www.wvgazette.com http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: December 24, 2014 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT01/312249978 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT01/312249978 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:32 -0500 Collins, L.C. Noon, Henson & Kitchen Mortuary, Barboursville.


Hammond, Hettie L. 2 p.m., Mount Union United Methodist Church, Pliny.


Larabee, Lawrence 5:30 p.m., Armstrong Funeral Home, Whitesville.


Lechalk, Lucille Noon, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Fayetteville.


Plumley, Alden L. 11 a.m., McGhee


West, Phyllis E. 11 a.m., Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens Prosperity.

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Eva L. Arthur http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249983 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249983 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:28 -0500 Eva L. Arthur, 83, of Charleston, passed away Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. Arrangements are pending with High Lawn Funeral Home, 1435 E. Main St., Oak Hill.

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Geneva Fae Boggess http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249996 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249996 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:22 -0500 Geneva Fae Boggess, 82, of Sissonville, died Dec. 21, 2014 at St. Francis Hospital. Arrangements are incomplete. Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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Avin K. Bryant http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249985 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249985 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:26 -0500 Avin K. Bryant of South Charleston passed away Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014 at Hubbard Hospice West, South Charleston. He was born June 22, 1931 in Williamsburg to the late Homer and Rebecca Bryant. He was also preceded in death by brothers, Wayburn of Virginia and Gary of Lewisburg.

He was a long distance truck driver and was a member of the Teamsters Local. Avin served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict and was a member of St. Johns Methodist Church, South Charleston. He was a kind and generous man who gave freely of himself to assist anyone he met who was in need.

Surviving are his loving wife of 62 years, Gloria Bryant; daughter, Connie Bryant; son, Steve and his wife, M.J. Bryant; granddaughters, Kimberly Bryant and Katherine and her husband, Sgt. Daniel Allen; and sisters-in-law, Dorothy Johnson, Laura Bryant and Bernadine Bryant.

Service will be 1:30 p.m. Friday at Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston, with the Rev. Corbet May officiating. Burial will be in Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the mortuary.

The family would like to send a special thanks to HospiceCare and nurses, Joan, Stephanie, Charlotte and Bobbie, and the staff at Hubbard Hospice House West.

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Margaret J. Dotson http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249999 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249999 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:19 -0500 Margaret Jean Nuckols Dotson, 84, of Teays Valley, passed away at Angel Avenue Care Facility on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James Bernard Dotson; parents, Luther and Mary Nuckols; brother, Jim Nuckols; and sisters, June Morton and Marjorie Willard.

Margaret is survived by her brother, Jack (Ethel) Nuckols; children, Kathy Dotson of Scott Depot, Jerry (Robin) of Cary, N.C., John (Kristi) of Portland, Ore., and Victoria (Scott) Mullins of Hurricane; grandchildren, Paul (Cathy), Mckenzie (Nick), Hannah, Alex, Ashley, Jason, Jimmy and Jessica; great-grandchildren, Megan, Alexis, Landon, Dylan and Ian; and nephew, Curtis Willard.

Margaret was originally from Neon, Ky. She was a 1949 graduate of DuPont High School. She earned an undergraduate and master's degree in education from Morris Harvey College. She was a retired reading teacher from Kanawha County Schools. She also worked several years for Gino's and Montgomery Ward. She resided in Rand for 33 years and Teays Valley for 23 years.

She was active in several teacher organizations, including the WVEA. She was involved in the Foreign Teacher Exchange Program. She served as a volunteer for the Rand Lions Club, Bob Wise's first political campaign and the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame.

She was a member of St. John's United Methodist Church, Rand.

She will be remembered for her wonderful personality and compassion for others. She enjoyed spending time with her family and loved gardening.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, at Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane, with Pastor Richard Young officiating. Burial will follow in Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens, Glasgow.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Angel Avenue Assisted Care, 3793 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane, WV 25526.

The family would like to express a special thank you to her caregivers at Angel Care and Hospice for their compassion and support.

Visit www.chapmanfuneralhomes.com to share memories or to express condolences.

Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 3941 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane, is honored to serve the Dotson family.

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Jack "J.D." Dugan II http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249990 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249990 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:24 -0500 Jack W. "J.D." Dugan II, 49, of South Charleston, passed away on the morning of Dec. 23, 2014 at home with his parents at his side from a long illness.

J.D. was born Nov. 23, 1965, the son of Jack and Marilyn Dugan.

He is survived by his parents, Jack and Marilyn Dugan; his sister, Vicki (Barry) Stollings; his brother, Todd (Christine) Dugan; and his three daughters, Aften Thurston, Molly Dugan and Janie-Mae Dugan; and a granddaughter, Chloe Thurston.

He was a loving father, son and brother. A master carpenter by trade.

Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, at Hopewell Baptist Church, Alum Creek, with the service being conducted by Dwight McClure. Friends may call from 1 p.m. until the time of service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Kanawha Hospice, Charleston.

Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston, has been entrusted with the arrangements.

