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G-ICYMI™: Judge Denies A Motion By West Virginia Department Of Education To Dismiss Lawsuit

The Free Press WV
The Free Press WV

Education official fired over prior Virginia job can move forward with lawsuit, judge says

A former executive director of instructional technology at the West Virginia Department of Education who was fired after three days on the job will be allowed to move forward with her lawsuit against the state school board, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Tammy McGraw was fired in 2014 after state schools Superintendent Michael Martirano received an anonymous letter that alleged she misused state funds and falsified travel records while working at a similar post at the Virginia Department of Education. She filed a lawsuit last year to try to get her job back.

On Tuesday, Kanawha Circuit Judge Carrie Webster denied a motion by the West Virginia Department of Education to dismiss McGraw’s lawsuit.

Webster, instead, said that McGraw should be allowed to further develop her case.

McGraw also is suing the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia resident Lan Neugent, the person she thinks sent the anonymous letter to Martirano.

The lawsuit claims McGraw was fired over the anonymous letter, which she says contained false information. She also alleges she was never given the opportunity to dispute the information contained in the letter before she was fired.

According to her lawsuit, a Freedom of Information Act request revealed multiple communications between education officials in Virginia and West Virginia in which information about McGraw was exchanged. Emails also show communications between education officials from both states and reporters with the Charleston Gazette and the Richmond Times, McGraw’s complaint states.

McGraw is suing over wrongful termination and “injury to reputation and good name resulting from defamation,” according to her lawsuit.

After an investigation, the Virginia Office of State Inspector General cited McGraw, a former Virginia education department administrator, for awarding $1.9 million in contracts to companies without soliciting bids.

The investigation found that she received an oil painting from a Massachusetts company after awarding the firm an $850,000 no-bid contract and used state funds to buy a $3,120 digital camera that she kept for herself at home.

An attorney for McGraw, John Wooton, previously said that his client didn’t violate Virginia purchasing laws — as the report concluded — because she didn’t award any contracts and didn’t have the authority to do so. Wooton called the investigation report “incomplete and inadequate.”

~~  Kate White - Gazette-Mail ~~

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Monday, April 11, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop presided over his regular monthly motion day in Gilmer County.


•  Two fugitives from justice, both from Virginia, waived extradition and were represented by Brian Bailey of Buckhannon.

Authorities in Virginia have until 4 PM Wednesday, April 20, 2016 to pick the fugitives up or they will be released from Central Regional Jail.


•  Eight juvenile cases were heard and one will be rescheduled due to the hospitalization of the guardian ad litem in the case.


•  One infant guardianship was granted.


•  One civil partition was before the Court and parties agreed that it was likely not subject to partition and will be sold at public auction.

Loren Howley, attorney for plaintiff, was appointed special commissioner to conduct the sale and she must post $50,000.00 bond before advertising the sale for 3 weeks in the local paper and it will be sold at the front door of the Court House.

Judge Alsop will then have to approve the sale.


•  Michael Murphy vs. Gilmer County Commission

The case was before the Court on appeal from the Commission’s ruling.

Judge Alsop ordered Murphy to amend his complaint and name Marlea Cottrell, who is the heir to the Willard Cottrill estate, to be named as a defendant and gave him 60 days to perfect service and set it for further status hearing on Monday, June 13, 2016 at 10:30 AM.


•  After requiring Jonathan Fittro to appear and show cause why he missed the latest hearing for a juvenile he represented,

Judge Alsop did not hold him in contempt after hearing Fittro’s explanation.


State of West Virginia vs. Wayne Roberts

He was sentenced to 5 years probation and 80 hours community service per year of probation after successfully completing the program at Anthony Correctional Center.

He was represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


•  One expungement was granted and defendant was represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kenneth Morgan

He was before the Court for bond reduction.

Judge Alsop reduced his bond to $75,000.00 and home confinement in Gilmer County.

He remains on the docket for trial in June.

He is also represented by Karickhoff.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Amy Self

She was before the Court for further arraignment.

She was represented by Paul Williams of Summersville and entered not guilty pleas to all counts of the indictment.

Her pretrial is on Wednesday, June 01, 2016 at 11:15 AM and her trial is set for Thursday, June 16, 2016.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Teresa Riggs

She was again before the Court for reconsideration of the sentence previously given her by Judge Alsop.

Once again the motion for reconsideration was denied.

She was represented by Timothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg.


•  A civil pretrial was heard in the case of Michael Wheeler vs. William Foster.

Trial is still on for Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 9:00 AM.

G-Comm™: Hoppy’s Commentary - Justice and Don Blankenship

The Free Press WV

Journalist Walter Lippman said, “In a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men.  It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs.”

