Jeanette Riffle: Easter Memories

The Free Press WV

I always looked forward to spring and Easter. My grandmother, Grace Smith Stewart, would sew me up a pretty feed sack dress and the other grandparents would buy me a pair of patent leather shoes with those dainty white socks that had the lace at the tops to fold down. If I needed a new spring jacket they would buy that for me.  Mom bought Easter baskets full of candy at Murphy’s 5 & 10 cent store and saved the baskets with the artificial green grass for another year. Sometimes we used those empty baskets to go egg hunting.  If the weather was bad, she would hide the eggs inside the house. I remember helping her color those eggs. She always had chickens and would boil a bunch of eggs. I can still smell that vinegar. I think she used a kit that had the coloring to mix with white vinegar and hot water. We had different bowls for the different colors. There was a wire that you dipped an egg down in the coloring with and the number of times you dipped the egg determined the darkness of the color.

Duane remembers a big Easter egg hunt in what is now our front yard.  He and his first cousin, Gerry Perrine, were going to Sunday School at the one room school house up the Tanner #4 Rd. here by the bridge.  Katie Twyman and Homer Samson were the teachers of that Sunday School. They each went to their own church on Sunday mornings and held a class in the afternoons for neighborhood kids. He thinks Aunt Katie Twyman did most of the egg coloring. Homar’s wife , Meady, probably helped her. Two or three kids hid the eggs. Tink Twyman, who was Clem and Katie’s grandson, Duane and maybe Ronnie Lott, helped with that. Duane said most of the kids ate their eggs, but he didn’t care for those old cold boiled eggs. Said that once they were colored they had a different taste to him and he never really like a boiled egg. He said that his Aunt Susie Perrine never colored very many because on one in the family ate very many of them. He remembers hearing of people boiling onion skins for a red brown color to color eggs.

One Easter my Grandfather Frank Stewart bought us kids a big foot tall, solid chocolate bunny. It was the biggest one we had ever seen and we wondered where he had found it. Mom put in in the fridge and told us we would just have to cut off little chunks at a time. The ears came first. It took a while to get on the outside of all that chocolate.  We were always taken to church on Sunday mornings and taught the real meaning of why we celebrate Easter. I learned the song, “Christ Arose, “at an early age.  Until next time, stay well. We are hearing that the flu has about run its course. Not as many cases are being reported , at least. We are looking forward to our kids coming home for Easter.

God bless and keep you in His care!

Jeanette Riffle: Remember Homemade Lye Soap?

The Free Press WV

I was inspired to different things to write about this week, but the article that I read about lye soap in the Saturday Charleston Gazette, brought back many memories.

A woman in the rental house on our property where I grew up, made her own soap. Glen and Viola Cogar were the tenants at one time there and Viola knew how to make ends meet. In the spring she was out picking greens or fishing to put food on the table.

She made throw rugs by saving up bread wrappers, cut them into long strips, twisted them into ropes and hooked them into a rug with a big crochet hook. 

She kept ammonia cookies baked up all the time for Glen’s lunch pail. He worked saw mill jobs or whatever he could find.

One day, I went out to visit with Viola and she was stirring up something in a big black kettle over an open fire in the front yard.

I asked her what she was making, and she said she was making lye soap.

I asked all kinds of questions as that was the first time I had heard of anyone making soap.

I stayed for a while and decided it was going to take a long time, so I ran back down the path to Mom.

Sometime later, Viola brought Mom a cake of her soap and it smelled so good that Mom had to try it out. She washed her hands and arms. 

I was out playing in the back yard and she came to the kitchen door and yelled at me to warn me about that soap. 

She said, “Jeanette, whatever you do, don’t wash your hands with that soap. It took the hair right off my arms.” 

I ran to the back-kitchen door to see her arms and they looked dry and flaky. 

I asked her what happened, and she said that Viola must have gotten too much lye in that soap. 

She said that she washed her arms and the hair came off in the wash pan of water. 

Scary! Later, that evening when Dad got home from work, he told Mom that this soap was the cleaning kind to scrub dirty wooden floors with or to get tough stains out of work clothes.

None of Mom’s people had made lye soap and she didn’t know anything about it.

She didn’t want anything more to do with that soap. I don’t know what she did with it. 

My husband said that his Aunt Susie Perrine and another lady made some lye soap at the Shock log cabin one time and they used a feather to test for strength.

If it took the quills off the feather, it was too strong. There was a recipe along with the article that I read, this Saturday. 

It calls for a can of lye and 5 cups of cold water. Mix together in an enamel or iron kettle as it will eat the bottom out of anything else. Stand way back and stir with a long stick or broom handle. Add ½ cup household ammonia, ½ cup borax or Borateem, and ½ cup sugar. Add 11 cups of beef tallow, lard or grease. Add sassafras or perfume oil. Stir until thickened and pour into a cardboard box lined with a white cloth. Cut into bars within 24 hours or it will become too hard to cut. I think I will buy my soap at the store. That might be safer.

Until next time, think spring. It is just around the corner.

Jeanette Riffle: Long Walk to Work

The Free Press WV

My husband was telling me that the bridge at Stumptown is being worked on, replaced, or something. His grandpa, Charlie Riffle, helped build a bridge down there back in the day. He didn’t have a car and walked clear from the head of Bear Fork to the job and back that evening. The old timers had to be strong and tough. Concerning bridges, there weren’t many. You had to go through a run or creek to cross over to the other side, in many areas. Lots of the roads were mud and not paved, yet.  Some bridges were built during the WPA time, which was a work program after the Great Depression. Back when Duane first came to Shock at two years old, there were no bridges up here at all. There was a bridge at Stumptown, one at Crooked Fork and one at the mouth of Laurel, but from Rosedale on to Frametown, there were no bridges.

Mom told of no bridges and it took all day to go anywhere. Like I have said before, we had to take a ferry boat across the Ohio River to go see Papaw Warner’s sister, Lizzy Doake, who lived on an island over there. Papaw drove the car on and I remember Mom carrying me on this big flat thing. Mamaw walked on right behind us.  There was a man up front at the engine. He drove the boat over across the river and Papaw drove the car off the boat. We got in and rode   to his sister’s place. We visited with her for several hours and then the same procedure all over again to get back home. I’ve always had a flash of memory of this and I had to ask Mom one time what was going on.

Duane came to Shock when he was two years old and he can remember his uncle Ralph Perrine driving through the runs where there were no bridges up here.  I can’t remember anything like that over where we lived. It seemed like the Chesnut Lick bridge was always there and the one at Glenville.  So, Dad got out of the army in 1945 and we moved to the house on the bank, up from the bridge. That was on a main highway of 119 & 33 going from Spencer to Weston and those bridges were there by that time. I remember asking Dad one time why our roads wind around and around and up and down in these hills and he jokingly said that when they built the roads, they followed the old buffalo trails. Actually, they followed the terrain, as that was the easiest way to make a road. It was less earth moving.  I think we are all anxious for March to dry up the mud. I’m thankful for concrete to walk on, with all the rain we have been having and the February mud. Steer Creek has been out of its banks behind us once so far and almost came out again this morning as we had a hard rain last night. We get water in the low part of the woods beside us.

Until next time, stay warm and dry. May the Lord bless and keep you in His care!

Jeanette Riffle: The Miracle of Sunshine

The Free Press WV

After so much rain and flood waters, the sunshine this afternoon was really welcomed. We came home from church and had some lunch and I actually enjoyed doing dishes at the kitchen
sink. That nice warm sun came in the window on me while I was standing there. Just ten minutes of sun shining on the skin gives us all the Vitamin D we need for one day and boosts the mood.  Our weather had set a pattern of getting stormy on weekends but this Sunday was more mild and clear. There were 86 present at Rosedale Baptist. It was good to get back. I had missed three Sundays with bad weather. I don’t go anywhere if it is slick and dangerous to walk around or if there’s a cold rain out there. That’s when I just stay in and look outside. The birds go right ahead eating at the feeders in the rain and my red birds are coming back. I have seen them for three or four days now. They can visit feeders on both sides of us and I think sometimes they go to the other feeders.

