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Ritchie County

Ritchie County

Top Consumer Complaints in Mid-Ohio Valley for 2018

The Free Press WV

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey released a list of the top consumer complaints received by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division for Calhoun, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties in 2018.

“Our Consumer Protection Division works diligently to protect consumers from dishonest business practices,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “I encourage consumers who believe they have been a victim of an unlawful practice to reach out to our office and file a complaint.”

The list is assembled from written consumer complaints filed with the Consumer Protection Division. The tally does not include phone calls from consumers who did not follow up with a written complaint. It also does not include reports of scams.

The 2018 top complaint categories for the Mid-Ohio Valley were:

  1. Internet services
  2. Telephone services
  3. Used vehicle repairs
  4. Satellite equipment and service
  5. Cell phone devices and services
  6. Contests/sweepstakes/prizes
  7. Cable TV
  8. Major appliances
  9. Collection agencies

The Attorney General encourages consumers to educate themselves about their rights and responsibilities so they do not encounter similar issues.

Automotive and motor vehicle issues, up one spot from a year ago, ranked as the top consumer issue statewide accounting for nearly a seventh of all complaints filed.  Communication complaints fell to second statewide, followed by credit.

Though the list does not include scams, that issue remains a frequently reported consumer issue. The Attorney General warned consumers they should always be wary if a business uses high-pressure sales tactics, refuses to put terms in writing or demands the consumer surrender personal information, such as a Social Security number or banking information.

Consumers who believe they may have been the victim of a scam or taken advantage of should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1.800.368.8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304.267.0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

Grants in Action:  Super Teens Achieving Regional Success (STARS)

Students from throughout the PACF service area developed their leadership skills over the past year through participation in the Super Teens Achieving Regional Success (STARS) program, led by the Adolescent Health Initiative, Region V, based at Westbrook Health Services. STARS promotes youth development in sixth through twelfth grade students.

A $7,000 PACF grant supported STARS CAN, a local workshop that introduces leadership themes and helps teens plan service projects, and Developing STAR Leaders, a regional leadership event held annually at West Virginia University at Parkersburg that features a variety of hands-on workshops.

Amy CottrelI, Calhoun County Middle School counselor and STARS Advisor, shared how her school’s STARS Team benefited from participation: “I have watched our STAR students grow in confidence, leadership, and integrity as a result of attending these events. They in turn reach out to help their peers and fellow students with things like support, education, and resources. They show the compassion and confidence to really make an impact on others. They also have become avid volunteers and seem to enjoy altruistic work that can benefit the lives and environment of their fellow community members.”

The Free Press WV

Grants in Action:  Washington Bottom Community Building Gets Upgrades

The Washington Bottom Community Building has a new floor and new lighting, thanks, in part, to a $4,500 PACF grant. The Community Building serves as a focal point for the area and is the meeting place for the local Lions Club.

“Thanks to generous support of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, the McDonough Foundation, and volunteer help, we were able to complete the originally proposed work - and more!“ said Sam Tanner, with the Community Building.

A local Boy Scout took on the flooring project and painted the kitchen as an Eagle Scout project.

“Since an Eagle Scout project involves the whole troop, all of the Scouts learned that hard work pays off in the job well done,“ said Tanner.

With the help of a retired electrician and State Electric, the organization also was able to rewire all the lights in the front of the building and add new kitchen lighting. Rentals of the building have increased since the improvements have been made.

Ted McPherson, one of the charter members of the Lions Club, said, “the building looks the best it has in years.“

Grants Support Area Charities

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) announced its grant awards for spring 2018. The Foundation awarded a total of $209,056 region-wide through its Community Action Grants Program to organizations within the Foundation’s eleven-county service region of Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mason, Calhoun, Gilmer, Roane, Pleasants, and Jackson counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio. Of this total, the Foundation’s Ritchie County Community Foundation affiliate awarded $2,890; the remainder of grants came from PACF funds.

Grant recipients gathered at the Foundation’s office on Monday, May 21, to celebrate their grant awards. Among the grants awarded in this cycle, several support programs designed to address food insecurity and to provide healthy food choices for area residents. The West Virginia University Extension Service - Family Nutrition Program, will use a $10,000 grant to provide “pop-up” farmers markets for school children in Wood County in an effort to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by children and families with limited income. A $5,000 grant will enable the Doddridge County Farmers Market to offer the “Double Up Bucks” program to SNAP beneficiaries, enabling individuals who benefit from SNAP to double the amount of produce that they can purchase at the market. In Calhoun County, the new “Nourishing Networks” coalition, led by the Calhoun County Family Resource Network, will improve access to healthy, whole foods for youth, resource-limited families, and seniors. Lubeck United Methodist Church is receiving a $6,650 grant to expand its Lunch SAK program, which provides food to children in need for weekends, school holidays, and in the summer, to students at Blennerhassett Elementary School and Lubeck Elementary School.

“At our annual meeting this past January, several speakers highlighted the problem of food insecurity in our state,” said Senior Program Officer Marian Clowes. “Hunger is a real issue, as is access to healthy foods. We are excited that these grant-funded programs will help bring healthy food to children, families, and seniors on our region.”

Other grants in this cycle supported area parks and recreational facilities, programs addressing substance abuse and access to oral health care, equipment needs of volunteer fire departments, and a variety of projects in education, arts, and human and youth services.

Grants awarded through the PACF’s Community Action Grants Program are made possible by generous individuals and businesses who have established a charitable fund with the PACF. The Program uses the resources available through the Foundation’s general grantmaking and field of interest funds to meet the ever-changing needs of its service region. The Foundation works with volunteers region-wide to review the grant applications and select the recipients. Additionally, the Foundation consults with individuals who have established Donor Advised Funds through the PACF and works with these individuals to provide additional grant support for the projects proposed through the Community Action Grants Program. To learn more about the Program, individuals should call the Foundation at 304.428.4438 or email ‘info@pacfwv.com’.

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Grants

  • Adolescent Health Initiative, Region 5 - $7,000 to support the “Developing Star Leaders” program, which engages students from the Mid-Ohio Valley in developing individual and team leadership skills.
  • Calhoun County Family Resource Network - $7,120 to support the Calhoun County Nourishing Network’s efforts to improve access to healthy, whole foods for youth, resource-limited families, and seniors.
  • City of Parkersburg - $10,000 to purchase and install an aquaflex surface for the new splash park at the City Park pool.
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $5,000 to support a series of financial education programs across the Mid-Ohio Valley.
  • Doddridge County Elementary School - $600 to plant trees and to teach students about the life cycles of plants.
  • Doddridge County Farmers Market - $5,000 to enable the market to participate in the SNAP “Double Up Bucks” program and to promote the market to the public.
  • Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Department - $7,250 to purchase new turnout gear for firefighters.
  • Ely Chapman Education Foundation - $5,183 to repair and replace downspout at the facility.
  • Faithlink/Community Resources - $2,150 to support the purchase of a vehicle for the new Senior Ride Link program.
  • Family Crisis Intervention Center - $10,000 to support operating expenses for the Kids First Program.
  • Fourth Circuit Public Defender Corporation - $4,000 to support the cost of transportation for clients admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities.
  • Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department - $1,210 to purchase new firefighting nozzles and a fire hose.
  • Horizons Center for Independent Living - $5,000 to build an ADA compliant ramp to the facility.
  • Little Hocking Fire and Rescue, Inc. - $6,396 to purchase scuba diving masks for the rescue diving team.
  • Little Kanawha Area Development Corporation - $2,000 to purchase security cameras to be placed in Wirt County to combat an increase in crime.
  • Lubeck Elementary School - $4,845 to purchase playground equipment for Pre-K students.
  • Lubeck United Methodist Church Lunch SAK Program - $6,650 to help supply, on weekends, school holidays, and summer break, food for children from Lubeck Elementary School, to expand service to Blennerhassett Elementary School, and to assist Blennerhassett Middle School with their food and hygiene pantry.
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council - $2,300 to repair and/or replace sewing machines used by the Retired Senior Volunteer Program to sew items that they donate to agencies throughout their communities.
  • Minnie Hamilton Health System - $11,600 to assist with the purchase of medication carts.
  • NFS Ministries – Latrobe Street Mission - $7,500 to purchase new bed frames and mattresses for the women’s dorm.
  • Pennsboro Volunteer Fire Department - $7,000 to assist with the replacement of rescue tools.
  • Ritchie County Family Resource Network - $1,000 to create a Necessity Closet, to provide hygiene items for those in need.
  • Roane County Commission - $7,200 to purchase bunk beds with safety railings for the Roane County 4-H Camp.
  • Rotary Club of Parkersburg - $1,500 to support the Drug Free Clubs of America program at Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg South High School.
  • Schrader Youth Ballet - $4,000 to purchase a vinyl marley floor to be used at performances.
  • Smithville Elementary School - $610 to create hands-on science experiments for the Pre-K through 5th grade classes.
  • Town of Reedy - $7,500 to purchase and install a coin-operated bulk water machine to serve citizens who must haul water for use in their homes in Roane, Wirt, and Jackson counties.
  • United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $2,500 to install a security system.
  • Voices for Children – CASA Program - $9,000 to provide operating support.
  • Voices of the Street/Essentially Yours - $1,000 to provide operating support.
  • Washington Bottom Community Building Association - $4,500 to provide new flooring and upgraded lighting in the community building.
  • West Virginia Health Right - $2,500 to purchase dental supplies for the mobile dental clinic serving Roane County.
  • West Virginia University Extension Service – Family Nutrition Program - $10,000 to provide pop-up farmers markets at schools in Wood County to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by children from families with limited income.
  • West Virginia University School of Public Health - $1,500 to provide students with practical learning experiences by undertaking community health projects in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
  • West Virginia University Foundation/Energy Express - $3,552 to provide take home books to children enrolled in Energy Express in Calhoun, Gilmer, Roane, and Wirt counties.
  • West Virginia Symphony Orchestra – Parkersburg - $5,000 to support operations and programming.
  • Wood County 4-H Leaders Association - $12,000 to purchase a new stove and kitchen equipment for the Wood County 4-H Camp.
  • Wood County Parks and Recreation Commission/Mountwood Park - $15,000 to replace the roofs on cabins at the park.

