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Elk River Foodland to
become Shoppers Value

Facility will close Feb. 13 for remodeling and reopen on Feb. 22

After more than 35 years as a family owned Foodland franchise store, Elk River Foodland will be changing to Elk River Shopper’s Value. The announcement came from Doug Facemire and will only affect the local location of the seven grocery outlets owned and operated by Facemire Foods. “We converted our Huntington store to Shoppers Value about a year ago. It has been very well received by local residents of that area due to the lower everyday pricing structure that we offer customers. That is the main reason we are making the change in Braxton County… so we can give our loyal customers a better shopping value in their grocery items,” Facemire explained.
To accommodate the change and the complete redesign of the local store, Elk River Foodland will close on February 13 and reopen as Elk River Shoppers Value on February 22. “We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers, but it would be impossible to do the extensive remodeling and stay open at the same time. We are truly excited and looking forward to our friends and neighbors visiting our new Shoppers Value brand facility when we reopen,” added the owner.
The new store will feature an expanded full line of brand name grocery items and the high caliber of quality meats that Foodland customers have grown accustomed to, all at competitive prices. A large fresh produce section and carry-out service will also continue. “We encourage our customers to price shop. We are confident that this new structure will provide a substantial savings to central West Virginia resident’s in their food budget,” said Facemire.
The only major change in the new store format will be the deletion of the deli and bakery which Shoppers Value will not have. The owner says that even with the change no downsizing will occur in staff.
“We continue to be committed to the communities we serve. We want to keep the money local and our new Shoppers Value format will result in a savings for our customers. We are anxious to provide this new service to our community,” concluded the owner.
While new store will reopen at 9:00 a.m. on February 22, watch for the announcement of a Grand Re-Opening Celebration coming soon.




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Grand Jury indicts eight

On Tuesday, February 2, the February term of the Braxton County Grand Jury convened with the Honorable Richard A. Facemire Circuit Judge presiding. The jury returned indictments against eight individuals on a total of forty-one various charges.
Benjamin Lee Veasey was indicted on one felony count of fleeing in a vehicle with reckless indifference and one felony count of attempted unlawful assault on a law enforcement officer. Both charges stem from an incident in Gassaway on December 23, 2015 in which West Virginia State Police officer, TFC L.D. Mohr initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Veasey. The defendant refused to stop and fled in the vehicle at a high rate of speed. He is accused of intentionally ramming and attempted to ram the police cruiser trying to cause the trooper to wreck.
Justin Lyons of Gassaway received eleven indictments including five felony counts of forgery, five felony counts of uttering and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance or drugs, a misdemeanor. On November 30, 2015 WVSP officer, Sr. Trooper J.M. Tallman responded to the scene of an accident in Gassaway. The trooper found the driver of the vehicle to be under the influence and proceeded with arresting the individual. Lyons falsely forged the signature of Cody Hicks upon the statement to Sr. Trooper Tallman. He also allegedly forged the signature on the consent form of a blood sample kit, the WVSP live scan system, and the WV DUI Information Sheet. Lyons subsequently forged the signature approximately seventeen separate times on the arraignment paperwork in front of Magistrate Beth Smith of the Braxton County Magistrate Court on December 1, 2015.
On May 28, 2015, Larry Bostic of Flatwoods, is accused of grabbing the neck of an individual and choking her to the point of fracturing her larynx. Braxton County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Bryce Scarbro investigated this incident leading the indictment of Bostic for one felony count of unlawful assault.
Brandon Lamar of Exchange was indicted on two felony counts of burglary and two felony counts of grand larceny stemming from two different incidents in April and May of 2015. On April 28, Lamar is accused of entering the residence of an individual without permission with the intent to remove personal property of that individual valued at $131,799.87. Then on May 20, he broke into the home of another person and stole $5,100 worth of personal property. Braxton Sheriff’s Department Deputy Scarbro and Deputy Luke Johnson were the investigating officers in these cases.
Roger Dewayne Furby of Rosedale received five indictments from the Grand Jury. The charges included one felony count of nighttime burglary and four misdemeanor counts of violation of a domestic violence protective order, domestic assault, petit larceny and destruction of property. On January 1, 2016, Furby entered the home of his former girlfriend, who had a domestic violence petition against him, by kicking in the door and threatened to kill her. Once he left the residence, Furby removed the spark plugs from her car. WVSP officer CPL K.W. Huddleston was the investigating officer.
Matthew Allen Kestner of Sutton was indicted on twelve felony counts, including four counts of sexual assault in the first degree, four counts of incest, and four counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian, or person in a position of trust. The incident listed on the indictment occurred on October 2 or October 3, 2015 while Kestner was babysitting his four year old niece. The case was investigated by WVSP officer SGT Andrew J. Shingler.
Five indictments were issued against Joshua Todd Wilson of Frametown. The charges in this indictment include two felony counts of wanton endangerment of a firearm, one felony count of third degree arson, one felony account of attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer and one misdemeanor count of destruction of property. Wilson is accused of shooting firearm around the vehicle of an individual while this individual was in the vehicle on January 9, 2015. Then on July 18, 2015, Wilson discharged a firearm in the home of an individual with two other persons present, destroying a cook stove and the drywall. He is also accused of tearing a bathroom toilet out of the floor of that home. Wilson then set fire to a vehicle. Braxton County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Travis Flint responded to the call and the defendant grabbed the barrel of the Deputy’s long gun and attempted to disarm him. WVSP SR Trooper G.H. Jones was also an investigating officer for this indictment.
Stacey Dawn Boggs of Sutton received one indictment for the felony count of shoplifting-third offense. On January 14, 2016, WVSP officer SCT Mark Yost responded to a shoplifting call at the Wal-Mart at Flatwoods. Boggs is accused of stealing one Shopkins bag and one Diet Pepsi. She has two prior convictions for shoplifting, one in Lewis County in May of 2014 and the other in Harrison County in August 2015.
Editor’s Note: The return of an indictment by a Grand Jury indicates that a person has been charged formally by the State with the commission of a crime or crimes. It is an accusation. The U.S. Constitution provides that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the State. Upon entering a plea of innocent, persons accused of a crime are entitled to a trail by a jury of their peers. The guilt or innocence of the accused is determined by a Petit Jury, not by means of an indictment by a Grand Jury.


