Elizabeth Reese Culver Bereznak “Beth”
of Richwood

Roxie Gay Helms
93, of Mt. Nebo

Fadra Dawn Johnston
43, of Gauley Bridge

Carolyn Delores Lilly
71, of Richwood

David Monroe “Dumplin” Meadows
65, of Craigsville

Leona Gay Morriston
93, of Summersville

Lester Lee Myers

John Gilbert O’Dell
80, Mount Nebo

Berwyn W. Perrine
83 of Brook Park, Ohio

Benjamin Matthew “Ogg” Plummer
25, of Summersville








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SRMC makes reduction in accounts payable

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Summersville Regional Medical Center has reduced its accounts payable by nearly $2.5 million since the middle of 2014, the hospital’s Board of Trustees was told last week.

In his report during the board’s monthly meeting last Thursday, Feb. 26, Board Chairman Brian Johnson said the amount the hospital owes in bills had been cut from approximately $4.4 million to $2 million between mid-year 2014 and Dec. 31.

Johnson said the reduction in accounts payable was “pretty significant.” He said when any company or organization pays its bills, its reputation benefits.

Meanwhile, Johnson said the new CEO Advisory Committee had met for the first time on Feb. 4 and that he had attended the Feb. 3 meeting of the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement Committee.

The Board chairman said much is underway at the hospital.

He said a marginal, thin cash flow remains in an “unacceptable, unsustainable position,” and that he hospital “must relentlessly pursue the growth of our revenue stream.”

“Revenue growth through dissecting our revenue cycle for opportunities, as well as growth in medical services for which there is a community need, are the keys to strengthening our financial stability,” Johnson said in his written report. “I believe it will take both.”

SRMC Chief Executive Officer Dan Ayres said he had received a call just before the meeting from the CEO of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations on a follow-up survey of hospital operations.

“He was impressed with the improvements we’ve made,” Ayres said. “It took a lot of hard work by a lot of people to go from over 40 findings in May to four in October.”

A year-end financial report showed total operating revenues of $46,540,702 and total operating expenses of $47,207,950.

Excess revenue-over-expenses for the year was on the negative side by $2,580,776.




It’s not over yet

Muddlety Creek in Summersville ran high as the area prepared for a new set of storms predicted to hit the area on Wednesday and Thursday, March 4 and 5. This storm system was predicted to drop up to 3 inches of rain on Wednesday, causing streams already high from previous rain and melting snow to flood over their banks. Following the rain, the storm is predicted to bring heavy sleet on Wednesday night and up to eight inches of snow on Thursday.





Man receives prison term for felony DUI

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

A Craigsville man was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison last week for felony third-offense DUI.

Nicholas County Circuit Judge Gary Johnson imposed the sentence on Marcus King, 47, during a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 26.

King pleaded guilty on Jan. 7 to a prosecutor’s information charging him with third-offense DUI and second-offense driving on a DUI-revoked license, a misdemeanor.

Judge Johnson also sentenced King to a consecutive year in jail on the misdemeanor plea, but then suspended the term and ordered him to serve two years on probation after he is released from prison.

King received credit for 133 days already served in jail on the felony sentence.

King was previously convicted of DUI in Kentucky in 2005 and in Tennessee in 2011.
He told the court at his Jan. 7 plea hearing that he was building a house in Craigsville at the

time of the incident. He said he had moved to Craigsville from Tennessee after “my son came here to spend time with his half-brother.”

He also said he was treated for substance abuse after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1994.

Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Crane told the court at the plea hearing that Nicholas Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Ellison stopped King on state Route 129 in Mount Nebo on June 2, 2014, for vehicle defects, including a cracked windshield.




School Board hears bus ridership figures

The Nicholas County Board of Education on Monday evening, March 2, heard a report on bus ridership in the county.

