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Lewis County

Lewis County

LEADING CREEK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: West Virginia’s First

The old order changeth, yielding place to new
And God fulfills himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Morte d’Arthur

The Gilmer Free Press

By statute H.B. 3160 and H.B. 2755, Leading Creek Elementary School is a pilot initiative managed by a Joint governance Committee consisting of the county Superintendents from Gilmer and Lewis, two Board Members and a representative of the State Board of Education. This pilot designation is for a five-year period with the option to extend such designation for additional five-year periods.

Since the Leading Creek Elementary School has already been given pilot or “special” designation, I would propose that the school further expand upon its special mission by creating a framework for a model curricular and teaching methodology to improve student outcomes and increase parental and community involvement. One goal could be to utilize both new and time-tested approaches to increase student outcomes at all grade levels.

This new school, shared by two counties, offers challenges and opportunities to the counties and the state to step forward in focusing on the needs of students as determined by the teachers, administrators, retired teachers and professionals from higher education. A wealth of valuable experience rests with many retired elementary teachers in the area whose success in the classroom is beyond question. Additionally, there are three institutions of higher education nearby with professional expertise that could be drawn upon for the benefit of the new school.

As a member of the Joint governance Board, I would ask the State Board of Education and our Legislative body to designate Leading Creek Elementary School as a model for change and allow the teachers, principal, retired teachers, professional educators and parents to design and implement approaches to teaching subjects at the school which would reflect proven methodologies from the past, and current innovations to make for improved student outcomes and generate increased public confidence in our schools. At all times it is necessary to freely communicate with the public, parents and the education community.

Should the school be given the flexibilities and opportunity to break the mold and change some patterns, I sincerely believe that the school will gain regional support, make the case for success of inter county and multi-county schools and demonstrate that the State is willing to entrust educators to use their best to move educational performance forward and off dead center. At the end of the first five-year pilot designation, i predict that the State Board, taxpayers, legislators and parents will be proud of the new school on the banks of Leading Creek in Gilmer and Lewis Counties.

Challenge the two county School Boards, the Inter County Governance committee, parents, and the professional educators to deliver a quality educational experience at all grade levels at West Virginia’s first inter county school.

Oh but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp
Or what’s a heaven for.
Robert Browning “Andrea del Sarto”

~~  William K. Simmons, Ph.D.  ~~

GOVERNOR TOMBLIN ANNOUNCES FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION GRANTED FOR 12 COUNTIES

Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Lewis, Marshall, Ohio,
Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler and Wetzel Counties to receive federal assistance

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV—Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today announced a federal disaster declaration has been approved for Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Lewis, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler and Wetzel counties.  The declaration will provide assistance with ongoing state and local recovery efforts resulting from the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that occurred April 08-11, 2015.

“This assistance will help our counties address critical infrastructure needs resulting from the severe storms and increment weather during those dates, which represent one of three separate storm events this spring,“ Governor Tomblin said.  “I’m grateful to members of our Congressional delegation for their support of my request for federal help.“

Funds will be available to state and local agencies under the federal disaster declaration.

The declaration provides assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged between April 08 and April 11.

Governor Tomblin requested a federal disaster declaration for 12 West Virginia counties on May 07.

The public assistance funding does not provide individual assistance for county residents.

Hazard Mitigation grants are available for all 55 West Virginia counties.

All counties are eligible to apply for this financial assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

Leadership Conference for WV Students

The Gilmer Free Press

WESTON, WV — College students from across West Virginia are meeting at Jackson’s Mill next week to learn new ways to strengthen their campus communities. More than 75 student representatives from West Virginia’s two-year and four-year colleges and universities will participate in the annual West Virginia Student Leadership Conference to be held Monday, May 18 through Wednesday, May 20. The conference is sponsored by the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS), the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and Shepherd University.

During the conference, students will attend breakout sessions focused on helping them inspire and engage their classmates and mobilize groups in support of community goals. Students will also work together to identify the unique needs facing their campuses and share ideas for addressing these issues.

“Higher education is not a product that our faculty and administrators hand down to students,” Dr. Paul Hill, chancellor of the Commission, said. “It’s about creating a learning environment where students are collaborators in the experience. I commend the students who are participating in this year’s Leadership Conference for their commitment to that ideal.”

“Leadership and problem solving skills are absolutely essential for students entering today’s workforce,” James Skidmore, WVCTCS chancellor said. “These students are working hard to develop their skills for future employment, and to put those lessons to use directly within our campus communities.”

Media resource: West Virginia Student Leadership 2015 Conference Schedule

NEARLY $6.8 MILLION FOR HOUSING PROGRAMS ACROSS WEST VIRGINIA

The Gilmer Free Press

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today announced $6,787,508 in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to public housing authorities across West Virginia.  The funding will be used for operations and management efforts to help ensure safe and decent public housing across the state.

“In West Virginia, we understand the importance of supporting one another in times of need,” Senator Manchin said. “We should do everything we can to make sure that our neighbors have the necessary resources to get back on their feet, contribute to their communities and provide for their families. That starts with offering them the basic necessity of decent housing. These funds will help provide a safe home for West Virginians who are struggling and will also promote one of our state’s top priorities: neighbors helping neighbors.”

“Public housing helps our most vulnerable citizens, and this funding will help disabled and low-income individuals find access to safe and stable living conditions,” said Senator Capito. “West Virginians always look out for one another, especially in times of need, and this funding will be a big help to our friends and neighbors in need of a place to call home.”

The following housing authorities were awarded grants:

·    Charleston/Kanawha Housing Authority – $1,454,366

·    Housing Authority of the City of Huntington – $1,036,222

·    Housing Authority of the City of Wheeling – $582,885

·    Housing Authority of the City of Martinsburg – $412,220

·    Housing Authority of the City of Beckley – $253,384

·    Housing Authority of the City of Williamson – $240,317

·    Housing Authority of the City of Bluefield – $218,673

·    Clarksburg/Harrison Housing Authority – $213,239

·    Housing Authority of the City of Parkersburg – $198,694

·    Housing Authority of Benwood and McMechen – $172,080

·    Housing Authority of the City of Grafton – $167,616

·    Fairmont/Morgantown Housing Authority – $163,323

·    Housing Authority of the City of Mount Hope – $159,350

·    Housing Authority of the City of Moundsville – $159,185

·    Housing Authority of the County of Jackson – $134,822

·    Housing Authority of the City of Point Pleasant – $128,638

·    Housing Authority of the City of Keyser – $110,957

·    Housing Authority of the City of Weirton – $104,821

·    Housing Authority of the City of Spencer – $102,029

·    Housing Authority of the City of Dunbar – $96,982

·    Housing Authority of the City of St. Albans – $86,687

·    Housing Authority of Raleigh County – $86,229

·    Housing Authority of the City of South Charleston – $82,128

·    Housing Authority of the City of Piedmont – $79,040

·    Housing Authority of the City of Elkins – $71,611

·    Housing Authority of the City of Buckhannon – $70,884

·    Housing Authority of the City of Romney – $62,863

·    Housing Authority of Mingo County – $57,996

·    Housing Authority of Boone County – $57,643

·    Housing Authority of the City of Weston – $22,624

WV Eighth Graders Receive Golden Horseshoe Award on Friday, May 01, 2015

CHARLESTON, WV – Knowledge of the Mountain State really paid off for a group of eighth graders who were honored with a prestigious award at the Culture Center Friday.

