Gilmer WV News is a public service resulting from a collaborative venture between the Gilmer County Economic Development Association, Glenville State College, and the Gilmer County Commission.

Gilmer County FFA Land Judging Team Qualifies to Compete at Nationals

(l-r) Advisor/GCHS Teacher Nick Cox, Hunter Smith, Adrea Peggs, Hunter Moore, and Lucas Steele

(l-r) Advisor/GCHS Teacher Nick Cox, Hunter Smith, Adrea Peggs, Hunter Moore, and Lucas Steele

After two years of hard work and dedication, the Gilmer County FFA land judging team will get their chance to compete at the National Land Judging Contest in Oklahoma in May of 2015. Land Judging has two separate components. The first is land judging, where students evaluate land for its agricultural use. The second part is homesite judging, where students evaluate land  based on how good it is for a home. Both contests are done at the same time using the same field sites and soil judging pits.

The Gilmer team started its year off in mid May at a practice contest in Roane County where they placed third in each of the two contests. In a little over three weeks, they worked to improve for the regional contest which was held on a local farm in Gilmer County. At the regional contest the team placed second in land judging and won the homesite contest which put them first overall to qualify for the state contest. A month later, they headed to Ripley, West Virginia to begin practicing with land and soil like they would see in the state contest. On July 11, Gilmer County High school FFA had placed fifth in land judging and third in homesite judging out of thirteen of the best teams in the state. One of the GCHS team’s members, Lucas Steele, was the second place individual in the homesite evaluation contest. The GCHS team placed fifth overall which qualified the team for national competition, as the top five teams in each state are allowed to do.

West Virginia is one of the most competitive land judging states in the country and has a history of doing well at nationals. In the past Gilmer County has had state and national winning teams. Some of the skills that students had to master were erosion (judging how much top soil is present and how much has eroded), slope (judging how steep or flat the land is between two wooden stakes), and permeability (judging how quick water moves through the soil based on the soils components).

The team would like to thank everyone in the county who helped them achieve this great honor. On the team was Hunter Smith (son of Roger and Tammy Smith of Cedarville), Hunter Moore (Son of Arch and Tammy Moore of Glenville), Lucas Steele (son of Jeff and Royce Steele of Stouts Mills), and Adrea Peggs (Daughter of Mike and Mellissa Peggs of Sand Fork).


Christa Johnna Rafael Simon II

Christa Johnna Rafael Simon II, age 69 of Troy, West Virginia, departed this life Monday afternoon July 7, 2014 in Glenville, West Virginia following an extended illness.

Born February 8, 1945 in Norfolk, Virginia, Christa was the daughter of the late William W. Jr. and Mildred L. Corbett Sawyer.

Christa was a graduate of Great Bridge High School, class of 1963. She was a hair stylist for most  of her working life in Elyria, Ohio.  Christa enjoyed gardening, making crafts, and was also a Seventh-day Adventist by faith.

Surviving are three sons Steven E. Gall of Charlestown, Rhode Island, Curtis L. Gall of Columbus, Ohio, and Scott A. Gall of Troy, West Virginia, three siblings Ann Wood of Amherst, Ohio, Barbara Jean Scott of Lorain, Ohio, and William Watson Sawyer III of Wellington, Ohio. There are also four grandchildren surviving.

Along with her parents, Christa was preceded in death by two sisters Bethany Davenport and Betty Jo Sawyer.

Christa’s request for cremation has been honored and a memorial service will be set at a later date.

Ellyson Mortuary Inc. is assisting the family of Christa Simon with arrangements.


Agricultural Field Day Coming to Ritchie County on July 17th

StrikeForcePSAWest Virginia Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director, Daniel O. Shockey, has announced that the Parkersburg USDA Service Center will be holding an Agricultural Field Day on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Ritchie County 4H/Fairgrounds from 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. in the Multi-purpose building.

Part of the agenda will be devoted to the USDA’s StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunities targeting Wirt, Ritchie, Pleasants, Tyler and Doddridge counties. USDA’s StrikeForce aims to increase investment in rural communities through intensive outreach and stronger partnership.

USDA partners with rural communities and regions on locally-supported projects. USDA takes steps, in partnership with the community, to provide technical assistance and explanation as needed to ensure that communities can fully access USDA programs.

Local Community Based Organizations are critical to this effort. Multiple stake holders from around the area will be set up to share what they can do to help in rural communities along with agricultural production.

