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Two adventurers to hike, bike,
paddle Elk River

In what could be the first modern-day traverse of the Elk River, two outdoorsmen will set out on foot from the Southern Monongahela National Forest and follow the river — paddling the last 100 miles along the Elk River Trail — to the mouth of the river in Charleston. WV native Matt Kearns and teammate Adam Swisher have planned “Elkspedi-tion” to highlight the connections between the Elk’s headwaters in proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument and the waters we all enjoy and depend on.
Starting May 17, Kearns and Swisher will backpack through the proposed national monument to the Elk River headwaters. Hiking down Laurel Run to Slatyfork, WV, they will travel from there on bikes past the Elk River Dries, Bergoo, and Webster Springs on to Centralia. They will paddle the length of Sutton Lake, portage Sutton Dam, and then continue 100 miles to the confluence with the Kanawha River in Charleston. The duo will finish their Elkspedition sojourn Memorial Day, stopping at Coonskin Park for a free picnic open to the public and hosted by West Virginia Rivers Coalition.
“The Monongahela National Forest is the headwaters of West Virginia,” Kearns said. “We need to protect the headwaters in our public lands for world-class recreation and clean drinking water.”
The proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument would permanently conserve the headwaters of six rivers in the Southern Monongahela National Forest. National monuments can be designated by Congress or the President. “The monument would guarantee our rivers get a clean start as they move downstream to be enjoyed by paddlers, anglers, and swimmers; and as drinking water supplies,” Kearns said.
Angie Rosser, executive director of WV Rivers Coalition, says more than sixty non-profit organizations, 200 businesses, and 1,000 West Virginians have asked President Obama to designate the monument. “Increasingly we’re seeing Congress move to industrialize or sell off our national forest recreation lands,” she said. “The Birthplace of Rivers National Monument would ensure that particular area is always open to hunting, fishing, paddling, and other uses.”
Matt Kearns is from Charleston, West Virginia and is a US Coast Guard veteran. Matt likes to bring unique perspective to adventures in the Mountain State, having travelled to all 50 states.
Adam Swisher, from North Potomac, Maryland, is a seasoned whitewater, rock climbing, and skiing instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Together, Matt and Adam have over 1,000 miles of expedition paddling experience, including trips above the Arctic Circle and in the canyons of the desert Southwest.
Kearns and Swisher will upload photos, video, and stories throughout their journey. Follow them online at www.wvrivers. org/ProtectingHead
Elkspedition Itinerary
Monday, May 16 – Camp Tea Creek Campground
Tuesday, May 17 – Hiking up Tea Creek Trail to Elk River headwaters
Wednesday, May 18 – Hiking down Laurel Run to Elk River’s start at Slatyfork
Thursday, May 19 – Hiking along Elk River Dries
Friday, May 20 – Biking to Bergoo
Saturday, May 21 – Biking to Webster Springs
Sunday, May 22 – Biking to Centralia
Monday, May 23 – Paddling Sutton Lake
Tuesday, May 24 – Layover in Sutton
Wednesday, May 25 - Paddling Elk River Water Trail below Sutton
Thursday, May 26 - Paddling Elk River above Clay
Friday, May 27 - Paddling Elk River below Clay
Saturday, May 28 - Paddling Elk River Water Trail above Clendenin
Sunday, May 29 – Paddling Elk River Water Trail below Clendenin
Monday, May 30 – “Homecoming” Event at Coonskin Park; continue to Kanawha River

