The Gilmer Free Press

October 20, 2014 marks the start of West Virginia’s fifth annual “College Application and Exploration Week,“ a statewide celebration of the higher education opportunities available to our state’s students. This week, nearly 240 schools across the state will host college planning activities that provide guidance on how higher education can help students pursue and achieve their long-term career goals.

Empowering students to enroll in - and complete - education and training beyond high school is the single most promising pathway to secure a bright future for our state’s next generation of leaders. Our state offers a number of training and education opportunities after graduation, so it’s important we continue to stress to our students: it doesn’t matter which path you take, as long as you choose one. For those who choose to attend college after graduation, the benefits of earning a degree can be immeasurable. Studies show, on average, college graduates earn approximately $1 million more over their lifetimes and are more likely to be employed. Perhaps more importantly, those who receive a college education tend to experience greater satisfaction in their jobs, lead healthier lifestyles and serve their communities.

College graduates also have an enormous impact on our state’s economy. According to a recent study conducted by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University, students who completed college in 2010 will generate more than $6 billion in economic benefits for the Mountain State over the next 20 years. The study also found at least half of these graduates have stayed in West Virginia to take their next steps.

These statistics are extremely encouraging and lay a foundation for our students to build on when considering options for their future. West Virginia needs more of its best and brightest to pursue college and lay down their roots here in the Mountain State.

Last month, we launched the “My State, My Life” campaign, which encourages young people to do just that. I’m committed to ensuring our young people receive a college education that is affordable, which is why I have invested time and effort to continuing the PROMISE scholarship, as well as many need-based and merit-based financial aid programs. In fact, our state consistently ranks among the top ten in the country in regards to the amount of financial aid dollars we provide to each undergraduate student.

Each of us has a role to play to support our students and establish a higher education culture in West Virginia. This week, I encourage current college students and college graduates to get involved by participating in the College Foundation of West Virginia’s (CFWV’s) “Why I Chose” campaign. Using the social media hashtag #WhyIChose, share your stories with others and explain why you chose to further your education, your particular college or your degree pathway.

So far, the response from the “Why I Chose” campaign has truly been inspiring. We’ve heard from students like Michael Barnes, a native of Williamson and a student at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, who said, “Going to college allows me to develop my career and myself as an individual.“ And from many others like Kayla Bain, a Concord University student from Elizabeth who sees college as a crucial step in her path to making a difference in the world. Kayla told us, “I’m majoring in clinical lab sciences because I want to be part of providing high quality healthcare for families in our state. I want to bring a sense of caring and compassion to my work and to their lives.“

Every day, students-like Michael and Kayla-demonstrate their commitment to their personal goals, their communities and our state, and I encourage all West Virginians to do the same. To see their impact in action and join in the conversation visit the College Foundation of West Virginia on Facebook at or on Twitter at

Governor’s One Shot Whitetail Hunt and Banquet at Stonewall Resort - October 24-25, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

The 2014 West Virginia Governor’s One Shot Whitetail Hunt event will take place October 24 and 25, operating out of Stonewall Resort State Park near Weston in Lewis County.

This will be the eighth year for the fundraising event that presents the proceeds to the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) Program, administered by the Division of Natural Resources in partnership with the West Virginia Food Bank in Gassaway.

Dignitaries attending will include Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and West Virginia native Brig. General “Chuck” Yeager, retired, who will participate in the hunt and be involved in the award banquet, raffles and live auction Saturday evening.

Tickets for the banquet are available at all levels, individual and corporate.

Contact Wendy Greene at 304.558.2754 or email for information or to make reservations.

“I’m honored to once again participate in the One Shot Whitetail Hunt,” Governor Tomblin said. “This program, which has raised nearly $400,000 for the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program, is a true representation of West Virginia’s neighbor-helping-neighbor philosophy, as it has been extremely successful in aiding thousands of families in need across our state.”

HHH is vital to providing thousands of pounds of highly nutritious meat to needy families throughout West Virginia, including nearly 38,000 pounds donated by hunters in 2013. Private donations are needed to pay for processing and distribution of the venison to clients in the 48 counties served by the food bank.

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Since its inaugural event in 2007, the One Shot has raised and donated $390,000 to the HHH Program, including $65,000 raised in 2013.

The event is supported by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, volunteers from the private business sector and individuals who act as guides for participating hunters.

All hunting takes place on private land so as not to interfere with other hunters.

Only antlerless deer are harvested, helping to control populations on those lands.

All venison harvested during the hunt is donated directly to the HHH program.

The hunt will begin with the traditional “sighting in of the rifles” at the Stonewall shooting range Friday afternoon and Friday evening the hunters are introduced to the guides and landowners.

The hunt will take place Saturday, October 25, 2015.

The program concludes Saturday night with a reception followed by an awards banquet.

G-Biz™: West Virginia Company Finds Paths for Marcellus Pipeline Projects

No mountain, valley or stream has ever stumped Energy Surveys, said the Clarksburg, WV-based company that routes pipelines carrying oil and gas. Roads, on the other hand, can be a little trickier.

“Roads a lot of times just can’t be avoided, because you’re going to have to cross one at one point or another,” said Kurt Newbrough, president.

The Marcellus and Utica shales continue to produce record amounts of natural gas, but the region doesn’t have enough existing pipeline infrastructure to handle the growing supply. More than 10 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of regional pipeline capacity is planned for the Northeast over the next 21 years, according to a study released in March by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.

The land surveying and mapping business, which opened in January, said it has already exceeded its proposed revenue intake by $700,000, pulling in a total of $1.3 million, and has been involved in 150 pipeline projects.

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Mr. Newbrough plans to open an office in Washington County within the next month.

“We do a lot of work in Washington County,” he said. “The area would be a nice hub for us geographically.”

Marcellus Shale production is expected to reach a record 16 Bcf/d this month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Nationwide, production is expected to grow by an annual rate of 5.4% in 2014 and 2% in 2015, according to the agency.

“Because the Marcellus has grown so much, and the Utica is expected to grow as well, there is a need for natural gas demand development and infrastructure to keep pace with the production, said Erica Bowman, vice president of research and policy analysis at America’s Natural Gas Alliance, a trade organization in Washington, D.C.

The company works mostly in wet Marcellus Shale gas areas such as Washington and Greene counties in Pennsylvania and Wetzel and Marshall counties in West Virginia. Newbrough also plans to do work in the Utica once the Washington County office opens.

For wet gas production, companies need more pipeline and processing capacity because unlike dry gas, which contains methane — the gas used to heat homes and fire up stoves — wet gas also contains natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane and butane. More processing is needed to separate those gases before natural gas can be transported.

Mr. Newbrough did not disclose names of specific pipeline projects Energy Surveys has routed due to client confidentiality, but said he has worked with companies such as Richmond, VA-based Dominion Resources, Denver-based Antero Energy and Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Energy.

Related: PennEast files documents with detailed route of proposed pipeline

Some of the biggest challenges Energy Surveys faces are terrain and landowner constraints.

Take hills for instance.

“You don’t want to be laying a piece of pipe on the side of a hill,” Mr. Newbrough said of a proposed route. “You either want to hit that hill perpendicular or follow the ridge tops.”

If an option for a route is through someone’s yard, a company negotiator must try to make a deal with a landowner.

“Say a landowner has a big farm,” Mr. Newbrough said. “He doesn’t just want a pipeline going through the middle of his farm or his hay field. I don’t blame him, either. We try to work with them to put that pipeline in the best possible place on their property.”

If a landowner doesn’t agree, Energy Surveys said it will re-route the pipeline away from their property.

“You back up 400 to 500 feet before entering that land and structure your re-route,” Mr. Newbrough said. “That will give you the best constructability.”

Energy Surveys uses Geographic Information System, or GIS, mapping to let companies know the best route for a pipeline. GIS technology lets the company know where everything is on the ground.

“You’ll know when you’re coming up on a body of water. If you’re going through somebody’s yard, you can tell what’s in their yard and where their property lines are,” Mr. Newbrough said.

Before a company can lay out a pipeline that crosses state lines it must submit an application, which includes the proposed pipeline route, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas.

Trade associations, labor unions, municipalities, environmental groups and others can make suggestions on a proposed pipeline route based on the potential environmental and cultural impacts, according to Tamara Young-Allen, a FERC spokeswoman.

“It has happened where the pipeline [that] comes through the door is different when it leaves,” she said. “The public is involved the entire way.”

Energy Surveys does not deal directly with local or federal regulators concerning proposed pipeline infrastructure. A midstream company will have environmental specialists and negotiators who deal with the application process and the environmental and cultural impacts of its route, Mr. Newbrough said.

~~  Submitted News ~~

Corridor H Segment Expected to Open by Late November

The Gilmer Free Press

Another section of Corridor H in West Virginia is expected to open by Thanksgiving.

Corridor H coordinator Tommy Collins says the 1.5-mile segment is near the connector to WV Highway 42 and WV Highway 93 in the Mount Storm area.

Collins says another 4-mile section could open by the end of the year.

But he says an early spring opening is more likely due to the weather.

Corridor H Authority president Robbie Morris says construction of the four-lane highway is ahead of schedule.

Corridor H is the only section of the Appalachian Corridor system that has not been finished.

When it is completed, it will connect Interstate 79 near Weston with the junction of Interstates 81 and 66 in Front Royal, Virginia.

Pat’s Chat - October 19, 2014

I can’t tell you I enjoy the thought that snow will soon be greeting us at times.  The air is now cold (but refreshing) when I am walking briskly for exercise. It is a lot more inviting than the hot days of summer, no matter how much a dread the snow and ice.  I really do enjoy the leaves of autumn!  The colors are delightful.

The Record Delta has let us know that donations are needed at Parish House because the needs rise drastically during the winter months and holidays.  They need things like peanut butter, soup, canned meat, canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, spaghetti sauce, and I would imagine any other non-perishable foods.  I hope that all of us will buy something extra when we shop and drop it off at the Parish House to help feed the families who are having a tough time.

I got another note from John “Guppy” Gibson.  Please pray for him.  Most of you will get this message after his surgery of October 21.  I am including his email without editing.  He will appreciate your prayers.  Here is his note:

“Hello everyone as most of you know I haven’t been very well for last few years first getting a very bad infection then have had a few strokes that has left me blind in one eye and have trouble walking but then last couple years have been having serious heart problems and it is really bad at this time I am going to have to have a dangerous Surgery this Tuesday October 21st Dr. said it alot more Dangerous than either Open-Heart or Bypass Surgery The Dr. was upfront and told me I need to get all of my affairs in order because I have a 50/50 chance to survive the surgery it will take 6-8 hours if I make it through the surgery I have a great Surgeon operating Dr. Blair Grubb he tried so many things that haven’t worked so this was last resort so if everybody could keep my family and I in your thoughts and prayers I am starting to get really nervous it is a funny feeling knowing you may never wake up so if you can keep us in your thoughts and prayers surgery is scheduled for 11:15 AM Tuesday morning at MCO Hospital in Toledo If I survive the surgery is not sure how long I will be in hospital but as little time as possible as I don’t have much Immune system so anybody getting this message wanted to say thanks for your thoughts and prayers and for being a friend I have met throughout the years So if anyone would like to see what is going on you can call my mom Tuesday evening her cell phone number is 419.571.8541 or you can send a message here with your number and she will let you know what happened in my surgery So guess it is time to get this over with either way John"Guppy"Gibson .”

I am including a website for sermons from one of my favorite Pastors.  He has a special gift of understanding and sharing wonderful messages of Hope!  I want to read these lines from the book I have been quoting in my Chats recently.  “Every soul is as fully known to Jesus as if he were the only one for whom the Saviour died.  The distress of every one touches His heart.  The cry for aid reaches His ear.  He also knows who gladly hear His call, and are ready to come under His pastoral care.  He says, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.’  He cares for each one as if there were not another on the face of the earth.” – DA, pp. 476 – 480.  Never forget that YOU are important.  Never give up!

Here is a website of one of my favorite pastors.  He was at a church John and I attended when we lived in Texas.  I hope you will find time to listen to one of his sermons.  Here is the site:

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Saturday, November 01 at the 11:00 o’clock worship hour at the Seventh-day Adventist church on Brushy Fork Road.  Karla Rivera Bucklew will be in concert and you will love her voice.  If you wish, you can stay for a fellowship dinner afterwards.  See you there?  I hope so.


UFOs in West Virginia: 10 Witnesses, 4 Low-Flying UFOs, 3 Big as Football Fields

A UFO sighting in southern West Virginia has been reported that not only presents multiple witnesses of the objects in question but also the witnessing of multiple unidentified flying objects during the sighting. Open Minds reported October 17 that ten men working at a coal plant in Marmet, West Virginia, saw the four flying objects as a collective. Three of the UFOs were massive, the size of football fields. They were all flying extremely low to the ground—and deathly silent.

Originally reported on the Mutual UFO Network website, the actual sighting took place at 10 p.m. on October 12, 2014. It was quiet all around, according to the reporting witness. The plant had shut down. The guys had just finished some pipe repairs and were leaning against their vehicles.

One of the guys pointed at the sky. “What is that?“ he asked.

Everyone looked up. The first of what would be three huge flying objects was headed toward them.

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“We all looked up and saw a triangle-shaped object outlined in white lights the size of a football field coming up the hollow from the southwest [Beckley, WV area],“ the witness reported. “It might have been 300 to 500 feet above us. It was moving very slow and made no noise. We watched for about 3 or 4 minutes as it disappeared over the trees.

“A few minutes later another one showed up behind it – the same shape and size and no noise. Another one showed up after that, same as before.

“After these three went by a small object with lots of red flashing appeared at the end of the line formation. They were all headed northwest towards Charleston, WV.”

The reporting witness said that all the guys were “amazed” that there was absolutely no sound, no noise whatsoever coming from the UFOs—especially “as close as they were, and their sizes.“ And it all took place in the space of 15 minutes.

So what did the ten men see? Could it have been a case of group or mass hallucination as some will surely suggest? Or is there a reason UFOs—whether manmade, alien, or faux—were traveling between Beckley and Charleston, West Virginia in mid-October?

