sees 144 receive diplomas
The 144 members of the Braxton County High School Class of 2017 said their final farewells on Friday, May 19 in the high school gym. The commencement ceremony began with Principal Jessica Pierson saying a few words and welcoming the processional of the graduating seniors. She introduced the Top Ten Seniors with special recognition for their hard work over the last four years. Principal Pierson also awarded Valedictorian Hollis Skidmore and Salutatorian McKenze Yanero plaques for their outstanding work and leadership.
Throughout the graduation ceremony, the top ten seniors gave speeches to the huge audience in attendance.
Seth Shingler welcomed everyone to the ceremony and Seth Backus provided the audience with the invocation. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Leslee Coffman.
The introduction of the guest speaker, Mr. Denver Drake, was provided by Lydia Moran. Mr. Drake gave a moving speech about his relationship with the members of the Class of 2017 as their former middle school principal. He wished them luck on their future endeavors and provided them with tips on how to succeed.
Salutatorian McKenze Yanero and Valedictorian Hollis Skidmore gave touching speeches about their classmates and school experiences.
Lydia Moran also recognized the recipients of local scholarships and thanked the various community members and organizations that provided those opportunities.
Luke Bonnett conducted the tassel ceremony and the closing remarks were provided by Quinn Hopen
The hat toss was performed by Justin Vankirk and Dylan Johnson.
The event concluded with the presentation of the diplomas by Assistant Principal Flora Cox with the help of the Superintendent David Dilly and the members of the Braxton County Board of Education. (See additional photographic coverage on Page 15 of this issue.)
Braxton Eagles capture Sectional
The Sectional Champion Eagles (left to right, front row) Gage Vincent, Ross Knight, Ryan Conrad, Austin Carter, Seth McDonald, Cody Dobbins, Digger Dennison, Jay Cooper, (left to right, back row) Assistant Coach Jerry Frame, Ben Fincham, Payton Lockard, Assistant Coach Travis McMillion, Jacob Oates, Seth McCoy, Seth Backus, Troy McMillion, Braden Poling, Cam Long, Tayton Stout, Assistant Coach Jeff McMillion, Head Coach Jacob Wolfe.
By Shirley Shuman
The Eagles outlasted Herbert Hoover in what turned out to be the sectional championship game to win 11-10 in eight innings. Looking at the game and the fact that his team won the sectional championship, Coach Jacob Wolfe began by saying, “Is there such a thing as an ugly great win?” The coach added, “It’s a big deal to win the sectional championship, and it was a good series for us. The last game presented us with a lot of challenges mentally, [but] the team stayed together and came out with a fantastic win.”
In that game, the Eagles found themselves down 6-0 going into the bottom of the second. They did come up with two runs in that inning. After Hoover scored again in the top of the fourth to go up 7-2, Braxton managed three runs in the bottom of the inning to close the game to two runs. After a scoreless fifth, the Eagles managed to get the tie. Hoover added three runs in the top of the eighth, but Braxton came up with four for the win.
Braxton coaches sent four pitchers to the mound in that game. Braden Poling started and went 1.1 inning. He allowed six runs. Cam Long pitched 5.1 innings and allowed one run. Next on the mound was Seth Backus, who gave up three runs. Ben Fincham pitched the last of the eighth and received credit for the win.
With a two-run home run, Poling led Braxton’s offense. He went 3 for 5 at the plate and accounted for four RBIs. Fincham and Jacob Oates both doubled.
In the first game of the double-elimination regional championship, the Eagles will travel to Bridgeport Tuesday. Wednesday’s game will be played at Braxton, and, if a third game is necessary, it will be at Bridgeport.
Coach Wolfe acknowledged Bridgeport as “a solid team,” saying, “…everyone knows that but everyone is beatable, and that’s why you play the game. If we come out playing as a team and to our capability for all seven innings of each game, we will come out and make some history as being the team to knock off the three-time straight AA champs.”
Braxton Circuit Court hands down sentences
On May 8, the Honorable Judge Richard A. Facemire completed several sentencing orders. Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Jasmine R.H. Morton was present on behalf of the state and Jacob Foster was representing the Braxton County Probation Office.
