author of my personality:

Pleased, I hope, with what you read in me;

Pleased, I hope, with episodes to come.

Yet now I, too, would get some pleasure from

Making you the book in which I see,

Of all the players in my family,

The central character, whom I would plumb.

How beautiful to move in that direction!

Each to each a separate source of pleasure,

Reading in the others happiness,

‘Mid much description, underlying love.

So would we deepen the connection,

Discovering new passages to treasure

As we follow time towards tenderness,

Yearning for what years unread will prove.

Mother’s Day Around the World

The Gilmer Free Press

The United States commercial market for Mother’s Day has skyrocketed in recent years.

According to the Society of American Florists, 25% of all purchases of fresh flowers and plants are for Mother’s Day; and Hallmark says Mother’s Day is the third largest card selling holiday and second most popular gift-giving holiday after Christmas. 

So it may surprise you to find that the first efforts to establish Mother’s Day in the U.S. weren’t exactly successful.

After the Civil War and during the start of the Franco-Prussian War, social activist Julia Ward Howe wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation calling for peace.  She was inspired by a woman named Ann Jarvis who attempted to unite women and improve sanitation conditions through the Mothers’ Work Days.  Howe’s Mother’s Day for Peace did not gain much of a following and her proposal to convert the July 4th festivities into a celebration of peace and mothers fell flat. 

In 1908, after Jarvis’ death, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for a Mother’s Day holiday.  Her Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia held the first official Mother’s Day celebration and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson eventually declared the second Sunday of May the official national date for the holiday.

By the end of Anna Jarvis’ life, Mother’s Day was celebrated in more than 40 countries.  The carnation was Ann Jarvis’ favorite flower and was present at her funeral.  The tradition has arisen of wearing a carnation, colored if the mother is living, and white if not, to honor one’s mother on the holiday.  It is also common to honor Grandmothers, wives, and other important mother figures in your life. 


Here’s a look at Mother’s Day traditions around the world:


In Mexico, Mother’s Day has been celebrated on May 10 since the early 1900s.  It is one of the biggest gift-giving holidays in Latin American countries.  The celebration is also tied to the Virgin of Guadalupe who is considered a symbol of motherhood.  There is a special mass for Dia de las Madres along with traditional breakfast or brunch for mothers and some sort of serenade in the morning as well in Mexico.


El Salvador and Guatemala also observe Mother’s Day on May 10. 


In the United Kingdom Mother’s Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.  In the 1600s, children that were working away from home as servants visited their Mother Church on Mothering Day.  They also saw their families and their mothers during this time.  Eventually the holiday began to take on a secular celebration as well.  A tradition of giving your mother a glazed cake was started.  The cake comes from a folk tale about a married couple named Simon and Nell.  When they couldn’t decide whether to boil or bake a cake, they did both and invented the Simnel cake. 


In Spain and Portugal, where the holiday is more religious, people respect and remember the Virgin Mary on December 08. Children also honor their own mothers on this day.


In the former Republic of Yugoslavia, Mother’s Day was tied to a three day series of holidays.  The Mother’s Day cycle in Yugoslavia began with Children’s Day or “Dechiyi Dan” three days before Christmas. The following Sunday was Mother’s Day or “Materitse”, and the Sunday after that was Father’s Day or “Ochichi.“  It was a three day event where in the parents and the children alternated in tying each other up.  The children had to promise to be good in order to be released and the mother offered the children treats so that she could be freed. 


Many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on March 08:

Afghanistan, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, to name just a few.  However, that date has other importance as well.  International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, recognizes the economic, political, and social achievements of women.


The Socialist Party of American began celebrating a National Women’s Day in 1909.  The following year the Socialist International met in Copenhagen and established a Women’s Day of an international nature in order to support the women’s rights movement.  Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Russia are just a few of the countries that celebrate International Women’s Day rather than Mother’s Day. 


France celebrates Mother’s Day the last Sunday in May. After WWI the holiday took shape around the desire to repopulate the country.  Medals were awarded depending on the number of children a woman had.  This springtime Sunday is referred to as La Fete des Meres, and it provides children and adults throughout France with the opportunity to make their mother the center of attention, and give her gifts and treats. Today a common gift is a cake shaped to resemble a bouquet of flowers, along with candies, flowers, cards and perfumes.  In Sweden, the Swedish Red Cross sells little plastic flowers before Mother’s Day. They then use the money that they make from these flowers to help needy children and their mothers. 