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Margaret Ann Estep http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249988 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249988 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:25 -0500 Margaret Ann Estep, 88, of Little Creek, died Dec. 22, 2014. Funeral will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, at Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet, with visitation beginning two hours prior.

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Hettie L. Hammond http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249995 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249995 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:23 -0500 Hettie L. Fellure Hammond, 88, of Pliny, passed away Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 at her "special home," Teays Center, Hurricane.

Born June 14, 1926 in Pliny, she was a daughter of the late Ercel Avery and Edith Opal Whitt Fellure. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Hammond; brothers, Lester and Hoy Fellure; and sister, Zeda Mae Ferguson.

Hettie was a lifelong member of Mount Union United Methodist Church, Pliny, and retired from Kroger in the deli. If you ever crossed her path then you were a recipient of the infamous Aunt Hettie's hug.

She is survived by her children, Pauletta "Jo" Reavis of Pliny, Saundra and husband, Tom Moore, of Pliny and Mike Hammond and wife, Kim, of Nitro; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; sisters, Avaline Racer of Apple Grove and Emma Hammond of Midway; and special friend, Earl Hanna of Pliny.

Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 24, at Mount Union United Methodist Church, Pliny, with Pastor Mark Harris and the Rev. Tom Moore Jr. officiating. Burial will follow in Bowcott Cemetery, at the church.

Visitation will be held two hours prior to the funeral service at the church.

Visit www.chapmanfuneralhomes.com to share memories or to express condolences.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Bowcott Cemetery, 3931 Mount Union Road, Pliny, WV 25701.

The family would like to extend special thanks to her family at Teays Center for the loving care and compassion they showed Mrs. Hammond.

Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 3624 Winfield Road, Winfield, is honored to serve the Hammond family.

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Vicki L. Holbrook http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249991 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249991 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:24 -0500 Vicki L. Holbrook, 65, of Chesapeake, died Dec. 21, 2014 at home after a long, courageous battle with cancer.

She was preceded in death by parents, John and Pauline Gallagher King; brother, John King; and brother-in-law, Kenny Holbrook.

Surviving are her husband, Ralph M. Holbrook of Chesapeake; daughters, Cathy (Carl) Terry of Chesapeake and Stephanie (Wayne) Burnette of Chesapeake; son, Ralph F. (Jessica) Holbrook of Charleston; sisters, Rosalie Porter of Huntington, Judy McGraw of Chesapeake and June Ann Meadows of Chesapeake; and grandchildren, Chad Terry, Tyler, Tayler and Tanner Burnette and Gracelyn and Olivia Holbrook.

Funeral will be 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 26, at Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet, with the Rev. Shawn Woods officiating. Burial will follow in Montgomery Memorial Park, London.

Friends may call two hours prior to the service at the funeral home.

Condolences may be sent to the family at leonardjohnsonfuneralhome.com.

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Michael W. Johnson http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249980 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/OBIT/312249980 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:02:30 -0500 Michael Wayne Johnson, 54, of Summersville, died Dec. 23, 2014. Service will be 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29, at Waters Funeral Chapel, Summersville. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 28, at the funeral chapel.

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Readers tell the stories of their favorite ornaments http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/DM06/141229682 DM06 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/DM06/141229682 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Zack Harold Every Christmas tree has a story to tell.

Each of the ornaments we hang on our trees year after year hold a little bit of history, memories of holidays past and stories of the people who celebrated with us.

The Daily Mail recently asked our readers to submit the stories behind their favorite ornaments.

We received dozens of responses and, while we do not have room to publish them all, we have collected a few to share.

You can see all the submissions at http://favoriteornaments.tumblr.com.

Many of our readers' favorite ornaments were tied to Christmas memories when their children were young.

Former Daily Mail health reporter Therese Cox has lots of hand-made ornaments from when her now-grown children were little.

"Ornament is a fancy name for the bits of what some might call detritus hanging on our tree - a puzzle-piece Rudolph, a Popsicle-stick star and a tattered St. Nicholas whose paper beard has rolled up like a yo-yo over time. These preschool-era gifts from the kids mean far more to us than crystal pendants or artist-designed globes," Cox wrote.

But her favorite ornament is a tiny pair of navy blue shoes - size 5 1/2 - that her son Jordan wore to school when he was 3 years old.

"At 36, he's now a size 11. We bought the leather sandals from Mr. Begin at his tiny shoe shop near the corner of Leon Sullivan Way on Quarrier Street. My kids loved the giant aquarium there and visits proved to be memorable outings," she wrote.

Charleston resident Caroline Kosky's daughter, Rachel, made her favorite ornament in 1977, when she was a 6-year-old Sunday School student.

"She colored the picture of the Holy Family, glued it to a plastic lid of a margarine tub, punched a hole and strung a hot pink piece of yarn through the hole to hang on the Christmas tree. It has hung on our tree every year since," Kosky wrote.

Paula Gill, of St. Albans, hangs a tiny pair of mittens on her tree each year.

