Fredecia E. Hayhurst Edwards

The Gilmer Free Press

Fredecia E. Hayhurst Edwards

Age 89, of Pennsboro, WV, passed away on Sunday, January 11, 2015, at Worthington Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Parkersburg.

Fredecia was born December 09, 1925, in Pennsboro, WV, a daughter of the late J.R. “Slim” and Dulcia Mae (Frederick) Hayhurst.

She was a proud graduate of Pennsboro High School with the class of 1944, and she went on to earn her legal secretary degree from Potomac State College in 1946. After her graduation, Fredecia moved to Washington, D.C., and became a legal secretary for an independent lawyer until his retirement. She then worked for and retired from the Air Line Pilots Association in Washington, D.C., where she traveled extensively around the world.

She greatly enjoyed traveling, ice skating, and playing golf. She was a member of the Ellenboro Order of Eastern Star #20 and was a recipient of her 50-year pin.

She was a member of the Pennsboro United Methodist Church.

She is survived by her brother, Nelson Hayhurst and wife, Evelyn, of Pennsboro, WV; nieces, Pam Hayhurst and Kelly (Hayhurst) Amos; nephews, Steve, Mark, Brian, Dave, and Bruce Hayhurst; along with her great-nieces and nephews; and great-great-nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Robert Hayhurst and his wife, Bernadine (Smith) Hayhurst, and Leyland Hayhurst and wife, Betty Ann (Howard) Hayhurst.

Funeral services will be 1 PM, Wednesday, January 14, at the McCullough Rogers Funeral Home, Pennsboro, with Pastor Bill Durst officiating.

Burial will follow in the Ellenboro Masonic Cemetery.

Friends may call from 11 AM - 1 PM, on Wednesday, January 14, at the funeral home.

Rose Ann Chaddock

The Gilmer Free Press

Rose Ann Chaddock

Age 56, of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Monday, January 12, 2015, at Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg, WV.

Rose was born April 11, 1958 on Hushers Run near Pennsboro, WV a daughter of John Junior Mossor of Pennsboro, WV and the late Beatrice Marie (Gray) Mossor.

Rose worked in the garment industry of Ritchie County as a seamstress for many years. She was a graduate of Pennsboro High School with the class of 1978.

She was a member of the Harrisville Apostolic Church.

In addition to her father, she is survived by her loving husband of 37 years, Roger Chaddock; brothers, John Mossor (Dixie) and James Mossor both of Pennsboro, WV; brother in laws, Mark Chaddock and Dave Chaddock of Harrisville, WV; sister in laws, Barb Chaddock of Paden City, WV and Tammy Davis of Ellenboro, WV; nieces and nephews, Amanda Mossor of Pennsboro, WV; James Robinson of Pennsboro, WV; Karrie Aliff (Josh) of Harrisville, WV; great nieces and nephews, Wyatt Aliff; Arianna Robinson and John Joseph Robinson, and a lifelong family friend, Mary Richards of Pennsboro, WV

In addition to her mother, she was preceded in death by her sister, Peggy Marie Robinson; infant brother, John Junior Robinson; sister in laws, Donna Mossor; Gretchen Chaddock; brother in law, Charlie Chaddock, and her mother and father in law, Charles and Gretchen Chaddock.

Funeral services will be 1 PM, Friday, January 16, 2015, at the McCullough Rogers Funeral Home, Pennsboro with Rev. Alan Adams officiating.

Burial will follow in the Harrisville IOOF Cemetery.

Friends may call from 4-8 PM, on Thursday, at the funeral home.

Rebecca (Sleeth) Langford

The Gilmer Free Press

Rebecca (Sleeth) Langford

Age 83, of 397 N. Main Avenue ,Weston, WV (known to her friends and family as either “Becky or Tootsie”) was called home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at her home following an extended illness.

Becky was born on May 24, 1931 in Weston where she spent her entire life; daughter of the late Howard and Rebecca Sleeth.

She was preceded in death by her husband John whom she cared for until his death after a stroke. They enjoyed 54 years together. Still young in spirit and mind, God blessed Becky with her final companion in Life, Bob (Heber Ashbrook) who remained a constant support and love until her passing.

Becky’s beloved son John, her only child, cared for his mother during her final years. He has been a pillar of strength and enduring love that emanates the love of mother and son. Also surviving are John’s two daughters: Becky Langford and Barbie Fordyce, four great grandchildren: Christopher Baker and Kahla , Brandon and Crystal Fordyce and a great great grandchild on the way. Becky is also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and friends who will miss her dearly and continue to keep her spirit alive.

In addition to her parents and husband, John, Becky was preceded in death by her sister, Ruth Lewis.

Becky made friends easily and had several successful businesses throughout the years. A family business first began with J. & B. Donut Shoppe and Bakery and locals and truckers came from surrounding areas to visit and enjoy Becky’s “Mad Dogs.” Later “Rebecca’s House of Glass” was established and her excellence was noticed by the Smithsonian where she was commissioned to hand cut several pieces. Always the entrepreneur she later opened “The Tanning Hut” and like most artists, it wasn’t long until the art world called her back and “My Arts Desire” Art Studio was born.

Becky lived life with a childlike enthusiasm, carrying her dreams with her wherever she went. Her twinkling eyes conveyed a love of life and warm of spirit.

She was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church of Weston, WV.

Family and friends will be received at the Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home 730 N. Main Avenue Weston on Thursday, January 15, 2015 from 4-8 PM.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday at 10:30 AM from St. Patrick Catholic Church of Weston with Reverend J. Stephen Vallelonga as celebrant.

Interment will follow mass in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens of Jane Lew, WV.

Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home of Weston is honored to serve the family of Rebecca A. “ Becky” Langford

Vera M. Jarvis

The Gilmer Free Press

Vera M. Jarvis

Age 98, went home to be with her Lord on January 11, 2015.

