Gary E. Amick
64, of Summersville

Margaret Pearl Bickford
57, of Summersville

Lavon N. “Tiny” Cowger
79, of Hacker Valley

Charles Franklin Gum
88, of Summersville

Anna Lee McClung Hupp
89, of Mt. Lookout

James Elmer Johnson
65, of Mt. Lookout

Junior Darrell Marlowe
90, of Cottle

Robert Franklin Payton
76, of Mt. Lookout

Ivy E. Porter
91, of Pool

David Watson Worrell
75, of Richwood








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Callaghan faces possible suspension, fine, censure

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Nicholas County Circuit Judge-elect Steve Callaghan is facing the possibility of consecutive one-year suspensions for alleged violations of codes of conduct during his campaign last spring.

Counsel for the state Judicial Investigation Commission is also recommending that Callaghan be assessed a $2,500 fine and court costs, and be censured.

Brian Lanham, deputy counsel for the JIC, termed the alleged violations “nothing short of fraud.”

“If we don’t suspend the respondent (Callaghan), we’re sending the wrong message to the public and future judicial candidates,” Lanham said at the conclusion of a Nov. 21 hearing in Charleston.

The hearing was held before the state Judicial Hearing Board, which consists of three sitting circuit judges, three lay people, a family court judge, a magistrate and a retired circuit judge.

Preston County Circuit Judge Lawrence Miller, the board chairman, asked both sides to file post-hearing briefs by 4 p.m. on Nov. 28. The board will then make its recommendations to the state Supreme Court, which will deliver the final decision on any sanctions.

Callaghan defeated three-term incumbent Circuit Judge Gary Johnson by 227 votes in the May 10 non-partisan judicial election. He is scheduled to take office on Jan. 1.




Christmas is a “hoot” at Brown Oaks

The “Owl” tree, inhabited by every kind of owl known to man, is just one of the many spectacular trees at Brown Oaks. A lot of love and originality was put into decorating each tree that graces every nook and cranny of the lovely, historical home, which was built in the 1920s by the Brown family. Located high on a hill overlooking Broad Street, the mansion now belongs to the City of Summersville. Everyone is invited to come and be inspired by many beautifully decorated trees. Brown Oaks is also available for private parties. Call (304) 872-9248 for reservations.





Board hears requests for school location;

addresses grading of schools

The Nicholas County Board of Education on Monday evening, Nov. 21, heard requests from delegations regarding the two flooded schools in Richwood and the location for any new placement school.

The Board also discussed the recent A - F grading system of schools by the State Department of Education, agreed to offer a number of new adult education programs for the second semester, discussed the letters of notification from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) that the three flooded schools in the county are destroyed, heard an update on the progress of the 2016 General Summative Assessment, removed a closed school from the auction block, granted an easement across school property to a utility company. and approved contracts to provide additional storage space for flood-affected schools.

Present for the meeting were Board President Dr. Gus Penix, Vice-President Fred Amick and members Darrell White, A.J. Rogers and Phil Berry.

Addresses by Delegations
Richwood Chamber of Commerce President Mary Jane Williams, who taught for 36 years at Richwood High School, addressed the Board and requested that a proposed new consolidated Richwood High School and Richwood Middle School remain in Richwood. She also requested that portions of the high school used by the community not be demolished.
Williams said she was representing a group of concerned citizens that has been meeting for several weeks, including business people, teachers, students, parents, civic leaders, local and county officials and other groups. Input has been gathered from various stakeholders on the issue of relocating the high school and middle school.

“We are asking you to be transparent, so we believe we should be too,” said Williams. She said the group believes it is essential to keep the schools in Richwood and added that they have looked at three possible sites for the relocation of combined RHS/RMS facility.

“One possible site is right in town, within walking distance of the the football field, while still being off the 100-year flood plain,” she said.

“We implore you to consider this alternate path, which keeps the integrity of the two schools and fosters a better economic climate for all of Nicholas County,” said Williams. She said with the right planning and decision making, Richwood could have a new school within 2 to 3 years.

“No matter how it is pitched to you, you are either going to vote to kill Richwood or bring it back to life,” said Williams. She asked Board members to think about who will weep or protest or move away if RHS and RMS are rebuilt in Richwood where they have served eastern Nicholas for 100 years and who will suffer economically.

Williams noted that Richwood High School was recently given a B report card grade by the West Virginia Department of Education in their A to F grading system, which was one of the highest rankings in the state, even among double and triple A schools.




Board takes step to demolish flood-damaged schools

The Nicholas County Board of Education on Tuesday evening, Nov. 22, took the first step toward demolishing three flood-damaged schools and associated structures.

The Board also heard a request not to tear down parts of Richwood High School and donate them to the city, heard a request from a Richwood High School student, approved the county strategic plan and discussed the county monitoring plan.

Present for the meeting were Board President Dr. Gus Penix, Vice-President Fred Amick and members Phil Berry and A.J. Rogers. Board member Darrell White was present by conference phone.

Request for portion of Richwood High School
Richwood City Councilwoman Robin Brown came before the Board regarding the proposed demolishing of the Richwood High School building, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency deemed to be destroyed by the June 23 flood.

Brown requested that the Board donate the RHS auditorium, cafeteria and gymnasium to the City of Richwood rather than tearing them down. She said the three facilities are used for community events, such as the Feast of the Ramson, Past 80 Party, pageants, Ivy and Stone - Council for the Arts presentations. theater presentations, musical events, Paul Nettles Basketball Tournament, which provides scholarships, Christmas craft sales and housing for the World Servants organization that works on homes in the area during the summer months.

“These are just a few of the events that will not have a place to continue,” said Brown.

She said the city would accept ownership for the spaces in their current condition and acknowledge that repairs are needed. “All liability would become the sole responsibility of the City of Richwood,” she said.

“If at all viable, this donation could allow Richwood some unity and healing from the devastating loss suffered from the flood. Community events are very important in our small area and the loss of these spaces would be detrimental to our continued efforts to remain united,” said Brown.




Richwood Council seeks school demolition delay

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Richwood Common Council is asking the Nicholas County Board of Education to hit the pause button before proceeding with plans to demolish two schools deemed to be destroyed by the June 23 flood.

During an emergency meeting on Nov. 22, Council approved two motions aimed at delaying the demolition of Richwood High School and Richwood Middle School.

Council approved a motion requesting the Board of Education give the city the OK to re-evaluate the condition of the schools.

Under the second approved motion, Council unilaterally rescinded any and all documents related to or potentially authorizing the demolition of the two schools and any related facilities or infrastructure associated with the schools, including the Red Gym, until such time it is ascertained what is the best path to take for all concerned.

Council members Ann Spencer, Chris McKenzie, James Vannoy and Britt Nicholas attended the meeting. Councilwoman Robin Brown participated by phone from Summersville, where she was to present a formal letter to the Board of Education in a meeting later in the evening requesting that the high school auditorium, cafeteria and gymnasium be spared from demolition and donated to the city.

McKenzie questioned why it was necessary to have the condition of the schools re-evaluated.

“To get our own independent evaluation,” Mayor Bob Henry Baber replied. “I’m not saying we’re going to. We just want to have the opportunity to do it.”

Baber said it was not his intent to put students back in the schools.

“They will never be used again as schools,” he said.




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