www.wvgazette.com http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: July 26, 2014 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT01/307269979 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT01/307269979 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:29 -0400 Allport, Jean 2 p.m., Restlawn Memory Gardens Mausoleum, Victor.

Barnhart, Vada D. 11 a.m., Madison Baptist Church, Madison.

Breckinridge, Mary E. 11 a.m., St. Martin in

Cline, Geneva M. 2 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.

Coleman, William 1 p.m., Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Cedar Grove.

Gravely, Thomas Noon, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Carbondale.

Harden, Elizabeth M. 1 p.m., Spring Hill Cemetery, Charleston.

Harper, Luster 1 p.m., Lens Creek Church of the Nazarene, Hernshaw.

Holley, Hersel F. 1 p.m., Heck Funeral Home, Milton.

Jackson, Buford J. 2 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope.

James, Robert 3 p.m., Loop Creek Baptist Church, Wriston.

Jeffers, Dearl E. 11 a.m., Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Jones, Loran D. Sr. 11 a.m., Wallace and Wallace Funeral Chapel, Rainelle.

Kinser, John H. 3 p.m., Pennington Funeral Home, Gauley Bridge.

Manns, Creedia A. 1 p.m., Henson & Kitchen Mortuary, Huntington.

Martin, Beverly A. 3 p.m., Meadowbrook Baptist Church, Charleston.

Nichols, Roger L. 1 p.m., Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Price, Betty L. Noon, Wilson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Richardson, Curtis 11 a.m., Goldtown Community Church, Kenna.

Scott, Africa J. Noon, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Charleston.

Turnblacer, Rhoda E. 10 a.m., Basilica of the Co

Woody, Donald 11 a.m., Taylor

Clarence G. Bird http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269981 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269981 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:28 -0400 Clarence Glen "Mick" Bird, 95, of Clendenin, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, July 25, 2014, at Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston, following a short illness. Mick was the son of the late Lonnie L. and Eva (Shafer) Bird and step-mother, Helen Mae Bird. He was also preceded in death by his brothers, William Hoyt Bird, Carl Bird and John Paul Bird; sisters, Ruth Litton and Eva Ricketts; and grandson, Daniel Paul Bird II.

He was a member of Thorofare Community Church. He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving in WWII. He was also a retired supervisor in construction for Union Carbide after 42 years of service. Mick was also a charter board member of Clendenin Little League.

Mick is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Nona (Shamblin) Bird; sons, Daniel "Harley" (Cindy) Bird of Clendenin, William "Bill" (Penny) Bird of Friendly, David "Squirrel" (Pam) Bird, Steven "Moose" (Jeannie) Bird and Mike "Clyde" Bird all of Clendenin; daughter, Rebecca "Becky" (Mike) Sholes of Clendenin; sisters, R. Carolyn Weyant of Somerset, Pa., Betty (Don) Barbarow of Ripley, Pat (Jim) Galbreath of Mineral Wells, Mary "Tenny" Bird of Clendenin, Shirley Jo (Chris) Stone of Wendell, NC; brother, and Don (Helen) Bird of Sissonville; grandchildren, Mandy (David), Adam (Chelsie), Molley (Todd), Emily, Scott, Brian (MaryAnna), Buffy and Coleman; great-grandchildren, Hunter, Harley, Houston, Hayley, Ryan, Matthew, Allie Grace and Averie.

Mick's funeral service will be 11 a.m. Monday, July 28 at Matics Funeral Home, Clen-denin with Pastors Claude Holley Jr. and Greg Estep officiating. Burial will be at Shamblin Cemetery, Thorofare Road, Clendenin. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 27 at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hubbard Hospice House of Charleston.

Matics Funeral Home, Clendenin is serving the Bird Family.

Walter L. Bird http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269995 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269995 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:22 -0400 Walter Lloyd Bird, of Orlando, Fla., formerly of Milton, died July 20, 2014. Service will be Sunday, July 27 at Windermere Town Hall, Windermere, Fla. from 4 to 6 p.m. A memorial service in WV will be announced at a later date. Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin is in charge of arrangements.

Danny F. Bowles http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269985 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269985 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:26 -0400 Danny F. Bowles, 58, of Ohio, died July 22, 2014. Service will be 2 p.m. Sunday, July 27 at Wilson-Shamblin-Smith Funeral Home, Clay. Burial will be in the Little Laurel Cemetery, Wallback.

