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Braxton County

Braxton County

Sunday Storms Could Cause Flash Flooding

The Free Press WV

More than two dozen counties in West Virginia are under a Flash Flood Watch through Sunday evening, the National Weather Service said.

Additional rounds of thunderstorms containing very heavy rain could cause flooding along small streams and poor drainage areas, meteorologists said.

The counties under the watch include: Mason, Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Putnam, Kanawha, Roane, Wirt, Calhoun, Ritchie, Doddridge, Clay, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Harrison, Taylor, Upshur Barbour, Fayette, Nicholas, Webster, Pocahontas, and Randolph.

Braxie Helps to Promote ‘Monstrous’ Tourism in Flatwoods Area

Folklore and scary stories are often passed down through generations, but one West Virginia county is creatively using those tales to promote tourism.

The Flatwoods Monster, commonly referred to as “Braxie,” has been a popular Braxton County tale since Sept. 12, 1952, when there was a supposed alien sighting in the hills of Flatwoods.

“What makes it particularly interesting is it was a group of a lot of boys, from the ages of like 10 to 17 or so, and two of the boys’ mothers,” said Andrew Smith, executive director of Braxton County Convention Visitors Bureau. “It was a kind of reputable group and an interesting group, which I think was one of things that kind of helped propel it into notoriety nationally at the time.”

The Free Press WV


With the national attention that the excitement quickly gained, Braxton County continues to use that fame as a method of tourism to the area.

Smith said the story of Braxie is what makes Braxton County so unique.

“We have it and nobody else does,” he said. “Just like Point Pleasant has with Mothman for the last 20 years or so, we’re more or less doing the same thing. If you want potential travelers to take note of your area as a possible destination, the first thing you’ve got to get them to do is stop and look and listen.”

Braxie has even gained some international attention, with frequent spottings in popular video games.

“I’m not sure why but it seems like Japanese video game designers particularly really grabbed ahold of our monster,” Smith said. “It’s been used for ‘bosses’ for games, which is the person you have to beat at the end of the game, for four of five different games and spanning a couple decades.”

The most famous video game appearance of Braxie’s has been in Zelda.

Of course, Braxie isn’t the only attraction in Braxton County, but simply a way to draw people in to all that the county has to offer.

“Of course we’re home to two great lakes — not Great Lakes with a capital ‘G’ but fantastic lakes — the Burnsville Lake and the Sutton Lake,” Smith said. “We have the Elk River Water Trail that starts at the Sutton Dam and goes all the way down to Charleston.”

Coupled with its central proximity and Interstate 79 running through the middle of the county, towns such as Sutton and Flatwoods are a great meeting spot for many state organizations. Several hotels and conference centers have popped up in the area as a result.

Those destinations will continue to be attractions for years to come, and area businesses gladly welcome those looking to explore Braxie’s story.

“I think they’re seeing the positivity that’s coming from it, and maybe what could have been thought as negativity that could’ve come from it just doesn’t come,” Smith said.

~~  Brittany Murray ~~

GCHS Land Judging Team Qualified for National Competition

The Gilmer County High School land judging team secured a 4th place finish at the State FFA Convention and has qualified to compete at the national land judging competition in Oklahoma City, OK in May 2018. 

The team has been working since early May perfecting their land judging skills. On May 11, the team went to a practice competition in Jane Lew where they placed second in home site evaluation and third in land judging with a combination score that put them in first place for the two contests. Individually, in home site, students placed third through sixth, which gave them a starting point to improve upon. 

The Free Press WV
Members of the GCHS land judging team are (L to R):
Jaccob Klapka, son of Jeanette Klapka and John Klapka; Evan Jedamski, son of Melissa and Bert Jedamski; Ashlee White, daughter of Tina and Nelson White; Zane Cogar, son of Sherry and Thomas Cogar; and Marshall Cottrill, son of Dendra Miller and Steve Cottrill; Mr. Nick Cox, GCHS Vo-Ag teacher.


At the regional contest held on June 15 in Flatwoods, the team won both land judging and home site contests.  In land judging, the team had individuals place first, third, fourth and seventh with a total score of 1062 of 1200 possible points. In the home site competition, individuals placed first, second, third and seventh for a total score of 1270 of 1344 possible points.  Winning both of these contests qualified the GCHS team for the state contest.

