www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2016, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: December 10, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT01/312109978 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT01/312109978 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:01:00 -0500 Alford, Jeremy 4 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Baughman, D. Ray 11 a.m., Mt Olive Church, Duck.

Belknap, Wendell 11 a.m., Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Broyles, Kevin 1 p.m., VanReenen Funeral Home, Marlinton.

Cooney, Ellen Ann 2 p.m., St. John's Episcopal Church, Charleston.

Crouse, Dorothy 2 p.m., O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Cummings, Katherine 11 a.m., Snodrgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.

Ellis, Charles 2 p.m., Evans Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Chapmanville.

Given, C. Lelia 11 a.m., Shuck Memorial Baptist Church, Lewisburg.

Holbrook, Charles 4 p.m., Acne Pentecostal Church, Acne.

Hutton, Frances Goldsmith Noon, Rock Lake Presbyterian Church, South Charleston.

Little, James Noon, McKinnon Presbyterian Church, Tyler Mountain.

McNeil, Betty 1 p.m., Bancroft Church of God, Bancroft.

Patterson, Debra 1 p.m., Deal Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Ransom, Dennis 1 p.m., Mammoth Pentecostal Church, Mammoth.

Roberts, Oma 2 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.

Strickland, Shannon 2 p.m., Mt. Juliet United Methodist Church, 417 East 4th Street, Belle.

Taylor, Edgar, Sr. 10 a.m., Simons

Thompson, Arjean 11 a.m., Central Baptist Church, Beckley.

Vanover, Mary 1 p.m., Mounts Funeral Home Chapel, Gilbert.

Velasquez, Alfredo 2 p.m., Barlow

White, Shirley 11 a.m., Willowdale Baptist Church, Ravenswood.

Wilcoxen, Joshua 11 a.m., Allen Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Wooten, Robert 1 p.m., Lord's House of Holden, Holden.

Helen Conley http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT/312109989 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT/312109989 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:01:00 -0500 Helen M. Conley, 97, of Charleston, passed away Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Arrangements are forthcoming. Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Nina Fay Dunlap http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT/312109980 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT/312109980 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:01:00 -0500 Nina Fay Dunlap, 81, of Sumerco, went home to be with the Lord Friday, December 9, 2016, at CAMC Memorial Division in Charleston.

She was a homemaker and member of Pine Grove Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dean; sisters, Freda, Lula, Gladys, and (infant) Sharon; brothers, Junior, Hassell and (infant) Lester; and son-in-law, Bobby Pauley.

Nina is survived by daughters, Kay (Claude) Clay, Carolyn Pauley and Barbara (Jeff) Pauley; sons, Justin (Karen) Dunlap and David (Donna) Dunlap; brother, Ray Pauley; 16 grandchildren; and 37 great-grandchildren.

Service will be 3 p.m., Sunday, December 11, at Curry Funeral Home in Alum Creek with Pastor Oshel Bell officiating. Burial will follow at Pine Grove Cemetery, Sumerco. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.curryfuneralhome.org. Curry Funeral Home, 2097 Childress Road, Alum Creek has been family owned and operated since 1950.

Kenny Edens http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT/312109985 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT/312109985 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:01:00 -0500 Kenny Edens, 78, of South Charleston, passed away December 7, 2016, at Hubbard Hospice House West. Funeral service will be 1 p.m., Monday, December 12, at Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home with the Rev. Billy Casto officiating. Burial will follow in Donel C. Kinnard State Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar. Visitation with the family will be one hour prior to the service. Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Jessie Ann Foster http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT/312109988 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/OBIT/312109988 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:01:00 -0500 Jessie Ann Foster, 68, of Comfort, passed away December 9, 2016, at CAMC General in Charleston.

She was born December 26, 1947, in Madison, to the late Delmus Lee and Ruby Violet Fowler McKinney. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Billy Foster; a grandchild, Billy Foster; and brothers, Dallas McKinney and Arthur McKinney.

Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Paul Foster from Comfort, Christy Foster from Seth and Jada Foster from Comfort; brothers, Jimmy McKinney and Patty from Orgas and Jackie McKinney from Whitesville; sisters, Etta Atkins from Lorain, Ohio, Nancy Hawkins from Comfort, Alberta Williams and Pete from Prenter and Betty Davis and Glenn from Madison; her grandkids whom she loved very much, Chris Foster, Taylor Harless, Ty Foster, Kristin Coleman, Gracie Foster, Chad Nelson and Tori Massey and Hunter Dingess; and one great-grandchild, Charley "Bug" Ayers.

Funeral service will be held 1 p.m., Monday, December 12, in the Armstrong Funeral Home Whitesville, WV. Clergy, Pastor June Ferrell. Interment will be at Pineview Cemetery Orgas, WV.

(Forever Love Billy and Jessie Foster, married Feb, 24, 1967, together again December 9, 2016).

Pernod Ricard subsidiary takes majority stake in Greenbrier-based Smooth Ambler http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ03/161219940 GZ03 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ03/161219940 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 16:47:18 -0500 Max Garland By Max Garland Old Scout Single Barrel Bourbon might be getting some more fans in 2017.

Smooth Ambler Spirits Co., an award-winning distiller based in Greenbrier County, has signed an agreement for a subsidiary of the wine and spirits giant Pernod Ricard to take a majority stake in the company, according to a news release Thursday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in early 2017.

With Pernod Ricard's investment, Smooth Ambler plans to increase production capacity and expand its staff, co-founder and head distiller John Little said in the release. Little will assume the role of CEO as part of the transaction.

"Smooth Ambler is committed to making great spirits, using the best American ingredients," Little said. "The investment from [Pernod Ricard subsidiary] NBVI will enable us to introduce our premium craft spirits to many more consumers."

A representative of Smooth Ambler wasn't available for further comment Saturday.

Founded in 2009, Smooth Ambler produces gins, vodkas, rums and whiskeys at its distillery in Maxwelton, near Lewisburg. Among its more popular spirits are Smooth Amber Contradiction Bourbon and Old Scout Single Barrel Bourbon, which won "World's Best Single Barrel Bourbon" at the 2016 World Whiskies Awards.

Pernod Ricard, the maker of Absolut Vodka and Jameson Irish Whiskey, hasn't owned an American whiskey since selling Wild Turkey to Campari in 2009, according to a Bloomberg report.

"This investment illustrates perfectly our strategy of partnering with rising entrepreneurs sharing the same passion for authentic, high-quality brands," Pernod Ricard CEO Alexandre Ricard said in the release. "It represents a strong opportunity to enter the fast-growing, high-end bourbon market extending even more our fantastic portfolio of genuine brands in our number 1 market."