Don Blankenship’s “affairs” were the operations of Massey Energy coal mines. He was a hard-charging boss whose managerial style was to will and coerce underlings to levels of peak production and profitability.

But along the way, as U.S. District Judge Irene Berger said from the bench during Blankenship’s sentencing Wednesday, he “created a culture of non-compliance (of safety regulations) at Upper Big Branch.” That dust-filled mine exploded six years ago this week, taking with it the lives of 29 miners.

Blankenship was never criminally charged with the deaths of those miners, but the presence of family members in the courtroom throughout last year’s trial was a constant reminder of what the case was ultimately about.  Would there be any sort of reckoning for the tragedy?

Ultimately, the jury could only find Blankenship guilty of safety violations, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $250,000 fine.  Judge Berger levied the full term saying the sentence “reflects the seriousness of the offense.”

Legally it does, because it’s the maximum allowable by law, but the outcome of the trial, the verdicts and the sentence does not necessarily satisfy the public’s demand for an accounting.  Several family members of UBB victims shouted at Blankenship as he left the courthouse. One yelled, “All I got is a goddamn tombstone.”

For his part, Blankenship did apologize for the tragedy.  “My main point is wanting to express sorrow to the families and everyone for what happened,” he said during his sentencing. However, he added later, “I am not guilty of a crime.”

In fact, he IS guilty.  The jury determined that after listening to 27 witnesses over 24 days and deliberating for 50 hours. Again, legally, he was convicted of willfully violating mine safety standards, but that conclusion leads inevitably to this question: Would UBB have exploded if Blankenship had not committed those violations?

That will remain an unsettled matter contributing to the haunting legacy of the worst coal mine disaster in this country in forty years.

However, the purpose of the lengthy federal investigation and the trial were about applying the rule of law.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office brought charges, a jury of Blankenship’s peers reviewed the evidence in a setting where the defendant had a presumption of innocence and the government had to clear a high standard.  A verdict was rendered and sentence administered in open court.

Blankenship’s affairs have been rightfully adjudicated.  The people should take solace in that, even as they mourn the loss of 29 lives at Upper Big Branch.

Teachers Praise SCOTUS Union Ruling

The Free Press WV

In a deadlocked decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed the right of public-sector unions to charge so-called “fair share” fees. Teachers and unions are positively crowing.

By its 4-4 the court let stand a Ninth Circuit ruling that the California Teachers Association can charge the fees. They offset the unions’ cost for contracts and grievance procedures for teachers who opt not to join the union but are still covered by collective bargaining.

National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen-Garcia said fair-share fees have worked well enough that even some employers asked the court to keep them.

“Local and county governments,“ she said. “There were school boards that said, ‘You know, this actually makes sense. We’re on the side of the unions on keeping the ability to do this.‘ “

Garcia, who was a teacher for 20 years, said people think bargaining only covers wages and benefits, but it also can cover the other things that teachers care about and that impact learning.

“We had some of our colleagues in Seattle collectively bargaining recess for their elementary kids,“ she said. “You end up with people bargaining things like whether or not a school has a school nurse.“

This is the second deadlocked case since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The unions claimed it was an attempt at union-busting. Garcia said groups backed by the billionaire Koch brothers went so far as to cold-call teachers to recruit plaintiffs. In her view, the case was motivated by ideology.

“The same people who want to keep wages low, keep public services like public schools under-funded, have always been out to silence our voice,“ she said.

Conservative groups backing the lawsuit argued that fair-share fees violate nonunion members’ free-speech and free-assembly rights. The unions have said that even people covered by their contracts are not required to join and don’t have to pay to back any of their political efforts.

More information is online at nea.org.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

Chief Judge Jack Alsop appeared in Gilmer County on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 1:30 PM and heard several cases.


•  Four fugitives from justice were before the Court, all represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville.

All 4 waived to return to their state as follows:

1) Gregory Clyde Butler to Virginia;

2) Martin R. Lovly to New York;

3) Michael Terry to Ohio; and

4) Anthony Kevin Todd to Maryland.

Authorities in those states have until 4 PM Thursday, April 07, 2016 to pick these men up at Central Regional Jail or they will be released.


•  Two juvenile matters were also heard.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Wednesday, March 23, 2016 Family Court Judge Larry Whited heard cases in Gilmer County:


•:  One preliminary hearing in a divorce was heard.


•:  One domestic violence petition was dismissed.


•:  A temporary order was entered in a divorce case.


•:  One divorce was granted between Cindy Marie Messenger (50 ) of Grantsville, WV divorced Edward Messenger (52) of Glenville, WV.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

•  On Wednesday, March 16, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop indoctrinated the petit/magistrate jurors.

