Wilkie Eldon Barnette
94, of Lockwood

Charles A. “Raymond” Baughman
80, of Glenville

Agatha Jean Bell Bennett
83, of Webster Springs

Garnet Ruth Boblett Byrne
of Kent, Ohio

Aretta Agnes Taylor Collett
88, of Summersville

Lonnie H. DeMoss
81, of Birch River

Edgar Eugene “Eddie” Donelson 75, of Mt. Lookout

Bonnie Ruth Knapp Ellison
90, of Richwood

Mabel Alene (Snyder) Harrison 91, of Webster Springs

Vivian Lew Kyer
77, of Craigsville

Macel Ruth Lathrop
96, of Richwood

Violet Lemoine Russell
99, of Craigsville

Lorena Belle Creasy Zwilling 96, of St. Albans








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FEMA to close NCHS Disaster Recovery Center on Friday

The Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Recovery Center at Nicholas County High School will close on Friday, July 22, at 6 p.m. The other two Nicholas County Disaster Recovery Centers—at Richwood and Birch River—will remain open until further notice.




School Board hears Structural Damage Report

The Nicholas County Board of Education on Monday evening, July 18, heard a report from their engineers on the structural damage to the schools caused by last month’s flooding.

The Board also took action on the Nicholas County Superintendent’s Super Scholar academic recognition program, passed the first reading and placed on public comment for 20 days new county policies on political activity on school property and the executive session policy and approved several contracts, including the company offering student insurance.

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

School building structural damage report
Structural engineers Steve Hendrick, Dave Ferguson and Marie McCauley of the Charleston engineering and architectural firm ZMM came before the Board to present their report on the structural damage to the three school buildings damaged by last month’s flooding.

President Penix said the engineers had looked over the three damaged schools, and their findings will be given to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will make some calculations and recommendations on how the Board should move forward. “This is one step in the process,” he added.

The report focused on Summersville Middle School and Richwood Middle School, which were the two schools with the most structural damage as far as walls and cracks.

Hendrick said the area of Summersville Middle School nearest to flooded Muddlety Creek was the most severely damaged. Two classrooms, one for math and one for computer instruction, had severe cracks and structural damage in the walls and steps.

“That was the main area that we felt should be restricted from use until repairs are made and implemented,” said Hendrick, who considers it a life-safety issue.

Hendrick estimated the cost to repair the structure of the two classrooms and surrounding area to be between $300,000 and $500,000, which was much higher than a previous estimate of $75,000 to $150,000.

He said the repair would include rebuilding 80 feet of outside walls of the classrooms and possibly reinforcing the floors and the deep foundation of the building, since the school was built on a swampy area.




Concert, movie at Sculpture Garden

The J Adam Parker Band plays before a crowd gathered at the Sculpture Garden in Richwood on July 15. The concert was held as a benefit for small businesses in Richwood that were damaged in the June 23 flood. Following the concert, Shentel presented the movie “Minions” under the stars at the Sculpture Garden.





Disaster Recovery Center opens in Birch River

Nicholas County now has three Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) with the July 15 opening of the latest center.

The newest center is located at the Birch River Elementary School on Birch River Road in Birch River.

Survivors of the June 22-29 floods, severe storms, landslides and mudslides are finding a wealth of useful information at a DRC to assist their recovery from the disaster.

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), various state agencies, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) staff the centers. Effective July 17, centers are open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed Sundays.

To locate the closest center, you can visit http://go.usa.gov/x3NnJ or download the FEMA App to your mobile device. Before visiting a center, you can register with FEMA by going online to DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and answer calls from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Video Relay Service (VRS) or 711 users may call 800-462-7585.

The other DRC centers in Nicholas County are at the City of Richwood City Hall, 6 White Ave., Richwood, and Nicholas County High School in Summersville.

Registering with FEMA is the first step toward qualifying for disaster assistance, which may include grants to help homeowners and renters pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property replacements and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

SBA offers low-interest disaster loans for businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters and private non-profit organizations. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.

For more information about SBA loans, call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster. TTY users can call 800-877-8339.  Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.




Richwood Council to meet weekly;

Taylor appointed to vacant seat

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Richwood Common Council has agreed to meet weekly for an indefinite period as the city continues its recovery process following the 1,000-year flood on June 23.

Council made the decision during a meeting on July 14.

Council normally meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month. The next meeting is set for 7 p.m. this Thursday, July 21.

Council also conducted an emergency meeting on July 18 and adopted a resolution authorizing the incident command center as the lead agency in the flood recovery.

During the July 14 meeting, Council unanimously appointed Chuck Taylor, former manager of the now-closed Foodland grocery store in Richwood, to fill the vacant Ward II seat.

No one sought the seat in the June 14 municipal election. It had been previously held by Gerry Juergens, who did not seek re-election.

Taylor’s appointment gives Council a full complement of eight members.

Council approved a motion declaring the city was still under a state of emergency because of the devastating flood.

Meanwhile, Council tabled a couple of flood-related matters – one on adoption of the International Building Code and the other on the appointment of Councilman James Vannoy as the city’s code enforcement chief/building inspector.

“Until we do adopt (the International Building Code), I would have no authority to go by,” Vannoy said.

In another matter, Mayor Bob Henry Baber said former Federal Emergency Management Agency official Bill Hines had been retained as a consultant for the city in the recovery process.

Baber said Hines’ own family was affected by flooding in Elkview.

“He’s advising us on everything,” Baber said. “He’s a man who knows his business well, and he’s a West Virginia boy – a Godsend.”

Baber said Hines helped develop an organizational chart to guide the city in the long recovery process.

Former Mayor Jeromy Rose has been appointed as incident commander, Baber said.




Man charged in shootout with police enters plea

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

A Muddlety man who was charged following a shootout with police at his residence 14 months ago has entered a plea in Nicholas County Circuit Court.

Floyd Alden Graham, 65, pleaded no contest on July 15 to two counts of wanton endangerment involving a firearm and one count of possession with intent to deliver a Schedule IV non-narcotic controlled substance (alprazolam).

Sentencing was set for Sept. 19 following the completion of a pre-sentence investigation report.

Graham faces a maximum penalty of 11 to 13 years in prison. He will also be required to pay $260 in restitution to the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force.

Graham was indicted in May on three counts of attempted murder, three counts of wanton endangerment involving a firearm, three counts of delivery of a controlled substance and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

In exchange for his plea, the other counts in the indictment were dismissed. The state also agreed to stand silent at sentencing.

Assistant Prosecutor Jonathan Calhoun said the plea agreement was consistent with the fair administration of justice because Graham was “accepting criminal responsibility for three serious felony crimes.”

When asked by Circuit Judge Gary Johnson if he was entering his plea to avoid a tougher penalty if the case went to trial and guilty verdicts were returned, Graham replied, “Yes.”

Defense attorney John Mitchell said plea negotiations had been ongoing the last few weeks.



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