At the state level held on July 14 in Ripley, WV, the team placed fourth in the home site and land judging contests. With a score of 1016 of 1200 possible points in land judging, and a score of 1198 of 1344 possible points in home site, GCHS team took fourth place and qualified them to compete at the national competition. Ashlee White placed tenth individually in home site and Zane Cogar placed seventh individually in land judging at the state competition.

“I am extremely proud of the effort this team put forth,“ said GCHS teach Mr. Nick Cox.  “The students set high expectations for themselves, and have worked diligently to achieve their goals.  I knew from the first day that this team was special, and that they could qualify for national competition.  They are right where I wanted them to be in their preparation for regional and state competitions.  Now, the real work begins to prepare to compete against hundred of other teams from across the nation.“

Flash Flood Watch in Effect For Several WV Counties

The Free Press WV

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for nearly two dozen West Virginia counties through Friday evening.

According to NWS meteorologists, “A frontal system is expected to pass through the region Thursday afternoon and Friday. Storms associated with it could produce excessive rainfall. This rain coupled with the wet soils across the area could produce flash flooding, especially along small streams, creeks, low spots and poor drainage areas.”

Counties named in the watch include:

  • Barbour
  • Braxton
  • Calhoun
  • Doddridge
  • Gilmer
  • Harrison
  • Jackson
  • Lewis
  • Mason
  • Pleasants
  • Pocahontas
  • Randolph
  • Ritchie
  • Roane
  • Taylor
  • Tyler
  • Upshur
  • Webster
  • Wirt
  • Wood

West Virginia Library Commission Announces Grants to Public Libraries

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Library Commission has presented $110,093 in state grants to 30 public libraries in the state. 

The grants were awarded in June, based on facility and technology proposals from each library.

17 grants were awarded for facility maintenance and 14 for technology enhancements.  The following libraries received grant funding: 

  • Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Public Library
  • Brooke County Public Library
  • Burnsville Public Library
  • Chapmanville Public Library
  • Clay County Public Library
  • Craigsville Public Library
  • Gassaway Public Library
  • Hamlin-Lincoln County Public Library
  • Kingwood Public Library
  • Logan Area Public Library
  • Lynn Murray Public Library
  • Marion County Public Library
  • Mason County Public Library
  • Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library
  • Mountaintop Public Library
  • Nutter Fort Public Library
  • Paden City Public Library
  • Pendleton County Public Library
  • Philippi Public Library
  • Raleigh County Public Library
  • Roane County Public Library
  • Rupert Public Library
  • Shepherdstown Public Library
  • Summers County Public Library
  • Summersville Public Library
  • Sutton Public Library
  • Swayne Memorial Public Library
  • Valley Head Public Library
  • Wayne Public Library
  • Webster Addison Public Library


“These grants emphasize the important needs in West Virginia’s public libraries,” said Karen Goff, Executive Secretary of the WVLC.

“These dollars will allow libraries to make basic improvements to their facilities, as well as enhance computer access for their patrons.”


West Virginia Library Commission encourages lifelong learning, individual empowerment, civic engagement and an enriched quality of life by enhancing library and information services for all West Virginians. WVLC is an independent agency of the Office of the Secretary of Education and the Arts.

To learn more about the WVLC, please visit www.librarycommission.wv.gov or call us at 304.558.2041.

Applications Available for 2017 Antlerless Deer Season Limited Permit Areas

The Free Press WV

Applications for the 2017 Antlerless Deer Season limited permit areas are now available online at www.wvhunt.com, and will be accepted until midnight, August 13.

Hunters who apply for a limited antlerless firearms permit must use the Electronic Licensing System at www.wvhunt.com. Applicants must log on, select “Enter Lottery” on the home screen, select “2017 Antlerless Deer Hunt,” then choose the county or wildlife management area for which they want to apply. Hunters also may select a secondary county or WMA. Hunters without accounts can create one at www.wvhunt.com.

“These limited permit areas provide antlerless deer hunting opportunities in counties or areas of the state where wildlife biologists have determined that issuing limited numbers of antlerless deer permits will help meet management objectives,“ said Chris Ryan, supervisor of game management services for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail by the first week of October. Starting September 01, all applicants can see whether they received a permit by logging into their account.

