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High school baseball field has new dugouts

A number of volunteers made the new dugouts at Holly Gray Park possible They include: (Front) Tyler Stalnaker (L to R)Brooks Fincham, Tyler Morlan, Kenton Morlan, Lloyd Ramsey, Lynn Stalnaker, Bill Morlan, Logan Morlan and Jeremiah Ramsey. (Not Pictured: Jerry and Tess Morris, Buster Hamrick, Tim Tosten, Chad Lockard, Jacob Wolfe, Keith Green, Eladio Mazon, Roger & April Hudnel, Justin Hudnel, Haley Hudnel, Macey Hudnel, Ron Decker, Micky Skeens, and Paul Summers.

By Shirley Shuman
When baseball season rolls around next spring and the Eagles return to their field, they will find a definitely welcome addition. Thanks to grant money provided by the Braxton County Commission along with the hard work of Athletic Director Lynn Stalnaker and several men from Gassaway Baptist Church, two new block dugouts stand ready for use.
Stalnaker explained that he “found out about the available money in April” and emphasized the short time he had to manage construction of the structures. “The last game played on the field was June 7,” he said, “and [according to the grant stipulation] the dugouts had to be completed before July 1.” He added, “We finished at 3 p.m. June 30.” He also bought a 12’ by 16’ concession stand with part of the grant money, which, he explained, had been left from funds received to build the fence around the field.
Lloyd Ramsey designed the dugouts, which are constructed of block with cement floors. “We poured 6 ½ yards of concrete,” Stalnaker noted. The walls of the dugouts are sealed with block sealer, and the athletic director says his intentions are to paint them before baseball season begins.
The structures contain two rows of seats, one upper and one lower. The visitors’ dugout is 30 feet long while the home dugout measures 40 feet. “We added a storage room in the home dugout,” he explained. West Virginia Metal donated roofs for the dugouts.
In addition to the athletic director and Ramsey, several members of the Gassaway Baptist Church, including Bill, Tyler and Logan Morlan and Brodie Currence did much of the work. “Brooks Fincham was here every day,” Stalnaker emphasized, saying that he also received help from other members of the church and from some of the players from the 2012 state championship team. “Some other people just came out to help; altogether, we laid over 800 blocks,” he said.
Some days workers from the local church actually did double duty. “One week our church completed a local mission; that week some of us worked on the mission project during the day and worked from 5:30 until 9 p.m. on the dugouts,” Stalnaker commented. Normally, he said, they worked from 8:00 a.m. until they finished what they had planned for the day.
As with most construction projects, building the dugouts for the baseball field involved careful planning along with quite a bit of physical labor. Luckily for the high-school team, after athletic director Stalnaker learned that funds were available, he managed to obtain enough volunteer workers to complete the job.

Gassaway born author still thinks of Coming Home


Multi-award winning author, Cissy Hassell (pen name) recently attended the 50th reunion of the 1964 Gassaway High School graduating class. Several of her classmates were interested in her writing history and the awards she has won.
Maysel Robinson Hassell (writing under Cissy Hassell) was born and raised on a forty-eight acre farm near the small town of Gassaway, the youngest of fifteen children, to parents of his, hers and theirs, a total of 14 siblings. She is the first to say that growing up in the hills of West Virginia taught her a lot about what home and family values really meant. Although, her family was poor, they were rich in the way that really counts. She says she always knew she was loved. And she wanted for nothing. She feels blessed for having the parents she had and the upbringing they gave her.
She was introduced to the written word at an early age and began absorbing them like a sponge. At the end of her first school year, she had read every book in the first grade library. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on. Her claim to fame in the early years was eraser tag champion in the second grade and the girls’ spelling bee champion in the seventh.
She began writing at a young age. Her first attempt was a mystery/murder that she still has today. From there, her writing abilities delved into song-writing, poetry and short stories; then later full-length novels. She went on to start up a publishing company whose focus was new and aspiring authors.
The mother of five now lives in rural Chiefland, Florida, with her husband, Terry, still her knight in shining armor after forty-one years, and their dog, Cujo. They recently gave their menagerie of pets, a herd of pygmy goats, a miniature mule, and a big brown horse she loved dearly, to friends who take excellent care of them. She has visiting rights.
She loves genealogy and dabbles in it whenever she gets the chance and is able to trace her family tree back several generations, finding that most people she grew up with are relatives.
Living on a forty-acre farm, Cissy finds joy in simple things; wild flowers, butterflies, cool mornings and hot chocolate; sunrises and sunsets; books and music; wolves. buffalo roundups and whale watching. Her favorite places are Nova Scotia, the Black Hills National Forest and the Smokey Mountains.
Blessings come from her five children and nine grandchildren. She is hoping to turn their farm into a sanctuary for endangered species, as they have a multitude of them on their acreage.
The favorite book she has written is Coming Home. She says this one was therapeutic, as the tag line on her book reads: Sometimes, coming home is the best medicine for the soul. The adage, truth in fiction, rings true for this book. Although most is fiction, there is a thread of truth woven throughout.
Her greatest enjoyment, besides writing, is riding her Harley down back country roads, though she is happiest when writing or lost in a book filled with words and magic that under certain circumstances could become true in a different time or place. She enjoys different genres and is still an avid reader of just about everything and claims the only thing better than reading a good book is writing one.
She is fond of saying she began writing as an adult to maintain her sanity. Raising five kids, although giving her lots of joy, was still trying at times. She is a multi-award winning author and previous owner of a publishing company, winning numerous awards for her work. Recently selling her publishing company, she says that even though it was a satisfying venture, publishing other authors left her very little time to write for herself. For information on all her books, visit her web site: www.cissyhassell.com.

