www.wvgazette.com http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: September 15, 2014 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT01/309159983 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT01/309159983 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:29 -0400 Arthur, Daisy 2 p.m., Pennington Funeral Home, Gauley Bridge.

Ashley, Douglas 11 a.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Avinger, Lillian Noon, Woodbine Baptist Church, Summersville.

Blackburn, Ronald 1 p.m., Gatens

Bowring, Lewis 11 a.m., Randolph Street Baptist Church, Charleston.

Burdette, Micah T. 2 p.m., Casdoprh & Curry Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Burnsworth, Katie 1 p.m., Wallace Funeral Home & Chapel, Barboursville.

Butterworth, Wavie 1 p.m., Cooke Funeral Home, Cedar Grove.

Estep, Kenneth 11 a.m., St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Nitro.

Fisher, Frances 1 p.m., Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Charleston.

Hall, Nina 2 p.m., Evans Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Chapmanville.

Hughes, Charles W. 2 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Hunter, Betty 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Hupp, Doyle 11 a.m., Stump Funeral Home, Grantsville.

Miller, Kenneth 11 a.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Reynolds, Scoval 1 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Saunders, Bobby L. 10 a.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Siders, John 1 p.m., Mt. Carmel Church, Gallipolis Ferry.

Tawney, Shirley 11 a.m., John H. Taylor Funeral Home, Spencer.

Terry, Andrew 1 p.m., New Hope Baptist Church, Beckley.

Tucker, William P. 11 a.m., Casdorph & Curry Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Christopher Bledsoe http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159993 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159993 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:22 -0400 Christopher William Bledsoe, 35, of Dry Branch, died Sept. 12, 2014. Funeral will be 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet, with visitation beginning two hours prior.

Cora Brack http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159988 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159988 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:26 -0400 Ms. Cora Brack, 55, of Beckley, died Sept. 8, 2014. Per her wishes, she was cremated. Memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to Ritchie and Johnson Funeral Parlor, Beckley.

Martha D. Cole http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159989 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159989 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:26 -0400 Martha Darneal Cole, 92, lifelong Malden resident and the last of Malden's old salt makers, died Sept. 3. She was a noted educator, well-known community historian and beloved friend to many.

A child of the Great Depression and the late Lewellyn Shrewsbury and John Lewis Cole, she grew up steeped in her family's long distinguished history. Her people were among the Kanawha Valley's first settlers, surveyor, salt makers, sheriff, Poet Laureate, and herself 1980 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. Following her graduation from Malden High School, she received a B.S. from Morris Harvey College and an M.S. from West Virginia University.

Martha had one sibling, Lewellyn Shrewsbury Cole (2012), with whom she shared their family home, jokingly referring to it as "Coles Bar and Grill." Martha would quickly offer that the two got along well because what they didn't share were clothes, bank accounts or boyfriends.

For over a half century their home was the go-to place for Malden family or community history hunters. She always welcomed youth in need of help with a school project, a reference, or career encouragement.

Miss Cole's formal teaching began in Marmet before moving to Charleston High School, where she taught and chaired the biology department for 39 years. During those Charleston High years she enjoyed serving as faculty advisor to the student council and coordinating CHS graduation ceremonies. Her students went on to become everything from governor to doctors, judges, teachers, scientists, engineers and lots of good ordinary citizens. Seeing her students on the street, she was prepared to greet all equally and later acknowledged a teacher's truth: "Some are bad but you just had to love them too." Known for her wit and wisdom, she was showered with many little gifts and kindnesses over the years, including an "all things frog collection."

Going by Martha's stories, her own gift of personality probably began with her grandmother, Fannie Slack Cole. Upon graduating from Oberlin College in music, Fannie asked for a horse and a shotgun. She then is said to have rode the horse with the shotgun down Capitol Street to Christ Methodist Church, where she played the pipe organ for years. Martha's mother was the first woman to drive an automobile in Malden, doing her rounds of home nursing while shooting her wit and wisdom from the hip. For Martha to both naturally embrace human rights causes and parade herself down Capitol Street in Morris Harvey College's first majorette corps was no surprise.

Martha is also known for her many years of teaching nights at Morris Harvey College. She was a member of the College Women Builders group and active in Kappa Delta Gamma educational leadership sorority.

A 60-plus year member of St John's Episcopal Church, Martha taught Sunday school and served her church in many capacities. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and reader for the Radio Reading Service for the Blind.