In Finland Mother’s Day is called aidipayiva.  The family picks flower and presents a bouquet to the mother.  A small white pungent flower called the valkovuokko is usually preferred. 


Some Asian countries, such as Singapore and China, follow suit with the American Mother’s day tradition.  In China most names begin with a character signifying mother which honors the maternal heritage.  Other Asian countries have their own unique traditions.  In Thailand, the celebration of the beloved queen Sirikit Kitayakara’s birthday on August 12 has become a Mother’s Day celebration.


Hong Kong’s holiday, called mu quin jie, usually honors the parents of the mother if she is deceased.


In Japan, the name for Mother’s Day is haha no hi. In the early 1900s the Japanese celebrated Mother’s day according to Western custom, but this was banned during World War II. After the war, the tradition became widespread again and there were drawing contests offered for children to illustrate their mothers.  The exhibits celebrating mothers and peace toured throughout the country. 


In Iran and Bahrain, Ruz-e Madar or Mothers’ day is observed on the first Day of Spring, March 21.  This also happens in Lebanon and United Arab Emirates


In Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, Yaum ul-umm, is modeled after Western Mothers’ Day and is marked by celebrations and feasts. 


In Ethiopia, Mother’s Day occurs in mid-fall when the rainy season ends.  There is a three day feast called “Antrosht,“ which is part of the celebration.


South Africa celebrates Mother’s Day on the first Sunday in May.


The Egyptian goddess Isis was considered the mother of the gods.  She was revered as a loving wife and mother and symbol of fertility and magic.  She was revered and a cult even formed to worship her.


In ancient Greece, Rhea, “mother of the gods,“ was honored in the spring with honey-cakes, fine drinks, and flowers at dawn.  Her Roman counterpart, Cybele, was celebrated with games and a procession through the streets. 


The Celtic goddess Brigid, was celebrated during spring in connection to the first milk of the ewes and calves that flowed, symbolizing purity and nourishment. 


For thousands of years, In India, the Hindu people celebrate for nine days in October during a festival called Durga Puja.  This puja (or worship) celebrates Hindu goddess Durga, a warrior-like protector and mother.  It is currently the largest Hindu festival in Bengal.

Second Annual Commissioner of Agriculture for a Day Contest

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) has announced the start of the second annual Commissioner of Agriculture for a Day competition.

Students ages 9-18 are eligible to enter.

Those selected will serve as honorary Commissioners of Agriculture during the State Fair of West Virginia.

The contest will run from May 1st through July 18th.

“We have lost half our farmers in the last twenty years. At the same time, the average age of the farmer continues to increase,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “We hope to inspire the next generation of producers that our country desperately needs.”

To enter the contest, students can submit their presentations to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture website or to ‘jensmith@wvda.us’.

The theme for this year’s contest is “The Future of Agriculture: Ideas for Feeding the World”.

Acceptable forms for entry include: audio visual presentations such as photography or videos and written essays and poems, short stories and academic papers. All submissions must be received by July 18th.

“The hope is, if students see all the aspects of agriculture first hand, it may open up their eyes to careers they never knew existed,” stated Department of Education Agriculture, Science and Natural Resources Cluster Assistant Director Jason Hughes. “This is a great opportunity and I hope our students, especially FFA and 4-H members, take advantage of it.”

Those students who are chosen to serve as an Honorary Commissioner of Agriculture, will be given an encompassing tour of the State Fair of West Virginia, meet with Commissioner Kent Leonhardt, take part in events during the fair and meet various staff from every division of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Additionally, any winning submissions will be showcased in the September edition of the Market Bulletin.

For more information or to submit an entry, contact Jennifer Smith ‘jensmith@wvda.us’ or 304.558.3708

Happy Easter 2018

The Gilmer Free Press

Easter is the central religious feast in the Christian religion.

Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.

People all over the world celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day or Easter Sunday, two days after Good Friday and three days after Maundy Thursday.

Now officially Easter lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

The exact origins of this religious feast day’s name are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility.

Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time.

Through a translation error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English.

In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques.

