John Fowler named VP/
Branch Manager of local Bank
Local Pastor, John Fowler has recently been named the Vice President and Branch Manager of Premier Banks’ Gassaway location.
Premier Banks have named John Fowler as the Vice President and Branch Manager for their 1st Central Division Gassaway branch. While Fowler is new to Premier Banks is not new the banking industry or the local area.
After obtaining a business degree from West Virginia State University and a Masters of Business from the University of Charleston, John embarked on a 16 year career in the financial world… most recently coming from Arnoldsburg where he managed the Calhoun County Bank branch.
John came to Braxton County three years ago as pastor of the Pulse Church which took over the facilities of the old Gassaway Baptist Church on Elk Street when they moved to their new location. “I feel like God opened this opportunity for me to continue to extend a helping hand to the central West Virginia community. Our church as witnessed substantial growth during the time we have been here and I believe my new position at Premier Bank will provide another avenue for helping others,” explained the Pastor/new Branch Manager.
John and his wife of twenty-seven years, Kristi have two children; John Christopher, 19 who attends Marshall University and Lindsey, 18, who plans to attend nursing school. The family currently resides in Charleston but is looking for a new home in Braxton County.
Starbucks opening new
store at Flatwoods Outlet
Construction of a new Starbucks in Braxton County is underway at the Flatwoods Outlet Mall.
Skidmore Development Company has announced the construction of a new Starbucks Coffee House at the Flatwoods Exit of 1-79. The new facility will be located at the Flatwoods Outlet Mall across from the Bulk Food Store.
John Skidmore II, president of the development company, stated that the 1750 square foot facility will be one of only a hand full of freestanding Starbucks in West Virginia.
The first Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington, on March 31, 1971. Today the company operates over 24,000 retail stores in 70 countries.
Starbucks offers a wide range of exceptional products that customers enjoy in their stores, at home, and on the go. The new location will feature more than 30 handcrafted beverages: fresh-brewed coffee, hot and iced espresso, Frappuccino® coffee and non-coffee blended beverages, Starbucks Refreshers®, smoothies and teas. Free standing stores typically offer baked pastries, sandwiches, salads, salad and grain bowls, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, fruit cups, mugs and accessories, packaged goods, books and gifts. The new facility will also feature drive-thru service.
“I believe the opening of nationally recognized facilities like Starbucks, Pilot, and Walmart furthers our objective of making the Flatwoods area a destination for travelers,” explains Skidmore. “We are very pleased that, after nearly 12 months of negations, this facility will become a reality.”
Huffman Construction of Bridgeport, WV is the contractor building the new location. According to Skidmore, construction is on track for an early spring 2017 opening.
The facility will create between ten and twenty new jobs.
Extension Agent Ami Cook earns
WV Braxton/Clay Extension Agent Ami E. Cook is the member of two award winning teams that recently obtained national recognition. Several team members of the West Virginia Health Motivator initiative brought home a First Place Eastern Region Family Health and Wellness Award at the 2016 National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences Conference in Big Sky, Montana.
The Family Health and Wellness award recognizes Extension programs that promote and improve the health and wellness of families in areas such as nutrition, fitness, family meals, meal planning, time or stress management, overall healthy lifestyles and more.
The team partnered with the West Virginia Community Education Outreach Service to create the Health initiative, which selected a member of each CEOS group as a designated Health Motivator. The selected member was equipped with training and curriculum materials which they in turn used to lead monthly group activities and encourage wellness within their lifestyles.
Health Motivator team members included Cheryl Kaczor, Elaine Bowen, Lauren Prinzo, David Roberts, Rebecca Smith, Terrill Peck, Sue Flanagan, Judy Matlick, Patricia Morrison, Gwen Crum, Loren Wells, Dana Wright, Brenda Porter, Kerri Wade, Lauren Weatherford, Andrea Bennett, Ami Cook, Margaret Miltenberger and Shirley Wilkins.
Several WVU Extension Service professionals, including Ami Cook, brought home the Second Place Eastern Region Dean Don Felker Financial Management Award for their involvement in the WVU Smart Money Series at the National Conference.
Cook was among more than 30 WVU Extension professionals recognized at the national award ceremony.
The WVU Extension Service serves as an outreach division of West Virginia University. Extension has offices in all 55 counties, which provide citizens with knowledge in areas such as 4-H and youth development, agriculture, family and consumer sciences, health, leadership development and community and economic development.
To learn more about WVU Extension, visit www.braxton.ext.wvu.edu, or call 304-765-2809.
Orlando couple charged with child neglect
Two individuals from Orlando are facing child neglect resulting in injury charges. Both Whitney Erin King and Carey Ethan Coffman have been charged with two counts of child neglect after an investigation that started in September.
