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History, WayBackWhen™, FlashBack™

2018 State Historic Preservation Annual Work Program

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History announces the proposed Annual Work Program for the 2017-2018 Historic Preservation Program is now available for review and comment.

The work program describes the activities and programs the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will undertake as part of its continuing efforts to assist communities and residents of the state in preserving the physical evidence of our history.

A copy of the proposed work program may be requested by contacting Pamela Brooks, SHPO grants coordinator, The Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Blvd, E., Charleston, WV 25305-0300.

The plan also can be reviewed and accessed on the division’s web page HERE .

Persons reviewing the program document may submit comments by completing a Work Program comment form, and mailing it to the address above or emailing . The deadline for public comment is August 31, 2017.

For more information, contact Brooks at 304.558.0240.

Glenville State College History Book Now Available

A full-color photo and history book about the last twenty years at Glenville State College has recently been completed. The book, Preserving and Responding, can be purchased from the Glenville State College Foundation or at the campus Bookstore for $24.99 (shipping included). The book is a companion to Nelson Wells’ and Charles Holt’s Lighthouse on the Hill, which chronicled the College’s history from 1872 through 1997.

Throughout the over 100 pages of the book, the tenures of five different college presidents are detailed including major projects, initiatives, challenges, and more. The text contains several noteworthy listings including inductees into the College’s Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame, former Board of Governors members, past Pioneer mascots, emeriti faculty, and more. The book begins with a timeline which provides readers with a ‘quick history’ of the institution from its founding in 1872 through the subsequent 125 years and ends with an afterword from outgoing President Dr. Peter Barr.

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Working over several months, two Glenville State College staff members completed the project. Authoring the work was Jason Gum, the Staff Librarian and Archivist in the Robert F. Kidd Library. Assisting him was Dustin Crutchfield, a Public Relations Specialist in GSC’s Marketing Department.

“As a new incoming president, I can’t think of a better resource to understand the recent past of the institution. While we continue to face new and unprecedented trials and challenges, it is clear that we stand on the shoulders of giants. It is also heartening to know that the DNA of the institution and the individuals who have worked here and continue to do so have created a solid foundation for a bright future,” stated incoming President, Dr. Tracy Pellett.

“I could not be happier regarding the end-product that Dustin and I were able to develop and owe many other campus personnel my gratitude for their guidance. GSC alumni, employees, students, and friends will enjoy this review of the past 20 years. I especially want to thank outgoing First Lady Betsy Barr for recognizing the need for such a history book to further document campus happenings since Wells’ and Holt’s Lighthouse on the Hill was published in 1997. Betsy has been a devout supporter of the campus archives and my subsequent efforts throughout her tenure,” said Gum.

“If you are a Glenville State College history maven like I am, you will be very impressed with the efforts these two young men have made to encapsulate the last twenty years of our great institution. This surely deserves a prominent spot on your coffee table so that your family, friends, and neighbors can share in our story of service to central West Virginia, our state as a whole, and the many states and nations where our alumni work and live,” said Dennis Pounds, Vice President for College Advancement.

An on-campus book signing is being planned for the fall.

To purchase a book by phone, call 304.462.6380.

8th Graders Honored For Golden Horseshoe Accomplishments

The Free Press WV

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

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

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

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

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

The Top Ten Richest Person of All Time

Each year, Forbes releases its ranking of the world’s richest people. And each year, some smart aleck chimes in with the news that if you adjust for inflation, Bill Gates wouldn’t even be close to the number one richest person in history.

Not only is that true, but Gates would barely even crack the top ten. In fact, five of the top six richest people in history (when figures are adjusted for inflation) all made their fortunes well over a century ago.

It’s worth asking why, throughout all of history, a hugely disproportionate majority of the all-time wealthiest people were white, American males born between 1820 and 1870 and working as industrialists in the northeastern U.S. — but that’s a larger, thornier topic for another time.

For now, here’s the list — adjusted for inflation and excluding despots and those who lived so long ago that their wealth can’t be verified –itself:


10. Richard Mellon (1858-1933) - $103 billion

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This Pittsburgh-based banker and industrialist got his start in the Mellon Bank, which was founded by his father and which he later led along with his brother, Andrew (stay tuned for more on him).

Via the bank’s funds, Mellon bolstered his fortune with investments in coal, aluminum, and more.


9. Stephen Girard (1750-1831) - $105 billion

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French by birth, and later a naturalized American, Stephen Girard made his fortune after founding his own bank in Philadelphia, in 1812 (nearly 150 years later, that bank actually merged with Mellon Bank). And his timing couldn’t have been better. His bank almost solely kept the U.S. afloat during the War of 1812.