"Our son, Steven, was born on Dec. 22, 1985. We brought him home from the hospital on Christmas Eve. One of his first Christmas gifts was this pair of mittens that he wore several times. I just couldn't get rid of them after he quickly outgrew them. So starting the next year, this pair of mittens became my favorite ornament. It's been my favorite ornament for 28 years," she wrote.

Dana and Rose Campbell of Elkview have two ornaments to commemorate the birth of their children, who are now both in their 50s.

"The Christmas season of 1961 we invited our guests to look at a special ornament on our tree. It was a white ball when opened showed a baby. That was the way we announced our coming event. On June 23, 1962, our daughter Beth was born. The next Christmas we added another ball, and on July 23, 1963, we were blessed with a son: Dana Campbell, II (Dee) was born. That has been 53 and 52 years and these ornaments have been on our tree every Christmas," they wrote.

Other readers used ornaments to help remember their own childhoods.

Amy Ricketts' favorite ornament is the abominable snowman, or "Bumble," from the holiday claymation classic "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."

"When I saw this ornament in a store many years ago, I knew I had to buy it. It has had a place on our tree ever since," she wrote. "Whenever I see it, it brings back warm childhood memories of watching the movie with my family every Christmas."

Jay Wildt, of Charleston, wrote to the Daily Mail about his family's Christmas tree topper.

"This little angel was on our Christmas tree as long as I remember. She is around 50 years old now and has seen her better days. Much of the gold foil around her gown has fallen off. She has a number of stains that I do not dare attempt removing. However, ever since my mother passed her to me many years ago, she has adorned the top of our tree," Wildt wrote.

"A few years back we tried out a more traditional star, but ultimately she retained her position as the matriarch of our Christmas ornaments. She always reminds me of wonderful Christmases with our mother and my three siblings at 310 Broad Street in Charleston, where the Clay Center now stands."

Tony Basham's favorite ornament is a shiny red ball decorated to look like Santa Claus with a red hat and fabric eyes, nose, mouth and beard.

"It is 50 years old, and there was one for me and one for my brother. It always reminds me of the good Christmases past. I can see it on the tree in the living room of our old home, in my mind's eye."

Katheryn Monk figures she was about 10 years old when she and her mother made her favorite ornament - a tiny stained glass widow of a grandfather clock - from a craft kit.

"I remember getting the kit with the metal frame designs and little colored glass beads that were painstakingly placed in the sections, then melted in the oven," Monk, now 42, wrote. "I always loved this one in particular because you can see the mouse running up the side of the 'hickory dickory dock' clock. These ornaments remind me of special times with my mom, who's now 80 years old!"

n n n

Some readers use ornaments to remember loved ones who are no longer around to celebrate the holidays.

When Eleanor Volunteer Fire Department chief Shane Jividen passed away on Sept. 1, 2013, after an ATV accident, his mother Nancy purchased ornaments for all of his "firefighting brothers" in remembrance of her son. They are glass globes with a firefighter's coat, helmet, fire hose and fire hydrant inside.

Nancy Kennedy's favorite Christmas ornament is a simple metal cutout of a bird in flight, marked with an inscription "Poopa, much loved, 8-25-12." She bought the ornament for her granddaughters Lily, 13, and Gracey, 6, after Kennedy's husband Joe died in 2012.

"I wanted them to know although their beloved Poopa may have gone physically from their lives, he would always remain with them. Poopa would always be a part of their Christmas and stay cherished and forever loved in their hearts and minds," she wrote.

John Buckley submitted a photo of a glass goldfish ornament that has been passed through his family for more than 100 years.

His maternal great-grandfather presented the ornament to his wife on Christmas Day 1897 to commemorate the birth of their daughter, Buckley's grandmother, who was born six days prior.

"My mother hung the ornament faithfully on our family Christmas tree as my siblings and I grew up in New Orleans, and then on her Christmas tree during her retirement in New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia," Buckley wrote. "Now I display it prominently on our tree in Mathias, W.Va. It represents faith, family and a revered journey across the United States."

Gary and Ditty Markham of Charleston have a special ornament to commemorate a holiday season that almost ended in tragedy.

Two days after Christmas in 2003, Gary Markham suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm while undergoing a CAT scan at Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital.

"Fortunately, Dr. Fred Ambrust, a gifted neurosurgeon, was on call at the hospital at the time," Markham's wife Ditty wrote. "He quickly performed emergency brain surgery and, against the odds, saved Gary's life."

As a way of thanking Ambrust, the Markhams purchased an ornament of a white doctor's coat.

They had a message written on the back: "Dr. Armbrust saved Gary's life, 12/27/03."

n n n

Of course, not every story has to be profound.

Several years back Pam Brennan was shopping at Hill's Department store. She was in the clothing aisles when she spotted a Christmas ornament someone had laid down.

"It was absolutely the ugliest angel that I had ever seen. I thought 'My God, who would even make such an ugly ornament?' and I laid it back down," she wrote.

It was a tiny white angel with blonde hair, carrying what looks like a small length of green rope and pocket book. But worst of all, the creature is wearing thick-framed black goggles, which almost look like a bandit's mask.
A few weeks later Brennan was back in the store and again found the ugly little angel in a department where she didn't belong.

