Lewis County

Lewis County

Importance of Playgrounds

The Gilmer Free Press

We can all remember the days of wonder and excitement when going to a playground.

It was always an adventure, running around outside and playing with your friends.

Something new would always happen, whether it be making up a new game, making a new friend, or finding a secret hangout spot.

Sad to say many kids will never get to enjoy playing on a playground because playgrounds are dying out due to the many indoor activities we have today.

It is important in a child’s development to play outside, especially at playgrounds.

Children learn to develop social skills when interacting with other kids, imagination and creativity, and thinking and problem solving skills.

Our culture is taking outdoor play away from young children through excessive TV and computer use, video games, unsafe neighborhoods, busy and tired parents, educational accountability, and the elimination of school recess.

Outdoor play enables young children to learn lots of things about the world. However, because children experience fewer and fewer opportunities to explore nature to run, roll, climb, and swing and because outdoor play is part of being a child, we must find a variety of ways to provide quality outdoor play experiences for children. This is why playgrounds are so important in communities.

Currently, Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital and the City of Weston are working on building a natural playground behind the old Polk Creek Elementary School.

A natural playground are places that does not have many man-made structures, but instead utilizes the natural landscape and objects, such as logs, rocks, native plants, and trees.

This new playground will replace the old one and be called the Polk Creek Community Park. With the help of volunteers, the playground should be open to the public in August of this year.

~~  Ryan Boyle ~~

SJMH Free Screening Venous Disease - July 30, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Natural Resources Commission Quarterly Meeting - 07.27.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Natural Resources Commission Quarterly Meeting

1:00 PM, Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stonewall Resort State Park, Roanoke, WV

The next quarterly meeting of the West Virginia Natural Resources Commission is scheduled for Sunday, July 27, 2014, beginning at 1:00 PM at Stonewall Resort State Park in Roanoke, WV in Lewis County.

The public is invited to attend and make comments. Items on the agenda include:

•  Approval of the 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations

•  Approval of the 2015 Fishing Regulations

Charity Softball Tournament - 07.26.14

The Gilmer Free Press

The United Way’s mission is to advance the common good for local residents by building strong families, supporting independent seniors, and nurturing thriving children.

Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital (SJMH) and Sharpe Hospital, of Weston, Davis Medical Center, of Elkins, and United Hospital, of Clarksburg, are all dedicated to supporting the United Way in their county.

The four hospitals are joining forces and participating in a “Central West Virginia Hospital Challenge” to raise money for their respective United Way organizations in a Charity Softball Tournament.

The tournament is planned for Saturday, July 26, 2014 at Robert Bland Middle School Softball Field in Weston, beginning at 8:00 AM.

The first game pits the two Weston Hospitals, followed by the Davis, UHC matchup at 9:30 AM.

Kevin Stalnaker, COO at SJMH, has been involved with United Way for years and is delighted by the interest from the four hospitals and all of their employees.

He said, “The United Way plays an important helping non-profits in the community and our employees, who are very charitable, are thrilled to be able to give back to the community.”

The rain date is Sunday, July 27, 2014.

West Virginia’s Latest News - 07.25.14

The Gilmer Free Press


Two Morgantown, West Virginia, residents have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on charges of theft of government monies.

Carl J. Gaul, age 40 and Shawn E. Ratliff, age 35 of Morgantown were named in a two-count Indictment charging them with conspiracy to commit embezzlement, theft and conversion of government funds and one count of embezzlement, theft and conversion of government funds.

The Indictment charges that from May 01, 2013, to November 30, 2013, in Preston and Monongalia Counties, Gaul and Ratliff conspired to embezzle government monies by causing multiple credit card transactions using monies of the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Gaul and Ratliff caused to be made purchases in the amount of $13,084.58, utilizing a government-issued credit card to purchase items for their own use and benefit.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking to forfeit One Sanyo 42” LED TV; Two JBL Onbeat Awake devices;  Two IHOME devices; Three Bose SoundLink systems;  Two Beats by Dre Beat Box devices; One JBL Flip device and a $13,084.58 money judgment which constitutes proceeds from the illegal activity.


Subsidies for West Virginians who purchased health insurance through the federal exchange will continue without interruption for the immediate future at least, according to federal and state officials.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia ruled the Affordable Care Act only allows for subsidies for coverage in states that run their own insurance marketplaces.

The 36 states, including West Virginia, that use the federal exchange instead of their own systems, do not qualify for subsidies, the Court of Appeals said.

“Section 36B (of the Affordable Care Act) plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states,” wrote Judge Thomas Griffith in the 2-1 decision that he said was reached “with reluctance.”

A short time later on Tuesday, though, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, VA. issued a contradictory ruling that upheld the subsidies for insurance coverage through state marketplaces along with the federal exchange at

As of earlier this year, about 5.4 million people had signed up for health insurance on the federal exchange and 87% of those people received subsidies for that coverage. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the average subsidy this year will total about $4,410.

Without such subsidies, more people would not be able to afford health insurance and, because of that, would be exempted from the individual mandate that requires insurance coverage.

Penalties for the employer mandate on the Affordable Care Act are based on the availability of subsidies.


West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall, 02) will close out the week in Arkansas where he will talk about West Virginia’s Future Fund during a briefing from the Southern States Energy Board. That briefing is being held in conjunction with the Southern Legislative Conference in Little Rock.

Earlier this year, the Legislature created the West Virginia Future Fund which will serve as a type of endowment fund for the years ahead by banking a portion of present-day severance tax collections on natural resources like coal and natural gas.

As the new law is written, it could be 2019 before the first deposits are made into that account. Any future investment income generated would be earmarked for education, workforce development, economic development, and infrastructure or tax relief projects.

Kessler will talk about the Future Fund during a Friday morning panel in Little Rock focused on legislative action in states. Florida House Representative Jose Felix Diaz (R) and Missouri House Representative Rocky Miller (R) will also be part of the discussion that Oklahoma House Representative Weldon Watson (R) will moderate.

Nearly 1,000 delegates, legislative staff members and guest are expected to attend this weekend’s Southern Legislative Conference.


An opponent of the Common Core national education standards says students do not benefit from a uniform system of requirements that must be met everywhere.

“Taking more power away from individuals and from communities actually hurts education because it takes away the ability of people to manage their own affairs,” said Joy Pullmann, a journalist and Research Fellow at Heartland Institute.

Pullmann, a former middle school and high school teacher, said she has two main issues with the Common Core standards and those issues start with academics.

“Common Core is really not a world class set of education mandates. It doesn’t really push kids to be internationally competitive, although it promises to,” she said.  ”The second one, of course, is the way that it’s put into place really takes away my voice as a citizen, as a parent, to be in the driver’s seat over what happens with my child’s education.”

Supporters of the Common Core State Standards have defended them as clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math and English language arts from kindergarten through 12th grade. The focus is on critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills.

West Virginia is one of 43 states to adopt the Common Core State Standards.


A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

The Charleston law firm of Preston and Solango filed the lawsuit Wednesday that seeks class-action status in Kanawha County Circuit Court, media outlets reported.

About 2,500 had registered for the 5-kilometer run Saturday at Cato Park and paid entry fees between $65 and $95, depending on when they signed up. The run for women of all ages involves obstacles and mud pits. Events are held throughout the year across the country.