Then a jury was drawn for a jury trial at 9:40 AM and after the strikes were made the Clerk swore the 12 member panel and the trial of State of West Virginia vs. Danny Ray Lambert began at 10:25 AM with the Judge instructing the jury.

After opening statements by both attorneys the first witness was called at 10:38 AM and Gerry Hough called 3 witnesses before the jury went to lunch.

After lunch Hough called one more witness and rested his case at 1:22 PM.

Later the defense rested their case without calling any witnesses.

Further instructions were read by the Court and each counsel made closing arguments and the case went to the jury at 2:09 PM.

At 2:48 PM the jury returned with a guilty verdict.

Lambert will have a pre sentence investigation report performed by Mike Haley probation officer and his sentence date is Monday, May 09, 2016 at 9:40 AM.

Lambert was represented by Daniel Grindo of Gassaway.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Amy Melissa Self

She was before the Court for arraignment on her recent indictment and her attorney was asking to be relieved and she wanted a court appointed attorney.

Judge Alsop reset the matter for Monday, April 11, 2016 at 11:30 AM and denied her a court appointed attorney.

Self had previously retained Steve Nanners of Buckhannon.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kathy Merrifield-Stover

She was back before the Court asking to be readmitted to bond.

Judge Alsop took that matter under advisement pending return of her lab results.

She is represented by James Hawkins of Buckhannon.


•  Judge Alsop directed the Circuit Clerk to issue summons’ for 2 jurors who failed to appear for jury duty today, namely Ashley Jewell and Ernest Hiles.

They are to report at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 to show cause why they failed to appear.




On Thursday, March 17, 2016 Judge Richard A. Facemire held his rescheduled motion day for the month of March.


•  One juvenile matter was heard.


Action was taken in 4 criminal cases as follows:


•  State of West Virginia vs. Robert Potter

He was before the Court for sentencing and was sentenced to 1-5 in the pentientiary on one count and 6 months in Central Regional Jail on the other count he had pled to.

Sentences were to run concurrently but Judge Facemire suspended the sentences and placed Potter on 5 years home confinement and probation.

He also must perform 100 hours community service per year of probation.

He is enrolled in and must successfully complete a VA program beginning Thursday, April 07, 2016 through Thursday, May 19, 2016 to treat his PTSD and/or drug problem.

Potter was represented by Melissa Roman of Buckhannon.


•  Kevin Curry was also before the Court for sentencing and Judge Facemier told him he felt he had a serious drug problem and was in need of correctional treatment.

His motion for home confinement and/or probation was denied and he was sentenced to 1-5 for conspiracy, 1-10 for obtaining by false pretenses and 6 months in Central Regional Jail for possession (this sentence to run concurrently and the other 2 sentences running consecutively for a total of 2-15 years in the penitentiary.)

He was given credit for time served ONLY for these charges and he must pay court costs within 18 months of his release.

Curry was represented by Bernard Mauser of Sutton.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Andrew Taylor

He was also before the Court for sentencing but Judge Facemire ordered him to undergo diagnosis and classification at the penitentiary (to be housed separate from the regular population) for 60 days and return to this Court on Monday, May 23, 2016 at 9:10 AM for further sentencing.

Christopher Moffatt of Charleston was his attorney.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Gary Ferrell

He was before the Court attempting to withdraw his former plea, which he had previously entered.

He was in the middle of trial and elected to enter a plea so Judge Facemire denied his motion to withdraw his plea, finding it to be a good plea.

He wanted new counsel appointed to represent him on appeal, so Judge Facemire relieved Tim Gentilozzi as counsel and appointed Andrew Chattin to perfrect Ferrell’s appeal.

Chattin is from Charleston.


There will be no Court the week of March 21st. Alsop will return to Glenville on March 29, 2016 at 1:30 PM to hear other matters during his March, 2016 term.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

Family Court Judge Larry Whited held family court in Gilmer County on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.


•  One domestic violence petition was dismissed.