These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover.

Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt.

Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.

Easter is really an entire season of the Christian church year, as opposed to a single-day observance.

Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, is a time of reflection and penance and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry, a time in which Christians believe he survived various temptations by the devil.

The day before Lent, known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, is a last hurrah of food and fun before the fasting begins.

The week preceding Easter is called Holy Week and includes Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; Good Friday, which honors the day of his crucifixion; and Holy Saturday, which focuses on the transition between the crucifixion and resurrection.

The 50-day period following Easter Sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

In addition to Easter’s religious significance, it also has a commercial side, as evidenced by the mounds of jelly beans and marshmallow chicks that appear in stores each spring.

As with Christmas, over the centuries various folk customs and pagan traditions, including Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets and candy, have become a standard part of this holy holiday.

The Gilmer Free Press

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NCAA DII Atlantic Regional Tournament - March 15-18, 2019

The Free Press WV

West Fork Conservation District Supervisors Meeting – March 21, 2019

The Gilmer Free Press
The West Fork Conservation District Board of Supervisors monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at the USDA Service Center, Mount Clare, WV.

The meeting starts at 9:00 AM.

Please if you have questions contact Robin Ward, District Manager for the West Fork Conservation District at 304.627.2160 x 3730.

Gilmer County Board of Education Accepting Bids - 03.22.19

The Free Press WV

Gilmer County Board of Education will be accepting bids for the lawn mowing and grounds care at Gilmer County High School, Rhorbourgh Field, Bus Garage, Board Office, and Gilmer Elementary. Bid packets with full explanations may be picked up at Gilmer County Board office, 454 VanHorn Drive, Glenville, WV 26351. Please contact, Joe Frashure, Maintenance Director, at 304.462.7386 Ext. 100 or ‘jfrashur@k12.wv.us’ with any questions. Closing date for bid is Friday March 22, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Bid Opening and review will be Friday March 22, 2019, at 11:15 a.m. at the Gilmer County Board of Education office, Room 109.

Gilmer County Farm Show Elimination Dinner - 03.22.15

The Free Press WV

LITTLE KANAWHA INDEPENDENT CHURCH SPECIAL SING - 03.23.19

The Free Press WV
LITTLE KANAWHA INDEPENDENT CHURCH

DATE:. . .MARCH 23, 2019

TIME: . . . .. . . . . . .  7:00 PM

SPECIAL SINGERS       THE BRIGHTERSIDE QUARTET

PASTOR:.. . RONZEL ROBERTS

EVERYONE WELCOME!

Recovery Boys - 03.26.19

The Free Press WV

Braxton County Schools PreSchool Registration Day - 03.28.19

The Free Press WV

Gilmer County Preschool Sign Ups and Family Event - 03.29.19

The Free Press WV

Family Turkey Hunting Workshop

The Free Press WV

Benefit Dinner for Jim Snyder - 03.31.19

The Free Press WV

Gilmer Public Library Programs and Events in 2019

The Free Press WV

Help Is Closer Than You Think

The Free Press WV

West Fork Conservation District Supervisors Public Meeting in Salem – April 02, 2019

The Gilmer Free Press
The West Fork Conservation District will hold a public meeting for the Salem Fork Watershed Dams on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 at the Salem City Building, Salem WV.

The meeting starts at 6:30 PM.

Please if you have questions contact Robin Ward, District Manager for the West Fork Conservation District at 304.627.2160 x 3730.

Buckhannon Seventh-day Adventist Church Rummage Sale

The Free Press WV
Buckhannon Seventh-day Adventist Church Rummage Sale
1122 Brushy Fork Road
Buckhannon, WV

(To help us get new flooring for Fellowship Hall and Kitchen)

April 1, 2, and 3,  8:30a.m. to 6:00p.m. 

If you would like to donate clean, gently-used items for the sale we would greatly appreciate it.

Please bring your items to the church on Sunday, March 3l between 1:00p.m. and 4:00p.m, March 31, or Early Monday morning. 

If you have any questions, please call 304.472.0962, and if no answer, leave a message.

GSC’s Annual Percussion Ensemble

The Free Press WV

Tickets for the annual Glenville State College Percussion Ensemble will go on sale on Friday, March 01 at 8:00 a.m.

