J.B.Hunt Trucking brings gifts to Frametown kindergartners
ZaStudents of Marcy Skeens’ (right) Frametown Elementary kindergarten class pose for a photograph with J.B. Hunt truck driver Helen Shook (standing left) and Greg Hampton, (standing left) Midwest Regional Fleet Manager with the $1,000 worth of supplies secured by Shook through our company’s Adopt-a-Class program.
By Shirley Shuman
Last Friday, Frametown elementary teacher Marcy Skeens’ kindergarten students found themselves with Christmas in August delivered in a J.B. Hunt semi and distributed by a Santa all the way from Lowell, Arkansas. The fact that Skeens and her aid Michele Butcher knew what was coming and had alerted their students that they had a surprise in store did not diminish the children’s excitement.
The surprise, which wasn’t a surprise at all to Skeens and Butcher, came as part of J.B. Hunt Trucking Company’s nationwide Adopt-a-Class program. Each year, the company gives ten different classes throughout the United States $1,000 worth of supplies chosen by their teachers. The fortunate classes are chosen from a list of applications from the company’s employees who each nominate a class which contains a child or grandchild. . This year, driver Helen Shook nominated Skeens’ kindergarten class, in which her grandson Wade Foster is a student... and she won.
Skeens, who admitted she was “very excited” about the gifts, continued to say, “It is really a pleasure to have the opportunity to receive materials which we couldn’t possibly afford to obtain ourselves, things not available through the school. This is just one good example of what companies can do for education.”
One important aspect of this program lies in the fact that the teachers actually select the “gifts.” After Skeens received a congratulatory letter early in July, she compiled a list of educational materials which she thought would help her and her students. She sent it to J.B.Hunt, “ and they ordered it all,” she noted.
The company’s “Santa” proved to be Greg Hampton, Midwest Regional Fleet Manager, who flew to West Virginia from the home office to present the ribbon-bedecked packages. Skeens commented that Hampton’s coming “was a surprise to me,” adding “I just knew the materials were coming.”
Of the project, Hampton said that the project came about because the company “wants kids to know that education is just as powerful as those big trucks.” He continued, “We want to give back to the children, to give back to the community.”
Following the opening of the gifts, the company rep spent some time enjoying the kindergartners’ reactions to the variety of materials. Among those materials were several Boogie Boards, which Skeens explained are “nice writing tools that don’t require anything electronic.” She added, “They’re nice for the kids to practice their letters and numbers on and for other activities as well.” Showing her enthusiasm, Skeens admitted, “I had to check them out before I left today.”
After the gifts had been opened and admired, the twenty-some students clad in J.B. Hunt Trucking Company shirts toured Shook’s truck. Skeens commented that this was just as exciting for them as opening the gifts had been. “It was a big day for the kids,” she said. “Michele and I knew we wouldn’t be able to calm them down after all that excitement. We just took them out to the playground for the short time left in the school day.”
WVWC names Braxton’s Gary Nottingham
head basketball coach
Gary Nottingham speaks to those in attendance at a new conference last week when he was officially intorduced as the Bearcats head basketball coach.
By Shirley Shuman
“It was the right time and the right place,” Braxton native Gary Nottingham said of his being hired as West Virginia Wesleyan’s head basketball coach. Nottingham, who most recently served 10 years as assistant coach in a highly successful University of Illinois basketball program, continued to say, “We’ve wanted to come back to the Southeast for some time now, so this was perfect timing.”
He explained that, since leaving the University of Illinois after 10 years there with Coach Bruce Webber, he has been “off the court for a year and a half,” and he felt it was time to get back to what he loves. “I had a chance to go to Kansas State as an assistant coach,” he said, “but our daughter Paulina was a senior in high school and she played on the school’s state-ranked volleyball team so I passed that up.”
The fact that his daughter will be a sophomore at Wesleyan, where she plays volleyball, also factored into his decision. He definitely feels that it will be good to work in the same college his daughter attends. His wife Jennifer and son Quin will remain in Illinois for the time being. His wife is a guidance counselor, and his son, a high school junior, plays both basketball and baseball.