The Free Press WV


The following wildlife management areas and counties are open for this drawing:


·    Blackwater

·    Bluestone

·    Calvin Price State Forest

·    Camp Creek State Forest

·    Elk River

·    Greenbrier State Forest

·    Kumbrabow State Forest

·    Little Canaan

·    Seneca State Forest

·    Wallback

·    Boone

·    Clay

·    Fayette

·    Greenbrier

·    Mineral

·    Nicholas

·    Pendleton

·    Pocahontas

·    Raleigh

·    Wayne


They will have a limited number of Class N licenses for resident and Class NN licenses for nonresident antlerless deer hunting October 26–28 on private land only, and November 20–December 02, December 14–16 and December 28–31 on private and public land.

Hunters who want to enter as a group must know the other hunters’ DNR ID numbers to enter the lottery. Hunters also may call their local DNR district office for help with the application process.

For complete information on antlerless deer season dates and bag limits, consult the 2017–2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary. It will be available online at www.wvdnr.gov and at West Virginia license agents and DNR offices in July.

Students Named to Spring 2017 Honor Lists at GSC

The Free Press WV

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

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

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

Berkeley County: Brianna D. Caison

Boone County: Tiffany D. Muller

Braxton County: Coleden R. Belknap, Bridget D. Carr, Amber N. Hyre

Calhoun County: Danielle N. Kendall, Cassandra D. Lamont

Clay County:  Dalton M. Holcomb

Doddridge County:  Dennis M. Bowling, Jr., Joshua M. Pitcock

Fayette County: Matthew H. Hackworth

Gilmer County: Anthony K. Aviles, Jonathan E. Clark, Michaela L. Gumm, Christina L. Jenkins, Amanda R. Lamb, Brett M. Rinehart, Wesley A. Self, Hilari E. Sprouse, Halee N. Wildman

Grant County: Larissa A. Henry

Jackson County: Chelsey Hager, Evan D. Merical, Clayton Swisher

Jefferson County: Taylor L. Corey, Jasmine N. Tarman

Kanawha County: Austin Broussard, Rebecca E. Wiseman

Lewis County: Jennifer M. Eiler, Justin P. Raines, Kelly L. Weaver

Logan County: Matthew A. Zachary

Marshall County: Logen M. LeMasters

Mason County: Anthony ‘AJ’ Howard

Mercer County: Lindsey R. Compton

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

Nicholas County: Lindsey S. Butcher, Kaitlyn D. Peyatt, Mark H. Sanson

Pocahontas County: Steven L. Casto

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

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

Randolph County: Chad E. Cook, Daniel T. Crawford, Christopher D. Varner

Ritchie County: Brianna N. Ratliff

Roane County: Georgia B. Bing

Tucker County: Wiley T. Raines

Upshur County: Skylar A. Fulton, Belinda L. Lewis

Wayne County: James M. Egnor

Webster County: Samuel A. Canfield, Amber N. King, Chelsea E. Rule

Wirt County: Mary M. Strong

Wood County:  Taylor A. Broadwater

Out of State: Chere Y. Davis, Jacqueline T. Deary, Raven P. Fatool, Raven C. Greer, Jake Hensell, Momi P. Lievan, Allison A. Parski, Victoria L. Peterson, Brian S. Williams

***

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

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

Berkeley County: Alexander R. Miller, Logan M. Renner

Boone County: Andrew K. Boktor, Gregory I. Lail, Mackenzie R. Smith

Braxton County: Jordan D. Batton, Tyler K. Cunningham, Larissa E. DeLuca, Garrett E. Hacker, Sean R. Hawkins, Jacob D. Haymond, Tonya L. Lyons, Christian M. Pritt, Joshua L. Rexroad, Teddy J. Richardson, Randy A. Stiers, Andrew R. Tefft, Erica N. Toler, Kelsie R. Tonkin, Andrea B. Vidal, Elania N. White, Shanna S. Wine

Calhoun County: Moriah J. Creelfox, Sr., Jared B. Fitzwater, Amber N. Frymier, Chelsea R. Hicks, Kelsey E. Jett, Erica N. Jones, Devon T. Toppings

Clay County: Jessica M. Beckett, Julie A. Gross, Carrie G. Huffman, Caitlyn M. Rogers, Kristie D. Taylor

Doddridge County: Ryan M. Mizia, Megan J. Sheets, Lindsey G. Travis

Fayette County: Breanna N. Bennett, Anthony J. Murdock, II, Travis C. Myers, Trevor D. Wood