By the time he died in 1831, he was the richest person in the U.S.—and the vast majority of that fortune went to charity.


8. Bill Gates (1955-) - $144 billion

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In holding the top spot on the annual Forbes list 17 out of the past 22 years, Bill Gates has long been the poster boy for inconceivably vast wealth.

Yet, the Microsoft founder’s peak fortune of $144 billion (which came back in 1999) is only enough to place him on the outer fringes of the top ten richest people in history.


7. John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) - $168 billion

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The German-born Astor worked in a musical instruments factory before coming to New York to work as a butcher. However, a chance meeting on the boat across the Atlantic launched him into the fur trade, in which he made an enormous amount of money.

By the early 1800s, with the fur trade on the decline, Astor briefly got involved in the opium trade before wildly expanding his already great fortune with a bevy of well-timed investments in Manhattan real estate.

From the New York Public Library (which he funded) to the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel (named for him), Astor’s influence can be felt all over Manhattan to this day.


6. Andrew Mellon (1855-1937) - $189 billion

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Like his younger brother, Richard (number 10 on this list), Andrew Mellon made his money in the family banking firm, including its interests in oil, steel, coal, and more.

After solidifying his huge fortune, Mellon served as Secretary of the Treasury from 1921 to 1932, during which time he was instrumental in negotiating the international debt resulting from World War I and in determining U.S. tax policy.

With the onset of the Great Depression, however, the conservative Mellon was ousted from his post. Nevertheless, his copious philanthropic gifts, including Carnegie Mellon University, are still known across the country.


5. Henry Ford (1863-1947) - $200 billion

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Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, but he did make it practical and affordable for the average consumer.

And he didn’t invent the assembly line, but he did fold it into an economic model that informed mass production for much of the 20th century and helped make the United States the richest country on Earth.


4. Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) - $202 billion

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New York native Cornelius Vanderbilt made significant money in steamships before venturing into the industry that made him the fourth richest person in history: railroads.

Ultimately, unlike most of the others on this list, Vanderbilt engaged in very little philanthropy, and instead left 95 percent to one of his 13 children, William, and William’s four children.


3. Jakob Fugger (1459-1525) - $227 billion

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Easily the oldest entrant on this list, Jakob Fugger is relatively unique among the super-wealthy of the pre-Industrial Revolution period in that he a.) earned his wealth not as a head of state but as a businessman, and b.) had a fortune that was documented with reasonable accuracy and can now actually be compared to those who came centuries after him.

Born in present-day Germany into a family made wealthy in the textile trade, Fugger built upon his considerable inherited wealth with an international mining operation that was nearly monopolistic in its dominance across Europe and Asia.


2. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) - $337 billion

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Born into a poor family in Scotland before emigrating to the U.S., Andrew Carnegie made his fortune in the burgeoning steel industry.

And although that fortune was large enough to make him the second richest person in history, what truly separates Carnegie from the pack and what defines his legacy to this day is his incredible philanthropy.

All told, he gave away about 90 percent of his fortune (nearly $80 billion, when adjusted for inflation) to various charitable causes. His famous 1889 article “The Gospel of Wealth” is widely credited with informing the wave of philanthropy among America’s super-wealthy in the ensuing years. In that article, he wrote “The man who dies thus rich, dies disgraced.“


1. John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) - $367 billion

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Today, with six of the world’s top ten largest companies all in the petroleum business, we’ve all generally accepted that the oil industry is among the most profitable on Earth.

However, in the 1860s, when New York-born John D. Rockefeller was building his first refineries, the oil boom hadn’t yet happened. But then it did. Rockefeller was in the right place at the right time. Worldwide demand went through the roof and Rockefeller controlled, at his peak, over 90 percent of all the oil in the U.S.

The U.S. government eventually dismantled that monopoly, but by then Rockefeller had retired and his wealth was secure. In those later years, he gave away large chunks of what was very likely the largest fortune in history.

Carolyn Sue Meadows Sturm Selected as the 2016 Normantown High School Alumnus of the Year

The Free Press WV

The Normantown High School Alumni Association meeting for perhaps its last time in the gymnasium of the school Saturday May 28, 2016, awarded Carolyn Sue Meadows Sturm the 2016 Alumnus of the Year Award. Dr. Gary Smith, Chair of the Alumnus of the year Committee presented the award and related that Carolyn received it because of her dedication to the preservation of Normantown High School’s rich history.