On Friday, 233 eighth grade students from across the state received the award for their knowledge of history and culture.

State Superintendent Michael Martirano inducted the students from all 55 counties as Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Society during a pinning ceremony at the Culture Center in Charleston. The award is considered one of the greatest honors bestowed upon students in West Virginia.

“The Golden Horseshoe is coveted by many in the state, but received by very few,“ said Martirano. “It is an honor that these students can be proud of for years to come.“

The Gilmer Free Press


The Golden Horseshoe test has been administered in West Virginia each year since 1931 and is the longest running program of its kind in the United States. The top-scoring students in each county receive the prestigious award. Each county has at least two winners. The exam tests student knowledge on West Virginia citizenship, civics and government, economics, geography, history and current events.

The Golden Horseshoe originated in the early 1700s in Virginia when then-Governor Alexander Spotswood saw the need for exploration of the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, most of which is now West Virginia. Spotswood organized a party of about 50 men to explore the frontier. At the end of the exploration, he presented each member of the party with a golden horseshoe.

Translated from Latin, the inscription on each horseshoe read, “Thus it was decided to cross the mountains.“ On the other side was written, “Order of the Golden Horseshoe.“ Because of this, the recipients became known as ‘The Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.‘“

Those who Received Golden Horseshoe Award in the Region Are:

 

Barbour
Ariel Jones
Gage Poling
Anna Ruf

Braxton
Brady Bender
Garrett Perkins
Sydney Skidmore

Calhoun
Jeremy Parsons
Destiny Wager

Clay
Oliva Legg
Heather Sears
James Summers

Doddridge
Andrew McKinney
Jamila Wright

Gilmer
Logan Phares
Kaylene Snyder

Harrison
Hailie Davis
Brooke Driscoll
Alanna Lowther
Tristan Nolte
Vincent Pinti
Gunnar Webb

Lewis
Brice Johnston
Ryan Overton
Makenna Spangler

Nicholas
Kate Belmont
Hannah Dorsey
Brayden Hornsby
Madison Spencer

Ritchie
Haley Mitchel
Michael Sammons
Samuel Summers

Roane
Dylan Hammack
Carley Jarrell
Jeffrey Proctor-Kinsley

Tyler
Dylan Seckman
Noah Smith
Alaina Thompson

Upshur
Anthony Cutlip
Tyler Sikarskie
Seth Warner

Webster
Andrew Holcomb
Parker Stout
ShaiAnne Williams

Wetzel
Cameron Melott
Jordan Stackpole
Noah Wade

Wirt
Bradley Hall
Sophia Steigleder

Wood
Benjamin Barbarito
Phillip Essenmacher
Jackson Hudkins
Andrew Larsen
Bryce Moore
Hunter Tate
Nathan Winger
Kathy Williams - Honorary Winner

Click H E R E for Complete Printable List

G-Eye™: Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Report - 04.20.15

The Gilmer Free Press
REGULAR MEETING REPORT
Gilmer County Board of Education
Gilmer County High School
Monday, April 20, 2015 – 6:00 PM

I. CALL TO ORDER - Roll Call by President


II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE


III. DELEGATIONS


IV. CONSENT AGENDA

        A. Minutes: March 16, 2015 (Regular & Special)

———————————————————————————————————————-

MINUTES REGULAR MEETING

The Board of Education of the County of Gilmer Monday, March 16, 2015 - 6:00 PM Gilmer County High School

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by President, Dr. Williams Simmons.

ROLL CALL

Members present: Misty Pritt, Tom Ratliff, William Simmons, Carl Armour, Norma Hurley and Gabriel J. Devono, Secretary.

Others Present: Rick Kinder, Cheryl Strother, Nasia Butcher, Dave Ramezan, Kyre-Anna Minney, Bob Hardman, Michelle Raines and Kim Bonnett.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Tom Ratliff led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance.

DELEGATIONS

Rick Kinder
Michelle Raines
Dave Ramezan
Kim Bonnett (on behalf of WVEAJ)

CONSENT AGENDA

Misty Pritt moved to approve all consent agenda and new business items and Tom Ratliff seconded. Motion passed 5-0.

REVIEW 7 CONSIDER REVISIONS OF DELEGATION POLICY

Norma Hurley moved to table item and Carl Armour seconded. Motion passed 5-0.

MASONIC CORNERSTONE - GILMER COUNTY ELEMENTARY

Carl Armour made a motion to have no action on the item because the Board does not have any authority for new facilities and should the State decide to place the cornerstone, the state or the Masons should assume all financial responsibilities. Norma Hurley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

SUPERINTENDENTS INFORMATION

A. Spring break and calendar-Misty Pritt moved to approve the third option voted on by employees which is observing Good Friday and Monday as Spring Break and to utilize April 7-10 as instructional days. Tom Ratliff seconded. Motion passed 5-0.

B. Request for Purchase Technology-Mr. Devono read the following recommendation to the Board:

Gilmer County Board of Education: I am proposing for the Gilmer County Board of Education to approve the purchase of approximately 215 HP touch screen laptops, as indicated in your packet, for Gilmer County High School. Increasing one-to-one student to computer became goal #5 in our strategic plan for 2014-2015 as you know from previous presentations and sessions for our strategic plan. I met with the GCHS technology committee. The high school technology committee requested for all 7th and 8th graders to have one-to-one devices. The technology committee also indicated a need for providing both GCHS 9-12 Math teachers one-to-one instructional devices and a need to provide the 11th and 12th grade Science teacher one-to-one devices.
In the state board of education standards, our classroom teachers are required to teach standards for student technology use. Within WVDE policy 2520.14, you will find standards for grades 5-8 and 9-12 that specifically outline objectives, skills, and outcomes for technology applications in ALL core subject classrooms that cannot be met unless students have access to devices.
It is a right and responsibility of a superintendent to research and identify the need and resources to accomplish shared goals for improving the educational process. I am proposing for the Gilmer County Board of Education to approve the purchase of approximately 215 HP touch screen laptops through state approved AEPA (Association for Educational Purchasing Agencies) consortium for Gilmer County High School. The funding has been secured out of STEP 7b which is directly provided for technology integration within our school district.

Carl Armour made a motion to deny the Superintendent’s request. Motion died for lack of a second. Misty Pritt made a motion to accept the recommendation of the Superintendent on proposed technology. Tom Ratliff seconded. Motion passed 4-1. Carl Armour opposed.

C.  LIREC Grant and Policy 2512.

BOARD REPORTS

Dr. Armour reported on the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center meeting of February 26, 2015.

Dr. Simmons reported on RESA 7 and Leading Creek Elementary and HB2755.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be March 16 2015, 6:00 pm. at Gilmer County High School.

ADJOURNMENT

Carl Armour moved and Tom Ratliff seconded that the meeting adjourn at 7:53 PM. Motion carried unanimously.

