www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: August 28, 2015 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT01/308289970 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT01/308289970 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Adkins, Daniel W. 11 a.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield.


Agee, Bill R. 2 p.m., Stump Funeral Home, Grantsville.


Badger, Edna V. Noon, New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church, Charleston.


Ball, Florence H. 1 p.m., Good Hope Baptist Church, Milton.


Baxter, Elizabeth M. 2 p.m., Bartlett


Bell, Ada M. 11 a.m., Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Lewisburg.


Boyles, Karen 1 p.m., Harding Funerals & Cremations Chapel, Kanawha City.


Knuckles, Elton W. 1 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.


Legg, Thomas W. 11 a.m., Independent Fellowship Church, Ravenswood.


Mobley, Levi M. 2:30 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.


Pryor, Harold 1 p.m., O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.


Rollins, Leola L. 1 p.m., Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.


Schoolcraft, Karen 1 p.m., Shrewsbury Church of God, Belle.


Spencer, Mary K. 2 p.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

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Betty "Betsy" Anders http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289990 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289990 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Betsy passed away peacefully on Aug. 24, 2015, surrounded by her family, after a short illness. She was born Oct. 2, 1949 to Delmar Daniel Bryant and Catherine Louise Groetz Bryant in New Martinsville. She was preceded in death by her husband, James Edward Anders.

She is survived by a daughter, Cindy (Andy) Crihfield of Harmony; son, Chuck Dunlap of Carolina Beach, N.C.; stepdaughter, Beth Anders of Nicholasville, Ky.; stepdaughter, Dame Hudson of Wilmore, Ky.; and stepson, Todd Anders of Knoxville, Tenn. She is also survived by a twin sister, Maryann (Dale) Vig of Madison, Wis.; sister, Jeanne (Tom) Mullett of Hilton Head, S.C.; brother, Jim (Norah) Bryant of Gulfport, Miss.; and sister-in-law, Patricia Petro of Lexington, Ky. Betsy leaves behind 10 grandchildren, Morgan, Emily, Hannah, Cory, Jocelyn, Ocean, Baylor, Chloe, Taylor and Cady.

Betsy was a friend to all she knew. She never parted ways without a hug, kiss and "I love you." She was a best friend to her children and grandchildren, always being a listening ear and the constant encourager.

Retirement didn't turn out as Betsy had planned, but she was blessed to be able to vacation this summer for a few weeks visiting those she loved. She will be greatly missed by all those that were fortunate to have her in their lives.

The family would like to thank all those that prayed for her during the last nine months. We would also like to thank Dr. Nagarajan and the staff at David Lee Cancer Center; Holly McComas, her home hospice nurse, for her compassionate care; the staff at Hubbard Hospice House for the amazing care of not only Betsy but also her family. A special thank you to her family doctor, Dr. Julie DeTemple, for listening to her instinct and sending Betsy for testing. Without the diagnosis, we may not have been blessed to share the last nine months loving Betsy!

We rejoice in the knowledge that Betsy is with the Lord knowing we will be reunited one day!

2 Corinthians 5:8: Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.

Memorial service will be held at noon Saturday, Aug. 29, at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston, with Pastor Tim Ashley officiating. The family will receive family and friends from 10 a.m. to noon.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kanawha Hospice Care, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W., Charleston, WV 25387.

You may send condolences to the family at www.barlowbonsall.com.

Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home has been entrusted to handle the arrangements.

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Jon Robert Barton http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289996 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289996 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Jon Robert "Bob" Barton, 64, of Cedar Grove, passed away Monday, Aug. 24, at Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown, after a long illness.

Jon was a retired teacher from Cedar Grove Community School and Mary Ingles School with 40 years of service. He was an avid Cleveland Browns and New York Mets fan.

Jon was preceded in death by his mother, Mildred E. Barton.

Surviving are his wife, Patricia L. Murphy Barton at home; daughters, Jaime Elisabeth and Erin Leigh Barton, also at home; stepchildren, Gary Hess and his family and LaShawna Johnson and her family; sister, Sue Newcombe of Iron Station, N.C.; brothers, Kenny Barton of Cedar Grove and Rick Barton and his wife, Kit, of East Bank; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other family members and friends.

Service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at Cedar Grove Community School, 200 John St., Cedar Grove, WV 25039, with the Rev. Darick Biondi officiating. Burial will follow the service in Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens, Glasgow.

Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the school in Cedar Grove.

