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Doddridge County

Doddridge County

Community Foundation Grant Application Deadline February 15

The Free Press WV

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates of Doddridge County, Ritchie County, and the Little Kanawha Area (PACF) is currently accepting applications for grants for the spring cycle of its Community Action Grants Program. 

The Foundation’s application process is online; the application deadline is midnight on February 15.

Organizations apply to the Foundation and/or any of the affiliates on the same online application form, the Foundation’s Community Action Grants Application. 

To access the online application form, visit the Foundation’s website, www.pacfwv.com/Grants.

To be considered for a Community Action Grant, an applicant must be a private, nonprofit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a public institution. 

Either the applicant or program to be funded must be located in the Foundation’s eleven-county geographic service area (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio).

Priority counties for grant support are: Wood, Wirt, Doddridge, Ritchie, Roane, Calhoun, and Gilmer.

The Foundation provides support for capital and equipment projects, program development, technical assistance, training, capacity building projects, and, under special circumstances, operating support.  Submitted applications are considered for support from a wide variety of grant funds available to support charitable projects throughout the region.

The Foundation’s grantmaking guidelines provide additional information on eligibility and priorities for all types of grants; visit the Foundation’s website at www.pacfwv.com/Grants to access the grant guidelines and application forms. For more information, contact Marian Clowes at 304.428.4438 or ‘info@pacfwv.com’.

The Free Press WV

Most WV Counties Show higher unemployment in November 2018

The Free Press WV

A majority of the state’s 55 counties showed an increase in unemployment in November.

According to to county jobless numbers released Friday by WorkForce West Virginia, 26 counties had an increase in joblessness last month, 21 counties showed a decrease while eight counties remained the same.

The counties with the highest unemployment last month were McDowell (9.2), Calhoun (8.8) and Wyoming (8.0) counties.

The county with the lowest unemployment rate was Jefferson County (2.9).

WorkForce West Virginia released the overall state unemployment rate for November, 4.6 percent, last week.

That was unchanged from October.

Mountaineer Food Bank Receives Grant for New Equipment

The Parkersburg Community Foundation and the Doddridge County Community Foundation recently provided funds that will allow Mountaineer Food Bank to purchase a scissor lift for their warehouse.

Mountaineer Food Bank was awarded these funds at a banquet held at the Doddridge Community Park, November 27th.

The equipment would have cost Mountaineer Food Bank $7,500.00, which was fully funded by both foundations.

The Parkersburg Community Foundation awarded $7,000.00, while the Doddridge County Community Foundation awarded the remaining $500.00.

The new scissor lift will help Mountaineer Food Bank better navigate hard to reach places in their 20,000 square foot facility.

The Free Press WV


The new lift will allow Mountaineer Food Bank staff to be more proficient in warehouse cleanliness and the standards to which they are set to meet.

Meeting these standards sets Mountaineer Food Bank up to achieve a high mark on their annual AIB audits.

The AIB audit ensures facilities and processes uphold product integrity, comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMS), and achieve Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognition through the American Institute of Banking.

With a new racking system recently installed in Mountaineer Food Bank’s warehouse, the use of the scissor lift will be vital in maintaining the standards given by AIB.

Complying with AIB standards sets Mountaineer Food Bank up to be a more efficient distribution center.

The purchase of this new equipment will helps Mountaineer Food Bank’s warehouse staff better operate, which in turn will allow more individuals facing food insecurity to receive the help and assistance they need more efficiently.

The purchase of the new equipment would not have been made possible without the funds given from both foundations.

EQT Students of Excellence Scholarship 2018 Recipients

The Free Press WV

EQT Foundation, the philanthropic arm of EQT Corporation, is proud to announce the 2018 EQT Students of Excellence Scholarship recipients.

The accomplished students come from both large and small schools across West Virginia.

As an integrated energy company with an emphasis on Appalachian-area natural gas production, EQT has awarded $1,000 scholarships for one student from West Virginia counties, four at-large $1,000 scholarships scattered throughout the state, as well as six “full-ride” four-year scholarships, each up to $18,000 per year, to students interested in studying engineering, geology, computer science/information technology, energy or land management and environmental or safety science.


The “full-ride” scholarship winners are:

  • Tylee Oldham - Hurricane High School in Putnam County
  • Brooke Burns - Scott High School in Boone County
  • Catherine Stodola - Herbert Hoover High School in Kanawha County
  • Lian Dunlevy - Morgantown High School in Monongalia County
  • Justin Lovell - Shady Spring High School in Raleigh County
  • Safa Afnan - George Washington High School in Kanawha County


The $1000 scholarship winner’s are:

  • Zoe Payne - Barbour County
  • Victoria Parello - Berkeley County
  • Kayla Hartsell - Boone County
  • Michael Lemon - Braxton County
  • Abigail Nickerson - Brooke County
  • John Swanson - Cabell County
  • Megan Meadows - Calhoun County
  • Michael Willis - Clay County
  • Emily Spadafore - Doddridge County
  • Mason Harp - Fayette County
  • Kaylene Snyder - Gilmer County
  • Megan Kite - Grant County
  • Kara Vaughan - Greenbrier County
  • Della Moreland - Hampshire County
  • Chloe Molish - Hancock County
  • Aden Funkhouser - Hardy County
  • Hayley Woods - Harrison County
  • Brandon Cochran - Jackson County
  • Haya Moushmoush - Kanawha County
  • Kenton Linger - Lewis County
  • Lillian Lucas - Lincoln County
  • Elijah McComas - Logan County
  • Kristine Waddell - Marion County
  • Lydia Knutsen - Marshall County
  • Allison Henderson - Mason County
  • Hailey Mitchem - McDowell County
  • Trey Lennox-Kowalewski - Mercer County
  • Kyle Breedlove - Mineral County
  • Hannah Vorndran - Monongalia County
  • Chandler Mills - Monroe County
  • Logan Riffey - Morgan County
  • Anna Hamilton - Nicholas County
  • Norman Lee - Ohio County
  • Claire Heavner - Pendleton County
  • Laci Hashman - Pleasants County
  • Mathias Solliday - Pocahontas County
  • Henry Cerbone - Preston County
  • Olivia Hart - Putnam County
  • Victoria Mackowiak - Raleigh County
  • Susan Riggleman - Randolph County
  • Nikita Collins - Ritchie County
  • Dylan Hammack - Roane County
  • Marcella Aguilar - Summers County
  • Amy Frosch - Taylor County
  • Matthew Dellinger - Tucker County
  • JoLee Walton - Tyler County
  • Logan Whithair - Upshur County
  • Nicholas Bowen - Wayne County
  • Erin Kidd - Webster County
  • Hannah Loy - Wetzel County
  • Sara Almashy - Wirt County
  • Josie Brothers - Wood County
  • Myleigh Stewart - Wyoming County


The “At Large” $1000 recipients are:

  • Noah Sampson - Monongalia County
  • Davis Warmuth - Ohio County
  • Eric Hamilton - Kanawha County
  • Jay Wessels - Kanawha County.

A total of 345 high school students from across West Virginia was nominated by teachers, principals, guidance counselors, family members and the students themselves. A team of volunteer judges were then tasked with the difficult responsibility of choosing the “best of the best.” The judges looked for students who demonstrated strong academic performance and who participated in community service and extracurricular activities.

The scholarship program which is presented in cooperation with NCWV Media and The State Journal, has grown each year since EQT became the title sponsor in 2009.

An awards event where all the recipients will be recognized will take place in March at the State Capitol in Charleston. The date and time of the event will be announced in January

Foundation’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program Accepting Applications

Attention college students seeking meaningful paid work experience and leadership opportunities! 

Applications are now available for the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates’ (PACF) Civic Leaders Fellowship Program. 

