www.wvgazette.com http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: April 19, 2015 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT01/304199967 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT01/304199967 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:04:34 -0400 Ashley, Ann 2 p.m., Humphreys Memorial Church, Sissonville.


Butcher, Louise B. 2 p.m., Liberty Presbyterian Church, Green Bank.


Elliott, Jimmy Noon, Pryor Funeral Home, East Bank.


Goff, Lindsey 2 p.m., Taylor


Graham, Kenneth 4 p.m., John H. Taylor Funeral Home, Spencer.


Gwinn, Mary 2 p.m., Wallace and Wallace Funeral Chapel, Rainelle.


Kessler, John 1 p.m., Morris Funeral Home, Cowen.


Kincaid, Walter 2 p.m., Lobban Funeral Home, Alderson.


Malcomb, Richard Jr. 2 p.m., Evans Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Chapmanville.


Meadows, Joshua 2 p.m., Gatens


Short, Coy 2 p.m., Charity Baptist Church, Wilsie.


Stevenson, Marcella 2 p.m., Spencer Chapel Church, Hewett.

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Ann Ashley http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199995 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199995 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:02:35 -0400 Ann Brannon Ashley, 85, of Sissonville, passed away April 16, 2015, at home.

She was born in Barberton, Ohio on February 5, 1930, the daughter of Merrill Gates and Edna Brannon.

She graduated from Troy High School as valedictorian and third in her class at Glenville State College. She obtained a Masters Degree in Education from West Virginia University. She also did further work at C.O.G.S. During her work at Glenville State College, she taught seven months at a one-room school near Troy, W.Va.

She came to Sissonville in 1952 to teach math and science and retired from Sissonville Junior High School in 1984, where she served as head of the math department. She was an advisor and sponsor of the National Junior Honor Society for 25 years and the local chapter was named after her upon her retirement. She was honored as teacher of the year in 1974. She was a member of both the WVEA and the NEA. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, James Vernon Ashley.

She was a member of Humphreys Memorial United Methodist Church, where she was a lay speaker, Sunday School teacher, member of the choir and served in many positions with the United Methodist Women over the years. She was a certified lay speaker in the United Methodist Church. She was a Weight Watcher leader and speaker.

Surviving sons, Dr. Jeffrey Ashley (Gail) of Scott Depot, Randy Ashley (Kim) of Beaver; and stepdaughter, Betty Ashley of Charleston; grandchildren, Aaron Ashley of Bethel Park, Pa., Isaac Ashley of Charleston, Caleb Ashley of Scott Depot, Rachel Ashley at Alderson Broaddus, Tyler Ashley (Lindsey) of Saulsville, Maggie Ashley of Beaver, Stephanie White of Charleston, and Vanessa Goodwin of St. Albans; great-grandchildren, Madison and Evan White of Charleston and Elijah Goodwin of St. Albans; brother, Donald Brannon (Pat) of Charlton Heights; sister, Barbara Gass (Jerry) of Greenville, S.C.; along with several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Sunday April 19, at Humphreys Memorial Church, Sissonville, under direction of the Rev. George Webb. Burial will follow in Floral Hills Garden of Memories, Sissonville. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday April 18, at Long and Fisher Funeral Home in Sissonville.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Humphreys Memorial United Methodist Church, 8340 Sissonville Drive, Sissonville, WV 25320.

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Christopher Bailey http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199972 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199972 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:04:13 -0400 Christopher Hill Bailey, 55, of Dunbar, passed away on Thursday, April 16, 2015.

He was born in South Charleston on August 6, 1959, to the late Glenn W. and Mary L. Bailey. He is survived by his daughter, Gillian Katherine of Dunbar; three siblings, Mark Wilson Bailey, Brian Patrick Bailey, Mary Janette Sigmon and their spouses.

He also leaves behind eight nieces and two nephews who loved him very much. Chris was a loving and devoted father, brother, uncle, son and friend to all who knew him. He enjoyed playing golf, video golf, music, and spending time with friends and family.

He had an encyclopedic knowledge of a wide range of topics. All who knew him recognized and appreciated his good nature and sense of humor. He will be greatly missed by many people.

Funeral service will be held 7 p.m. Tues. April 21, at Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar with Pastor John Mason officiating. Family and friends may call two hours prior to the service at Keller Funeral Home.

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Alya Burgess http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199970 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199970 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:04:24 -0400 Alya "Tom" Burgess, 69, of Holden, formerly of Blair, died Thurs. April 16, 2015. Service will be 11 a.m. Tues. April 21, at Freeman Funeral Home. Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Mon. April 20, at the funeral home. Freeman Funeral Home, Chapmanville is in charge of arrangements.

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Thearl Clutter http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199982 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199982 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:03:38 -0400 Thearl L. Clutter, 80, of Gassaway, died April 17, 2015. Service will be 1 p.m. Mon. April 20, at Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway. Visitation will be two hours prior to the service.

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Dormal Cometti http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199998 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199998 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:02:24 -0400 Dormal Eismon Cometti, 96, passed away at Arthur B. Hodges Center on March 30, 2015. She was born on July 27, 1918, in Minora, W.Va., to the late Charles and Ella Knotts Eismon.

In addition to her parents and six siblings, she was preceded in death by her husband, Louis Cometti; and son, Joseph Cometti.