The family would like to thank Dr. Jeffrey Trump, Dr. Justin Cohen and Dr. Michael Craig, and the Rosenbaum family house, who provided a home away from home during Jon's long illness.

Condolences may be sent to the family via www.cookefuneralhome.com.

Cooke Funeral Home, Cedar Grove, is serving the Barton family.

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William "Bill" Blake http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289992 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289992 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 William "Bill" Poindexter Blake of Lewisburg, WV died peacefully in Charlotte, NC on August 20, 2015 at the age of 74.

Bill is survived by his loving wife, Jane Sharpe; his children, Elizabeth Klase of Charlotte, NC, Thomas Malcolm (Heather) of Houston, TX, and Jennifer Lynn of Winston-Salem, NC; two granddaughters, Alexa Riley and Sydney Rae, both of Houston, TX; and two brothers, Thomas Henry II of St. Albans, WV and Robert Lilly of Radford, VA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Thomas Henry and Evadyne Lilly, both of St. Albans, WV and one brother, John Gray of St. Albans, WV.

Bill was born August 3, 1941 in Charleston, WV. He was a graduate of St. Albans High School. He received both his Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering and his Master's Degree in Business from West Virginia University.

Bill was an avid hunter and loved walking in the mountains of West Virginia.

A celebration of his life will be held September 12, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. at Ronceverte Presbyterian Church in Ronceverte, WV. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Levine & Dickson Hospice House at Southminster, 8919 Park Road, Suite 1000, Charlotte, NC 28210.

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Pearley "Gene" Bowling http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289994 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289994 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Pearley "Gene" Bowling, 86, of Cannelton, formerly of Beards Fork, went home to be with the Lord on Aug. 24, 2015. He was born Aug. 4, 1929 in Williamson and was the son of the late Floyd and Nora Edwards. He was also preceded in death by a grandson, Steven.

He was a retired coal miner with 43 years of service and retired from Cannelton Coal Company. He was a member of Riverside Church of God and a veteran of the Army Air Force from 1946 to 1949. He was also a 43-year member of the UMWA and he was an avid gospel singer.

Surviving are his wife of 66 years, the Rev. Phyllis Burford Bowling; children, Rocky Bowling and wife, Delphia, of Oklahoma City, Terry Bowling of Scranton, Pa., Steve Bowling and wife, Kay, of Branson, Mo., David Bowling of Beards Fork and Patrick Bowling and wife, Kathy, of Ghent; brother, Ray Bowling of Holly Grove; sisters, Bonnie Cook and Joan Vilago, both of Spring Hill, Fla.; grandsons, Jeremiah, Brandon, Obidiah, Israel, Gary, Shane and Joseph; granddaughter, Mary; and great-grandchildren, Luna, Hanoi, Caleb, Eden, Caitland, Kal and Tristan.

Service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery, with the Rev. Billy Morris and the Rev. Roger Comer officiating. Burial will follow in Montgomery Memorial Park, London, with military honors.

Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent at www.odellfuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to Riverside Church of God, Riverside, W.Va.

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Margie Bradley http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289995 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289995 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Ola Margie Bradley, 71, of Itmann, passed away Aug. 26, 2015. Service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at Tankersley Funeral Home Chapel, Mullens. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, at the funeral home.

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Jewell Cavender http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289998 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289998 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Mrs. Jewell Fisher Cavender, 85, of Sissonville, passed away Aug. 23, 2015 at Hubbard Hospice House West.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Cavender; parents, Aubrey and Wavie Fisher; and brother, Robert Fisher.

She is survived by her daughters, Brenda and husband, Ernie Shettler, and Bobbie Coon; brothers, Gene and wife, Janet Fisher, and Rex and wife, Geneva Fisher; sister-in-law, Betty Fisher; grandchildren, Jeremiah Coon, Jaclyn and husband, Charlie Hartley, Matthew Gibson and Megan and husband, Ivan Scarberry; and seven great-grandchildren.

The family would like to say a special thank you to Dr. Arvind Shah, Dr. Ashish Sheth and Dr. Anmar Alrabadi and their staff and Hospice Care for all the care given to our mother.

A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at Fisher Chapel United Methodist Church, Sissonville, with Pastors Frank Allen, Jr. and Keith Monday officiating. Inurnment will be in Floral Hills Garden of Memories.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Hospice Care, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W., Charleston, WV 25387.

