Christopher Don Bradley
40, formerly of Craigsville

Edward “Eddie” Samuel Kincaid 53, of Hominy Falls

Rosa Lee “Peggy” Paugh
84, of Shepherdstown

Olen B. Rose
93, of Birch River

Phyllis J. Taylor
81, of Summersville

Aileen Ramsey Wilson
84, of Mt. Nebo

Kerry Dean Skaggs Workman 40, of Smoot







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Two indicted in separate murder cases

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

A Nicholas County grand jury has indicted two men in separate murder cases.

Bobby James Miness was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the November 2016 shooting death of 28-year-old Nathan Branham at a residence near Birch River.

Terry Lee Hughes was also indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the December 2016 shooting death of 45-year-old Kevin Broyles at a residence in Nettie.

The grand jury met on Tuesday, May 9. Those indicted are scheduled to appear in Nicholas County Circuit Court for arraignments on Tuesday, May 16.

Others indicted, and the charges they face, included:

• Briar Stewart, wanton endangerment (two counts), malicious wounding, breaking and entering and conspiracy to commit breaking and entering.

Stewart allegedly impersonated a State Police trooper in an attempt to gain entry to a home in Dixie in April 2016. Authorities said he eventually fired a shot through the front window of the home and struck one of the residents in the arm.

• Coty Bird, breaking and entering and conspiracy to commit breaking and entering.

• Wesley A. Lough, breaking and entering and petit larceny.

• Rashard Jones and Starr Ramos, transferring a controlled substance into the state (two counts) and delivery of a controlled substance (two counts).

• Matthew Mansfield, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and fleeing with reckless indifference.

• Christopher D. Morris, breaking and entering and delivery of a controlled substance (two counts).

• Stephen Daniel Harmon, delivery of a controlled substance.

• Nova Jarrell Jr., delivery of a controlled substance.

• Jamie Postalwait, delivery of a controlled substance.

• Jamia Coleman, embezzlement.

• Witney Coleman, embezzlement.

• Jesse W. Talbert, third-degree sexual assault (three counts).

• Theresa Lynn Amos, also known as Theresa Lynn Feagans, embezzlement and fraudulent schemes.

• Karen M. Goodenow, third-offense shoplifting.




Testimony heard, decision forthcoming

in consolidation court case

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Six witnesses testified for three-and-a-half hours during a hearing on a civil complaint filed against the Nicholas County Board of Education and the superintendent in the ongoing school consolidation controversy.

Following the hearing on Monday, May 8, in Nicholas County Circuit Court, Judge James J. Rowe gave both sides 10 days to file findings of fact and conclusions of law with the court before he issues a ruling. The judge also said he wanted to look at a late deposition submitted in the matter.

The plaintiffs, all with ties to Richwood High School, are seeking an injunction to stop the school board and Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick from proceeding on a proposal to consolidate the county’s two high schools and two middle schools, along with the Nicholas County Career Technical Center, into a single campus at the Glade Creek Business Park near Summersville.

The proposal, approved by the county board in March and now awaiting action by the state Board of Education, evolved following last June’s devastating flood that left Richwood High School, Richwood Middle School and Summersville Middle School totaled.

The civil complaint, filed in February, alleges the board violated state open meeting laws in formulating the consolidation proposal. The defendants have denied the allegations.

Judge Rowe denied a preliminary injunction sought by the plaintiffs following a hearing on March 9, but set a full hearing in 60 days.

Plaintiffs Tiffany Coleman Russell and Michael Fox testified at Monday’s hearing, along with Rita Pieri of the Richwood High School Alumni Association, which is also a plaintiff in the case.

Board president Gus Penix, vice president Fred Amick and member Darrell White testified for the defense.

After the plaintiffs presented their case, the defendants’ attorney, Kenneth Webb, asked the court to dismiss the complaint, claiming the plaintiffs had presented no proof to support their allegations.

He said the plaintiffs had offered only “suspicions” about “secret meetings.”
“They haven’t made a case that I have to rebut,” he said.

Webb said the plaintiffs’ testimony on alleged illegal meetings “was all inferential.”




Crowning of the Queen

Richwood High School Senior Class President Molly Roberts is crowned the 2017 RHS Prom Queen by Principal Scott Williams during the traditional promenade held in the Red Gym in Richwood on Saturday evening, May 6. Molly was escorted by German foreign-exchange student Luca Gerke, right. See page 7A for a photo of the prom court.