Our new pup will be eight months old next month. He is a hunter. He likes to cross the road and go up the hill. That isn’t safe here. There are coyotes in our hills. I was reading an article about them and how the pack attacks. One will give a call to draw a dog up and then the whole pack attacks and kills the dog. We are getting an invisible fence this week to protect him.

He will have enough of a radius to roam around in and get his exercise. When I was growing up, we had the rabbi fox scare to deal with but nowadays it’s lots of large predators in our woods. We haven’t heard any coyotes yipping lately but back in October when our son was home, he and his Dad heard them across the creek one night.

My Dad taught my oldest brother how to shoot when he was about six years old and when three of us kids would go after the cow and bring her in to be milked, my brother went in front of the rest of us on the lookout. The foxes were thick at one time and ran the hills behind our house. We never saw one when we went after the cow, but my middle brother ran into one in the pasture field one time. Also, I remember a time when one came in on the back porch. The family had gone somewhere, and I stayed home with the baby. He was about four. I was lying down resting and he woke me up and said he saw a fox on the back porch. It was gone by the time I got awake and went to check. The other boys have told me about a fox coming in on the front porch one time and Dad had to kill it. I’m glad we don’t have that to deal with anymore.

Until next time, stay well and take care. God bless!

Jeanette Riffle: February, The Shortest Month

The Free Press WV

I was reading Alyce Faye Braggs’s column in the Charleston Gazette this Saturday morning and was reminded of some old sayings, songs and sassafras tea. Dad loved his buckwheat pancakes and he would bring in Log Cabin syrup in a tin, shaped like a log cabin. We had cow butter and that good syrup to make those pancakes just right. Every time we had those, which was on a Saturday when he was home from work, he would sing, “Buckwheat cakes and Indian jammer, make me fat, a whole lot fatter, look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land. “I never heard anyone else sing that song. I don’t know where he got it. Maybe it was an army song.

February was sassafras tea month. Mom had a big fat kettle with a bale on it and Dad would dig up some sassafras roots, bring them home, scrub them up and boil them in that kettle, to make the rich red brown brew. When it was just the right color, they added sugar to taste and turned the fire off. My oldest brother couldn’t wait for it to cool and he would pour himself a cup and sip on it while the rest of us were waiting for ours to cool down. It tasted like a rich root beer pop and we looked forward to that tea in February.

Another thing we looked forward to was the valentines and little heart shaped candy boxes with chocolates inside. Mom found them at the Murphy’s 5 & 10 cent store and she bought a box for each one of us kids. Back then we signed our name on valentines and gave them to friends at school. Then there were the tiny little heart shaped candies with writings on them like, “Be mine, valentine.”  I don’t remember any valentine parties or anything special at school like they have nowadays. We kept it simple.

February is almost half over and next comes March with the March winds to dry up the mud. Another saying, “March winds and April showers, bring May flowers. “There are lots of old sayings and Mom knew a lot of them. There are two birthdays in the month of February in our family. My husband’s is February 27th and Mom’s was February 6th.  Happy birthday to Mom in Heaven. She sent cards to all her friends on their birthday. She bought perfumed stationary and she kept dainty hankies. Most of them had a pretty flower design in them but some had a lace made of crochet thread for a fancy edging. Her friends got a nice birthday card, a letter, and a hankie.

She had a cake and ice cream for each of us kids on our birthday. At that time, folks didn’t have a birthday party for each kid every year, only one. Mom had me one when I was about 10 or 11.  She said we could each have one birthday party but if you had more than that, you were just begging. Things have changed.

Until next time, enjoy the warmer temperatures. I hope they stay, but winter is not gone yet.

God bless and keep you in His care!

Jeanette Riffle: Flatwoods Monster Movie

The Free Press WV

We were reading in the Charleston Gazette this Saturday morning about a movie that was made, and it will be premiering at the Elk Theater in Sutton on April 7th. 

The movie will be released on DVD and Amazon in April. We both have memories of when this scare came about. It was September of 1952. 

I was 7 years old.  Dad bought day old bread, donuts and pies from a man who drove a bread truck and took supplies to stores. What was left over was the men to do with as he pleased. He drove the 119 & 33 route by our house and stopped to sell things to us. Well, I remember one evening that I was sitting out in the front porch swing and the bread truck came along.

Dad went down to the road and they talked for a long time. When he came back up to the house, he said, “Ha, that will be the last of him.” Mom asked what was wrong and Dad said that man had seen a green monster early that morning, up at Flatwoods, and it had scarred him out of his wits. He was out there before daylight to round up his breads and such and start his route for the day of delivering to stores and selling day old stuff at the end of the day.  Dad decided to go up and see for himself what that man might have seen. I can’t remember where we went but I do remember us getting out of the car and looking at a huge indent in the ground.  Dad thought that something has been there and burned.

Duane said it couldn’t have been where he heard it was because that hill would have been too difficult for Dad to drive up. His memories are of that bread man delivering to Ralph Perrine’s country store at Shock and his uncle reacted the same as my Dad did. He laughed and told the family and didn’t know what to think of a story like that. Later, we all heard of others telling their stories of what they had seen.

There was an account of some children and two adults taking a journey to the top of the hill to search for the object and instead found themselves coming face to face with a 13-ft. mechanical monster. Later that evening the local National Guard unit was dispatched by the Air Force to investigate the site of the encounter. Whether a true-life event or a fable, there are two witnesses still alive and they will set the record straight when the film is released.

They were interviewed in the movie.  I am anxious to see what comes of this as no one has been able to determine what really happened.

Until next time, stay warm and stay well. Flu is on the rampage.

Take care and God bless!

Gilmer County: List of Candidates for 2018 Election

The Free Press WV
The Free Press WV

Jeanette Riffle: Promise of Spring

The Free Press WV

We are seeing new green growth on the honeysuckle vines of the grape arbor and we aren’t quite out of January, yet.  As I am writing, the wind is roaring in the tops of trees, up in the hills and the breeze is whipping up down here in the valley. Something is brewing up, but we have had a couple of spring like days to enjoy, again. The birds are remembering their spring songs. I remember one year after a hard winter that they acted like they couldn’t remember. “

Tweety!”  It was a while before the full, “Tweety, tweety, tweety“, could be heard. It did get kind of funny. Groundhog Day is just around the corner. I was reading an interesting article about groundhogs in the Old Farmer’s Almanac just this week and I saw one whole page of information on groundhogs in this week’s Glenville Democrat. We don’t hear of anyone eating them anymore, but the groundhog used to be a main stay on many a farm table. Duane’s Aunt Susie Perrine mixed Lee & Perrins Sausage Seasoning with flour and she parboiled the pieces of groundhog, cooled it, rolled it in that flour mixture and then fried it in lard until browned on all sides. Then she added a little water and steamed it until tender just like you would any other meat and made gravy out of the drippings. Had it with biscuits, mashed potatoes, and other vegetables. It was really tasty fixed that way.

The Free Press WV

My mother didn’t fix them. She said they were too greasy to clean up. Uncle Arlen Stewart brought us a groundhog one time and Mom didn’t want it. She said to give it to her folks. Mamaw Warner put a coon or a groundhog in a roasting pan and seasoned it with ketchup and slices of onion and then baked it until tender. They were good that way.

