Vol. 44, No. 11

March 13, 2018

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From the Pastor’s Heart

When the six-member pulpit search committee from Gassaway Baptist Church traveled through a snowstorm Jan. 18, 1983, to hear one of their prospective candidates, the Rev. Mark Stump, preach a sermon, they had no idea that this night would bring them a pastor who would still be leading their congregation 35 years later.
Despite the frigid, blizzard-like weather outside, Stump, who was serving as youth pastor at Little Union Baptist Church at Calvin, WV, set the souls inside Little Union Church ablaze that night with his message of God’s saving grace—the grace that had just brought the 25-year-old pastor and his young wife, Darlene, through the greatest test of their faith following the death of their only child, 2-year-old Jessica.
One member of that Gassaway Baptist Pulpit Committee, Ben Harris, still recalls the vivid details surrounding that eventful evening. “As we crossed Powell Mountain, the weather worsened, and the roads were getting really slick,” Harris said. “We stopped once and talked about turning around. Someone commented that the service would likely be cancelled, and if it were not, the committee might be the only ones there.”
The group decided, however, to journey on to Little Union. “We arrived a little late because of the bad roads, and the service had already started,” Harris recalled. “When we walked into the sanctuary, we could hardly believe our eyes; there was no place to sit. Even the extra chairs provided for our group were already occupied in the fairly large sanctuary.”



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Braxton County schools open as strike ends
Normalcy seems to rule

After nine consecutive days of closure because of the statewide strike of school employees, schools opened in Braxton County and throughout the state last Wednesday. While the return to school brought relief to educators and parents alike, it could also have brought difficulties for those making decisions about possible lost time.
Superintendent David Dilly is still working on necessary adjustments to the calendar for the remainder of the school term. A spokesperson from his office explained that he had waited for the results of an online survey and that he wants to take his decisions on changes to the board of education before announcing them.
In addition to calendar changes, however, several other changes may be necessary even though the missed days will be made up. For example, Braxton County High principal Jessica Pierson and assistant principal Flora Cox noted that the third nine-weeks had been shortened because of snow days and the work stoppage. In a release, they noted that it is difficult for teachers to cover all their required content standards in a timely manner, but they “have extended the nine-weeks period to provide additional time to cover the material.”
One high school teacher did say she has found herself “teaching a little harder and faster.” She also will have to cut out a few projects she had planned. Another noted that he will have no problems covering what he had planned to cover. High school students asked about any problems they have encountered have seen nothing rushed and no real adjustments.

Parole check leads to arrest of
Frametown pair

On Mondy, March 5, local law enforcement were conducting a parole home check on of an individual residing on Dessie Clem Road in Frametown which led to the arrest of Edwin Earl O’Neal, 46 and Tonya Elisa Haley, 39. Both individuals have been charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, felon in possession of a firearm, and conspiracy.
Braxton County Sheriff’s Department Deputy A.L. Groves, Deputy C.E. Westfall, West Virginia State Police CPL P.A. Huff, and TPR W.C. Heaster assisted Parole Officer L.M. Thompson in conducting the home check at the residence of parolee O’Neal and his girlfriend Haley. While the officers were conducting a search of the home they located in the upstairs bedroom a pistol with ammunition, multiple smoking devices for both meth and marijuana, multiple baggies used to package controlled substances for distribution and two bags containing a white crystal like substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, along with a large sum of cash.


Eagle boys are Regional Champs,
head to States

For the first time since the 2004-2005 season---and only the third time in school history, the BCHS boys’ basketball team will play in the state tournament. The Eagles, playing to an Armory packed with fans from both schools, defeated Robert C. Byrd 67-62 in regional play last Thursday night.
Braxton, now 21-4, tied the school record for the most wins in a season. That record was set in 2004-2005 under Coach Rick Frame. The Eagles were undefeated on their home court this season. Coach Josh Lunceford, obviously ecstatic about his team’s highly successful season, declared, “I knew this was coming.”
Looking toward the Eagles’ upcoming tournament game against undefeated Fairmont Senior, Coach Lunceford said that Fairmont “will be the most athletic team we’ve played all year.” The coach continued to say, “We’ll be prepared. We plan to go down and play our game. We will compete.”
In their win over RCB, the Eagles came back from a five-point deficit after the first quarter with a strong offensive effort in the second and third to lead by 12 going into the final period. There, Braxton’s defense held off a Robert C. Byrd comeback effort to earn the right to play in the state tournament.


New business opens in Gassaway

Recently opened on Elk Street in Gassaway, The Property Shop, LLC, is the newest real estate agency in the county. Broker Kathy Sims and her agents plan an open house from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. March 16 with a ribbon-cutting at 12 noon to mark the opening.
Sims, whose main real estate business is in Weston, explained how she decided to open an office in Gassaway. “After listing a few properties in the area, meeting the people, and seeing a lively town, witnessing the genuine sincerity of those I spoke with, the wheels began turning. I knew I wanted to locate here,” she said. “After a few months of planning and painting, we are open. I’m really excited,” she added.





BCHS’s Number 10 senior active in school

Ranked tenth in the 2018 BCHS graduating class, Garrett Shingler, the son of Andrew and Tonya Shingler, obviously does more than attend classes and make top grades. He is active in several organizations and holds an after-school job in addition to several personal interests.
An active member of the local chapter of the National Honor Society, Shingler also belongs to SADD and the student council. His favorite high school memory comes from the work he did with the National Honor Society. “My favorite memory at BCHS was getting together and dropping off presents for the Christmas for the Heart project,” he noted.
After school, this busy young man works in the conference center at Day’s Hotel, a job which he says he really enjoys. Among his hobbies, he named sports, especially basketball, traveling, and collecting sneakers. As for his favorite trip, he chose a cruise to the Bahamas, which he enjoyed with his family. Not surprisingly, he listed as one of his hobbies “learning and experiencing new interests.”

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