Ritchie County Community Foundation Grants

  • Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department - $1,650 to purchase new firefighting nozzles and a fire hose.

  • Smithville Elementary School - $1,240 to create hands-on science experiments for the Pre-K through 5th grade classes.

Community Foundation Awards Spring Grants

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) announced today its grant awards for spring 2016. The Foundation awarded a total of $143,740 through its Spring Community Action Grants Program to organizations within the Foundation’s eleven-county service region of Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mason, Calhoun, Gilmer, Roane, Pleasants, and Jackson Counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio.

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) awarded grants totaling $142,740 to 36 different organizations, and its Ritchie County affiliate, Ritchie County Community Foundation affiliate (RCCF), awarded $1,000 in grant support. On Thursday, June 2, representatives of organizations receiving grants from the PACF and RCCF and other supporters of the Foundation attended a Spring Grant Award Program at the Foundation’s central office location in Parkersburg. Grant recipients had an opportunity to discuss their grant-funded projects with the attendees.

Grants awarded through the PACF’s Community Action Grants Program are made possible by generous individuals/businesses who have established a charitable fund with the PACF. The Program uses the resources available through the Foundation’s Unrestricted and Field of Interest Funds to meet the ever-changing needs of its service region. The Foundation works with volunteers region-wide to review the grant applications and select the recipients. Additionally, the Foundation consults with individuals who have established Donor Advised Funds through the PACF and works with these individuals to provide additional grant support for the projects proposed through the Community Action Grants Program. To learn more about the Program, individuals should call the Foundation at 304.428.4438 or email ‘info@pacfwv.com’.

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Grants

  • American Red Cross of Northwest West Virginia - $6,400 for veteran outreach through the Services to Armed Forces program
  • Arnoldsburg Elementary School - $3,900 to assist with construction of a parking lot to provide parking for community events
  • Children’s Home Society of West Virginia - $7,500 to provide direct support for basic needs for youth enrolled in the Parkersburg Transitional Living Program
  • Circles Campaign of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $1,700 to provide stipends as incentives for individuals and families in poverty to attend training classes
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $4,500 to provide equipment and resources to implement a student loan counseling program
  • Creed Collins Elementary School - $2,400 to provide renovations for safe access to a restroom at the school playground
  • Doddridge County Community Educational Outreach Service - $4,000 for the development of a heritage art quilt trail to encourage tourism and preserve Appalachian heritage
  • Doddridge County High School - $4,790 to encourage lifetime recreation habits by providing archery and Frisbee golf equipment for high school physical education classes
  • Doddridge County Parks and Recreation - $5,000 to assist with the purchase and installation of a weatherproof yurt at the Park’s campground
  • East Wood Volunteer Fire Company - $4,125 for the purchase of air cylinders
  • Ely Chapman Education Foundation - $2,500 to assist with start-up costs for new pre-school program
  • Friends of Charles Fork Lake - $6,000 to construct a disc golf course
  • Humane Society of the Ohio Valley - $1,500 for the acquisition of the ShelterPro Records Management System
  • Julia-Ann Historical Community Association - $4,700 for the restoration and preservation of Riverview Cemetery
  • Lubeck Elementary School - $2,500 for the purchase of playground equipment for Pre-K students
  • Martin Elementary School - $2,000 to provide books for students for the summer to improve literacy
  • Middle Island VFW Post 3408 - $5,000 for the construction of a picnic pavilion at the Doddridge County Park to honor veterans
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Symphony Society/West Virginia Symphony Orchestra – Parkersburg - $600 to purchase a laptop computer to improve ticketing at concerts
  • Parkersburg High School - $2,000 to equip the Moderate MI Apartment Classroom to teach life skills
  • Parkersburg High School Foundation - $2,000 to purchase equipment and software to support fundraising efforts
  • Planned Parenthood South Atlantic - $1,000 to install a security system at the Vienna health center
  • Pleasants County Parks and Recreation - $5,000 for ADA upgrades to the aquatic center
  • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy - $5,000 to develop an economic impact report for the North Bend Rail Trail
  • Ritchie County Schools - $7,500 to develop and equip a video production lab at the high school
  • Roane County 4-H Leaders Association - $3,500 to construct a roof over a picnic shelter at the Roane County 4-H Camp
  • Schrader Youth Ballet Company - $2,000 to support the production of “Nutcracker: Clara’s Dream”
  • TEAM for West Virginia Children, Inc. - $5,000 to support the Say YES to Safe Sleep for Babies Hospital and Home Visitation Program
  • The Education Alliance - $3,500 to support the AmeriCorps on the Frontline student mentoring program in Doddridge, Pleasants, and Wood County schools
  • West Virginia Health Right, Inc. - $4,000 to provide oral health care and education
  • West Virginia University Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program - $3,975 to support mentoring program for students with visual impairments
  • West Virginia University School of Public Health - $3,000 to support a student-led community health project
  • Westbrook Health Services - $4,500 to assist women who have completed the Genesis Residential Substance Abuse Program by providing them with items needed for new housing
  • Wirt County 4-H Leaders Association - $5,000 to support the meals-to-go program, which provides food for Wirt County students during holiday breaks
  • Wood County Parks and Recreation Commission/Mountwood Park - $8,150 to replace the original roofs on three restrooms at Mountwood Park
  • Wood County Senior Citizens Association, Inc. - $2,500 to purchase computers for an educational lab for seniors
  • West Virginia University at Parkersburg Foundation - $6,000 to assist with the Center for Early Learning’s summer camp program

Ritchie County Community Foundation Grants

  • Ritchie County Schools - $1,000 to develop and equip a video production lab at the high school

PACF Awards Fall Grants

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) announced today its grant awards for fall 2016. Grant recipients gathered at the Foundation’s office on Tuesday, December 6, to celebrate their grant awards. A total of $180,000 in grant support was awarded region-wide through the Foundation’s Community Action Grants Program to organizations within the Foundation’s eleven-county service region of Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mason, Calhoun, Gilmer, Roane, Pleasants, and Jackson counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio.

“We addressed a number of crucial community needs through these grants including support for services that assist area youth, seniors, the homeless, victims of domestic violence, and children who have been abused or neglected,” said PACF’s Senior Program Officer, Marian Clowes. “Both hunger and food insecurity are real problems in our region. To help address this need, we provided a $15,000 grant to Old Man Rivers to assist with delivering meals to the homebound in Wood County through the purchase of a new food deliver truck. Additionally, a grant to Catholic Charities of WV will enable food to be delivered to those in need in Doddridge, Calhoun, Roane, and Wirt counties through the Wellness Works mobile food pantry. Grant support also will assist several organizations that provide food to school children on weekends and school holidays.”