Animal Shelter matters and parking

lot addressed by Commission

The Nicholas County Commission on Wednesday, May 3, agreed to permit the Nicholas County Animal Shelter to participate in the paws4prisons program involving shelter dogs and the Mount Olive Correctional Center.

The Commission also awarded a bid for new fencing at the animal shelter, tabled the awarding of a bid for gravel on the Courthouse lower parking lot, agreed to contribute to Mountain Transit Authority, postponed a decision on seeking monetary damages from insurance companies for damages to water caused by mining in the county, heard a financial update, approved an agreement with the state Division of Culture and History for a grant for the County Clerk’s office and approved a resolution regarding maintenance needs in America’s National Park system.

Present for the meeting were Commission President Ken Altizer, Commissioner Lyle Neal and Commissioner Dr. Lloyd Adkins.

Animal Shelter matters
Nicholas County Animal Shelter Director Tracy Plambeck came before the Commission to request approval for the shelter to participate in the paws4people/paws4prisons program with the Mount Olive Correctional Complex in Fayette County.

Under the program, selected dogs with the proper temperament from the shelter would be taken to Mount Olive to be taught by inmate trainers 16 basic commands, obedience and manners with the possibility, depending on the dog and trainer, to learn additional advanced commands.




Man’s sentence modified in police shooting incident

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

A Muddlety man accused of firing shots at police officers who came to his residence to execute a search warrant in a drug investigation has had his sentence modified.

Floyd Alden Graham, 66, who was wounded in the incident, pleaded no contest last 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).

Two months later, former Nicholas County Circuit Judge Gary Johnson sentenced Graham to 5 years in prison on each of the wanton endangerment counts and 1 to 3 years on the drug count, all to be served consecutively.

During a sentence reconsideration hearing on May 3, Judge James J. Rowe modified the sentence, ordering the 5-year terms to be served concurrently and the drug term to run consecutively to that.

As he did at the initial sentencing hearing, defense attorney John Mitchell acknowledged Graham was involved in selling pain pills to a handful of friends.

But he said his client was not aware police were at his residence when he was awakened by noise shortly before midnight on May 27, 2015.

Mitchell said Graham’s residence had previously been invaded, and when he was awakened by the noise outside his house, he feared another home invasion and grabbed a gun.

“He said, ‘Go away or I’ll shoot,’” Mitchell told the court.

Mitchell said the officer who shot Graham looked through a window and saw Graham holding a gun while other officers were preparing to enter the residence through a side door.

Mitchell said Graham then fired three low warning shots. He then crawled to the kitchen, got a phone and called 911 to report his home was being invaded and that he had been shot.

The 911 dispatcher then told Graham that police were already at his residence, according to Mitchell, adding his client immediately put the gun down.

“Had he known they were police officers, he would have been completely compliant,” Mitchell said.

Graham addressed the court and echoed Mitchell’s account.

“I would never intentionally shoot somebody,” he said.

The court, however, was told the police officers announced their presence and that they had a search warrant.

In sentencing defendants, Judge Rowe said, he always looks for acceptance of responsibility.

“I didn’t hear that this afternoon,” he said. “The officers refute your story on the sequence.

After a couple of attempts of knocking and announcing, they busted the door in and directed you to drop the gun. That’s when all hell broke loose.




Summersville Council hears proposed

school consolidation plan

Prior to the regularly scheduled business meeting of Summersville City Council a 15-minute public meeting was arranged for the purpose of discussing the new noise ordinance for the city. No one from the public attended, and the regular May 8, 2017, meeting was convened.

The first item on the agenda was the approval of the minutes of the meeting held on April 24.

Mayor Shafer then read a proclamation recognizing the value of the National Park Service to the area, noting that the NPS hosts 331 million visitors annually and that statewide, brings approximately $16.9 million dollars to the gateway communities spread throughout the region.

The mayor then asked councilwoman Teresa Eye-Clevenger to explain the noise ordinance.

Ms. Clevenger stated that there are two basic ways to classify noise for the purpose of defining the ordinance: impulse or continuous. She noted that noise registers differently from one person to another, i.e. that what is offensive or loud to someone may not be so to someone else. In the near future, police officers will use a decimeter to evaluate noise levels to see whether the subject of complaint is in violation of the policy.

In other business, the motion to approve the grease trap policy carried.

Council also approved the following Summersville Police Department policies: Firearms; Use of Force; Hazardous Materials; and Field Interviews, Stop and Frisk.



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