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School system receives
School Improvement Grant

By Shirley Shuman
Superintendent David Dilly announced last Friday that the local school system has been awarded a School Improvement Grant to foster improvement in various areas of Braxton County High School. Of 24 school systems who applied for this grant, Braxton was one of four who received it. “We analyzed the needs of the school in three areas,” Dilly noted. “We looked at the instructional programs, the school leadership, and the school infrastructure and found room for improvement in all three,” he added.
To fund improvement in the areas found lacking, the superintendent, Kim Dennison, and other supervisors from the central audience wrote and submitted a grant. “We selected interventions for the school that are aligned to the identified needs and, of course, included that information in the grant we submitted,” he said. He also explained that some basic plans were specified in the written grant, but added, “Of course those will be expanded as we develop the final plans.”
The school system will receive, over a course of three years, “around $600,000,” Dilley said. He noted that the grant as written would have been “close to three quarters of a million dollars, but some of that was removed.” Nonetheless, the county will now have funds to use to provide upgrades to BCHS, named a priority school by the state.
The superintendent emphasized that, during the more detailed planning, Common Core values will be used. “As a matter of fact,” he said, “one of the primary uses of the funds will be bringing in the actual framers of the Common Core program to work with the high school teachers. We want to see lots of professional development by those who actually developed Common Core.”
Although the majority of the grant funds will be used for professional development, Dilly noted that the budget contains two other important expenditures. “First,” he said, “we plan to hire a data coach and a graduation coach to be funded partially by the grant,” Continuing to explain the roles of these two coaches, he noted, “The data coach will analyze needs of students having problems so that we can develop ways to help them. The graduation coach’s job will, in part, be to locate early those students who are likely to drop out of school and work toward prevention.”
The third major area of the grant budget includes the purchase of instructional resources and diagnostic tools to implement the school improvement process. The superintendent noted, “Our goal is to implement the same process county wide,”
As to the detailed planning, Dilly explained that he expects, in addition to himself, the county office supervisors, the principals, and the high school Leadership Team “to develop the particulars.” He commented that the Leadership Team members “have already been working hard to develop ways to improve the school,” and he expects their input into final plans. He added, “I’m sure we’ll also have some input from the state.”
Asked how he thinks the high school teachers will react, the superintendent said he expects them “to think positively” in that they “will have a fresh start.” As for his reaction? “I’m excited about the possibilities. We’ll actually have the framers of Common Core to show and tell instead of getting the information secondhand,” he said. Dilly definitely feels that the funds from the SIG will make a difference, and he is eager to see the work begun.
Although the grant was written for the high school, Superintendent Dilly also hopes to incorporate some of the improvements into the elementary schools. “We’re hoping that much of this will trickle down,” he said, “so that our students will be acquainted with aspects of Common Core before they reach the high school.”

Bank of Gassaway officially
joins Premier Bancorp

Monday morning was an exciting day for the Bank of Gassaway as it officially became part of the Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. Local officials, Joann Truman, Bank of Gassawy CEO and Jim McQuain Executive Vice-President were joined by Premier CEO Robert Walker and CFO Brian Chase to officially unveil the new sign before the start of business Monday.
Premier President and CEO Robert W. Walker commented, “The Bank of Gassaway is a natural fit to expand Premier Bank’s branch network into Braxton and Clay counties with locations in Gassaway, Sutton, Flatwoods, Clay and Burnsville and geographically connects our Traders Division locations in Ripley and Spencer with our First Central Division locations in Buckhannon, Bridgeport and Philippi. As a cash purchase, the earnings from the Bank of Gassaway locations will become immediately accretive to Premier’s earnings.”
Premier, a $1.1 billion community bank holding company, announced the acquisition of the Bank of Gassaway was completed effective with the close of business on April 4. Gassaway, a $172 million bank (as of December 31, 2013), was purchased by Premier Bank, Inc., for $20.25 million under terms of an amended and restated agreement of merger dated January of this year.
The acquisition brings the number of Premier Banks in West Virginia to nineteen.
Premier Financial Bancorp recently announced record annual net income of $13,229,000 during the year ending December 31, 2013, a 28.2% increase from earnings reported for in 2012. Premier also owns Citizens Deposit Bank, a $363 million bank headquartered in Vanceburg, Kentucky with locations from Proctorville and Ironton, Ohio to Maysville and Eminence, Kentucky.
According to officials, current hours of operations and services will remain the same as those provided by the Bank of Gassaway. However, longer service hours and expanded customer services are on the horizon for the newest members of the Premier Financial family.