Reach Max Garland at max.garland@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4886 or follow @MaxGarlandTypes on Twitter.

Photos: Students perform at first lady's Festival of Songs http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ01/161219941 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ01/161219941 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 16:23:44 -0500

Justice's businesses, state ad money raises ethical concerns http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0101/161219942 GZ0101 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0101/161219942 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 16:14:37 -0500 Andrew Brown By Andrew Brown As Jim Justice gets set to take office, records show two of the governor-elect's companies have been paid nearly $2 million by the state over seven years to advertise private businesses outside of West Virginia.

That state advertising money was provided to Justice's Greenbrier and Glade Springs resorts as part of the Division of Tourism's matching advertising partnership program, which is meant to promote West Virginia attractions and bring more tourists into the Mountain State.

But, as the businessman-turned-politician prepares to take over as governor on Jan. 16, it remains to be seen whether Justice is going to continue to allow the cash-strapped state to pay a portion of his resorts' marketing costs.

Asked whether Justice's resorts would continue to request state money, Grant Herring, the communication director for the transition team, ignored the question.

"The governor-elect is going to meet with the experts to come up with the best ways possible to market West Virginia to the world and grow good-paying tourism jobs," he said.

The tourism advertising program serves a purpose. The $40.2 million paid out under the program since 2009 is meant to attract people from outside the state to partnering companies throughout West Virginia, with the expectation those visitors will increase sales tax revenue and frequent other nearby businesses and destinations.

It's also meant to improve the state's recognition as a tourism destination nationwide by requiring the partnering businesses to feature West Virginia-branded logos in their print, television, billboard and social media advertisements.

Justice has been one of the regular beneficiaries of the program since he purchased The Greenbrier and Glade Springs resorts in 2009 and 2010. But, with the reported billionaire taking over the state's highest office, the advertising grants could now raise questions about the incoming governor's overlapping roles as a business owner and West Virginia's chief executive.

As governor, Justice would be responsible for appointing people to the Tourism Commission, the board that decides which businesses receive the state advertising money.

Justice said on the campaign trail he would be handing over control of dozens of his privately held businesses to his children, including the two Southern West Virginia resorts, which will be managed by his daughter.

While that would remove Justice from the day-to-day business operations, ethics lawyers have said it would do nothing to insulate him from ethical conflicts or the appearance thereof. The only way to completely avoid all conflicts, the attorneys said, would be for Justice to divest from his privately held companies that operate in the state.

The advertising grants are just one example of how Justice's businesses and stock holdings interact with the state government he will run next year.

The specifics of Justice's sprawling business holdings are not completely clear, as he refused a request to release his tax returns during the campaign.

But a financial disclosure report filed with the Ethics Commission shows he personally owns and has shares in a large number of businesses with interests in West Virginia, including considerable coal-mining operations that continue to owe millions of dollars in state severance taxes.

Justice, with the help of his newly appointed chief of staff, Nick Casey, is going through those holdings in an attempt to separate the incoming governor from his business interests.

But, just this week, Justice blurred the lines between his business and his governmental transition efforts by appointing the chief operating officer for The Greenbrier to a tourism advisory position in the lead-up to inauguration.

Justice has faced questions about his business conflicts before. During the campaign, he reluctantly asked the state to pull its sponsorship of the Greenbrier Classic, the professional golfing event, after the $1.75 million in state spending was questioned.

In an opinion column, Justice criticized his Republican opponent Bill Cole and suggested he didn't see a problem with the state spending millions for an event that brought business to his historic resort in Greenbrier County.

"Getting into this race, I knew that arrows from the politicians would come my way," Justice said, "but I never imagined that Bill Cole would be so reckless and try to use his power to undermine one of our best tourism attractions."

"Pulling the rope by yourself is no fun," he said.

It has also been pointed out that West Virginia's next governor is the primary beneficiary of a state law that allows tourism destinations to avoid millions of dollars in taxes.

Under that program, three projects at The Greenbrier and Glade Springs have been approved for up to $17.6 million in tourism-related tax credits by the state Development Office, and Justice has reportedly filed for additional credits for a proposed ski resort, which The Greenbrier was promoting a day before the election.

It will be up to Justice's Department of Revenue, and his yet-unnamed choice for revenue secretary, to decide how much of those tax savings the governor's projects qualify for in the coming years.

During his year and a half of campaigning, Justice suggested he would like to expand state tourism spending further and do more to promote and incentive the industry his businesses play a large part of.

He repeatedly referenced the wide-spread advertising campaign, "Pure Michigan," that was undertaken in recent years by the Midwestern state - though he also disparaged it.

"Every day we wake up and look at the television, and the television says, 'Come to Michigan. Come to Michigan.'" Justice said during the first gubernatorial debate. "Well who wants to go to Michigan? I mean, do you want to get in a car and say let's go drive to Detroit? I mean, are we out of our minds?"

"I mean, really and truly, we need to promote us," Justice said. "There are so many opportunities that are here."

Any effort to increase tourism spending, however, will face the reality of declining state revenue, including a historical drop-off in state lottery revenues that pay for the matching advertising program Justice's companies have utilized.

At its height, the tourism commission had more than $20 million a year to work with, but, as lottery profits have declined, so have the matching advertising dollars.

If Justice's resorts are given money under the state advertising program, it could immediately prompt questions of why the governor's businesses are getting advertising money when other companies are denied.

It could also increase political opposition to the state's advertising program, something the current tourism commission has been working to overcome in recent years.

"This is not free money," Joseph Manchin IV, a tourism commissioner and son of Sen. Joe Manchin III, said during a meeting in October when they denied an applicant for the matching grants.

"This group has to go before the legislature every year and justify, kicking and screaming, why these dollars are so important," he said.

Reach Andrew Brown at


304-348-4814 or follow

@Andy_Ed_Brown on Twitter.

Gazette-Mail Charities: Union Mission looks to help wherever necessary http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0104/161219943 GZ0104 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0104/161219943 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:56:10 -0500 From staff reports By From staff reports

"Caroline" and "Charles" first came to Union Mission in the late 1990s. Caroline had been diagnosed with a degenerative disease, but she continued to work until the symptoms became too much to handle.

Then Charles was diagnosed with a completely different degenerative disease. After a long fight, he also was awarded disability benefits - but that cut into his wife's benefits.

They have two children. A son has gotten married and moved out, but their daughter still lives at home. The family finds it very difficult to get by on their limited income.

The last time they came to Union Mission, Caroline recently had surgery, and the family needed help with a utility bill.

Their greatest need now is one of life's basic necessities - a roof over their heads. Union Mission would like to help the family get a new metal roof for their home. The cost would be about $9,000.