In addition to Tuesday’s grant distributions, the Foundation’s regional affiliates in Doddridge County, Ritchie County and the Little Kanawha Area are also providing county-centric grant support.

Grants awarded through the PACF’s Community Action Grants Program are made possible by generous individuals/businesses who have established a charitable fund with the PACF. The Program uses the resources available through the Foundation’s Unrestricted and Field of Interest Funds to meet the ever-changing needs of its service region. The Foundation works with volunteers region-wide to review the grant applications and select the recipients. Additionally, the Foundation consults with individuals who have established Donor Advised Funds through the PACF and works with these individuals to provide additional grant support for the projects proposed through the Community Action Grants Program. 

To learn more about the Foundation and its Community Action Grants Program, individuals should call the Foundation at 304.428.4438 or email ‘info@pacfwv.com’.

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Grants

  • Camden Clark Medical Center Foundation - $5,000 to purchase portable equipment to measure an individual’s fracture risk;
  • CASA of the Fifth Judicial Circuit - $2,500 to expand child advocacy services to Roane and Calhoun counties;
  • Catholic Charities of WV - $6,000 for the Wellness Works mobile food pantry and for “Try It” tasting kits for clients in Calhoun, Doddridge, Roane, and Wirt counties;
  • City of Vienna - $10,250 to construct restrooms for the new Vienna Senior Center, which will expand exercise programs and activities for seniors;
  • Community Resources - $3,000 for the development of a community garden in Elizabeth to provide healthy, nutritious food for residents;
  • Family Crisis Intervention Center - $5,000 for new computers and printers to improve services and programming for victims of domestic violence;
  • Franklin Elementary School - $7,700 for books for classroom libraries for the “Leader in Me” project;
  • Humane Society of Parkersburg - $3,300 for free pet vaccinations for low income individuals in the community;
  • Marietta Community Foundation - $10,000 for the Shale Crescent project, designed to market the Mid-Ohio Valley’s assets to employer’s worldwide to increase employment opportunities for area residents;
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Drug Court - $3,300 for support for a supervision officer and to provide dentures for clients in need;
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department - $10,000 to purchase equipment to provide on-site dental hygiene services through the Smiles for Life program;
  • Mountaineer Creative Arts Council – $3,500 to support children’s musical programs for Doddridge County students grades 2-12;
  • Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership Association - $2,100 to provide training for teens who attend the Teen Leadership or Teen Entrepreneurship Summit at the Horseshoe Leadership Center;
  • Oil, Gas and Industrial Historical Association - $5,300 to support preservation projects for historic Henderson Hall;
  • Old Man Rivers - $15,000 to assist with the purchase of a new meal delivery truck;
  • Parkersburg Art Center - $11,150 to replace electrical wiring in the facility to improve safety;
  • Parkersburg Day Nursery - $9,750 to purchase equipment and improve facilities to enhance the organization’s ability to offer exceptional child care services;
  • Regeneration, Inc. - $4,000 to purchase nutritious, non-perishable food to send home on weekends with Ritchie County students in need from January – May 2017;
  • Ritchie County High School Physical Education Department - $1,600 to purchase physical fitness equipment;
  • Stephenson United Methodist Church - $2,500 to purchase food items for the Brown Bag program, which provides food for weekends for students at Jefferson Elementary School;
  • The Children’s Listening Place - $5,290 to support the use of tracking software and to train staff members to assist children who have been abused or neglected;
  • The iBelieve Foundation - $1,000 to provide supplies for students participating in summer leadership programs;
  • The Salvation Army - $10,000 to purchase mattresses, washers, and dryers for the emergency and transitional housing units;
  • Voices for Children Foundation – CASA Program - $7,000 to provide operating support to enable volunteer advocates to provides services to children removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect;
  • Voices of the Street Inc., Essentially Yours - $1,500 to purchase personal body and hair care products and household cleaning products for those moving from homelessness to a permanent residence;
  • West Fork Community Action - $1,000 to upgrade the playground at the Arnoldsburg Community Park;
  • West Virginia University Foundation, Bonnie’s Bus - $9,500 for operating support for the mobile mammography unit that serves women throughout the PACF service area;
  • Williamstown High School - $3,400 to purchase two automatic external defibrillators for the school’s soccer and baseball/softball fields;
  • Wood County 4-H Leaders’ Association - $4,860 to make improvements to the Wood County 4-H livestock barns;
  • Wood County Recreation Commission - $5,500 to support recreational programs to benefit area youth.
  • Calhoun County Committee on Aging - $10,000 for operating support to provide services to seniors;
The Free Press WV

RCCF Awards Grants Totaling $5,900

The Ritchie County Community Foundation (RCCF), an affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) announced $5,900 in grants to support charitable projects benefitting Ritchie County. RCCF presented the grants during the Ritchie County High School music concert on Monday, December 12.

Founded in 1999, the RCCF works to build permanent charitable funds to benefit the residents of Ritchie County. The RCCF family of funds includes 25 named funds, representing $1.3 million in assets. Each fall, the RCCF awards grants to benefit community projects. Grants awarded this fall are made possible through the Ritchie County Community Endowment Fund, which supports charitable projects that benefit the residents of Ritchie County; the Lowell and Wilda Jackson Community Fund, a Donor Advised Fund with a particular interest in support the needs of Ritchie County; and through the support of an anonymous donor.

The following agencies received grants from the RCCF:

  • Ritchie County High School Band Program - $5,000 to assist with the purchase of new band uniforms;
  • Regeneration, Inc. /Packs of Plenty - $650 to provide food for weekends and school holidays for Ritchie County students who face food insecurity at home;
  • Ritchie County High School Physical Education Department - $250 to purchase fitness equipment to enhance student fitness and for use in afterschool fitness classes.

“We are pleased to support the needs of our Ritchie County youth through these grants” said Alan Haught, RCCF Advisory Board Chair. “We are proud of our high school band and its recent growth, and we know that Packs of Plenty and the physical fitness equipment will make a difference in the health and wellness of our students.”

Current RCCF Advisory Board members, in addition to Haught, include Jean Freeland, Scott Windom, Noah Hinzman, Theresa Cowan, Dan Fissel, Richard Kerns, and Ron Nutt.

Picture Caption: Members of the RCCF Advisory Board present grants to representative of the Ritchie County High School and Regeneration, Inc. Pictured left to right: RCCF Advisory Board Chair – Alan Haught, RCCF Advisory Board Member – Dan Fissel, Ritchie County High School’s Jim Flesher, Regeneration, Inc.’s Gail Holleron, RCCF Advisory Board Member – Scott Windom.

LKACF Awards Grants Totaling $2,750

Founded in 2000, the LKACF works to build permanent charitable funds to benefit the residents of Calhoun, Gilmer, and Wirt counties. The LKACF family of funds includes 8 named funds, representing $650,000 assets. Each fall, the LKACF awards grants to benefit community projects. Grants awarded this fall are made possible through the LKACF Community Support Fund, which supports charitable projects that benefit the residents of Calhoun and Wirt counties; the Gilmer County Community Grantmaking Fund, which provides funds to address the needs of Gilmer County; and the Larry D. and Margaret D. Brown Advised Fund, which supports charitable projects in the region.

The following agencies received grants from the LKACF:

  • CASA of the Fifth Judicial Circuit - $535 to assist with expansion of child advocacy services to Roane and Calhoun counties. CASA recruits, trains, and supports court-appointed volunteer advocates who work with abused and neglected children to make recommendations to the court and to provide them a clear and powerful voice while seeking safe and permanent homes.
  • Gilmer Elementary School PTO – $400 to promote unity within the school and throughout the county by purchasing t-shirts for teachers.
  • Normantown Christian – $1,815 to purchase art supplies for the “One Child’s Time” program, where students will create and frame paintings to be sold in arts/crafts shows to generate a donation to The Ronald McDonald House Charities.
The Free Press WV

“These grants are all focused on the children in our communities,” said Ron Blankenship, LKACF Advisory Board Chair. “We loved that the Normantown Christian project involved children in a project that will give back to others in need. We also know that CASA plays an important role in helping to protect the most vulnerable children in our community, and the role of our local schools and teachers in educating our children is critical to our future. We are pleased to be able to provide support for these three child-focused grants.”