As another factor in his taking the WVWC job, Nottingham explained that he “likes and respects the athletic director at Wesleyan.” He said, “He grew up in Buckhannon and played football and baseball there. We became acquainted as competitors in baseball. Then, when I was coaching at Glenville State, he was coaching at Wesleyan. Again, since we coached in the league at the same time, we knew each other as competitors.”
Of course the fact that “obtaining a college basketball coaching job comes in a really competitive market” helped him make his choice. He commented, “There are only 630 head basketball coaching jobs in all of the NCAA Division I and Division II schools. That makes it difficult to obtain a position.” Here he added, “Eighty-five people applied for this one.”
Asked about the biggest challenge of his new job, the coach replied, “Stabilizing the program.” He explained, “They’ve had three coaches in four years here. It’s not that there wasn’t good coaching; it’s simply that there were three different coaching styles and three different philosophies.” The new coach has already made some moves toward the stability of which he spoke. He said that he had spoken to each of his players by phone since they were not yet on campus.
Discussing his coaching philosophy, Nottingham first replied, laughingly, “Playing whatever way you can to win.” He continued to say, “I like to see great effort and enthusiasm. I want a fast-break team that’s exciting and fun to watch.” Then he noted, “Actually, it’s all about players getting an education and a degree. It’s also about becoming overachievers. I tell my players, ‘You have the talent to get here; then you have to go beyond that natural talent.’” As could be expected from one who as an athlete himself was highly competitive, he wants to see that same quality in his players.
Although that highly competitive nature certainly helped him along the way, Nottingham actually attributes his success to several different factors. First, he said, was “the support and teaching [he received] at Gassaway Junior High and Braxton County High School.” He also feels “very fortunate in the high-school coaching [he] had,” he said. “From junior high on, I had good coaches who were good people. They made you understand what you had.” Here he mentioned especially Russ Shepherd and Bob Maxwell.
Another reason for the success he has enjoyed, Nottingham said, was “having success on the court or on the field.” He added, “That built my confidence. I loved sports, and I loved playing. When I found I could be successful in sports and that sports could help me be successful in other ways, that helped.” He also mentioned “people recruiting [him]” and said, “When I saw their confidence in me, I thought, `‘Hey, I can do this!’ I was never the most talented kid; I just outworked other people.”
With all of his success in sports—-his basketball skills provided him the opportunity to go to college—Wesleyan’s new coach is most proud of earning his master’s degree from Western Kentucky University. “Going to Western Kentucky as a graduate assistant in physical education and helping with the basketball team paid for my master’s degree. That degree opened up doors. It let me go back to Glenville as an assistant coach and allowed me to teach in college. It allowed me to do what I like.” Nottingham later served as head basketball coach at GSC for 14 years and then moved on to the University of South Carolina Upstate, where he also became head coach.
West Virginia Wesleyan’s new basketball coach believes in winning; all those who have followed him from junior high sports to college coaching know that. However, his biggest concern, he said, is “to impact young people’s lives.” Gary Nottingham concluded with, “At the end of your day as a coach, you need to remember they are going to look back on you, and they’re not going to count your wins and losses. They are going to look at what you’ve done for the kids.”
Town of Flatwoods dedicates community improvements
Al Culverhouse, (left) owner of Culverhouse Contracting poses with Flatwoods officials in front of the basketball court he built at Flatwoods Elementry.
Members of the Flatwoods Town Coucil recently gathered at the Flatwoods Elementary School to dedicate their new basketball court and water fountain. The projects, which have recently been completed, were the product of a 2012 town meeting at which time city officials ask residents and business owners what they wanted to see done in their town. According to Brenda Naye, the response was overwhelmingly in favor or doing “something for the kids.”
From that point on, city officials present and past began working toward the basketball court on the campus of Flatwoods Elementary School and the water fountain on the northern end of the Community Building. According to Councilwoman, Mindy Kniceley, who coordinated the project, the response from the school, both students and staff, have been great. “We have received letters and a host of positive comments about the addition to the playground,” Kniceley said. The new facility is utilized by the school during school hours and open to the community when school is not in session.
