A Surprise Visit From a Friend

Jerry Marks, a son of Waldo and grandson of Otha Marks, gave me this picture. He said the men were Otha’s brothers. I hope someone has another copy of this picture and can name them.

Margaret’s sons were: Perry William 1878-1949; Elias ‘Smith’ 1880-1965; Otha Lester 1882-1963; John Hiers 1884-1960; Henry ‘Richard’ 1892-1967; and Clay Elihu 1894-1989.

When daughter Jo Ann was a student at Glenville State College she had a class that interested her in genealogy. Jo Ann and my sister Connie teamed up and visited courthouses and collected lots of family genealogy.

Ron Miller once told me that when Connie and Jo Ann ran out of steam, they gave what they had collected to Don Norman and Ron and that jump started them onto collecting family history.

When Ron Miller was putting together the Gilmer County History Book, I could not get Connie or Jo Ann to write up the genealogy they had collected, so I wrote up most of it and submitted it for the History Book.

Richard Marks of Gambrills, MD, who has spent his lifetime collecting Marks Histories and is pretty much accepted as the Marks Family Authority in Gilmer County, got my address from the History Book and wrote to me. He had very little information on Ralph’s Grandmother Margaret Marks and her descendants. We have exchanges lots of information since that time. I often collect Marks obituaries from newspapers and send them to him.

This week Richard Marks, his sister Carolyn and husband George Abbott Jr. surprised me with a visit. He was on his way from Huntington to The Glenville Democrat newspaper office. We had a very interesting visit.

This winter’s wet weather has not been good for farmers. The mud makes feeding cows a real challenge.

We have heard lots of references to the chance that this year might be a repeat of the floods of 1936. I remember seeing pictures of the 1936 flood but don’t remember local flooding except I always heard that all of Ressie McElwee’s hay washed away that year.

I need to correct a mistake I made several weeks ago. Bayard Butler was 94 years old instead of 84 as my column stated. Bailey also has Marks roots. His granddaughter Elzira Marks was Ralph’s great Aunt Matilda ‘Till’ Marks’ daughter. Sister Caren White, brother Eugene and I visited Bayard on his 94th birthday.

Gwen Sumpter is 92 years old and has an excellent memory. Gwen said her Grandpa Palmer Beall had TB and died in 1924. Gwen’s mother Allie Beall and sister Mae Beall James, daughters of Palmer’s,n helped care for him when he was sick with TB.

They did not know that TB was contagious. Gwen’s mother Allie contacted TB and died in 1926 and Mae James contacted TB and died in 1927. Gwen said her mother often took her with her when she was caring for her father and Gwen slept at the foot of his bed. Gwen amazes me with her memories of her families in and around her community.

Gilmer Commission making the leap to digitize courthouse records

By Cassandra Huff,

News Editor

The Tues., July 5, meeting of the Gilmer County Commission produced progress toward digitizing courthouse records, making changes for Gilmer’s Dog Warden, and tackling a few other matters.

911 Addressing: New Road Name

and a Missing Road Sign

Mr. Dave Matthews, with Lewis-Gilmer 911 Addressing, appeared before the Commission with a newly named road to be approved.

Commissioners approved, and the Collins Cemetery’s road, off of Rosedale Road, will be named “Collins Cemetery Lane.”

Commissioner Darrel Ramsey informed Mr. Matthews that the county had received a call from a resident in Dusk Camp that their daughter’s road sign had been stolen a second time. They were asking to have it replaced, once again.

Mr. Matthews stated the policy: On the first replacement, 911 addressing asks the commission to replace, or approve to replace the sign;

If there is a second occurrence, the property owner may be required to pay for sign replacement.

However, the issue of responsible party for the sign replacement costs was left up to the commissioners

Dog Warden Fees and expenses

Gilmer County Dog Warden Debbie Hess appeared before the Commission.

She reminded them that the county is not bringing any money in, via animal control fees.

She indicated that most counties charge a fee for a dog to be picked up. In the last six months, she has picked up 63 dogs. Of these dogs, three were retrieved by their owners, seven were placed in homes, and the county still holds 14 seized dogs (three were seized in an earlier case, and the recent seizure of 11 dogs from the Greenleafs/Wallbrowns).

Lewis County has a flat fee of $20.00 per animal, and $5.00/ each day the county has the dog in custody.

The Commission agreed to charge a $20 fee for each dog picked up, and $5 per day that the dog is in custody.

Mrs. Hess also reminded the commissioners that Ritchie County says they are full, and not taking dogs.

Hess said she has been taking dogs to Roane County. They are more expensive than Ritchie; however, they never turn dogs away.

The Commissioners asked how those shelters are subsidized.