Current LKACF Advisory Board members, in addition to Blankenship, include Martha Haymaker, Bob Radabaugh, Kyle Pierson, Jean Simers, Andrew Matheny, and Leslie Maze.

Endowed Scholarship Funds Make Meaningful Impact

The Free Press WV

If you’re the parent of a college-bound student or a college-bound student yourself, you are more than likely feeling overwhelmed by the college application process and even more so by the costs that are adding up.  To help offset some of these expenses the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) offers several scholarship opportunities for area students.

“Not only are students and parents worried about tuition and fees, but they are also concerned about costs for books, housing, transportation, and much more,” said Rachel Brezler, PACF’s Regional Scholarships Officer. “We’re here to help parents and students easily navigate through the scholarship process and provide meaningful financial assistance to help pay for college.”

Brezler believes that the scholarship funds managed by the PACF are extremely helpful for students working to achieve their academic goals.  “Scholarship awards are directed straight to the college/university and are directly applied to the student’s account,” said Brezler.  “This approach minimizes administrative details for students and eases financial worries.  We’ve had several recipients comment that the scholarships they received truly helped them focus more on their studies.”

The PACF manages more than 160 endowed scholarship funds, established by forward-thinking citizens, to support students in its 11-county service area.  An endowed scholarship fund with the PACF is a permanent fund in which the principal always remains intact and invested, forever.  Annually, scholarships are awarded from a portion of the income earned on the fund’s principal.  Each scholarship fund at the Foundation has different eligibility requirements.  Many awards are restricted to students graduating from certain high schools, pursuing select fields of study, or attending specific institutions.  While most existing scholarships are limited to students who are graduating high school seniors, there are a few available for students whose undergraduate degree program is already underway, who are pursuing graduate level education, or who are “non-traditional” students. 

The average cost of college, both public and private, keeps increasing at a slow and steady pace each year.  According to a recent U.S. News and Report article, the average 2018-2019 cost for public, in-state schooling is more than $9,000; public, out-of-state is more than $21,000; and private colleges and universities is more than $35,000.

Last year, the PACF awarded 266 scholarships, totaling more than $331,000, to support area students pursuing post-secondary education.  Currently, the PACF is reviewing applications for its spring 2019 awards.

As the cost for post-secondary education continues to rise, the PACF encourages individuals concerned about the academic future of our region’s young people to consider partnering with Foundation.  Individuals can volunteer on the PACF’s Scholarship Fund Committee, donate to build a current scholarships fund, or partner with the Foundation to create a new scholarship fund.  Together we can make a meaningful difference for our community’s next generation.

Contact the PACF today at ‘info@pacfwv.com’ or call 304.428.4438 for more information.

The Free Press WV

DNR announces schedule for Friday and Saturday trout stockings

In an effort to encourage families and new anglers to enjoy fishing during the spring 2019 season, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has announced the locations of 69 trout stockings.

These stockings are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays. Locations were selected based on proximity to state parks and adequate access points, and to accommodate anglers and hatchery staff.

“Friday and Saturday stockings provide a unique fishing opportunity for anglers who work or attend school during regularly scheduled trout stockings,” said DNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “Weekend stockings also help us recruit new anglers and help families make weekend plans at our beautiful state parks and forests.”

In addition to these announced stockings, DNR personnel will stock fish at unannounced locations on Saturdays this spring. Where feasible, efforts are being made to stock on Saturday instead of Monday.

Announced stockings will start Friday, March 15, and continue through Friday, May 17.They correspond with the annual stocking schedule, published in the 2019 West Virginia Fishing Regulations, and are not additional or surplus stockings.Anglers can anticipate the stockings to include the same amount and variety of trout typically stocked in these waters.

Anglers are not permitted to fish within 200 feet of WVDNR staff during a stocking event. Licensing requirements remain the same. Licenses may be purchased at agents across the state or online at www.wvfish.com.

The Free Press WV


Announced Friday and Saturday stockings will take place at:


Audra State Park
Middle Fork River – March 22, April 12, May 10


Blackwater Falls State Park
Pendleton Lake – March 15, April 06*
Blackwater River – March 22, April 50*, April 26, May 10
Thomas Park Lake – March 15, April 06*


Cacapon Resort State Park
Cacapon State Park lakes - March 22, April 06*, April 19, May 10


Camp Creek State Park
Camp Creek – March 29, April 12
Mash Fork - March 29, April 12


Canaan Valley Resort State Park
Glady Fork – March 29, April 19, May 17
Shavers Fork (Lower/Bemis) - March 29, April 19, May 17


Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Greenbrier River – April 06*


Chief Logan State Park
Chief Logan Lake – March 15


Coopers Rock State Forest
Big Sandy – March 22, April 05, April 19, May 17
Coopers Rock Lake -March 22, April 05*, April 19, May 17


Holly River State Park
Laurel Fork [within the park] – March 22, April 05, May 03
Left Fork of Holly River – March 22, April 05, May 03


Little Beaver State Park
Little Beaver Lake – April 05*
Glade Creek of New River – April 05


North Bend State Park
North Bend Tailwaters – April 06*


Pipestem Resort State Park
Longbranch Lake – March 22, April 06*


Seneca State Forest
Seneca Lake – March 22, April 05*, May 03


Stonewall Resort State Park
Stonewall Jackson Lake Tailwater – March 22, April 06*, May 03,
Sutton Tailwater – March 22, April 06*, May 03
Burnsville Tailwater – March 22, April 06*, May 03


Tomlinson Run State Park
Tomlinson Run Lake – March 15
King Creek – March 15
Tomlinson Run – March 15


Tygart Lake State Park
Tygart Tailwaters – April 5*, May 03


Watoga State Park
Watoga Lake – March 22, April 6*, April 12, May 03
Greenbrier River (Marlinton) – March 22, April 12


* Dates marked with an asterisk indicate golden rainbow trout stockings during DNR’s Gold Rush Week, April 01-06.

Operating Support Grants Build Capacity

The Free Press WV

As competition for funding increases, many nonprofit organizations face challenges with securing support for their ongoing programming.  In addition, when organizations face a financial challenge, or are going through a growth period, general operating support can be of great assistance to ensure that resources are in place to maintain programs and services. 

Recognizing this, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation offers operating support grants to nonprofit organizations through its Community Action Grants Program, a bi-annual competitive grant application process.  A number of local organizations have received operating support through this important program of the Foundation, but the need continues to grow.

A $15,000 operating support grant to the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg helped them to provide programs for 946 members in 2018. The Club’s services are particularly critical on days of unexpected school closings, such as snow days. 

“Thank goodness you’re here today.,“ said one mother of a Club member at the recent closing of schools for the Day of Mourning in honor of President Bush. “I don’t know what I would have done today if the Club wasn’t open.“ 

According to Ben Shuman, Executive Director, “Providing programs on the days schools are closed is unusual for a program like ours - more than half of Clubs across the country close their programs on those days.“ Operating support helps to ensure that the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg can remain open on those days, providing critical support to children and families.

To learn more about how you can partner with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation to support your favorite area nonprofits with operating support needs, please call us at 304.428.4438.

Old Man Rivers Mission Establishes Endowment Fund

The Free Press WV

Old Man Rivers Mission is transforming community support into community action through a spirit of volunteerism.  Founded in 1991, Old Man Rivers Mission has touched the lives of hundreds of individuals in Wood County. 

The main program of the Mission is a weekend feeding program where they deliver hot nutritious meals to the Parkersburg/Vienna community using a mobile kitchen technique each Saturday and Sunday.  In fall 2016, the Mission purchased a new delivery truck with a grant from the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation allowing the Mission to delivery more than 200 meals in one trip.

Each Saturday and Sunday, the Mission prepares 400 meals to deliver to the community.  In 2018, 41,700 meals were delivered to the elderly, disabled, and homeless.  Nearly 80% of Old Man Rivers Mission’s feeding program clients are elderly.  For many, the meal that is delivered to them is the only meal they will have for that day.  Their clientele is comprised of those with very limited or no income so affording food is a tremendous hardship.

Another program of the Mission is their pantry which provides families with food and personal hygiene items.  On average, more than 620 families are served each month (based on July-December 2018 figures). 