Gilmer County Magistrate Court Report

The Free Press WV
Magistrate Court of Gilmer County, West Virginia
Defendant Offense Disposition
Grant Isaiah Williams Unlawful Acts of Persons; Criminal Penalties; No intoxicating Beer Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Nathan Andrew Hardy Possession of Controlled Substance Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
John Robert Zsigray Harassment; Repeatedly Making Credible Threats Against Another Not Guilty Verdict
Randy Ratliff Domestic Battery; Unlawful or Intentional Contact or Harm to Family or Household Dismissed
Leo Allen Hoerig Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol; Dismissed - With Prejudice
Jeremiah Marks Driving While License Suspended or Revoked Guilty Plea
Steven Edward King DUI Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Scott Lee Curry Destruction of Property Guilty Plea
Scott Lee Curry Domestic Battery; Unlawful or Intentional Contact or Harm to Family or Household Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Scott Lee Curry Interference; Prevention or Deprivation of Access to Emergency Services Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Scott Lee Curry Domestic Battery; Unlawful or Intentional Contact or Harm to Family or Household Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Jeffrey Tompkins Driving While License Suspended or Revoked No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Richard Neal Griffin Open Container Guilty Verdict
Paul Dwayne McCullough Failure to Use Due Care Dismissed - With Prejudice
Patricia S. Robinson Loose Livestock (Pigs) x 3 Proceedings Deferred
Sarah E. Roberts Driving While License Suspended or Revoked Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Sarah E. Roberts Battery Upon Another by Making Physical Contact with Force Capable of Causing Pain, ... Guilty - Plea Agreement
Jacob Edward Mason Domestic Battery; Unlawful or Intentional Contact or Harm to Family or Household Guilty Plea
Dana Gene Frederick Brandishing Deadly Weapons; Threatening or Causing Breach of the Peace; Criminal Penalties (5) Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Rodney Palmer McCord Possession of Controlled Substance Guilty Plea
Patty Jo Stump Possession <15g Marijuana Proceedings Deferred
Brian E. See Driving a Vehicle without Required Security Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Brian E. See Expiration of Registration and Certificates of Title Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Brian E. See Operation without Certified Inspection; or Failure to Produce Certificate; Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Brian E. See Obstructing Officer Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Seandrae L. Schoolcraft Domestic Battery; Unlawful or Intentional Contact or Harm to Family or Household Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Seandrae L. Schoolcraft Possession of Controlled Substance Proceedings Deferred
Ryan Alden Fieler Open Container Dismissed
Kathy Merrifield-Stover Harboring, Concealing; Maintaining or Assisting Principal Felon after Commission of Off Dismissed
James W. Ellison Conspiracy to Violate Chapter (DNR); without Information; Obstructing Officer Guilty - Plea Agreement
James W. Ellison Domestic Battery; Unlawful or Intentional Contact or Harm to Family or Household Guilty - Plea Agreement
Robert Lee Weaver Jr. No MVI Improper Dismissed
Robert Lee Weaver Jr. Improper Use of Evidence of Registration Dismissed
Ashley Dawn Bush Speeding No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Ashley Dawn Bush No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Justin Glen Yoak No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
James L. Miller Jr. Possession of Controlled Substance Proceedings Deferred, Sent.-Possession
Lorraine Bailey Battery on Government Employee and/or Medical Personnel Guilty Plea
Leo Allen Hoerig Reckless Driving No Contest per Plea Agreement
Isiah Scott Obtaining Money under False Pretense Proceedings Deferred
Donovan Marquez Miller Obtaining Money under False Pretense Proceedings Deferred
Jacob James Anfenson Conditional Discharge for First Offense of Possession Proceedings Deferred
Dayton Cason Conditional Discharge for First Offense of Possession Proceedings Deferred
Jeffrey Eugene Blosser No Insurance Guilty Plea
Jeffrey Eugene Blosser Improper Use of Evidence of Registration Guilty Plea
Cheyenne M. Morrison Possession of Controlled Substance No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Michael Anthony Puffenbarger Defective Equipment Guilty Plea
Michael Anthony Puffenbarger Driving Too Fast for Road Conditions Guilty Plea
Ryan Lucas Helmick Possession <15g Marijuana Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Ryan Lucas Helmick Defective Equipment Muffler No Contest per Plea Agreement
Salvador S. Temores Jr. Improper Use of Evidence of Registration Dismissed
Salvador S. Temores Jr. Possession of Controlled Substance Dismissed
Carl Russell Waybright Speeding Guilty Plea
John Nicholas Lambros Speeding No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Dakota Michael Allen Unauthorized acts with regards to wildlife without License or Permit Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Dakota Michael Allen Tagging, Transporting and Reporting Bear, Bobcat, Deer, Wild Bear, and Wild Turkey No Contest per Plea Agreement
Chandy D. Williams Suspended Operators Guilty Plea

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Thursday, March 10, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop presided over Court in Gilmer County.


•  Twenty-two criminal cases were called on the docket and none of them appearing the prosecuting attorney moved for continuance of the capias/bench warrant.


•  One pretrial was heard in the case of State of West Virginia vs. Danny Ray Lambert

The case remains on the trial docket for Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

Lambert is represented by Daniel Grindo of Gassaway.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Christopher Puffenbarger

He was before the Court for sentencing after being returned from Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders as unfit for their program.

His attorney, Christopher Moffatt of Charleston, asked for an evidentiary hearing so the matter was continued until Tuesday, April 05, 2016 at 1:30 PM.


•  One infant guardian petition was dismissed.