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

Gatens-Harding Funeral Home, 147 Main St., Poca, is serving the Cavender family.

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William R. Findley http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289993 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289993 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 William Roland Findley, 90, of Scott Depot, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015 at Hubbard Hospice House, Charleston.

Born Aug. 23, 1925 in Simpson, he was the youngest of seven children born to the late Ernest and Edythe Springer Findley. Also preceding him in death were his siblings and their spouses, John (Genevieve) Findley, Thelma (Carl) Cain, Paul (Helen) Findley, Nelda (Perry "Bing") Hardman, Hal Findley and Maudella Findley. He was also preceded by his brother-in-law, Edwin Fike.

Bill received his B.S. degree in chemistry from West Virginia University and was a former adjuster with Allstate Insurance. He served his country proudly as a lieutenant with the United States Navy and was a member of First Baptist Church, St. Albans.

Surviving are his wife, Reva E. Fike Findley; his children, Deborah A. Morris (Dave) of Cincinnati, Ohio, Rhonda Findley-Hall (Don) of South Charleston and J. Kevin Findley (Lee Ann) of Flemington; grandchildren, Devin Wojciechowski (Paul), David Morris (Ashley) and John Hall; as well as three great-grandchildren, D.J., Olivia and Andrew. Also surviving are his in-laws, Rogers Fike (Elizabeth) of Oakland, Md., Faye Fike of Arcadia, Fla., and Jennie Findley of Flemington, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane, with the Rev. Joel Harpold officiating. Entombment with military honors will follow in Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. You may also share sympathies with the family by visiting www.chapmanfuneralhomes.com.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to either Cabell Health Care Center, 1 Hidden Brook Way, Culloden, WV 25510 or to First Baptist Church, 523 Second St., St. Albans, WV 25177.

Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 3941 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane, is honored to serve the Findley family.

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Ethen Tyler Flint http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289971 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289971 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Ethen Tyler Flint of Braxton County was born July 18, 1990 and died Aug. 24, 2015.

He is loved by so many and he lived life to the fullest! Ethen will be missed by everyone, but we know he would not want us to grieve for long because we can have the hope of seeing him again!

His spirit is finally free and his soul is at rest! Rest easy Big "E."

There will be a bonfire in celebration of Ethen's free spirit lifestyle on Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 6 p.m. at Flint Field in Sutton. Bring a chair and stories to share.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Belle Grove Springs Rehabilitation; please make check payable to Roger "Rob" or Melinda Flint and put 'Belle Grove Springs Rehabilitation' in the memo. The donations are being accepted at Premier Bank, P.O. Box 40, Gassaway, WV 26624.

Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

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Sylvia Lerner Glazer http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289982 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/OBIT/308289982 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Sylvia Lerner Glazer, 73, of Charleston, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015 at home.

She was a retired secondary school teacher from Norfolk, Va.

Sylvia moved to Charleston in 1972 and attended Temple Israel.

She was a graduate of the National Cathedral School, Washington, D.C., and William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va.

Sylvia loved reading, making miniature gardens and spending time with her family.

Although birds and bats terrified her, she had a great love for dogs (especially cute tiny ones), horses and furry animals. She loved updating her Facebook page with seasonal cartoons and book recommendations.

Sylvia touched everyone in her life and left her love with all.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 34 years, Frederic Jay Glazer, and her parents, Herman and Dorothy Lerner.

She is survived by her son, Hoyt Glazer (Melanie) of Huntington; daughter, Hilary Glazer (Steve Jones) of Chicago, Ill.; and two grandchildren, Seth and Lydia Glazer.

Graveside service will be 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30, at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 8100 Granby St., Norfolk, VA 23505.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made to Kanawha Hospice Care, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W., Charleston, WV 25387-2536.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.barlowbonsall.com.

Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston, has been entrusted with the arrangements.

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Mylan shareholders approve pursuit of Perrigo http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ01/150829499 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ01/150829499 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:11:54 -0400 The Associated Press By The Associated Press NEW YORK - Mylan NV's shareholders have approved the company's hostile pursuit of Perrigo Co. and the generic drugmaker hopes to push ahead with a formal offer soon.

Perrigo, which makes over-the-counter medicines, has resisted repeated overtures from Mylan. In a statement, Perrigo said it is confident that its shareholders will reject Mylan's offer.

A combination of the two companies would create one of the world's largest makers of generic and over-the-counter medications.

