www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: August 26, 2015 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT01/308269967 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT01/308269967 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Baird, Joshua L. 11 a.m., Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.


Clendenen, William I. 2 p.m., VanReenen Funeral Home, Marlinton.


Cunningham, Daniel O. 1 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.


Davis, John R. Jr. 1 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope.


Droddy, Anna R. 11 a.m., Bartlett


Hall, Rodney L. 11 a.m., Kanawha City Church of Christ, Kanawha City.


Malcomb, Verna M. Noon, First Baptist Church, Craigsville.


Matthews, Ransford E. 11 a.m., Floral Hills Garden of Memories, Sissonville.


Painter, Darlena 2 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.


Rice, Delma 1 p.m., Broyles


Sergent, Jack R. 1 p.m., Pennington Funeral Home, Gauley Bridge.


Smith, Jerry E. 1 p.m., Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.


Sparks, Betty J. 2 p.m., Simons


Turner, Nancy S. 3 p.m., Harding Funerals & Cremations Chapel, Kanawha City.


Wilson, R. "Buster" 11 a.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.


Wright, Carolyn S. 1 p.m., God's Tabernacle of Praise, St. Albans.

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Daniel W. Adkins http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269978 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269978 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Daniel Wayne Adkins, 52, of Scott Depot, passed away Aug. 23, 2015 at University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Dan was born Sept. 11, 1962 in Charleston, and was a son of the late James and Colette Adkins. He was also preceded in death by brothers, David Adkins and Dale Adkins.

He was a member of the West Virginia Army National Guard with over 20 years of service for his country. He deployed in 2001 to Afghanistan with the 2nd/19th SFG. He was deployed with the 111th Group in 2003 to Kuwait. Dan was also deployed in 2007 with the 111th EN Bde. He always made people happy, if not in his sense of humor, then with the food he served. Dan also was employed as building maintenance supervisor at the JFRC in Eleanor.

Dan loved the outdoors and fellowship with friends at his home. He loved his wife, Dee, his children, grandchildren and all his friends. He enjoyed making people happy and full.

Dan is survived by his loving wife of 13 years, Dee; his children, Daniel Adkins Jr. of Sissonville and Dakota Adkins (Tara) of Red House; three grandchildren; sister, Debbie Akers of Charleston; and brother, Doug Adkins (Sharon) of Charleston.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield, with Chaplain Retired Bruce Reed officiating. Burial will follow at Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your choice of either the West Virginia National Guard Foundation, 1703 Coonskin Drive, Charleston WV 25311, or the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 3624 Winfield Road, Winfield, is honored to be serving the Adkins family.

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Bill R. Agee http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269971 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269971 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Bill R. Agee, 78, of Grantsville, died Aug. 20, 2015. Service will be 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, at Stump Funeral Home, Grantsville, with visitation beginning one hour prior.

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James "Jim" Anderson http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269969 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269969 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By James Carl Anderson, 83, of Dunbar, journeyed from his earthly home to his heavenly eternal home on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015 at Hubbard Hospice House.

He was born Dec. 27, 1931 to Howard E. and Irene G. Anderson. He graduated from Dunbar High School in 1949. Jim served his country honorably in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He served overseas in France as a loadmaster and attained the rank of staff sergeant. During his service, Jim received the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

On Nov. 7, 1957, he married E. Anne Kinser. He was proud to continue wearing his wedding shoes each anniversary and special occasions. He was a master electrician and owner of Anderson Electric Incorporated. He was an avid aviator after his time in the service, building his own planes that he flew out of Mallory Airport. Jim was a longstanding member of Dunbar United Methodist Church.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Rosalie Adams and Emma Ruth Osborn.

A beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend, Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years, Anne; his daughter, Terry Lynn Gingras (Robert) of Richmond, Va.; his son, Timothy Carl Anderson (Kathy) of Greensboro, N.C.; and his brother, Joe Anderson of Cross Lanes. He leaves behind five beloved grandchildren, Trevor and Hunter Gingras of Richmond and James "Andy," Joey and Kaitlynn "Kaity" Anderson of Greensboro; and one granddaughter-in-law-to-be, Carly Wasik (Trevor). Also left behind to cherish his memory are many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The family wishes to express appreciation to Gail Huffman (caregiver), Dodie Bowen (palliative care nurse), Dr. Wirts and other Hubbard Hospice medical staff members and the Rev. Dr. Okey Harless.

A service of celebration will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at Dunbar United Methodist Church, 1401 Myers Ave., Dunbar, WV 25064, with the Rev. Dr. Okey Harless officiating. Inurnment will be held at a future date.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Jim's name to the Dunbar United Methodist Church Building Fund, 1401 Myers Ave., Dunbar, WV 25064; Hubbard Hospice House, 1001 Curtis Price Way, Charleston, WV 25311; or a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be sent at www.kellerfuneralhome.net.

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John L. Attilli http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269979 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269979 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By John L. Attilli, 60, of Princeton, formerly of Beckley, died Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015.

Born Sept. 4, 1954 in Beckley, he was the son of Amanda Horton Hedge of Beckley and the late John B. Attilli.

John grew up in Sophia and started his career in funeral service working as a teenager for Williams Funeral Home. He spent his life devoted to his calling, helping families with funeral and cemetery services, working at Blue Ridge Funeral Home in Beckley as a funeral director and then as the general manager. He then worked at Rosedale Funeral Home in Martinsburg and Roselawn Funeral Home and Cemetery in Princeton. He has served as the president of the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association and the West Virginia Funeral and Cemetery Association. He was appointed by the governor to the West Virginia State Board of Funeral Service Examiners. He was a member of many fraternal organizations, including the Princeton Lions Club.

John loved spending time outdoors in his garden, passing football with Leo and Sofia, who were the loves of his life. Every fall he went hunting with his dear friend, John Cox, never caring if he shot a deer; he just loved being in the woods.

In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his brother, Wilbur Attilli.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his wife, Sally Scott Attilli; his children, Leo and Sofia Attilli, Marion Robinson and husband, James, of Canal Winchester, Ohio, and Nicky Attilli and wife, Kat, of Grandview; and four grandchildren, Trenton Attilli, Kaden, Josselyn and Atticus Robinson. He is also survived by two brothers, Roger Attilli and wife, Tonya, of Shady Spring and Kenneth Attilli of Sophia, and sister, Linda Farley and husband, Fred, of Midway.

Family and friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at Roselawn Funeral Home, Princeton, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, at Blue Ridge Funeral Home, Beckley. Private graveside service will follow. Pallbearers will be Ben Williams, Rodney Mays, Tim Beavers, John Scott, Kenny Lacy and Calvin Kidd.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Princeton Lions Club, 165 Hillcrest Drive, Princeton, WV 24740.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.roselawnfuneral.com.

Arrangements by Roselawn Funeral Home, 450 Courthouse Road, Princeton.

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Edna Vivian Badger http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269973 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269973 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Edna Vivian Badger, 95, known as "Miss Tootsie," passed away August 21, 2015.

Miss Tootsie was the piano player and Minister of Music for the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church for the past 42 years.

Her funeral will be Friday, August 28, at New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church, 1404 1st Ave., Charleston. The viewing will be from 10 a.m. to noon, and the celebration of her life will begin at noon.

Preston Funeral Home, Charleston, is in charge of arrangements.

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Florence Helen Ball http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269975 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269975 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Florence Helen Neal Ball, 92, of Milton, died Aug. 24, 2015. Service will be 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, at Good Hope Baptist Church, Milton, with visitation one hour prior. Friends may also call from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at Heck Funeral Home, Milton.

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Ada Maxine Bell http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269985 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269985 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Ada Maxine Shires Shires Bell, 94, of Ronceverte, died Aug. 24, 2015. Service will be 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28, at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Lewisburg. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at the funeral home.