She served as past Chair of the Preservation Committee and helped in securing a safe and protected location at the Gilmer County Recreation Center for the individual Class Pictures and the many trophies and awards earned by Normantown High School. She, along with several other Alumni members moved these important artifacts to the White House at the Center. She and the committee placed the NHS 1945 State Basketball Championship trophy in the Gilmer County High School main trophy case. The Trophy was later relocated to a NHS Alumni owned trophy case along with other valuable and sentimental memorabilia to the Cafeteria of GCHS.

She co-authored the reproduction of Coach Eugene Williams’ Scrapbook in which he kept an abundance of news paper articles and other printed materials telling first hand the story of the Normantown High School 1945 great basketball championship run and accomplishments at a time when there was no separate classification of schools but instead all schools, large and small, competed for the championship. It is a historic event for the School, Gilmer County, and West Virginia that will never happen again.

Carolyn and husband, Richard Sturm, are Lewis County residents and have been most all their adult life. They reared three children and have four grand children and three great grand sons. She has been very active in and a strong supporter of schools, sports and the Lewis County High School Athletic Association. She has provided food many of the sports teams before their games making sure that they had a nutritious meal before their activity. She has also been active in many community activities.

Carolyn was born at home at Normantown to the parents of Landis and Winnie Moore Meadows. She went to the Normantown School all 12 years graduating in 1954. She was a Cheer Leader many of her high school years and an excellent student. Her father was a Bus Driver for the school and her mother one of the excellent cooks who also provided meals for the athletic teams before events. She is one of the few survivors who attended all games played by the Normantown 1945 State Basketball Champs. Her mother, an avid fan, took Carolyn and her sister to every game.

Carolyn has been an excellent supporter of the Normantown Alumni Association and the Class of 1954 organizing special reunions for the 40th, 50th, and 60th year reunions and producing a 1954 Yearbook.

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G-ICYMI™: 50 Years Ago, Team From Tiny Normantown High Set Still-Standing International Record

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Big accomplishments can come from small high schools, as Homer Hickam and his Rocket Boys from Big Creek High School in War, McDowell County, proved in winning the National Science Fair in 1960.

As alumni from Normantown High School, a like-sized, also-defunct school in Gilmer County at the other end of the state from War, gather for the Class of 1966’s 50th reunion on Saturday, some will likely remember hearing their parents talk about the school’s David versus Goliath championship season of 1945. The one when their 150-person student body produced a basketball team that captured the all-class state championship with a 50-49 win over Logan.

But in 1966, the tiny West Virginia high school produced a team that took top honors at an international competition in an event a bit slower-paced and lower-profile than basketball. In the process of doing so, the Normantown High team racked up a score that remains unbeaten today.

The event was the International Land and Range Judging Contest, held near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There, contestants determine soil types and their water absorbing properties, estimate slope and erosion potentials, and determine what crops, mechanical treatments and fertilizer applications are most appropriate for farming the land.

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Normantown High School FFA members Kenneth Lee Greenlief (from left), Kelley Sponaugle, Brock Stewart and
Wesley Dobbins flank their coach and vo-ag teacher Everett “Casey” Mason after winning
the International Land and Range Judging contest in Oklahoma in 1966, posting a score that remains unbeaten today.


Contestants also pick out the best home site on the property being judged, identify rangeland plants,and determine how to best manage the rangeland for wildlife or livestock.

“Looking back, it seems like a very short time ago that we were taking this trip to Oklahoma City,” said Kelley Sponaugle, one of four members of Normantown High’s championship Future Farmers of America land judging team. “The one vivid memory is of the five of us (including FFA adviser and vo-ag teacher Everett “Casey” Mason) and our luggage packed in a Ford Falcon for two days each way.

“At that time it was my longest trip from Cedarville. I was amazed at the size of our country and the vast size of the cornfields of the Midwest.”

Mason, who coached the land judging team, “was a wonderful teacher,” recalled teammate Wesley Dobbins. “Through pure and simple hard, honest work, which he demanded, he was very successful in bringing the Normantown High School FFA chapter much recognition.”

“Being his student is without a doubt the greatest educational experience in my life,” Sponaugle said. “He truly believed success could be found through hard work and doing it right. Because of his encouragement, we believed we could win.”

Sponaugle said Mason assembled a support team that included Soil Conservation Service staffers Junior Kennedy and Woodrow Beverage, who helped provide the Normantown FFA team with enhanced soil and conservation knowledge, and George Sharpe, a soils specialist with the WVU Extension Service, who made several trips to Gilmer County to help train the students and met the team in Oklahoma City to help its members get acquainted with the local terrain.