In her retirement years she gave generously of her time to Malden community projects including: Cabin Creek Quilts Cooperative, Malden Historic Preservation Society, Good Living Assisted Living, Booker T. Washington Association and Malden Elementary School. She held a limited partner position in George's Creek Investments based in Midland, Texas.

A rare old shoe with a deep sense of place and self, Martha's thoughts about typical worldly desires such as cruising around the world or a big house, she put very simply: "I'm content here with what I have; class has nothing to do with money or objects."

She leaves behind longtime friends and neighbors, James Thibeault and Karen Glazier; cousins, John and Joan Shrewsbury of Guilford, Conn., Kent and Jean Shrewsbury of Sacramento, Calif., Betty Vickers of Montgomery, Harriet Mathews Deem, Bill Mathews Jr., Peggy Mathews Cyrus and friends, Larry Rowe and Julia Beury of Malden, Carter Blundon and Augusta Kosowic of Charleston. Martha had special love for four-legged friends, Sunny, Koz and Pearl. And a very special caregiver Kim Samples and helper Beth Marquart of Malden.

A Rite I service will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church in Charleston 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, with the Very Rev. Kent Higgins. Her committal will be in the Shrewsbury section of Spring Hill Cemetery.

Gifts in her memory may made to the charity of your choice. Barlow Bonsall is in charge of arrangements. No flowers please.

Lewis H. Curry Jr. http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159985 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159985 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:28 -0400 Lewis Hamilton Curry Jr., 88, of Chelyan, passed away Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 at the Eastbrook Center in Charleston.

He was the owner of Curry's Barber Shop in Chelyan, a Navy veteran of World War II and a past master of Chelyan Masonic Lodge AF & AM.

Lewis is survived by his wife, Lois E. Curry; son, Stephen M. Curry of Corbin, Ky.; brother, James W. Curry of Roanoke, Va.; sisters, Nancy Fout of Charlton Heights and Elizabeth Armstrong of Roanoke, Va.; and a grandson, Mark A. Curry of Houston, Texas.

There will be a Masonic graveside service at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Kanawha Valley Memory Gardens, Glasgow, with Pastor Charles Bolen officiating. There will be no visitation.

Fidler and Frame Funeral Home, Belle, is in charge of the arrangements.

Carnie "Connie" Davis http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159998 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159998 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:20 -0400 Carnie "Connie" Davis, 71, of Sutton, died Sept. 14, 2014. Service will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, at Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton, with visitation beginning one hour prior.

Frances Fisher http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159999 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159999 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:18 -0400 Frances Lee Fisher, 76, of Charleston, went home to be with the Lord, Thursday, September 11, 2014, at CAMC General.

Born November 30, 1937, in Sissonville, she was the daughter of the late Richard Deal and Anna Laura Deal.

Frances was a member of Center Point Community Church. She loved listening to gospel music and was a member of the Fisher Family Quartet. Frances was a collector of cardinals and had eight cats.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by two brothers, Richard Harlan Deal and Ray Deal.

Frances is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Charles Fisher; two daughters, Debbie Pauley (Tim) and Tammy Thomas (David); a brother, Sam Deal (Bonnie); two sisters, Lynn Long (Joe) and Mabel Foster (Don); six grandchildren, Justin Pauley (Erin), Danielle Riggs, Jeremy Pauley (Amy), Michael Thomas, Stephanie Burton (Brandon), and Natalie Thomas; and six great-grandchildren, Jackson Thomas, Hunter Pauley, Colin Burton, Paige Pauley, Jaelynn Pauley, and Rielyn Pauley.

Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, September 14, at Long & Fisher Funeral Home.

Funeral Service will be 1 p.m. Monday, September 15, at Long & Fisher Funeral Home with Pastor Alvie Witt and Rev. LeRoy Meadows officiating.

Interment will immediately follow at Milam Deal Cemetery.

Online condolences can be made at www.longfisherfuneralhome.com.

Jessica Marie Foster http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159987 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159987 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:27 -0400 Jessica Marie Foster, 34, of Scott Depot, went home to her Heavenly Father on Sept. 11, 2014 after suffering a heart attack.

Jessi was a devoted mom to her "Little Peanut," Mikenzie Hope. She was a wonderful daughter, born to Jerry and Becky Graley Foster of Winfield on Jan. 23, 1980. Jessi attended Scary Creek Church of God and will always be remembered for her sweet smile and caring heart. She was a graduate of Winfield High School and also degreed at West Virginia State College, where she was also actively pursuing a nursing career which was cut short by her loss of sight.

