www.wvgazette.com http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: February 27, 2015 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT01/302279955 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT01/302279955 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:03:24 -0500 Allen, Lillian 2:30 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.


Bishop, Kerrlie E. 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.


Boggs, Kenneth B. 11 a.m., Taylor


Brammer, Hugh E. Jr. 6 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.


Branham, Betty 1 p.m., Trace Church of God, Dingess.


Brydges, Audrey Y. 3 p.m., Broyles


Crouch, Thomas W. 11 a.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.


Cruse, Betty L. 2 p.m., Wallace & Wallace Chapel, Rainelle.


Dean, Billy J. 1 p.m., Kistler Freewill Baptist Church, Kistler.


Dempsey, Billy 3:30 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter


Ingram, Carl M. Noon, Hafer Funeral Home Chapel, Elkview.


Knuckles, Danny E. 2 p.m., Gatens


Lane, James G. Noon, Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin.


Lewis, Charles 1 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter


Mullins, Michael S. Noon, Freeman Funeral Home, Chapmanville.


Paine, Ronald I. 11 a.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.


Reed, Mildred 11 a.m., Broyles


Roberts, Curtis F. Noon, Heck Funeral Home, Milton.


Scarbro, Orpha M. 11 a.m., Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Cedar Grove.


Starcher, Phyllis 2 p.m., Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston.


Taylor, Shaun D. 1 p.m., Fidler and Frame Funeral Home, Belle.


Turley, Minnie E. 2 p.m., Dunbar Church of the Nazarene, Dunbar.

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Bobby Dale Adkins http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279962 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279962 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:03:15 -0500 Bobby Dale Adkins, 62, of Upper Mud River, died Feb. 25, 2015. Service will be 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1, at Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin, with visitation beginning one hour prior.

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Paul Richard Baldwin http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279997 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279997 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:02:23 -0500 Paul Richard Baldwin, 79, of Fort Ashby, went to be with The Lord on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 at the home of his granddaughter, Ashley Grogg, in Charleston.

Paul was born Jan. 16, 1936 in Ridgeley to Golden and Pauline Baldwin. He was a graduate of Fort Ashby High School, class of 1954. After graduation, he married his high school sweetheart, Mary Jo Wolford. They were happily married for 59 years. In 1956, he was given his greatest gift, his daughter, Sherry.

He had a passion for his work and his church. He was a member of Berean Independent Baptist Church in Fort Ashby, where is was a deacon, Sunday school teacher and involved in all church functions. He worked for Goodyear Kelly Tire Company and Automated Packaging Company during his career.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Golden and Pauline Baldwin; his brother, Charles Baldwin; and his daughter, Sherry Grogg.

Surviving family members are his wife, Mary Jo; granddaughter, Ashley Grogg of Charleston; grandson, Thad Grogg of Charleston; great-granddaughter, Aundrea of Charleston; and his wonderful caregiver, Tara Alden.

There will be a graveside burial service at noon Saturday, Feb. 28, at Sunset Memorial Park, South Charleston. He will be buried alongside his loving daughter, Sherry.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Hubbard Hospice House, 1001 Curtis Price Way, Charleston, WV 25311. The end of life care given by Hospice was amazing.

Snodgrass Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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Gail Gibeaut Ball http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279972 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279972 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:03:01 -0500 Gail Gibeaut Ball, 58, of Fraziers Bottom, passed away at home on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015.

She was a 1973 graduate of Nitro High School, a former medical coder at WVU Physicians of Charleston, a former employee of Casto Chiropractic and employed at Tammy's Country Kitchen.

Gail was preceded in death by her father, Frank Gibeaut, and infant sister, Mary Elizabeth Gibeaut.

She is survived by her mother, Wanda Boggess Gibeaut of Nitro; sons, James Layne and wife, Mary, Jared Layne and Jason Ball; her siblings, Robert Gibeaut, Cathy Gibeaut, Hollis Claypool and Amy Erwin; her grandchildren, Seth Layne, Bailey Layne, Joshua Ball, Noah Karawan; and her companion, Jeff Wilcoxen.

A memorial celebration of Gail's life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Nitro, with Pastor Rob Van Fossen officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Nitro Church of God, 15th St. and 2nd Ave., Nitro, WV 25143.