According to the criminal complaint, on September 24, West Virginia State Trooper Sergeant Adam Scott received a child physical abuse complaint referral from Braxton County Child Protective Services. The referral stated that there was a one month old infant male at Ruby Memorial Hospital with a broken left leg. The officer was also told they were varying stories on how the leg may been injured. Sergeant Scott arrived at the hospital to conduct an investigation and spoke with the hospital’s medical social worker. She was able to provide the officer with a medical report of the injuries the infant had sustained. The officer met with the doctor treating the infant and she confirmed that she believed the injury was not accidental and was called a “bucket handle” fracture which is suspicious of abuse, along with the victim’s age and lack of mobility. According to the social worker, the staff found another suspicious area on the right leg of the infant which required another x-ray. The mother, King, became upset and refused any further x-rays and said the child was fine. King also stated she doubted the leg was even actually fractured in the first place.
On September 26, Sergeant Scott received another medical report from Ruby Memorial Hospital in reference to the injuries on both legs. The report indicated the right leg had been previously broken and started healing without being treated.
Throughout the investigation of the infant’s injuries, King was uncooperative with the officer and medical staff. She refused to provide Sergeant Scott with contact information for her mother and would not provide the location of the infant’s seven year old brother in order for the authorities to take custody of the children by a court ordered petition. Initially King agreed to a polygraph examination, but backed out saying her attorney advised her not to take the polygraph. There were also conflicting stories from King and from the infant’s father, Coffman, on how the infant’s legs sustained the injuries. The medical personnel treating the infant were provided with the stories and stated the injuries do not match the stories provided by King and Coffman.
Both suspects were arraigned in front of Braxton County Magistrate Beth Smith after a warrant was issued for their arrest. They were released on a $5000 cash or surety bond.
Commission receives evaluation of emergency services personnel
Barbara Adams, chairman of the EMS and 9-1-1 Advisory Boards, was first to address the Braxton County Commission at their regular meeting on Friday, October 21. She presented the Commission with evaluations of the EMS and OES Directors and their administrative assistances. She added that all evaluations by her committees were satisfactory and they were pleased with the performance of all four individuals.
Vicki Lemon, Director of Braxton Testing Services was next to address the Commission. She told the body that her agency had conducted 221 drug screenings during the month; had 3 individuals successfully complete their home confinement responsibilities and were monitoring 26 additional people currently servicing on home confinement.
Sheriff Eddie Williams requested permission to hire Carri Simpson as the law enforcement secretary to replace retiring Linda James. He stated Simpson would be paid $21,500 per year with all county benefits. George Skidmore made a motion to approve the request.
Sheriff Williams also requested permission to change the employment status of Jeff Freeman to a full-time Process Server to replace Felicia Watkins who was taking a federal position in Upshur County. That request was also granted.
Sam Mace, EMS Director requested permission to increase the rate of pay for the EMS Administrative Assistant to $13.50 per hour and increase the pay of the services Training Officer, Shirley Morrison to $15 per hour. Both requests were granted.
John Carrol addressed the Commission wanting the Commissioners to force the Sheriff’s Department to pursue an investigation into his stolen property. Commissioners asked Sheriff Williams for comment. He stated that Mr. Carrol had failed to provide satisfactory proof that the items taken belong to him. Commissioner Ellyson stated that Carrol should get the serial numbers of the guns taken, have the information time stamped in the Clerk’s office and present it to the Sheriff.
In other business, short form settlements for the following were approved on a motion by George Skidmore: Carol Jean Allen, Paul L. Crutchfield, Denver Floyd Cutlip, Janice M. Hall, Dursilla James, Phosa D. Mace, Jr., Annie Perrine, and Robert Rollyson.
Applications for the correction of erroneous assessments were approved for Living River Chapel, Chelsie Newlon, Clayton or Leah Napier, John D. Wimer, and Gary and Diane Byrd.
A request to consolidate contiguous tracts of land for tax purposes was approved for Dayton and Maryetta Ables.
A single purchase order was approved on a motion by Gary Ellyson. That acquisition will provide a card swipe system to restrict the restroom on the second floor of the Courthouse to employee only access. The system from Advanced Alarm Technology will cost $1300.
Gary Ellyson made a motion to advertise for the position of Animal Control Officer. In making the motion Ellyson stated that he appreciated the work of Greg Robinson stating the shelter had made great strides under his leadership.
The Commission approved a resolution to accept a grant for records management in the clerks’ offices which contains a 10% match on the part of the county.
Following a brief discussion, Gary Ellyson made a motion to award a bid regarding fire alarm inspections to Electronic Specialty Company at a cost of $2,580.
Internal budget revisions were approved as presented.
Gary Ellyson made a motion to advertise for an opening on the janitorial staff.
George Skidmore made a motion to hire Heather Hardway to replace Commission Administrative Assistant Edie Tincher who will is running uncontested for Assessor and will assume that position on January 1, 2017.
It was also Skidmore who introduced action to advertise for the position of Deputy County Clerk.
Following a review both the minutes of the Commission’s previous meeting and the county, EMS and P-card invoices were approved for payment.
Being not further business the meeting adjourned at 9:45 a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will be on November 4 beginning at 9:00 A.M.
BCMS Student Council attends conference
The Braxton County Middle School Student Council members attended the annual Student Council Conference at Jackson’s Mill last week. Those attending included (left to right) Dekayden Kirby, Drew Duffield, Wylie Skidmore, Lauren Keplinger, Haylie Lynch, Eliza Keener, and Stephanie Stewart.