www.wvgazette.com http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: December 19, 2014 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT01/312199973 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT01/312199973 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:34 -0500 Anderson, Joseph Noon, Preston Funeral Home, Charleston.


Bailey, Phyllis J. 11 a.m., Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.


Belcher, Dennis Sr. 7 p.m., Walkers Chapel, Tuppers Creek.


Corns, Jacquetta K. 11 a.m., Tabernacle of Praise, Cross Lanes.


Fleshman, Betty A. 2 p.m., Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Lewisburg.


Hackney, Mildred I. 1 p.m., Elk Funeral Home, Charleston.


Holcomb, Nancy E. 1 p.m., Fidler and Frame Funeral Home, Belle.


Hughes, Beulah A. 1 p.m., John H. Taylor Funeral Home, Spencer.


Lloyd, Reta B. Noon, Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.


McClain, Roy L. 2 p.m., Gatens


Milhoan, Betty J. 1 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.


Richards, Helen J. 2 p.m., Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.


Shaffer, Loretta 2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home Chapel, Elkview.


Smith, Jason M. 1 p.m., Freeman Funeral Home, Chapmanville.


Taylor, Bernice E. 11 a.m., Princeton First United Methodist Church, Princeton.


Trembly, Bessie M. Noon, Busch

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Cora Burnett http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199985 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199985 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:25 -0500 Cora Jean McKinney Cartmill Burnett, 87, of Titusville, Fla., formerly of Beckley, passed gently to her eternal home on Dec. 15, 2014.

Cora Jean was born to Robert Nelson and Daisy McKinney at the family farm on Barker's Ridge on Feb. 23, 1927. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husbands, James Cartmill and John Burnett, and all seven of her siblings, Byron, Gael, Leona June, James, Gid, Aven and Roberta.

Her life was dedicated to caring for others. She graduated from licensed practical nurses training in 1959 and achieved the state's highest score on her board exams for that year. She served as president of the local Practical Nurses Association for several years and provided medical care for over 30 years at various hospitals in the Beckley area. She was also a member of the Eastern Star, Bethlehem Chapter 71, and of St. Mary's Methodist Church. She loved gardening and was known for the beautiful flowers that always surrounded her home.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughters, Peggy Cartmill Insula (Eugenio) of Port St. John, Fla., and Janice Burnett Morgan of Cross Lanes; grandchildren, Valerie Hunter Kelly of Port St. John, Fla., Travis Hunter (Fran) of Clarksville, Tenn., Lucas Wurtzburger of Oviedo, Fla., Will Morgan of Morgantown and John Morgan of Fayetteville; and great-grandchildren, Savannah and Zander Kelly and Danielle and Michael Green.

The family would like to thank the staffs of Titusville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and Hospice of St. Francis, who took such wonderful care of Cora in her last years.

Funeral service for Cora will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at St. Mary's United Methodist Church, Beckley. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens.

Friends may gather from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.blueridgefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Blue Ridge Funeral Home, 5251 Robert C. Byrd Drive, Beckley.

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Susie E. Canterbury http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199981 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199981 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:27 -0500 Susie Evelyn Phillips Canterbury, 89, of Oak Hill, died Dec. 17, 2014. Service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at the funeral home.

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Nola May Carter http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199989 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199989 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:23 -0500 Mrs. Nola May Carter, 46, of Dry Branch, Ranger, died Dec. 17, 2014. Service will be noon Saturday, Dec. 20, at Evans Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Chapmanville, with visitation beginning one hour prior.

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Mary J. Dittebrand http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199994 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199994 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:21 -0500 Mary Joanne Dittebrand was born on August 11, 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio, and went home to be with our Lord on Monday, December 15, 2014 after a courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was 60 years old. Mary was predeceased by her father, John Thomas Murphy and mother, Florence Joan Murphy (Rybicki).

Mary was a graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Education and a Master's Degree in Deaf Education. She was a gifted, loving and caring teacher of the deaf and more recently preschool children at Shoals Elementary in Charleston, where she had a positive influence on hundreds of students and families over the past 33 years. A dedicated member of Bridge of Faith Fellowship in Nitro, West Virginia, Mary loved her church and served it faithfully for over 30 years.

