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Braxton County

WV Legislative Update

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Writing this week within minutes of the adjournment of session, the immediate aftermath of the past sixty days is yet to be fully processed by anyone, including those with a ringside seat.  I’m pleased that we took action to eliminate the tax on social security benefits; made some important strides in providing a major push to repair secondary roads; and, some major second-chance legislation to help get more of our citizens off drugs and into gainful employment or training.

On the negative side, SB 622 is a horrible bill that will pour even more money into political campaigns and has no redeeming value whatsoever. But one thing is certain: the utter inability of the current legislative leadership to get a budget for two consecutive years without the threat of shutting down state government has now given rise to yet another problem.  This year, a budget was approved nearly two days before the conclusion of the session.

On the surface, that sounds efficient and productive.  The real-world implications dictate a very different outcome.  With a budget passed and on the Governor’s desk with two days remaining in the session, it in effect, killed or severely limited our chances of passing important legislation that has a fiscal note during the final two days. This excuse was used several times in the last couple days of the session, including last Saturday night.

There was a valid and relevant reason why, for years, we always finished the budget as the final bill, completing action over a two- or three-day period the week after the session concluded.  It had nothing whatsoever to do with legislators wanting to drag out the session.

At that time, on Sunday afternoon after the final night, Finance and Clerk’s office staff in the House and Senate began sorting through all bills that passed during the session right up to midnight on the last day to ascertain whether there was a cost or savings to the budget.  They also cataloged the differences in the various categories between the House and Senate versions.  Then, armed with that information, a small number of budget conference members could settle the remaining accounts; then, call member in briefly and vote out a final version of the budget.

Unfortunately, a few years ago, the current majority failed to get a budget in a timely manner for two consecutive years, costing taxpayers nearly $1.5 million and nearly shutting down state government.  Citizens were outraged and rightfully so.  Now, it has given rise to a hastily prepared budget that lacks the flexibility to add important items right up until the final hours of the session.  This is the ultimate legislative “cart before the horse”.

Case in point:  HB 2001 – the bill that passed the House 99 – 1 several weeks ago.  The bill as it left the House of Delegates exempted all Social Security income from West Virginia income tax.  The cost to the budget was around $39 million.  However, when the Senate finally took up and passed the bill after weeks of inaction, they amended it to phase-in the tax break over three years and put a cap on the federally adjusted gross income as to who may qualify.  The end result – a tax break of only $2 million in the first year, with far fewer West Virginians now qualifying.  We tried to reject the Senate version and go back to the House version, but House leadership said that since the budget was already passed, any changes may cause the Governor to veto the budget.  We were defeated in our motion to send it back to the Senate or appoint a conference committee.  I am happy to have worked for and voted for passage of the bill, but we could have done much more.  While many of our senior citizens and disabled individuals will see a tax benefit, some with not gain the full tax break and see immediate maximum tax relief.  That’s unfortunate.

The night before, the majority party rammed through SB 622 to increase the amount of campaign contributions that can be receive in an election cycle from the current maximum of $1,000 to $2,800 – nearly triple the current rate.  Other contributions from “dark money” that does not have to be declared and PAC fund contributions also were hiked substantially. The bill had a single sponsor in the Senate.  All of the minority party in the House voted against this bill.

You cannot make this stuff up.  Does anyone think more money in political campaigns will improve the political climate?  Does anyone think we need more mailers or negative radio and TV ads at election time?  A year ago, the majority made a centerpiece argument in their push for single member House legislative districts that smaller, more compact district size would cost less in which to campaign, thereby allowing more time to spend with and listening to constituents.  While I have always served in and been in favor of and voted for one hundred single member districts for the next redistricting, now they’re going against their own argument for single member districts and now on record for wanting to inject even more big money in the process.  I hope the Governor has the courage and wisdom to veto this horrible bill that will do nothing to move our State forward.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll attempt to keep you updated as column space allows regarding the positive and negative aspects of the 2019 session, along with the yet to be completed extraordinary session called by the Governor for education issues. 

During the legislative session, please send your inquiries to the Capitol office: State Capitol Building 1, Room 258 M, Charleston, WV 25305. My office telephone number is 304.340.3142; Please send your inquiries to my home office as well:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

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

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

Pat’s Chat1

The Free Press WV

March winds definitely showed up in February, and April showers, as I said last week, showed up as watery snow in March.  May is supposed to be the flowers.  (“April showers bring May flowers.”  As a kid the joke was to ask, “What do May flowers bring?”  “Pilgrims, of course!”  Ha Ha Ha!  The riddles and funny jokes of childhood remain with us for life, it seems.  We older seniors may forget people’s names, but we remember words to many, many songs and jokes.) So maybe April will bring us more flowers, and May will just surprise us.

I have a beautiful assortment of early crocuses, one group of which bloomed out in a beautiful, round, picture-perfect spray of a lilac-colored bouquet.  The spring flowers are so bright and refreshing, after winter and snow.  I love spring and fall best of all seasons.

Last week I wrote about the first of the 28 doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, that the Bible is the word of God, written by folks inspired by God, but in their own words.  This week we will learn about the second doctrine, The Trinity.  I find this easy to believe but not easy to explain.

“There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons.  God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present.  He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19; John 3:16 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2.)” (https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/god/trinity/)

Since long before Creation, God knew that creating beings with power of choice meant that someone would choose to go his own way instead of obeying the directions of his Creator, so arrangements were made that the Son part of the Godhead would become a human being; sacrifice his own life to pay the penalty for all transgressions of the law (sin) in one fell swoop. (See I John 3:4)  The penalty or wages of sin is death, so he died for all, for each of us. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ who died in my place (I John 3:4) and not only died (paid the penalty) but he lived a perfectly righteous life, which becomes MY righteousness.  When I am judged, only HIS perfect life will be considered, not my own bundle of unchristlike behaviors.  When I ask, he forgives my sin and cleanses me from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).

Of course, they were together in creation, for Genesis states that God created the heaven and the earth and that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water. (Genesis 1:1-3) and then verse 26 reports that God said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness. . . .”  (Note it say “our” image, plural.)  Verse 27 continues, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  All three members of the Godhead were active in creation.

When Jesus insisted that John the Baptist baptize him, John didn’t feel worthy to do that.  He believed that Jesus was God.  Jesus insisted that John baptize him so that he would be fulfilling all the righteousness expected of any other human being.  When he was brought up out of the water of the Jordan River, the voice of God, the Father, was heard saying, “This is my beloved Son.”  The Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a Dove.  All three of them together!  (See Matthew 3:13-17). 

Just as an aside from this about the Trinity, I John 3:4 states that the “GIFT” of God is eternal life.  There is no way to EARN eternal life.  It is a gift and we only have to accept it.  We are told that we are rewarded for our works, but our works cannot earn us eternal life.  Salvation is a GIFT of God.  You can do good works from now until Jesus comes back and it will not earn you salvation.  Only through the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice can we be assured of salvation and eternal life and when we accept it we become children of God and heirs of the kingdom.  Talk to Him, Read His Word, Get acquainted with Him and His great love for you.

Maranatha!

WV Legislative Update

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As I write this Sunday evening, the snow is falling quickly.  I’m always skeptical of snowfall predictions, as they’re seldom accurate these days, despite the technology.  Whether snow or rain, I’m ready for some time to let the hills and valleys have some time to absorb and dry out.  With roads and ditches needing attention, we can ill afford another hit and miss construction and maintenance season for 2019.  Critical and time sensitive projects are all around the district.

Needless to say, heading into this final week of the legislative session, delegates, senators and staff are hitting the home stretch with regular session adjournment this Saturday, March 9 at midnight. After that, it’s up to the Governor for setting any agenda items.  The House passed our version of the budget (HB 2020) last Saturday afternoon.  After the Senate completes their version (SB 150), a conference committee will be appointed later this week to work out the differences in the two versions.  At this time, the differences are deep and wide, even though the overall numbers come in at near $4.66 billion for general revenue in both. 

While the budget is always a mixed bag, I supported the budget as it was presented in the House.  However, that may change, depending on what is added or deleted when the conference committee is appointed, completes their work, and the bill is up for final passage.

I am pleased that our version has a modest increase the appropriation to Glenville State College to $6.45 million.  Further, the House version includes an additional $500,000 for GSC from the projected budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year. This is a substantial improvement over the pitiful funding formula that was devised by some voting members of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education.  Hopefully, our Senate delegation can hold or improve on that amount.