********************************************

MINUTES SPECIAL MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM by President, Dr. William Simmons.

ROLL CALL

Members present: Carl Armour, Misty Pritt, Tom Ratliff, William Simmons, Norma Hurley and Gabriel Devono, Secretary.

Others Present: Kyre-Anna Minney, Nasia Butcher and Dave Ramezan.

APPROVE LEVY RATES

Superintendent distributed the levy schedule to board members.

RECESS

Norma Hurley moved and Misty Pritt seconded that the meeting be recessed until April 21, 2015 at 8:00 AM at the Gilmer County Board of Education Office. Motion passed unanimously.


———————————————————————————————————————-

        B. Budget Supplements & Transfers

        C.  Financial Statement/Treasurer’s Report

        D.  Accounts Payable

        E.  Student Transfers

        F.  School Volunteers

        G.  Field Trips

We apologize for lack of report. We have asked for this information in person, in meetings, and in writing multiple times, but still we are not getting the information ALL previous Superintendents provided. Instead, we receive several blank pages with heading for each line items.


V. NEW BUSINESS

        A.  WV School Board Assoc. Membership Fees

        B.  Adopt Embedded Credit Policy

        C.  Approve 2015-2016 School Calendar

        D.  Adopt Textbooks for Health, Reading Language Arts

        E.  Affordable Care Act


VI. Nasia Butcher, Principal, Gilmer County High School


VII. SUPERINTENDENT’S INFORMATION/ACTION
        A.  LSIC Meeting Updates

VIII. REPORTS/DISCUSSION/FOLLOW-UP ACTION

        A.  CGCC-  Dr. Carl Armour – March 17, 2015

———————————————————————————————————————-

Calhoun-Gilmer Administrative Council Official Minutes March 17, 2015

Members Present:
Mr. Timothy Woodward, Presiding
Mr. Gabriel Devono, Gilrner Supt.
Mrs. Jenna Jett, Calhoun Absent:
Dr. Carl Armour, Gilmer
Mr. Bryan P. Sterns, Secretary

Others Present:
Lisa Moore
Mr. Jason Hughes

ITEM I-Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Woodward at 11:00 AM.

ITEM II - Agenda Adjustments

None

ITEM III - Delegations

None

ITEM IV - Approval of Minutes

The minutes of January 26, 2015 were presented for approval. Dr. Armour moved to approve the minutes as presented; second by Mrs. Jett. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

ITEM V-Reports

Mr. Sterns and Mr. Woodward both reported that the OEPA exit interview was very positive. The official report will be out in May or June.

Mr. Sterns presented the Council with a Power Point of the Simulated Workplace. He also informed members that Mr. Jackson with Law and Public Safety and Mr. McCormick with Networking and Computer Repair will be participating in Pilot programs next school year and they are both attending a training on April 24 at United Technical Center.

ITEM VI - New Business

Financial Matters: The list of bills, the financial report, a budget supplement and transfers, and the CGCC Individual School Financial Report for February were presented for approval.  Dr. Armour moved to approve the financial matters as presented; second by Mr. Devono.  Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Personnel: There were no personnel matters.

Workbase Placement: Mr. Sterns presented two MOUs for approval. Mrs. Jett moved to approve the list as presented; second by Dr. Armour.  Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Embedded Credit: Mr. Sterns presented two Memorandums of Understanding between Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center and Calhoun County and Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center and Gilmer County to provide students an opportunity to earn Embedded English Credit. Each county board is responsible for developing their own policy. Dr. Armour moved to accept the MOUs as presented and Mrs. Jett seconded the motion. After some discussion, Mrs. Jett moved to rescind the motion, seconded by Dr. Armour. Dr. Armour moved to accept the MOUs pending Gilmer’s Board Approval of an embedded credit policy. Mr. Devono seconded the motion. Motion carried. Vote: unanimous.

LEA: Mr. Sterns presented the council with a draft of the LEA plan. Dr. Armour moved to accept the LEA as presented, seconded by Mr. Devono. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

General Discussion:

Mr. Sterns reported that Dr. D’Antoni will be visiting on April 29, 2015. This is a rescheduled visit. She will be meeting with staff and students.

Council was very complimentary of the Joint LSIC meeting. Several members spoke of how impressed they were with the students who presented that evening.

Mr. Sterns expressed concern over scheduling issues for the SY2015-16. Due to the inclement weather, Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Instructors are just now completing their presentations at GCHS and the Eighth and Tenth grade visits are not scheduled until next week. As schedules are being developed for students for the next school year, Mr. Sterns expressed that he is in hopes that students will be given the opportunity to adjust their schedules if they express an interest in attending the Career Center. Also, Mr. Devono asked Mr. Sterns if presentations could be done at various times at the High Schools not only at just one particular time. The discussion of also opening up visits with the Elementary age students was addressed as well.

It was brought to council’s attention that we are currently unable to contact Bus Driver Colin Hartshorn with our current radio. Mr. Sterns would like to contact Joe Frashure, Transportation Director in Gilmer County to see if we would be able to correct that.
Several adjustments in the School Calendar were noted regarding Early Dismissal dates and Spring Break dates. Gilmer County will be out of session on April 03 and April 06 and will be converting April 07-10th as instructional days. CGCC will follow the Gilmer County Calendar as voted on previously by this council.
ITEM VI - Adjournment and Scheduling of Next Meeting

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Calhoun-Gilmer Administrative Council will be held on April 21, 2015 at 11:00 AM. With no further business, the meeting adjourned on motion of Mrs. Jett; second by Mr. Devono. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Timothy Woodward, Presiding Mr. Bryan P. Sterns, Secretary

———————————————————————————————————————-

        A. RESA 7- Dr. William Simmons


IX. ADJOURNMENT

04.30.2015
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleLinnNormantownSand ForkTroyLewis CountyEducationFeaturesG-Eye™NewsRegion(48) Comments

Permalink - Link to This Article

~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

This is my take on the computers. Mrs. Butcher got what she wanted for the GCHS and Dr. Armour was attacked for not going along.

Dr. Armour is on record that he did not vote for the computers because he could not defend that money spent (more than $100,000) would do the most good for the County’s 900 pre K-12 students including GCHS’s students attending the Calhoun Gilmer Career Center.

He also said that the proposal to purchase the computers was not accompanied by a documented plan to use at the GCHS to measure results to determine if the computers contributed to improved academic achievement.

Accountability in schools and everywhere else is never possible if results cannot be measured accurately.

Dr. Armour had pointed out earlier that there was a failure in the County to have an inventory of how many computers there are in the school system presently, where they are, and what condition they are in. This failure has been an issue for years.

Also, for those who listened to the two tapes Dr. Armour referred to Dr. Martirano, the new head of WV’s schools, who directed that counties must have vision statements.

Then, there should be strategic plans designed to achieve the vision, and specific actions to take would be driven by that well documented planning process. Gilmer County does not have a vision statement after four years of State control.

It came across that Dr. Armour applies a business-like thought process to try to do the most good with all school money spent.

To me, he wants to try to help all the County’s 900 students regardless of where they are. That is what all school board members should be doing.