"I went back a few times checking out the new decorations as they came in. Each time I would see this ugly angel in a different place. Finally I said to myself, 'It must be meant for me to buy this angel, if it is here when Christmas goes to 90 percent off, I'll buy it,'" she said.

She waited until Christmas was over and went back to Hill's to buy the ugly angel.

"I went to the markdown table and went through everything and the ugly angel was not there. I walked through the whole empty Christmas department looking for the angel and she was not to be found. I finally decided that as hard as it was to believe someone had actually bought that ugly angel," she wrote. "With my very last step as I was leaving the Christmas department, I kicked something and it went flying across the floor. It was the Ugly Angel!"

Brennan bought the ornament for 10 cents.

"I have all kinds of really neat Christmas decorations and I have been looking for years for a beautiful Christmas Angel, but I have never found one that I wanted as much as that ugly angel. Every year she has a place of honor in my Christmas decorations and everyone that has ever seen her can't believe how incredibly ugly she is.

"She makes people smile every time they see her."

Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-4830 or zack.harold@dailymailwv.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZackHarold.

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Community briefs for Wednesday, Dec. 24 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/DM01/141229690 DM01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/DM01/141229690 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 Christmas Day and New Year's Day will delay garbage collection by a day for people in Charleston on Thursday and Friday collection schedules. Residents in most of the South Hills and Fort Hill areas of Charleston, whose usual collection day is Thursday, will have their garbage and recycling collected on Friday this week and next week. Then on Saturday, collection crews will cover the normal Friday collection routes covering the West Side.

The Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District will offer a New Year's Day Hike beginning at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 through the trails of Ritter Park. Meet at the Ritter Park Tennis Center for the approximately 2-mile hike. Come dressed for cold weather, layers preferred. Families and leashed pets are welcome. Refreshments will be provided at the conclusion of the hike. For more information, contact parks recreation programmer Stacey Leep at 304-696-5954 or sleep@ghprd.org, or visit www.ghprd.org.

To meet demands of modern customers, online reservations are coming next year for campsites at Beech Fork State Park near Barboursville and Huntington. Beech Fork State Park manages 275 campsites at one of West Virginia's most popular outdoors destinations.

Beginning midnight, Jan. 1, 136 campsites at Beech Fork State Park will be available for reservation online, up to one year in advance. To make reservations, visit the park website at www.beechforksp.com and click the tab "Online Campground Reservation." The online capability allows campers access for 24-hour reservation service.

Camping reservations are also accepted by traditional methods beginning Feb. 15 with mail-in applications, followed by phone-in reservations beginning March 15, and then walk-in reservation beginning April 1. To learn more, visit www.beechforksp.com or call 304-528-5794.

WV50 is a "visit a state park" discount rate promotion to encourage friends, families and meeting planners to use lodge facilities in January.

State parks participating in the WV50 promotion are Cacapon Resort, Chief Logan Lodge, Hawks Nest, North Bend, Pipestem Resort, Twin Falls Resort and Tygart Lake. Room rates at these lodges are $50 for standard forest and mountain view rooms in January 2015, as available, for one or more night rentals.

Reservations can be made by calling the participating parks in advance and asking for WV50. The WV50 rate includes weekends.

Blackwater Falls State Park features "Blackwater50." The room rate at Blackwater Falls is also $50, but the days are mid-week, Monday to Thursday, for both January and February 2015.

For more information, visit www.wvstateparks.com or call 800-CALL-WVA, where a tourism travel counselor will transfer your call to the requested state park.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College Workforce and Economic Development Division will offer health care certification training designed for those seeking entry into the health care field during the spring 2015 semester. An information session will be from 2 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 7 at the South Charleston Campus (main) room 004, where those interested may register for a program and learn about financial assistance.

Attendees will learn about program entry requirements, certification exams and statistics on employment and salary trends. Health areas covered at the free information session will include: Direct Patient Care (C.N.A.), EKG Technician Training, Medical Administration - Electronic Health Records Specialist, Pharmacy Technician and Phlebotomy Technician.

Preregistration for the session time of your choice is strongly encouraged. To register, email Janet.Jones@BridgeValley.edu or call 304-205-6625. For information on other training programs and workshops offered, visit www.bridgevalley.edu/education-and-training.

To submit an item, send it by email to yournews@dailymailwv.com, fax it to 304-348-4847 or mail it to Community Briefs, Charleston Daily Mail, 1001 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV 25301.