Jessi was preceded in death by her grandparents, Emory and Margaret Graley, Merwin Foster and Loundis and Mazie Reveal; her infant sister, Jerri Michelle; and her brother and best friend, Michael Wayne "Bub" Foster.

In addition to her daughter and parents, she is also survived by her grandmother, Dorothy Foster; sister-in-law, Juliane Ranson Foster; also holding a special place in Jessi's heart were her "Little Sister," Autumn Hilker, and "Little Brothers," Seth and Jonah Skiles; her aunts, Midge Ball and Doris Moore, who were always there for her.

Jessi's favorite verse from the Bible was, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." NKJ Philippians 4:13.

Friends may visit from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane, where a memorial service will follow at 7 p.m. with Pastor David McCormick officiating.

Jessi had a burden in her heart for kids and supported the backpack ministry (weekend snacks) for many children at Eastbrook Elementary, so in lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made in her name to Scary Creek Church of God, c/o Backpack Ministry, 340 Scary Creek Road, Scott Depot, WV 25560.

Anyone wishing to leave a memory or an online condolence may do so at www.chapmanfuneralhomes.com.

Chapman Funeral Home, 3941 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane, is honored to handle Jessi's arrangements.

Joyce Rae Holden http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159997 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159997 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:20 -0400 Ms. Joyce Rae Holden, 73, a lifelong resident of Charleston, passed away Sept. 12, 2014.

She was a retired clerk with the West Virginia Legislature with 38 years of service and a member of First Presbyterian Church. Joyce was an avid tennis player and bridge player at Village Chapel. She was a 1959 graduate of Charleston High School and a member of Beta Sigma Phi. She enjoyed her dogs, Kobe and Benji.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Mary Jane Sowards; ex-husband, Thomas Harden Holden; and niece, Megan Leigh Mitchell.

She is survived by her daughter, Rebecca Holden Smith of Charleston; sister, Tammie Mitchell of Cross Lanes; and brother, David Sowards.

There will be a private family service at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Hospice Care, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W., Charleston, WV 25387.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.hardingfamilygroup.com.

Harding Funerals & Cremations, 514 50th St. SE, Kanawha City, is serving the Holden family.

Edmond B. Huffman http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159986 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/OBIT/309159986 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:02:27 -0400 Edmond B. Huffman, 92, of Spencer, died Sept. 13, 2014. Graveside service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Billy Hunt Cemetery, Walton. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, at John H. Taylor Home, Spencer.

MARSHALL FOOTBALL: Herd defense keeps opposing QBs on the run http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM03/140919469 DM03 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM03/140919469 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:13:44 -0400 By Derek Redd HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall football team has faced a trio of running quarterbacks this season - whether those quarterbacks wanted to be considered runners or not.

The Thundering Herd's defense has kept opposing quarterbacks scrambling this year, a process that begins long before the team takes the field and helps every level of the defense. It's a streak the Herd (3-0) would like to keep rolling when the team travels Saturday to face Akron (2 p.m., ESPN3.com).

Through the first three games of 2014, Marshall's defense has amassed six sacks and 24 quarterback hurries in wins over Miami (Ohio), Rhode Island and Ohio, the first time the Herd has started a season 3-0 since its undefeated 1999 campaign. The sack total is down from the nine Marshall racked up in last season's first three games, but it's double the total of hurries. Marshall recorded 12 last season against Miami, Gardner-Webb and Ohio.

Marshall didn't record a sack against the Bobcats in its 44-14 win this past Saturday, but the Herd ended with a season-high 10 hurries. That was an ingredient that allowed Marshall's defense to finish with seven pass breakups and an interception against Ohio.

Linebacker Neville Hewitt said that work begins in the film room, with coaches pointing out to players the different tendencies each opposing quarterback has, what flusters him, when he's most flustered and what he'll do when the pocket breaks down.

"A lot of it comes from that," said Hewitt, who had a pair of hurries against Ohio. "Watching and seeing how guys move and when they're going to do certain things. When you see them do a certain thing, then you think, 'I've seen them do that before.'"

Even when the pass rush can't actually bring a quarterback down, the pursuit itself can benefit the secondary. A signal-caller on the run has to get the ball out of his hands quicker than he wants, so throws could sail high or low or miss the zip the quarterback normally gets on his throws.

That, senior corner Darryl Roberts said, gives a defensive back an easier opportunity to either bat the ball away from the intended receiver or reel in the pass himself.