•  Four juvenile matters were heard.




Judge Alsop returned to Gilmer County this week. Monday the 14, 2016 is his regular motion day.

Arraignments and other matters were heard on Tuesday and Wednesday petit jury will be in for indoctrination.


Thursday, March 17, 2016 will be Judge Richard A. Facemire’s motion day this month.




Judge Alsop returned to Gilmer County on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.


•  A civil matter was heard involving Richard & Peggy Neal vs. Marlea Hagerman.

Judge Alsop directed defendant to resend discovery to plaintiffs and ordered them to answer within 10 days of receipt.

He also cancelled the trial set for March 29th in the matter.


•  Eight (8) juvenile matters were heard.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kimberly Swiger

She was before the Court with her court appointed attorney, Andrew Chattin, and although she successfully completed the program at Anthony Center she has no place to go to be released on probation so the probation officer is trying to fine a placement for her and then the matter will be reset for sentencing.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Gary Ackley

He was before the Court for reconsideration and asking for alternative sentencing or for his sentences to run concurrent with his Calhoun sentences.

The Judge denied his motion.

Ackley was represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville.


On this date Chief Judge Alsop held 5 arraignments and reset criminal cases as follows:


•  Tiffany Nicole Parker was before the Court with her attorney, Clinton Bischoff, of Summersville and entered not guilty pleas to the charges in her indictment.

She was released from home confinement and remains on $5,000.00 bond.

Her pretrial is on Wednesday, June 01, 2016 at 9:00 AM.

She is the first trial set for Wednesday, June 08, 2016.


•  Joshua Russell Rigsby remains in jail unable to post his $250,000.00 bond previously set.

He is represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville.

His pretrial is on Wednesday, June 01, 2016 at 9:30 AM.

He is the second trial set for Wednesday, June 08, 2016.


•  Kenneth Lee Morgan also remains in jail unable to post bond.

He is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.

His pretrial is on Wednesday, June 01, 2016 at 10:00 AM.

He is the last trial set for Wednesday, June 08, 2016.


•  Kathy Merrifield-Stover was before the Court and pled not guilty to her charges.

Her pretrial is on Wednesday, June 01, 2016 at 10:30 AM.

Her trial is on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM.

She is represented by James Hawkins of Buckhannon.

She later flunked her drug screen and was taken to Central Regional Jail.

Later Hawkins set a hearing in her case before the Judge for 11:45 AM on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 to address the issue.


•  Keith Owen Arbogast was in Court with his attorney, Daniel Grindo of Gassaway.

His pretrial is set for Friday, April 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM.

His trial is on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

He remains free on bond.


•  The arraignment of Amy Self was continued to 9:00 AM Wednesday, March 16, 2016 due to Nanner being unable to appear today.

He is asking to be relieved as Self’s attorney.


•  Judge also heard an adoption and a juvenile matter.


•  A probation revocation hearing in the matter of State of West Virginia vs. Audrianna Claypool now Jenkins

She was before the Court with her attorney, Dan Grindo, waiving the preliminary hearing.

Judge Alsop then set the final hearing in her revocation for Friday, April 01, 2016 at 1:30 PM.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Monday, March 14, 2016 Gilmer County Family Court was held.


•  One divorce was granted:  Virginia Lusk (42) of Glenville, WV divorced Larry Lusk (36) of Sutton, WV.

Gilmer County Circuit Clerk Karen Elkin Has Filed for Reelection

The Free Press WV

Gilmer County Circuit Clerk Karen Elkin has filed for reelection to her position.

This will be her second term as Circuit Clerk, the first female Circuit Clerk in the history of the county. She has held this position since both Judge Facemire and Chief Judge Alsop appointed her in 2009 upon the retirement of former Circuit Clerk, Lane Smith.

Prior to being appointed Elkin worked in the Circuit Clerk’s Office since 1976 when she was hired as a deputy clerk. She has continued to conduct business in the clerk’s office as she was taught to do, striving to assist all who need it. She continues to be one of the few remaining Circuit Clerks in central West Virginia that still accept passport applications, serving Gilmer and surrounding counties.

Karen is a lifelong resident of Gilmer County, beginning her schooling in 1963 at Cedarville School and later attending Sand Fork Elementary and graduating in 1974 from Gilmer County High School. She attended Glenville State College before assuming her position at the Court House.

Elkin is married to John Elkin, formerly of Cedarville and they reside at Sliding in Gilmer County. She has one son, Stephen Shinn and wife Amanda of Sutton and is very proud of her only granddaughter, Courtney Shinn, age 11 who attends Sutton Elementary.

She is an active member and secretary of the Gilmer County Democrat Women’s Club, having served in that position many years since the age of 18. She is an avid reader and enjoys crossword puzzles, auctions and traveling as well as spending time with family and friends.