In another case, "Harry," a young man with a wife and four small children, was laid off from his job in the coal industry. He pastors two small churches, but doesn't get paid at either one.

The churches are in far-flung rural areas, and Harry was working odd jobs to pay for his family's bills and for transportation. He had a garden trimmer and power washer until someone stole them. It would cost about $500 for Union Mission to help replace those items.

To help these families and many others like them, please consider making a donation to Gazette-Mail Charities. Donations made to Gazette-Mail Charities' holiday fund drive go to agencies like Union Mission.

To help, fill out the donation coupon in today's newspaper and send it with your check, made payable to Gazette-Mail Charities. To give online, go to wvgazettemail.com and click on the Gazette-Mail Charities logo. Donations are tax-deductible. Gazette-Mail Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Trump EPA pick: 'Heavy hand of EPA' didn't bring coal's decline http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ011025/161219944 GZ011025 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ011025/161219944 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:55:27 -0500 Ken Ward Jr. By Ken Ward Jr. Last week, when President-elect Donald Trump announced his plan to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, West Virginia political leaders - constant critics of the EPA under the Obama administration - quickly voiced their approval of Trump's pick.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., called Pruitt "exactly the type of person we need to lead the EPA during this critical time."

In a press release, Capito said Pruitt, who has sued to try to block a variety of EPA rules to reduce air and water pollution, "has been a driving force behind the legal battle against President Obama's environmental policies and far-reaching regulations."

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who has likewise sued to challenge Obama's EPA, issued a statement to say he was confident Pruitt is a leader who "shares President-elect Trump's pledge to eliminate the burdensome, job-killing regulations brought on by eight years of unlawful overreach."

But while Pruitt is indeed a vocal opponent of the Obama EPA's rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in public statements earlier this year, he wasn't exactly on board with West Virginia political leaders, who focus their blame for the ongoing decline of the state's coal industry on federal government environmental rules.

"This didn't happen as a result of EPA's heavy hand," Pruitt testified during a House subcommittee hearing in May.

Citing the "shift in the electricity generation mix" away from coal and toward natural gas and his own state's gas industry, Pruitt told lawmakers, "Rather, it happened because of fracking and the positive market forces that those sorts of Oklahoma innovations create."

During his campaign, Trump promised a large audience of coal miners during a rally in Charleston that, when elected, he would get rid of "these ridiculous rules and regulations" so the miners could get back to work.

In a Facebook post on Thursday announcing his intention to nominate Pruitt, Trump complained the EPA "has spent taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs."

The post said Pruitt would "rescind all job-destroying executive actions and eliminate all barriers to responsible energy production." The Facebook post said these moves would "create at least a half-million jobs each year."

Pruitt, though, offered a different version of what's likely to happen to the nation's coal industry, telling the Environment Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology that "market-driven" reductions in coal's share of the nation's energy mix are likely to continue "for years to come."

"As natural gas becomes increasingly affordable, it becomes an increasingly attractive alternative to coal," Pruitt testified.

Since Pruitt's nomination was announced, much of the focus has been on his views on climate change and specifically his opposition in court to the EPA's Clean Power Plan, the rule to require power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Pruitt, a Kentucky native, has also challenged other EPA initiatives to reduce air pollution and agency water pollution rules.

Business interests generally, and the coal industry specifically, have praised the nomination of Pruitt.

A spokesman for Murray Energy, West Virginia's largest coal producer, said Friday that Pruitt "has been a strong advocate for a fair and balanced approach to environmental protections" and "will be a valuable asset to the Trump administration and to the citizens of the United States."

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, an industry group, said Pruitt would "be a strong advocate for sensible policies that are good for the environment, as well as mindful of the need for affordable and reliable electricity."

Environmental organizations have harshly criticized Trump's choice of Pruitt.

The Environmental Defense Fund said Pruitt was "a deeply troubling choice" and Pruitt "has built his political career by trying to undermine EPA's mission of environmental protection."

The Natural Resources Defense Council noted a New York Times story had reported that a letter Pruitt sent to the EPA in 2014 asserting the agency overestimated air pollution from Oklahoma natural gas operations was actually written by a lawyer for one of the state's largest oil and gas companies, Devon Energy.

One national press account by McClatchy Newspapers focused attention on a closely related issue of importance to West Virginians who supported Trump: Pruitt's views on coal's decline, the cause of that downturn and whether action by the EPA will bring back the thousands of coal jobs lost in the state over the last decade.

"It's long been understood cheap and abundant shale gas was the primary culprit in declining coal production," said Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy, a progressive group that has encouraged efforts to diversify the state's economy.

Boettner also noted, while market forces have played a large role in natural gas displacing coal, government-funded research - some of it in Morgantown - helped develop the hydraulic fracturing techniques that have partly driven the huge increase in domestic gas production.

James Van Nostrand, a professor and director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at the West Virginia University College of Law, wondered last week what the point of reversing the EPA's climate change rules or, more broadly, dismantling the agency would be if federal environmental rules were not the central cause of the coal industry's downturn.

"[Pruitt] pretty much admits that the EPA is not the driver in the decline of the coal industry, yet rails about the impact of the Clean Power Plan on the coal industry," Van Nostrand said. "The Trump con game continues: The EPA was not the cause of the decline of the coal industry, and dismantling the EPA is not going to bring the coal industry back. Pruitt's testimony concedes this point."

Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kward@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1702 or follow @kenwardjr on Twitter.

WV Book Team: Short reads for the busiest season http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0605/161219946 GZ0605 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0605/161219946 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:42:19 -0500 By Dana Smook and Elizabeth Fraser-Dorney WV Book Team By By Dana Smook and Elizabeth Fraser-Dorney WV Book Team Frosted cookies, sparkly lights and gatherings galore. Boughs of holly, mugs of cider, festive music and more.

These beloved traditions are comforting, but they also mark the busiest time of the year for many of us. Around the holidays, it can be hard to fit in any reading time at all.

Fear not, readers. We have some sweet little reads to get you through this busy season. Most of these books are around 200 pages or less, short in length but not in quality and perfect for squeezing in between holiday chores or for when you finally get to cozy up at night.

James Patterson began a project this year called "BookShots," a series of 150-page novellas aimed at busy readers who have abandoned reading.

"CrossKill" features two of Patterson readers' favorites: Alex Cross and Gary Sonji. Cross knows Sonji, the villain featured in "Along Came a Spider," is dead. So how is it he could have gunned down Cross' partner? Readers will race with Cross to the finish line of this fast-moving thriller. All titles from Patterson's "BookShots" series can be read in one sitting. Perfect for the holidays, indeed.