Gilmer County: Katelyn S. Benson, Madison L. Campbell, Janessia S. Cool, Teayria G. Cool, Sara B. Coombs, Tara S. Evans, Conner T. Ferguson, Samantha L. McCune, Matthew M. Montgomery, Cody M. Moore, Dawn R. Moore, Hannah M. Moore, Hunter Moore, Zaon A. Starseed, Lexsey A. Wagner, Timothy G. Wine, Carrissa M. Wood, Trevor D. Wright

Greenbrier County: Sarah Brunty

Hardy County: Faith V. Smith

Harrison County: Hannah J. Barron, Abby S. McCarty, Hannah M. Mick, Lia Runyan, Megan E. Ruppert, Amy A. Weiss, Bettie M. Wilfong

Kanawha County:  McKenzie M. Edmonds, Kayli N. Hudson, Jacob T. Lutsy, Jeri D. Potter, Bethany N. Spelock

Lewis County: Haley R. Biller, James Z. Browning, Mariah L. Daniels, Abigail E. Jerden, Michael W. Marion, James W. Martin, III, Daniel M. Pascasio, Mitchell D. Queen, Torie A. Riffle

Logan County: Kristin A. DesRocher

Marion County:  Emily A. Stoller

Mason County:  Kaylee M. Howard

Monongalia County: Hunter A. Given

Morgan County: Michaela A. Munson, Brady A. Tritapoe

Nicholas County: Zachary G. Dotson, Madison R. Frame, Kimmy K. Little, William Z. Lyons, Elizabeth M. Messer, Eric W. Peyatt, Autumn Siminski, Brooke A. Spencer, Joshua ‘Cameron’ Woods

Pendleton County: Virginia L. Bruce, Brittany L. Huffman, Chase M. Simmons, Raven D. Turner

Pleasants County: Bethany G. Mote

Pocahontas County: Lucas W. Fuller, Isaac C. Hise, Brooke A. Riffe

Putnam County: Tori L. Ward

Raleigh County: Jordan B. Coalson, Jacob Coots, Michael A. Layne, Matthew Welch

Randolph County: Jerome W. Smith

Ritchie County: Madison E. Cunningham, Olivia D. Goff, Valerie E. Ogle

Roane County: Bonita J. Schreckengost, Cassidy M. Taylor, James D. Williams

Tucker County: Catherine Chambers

Tyler County: Jessica L. Fiber

Upshur County: Heather A. Gregory

Webster County: Richard M. Burns, Tonya N. Sahl, Danielle Williams

Wetzel County: Colton L. Ring, Brandon M. Smith

Wood County: Brooke N. Radabaugh

Wyoming County: Kaci M. Mullins

Out of State: Ali P. Capobianco, Jr, Brianna T. D’Angelo, Jessica D. Digennaro, Sarah M. DiSpaltro, Alex E. Gilmore, Tanner B. Helms, Cedric J. Johnson, Justin S. Koogler, Julia E. Lindberg, Art’om T. Rank, John F. Routzahn, Isaiah R. Sattelmaier, Asiya B. Smith, Tayana L. Stewart, Johnni M. Tillman

WVDEP Presents Environmental Awards to Businesses, Groups, and Individuals From Across West Virginia

The Free Press WV

Two dozen businesses, groups, and individuals from across West Virginia were presented Environmental Awards June 6 for efforts that included revitalization of brownfields, litter cleanup, and clean energy.

In order to receive an Environmental Award, the recipient had to be nominated by a WVDEP employee for exemplary actions in promoting a healthy environment in West Virginia. The recipient also had to have no outstanding environmental violations from WVDEP and have no environmental violations in the past year.

These businesses, groups, and individuals received their Environmental Awards from WVDEP Cabinet Secretary Austin Caperton during a special ceremony at the WVDEP headquarters in Kanawha City:

- Cabinet Secretary Award 

    o The City of Buckhannon (nominated in the Environmental Stewardship category)

- Clean Energy 

    o Raleigh County Landfill

- Brownfields Redevelopment 

    o City of Thomas 

    o New Historic Thomas

- Brownfields and Voluntary Program 

    o Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council 

- Education and Community Involvement 

    o Beckley Area Foundation 

    o Experience Learning 

    o Forks of Coal State Natural Area Foundation 

    o Greenbrier County Recycling Center 

    o Lauren Blackledge, Mary Ingles Elementary School 

    o Upshur County Solid Waste Authority

- Environmental Partnership 

    o Fourpole Creek Watershed Association

- Environmental Stewardship 

    o Blue Creek Mining, LLC 

    o Burnsville Volunteer Fire Department 

    o Coal River Mountain Watch for their Tadpole Project 

    o Lydia M. Work, Environmental Standards, Inc. 

    o Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia

- Environmental Volunteers 

    o Michelle Martin and Melissa Mansour 

    o Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority 

    o Paint Creek Watershed Association

- Industry < 100 Employees 

    o Phillips Machine Service, Inc.