Now, I am back this Sunday evening and we got some beautiful sky pictures.  The sky just kept changing. It was red, purple, gold, pink, blue and I said, “Red sky in the night, sailor’s delight. “We aren’t going to get any snow tonight, as called for. Another thing too, is that the temperature isn’t right to snow. They can’t always get the weather right anymore. We have had a lot of rain lately and the creek is up, muddy, and rolling on right now. We have to watch that Rascal pup about that creek. He likes to go over the bank and see what all he can find to drag back up to the yard or carry into the garage. He sometimes doesn’t fear danger and if he fell into that swift water, he would be washed right on downstream. He is settling down some compared to what he was when he first came here. As someone told me, “He has been in the terrible two’s stage, just like a child, wanting his way about everything.” Until next time, think spring and stay well. We will all be glad when the flu season has past. It’s a bad one this year.

Jeanette Riffle: Through the Eyes of a Dog

The Free Press WV

You have heard the expression, “Through the eyes of a child.” We are beginning to see the world through the eyes of a dog, especially with the snow that we had last week. We have had a taste of an old-time winter and everyone was complaining about how cold it was and how bad the roads were, but this pup has been so comical to watch. He is more like a kid. This was his first experience with winter and snow and he loves it. Duane was sweeping the ramp off out back, trying to keep up with the snow one day and into the night. He ended up sweeping four times before we retired for the night, and every time, that pup would run back and forth underneath the ramp, trying to catch a big mouthful of snow.

The Free Press WV

Whichever side the snow cloud was coming down, that’s the side he ran to. He found out that he could see the snowflakes to chase them and eat them when the motion light on the garage came on after dark.  He runs out there and it comes on and he tries to catch the snowflakes in the light. We got pictures of him one day jumping at the snowflakes, chasing them, standing on his hind legs to make himself taller to try and get at them. One way or the other, that Rascal pup was determined to stick with it until he figured out a way to get those things.  One of my friends told me recently that even her chickens eat snow. A farmer told her that snow has vitamins in it that animals need. I know that snow and rain put nutrients back into the ground to help with the growing season in summer. Anyway, we get awfully aggravated at this hard-headed pup sometimes trying to make him mind, but he sure is comical.  We have had him about six and a half months now, and I think I could start a book about the, “Tales of a Little Rascal.”

Well, our weather has changed again for the better. A touch of spring surprised us this weekend and Saturday, we got out and took a drive up to the Walmart at Flatwoods to get some sunshine. Weather changes have worked on my sinuses, though, and I am doctoring for that. Our son got his car fixed and back home and is still trying to find a clear spell to come home. The roads have to be good from Michigan, down through Ohio and into the hills of West Virginia.  Christmas is still on hold until they get here. Until next time, get out on the sunshiny days and get some Vitamin D that we all are in need of this time of year.

Take care and God bless!

Students Named to Fall 2017 Honor Lists at GSC

The Free Press WV

The names of students who attained the Glenville State College President’s and Vice President’s Honor Lists for the Fall 2017 semester have been announced.

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

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

Barbour County: Shania D. Pennington

Boone County: Andrew K. Boktor, Ally K. Brown

Braxton County: Lucas T. Bonnett, Leslee R. Coffman, Garrett E. Hacker, Christian M. Pritt, Erica N. Toler, Kelsie R. Tonkin

Calhoun County: Moriah J. CreelFox, Sr., Emily L. Snyder, Laura A. Webb

Clay County: Jessica M. Beckett, Julie A. Gross, Dalton M. Holcomb

Doddridge County: Lindsey G. Travis

Fayette County: Matthew H. Hackworth, Clayton Swisher

Gilmer County: Preston M. Allison, Tara S. Evans, Madisyn A. Furr, Lauren D. Hardman, Janeeva J. Jenkins, Amanda R. Lamb, Dalton A. Law, Brianna N. Ratliff, Wesley A. Self, Hilari E. Sprouse, Trevor D. Wright

Greenbrier County: Sarah Brunty

Harrison County: Hannah M. Mick, Megan E. Ruppert, Mariah D. Wilson

Jefferson County: Jasmine N. Tarman

Kanawha County: Jesse “Austin” Broussard, McKenzie M. Edmonds, Bethany N. Spelock

Lewis County: Haley R. Biller, James Z. Browning, Justin P. Raines, John F. Riley, IV, Arikka M. Smith, Kelly L. Weaver

Logan County: Matthew A. Zachary

Marshall County: Logen M. LeMasters

Mason County: Kaylee M. Howard

Mercer County: Anna M. Lusk

Morgan County: Colton L. Brandenburg, Michael I. Pracht

Nicholas County: Jessica R. Bird, Marlyn S. Donelson, Madison R. Frame, Morgan P. Francis, Elizabeth M. Messer, Autumn R. Siminski, Brooke A. Spencer

Pocahontas County: Tessa A. Jordan

Putnam County: Joshua L. Brennan, Jessica A. Layne

Raleigh County: Scarlett A. Farley

Roane County: Brianna N. Deel, Sabrina R. Gonzalez

Tucker County: Wiley T. Raines

Tyler County: Jessica L. Fiber

Webster County: Bryce M. McCourt

Wirt County: Jacob T. Braniff, Kia N. Sleesman

Wyoming County: Kaci M. Mullins

Out of State: Chere Y. Davis, Jacqueline T. Deary, Madison M. Gargus, Jake W. Hensell, Allison A. Parski, Victoria L. Peterson, John F. Routzahn, Brian S. Williams

* * *

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

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

Barbour County: Jacob M. Price

Berkeley County: Alexander R. Miller, Desiree R. Payne, Brianna A. Shivers

Boone County: Gregory I. Lail

Braxton County: Jordan D. Batton, Bridget D. Carr, Kathryn L. Dean, Jessica S. Ellis, Sean R. Hawkins, Kendra K. Houghton, Taylor C. Johnson, Madison S. Oney, Hannah Rexroad, Johnathon B. Shreve, Jacob A. Stout, Forrest A. Taylor, Brittany V. White, Shanna S. Wine, Baylea E. Woodward

Cabell County: Jaycee N. Daniels

Calhoun County: Cassandra D. Lamont, Johnathan X. Taylor, Lindsey N. Webb, Holly L. Wilson

Clay County: Kaitlyn O. Coleman, Carrie G. Huffman, Andrea P. Litton, Caitlyn M. Rogers, Gracen H. Samples, Seth M. Stover

Doddridge County: Ryan M. Mizia, Joshua M. Pitcock

Fayette County: Breanna N. Bennett, Travis C. Myers

Gilmer County: Jacob A. Arden, Katelyn S. Benson, Madison L. Campbell, Janessia S. Cool, Sara B. Coombs, Chandler B. Ferguson, Thomas L. Gilco, Daniel P. Hedges, Matthew M. Montgomery, Adam H. Moore, Dawn R. Moore, Hannah M. Moore, Jennifer A. Nicholas, Analysse N. Petty, Lexsey A. Robertson, Carter L. Springer, Sebastian T. Swartz, Kerri C. Swiger, Elania N. White, Halee N. Wildman, Carissa M. Wood

Grant County: Ryan W. Colaw, Larissa A. Henry, William M. Pennington

Greenbrier County: Caleb S. Bennett, Tyler D. Canterbury, Tiffany Fitzwater, Myka K. Perry

Hampshire County: Emily P. Landis, Brittany L. Maphis

Hardy County: Shannon R. Hahn

Harrison County: Abby S. McCarty, Joshua T. McNemar, Lia Runyan

Jackson County: Chelsey G. Hager, Larissa Hayman, Courtney N. Lanham, Evan D. Merical, Haylie M. Reynolds

Jefferson County: Taylor L. Corey

Kanawha County: Jacob T. Lutsy, Kelsey J. Naylor, Amanda S. Thurm

Lewis County: Mariah B. Beam, Stephen C. Boyer, Kaitlin L. Corbtt, Destiny L. Grimes, Taylor R. McClain, Torie A. Riffle