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Your vents for Wednesday, Dec. 24 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/DM04/141229705 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/DM04/141229705 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 n 2014 - the year of the Cougar.

n Of Holgorsen's nine assistant coaches, the only one that has been with him more than the last two seasons is special team's coordinator Joe DeForest and we all know how pitiful he is. If he has such a good program at WVU, why are the coaches abandoning ship?

n As a die-hard WVU fan, I would like to tell the Marshall University community how sorry I am for the passing of your president.

n The Taliban has to go. Only monsters kill children - 140 people, most of them children.

n Tackett has had his nose in everything since he retired. You'd think he was the mayor or governor. It is time to bow out.

n To the school boards, businesses and everyone else around, I wish to say it is Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays. I shop and buy from places that tell me Merry Christmas. A Walgreens employee said it to me and I'm very glad.

n To the venter who thinks Sen. Rockefeller is only in it for his own good: He could have stayed home and been like Mitt Romney and turned his money into mega millions. Instead he chose to come down here and serve the people of West Virginia. Thank you, Senator.

n I drive in the fast lane from the DuPont plant in Belle because the slow lane is in bad shape.

n We in America have a great deal to be thankful for. Please pray for our country and please pray for our poor little planet. Our planet needs your prayers.

n Thanks go to the man who paid for our breakfast at the Spencer Shoneys. There are good people out there. Much appreciated. God bless.

n Art should be like a holiday: something to give a man the opportunity to see things differently and to change his point of view. - Paul Klee, painter (1879-1940)

n I thought WVU Tech was a school of higher education, but their administration acts like that of a middle school. It is unbelievable how childish and backstabbing they are.

n I wasn't offended when a Jewish person told me happy holidays. He was friendly and that was his right to wish me happy holidays. God bless him.

n I understand you don't name public facilities after someone until that person passes away. It would be confusing to have Coonskin Park and Shore Bridge. Name it after Coonskin.

n Last night I took two of my former students out to eat. One just returned from Afghanistan and the other was going there in 10 days. A gentleman thanked them and, after he left, the waitress told us he paid for our entire bill. He was truly a good man and the world needs more people like him.

n Good luck. They are finally getting rid of Oliver Luck. Now let's get the head coach and we'll be in great shape.

n It is more and more obvious that Dick Cheney's moral and ethical standards come directly from his mentor Heinrich Himmler.

n I'm reading in the Vent Line and some jerk in here said if you don't believe in God move to Syria. What a stupid man. I'm half Lebanese and half Syrian and three-fourths of us are Catholics. I want that idiot to know.

n It is such a comfort driving home from work daily on Interstate 77 south on the Turnpike seeing a cross on one side of a mountain and on the other side a star. How comforting.

n I'm glad to see Ted Brightwell in the Nutcracker Suite. He is a most talented guy. He can do anything.

n My Christmas wish is that the new county prosecutor takes the city of Charleston to task for the illegal collection of taxes in South Charleston, Nitro and Sissonville. After all, people they are collecting the tax from are not citizens of Charleston.

n Please print this. They are murdering our policemen in cold blood. Bring back the death penalty for killing a police officer.

n Unless the madness of racial protests against Michael Brown and Garner's killings stop, there is a racial war brewing. Thousands will die and no one will win. You can thank Obama for throwing wood on the fire and not defusing this thing months ago.

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Charleston expects warm Christmas Eve, possible white Christmas http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/GZ01/141229709 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/GZ01/141229709 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Ryan Quinn Charlestonians could see Christmas Eve temperatures approach the record local high Wednesday - but they could still awake to an uncommon morning snowfall on Christmas Day.

John Sikora, a meteorlogist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said highs Wednesday will definitely reach the high 60s - and might breach the 70-degree mark.

"If we see any sunshine," he said, "it'll warm up rather nicely."

The record-high Christmas Eve temperature is 73 degrees, set in 1964, according to the National Weather Service's website. The record low is 6 degrees below zero, set in 1983. Last year, the high was 34.

Sikora said he expects a cold front to arrive later Wednesday, bringing in gusty winds this afternoon and evening. As of Tuesday evening, the weather service had issued a wind advisory, for noon to 10 p.m. today, with gusts of up to 50 mph possible.

Lows the night before Christmas will be in the mid- to high 30s - which could lead to snow Christmas morning, depending on how fast the cold front arrives.

As of Tuesday evening, the Weather Service was predicting a 30 percent chance of a mixture of rain and snow on Christmas morning, with the chance for snow decreasing as the day progresses.

The chance for Christmas snow increases closer toward Huntington and the Kentucky/Ohio border.

The Weather Service defines a white Christmas as at least 1 inch of snow on the ground by 7 a.m. - something Sikora said last happened in 2010. A statement from the agency states that, at elevations less than 2,000 feet above sea level, where most of West Virginia's larger cities are, only about one in five Christmases is "white."

Heading east from Charleston, toward Virginia, that chance decreases to about one in 10. There's about a 60 percent chance of a white Christmas in the state's mountainous regions, above 3,000 feet.

Sikora said the area from Williamson northeast through Clarksburg also will see mainly a rain/snow mix during the morning, and the Eastern Panhandle will see mostly rain. The Northern Panhandle will have a better chance of snow than the Southern part of the state.

Reach Ryan Quinn at ryan.quinn@wvgazette.com, 304-348-1254 or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.

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Toast the New Year with Simple Party Bites http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/DM06/141229713 DM06 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/DM06/141229713 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Steven Keith Christmas 2014 will be but a fond memory some 48 hours from now, but don't pack away your party shoes just yet. New Year's Eve is just one week from today, bringing with it another round of cocktail parties.