"It helps any secondary just to get pressure on the quarterback," Roberts said, "to get the quarterback rattled and uncomfortable, to make him make hard throws. It just helps the secondary out a lot, knowing that the quarterback doesn't have all the time in the world to complete the pass."

n n n

AT LEAST some of the framework of Akron's offense can be found in the offense of the head coach of the other Football Bowl Subdivision program in West Virginia.

When Zips head coach Terry Bowden returned to coaching at North Alabama in 2009 - he had worked in broadcasting since leaving Auburn in the middle of the 1998 season - he linked up with former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach, now Washington State's head coach. Current West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen was on Leach's staff from 2000-07.

"When I first got back in, I figured I'd take over a program that wasn't very good and we'd have to throw it every down, so I'd gotten to know Mike Leach very well. He was out of coaching at the time, so Holgorsen was running at Oklahoma State what (Leach) was doing.

"Now, he took that offense to West Virginia, and it's changed every year a little bit," Bowden added. "So we really haven't stayed with what he's doing now as much as with what he was doing at Oklahoma State."

A significant component of Holgorsen's offense, using inside receivers as a vertical threat, is one the Zips use as well. Akron's inside receivers coach John Pont spoke at a recent clinic about how the Zips use their inside wideouts to spread the field and threaten vertically.

"We want the first three steps of every single play to look like four vertical routes," Pont said in a transcript of the talk. "I want everything with my receiver's body language to signify he is going to beat the defender deep. ... I may stop at four yards, but for the first three steps, I want him to think I'm going deep, so he is backing up."

Akron's inside receiver, Zach D'Orazio, led the Zips in catches (42), yards (567) and touchdowns (four) last season while averaging 13.5 yards a catch. The junior has a team-high nine catches this year for 98 yards, a 10.9-yard average.

n n n

BOWDEN AND Marshall coach Doc Holliday once wore the same uniform. Both played for WVU in 1977 and 1978. Bowden said Holliday's reputation for toughness and hard work was strong all the way back to his playing days.

"I always thought I could outwork anybody," Bowden said. "I always thought of myself as being a little overachiever walk-on that could outwork anybody. When Doc came along, I said, well, there was one guy where I can't outwork this guy.

"He's always been an overachiever," Bowden added. "He's a tough guy, bring your lunchbox and go to work. He's one of those guys where I better make sure I work as hard as him, because I'm not sure I'll ever outwork Doc."

n n n

HERD QUARTERBACK Rakeem Cato was named a Manning Award "Star of the Week" and the College Sports Madness Conference USA offensive player of the week Monday. The senior completed 17 of 29 passes for 425 yards, four touchdowns and an interception against Ohio. He's sixth in the FBS with nine touchdowns and ranks seventh in total offense at 368.3 yards per game.

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

WVU FOOTBALL: Sooners preparing for 'disrespectful' fans http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM03/140919470 DM03 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM03/140919470 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:12:09 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia and Oklahoma will play their third nationally televised night game in as many years when the Mountaineers play host to the No. 4-ranked Sooners Saturday.

The 7:30 p.m. kickoff will be televised by Fox.

"It will be as good as any atmosphere in college football," WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said Monday on the Big 12 coaches' teleconference. "Our guys will be fired up for it. The fan base is going to be excited. They'll be getting it on all day and they'll be having a good time with it."

WVU lost 16-7 in Norman, Oklahoma, last season and 50-49 at home in 2012. The Sooners who played in that game did not foster the fondest of memories when talking up the Mountaineer Field crowd Monday.

"They're loud and rude," defensive end Chuka Ndulue said. "It's really loud over there. On defense, we're not going to get a lot of it, but they're very loud and very rude, almost like (Texas) Tech, but I want to say (WVU fans) are the worst.

To call them the worst is more of a compliment than a detriment, and Ndulue understood and appreciated the fervent, though fierce support.

"The fans are disrespectful, but those are great fans," he said. "They're backing up their team and they'll do whatever they can to get in your head."

Junior receiver Durron Neal also called the fans "disrespectful," but he too tipped his cap to the tactics. He wasn't known in 2012 like he is now as the team's second-leading receiver, but he was nevertheless a target.

"I was a freshman and they knew some stuff about me," he said. "They really take pride in trying to get in your head and getting you off your game."

n n n

THE SOONERS (3-0) will play without leading rusher Keith Ford, who could miss a few more weeks with a broken foot.

"He won't play this week for sure," coach Bob Stoops said. "It's the non-weight bearing bone and there's a slight, small fracture, from what I understand. Since it's the non-weight bearing bone, it can be anywhere from two weeks to three. You just don't know, but for sure he won't play this week."

