Bertha Virginia Williams
85, of Summersville








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Louk found guilty in child’s death

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Nicholas County Prosecutor Jamie Milam walked to the jury box and held up a photograph of Olivia Louk, only two or three days old and hooked up to a dozen or so machines as she fought for her life in the neonatal intensive care unit of a Charleston hospital.

“This is clearly, ladies and gentlemen, a child,” Milam told the jurors.

“She didn’t die as a fetus. She died as a child.”

With that, the jurors went behind closed doors to begin their deliberations in the trial of Olivia’s mother, Stephanie Louk, a 26-year-old Craigsville woman who admitted injecting herself with methamphetamine in what were the final hours of her pregnancy.

Twenty-three minutes later, the six-man, six-woman jury signaled that a verdict had been reached in the two-day trial that concluded last Wednesday, Aug. 20.

The jurors found Stephanie Louk guilty of child neglect resulting in death, as charged in a January indictment.

Louk, pregnant with another child, showed no visible reaction when the verdict was read.

She now faces 3 to 15 years in prison. Nicholas Circuit Court Judge Gary Johnson set sentencing for Oct. 31.

Milam’s closing remarks came after defense attorney J.B. Rees, in what will likely be the basis of an expected appeal to the state Supreme Court, argued that the law Louk was charged with breaking was not applicable in this case.




Setting Sail

The fourth annual Mountain Mama Hospice Regatta took place Saturday, August 23 at Summersville Lake. Several boats came out for the event, which raises money to support Hospice of Southern West Virginia. Besides the sailboat races, there was also food, awards, music and raffles as well as free paddle boarding lessons and sea kayak paddling and racing.





Commission OKs Route 19 property

Annexation; budgets Carryover funds

The Nicholas County Commission on Tuesday, Aug. 19, voted to allow the City of Summersville to annex property off U.S. Route 19 just north of Summersville into the city limits from the county.

The Commission also received their final figures regarding the carryover funds to be included in the current fiscal year budget, heard about the development of a youth camp in the county, heard an update on the hydronic piping system for the Nicholas County Courthouse, heard an update from the Nicholas County Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, heard concerns regarding the local community college expanding to the Glade Creek Business Park and concerns about the county Day Reporting Center, heard a request from Animal Shelter employees and approved a sheriff’s department grant and a maintenance contract.

Present for the meeting were Commission President John Miller, Commissioner Yancy Short M.D. and Commissioner Ken Altizer.

Annexation along U.S. Route 19
Prior to voting on a petition filed by the City of Summersville requesting permission to make a minor boundary change that would enable the city to annex several acres of property off Route 19 across from the entrance to Phillips Run Road into the Summersville city limits, the Commission read several findings of fact regarding the matter.

Among the facts are that the proposed property is contiguous to the corporate limits of the City of Summersville, the property isn’t limited to a Division of Highways right-of-way and the DOH doesn’t hold title to the property.

Also, the affected parties of the proposed annexation, Southern West Virginia Asphalt and Checks Auto Parts, which plans to put in a salvage yard, on the property, support the annexation.

Other facts stated were that the proposed annexation doesn’t consist of a street or highway as defined in the West Virginia Code.

The Commission also felt that the proposed annexation is in the best interests of Nicholas County because it will promote economic growth in the county, future development will require the developer to address and contain the lead in the ground of the property in a matter which meets environmentally safe standards and additional City of Summersville public services will be available to the affected parties if the property is annexed.




“This day is all for Bryan”

The four hand-painted portraits featured on the rear fender of the Marine Corps Tribute Bike depict the faces of four Marines killed in Iraq. The top-most portrait is that of Marine Corps Cpl. Joseph Tremblay, age 23 when he died on April 27, 2005, and the son of the bike’s chief builder, Larry Tremblay. To the left of Larry Tremblay’s son is shown the portrait of Summersville’s own Marine Corps Cpl. Bryan Richardson, also 23 years of age, and killed just a little over a month before Joseph Tremblay. Both young men died in separate incidents when their vehicles ran over IEDs, improvised explosive devices… military jargon for landmines. The faces of the other two Marines shown alongside belong to Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, 32, of Allegheny, Pa, and Lance Cpl. Ryan Kovacicek, 22, of Washington, Pa., both killed in a single mortar attack on July 10, 2005. These are but four of the forty-eight Marines from the same Moundsville, West Virginia-based Company Kilo, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division who would lose their lives in a seven-month period in Iraq.

The Marine Corps Tribute Bike, built by Larry Tremblay over a nine-month period with help from his friends, is in honor of the four Marines featured on the back fender, including his son, Joey, and the other 44 lost. The motorcycle, a thing of revered beauty in its own right, is adorned with patriotic images relating to the Marine Corps and proudly displays, among many other features, an American flag carved into the kickstand and a Marine Corps saber, serving as a gear shift.

The Tribute Bike was on display on the Court House lawn August 22, and soon gathered a swarm of admirers. All who chanced to speak with Larry Tremblay offered their condolences on the loss of his son, which he graciously accepted but quickly reminded them that this day was all for Bryan Richardson.




Richwood Common Council sits in regular session

Maxine Corbett
Richwood Editor

The Aug. 21 regularly scheduled meeting of Richwood’s Common Council began with a report from Mayor Robert Johnson. He touched on statewide conferences and projects of interest.

He first spoke of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, managed by the West Virginia Development Office. He said he had given the Richwood Park Board a grant application. The mayor said grants from the LWCF require a 50-50 cash match. “This is another funding resource the Park Board might consider, depending on available revenue,” he explained.

Mayor Johnson said he would propose that the Richwood Public Library revive an earlier fundraiser for that facility: historic pictorial calendars. A series of calendars had been produced for several years, ending in 2004, which featured early photos of Richwood that were part of the Finley Taylor collection, administered by Luther Baker. The mayor is exploring the associated cost of this proposal.

He talked about the “What’s Next” initiative. This statewide conference addressed changes to the economic climate of the Mountain State. Mayor Johnson had attended this conference that was based in Buckhannon.

The mayor also spoke of the “Try This!” conference where planning for 2015 was discussed. Help with resources on 80 different subjects can be found on line as to project selections. Kate Long, a writing coach for the Charleston Gazette, who penned the “Shape We’re In” series, was a presenter. This conference was part of the “Keys for Healthy Kids” initiative.

The theme centered around how to turn around the health issues being experienced by today’s youth.



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