With WV being 46th in the Nation for the quality of our K-12 education while we are 6th in what we spend it is evident that throwing money at problems has not worked. Accountability for spending is the missing key.

By R. D. Bailey  on  04.30.2015

Spirited debate and honest dissent is valuable when meaningful decision-making occurs. However, there is never a place for personal attacks.

Three observations. Dr. Armour was set up and the superintendent who determined what was on the agenda was a willing party to it.

There was a breakdown in meeting management and that was Mr. Devono’s fault because he controls everything.

Lastly, it is time for a new principal at the Gilmer County High School. The existing one should retire or the State should promote the individual into another job or to reassign her.

Gilmer County needs a fresh start over there, Sirs.

By R. Maxwell  on  04.30.2015

Dr. Simmons and Gabriel how did the ambush work out for you?

By M. A. Miller  on  04.30.2015

Who was on the GCHS technology committee and who chaired it? Are meeting minutes available? Isn’t technology only part of the big picture to have good educations for students?

What is the overall big picture plan for improving the GCHS to show how everything fits together and to establish personal accountability for getting the job done?

You would expect the technology committee to be advocates for their special interests. Was there any board of education representation?

How will the committee measure what good the computers did to determine whether or not the money was spent wisely?

Without the availability of accurate measurements as proof, bureaucrats always proclaim monumental successes and they love to do business that way to avoid accountability.

By Roger Wells In Wood County  on  04.30.2015

Based on the video and information given, did Armour have the >only< logical vote?

No inventory for months.  Hurley has requested it and it never appeared.

No overall computer plan presented to the board.  Just the kiddie style wish list.  Rather reminded me of taking your children shopping in a toy store.

Superintendent did not involve all parties in the decision.  That was quite apparent.

Dr. Armour was absolutely correct in his NO vote.
What can we say about the others?
Were they not just a go along or feel good vote?

By Russ  on  04.30.2015

What a shame! Simons been friend with Armour for a long time now he is back stabbing him. What happened?

By Shame!  on  04.30.2015

Is bill trying to scores with Butchers now? Has he forgotten? If he were not hired as superintendent there would have been a takeover.

By Denny K  on  04.30.2015

It was Hurley first and Armour second for Simmons and DeVano to go after. I wonder who is next.

By Abby Carter  on  04.30.2015

An unprofessional attempted blast, a very professional response. Even stupid can see it.

By failed attempt  on  04.30.2015

When a person has something to hide he/she becomes defensive when asked any questions. Mr. DeVano is a good example. He comes to the meetings with defensive attitude.

By Jimmy D  on  04.30.2015

I am really tired of hearing all the rhetoric from president and superintendent.

By gilmer retired teacher  on  04.30.2015

Can’t a regular table be found to hold these meetings at? 

Right from the jump having all those little separate tables sends a message.  Let’s see them at a table where they can look each other in the eye and read body language while they ‘discuss’.

By First things first  on  04.30.2015

Board President walks around and bad mouth the board members all the time in public. Does a good leader ever do that? Simmons, you need to take a course in leadership.

By F.D.R.  on  04.30.2015

What happened to the delegation policy that was voted to be on the agenda for this month at the last month meeting?  It’s not there. Simmons wanted to take the Delegation down to two minutes or not have it at all but now he’s saying 3-5 minutes?  Where did that come from? There’s no minimum in any policy.
This Board has been told time and time again they can’t vote on ANY new school Lewis or Gilmer but now they can vote to spend money on text books to take to Lewis County? Lewis wll get the state formula money for every student sent over there and this comes out of excess levy money. Possibly another one of those things the state claims they can waiver? It’s not what the law says about excess levies.  It’s not what it was voted in for. There aren’t enough books for every Gilmer County student to take one home now. At this rate there never will be.

Somethings rotten in Denmark!

Is it true Lewis County voted to use Houghtono-Mifflin? Is that why the Sand Fork and Troy schools voted to use them while the High School, Normantown and Glenville wanted Pearson? Not hard to figure out that Devano is shady.
Now we are hearing the Superintendent is moving the Gilmer BOE office over in the vacated Minnie Hamilton offices on Mineral Road.  He took employees on a tour with tape measures. More going on here than your Board President is telling. Seems there’s nothing new about that.

By W T Wheeling  on  04.30.2015

Gabriel Devono name one board meeting that you told the board or the public how much the bid was for those computers or what company won the bid?  Lets check the videos.  It is not there and we watched every one.  Your word is no good The Gilmer board has absolutely no reason to trust you ..You need to be the secretary and hush up. Answer the questions put to you if you want trust.  The board will be written up on the audit when Gilmer is in the red, not you, not the Principals, not your committees.You bring the Teachers in to make it look like the the board is against them if they vote no. You are using the Teachers and Principals because you control personnel.  Stop withholding public information.

By Retire ,Take Your Money & Simmons  on  04.30.2015

I wish I good talk big like Dr. Simmons, but I can’t. What is he really after? He was after: State board? No chance.  State superintendent? Taken! Gilmer superintendent? Maybe.  Whatever it is he is trying to get, he doing it at the expense of our children.

By Can't Even Pretend  on  04.30.2015

Bill is back doing what he did at GSC.

By DeJavu  on  04.30.2015

I see Ratliff and Pritt sitting through all of this. What is their position? The way it looks on the videos both of them approving what Simmons and DeVano doing?

By do something  on  04.30.2015

I heard Bill saying at grocery store he needs to get in GSC so he can fix all the mess there!!!!!

By Good Luck GSC  on  04.30.2015

Dr. Armour asked if he can interrupt to respond to what Butcher was saying. Butcher responds “No you may not because I did not interrupt you”. She then goes on to tell Dr. Armour what she said when she interrupted him which was “We did not test social studies……I’m just telling you we did not test social studies”. Being a former English teacher she should know what interrupt means.

By What is good for goose IS NOT good for gander  on  04.30.2015

The ciaos in these meeting are only the fault of the meeting president. He cannot conduct a meeting and be consistent with parliamentary procedures. Someone mentioned leadership course, he also need to learn the Robert’s Rules for conducting a meeting. I think he needs to step down and let someone else conduct the meetings. Can you see how DeVano keeps reminding him what to do? Have you seen he lets the ones he want to, talk anytime they want as long as they want?

By the time has come  on  04.30.2015

Read the agenda.  Devano didn’t go with the bid he advertised so improperly. He went with a state approved vendor. That’s why he didn’t want to talk about how much they cost. That board was never asked to approve the bids and never had a choice who it would be awarded to. There was one no vote on the payable list.
Question to Carl Armour. If you wound up in a court case against the Superintendent whose side do you think Bill Simmons would take now?

By Better Think It Over  on  04.30.2015

As far as the leader goes?

He wants to relive the old glory days before the infamous vote of NO confidence?

We understand all the devious things he has tried to pull off on the sly?

We understand what he tried to pull at the circuit clerks office?

We understand what he tried to pull in regards the last school board election?

We understand what he told the board members prior to the last election?

We understand how he used the school coalition?

We understand all the meetings Blankenship puppet-ed him?