This employment program operates for seven weeks beginning on May 31, 2019 and ending on July 19, 2019. 

The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program offers local students the chance to return to their home communities to work in a career-related field while learning about their hometowns. 

The Free Press WV
Civic Leaders from the Foundation’s 2018 program gather in front of the PACF’s office in Parkersburg, WV.


Students are able to develop connections and leadership skills that may later assist them in finding meaningful employment upon graduation.

To be eligible for participation, students must have successfully completed at least one year of post-secondary education (college, trade/technical school, etc.), be currently enrolled in a post-secondary education program, and have a permanent home address in the PACF’s service region of Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, or Washington County, Ohio. 

The student application is available on the Foundation’s website and must be submitted by February 08, 2019.

During their time in the Program, Civic Leaders are placed at a work site, in a position related to their career interests, where they work four days a week.

On Mondays of each week of the Program, the Civic Leaders participate in leadership activities and programs with other Civic Leaders designed to increase their knowledge of the region and prepare them to engage fully in service to their communities.

Wood County resident Megan Hardway participated in the Foundation’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program 2014 - 2016. 

Through the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program, she was introduced and placed at the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, where she was actively engaged in the day-to-day operations of the Chamber preparing releases, planning events, and serving as liaison for Chamber members. 

A 2016 graduate of West Virginia University, Hardway returned to the area to join the Chamber as a full-time staff member!

“The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program was a wonderful way to gain knowledge and experience in my field, as well as explore volunteer opportunities available close to home,” said Hardway.

The PACF is also seeking organizations that wish to serve as host employers for summer 2019. 

Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and units of government may apply to serve as a host employer for the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program. 

The Civic Leader is provided to the host employer at no cost. 

In exchange, the host employer must be willing to provide supervision and a meaningful work assignment. 

Organizations throughout the PACF’s service region are encouraged to apply online to provide an employment opportunity for one of our region’s college-aged students. 

The host application is also available on the Foundation’s website and must be submitted by March 15, 2019.

To learn more about the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program and to apply to participate as a student or host employer, visit:  www.pacfwv.com/CLFP

Questions regarding this opportunity may be directed to the PACF’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program Manager, Mindi Line, at ‘Mindi.Line@pacfwv.com’. 

Scholarships Available for Area Students

The Free Press WV

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) has launched its 2019 Consolidated Scholarship Application! 

The Foundation administers more than 160 scholarship funds for the benefit of students in its 11-county service area (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio).

Through the Foundation’s online scholarship application, students are given the opportunity to apply for multiple scholarships through one easy application. 

To apply, students must visit the Foundation’s website, www.pacfwv.com/scholarships

This application must be completed and submitted online by midnight on March 01, 2019.

During the PACF’s 2018 scholarship application process, the Foundation awarded more than $331,000 to our region’s students. 

These awards were made possible by many generous donors who established scholarship funds with the Foundation to help our local students fulfill their educational goals. 

Each year, more than 200 community volunteers residing throughout the PACF’s service area assist the Foundation in reviewing the submitted scholarship applications.

To learn more about the 2019 scholarship application process, please contact the Foundation office by calling 304.428.4438 or by emailing ‘info@pacfwv.com’.

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Braxton County Leads in New Business Growth for November 2018

The Free Press WV

Braxton County led in new business growth for November 2018 with a total of 7 new businesses.

That equates to a 1.55 percent growth for Braxton County.

The WV Secretary of State’s Business & Licensing Division reported Mason, Hampshire, Doddridge and Jackson counties also had notable growth in November.

“West Virginia is experiencing a steady growth in new business start-ups. That growth is a very important and significant objective for a strong economy,” Secretary of State Warner said.

The number of business entities in Mason County grew from 729 to 737, with Hampshire County business entities increasing from 1,045 to 1,058.

Doddridge County experienced an increase in business entities from 244 to 245 and Jackson County went from 1,083 to 1,092 business entities.

Statewide, West Virginia saw a 10.76 percent growth in business registrations in the previous 12-month period. That growth was led by Summers County with 18.40 percent growth.

To review the county-by-county growth visit the Business Statistics Database

Hunters in West Virginia harvested 44,572 bucks during the traditional buck firearms season

The Free Press WV

Preliminary data collected from the electronic game checking system indicates that deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 44,572 antlered deer during the two-week buck firearms season which ran from November 19 through December 01, 2018, according to Gary Foster, assistant chief of Game Management with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.

The 2018 harvest was 1 percent higher than the 2017 harvest.

The top 10 counties for buck harvest in 2018 were: Randolph (1,685), Preston (1,607), Greenbrier (1,479), Hampshire (1,471), Jackson (1,379), Pendleton (1,274), Grant (1,217), Hardy (1,212), Kanawha (1,212) and Mason (1,206).

The buck harvest increased in the eastern panhandle (DNR District 2) and in southwestern West Virginia (DNR District 5) and was similar to or slightly down in the remainder of the state.

Deer hunters have several days of opportunity left this year, including the remainder of the archery and crossbow seasons, which run through December 31.

Muzzleloader deer season will open December 10 and remain open through December 16.

The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season for antlerless deer will be open December 26-27 in any county with a firearms deer season.

This will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season on December 28-31 in specified counties or portions of counties.

In addition, the new primitive weapons “Mountaineer Heritage Season” will be open during the period from January 10-13, 2019.

Refer to the 2018–2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov for additional details as well as county and area listings.


West Virginia Buck Firearms Season Harvest, 2014-2018

County

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Barbour

886

1,281

1,098

984

958

Brooke

251

286

268

175

188

Hancock

200

208

209

157

139

Harrison

930

1,418

1,138

1,017

887

Marion

702

1,190

765

735

677

Marshall

707

818

727

624

637

Monongalia

689

1,023

827

825

750

Ohio

232

290

270

180

197

Preston

1,526

2,046

1,774

1,947

1,607

Taylor

453

732

581

485

491

Tucker

494

783

730

817

754

Wetzel

891

1,144

899

823

676

District 1 Subtotal

7,961

11,219

9,286

8,769

7,961

Berkeley

522

908

737

753

757

Grant

783

1,304

954

1,194

1,217

Hampshire

1,094

1,947

1,197

1,386

1,471

Hardy

920

1,709

1,076

1,198

1,212

Jefferson

385

499

422

419

463

Mineral

835

1,335

922

1,011

1,051

Morgan

412

678

437

503

621

Pendleton

861

1,297

1,088

1,018

1,274

District 2 Subtotal

5,812

9,677

6,833

7,482

8,066

Braxton

921

1,660

1,102

1,233

1,017

Clay

329

618

390

481

438

Lewis

1,166

1,875

1,246

1,216

999

Nicholas

871

1,274

1,044

987

1,060

Pocahontas

831

1,008

921

1,040

988

Randolph

1,291

1,659

1,617

1,633

1,685

Upshur

1,009

1,704

1,399

1,025

1,155

Webster

632

1,080

941

777

937

District 3 Subtotal

7,050

10,878

8,660

8,392

8,279

Fayette

725

1,214

889

927

997

Greenbrier

1,372

1,816

1,447

1,628

1,479

McDowell

0

0

0

 

0

Mercer

402

843

636

593

617

Monroe

1,004

1,462

1,099

1,295

1,189

Raleigh

506

895

648

592

623

Summers

657

999

657

809

701

Wyoming

0

0

0

 

0

District 4 Subtotal

4,666

7,229

5,376

5,844

5,606

Boone

519

868

573

658

672

Cabell

421

641

677

404

642

Kanawha

730

1,547

1,058

1,046

1,212

Lincoln

720

1,312

846

569

957

Logan

0

0

0

 

0

Mason

1,002

1,488

1,267

867

1,206

Mingo

0

0

0

 

0

Putnam

565

1,114

992

624

942

Wayne

528

963

815

448

736

District 5 Subtotal

4,485

7,933

6,228

4,616

6,367

Calhoun

504

1,063

705

740

698

Doddridge

615

1,376

946

947

659

Gilmer

669

1,435

791

875

800

Jackson

1,107

1,870

1,487

1,096

1,379

Pleasants

273

492

334

317

280

Ritchie

1,123

2,024

1,422

1,338

1,065

Roane

927

1,846

1,178

1,186

1,177

Tyler

566

1,064

855

817

566

Wirt

681

1,152

777

734

668

Wood

1,011

1,556

1,193

974

1,001

District 6 Subtotal

7,476

13,878

9,688

9,024

8,293

State Total

37,450

60,814

46,071

44,127

44,572

Grants Support Area Charities

The Free Press WV

The Doddridge County Community Foundation, the Ritchie County Community Foundation, and the Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation affiliates of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) recently announced their fall grants to support charitable organizations in their service areas.