Mary led a full life which was mostly spent enriching the lives of others. In addition to teaching and involvement in her church, she was a volunteer at The River City Youth Ballet for more than 13 years, a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader and a Little League volunteer. She loved Broadway musicals, collected snowmen & was a talented baker whose specialty was cupcakes. But nothing brought her more joy than her children and grandchildren, especially at Christmas time.

Mary is survived by her sons, Adam Dittebrand (April) and Seth Dittebrand, daughter, Lauren Dittebrand, and grandchildren, Bryleigh, Emma, and Abel Dittebrand. One of 11 children, Mary is also survived by her siblings, Nellann (Bob) Nipper of Erie, PA, Kathy (John) Vitale of North Royalton, OH, John Tom (Karen) Murphy of Hudson, OH, Congressman Tim (Nan Missig) Murphy of Pittsburgh, PA, Susan (Kevin) Johnson of Hilliard, OH, Erin (Paul) Bailey of Lockport, NY, Heather (Peter) von Allmen of Gansevoort, NY, Sarah (Rick) Kluge of Ravenna, OH, Ray (Karen) Murphy of Brunswick, OH and many nieces and nephews.

Despite Mary's diagnosis, she never let cancer defeat her. She continued to work, teach, bake, play, and enjoy each day to the fullest even until the very end. A celebration of Mary's life will be held Friday, January 2 at 2 p.m. at Bridge of Faith Fellowship, 402 Main Street, Nitro, WV. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Mary's honor to the David Lee Cancer Center, Charleston Memorial Hospital in Charleston, West Virginia or Bridge of Faith Fellowship in Nitro.

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Pamela Ann Edens http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199988 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199988 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:23 -0500 Pamela Ann Edens, 64, of O'Fallon, Ill., formerly of Mammoth, passed away Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Belleville, Ill.

She graduated from Cedar Grove High School, and was a graduate from Charleston General School of Nursing. She retired from Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, Ill., after 30 years of service.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Shorty and Jacqueline Buckley Edens.

She is survived by her sister, J. Elaine Basford of O'Fallon, Ill.; nephew, Jeffrey (Tami) Basford; nieces, Rhonda Basford and Vonda (Larry) Fultz; great-nieces and -nephews, Matthew, Kristal, Johnny, Ashley, Taylor and Abigail; two great-great-nieces, Adeline and Elaine.

Service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, 600 Old Fort St., Cedar Grove, with Pastor Gary Tucker officiating. Entombment will follow the service at Montgomery Memorial Park, London.

Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the funeral home Saturday.

Cooke Funeral Home, Cedar Grove, is assisting the Edens family.

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Allen K. Hambrick http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199991 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199991 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:22 -0500 Allen K. Hambrick, 92, of Charleston, breathed his final breath here and went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Dec. 16, 2014 after a short illness.

Preceding him in death were his wife, Georgia; parents, Alfred and Della; five brothers; and two sisters.

Our Dad was a Christian who loved to read and study the Bible. For the past 60 years he served the Most High God and was known by friends and family as a man of integrity and great faith. He was a good, decent, and hard-working man his entire life. All who were fortunate to know him will miss his humor and quick-wit, his thoughtfulness, his caring attitude, inspiration and wisdom. He was unselfish and reached out a helping hand to all and affected the lives of many.

He was a veteran who loved and served his country with honor on the Amphibious Attack Transport USS Hunter Liggett with the United States Coast Guard during World War II. His assignment was with the medical department, where he took care of sick and injured patients and also assisted in the operating room.

Allen was a 20-year store manager for Kroger and a 27-year store manager for O.V. Smith & Sons. He retired in 1989 and did volunteer work for the Charleston Mountain Mission Social Services Department for the past 25 years. He faithfully attended the Charleston Mountain Mission daily and sang in the radio broadcast choir. When the broadcast was finished, he volunteered several hours sorting and shelving donated food. Then he would box up food to be given to those in need. Many times he would take boxes of his own food to people in need that he met while shopping around Charleston.

