Leo Daniel Boone
81, of Summersville

Albert Keith Butler
85, of Summersville

Stanley Henry Hamrick
100, of Cowen

Mary Rolena (McCourt) Simmons
68, of Webster Springs

Richard Lynn Singleton
62, of Summersville

Ruth Marie Tucker
77, Summersville

Jeannie Ruth Williams
71, of Richwood



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Camden quagmire

Like many areas of Nicholas and Webster counties on Monday, March 1, Coon Creek in Camden-on-Gauley exceeded its banks and consequently overtook this driver who attempted to pass through. The driver was reportedly safe.




Who cares about public notices? You should

By Dean Ridings

CEO, America's Newspapers

One of the great things about living in the U.S. is that our city and county governments are required to keep their citizens informed about their actions. One of the ways they do this is through public notices – the informational notices that have been deemed to be of importance to local constituents. They are required by law to be disseminated by an independent third party to a broad audience within the community.

Dean Ridings

An example of a public notice is a request to rezone a piece of property from residential to commercial. The ramifications of such government action are obvious, and it’s in the public’s interest to be able to monitor and provide input into such activities. Public notices are currently required to be published in the newspaper.

There have been recent attempts in several states to change the law so that public notices are no longer required to be published in newspapers. The motivation for eliminating the newspaper publication requirement is typically from one of two sources:

Sometimes it comes from a legislator who doesn’t agree with the editorial position of the newspaper and may seek to remove public notices as a way to get back at them.

And sometimes, it is a sincere approach to save the city or county money.

While saving money seems to make sense at first blush, when you weigh the impact on the community – losing transparency and the ability to keep citizens informed – the costs are minimal and worth the investment.

Public notices have been around since the first Congress, and newspapers have been the designated recipient of public notices since the beginning, when radio, TV and the Internet didn’t exist. We now have dozens, if not hundreds of media choices; there are more forms of communication than ever before. With such a multitude of choices, it begs the question of what’s the most effective medium, and are newspapers still a viable option? Broadcast TV, cable and radio often have a representative audience. However, it just isn’t cost effective to produce ads and buy airtime for public notices, and those ads don’t explain the complex issues as well. Plus, it isn’t feasible to go back and watch a public notice ad that ran in an earlier time period.

What about a city or county just posting the notices to their own website? This is the most significant challenge that newspapers often face in the public notice debate, but this carries two significant problems:

Government websites don’t provide the same proactive notice as newspapers. Most newspapers have at least ten times the audience that city and county websites have, making newspapers and their websites far more effective.

Newspapers provide independent verification that the notice was provided. It is not too far of a reach to imagine a city official “burying a notice” on the city’s website or limiting the length of time it is seen if the notice was thought to be problematic. When a notice is in the newspaper, the publisher is required by law to verify that the notice is printed according to the statutes. This provides the community with the information it needs. With a newspaper, it is easy to document when the notice was published in print and online, and exactly what it said.

While there are many websites that have large audiences, most are specifically targeted at a specific interest, and not for a local (geographic) community. Public notices, by their very nature, are local and only have value to the audience who live in the impacted area. The laws in most states require that the public notices printed in newspapers must also be posted to the newspaper’s website, so the right audience is reached in print and online. Plus, the most interested observers of a community and its government typically read the local newspaper; there are typically few or no other entities that provide news about the city and county. It is rare to find a local website with an audience more interested in the actions of their government than that of the local newspaper.

Newspapers charge a reasonable fee for publishing public notices – usually significantly less than the commercial rates charged to other advertisers. This covers the newspaper’s expense and may even provide a small profit. Considering the important role that newspapers play in their community, this is a worthwhile investment in an institution that provides news and information that is rarely available elsewhere.

Let your state legislators know that you value being able to access notices in your newspaper and that they are worth the investment. There is a cost to keeping citizens informed, but the costs of not doing so are much higher!

— On behalf of its approximately 1,500 newspaper and associate member companies, America’s Newspapers is committed to explaining, defending and advancing the vital role of newspapers in democracy and civil life. We put an emphasis on educating the public on all the ways newspapers contribute to building a community identity and the success of local businesses. Learn more: www.newspapers.org





Summersville man charged in arson fire at his own home

A Summersville man has been arrested and charged with arson in a fire that occurred at his own home last year.

According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Kevin Shane Rose, 41, was charged with first-degree arson in the fire which occurred at his residence on Dec. 20 on Ashley Lane in the Tara Estates subdivision.

Kevin Rose

West Virginia State Fire Marshal Paul Alloway said Rose, the homeowner, told officials he discovered a mattress burning on the outside deck and alerted his mother who was in the basement. His mother then called 911.

The fire spread across the wall and then the ceiling, according to the fire marshal’s office.

Alloway said when the investigation began, the cause of the blaze was still undetermined according to the criminal complaint filed in magistrate court. Through the investigation, officials learned Rose had texted a friend that he had plenty of insurance to cover the damage, Further investigation showed Rose was in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Rose was taken to the Central Regional Jail. He was arraigned by Nicholas County Magistrate Wayne Plummer and remains in jail in lieu of $100,000 cash or surety bond.