Sutton Mayor request parking charges around Courthouse

One of the first to address the Braxton County Commission at last Friday’s regular meeting was Sutton Mayor JL Campbell. The city official requested that the county revert back to parallel parking on both Third and Fourth Streets on each side of the Courthouse. Campbell explained that the diagonal parking forced traffic to the far right of the street which was causing excess ware and damage to the brick through-a-fare. Terry Frame made a motion that the matter be table for further discussion.
As chairman of the Braxton County Solid Waste Authority, Campbell requested that the Commission appoint Wilda Skidmore to the board vacancy created by the resignation of Ted Elonis.
Campbell also requested the Commission sign a resolution honoring Brad Carroll for his 20 years of employment with the Braxton County Solid Waste Authority’s recycling center. He also asked permission for the Sutton Community Development Corporation’s Junior Task Force to place a bird bath on the Courthouse square near the side entrance. He explained that the bird bath had been donated by Mrs. Larry Emge in honor of her late husband. Terry Frame made a motion to place both items on the Commission’s next regular meeting agenda.
Julia Covert addressed the Commission on behalf of the Braxton County Animal Shelter. She stated that the facility had begun selling county dog licenses and everything was going well. She also reported on the progress of several fund raisers that shelter staff and supporters were planning. She stated that Savanna Frame had proposed that the Shelter sell photographic packages for families, pets or individuals that she would take. She stated that a voucher would be purchased at the Shelter for $70 all of which would be retained by the Shelter. After hearing the proposal, Terry Frame made a motion to approve the fund raising program.
Acting Assessor David Kuhl requested permission to hire Nancy Keener as a part-time, temporary employee. He explained that Keener had recently retired from the Assessor’s office and was trained in the procedures. He further explained that she would be paid $11.50 per hour with no benefits and that her employment would last from July 21 through September 30. Ron Facemire made a motion to approve the request.
Mike Baker EMS-9-1-1 Director, requested permission to use the county credit card to purchase 4 EMD manual at a cost of $316. Ron Facemire made a motion to authorize the use.
Baker also presented three bids for a large tractor with bucket, forks and a mower to be utilized at the 9-1-1 center. He requested that the lowest of three bids, from Nettles Equipment of $18,800 for a Massey Ferguson 1734 tractor/loader with a pallet fork and 72" belly Mower be approved. Ron Facemire made a motion to table request pending further discussion.
In other action, the Commission approved the short form settlements for the following on a motion by Ron Facemire: Victoria Armentrout, Erma Wilda Connor, Polly Flint, Roger Lee Flint, James Heather, Sarah A. Loyd and Ordie Rose.
Terry Frame entered action to approve the applications for correction of erroneous assessment for: Joshua & Alyssa Tallman, David & Betty Crites, Bobby & Shirley Casto and Shawn Easton Adkins.
It was also Frame who made a motion to table action on a request from Michael D and Beverly Ann smith to consolidate contiguous tracts of land for tax purposes until a map of the parcels could be provided.
Final approval was given to the private road of Kravits Corner, Slack Lane, Roseville Lane, RSI Way, Browning Trail, and Jeffro Drive. A separate motion placed the name of Hog Fork Road out for a two week public comment period.
Terry Frame made a motion to table action on budget revision proposed by the County Clerk. Subsequent motions, also by Frame, set a work session for Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. with all county office holders to discuss budget shortfalls for the coming fiscal year. The second motion scheduled a special meeting be set to take action on budgetary issues for Friday, July 25 at 9:00 a.m.
Following a review of letters of interest, Ron Facemire made a motion to appoint Eric Campbell to a vacancy on the Braxton County Board of Health.
The Commission reviewed a request from County Clerk Susan Lunceford to hire Leah Herndon as a full-time employee in her office. Under questioning the County Clerk stated that she did not advertise the position as that had not been done in the past. Terry Frame made a motion to table action on the request.
The Clerk presented a letter of resignation from Jon Girod as a member of the BC Recreational Development Authority Board. The resignation was accepted on a motion by Ron Facemire. Terry Frame made a motion to table advertising for letters of interest for the vacancy. She later rescinded that action after Ron Facemire voiced a desire to advertise the vacancy. Frame made a motion to advertise the position.
A renewal of a contract with Software Systems was presented for review. Terry Frame made a motion to table action on the matter pending a review by the prosecuting attorney.
Separate motions approved the EMS and general county bills for payment as funds become available. Terry Frame’s motion held the vouchers for the Elk Soil Conservation District, WV Association of Counties, Region VII, Galls and Sheltered Workshop.
The minutes of the Commission’s previous meeting were approved as presented by the County Clerk.
Being no further business the meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will be held on August 1 beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Coast to coast charity ride
passes through Braxton

Riders for Bike4Alz take a break after meeting Mayor JL Campbell and discussion what the Town of Sutton has in store for them while visiting Braxton County.