In the comments section on the MUFON web page, the question was posed that, given so many witnesses, why did not one of them capture an image with a cell phone camera? Karen King of the Appalachian UFO Research Society suggests that in many areas of West Virginia cell phone reception is limited and/or sporadic, which might account for the absence of phones and, therefore, photos of the four UFOs.

Two weeks prior to the Marmet UFO sighting, a couple in Elkins, West Virginia, reported a low-flying massive triangular-shaped UFO, according to International Business Times. Flat black, it blocked out the stars in its passage. It had three lights, a dim white one and two orange hourglass-shaped lights. The couple that filed the report with MUFON noted that the UFO had no distinguishing control features (like a canopy or windows) and as they moved toward it, it seemed to move toward them. The reporting witness said it was not military or a regular aircraft, because he was familiar with their general characteristics. And most remarkable of all, instead of flying away, the UFO simply disappeared, as if using “a cloaking device,“ the witness said.

West Virginia News

The Gilmer Free Press


A West Virginia couple has been convicted of stealing from a 90-year-old woman to buy a beach house in North Carolina.

A federal jury found 67-year-old Timothy Summers and his wife, 52-year-old Lea Ann Summers, of Proctor guilty of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, securities fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. The jury issued its verdict Friday following a three-day trial.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihelnfeld III says evidence at the trial showed the couple stole nearly $400,000 from the victim. They liquidated a signification portion of the woman’s shares of PPG Industries stock and used the proceeds to buy a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Timothy Summers and Lea Summers each face up to 50 years in prison.


A three-judge panel will consider a petition seeking Clarksburg City Councilman Samuel “Zeke” Lopez’s removal from office.

The petition was filed by three other council members. It cites Lopez’s conviction on a domestic assault charge.

The West Virginia Supreme Court on Friday appointed Raleigh County Circuit Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick III, McDowell County Circuit Judge Rudolph J. Murensky II and Gilmer County Circuit Judge Jack Alsop to hear the petition.

The panel will hold a hearing October 30 and October 31 at the Harrison County Courthouse in Clarksburg.

The council voted in February to remove Lopez. Lopez’s lawyer filed a lawsuit challenging the decision and he remains on council as a nonvoting member.


West Virginia State police are investigating the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in a burned vehicle in McDowell County.

Media outlets report that the bodies were discovered early Sunday morning in the Longpole community north of Panther.

State police First Sgt. M.R. Crowder says both bodies were male.

Crowder says the bodies have not been identified yet because of the condition of the remains.

He says the fire is suspicious and investigators believe a firearm possibly was involved in the deaths.


The West Virginia Supreme Court says it will hear arguments Tuesday over disciplinary action against a judge who had an inappropriate sexual affair.

Randolph County Circuit Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong admitted to having a two-year affair with a man but says her three-year suspension without pay was too severe.


A Harrison County man has entered a guilty plea for his involvement in the death of his 3-month-old son.

Clovis Harold McCoy, age 32, of Shinnston supplied three Xanax pills to his wife Tricia McCoy, who later unintentionally suffocated the child when she fell asleep holding the baby.

Clovis was aware Tricia was taking other prescribed medications at the time when he provided the addition drugs.

Both were charged back in April. McCoy was charged with child neglect resulting in death and child neglect creating substantial risk of serious injury or death.

Harrison County Circuit Judge John Marks heard McCoy’s plea on Monday, but has not yet accepted it, pending the completion of a pre-sentence investigation.

His sentencing has been set for 9 AM on December 08.

Tricia McCoy is scheduled to go to trial on similar charges November 10.


WorkForce West Virginia says it has gotten more than $200,000 in federal funding to help pay for an ongoing cleanup from severe storms and flooding in 2013.

Most of the money is to go to payment of workers who are still helping with the cleanup from those storms.


U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is in North Carolina campaigning for Senator Kay Hagan, who faces a tough re-election.

The West Virginia Democrat said he’s visiting Statesville, Wilkesboro and Hickory touting Hagan as a moderate Democrat. She faces Republican state House speaker Thom Tillis.

The expensive race is crucial in deciding whether Democrats keep a slim U.S. Senate majority.

Manchin has become an asset for embattled red-state Democrats.

President Barack Obama lost all 55 counties in West Virginia in 2012.

Manchin won by 24 percentage points.

Manchin headlined a Hagan fundraiser in North Carolina in March.

He went to Alaska early this year for Senator Mark Begich, and Louisiana for Senator Mary Landrieu last month.

Manchin plans to campaign in Arkansas for Senator Mark Pryor and in Georgia for Michelle Nunn.


The president and CEO of West Virginia Hospitals said he and other hospital officials are watching what’s happening at other healthcare facilities in the United States and learning from mistakes made at those sites in the diagnosis and treatment of Ebola.

“As guidelines change, I think the constant challenge for us is to keep up with the changing guidelines and then, more importantly, have a plan to communicate those to our staff so that we’re ready to go,” said Dr. Albert Wright.

“We’ve done extensive education and training,” said Dottie Oakes, vice president and chief nursing officer at WVU Hospitals, of the work to prepare staff members in Morgantown for any possible Ebola cases. “If anything, we’re probably going a little overboard.”

On Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Oakes said nurses understand, from the time they start in the profession, that they will be exposed to bacteria and viruses constantly. “Our job is to give them the tools to use the protective equipment and, also, the education to know what to do and how to use it,” Oakes said.

Overall, Wright said he’s confident WVU Hospitals is ready to treat any Ebola cases in Morgantown and to assist other hospitals, throughout West Virginia, that may need help with such treatment.

“I think we’ve done everything to be prepared on a small-scale today, if a patient comes in our ED (emergency department),” he said. “We’re taking additional steps to handle (cases) in the event of a larger outbreak, which is unlikely, but part of our job is to have redundancies in place.”

A separate, isolated area of WVU Hospitals is being readied.

A 21-day monitoring period ended Monday in Dallas, Tx. for dozens of people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die from Ebola in the United States. In Africa, both Senegal and Nigeria were declared Ebola-free on Monday.

With two weeks to go until Election Day, 2nd District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said she is hearing a lot about Ebola on the campaign trail.

“People are concerned with what they’re seeing as a lack of leadership with the President and skepticism of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control),” Capito, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate, said.

“Remember, this is the same CDC that came out and said we could drink our water in the Kanawha Valley and then, the next day, said ‘Well, if you’re pregnant or you have frail health, maybe you shouldn’t.’”


A man was killed near Grafton Sunday afternoon after being hit by a pick-up truck that did not have a driver.

Ervin Knight, age 54, was working outside of his home in the community of Webster, when his Dodge Ram truck began to move.

According to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle slid off a steep embankment on Webster Pike as Knight was walking below.

He was run over and pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities are not sure at this time why the truck moved, but believe the cause to be accidental.

The truck continued to move, striking a home. No one else was injured.


Those with the American Federation of Teachers say they believe the recent suspension of two teachers in Marion County sets a bad precedent for teachers throughout West Virginia.

Kristen DeVaul and April Gilpin, teachers at North Marion High School in Marion County, were suspended for one day without a pay by the Marion County Board of Education earlier this month for their roles in an activity in which students were allegedly injured.

“We’re very concerned this is going to set a precedent and stifle physical activity in our schools when its needed more than ever,” said Frank Caputo, a staff representative for the AFT in Marion County.

At the time, the students were taking part in a type of three-legged race — a hands-on activity designed to build teamwork. Two of the students fell and suffered unspecified injuries.

“If you’re a classroom teacher, beware that if you take your kids outside and one of them gets injured in an unfortunate accident, then you could be suspended from your position,” warned Caputo.

School officials at North Marion High School conducted an internal investigation after the activity in question and presented those findings to the Marion County Board of Education before the suspension decision was made.

Gary Price, superintendent of schools in Marion County, said the teachers made changes to an exercise that was successful in the past. Instead of team-building, he said the activity turned into more of a competition.

“It just so happens that, in this particular case, the teachers involved chose to make a couple of alterations to that activity and the alterations that they chose to make are the ones that directly caused the accident,” Price said.

The AFT represents DeVaul and is appealing the decision. The organization has filed a Level III grievance which will allow them to bring the case before an administrative law judge.

“We look at this as a statewide issue. Am I going to be at risk of suspension if an unfortunate accident happens?” questioned Caputo.


Investigators were using social media and tips from the public on Monday to identify those responsible for vandalism in parts of Morgantown on Saturday night—property destruction that, according to emergency officials, started more than six hours after West Virginia University beat top-ranked Baylor 41-27.

University and community officials met on Monday morning to talk about what happened and discuss the next steps that will be taken to identify and punish those responsible.

Corey Farris, dean of students at West Virginia University, was promising quick action once any students were identified.  He said, for students, punishments could include expulsion from WVU in addition to any criminal charges.

“These are hooligans that we don’t want in the city and so, if they’re part of the University in any way, shape or form, we’ll work our darnedest to expel them from the University,“ Farris said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.“

“As has happened in the past, when things like this, in particular, have gotten out of hand, we’ve expelled students and so we’ll continue to do that.“

Bob Roberts, chief of police for West Virginia University, said crowd control was not a problem immediately after the game.  That changed, though, he said, around 10:30 PM on Saturday night and, he noted, it wasn’t just students who were involved.

“Social media kicked in and we started having the crowds show up and issues there,“ Roberts said.  “Probably, the most disturbing piece to me was the aggressiveness, having rocks and bottles thrown at first responders.“

Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said there were additional law enforcement officers on the job Saturday night, but the crowds quickly outnumbered them.  Officers who had gone home after staffing the Baylor game were called back to work to respond to multiple events, including street fires, at several different locations in Morgantown.

“We used all of the Morgantown Police Department resources.  We used resources from the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, Westover Police Department, State Police.  Then we had in reserve resources from Marion County and Preston County,“ Preston said.

“When it turned from a social gathering into a riot, that’s when the determinations had to be made to use the chemical munitions,“ he said.  Pepper spray was one of the chemicals used to disperse the crowds in both Morgantown and Sunnyside.

More than half a dozen people were arrested on Saturday night.  No serious injuries were reported.

In the future, Preston said there is only so much law enforcement officers can do to deter such bad behavior.

“I think the only thing that’s going to stop it from happening again is a change in the culture of the students and those individuals who come to meet those students or celebrate after football games or other sporting event wins in this area,“ he said.

“It’s not going to be a magic bullet of one particular thing that’s going to stop this.“

Roberts agreed.  “I just think that we need to remember that our students are part of the community and we need them to act as young adults and not participate in this kind of stuff—either by watching or being active participants,“ he said.

Movie Review: ‘Dear White People’ - A Satirical and Timely Conversation about Race

“Satire is the weapon of reason,” one character tells another in “Dear White People,” a movie that exemplifies that sentiment with a potent combination of playfulness and pointed cultural critique.

This alternately thoughtful and hilarious comedy of campus manners is the bracingly candid brainchild of first-time filmmaker Justin Simien, who has created that rarity in American society: a movie that simultaneously sends up the national “conversation about race” while advancing the conversation itself. It would be glib to note that “Dear White People” is cannily well-timed in the era of Ferguson, Mo., and the myriad, fatally unresolved issues that city has come to symbolize. The truth, of course, is that the occasionally stark, occasionally ridiculous but constantly shifting contours of entrenched racism are relevant at any time.

Relevant, but, in the right hands, entertaining, too: Simien maintains a scrupulously light tone and deft touch throughout “Dear White People,” which takes place on the campus of a fictional Ivy League college called Winchester. There, African American students — representatives of the “talented 10” percent — grapple with identity, expectations and ambition at a primarily white institution that congratulates itself for its liberalism.

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Sam (Tessa Thompson), a hip film student, hosts a radio show called “Dear White People,” during which she recounts, with even-toned sarcasm, the ways she and her fellow students of color are routinely pigeonholed, stigmatized and condescended to. It’s a form of reparations; asked why there can’t be a show called “Dear Black People,” she sharply retorts that “mass media, from Fox News to reality TV on VH1, makes it clear what white people think of us.”

Sam’s willingness to speak truth to power makes her something of a militant on campus, which comes into play when she takes up the cause of a historically black dorm that has recently begun “randomizing” room assignments, thus diluting not just its complexion but its role of providing solidarity and protection. She runs for head of house against Troy (Brandon Bell), the handsome son of Winchester’s dean, who believes that assimilation holds the key to his son’s success.

Meanwhile Coco (Teyonah Parris), who wears blue contact lenses and flat hair worthy of Heidi Klum, begins to push back on Sam’s show, and Lionel (Tyler James Williams), a shy aspiring journalist who’s gay, digs Mumford & Sons and Robert Altman, and feels alienated from just about every micro-community on campus.

The academic term of art for what “Dear White People” portrays is “intersectionality,” which seeks to describe how identity is conditioned, not by one reductive quality, but by multiple tastes, impulses, desires and fears. You can also just call it “life,” and Simien’s film always feels like something experienced firsthand, even at its most awkward. Dating — interracial and intraracial — collective memory and the “strange symbiosis” of cultural appropriation all come under scrutiny in a film whose allegiance is firmly with individual expression but isn’t naive enough to think that history doesn’t matter. The personal may not always be political in “Dear White People” but, like it or not, it’s always politicized.

Even students who would prefer to ignore that fact are reminded of it in the film’s climactic episode, a spectacularly insensitive campus party awash with noxious racial stereotypes that looks like a rare case of overstatement in “Dear White People” until a final credit sequence proves that it’s depressingly true-to-life.

All justification to the contrary, Simien rejects bitterness or polemic when addressing “Dear White People’s” cardinal themes, preferring to refract the world of “post-racial” America through a lens of bemused, occasionally appalled, humor. One moment he’s examining the curious legacy of Tyler Perry, or considering the contradictions of a black protagonist as being “more Banksy than Barack”; the next he’s looking askance at a white person curiously fingering Lionel’s unruly Afro or a bunch of preppy white dudes swilling Jameson and doing their Dockers-wearing best to sound “street.”

It’s all up for grabs in a film that, for its willingness to confront head-on the toxic and the taboo, is bracingly free of cant. “Dear White People” isn’t a vehicle for grievance but cockeyed, even optimistic, portrait of people forced to navigate, resist and sometimes exploit an irrational system of unearned privilege. It’s true that satire is the perfect weapon of reason, and Justin Simien deploys it with resourcefulness, cool assurance and eagle-eyed aim.