To solidify their commitment to the Mid-Ohio Valley region, Old Man Rivers Mission’s Board of Directors recently established an endowment fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation that will help provide operating support for the organization.

“The Foundation has a respected reputation in our community and this new endowment fund’s annual distribution will help supplement a portion of our annual operating expenses and help us continue to serve the residents of Wood County,” said Jeanette Pursley, President of Old Man Rivers Mission.

Individuals who would like to learn more about Old Man Rivers Mission are encouraged to call the Mission at 304.428.6677.  Individuals wishing to donate to support the new Old Man Rivers Endowment Fund can make their donation by sending a check (payable to PACF with the fund name in the memo line) to:  PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

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

The Free Press WV

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

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

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


Antlerless Deer Season

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

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

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

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


Muzzleloader Deer Season

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

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


Archery and Crossbow Deer Seasons

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

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

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

Glenville State Students Named to Honor Rolls for Fall 2018 Semester

The Free Press WV

The names of students who attained the Glenville State College President’s and Provost’s Honor Lists for the Fall 2018 semester have been announced.

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

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

BARBOUR COUNTY: Shania Pennington

BERKELEY COUNTY: Morgan Golden, Desiree Payne

BRAXTON COUNTY: Lucas Bonnett, Dylan Crosby, Kathryn Dean, Allison James, Taylor Johnson, Drew Keplinger, Garrett Perkins, Christie Skidmore, Jacob Stout, McKenze Yanero

CALHOUN COUNTY: MacKenzie Ammerman, Jacob Petry, Laura Webb, Lucas Wilson

CLAY COUNTY: Jessica Beckett

FAYETTE COUNTY: Breanna Bennett, Ashley Fridley, Matthew Hackworth, Clayton Swisher

GILMER COUNTY: Preston Allison, Jacob Arden, Katelyn Benson, Chandler Ferguson, Lauren Hardman, Evan Jedamski, Janeeva Jenkins, Dalton Law, Brian Moore, Wesley Self

GREENBRIER COUNTY: Sarah Brunty, Asa Dick, Adam Osborne 

HARRISON COUNTY: Hannah Mick

JACKSON COUNTY: Hannah Gandee

JEFFERSON COUNTY: Karra Smith, Jasmine Tarman

LEWIS COUNTY: Haley Biller, Daniel Conrad

MONONGALIA COUNTY: Patricia Fahey  

NICHOLAS COUNTY: Jacob Amick, Danielle Bartlett, Taylor Cool, William Lyons, Elizabeth Messer, Heather Shifflett, Alyssa Woods

POCAHONTAS COUNTY: Cora Hedrick, Matthew Rao

PUTNAM COUNTY: Joshua Brennan

RALEIGH COUNTY: Erica Taylor, Matthew Welch

RANDOLPH COUNTY: Kathlyne Simmons, Christopher Wyche, Emma Yokum

RITCHIE COUNTY: Brianna Ratliff

ROANE COUNTY: Emily Salisbury

WEBSTER COUNTY: Bryce McCourt

WYOMING COUNTY: Kaci Mullins

OUT-OF-STATE:  Victoria Lewis (AL), Jacqueline Deary (CT), Julia Lindberg (CT), Allison Parski (MI), Jenae Shar (OH), Carrington Anderson (VA), Chere Davis (VA), Kimberly Ellis (VA), Jessica Williams (VA), Nicole Hansen (WA)



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

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

BARBOUR COUNTY: Jezaray Clark-Casto

BERKELEY COUNTY: Alexander Miller, Christina Tasker, Colby Werry

BOONE COUNTY: Ally Brown, Cameron Loftus

BRAXTON COUNTY: Leslee Coffman, Jessica Ellis, Bryan Foster Jr., Sean Hawkins, David Lee, Heather Moore, Savannah Payne, Lexi Pletcher, Forrest Taylor, Andrew Tefft, Chloe Walker

CABEL COUNTY: Taylor Brumfield, Cole Runion

CALHOUN COUNTY: Christopher Cunningham, Taylor Garrett, Brianna Marks, Jonathan Taylor

CLAY COUNTY:  Kaitlyn Coleman, Seth Stover, Sydnee Vance

DODDRIDGE COUNTY: Dennis Bowling Jr., Joshua Pitcock, Alexis Shonk

FAYETTE COUNTY: Tristan Coots, Steven Mitchell, Travis Myers, Mackenzie Shuff, Thomas Underwood III, Trevor Wood

GILMER COUNTY: Mary Ann Escarda, Thomas Gilco, Wyatt Helmick, Emilie Jedamski, Jaylin Johnson, Brittani Kosan, Matthew Montgomery, Adam Moore, Courtney Moore, Hannah Moore, Kitric Moore, Jacob Persinger, Maggie Roberts, Hayley Summers, Kerri Swiger, Lexsey Wagner, Halee Wildman, Trevor Wright

GRANT COUNTY: Larissa Henry

GREENBRIER COUNTY: Caleb Bennett, Emily Kemper

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY: Emily Landis

HARDY COUNTY: Shannon Hahn

HARRISON COUNTY: Dakota Dotson, Nikki English, Lia Runyan

JACKSON COUNTY:  Alexander Dean, Ryan Gregory, Josie Hayman, Larissa Hayman, Courtney Lanham, Evan Merical, Sapphire Parsons

JEFFERSON COUNTY: Taylor Corey

KANAWHA COUNTY: J. Austin Broussard, Allison Eary, Kayla Letart, Jacob Lutsy, Victoria Porterfield, Jeri Potter, Faith (Donze) Woods

LEWIS COUNTY: Adam Cutlip, Jennifer Eiler, Heather Paugh, Arikka Smith, Jenna Sprouse, Cody White

LOGAN COUNTY: Deanna Fields, Matthew Zachary

MARION COUNTY: Morgan Hardesty, Miranda Self

MERCER COUNTY: Anna Lusk, Brooke McCabe

MONONGALIA COUNTY: Raeann Sickles

MONROE COUNTY: Caitlin Reed

NICHOLAS COUNTY: Charles Baughman, Marlyn Donelson, Stephanie Flanagan, Larry Gwinn Jr., Nicole Hall, Steven Keiffer, Dalton McGeeney, Mark Sanson, Brooke Spencer, Mason Thomas

PLEASANTS COUNTY: Jessy Moore

POCAHONTAS COUNTY: Nancy Turner

PRESTON COUNTY: Josiah Nuse

PUTNAM COUNTY: Shawn Arthur, Aimee Asbury

RALEIGH COUNTY: Charles Edward, W. Tristan Harper, Andrue Hughart, Michael Layne Jr., 

RANDOLPH COUNTY: Quincy Band, Daniel Crawford, Kayla Palmer, Scott Wentz

RITCHIE COUNTY: Valerie Ogle

ROANE COUNTY: Haden Coon, Haley Cottrill, Derek Randolph, Mary Stoops, James Williams

UPSHUR COUNTY: Casey Orsburn

WEBSTER COUNTY: Jenna Cogar, Dezarae Detamore, Valerie Rule

WETZEL COUNTY: Rachal Wetzel

WIRT COUNTY: Jennie Burroughs

WOOD COUNTY: Hannah Lambert, Kelly Trippett

WYOMING COUNTY: Sarah Day

OUT-OF-STATE: Sarah DiSpaltro (CA), James Boswell (CO), Zachery Bacon (FL), Dwyron Gillard II (FL), Holly Tucker (FL), Jamie Whitt (GA), Stormie Alverson (KY), Amanda Thies (KY), Taychaun Hubbard (MD), Tatah Njoka (MD), Janele Price (MD), Taylor Skidmore (MD), Paranda Uber (MD), Jessica Digennaro (NY), Phillip Bledsoe II (OH), Jarret McCarley (OH), Catherine Pelfrey (OH), Isiah Sattelmaier (OH), Cheyenna Henderson (PA), Zakiyah Winfield (PA), Jake Hensell (VA), Garrett Porterfield (VA), Ibrahim Ghanem (Kuwait), Ai Miyazaki (Japan)

West Virginia hunters harvest 2,606 black bears in 2018

The Free Press WV

West Virginia hunters harvested 2,606 black bears during the combined 2018 archery and firearms seasons. The preliminary harvest for the combined 2018 seasons is 18 percent below the 3,160 bears killed in 2017, but is the sixth highest bear kill recorded, according to Colin Carpenter, black bear project leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Hunters killed 637 bears during the first segment of the 2018 archery season (September 29 – November 18). Bow hunters killed 374 bears, while crossbow hunters took 263. The top five counties were McDowell (54), Wyoming (49), Fayette (34), Nicholas (33) and Boone (29).

