www.wvgazette.com http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: December 27, 2014 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT01/312279956 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT01/312279956 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:03:31 -0500 Adkins, Lila 1 p.m., Bethlehem United Baptist Church, Salt Rock.

Arthur, Eva L. 2 p.m., High Lawn Funeral Chapel, Oak Hill.

Arthur, Loraine 2 p.m., High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Arthur, Loraine 2 p.m., Higlawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Barron, William 1 p.m., St. John's Baptist Church, Montgomery.

Bauer, David J. 2 p.m., Berry Hills Country Club, Charleston.

Bennett, John 11 a.m., First Baptist Church, St. Albans.

Bennett, John 11 a.m., First Baptist Church, St. Albans.

Bever, Charles D. 2 p.m., St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Craigsville.

Chase, Danny L. 1 p.m., Winfield Church of the Nazarene, Winfield.

Coy, Shirley A. 1 p.m., New Beginning of Church, Glen Jean.

Crum, Carol 3 p.m., Chafin Funeral Home, Delbarton.

Dempsey, Thelma L. 11 a.m., Montgomery Memorial Park, London.

Dotson, Margaret J. 11 a.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Dugan, Jack W. II 2 p.m., Hopewell Baptist Church, Alum Creek.

Estep, Margaret A. 1 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.

Hoffman, Anna 3 p.m., Altmeyer Funeral Home, Benwood

Jones, Charles H. 1 p.m., Grace Baptist Church, Fayetteville.

Keeling, Norma E. 2 p.m., Henderson Cemetery, Henderson.

Larch, Madge D. 2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home Chapel, Elkview.

Loyd, Denver W. 1 p.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Marks, Madelyn W. 1 p.m., Taylor

McLaughlin, Christine 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Osborne, Wilma L. 2 p.m., Wallace & Wallace Chapel, Rainelle.

Parrish, Shawna R. 1 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Parsons, David R. 11 a.m., Long and Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.

Raines, Catherine 2 p.m., Tyler Mountain Funeral Home, Cross Lanes.

Robertson, Terry A. 2:30 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Robinson, Arnold V. 1 p.m., Randolph Street Baptist Church, Charleston.

Ryder, Baysel 3 p.m., VanReenen Funeral Home, Marlinton.

Samples, "Kent" 2 p.m., Wilson

Sharp, Juanita 4 p.m., Deal Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Skiles, Dorothy 1 p.m., Bartlett Burdette Cox Funeral Home, Charleston.

Smith, Marilyn A. 11 a.m., First Presbyterian Church, South Charleston.

Smith, Ura 2 p.m., Cunningham Memorial Park Mausoleum Chapel.

Spencer, Peggy A. 11 a.m., Cunningham

Stanley, Donald F. 1 p.m., Allen Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Thornhill, Carolyn 11 a.m., Beckley Presbyterian Church, Beckley.

Vance, Mary L. 1 p.m., Freeman Funeral Home, Chapmanville.

Walker, Selena M. 1 p.m., First Baptist Church, Kimberly.

Watson, Willa 11 a.m., Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin.

White, Jane N. 1 p.m., Shiloh Baptist Church, Charleston.

Wigal, Russell H. 1 p.m., Leavitt Funeral Home, Parkersburg.

Maxine V. Arthur http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279999 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279999 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:02:19 -0500 Maxine V. Arthur, 92, of Webster Springs, died Dec. 20, 2014. Service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28, at Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs. Visitation will be 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 28, at the funeral home.

George Atkins http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279988 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279988 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:02:36 -0500 George Ellsworth Atkins, 89, of Dunbar, passed away December 20, 2014, at Thomas Memorial Hospital of a long illness.

He was born and raised in Welch, W.Va., he served three years in the Air Force and received a BA Degree from Morris Harvey College in 1952. He was the Manager for Sears Furniture Department where he met Lois and married in 1965. He opened an Esso station in 1969 and retired from Exxon Corporation.

He married Marian and had one child, Marilyn Lee Atkins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul Atkins, Jr. and Mary Atkins Drosick; wife, Marian L. Atkins; sister-in-law, Mildred Atkins; nephew, Paul Atkins IV; grandsons, Jeffrey Smith, Dan Baker and Rick Caudle

He is survived by his wife, Lelia Lois Atkins; daughter, Marilyn Lee; stepchildren, Ronnie (Helen), Babs, Susan, Clinton (Rebecca); adopted son, Randy; grandchildren, David, Jimmy, Brian, Bruce, Melanie, Jon, Kara, Rhianna, Rachal, Christopher and Katrina;16 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter; brother, Paul A. Atkins, III.