We understand all the committees Blankenship assigned him too, with no knowledge of fellow board members?

We understand all the many, many, many documents he signed for Blankenship as board president with the rest of the board having no knowledge.

We understand that Devano is using him just like Blankenship did?

We understand he still signs anything Devano wants without the other board members knowledge?

We understand the lack of Roberts Rules that it is just his and GD Rules?

We understand he runs to meetings, to Charleston, stroking and stoking as he goes?

We understand about eliciting employees and attempting a vote at the college?

We understand how the two state superintends tell him of meetings, times, dates, and then claiming being sworn to secrecy?

We understand how that divides the board as well as being and ego feed?

By quick draw fountain pen  on  04.30.2015

The blocking of information to the board is by Devano with Simmonds backing him every step, or so it appears.  At least you NEVER see Simmonds attempting to obtain or bring requested information forward.
Bad choice to elect him.
GC didn’t learn any lesson here from GSC.
Now we see why he it happens to be likely the only WV school superintendent that never had one day on the payroll??????

By R. Butler  on  04.30.2015

The states superintendent has tried to put down every Board of Ed member who has tried to do what’s right since the takeover.  Remember how hard Mrs. Starkey had to fight?  They never stopped her from standing up for our students even when Bill Simmons accused her of trying to take over the Board!
We see who cares.  Don’t let them stop you. It must be hard but don’t let them beat you down.The ones who stand against the tax payers and parents will get sent out the door one way or the other you will see.

By Hang In There  on  04.30.2015

Yes, had heard the rumor that BS stated that Mrs. Starkey was trying to take over the board.  We would have been better off if she had!  She always looked out for the children and people of Gilmer County.

Can you say that for the accuser?  Watching these videos makes one believe the accuser has taken over the board?  He is responsible for the board agenda and its plain to see he does not put the board member requests on the agenda.

The wheels of justice sometimes grind slowly, but we know what this board president is all about and we shall not forget come another election.

By no more BS  on  04.30.2015

Watching poor next door Gilmer County and their abuse.
This is a damn sad state of affairs from the very government agency that should be helping you.
This school mess gives no confidence in the state employees at the Capitol or for that fact, no confidence in any of our elected representatives.
Can you believe the legislature is silent in this matter?
Guess we have elected a whole Capitol full of political pawns and yes men and yes women.

By Sympathy from Lewis County  on  04.30.2015

The use of a consent agenda is also a move to limit board member discussion.  Plain and simple.
Not hard to see what the states handlers have in mind for our elected representatives.
We remember too just how fast this take over happened when William Simmon was voted our superintendent.
Praise be to God that never happened.
That’s one thing that happened right.

By point of order  on  04.30.2015

Isn’t this 200k + computer bid deal actually illegal?
Would it be proper to file a complaint with the ethics commission?
Couldn’t either a citizen or a business file a complaint?

By reader3  on  04.30.2015

The story on the editorial page of this week’s Glenville Democrat needs clarification. Surely the new Linn school is not totally free to Gilmer County.

How much did Gilmer County spend for the land at Linn, did it have to pay anything to correct the landslide that occurred, did we have to pay anything to the architectural firm? It does not sound logical that the County got off totally free.

Mr. Devono, citizens deserve to be given an accurate and complete accounting for what the school has cost the County and what future costs will be. Is this too much to ask for in a democracy?

Regarding the model school reference, does that language refer just to the structure? Where is the detailed plan for making the school an educational outcome model? Don’t have one? Why should that surprise us?

Results for our children are what we want. We have had enough of the State’s “just trust” us treatment. We know what that got the County.

By J. Hawley  on  05.01.2015

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WV Scholar Semifinalists Named

The Gilmer Free Press

BUCKHANNON, WV – Twenty West Virginia high school juniors have been named as semifinalists for the 2015 MVB Bank West Virginia Scholar Program.

The 20 will now be interviewed as part of the process that will result in a four-year, $125,000 scholarship for undergraduate study at West Virginia Wesleyan, located in Buckhannon, that includes tuition, fees, room and board.

Up 10 finalists will be named May 24. Between then and June 14, votes for the finalists will be cast online.

Beyond the grand prize, there are additional scholarship awards for finalists. The second prize is a four-year, $5,000 scholarship at Wesleyan, while the third prize is a four-year, $2,500 scholarship there.

The winners will be announced during a June 16 luncheon on the Buckhannon campus.

The 20 semifinalists and their high schools include:

  •  Caitlin Murphy-Tygarts Valley

  •  Margaret Lohmann-Bridgeport

  •  Adreanna LeMasters-Wheeling Park

  •  Johnnie-Jo Hovis-Buckhannon Upshur

  •  Abigail Chaffins-Spring Valley

  •  Hannah Daniels-Elkins

  •  Mateah Kittle-Bridgeport

  •  Brianna Ritz-Magnolia

  •  Khori Lowther-Lewis County

  •  Katherine Rexroad-Notre Dame

  •  Breunna Haynes-Parkersburg South

  •  Hayden Nichols-Herbert Hoover

  •  Kathern Keith-Gilmer County

  •  Kathryn Gerbo-University

  •  McKenzie Whitehair-Ritchie County

  •  Kia Barnhart-Tyler Consolidated

  •  Ashley Grace-East Fairmont

  •  Noah Taylor-Clay County

  •  Savannah Kite-Moorefield

  •  Sadie McCartney-Elkins

In addition to MVB Bank, West Virginia Wesleyan and MetroNews, the sponsors for the 2015 West Virginia Scholar Program, now in its 7th year, are the West Virginia Homebuilders Association, West Virginia Forestry Association, the West Virginia Hospital Association and Friends of Coal.

WV Division of Culture and History: Trophy Winners in A. James Manchin Memorial Marble Tournament

CHARLESTON, WV – Six trophies were awarded to the top three boys and girls at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s seventh annual A. James Manchin Marble Tournament on Saturday, April 04, at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston.

The free tournament is sponsored by the West Virginia Marble Shooters Association and is open to children from 7 to 14 years of age and all skill levels.

The Gilmer Free Press
James Manchin Memorial Marble Tournament winners for 2015
(L-R) Ezra Somazze, Rosalia Somazze, Gavin Perna, Philip Morgan, Annabeth Keller and Ava Gunter
(L-R, BR) Rachel Moses and Chris Reed, cultural program specialists for
the West Virginia Division of Culture and History


The winners in the girls category include Ava Gunter, first place; Rosalia Somazze, second place; and Annabeth Keller, third place.

The boys category includes Philip Morgan, first place; Gavin Perna, second place; and Ezra Somazze, third place.

The winners received a trophy and are invited to compete in the marble tournament at the Glass Festival in Weston, WV.

Interested participants practiced from 12:30 to 1:30 PM, and the tournament began at 1:30 PM.

The tournament’s marble game, Ringer, is played by placing 13 marbles in the form of an “X” in a 10-foot circle with players alternating shots.

For more information about The A. James Manchin Memorial Marble Tournament, contact Chris Reed, cultural program specialist for the division, at 304.558.0220 x 185.