Doddridge County Community Foundation awarded $1,000 to the following organizations:

  • Mountaineer Food Bank - $500  from the Doddridge County Grantmaking Fund to assist with the purchase of a scissor lift for use in the Food Bank’s warehouse; the Food Bank provides support to food pantries and feeding programs in Doddridge County.
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities - $500 from the Doddridge County Grantmaking Fund to support lodging costs for Doddridge County families through the Hoss Lodging Fund.

Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation awarded $3,500 to the following organizations:

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Doddridge County Community Foundation (DCCF) representatives and grantees.
(left to right) Megan Skubovius of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Rick Oyler – DCCF Advisory Board Chair, Gabri Bonazzo and Becky Conrad of Mountaineer Food Banks, and Zona Hutson – DCCF Advisory Board Member.

  • Calhoun County Committee on Aging - $2,000 from the Little Kanawha Grantmaking Fund  for computer upgrades, enabling the organization to better serve clients and meet reporting needs from funding sources.
  • Pleasant Hill Elementary School - $1,050 from the Little Kanawha Area Grantmaking Fund and the Edna Yoak Robinson Fund for lighting the quarter-mile track at the school used by students for physical education classes and by the public for fitness.
  • Gilmer Public Library - $450 from Gilmer Support Fund to replace carpeting in the library’s main rooms.

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(left to right) Sarah Tingler and Amy Nichols of Pleasant Hill Elementary School, Robin Spencer of Gilmer Public Library, and Brenda Sisson of Calhoun County Committee on Aging.

Ritchie County Community Foundation awarded $6,200 in grants to the following organizations:

  • Harrisville Woman’s Club - $2,000 from the Harrisville Civic Club Community Improvement Fund and the Ritchie County Grantmaking Fund to purchase a new commercial refrigerator.
  • Regeneration/Packs of Plenty - $1,200 from the Ritchie County Grantmaking Fund to support the purchase of nutritious food to provide to Ritchie County students in need for weekends and school holidays.
  • Ritchie County Primary Care Association - $3,000 from the Ritchie County Grantmaking Fund for the renovation of the school-based health center at Ritchie County Middle/High School.

The Foundation’s affiliates held a reception at Doddridge County Park on Wednesday, November 27, to announce grants and present the awards to recipients. At the reception, the PACF also announced additional grant awards to many of the projects supported by its affiliates. The PACF awards include the following amounts:

  • Mountaineer Food Bank - $7,000
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities - $4,500
  • Calhoun County Committee on Aging - $5,990
  • Pleasant Hill Elementary School - $3,974
  • Gilmer Public Library - $2,000
  • Regeneration/Packs of Plenty - $5,000
  • Ritchie County Primary Care Association - $7,500

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Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation (LKACF) grantees.
Ritchie County Community Foundation (RCCF) representatives and grantees.
(left to right) Jean Freeland and Sheryll Jameson – RCCF Advisory Board Members, Alan Haught – RCCF Advisory Board Chair, Adam Straight of Ritchie County Primary Care Association, Marian McElroy and Arlene Mossor of Harrisville Woman’s Club, and Gail Holleron of Regeneration/Packs of Plenty.

Workshop on Nonprofit Lifecycles Offered November 01

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Nonprofit organizations can learn how to strengthen their capacity today and plan for success tomorrow at the Nonprofit Lifecycles Workshop, November 01, from 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Ohio Valley University in Parkersburg. The workshop is sponsored by the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates, Nonprofits LEAD, and the West Virginia Nonprofit Association (WVNPA) and will be led by Maria Fibiger, Certified Master Consultant of the Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute and President/Senior Consultant of the Three Dog Consulting.

Based on Susan Kenny Steven’s widely popular book, Nonprofit Lifecycles, this workshop will provide a practical way for nonprofits to think about strengthening their organizational capacity, no matter what their age or size. Using Lifecycles Stages to describe the predictable growing pains nonprofits experience at each stage of development, Fibiger will share concepts that are especially relevant to board members, executive staff, and other organization leaders. Nonprofits will learn how to self-assess their organization’s management, governance, financial resources, and administrative components as the vital support systems for their important mission and programs.

Turnover of Board, executive staff, volunteers is an inevitable event (planned or emergent) in the Lifecycle of any organization, and nonprofits should prepare for these transitions with good succession planning. At the workshop, Fibiger will discuss fundamental pieces that every organization should have in place to make the transition easier, as well as barriers and challenges that may come up in any turnover scenario. This interactive workshop will explore a framework for succession planning, and will equip nonprofit leaders with real-world knowledge & tactics.

Cost to attend is $20 per person ($15 per person for WVNPA members). Organizations are encouraged to bring Board/staff teams to participate.

For registration information, visit www.pacfwv.com/Nonprofit_Lifecycle or call Marian Clowes (304.428.4438) or Amy Elliott (740.376.4559).

Registration deadline is October 25.

September was National Voter Registration Month: In WV 5,002 New Registrations in Just One Month

The Free Press WV

Since 2002, September has been recognized as National Voter Registration Month throughout the United States.  National Voter Registration Month is a program sponsored in part by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner is very pleased to announce that during the month of September county clerks registered 5,002 citizens to vote.  All 55 counties registered new voters in September.  A county-by-county breakdown is attached.

“I am very pleased regarding the partnership with our county clerks to register eligible citizens to vote,” Secretary Warner said. “Not only is it important to maintain updated voter registration files, but we must be equally diligent in our efforts to encourage eligible citizens to register to vote.”

National Voter Registration Month for 2018 was an active one for Warner and his office.  More than 30 organized voter registration drives took place in communities throughout the state.  Voter registration drives were hosted by numerous high schools during September.

During National Voter Registration Day on September 25th, Warner attended high school voter registration drives in Cabell, Putnam and Kanawha Counties.  Miss Teen International 2018 Georgia Clark and West Virginia Curator Randall Reid-Smith joined Warner.  Clark is a resident of Alabama and attends college at Troy University. Her platform as Miss Teen International is civic engagement of young people throughout the country.

For more information on how to register to vote or to check your current voter registration go to www.GoVoteWV.com.

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Gilmer County Schools: Attendance Counts

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WV and Area Counties Balanced Scorecard for School Year 2017-2018

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33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties

Clarksburg Division (this includes Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Taylor, Harrison, Doddridge, Pleasants, Ritchie, Gilmer, Braxton, and Calhoun Counties)

The Free Press WV

Thirteen were arrested this week after a federal grand jury returned indictments against 33 individuals from Florida, Mississippi, Maryland, and West Virginia on charges involving methamphetamine distribution and firearms, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

“This is yet another example of the team effort to combat dangerous drugs coming into our state from other states to be distributed by our residents to poison our communities. We will not tolerate any drug traffickers in our communities, nor will we tolerate them setting up shop near playgrounds, schools, and our children. The message is getting louder and louder that if you choose to sell drugs in our district, you will be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law,” said Powell.