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Karen Boyles http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269996 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269996 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Karen Sangid Boyles, "Sitti," 67, of Kanawha City, entered into heaven on Aug. 24, 2015 at CAMC Memorial Hospital after an extended illness. She was surrounded by her family and loved ones.

Karen was born March 4, 1948 in Charleston. She was a graduate of Charleston High School and Marshall University. She was preceded in death by her father, Mickey Sangid; grandmother, Zakia Joseph; grandfather, Slyman Joseph; uncles, Romes Joseph and Muneere Joseph; and aunts, Nadia Quaranta and Muneera "Mena" Joseph.

She retired in 2004 after 33 years of teaching at Clermont County, Ohio, Shoals Elementary and Kanawha City Elementary Schools, where she enriched the lives of all who knew her. Karen was a lifelong Christian.

Karen is survived by her husband, Ed; mother Ada Joseph Sangid of Kanawha City; daughter, Kara Duncan and husband, Matt, of Kanawha City and their children, her grandchildren, Ryan and Bradley Duncan; son, Joey of New York; brothers, David Sangid of Chicago and Donnie Sangid and wife, Terrie, of Kanawha City; three nieces, Shari Tomlin and husband, Mitch, Jennifer Sangid and Nicole Sangid; two nephews, Mike Sangid and Mark Sangid and wife, Norah; a great-nephew, Jackson Tomlin; aunt, Marilyn Joseph; cousin, Ed Ameen and his children, Jason and Tiffany Ameen, and numerous cousins; her lifelong friend, Susan Brumley of Kanawha City; and two grand dogs, Ryley and Charlie.

A celebration of Karen's life will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, at Harding Funerals & Cremations Chapel with Pastor Cherrie Sizemore officiating. Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Park, South Charleston.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to The Charleston Fire Department and the Emergency Response Team of the Kanawha City Station, the Emergency Room staff at CAMC Memorial Hospital and the continued care and love she received from the staff of the MICU at CAMC Memorial Hospital. They also wish to thank all of her family, friends and former students who extended their love and prayers during her illness.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the David Lee Cancer Center, 3415 MacCorkle Ave. SE, Charleston, WV 25304.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.hardingfamilygroup.com.

Harding Funerals & Cremations, 514 50th St. SE, Kanawha City, is serving the Boyles family.

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Jewell Cavender http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269987 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/OBIT/308269987 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Mrs. Jewell Fisher Cavender, 85, of Sissonville, passed away Aug. 23, 2015 at Hubbard Hospice House West. Gatens-Harding Funeral Home is serving the Cavender family.

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Laurie Lin: What are tax credits for, anyway? http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829670 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829670 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By A tax credit program the West Virginia Legislature revised and renewed in the final hours of its 2014 session is in the news again.

Why? Well, it appears the major beneficiary of the program is both the state’s wealthiest citizen and a candidate for governor.

And for many people, that raises some questions.

The Gazette-Mail’s David Gutman reported on Sunday that three of the four projects that have applied for state tax credits under the West Virginia Tourism Development Act are associated with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier.

And the only project that has so far been approved to receive the credits? The resort’s new football practice facilities.

Before we dial up the outrage, let’s step back for a moment and ask: What’s the point of a tax credit?

Tax credits are carrots offered by the government — in this case state government — to induce individuals or businesses to do something the government views as desirable.

One of the most widely used, the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, is an incentive for poor people to work. No paycheck, no tax credit.

There are also federal tax credits for things like buying alternative-fuel cars and hiring veterans or welfare recipients.

Some people and businesses would do those things anyway. From the government’s perspective, the tax credit is wasted on them.

The societal benefit comes from the people who are nudged by the tax incentive into doing something they wouldn’t otherwise do.

If a tax credit convinces you to buy a Prius instead of a Mustang, it’s working as intended.