Born in Calhoun County, WV on May 29, 1916 to Gail and Pearl Snodgrass Keith, she was an area resident most of her life.

Vera, a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend.

She was a member of Temple Baptist Church of Greensburg, Ohio.

Preceded in death by her husband, Leo.

She is survived by her loving family, children, Gary, Larry, Jerry (Chris), Terry (Barbara), and Sherri; six grandchildren; and many other cherished relatives and friends.

Visitation Wednesday, from 4 to 6 PM at Hecker Funeral Home in Uniontown and Thursday, from 10 to 11 AM at Temple Baptist Church, 1212 Greensburg Road, where funeral services will immediately follow at 11 AM with Pastor Glenn Rogers Jr. officiating.

Burial at Hillcrest Cemetery in Wadsworth, Ohio.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the missionary fund at Temple Baptist Church of Greenburg, P.O. Box 181, Green, Ohio 44232.

Comics - Silence of The Rams

The Gilmer Free Press

Dawson Scholarship Established at GSC

The Glenville State College Foundation is pleased to announce the formation of the Bill and Patsy (Garrett) Dawson Scholarship.

This scholarship, which is designed to support GSC students in the education and physical education fields, was funded with life insurance proceeds upon the passing of Mr. Dawson in November of 2014.

The pair met while attending Glenville State College after his service in the Korean War. Patsy, who passed away in 2012, was a Gilmer County native who, upon graduating from GSC, moved to Parkersburg to teach while her husband completed his degree.

The Gilmer Free Press
Bill and Patsy Dawson,
who funded a scholarship at Glenville State College

Later, they both were hired into the school system in Ohio. Patsy taught at East Elementary School in Celina her entire career while Bill served as a teacher and principal in nearby Montezuma before completing his teaching career at West Elementary in Celina.

During their almost 56 years together, the Dawson’s never forgot their West Virginia roots even though they spent decades in Ohio.

Whenever they made frequent trips back to the Mountain State with their daughters, Cherie and Christi, it was a tradition that they would sing ‘West Virginia Hills’ as they crossed the bridge over the Ohio River.

Bill made sure that the girls knew that the state song was penned in Gilmer County.

“Bill and Patsy’s lives represent perfectly what Glenville State College strives to ensure all of our graduates achieve as they move into their careers. That is, giving back to their communities through not only their teaching, but in their generosity to their alma mater as well as to the St. Jude’s Hospital, the ASPCA, the Appalachian Service Project, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. What a remarkable couple to understand that the bounty they earned was to be shared with so many,“ said Glenville State College President Dr. Peter Barr.

G-Eye™: Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting Report - Friday, 12.19.14

The Gilmer Free Press
December 19, 2014 @ 9:00 AM
Gilmer County Courthouse - Commission Office
10 Howard Street, Glenville, WV

[xx] = The order meeting was conducted (Video)

[1]  I. CALL TO ORDER: Meeting was Called to order by President Chapman. Commissioners Kennedy, Bennett; County Clerk Butcher and County Administrator Wilson were present.

[2]  II.  PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE TO THE U.S. FLAG: Pledge to Flag of United States was conducted.

[3]  III. PUBLIC COMMENTS: No Public Comments


[11]              9:30 DARREL RAMSEY & BUCK STEVENS, Recreation Center RE:  Extension Service Office and Utilities

Gilmer county Recreation Center Director Darrell Ramsey and the Board President Buck Stevens requested some reimbursement from the commission to help with the utilities at the White House at the center. He noted the commission authorized the 4-H Extension Service to move to that building. They asked for $100/month backdated to July. Currently the utilities at the White House run about $68 to $120. President Chapman left the decision to be made at the following meeting. Director Ramsey stressed the issue was only financial and they did not have anything against 4-H and Gilmer County Extension Service being there.


      Discussion and/or action on:

[4]              1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations: They were approved

[5]              2) Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements: They were approved.

[6]              3)  Board Appointments and/or Resignations:

                    a)  Appointment of Sue Edwards to the Unsafe Building & Lands Enforcement Agency
                        2 year Term 01.01.2015 – 12.31.2016

                    b)  Board Seats remain open on the:

                        ** Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency - Dekalb/Troy & Glenville Corporation

[7]              4) Budget Revisions: It was approved with some minor changes.

              5) Budget Control Report:  There was not any Budget Control Report since it was decided to have the report on quarterly basis.

[8]              6) Invoices for payment: Invoices totaling $47,795.83 were approved for payment.

[9]              7) County Commission Minutes for 12.05.2014: It was approved.

[10]              8) Receipt of County Board Minutes:

                    a)  Lewis-Gilmer E-911 Advisory Board October 25 & Addressing Report for October

                    b)  Ambulance Service Authority September 11 and October 09

                    c)  Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency October 09 and November 13

                    d)  Little Kanawha Transit Authority November 17

Commission acknowledged the receipt of the minutes. These minutes are available for review if desired by any citizen.


[12]              1) Recreation Center Gas Bill From Hayden Harper-Update: County Administrator indicated that County has not heard from the company

[13]              2) Right of Way on Kanawha Street, Camden Flats Subdivision - Update : President Chapman has asked the County Prosecutor to find out about selling this property.

[14]              3) Courthouse Basement Project-Update: Work is still in progress. Project should be finished by the end of the year.


      Discussion and/or action on:

[15]              1)  Receipt of FY 2013 Audit Report from the State Auditor’s Office: Preliminary copy has been provided which is public record.

[16]              2)  Commission Appointments to County Boards for calendar year 2015: Discussion was made on the Calendar for next year which is basically same as State calendar and same as last year.

[17]              3)  Agreement Lease with Tanner Community Board: It was signed and approved.

[18]              4)  Mike Hess to substitute for Dog Catcher, Debbie Hess during her Medical Absence: Approved.

