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Braxton County salutes veterans

The annual Braxton County Veterans Day Celebration last Saturday, November 11 began with a festive parade through Gassaway. Ray Strader of Burnsville served as Parade Marshal and lead a host of floats, displays and vehicles in what organizers termed the “parade in the 16 year history of the event.”
At the conclusion of the parade many participants gathered at the Braxton County Armory to honor local veterans. Evelyn Post, coordinator of the event and Executive Director of Central WV Aging Services Inc. welcomed the large number of people in attendance before Russell Shaw gave the invocation.
American Legion Post #33 posted the colors and led the audience in the pledge of allegiance.
Prior to the keynote speakers address Katy Ross entertained the crowd with her bag pipes. The POW/MIA recognition ceremony was also held
Lt. Col. John Garza of the United States Marine Corp introduced the event’s special guest speaker, Master Sergeant Jason M. Elson, Director USMC Airborne & Aerial Delivery School. The Wheeling, WV resident talked about dedicated military servants from the Mountain State and noted that Braxton County was home to 1230 veterans. He concluded his brief address by thanking all the veterans for their services.
Those in attendance were treated to a delicious lunch prepared by Country Girls Catering and served by the Braxton County FFA and local Boy Scouts.
Evelyn Post recognized the special guests in attendance before bringing Delegate Brent Boggs to the podium. Boggs who has attended all 16 celebrations, emphasized that while he was “honored and humbled to be in the presence of true American heroes” he wanted those in attendance to remember them not just on Veterans’ Day but every day of the year.
Post recognized the winners of the parade in various categories before supervising the door prize drawings.
Katy Ross again entertained with a selection of bag pipe music before American Legion Post #33 retired the colors to conclude the program.
In addition to Central WV Aging Services, others who helped make the event possible were Mike Ross, Delegate Brent Boggs, Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Premier Bank, Vicky Murphy’s State Farm Insurance, Lloyds Stave Co., Inc. and Clay Health Care Center.
See additional photos of the parade and reception on Page 8 & 9.

Burnsville Zombie 5K Run/walk
termed huge success

Some of the winners of the Burnsville PTO Zombie 5K Run/Walk. (below)Glenville State College students, complete with costumes, were on hand to help with the fund raising event.

The first Burnsville Elementary PTO Zombie 5K Run/Walk was held on Saturday, October 28. The Burnsville PTO would like to thank everyone who came out to run, walk, or support the racers in the Zombie 5K. “We couldn’t have pulled it off without those who donated their time, money and efforts to this event. Special thanks to Coach Nate Edwards from Glenville State College for timing the race, and to his team for taking time out of their Saturday to scare our runners,” stated a spokesperson.
The top overall female runner was Lindsay Chapman with a time of 26:31. The top overall male runner was A. J. Godwin with a time of 24:37. Additional results and photos, can be found on the Burnsville Zombie 5K Facebook page.
“We appreciate everyone that helped more than you know. Special thanks ago out to our race sponsors,” They include Ameriprise Financial & Rod Tolley, Bi-Con Services, Burnsville Drug Store & Chase Duffield, Burnsville First Baptist Church, Evelyn Post, Mike & Deanna Stewart, Bill & Donna Singleton, Bob & Maureen McPherson, Premier Bank, Richard Roach Funeral Home, Sutton Lake Marina, Burnsville First Baptist Church Women, Buckhannon Wal-Mart, Buckhannon Lowes, Citizens’ News & Ed Given, Chick-fil-A of Clarksburg, FashionForword & Brittany Pescetto, Kroger, Sports Connection, Rock Paper Scissors - Lura Bingaman and Kathy Helsinger, Town of Burnsville, Upshur Cinema 6, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Burnsville Lake.

Home confinement check leads to
herion arrests

Joshua Merwhan Balcourt, 41 of Exchange and Monchelle Faye Nicholas, 30 of Gassaway, are both facing charges of possession of heroin with intent to deliver and conspiracy following a routine home confinement check.
According to the criminal complaint, Braxton County Sheriff’s Department Deputy A.L. Groves went to a home on North Main Street in Sutton on November 5 along with Deputy C.E. Westfall, Deputy B.J. Williams, and West Virginia State Police CPL P.A. Huff, TPR D.W. Heaster, and TPR J.O. Hensley for a home confinement check on Balcourt. When the officers arrived on scene they started searching the bedroom, belonging to Balcourt and Nicholas for illegal drugs and paraphernalia.
The officers located 14 individually packaged bags containing a brown powdery substance that field tested positive for heroin. They also found a set of digital scales, multiple needles and smoking devices, and multiple empty baggies used in the packaging of controlled substance for delivery and sale.
Balcourt was arrested on scene and Nicholas was located soon afterwards at Walmart where she was placed under arrest.
Braxton County Magistrate Beth Smith set both individual’s bonds at $25,000 cash only. They are currently lodged in the Central Regional Jail awaiting further proceedings.

BCHS Science Bowl team wins Regionals

Congratulations to the Braxton County High School Science Bowl team on their outstanding performance at the regional competition on November 1. The competition took place at Concord University. They took first place in the RESA 4 region, as well as overall first place in the entire tournament, consisting of 12 schools from RESA’s 1 and 4. The team consisted of Garrett Perkins, Sarah Lane, KC Hoard, Michael Lemon, Takumi Veltre, Kota Kniceley, Heath Cottrill, Logan Rose, and Marilyn Hosey (not pictured).

Judge Facemire presides over plea hearings

The Honorable Richard A. Facemire recently completed two court orders in the Braxton County Circuit Court. The state of West Virginia was represented by Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Jasmine R.H. Morton.
On October 16, Cody Merrie Martin and her attorney Jonathan Fittro appeared before the court for an arraignment on the four felony charges of burglary, grand larceny, destruction of property, and conspiracy. Prior to entering a plea, the defendant admitted to using methamphetamine within a few days before the hearing, but stated it did not affect her thinking at that time. The defendant entered a not guilty plea to the charges contained in the indictment. A jury trial was set for December 5.
Nathaniel Jones came before Judge Facemire with his attorney Kevin Hughart to enter a not guilty plea to the two felony counts listed in the indictment of fraudulent schemes and conspiracy. The court set the trial for January 9.
Emmanuel Lewis Phifer, Jr. and Demius Nathaniel Jones were not present for their arraignment hearings. Judge Facemire issued a capias for the arrest of both individuals. The court ordered a fugitive from justice be filed in the state of Michigan on Phifer and a detainer filed for Jones in order for both individuals to face their charges in the circuit court. Phifer was represented by Melissa Roman and Jones was represented by Eric Hensil, standing in for Timothy Gentilozzi.
On October 10, Mark Elliot McCoy, Jr. came before Judge Facemire for a sentencing hearing. Also present were his attorney, Roman, and Tyler Morlan on behalf of the Braxton County Probation Office. The defense requested that any sentence imposed would run concurrent with his sentences from the Lewis and Upshur Counties circuit courts. He is currently serving a four year definite sentence out of Lewis County. Counsel for the defendant told the court that her client had made a mistake and accepted responsibility for his actions. The state remained silent per the plea agreement. The court ordered McCoy to one to ten years, but agreed to allow the sentence to run concurrent with the one he is currently serving.



Gassaway Christmas Parade set for Dec. 1

Gassaway Mayor Richie Roach has announced that the Town of Gassaway Christmas Parade will be held on Friday December 1 beginning at 7:00 pm. Parade lineup starts at 6:0 0pm at the Go-Mart office on River Street. Everyone welcome, no registration required. Santa Claus will be at the community building after the parade!


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