Some of the key speakers at the event include USDA Agencies, WVDA Commissioner Walt Helmick, WVU Extension Service and a presentation on Forage Legumes by Dr. Ben Goff from the University of Kentucky. There will be time for all those who attend can visit the booths from all the area organizations to find out more about how they can help in your area or operation.

If you are planning to attend the field day you are required to RSVP to the Ritchie County Extension office at 304-643-5200. Pesticide re-certification credit hours will be provided for those who attend the program.


Fred J. Burke

Fred J. Burke, age 91 of Bethlehem, North Carolina and formerly of Cedarville, West Virginia, departed this life at the Catawba Regional Hospice House in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 5, 2014, following a long illness.

Born June 4, 1923 in Gilmer County, West Virginia, Fred was the son of the late Fred L. and Elva O. Jamison Burke.

Fred was an Army veteran of World War II, having served in the Pacific theatre. He was a retired Clerk/Foreman for Columbia Gas with 37 years experience and a member of the Brawley Methodist Church.

On January 1, 1947 he was united in marriage to Rachel Nutter Burke, who survives in Bethlehem, North Carolina, and whom Fred spent 67 loving years of marriage with.

Surviving are two daughters Jean Jackson and husband Ted of Bethlehem, North Carolina and Ann Moyers and Husband Joe of Cedarville, West Virginia and five grandchildren: Michelle Hartshorn and husband Everett, Teresa Case and husband J.D., Julie Conrad and husband Johnny, Sarah Hill and husband David, and Misty Moyers-Chavez and husband Lupe.

There are also nine great-grandchildren surviving: Courtney and Chloe Case, Chelsey Piles, Jacob Conrad, Isabellia and Christina Moyers-Chavez, Josie and Emma Hartshorn, and Alexandria Moyers-Chavez.

The family also wishes to give special thanks to Diane Mingus, Andrea Adkins and Louise Bumgarner.

Funeral services will be conducted at the Ellyson Mortuary Inc. (2 Vanhorn Drive, Glenville, West Virginia, 26351) at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 10, 2014 with Rev. Gary Chaplin officiating. Burial with full military honors provided by The Lewis County Honor Guard will be in the Fredrick-Gerwig Cemetery on Toms Run Road, near Cedarville, West Virginia. Friends may call on Thursday morning from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the mortuary.

In lieu of flowers the family request donations be sent to Catawba Regional Hospice, 3975 Robinson Rd., Newton, NC 28658.

Ellyson Mortuary Inc. is assisting the family of Fred J. Burke with arrangements.


Experienced Chainsaw Hands & Excavator Operators Wanted

Frame Oil Field Services, a local oil field services company, is looking for EXPERIENCED Excavator Operators for land clearing operations. Must be dependable and willing to stay out of town for extended periods, including weekends. You must pass pre-employment and random drug screenings.


Frame Oil Field Services is also looking for EXPERIENCED saw hands for land clearing operations. Must be able to safely and efficiently fell and top large timber. Must be dependable and willing to stay out of town for extended periods including weekends. You must pass pre-employment and random drug screenings.


Apply at: Frame Oil Field Services, 208 E. Main Street, Glenville, WV 26351

(304) 462-7843

An Equal Opportunity Employer and a drug-free workplace.


Agenda for July 1st County Commission Meeting

07 01 2014 Agenda County Commission Meeting


Magician Joey Stepp to Appear at Gilmer Public Library on July 9th

The Gilmer Public Library is presenting a program featuring Magician Joey Stepp on Wednesday, July 9th at the library. Joey has been doing programs all over West Virginia this summer and has been getting great reviews. (An interesting side note–he used to play football for Marshall University.) The fun is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. and is OPEN TO EVERYONE. Plan to arrive a few minutes early to get your seat. We’ll fit as many people in the library as we can. Mark your calendar and don’t miss this fun program for the entire family!


Theodore D. “Ted” Wright, Jr.

Theodore D. “Ted”  Wright Jr., age 59 of Right Trace Fork Road in Big Springs, West Virginia, departed this life at 3:05 p.m. on Friday, June 20, 2014 at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, West Virginia, following a short illness.

Born April 6, 1955 in Escanaba, Michigan, Ted was the son of the late Theodore Delbert Sr. and Lorraine Randall Wright.

Theodore was an over the road truck driver for most of his working life and worked the last year at Appalachian Piping. He enjoyed spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Ted loved horses, camping, spending time outdoors, and watching John Wayne movies.

He was a Baptist by faith and a member of the Sand Fork Baptist Church.

On July 2, 1987 Ted was united in marriage to Lorraine H. (Westlund) Wright, who survives at their Trace Fork Home.

