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Dance studio relocated


Cathy Pecora (front right) and her assistances (front left) Brittany Pecora, (standing L to R) Hannah Given, Kassie Ware and Emily Ware are enjoying the new home of Cathy Peorca School of Dance at the Elk Hotel on Main Street in Sutton.

By Shirley Shuman
“This location is proving to work out well,” dance instructor Cathy Pecora said of her moving her studio to the Elk Hotel in Sutton. “Since I began teaching dance in this area, my studio has been in several different locations,” she added, saying that she is optimistic about the current venue for Cathy Pecora’s Studio of Dance.
“We’re actually working in what once was the hotel’s dining room,” Pecora said, “and Poplar Forest was the most recent occupant.” She continued to comment that the area is larger than some of those in which she has worked, and that the floors are ideal.
Pecora has been teaching dance in Braxton County since 1981 except for a three-year period after her oldest daughter, Amber, was born. “The year after she turned three, I returned to the studio,” she said, “because when she was three, she wanted to dance.”
When Pecora and her husband Rob, both graduates of the University of Charleston, moved here after he had been hired to teach in the county, she actually had no idea of teaching dance. “My major was in Business Marketing and Management,” she said, “and I had hoped to find a job in that area.” She did work for awhile with VOICE, now Precision Services, and has always “had a job in addition to teaching dance.”
The dance studio actually came to be because of her love for dance. She had studied dance from the time she was five, and she noted that dance was her “real passion.”
Moreover, she had worked at a dance studio in Charleston while she was at the University of Charleston and had thoroughly enjoyed it. Beginning a dance studio apparently seemed to be a logical step for her, and she took that step.
Since that time, she has taught dance in different venues. She started in the old Gassaway Middle School. Later, the Cathy Pecora School of Dance was located in what used to be the Wellness Center in Sutton. Then, for a time, her studio was located in the old Sutton High School building, which also served at that time as the office for the Braxton County Board of Education. However, when the Board office there was closed, she had no place for the studio. She commented, “I didn’t know what to do.”
“Then John Skidmore, Jr. came to my rescue,” Pecora explained. “He offered me the Mountain Lake Amphitheater. We put up mirrors, and that worked really well,” she added. She did encounter one problem with having the studio in that location. “When they had conferences or other events there, I had to find somewhere to go [and that became a problem]. The amphitheater became even busier, which was good for them, but not for me. So I had to find somewhere to move the studio.”
Actually, one might say that her finding the current location happened accidentally. Pecora explained. “I just happened to be downtown and glanced through a window in the hotel. I saw this place, so I looked closer and thought this might be the answer to my problem,” she said. She called the owner and was soon on her way to finding a new home for her school of dance.
Pecora and her daughter Brittany, along with helpers Hannah Given, Emily Ware, and Kassie Ware, currently have around 75 students, which the instructor says “is about average.” Last year, they did have 90 students, which she called “amazing.” The dance studio offers instruction in tap, jazz, ballet, and pointe dancing, and they give lessons on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings. Students range in age from three through college, she noted. Although she has taught adults, she no longer does so. Neither does she offer private lessons
Once a year the students present a recital at the high school. This year’s dance recital is scheduled for June 13. Asked where she obtains the ideas for the themes she uses for the recitals, Pecora responded, “Recital themes come from many different sources. I may hear a song, and a line will strike me as a possibility. Sometimes I’ve gotten ideas from books. Once I get that idea, I build on it.”
In addition to preparing her students for the recital, Pecora is faced with a mountain of work to guarantee its success. For example, she orders costumes and props to fit the story line. Then, as she said, “someone designs a backdrop.” They also have to install a curtain and lights “and bring in a sound man.” She concluded, “A dance recital is truly a major production.” Of course the fact that the high school gym is the site makes for complications which would not exist if the recital were being given in an auditorium.
A big part of that production is choreographing the different parts of the show, and this is Cathy Pecora’s true passion. “What I really love is developing the choreography for the recital,” she said.”That’s always been what I enjoy most.”
Although the Cathy Pecora School of Dance may have a new location and may have gone through many different ones before settling at 200 Second Street in Sutton, one thing the public should know. The quality of instruction and the beauty of the recitals have not changed as the venues for instruction have changed. They also need to recognize that the quality and beauty will remain even though the location has changed once again.