Animal lovers won't be able to resist the charms of Greg Kincaid's heartwarming novel, "A Dog Named Christmas." In this uplifting story, a unique young man named Todd showcases the meaning of Christmas spirit to his family and his community by spreading good will toward homeless pets in his local animal shelter.

Todd persuades his reluctant family to foster a dog for the holidays, and he names him Christmas. But what about the other animals left in the shelter? If you're looking for a fast and pure dose of Christmas joy, "A Dog Named Christmas," at 148 pages, will be a winner.

You might also like the prequel, "Christmas with Tucker," and the sequel, which follows Todd into adulthood, "A Christmas Home." "A Dog Named Christmas" was also made into a heart-tugging Hallmark TV movie, which is available on DVD at Kanawha County Public Library.

With "Another Brooklyn," National Book Award-winning author and 2015 West Virginia Book Festival speaker Jacqueline Woodson gives readers her first adult book in decades.

This small, beautifully crafted coming-of-age novel transports readers to 1970s Brooklyn. The story follows protagonist August and her three best friends through their formative adolescent years as they try to hold onto their dreams while they confront the difficult realities of adulthood.

August's memories unfold with emotional resonance to create an intense and moving story about race, friendship and change.

Country music fans won't want to miss Willie Nelson's new holiday novel, "Pretty Paper," written in collaboration with David Ritz. This warm Christmas fable, based on the classic song of the same title, takes place in Texas during the 1960s.

During the bustle of the holiday season, Willie notices a legless street vendor selling wrapping paper. Willie asks him for his story, but the vendor, named Vernon, has no interest in sharing information about his past.

A tentative friendship forms, and Willie hopes to help Vernon through his tough times. Nelson is a natural storyteller, and this feel-good book will leave readers feeling inspired.

Fans of "Gone Girl" will enjoy Gillian Flynn's spooky novella, "The Grownup." This classic ghostly tale, enlivened by Flynn's flare for twisty thrills, introduces us to our clever young narrator, who makes ends meet through shifty work as a psychic after leaving some other unsavory work behind.

When Susan Burke arrives looking for help with the ghosts in her haunted Victorian home, our narrator dismisses her concerns as silly, rich lady drama. Readers will only think they know where this story is headed. At 62 pages, "The Grownup" is definitely a short read, perfect for anyone who might enjoy a little horror during the holidays.

In "The Red Bandanna: A Life, A Choice, A Legacy," sports journalist Tom Rinaldi shares the inspiring true story of Welles Crowther. Welles worked a Wall Street job at the World Trade Center, and in the days after 9/11, his parents worried desperately about what had happened to him.

Then, months later, his mother heard about a man with a red bandanna who repeatedly climbed the World Trade Center stairs to rescue injured survivors. They knew Welles had always carried a red bandanna. 

"The Red Bandanna" celebrates the spirit of a young hero and showcases the heartbreaking loss felt by those who loved him. This vivid and moving book is a tribute to Crowther's brave spirit and to the idea that every person can make a big difference in the lives of others.

J.K. Rowling might disagree with the phrase "success breeds success." In "Very Good Lives," an 80-page book that includes her 2008 Harvard commencement speech, she counters with the idea that failure is a gift.

She writes, "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.''

Rowling honestly addresses fears, failures and the power of imagination. This inspirational, even life-changing advice, will have you going into the new year with a more positive outlook.

No need to quit reading during this busy time of year - you'll easily get through one of these quick reads. And if you didn't find something to suit your tastes in this list, just get in touch with your friendly local librarian. We are always happy to help.

For more information on these books or others, contact the main branch of the Kanawha County Public Library at 304-343-4646 or visit


'100 Seconds': Trimming the tree http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ05/161219947 GZ05 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ05/161219947 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:42:08 -0500 Douglas Imbrogno By Douglas Imbrogno After a hiatus of a couple of weeks, the "100 Seconds" short video series of the Charleston Gazette-Mail returns with a 100-second hunt for the perfect Christmas tree, from picking it out from a Big Brothers and Big Sisters lot, to carting it home and - with the judicious observance of several house cats - loading it up with lights and ornaments.

This video has perhaps the most editing slices of any we've done in the series.

Check for yourself by checking out past "100 Seconds" videos at facebook.com/100seconds.

Reach Douglas Imbrogno at


304-348-3017 or follow

@douglaseye on Twitter.

Arts Notes: Dec. 11, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0604/161219950 GZ0604 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0604/161219950 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:37:21 -0500 The Huntington Museum of Art will host a book launch from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for the biography of Alex E. Booth Jr., titled "Walk Faster, Alex," written by his wife Katherine Booth and published by Snow Publishing in Sarasota, Florida.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase through The Museum Shop, and the event will include remarks by HMA Executive Director Geoffrey K. Fleming and Senior Curator Christopher Hatten on the many contributions of Alex E. Booth Jr., to HMA over the years.

Dr. Steven S. Bryant, Executive Director of the Booth Leadership Initiative of the Booth Family Foundation, will speak about the current projects, which form the Foundation's focus.

Refreshments will be served. This is a Macy's Free Tuesday event.

In addition to donating many important works of art to HMA's Permanent Collection, Booth's contributions to the Walter Gropius Master Artist Workshop Series have been invaluable, museum representatives said.

Under his guidance and through a bequest by his mother, Roxanna Y. Booth, the idea of the artist-in-residence at HMA was given a stronger focus. The Gropius series has provided individuals the chance to work under nationally, and often internationally, acclaimed artists.

For more information on events at HMA, visit www.hmoa.org or call 304-529-2701.

The Berkeley Arts Council will offer classes in photography and painting in the New Year.

Professional photographer David Rehor will offer "Getting to Know Your Digital Camera" and "Painting with Light" on Jan. 21, 28, Feb. 4 and 11.

Teaching artist Judith Becker will offer an introduction to "Painting with Pastels" from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 9, 26, Feb. 2 and 9, and, for more experienced students, "Painting cut glass and crystal objects, other glass objects and reflective window glass scenes" from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 20, 27, Feb. 3 and 10.

Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. For details and online registration, visit berkeleyartswv.org/instruction.

All artists who are members of or who join the Berkeley Arts Council are invited to exhibit one or two art works in the Berkeley Art Works gallery, Jan. 11 through Feb. 18. There will be a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 20.

The exhibit is not juried. Any current 2017 member of the Berkeley Arts Council may participate in the exhibit. Artists who are not current members may join or renew online or at the gallery when the artwork is delivered for the exhibit. There is no entry fee other than membership dues. Participation in the exhibit is a benefit of membership.

