Moore competes at national FBLA level, brings home fourth place
Braxton County High School graduate, McKayla Moore, recently participated at the national level in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)-Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) competition that took place in Baltimore, Maryland at the end of June.
Moore and her partner Cori Tallman represented Pierpont Community and Technical College at the competition and brought home a fourth place finish in Website Design. Moore is a Resort and Hotel Management as well as an Office Administration major and is currently completing an internship in North Carolina. Tallman is a graduate of Elkins High School and is a Business Management major at Pierpont.
The competition began back in April at the University of Charleston where they placed second in the state in Website Design. This second place finish allowed the young ladies to qualify to compete in Baltimore. Pierpont then helped fund their way to Nationals where they presented their website “Good Fortune” again. The website had to be for a nonprofit organization.
“We made it through the preliminary round advancing us to finals and we ended up placing fourth in the nation. One of the big colleges we beat was Virginia Tech who placed eighth,” stated Moore.
She went on to say, “I would like to personally thank Donna Singleton for getting me involved in Future Business Leaders of America in my high school years which lead to me helping start out Phi Beta Lambda in Fairmont and for helping me discover my passion for the business world.”
Moore is the daughter of Bobby and Beverly Moore of Servia and younger sister of McKinley Moore who is currently living in Pilot Mountain, NC.
Braxton was also represented by several BCHS students at the national event.
New York man facing long list of charges
Julio Hisael Amonte, 27 of Bronx, NY, has been charged with grand larceny, obtaining goods under false pretenses, conspiracy, taking the identity of another, two counts of false information to a trooper, and possession of marijuana. His arrest came after Braxton 9-1-1 received a call about a gray truck pulling a vehicle leaving the scene of an accident on I-79 near mile marker 62 on June 30.
West Virginia State Police TFC E.E. Bostic responded to the call and waited at the Flatwoods exit when he saw a gray truck matching the description. The trooper initiated a traffic stop on a 2018 Ford Raptor with WV temporary registration. Almonte stated the truck was registered to his brother-in-law, Dean Farmer aka “O”.
According to the criminal report, TFC Bostic obtained verbal consent to search the vehicle where he located multiple identification cards with the same photo on them, but with different names and personal information.
The officer received notification that the vehicle involved in the hit and run was a gray Toyota Tacoma also with WV temporary registration. During his search of the Raptor, he found a key inside that had a tag labeled 2017 Toyota Tacoma, gray in color.
TFC Bostic acquired a search warrant for the suspect’s iPhone X to get information to locate the brother-in-law. Upon examining the phone, he found multiple texts from Almonte to “O” giving him the personal information of Dean Farmer and Aaron Farmer.
After contacting both dealerships of the vehicles, the trooper found out they had copies of the identification cards that matched the identity Almonte had texted “O.”
Almonte stated he and Farmer aka “O” had traveled from New Jersey to Charleston in his blue Dodge Van. He had dropped “O” off at the Ford dealership on June 28 to purchase the Raptor and then on June 29 at the Toyota dealership to purchase the Tacoma.
He further stated that they left Charleston in the both the Raptor and Tacoma heading to New Jersey when the Tacoma was involved in a minor traffic accident and Almonte had stopped to help.
Almonte is currently in the Central Regional Jail on a $105,000 cash only bond set by Braxton County Magistrate Beth Smith while the investigation is ongoing.
Sandcastle Contest hosted by Corps
By Elizabeth “Buffy” Six
During the week of the Fourth of July, the Sutton Lake, US Army Corps of Engineers hosted hikes, safety programs and a sandcastle building contest at Bee Run lake July 3 for all ages.
Ranger Erika Thorsell was in charge of the event and judging. Prizes, like safety whistles and kites, were given out to the winners.
Competitors were given an hour to create a sand masterpiece. Although it was a sandcastle contest, participants were not limited to just a castle. One group crafted a shark with a fish in its mouth. The second place winners created an alligator chasing two little turtles in the sand. The first place winners made two castles connected to one another, complete with a moat around the castle closest to the lake. The first place team consisted of Arianna Dent and Nathan Wagner. The second place team was Amber Smith, Bella Smith, Savannah Smith, Anthony Smith, Grace Green and McKenzie Green. Thornsell said this could become an annual event for local families to do together.