★ ★ ★

R. Contains profanity, sexuality and drug use. 100 minutes.

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

►   MEC Week 7 Football Players of the Week

Ray Russ (Notre Dame), D’Andre Muhammed (West Liberty) and Torie Wagner (Charleston) have earned Mountain East Conference Player of the Week honors.

Russ, a senior from Willoughby Hills, Ohio, is the league’s Offensive Player of the Week after engineering Notre Dame’s 35-34 win over No. 8 Shepherd on Saturday. Russ was 25-of-44 for 459 yards and five touchdown passes. He had touchdown passes of 75 and 65 yards in the second half to help the Falcons down the Rams. He leads the league and is fourth in the country with 24 touchdown passes this season.

Muhammed, a junior from Stockbridge, GA is the Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in WLU’s win over Urbana. Muhammed contributed five tackles, including a sack, and also intercepted a pass he took back 39 yards for a touchdown against the Blue Knights.

Wagner, a junior from Severn, MD is the Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season after his performance against West Virginia State in the Kanawha Classic. Wagner had three punt returns for 93 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown return in the second quarter. He was also a force from his spot as a defensive back picking off a pair of WVSU passes in the victory.

Other Top Performances

Offense: Dakota Conwell (West Liberty) was 16-of-24 for 232 yards and four touchdowns in a road win ... Jamal Petty (Concord) rushed for a career-high 112 yards and two touchdowns ... Rahmann Lee (Glenville State) rushed for 157 yards and a score.

Defense: Gary Henderson (Glenville State) has 10 tackles to go with a pair of sacks for the Pioneers ... Derrick Johnson (Concord) had an interception and helped hold WVWC to under 150 yards of total offense ... Onslow Williams (Notre Dame) had nint tackles, including a sack and a tackle for a loss ... Terrell Hudson (Urbana) registered a game-high 12 tackles.

Special Teams: Anton Vrebac (Notre Dame) punted five times for an average of 34.4 yards and helped limit Shepherd’s punt returns.

2014 MEC Players of the Week
Week Offense Defense Special Teams
September 08 Brian Novak (CU) Marlon Oden (NDC) Anton McCallum (WLU)
September 15 Ray Russ (NDC) Shaneil Jenkins (SU) Josh Wilson (WLU)
September 22 Kenneth Butler (NDC) Justin Avery (UC) Kyle Kaplan (NDC)
September 29 Marvin Elam (UC) Gary Henderson (GSC) C.J. Davis (SU)
October 06 Tevin Brown (WVSU) C.J. Davis (SU)
Kevin Coffie (WVSU)
Torie Wagner (UC)
October 13 Rahmann Lee (GSC) Earon Settle (GSC) Kelly Carter (UU)
October 20 Ray Russ (NDC) D’Andre Muhammed (WLU) Torie Wagner (UC)

The Gilmer Free Press

►   WVU students warned after riots

Morgantown authorities on Sunday assessed damage from riots that broke out following West Virginia’s 41-27 win over No. 4 Baylor, while WVU president Gordon Gee warned students that he will not tolerate such behavior.

Crowds pushed over street lights and threw rocks, beer bottles and other items at public safety personnel and their vehicles. Numerous fires were set in the student-dominated Sunnyside area and other parts of the city.

Crowds also destroyed fencing protecting several construction sites and breached the properties, Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said.

“As a result of the dangerous behavior the events were declared riots,‘’ he said.

Law enforcement agencies from several jurisdictions responded to the riots. Police used pepper spray and chemical munitions to disperse groups of rioters after they ignored warnings to disperse. Preston did not say what type of chemical munitions was used but said the rioters were dispersed without any serious injuries.

Several people were arrested on various charges.

“It is unfortunate that some fans, not all of whom were students, engaged in riotous behavior following the football team’s outstanding victory over the 4th-ranked Baylor Bears. The focus should have been on celebrating our team, coaches and their achievement,‘’ WVU said Sunday in a statement.

Police and WVU officials are reviewing social media posts and videotapes regarding the incidents. Any student found to be involved will face sanctions, up to and including expulsion, the university said.

“This is not acceptable Mountaineer behavior,‘’ Gee said in the university’s statement. “It is criminal and will be dealt with as such.‘’

The incidents began shortly before 10:30 PM Saturday in Sunnyside and spread to other parts of the city, including the central business district.

“The extent of damage throughout the city is currently unknown but will be assessed over the next couple of days,‘’ Preston said.

Morgantown and WVU have been trying for years to end the long-standing tradition of setting fires to celebrate athletic victories and other events.

In 2012, about 40 street and trash container fires were set following WVU’s 48-45 win over Texas. During that post-game celebration, police officers wearing riot gear used pepper spray and CS gas to disperse an unruly crowd of about 1,000 people who gathered in the streets in Sunnyside.

Crowds also set street fires in 2011 after al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden died.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Heisman Rankings: Week 8

While most of the favorites are well established as the season pushes past the midway point, the week-to-week shuffling among the nation’s elite is sure to continue down the stretch, even if the very top of this list remains unchanged this week.

1. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State (last week: No. 1)—Despite another outstanding performance from Marcus Mariota, Prescott retains the top spot as the No. 1 Bulldogs enjoyed a much-deserved bye week. Prescott - who has 1,478 passing yards, 576 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns - will have plenty of opportunities to pad his stats in the coming weeks with lesser matchups against Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin ahead, but whether or not he can win the award will come down to a pair of road tests in November at Alabama and Ole Miss, as well as a potential SEC Championship Game.

2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (last week: No. 2)—What more can be said about Mariota’s season than I haven’t already tried to explain in weeks past? He’s been absolutely brilliant and continued to dazzle in Oregon’s 45-20 trouncing of Washington with 336 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-33 passing (although he did finish with a very un-Mariota-like negative-1 yard rushing). The signal caller has tossed at least one touchdown in each of his 33 games as a Duck. This season he’s completing greater than 70 percent of his passes, piled up more than 2,220 total yards and 25 touchdowns, and perhaps most impressively has yet to throw an interception in 188 attempts. The only thing separating him from Prescott at this point is the one loss on his resume.

3. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska (last week: No. 9)—It’s been a while since Abdullah put together a signature performance - the Cornhuskers were off last week and he amassed only 45 yards against a stout Michigan State defense on October 4 - but he made his presence felt in Nebraska’s return to the field. In a strong 38-17 road victory over Northwestern, Abdullah was the catalyst, turning 23 carries into 146 yards (in addition to four receptions for 13 yards) while plunging into the end zone a career-best four times. Abdullah, who has already tallied 1,024 rushing yards (third in the FBS), has been a touchdown machine with a career-high 16 scores, including one in every game and 12 in the last four contests. With Todd Gurley’s status for the rest of the year in doubt, it’s a clear two-horse race between Abdullah and Melvin Gordon as the nation’s top rusher.

4. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama (last week: No. 8)—After an off game in Alabama’s nail-biting win at Arkansas on October 11, Cooper and the rest of the squad got back on track in a huge way over the weekend with a 59-0 drudging of Texas A&M. The Tide beat the Aggies at their own game, outgaining them by an astounding 602-172 margin, and Cooper was a big reason for it, hauling in eight receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns, scoring for the first time since finding the end zone three times versus Florida on September 20. Despite the improved play of Blake Sims and a dynamic rushing attack led by T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry, Cooper (62 receptions, 908 yards, seven TDs) is still the premiere playmaker on a team that has a great chance to win the SEC despite an early-season loss.

5. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State (last week: No. 7)—Controversy continues to swirl around Winston in regards to his off-the-field persona, but it’s hard to dispute the production he’s put out on game day. In a marquee battle of unbeatens against Notre Dame, Florida State came out on top with a 31-27 victory thanks in no small part to Winston’s performance. The signal caller completed 23-of-31 passes for 273 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while leading the Seminoles on a game-winning 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter in a matchup that consisted of three ties and five lead-changes. The reigning winner’s stock is on the rise, partially due to his .706 completion percentage and 15 touchdowns, but there’s also something to be said of FSU’s sustained success at the top of the rankings in a year with very few dominant teams.

6. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin (last week: No. 4)—The star tailback amassed at least 175 yards in every game since a 17-carry, 38-yard dud against Western Illinois back on September 6, and he scored an eye-popping 12 touchdowns during that four-game span, so it’s safe to say that he earned a bit of a rest during the Badgers’ bye week. Another big game should be in store for Gordon this week going up against a Maryland team that allows just shy of 200 rushing yards per game.

7. Bo Wallace, QB, Ole Miss (last week: No. 5)—The Rebels looked shaky early in their contest with Tennessee, trailing by three midway through the second quarter, but thanks in part to a stellar performance from Wallace (199 passing yards, two TDs, 33 rushing yards), they eventually cruised to an easy 34-3 victory to remain undefeated. More than any remaining unbeaten team, Ole Miss relies heavily on its elite defense, which allows an FBS-low 10.6 ppg, but that’s not to take anything away from what Wallace has done under center. The 6-foot-4 senior has been responsible for 19 touchdowns and greater than 2,000 total yards while displaying excellent leadership for a squad with national championship aspirations.

8. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia (last week: unranked)—Although Cooper was running away with the distinction as the nation’s best receiver early in the season, White has certainly built a strong case to take over that claim. In the Mountaineers’ stunning 41-27 upset over No. 4 Baylor, White carved up the Bears’ secondary to the tune of eight catches, 132 yards and two touchdowns, giving him at least 100 yards receiving in all seven games this season and a touchdown in five straight. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound physical specimen has emerged thanks to his outstanding chemistry with quarterback Clint Trickett, and he ranks first in the FBS in receiving yards (1,020) and second in receptions (69).

9. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame (last week: No. 6)—Things could have been very different for the Fighting Irish and their quarterback had Golson’s would-be game-winning touchdown toss on fourth down in the waning seconds not been overturned by a penalty. While the squad proved that it belongs in the discussion among the nation’s best after fighting tooth-and-nail with FSU in Tallahassee, the blow certainly leaves Notre Dame with a bad taste in its mouth as well as an uphill climb to the College Football Playoff. Golson was largely impressive in the loss, completing 31-of-52 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns while showing great poise on the final drive - which included a 20-yard completion on 4th-and-18 - but he continued his turnover problem with two more interceptions, giving him 10 turnovers over the past four games, an unacceptable amount for any quarterback let alone a Heisman hopeful.

10. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor (last week: No. 3)—Petty and the Bears were sitting pretty after a thrilling 61-58 triumph over nationally-ranked TCU on October 11 to improve to 6-0 and earn a spot in the AP poll top-five, but all that momentum was erased in a hurry following their disappointing 41-27 setback to WVU. Petty found time to throw a pair of touchdown passes, but that wasn’t nearly enough to mask a horrible day. He finished with the lowest single-game completion percentage of his career (16-of-36, .444) and had negative-9 yards rushing after getting sacked four times. Despite scoring a total of 20 touchdowns paired with only three picks this season, Petty’s Heisman campaign will unlikely be able to bounce back from this hiccup.

Dropped Out: Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn.

Honorable Mention: Clint Trickett, QB, West Virginia; Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana; Senquez Golson, CB, Ole Miss.

►   Archie Manning leaves playoff selection committee

Archie Manning has decided to take a leave of absence from the College Football Playoff selection committee for the remainder of the 2014 season because of health reasons.

Manning said he would be unable to travel for the selection committee meetings because he will undergo surgery next month to help relieve discomfort he is experiencing while walking and moving around.

“It is an honor to serve on this committee, and I enjoy the group and was looking forward to the opportunity ahead,“ Manning said in a statement Monday. “My health had to be my primary concern and I intend to be up and about as soon as possible.“

Manning was one of the 13 committee members that will select the four teams for the college football playoff. He will not be replaced and the group will continue with only 12.

“We will miss Archie,“ said College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock. “He has such a great knowledge of college football and history with the game, but we all understand his reason for taking a leave. I wish him all the best and look forward to his return in 2015.“

The committee has been meeting since November 2013 and will begin to issue rankings on a weekly basis next Tuesday. The selections of the four teams for the playoff will take place December 07.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Steelers shake off Texans

You could almost hear the frustration at Heinz Field as the Pittsburgh Steelers trailed the Houston Texans by 13 points midway through the second quarter.

But after sitting in stunned silence for nearly two hours, the home fans found themselves waiving their Terrible Towels in celebration of a lightning-quick turnaround.

LeVeon Bell sparked a string of 24 straight points in a 2:54 span near the end of the first half as the Steelers downed the Texans, 30-23, on Monday.

Bell amassed 145 yards from scrimmage and caught a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger, who shook off a slow start and finished with 265 yards and two scores through the air.

“We always believe and have faith regardless of how its going,“ said Roethlisberger. “We believe in ourselves and we found a way to get it done.“

The Steelers (4-3) bounced back from last week’s loss in Cleveland and improved to 8-0 on “Monday Night Football” at Heinz Field.

Arian Foster gained 102 yards on 20 carries and caught a late TD pass for the Texans (3-4), who had a chance to recover an onside kick inside the two-minute warning but ultimately dropped their third straight game.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 262 yards with two TDs and an interception.

Pittsburgh’s offense was stuck in neutral before Bell took a short pass over the middle and turned it upfield for a 43-yard gain with under six minutes to go in the first half. Up to that point, the Steelers had gained just 49 yards.

Shaun Suisham booted a 44-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 13-3, and the Steelers’ defense forced a three-and-out and two turnovers in the final three minutes of the half.

After Bell’s 28-yard catch-and-run moved Pittsburgh to the opposing 35-yard line, Martavis Bryant got behind the secondary and reeled in Roethlisberger’s pass in the back of the end zone for his first catch in his first career game.

Replay officials ruled Foster lost a fumble at his own 3-yard line on the next drive, and the Steelers quickly scored on a wide receiver pass with 1:03 left in the half. Antonio Brown went in motion, took an end-around pitch, reversed his field back to the left and threw in traffic to Lance Moore for the TD.

Armed with all three of their timeouts, the Texans opted to air it out and the decision backfired, as Fitzpatrick’s pass was tipped by Brett Keisel, caromed off Lawrence Timmons’ helmet and bounced back to Keisel for the interception.