Traffic stop leads to 4 arrested
on drug charges

On Saturday, April 30, West Virginia State Police TRP E.D. Schoolcraft observed a vehicle with Ohio registration swerving side to side on the interstate. The officer then observed the vehicle exit the interstate and once on Route 4, going left of center leading to the officer initiating a traffic stop.
According to the criminal complaint, the driver, Frankie Clowser of Sutton, stated he thought his front tire was going flat and that was why he was swerving. TRP Schoolcraft noticed the odor of what appeared to be marijuana coming from the vehicle. The vehicle had three other passengers, Ethan Duckworth of Erbaccon, David Carper of Gassaway, and Mary Ellis of Duck. The officer asked if there were any drugs or weapons in the vehicle. Clowser stated there was not and gave his verbal consent to search. TRP Schoolcraft requested Braxton County Sheriff Department Deputy J. Jenkins K-9 unit.
Deputy Jenkins arrived on scene and conducted a K-9 search which led officers to the passenger side of the vehicle. The officers’ search of the vehicle revealed a container labeled Frankie in the floor, which contained bags of what appeared to be marijuana and methamphetamine. Marijuana was also located on the floor and in the pocket of a black jacket. Duckworth advised the black jacket was his. Ellis kept stating that she would take full responsibility for all of the marijuana as it was her car. Carper denied the knowledge of anything in the vehicle.
All four individuals were placed under arrest and charged with conspiracy and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. Clowser was also charged with possession of controlled substance (meth) and no proof of insurance.
The individuals were arraigned in front of Braxton County Magistrate David R. Singleton and are currently being held at Central Regional Jail. Duckworth, Ellis and Carper are on $15,000 cash only bonds and Clowser’s bond has been set at $25,000 cash only.

Four have day in Circuit Court

Honorable Judge Richard A. Facemire recently completed numerous court orders through the Braxton County Circuit Court.
Keith Rodenbach and his attorney, Melissa Roman, appeared before the court on April 25 for a plea hearing. The state was represented by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Morton.
Rodenbach entered a plea of guilty on the charges of grand larceny and forgery per a plea agreement. The state agreed to dismiss all matters currently pending against the defendant and would remain silent during sentencing. Judge Facemire moved to delay the sentencing in order to have a pre-sentence investigation report completed. The defendant was ordered to appear before the court on June 7 beginning at 11:30 am for sentencing.
Grace Gose and her attorney, Andrew Chattin, appeared before Judge Facemire on April 7 for probation revocation and sentencing with the Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin and Britner also present.
The defendant admitted to the allegations contained in the petition to revoke probation, therefore probation was ordered revoked. The defendant requested she be readmitted to probation, but the state objected and requested the court to impose the penitentiary sentence. The court found the defendant was not willing to address her issues, unable to follow the terms of probation, and was at risk to reoffend. Therefore, the court ordered Gose to the maximum confinement of no less than one year but no more than five years in the state penitentiary. She was given credit for time served of 53 days at the CRJ. Gose was placed into custody and transported to CRJ to await transfer to the state penitentiary.
On April 25, Timothy Carte, his attorney, Bischoff, and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jasime R.H. Morton appeared before the court for a plea hearing. The defendant plead guilty to the charge of delivery of a controlled substance, morphine. The state agreed to dismiss remaining counts listed in the indictment and to recommend probation at sentencing. Judge Facemire moved to delay the sentencing in order to have a pre-sentence investigation report completed. Carte was ordered to appear before the court on June 7 beginning at 11:15 am for sentencing.
On February 3, Ricky Todd Norman appeared before the court, along with his attorney, Clinton Bischoff for sentencing. The state of West Virginia was represented by Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Hamon McLaughlin, and the Braxton County Probation Officer was represented by Vicki Britner.
The court reported that Norman had not successfully completed the program at the Anthony Center. Judge Facemire found the defendant in need of correctional treatment in a correctional setting and therefore ordered him to the state penitentiary for no less than one year but no more than five years for the felony offense of sexual assault in the third degree. He was given credit for time served at both the Central Regional Jail and the Anthony Center in the amount of 86 days. Norman was placed into custody and transported to CRJ to await transfer to the state penitentiary.

Local author featured at May 7th Book Warehouse signing event

Book Warehouse, America’s leading closeout book seller, located in the Flatwoods Mall, is hosting a book-signing event with Braxton County native Tim Cogar author of The Janitor on Saturday, May 7 from 10 am to 2 pm.
Growing up and living his whole life in the small farming area of central West Virginia, Tim loves the simple life of the country. He also loves to travel and has done so with different types of businesses over the years, however, when finished with work, he is always ready to go home.
A graduate of Glenville State College in marketing, Tim has been self-employed either part time or full time his entire adult life. Writing is now his newest hobby. Tim believes that he was inspired to take up this hobby, even though there were some doubts at first. Once accepted, he has become passionate about his vocation and is looking forward to writing his next book. He is also a big sports fan and really enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
The author will be signing copies of his book that will be available for purchase at $9.99 each. For more information about “The Janitor” you may contact Tim at www.timcogar.com or Book Warehouse at sutton@book-warehouse.com or call 304-765-9301.