- Outstanding Litter Officer 

    o John Dunn, Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority

- Safe Dams 

    o Jeff Zirkle, FirstEnergy Corp.

West Virginia Hunters Harvest 11,539 Spring Turkeys In 2017

The Free Press WV

Spring turkey hunters harvested 11,539 gobblers this year, an increase of more than 11 percent from 2016, according to preliminary numbers provided by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

The harvest is the largest since 2006 when 11,735 birds were harvested, and is more than 18 percent above the 10-year average.

“Weather conditions were variable across the state during this year’s spring gobbler season, so it’s nice to see hunters were able to get out and enjoy some successful hunting, which is reflected in the harvest numbers,” said Mike Peters, DNR game bird biologist.

Five of the six DNR districts reported increased harvests over last year.

District 4 was the only district in which fewer birds were harvested than in 2016.

District 1 again recorded the most birds harvested this year (2,578), followed by District 6 (2,250), District 5 (2,090), District 4 (1,858), District 3 (1,733) and District 2 (1,030).

The top five counties with the largest harvests were Preston (475), which was up more than 100 birds from last year, Mason (448), Jackson (408), Wood (380), and Harrison (327).

Youth hunters harvested 458 turkeys during the one-day youth season on April 15.

Those numbers are included on the accompanying table.

West Virginia Spring Gobbler Season Results

County

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Barbour

162

178

127

165

204

Brooke

104

84

67

78

100

Hancock

110

110

89

98

106

Harrison

355

264

247

286

327

Marion

218

149

170

192

256

Marshall

300

220

174

207

255

Monongalia

262

174

199

197

266

Ohio

131

91

109

111

113

Preston

403

344

333

371

475

Taylor

103

87

72

101

135

Tucker

57

88

82

90

97

Wetzel

256

203

168

196

244

District 1 Subtotal

2,461

1,992

1,837

2,092

2,578

Berkeley

98

112

124

115

147

Grant

129

129

131

161

145

Hampshire

124

138

156

170

184

Hardy

129

135

116

132

132

Jefferson

60

57

82

79

114

Mineral

87

96

118

134

132

Morgan

54

62

64

54

64

Pendleton

117

95

94

88

112

District 2 Subtotal

798

824

885

933

1,030

Braxton

238

175

194

197

209

Clay

147

68

83

101

120

Lewis

221

180

194

211

249

Nicholas

221

164

213

330

311

Pocahontas

160

130

145

144

143

Randolph

217

186

225

250

248

Upshur

262

229

231

228

303

Webster

118

113

114

156

150

District 3 Subtotal

1,584

1,245

1,399

1,617

1,733

Fayette

287

244

239

292

278

Greenbrier

299

245

242

308

269

McDowell

308

215

218

200

177

Mercer

177

170

161

176

192

Monroe

206

212

181

184

192

Raleigh

277

214

231

283

279

Summers

258

209

199

219

209

Wyoming

291

255

257

320

262

District 4 Subtotal

2,103

1,764

1,728

1,982

1,858

Boone

230

159

138

157

157

Cabell

138

80

110

114

176

Kanawha

332

231

227

285

319

Lincoln

213

178

169

215

228

Logan

246

181

172

181

165

Mason

370

293

314

378

448

Mingo

141

93

91

131

143

Putnam

225

150

181

210

268

Wayne

144

103

108

139

186

District 5 Subtotal

2,039

1,468

1,510

1,810

2,090

Calhoun

179

135

128

145

164

Doddridge

138

126

118

137

160

Gilmer

191

147

124

132

143

Jackson

326

293

264

302

408

Pleasants

83

73

71

80

89

Ritchie

326

245

218

216

263

Roane

236

232

210

231

256

Tyler

211

136

144

182

181

Wirt

193

177

153

174

206

Wood

294

271

248

328

380

District 6 Subtotal

2,177

1,835

1,678

1,927

2,250

State Total

11,162

9,128

9,037

10,361

11,539

8th Graders Honored For Golden Horseshoe Accomplishments

The Free Press WV

More than 200 eighth-graders from across West Virginia were honored at the state Culture Center in the annual Golden Horseshoe ceremony.