County officials support young cancer victim

County officials and employees wore their favorite Superhero shirts last Friday in honor of Jack Rollins Superhero Day.

The Braxton County Commission and a number of other elected officials and county employees were dressed in their favorite superhero garb last Friday in support of Jack Rollins Superhero Day. The local participation coordinated by Edie Tichner and made for some light-hearted moments at the regular meeting of the Commission on February 5.
Jack is the five year old son of Brooke and Ryan Rollins of Bridgeport, WV. He is known for his love of Superheroes and his love and concern for other children. He sports his superhero amour, when he receives treatments for Stage 4, high risk, Neuroblastoma cancer dressed as Spiderman, Batman and Superman… doctors and nurses never know who may show up for his appointments. He often visits the other children on his hospital floor, or those in treatment, to get a smile, hold a hand, share a toy, or just to reassure them that “tough things make you stronger”. As a tribute to Jack and to raise money for medical expenses, local officials were joined by their counterparts across the state last Friday as they dressed in the costomes of their favorite Superhero.
After a photo opportunity, the meeting was called to order by President Ron Facemire. Andrew Smith, Executive Director of the Braxton County Convention and Visitors Bureau was first to address the Commission. Smith presented the Commissioners a financial report of 2015 as well as list of his agency’s accomplished for the year.
Mike Baker, OES Director requested permission to purchase tires from Michael Motors for a 2012 Ford in the amount of $703.20. Baker also requested permission to change certain telephone services from Lumos to Shentel. He explained that Lumos could not meet the additional increase in service and that Shentel’s service would be less expensive. Both requests were granted.
Shirley Jones, representing the Keeners Ridge Waterline Extension spoke to the Commission about getting a petition opposing HB-4250 which would prohibit Public Service Districts from passing the cost of extending water service projects on to existing customers. The Commission told Jones she should consult an attorney for the proper wording of the petition.
Sheriff Eddie Williams requested permission to purchase an AWD vehicle from Michael Motors. He explained that the local vendor had given him a better price than what the vehicle could be purchased through the State Bid Process. Permission was granted on a motion by Gary Ellyson.
The Sheriff also requested permission to hire Christopher Charles Helmick as a part-time process servicer. The Sheriff explained that Helmick would work 10 to 20 hours a week and be paid $12 per hour. George Skidmore’s motion to approve the hiring passed without opposition before it was determined that since Helmick was a full-time employee of the County’s 9-1-1 center further employment by the Sheriff would result in Helmick being paid an overtime rate of pay. Skidmore moved to rescind the motion that passed. The Sheriff stated that he would further review the applicants and bring another name for the Commission for consideration.
Sam Mace requested permission to hire Randy Berry and Timothy James as part-time paramedics. He explained that the pair would be paid $13.50 per hour with no county benefits. The requests were approved on separate motions.
Following a brief discussion, Gary Ellyson made a motion to approve putting Sissy Price on the 9-1-1 and EMS Advisory Boards.
After reviewing a letter, George Skidmore made a motion to replace Vaughn James with the Sheriff as executor of the estate of Ray G. Robinson.
It was also Skidmore who introduced action to advertise to hire a full-time janitor.
B&W Contracting was approved to provide additional work in the basement of the Courthouse Annex building.
With separate motions by Gary Ellyson, The Falls Mill Community Center was authorized to allow cleaning of a property line and additional work at the center by Chick Shimko Construction Company.
The Commission authorized the purchase of a desktop computer for the Emergency Operations Center in the amount of $1,453.00.
On a motion by Gary Ellyson, the Commission set a public meeting with towing companies for 11:00 a.m. on February 19.
Following a review, separate motions approved the county invoices, p-card vouchers and EMS bills for payment as well as the minutes of the previous Commission meeting.
Being no further business the meeting adjourned at 10:24 a.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Braxton County Commission will convene on February 19 at 9:00 a.m.