Logan County: Kristin A. DesRocher, Alec G. Maynard

Marion County: Victoria D. Francis, Morgan P. Hardesty

Mason County: Anthony J. Howard

Morgan County: Brady A. Tritapoe

Nicholas County: Danielle L. Bartlett, Thomas J. Bennett, Jacob M. Cogar, Hannah N. Gladwell, Daniel A. Hinger, William Z. Lyons, Anthony W. Mayes, Eric W. Peyatt, Daniel M. Proctor, Justin K. Rader, Montique L. Roberts, Mark H. Sanson, William C. Womack

Pendleton County: Chase M. Simmons

Pocahontas County: Lyndsee L. Gay, Matthew J. Rao

Preston County: Madison H. Null, Josiah D. Nuse

Putnam County: Shawn D. Arthur, Sarah N. Lines, Michael A. Null

Raleigh County: Jacob Coots, Britteny D. Durham, William T. Harper, Andrue J. Hughart, Michael A. Layne

Ritchie County: Olivia D. Goff, Cali B. Hayes, Valerie E. Ogle

Roane County: Haley K. Cottrill, Noel R. Gonzalez, Savannah M. Harper, Kimberly M. Lee, Cassidy M. Taylor, Alyce A. Titus, James D. Williams

Tucker County: Catherine I. Chambers, Brody R. Strawderman

Tyler County: Miranda M. Taylor

Upshur County: James B. Carson, Austin R. Curry, Heather A. Gregory, Belinda L. Lewis

Wayne County: Taylor N. Brumfield

Wetzel County: Cameron L. Cross, James E. Goddard II, Colton L. Ring

Wood County: Taylor A. Broadwater, Hannah M. Dennis, Gabrielle R. Dye, Kelly J. Trippett

Wyoming County: Stephanie G. Brooks, Christian B. Hedinger, Hunter S. Simmons

Out of State: Asiah E. Alexander, Alyssa M. Banks, James C. Boswell, Natalie C. Castillo, Qianjiao Chen, Brianna T. D’Angelo, Jessica D. Digennaro, Sarah M. DiSpaltro, Bhrea C. Griffin, De’Angelo V. Hunt Andrea M. Kimble, Julia E. Lindberg, Paris M. McLeod, Alysia M. Maguellal, Jacob T. Ngangum, Zoe A. Nicastro, Tatah S. Njoka, Diori R. Pattison, Catherine L. Pelfrey, Isaiah R. Sattelmaier, Taylor B. Skidmore, Jason A. Suggs, Michael J. Weathers, Hayley N. Wolff

Jeanette Riffle: A Touch of Spring

The Free Press WV

We had a couple days that seemed like spring breaking in January this week. Yesterday, it got up to 72 degrees. It threw nature into confusion. I heard of a black snake coming out and crossing the road and of a frog hopping in the road. Robins were coming out of thickets and down into fields and on front yards. Night crawlers were surfacing out of the ground.  One person on FB reported an ant invasion in her house.

We heard the house wren singing his territorial song two days in a row. Others reported hearing them sing spring songs, too.  Now, this Saturday morning, we got up to snow and ice. Some folks whose water lines had frozen off reported them partially thawing and all kinds of things were happening due to the subzero temperatures we had been having due to the, “Old time winter.”  Maybe the Lord felt sorry for us and gave us a couple days to remind us that spring is just around the corner. Groundhog Day is not far away and then maybe 6 more weeks of bad weather.  I checked on the Old Farmer’s Almanac that we had here, and they didn’t get it right for us this winter.  Well, not completely right.

Flu is on the rampage. I am staying in out of it. I don’t go around crowds.  That’s what my Grandmother Grace Stewart told me that they did when she was a girl at home and I always think of what she said. Granny grew up on Lower Run and said that they just stayed home if something bad was going around. They grew everything and had their own medicines. Her mother, Samalda Kelly Smith, knew how to doctor with plants, roots and herbs and was called on many a time, to go to the home of a sick person and doctor them. Granny said people would come to their home and ask her mother to go help.  She took her brown medicine bottles and rode side saddle on a horse and was like a medicine woman of the area.

Well, our Rascal pup is seeing new things all the time. He has witnessed a flood for the first time. Before the snow came, we had a lot of rain and it flooded in the low part of the woods beside us last evening. When he was let out of the garage this morning, he saw that water and saw that the creek out back was up, muddy and rolling right on. He had to go investigate. He came back up over the creek bank with a piece of a log and took it into the garage to keep himself occupied. The big lab chewed on our porches when he was a pup and this one carries wood into the garage for a big wood shavings mess. He also loves snow. I heard him coughing and it sounded like he had croup this morning. When I asked Duane what was wrong with that dog, he said that when the garage door was opened, Rascal came out and started scooping up snow in his mouth and choked himself.

Until next time, think spring and God bless!

Jeanette Riffle: Old Time Winter

The Free Press WV

That’s what Dad would have called it. This has seemed like a winter in Michigan to me. We have rounded up our warmest clothes and have wrapped up in our throws in our recliners. I light the oven every day to bake something and make it cozy in here. Have been making buttermilk cornbread a lot. It was 8 below zero this morning when we got up and has been colder than that. I am thankful for a good warm house to stay in and that I don’t have to brave icy, snow covered roads, trying to go to work somewhere. I find myself staying up later with my crochet hobby and checking news feed on FB. Then, I can sleep in later the next morning. I get priorities done and the first thing you know, it is dark again. Time doesn’t slow down. It only goes by faster as we get older. Mom used to say, “Make hay while the sun shines,” and she found me a big sunny badge with those words on it that I clipped to my sweater and wore to school because it was so pretty.

The Free Press WV

Our son’s mechanic finally got around to his car. Myron was to go pick it up, today. They will be home soon as they see a break in the weather and the roads are safe. We took our Christmas tree and most of the decorations down, but we will have Christmas when they get here. I know of a few folks who leave their tree and decorations up until Valentine’s Day, but we like to get back to our normal pace after the holidays are over.

Some people get depressed in winter and are not very pleasant to be around. We need to count our blessings and thank the Lord each morning for keeping us safe through the night and for waking us up to another day to serve Him. He has a purpose for us every day and we need to be encouraging and helpful to others. If we reach out and help other people we are in turn, helping ourselves and not sitting around worrying about everything.

Here I am back again this Sunday morning. Churches have been closed again this weekend. The gas froze off at Rosedale Baptist and my brother worked on it three times yesterday and by 7:30 went down and checked again and it had frozen off again. It is too cold in the church to have service. I checked my news feed on FB and people are reporting their water frozen off, cars frozen and won’t start. One woman has been without water for several days.

We are just staying in. Our dogs are safe in the garage and that Rascal pup is actually learning to share food with the big lab. He didn’t eat his supper last night, so Duane left his bowl of Puppy Chow in the garage and when he checked on dogs this morning, they were both taking turns with their nose in the bowl and not even growling at each other.

Until next time, take care. Stay warm and God bless!

Jeanette Riffle: A Partially White Christmas

The Free Press WV

We got up to snow this morning and then the sun came out, but it snowed some more for a while. By evening it was mostly all gone again. Our new pup likes to eat snow. He walks on his hind legs like a human with his mouth open, eating snowflakes. He lost his balance and fell flat on his back doing that last night.  Wish we could have had a video camera handy. There was ice on the concrete this morning and Rascal got his first experience with ice when Duane let the dogs out of the garage to go potty.  He made some funny tracks in the snow with that sliding.

There was ice underneath snow.  Both ends were sliding and those long legs were going out sideways and he almost did the split right down on his tummy. Duane came in laughing and telling me about all that. We did get some pictures while the white snow was on and one of the pups coming back up over the creek bank. The water has been up from all the rain we have had prior to the snow. Rascal had never heard noises from the muddy water rolling on and things catching in brush on the sides of the creek and breaking loose making a loud noise. He heard that and jumped sky high and ran like a horse back up to the garage to safety. This pup is ornery but he is so comical at times.