Named as defendants were Delafield, Wis.-based Dirty Girl, owned by 100 LLC, and Louisville, Colo.-based entertainment company Human Movement Management, which was producing the Charleston event.

The Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau said the race producers missed a Tuesday afternoon deadline for a payment to a shuttle company that was to provide transportation to the event.

The lawsuit alleges that failing to refund registration fees violates state consumer protection laws. Dirty Girl issued a statement before the lawsuit was filed that refunds will not be issued “under any circumstances.“

A Dirty Girl spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a telephone message Thursday seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Human Movement President Jeff Suffolk said Thursday his company is on a list of vendors to whom 100 LLC owes money.

“Besides being a vendor for them, we empathize with the runners because before anything else, we’re runners,“ Suffolk said.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said his office had been inundated with calls related to the race.

“This is an issue that has come up very fast,“ he said.

Sonya Beard of Charleston said she filed a claim dispute with her bank to seek a refund. Beard said she is “so upset with them. I just wanted my money back.“

Jamie Cox said she and some friends participated in the event last year at Coonskin Park. She registered for this year’s event in May.

“Just last week we went out and bought T-shirts and coordinated our outfits, so we invested more money in it that way,“ she said.


A Kanawha County grand jury will be the next stop for murder charges against a Charleston man who allegedly killed a police informant.

Marlon “Ice” Dixon, age 37, waived his preliminary hearing Thursday in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

He allegedly shot and killed Branda Basham July 12, 2014.

Her body was found along the railroad tracks on Charleston’s West Side.

Basham, age 22, was a police informant.

Charleston detectives allege Dixon found out and blamed Basham for heroin charges against him.

Dixon remains in the South Central Regional Jail without bail.


Members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity from colleges and universities across the nation committed themselves to bike across the nation, 50 to 75 miles a day, in honor of those who suffer from disabilities.

The project is called the Journey of Hope and is organized by the Push America Foundation.

The route goes from Seattle to Washington DC for total of 4,270 mile.

Their goal is to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.

Each rider commits to the ride, but also commits to raising a minimum of $5,500. Along the route the bikers stop each day at various camps or other events to visit with and spend time with people who have disabilities.

The group rode through West Virginia Thursday.

They lunched with some of those individuals at Charleston’s Children’s Therapy Clinic.


Weston City Council approved to purchase an old school playground toward improving recreational opportunities in the city.

City Council voted 3-1 to pay $1,500 to lawyer Hunter Bennett for the playground at the former Polk Creek School.

Volunteers have donated playground equipment and offered to build half a basketball court.

There are also plans for a natural playground consisting of rocks and wooden beams to climb.

Improving recreational opportunities in each of Weston’s four wards is part of the city’s comprehensive plan.


Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney are vying for the seat that GOP Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito is vacating to run for the Senate.

Both Casey and Mooney appeared at a Charleston forum Thursday where they each spoke of defunding parts of the Environmental Protection Agency.


A Charlotte, North Carolina, man has pleaded guilty to firing a gun near a school in Charleston.

Media outlets report 20-year-old Aric Adams entered a guilty plea Wednesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court to wanton endangerment and brandishing.

Adams had been indicted in federal court, but as part of his plea agreement, the federal case will be dropped.

Prosecutors say Adams fired eight times on March 25 shortly after students at J.E. Robins Elementary School were released at the end of the school day.

Adams faces up to six years in prison. Sentencing has been set for August 22, 2014.


A task force seeking to tackle the problem of rising heroin abuse in West Virginia is meeting in Charleston.

The growing use of heroin is a statewide problem.


A Princeton, West Virginia, man has filed suit against General Motors, claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

The suit by Jason Vest says 26-year-old Keisha Vest’s car failed to stop at an intersection and collided with a tractor-trailer in North Carolina.


A state Capitol police officer has killed a copperhead snake on the Capitol grounds in Charleston.

West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina said Thursday the officer borrowed a shovel from construction workers on the north edge of the complex Wednesday to kill the snake, which was then taken elsewhere and buried.

The copperhead was killed in an area near where an employee had spotted a snake while walking to her car Tuesday. Messina says the officer had been patrolling the area for the snake Wednesday.

He says he was not sure if it’s the same snake, so officers will keep watch for additional sightings.

West Virginia is home to two venomous snakes, the copperhead and the timber rattler.


Huntington remains without a permanent police chief four months after Skip Holbrook announced his resignation.

Mayor Steve Williams says the selection process for Holbrook’s replacement has gone slower than he anticipated.


David Eric Bailey, age 34 from Gilmer County is behind bars at Central Regional Jail on Charges of assault and wanton endangerment with weapon and domestic battery.

His bond set at $40,000.


Marshall Lee Bailey, age 25, from Braxton County is behind bars at Central Regional Jail with $30,000.00 bond.

He has been charged with distributing or displaying obscene material to a minor.


Gage Anthony Stout, age 21, is accused of having sex with an 18-year-old girl who is mentally impaired.

The girl told deputies that Stout asked if she wanted to watch a movie and then began sexually assaulting her.

Following the incident, the girl told deputies that Stout asked her not to tell her mom what they had done.

Stout is charged with third degree sexual assault and is being held in Central Regional Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Kinley Maryee Twigg

The Gilmer Free Press

Robert Twigg and Jennifer Toms of Weston, WV announce the birth of their daughter, Kinley Maryee Twigg.

She was born Sunday, July 13, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little girl weighed 6-pounds, 8-ounces

She is the couple’s third child.

The mother is the former Jennifer Wilfong and is a nursing aide and monitor technician.

The father is licensed respiratory technician.

Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Michael Messenger of Linn, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Robert Twigg of Bridgeport, WV.

Cecilia Reid Whitt

The Gilmer Free Press

Cecilia Reid Whitt is the name chosen for the daughter born to Vinson Whitt and Keri Woofter of French Creek, WV.

She was born Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Buckhannon.

The little girl weighed 7-pounds, 10-ounces.

She is the couple’s first child.

Maternal grandparents are William Woofter of Chaumont, NY and Robin Smith of Clarksburg, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Whitt of Weston, WV.

Emmitt Michael Clark

The Gilmer Free Press

Edward and Allison Clark of Weston, WV announce the birth of their first child, a son, Emmitt Michael Clark.

He was born Friday, July 11, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little boy weighed 8-pounds, 14-ounces.

The mother is the former Allison Hefner and is a journalist at the Weston Democrat.

The father is a Sheriff’s Deputy in Lewis County.

Maternal grandparents are Michael and Traci Hefner of Weston, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Edward and Anita Clark of Lost Creek, WV.

Bryson Matthew Harrison

The Gilmer Free Press

Marcus Harrison and Bridget Wilson of Alum Bridge, WV announce the birth of their son, Bryson Matthew Harrison.

He was born Tuesday, July 08, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little boy weighed 6-pounds, 15-ounces.

He has one sibling, Sophia.

Maternal grandparents are James and Janet Horner of Weston, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Arnett and Loretta Wiant of Weston, WV.

Nathan Allen Paters

The Gilmer Free Press

Nathan Allen Paters is the name chosen for the son born to Cody and Diana Peters of Weston, WV.