Leonard F. Brightwell Jr. http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269998 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269998 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:20 -0400 Leonard F. "Chip" Brightwell Jr., 42, of St. Albans, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, July 19, 2014, at CAMC Memorial Hospital, Charleston.

He was an employee at Leonard's Electrical Supplier, St. Albans, a graduate of St. Albans High School, class of 1989, and also attended West Virginia State University, Institute. He also enjoyed going hunting, working with computers and guns.

He is survived by his loving wife, Lori L. Meadows Brightwell; parents, Leonard and June Brightwell of St. Albans; sisters, Staci Brightwell of St. Albans and Amber Pariona of Peru; and mother-in-law and father-in-law, Phyllis and Jimmy Parsons of South Charleston.

Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, St. Albans, with the Rev. Joel M. Harpold officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the memorial service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Kanawha/Charleston Humane Association, 1248 Greenbrier St., Charleston, WV 25311.

You may share condolences or memories with the family at www.chapmanfuneralhomes.com.

Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 409 Sixth Ave., St. Albans, is honored to serve the Brightwell family.

Glen Roy Chancey http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269990 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269990 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:24 -0400 Mr. Glen Roy Chancey, 80, of Poca, passed away July 24, 2014 in the Hubbard Hospice House West.

He is retired from Capital Chrysler and former participator in building Nascar and NHRA race cars. He also obtained his Nascar drivers license.

Glen is preceded in death by his wife, Drema Dawn Chancey and daughter, Deanna Sisk.

He is survived by his children, John and wife, Stephanie Chancey and Kathy and husband, Matt Malone; sister, Dorothy Bailes; brother, Butch Chancey; grandchildren, Courtney, Aimee, Lauren, Tia, Trevor, Rebbeka and husband Eli, Jacob, Micah and Nathan; and two great-grandchildren, Ashden and Lauren.

A tribute to the life of Mr. Glen Chancey will be 11 a.m. Monday, July 28 at Gatens-Harding Funeral Home Chapel, Poca with Pastor Mark Jarrell officiating. Entombment will follow in Haven of Rest Memory Gardens. The family will receive friends 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations may be made to the Hubbard Hospice House West, 4605 MacCorkle Ave. SW, South Charleston, WV 25309. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.hardingfamilygroup.com.

Gatens-Harding Funeral Home, 147 Main St., Poca is serving the Chancey Family.

Zenola I. Coffman http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269987 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269987 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:25 -0400 Zenola Ida Coffman, 59, of South Charleston, died Monday, July 21, 2014 at Thomas Memorial Hospital after a short illness. She was a member of St. Timothy Lutheran Church.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Jake and Genola Hill; son, Matthew Lee Coffman; and sister, Lydia Woodrum.

Surviving are her husband, Ralph S. Coffman Sr.; sons, Joseph Ellis and Ralph S. Coffman Jr. of South Charleston; sisters, Elsie Hill Schnurpel of Dallas, Texas and Patricia Hill McCloud of South Charleston; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Service will be 1 p.m. Monday, July 28 at Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston. Burial will follow in Fox Hill Cemetery, South Charleston.

Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 27 at Good Shepherd Mortuary.

Good Shepherd Mortuary is serving the Coffman Family.

William Coleman http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269997 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269997 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:21 -0400 William "Jack" Coleman, 90, formerly of Alexandria, Va., and Capon Bridge, passed away July 22, 2014.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Madeline Coleman; his mother and father; several siblings; and one grandson, William Allen King.

He is survived by two daughters, Tammy C. King and Rosemary Edens, and also Ronald C. Edens; and loving Papaw to grandchildren, Ronald C. Edens II, Ryan C. Edens and Rebecca M. Edens, and one great-grandchild, Sophia M. Edens; and also a loving uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.

Juanita M. Fluharty http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269993 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269993 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:22 -0400 Juanita Marie Fluharty, 90, of Point Pleasant, died July 24, 2014. Service will be 2 p.m. Sunday, July 27 at Deal Funeral Home, Point Pleasant with visitation one hour prior.

Alma L. Jennings http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269989 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/OBIT/307269989 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:24 -0400 Alma Lois Surface Jennings, 82, of Fayetteville, died July 23, 2014. Service will be 1 p.m. Monday, July 28 at Cunard Cemetery, Cunard, WV. Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville is serving the family.