Gilmer County resident, retired businesswoman, and devoted animal person, Lori Plummer was present at the commission meeting.

She informed the Commission that most shelters are financed by grants and private donations.

If Gilmer County was willing to work with people, the possibility of donations (maybe large) is promising.

Ms. Plummer also asked if the Commission would be able to set up a specific account in order for people to donate for the care of animals in the county’s custody.

That’s inefficiency

Postal Service needs revamping from the top executives on down

The United States Postal Service (USPS), which was once perhaps the only dependable benefit of the federal government’s creation, is now fastly becoming the worst bureau of this current age. In fact, from what we editors have seen in the last six months, this large agency is crumbling under its own weight, due to its inefficiency.

At no other time in recent history has our Newspaper Industry, and this newspaper in particular, been let down by the postal service so many times, because of its lack of transparent planning for modernization, efficiency in daily operations and willingness to work with its customers to correct problems. In fact, this newspaper has gotten more complaints from subscribers from afar in the past half-year than ever before. For example, one subscriber in the Mountain State’s Northern Panhandle receives her newspaper one week late, while, by way of contrast, this publisher’s brother in New Mexico generally receives his weekly edition on the Saturday of the same week.

The USPS’s handling of the growth of the Internet’s e-mail services has been too little, too late and too knee-jerk, in that all the agency is doing is letting people retire and not replacing them. For instance, the Glenville Post Office, which once had four full-time employees, is now down to two, as far as we editors can see and count. Those two employees are overworked, with no actual Postmaster being officially appointed in over six months.

The other USPS corrective initiative is to close as many small, rural post offices as possible in order to reduce the giant bureau’s expenses. This move by way of miscues has demonstrated the “inefficiency” of the current postal executive structure more than anything else. To prove this point, let’s just look at the failed record of this area’s USPS closure announcements and how they are being handled.

In the case of the Shock Post Office’s proposed closure and public comment meeting, the USPS executive just didn’t show up on the publicized assembly’s date. When contacted that evening with a packed house anxiously waiting to comment, he said that he had forgotten about it, so the meeting would have to be rescheduled.

Every postal executive serving Gilmer County ought to have a pocket calendar and if he or she doesn’t, the official is either stupid or needs to see us editors at this newspaper to explain why he or she lacks one. There’s no excuse for that omission.

Then, there was the Linn Post Office’s Public Comment meeting on the proposed closure of their unit. Once again, a group of concerned citizens awaited the postal officials, who dutifully took down their many comments which we reported in this paper’s news in one recent edition. Later, however, to the chagrin of the USPS and anger of local residents, the USPS admitted that they sent the wrong officials to collect the comments. As a result, the agency had considered rescheduling the meeting with the regional manager leading it as required. At this present time, however, the USPS has opted not to hold that second meeting, thereby, once again, causing confusion among Linn area residents who had been asked to come out to make the same comments at the second and ostensibly legitimate meeting.

Next, at the Auburn Post Office’s Public Comment meeting, the USPS’s executives confessed that they didn’t know anything about the future of that unit, but were just there “to take down the public’s comments.” Moreover, before the once again packed house, one hearing officer admitted that if these smaller post offices were not closed, well, he might lose his job. Heaven forbid, hadn’t he heard of the recent recession when a whole lot of workers fell victims to unemployment, so why would postal officials be any different?

Nevertheless, the fact that the USPS representatives at the Auburn meeting admitted that they didn’t know how to answer the local people’s questions and were just there as secretaries to take down notes is very condemning to the agency.

Finally, on one recent week we editors read a notice posted on the Glenville Post Office’s door that a closure Public Comment meeting about the “Glenville” office was to be held the next week at the “Orlando Community Center.” That news hit us hard, for we editors had thought this local Post Office was large enough to escape the closure studies. Besides, having a Glenville PO meeting in Orlando didn’t make sense, either???

As it came out, the USPS executives had mistakenly placed Glenville’s name in the news release, when it should have been the Orlando Post Office’s closure hearing.

Now, that’s inefficiency!

In conclusion, the United States Congress should be made aware of the gross inefficiency of the top management in the United States Postal Service, thereby opening the avenue of replacing those officials with more competent ones. Then, maybe the planning to revamp the postal system can get on solid footing rather than being done in such a helterskelter manner, as noted above. Nevertheless, like in the military, if planning and efficiency problems exist within the top brass, it’s certain that the “foot soldiers” on the “front line” post offices will not be able to be the typical helpful, courteous and successful USPS representatives to their local customers that they have been traditionally.

Inefficiency is no excuse for the USPS, when it’s no excuse in American businesses.