Concerts will be held on Thursday, April 04 and Friday, April 05 at 7:00 p.m. in the GSC Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

GSC students are admitted to the April 04 performance for free, but must still reserve a ticket.

Tickets for public school students are $15 and the price for general admission is $25.

For more information or to reserve tickets, contact the GSC Fine Arts Department at 304.462.6340.

A Special Anniversary Tribute - 04.06.19

The Free Press WV

West Fork Conservation District Supervisors Public Meeting in Pricetown – April 09, 2019

The Gilmer Free Press
The West Fork Conservation District will hold a public meeting for the Polk Creek Watershed Dams on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 at the Pricetown VFD, Pricetown WV.

The meeting starts at 6:30 PM.

Please if you have questions contact Robin Ward, District Manager for the West Fork Conservation District at 304.627.2160 x 3730.

Art & Craft Class - 04.13.19

The Free Press WV

Gilmer County FRN Thrift Store

The Free Press WV

Upcoming Winter and Spring Gardening Workshops

The Free Press WV

Folk Festival Day - 04.27.10

The Free Press WV

Gilmer Public Library: Japanese Culture

The Free Press WV

May the 4th Be with your 5k

The Free Press WV

Lifeguard Certification Classes Scheduled at Glenville State

The Free Press WV
Individuals interested in earning or renewing certification as a Red Cross lifeguard should make plans to sign up for one of two classes being offered at Glenville State College’s Pool.

Certification classes are being organized for February 16, 17, 23, 24 and May 04, 05, 11, 12.

The classes last from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and take place at the GSC Pool which is located in the Health and Physical Education Building.

Cost for the certification is $225 per person.

Participants, who should be at least 15 years old by the last day of the class, must pass a swim test at the first session.

The test consists of a 300-meter continuous swim using either the front crawl or breaststroke, treading water, hands-free, for two minutes in the deep end of the pool, and completing a brick retrieval within one minute forty seconds.

For more information and to request a registration form, contact GSC Director of Aquatics and Recreation Kathy Gilbert at ‘Kathy.Gilbert@glenville.edu’ or by calling 304.462.6441.

WVSFF: Vendors Wanted

The Free Press WV

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After the ipads were purchased what measurable benefits resulted from having them at the GCHS to improve student learning? Does anyone know?

Was a formal plan followed to maximize benefits from the equipment to include provisions for measuring before-and-after results to evaluate if the equipment did any good?

Another case of throwing money at a problem and after spending it taxpayers have no idea if there were any meaningful benefits for students?

More than likely competitive bidding was not used to purchase the ipads to add another wrinkle.

By Did The ipads Improve Learning Results? on 03.13.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Where oh where did the 200 Gilmer County I-pads go?
Were they bought with federal money?
Attorney General Morrisey are you looking into this?
Someone should get the ball rolling?

By where oh where? on 03.12.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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They is not no flood plane there the water dont get up there i know i catch musk rats in the river

By THE TRUTH WATCHER on 03.08.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Gilmer County’s school board has full authority to demand a comprehensive accounting for every dime spent on everything leading up to site selection and construction of the LCES and the GCES.

Where did the money go and who got it to include naming names and companies on the receiving end?

Stop hiding behind the excuse that the State “did it to us” and assemble the true facts for taxpayers!

What is the defensible rational for failure of the school board to follow up on this?

By Disclose Financial Facts on 03.07.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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What was in the school board’s 451 resolution? As important as education is more effort should be taken to flesh out what actually happens at school board meeting. Bare minimum information and lack of transparency skirt accountability. Who is responsible for writing up the minutes?

By Transparency and Accountability Needed on 03.07.2019

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

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The new Gilmer County Elementary school was built
in a flood plane.  Education fail.

By YOU FORGET on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Roads are a mess.
Population continues the 50+ year decrease.

But for deep gas, no new employment.

Education system total failure.
Legislature impotent.

Grand finale in Charleston.
We have a brawl in the Capitol Building.

That out-of-control delegate needs to resign!

By WV continues the slow death on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Broadband coming?  Think we heard this before?
How many times?  I’ve lost count.  You remember?

This will be like JimmyBoys “roads to prosperity” program?
Take the citizens money?  Give ‘em nothing.