Alyce Faye Bragg column: Summer's song of blackberries http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729424 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729424 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 By Alyce Faye Bragg CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Midsummer simmers along, with hot, humid days and sticky nights. The common oxeye daisies have given way to brightly colored black-eyed Susan's that stare boldly from large patches along the wayside. Spotted Joe-pye weed is beginning to appear in fields and meadows, showing its pale purple, fuzzy flower heads. All signs point to coming autumn.

This is a good blackberry summer. The berries hang heavy and ripe on their briers, waiting for eager hands to gather them. I can hear Daddy singing now, "Oh, huckleberry pie and blackberry pudding, and I'd give it all away for to hug Sally Gooden!" The blackberry pudding probably referred to "quick jam," as some called it, and consisted of thickened and sweetened blackberries, eaten with hot biscuits and butter.

Grandpa O'Dell used to strap two zinc water buckets on his belt (he also wore galluses) and head for Pilot Knob to pick blackberries all day long. He would come home late in the evening, hot and tired, with his buckets heaped with berries. Mom canned the berries in half gallon jars, and would make the quick jam (or flapdoodle, as we called it) on winter mornings with a pan of hot biscuits and plenty of cow butter. It was delicious!

We have enjoyed blackberry cobbler with ice cream, although I ate mine with rich cow cream, thanks to my brother Larry. There is nothing any better than fresh cow milk for real cream, homemade cottage cheese, or country butter. Country living has its advantages, and a milk cow is one of them. It's a lot of hard work, but it has its rewards. Early in the morning, as the world is just beginning to awaken, it is such a pleasure to sit in the porch swing and watch it come alive.

The mist is just beginning to rise from the hilltops, and the songbirds are joining together in a symphony to the morning. The air is cool, and it is peaceful and serene. It is a good place to meditate and pray, and get prepared for the pressures of the day. In Psalms 5-3 it says, "My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up." I have found that if I pray early in the morning, before my day begins, the whole day goes much smoother.

The laying hens are beginning to stir in the chicken house, and we suddenly hear a loud, "Cut-cut-ca-dacket" - a signal that one of the hens has proudly laid an egg. Fresh brown chicken eggs are another plus to country living. The gardens have produced extremely well this summer, with plenty of rain and sunshine. A lot of folks are canning crisp green beans, and tomatoes are beginning to ripen. Corn on the cob will soon be on the menu for country suppers (we still eat "supper" as our evening meal.)

With fresh vegetables abundant now, I found a recipe that was sent to me by my late friend, Mildred "Midge" Clark of Cleveland, Tennessee.

Tomato Soup

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

6-8 ripe tomatoes; plum tomatoes if available (or one quart)

3 cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic, stirring until onions have softened, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until tomatoes, onions and garlic are soft, 10 to 20 minutes. Working in small batches, transfer soup to jar of blender and puree (begin on low speed) until smooth. Return to saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until soup is heated through. If soup seems too thick, stir in extra stock to thin. Serve immediately.

I've used the following canned tomato soup recipe for years - it is delicious with a grilled cheese sandwich when the snow flies.

Canned Tomato Soup

(This makes six to eight quarts - I like to can it in pints; mixed with milk it makes one quart)

2 gallon ripe tomatoes, chopped (no need to peel)

6 onions, chopped

1 bunch celery, chopped

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup salt

1 cup butter (I use real butter)

1 cup flour

Combine tomatoes, onions and celery in large kettle, cook until tender. Put through a food mill (I use Foley's.) Return to kettle; add sugar and salt. Cream butter and flour together; mix with 2 cups cold juice until dissolved. Stir into kettle and heat until almost boiling. Ladle into jars and add lids. Put in hot water bath and process for 20 to 30 minutes. To serve, mix half with milk, and add 1/2 teaspoon of soda as it heats.


It is with great sadness that we lost a dear friend last week; a beautiful and precious lady who died unexpectedly and too young. This essay that she had written sometime last year was found in her things, and as her daughter Jaelyn stated, it needs to be shared.

"Time . . .Where Did You Go?"

By Shirley Hanshaw Jett

I never quite understood the question when Grandma said it, but it is clear to me now, being MaMa. Where, indeed, did time go?

The days of my youth and the memories they held seem like a dream sometimes. It's hard to picture me as a teenager. It is though my life has always been that as Mom, and now MaMa. And I love both titles. God has blessed me with two wonderful daughters, two fantastic grandchildren and a man I am proud to call my husband. I am most truly blessed!

Time has passed so quickly since I was that 19-year-old bride! We didn't have a clue about marriage and what was involved, but after 42 years I can honestly say I love this man with all my heart.