Richard Cory Barker and attorney, Eric Hensil appearing on behalf of Timothy Gentilozzi, came before the court. The defense requested some type of alternative sentencing and the state recommended probation per the plea agreement. The court ordered Barker to a period of one to five years in the state penitentiary for the felony offense of delivery of a controlled substance-oxycodone, but granted the request for probation. The defendant’s sentence was suspended and he was admitted to six months home confinement to be followed by five years of probation.
Frankie Dewayne Clowser, II and his attorney, Eric Wildman appeared before Judge Facemire for sentencing on the felony charge of conspiracy. The defense moved for alternative sentencing with the state remaining silent per plea agreement. Judge Facemire sentenced Clowser to one to five years for the felony charge. However, the court did grant the motion for probation and suspend the sentence. The defendant was placed on probation for five years.
September Singleton along with her attorney Andrew Chattin appeared for sentencing. The defense moved for alternative sentencing. Singleton spoke to the court on her own behalf and the state remained silent per the plea agreement. Judge Facemire granted the request for probation after ordering a sentence of one to five years for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-methamphetamine. The sentence was suspended and she was placed on five years probation.
Melissa Graham and attorney Bryan Hinkle, came before Judge Facemire for sentencing on the felony count of conspiracy. A motion for alternative sentencing was made by the defense and the state recommended probation per the plea agreement. The court sentenced Graham to one to five years for the charge, but granted the motion for probation. She was admitted to probation for a period of five years.
Ronald Duffield appeared before the court along with his attorney Andrew Shumate. The defense made a motion for some type of alternative sentencing and the state remained silent per the plea agreement. Judge Facemire denied the request and found the defendant in need of correctional treatment in a correctional setting. Duffield was sentenced to a total of two to twenty-five years for the felony counts of burglary and grand larceny.
Harry William Alderman and attorneys, Shumate and Wildeman, came before Judge Facemire for sentencing on the felony charges of conspiracy and grand larceny. Mike Haley was present on behalf of the probation office. The defense requested some type of alternative sentencing in the case, while the state recommended that any sentence imposed run concurrent with current sentence. The victim also addressed the court. Judge Facemire denied the motion and sentenced Alderman to a total of two to fifteen years.
On April 7, Vondellia Louise Rose and attorney Bernard Mauser appeared before the court for a sentencing hearing. Also present was Foster from the probation office. A motion for alternative sentencing was requested by the defense. The state recommended Rose serve 120 days in the Central Regional Jail and not receive any home confinement. Also the state requested she be ordered to complete 150 hours of community service. The court sentenced the defendant to one to three years, but granted the motion for alternative sentencing. All except 120 days of the sentence was suspended and Rose was admitted to five years probation with the first year to include home confinement with GPS monitoring. She was also ordered to complete 150 hours of community service per year and to speak to classes at Braxton County High School about her situation and how it has affected her life.
Emergency meeting validates firing of EMS director
The Braxton County Commission called an Emergency Meeting for 8:30 a.m. on Friday, just 30 minutes prior to their regular meeting. The purpose as stated in the agenda was “Dismissal of EMS Director and appointment of Interim Director.” A note on the agenda read, “At this time there is not an EMS Director. This emergency meeting is being called to fill the vacancy of the Director and appoint an Interim.”
The extraordinary session was called to order by President Ron Facemire. At 8:31 a.m. George Skidmore made a motion to go into executive session to discuss the situation. At 8:36 a.m. the meeting reconvened in regular session. George Skidmore made a motion to terminate Sam Mace as EMS Director effective May 15. That action was seconded by Lisa Godwin and received the unanimous support of the Commission. No direct reason was given for Mace’s dismissal.
Lisa Godwin made a motion appoint Marsha Rexroad, current administrative assistant, as Interim EMS Director. That action also received unanimous support.
The meeting adjourned at 8:39 a.m.