The students earned the honor of Knights of the Golden Horseshoe for their knowledge of West Virginia history.

“I am proud of each student who earned this elite honor today,” state School Superintendent Dr. Steve Paine said. “The Golden Horseshoe recognizes students’ appreciation and understanding of West Virginia and promotes pride in our state.”

The Golden Horseshoe test has been given each year since 1931 in West Virginia. This year marks the 301st anniversary of the Golden Horseshoe tradition that began in the 1700’s when West Virginia was part of Virginia.

A complete list of 2017 winners can be found by visiting HERE.

New State Record Musky On The Little Kanawha River

Joe Wilfong’s plans to go musky fishing last Sunday were definitely last minute.  The Burnsville native had a buddy visiting from South Dakota who begged him to go fishing.  Wilfong was tired after a night of work and couldn’t even find all of his fishing gear, including a net.  But not wanting to be a poor host, he agreed to go.

The two longtime friends shared a lot of laughs about the old days as they cast back and forth along their float on the Little Kanawha River in Braxton County.  They managed to raise four fish and his buddy lost a pretty good one.  Otherwise, it wasn’t a very productive fishing day until they reached the last stretch of the trip.

“I said if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen right here,” Wilfong explained. “It wound up being my last cast and I saw a mouth come wide open and missed it.”

Wilfong could tell from the jaws it was a good sized fish, so he cast back toward the fish and saw the swirl of water coming toward his bait.

The Free Press WV


“I did a figure eight and on the second turn it just smoked it,” Wilfong said. “Now I got this fish hooked, didn’t have a net, didn’t have anything to grab it with.  I gave Frankie the pole and I grabbed it by the tail and it started thrashing around.”

The two managed to get the giant fish to the bank where they corralled the beast in some shallow water.  A man who lived on the bank above them came out to have a look at the commotion.

“He said, ‘Man I think that thing may be 30 inches’,” laughed Wilfong. “I said, I think he’s a little better than that.”

Wilfong’s fish dwarfed a four foot fold out measuring stick.  He called his uncle to bring a tape measure, still not believing he had a potential state record.  The tape revealed a length of 53 3/8ths inches, letting Wilfong know there was a chance.  He soon called a buddy who showed up with a catfish net to at least give him some relief in the water to hold the fish and got on the phone with the DNR.

Biologists were understandably skeptical as his buddy tried to describe the measurement, but Wilfong got on the phone and convinced them he was an experienced angler and knew a trophy fish when he saw it.

“They said it would be about two hours,” said Wilfong. “I told them I had already been in the water for two hours so come on.”

Biologists arrived and were elated to see the big fish still alive.  The official measurements revealed the official length was 53.5 inches, which bested the old record by three-quarters of an inch.  The weight of the fish was 34.58 pound, well short of the standing record for weight.  With the measurements done and the pictures taken, Wilfong turned him loose.

“It swam away just fine,” he proudly proclaimed. “He was so old he had black teeth.  He was so old he didn’t have very many teeth in his mouth, but the ones he did have they were very big.”

Wilfong said he’s been fishing all of his life to catch a musky of that size and thanks to his efforts to release it alive, others will have a chance to fish for it as well.

~~  Chris Lawrence ~~

Gilmer Students Among GSC Business Department Honorees

The Glenville State College Department of Business recently announced its list of Distinguished Business Students for 2017. Recognition of these top twenty business students is based on multiple criteria including academic achievement, class rank, campus involvement, and leadership in department classes and programs. Additionally, some students are recognized for specific departmental awards.

Those recognized as Distinguished Business Students included: Julie Bishop from Glenville, West Virginia; Kristin DesRocher from Chapmanville, West Virginia; Conner Ferguson from Glenville, West Virginia; Bryan Foster from Jacksonville, Florida; Landon Gumm from Glenville, West Virginia; Charles Kendall III from Grantsville, West Virginia; and Stephen Mickle from Woodbridge, Virginia.