Surviving are six children, David Westlund and wife Bridget of Bark River, Michigan, Charlotte Taylor of Ovid, Michigan, Christopher Wright of Indiana, Suzan Hall and husband Jamey of Cedarville, West Virginia, Lorrie Beth Wright of Ovid, Michigan, and J. Mike Wright of Big Springs, West Virginia, and 10 grandchildren, Isaac, Jacob, Haley, Hannah, and Madalynn Westlund, Austin and Trace Taylor, Miranda and Hunter Hall, and Lilly Wright.

There are also five siblings surviving, Pete McWhorter and wife Pat of Meridian, Mississippi, Kelvin Wright of Big Rapids, Michigan, Flora Koster of Big Rapids, Michigan, Dale Wright of Baltimore, Maryland, and Edward Wright of Big Springs, West Virginia.

Along with his parents Ted was preceded in death by one son, Theodore D. Wright III, and two siblings, Royal Randall and Mike Wright.

Ted’s request for cremation has been honored and a Celebration of Life will be held at the Sand Fork Baptist Church at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 with Rev. Phil Wilson officiating. Burial of his ashes will be in Rapid River, Michigan at a later date.

The family requests in lieu of flowers that contributions be made to Ellyson Mortuary Inc. 2 Vanhorn, Drive, Glenville, WV, 26351 to help pay funeral expenses.


Roberta Lou “Bobbi” Montgomery

Roberta Lou “Bobbi” Montgomery, age 68 of US Highway 5 East in Glenville, West Virginia, departed this life on Monday, June 16, 2014 at her residence following a sudden illness.

Born December 12, 1946 in Gilmer County, Bobbi was the daughter of the late Robin Powell and Haley Jean Hayes.

Bobbi was a member of the Glenville Church of Christ and before becoming disabled, worked at the Gilmer County Senior Center as the Activity Director. She enjoyed playing cards, attending family reunions, and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. While she was able, Bobbi was very active in the Senior Center and was always willing to help anyone that needed it.

On May 28, 1965 she was united in marriage to David Montgomery who survives.

Surviving are four children Robin Renee Swiger and husband Bill of Germany, Belinda Sue Burkhammer and husband Ronnie, Rick Montgomery and wife Misty, and Jeff Montgomery and wife Paulette all of Weston, West Virginia. There are six grandchildren, Sean Swiger, Nathan Montgomery and companion Jessica, Brittany Burkhammer, Dakota Burkhammer and wife Ashley, Anthony Montgomery, and Braden Montgomery, two great-grandchildren, Greyson Burkhammer and Elijah Montgomery, and one sister, Lori Dennison also surviving.

Funeral services will be conducted at the Ellyson Mortuary Inc. in Glenville at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 20, 2014 with Pastor Noel Roberts officiating. Burial will follow in the Snyder Cemetery on Sliding Run Road. Friends may call from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at the mortuary.

Ellyson Mortuary Inc is assisting the family of Roberta Lou “Bobbi” Montgomery with arrangements.


Local Agricultural Forum Scheduled


The local USDA Food and Agriculture Council will be hosting a public meeting at the Hickory House Event Center in Jane Lew, West Virginia on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. The local agricultural forum is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. with brief program presentation by USDA Agencies, state and local organizations followed by an informal question and answer session.

The United States Department of Agriculture has recognized that 90 percent of America’s persistent poverty counties are in rural America. In 2010 USDA launched the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and opportunity – an effort to leverage partnerships in poverty stricken rural areas to ensure that every community can fully access USDA programs. Twenty-nine West Virginia counties have recently been included in the StrikeForce Initiative. For Lewis, Upshur and Gilmer counties, USDA aims to increase investment through intensive outreach and stronger partnership. USDA partners with rural communities and regions on locally supported projects, providing technical assistance and explanation as needed to ensure full access to USDA programs. Local community based organizations are critical to this effort. Since 2010 USDA has partnered with over 400 of these organizations, congregations, volunteer organization, nonprofits and others.

Local meetings such as these being scheduled throughout West Virginia will assist in achieving results in rural growth and opportunity. Locally we expect to see increased loan activity, Hi tunnel construction, market opportunity and job creation.

All individuals and groups with interests in rural business, community health and safety, food production efforts from the small home gardener to larger scale livestock producers are encouraged to participate in this event. The local USDA staff welcomes public comment on any concerns or barriers that maybe preventing growth opportunities in these targeted counties.

For more information contact Steven C. Nestor, County Executive Director for USDA Farm Service Agency at 304-269-8431 ext. 2.