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-- 2008 --
The Year In Review
-- 2008 --
     

Updated on Wednesday*:

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January

The Grand Jury returned seven indictments and candidates began filing for the Primary election.

Filing fees were 1% of the annual salaries at the courthouse, which are $24,420 for county commissioner; $41,910, sheriff; $50,160, prosecuting attorney; $41,910, assessor; and $43,625, magistrate.

Benefits were held for Eddie Roberts and Glen Siegrist.

Services were held for William Rymer “Doc” Law, 94, former owner of Law Hardware, Grantsville.

Jane Lynch, superintendent of Calhoun County Schools, gave a report on education performance audits.

The Calhoun wrestling team finished second of 21 teams at Nitro and second of 23 teams at Braxton. The Red Devils were ranked third in Class AA-A.

It was reported that $45,000 was available from USDA for a new town office, if funds from other sources are in place.

Thanks were expressed to DAV volunteer drivers Robert Yoak, Dan Uplinger, Adrian Ball and James Yoak.

Fifty-eight Notice to Redeem legals were published for properties sold for tax liens.

Law enforcement responded to the deaths of two county residents, Teresa Lynn Knicely of Orma and Louis E. Milam of Barnes Run.

Fifteen candidates filed for local offices, but sheriff Carl Ballengee withdrew his application.

Due in large part to a lack of a youth program, the CHS boys and girls varsity basketball teams were 0-27 before the girls defeated Parkersburg Christian.

 

February

Calhoun County board of education accepted the retirements of 15 employees.

Public Service Commission announced that a new area code would be added in West Virginia during 2009.

Hubert Witte of Akron, Ohio, donated numerous items to Calhoun Historical Society.

Grantsville Police Dept. announced the beginning of its house watch program and reminded residents to leave handicap parking spaces to those with restricted mobility.

Calhoun High School graduates Jason Poling and Kara Haymaker, students at Glenville State College, presented projects at Undergraduate Research Day in Charleston.

Fourteen obituaries were listed in the Feb. 14 issue of the Chronicle, ranging in age from 33 to 103.

Thirty-one Calhoun Middle/ High School students were recognized as participants in the Hidden Promise Scholar program at GSC.

Ten Calhoun wrestlers qualified for the state tournament and six placed in the top six of their respective weight classes, including championship efforts by Cody Clark and Zac Yeager. CHS placed third of 44 teams.

Erin Smith, 2008 History Hero of Calhoun County, was recognized at the W.Va. Cultural Center, Charleston.

Calhoun Middle School presented information on its Respect and Protect Program.

Willard Jones, the “Mayor of Five Forks,” celebrated his 90th birthday.

The CHS varsity girls (1-22) and varsity boys (0-23) were a combined 1-45 in basketball.


March

Maricia Mlynek joined the Chronicle staff as reporter. Her first duties were covering the county commission and town council meetings.

Internal Revenue Service announced that the first economic stimulus letters would be mailed in March and that payments would begin in May.

Robert F. Bonar presented an in-depth story on former CHS coach Hick Hamrick at the Calhoun Historical Society’s meeting.

Donald Gatsoff and Mabel Jones were selected king and queen during MHHS long term care’s Valentine Tea.

Paul and Glenna Fleming were featured as “Threads In Our Calhoun Quilt.” Fiddler Jake Krack was also featured. He records and teaches his craft.

Easter was celebrated on Mar. 23, the earliest since 1913. It will not happen that early again until 2228. Easter can fall as early as Mar. 22, but that will not happen again until 2285.

The Melissa Oshoway Memorial Easter Egg Hunt was attended by several hundred children and adults at Wayne Underwood Field.

The Disaster Shelter team met and invited additional volunteers to join and help victims in times of need.

Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center continued to offer free industrial sewing classes, with jobs offered by local manufacturers to those who successfully completed the course.

 

April

Glen Fowler, 86, a resident of Phillips Run, was featured. He is a Naval Air Corp veteran and former banker, and is enjoying retirement while tending his garden.

The former Calhoun County High School facilities in Grantsville were sold again. New owners were George and Sherry Kusner of Norfolk, Va.

The Calhoun County Democratic Convention was held at Arnoldsburg Community Building. The Republican Party met at Calhoun Courthouse.

The Calhoun County Flag Design Challenge contest was announced.

The Road to Recovery, an American Red Cross program, and its volunteer driver Burl Simers were featured.

Grantsville Police Dept. made arrests for battery and assault, trespassing, driving while license suspended, DUI, possession of marijuana, and obstructing an officer.

An interior lightning protection system and high voltage surge protector devices were installed at the 911 center at Mt. Zion.

More than 100 charter members of VFW Post No. 5959 were listed. The organization was formed on Feb. 23, 1946.

Long-time Chronicle correspondent Dorothy Dye was featured. She is active in Five Forks and Victory Baptist churches and continues to quilt at the Senior Citizens Center.