Memorial service will be 4 p.m. Monday, December 29, at the Bartlett Burdette Cox Funeral Home with the Celebrant H.R. Whittington officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the service Monday at the Bartlett Burdette Cox Funeral Home, 513 Tennessee Avenue, Charleston, WV 25302.

Private family burial will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be sent to the Atkins family by visiting bartlettburdettecox.com.

Geneva Fae Boggess http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279992 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279992 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:02:30 -0500 Geneva Fae Boggess, 82, of Sissonville, departed this life December 21, 2014, at St. Francis Hospital.

Geneva retired from St. Francis Hospital with over 20 years of service, and she will be missed dearly.

Preceding her in death were her husband, William Boggess; parents, Herbert "Tom" and Marie Harrison Higginbotham; brother, Jay Higginbotham and sister, Uneva Beane.

Survivors include her daughters, Teresa Phillips and husband, Ron of Savannah, Ga., and Lisa Harrison and husband, Rick of Kenna; sisters, Lois Skeens and Ann Fisher; grandchildren, Jordan Lee Phillips and Nathan Harrison.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Sunday, December 28, at Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home with Pastor Gerald Fisher officiating. Burial will follow in Emma Chapel Cemetery, Liberty. Visitation with the family will be from noon until service time Sunday.

The family will accept online condolences at: cpjfuneralhome.com. Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the Boggess family.

Rosanna Bowlby http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279978 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279978 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:02:47 -0500 Rosanna Flesher Bowlby, known by family and close friends as "Bobo", passed away peacefully, Thursday morning, December 25, 2014, at the Roane General Hospital, Spencer, after a short illness.

She was born December 27, 1930, in Pennsboro, a daughter of the late Clarence and Blanch Simonton Flesher. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by four brothers, James, Bo, Jack and Lawrence Flesher; a son-in-law, Mike Shaver.

Rosanna was a member of the Spencer Church of Christ. She was a homemaker who truly enjoyed her home, spending time with her family and grandkids, cooking, flower gardening and keeping her flock of feathered friends, fish and other critters that inhabited their property abundantly fed. She enjoyed daily reading her Bible and commentaries and taking a two mile walk from her home to the hospital and back. Through the years, she enjoyed working with children, volunteering her time in a private church kindergarten, the local school system and our local library.

Survivors include her husband of 62 years, Richard Bowlby, Sr.; four loving children, Richard Bowlby, Jr. and his wife, Pamela of Stanton, Ky., Rhea Shaver of Seymour, Tenn., Floyd Bowlby and his wife, Jeanette of Ripley, Robert Bowlby and his wife, Sarah of Miami, Fla.; seven grandchildren, Ernie, Sasha and Brianna Bowlby of Kentucky, Ross Shaver and his wife, Amanda of Tennessee, Maggie and Matt Bowlby of West Virginia, Austin Bowlby of Florida; one great granddaughter, Gracie Faith Shaver of Tennessee.

In honoring Rosanna's request, there will be a private family graveside service Monday at the Eventide Cemetery, Spencer, with Minister John Rockhold, III officiating.

The family wishes to especially thank the caring staff of both the CAMC General Hospital and the Roane General Hospital for their assistance.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the Roane General Hospital, 200 Hospital Drive, Spencer, WV 25276. Online condolences may be expressed at www.taylorfuneralhomeinc.com. John H. Taylor Funeral Home, Spencer, is in charge of arrangements.

Norma Casto http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279981 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279981 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:02:42 -0500 Norma Lee Casto, 84, of Charleston passed away Thursday, December 25, 2014, at CAMC Memorial Hospital, Charleston.

Born October 24, 1930, in Charleston, Norma was a daughter of the late Carl and Frances Givens. She was also preceded in death by her son, James Edward Givens; and brother, Casey Givens.

She was a retired nurse's aide from CAMC General Hospital, Charleston and attended Kings River Worship Center.

She is survived by her daughters, Connie Sue Morgan of Luray, Va., Mary Frances Byrnside of St. Albans, Patricia Ann Holbrook of Jacksonville, Fla.; sons, Ronald D. Givens and Billy Wayne Lynn, both of Charleston; seven grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and her pet, Cody.

Private service will be held.

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

Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and operated at 409 Sixth Avenue, St. Albans, WV is honored to serve the Casto family.