Review: WV writer spins dystopian fantasy series http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0605/161219957 GZ0605 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0605/161219957 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:31:09 -0500 Review

By M. Lynn Squires

For the Sunday Gazette-Mail

What book genre is "Frenzy," you ask? Well, it's a contemporary romance. But it's also paranormal. And young adult. And horror.

"Frenzy" checks the boxes in several categories, but overall, the book by Casey L. Bond is simply an uncommonly good story. Before you dismiss it as not being like anything you usually read, consider making an exception.

"Frenzy" takes you into a dystopian world believable enough to be real. It's a future world you can easily imagine evolving from life as you know it, where food is scarce, shelter is dependent on proximity to a floodplain and trust is reserved for only those closest to you.

A viral apocalypse devastates the world, and the infected seek to destroy those who survive unscathed. One small pocket of survivors scratch out an existence in Blackwater Colony, a small village between a raging river and on the wrong side of the flood wall.

Beyond the river is a forest that can provide desperately needed food proteins. Beyond the flood wall is the deadly danger of a ravaged city. The steel and concrete desert where life once flourished now is a danger zone where needed supplies can be extracted, but at the risk of the scavengers' lives.

Whether you embrace your certainty of or suspend your disbelief in vampires and the undead, Bond deftly weaves the presence of these creatures of the night through the story.

The night-walkers are both a deadly threat and a saving grace to the residents of Blackwater Colony. The infected are those slowly succumbing to the virus that gradually consumes their flesh and their minds.

When her only sister is bitten by one of the infected, Porcshia lost the family member closest to her. Her father's presence in her life was sporadic, as he distanced himself from his irrational wife and, by extension, Porschia's younger brother and herself.

The family's food ration never seems to be enough. At her mother's insistence, Porcshia follows her sister's path by being selected to hunt, thereby increasing her family's food ration.

The night-walkers enter into a treaty with Blackwater's residents. The night-walkers will provide protection for the residents selected to hunt in the dangerous forest. In turn, the ones on the hunting rotation provide blood meals twice daily for the night-walkers. The arrangement is sound, until the people of Blackwater begin dying.

Roman, a leader of the night-walkers, and his blood-fed crew seem like the protection the hunters need. But doubt creeps in.

Will the hunters simply be more vulnerable now? Does the distrust of the night-walkers fuel the town dwellers fear? Or do the night-walkers compel distrust with their own lack of self-control?

Porschia knows she must somehow survive the treacherous position she has been thrust into. She must hunt. She must submit to dangerous night-walkers for their subsistence.

She must marry someone in the colony if she is ever to escape her controlling mother and protect her little brother. She must learn to accept her sister's fate, all the while looking into the same darkness her sister faced.

Bond is a prolific West Virginia writer, having published more than a dozen books in the last several years.

"Frenzy" is book one of five volumes: "Frenzy," "Frantic," "Frequency," "Friction" and "Fraud." As well-written series books do, "Frenzy" compels the reader to move to the next volume.

Bond spins a captivating tale. Her writing is rich with a sense of place. Her characters live in near hopelessness, physically and emotionally. The reader's empathy is tapped again and again until he or she becomes a silent supporter of Porschia and her struggles.

Bond is the author of the new adult books "The Sin Series," which was the winner of the prestigious 2015 Utopia Award for Best Serial Series, as well as "The Temptation Serial Series," "Devil Creek," "Shady Bay," "Crazy Love" and co-author of "Dark Bishop."

In addition to the "Frenzy" series, her other young adult books include: the award-winning "Harvest Saga" (Reap/ Best World Building award in 2014 from IABB, Best Dystopian Series from 2015 Pour Over Parchment awards), "Resist & Reclaim," "Catalyst," "Prisoner of Prophecy" (CHBB Publishing), "Liquid" and "Winter Shadows."

Anthology works include: "Seven," "Fractured Glass" , "Prep for Doom" and "Light in the Darkness."

She also co-wrote with her daughter Juliet, a children's book titled "Chasing Wishes."

Follow Bond on Twitter and Instagram @authorcaseybond, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorcaseybond, and check out her website at www.authorcaseybond.com.

M. Lynne Squires' latest book

is "Mid-Century Recipes

from Cocktails to Comfort Food."

Check it out at mlynne.com.

Garden Guru: Saying goodbye to WV http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0503/161219958 GZ0503 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0503/161219958 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:30:59 -0500 By John Porter Garden Guru By By John Porter Garden Guru I'm not one who likes to break bad news. In fact, most people would call me a softie. But I do have some bad news to share with my readers. I'll end on a positive note, so it won't all be a downer today.

My days as the Garden Guru and as an extension agent with West Virginia University are coming to a close. Most of my friends, coworkers, and colleagues already know this, but I figured it was about time to share the news with the rest of my reading audience.

I have accepted a position with the University of Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and will be leaving my position here Jan. 3 to move West. For my avid readers, I plan to write a few more articles and finish out the year. It is, after all, a fitting close to one chapter and a beginning of another.

Had you asked me at the beginning of 2016 if I was going to move away or find another job, the answer would have been no. But things have a way of happening that make you change your perspective.

Early in the year, after losing funding from the county commission, my colleagues and I were told one of our positions may be eliminated. After several sleepless nights, a few panic attacks and much thought, I decided to place myself on the market to see what opportunities may be available.

Since then, my officemates and I were told by our administration that a position wouldn't be eliminated, but by that time I had already found an opportunity too good to pass up.

And even though the immediate situation isn't dire, there are dark times ahead for both the state and the extension service as budgets continue to tighten. It seems I may be getting out while getting's good.

I'll miss my work here with extension. And I'll also miss being the Garden Guru. It will definitely be different for a while going out in public with the possibility of total anonymity, at least for a while.

I'll miss those encounters, where people ask, "Aren't you the guy in the paper?" or "Aren't you the guy on TV?" or they tell me they enjoy my articles. I'll definitely miss that.

But opportunity abounds for me. I'll be doing extension programs based on urban agriculture in the Omaha, Nebraska, area. It seems a great fit, since I've dedicated most of my work over the last few years to urban agriculture, especially the wildly successful WV Urban Ag Conference.

In addition to the extension work, I'll be a professor at the Nebraska College for Technical Agriculture, where I will develop and teach a new certificate and degree program in Urban Agriculture. The job will also entail working with troubled youth at the farm for the Omaha Home for Boys.

The job sounds like it will be perfect for me, and I'm excited about all the opportunities ahead. I'll also be better able to pursue a goal I've had most of my life. My plan is to start working on a Ph.D. soon after I move.

Thank you so much for being a great audience. I've loved every minute of it, and hope to continue writing in some form in the future.