GSC Business Department Recognizes Distinguished Students

GLENVILLE, WV – The Glenville State College Business Department recently announced its list of Distinguished Business Students for 2015. Recognition of these top twenty-five business students is based on multiple criteria including academic achievement, class rank, campus involvement, and leadership in department classes and programs. Additionally, some students are recognized for specific departmental awards.

This year’s group of Distinguished Business Students included:

•  Senior accounting major Samantha Brookover from Auburn, West Virginia

•  Junior accounting major Kathy Childers from Spencer, West Virginia

•  Senior management and marketing major Robert Cline from Gassaway, West Virginia

•  Junior sport management and marketing major Hunter Given from Cowen, West Virginia

•  Senior accounting major Morgan Lambert from Oceana, West Virginia

•  Senior management major Madison Martin from Canvas, West Virginia

•  Senior accounting and management major Kristen Meadows from Gassaway, West Virginia

•  Sophomore management major Kalleone Moret of Roanoke, Virginia

•  Senior accounting and management major Meghan Ruddlesden of Parkersburg, West Virginia

•  Senior accounting and management major William Sarine of Harrisville, West Virginia

•  Senior accounting and management major Valeri Sprouse of Glenville, West Virginia

•  Junior sport management major Tyler Wiseman of Baltimore, Maryland.

The Gilmer Free Press
2015 GSC Distinguished Business Students (l-r)
back row: Alfonso Medina, Kaitlin Carpenter, Alexander Joseph, Hunter Given, Nathan Kincaid, Kalleone Moret
middle row: Kathy Childers, Samantha Brookover, Graydon Jedamski, Gregory Steele, Robert Cline, Kristen Meadows, Erica Whitney
front row: Lucas DeMarino, Ashley Woodford, Julie Greenlee, Madison Martin, Meghan Ruddlesden, Valeri Sprouse
(not pictured: Randy Stiers, Stefano Pecci, Jason Rosenburg, Morgan Lambert, William Sarine, and Tyler Wiseman)


Those receiving specific awards included these talented students:

•  Senior accounting, management, and computer and information systems triple major Ashley Woodford of Cox’s Mills, West Virginia who earned the Ernest H. Smith Award and was named the Outstanding Accounting Student.

•  Computer and information systems major Randy Stiers of Gassaway, West Virginia who was recognized as the Freshman with the Highest Major Fields Test Score.

•  Accounting and management major Erica Whitney of Strange Creek, West Virginia who was named the Senior with the Highest Major Fields Test Score.

•  Best Business 193 Service Learning Team which was comprised of sophomore business major Lucas DeMarino of Glenville, West Virginia

•  Junior management major Alfonso Medina of Venice, California

•  Senior natural resource management major Stefano Pecci of Dana Point, California

•  Junior business major Graydon Jedamski of Broadway, Virginia was recognized as the Outstanding Two-year Student

•  Senior business and marketing education (5-adult) major Julie Greenlee of Duck, West Virginia was recognized as the Outstanding Business Education Student

•  Junior computer and information systems major Jason Rosenburg of Troy, West Virginia was recognized as the Outstanding Computer Science Student

•  Senior management major Gregory Steele of Sand Fork, West Virginia was recognized as the Outstanding Management Student

•  Senior marketing and management major Kaitlin Carpenter of Grantsville, West Virginia was recognized as the Outstanding Marketing Student

•  Senior sport management major Nathan Kincaid of Summersville, West Virginia was named the Outstanding Sport Management Student

•  Senior sport management major Alexander Joseph of Fairmont, West Virginia was named the Outstanding Intern

All of the award recipients enjoyed a luncheon with GSC faculty and staff prior to the awards ceremony.

The Gilmer Free Press

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

GSC Theatre Group to Perform ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’

The Gilmer Free Press

GLENVILLE, WV - Members of the Glenville State College theatre group are getting ready for their next show, ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan,‘ a comedy by Martin McDonagh.

You can see the show on Thursday, April 16th, Friday, April 17th, and Saturday, April 18th at 7:00 PM in the Heflin Administration Building Presidents Auditorium.

General admission is $3.00 and is free for GSC students with a valid ID.

“This play tells the story of Billy Claven, a teenager who has grown up with an arm and a leg left unusable by a childhood disease. He’s also an orphan, and is being raised by his Auntie Eileen and Auntie Kate on a small island off the coast of western Ireland. Bullying and belittlement are the way of life for everyone on the island, though Billy probably catches the worst of it. With the arrival of an American filmmaker, everybody sees it as their chance to make it big and leave the island, but nobody wants it more than Billy Claven,“ said GSC Theatre Director and Professor of Communications Dennis Wemm.

Cast members for the performance include:

•  Jeremiah Underwood from Summersville (Nicholas County), West Virginia as Billy Claven;

•  Brittany Ferguson from Glenville (Gilmer County), West Virginia as Auntie Eileen;

•  Mary Lewis from Harpers Ferry (Jefferson County), West Virginia as Auntie Kate;

•  Eric Jones from Weston (Lewis County), West Virginia as Johnnypateenmike O’Dougal;

•  Neysa Brown from Alum Bridge (Lewis County), West Virginia as Mammy;

•  Brittany Robinson from Mabie (Randolph County), West Virginia as Slippy Helen McCormick;

•  Cody Mullens from Calvin (Nicholas County), West Virginia as Bartley McCormick;

•  Ryan Helmick from Grafton (Taylor County), West Virginia as Babbybobby Bennett; and

•  Travis ‘Tyler’ Hammack from Spencer (Roane County), West Virginia as Dr. McSharry.

‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ is intended for mature audiences and parents are strongly cautioned that the play is not recommended for children.

There are scenes of violence and strong language, though most of it consists of swearing in an Irish dialect.

For more information, contact Wemm at or 304.462.6323.

GOVERNOR TOMBLIN ANNOUNCES FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION HAS BEEN GRANTED

The Gilmer Free Press

FEMA declaration to assist government agencies following

Winter Storm Thor

CHARLESTON, WV - Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced his March 24 request for a federal disaster declaration following Winter Storm Thor has been granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The federal declaration will provide assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.

“These federal funds will provide much needed financial assistance to counties that bore the brunt of Winter Storm Thor,“ Governor Tomblin said. “I appreciate the hard work of our state’s first responders and the West Virginia National Guard during the response to Winter Storm Thor and am grateful for their efforts to keep our residents safe. This declaration will provide our state, counties and municipalities with the assistance and support needed to rebuild and move forward.“

The following counties are eligible to receive federal public assistance funding under the declaration: Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, McDowell, Mingo, Monongalia, Putnam, Raleigh, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming.

West Fork Conservation District Supervisors Meeting – Thursday, 04.02.15 - Tomorrow

image

The West Fork Conservation District Board of Supervisors monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, April 02, 2015, at the Steer Steakhouse, Weston, WV.

The meeting starts at 9:30 AM.

Please if you have questions contact Robin Ward, Administrative Officer for the West Fork Conservation District at 304.627.2160 x 113.