Also, an additional $300,000 in surplus is included to offset costs for increased food distribution through the WV Department of Agriculture for Mountaineer Food Bank and Facing Hunger Food Bank.  This will help offset transportation costs associated with the additional surplus foods that are arriving for hungry and needy West Virginians through distribution to local food pantries.

We have also proposed funding to increase the reimbursement rates to Senior Citizen Centers for delivered and congregate meals.  Additionally, included in the lottery surplus section is $1 million in one-time funding to replace the aging fleet of hot/cold meal delivery trucks with new, more efficient vehicles.  Many of these vehicles are over a decade old, with high mileage and ever-increasing maintenance costs to keep them on the road.  Again, we will see what emerges from the budget conference.

Some major items still pending, a few of which include:

  • SB 1 – the bill that provides “last dollar in” funding for community and technical colleges, including 2-year associate or technical degrees from state-supported colleges and universities.
  • HB 2001 – this bill exempts Social Security benefits from WV State income tax.  It still awaits action in the Senate Finance Committee
  • HB 3095 - Establishing a minimum monthly retirement annuity for certain retirees.  Passed the House and should pass the Senate early this week.
  • HB 2730 - Increasing the compensation of the membership of the State Police and the salaries for public school teachers and school service personnel.  This bill is double referenced in the Senate to Education; then Finance.

And, still no meaningful long-term funding for PEIA. The PEIA committee appointed by the Governor has yet to issue their final report.

Finally, it’s no secret that the Capitol is much like a pressure cooker under the dome during each session.  As time goes by and as the end of the 60-day session approaches, tensions between members grow; desires for certain bills pass or fail becomes intense; and unfortunately, sometimes tempers flare.  That was the case last week in a twenty-four-hour series of events that brought disrespect to the institution and our State.  Moreover, much of it has been brewing for several weeks.  I trust Speaker Hanshaw will do the right thing and help everyone to move on and complete the work that lies before us.  Having today as a day of rest and reflection, I hope members will remember they are sent there to serve our citizens in a manner that respects everyone and with conduct that is appropriate.  We cannot allow Washington, DC turmoil, partisan rancor, and divisive behavior to take root in West Virginia. 

During the legislative session, please send your inquiries to the Capitol office: State Capitol Building 1, Room 258 M, Charleston, WV 25305. My office telephone number is 304.340.3142; Please send your inquiries to my home office as well:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

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

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

Pat’s Chat

The Free Press WV

April showers came with snow instead of rain.  I do not like the present forecast of cold, cold, cold again.  I have a few crocuses blooming.  Hope nothing happens to endanger whatever fruit or other produce that might get damaged by this strange weather.  Summer, fall, winter, spring, all in one month, it seems.  It is comforting to me to read Genesis 8:22 that “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”  With all the talk about global warming, etc., I just like knowing that God is ultimately in control.

That being said, it doesn’t mean that I understand everything I read in the Bible, but if God Is the Author as it says, it should be explainable by someone smarter and more closely connected to the Author than I.  God the Holy Spirit gave the Bible by inspiring the minds of various Bible writers (2 Peter 1:20, 21).  Jesus the Bible is God’s Word made flesh (I John 1:14).  He used people with different backgrounds, some cultured, others with little or no education, people of royal blood or just plain common people.  He inspired their minds and they expressed those ideas in their own words.  So the Bible is completely human (but more than human).  In spite of all of this, the Bible has but one Author.  God’s Word is an infallible revelation of God’s plan to save lost humanity.  Both the Old Testament with its ceremonies and rites pointing forward to a Savior who would die for each of us to pay the penalty of our sin, and the New Testament with the actual sacrifice made by God as a Gift of salvation for us.  “The wages of sin is death, but the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

I hope that you know that God loves YOU and would like to get more acquainted with you and tell you things through His Word.  The best way you get to know Him is through His Word.  We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to understand God’s Word and apply it to our own lives.  He is willing to help you if you ask and we must be willing to accept it as God’s Word.  He invites us to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).  Our prayers are how we talk to Him and the Bible, the living Word of God, is Him speaking to us, to you, today.

Maranatha

West Virginia trout stocking the week of February 25, 2019

The Free Press WV

The following waters were stocked the week of February 25, 2019:

Bear Rocks Lake
Beech Fork Tailwaters
Big Sandy Creek
Blackwater River
Brandywine Lake
Brushy Fork Lake
Buckhannon River
Buffalo Creek (Logan)
Buffalo Fork Lake
Burnsville Tailwaters
Cherry River
Coopers Rock Lake
Cranberry River
Curtisville Lake
Deer Creek (Pocahontas)
Dillons Run
Dry Fork (Tucker)
Dunloup Creek
East Lynn Tailwaters
Edwards Run and Pond
Elk River
Fort Ashby Reservoir
Glade Creek of Mann
Glade Creek of New River
Greenbrier River
Greenbrier River (Cass section)
Horseshoe Run
Huey Lake
Indian Creek
Laurel Creek of New River
Left Fork of Right Fork of Buckhannon River
Lick Creek Pond
Lost River
Mill Creek of South Branch
New Creek Dam No. 14
North Fork of Cherry River
North Fork South Branch
North River
Paw Paw Creek
Raleigh County Airport Pond (Children & Class Q)
Rockhouse Lake
Rollins Lake
South Fork of Cherry River
South Fork of Cranberry River
Spruce Laurel Fork
Stonewall Jackson Tailwaters
Summit Lake
Sutton Tailwaters
Trout Run
Tygart Valley River Headwaters
Waites Run
Warden Lake
Wayne Dam
West Fork of Twelvepole
Wheeling Creek
Whiteday Creek

WV Legislative Update

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On behalf of Jean and our family, we thank everyone for their kind words, thoughts and prayers at the passing of her father, Colonel Rishel Walker. Rishel was a good and kind man who provided Jean and her brother, John, with a foundation of faith, family, a strong work ethic, and the desire to help others.  At the age of 89, he lived a good life and had a positive impact on those he served with in the Air Force and Air National Guard, as well as in his community and church family.

On this windy Sunday evening, our kids and grandkids have all headed back to their respective homes to resume work and school.  As I write this week, the roar of the wind in the trees around our home sounds reminiscent of a long, heavy train straining to make it over a steep hill.  An evening communication from Mon Power indicates nearly 2,000 Braxton and Gilmer residents are without power Sunday evening, due to the high winds, with over 30,000 power outages in multiple counties.

Legislative fireworks erupted last week, as the House killed SB 451 – the omnibus education reform bill.  When the bill left the House a week earlier, it was improved but still not a bill I could support.  When it arrived in the Senate, instead of refusing to concur and asking for a conference committee to work out the details, they basically added much of their original version of SB 451 into the bill and shipped it back across the Capitol to the House.

Before the bill could be taken up, a motion was made to postpone consideration of the bill indefinitely, otherwise known as a motion to PPI the bill, which precludes further consideration of the bill for the remainder of the session.  The motion to PPI was approved by a 53 – 45 margin (House roll call # 201) thereby effectively killing the omnibus bill.  I was pleased to vote to PPI the bill so we could move on from this controversial and likely unconstitutional measure.

Now a clean pay bill (HB 2730) has cleared the House and rests in the Senate for their consideration.  What remains to be seen is if the Senate will take up the bill up as is; or will they choose to add amendments that killed SB 451 and send it back?  This week will be one that defines if the last two weeks of the session will be productive or mired in self-inflicted drama by Senate leadership.  Meanwhile, bills for nearly every facet of the bill have been in various committees the entire session, to rise or fall on their own individual merits.

Through the first 47 days of the session, a total of 1,140 bills have been introduced in the House; with 673 introduced in the Senate.  To date, 154 bills have passed the Senate; 143 have passed the House; Thirty-nine bills have been sent to the Governor for his review and action; eleven bills have been signed into law.

Among the bills passed last week in the House of Delegates:

  • HB 2439 Relating to fire service equipment and training funds for volunteer and part-volunteer fire companies

  • HB 2486 Using records of criminal conviction to disqualify a person from receiving a license for a profession or occupation

  • HB 2515 Exempting the sale and installation of mobility enhancing equipment from the sales and use tax

  • HB 2532 Allowing certain donations by persons renewing their driver’s license or vehicle registration

  • HB 2540 Prohibiting the waste of game animals, game birds or game fish

  • HB 2541 Requiring certain safety measures be taken at public schools

  • HB 2542 Permitting directors of county emergency phone systems to obtain mobile-phone emergency lines

  • HB 2834 Updating and modernizing the minimum spacing provisions for the drilling of horizontal deep wells

  • HB 2872 Authorizing law-enforcement officers to assist the State Fire Marshal

  • HB 2933 Modifying the criminal penalties imposed on a parent, guardian or custodian for child abuse resulting in injury

The big deadline this week is on Wednesday – Day 50 of the session.  This is the last day that House bills can be initially considered in the House and likewise for Senate bills in the Senate.  Unless a committee originates a bill after that date, the remaining bills that have not cleared their house of origin are dead for this session.  This sets up long, fast-paced days through mid-week to get bills to the floor for consideration.  House and Senate calendars will be lengthy, and the work days will be much longer until after midnight on Wednesday.