Dormal was a graduate of Morris Harvey College. She was a painter and a member of Allied Artists. An aficionado of arts and culture, she was especially devoted to all things related to the opera. She belonged to several book clubs, attended yoga classes regularly, and in the warmer months enjoyed gardening and working in her yard.

She is survived by her daughters, Catherine Samargo of Morgantown, and Lisa McIver of Wilmington, N.C.; grandchildren, Mary (Craig) Herring of Morgantown, Emily (Jason) Stolarski of Holden, Mass., Davis (Lissa) McIver of Wilmington, N.C., and Andrew (Lindsey) McIver of Durham, N.C.; and five great-grandchildren.

Memorial service will be held for Dormal at 11 a.m. Monday, April 20, at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association, for research, 1601 2nd Ave, Charleston, WV 25387.

You may send condolences to the family at: barlowbonsall.com. Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home has been entrusted to handle the arrangements.

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Larry Cooper http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199980 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199980 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:03:43 -0400 Memorial service for Larry Gene Cooper will be 8 p.m. Mon. April 20, at the Armstrong Funeral Home, Whitesville. Visitation will be two hours before.

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Ruth Dail http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199991 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199991 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:02:54 -0400 Ruth Areta Dail, 86, of Beckley, passed away at the Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley on Friday, April 17, 2015.

Born on April 27, 1928 in Ky., she was the daughter of the late Roscoe Estelle Leadingham and Lottie Mae Qualls Leadingham.

Mrs. Dail was a homemaker, and had been a resident of Beckley since 2003, having last made her home in Omaha, Neb. She enjoyed collecting different items, including plates and teddy bears.

Mrs. Dail was preceded in death by brothers, James and Cisco Leadingham; and sisters, Irene Wiseman and Eloise Thomas.

Those survivors left to cherish her memory include her husband of 50 years, David Dail; three children, Beverly Ann Danusis of Fla., Areta Carol Swire of Ariz., and Charles L. Toney of N.C.; grandchildren, Beth, Nathan, Bryan, Zackery, Felicity and Hannah; and numerous great-grandchildren also survive. Three brothers, Charles Leadingham of Kanawha City, Billy J. Leadingham of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, David Leadingham of Beckley; sisters, Patsy Rose of Concord, N.C., Edith Beeman of Springfield, Miss., and Jessie Adkins of Concord, N.C.

Funeral service will be conducted at noon Monday April 20, at Rose and Quesenberry Peace Chapel in Beckley with Rev. Michael Rakes officiating. Burial will follow at the Adkins Cemetery at Naoma, W.Va. Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the services at the funeral home on Monday. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers. Private online condolences, floral tributes, and other expressions of sympathy may be directed to the family via our guestbook at www.roseandquesenberry.net. Arrangements are by Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, 1901 South Kanawha Street, Beckley, WV.

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Carlyn Freeland http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199988 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199988 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:03:13 -0400 Carlyn (Carl) Edward Freeland, died March 8, 2015, at the age of 96. He was living near his son in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the time of his death of natural causes.

He was the son of the late James Ezra Freeland and the late Lily Whytsell Freeland. He was born July 26, 1918, in Little Birch, W.Va.

Carl joined the US Marines on August 3, 1938, and served until August 24, 1945, most of that time in the Pacific during WWII. He loved spending time with family. He was loved by all and will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his son, Chris Edward Freeland (wife, Bonnie) of Chattanooga, Tenn.; son-in-law, Rick Wayland (living spouse of Kim) of Leonardtown, Md.; his grandchildren, Katrina Freeland of Loma Linda, Calif.; Robert Wayland of Leonardtown, Md.; Michael Wayland of Leonardtown, Md.; and his brother, Aaron Freeland of Charleston, W.Va.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred (Justice) Freeland of Cross Lanes; and his daughter, Kimberly (Freeland) Wayland of Leonardtown, Md.; and brother, James Truxton Freeland of Magoo, W.Va.

His memorial service was held at the Charleston SDA Church in Charleston, W.Va. at 3:30 p.m. on April 18, 2015. The internment service occurred at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens immediately after with military honors.

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Lindsey Goff http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199975 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/OBIT/304199975 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:04:04 -0400 Lindsey Morgan Goff, 15, of Spencer, died April 18, 2015. Service will be 2 p.m. April 19, at the Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home, Spencer. Visiting will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

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Joe Manchin says he'll remain in U.S. Senate, rules out run for WV governor http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/DM01/150419239 DM01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/DM01/150419239 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 11:39:01 -0400 U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today said he will stay in the U.S. Senate rather than run for governor of West Virginia.

Manchin issued this statement about his decision:

"When Robert C. Byrd died in 2010, I had to make one of the toughest political decisions of my life. I have always said that being Governor of West Virginia was my life's most fulfilling work, and it was a true honor and privilege to be able to serve the great people of West Virginia. By removing politics and putting people first, we greatly improved our state.

"I truly believed we could take that success and our commonsense approaches to Washington to improve the dysfunction in Congress. I will admit that it has been a harder transition than I had expected, but I believe that, after five years, we are beginning to make a difference. We are simply bringing a greater sense of bipartisanship and commitment to working together for the good of the American people.

"It is because of that optimism that I have decided to continue serving the people of West Virginia in the United States Senate. My main purpose in the Senate, has, and always will be, to represent the great people of West Virginia to the best of my ability, and I have always said that when my country succeeds, my state succeeds. I feel that I can have the greatest impact on West Virginia and America by staying in Washington. This place may not be working now, but I'm not going to stop fighting to make it work."