The West Fork Conservation District in West Virginia is comprised of the following four (4) counties located in the northern-central portion of the state:

•  Doddridge County
•  Gilmer County
•  Harrison County
•  Lewis County

Zuccaro Ordered Back to Sharpe Hospital to Remain in Leg Shackles; Creating Frustration for Some

The Gilmer Free Press

UPDATE:

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has collaborated with Brooke County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Barki to file a motion which will seek to move Rocco Zuccaro to a facility in South Carolina instead of back to Sharpe Hospital.

==============================================

The West Virginia State Police will be adding up what it cost the agency to conduct a nearly two-day search for an escapee from Shape State Mental Hospital who will likely soon be returned to that same hospital.

Accused murderer Rocco Zuccaro, who took off from the Sharpe Hospital in Weston on Monday by climbing a 15-high brick wall and scaled a fence on his way off the property was captured Wednesday night about 15 miles away near Lost Creek in Harrison County.

West Virginia State police brought in troopers from different parts of the state to conduct the search and used the West Virginia State Police helicopter.

Zuccaro, who allegedly murdered a man in Brooke County in 2013, was ordered back to Sharpe Hospital by Brooke County Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson Thursday.

Brooke County Prosecutor Joe Barki said the judge had few options because Zuccaro had been ordered there previously for competency restoration.

Judge Wilson’s order said Zuccaro would be required to wear leg shackles at all times at Sharpe Hospital.

The exact return date will be worked out by regional jail and hospital officials.

Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson said the decision to send Zuccaro back to Sharpe was frustrating.

“He just escaped Sharpe. Do I like him going back to Sharpe? Absolutely not. Would I rather have him in a regional jail setting? Absolutely.”

Prosecutors still hope to have Zuccaro on trial this June.

Governor Tomblin Announces Transportation Alternatives, Recreational Trails Program Grants

More than $5.6 million to assist with 42 projects across West Virginia
The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV – Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today joined representatives from the West Virginia Division of Highways and the Federal Highway Administration’s West Virginia Division Office to award over $5.6 million in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants to 42 projects across West Virginia. 

“Today’s grant presentations are the start of many anticipated infrastructure improvements in cities and towns across the Mountain State,” Governor Tomblin said. “These projects will not only help make communities safer, but also more accessible and enjoyable for the people who call them home.” 

The total grant funding was allocated as follows: 

The West Virginia TAP grant is administered as part of a federal program held in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It is a federal-aid program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Recipients of the TAP grants include:

Berkeley

Martinsburg Train Station Corridor 2014 - $154,000

Boone 

Madison Main Street Streetscape 2014 - $120,198

Brooke 

Beech Bottom Sidewalk Improvements 2014 - $144,000

Cabell 

Huntington Old Main Corridor 2014 - $350,000
Huntington Paul Ambrose Trail for Health Pedestrian Bridge 2014 - $500,000

Greenbrier 

Lewisburg Elementary School Safe Routes Project 2014 - $80,000
Lewisburg Feamster Road Sidewalk 2014 - $200,000
Rupert Sidewalk 2014 - $99,084
White Sulphur Springs Main Street Streetscape 2014 - $259,200

Hampshire 

Romney Sidewalk & Streetscape 2014 - $214,720

Harrison 

Lost Creek Train Depot Renovations 2014 - $40,000
Shinnston Rail Trail Restoration 2014 - $184,206
West Milford Sidewalk Improvements 2014 - $96,000

Kanawha 

Charleston Sidewalks in South Hills 2014 - $160,000
Dunbar 12th Street Streetscape 2014 - $205,344
St. Albans Streetscape 2014 - $245,000

Marion 

Pleasant Valley Sidewalks 2014 - $160,000

Mason 

Mason Sidewalk Improvements 2014 - $179,976

Monongalia 

Morgantown City-wide Bicycle Signage & Facilities 2014 - $96,000

Pleasants 

St. Marys Sidewalk Improvements 2014 - $152,000

Preston 

Kingwood Sidewalks 2014 - $143,200

Putnam 

Poca Sidewalks 2014 - $119,429

Ritchie 

Cairo Sidewalks 2014 - $100,000

Roane 

Spencer Streetscape 2014 - $200,030

Tyler/Wetzel

Paden City School Sidewalk Improvements 2014 - $80,000

Wood 

Vienna Grand Central Avenue Streetscape 2014 - $127,881

Wyoming 

Pineville River Drive Sidewalks 2014 - $200,000

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is also an assistance program of the FHWA and allows states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail use. Recipients of the RTP grants include:

Greenbrier

Confederate Cemetery Recreational Trail - $80,000
Rainelle Recreation Trail: Phase II - $48,000

Harrison 

Trail Relocation - $24,200

Kanawha 

Nature Trails-Phase II Trail Maintenance Equipment - $56,320
Kanawha County Trail System - $80,000
Kanawha County Trailhead Facility - $40,000

Lewis 

Golf Course Ridge Trail - $32,947

Logan/Mingo

Wayne County Trailhead Facility - $40,000

Mason 

Wellness Trails - $120,000

Monongalia 

Mon River/Caperton Trail Connector-Star City River Landing - $96,000
Collins Ferry Road: Mon River Trail Connector - $60,000
Foundry Street Linkage-Downtown to Rail-Trail - $34,320

Monongalia/Preston

Deckers Creek Trail Surface Repair Project - $101,376

Tucker 

Tucker County Rocks! - $120,000

Wayne/Kanawha/McDowell/Mingo/ Wyoming 

Wayne County Trail System - $80,000

The Escapee from Weston Sharpe Hospital Is Captured

The Gilmer Free Press

BRIDGEPORT, WV – The accused murderer from Pennsylvania who escaped from Sharp Mental Hospital in Weston, Lewis County, WV earlier this week is back in police custody.

West virginia State Police said Rocco Zuccaro, age 30, of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, was apprehended in the McWhorter area of Harrison County on Wednesday night.

State Police said Sgt. J.M. Menendez found Zuccaro hiding in tall grass near a natural gas facility.

Law enforcement officers from across West Virginia were searching the McWhorter area because of multiple reports from people who had spotted Zuccaro.

Zuccaro, who is being held on the North Central Regional Jail, will be charged with felony escape Thursday morning.

The search for him started Monday afternoon when he escaped from William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Weston where he was undergoing a psychological evaluation ahead of a possible trial for the 2013 shooting death of a Brooke County man, Jason Pratz.

In addition to West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia National Guard, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police, the Weston Police Department, the U.S. Marshal Service and other law enforcement agencies were part of the search for Zuccaro.

2015 WV Counties’ Health Ranking

The Gilmer Free Press

SAND FORK, WV – Pendleton County ranked healthiest in West Virginia, according to the 2015 County Health Rankings.

The report was eleased Wednesday, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The five healthiest counties in West Virginia, starting with most healthy, are Pendleton, Jefferson, Monongalia, Pleasants, and Upshur.

The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are McDowell, Wyoming, Mingo, Logan, and Mercer.

The rankings are a comparison of health in nearly every county in the United States.

The counties in each state are compared among 30 factors that influence health including education, housing, violent crime, jobs, exercise, and diet.