Carl Wayne Clinton http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279964 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279964 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:03:23 -0500 Carl Wayne Clinton, 49, of South Charleston died Christmas day, at the home of her sister, Lora Walker. Funeral service will be noon Monday, December 29, at Curry Funeral Home, 2097 Childress Road, Alum Creek with Chaplain Jim Burgess officiating. Burial will follow at Cunningham Memoral Park, St. Albans. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

John Comer http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279989 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279989 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:02:36 -0500 John Arlington Comer, 88, of Charleston, passed away Wednesday, December 24, 2014, at Valley Center, South Charleston.

He was born in Lansing, June 19, 1926, to the late Robert Edward and Odessa Violet Shawver Comer. John was also preceded in death by his wife, Edna Branham Comer; brothers, Edward, Joseph David, James G. and Alton Comer; and sisters, Ezella Perry, Sarah Bonneau, Lucille Ross and Jane Allegretti.

John was a painter for Walker Machinery and a U.S. Army veteran. He was a Christian and was the president of the Comer Club.

He is survived by stepsons, Larry D. Branham and Gilbert B. Branham, Jr. and wife, Karen, all of Parkersburg; grandchildren, Scott G. Branham and Jennifer Kerins; great-grandchildren, Gavin and Kaya Kerins; brothers, Robert "Bob" Comer of San Carlos, Calif., Kennith Comer of Albuquerque, N.M. and Larry Comer of Fayetteville; and several cousins, nieces and nephews. The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Monday, December 29, at Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden. The burial will follow the service in Mountain View Memory Gardens, Maher. Family and friends will gather for the visitation from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, December 28, at the funeral home.

The online guest book for John Arlington Comer can be accessed at www.stevensandgrass.com.

William J. Craddock http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279993 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279993 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:02:28 -0500 William "Willie" J. Craddock, of Hewett, was born December 5, 1926, and died on December 24, 2014.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Icie Chambers Craddock in 1982; his parents, Corbett "Carey" and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Craddock; and brothers and sisters, Leland, Nealey, Lawrence, Jucal, Joseph, Mary, Stella and Leora.

He is survived by his wife, Janice; sons, Neal (Janice) and Mark (Dena) Craddock; daughters, Emma (Snuffy) Byrnside and Gail Coakley; and stepson and stepdaughter, Brian Hudson and Judy Stevenson. His surviving brothers and sisters are Jacob and Daniel Craddock, Marcella Stevenson, Louella Stevenson, Lena Kirkendoll, Nellie Craddock and Deborah Hall. He was blessed with eight grandchildren, Dennie, Chris, Ryan and Josh Craddock, Sam and Brent Coakley, Hannah Hensley and Barbie Caserta; 15 precious great-grandchildren with another great-granddaughter to arrive in February.

Dad was born on Craddock Fork and resided on Hewett's Creek his entire life. He was an avid hunter especially fox hunting and he had many hunting buddies throughout his life. He had fond memories of each hunting trip they shared. He was an old time gardener and loved to share his garden wealth. You would find him in his gardens sunup to sundown. He was a retiree of Sharples Coal Company. He was a hard worker who believed in right and wrong and loved his simple life and most of all he loved his family and will remain the head of the family even though he might not now be at the table. He is sadly missed but we are blessed to have had him for 88 years and his spirit remains. He is at peace.

A service to honor him will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, December 28, at Handley Funeral Home in Danville with an invitation to visit one hour prior to the service. Guerrant Craddock and the Rev. Roger McCauley will be directing the service. He will be laid to rest with his first wife at the Elkins Cemetery on Missouri Fork of Hewett, WV. You may express your condolences to the family at www.handleyfh.com.

Carol June Crum http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279990 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/OBIT/312279990 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:02:34 -0500 Carol June Crum, 57, of Jefferson City, Tenn., formerly of Delbarton, W.Va., she was the daughter of the late Alex Sr. and Joann Rutherford Hunt.

After a long battle with illness, Carol Crum went home to be with the lord December 23, at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn. She was born on May 28, 1957, at Williamson. She worked as an LPN at ARH Hospital in Williamson, and an RN at the V.A. Hospital in Huntington, Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston, and Acordia National in Charleston. Carol was a member of the Emanuel Baptist Church.