“It’s nice to be able to make a play, but its a team game,“ said Keisel. “We win as a team, and today was a nice team win for us.“

Bell hauled in Roethlisberger’s 2-yard pass at the right front pylon with 14 seconds on the clock, giving the Steelers a 24-13 lead.

“It was a terrible second quarter and we couldn’t come back from it,“ Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “The whole thing is frustrating.“

The break stunted any momentum for Pittsburgh, but the Texans did not capitalize. They settled for a Randy Bullock 31-yard field goal with 11:47 remaining in regulation, and Suisham made it a two-possession game with a 30- yard kick six minutes later.

Brown caught a 30-yard pass to set up the field goal and had a touchdown catch called back later in the drive. He finished with nine catches for 90 yards and extended his NFL record of at least five catches to 23 straight games.

Suisham tacked on a 40-yarder following a DeAndre Hopkins fumble, and Foster’s 1-yard TD catch with 1:31 to go gave the Texans hope.

The ball bounced around for awhile on the ensuing onside kick and scooted to the Pittsburgh 36-yard line before Steelers third-string tight end Michael Palmer recovered to seal the victory.

The forgettable finish spoiled a fast start for the Texans, who had gone scoreless in the first quarter their previous four games.

Alfred Blue capped Houston’s 10-play, 94-yard opening drive with his first career TD, as he caught a dump off pass and went in untouched from the 11.

Roethlisberger tried escaping the grasp of Whitney Mercilus on the ensuing possession, but the linebacker knocked the ball loose and the omnipresent J.J. Watt quickly jumped on top of it at the Pittsburgh 46.

Bullock split the uprights from 39 yards out, then added a 38-yarder midway through the second quarter to make it a 13-0 game.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh is 25-5 all-time at home on Monday Night Football ... Watt became Houston’s all-time leader in fumble recoveries with nine, passing current Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans ... Houston’s Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards and moved into 14th place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list, passing Hall-of-Famer Steve Largent (13,089) ... With his second punt, Shane Lechler moved past Bryan Barker (1,132) for the 11th most punts in NFL history ... Texans rookie linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, still recovering from knee surgery, missed his sixth straight game.

►   NFL Game Result - Week 7


Final Score: Pittsburgh 30, Houston 23

You could almost hear the frustration at Heinz Field as the Pittsburgh Steelers trailed the Houston Texans by 13 points midway through the second quarter. But after sitting in stunned silence for nearly two hours, the home fans found themselves waiving their Terrible Towels in celebration of a lightning-quick turnaround. LeVeon Bell sparked a string of 24 straight points in a 2:54 span near the end of the first half as the Steelers downed the Texans, 30-23, on Monday. Bell amassed 145 yards from scrimmage and caught a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger, who shook off a slow start and finished with 265 yards and two scores through the air. The Steelers (4-3) bounced back from last week’s loss in Cleveland and improved to 8-0 on “Monday Night Football” at Heinz Field. Arian Foster gained 102 yards on 20 carries and caught a late TD pass for the Texans (3-4), who had a chance to recover an onside kick inside the two-minute warning but ultimately dropped their third straight game. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 262 yards with two TDs and an interception.

►   Browns waive FB Agnew, promote Small

The Cleveland Browns have waived fullback Ray Agnew and promoted fullback Kiero Small from the practice squad to fill the spot on the active roster.

Agnew had started all six games for the Browns this season. He had just two carries for two yards and also caught two passes for 15 yards.

Small, a rookie out of Arkansas, had spent the first seven weeks on the Browns’ practice squad. He was originally selected by Seattle in the seventh round of the 2014 draft.

►   Jags lose LB Posluszny for season

The Jacksonville Jaguars posted their first win of the season on Sunday, but the victory came with a cost.

Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley announced Monday that linebacker Paul Posluszny will be placed on injured reserve after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the 24-6 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Posluszny had 69 tackles and two sacks in seven games. The club will be looking to sign a player in the Penn State product’s place.

Bradley added that defensive end Andre Branch will be sidelined at least six weeks with a torn groin.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   2014-15 Charlotte Hornets Preview

No team changed its identity more than the Charlotte Hornets this offseason.

They changed their name for goodness sake.

This season Charlotte is back to the Hornets, the team name the original Charlotte organization had when it came into the league. That team is now the New Orleans Pelicans, so Charlotte reclaimed its Hornets name.

Another huge change in Charlotte this offseason came in the form of Lance Stephenson. The puzzling wing man signed a free-agent deal with the Hornets after spurning his Indiana Pacers.

Stephenson is a lot of things, including maddening and intense. He’s also an elite defensive player, strong play-maker and decent shooter.

“He is a great up-and-coming player with an incredibly high ceiling,“ general manager Rich Cho said when the team inked Stephenson. “He is an exceptional athlete who has the versatility and skill to play multiple positions on both offense and defense. We believe he will be an outstanding addition to our roster.“

He certainly will be a valuable addition and provides an even further example of the final culture change in Charlotte - optimism.

Last season, this team made the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Yes, they got swept by eventual Eastern Conference champions, the Miami Heat, but that came without a healthy Al Jefferson, who suffered a plantar fasciitis injury in Game 1.

But Jefferson really keyed the Hornets’ rebirth. He made the All-NBA Third team at the center spot and has established the Hornets as a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference.

Head coach Steve Clifford told the Charlotte Observer that Jefferson is pain- free and has been at voluntary workouts.

Jefferson is the key to all Charlotte does, but the Hornets win games because of defense. The Hornets finished fourth in the NBA in opponents’ scoring and sixth in opponents’ field-goal percentage.

Stephenson won’t hurt the quality of Charlotte’s defense. He covered LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals, not Paul George, an All-Defensive performer. Granted, the Pacers probably weren’t thrilled when Stephenson blew on James’ face, but Stephenson, like Cho stated, can cover at least four positions.

He can also help a poor 3-point shooting team. Stephenson isn’t Reggie Miller, or Ray Allen, but he’s adequate. He will also help as a play-maker since Kemba Walker is really the only player on the roster capable of creating offense from the perimeter.

The Hornets should feel great about their team, but this offseason wasn’t all roses and chocolates.

Josh McRoberts left via free agency, joining the Heat. He didn’t register All- Star statistics, but McRoberts started 78 games last season and stretched the floor with his range.

Replacing McRoberts in the starting lineup will be Cody Zeller, the second- year man from Indiana. He showed signs last season, but his role will be expanded massively.

Waiting in the wings is a fellow Hoosier, Charlotte’s first first-round pick, Noah Vonleh. The remarkably athletic big man, who also has some range, slid in the draft and could be great. He won’t be for some time as he’ll miss a little time with a sports hernia.

The Hornets brought in Marvin Williams, Brian Roberts and drafted sharp- shooter P.J. Hairston. They’ll provide much-needed depth.

The Hornets are not in a position where the sky’s the limit, but this group has emerged into a very tough team no one wants to face. They have an inside force, a rarity in today’s game, and play stifling defense.

That’s a postseason recipe.

The only identity change came with a name. The identity Clifford created and cultivated is one that should keep Charlotte in the postseason.

2013-14 Results: 43-38, 3rd in Southeast. Lost in East quarterfinals to Miami

ADDITIONS: G/F Lance Stephenson, F Noah Vonleh, F Marvin Williams, G P.J. Hairston, G Brian Roberts


PG- Kemba Walker SG- Lance Stephenson SF- Michael Kidd-Gilchrest PF- Marvin Williams C- Al Jefferson

KEY RESERVES: G Gerald Henderson, G Gary Neal, F Noah Vonleh, F Cody Zeller, G P.J. Hairston, F Jeff Taylor, C Bismack Biyombo, G Jannero Pargo

FRONTCOURT: Jefferson always put up great numbers, except in the win total. He had two seasons of 20-plus points and 11-plus rebounds per game before he landed in Charlotte, but last season, he carried the Hornets on his back offensively.

Jefferson averaged 21.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg and shot 51 percent from the field. He’s a low-post guy in a world with maybe six good centers. One cause for alarm is Jefferson’s free-throw percentage dipped under 70 percent.

He embraced his role as a leader and flourished. The All-NBA honor was huge and the All-Star game should be an attainable goal this season. Jefferson’s health is fine. Expect another big season.

Williams came over from the Utah Jazz as a free agent. For six seasons as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, Williams averaged double figures. His numbers slid in Utah where his role was reduced. Williams can slide in as a stretch four in the same vein as McRoberts.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has not lived up to being the second pick, but it doesn’t seem to be a big deal. He was drafted on the potential of being a secondary guy when the team got good. Kidd-Gilchrist is a good defender, but offensively, he’s a disaster. His scoring, rebounding and assist numbers are slid as did his free-throw percentage. Clifford told the Charlotte Observer that Kidd-Gilchrist has been working with Mark Price on his shooting mechanics. Wise.

BACKCOURT: Walker is perennially one of the most under-appreciated players in the game. Last season, he averaged 17.7 ppg, 6.1 apg and 4.2 rebounds. His field-goal percentage stumbled, and he’s a decent long-range shooter. Walker is also a big-time gamer. He likes having the ball and making the plays. Walker never gets the due he deserves.

Stephenson bumped his scoring numbers by five last season, his rebounding number by a little more than 3.0 per game and his assists went up 1.5. He finished second to Phoenix’s Goran Dragic for Most Improved Player. He can do everything, but he has to control his emotions. Too many times, Stephenson did bizarre, bordering on dumb things that hurt his Pacers team. Stephenson seems like a perfect cure for not only what ails the Hornets (play-making/35 percent three-point shooting), but he should thrive defensively.

BENCH: Gerald Henderson started 77 games last season, played 32 minutes a game and averaged 14.0 ppg. He shouldn’t lose a starting job and he might not. If Clifford wanted Stephenson to play the small forward, Henderson could keep his starting job. If Henderson comes off the bench, he will still play heavy minutes. He could be a darkhorse Sixth Man of the Year candidate. He’s a good rebounder for a wing.

Zeller averaged a hair over 17 minutes per game in his rookie season and produced 6.0 ppg. He grabbed 4.3 rebounds, but his 43 percent field-goal shooting was jarring. That’s way too low for a big man. Zeller has decent athleticism.

Neal made his bones with the San Antonio Spurs, but he remained a double- figure scorer splitting last season with the Milwaukee Bucks and Hornets. He’s a career 39 percent shooter from beyond the arc. Neal is a huge asset coming off the bench.

Biyombo is a banger, whose playing time fell under Clifford. He’s still the primary backup big man behind Jefferson.

Taylor’s 2013-14 season ended abruptly in December when he ruptured his Achilles. He declared himself ready to go. Before the injury, Taylor averaged 8.0 ppg in 24 minutes. It’s easy to forget about Taylor, but he’s a nice piece.

Vonleh might not see much action right away. He’s a great prospect.

Hairston played wonderfully in the D-League last season. He’s a great shooter, but he’s got to be careful about shot selection. As a rookie, Hairston might not see a ton of action behind Kidd-Gilchrist, Stephenson, Henderson, Neal and Taylor, but he can shoot and the Hornets need shooting.

This unit is very, very solid.

COACHING: Clifford finished fourth in Coach of the Year voting last season. In any other year, brining Charlotte into the postseason after years of futility, Clifford could have finished much higher.

He has built this team around defense. The Hornets are very good at it and that’s a reflection of Clifford. Charlotte was 23rd in scoring last season, but that number should go up with Stephenson in the mix and full seasons from Neal and Taylor.

Clifford maximizes his players’ talents. He’s one of the league’s best young coaches, at least in terms of experience.

OUTLOOK: The Hornets are not title contenders, yet. They are still new to this success thing.

But, great big man play, a daring guard, versatility, defense, a good bench and strong coaching translates into victories.

With James in Cleveland, the Southeast Division is certainly more wide open than in years past. The Hornets could win that division, but they won’t be favored.

Charlotte will make the postseason, but can’t afford an injury to Jefferson or Stephenson. It’s simplistic, but true.

Even if the Hornets don’t win the division, they could sneak into a home playoff series in the first round. That will be hard since the two best teams in the Eastern Conference - Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls - are both in the Central. That means the division loser will probably still have a strong enough record to have homecourt advantage in round one.

The Hornets are most likely looking at a fifth or sixth seed in the East. They could even win a round.

They just aren’t ready for the big time ... yet.

►   2014-15 Oklahoma City Thunder Preview

Boy, that escalated quickly.

Title dreams for the heavily favored Oklahoma City Thunder took a nosedive upon learning that superstar and reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant will miss about six to eight weeks with a Jones Fracture in his right foot.

The sharp-shooting and electrifying Durant informed the team of discomfort in his foot Saturday, when championship dreams started to circle the drain. This isn’t the first time the Thunder had to deal with an injury to a star player, as point guard Russell Westbrook is quite familiar with all of it.

Now that Durant will be shelved for a significant amount of time, a healthy Westbrook is expected to shoulder the load.

“You can’t replace Kevin,“ OKC head coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s one of the best players on the planet, but what you can do, is make sure that when he does come back, our team is better.“

Oklahoma City is still one of the top teams in the league and Westbrook said it’s all about rallying around each other for the start of the 2014-15 season.

“It’s just sticking together,“ Westbrook said. “It’s key that all of us stick together. We have a lot of guys banged up right now, but we have to find a way to stick together, continue to move forward and get wins.“

Now that Durant’s gone for some time, instead of being a candidate for a top seed, the Thunder could finish somewhere between the fourth and sixth seed in the jumbled Western Conference. But as this time of year approaches, the Thunder gather much attention as the favorite to reach the apex of NBA greatness. Losing arguably the best player in the league in Durant (no offense LeBron James) kind of throws a wrench in the gears.

The franchise hasn’t won an NBA title since the 1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics were crowned king, and the Thunder are coming off a fourth straight Northwest Division title. Led by NBA leading scorer Durant, who averaged 32.0 points per game, the Thunder stormed out to a 38-10 record by the end of January and qualified for the postseason for a fifth straight season.