The Free Press WV
GSC Assistant Professor of Business Administration Dr. Dwight Heaster with Julie Bishop


The Free Press WV
GSC Professor of Economics Dr. Gary Arbogast with Conner Ferguson


The Free Press WV
GSC Professor of Economics Dr. Gary Arbogast with Landon Gumm


The Free Press WV
GSC Professor of Economics Dr. Gary Arbogast with Brett Rinehart


Specific award recipients included:

  • Ernest H. Smith Award and Outstanding Accounting Student – Raven Fatool of Sunbury, Pennsylvania

  • Freshman with the Highest Major Fields Test Score – Jakob Payne of Webster Springs, West Virginia

  • Senior with the Highest Major Fields Test Score – Brett Rinehart of Cumberland, Maryland

  • Outstanding Computer Science Student – Jordan Batton of Flatwoods, West Virginia

  • Outstanding Management Student – Abigail Jerden of Weston, West Virginia

  • Outstanding Marketing Student – McKenzie Edmonds of Clendenin, West Virginia

  • Outstanding Sport Management Student – Hunter Given of Cowen, West Virginia

  • Outstanding Business Education Student – Nathan Kincaid of Summersville, West Virginia

  • Outstanding Two-Year Student – Tiffany Brannon of Chloe, West Virginia

  • Outstanding Freshman Business Student – Gregory Lail of Hickory, North Carolina

  • Outstanding Sophomore Business Student – Daniel Crawford of Elkins, West Virginia

  • Outstanding Junior Business Student – Luke Carpenter of Glen Daniel, West Virginia

  • Outstanding Senior Business Student – Moriah Creelfox Sr. of Alma, West Virginia

For more information on the event or the GSC Department of Business, call 304.462.4123.

Report: More Mountain State Students Pursuing Higher Education

Braxton, Doddridge and Clay counties lead the way in improving college-going rates

The Free Press WV

More West Virginia high school graduates went on to pursue higher education last year, according to a report released by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and West Virginia Community and Technical College System (CTCS). The college-going rate increased for the second consecutive year, inching up by 0.3 percent — or 266 students — from 2015 to 2016.

“These gains, while subtle, represent a solid step in the right direction,” Dr. Paul Hill, HEPC Chancellor, said. “For several years, the impact of the 2008 recession led to wide variations in college-going rates, not only in West Virginia but across the nation. Now that the economy is beginning to stabilize, we’re more confident that the small strides we’re witnessing represent genuine progress in creating a college-going culture in West Virginia — a process that takes time and occurs student by student, community by community.”

Braxton, Doddridge and Clay counties led the state in achieving the highest rates of improvement in college-going rates from 2015 to 2016. Braxton County High School (Braxton), Magnolia High School (Wetzel) and Chapmanville Regional High School (Logan) showed the greatest gains at the school level. Ohio, Mineral and Monongalia counties had the highest rates overall. A complete list of rates by school and county is available at http://www.wvhepc.edu/resources/reports-and-publications/2016-college-going-rate/.

“West Virginia needs more college graduates to grow its economy and invigorate its workforce,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, CTCS Chancellor, said. “I commend those high schools and school districts that are putting a real focus on helping their students pursue some form of postsecondary education. The future prosperity of our state depends on getting more students into college and ensuring they succeed and graduate.”

The 2016 Higher Education Report Card, released last fall by HEPC and CTCS, also outlined gains in college retention and a record number of degrees awarded by the state’s public colleges and universities.

HEPC and CTCS are charged with developing and implementing a five-year statewide strategic plan for higher education that includes a strong focus on improving access to higher education and promoting college completion and success. As part of this process, the agencies have in recent years launched a number of strategies that are proving to have an impact on higher education attainment.

For example, the federally funded “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)” initiative provides college mentoring and planning services to middle and high school students in ten of the state’s most economically challenged counties. The statewide College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) initiative offers information, including text message counseling, to help students navigate the college application and enrollment processes. And recent policy changes overhauling the delivery of developmental education and encouraging students to enroll in a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester are showing promising results toward raising college graduation rates.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

Chief Judge Richard Facemire presided over a lengthy motion day in Gilmer County on Monday, April 24, 2017 working through lunch and completing a 3 page docket.


•  Two names changes were granted.


•  One fugitive from justice, namely Antoine Calabrese, waived extradition to return to the state of Virginia.

He was represented by Clinton Bischoff and authorities from Virginia have until 4 PM May 02, 2017 to pick him up or Central Regional Jail will release him.