And the joy the two girls have brought to my life is immeasurable. As I look back on time, I think sometimes, "Did I do anything right?" My, the mistakes I made! But in two areas of being a mom, I am satisfied I did not fail. I have always given them my love, and I have always given them my time. Both of these are so, so important. Love provides security, and time the training and guidance. How many times has my daughter heard me tell her as a mom not to fail to give her children her time? For once gone, you can never go back and make them children again.

I often think this must be the greatest concern of parents who don't or can't spend as much time with their children as they do. That they have missed out on a part of their child's life that cannot be re-lived. Time is a precious gift, but wasted, it becomes a fleeting reminder of what could have been.

Lord, help me to spend my time wisely - to share it with those I love, and use it to bring joy to all I meet. To God goes the glory!

Time has run out for Shirley. But her words live on, and we need to take heed to them.

Contact Alyce Faye Bragg at alycefaye@citlink.net or write to 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25164.

Brain food: School vending machine offers books http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/GZ05/140729433 GZ05 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/GZ05/140729433 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 By Mackenzie Mays Bonnie McClung watches a vending machine every morning at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School, hoping the students make the right choice.

There are no Cheetos in there. No candy bars. There are a few healthy snacks, but mostly, there are books.

"It's always interesting watching them come up with their money and decide, 'OK what am I going to do? Am I going to get a book or am I going to get a snack?" said McClung, who helps lead the gifted program at the school. "When they hear that thud of a book dropping down and put their hand in there to get it, it's just a joy to watch."

McClung - who taught for more than 30 years and became a reading specialist after retirement - got the idea for a book-filled vending machine in the 1990s after finding out a friend of a friend worked for a company that produced the machines.

"It just hit me," she said. "Kids love to use vending machines, and they were for everything else but I didn't see any books in them."

The first machine, which sat in a hallway at the now-closed Chandler Elementary, put out thousands of books, McClung said.

Now, with a new machine (that had been thrown in a local junkyard) McClung is determined to get students excited about reading again.

Not only does the unique idea perpetuate reading, but it engages students and allows them a sense of pride, she said.

"It's obviously about helping with reading skills and improving test scores, but further than that, I wanted to make lifelong readers and show them that reading is fun," McClung said.

The "brain food" vending machine is about more than just improving test scores, though, McClung said, especially in a high-poverty neighborhood like the West Side.

"Here, there are so many students that are needy and don't have personal libraries. When kids can put a quarter in to buy a brand new book, and they stand there and choose the title, you give them a feeling of ownership. It's something that they have. They've purchased it themselves and they can write their name in it," she said. "That's theirs."

Mary C. Snow Elementary students can buy a "slightly read" book from the machine for 25 cents and new books for 50 cents.

McClung is working on acquiring grant funding to purchase new books and is also hoping to get support for the project through the charity, donorschoose.org.

To contribute books to the machine, contact Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary at 304-348-1902.

Reach Mackenzie Mays at

mackenzie.mays@wvgazette.com, 304-348-4814 or follow @MackenzieMays on Twitter.

'Serpent of Venice' another delight from Christopher Moore http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/GZ10/140729442 GZ10 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/GZ10/140729442 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 By Anna Schles West Virginia University Fans of William Shakespeare will tell you that once you get past the intricate language of his works, the plays are truly wild stories of adventure, tragedy and humor with more than a little inappropriateness. In fact, it could be said that Shakespeare's famous plays were the blockbuster movies of their day.

Christopher Moore's "The Serpent of Venice" lives up to the Bard's works in terms of exciting plot, emotion and often improper humor, while being written in a style and format more accessible to today's readers. That said, while "The Serpent of Venice" remains true to the spirit of school's assigned Shakespeare reading texts, it could be inappropriate for younger teenagers.

"The Serpent of Venice" is a sequel to Moore's 2009 novel "Fool," although it is not necessary to have read "Fool" in order to enjoy "The Serpent of Venice." "Fool" is a spirited retelling of Shakespeare's "King Lear," and the main character in both novels is King Lear's brilliant fool, Pocket. "The Serpent of Venice" is a comical mash-up of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and "Othello," with a sprinkling of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Cask of Amontillado."

One does not need to have any prior knowledge of "King Lear," "The Merchant of Venice" or "Othello" in order to enjoy and comprehend Moore's novel. However if a reader is familiar with the plays, he or she can more fully appreciate Moore's immense skill as a storyteller and his talent for bringing cultural context and classic characters to life.