A preliminary hearing will be held for Rose in Nicholas County Magistrate Court on Thursday, March 4.





Summersville Airport to be managed by Yeager Airport

Yeager Airport of Charleston has agreed to manage the Summersville Airport.

The announcement was made at last Wednesday’s Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority meeting in Charleston. The authority oversees management of Yeager Airport.

The Summersville Airport is located just south of Summersville, about two miles off U.S. Route 19 near Summersville Lake on property leased by the Nicholas County Airport Authority from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Yeager Airport Director Nick Keller told the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority board that the airport plans to take over management of the Summersville Airport.

Keller, addressing the board during its monthly meeting, said the takeover of the general aviation facility that has short runways and small aircraft will happen pending approval from the Army Corps of Engineers who owns the land. He added that the drafted management agreement between the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority and Nicholas County Airport Authority has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with no objections.

Keller said officials in Nicholas County and Summersville approached the airport a few months ago and discussions began.

“They asked if we could help them develop the airport and basically take over management and the day-to-day operations...leverage the resources that we have here to build up the airport and help increase economic activity,” Keller noted.





Board hears construction update

The Nicholas County Board of Education on Monday evening, March 1, heard an update on the school construction and the upcoming school calendars that will have to be adjusted to allow for maximum construction time during the summer months.

The board also heard a request to continue a lease on a former elementary school building, approved a waiver to continue the current school reentry plan and increased the pre-kindergarten days, okayed the proposed change in the mascot and colors for an elementary school and was informed of the system error that led to employees being paid a day late.

Present for the meeting were board President Dr. Gus Penix, Vice-President Fred Amick and members Phil Berry, Libby Coffman and Roy Moose.

School construction update

Architect Dave Ferguson of ZMM Associates Architects and Engineers of Charleston came before the board to provide an update on the construction of new schools in the county.

At the Cherry River Elementary site in Richwood for the construction of the new Richwood K-12 school, he said it was found that most of the city’s utility lines in the site are in pretty bad shape. He said some type of tap fee arrangement will be set up with the city so that they can get the upgrading work done and connect with the new lines for the school.

He said ZMM will hire a surveyor to locate the area of construction boundary lines which will be submitted to FEMA, the floodway line and the latest floodplain line issued by FEMA in case it has changed over the past couple of years.

He said a design plan for the new school will be submitted to the board prior to it being advertised for bid after a final meeting with teachers and maintenance staff. Final cost estimates will soon be presented.

For the Glade Creek building project, Ferguson said the mass grading package is nearing completion to be advertised for bid. He said they are awaiting the transfer of two parcels of property by the Department of Highways, along with the status of the construction of the third lane of roadway in front of the school.

For the memorial walkway project in Richwood, he said issues are being worked out concerning most of the property being in the floodway.

Ferguson said he had calculated that the capacity of the new building is 3,850 students by State Fire Marshal codes and 1,223 students by State Department of Education design guidelines. Neither total includes the cafeteria, which would add to the total capacity numbers.

Moose pointed out that during this past weekend’s rains, water from the Cherry River came up 8 or 10 feet onto the parking lot of the new school. He added that it washed away some of the pavement underneath. It was noted that sand bags were placed around a portion of Cherry River Elementary Sunday night.

Ferguson said the contractor hasn’t finished constructing the parking lot yet and will have to repair what had been damaged.

Technology Director Chris Hanshaw advised the board that the current PreK-12 enrollment for the Richwood area is 765 students.

Ferguson said the first phase of construction will start at the entrance to the school and work its way around to where the cafeteria is on the river side to complete the roadway. The second phase of construction works on the interior of the building and then the modular classrooms are moved out in order work on that section of the building.

Natural gas from two gas wells on the Glade Creek property will be used to help heat and cool the building.





Elk CD Plant and Tree Sale

The Elk Conservation District is conducting their annual plant and tree sale of the following items as a service to the residents of Braxton, Clay, Nicholas and Webster counties: Cortland, CrimsonCrisp, Gale Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Jonamac Apple trees; Loring and Red Haven Peach trees; Potomac and Shenandoah Pear trees; Regina Cherry trees; Stanley and Methley Plum trees; Arapaho Blackberry plants; Heritage (Red) and Jewel (Black) Raspberry plants; Ozark Beauty Strawberry plants; Blue Ray and Jersey Blueberry plants. Seedlings available are: Chinese Chestnut, Allegheny Chinquapin, White Pine, and Virginia Pine.

Quantities are limited and will be sold on a first-come first-served basis. Please call the ECD office at 304-765-2535 or email ecd@wvca.us to obtain an order form. Order deadline is March 15, 2021 and pick up will be Wednesday & Thursday, March 31 & April 1, 2021 at the locations designated on the order forms. There will be a pick-up location in each county.






March 15

• Please notice that the Board of Directors of the Nettie Leivasy Public Service District will meet for their regular scheduled board meeting on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. This meeting will be held at the Nettie Leivasy PSD office at 125 Cedar Road in Nettie. If you would like to be added to the agenda, please contact the office at 304-846-9589 before noon on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.