[19]              5)  Continuity of Operations Plan Back-up Location for Health Department: Shawnee Hall at Recreation was selected for mass Immunization and Emergency. The Commission will reimburse the Recreation Center for the use of the building.
[20]              6) Sign Change of Scope Form and Change of Scope Resolution on the following grants:

                    07LEDA0543N - Jailhouse Boiler Replacement - $650 Remaining Balance

                    12LEDA0049 - American Red Cross Laptop Computer - $364 Remaining Balance

                    07LEDA0544N EMS - Roof Replacement - $647 Remaining Balance

                    14LEDA0544 - EMS Roof Replacement - $1000 Remaining Balance

[21]              7)  Sign Court Security Grant Meeting Invitation Letters

A meeting was scheduled by the Commission with all parties involved at the Courthouse for January 16, 2015 at 10:00 AM.




NEXT MEETING: Friday, January 02, 2015 at   9:00 AM.

Click H E R E to Watch the Video

G-Eye™: Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting Report - Friday, 01.02.15

The Gilmer Free Press

January 02, 2015 @ 9:00 AM
Gilmer County Courthouse – Commission Office
10 Howard Street, Glenville, WV

[xx] = The order the meeting was conducted (Video)

[1]    I. CALL TO ORDER: Meeting was called to order by President Chapman. Commissioner Bennett Present, Commissioner Kennedy Absent. Also present were County Clerk, Jean Butcher and County Administrator Cindy Wilson.

[2]    II.  PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE TO THE U.S. FLAG: The Allegiance to the U.S. Flag was conducted.

[3]    III. PUBLIC COMMENTS: No public comments.


[4]                  1) Appointment of Commission President for 2015: With Commissioner Kennedy absent, Commissioner Bennett made a motion for Commissioner Chapman to be the President. It was approved.

[21]                2) Commission Appointments to County Boards for Calendar Year 2015: Following was approved:

Health Center Operations Brian Kennedy Larry Chapman
Board of Health Brian Kennedy Larry Chapman
Parks & Recreation Brian Kennedy John Bennett
Senior Center Brian Kennedy Larry Chapman
Region VI Workforce Investment Board Brian Kennedy John Bennett
Local Emergency Planning Committee John Bennett Larry Chapman
WVU Extension Service John Bennett John Bennett
Lewis-Gilmer E-911 Advisory Board John Bennett John Bennett
Ambulance Service Authority Larry Chapman Larry Chapman
Public Service Distrit Larry Chapman John Bennett
Region VII Planning & Dev. Larry Chapman Larry Chapman
Wes Mon Ty Larry Chapman John Bennett
Little Kanawha Transit Authority   Cindy Wilson

[22]                3) Court House Business Hours and Holidays for 2015: Business on weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. State Legal Holidays were approved.

[23]                4) Regular Commission Meeting Schedule for 2015: The meetings will be conducted on 1st and 3rd Friday of each month except for holidays.


      Discussion and/or action on:

[5]                1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations - There were none to approved.

[7]                2) Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements: Approved.

[6]                3)  Board Appointments and/or Resignations:

                    a)  Board Seats remain open on the:

                          ** Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency - Dekalb/Troy & Glenville Corporation

[8]                3) Budget Revisions: $1200 was transferred to Recreation Center from the amount budgeted for Commissioners Chapman and Kennedy’s training. Tanner Community Building budget and Little Kanawha Transit Authority budget were discussed. So far County has received $1.752 Million and Spent $1.588 Million. The Commission spending is 11% over budget at this time.

[9]                4) Budget Control Report for Q2 of FY 2015 was present by County Bookkeeper Angel Ball for the Commissioners to review.

[10]                5) Invoices for payment: Total of $146,687.28 for invoices presented was approved.

[11]                6) County Commission Minutes for 12.19.2014: Approved

[12]                7) Receipt of County Board Minutes:

                    a)  Board of Health August 19,2014: Commission acknowledged the receipt. These minutes are available to public for review.


[13]                1) Recreation Center Gas Bill From Hayden Harper-Update: Still The county has not heard from the company.

[14]                2) Right of Way on Kanawha Street, Camden Flats Subdivision as Inquired by Pat Golden-Update: No update. Commission is waiting for the Prosecutor Hough to respond.

[15]                3) Courthouse Basement Project-Update: Almost Completed with minor work left to do.


      Discussion and/or action on:

[16]                1)  Date to Convene as Board of Equalization and Review: Open starting Friday, January 30, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

[17]                2)  Letter to WV Property Tax Division – RE:  Change in Mineral Values: It was signed to allow the State to make the changes when necessary.

[18]                3)  Cindy Wilson to attend the CCAWV County Administrator’s Training January 26th: The training was approved.

[19]                4)  Request from Recreation Center for $1200 for FY 2015 toward rent/utility cost for Extension Services: Approved and check was given to Center Board President Buck Stevens.

[20]                5)  Request from Commissioner Bennett for Reimbursement of Insurance Premiums: Commissioner Bennett already has insurance plan through his retirement. Therefore he is requesting the money instead for his county insurance premium. Commissioner Chapman was not sure. He said the issue need investigated. Commissioner Bennett is paying $235 for insurance through his retirement plan. The amount he is requesting is $410 per month which is the co-pay if he gets his insurance through the county. Commissioner Chapman noted the insurance was only a benefit and he did not see any cash value to it.



[25]    X.    ADJOURNMENT

NEXT MEETING:  Friday, January 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

Click H E R E to Watch the Video

Pat’s Chat - 01.11.15

The Gilmer Free Press

Sad news!  Debra Elmore died on January 07, 2015.  I feel such heartache for her six sisters and her brother besides all the nieces and nephews and a host of friends and family.  She was only 60 years old but waged a courageous battle with cancer for 14 years.  She and her sisters all lived in Burnsville, WV, but Debbie and her sister, Pam lived right here in Buckhannon.  Only Barbara Bragg and Lamona Casto are actually still living in Burnsville.  I hope many of you are among those who visit with them on Monday, on Monday evening, January 12, 5 to 8 or attend the funeral on Tuesday, January 13 at 11 AM at the Christian Fellowship Church.  She worked many years at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  She will be missed by many.  She was beautiful inside and out.  If you want to send condolences, you may contact Poling-St. Clair Funeral Home who had charge of the arrangements.  That address is

The Gilmer Free Press
Jerry Brown, Lamona Casto, Bobbi Bragg, Shirley Stalnaker,
Vickie Davis, Debbi Elmore, Pam Cuppari, & Hilda Clutter.
Jerry and his seven beautiful sisters!

I am also attaching a picture of Falls Mill, WV, dressed in all the shining snow of winter.  That brings back good memories for many central West Virginians, plus many visitors from everywhere.  I only viewed it from a distance in the colder months as we drove by to attend church many Saturdays long before I-79 was even in anyone’s thoughts.  In the warmer summer months it was delightful to swim above the Falls or swing from a rope someone had attached to the tree branches overhanging the river.  I didn’t get to go there nearly as much as I would have liked.  Our family had no car until I was grown and married.  It was my grandfather Arley McNemar who drove to Buckhannon, going up to Napier and through to the north through Ireland, French Creek and Adrian to get to our church.

The Gilmer Free Press
Falls Mill, WV

I stayed inside for all the cold and snowy days of the past week until Saturday when I braved the ice to go to church.  I am so glad I did.  I had no trouble, though there was still snow on the side roads, and ice.  The drive to the church is up a hill and I could see the ice shining in the morning sun as I drove up without a slip or slide.  Thank you, Lord.  I am truly getting cabin-fever.

This morning I walked through the snow to play a game of Scrabble with my neighbor, Jane Blankenship.  I won, but I lose as often as I win.  We sort of “cheat” – using a Scrabble-Players Dictionary (we each have one) to look up words that might fit with the tiles we have and the letters already played.  We are both hoping this exercise of the brain will help us keep from the dementia that happens to us older generation too often.  She is about 10 years younger than I am.  I am glad I have some of my brain capacity left.  I enjoy many things that really are better with a brain – writing, playing the piano, teaching a class in Sabbath School.  It is mostly my short-term memory that fails me a lot of times.  Things like leaving something on the stove or water running, being called away by the phone or something and forgetting to go back and check on things.  The one I hate the most is getting a call that interrupts a phone call and saying, “I’ll call you back” then I promptly forget that I told them I would call them back.

It is past time for me to be in bed, so I lam closing this Chat until next time.

Again wishing all of my readers a very Happy New Year, 2015!  God be with you all.


Equipping Teachers to Prepare Proficient Readers

A lot has been written about the importance of reading proficiently by third grade.

We’ve heard the familiar debates about whether it’s sound practice to retain students who don’t meet that mark.

But now some states are taking another approach toward third grade reading proficiency: one that focuses on the teacher rather than the student.

The Gilmer Free Press

Third Grade Reading: Aiming for Better Teacher Preparation

A lot has been written about the importance of reading proficiently by 3rd grade. We’ve heard the familiar debates about whether it’s sound practice to retain students who don’t meet that mark. But now some states are taking another approach toward 3rd grade reading proficiency: one that focuses on the teacher rather than the student.

A new report from the Education Commission of the States details the work of 14 states that are requiring teachers to demonstrate mastery of reading instruction before they are licensed.

“This is a shift in focus,“ ECS says in a statement released with the new findings. “Typically, states have concentrated on the student rather than the teacher by pursuing policies that identify struggling readers for special instruction.“

Here’s a link to the report, “Trends in Teacher Certification: Equipping Teachers To Prepare Proficient Readers.“ My colleague Stephen Sawchuk also did a nice story a few years ago on the emergence of these standalone reading tests for aspiring teachers.

An ECS report from last month examined the 3rd grade reading policies of states across the country.

The newest report shows what’s different about this new wave of state policies. Their target is new teachers, rather than those who’ve been teaching awhile. They require all teachers of young children—not just reading specialists—to show mastery of teaching reading. And they do it with a special test for that purpose, rather than through a subset of items within a larger teacher certification exam.

~~  Jake May/The Flint Journal/AP ~~

West Virginia News   150113

The Gilmer Free Press


In the first month of 2015, more than 31,100 people have individual health insurance plans from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield that was obtained through West Virginia’s federal exchange or directly from the company, as required by the Affordable Care Act.

During the second year of exchange enrollment, Fred Earley, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, reported the process went much smoother than the bungled launch at the close of 2013.

“The functionality, the operability was much, much better. We’ve seen very heavy usage, particularly when it got up close to the cut-off periods, as you would guess,” Earley said of traffic at

For coverage to begin on January 01, enrollments had to be completed by December 15. The numbers from Highmark reflected enrollments up until December 31.

It was not immediately clear exactly how many of those enrolled were new health insurance enrollees.

Those who have that coverage, though, are paying higher premiums — estimated at less than ten% higher than 2014 rates, according to Earley.

“It was not one that we felt was clearly unwarranted,” he said in defense of the rate hike.  “It did fit the market.”

While marketplaces in other states include competition, Earley’s company is still the only company offering healthcare plans on West Virginia’s exchange, the marketplace for people who don’t have other insurance options like employer-sponsored programs or who are not eligible for Medicaid.

Kentucky Health Cooperative delayed entering West Virginia’s health insurance marketplace until later this year after initially planning to begin offering health insurance plans in the Mountain State last November alongside Highmark.

“When we set the rates, we did so with an eye toward having competition in the market,” Earley said of the rates that were filed last spring. “I would put forth the position that they are competitive rates because that’s how they were modeled.”

Earley was a guest on MetroNews “Talkline.”

The deadline for enrollment for health insurance without penalty is February 15.

For 2015, the penalty for not having health insurance after that date has grown to 2% of yearly household income with the maximum being the national average premium for a bronze plan in the healthcare exchange or $325 per person for the year, $162.50 per child under the age of 18, up to a $975 maximum per family.


Those calling for legal reforms during the upcoming 2015 Regular Legislative Session are pointing to a new poll for proof, they’re arguing, that West Virginia voters, in general, support changes to the state’s judicial system.

“West Virginians have finally agreed that there are parts of our legal system that are not in line with surrounding states and have put us at a disadvantage when it comes to job creation, when it comes to attracting new jobs to West Virginia,” said Roman Stauffer, executive director of West Virginians Against Lawsuit Abuse.

Mark Blankenship Enterprises conducted the poll for West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse using telephone interviews of 609 registered West Virginia voters on January 5 and January 6. The poll’s results were released Monday before the start of the 60-day session on Wednesday.

It showed 50% of those questioned said they believed legal reforms would have a positive impact on West Virginia jobs and the economy. More than half, 56%, said they supported the creation of an intermediate court of appeals, while 74% indicated support for legislation dealing with transparency in how the state’s attorney general hires outside counsel.

Almost 59% told pollsters they have a lot or some confidence that the Legislature will address issues most important to them.

Stauffer said he expects legal reforms to be one of the priorities for new Republican leaders in both the state Senate and state House of Delegates. “We’re very excited about the possibility of legal reforms being an issue that is addressed by the Legislature this session,” Stauffer said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“We’ll be engaged in a very aggressive grassroots campaign to encourage our members to contact their legislator and pass comprehensive legal reform this session.”

While CALA and other groups will be working for reforms, those with the West Virginia Association for Justice, the state’s trial attorneys, and other similar organizations will be pushing back. They’ve been critical of, what they’ve called, the “misrepresentation” of the state’s judicial system.

In December, the American Tort Reform Association again included West Virginia on its national list of “Judicial Hellholes.”

The 2015 Regular Legislative Session opens at the State Capitol on Wednesday and will continue through March 14.  ~~  Shauna Johnson ~~


Eight people were taken to the hospital after a carbon monoxide incident Monday morning at the United Bank building in downtown Beckley.

Crews with the Beckley Fire Department was dispatched to the building at 120 Main Street at around 10 AM after those on the scene said several people in the building were sick.

Firefighters said carbon monoxide levels measured at 700 parts-per-million when they initially arrived. A lethal level is considered anything above 100 parts-per-million.

Those inside the building were immediately evacuated and ventilation efforts began. Authorities said the building’s heating unit is likely to blame but their investigation is continuing.


The debate over whether or not a Senator for Harrison County could also serve as a county commissioner has been resolved.

Mike Romano announced his resignation from the Harrison County Commission, effective at 1 PM on Monday and planned to take his oath of office to represent the 12th District in the state senate.

“Serving as a Commissioner has been a great moment in my life requiring much sacrifice, but providing a much greater reward of serving my community,” Romano wrote in his resignation letter. “Along with my other Commissioners, we have accomplished good things and helped move Harrison County forward at a great pace, and I am sure that they, along with my replacement, will do great things in the future.”

Opposition to simultaneously holding both positions grew after an opinion from the state’s Attorney General in 1991 circulated, stating a county commissioner could not at the same time serve as a legislator. The commission voted 2-0 –with Romano abstaining– Thursday to seek the opinion of the current Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey.

The Gilmer Free Press

Romano indicated he did not wish for the matter to cause citizens to scrutinize the work of either the commission or the state senate, saying his intention was “never to cause anybody to be able to raise any eyebrows at what the commission is doing. This body functions very efficiently. It will continue to function efficiently after I leave. My only intention was to see through some projects.”

Those projects included updating the county’s economic development organization and approving TIF bonds to assist development at Charles Pointe in Bridgeport.

“It is now time to begin my service as State Senator to the citizens of Braxton, Clay, Gilmer, Harrison, and Lewis Counties and our great State,” Romano wrote. “I look forward to being a representative of working West Virginian families and good businesses while continuing the mission I held as Commissioner — “Doing the right thing every time” regardless of any political consequence.”

The Democrat will be sworn in before the legislative session begins in Charleston on Wednesday.


State Secretary of Revenue Robert Kiss says Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will make targeted cuts and tap state reserves in his budget proposal.

The comments came Monday during the West Virginia AP Legislative Lookahead at The Charleston Gazette.

Kiss says Tomblin has to cover a $195 million expected budget gap next year. Kiss expects less than $80 million to come from the state Rainy Day Fund.

Kiss attributed a flat revenue trend to falling energy prices, lower coal demand, weak wage growth and a federal payroll tax increase, and turmoil in the federal government and health sectors.

Tomblin will propose a budget Wednesday as the 60-day legislative session starts.

The Republican-led Legislature will craft the state budget during the session. Tomblin can then make line-item vetoes in that budget.


A new report says correctional officers employed by the Division of Corrections have the lowest entry-level salaries in the nation.

The report released Monday by the Legislative Auditor’s Office says the entry-level salary for correctional officers is $22,141 annually. Illinois has the highest entry-level salary, $45,103.

Correctional officers earn about $16,400 less than their counterparts at the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The report also says the turnover rate among correctional officers was 37% in fiscal 2014. But low pay likely wasn’t the only factor.

The report says other possible turnover factors include a stressful working environment and long shifts.

According to the report, correctional officers earning the entry-level salary would qualify for government assistance if they live in a single-income household with three or more people.


West Virginia University is partially lifting a ban on Greek activity.

Effective Monday, Dean of Students Corey Farris tells the Charleston Daily Mail that fraternities and sororities can restart pledging and initiation procedures.

A moratorium on social events will remain in effect. Students are developing a course of action to address hazing and other issues regarding the Greek organizations.

The university suspended Greek activity following the death of 18-year-old freshman Nolan Burch on November 14, 2014. Burch was found unconscious and not breathing at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house.

Students will return to campus from winter break on Monday.


Authorities have removed more than 40 dogs from a Marion County couple’s residence.

Media outlets report that the couple surrendered the dogs and won’t face charges.

Volunteers and workers with the Marion County Humane Society tell media outlets that the couple tried to take care of the dogs but was overwhelmed.

Humane society employee Garrett Mock called it a “typical hoarding situation.“

The dogs were taken to the humane society’s facility. The organization is seeking foster homes for the dogs.


The West Virginia Ethics Commission is offering a training course for lobbyists on the state’s ethics law.

The one-hour course deals with provisions of the law relevant to lobbyists. It is scheduled for January 20 at the West Virginia State Training Center in Building 7 at the Capitol Complex in Charleston.

The commission offers formal training sessions for lobbyists throughout the year.

West Virginia requires all registered lobbyists to complete one training course during the January 01, 2015, to December 31, 2016, lobbyist registration cycle. First-time lobbyists in the state must complete the training within 90 days of the date on which they registered to lobby.

The commission says the training requirement also can be fulfilled by viewing a training video on its website, .


A Morgantown man accused of child neglect entered a plea in Monongalia County court Monday, January 12, 2015.

Jeffrey Ganoe was arrested by city police in August after he was discovered passed out on a section of the rail trail with his daughter in a stroller nearby.

Police say Ganoe told them he’d huffed part of a can of multi-duster to get high.

Multi-duster is canned air often used to clean spaces with small crevices like keyboards.

Ganoe plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child neglect creating risk of injury.  A 6 month sentence was suspended.  Ganoe was placed on probation for 1 year.


A new report says the West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services spent about $3.5 million to renovate a juvenile facility and then abandoned the project with the work uncompleted.

The Legislative Auditor’s Office says in a report released Monday that the agency’s reasons for stopping the project were foreseeable when it began. The office recommends that the agency develop a procedure to gauge cost versus benefit for future construction and renovation projects.

The agency began renovating the Davis Center after juveniles were transferred to a new facility in 2009. The project was halted around December 2013.

In its response, the agency says it leased the property from the Division of Natural Resources. The agency says the DNR is working with other agencies to covert the property to a canning facility.


A new study says nearly half of student bullying incidents in West Virginia’s public schools occur in middle schools.

The state study says 47% of school discipline referrals for bullying, harassment or intimidation in the current academic year have occurred in middle schools.

According to the study, 29% of such incidents occurred in high schools and 24% occurred in elementary schools.

Andy Whisman with the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Research presented the study’s findings to a legislative interim committee on Sunday.

Whisman told the committee that 2,957 students were referred for disciplinary action for bullying or harassment behaviors. Seventy-five% of these students are male.


State figures show the number of students receiving West Virginia’s Higher Education Grant has declined over the past four years.

A recent report by the Higher Education Policy Commission says 19,050 students received the needs-based grant in the 2013-2014 school-year. That’s down from 19,334 in the 2012-2013 school year and 19,506 in the previous school year.

The grant was awarded to 20,793 students in the 2010-2011 school-year.

Brian Weingart, the commission’s senior director of financial aid, says the grant’s amount has gradually been increased. That has resulted in fewer students being awarded the grant.

Meanwhile, the number of students receiving the merit-based PROMISE scholarship increased from 9,456 in the 2010-2011 school-year to 10,108 in the 2013-2014 school year.

UHC: Works of Art Donated

The Gilmer Free Press
Troop 4158 of Grafton made breast cancer awareness boards in honor of
Juliette Gordon Lowe, the founder of Girls Scouts.
Lowe died from breast cancer, so Troop 4158 wanted to honor her memory
by donating these works of art to the Cecil B. Highland, Jr. & Barbara B. Highland Cancer Center at United Hospital Center.
These breast cancer awareness boards will be given to cancer patients at UHC.
(L-R, FR) Peggy Johnson, RN, breast health navigator at the Cecil B. Highland, Jr. & Barbara B. Highland Cancer Center at UHC;
Kassidy Heldreth; Emma Powley; JoHanna Roy; Abby Paugh; Deanna Roy; Maggie Hurst and Christina Paugh.
(L-R, BR) Melissa Heldreth; Mendy Paugh,
troop leader and Jodie Powley.

GCHS Junior Class Longaberger Basket Bingo - 01.18.15

The Gilmer Free Press

The Junior Class of Gilmer County High School is sponsoring a Longaberger Basket Bingo on Sunday January 18, 2015 at Gilmer County Senior Center.

The doors open a 12:00 Noon and games will begin at 1:00 PM.

Refreshments will be available.

All proceeds of this event will go to the GCHS Junior/Senior Prom for May 2015.

Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door.

If there are any questions please feel free to contact Julian Phares, Junior Head Sponsor at 304.462.7960 or .

Gilmer County Recreation Center: Pancake Breakfast - 01.18.15

The Gilmer Free Press

All you can eat pancake breakfast


The Gilmer County Recreation Facility

To benefit the roofing and bathroom projects

When: January 18, 2015 (Sunday)

Price: $7.50 Adults

$5.00 Children under 10 years

Time: 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Buckwheat or regular pancakes Scrambled eggs


Sausage links

Biscuits and sausage gravy

Fried potatoes

Homemade Biscuit


Beverages: Coffee, water, Orange Juice or milk

Location: From the stoplight, take WV Highway 5 West towards Grantsville for
.1 miles and turn right on Sycamore Run Road for .5 miles.
Make a left at the Golf Course intersection and proceed up the hill to
the Recreation Center

If you get lost, follow the crowd

Support a good cause and enjoy the food and the visit with your
friends and neighbors!!!!

Grow Your Gardening Knowledge and Share Your Time - Deadline 01.16.15

The Gilmer Free Press

Fight Terror Again, and Again, and Again, OR End It by Refusing to Participate in Its Creation

The Gilmer Free Press

The cycle of violence. When will it be interrupted? The attack on Charlie Hebdo was another incident of “Terror in [fill in the blank]… attackers part of [fill in name of terror network]”. It was an incident of home-grown terror, since the attackers were French-born second-generation immigrants. It is time to shift away from ineffective, reactive tactics and strategies of dealing with this kind of terror toward conflict transformation, by transforming the structures leading to terrorism.

Let’s be clear. The assassins in Paris did not avenge the Prophet and their horrific violence cannot be reconciled with Islam. They were not noble, holy warriors, they were violent criminals. They killed 12 people and in addition to those lives, the lives of their families were destroyed. Their attacks opened space for further destructive cycles of conflict, support for security crackdowns, and virtually endless military campaigns as we still are seeing in the post 09.11.01 global war on terror. If we continue on this path we “condemn the global community to ongoing terror”, as political scientist Lindsay Heger argues in her piece Redrawing our Strategy on Terror.
Here’s the usual:

At the height of conflict several things take place. First, we tend to see generalizations as we hear in the “clash of civilizations”, “us versus them”, or the “battle between Islam and freedom of speech.” Second, there is stereotyping, as we can see in the generalizations and assumptions about all members of a group. In this case a group as large and diverse as the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Third, there are knee-jerk reactions like calls for “collective detention” or “nuke them” by many so-called internet trolls. These often come with dehumanization of the other group. Fourth, tit-for-tat tactics are used as we can see in the attacks on Mosques in France. Fifth, the issues are changed deliberatively as we can see in US mainstream media commentators using the attack to promote torture or criticize New York City’s Mayor de Blasio’s politics. Sixth, emotions are exploited, fear is installed, and drastic measures are advocated as we see in far-right National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen’s call for a referendum on reinstating the death penalty. All these are destructive, but very commonly used approaches of dealing with conflict. All these are ways of us participating in the cycle of continuing terror.
Here are some immediate better ways:

First and foremost, national and international law enforcement and judicial processes for individuals and groups involved in acts of terror.

Second, a call for unity from the international community, political, cultural and religious leaders condemning all forms of violent extremism.

Third, a societal response of answering hatred with love and compassion, as we have seen in Norway’s dignified response to the mass murder by islamophobic Anders Breivik.

Here are some long-term responses addressing broader, structural changes:

First, terrorism is a political problem. The colonial history and the current violent western presence in the Middle East as well as the arbitrary support for some dictators are key to providing terrorists with a support base without which they would not be able to operate and even exist. As we see this support base now goes far beyond the Middle East and has reached the suburbs of Paris and inspires other unconnected lone-wolf terrorists. Lindsay Heger argues correctly that we need to create creative governance solutions aimed at de-linking terrorists from societies. This applies just as much to groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria as it applies to the Muslim immigrant population in France.

Second, terrorism is a social problem. The gunmen were French-born descendants of Algerian immigrants. It is nothing new that there are tensions between the predominantly white, Christian, French society and mainly Muslim first and second generation immigrant populations of African origin. The majority of immigrants belong to the economic lower class of society. Poverty, unemployment and crime are common issues the young, male immigrants are facing.
Third, terrorism is a cultural problem. Muslim immigrant populations in Europe need to be able to freely develop and express their sense of self and sense of belonging. The politics of integration must allow for diversity and co-existence without imposed assimilation and inequality.

Some might argue that these suggestions have flaws, that they are not perfect, that they will never work, and so on. Yes, they have flaws, they are not perfect, and sometimes we do not know the outcome. What we know for sure is that more militarized security, sacrificing our rights, and more military campaigns makes us participants in terror. And they definitely do not work unless our intent is to recruit more terrorists.
Terrorists will be part of us as long as we don’t address the root causes and as long as we participate in it. Terror ends when we stop creating terrorists and when we stop participating in it.

~~  Patrick. T. Hiller, Ph.D.  ~~

Ron Paul: Lessons from Paris

The Gilmer Free Press

After the tragic shooting at a provocative magazine in Paris last week, I pointed out that given the foreign policy positions of France we must consider blowback as a factor. Those who do not understand blowback made the ridiculous claim that I was excusing the attack or even blaming the victims. Not at all, as I abhor the initiation of force. The police blaming victims when they search for the motive of a criminal.

The mainstream media immediately decided that the shooting was an attack on free speech. Many in the U.S. preferred this version of “they hate us because we are free,” which is the claim that President Bush made after 9/11. They expressed solidarity with the French and vowed to fight for free speech. But have these people not noticed that the First Amendment is routinely violated by the U.S. government? President Obama has used the Espionage Act more than all previous administrations combined to silence and imprison whistleblowers. Where are the protests? Where are protesters demanding the release of John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on the CIA use of waterboarding and other torture? The whistleblower went to prison while the torturers will not be prosecuted. No protests.

If Islamic extremism is on the rise, the U.S. and French governments are at least partly to blame. The two Paris shooters had reportedly spent the summer in Syria fighting with the rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian President Assad. They were also said to have recruited young French Muslims to go to Syria and fight Assad. But France and the United States have spent nearly four years training and equipping foreign fighters to infiltrate Syria and overthrow Assad! In other words, when it comes to Syria, the two Paris killers were on “our” side. They may have even used French or U.S. weapons while fighting in Syria.

Beginning with Afghanistan in the 1980s, the U.S. and its allies have deliberately radicalized Muslim fighters in the hopes they would strictly fight those they are told to fight. We learned on 9/11 that sometimes they come back to fight us. The French learned the same thing last week. Will they make better decisions knowing the blowback from such risky foreign policy? It is unlikely because they refuse to consider blowback. They prefer to believe the fantasy that they attack us because they hate our freedoms, or that they cannot stand our free speech.

Perhaps one way to make us all more safe is for the U.S. and its allies to stop supporting these extremists.