So, while I only have a few articles left here, you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with my writing (@wvgardenguru - for now, anyway). And, who knows, maybe I'll be back one day.

Oh, and on a related note, if anyone is looking for a lovely home in Kanawha City, with the Garden Guru's own gardens included, there's an open house today (4415 Washington Ave. SE).

So now a positive note. The ever-prized and sought-after WVU Extension Garden Calendars are now in stock.

You can pick up your calendar at any of the Kanawha County libraries this week. We also have some available at the extension office (4700 MacCorkle Ave. SE, Suite 101, Kanawha City).

This year's theme is Herb Appeal, and each month features a different culinary herb. Due to shipping costs, it is hard for us to ship the calendars.

John Porter is the WVU Extension Service agent for agriculture and natural resources in Kanawha County. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter at

@WVgardenguru and online at

wvgardenguru.com. Contact him at john.porter@mail.wvu.edu or 304-720-9573.

Food Notes: Dec. 11, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0502/161219963 GZ0502 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0502/161219963 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:29:19 -0500 Charleston's first Marco's Pizza is celebrating its grand opening today from 1 to 4 p.m.

The pizzeria, which is located at 100 Patrick St. Plaza, will celebrate with free pizza, a live disc jockey, face painting and a bounce house for kids, and a raffle for free pizza for a year.

Adaland Mansion in Philippi will host a buffet with seatings between 1 and 3:30 p.m. today.

The menu includes two entrees, a variety of side dishes, salad with Lucy's secret dressing, homemade bread and a collection of Lucy's desserts.

For reservations, call 304-457-1587 or 304-457-2415. Adult tickets are $20 plus gratuity.

Adaland will sponsor a Christmas buffet tea at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Seating is limited for this gala event featuring tea, sandwiches and a wide selection of pastries.

Tickets for the Christmas buffet tea are $20 plus gratuity.

Adaland's final event of the 2016 season is the New Year's Eve buffet dinner.

Chef Jay Mahoney, certified executive chef and program coordinator for Culinary Arts at Pierpont Community and Technical College, will prepare dinner.

There will be 5 and 7:30 p.m. seatings for the meal. The event will feature live music and a complimentary glass of champagne.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 304-457-1587 or 304-457-2415.

Chick-fil-A Southridge is hosting an all-you-can-eat nugget event from 5-8 p.m. Monday.

For $12.50 a person, guests can enjoy all-you-can-eat nuggets. This event includes waffle potato fries and a beverage.

For more information, find the All You Can Eat Nuggets event page on Facebook or contact the store.

Chick-fil-A Southridge is located at 2509 Mountaineer Blvd. in Charleston.

Give the gift of dining this holiday season. For the first time, Charleston Restaurant Week is selling gift certificates.

The $30 gift certificates are good for a meal at any restaurant during the week, Jan. 23-28 at any participating restaurant.

For more information or to purchase a gift certificate, visit http://cwvrestaurantweek.com

Paterno's at the Park will host an Italian Dinner Buffet from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 20.

The menu features dishes including mozzarella sticks, penne Alfredo with grilled chicken, rigatoni and meatballs, glazed ham, a prime rib carving station, assorted desserts, and several other options.

The full bar and drink selections will be available.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit from 6 to 8 p.m. Reservations are suggested. The buffet is $9.95 for kids and $29.95 for adults.

Paterno's is located at 601 Morris St. in Charleston. For more information or to make a reservation, call 304-205-5482.

Santa will make his last appearance before Christmas at the Capitol Market Saturday.

Santa will stroll the indoor and outdoor markets between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday with free candy canes for guests.

The Capitol Market is located at 800 Smith St. in Charleston.

Join Mrs. Claus and the elves for some Christmas fun Saturday at the Christ Kitchen Food Pantry located at 419 B St., St. Albans from 2 to 4 p.m.

Decorate cookies, work on crafts and hear stories about Christmas. Santa Claus may even make an appearance. Guests are required to RSVP for the family-friendly event.

To RSVP and for more information, call Vickie at 304-610-8382.

Man arrested after allegedly shooting at troopers http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0118/161219965 GZ0118 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0118/161219965 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 13:40:14 -0500 ISABAN - One man is in custody after he shot at West Virginia State Police troopers, pinning them behind a cruiser for more than half an hour as they dodged flying bullets, according to 1st Sgt. Andy Perdue, of the Logan and Mingo County detachments.

Shadallen Birchfield, 32, faces six counts of attempted murder, six counts of wanton endangerment with a firearm and three counts of battery on a police officer, Perdue said.

Troopers were called to a trailer at Isaban, a small community on the Mingo and McDowell County line, shortly after 11 p.m. Friday night because of a reported heated dispute between Birchfield and a neighbor. Birchfield's sister met the troopers when they arrived and told them her brother was acting erratic, Perdue said.

Perdue said Birchfield had been taking prescription Suboxone, which used to treat pain and to treat addictions to other narcotic pain relievers, and had been drinking heavily that night. After the sister talked with the troopers, Birchfield came out of the trailer and started shooting at them, Perdue said.

The sister was able to escape out of the back window of the trailer, Perdue said.

Birchfield fired several rounds inside the trailer, including firing shots at the television and ceiling fan, Perdue said. No one was struck.

Troopers fired four shots at Birchfield but didn't hit him.

Birchfield eventually came out of the trailer after troopers talked to him and persuaded him to walk away from the gun. He resisted arrest and suffered minor injuries as troopers handcuffed him, Perdue said, and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Birchfield is now being held at Southwestern Regional Jail.

Salvation Army volunteer sees need to care for others http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0120/161219966 GZ0120 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0120/161219966 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 12:30:55 -0500 By Jean Tarbett Hardiman By By Jean Tarbett Hardiman The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON - Elaine Irish remembers a time during her childhood when her mother became aware of a homeless woman in their community who needed a coat. Her mother had just two coats - a trench coat and a heavy winter coat. She gave the woman her heavy winter coat.

Irish also remembers her father anonymously helping people financially, and how all the canning her mother did each summer filled the basement and came out throughout the winter not only for their family but for others in need.

Irish was paying attention, and today, as a 69-year-old retired special education teacher, is among the most active volunteers with the Salvation Army in Huntington. As a member of the Salvation Army Church congregation and Corps Sergeant Major with the organization, she teaches Sunday school to elementary children, plays the piano at some services, and teams up with husband, Michael, to plan the music. She also creates the bulletin, teaches a Bible lesson to children during the Family Night on Mondays and picks up food from local restaurants and coordinates meals at noon every Saturday, during an event called Showers of Blessing.