She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Donald H. Crum of Jefferson City, TN; her sons, Donald Crum and wife, Kelley of Hurricane, and Jonathan Crum and wife, Martha of Jefferson City, TN, along with granddaughter, Emna. She is also survived by brother, Alex Hunt, Jr. of Delbarton and sisters, Peggy Perry of Turkey Creek, KY and Lisa McCloud of Dingess, WV as well as several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be conducted 3 p.m. Saturday, December 27, by Pastor Sonny Strange at Chafin Funeral Home in Delbarton, WV. Family visitation will begin at 1:30 p.m. with public visitation at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to one of two charitable organizations that Carol cared greatly for, either the Samaritan House or the Appalachian Outreach of Jefferson City, Tennessee.

State sets Christmas tree recycling event http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229464 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229464 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 17:24:15 -0500 CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Natural Resources are gearing up for their 10th annual Christmas tree recycling event.

The event is set for Jan. 3 at the Capitol Market in downtown Charleston. Officials will again recycle the Christmas trees and use them to improve fish habitats across the state.

Over the years, thousands of live trees have been collected and placed in lakes across the state to improve fish habitat. This year, trees will be placed in Beech Fork, East Lynn, Stonewall Jackson, Sutton and Tygart lakes.

The recycling event brought close to 500 trees last year.

To be accepted, all decorations must be removed from the trees, including ornaments, tinsel and stands.

First Energy making upgrades in West Virginia http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229465 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229465 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 17:23:20 -0500 FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - FirstEnergy Corp. is working on about $100 million in new transmission projects and evaluating additional system upgrades in West Virginia.

The additional upgrades are aimed to support northern West Virginia's rapidly expanding Marcellus Shale gas industry as well as enhance electric service reliability for Mon Power's customers.

The company says the new facilities include high-voltage substations and transmission lines to accommodate expanding natural gas processing facilities and other energy-intensive operations in West Virginia's Marcellus Shale region.

New gas customer facilities are projected to account for load growth of about 400 megawatts through 2019. That's about 200,000 new homes in Mon Power's system.

Mon Power serves about 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties.

US economy began shaky, finished strong http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/ARTICLE/141229466 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/ARTICLE/141229466 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 08:42:44 -0500


AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. economy flexed its old muscles in 2014.

More than five years removed from the Great Recession, worries had taken hold at the start of the year that perhaps the world's largest economy had slid into a semi-permanent funk.

But consumers, businesses and investors, after enduring a brutal winter, showed renewed vigor as the year wore on and set the United States apart from much of the world.

Stocks repeatedly set record highs - and did so again Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising modestly to a new peak. Employers were on pace to add nearly 3 million jobs, the most in 15 years. Sinking oil prices cut gasoline costs to their lowest levels since May 2009. Auto sales accelerated. Inflation was a historically low sub-2 percent.

The U.S. economy proved it could thrive even as the Federal Reserve ended its bond buying program, which had been intended to aid growth by holding down long-term loan rates.

All told, the United States remained insulated from the financial struggles surfacing everywhere from Europe and Latin America to China, Japan and Russia.

So what explained the U.S. economy's resilience this year?

Economists say it largely reflected the delayed benefits of finally mending the damage from the worst downturn in nearly 80 years. Unlike past recoveries that enjoyed comparatively swift rebounds, this one proved agonizingly slow. It took 61/2 years to regain all the jobs lost to the recession - 8.7 million - far longer than during previous recoveries.

"It was a healing process from a severe recession and the financial crisis," said Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial, a bank based in Alabama.

The healing isn't complete. Wage growth remains lackluster and has barely outpaced extremely low inflation. Home building has been tepid.

But worries earlier this year that the economy might be trapped indefinitely by sluggish growth have largely faded. Here are the economic highlights of 2014:


Employers added 2.65 million jobs over the first 11 months of the year, and the unemployment rate sank to 5.8 percent from 6.7 percent. When the government announces the December job data next month, the 2014 job total is expected to be just shy of 3 million - the most since the dot-com era in 1999. Compared with recent years, those gains have been less concentrated in lower-paying industries such as retail, food service and temp agencies.

"We're finally entering that virtuous cycle phase of the expansion" when more jobs lead to higher incomes, which generates more consumer spending and growth, said Brett Ryan, an economist at Deutsche Bank.

Though average wage growth has been modest, the number of people with paychecks - and the ability to spend - has soared. If you exclude the economy's winter-induced 2.1 percent annual contraction in the first quarter of the year, annualized growth has averaged 4.4 percent in four of the past five quarters. That's far above the historic average of roughly 3.2 percent in the decades after World War II.