Nineteen individuals were named in a 40-count indictment, alleging a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Harrison County and elsewhere from the fall of 2017 to September 2018. Those indicted are:

·      Kedric Pearson, age 34, of Waynesboro, Mississippi

·      Paul Casto, age 55, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Stormy Hawkins, age 25, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      William Koch, age 33, of Anmore, West Virginia

·      Jacob Wright, age 36, of West Union, West Virginia

·      Donald Hickman, Jr., age 43, of Reynoldsville, West Virginia

·      Cody Boley, age 24, of Wallace, West Virginia

·      Byron Higginbotham, age 36, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Jodi Denkenberger, age 28, of Mount Claire, West Virginia

·      Erica Herron, age 37, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      David Weaver, age 33, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Taylor Espinoza, age 21, of Bridgeport, West Virginia

·      Stephen Richards, age 40, of Fairmont, West Virginia

·      Solomon Cottrill, age 32, of Salem, West Virginia

·      Nathan Crites, age 34, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Russell Clark, age 64, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Faith Martin, age 20, of Shinnston, West Virginia

·      Jesse Pack, age 23, of Clarksburg, West Virginia

·      Justin Jackson, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland


In a separate case, a federal grand jury indicted 14 individuals on methamphetamine charges. The men and women are accused of conspiring with one another to distribute methamphetamine in Harrison County and elsewhere from October 2017 to September 2018. Those charged in the 27-count indictment are:

·      Juwan Floyd, age 26, of Tallahassee, Florida                                          

·      Kareem Sampson, age 29, of Morgantown, West Virginia                                      

·      Ramiro Pimentel Jr., age 31, of Clarksburg, West Virginia                              

·      Kelly Wright, age 36, of West Union, West Virginia                                          

·      Teressa Hall, age 33, of Bristol, West Virginia                                        

·      Nicholle Knotts, age 24, of Philippi, West Virginia                                            

·      Chance Ward, age 19, of Buckhannon, West Virginia                          

·      Ashley Wagner, age 27, of Clarksburg, West Virginia                                  

·      Brittany Miles, age 28, of Clarksburg, West Virginia                                  

·      Brandon Mays, age 30, of Fairmont, West Virginia                                            

·      Joshua Langbien, age 28, of Buckhannon, West Virginia

·      Ann Marie Stankus, age 24, of Buckhannon, West Virginia

·      Rodney Rowan, age 23, of Buckhannon, West Virginia

·      Chris Conley, age 35, of Clarksburg, West Virginia


The government is also seeking forfeiture of four vehicles, a house on Winding Way in Clarksburg, and more than $33,000 seized as a part of the investigation. Law enforcement has also seized 15 firearms.


Of the 33 defendants, 25 were detained. Those wanted are:

Ø  Donald Hickman

Ø  Faith Martin

Ø  William Koch

Ø  Erica Herron

Ø  Ashley Wagner

Ø  Russel Clark

Ø  Jesse Pack

Ø  Nichole Knotts

Ø  Kendric Pearson

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda E. Wesley is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Greater Harrison Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated. The United States Marshal Service assisted in the arrests.

The investigation was funded in part by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

West Nile virus confirmed in Mosquitoes in Doddridge County

Mosquitoes collected near schools in Doddridge County have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, Doddridge County Health Department Administrator Debbie Davis confirmed Thursday.

As part of this year’s state Mosquito Surveillance Program, the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology set mosquito traps at the Doddridge County Park, as well as the county’s elementary and middle schools on August 03. When those traps were collected on August 24, Davis said the report showed positive findings of the West Nile Virus.

Additional traps were set in a six-county region of Doddridge, Harrison, Taylor, Marion, Monongalia and Preston, and while other mosquitoes did test positive for the virus, there are no human cases of West Nile.

“It’s really not anything to panic about,” Davis said. “It probably has been around for a long time. It just hasn’t been identified, but it is something to take seriously and for people to take precaution when they’re out in the weather and in the heat.”

The Free Press WV


Now, the Doddridge County Health Department is working to eliminate any potential threat.

Employees of the department’s sanitation division are treating the mosquito trap site with mosquito dunks, which is a larvicide that kills the mosquito before it becomes old enough to bite and spread the disease, Davis said.

But Davis said individuals can take precaution, too, by using repellants like Deet, wearing long sleeves when outdoors and perhaps most important, eliminate any standing water around the home. She said sites that harbor water, such as flower pots, tarps or clogged gutters, are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

“Get those types of things cleaned up on your property because that’s where the mosquitoes are,” she said.

For those who are bitten by mosquitoes, Davis said roughly 80 percent of those who contract the West Nile virus don’t actually present symptoms.

“It tends to be flu-like symptoms, unless it becomes severe,” she said. “Some people will even be ill and get better and not even realize they’ve had the West Nile Virus.”

Davis said one in 150 will develop a severe, sometimes fatal case, often resulting in encephalitis, meningitis or a dangerously high fever. Anyone exhibiting symptoms of high fever or severe headaches should seek medical treatment.

“People that are older, over the age of 60 are at greater risk or people who might have their immune system suppressed, like cancer patients, people who have diabetes, or those with other underlying disease. They tend to have a higher risk,” she said.

For more information, contact the Doddridge County Health Department at 304.873.1531 or visit www.cdc.gov/westnile

~~  Brittany Murray ~~

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Public High School 4-Year Grad Rate Last School Year Was Up

The Free Press WV The graduation rates ranged from 83 percent in Kanawha and Cabell counties to 97 percent in Doddridge, Lewis, Mingo, Morgan, Putnam and Tyler counties [ .... ]  Read More

Rover Pipeline Fined For Water Pollution Violations

The Free Press WVState regulators are fining the operators of the natural gas Rover Pipeline more than $430,000 for water pollution violations [ .... ]  Read More

Cause of fatal Doddridge explosion identified as Hydrocarbon Well Services-owned storage tanks

The Free Press WV
Hydrocarbon Well Services is a Buckhannon-based oil and gas company that has serviced the Appalachian region for 35 years [ .... ]  Read More

Doddridge County well owners accuse oil, gas well operators of trespassing

The Free Press WV Three mineral interest owners are suing an oil and gas wells operator, alleging trespassing [ .... ]  Read More

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

The Free Press WV High water after heavy rain shuts down roads, closes schools in West Virginia to start the new week [ .... ]  Read More

Rainfall totals could exceed 2 inches on Sunday

The Free Press WV Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Gilmer, Roane, Taylor, Pocahontas, Randolph, Webster, Barbour, Harrison, Lewis, Upshur, Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, Boone, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Wyoming, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Tucker, Marshall, Ohio, Brooke and Hancock counties [ .... ]  Read More

Employee of Doddridge County Schools charged with sexual abuse

The Free Press WVA Doddridge County Schools employee is facing charges of sexual abuse of a student [ .... ]  Read More

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

The Free Press WVPipeline companies resort to eminent domain to win property access

Mountain Valley Pipeline

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

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Doddridge County

Karla Jo Houser

The Free Press WVAge 63, of Harrisville, WV, departed peacefully, January 13, 2019 at her residence. She was born June 11, 1955 at West Union, WV, the daughter of the late Edward Murl “Red” Fox and Ivalillie Lang Fox Potts [ .... ]  Read More

Ernest D. “Ernie” Jones

The Free Press WV Age 84, of Pennsboro, WV, passed away on Thursday, January 10, 2019, at Carehaven of Pleasants in Belmont, WV. Ernie was born February 20, 1934 in Washburn, WV, a son of the late Manuel and Elsia (Mason) Jones [....]  Read More