He was born Wednesday, July 09, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little boy weighed 6-pounds, 14-ounces.

He has one sibling, Kailee.

Maternal grandparents are Tim Berkousky and Sharon Riggs of Yoakum, Texas.

Paternal grandparents are Roy and Louise Peters of Cuero, Texas.

Francis David Keyton Novak

The Gilmer Free Press

Francis David Keyton Novak is the name chosen for the son born to Frank and Chelsey Novak of Weston, WV.

He was born at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little boy weighed 9-pounds, 10-ounces and has one sibling, Keylee.

The mother is the former Chelsey King of Weston, WV and is a homemaker.

The father is employed by Multi-Chem of Jane Lew, WV.

Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. David King of Weston, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Novak of Weston, WV.

Adreona Rae Cadell

The Gilmer Free Press

Travis Caddell and Tiffany Snyder of Weston, WV announce the birth of their daughter, Adreona Rae Cadell.

She was born Sunday, July 06, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little girl weighed 6-pounds, 11-ounces.

She is the couple’s second child.

Maternal grandparents are Sheila Taylor of Weston, WV and Mark Zebley.

Paternal grandparents are Scott and Sheila Reddon of Weston, WV.

Robert B. Tucker

The Gilmer Free Press

Robert B. Tucker

Age 90, formerly of Grantsville, WV and Mineral Wells, WV passed away July 23, 2014 at his residence in Greenwood, WV surrounded by his son Roger L., daughter-in-law Cheryl and Berna K. Ankrom, all of Greenwood.

Born July 19, 1924, in Alum Bridge, WV, he was the son of the late Samuel Tucker and Janie Virginia Hayhurst Tucker.

He was a World War II Veteran, a retired Hope Gas Company employee.

He was a devoted member of the World Wide Church of God.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Irene Moore Tucker; a brother Samuel Tucker Jr.; and a sister Freida Canterna.

Surviving are daughter Louana Tullis; son Roger Tucker; grandchildren Eric Tucker, Janie Harduk, Amy Fricke and Scott Tullis; great grandchild Carson Fricke.

Funeral services will be held Sunday July 27, 2014, 2:00 PM at the Stump Funeral Home in Grantsville with Rev. Lyle Welty and Eric Tucker officiating.

Burial will follow in the Mt. Zion Cemetery with military graveside rites.

Friends may call at the funeral home Saturday from 5:00-8:00 PM.

West Virginia’s Latest News - 07.24.14

The Gilmer Free Press


One man is dead after a motorcycle accident in Braxton County, WV.

It happened in the area of Frametown Hill at Frametown at 6:00 PM. Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

The man’s name has not been released.


An 18-wheeler tractor trailer traveling southbound on I-79 wrecked into a mountainside after hard rains caused the driver to drive off the roadway on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 near Clendenin between the 15 and 16 mile markers.

The truck was carrying partial packages for UPS.

A large diesel fuel leak occurred due to the accident.

Dams were set up on the side of the road to contain the leak.

The driver only suffered minor injuries to his wrist and was not taken to a hospital.


A Charleston attorney has been found “not criminally responsible” for a shooting that happened at his home last year. The charges were dismissed Tuesday against Mark Bramble.

The 50-year-old Bramble was arrested last August and charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment after police said he fired multiple shots from his house in a South Hills community. No one was injured.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster agreed with three forensic psychiatrists who examined Bramble and reached similar conclusions about his state of mind during the incident. They said he was competent to stand trial but not criminally responsible. One doctor said he was bipolar at the time.


Law enforcement from across the southern part got a unique perspective on the NPLEx system from a cop from Louisiana.

Detective Chris Comeaux with the St. Tammany Parish Police Department called NPLEx or National Precursor Log Exchange, a must when it comes to tracking down meth labs.

Comeaux was in Bluefield for a conference aimed at helping West Virginia law enforcement become more comfortable with NPLEx which came on line across the state in January 2013.

He got his start with NPLEx when Louisiana brought the system on line in July 2010. He said NPLEx almost immediately had an impact on the meth problem in his state.

With NPLEx, the computerized system connects pharmacy with pharmacy to prevent smurfers from going around town buying up pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in meth. Law enforcement can use the system right at their desks to find out who’s purchasing the drug and which pharmacies are selling the most products. He said each officer can customize searches to assist in their investigation.

The West Virginia Retailers Association, the National Association of Drug Investigators, the West Virginia Sheriff’s Association and the West Virginia Municipal League sponsored Tuesday’s seminar. There have already been similar workshops in Beckley, Bridgeport, Charleston and Vienna. Four more are planned for later this year.


Health Departments in the northern panhandle are preparing for what could be a rush of people who want to be tested to find out if they’ve been infected with hepatitis B and C or HIV.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources announced Monday patients who received care at a the Valley Pain Management clinic in McMechen could have been infected with the diseases after staff at the site allegedly reused syringes on more than one patient.

Pain clinic patients can call their local health department. Someone will screen them to make sure they have been exposed and then they’ll set up a date and time for the test. However, Francis said the test may not link the infectious diseases back to the clinic.


A man turned himself into police after exposing himself to two female juveniles in Nitro, WV.

37-year-old Douglas Spry was arrested Wednesday, July 23, where he was charged with indecent exposure.

On May 23, Nitro Police responded to the area of the Nitro boat ramp, in which a white man, Spry, was hiding in the bushes, pulled his pants down, and exposed himself to two female juveniles.

The juveniles told police they immediately left the area to walk home, in which they saw Spry drive past them several times.  They were able to get a description of the vehicle, along with a partial vehicle registration.

On May 24, the juveniles were looking through their telephone at photographs they had taken from the previous day, and found a photo of a man, Spry, in the bushes.

On June 04, an anonymous caller identified Spry from a Facebook post, and also gave information about Spry’s vehicle that he drove on the day of the incident, which matched the information the juveniles gave police.

Spry was previously arrested on July 16 for possession of marijuana after being a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for traffic violations.  Police received consent to search the vehicle, in which they found several items of drug paraphernalia and drugs inside the vehicle.

When interviewed by police Spry was asked about the indecent exposure incident, Spry changed his story several times, in which he first denied ever being at the boat ramp, but then said he may have urinated in the bushes.


The National Park Service is tallying up the number of visitors to West Virginia scenic attractions and how many dollars they drive to local communities.

The report looked at attendance in 2013 at the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River and Gauley River National Recreation Area.

Total attendance topped 1.2 million visitors.

They spent more than $51 million and that supported 673 jobs in the area.

The Park Service said the West Virginia numbers are part of a national look at the impact of U.S. parks.

It found that most visitors spending was for lodging, followed by food and beverages and gas and oil.


Traffic traveling west on Route 50 in Clarksburg came to a halt after a truck hauling asphalt overturned Wednesday morning.

A car abruptly stopped to make an illegal turn in the median at around 10:30 AM on Wednesday.

Vehicles behind the driver attempted to brake in order to avoid collisions.

However, the truck ran off the road into the median to avoid hitting cars in front of it, overturned and then hit the car which initially caused the incident.

The driver of the truck was transported from the scene to UHC.

The driver of the car was not injured and will be cited for the illegal turn.


The parents of a 20-month-old boy who died of malnutrition may have violated WIC rules.