Firearms hunters harvested 1,969 bears during 2018. Hunters took 565 bears in September and October, including 18 bears during the concurrent antlerless deer/bear season. They took 537 bears during the concurrent buck/bear firearms season and 866 during the traditional December season. One bear was killed in Preston County during the first Mountaineer Heritage Season (January 10 – 13, 2019). The top five counties were Pocahontas (166), Randolph (143), Nicholas (142), Pendleton (126) and Webster (125).

“When looking at all mast species combined, mast production in 2018 was 22 percent below mast production in 2017,” Carpenter said. “In addition, the mast index for all oak species in 2018 was 24 percent below the long-term average. Historically, a scarcity of mast makes bears easier for archers to target, but these conditions encourage earlier denning and makes fewer bears available for hunters during both the buck firearms and December bear firearms seasons.”

Red oak, black oak and scarlet oak production decreased 64 percent from levels recorded in 2017. White oak production was nearly identical to 2017 and 42 percent above the long-term average, while chestnut oak was 10 percent above the long-term average.

“The 2018 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook predicted an archery harvest similar to 2017 and a decreased December firearms harvest over the levels observed in 2017,” Carpenter said. “The prediction held true for both the archery and December seasons; however, the overall bear harvest was lower than 2017. The 2018 bear harvest declined during the September/October, buck firearms and December seasons, yet increased during the bow/crossbow season.”

2018 WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEAR HARVEST
Bow September/October Buck December Mountaineer
County Crossbow Gun Gun Firearms Heritage Total
Barbour 15 2 14 8 0 39
Brooke 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hancock 0 0 1 0 0 1
Harrison 6 0 1 0 0 7
Marion 1 0 0 0 0 1
Marshall 0 0 0 0 0 0
Monongalia 3 0 4 1 0 8
Ohio 0 0 0 0 0 0
Preston 28 7 17 36 1 89
Taylor 8 0 3 0 0 11
Tucker 19 28 4 48 0 99
Wetzel 1 0 6 0 0 7
District 1 Subtotal 81 37 50 93 1 262
Berkeley 0 0 3 0 0 3
Grant 10 11 21 43 0 85
Hampshire 10 1 29 4 0 44
Hardy 10 23 23 57 0 113
Jefferson 4 1 2 0 0 7
Mineral 14 5 5 11 0 35
Morgan 4 0 1 1 0 6
Pendleton 13 50 17 59 0 139
District 2 Subtotal 65 91 101 175 0 432
Braxton 16 6 26 9 0 57
Clay 7 6 17 34 0 64
Lewis 10 0 6 3 0 19
Nicholas 33 40 28 74 0 175
Pocahontas 9 36 18 112 0 175
Randolph 26 55 16 72 0 169
Upshur 10 6 4 9 0 29
Webster 31 51 24 50 0 156
District 3 Subtotal 142 200 139 363 0 844
Fayette 34 15 40 17 0 106
Greenbrier 17 29 31 62 0 139
McDowell 54 30 7 14 0 105
Mercer 25 1 4 2 0 32
Monroe 21 13 26 15 0 75
Raleigh 27 20 23 5 0 75
Summers 20 1 10 2 0 33
Wyoming 49 27 6 16 0 98
District 4 Subtotal 247 136 147 133 0 663
Boone 29 30 37 26 0 122
Cabell 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kanawha 18 19 41 41 0 119
Lincoln 3 0 1 1 0 5
Logan 20 38 1 28 0 87
Mason 1 0 0 0 0 1
Mingo 18 14 0 6 0 38
Putnam 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wayne 1 0 0 0 0 1
District 5 Subtotal 90 101 80 102 0 373
Calhoun 2 0 1 0 0 3
Doddridge 0 0 0 0 0 0
Gilmer 5 0 8 0 0 13
Jackson 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pleasants 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ritchie 0 0 4 0 0 4
Roane 3 0 2 0 0 5
Tyler 0 0 2 0 0 2
Wirt 1 0 3 0 0 4
Wood 1 0 0 0 0 1
District 6 Subtotal 12 0 20 0 0 32
State Total 637 565 537 866 1 2606

Bears listed for Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties as “Buck Gun” are bow or crossbow kills from 11.19 - 12.02.

Bow/Crossbow refers to bears killed with a bow or crossbow from September 29, 2018 - November 18, 2018.  All other bow and crossbow kills have been separated based on the seasons in which they were killed.

September/October gun includes bears killed during concurrent antlerless deer/bear season 10.25 - 10.28 (18 bears).

Grants Available For Christian Youth

The Free Press WV

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates announces the availability of grants from the Proclaimers Gospel Quartet Fund for Christian Youth.

This fund provides support for Christian youth and Christian youth groups in need of financial assistance in order to attend or participate in Christian service-related events. 

Grants may be made, for example, for attendance at Christian camps or for participation in educational events or church or community service activities.

Applicants should note that persons or groups assisted through this fund generally shall only be eligible every fifth year following receipt of support.

The application period is open now through June 01, 2019.

Applications must be submitted through a church or a sponsoring nonprofit organization. 

Applications are available on the Foundation’s website, www.pacfwv.com/Grants/Apply, or by contacting the Foundation by calling 304.428.4438 or emailing ‘info@pacfwv.com’.


About the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) works with individuals, families, businesses, and civic or non-profit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of our community.  PACF is a single 501(c)(3) public charity that manages more than 350 charitable funds with nearly $43 million in assets.  PACF works in partnership with its local affiliates to provide leadership and develop philanthropic resources to meet the needs of an 11-county service area.  Since 1963, PACF has helped local citizens support charitable needs and touch every aspect of life in the community in a variety of lasting ways.  For more information about PACF, visit www.pacfwv.com or call 304.428.4438.

Community Foundation Grant Application Deadline February 15

The Free Press WV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Free Press WV

Most WV Counties Show higher unemployment in November 2018

The Free Press WV

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

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

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

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

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

That was unchanged from October.

Mountaineer Food Bank Receives Grant for New Equipment

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

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

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

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

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

The Free Press WV


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EQT Students of Excellence Scholarship 2018 Recipients

The Free Press WV

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

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

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


The “full-ride” scholarship winners are:

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


The $1000 scholarship winner’s are:

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


The “At Large” $1000 recipients are:

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

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

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

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

Donation to Support Area Programs Combating Hunger

A recent donation from Erie Insurance® to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) will help boost the region’s “Hunger Fund” that provides a permanent and dedicated source of monies from which grants can be made to support our communities’ backpack feeding programs, summer and after-school feeding programs, and other related needs for children, senior citizens, and other vulnerable populations.

“Food insecurity is a significant issue regionally; too many individuals and families experience hunger,” said Judy Sjostedt, the PACF’s Executive Director.  “Our area’s data shows a great need to improve the Foundation’s grant resources, so we can better meet essential human needs and improve family and economic stability to relieve conditions of poverty.  Our broad service area’s overall poverty rates exceed the West Virginia State average and are well beyond the national rate, but statistics for children under 18 are even more compelling. Looking at the seven counties for which the PACF is the only community foundation funder—Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood – poverty rates in five far exceed the State’s rate for young children.”

The Free Press WV
Representatives from Erie Insurance present a check for $10,000 to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation.
Left to right, Ben Rucker, Dan Hurley, Jay Simon, Greg Hoffman, Julie Posey - PACF, Kam Lawson, and Carolyn Reger.


Created a year ago, The PACF’s Hunger Fund began with generous support from many donors in response to a challenge grant from the Ketelsen family.  In addition to building this important charitable fund, the PACF has held partnership meetings since 2016 with the various area organizations working to address this need, to help identify gaps in service and new resources, and identify ways in which its leadership can be applied to address this critical community issue.

“This gift to the PACF is to build the Foundation’s permanent charitable fund specifically to help address hunger-related projects in our communities,” said Kam Lawson, Erie Insurance’s West Virginia Sr. Business Support Specialist.  “We are honored to support the Foundation with this initiative and thankful to know that more individuals experiencing hunger can be helped through this Fund”

To support the PACF’s regional Hunger Fund, mail a check (made payable to PACF, with “Hunger Fund” on memo line) to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101.  Or give online at www.pacfwv.com/donate.