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Ford has 194 yards and five touchdowns on 34 carries, but the Sooners have split 87 carries pretty evenly among their top three rushers. The 5-11, 245-pound Samaje Perine has 32 carries for 171 yards and a touchdown and 6-1, 220-pound Alex Ross has 21 carries for 132 yards and three touchdowns.

They have more touchdowns (nine) than negative yards (seven).

Oklahoma is also without star recruit Joe Mixon, who was suspended for the season last month after he was charged with allegedly punching a female student in the face.

n n n

HOLGORSEN SAID his leading rusher will be ready to play Saturday. Rushel Shell, who carried 27 times for 98 yards and a touchdown against Maryland, left the game in the fourth quarter with an arm injury and did not return.

Shell had never carried more in a game and WVU hadn't given one running back as many carries since Andrew Buie ran 31 times against Texas in the 2013 season. Shell has 207 yards and two touchdowns on 51 carries, which is considerable more work than Wendell Smallwood, whose 23 carries are second on the team.

Linebacker Wes Tonkery, who sat out with a leg injury, will also play, Holgorsen said. No one else is expected to miss the game.

"We're in good shape," he said.

n n n

WVU CORNERBACK Ishmael Banks will be eligible to play this week. He was suspended for the first three games for an undisclosed university issue. He started all 12 games last season. Terrell Chestnut has started all three games this season.

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

Tax proposal sent to home rule board http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/GZ01/140919471 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/GZ01/140919471 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:03:01 -0400 By Rachel Molenda Beth Pugh, of Pugh Furniture Warehouse Showroom, said she worries Charleston's proposed sales tax hike could be "the nail in the coffin" for local businesses.

Beth Pugh, along with Steve Pugh and Nancy Ward, expressed concern during a public hearing Monday night that the half-cent increase would drive shoppers to neighboring cities and the Internet instead of their shops.

"With the Internet, that's our biggest issue these days. It's a direct competition, and I just don't believe people need one more reason to go on the Internet to shop," said Ward, who owns a shop called Cornucopia on Bridge Road.

Steve Pugh said he has customers who have started asking about the sales tax, despite it not yet being approved.

"We're more concerned about the fact that another half percent on top of this, customers will take their money elsewhere," Steve Pugh said. He also represented Pugh Furniture Warehouse Showroom. Charleston began collecting its first half-cent sales tax last October in order to pay for upgrades to the Civic Center.

Ward said she believes money can be saved in other areas.

"Trash bags, $350,000 a year? There are other ways that the city can save money besides on the backs of businesses," Ward said, referencing Charleston's refuse and recycling bag give away.

There were no speakers in favor of the proposed tax.

Charleston City Council members voted Monday to send the measure to the state's Municipal Home Rule Board for approval.

Revenue collected from the tax, which would increase to 1 percent, would be put into a reserve fund for the city's fire and police pension plans. If passed by the Home Rule Board, the bill would be read twice before city council.

If Council approves the bill, sales tax would increase beginning July 1, 2015.

Councilman Robert Sheets (D-Ward 10) was the only dissenting vote.

In other business, Council:

- Passed bills to create "no parking anytime" zones on the east side of Elmore Avenue, between Preston and Claire streets, as well as on the west side of Court Street, between Lee and Quarrier streets. The Court Street parking prohibition would last from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the ordinance.

- Allowed the city to apply for a Governor's Highway Safety program grant that would support safe community projects in the Four County Metro Valley Highway Safety program.

- Renewed a housing consortium cooperation agreement between Charleston, the Kanawha County Commission and other municipalities. This agreement allows the Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority to be charged with other public housing developments in the area.

- Learned the 2014 Charleston Rod Run and Doo Wop will be held Oct. 2-5.

Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.molenda@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102 or follow @rachelmolenda on Twitter.

Charleston City Council advances sales tax increase proposal http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM01/140919472 DM01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM01/140919472 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:55:52 -0400 By Matt Murphy A new half-cent sales tax in Charleston is one step closer to being implemented after city council voted Monday to send the proposal to the state Municipal Home Rule Board.

Only one of the city's 26 council members, Downtown/East End Democrat Robert Sheets, voted against the tax proposal.

The Municipal Home Rule Board must approve the measure because Charleston seeks to establish the tax under its home rule status. If the Home Rule Board gives the green light, the city can move forward.

As written, the new tax would take effect July 1, 2015, and would be earmarked for the city's fire and police pensions until those liabilities are fully funded.