Cooke Funeral Home and Crematorium, Nitro, is assisting the family and you may express online condolences at www.cookefuneralhome.com.

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Veatrice Banks http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279968 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279968 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:03:08 -0500 Veatrice Banks, 93, of Comfort, passed away Feb. 26, 2015 at her residence. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.hardingfamilygroup.com. Harding Funerals & Cremations, 514 50th St. SE, Kanawha City, is serving the family.

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Linda Pearl Barker http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279994 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279994 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:02:28 -0500 Jesus came and took his sweet daughter, Linda Pearl Barker, 72, of Ashford, home on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015.

Linda was born on White Oak Hollow to the late Nellie and Dallas Estep on Sept. 18, 1942. She was also preceded in death by her sisters, Enola Morgan and Maggie Holstein, and niece, Darlene Butcher.

She worked lovingly every day for family, friends and God. She attended Rumble Community Baptist Church of Rumble. She was an inspiration and lived faithfully for the Lord for 40 years.

She is survived by her loving husband of 39 years, Doug; son, JR and his wife, Donna; loving granddaughter, Mady; brothers, Lee Estep and Jinkie Estep; and sister, Kathy Legg.

Linda loved everyone, but especially family: her niece, Donna, was like a sister, Scott, her nephew, was like a son, Melissa, her niece, was like a daughter, and Garnet was Linda's best friend for 18 years. She loved God more than all.

Linda had compassion, was kind and a sweet and loving spirit. She was so precious and loved by all. Our hearts loss is Heaven's gain.

A celebration of Linda's life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at Rumble Community Baptist Church, Rumble, with the Rev. Richard Harold officiating. Interment will follow in Holstein Cemetery, Dartmont.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Rumble Community Baptist Church, 43 Fairlawn Drive, Ashford, WV 25009. Envelopes will be provided by the funeral home.

The family would like to express their sincere thanks to the doctors and nurses at CAMC Memorial Hospital for their love and care.

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

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

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Kathryn S. Barnett http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279993 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279993 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:02:29 -0500 Mrs. Kathryn Sue Barnett, 65, of Liberty, passed away Feb. 24, 2015 at home.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Vessie and Martha Sowards, and brother, Paul Sowards.

Mrs. Barnett enjoyed baking and cooking.

Mrs. Barnett is survived by her husband, Basil Barnett; daughter, Paula Berry; sisters, Betty Setliff and Rebecca Edwards; two grandchildren, Paul Peyton and Ashlee Hill; and three great-grandchildren.

A tribute to the life of Mrs. Kathryn Sue Barnett will be noon Saturday, Feb. 28, at Gatens-Harding Funeral Home Chapel, Poca, with Ray Sovine and Pete Cobb officiating. Burial will follow in Culloden Community Cemetery, Culloden.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Gatens-Harding Funeral Home, P.O. Box 2, Poca, WV 25159.

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

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Viola Bliss http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279985 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279985 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:02:43 -0500 Viola Bliss, 99, died Feb. 21, 2015 in Connecticut, surrounded by family. Service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb, 28, at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Chapel, Rainelle, with visitation beginning one hour prior.

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Hugh E. Brammer Jr. http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279977 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279977 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:02:53 -0500 Hugh Earl Brammer Jr., 85, of Ravenswood, died Feb. 25, 2015 at Ravenswood Care Center.

He was born Aug. 24, 1929 to the late Hugh Earl Brammer Sr. and Florence Wood Brammer. He was an inspector with Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp. and Ravenswood Aluminum and retired after 35 years of service. He was a member of North United Methodist Church, Ravenswood. He was also a member of Ashton Lodge No. 12, Ravenswood, a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason in Parkersburg, a member of the Eastern Star and a member of Steelworkers Local Union No. 5668, Ravenswood.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Hazel Hill Brammer of Ravenswood; daughter, Kay Rader Tabor and husband, Tim, of Monroe, Wis.; three grandchildren, Kyle (Sara), Jordan and Angel Tabor; sister, Frances (Jerry) Gallimore of Blacksburg, Va.; and two nephews, Greg and Matt Gallimore.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Les Brammer.