Contacted my phone, Sam Mace said he was shocked by the Commission’s action. “I volunteered for this ambulance service for over 15 years. I have been a full and/or part-time employee of the county for over 16 years. I do not feel I was given a fair chance to defend myself against these baseless allegations. I am very disappointed in the Commissions treatment of me in this matter.”
Grand Jury summoned
The following citizens have been selected to serve on the upcoming term of the Grand Jury beginning on Tuesday, June 6 at 8:45 am.
Dewey Justin Nottingham of Duck, Lois Ann Teets of Strange Creek, Marion Jackson Marlow of Sutton, Samantha Lynne Goodwin of Duck, Betty Lou Keener of Strange Creek, Casey J. Westfall of Heaters, Sandie Kay Metheny of Duck, Margaret Esther Blake of Burnsville, Brett Kenneth Gump of Gassaway, Donna Darlene Posey of Sutton, Autha Nae Douglas of Sutton, Paula Lynn Frame of Gassaway, Douglas C. Duckworth of Gassaway, Kelli Dawn Woodward of Flatwoods, Roberta Dawn Jamison of Burnsville, and Ashley Nichole Alexander of Little Birch. Spencer Travis Wayne of Sutton, Dan Carpenter of Sutton, Treena Dawn Miller of Gassaway, Nancy Mae Keener of Sutton, Edward Lynn Clifton of Little Birch, Johnny Lee King of Rosedale, Ashley Nicole Foster of Gassaway, Esta Illene Lewis of Strange Creek, Jacob Robert Boggs of Exchange, Nathaniel Cord Metz of Burnsville, Karen Danielle Moore of Sutton, Clarice Ann Burns of Rosedale, Harold Mason Johnson II of Flatwoods, Alfred Gains Bender of Heaters, Cara Morgan Foster of Sutton, Emily Cogar of Flatwoods, William Lacey Kemp of Gassaway, and Carolyn Sue Marple of Flatwoods. Lena Marie Heater of Burnsville, Ricci Ersel Bodkins of Sutton, Bradley K. Dobbins of Frametown, Karen Elaine Callison of Gassaway, Duane Albert Mattson of Burnsville, Brian Scoot Stewart of Gassaway, Cynthia Ann Westfall of Sutton, Canna Suzette Steele of Burnsville, Randall Paul Salisbury of Duck, Rebecca Ann Shaw of Sutton, Ronald Clay Miller of Burnsville, Allie Beth Jackson of Flatwoods, Carolyn Melissa Connor of Sutton, Jonas Cleveland Williams of Sutton, Roger Allen Stewart of Sutton, Allen Scott Tanner of Duck, Nancy May Spencer of Duck, and Mary Josephine Lipps of Burnsville. Vickie Darlene Fincham of Sutton, Tammy Lynn Woodrum of Gassaway, Lisa Darlene Davenport of Strange Creek, Nathan Arthur Rifenburg of Sutton, Karen Lemoyne Holcomb of Gassaway, Carol Marie James of Sutton, Jeffrey Datten Cutlip Jr. of Exchange, Robey Shelton Nottingham of Gassaway, Tasha Lynn Payne of Sutton, Brandon Seth Wotring of Frametown, Amanda Beth Tenney of Little Birch, Mollie Bea Cunningham of Gassaway, Michele Lee Tusing of Flatwoods, Christopher Alan Meadows of Sutton, Stacy Scott Prunty of Exchange, Jimmie Wayne Rose of Sutton, Jason Lee James of Gassaway, and Winona Ann White of Duck. Edward J. Singleton of Gassaway, Denver Ray Johnson of Gassaway, William H. Dean Jr. of Burnsville, Victoria Ann Facemire of Sutton, and Joseph Adrian Flack of Gassaway.
Commission meeting features
writing contest awards presentations
(Front L to R) The Winners of the local contest Connor Bragg, Riley Skeens, Haley Fincham, their instructor, Lori Dittman. (Back Row L to R) Commissioners George Skidmore, Ron Facemire, Lisa Godwin and WVCCA Executive Director Vivian Parsons.