I was writing in a journal today about this Christmas and all the blessings. There were many. The only thing that would have made it better is if our kids could have made it home from Michigan. Our son called a couple nights back and said that his car started making a noise. He took it to his mechanic who is close by and that man told him to get the car off the road. It sounded like something that could cause a serious problem if he continued to run it. Being that it was so close to Christmas, the mechanic said that he couldn’t check it out until Tuesday, which is tomorrow.  This isn’t the first time that something has happened to keep them from coming home at Christmas.  I think it was about three or four years ago that we had a bad ice storm and even State Rd. couldn’t keep up with it. The roads were so dangerous that everyone we heard of who tried to go anywhere, ended up sliding and wrecking. We had to call and tell him not to try it. I think it was fairly safe to drive down through Michigan and Ohio, but not in West Virginia hills. Myron had already taken a week off and he told us later that he just had to set around up there.  This time, he said he could call the office and let them know he is still in town and can work. He is a painter, now. He can use our granddaughter’s car to get about town in. They will give him a week off later on after the car is fixed and he can check the weather for a clear spell to drive down. They have been good about things like that.

So many people are sick or recuperating from a sickness right now. Rosedale Baptist Church had their Christmas program and several children were out sick and others had to be rounded up at the last minute to sub for the play about the birth of Jesus.  It all worked out real good though.

Until next time, God bless, and remember the reason for the season.

Grant award to Normantown Historical Community Center

We are pleased to announce the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation has made a grant award of $8,400.00 to the Normantown Historical Community Center to improve handicapped accessibility to the Cafeteria located on the second floor of the building. 

The Free Press WV

The award was make possible by grants from the PACF’s affiliates, the Ausenheimer Memorial Trust for $5,000 and the Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation for $3,400.

The Normantown Historical Community Center located in the former Normantown High/Elementary School filed a request for funds to perform three goals:

(1) to provide a stairway lift for those who have trouble walking up the 22 stair steps to reach the cafeteria,

(2) to renovate two rest rooms making them handicapped accessible, and

(3) to purchase a food slicer and a food mixer to assist workers in preparing meals.

The grant award is a partial funding of the estimated $11,119.00 request but with good bidding on the installation of a stairway lift, we hope to be able to do one of the other proposed improvements.

We are very grateful to the PACF and its affiliates for this very generous award. Dr. Gary G. Smith and wife Wilma attended an outstanding grant award ceremony at North Bend State Park November 30, 2017 and received an information packet on the various requirements for fulfilling the projects funded.

This information will be presented to the NHCC Board of Directors at their December 12, 2017 meeting.

The Normantown Historical Community Center was formed last spring and purchased the Normantown School property from the Gilmer County Board of Education to establish a Community Center for the various communities the school served, basically Center District of Gilmer County including Cedarville, Cedar Creek, Rt. 33/119, Steer Run, Steer Creek, Normantown, Lockney, Shock, Rosedale and all the inter connecting roads included.

The major goals of the NHCC are as follows:

  • A youth center for learning various sports activities such as basketball and baseball and for after school tutoring and extended learning activities
  • A meeting place for Boys/Girls Scouts and 4H Clubs,
  • A center for adult learning such as computers, crafts, and healthy living issues
  • A senior center for exercising for healthy living and for providing nutritious meals and socializing activities
  • A center for performing arts and learning heritage music
  • A variety of other youth, adult, and community activities
  • A center for distribution of commodities- foods for the needy
  • A center for childcare services for working mothers
  • A Meeting place for the Normantown High School Alumni Association
  • A Museum facility for storage, display, and public view of the Normantown Schools historic materials, trophies, and other memorabilia such as the historic all class 1945 State Basketball Championship memorabilia and the 1966 FFA International Land Judging trophy and memorabilia.

Both of these accomplishments represent once in a lifetime historic events for the State of WV, Gilmer County, as well as Normantown High School that will never happen again.

Mr. Blair Wright is President of the NHCC and does a great job keeping everything moving.

Jeanette Riffle: First Snow, December 09, 2017

The Free Press WV

We had flurries one evening, but Saturday night we had snow to lay on and our new pup was excited to death! He looked up at the sky and watched that white stuff coming down and he decided to taste it. He stood on his hind feet, opened his mouth up wide and was catching snowflakes. Rascal has been a “little rascal” but he is comical at times. He stands on his hind feet at night to make himself look bigger and he barks and growls at deer across the creek. Duane had the leaf blower out this week, and he stood up like that and barked at it. We have never had a dog that acts like this one. He will be six months old the first week of January but is already as big as a fox hound. Long legs and big paws make him look like a hound, but he is lab/border collie mix. Black and white with tan legs.

The Free Press WV

Little by little we have been getting ready for Christmas and are just keeping it simple.  Our son and granddaughter are planning on coming home. We started downsizing last year with the tree. Instead of the big green artificial tree, we got a white table top one. It is different but very pretty with red decorations. Really everything shows up better on that white background.

I remember a Christmas when our son was in 5th grade, that he wanted homemade ropes and gingerbread ornaments on the tree. Back then we went somewhere and purchased a real tree. I popped corn and bought bags of cranberries and we strung them up with a darning needle and strong thread and made pretty red and white ropes for the tree. We baked gingerbread men and hung them on the tree with ribbons, and of course ate some, too. Best I remember, we did use the store-bought icicles and a star at the top of the tree. That tree was different but was tempting not to eat on it if we were hungry. After Christmas we took the tree out in the back yard for the birds to enjoy the popcorn and berries. That drew a lot of birds and I could see them out the kitchen window. Dad wanted a homemade tree one year for Christmas, but Mom was too busy for all that hard work of stringing up cranberries and popping corn to string up. I made the chain ropes for him. Take crayons and color in the lines of lined notebook paper. Then cut on the lines and cut strips of paper to glue, end to end and one circle inside another until you get a big rope of them to wrap around the tree. Grandmother Stewart had told me that Dad’s sister, Bea, made those when the kids were growing up.

We are planning on going to the Christmas program at Rosedale Baptist Church this coming Saturday evening at 5:30. They always have a good one. The Lord has blessed with a lot of talent, there.

Until next time, stay well and keep warm. God bless!

For YOU...By YOU

West Virginia







Arts & Entertainment












Technology & Science

Events & Announcements




Reader's Comments

Readers' Recent Comments

Yes, it would appear that Gayle M. has lost some of her ‘luster’ ?

The question now.  Will she pop back up somewhere else like that Whack-a-Mole game?

By Charleston Reader on 03.18.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Brian and Montie send their condolences to Gary’s family, especially to Nancy and Sharon for the death of a husband and father.  Nothing can really prepare us for such a loss as this. We are thinking about you at this sad time.

By Brian and Montie VanNostrand on 03.17.2018

From the entry: 'Gary Don Williams'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The centerpiece of nationally reported fake news pertained to Gayle Manchin’s plan for making WV’s southern coal field area a model for school system turn-a-rounds.

After the intense trail of high profile TV appearances to tout Manchin’s plan and pouring in money down there, nothing worked out as promised. 

The lesson from this sad saga is to focus on facts instead of what politicians try to pull over on voters.

The chronic problem in WV is that facts are routinely hidden by some politicians to keep voters misinformed.

By Bill Williams on 03.16.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Gilmer County has long memories. We recall the hill crest fund raiser out along Mineral Road to raise money for the Manchin political machine.

That was followed by Gayle’s insulting rant against the County leading to the damage of our school system and outlying communities during the State’s six years of iron rule intervention.

The good news is that Gayle is gone along with all other members of the WV State Board of Education responsible for our County’s intervention and the waste and mismanagement it wrought. Karma is alive and well WV!

By B. Jones on 03.16.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Brad got it all mixed up.
Gayle Manchin’s *resignation*....?