If you’re an environmentalist who would’ve bought the Prius no matter what, the credit is a nice windfall for you. But it’s a loss to the government, which is leaving the extra tax money you would have paid on the table.

The credit the Legislature passed in 2014 had the stated intent of increasing tourism to the state.

There’s no question that Justice’s football facility has done that. The New Orleans Saints training camp — and especially last week’s joint practice between the Saints and the New England Patriots — have attracted significant positive attention and out-of-state tourism dollars.

“Jiminy Christmas, to have the world champion New England Patriots here was really special,” Justice told Gutman.

He’s right.

He’s also glossing over the fact that a big beneficiary of all that money and attention — almost certainly the biggest beneficiary — is his own resort.

Justice didn’t bring the Saints here out of the goodness of his heart. He did it because it was a good deal for The Greenbrier.

Was it a good deal for West Virginia, given that the state is potentially forgoing millions in revenue?

“This is the greatest thing in the world, because it’s costing the state nothing,” Justice told Gutman.

Really? That’s a claim worth examining.

The terminology of tax credits “costing” the state is irksome, because it implies that private income is inherently government’s to claim. But in economic terms, it’s a legitimate way to describe what tax credits do — especially when, as here, they so clearly grant special status to specific taxpayers.

And the 2014 legislation was obviously meant to benefit Justice. It was pushed by Greenbrier lobbyist Larry Puccio, who was chairman of the state Democratic Party at the time and is now advising Justice’s campaign.

Here’s the (literally) million-dollar question: Would Justice have built the football facility without the tax credit?

If so, up to $9.5 million in revenue that would have been collected by the state will go instead into Justice’s pocket.

Gutman asked Justice whether the credit induced him to build projects he wouldn’t be building otherwise.

“Sure, this has been helpful,” Justice replied, “but the magnitude of it is not an ultimate game change.”

But tax credits are supposed to change the game. That’s why they exist. They’re pointless if they simply pay people for doing things they were going to do anyway.

If the state gave Justice a sweet deal to build some facilities he fully intended to build no matter what, then it indeed might be “the greatest thing in the world” — but for Jim Justice, not the state of West Virginia.

Laurie Lin is a Daily Mail columnist. Contact her at laurie.lin@dailymailwv.com or follow her on Twitter at @wvpundette.

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Thomas Sowell: Sorting through candidates' messes http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829671 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829671 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Despite a nuclear Iran looming on the horizon, the media seem to be putting most of their attention on two candidates for their respective parties’ presidential nominations next year.

Moreover, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each make their own party nervous.

If next year’s election comes down to Clinton versus Trump, a lot of people may simply stay home in disgust.

When we are this far away from the official start of the primary election season, we can usually just say, “It’s still early days.” Many a front runner this early in the process ended up out of the running by the time the party conventions were held, and totally forgotten by election day.

That is the way it usually is. But that is not likely to be the way it will be this time.

This is Hillary Clinton’s last hurrah. It is now or never for her. And the Democrats have nobody comparable as a vote-getter to put in her place.

Even if an investigation finds Mrs. Clinton found guilty of violating the law in the way she handled emails when she was Secretary of State, the Obama administration is not likely to prosecute her. And President Obama can always pardon her, so that the next administration cannot prosecute her either. So Hillary doesn’t even have to take a plea bargain.

Someone with a sense of shame might well withdraw from the contest for the Democratic Party’s nomination, now that public opinion polls show that most people distrust her. But since when have the Clintons ever had a sense of shame?

On the Republican side, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has pointed out that if Donald Trump can continue to get 20 or 25 percent of the Republican voters on his side, he can build up a formidable lead of delegates in winner-take-all primaries.

It will not matter if 60 percent of the Republican voters turn against him, if that 60 percent is split up among all the other Republican candidates, with none of those candidates getting more votes than Trump.

Sometimes financial backers can withdraw their support and force a stubborn candidate to drop out of the race. But Trump has enough money of his own to stay in the race as long as he wants to, even if that ruins the Republicans’ chances of winning the 2016 elections.