Oklahoma City had the second-best record in the NBA (59-23) and played 36 games without starting point guard Westbrook. Westbrook averaged 21.8 points, 6.9 assists and 5,7 rebounds and, during his absence, the greatness of Durant appeared. Durant led the NBA in scoring for a fourth time in the last five seasons and is one of just five players in NBA history to win four or more scoring titles, joining Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, George Gervin and Allen Iverson.

Durant raised eyebrows when he surpassed Jordan’s record by scoring 25 or more points in 41 straight games. He helped the Thunder win a season-high 10 straight games from January 16-31 and later averaged 34.5 ppg in March, earning him Player of the Month honors.

Durant has led the Thunder to the threshold of NBA immortality in recent years with trips to the Western Conference Finals three times over the past four seasons. However, the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs dispatched the Thunder in six games in the conference finals last postseason.

Oklahoma City has qualified for the playoffs in each of the last five seasons and has won 50 or more games in four of those.

But can the Thunder finally get over the hump in 2014-15 with Durant on the bench for the start of the season? The defending champion Spurs are a year older, James is now with a loaded Cleveland squad, leaving Miami seemingly vulnerable, and Indiana probably won’t have Paul George for the entire season. Yes, there’s a chance and OKC’s odds are still better than Lloyd Christmas hooking up with Mary Swanson.

The Thunder are always dominant at home and went 34-7 at Chesapeake Energy Arena last season as opposed to a respectable 25-16 record on the road.

Winning another Northwest Division shouldn’t be a problem with the current situation, especially now that All-Star forward Kevin Love is out of the question. The former Minnesota Timberwolves superstar joined forces with James in Cleveland, and now Portland is the only threat to OKC. Denver could compete and Utah is still building.

2013-14 Results: 59-23, 1st in Northwest, lost in Western Conference Finals to San Antonio

ADDITIONS: G/F Anthony Morrow, G Sebastian Telfair, F Mitch McGary


PG- Russell Westbrook SG- Anthony Morrow SF- Perry Jones PF- Serge Ibaka C - Kendrick Perkins

KEY RESERVES: G Reggie Jackson, F Nick Collison, G Jeremy Lamb, C Steven Adams, F Perry Jones, C Mitch McGary, G Andre Roberson

FRONTCOURT: Durant left the U.S. national team in August before the FIBA World Cup, citing physical and mental exhaustion from the season. The strategy worked out at the time and now he’s just a spectator.

Durant was the main reason why the Thunder were fourth in scoring in 2013-14 with 106.2 points per game. Those numbers will surely dip and Oklahoma City could see a revolving door at the forward spot. Perry Jones seems like a solid choice to begin the season on the court at tip-off and posted 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in limited action last season.

Jones played in 62 games and averaged just over 12 minutes a game. He has size at 6-foot-11 and a lengthy wingspan. It’s just too bad for the Thunder they won’t get much production from that spot in the first few months. Jeremy Lamb is another possibility for Brooks and he notched 8.5 points and 2.4 rebounds a season ago. Lamb appeared in 78 games, playing about 19 minutes a night.

Serge Ibaka put a damper on Oklahoma City’s title hopes with a calf injury during the playoffs and it took away the team’s inside presence. Ibaka instills fear down low with his ability to clog the paint and block shots. He has the size of an NFL linebacker and his defensive prowess makes it difficult for opponents in the lane. It’s better to kick it out when the 6-foot-10 Ibaka is waiting to make a play. He averaged 15.1 points and led the Thunder with 8.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 2013-14. Ibaka also had 29 double-doubles, up from his 2012-13 total of 15.

If Ibaka has any flaws it’s his ability to play more than 30 minutes a night.

This could be the end of the road for Kendrick Perkins with center Steven Adams waiting to take over. Perkins still has brute strength and that evil scowl. That being said, averaging 3.4 points and 4.9 rebounds from the center position isn’t going to get you far.

Perkins is fortunate to play in the shadows of Durant and Westbrook, so it’s not too important to run the offense inside. Still, it has to be done and Perkins is coming off one of his worst seasons. Perkins has no choice but to improve after the Thunder failed in a bid to land big man Pau Gasol.

BACKCOURT: With guard Anthony Morrow in the fold, the Thunder will probably use Reggie Jackson off the bench again. Morrow joined Oklahoma City in July and was picked up as a free agent. Morrow is a smooth scorer with natural shooting ability and should pair up well with stars Durant and Westbrook.

Morrow averaged 8.4 points in a career-high 76 games last season for New Orleans, and is known for his 3-point shooting. He shot 45.1 percent from beyond the arc last season and has hit 40 percent or better four times.

“With his body of work, we feel Anthony is a unique addition to a diverse roster, while also possessing the toughness and selflessness that we are consistently seeking in Thunder players,“ said OKC general manager Sam Presti.

Westbrook displays toughness and selflessness (at times) for the Thunder and is one of the best point guards in the game. Quick off the dribble and faster than a hiccup, Westbrook was able to stay healthy this past postseason unlike the 2012-13 playoffs when he suffered a knee injury.

Westbrook knows what Durant’s going through being sidelined.

“It’s very, very unfortunate,“ Westbrook said. “If anybody knows what it feels like, I would know. I talked to Kevin. He’s in good spirits. He’s going to get back as soon as he can to help us out.“

The All-Star played 46 games and shot 43.7 percent. Westbrook is working on a better shot selection instead of wildly trying to handle situations on his own. If and when that happens, the Thunder will be even deadlier.

The Thunder don’t have defensive-minded swingman Thabo Sefolosha, who is now with the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta acquired him in a sign-and-trade. Sefolosha spent the past five-plus seasons with the Thunder and played a key part in a march to the 2012 NBA Finals. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds while starting 61 games for the Thunder last season.

BENCH: Jackson shined in the starting lineup when Westbrook was recovering from knee surgery and gives Brooks a nice piece coming off the bench. Jackson started 36 games in 2013-14 and averaged 14.1 points and 5.1 assists. He led OKC at the line, making 89.3 percent of his foul shots. In 44 games as a sub, he notched 12.3 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Jackson, who averaged 11.1 ppg in the postseason, has tremendous potential to become a full-time starter down the stretch even though he lacks size at the position. It wouldn’t be a surprise, though, if Brooks puts the sixth man back in the starting lineup at some point.

Before Jackson entered the starting lineup, the OKC bench averaged 34.6 ppg in the first 28 games of the season. That shows how important a reserve he is. The Thunder went 15-0 when Jackson scored 15 points or more off the pine.

Derek Fisher and Caron Butler are gone and considered dinosaurs at this point. Fisher, of course, is now the head coach of the New York Knicks and his leadership and experience will be missed. Guard Andre Roberson has a shot at seeing more action, while Nick Collison, Mitch McGary and Adams will spell the big men. Guard Sebastian Telfair is looking for a new beginning with the Thunder.

COACHING: Since Brooks took over as Thunder head coach in 2008, they are 293-170 with a 39-34 record in the postseason. Those playoff numbers have to improve if Brooks wants to stick around much longer. And it doesn’t get any easier with Durant out. Perhaps that could save Brooks’ job if the Thunder fail to live up to expectations.

Brooks has managed to work with what he has and that’s not saying much when Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka are at his disposal. He will try to make it work with Morrow now in the fold and Jackson coming off the bench again. It’s a good problem to have for Brooks, who has shown the capability to adjust in crunch time. The Thunder and their fans have lofty expectations and Brooks will be feeling the pressure if a winner is not delivered.

Defense will always be key to how the Thunder maintain their elevated scoring average. Working their way into transition to create easy baskets and opportunities will, and always, be predicated on defense. When the defense presents chances to score, passing is most important.

“We’ve been working on it over the last few years of really involving the pass more and more,“ Brooks said. “Our guys have really picked it up. Going into the summer, those are the areas we wanted to focus on offensively, to give ourselves a better shot every time down court.“

Brooks said having a large number of returning players back helps in understanding the philosophy leading up to the regular season.

OUTLOOK: It was title or bust for this agonizing Thunder fanbase in 2014-15, and now it’s just try to stay afloat without one of the NBA’s best players. Injuries are the demise of any sports team and now the Thunder must prove they’re a resilient group. Brooks said he is proud of his players because they don’t make excuses and figure out ways to improve when faced with adversity.

Now is the time to see if the Thunder are ready to move forward as a team.

►   2014-15 Portland Trail Blazers Preview

The bar has been set for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Whether they want to raise the Rip City Resurrection even higher is totally up to them in 2014-15.

The Trail Blazers exceeded expectations last season with a 54-28 record and their first playoff berth since 2010-11. The 54 wins were 21 more than the year before when Portland was 33-49 and finished fourth in the Northwest.

Portland was second behind Oklahoma City in the division and the chances of unseating the Northwest-champion Thunder any time soon are slim to none. Even the recent injury and future return of Thunder star Kevin Durant is too much to over come. Oh, the Thunder have Russell Westbrook, too.

What do the Blazers have? A lot of confidence and motivation.

“People expect us to be a good team because of what happened last year,“ star guard Damian Lillard said. “We need to expect that of ourselves.“

Lillard is one of the cornerstones to the success of the Blazers as well as power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The duo helped the Blazers to a sizzling 22-4 start and the first 50-win campaign since 2009-10 (50-32).

A third-year Blazer out of Weber State, Lillard recorded a career-best 20.7 points and handed out an average of 5.6 assists per game. That was enough for the Trail Blazers to exercise the fourth-year option on Lillard, who made 218 3-pointers to become the first Portland player to ever record at least 200 baskets from downtown. That’s better than Terry Porter or Clyde Drexler.

In Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Houston Rockets, Lillard buried a dramatic 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the Blazers into the second round of the playoffs. The Blazers, who captured the West’s fifth seed, won their first postseason set since May 16, 2000 when they beat Utah in five games in the conference semifinals. They had lost seven consecutive series.

However, the losing ways continued in the semifinals, as the eventual NBA champion San Antonio Spurs disposed of Portland in five games.

While Lillard handles the backcourt and ball distribution, Aldridge is Portland’s great hope down low. Coming off a career year in which he averaged 23.2 points and 11.1 rebounds, Aldridge became the first Trail Blazer to finish among the NBA’s top 10 scorers in three straight seasons.

Aldridge is not short on confidence for his team’s chances this season.

“I definitely feel like we can be one of the top teams in the league,“ said Aldridge, who recorded a playoff franchise record 46 points on April 20.

The playoffs are no doubt a destination the Blazers will be making this season and they return nearly the entire roster with the addition of big man Chris Kaman to play alongside Aldridge and Robin Lopez. Steve Blake is back to bolster the guard play for head coach Terry Stotts.

Stotts received a multi-year extension in May and is 87-77 with the team.

“Terry has done an outstanding job during his first two years with the organization,“ Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said. “This extension illustrates our confidence in him as our head coach as well as the Portland Trail Blazers’ continued commitment to building a model of consistency and stability.“

Lillard said there’s more to Stotts than just X’s and O’s.

“I don’t think he’s looking for credit just like we aren’t looking for credit,“ Lillard said. “I think it’s a group effort. He gives us the system to run and it’s our job to go out there and execute it. But I think he does a great job with us as people. It’s hard to manage egos and we don’t really have any but when you’re dealing with professional athletes it’s tough because a lot of players have so much control. You have attitudes and guys making all this money, and it’s hard to control but I think he does a great job of it.“

Stotts has guided the Blazers in position to be one of the best in the Western Conference and it can only get better.

2013-14 Results: 54-29, 2nd in Northwest, lost in Western Conference semifinals to San Antonio

ADDITIONS: C Chris Kaman, G Steve Blake


PG- Damian Lillard SG- Wesley Matthews SF- Nicolas Batum PF- LaMarcus Aldridge C - Robin Lopez

KEY RESERVES: G Steve Blake, G C.J. McCollum, F Dorell Wright, C Chris Kaman, F Thomas Robinson, G Will Barton, C Joel Freeland, C Meyers Leonard

FRONTCOURT: The Blazers hope to lock up Aldridge next summer when he can cash in with more dough and a longer deal. The team appears committed to Aldridge, an interior force who has averaged more than 20 points per game in each of the past four seasons. Aldridge, who posted 29.8 ppg against Houston in the postseason, became the first NBA player with consecutive playoff games of 43 points or more since Tracy McGrady (April 20-23, 2003). He joined Sidney Wicks (1971-72) as the only Trail Blazer to average at least 23 points and 11 rebounds in a season. Aldridge is no doubt a bona fide All-Star and the Blazers will go only as far as he can take them. He matches up well with the rest of the bigs around the league.

Lopez plays in the shadows of Aldridge, and does his damage there. The seven- footer is a returning starter and key piece to Portland’s inside game. If the Blazers want to compete with Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston or the Los Angeles Clippers, they have to get the ball inside. Like Aldridge, Lopez is also entering a contract year and played all 82 games for a second straight season after previous injury-riddled campaigns. His trademark is defense, but Lopez can also score.

Another defensive specialist is Nicolas Batum at small forward. The versatile Batum appeared in all 82 games, posting an average of 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds, and has become more involved in the offense because of his skillset. Batum is a decent shooter from 3-point range as well. He is not afraid to take on the opposition’s best player either and is expected to have a breakout season in 2014-15.

BACKCOURT: Oh, where to begin with Portland’s backcourt. That’s actually easy because it starts with Lillard. Lillard is known around the league as a dangerous threat and can distribute the ball. When Aldridge and Lopez are grinding down low, Lillard will get them the ball. He was selected to his first All-Star game last year and played almost 36 minutes a night, so getting him rested for the playoffs is key. Cutting out fast food, sugar and salt from his diet will aid in his recovery from a long season. It will also improve his already remarkable speed and athleticism. His dramatic 3-pointer to send the Rockets packing in the playoffs proves Lillard’s not afraid to take the big shot and step up for his team. Look for another All-Star season from Lillard and emerging star status.

Lillard’s running mate in the backcourt is sharpshooter Wesley Matthews. Matthews is another defensive-minded guard who averaged a career-high 16.4 ppg last season and played in all 82 games for a third time in his career. Matthews has the length to keep opposing guards at bay with his 6-foot-5 frame, and playing alongside Batum only makes Portland that much better on defense. Matthews has big shot capability and is a proven risk taker. There’s a chance Matthews and Lillard will combine to sink the most 3-pointers in the league this season.