"The Serpent of Venice" picks up as Pocket the Fool is about to be assassinated. His wife, the late King Lear's daughter, Queen Cordelia, has sent him from England to Venice so he can annoy some powerful people and prevent senseless war for profit. Since, of course, preventing senseless war can anger the people who plan to profit from it, Pocket finds himself losing everything.

Three ruthless villains - Antonio, Brabantio and Iago - have executed a plan to quickly silence Pocket and slowly kill him. Pocket has been suicidal since the recent death of his wife from an apparent fever, but as he lies dying, he decides he wants to live. With the help of some familiar new friends, human and otherwise, Pocket seeks revenge and justice.

"The Serpent of Venice" is essentially a funny novel, jam-packed with subtle wit, outrageous laugh-inducing scenes and everything in between. However, when one combines "Othello" (one of Shakespeare's tragedies), "The Merchant of Venice" (pretty much the darkest comedy ever written) and anything by Edgar Allan Poe, the result is sure to be a little dark. Christopher Moore skillfully weaves the comedy into the tragedy, creating a complex and masterful work sure to delight readers.

Follow FlipSide on Twitter at @WVFlipSide.

Christian youth make an impact on others' lives with work project http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/GZ10/140729443 GZ10 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/GZ10/140729443 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 By Elizabeth Six Braxton County High School Part of being a Christian is aiding others in opening their eyes to God, and Impact Week does just that, but in some unexpected ways.

During the week of July 13-20, young people from churches in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Braxton County gathered to build a front porch for Daniel and Sherry Cool of Flatwoods. They were joined by a worship band from The People's Church in Franklin, Tennessee. The three men - Matt Cheatham, Jake Leach and Cooper Green - participated in Impact Week as leaders.

"Impact Week is a great opportunity to help refocus ourselves to everyone else in the community and the rest of the world," said Green, a first-time leader who is in his fourth year with Impact Week.

The band members learned several new things about carpentry and other types of labor during their week in West Virginia.

"It's different for musicians to pick up saws and hammers instead of a microphone and guitars," said Green.

They also learned how different worshiping can be in different places.

"It was refreshing to see others worship in a different way," said Leach.

Cheatham added, "Worshiping is different in Braxton because everyone is much more vocal here than in Nashville."

The three agreed that one of the best parts of the week was seeing everyone come together as a community. They were also very proud of their accomplishments in learning how to build a porch.

Braxton County resident Alex Carr participated in the porch construction, too. Earlier in the week, he participated in insulation instillation at Shiloh Church in Sutton.

"I've learned several things this week, including that God is always there no matter what," said the 13-year-old. "It felt really good seeing how happy and grateful the Cools were for our hard work."

The Cools were indeed very appreciative.

"There are just not enough words to say how thankful we are for God choosing this amazing group of kids to help us," said Sherry Cool. "It was a lot of fun to watch them; they all worked well and wanted to learn how to use the tools that they got to use.

"I will surely miss the kids because they were here for four days helping my husband and I."

Impact Week made an impact on everyone in Braxton County just as it does everywhere else it travels to.

Follow FlipSide on Twitter at @WVFlipSide.

Editorial: It is past time for Kanawha prosecutor to go http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729447 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729447 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 Thank heaven, the sordid mess caused by Kanawha prosecutor Mark Plants seems to be nearing an end. There's light at the end of the tunnel.

The county's three commissioners - Democrats Kent Carper and Dave Hardy, plus Republican Hoppy Shores - voted unanimously to file court action to remove Plants. The decision by Shores was especially courageous, because Plants belongs to his political party. All three deserve public thanks.

Taxpayers already have been forced to pay $93,000 for special prosecutors necessitated by the regular prosecutor. If he isn't removed swiftly, nobody knows how high the public cost could soar.

Although Plants was identified as a "family values" Republican, his messy private life caused the whole travesty. He lavished special favors on a married aide and got her pregnant - then they both divorced and married each other. But the real problem is that during visitation with his young son, Plants was charged with whipping the boy excessively and improperly approaching his children while it was forbidden by a domestic violence order.

Charleston's Republican Mayor Danny Jones wrote that Plants "planted his political stake in the far-right family values" wing of the GOP - but "had an affair with his secretary. She had Plants's baby while married to a Charleston police officer, and both families wound up in divorces."