Survivors include his loving daughters, Carolyn Sue (Jerry) Cavender of Kenna and Linda Jean DeFrehn of Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; son, Bradley Allen (Robin) Hambrick of Charleston; grandchildren, Megan, Amanda, Jerry II, Andrea and Holly; great-grandchildren, Natalia, Isaac, Mya, Keylee, Dakota and soon-to-be-born Giovanni; several nephews and wonderful nieces, including Shirley and Doris; and family friend, Reba.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at Charleston Mountain Mission Church with the Rev. Tom Price officiating. Burial will be 1 p.m. Monday at Elk Hills Memorial Park, Big Chimney, with military rites provided by American Legion Post 61, Clendenin.

Visitation will be one hour prior to service time Saturday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, please bring non-perishable food donations to the service or drop them by Mountain Mission Social Services food pantry, or make a donation to the Mountain Mission Food Pantry, 1620 7th Ave., Charleston, WV 25387.

The family will accept online condolences at cpjfuneralhome.com.

Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the Hambrick family.

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Howard C. Hudson http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199977 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199977 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:30 -0500 Howard C. Hudson, 83, of Fairmont, formerly of Powellton, died Dec. 17, 2014. He was born Dec. 23, 1930 in Montgomery, and was the son of the late Tom and Beatrice Branham Hudson. Also preceding him in death were his wife, Mary Lou Woods Hudson; daughter, Dreama Gail Hudson; and three brothers and two sisters.

Howard was a retired manger of A&P Foodstore in Montgomery and Mannington.

Surviving are his daughter, Brenda Pritt and her husband, Gary, of Powellton; the love of his life, Helen Merico of Fairmont; sisters, Ethel White and her husband, James Paul, of Powellton and Sheila Hudson of Charleston; grandsons, John "Samuel" Lowe Jr. of Huntington and Aaron Howard Lowe of Charleston; and great-grandchildren, Alexis, Madison, Abigail and John Lowe III.

Service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery, with the Rev. Brenda Neil officiating. Burial will follow at Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens, Glasgow.

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

Expressions of sympathy can be sent at www.odellfuneralhome.com

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Theodore J. Johnson http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199984 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199984 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:25 -0500 Theodore J. Johnson, 75, went to be with the Lord on Dec. 17, 2014.

A resident of Cocoa, Fla., he was born in Charleston, W.Va., and graduated from South Charleston High School. He served his country in the United States Army and Air Force, and retired from Boeing at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

He was preceded in death by his father, Golden R. Johnson, and mother, Rosa B. (Black) Johnson; his brothers, Leo, Jessie and Edsel Johnson; and his sisters, Bessie Korecky, Lucille Gatewood and Mazie Stewart. Survived by his wife, Patricia Johnson; daugther, Lisa Cochran; son, David Johnson and wife, Tammy Johnson, and four grandchildren; brothers, George Johnson of Portage, Ind., and Robert Johnson of Hurricane, W.Va.; sisters, Elizabeth Scott of Charleston, W.Va., Virginia Evans of Dunbar, W.Va., and Patricia Cook of Clearwater, Fla.; and brother-in law, Sonny Stewart of Fayetteville, N.C.

Ted had a heart of gold and cherished every conversation he had with family and friends.

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Betty Tincher Kees http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199995 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/OBIT/312199995 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:02:21 -0500 Betty Jean Tincher Kees, 79, of Bonaire, Ga., went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.

Betty was born July 3, 1935 in Carbon, W.Va., to the late Algin and Mary Hampton Tincher. She was a longtime member of Second Baptist Church, where she attended the Lydia Sunday School Class. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister.

Her memory will forever be treasured by her loving husband of 59 years, Glenn Kees; children, Mary Elizabeth Bickley (Randy) and Gina L. Kees, both of Bonaire; granddaughter, Amanda Aguilar (Edwin) of Bonaire; grandson, Christopher Bickley (Teri) of Silverado, Calif.; five great-grandchildren; sisters, Pauline Billanti (Eugene) of Decota, W.Va., and Sandy Tagtow (Mickey) of Titusville, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be 11 a.m. to noon Friday, Dec. 19, at McCullough Funeral Home, Warner Robins, Ga. Funeral service will follow at noon in the chapel of McCullough Funeral Home, with interment following in Magnolia Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests memorial donations be given in memory of Betty Kees to Second Baptist Church Helping Hearts Ministry, 2504 Moody Road, Warner Robins, GA 31088.