The Board also passed on first reading and placed on public comment a revised policy regarding personnel using the Family Medical Leave Act, continued their participation as a partner in an ongoing teen pregnancy prevention program, heard an update on travel to be taken out of the county by students this summer and next summer and heard Local School Improvement Council reports from three elementary schools in the county.

Present for the meeting held at the Mount Lookout Elementary School cafeteria were Board President Dr. Lloyd Adkins, Vice-President Phil Berry and members Bob M. O’Dell, Darrell White and  Fred Amick.

School bus ridership
At the request of O’Dell at last month’s meeting, Transportation Director Rocky Roberts provided the Board with bus ridership figures in the county over the past four years.

Roberts’ figures showed that in 2010-11 with an enrollment of 4.076 students, a total of 2,862 students rode the bus with 53 full-time drivers. There were 4 half-time drivers who don’t report membership.

In 2011-12 with an enrollment of 4.051 students, 2,728 students rode the bus with 55 full-time drivers. Four half-time drivers didn’t report ridership.

For 2012-13, there were 4.035 students with a ridership of 2,758 students and 55 full-time drivers. Four half-time drivers didn’t report ridership.

In 2013-14, there were 3,956 students enrolled with a ridership of 2,815 students and 53 full-time drivers. Four halftime drivers didn’t report ridership.

O’Dell pointed out that with a decrease of 120 students over the past four years, there were still the same number of bus drivers as four years ago and 47 fewer students riding the bus.

“We’re going to be facing some serious financial situations like the county is now,” said O’Dell.

He suggested looking at reducing transportation personnel or bus runs as a possible way of cutting costs.

Superintendent Butcher said he appreciated any ideas and suggestions of Board members to cut costs but the county still has to cover the same amount of square miles each year with Nicholas County being more than 650 square miles in area, making it among the top 10 in square miles in the state.




Spring forest fire season began Sunday, March 1

The West Virginia Division of Forestry reminds residents that the state’s spring forest fire season started March 1, 2015, and runs through May 31, 2015. During these three months, daytime burning is prohibited from the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outdoor burning is permitted only between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.     

State law requires a ring or safety strip around outdoor fires to keep the fire from spreading into the woods. This safety strip must be cleared of all burnable material and be at least 10 feet wide completely around the debris pile.           

Additional requirements of the state’s fire laws include staying on-site until the fire is extinguished and burning only vegetative materials like leaves, brush and yard clippings.

If you allow a fire you have started to escape and it causes a wildfire or forest fire, you will be subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000. An additional civil penalty of $200 also will be assessed.

The Division of Forestry offers these tips for safe outdoor burning:
*Burn only after 5 p.m. — it’s the law — and put your fire out completely by 7 a.m.
*Put debris in several small piles instead of one large one.
*Never burn on dry, windy days.
*Select a safe place away from overhead power lines, phone lines or other obstructions and where the fire cannot spread into the woods or weedy or brushy areas.
*Clear at least a 10-foot area around the fire and make sure the area is clear of all burnable material.
*Have water and tools on hand to extinguish anything that may escape the burn area.
*Be conscientious of neighbors and don’t burn debris that produces a lot of smoke at times when smoke does not rise. If the smoke spreads out near the ground instead of rising, put out the fire and burn another time.
*Stay with the fire at all times until it is completely out. Leaving a fire unattended for any length of time is illegal.
*Call 911 immediately if a fire does escape.
*Contact local city government offices for possible burning ordinances when burning within city limits.

Burning permits that allow burning during the restricted times may be obtained by public utilities and people burning in conjunction with commercial, manufacturing, mining or like activities. These burning permits cost $125 each and are issued by local Division of Forestry offices.  A permit is required for each site where this type of burning takes place.  Burning permits may also be obtained for agricultural purposes. No fee is required for permits issued for burning for agricultural purposes. Burning permits are not issued for burning of yard waste such as leaves, twigs and branches. 

To find out more about West Virginia’s burning laws and where to obtain a burning permit, visit the Division of Forestry’s website at www.wvforestry.com.




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