Stocks extended their bullish stampede of nearly six years. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed about 13 percent this year, hitting record highs more than 50 times. If you bought the index at a market bottom in March 2009, you've basically tripled your money. Corporate mergers helped drive this year's gains, along with major companies buying up $400 billion-plus of their own stock.


In a gift for U.S. consumers, energy got significantly cheaper. Crude oil prices were essentially cut in half from this year's high. The slowing economies in Europe and Asia curbed demand, while production remained steady. The price decline trickled down to gasoline pumps. Average prices nationwide dropped to $2.32 a gallon, down roughly a dollar from a year ago, according to AAA. Some of that price slowdown has hurt U.S. oil producers, which must weigh layoffs. But overall, cheaper oil is a positive. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted that the falling prices resemble a tax cut, generating savings for consumers that can be spent elsewhere to drive economic growth.


Far more Americans splurged on a new car after having held onto aging vehicles during the recession and slow early stages of the recovery. Sales were on track to increase 6 percent this year, with 16.5 million new vehicles on the road, according to Cars.com. That would be the best sales pace since 2006.


Even as the economy has strengthened - usually a sign that interest rates will rise - it's become easier to borrow. More loans mean more spending and faster growth. Rates have declined even though the Fed ended its program to stimulate growth by buying billions in Treasury and mortgage bonds each month.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has slipped to about 2.27 percent from 3 percent when the year began. The average 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.83 percent, down from roughly 4.5 percent a year ago.

WVU, A&M staffs share several ties http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/DM03/141229467 DM03 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/DM03/141229467 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 08:26:26 -0500 You could forgive the ambitious and impressive Oklahoma assistant for thinking he had it all figured out in the winter days of late 2007.

He'd just spent two seasons running the Sooners offense - co-coordinating would be the exact definition for what he'd done - and the second group finished the 2007 season ranked No. 19 in total offense and No. 5 in scoring offense right about the time it became clear scoring offense meant more than any statistic other than wins. A year earlier, Oklahoma was No. 40 in total offense and No. 19 in scoring offense.

This was nothing new. The only other time he'd been an offensive coordinator was for two seasons at Texas A&M. In 2001, the Aggies were No. 106 in total offense, No. 98 in scoring offense and No. 71 in passing offense. In 2002, they were up to Nos. 47, 49 and 21.

This propensity for sudden turnarounds, to say nothing of his time spent working for Joe Tiller, Glen Mason, R.C. Slocum and Bob Stoops, made him a head coaching commodity. It helped, too, that the Sooners were a powerhouse program and offensive assistants had been hired and succeeded elsewhere, namely Mike Leach at Texas Tech and Mark Mangino at Kansas.

So, yes, when the University of Houston needed a coach to replace Baylor-bound Art Briles, it made sense to first pluck Kevin Sumlin from Oklahoma and then expect good things. What the coach and the Cougars didn't expect was a shakeup well before they ever started and eventually wound up with a 35-17 record in four seasons.

It was the 2008 Fiesta Bowl and West Virginia's upset victory of favored Oklahoma serves as the backdrop for this season's Dec. 29 Liberty Bowl between Sumlin's Texas A&M (7-5)and the Mountaineers (7-5). The 2:30 p.m. ESPN game in Memphis will be a full-circle reunion for so many involved.

The Mountaineers, who we must not forget were ranked No. 11 and one nightmarish loss removed from the cusp of a national championship game appearance, stunned the Sooners and college football with a 48-28 win on Jan. 2, 2008. Sumlin, hired by Houston three weeks earlier, worked the game for the Sooners and was so impressed by WVU that he had to revisit his offensive designs and desires as he built a staff.

He was, of course, a fan of the spread offense, and he'd hitched his wagon to Tiller first as a graduate assistant at Washington State and then as an assistant at Purdue, where Sumlin witnessed the passing craze that was Drew Brees. The Sooners were as good as anyone in the nation on offense and what Leach and Mangino were doing within the Big 12 convinced Sumlin he was safe to do the same in Conference USA.

He looked to Texas Tech for his offensive coordinator and hired Dana Holgorsen, who'd spent eight years with Leach. Holgorsen was tired of begging his coach to punt and wanted to spark a career that four years later would have him in charge at WVU, where he's 28-22 in four seasons.

There was one caveat, though. Sumlin wanted Holgorsen to run Holgorsen's offense, but Sumlin wanted Holgorsen to do it as fast as possible.