Ironically, the Republicans have a much stronger set of presidential candidates than usual to choose from this year.

But the media obsession with Trump means that even the best of these candidates are not likely to get enough exposure for most voters to get to know much about them.

Governors with superb records — such as Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and Scott Walker in Wisconsin — may not have much name recognition on the national scene. And certainly the little sound bites in the so-called “debates” are not likely to tell the voters much.

This is not just the candidates’ problem. With this country facing historic dangers, both internally and internationally, we urgently need to find someone with depth, insight and courage as the next president of the United States.

But, with the media obsessed with Donald Trump’s show biz talents and persona — and covering everything he says, does or might do, 24/7 — how are the voters to sort through the large number of Republican candidates to find a couple that are worth getting to know more thoroughly?

It will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And never was finding that needle, the right leader, more important for the nation.

Internally, we are so polarized over immigration that our current “leaders” have left our borders wide open to terrorists from around the world, rather than take the political risks of offending voters on one side of this issue or offending voters on the opposite side. Instead, they risk American lives by their inaction.

Internationally, our “leaders” have written a blank check for our most dangerous and fanatical enemy — Iran — to get both nuclear bombs and the missiles to deliver them. And the Obama administration, with a track record of huge shameless lies, offers us its reassurances.

We had better find that needle in a haystack, someone who can salvage a desperate situation. Flamboyant rhetoric is not enough.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His website is www. tsowell.com.

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Daily Mail editorial: City's petition process deserves a closer look http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829672 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829672 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By The troubling thing about the dismissal of perpetual mayoral candidate Janet “J.T.” Thompson’s petition to remove Charleston Mayor Danny Jones from office is not that it was dismissed, but that it came so close to crossing an important legal threshold.

As reported by the Gazette-Mail’s Rachel Molenda, Thompson’s petition was dismissed on Monday by a three-judge panel, which determined that the petition lacked the required 25 signatures from registered Charleston voters who voted in this year’s election.

“At best, you have 16 or 17 people that qualify,” Cabell Circuit Judge Paul Farrell told Thompson.

Farrell, along with Wayne Circuit Judge Darrell Pratt and Putnam Circuit Judge Philip Stower, presided over Monday’s hearing. That’s three judges with busy dockets who had to take the time to travel to Charleston for the proceedings.

Add also the time of the state Supreme Court justices who appointed them — plus Kanawha Circuit Judge James Stucky, who initially reviewed the petition, and Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick, who reviewed the petition’s signatures and testified at the hearing.

That’s too much time spent by too many public employees to dispose of what was obviously a frivolous filing from the start.

Thompson has shown a tendency to abuse her right of access to the legal system. The Daily Mail Opinion page supported the city of Charleston’s motion requesting that she be required to get permission from a judge before filing more lawsuits.

Another valuable step would be for the state Legislature to take a closer look at the conditions for filing removal petitions. Requiring only 25 signatures for such a significant action might be appropriate in a much smaller town, but Charleston has 40,000 registered voters.

Thompson’s abuse of the legal process has already cost the city close to $100,000 in legal fees, and she vowed on Monday to return to court with yet another petition.

Her frivolous and costly litigation campaign should not be allowed to continue. Thompson has the right to speak, but not to tie up our legal system with repeated and meritless filings.

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Daily Mail editorial: State's small businesses have survival instinct http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829673 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829673 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By It’s hard to imagine a Charleston business landscape without Sam’s Uptown Cafe or Taylor Books, both located on Capitol Street.

Prior to 1995, neither business existed. But this summer, both celebrated 20 years in the Capitol City.

There’s something about the hustle and bustle of Sam’s lunchtime crowd and the creaky hardwood floors of Taylor Books that keep people coming back for more.