Michael Irish runs the sound system for the church and serves as chaplain for the men's group, and the couple maintains flower beds planted in memory of his parents, Bruce and Leona Irish, out front of the building at 1227 3rd Ave.

Elaine is originally from Chesapeake, Ohio, where she lives today, saying she can't believe God lets her live in a beautiful setting in the woods where she gets to see the trees and the wildlife on a daily basis. Before moving back home to care for family, she spent some years living out of state, mostly in Michigan and Ohio.

The Irishes' service with the Salvation Army started years ago, when Elaine and Michael were both living and going to school in Wilmore, Kentucky. She was in seminary at the time.

"We thought we were going to be missionaries," she said. They never did go live overseas, but she says looking back, they realize they've done a great deal of mission work right at home.

They started out as bell-ringers for the Salvation Army while they were in school, though Elaine says she doesn't do that anymore for health reasons. After that, they decided to both work during one summer break at a Salvation Army Summer Camp. She worked as the craft director. Then, when she and Michael had settled in Michigan, they discovered a Salvation Army church they liked. They had been going to another church in the small town, but because it didn't have much for their kids, they started participating in the Salvation Army's weekday program for children, and then found themselves attending on Sundays as well.

"We joined the church and became soldiers in the Salvation Army," she said. "In the Salvation Army, a soldier is expected to participate. You don't just come to church. So we got busy doing things."

The first Sunday they attended, she noticed the congregation had to sing a cappella because it had no musician to play. She offered to play the piano.

"I just walked up and said, 'I can play,' and they said, 'We've been praying about that,"' she recalled.

She eventually got a paid position as an envoy assisting an officer there.

"When we moved back here, we did whatever needed to be done," Irish said. Their two children are grown now. Their daughter, Manda Pascoe, lives in Pennsylvania and their son, Sean Irish, lives in Florida.

Elaine Irish said she's not down at the Salvation Army every single day of the week, but she's down there quite a bit, enough for another volunteer to say that, "If you're going to follow Miss Elaine around, you need a pair of roller skates."

She enjoys the Showers of Blessing lunch on Saturdays, which sometimes is food donated from Red Lobster or Bob Evans, and sometimes is food cooked up in their kitchen. She invites any local restaurateurs who would like to donate unused food to contact the Salvation Army.

The Showers of Blessing lunch, which is free, draws a lot of regulars, some of whom are people in need and some of whom just like the company, including seniors who live in the high rise across the street. All are welcome, she said.

The Salvation Army also stays busy providing food baskets, clothing and other support for people in need all year long. It assists fire victims when needed, and offers Monday night activities for families. The red kettles collect funds for these services, and the Salvation Army also organizes an Angel Tree program for holiday donations as well.

Along with her regular volunteer duties, Irish also has been relearning Spanish after taking it in school 40 years ago. She's befriended a woman from Mexico and her family. She said the woman was sitting in church one day, and Irish approached her and started chatting away in English before the woman said, in Spanish, "No English."

"I stumbled through enough Spanish to welcome her and tell her my name," Irish said.

Irish then bought herself an English-Spanish dictionary and has taken the family under her wing as much as she can, even going to doctors' appointments to translate, taking the children to church when their mother has to work, and going out to eat with the family.

While they were eating out one night, Irish said they came across a high school Spanish teacher who - after meeting the Mexican woman - offered to help teach Spanish classes at the Salvation Army. That was definitely a "God thing," Irish said, adding the classes should be getting started again soon.

In all, the Salvation Army is "a picture of what I think the church ought to be," she said. "We try to minister to the whole person, physically, spiritually, socially and emotionally. How can you meet somebody's spiritual needs if they're hungry?"

Sen. Manchin: Funding bill's "temporary fix" for miners' benefits inhumane, unacceptable (Gazette) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0405/161219967 GZ0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ0405/161219967 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 11:46:27 -0500 By Sen. Joe Manchin By By Sen. Joe Manchin This week, I was forced to vote against the continuing resolution to keep the government funded because it did not include an acceptable and reasonable solution for retired miners' health care and pensions. This four-month "fix" for the miners health care only means that these men and women will be notified again in January that they are going to lose their health care benefits in April. It also means that we will have to keep fighting for the permanent benefits these hardworking men and women were promised time and time again.

Let me be clear, this is not a solution. This temporary fix is inhumane and unacceptable. Thousands of miners and their families will continue to face uncertainty and are still stuck counting down the days until they lose their hard-earned healthcare benefits. I am proud that Senator Shelley Moore Capito stood with me in fighting for a long-term solution. I am deeply disappointed that our House delegation chose to vote for a four-month extension and leave town before we secured a permanent fix for our retired miners and widows.

On Friday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and I had a productive conversation about a defined path forward for our country's retired coal miners and widows who are on the verge of losing the health care benefits they were promised. I believe Sen. McConnell and I have come to an agreement on how we can work together to come up with a permanent solution that is worthy of these brave miners and their families.

This has been a long, difficult fight, but I am not done fighting. I will not stop fighting until our retired miners' health care and benefits are secured. I introduced this bill in July 2015. After a legislative hearing earlier this year, the Senate Finance Committee passed this bill with a bipartisan vote of 18-8 in September clearing it for final passage. It is a thoroughly bipartisan bill with nearly as many Republican as Democratic co-sponsors and has broad support in the House of Representatives.

For these reasons, it is unacceptable that the Senate cannot pass the full Miners Protection Act. For two years, we have known that this deadline was approaching. A partial temporary funding scheme is inadequate and unfair to the miners who have given so much to this country.

Because of this, I spent all of the past week on the Senate Floor blocking everything until there was movement on miner's health care. I did not take pride in blocking some good pieces of legislation - including my own, but I was left with no choice.

We, as a nation, have a moral obligation to uphold our promises to those who have given so much to our country. Seventy years ago, President Harry S. Truman promised that the government would guarantee our brave coal miners' benefits in return for their service. As a result, coal miners propelled the American economy, ushering in decades of economic growth, started an energy boom that made the U.S. a superpower, and won two World Wars. This agreement was a sacred bond between worker and country, and it captured the very best of America.

Without a permanent solution to this problem, our retirees suffering from black lung, who gave not only their years of service but also sacrificed their health, will be forced to choose between getting that oxygen tank they rely on to breathe or paying their electric bill. Surviving widows will be forced to choose between buying their blood pressure medicine or putting food on their tables.

While the temporary funding will prevent miners from losing their healthcare on Dec. 31, it just kicks the issue until April, when the same miners will face the same uncertainty they face now. I am in constant contact with the United Mine Workers of America and West Virginia coal miners, and, as I have for the past year, I will continue to fight every day until Congress ensures these miners are able to receive their modest pensions benefits without reduction and without imposing on the American taxpayer to do so.