Karen would appreciate your support in the upcoming primary election May 10th.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Tuesday, March 08, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop opened his regular term of Court in Gilmer County.

He indoctrinated the grand jurors and at 9:35 AM they retired to their jury room and at 11:02 AM they returned to the Court room and returned 6 indictments as folllows:


•  16-F-2 State of West Virginia vs. Tiffany Nicole Parker (Indicted for 18 counts total)

Indicted for 9 counts of forgery and 9 counts of uttering.

She is represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


•  16-F-3 State of West Virginia vs. Joshua Rigsby (Indicted for 8 counts total)

Indicted for 3 counts of conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver a schedule II controlled substance, altering pseudoephedrine, operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory, driving under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

He is represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville.


•  16-F-4 Kenneth Lee Morgan (Indicted for 6 counts total)

Indicted for 3 counts of conspiracy to commit an offense against the state, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver a schedule II controlled substance, altering pseudoephedrine and operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory.

He is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.


•  16-F-5 State of West Virginia vs. Amy Melissa Self (Indicted for 3 counts total)

Indicted for 1 count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the state, obtaining services by false pretense and accessory after the fact.


•  16-F-6 State of West Virginia vs. Kathy Merrifield-Stover (Indicted for 3 counts total)

Indicted for accessory before the fact, accessory after the fact and obstructing an officer.


•  16-F-7 State of West Virginia vs. Keith Owen Arbogast (Indicted for 6 counts total)

Indicted for 3 counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and 3 counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust. He is represented by Daniel Grindo of Gassaway.


All persons indicted will need to appear at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, March 15th for arraignment.


•  Nine civil matters were set for status while the grand jury was out.


•  2 cases involving Appalachian Piping Products had a scheduling order entered in them setting them for pretrial December 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM and bench trials at 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM on January 05, 2017.


•  Three other cases nobody appeared or called in to be heard on.


•  One case already had a default judgment entered and it was completed.


•  One other civil case had default entered against one party and service needs to be perfected against the other defendant or Judge Alsop will dismiss it.


•  Mary Starcher’s mandamus case was dismissed and Judge Alsop instructed her to contact her attorney in the criminal case and have him file a habeas corpus or she could file something herself.


•  A name change petition previously filed was also dismissed for lack of service on the father and mother not appearing to proceed with the case.


Chief Judge Alsop will return to Gilmer County Wednesday and Thursday for more court proceedings.

Lewis County Grand Jury Report

The Free Press WV

WESTON, WV — The March 2016 term of the Lewis County Grand Jury convened Monday in Weston and indicted 18 individuals, according to the prosecuting attorney’s office.


    •  Anthony Eugene Horner, 27, of Walkersville, who is charged with two felony counts of Domestic Assault, two misdemeanor counts of Assault, one count misdemeanor of Destruction of Property, two misdemeanor counts of Reckless Driving, one misdemeanor count of Leaving the Scene and two misdemeanor counts of Stalking.


    •  Jonathan Leroy Taylor, 30, of Jane Lew, who now faces one felony count of Burglary and one felony count of Grand Larceny.


    •  Tommie Larry Rinehart, Jr., 42, of Jane Lew, who is accused of one felony count of Attempted Robbery, one misdemeanor count of Assault and one misdemeanor count of Obstructing an Officer.


    •  Matthew Lee Jones, 22, of Jane Lew, who is charged with one felony count of Grand Larceny.


    •  Gloria Ann Yeager, 36, of Weston, who faces two felony counts of Forgery and two felony counts of Uttering.


    •  Everett J. Wine, 57, of Weston, who is accused of one felony count of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.


    •  Diana Lynn Summers, 50, of Florida, who is charged with one felony count of Abuse or Neglect of Incapacitated Adult by a Caregiver.


    •  Guy Summers, of Florida, who is also charged with one felony count of Abuse or Neglect of Incapacitated Adult by a Caregiver.


    •  Thomas William Bonnell, Jr., 41, of Weston, who faces one felony count of Driving While License Revoked for DUI, Third Offense.


    •  David Oren Webb, Sr., 44, of Buckhannon, who is accused of five felony counts of Wanton Endangerment, one misdemeanor count of Domestic Battery and one misdemeanor count of Obstructing.


    •  Michael Wesley Marion, 25, Weston, who is charged with one felony count of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Marijuana, one felony county of Manufacture of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana, and one misdemeanor count of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Psilocybin.


    •  Michael Lawrence Louk, 45, of Weston, who faces two felony counts of Driving While License Revoked for DUI, Third Offense, one misdemeanor count of Duty Upon Striking Fixtures and three total misdemeanor counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance for Heroin, Methamphetamine and Marijuana.