Manchin earlier this month told the Charleston Daily Mail's Joel Ebert that he would announce his decision by Memorial Day.

At that time, Manchin told the Daily Mail there are a variety of factors he has to consider.

Manchin acknowledged the recent decision by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who said he would not be running for re-election in 2016, as part of several things he would think about before making a decision.

"The changes that are going on in Washington. First of all you're going to have a new president, a new administration, a new cabinet and then in the Senate we're going to have new leadership there. So all that plays into it," he said.

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Manchin staying in Senate, not running for governor in 2016 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ01/150419240 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ01/150419240 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 11:22:53 -0400 By David Gutman Sen. Joe Manchin announced on Sunday that he will remain in the U.S. Senate and will run for re-election in 2018, not run for a third term as governor of West Virginia in 2016.

Manchin's announcement ends more than a year of self-made speculation on his political future. The Democratic senator told the Gazette last April that he was frustrated with partisan gridlock in the Senate and was considering a run for governor.

In a prepared statement on Sunday, Manchin said his move to the Senate five years ago, following the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd, was more difficult than he expected.

"I believe that, after five years, we are beginning to make a difference," Manchin said. "We are simply bringing a greater sense of bipartisanship and commitment to working together for the good of the American people. It is because of that optimism that I have decided to continue serving the people of West Virginia in the United States Senate."

Manchin, perhaps the Senate's most conservative Democrat, is serving in the minority party for the first time in his political career, following the Republican takeover of the Senate in November.

Manchin said that he considered his time as governor his "life's most fulfilling work.

"By removing politics and putting people first, we greatly improved out state," he said. "I truly believed we could take that success and our common sense approaches to Washington to improve the dysfunction in Congress."

It's been difficult, he said, but he now thinks he can make the greatest difference by staying in the Senate.

"I have always said that when my country succeeds, my state succeeds," Manchin said. "This place may not be working now, but I'm not going to stop fighting to make it work."

He first made his announcement Sunday morning on the national news show Face the Nation and said he would hold a conference call with West Virginia reporters on Monday.

Had he decided to run for governor, Manchin would have been the early frontrunner. Two recently released polls showed him with commanding leads over other possible candidates.

His decision to stay in the Senate leaves the gubernatorial race wide open.

On the Democratic side, Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, has said he is considering the governor's race, and has changed his pre-candidacy paperwork to reflect that.

Among Republicans, both Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and U.S. Rep. David McKinley have publicly expressed interest in running for governor.

Others rumored to be considering the race include state Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, and U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, a Democrat.

Reach David Gutman at david.gutman@wvgazette.com, 304-348-5119 or follow @davidlgutman on Twitter.

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Richwood principal arrested on three counts of sexual abuse http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ01/150419241 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ01/150419241 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:46:03 -0400 State police arrested an elementary school principal last night following an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of three school employees.

Timothy Bennett, 53, is the principal at Cherry River Elementary School in Richwood. Bennett was arrested Saturday night by Corporal H.D. Stone for three counts of sexual abuse in the third degree, and is accused of inappropriately touching three of Cherry River's employees on separate occasions.

Bennett was arraigned in Nicholas County Magistrate Court and posted a $60,000 bond, according to a release from the West Virginia State Police.

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Ex-councilman's son loses by one vote in South Charleston primary http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ01/150419242 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ01/150419242 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:44:37 -0400 By Lydia Nuzum The son of a South Charleston councilman hoping to replace his father and represent the city's fifth ward was defeated by one vote in Saturday's primary election, which saw a low turnout and had several uncontested races.

Dayton Griffith III, the son of outgoing fifth-ward councilman Dayton Griffith II, lost to fellow Democrat David Isner with 21 votes to Isner's 22, according to city clerk Margie Spence, whose own primary was uncontested in Saturday's election. Isner will go up against Republican Edd Brooks in the general election.

Many candidates faced no opposition in the primary, so will automatically get onto the general election ballot. Mayor Frank Mullens, a Republican who has been in office since 2007, is running unopposed in his primary, as is Democrat Richie Robb, who served 32 years as South Charleston's mayor. Spence, a Republican, will face Democrat Thornton Cooper, who was also unopposed, in the general election. Municipal Judge Wyatt Hanna, a Democrat, was not opposed in the primary election, and no Republican filed for the office.

Two city council incumbents lost their bids for reelection. Democratic second-ward incumbent Linda Anderson garnered 42 votes, falling short of primary opponent Mark Wolford's 68 votes. No Republicans ran to represent Ward Three. Ward Four's incumbent, Democrat Jef Stevens, lost to Jeffrey Williamson, 33 votes to Williamson's 42.

Republican Councilman Kent Rymer, an incumbent city councilman, defeated Carless Wayne Williams in the primary for the city's First Ward, 112 votes to Williams' 47. No Democrat filed to run in the ward.

Incumbent third-ward councilwoman Kathleen Fox Walker, a Democrat, defeated Dave Cunningham in the primary, 64 votes to 41. No Republican is running in the ward.

In Ward Six, incumbent Councilwoman Meg Leary Britt, a Democrat, defeated Paul R. Neal in the primary, 68 votes to 49. Britt faces Republican Bob Lilly in the general election.