Carla Adkins, of Ashton, and Jimmie Edwards, of Milton, were arrested earlier this week and charged with felony child neglect resulting in death.

Their son, Carson, died in March 2013.

Investigators claim the couple would take WIC products and return the child’s infant formula to a store in exchange for money which they used to buy meth.

They were allegedly giving the baby whole milk which he was not able to properly digest and caused his death.

The Women, Infants, Children program provides infant formula to low income families who cannot afford to purchase it on their own.

Adkins and Edwards remain in jail on $500,000 bail each.


Lewis County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Wayne Bailey said he was fired on Tuesday from the full-time position paying about $64,000 annually that he has held since January 2011.

He declined to comment when asked if he was given a reason why. He also declined to comment when asked if he planned any legal action in the wake of the firing.


Police in West Virginia are looking for those responsible for tying a tow rope around the neck of a horse that later died.

The horse was euthanized Wednesday.

Two suspects believed to be male teenagers were seen running away from a pasture where the horse was found Monday east of Martinsburg.

Kija Wilson says her husband owned the horse.

She says the rope was tied so tightly around the horse’s neck that it had to be cut off with a razor.


Federal health officials say they are planning to conduct more tests on the chemicals that spilled into the Charleston area drinking water supply in January.

Authorities say the studies will take up to a year to complete and will address the health impact on humans of chemicals that spilled into the water of 300,000 people.


Freedom Industries and its stakeholders have a matter of days to reach agreement on Freedom’s $2.9 million insurance policy.

Freedom, its insurer and others are in bankruptcy court in Charleston as Freedom seeks to resolve legal issues arising from its spill of chemicals into public drinking water in January.


A judge has thrown out charges of attempted murder in the case of Mark Bramble, the attorney who was accused of firing random shots during a standoff in his Charleston neighborhood.

Bramble suffered from delirium from an over-the-counter-sleep aid and was not criminally responsible for the shooting last August.


The National Park Service says tourist attendance in 2013 at the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River and Gauley River National Recreation Area topped 1.2 million visitors.

The parks agency also says visitors spent more than $51 million in West Virginia and supported hundreds of jobs.


Charleston’s airport could claim sovereign immunity in a lawsuit saying the airport was partly to blame for a tap-water contaminating chemical spill.

Yeager Airport would argue it can’t be sued as a government agency. A Yeager lawyer and board member announced the strategy at a board meeting Wednesday.

A federal lawsuit blames the airport’s now-complete runway project for the January chemical spill that left 300,000 residents without clean water for days.

The lawsuit says Yeager never safeguarded against storm-water runoff, which let water flow to Freedom Industries and erode a tank’s foundation.

Officials say holes in the bottom of the tank led to the leak.

The airport’s insurance policy will cover most legal costs in the case. The airport has hired outside legal representation.


A tanker hauling nearly 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel overturned about 2:15 PM Tuesday near the Bartow Intersection.

The crash sent flames high into the air as the fuel tank ruptured.

The driver of the tanker truck is hospitalized after the crash

A unknown amount of the diesel fuel spilled into the Greenbrier River.

Environmental inspectors were on hand to monitor the leak and try to control the fuel.

Officials say they do not believe the spill posed any threat to water treatment plants downstream.

GFP - 07.24.2014
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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

In the article FUEL LEAK, ROAD CLOSURES ON I-79, it states the truck was carrying “partial packages”.  I am hoping they meant parcel packages, as UPS would have a real mess if they were all parts of packages.  Just sayin’.

By Bad Grammar police  on  07.24.2014

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Weston: Civil War “Living History” Weekend - July 25-27, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

James Herbie “Bud” Henline

The Gilmer Free Press

James Herbie “Bud” Henline

Age 80, of Clover Fork Road, Orlando, WV,  passed away at his residence on June 07, 2014 following a brief illness.

He was born in Walkersvill, WVe on November 23, 1933 a son of the late James L. Henline and Nora Riffle Henline.

He is survived by three brothers: Robert A. Henline of Warren OH, Charles W. Henline of Warsaw MO, and Waitman “Tom” Henline and wife Violet of Auburn; and three nieces and six nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters: Lucille Bennett and Lenna Hibbs.

Bud was an honored veteran of the United States Army and later retired from the Van Huffel Tube Corp. in Warren, OH with several years of service. He dedicated his free time to his primary passion of restoring old tractors and mowers. He was known for his patience, dedication and attention to detail.

Friends and family will gather for a Graveside Service at 10 AM on Friday August 01, 2014 at the Orlando Cemetery with Reverend Russell Furr officiating.

Military honors will be accorded by the United States Army and the Lewis County Honor Guard.

The Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service at 144 Hackers Creek Rd. in Jane Lew is honored and privileged to serve the family of James Henline.

SJMH Free Screening Venous Disease - July 30, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

G-otcha™: Regional Jails - Lewis County - 07.22.14

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Sedona Goldie Knopf
Height: 5’  8"
Weight: 120 lbs.
Birth Date: 11.05.1995
Gender: Female
Booking Date: 07.22.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Richard Gary Smith
Height: 6’  0"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birth Date: 09.12.1994
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 07.22.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Lewis Kevin Blake
Height: 5’  8"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birth Date: 09.25.1971
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 07.21.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Lewis County - Bail: $0.00 AGGRAVATED DUI

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Connie Lou Curtis
Height: 5’  9"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birth Date: 10.07.1973
Gender: Female
Booking Date: 07.20.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Lewis County - Bail: $0.00 DOMESTIC BATTERY

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Harvey Bernard John
Height: 5’  10"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birth Date: 12.01.1961
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 07.20.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Lewis County - Bail: $0.00

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Jeremy Ray Perry
Height: 5’  9"
Weight: 155 lbs.
Birth Date: 05.27.1982
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 07.20.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Lewis County - Bail: $0.00 FLEEING ON FOOT

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Diana Lynn Mowery
Height: 5’  3"
Weight: 115 lbs.
Birth Date: 11.24.1948
Gender: Female
Booking Date: 07.19.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Lewis County - Bail: $0.00 DOMESTIC BATTERY

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Amber Lee James
Height: 5’  6"
Weight: 140 lbs.
Birth Date: 07.17.1986
Gender: Female
Booking Date: 07.19.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Alex Paul Jordan
Height: 5’  9"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Birth Date: 08.22.1988
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 07.18.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Lewis County - Bail: $0.00 MANUFACTURING

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Sue Ann Arbogast
Height: 5’  7"
Weight: 176 lbs.
Birth Date: 02.17.1961
Gender: Female
Booking Date: 07.18.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Lewis County - Bail: $0.00 PROBATION VIOLATION

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Timothy Wayne Jerrell
Height: 5’  10"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birth Date: 10.07.1980
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 07.17.2014
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)

Cyrus William Dille

The Gilmer Free Press

Cyrus William Dille

Age 94, of 266 River Avenue Weston, WV passed away on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 in the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center of Clarksburg following an extended illness.

He was born in Kenton, OH on April 05, 1920: son of the late Harry Eugene Dille and Bertha Mabel (Allen) Dille.

Mr. Dille married Charlotte K. “Kitty” (Watson) Dille, who preceded him in death on May 02, 2002.