And if you're like me, cocktail parties mean cocktail food. The chance to raise a glass with family and friends is even better when there are plenty of tasty nibbles to go around.

With that in mind, here are a few simple (and simply delicious) bite-sized hors d'oeuvres and desserts you can make and take to your New Year's soiree.

Kentucky Bourbon Fig Compote - Bursting with a sweet-and-savory blend of bourbon, figs, sugar, spices, toasted nuts and citrus, this stewed topping is fantastic poured over a block of brie or cream cheese and served with crackers or toast for spreading. It would also be a great accompaniment to a nice pork tenderloin or salmon.

Lemon Mascarpone Tarts - Using just four ingredients (lemon curd, mascarpone cheese, raspberries and prepared cookie dough) these mini-desserts go from zero to finish in minutes. To save a little more time, substitute the cookie dough base with pre-made pastry or filo shells.

Mini Cocktail Flatbreads - Similar to the sweet tarts above, top little pita bread rounds with any combination of toppings for instant, easy-to-make snacks. Try sliced deli meats and cheeses, smoked salmon with creme fraiche, grilled beef or pork tenderloin with horseradish aioli, chicken or egg salad with fresh herbs, bruschetta or tapenade topping, even mini sliders or pizzas.

n n n

I'm constantly asked for solid restaurant recommendations, so I wanted to pass along a few I recently received from readers.

Elkview resident Mike Cunningham wrote in to say his mother had fixed Thanksgiving dinner for his family for all 64 years he's been around, but his father's death this summer made the time right to start a new tradition this year.

He wanted a nice place to take his mom out for a traditional Thanksgiving meal - and they found it just a short drive down Route 60.

"We made reservations at the Glen Ferris Inn and had a wonderful meal together," he said. "The food was home-cooked style and was great, the setting is gorgeous (even in the winter), the service was friendly and efficient, and the price was more than reasonable ($50 for the three of us).

"We all enjoyed different sides and each had a different slice of pie, although we passed the plates so we could sample them all. The linen tablecloths, placemats and napkins are rare these days, but that is just in keeping with this gem just about an hour away," he said.

"My 83-year-old mother was pleased with the change in tradition and is already talking about how we can do Christmas."

Deborah Herndon and friends were looking for a nice place to dine after attending a special performance of "The Barber of Seville" opera presented by The Met at Nitro Marketplace Cinema. Their quest led them about 30 minutes west to Barboursville.

"We found a restaurant called Christopher's Eats, where the chef cooks with an anthracite (coal-like) fueled oven and donates part of his profits to reclaim old coal waste piles. It's an interesting concept and I was surprised at the wide selection and unusual preparation of several dishes. The service and ambiance were very good also."

I actually visited Christopher's Eats for a birthday lunch last year and couldn't agree more. Despite its location in a strip mall, the restaurant's interior is warm, inviting and contemporary-looking (like an urban bistro or wine bar setting) and the food was interesting and delicious.

Definitely gets The Food Guy stamp of approval.

Steven Keith writes a weekly food column for the Daily Mail. He can be reached at 304-348-1721 or by email at dailymailfoodguy@aol.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Pinterest as "DailyMail FoodGuy," on Twitter as "DMFoodGuy" or read his blog at http://blogs.charlestondailymail.com/foodguy.

Kentucky Bourbon Fig Compote

1 1/2 cups whole or halved walnuts or pecans

4 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup Kentucky bourbon

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground ginger

2 cups diced dried Mission figs (or other combination of dried fruit)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or Limoncello

pinch sea salt

1 package (.4 oz.) fruit pectin, about 4 1/2 tsp.

8 oz. cream cheese, Brie or Stilton

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant. Shake the pan every minute or two so the nuts do not burn. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter, sugar and bourbon in a saucepan on low heat, then add cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Stir well. Add figs (or other dried fruit) plus the vanilla extract, lemon juice and salt. Let mixture steep for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the fruit is plump and soft.

3. Sprinkle pectin over fruit mixture. Stir well and turn up heat to medium. Cook until bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

4. Pour warm compote over cheese and scatter nuts on top. Serve with assorted toast points or crackers.

Note: You can substitute figs with an equal amount of golden raisins, dried cranberries or diced dried apricots.

Lemon Mascarpone Tarts

1 16-oz. tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1 lb. mascarpone, room temperature

1 12-oz. jar lemon curd

1 pint fresh raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice cookie dough into discs about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, then slice each disc in half. Press pieces of dough into a greased mini muffin tin and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden in color. Set aside to cool completely.

2. While crusts are cooking, place lemon curd in microwaveable dish and heat until spreadable. Whisk lemon curd with mascarpone until light and airy.

3. To assemble tarts, use a small cookie scoop to fill each sugar cookie tart with lemon mascarpone filling. Top with a fresh raspberry.

Makes approximately 36 tarts.