In Ward Seven, incumbent City Councilman Jamie Sibod, a Republican, was unopposed. Sibold will face Democrat C. Ben Paul in the general election.

Spence said incumbent Eighth Ward City Councilman Jeff Means is not running for re-election. Two Republicans, Don Ryan and Bill Saul, faced off for the seat Saturday, with Ryan defeating Saul 72 votes to 12. Ryan will face Democrat Bonnie Brown in the general election.

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WVU's Huggins wins third Furfari Award http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ02/150419255 GZ02 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ02/150419255 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Justin Jackson The Dominion Post MORGANTOWN - There was no secret weapon on its way and no plans were etched in stone when Bob Huggins told the world he had to fix the West Virginia University men's basketball program during its first season playing in the Big 12 Conference in 2013.

"We simply had to get better. We had to get more athletic." Huggins said. "It's a different deal in the Big 12 and we had to adjust. Playing in the Big East meant going out and finding big and strong guys who could play physical. In the Big 12, you have to have guys who can bounce it and do different things."

From the learning experiences of that 13-19 season in 2012-13 came what may have been one of Huggins' finest performances of his career. Utilizing a deep roster of players and a relentless full-court pressure, the Mountaineers went from sour to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament this season.

Along the way, WVU finished with 25 wins, picked up victories against nationally ranked Connecticut, Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Maryland, and found itself in the Top 25 for the first time since 2011, reaching as high as No. 14 in the country.

"The man said he was going to fix it and he did," WVU forward Devin Williams said. "He came up with a plan for us to be successful and he kept us focused all season. That's about all you can ask for."

WVU's run to the Sweet 16, which ended with a 79-38 loss against top-ranked Kentucky, was the third time in Huggins' first eight seasons he guided the Mountaineers that far in the national tournament.

"I think we're back where we're used to being," Huggins said after the loss. "Back to where I'm used to being, anyway."

Something else Huggins is used to: being named the Furfari Award winner as the state's college coach of the year. Huggins was named the 2015 winner by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association, the fourth time he's won the honor. He will be recognized at the 69th annual Victory Awards Dinner on May 17 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. Tickets for the event are available at state daily newspapers.

Huggins was also awarded the Big 12 Coach of the Year and the national Jim Phelan Coach of the Year earlier this year. West Liberty men's basketball coach Jim Crutchfield and former Marshall football coach Bob Pruett are the only other four-time winners of the Furfari Award. Former Fairmont State men's basketball coach Joe Retton won the award a record five times.

"I think a lot of it started in the weight room with Andy [Kettler, WVU basketball strength coach] teaching those guys and making sure they knew it was going to take a lot more work than what they had put in where they came from," Huggins said about the Mountaineers' success this season. "Our older guys were good examples. We had good chemistry, which helps, but a lot of other things had to come together, too."

The Mountaineers, who began the season with seven new players in their rotation who were not part of the team the season before, found success immediately, winning 14 of the first 15 games of the season, including a championship in the Puerto Rico Tip-off tournament. The full-court pressure, and the Mountaineers' ability to grab offensive rebounds was the key.

As a team, WVU had never led the NCAA in any statistical category, but finished the 2014-15 season as the nation's leader in turnovers forced (678) and offensive rebounds per game (16.43). The 678 turnovers forced in one season was also a school record.

It was a team that believed its strength came through its numbers and a team that was as tough, resourceful and gritty as Huggins.

"It seemed like everywhere we go, people say, 'Well, it's not pretty,' " Huggins said during the NCAA tournament. "Well, I think it's beautiful. I love it. I love the fact that we can't make shots and still win and still find ways to score."

The state provided a strong field of college coaches this past year. Concord football coach Garin Justice finished second in the voting after guiding the Mountain Lions to the Mountain East Conference championship with the school's best-ever record of 13-1. Concord advanced to the NCAA Division II semifinals and was ranked No. 5 nationally.

Marshall football coach Doc Holliday finished third after guiding the Thundering Herd to a 13-1 record and a national Top 25 ranking. Marshall won the Boca Raton Bowl against Northern Illinois after capturing its first Conference USA title.

Nikki Izzo-Brown placed fourth after guiding the WVU women's soccer team to its 15th consecutive NCAA tournament with a 17-3-2 record. The Mountaineers won the Big 12 regular season and conference tournament titles.

Shepherd women's basketball coach Jenna Eckleberry was fifth after guiding the Rams to a 22-10 record in her first season at the school after the team ended 4-23 the previous season. The Rams advanced to the semifinals of the Atlantic Regional before falling to Bloomsburg University 85-69.

WVU rifle coach Jon Hammond rounded out the top vote-getters and finished sixth. Hammond guided the Mountaineers to their third straight (and 17th overall) NCAA championship in 2015.

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Public glimpses newly finished Kanawha City cancer center http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ01/150419259 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ01/150419259 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Lydia Nuzum s Bob Humphrey gazed out the window, only feet from one of the new chemotherapy infusion bays that filled the second floor of the pristine building, his eyes began to water.

He was filled with gratitude.

"I'm thankful that it's here," he said. "I'm thankful I'm here."

Humphrey, now 55, was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2008 after a routine doctor's visit. Humphrey, who had experienced no symptoms, said he was "very lucky" - he has been cancer free for eight years.