During the legislative session, please send your inquiries to the Capitol office: State Capitol Building 1, Room 258 M, Charleston, WV 25305. My office telephone number is 304.340.3142; Please send your inquiries to my home office as well:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

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

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

Pat’s Chat

The Free Press WV

The winds have been frighteningly swirling this afternoon.  The trees across the empty lot in front of our house were swishing like a tornado was going through them.  The ground is thoroughly saturated by so much rain that it is a wonder some of them were not pulled up by the roots.  We went for our usual walk hoping we would not have to dodge debris or broken branches off of the trees.  We stopped off to visit Mary Ann, my sister, since we were out.  The wind was calmer than it had been earlier.  Are these the expected March winds?  We enjoyed our walk anyway.

I watch Death Valley Days often because they are true stories and often very interesting, with no ads or distractions, and they only last half an hour.  Today the title of the story was The Seventh Day.  Being a Seventh-day Adventist, I was interested in seeing what the story was about.  It was the early 1830’s or so about a wagon train starting somewhere in the middle part of the country going to California to a gold strike.  As they were starting out, they elected a leader.  He was a devout Christian man.  Everyone was anxiously eager to go as quickly as possible across the country to get to the gold fields before everyone else found all the gold.  They started out and pushed on at about 30 miles a day for four days, but the leader said they would rest on Sunday according to the commandment.  Some of the wagons picked a new leader because they were insisting on pushing through seven days a week.  Some stayed with the original leader listening to him and other people who quoted the fourth commandment, “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor they daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20)

As they traveled on, some of the people got restless and felt they would lose out on getting to the gold before it was all gone. There was discussion about this and one man got on his horse and left to try to catch up with the others.  Their leader reminded them that even the cattle needed rest.  They read devotional psalms and scripture and continued on six days each week, resting on Sunday.

The ones who had gone ahead began to run out of food and the cows no longer gave milk, so babies and children were not getting enough food.  Even Indians attacked these travelers and some were killed.

When the second wagon train caught up with the first one who had stopped to bury their dead, etc., they had plenty of food and milk to help the others out and one of them said the group that rested on the seventh day was blessed for obedience.  We are not SAVED by our works, but we are REWARDED according to our works (Rev. 22:12).

I remember during World War II that factories which didn’t take a day of rest had many problems with equipment breaking down.  It is proven that rest one day out of seven is better for people, work animals, and even machinery.  The fact that they were not resting on THE seventh day was not deliberate disobedience. They were not aware that sabbath, which started at creation and evidently didn’t change at anytime following, since Jesus’ habit was to worship on sabbath, and in His day it was Saturday, the seventh day, not Sunday the first day and it was the same cycle then as it is now.  This was not held against them because they didn’t know and were being as obedient as they knew how to be. Their hearts were right with God, which makes the difference.  Those who KNOW what is right and don’t do it, to him it is sin.

If you have never watched Death Valley with its 20-mule-team (Borax) lead-in (how well I remember hearing that program many years ago, first by radio, then later on TV.  I love true stories and I love them for having no ads.  It is also nice that it is only half hour long.

Maranatha!

WV Legislative Update

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For me, Capitol events were put on hold late last week by the unexpected passing of Jean’s father, retired Air Force Colonel Rishel Walker.  At the age of 89, a sudden illness and trip to the ER last Thursday became worse overnight, and he passed away Friday afternoon, surrounded by family.  Rishel was a fine man; a dedicated father and husband; distinguished 38-year Air Force and WV Air National Guard veteran; and I could not have asked for a better father-in-law.  Please keep Jean and the family in your prayers.

Through the first forty days, last week was by far the most hectic and contentious of the 60-day session.  At the Capitol, the omnibus education bill – SB 451 – passed the House in a drastically pared-down version and now goes back to the Senate this week.  After one of the longest floor debates in recent memory Wednesday night with nearly forty proposed amendments, we were in session from morning until shortly before midnight.  While the bill underwent major improvements in House Education as compared to the Senate version and House Finance version, I could not support the bill as it left the House on Thursday, due to several factors, including charter schools and the possibility of an increase in property taxes on our residents.

The Senate has several options.  It can accept the bill as is and sent directly to the Governor for his action; amend the bill (which likely would not be accepted by the House); or go through a series of messages between the House and Senate to appoint a conference committee to work out the areas of difference between the two houses.  While I believe, at this writing on Sunday night, the conference committee route is the most likely next step.

There is no guarantee that either the full Senate or full House will accept what a conference committee recommends.  As SB 451 is such a controversial bill with far too many components, it may run until the end of the session before seeing the outcome.

It would have been much simpler and more efficient to run a pay increase bill, as the Governor and legislative leaders promised.  Once again, we have a bill poised to consume the limited time remaining in this session, as it takes valuable time away from other pressing issues in the remaining three weeks.  The regular session concludes at midnight on Saturday, March 09.

The ability to implement the medical cannabis bill passed overwhelmingly during the 2017 legislative session received a boost on Friday as the House passed HB 2538 – the Medical Cannabis Banking Act by a vote of 89-7.  The bill, which now goes to the Senate for their review, creates two state funds: Medical Cannabis Program Fund and the State Treasurer’s Medical Cannabis Fund.  These funds will provide the financial tools needed until competitive bids are solicited from banks, credit unions or non-bank financial institutions.  Eventually, as federal law changes, these contracts will end and funds will be deposited into the state concentration fund.

Also, a bill of which I am a sponsor, HB 2618 passed the House easily on Friday.  The bill deals with elder abuse and financial exploitation of the elderly, disabled or protected persons by means of undue influence and tactics that either threaten or exploit by various means.  I hope the Senate takes up this bill quickly and sends it to the Governor.  Each year, thousands of our most vulnerable citizens are bilked out of their lifetime savings by some of the people they trust most.  This is a serious crime and I’m pleased we are making the penalty a greater deterrent.

Last Thursday was also the annual WV Association of Retired School Employees lobby day at the Legislature, with a great delegation from both Gilmer and Braxton Counties on hand.  It was great to have them in the gallery for the final debate on the current education bill and House proceedings.  These dedicated retired professionals continue to work on behalf of educators and school service personnel, in addition to concerns over PEIA and pension reform for active and retired educators and school service personnel.

I want to thank my Frasier-Singleton legislative intern last week, BCHS graduate and GSC student Luke Bonnett for his assistance on the House floor, in committee and in the office with constituents, colleagues and staff.  Luke has a passion for public service, like all the interns that apply for the week-long program.  I’m certain he will be applying for the Herndon Fellowship intern program next year, which provides a session long stint at the Legislature, along with continuing their academic work.

Finally, I had a wonderful evening last week with the YLA - Youth in Government 8th grade students from Braxton Co. Middle School.  Group leaders Lori Dittman and Amanda Criner, along with students: Haley Butcher, Baylee Lockard, Natalie Rose, Kaylee Criner, Russell Bramble, Justin Bishop, Adam Smith and Addison Grindo.  We enjoyed a great dinner and conversation about pending legislation and their concerns for our county and goals they would like county and state leader to pursue.  These articulate, well-informed and highly motivated young men and women represent our future leaders, business owners, educators and working professionals that will move our State to the next level.  I’m confident we will be in good hands. 

During the legislative session, please send your inquiries to the Capitol office: State Capitol Building 1, Room 258 M, Charleston, WV 25305. My office telephone number is 304.340.3142; Please send your inquiries to my home office as well:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

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

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

Mountaineer Food Bank Receives $20,000.00 from Dominion Energy

The Free Press WV

Mountaineer Food Bank received a $20,000.00 grant from Dominion Energy to help support Mountaineer Food Bank’s Project Harvest. “Through this grant, Dominion Energy is reaching across the state to support better access to nutritional food for community members in our service areas,” Christine Mitchell, external affairs representative for Dominion Energy said. “By their efforts, the Mountaineer Foodbank will reach 10,000 children and adults suffering from food insecurity in nearly every county in W.Va.,” Mitchell added.