(L to R) Premier CFO Brian Chase, Premier President Robert Walker, Bank of Gassaway CEO Joann Truman and Executive Vice-President Jim McQuain unvailed the new signs that signals the completion of the asquasition of the Bank of Gassaway by Premier.

National magazine publishes local
woman's quilt pattern

Tresha Cottrill recently had one of her designs published in the national quilting magazine Easy Quilts.

By Shirley Shuman
Those who know Tresha Cottrill will not be surprised at her latest accomplishment. The current issue of the national quilting magazine Easy Quilts, published by Marianne Fons and Liz Porter, contains a photograph of one of Cottrill’s quilts along with the pattern and instructions for making the quilt.
Cottrill explained that she submitted the quilt pattern to the magazine last year by sending a photograph of one of her quilts. Soon, she received a response from the magazine. “They wanted to buy the rights to publish the pattern,” she said, “and they needed me to mail my quilt to them so they could photograph it.” The magazine contains the photograph of Cottrill’s quilt along with the pattern and directions to make the quilt.
The pattern which was published was not Cottrill’s first quilt design. “I’ve designed a few, and I did this one while I was playing with some on the computer. I actually designed this particular pattern to fit the requirements for a Quilt of Valor, a program which makes quilts for wounded veterans as well as for veterans who have been in combat,” she said. She named the pattern “Patriotic Pinwheels,” and, not surprisingly, the quilt is done in red, white and blue.
Cottrill has been quilting since she took her first quilting class in the spring of 1992. Asked how many quilts she has made since that time, she replied,” I’m not sure just how many I’ve made, Actually, I haven’t completed a lot, but I certainly have a lot to complete. I may have close to 100 in progress.”
Perhaps she has been too busy to complete many of the quilts she began. In addition to working for the United States Postal Service in postmaster relief, she has also taught quilting in various venues. Cottrill began with “a few classes in Glenville,” where they “ended up in Town Hall because there were too many for the original site.”
In addition, she has taught in several quilt shops including Needle Basket in Sutton.
In addition to these teaching situations, Cottrill “has taught for the past eight years at the Lewis County Quilt Retreat at Jackson’s Mill.” She is also scheduled to teach at the Quilt Camp held in the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in October.
Obviously interested in getting others interested in this pastime, she helped organize a local quilters’ group. “I asked Cathy Sowa to help me start the Crazy Quilters in 2004,” she said. That group is still active. Cottrill is also a member of the West Virginia State Quilters’ Guild, and she participates in the quilt show held in Summersville each June.
One of Cottrill’s achievements includes being juried at Tamarack in 2003. “I sold them five wall hangings,” she said, “but I haven’t submitted any more because I’m just too busy.” She has recently taken up knitting, which she says she really enjoys, and she has done some basket weaving. “I’ve also dabbled in painting, but I really didn’t take that very far,” she said. Gardening is another interest, but there, too, she “can’t seem to find enough time for it.”
Before her three children were grown, they took up much of her time. Currently she is working as the officer in charge at the Rosedale Post Office and, of course, preparing for the classes she will soon be teaching at Jackson’s Mill. In the meantime, she may well create another quilt design which will be published.