Kanawha taxpayers now are required to pay a special prosecutor to press child abuse charges against Plants, and a second special prosecutor to handle routine child abuse cases that Plants isn't allowed to touch.

Repeatedly, county commissioners asked Plants to resign and end this fiasco. But he refused. So they took the only workable course: legal removal. We hope their action succeeds quickly.

Usually, this newspaper doesn't judge politicians' private family lives. But when misconduct almost wrecks a government office, something must be done.

Commissioners Carper, Hardy and Shores performed a needed service for Kanawha County.

The case for sending 3-year-olds to school http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729448 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729448 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 Good for West Virginia, enrolling more than 15,000 4-year-olds in preschool last year, ranking the state in the top 10 in the country. But as predicted 12 years ago at the beginning of this emphasis on 4-year-old preschool for all, that progress has come somewhat at the cost of enrolling 3-year-olds.

In that category, West Virginia does not fare so well, enrolling only about 4,000 children, or about 20 percent of the total, though the precise number is not known, says Margie Hale, executive director of Kids Count West Virginia. Kids Count chose to highlight the need for more 3-year-old preschool in its annual report.

But little ones belong with their mothers, I can hear my own uncle saying. Age 3 is too young for school.

No doubt it is ideal for 3-year-olds to spend their days playing and singing with a loving mother - or father, to keep up with the times - or grandparent, someone who gives them undivided attention, teaches them new words and arranges for them to get fresh air and to explore safe yards and parks.

And how many days a year can working people achieve this idyll? Even well-compensated parents with good benefits and paid vacation could do it for only a couple weeks a year. Many parents make do with much less.

No doubt 3 years old would be too young for school, if preschool were like what most adults remember of school - rows of desks and tables, with an adult directing students from the front of the room all day. But good preschool is nothing like that learning environment, which has its place for more mature students.

Good preschool offers curious little minds and fingers plenty of opportunity to explore, experiment, talk, sing, listen, move and learn. It is done through age-appropriate play, all in safe environments, with rest and good nutrition built into the schedule.

Preschool is sometimes dismissed as mere babysitting, a kind of custodial care that requires keeping the toddler from falling down stairs, wandering into traffic or getting into things under the kitchen sink. Keeping a child safe is certainly required, but it is not the whole goal.

Children will spend their days learning something, whether adults are paying attention or not. It could be bad behavior, poor eating habits and the ways of daytime television exhibitionists. Or it could be sharing, taking turns, animal names, counting, opposites and a listening vocabulary that will make kindergarten and first grade glide by with welcome, world-expanding ease.

Literacy benefits alone make the argument for more widespread access to top-notch preschool starting at age 3. Children who are read to, who are acquainted with books, who see others reading, who have books and other texts in their environments, acquire more words by school age and read more easily. Too many children are not getting that start at home for a variety of reasons. That makes good preschool even more valuable for those families.

Some of the lowest marks in the Kids Count report go to public school performance. But those problems start well before they are measured and documented. If most - dare we aspire to all? - of West Virginia's children started school with a sufficient listening vocabulary by age 3 or 4, how many "reading problems" might we avoid? How much frustration and failure? How many dropouts? These ripples redound throughout life.

That's why people who can afford it have for generations sent their toddlers to preschool, even if they don't work during the day. There is lifelong value in that kind of education. And the fewer advantages a child has at home, the more indispensable the experience of good preschool is.

Dawn Miller, the Gazette's editorial page editor, can be reached at dawn@wvgazette.com.

Daily Mail: The morning cup delivered with love http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729449 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729449 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 By George Hohmann

It started with an offhand comment, as do so many statements that evolve into something more.

We had found each other after previous marriages fell apart and were going through that stage when you explain why the earlier relationship failed and what you learned.

One morning she brought me a cup of coffee. I was startled and said that had never happened for me before.

Oh, she said, it was standard operating procedure: She had served coffee to her former spouse every morning during their 13-year marriage if he wasn't deployed somewhere on a U.S. Navy ship.

Couples tend to tuck useful information like this away for future reference. But I thought this could be put to use immediately. I figured aloud that if she brought him coffee for 13 years, I might look forward to morning coffee service for at least that long.

The very next morning she got up first, as she always does, and a cup of coffee appeared on my nightstand.

Before long I worked this story into my tales of new marriage bliss whenever we gathered with family and close friends. It always got a laugh.