In April, Mylan raised its offer for Perrigo to $232.23, or about $34.1 billion, in cash and stock. But Dublin-based Perrigo once again rejected the takeover offer. Following Friday's shareholder approval, Mylan said it plans on launching a formal offer for Perrigo in the coming weeks.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. was also pursuing Mylan, but is now buying the generics business of Allergan PLC. for $40.5 billion in a move to expand its position in the generics market.

Generic drugs are less expensive than name-brand drugs, but the prices of some generics are increasing because of a lack of competition or shortages brought on by manufacturing problems.

Mylan, formerly based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, reincorporated in the Netherlands in February as part of an acquisition that lowered its tax liabilities. The company was formed in West Virginia and still has a large facility in Morgantown.

Perrigo made a similar move in December 2013 when it moved its base to Dublin. The company has also been expanding its over-the-counter brand offerings. On Friday, it completed a $200 million buyout of GlaxoSmithKline's over-the-counter brands business.

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Williamson mayor, 2 other city officials resign http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ01/150829500 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ01/150829500 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:00:35 -0400 WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - Williamson Mayor Steve Knopp and two other city officials are stepping down.

Multiple media outlets report that Knopp, City Clerk Frances Frye and City Attorney Chris Younger announced their resignations at a City Council meeting on Thursday night.

Knopp and Frye said they are resigning because of health reasons. Younger said the job is too much with his private practice.

Frye had submitted her resignation earlier.

The resignations come amid citizens' complaints about a proposed 50 percent water and sewage rate increase.

The city owes a contractor, Veolia, more than $1 million. The company handles the city's water and street departments.

Knopp says he will remain in office through the next City Council meeting in September.

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Police and Marshall investigate mass fraternity party http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ01/150829501 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ01/150829501 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:00:08 -0400 HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Police and Marshall University are investigating a mass fraternity party involving several hundred students.

Several parties at fraternity houses along 5th Avenue in Huntington merged into one gathering on Aug. 22, the first weekend before classes, The Herald-Dispatch reported.

About 20 officers responded to the scene after police received calls about the parties. A majority of the students were cooperative, Huntington Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli said.

Police issued a number of citations to students for underage consumption, public intoxication, obstruction and noise violations, he said.

Officers had formed a riot formation to clear the students but no gear, shields, batons or tear gas were used, he said.

In addition to any criminal charges, students or organizations face university sanctions, such as suspension or probation, or intervention in the form of specialized training, said Lisa Martin, director of the Marshall Office of Student Conduct.

"We don't know if there will be individual consequences or group consequences at this point," Martin told the newspaper. "We're working with Chief Ciccarelli and Marshall Police; Student Affairs, Student Conduct and Greek affairs, we're all working together to see what happened this weekend."

Ciccarelli, Marshall Police Chief Jim Terry and other university officials met with fraternity presidents on Wednesday to discuss the event.

"The message I had for the presidents last night was that kind of behavior plays into every negative stereotype about fraternity life," Ciccarelli said Thursday. "They can either choose to go down that path or turn away from that sort of behavior and conduct."

Terry said the matter is a safety issue.

"It comes down to safety, and we're here to look out for the well-being of the student body," Terry said. "We told them what we'll tolerate from them. They have to realize they're living amongst single family dwellings, where there are families who live there ... They're impacting more than Marshall students when they do that."

Unlike homecoming week or the weekend before spring break, Terry said law enforcement authorities did not expect a large event during the first weekend before classes.

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Is it country? With Lady Antebellum it doesn't matter http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ06/150829502 GZ06 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ06/150829502 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 01:59:34 -0400 David Gutman By David Gutman What exactly makes Lady Antebellum a country band?

Yes, they're from Nashville, and all their singles get heavy play on 96.1 FM The Wolf, and their crowds are filled with cowboy boots and denim.

But there's also a lot of electric guitar, harmonies with more pop than twang and lyrics not exactly bursting with rural themes.

Why is the band's warm-up act, Sam Hunt, wearing a T-shirt that says "San Fran" and sampling from Dr. Dre?

"What should it say on his shirt?" the woman next to me asked.

Fair point, it just doesn't seem like the most "country" of cities.

"Maybe, he's just saying country is universal, wherever you are," she said.

Touché.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter that much. Lady Antebellum played a high-energy 22-song, one-and-a-half hour set at the Charleston Civic Center on Thursday night that had the raucous crowd singing along, dancing in their seats and taking cellphone videos with abandon. More than country, rock or pop, it was a happy show.