    •  David Mark Ratliff, 46, of Burnsville, who is accused of two felony counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine.


    •  James Brian Stout, 40, of Jane Lew, who is charged with two felony counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Hydrocodone.


    •  Elizabeht Michal Carpenter, 26, of Weston, who faces three felony counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Buprenophine, within 1,000 feet of a school, one felony count of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Buprenophine and one felony count of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Alprazolam.


    •  Steven Michael Sears, 38, of Weston, who is accused of five felony counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm.


    •  Justin Allen Lyons, 24, of Spencer, who is charged with two felony counts of Forgery of Public Record, two misdemeanor counts of Driving While License Suspended and two misdemeanor counts of Speeding.


    •  John William Cole, 36, of Camden, who faces one felony count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Third Offense, one felony count of Driving While License Revoked for DUI, Third Offense, one misdemeanor count of Improper Registration and one misdemeanor count of No Insurance.


Judge Jacob Reger presided while Prosecuting Attorney Christina Flanigan and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kurt Hall presented the cases.

Those indicted are ordered to report to the Lewis County Judicial Annex Circuit Courtroom, 117 Court Avenue, Weston, at 9 a.m. on March 11 for arraignment.

Gilmer County Magistrate Court Report

The Free Press WV
Magistrate Court of Gilmer County, West Virginia
Defendant Offense Disposition
Smith, Vernon Domestic Assault - Unlawful Use of Force Capable of Causing Pain / Injury to Family or Household (3) Dismissed
Shreves, Jacob Brandishing Deadly Weapons, Threatening or Causing Breach of the Peace; Criminal Penalties Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Shreves, Jacob Assault Dismissed - Joint Motion
Shreves, Jacob Possession of Controlled Substance Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Marsh, Stephen D. Trespassing Dismissed
Hugh art, Diane M. Trespassing Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Hugh art, Diane M. Phone Calls - Harassing / Obscene / Threatening Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Thornton, Quintarris Prohibited Acts A; Penalties; Manufacture (Schedule I, II, III) Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Ward, Jeremy Grand Larceny; Penalties Transferred to Circuit Court
Ward, Jeremy Entry of Dwelling or Outhouse in Daytime; Penalties Transferred to Circuit Court
Curry, Kevin Ray Escape or Attempt to Escape from Custody or Institution Transferred to Circuit Court
Parker, Tiffany N. Forging s Writing. Other than in Section 1 or 3 of the Article or Uttering (9) Transferred to Circuit Court
Parker, Tiffany N. Creating a Fraudulent ‘Demand Draft’ or Uttering or Attempting to Employ as True,... (9) Transferred to Circuit Court
Curry, Kevin Ray Grand Larceny, Penalties Transferred to Circuit Court
Conley, Glenna Sue Causing or Inducing Unlawful Acts in Official Proceeding by Use of Intimidation or Humiliation Dismissed - Joint Motion
Peters, John M. Obstructing Officer; Penalties; Definitions Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Gherke, Michael David Unlawful Acts of Persons; Criminal Penalties; Non-Intoxicated Beer Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Ellyson, Larry K. Malicious or Unlawful Assault; Assault; Battery Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Anderson, Julie Anne Obstructing Officer; Penalties; Definitions Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Morris, Jordan Leigh Operation of Vehicle without Evidence of Registration No Contest / Nolo Contendre
Huffman, Ashley Nicole No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Marks, Gene Unlawful Injury or Destruction of Property Dismissed - Joint Motion
Marks, Gene Harassment - Repeatedly Making Credible Threats Against Another Proceedings Deferred
Marks, Christopher Paul Use of Physical Force Causing Pain, Injury, or Apprehension of Receipt of the Same, ... (3) Dismissed
Ellyson, Larry K Shooting Across Road or Near Building or Crowd Proceedings Deferred
Ellyson, Larry K Unlawful Injury to or Destruction of Property Dismissed by Magistrate-Prosecutor
Mcatee, Roxanne Obscene, Anonymous, Harassing, Repeated and Threatening Telephone Calls Proceedings Deferred
Wimer, Terri L. Cell Phone Guilty Plea
Hartshorn, Scott Operators Suspended 2nd Guilty Plea
Hartshorn, Scott No Insurance Guilty Plea
Ward, Jeremy Petit Larceny; Penalties Transferred to Circuit Court