Go to www.mcculloughfh.com to sign the online registry for the family. McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has charge of arrangements.

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Boca Raton Bowl notebook: Doc, Pitt unlikely to fit http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219113 GZ02 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219113 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:08:29 -0500 By Doug Smock WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Let the record show that Doc Holliday is on Florida soil and he's wearing kelly-green Marshall gear.

That latter is very likely to remain the same after Holliday and his Thundering Herd depart here.

With speculation underway on who will replace Paul Chryst at Pittsburgh, the fifth-year Marshall coach is attracting attention. And indeed, a source said, Pitt officials have asked if they can visit with Holliday.

But Holliday is expected to remain committed to Marshall, staying put after the Thundering Herd plays Northern Illinois at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Boca Raton Bowl.

"I'm not concerned about anything but this game, and getting this team ready to go play," he said as his team deplaned at Palm Beach International Airport.

Nobody in the Marshall party was complaining about the change in weather. When the team's jumbo-jet charter took off in Huntington, it was 30 degrees and overcast; the travelers were greeted by mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70s.

"We all had our jackets on, getting on the plane," said tight end Eric Frohnapfel. "And then getting off, everyone's sweating already. That's nice, though. It feels great down here."

NIU landed just after MU's party left the airport grounds - in fact, that charter had to circle above PBI until the tardy Herd charter had time to clear out. The Huskies had their first bowl-venue practice Thursday afternoon, then attended their welcome party in the evening at West Palm Beach.

For Herd players, the day started well before sunrise, with a 6 a.m. practice indoors at the new Cline Athletic Center. They showered and bused to Tri-State Airport for the trip south.

The Herd went straight to its welcome party at Frank Theatres CineBowl and Grille in Delray Beach. Yes, it's a bowling alley with a full-service grill and bar attached to the movie theater. (No, booze was not on the team's menu.)

Even better: In this age of sensory overload, you can watch ESPN SportsCenter flashing on a large projection screen above the pins. Automatic scoring is still around, telling the Herd players and coaches they really should stick to football.

"I'm very far below average," Frohnapfel said. "Usually a 50s, 60s-type guy. I don't think I've ever broke triple digits."

After the bowl-a-palooza, the Herd party became acquainted with one of the best perks of the visit, the team hotel. The Herd is staying at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a property under the Waldorf-Astoria umbrella. NIU is staying at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens.

"The Boca Raton Resort is a landmark in Boca Raton," said Doug Mosley, the bowl's executive director. "It's so historic and everything, was originally developed by Addison Mizner, whose name is all over town, and the various architectures and everything he inspired."

The Herd will return to business at noon today, at its practice venue 7 miles away at St. Andrew's School.

"They've had a long grind at home, so they're really glad to get down here," Holliday said.

Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsmock@wvgazette.com or follow @dougsmock on Twitter.

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Herd with momentum as basketball road trip begins http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219114 GZ02 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219114 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:06:52 -0500 By Doug Smock After a 4-6 start in games mostly played in the state of West Virginia, Marshall's basketball team begins its mini-tour of America today at Arkansas State.

Tipoff time is 3 p.m. at the 10,038-seat Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas. After today, the Herd heads west to play Nevada on Monday, with that game tipping at 10 p.m.

Arkansas State is 3-4, but that record is forgotten when you consider what the Red Wolves achieved in their last game Wednesday - a 69-55 dismantling of Mississippi State on the Bulldogs' home floor.

It was the Red Wolves' first win over a Southeastern Conference team since December 2004, and it has MU coach Dan D'Antoni's full attention.

"They have two bigs inside and they have a little lefty that's a really good scorer," D'Antoni said. "We're going to have to make sure that each game is different from the game before."

Six-foot-8 Anthony Livingston leads the Red Wolves in scoring (16.0 points per game) and rebounding (6.6). The other "big" is Nouhoum Bocoum, who averages 8.0 points and 6.4 rebounds.

D'Antoni likely was referring to the "little lefty" as 6-0, 158-pound Cameron Golden, who averages 14.9 points, 4.0 assists and 2.1 steals. Sean Gardner, a 6-5 guard, adds 13.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

The Herd is happy to be coming off a win for the first time in a month, snapping a six-game losing streak by beating Division II King of Bristol (Tenn.) 90-76. It was the third year in a row the Herd has won the game after playing West Virginia, but that list does include King, an NAIA school and Coppin State.