My Mother knew some stuff about marriage. She and my Dad were separated for six years during World War II. When the war ended and he came home, they had me and, I learned, they also had a tough time putting their marriage back together.

Because of this, it wasn't surprising when my Mother offered marital advice. I should pay particular attention to Ephesians 4:26, she said.

That's the verse that says, "Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger."

The Living Bible interprets it this way: "If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry - get over it quickly..."

This is easier said than done if you're like me and dwell on things. Mostly because of my own stubbornness, I've spent more than a few long, uncomfortable nights on the living room couch in an icily silent house.

Those nights always ended with anxious moments when I began wondering: After all that was said, would she still bring me coffee?

Yes she would.

Sometimes it was without a word or even a glance. Sometimes there was a tentative smile. More than once the coffee service broke the ice, giving both of us a chance to say something nice and nudge life back to normal.

Often we ended up giggling at the fact neither of us could remember what started the nuclear war or why our particular point of view had seemed to matter so much a few hours earlier.

As you might by now suspect, my wife does many wonderful things for me, both large and small. I could in fact compile a long list.

I'm afraid her list might not be so long.

As our 13th wedding anniversary approached, I wondered if the coffee service would end. I asked about this several times but never received a definitive response. But when the anniversary date arrived the coffee did, too.

I've been enjoying this fabulous tradition now for 24-plus years. There have been some changes. Not about the service - about the coffee.

Now that I'm retired I'm paying more attention to my heart health and have gone from five cups of coffee a day when I was working full time to two cups a day after retirement then, earlier this month, to no caffeine at all.

My morning drink now consists of an instant brown liquid made of chicory, wheat, malted barley, figs and acorns. It's good enough to fool me during those first groggy moments of wakefulness.

And it's a delicious way to start the day because it is delivered with love.

George Hohmann retired last year as the Daily Mail's business editor.

Daily Mail: Short takes - July 26 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729450 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729450 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 THE 4-2 vote by the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority to negotiate with KM Hotels of Henrico, Va., to develop property in the 1000 block of Quarrier Street is good news that is long overdue.

The parcel had been the Holley Hotel, a ramshackle place that was home to about 130 down-and-out people. Hotel owner Frank Veltri treated his guests like family. He cared about society's downtrodden long before the politicians did. His annual Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless continues, even after his death in 2001.

CURA wanted the property. Veltri did not want to evict his people.

Veltri and CURA battled it out. With schoolteacher Thomas Hark serving as his lawyer, Veltri took CURA and its attorneys to the state Supreme Court and won a precedent-setting ruling on open meetings.

In 1990, Mayor Chuck Gardner and city officials announced an agreement in which CURA got the property and the people at the Holley got a new home.

Nearly quarter of a century after CURA demolished the Holley, a new hotel may arise. This reflects the city's improved ability to attract visitors.

If its managers care half as much for their guests as Veltri did for his, it will be a huge success.


Suppose they gave a war protest and nobody came? That was the question this week when Code Pink held a rally at the Capitol in Washington and only eight people showed up.

It's not as if Code Pink and its leader, Medea Benjamin, were in enemy territory.

"I haven't seen you guys in a long time," Capitol Police Officer Patrick Gray said, giving Benjamin a bearhug, the Washington Post reported.

"Man, you guys used to be feistier. I remember when there used to be like 200 of you guys."

But the pickings were slim as Code Pink tried to show how many people in the United States want to stop aiding Egypt for its support of Israel over Hamas.

At least eight do.

Washington Post reporter Ben Terris noted that tea party rallies at the Capitol fail to attract as many people as they did in their heyday in 2010.

He blamed Congress.

"It's not to say that there aren't protests in Washington. Just this past weekend, hundreds of people gathered outside the State Department to demonstrate against Israel's deadly offensive in Gaza. It's just that Congress isn't prime real estate for a rally," Terris wrote.

But it's not just Congress. When only "hundreds" of people protest anywhere in Washington, it shows a seriously lack of interest by even the most diehard activists.

After more than a decade of war protests, tea party rallies and Occupy Wall Street, the American people just may be fed up with all the bickering. That's a healthy sign.


The liberal Center for American Progress released a report this week on teacher turnover rates and salaries. The report showed how committed taxpayers in West Virginia are to their schoolteachers.

The average teacher salary in the state was ahead of 12 other states, the report said.

Given that the average income in West Virginia is ahead of only Mississippi, that is laudable.