Sumlin knew the offense. It was what Leach learned from Hal Mumme as his assistant at Iowa Wesleyan, Valdosta State and Kentucky and tailored to his own preferences when he was under Stoops at Oklahoma and then on his own at Texas Tech. It was what Holgorsen learned as a player under Mumme and Leach at Iowa Wesleyan and re-learned when he joined Leach at Texas Tech.

But Sumlin knew the value of hurrying up. He'd seen the Mountaineers use their pace to pile snaps atop the Sooners and to fall into a confident and comfortable rhythm. Sumlin wanted the same and trusted the combination of WVU's haste and Holgorsen's offense would overwhelm opponents.

He was right and it happened right away. Their first offense ranked No. 2 in total offense, No. 10 in scoring offense and No. 2 in passing offense. Their quarterback, Case Keenum, led the nation in total offense. It was impossible to ignore and it caught the eye of Houston's defensive backs coach.

He'd been a defensive graduate assistant the previous three seasons at Oklahoma. He saw what WVU's offense did to the Sooners defense. He was seeing what the volatile mix of Holgorsen and Sumlin were not only doing to Conference USA defenses, but what it threatened to do to the future landscape of college football.

So impressed was Zac Spavital that he called his younger brother, who was new to the family business as a 23-year-old graduate assistant at Tulsa. Zac told his little brother he had to find a way to work for Holgorsen - and consider the depth of that statement.

Todd Graham was Tulsa's head coach. His defensive coordinator was eventual and now former WVU defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. The offensive coordinator was Chad Morris, who'd move on to be the same at Clemson and is now the head coach at SMU. Mike Norvell was the receiver's coach and is now Graham's offensive coordinator at Arizona State and one of the most highly regarded assistants in the country. Bill Blankenship was the running backs coach and succeeded Graham as Tulsa's head coach when he left for Pitt.

Zac's advice was plenty influential, and Jake Spavital would leave Tulsa to work for Holgorsen at Houston in 2009. He'd follow Holgorsen to Oklahoma State in 2010 and WVU in 2011 and finally get a full-time position when Holgorsen was promoted to the head coaching position before the 2011 season. Spavital would coach quarterbacks for two seasons.

Meanwhile, Sumlin's Houston program kept humming and started the 2011 season 12-0. He was hired by Texas A&M before the bowl game that season and brought his offensive coordinator along with him. Kliff Kingsbury, who was Texas Tech's quarterback when Holgorsen was an assistant there, helped Johnny Manziel win the Heisman Trophy and was then hired to be the Red Raiders head coach. Sumlin needed a replacement and called Spavital to lead Manziel and be the co-coordinator in 2013. Spavital was promoted to the lone coordinator position this season and remained in charge of the quarterbacks, and that's been a chore. Spavital coached Geno Smith his two seasons at WVU and Manziel his first season with the Aggies, but juggled sophomore Kenny Hill and true freshman Kyle Allen this season.

Hill started 5-0 and the Aggies were as high as No. 6 before losing three in a row, the last a 59-0 defeat against Alabama. Hill was benched and later suspended for two games. Allen won his first two starts but has lost his last two.

Fittingly, there's a tie that binds Allen, a five-star recruit from Scottsdale, Ariz., and the Mountaineers.

"I know him very well," said WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, who was an assistant at Arizona in 2012. "In my year at Arizona, he was at a school in my area and I recruited him during the spring and summer, the whole deal, during his junior year. He's athletic and keeps plays alive, just does some really good things with his legs and fits what they like to do on offense."

Lincoln deputy crashes en route to stabbing http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229468 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229468 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 01:33:42 -0500 Four people were transported to Cabell-Huntington Hospital Saturday night after a Lincoln County sheriff's deputy crashed into their vehicle while traveling to the scene of a stabbing, according to 911 dispatchers.

The accident happened around 7 p.m. on Route 10 near the Speedway in Branchland. According to the dispatch, there were two adults and two children in the vehicle and one officer and his K-9 partner in the cruiser.

The officer suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital by another officer who had also been headed to the stabbing scene, and the K-9 was uninjured. Three of the passengers in the other vehicle were transported to the hospital by ambulance, while the fourth, an adult, was flown by HealthNet, dispatchers said. Their conditions are unknown.

The accident required State Police to respond to the stabbing. According to 911 dispatchers, one man had stabbed another in the abdomen in a domestic dispute in nearby Harts. Dispatchers said they did not know the condition of the stabbing victim or if his attacker had been arrested.