2016 Braxton County High School Top 10

By Shirley Shuman
It might well be difficult to find a busier student than this year’s salutatorian, Makila Carr. From sports to in-school clubs, Carr has remained active throughout her high-school career.
A four-year softball player for four years, Carr lettered three times. Perhaps one of the more unusual of this young woman’s achievements, however, is lettering in football her senior year. Carr, who has played and lettered in soccer for three years, decided to try for the position of field-goal and extra-point kicker for the Eagles’ football team. She made the team, and her favorite high-school memory came from her experiences.
“My favorite memory at BCHS is going 3 for 3 the very first night I kicked this past football season and seeing how excited everyone was,” she said.
In addition to sports, Carr is a member of the National Honor Society and historian of the local student council. She is also co-editor of the high school yearbook.and belongs to the AP Study Club.
Asked about her favorite teacher, Carr named two. She chose”Mrs. [Janis] Collins and Mr. [Jerry] Frame because they were not only teachers but mentors and friends as well.”
Makila is the daughter of Julie Carr of Frametown.
Carr’s plans include attending Fairmont State University, where she will study architecture. “[After graduating from Fairmont] I want to continue my education at another university to obtain my master’s degree in Architectural Engineering,” she explained.

142nd GSC Commencement Ceremony
set for May 7

The 142nd Glenville State College Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 7 beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the college’s Waco Center.
The GSC class of 2016 will walk across the graduation stage to receive their degrees in a variety of programs including business, education, land resources, criminal justice, science, music, and more. The grads hail from throughout West Virginia, ten other states, Washington D.C., and Serbia.
Glenville State College graduate and longtime Professor of Physical Science Dr. J. Joe Evans will deliver the keynote address to graduates and guests. Evans, who has been an instructor at his alma mater for 46 years, has elected to retire at the end of this academic year.
In recognition of an ongoing tradition at Glenville State College, alumni who graduated fifty years ago have been invited back to campus to join the current graduates at the ceremony. Members of the class of 1966 will be recognized as ’50 Year Graduates’ during the event.
Graduates are permitted to bring as many guests with them as they like and no tickets are required. The GSC Bookstore will have a satellite location open at the Waco Center with a selection of items for sale before and after the ceremony.
For more information about the Commencement Ceremony, visit www.glenville.edu and click on the Commencement banner or contact (304) 462-4115.

GBirch River man facing numerous charges

Nathaniel James Wood of Birch River was charged with first degree armed robbery, assault during the commission of a felony, battery and cultivating or attempt to cultivate marijuana coming from an incident on Friday, April 22. On that date, West Virginia State Police TRP J.O. Hensley responded to a call at Braxton County Memorial Hospital for an individual who stated he had been attacked at a party and beaten. He also stated his phone and wallet were taken during the attack.
The victim told Trooper Hensley that the incident had happened in a camper next to the Servia Fire department. According to the criminal complaint, the victim said the individual who had attacked him was known to him as Nate or Nathaniel.
TRP Hensley, WVSP SR.TRP G.H. Jones, Braxton County Sheriff Deputies J. Jenkins and C. Westfall went to the camper and discovered the suspect and a female inside. TRP Hensley questioned Wood about the accusation and he stated that it was all a lie. The officer did observe that the suspect’s knuckles appeared swollen.
According to the report, the owner of the camper arrived and gave the officers permission to search the camper for the victim’s belongings. Deputy Jenkins and Deputy Westfall discovered the victim’s wallet and the cell phone. They also discovered what is believed to be five marijuana plants and marijuana seeds.
Through the questioning of the female, TRP Hensley discovered her boyfriend had been present at the time of the assault. The officer followed up with the boyfriend on April 24, who stated he had observed Wood beating the victim and taking his belongings.
Wood was arraigned in front of Braxton County Magistrate David R. Singleton and place in the Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $25,000 cash only bond to await further court proceedings.


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