Mr. Dille is survived by one sister: Anna Grace(Gordon) Swartz of Pittsburgh, PA, one sister-in-law: Ursel Watson of Roanoke, WV and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife Kitty, Cyrus was preceded in death by one brother: Paul Allen Dille and three sisters: Vera Maude (Leo) Ormeyer , Lola Imogene (Lester) Ward and Bonnie Maxine (Marion)Wagner.

Mr. Dille owned a Men’s Store and managed the Wyandot County Emergency Management Agency both in Upper Sandusky, OH. He did alterations for J. C Penny’s Company and had an Antique Store. Cy was a veteran United States Army during WW II and the Korean Conflict. He was a life and 66 member of the American Legion Post # 225 of Upper Sandusky, OH, a life and 60 year member of B.P.O. Elks #83 of Upper Sandusky where he was Past Exalted Ruler, life and 50 year member of VFW Post # 2842 of Upper Sandusky, 50 year member of Warpole Lodge# 176 F. & A.M. of Upper Sandusky, member of Scottish Rite Lodge, Council,-Chapter-Consistory of Valley of Toledo, member of the Aladdin Shrine Temple of Columbus, OH, member of Warpole Chapter #366 Order of Eastern Star where he was past worthy patron and member of Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #1376 of Weston, WV.

Locally, Cy was very active with the Lewis County Senior Center of Weston. He was active with the West Virginia Senior Olympics where he won numerous medals and trophies. He was an active clogger with Clara Atchison and the Mountain State Cloggers. When the center was open, Cy was always there with his dapper attire, infectious smile and singing voice. He will be missed by all!

Family and friends will be received at the Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home 730 N. Main Avenue Weston on Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 12 Noon until 2 PM.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 2 PM from the Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home chapel with Pastor Jay Burkhart officiating.

Interment will follow services in the Mitchell Cemetery of Roanoke, WV.

Weston Lodge# 10 AF & AM will conduct Masonic Graveside Rites on behalf of the Warpole Lodge #176 F & AM of Upper Sandusky, OH.

Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home of Weston is honored to serve the family of Cyrus William Dille.

Hometown Team Gilmer County Crush Win the WV ASA 14u Class B Championship

Last weekend the Sue Morris Complex hosted the ASA WV State Class B Tournament with teams from all over WV including:

The Gilmer Free Press
Hometown team Gilmer County Crush went undefeated (5-0) in
tournament play for the weekend which led them to
win the WV ASA 14u Class B Championship Game!

Gilmer Crush: (FR) Coach Amanda Stoddard, Haley Wanstreet (3B),
Kassidy Heavner (P, 2B), Kira Riffle (P, 2B), Kailee Seabold (SS),
Keaton Moore (2B, RF), Taylor Armstrong (LF), (TR) Amber Frame (C),
Sierra Poling (1B, 3B), Beth Ramsey (1B, RF),
Kora Younts (P, 1B), Courtney Moore (CF), Coach Matt Stoddard

10B Registrations:

Barbour County Dirt Divas(10B)

Mon County Express(10B)

Synergy (10B)

12B Registrations:

Barbour Battitudes

(12B), Lewis County Blue 12u (12B)

Mon County Express (12B)

MoTown Cheetahs (12B),

Mountain State Girls Softball (12B)

14B Registrations:

Black Diamond Express (14C)

Gilmer County WV Crush (14B)

Lewis County 14-u (14B)

Mountain State Girls Softball (14B)

16B Registrations:

BC Blue Lightning (16B)

Mountain Shine (16C)

WV Wildfire (16B)

Results 10u :

*Champions: Synergy

*2nd place:  Mon County Express

Results 12u:

*Champions: MoTown Cheetahs

*2nd place: Lewis County Blue

Results 14u:

*Champions: Gilmer County Crush

*2nd place: Black Diamond Express

Results 16u:

*Champions: WV Wildfire

*2nd Place: Barbour County Blue Lightning

The Gilmer Free Press

Pat’s Chat - 07.20.14

The Editor’s note for Pat’s Chat in The Record Delta for Wednesday, July 16, 2014 states that Country Roads Transit has assumed the role of the senior center van.  That is true, but I feel seniors will be missing the convenience of the senior van because I am told the Country Roads Transit will have to be notified a day ahead of time if one needs it.  Sometimes seniors do not KNOW that far ahead of time when they will need transportation.  Also, I am told that it will be curb-to-curb, meaning that seniors will not have help getting groceries to their door which the kind senior bus drivers tried to do.  The senior van will be greatly missed, I predict.  Although I am thankful for Country Roads, it will not fully replace the senior vans.

The first cousins of the grandchildren of Arlie and Golda McNemar met for a reunion dinner at Hickory House in Weston on July 11, 2014.  The picture shows the following:  Standing in Back: Sam Wiant, Harry Wiant, Jr., Randy McNemar, middle: Debbie Davis, Bobbie Haymond, Sharon McNemar, Pat Ridpath, Robin Bucklew (daughter of Pat) , Mary Ann Bucklew, Teresa Wiant (daughter of Harry); Seated: Ronnie McNemar, Debbie McNemar, Rusty Allison, Melissa Allison.  (Missing are Ellen Stilwell [wife of Denny Stilwell] and son Phil, Katie (daughter of Randy) & Tony Alicea with baby Isaac, and Bronson (son of Ronnie) & Heather McNemar with baby Gunner.  These folk left before the picture was taken.)  Absent from the reunion were Susie Munro and husband Jim, Freeda Wiant (wife of Sam),Wayne Davis (husband of Debbie Davis) Kathy Stover, Becky Mancini, Charlie Krone (husband of Nancy), Cindy McGill and husband Phillip.  Videos of past reunions were shown and several stories of past history were shared and enjoyed.  Hickory House personnel were gracious and the food was good.  I hope we will get first cousins together next year with none missing.

The Gilmer Free Press

Another former classmate died last week.  Georgia Burroughs Greenlief died July 06, 2014.  Here is the site where you can view pictures:  You will see her brother, Willis, too.  Willis is married to Susan, the daughter of the late Ada Wiant, a relative of mine.

Frank and Vivian Strader 55th anniversary was on July 18.  He graduated from Burnsville High School.  I saw this announcement in July 16 edition of The Weston Democrat and includes a picture of the couple on their wedding day 55 years ago.  They have one daughter, Tricia.  His brother, Clifford was in my class of 1951.

An event for former old Weston State Hospital employees is slated for September 14 at the Weston Senior Citizens’ Center.  1 to 7 PM.  Bring your own soft drinks and a covered dish to share.  Silverware, plates and napkins will be furnished.  If you have any questions, call Linda at 304.269.3211 or Libby at 304.203.0170 or Dianne at 304.2677.4059.  This is an alcohol-free event.  I’ll see you there, I hope.  (Yes, I worked for a short time in the old Weston State Hospital!)