Ron Blankenship becomes schools superintendent on July 1

By David H. Corcoran, Sr.,

Publisher-Sr. Editor

On last Fri., July 1, Ron Blankenship was already hard at work at his desk in the School Board’s Central Office in the Courthouse Annex.

“I had meetings all day with the staff, because we’re looking at the vacancies and want to make sure that we find qualified professionals to fill them,” Mr. Blankenship stated to this newspaper in an exclusive interview.

Continuing, he observes that Gilmer County’s school system needs to make sure that it’s ready for the fall term, and vacancies, sometimes, take time to fill. ”

“We’ve got a lot of good faculty and staff, but we have to fill the vacancies, and we have several,” he laments.

As a former Gilmer County Superintendent but about 15 years ago, Mr. Blankenship couldn’t compare the two periods of education here. “We have completely different issues to be addressed now in comparison with before,” he observes.

Right now, he’s set a concrete strategy for getting Gilmer’s school system back to par. “We’ll look at what we’ve got, and make the best decisions we can for the benefit of the whole system, but, particularly, the education of the school children,” he outlines.

In addition, he asserts, “I’m looking forward to working with the (local) Board of Education. In fact, as things progress, I’ll give them updates of (the changes and improvements) on a weekly basis.”

This Week’s Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Make safe the trips of our Gilmer County people who are going on vacations this summer;

Give “good luck” to new Schools Superintendent Ron Blankenship at the Gilmer BOE;

Bless our struggling middle class, especially our seniors, shut-ins and others in need of help;

Provide good medical care and speedy recoveries to all injury victims, especially Marcia McKinney (she’s coming home this week from burn treatment rehab), Barbara McHenry and the natural disaster survivors in America and throughout the world;

Give consolation and recovery to the sick, especially to Fran Snider’s mother, Patrick Gainer, Betty Maddix, Leonard Montgomery, Stan Mazzagotte, Joe Ellison, William Heard, Brittany (Folk Festival Belle Grace DeLorenzo’s granddaughter who has a rare disease) & others needing Christ’s healing touch (if you need prayers, call us: no pranksters, please);

Pray for peace in the Middle East and Africa, so the people can secure “freedom;” and,

Comfort the loved ones left behind, especially families of Wilford “Tinker” Minigh, Helen Louise Conrad Stout, Frank “Ted” Zinn and Arthur “Joe” Radcliff. Amen.

Church Activities to Look Forward To

Happy anniversary to our good friends, Charlene & Tom Blake, on Feb. 4. They are the proud parents of five Amy, Melissa, Travis, Mary Beth and Kristen and the proud grandparents of two Hayden & Piper. May you both be blessed with many more happy and healthy years together.

Belated anniversary wishes to Kenny & Betty Graff Pulliam who celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary on Jan. 19. Both are graduates of the Class of 1951 from Burnsville High School & regularly attend the Kanawha Alumni reunions over the Memorial Day weekend.

Their son, Ron, tags along as well even though he was born in Ohio in 1958. Betty’s younger brother is Dick Graff.

Belated birthday wishes to Lori for Jan. 30.

Get well wishes to Dick Leggett who has recently had some medical procedures.

Upcoming Activities for the First Baptist Church of Burnsville:

* Wednesday services – Baptist Youth Group meets at 6:00 p.m. in the Church basement; Bible Study meets at 7:00 p.m.

* Sun., Feb. 12 – Fellowship dinner after church – everyone welcome.

* Tue., Feb. 21 – WMS meeting @ 7:00 p.m. – Book of the Month is Philemon.

Upcoming Activities for the Burnsville United Methodist Church:

* Sun., Feb. 12 – Fellowship Dinner after Church – covered dish – invite other Churches on the Charge and the community.

* Sat., Feb. 25 – Soup & Sandwich Dinner @ 6:00 p.m.; Activity Night starts @ 7:00 p.m.

News from Toni Wine: Happy Groundhog Day on February 2nd. Happy Valentine’s Day – treat your sweetheart out to dinner on February 14th.

In memory of my grandfather, John Posey, whose birthday was February 8. We all miss you. Happy birthday up in heaven. Love Toni.

Happy birthday to the following friends/relatives: 3 – Rachel Barrow & Rick Singleton; 4 – Sandra Allen; 6 – Amy Riffle (Toni’s cousin); 7 – Johnny Wine (Toni’s cousin); 11 – Bobby Wine & Jason Singleton (Toni’s cousins); 12 – Anitra Wine (Toni’s Mom); 19 – Patricia Wine (Bobby’s Mom); 26 – Sarita Wine Gumm (Toni’s cousin); and 27 – Pastor Jim Burrough.

While I was typing up Toni’s News, I noticed that 3 (Bobby, Sarita, & Johnny) out of the 4 of Patricia & Grafton’s children were born in February. Plus Patricia had a birthday too! February was and is a busy month at the Wine home. Don’t you agree?