If the tax hike is enacted, the effective sales tax in Charleston will be 7 percent, a number that includes the state's 6 percent sales tax and the city's existing half-percent tax that primarily funds renovations to the Civic Center.

Three business owners spoke against the proposed tax at Monday's meeting.

"Consumers are very unfriendly to additional taxes these days," said Steve Pugh, who owns Pugh Furniture on the East End with his wife, Beth.

Pugh said he's worried people will go to South Charleston or other cities for shopping instead of Charleston.

"It'll be the nail in the coffin," Beth Pugh said.

Nancy Ward, who owns Cornucopia in South Hills, said it is "harder and harder" to run a business, particularly with competition from the Internet.

"I believe the unintended consequences with this bill would be to drive people out of business," she said.

Ward said she supports the existing half-cent tax for the Civic Center, but customers are only willing to pay so much extra.

"I just don't believe people need one more reason to go to the Internet," she said.

Ward said the city should look for other ways to save money, like cutting the trash bag distribution.

The trash bag program costs $390,000 for the current fiscal year.

Other cities in West Virginia are already at a 7 percent tax rate, including in Huntington and four other small cities. In addition, 15 of the 22 cities applying for home rule status plan on implementing sales taxes if selected.

In other business, council:

n Approved a "no parking zone" on Elmore Avenue between Preston and Claire streets and another for Court Street between Lee and Quarrier streets that will be in effect 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is the same block on which the Charleston Town Center Mall sits.

n Authorized the mayor to sign a Housing Consortium Cooperation Agreement between the city, Kanawha County and other county municipalities for fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017. The agreement brings in federal money to help first-time home buyers.

Police say woman broke into Putnam fire station http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM02/140919473 DM02 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM02/140919473 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:53:35 -0400 A Dunbar woman was found in a Putnam County fire and rescue station wearing a stolen emergency medical technician's uniform, authorities said.

Nichole Danyel Braham, 35, of Payne Avenue, was arrested Friday in Poca. State Police Trooper C.J. Eastridge went to the Poca Emergency Medical Services station Friday morning to investigate after medics reported a break-in.

Eastridge found Braham sitting on a hallway floor "sloppily dressed" in a medic's uniform, according to a complaint filed in Putnam Magistrate Court.

Poca paramedic Jason Parsons told Eastridge he'd been sleeping in the building when he was awakened by a noise. He got up to check out the sound and found Braham rifling through lockers, the complaint said. She tried to run but he grabbed her and held her on the floor until police came.

Officers found that she'd stashed items stolen from the building just outside the door. Those items included rubbing alcohol, a cellphone charger, Parsons' pay stubs, bedding and dishes, according to the complaint.

Braham first identified herself as Krystal Adkins but a search of that name turned up no driving or criminal records. A fingerprint scan at the State Police detachment in Winfield identified her as Braham.

Braham also apparently was a suspect in an incident at Dollar General in Poca earlier that Friday. Store employees said a woman wearing cut-off jean shorts had been taking items from the shelves and throwing them, according to the complaint.

A store manager took a photo of her. The photo matched Braham, who was wearing denim shorts under the stolen medic's uniform.

Braham is being held without bond at Western Regional Jail.

US aims to stop extremists http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/ARTICLE/140919474 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/ARTICLE/140919474 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:37:22 -0400


WASHINGTON - The Justice Department is launching a series of pilot programs in cities around the country to deal with American extremists intent on joining the fighting in countries like Syria and Iraq, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

The programs are designed in part to detect American extremists who are looking to join terror organizations, including the Islamic State militant group, and will bring together religious leaders, prosecutors and community representatives.

"Today, few threats are more urgent than the threat posed by violent extremism. And with the emergence of groups like ISIL, and the knowledge that some Americans are attempting to travel to countries like Syria and Iraq to take part in ongoing conflicts, the Justice Department is responding appropriately," Holder said in a video message Monday, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

The Justice Department did not immediately reveal which cities will be part of the pilot programs.

The White House, meanwhile, is scheduled to host a summit next month on the topic of countering violent extremists.

American law enforcement and intelligence officials have for months expressed concerns about Westerners who have traveled to Syria to take part in the fighting there. Last week, a 19-year-old Colorado woman pleaded guilty to trying to help the Islamic State group. Her plea deal requires her to give authorities information about other Americans with the same intentions.

Other countries have proposed or taken actions to deal with the problem of foreign fighters.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed new laws that would give police the power to seize the passports of Britons suspected of having traveled abroad to fight with terrorist groups. And German authorities recently banned all activity on behalf of the Islamic State group, including the distribution of propaganda material and the display of its symbols.