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John Palmer: Shared humanity a century later http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/ARTICLE/141229728 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/ARTICLE/141229728 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By John Palmer Picture this: Millions of soldiers in opposing armies bedded down in makeshift trenches, some within shouting distance of each other. It is winter and those in the water-logged, rat-infested trenches are miserable. Lacking adequate latrines, the stench of excrement is everywhere, and the "no-man's land" between trenches is littered with uncollectable rotting corpses. This hellish scene is no "Hunger Games" type fantasy. In World War I, this was reality.

But on Christmas Eve, 1914, something extraordinary happened. One might even call it a miracle. The Germans began lighting candles on small Christmas trees sent to the front to lend them some comfort. They also began singing carols that included one popular in both England and Germany: "Silent Night" (Stille Nacht). English soldiers applauded and began to sing the carol in their own language, and they in turn were applauded. A few men from both sides risked their lives and crawled out into no-man's land. Soon they were talking, showing photos of their families, trading cigarettes, and reminiscing about past Christmases. On Christmas Day, as the sun rose, tens of thousands (really!) of soldiers were quietly talking!

Could such a scene be reenacted today? No.

Today we are not exactly at war, but neither are we at peace. We occasionally bomb "enemies," or send in special forces, and they, in turn, plot terrorist reprisals. The "nuclear club" grows (Pakistan, Israel, India, North Korea, Russia, soon perhaps Iran), and knowledge of how to make nukes spreads, so over time, a terrorist attack using suitcase nuclear bombs becomes ever more likely.

One hundred year ago, at the time of World War I, the world population was less than 2 billion. It is now more than 7 billion. That the world population has more than tripled within living memory of our oldest citizens, is not, in my opinion, a fact to be brushed lightly aside as we consider our future.

And the future for the Middle East does appear grim. Not only are there the interconnected problems of higher-than-average population growth, apparently endless war, and clashing religious passions, there are also environmental situations such as desertification and dwindling supplies of fresh water. And, as was pointed out above, a war of bombing vs. terrorism will never allow combatants to come close enough to realize their essential shared humanity.

But still, but still, we need not give up. The instinctual common humanity underlying this conflict (and all conflicts), can be evoked if only we will try.

For one thing there are possible win-win projects. Much of the corn that we grow now goes to make automobile fuel. We could phase out these corn-to-fuel distilleries, announcing that food production was the paramount need of the world. Or we (where "we" could include China and Israel) could push harder to bring down the (already declining) cost of solar power and see that a fair amount of it is installed in Arab countries. If a project was needed to bring closer human contact, we could do some tree planting or refugee camp care.

The Christmas miracle of 1914 did not, alas, end World War I, and this "war to end all wars" failed, of course, to achieve its goal. The bombing we are now doing is equally futile. But the innate goodwill towards humanity that is celebrated every Christmas does exist. It may be buried deep under consumerism and paranoia but it is there. Exactly 100 years ago it broke through. It may do so again!

Are you tired of war? Then stop doing it.

John Palmer is a retired professor in Charleston.

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Santa gets his coal from West Virginia http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/ARTICLE/141229732 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/ARTICLE/141229732 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 Santa gets his coal from West Virginia

Editor:

This is a conversation I had with my 7-year-old (first grade) granddaughter this morning.

Anna said: "I don't understand why Santa doesn't give me coal in my stocking. I am bad sometimes. And where does he get his coal?

I told her that she is good most of the time, and at times lots of us do things that are not good, but he knows we are sorry and that we will try not to do that again. And he gets his coal from West Virginia.

She asked, "How does he get his coal from West Virginia to the North Pole?"

I told her that when she sees or hears a train going by, that could be a boxcar of coal heading to the North Pole. (Oh my, oh my.)

Betty Dotson-Lewis

Summersville

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Respect the law and the police http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/ARTICLE/141229733 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/ARTICLE/141229733 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 Respect the law and the police

Editor:

If I robbed a store and or tried to take a police officer's gun while he was in his car I would be guilty of at least disrespecting citizens and or law officers and the law. I would be guilty of breaking the law no matter what race I was or what was the race of the people I had violated was.

What race am I? Martin Luther King Jr. said that we should be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. So much for race. Dr. King was into non-violent civil disobedience. This is a process designed to show when some of the laws or norms of society are no longer viable, as in the racial discrimination of the '60s and in years before. When this process truly works people are made ashamed because they know they were no longer respecting people and they change because their conscience directs them to do so because they know they were wrong.

The rule of law needs to be respected and people need to be respected. The Constitution provides for ways to change the law. The congress makes laws; the president executes them; and the Supreme Court interprets them. We have a great system. We have great police officers. We have a great country. We have police officers of every race and they do the best they can. I pray we will not make it more difficult for them to do their jobs. They should not have one policy for one race and one for another because in the content of our character there is only one race.

Robert Ehman

Charleston

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Tracing the roots of Kwanzaa and what it celebrates http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/GZ05/141229734 GZ05 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/GZ05/141229734 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Douglas Imbrogno Starting 2 p.m. Friday, the Heritage Towers and Culture Center, 612 Virginia St. E., will once again mark the start of the seven-day African American holiday of Kwanzaa.