Dobbins, Sponaugle and teammates Kenneth Greenlief and Brock Stewart won the state land judging competition in the spring of 1965 to qualify for the trip to Oklahoma City the following spring.

“We were four country boys who had never been far from home,” Dobbins said. “As we traveled, we kept seeing on the breakfast menu ‘hash browns.’ None of the four of us knew what they were. One morning, we decided to take a chance and order them. To our surprise, we got fried potatoes!”

“We arrived in Oklahoma City a couple days early,” Sponaugle recalled. “Mr. Mason had arranged for us to practice at a local ranch and at the Oklahoma State University farms. We spent from daylight to dark looking at various soils in the area and going over study materials. Mr. Mason was a strong believer in work, so that’s what we did.

“But we did go to a movie, Marilyn Monroe in ‘Some Like it Hot.’ That was my first trip to an indoor movie theater. The movie would probably be rated G or PG by today’s standards, but we thought it was really hot and sexy.”

The contest took place in a short grass prairie outside of Oklahoma City.

“The area had several large ravine-type gullies, and the soils there developed in windblown materials and were very erosive,” Sponaugle recalled. “After the contest, the judges reviewed the fields with us. I remember telling Mr. Mason and Dr. Sharpe that I thought I had made a perfect score on all four fields. They both thought I was crazy, since nobody had come close to that in the 15-year history of the contest.”

Teammate Brock Stewart also believed he had aced the contest, according to Sponaugle.

“At the banquet that night, I was so nervous I couldn’t eat,” he said. “The anticipation was intense.”

The combined individual scores of the top three team members determined the team winners. The awards announcement began by naming the 10 highest-scoring individual land judges, starting with the 10th place finalist.

“By the time they got down to No. 3, none of us had been called and I thought we had blown it,” Sponaugle recounted. “Then they announced Kenny Lee Greenlief from Normantown, West Virginia, at No. 3, with a score of 237 points, and finally, tied for individual high score, Brock Stewart and Kelley Sponaugle from Normantown with 240 points,” both perfect scores, for the first time in contest history.

While other West Virginia FFA teams have since won the event — most recently, Tyler County High in 2011 and 2013 — the Normantown team was the first to score more than 700 points in the history of the contest, and the team score of 717 points out of a possible 720 remains the highest score in contest history.

Sponaugle went on to compete on WVU’s soil judging team and pursued a career in soil science, recently retiring as assistant state conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Greenlief, who earned a master’s degree in education administration at WVU and went on to become executive vice president and treasurer of Waco Oil & Gas, died in 2006.

Dobbins is a retired Braxton County elementary school principal and Stewart pursued a career in the natural gas business.

The team’s victory at Oklahoma City 50 years ago “is a great example of a high school in West Virginia with fewer than 200 students doing something outstanding,” said Dennis Bennett of Craigsville, president of Normantown High School Alumni Association.

Normantown High graduated its last class of seniors in 1968 and was converted into Normantown Elementary School, which in turn will be closed at the end of the current school year due to consolidation.

A 50th reunion celebration for the high school’s Class of 1966 took place last Saturday at the school.

~~  Rick Steelhammer - Gazette-Mail ~~

FlashBack™: West Virginia Department of Education and Gilmer County

The Free Press WV

June 06, 2011: OEPA Report Shows Many Irregularities and Violations in Gilmer County Schools

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West Virginia Department of Education has released the initial report on the audit conducted on Gilmer County Schools and the results are not good.

An unannounced on-site review of Gilmer County Schools was conducted May 02-04, 2011.

The OEPA (Office of Education Performance Audits) conducted the review which concentrated on official complaints that alleged the county board was in violation of policies or laws under which schools and county boards operate.

Based upon the Education Performance Audit, problems as well as a recommendation regarding Gilmer County Schools is presented in the report.

Click to read the entire printable:

OEPA Report on Gilmer County Schools

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GILMER COUNTY SUMMARY

Gilmer County Schools are at an emergency stage. The county has lost over half their student population in the past ten years. The system has not adjusted their facilities and their staffing patterns to confront these realities. The current school board is dysfunctional, divided, not providing leadership, and actually impeding progress due to not following laws and policies/designed to improve student performance. Technology infrastructure is lacking and rules are not being followed due to board decisions. Financial irregularities are occurring in part due to decentralized accounting procedure decisions. Three school facilities of the five in the county are sorely lacking and maintenance at all facilities is desperately needed. One school has been condemned and portable classrooms are on site. The county does not have an approved Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan and has been unable to reach consensus on what is needed.