No man can of himself understand his faults and errors. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. We may talk a good story about our humility, spirituality, and commitment, but our hearts may be swelling with conceit and exalted righteousness.  The only way we can truly know ourselves is by beholding Christ in his words and works.  That is why I like a red-letter Bible where the words that Jesus spoke are red and easy to find.  We can read about what he did and what he taught.  When we see his consistent love it shows us our own lack of love. When we think about his purity and excellence, we see our own weaknesses and defects.  We can then see that if we are ever to be “saved” it will not be through our own goodness, but through God’s mercy and infinite grace….”No outward observances can take the place of simple faith and entire renunciation of self. But no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work. Then the language of the soul will be, Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unChristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul.”  (Christ’s Object Lessons page 159)

This is pretty heavy to digest, but only daily contact with Christ through prayer and exploration of his teachings and messages to us in Scripture can help us learn who he really is.  But there are many distractions out there to keep our mind filled with everything except Christ.  Music can be one of the distractions.  Music is powerful and can heal or harm.  Steven Tyler says that rock music is the strongest drug in the world.  One place I learned this was at  There are dozens of different amazing videos at the Shepherd’s Call Ministry site relating the effects of different music..

My brother added Roku to our television.  It is not very expensive at Walmart and if you have not tried it, you will be surprised to find lots of free programs available to you.  The Roku device is not much bigger than a deck of cards but when it is attached (and if you have Wi-Fi and/or internet, I believe) you can choose many, many sites to view.  One is YouTube where I found Fountainview Academy videos.  The videos are made by students from this boarding academy.  These students travel to many locations with their musical instruments and even a grand piano and sing and play orchestral instruments amid beautiful scenic sites at beaches, on mountains, or other places.  It is great!  It is no wonder they have a large waiting list of parents wanting their children to experience this wholesome, beautiful way to use their musical talents.

If you have Roku for your television, please look for the Amazing Facts channel and find out about the Cosmic Conflict (also called The Great Controversy).  And, 3ABN is a channel that has healthful cooking programs, children’s programs, and many other interesting programs for the whole family.  The Hope Channel and other channels are also available.  For those who are history buffs, you may like


West Virginia’s Latest News - 07.22.14

The Gilmer Free Press


A Charleston man pleaded guilty Monday to killing a 90-year-old man that he had previously done some odd jobs for.

Anthony Caldwell, age 39, said he used a hammer to take the life of George Molle back in January. Caldwell took a cigar box of cash and a jar of change after the attack.

Caldwell pleaded guilty to murder, charges of breaking and entering, burglary and robbery were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey will decide if Caldwell will have a chance for parole after 15 years at his September 19, 2014 sentencing.


Four inmates at a Fayette County prison work camp were injured in a Monday morning traffic accident on state Route 39 in Nicholas County.

The inmates were in a van traveling from Slayton Work Camp on the campus of Mount Olive State Prison to the DOH garage in Summersville when the van was struck head-on by a passenger car at 7:45 AM near the Peters Creek intersection.

The driver of the car, William Hanshaw of Summersville, slammed into a tractor trailer and then into the inmate van.

The driver of the van, corrections officer Aramand Brouillard of Belva and four inmates were injured. Brouillard and one of the inmates were treated and released from Charleston Area Medical Center.

Three other inmates were taken to the Summersville Medical Center after suffering minor injuries. Hanshaw was also hospitalized.


Lewis County’s regional jail bill hit another all-time high in June, nearing the $100,000 mark.

The county’s regional jail bill for 2004 inmates at nearly $50 a day was just over $96,000.

Lewis County officials are concerned that more than $770,000 allotted to pay regional jail costs may fall short.


The West Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office is accusing members of a volunteer fire department in Wharton with forging state documents.

The office said it has filed felony criminal complaints against fire officer Ira Rash and fire chief Robert Rash of the Wharton-Barrett Volunteer Fire Department.

The filings charge Ira Rash with forgery of a public record and conspiracy, claiming he forged multiple certificates and documents for himself and other members of the department.

The certificates are required by law for fire departments as part of regular reviews of training and equipment.

Officials say the complaint also alleges Robert Rash knew of the altered documents and signed verifications to the state.

A phone number listed for the fire department went unanswered. Messages left at both residences were not immediately returned.


West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue says a new online billing program will help local governments process their bills better and keep track of their finances.

The program called LGov is also expected to cut down on paperwork and moving money through the system faster and more efficiently.


A West Virginia man and his 24-year-old daughter have been identified as victims of a small plane crash in the Adironddack mountains in New York State.

Police there say 63-year-old Fred Kafka of Vienna, West Virginia, was piloting the plane that crashed over the weekend while trying to land at the Lake Placid airport.


Health authorities in Ohio are advising patients in that state who sought treatment at a clinic in West Virginia to be tested from some infectious diseases.

Ohio health officials say their counterparts in West Virginia have found possible unsafe injection practices at a clinic in McMechen (muhk-MAY’-kuhn) in Eastern Panhandle.


A former caseworker in Logan, West Virginia, has admitted to filing fake claims to more than $58,000 in government benefits from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Shannon Collins, age 41, of Logan, pleaded guilty Monday, July 21, in U.S. District Court in Charleston to defrauding DHHR.

Collins, also known as Shannon Varney, worked in DHHR’s Logan County office.

Collins used Social Security numbers of two dead people to set up bogus accounts in 2009 that she used to submit claims and then had the benefit checks mailed to her.

She also obtained Mountain State Cards, formerly known as food stamps, which she used from April through December of 2009.

She faces up to 30 years in prison and a potential fine of up to $500,000 at sentencing, which is set for October 29, 2014.

Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital Welcom Dr. Jerry Henson, M.D.

The Gilmer Free Press

Volunteer Day August 09, 2014 at Polk Creek Community Park

The Gilmer Free Press

The City of Weston and Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital (SJMH) are working with a group of very dedicated volunteers to renovate the Polk Creek Playground.  At a recent meeting of the playground committee, it was decided to call the playground Polk Creek Community Park.

The public has taken an active interest in bringing back a memorable “hangout” for generations of children in the West Second Street area.  On Saturday, August 09, 2014, SJMH is planning to have a Volunteer Day at the playground to install and landscape part of the facility.

Connie Riffle and her husband, John, have been instrumental in giving life to the old playground.

“I went to school at Polk Creek and after school ended during the day we stayed and played ball in the field, used the swings and the sliding board that were there,” said Connie. “There were four generations of my family who went through that school so there are lots of memories for my whole family with that place….that is why I am so interested in bringing it to back to life.”

There has great community interest from the very generous people who have donated money and equipment to the effort.  Thanks to Scott Lambert and the Town of Jane Lew, there will be an extra swing set and teeter totter there.  The playground organizers are picking up equipment from Roanoke School, several people who taught at the school, and physicians from SJMH.  If one would like to donate to the effort, please send your check to SJMH, Polk Creek Playground, 230 Hospital Plaza, Weston, WV 26452.

To volunteer during that day, please contact Julia at 304.269.8167.

Charity Softball Tournament - 07.26.14

The Gilmer Free Press

The United Way’s mission is to advance the common good for local residents by building strong families, supporting independent seniors, and nurturing thriving children.

Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital (SJMH) and Sharpe Hospital, of Weston, Davis Medical Center, of Elkins, and United Hospital, of Clarksburg, are all dedicated to supporting the United Way in their county.

The four hospitals are joining forces and participating in a “Central West Virginia Hospital Challenge” to raise money for their respective United Way organizations in a Charity Softball Tournament.

The tournament is planned for Saturday, July 26, 2014 at Robert Bland Middle School Softball Field in Weston, beginning at 8:00 AM.