BCHS Top Ten Senior Countdown

By Stevie Shingler

Number seven of the 2014 Braxton County High School graduating class is Elizabeth Ann Jackson of Frametown. Elizabeth is the daughter of Joe and Tela Jackson. After completing her high school career Elizabeth plans to attend Glenville State College or New River Community and Technical College to major in business.
When asked about what teacher has most impacted her high school education she said, “Mr. Frazier because he genuinely cares and believes in the best for his students.” Ms. Jackson volunteers at the Central Outreach Center this year as part of her community service. She is also a member of the National Honors Society and Future Business Leaders of America. Outside school Elizabeth likes to read, paint, spend time with her friends and family, and hunt.
Thinking back on her memories from school, Elizabeth said, “My favorite school memory was my Junior Winter Formal with my boyfriend. My worst would have to be when I fell on my ankle in the locker room and had to be on crutches.”
Elizabeth would like to thank her mom and dad for being so supportive throughout her school career. Also, “I would like to thank Nikki Paintiff for being such a great friend. I want to thank Alexander Perrin for keeping me level-headed.” She also extends her thanks to her many teachers, and to Christopher Jackson, Ray and Edith Rollyson, Paul Jackson, and Renae.

Commission holds routine meeting

The Braxton County Commission met in regular session last Friday with Commissioners Gary Ellyson and Ron Facemire present. Terry Frame joined for part of the meeting by telephone.
Mike Baker, EMS/9-1-1 Director was the first to address the Commission with several items of related business. Baker requested permission to use the county credit card for associated expenses for EMD and APCO training. He explained that Sam Mace would be the first to attend the classes to become an instructor for the required courses for dispatchers. He stated that he hope to send Angie Short at a later date. The request was approved on a motion by Ron Facemire.
Baker requested permission to hire Chris Crigger and J.D. Whitesel as part-time on-call dispatchers. Following a discussion, Terry Frame made a motion to approve the hiring.
The Director also requested permission to purchase new chairs for the 9-1-1 center. He explained that he had the dispatchers evaluate several chairs, most of which were actually brought to the center for review. He added that all the dispatchers had agreed on the same chair and requested permission to purchase 3 at a total of $879. Permission was granted on a motion by Terry Frame.
Baker also presented his budget for the EMS totally $995,000 and 9-1-1 in the amount of $526,000. Both were approved on a motion by Ron Facemire.
Paula Wilson, representing the Masters Law Fire addressed the Commission. He explained that her client, Sharon Riddle, was involved in an accident involving Yvonne Judy Williams who was deceased. Wilson was requesting that the Sheriff be appointed to administer the estate so the action involving her client could proceed. That action was granted on a motion by Terry Frame.
In other action, the probate appointments for March were approved on a motion by Ron Facemire.
The Commission reviewed a request from Theran Hyre to be reimbursed $300 for classes taken in mid-March and be appointed as the County Medical Examiner. Terry Frame stated that Hyre was her son-in-law and that she would not vote on the action. Commissioner president Gary Ellyson stated that he didn’t understand the request since the Commission did not authorize the instruction prior to taking it. Commissioner Ron Facemire stated that appointment of a medical examiner had not been advertised. Terry Frame explained why she felt Hyre had not discussed the matter with the Commission personally. Ron Facemire made a motion to table the matter. That action was seconded by Gary Ellyson and passed.
Terry Frame made a motion to set a Special meeting for April 15 at 9:00 a.m. for the purpose of laying the levy as required by state code. Frame then excused herself from the meeting.
Following a review, the county and EMS invoices were approved on a motion by Ron Facemire.
The minutes of the previous Commission meeting were approved before Ron Facemire made a motion to adjourn at 9:46 a.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be on May 2 beginning at 9:00 a.m. The Commission previously cancelled their regular meeting of April 18 due to a holiday.

Four jailed after failing drug tests

Sheriff Eddie Williams has sent 4 area residents to jail after they failed drug tests in conjunction with home confinement monitoring. Sheriff Williams said the testing is a routine part of his monitoring of Court mandated home confinement.
Casey Dawn Kerr, 31, Katrina Nicole Pritt, 24, Joshua Merwhan and Jessica Jad Balcourt, 38 and 31 years of age, were all lodged in the Central Regional Jail on home confinement violations last week after failing drug tests at the Day Report Center. “We are serious about holding everyone on home confinement accountable to the rules and regulations set forth by the Court,” said Sheriff Williams.

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