Mary Louise (Maxwell) Cox

The Free Press WVAge 91, of Clarksburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Clarksburg, WV; formerly of West Union, WV went to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, December 28, 2018 at United Hospital Center surrounded by her loving family. She was born at home in Doddridge County, WV on October 30, 1927, the daughter of the late Charles S. (Tudy) and Louisa Jane (Husk) Maxwell [ .... ]  Read More

John Albert Fox

The Free Press WV Age 90, of Israel’s Fork, West Union, West Virginia passed away December 25, 2018, at the Louis H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Clarksburg, West Virginia. Born August 16, 1928, in West Union, WV. John was a son of the late James B. and Matilda Matthews Fox [....]  Read More

Carroll Edwin Perine

The Free Press WV Age 76, of Valrico, Florida, passed on December 15, 2018, at home under the care of Lifepath Hospice with complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis. He was born May 14, 1942 in Sunnyside, Doddridge County, West Virginia, a son to the late Benjamin H and Rachel A (Smith) Perine, who resided in Parkersburg, WV [....]  Read More

Judith G. “Judy” Valentine

The Free Press WV Age 76, of West Union, WV (Central Station Community) went home to be with the Lord on Monday, December 17, 2018. She was born January 22, 1942 to Gale James and Ormi Grace (Myer) Smith, who preceded her in death [....]  Read More

Marvin Lee Gaines

The Free Press WVAge 68, of New Milton, WV, and formerly of Charleston, WV, went to be with the Lord due to a tragic tractor accident on December 16, 2018. He was born in Glenville, WV on May 03, 1950, the son of the late Homer Lawson Gaines and Opal Sanders Gaines [ .... ]  Read More

Dreama Lee McCloy

The Free Press WV Age 61, of Troy, WV (Fallen Timber Community of Doddridge County, WV) departed this life on Monday, December 17, 2018, at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, WV. Dreama was born November 19, 1957 in Weston, WV, a daughter of the late Dorsey S. and Gladys E. (Allman) Snyder.  [....]  Read More

Emma Jean Lipscomb

The Free Press WV Age 73, Central Station Community, West Union, WV, departed this life on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at her residence. She was born on March 04, 1945 a daughter of the late June Ray and Martha Butcher Eakle [....]  Read More

Ruth Hill Worstell

The Free Press WV Age 90, of Vienna, WV, passed away December 8th at Cedar Grove Assisted Living in Parkersburg after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Ruth was born March 12, 1928 in Greenwood, WV a daughter of the late Dorsey and Georgia (Starkey) Hill [....]  Read More

Betty E. Shaver Maditz

The Free Press WV of Spelter, WV and Big Flint communities passed away on December 04, 2018 at Pineview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Harrisville after a brief battle of cancer. She was born on April 30, 1929 in Monongah, WV to the late Paul and Lucy Lambert Shaver [....]  Read More

Willard Holmes McCloy

The Free Press WVAge 84, of Parkersburg, WV, departed this life on Saturday, December 01, 2018, at Cedar Grove Personal Care Home in Parkersburg, WV. Willard was born November 13, 1934 at home in Doddridge County, WV a son of the late William and Mary Olive (Reed) McCloy [ .... ]  Read More

Lessie Lee Jones-Pridemore

The Free Press WVAge 87, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Thursday, November 29, 2018, at Pine View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Harrisville, WV. Lessie was born May 10, 1931 in Pennsboro, WV, a daughter of the late Ralph and Iva (Scadden) Jones [ .... ]  Read More

Gregory Kent Holden II

The Free Press WV Age 34 of Dogwood Lane West Union, WV departed this life on Sunday, November 25, 2018.  He was born on November 20, 1984 in Clarksburg, WV a son of Gregory Kent Holden I of Vienna and Susan Diane Jackson O’Neil of Bradenton, FL [....]  Read More

William “Bill” Low Swisher, Sr.

The Free Press WVAge 93, of Pennsboro, WV passed away November 25, 2018 at Camden Clark Medical Center. He was born January 19, 1925 in Doddridge County, WV to the late Melburn Eugene and Lulu Desel Davis Swisher [ .... ]  Read More

Budge Roy Elliott

The Free Press WV Age 77, of Harrisville, WV, departed this life on Friday, November 23, 2018, at his residence. Budge was born September 06, 1941 in Doddridge County, WV, a son of the late John D. and Myrtle Edna (Lowe) Elliott [....]  Read More

Gail Leoan Whitehair Swisher

The Free Press WVAge ge 97 years, of New Milton, WV, passed away on November 19, 2018. She was born January 4th, 1921 at Oxford, WV (Bear Run Community) the third daughter of seven girls, of Guy and Ella Gregg Whitehair [ .... ]  Read More

Robert G. Middleton

The Free Press WVAge 86, of Parkersburg, WV passed away on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at Parkersburg Care Center. He was born July 12, 1932, in Doddridge County, WV, a son of the late Harold B. and Mildred E. Wade Middleton [ .... ]  Read More

Clara (Fleming) Ford

The Free Press WVBorn on September 02, 1930 passed away November 12, 2018 at age 88. Clara was a resident of West Union, Doddridge County, WV; and previously a resident of Clarksburg, WV [ .... ]  Read More

James Patrick Bankert

The Free Press WV Age 73 of Big Flint Road, West Union, WV departed this life on Friday, November 02, 2018 in his residence.  He was born on December 28, 1944 in Hanover, PA a son of the late Carroll “Pat” and Anna May Greenholtz Bankert.  [....]  Read More

Evelyn Irene Schmidt

The Free Press WVAge 89, of New Milton, WV (Doddridge County) passed away on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at her home following a sudden illness. She was born in Hurst, WV (Lewis County) on October 11, 1929: daughter of the late Ernest Franklin Rastle and Opie Dell (Gray) Rastle [ .... ]  Read More

Kendall Goodwin

The Free Press WVAge 65, of Pike, WV, departed this life on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, at his residence, following a courageous battle with cancer. Kendall was born February 14, 1953 in Pennsboro, WV, a son of the late Paul Kennith and Dorothy (Starkey) Goodwin [ .... ]  Read More

Viola Bland DeFrances

The Free Press WVAge 86 years, a resident of Bayonet Point, Florida, and Pittsburgh, PA departed this life Friday evening, October 26, in Chester County Hospital, West Chester PA. She was born in 1932, in Doddridge County, WV, a daughter of the late Clyde M. Ford and Mamie Bland Ford [ .... ]  Read More

Marilou Hinzman

The Free Press WVAge 77, of West Union, WV (Joy Cabin Run Community) departed this life on Monday, October 29, 2018, at her residence. Marilou was born February 22, 1941 in Bellaire, OH, a daughter of the late Andrew and Mary (Chimley) Augusta [ .... ]  Read More

Herman Lee Adams

The Free Press WVAge 88, of Whipple, OH (formerly of New Matamoras, OH), departed this life on Saturday, October 27, 2018, at his residence. Herman was born April 16, 1930 in West Union, WV, a son of the late Forest and Pearl (Bates) Adams [ .... ]  Read More

David Burl Pierce

The Free Press WV Age 88 of Letter Gap, WV (Gilmer County) departed this earthly life, peacefully on the evening of Sunday, October 28, 2018 at his residence surrounded by his loving family. He was born December 07, 1929 in Oxford, WV (Doddridge County); son of the late Lincoln and Felsie Miller Pierce [....]  Read More

Anna Lee Heckert

The Free Press WVAge 82 of Weston, WV passed away at 1:50 PM on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 under the compassionate care of Crestview Manor Nursing Home. She was born in Weston, WV on December 01, 1935 a daughter of the late William Hayward Butcher and Cora Lillian Rogers [ .... ]  Read More

