Joseph Martin Alderman, II
of Summersville

Zela Irene Armstrong
80, of Danville

Mary Louise Case
90, of Craigsville

Billy R. Gribble
61, of Birch River

Caleb Berton Huffman
98, of Boomer

James Gary Lewis
68, of Glade Creek

Yetta Green White Lilly
97, of Lochgelly

Alexis Grace McMillion

Earl Ray “Pete” Proctor
76, of Canvas

Thomas “TR” Ralph Turner, Jr. 93, of Craigsville

Chris Ward Williams

Paul Windle
96, of Lewisburg








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County Employee Layoffs reduced to 20

The Nicholas County Commission voted last Tuesday, March 17, to reduce from 8 to 4 the number of county deputy sheriffs to be laid off at the start of next month.

The Commission also specified the amount of budget cuts for each department in the Courthouse for the last three months of the fiscal year, reviewed with department heads their proposed budgets for the 2015-16 fiscal year, heard suggestions from a local citizen who is a budget analyst regarding the county budget, approved a correction from a previous approval of sponsorship of a Small Cities Block Grant for a Public Service District in the county, heard a request for a financial assistance from an outside agency and appointed an individual to the Central Appalachian Empowerment Zone Board.

Present for the meeting were Commission President Ken Altizer, Commissioner John Miller and Commissioner Lyle Neal.

Budget cuts and layoffs
The Commission met in executive session with all department heads to discuss their having to layoff employees in their offices and all others taking a 20 percent pay cut effective April 1 as the result of the county’s significant loss of revenue primarily in coal severance tax funds.
“The good news is that there will only be 20 employees laid off instead of 24,” said Altizer after the Commission came out of executive session with department heads.

The reduction in the number of employees being laid off from 24 to 20 was the result of the number of deputy sheriffs being laid off from the sheriff’s department decreasing from 8 to 4 after the Commission had extensive discussions with Nicholas County Sheriff David Hopkins.

The Commission outlined the amount of budget reductions by each county office in the courthouse over the last three months of the current fiscal year as follows: Sheriff’s tax office $30,201, prosecuting attorney’s office $23,775, Circuit Clerk’s office $11,070, County Clerk’s office $13,710, Assessor’s office $75,030, County Commission $52,640 and sheriff’s law enforcement $77,675.

Later in the day, the Commission met in executive session with each department head to review their operating budget requests for the 2015-16 fiscal year which begins July 1.

The proposed budget of the prosecuting attorney decreased by more than $77,000 from the current year.




Spring has sprung

After a long cold winter, many celebrated the recent mild weather at Nicholas County Veterans Memorial Park facilities. This past Monday afternoon several friends played a quick game of basketball. From left, Joshua Nichols, Dessie McCourt, Cody Reitman and Jose Strino, with the ball.





RVFD Firemen ask Council to consider fire fee

Maxine Corbett
Richwood Editor

A dozen members of the Richwood Volunteer Fire Department (RVFD) attended the March 19 regularly scheduled meeting of Richwood’s Common Council.

These volunteers asked Council members to consider a $5 monthly fire service fee for citizens served by the RVFD. It was suggested such a fee could be collected as an item on the Water Department monthly billing.

Chief Tom Coleman was the spokesman for the group. He said funding cuts by state and county government, and a drop in the amount of private donations, has resulted in a loss of revenue. Costs of operation and equipment have increased. Coleman said the only options that seem available are this municipal service fee proposal or an increase in the RVFD allotment from the city’s budget.

The firemen have always staged fundraisers such as hotdog sales during Cherry River Festival Week, and monthly dinners at the fire house to increase revenue.

The department holds a Class Five rating which results in a decrease in insurance premiums for property owners. There are certain standards that must be adhered to in order to keep that rating, and the insurance premium savings realized by the public.

Coleman reminded city officials that fire protection must be provided by city government. He also said the Richwood Department has the equipment, manpower, and the knowledge needed for fire protection.




Judge to rule on admissibility of statement

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Nicholas County Circuit Judge Gary Johnson is expected to rule in May on the admissibility of a statement given by one of two defendants in a drug case.

Amy Brown and Jeremy Bragg were indicted in January on two counts of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab and one count of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

During a pre-trial hearing on March 18, Assistant Public Defender Sarah Campbell, representing Brown, objected to the admissibility of the statement, saying Brown requested to speak with an attorney while giving a statement to Nicholas County Sheriff’s Cpl. Brandon Tucker on Feb. 7, 2014.

Tucker, testifying at the hearing, said Brown asked if there was a chance she could speak with Public Defender Cynthia Stanton or Prosecutor Jamie Milam concerning information on other crimes, but at no time did she ask to speak to an attorney before going on with her statement.

Judge Johnson ordered the state to transcribe the audio statement for him and submit a brief by April 30. The defense will then have until May 15 to respond to the brief.

Another pre-trial hearing was set for May 19, and the case against the two defendants was continued to the May court term.

Earlier in the hearing, Campbell tried to get the statement thrown out, saying Brown was under the influence when she gave it.

But Judge Johnson rejected the argument, saying Brown was able to supply her name, address, phone number and Social Security number, and that her signature and initials on written forms were neat and on the appropriate lines.

Campbell also attempted to invalidate a search warrant in the case, saying the affidavit for the warrant listed the wrong bedroom where Brown and Bragg were staying at a residence.

But Judge Johnson ruled against the defense, saying he didn’t believe the error in the affidavit was fatal.

“The search warrant was for the residence,” he said. “I find there was probable cause to issue the warrant, and I find there is no constitutional impediment to the introduction of items seized in the search.”




Board holds work session on

Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan

The Nicholas County Board of Education on Wednesday morning, March 18, held a work session on the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP).

Present for the special meeting were Board President Dr. Lloyd Adkins, Vice-President Phil Berry and members Bob M. O’Dell, Darrell White and Fred Amick.

CEFP Update
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Keith Butcher presented an update on the CEFP.

The CEFP for the ten-year period 2010-20 was prepared by ZMM, Inc. and Planning Advocates, Inc. of Charleston.

The primary purpose of the CEFP for 2010-20 is to establish a planned, organized, systematic approach to providing educational facilities that will support the Nicholas County School System in the delivery of the best possible 21st Century education for all students. The content of the CEFP takes into consideration student health and safety, economies of scale, demographics and travel, multi-county projects, curricular improvements, educational innovations, technology advances, adequacy of space for projected enrollments, projected facilities financing and result in the accomplishment of the county’s educational goals.

As for several new elementary schools proposed in the CEFP, Gauley River Elementary School, a consolidation of the former Craigsville and Beaver elementary schools, is the only one that has been constructed thus far.

The CEFP can be modified or revised; it can’t be changed.



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