Service will be 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood, with Pastor Don Maxson officiating. Friends may visit from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Graveside service with visitation will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at North Fork Baptist Church Cemetery, Ellett, Va.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to North United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 335, Ravenswood, WV 26164.

Condolences may be expressed to the family by email at roush94@yahoo.com or by visiting www.facebook.com/roushfuneralhome.

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Louise B. Butcher http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279986 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/OBIT/302279986 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:02:40 -0500 Louise B. Butcher, 91, departed this life on Feb. 24, 2015.

She was born April 2, 1923 in Arbovale, a daughter of the late Tilden Brown and Mamie Orndorff Brown. She was the last remaining member of her immediate family.

Preceding her in death were her parents; two brothers, William Brown and S.L. Brown; a sister, Mary Mildred Brown Gum; and a stepson, Rodney Butcher.

Louise graduated from Green Bank High School and Glenville State College with a degree in elementary education. She began her teaching career at the mountain top of Spruce, riding the Shay engine from the town of Cass. After her first year of teaching at Spruce she then taught at Cass and Green Bank Elementary. She retired after teaching for 42 years.

She was a lifelong member of Liberty Church, where she taught Sunday school for many years. She was a member of the Retired Teachers of Pocahontas County, and was treasurer of the Arbovale Cemetery Association.

She is survived by her husband, Herman Butcher, and one stepdaughter, Terri Saunders of Pittsburgh. She is also survived by two nieces, Alicia Matthes and Susan Gum, and three nephews, Douglas Brown, William T. Brown and Scott Brown. Also surviving is her special sister-in-law, Pauline Brown of Richwood.

A memorial service will be planned in Green Bank for a later date.

As one by one, the autumn leaves fade in the forest deep,

So one by one, to each of you must come the touch of sleep

As one by one, the roses burst into the morning light,

So one by one, your souls shall wake again beyond the night.

Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Arbovale is in charge of arrangements.

Please send online condolences by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com.

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W.Va. state school board unites to oppose Common Core repeal http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229275 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229275 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:23:46 -0500 By Ryan Quinn West Virginia Board of Education members announced their unanimous opposition Friday to a bill that would repeal Common Core math and English/language arts standards in the state, and possibly throw out teaching requirements in other subjects, as well. State education officials said the change could cost millions of dollars.

"In summary, the consequences of House Bill 2934 will be the disruption of the entire standards-based accountability system for West Virginia," board President Gayle Manchin said. She, like most board members, attended Friday's meeting via teleconference. "I've gone to sad, to disappointed, to frankly insulted," said school board member Mike Green, one of two board members to attend in person. The other, Beverly Kingery, suggested that, instead of spending millions on redoing the standards, lawmakers put that money toward teacher raises.

State Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano said at Friday's emergency board meeting that an amendment had been introduced to the bill on the House floor to make it also repeal the state's Next Generation standards.

West Virginia has renamed all its math, English/language arts and social studies standards Next Generation, even though its math and English/language arts standards are based on the separate Common Core national blueprint, and the social studies standards have no national basis. Only the drafted version of new science standards the state school board is expected to approve next month are based off the actual Next Generation national blueprint, which does contain some connection to Common Core.

It's unclear if the bill, as it suddenly passed the House Education Committee on Wednesday, would repeal all standards or just the math and English/language arts standards and some literacy/writing teaching requirements put into larger the social studies and science education requirements. The bill also doesn't clearly state when West Virginia would have to repeal Common Core and have new standards in place.

The House Education Committee took up the Common Core repeal bill for the first time Wednesday and passed it, with little discussion, straight to the House floor, bypassing the House Finance Committee.

Martirano was at Wednesday's meeting with other Department of Education officials to speak on the bill, but he said he was never invited to and never got to read the bill before the vote because it was a substitute introduced in committee. He said the bill caught him off guard.

"I was extremely surprised," he said.

The committee substitute that came out of House Education on Wednesday had no fiscal note attached, making it unclear how much the change might cost.

Martirano previously had estimated that it would take $42 million and more than two years to create new standards. On Friday, other officials gave larger numbers and longer times.

"It seems like every time we have a handle on what the fiscal implications are, it's a domino effect," said Clayton Burch, the department's chief academic officer. "There's one more thing, there's one more thing."