Nickeson, Brittney Nichole Unlawful Injury to or Destruction of Property Dismissed
Nickeson, Brittney Nichole Domestic Assault - Unlawful Use of Force Capable of Causing Pain / Injury to Family or Household Guilty Plea Agreement
Warren, Sharyce Lynna Shoplifting 1st Proceedings Deferred
Spencer, Sunrak Petit Larceny; Penalties Guilty Plea Agreement
Spencer, Sunrak Trespassing in Structure or Conveyance Guilty Plea Agreement
Miller, James Royce Forest Fire Season; Permits for Fires; Prohibited Fires; Closure of Forests Proceedings Deferred
Snider, Caleb Grant Hunting without Class N (Resident) or Class NN (Non-Resident) Antherless Deer Hunting Stamp Proceedings Deferred
Arnold, Emily Jane No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
McCord, Michael Willis Speeding Guilty Plea
McCord, Michael Willis Failed to Produce Operators Dismissed
Ice, Jeremy A. Unlawful Method of Hunting - Sunday Hours Dismissed
Lilly, Zachary David Addition Powers (Regulatory Violations) Dismissed
Thornton, Quintarris Conditional Discharge for First Offense of Possession Guilty Plea Agreement
Conley, Glenna Sue Willful Disruption of Governmental Processes; Penalties Guilty Plea Agreement
West, Gordon Amos No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Robinson, Vernon C. Possession of Wildlife Dismissed
Robinson, Vernon C. Tagging, Transporting and reporting Bear, Bobcat, Deer, wild Boar, and wild Turkey Dismissed
Robinson, Vernon C. Additional Powers (Regulatory Violations) Dismissed
Robinson, Vernon C. Conspiracy to Violate Chapter (DNR); Withholding Information; Obstructing Officers Dismissed
Morris, Ian Lee Possession of Wildlife Dismissed
Morris, Ian Lee Tagging, Transporting and reporting Bear, Bobcat, Deer, wild Boar, and wild Turkey No Contest per Plea Agreement
Morris, Ian Lee Possession of Wildlife No Contest per Plea Agreement
Gibson Jr., Bruce E. Cited for Left of Center with No Code No Contest per Plea Agreement
Graham, Chester Conspiracy to Violate Chapter (DNR); Withholding Information; Obstructing Officers Dismissed
Graham, Chester Tagging, Transporting and reporting Bear, Bobcat, Deer, wild Boar, and wild Turkey Dismissed
Graham, Chester Possession of Wildlife Dismissed
Graham, Chester Hunting after Killing Legal Deer Dismissed
Sprouse, Elvis Lee No Seatbelt Guilty Plea
Adams, Brittany Marie Speeding No Contest per Plea Agreement
Adams, Brittany Marie No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Kazee, Breeanna Marie No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Carrera, Chandler Ralph No Hands Free (Phone) No Contest per Plea Agreement
Peck, Brandon Lee Tagging, Transporting and reporting Bear, Bobcat, Deer, wild Boar, and wild Turkey No Contest per Plea Agreement
Peck, Brandon Lee Hunting without Permission No Contest per Plea Agreement
Curry, Kevin Ray Failure to Register; Provide Notice of Changes; Provide False Information; Refuse to Provide (3) Transferred to Circuit Court
Underwood, Timothy No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Miller, James Allen Possession of Wildlife (2) Dismissed
Wagoner, Devon Brett Speeding No Contest per Plea Agreement
Goodrich, Ricky Lee Possession of Wildlife Guilty Plea
McCoy, Christina Lynn No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Bell, Zack Ryan Underage Drinking Guilty Plea
Townsend, Kayla Daniell Speeding Guilty Plea
Townsend, Kayla Daniell No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Anfenson, Jacob James Driving Too Fast for Road Conditions Guilty Plea
Anfenson, Jacob James No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
King, Ricky B. Hunting, Trapping, Fishing on Lands of Another Dismissed
King, Steven Edward Hunting, Trapping, Fishing on Lands of Another Dismissed
King, Steven Edward Driving While License Revoked - DUI Dismissed
Greathouse, Cassie C. Possession of Controlled Substance Guilty Plea
Greathouse, Cassie C. No Insurance Guilty Plea
Greathouse, Cassie C. Expired Registration Guilty Plea
Greathouse, Cassie C. Driving While License Suspended or Revoked Guilty Plea
Smith, Jamie Ann Expired Registration No Contest per Plea Agreement
Lindsey, Jacob Kyle Possession of Controlled Substance Guilty Plea
Talbert, Shawn Michael Duty Upon Striking Unattended Vehicle Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Talbert, Shawn Michael Immediate Report of Accidents No Contest per Plea Agreement
Tingler, Ernest Ray No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Green Sr., David Dewitt Speeding Guilty Plea
Phares, Alex Worthless Checks (3) Guilty Plea
Mullins, Christopher Wade Driving Under Influence - DUI Guilty Plea
Bartholow, Tabitha Lynn Shoplifting 1st Guilty Plea

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