The first game pits the two Weston Hospitals, followed by the Davis, UHC matchup at 9:30 AM.

Kevin Stalnaker, COO at SJMH, has been involved with United Way for years and is delighted by the interest from the four hospitals and all of their employees.

He said, “The United Way plays an important helping non-profits in the community and our employees, who are very charitable, are thrilled to be able to give back to the community.”

The rain date is Sunday, July 27, 2014.


The Gilmer Free Press

One of two men indicted in a 1999 Lewis County, WV murder case has entered a plea of not guilty.

Joseph Metz, age 39, of Weston, WV entered the plea to two counts of first degree murder Friday morning before Judge Kurt Hall.

The defense also filed a motion to dismiss the case.

Judge Hall set a hearing for this motion for next week and jury selection for the trial in October.

Metz, along with Charles Steven Freeman, age 51, of Archbold, Ohio, were indicted by a Lewis County grand jury on July 15, 2014.

Freeman was re-arrested on Wednesday while Metz was re-arrested in January.

Both are charged in connection to the 1999 disappearance of Metz’ mother Mary Friend, age 46 and grandmother Maxine Stalnaker, age 69.

The two, along with David Hughes, age 58, were charged in the case in 2013 but the charges were later dropped in light of additional information in the case arising.

Friend and Stalnaker went missing from Lewis County on December 01, 1999 and Friend’s car was later found five days later in Clarksburg, WV.

Freeman was scheduled for arraignment Friday morning but, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, officials are waiting for his extradition to the state.

CommunityConcerns™: The School Board and the Public Need Vital Information from the State

The Gilmer Free Press

This is public record information from the July meeting of the Gilmer County School Board.

It relates to information that has not been provided to the School Board and the Gilmer County public.

Specifically, the Gilmer County School Board and the public have:

1) Not been provided with the final terms of the purchase agreement for the Cedar Creek School (CCS) land;

2)  Not been provided with accurate cost analyses for site preparation costs at the CCS site including those for the new road, how much it will cost, and how that phase will be funded;

3)  Not been provided with professionally defensible documentation for all cumulative future costs for the County to bear by using electric instead of natural gas for heating the CCS school over its functional life span;

4) Not been provided with disclosure of the amount of money in the County’s school system surplus funds at intervention time, a specific accounting for how those funds were spent during intervention, and remaining funds in the surplus account;

5) Not been provided with an official analysis of future budget implications for the County by sending Gilmer County’s students to Lewis County** and;

6) Not been provided with clarification of why inventory information was not provided for all Gilmer County schools at the July public meeting to include when remaining material will be received.

** It is being said that the first year after Gilmer’s students go to Lewis County we will be funded 100% as if they are still in our system, the second year it will be 50%,  and it will be 25% for the third, but what happens next has not been officially documented. Furthermore, there is confusion regarding whether or not all students who are sent to Lewis County will remain there for completion of high school.

GFP - 07.18.2014
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleLinnNormantownSand ForkTroyLewis CountyCommunityConcerns™Education(8) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin presides over the WV School Building Authority. He has the power and the fiduciary responsibility to hire an unbiased and qualified consultant to evaluate the best mix of energy use for the Linn and Cedar Creek schools to save money for Lewis and Gilmer Counties. It is not too late for design changes to be made for both projects to get the least expensive energy bills for taxpayers. What about Mr. Devono? Couldn’t he take the lead to settle the energy issue by hiring a qualified consultant? What about consumer common sense? Do you know of anyone who would question the accuracy of the statement that in WV it costs far less to heat with natural gas compared to electricity?

By Astonished By State Inaction  on  07.18.2014

3)  Not been provided with professionally defensible documentation for all cumulative future costs for the County to bear by using electric instead of natural gas for heating the CCS school over its functional life span;

Not only does the county lose the state funds because of students bussed to Lewis County, we get to pay millions more for heating the school. Now that we know a utility could have supplied natural gas via a right of way obtained by eminent domain if necessary, what was the architect’s response to not designing the HVAC using the lowest cost utility source?

We need a study comparing the cost of heating with electricity versus the cost of heating with natural gas.

By Fed up!  on  07.18.2014

The Lewis County school at Linn was first designed for heat with gas, was it not?
Then under the leadership of former Gilmer superintendent, it had to be redesigned for electric?
So….isn’t the design work for gas heating all ready completed?

By dig and find out  on  07.19.2014

he best part of the whole school mess!
LEWIS COUNTY TAXPAYERS get saddled with the EXTREME electric costs!!
Gilmer County - - -  count your blessings!!
You will only get the architect shaft for ONE school instead of two.
LEWIS COUNTY gets the shaft for the other school!

By yippee-yippee  on  07.19.2014

Where are our State level elected officials when we need them? Senator Jeffery Kessler(D), Senator Larry Edgell(D), Senator Douglas Facemire(D), Senator Samuel Cann(D), Delegate Brent Boggs(D), Delegate David Walker(D)? Is there a pattern here and should we make changes? Oh I forgot, the theme that has worked over and over is that Gilmer County never had it so good.

By Tired Off Neglect  on  07.19.2014

Dearest Tired of Neglect:
You wonder where our elected officials are?
Answer: Hiding in their holes.
No help or support to the communities that elected them.
It will be a happy day when we stop seeing names like:  Boggs, Walker, Facemire, and the other ‘do-littles’ on the ballot.
Thanks for pointing out that they are ALL of the SAME DEMOCRAT party affiliation.
At least citizens with the Gilmer School intervention know which party WILL NOT HELP THEM.

By out of their holes come election  on  07.19.2014

Brian Kennedy(D) and Larry Chapman (D) are among those hidden in their holes. Their lame excuse would be that the Commission does not have authority to get involved, but its members could pass a resolution anyway backing the County. That would take backbone and bucking their high level handlers so don’t expect any support there. Don’t forget Gayle Manchin’s (D) role either in our school mess and the secrecy clamp. Governor Tomblin (D) has to take responsibility too. One thing for certain is that the group of officials will deny any involvement in causing our problems, and all of them will apply finger pointing to try to excuse themselves from any blame. Any wonder that WV is moving into the red state column?

By Ted B.  on  07.20.2014

Look up the Williamson and Shriver web site and read about Eastwood Elementary in Mon. County. Dr. Frank Devono (Mr. Gabriel Devono’s brother) talked about Eastwood using one-half the electricity of two other schools. Sounded as if a bill at the new school was $5,000 less for one month (month not given) than bills for each of two other schools. Isn’t it amazing that one of the richest counties in WV was allowed to have energy cost savings while Gilmer, one of the poorest counties, is going the most expensive energy route by not using natural gas at Cedar Creek?  By using Eastwood’s figures assume that for $5,000 per month saved that would equate to $60,000 a year. Over 30 years that would be $1,888,000, not a small amount of money. It is being kept secret how much extra Gilmer will have to pay for energy over the life (75 years?) of the Cedar Creek School. No wonder that the State won’t disclose its disgraceful blunder with Williamson and Shriver’s participation. A lot could have been done for our children and teachers with saved money if local-level planning for a new school, including site selection, had been permitted by the State.