Technically a three-member band, Lady Antebellum also boasts a five-piece backup ensemble, featuring two guitars, bass, drums and piano. The three principals are Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott on vocals and Dave Haywood, who sings and plays a variety of instruments.

Haywood switches instruments nearly every song of the show, from mandolin, to electric guitar, to piano, to smaller mandolin, to bejeweled electric guitar, to acoustic guitar and back again.

But the vocals of Kelley and Scott are what have made the group multi-platinum and one of the country's biggest country draws.

They stalked the Civic Center stage, singing mega-hits like "Hey Bartender," "Need You Now" and "I Run to You" while high-fiving lucky fans in the front row and snapping selfies with an even luckier few.

While there was a sophisticated light show, with lasers and projections, the music carried the night. There were no pyrotechnics and Kelley and Scott's strutting and dancing never outpaced their voices.

It was upbeat and full of energy and good cheer.

About halfway through, after the band's first ever single, "Love Don't Live Here," from 2007, the three stars walked through the crowd, to a smaller stage in the middle of the arena.

The backup band took a break and Lady Antebellum performed four songs close to a capella, with only Haywood on acoustic guitar for accompaniment.

But even the low-key ballads, while mournful in tune, were positive in message.

The one great mystery of "One Great Mystery," from "747," the band's newest album, is about as happy a mystery as you can imagine, one that doesn't really need solving. "What did I ever do to make you fall for me?" the band asks repeatedly and rhetorically.

A cover of Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" boasts "we found love right where we are." The closest it came to a somber note was when, in introducing the song, Scott said, "I wish we wrote it."

The band members' personal lives may help explain the upbeat show. All three have gotten married within the last several years. Scott and Haywood both have new babies with their spouses and Kelley is expecting his first child with his wife.

After the current tour wraps up on Sept. 19, the band will go on a break, of undetermined length.

Two other covers, played back to back near the end of the show, showed the conundrum of trying to slot the band into a genre.

A rocking version of Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine" was as country as any song the band played all night. It was followed by Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," which was as un-country as any song all night.

"We wanted to combine our love for tradition with something that is now," the band said in a cheerful, prerecorded video that played several times before they performed. That seemed as good an explanation as any for the band's style. Unfortunately, the video was an advertisement -- an explanation for why the band shops at Bed Bath & Beyond, and why their fans should too. Oh well, at least they looked happy.

Reach David Gutman at david.gutman@wvgazette.com, 304-348-5119 or follow @davidlgutman on Twitter.

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Daily Mail editorial: How can we learn to better handle our stressors? http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829524 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829524 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 There were a couple of news stories this week that highlighted — depending on how one looks at it — how stressed Americans are or how poorly some handle their stress.

Americans of all ages, particularly youth, seemed to be faced with more stressors than ever. And some have a hard time handling stress — bringing them too often to a violent breaking point.

At Philip Barbour High School in Philippi, W.Va., a 14-year old student brought a loaded gun to school and held his class hostage for 45 minutes.

“He’s a child who’s been bullied to the point where he just snapped,” Pastor Howard Swick with Haven of Hope Ministry in Philippi, told the Associated Press. “And I’m watching this 14-year-old child with a gun, crying. He looked completely hopeless and didn’t know what to do, and realized he had taken this farther than he had ever wanted to go. He didn’t know how to retreat.”

Fortunately, thanks to the calmness of the student’s teacher and the help of the pastor, this situation ended safely, with the boy putting down the gun and surrendering to authorities.

Another incident in Virginia didn’t go nearly as well.

During a live television broadcast near Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia, a former reporter opened fire on a television news crew from WDBJ in Richmond, killing both a reporter and camera operator.

It turns out, the shooter, 41-year-old Vester L. Flanagan II, had been fired from the station and remained angry at his former co-workers.

Interestingly, criminal justice professor Adam Lankford told sociologists that the high expectations of the American Dream contributes to the all-too-frequent American mass shootings, reported the Washington Post’s Sarah Kaplan.

“It’s not just that we have a lot of guns,” he said, “It’s the social strains of American life — the false promise of the American dream, which guarantees a level of success that can’t always be achieved through hard work and sheer willpower; the devotion to individualism and the desire for fame or notoriety.”

“Millions of Americans feel these strains and never commit a crime,” Kaplan reports. “But for a small handful, they breed the kind of resentment and fury that can explode into violence.”

There are no easy answers, but kindness and understanding, as the pastor did with the high school student, certainly help.