Republicans. Democrats. All the same political bs from both.
Voters believe them.  Keep bringing back the old mules so they can give us a repeat performance.

By Just More Dog n Pony Show 4 U on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Jimmy D, Gilmer County needs a full accounting for every dime spent on school site planning and studies, site preparation, all school construction work, and purchases while the State had us intervened.

For one example of many we do not have an itemized accounting for how our funds were spent on the botched LCES project.

How much more was wasted on the auction barn site, the dropped Cedar Creek site, and the GCES in comparison to what could have been done with our money with full transparency, competent planning, competitive bidding, and proper project oversight?

The fact that the GCES was built too small and the LCES was built too large is one facet of the waste and mismanagement that occurred.

Do not expect valid investigations because WV’s standard approach is cover up when the State is involved.

By Jimmy D--Don't Expect Sunshine on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Saw the GFP video (citizens refer to it as the ambush video) at the school board meeting at which the pitch was made for the new computers.

The GCHS principal and staff talked about wonders to expect if the 200 computers would be purchased.

Promises were made that if the kids got them they would learn to do advanced math and to make other marvelous learning advances. Any evidence of the promises being kept?

Were the computers purchased through competitive biding? Wanna bet that they were not?

Is this another example of throwing money at technology with no meaningful plan for how to use the equipment to maximize learning benefits without evidence of any before-and-after testing to accurately determine if they did any good?

Could the 200 computers be located and what condition are they in if they could be found?

The new school board is encouraged to check on the issues and to report on the findings.

By Accountability For New GCHS Computers on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Since the local prosecutor is good for nothing, why doesn’t the federal prosecutors look into all the theft by Gabe DeVano and his buddies during the time Gilmer county was under state control? They stole money, equipment from schools which closed, as well as technology equipment. for example where did the 200 iPads go which gilmer county paid for?

By Jimmy D on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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A major cause of WV’s dismal record with K-12 education is the lack of choice regarding a parent’s right to decide on the school for a child to attend.

The elite get around that by using private schools for their kids.

Under existing conditions what chance do the rest of us have? The answer is none!

Our kids are victimized because competition and accountability do not exist and that is exactly what WV’s entrenched education establishment and the unions want.

By Save WV's School Children on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pennybaker is correct.
WV educators keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Whats the definition of insanity?

By Gilmer on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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An off grid system works great if you want to live like a hippie. One can cover their entire roof and it will barely power your lighting and a few electronics, let alone our transportation and industrial needs. The humaniacs now complain that the giant windmill blades kill the little birdies, and they have never solved the overpass problem in putting windmills on out autos.

By Vern Windsong on 03.01.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It amazes me that the so-called “experts” think more and more centralization will improve anything.  Public school education is in terrible condition and doing more consolidation will only make it worse and more expensive.  With all the technology today, there is NO reason for busing children for miles and miles, spending more and more hours under the control of public schools.  The idea that parents are not capable of deciding how to educate their children is insulting.  There was never any good reason for governments to get involved in education.

By Karen Pennebaker on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pat, your information is outdated. Solar and wind are increasingly outcompeting fossil fuels, despite the heavy subsidies fossil fuels (and nuclear power) get. They also are getting steadily cheaper, while fossil fuels can be expected to rise as supply diminishes—the pipelines are going in so fast because of the NEED of the gas companies to get their product out to where they HOPE to find better prices—the drillers have been steadily losing money for the whole decade of the fracking “miracle.“ Wall Street is becoming skeptical. The thing about solar and wind is that once they’re built, the fuel keeps arriving, free. Of course, there isn’t much of a wind resource in our area. But there is in the mountain heights, and off the Virginia coast. And solar works fine here—I’ve had an off-grid system for ten years, works great.

By Mary Wildfire on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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Yes, West Virginia spends a LOT of money on education.
But where does it go?  Is it wasted?  Down the drain hole of bureaucracy?

We spend 7th highest per student and what to show for it?
Being 49th or 50th in ratings?

By where does the money go? on 02.27.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Seeing the president of the WV AFT shaking his raised clinched fist in disrespect for the WV legislature tells it all.

WV’s teacher unions are allowed to function as separate branches of government with veto power over WV’s elected officials and their only role is to get more benefits for their members.