Mountaineer Food Bank
receives $65,000 from
Hunters Helping the Hungry

Hunters Helping the Hungry donated $65,000 to Mountaineer Food Bank last week. On hand for the presentation were: (L to R Front) Richard Hardin, Governor’s One Shot Committee; Dot Underwood, Governor’s Regional Representative; Marcel Malfregeot, Governor’s One Shot Committee; Carla Nardella, Director of Mountaineer Food Bank; Frank Jezioro, Director of Division of Natural Resources; Emily Fleming, Assistant to the Director, Division of Natural Resources; (Back L to R) David Truban, Governor’s One Shot Committee; Wendy Greene, Division of Natural Resources.

Governor’s One Shot Committee members have presented a check to the Mountaineer Food Bank, representing $65,000 raised during the eighth annual Governor’s One Shot Deer Hunt held Oct. 24-26, 2014. The money will go toward expenses associated with the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program (HHH), administered by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, to distribute venison to needy families across the state through the Mountaineer Food Bank. The check was presented Dec. 10 at the Food Bank’s headquarters in Gassaway, Braxton County.
The Governor’s One Shot event is sponsored by WVDNR and the Governor’s One Shot Committee, which organizes the event each year. Committee members also were in attendance at the ceremony. Carla Nardella, director of the Mountaineer Food Bank, accepted the check with thanks to everyone who contributed to the Governor’s One Shot.
Private individuals and businesses donate money for the opportunity to participate in guided antlerless deer hunts on private property near Stonewall Resort State Park. The event wraps up with an auction and an award banquet. All venison from the hunt, along with profits from the sponsorships, goes to the Mountaineer Food Bank.
The first event in 2007 raised $17,000, the second in 2008 raised $35,000, the third in 2009 raised $50,000, the fourth in 2010 raised $75,000, the fifth in 2011 raised $75,000; the sixth in 2012 raised $70,000, and the seventh in 2013 raised $65,000.
The HHH program allows hunters to donate legally harvested deer to certified processors so the meat can be distributed to a network of more than 550 local soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, senior centers, missions, churches and community centers around the state.
The HHH program has been highly successful since it began in 1992, providing more than a million family style meals to the neediest of West Virginians. However, the program also requires cash donations to pay for processing and distribution costs to benefit these needy individuals. More information about the HHH program is available at wvdnr.gov/Hunting/HHH.shtm.

Three have day in Court

On November 10, Robert Hudson made appearances in Braxton County Circuit Court for sentencing upon his conviction to the felonious offense of conspiracy: to-wit: attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory. Attorney Clinton Bischoff represented Hudson. Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state.
Hudson, through counsel, addressed the Court prior to sentencing and moved for an alternative sentence. Upon mature consideration, the Court granted Hudson’s motion, suspending all but ten days of the previous sentence and admitting him to probation for a period of five years. During probation, Hudson is to abide by a strict set of terms and regulations. Hudson shall be given credit for time served. It is further ordered that he shall pay the costs of this action as taxed by the clerk within eighteen months.
Eric Arthur Gentile made appearances in Court on November 10 for sentencing. Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state.
Gentile, through counsel Jonathan Fittro, requested the Court grant him alternative sentence. He was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, to-wit: oxycodone, and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, to-wit: cocaine, Gentile had been sentenced to confinement to the state penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than fifteen years, for each conviction. Judge Richard A. Facemire expressed concern that the Defendant had a substance abuse issue and that probation would unduly depreciate the seriousness of the issue. However, it was ordered that said sentence shall be suspended and Gentile shall be assigned to the Anthony Correctional Center for a period of not less than six months or longer to successfully complete the program requirements. It is further ordered that Gentile will remain on the bond heretofore posted. Gentile will be required to appear for a status hearing on February 5, 2015 beginning at 11:00 a.m. for further sentencing.
James Thomas Coleman came before the Court on November 10 without counsel on the matters of the order of forfeiting property. Kelly Hamon McLaughlin represented the state. Coleman received the proper notice of hearing and lawful notice was provided by publication for two weeks.
The Court granted the forfeiture petition for the U.S. currency sought in the amount of $14,455.00 seized from Coleman, and ordered the same, be forfeited to the State of West Virginia.

