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Braxton Memorial marks decade of independence

On July 1, 2007 the de-merger process was complete and Braxton County Memorial Hospital once again became an independent, not-for-profit healthcare facility, marking the end of a partnership with CAMC. Although independence may have been in the best interest of the hospital and the staff, it did not come without a price tag. On a monthly basis a sizeable check is written to CAMC in compliance with the terms of a 20 year payment agreement. This agreement was necessary to provide some stability for the future of the hospital, which was vastly uncertain at that time.
For over a decade Braxton County Memorial Hospital has continuously strived to make progress and improve the level of services offered to their patients. In 2008 the final payment was made on a nearly $2.5 million dollar inter-company debt owed to CAMC.
In 2009 a Capital Campaign Foundation was established and the first goal set at $800,000 was targeted towards the purchase of a new Computerized Tomography (CT) scanner.
In 2010 BCMH implemented the use of a 340B Pharmacy Plan for medications used in the outpatient area. The 340B Drug Discount Program is a US federal government program that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to health care organizations and covered entities at significantly reduced prices. This program resulted in a substantial cost savings for patients and the hospital.
In 2011 the space previously utilized by Gassaway Glenville Physical Therapy Specialists (GGPTS) was renovated into a Same day surgery area, improving patient flow and allowing the facility to provide an enhanced continuum of care to patients.
In 2012 through a generous donation from Dr. David Leveaux (ED Physician) the hospital was able to purchase new ultrasound equipment, this equipment is housed in the Emergency Department and has enabled physicians to make quicker diagnoses and decisions regarding patient care.
In 2013 Digital Mammography was made available with the purchase of a Selenia system from Hologic. This equipment has provided the opportunity to offer the latest innovations in high tech digital imaging and breast cancer detection.
In 2014 new patient IV pumps were purchased and the use of the SafeChx system was implemented which helps prevent medical identity fraud and eliminate duplicate records.
In 2015 half-dose cardiac imaging became available through CDL Nuclear Technologies, Inc. this reduces the radiation exposure for BCMH patients.
In 2016 due to the generosity of employees, civic groups, and community members, as well as a generous estate bequest the initial goal of the BCMH Foundation was achieved and a new CT scanner is currently operational within the facility making it possible for patients to have beneficial tests performed conveniently at their local community hospital. A new goal of $60,000 was set for a much needed expansion of the Laboratory.
During the past decade Braxton County Memorial Hospital has been no stranger to hard times. Finances have remained tight which has prohibited the facility from steadily advancing in other ways such as yearly employee pay raises, electronic medical records etc. However, by paying close attention to the finances and operating on a constricted budget BCMH has been able to continue to provide a steady and safe work environment to more than 150 employees without any lay off. These dedicated and compassionate individuals have helped set the standard for patient care and allow the hospital to remain proud of the exceptional treatment offered to the citizens of Braxton County and the surrounding areas. With the desire to strive for progress, not perfection and a continued attentiveness to a constantly changing world Braxton County Memorial Hospital looks ahead optimistically to a promising future and the ability to remain focused on Caring for you close to home.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” Napoleon Hill

Hammon crown Senior Majorette Queen

Grace Hammon won the title of Senior Majorette Queen at the Drum Majorettes of America National Competition at Fairmont State University on July 19. Grace competed in solo, strut, talent, modeling, and interview to win the title. She placed 1st in solo, 1st in strut, and 1st in talent. With this prestigious title Grace will represent Drum Majorettes of America by traveling to different competitions throughout the year. Grace is the 18 year old daughter of Rick and Jennifer Hammon of Flatwoods.