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Educational audit report reveals
strengths and weaknesses at BCHS

By Allen Heath

During the fall of 2015, the Office of Educational Performance Audits (OEPA) visited with Braxton County Schools to perform and audit of the educational practices, facilities, administration, staff, and day to day procedures.
Many goals are set forth by the OEPA when performing an educational audit. These include determining school accreditation, assuring that each school and school systems are accountable for the efficient use of existing resources to meet or exceed standards, and many more. A complete list of goals by the WV OPEA can be found on their website at http://oepa.state.wv.us/mission.htm
The audit consisted of interviews with school staff, personnel, students, and parents, along with visits to and inspections of each county school. The Education Performance Audit Team consisted of OEPA Coordinator Deborah Ashwell, OEPA Consultants Judy Johnson and Chris Perkins, and team members Chris Bulger (Principal, Boone County Schools), Suzanne Viski (Special Education Director, Taylor County Schools), Denise Corder (Asst. Principal, Clay-Battelle High School, Monongalia County Schools) and Derek Lambert (Principal, Lewis County High School, Lewis County Schools).
Seven standards are used as a guideline to determine the performance of school. In addition to each standard, a set of functions are also part of the criteria. These standards are outlined in WV Code §126-12.
During the January 27, 2016 general meeting of the Braxton County BOE, Tony Minney, principal for BCHS, led a Local School Improvement Committee (LSIC) presentation on the results of the OEPA visit for the high school. Other BCHS staff members that spoke during the presentation included Assistant Principal Jessica Pierson, Shawn Crowe, Sharon Desper, Janis Collins, and Josh Porto.
The following information was compiled by using both the LSIC presentation and section one of the official OEPA report. Each standard of the HQS are broken down to include the title of the standard along with each associated function. The high school provided a self-rating, and then the OEPA, by using concrete evidence provided by the schools, either acknowledge that rating or determined that the school itself was at a higher or lower rating. The levels at which each standard can be assessed are from highest to lowest: distinguished, accomplished, emerging, or unsatisfactory.

Standard 1 – Positive Climate and Cohesive Culture
Function A: Shared Beliefs and Values – BCHS rated themselves as Accomplished. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team did not substantiate the school’s self-rating, which the team determined a lower rating for this function. Through interviews, the OEPA Team determined the process for developing the school’s mission and vision was inconsistent with involving all stakeholders. The OEPA team recommended the staff, students, and parents revisit the process by which the school mission and vision were developed to involve all stakeholders. BCHS plans to integrate a social media site that can, in real time, get ongoing stakeholder participation in polls, votes, data and information. This will allow all stakeholders to have input on decision making processes at our school.
Function B: High Expectations for All – BCHS rated themselves as Emerging. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function. The OEPA Team observed students from driver’s education class were not engaged in the assignment provided. On days some students drive, other students are given assignments and sent to other classrooms. Students were observed shopping and playing games online, which was in direct violation of the school’s acceptable use policy. While the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s rating, to strengthen the function, the Team recommended the complete process stated in the evidence provided. In addition, the Team recommended the staff reexamine how driver’s education is provided to actively engage all students. The action plan from BCHS is to look at the traditional BCHS driver’s education plan.
Function C: Safe, Orderly and Engaging Environment – BCHS rated themselves as Emerging. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function. The OEPA Team saw positive efforts to address school efficiency through active participation in Monday morning meetings, common planning, and development of collaboration.