By the Honorable Brent Boggs, State Delegate (34th District)

As of Fri., Jan. 27th, 2012, a total of 1,475 bills have been introduced in the West Virginia Legislature; 1,029 in the House of Delegates and 446 in the State Senate. The House has passed 13 bills and the Senate, seven. However, there is one bill which has completed legislative action and has already been signed into law by the Governor.

The Legislature moved quickly to pass House Bill 4086, designed to improve West Virginia’s chances to attract one or possibly two ethane ‘cracker’ plants. The construction of just one of these facilities involves an investment of over $2 billion with an estimated 8,000 construction jobs; hundreds of permanent jobs when operational; and thousands of spin-off jobs in related industries.

Due to the rapid work of the House and Senate, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin had the signed tax credit law in hand when meeting with representatives of Royal Dutch Shell in Houston, Texas last Thurs., Jan. 26. Both Ohio and Pennsylvania are also competing for the facility.

HB 4086 will provide property tax breaks to any business spending $2 billion or more to build an ethane cracker plant in the state. Also, the bill will allow the plant complex to be assessed at its salvage value, or 5 percent of its actual appraised value, for 25 years.

This is a major incentive to attract a major investment in our state, not to mention a massive economic lift to West Virginiaƕs manufacturing economy.

Bills still pending

Other bills that passed the House of Delegates last week include:

  • HB 4001: Authorizing boards to establish fees by legislative rule.
  • HB 4002: Relating to annual seminar requirements for professional licensing boards.
  • HB 4003: Clarifying the law governing the duties of professional licensing boards.
  • HB 4078: Extending certain deadlines for mandated actions regarding higher education personnel.
  • HB 4086: Designating certain property as a qualified capital addition to a manufacturing facility.
  • HB 4097: Creating a license to practice hair styling.
  • HB 4251: Relating generally to amendments to the uniform commercial code.

National Guard news

While the work of the Legislature continues at a very productive pace, there is great news to report regarding our WV National Guard and Air National Guard.

During House Finance Committee Budget Hearings last week, Adjutant General James Hoyer said that as of this past Sun., Jan. 22, all West Virginia National Guard units are back home stateside for the first time since shortly after September 11, 2001.

About 4,100 servicemen and women serve in the Army National Guard and roughly 2,400 serve in the Air Guard. At one point, more than 2,000 West Virginia National Guard members were deployed overseas as part of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A 530-member Artillery Battalion from the Clarksburg-Fairmont area was the last large group to return home over the past few weeks. Over the weekend, the final two units, a 36-member unit and 45-member unit, returned from Africa and Afghanistan.

A new challenge

However, having our Guard members home will not last long. In March, a portion of the ANG 130th Airlift wing will do a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. Other units are scheduled for redeployment later this year.

As I conclude each week in this space, please keep these brave men and women in the Armed Forces in your thoughts and prayers as they defend our country at home and abroad. Likewise, do all you can to aid and assist their families during deployments.

How to contact me!

Please send your inquiries to the Capitol Office at: Building 1, Room 226-M, Charleston, WV 25305. Or, call the Capitol office at 304-340-3220; Assistant to the Majority Leader, Tom Bennett, at 304-340-3262 or House Leadership Analyst, Jennifer McPherson, at 304-340-3942 or fax to 304-340-3213. If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.

For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is: [email protected]

You also may obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights and other information from the Legislature’s web site, at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/

If you write or leave a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and state government phone directory may be found at www.wv.gov and on the Facebook site of the West Virginia Legislature.

Remember to thank a veteran for his or her service to our nation and continue to remember our troops at home and abroad and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Until next week, take care!

YOU, vote!

Sec. of State brings her message to Gilmer

Thanks to West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who came to Glenville on Tues., Jan. 24, for stressing “voter awareness” to our young people and citizens.

She visited both Gilmer County High School and Glenville State College in order to encourage this area’s students and other attendees to register and to vote in both the May Primary (Tues., May 8) and November General Election (Tues., Nov. 6).

Gilmer County Clerk Jean Butcher also helped out by being on hand to demonstrate the voting machines and to register students to vote. Most importantly, 45 patriotic young GCHS students did register. Kudos to them.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and Gilmer County Clerk Jean Butcher are to be commended for dramatizing this important democratic function and each citizen’s duty regardless of age to cast their ballots in the regular and special elections.

Glenville Pathfinder

The Glenville Pathfinder is a newspaper based in Glenville, West Virginia. It was formed from the merger of the Glenville Journal and The Pathfinder. We publish new articles every weekday morning, Monday through Friday.

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