Project Harvest will focus on decreasing hunger in West Virginia while increasing access of healthy foods in communities that do not have the capacity to regularly distribute them.

“Over the past couple years, Mountaineer Food Bank has placed a strong focus on the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables being accessible to our agencies to aid in improved health and more effectively meet the needs of their clients throughout all of MFB’s existing programs. As a result of this focus, our produce distribution has grown tremendously and the number of programs we are sourcing produce through has increased as well. Those innovative programs include; school produce markets, school backpack and pantry programs, just in time distributions, mobile pantry programs, drop and go’s, Veterans Table programs, RX pantry programs, fresh start programs, silver lining senior feeding programs, and more. Adding fresh produce to each of these programs allows our agencies and programs to offer their clients fresh produce that otherwise may not be available to them,” Becky Conrad Director of Development for Mountaineer Food Bank said.

Glenville State Graduate Appears on Wheel of Fortune

A Glenville State College alumna won big on a recent episode of Wheel of Fortune.

Amy Perkins, a Special Education teacher at Flatwoods Elementary School, graduated from GSC in 2005 with a degree in Elementary Education.

The Free Press WV


Perkins grew up watching the Wheel of Fortune with her family, so when the Wheelmobile came to the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in Nitro, West Virginia, she knew she had to audition. Perkins had auditioned previously but did not advance in the casting process.  The iconic show, which received over a million applications last year, is highly competitive and looks for applicants who are enthusiastic and logical thinkers. Of the million applicants last year, less than 600 were chosen to be on the show.

Nearly two weeks after auditioning, Perkins finally received her letter. She had been chosen as a contestant and would be flown out to California for filming in December.

While on the show, Perkins beat out her two competitors and continued to the bonus round. While she did not win the bonus round, she walked away with a whopping $17,150 in winnings. “It was such an amazing experience,” said Perkins. “I don’t even know how to explain it.”

When the show aired on television in late January, Perkins had a watch party with family and friends. She recalls it feeling as if she was seeing the episode for the first time, despite having solved the puzzles as a contestant. While this was a dream come true for Perkins, she hopes that her experience also serves as an inspiration to her students. “I want them to know that anything they want to do, they can do,” she said.

WV Legislative Update

image

At this hour on Sunday evening, I’m preparing to head back to the Capitol by looking over some bills, committee reports and budget documents.  However, I’m really excited that Jessica and the boys are coming in for a long weekend from South Carolina this weekend.  Hopefully, we can get the entire family together, at least for a few hours before everyone is pulled in different directions before heading south.

Every session has a handful of bills that you readily remember by bill number instead of topic or sponsor.  As we’ve eclipsed the halfway point in the session, the most controversial and generating the highest number of emails is Senate Bill 451. This bill is the omnibus education bill that contained literally dozens of separate topics – most being highly controversial.  Thus far, the contact from constituents has been overwhelming opposed to the version that passed the Senate on by a scant 18 – 16 margin.  The vote against was bipartisan.

The bill came to the House Education Committee last week and, to their credit, spent nearly three days dissecting, discussing and debating each separate component of the bill.  What emerged from the Education Committee last Friday night is considerably improved over the Senate version.  However, the bill comes to the House Finance Committee, where there is another opportunity to further improve a bill that, in my opinion, should be chopped up in to separate bills and let each topic stand or fall on its own merits.

Whatever emerges from the Finance Committee will make its way to the House Floor later in the week for a vote at some point late in the week or early next week.  I think at this point it is near certainty that the bill is destined to be returned to the Senate and eventually sent to a House – Senate Conference Committee.  Public hearings are scheduled for Monday morning and later Monday afternoon to provide all concerned to offer their views of SB 451.

An important logjam has been cleared in regard for the banking services for medical cannabis.  HB 2538 seeks to provide banking services to allow implementation of the WV Medical Cannabis Act. Currently, there are no existing laws regarding banking services for medical cannabis, so each state must improvise until Federal law is changed.  The full House will take up the bill this week and send to the Senate for their consideration.  This is important to cancer patients, veterans with PTSD, those suffering from seizure disorders and other qualifying medical conditions specified in Senate Bill 386, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Justice in 2017.  If the bill passes, it could clear the final roadblock in starting up a medical cannabis program.

I want to follow up on notices by DHHR that have or will shortly appear in local publications regarding the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP).  DHHR began accepting applications between February 04 and February 22 or until the funds have been exhausted.  The federally funded program assists eligible state residents in paying home heating bills. Eligibility is based on both income and household size.

Applications can be obtained at the local DHHR offices. I’ve had several constituents ask me about this program, as the applications are usually available at an earlier date.  So, if you believe you may be eligible, apply immediately.

I’ve had many visitors from the district visit the office during the first half of the session, which I always encourage and enjoy.  This week, I’m expecting a large delegation from the Farm Bureau; members of the Association of Retired School Employees; YLA 8thgraders from BCMS; and lots of active and retired teachers throughout the week. 

Finally, at week’s end, our nation sits on the precipice of yet another government shutdown.  This should be unacceptable to everyone.  Once again, over 800,000 dedicated federal workers are going to be used as pawns, with hundreds of thousands of other federal contract workers likewise being held hostage at no fault of their own.

Washington DC is dysfunctional from one end of town to another, with workers and their families caught in the middle.  They’re plenty of blame to go around to both the Congress and the Executive branch.  It’s time them to step up and do their jobs, without doing further damage to our dedicated workers and to our reputation around the world.

During the legislative session, please send your inquiries to the Capitol office: State Capitol Building 1, Room 258 M, Charleston, WV 25305. My office telephone number is 304.340.3142; Please send your inquiries to my home office as well:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

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

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

Weyerhaeuser Awards Equipment Grant to GSC

Continuing in their tradition of helping students learn in a hands-on environment with the latest tools and technology, the Weyerhaeuser Company has again awarded Glenville State College’s Department of Land Resources an equipment grant.

The grant will be used to help purchase mobile geographic information system (GIS) technology to be used by students in forestry, land surveying, and natural resource management programs at GSC.

The equipment, drones and hand-held data collectors with GPS, will be used within the department to improve the hands-on learning experiences of students, enhance learning with internet-based mapping, and aid with the visualization of geospatial data through the application of mobile GIS technology.

The Free Press WV
(l-r) David Hutchison, Jimmy Jenkins, Dr. Rico Gazal, and Clifton Moyers


Foresters, land surveyors and others in natural resource management occupations have historically used conventional mapping methods.

With the advent and popularization of drones, they can now benefit from automated mapping, easier identification of boundaries, increased accuracy, and safer data collection.

“We are fortunate to receive this continued support from the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund to enhance the field experiences of our students. With this new equipment we will be enhancing student knowledge in visualization and processing of geospatial data through the use of drone and GPS technology that allows teaching and learning to extend beyond the traditional classroom and field settings,” said Grant PI and Professor of Forestry Dr. Rico Gazal.

GSC has previously received several awards from the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund for the purchase of other forestry tools.

Jimmy Jenkins and Clifton Moyers from the Weyerhaeuser mill in Heaters, West Virginia, who are both Glenville State graduates, visited campus to present the award to Gazal.

For more information about degree programs in GSC’s Department of Land Resources, call 304.462.6370.

Pat’s Chat

The Free Press WV

I have been attending the Singing Seniors biweekly gatherings, for few times and I enjoy them so much.  Cathy Vance tells me the following:  “The Singing Seniors meet at the Upshur County Senior Center every two weeks, weather permitting.  This activity was initiated by the late Jiggs Hite and his wife, Maggie, several years ago and continues in memory of ‘Jiggs’!  The program convenes with a covered dish dinner (optional) and includes group singing with the attendees gathering around the piano to sing.  Various music groups from the community come in to finish the evening.  Our area is blessed with many talented musicians and singers who graciously share their talents.  All ages share in the fellowship and enjoy the entertainment.”

The program begins at about 5:00 p.m. Saturday evening every two weeks.  They share in a covered-dish dinner, and then sing with the piano (usually Sheri-Lyn Sapp, pianist) a few congregational songs.  Attending musicians join with the usual group led by Jim Vance, the songs begin and everyone including most of the congregation join in the playing and singing.  When the visiting musical group arrives (about 6:00 p.m.), they set up and present their songs for an hour or more.  It is all very informal so that by the time the evening is over you feel like everyone knows one another.  (If you have questions about this or want to verify the times, please look for Jim Vance on Facebook and get the correct details.)