Several offenders have day in
Braxton Circuit Court

Several Braxton County Circuit Court hearings have recently been completed by the Honorable Judge Richard A. Facemire. The state was represented by Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Jasmine R.H Morton for these hearings.
On July 10, RJ Dobbins and attorney, Teresa Monk came before Judge Facemire for a pre-trial hearing. Also present was WVSP TFC Baier. The state had offered a plea agreement, but the parties needed to put it in writing. The court ordered a plea hearing to be scheduled for August 8, beginning at 2:00 pm.
Melinda Louise Carter appeared before the court with attorney Timothy Gentilozzi for a pre-trial hearing. The state was ready for trial, but the defense requested a delay to allow for an opportunity for a plea as the defendant had acquired new charges. Judge Facemire ordered the pre-trial hearing set for August 15 at 9:00 am to remain on the docket and any pleas had to be submitted to the court by August 8.
Keith Poteete and his attorney Bryan Hinkle came before the court along with Tyler Morlan on behalf of the Braxton County Probation Office for a plea hearing. The state had yet to file the plea agreement with the court so the trial could not proceed as scheduled. The court ordered the case to be continued and the plea hearing rescheduled for August 8 at 2:00 pm.
Jessica Jade Mace was represented by Franklin Cornette but not present for her motion to remand matter to Magistrate Court. The state filed the motion based on the fact the two prior shoplifting convictions were outside the seven year time frame required by WV State Code. The state requested the case be sent back to Magistrate Court as it is no longer a felony. Judge Facemire ordered the case back to Magistrate Court and the shoplifting-3rd offense be dismissed and re-filed as shoplifting-2nd offense.
Steven Miller, II and attorney, Thomas Rist, appeared before the court along with Jacob Foster representing the probation office for a motion hearing. The defense had made a motion to reconsider requesting Miller be granted early release from home confinement and be placed on probation. The state did not object to the motion stating he had been the ideal probationer. The court granted the motion and the defendant was released from home confinement but would remain on supervised probation.
Gerald Rafferty came before Judge Facemire for an extradition hearing with attorney David Karickhoff. The defendant announced he was willing to return to Maryland to answer the charge pending against him. The court ordered Rafferty to the Central Regional Jail until he could be extradited back to Maryland to face charges there.
Tyler Scott Anderson and his attorney, Karickhoff, appeared before the Judge for sentencing. Morlan was present on behalf of the probation office and the victim in this matter was also present. A motion was made by the defense to allow for some type of alternative sentencing for the felony offense of grand larceny. The state argued Anderson has yet to be sentenced for charges in Fayette County Circuit Court and recommended that he be placed at the Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders. Judge Facemire denied the motion stating he had admitted guilt but had a very poor attitude and had been continuously in trouble. He was sentenced to one to ten years in the state penitentiary.
On July 5, Tracy Calhoun and John C. Calhoun appeared before the court for extradition hearings. Tracy Calhoun was represented by Bernard Mauser and John Calhoun was represented by Karickhoff. The defense attorneys for both parties demanded the issuance of a Governor’s Warrant of extradition. The court ordered the state to obtain the warrant within sixty days. The bond was set at $50,000 cash or surety for both individuals and if they were able to post bond, they would be placed on home confinement as a term and condition of bond.
Jessica Denise Nicholson came before Judge Facemire for sentencing on the charge of conspiracy. She was represented by Clinton Bischoff. Foster was present on behalf of the probation office. A motion for some type of alternative sentencing was made by the defense with the state remaining silent per the plea agreement. Due to the defendant’s substantial criminal history and drug addiction the court denied the motion. Nicholson was sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary. However the court ordered the sentence suspended and the defendant to be assigned to the Anthony Center for a period of six months or longer to successfully complete the programs requirements, but not to exceed two years. She is to receive intensive substance abuse rehabilitation while at the program.
Ashley Markle Wright and attorney Hinkle appeared before the judge for sentencing on the felony count of conspiracy. Morlan was available representing the probation office. Corrections were made to the pre-sentence investigation report before the defense moved for alternative sentencing. The state remained silent per the plea agreement. Wright was sentenced to on to five years, but was granted the request for probation. The sentence was ordered to be suspended and she was placed on supervised probation for a period of five years.
Harry Hinkel, IV and his attorney, Bryan Hinkle, came before the court along with Foster representing the probation office for a probation revocation hearing. The defendant admitted to various allegations in the probation revocation petition. Hinkel requested some type of alternative sentencing in the matter and the state remained silent per the plea agreement. Judge Facemire revoked the current probation after hearing from both the defense and state on his employment and denied the motion for alternative sentencing. The court found Hinkel in need of correctional treatment in a correctional setting and ordered him to a total of two to thirteen years for the charges of grand larceny and attempting to commit a felony-soliciting a minor via a computer device. The court also denied the request to run the sentences concurrently.
On June 21, Joshua David Bohn and his attorneys Andrew Chattin for Braxton County charges and Jeff Davis for Gilmer County charges came before the court for sentencing. Gilmer County Prosecuting Attorney Gerry Hough was also present. A request was made by the defense to have the sentences from both counties to run concurrently with the sentence he is currently serving out of Fayette County Circuit Court. The court denied the requests as Bohn has an extensive criminal history and substantial drug addiction. He was sentenced on the charges of daytime burglary in Braxton Circuit Court and entry of a building other than a dwelling in Gilmer County Circuit Court to a total of two to twenty-five years to run consecutively with his current sentence. He was further ordered to be placed in some type of intensive drug treatment while in custody of the Division of Corrections.