Since the school is not available to those after who use the playground after hours, the Council decided to work with the Flatwoods Park and Recreations board and install a fountain on the outside of the building.
“We would like to thank Al Culverhouse from Culverhouse Contracting for the installation of the new basketball court. We would also like to thank Mike Johnson and the Parks and Recreation Board for the installation of the new water fountain purchased by the town,” added Kniceley
Council members Connie Kniceley, Sue Loyd, Brenda Naye, Mindy Kniceley and Sandi Johnson Town secretary/treasurer she was on hand for the informal dedication. The council wanted to thank past and present city officials for helping make this project reality. Council member Mary Ann Rogers and mayor Crystal Gillespie were unable to attend.
(L to R) Flatwoods officials Council member Connie Kniceley, Sandi Johnson Town secretary/treasurer, Council members Sue Loyd, Mindy Kniceley, Brenda Naye and inspect the water fountain the town had errected on the outside corner of the Community Center.
Delegate Brent Boggs and Senator Doug Facemire present $15,000 in grants
(L to R) Delegate Brent Boggs, Becky Conrad, J.L. Campbell, Dot Gioulis and Senator Doug Facemire.
Delegate Brent Boggs and Senator Doug Facemire presented $15,000 in grants following the most recent County Commission meeting. The House Finance Committee Chairman said he and Senator Facemire were pleased to be able to bring these much needed funds to their home county. “As you all know the state budget is tight. That makes it even more difficult to be selected by the Governor for allocation what funds are available considering the vast amount of projects that compete for those monies,” Delegate Boggs told those in attendance. The long time legislator presented a $10,000 grant to representatives of the Burnsville Community Building. On hand to receive the funding was James Lee Wine of the Burnsville Parks and Recreations Board along with Burnsville Mayor Paul Bragg. The funding comes from the West Virginian Development Office Community Development Division and will be utilized to upgrade the HVAC system and make other much needed repairs to the Community Center.
Senator Facemire hand carried two grants to county based groups. Both were funded from the Governor’s Community Participation Grant Program. Shelia Mitchell and Jean Boggs accepted a $2,000 grant for the Gassaway Public Library. The funding will allow for the purchase of additional books and supplies.
Senator Facemire also presented a grant to the Sutton Community Development Corporation/ON-TRAC program in the amount of $3,000. Those funds will be used to purchase a storage building for equipment and supplies for the farmer’s market and community garden program. Sutton Mayor J.L. Campbell, and CDC Board members Dot Gioulis and Becky Conrad were on hand to receive the award.
(L to R) Commissioner Gary Ellyson, Delegate Brent Boggs, Shelia Mitchell and Senator Doug Facemire.
Area offenders have day in Circuit Court
On August 11, Jeremy Chad Kniceley came before the Braxton County Circuit Court with counsel David Karickhoff, for sentencing on the charge of delivery of a controlled substance: marijuana. Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state.
Karickhoff addressed the Court prior to sentencing and requested that his client be re-admitted to probation; the State did not object. Upon mature consideration, Judge Richard A. Facemire granted Kniceley’s motion to be readmitted to probation for a period of five years. Kniceley shall abide by a strict set of terms and conditions. It is ordered that Kniceley shall pay the costs of this action within 18 months. The Court further orders that Kniceley shall be given credit for time awaiting disposition in the matter, and that the bondsman in this matter shall be released.
Beatrice Benjamin made appearances in court on August 11, for a plea hearing on the charge of conspiracy. Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state.
Benjamin pled guilty to the offense of conspiracy, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years, or fined not more than $10,000 or both. The Court on its own moved to delay sentencing in this matter for the purpose of having a pre-sentence investigation report completed. Further sentencing in the matter will continue on September 11, beginning at 11:30 a.m. It is ordered that Benjamin shall be permitted to remain on the bond posted under the previous terms and conditions of said bond.
On August 11, Rhonda Williams Schrader, with counsel Clinton Bischoff, came before the Court for the purpose of a plea hearing for the offense of fraudulent schemes. Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state.