Entrepreneurs know they sometimes face a low chance of success, but they take that chance anyway. Dan Davis and Hillary Harrison, owners of retailer Kin Ship Goods, took that chance last year when they set up a bricks-and-mortar shop Charleston. The business has found success and support and celebrated its first anniversary last weekend.

Sam’s, Taylor Books and other Charleston entrepreneurs have seen success and show that small businesses can and do survive in West Virginia. But they can only do so when they have the support of their communities and state officials who enact policies that help them succeed.

State lawmakers and other officials have renewed their focus on helping small businesses thrive. The House of Delegates, under leadership of then-Speaker Tim Miley, created the Committee on Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development to look specifically at issues in those areas and work to encourage business growth. That focus continued under Republican legislative leadership as well.

The state Department of Commerce offers a wealth of resources for small businesses, including grants, help with loan applications and networking and marketing opportunities.

While news stories focus on attempts to getting big companies to locate or expand in West Virginia, it’s easy to lose sight of the small, independent businesses that provide jobs, attract customers and add to our state’s charm.

Many small businesses in Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown and other areas of the state have proven they have what it takes to survive. They’ve withstood economic downturns, changes in legislative policies and population loss yet still managed to stick around and continue providing goods and services to West Virginians and beyond.

Here’s to celebrating the longevity of Sam’s Uptown Cafe, Taylor Books and others who have stuck around, and wishing many more years to newcomers like Kin Ship Goods. You help make West Virginia great.

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Editorial cartoon: Aug. 26, 2015 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829675 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/DM04/150829675 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Editorial cartoon: Aug. 26, 2015

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Vent Line: Aug. 26, 2015 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829676 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829676 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By People can put Donald Trump down all they want but at least he isn't under FBI investigation for emails that were classified and lying about a server. Clinton has so much baggage that she will need an extra plane to travel during her campaign.

I went to motor vehicles four weeks ago for a title. I haven't received it to this day. The person I sold the vehicle to isn't able to register his vehicle and drive it.

Kanawha County Animal Shelter is now a kill shelter since there were two animals euthanized within three days and all the decisions were made by the staff. OK people, let's show them how to do things. Quit making donations and quit helping them out. They can do their thing and we will do ours.

A long time ago when I was but a child, I sat in church and before the preacher started the sermon he passed the plate and said for everyone chewing gum to deposit it. He said it reminded him of cows chewing their curds. If I could find a church like that I would sure attend.

Suddenlink has moved WGN channel 15 to channel 82, but hasn't notified anyone. I had to call them to find out.

Tattoos are tacky, especially on public schoolteachers.

I know one four-letter word that will never come out of my neighbor's mouth. That word is "work."

The county commission will vote soon to raise the surcharge for your phone service 911 fee. When was the last time they raised their contribution to the 911 system?

There are holes in the road to tear your car up. You cannot see out the windows and the sidewalks have debris on them. Thank you and I hope you will print this.

Why is the venter supporting Trump? He is acting like a reality star, not a candidate with vision. He insulted a POW, a female journalist, his housing organization has been cited in the past for housing discrimination against blacks.

If you call the Affordable Care Act "Obamacare," then we must call Medicare "Johnsoncare" and Social Security would be "Rooseveltcare." Do we have any "Republicancare?" I don't know of any.

I'm a Democrat who watched the Republican debate. The lady candidate who called Hillary Clinton a liar several times would make a great vice president. And wouldn't Mike Huckabee make a great secretary of state?

Who is that white-headed woman who walks the streets of Marmet with her head down and a cup in her hand? Is she begging?

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Letter: Support the Iran nuclear deal http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829700 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829700 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Editor:

What gets me in all the talk about the Iran deal is the hypocrisy issue. Supposedly, the question is whether Iran can be stopped from acquiring a nuclear weapon to threaten the U.S., or Israel, and thus get relief from sanctions. But which of the negotiating nations in the P5+1 already have nuclear weapons? ALL of them but the “+1”, Germany. Only Iran does not, and our intelligence agencies keep reporting that there is no evidence Iran is working on a bomb.