The week began June 30 with a boating safety booth. The next day there was a kayak and canoe paddle at the Gerald R. Freeman Campground. Monday was a Sutton Lake history presentation at Bakers Run Campground. Wednesday was ranger hike at Bakers Run. Friday was another ranger hike at the Gerald R. Freeman Campground followed by a campfire at Bakers Run. The week ended July 7 with a water safety program at Bakers Run Campground and a campfire at the Gerald R. Freeman Campground.
(See additional photographic coverage on Page 11 of this issue.)
Suspicious vehicle leads to arrests
On June 29, Braxton County Sheriff’s Department CPL C.E. Westfall, was on patrol when he saw a suspicious vehicle parked at Falls Mill. An investigation has led to the two occupants, Daisy Mae Hall, 38 of Weston, and Joshua Dale Cutright, 28 of Vandalia being charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver for meth and marijuana, and two counts of conspiracy.
According to the criminal complaint, the officer detected an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle when he approached. After having both individuals exit the vehicle, he noticed a loaded needle in the console.
CPL Westfall found several small bags during his search of the vehicle. One bag with a crystal like substance that field tested positive for meth and another larger bag contained a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Also located in the car was a set of scales.
Hall and Cutright are awaiting further court proceedings and are currently lodged in the Central Regional Jail on $15,000 cash or surety bonds set by Braxton County Magistrate David Singleton.
Braxton County Health Nurse updates Commission on Hep A
Sissy Price, Braxton Health Nurse and Administrator of the Health Department updated the County Commission regarding reported cases of Hepatitis A at their most recently meeting last Friday, July 6. Price stated that 4 cases of the illness have now been confirmed in Braxton County. She stated that two were food service workers, but were not working during their infectious period. She added that one was a truck driver and the fourth was a home worker. She assured the Commission that the threat to residents and visitors was very low. She added that the disease has been around for hundreds of years and is treatable.
Price stated that in conjunction with state and federal agencies she had implemented a prevention response to the disease. She explained that Help A is a viral infection of the liver spread by unsanitary practices. She added that it is extremely important to wash your hands often, specifically after using the bathroom or changing diapers and to wash your hands before handling or eating food. The BCHD is also encouraging area residents to contact their health care provider to arrange for vaccination that is a key component to curbing and controlling the illness.
John Hoffman, OES/9-1-1 Director presented his monthly activity report to the Commission which revealed that Braxton Control had handled 865 requests for assistance during the month of June. Hoffman also requested that Trevor Harper, John David Jordan and Julia Rose be reappointed to the 9-1-1 Advisory Board. George Skidmore made a motion to approve the request.
Dale Hall, Braxton EMS Director, requested that James C. Beatty be changed from part-time to a full-time EMT effective July 16. He stated that Beatty’s rate of pay would be $11.73 per hour with full county benefits. He also requested that Matthew Smith be hired as a part-time EMT/driver beginning July 6. He will receive $10.50 per hour and no county benefits. Both were approved on separate motions and will service a 90 probationary period.
Probate appointments for the month of June were approved as presented on a motion by Lisa Godwin.
Correction of erroneous assessments were approved for the following: Staci & Brian Gerwig, Rodney Heater, Miles & Nancy Brooks, Billy Huffman, Green Hill Cemetery, Joran Biscombe, Jacqueline or Jackie D. Belknap, James or Megan Kimble, Alice Lou Ware, Laura Beth & Russell Lee Atkins and Larry Brown.
A motion by Lisa Godwin authorized the renewal of the county insurance coverage through the WVCoRP.
A Multi-Jurisdictional hazard Mitigation Plan provided by Region VII Planning and Development Council was adopted on a motion by George Skidmore.
The Commission approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission and the Supreme Court of Appeals of WV for rental of space utilized for the Family Court System.