"I had surgery and six months of chemotherapy. My wife - she was and is my hero - is downstairs. She couldn't come up here, which surprised me, because she's tough. It finally got to me standing up here," he said. "This is a blessing."

As Richard and Wanda Carnes stood on the outdoor terrace, they remembered their daughter, who had also been diagnosed with colon cancer. Unlike Humphrey, Candeth Riley had suspected something was wrong, but delayed visiting the doctor because she had no health insurance coverage. She passed away in 2010 at the age of 41.

"I wanted to see Dr. (Arun) Nagarajan; I came to see him," Wanda said. "I remember, he took me in his office, sat me down and held my hand and told me that he was really sorry, that he had done all he could, it just wasn't to be."

Clyde Watson, 85, has been visiting the David Lee Cancer Center since 2000, when problems resurfaced after a bout with prostate cancer five years earlier. He wanted to see the new building he would be visiting for his regular check-ups with Dr. James Frame, who has managed his care for the last 15 years.

"I've been doing what I want to do, I've been going where I want to go, and each time my (prostate-specific antigen levels) go up, we go to something else," Watson said. "They found a small tumor in my bladder and removed it and did some strong radiation then. That was 2012, but I'm still here, I'm still going, I'm still enjoying it, and that's why I'm here."

Each of them and many more were in Kanawha City on Saturday to see the new CAMC Cancer Center, and to share in celebrating its completion, nearly 12 years after it was first proposed. The new cancer center, located at the former site of Watt Powell Park, is on track to open its doors to patients the second week of May.

"I used to live two blocks from here on Staunton Avenue, and I'm a big baseball fan, so we used to come over here to watch the Wheelers and the Alley Cats play at Watt Powell Park," Humphrey said. "When they decided to put this here, I thought 'this is something I can actually be okay with,' because it's something that's needed."

Gail Pitchford, president of the CAMC Foundation, said the new cancer center, built through a combination of public and private fundraising, was the result of community effort.

"Cancer touches everybody - young or old, rich or poor. That's why this needed to be a community project, and that's why we needed the community here today," she said.

The building also has a cafe, a large fireplace in its rotunda and a welcoming interior: there are more than 200 pieces from West Virginia artists on display throughout the building, including 12 focal pieces commissioned from West Virginia artists who have been touched by cancer, Pitchford said. It even features a boutique with an array of wigs - all free to patients - and prosthetics often covered through insurance, as well as massage, manicure and pedicure services.

"Patients who have cancer need their families and friends around them; they want to sleep in their own bed at night, they want to come receive their chemotherapy and they want to go home, and while they're here they want their loved ones here with them. With this in our community, we can offer that to the patient, and have all of the state-of-the-art equipment and expertise right here," Pitchford said.

The $50 million cancer center project was funded dually by the CAMC Foundation's The Power of Many fundraising campaign, which raised $15 million for the project, and a 30-year note to finance the remaining $38 million. The plan for the center is to consolidate all of CAMC's cancer treatment services in one location, which should be accomplished once the radiation unit is completed in September.

Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nuzum@wvgazette.com, 304-348-5189 or follow @lydianuzum on Twitter.

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Who has heard of the Taiping horror http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/ARTICLE/150419262 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/ARTICLE/150419262 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:01:00 -0400 History awareness is woefully spotty. Everyone knows that World War II killed perhaps 40 million people - but few ever heard of a bizarre religious war that inflicted similar slaughter.

China's Taiping Rebellion in the mid-1800s was the bloodiest civil war in human history, and possibly the worst conflict of any type, depending on whose casualty estimate you accept. Most historians tally the death toll at 20 million, but some speculate 50 million or 100 million, largely stemming from war-caused famines and epidemics.

The weird uprising began because a Chinese man, Hong Xiuquan, read Christian missionary pamphlets, then said he experienced a vision in which God told him he was a younger brother of Jesus. Hong said God commanded him to "destroy demons," meaning officials and supporters of the reigning Qing Dynasty.

Hong proclaimed the "Heavenly Kingdom of Peace" (Taiping Tianguo), and began raising a volunteer army to wage the opposite of peace. Oppressed peasants in southern China flocked to him, partly because of his miracle message and partly because they felt bitterness against the ruthless northern Qing government.

Early rebel victories against Qing troops in 1850 caused the Taiping army to swell beyond 700,000. One of Hong's top aides - Yang Xiuqing, who claimed that his utterances were the voice of God speaking through him - became a secondary commander. Together, they mandated a puritanical society inflicting the death penalty for various vices and imposing strict separation of sexes. Although polygamy was banned, Hong, the supposed younger brother of Jesus, had a harem of concubines.

In March, 1853, the Taipings conquered Nanking, killing 30,000 imperial troops and civilians. Hong renamed the city "Heavenly Capital" and built his "Palace of Heavenly King" there.

The rebellion mushroomed, and so did the horrendous death toll. The Taipings soon controlled much of south-central China, about one-fourth of the nation and nearly half of the population. Visionary Hong partly withdrew as military commander - but he grew suspicious of aide Yang's pronouncements as the "voice of God." He ordered execution of Yang and his family in 1856, along with extermination of Taiping soldiers loyal to Yang.

Qing Dynasty rulers struggled to defeat the snowballing mutiny. Several local resistance militias were organized. The largest was the "Ever-Victorious Army" led by American commander Frederick Ward. After Ward was killed in 1862, command was taken by Briton Charles "Chinese" Gordon. Hiring expert foreign commanders for local mercenary defense armies was expedient during that chaotic period in China.