Alyce Faye Bragg column: Dec. 27, 2014 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/ARTICLE/141229479 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/ARTICLE/141229479 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 Alyce Faye Bragg's column will return.

(No heading) http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229499 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229499 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 To the venter who criticized people who are happy and love to live in West Virginia: You try to use your intellect. Maybe you need to go to church and get some religion.

Shawn Williams is no different from Mark Plants, and Mark Plants is a great person, but both were in political stuff. He's also got to go.

Would someone please get serious about recycling? We are in a mess here. People want to recycle and take it seriously.

Most everyone in the health-care business is guilty of defrauding Medicare. The trouble is those who are charged with investigating crimes are guilty of not performing their jobs. They are for sale.

Movie theaters are going to shut down if they don't stop relying so heavily on the Internet and not posting their show times in the newspapers.

Another grammar lesson: My teacher says food is good, but a person does well.

Congratulations Herd on "trolloping" Northern Illinois in the bowl game. Say what you want. Awesome is awesome. Thanks a lot Herd. That was one of the most fun seasons I can remember.

There was another shooting at the Kickback Lounge on Central Avenue. Ever since it opened there has been nothing but violence at this bar and it is time it was shut down permanently.

I hope the following people got coal in their stockings this year for Christmas. The Obamas, Jonathan Gruber, Obama supporters in Congress, the Tomblins, the Bidens and all the people in the world who are mean and nasty because after all Jesus is the real reason for the season and not tons of Christmas gifts. Enough said.

Please read. Holiday came from holy day; happy holy day.

Allen Tackett is like Rockefeller. They've lived on the backs of the taxpayers all of their lives. They need to get real jobs.

If Dick Cheney's moral and ethical standards come from Heinrich Himmler, then I guess Barack Obama's come from Idi Amin or Joseph Goebbels.

"Youth is when you are allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you are forced to." - Bill Vaughn

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Pray for our wonderful President Barack Obama in this holiday season. He can't help how he was raised. I love Barack.

If the videos were made in Officer Williams home privately how did they end up in the hands of the Charleston Police Department and more importantly the mayor? What kinds of laws did they break in obtaining this information from his home?

Cass railroad transfer should go smoothly, officials say http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229505 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/GZ01/141229505 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Phil Kabler A transfer of rail operations for the Cass Scenic Railroad from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to the State Rail Authority is expected to go seamlessly, Brad Reed, a state Parks and Recreation district administrator said.

Patrons visiting Cass next year will see no changes in the rail excursions, except for likely but moderate fare increases, he said.

Cass Scenic Railroad has had operating losses of about $1.5 million a year.

Under the lease agreement between the DNR and the State Rail Authority, any fare increases have to be reasonable, he said.

"There likely will be some moderate increases," Reed said.

In 2014, adult fares ranged from $19 to $33, depending on route, season and day of travel.

The lease agreement and Memorandum of Understanding are set to go into effect Jan. 1.

Day-to-day operations of the railroad will be subcontracted to the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad, the Elkins-based rail line that provides freight service on the state-owned West Virginia Central line and operates four passenger excursion trains in central West Virginia.

As of Dec. 31, 17 Division of Natural Resources employees who operate Cass Scenic Railroad will be laid off by the DNR, Reed said. On Jan. 1, Durbin and Greenbrier Valley will hire all the full-time employees, he said, and most likely will hire most or all seasonal employees who operate the trains.

"Quite frankly, they will need all these folks to run that railroad," he said.

Under the agreement, the transferred employees will receive salaries or wages at least equal to their pay as DNR employees.

Cindy Butler, executive director of the State Rail Authority, said operators of the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad are committed to restoring a rail line between Durbin and Cass that was washed out in 1985 floods. That would provide interconnected rail lines through three counties, creating new passenger excursion opportunities.

The goal is to operate excursion trains between Elkins and Cass, with tourists staying overnight at both locations. Butler said that would fit perfectly with the Division of Tourism's efforts to increase the number of days visitors stay overnight in West Virginia.

"It ought to be an opportunity for a win for the state," she said.

Durbin and Greenbrier Valley operates the Durbin Rocket, Cheat Mountain Salamander and Tygart Flyer excursion trains, as well as the Christmas-themed Polar Express trains.

Placing the Cass Scenic Railroad under the State Rail Authority should simplify the process for seeking federal grants for maintenance of the rail line and equipment, Butler said.

Operations of the state park portion of Cass, including lodging in former lumber company houses, will remain under the DNR, Reed said.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazette.com, 304-348-1220, or follow @PhilKabler on Twitter.