Documentation is mostly insufficient to determine if laws are being followed to hire the most qualified applicants. Board minutes, however, reflect that the school board is trying to micro-manage, essentially replacing their administrators’ and county superintendent’s recommendations with their own, leading to a flawed hiring, transferring, and reduction in force system. Numerous questionable and irregular decisions are being made by the board prompting distrust and suspicion.

Other problems observed were 16 licensure and authorization issues, several irregularities in personnel evaluations, incomplete mentor programs for new employees, inadequate physical education program, incomplete policies, and illegal preference for local individuals in hiring.



June 08, 2011: The Takeover of Gilmer County Schools

The West Virginia Board of Education declared a state of emergency in Gilmer County Schools on Wednesday, June 08, 2011, and placed the school system on non-approval status.

The board voted unanimously to intervene in the school system immediately.

The West Virginia Board of Education and West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will oversee all finances, instructional programs, personnel, policy development and facility issues in the school system.

The action comes after an Office of Education Performance Audit (OEPA) report citing significant leadership, technology, facility, personnel and finance issues in the county.

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An unannounced OEPA visit of the Gilmer County School District was conducted May 02-04, 2011.

Auditors found that “county board members were in discord, the county board operations were dysfunctional; and meetings were unproductive and resulted in the board being incapable of following State Code and West Virginia Board of Education policies.”

“It is further recommended that delaying the intervention for any period of time would not be in the best interest of the students,” said OEPA executive director Kenna Seal. “Based on the entirety of the problems in the county and the decisions, or lack thereof, there is scant hope that the school system can be improved with the current county board.”

 

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The OEPA report further states that county school board meeting minutes reflect that the school board is trying to micro-manage, essentially replacing their administrators’ and county superintendent’s recommendations with their own, leading to a flawed hiring, transferring and reduction in force system.

Numerous questionable and irregular decisions are being made by the board prompting distrust and suspicion.

According to the report, technology infrastructure is lacking and rules are not being followed due to board decisions.

 

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Financial irregularities are occurring in part due to decentralized accounting procedure decisions.

Three of the five school facilities in the county are sorely lacking and maintenance at all facilities is desperately needed.

The state board appointed Ted Mattern as the interim superintendent until a permanent replacement can be hired.

 

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The Gilmer County Board of Education has also been directed to work with the WVDE to jointly develop and present to the state board a set of standards and/or a strategic plan that must be implemented in order for the Gilmer County Board of Education to regain control of the school system.

Currently Lincoln, Preston, Grant, Fayette and Mingo counties are under state intervention.

 

Gilmer County OEPA Motions


1)  that the State Board find, based on the report from the Office of Education Performance Audits, that extraordinary circumstances exist in the Gilmer County school system.


2)  that the State Board assign nonapproval status to the Gilmer County school system.


3)  that the State Board declare that a state of emergency exists in the Gilmer school system based on the information presented in the OEPA report.


4)  that the State Board find that the conditions precedent to State Board intervention in a county school system are present in this instance.


5)  that the State Board find that it would not be in the best interests of the students of Gilmer County to delay intervention for any period of time.


6)  that the State Board limit the authority of the Gilmer County Board of Education as to the expenditure of funds, the employment and dismissal of personnel, the establishment and operation of the school calendar, the establishment of instructional programs and rules and any other areas designated by the state board by rule and delegate decision-making authority to the State Superintendent regarding these matters.


7)  that the State Board delegate to the State Superintendent the authority to conduct hearings on personnel matters and school closure or consolidation matters and subsequently to render the resulting decisions, and the authority to appoint a designee for the limited purpose of conducting hearings while reserving to the State Superintendent the authority to render the resulting decision.


8)  that the State Board limit the authority of the Gilmer County Board of Education as to the ability to conduct real estate transactions and delegate to the State Superintendent the authority to act in lieu of the Gilmer County Board of Education in a transfer, sale, purchase or other transaction regarding real estate.


9)  that the State Board delegate to the State Superintendent the authority to replace administrators and principals in low performing schools and to transfer them to alternate professional positions within the county at her discretion.


10)  that the State Board delegate to the State Superintendent the authority to fill positions of administrators and principals with individuals determined by the State Superintendent to be the most qualified for the positions.


11)  that the State Board declare the office of county superintendent of schools of Gilmer County to be vacant at the end of the day on June 08, 2011, and declare that any existing contracts with the subsequent superintendents be voided.