These news items bring to mind the wise words of a victim of violence himself, Rodney King who was famously beaten by police in 1991. When asked to make statements about riots in Los Angeles months later, he stated simply, “Can’t we all just get along?”

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Daily Mail editorial: New office could bring transparency, trust http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829525 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829525 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Finding, investigating and removing corruption from state government is a laudable goal, and one the Republican-led Legislature seems to take seriously.

As the Gazette-Mail's Eric Eyre reported Thursday, some state lawmakers are looking into establishing an inspector general's office, similar to posts in 13 other states and the District of Columbia, that would be responsible for investigating government waste, fraud and corruption. The Legislature is expected to discuss the idea further next month when it meets for interims.

Lawmakers emphasized the discussion is still in the preliminary stages, but something must be done to root out corruption within state government.

“Obviously, there are cost considerations,” said Sen. Charles Trump, R-Morgan, who serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Public confidence in government and governmental institutions is lower than it should be. We want to give consideration to measures — whether it relates to ethical standards for public officials or this sort of thing — that will enhance public confidence in the institutions of government.”

Transparency and public trust are important considerations. But there are other things lawmakers must keep in mind when establishing an inspector general's office.

Many state agencies, including the Legislature, attorney general's office and auditor, include offices charged with investigating, auditing and reviewing cases of fraud or financial malfeasance. Establishing an inspector general's office could allow these state agencies to work more efficiently, but the office should be set up so that it doesn't duplicate efforts or undermine an agency's ability to conduct its own investigations or audits.

Adding an inspector general's office — not to mention the employees, salaries and state benefits that would come with it — is no doubt an expansion of government. Often, removing government offices or agencies once they're established proves difficult. We urge legislators as they consider this proposal to think about adding a sunset provision, allowing the office to work within certain parameters then abolishing the agency after a set number of years.

That surely would give the office enough time to find and investigate instances of corruption across state agencies without becoming too big a burden for our already cash-strapped state budget.

Inspector general's offices in other states have proven their worth, according to Eyre's report, uncovering millions of dollars in fraud, waste and corruption. It's something West Virginia lawmakers should consider, but we urge them to exercise caution so as not to create another cumbersome bureacracy.

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Guest column by Rev. Jim Lewis: Setting the record straight on Iran deal http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829526 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829526 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 Last week, on August 20, Mr. Michael Pregent, the executive director of a newly formed organization, Veterans Against the Deal, flew into Yeager Airport in Charleston for a press conference.

I was there, along with a few members of West Virginia Patriots for Peace. We arrived there with questions about his organization, and why it opposes the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

I was stunned to read the Aug. 24 Daily Mail editorial, “What’s patriotic about disrupting speech?” in which it was said that members of Patriots for Peace “heckled” Mr. Pregent and local veterans gathered there. According to the editorial, Patriots for Peace had “bullied their way in front of the microphones.”

In actuality, Mr. Pregent graciously invited me to speak. When he solicited questions and comments, the press conference became “a polite debate.” That’s how Gazette-Mail reporter David Gutman accurately reported it. I had to wonder if the editorial writer had read the newspaper’s coverage of the press conference, or had even talked with the reporter who wrote the story. The author certainly did not talk with me about what took place at Yeager Airport.

But let’s get to the real story — the questions and concerns that hovered over the barnstorming show that took place in the baggage area at the Yeager Airport.

For starters, who foots the bill for this organization? Mr. Pregent’s organization would not disclose the source of their funding. What we do know is that Veterans Against the Deal is spending a lot of money targeting senators who are undecided about their upcoming vote on the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Senator Joe Manchin is one of the undecided targets.

Veterans Against the Deal is spending big bucks for TV advertisements all over the country. We see them constantly here in West Virginia.

Retired staff sergeant Robert Bartlett, featured in one of those ads, was scheduled to be at the airport news conference, but his flight was delayed.

Badly injured in Iraq, Bartlett makes a terrifying pitch against the Iran Nuclear Agreement, “Every politician who is involved in this will be held accountable; they will have blood on their hands. A vote for this deal means more money for Iranian terrorism.”

After that, the ad ends with a picture of Senator Manchin, and a request for viewers to call him and tell him to vote against the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

Get the message? It is full of fear. Anyone who votes in favor of the agreement is in bed with terrorists. Picture them with blood on their hands. Approve the agreement, so the pitch goes, and Iran will get nuclear weapons and destroy not only Israel but our nation as well.