On Friday July 11, the Bike4Alz group trekked their way into beautiful downtown Sutton! Upon their arrival Mayor JL Campbell greeted them in front of the courthouse. Arrangements were made for the Town of Sutton to provide lodging, food and entertainment for the group’s short stay. Lodging was provided by Holy Gray Park where the bikers were able to stay a night indoors and get well rested for the next day’s leg of their coast to coast journey. Dinner was provided by the Town of Sutton; prepared and served by the Friday night music group that performs at the Sutton community building every Friday night. The bikers were able to come into town, enjoy a nice meal and listen to some music before heading in for the night.
Bike4Alz has three main goals: 1. To raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and its effects. 2. Inspire others to make a difference in their community. 3. To raise at least $100,000 for Alzheimer’s research for the Bright focus Foundation.
In the summer of 2010, 6 fraternity brothers biked from California to Virginia and raised $56,000 for Alzheimer’s research. The ride, known as Fijis Across America, started when Western Kentucky University sophomore, Tyler Jury, was inspired by the loss of his grandfather to help seek a cure and end this disease. Here is some of Tyler’s story:
“Fijis Across America came from my desires to bike cross-country and to help in the fight against Alzheimer’s. My grandfather lived with Alzheimer’s for almost 4 years. Watching his health decline and the toll it took on my family was tough. I decided that I wanted to do something to help in the search for a cure to Alzheimer’s.
“It has always been a goal of mine to achieve what most people consider unattainable; like hiking the Appalachian Trail, staying on a rodeo bull for 8 seconds, or climbing Mount Everest. On July 9, 2008 (my 18th birthday) I sat down and made out a list of “50 things I want to do before I die”, and it just so happened that cycling across America was #7 on this list. The following text has been written to tell you about how one of my biggest dreams has turned into a reality, and how this reality has the potential to make a difference nationwide in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
“In the spring of 2005 my grandfather, Barrett Cummings, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My grandfather served as a pilot in the Air Force and spent most of his career as a firefighter. He owned his own construction business and built my family’s first house, was a deacon in his local church, and served his Masonic Lodge as Grand Master. However, over the next 4 years I was forced to watch my grandfather slowly become a different man. At the time of his death it was tough to remember all of the great accomplishments of his life. Alzheimer’s disease had completely changed who he was.
Seeing the impact Alzheimer’s disease had on my grandfather inspired me to do something to honor his life and to raise money to fund research for this disease. That is how Fijis Across America came about.”
From Fijis Across America came Bike4Alz in 2012. That year’s riders wanted to do the cross country ride again, but this time bigger and better. The riders rode from Minnesota to Florida inspiring people to push for a cure to end this terrible disease raising almost $65,000. Now, Bike4Alz rides, again with 10 new riders and the support of two drivers, are traveling from Oceanside, CA to Washington D.C all in under two months. “With your help, we can end Alz! Donate today,” said one of the riders while visiting the area last week.
To donate to this wonderful cause or follow the bikers on their journey go to the Bike4Alz website at: http://www.bike4alz.org/why-we-ride/

Rollyson requests alternative
sentencing; Stewart case dismissed

Renee Rollyson came before Circuit Judge Richard A. Facemire on July 14 for sentencing. She was represented by our attorney David Karickhoff. The State was represented by Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Hamon McLaughlin and Probation Officer Vicki Brittner.
The defendant and her counsel requested alternative sentencing in the matter. The State stood silent regarding the request pursuant to a plea agreement.
After reviewing the pre-sentence investigation report, the court record, and the defendants criminal history, Judge Facemire found that there was insufficient information to determine sentencing at this time and ordered be delivered to the Department of Corrections to undergo a diagnostic and classifications evaluation at Lakin Correctional Center. It was furthered ordered that that testing should consist of a psychological evaluation and focus on the defendant’s likelihood to re-offend.
The Court set sentencing in the matter for September 17, 2014 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Previously in Circuit Court, Michael Stewart came before the Court with his attorneys Bryan Hinkle and Steven Nanners for a jury trial. The state’s representative, Kelly Mclaughlin requested the Court take up the matter outside the presence of a jury. The Prosecuting Attorney informed the Court it had received a letter from the victim in the matter, who is not 18 year of age, recanting the allegations continued in the indictment.
The Court heard the sworn testimony of the victim in the matter who stated that the allegations contained in the indictment were untrue. The State then moved that the matter be dismissed.
Judge Jack Aslop ruled that the matter be dismissed with prejudice and that since such allegations were of a very serious nature the State shall conduct an investigation regarding the victim to determine whether she should be charged with the obstruction of justice based on her false statements.





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