Nancy Virginia Johnson

The Free Press WV Age 78, of Smithburg, WV (Doddridge County) departed this life on Monday, October 22, 2018 in her residence surrounded by her loving family.  She was born at Smithburg, WV on April 06, 1940 to the late Dorsey and Virginia Randolph Moore   [....]  Read More

Naomi Mae Smith

The Free Press WV Age 82 of Sidehill Road, Rutland, OH departed this life on Saturday, October 20, 2018 in the Holzer Medical Center, Gallipolis, OH.  She was born on February 01, 1936 on Broad Run, Doddridge County, WV a daughter of the late Homer Ray and Naomi Isophene Ferrebee Swiger [....]  Read More

Betty Lou Stansberry

The Free Press WV Age 86 of Stuart Avenue, West Union, WV passed away on Tuesday October 09, 2018 in her residence. She was born on October 07, 1932 at Sunnyside, Doddridge County, WV a daughter of the late Avery and Pearl Wolfe Fleming   [....]  Read More

Rondall Joe Miller

The Free Press WV Age 74 of Normantown, WV passed away at 3:00 PM on Friday, September 21, 2018 in Morgantown. Rondall was born in Doddridge County, WV, on February 24, 1944, a son of Joseph Avender Stout and Delena Miller [....]  Read More

Jerry Lee Myer

The Free Press WV Age ge 79, of Mistake Run, Alma, WV, departed this life on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at the United Hospital Center, Bridgeport, WV. He was born on September 27, 1938, on Mistake Run, Alma, WV a son of the late Walter M. and Elsie Britton Myer [....]  Read More

Charlotte Ann Turner

The Free Press WVAge 63, of Weston, WV passed away at 7:15 AM on Thursday, September 20, 2018, after a extended battle with an illness. She was born in Marlinton, WV, on December 10, 1954 a daughter of Phillis Jewel Carpenter Biggs of Marlinton, WV and the late Lacy Wiseman [ .... ]  Read More

Myriam “Jean” Faulkner

The Free Press WVof Vienna, WV, passed on September 17, 2018, at Camden Clark Medical Center surrounded by her lifelong friends. She was born on August 27, 1944 in West Union, West Virginia, a daughter to the late Timothy James Faulkner and Myriam L. Hutson Faulkner [ .... ]  Read More

Shirley L. Smith

The Free Press WV Age 74, of Vincent, OH passed away Friday August 14, 2018 at her residence. She was born in Doddridge County, WV a daughter of the late Avery Joseph and Daisy Pearl (Shafer) McKinney [....]  Read More

Delores Margaret Weekley

The Free Press WV Age 81 of Douglas Run Road, West Union, WV departed this life on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at her residence surrounded by her loving family.  She was born at Cleveland, OH on November 05, 1936 a daughter of the late George and Margaret Royster Yelenic [....]  Read More

Ethel A. Rowe

The Free Press WV Age 95 of West Union, WV departed this life on Friday, August 31, 2018 in Pine View Nursing Home, Harrisville.  She was born in Marion County, WV on November 15, 1922 a daughter of the late John and Luca Janes O’Neal [....]  Read More

Doreen G. Harney

The Free Press WVAge 50, of Greenwood, WV (Duckworth Road Community), departed this life on Sunday, September 02, 2018, as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Doreen was born February 13, 1968 in Pompton Lakes, NJ the youngest daughter of the late Rev. Paul Venes and Marilyn (Hendrickson) Venes [ .... ]  Read More

Mary Louise Weber

The Free Press WVAge 87, of 222 Cottage Avenue, Weston, West Virginia passed away peacefully in her sleep August 23, 2018 surrounded by her family. She was born in Saint Clara, Doddridge County, WV, August 08, 1931, daughter of the late Henry Joseph Dropplemen and Emma Mary (Mayberry) Dropplemen [ .... ]  Read More

John Carter Lacher Bunting

The Free Press WVInfant son of John Tyler Bunting and Madison Paige Lacher of Salem, WV passed away August 20, 2018 at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.  He was born July 18, 2018 in Morgantown, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Mary Sue Utter

The Free Press WVAge 70, of Salem, WV, departed this life on Monday, August 13, 2018, at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, WV. Sue was born February 15, 1948 at home in Salem, WV daughter of the late John D. and Mary Agnes (Nutter) Kearns [ .... ]  Read More

Michael Wayne Runyon

The Free Press WVAge 68 of West Union, WV departed this life on Saturday, August 11, 2018 in Marietta Memorial Hospital.  He was born on February 06, 1950 in Charleston, WV a son of the late Kenna and Willa Dean Payne Runyon [ .... ]  Read More

Corwin Dale Nicholson

The Free Press WV Age 89, of Coldwater, Doddridge County, WV passed away Monday, July 30, 2018. He was born August 26, 1928 in Coldwater, WV, the third child of the late Homer C. and Phyllis V. Swisher Nicholson [....]  Read More

Argel Ash

The Free Press WVA resident of Elkins, WV, departed this life on July 19, 2018.  He was born September 01, 1944 in Doddridge County, WV the son of the late Blaine and Mary (Barker) Ash [ .... ]  Read More

Amy Patricia “Patty” Demorest

The Free Press WV Age 62 of Elk Lick Road, West Union, WV departed this life onThursday, July 19, 2018 at her residence. She was born on May 31, 1956 in Clarksburg, WV to the late Charles Louis and Chesna Helen McConnell Merritt [....]  Read More

Dwaine Seckman

The Free Press WV Age 83 of Garland Lane (Sedalia Community), Salem, WV departed this life on Thursday, July 12, 2018. He was born on March 23, 1935 at Center Point, WV, a son of the late Archie and Vanci Robinson Seckman [....]  Read More

Doit Leon Koppler

The Free Press WVCaptain U.S. Army (Retired), age 80, of New Milton, WV departed this life on Monday, July 02, 2018.  He was born in Wabash Township, IL on December 24, 1937, a son of the late Leon F. Koppler and Lila J. Lee Morrison [ .... ]  Read More

Dianna Lynn Smith

The Free Press WV Age 68, of West Union, WV, passed away July 03, 2018 at United Hospital Center, Bridgeport, WV. She was born November 29, 1949 at Parkersburg, WV, the daughter of the late Raymond P. and Margaret L.Metz [....]  Read More

Shannon Dawn Underwood

The Free Press WV Age 40, of Greenwood, WV departed this life on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at CCMC in Parkersburg, WV. Shannon was born October 25, 1977 in Harrison County, WV, a daughter of the late Jesse James and Kate Anna (Todd) Underwood [....]  Read More

Dale W. Whitehair

The Free Press WVAge 82, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at his residence. Dale was born March 24, 1936 in Pennsboro, WV, a son of the late George and Nina (Jewell) Whitehair [ .... ]  Read More

Doyle Duane Smith

The Free Press WVAge 87, of Washington, WV passed away June 12, 2018, in The Willows Center, Parkersburg with his family by his side. He was born May 06, 1931, in West Union, WV, a son of the late Otha E. and Ruth E. (Squires) Smith [ .... ]  Read More

Ida May McCutchan

The Free Press WV Age 80 of Deep Valley Community departed this life on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.  She was born on Long Run, Greenwood Community on February 25, 1938 a daughter of the late Orval Lester and Mollie Thelma Jenkins Stevens [....]  Read More

Wayne Clark Ravenscroft

The Free Press WVAge 80 of West Union WV, passed away on June 04, 2018, at United Hospital Center, surrounded by his family.  He was born June 24, 1937 Uniontown, PA; raised by the late Silas and Ruth Elaine Ravenscroft Pugh [ .... ]  Read More