Burch said the standards development, even though it was based on the national Common Core blueprint, took nearly 3,000 educators four to five years. He said developing new standards would restart the state's public education system at "square one with all - all resources," including textbooks and standardized testing designed to fit those standards and teacher training to instruct them.

Burch gave a three-year minimum to create new standards, starting with $7.6 million cost in the first school year.

"But once that initial blow is hit, and once we get through that, it's the mushroom cloud that really hits us, it's the second year," Burch said.

He said the training needs would be "staggering" for the state's 20,000 teachers, and it would throw out all their lesson plans, projects and other work.

He estimated an $80 million minimum fiscal impact in the second year, followed by $26 million more in the third year.

Burch said he was basing the estimates on having to redo standards in all math, English/arts, science and social studies.

When asked if the state could save some of these costs by reverting to its pre-Common Core standards, Martirano said that would still take a "heavy lift and a lot of money." He said the old standards also weren't deemed "college- and career-ready," which could further jeopardize federal funding for the school system.

Michele Blatt, the department's chief accountability and performance officer, said the bill would jeopardize $362 million of federal funds, which help employ more than 1,500 teachers and 790 service personnel. She said the bill's interference with reporting data to the U.S. Department of Education, among other issues, would put the state in trouble with the federal department. Officials said that actually could increase Washington's intrusion into state education - contrary to the bill's intent of reducing it.

The state Senate's efforts to repeal Common Core - or to stall related standardized testing - led to a public hearing at the Capitol in January. However, the Senate bill, sponsored by Education Vice Chairwoman Donna Boley, R-Pleasants, was never taken up by her committee, as legislators there focused on a bill to allow charter schools in the state.

Reach Ryan Quinn at ryan.quinn@wvgazette.com, 304-348-1254 or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.

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Parkersburg man charged with soliciting minor http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229276 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229276 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:10:50 -0500 Staff reports West Virginia State Police and Parkersburg police arrested a Parkersburg man on Friday and charged him with attempting to solicit a minor.

Huey D. Long Jr., 45, of Parkersburg, was charged with using social media to solicit a minor, according to West Virginia State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous.

Baylous said the arrest stems from an undercover operation in which Long allegedly sent text messages and emails to an undercover agent believing the agent to be a 14-year-old child.

Long was free on bond Friday evening, Baylous said.

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Coal industry-backed bill clears House http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229277 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229277 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:33:48 -0500 By Eric Eyre A coal industry-backed bill that rewrites rules on mine safety and the environment could soon be headed to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's desk.

On Friday, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted 73-25 to pass the "Coal Jobs and Safety Act," over the objections of House Democrats who assert the bill weakens safety regulations that have been on the books for years.

"With more than 4,000 miners being laid off in the last five years, we should be doing everything we can to get them back to work," said Delegate Kayla Kessinger, R-Fayette, who works for the industry.

House Democrats said the bill likely wouldn't create mining jobs, but would put miners' lives at greater risk.

"It's the first time that we've ever voted to go backwards in coal mine health and safety," said Delegate Mike Caputo, D-Marion. "I truly believe that the passage of this bill is going to hurt people and going to cost human life."

Delegate Randy Smith, R-Preston, a coal mine foreman, said he would never vote for a bill that put his coworkers at risk.

"As an underground coal miner for the past 35 years, I am responsible for the health and safety of the men and women who work on my shift," Smith said. "This is commonsense legislation that doesn't put me or my fellow miners in harm's way."

The House revised the Senate version of the bill, so the two sides will have to agree to the changes before it's sent to the governor.

Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer, said the bill updates outdated mining laws and makes West Virginia's coal industry more competitive.

"This bill will put us back in the ballgame," Shott said.

Several Democrats alleged the bill was a "political ploy" by Republicans, who will likely attack Democrats for "voting against coal" in the 2016 election.

"We'll be accused of being against coal miners and the coal industry, but there's nothing further from the truth," said House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison, who predicts the bill will be declared unconstitutional.

Reach Eric Eyre at ericeyre@wvgazette.com, 304-348-4869 or follow @ericeyre on Twitter.