Standard 2 – School Leadership
Function A – Principal Leadership: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. While the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s rating, to strengthen the function, the Team recommended the staff investigate student leadership opportunities within the classroom environment.
Function B – School Teams and Councils: Self-Rating –Accomplished. OEPA Rating – Emerging. Although the OEPA team substantiated the schedule allowed for collaboration, common planning, and student leadership opportunities, the Team determined that full implementation was not in place. The OEPA Team recommended the use of distributed leadership to encourage and empower teachers in continuous improvement. The action plan from BCHS is to focus team time on data, unit planning, professional development, and true collaboration time.
Function C – Teacher Leadership: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function.
Function D – Student Leadership: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function.

Standard 3 – Standards-Focused Curriculum, Instruction and Assessments
Function A – Classroom Learning: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function.
Function B – Standard-Focused Curriculum: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. While the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s rating, to strengthen the function, the Team recommended more effective technology integration. The action plan by BCHS reflects a created technology team and the process to go to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device – Proposed Board Policy 1951). Devices should be accessible to teachers in all classrooms.
Function C – Instructional Planning: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. Through lesson plan reviews, the OEPA team determined that the lesson plans did not reflect differentiation or accommodations. Many teachers had one set of lesson plans for the same content class for the entire day. In addition, one teacher had no lesson plans. While the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s rating, to strengthen the function, the Team recommended teachers prepare lesson plans in advance and include differentiation and accommodations when teaching the same subject and grade multiple times throughout the day.
Function D – Instructional Delivery: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. Students were observed playing mine sweeper during free time at lunch and shopping during class time. These were in direct violation of the school’s acceptable use policy. While the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s rating, to strengthen the function, the Team recommended that the staff utilize the Instructional Practices Inventory (IPI) data to shift to a more student-centered learning environment. Staff need to encourage students to utilize technology embedded in the instructional experiences and provide opportunities for high level technology integration.

Standard 4 – Student Support Services and Family/Community Connections
Function A – Positive Relationships: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. Through interviews, the OEPA Team determined that the climate and culture was improving at the school level, but the school needs to involve parents and community.
Function B – Student Personal Development: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. Through student interview, the OEPA Team determined that students were not aware of the procedures to access and meet with the counselor. While the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s rating, to strengthen the function, the Team recommended that the school refine the process by which the Personalized Education Plans are reviewed and revised. The Team further recommended that the district explore ways to increase coordination with community mental health service providers. The BCHS action plan includes participating in a conference with the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) on community schools initiative on February 8, 2016.
Function C – Parent and Community Partnerships: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. Based on interviews with staff and parents, the OEPA Team determined communication between parents and the school needs improvement.

Standard 5 – Educator Growth and Development
Function A – Professional Development: Self-Rating – Accomplished. OEPA Rating – Accomplished. While the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s rating, to strengthen the function, the Team recommended that the staff review ways to provide intentional focused professional development aligned with data analysis and the strategic plan to improve classroom instruction.
Function B – Teacher Collaboration: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Accomplished. Through interviews the OEPA Team determined that there was a curriculum team. While the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s rating, to strengthen the function, the Team recommended, although the data coach provided information, the staff take ownership and review data to improve student achievement and implement strategies that improve instructional practices. The BCHS action plan includes a Teacher-Train-Teacher Initiative.
Function C – Evaluation, Feedback, and Support: Self-Rating – Accomplished. OEPA Rating – Accomplished. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function.

Standard 6 – Efficient and Effective Management
Function A – Facilities: Self-Rating – Accomplished. OEPA Rating – Accomplished. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function.
Function B – Fiscal Resources: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. Through interviews, the OEPA Team heard that the school received only $3000 in instructional supply funds for the entire school for the year. While the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s rating, to strengthen the function, the Team recommended the district explore avenues to provide fiscal resources to enhance all school programs with an emphasis on technology. The BCHS action plan includes a technology team to work with the district to secure funds to expand technology usage at the high school; this team has since been formulated.
Function C – Personnel: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function.
Function D – Data Information Systems, Technology Tools, and Infrastructure: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. The OEPA Team determined that technology integration and support from the TIS (Technology Integration Specialist) were limited.

Standard 7 – Continuous Improvement
Function A – Focused and Coherent Plan: Self-Rating – Accomplished. OEPA Rating - Accomplished. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function.
Function B – Processes and Structures: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function.
Function C – Monitoring for Results: Self-Rating – Emerging. OEPA Rating – Emerging. The evidence provided by the school and the additional evidence collected by the OEPA Team substantiated the school’s self-rating for this function.

A complete report on the OEPA’s visit to BCHS and all of Braxton County Schools can be found on the OEPA’s website at http://oepa.state.wv.us/documents/08-BraxtonCountySchools.pdf.

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