Saturday cartoon http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/ARTICLE/141229509 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/ARTICLE/141229509 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:10:00 -0500

Perry Mann: The liberal gene http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/ARTICLE/141229513 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141227/ARTICLE/141229513 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 Note: I read "Liberals and conservatives, whence the divide?" by Charlie McElwee with great interest (Gazette, Dec. 13). This is an article I wrote a few years ago that supports McElwee's article.

By Perry Mann

E.O. Wilson is a biologist who has spent a lifetime studying ants. From his studies, he has concluded that the social behavior of all animals, including humans, is influenced by genes, a position contrary to the philosophy of John Locke (1632-1704).

Locke believed that the mind of a newborn was a blank sheet upon which experience wrote and thus determined the character of the individual. Nurture was everything, nature nothing. Noam Chomsky, a linguist and philosopher, contends that the ability to speak and understand language is built into the human brain, a position also contrary to Locke's. He believes that a Universal Grammar is wired into the brain of every child; that is, language is in the genes.

In 1996 I wrote an article titled "The Liberal Gene," which was published in the Nicholas Chronicle, the paragraph above being a paraphrase from it. In that article, I argued that "there is a political gene, a gene that determines whether one is conservative or liberal. Liberals are not made, they are born. Or one's politics is more a matter of nature than nurture."

I have recently finished reading Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate," in which there is a chapter titled "Politics." He expounds: "Liberal and conservative attitudes are heritable not, of course, because attitudes are synthesized directly from DNA, but because they come naturally to people with different temperaments. Conservatives, for example, tend to be more authoritarian, conscientious, traditional, and rule-bound. But whatever its immediate source, the heritability of political attitudes can explain some of the sparks that fly when liberals and conservatives meet. When it comes to attitudes that are heritable, people react more quickly and emotionally, are less likely to change their minds, and are more attracted to like-minded people."

In my 1996 article, I contended: "What the liberal gene builds and the messages it sends constructs the basic characteristics of a liberal." And I questioned: "What are these characteristics and traits engineered and dictated by the liberal gene?"

Imagination. No person with the liberal gene ever read the following words of John Donne, the English poet, without being intellectually stimulated and emotionally moved: "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; ... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

Verbal fluency. The liberal gene endows the person with skill in words. Liberals are not the tall silent type but the flexible and loquacious type. For evidence of liberals' verbal assets, one can note the difference between the speeches of Clinton and Dole; FDR and Dewey; Stevenson and Eisenhower; Kennedy and Nixon; or any liberal and Bush II.

Sex temperament. The liberal gene tempers the sex; that is, it produces a person that is somewhere in the middle of the sex spectrum. Maleness is modified. Raw predaciousness is diluted with cerebral chemistry. The quarterback spends some time in the library; the hunter cultivates grain. Do or die competitiveness becomes reasonable cooperation. Absolutes give way to compromises.

Empathy. The liberal discerns that no man is an island, that every man is part of the main, and that every man is involved in mankind, and that he is to some degree responsible for mankind's victories and its defeats, its champions and its scoundrels, its saints and its sinners. He sees that one's destiny is not always a matter of will but of fate.

Cooperation. The liberal's predisposition is to cooperate rather to compete. There is some socialism in every liberal just as there is some social Darwinism in every conservative. Every economic safety net ever conceived and implemented was the work of liberals over the wails of objections from the more competitive and predacious conservatives. The hunter can't abide the herder.

Altruism. A world without altruism would be worse than any jungle; for even in a jungle species work together to survive and mothers of whatever kind sacrifice for their young. The liberal gene predisposes the carrier to altruistic action, to an understanding that the welfare of everyone is the welfare of all. And that the raw rule of the survival of the fittest is no longer valid or tenable in a man-made environment.

From the earliest records, the political spectrum has run from conservative to liberal, from radical to reactionary. For every Attila the Hun there has been a Buddha, every Ratko Mladic a Gandhi, every warrior a poet. Political power through the ages has tilted from conservative to liberal and back. The impetus was and is the liberal gene.

Pinker writes: "Liberalism and conservatism have not just genetic roots, of course, but historical and intellectual ones. The two political philosophies were articulated in the 18th century in terms that would be familiar to readers of the editorial pages today, and their foundations can be traced back millennia to the political controversies of ancient Greece."

Political history is the work of the liberal gene and its civilizing influence.

Perry Mann is a lawyer, and a former teacher and prosecutor in Hinton.