BENCH: This is where it gets tough for Stotts and Portland. The Blazers were awful off the bench last season and finished last in minutes with 13.7 and points (23.6). Those numbers took a dip in the playoffs as well and perhaps the series with San Antonio would have lasted longer had the reserves contributed more often.

The Blazers brought in Kaman to bolster the paint and give Aldridge and Lopez breathers. Blake is back and will bring his experience and leadership to the point, while the Trail Blazers are counting on second-year guard C.J. McCollum to have a big season. McCollum played in just 38 games because of a foot injury and posted 5.3 points and 1.3 rebounds. He’s hoping to have an injury free campaign and a more increased role now that Mo Williams is gone. McCollum proved he was one of the NCAA’s top guards with Lehigh University. Thomas Robinson, Meyers Leonard, Dorell Wright and Will Barton are other options off the bench.

COACHING: Stotts welcomes back the entire starting squad and has big hopes in his third season with the team. The franchise’s 14th head coach, Stotts needs to get more production on defense and better play from the bench. A healthy McCollum and the addition of Kaman should be an aid. Having Kaman on the floor means Portland will not fall short of size and strength underneath, which will propel the Blazers even further. Stotts, though, will be in a tough spot if he loses either Lillard or Aldridge. But make no mistake, the Blazers have the talent to capture homecourt advantage for at least the first round. Then it gets tough after that with the West’s best moving on.

OUTLOOK: Another 50-plus win season is on tap for the rising Blazers, as long as they stay healthy. Holding their own in a tough Western Conference is what the Blazers did a season ago, and it’s no secret they’re out to achieve more. Portland could make it all the way to the conference finals, but isn’t ready to play for an NBA championship. Perhaps 2015-16 will bear more fruit as far as competing for the franchise’s first title since 1976-77.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Why the Giants will win the World Series

You can’t teach experience.

That’s one advantage the San Francisco Giants have entering their third World Series in the last five years. It’s been 29 years since the upstart Cinderella Kansas City Royals were in the Fall Classic and their magical postseason run will come to a screeching halt when they tangle with the accomplished Giants.

San Francisco playing for all the marbles has become more common lately and the club owes it all to a solid nucleus and a wise manager in Bruce Bochy. Bochy knows the aches and pains of baseball. His club had to battle its way to make the playoffs and now the Giants are going for it all in the 110th World Series.

“This isn’t easy to get here,“ Bochy said. “You saw how we had to go through a Wild Card Game, then go through two very good teams. It’s pretty amazing, really, how difficult it is to get here.“

Two of Bochy’s top players, starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner and catcher Buster Posey, are playing in their third World Series, while weathered veteran starter Tim Hudson is in his first. Hudson being in his first World Series proves that catching on with the right team at the right time is imperative.

Hudson, who is expected to go in Game 3, is happy for both Bumgarner and Posey, but is also appreciative of catching on with a winner.

“It’s awesome for them to be able to experience it that often,“ Hudson said. “Obviously, with my experience, it’s something I’ve searched for and waited all 16 years. It’s not that easy. You have to have a lot of luck and a lot of good players. To be on a team that has that much success that often, that doesn’t happen all the time, especially nowadays, with so much parity in this game.“

Bumgarner and Posey have matured through the years and know what it takes to reach the game’s pinnacle. The battery mates play an essential role in the Giants’ success and will be ready to go in Game 1 on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. Posey said it’s difficult to get to this point and players should appreciate and enjoy the moment.

Posey is two RBI shy of matching Barry Bonds (21) for the most in Giants franchise history in the postseason. He is a main weapon on a successful club that doesn’t boast high-profile players, home run kings or household names.

The one who comes close to stardom is Bumgarner. He’s another reason why the Giants will bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to the bay area. Bumgarner was named MVP of the NLCS versus the St. Louis Cardinals and hasn’t allowed a postseason run on the road over the last 26 2/3 innings dating back to that championship run of 2010.

The road has been a place Bumgarner thrives as evidenced by his 11-4 record and 2.22 earned run average in 18 starts as the visitor in the regular season. Bumgarner was 18-10 overall in the regular season. He struck out 10, allowed four hits and went the distance in an 8-0 win at Pittsburgh in the Wild Card game on October 1, then threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings at St. Louis on October 11.

So it’s obvious the one called MadBum has no issues in a hostile environment. In six postseason starts at home, Bumgarner is just 1-3. But he has pitched at least seven innings in every start this postseason.

Imagine how dominant the rotation would be with a healthy Matt Cain and a consistent Tim Lincecum. Cain is done for the season and Lincecum is now working out of a strong bullpen. So instead of those two, Bochy has veterans Jake Peavy and Hudson, and postseason stud Ryan Vogelsong. Bochy said Lincecum is dealing with a stiff neck and isn’t worried about the unused two-time NL Cy Young Award winner.

In 10 postseason games, Giants starters have recorded a 2.40 earned run average while limiting opponents to a 0.99 WHIP and a .207 batting average. The Giants have a strong advantage over Kansas City with their starters because after James Shields the Royals are in trouble.

When the starters give way to the bullpen it usually spells doom for the opposition. Clubs go through turnover year after year and there’s four relief pitchers who have been with the Giants since 2010. Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo are gunning for their fourth ring.

“Experience is a big deal. We don’t live in the past, but we rely on the past to get us through situations that we know we can pull through,“ Affeldt said.

The Royals are garnering all the bullpen hype, and deservedly so. However, these Giants can pitch in relief, too.

“Bochy knows how to use the bullpen,“ Casilla said. “He is the key, because we know what to do, but he has to know who to use.“

Yusmeiro Petit, who Bochy described as a “great swingman,“ is an important member of the bullpen and helped the Giants get to where they are.

“We can say that about a lot of the guys here,“ Romo said, “but he’s one of those ones that comes to mind first.“

Petit made 12 starts and 27 relief appearances in the regular season, and retired 46 straight batters at one point. He has two wins with 11 strikeouts over nine scoreless innings in these playoffs.

Who will Bochy use as the designated hitter when the Giants are on the road? That could be Game 5 NLCS hero Michael Morse, who’s healthy and an obvious choice for that role. Morse belted the tying home run in the NLCS clincher over the Cardinals.

The lineups match up well in this World Series. San Francisco is led by Posey and a handful of contributors in Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford. Pence, of course, is known for his animated pep talks that usually contain an expletive or two. He definitely knows how to get his teammates pumped up and will be at his best the next week or so.

Bochy said Sandoval is a great and gifted player. More commonly known as Panda, Sandoval is excited to be playing in October instead of watching the games on TV at home.

“It’s exciting,“ Sandoval said. “You win or you go home. That’s what we try to do every single day this time (of year), not get too excited in situations. You want to win games. So I think this is one of those things I’ve got on my mind right now, get a good pitch on the plate, have fun no matter what the situation is, what the score is, what the type of game you play is. Just have fun out there.“

You could see how much fun this version of the Giants have on the field and it will be more exciting to watch when they’re crowned kings of baseball again.

►   Why the Royals will win the World Series

Wade Davis was a throw-in in the deal that sent James Shields to Kansas City from Tampa Bay back in December of 2012.

As important a piece as Shields is to Kansas City, though, Davis has become an irreplaceable piece of a historic bullpen that has the Royals back in the World Series for the first time since 1985.

“He’s a guy that just comes in and goes right after you with his stuff,“ Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He’s a guy that’s a tremendous competitor.“

After struggling as a starter Davis has found a home as the Royals’ eighth- inning guy. He finished the regular season with 72 innings pitched, a 1.00 ERA and 109 strikeouts. His ERA was the fifth lowest ever by a reliever with at least 70 innings and his 13.63 strikeout-per-nine ratio ranks 10th all-time under the same guidelines.

He also didn’t allow a run from April 23-June 25, a streak of 20 appearances and 22 1/3 innings. It took 43 appearances, 45 1/3 innings and 179 batters before he allowed an extra-base hit.

Davis also hasn’t surrendered a home run this season.

In addition to his phenomenal regular season, Davis has thrown 9 1/3 innings in the postseason with a 0.96 ERA and 10 strikeouts. He pitched five scoreless frames in the ALCS, allowed just two hits and struck out six.

It’s not just Davis, though. Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland have been equally dominant.

Kansas City relievers allowed two runs in five innings in Game 1 against the O’s, but pitched 11 2/3 scoreless innings the rest of the way. The three- headed monster of Herrera, Davis and Holland pitched to a 0.61 ERA over 14 2/3 frames.

“It’s definitely been the model for us,“ Yost said. “It started out, find a way to get the ball to Holly in the ninth inning. With Kelvin’s emergence this year, it turned into, ‘Let’s just find a way to get through six and we’re going to be in great shape.‘“

Kansas City became just the second team during the wild card era to win the ALCS without a single starter completing six innings in the process. Only the 2011 Rangers had done so previously.

“You get through the sixth inning and you’re down a run, and, all of a sudden, here comes Herrera, here comes Davis, and here comes Holland,“ Yost added. “That’s a little bit deflating.“

Yost continued about his bullpen.

“You know, for me, the whole focus is just get through the sixth inning tied or with the lead so that we could get to those guys,“ Yost said. “If we have the lead, I feel like the game is over. If we’re tied, I feel like they’re going to hold us there until we score a run.“

No team signified small ball more than Kansas City, which won 89 games this season thanks in large part to its ability to play defense and manufacture runs. The Royals also led the AL with 153 stolen bases, but their 95 home runs were the fewest in baseball.

There is no question the Royals rely on their legs. It’s not just the stolen bases, either, their ability to take the extra base makes them that much more dangerous.

Kansas City’s speed game could be kept in check when lefty Madison Bumgarner is on the mound. Also, catcher Buster Posey threw out runners at a 29.8 percent clip this season, fifth in MLB among 15 qualified MLB catchers

The Royals have found their power stroke in the playoffs, swatting eight home runs in eight games. While they are certainly not the “Murderers’ Row” Yankees, the added power dimension might just be the difference for the Royals in the World Series.

There used to be a joke in New York that 75 percent of the world was covered in water and the other 25 percent was covered by Darrelle Revis. Well, people in Kansas City can now apply that joke to their outfield, particularly left fielder Alex Gordon and center fielder Lorenzo Cain.

“There’s really no weaknesses,“ said Gordon. “It’s someone new every day, and someone new making the play every day. It’s pretty cool to be a part of eight guys out there that are very talented and very good at defense and good at what they do.“

The bottom line is, the Royals are just a really good team. They get every hit they need. They make every catch they can get to. They can beat you with their arms, they can beat you with their legs.

And now they can even beat you with the longball.

You add that to the fact that they have homefield advantage and are in the midst of the best postseason run of all-time and it’s hard to make a case against them winning.

Nobody may have predicted it at the start of the year, but the Royals appear to be on the cusp of a World Series title.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Golf Tidbits: Martin shines brightest in Vegas

Las Vegas is a city full of bright lights that can distract you. The brightest lights on a golf course are the leaderboards.

Ben Martin doesn’t like to look at those leaderboards, though. In the final round on Sunday at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Martin caught a glimpse of one leaderboard after he bogeyed the eighth hole, and that was enough for him.

“I was nervous enough without looking at the scoreboard, so I didn’t have to think about anything else,“ Martin said.

He did the right thing and let his caddie watch the scoreboard. Martin wasn’t the only one who was ignoring the leaderboards. Second-place finisher Kevin Streelman was in the same boat.

“I tried not to look at the leaderboard to be honest,“ said Streelman.

The two were lucky the event didn’t last another couple holes or they would have been left in the dust by another player.

Last year’s Shriners winner, Webb Simpson, came out of nowhere on the back nine to grab a share of the lead, but he bogeyed the last to fall off the pace.

Jimmy Walker, a three-time winner last season, made a move on the back nine as well, but, like the other challengers, he ran out of holes.

Martin asked his caddie if he had to do anything special after he hit the green with his approach shot at the 18th. His caddie told him to 2-putt and all would be fine.

Martin only needed one. The closing birdie gave him a not-as-comfortable-as-it- looked 2-shot win.

The 27-year-old didn’t win in his first full season on the PGA Tour last year, but earned over $1.48 million thanks in part to three third-place finishes.

His four rounds in the 60s at the TPC Summerlin were a far cry from the week before at the Open. Martin shot 78-79 at the Frys and finished in next-to-last place. He missed the cut by 14 strokes.

Though they were far from his best rounds, Martin allowed that they helped him knock the rust off.

“I’m not sure I beat anybody last week. I think we can chalk that up to a little bit of rust, a couple weeks at home. I just really tried to engage a little more this week,“ Martin said after the second round in Las Vegas. “I think I still kind of had that home mind-set.“

The bright light of the strip didn’t distract Martin from his goal of winning for the first time on the PGA Tour, and neither did the bright lights of the leaderboard.

Martin hopes this win is a springboard to bigger things, like what Walker accomplished last year in winning three times and making his first Ryder Cup team.

After just one full year on the PGA Tour, Martin doesn’t want to rest on his laurels of having his tour card secured for the next two seasons.


After his second battle with leukemia, Jarrod Lyle has started the battle to earn enough money to retain his PGA Tour card for this season. He can play 20 events through a medical extension, and in those events, Lyle needs to earn roughly $284,000 to retain his playing privileges.

Two events in and Lyle is about 20 percent of the way to that total. He Monday- qualified for the Open before earning a sponsors exemption into Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Lyle has finished outside the top 30 in both events, but collected $53,795 thanks to tying for 31st and 42nd places in the two tournaments.

He has broken par in six of the eight rounds, but just two of the eight rounds were in the 60s. In those events, where the winning scores were 15- and 20- under par, two rounds in the 60s aren’t going to get you in contention or a big paycheck.

But, it is a process. Lyle didn’t play a PGA Tour-sanctioned event in 2013 and played just four Tour events in 2014. He made the cut just once as he tried to get his form back.

Lyle, who won twice on the Tour in 2008, heads back to his native Australia this week for a medical check-up. He will play the three big events in his homeland—the Australian Open, the Australian Masters and the Australian PGA.

“Things are going the right direction,“ Lyle said in a television interview. “The support that we’ve had for the last three years, it’s been amazing.“

After a couple of months back in his comfort zone of Australia, Lyle will continue his battle to retain his PGA Tour card early in the new year.