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Joanne Tomblin to retire as college president http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/DM0104/150229278 DM0104 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/DM0104/150229278 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:18:05 -0500 West Virginia First Lady Joanne Tomblin plans to retire as president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College later this year.

Tomblin announced her retirement during a Thursday evening meeting of the college's board of governors. It is effective June 30.

"Being part of the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College family for the last 33 years and serving as president for the last 15 years has truly been the opportunity of a lifetime," Tomblin said in a statement. "My decision to leave my post at Southern has been an extremely difficult and emotional decision, and I will miss the great people and the students who have made this journey so enriching and worthwhile."

She said she looks forward to working with her husband, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, during his final two years in office to help advance his initiatives.

"As First Lady, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to visit communities across the state to improve education for all West Virginians, help educate new families on ways to keep babies safe while sleeping, support our military families and promote our state's beautiful and rich heritage," she said.

In a statement released by the college, Tom Heywood, chairman of the college's board and managing partner of the Bowles Rice law firm, said Tomblin had served the school with "great distinction."

"I know I speak not only for the Board of Governors, but also for the faculty, staff, students and members of the communities served by Southern when I say a hearty 'thank you' to President Tomblin for all that she has accomplished," Heywood said. "We wish her all the best in her upcoming and well-deserved retirement, and we look forward to her continued service to the citizens of West Virginia as First Lady."

The school's board of governors will work with the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education in the coming weeks to begin the search for a new president for the school, which has five campuses located throughout the southern coal fields. The board will also take recommendations for an interim president to serve the school while the search permanent replacement is conducted.

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Debate rages over color of dress photographed in rare light http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/DM01/150229280 DM01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/DM01/150229280 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:12:59 -0500 SHAWN POGATCHNIK

Associated Press

It's the dress that's beating the Internet black and blue. Or should that be gold and white?

Friends and co-workers worldwide are debating the true hues of a royal blue dress with black lace that, to many an eye, transforms in one photograph into gold and white. Experts are calling the photo a one-in-a-million shot that perfectly captures how people's brains perceive color and process contrast in dramatically different ways.

"This photo provides the best test I've ever seen for how the process of color correction works in the brain,'" said Daniel Hardiman-McCartney, the clinical adviser to Britain's College of Optometrists. "I've never seen a photo like before where so many people look at the same photo and see two sets of such dramatically different colors."

The photo, taken earlier this month before a wedding on the remote Scottish island of Colonsay, also illustrates the dynamics of a perfect social-media storm. Guests at the wedding could not understand why, in one photo of the dress being worn by the mother of the bride, the clearly blue and black-striped garment transformed into gold and white. But only in that single photo, and only for around half of the viewers.

Related: WV and THAT divisive dress

The debate spread from the wedding to the Internet, initially from friend to perplexed friend on Facebook.

One such wedding guest, musician and singer Caitlin McNeill, posted the photo Thursday night to her Tumblr account with the question: "Guys please help me. Is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can't agree and we are freaking the (expletive) out." She's consistently seen gold.

One of her friends, Alana MacInnes, saw gold and white for the first hour, then black and blue.

Buzzfeed sensed clickbait heaven and, amid its own newsroom argument, was among the first to call McNeill. It posted more than a half-dozen stories on the image and the tsunami of reaction.

On Twitter, #TheDress and variants surged to the top of trending lists globally within hours.

The entertainment elite then chimed in.

Taylor Swift saw the dress was "obviously" blue and black. "What's the matter with u guys, it's white and gold," countered Julianne Moore. Kim Kardashian, never one to miss a trending topic, reported she was seeing gold but to husband Kanye West, it was solidly black and blue. "Who is color blind?" Kardashian asked the twitterati.

The answer, says Hardiman-McCartney, is that every viewer seeing either set of colors is right.

He says the exceptional bar-code style of the dress, combined with the strongly yellow-toned backlighting in the one photo, provides the brain a rare chance to "choose" which of the dress' two primary colors should be seen in detail.

Those who subconsciously seek detail in the many horizontal black lines convert them to a golden hue, so the blue disappears into a blown-out white, he said.

Others whose brains focus on the blue part of the dress see the photo as the black-and-blue reality.