You don’t have to be (or admit to being) a senior to come and join the fun.  Last night The Shelter, a group from Rock Cave area, presented a lively program with some wonderful bluegrass as well as hymns, old songs, and country music.  I loved it and am including a picture, (thanks to Jim and Cathy Vance, via Sheri-Lyn Sapp).  Left to right in the picture are Al Gibson on the mandolin (my favorite, although all were good); Marie Lewis on the bass (it was bigger than she, but she was “boss of the bass” and knew what she was doing); Miral Gibson (vocals and harmony that seemed to flow easily and were so great); Sebert Bender on the fiddle (and his solo parts were excellent); Dick Smith (guitar and vocals was a great leader of the group).  I hope they come back soon.

Most of you (if you have read my Chats) know that I enjoy reading the Bible through every year.  The book I follow, “Walking Through the Bible with H.M.S. Richards” does not go straight through the books of the Bible but instead gathers the books or portions of books together so that you will get the same sequence of the story all at once, not one book that tells the story and several week or months later read the same story again.  I like that.  I think I have admitted to you that I don’t read every word of the lineages of the people, but skim through and try to highlight names I am familiar with.  Right now I am reading the Clear Word paraphrase Bible, and listening to my favorite Bible Reader, Alexander Scourby, who uses the KJV.  I read Numbers 3 and 4 today and again I’m amazed at the organization seen in these chapters of the thousands of Jews who traveled from Egypt to Canaan, a trip that took them 40 years, due to their constant deviation from God’s directions.  They had strict sanitation rules, and specific marching orders as to where in the traveling million or so people, they would be located.  There was a rule that first-born males had to be circumcised, but I see in my reading today that God separated the tribe of Levi out to do the chores of setting up the large and beautiful sanctuary during their travels, and tearing it down, and specifying exactly which group would take care of which section of the moveable structure.  Because their jobs concerned the sanctuary, (His dwelling place when He met with the people was in the Most Holy Place where the ark of the covenant stood with the stone 10 Commandments written by God Himself inside the sacred ark and the handwriting of ordinances written by Moses on scrolls somewhere on the outside of the ark, emphasizing the importance of the eternal 10 Commandments) - yes, because of their important work, God took “the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel.” (See Numbers 3:12)

“Remember this: God’s Word is the greatest truth; His cause is the greatest and most unpopular to the natural heart of man; and Jesus Christ Himself is the greatest personality.  Avow your allegiance to Him, His message, and His Holy Word.  Give your life, and all that you have and are, to God’s service, and your complete loyalty to Him as revealed in Jesus Christ.  Then you will have something to live for; life will have a meaning; and you will have joy, even in the midst of sorrow.  There will be no disappointment that is not His appointment.  You will find that there is no sin which He will not forgive.  There is no loss which He cannot turn into an eternal gain.  You will discover that there is nothing too difficult for God and that His love blots out the darkness of the past and opens the door to the only future worth striving for.  Why not try it?”  (The ideas, quotes are all from page 53 of Walking Through the Bible with H.M.S. Richards.)

Maranatha

West Virginia hunters harvest 108,856 deer during Fall 2018 through January 2019 seasons

The Free Press WV

Hunters in West Virginia registered 108,856 white-tailed deer through the electronic game checking system during the recently completed buck firearms, antlerless, muzzleloader, archery, crossbow, youth/Class Q/Class XS and Mountaineer Heritage seasons.

The total harvest was within 1 percent of the 2017 deer harvest of 108,160 and 11 percent below the five-year average of 122,924, said Paul Johansen, chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.

A breakdown of the combined 2018 deer seasons reveals 44,599 bucks were harvested during the traditional buck firearm season, 32,751 antlerless deer were taken during all antlerless firearm hunting opportunities, 26,613 deer were harvested by bows and crossbows in the urban and regular archery/crossbow seasons, 4,234 deer were taken in the muzzleloader season and 659 deer were taken with primitive bow and muzzleloader weapons in the Mountaineer Heritage season.


Antlerless Deer Season

The 2018 antlerless deer season harvest, which includes the youth/Class Q/Class XS deer season, was 2.5 percent less than in 2017 and 20 percent below the five-year average of 40,859.

“It is important to note that the antlerless harvest is the key component to any deer management strategy, as it controls the future deer population,” said Johansen.

DNR will hold 12 public meetings across the state on March 11 and 12 to gather input on fall 2019 antlerless deer hunting opportunity recommendations to increase, decrease or stabilize deer populations in each of the 51 counties where firearms deer hunting is permitted.

The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,799), Upshur (1,289), Jackson (1,183), Lewis (1,160), Ritchie (1,123), Monroe (1,099), Roane (1,073), Hampshire (1,068), Wood (1,057) and Mason (922).


Muzzleloader Deer Season

The 2018 muzzleloader harvest of 4,870, which includes 636 deer taken with side-lock and flintlock muzzleloaders in the Mountaineer Heritage season, was 15 percent more than the 2017 harvest of 4,243 and 12 percent below the five-year average of 5,540.

The top 10 counties were Preston (213), Randolph (205), Nicholas (198), Greenbrier (178), Upshur (169), Fayette (165), Webster (158), Jackson (154), Braxton (142) and Mason (142).


Archery and Crossbow Deer Seasons

The bow and crossbow hunters’ take of 26,636 deer, which included 23 bow-harvested deer in the Mountaineer Heritage season, was 1.6 percent more than the 2017 archery season harvest of 26,206, and 3 percent below the five-year average archery season harvest of 27,506. The proportion of the harvest taken using a crossbow increased and was greater than deer reported taken by a bow for the second year.

The top 10 counties were: Preston (1,333), Kanawha (1,045), Wyoming (976), Randolph (914), Raleigh (807), Logan (772), Fayette (765), Wood (709), Upshur (683) and Jackson (676).

WEST VIRGINIA DEER HARVEST
Fall 2018 through January 2019
County Buck
Firearms
Antlerless Muzzleloader Archery/
Crossbow
Mountaineer Heritage Total
Barbour 958 875 98 536 11 2,478
Brooke 188 159 21 171 3 542
Hancock 139 100 16 267 3 525
Harrison 888 842 113 526 21 2,390
Marion 678 543 60 433 12 1,726
Marshall 637 371 58 290 8 1,364
Monongalia 750 677 70 592 17 2,106
Ohio 197 141 32 217 7 594
Preston 1,607 1,799 177 1,333 36 4,952
Taylor 491 473 65 284 14 1,327
Tucker 754 413 71 465 13 1,716
Wetzel 676 516 41 251 3 1,487
District 1 Subtotal 7,963 6,909 822 5,365 148 21,207
Berkeley 757 706 57 645 7 2,172
Grant 1,219 647 93 365 8 2,332
Hampshire 1,471 1,068 111 355 10 3,015
Hardy 1,212 774 81 296 6 2,369
Jefferson 463 411 60 445 6 1,385
Mineral 1,048 729 45 353 5 2,180
Morgan 622 562 44 251 4 1,483
Pendleton 1,275 574 59 370 4 2,282
District 2 Subtotal 8,067 5,471 550 3,080 50 17,218
Braxton 1,017 848 123 451 20 2,459
Clay 438 305 53 250 11 1,057
Lewis 1,001 1,160 105 485 20 2,771
Nicholas 1,060 862 168 634 32 2,756
Pocahontas 994 213 65 244 5 1,521
Randolph 1,685 850 185 914 20 3,654
Upshur 1,155 1,289 132 681 39 3,296
Webster 937 331 137 540 21 1,966
District 3 Subtotal 8,287 5,858 968 4,199 168 19,480
Fayette 998 441 151 694 14 2,298
Greenbrier 1,481 801 151 615 27 3,075
McDowell       628 0 628
Mercer 617 423 105 567 13 1,725
Monroe 1,193 1,099 76 505 17 2,890
Raleigh 624 229 96 806 19 1,774
Summers 701 524 74 377 9 1,685
Wyoming       974 2 976
District 4 Subtotal 5,614 3,517 653 5,166 101 15,051
Boone 672 182 109 398 19 1,380
Cabell 644 380 43 376 7 1,450
Kanawha 1,214 525 76 1,045 27 2,887
Lincoln 958 290 64 415 12 1,739
Logan       769 3 772
Mason 1,206 922 128 610 14 2,880
Mingo       410 0 410
Putnam 943 807 78 551 12 2,391
Wayne 737 53 21 291 9 1,111
District 5 Subtotal 6,374 3,159 519 4,865 103 15,020
Calhoun 698 653 63 295 7 1,716
Doddridge 659 627 38 241 3 1,568
Gilmer 800 694 76 311 7 1,888
Jackson 1,380 1,183 141 675 14 3,393
Pleasants 280 164 21 117 6 588
Ritchie 1,065 1,123 77 514 11 2,790
Roane 1,176 1,073 84 478 11 2,822
Tyler 566 542 38 258 5 1,409
Wirt 669 721 82 341 8 1,821
Wood 1,001 1,057 102 708 17 2,885
District 6 Subtotal 8,294 7,837 722 3,938 89 20,880
State Total 44,599 32,751 4,234 26,613 659 108,856

West Virginia Library Commission Announces 2019 Award Winners

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Library Commission is pleased to announce the winners of its 2019 Librarian of the Year and Library Champion awards. The awards recognize librarians and library volunteers who have made exceptional contributions to libraries and library life in West Virginia.