Roxie Davis

The Free Press WV Age 93, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Monday, June 04, 2018, at PineView Continuous Care in Harrisville, WV. Roxie was born July 23, 1924 in Greenwood, WV, a daughter of the late Michael and Maude (Batton) Dotson [....]  Read More

Edith Mae (Williams) Good

The Free Press WV Age 79, of Mt. Vernon, OH, (formerly of Cabin Run Community near West Union, WV) departed this life on Sunday, June 03, 2018, at Riverside Hospital in Columbus, OH. Edith was born January 03, 1939 on Leeson Run in Doddridge County, a daughter of the late William B. and Emily Madge (Mossor) Williams [....]  Read More

Cynthia Rose Means

The Free Press WV Age 50 of New Milton, WV passed away suddenly surrounded by her family in the early morning hours of May 27, 2018 at United Hospital Center [....]  Read More

James David Owens

The Free Press WV Age 70, of West Union, WV, departed this life on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. James was born February 29, 1948 in Parkersburg, WV, a son of the late James Grant Owens and Genevieve (Carder) Owens of Pennsboro, WV [....]  Read More

Dennis “Frank” McDonald

The Free Press WV Age 67, departed this life on May 18, 2018 at his residence. He was born on August 26, 1950 in Harrisville, WV a son of the late Dennis Edward and Mary Jett McDonald [....]  Read More

Wilda Jean Pierce Kidder

The Free Press WVof St. Marys, WV passed away on the morning of Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Jean was born in Doddridge County, WV to the late Benjamin Pierce and Wilda Kathleen Tucker on February 40, 1946 [ .... ]  Read More

John Clement Kreyenbuhl

The Free Press WVAge 77 of New Milton, WV departed this life on Saturday, May 05, 2018 surrounded by his loving family.  He was born on August 03, 1940 in Clarksburg, WV a son of the late Clement Leopold and Regina Droppleman Kreyenbuhl [ .... ]  Read More

Readers' Recent Comments

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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Looked at the strategic plan for the GCES. It is a major achievement for the new GCBE to provide the information to the public.

Suggestion. Could the GCBOE post a meaning of all abbreviations in the plan? Doing that would make it far easier for readers to understand details in the plan.

By Help Understanding on 10.17.2018

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

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Thanks Mrs. Lowther and the BOE for providing meeting minutes for the public to read.

Those of us who voted for the levy would appreciate receiving specific information for what is being done at the grade school and the high school to make needed improvements for college and career readiness.

Could a current overview and updates throughout the school year be provided to the public?

Why not put the details on websites of the two schools to give the principals a chance to shine?

By Levy Supporter on 10.16.2018

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

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“engage in pedantic colloquy?“

No Bill.

By WEKNOWYOU on 10.14.2018

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

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Correct.  I do not wish to engage in back and forth useless ‘banter’ with big words and no results.  What I AM interested in is Gilmer County, in all it’s ways.  Education, Food, Law and Transparency.  Fancy words are often used to hide, divide, and distract..  Plain words speaking truth for the safety and well being of the people is what I’m looking for..  Gilmer is suffering… I want it to stop. I want to see the citizens healthy, educated and strong. I want to see more jobs instead of food banks.  I want Committee meetings for all to see. I want the law to do what it should, when it should.  Plain english would work fine.  Thanks for asking.

By Reader7 on 10.14.2018

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

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Lol 7, you do not wish to engage in a pedantic colloquy?

By Smart Feller on 10.13.2018

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

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All nice but a small request? Can we simplify some of the language?  Don’t mean to be rude, but fancy works aren’t needed for the Truth.

By Reader7 on 10.12.2018

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

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Stop living the delusion the state will fix education.
They have caused the problem.
Remember, for them, job one IS job protection.

Rare in history, that the cause of a problem, has come forth with a solution to what they have caused. They keep resetting testing standards so as not have any ‘yardstick’ they can be measured against.  Apparently people just don’t get it?  And the WVBOE is so happy about that.

By it-ain't-a-gonna-happen. period. on 10.12.2018

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

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There is a continuum for sophistication regarding what is done with data.

Collecting and compiling it is at the low end of sophistication.

Synthesis is at the high end.

This means using results and other information to make specific recommendations for making improvements.

The State took its typical easy way out by failing to go beyond the data compilation stage.

By Easy Way Out on 10.10.2018

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

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The comment about need to find out what was done at high performance schools to determine what we could do in Gilmer County to get the same results merits a comment.

The comment flags what is wrong with the State BOE in failing to provide effective leadership.

Does anyone recall a single instance, after tens of millions of dollars were spent on amassing data, when the State BOE did anything to effectively address lessons learned at high performance schools for application at other schools?

Of course not! It is the easy way out for those in high income brackets in Charleston to collect data instead of using it to the maximum to take full advantage of lessons learned.

Could the WV School Board Association help fill the gap?

By Lost Opportunity on 10.07.2018

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

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Harry, So sorry to hear of the passing of your wife.  I’m also sorry that I never got to know her because if she was anything like you, I’m sure she was pretty special.  Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.  May God’s love be with you my friend.

By Greg Garvin on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Judith “Judy” Carolyn Buckley Rich'.

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What is the BOE’s proficiency goal for English and mathematics and what is the time frame for achieving the goal? That is news citizens want.

Then too, how can citizens at large get involved to honor and to encourage students who improve, and what of a similar nature could be done to give special recognition to outstanding teachers who contribute to improved learning for English and math?

By Positive Changes Made By New BOE on 10.04.2018

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

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The BOE and Mrs Lowther deserve high praise for disclosing proficiency information to the public.

It is the first time since 2011 anything like this has happened.

We still do not know about results for science, and it is understood that Charleston is still “working” on it.

Now we know our serious shortcomings in math and English and there is new hope for burrowing out of the mess with everyone in Gilmer working together.

By Thanks Gilmer BOE on 10.03.2018

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

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Well, dear citizen… sometimes the local ‘law’ gets it wrong.  #truth #JusticeForGilmer

By Transparency matters on 09.30.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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Soooo…...why do we never see a big drug bust in Gilmer?
With the college and others, there are plenty sources.
Seems strange?

By citizen 3 on 09.23.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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If you access http://www.mywvschool.com it is evident that some schools outpace others for math and English.

For examples look at data for Lizemore Elementary in Clay County, Alum Creek Elementary in Kanawha County, Rock Branch Elementary in Putnam county, and Greenmont Elementary in Wood County.

Gilmer BOE why not assign someone to evaluate what is being done at those school and others to make them State standouts and to apply lessons learned to our elementary schools?

The same applies to learning from others regarding how to get high marks at GCHS.

By Learn What Works From Others on 09.23.2018

From the entry: 'WV and Area Counties Balanced Scorecard for School Year 2017-2018'.

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I have not read anyone blaming our teachers.  Quite the contrary.
There have been some well thought out comments submitted too.
I am old enough to remember when we had few issues about quality education.

Forget Charleston? Better not.
Believe we are still in their “probation” period.
You better check out just what that means.

By GC--still on state probation? on 09.22.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Why not go for it on our own and use the tried and widely accepted Iowa Test of Basic Skills to evaluate learning proficiency of our children?

It is the longest running test in America and it goes back to 1936.

One outcome of using the test is that each grade would be evaluated and compared to performances to schools in other parts of America.

We would probably have to go through hoop jumps of the State’s everchanging testing too.

By Iowa Test For Gilmer on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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To compound complexity of the issue, Gilmer is different from McDowell and both are different than Monongahela.

The implication is that getting out of the crisis must be county-specific and there is no one size that will fit all of WV’s 55 school systems.