Chinese city trials cellphone sidewalk http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/ARTICLE/140919475 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/ARTICLE/140919475 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:36:56 -0400


The Washington Post

China, home to 700 million smartphone users, is now experimenting with new ways to prevent smartphone-related accidents: On a 165-foot pavement stretch in the city of Chongqing, pedestrians can choose between a normal lane and an exclusive one reserved for heavy users of mobile devices.

"There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here," Nong Cheng, a marketing official for the group in charge of Chongqing's entertainment zone, told the Associated Press.

The idea is based on an experiment conducted by National Geographic Television earlier this year in Washington, D.C. - and is supposed to (ironically) raise awareness for the lack of attention many smartphone users pay to traffic and other pedestrians.

The problem of smartphone-focused pedestrians is not unique to China. According to the University of Washington, one in three Americans is busy dealing with a smartphone or other device at risky road crossings. It can lead to dangerous situations: The U.S. Department of Transportation recently established a connection between the increase in pedestrian deaths and such habits.

However, doubts have arisen over the mass practicability of exclusive lanes. Many pedestrians in Chongqing seemed confused, and clearly ignored the instructions.

The Chinese People's Daily newspaper tweeted pictures on Saturday showing pedestrians with and without smartphones using the cellphone sidewalk.

Shortly after the cellphone-lane was introduced, the preliminary analysis seemed sobering.

"Those using their cellphones of course have not heeded the markings on the pavement. They don't notice them," Nong told the AP.

Switch to online tests delays Westest scores http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/GZ01/140919476 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/GZ01/140919476 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:28:28 -0400 The Associated Press HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A former bank officer in Barboursville has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to repay his bank $1.4 million in misallocated funds.

The government says Jackie Cantley, 34, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Huntington.

Cantley was a vice president of First State Bank. Between January and September of 2012, Cantley authorized a series of loans beyond his lending authority. He also did not provide the required disclosures about family and personal relationships among him and the borrowers.

The Justice Department says Cantley knew the borrowers were not credit-worthy but he still authorized $1.4 million in loans. He personally benefited from one loan when the proceeds were used to purchase a pizza business. He was a part owner.

Cantley pleaded guilty in February.

State swears in new superintendent of schools http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM01/140919478 DM01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM01/140919478 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:06:41 -0400 By Samuel Speciale Nearly three months after being named state superintendent of schools, Michael Martirano has finally come to West Virginia.

Martirano officially became the state's 30th schools chief Monday during a swearing-in ceremony at the state Culture Center. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Davis administered the oath.

The state Board of Education selected Martirano in June after a months-long nationwide search that cost $43,000, but the hire couldn't become official until he fulfilled a contractual obligation to St. Mary's County Schools in southern Maryland, where he was superintendent for nine years. Monday was his first day with the Department of Education.

At the ceremony, Martirano repeated many pledges and statements he gave when Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin introduced him to the public in July. He said West Virginians need to have a "fierce urgency" if they want to improve achievement for all students.

"Young people are counting on us now for their future," he told department staff in attendance. "And I want us to galvanize around a clear vision of one voice, one focus and all students achieving."

Martirano said adopting his vision is critical, though success is dependent on each citizen being involved.

"All of us need to work together to make a difference for our young people," he said. "They are the future of our state."

Martirano added that a student's success or failure affects others as well.

"When students achieve, everyone benefits," he said. "When one drops out, we all suffer."

According to Department of Education and U.S. Census Bureau data, nearly 12 percent of high school students in West Virginia drop out, about 20 percent do not graduate on time and the poverty rate is nearly 18 percent, one of highest in the country.

For Martirano, securing West Virginia's economic future depends on bolstering today's education, which is why he has pledged to copy the success he had in Maryland. During his time there, the graduation rate improved from 82 percent to 92 percent despite several socioeconomic factors that held the system back for years.

Martirano expects to eventually see similar improvements in West Virginia, but realizes change will take time.

"Improvement is a journey - a marathon," he said. "We can't sprint to the end. There needs to be sustained effort every year."

Martirano also has said improvement requires making sure students are ready to learn and intervening when they don't perform well.

Low-performing students were the subject of Martirano's first school visit. After the ceremony, he visited Edgewood Elementary School, a "school of the future" Kanawha County education officials hope will help some of the district's lowest performing students achieve.

Martirano said the visit is symbolic of his agenda.

"This school defines innovation, and we need to be innovative thinkers looking forward."