T-V, radio, newspapers across the state and beyond, even national news sources, all reported
that Governor Justice FIRED Gayle Manchin.

Brad, your effort to smooth that puts you squarely in concert with the rest of the BS fake news world.

By Brad got it mixed on 03.15.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Interesting.  Yet not so long ago, Gilmer local police weren’t interested when informed an out of state convicted felon was in possession of a trunk full of stolen guns.

By BangBang on 02.14.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County man sentenced for illegal possession of a firearm'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Great guy, who would do anything to help you. He would have probably got a kick out of having some strange woman’s face plaistered on his obituary. He would have had something smart to say about it I’m sure. smile

He had a great sense of humor. I saw him a little while back. I stopped by his house and visited with him a couple hours and as I went in I told him I stopped by to see if I could borrow his fancy car parked out front, expecting to meet with some resistance to that idea. Without missing a beat he said “Sure, just don’t let any of my kids drive it!“ We had a really nice visit that day - talking about cars and reminscing.

Our prayers are with the family.

By Connie Turner on 02.10.2018

From the entry: 'Kenneth Lee Page Jr.'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Justice, do you lay awake at night thinking up this stuff?

Can’t we West Virginian’s have some woodland that has not been molested by humans?

Keep the saws out of our state forests!

West Virginians are being raped once again.  The new generation of robber barons have bought off the governor and elected.

By Another Clueless Politician's Scheme on 02.10.2018

From the entry: 'Former Administrator: State Park Logging Plan Numbers Don’t Add Up'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

so sorry to hear this news.  He took over Steve Grossmann’s mail route and we sure did appreciate his getting the mail delivered in all kinds of weather.  Slipping and sliding all the way. I loved his little dog that would look for snakes in the Normantown P.O.

By Cookie Setty on 02.09.2018

From the entry: 'Kenneth Lee Page Jr.'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Would it be possible for our new college president to involve Mr. Gallagher and student Evan Merical to attempt a revival of the defunct GSC Main Street Small Business Center? 

The community sure could benefit from it.  New management might just be what it needs?

By Question for Pres. Pellett on 02.07.2018

From the entry: 'GSC Student Speaks at One Stop Business Center Grand Opening'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Not surprised the Board of Ed supporting employees for raises and insurance. These people show they care about good employees over and over.
Just after they got our school system out from under state control they stood unanimously against the state appointed superintendent and his hand picked lawyer who tried to take away jobs from 8 professionals including Teachers and 4 service personnel. Can’t even count the number of transfers.  Gilmer’s Board of Ed just said no to that hit list. They stand up for this county and the kids..

By And we Appreciate It on 02.02.2018


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The state of WV overall has a dismal record of salaries and finance.

The jail system has issues.  Has for years.
The highway department.  Yup, them too.
The school system.  Ditto.

One per cent per year for 5 years?  That’s a real insult to any employee.

Teachers.  If you don’t get something that’s good, wait until warmer weather and strike.  Stand your ground !

The legislature and governor seem to have plenty $$$ to spread around Kanawha County.  Make sure they spread some towards teachers and staff salaries!!

By Give 'em some $$$ ! on 02.01.2018


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Rumor mill is saying that teachers and possibly other state employees will have to wear a wrist bracelet to track their lifestyles? 

Or pay higher insurance premiums?


By is it true? on 02.01.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Sorry to hear. He was a classmate at Sutton High School class of 1956.

By Nancy Rose Westfall on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Franklin D. “Frank” Conley'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A call to all candidates for all seats:  You can submit the information about yourself to us and it will be published at NO COST.

By Free Press on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County: List of Candidates for 2018 Election'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Long list of candidates for the School Board. It would help voters decide if each candidate would publish a write-up of their personal backgrounds to include special qualifications for serving on the school board, and to include detailed goals for what they would like to achieve as a board member. The information would be far more useful to voters than signs plastered all over the County.

By Active Voter on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County: List of Candidates for 2018 Election'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

How about the new superintendent of Gilmer’s schools giving a progress report on her accomplishments so far in improving the quality of our schools to produce better prepared HS graduates for college and careers, plans for continual upgrading of academic achievements by our students, and how results will be accurately measured and reported to be convincing that our County is moving ahead? Doesn’t sound too much to ask for by bill paying citizens.

By Gilmer Parents For Accountability on 01.29.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Gilmer County must set its own standards for student learning and to do what is necessary to achieve them with full involvement of highly motivated teachers.

We know that major improvements are needed to make our kids more competitive, but we have not heard details for what is planned in our school system to make critically needed changes.

Ignore what the State does with is long history of failure and let’s go ahead on our own.

Top down management in education has never worked in WV with its crippling grip of politics to emphasize the importance of making improvements through local initiatives.

By Glenville Teachers on 01.29.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This is just another failure by the West Virginia State Board of Education!

It does NOTHING to improve education!

Just one more attempt to make everything “look nice”.

The State Board members are too far removed from the classroom.

That board needs populated with 4 or 5 of our better teachers who are not afraid to speak up.

By Troy Parent on 01.28.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The question for the County’s sitting School Board is what is being done with corrective actions to get the County’s HS graduates out of the worst prepared bottom group for college and career preparedness as the State has reported?

Because more students graduate it does not mean that they mastered key subjects to promote success in the modern work place. Can anyone say grade inflation?

By B. Beckett on 01.26.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Reduce requirements.
Lower teacher standards.

Produce less educated students.
Continue WV’s downward education spiral.

The current State Board of Education is less prepared to lead than back in the Gayle Manchin
days of failure.

Do not fool yourselves. Realize Paine is pain.
Do not expect WV educational leaders to improve education.

They have been showing us for years that goal is
out of their reach.

By Failed State BOE on 01.18.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Does anyone know the County’s plan for getting us out of the State’s bottom group for college and trades ready after high school?

What are the causes for our being at the bottom for being ready and what is being done to solve them?

Causes never cease by themselves and the only solution is top quality leadership pushing a highly focused corrective program.

By Rusty Moore on 01.16.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Example of a yes/but situation. Just because kids are pushed through does not mean that they are college and career ready. Read past comments about Gilmer’s being in the failing category for academic preparation. The way WV info is reported allows selective use of results to bloat up claims of how well a high school does in preparing students for the real world.

By R. Wells on 01.16.2018


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Sunday’s Charleston Gazette-Mail had a warning that just because a high school has a high graduation rate that does not mean that its students are college ready. Gilmer County is one of them to put us in the State’s bottom category for readiness, but you won’t hear about it locally. Kids call it dumbing down.

By Give Citizens The Facts on 01.14.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What about all the septic in the hollers that is draining into the creeks??

By Ugly on 01.10.2018

From the entry: 'PSC Investigates Impact of New Corporate Tax Law on Utilities'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This point should be kept in mind i.e. “The Commission has directed all privately owned electric, gas, water, sewer and solid waste facilities to track the tax savings resulting from the 2017 Federal Tax Act on a monthly basis beginning January 01, 2018. “.

By Michell J. Hill on 01.07.2018

From the entry: 'PSC Investigates Impact of New Corporate Tax Law on Utilities'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Troyan advocates for competition among schools with survival of the top performers. Her point is that the lack of accountability for county school system administrators must change to be similar to the way corporate America functions. Failure must have consequences!

By Accountabilty Needed on 01.03.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Gilmer singled out again in article by Jessi Troyan for our being at the bottom for preparing high school grads for college. We know we have a serious problem. We await on top school system leadership to devise a workable remedial plan for the County. Denial of having problems cannot be used anymore to cover up

By B. Post on 01.02.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

You were in my life for what seemed like a short time but will be in my heart forever. I’ll see you at the family reunion one day again.

By Dana Linger on 12.29.2017

From the entry: 'Kathern Fay (Cogar) Linger'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Concerns about urgent need to upgrade student learning have persisted for too long in the County. 