"There's no correct way to perceive this photograph. It sits right on the cusp, or balance, of how we perceive the color of a subject versus the surrounding area," he said. "And this color consistency illusion that we're experiencing doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your eyes. It just shows how your brain chooses to see the image, to process this luminescence confusion."

The photo produced a deluge of media calls Friday to the Tumblr reporter, 21-year-old McNeill, who calls the seemingly endless phone calls "more than I've received in the entirety of the rest of my life combined." She says the photographer, who is also the mother of the bride, never wanted the publicity.

There's one clear winner: English dress retailer Roman Originals, which has reported a million hits on its sales site in the first 18 hours following the photo's worldwide distribution.

"I can officially say that this dress is royal blue with black lace trimming," said Michele Bastock, design director at Roman Originals.

She said staff members had no idea that the dress, when shot in that singularly peculiar light, might be perceived in a totally different color scheme. Not until Friday anyway, when they arrived at work to field hundreds of emails, calls and social media posts. They, too, split almost 50-50 on the photo's true colors.

All agreed, however, the dress for the Birmingham, England-based retailer was likely to become their greatest-ever seller. The chain's website Friday headlined its product as "#TheDress now back in stock - debate now."

"Straightaway we went to the computers and had a look. And some members of the team saw ivory and gold. I see a royal blue all the time," she said. "It's an enigma ... but we are grateful."

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Kanawha prosecutor says there's 'confusion' around sexual assault reporting requirements http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/DM02/150229281 DM02 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/DM02/150229281 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:05:04 -0500 By Andrea Lannom Kanawha County prosecutors are looking into new information they have received about reporting requirements of sexual assault victims and how that could relate to the case of former Capital High School Principal Clinton Giles.

Giles is accused of not timely reporting an alleged Jan. 26 assault of a 15-year-old female student. Prosecutors said under state law, school personnel are required to immediately report any physical or sexual assault involving a child.

However, Kanawha Prosecutor Chuck Miller said Friday that there appears to be confusion about the statute.

Thursday, Delegate Brad White, R-Kanawha, introduced House Bill 2939 in light of the alleged sexual assault. Lawmakers said current law only requires school personnel to report suspected abuse or assault if it is by a parent, guardian or custodian.

Abuse or assault that happens between students, a teacher and a student or a stranger and a student isn't subjected to reporting standards under current state law.

"I understand there might be confusion and it's something that we have to take into account. I did meet with the superintendent and staff yesterday and we discussed what I thought was some confusion in the school systems and administration of what the law actually requires," Miller said.

"The thing that befuddles me is who would interpret that a school administrator, principal, guidance counselor, when a child comes to them and says they were sexually assaulted, wouldn't call the police? Are we going to require a statute that says we have to do that with more specificity? Is that what we're doing?"

The bill seeks to close this loophole, making any sexual assault or abuse a school official observes or is informed about by a credible witness will be reported, no matter who the perpetrator is. The bill will be reported to the full House and could be taken up for vote next week.

"It does appear that a body, a member of the Legislature, and one of the attorneys for the House made comments that this reporting statute only applies to situations where children are sexually assaulted by a parent. I'm thinking, does that mean school officials don't have to report it unless it's by a parent?"

Miller said that school of thought is "baffling" to him.

"Everything is under consideration. I'm not going to say we're considering dropping the charges. ... We filed charges on the information we had shortly after the sexual assault occurred," Miller said.

"I don't want the impression to be given to the public that the prosecutor is now having second thoughts. I stand by the action but I also stand by the premise that with new information, we reserve the right to alter the position as anyone would," Miller later said.

Miller said because of the confusion, there are several factors prosecutors must take into account with what they will do.

"Certainly the bill has an impact on what we're doing. ... It may be reconsidered but we have to look at the facts and make decisions we believe are right. If that means changing our mind, we will do that. If it means going forward, we will.

Earlier this week, Giles pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge of failing to report an alleged sexual assault of a student. His trial is set for March 23.

Authorities said Giles was notified of the assault on Jan. 26 but said he took no action but to tell two assistant principals they should not report it to a Charleston police officer stationed at the school until surveillance footage could be reviewed the next day.

Footage showed a struggle between a female victim and a 17-year-old male juvenile but authorities said Giles again delayed reporting by telling his assistant to wait until he received further instruction from the school board.