 

May

Calhoun County Schools emphasized the importance of WESTEST to teachers and students, with the county curriculum team participating in training and staff development sessions held at each school.

The eighth annual Mother and Daughter Tea was sponsored by CCCOA at the Senior Citizens Center.

The county commission heard updates on Community Resources, Inc., Little Kanawha Bus Co., and E-911.

Seventeen candidates had free profiles published in the Chronicle.

County voters nominated Scottie (Chip) Westfall for county commissioner, Allen D. Parsons for sheriff, Jason Nettles for assessor, and Teresa Robinson and Richard G. Postalwait for magistrate. Joy M. Starcher and Cynthia Dale were elected to board of education positions.

Paul Whytsell, a U.S. Army veteran, was featured. He and wife Freda are volunteer coordinators for the Disabled American Veterans van.

The CHS baseball team completed its season with a record of 4-21. The softball team was 7-15.

Upper West Fork Bluegrass Festival was held May 22-24.

Registrations began arriving for the 21st annual Alumni Reunion.

The State Fire Marshal was in Grantsville to investigate a house fire, one of several in the county during 2008.

Allison Gumbarevic and Jordan Brooke Mace were announced as Golden Horseshoe winners.

Seventy-five students were listed as 2008 CCHS graduates.

Amie Carilli received the Carl R. Morris Scholarship.

 

June

Curtis Garretson began his duties as WVU Extension agent in the county.

The county commission adopted a new Calhoun County flag, designed by contest winner Charlie Whipkey.

Maria Kisner was selected as Queen Flora XLVI and reigned over the annual Calhoun County Wood Festival, June 4-7.

Flooding on the Little Kanawha River forced postponement of the festival’s demolition derby that was planned at Wayne Underwood Field on Friday.

The flooding caused damages to gardens and hay fields over much of the county, but made Saturday’s mud bog even more fun.

Reporter Maricia Mlynek began a series on travel to surrounding counties, “A Tank of Gas and $20.”

CHS senior football players Matt Houchin and Zac Yeager participated in the BACF game and Jeff Goodrich was named as a participant in the North-South game.

More than 240 had registered for the annual Alumni Reunion in July.

Relay for Life was held at Wayne Underwood Field and over $24,500 was raised in the county for the American Red Cross.

A legal notice reported that Daniel W. Finch, Jr., had tendered an application “for city of license change for radio station construction permit . . . from Arnoldsburg, W.Va., to Fayetteville, W.Va.”

CCHS football statistics were updated by Robert F. Bonar, who has done extensive research on CHS sports.

Minnie Hamilton Health System’s Sunshine Corner Gift Shop celebrated 25 years of service to the hospital and to the community. It raises money to fund a $1,000 scholarship.

July

The 21st annual Calhoun County High School Alumni Reunion, sponsored by the CCHS Alumni Association, was held, with 13 states and 20 West Virginia counties represented.

Energy Express program opened at Calhoun Middle/High School.

Farmer’s Market coupons were available at Calhoun County Committee on Aging.

Reformers Unanimous, a faith-based addictions program, started a chapter at New Testament Baptist Church, Big Springs.

Members of the W.Va. Army National Guard’s 821st Engineer Co. returned from Iraq, including several Calhoun residents.

Over 100 children attended Family Fun Day at Wayne Underwood Field. The event was sponsored by more than a dozen churches, plus other organizations, businesses and individuals.

Work continued at the Calhoun Historical Society’s Heritage Village at Calhoun County Park, including reconstruction of the Stemple cabin.

Announcement was made that a high voltage power line might be coming through Calhoun. It would run 244 miles in West Virginia, from near St. Albans to northeast of Martinsburg.

Herbert C. Smith, Sr., 87, of Grantsville, and Dottie Slider, 61, of Hur, were among the deaths. Smith was a former owner of Smith’s Auto Parts. Slider was employed at Calhoun Banks for 44 years.

Sixty-six members attended the annual 4-H camp.

 

August

Board of education members heard reports of major repairs needed to the sewer system at Pleasant Hill School. Special meetings were planned to discuss the problem.

The 11th annual Fireman’s Bluegrass Festival was held at Upper West Fork Park, Chloe.

Peter and Linda Sims and their businesses, including Roxy’s Sugar Shack at Arnoldsburg, were featured.

In what many thought would be a rebuilding year, the CHS football team opened camp.

Eileen Sullivan, 85, Army Air Corps’ medical technician veteran, was featured.

Leon and Nina Whipkey, formerly of Nobe, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Leon, 93, died Dec. 4.

Little Kanawha Gas Measurement and owner Ralph Cunningham were featured.

The 49th annual Mt. Zion Ox Roast was held at Mt. Zion Community Park.

Progress continued on planning of the Sand Ridge/Rt. 16 South water line extension.

 The board of education approved several personnel hirings before the new school year was scheduled to begin.

A special meeting was held by the county commission to discuss payback issues of a sheriff’s grant. Commissioners approved $10,346 from its capital outlay fund and $11,000 from the sheriff’s budget.