But somehow it’s justified to impose crippling sanctions on a country that might someday build one? Sanctions imposed primarily by the nation that now possesses thousands of nukes, is the only nation ever to have used them, has attacked dozens of countries in the past half century, and is now proposing a trillion-dollar “modernization” of its arsenal.

Israel, not one of the negotiators, is understood to be an important force in opposition to the deal — and to possess hundreds of nukes, the only Middle Eastern country to have them. It has not joined the nonproliferation treaty and does not allow inspections.

In any case, it seems that what opponents want instead of this deal is war with Iran — a war with no justification, when the U.S. treasury is already depleted by its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have succeeded only in stirring up violence and chaos in the region while bringing home a cadre of neglected, often injured or suicidal veterans. This is not only intensely immoral, it’s also incredibly stupid.

West Virginia’s representatives should refuse to go along with this manipulation by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee and others and support the president’s deal.

Mary Wildfire

Spencer

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Jim Felsen: Maybe it's time for marriage to have a spiritual and civil divorce http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829702 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829702 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By

Spiritual and civil marriage have been growing apart for some time. Trial separation has not been working out. In light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, it would be prudent to hasten the divorce for the sake of civil harmony and justice.

Spiritual or traditional marriage is largely a moral and ethical expression (often sanctified before God) conveying status and obligations upon the parties united. The parties and institutions blessing the union define the nature of the conveyance. Historically, this centered on fidelity, dependency care and child rearing. Many continue to believe it serves a useful societal purpose, even in an era of changing social mores and practices.

Civil marriage traditionally was a union (sanctified by the state) that avowed similar conveyances but added "licensed" legal rights and responsibilities, especially as involved the financial rights, assets and obligations of the parties and any offspring. It was conceived in an era where child rearing and non-working spouses were the norm. Many associated, antiquated legal and health practices are still operational despite the emergence of non-applicable situations.

It also has witnessed new contractual and other basically "non-marital" legal instruments, e.g., prenuptial agreements, joint property deeds, wills, medical powers of attorney, being employed by committed parties outside - or in addition to - civil marriage. In my opinion, these instruments should continue to evolve to provide protections but replace civil marriage.

Social and legal sanctions directed at "illicit cohabitation" and "shacking up" are largely a thing of the past from a civil or secular perspective. Blended families often consist of more than two adults in an array of married, unmarried and sexual preference states. State authorities - rightfully so, in my opinion, - have largely ignored the adult arrangements and concentrated on protecting the children.

Various federal and state civil marriage statutes allow couples to game the system for financial gain. For instance, a divorced spouse is often granted alimony and/or a portion of an ex-spouse's retirement pension unless he or she remarries. To keep receiving such income from an ex-spouse, a spouse can remarry in a spiritual ceremony not recognized by the respective state or cohabit. By executing a civilly non-recognized marriage, the newlyweds can supplement family income and enjoy social "married" status. She and he can also enjoy the rights and asset distribution protections traditionally associated with civil marriage by using the various non-marital legal instruments mentioned.

By expanding civil marriage - and, de facto, various government sanctioned legal and financial rights and benefits - to same-sex couples (straight or gay), the high court added a new wrinkle. Same-sex couples in a committed, sharing, loving relationship must marry to receive these rights and benefits. If such same-sex committed couples cannot marry, because of strong religious or spiritual beliefs they hold, they -- and any children they jointly care for -- could be discriminated against in receiving such benefits.

Does the U.S. Constitution require states to establish a marriage institution? Are states a good instrument to recognize individuals who claim they are in a committed loving relationship, regardless of number, sex and sexual preference? Exactly what are states licensing individuals to do that most have already not done? Would it not make more sense for the state to follow the lead of animal protection groups and license an individual or individuals who wish to conceive, adopt or rear a child?

