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2007; The Year In Review

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The Calhoun Chronicle begins a two-part series on events of 2007:


Mt. Zion Public Service District announced a deadline of Jan. 31 to sign up for the Sand Ridge/Rt. 16 South water extension project.

Employees of Carl E. Smith Petroleum attempted to clean up an oil leak into Left Fork Creek, but rain washed the oil pockets and pads into the Little Kanawha River.

The prosecution was “still receiving information on a regular basis” in a case against former Grantsville police chief Ron Gordon.

Twenty-two applications were received for a full-time E-911 director’s position.

The Grand Jury for January returned seven indictments.

The CHS varsity basketball boys and girls teams were both 0-7 as they started their January schedules.

Grantsville mayor Wilbert Kerby asked the council to approve a reduction in employees that he had already implemented.

Matthew Bonar joined other West Virginia students on a mission trip to Managua, Nicaragua.

Ronnie Rush, who had been found guilty of two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of Ward Groves and Mary Hicks, had his retrial moved to Jackson County.

The CHS wrestling team finished third of 24 teams at Nitro High School. Seth Jarvis and Cody Clark were individual champions.

A fire destroyed the home of Broomstick resident Charlie Blair on Jan. 11.

It was announced at a Calhoun Historical Society meeting that Robert Bonar, a 1997 CHS graduate, was gathering information on a history of CHS football.

Linda McCartney joined the Chronicle staff.

More than 40 residents presented themselves as donors at the bloodmobile’s visit to First Baptist Church on Jan. 18.

Calhoun had its first accumulation of snow on Sunday, Jan. 21.

CHS wrestlers won their own invitational on Jan. 20. Ten members of the team were ranked among the top eight of their respective weight classes in Class AA-A.



Sign ups ended for the Grantsville municipal election. Current mayor Wilbert Kerby would face former mayor Gary Knight on June 5. Ten residents registered for five council seats.

Commissioners discussed problems with the sheriff’s budget, E-911 addressing, and rumors of CRI closing.

Mt. Zion PSD announced that its goal of 150 sign ups for the Sand Ridge/Rt. 16 water extension had been met, and plans would proceed.

Energy Express begin recruiting staff for the 2007 program.

Beginning the February portion of their schedules, the CHS varsity girls were 3-14 and the boys were 0-16. The girls had upset Roane County (8-6) by a score of 41-39.

CHS wrestlers won the Little Kanawha Conference tournament for the fifth time in six years. Cody Clark and Jeff Goodrich won individual titles.

Grantsville council members claimed that town business was being carried out without approval of council, including the purchase of a police cruiser. The mayor claimed that council voted on the issue, but members Joann Shock and Loretta Stevens disagreed.

Board of education members discussed ending block scheduling at Calhoun Middle/High School. Board president Lee Evans said he would like to see it changed back to a seven-class schedule.



Chronicle publisher Helen Morris represented Calhoun as a “West Virginia History Hero” at the Cultural Center in Charleston. “It was a humble feeling when I learned I had been nominated,” said Morris, who said the honor should go to the Calhoun Historical Society as a whole.

Local graduate Erin Smith coordinated an effort to preserve World War II history by interviewing veterans. The project was in collaboration with Fairmont State.

The CHS wrestling team qualified 10 members for the state tournament, including five returning state placers. When those five failed to place, freshman Cody Clark led a new contingent of five Red Devil placers by winning the 119 lb. state championship. CHS was sixth of 39 teams.

The Chronicle featured a tribute to the late Pell Mc-Cartney, who had been writing articles on local people from his Morgantown home for several years.

Pending further study, the board of education approved the implementation of an eight academic period schedule at Calhoun Middle/High School.

West Virginia Economic Development Authority took issue with a loan provided to Calhoun Development Corp., Inc., in the 1980s for Calhoun Industrial Park, when it found that a parcel at the park was sold and no payment on the defaulted loan was made.

