Opal V. Anderson McMillion Chapman
98, of Webster County

Sharon Elva Richardson Deitz
67, of Mount Lookout

Roger Dale Huffman
69, of Mount Nebo

Mary Pauline (Lovely) Messer
79, of Shady Spring, W.Va.

Virginia E. Shelton
93, of Scott Depot

Mildred L. Childers Sullivan
90, of Summersville



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Man dies in Summit Lake canoe accident

An unidentified man died after he and his young son were involved in a canoeing accident on Monday afternoon, Sept. 6, at Summit Lake, in the Monongahela National Forest, 10 miles east of Richwood.

According to Richwood Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tommy Coleman, the man died in the accident, which occurred around 2 p.m. Witnesses say the canoe capsized. The father became submerged under the water while the 5-year-old son was able to hang on to the canoe.

The father remained under water for about 30 minutes before being pulled from the water by someone who was in the lake in a row boat.

The unidentified father and son were taken by Redi-Care Ambulance to WVU Summersville Regional Medical Center. The father later died. The son was treated and released.

The U.S. Forest Service hasn’t released the name of the drowning victim.

The Richwood Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call.



Back to School in the COVID-19 Era

Nicholas County Schools opened for the 2020-2021 school year on Tuesday, Sept. 8, for the first time since being closed by the coronavirus pandemic on March 13. A number of COVID-19 protocol measures will be effect in Nicholas County, which is currently in the “green” status on the state’s color-coded metric coronavirus map which means the county can provide in-person instruction. Summersville Elementary School Principal Jennifer Davis demonstrates the coronavirus screening all students, teachers and staff will have to walk through upon entering a school building. The device will check a person’s temperature with an infrared sensor on the right wrist. It will also remind those not wearing a mask to do so and detect any metal being carried by the individual. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or greater will be isolated. The larger schools, including SES, have two of the screening devices.




9-11 Commemoration Friday in Summersville

Summersville will be the site of a 9-11 commemoration on Friday, Sept. 11, to support, honor and recognize law enforcement and all first responders featuring a parade and fireworks.

The event is being sponsored by the City of Summersville, City of Richwood and the Nicholas County Commission. It comes on the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A parade will begin at 7 p.m. beginning at the Nicholas Village Shopping Center on Webster Road and proceed to Main Street before concluding at the LeRose Shopping Center on Broad Street.

Patriotic music will be played from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Northside Center.

At dusk, there will be a fireworks display at Northside Center to honor law enforcement and first responders in recognition of their service to the community and county. There will be a loud boom before the fireworks display begins and the public is asked to observe a moment of silence to honor all law enforcement and first responders who have paid the ultimate price serving on the front lines of America.

There will be a designated reserved area at the parking lot of Tractor Supply Company and Harbor Freight Tools for law enforcement officer, first responders and their families so that they can enjoy the music and fireworks.

The Summersville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Richwood Chamber of Commerce, the Summersville Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Summersville Rotary Club and the Old Main Foundation will be giving out drinks and treats in the designated area.




Board updated on re-entry plan; Superintendent lists goals

The Nicholas County Board of Education on Wednesday morning, Sept. 2, was updated on the county’s school re-entry plan, which started this week with the beginning of the school 2020-21 year.

The board was also presented the superintendent’s goals for the 2020-21 year, heard an update on new school construction, adopted the first reading of an amended school board meetings policy and approved a contract with the West Virginia Army National Guard for the use of the armory kitchen to prepare meals for Summersville Middle School.

Present for the nearly four-hour meeting were Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donna Burge-Tetrick, board President Dr. Gus Penix, Vice-President Fred Amick and members Phil Berry, Libby Coffman and Roy Moose.

School re-entry update

“We’re ready to open,” said Superintendent of Schools Burge-Tetrick. “We have a lot of anxious teachers and service personnel. It’s all so new and so different.”

She added that the plan is very workable and has allowed a lot of flexibility.

Students will have in-person classes two days a week and distance learning three days a week. Half of the students will go Mondays and Tuesdays and half on Thursdays and Fridays. The schools will be deep cleaned on Wednesdays.

After the first three weeks, students will be given the option of attending school four days per week if there is space for them. The superintendent said she has already had requests from principals of smaller elementary schools to allow students to start attending four days per week before the first three weeks. She said this will be permitted.

Burge-Tetrick said teachers will have to provide both face-to-face and distance learning.

“I’ve asked people to keep in mind that this is new to our teachers and it is difficult,” she said. “We want to have rigorous classes for our students and we know our teachers will be criticized.”

She asked that everyone be patient with the teachers since it will be such a challenge for them. “They’ve been thrown into a whole new world and asked to do the impossible. But with our staff, which I think is one of the best in the state at all levels, if anyone can do it, they can do it.”

Attendance and Student Services Director Tami Gregory advised the board that approximately 700 students are doing distance learning offered by the county. Two-hundred students are doing virtual learning offered through West Virginia Virtual Schools, which has no contact with county teachers. Fifty students in the county are being home-schooled.