- Mikko Ilonen won the Volvo World Match Play Championship on the European Tour. He played at least 17 holes in all six of his matches, so endurance clearly wasn’t a problem. Joost Luiten, who won the consolation match, cruised to a 6 & 5 win over Pablo Larrazabal in the quarterfinals, and that was the only match all week that didn’t go at least 15 holes.

- Jeff Hart just missed tying a Champions Tour record at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn. He hit 41 of 42 fairways for the week. He was bidding to join Hale Irwin, Calvin Peete and Ed Dougherty as the only players to hit every fairway in a three-round Champions Tour event.

The Gilmer Free Press


Major League Baseball - World Series
San Francisco at Kansas City, 8:07 PM - FOX

National Basketball Association - Preseason
Houston at Miami, 8:00 PM - CSN-Houston, TNT
LA Lakers at Phoenix, 10:00 PM - Time Warner
LA Clippers at Golden State, 10:30 PM - CSN-Bay, TNT

National Hockey League
San Jose at Boston, 7:00 PM - CSN-California, TVA, NESN, DSS
Toronto at NY Islanders, 7:00 PM - TSN4, MSG+2, DSS
NY Rangers at New Jersey, 7:00 PM - MSG, MSG+, DSS
Detroit at Montreal, 7:30 PM - FS-Detroit, RDS, DSS
Arizona at Nashville, 8:00 PM - FS-Arizona, Tennessee, DSS
Carolina at Winnipeg, 8:00 PM - FS-Carolina, TSN3, DSS
Vancouver at Dallas, 8:30 PM - SNET-Pacific, FS-Southwest, DSS
Philadelphia at Chicago, 8:30 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, Chicago, NBCSN
Tampa Bay at Calgary, 9:00 PM - SunSports, SNET-West, DSS
Florida at Colorado, 9:00 PM - FS-Florida, Altitude, DSS

College Football
Arkansas State at Louisiana, 8:00 PM - ESPN 2

International Soccer
CSKA Moscow vs. Manchester City, 12:00 PM - FS1
Barcelona vs. Ajax, 2:30 PM - FS1
Jamaica vs. Mexico (Women’s World Cup Qualifier), 7:30 PM - FS1

Delegate Brent Boggs: Voter Appreciation Picnic - 10.26.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Flu Shots Available at Gilmer County Health Department

The Gilmer Free Press

Halloween’s Trick or Treat in Glenville - Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

This year’s Halloween “Trick or Treat”  night for the City of Glenville is set for

Thursday, October 30, 2014 from 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM.

Happy Halloween!


The Gilmer Free Press


Hosted: Sand Fork Town Council

October 01 — October 24, 2014

Place: Horizon Energy Shop Yard

Please access the dumpster by driving on the road behind the shop building

This event is open to residents of the Sand Fork Community

Items NOT accepted:

TV’s, Computers, Tires, Refrigerators, Chemicals, Freon
Household Trash, any type of Electronics

They will take paint cans, with the lids removed, and dry inside

Questions, Call Town Hall 304.804.2177
If no answer, leave a message, and we will get back to you


Town Hall Meeting- Meth - 10.23.14

The Gilmer Free Press

FPWV1011- House For Sale

House for Sale

Blennerhassett Island State Park Adds Final Fall Dinner Riverboat Cruise October 25, 2014

A final fall dinner and cruise is scheduled for October 25, 2014according to Blennerhassett Island State Park Superintendent Matt Baker.

“These dinner cruises have been popular and we’ve had requests for an additional one during the fall foliage season. We plan to schedule more in 2015.”

The cruise is aboard the Island Belle sternwheeler and includes a country-style dinner and boat ride on the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers.

The Gilmer Free Press

The Island Belle departs from Point Park in downtown Parkersburg, West Virginia, at 5:30 PM and returns at 7:30 PM.

The menu includes tavern baked ham, baked potato, corn, dinner roll, dessert and beverage. A vegetarian menu is available upon request.

The cost of the river cruise and dinner is $25 for adults and $21 for children ages 3-12. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required. Call the park office at 304.420.4800.

To learn more about Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park visit

The 2014 island season concludes October 26, and reopens in May.

The Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History is open year-round and is located on the corner of 2nd Street and Juliana in downtown Parkersburg.

Haunted Recreation Center - 11.03.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Adoption Longaberger Basket Bingo - 11.01.14

The Gilmer Free Press

For Rent: 4-Bedroom House

The Gilmer Free Press


Tanner Area

Nice 4-Bedroom House with Acreage

Good Hunting, Gas Heat Paid

$565 per Month Trash Collection Included

Reference Required, No Inside Pets

Call 304.904.1374 or 304.462.0282

For Rent: 2-Bedroom Upper Apartment

The Gilmer Free Press


Rt. 5 West

Clean 2-Bedroom Upper Apartment

With Washer and Dryer

Partially Furnished

$345 per Month plus Deposit

References Required

No Pets

Water and Trash Included

Call 304.904.1374 or 304.462.0282

Early Voting Schedule for November 2014 General Election

The Gilmer Free Press
Public Notice

Gilmer County Early Voting for the General Election, November 04, 2014 starts Wednesday, October 22, 2014 thru Saturday, November 01, 2014 with regular business hours of 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

On Saturdays, October 25, 2014 and November 01, 2014 Early Voting Hours are 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

Voting Location is the Gilmer County Courthouse.

Jean Butcher
Gilmer County Clerk

G-OB™: Little Kanawha Bus Is Now Hiring One Full Time or Part Time Driver

The Gilmer Free Press

Little Kanawha Bus Is Now Hiring One Full Time or Part Time Driver to Work in Gilmer County

Minimum Qualifications:

Individual must be 23 years of age or older. Individual must be able to pass a physical examination and be certified medically acceptable for work by the examining physician. Individual must be able to pass a back ground check and have no serious accidents in the past five years. Individual must be able to pass a Pre-Hire Drug test and enter a Random Drug and Alcohol Pool with other LKB employees upon their employment. Individual must be willing to take training in CPR, First Aide, PASS and other trainings requested. This position could be an asset for a retired individual that would like to supplement their income. Starting salary will be $8.00 an hour. Full time driver would receive vacation and sick leave. Insurance also available. Part time drivers do not receive benefits.

This position will be to transport in Gilmer County area and transport to Clarksburg, Flatwoods, and Weston on specific days and drive in Calhoun if needed on other days if hired for a part time position. If hired for a full time position individual would work in the office helping answer phones on days not driving.

Please call toll free at 1.866.354.5522 with any questions. Little Kanawha Bus is an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.


Darlene Crane/Manager
PO Box 387
Grantsville, WV 26147

Can also email: or fax to 304.354.6225

Ron Paul: National Service is Anti-Liberty and Un-American

The Gilmer Free Press

Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently called on the government to force young people to spend two years either “serving” in the military or performing some other type of government-directed “community service.” Neoconservative Senator John McCain has introduced legislation creating a mandatory national service program very similar to Reich’s proposal. It is not surprising that both a prominent progressive and a leading neocon would support mandatory national service, as this is an issue that has long united authoritarians on the left and right.

Proponents of national service claim that young people have a moral obligation to give something back to society. But giving the government power to decide our moral obligations is an invitation to totalitarianism.

Mandatory national service is not just anti-liberty, it is un-American. Whether or not they admit it, supporters of mandatory national service do not believe that individuals have “inalienable rights.” Instead, they believe that rights are gifts from the government, and, since government is the source of our rights, government can abridge or even take away those rights whenever Congress decides.

Mandatory national service also undermines private charitable institutions. In a free society, many people will give their time or money to service projects to help better their communities, working with religious or civic associations. But in a society with government-enforced national service, these associations are likely to become more reliant on government-supplied forced labor. They will then begin to tailor their programs to satisfy the demands of government bureaucrats instead of the needs of the community.

The very worst form of national service is, of course, the military draft, which forces young people to kill or be killed on government orders. The draft lowers the cost of an interventionist foreign policy because government need not compete with private employers for recruits. Anyone who refuses a draft notice runs the risk of being jailed, so government can provide lower pay and benefits to draftees than to volunteers.

As the burden of our hyper-interventionist foreign policy increases, it is increasingly likely that there will be serious attempts to reinstate the military draft. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, continues to suggest that U.S. troops on the ground may be needed to fight “Operation Inherent Resolve” in Iraq and Syria. A major escalation requiring a large U.S. troop deployment will likely add pressure to consider a military draft.

The only real way the American people can protect their children from the military draft is to demand an end to the foreign policy that sees the U.S. military as the solution to any and every problem — from ISIS to Ebola — anywhere in the world.

Some who share my opposition to a militaristic foreign policy support the draft because they think a draft will increase public opposition to war. However, the existence of a draft did not stop the American government from launching unconstitutional wars in Vietnam and Korea. While the draft did play a role in mobilizing political opposition to Vietnam, it took almost a decade and the death of thousands of American draftees for that opposition to reach critical mass.

It is baffling that conservatives who (properly) oppose raising taxes would support any form of national service, including the military draft. It is similarly baffling that liberals who oppose government interference with our personal lives would support mandatory national service. Mandatory national service is a totalitarian policy that should be rejected by all who value liberty.

Bon Appétit: Kashmiri Lamb

The Gilmer Free Press


Recipe makes 6 servings

  4 dried red chile peppers
  3 fresh green chile peppers
  1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  1 teaspoon Kashmiri garam masala
  1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  5 cloves garlic, crushed
  1/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  3 tomatoes, chopped
  6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  2 large onions, thinly sliced
  2 pounds lamb meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  salt to taste
  1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  1 cup plain yogurt
  1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  20 whole blanched almonds
  1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Place red chiles, green chiles, cumin seeds, garam masala, ginger, garlic, grated coconut, and tomatoes into a blender; pulse several times to chop, then blend into a smooth paste.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Stir the spice paste into the onion and cook and stir until the oil separates from the mixture, about 3 minutes.

Stir in lamb pieces and salt. Cook, stirring frequently over medium-high heat, until the lamb pieces are browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.

Mix in yogurt, saffron, and blanched almonds until well combined.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender and the gravy is thick, about 1 hour.

Garnish the curry with chopped cilantro before serving.

GFP - 10.21.2014
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G-MM™: Meditation Moment


The Lord grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end.

Our help is in the Name of the Lord;
The maker of heaven and earth.

Let us confess our sins to God.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father: We have sinned against you, through our own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what we have left undone. For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us all our offenses; and grant that we may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

May the Almighty God grant us forgiveness of all our sins, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 4
1   Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
you set me free when I am hard-pressed; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2   You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *
how long will you worship dumb idols and run after false gods?
3   Know that the LORD does wonders for the faithful; *
when I call upon the LORD, he will hear me.
4   Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
5   Offer the appointed sacrifices *
and put your trust in the LORD.
6   Many are saying, “Oh, that we might see better times!“ *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.
7   You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
8   I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 134
1   Behold now, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, *
you that stand by night in the house of the LORD.
2   Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the LORD; *
the LORD who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Lord, you are in the midst of us, and we are called by your Name: Do not forsake us, O Lord our God. Jeremiah 14:9,22

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit
For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.
Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of your eye;
Hide us under the shadow of your wings.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.

Lord, hear our prayer;
And let our cry come to you.
Let us pray.

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.


The Gilmer Free Press

Three-Car Accident on I-79 Near Exit 99

The Gilmer Free Press

A three-car accident this morning in Lewis County resulted in multiple people being transported to the hospital.

Authorities with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department said an Allied Waste Services truck was driving with it’s hazard lights when a Honda Accord crashed into the back of the truck near the 99 mile marker on I-79 near Weston.

A van then entered onto I-79 and, unable to see the Honda, rear ended the vehicle.

Two were transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital while one was sent to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The condition of the victims is unknown at this time.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Business Class Attends FBLA/PBL Fall Leadership Conference

The CGCC Business Students attended the FBLA/PBL Fall Leadership Conference at the Days Hotel in Flatwoods, WV on October 06-07, 2014.

FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) is a national organization with more than 200,000 members nationwide.

The Gilmer Free Press
(L-R) , Brandy Dobbins, Joseph Thomas, Thomas Eakle,
Dearra Stull and Advisor Sarah Dennison

During the conference, students attended workshops on various business related issues like solving business problems with mobile apps, stock market game, Communications, your key to success, March of dimes, etc.

They could also take competitive practice tests to help prepare them for competitions in the spring.

That evening students were treated to a nice formal dinner, a dance and minute to win it games for entertainment.

The conference ended Tuesday after a few workshops that morning.

Overall, the students had a really good time and are looking forward to attending the state competition conference in April.

Students and advisor would like to thank all those businesses that have supported FBLA in any way.

Firearm Antlerless Deer Hunting Opportunity Starts in October

Deer hunters can take advantage of an October three-day firearm antlerless deer season on private land again this year, according to Paul Johansen, assistant chief in Charge of Game Management for the Division of Natural Resources (DNR). In counties or parts thereof having a firearms antlerless deer season, the season on private land opened Thursday, October 23 and remain open through Saturday, October 25.

The Gilmer Free Press

“There are several advantages to hunters and to deer management if hunters participate in this season,” Johansen said. “Many hunters may find the weather better for stand hunting since temperatures should be warmer than during late November and December. Hunters who hunt in one of the 31 counties where they are required to harvest an antlerless deer prior to taking a second antlered buck can harvest an antlerless deer now. Then, they won’t have to worry about filling this requirement later in the season if they hunt for a second antlered buck in November and December. From a deer management view, for every antlerless deer harvested in the early October season there will be more food for the remaining deer over the winter months.”

The harvest of antlerless deer is the key to healthier, heavier and more productive deer herds. To manage West Virginia’s deer herd, hunters and landowners must continually assess their expectations of the proper number of deer sightings versus the visible impacts deer have on vegetation, and encourage antlerless deer harvest where needed to benefit not only the deer herd, but all wildlife dependent on our state’s woodland habitat.

“The early opening date for antlerless deer hunting with a firearm is a good opportunity for hunters and landowners to accomplish their antlerless deer harvest objectives and put some meat in the freezer,” Johansen said.



ARRL: ETP Grants

Through its Education & Technology Program, the National Association for Amateur Radio offers grants for radio station equipment and related software and resources for classrooms in the U.S.