Nancy Moore, the director of the Five Rivers Public Library in Parsons, WV, is the recipient of the 2019 WVLC Librarian of the Year award. Nancy has worked at the Five Rivers Library for more than 25 years and was honored for her role in improving the library’s computer access capabilities and DVD, audiobook, and magazine collections. Ms. Moore was also cited for her leadership in bringing major library programs, such as the Family Resource Network, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and the WV Read Aloud project, to Tucker County patrons. In addition, she has been instrumental in major renovations made to the library building over the past two decades.

The WVLC is also honoring supporters of public libraries with its 2019 Library Champions award. The award is designed to recognize individuals, such as trustees, local officials, volunteers, and patrons, who promoted public libraries in West Virginia in the past year. The 2019 winners of the award are Anne Silbernagel of Kanawha County, Betty Dransfield of Monroe County, and The Friends of the Sutton Public Library from Braxton County.

A third-generation library advocate and current Kanawha County Public Library Board of Trustees member, Anne Silbernagel was a leading proponent of restoring library service to Clendenin after its library was destroyed in the devastating floods of 2016. The Clendenin branch reopened in 2018. She is also a founding member of the Friends of the Library Foundation and has been a tireless supporter of library fund-raising campaigns in Kanawha County.

A recently retired Board of Trustees member of the Monroe County Public Library, Betty Dransfield has worked for decades to improve the library experience for patrons in Union. From delivering books to schools in the 1960s to leading the charge for a new library building in the 1980s, Betty Dransfield has long been at the forefront of improving library service in Monroe County.

Formed in 2003, the Friends of the Sutton Public Library has been an integral part of the library’s success for 16 years. Originally, the group served as the main fund-raising organization for a new library building, which opened its doors in 2008. Currently, the group helps manage the library’s summer reading program and provides support for other programs through annual fund-raising campaigns.

“Our 2019 award winners exemplify the Library Commission’s goal to make all libraries in the state places where you can Explore, Discover, and Create,” said WVLC Executive Secretary Karen Goff. “Congratulations to each of the winners for their exceptional contributions to West Virginia libraries in 2018.”

The 2019 award winners were honored at a West Virginia Library Association ceremony on February 04, 2019 at the Culture Center on State Capitol grounds.

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Braxton County

Inmate charged in Braxton County, WV

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Braxton woman overdoses, leaves son in vehicle in Morgantown, WV

The Free Press WV Amber Nicole Thompson, 29, of Frametown. Thompson had a band around her arm and a dirty needle and other paraphernalia around her [ .... ]  Read More

Sutton man charged in wife’s death

The Free Press WVJohn Homer Carroll Jr., 56, of Sutton, allegedly killed Donna Carroll, 54, at their home on Bug Ridge Road Monday night [ .... ]  Read More

A man was arrested after drugs were found in his home during a search.  Braxton County Sheriff’s dep

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Murder-suicide suspected in Braxton County deaths

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‘Forward thinking’ led to hospital acquisition in Braxton County

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Braxton County woman admits to drug charge

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Traffic Backed UP Near Sutton on I-79 After Morning Carsh

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Most WV counties experience higher unemployment in June

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Braxton County man charged after trying to set camper on fire

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

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

Fire claims life in Braxton County

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

I-79 south closed in Braxton County

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

Braxton County: traffic rerouted after highway buckles

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

Braxton County man admits to firearm and drug charges

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

Braxton County

Education workers give union leaders work action “authorization” in statewide vote

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School Building Authority awards 19 counties funding for projects

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Lincoln County Leads in New Business Growth for September 2018

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Grant County Leads in New Business Growth for August 2018

The Free Press WV Wirt, Jackson, Berkeley and Braxton counties followed. Wirt County saw a 14.86 percent growth, Jackson County saw a 13.95 percent growth, Berkeley County saw a 13.02 percent growth and Braxton County saw a 13.09 percent growth in the previous 12-month period [ .... ]  Read More

WV State Police Troopers investigate Sutton woman’s death

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In Lewis County, Interstate 79 was closed through the Monday morning hours due to standing water

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Rainfall totals could exceed 2 inches on Sunday

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More WV Towns, Counties Sue Over Opioid Crisis

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I-79 Vehicle Fire in Braxton County

The Free Press WVBoth lanes of I-79 north were closed after a vehicle fire Friday evening [ .... ]  Read More

Fire claims 3 lives in Braxton County

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Pipeline companies askeding a federal judge to use eminent domain to access WV properties

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Dismissal of Mountain Valley Pipeline property is asked by Landowners

The Free Press WV Property owners contend federal certificate is conditional and that there’s no evidence developers can pay fair value for property.

Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Free Press WV  Pipeline developers file federal suit against Fayette County Commission

Self-Inflicted Gunshot by A Young Braxton County Boy

The Free Press WVHe was not hunting at the time, but was riding on a UTV with his brother while holding his brother’s rifle.

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Braxton County

Shirley Kay Lemon

The Free Press WVAge 74, of Chapel Road, Gassaway, WV went to be with the Lord on Friday, March 15, 2019 in the early morning. She was born February 11, 1945 in Gassaway, WV a daughter of the late Darrell “Thomp” Thompson and Sara Marie Metz Thompson [ .... ]  Read More

Irene Cloe “Nellie” Davis

The Free Press WVAge 63, of Webster Springs, WV went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at WVU Hospital – Ruby Memorial in Morgantown. She was born November 04, 1955 in Sutton, WV to Dollie Lucille Hosey and lived the majority of her life in Webster County [ .... ]  Read More

Leon “Spock” Utt

The Free Press WVAge 63, of Snake Hill Road, Morgantown. WV; was born July 09, 1955, in Sutton, WV. Son of Mary Dean.  Husband of 43 years to Vickie Payne Utt, left in the arms of angels on March 11, 2019, surrounded by family [ .... ]  Read More

Doris “Geneva” Case

The Free Press WV Age 85 of Stoneville, NC passed away Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 3:00 AM after a short illness at Moorehead Memorial Hospital in Eden, NC. Geneva was born June 05, 1933 at home on Tate Creek, Glendon of Braxton County, WV [....]  Read More

Lanty Nathan (Nick) Gibson

The Free Press WV Passed away at his home in Webster, FL after a long illness on March 08, 2019. Nick was born January 26, 1954 to Lanty Junior Gibson of Little Birch, WV and Anna Jane (Arthur) Crouse of Yuma, AZ [....]  Read More

Joyce Ann Canfield Norman Hickman

The Free Press WV Age 74, of Birch River, WV went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Saturday, March 09, 2019 at her sisters home in Wooster, OH. She was born November 06, 1944, in Canfield, WV to the late Ira & Maude White Canfield [....]  Read More

Dean Mason Strickland

The Free Press WV Age 80, of Glenville, WV passed peacefully on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. He was born on January 18, 1939, at Widen, WV the son of the late Ellis and Valeria Strickland. Dean is survived by his wife, Mary Bland Whiting Strickland [....]  Read More

Lisa Ann Harris

The Free Press WV Age 56, of Gassaway, WV peacefully passed away and victoriously went to be with the Lord on March 07, 2019. She was born November 17, 1962 in Germany to Ruby Lockard of Gassaway and the late James E. Lockard [....]  Read More

Myleigh Nicole Hainaut

The Free Press WV 26 day old infant daughter of Mark and Lori Hainaut, Burnsville, WV joined the angels on Monday, March 4th at Ruby Memorial Hospital [ .... ]  Read More