As we head towards the holidays and the New Year, a time that should be filled with happiness and joy, thousands of miners and their families continue to agonize over how they are going to survive without their healthcare benefits. I have received letters from hundreds of miners and their families, including a seven-year old little girl heartbroken over the possibility that her grandparents would not be able to pay for their medicine.

After such a divisive presidential election, I know many of you are rightly frustrated with Washington and its politicians. I am too. Congress needs to show Americans, and particularly our miners, that it can come together and honor a promise.

Though I know the work for our miners is not finished, I remain faithful in America's political process and optimistic in its ability to enact meaningful change in people's lives. In this effort, I urge West Virginians to remain hopeful for our future, because together, we will continue to build a better, stronger Mountain State for everyone.

Little-known Battle of Charleston spotlighted in new book http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ01/161219970 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20161210/GZ01/161219970 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:41:53 -0500 Rick Steelhammer By Rick Steelhammer For every major battle that shaped the course of America's Civil War, there were scores of smaller, less-defining engagements that produced many of the same incidences of cunning, cowardice, bravery and blundering that could be found on the battlefields of a Gettysburg or an Antietam.

Such was the case with the Sept. 13, 1862 Battle of Charleston, a day-long artillery duel and series of firefights that left 43 men dead and 179 wounded, a number of downtown buildings in flames, and most of the town's 1,500 residents temporarily in flight.

"We had several killed and wounded in this affair," Sgt. Joseph Pearson, who served with the 44th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the battle, wrote in his journal, "but it was only a skirmish to what we afterwards learned of war. Yet I was more impressed with the dreadful feeling of that little action than all the others I was in to the finish."

Pearson's impressions of the little-known battle are among hundreds of first-person accounts gleaned from diaries, journals, letters and family papers by West Virginia State Archives historian Terry Lowry to add detail and a rich human element in telling the story of the engagement in his recently released book, "The Battle of Charleston and the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign."

Confederate forces were confident and on the attack in the weeks leading up to the battle. Gen. Albert Gallatin Jenkins, who grew up on his family's Green Bottom plantation in Cabell County, led a cavalry raid across the mountains of what is now West Virginia, starting from Monroe County and briefly crossed into Ohio before returning to Buffalo on the Kanawha River, 30 miles downriver from Charleston, on Sept. 9. Just before Jenkins began his raid, Union Gen. Jacob Cox led a force of 5,000 federal troops out of the Kanawha Valley to aid in the defense of Washington, D.C., leaving an equal number of soldiers behind to protect the valley from a Confederate raid on the salt works east of Charleston.

The 5,000 federal troops left behind under the command of Col. Joseph Lightburn, an officer with no battlefield experience, were believed by Lightburn to not be up to the task of stopping the 8,000 to 10,000 men led by Confederate Gen. William Wing Loring, who arrived on the outskirts of Fayetteville on Sept. 10, and immediately began pushing the federal force back down the Kanawha toward Charleston.

Despite constant pressure from Confederate skirmishers and the demands of keeping an 800-wagon supply train moving, Lightburn managed to lead an orderly retreat past Gauley Bridge and Montgomery, stopping to load up what supplies remained at the Union encampment at Belle before setting it ablaze and continuing toward Charleston.

As the federal soldiers marched past the salt works at Malden, a number of them paused long enough to roll barrels of processed salt into the Kanawha River, while others burned two of the largest salt furnaces that could be seen. An Ohio newspaper reporter watched as slaves put down their burdens and walked away from still-running salt processing machinery to join the march to Ohio and freedom.

The first Union soldiers began arriving in Charleston shortly after daybreak and began building barricades from fence rails in the pastures and firing positions in the cornfields that made up the East End at that time. Although it was late summer in the Kanawha Valley, many soldiers were wet and cold from the rain showers they marched through during the night.

"Most of us were shaking as if we had the ague, owing to being so wet and having no covering," Cpl. John Harrison of the 44th Ohio Infantry wrote in his diary. Shortly after reaching the town, Harrison observed its residents "packing up their things and leaving as fast as possible," he wrote. "It was not long till I learned that they were expecting the town soon to be burned."

Col. Lightburn had warned citizens of the coming battle and advised them to leave town. Many of them traveled only as far as Cox's Hill, site of the present-day Spring Hill Cemetery, while others followed the Union wagon train or joined an armada of flatboats, skiffs, rafts and canoes in the Kanawha River carrying citizens and slaves on a three-day float to Gallipolis on the Ohio.

Cannon fire broke out from federal batteries on both sides of the Kanawha as Confederate soldiers began swarming into the sleepy river town. Confederate artillerymen later returned fire from batteries set up near the present-day University of Charleston and from the heights of Fort Hill.

Among the first Confederate elements reaching the town were members of Co. H of the 22nd Virginia Infantry, drawn mainly from the ranks of the former Kanawha Riflemen, a unit formed in Charleston before the outbreak of war. For some members of the 22nd and its commander, Col. George S. Patton, a Charleston lawyer and grandfather of the World War II General of the same name, the Battle of Charleston would offer them their last look at their hometown.

By midday, the battle had moved to the downtown area, where federal troops worked furiously to load supplies from temporary warehouses into wagons as the Southern troops approached. On Lightburn's orders, the Charleston Branch of the Bank of Virginia, the Kanawha House hotel, the Mercer Academy and several other stores and homes filled with supplies that could not be carted away in time were torched.

After crossing the Elk River on a cable suspension bridge near present-day Washington Street, federal troops cut the span's suspension cables and burned its deck, then set up firing positions in a field facing the Elk in what is now Charleston's West Side. Firing continued until dusk, and then broke off, after Loring opted to occupy the newly won city for what turned out to be less than one month instead of pursue the Union force.

"Never again in the course of the war would the Kanawha Valley be seriously threatened by any Confederate force," Lowry wrote.

The Kanawha Valley Campaign of 1862 "has become one of the most neglected episodes of the Civil War," according to Lowry, possibly because it happened at about the same time as the bloodier Battle of Antietam, which received immediate national attention. Now that 154 years have passed since the Battle of Charleston and the campaign that preceded it took place, "it is beyond time that it is given its due," Lowry wrote.

Lowry unearthed hundreds of photographs, maps and drawings to illustrate his 479-page, $34.95 book, which includes extensive casualty lists as well as post-war biographical sketches of many of the battle's key veterans. "The Battle of Charleston and the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign" was produced by 35th Star Publishing and is available at area bookstores or by contacting www.35thstar.com.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelhammer@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5169 or follow @rsteelhammer on Twitter.