Contact writer Andrea Lannom at Andrea.Lannom@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-5148. Follow her at www.twitter.com/AndreaLannom.

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W.Va. Senate leader: "Right-to-work" bill dead this session http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/ARTICLE/150229282 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/ARTICLE/150229282 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:00:43 -0500 CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael says a push to make West Virginia a right-to-work state is dead this session.

The Jackson County Republican, who sponsored a right-to-work bill, made the comments to The Associated Press on Friday.

The proposal would have made it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $5,000 fine, to require workers to pay dues to a union. It wouldn't have applied to federal workers.

Employees who don't pay dues still benefit from the union representation.

Twenty-four states have similar laws. Michigan and Indiana passed theirs in 2012. Wisconsin lawmakers are currently tussling over the reform.

Carmichael said lawmakers are "still in the evaluation phase" regarding right-to-work. The bill hasn't been considered in a committee yet this session, which ends March 14.

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Judge wants details of spill's impact on prosecutors http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229283 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229283 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:44:30 -0500 By Ken Ward Jr. A federal judge said Friday he wants some answers from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Goodwin's top assistants about how they and their families were affected by the Freedom Industries chemical spill and the regional water crisis that followed.

U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston said he needs the information to help him rule on a motion by two former Freedom officials to disqualify Goodwin and his office from handling criminal charges against those officials over the January 2014 spill, which contaminated drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people in Charleston and surrounding communities.

"The circumstances of the disqualification motion in this case are unique," Johnston said during a Friday morning hearing. "I do think we need some information that we don't have right now."

Former Freedom officials Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell want Johnston to disqualify the local U.S. Attorney's office from prosecuting the case against them, because they allege employees there were victims of the water crisis and therefore have a conflict of interest in handling the case.

As part of arguing for the disqualification, Southern and Farrell say they need to find out exactly how office employees were affected by the water crisis, and if they experienced any of the same inconveniences or harms suffered by other residents following Freedom's spill of MCHM and other chemicals.

One court filing indicates that defense lawyers already hired a private investigator to interview neighbors of some prosecutors to determine things like how much they spent on bottled water, whether they smelled MCHM's licorice odor, and if they were concerned about potential health impacts of the spill. Defense lawyers asked Johnston to let them interview Goodwin and some of his staff to gather more specific information about impacts on prosecutors and their families.

Johnston said that the defense request went too far, and that he didn't want to spend too much more time sorting out the disqualification motion.

"At some level, I want to keep this case moving," Johnston said. "We have a criminal case with significant charges pending."

Southern and Farrell both face three Clean Water Act charges, and Southern faces separate bankruptcy fraud charges for allegedly trying to hide his personal wealth from Freedom's bankruptcy proceeding and from civil lawsuits filed against the company over the leak. Farrell and Southern have both pleaded not guilty and trial is scheduled to being Oct. 6.

Freedom Industries and four other former Freedom officials - William Tis, Charles Herzing, Michael Burdette and Robert Reynolds - have all reached plea agreements with Goodwin's office, and plea hearings are scheduled for mid-March in those cases.

Johnston said that he would allow the parties to submit proposed questions about the spill's impact on prosecutors, and then decide on his own list of questions based partly on that input. The judge would submit the questions to Goodwin and several top staff, and the prosecutors could respond in writing. Johnston said that the answers would initially be filed under seal, and available only to the court, until he could review them and decide whether the answers should remain confidential.

Initially, defense attorneys wanted four weeks to come up with their proposed questions. Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Wright said that was too long.

"Four weeks? I don't object, your honor, but I don't see why it takes four weeks," Wright said. "It shouldn't take that long."

Johnston agreed, and gave the defense lawyers until March 16 to submit proposed questions. The judge scheduled a hearing for April 1 to discuss the questions with the parties.

Also during Friday's hearing, Johnston gave the defense team until May 18 to file their expected motion to move the case from Charleston, and set a hearing for June 1 to consider that matter.

Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kward@wvgazette.com, 304-348-1702 or follow @kenwardjr on Twitter.