Not mentioned in the report is the generosity of the state's teacher pension plan, which gives teachers up to 2 percent of their salary for every year they work. A teacher retiring after 35 year can collect a pension equal to 70 percent of his pay. Not bad.

And schoolteachers appreciate the effort. The turnover rate for teachers in West Virginia is 5 percent, well below the national average of 13 percent.

This costs taxpayers less than $11 million a year - or just one-third of 1 percent of the overall $3 billion a year taxpayers spend on schools in West Virginia from state, federal and local revenues.

Treating employees well earns loyalty.


Sharma Floyd runs the Shiloh Brew and Chew in Marysville, Tenn. After she read about a store in North Carolina, she took action.

"They had put up a sign that said 'No Weapons Allowed' and they were robbed at gunpoint two days later. The convenience store manager was shot," Floyd told WBIR. "And that got me thinking. I lost a whole group of motorcyclists because they thought I didn't allow weapons. But I believe it's OK to carry as long as you have a permit."

Floyd posted her own sign: "Guns Are Welcome."

She told the CBS affiliate that her business increased. If she's willing to trust them with their guns, they are willing to trust her with their food.

Concealed weapons permits allow law-abiding people who are not mentally ill to carry guns. Such permits are on the rise nationally - and the homicide rate is on the decline, falling to 4.7 homicides per 100,000 from 5.6 just a decade ago according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

Legal guns are not the problem in America.

Illegal ones are.


This month marked the anniversary of a runaway oil train exploding in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, which killed 47 people. The July 6, 2013 incident, was Canada's deadliest train derailment in 149 years.

In response, the Department of Transportation is moving to hasten the phasing out of the type of tank car involved in the explosion.

But there is a better way to guarantee safer transportation of oil: pipelines.

The Obama administration inexplicably has held up approval of the completion of the Keystone Pipeline, which would bring oil from North Dakota to refineries in Texas. Therefore, the oil continues to be shipped by rail, a much riskier mode of transportation.

Instead of just fixing the design of oil tank cars, the administration should work to reduce the need for them.

Editorial: On helping Americans, Obama a success http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729454 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/ARTICLE/140729454 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 Tea party websites contain petitions demanding impeachment of President Obama, calling him "traitor" and "fraud" and worse. Right-wing Fox News and Washington Republicans endlessly hurl bitter denunciations at America's first black president.

But, in reality, history will record that Obama has been a solid leader who ended a pointless war, pulled America out of a terrible recession, eliminated Osama bin Laden, extended health care to 30 million, and benefited the nation in many other ways.

After 288,000 jobs were added to the U.S. work force in June, the Raleigh News & Observer commented:

"The president's critics intend to concede him nothing, not a successful health care reform program, not the rescue of the auto industry, not the economic recovery. Indeed, there's an impeachment movement against Obama.... For some reason, President Obama stirs in his critics a hatred not often seen, even in partisan politics. If only they would channel their emotions into productive action in the country's best interests, they could be constructive participants in a policy debate instead of just Obama-haters."

The North Carolina newspaper added:

"Remember how those who blasted, and still blast, the Affordable Care Act as doomsday for the nation's economy said it would implode everything, slow recovery and cause the deficit to explode? None of those things happened. The deficit is dropping, and the ACA is working so well that some of the president's foes aren't even talking about it much any more."

The former Bush-Cheney administration started the ghastly Iraq War on phony pretexts, claiming that Iraq had horror weapons, which turned out to be imaginary. The war killed about 4,500 young Americans and cost U.S. taxpayers about $1 trillion. Obama halted that disaster - and he deserves praise for doing so.

The former Bush-Cheney administration banned federal funding of stem cell research, because fundamentalists irrationally think that fertilized eggs are people. In one of his first acts in office, Obama restored stem cell research, which promises to save lives and end some horrible diseases.

A couple of years ago, The Washington Monthly, created by Charleston native Charlie Peters, listed 50 major accomplishments of the Obama regime. In addition to ending the Iraq War and passing health reform, some successes were:

| Passed the federal stimulus that prevented the Great Recession from turning far worse.

| Intensified Wall Street policing to control greedy manipulators of the sort who caused the Great Recession.

| Ended the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and began assuring equal rights for gays.

| "Avoided scandal," leading a clean government free from corruption that has tainted many others.

Despite today's partisan rants, we think future historians will hold Obama in high esteem.

Editorial cartoon, Saturday, July 26 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/DM04/140729504 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140726/DM04/140729504 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 Editorial cartoon, Saturday, July 26