Moose bestows highest honor on local member

Charles Claypoole of Gassaway, a member of Sutton Lodge No. 825, was summoned to receive the Pilgrim Degree of Merit, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member of the Loyal Order of Moose. The conferral was held in the House of God at Mooseheart, IL earlier this year.
The degree, currently held by less than one-half of the one percent of the members of the fraternity throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Bermuda, is the Order’s ultimate reward for exceptional devotion to the principles and ideals of caring for children and senior members, and is earned only be members who have given years of ‘above-the-call-of-duty’ service to the Loyal Order of Moose and its principle philanthropic endeavors of Mooseheart, a city for children in need, located forty miles west of Chicago, and Moosehaven, a retirement community for senior members, located on the banks of the St. Johns River, in Orange Park, FL.
The Pilgrim Degree ceremony, traditionally held on the same day as the Commencement Exercises for Mooseheart High School, is conferred only inside Mooseheart’s House of God, the magnificent multi-denominational cathedral built in 1950.
Members receiving this Degree are entitled to wear a much-coveted gold blazer, which is formally presented to the honoree during a special ceremony attended by other Pilgrims, members of the higher degrees of both the Loyal Order of Moose and Women of Moose, family, friends, community leaders, and other members of the Order.
The Moose is an international organization of men and women, dedicated to caring for children and seniors, bringing communities closer together, and celebrating life. Jointly, these members tirelessly volunteer their time and talent to assist people in need and make our communities better places to live and raise our families.
The organization operates over 1,600 Moose Centers throughout North America, Great Britain, and Bermuda, providing members with wholesome family, social, and sports activities. To learn more about what Moose members are doing in the communities in your area, visit www.mooseintl.org, or call (630) 906-3658.

Flatwoods man’s confrontation
with police leads to multiple charges

Albert Lee Fuhrmaneck, 62 of Flatwoods was arrested after an incident at the Braxton County Magistrate office complex on August 10.
Per the police report, West Virginia State Police TFC G.H. Jones was at the Magistrate’s office with another male individual under arrest, when he heard someone knocking on main door. He spoke to the individual, later identified as Fuhrmaneck, about DMV paperwork. The officer explained he was not able to help him with the DMV, and the suspect would need to talk with them. At this point, the suspect became agitated and began using obscene language, then left the Magistrate’s office.
TFC Jones remembered a possible warrant for Fuhrmaneck arrest and was able to confirm an active felony arrest warrant for failure to register as a sex offender. The officer went outside to the passenger side of the vehicle where the suspect was sitting. He advised Fuhrmaneck of the active warrant. The suspect again used obscene language and TFC Jones instructed him to get out of the vehicle, which he refused.
The trooper had previously received a tip that the suspect carried a loaded pistol and was unable to see his left hand in the vehicle. Fuhrmaneck continued to refuse the verbal commands of the officer. He took an aggressive stance while continuing to use obscene language before TFC Jones was able to gain control by taking him to the ground. After a brief struggle, the trooper was able to place handcuffs on the suspect and take him back into the Magistrate’s office.
While in the office, Fuhrmaneck continued to threaten the officer and the officer’s family. He also threatened Braxton County Sheriff’s Department Deputy B. Scarbro with violence, while he was escorting him into the courtroom.
WVSP SGT A. Shingler and BCSD T. Flint were able to locate the fully loaded pistol in the glove box in the front where Fuhrmaneck was in the vehicle. The suspect was previously convicted of rape in 1977, making him a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
Fuhrmaneck was charged with obstructing an officer, two counts of assault on an officer and prohibited person in possession of a firearm and placed on a $50,000 cash or surety bond. He was also charged with failure to register as a sex offender and placed on a $10,000 cash only bond on this charge. Fuhrmaneck was arraigned in Braxton County Magistrate Court by Gilmer County Magistrate Carol Wolfe.

I-79 road rage incident leads to two arrests

Two men, including one suspected of being an illegal immigrant, were arrested in a shots-fired incident that happened Friday August 4 on I-79 near the 51 mile marker south bound in Braxton County. The two men, Yesle Torres-Lamas and Armando Castro-Perez, from Louisville, Kentucky, have been charged with wanton endangerment with a firearm.
According to the criminal complaint, West Virginia State Police TPR J.O. Hensley received the initial call from Elkins communication about a possible road rage incident where one vehicle shot at another. The suspects’ vehicle was described as a white Ford duely with Kentucky registration.
Kanawha County Deputies were able to stop the vehicle after a BOLO had been released. A search of the truck led to the discovery of a pistol that showed signs of recently being fired.
The victim traveled to mile marker 3 of I-79 where the deputies had the suspects stopped and positively identify the vehicle.
The officers arrested Lamas and Perez and transferred them to mile marker 19 to be passed on to TPR Hensley and TPR W.C. Heaster. From there, the troopers transported the suspects to the WVSP Sutton detachment for processing and then on to the Central Regional Jail to await arraignment.
Both of the individual’s bonds were set at $25,000 cash only by Braxton County Magistrate Beth Smith. Torres-Lamas has since been released on bond, and Castro- Pereez is being held at CRJ on a retention order by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who suspect he is an illegal immigrant.


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