Schrader pled guilty to the offense, which is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or be confined in jail for not more than one year and be fined not more than $2500.00. The state agreed to dismiss all other pending charges against Schrader. Judge Facemire delayed sentencing for the purpose of having a pre-sentence investigation report completed. It is ordered that Schrader will appear before the Court for sentencing on September 17, at 9:00 a.m. It is further ordered that she shall be permitted to remain on the bond previously posted under the same terms and conditions. Schrader was drug tested prior to leaving the courthouse.
David Veasey appeared in Court on August 11 for sentencing in the matter of possession of controlled substance with the intent to deliver, to wit: hydrocodone. Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state.
Veasey’s attorney Kevin Hughart addressed the Court prior to sentencing and requested alternative sentencing. The State stood silent. The Court found that alternative sentencing or probation would unduly depreciate the seriousness of the offense; however, the State suspended the previous sentencing and ordered that Veasey shall report to the Anthony Corrections Center for a period of not less than six months or longer, to successfully complete the program requirements. The Court further ordered that Veasey shall focus job training skills while at the correctional center. Veasey shall remain on the bond heretofore posted, and shall receive credit for time served.
On August 11, Chester Dewayne Keen came before the Court for sentencing. Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin represented the state. Andrew Chattin, Keen’s counsel, addressed the Court and asked that Keen have an alternative sentencing. The Court found that there is insufficient information to determine sentencing at this time and ordered that Keen be delivered to the Department of Corrections to undergo a Diagnostic and Classifications evaluation. It is further ordered that Keen shall be committed to the custody of the authorities of Central Regional Jail, to await transport to the Northern Correctional Facility for evaluation. Further sentencing in this matter will resume on November, 10, at 9:00 a.m.
Johnny Jacob Patterson, accompanied by counsel Bryan Hinkle, appeared in Court on August 11 for the purpose of a sentencing hearing. Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state. Hinkle moved to continue sentencing, as Patterson’s sexual offender evaluation which was conducted on August 4 has not yet been received. The Court granted the motion and set further sentencing for September 4, at 1:30 p.m. Patterson is remanded to the custody of the Braxton County Sheriff’s Office to be transported back to the Central Regional Jail pending further Order of this Court due to his drug use while on bond.
Anthony Loyd appeared in Court August 11 for sentencing in the matter of delivery of a controlled substance; morphine. Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state.
Loyd’s counsel, Bernard Mauser, addressed the Court prior to sentencing and asked for alternative sentencing. The Court granted the alternative sentencing, and Loyd was admitted to probation for a period of five years. During this time Loyd shall abide by a strict set of terms and conditions. It is ordered that Loyd shall pay the costs of this action within eighteen months. It is further ordered that the bondsman in this matter shall be forthwith released.
On August 11, Eric Arthur Gentile came before the Court with counsel Jonathan Fittro for the purpose of a sentencing order. Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state.
Fittro requested that the Court permit Gentile to have alternative sentencing in the matter. The Court found that there is insufficient information to determine sentencing at this time and ordered that Gentile be delivered to the Department of Corrections to undergo a diagnostic and classifications evaluation. It is further ordered that Gentile shall remain on the bond previously posted and self-report to Northern Correctional Facility. Further sentencing in this matter shall be set for November 10, at 9:30 a.m.
On August 11, Christopher Tyler appeared in Court for sentencing to the offense of conspiracy to operate a clandestine drug laboratory. Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state. Clinton Bischoff, Tyler’s counsel, addressed the Court prior to sentencing and moved for an alternative sentencing. The Court granted Tyler’s motion for alternative sentencing and suspended all but 10 days to be applied and paid for by the Department of Corrections. It is ordered that Tyler be admitted to probation for a period of five years from this date. Tyler shall abide by a strict set of terms and provisions as given by the probation department. It is further ordered that Tyler shall pay the costs of this action within eighteen months. The Court also orders that the bondsman in this matter shall be released.
Shane Winebrenner appeared in Court on August 11 for sentencing on his conviction of delivery of controlled substance: oxycodone. Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin represented the state. Winebrenner’s counsel, Jonathan Fittro, requested alternative sentencing for his client. The Court granted the motion and ordered that all but 10 days of the previous sentencing be suspended, and Winebrenner be admitted to probation for a period of five years.