Chronicle readers were introduced to the Amie Sexton letter collection. She was a resident of Arnoldsburg for several years in the mid-1800s. The collection was furnished by Hunter Armentrout, a resident of Gilmer County.

The Chronicle celebrated National Sunshine Week, Mar. 11-17, to raise awareness of national and state laws regarding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Sheriff Carl Ballengee announced the launch of the Kidprint I.D. Program, which will provide a plastic identification card for participating parents.

County commissioners included a pay raise of 10 percent for county employees in their 2007-08 budget.



An attempt to implement Robert’s Rules of Order by mayor Wilbert Kerby at the Grantsville town council meeting met with criticism as those present claimed he had not followed the rules before. He delayed the change in policy until the next meeting, and let members of the audience on the agenda.

The meeting also included an argument between council member Gaylen Duskey and Paul Funk, who complained about the laying off of an employee. Duskey later apologized for calling Funk a moron.

Dan Wolfe, who originated The Amazing Earl, visited Grantsville on Palm Sunday and spoke at First Baptist Church. The church also hosted the American Red Cross for a disaster shelter training workshop.

WIC, a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children, expanded eligibility to the program with increases in income guidelines. A family of two may make up to $25,327, with $6,438 allowed for each additional member.

Music teacher John Bugby helped implement a program at Pleasant Hill School that evolved into a cultural experience for all county elementary students. Bugby hooked a web cam in the classroom and children were able to see and talk to foreign performers.

Ronald Blankenship, superintendent of Calhoun Schools, announced that he would retire. Deadline for applications was May 9.

Several volunteers helped Erin Smith with her project to interview World War II veterans.



The Spring Health Fair was held at May 2 at West Fork Park, sponsored by Calhoun County Committee on Aging.

Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center announced a name and logo change. It is now Minnie Hamilton Health System.

Arnoldsburg Volunteer Fire Dept. held its annual Pit Roast on May 5.

Grantsville announced that it was not ready to answer the grievance of former employee Eric Webb. Council authorized the mayor to obtain legal counsel.

Knotts Memorial U.M. Church held its annual Prayer Chapel.

Former police chief Ron Gordon was indicted on nine counts, including sexual abuse and sexual assault, during the May term of Grand Jury.

Senior Night was held at Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center.

The CHS baseball team ended its season with a record of 5-19. Softball coach David White continued his policy of not reporting results of his team.

The Calhoun County High School Alumni Association began announcing registrations for its 20th annual Alumni Reunion.

The Bluegrass Festival at Upper West Fork Park on May 24-26 featured 11 groups.

The CHS Class of 2007 had 71 graduating members.

The 45th annual Calhoun County Wood Festival opened on Thursday, May 31. Amie Carilli was selected Queen Flora XLV.



The Wood Festival continued in Grantsville. Willard Jones was Grand Parade marshal on June 2. Hanna Law was selected as Miss Wood Festival.

Additional funds were approved for the Mt. Zion water extension to Sand Ridge and Rt. 16 South, bringing the total to $3.7 million.

The 58th annual Folk Festival in Glenville was dedicated to Nicut residents and musicians Lester McCumbers and wife Linda. Freda Yoak was this year’s county belle.

Gary Knight regained the Grantsville mayoral seat with an 85-43 win over incumbent Wilbert Kerby. The town continued to struggle with an employee grievance.

West Virginia State Police announced that Sgt. Jeff Skidmore would head the Grantsville detachment. Skidmore reminded residents that tips on local crimes could be called in to 354-6334 or 1-800-WVA-WVSP.

The bus schedule was announced for Energy Express and other programs at Calhoun County schools.

Grantsville Dodgers won the county Little League championship. Arnoldsburg Reds were runner up.

Thirty cancer survivors and many others participated in the annual Relay for Life at Wayne Underwood Field in Grantsville.

More than 260 former graduates had signed up in advance for the Alumni Reunion on Saturday, July 7.

(to be continued)

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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