Gradually, the Taipings were beaten backward. But many stubbornly fought to the death. Eventually, they were surrounded in their capital, Nanking. Hong relinquished power to his 15-year-old son. Then Hong died of food poisoning from unclean vegetables in the starving city. As imperial troops overran Nanking in July 1864, many Taipings took poison and others suffered mass execution. The final battle killed 100,000 in three days.

Hong's body was exhumed and burned, and his ashes were blasted from a cannon, to deprive fanatical followers of a gravesite where he could be worshipped as a divine martyr.

Several hundred thousand Taiping soldiers remained in surrounding regions, and continued guerrilla resistance until 1871.

Footnote: Unlucky Chinese Gordon later was afflicted by religious war a second time. In 1885, he led Egyptian defenses against a Muslim holy war in the upper Nile valley, and was killed when the fanatics overran Khartoum.

Haught, the Gazette's editor, can be reached by phone at 304-348-5199 or e-mail at haught@wvgazette.com. This article previously appeared in Free Inquiry magazine.

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Essays on Faith http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/ARTICLE/150419263 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/ARTICLE/150419263 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Gene Monk I opened my daily newspaper this morning and turned immediately to the Obituary section, as I most often do. The very first name jolted me. It was my friend of many years. I was his helper in the Union Carbide Construction Department at Carbide's Institute WV plant way back in the late 1950's and 60's. His name was Eddie Bird, and he was one of God's faithful servants. He was a devout Christian and a steadfast witness for Jesus Christ. I was new on the job and he quickly started witnessing to me about my need to establish a relationship with God. I rejected his efforts, telling him that I believed in Jesus, His substitutionary death on the cross of Calvary, and his resurrection. I really did know those things in my head, but I had never accepted them in my heart and asked Jesus to save me.

Eddie continued to strive with me and actually pestered me until I finally agreed to go to a church service with him. It was to be at a special Friday night service on December 1, 1961 at the Bible Center Church on Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston, WV. Dr. Lee Roberson, President of Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was the speaker and the title of his sermon was "The Big C." The "C" stood for the compassion of Christ. After hearing his powerful message, I felt that I should go forward at the time of the altar call, but the church was very crowded, nobody else was going forward and I was too intimidated to go alone. Then the preacher did something that I had never seen done before, or since. He asked if there was anybody in the service that had a loved one who wasn't saved and asked them to come to the front of the church. My wife, a long time Christian, left my side and went up to the altar.

That broke my heart, and crowd or no crowd, I wanted to be saved. I went to the altar and met with the Bible Center pastor, Charles Hendrix. After he explained the gospel, I told him that I had accepted Christ as my Savior and that I would do my best to serve Him for the rest of my life. That was the best thing I have ever done in my lifetime, and it was good for Eddie, too. It assured me of a perfect home in Heaven for all eternity, and it earned him a crown of righteousness.

The bible teaches in 2 Timothy, 4:8 that there are crowns of righteousness for those who will love His appearing at His return. There is also a soul winners crown and I am relatively sure that Eddie will have many of them. Revelation 4:9-11 teaches that the crowns that Christians earn shall be laid before Christ's throne for His honor and glory. Each crown laid before the throne will be like giving Jesus a precious gift. What a glorious moment that would be.

Eddie also displayed great faith in his life. Eddie and his wife had seven children and our Carbide salaries would indicate that they had to be very frugal in their expenditures. Eddie wanted his children to have a Christian school education and he was greatly impressed by the Bob Jones Schools in Greenville South Carolina. He quit his job and took his family to Greenville and enrolled all of his children of school age in the Bob Jones Schools. This was a bold venture, his not having a job there and not knowing where he would get one. Eddie was no longer working as an Instrument Fitter in a construction crew. He had moved into Carbides Engineering Department where he worked as a Draftsman. God honored his faith and he quickly landed a job doing the very same thing for an engineering firm in Greenville. He was actually rewarded further when his new employer recognized his abilities and promoted him to the position of Designer, giving him a nice increase in salary.

Several years had passed since I had talked to him and I tracked him down a few years ago and gave him a phone call. He had retired from his job and was working in a sort of a halfway house, very much like our local Union Mission. He was working for little or no pay and was teaching bible classes to miscreants. He seemed to be very content. I realized that he was happy because he was surrounded by people who needed to be taught about the Lord and who needed to be saved. He must have felt like a hungry fisherman, fishing in a lake that was so loaded with fish that they were practically jumping into his boat.

Every Christian should have a strong desire to see people saved. We are very fortunate to have the aforementioned Union Mission in our city. They are totally dedicated to seeing people saved, sheltered, nourished, clothed, educated, and returned to society as productive, desirable citizens.

The bible's central theme is love. The love that Jesus manifested on Calvary's cross by dying there for the sins of all mankind is the all-time greatest example of love. Eddie Bird exhibited his love for Jesus by working up to the last of his physical capabilities to lead people to Christ.

Monk is a writer who lives in Dunbar

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Paula Kaufman: There are some differences between Japanese and American public school teachers http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ04/150419270 GZ04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ04/150419270 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Paula Kaufman I am teaching English in rural Japan this year. Being here makes me appreciate some of the liberties American teachers and public employees take for granted.