But it's momentum, and Marshall needs all it for the upcoming road trip.

"We executed well enough to win the game. I was proud of them," D'Antoni said.

Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsmock@wvgazette.com or follow @dougsmock on Twitter.

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Justice leads Summers girls to win over Clay http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219115 GZ02 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219115 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:05:42 -0500 By D.J. Williams For the Saturday Gazette-Mail The Charleston Civic Center has been a kind place to Summers County coach Wayne Ryan, and Friday was no different.

Sophomore guard Whittney Justice scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Summers County defeated Clay County 65-44 Friday afternoon in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hoops Classic at the Civic Center.

"I'm really proud of my performance," Justice said. "I wouldn't have been able to do it without God and my teammates though. I am just happy that we were able to get the win against a good team. Coach [Ryan] told us that we were going to have to rebound the ball and play defense to win the game and I feel like we were able to do those."

From 2006 to 2011, Summers County appeared in the Class AA state championship game at the Civic Center and won five championships in a row. The lone loss came when the Bobcats dropped a 59-42 decision to Winfield in 2006.

"You want to be here in March," Ryan said. "But if you can be here now and get the opportunity to play on the floor then I think it's to your advantage. It's good to be in this environment, surroundings and on the big floor.

Fortunately for Ryan, "Justice" was served in the first half of Friday's matchup.

Behind Whittney and twin sister Brittney Justice, the Bobcats (5-0) jumped out to a 30-22 halftime lead as Whittney Justice accounted for 14 points and Brittney Justice scored nine.

"In the first half, we did a good job of getting the tempo where we wanted it," Ryan said. "Whittney did a really god job creating tempo in the first half and that's how we got the lead. We got the game fast enough to get some offense in transition and that gave us a working lead. Then we were able to concentrate on our half-court defense."

Brittney Justice finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Despite four points in the first half from all-state guard Mckinzee Barker, Clay County (4-2) narrowed the deficit to four points in the third quarter but would get no closer. The Bobcats led by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter.

"[Clay County is] very good," Ryan said. "At one point, McKinzee got hot. She made some tough shots. I was proud of our team, though, because we answered and didn't panic.

"This is a good win because they are a tournament-caliber team. They have some college basketball players, so we are going to appreciate our effort and try to get better."

Barker led all Clay scorers with 14 points, while Payton Lucas added 11.

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Hoops Classic roundup: Nitro boys get first win http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219116 GZ02 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219116 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:04:49 -0500 Trevon Taylor tossed in 22 points Friday afternoon as Nitro earned its first victory of the season with a 69-50 comeback conquest of Point Pleasant during the FCA Hoops Classic at the Civic Center.

Neil Sallada added 16 points and Ian Lee 11 for the Wildcats (1-3), who led just 39-38 after three quarters and blew it open in the fourth period.

For the Big Blacks, Brian Gibbs tallied 15 points.

Wood County 63, Elk Valley 24: Doug Ernest had 18 points and Logan Huck 14 to spark Wood County Christian to victory. For Elk Valley Christian, David Johnson scored a team-high nine points.

Sissonville 56, Charleston Catholic 50: Madison Jones poured in 38 points as the Indians held off the Irish. The Indians led 35-34 entering the fourth quarter. Jones finished with 15 made free throws to boost her scoring total. For the Irish, Catherine Bandak had 26 points, Vida Imani 12 and Maddy Blaydes 10.

Wood County 59, Elk Valley 44: Heather Lord tallied 31 points and Hannah Lord 11 to pace Wood County Christian. For EVC, Hannah Williams had 25 points and Katie Burdette 12.

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Linebacker to transfer from Michigan to WVU http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219117 GZ02 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ02/141219117 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:01:15 -0500 A former four-star recruit from St. Clairsville, Ohio, has transferred from Michigan to West Virginia.

Michael Ferns, a 6-foot-3, 239-pound linebacker, made the decision to leave Michigan after the school fired coach Brady Hoke, who had gotten a commitment from Ferns as a sophomore in high school. Ferns enrolled at UM in January, but ended up redshirting this season.