Robin Gordon joined The Calhoun Chronicle staff as a reporter.

 

September

In a divided vote, Grantsville town council approved a request by Calhoun Banks to do a site survey and feasibility study on the former town office property.

The CHS football team defeated Gilmer, 58-6, the first of three straight wins to open the season.

County commissioners discussed election problems, including the lack of a list of Democratic poll workers and a possibility of change in polling precincts at Pleasant Hill School because of repairs.

The Wood Festival’s Demolition Derby was held after flooding in Grantsville postponed the event in June.

The Mansion House, Orma, was the first historical house highlighted in a new series, “If These Walls Could Speak . . .”.

The first annual Calhoun County Park Fun Festival was held to showcase the park’s facilities and Heritage Village.

Two groups were working on Christmas lights for Grantsville. One was raising money to buy new lights and the other was refurbishing former lights.

C.A. Witt, born at White Oak and operator of several businesses in Calhoun, was featured in the first of a two-part series.

First Baptist Church, Grantsville, celebrated its 175th anniversary.

The 41st annual West Virginia Molasses Festival was held at West Fork Park, Arnoldsburg, from Sept. 25-27.

 

October

Calhoun County 4-H clubs planned several events to celebrate National 4-H Week’s “Keeping It Green.”

Octoberfest was held at Upper West Fork Park.

Several benefits were held, including dinners for Rusty Jones, Marlene Webb and Kenny Goodnight.

The Knotts family was featured, including Joseph and Mary, who are credited with building the first cabin in Calhoun County in 1840.

Leah Cheyney, Sandy Ravnosky and Gail Warfield honored their parents, Catherine and Coleman Burrows, by dedicating mammography equipment at Minnie Hamilton Health System.

Future all-stater Randy Fluharty scored five touchdowns as the Red Devils defeated South Harrison, 33-14, in the annual homecoming football game.

Superintendent of schools Jane Lynch’s resignation was accepted by the board of education, effective Nov. 12.

Delinquent property taxes increased by 12.5% to $82,733 in Calhoun over the previous year.

Reporters Robin Gordon and Maricia Mlynek began a series of columns about their deer hunting experiences (or lack thereof).

Erin Lynn Smith and William Clayton Barnhart were married in an outdoor ceremony at Heritage Village.

 

November

With only one local race in the General Election, voter turnout was down 11% from 2004. In the contest for county commissioner, Chip Westfall defeated Lyle Kerby, 1,372 to 1,018.

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection began in Calhoun County, with Brooksville Baptist Church as a relay center.

Calhoun’s football team improved to 7-2 with a 46-13 win over Braxton, and qualified for the state Class A playoffs for the third time in four years.

The annual Fall Health Fair was held at the Senior Citizens Center, sponsored by CCCOA, in collaboration with the Bureau of Senior Services.

The annual tribute to veterans was featured, and VFW Post 5959 and Calhoun County Committee on Aging also sponsored veterans’ events.

The county commission signed a resolution opposing a proposed high voltage electric line through the county.

New superintendent of schools Roger Propst took the oath of office.

Snow covered county roads on Nov. 18.

The Red Devil football team lost to Weirton Madonna, 16-0, in the playoffs, and finished with a record of 7-4. Three of the four losses came to the three of the final four playoff teams.

Calhoun County Committee on Aging was featured.

A new series, “Calhoun Comments,” began. It will give residents an opportunity to answer questions about different subjects.

 

December

“Christmas Country Style” was celebrated Dec. 5.

Jim Bennett, executive vice president of Calhoun Banks, was featured in an article on why the bank is safe and secure.

Deer checked in during the first week of gun season were 200 higher than last year. DNR announced that 1,269 deer were harvested in Calhoun during the two-week season.

The CHS wrestling team began its campaign for a 29th straight winning season. Statistics for the first 28 years were published.

CHS basketball teams had new coaches--Danny Bunch for the boys and Adam O’Harrow for the girls.

A suspect, who allegedly robbed the Arnoldsburg branch of Calhoun Banks on Dec. 5, was arrested the following day in Akron, Ohio.

The state School Board Authority approved $64,317 less than the $611,500 requested for repairs at Pleasant Hill School.

County commissioners approved a request by Calhoun County Committee on Aging to repurchase the former Minnora School property, with a 99-year lease given on the current West Fork Senior Citizens site.

West Central Beekeepers Association announced that it would sponsor a beekeeping course at West Fork Park, Arnoldsburg, on Mondays from Jan. 26 to Mar. 2, 6 to 9 p.m.

A column by former Calhoun resident Cory Boothe, “Experiencing the Outdoors,” had its initial publication.

Calhoun residents, Rood and Hester McCartney, were featured in a story by their granddaughter, Robin Gordon.

WVU Extension Service announced that its annual 4-H Ski Trip would be held Monday, Jan. 19.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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