For the distance learning provided by the county, students have the option of using the Odysseyware computer program supported by teachers, or instruction provided almost entirely by teachers.

“They will still be within their classroom limit,” the superintendent said.

The superintendent dispelled rumors that all students must have a coronavirus test before returning to school. But masks must be worn by students all day, only if social distancing can’t be observed.

Another rumor dispelled was that if a student becomes ill at school with a temperature of 100.4 and tests positive for coronavirus, they are turned over to the Department of Health and Human Resources. When a student becomes ill, they are isolated and their parents are called to come and pick them up.

Transportation Director Rocky Roberts advised the board by conference phone that two students are permitted per seat on a bus and three are permitted in a set if they are from the same family or same bus stop. He said 52 students can easily be transported on a bus.

Moose advised the board that Camden Family Health will have screening devices at each of their sites that will determine whether a person tests positive for coronavirus in 10 to 15 minutes. Burge-Tetrick said she will follow-up purchasing some for the school system.

The superintendent said regarding athletics, that since the county is “yellow” in the state’s color-coded COVID-19 metric map, only parents of players, band members, cheerleaders and coaches' spouses are allowed to attend, according to the Secondary Schools Activities Commission. She said the secondary schools are having the players list their parents, and then anyone not on the list at the entrance gate isn’t allowed to attend. Marching bands and cheerleaders will only perform at home football games.

Special Education Coordinator Lydia Young advised the board that special education hasn’t been given any flexibility by the U.S. Department of Education so the county will be required to meet the required Individual Education Program (IEP) minutes of each individual child’s goals that are in place. She said it is important that they be at school four days a week, if the school can accommodate them starting off. IEP teams will decide how to best get distance learning to the special education students who have opted for it.

Technology Director Chris Hanshaw advised the board that internet access will be available to all students at schools or in the parking lots of schools. He said his technology department had to rework 3,700 iPads to be distributed to students for distance learning.

Hanshaw said each school will be provided with a walk-through device that all teachers, students and staff must pass through when entering the building that will check temperatures. An alarm will sound if an abnormal temperature is determined, after two infrared sensor checks of the person’s wrist. The sensor also detects if a person isn’t wearing a mask and if they have metal in their possession. The larger schools have two of the devices.




Break-ins prompt Richwood Neighborhood Watch

In response to several break-ins in the last 10-14 days, a Neighborhood Watch meeting was conducted on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, at city hall in Richwood.

Police Chief Jacob Casey said the event was the first of many meetings to help further the community and gather ideas.

Casey, Richwood’s Neighborhood Watch Facebook page administrators, Gary E. Roberts Jr., Ashley Casey and Ward I council member Michael Moore, moderated the meeting.

It included input and questions from community members.

Moore said approximately 35 people attended with many more watching live on social media.

Mayor Gary Johnson also attended the meeting.

Johnson said on Thursday, Sept. 3 that a person had been arrested in connection with the recent burglaries in the city.

Johnson said that evidence was found in the residence connecting the person to eight incidents.

Roberts Jr., of Cottle, helped start the Craigsville Neighborhood Watch social media page.

“It’s a good resource if it’s properly utilized,” he said.

“If you are going to report something on there, make sure you are reporting accurate intel,” he said.

Roberts Jr. said it’s instant communication that holds value as long as people focus on the situation, the issue and not on people.

Roberts Jr. said that only Nicholas County and/or Richwood residents would be approved as page members.

Exceptions for out-of-staters can possibly be made, he said.

In posting on the page, stick with facts, who, what, when, where, Roberts Jr. said.




Craigsville Fall Festival canceled

Craigsville Fall Festival is sorry to inform all our community and friends that because of the latest update from the governor’s office there will be NO CRAIGSVILLE FALL FESTIVAL for the year 2020.

We hope and pray that we can come back even stronger next year with the support of our community and friends.

Also, we are so sorry about the loss of a great friend, Michael Glen Russell, president of the “Helping Hands On Wheels” motorcycle club. We were so proud of the clubs willingness to help with the festival.

Anyone helping with the 2021 festival, please attend our first meeting in January. We will be letting everyone know the time and place of the meeting.




2020 Nicholas County Potato Festival canceled

The 2020 Nicholas County Potato Festival has been canceled.

The festival was scheduled to be held Sept. 10-12 in Summersville but has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic and the recent increase in COVID-19 infections in the state.

The announcement was made on Monday evening, July 13, by festival partnering sponsors the City of Summersville and the Summersville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice reduced statewide the permitted group event size from 100 to 25 people and canceled all fairs and festivals because of increased COVID-19 numbers in the state.

The summer concert series on Friday evenings in July and part of August at the city pavilion have also been canceled.

It is believed to be the first time in the 51-year history of the event that the Nicholas County Potato Festival has been canceled.