He will have to sit out the 2015 season as a transfer and then will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Ferns was a top-150 recruit out of high school according to ESPN and the No. 7 player in Ohio in 2013 according to Rivals.

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Riverside recommends Davis as football coach http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/WH01/141219118 WH01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/WH01/141219118 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:16:19 -0500 By Rick Ryan The last time Riverside filled its football coaching position, it went outside Kanawha County. This time, it appears as if the Warriors are going out of state.

The Gazette-Mail has learned that Zach Davis, the 28-year-old defensive coordinator at Eagle's Landing Christian Academy in Georgia, will be recommended for the job that became vacant when Steven Freeman stepped down following the season.

His hiring is contingent on the expected approval of the Kanawha County school board, which has its next regular meeting scheduled for Jan. 15.

Valery Harper, principal at Riverside, said her search committee completed its interview process on Monday and came up with a candidate who "stood above all others.'' Harper would not verify that Davis was the committee's choice, but did say that the coach selected is from outside West Virginia and plans to move into the community.

Davis, son of former major league pitcher Storm Davis, brings a solid resume to the position.

Eagle's Landing, though just 7-7, advanced to the Georgia Class A private school championship game earlier this month before losing to Mount Paran 49-7. That game was played in the Georgia Dome.

Davis has served as the program's defensive coordinator the last two seasons, with his defense allowing just 11.3 points per game in the regular season during that stretch. ELCA won the state 2012 Class A private title.

A biology and science teacher at the school, Davis also serves as a writer for the website strongfootballcoach.com. He received his undergraduate degree from Liberty, where he was an offensive lineman and three-year letterman. He was awarded a master's in education from Arkansas State.

Davis starred as a center at Trinity Christian in Jacksonville, Florida, and was recruited to play at East Carolina. After a year, he transferred to Liberty.

He steps into a situation at Riverside where the program hasn't had a winning season or playoff berth since 2007. Freeman's two-year stint resulted in records of 1-9 last year and 0-10 this season.

Freeman came to Riverside from Huntington, where he'd previously served as an assistant coach. A Cabell Midland and Marshall graduate, Freeman was the first hire outside Kanawha County for the Warriors' program, which opened in the fall of 1999 as a consolidation of DuPont and East Bank.

The first two coaches at Riverside were Dick Whitman, the longtime DuPont coach, and Ralph Hensley, formerly of East Bank. Each won multiple state titles at those Kanawha County schools before coming to Riverside. The Warriors, though, reached the state finals just once - in their inaugural 1999 season, losing to Parkersburg in the title game.

Harper said the process of interviewing for and selecting a coaching candidate was "a little bit different'' this time around.

She said among the search committee members were Tony DeMeo, who stepped down in 2010 following six seasons as the University of Charleston football coach; Riverside athletic director Ryan Carter, the school's former basketball coach; as well as unnamed members of the school's football boosters and athletic boosters. Also included was a senior football player.

"That gave us a little bit of interest from the student side as well,'' Harper said. "We're really happy with what it added to our conversation. It was really different this time.''

Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazette.com.

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MARSHALL FOOTBALL: Herd balancing work and play at the Boca Raton Bowl http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/DM03/141219119 DM03 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/DM03/141219119 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:09:42 -0500 By Derek Redd DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Marshall senior corner Darryl Roberts couldn't wait to announce to anyone in listening distance the good news - he bowled a strike on his first roll down the lane at CineBowl in Delray Beach.

Others like senior tight end Eric Frohnapfel weren't, and usually aren't, so successful on the lanes.

"I'm very far below average," he said. "Very far below average. I'm a 50s-60s-type guy."

Yet the point of Friday afternoon's Boca Raton Bowl welcoming party for the Thundering Herd football team was to have fun. And plenty of fun was had. Players, coaches, staff and their families could strap on bowling shoes for a few frames, fill their plates at the buffet line or head over to the arcade games.

The Conference USA champion Herd players know, though, when the fun ends and the business part of their trip to Florida - preparing for Tuesday's bowl game against Mid-American Conference champ Northern Illinois - begins.

"I think today is just a laid-back day," Frohnapfel said. "I think once Sunday rolls around, we'll really be in preparation. We'll start meetings and stuff tomorrow. Today is just a time to hang out."