Lisa Godwin made a motion to table action on a motion to dismiss in the estate of Ernest W. Lockard.
George Skidmore made a motion to approve usage of the County credit card for motel reservations for the commissioners to attend the 2018 CCAWV convention.
A motion by Lisa Godwin granted permission for Shalee Nottingham to donate time to the county’s Personal Leave Bank.
The Commission set a work session for July 20 to discuss a County Website.
George Skidmore made a motion to approve an agreement with Global Science & Technology to provide cyber security for the county’s computer systems at a cost of $390 per month.
Following a review all County and EMS invoices were approved for payment. A separate motion approved the minutes of a special Commission meeting held on June 25 as presented by the County Clerk.
Being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:30e a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will be held on July 20 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
New Board of Education members take seats
The new members of the Braxton County Board of Education participated in their first official meeting on July 6. Dolores Wright and DeAnna Whipkey were welcomed by current members President Jill Cooper, Vice President Dave Hoover, who was also recently re-elected, and Bradley Shingler.
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by President Cooper. She first wanted to recognize Shane Brown and Van Carr, even though they were not present, for their service to the community and the school system over the years sitting on the board.
President Cooper went on to ask Superintendent David Dilly to set up the retirees’ recognition for the next meeting on July 24. It was agreed upon for the recognition to be at 5:30 pm, before the start of the regular meeting.
Also discussed was the election of President and Vice President for the new fiscal year. It was decided that since it had not been included on the agenda, they would vote on the positions at the next meeting.
The board moved on to approve the following consent agenda items: approval of June 12, 18, and 27 meeting minutes; payment of bills; budget transfers and supplements; transportation requests and reports; treasurer’s report; request to be released from Braxton County Schools to attend Gilmer County Schools; and permission to attend Braxton County Schools from Kanawha County Schools.
Numerous professional and service personnel items were approved on the same motion including: employment/reassignment for Leigh Ann Meadows, Title I teacher, Davis, Laura Capron, Title I teacher, Flatwoods, Ronzel Haverty, welding teacher, BCHS and head boys’ and girls’ cross country coach, BCMS, Jessica Cook, cook, BCHS, Jessica Huffman, cook, Sutton, Victoria Allen, related service support aide, based at Davis, Michelle Shreve, related service support aides, based at Flatwoods, Mary McCumbers, substitute cook, Richard Norman, substitute custodian, Wilma Rhodes, special education supervisory/instructional/transportation aide, itinerant, BCMS, Johnny Myers, mechanic/bus operator, Jeremy Jarrett, head volleyball coach, BCHS, Rick Garavaglia, head girls’ soccer coach, BCHS, Lucas Bonnett, assistant football coach, BCMS, and Amy Moore, athletic trainer, BCHS; request for leave of absence for Sara Moore, pre-k teacher, Burnsville, extended leave for 2018-19 school year, and Leatha Williams, Director of Assessment and Accountability/Technology and Food Service, medical leave from June 18 through July 31 or until return; and resignation of Marvin Graves, substitute custodian.
Other items approved by the board on separate motions were the fundraisers, Star Weld contracts for 2018-19 for BCHS and bus garage, and the Head Start 5 Year Grant. It was noted the 5 Year Grant was up from $832,000 to $854,000 with the same number of students enrolled. Head Start Director Christina Bailey informed the board that most of the money from the grant goes toward salary, insurance, retirement and such.
Superintendent Dilly informed the board about an upcoming training in Summersville with the Nicholas County School Systems, the summer programs were up and running at the local libraries, along with the feeding programs, and that Doug Smailes, Pastor at Christ United Methodist Church of Sutton, with members of the Massachusetts church youth ministry will be painting at the middle school during IMPACT week.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:17 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for July 24 at 6:00 pm. Before the beginning of the meeting, board members will be conducting a small reception for retirees at 5:30 pm. As always, members of the Braxton County community are encouraged to attend regular board meetings. Any parent or concerned community member wishing to speak as a delegate or with public concerns may do so by signing in up to 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.