Maximum award: varies.

Eligibility: schools that provide a plan to use Amateur Radio as part of an enrichment program and/or as part of in-classroom learning.

Deadline: November 01, 2014.

NSTA: Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award

The National Science Teachers Association Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award recognizes excellence in the field of aerospace education.

Maximum award: $3,000, as well as $2,000 in expenses to attend NSTA’s national conference.

The recipient of the award will be honored during the Awards Banquet and the Aerospace Educators Luncheon at the NSTA Conference.

Eligibility: educators in formal education settings.

Deadline: November 30, 2014.

AAPT: Barbara Lotze Scholarships for Future Teachers

The American Association of Physics Teachers Barbara Lotze Scholarships offer funds for future high school physics teachers.

Maximum award: $2,000.

Eligibility: U.S. citizens attending U.S. schools as undergraduates enrolled, or planning to enroll, in physics teacher preparation curricula, and U.S. high school seniors entering such programs.

Deadline: December 01, 2014.

Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting – 10.22.14


October 22, 2014 @ 9:00 AM
Gilmer County Courthouse Annex – Glenville, WV





              09:15 DARLENE CRANE, Little Kanawha Transit Authority – RE:  Changes to Medicaid Paid Ridership of Bus

              09:30 FRANK JOHNSON – RE:  Oil & Gas Drilling Safety

              10:00 WILLIAM HAWKINS, “WV Your Way” – RE:  Online Directory


        Discussion and/or action on:

              1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations

              2) Approve Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements

              3)  Board Appointments and/or Resignations:

                      a)  Board Seats remain open on the:

                              ** Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency - Dekalb/Troy & Sand Fork Corporation

              3) Budget Revisions

              4) Budget Control Report

              5) Approve invoices for payment

              6) Approve County Commission Minutes for September 02, September 17, October 02, October 09

              7) Receipt of County Board Minutes:

                      a) Gilmer County Ambulance Authority 08.14.2014

                      b) Lewis-Gilmer Addressing Report September 2014

                      c) Lewis-Gilmer E-911 Advisory Board September


              1) Recreation Center Gas Bill From Hayden Harper-Update

              2) Right of Way on Kanawha Street, Camden Flats Subdivision as Inquired by Pat Golden-Update

              3) Review of Designated Smoking Location on Courthouse Property

              4) Presentation for Payment of North Central Regional Emergency Medical Services, Inc. for FY 2014 EMS Assessment in the Amount of $434.65

              5) NACO Membership Dues in the amount of $450

              6) Signed Agreement received from the USPS for placement of mailboxes at Tanner Community Building


        Discussion and/or action on:

              1) Consider the change of time of 11.05.214 Commission meeting to 10:30 AM due to post election duties of County Clerk’s Office

              2) Office of Emergency Management’s Request for Exchange of IRP Radios

              3) Set date for Canvas of Votes on Monday,  November 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM in the Commission Office


IX.    ADJOURNMENT - NEXT MEETING:  Wednesday, November 05, 2014 at _______ AM. 

G-LtE™: Response to Hoppy Kerchaval Commentary—Do we Need 55 School Boards​

The Gilmer Free Press

Mr. Kerchaval, you seem much more intelligent than to buy in to the West Virginia Board of Education charade.  Or maybe you are just protecting your employment?

The WV State educational system can be easily graded with a big fat “F”.  No discussion needed on that.  This is a result of poor choices in selection of employees and the governor’s appointments based on political paybacks, friendships and of course, nepotism.

Its commonly known, that the bloated Department of Education,  employes more individuals than the State of New York.  New York having a population of over 20 million and West Virginia a mere 1.2 million.

Taxpayers also know West Virginia is 46th in education rankings, but is first in education spending.

Now the Board of Education wants to control all tax dollars in all school districts.  According to some sources, the requirements placed on local boards, state all ready controls 86% of that spending.  We must give credit to Governor Joe Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for having their chosen board members come up with this great idea.

The board will have all the tax money, and while rewarding themselves in this fashion, the big bonus is the Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. Gayle Manchin, and the nine $70k per year, part time, board appointees, remove themselves of any educational responsibility to boot!  What a ‘two-fer’ they are pulling off.

​The WVBOE​ RESA spending all the county​ dollars,  local school boards only responsibility will be​ educational achievement, so ​only the local boards can​ be held accountable for educational failure.  The bloated bureaucracy known as the West Virginia Board of Education will totally escape all educational responsibility.

A​nyone believe they can handle finances properly?  If the saga of the Lewis County Linn School building and the Cedar Creek blunders, are any indications, there is your answer.

Hoppy, if you want the real education story, visit Gilmer County, interview the Gilmer School Coalition, and get the facts straight from local citizens.

Of course the biggest story of all, is the fact West Virginia’s largest newspapers all refuse to acknowledge the plight of small counties.

~~ author on file ~~

Following is Hoppy’s Commentary:

Do We Really Need 55 County School Systems?

Government bureaucracy announcements of plans to reorganize are often met with a fair amount of eye-rolling.  After meetings, studies and more meetings, the deck chairs get rearranged and life goes on pretty much as it was before.

In West Virginia, education reformers have been stonewalled by the “third rail” of education politics—the 55 separate and distinct county school systems.  Communities value the autonomy of the local school board, but also the school system has historically served as one of the largest, if not the largest, employer in the county.

Change is not high on most people’s agenda.  However, as UCLA basketball coach John Wooden used to say, “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

For some months now, the West Virginia Board of Education Commission on School District Governance and Administration has been meeting (19 times in all) to try to figure out ways to consolidate some of the management and administrative functions of local school systems so superintendents, principals and administrators can concentrate more on their primary focus—student achievement.

The draft report suggests that things like business services, regulatory compliance, IT, transportation, food services, grant administration, human resources and more could be shifted from local boards to the RESAs (Regional Education Service Agencies). Each RESA serves multiple counties and could combine a number of these services, providing a much more streamlined solution.

The state’s current model of handling nearly all of these services separately in each of the 55 counties is costly and inefficient.  A county with 1,400 or fewer students—we have seven of them—has to manage all the same administrative responsibilities as a county with 4,000 or more students.

As a consequence, we have over 609 central office administrators in the 55 county school systems with an estimated salary and benefit cost of $65 million.  The state spent $116 million in fiscal year 2013 on county central office costs.

What if some of that money could be redirected to the classroom and administrators could be freed up to concentrate on student achievement instead of the management of services that are duplicated in each of the 55 counties?  Counties can still have their school boards and local control, but they could be focused more the primary purpose of a thorough and efficient education.

The commission’s recommendations represent a serious and thoughtful approach to improving public education in West Virginia. Let’s hope they are not cast aside or reduced to inconsequential deck chair shuffling.

GFP - 10.20.2014
EducationEntertainmentTV & RadioOpinions | Commentary | G-LtE™ | G-Comm™ | G-OpEd™Politics | Government | ElectionState-WV(4) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

HK, some here remember when they considered you as a fair and balanced reporter. No more.

Please explain the cost savings of raising the State Superintendents salary from $150,000 to $230,000 a year as they did with Matirano.  Why did the State BOE hire themselves a private attorney when Bowles & Rice has represented state agencies for years?  What about the new Operations Manager they just had to have? Is that just for the State Board?  What about the Superintendent and his Deputies? What do they do?

RESA operates under the WV State BOE.  What part of that don’t you understand? They were supposed to be a cost saver for purchasing, now they pay from a state approved vendors list with no bidding and supposedly handle Teacher training while they constantly hand out waivers substituting for degrees in the required fields for posted positions.  None of this encourages the hiring of qualified people. Yet the state increases their budget to do it.

How they ever got control of training volunteer firemen and billing for that seems to be a secret.
Ask Calhoun County BOE how the state came in to train their Teachers under the guise of improving low achievement and wound up convincing them to run bonds for another elementary school under threat of intervention. Ask why the State BOE approved Calhoun’s budget knowing they would go in the red and is now saying they have to pass an excess levy that can’t even be used to fix their deficit of $1.8 million dollars. Ask how many counties are in the red right now.

Ask if Gilmer County is next to face a deficit in their fourth year of state control based on what the state called a facilities emergency while they still put the students in the same seats in the same buildings. Then ask how much of Gilmer’s money the State wasted on a school site of their own choosing that goes up for auction this week for less than was paid for it. Ask to see who signed that no bid contract with Williams & Shriver. Ask why the State Super put over $400,000 of Gilmer excess levy money into maintenance and can’t get a roof leak fixed.

Ask Mingo County how they went in the red after 18 years of state control. ask Kanawha, Greenbrier and Harrison how hard it was to balance budgets this year. WV Press reported it. Ask Fayette County why they are in and out of intervention.  Or how the Logan County OEPA audit went this year.Find out why Lincoln County was released from intervention at the same time Lloyd Jackson went on the WVBOE.

It is not about small counties. The Governor isn’t going to get rid of any county commissioners or state legislators.  The State BOE wants more money to keep the friends and family plan on track.

Taking money and jobs from local agencies and sending it to Charleston or Clarksburg is not an answer to the economic woes of WV.  Fixing that is not the job of the STATE BOE no matter what Manchin says. Governor Tomblin has another state agency for that.

By Fact Not Fantasy  on  10.20.2014

The only way we have to stop the takeover of all WV school districts is to not re-elect any of the state representatives because they have not done anything to help us regain control of our school systems.

By JIM d-WV  on  10.20.2014

Voters be advised.  If you vote early, those in the county clerks office likely know who you placed your vote for?  They can keep track of voters signing in and then compare those names in order on the votes, to see how votes were cast?
They then also get a feel how the entire election will be apt to go?  To make necessary future election adjustments?

By easy for them  on  10.20.2014

JIM-d.  You have apparently noticed the quiet, the silence, what appears to be a “go-along” mentality of Edgell, Boggs, Walker and the other elected’s sent to the Capitol.
Local county commissioners across the state remain silent as well.
West Virginia State Governors Tomblin and Manchin in alliance of the Democrat Party have destroyed the educational system in your state.
The West Virginia Board of Education is totally operated by individuals appointed by your Democrat Governors.

By Its the truth  on  10.20.2014

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G-Fin™: Marcellus Shale-Related Oil and Gas Jobs Grew Modestly in West Virginia

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia’s oil and gas industry grew by just 69 jobs in 2013, but average salaries jumped more than $2,400, according to a state report.

At the same time, about 1,100 people previously on unemployment were able to land West Virginia oil and gas jobs in 2013. Almost 600 of them were new to the industry.

Workforce West Virginia’s update came in an October 08 draft report to state legislators. After seeing the Marcellus industry boom, state lawmakers passed a fracking law in 2011 that requires employment updates by November 01 annually.

There were 727 fewer workers on oil and gas pipeline and related structure construction last year compared to 2012, an 18.4% drop. Employment grew in the other five Marcellus-related fields considered in the report.

Overall, average wages grew 3.2% to about $78,000.

“Activity within the Marcellus Shale Gas Field continues to have a positive impact on West Virginia’s economy,“ the report states.

As expected, the northern part of the state boasted the biggest gains. Across Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Tyler and Wetzel counties, average industry wages grew about $18,600, or 26.4%. With 339 jobs added, employment almost doubled in the region.

The jobs covered in the report include crude petroleum and natural gas extraction; oil and gas well drilling; oil and gas support activities; pipeline and related structures; and natural gas pipeline transportation.

A Workforce survey showed pipeline and related structure construction used the fewest in-state workers, 48.4%. Only about half of employers responded to the survey, however.

Steve White, state Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation director, said the pipeline number looks accurate, but he questioned some of the other survey stats. For instance, extraction and drilling categories had 96 and 100%in-state employment. Drill sites are known to employ plenty of out-of-staters, he said.

It’s the first time Workforce included any data on residency of Marcellus workers in the annual report, though the 2011 law requires it.

SPOOKY Night Tours at West Virginia Wildlife Center October 24 and 25, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

The name says it all: SPOOKY Night Tours.

The 4th annual event at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center in French Creek will be held October 24 and 25, 2014.

This family friendly event is a rare opportunity to visit the Wildlife Center at night.

Hayrides around the exhibit of native West Virginia animals are from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM Guided tours around the 1.4-mile exhibit area start every 10 minutes from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. 

“New for this year is our first ever maze,” said Judy Channell of the Wildlife Center. “You won’t know which way to turn! The maze will be open from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM”

Regular admission fees apply and this is a cash-only event. The fee for adults 16 and older is $3 and for children ages 3-5 it is $1.50. Seasonal passes will be honored.

“The idea behind the event was, ‘Is it spooky to be in the woods at night with mountain lions, wolves and bears?” Channell said. “If those aren’t spooky enough, we have added animated decorations, strategic lighting and sound effects, and a few costumed actors. We will build a fire at the start of the trail for folks to keep warm while waiting for their turn on the tour.”

The West Virginia State Wildlife Center is located in Upshur County in north-central West Virginia, 12 miles south of Buckhannon on WV Hwy 20. From the north, take exit 99 off Interstate 79 and follow US Hwy 33 east approximately 12 miles to Buckhannon and turn south on WV Hwy 20. From the south, take exit 67 off Interstate 79 at Flatwoods and follow US Hwy 19 and WV Hwy 4 north approximately 30 miles to Rock Cave and WV Hwy 20. Follow WV Hwy 20 North for 2 miles to the center. Visiting the Wildlife Center is a convenient side trip for travelers on I-79.

Call 304.924.6211 or visit for more information about the West Virginia Wildlife Center and the SPOOKY Night Tours.

Buckwheat Breakfast Buffett A Success

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer parks and recreation center had another successful fund raiser
for the new bathrooms/office and cabin roofs projects, on Sunday, October 19, 2014.

There were 140 people that came out to enjoy there Buckwheat Breakfast Buffet.

We want to thank each and everyone who came out and supported this fund raiser.

Special thanks go out to Rick Sypolt, Gary and Reta Kight, Sharon Riffle, Barbara Marks,
Lenora Marks, Greg James, Buck Stephens, Karen Mounts
for all there hard work in serving the 140 guest there breakfast.

Again thank you all who came out and the workers to make this a success.

Darrel Ramsey/Director
The Gilmer Free Press

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