Friday's welcome party wasn't the only event the Herd (12-1) could use to kick back. There will be a beach party for the team at Lake Worth Pier on Saturday afternoon, and players will visit patients at the West Boca Pediatric Center on Sunday morning. The Herd also will have a pep rally Monday night in Mizner Park in Boca Raton.

But the team also will practice Saturday and Sunday afternoons. For the veterans, the bowl atmosphere is old hat. The seniors will play in their third on Tuesday (6 p.m., ESPN) after playing in the 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl and last season's Military Bowl. So there is plenty of advice for those older players to give the younger set about how to both enjoy the pomp and circumstance and attack the preparation.

"There's a whole lot that goes on around the bowl game and you basically only get two practices," redshirt junior running back Remi Watson said. "So you basically just tell them to stay focused. At the end of the day, at the end of this all, we still have to line up and play another game."

There is plenty of motivation for Marshall's players to remain attentive in getting ready for Tuesday's contest. The champion-versus-champion matchup gives the winner the satisfaction of cementing its status as one of the top Group of Five teams in college football. The Herd has cleared the 13-win threshold just twice in program history.

Plus there's the motivation that comes from Marshall's coaching staff. Roberts said they'll make sure to let the team know when playtime is over.

"It's not really hard, especially when you have coaches like (defensive coordinator Chuck) Heater and (head coach) Doc (Holliday)," Roberts said. "They're going to really be on us and let us know when we're get out of line, so everything will stay on track."

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IT HAS BEEN mentioned plenty that Tuesday's bowl is a chance for the 29 Floridians on Marshall's roster to finish the season in their home state. It also gives nine NIU players the same opportunity. What is different about that, Watson said, is that he doesn't know any of the NIU's Florida players, which is a rarity. Earlier this week, quarterback Rakeem Cato, a Miami native, said the same.

"For the most part, regardless of who we're playing, I'm going to know somebody on the other team, whether I met them at a camp or they were in my area. But this literally is the first time in college that I don't know anybody on that other team's roster."

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.

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Enrollment open for citizens police academy http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ01/141219120 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ01/141219120 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:03:52 -0500 Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Charleston Police Department is accepting applications for enrollment into the department's Citizens' Police Academy, set to begin March 3.

The academy is a 10-week, free program open to anyone 18 years of age and older.

Participants will meet on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Charleston Police Department Training Center.

Each week, police officers will present on a different law enforcement topic with classroom and hands-on instruction.

Applications are available through the Charleston Police Department Public Services Division or online at www.charlestonwvpolice.org and are due by Feb. 6.

Call 304-348-6470 for more information.

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New system has not helped family http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/ARTICLE/141219121 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/ARTICLE/141219121 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:16:51 -0500

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ACA has been a blessing http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/ARTICLE/141219122 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/ARTICLE/141219122 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:16:48 -0500 ACA has been a relief for those with existing problem

Editor:

In my 20s I learned that I had high blood pressure. In one way, that early diagnosis was a blessing: for 40-plus years I've had a good reason to control my blood pressure with medication and by practicing good preventive habits.

In another way, it was a disaster. That early diagnosis fixed me with the label of "pre-existing condition." Combined with self-employment, the dubious badge relegated me to many years of paying ultra-high monthly premiums for insurance with inadequate coverage and deductibles as high as $20,000. I had to change insurance companies every few years as costs escalated. Usually the new company would not cover any ailment related to my "pre-existing condition" for a period of two years.

For all of my working life, that nearly worthless health insurance has been my largest monthly expense - more than my mortgage payments, car payments, business expenses or groceries. Because of the high deductibles, I have paid out-of-pocket for preventive screenings such as mammograms, pap smears, blood tests and the like. Often my doctor could not tell me what a preventive screening would cost. For instance, I had to spend the better part of a day making phone calls to doctors, hospitals, insurance adjusters and others to find out that a colonoscopy would cost between $1,500 and $2,000. I paid for it myself.

Finally, when the premium rose to a level I simply could not afford, I gave up. I dropped my coverage and joined the ranks of the uninsured.

Every day I worried that a medical emergency might bankrupt me and cause me to lose the home I spent 30 years paying for.