Each county is on its own and ones with the best planning, local boards of education, and administrators will shine. Forget about Charleston!

By County-Specific on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Similar to most complex problems there are several categories contributing to WV’s dismal failure in improving education results in our grade and high schools.

Information in referred journal is beginning to show up. Some of the categories include curriculum issues in high schools, block scheduling failures in high schools, inordinate emphasis on sports at the expense of academics, inadequate prep of grade schoolers to ensure that they get firm foundations in math and English Language Arts, failure to instill need for life long learning at early ages, failure for school systems to fund continuing education of teachers to prepare them for newly emerged practices for enhanced student learning, cultural impediments including failure of some families to encourage children and to give them extra learning help at home, dysfunctional families for children to grow up in caused by drug and alcohol abuse and chronic unemployment, grade inflation characterized by too many As and Bs and attitudes that nobody fails so pass them along, failure of school boards to hire the best qualified superintendents and teachers because of local emphasis on favoring “home grow” individuals, failure of school boards to define performance expectations for superintendents to make effective accountability impossible, constantly changing types of State mandated testing to cause chaos and morale problems, poor compensation of teachers necessary to attract and keep the best and the brightest, etc.

To blame all problems on teachers is a cruel travesty.

One of the weakest links contributing to a lack of progress in improving WV schools is that instead of analyzing the full spectrum of contributing problems and focusing on ones with the biggest payoff potential, the trend in Charleston is to constantly apply band aid approaches with hopes that “cures” will be stumbled on accidentally.

By Do Not Blame It All On Our Teachers on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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The problem with preK-12 education in WV is that a holistic and and technically defensible evaluation of contributing factors to cause WV’s problems and how to deal with them has not occurred.

Instead, under direction of clueless politicians ineffective muddling prevails while selling what is done at a particular time as the definitive solution.

How many times have we witnessed muddling over the past 20-30 Years? It still goes on in Charleston.

Why not obtain a grant to have qualified experts analyze success stories around the Nation and use findings to craft a demonstration project in Gilmer County to improve our school system?

Regardless of what we do there must be open minds in seeking out what to do in homes, schools,  teacher education programs in our institutions of higher learning, continuing education for classroom teachers, and to involve various factions in our community to achieve acceptable results. Everyone must band together as a unified team to make it work.

One trap is over emphasis of sports. If the same magnitude of attention and importance were to be focused on solving preK-12 education problems in WV, great strides could be made to benefit deserving children.

By Muddling on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Our heartfelt condolences on the passing of Mr. Ron. I too know this pain of losing a beloved father. Both of these men were taken way too soon. Praying maybe Mr.Ron, my Dad, and all the former Westinghouse employees in heaven are getting together. Love and prayers from, Adrienne and family.

By Adrienne (Trimper) Johnson on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'Ronald J. Vanskiver'.

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West Virginia’s educational failures is NOT because of classroom teachers.

It IS because of the WV Board of Education’s failures of the past 20-30 years.

That 9 member, lopsided governor board is a crime against children and education in WV as a whole.

It needs 3 teachers, 3 general public parent members, and 3 governor appointees.

Until that governors click gang is broken up, you simply see repeats of the past.  NO progress in education.

It will take the legislature to fix it, but they are too busy with the legislature created court system failure, while trying to line pockets with gas and oil money.

By Tell It Like It Is ! on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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What is the plausible rationale for Gilmer not disclosing detailed facts similar to what Superintendent Hosaflook did?

Wood County reported 11,176 students in its 27 schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

In comparison Gilmer had 734 reported students in our two schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

Wood County had 15 times more students than Gilmer and it is reasonable to assume that it was 15 times more demanding to administer with its 27 schools.

If Wood County could get detailed facts out to the public with its significantly higher work load what keeps tiny Gilmer from doing the same?

By Why Gilmer BOE? on 09.18.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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We have not had a responsible, functioning, WVBE for 20 years.
Not one that would accept any responsibility.

They just keep changing ‘score keeping’ so there can be no accurate tracking of student progress.

State ranks 48th or 49th on educational outcomes. Still.
Colleges still have to give remedial classes.

The ONLY thing that changes are the names of the governor appointed players.
And just look at the ‘cost-per-pupil’ spending!
We are about the highest in the nation.

West Virginia State Board of Education = complete failure.  Nothing less.

By just more smoke and mirrors on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released for Public Schools in West Virginia'.

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Never could figure out why working people, retirees, volunteers are picking up trash left by adults?

Not when we have the numbers of bored prisoners we have locked up doing nothing??

By No solution here- on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Adopt-A-Highway Fall Statewide Cleanup Set for September 29'.

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Go to http://www.mywvschool.org to access more official State information about Gilmer’s schools. There are serious red flags in need of immediate corrective attention.

If you access Lewis County schools on the same web site you can review info for LES. Look at the red flags there. Worse than GES.

Instead of using the info to criticize it can be useful in seeking out opportunities for making immediate improvements.

For those who take apologetic stands that Gilmer is doing as well as some other WV counties and everything is fine, it does not mean that inferior educations for our children are acceptable.

By Look At Red Flags on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Who is responsible for Gilmer’s oversight of the LES?

If you access the State’s website you will learn that math and reading is red flagged for the LCES to be as bad as it can get.

Why is it that nothing is reported in Gilmer County about how that school is doing when we know that our sixth grade finishers from over there will go to the GCHS to finish their educations? 

It is like our students who attend LCES are forgotten about. Someone needs to be watching out for them.

By Who Minds The Store on 09.15.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The really sad stories are left out.
The students who accrue debt and for whatever reasons, drop out of school after a year or two.

They have little hope of improving incomes, but still have debt.
More of them than you think.

By More sad ones to be told. on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Information made ‘public’ forces accountability.
Do not hold your breath lest you turn blue.

‘They’ want elected. Get their place at the trough.
Then discover ‘exposure’ makes their work more difficult.

Informed citizens make informed decisions.
Why do we see the same names being elected over and over and over?

By WHEN we're allowed to see it......? on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Lots of work to be done with schools in Gilmer County. 2017-2018 Summative Assessments out today for student achievement.

Gilmer County High School.

For Math
*Exceed or Meet Standards=40% of Students.
*Fail to Meet Standards=60% of Students

For Reading
*Exceed or Meet Standards=36% of Students
*Fail to Meet Standards=64%

The scores speak volumes. What was done to accurately determine causes of failures and what will be done about it? BOE, the public has a right to know answers.

By Public Demands Answers on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The Founding Fathers screwed up, we should not have to work and pay our bills. Let that man behind the tree work and pay for it all.
Free education should be a right.
Free food should be a right.
Free healthcare should be a right. 
Free transportation should be a right.
Free entertainment should be a right.

By Smart Feller on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Thank you BOE members and Mrs. Lowther. Let’s work together at all community levels to make Gilmer County an educational power house in West Virginia. We can do it as an effective team and provision of information will be the key to success.

By Better Times On The Way on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Accountability - good point - and across Gilmer County.  We’ve seen glimpses and pieces of news WHEN we’re allowed to see it, mere mortals that we are. But never any follow up.  And the information come in bits and pieces (remember when we actually got to SEE what the Gilmer County Commission was up to?)  My question is, why do we never see the accountability or repercussion for actions of current Gilmer ‘elite’??

By Transparency matters on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Encouraging news that the superintendent will present her goals for Gilmer Schools on 9/10.

We assume that there will be a commitment for specific goals to achieve, measurable outcomes, completion dates for different steps and final goal achievement, and a meaningful monitoring program to determine if we are on track or there is need for mid-course fine tuning.

If any of this is missing there will not be meaningful accountability. Excellent business plans have all the components addressed above.

By Waiting To See on 09.09.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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