To keep up with the cultural and social shifts that are occurring, I propose that at the age of majority, each individual would execute a civil document specifying the "right to act" in certain situations, (e.g., medical coma), assets and state recognized entitlement benefits he or she wishes to convey to others. Entitlements and benefits would be retained and conveyed by an individual regardless of spiritual marital status. With the exception of dependent children, the state would cease to assign rights and benefit designations.

As life situations change, one could change the designations much like one changes name or organ donation status on a driver's license. Individuals would be free to marry spiritually in accordance with their personal vows, blessed by a spiritual institution if they desire. If the parties wished, they could legally convey certain rights and benefits at that time. The state would limit its role to child protection involving the financial and other obligations of individuals conceiving, adopting or otherwise caring for children.

For the sake of social harmony and justice, it is time to divorce spiritual and civil marriage.

Jim Felsen, of Great Cacapon, is a retired public health physician.

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Belinda Biafore: Remember, act on 95 years of women's suffrage (Gazette) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829705 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829705 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By Belinda Biafore By By Belinda Biafore

Today, August 26, 2015, we celebrate Women's Equality Day as a state and as a nation. Ninety-five years ago today, the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote, giving us a voice and, more importantly, giving us a power to stand up for ourselves and for what we believe in.

Can you think of a time when women didn't have the rights that we have today? We have fought long and hard alongside so many who believe what we believe and, today, we celebrate those fighters.

Our right to vote is the most powerful right we've fought for and we need to ensure that our children, our friends and neighbors, and our families are exercising that right.

That power, the power to vote, cannot be lost.

We celebrate today and I am reminding you to use your voice and your right to vote because our work is far from finished.

Let us be reminded that women in America still make only 78 cents of every dollar a man makes in the workplace. West Virginia ranks second to dead last with a gender earnings ratio of 67.3 percent, meaning women make 67.3 percent of what a man makes here in our home state.

Let us be reminded that women have also fought and continue to fight for quality, affordable health care without facing discrimination and paying more because we are women.

We have fought hard and come a long way, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure that everyone has equal rights.

While some of those fight for their own self interest and personal gain, we as Democrats will continue to fight for you and stand with you to ensure that one day we will all be treated fairly and share the same rights.

As we celebrate Women's Equality Day, let us be energized and empowered to keep up the fight! Women have fought for centuries for equal rights and that fight continues today and every day moving forward.

Belinda Biafore is chairwoman of the West Virginia Democratic Party.

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Gazette editorial: A boost for health and learning http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829706 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150826/GZ04/150829706 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 By State Sen. Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, has devised an excellent plan to help West Virginia in multiple ways. He wants to raise the state cigarette tax - which would deter Mountain State teens from becoming hooked on life-destroying nicotine. He would use $100 million revenue from the tax to strengthen programs against addiction, and to make community college free for many West Virginia youths.

This is a win-win-win proposal that should draw support in the next legislative session. Especially, putting more youths into education programs beyond high school is crucial for the state.

Republicans in the Legislature think they can draw more business to West Virginia by showering ever-larger tax giveaways on corporations. But state Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette says the process isn't so simple.

As long as the Mountain State ranks dead last in college-going, he says, firms can't find employees suited for the high-tech Information Age.

"If we don't create a broader-based, better-educated workforce, we will never be able to attract businesses to the state," Burdette told business reporter Andrew Brown.

Sadly, only 18.3 percent of West Virginians over age 25 hold bachelor degrees - far below the U.S. average of 28.4 percent. This state also lags in high school completion.

More sadly, the Legislature constantly reduces state support for colleges and universities - guaranteeing that West Virginia will retain its rank at the bottom in education.

Secretary Burdette says "workforce development" is crucial for attracting industry. Legislators should weigh that consideration, instead of focusing entirely on more tax giveaways. West Virginia already made drastic reductions in business taxes - with little result. Maybe it's time to try education instead.

Sen. Kessler's strategy to reduce cigarette deaths and use the revenue to improve college-going is a splendid plan for the state.

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