While St. Mary's County differs greatly from West Virginia, Martirano faced many of the same issues he expects to see in West Virginia.

"I've worked in schools with large poverty rates," he said, later adding that some of his schools in St. Mary's County had 90 percent free or reduced price lunch eligibility among students.

Martirano's administration responded by making sure quality teachers were in every classroom and providing opportunities for collaboration and feedback, a tactic he intends to use here.

When asked what he will do next, Martirano said he will build relationships with his staff and stakeholders. He spoke with each county superintendent Monday by video conference.

Martirano was a teacher, principal and district superintendent in Maryland. He was named Maryland Superintendent of the Year in 2009 and 2010 Innovator of the Year by the Maryland Daily Record, a Baltimore-based business and legal newspaper.

Martirano will earn an annual salary of $230,000.

Contact writer Samuel Speciale at sam.speciale@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4886. Follow him at www.twitter.com/wvschools.

Probability of deer collisions in W.Va. on the rise http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM05/140919479 DM05 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140915/DM05/140919479 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:04:52 -0400 By Jared Hunt West Virginians are 5 percent more likely to hit a deer while driving this year compared to last year, according to new data from insurer State Farm.

The nation's largest provider of auto insurance on Monday published its 12th-annual study profiling motorists' probability of striking a deer across the country. For the eighth year in a row, West Virginia topped the list with the highest probability of deer-vehicle collisions.

Mountain State motorists have a 1 in 39 chance of striking a deer on state roads. That compares to a 1 in 169 national average.

"Once again, West Virginia is number one," said State Farm spokesman Dave Phillips.

The national odds of hitting a deer increased 3 percent this year, while the odds of hitting one in West Virginia increased nearly 5 percent from 1 in 41 last year.

The average cost of damages is up as well.

State Farm reported the average property damage claim for a deer collision totals $3,888, up nearly 14 percent from the $3,414 average cost in 2013.

The probabilities were calculated using state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration and the number of deer collision claims submitted to State Farm between July 1, 2013, and June 30 of this year.

"Changes in collision rates from year to year are a reflection of changing deer densities or population levels - more deer in a given area increases the potential for collision," said Ron Regan, executive director of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. "Deer populations are also affected by conditions such as new or improved roads with higher speeds near deer habitat, changes to hunting seasons to manage wildlife, winter conditions and other related factors."

Pennsylvania had the second-greatest chance of hitting a deer this year, with odds coming in at 1 in 71; Montana was third with odds of 1 in 75.

Roughly one-tenth of the country's deer collisions (123,941 collisions) occurred in Pennsylvania during the last year. However, when taking into account the number of licensed drivers in the state, West Virginia came out on top with the greatest likelihood of hitting a deer.

And drivers should beware: the most likely months for deer collisions - October, November and December - are right around the corner.

"A lot of that has to do with the continuation of deer migration and the mating season that starts around this time of year," Phillips said.

November is the busiest time for collisions, according to State Farm data, with 18 percent of all collisions occurring during that month. October ranks a close second, with December coming in third.

The most active time for deer collisions is near dusk, between 6 and 9 p.m., as well as in the hours around dawn.

Phillips said the best way to avoid a collision is to stay alert and avoid speeding.

"One of the most simple ways is just maintaining awareness and slowing down," he said. "It seems so basic but that really is the best part of prevention."

State Farm recommends avoiding distractions, such as cellphone use and eating while driving. It also recommends drivers use extra caution in known deer zones, use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic and continually scan the road for deer and other danger signs while driving.

Phillips said it is important to remember that deer often move in groups, so even if a driver sees one deer well away from the road, they should presume other deer are in the area.

He also said drivers should avoid relying on devices such as deer whistles mounted on the front of their vehicles. He said insurance studies have not shown whistles to be an effective deterrent.

State Farm also recommends drivers avoid swerving when they see a deer.

"If you really don't have that much time to react, it is sometimes better to strike the deer instead of swerve," Phillips said.

"The swerving could cause you to go off an embankment, end up hitting a tree or hit a car in an oncoming lane, and the injury and the damage from that could be worse than striking a deer," he said. "It's hard to digest when you're in the moment, but the possibility of injury for yourself and injury to others is compounded with swerving."

Drivers should be sure to wear their seatbelt as well. In 2012, there were 175 deaths caused by collisions with animals, with deer being the animal most often struck, according to the Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Phillips said in the majority of those cases, the deceased was not wearing a seatbelt.

Contact writer Jared Hunt at business@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4836.