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John T. “Ted” Mattern
Interim Superintendent of Gilmer County Schools


12)  that the State Board appoint Ted Mattern to be the interim Superintendent of Gilmer County Schools starting June 09, 2011, to be paid at his current salary, continuing until a new superintendent is appointed.


13)  that the State Board grant the State Superintendent the authority to hire a county superintendent to replace the interim appointment and set his/her salary.


14)  that the State Board direct the Gilmer County Superintendent and the State Superintendent, after consultation with the Gilmer County Board of Education, to jointly develop and present to the State Board at a future meeting a set of standards and/or a strategic plan that must be implemented in order for the Gilmer County Board of Education to regain control of the school system.


15)  that the State Board direct the Gilmer County Interim Superintendent and/or Superintendent to provide written and/or oral progress reports to the State Board as requested.




June 12, 2011: State Take Over of Gilmer County Schools on 06.08.2011

 

March Is Women’s History Month

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As we enter yet another Women’s History Month, gender justice remains an elusive goal, with full-time women workers in the United States making just 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts bring in and women representing three-fifths of all minimum wage employees.

When race is taken into account, the gulf is even more pronounced. Latina women bring in just 54 percent of what their white male counterparts make, and African-American women make 64 percent.

To mark Women’s History Month, the personal finance website WalletHub provided its own analysis of the “best and worst” places in the United States for women to live. Evaluating all 50 states for “women’s economic and social well-being” and “women’s health care and safety,” the researchers concluded that Minnesota is the best place for women to live in the United States, followed by Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Louisiana came in last, with South Carolina and Nevada not far behind. California, notably, came in 13th worst in the country, with one of the lowest median incomes, lowest insurance rates and highest unemployment rates for women nationwide.

It is important to note that WalletHub’s gender evaluation excludes any consideration of race, as well as significant wage disparities for transgender women. The analysis also does not touch upon numerous quality-of-life factors such as culture, community connectedness and union density. Nonetheless, its analysis offers some insight into material conditions nationwide.

According to WalletHub’s findings, the nation’s capital has the highest unemployment rate for women in the country, while North Dakota has the lowest. However, Washington D.C. also has the highest median income for women workers at $34,241.

Mississippi, meanwhile, has the greatest percentage of women living in poverty, as well as the lowest life-expectancy from birth. Hawaii, in contrast, has the highest life-expectancy at birth.

South Carolina, Alaska, New Mexico, Louisiana and Nevada have the highest homicide rates for women in the country.

Here is WalletHub’s complete ranking of the best-to-worst states for women:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Vermont
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Maine
  5. Massachusetts
  6. North Dakota
  7. Maryland
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Nebraska
  10. Hawaii
  11. Connecticut
  12. Washington
  13. Illinois
  14. Virginia
  15. Iowa
  16. New York
  17. Kansas
  18. Montana
  19. South Dakota
  20. Oregon
  21. Colorado
  22. Ohio
  23. Missouri
  24. New Jersey
  25. Utah
  26. Rhode Island
  27. Tennessee
  28. Florida
  29. Delaware
  30. Idaho
  31. Indiana
  32. Wyoming
  33. North Carolina
  34. Alaska
  35. Kentucky
  36. Arizona
  37. District of Columbia
  38. Michigan
  39. California
  40. Pennsylvania
  41. Georgia
  42. Texas
  43. Oklahoma
  44. West Virginia
  45. New Mexico
  46. Mississippi
  47. Arkansas
  48. Alabama
  49. Nevada
  50. South Carolina
  51. Louisiana

Memorial Presentation on Buffalo Creek Disaster Planned at GSC

The Free Press WV

GLENVILLE, WV - Billy Jack Dickerson of Man High School will visit Glenville State College to give a presentation about the Buffalo Creek Disaster on Tuesday, February 23 at 12:20 p.m.

The presentation will take place in GSC’s Heflin Administration Building Presidents Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

The tragedy occurred in 1972 when a dam failed and flooded the community of Buffalo Creek in Logan County, West Virginia within minutes.

The flood waters destroyed everything in its path and took the lives of over 100 people.

For more information about the Buffalo Creek Disaster presentation contact Bob Baber at or 304.462.6331.

G-Eye™: Gilmer Commission and Historical Society Committee Discuss Holt House

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Earlier the Gilmer County Commission was concerned about the future of the Holt House and expenses associated with. The Holt House is home for the Gilmer County Historical Society.