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Ritchie County

Oleta Marie Kerns Williams

The Free Press WVAge 83, of Parkersburg, WV passed away surrounded by her loving family, on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Elmcroft Assisted Living of Marietta, OH. She was born January 26, 1936, near Cairo, WV, the daughter of the late Arthur and Zelma Michael Kerns [ .... ]  Read More

Opal Bunch

The Free Press WV Age 98, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Friday, March 15, 2019, at Pine View Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Harrisville, WV. Opal was born May 01, 1920 in Greenwood, WV, a daughter of the late Michael and Maude (Batton) Dotson [....]  Read More

Judith Ann (Judy) Shepherd

The Free Press WV Age 81, of The Willows, Parkersburg, WV passed away March 14, 2019. She was born in Ritchie County, WV a daughter of Harold and Ruby Jeffries Jones [....]  Read More

Arthur F. Cokeley

The Free Press WV Age 89, of Cairo, WV, departed this life on Monday, March 11, 2019, at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, WV. Arthur was born April 20, 1929 in Cairo, WV a son of the late Samuel H. and Mary (Harden) Cokeley [....]  Read More

Mary E. Props

The Free Press WVAge 92, of Harrisville, WV passed away March 10, 2019 at her home surrounded by her loving family. Mary was born December 30, 1926 to the late James A. and Ruby Riggs Wilson of Rock Camp [ .... ]  Read More

Judy Ann Richards

The Free Press WV Age 64, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Monday, March 11, 2019, at her residence. Judy was born February 04, 1955 in Pennsboro, WV a daughter of the late Dale and Mary (Wilson) Weekley [....]  Read More

Maynard G. “Red” Snodgrass

The Free Press WV Age 91, of Harrisville, WV passed away March 11, 2019 at his residence. He was born July 03, 1927 at Hazelgreen, WV, the son of the late William Francis and Lavina Summers Snodgrass [....]  Read More

Francis “Pete” Waggoner

The Free Press WVAge 79, passed Thursday, March 07, 2019, at Camden Clark Medical Center. Francis was born to the late Harley Lee Waggoner, and Esther Lee Davis, on April 10, 1939, in Macfarlan, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Herbert Lee Pridemore

The Free Press WV Age 78, of Harrisville, WV, departed this life on Friday, March 08, 2019 at the Pine View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Harrisville, WV. Herbert was born on January 28, 1941 in Madison, WV, the son of the late Hobert Lee and Dusty Mae Gibson Pridemore [....]  Read More

L. Ernest (Sonny) Haught, Jr.

The Free Press WV Age 83, of Smithville, WV passed away on February 23, 2019 at Camden Clark Medical Center surrounded by his family. Sonny was born December 06, 1935, in Smithville, WV, to L.E. Haught, Sr., and Ethel B. Parks Haught [....]  Read More

Mildred M. Heiskell

The Free Press WVAge 91 of Parkersburg, WV passed away February 24, 2019 at the Wyngate Senior Living Center. She was born at Smithville, WV, the daughter of the late George and Amy Brissey Morris [ .... ]  Read More

Kenneth “Mike” Putnam

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

Joann (Perry) Lanham

The Free Press WV Age 73, Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Thursday, February 21, 2019, at the home of her daughter in Morgantown, WV, following her long hard battle of 3 years. Joann was born March 17, 1945 in Columbus, OH, a daughter of the late Robert and Flossie (Conkle) Perry [....]  Read More

Roger Lee Props

The Free Press WVAge 65, Harrisville, WV, passed away February 07, 2019, at his home surrounded by his loving mother and family. Roger was born April 24, 1953 to Mary Wilson Props and the late Roy Props [ .... ]  Read More

Mary O. Freeland

The Free Press WV Age 92, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Monday, February 18, 2019, at Pine View Continuous Care in Harrisville, WV. Mary was born August 20, 1926 in Harrisville, WV a daughter of the late Albert and Dora (Hawkins) Stanley [....]  Read More

Bertha Jane McClung

The Free Press WV Age 84, of Macfarlan, WV passed away February 07, 2019 at her residence. She was born September 22, 1934 at Calhoun County, WV, the daughter of the late Delmas Glen and Emma Violet Taylor Wagoner [....]  Read More

Patrick Dewitt McDonnell Sr.

The Free Press WVAge 85, of Vienna, WV passed away Saturday, February 09, 2019. He was born June 30, 1933 in Pike, Ritchie County, West Virginia, a son of the late Patrick Dorn and Lona B. Dye McDonnell [ .... ]  Read More

John Lawson Simons

The Free Press WV Age 87, of Tucson, Arizona, formerly of Ritchie County, WV, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, February 03, 2019 [....]  Read More

Margaret Willadene “Deanie” Daugherty

The Free Press WVAge 81, of Canton, OH, passed away February 01, 2019 at her residence. She was born September 27, 1937 at Berea, WV, the daughter of the late Kenneth and Marie Lamm Campbell [ .... ]  Read More

Minoka Pearl Mackey

The Free Press WV Age 91 of Harrisville, WV passed away February 04, 2019 at her daughter’s residence. She was born November16, 1927 at Washburn, WV, the daughter of the late Dewitt G. and Georgia Rexroad Jett [....]  Read More

Curtis Eugene Etheredge, Jr.

The Free Press WV Age 57, of Harrisville, WV passed away January 27, 2019 as a result of a trucking accident. He was born December 26, 1961 at Philadelphia, PA the son of the late Curtis E. Etheredge and Caroline Ann Etheredge of Chalfont, PA [....]  Read More

Harold E. “Mickey” Doak

The Free Press WVAge 89, of Williamstown, WV passed away January 21, 2019 at the Camden Clark Memorial Hospital. He was born on March 30, 1929 in Doddridge County, WV a son of the late Arnold W. and Eva Allen Doak [ .... ]  Read More

Robert Paul Harris

The Free Press WV Age 79, of West Union, WV (Cabin Run Community), departed this life on Sunday, January 20, 2019, at Clarksburg Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. He was born November 13, 1938 in Greenwood, WV, a son of the late Hubert Harris and Lenora “Birdie” (Harris) Duvall [....]  Read More

Thomas E. Robinson

The Free Press WV Age 63, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Monday, December 31, 2018, at Pine View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Harrisville, WV. He was born January 09, 1955 in Buckhannon, WV, a son of the late Dacel Carl and Saral O. (Carder) Robinson [....]  Read More

Paul Eugene Gregg

The Free Press WV Age 78, of Petroleum WV passed away January 08, 2019, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was born January 11, 1940 at Berea WV, the son of the late T. Nile Gregg and the late Gail Gump [....]  Read More

Pamela Lee Barnes

The Free Press WV Age 67, of Ellenboro, WV, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at Camden Clark Medical Center, surrounded by her loving family. Pam was born March 20, 1951 in Parkersburg, WV, a daughter of the late Everett and Olive (Hiley) Freeland [....]  Read More

Karla Jo Houser

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

Freda Mae Parsons

The Free Press WVAge78 of Gandeeville, WV passed away on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at Ravenswood Village Nursing Home following an extended illness. Born on June 16, 1940 in Harmony, WV [ .... ]  Read More

Ernest D. “Ernie” Jones

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

Lawrence W. Nutt

The Free Press WVAge 82, of Parkersburg, WV passed away January 10, 2019 at his residence. He was born on September 09, 1936 in Ritchie County, WV and was the son of the late Anthony and Monna Washburn Nutt [ .... ]  Read More

Paul H. Evans

The Free Press WVAge 82, of Parkersburg, WV passed away on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 at his residence following an extended illness. He was born February 23, 1936, in Smithville, WV, the son of the late Romeo and Alice Hawkins Evans [ .... ]  Read More

Mary Belle Kipe

The Free Press WVAge 82, of Grantsville, WV passed away peacefully early January 07, 2019 at Worthington Healthcare Center in Parkersburg. She was born February 28, 1936 to Austen and Elva (Pickens) Himes in Harrison County, WV [ .... ]  Read More

David Allen Cunningham

The Free Press WV Age 71, of Smithville, WV, went home to be with the Lord Friday, December 28, 2018 [....]  Read More