•  Seven pleas were taken as follows:


•  Charles Pritt

He who was represented by Clinton Bischoff, pled to 1 count of child neglect resulting in injury.

The remaining counts of the indictment were dismissed by the prosecutor.

After the probation officer completes his presentence he will be sentenced May 22, 2017 at 9:20 AM.


•  Matthew Sandy

Accompanied by his attorney, Teresa Monk, entered a plea to 1 count of escape and all other counts of the indictment were likewise dismissed by Gerald B. Hough, prosecuting attorney.

He will be sentenced July 06, 2017 at 9:00 AM.


•  Danny Minigh

Alone with his attorney Brian Bailey, entered a no contest Kennedy plea to 1 count of sexual abuse in the first degree.

The other count of his indictment was dismissed and he will be sentenced in BRAXTON COUNTY on July 05, 2017 at 1:30 PM.


•  Richard Williams Jr.

With his attorney, Kevin Hughart, entered a conditional plea to 1 count of brandishing and 1 count of possession with intent to deliver.

His bond was modified to $10,000.00 surety and home confinement with his mother in MD.

Sentencing was deferred for 1 year while he is on home confinement.


•  Patty Reynolds

She pled to 2 misdemeanor counts after an information was filed against her and the previous felony indictment was dismissed.

Her attorney was Clinton Bischoff.

Shannon Johnson was the special prosecutor that prosecuted her case.

She will be sentenced May 22, 2017 at 9:30 AM.


•  Charles Balliett III

He was before the Court with his attorney, Hughart, and pled to conspiracy with the other count of his indictment being dismissed.

He will be sentenced May 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM in BRAXTON COUNTY.


•  Timothy Maxwell-Lanham

He saw 21 counts of his indictment dismissed and was allowed to plead to 1 count of incest.

He will also be sentenced in BRAXTON COUNTY on July 05, 2017 at 2:00 PM.

His attorney is Bryan Hinkle.


•  Central Regional Jail failed to bring William Reynolds so his plea hearing was rescheduled for May 22, 2017 at 9:40 AM.

He is represented by Brian Bailey with special prosecutor Shannon Johnson representing the state of WV.


•  Three juvenile matters were also before the Court.


•  One magistrate appeal was sent to mediation and a bench trial was set before the Judge for June 22, 2017 at 9:00 AM.


•  There will be a pretrial on August 08, 2017 at 9:00 AM in BRAXTON COUNTY in the case of John Zsigray vs. Cindy Langman.

The trial is set for August 15, 2017 at 9:00 AM.


•  A suppression hearing will be heard May 02, 2017 at 9:00 AM with the trial remaining on the docket for May 16, 2017 in the case of State of West Virginia vs. Charles Collins.

Collin is represented by attorney Joseph Spano.


•  Two trials were continued to the July term:


•  State of West Virginia vs. Coy Pritt Jr.

He is represented by Teresa Monk.


•  Tiffany Parmer (Mayo)

She is represented by Timothy Gentilozzi also had her bond reduced to $10,000.00 without home confinement.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Geoffrey Shaffer

He was before the Court for pretrial represented by Jonathan Fittro.

He is scheduled to enter a plea May 03, 2017, but later failed a urine screen and an order was entered for him to be jailed.




On Tuesday, April 18, 2017 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire held Court in Glenville.


•  One juvenile hearing was held.


Four criminal matters were heard as follows:


•  David Curry

He appeared for further arraignment and filled out a new financial affidavit requesting an appointed attorney and Judge Facemire appointed Kevin Hughart to represent him.

He entered a not guilty plea and was released back on $5000.00 surety bond.

He will not have a pretrial but his trial is set for May 16, 2017 at 9:00 AM.


•  Joshua Bohn

He was before the Court for a multi county plea and due to it involving charges in Braxton County it was reset for April 27, 2017 at 1:30 PM in Braxton County.

Jeff Davis represents him in Gilmer County with Andrew Chattin representing him on the Braxton County charges.


•  Richard Williams Jr.

He will enter a plea on April 24, 2017 at 9:00 AM.

He is represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville.


•  Steven Gibson

He was before the Court for revocation of probation and Judge Facemire denied the revocation and readmitted him to probation.

His attorney was Bryan Hinkle.



On Thursday, April 20, 2017 Judge Jack Alsop heard several matters in Gilmer County.


•  One guardian petition was granted.


•  Three juvenile matters were heard.

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