By Planner  on  07.21.2014

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Two Charged in 1999 Disappearance of Two WV Women

The Gilmer Free Press

Two men have been indicted on murder charges stemming from the 1999 disappearance of a West Virginia woman and her daughter.

A Lewis County grand jury charged both Charles Stephen Freeman, age 51, of Archbold, Ohio, and Joseph Metz, age 39, of Horner, WV with two counts of first-degree murder on Wednesday in a sealed indictment.

Lewis County Circuit Court Judge Kurt Hall ordered the indictment unsealed Thursday morning following Freeman’s arrest on Wednesday in Ohio.

The men are accused of killing Maxine Stalnaker, age 69, and her daughter, Mary Friend, age 46.

The women disappeared in December 01, 1999, after leaving their Jane Lew home on a Christmas shopping trip.

Their station wagon was found five days later near the Harrison County community of Gore.

Their bodies have not been found.

Metz is Friend’s son and Stalnaker’s grandson.

Co-defendant David Hughes, age 58, of Archbold pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

He is awaiting sentencing.

All three defendants initially were charged in September 2013 with the slayings.

Former Lewis County prosecutor Mike Smith later dismissed the charges, saying there was new information.

Attorney Tom Dyer, who had previously represented Freeman, told The Exponent Telegram that the new charges against Freeman were “a very big surprise.“

“To me, I thought this was all over,“ Dyer said.

Metz has been held at the Central Regional Jail without bond since the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department arrested him on murder charges in January.

Jail records did not indicate whether Metz has an attorney.

West Virginia Agency Appeals Judge’s Pay Raise Directive

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is appealing a judge’s directive to give pay raises to some workers at the state’s two psychiatric hospitals, arguing that it has fulfilled a similar order issued in 2009.

The directive is part of an order issued June 2 by Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Duke Bloom in an ongoing case centering on the treatment of mental health patients.

Bloom directed the DHHR to immediately implement a special starting salary for new health service workers at William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston and Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington. Workers hired or promoted since January 2103 must be retroactively compensated.

The DHHR appealed the directive to the West Virginia Supreme Court earlier this month. The appeal said the directive is “arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of discretion” because the DHHR has fulfilled Bloom’s 2009 order, The Charleston Gazette reported Thursday.

“This issue is separate from the merits of the rest of the action because it is DHHR’s position that the pay rate increase was completed as agreed by the parties, and the controversy concluded at that time,“ Victoria Jones, commissioner for the Bureau of Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, told the newspaper. “In our government, it is the role of the legislative branch to appropriate funding for the other two branches of government.“

She said an order issued by Bloom on April 25, 2012, recognized that DHHR was complying with the 2009 order.

“However, in the June 02, 2014 order, it appears that the Court is interpreting the pay increase contemplated by the 2009 agreed order so that additional pay increases would continue beyond the one-time appropriation by the Legislature. DHHR does not share this interpretation,“ Jones said.

The appeal also argued that other aspects of the case are unresolved, including a plan to reduce staff vacancies, discontinue mandatory overtime and stop using temporary contract employees.

“Given the extreme staffing shortages at the two state hospitals, and the effect that those shortages have on patient care, (the) petitioners are disappointed that the Bureau is choosing to appeal the implementation of a small increase in direct care starting salaries that it agreed to years ago, instead of directing its efforts toward recruiting and retaining direct care staff,“ Lydia Milnes, an attorney for Mountain State Justice, told the newspaper.

Mountain State Justice represents employees and patients at both hospitals.

The appeal DHHR’s also said the directive violates the collateral order doctrine because Bloom ordered immediate implementation of the salary increases, making the directive final. The doctrine makes orders subject to appeal if they are final in a case that is ongoing.

On June 27, 2014 Bloom found the DHHR in contempt for failing to comply with previous orders.

A show-cause hearing is set for August 01, 2014.

Elizabeth Ann Snyder

The Gilmer Free Press

Elizabeth Ann Snyder

Age 84, of Weston, WV formerly of Burnsville, WV went home to be with her Lord and Savior when He extended His loving arms Friday, July 11, 2014.

Elizabeth was born July 28, 1929 to James T. and Agnes V. Barrett of Buffalo, Braxton County.

At 14 years of age, Elizabeth became one of the original “Rosie the Riveters” when she went to work in a factory producing munitions and war supplies in Cleveland, Ohio, during World War II. Later in life, she was employed at the Kinney Shoe Factory in Glenville and the West Virginia Glass Factory in Weston. She also served as an Avon lady in her community and as a Headstart aide at Burnsville Elementary School.

Fondly known as Squeak to her closest friends and family, Elizabeth married Junior James Snyder December 22, 1951.

The Snyders lived in Gilmer Station, where Squeak became well known for the delicious food she prepared for visitors and the stylish perms she gave the ladies in the small community.

The family moved to Braxton County, just four miles below Burnsville, in 1962, where they resided until Elizabeth suffered a debilitating stroke in 1997, which robbed her of her ability to cook and drive. Her son George and his wife Wanda of Weston served as her caretakers for her remaining years. At the time of her death, Elizabeth was residing at the Country Living Personal Care Home in the care of Mrs. Sherry Sellers.

Elizabeth dearly loved her family and their pets. She was especially fond of Max, Gracie, Pumpkin and Goblin, her furry loved ones. An avid NASCAR fan, Elizabeth’s favorite driver (her “man”) was the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. She also enjoyed the music of her favorite singer, Josh Turner.
When she lost her husband in 1971, Elizabeth poured herself into raising her large family single-handedly for the next forty-three years. Just days before her passing, she still asked her children to call to let her know they had arrived home safely, no matter how nearby they lived.

She overcame countless physical struggles during her lifetime for the sake of her children.

Elizabeth is survived by her sons David Barrett (Rosalee) and George Snyder (Wanda), both of Weston.

She is also survived by four daughters, Sharon Johnson (Gary) of Alliance, Ohio; Brenda Gibson (Burnard) of Sutton, WV; Janet Snyder of Kingsport, Tenn.; and Tammy McNemar (Jay) of Centreville, VA.

Elizabeth was affectionately known as Gran or Nanny to her nine grandchildren, Michael Johnson, Darla Adkins, David Lee Barrett, Kevin Barrett, Lisa McKisic, Amy Rose, Misty Dawn O’Dell, Elizabeth Gibson and Logan Gibson; eight great grandchildren; and three great great grandchildren.

She is survived by one sister, Shelba Jean Allen (Robert) of Burnsville, and a host of loving nieces, nephews and cousins.

Elizabeth was preceded in death by her husband Junior James Snyder and her son Duanne Snyder. In addition, three sisters, Lovie Eagle, Gladys Alkire and Rosa Belle Bush; and one brother, Burton Ray Barrett, preceded her in death.

Family received friends Monday, July 14 from 5-8 PM at the Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home, 378 Flatwoods Corner Drive, Flatwoods, WV 26621.

Funeral services will take place Tuesday, July 15 at 11 AM at the Little Kanawha Independent Church below Burnsville with Pastor Ronzel Roberts officiating. Interment will follow in the K of P Cemetery in Burnsville.

A longtime member of the Little Kanawha Independent Church in Burnsville, Elizabeth deeply appreciated Reverend Roberts and his wife Leona, who visited her faithfully until her passing.

The Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home of Flatwoods will be caring for the Snyder family.

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