Where is the evidence that unions have done anything recently in any WV school system to help create an educational show piece? Can anyone cite an example?

Furthermore what have unions done to develop innovative plans for moving the State’s k-12 education system forward to pry us off our bottom rung rankings? The answer is—nothing exists. 

Conditions will not change for the better until the day our legislators quit pandering to unions to end k-12 decision-making driven by mob rule and raw emotions.

By Unions Failed WV's Children on 02.26.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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The principal reason for opposition to 451 is fear by union chiefs that public charter schools could outshine performances of non-participating schools to embarrass WV’s entrenched K-12 education establishment.

To attempt to scare the public, there were claims that the underlying motive for opposition to charter schools is the sinister plan to privatize them to permit the rich and powerful to make money off education at the expense of WV’s children.

It is alarming that unions failed to propose comprehensive plans, inclusive of meaningful accountability mechanisms, designed to improve WV’s schools.

Their objective seems to be to protect the status quo instead of being effective partners in improving education for the State’s children.

There are examples in the USA where charter schools resulted in significant K-12 education improvements. Of course some failed.

Why is it irrational to establish a limited few charter schools in WV as demonstration projects to incorporate approaches applied in highly successful charter schools while avoiding mistakes of the schools that failed?

Nothing else has worked in getting WV out of being near the bottom with K-12 education quality—-so why continue with business as usual while expecting better outcomes?

By Unions Failed WV Education on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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If passed when will this take effect? I’m a single mother who has a drug felony from another state. I can’t get food stamps to help me because I a drug felon. I work so my income is to much for one person. I have a son whom him and I barley survive. Cause of my record. I’ve held the job I am at now for 5 years. But since they can’t use me. They use my income. But not me and doing it that way I make to much money.

By Kayla on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'Bill to Let Drug Felons Get Food Stamps Passes WV Senate'.

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John & Family,  Sorry to hear of Nyla’s passing!  GOD will take care of you!!  GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU IN THIS SAD TIME !!!  RIP Nyla !

By Anita L. Adams - New Concord, Ohio on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Nyla Leah Frymier Poole'.

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“But Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said utility filings in those states now show the outlook has changed dramatically - in part because of competition from cheap, renewable energy.“

That is utter rubbish.  There is no “cheap, renewable energy.“  Solar and wind are more expensive, even taking subsidies into consideration.  Hydro is more expensive, nuclear is more expensive.

Claiming otherwise is at best fake news, and at worst deliberate misdirection and lying.  Merely claiming renewable energy is less expensive doesn’t make it so.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It was brought to my attention there was an article published in the Gilmer Free Press under Reader’s Comments dated 2-11-19.
This was written by Tammy White which many think it was me (Tammy Foster).  Twenty years (or more) “White” was my last name.
My son does take daily medication at the high school (which somehow this is quite a coincidence).  I want to clarify that I DID NOT write that article!
Now that I have straighten this out….. please read what I have say about this situation at Gilmer County High School:
The secretary or secretaries that were mentioned have never been rude to me or my son in person or by phone.  It is actually the opposite!  They are kind, caring, professional and thorough with distributing my son’s meds.
Not only do they make sure he gets the correct dosage daily but they keep a close inventory on the meds and call me when I need to restock them.
It broke my heart to read the negative article written last week and I was appalled my (old) name was on it.
My son and I trust and depend on these wonderful ladies.  We would like to take this opportunity to THANK them for taking excellent responsibility and care of our child and other students.

By Tammy Foster (not White) on 02.13.2019

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

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I’m sorry for your loss.

By Danny Nicholson on 02.12.2019

From the entry: 'Vera Marlene Lyons'.

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There is some issues going on at GCHS. I’m starting here in Hope’s that it will be addressed and corrected.  The secretary was rude when I turned in medicine for my son to be taken on a daily basis. Nor is it her business why he takes it, or how often. Anyway, is she certified in giving meds out.  I thought that the school employed a nurse. Maybe she should answer the phone or should I say message on her cell. She had no idea how many I handed in she didnt count them. Talks about her co workers. Then she gets upset nobody talks to her. She is 2 face. Talking about them is very unprofessional.
I hope this is taken care of or my next step is to the state department. Your choice

By Tammy white on 02.11.2019

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

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It is welcomed news as reported in the Democrat that Gilmer’s GCES students are making progress in learning math and English Learning Arts.