David Lee Tomblin

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

Linda Lou Peninegar Simonton

The Free Press WVAge 73, went to be with the Lord on January 02, 2019. She was born on December 18, 1945 in Marietta, Ohio, a daughter of the late Edward and Betty (Games) Peninegar [ .... ]  Read More

Orda Ray Gumm

The Free Press WV Age 82, of Grantsville, WV passed away on January 01, 2019. He was born July 07, 1936, in Ritchie County, WV,  a son of the late OC and Wanda Frederick Gumm [....]  Read More

Mary Louise (Maxwell) Cox

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

Mabel Irene Currey

The Free Press WV Age 90, of Harrisville, WV passed away December 29, 2018 at Pine View Continuous Care. She was born November 22, 2018 at Clarksburg, WV, the daughter of the late Lester H. and Bertha Cain Morgan [....]  Read More

Carolyn J. Friend

The Free Press WVAge 84, of Albany, GA and formerly of Parkersburg, WV passed away December 28, 2018 in Albany, GA after a brief illness. Carolyn (CJ) was born on July 14, 1934 in Pennsboro, WV and was the daughter of the late Roy James Erp and Irma Conley Erp Hathaway [ .... ]  Read More

Ruth Marie Nottingham

The Free Press WV Age 72, of Palestine, WV, passed away December 28, 2018 at Ravenswood Village. She was born November 19, 1946 at Weirton, WV the daughter of the late Edward C. and Flossie Fae Sullivan Nottingham [....]  Read More

Ruth Claire Garrett

The Free Press WV Age 83, of Linn, WV passed away on December 28, 2018 at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. She was born January 22, 1935 to the late Ira and Ava Mason of Newberne, WV.  [....]  Read More

April Desma Cox Wise

The Free Press WVAge 50, of Parkersburg, WV, passed away December 23, 2018 at Camden Clark Medical Center. She was born April 16, 1968, in Parkersburg, a daughter of Royal Donavon Cox Sr. of Harrisville, WV and the late Mary Virginia Tanzey Cox [ .... ]  Read More

Jonathan Louis Tallhamer

The Free Press WV Age 30, departed this life on December 19, as the result of an automobile accident. He was the beloved son of Mitchel Rex Tallhamer, Sr. and Rachel Edith Pysell Tallhamer. He was born in Parkersburg, WV, but spent most of his civilian life living in Ritchie County, in the Smithville area, attending Ritchie County, WV schools until his senior year of high school; this he completed in Grafton Senior High School from which he and his brother Curtis graduated in 2007 [....]  Read More

Mary Lee Neal

The Free Press WVAge 88, of Williamstown, WV, passed away on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at Marietta Memorial Hospital. She was born in Harrisville, WV on December 09, 1930 to Orville Smith and Ellen Hess Smith Campbell [ .... ]  Read More

Denzil E. Echard

The Free Press WVAge 88, of Parkersburg, WV passed away on December 18, 2018 at CCMC. He was born in Mellin, WV, (Ritchie County, WV) on August 10, 1930 the oldest son of the late Earl Echard and Goldie Toothman [ .... ]  Read More

Dreama Lee McCloy

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

Larry G. Hardbarger

The Free Press WV Age 62, of Harrisville, WV, departed this life on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at his residence. He was born on Wednesday, May 09, 1965 in Parkersburg, WV a son of the late Dennis H. Hardbarger and Elizabeth Irene Prunty Horner [....]  Read More

Mona M. Riddle

The Free Press WV Age 98, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at Carehaven of Pleasants County. She was born on July 14, 1920, in Ritchie County, WV a daughter of the late Ed and Ella Carder Ross [....]  Read More

Ruth R. Lawlis

The Free Press WVA life-long resident of Salem, WV, passed away peacefully at the Salem Center Nursing and Rehabilitation facility on December 11, 2018.  She was 95 years of age. Mrs. Lawlis was born in Joseph Mills, WV, on November 19, 1923 [ .... ]  Read More

D. Max Dodd

The Free Press WV Age 83, of Pennsboro, WV (Beason Community) departed this life on Monday, December 10, 2018, at Pine View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Harrisville, WV. Max was born August 04, 1935 in Pennsboro, WV (Beason Community) a son of the late Burl and Evelyn (Lamm) Dodd [....]  Read More

Ruth Hill Worstell

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

Russell Eugene Sparks

The Free Press WV Age 73 of Waverly, WV passed away December 04, 2018 at Camden Clark Medical Center. He was born March 25, 1945 in Ritchie County, WV son of the late Clifford and Lula Beryl Newland Spark [....]  Read More

Betty E. Shaver Maditz

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

Fourest W. Bunch

The Free Press WV 100 years old, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Monday, December 03, 2018, at Pine View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Harrisville. Fourest was born Jan. 10, 1918 in Clarksburg, WV, a son of the late John and Opal (Dotson) Bunch [....]  Read More

Willard Holmes McCloy

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

Bernard E. Wince

The Free Press WV Age 91, of St. Marys, WV, departed this life on Saturday, December 01, 2018, at Marietta Center in Marietta, OH. Bernard was born November 16, 1927 in Ritchie County, WV (Finch Community) a son of the late William E. and Ore Jane (Williamson) Wince [....]  Read More

Ethan Glen Poole

The Free Press WVAge 83, of Parkersburg, WV, went to be with our Lord November 29, 2018, following a brief stay at Camden Clark Medical Center. Ethan was born on Buck Run in Ritchie County, WV, March 11, 1935 [ .... ]  Read More

Janet Marie (Hutchins) Fouss

The Free Press WV Age 78, of Belpre, OH, passed away November 23, 2018, in the Marietta Center. She was born September 25, 1940, in Palestine, WV, a daughter of the late Chester Leroy and Margaret Cintilla (Sheppard) Hutchins [....]  Read More

Lessie Lee Jones-Pridemore

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

Steven “Dude” Douglas Malson

The Free Press WVAge 69 of Belpre, OH, died November 28, 2018 at his residence. He was born December 12, 1948 in Ritchie County, WV, the son of the late Thomas and Mabel Louise Shields Malson [ .... ]  Read More

Readers' Recent Comments

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

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

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

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

By Did The ipads Improve Learning Results? on 03.13.2019

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

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

By where oh where? on 03.12.2019

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

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

By THE TRUTH WATCHER on 03.08.2019

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

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

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

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

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

By Disclose Financial Facts on 03.07.2019

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

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

By Transparency and Accountability Needed on 03.07.2019

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

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

By YOU FORGET on 03.04.2019

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

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

But for deep gas, no new employment.

Education system total failure.
Legislature impotent.

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

That out-of-control delegate needs to resign!

By WV continues the slow death on 03.04.2019

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

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

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

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

By Just More Dog n Pony Show 4 U on 03.04.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Accountability For New GCHS Computers on 03.04.2019

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

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

By Jimmy D on 03.04.2019

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

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

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

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

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

By Save WV's School Children on 03.02.2019

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

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

Whats the definition of insanity?

By Gilmer on 03.02.2019

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

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

By Vern Windsong on 03.01.2019

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

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

By Karen Pennebaker on 02.28.2019

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

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

By Mary Wildfire on 02.28.2019

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

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

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

By where does the money go? on 02.27.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Unions Failed WV's Children on 02.26.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Unions Failed WV Education on 02.21.2019

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

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

By Kayla on 02.21.2019

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

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

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

From the entry: 'Nyla Leah Frymier Poole'.

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

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

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

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 02.15.2019

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

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

By Tammy Foster (not White) on 02.13.2019

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

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I’m sorry for your loss.

By Danny Nicholson on 02.12.2019

From the entry: 'Vera Marlene Lyons'.

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

By Tammy white on 02.11.2019

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

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

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

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

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

By Positive School News on 02.08.2019

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

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

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

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

By you are joking I guess? on 02.07.2019

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

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

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

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

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pay McGroyne on 02.06.2019

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

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

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

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

By LCES Safety Concern on 01.31.2019

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

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

Other counties have the information. Why not us?

By School Board Member Backgrounds? on 01.23.2019

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

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

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

By School System Accountability Needed on 01.20.2019

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

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

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

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

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

By Establish School System Accountability on 01.18.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Advocate For Clarity on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

By School Truth is in the Litter Box on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

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

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

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

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

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

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

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

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

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

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

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

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

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

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

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

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

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

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

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

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

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