One of the largest differences is autonomy. While American teachers complain about lack of freedom in curriculum planning, Japan has a nationalized curriculum where everyone learns the exact same material.

Furthermore, unlike most American public employees, Japanese governmental workers regularly change placements.

Another surprise is the start of the school year. While American children begin in autumn, Japanese children go back to school in April! The nation views spring as a time of rebirth. In a culture closely linked to the land's cycles, especially connecting with rice, and spring planting, starting the school year in spring makes sense.

However, the biggest surprise for me has been the lack of freedom teachers have in where they live. To be a teacher here is to serve your job above all else. While American teachers often stay at a school for many years, or their entire career, all Japanese public employees are required to transfer jobs every 2 to 7 years. The enormous personnel shift in Japan each spring is called jinji ido, or, "personal transfer time."

In my board of education, several individuals have moved on. People are seen as interchangeable cogs in a machine, it seems. This is normal in Japan. However, Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island where I live, experiences this move in a way far different than the other Japanese islands due to its size.

Japan is composed of four main islands. These islands are divided into prefectures, sort of like counties. There are 47, and Hokkaido, the northernmost island, comprises an entire prefecture. It is by far the largest in land area. Hokkaido is about 83,457 square kilometers. For comparison, the next largest prefecture in area is only 15,000 square kilometers, according to the Statistics Bureau of Japan.

Several of my co-workers will move to locations nine or 10 hours from their current post. Teachers and other public employees acknowledge that they are public servants. They believe it is their duty to go where they are told without complaint. Yet the sacrifice is great. The reality of frequent geographically dispersed job transfers make it more burdensome to be married and have a family.

In the school district where I work, teachers live in teacher housing. Many are young and single. There are more male teachers than women. Teachers live away from their families during the weekday, and, on weekends travel home to their spouses, if close enough.

Some teachers say this current system is related to politics from the Edo period 300 years ago. During this time, government employees were frequently moved to decentralize power. In this way, no one would gain enough influence to cause rebellion. Now the rule is rarely questioned. It is as integral a part of teacher life as facilitating club activities until after sundown, on weekends and during holidays.

One benefit of having teachers transfer across Hokkaido every few years is that excellent teachers are not only in the cities. Teachers trained in top universities are sent to rural areas as much as urban ones, ensuring all students receive quality education. But the cost to teachers' personal lives is great.

Across Hokkaido, schools are closing. This further contributes to teachers having to travel greater distances for jinji ido. Young people leave small towns and move to the bigger cities of Sapporo and Hakodate. And people leave the island of Hokkaido all together, moving to the bigger cities in the rest of Japan like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

My supervisor at the Hokkaido Board of Education, Mr. Ogata, drives four hours one way on weekends whenever possible to visit his family. Eating, playing and relaxing with them is the highlight of his week, he says.

The Japanese are workaholics, far more than most Americans I know. Yet, when I searched for statistics to back up what I see around me, I could not find them. Either the Japanese are not reporting their hours, or the studies might not reflect whether they count the female population, a large percentage of whom stay at home.

In Japan, teachers clock in at 8 and sometimes stay past 9. They go to school on Saturdays and Sundays to coach clubs and are required to work when students are on their spring breaks. Japanese workers take little vacation. And from what I can tell, teachers do not get paid very much. My supervisor at the Board of Education is the most assiduous worker I have ever met. He works all night most nights. In seven months I have watched his hair turn from black to salt-and-pepper hued, like President Obama. And while the Japanese have perhaps the highest literacy rate in the world, the teachers get no rest.

Disrupting teachers lives contributes to Japan's shrinking birthrate. Okushiri High School, where I teach, is the only high school on a small island. Only one of the staff of nearly 20 people is married - the current principal. The rest are single and in their early 20s. Two are female.

Another rule that makes it hard to have a family is that a married couple cannot teach in the same school. One of my favorite teachers, married a fellow teacher. While they teach in the same school now they must move next year. This particular teacher is a unique educator. She lectures her students on human rights, founded the school's English Club and has lead student trips to New Zealand. Yet, despite her excellence, the system may make her stop teaching. She is in her mid-30s and wants to have children.

"If I have a family I will stay home so we will not be separated," she says. "Being together, in the same place is most important." In the current system having two parents as high school teachers is made nearly impossible.

Japanese public workers remind me of those in the American military. They are transferred with little to no say in the decision. They make large sacrifices for their job. Fathers commonly live away from their families for their job. Teachers live in teacher housing beside the school. Their duties to their job take precedence above all else. Teaching is not a career; it is a way of life.

Co-workers become a kind of second family since employees see their co-workers far more than their actual families. In Japanese, the term for "I miss you" does not exactly translate in English. A Japanese friend told me that they rarely say this expression in Japanese because it connotes sadness, "we just say it is good to see you" upon meeting, my friend told me. When my friend did a homestay in America for several months, he did not keep in touch with his family much through phone or email. He said that constant communication (while common in the US) is not as common in Japan. "No news is good news" he told me. It is not that they do not miss their families, just sometimes open communication is not as common.

There is much secrecy surrounding job transfers, and little time to plan for the big move.

Teachers themselves are often told where they shall be transferred mere weeks before, students sometimes the day of. There are stories of teachers having to start teaching before their belongings arrive. "Some teachers have to stay in a hotel for a week and move the following weekend," my co-teacher Sano Sensei told me.