With the same kind of frightening message, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has an ad with a child screaming while someone counts down to a picture of a nuclear bomb mushroom cloud.

I hope that senators, ours in particular, are listening to other veterans, like Massachusetts U.S. House Representative Seth Moulton. He served four tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine.

“The greatest honor of my life,” he says, “was to lead these men in my platoon, even though it was a war that I and they disagreed with.”

For having heroically saved a soldier, while under heavy fire, he was awarded a Bronze Star, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He will be casting his vote in favor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. I hope Senator Manchin will join him.

The chaos unleashed by our nation’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 now demands a shuffling of the deck in the Middle East. A new game must be played, and Iran must be at the table. The Iran Nuclear Agreement is the invitation for Iran to join the game.

On Sunday at 3 pm, Rabbi Victor Urecki from B’nai Jacob Synagogue and I will be offering both sides of this important issue. Our discussion will be held in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Virginia Street and Leon Sullivan Way in downtown Charleston. Please come.

The Rev. Jim Lewis is a retired Episcopal priest and a founder of West Virginia Patriots for Peace.

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Rick Clay: Too many problems with Iran deal http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829527 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829527 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 There are numerous problems with the tentative deal that the Obama administration has reached with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

Despite the effectiveness of the economic sanctions placed on Iran by the West, the Obama Administration suddenly and naively believes that Iran has changed its decade’s long desire to obtain a nuclear weapon.

The next few months will be critical in having an honest and factual debate on the merits of entering into an agreement — not a treaty — with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.

Iran appears to be responsible for 24 West Virginian Iraq military deaths, nine of which were caused by improvised explosive devices supplied, funded and deployed by the Iranian Quds Force.

The Quds Force is the Islamic Revolutionary guard. Its commander, General Qassem Soleimani, is under sanctions. He will be rewarded financially and politically when these economic sanctions against him and his banks are lifted.

Here are some of the more compelling factors Senator Manchin and other U.S. senators need to consider before making a critical vote on the future of the United States, Israel and the Middle East.

Igniting a regional nuclear arms race

There is nothing in this agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining weapons grade enrichment given the inspection protocol side deals that relies on Iranian inspectors to monitor themselves. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey have already entered into talks with Pakistan and North Korea on providing nuclear technology to build their own nuclear weapons to counter what they feel is the certainty of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

The world’s largest sponsor of terror is Iran

Iran’s involvement in training, funding, arming and developing the deadliest type of roadside bombs, as well as its overwhelming support of Hamas Terror network, is well documented. Does any reasonable person not believe the Iranians will use the financial windfall provided by this agreement to further fund these terror networks?

As history and present actions prove, we cannot trust Iran

Iran has called for the destruction of Israel and death of all Jews and Americans. They now come to the world bodies saying they are seeking a peaceful accord but in the same breath chant “Death to America”, “Death to Israel” and produce recruitment videos showing Iranian Quds Force fighters looking over the nuclear destruction of Jerusalem.

Iranian missiles

This agreement will lift the conventional arms embargo on Iran in five years and the even more ominous embargo on missile development and purchases. Iran and North Korea have long been partners in weapons development. Can you imagine a world where two unstable enemies can launch intercontinental ballistics missile systems at us and our allies throughout the world?

Any-time, any-place inspections

Agreement supporters say no other nuclear agreement allows for such provisions. But South Africa had a robust nuclear arms program, and Libya had weaponse of mass destruction. Both agreed to “any-time any-place” inspections.

Under Qaddafi, Libya gave up highly advanced WMDs to for the lifting of the crippling economic sanctions. The success of this program kept WMD’s out of evil hands when ISIS took over.

Under the final Iran agreement, inspectors wanting to visit an Iranian nuclear site must first submit a request to Iran. Iran then would have 14 days to grant it. If it refused, a joint commission including the U.S. and its five allies, as well as Iran itself would have 10 days to determine the outcome.

Snap back sanctions

President Obama and supporters of this agreement love to say economic sanctions would “snap back” if the associated countries, the P5+1, conclude Iran is in violation of this agreement. But with Russia and China chomping at the bit to start selling Iran advance weaponry, a snap back would be almost impossible.

Failure to sign agreement means war

Ratify the agreement or go to war is a false argument. Israel has destroyed and crippled two nuclear weapons programs already in Iraq and in Syria, yet no war resulted. Even if the U.S. were to conduct an airstrike or missile strike on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities, that is not necessarily war.