Carl L. Weese

The Free Press WV Age 74, of Gassaway, WV passed away March 05, 2019 at home. He was born February 05, 1945 in Gassaway, WV a son of the late Carrie Muncie Weese and Curtis Weese, Sr.  [....]  Read More

David William Conner

The Free Press WV Age 77, of Sutton, WV went home to be with his Heavenly Father on March 04, 2019 at Clary Grove center in Martinsburg. He was born in Sutton on July 29, 1941 to the late Ira and Elsie Meadows Conner.  [....]  Read More

Jennifer Lane (Gibson) Grimm

The Free Press WV Age 39, of Laurel, MD passed away Saturday, March 02, 2019. She was born June 30, 1979 to Regina Lynn (Gibson) Loudermilk of Sutton, WV [....]  Read More

Bonnie Lou Lytle

The Free Press WV Age 76, of Frametown, WV went home to be with the Lord on Monday, March 04, 2019 at Braxton Memorial Hospital, Gassaway. She was born November 22, 1942, in Clay, WV, the daughter of the late William & Goldie Hietsel Duncan [....]  Read More

Lenoris Jean “Joann” Sampson Coen

The Free Press WVAge 79, of Ivydale, WV went to be with the Lord on March 02, 2019 at her home, surrounded by her loving family. She was born March 22, 1939, a daughter of the late Ivan Queen and Georgia Sampson [ .... ]  Read More

John Robert “Bob” Sprouse

The Free Press WVAge 65, of 1185 Loveberry Run Road, passed away Saturday, March 02, 2019. He was born October 28, 1953 to the late John Sprouse and Goldie (Donaldson) Sprouse [ .... ]  Read More

Byron D. McCoy

The Free Press WVAge 64, of Vincent, OH, passed away Thursday February 28, 2019 at his residence. He was born in Sutton, WV, a son of the late I.O. “Mac” and Audrey (Fox) McCoy [ .... ]  Read More

James Victor Lambert

The Free Press WVBetter known in the community as simply Mr. Lambert, went to be with the Lord February 17, 2019. Jim Lambert was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ellen Pearl Lambert (Rhodes); his loving parents, Victor Clyde Lambert and Irene Augusta Lambert (Hardway)  [ .... ]  Read More

Mary Ellen Nicholson

The Free Press WVAge 89, of McCann’s Run, Jane Lew, WV passed away peacefully at her home on March 01, 2019. Her final days were spent being visited by and surrounded by the love and laughter of her family and friends which is what she enjoyed most in life. She was born on May 23, 1929 at Hyres Run, Burnsville, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Robert F. “Bob” Morris

The Free Press WV Age 87, of Seville, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at LifeCare Hospice in Wooster. Bob was born January 02, 1932 in Dille, WV to Gene Craft and Lilly Hanshaw and was raised by his grandparents, Dwight and Genevieve Morris [....]  Read More

Earl L. Stonestreet

The Free Press WV Age 95 of Rootstown, passed away Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at his home. He was born March 22, 1923, in Gassaway, West Virginia, to parents Letcher and Anna (Carroll) Stonestreet [....]  Read More

Ronnie Dean Lesher

The Free Press WVAge 69, of Sutton, WV was called Home on Thursday, February, 21, 2019 after a courageous fight with Lung Cancer. He was born in Logan, WV son of the late Albert and Katherine (Smith) Lesher [ .... ]  Read More

Kenneth “Mike” Putnam

The Free Press WVAge 69, of Shock, WV, victoriously went to be with his Lord and Savior on February 22, 2019 while surrounded by his family. Mike was born February 05, 1950 in Gassaway, WV, the son of the late Vena Putnam Clark and Marshall “Fletcher” Putnam [ .... ]  Read More

Mary Elizabeth Carman

The Free Press WV Age 82 of Bryant, passed away on February 16, 2019 as a result of a long battle with Parkinson’s.  Mary was born on February 10, 1937 in Gassaway, West Virginia to the late David Henry and Aleen Smith Baker [....]  Read More

Anna Maria Rose

The Free Press WV Age 51, of Little Birch, WV passed away on February 22, 2019. She was born April 18, 1967 in Baltimore, Maryland to the late Newman Dencil Criner and Lois Marie Marsh Criner [....]  Read More

Sheryl Lea Griffin

The Free Press WVAge 61 of Sutton, WV passed away on February 09, 2019 at United Hospital Center with family by her side.  She was born March 13, 1957 in Sutton, WV, daughter of the late Henry Grey and Mary Josephine Carpenter McElwain [ .... ]  Read More

Phyllis A. Mayes

The Free Press WV Age 85 passed away Friday, February 15, 2019. Phyllis was born in Duck, WV and had lived in Northfield Center for over 45 years [....]  Read More

Harold A. “Tink” Wilson

The Free Press WV Age 86, of Flatwoods, WV passed away at the Glenville Center on February 17, 2019. He was born August 03, 1932 in Triplett, WV the son of the late Virgil H. & Alma G. Edwards Wilson [....]  Read More

Peggy Ann (Lewis) Currence

The Free Press WVAge 73, of Sutton, WV passed away Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the Braxton County Health Care Center, Sutton, WV. She was born August 01, 1945 at Sutton, WV to the late Orvil Lewis and June (Morrison) Lewis [ .... ]  Read More

Barbara Jean Gallaher

The Free Press WVAge 67, of Sutton, West Virginia, went peacefully to sleep on February 16, 2019, at her home surrounded by her husband and two daughters, as was her wish. Barb was born November 22, 1951 in Bay Village, Ohio, the eldest child of the late Sarah (Sally) A. Brown and Charles (Blake) B. Pendergrass [ .... ]  Read More

John J. Faber

The Free Press WV Age 80, of Gassaway, WV passed away February 12, 2019. He was born to the late John A. Faber and Elsie Hamilton Faber on February 20, 1938 in Alquina, IN [....]  Read More

Phyllis Ruth Alkire (née Beall)

The Free Press WV Born January 4th, 1929 of Gassaway, West Virginia passed from this life on February 13th 2019 to reunite with her loving husband, Denzil Alkire. Together, she and Denzil touched many lives from Hawaii to New York City doing God’s work as missionaries of the Mormon faith [....]  Read More

Timothy Wayne Spinks

The Free Press WV Age 46, of Cottle, WV passed away on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 at Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown.  He was born December 03, 1972 in Braxton County, WV to Darrell Spinks and the late Tressie Louise Greathouse Spinks [....]  Read More

Mary “Katie” Catherine (Godfrey) Shaffer

The Free Press WVAge 74, 0f Glenville, WV went to Heaven, on Thursday, February 07, 2019 at the Glenville Center, Glenville, WV following an illness. She was born on August 14, 1944 in Copen, WV to the late Donald Lovell Godfrey and Margret “Maggie” (Ball) Godfrey [ .... ]  Read More

Helen Jean Mick

The Free Press WV Known as Jean to most and as Jenny to a few, died peacefully in her sleep during the early morning hours of January 16, 2019, while at her residence. Jean was born on May 03, 1929, to Creda Ellen Morris (Berry) and Oren Lee Morris (“Red”)  [....]  Read More

William E. Lancaster

The Free Press WV Age 83, resident of Phenix City, Alabama, passed away on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at Columbus Hospice House. Lancaster, son of the late Leslie Lancaster and Lorene Frame Lancaster, was born October 29, 1935 in Gassaway, West Virginia [....]  Read More

Wilma (Brown) Pierce

The Free Press WV Age 62, of Gassaway, WV passed away February 02, 2019 at CAMC General after a short illness. She was born May 25, 1956 in Sutton, WV a daughter of the late Thomas Franklin “Amos” Brown and Gladys (Moore) Brown [....]  Read More

Anna Pearl Washington

The Free Press WVAge 88, of Parkersburg, WV passed away January 30, 2019, at the Worthington Nursing Home in Parkersburg. She was born May 02, 1930 in Sutton, WV, the daughter of the late Carl James and Pearl Robinson Johnson [ .... ]  Read More

James “Andy” Charles Anderson

The Free Press WVAge 84, of Tunnel Fork Road, Gassaway, WV went to be with the Lord on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at his residence. James was born in Pontiac, MI on June0 9, 1934 to the late Carl Anderson and Anna Marie Huusom [ .... ]  Read More

Joe Engel Chrisman

The Free Press WVWent to be the Lord Wednesday morning, January 23, 2019, after a five month battle with West Nile Virus. He was born and raised in Gassaway, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Jerry Waide Tanner