Commissioners asked to have a meeting with the member of the society and discuss the matter. The meeting was scheduled for last month but it was postpone due to winter storm Jonas.

Last week the society members had a meeting at the Holt House and decided on what they like for the commission to consider.

At the last commission meeting members discussed their plan for the Holt House and came to an agreement on the Holt House Building which is a county property. (Watch the Video below)

Commission will lease the building to the society for $1 per years, renewable every 10 years. Commission will also take care of the building insurance which would be a lot less than if the society purchase it. All the other expenses is the responsibility of the society.

Gilmer County Historical Society has a vast amount of historical and genealogical data. Researchers from all over the country come to Holt house to research and find data.

Everyone can be a member of the society.

The Holt House is located on E. Main Street in Glenville, WV.

Leading Creek Elementary Is Studying the Civil War in Social Studies

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The 5th Grade Class at Leading Creek Elementary is studying the Civil War in Social Studies Class.

The class received a traveling trunk from Gettysburg National Park.

In the trunk was a full Civil War Soldier uniform.

One of the students, Zackery Harper, was dressed as a Union Soldier.

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GSC Employee Receives History Hero Award

GLENVILLE, WV - Jason Gum, a Glenville State College reference librarian and archivist, was recognized as a ‘WV History Hero’ during the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s annual West Virginia History Day in Charleston.

The Gilmer County Historical Society, in its nominating information describe Gum as a “youthful and energetic college archivist” who “breathed new enthusiasm into the study of Gilmer County, Glenville State College, and West Virginia veterans’ history since becoming the school’s full-time archivist/historian in 2008.” Of significant note was his work to interview and record more than 150 veterans as part of the Veterans Legacy Project at GSC. Additionally, he helped write a book and produce a film about the veterans who were interviewed.

The Free Press WV
West Virginia State Archives and History Commission Chairman Harold Forbes,
West Virginia History Hero Award recipient and GSC employee Jason Gum,
Delegate Peggy Donaldson-Smith,
and Department of Education and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Kay Goodwin


Gum, a 2005 Glenville State College alumnus, is the chair of the Program Committee for the Gilmer County Historical Society and has presented programs on historical document preservation and other archival techniques that have improved the society’s library and archives. “I was humbled to be nominated for this award because many of the people receiving awards this year had put decades into preserving history. I’m a relative newcomer to the work compared to some of them, so it was definitely unexpected and surprising,” said Gum.

According to the WV Division of Culture and History, History Hero awards have been given for the past two decades.  Recipients are individuals who go beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of local history, genealogy, preservation, and museum organizations. The contributions of all History Heroes have been recognized during History Day programs. These recipients have been recognized for their grassroots efforts, years of dedicated behind-the-scenes services, or for a significant contribution such as preserving a site or collection, or publishing a work of family or local history.

The Free Press WV

West Virginia House of Delegates Recognize Golden Horseshoe Program

CHARLESTON, WV - The West Virginia House of Delegates presented a legislative citation Monday to State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano, recognizing the longstanding Golden Horseshoe program which promotes and honors the study of West Virginia history.

The citation states the Golden Horseshoe award is “probably the most coveted award bestowed upon West Virginia students each year” and notes the test has been administered since 1931, making it the longest-running program of its kind in any state.

The Free Press WV


Past recipients of the Golden Horseshoe award presented the citation including House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha and Delegates Ray Canterbury, R-Greenbrier; Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson; Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay; John D. O’Neal IV, R-Raleigh; Matthew Rohrbach R-Cabell; and Larry L. Rowe, D-Kanawha.

Dr. Martirano was joined by two West Virginia history teachers, Paula Meadows from Sherman Junior High in Boone County and Jessica Abshire from Andrew Jackson Middle School in Kanawha County. Meadows has taught several Golden Horseshoe winners within the last several years and Abshire won the Golden Horseshoe award before going on to teach West Virginia studies.

“The Golden Horseshoe is a highly coveted award received by citizens from all walks of life including state Supreme Court justices, legislators, attorneys, business leaders and educators,” Martirano said. “I appreciate our lawmakers recognizing a program that has made West Virginians proud for decades.”

Known as a symbol of scholastic achievement to honor students who excel in the study of West Virginia, the Golden Horseshoe award is presented to approximately 221 eighth-grade students each year. Students are engaged in an intense study of history, geography, economy and government of the Mountain State. The primary goal of the program is to promote pride in the state, develop intellectual and participatory skills and foster attitudes that are necessary for students to participate as effective, involved and responsible citizens.