Braxton County Democratic Women President Nadean Jack (standing left) and VP Edie Tichner watch as Commission President Ron Facemire signs the proclamation.
The first order of business at last Friday’s Braxton County Commission meeting was to recognize the winners of the Braxton County writing contest hosted by the County Commissioners and the Braxton Citizens’ News. The contest is also part of a state wide competition. Vivian Parsons, Executive Director of the County Commissioners Association of WV was on hand to present a local student with a third place award in the state competition. Parsons discussed the contest and its purpose before asking Haley Fincham an eighth grade student at Braxton County Middle School to read the essay that won her first place in the county and third place in the state wide event. Parsons also presented the young author with certificate and monitory award.
Commission president Ron Facemire presented cash prices to the top three winners of the county contest. Fincham received $200, Connor Bragg received $125 for his second place entry while Riley Skeens took home $75 for her third place essay.
In other action the Commission received a report from Laura Wilson, Administrative Assistant with the Braxton Testing Center. Wilson told the Commission her agency had conducted 163 drug screenings during the month of April and had 3 individuals complete the terms of their home confinement and had been released.
The Commission read a letter from Sheriff Eddie Williams requesting that Louis DelaMae, Dwayne Duffield, Kevin Bingamon and Caleb Harper be employed as Deputies to work Dam Partol. That request was granted on a motion by George Skidmore.
Bruce Hyer told the Commission about a movie he plans to film that involves Sutton. He requested the use of Sheriff’s vehicles and two sets of uniforms for actors in the movie. George Skidmore made a motion that if Hyer could work out the arrangements with the Sheriff the Commission would approve the request.
Nadean Jack and Edie Tichner appeared before the Commission on behalf of the Braxton County Democratic Women’s Club. Jack, president of the organization gave the Commission a brief history of the nationwide event and requested that May be proclaimed Democratic Women’s Month in Braxton County. Lisa Godwin made a motion to approve the request and allow the Commission President to sign the proclamation.
It was also Godwin that introduction action to approve the short form settlements for the following as presented: Barba A. Chapman, Gladys Helen Patterson, Thurman T. Ratliff, Elsie Carr Salazar, John Dale Sawyers and Margaret Elizabeth Skidmore.
An application for correction of erroneous assessment was approved for John Carroll.
Two purchase orders were approved by separate motions. One granted the Sheriff’s Tax Office permission to purchase tax statements and envelopes from Casto & Harris in the amount of $2,773.75. The second authorized the Sheriff to purchase 4 tires from Frank’s Tire in the amount of $524.00.
Lisa Godwin made a motion to reappoint Brian James to the Sugar Creek PSD Board. It was also Godwin who moved to recognized May 21-27 as EMS Week in Braxton County and to purchase signs that say “Thank You EMS” to additionally recognize the 1st responders.
The Commission reviewed a letter from the Town of Burnsville requesting that the Burnsville Community Building be turned over to the town. Lisa Godwin made a motion to table consideration of the request to be further discussed in a work session.
Consideration of vacancies on the Braxton County Building Commission were also moved to the work session for further discussion.
Lisa Godwin made a motion to approve the annual elevator inspection be done by Thyssen Krupp but that the sales tax be removed from the invoice.
Following a brief discussion, George Skidmore made a motion to not renew the County SAM Registration for 2017 at a cost of $599. A representative of Region VII Planning and Development Council, who was present, informed the Commission that the required registration could be done online at no charge.
Following a review, George Skidmore made a motion to accept the lowest estimate for removal of dead limbs from trees in the Courthouse Square from Cook’s Tree Service. Lisa Godwin abstained from the vote.
George Skidmore made a motion to allow the President to sign necessary documents for a Small Cities Block Grant application.
Following a review, separate motions approved the vouchers, P-card invoices and EMS bills for payment and the minutes of the Commission’s May 5 meeting.
The final act of business came in the form of a motion by Lisa Godwin to set a work session for Thursday, May 25 at 9:00 a.m.
The meeting adjourned at 10:02 a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will be held on June 2 beginning at 9:00 a.m.