The Free Press WV Age 68, passed away January 24, 2019 at home, surrounded by his loving family. Born on September 19, 1950 in Gassaway, WV, he was the son of the Russell Waide and Juanita Raider Tanner [....]  Read More

Thomas Isaac Ratliff

The Free Press WVOn January 26th, 2019, he passed away at the age of 77. Tom was born on Long Run, WV on September14th, 1941 [ .... ]  Read More

Victoria “Vickie” Sue (Moore) Conrad

The Free Press WVAge 58, of Copen, WV passed away on Friday, January 25, 2019 with her loved ones by her side in the WVU Medicine United Hospital Center Hospice in Bridgeport, WV. Vickie was born on September 06, 1960 in Elkins, WV the daughter of Pattie Jean (Stalnaker) Moore of Elkins, WV and the late James Russell Moore who preceded her in death on January 15, 2014 [ .... ]  Read More

Jimmy Pritt

The Free Press WVAge 72 of Burnsville, WV stepped into eternity to join his Lord and Personal Savior on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at Braxton County Memorial Hospital due to an apparent heart attack. Jimmy was born on June 26, 1946 at home on Hyers Run, West Virginia to the late Virgil “Buck” Pritt and Elsie (Blake) Pritt [ .... ]  Read More

Paula Kowalski Newsome

The Free Press WVAge 55, of Rosedale, WV formerly of Ravenna, OH passed away Friday, January 25, 2019 at CAMC Memorial after a short illness. She was born August 14, 1963 to the late Stanley and Elizabeth Kowalski [ .... ]  Read More

Elden Lee Pullin, Sr.

The Free Press WVAge 82, of Little Birch, WV passed away Saturday, January 26, 2019 at United Hospital Center, Bridgeport. Elden was born December 16, 1936, in Hyer, WV, the son of the late Elbert Lee & Mary Agnes Bee Pullin [ .... ]  Read More

Margaret Ann “Peggy” Thomas

The Free Press WV Age 91, of Charleston, WV, went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at Thomas Memorial Hospital, South Charleston. She was born September 16, 1927 in Sutton, WV, the daughter of the late John F. Thomas, Sr. & Gladys Hoffman Thomas [....]  Read More

Glen K. Dean

The Free Press WV Age 85 of Ravenswood , WV went to be with the Lord on January 18,2019 after a short illness. Born in Strange Creek, Braxton County, WV son of the late Thomas Emery and Blanche (Chapman) Dean [....]  Read More

John Casey Sartin

The Free Press WV Age 45, of Burnsville, WV passed away December 21, 2018. He was born August 05, 1973 in Summersville, WV a son of the late Phyllis Ann Sartin and John Casey Smith [....]  Read More

Alma Wanda (Ramsey) Rush

The Free Press WVAge 88, of 460 Back Street, Burnsville, WV slipped away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loved ones on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at her home. She was born January 21, 1930 in Clay County, WV to the late S.V. Ramsey and Myrtle (Wood) Ramsey of Clay, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Avis Arlene Conrad

The Free Press WV Or Lady as she was known by most, 80, of 2059 Oil Creek Road, Orlando, WV, went home to be reunited with her parents Cleve Conrad and Isa (Allen) Conrad, son Bobby Conrad and wife Becky (Williams) Conrad and grandson Josh Conrad on January 18, 2019 at her residence with her family at her side. She was born on December 28, 1938 in Napier, WV [....]  Read More

Charles E. Raynor

The Free Press WV Age 78, of Duck, WV passed away January 16, 2019. He was born August 27, 1940 in Maryland [....]  Read More

Patty Jane (Ratliff) Putnam

The Free Press WV Age 81 of Turkey Fork Road, Sand Fork, WV; went to be with the Lord on January 12, 2019 at United Hospital Center, Clarksburg, WV; following a brief illness. She was born on August 13, 1937 in Sutton, WV; daughter of the late Dasiel Ratliff [....]  Read More

Joyce Ann Frashure

The Free Press WVAge 60 of Sheridan Street, Glenville, WV; departed this life suddenly on the morning of Saturday, January 12, 2019 following a courageous battle with cancer. She was born July 21, 1958 in Weston, WV; daughter of the late Leo and Lizia Radcliff Sprouse [ .... ]  Read More

Wavolene Keener

The Free Press WV Age 69, of Flatwoods, WV passed away January 11, 2019 at Anstead Center, Anstead, WV. She was born September 13, 1949 in Gassaway, WV, a daughter to the late Edgar and Nettie Carr Mitchell [....]  Read More

Maureen Agnes McPherson

The Free Press WVPeacefully and without reservation, Maureen Agnes McPherson walked into the arms of her loved ones in heaven, on Thursday, January 10th, 2019. Maureen was born to the late Thomas Rooney, of England and Leta Brown, of Hettie, WV on March 29th, 1947 [ .... ]  Read More

Kenneth Basil Alltop

The Free Press WVAge 86 of Cox’s Mills, WV; departed this life peacefully on the morning of Thursday, January 03, 2019 at his home with his loving wife Elise by his side. He was born May 11, 1932 in Gilmer County, WV; son of the late Dorsey and Stacy McHenry Alltop [ .... ]  Read More

Edmund Dayton Reaser

The Free Press WVAge 84, of Frametown, WV passed away on January 02, 2019 at his home. He was born at Cedarville, Gilmer County, WV a son of the late Paul Monroe Reaser and Alva Ava Reaser [ .... ]  Read More

Greyson Kai Reed

The Free Press WV Infant son of Amanda Dawn Reed, of Weston, WV passed away Wednesday, January 02, 2019 at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital [ .... ]  Read More

David Lee Tomblin

The Free Press WV Age 53, of Pennsboro, WV;  went to be with his Lord and Savior at 8:21 PM; Monday, December 31, 2018, at the Miami Valley South Hospital ER in Dayton, Ohio following a short illness. He was born November 10, 1965 in Weston, WV; son of the late Eustace Monroe (November 15, 2014) and Ruth Collins ( November 27, 2014) Tomblin [....]  Read More

Pauline E. (Pyne) Richards

The Free Press WV83 years old, passed away on Tuesday January 01, 2019 after an extended illness. Pauline was born June 28, 1935 at Zenith, WV. She was the daughter of the late William W. Pyne and Manerva Cole Pyne [ .... ]  Read More

Readers' Recent Comments

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

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

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

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

By Did The ipads Improve Learning Results? on 03.13.2019

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

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

By where oh where? on 03.12.2019

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

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

By THE TRUTH WATCHER on 03.08.2019

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

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

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

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

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

By Disclose Financial Facts on 03.07.2019

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

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

By Transparency and Accountability Needed on 03.07.2019

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

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

By YOU FORGET on 03.04.2019

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

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

But for deep gas, no new employment.

Education system total failure.
Legislature impotent.

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

That out-of-control delegate needs to resign!

By WV continues the slow death on 03.04.2019

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

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

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

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

By Just More Dog n Pony Show 4 U on 03.04.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Accountability For New GCHS Computers on 03.04.2019

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

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

By Jimmy D on 03.04.2019

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

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

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

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

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

By Save WV's School Children on 03.02.2019

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

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

Whats the definition of insanity?

By Gilmer on 03.02.2019

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

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

By Vern Windsong on 03.01.2019

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

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

By Karen Pennebaker on 02.28.2019

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

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

By Mary Wildfire on 02.28.2019

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

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

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

By where does the money go? on 02.27.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Unions Failed WV's Children on 02.26.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Unions Failed WV Education on 02.21.2019

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

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

By Kayla on 02.21.2019

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

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

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

From the entry: 'Nyla Leah Frymier Poole'.

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

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

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

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 02.15.2019

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

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

By Tammy Foster (not White) on 02.13.2019

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

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I’m sorry for your loss.

By Danny Nicholson on 02.12.2019

From the entry: 'Vera Marlene Lyons'.

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

By Tammy white on 02.11.2019

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

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

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

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

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

By Positive School News on 02.08.2019

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

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

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

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

By you are joking I guess? on 02.07.2019

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

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

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

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

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pay McGroyne on 02.06.2019

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

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

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

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

By LCES Safety Concern on 01.31.2019

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

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

Other counties have the information. Why not us?

By School Board Member Backgrounds? on 01.23.2019

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

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

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

By School System Accountability Needed on 01.20.2019

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

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

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

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

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

By Establish School System Accountability on 01.18.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Advocate For Clarity on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

By School Truth is in the Litter Box on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

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

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

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

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

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

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

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

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

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

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

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

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

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

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

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

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

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

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

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

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

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