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After 15 years, first lady retiring from college presidency http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229284 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229284 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:41:57 -0500 By Ryan Quinn West Virginia's first lady is retiring on June 30 from her longtime position as president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

Joanne Jaeger Tomblin told the Gazette she announced her retirement to the college's board of governors Thursday night and to her faculty Friday. She said she's worked at the institution for more than three decades, and served in various positions before she became president 15 years ago.

She started at the school in 1978 as a part-time continuing education director, left to become director of aging programs in Logan County, and returned later as media director, serving in other roles before becoming president in 1999.

She noted her husband, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, only has about two years left in his term, and she wants to be a "full-time first lady" for them.

"A 15-year tenure is a long time for a college president," said Joanne Tomblin, 62. "And when I came in the institution had a lot of challenges, and we've created a vision here at the college. We've built buildings, we've raised millions of dollars for scholarships."

She said the college and its foundation began a fundraising campaign in 2006 that has generated an almost $17 million fund. Through that source, the institution was able to give out about $300,000 in scholarships in the past year.

Tomblin said she makes about $160,000 per year in her position, though she doesn't know what her successor might receive. She said the college's board plans to meet next week to start the search process to choose a new president.

Because the board wants to do a national president search, which generally take six to eight months, Tomblin said the board will probably also need to name an interim president to take over when she leaves in June.

She said the state Community and Technical College System will make the final decision as to who will become president or interim president, based on the college board's recommendations.

The college has four campuses in Boone, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties, and also controls a wing in the Lincoln County Comprehensive High School and an office in McDowell County, through which it attracts students and offers classes at local high schools.

In total, it serves about 2,200 students annually in for-credit classes, and about 3,000-6,000 more per year mostly in its Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technology, which offers various certifications in the mining industry and other areas.

Tomblin said she wants to work more on her continuing initiatives as first lady, which include promoting vocational training, reading and the arts in schools.

"I think with my experience as college president I could reach out to students across the state," she said.

Reach Ryan Quinn at ryan.quinn@wvgazette.com, 304-348-1254 or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.

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W.Va. Senate OKs bill to allow concealed carry without permit http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229285 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150227/GZ01/150229285 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:40:04 -0500 By Eric Eyre Senators approved a bill Friday that could make West Virginia the sixth state to allow residents to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

After reading aloud from the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, senators voted 32-2 for a bill (SB347) that allows people 18 and older to tote concealed guns.

"The bill eliminates the crime of carrying a concealed weapon in West Virginia," said Sen. Charles Trump, R-Morgan.

The legislation next goes to the House of Delegates.

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Vermont and Wyoming are the only states that allow residents to carry a hidden gun without a permit.

West Virginia already allows open carry of a handgun without a permit.

West Virginia law enforcement officials have expressed concern about the bill. They said the legislation could put officers more at risk. They also noted that the weapons-permit fees generate funds for sheriff's departments across the state. Last year, the permits raised $3.4 million for the departments.

However, senators who supported the bill kept coming back to the Second Amendment.

"This is a United States constitutional right," said Robert Karnes, R-Upshur. "The Second Amendment recognizes this inherent right."

Sens. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, and Ron Miller, D-Greenbrier, voted against the bill.

Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, supported the concealed-carry permit repeal, but first offered what he called "common-sense" revisions that his colleagues ultimately rejected.

Romano wanted to require that residents be at least 21 years old before they could carry a handgun without a permit.

"To carry a .357 Magnum, we really should require them to be 21 years of age," Romano said.

But other senators said a 21-and-up age limit was "arbitrary."

"At the age of 18, we're talking about parents of small children," Karnes said. "And we're going to say an 18-year-old who is able to enter into the contract of marriage, to have children, is not responsible enough to defend the family that he has?"

Romano also wanted to require people to take a handgun safety course before they could carry a concealed weapon. Karnes argued that the training requirement was a "backdoor licensing scheme," and senators voted down the amendment.

Romano later voted for the bill that didn't include any of his suggested changes.

"I concluded long ago that the permitting process through the sheriff's department is simply a hurdle for law-abiding citizens who carry a gun," Romano said. "Criminals will carry a gun regardless of the process."

Reach Eric Eyre at ericeyre@wvgazette.com, 304-348-4869 or follow @ericeyre on Twitter.

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