Senator Manchin is pivotal to this discussion. His vote will shape the stability of the world.

This so called agreement should have been presented to the U.S. Senate as a treaty. I implore Senator Manchin to vote no on this agreement and press for a verifiable agreement, and not reward a regime that has killed many of our nation’s heroes, a number of whom hail from West Virginia.

Rick Clay of Charleston is an Iraq war veteran and member of West Virginia Veterans Against the Deal.

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Editorial cartoon for August 28, 2015 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829528 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/DM04/150829528 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400

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E.J. Dionne: Trump's video game mastery http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ04/150829537 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20150828/GZ04/150829537 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:01:00 -0400 WASHINGTON - This summer's political madness was nicely captured by a confluence of events over the last few days: While global financial markets teetered, the campaign news was dominated by Donald Trump's personal feuds with journalists.

Trump's insults directed toward Fox News' Megyn Kelly and his confrontation with Jorge Ramos, Univision's anchor, were bound to get some attention, especially from journalists inclined to stand up for our colleagues. But the tale wasn't primarily about journalism. It was just another episode in a TV series, a sign of how brilliantly Trump has succeeded in transforming a battle for the presidency into a reality show starring himself.

In the late 1980s, the journalist Martin Schram wrote a book about presidential politics in the television age called "The Great American Video Game." The Trump obsession shows just how prophetic Schram's title was. Television is about ratings; Trump delivers ratings; therefore, Trump, whose speeches are 90 percent about Trump - his feelings, experiences, feuds, grudges and, of course, genius - is on television nonstop.

The Trumpification of the news is also a reaction within the media to the initial reaction of so many in the ranks to Trump. The widespread view was that his personal insults, his nasty remarks about Mexicans (whom he now says he "loves") and his conversion of the political speech into a form of self-involved stand-up would doom his chances.

This was wrong because (1) Trump's celebrity, built on the idea that a smart deal-maker can get anything done that he wants, gives him a base among those who don't care much about politics, and (2) parts of the Republican Party are so fed up with their leadership that the more in-your-face Trump is, the happier they are.

The most concise explanation for the Trump phenomenon came from Erick Erickson, editor of the popular right-wing blog RedState, in an interview earlier this month with The Atlantic's Molly Ball. "The Republican Party created Donald Trump," Erickson said, "because they made a lot of promises to their base and never kept them."

Republican leaders care primarily about a low-tax, pro-business agenda. But they have kept their most conservative supporters at a very high level of angry mobilization, exploiting anxieties about demographic and social change. They kept pledging they would really and truly repeal Obamacare, even when they knew they didn't have the votes. Trump is the revenge of the party's non-insiders who are tired of being used.

But there's a major problem with all of the Trump coverage: It's based on the assumption that he is leading a formidable mass movement when his following is nothing of the sort. The Trump partisans are, in fact, a very small minority of Americans. Do the math. The polls show that Trump is supported by about 25 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who, together, account for somewhere between 40 percent and 45 percent of the country.

So, generously, the Trump insurrection is built on the backing of all of about 11 percent of Americans.

The limits of Trumpism are further underscored in one of the best deep-dives into polling on Trump by Henry Olsen in National Review. Olsen notes that Trump's "favorable-to-unfavorable ratio is the lowest of the major candidates." And when asked if there is a candidate they would never vote for, Republicans are more likely to name Trump than any of his major foes. Trump's favorability ratings are especially negative among moderates and only slightly less so among Republicans who call themselves somewhat (as opposed to very) conservative.

Trump has certainly gotten further, faster than any of his Republican opponents. But all the free television time he is getting cannot be justified by a claim that he is sitting atop some broad uprising akin to the Goldwater or Reagan rebellions. His visibility is the product of circular television logic: Celebrities bring audience share and the resulting attention they get further enhances their fame.

Trump's unique contribution has been to achieve a complete fusion of the culture of celebrity to politics. It brings to mind the mystery writer David Handler's great line about "the power of positive self-delusion."

Television is a business like any other, but journalism in a democracy is supposed to be about more than that. Nowhere is the tension between financial and public imperatives more obvious than in the massive coverage of the Trump spectacular and the parsimonious attention given to anything serious any other candidate might say. But hey, how often does a serious speech about our economic troubles win ratings for anyone?

E.J. Dionne is a columnist for The Washington Post.

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