Deer Hunters in WV harvest 37,277 bucks during the 2 week season

Preliminary data collected from game checking stations across the state indicate deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 37,277 bucks during the two-week buck firearms season, which ran from Nov. 24 through Dec. 6, 2014, according to Frank Jezioro, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). The 2014 buck harvest is down 34 percent from the 2013 harvest of 56,523 statewide. Braxton County fared even worse with nearly a 45 percent decline. In 2014 local hunters recorded only 896 buck deer harvested, compared to 1,626 taken in 2013. The total is the lowest deer kill figure recorded in recent years.
The top 10 counties for buck harvest were as follows: Preston (1,531), Greenbrier (1,384), Ran-dolph (1,254), Lewis (1,159), Ritchie (1,157), Hampshire (1,069), Wood (1,019), Upshur (1,015), Monroe (1,001), and Mason (998).
This year’s overall buck harvest is lower than last year’s with decreases occurring in all DNR districts. The largest percentage decreases occurred in the western counties of the state, while the buck harvest in the mountain and southeastern counties had smaller decreases. Warm and very windy weather across the state on opening day; heavy snowfall Wednesday, the third day of the season, in the eastern panhandle of the state; and a rainy second week impacted hunter participation and contributed to the decreased harvest across the state.
The excellent acorn crop this fall also contributed to lower hunter success, just as a similar abundant acorn crop in 2010 led to a 31 percent decline in buck harvest followed by a 38 percent rebound in 2011. This year’s preliminary buck harvest remains 33 percent below the previous five-year average of 55,902.
Wildlife biologists and wildlife managers collected age-specific biological information at checking stations in 19 counties this year. They will analyze data from the combined 2014 deer seasons (buck, antlerless, archery and muzzleloader) before making appropriate recommendations for next year’s deer seasons.
These recommendations will be available for public review at 12 regulations meetings scheduled for March 16 and 17, 2015 (see current 2014 - 2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary page 6 or visit the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov for meeting locations and dates).
Director Jezioro reminds hunters that several days of deer hunting opportunity still remain for 2014. The traditional antlerless deer season in selected counties on both public and private land opens Thursday, Dec. 18 and runs through Saturday, Dec. 20. The Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS deer season for antlerless deer will be open Friday and Saturday, Dec. 26 and 27. in any county with a firearms deer season. This will be followed by the reopening of Class N/NN antlerless deer season Dec. 29-31 in 50 counties or portions of counties (see 2014 - 2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary or visit the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov for county and area listings).
(See Page 3 of this issue for a county by county breakdown of buck deer killed in West Virginia for the past five years.)


Peeking behind the kitchen door of Braxton County eateries

In an effort to keep our readership informed, the Citizens’ News presents another installment of a continuing series which details the findings of Braxton County Health Department Sanitarian’s inspections. The BCHD officer is responsible for oversight of over 140 establishments that sell and/or prepare food for public consumption.
Violations are grouped under two categories; Critical and Non-critical. Infractions cited on the “Food Establishment Inspection Report” which shall be corrected within the time frame specified by the inspector as indicated at the time of the inspection.
The Citizens’ News believes that an informed public should know what the Health Department finds in these reports.
The following businesses had no violations: Bulk Foods Superstore, Robbins Nest, Burnsville Diner, Little General #5300, and Sam’s Grocery.
The following businesses had only non-critical violations: Granny’s Kitchen had three non-critical violations: reach-in refrigeration rack has chipping paint-in poor repair, bottom of reach-in refrigeration not clean, grill hood light not shatter bulb or otherwise shielded.
The following businesses had both critical and non-critical violations: Gilligan’s Lounge had one critical violation: stew in the Pepsi refrigerator not date marked as required; and five non-critical violations: kitchen cart not clean, plastic utensil tub not clean, lobby floor not clean, kitchen floor in poor repair, kitchen floor not clean. Moe’s (Pilot Travel Service) had two critical violations: food in cooling wells behind single use salsa cups out of temperature, date marking not present on to-go sour cream containers; and six non-critical violations: more frequent detail cleaning at base of shelving/around desk needed, clean under prep tables (lower shelves) as often as necessary to maintain clean, personal items/employee clothing not stored in orderly fashion within suitable area, hand sink behind prep line in need of cleaning, hand towels not provided at hand sink behind prep line, scoop f0r bulk salt container cracked. Bulk Foods Superstore (Deli) had two critical violations: cream for coffee at 64*F, hotdog chili not held at or above 135*F; and seven non-critical violations: personal items/employee clothing not stored in orderly fashion within suitable area, hand sink near ice machine soiled, floor near ice cream cooler soiled, broken cooling unit kept on premises, coffee carafes stored under drain lines for double bowl sink, damaged microwave tray, manual dishwashing must use distinct, separate water rinse after washing and before sanitizing.)



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