We are tired of hearing lame excuses that under-achievement is caused by uncaring parents who do not emphasize the importance of education.

Parents are keenly important for contributing to student learning, but they cannot compensate for school “culture” deficiencies linked to leadership short comings.

By Parents For Better Leadership on 12.29.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Those who go to college perform down at the bottom in comparison to high school graduates in other WV counties. This evidence suggests that Gilmer’s students who don’t go to college are short changed too. Immediate leadership changes to straighten out under achievement are in order!

By E. Moore on 12.28.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I am so sorry for your loss.

By Margie Shook on 12.18.2017

From the entry: 'Warren Curtis Pierce'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The whole child concept is admirable, but with GCHS grads being behind in proficiency for academic subjects we need to make changes to drastically improve learning to enable our kids to compete in the highly competitive modern world.

Our being the 52nd worse off among 55 WV counties for college remediation rates is undeniable proof.

Administrators must determine legitimate causes of our bottom ranking for use in improving learning instead of applying usual low payoff tinkering to be passed off as progress.

By B. K. Brooks on 12.15.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

That’s the #### dems new ploy, they can’t win on policy so they charge sexual harassment.

By The Silent Majority on 12.15.2017

From the entry: 'Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Why was there no outrage like this when Billy Boy was doing his deed in the White House? and other places?

Oh, I forgot.  He was the media’s boy?

By HOW COME NOW ? on 12.14.2017

From the entry: 'Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Wanna bet that in green counties when results sag there is no hesitancy to make administrative changes when needed? In Gilmer County the approach has been to hide facts and to manufacture rosy ones to report to citizens.

By Moore on 12.11.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This is basically the process for an improvement plan. A school board specifies student achievement standards and it assigns a superintendent to work with central office staff and school administrators to produce a comprehensive plan for making needed changes. After putting a plan in place results are closely monitored by a school board while holding a superintendent personally accountable for achieving the standards.

By School Board Member In A Top Performing County on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Did I miss the County Commission Agenda for the December meeting?  The GFP site is displaying a little differently and I can’t seem to find it.  Do they still meet on First and Third Fridays??

By Searching on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The no excuse rate for Gilmer County is 59% and there are only three other WV counties worse off. This alarming information flags dire need for the County’s school board to do its job by implementing an improvement plan.

By Gilmer Students Ripped Off on 12.08.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

“We’re going to see a sea change in American agriculture as the next generation gets on the land,“

Yeah, right.  That will last about as long as it takes to discover exactly how hard farming is, and the amount of work it takes to make even a minimal living.


Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 11.30.2017

From the entry: 'A Growing Number Of Young Americans Are Leaving Desk Jobs To Farm'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I always thought a Harvard education was something special.  Well, I guess it is.  Just a week ago they had ‘sex week’.  One of the course offerings was analsex101.  That’s right.  Google it.  Plenty of coverage. True story.

By Harvard 'taint what it used to be? on 11.23.2017

From the entry: 'Feds Threaten To Sue Harvard Over Asian-American Admissions'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This is nothing new.  It has been happening for years and no attempt to stop it.  Just quiet it down when word leaks out.  The court system thumbs their noses and laughs at ‘their hillbillies’.

Remember the hub-bub about $100,000.00 bathrooms in the Capitol building a few months ago?

Think they have them all remodeled so those whom you elected can krap in style the next legislative session?  lol

By Web on 11.18.2017

From the entry: 'Legislators Turn Focus on Supreme Court Spending Following Report on Luxury Purchases'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The justices are part of the aristocracy. Does anybody think that they care what the peons think?

By Skip Beyer on 11.18.2017

From the entry: 'Legislators Turn Focus on Supreme Court Spending Following Report on Luxury Purchases'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Why are Gilmer’s voters kept in the dark about activities of the two LSICs in the County? No published agendas before meetings, no published meeting minutes, and plans with details for school improvements are not disclosed. Violation of WV’s open meeting laws? To top it off memberships of LSIC’s and who selected the individuals are kept secret from voters.

By Gilmer Voter on 11.16.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

LSIC plans are short on specifics for measurable academic improvements to be achieved. That way no matter what happens extraordinary successes can be proclaimed. The strategy is designed to make meaningful accountability impossible for school system administrators.

By More Of Same For WV Schools on 11.15.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A food pantry opens at Marshall University?

For students I can understand.
But its also for faculty and staff?

Really now?  Their salaries are that poor they need access to a food pantry?

Times area really tough in West Virginia.  Really are.

By Tough Times at Marshall University on 11.14.2017

From the entry: 'West Virginia News'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

LSIC=Local School Improvement Council. Each WV school has one. Google to learn what each one is supposed to do to improve a school. Ask for plans for your schools.

By POGO on 11.13.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What is this “LSIC” commenter speaks about?
Who and what is that all about?

By reader on 11.12.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fellow West Virginian’s.  What is being seen here is Paine’s return to ‘power’ and the continued 20 years charade by the WVBOE.

They spend your tax dollars.  They do their best to cover their failed efforts.  They cheat our children of a good education. 

They play (think manipulate) with the grading system every couple years, making it impossible to follow students upward or downward progressions.

Don’t expect any good, any progress, any improvement to happen in West Virginia.  It’s not in the cards.  Well, that is not in the ‘administrators’.

By 20 years of WVBOE 'playing' school on 11.12.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

All high schools in WV have ACT Profile Reports for each graduating class.

The only performance information typically cited in school districts is average ACT scores for graduating classes.

If you can get copies of Reports for your high schools read them to independently evaluate testing results for career and college readiness, science, technology engineering and math (STEM), and other categories.

Chances are that your local administrators gloated that average ACT scores for graduating classes are commendable to give your high schools passing marks, but other testing outcomes in the Reports may show otherwise.

It is doubtful if LSIC members for your high schools know about the Reports to be grounds for demanding academic improvement plans. Check Reports for high schools in your school district to make up your own minds.

By WVDOE Fact Checker on 11.11.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Policy 2510 is an admission by the West Virginia Board of Education of their own failure.

Dumb down the standards in order that students can get a passing grade.

You grand pooh-bahs in Charleston BOE should be ashamed of yourselves!  But you have no shame. Obviously so.

Steve Paine, leading the failure of education in West Virginia.

By # 2510 policy--WVBOE ADMITS OWN FAILURE on 11.10.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

With a deal like this—WHY—are we selling road bonds and—WHY—were all the motor vehicle fees INCREASED on West Virginia’s citizens?  WHY ! ?

Thanks for nothing Jim Justice and the WV legislators.


From the entry: 'WV Signes $84 Billion Shale Gas Deal with China Energy'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Rosie Bell will be a nice addition to the Park !

A thank you to Donna Waddell and her leadership and the FRN for making the Park happen !

By Thank America's Rosie's ! on 11.10.2017

From the entry: 'What This Bell Means to Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Aren’t they supposed to have agendas AND minutes for each and every meeting, by law?  They put it right there on the agendas that there were None. And months’ go by without even Seeing an Agenda.  It’s a citizen’s right to go in and ask to see them ALL.  Someone needs to look into this.  Especially with all the speculation that goes on around legal issues in the county!

By GilmerCountyCommission? on 11.03.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The grade 7 spike in math in comparison to lowered performances in higher grades begs the question about reasons. What is being done to ensure that math skills will not drop by graduation time? Has anyone looked at adverse effects of block scheduling and other factors?

By Answers Needed on 11.03.2017

From the entry: 'SEEING MATH IN NEW WAYS'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

We’ll.  It’s a step forward to see the Commission AGENDA - but what about the minutes?  The last two agendas have said “ Approve County Commission Minutes-None”      Aren’t there supposed to legally be minutes for the public to read?????  This makes NO sense unless things are going on that the Commission doesn’t want the public to know.  Obviously.  SHOW THE MINUTES Jean Butcher, do your job!