This year’s rankings showed that the healthiest counties in each state have higher college attendance, fewer hospital stays, and better access to gyms and parks.

he least healthy counties have more smokers, more teen births, and more alcohol related car crash deaths.

Area Counties Health Rankings (Better to Worst)
==========================================
4th——-  Pleasants
5th——-  Upshure
11th—— Ritchie
12th—— Wirt
17th—— Barbour
22nd——Gilmer
26th—— Tyler
27th—— Braxton
30th—— Calhoun
32nd——Wood
33rd—— Wetzel
34th—— Harrison
37th—— Roane
40th—— Clay
43rd—— Webster
45th—— Lewis
46th—— Nicholas

Click H E R E to see the Entire Detailed Report/Data

Make It Shine Day Saturday, April 04, 2015;Cleanup in Weston is April 06-10, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Volunteers will meet at 8:00 AM on Saturday, April 04, 2015 at Garton Plaza to begin cleaning up during Weston’s Make It Shine day.

There are several dozen people volunteering for the cleanup.

The event is done in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection’s state-wide cleanup efforts.

It is also done in preparation for Weston’s 5K Walk Run on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

Volunteers will pick up trash along Brown Avenue, and through the route of the annual Walk Run.

Normally, it takes the morning to clean up along the route. 

Organizers also suggest that it would be helpful to the effort to sweep sidewalks, which are dirty from winter cinders.

The Weston Street Department will start sweeping the streets but having sidewalks cleaned provides easy walking for residents.

This year volunteers will be expanding their efforts to work on Arnold Avenue and the Old City Cemetery.

This will be done as a project coordinated by the Weston Better Buildings Committee.

The Arnold Avenue area is one of those neighborhoods noted in the Better Buildings survey as having a multitude of bad buildings.

As a benefit to our Weston residents, the Weston Street Department will also be picking up refuse at Weston residents’ home April 06-10, 2015.

Residents must call the City Building at 304.269.6141 by Friday April 03 to make a reservation for pickup.

There are a few restrictions on the pickup.

The Street Department can only make one trip to a household and only one small truckload per household can be picked up.

The department will not pickup up items which the trash company will not pick up either.

Mountain State Waste is also helping the City on this project.

HONORING WEST VIRGINIA’S FARM FAMILIES AND THE ENDURING SPIRIT OF AGRICULTURE

The Gilmer Free Press

THE WEST VIRGINIA CENTURY FARM PROGRAM

HONORING WEST VIRGINIA’S FARM FAMILIES AND THE ENDURING SPIRIT OF AGRICULTURE

The State of West Virginia will forever be indebted to those pioneer families who sacrificed to create farms from the daunting wilderness, producing the products so essential to the existence of the State’s residents.

Today, descendants of many of these first families continue to produce food on the same land as their forefathers, contributing significantly to the State’s economy.

The State of West Virginia is further indebted to the generations of farm families who have maintained the farms throughout the centuries following those original agricultural enterprises.

A major portion of our current culture, traditions, and values stems from this agricultural heritage.

To honor those families who have continuously farmed the same tracts of land for at least one hundred years, the West Virginia Association of conservation Districts has initiated the West Virginia Century Farm Program.

To qualify as a Century Farm:

    (1) the same family must have maintained ownership (title of the land) for a minimum of 100 consecutive years,

    (2) the farm must consist of at least ten acres of the original land holdings,

    (3) the farm must gross at least $1,000.00 annually from farm products, and

    (4) a family member must live on the farm or be an integral part of the day-to-day operation of the farm enterprise.

Those agricultural operations selected as Century Farms will receive a plaque and an outdoor sign for display.

Application forms for the West Virginia Century Farm Program are available at the West Fork Conservation District, 87 Ollie Lane Suite 104 , Mt. Clare, WV 26408, 304.627.2160.

** Completed applications must be submitted to the District no later than April 01, 2015

Search Continues for Escaped Accused Killer, Some Area School on Code Yellow

The Gilmer Free Press

Weston, WV – The search continued Tuesday for the Pennsylvania man and accused murderer who escaped from the William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Lewis County, one of two state mental hospitals.

Rocco Jesse Zuccaro, age 30, of Burgettstown, PA, was last seen after 4:00 PM Monday at the Weston facility where he was undergoing a psychological evaluation ahead of a possible trial for the 2013 murder of Jason Pratz, age 30, in Brooke County, WV.
Rocco Zuccaro

“He scaled a brick wall that was 12 to 15 feet high, then darted across a parking lot and climbed a chain link fence and then got into the wooded area around the hospital,” said Lt. Michael Baylous, State Police spokesperson.”

Area Counties police officials suspect might be in the area.

Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson suspects Zuccaro might be fleeing in his area as well.

Zuccaro was considered armed and dangerous.

“We don’t know the circumstances here. We don’t know if he had help. Someone could have very easily helped him and had a weapon for him somewhere or he could have broken into a house and gotten a weapon. We just don’t know,” Baylous said.

“There’s a lot of unanswered questions so, to be safe, it’s best to consider him dangerous.”

There are no indications of where Zuccaro could be.

“All we could do is start out with a narrow focus and then expand from there,” Baylous said.

Anyone with information about Zuccaro’s location can contact their local State Police detachment or call 911.

“He is very capable of cognitive thought. He is very capable of planning. If he’s out on the run, he’s very capable of making his way through the woods, and stealing clothing, or whatever he needs to do,“ Jackson said.

Zuccaro is accused in the 2013 shooting death of Jason Lee Pratz, age 30.

Last month he was found incompetent to stand trial.

He is about six feet tall, weighs 175 pounds and was last seen wearing ripped black pants, a dark blue or black pullover shirt and glasses.

He has dark hair and a mustache.

In Gilmer County the schools operated on a code “Yellow”.

03.25.2015
CommunityLewis CountyNewsArrestsRegion

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WV State Police Is Search for Runaway Accused Killer from Weston Sharp’s Hospital

The Gilmer Free Press

WESTON, WV – West Virginia State Police are looking for an accused murderer Monday night after he walked away from a State Mental Hospital in Weston, Lewis County earlier in the day.

Rocco Jesse Zuccaro, age 30, of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, is believed to have escaped at 4:20 PM from the William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital.

“He’s been described as a white male, six foot tall, about 170 pounds, wearing black pants that had a rip on the left pant leg and a dark blue or black pullover shirt, glasses. He has dark hair and a mustache,” Lt. Michael Baylous with the State Police said. “We’re unsure of what direction he took off when he escaped.”

Police believe Zuccaro to be dangerous and warn not to approach him, rather, call West Virginia State Police or 911 if he is encountered.

He is supposed to be wearing both a dark shirt and dark pants with a rip in the left leg.

Zuccaro is accused of murdering Jason Lee Pratz, age 30, who was found shot to death inside his home in February 2013 in Brooke County.

Late in February of this year, he was found mentally incompetent to stand trial, and was admitted to a mental institution.

“He has ties to [Burgettstown and Brooke County], but he could be anywhere,” Baylous said. “The most important thing is if anyone encounters him, they need to contact the West Virginia State Police by phone or in person immediately, or dial 911.”

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