"It's an African American holiday, but it's a holiday that everyone can celebrate," said Katonya Hart, who is helping pull together this year's event, which should run at least four hours or more.

The Heritage Towers event includes poetry readings by Tuesday Taylor, a performance by the Voices of Noel Carolers and a showing of "The Black Candle," the first feature film on Kwanzaa, narrated by the late poet Maya Angelou.

"We definitely want to introduce people to the principles and why Kwanzaa was started and some of the reasons why we do it," said Hart.

The holiday was created by Maulana Karenga, a professor of Black Studies, and was first celebrated in 1966-67 as a way to honor African heritage in African American culture. It is observed starting the day after Christmas through Jan. 1, ending with a feast and gift giving.

Kwanzaa was partly inspired by traditional year-end harvest festivals in Africa and the name derives from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza," which means "first fruits of the harvest."

Each of the days of the holiday a candle is lit - three green ones and three red ones on the ends and a black one in the middle.

Green stands for the fertile land of Africa; black for the color of the people; and red is the for blood that is shed in the struggle for freedom.

The holiday celebrates seven core principles, or 'Nguzo Saba' in Swahili, the African language that lends terms to the celebration. Karenga called these principles "the best of African thought and practice."

According to the holiday's official website, www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org, they include:

n Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

n Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

n Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.

n Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

n Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

n Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

n Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

In houses where people celebrate the event fully, Kwanzaa is marked with a decorative mat (Mkeka), featuring corn (Muhindi) and other crops, a candle holder with seven candles (Mishumaa Saba), a communal cup (Kikombe cha Umoja), gifts (Zawadi), a poster of the seven principles and a black, red and green flag.

Celebrants greet each other with "Habari gani?" or "What's the news?" and the seven principles of Kwanzaa are the answer.

Kwanzaa also is an opportunity to honor those who have been an inspiration to one's personal, family or cultural life, Hart said. As well as teaching about Kwanzaa, the showing of "The Black Candle" honors one such 'ancestor,' Hart said.

"With the passing of Maya Angelou, we've decided to honor her as one of the ancestors that have gone on and pretty much remember the legacy, remember the works that she put forward."

Live poetry will also be on tap as Taylor reads from her book, "Dandy Lion Dreams," whose back cover proclaims "I speak for my people, the ones from trailer parks, hollers and projects."

Taylor, who is white, writes poems drawn from her life, including having two African-American-Caucasian children.

People may want to put someone like Taylor into a box, Hart said.

"But that might not be where you need to be. And her accepting who she thought she was and who she wanted to be might not be who people wanted her to be. And how you had to sometimes claim it for yourself and sometimes you have to fight for it, you know, you have to fight for your success.

"And that's part of what we remember each time with Kwanzaa - it's more than making resolutions for the New Year, to lose weight or something," Hart said.

"Part of the power of change is remembering what went on before. Remembering history, but also remembering your personal history, and remembering what works for you and what doesn't. Name those things, say them out loud to other people, so other people can help you achieve what your dream is."

The principles of Kwanzaa can embolden people for the year ahead, she added. "That's the encouragement and part of the unity - that's also another one of the Kwanzaa principles - of bringing people together and finding that support system. You can't go it alone, we're not meant to be alone."

Reach Douglas Imbrogno at douglas@cnpapers.com, 304-348-3017 or follow @wvville on Twitter.

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Jericho House provides shelter while occupants get back on their feet http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/GZ01/141229735 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141224/GZ01/141229735 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 The success stories that emerge from some of the local help agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund aren't always dramatic. Some are rather matter-of-fact. But when it comes to helping others get on their feet and moving in the right direction, each story is filled with hope for the future.

Here are three such examples from the folks at Jericho House, which provides temporary housing in St. Albans:

| "Betty had come to us in very poor health and even had an aide who came during the week to help her cook and take her to appointments. When her permanent housing was approved, she needed assistance with a deposit for the rent and furniture. The Jericho House, along with the home-health aide's family, were able to move her to a one-floor apartment. She continues to keep in touch with us and is thankful for the support she had from the Jericho House."

| "Lisa was eight months pregnant when she came to Jericho House and delivered a healthy baby boy close to Christmas. Friends of the Jericho House provided diapers and infant needs, and tiny clothes for the baby. She was able to find day care and return to work, and signed up for housing in St. Albans. When she moved, the Jericho House was able to help her furnish the apartment, right down to cleaning supplies and linens."

| "When the Jericho House expanded several years ago, a self-contained apartment with two bedrooms was added upstairs, enabling us to provide a home for a family with school-age children. John and Abby stayed with us, along with their three children. John was able to find part-time work, and the family received food stamps. However, warm clothing for the kids and new pillows were provided. At Christmas, the children were given gifts of clothes and toys, and Abby later said that "It was the best Christmas my children have ever experienced."

To help Jericho House continue to help people like Betty, and Lisa, and John and Abby and their children, please consider a donation to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper or, to donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Christmas Fund logo.

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