Children Have Been Paying the Price for the Political Games in Education

The Free Press WV

The Normantown Elementary student have been using portable trailer as classroom for many year.

This Gilmer County Schools has been under State control since 2011.

One reason for takeover was facilities.

The local Board was addressing the issue for many years and had a plan, but the politics in play prevented them from doing their job.

Did the State address the issue timely? Why is your take?

The Free Press WV
NORMANTOWN SCHOOL PROBLEM STILL FLARING
“Superintendent Going In Different Direction”

August 04, 2007

A battle between the Normantown community and Gilmer County school superintendent Ed Toman over the future of their local school is causing tempers to flare.

The problem has been focused on a mold issue in the school, but board member Phyllis Starkey said “It is all about the state closing Normantown and other county schools, using their economies of scale model.“

A showdown between Toman and the school board is looming, with some of the issues likely coming to a head Monday evening during a special Gilmer school board meeting at 6 p.m.

Board members Larry Butcher, Alton Skinner II and Phyllis Starkey attended a Normantown community meeting, Thursday. Skinner expressed concerns about “illegal” items being placed on the board’s agenda by Toman at a recent special meeting, saying he declined to vote on the measures.

The Free Press WV


Normantown parent and Challenge WV Fellow Misty Pritt said “We thought the problem was resolved after the board twice voted 5-0 to move forward with a plan to take care of the mold and get our kids back in the classroom when school opens.“

Mark Manchin, the director of the state’s School Building Authority was at Normantown yesterday, evaluating the situation.

“After a year’s worth of foot-dragging, it seems like Mr. Toman is still going in a different direction than the elected school board,“ Pritt said.

This week, volunteers from Gov. Joe Manchin’s office, the football team from Glenville State College and a large number of community members moved furniture from a part of the school that contains most of the mold, preparing to use other areas of the building and modular units they think are being erected on the property.

Pritt said there is a problem over temporarily using the school’s gym and cafeteria for classrooms, according to the State Fire Marshal.

During the Thursday community meeting of parents and supporters at the Normantown school, citizens were upset that Toman, after “a productive meeting” last week, then asked the board to sign-off on a letter seeking approval to transport Normantown students in grades 4th through 6th to Glenville for the next two years, “until acceptable portable classrooms become available.“

The board declined to approve the letter.

During Thursday’s meeting Gilmer County Sheriff Mickey Metz said he believes in keeping community schools, “From a law enforcement view, they’re safer and have less problems.“

Challenge WV Fellow Thomas Ramey said “It appears that Toman is insubordinate to the school board’s decisions,“ following a year of foot-dragging.“

Toman told the community group last week that he had been making several efforts to take care of the mold problem, but Pritt says “Here we are in a crisis as school is about to begin.“

Toman said he has always had the best interests of children first on his mind.

“It feels like the state has attacked my son,“ said parent Lisa Tanner, “This is not about our children.“

Challenge’s Ramey said “The state has used a bloody hammer on counties they have taken-over, but then say local board’s make the decisions about consolidation. In fact, school board’s are held hostage to School Building Authority money.“

Board member Starkey said, Gilmer County schools have good test scores and has remained fiscally responsible. “It’s all about closing community schools and consolidation,“ she said.

“Toman keeps saying Sand Fork is structurally unsound, which is not true, according to the engineering reports,“ Starkey said.

Four of Gilmer’s school board members were not aware of an item on the WV School Board’s agenda for next Thursday.

Superintendent Toman has not responded to a public information request to clarify the item, which says: “Normantown Elementary School (including the possible consideration of Comprehensive Educational facilities Plan Amendment) and Valley Head Elementary School, Randolph County, information or action.“

Valley Head is among about 120 elementary schools the state wants to close using their economies of scale model. Normantown, Sand Fork and Troy are among the community schools that the state wants to consolidate.

Challenge WV Fellow, Paul Hamrick of Clarksburg, urged parents to fight for their community school. They have an important place in the education of our children, and all the research says small schools do better.“

“You need to come together with a community voice,“ Hamrick urged.

Superintendent Toman was asked to clarify questions regarding these issues by the Hur Herald. He declined to comment.

~~  Bob Weaver - The Hur Herald ~~

The Holt House: Your Support Is Needed

Come to the County Commission meeting at 10 AM Friday, February 5th, 2016 and help the Gilmer County Historical society.

The Free Press WV
The Holt House


The meeting is to decide the “future of the Historical Society and the Holt House Museum.“

The more people who come, the better. 

 

The Free Press WV
One of the living history programs the society sponsored.

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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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