The principal, teachers, and all staff deserve high praise for the progress. Let’s not forget efforts of students too plus their parents who encourage them at home.

In addition to rates of increase for learning progress it would be helpful to be informed of percentages of students in the different grades who are at grade level for math and ELA.

Nothing was reported about learning progress at the GCHS and the LCES bi-county school. When are reports for those schools going to be given?

By Positive School News on 02.08.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The lights are up at the Linn school.
Often flashing nights and weekends when NO ONE is on school property.

And you expect lights to work….???
when the WVDE, the WVBE built the school with FIVE TOO MANY CLASSROOMS !!??

*** The WVBE is incapable of meaningful education.
Why do you think the WV Legislature created the current ‘education overhaul’ bill without consulting the WV State Board of Ed? ***

By you are joking I guess? on 02.07.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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“The Environmental Protection Agency issued regular updates for about 100 water pollutants almost four years ago ... “

That would have been the Obama EPA, and the intention wasn’t to provide better water, it was an attempt to control business activity through the use of regulation.

In other words, a power-grab by a politician obsessed with it.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pay McGroyne on 02.06.2019

From the entry: 'One Charleston Manufacturer Pressing for Delay of Water Rules'.

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Would the County’s school board take action to help improve safety conditions at the LCES?

The way it is now it can be uncertain if children are present at the school to require a reduction of speed to 15 mph while on Rt. 33.

It would eliminate uncertainty if a flashing lights system were to be installed so the lights could be turned on when children are present.

By LCES Safety Concern on 01.31.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Why is it that on Gilmer County’s school system web site biographical information including education backgrounds for all school board members and their pictures are not posted?

Other counties have the information. Why not us?

By School Board Member Backgrounds? on 01.23.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The only reason for our not using a version of the goal-driven Kentucky method would be a veto by controlling elitists opposed to establishing meaningful accountability for Gilmer County’s school system.

Without using the method it would be easier to continue to pawn off information that cannot be used to accurately document progress with student proficiencies for reading, math, science, and college and career readiness.

By School System Accountability Needed on 01.20.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The KY approach would be valuable to Gilmer County for use in disclosing progress of our two schools in contributing to better lives for our children.

For goals for which progress would be off schedule, the tracking approach would be an objective basis for making mid-course adjustments in our school system to get better results.

By using the approach school board members could be more effective with goal-driven governing, and getting results would be the responsibility of the County’s Superintendent of Schools and school principals.

Overall,the approach would establish meaningful accountability which is sorely lacking in WV’s school systems.

By Establish School System Accountability on 01.18.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Accomplished communicators have a knack for reducing complex information to its simplest form for effectiveness in getting messages across.

WV’s convoluted strategic plans for schools must follow the State’s rigid guidelines. The plans are confusing and inadequately designed for establishing accountability for getting results.

Kentucky is making progress with improving K-12 education outcomes and one reason is the clarity of specific goals for its schools and the job being done with tracking results.

Google—-2018 Prichard Committee Update to glean what is being done in Kentucky. The approach could be used for Gilmer’s two schools with a single sheet of paper for each school.

The beauty of the Prichard approach is that instead of relying on confusing and lengthy written out material with undefined abbreviations, technical jargon, and head scratching generalities, specific goals and annual results in achieving them are presented graphically.

Perfect real world example of a picture being worth a thousand words.

Board of Education members why couldn’t the Prichard approach be used for Gilmer County? It would be inexpensive, it could be updated easily on an annual basis, and everyone in the County would know how the school system is being administered to achieve measurable results.

Perhaps Mr. David Ramezan could post Prichard material on the GFP to show its simplicity.

By Advocate For Clarity on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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The scandal of the too small school?
Don’t forget…
The scandal of the too big school is half of the whole state intervention mess.  FIVE rooms more than needed at the Linn, Lewis County school.

Results are from nepotism, cronyism, and educational stupidity….as well as scoffing at those who attempted to sound the alarm.

Bloated egos was the frosting on the Litter Box Cake Mix.

By School Truth is in the Litter Box on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

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

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

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

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

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

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

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

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

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

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

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

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

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

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

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

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

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

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

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

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

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