It is forbidden for students to know beforehand that teachers are moving. Even if the teachers know they cannot tell. It is himitsu, a secret. Later, all transfers are published in the town newspaper. Private school employees are not expected to move every year and there is far less secrecy involved.

One public employee told me that his supervisor did not tell him the name of the city he was to be transferred to, only "mint," a major agricultural export in the town he will move to. This illustrates the sort of opacity common in the process.

There are seven pupils at one high school I work at. The school will close next year. Here, the changing of teachers "was very hard for students" one teacher told me, since the students had formed such close bonds with their homeroom teacher who was moving.

Experiencing this system for the first time, I was filled with trepidation that I would go to work one morning and my co-workers would all be replaced with new faces overnight. And so I was relieved when Aizawa San, my friend and co-worker at the Board of Education, told me where she was moving a week before. Moving companies won't transport her 20 plants and giant fish, so she will drive to the far east with her possessions.

Aizawa San will be transferred to a new job in a high school so small that it will be consolidated in four years. She will move to a different location after that, if not before. With a wide grin she says, "I can keep in touch with my family with the telephone and computer." She will return home for longer holidays or "if there is ever an emergency."

Like Aizawa San, public servants accept their transfer fate without complaint. But, with a shrinking economy, dwindling work force, and fewer individuals marrying and having children, the government should reconsider whether it is worth basing its decisions on tradition, or whether it should also consider common sense.

Paula Kaufman, of Charleston,

is teaching in Japan.

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Ted Boettner: Some tax reforms could help W.Va., but not the proven failures http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ04/150419271 GZ04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150419/GZ04/150419271 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Ted Boettner As the Legislature moves to revamp our state's tax system this year, lawmakers should avoid doubling down on the failed policies of the past and work toward changes that will support working families and stronger investments in our economy.

While we all want good-paying jobs and a stronger economy, the large corporate tax cuts enacted since 2007 have failed to provide any measurable benefits. In fact, they have severely damaged our state's ability to invest in the things that really create jobs that can support families and individuals, such as higher education, broadband, supporting small business, workforce training, and health care.

In the name of creating jobs and boosting our economy, lawmakers made several large reductions in business taxes - including phasing out the business franchise tax and reducing the corporate income tax and the business personal property tax for manufacturers and natural gas companies. All together, these cuts have cost over $225 million this year alone, about 5 percent of the state budget.

Meanwhile, West Virginia has 7,700 fewer private sector jobs than it did before the business tax cuts, including the loss of 11,000 manufacturing jobs, Over this period, the total number of West Virginians employed has dropped by nearly 40,000, from 778,000 to 739,000. West Virginia also has a smaller share of nation's private sector and manufacturing jobs. This all happened while the state's business tax ranking from the conservative Tax Foundation moved from 37th to 21st lowest in the nation.

There are several reasons why the business tax cuts failed to produce the jobs its supporters promised. First, while the corporate tax cuts where a large part of the budget, they represent a small share of the cost of doing business. All together, less than 3 percent of business costs in West Virginia are state and local taxes. Moreover, the cuts represented only a small fraction of the already low total business taxes paid in the state. The cost of labor, electricity, property, transportation, and raw materials are a much bigger cost of doing business and have a much larger influence on where businesses decide where to locate.

Second, most of the tax cuts were likely spent out-of-state. This is because the large majority of corporate taxes in West Virginia are paid by a small number of major multi-state corporations headquartered out of state. Most likely, the tax cuts were paid out in dividends to stockholders or the money was invested in other states. Moreover, corporate investment is usually driven by anticipated demand for their products and receiving additional cash isn't going to make this happen.

Lastly, given the state's balanced budget requirement, the reduction in revenues from the corporate tax cuts has meant removing a large amount of spending from the state economy with cuts in higher education and other government services.

To grow our economy and create a healthy balance of the things the state taxes, West Virginia will need tax policies that put more money in the hands of hard-working families and that dedicate more resources to investments that will grow the middle class and entice more people to raise their families in West Virginia.

This could include joining the 26 states that have enacted a state version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families. In addition to raising the incomes of low-income families, studies have shown the EITC helps people leave welfare for work. It also boosts the number of people in the workforce, a measure where West Virginia ranks last in the nation.

The money these working families receive also stays in the local economy, boosting sales for local businesses and overall economic activity. Research has also shown that the EITC can improve the health of infants and their mothers, improving learning college enrollment of children, and increase their life-long earnings.

Other avenues for tax reform could include:

n Raising tobacco and alcohol taxes to improve the health of West Virginians and reduce state medical expenses.

n Updating the personal income tax by reducing taxes on the middle class and increasing them on higher income people, who have gained the most economically since the end of the recession while middle-class wages have stagnated or declined for most workers.

n Modernizing the sales tax to reflect the changes in our economy from consuming goods to purchasing services.

n Closing offshore corporate income tax loopholes.

n Closely scrutinizing and scaling back business tax subsidies.

Lawmakers could also explore taxing shale gas at a higher rate while offering a refundable credit to the industry if it is used in state. This could help encourage more processing of natural gas and the development of related products in West Virginia and more jobs in our natural gas industry.

All of these suggestions would not only put more money in the hands of hard-working families, they would improve our state's economy while giving us the resources necessary to make our state a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Ted Boettner is the executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

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