By 304 More Issues on 11.02.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This posting is very informative and it documents what can be done with innovative approaches to teaching math. For too long we were fed the party line that all was well in our schools for math and everything else. That myth prevailed because facts were hidden to hold down the County’s demands for accountability. Hats are off to Kelly Barr and Traci DeWall.

During intervention it was commonly known that school board members made repeated requests for all kinds of student progress information, but it was kept from them. That era has ended and the County’s school board is expected to focus on its top priority responsibility that is to continually improve student learning in our schools. Our kids can perform if they are given the chance.

By Gilmer County Parents on 11.02.2017

From the entry: 'SEEING MATH IN NEW WAYS'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Gilmer look at this Did You Know. If you look at the State’s data on Zoom Dashboard to review changes in mastery of math and reading for the GCHS’s 11th grade for the 2011 and 2017 testing years it is clear the you have a problem with your math program. In 2011 the math pass rate was 36.92 compared to 37.29% in 2017. Progress with reading was truly commendable. The pass rate went from 26.98 in 2011 to 64.41% in 2017. Why the lack of progress for math? We know that your school board members are trying to get information about plans for improvements for math and science, but is full disclosure of details any better than it was under intervention? Let us know.

By B. Cummings on 10.30.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Lots to learn kids. By the way,  How’s the Commission coming along with the September meeting minutes?

By 304 on 10.30.2017

From the entry: 'GSC Criminal Justice Students Take Part in Scenario-Based Training with RJA'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Most of America lives in denial of toll the government approved ‘life-style’ that is shortening everyone’s lives.

We are living in an era where the government has been lobbied (think bought) in approval of many, many things that are destructive to life.

This article shows the result of a cumulative toll effect that vaccines, pesticides, GMO foods, chemtrails, and other poisons are taking on the American population.

This is likely the globalists dream of “depopulation” coming true.  Enjoy what time you, your children, and grandchildren have left.

By Your Government Taking Care of You on 10.25.2017

From the entry: 'Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I don’t care Who or What he killed.  He shouldn’t be doing it in a West Virginia Police hat.  It sends a bad message to do it with a Police hat on.

By Hunter on 10.24.2017

From the entry: 'Special Antlerless Deer Season Opens October 21 and December 26-27'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Your outrage is misplaced Hunter. He killed Bambi, who will no longer will frolic through the forest.

By Democrats Against Deer Hunting on 10.23.2017

From the entry: 'Special Antlerless Deer Season Opens October 21 and December 26-27'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It doesn’t seem like Gilmer County Law Officials seem to care about the murders in the area. In my opinion. We don’t hear anything from the law on Any of the pertinent local situations.  Why IS that?  We know MUCH more about national news that we know about the goings on in Gilmer. Crimes, drug busts, investigations and Answers to those investigations.  Why don’t we Ever hear any news from the Sheriff’s Department??  Still wondering why Deputy Wheeler was reassigned to school patrol officer and who took over his murder investigative duties.  Can’t get anyone to pick up the phone or an answer when I call.  Maybe someone on the Gilmer Free Press can shed some light?

By Where is the Law? on 10.23.2017

From the entry: 'Governor Justice, DOT Sec. Smith Announce First GARVEE Bond Sale for Roads, Bridges'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

“We should welcome refugees and immigrants to the United States because it’s good for our society, for our economy, and for our nation.“

WRONG - Diversity in populations has been proven to be, not helpful to society, but harmful.  Immigrant groups who refuse to assimilate are a problem not a benefit, and will remain a problem until they do assimilate.

It’s understood that not all Muslims are terrorists, but for practical purposes all terrorists are Muslims.  And please spare me the Timothy McVey arguments.  McVey and his ilk were loners.  Muslim terrorists are part of an organized movement.

I think almost all immigration should cease until the present immigrant population can be dealt with, through assimilation or otherwise.


Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 10.22.2017

From the entry: 'Trump’s Muslim Bans Impoverish Us All'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Will the persons involved in Poor Fred’s murder ever be held accountable?  Ever?  Yet they walk among us every day?

Did not realize it has been 7 years since poor ol’ Willard met his fate?  There is plenty dirt kicked around there to cover the wrong doings too?

By Poor Fred is Dead on 10.21.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hold on Gub’ner Justiss….
The juery stil’ be outs on yer barrering’ game….

Ways to er’ly ta be countin’ hens an roosters….

By no chickens yet... on 10.21.2017

From the entry: 'Governor Justice, DOT Sec. Smith Announce First GARVEE Bond Sale for Roads, Bridges'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Wanna get votes for the school levy? Simply get truth out about where the County stands with low reading, math, and science scores and publicize a rational plan for fixing problems.

By Truth Will Win Levy Votes on 10.21.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I get it that it’s a pose for the camera, but should he Really be wearing a Police hat for hunting?

By Hunter on 10.20.2017

From the entry: 'Special Antlerless Deer Season Opens October 21 and December 26-27'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Nice to see the Gilmer County Commission finally reveal their meeting minutes after long lapses of no information.  Can’t help but wonder if this was posted specifically because of the topic -  Sheriff Gerwig being assigned to another estate case before closing out others. Memories of Willard F. Cottrill today. d. 10/20/10 R.I.P.  The minutes should be interesting.  Let freedom ring.

By MC on 10.20.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

From WV Zoom Dash Board. GCES 6th grade student proficiency rate=20% for math and 31% for reading. Gilmer County demands a K-12 improvement plan everyone can understand and promote!!! We have had enough of the everything is just fine claims.

By School Kids Are Cheated on 10.20.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It is a common occurrence for school administrators to carefully select one small piece of information to purposely give a school a rosy performance rating for student learning and to hide unflattering information from an LSIC and a local BOE. The way to prevent the censorship is for superintendents to routinely provide access to all testing results so performance evaluations for a school can be based on a full set of facts.

By WVDOE Employee For Complete Transparency on 10.19.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The community has observed that there is an improved way of doing business by the GCBOE and the new superintendent after the State pulled out. One problem to solve after the State’s neglect for six years of intervention is low student success at the GCHS for math and science. There is documentation on the ZoomWV Dashboard kept by the WV Education Department. The pass rate for GCHS students for M & S is in the 30s. What is the HS’s LSIC group doing to improve those scores? Does it have a detailed improvement plan for the school and if it does it should be disclosed. M and S under achievement underscores why it is important to know what the County’s LSICs are doing to improve our schools academically.

By Gilmer Business Executive on 10.19.2017

From the entry: 'New 4-H Office in Glenville'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Should not have to get LSIC membership from principals. The information should be published for the public record for all interested citizens including taxpayers to know. Gilmer’s secrecy has been a long time tool used to undermine accountability and it must stop!

By Stop Secrecy! on 10.19.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Is it true the GC Board of Education sold this to 4H for one dollar?  I should hope so!

This community has always supported our children and their 4H works.

Very good of our Board of Education to do this!
Thank all you board members!
Doing what you were elected to do!
Take care of the kids and community!


From the entry: 'New 4-H Office in Glenville'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

We 4-H supporters wish to express our appreciation to Mrs. Hurley and the other board of Education members with the 100% vote to hold and sell this trailer for 4-H use/utilization.  This new office space for the very nominal fee is much appreciated.

Kudos to Hurley for staying in contact with the past 4-H director and making sure all was well and agenda requirements were met.  We had heard we were not going to get the trailer.  Thanks goodness the fake news was totally wrong.

Moving out of the old infirmary building will be a real blessing.  The group has learned a valuable lesson.

Do not take the word of ANY others about what the Board of Ed tries to do for each and every community in Gilmer County.  Go to the source.

By Thanks Mz. Hurley & Board of Ed ! on 10.17.2017

From the entry: 'New 4-H Office in Glenville'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Click on the map below to see the information on Free Press Readers
The Gilmer Free Press

Copyright MMVIII-MMXVIII The Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved