Christmas Eve 2014

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

Complaint alleges Stockert-Sizemore Funeral Home violated
the West Virginia Preneed Act and state Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his Office recently filed a complaint against a now-closed Braxton County funeral home and its owner alleging that they violated the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act, as well as the West Virginia Preneed Act.

The complaint alleges the former Stockert-Sizemore Funeral Home Inc. and its previous owner, Timothy Sizemore, of Nitro, misappropriated money from consumers who were trying to prepay their funeral costs, did not register some preneed funeral contracts with the State, and used unfair and deceptive practices when selling preneed contracts to consumers. The complaint alleges the defendants engaged in continuous violations of the Preneed Act and Consumer Act from at least 2008 until April 2013.

The funeral home went through foreclosure in November 2013 and was sold at auction. The funeral home now goes by a different name and has new owners.  The Office’s complaint does not allege any wrongdoing by the current owners, who have been fully cooperating with and assisting the Attorney General’s Office.

“This complaint seeks to protect senior citizens and others who in good faith tried to prepay for their funerals so as not to burden their loved ones with additional expenses at what may already be a sad and stressful time,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “These contracts were entered into in good faith, and people must be confident that when they enter into a contract with a business the business will uphold its end of the deal.”

The complaint alleges the funeral home accepted a total of $30,593.08 from at least seven individuals as advance payment for funeral services but then failed to deposit that money into a trust account or insurance policy under the individual’s name, which is a violation of the law. It also alleges the funeral home failed to forward to the state copies of consumers’ preneed contracts. Funeral homes are required by law to file those forms within 10 days. The complaint alleges that didn’t happen.

The complaint also alleges Sizemore failed to keep accurate accounts, books and/or records of all of their transactions. As a result, the true location of consumers’ advance payments could not be readily determined.

“Our Office identified multiple areas of violation and at least 12 West Virginia consumers who were affected by the defendants’ conduct,” Morrisey said.

The complaint asks for civil penalties of $5,000 per violation and punitive damages equal to three times the civil penalties. It also asks the judge to order the funeral home to refund all consumer preneed advance payments it has received for funerals it has not yet performed, turn over to the State all preneed contracts it may have entered into, and produce any documents and/or records pertaining to any prepayment or agreement to prepay for funeral goods or services by any consumer prior to the death of the consumer or payment beneficiary.

The complaint also seeks an order prohibiting Sizemore from transferring or conveying any real or personal property in his control to any third party until the matter has been adjudicated.

The complaint was filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court and was assigned case number 14-C-1953.

A copy of the complaint can be viewed by Clicking H E R E .

Santa’s Christmas Eve Prayer 2014


The sleigh was all packed,
The reindeer were fed,
But Santa still knelt
By the side of the bed.

“Dear Father,“ he prayed,
“Be with me tonight,
There’s much work to do,
And my schedule is tight.“

“I must jump in my sleigh
And streak through the sky,
Knowing full well
That a reindeer can’t fly.“

“I will visit each household,
Before the first light,
I’ll cover the world,
And all in one night.“

“With sleigh bells a-ringing,
I’ll land on each roof,
Amid the soft clatter
Of each little hoof.“

“To get in the house
Is the difficult part,
So I’ll slide down the chimney
Of each child’s heart.“

“My sack will hold toys
To grant all their wishes,
The supply will be endless,
Like the loaves and the fishes.“

“I will fill all the stockings
And not leave a track,
I’ll eat every cookie
That is left for my snack.“

“I can do all these things Lord,
Only through You,
I just need your blessing,
Then it’s easy to do.“

“All this is to honor
The birth of the One,
That was sent to redeem us ...
Your most Holy Son.“

“So to all of my friends,
Least Your glory I rob,
Please Lord, remind them
Who gave me this job.“

~~  Warren D. Jennings ~~

West Virginia Children’s Welfare Group Promoting Prevention Policies

The Gilmer Free Press

The agenda for the Our Children Our Future initiative in the upcoming West Virginia legislative session is heavy on prevention, in part because experts say prevention works in ensuring stable, long-term heath for children.

Part of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, backers of the Our Children Our Future plan issued their 2015 platform on Monday. The top two agenda items include providing steady funding for family support networks, and investing in early-childhood health care.

Dr. Art Rubin, a Charleston pediatrician, serves on the governor’s early-childhood planning task force. Beginning with good prenatal care, he says investing in a child’s first 1,000 days may “cost money up front,“ but long-term pays off some seven times over.

“A healthier citizenship in West Virginia is a more productive workforce,“ says Rubin. “By investing in these programs now, we think we can save money. It’s always more expensive to treat the problem later on.“

On several occasions in recent years, funding has been threatened for parent and child support programs like family resource centers and in-home parental training and coaching. Last year, much of that funding was restored at the last minute.

Shayne Brown, a Doddridge County EMT and father of two, previously used those services, and says it makes more sense to provide a secure funding stream to keep them afloat. He says the programs bring in 10 times as much private and federal funds as they cost, and the programs genuinely help, especially in rural areas where a sizable portion of the population depends on the services.

“It’s a big deal. The staff works hard,“ says Brown. “There’s only three or four of them, but they’re all passionate about what they do. These people have made a difference in my life.“

According to Dr. Rubin, the state does a number of preventive tasks well - although he says it needs to do a better job of gathering data and using it to expand successful programs.

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel being able to expand a working program into areas that haven’t been as accessible to people,“ says Rubin. “Not to start with new bureaucracies, but to try to work within the framework that we have.“

The coalition says it has had 14 bipartisan legislative victories in the past two years.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

West Virginia News   141224

The Gilmer Free Press


A Charleston pharmacy and its owner face federal health care charges.

Trivillian’s Pharmacy is charged in information with health care fraud and misbranding drugs. Owner and operator Paula Butterfield is charged in information with making a false statement in a health care matter.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced the charges Tuesday in a news release.

Trivillian’s is accused of dispensing compounded drugs and generic drugs and billing Medicare and Medicaid for brand name drugs, which are more expensive.

Trivillian’s also is accused of billing for drugs that weren’t dispensed, and dispensing drugs outside a safe and clean environment.

Butterfield is accused of submitting false claims to Medicare on her own behalf.

Butterfield didn’t immediately return a telephone message seeking comment Tuesday.


One person died after a head on collision Tuesday afternoon in Upshur County.

According to Virgil Miller, Chief Deputy of Administration with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, a four door sedan and UPS delivery truck collided on WV Highway 20 about a quarter of a mile from the entrance to Buckhannon-Uphsur High School.

“The initial indication is the car went left of center and struck the UPS truck head on,” he said.

The car was travelling northbound on WV Highway 20.  The wreck occurred about 2:00 PM.

“The woman driving the car was removed by fire personnel and she was life-flighted to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.  There was another female in the car, a passenger.  She was deceased,” explained Miller.

The driver of the UPS truck and his assistant were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon for treatment.

WV Highway 20 was closed for at least three hours as police investigated a cause and cleared the roadway.

“We’re still in the preliminary stages.  We did have a re-constructionist on scene.  Actually, about ten minutes until 5 we were able to open WV Highway 20 back up.

It had been closed.  We had to detour school buses and traffic,” said Miller.

The victims’ names have not been released.

“We’re having difficulty locating the next of kin.  We’re actually going to have to officers on the ground and try to locate them.  They are, from indications, from Upshur County,” explained Miller.


The University of Charleston plans to drop its daytime master’s of business administration program in response to a changing market.

School of Business and Leadership dean Scott Bellamy tells The Charleston Gazette that demand for full-time daytime MBA courses is declining because many people interested in the program already are working.

He says the university is looking at converting its evening MBA classes into an online program. The online program could be offered in Martinsburg in addition to existing programs in Charleston and Beckley.

The university will stop offering daytime MBA classes next year.

Bellamy says 52 students are currently in the evening program and seven are in the daytime program. Ten students graduated from the daytime program this month and the remainder plan to graduate in December 2015.


A former store manager has pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from a synthetic drug investigation.

Media outlets report that 59-year-old John Skruck pleaded guilty on Monday to synthetic drug conspiracy and structuring money transactions to evade IRS reporting requirements.

Federal prosecutors say Skruck ran the Hot Stuff Cool Things stores in Buckhannon and Clarksburg for owner Jeffrey Paglia. Authorities raided and closed the stores in 2012.

Authorities have said the stores were a major distributor of hallucinogenic bath salts in north-central West Virginia.

Skruck disappeared in May 2013 as his drug trial was set to begin. U.S. marshals arrested Skruck in New Mexico in January.

Paglia is serving more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty in November 2012 to similar charges.


Four people were jailed on felony charges since Monday evening, according to booking records kept at the Western Regional Jail.

Melissa Ann Williams, age 48, was incarcerated at 2:20 AM Tuesday. Authorities in Cabell County charged her with felony malicious wounding. Bond was denied pending arraignment.

Tracy Yvonne Martin, age 42, was incarcerated at 12:20 AM Tuesday. Authorities in Cabell County charged her with felony malicious wounding and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Bond was denied pending arraignment.

Tyrell Antraun Hughes, age 27, was incarcerated Monday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and wanton endangerment. Bond information was not available.

Sara Jennifer Boggess, age 38, was incarcerated Monday. Authorities in Cabell County charged her with felony third-offense driving under the influence and driving on a suspended/revoked license. Bond was $20,000.


A Kanawha County task force is again recommending that West Virginia legislators pass a law requiring people to get a prescription for a cold medicine that’s used to make methamphetamine.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the Kanawha County Commission Substance Abuse Task Force is making the recommendation despite a 40% drop in meth lab seizures statewide in 2014. West Virginia authorities have seized 290 labs this year, the third highest total in state history.

The commission says meth labs remain a significant danger to children and families.

Last year’s push for legislation requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine failed. A watered-down version that would have let individual counties impose such a requirement died on the last night of the legislative session.


One person was injured and another taken into custody following a late Monday stabbing in Huntington.

Cabell County 911 received word of the incident at 11:40 PM Monday in the 800 block of Lincoln Place.

The injured person was taken to an area hospital. Initial reports indicated the wounds were not life threatening.

The Huntington Police Department is investigating.


A subsidiary of ExxonMobil will pay a fine along with paying for cleaning up polluted waterways near eight Marcellus shale gas drilling operations in Harrison, Marion and Upshur counties.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced Monday that XTO Energy, Inc., a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, the nation’s largest holder of natural gas reserves, will spend an estimated $3 million to restore eight sites damaged by unauthorized discharges of fill material into streams and wetlands. XTO will also implement a comprehensive plan to comply with federal and state water protection laws at the company’s West Virginia oil and gas extraction facilities that use horizontal drilling methods.

“The extraction of domestic energy resources is vitally important, and so it is equally important that companies ensure that all activities are done in accordance with the nation’s environmental laws,” Sam Hirsch, the acting assistant attorney general for DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said. “This settlement will resolve allegations that XTO damaged wetlands and streams by illegally discharging dredge and fill materials into streams, and restore wherever possible these damaged natural resources.”

Additionally, the company will pay a civil penalty of $2.3 million for violations of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which prohibits the filling of wetlands, rivers, streams, and other waters of the United States without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“This case sends a clear message that EPA and other federal and state regulatory agencies will do what is necessary to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act and to protect these valuable resources and the health of our communities,” EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin said.

The settlement resolves alleged violations of state law asserted by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The state of West Virginia is co-plaintiff in the settlement and will receive half of the $2.3 million civil penalty.

The federal government and state DEP allege the company impacted streams by discharging sand, dirt, rocks and other fill material into streams and wetlands without a federal permit in order to construct well pads, road crossings, freshwater pits, and other facilities related to natural gas extraction. As a result it is alleged that the violations impacted more than 5,300 linear feet of stream, and 3.38 acres of wetlands in Harrison, Marion and Upshur counties.

The EPA discovered some of the violations through information provided by the state and through routine joint inspections conducted with the Corps. In addition, the company voluntarily disclosed potential violations at five of the sites following an internal audit.

Beginning in 2011, EPA issued administrative compliance orders for violations at all eight sites. Since that time, the company has been working with EPA to correct the violations and restore those sites in full compliance with EPA’s orders.

The settlement requires the company fully restore the wetlands and streams wherever feasible, monitor the restored sites for up to 10 years to assure the restoration occurs successfully, and implement a comprehensive compliance program with the Clean Water Act and applicable state law.

The consent decree, lodged Monday in the Northern District of West Virginia, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.

XTO engages in the exploration and production of natural gas in the Appalachian Basin. The company has Marcellus Shale holdings in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.


The West Virginia Supreme Court has chosen Justice Margaret Workman to serve as chief justice in 2015.

The court said Tuesday that justices unanimously approved Workman to serve as chief justice at their last administrative court.

If Workman is unable to serve, Justice Menis Ketchum will serve as chief justice.

Workman was elected to the court in 2008.

In 1988, she became the first woman elected to statewide office in West Virginia when she won a previous term. She also was the first woman elected to the state’s highest court.

Workman previously served as chief justice in 1993, 1997 and 2011.


Several motorists in the Princeton area got a surprise when they were pulled over by West Virginia State Police troopers.

Instead of a ticket, the troopers gave each motorist a $100 bill.

First Sgt. M.R. Crowder says Monday’s giveaway was a Secret Santa project funded by an anonymous donor.

Spanishburg resident Marie Davis says she wondered what she had done wrong when she was pulled over. She says the trooper asked her if she felt lucky, and then handed her $100 and a candy cane.

Davis says the money will help pay for Christmas dinner.

Trooper D.C. Graham says people’s dealings with law enforcement are usually negative, and it’s a privilege to bring joy instead.


An early morning wreck on I-77 in Charleston shuts down southbound traffic headed out of Charleston toward Beckley.

Authorities say the semi crashed just after 4 AM in the southbound lanes at the Kanawha City Exit near the Yeager Bridge.  The truck was hauling plastic crates. The fire spread from the cab of the truck into the bed.

Crews from multiple fire departments were called to the scene to clean up the mess.

The status of the driver is not known.  A cause for the crash is under investigation.


The Gilmer Free Press

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ - Lots of Fighting, Not Much Hobbit

“The Hobbit” is everywhere.

In the run-up to the release of “The Battle of the Five Armies,” the final, Armageddon-like installment of Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s comparatively lean fantasy novel, Bilbo Baggins and company have overrun pop culture, making appearances on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, where comedian Stephen Colbert dressed up as various ­Middle-earth characters; “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by “The Hobbit” star Martin Freeman; and “The Colbert ­Report,” which featured this exchange between the host and Smaug the dragon:

Colbert: “You’ve been called a ‘most specially greedy, strong and wicked worm.’ How does that make you feel?”

Smaug: “Pretty excited, in a wormy sort of way. Who was it who said that? Was it Peter Jackson? Did he say that?”

Colbert: “No, actually it was Professor Tolkien.”

Smaug: “Who?”

The Gilmer Free Press

That joke about literary ignorance stings a little, considering just how unrecognizable the cinematic “Hobbit” epic has become, compared to the book. It isn’t just a question of bloat, although that’s part of it. Taken together, the three films run for eight hours, which is probably longer than necessary to read the novel. Although it doesn’t feel like it, each sequel is actually shorter than the previous film.

Many of Jackson’s changes to the story are harmless, including his wholesale invention of characters and subplots. A love story about the dwarf Kili and the elf Tauriel, for instance, adds no serious injury, and even some pleasure, given the photogenic charisma of the actors (Aidan Turner and Evangeline Lilly, who makes Spock ears both cool and hot).

Alfrid Lickspittle, on the other hand, is destined to become the trilogy’s Jar Jar Binks. A character not sprung from Tolkien’s pen, this cowardly buffoon — who at one point dresses as a woman to get out of fighting — is tonally all wrong, reducing what should be an epic clash of good vs. evil to a Saturday morning cartoon whenever actor Ryan Gage is on screen. “Your slip is showing,” the heroic Bard (Luke Evans) wisecracks to ­Alfrid, before rushing off to save the world.

“Five Armies” opens where the previous film left off, with the awakening of the aforementioned dragon, who lays waste to Laketown and its inhabitants in the very first scene. A gorgeous excess of CGI destruction, the sequence is rendered (“filmed” would be the wrong word) in a fiery palette of burnished bronze tones. It’s exciting to watch, if empty spectacle. Every movement, every glance seems choreographed for maximum 3-D impact, with little room left for real feeling.

In its stead are sweeping vistas and scenes of stirring battle between humans, dwarves and elves on one side, and the goblinlike orcs on the other, all of whom want the gold that Smaug has left lying in his lair. These scenes dazzle the eye and quicken the pulse, but leave the heart unmoved.

This is the biggest problem. Jackson’s storytelling at this point is so driven by green-screen trickery and digital legerdemain that he seems to have forgotten about human emotion. (Actually, “human” is probably the wrong word here, given the story’s affinity for mythological beings.) Despite what you may think, Jackson’s failure is not an occupational hazard.

Gollum, for instance — a monster introduced in Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and seen more recently in the first “Hobbit” film — was a poignant screen presence. As played by Andy Serkis in a motion-capture suit, the character — part devil and part (fallen) angel — was all the evidence one needed that it’s possible to make viewers care about characters who couldn’t possibly exist, except in our imaginations.

There’s little emotion of the kind Jackson evoked, to such great effect, when the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) was thought to have fallen to his death, at the hands — er, tail — of the balrog in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” (You’ll just have to trust me on this one. We true fans wept.)

Another problem? There’s precious little hobbit.

Despite the film’s title, Bilbo, played charmingly by Freeman, is almost entirely absent. Despite two critical plot turns in which he provides invaluable service, the title character is relegated to second- or third-class status, swept away by scenes that alternate between grandiose mayhem and a protracted death match on an icy mountaintop between the dwarf-king Thorin (Richard Armitage) and the orc leader Azog (Manu Bennett). That last character, who is now the film’s grand villain, was only mentioned by Tolkien in passing.

But who’s counting?

You may, however, find yourself looking at your watch. At times, it feels as if “The Battle of the Five Armies” was filmed in real time. Others may wonder what the “five” armies refers to, if it’s men, dwarves, elves and orcs who are doing all the fighting. (I could tell you what the deus ex machina is, but that would ruin the surprise. It’s not much of one.)

In the end, “The Battle of the Five Armies” isn’t about numbers. Except maybe one. With three “Lord of the Rings” films under his belt, and now three “Hobbit” films done, Jackson seems to have written the definitive hobbit obit. Except for this: “The Battle of the Five Armies” hints, none too subtly, that there might one day be a seventh film bridging the two sagas — an “LOTR” prequel, and a sequel to “The Hobbit.”

Considering how Jackson has already hijacked Tolkien’s legacy, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

★ ★ ½

PG-13 for action and violence. 144 minutes

McKinley Nominates Impressive Group of West Virginia Students to Service Academies

The Gilmer Free Press

Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) has nominated 15 West Virginia students to United States service academies including the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S Military Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy. 

Congressional nomination is the first step in a process toward appointment to a military academy. Nominated students must also meet the stringent admission requirements of the academies to earn an appointment.

“These students are the future leaders of America,” said Rep. McKinley. “To earn this nomination they have excelled both inside and outside the classroom and shown strong leadership potential. Their hard work and exemplary character make me proud to be a West Virginian.”

“These young men and women have a strong desire to serve their country,” said McKinley. “I wish them the best for the future and look forward to seeing what they accomplish.”

The following students were nominated by Rep. McKinley based on their academic performance, extracurricular activity in their school and community, and personal recommendations:


Alexander Baumgartner (Parkersburg) attended Parkersburg High School and graduated 7th in his class.  Alexander was a member of the Key Club, ran cross country, and played soccer. He is currently enrolled at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Nominated to U.S. Military Academy at West Point and U.S. Air Force Academy.

Nicholas Cheuvront (Parkersburg) attends Parkersburg High School. While maintaining a challenging course load of Advanced Placement classes, Nicholas has been active in Scouting and community service. He is an all-state member of the track team, runs cross country, and is on the PHS swim team.  Nominated to U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy.

Issac “Ike” Childers (Fairmont) attends Fairmont Senior High School. He is active in student government and is a member of the National Honor Society. Issac was named 1st Team All-State in soccer and plays basketball.  Nominated to U.S. Air Force Academy.

Ethan Goldcamp (Morgantown) attends Morgantown High School. Ethan is ranked in the top ten percent of his class and has excelled as a leader in student government and Boys State. He plays football and was selected as captain of the lacrosse team.  U.S. Military Academy at West Point and U.S. Naval Academy

Hanna Hill (Parkersburg) attends Parkersburg High School. She has earned a high GPA while taking a heavy load of AP classes. Hanna has taken on leadership roles in a variety of organizations at her school and in Parkersburg, while also playing basketball and volleyball. Her sister currently attends West Point. Nominated to Merchant Marine Academy and U.S. Naval Academy.

Hunter Hill (Parkersburg) attends Parkersburg High School. Hunter has been active in his church and community service organizations, and has served as captain of his soccer team for the last two seasons. In the classroom Hunter has maintained good grades and was named to the Principal’s List for the past three years. Nominated to Merchant Marine Academy and U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Shandy Kuzava (Salem) attends Liberty High School in Harrison County. He has participated in Boys State and is a Flight Commander with the Civil Air Patrol. Shandy also runs track and cross country. Nominated to U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and U.S. Naval Academy.

Jacob Morgan (Grafton) attends Grafton High School. He has been a leader in a number of activities including student body government, drama, music, and athletics. Jacob attended the Naval Academy Summer Seminar and is ranked in the top ten percent of his class. Nominated to U.S. Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Naval Academy, and Merchant Marine Academy.

Nicholas Musgrave (Parkersburg) graduated from Parkersburg High School in 2013 and currently attends Hastings College in Nebraska. He is an Eagle Scout, is an editor on his college newspaper and has worked on political campaigns. Nominated to U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Seth Porter (Wheeling) attends Wheeling Park High School. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has been recognized for his excellence in math and science. Seth has participated in Boys State and is active in the theater and music programs at Wheeling Park. Nominated to U.S. Naval Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, and U.S. Air Force Academy.

Dominic Raymond (Morgantown) attends Trinity Christian High School in Morgantown where he is ranked first in his class. Dominic has been a leader in his student government and participated in Boys State and the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program. He was also selected as captain of the basketball team. Nominated to U.S. Air Force Academy.

Sallie Samolitis (Walker) attends Parkersburg High School. Sallie comes from a family with deep military roots. She is pursuing her black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a member of the PHS band. Nominated to U.S. Naval Academy.

John Terosky IV (Parkersburg) attends Parkersburg High School. He is in the top 10% of his high school class while carrying a course load with 10 AP classes. John is active in Scouting and is in the process of completing his Eagle Scout project. Nominated to U.S. Naval Academy.

Brady Watson (Ridgeley) attends Frankfort High School in Mineral County. Brady has excelled on the playing field as a four-year letterman on the Frankfort football team, which was runner up in the Class AA finals this year. He also lettered in basketball and track. He is a member of the National Honor Society and ranks in the top 10% of his class. Nominated to U.S. Naval Academy.

Mitchell Winkie (Bridgeport) attends Bridgeport High School. Mitchell is ranked first in his class and is active in Boys State, student government, and Civil Air Patrol. He is co-captain of the two-time state AA Championship Bridgeport football squad. Nominated to U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy.

2014-15 College Football Bowl and Playoff Results - 12.23.14

The Gilmer Free Press

2014-15 College Football Bowl and Playoff Results

Bowl Winner Score
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Nevada vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
The Gilmer Free Press Louisiana-Lafayette 3-16
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Utah State vs. UTEP
The Gilmer Free Press Utah State 21-6
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
Utah vs. Colorado State
The Gilmer Free Press Utah 45-10
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Western Michigan vs. Air Force
The Gilmer Free Press Air Force 24-38
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
South Alabama vs. Bowling Green
The Gilmer Free Press Bowling Green 28-33
Miami Beach Bowl
BYU vs. Memphis
The Gilmer Free Press Memphis 48-55
Boca Raton Bowl
Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
The Gilmer Free Press Marshall 52-23
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Navy vs. San Diego State
The Gilmer Free Press Navy 17-16

Sports News     141224

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►   Cato caps career with rout of Northern Illinois

Rakeem Cato finished off his illustrious career at Marshall by leading his team to a win in the inaugural Boca Raton Bowl.

Cato threw for 281 yards with three touchdowns and also rushed for two scores in the Thundering Herd’s 52-23 win over Northern Illinois.

“I was out there playing football, trying to execute the calls the best I can,“ Cato said.

The Miami Central High School product continued his stellar play for Marshall (13-1) and pushed his NCAA-record streak of games with a touchdown pass to 46 straight.

“That’s just him, when he’s on the biggest of stages he rallies,“ Marshall coach Doc Holliday said of Cato. “I’ve won national titles and I’ve been around a lot of future NFL quarterbacks and he’s the most competitive quarterback I’ve ever coached.“

Tommy Shuler, Cato’s longtime friend and teammate at Miami Central, hauled in 18 passes for 185 yards and a score, while Deon-Tay McManus and Angelo Jean- Louis had a touchdown grab apiece in the win. Shuler ended his career with 321 catches, a Conference USA record.

“(Shuler’s) a good player,“ Holliday added. “He’s one of the best receivers I’ve coached because he’s got that it factor.“

Devon Johnson rumbled his way to 131 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown for the Herd, who bounced back from their lone loss of the season against Western Kentucky to win the Conference USA championship game before their lopsided win on Tuesday.

Drew Hare went 15-of-27 through the air for 225 yards and a touchdown for the Huskies (11-3). He also added 50 yards on the ground.

Cameron Stingily rushed for a score and Christian Hagan went 3-of-4 on his field goal attempts in the loss.

“I told the seniors, great season, bad game,“ Huskies coach Rod Carey said according to the team’s website. “It was a terrible ending, but this game doesn’t overshadow the season or take away the MAC Championship.“

A pass interference penalty set up the first score of the game, a 19-yard pitch-and-catch from Hare to Juwan Brescacin. It was the 10th straight game Northern Illinois scored first.

Deandre Reaves got it right back, though, as he returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for a score.

Marshall got the ball back at the NIU 42 after a three-and-out for the Huskies. Shuler made three catches for 38 yards on the drive before Cato took a quarterback keeper and rushed for a 5-yard TD to give the Thundering Herd a 14-7 lead with under four minutes to play in the opening quarter.

The Huskies moved deep into Marshall territory on the following drive, but Hagan missed a 32-yard field goal attempt,

Johnson flipped the field with a 47-yard run to the NIU 14 which led to Justin Haig’s 28-yard field goal.

Northern Illinois again moved the ball into its opponents’ territory, but Joel Bouagnon was stuffed on three straight plays from inside the 5 to set up a 19- yard field goal from Hagan that summed up NIU’s night in the red zone.

Marshall went 6-for-6 on its red zone opportunities and the Huskies converted 4-of-5 chances, but Hagan was the beneficiary of most of those trips.

Shuler’s 42-yard catch-and-run on the Thundering Herd’s next touch preceded Johnson’s 2-yard TD run two plays later for a 24-10 margin.

Hagan booted a 30-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the half to cut the deficit to 24-13 at the break.

The Huskies recovered an onside kick to begin the second half and moved the ball to midfield prior to turning it over on downs.

Shuler hauled in a 6-yard TD from Cato later in the third to push the margin to 31-13.

“We just give a head non and he knows I have his back and to throw me the ball,“ Shuler said of his relationship with Cato.

NIU answered with two big plays. On the fourth play of the march, Hare hooked up with Aregeros Turner for a 30-yard gain, then Stingily rushed for a 24-yard score on the following play.

Marshall continued to move the ball as Cato capped an 11-play, 68-yard drive with an 11-yard TD toss to Jean-Louis to regain an 18-point cushion with two minutes left in the third. Cato put the game away early in the fourth with a 27-yard yard TD strike to McManus.

The Huskies moved into the red zone and settled for yet another field goal from Hagan, then Cato capped the scoring and his career with a 4-yard TD run.

Game Notes

Shuler entered the game needing three receptions to set the school record, breaking Josh Davis’ mark of 306 set from 2001-04. He also moved into fourth on Marshall’s all-time receiving yards list, passing Randy Moss (3,467) ... This was the only bowl that featured two conference champions ... Marshall has won three straight in the series ... The Herd had a 505-425 advantage in total yards ... Bouagnon rushed for 82 yards in the loss.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Navy edges SDSU in Poinsettia Bowl

Navy and San Diego State played sloppy football throughout the fourth quarter of the Poinsettia Bowl, but it was a missed field goal that sealed the Midshipmen’s victory.

Austin Grebe’s 24-yard field goal with 1:27 remaining moved Navy in front, and the Midshipmen survived a missed 34-yard attempt by Donny Hageman with 20 seconds left in Navy’s 17-16 triumph.

The teams combined for seven turnovers, including four in the final quarter, but Navy (8-5) overcame four from its side on the night to win a bowl game in back-to-back years for just the second time in school history. Last year, the Midshipmen dealt Middle Tennessee State a 24-6 loss at the Armed Forces Bowl.

Keenan Reynolds had just nine yards rushing, but ran for two scores for the Midshipmen.

“I have no idea how we won the game. Our defense didn’t flinch. They played phenomenal,“ Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said.

Donnel Pumphrey had 21 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown for the Aztecs (7-6), but his fumble set up Navy’s winning kick. Pumphrey had the ball stripped by Chris Johnson at the Navy 47 with 5:54 left. The Midshipmen then converted a 4th-and-1 at the SDSU 44 when Chris Swain rushed for 13 yards.

A facemask penalty set Navy back, but Ryan Williams-Jenkins rumbled down the right sideline 28 yards to the SDSU 13 to set up the go-ahead kick.

Quinn Kaehler found Eric Judge over the middle for a 32-yard gain. The ball was jarred loose and the play was originally ruled a fumble, which would have given Navy the ball at its 37. The call was overturned after a video review as Judge’s back hit the ground with the ball in his possession.

A 16-yard pass to Pumphrey helped to set up Hageman’s kick, but the junior, who made his first three attempts, was wide right to seal the outcome.

“Our field goal kicker is really good from any spot once you get inside about the 35-yard line he makes them from anywhere anytime. Honestly we were trying to score a touchdown and we thought if we didn’t make the touchdown he would kick the field goal and we would still win, but he didn’t kick it quite right,“ San Diego State coach Rocky Long said.

Williams-Jenkins and Reynolds fumbled on the first two Navy drives of the final quarter, while George Jamison picked off Kaehler for the other turnover of the period.

SDSU faced a 4th-and-5 from the Navy 12, but instead of kicking a field goal, Kaehler’s pass to Mikah Holder fell incomplete near the goal line with 8:45 left.

Reynolds came into the game with 1,182 rushing yard on the season, but was bottled up all night. He also completed just 3-of-7 passes for 17 yards. Swain had 72 yards on eight carries.

Kaehler finished 11-of-27 for 141 yards.

Reynolds came into the game off three straight games with at least 100 yards on the ground, but he was limited to minus-five yards on nine carries in the first half.

Kaehler was picked off to set up the Midshipmen at the Aztecs 42 less than three minutes into the game. Reynolds cut inside and scored on a 1-yard run midway through the opening quarter. Navy converted a 4th-and-3 from the SDSU 35 on a 10-yard run from Geoffrey Whiteside.

Pumphrey tied the game two minutes later on a 5-yard rush, and the Aztecs turned a Reynolds fumble into a 43-yard field goal from Hageman. A 37-yard kick extended the margin to 13-7 with 6:34 left in the half.

Navy pushed ahead 14-13 with 8:28 left in the third thanks to a 6-yard TD run from Reynolds up the middle after he faked a handoff. That finished a 92-yard march with rushes on every down of the 13-play drive.

DeBrandon Sanders fumbled when calling for a fair catch to set up the Aztecs at the Navy 18. It resulted in a 30-yard field goal from Hageman with 4:16 left in the third.

Game Notes

Pumphrey (1,867) surpassed George Jones’ (1,842) 1995 mark as the highest single-season rushing total in SDSU history ... The other time Navy won back- to-back bowl games was when the Midshipmen topped New Mexico, 34-19, in the 2004 Emerald Bowl and defeated Colorado State, 51-30, in the 2005 Poinsettia Bowl. Long was the head coach of that 2004 Emerald Bowl New Mexico team ... The Aztecs had won eight straight games against Service Academy foes ... San Diego State had its eight-game home field winning streak broken.

►   College Football Bowl Game Results

(Tuesday, December 23)

Final Score: Marshall 52, Northern Illinois 23

Rakeem Cato finished off his illustrious career at Marshall by leading his team to a win in the inaugural Boca Raton Bowl. Cato threw for 281 yards with three touchdowns and also rushed for two scores in the Thundering Herd’s 52-23 win over Northern Illinois. The Miami Central High School product continued his stellar play for Marshall (13-1) and pushed his NCAA-record streak of games with a touchdown pass to 46 straight. Tommy Shuler, Cato’s longtime friend and teammate at Miami Central, hauled in 18 passes for 185 yards and a score, while Deon-Tay McManus and Angelo Jean- Louis had a touchdown grab apiece in the win. Shuler ended his career with 321 catches, a Conference USA record. Devon Johnson rumbled his way to 131 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown for the Herd, who bounced back from their lone loss of the season against Western Kentucky to win the Conference USA championship game before their lopsided win on Tuesday. Drew Hare went 15- of-27 through the air for 225 yards and a touchdown for the Huskies (11-3). He also added 50 yards on the ground.

Final Score: Navy 17, San Diego State 16

Navy and San Diego State played sloppy football throughout the fourth quarter of the Poinsettia Bowl, but it was a missed field goal that sealed the Midshipmen’s victory. Austin Grebe’s 24-yard field goal with 1:27 remaining moved Navy in front, and the Midshipmen survived a missed 34-yard attempt by Donny Hageman with 20 seconds left in Navy’s 17-16 triumph. The teams combined for seven turnovers, including four in the final quarter, but Navy (8-5) overcame four from its side on the night to win a bowl game in back-to-back years for just the second time in school history. Last year, the Midshipmen dealt Middle Tennessee State a 24-6 loss at the Armed Forces Bowl. Keenan Reynolds had just nine yards rushing, but ran for two scores for the Midshipmen. Donnel Pumphrey had 21 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown for the Aztecs (7-6).

►   Chippewas meet Hilltoppers in inaugural Bahamas Bowl

Entering postseason play with identical 7-5 records, the Central Michigan Chippewas and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will take part in the inaugural Popeyes Bahamas Bowl a day before Christmas at Thomas Robinson National Stadium.

Central Michigan enjoyed a strong 2014 campaign, finishing 5-3 in Mid-American Conference play. This is Central Michigan’s sixth bowl game appearance in program history, with the latest postseason contest for the Chippewas occurring in the 2012 Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl, which coincidentally was against WKU and resulted in a 24-21 win over the Hilltoppers.

Western Kentucky got things started on the right foot in 2014 with a resounding 59-31 victory over Bowling Green. The team finished it off by taking down previously unbeaten Marshall, 67-66, in overtime. This is only the second bowl game for WKU since moving up from the Division I-AA (now FCS) level. The other bowl game was the loss to CMU in 2012.

That clash in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl in 2012 has served as the only time Central Michigan and Western Kentucky have met on the football field.

Although Central Michigan is entering this clash coming off a loss to Western Michigan, 32-20, the Chippewas should be fired up after the success the team was able to sustain this season, especially on the offensive end. Quarterback Cooper Rush was much improved, leading his team to a 25.2 ppg average by throwing for 2,664 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

It’s been Central Michigan’s run game, though, that has surprised at 158.7 ypg. Thomas Rawls is at the center of that core groups of backs, averaging 122.6 rushing ypg with 10 touchdowns in just nine games played. Rawls is probable to play in the Bahamas Bowl after dealing with leg issues for a good portion of the season. Either way, Devon Spalding (four touchdowns) and Saylor Lavallii (four touchdowns) will be ready to provide assistance if necessary.

Rush was boosted by the return of several top targets this season, including that of senior receiver Titus Davis. Davis missed time in the season due to injury, but still hauled in 54 passes for 843 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine games played. Jesse Kroll provided a nice secondary threat for Rush if Davis was swallowed up by an opposing defense, catching 32 passes for 473 yards and four touchdowns, though he did most of his damage early on in the year.

Defensively, the Chippewas came together at certain points during the season, but it wasn’t as cohesive and smooth as coach Dan Enos probably would have liked. The Chippewas averaged 23.2 ppg allowed to opponents, which is a respectable number. But 144 points for the opposition this season came off of Central Michigan turnovers, something Enos would naturally like to eliminate moving forward into next season.

Linebacker Justin Cherocci led Central Michigan with 107 tackles this season, adding in decent numbers in tackles for loss (seven) and sacks (four). Linemen Joe Ostman (10 tackles for loss, three sacks) and Blake Serpa (11.5 tackles for loss, four sacks) were much more disruptive in opponents’ backfields over the course of the season. Tony Annese (three interceptions, 10 pass breakups) and Brandon Greer (three interceptions) will try to lock things down against a strong WKU passing game.

“I want to thank the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl for the invitation to be a part of its inaugural game,“ Enos said. “Playing in our sixth bowl game in the past nine seasons is a great accomplishment for this program. Western Kentucky is a great team and I expect a hard fought game when we face off on December 24.“

The Chippewas will have their work cut out for them defensively, as they prepare to take on the nation’s top statistical quarterback in Brandon Doughty of Western Kentucky. Doughty leads the FBS with 4,344 passing yards and 44 touchdowns, which is six more than Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, who won the Heisman Trophy. Doughty is the main reason the Hilltoppers average 44.0 ppg and 525.2 total offensive ypg.

The team’s running game hasn’t been too shabby either, even following the loss of Antonio Andrews to the NFL. Leon Allen paces the Hilltoppers this season with 1,490 yards and 12 touchdowns out of the backfield for a WKU offense averaging 160.2 rushing ypg. Anthony Wales contributed four touchdowns on the ground during the season as well.

Doughty had a strong year passing the football. Jared Dangerfield led the Hilltoppers with 64 receptions and 10 touchdowns, though his 738 receiving yards fell just short of Taywan Taylor’s 739-yard mark. Willie McNeal and Taylor each hauled in seven touchdown catches, and Antwane Grant caught five.

While WKU did a steady job burying teams offensively to the point where the opposition simply couldn’t keep pace, the team’s defense appeared capable of taking some time off. The Hilltoppers allowed opponents to score 39.2 ppg this season and gain over 500 yards of total offense per outing. Nine times this year Western Kentucky surrendered 31 points or more in a game, and four of those opponents scored at least 50 points.

Nick Holt registered a team-best 103 tackles this season with seven tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries. Though he led the team in the tackle category, the real brightest stars on WKU’s defense were Branden Leston (four interceptions), Bryan Shorter (5.5 sacks) and Wonderful Terry, who had several game-clinching turnovers. The WKU defense allows 229.7 rushing ypg to opponents, so Central Michigan will really be hoping for Rawls to be healthy in this one.

“It is a tremendous reward and opportunity for our players and coaches who have worked incredibly hard this season,“ said WKU head coach Jeff Brohm. “A bowl game is one of our goals at the beginning of every season, and to be able to realize and achieve that goal is a credit to their attitude and willingness to put in the effort to get better each and every week.“

►   Fresno State tangles with Rice in Hawaii Bowl

The Fresno State Bulldogs find themselves in familiar surroundings on Christmas Eve, as they take on the Rice Owls in the 13th annual Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium.

The Bulldogs, who compete against the University of Hawaii in this same facility during Mountain West Conference play, are no strangers to the lay of the land in Honolulu, but this time around they’ll be focusing their attention on a non-conference foe in the Owls. Unlike last season when Fresno State was a threat to disturb the delicate balance of the BCS by running the table, this time around the Bulldogs were built on small streaks that both helped and hindered their prospects of making it to the postseason.

The Bulldogs registered a series of four three-game win streaks and skids over the course of the regular season. Luckily, the team played just well enough to win the tiebreaker in the West Division of the MWC to claim the regular-season title over San Diego State and take part in the conference title game against Boise State. However, the squad came up short against the nationally-ranked Broncos, 28-14, but because they were already bowl eligible prior to the defeat they were still invited to Hawaii.

“We are thrilled to be playing in the Hawaii Bowl against Rice,“ Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter notes. “Having been to the Hawaii Bowl just two years ago, our staff and players know that we are in for a fantastic week.

“I am extremely proud of this year’s team, who battled and persevered all season long. We now look forward to competing against a highly respected Rice Owls team and look to send this special senior class out the right way with a victory.“

The Bulldogs, who have a record of 12-14 in bowl games, lost that most recent appearance in the Hawaii Bowl to SMU and former Hawaii head coach June Jones, by a score of 43-10. Last season, the team was crushed by USC in the Las Vegas Bowl as well, 45-20.

As for the Owls, they are appearing in a bowl game for the third straight year, the first time that’s happened in school history. Like the Bulldogs, Rice got off to a shaky start to the regular season, but rebounded to register a six-game win streak between the end of September and the start of November. However, the final game of the regular season for a team that finished 7-5 overall, saw the Owls being blown away by Louisiana Tech, 76-31.

Nevertheless, head coach David Bailiff has gotten beyond that excruciating defeat and is looking forward to being in Hawaii.

“This is a great day for Rice Football and one that is a great reward for all the hard work that our players and staff have put into this program,“ Bailiff noted when the Owls accepted their invitation. “I know they are very proud to be the first team to earn a third straight bowl berth and they have the longest active bowl streak in Conference USA, but they are not going to be satisfied with a bid.“

The Owls took part in the Liberty Bowl last season where they bowed to Mississippi State, 44-7, snapping what had been a two-game, bowl win streak that now has the program sitting at 6-5 in the postseason.

In terms of the all-time series between these programs, this is the seventh meeting and all six previous encounters were won by the Bulldogs. The most recent battle between the former Western Athletic Conference foes took place in 2004 when Fresno State thoroughly beat down Rice, 52-21.

Both of these programs began the season 0-3 making them just the 20th and 21st programs since 1980 to drop three in a row to begin the season and still be heading to a bowl game.

Obviously, with their inconsistent play this season, the Bulldogs have some kinks to work out before they hit the field in Hawaii, although the offense is slightly better off than the defense currently. Quarterback Brian Burrell had an up-and-down campaign as he completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 198.2 ypg and a total of 22 touchdowns, but at the same time he tossed 16 interceptions which killed promising drives time and time again.

By far his favorite target was all-conference wideout Josh Harper who caught a staggering 86 passes, 55 more than his closest teammate, leading to 1,072 yards and seven touchdowns. Greg Watson made the most of his 31 catches in 12 games by reaching the end zone five times, the same going for Chad Olson who recorded four TDs on a mere 12 grabs.

Coming out of the backfield, Marteze Waller gave Burrell another option as the running back carried the ball 210 times for 1,292 yards and 11 TDs, while Josh Quezada supplied support with 473 yards and five scores as well.

Defensively, the Bulldogs were in complete disarray early on, surrendering no less than 52 points to the first three opponents on the schedule. It’s been difficult to recover from those awful efforts from a statistical standpoint, which is why Fresno State ranks 108th in the country with 455.5 ypg allowed and 102nd in run defense (206.9 ypg). Kyrie Wilson had a decent season as he led the program with 88 tackles, logged six stops for loss, intercepted a pair of passes and forced two fumbles, but still it was a rough campaign for the unit.

Rice, which lost to Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Old Dominion coming out of the gate this season, is led on offense by quarterback Driphus Jackson who needs just 116 more yards to reach 3,000 yards of total offense and become just the third player in program history to produce such a number in a single season. Jackson completed 57.3 percent of his attempts for 210.3 ypg and 21 TDs, against eight INTs. He was also third on the squad in rushing with 360 yards, trailing only Jowan Davis (910 yards, six TDs) and Darik Dillard (651 yards, 10 TDs).

Despite missing three games, wide receiver Jordan Taylor was still head-and- shoulders above the rest of the receiving corps as he caught 49 passes for 781 yards and six touchdowns, although Mario Hull, with his 29 grabs for 539 yards, had one more score to his credit.

Over on the other side of the ball, the biggest stumbling block for the Owls was their pass defense as it ranked 105th in the nation with an efficiency rating of just 141.26. The biggest issue for the group was that it registered a mere seven interceptions, with Ryan Pollard the only player with multiple picks (two). However, at the very least the team has a beast attacking the line of scrimmage in Brian Nordstrom who registered 18.5 of his 43 stops behind the line of scrimmage and was second on the unit with 7.5 sacks. Zach Patt, who set a school record with five sacks and added three forced fumbles in the meeting with FIU, led the program with 8.5 sacks overall.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Redskins LB Murphy to miss season finale

Washington Redskins rookie linebacker Trent Murphy will not play in Sunday’s season finale against the Dallas Cowboys.

Murphy was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after breaking his hand in Saturday’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles. He fractured the third metacarpal in his right hand.

A second-round pick out of Stanford, Murphy started the last eight games and registered 2 1/2 sacks and 32 tackles this season.

The Redskins filled the spot on the active roster by signing offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson from the New York Giants’ practice squad. The team also signed wide receiver Colin Lockett to its practice squad.

►   Browns sign QB Thigpen

The Cleveland Browns signed quarterback Tyler Thigpen on Tuesday.

Thigpen, who spent time with the Browns in training camp before being released, was added to the mix because rookie Johnny Manziel will sit out Cleveland’s season finale against Baltimore with a hamstring injury and Brian Hoyer is dealing with a shoulder injury.

Undrafted rookie Connor Shaw is an option for the Browns, but Thigpen has more experience.

A seventh-round pick by Minnesota in 2007, the 30-year-old Thigpen has played in 29 games but none since 2012. He started 11 games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008.

The Browns waived fullback Ray Agnew to open a spot on the active roster for Thigpen, who has passed for 3,222 yards with 21 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

The team also re-signed defensive lineman Christian Tupou to the practice squad.

►   Ravens place OT Wagner on IR

The Baltimore Ravens placed Rick Wagner on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season.

The second-year offensive tackle suffered a foot injury in Sunday’s loss at Houston. He started each of the Ravens’ 15 games this season.

Baltimore promoted defensive end Steven Means from the practice squad to fill Wagner’s spot on the active roster.

The team also signed offensive linemen Nate Menkin and Joe Unga to the practice squad and waived defensive end Zach Thompson.

The Ravens remain in the hunt for a wild-card berth. They will secure a playoff spot if they beat the visiting Cleveland Browns in Sunday’s regular- season finale and the San Diego Chargers lose at Kansas City.

►   Falcons shut down Moore for season

The Atlanta Falcons placed safety William Moore on injured reserve Tuesday.

Moore had been placed on injured reserve/designated to return on September 30 after he separated his shoulder in a Week 4 loss at Minnesota.

The 2012 Pro Bowl selection missed seven games then returned on November 30 against Arizona, played one more game before sitting out on December 14 against the Steelers, and suffered a shoulder injury in last Sunday’s 30-14 win in New Orleans.

A sixth-year pro out of Missouri, Moore finishes the 2014 season with 25 tackles in seven appearances.

Atlanta signed safety Sean Baker to the active roster and inked running back Ronnie Wingo to the practice squad.

►   Vikings waive Tate a month after picking him up

The Minnesota Vikings waived running back Ben Tate on Tuesday.

Tate was waived by the Browns in mid-November and quickly picked up by the RB- needy Vikings. He only played three games for Minnesota and gained 38 yards on 13 carries.

The Auburn product signed with the Browns as a free agent in March after spending his first three seasons with Houston. He started six games and rushed for 333 yards with a 3.1-yard average and four touchdowns with the Browns.

Tate, 26, ran for 771 yards with four touchdowns and caught 34 passes for 140 yards in 14 games last season and has accumulated 2,363 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in 51 NFL games.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   NFL Fantasy Player of the Week - Week 16

Championship Week. When the cream rises to the top and the winners grab the brass ring.

But in a one-and-done situation, it’s the ultimate “crapshoot.“

Just ask Andrew Luck’s owners. For 14 games the Indianapolis Colts third-year quarterback had carried them, leading the league in fantasy points. He still does, but with fantasy titles on the line he came up with a rare clunker in Dallas.

Oh, the humanity!

The following players were the best at their positions in Week 16.

Quarterbacks -

Russell Wilson, Seattle - When Wilson is “on” it’s an impressive sight. Sunday night against a supposedly very good Cardinals defense, he was at his best. Wilson threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 88 yards and one touchdown and makes Seattle look like the strongest challenger to hold the Lombardi Trophy for a second consecutive year.

Eli Manning, New York Giants - Great players raise the game of those around them and rookie Odell Beckham Jr. is proving that theory in New York. Manning has been a much better quarterback since the rookie appeared in Week 5. Sunday was Eli’s best game of the season, throwing for 391 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover worth 31 fantasy points.

Running Backs -

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle - Lynch’s 79-yard touchdown run wasn’t quite as good as the 2010 playoff run against New Orleans, but it was close. He finished the day with just 10 carries, but 113 yards and two touchdowns.

Frank Gore, San Francisco - Gore had gone nine games without reaching triple digits, but fantasy owners who stuck with him were rewarded in Championship Week with his best game of the season - 158 yards and a touchdown worth almost 27 fantasy points.

Wide Receivers -

Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants - Beckham Jr. has become a regular in this column over the second half of the season. He had eight catches for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns on Sunday against the Rams and over the past eight games he’s amassed 1,014 yards (126.7 ypg) and eight touchdowns. He’s even making Eli look good.

Emmanuel Sanders, Denver - Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders shook off the flu to catch six of seven passes for 70 yards and two scores. He has been one of the best surprises of 2014, taking over the “Eric Decker role” in the Broncos’ offense and posting better numbers (95-1,331-9) than his predecessor.

Tight Ends -

Luke Willson, Seattle - Injuries to Zach Miller, Anthony McCoy and Tony Moeaki allowed Willson some playing time and Sunday night Wilson used Willson to his advantage. The tight end caught two touchdown passes, one of 80 yards to amass 30 fantasy points.

Antonio Gates, San Diego - Gates can’t run anymore, but he’s still Philip Rivers’ favorite target. On Saturday, he caught seven passes for 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns worth 24 fantasy points.

Kickers -

Randy Bullock, Houston - Bullock’s shaky first season is a thing of the past and he’s much improved in 2014. Sunday he went 6-of-6 for a position-leading 19 fantasy points.

Defense/Special Teams -

Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons came up with a big game at a most unexpected moment. In the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Atlanta sacked Drew Brees five times, intercepted him two times and forced two fumbles, including a Osi Umenyiora 86-yard touchdown return.

And the winner of the TSN Fantasy Player of the Week for Week 16 is ... Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. His 427 yards of offense came at the perfect time for fantasy owners.

►   Ten best ways to celebrate a championship

The regular season has one week remaining, but the fantasy season for a vast majority of leagues has concluded.

For those who brought home the hardware, it’s time to celebrate.

Trash talking is always the “go-to” celebration move, but a milestone nearly as meaningful as say, marriage or the birth of your children (note to future wife, I’m kidding), needs further commemoration than that.

For the purposes of the kiddies and my job, we will be keeping it PG, but here are ten creative ways to celebrate your 2014 fantasy football championship.

Seek out the doubters

There is such a thing as winning with class, however, occasionally it’s necessary to remind those who said you couldn’t win that they were, once again, wrong.

Every league has that guy in Week 11, who said he would end your season. Then on “Monday Night Football”, Le’Veon Bell dropped 30 points and rallied your team to a two-point victory.

If all else fails, Adam Sandler’s “Who’s laughing now clown,“ is always an appropriate thing to shout to a beaten opponent.

Pop the “root beer”

Jerome Bettis said his kiss of the Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl XL was the sweetest kiss he ever had. Now, I’m not suggesting breaking out the Chapstick to pucker up, although there is absolutely no shame in that, breaking out a nice 20 ounce Barqs Root Beer bottle to drink from the trophy is more my style.

The french vanilla just smells like victory.

Carve name in trophy

Although the NHL has done its best to mess up the game of hockey, the sport does something better than every other major American sport: the championship trophy.

A 35-pound fantasy trophy is probably a little excessive mostly because that likely won’t fit as the center piece at Christmas dinner. A 10-pound trophy is more than efficient and more importantly, get a professional to carve your name in it.

Work desk banner

Owners can never forget to thank the fans who supported them all season long.

What fans you ask? Well, why else would fantasy leagues post home and away records. One of my teams went 7-0 at home, so I must have had some type of home-field advantage because ESPN would never post an irrelevant statistic.

Without a true home field to raise a championship flag, maybe a banner at the work desk or cubical is appropriate. All the co-workers you beat this season will love it.

Championship T-shirts

They will also love the championship T-shirt and DVD combination commemorating your winning season. Just don’t forget to send the runner-up’s championship T-shirt to Africa.

New football jersey

Where do the diehard fantasy owners true loyalties lie? If Aaron Rodgers carried an owner to the fantasy promise land, can he wear his jersey even though he is a Bears fan?

That combined with the trophy centerpiece would really make for an interesting family Christmas.

Championship ring

Thought a big trophy with your name on it was over-the-top? Fantasy championship rings and belts are also for sale.

Update the twitter bio

Don’t bother with a job description or a list of interests. A short and sweet bio stating “six-time fantasy football champion” is all people really need to know.

Nike commercial deal

This can be a bit dicey. Owners don’t want your players getting too upset that you are getting all the attention with Nike and Gatorade deals.

Make sure in all your press conferences you allocate the proper credit to the players and the rest of the coaching staff.

Start preparing for next season

Do you think Bill Belichick bothers with twitter bios and championship gear? Have you ever seen him in a commercial?

That’s why he is the best and if owners want to remain the best, success can’t go to their heads. Yes, I’m comparing myself and other owners to Belichick, though, I look better in a sweatshirt.

Congratulations to the 2014 fantasy champions. Enjoy it.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Boys Area High School Basketball Game Results

(Tuesday, December 23)

#10 Gilmer County 48     #9 Charleston Catholic 46

Braxton County 62     South Harrison 53

Lewis County 51     Buckhannon-Upshur 44

#6 Fairmont Senior 55     #1 Robert C. Byrd 54

►   Girls Area High School Basketball Game Results

(Tuesday, December 23)

Lewis County 62     Liberty 29

Lincoln 64     Robert C. Byrd 41

Roane County 58     Webster County 44

Clay County 45     Poca 28

The Gilmer Free Press

►   MEC Men’s Basketball Player of The Week Honors

Shepherd’s Morgan McDonald is the Mountain East Conference Player of the Week after helping the Rams to a pair of non-conference wins last week.

McDonald, a senior from Inwood, WV, averaged 27.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in two games. He shot 71% (17-of-24) from the floor, including 78% (7-of-9) from behind the arc as the Rams improved to 7-3 on the year. He matched his career high with 31 points in a 91-79 victory over Davis & Elkins, and followed it up with 24 points in limited action in a win over Penn State Mont Alto.

Other Top Performances

Tanner McGrew (WVWC) had 19 points and 16 rebounds in a non-conference victory over Shaw ...

Lawrence DeArmond (NDC) had 27 points, including 17 in the second half, in a victory over Malone ...

Seger Bonifant (WLU), the nation’s leading scorer, added 28 points in West Liberty’s lone game last week ...

Rob Reed (CU) had a career-high 25 points as the Mountain Lions handed Bluefield State a loss.

2014-15 MEC Players of the Week
Week Player (Team)
November17 Seger Bonifant (WLU)
November 24 Donte Morales (GSC)
December 01 Mike Boyd (CU)
December 08 C.J. Hester (WLU)
December 15 Devin Hoehn (WLU)
December 22 Morgan McDonald (SU)

►   MEC Women’s Basketball Player of The Week Honors

Notre Dame’s Martha Nagbe has been named Player of the Week after leading the Falcons to a 2-0 record last week.

Nagbe, a junior from Lakewood, Ohio, averaged 23.5 points, four assists and 2.5 steals as NDC picked up wins over Ursuline and Cedarville. She netted 21 points in a win over the Arrows, and then went for 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting as the Falcons handed the Yellow Jackets just their second loss of the season.

Other Top Performances

Liz Flowers (WLU) averaged 34.5 points in a 1-1 week, including a 40-point performance against Cedarville ...

Melea Smith (CU) averaged 15.5 points in two games ...

Hailey Garrett (FSU) filled the stat sheet with 22 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in a win over Bluefield State.

2014-15 MEC Players of the Week
Week Player (Team)
November17 Hallie Gunnoe (FSU)
November 24 Hailey Garrett (FSU)
December 01 Nichole Perry (UC)
December 08 Jacqueline Kestner (CU)
December 15 Cara Mason (SU)
December 22 Martha Nagbe (NDC)

<The Gilmer Free Press

►   Top-25 College Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Tuesday, December 23)

Final Score: UNLV 71, (3) Arizona 67

No. 3 Arizona had won 39 consecutive non- conference games in the regular season, the longest active streak in Division I men’s basketball. That run is now over thanks to a 71-67 loss to UNLV on Tuesday. Christian Wood scored a career-high 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Runnin’ Rebels (8-3).

Final Score: (4) Louisville 80, CS-Northridge 55

Wayne Blackshear stepped up in Montrezl Harrell’s absence and scored a career-high 31 points to help No. 4 Louisville take down Cal State-Northridge, 80-55, in its final tune-up before Saturday’s showdown with Kentucky. Blackshear was given a larger role on Tuesday with Harrell, a preseason All- American, serving a one-game suspension and the senior delivered in a big way. Blackshear shot 11-for-17 from the floor, made six 3-pointers and pulled down six rebounds. Terry Rozier added 16 points for the Cardinals (11-0), who will look to stay unbeaten when they host No. 1 Kentucky at the KFC Yum! Center this weekend. Stephen Maxwell and Stephan Hicks posted 20 and 19 points, respectively, for Northridge (3-10).

Final Score: (7) Villanova 92, NJIT 67

Dylan Ennis led six players in double figures with 17 points, as No. 7 Villanova subdued NJIT by a 92-67 count at the Pavilion in a game which was much closer than the score indicated—or the matchup might suggest—for quite some time. Ryan Arcidiacono added 16 for the Wildcats (12-0), who trailed by as many as seven early in the second half but who used a surge shortly thereafter which ultimately led them to victory. Phil Booth contributed 14 points and Daniel Ochefu picked up 13 points with 10 rebounds for Villanova, which hadn’t won 12 games to begin a season since 1961-62. Damon Lynn provided 13 points for the Highlanders (5-8), who fell short in their bid for a second shocking road victory against a ranked opponent this year. Tim Coleman poured in 12 and Winfield Willis had 10 before fouling out.

Final Score: Stanford 74, (9) Texas 71 (OT)

Anthony Brown scored a season-high 25 points, including the go-ahead layup with 1:08 remaining in overtime, as Stanford upset No. 9 Texas 74-71 at the Erwin Center. Chasson Randle added 22 points and combined with Brown to go 7-of-12 from 3- point range to help the Cardinal snap a 15-game win streak for the Longhorns on their home court. Stanford (7-3) shot 43.3 percent from the field, the highest percentage by any Texas opponent this season, and received a career-best 14 rebounds from freshman Reid Travis to earn their first true road win in 2013-14. Javan Felix finished with 19 points for Texas (10-2), but missed a contested 3-point try with time winding down in overtime that sealed the outcome. Jonathan Holmes and Kendal Yancy each had 14 points in the loss.

Final Score: (11) Wichita State 80, Hawaii 79 (OT)

Rashard Kelly scored a career-high 12 points and sent Wichita State into the finals of the Diamond Head Classic with a tip-in late in overtime. Ron Baker scored 17 points, Fred VanVleet had 13 and the 11th-ranked Shockers survived a scare from Hawaii in Tuesday’s semifinals, edging the host Rainbow Warriors 80-79. Wichita State trailed by three with a minute remaining in the extra session. Darius Carter made 1-of-2 from the foul line and VanVleet hit from deep, giving the Shockers a one-point lead. Roderick Bobbitt then slashed to the rim and dropped off to Michael Thomas, who restored Hawaii’s lead with a layup. But out of a timeout, Kelly played the role of hero for the Shockers. VanVleet put up a triple from the right wing, and Kelly timed his offensive rebound perfectly and got his tip to fall with 3.8 seconds showing. Out of timeouts, Bobbitt pushed the ball and found Thomas, whose off-balanced jumper missed as time expired. Wichita State (10-1) will meet George Washington in the finals.

Final Score: (14) Utah 80, South Dakota State 66

Brekkott Chapman had 22 points, Delon Wright scored 17 and No. 14 Utah beat South Dakota State 80-66 on Tuesday. Dakarai Tucker added 11 points for the Utes (9-2), who have won two in a row since falling to No. 10 Kansas two Saturdays ago. Cody Larson scored 13 points and Reed Tellinghuisen chipped in 12 to lead the Jackrabbits (9-4), who had a seven-game winning streak snapped.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Nothin’ but Net: Sizing up Smith suitors

We have had 24 hours to absorb the shock.

When the Detroit Pistons released Josh Smith, it was a jaw-dropper, not from a basketball perspective, but from a financial one. Smith has A LOT of money left on his contract and Stan Van Gundy just decided this disaster he inherited wasn’t worth the $30-$40 million.

The Smith/Greg Monroe/Andre Drummond trio has been a disaster somewhere ranging between new Coke and the Exxon Valdez. The last Motown trio to do this poorly, the federal government bailed it out.

So, applaud Van Gundy and the Pistons for putting basketball decisions over financial ones. The Pistons are terrible and jettisoning Smith won’t move the radar significantly either way. They won’t improve and Monroe and Drummond can work on chemistry in the hope that Monroe re-ups this summer.

But, where does Smith land?

Make no mistake, Smith was bad for the Pistons. Smith’s offensive numbers have been in decline and he shoots too many 3’s, but he can make some from long range. Smith is a stretch four who can still defend a little and, since he’s only 29, although a long-tenured 29, he’s got years left.

Any future employer needs to know that Smith will be motivated. He’s not a locker room cancer, but Smith’s enthusiasm has come in question. There are a few factors that might shed some light where Smith might be headed.

First, no team will claim him off waivers. The Philadelphia 76ers are the only squad with the cap room to do it, but with their allergic reaction to veteran talent, Smith doesn’t make sense. Nor should the 76ers look at Smith.

It’s possible, I guess, that some team like the Sacramento Kings, who have had a serious crush on Smith for over a year and tried to trade for him several times, might claim him. Personally, with the amount of money and two years left on that contract, if a team claims him, that team should have its charter revoked.

So, after Smith clears waivers, where are we at?

The Kings seem like a fringe candidate at best, despite their unfettered yearning. They can’t offer more than the minimum and don’t have a strong enough roster to contend, assuming title contention is something that interests Smith. The only reason Sacramento makes the list of suitors is because of how badly it wants to be on the list. Does Smith do them a solid for showing that love? Probably not, the NBA is a business, not a high-school courtship.

The Los Angeles Lakers are a team that I thought at first made a lot of sense, however, I’m cooling. Smith is going to be in a position to hand-select his next team, so why does a Lakers’ squad strapped for cash because of Kobe Bryant’s contract, and absent shot attempts because of Bryant’s selection, appeal to Smith?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to be attached to any available talent, but Smith doesn’t help them. Backup power forward, (and to be clear, Smith is a power forward, no more flirting with this small-forward thing) is actually a position of strength for Cleveland with Tristan Thompson.

Serious candidates only, please.

The Miami Heat are ones, according to reports. Their prize offseason addition, Josh McRoberts, is done for the season. Miami applied for a Disabled Player Exemption, which, presumably, it would use on Smith. If the NBA grants the Heat this exemption, they can offer more than anyone else for Smith’s services. Miami is lovely, although warm. Playing with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh isn’t hell and Smith’s presence could help. His adequate long-range ability is a plus for the Heat, as is his athleticism in Miami’s traps. Are they contenders enough to peak Smith’s interest?

The Dallas Mavericks have been mentioned a lot as contenders for Smith’s services. One of Smith’s closest friends in the world is Rajon Rondo. You may have heard he was recently traded to the Mavericks. Like most in this bidding war, Dallas can only offer the minimum and it would seem like a good fit considering the Mavs traded most of their frontcourt depth. I don’t think it is a good fit. The Mavs need true big-man depth. Someone like Jermaine O’Neal is a better match. Dallas can play plenty of guys to back up Dirk Nowitzki as stretch fours like Chandler Parsons, Richard Jefferson and, of course, Charlie Villanueva (no kidding, he went 4-for-6 from long range on Monday). Smith is obviously a better option, but if I was Mark Cuban, I’d buy an island. Sorry, if I was Mark Cuban, I’d try to spend what little money available under the cap on a more pressing need.

That leaves us with our final two.

The Los Angeles Clippers need some frontcourt help badly on the second unit. Spencer Hawes is sidelined with a bruised knee and frankly, he hasn’t been any great shakes out there this season. Smith is an upgrade over Glen Davis and pairing him with Hawes off the bench could work as both have solid universal skill sets. However, the Clippers have very little financial wiggle room. Minimum is the maximum offer, but otherwise, LA fits the bill nicely for what Smith should be looking for in a franchise. He’ll contend, play in a nice climate and for a well-run, professional organization.

But the Clippers don’t offer as much as Smith’s next employer.

The Houston Rockets can offer Smith more than the veteran’s minimum. The Rockets can give Smith the biannual exception which could net Smith $500,000 more than the minimum. (He will, and has, made a lot of money from Detroit, so is that half a mil worth it?)

If the friendship factor is a pressing issue for Smith, then Houston is in great shape there, too. Smith and Dwight Howard are tighter than some jeans and according to reports, Howard is pressing hard for Smith.

The Rockets have a decent climate and are contenders. That’s appealing, plus, Houston has a need for Smith’s skill set. The Rockets have been without Terrence Jones for some time and Smith’s stretch-ability at the four could be valuable. (Remember how badly Houston wanted Chris Bosh?) Defense is a priority in Houston these days and Smith won’t kill them on that front.

Houston makes the most sense. I wanted this to end with a darkhorse candidate swooping in, but the Rockets just make too much sense. You can check off every box and Houston fits best.  ~~  Jim Brighters ~~

►   NBA Game Results

(Tuesday, December 23)

Final Score: Cleveland 125, Minnesota 104

Kevin Love scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in his first game against his former team, as the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled away to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 125-104, at Quicken Loans Arena. The win may have been costly for the Cavaliers, who lost center Anderson Varejao to a left foot and ankle injury in the third quarter. Kyrie Irving scored 29 and LeBron James totaled 24 points for the Cavaliers, who have won three in a row and 12 of their last 15 games. That includes nine wins in their last 10 at home. Love, who played his first six NBA seasons for the Timberwolves, was dealt to Cleveland as part of a 3-team deal in the offseason. Minnesota acquired Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, the last two No. 1 overall picks in the draft. Wiggins scored 27 and Gorgui Dieng had a season-best 20 to go with 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost six in a row and 12 of their last 13 games to fall to 5-22 on the season.

Final Score: Indiana 96, New Orleans 84

George Hill was in the Indiana lineup for the first time all season and helped the Pacers to a 96-84 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. Hill, who missed Indiana’s first 28 games due to a right knee contusion sustained in the preseason, scored a team- high 15 points off the bench in 21 minutes of action. Roy Hibbert supplied 14 points, while Solomon Hill and David West each posted 13 points in the win, the Pacers’ second straight. Anthony Davis led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-18 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. Jrue Holiday scored 16 points with five rebounds and five assists, while Tyreke Evans netted 14 points with 11 rebounds for the Pelicans.

Final Score: Orlando 100, Boston 95

Tobias Harris scored 19 points, Kyle O’Quinn and Nikola Vucevic each recorded double-doubles, and the Orlando Magic fended off the Boston Celtics, 100-95, on Tuesday. The Magic won despite nearly blowing a 27-point lead in the fourth quarter. They were held to 15 points over the last 10 minutes, but did just enough to snap a four-game slide. O’Quinn and Vucevic each provided 18 points and combined for 25 rebounds. Tyler Zeller scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to pace the Celtics, who have dropped two in a row on the heels of a three-game winning streak. Jameer Nelson, playing his first game as a visitor in Orlando, finished with nine points and 11 assists and was vital in Boston’s near comeback.

Final Score: Chicago 99, Washington 91

Derrick Rose scored 25 points and the Chicago Bulls picked up another key road win, 99-91, over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday. Rose shot a combined 12-for-35 in the two games before missing two with an illness. Since his return, the former MVP has been lights out in a pair of crucial wins over two Eastern Conference contenders. Rose scored 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting against Toronto on Monday and hit 10-for-17 in Washington on Tuesday. His personal 6-0 run late in the game helped the Bulls extend the best road record in the East to 13-4. Pau Gasol had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls, winners in four straight games and seven of eight. Washington lost its second straight game on the heels of six consecutive wins despite John Wall’s 18 points and nine assists. Marcin Gortat posted a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double in defeat.

Final Score: Atlanta 107, LA Clippers 104

DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 25 points and the Atlanta Hawks closed out a tough five-game stretch with their fifth straight win, rallying from 13 down in the second half to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-104 on Tuesday night. Al Horford added 20 points and Paul Millsap scored 17 for the Hawks, who took the lead for good on Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer a minute into the fourth quarter and held on down the stretch to post their 14th win in 15 games. Blake Griffin scored 21 points to lead Los Angeles, but missed an off-balance 3-pointer as time expired after the Clippers bumbled an inbounds pass with 6.4 seconds remaining. DeAndre Jordan had 15 points and 22 rebounds in the loss, the Clippers’ fifth in their last eight games.

Final Score: Brooklyn 102, Denver 96

Joe Johnson scored 27 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 102-96 triumph over the Denver Nuggets at Barclays Center. Mason Plumlee added 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Jarrett Jack supplied 17 points and eight assists for the Nets, who have won two in a row following a three-game skid. Brook Lopez (lower back strain) returned from an eight- game absence and had six points in over eight minutes of court time for the Nets. Ty Lawson scored 29 to go with nine assists for the Nuggets, who lost for the fifth time in seven games. They’ve also dropped six straight on the road. Kenneth Faried had 20 points and 14 rebounds for Denver.

Final Score: Philadelphia 91, Miami 87

Don’t tell the Miami Heat the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t playing to win. The Sixers, despite having just eight healthy bodies, rallied from a 23-point deficit in Miami and stole a 91-87 decision away from the Heat to earn back-to-back victories for the first time this season. Michael Carter-Williams scored 20 points, handed out five assists and recorded six steals for Philadelphia, which was coming off Sunday’s win over Orlando and earned just its fourth win in 27 games. Luc Mbah a Moute donated 19 points and K.J. McDaniels added 13 off the bench for the victors. The Heat, perhaps looking ahead to a Christmas Day-showdown with LeBron James and the Cavaliers, took their foot off the gas pedal in the second half, as they shot just 27.8 percent from the field after the break. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 23 points, while Shawne Williams netted 17 in the loss, Miami’s third in its last four games.

Final Score: Charlotte 108, Milwaukee 101

Kemba Walker poured in 27 points to lead the resurgent Charlotte Hornets to a fourth straight victory, a 108-101 decision over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. Five other Charlotte players finished in double figures as the Hornets extended their season-best win streak, which followed a 2-14 stretch. Gerald Henderson chipped in 20 points, Al Jefferson had 12 along with nine rebounds and Marvin Williams went 4-of-5 from 3-point range in a 12-point effort off the bench. The Bucks dropped a seventh straight game to Charlotte despite a season-high 34 points from Brandon Knight. Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 12 and 11, respectively, in the loss.

Final Score: Portland 115, Oklahoma City 111 (OT)

Damian Lillard poured in 40 points on 11-of-21 shooting to go along with 11 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder, 115-111, in overtime on Tuesday. LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 25 points with nine rebounds and Wesley Matthews checked in with 22 points for the Blazers, who overcame a 10-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation to win for the sixth time in seven contests. Russell Westbrook also went for 40 points with 10 rebounds and six assists in the loss. But unlike Lillard, it took him a career-high 34 shot attempts to do it. Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka had 21 and 16 points, respectively, for Oklahoma City, which played without star Kevin Durant for a third straight game due to a sprained right ankle. The Thunder have lost three of their last four entering their showdown with the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on Christmas Day.

Final Score: Phoenix 124, Dallas 115

Eric Bledsoe picked up his second career triple-double to help the Suns hold off the Dallas Mavericks, 124-115, on Tuesday. Bledsoe scored 16 points, handed out 11 assists and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds in Phoenix’s fourth straight win. Goran Dragic paced the Suns with 25 points and Gerald Green added 22 off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Tyson Chandler netted 22 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki also scored 22 as Dallas dropped its second in a row.

Final Score: LA Lakers 115, Golden State 105

Not even former Lakers great Vlade Divac could miss as Los Angeles, playing without a resting Kobe Bryant, handed the Golden State Warriors their most unlikely loss of the season, 115-105, on Tuesday. The Warriors, an NBA-best 23-3 coming in, were shell-shocked at a lively Staples Center, as the Lakers built a huge lead by shooting 56.5 percent over the first three quarters and held on for a surprising win. Carlos Boozer led seven Los Angeles players in double figures with 18 points and added nine rebounds. Ronnie Price contributed 17 points and eight assists, Nick Young added 15 points, and Wesley Johnson and Ed Davis chipped in with 14 apiece to help snap LA’s three-game slide. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 22 and 18 points, respectively, but both sharpshooters were on the bench long before the final buzzer with the outcome never in question.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Giants finalize deal with Peavy

The reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants officially announced on Tuesday that they have re-signed veteran pitcher Jake Peavy to a two-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed by the team, though ESPN reported that Peavy will earn $7 million in 2015 and $13 million in 2016 in addition to receiving a $4 million signing bonus. The deal also includes a full no-trade clause.

Peavy flourished with the Giants after being acquired from Boston just prior to the July 31 trade deadline, posting a 2.17 earned run average and a 6-4 record over 12 regular-season starts. The 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner also made four postseason starts for San Francisco, going 1-2 with a 6.19 ERA.

The 33-year-old right-hander had been having a rough season with the Red Sox, winning just one time in 20 starts while pitching to a 4.72 ERA.

A three-time All-Star, Peavy owns a 139-111 career record with a 3.53 ERA over 13 major league seasons.

►   Cardinals strike deal with Walden

The St. Louis Cardinals and reliever Jordan Walden avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to terms on a two-year contract Tuesday.

The deal includes a club option for 2017.

St. Louis acquired the right-hander along with outfielder Jason Heyward in a trade with the Atlanta Braves last month.

Walden, 27, had a 2.88 ERA and struck out 62 batters in 58 appearances this past season. The Texas native is 12-13 with 38 saves and a 3.10 ERA in 231 career games for the Angels and Braves.

►   Twins ink P Stauffer

The Minnesota Twins signed pitcher Tim Stauffer to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

Stauffer, 32, will make $2.2 million next season, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The right-hander went 6-2 with a 3.50 earned run average over 44 games (three starts) last season with the Padres.

Over nine seasons with San Diego, Stauffer has compiled a 32-34 record with a 3.87 ERA and 435 strikeouts in 183 games (73 starts).

Minnesota also outrighted catcher Eric Fryer and outfielder Chris Parmelee to Triple-A Rochester.

►   Orioles’ claim Lavarnway off waivers

The Baltimore Orioles claimed Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

The Cubs had claimed the catcher off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.

Lavarnway, 27, played in 97 games for Boston over the past four years. The Red Sox designated him for assignment in late November after he batted .283 with three homers and 20 RBI over 62 games for Triple-A Pawtucket last season.

The Orioles released outfielder Quintin Berry to make room for Lavarnway on the 40-man roster. The 30-year-old Berry hit .285 with 25 stolen bases in 112 games for Triple-A Norfolk in 2014.

►   Cubs reach deal with C Ross

The Chicago Cubs continued to overhaul the catcher’s spot by agreeing to terms with veteran David Ross on a two-year contract.

Ross has caught nearly 700 games over 13 major league seasons, the last two of which were spent with the Boston Red Sox. The 37-year-old hit just .184 in 50 games last season, but had seven home runs in 171 at-bats.

Over 744 career games, Ross owns a .233 average with 95 homers and 273 RBI.

Ross is expected to serve as a right-handed hitting complement to Miguel Montero, whom the Cubs acquired from Arizona at the recent Winter Meetings. Chicago also still has last season’s starter, Welington Castillo, currently on the roster.

Tuesday’s signing reunites Ross with new Cubs ace Jon Lester, as the two were teammates on the Red Sox prior to Lester’s trade to Oakland last July.

►   Mets farmhand Mazzilli suspended 50 games

New York Mets minor leaguer L.J. Mazzilli has been suspended 50 games without pay for violating the Minor League Drug and Prevention Treatment Program.

This is the second positive test for Mazzilli, who is the son of former major leaguer Lee Mazzilli.

L.J. Mazzilli is currently on the roster for the Mets’ Single-A team in St. Lucie of the Florida State League. He has a career average of .293 with 15 homers and 113 RBI in 201 minor league games, mostly at the Single-A level.

►   Marlins nab P Claiborne off waivers

The Miami Marlins have claimed reliever Preston Claiborne off waivers from the New York Yankees, the team announced Tuesday.

Claiborne was designated for assignment by New York on Friday when the Yankees acquired fellow relief pitcher Gonzalez German from the Mets.

The 26-year-old right-hander appeared in 44 games as a rookie for the Yankees in 2013, compiling an 0-2 record with a 4.11 earned run average. Claiborne spent the majority of last season in Triple-A but did pitch in 18 games for the Bronx Bombers, going 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA over 21 innings.

The Gilmer Free Press

ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


College Football
Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky (Bahamas Bowl), 12:00 PM - ESPN
Fresno State vs. Rice (Hawaii Bowl), 8:00 PM - ESPN




EXTENDED Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

December 22-24, 2014

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Gilmer County Recreation Center - Shawnee Hall

Glenville, WV

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1200 thread ct. camo sheet sets, crafts, tools, home décor,
candles, melts and misc. items from the home.

Questions call 304.477.3654.

We Buy, Sell, and Trade.

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at Trinity United Methodist Church - 12.24.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

7:00 PM

Trinity United Methodist Church

112 E. Main Street

[Across from the Post Office in Glenville]

Horn Creek Baptist Church Christmas Eve Service - 12.24.14 - Tonight

The Gilmer Free Press

Christmas Eve Service (12.24.14) at Horn Creek Baptist Church

Services start at 7:00 PM

The church is located on 47W in Cox’s Mill, WV 26342

For more information, please contact Pastor Joe Sealey at 304.462.7895

How About Another Christmas Truce?

The Gilmer Free Press

On the evening of December 24th a century ago, peace broke out in the most unlikely of places. In the blasted, putrid trenches of Belgium and France, soldiers fighting on the Western Front put aside their arms in what became known as the Christmas Truce. Although World War I was then only a few months old, there had already been a million combat deaths. Many soldiers were weary of the futility and horrific costs of the war, and thousands of them spontaneously stopped trying to kill each other.

The drama began on Christmas Eve, as German soldiers lit up their Tannenbaums (Christmas trees), put them on top of their trenches in view of the Allied troops, and began to sing carols. From there, full scale fraternization became widespread. Troops put down their weapons, climbed out of the trenches and met in no-mans-land to pray and sing and exchange greetings and gifts. The cease fire continued into Christmas Day during which the dead were buried, toasts were exchanged and soccer games played.

The break in hostilities was actually a mutiny, not a truce. It was initiated by the soldiers themselves against express orders from military commanders. In fact, the political and military leaders on both sides were horrified when the shooting stopped, and did everything they could to force a rapid resumption of hostilities. Dire threats of severe punishment were issued, and the news was suppressed. But in spite of this, it took weeks for the fighting to resume in some areas. Lance Corporal Adolph Hitler, serving with the Bavarian Army, did not think much of the cease fire either.

The Christmas Truce is often portrayed as a singular event, and it is true that in the later years of the war there were few holiday cease-fires. But as the war ground on in its destructive stupidity, very large mutinies took place. In the East, the Russian army disintegrated, the soldiers voted with their feet, and went home to make revolution. There were also large-scale mutinies among German and French troops, weary of being fodder for cannons. Much of Europe, not just Russia, teetered on the brink of revolution.

In fact, military mutinies have been common throughout history. During the Napoleonic Wars entire British naval fleets rebelled over brutal treatment and sympathy with French republican ideals. Warships commanded by mutineers blockaded the port of London.

The United States armed forces have at times also rebelled, for a variety of reasons. During the Mexican American War of 1946 to 1948 an entire battalion of Irish immigrants went over to the Mexican side; and in the Civil War fraternization was widespread.

But it was during the Vietnam War that resistance from inside the US military was most consequential. By 1971 the U.S. military was nearly unable to function due to active dissent among all branches of the armed forces. Aircraft carriers could not put to sea, airmen declined to fly, and ground units did not engage. Disgruntled troops had as much or more to do with ending the war than the anti-war movement.

Upon reflection, it is incredible that crucial facts about our military adventures, such as GI resistance during the Vietnam War, are almost entirely absent from the news and history as it is taught. The topic is deemed inappropriate for young minds in our high schools and most universities, and has all but disappeared from the public consciousness. One cannot but wonder how free our free society actually is.

The citizens of the world can hope for another spontaneous truce from the trenches. Perhaps one day we can realize the dream of President Eisenhower, who observed, “I think people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.”

Fitting words in a season of hope.

~~  Arnold “Skip” Oliver ~~

Bon Appétit: Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Pinwheels

The Gilmer Free Press


1 box (9 oz) Green Giant™ frozen chopped spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1 egg, beaten


Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cook spinach in microwave as directed on box. Drain spinach in strainer; cool 5 minutes. Carefully squeeze with paper towel to drain well.

In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, bacon, chicken, cheese and mayonnaise.

Unroll dough on work surface. Spread spinach mixture on rectangle to within 1/2 inch of edges. Starting at long side of rectangle, roll up; seal long edge. With serrated knife, cut into 20 slices. Place cut side down on cookie sheet. Brush with egg.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

GFP - 12.24.2014
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G-MM™: Meditation Moment   141224


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.

Matthew 1:18-25 (New King James Version)

Christ is Born of Mary

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows:

After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.“

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,“ which is translated, “God with us.“

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

Notes on the Scripture

The word betrothed means something very similar to what we would call “engaged” today. But it was more binding; it was a legal contract. Even as late as 100 years ago in our own society, people rarely got stood up at the altar or broke an engagement; it happened, but it usually generated a lawsuit for breach of promise. In Hebrew culture of Joseph and Mary’s day, the period of betrothal was at least nine months, for a specific reason: to ensure that the bride was not pregnant by another man and could thus be presumed to be a virgin.
preRaphealite Madonna

The betrothal process, thus, was partly an assurance to the groom that he would not find himself responsible for another man’s child. But poor Joseph. He was obviously fond of his bride-to-be and had not slept with her, when suddenly he faced the prospective groom’s worst nightmare: his fiancée was pregnant, but not by him. But what a man Joseph proved to be; he loved Mary so much, that instead of breaking the engagement (which was the main purpose of the betrothal), he hid her from sight, so that she would not suffer the disgrace of her condition. The verse is not clear whether he still planned to marry her; possibly, the words “put her away” imply that he would break the betrothal, possibly not. Deuteronomy 24 does not require that divorce be public.

Or perhaps, more likely, he was confused and uncertain and was trying to make up his mind what to do, because today’s Scripture says that the angel came to him “when he considered this”.

So why was Joseph so willing to trust a dream he had? Matthew says, “All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet.“ This rang a bell with Joseph; every Hebrew knew the words of the great prophets Isaiah and Micah, and knew that the redeemer would be born to a virgin. So he was faced with the rather mind-boggling possibility that he would be the stepfather of God made flesh. Joseph was clearly a righteous man, because not only did he take Mary as his wife, but he allowed her to remain a virgin until Jesus was born.

We don’t find out very much about Joseph and Mary after this. They certainly lived in the fear of God, and went through quite an ordeal to keep Jesus safe from harm, moving to a foreign country (Egypt) on a moment’s notice. And we know that they traveled to attend religious festivals, because we see them traveling when Christ was 12 years old. But after that, they were a fairly normal couple. They don’t appear to have been either rich or poor. We do know that Jesus had younger siblings, so obviously they entered into a normal conjugal relationship, and had more children.

It is a bit heartwarming to think of this young man and woman thrust into these extraordinary circumstances; and on this day, we especially remember Mary, who gave birth to her first child, the child of God, lying on a pile of straw in a smelly stable. We are reminded of the humility of Christ’s birth, by being told that his first bed was a feed bin. The human side of Christ was an object lesson to all who would come to believe in him; the humility he preached was a humility he had lived.

Mavarine B. (Goodnight) Butler

The Gilmer Free Press

Mavarine B. (Goodnight) Butler

Age 83, of Bowie, Maryland, formerly of Calhoun County, WV, beloved mother and mamaw, passed away at her home on December 19, 2014, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on June 09, 1931 in Calhoun County, WV to the late Lawrence Hale Goodnight and Dessie Mae Richards Goodnight.

In the following years, they moved to the Leading Creek area where they resided for many years. She then moved to Maryland where she resided for over 50 years.

She is survived by her five children and their spouses: Edwin (Jill) Goodnight of Brohard, WV; Charlotte (Ron) Goff of Owings, MD; Charlene Harter of Bowie, MD; Teresa (Tony) Zelko of Bowie, MD; and Charles (Alice) Holmes of Big Bend, WV. She is survived by eight beloved grandchildren: Michelle Jones; Jackie Johnson; Paula Buchanan; Anthony Zelko; Marcus Zelko; Angel Miller; Tammy Brestensky; and Steve Miller. She is also survived by many great-grandchildren and beloved nieces and nephews.

She was married to the late Charles Ray Holmes, Sr., and after his passing, later remarried to the late William Orin Butler.

Funeral services will be held at Five Forks Community Church, Big Bend, WV at 2:00 PM Friday, December 26, 2014.

Rev. Alfred Hickman will officiate.

Interment will be in Goodnight Cemetery, Brohard, WV.

Visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to the time of service.

Stump Funeral Homes, Inc. is assisting the Butler family with arrangements.

Austin Nathan Dean

The Gilmer Free Press

Austin Nathan Dean

Age 79, of Heaters WV, passed away following an illness on December 23, 2014.

He was born on October 05, 1935, in Heaters, WV, to the late Arthur and Mary Dean.

Preceding Austin in death are his loving son, James Dean and brother Richard Pugh.

Austin is survived by his wife of 50 years, Vera (Slaughter) Dean; sons, Robert Dean, David Dean, and Charles Dean; daughters, Kathryn Sillman, Elizabeth Potts, and Deborah Cooke; seventeen grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Alvan Dean.

Austin was an avid collector of guns and enjoyed buying and trading for all makes and models. Attending auctions was another hobby that Austin enjoyed. He was an outdoors man with a love for hunting and fishing. Austin also loved spending time with friends, family, and especially his grandchildren. He also loved the company of his favorite companion, his dog.

The family will receive friends at Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home, 378 Flatwoods Corner Road, on Saturday, December 27, 2014 from 11 AM to 1 PM.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 27, 2014 at 1:00 PM with Reverend Earl Cayton officiating.

Interment will follow the services at Dean Family Cemetery.

Stockert-Paletti Funeral home is honored to be caring for the Dean family during this time.

Janice Audrey Norris

The Gilmer Free Press

Janice Audrey Norris

Age 78, of Jane Lew, WV passed away on Saturday, December 20, 2014 in United Hospital Center of Bridgeport following an extended illness.

She was born in Swampscott, MA on December 17, 1936: daughter of the late Arthur Jordan and Audrey (Dushuttle) Jordan.

On November 30, 1957, she married Thomas Norris, who preceded her in death on March 12, 1994.

Mrs. Norris is survived by two daughters: Julie (Alan)Cohen of Jane Lew and Jamie (Marc) Brown of Orlando, FL, one son: George Norris of Buckhannon, six grandchildren: Alanna Burnside, Thomas Cohen, Laura Critchfield, Allison Sweat, Kyle Brown and Travis Norris and four great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and husband, Thomas, Mrs. Norris was preceded in death by one son: Thomas Norris and one brother: Arthur Jordan.

Mrs. Norris worked in retail at Sears & Roebuckfor several years. She graduated from Lynn English High School in Lynn, MA and attended Chandler Secretarial School for Women in Boston, MA. She was active with the Lewis County Senior Center of Weston, WV. Her hobbies included gardening, playing cards and crossword puzzles.

At Mrs. Norris’s request, she was cremated.

There will be a Celebration of Life Memorial service with interment in a family cemetery at a later date.

Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home of Weston is honored to serve the family of Janice Audrey Norris.

Rosemary Casto Allman

The Gilmer Free Press

Rosemary Casto Allman

Age 87, of Two Lick Rd. Jane Lew, WV passed away at 8:38 PM on Thursday December 18, 2014 at her residence following a massive stroke.

She was born in Weston, WV on October 03, 1927 a daughter of the late Russell Casto and Hazel Steele Goodwin.

On October 07, 1945 she married William D. Allman and they enjoyed 54 years of marriage before his passing on November 08, 1999.

She is survived by three children: Tim B. Allman and wife Sharon of Good Hope, Cathy Woodson of Fairmont, and BethAnn Armentrout of Good Hope; seven grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by the father who raised her, Hayward F. Goodwin; aunt and uncle, James and Edith Vandervort, a special cousin, James Vandervort Jr,; and son-in-law, Butch Woodson.

Rosemary graduated from Weston High School Class of 1945 and she later assisted with coordinating their class reunions. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and homemaker. She was a member of the Farm Women’s Club of Good Hope.

She was a member United Methodist Women, Extension Homemaker’s, and the New Bethel United Methodist Church in Good Hope, where she served many church dinners and sang in the choir providing many beautiful solos.

She was a book reader for the children at West Milford Grade School, and she and Bill square danced with the Centennial Squares in Clarksburg. They danced in full attire at the Clarksburg YMCA for many years. They also traveled extensively, loved vacationing in Myrtle Beach, and tailgated with friends at the WVU games. She loved to cook and bake for her family, especially during the holidays, and they will greatly miss her homemade caramels this Christmas.

Rosemary’s request for cremation has been honored and family and friends will gather at the New Bethel United Methodist Church in Good Hope from 12:30-1:30 PM on Saturday January 03, 2014.

A Celebration of Life Service will follow at 1:30 PM with Reverend Robin Ray and Reverend Destry Daniels officiating.

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

Troy Lee McDonald, Sr.

The Gilmer Free Press

Troy Lee McDonald, Sr.

Age 66, of Grantsville, WV passed away Tuesday, December 23, 2014, at his home.

He was born August 01, 1948 in Grantsville, WV, a son of the late Leonard and Ethel Stemple McDonald.

He is survived by his wife, Flossie Wilson McDonald; daughters Laurie McDonald and Amy McDonald, both of Fayetteville, NC; brothers Larry McDonald of Mt. Zion, WV; Ralph McDonald of East Canton, OH; Mavin McDonald of Canton, OH; Lawrence McDonald of New Philadelphia, OH; John McDonald of East Canton, OH; Virgil McDonald of Arizona; Delford McDonald of Grantsville, WV; and Bill Watkins of Chloe, WV; one sister, Mildred McDonald of Glenville, WV and several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents; son Troy Lee McDonald; brother, Norman McDonald; and infant sister Veda McDonald.

Funeral services will be held at Stump Funeral Home, Grantsville, at 1:00 PM Friday, December 26, 2014.

James Hughes will officiate.

Interment will be in Nobe Cemetery.

Visitation will be held at the funeral home two hours prior to the time of service.

Jerry A. Combs

The Gilmer Free Press

Jerry A. Combs

Age 67, of Yellow Creek, WV, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, December 19, 2014 at his home.

He was born April 12, 1947 in Litchfield, Illinois. He is the son of Annabelle Combs and the late Billy Combs.

He is survived by his wife, Vicki Combs; sons Eddie (Susan) Combs and Jason (Kristen) Combs; four grandsons, Brandon Combs, Tyler Combs, Greg Brewer, and Jase Combs; one granddaughter, Ryleigh Miller; and his mother Annabelle Combs.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM at Stump Funeral Home, Grantsville.

Rev. Carroll McCauley will officiate.

Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA, at a later date.

Friends may call at the funeral home from 2:00-4:00 PM Saturday.

Comics   141224

The Gilmer Free Press

Fall 2014 Interns Complete Student Teaching for GSC

Fourteen students have completed their student teaching internships for Glenville State College.

Andrew Lee Bourgeois completed his student teaching in Social Studies (5-Adult) at Spencer Middle School and Wirt County High School with Deana Kendall, Joe Cottrill, and Elizabeth Gilchrest. Dr. Shara Curry was his GSC supervisor. He is the son of David and Sandra Bourgeois of Ripley, West Virginia. Bourgeois also graduated as a member of the Kappa Delta Pi honor society.

Ashley Marie Dyer completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6) and Social Studies (5-9) at Cherry River Elementary and Richwood Middle School with Aundreasha Bayless and Steve Deitz. Her GSC supervisor was Francis Fry. She is the daughter of Bill and Sharon Glasscock of Richwood, West Virginia and Mike and Leah Dyer of Craigsville, West Virginia. Dyer also was named Outstanding Student Teacher by the education honor society Kappa Delta Pi.

Breken Shay Gray completed his student teaching in Biological Science (9-Adult) and General Science (5-Adult) at Clay County Middle School and Clay County High School with Melody Hubbard and Cristie Fitzwater. His GSC supervisors were Dr. Joe Evans and Frances Fry. He is the son of Rusty and Janette Gray of Clay, West Virginia.

The Gilmer Free Press
(FR, L-R) Brittany McGuire, Kaitlyn Yerby, Kathryn McCallister,
Ashley Dyer, Brittany Hardy, Brittany Lott, Shana Gribble
(BR, L-R) Ronald Mullins, Andrew Bourgeois, Scott Ullom,
Breken Gray, Jacob Masters, Brandon Hines, Chelsey Robinson

Shana Marie Gribble completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6) and General Math-Algebra I (5-9) at Smithville Elementary School and Ritchie County Middle School with Carrie Cronin and Jackie McBrayer. Dr. Shara Curry and Joseph Wood were Gribble’s GSC supervisors. She is the daughter of Rodger and Carol Gribble of Harrisville, West Virginia and Charlotte Jones of Ellenboro, West Virginia. She and her husband Roger have three children Riley, Alexis, and Reagan.

Brittany Nicole Hardy completed her student teaching in Early Education (K-6) and Early Education (PreK-K) at Glenville Elementary School with Amber Frashure and Julie Perrin. Her GSC supervisor was Dr. Shelly Ratliff.

Brandon Shawn Hines completed his student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6) and Early Education (PreK-K) at Glade Creek Elementary and Gauley River Elementary with Lori Symes and Sonja Craft. His college supervisor was Francis Fry. He is the son of Nelson and Carol Hines of Richwood, West Virginia.

Brittany Danielle Lott completed her student teaching in Music (PreK-Adult) at Mineral Wells Elementary and Parkersburg South High School with Beth Buskirk and Eric Staats. Her GSC supervisors were Dr. Shara Curry and Dr. David Lewis. She is the daughter of Robert and Glenna Lott of Cabins, West Virginia.

Kathryn Michelle McCallister completed her student teaching at Burnsville Elementary with Debbie Carroll and Melinda Wilson. Her GSC supervisor was Francis Fry. She previously graduated from West Virginia University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development. She is the daughter of Johnny Barnette of Sutton, West Virginia and Mary Ann James of Grafton, West Virginia. Kathryn has three children Andrew, Owen, and Bailey McCallister.

Brittany Leigh McGuire completed her student teaching in Music (PreK-Adult) at Buckhannon Upshur High School and Peterson Central Elementary with Jeremiah Smallridge and Andrea Heath. Her GSC supervisors were Dr. John Taylor, Dr. David Lewis, and Connie O’Dell. She is the daughter of Robin and James McGuire of Beckley, West Virginia.

Jacob Allen Masters completed his student teaching in Music (PreK-Adult) at Nicholas County High School, Alum Bridge Elementary, Roanoke Elementary, and Jane Lew Elementary with Jason Hypes and Whitney Ballard. His GSC supervisors were Francis Fry, Dr. David Lewis, and Dr. John Taylor. He is the son of Beth Barker and Bret Masters of Prichard, West Virginia. Masters also graduated as a member of the Kappa Delta Pi honor society.

Ronald Joseph Mullins completed his student teaching in Social Studies (5-Adult) at Spencer Middle School and Wirt County High School with Joseph Cottrell, Deana Kendall, and Isaac Goff. Dr. Shara Curry was his GSC supervisor. He is the son of Joe and Becky Mullins of Ripley, West Virginia.

Chelsey (Ball) Robinson completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6), General Math-Algebra I (5-9), and Science (5-9) at Wirt County Primary and Middle School with Erin Traywick, Brandy Harris, and Sue Roberts. Dr. Shara Curry, Joseph Wood, and Dr. Joe Evans were Robinson’s GSC supervisors. She is the daughter of Randy and Brenda Ball of Grantsville, West Virginia.  She is married to Matt Robinson of Elizabeth, West Virginia.

Scott Adam Ullom completed his student teaching in Health and Physical Education (PreK-Adult) at Mineral Wells Elementary and Parkersburg High School with Joe Kinger, Jay Cronin, and Donald Reeves. Dr. Shara Curry and Janet Bailey were his GSC supervisors. He is the son of Jon and Nancy Ullom of Evans, West Virginia. Ullom also graduated as a member of the Kappa Delta Pi honor society.

Kaitlyn Louise Yerby completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6), Multi-Categorical (K-6), and English (5-9) at Mineral Wells Elementary and Edison Middle School with Nancy Inman, Roger Bush, and Gretchen Enges. Her GSC supervisors were Tara Cosco and Dr. Melody Wise. She is the daughter of Randy and Anita Yerby of Parkersburg, West Virginia. Yerby also graduated as a member of the Kappa Delta Pi honor society.

Senior teacher education students take part in an internship during their final semester at GSC. At the conclusion of their internship, students must complete a presentation illustrating their mastery of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards as well as the standards of their particular area of study.

These students were eligible to participate in the 2014 GSC December Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, December 13, 2014.

G-Eye™: GCBOE Meeting Report - 12.15.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Board of Education
Gilmer County High School
Monday, December 15, 2014 - 6:00 PM


The meeting was called to order by President. All members were present.


Pledge of allegiance we led by board member Misty Pritt.


A. CGCC -  Dr. Carl Armour - November 18, 2014


Calhoun-Gilmer Administrative Council Official Minutes November 18, 2014

Members Present:

Mr. Timothy Woodward, Presiding

Mr. Jason Hughes, State Dept.

Mr. Joe Frashure, Gilmer Absent:

Mrs. Jenna Jett, Calhoun

Mr. Bryan P. Sterns, Secretary

Mr. Joe Frashure substituting for Mr. Gabriel Devono.

Dr. Carl Armour, Gilmer

Others Present:

Mrs. Nancy Weekley

ITEM I-Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Woodward at 11:15 AM

ITEM II - Agenda Adjustments


ITEM III-Delegations


ITEM IV - Approval of Minutes

The minutes of October 21, 2014 were presented for approval. Mrs. Jett moved to approve the minutes as presented; second by Dr. Armour. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

ITEM V-Reports

Dr. Hopkins will be meeting with Mr. Woodward, Mrs. Whytsell, and Mrs. Taylor for a presentation on HSTW at the conclusion of the meeting/lunch.

ITEM VI - New Business

ABCD: Financial Matters: The list of bills, an additional list of bills, the financial report, budget supplements and transfers, and the CGCC Individual School Financial Report were presented for approval.  Mr. Hughes moved to approve the financial matters as presented; second by Mrs. Jett. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

E: Personnel: Resignations-None


Mr. Sterns presented a posting for the contract bus driver for the clinical/workbase runs.  Dr. Armour moved to approve the posting as presented; second by Mr. Hughes. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Mr. Sterns presented a posting for a substitute contract bus driver for the clinical/workbase runs. Mrs. Jett moved to approve the posting as presented; second by Mr. Frashure. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Alternative II Position:

Mr. Sterns presented options for the ALC II Position -three different plans to consider. After discussion Mr. Hughes moved to accept Plan III which would eliminate the ALC II position at the end of first semester and contract for the evening alternative class for expelled students. (See Posting-Attachment 14); second by Dr. Armour. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Executive/Finance Secretary Posting:

Tabled from October 21, 2014 meeting: Mr. Hughes moved to rise from the table the Executive/Finance Secretary 240 Day Contract Term posting; second by Dr. Armour. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Mr. Hughes moved to amend the motion to change the contract period from 240 day contract term to 230 day contract term; second by Dr. Armour. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

After further discussion Mr. Hughes moved to accept the posting for the Executive/Financial Secretary Position at a contract term of 230 days; second by Dr. Armour. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Mr. Woodward as well as other council members expressed that they hoped to be able to restore the position to a 240 day contract term in the future.

F: General Discussion:

Mr. Sterns reported that he would like to get involved with some activities for both County Senior Citizen Centers - possibly set up some tours and see what type of classes we may be able to offer for them.

Mr. Sterns reported on various activities that were going on at the Center. There was discussion regarding school calendar issues.

ITEM VII - Adjournment and Scheduling of Next Meeting

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Calhoun-Gilmer Administrative Council will be held on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM.

With no further business occurring, the meeting was adjourned on motion of Mr. Hughes; second by Mrs. Jett. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Mr. Tim Woodward, Presiding
Mr. Bryan P. Sterns, Secretary


B. RESA 7- Dr. William Simmons

(minutes not provided)


A. Minutes: November 17, 2014, December 08, 2014



The Board of Education of the County of Gilmer Monday, November 17, 2014 - 6:00 PM Gilmer County High School


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


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

Others Present: David Corcoran, Jr., Kendra Brown, Kyre-Anna Minney, and David Ramezan.


Dr. Carl Armour led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Dr. Armour reported on the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Meeting of October 21, 2014.

Dr. Simmons reported on RESA 7.


All items on the Consent Agenda, including the Minutes of October 20, 2014 Board Meeting, Budget Supplements & Transfers, Financial Statement/Treasurer’s Report, Accounts Payable, Student Transfers, Field Trip Requests and School Volunteers were approved on a motion by Tom Ratliff and a second by Carl Armour. Motion passed 5-0.

Superintendent Devono handed out Seniority Lists to all board members and provided information on the following: Status of Schools.

Kyre-Anna Minney provided OEPA report and Strategic Plan.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be December 15, 2014 at Gilmer County High School.


Carl Armour moved and Tom Ratliff seconded that the meeting adjourn at 7:40 PM. Motion carried unanimously.

The Board of Education of the County of Gilmer
Monday, December 08, 2014 - 3:30 PM
Board of Education Office


The meeting was called to order at 3:26 PM by President, Dr. William Simmons. (For those of you reader who question why the video of this meeting did not start on time: This is why)


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

Others Present: Kyre-Anna Minney, Toni Bishop, Kim Freeland, Shelly Mason, Faye Chambers, Traci DeWall, Conner DeWall, TJ. Hacker, Judy Stalnaker and David Ramezan.


Discussion of Strategic Plan. Technology and Strategic Plan was reviewed.


Norma Hurley moved and Tom Ratliff seconded that the meeting adjourn at 4:45 PM. Motion passed unanimously. Approved:

William Simmons, President
Gabriel J. Devono, Secretary


B. Budget Supplements & Transfers (Data is no longer provided)

C. Financial Statement/Treasure’s Report (Data is no longer provided)

D. Accounts Payable (Data is no longer provided)

E. Student Transfers

F. School Volunteers:

1. Richard Dorsey, Sr
2. Leah Dorsey

1. TimTompkins
2. Heather Moyers

G. Approval of GCHS Student Request   ?!

H. Field Trips:

One field trip already taken

IV.    Superintendent’s Information


B. Finance- Kendra Brown

C. Letter for Press Release

D. IAL Grant


1. G. Dave Ramezan - The Gilmer Free Press

2.  Mrs. Bonnett - WVEA


GFP - 12.23.2014
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleNormantownSand ForkTannerEducationFeaturesG-Eye™Study | Report | Audit | Survey | Research(17) Comments

Permalink - Link to This Article

~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Mr. Devono began with an announcement that $750,000 was obtained for work at the GCHS. Mr. Devono will you award that work to Williamson and Shriver by no bid as usual?

By Ron Chaffee  on  12.23.2014

It is clear that the State has been controlling what goes on agendas. Mr. Devono did some side stepping by trying the tactic that he did not know what board members wanted and then he admitted that the State Board determined what is permitted on agendas. WV State Board hammer hold in action!

By Fritz O.  on  12.23.2014

A former BOE member cautioned about legal reasons for not approving field trips after they occurred and the board stopped the practice. Mr. Devono promised on tape that he would instruct all principals to abide. When Mr. Devono put an already taken field trip on the agenda for a GCHS student the board approved it to violate its own policy. That was proof that the board applies policy on a selective basis and what ends up depends on a trip request’s origin. Mr. Devono should be reprimanded for not following policy he said that he would enforce and the board deserves criticism for not being consistent. Its members may not like some policy, but the system breaks down when it is applied selectively.

By County Board Selective With Policy  on  12.23.2014

How can Gilmer County’s board operate with mixed signals from the State? Mr. Devono is on record ordering board members to submit their written questions directly to him, when they do the questions are unanswered similar to Dr. Armour’s questions about finances, Mr. Devono uses the excuse that he doesn’t understand the questions, and then he admits that he must submit them to the State Board for action. How much more proof is needed to conclude that the State censors? Something is badly wrong in a democracy when financial information or anything else important is kept secret from the people. Were it not for the GFP citizens would be kept completely uninformed.

By More State Censorship  on  12.23.2014

Board of Education meeting? Right. This is nothing but DeVano’s meeting. He says what he wants, when he wants, but others can’t. Since when the secretary of the board conducts the meeting? He should only talk when permitted and answer when asked.

By Jason Cato  on  12.23.2014

Board president should resign immediately and these are some of the reasons:

1) He cannot conduct the meeting

2) He violates the meeting rules

3) He is not honest.

4) He does not practice what he preaches.

5) He is responsible for all the mess we are in.

6) He goes along with state for his own political gains and egos.

7) He has been responsible for all the money county has lost by siding with the state without talking with other board members.

8) He does not listen to other board members and their requests.

9) He is completely working on elites and politicians agenda.

10) He talks too much publicly, bad mouthing other board members.

11) He is the one who put the threatening comment on the agenda’s.

12) He is unfair. He lets some to talk all they wants, but counts the minutes for others so he can stop them from talking.

13) He is doing exactly what he did at GSC.

14) Watch him on the videos, he is ready to wrap up the meeting as soon as he and Devano finish their talk.

15) Line items on the consent agenda should be talked about and voted on individually like it was done before. He forces the board to act on them in one shot. Isn’t it obvious he does not want any board member to talk about them and ask question?

Isn’t it time for Mr. Simmons to step down?

By Not A Leader  on  12.23.2014

Re: the Not a Leader set of comments. If you don’t provide solid facts point by point to back up each of your allegations you come across as a highly opinionated individual. Gilmer’s citizens are smart and they always make up their minds on facts, not personal opinions without backing of provable evidence.

By Fairness Owed  on  12.23.2014

OH NO000 Mr. Bill, Don’t talk about the present just the future.  How about that? You sold that out when you went with Blankenship in front of the SBA and asked for money to build ONE “centrally located” school top of the hill on Crooked Run. You helped seal the fate of every child living in a rural area of this county. Devano can say Gilmer students won’t be forced out all he wants but is he going to send a Gilmer County school bus to pick them all up? Is the Hays City school going to be built big enough to hold them all?  Do you know or even care enough to ask Bill?  Not enough to ask in public meeting is that it?

It was well said there is no leadership without knowledge and you don’t want to know anything that’s going on today? Just blather on about tomorrow? Well you’re right about one thing, this county will carry on long after some are gone off the board. If election memory serves you are next in line.

Devono refused a board members right to put something on the agenda.  You have the agenda back as president Bill according to the states minutes.  Why weren’t you supporting the board?  Not politically approved enough a position to take? Afraid of a little confrontation with your Superintendent? You might not get invited to the next party?Afraid you might not get appointed to the next council?  If things were right the board would be his supervisor. But the state hasn’t told you that so you wouldn’t know it.

If this is how you acted at GSC there’s not much to question about that no confidence vote.  As a leader you sell out to the highest bidder for any chance at pompous public preening and a little more glory no matter who it hurts. Of course you don’t want to talk about no bidders when it comes to spending tax payers money today.Worry about that in the future after its done?  Gilmer County Board of Education made a poor choice when it cam to electing a President.  As voters?

By A Mistake That Can Be Fixed  on  12.23.2014

I understand the college ousted him with a no confidence vote?
How do we get shed of him now?

By how  on  12.23.2014

Remember the past, make corrections in the present and the future is set in motion. If he doesn’t want to talk about anything else then hush. It does not do Simmons any good to drag out the first of the meeting. Go get toast & coffee & read till we see his mouth shut.  Then listen to the rest. Previous Board Member was right, he’s a pompous arse.
Why would Devono want the board to vote on what not on the agenda? Has Simmons told him that he has the board like it was said Blankenship told Phares?

Seems confident of Armours vote. Is that out of some sort of misguided loyalty to Simmons from GSC past or whatever he holds over his head?  WKS very comfortable throwing Mr.Ratliff’s daughter in laws central office payroll job under the bus to RESA now and likely any other job they want. Is that board members vote in his pocket? With the presidents vote that makes three We are learning the Simmons way.  He’ll only agree with you if what you say suits him.

Why else would Devono even care about what he thinks? It doesn’t matter the state has control!They have given themselves the authority to do what they want.

William K Simmons save the county money not having to print your name on a ballot or any other piece of paper.

By Resignation accepted  on  12.23.2014

Would anyone call Simonds behavior disgraceful?
Wonder if the State takeover folks are proud of their Superintendent?
Is this proof buying a doctorate degree does guarantee the holder is not an idiot?

By JD  on  12.23.2014

Proof enough June meeting video when Blankenship retired again.  Three years of following his lead culminating in a heartfelt goodbye on the part of the Board President.  How much Ron would be missed, what a good job he had done.  Three years of Bill spreading the word after every board meeting, LSIC meeting and levy meeting that the two women warning us of what was really happening were wrong.  HE was the ex college president.  HE had all the experience with public building and really knew what education needed. HE was going to handle the administrative problems. HE had the in with local and state leaders.  It was all under control and every time it was said it was not true.  The STATE was in control. Fact is Gilmer’s students were given away and still don’t know how many will go to another county, facilities will be closed, Teachers, Service Personnel and possibly office staff will lose jobs, transit times will go up for the majority of students, money was poured down the drain and the Gilmer County Board of Ed will be forced into one million dollars of bond debt.  The excess levy WAS changed and now it can be and likely has been spent on anything up to and including an out of county school. No parent was EVER going to have to pay for text books. No administrative changes happened. Did you hear the Superintendent say he would ask for more HVAC money from the SBA next year?  Does that sound like Mr Devono is leaving in June or that there’s plans by the state to give back control anytime in the near future? Why not, it’s what the board President said?

By Enough  on  12.23.2014

All I know is when you try to ask him about how the schools are doing he twists it around and talks bad about the college so I quit asking.

By Coffee At The Cornerstone  on  12.23.2014

You have a man heading your board that never did play well with others.  That was always his problem up the hill and it won’t change on down the hill.

By M Ray  on  12.24.2014

As a faithful GFP reader I wonder. How many have noticed that when there are negative reports about what the State did with intervention a spate of posting are made to verge on character assassinations of Gilmer County’s people? Is this done to discourage citizens from criticizing the State or is the reason to scare off citizens from running for office and speaking up about community affairs?

By Attack Patterns?  on  12.24.2014

Reading about who has the votes makes we wonder what if anything of importance Gilmer County’s Board of Education was permitted to do after intervention. Based on what I have seen on videos, learned from individuals who attended meetings, and going to meetings, being on the Board is simply ceremonial. Besides electing officers and agreeing on special assignments the only new thing, as I understand it, was that the Board established policy that all field trip requests must be submitted for approval before they occurred. That was done after Mrs. Starkey’s wise counsel about legal precautions. At the last meeting the Board violated that policy out of fear of crossing the high school principal who sent in a request after a field trip was taken. For all practical purposes following intervention Boards should be disbanded instead of them operating under the farcical pretense that they are allowed to do anything important. If we knew how much total money was spent on paying board members to attend official meetings and to take training under the State’s control the sum would be shocking.

By What Has Gilmer's Board Accomplished?  on  12.24.2014

The man has always been most interested in blowing his own horn.
Now he wants to buddy up with the same level of people who ran him out of his job.
Its obvious he ran for photo ops and not for helping our people.
Not sure when his elected term is over except it won’t be soon enough.

By Toot Toot  on  12.24.2014

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10 Ways Why We Are the World’s Most Corrupt Nation

The Gilmer Free Press

Steal $2 trillion and you aren’t corrupt, you’re respectable

International rankings that castigate Afghanistan and some other poor countries as hopelessly “corrupt” always imply that the United States is not corrupt.

But as VOA reports :

While it is true that you don’t typically have to bribe your postman to deliver the mail in the U.S., in many key ways America’s political and financial practices make it in absolute terms far more corrupt than the usual global South suspects. After all, the U.S. economy is worth over $16 trillion a year, so in our corruption a lot more money changes hands. Here are 10 reasons the U.S. is the most corrupt nation in the world.  

1. Instead of having short, publicly-funded political campaigns with limited and/or free advertising (as a number of Western European countries do), the U.S. has long political campaigns in which candidates are dunned big bucks for advertising. They are therefore forced to spend much of their time fundraising, which is to say, seeking bribes. All American politicians are basically on the take, though many are honorable people. They are forced into it by the system. House Majority leader John Boehner has actually just handed out cash on the floor of the House from the tobacco industry to other representatives.

Soon after French President Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated in 2012, French police went into his private residence searching for an alleged $50,000 in illicit campaign contributions from the L’Oreale heiress. I thought to myself, seriously? $50,000 in a presidential campaign? Our presidential campaigns cost a billion dollars each! $50,000 is a rounding error, not a basis for police action. Why George W. Bush took millions from arms manufacturers and then ginned up a war for them, and the police haven’t been anywhere near his house.

American politicians don’t represent “the people.” With a few honorable exceptions, they represent the the 1 percent. American democracy is being corrupted out of existence.

2. That politicians can be bribed to reduce regulation of industries like banking (what is called “regulatory capture”) means that they will be so bribed. Billions were spent and 3,000 lobbyists employed by bankers to remove cumbersome rules in the early 2000s—meaning political corruption enabled financial corruption (in some cases legalizing it!) Without regulations and government auditing, the financial sector went wild and engaged in corrupt practices that caused the 2008 crash. Too bad the poor Afghans can’t just legislate their corruption out of existence by regularizing it, the way Wall Street did.

3.That the chief villains of the 2008 meltdown (from which 90% of Americans have not recovered) have not been prosecuted is itself a form of corruption.

4.The U.S. military budget is bloated and enormous, bigger than the military budgets of the next twelve major countries. What isn’t usually understood is that perhaps half of it is spent on outsourced services, not on the military. It is corporate welfare on a cosmic scale. I’ve seen with my own eyes how officers in the military get out and then form companies to sell things to their former colleagues still on the inside.

5. The U.S. has a vast gulag of 2.2 million prisoners in jail and penitentiary. There is an increasing tendency for prisons to be privatized, and this tendency is corrupting the system. It is wrong for people to profit from putting and keeping human beings behind bars. This troubling trend is made all the more troubling by the move to give extra-long sentences for minor crimes, to deny parole and to imprison people for life for crimes like three small thefts.

6.The rich are well placed to bribe our politicians to reduce taxes on the rich. This and other government policies has produced a situation where 400 American billionaires are worth $2 trillion, as much as the bottom 150 million Americans. That kind of wealth inequality hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since the age of the robber barons in the nineteenth century. Both eras are marked by extreme corruption.

7.The National Security Agency’s domestic spying is a form of corruption in itself, and lends itself to corruption. With some 4 million government employees and private contractors engaged in this surveillance, it is highly likely that various forms of insider trading and other corrupt practices are being committed. If you knew who Warren Buffett and George Soros were calling every day, that alone could make you a killing. The American political class wouldn’t be defending this indefensible invasion of citizens’ privacy so vigorously if someone somewhere weren’t making money on it.

8.As for insider trading, it turns out Congress undid much of the law it hastily passed forbidding members, rather belatedly, from engaging in insider trading (buying and selling stock based on their privileged knowledge of future government policy). That this practice only became an issue recently is another sign of how corrupt the system is.

9. Asset forfeiture in the ‘drug war’ is corrupting police departments and the judiciary.

10.Money and corruption have seeped so far into our media system that people can with a straight face assert that scientists aren’t sure human carbon emissions are causing global warming. Fox News is among the more corrupt institutions in American society, purveying outright lies for the benefit of the billionaire class. But even our relatively progressive president talks about exploiting all sources of energy, as though hydrocarbons weren’t poisoning the earth.

Even Qatar, whose economy is based on natural gas, freely admits the challenge of human-induced climate change. American politicians like Jim Inhofe are openly ridiculed when they travel to Europe for their know-nothingism on climate.

So don’t tell the Philippines or the other victims of American corruption how corrupt they are for taking a few petty bribes. Americans are not seen as corrupt because we only deal in the big denominations. Steal $2 trillion and you aren’t corrupt, you’re respectable.