In November, I signed up for Obamacare. I spent a total of 90 minutes on the healthcare.gov website. Yes, there were some technical glitches, but there were also helpful people to guide me past them. To tell the truth, it was a lot less troublesome than what I've known in the past - long meetings with an insurance agent and hours of collecting medical records.

As of Jan. 1, I have good health insurance. The coverage is better than I've ever had. The deductible is $500 instead of $20,000. The cost to me is less than $100 a month - about a sixth of what I was paying before.

For me - even if I never have to use it - Obamacare is a huge relief, financially and psychologically. I'll graduate to Medicare soon, but it gladdens me to know that my younger self-employed colleagues will not have to endure the anxiety of being uninsured or underinsured.

Thank you, President Obama, Sen. Rockefeller and all the others who have worked to make affordable health insurance available for people like me.

Colleen Anderson

Charleston

New system has not been a help to family

Editor:

You asked how the Affordable Care Act has affected my family. Well, I am sure that you expect to receive heartfelt and powerful stories about how the ACA has changed lives, and I am sure you will receive some of those, but since mine is not one of them I expect it will not see print.

I retired in 2009 to help my sister take care of my aging parents (both of whom passed away within a year). When I retired I was worried about health insurance and how to pay for it. Since I had always received health insurance through my employer of 23 years, I was concerned that the rising costs would prevent me from obtaining the coverage I had enjoyed in the past.

When I retired, I was (and still am) too young for Medicare and was also five years away from receiving Social Security.

I looked around and found what I thought was an excellent plan for my wife and me. It was a plan that pays 100 percent after a $10,000 deductible. Priced at $508.55 a month, the plan was comparable to what my previous employer had provided, it appeared reasonable and something I could afford based on my somewhat small retirement income.

Then the Affordable Care Act began to be enacted. I immediately saw the premiums rise. In year one (2010), the cost jumped to $638.95 a month (over 25%). Still manageable, I thought. Surely it will level off (or go down as was promised by President Obama and the Democrats). Surely the double digit premium increases will be a thing of the past. Not so fast! Year two came along and again the premium increased (this time to $734.88 a month, or another 15 percent).

The premiums continued to increase in 2012 and 2013. This past September (when I got my renewal notice to begin in December), the cost of my monthly health insurance premium increased to $1,030.93. That represents over a 100 percent increase from the $508.55 a month in 2009. Over 100 percent in less than five years!

The premiums amount to $12,371.16 a year for my wife and me. That means that with the deductible, I will spend $22,371.16 on health insurance premiums and medical care before the insurance company pays anything. Does that seem "Affordable?" $22,000 per year is nearly $7,000 more per year than a person working for minimum wage even makes.

Thinking I might get a better deal through HealthCare.gov, I explored the plans available to me in the great state of West Virginia through the government exchange. Surely the government will take care of me! After all, didn't it say it would? Not so!

The best policy I could find only covers 80 percent of medical expenses after a $5,000 deductible at a cost of over $1,200 a month, and I do not qualify for a government subsidy (thanks to getting my Social Security this year). So, if I sign up for the government plan, I have less coverage (at a time that as I get older, I need more) and the cost is higher.

At the current rate of increase, my entire Social Security income will go to pay for health insurance before I am even eligible for Medicare.

The entire Affordable Care Act is a disaster waiting to happen. Premiums (even in the government exchanges) will continue to rise, those who need insurance will not be able to afford it, Americans will continue to go without it, and the country will suffer because of it. It needs to be changed sooner rather than later, but I fear it will not.

Just like many government programs, we can take everything the politicians (and especially President Obama) told us about the outcomes of the Affordable Care Act and expect just the opposite. Health care will not be more affordable, or accessible; medical costs will not go down; if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

Politicians exempt themselves and their friends from the provisions and we pay the price.

I am sure that there are people who have been helped by the law, but at what cost? Someone needs to figure out how to fix the system to assist those who really need it, while at the same time protecting everyone else and without bankrupting the country.

Has the Affordable Care Act helped my family? I would have to say no. It seems like I am paying for the care and insurance premiums of others. I have never minded paying my fair share, but this is too much to ask.

Greg Skeens

Summersville

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