Another lesson from the attack is that the surveillance state that has arisen since 9/11 is very good at following, listening to, and harassing the rest of us but is not very good at stopping terrorists. We have learned that the two suspected attackers had long been under the watch of U.S. and French intelligence services. They had reportedly been placed on the U.S. no-fly list and at least one of them had actually been convicted in 2008 of trying to travel to Iraq to fight against the U.S. occupation. According to CNN, the two suspects traveled to Yemen in 2011 to train with al-Qaeda. So they were individuals known to have direct terrorist associations. How many red flags is it necessary to set off before action is taken? How long did U.S. and French intelligence know about them and do nothing, and why?

Foreign policy actions have consequences. The aggressive foreign policies of the United States and its allies in the Middle East have radicalized thousands and have made us less safe. Blowback is real whether some want to recognize it or not. There are no guarantees of security, but only a policy of non-intervention can reduce the risk of another attack.

Area Closings and Delays on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Status of Area Closings and Delays on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Glenville State College  
Gilmer County Courthouse
Gilmer County Senior Center
Gilmer County Schools  
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay
Calhoun County Schools  
Doddridge County Schools2 Hour Delay
Lewis County Schools  
Ritchie County Schools  
Barbour County Schools  
Clay County Schools 2 Hour Delay
Harrison County Schools  
Nicholas County Schools  
Pleasants County Schools  
Roane County Schools  
Tyler County Schools  
Upshur County Schools  
Webster County Schools  
Wirt County Schools  
Wood County Schools  

The Gilmer Free Press

G-MM™: Meditation Moment - 01.13.15


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


Psalm 52:6-7

The righteous also shall see and fear,

And shall laugh at him, saying,

“Here is the man who did not make God his strength,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches,
And strengthened himself in his wickedness.”

1 Thessalonians 5:1-10

Prepare for The Day of the Lord

It is pointless to speculate about when the Day of the Lord will come — It could come tomorrow or a thousand years from now. But there is one thing for certain: nobody will expect it. It will come as abruptly as labor comes to a pregnant woman, and as unexpected as a thief in the night. While people are talking about how much peace and security they have, it will fall upon them.

So ask yourself: Who does a thief take by surprise? Those who are in darkness. And who lives in darkness? The very children of darkness, those who drink the wine of night and sleep in drunken stupor – it is they who will be caught unprepared. They will have no chance of escaping God’s wrath.

But we are children of light, standing in the sunshine of our Lord. God has not destined us to suffer His wrath, but to attain salvation through Christ Jesus. Christ died for us, the living and the dead, that we might live with Him for eternity. So stand always in the daylight of Christ, sober and alert, wearing your faith and love like a suit of armor, and the hope of your salvation like a helmet.

Notes on the Scripture

Although we had a basic discussion of this text yesterday, there is a point here about Paul and Christian ethics that is difficult to express, but rather important. Unlike the Old Testament law, neither Paul nor Jesus ever propounded a comprehensive set of ethical or moral rules to live by. Christ sought to change our hearts; then, from the love for God and our neighbor that this change wrought, and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, moral conduct should flow naturally.

Yet, the points at which Christ (or Paul) presents a specific example give us a touchstone, a guidepost. If we reject these example, we can tell we have wandered off the path. They are like lighthouses. If we find we are not doing or following one of these teachings, it warns us that we are sailing into the rocks and need to change our heading.
Monkeys battling snails from Illuminated Hymnal

Drunkeness is a good example. Neither Paul nor Christ calls drunkenness a “sinPaul does say that Christian ministers should not be given to drunkenness.”. But do you think the lifestyle of an alcohol inebriate is the product of the Holy Spirit? Of course it isn’t. While Paul does not say “don’t get drunk” in this passage, does he really need to?

Paul tells us we must be alert; and we know what he means. When you relax your faith, you find yourself drifting into sin. It is our natural inclination. That is the direct message of today’s Scripture. But, in addition, the effects of too much alcohol on self-discipline and behavior are known to all. Paul drank wine, and so did Christ; but drinking to excess is just asking for all manner of trouble, both in the world and in the spirit.

Paul depicts living in the Spirit as a means to be ready for a Judgment Day, which might come at any time, to the dismay and destruction of the unprepared. But since 2,000 years have passed, and Christ has not yet returned, few of us look for the event during our lifetime. Instead, we see a life of faithful living as a goal in and of itself, rather than a means to be prepared for the imminent return of Christ. We see ever-increasing faith, growth, and continuing obedience to Christ’s teachings as a result of salvation, a gift of the Holy Spirit. We try to live as God wants us to live, because of love for Christ, rather than fear of punishment.

But there is still truth in Paul’s advice, “Be prepared.” We might die at any moment; death may come when we least expect it. So Paul’s advice applies to us, today; if we are judged by the state in which we die, our death might be seen as the moment when our fate is determined .

Joan Marie Collins

The Gilmer Free Press

Joan Marie Collins

Age 75, of Big Springs, WV passed away on January 11, 2015 at Camden Clark Medical Center surrounded by her family following a 14 year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

She was a Christian by faith.

She was born April 22, 1939 in Pennsboro, WV a daughter of the late Vohn and Hallie Jones.

Joan was a homemaker that loved cooking and gardening.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Paul Collins; children, Roger Collins of Big Springs, Susan (Randy) Gainer of Washington, WV; two sets of twins, Carl (Marisha) Collins and Carol Collins, both of Big Springs, Steven (Marty) of Alum Bridge and Angela (Neil) Kluesener of Spartanburg, SC. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren; special brother Jerry Jones; sisters Sherry Wilson and Janis Sloan.

She is preceded in death in addition to her loving parents, by brother Henry Jones.

Funeral services will be held at Stump Funeral Home, Grantsville, Thursday January 15, 2015 at 2:00 PM with Rev. Carroll McCauley officiating.

Burial will follow in the Saunders Cemetery.

Friends may call at the funeral home Wednesday from 6:00-8:00 PM.

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