~~  Juan Cole - Professor of history at the University of Michigan ~~

GFP - 12.23.2014
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West Virginia is a perfect model of what happens from corruption. It would take volumes to go into the details. Professor Cole, the State is down at the bottom among the 50 States for the quality of its k-12 school system. Top officials tell the people how good it is and there is censorship of the news so the truth does not get out.If you could help get the outside academic community to focus on our school problems please come to Gilmer County, West Virginia. The County was ruined by the State taking over our school system and all the corruption and mismanagement to go with it.


Speaking of cooruption. GE was a big supporter of the big eared one when he ran for office. As a reward GE gat a tax form intrduced form 8909 which allows them to get a energy credit for every appliance that they manufacture from a can opener to locomotive engines. There is a limit though of $25,000,000.00. That is a real bonus for thier contributions.

By JIM d-WV  on  12.23.2014

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G-TechNote™: Microsoft Has More Than 1.5 Million Windows 10 ‘Insiders’

The Gilmer Free Press

As of December 17, more than 1.5 million people have registered as “Windows Insiders” who can test Windows 10, according to Microsoft officials.


Of those 1.5 million, 450,000, about 30%, are “highly active” testers putting the preview build of Windows 10 client through its paces daily, officials said in a new blog post.

Officials said Windows 10 testers are using Windows 10 test builds more actively than participants in preview and beta programs for Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. Microsoft has fixed almost 1,300 Windows 10 preview bugs reported and/or up-voted by testers, officials added.

Back in mid-October, shortly after Microsoft released the first public Windows 10 Technical Preview build, Microsoft said 1 million people had signed up as Insiders to test Windows 10.

When they released its second preview update to the Windows 10 Technical Preview in November, Microsoft execs said the next officially sanctioned Windows 10 preview update would be in early 2015. There have been a couple of unsanctioned leaked builds since then, the latest of which (Build 9901) shows off some of the UI changes Microsoft is expected to make part of its upcoming consumer-focused preview in January.

The reason for the lapse in what was shaping up to be monthly officially-sanctioned test builds, was explained by Gabe Aul, head of the data & Fundamentals Team in Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group (OSG):

“We’ve been very hard at work putting together a great build for you that includes a bunch of new features and improvements. As all of those payloads came in we needed to stabilize code, fix any integration issues, and ensure all of the new UX is polished. We’re really focused on making the next build something that we hope you’ll think is awesome. In fact, just so that we have a *daily* reminder to ourselves that we want this build to be great, we even named our build branch FBL_AWESOME. Yeah, it’s a bit corny, but trust me that every Dev that checks in their code and sees that branch name gets an immediate reminder of our goal.“

(FBL stands for Feature Build Lab.)

Microsoft is expected to release its next Windows 10 Technical Preview—with more consumer-focused features enabled—in late January, possibly on January 21 during its Windows 10 “Next Chapter” reveal event in Redmond.

Microsoft also is expected to show off at that event its Windows 10 mobile preview, which is expected to run on Intel- and ARM-based tablets, as well as Windows Phones. Microsoft’s OSG is hustling to make the mobile preview available to testers by January 21 or shortly thereafter, sources say.

West Virginia News   141223

The Gilmer Free Press


Mickey Comp, like many West Virginians has been hunting his entire life. However, each year he always had a hope for every season and that was to kill a white deer.

“Every year, I’ve always hoped to get a chance to kill an albino or piebald buck,” he said. “That would be a dream deer to me and a lifetime event to come true. Low and behold this year it did.”

The Gilmer Free Press

Comp killed the buck on a cold Friday evening before the Monday opening of the gun season.  He knew the deer was in the area because of an image captured a month earlier on his trail camera.  However, he said the deer had become completely nocturnal in its movement.

“It was quite surprising when I looked up the pictures on our trail camera and there he was,” Comp said. “We had several nice bucks we’d been watching and I was surprised to see him.”

Comp and his dad kept resetting their trail camera in hopes of catching another picture and figuring out the direction from which the buck was coming. They also were in their stand 30 days or more and hoped they’d catch sight of the buck. Mickey went to work the Wednesday before buck season and got a text from his dad saying the white deer had come in.

“I had to go back on afternoon shift and he was out there videotaping to see if he could get himself shooting a nice buck on video,” Comp explained. “Low and behold the deer came from the opposite direction we thought in the last half hour of shooting light.”

Comp’s dad elected to hold off and let his son get the chance to take what he considered the deer of a lifetime.

“Dad actually got video of him and said he could have shot him.  He actually had the bow up and had the pin on him,” said Comp. “He said, it would mean more to me and I’m sure grateful he did that.”

Comp had two days to hunt before gun season and took time off work to give it one more shot.  The buck came into him from the same direction as it did for his father with only a few minutes of shooting light left.  He put the arrow squarely on target and now has the deer and his story.

“It’s a special deer to me,” he said. “I’ve always dreamed about it since I was wee little and just starting to hunt.”

Albinism, while rare, is considered a genetic anomaly in which the deer is absent of any pigment in their body. The buck had only inch-long spikes, but was estimated to be a two and a half year old deer. Comp and his dad have their own taxidermy shop and plan to create a full body mount on the deer.


As recent talk centered around the potential for elk reintroduction in West Virginia evolved, I’ve made a few observations.

There’s no doubt in my mind the people of southern West Virginia are behind the idea. I attended the meeting in Logan to gauge the public sentiment. The packed room at the Chief Logan State Park was overwhelmingly in favor of the reintroduction. Only three people raised their hands in opposition. I’m told another meeting held a few weeks later in Gilbert yielded the same kind of support.

Regardless of public support,  the elk are coming whether we want them or not. Elk already populate southeastern Kentucky and Buchanan County, Virginia.  They’re wandering across both borders now. There are verified trail cam pics of the critters.  Eventually, they will establish themselves in West Virginia.  Most seem to want the state to haul them across the border in a horse trailer and plant the herd firmly in the Mountain State with a herd to call our own. Some question the cost of such an endeavor, but all indications are the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is on board to pick up a big chunk of the tab.

Kentucky seems to have written the book on modern elk reintroduction. Kentucky’s elk herd reached a level where they can have a controlled hunt every year. The out-of-state applications number in the tens of thousands for only a precious few permits. Each of those comes with a non-refundable fee and always adds up to a sizable chunk of change.  That’s great for running the program.

West Virginia’s terrain and habitat are nearly identical to Kentucky, but the one thing which keeps coming up is the land agreements. Kentucky has struck some kind of a deal with the large landholding companies and it appears to be working. However, West Virginia officials are a bit more cautious. That’s actually not a bad thing. We’ve been burned before. The state introduced wild hogs in the 1970’s with no agreement in place to consider the distant future. When the original land was sold, the new landowner wanted no part of people hunting on the property and the state was left with no leg to stand on.

I haven’t been able to get anyone to explain the difference in the wording of the Kentucky agreement in place and the proposed agreements in West Virginia. Any agreement needs to have some sort of wording which insures West Virginia hunters, or even non-hunters just wanting to gaze upon the beasts, should be able to do that in perpituity and unincumbered.  So far, there’s been very little said about the agreements other than they are being reviewed and looked at. I hope the euphoria and excitement of the idea doesn’t eclipse the need to insure a sound agreement.

The coalfield lands are just sitting there now either waiting to be mined or being held by a large corporation.  The standard practice in southern West Virginia is those companies will not give permission to hunt on their land, but seem to turn a blind eye during deer season.  Once elk are established on a piece of property, the game makes the land infinitely more valuable. Since the land is not state owned, absent an agreement, there’s nothing to keep the company from deciding once the herd is established to enforce their no hunting policy and even sell permits themselves for a private elk hunt. West Virginia MUST find a way to prevent such an occurrence. My guess is an army of lawyers on both sides are hammering out the agreement word by word.

Finally, if we’re going to introduce elk it needs to be in the southern coalfields. When the topic comes up, somebody always throws out the idea of reintroducing elk in the Dolly Sods or other National Forest land.  It’s certainly a romantic idea for the bugle of a bull elk to echo down the South Branch Valley. I’m sure you could make a fantastic tourism video with such a scenario but the reality is there couldn’t be a worse idea.

First, the state is already fighting a losing battle in efforts to slow the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in Hampshire and surrounding counties.  Why on earth would you introduce what are considered to be “disease free” animals into a hot zone where it’s almost a near certainty they will be infected. The DNR has been trying to reduce deer numbers there. To suddenly start introducing a new an arguably more vulnerable species to the same sickness is reckless and mindless.

Secondly, unlike the southern coalfields, where agriculture is virtually non-existent, the South Branch Valley is lush with cornfields, hayfields, and many other hallmarks of a highly productive farming economy.  Elk would be a guaranteed disaster for farmers, who would likely raise an even bigger stink with the legislature and DNR.

Finally, there are far more people in the Potomac Highlands region. There is more traffic and more chance of the auto vs. elk collisions.  While it’s true there will be the chance for those in southern West Virginia it’s a risk most there seem willing to accept. It’s doubtful the reintroduction of elk in the mountain regions of West Virginia would be nearly as well embraced as southern West Virginia.  ~~  Chris Lawrence ~~


A Morgantown business owner says federal authorities had no right to take more than $643,000 from his businesses during federal forfeiture proceedings after a synthetic cannabis sting.

In an answer to a federal complaint, Daniel Kocan argued Friday that Morgantown city officials told him he was permitted to sell synthetic cannabis. Kocan says the federal bust in April this year therefore was entrapment.

Kocan owns Dahlia’s on Walnut in Morgantown, and Mid-Nite Adult, which is closed.

Neither Morgantown officials nor federal prosecutors has yet responded to Kocan in court.

The proceedings follow an April search in which several Morgantown businesses had assets seized in connection with synthetic marijuana, which is a Schedule I controlled substance.


A Democratic group spent almost $446,000 to sway West Virginia’s statehouse elections.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee contributed the cash to the group Protect West Virginia.

Protect West Virginia attacked Republicans and supported Democrats in advertising, including mailings.

This election, Republicans sealed their first state House of Delegates majority in more than eight decades. They clinched the Senate majority after a Democrat turned Republican.

Other outside groups spent big on statehouse races. Union-backed Honest West Virginians spent almost $1.4 million for Democrats.

Grow WV Inc. spent more than $1.4 million to help Republicans, including $500,000 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, $220,000 from the Republican State Leadership Committee and $100,000 from Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick.

Moving West Virginia Forward BICPAC, another pro-GOP group, spent $360,500. Murray Energy contributed $250,000.


The West Virginia Fire Commission has appointed a Charleston firefighter as state fire marshal.

Charleston Fire Department Capt. Ken Tyree will replace Tony Carrico, who is leaving the position at the end of the year.

Media outlets report that the commission approved Tyree’s appointment on Monday.

Tyree recently was named as the Charleston department’s firefighter of the year.


Police are investigating a pipe bomb that prompted the evacuation of an Elkins auto dealership.

Performance Motors marketing director Stephanie Murphy tells The Inter-Mountain ( ) that a mechanic discovered the device on Monday morning underneath a stack of crates.

About a dozen employees were in the building when police evacuated the structure.

Elkins police and a West Virginia State Police bomb technician are on the scene.


A Sutton-based company has agreed to pay more than $8,000 in civil penalties to settle pollution violations at a mine reclamation site.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says in a notice of violation that Breakaway Inc. discharged sediment into Deckers Creek. The discharge occurred at a former mining site near Bretz in Preston County.

Breakaway is reclaiming the site for the DEP.

Public comments on the settlement will be accepted until January 09.

Breakaway owner Doug Vincent told The Dominion Post that he had no comment on the DEP’s notice.


A crackdown by the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force has reduced illegal prescription painkiller operations in Northern West Virginia.

Now authorities are dealing with a new drug problem — heroin.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld II says heroin supply and demand is increasing for several reasons.

He says drug cartels are shifting from marijuana to heroin production because heroin is more profitable. Demand on the street is increasing because heroin is cheaper than illegal prescription drugs.

Ihlenfeld established a working group last summer to develop a plan to combat heroin in the Ohio Valley. Efforts so far include raising awareness through media interviews with addicts, their families and addiction professionals.


West Virginia University plans to offer two new education-related master’s degree programs beginning next summer.

The university’s Board of Governors approved the Master of Arts in Education and the Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration programs on Friday.

Board members also approved a new undergraduate aviation management degree program at WVU Institute of Technology.

The university says in a news release that the Master of Arts in Education Program will replace two existing degree programs, Master of Arts in Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Secondary Education.


More than 120 years of West Virginia children’s folklore is showcased in a new book.

“Mountain Mother Goose” includes riddles, rhymes, games and lesson stories gathered from folklore collected by Fairmont State faculty members Walter Barnes and Ruth Ann Musick. Barnes died in 1969 and Musick died in 1974.

The book’s editor, West Virginia Folklife Center director Judy Byers, says the book covers lore found in schools, on the playground and among children in West Virginia.

The book is illustrated with sketches and paintings done by Musick’s niece, Pat Musick. It’s available for purchase at the folklife center and the Marion County Historical Society.

Movie Review: ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’-Stiller Returns for the Tablet & Your Ca

The aptly subtitled “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” is a blast of dead air and mummified humor. Suitable only for children too young to remember the first two movies or too undiscerning to care about the level of wit represented by a urinating monkey, this tepid retread should be the last item on your holiday list of movie options for the family, right after “Into the Woods,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” “Unbroken” and “Annie.”

Relocating the action of the story from New York’s Museum of Natural History to the British Museum does nothing to resuscitate the creaky franchise, which involves hijinks by a bunch of museum artifacts that have sprung to life. It was already moribund by its excursion to Washington in the second installment, 2009’s “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.” Even Rebel Wilson, playing a saucy, cockney counterpart to Ben Stiller’s American museum guard Larry Daley, isn’t enough to shock the patient back to life.

The Gilmer Free Press

That said, there are a few moments of genuine verve that spike up the generally flatlining plot, in which Larry travels to London with such old standbys as Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher), the aforementioned monkey and other refugees from museum dioramas back home. Chief among those moments are Larry’s interactions with a caveman named La.

Also played by Stiller — whose prominent brow is well utilized in the rendering of Larry’s dreadlocked Neanderthal doppelganger — the almost entirely inarticulate La is a nice counterpart to Larry’s wry deadpan.

Another clever scene centers on the M.C. Escher print “Relativity,” into whose optically illusory staircases Larry and the Arthurian knight Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens) — a denizen of the armor hall — have tumbled, in pursuit of the charmed Egyptian tablet that is at the center of all three films. It’s a mildly cool special effect, as is one involving several bronze lions that come alive, only to chase the beam of Larry’s flashlight, like kittens.

The best joke, though, is a cameo by one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, playing himself, in a gently self-deprecating turn that takes place in the middle of a London theater production of “Camelot.” I will leave the name unmentioned, in hopes of preserving some modicum of surprise.

Otherwise, the movie is a recycling bin of bits worn out in the earlier films, such as a sight gag involving a dinosaur skeleton that acts like a dog. Other than some stock establishing shots of London, the British setting is wasted, as are Ben Kingsley and Ricky Gervais, who, at times, seem almost embarrassed to be caught on camera.

The film ends with on-screen tributes to two actors who died after making “Secret of the Tomb”: Williams and Mickey Rooney, who appears briefly, frail and in a wheelchair, in a reprise of his role from the first film. The farewell doubles as a sweet send-off to a cash cow that’s finally being put out to pasture after running out of milk — and ideas — two movies ago.

★ ½

PG. Contains some rude humor and language and mild action. 100 minutes.

Gilmer County Clerk: Notice to Creditors and Beneficiaries - 12.18.14




The administration of the estates(s) of the following deceased is pending before the Clerk of the County Commission of Gilmer County, 10 Howard Street, Glenville WV 26351.

The names and addresses of the personal representative and the personal representative’s attorney are set forth below.

Notice is hereby given that the estate(s) of the following has been opened for probate.  Any interested person objecting to the validity of the will, the qualifications of the personal representative or the venue or jurisdiction of the court, shall file notice of an objection with the County Commission within ninety days after the date of the first publication or within 30 days of service of notice, whichever is later.  If an objection is not timely filed, the objection is forever barred.

All persons having claims against the estate(s) of the said following deceased, whether due or not, are notified to exhibit their claims, with the voucher thereof, legally verified, to the undersigned, at the County Clerk’s Office on or before March 18, 2015  otherwise they may by law be excluded from all benefit of said estate(s).  All beneficiaries of said estate(s) may appear on or before said day to examine said claims and otherwise protect their interests.

Claims against the estate must be filed in accordance with West Virginia Code 44-1-14a.


Earl C. Adolfson, Jr. Tanya Jo Barker 420 Hale Street None Required None Required
Harrisville, WV 26362
Harry A. Cunningham Rosa Belle Cunningham PO Box 12 None Required None Required
Glenville, WV 26351

Clerk of Gilmer County Commission
Jean Butcher
10 Howard Street
Glenville, WV 26351

The date of the first publication of this Notice is : December 18, 2014

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