www.charlestondailymail.com http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: March 05, 2015 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT01/303059968 OBIT01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT01/303059968 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:03:03 -0500 Anderson, Kenneth Sr. — 2 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Cedar, Benjamin V. Jr. — Noon, St. Matthew Catholic Church, Ravenswood.

Cunningham, Wanda L. — 11 a.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Hicks, Mamie J. — 11 a.m., Main Street Baptist Church, Point Pleasant.

Hill, Vernon — 1 p.m., Deal Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

McGuffin, Ida V. — 11 a.m., Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, Prosperity.

Reynolds, Frederick — 7 p.m., Big Chimney Baptist Church, Big Chimney.

Roush, Geraldine — 2 p.m., Tyler Mountain Funeral Home, Cross Lanes.

Spurlock, Jason — 2 p.m., Jarvis

Linda Ruth Ballard http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059995 OBIT http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059995 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:02:24 -0500 Linda Ruth Ballard, 64, of Gallagher, died March 1, 2015. Pryor Funeral Home, East Bank, is in charge of arrangements.

Charles A. Bennett http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059998 OBIT http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059998 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:02:21 -0500 Charles Aubrey "Baker" "Charlie" Bennett, 64, of Winona, died Feb. 28, 2015. Service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Ansted. Visitation will be 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 6, at the funeral home.

Naomi Belle Bracken http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059989 OBIT http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059989 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:02:34 -0500 Naomi Belle Herrald Bracken, 90, of Campbells Creek, went to be with the Lord on March 3, 2015 at her home, surrounded by her family.

She was born Oct. 19, 1924 to the late Rev. James and Ella Herrald. Also preceding her in death were her loving husband of 65 years, Woodson M Bracken; grandson, TJ Elswick; and great-grandson, Benjamin Bracken.

Left to cherish her memory are sons, David (Jane) Bracken and Ernest (Sally) Bracken; daughters, Diana (Steve) Bossie and Vanesse Myers (James Comuzie); brothers, James (Jean) Herrald of Florida and Joe (Barbara) Herrald of Virginia; sisters, Helen Wentz of Campbells Creek and Joyce O'Dell of Virginia; nine grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

She was a faithful member of Spring Missionary Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday school for many years. Naomi was a compassionate caregiver and known throughout the valley as the "Tupperware Lady" for 25 years. She worked in her later years at Elder-Beerman as a seasonal gift wrapper, and later moved into customer service and worked until age 82.

She was a true witness for Christ and was loved by all who knew her.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 6, at Spring Fork Missionary Baptist Church, Campbells Creek, with Pastors Mike Long and David Bracken officiating. Burial will follow at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Kanawha Hospice, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W., Charleston, WV 25387, or to Spring Fork Missionary Baptist Church, 320 Campbells Creek Drive, Charleston, WV 25306.

The online guestbook for Naomi Belle Herrald Bracken can be accessed at www.stevensandgrass.com.

Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden, is in charge of arrangements.

Linda Kay Burford http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059979 OBIT http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059979 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:02:51 -0500 Linda Kay Harper Burford, 66, of Elkview, passed away March 4, 2015 after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born Nov. 20, 1948 in Walton.

Linda is survived by her loving husband of 43 years, Charles, and their two children: son, Christopher (Jessica) Burford of Elkview, and daughter, Heather (Simon) Goetze of North Huntingdon, Pa. She is also survived by two grandchildren, whom she cherished, Sadie Claire Goetze of North Huntingdon, Pa., and Brielle Juliette Burford of Elkview.

Linda was a faithful member of Elkview Baptist Church and a very loving wife, mother and grandmother. Linda was retired from Union Carbide.

Donations may be made to Elkview Baptist Church in her honor.

A service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview, with Pastor Bobby Sizemore officiating. Interment will be held at Melton Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, at Hafer Funeral Home.

John R. Carpenter http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059992 OBIT http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059992 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:02:28 -0500 John Robert Carpenter, 62, of Apex, N.C., formerly of Giles, passed away peacefully at his home on March 2, 2015 surrounded by his loving family.

Born May 6, 1952, he was the son of the late Hildreth "Brother" Carpenter and Grace Cadle Carpenter.

He was a carpenter by trade.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Galen Carpenter of Keavy, Ky.

John is survived by his loving wife, Bridgett Vannoy Carpenter; his son, John "Robbie" Carpenter (Hannah) of Costa; his daughters, Melissa Carpenter (Treavor Townsend) of Nellis and Tiffany Vannoy (Randy Slappe) of Charleston; sister, Melody Boswell (Bruce) of Cedar Grove; grandsons, Keegan, Brody and Trey; special nieces and nephews, Mendy Carpenter and son, Jensen, Matt Leftwich and Kara Abshire and daughters, Kenna and Karissa; and a host of family and friends.

He was deeply loved and will be sadly missed.

Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, March 6, at New Life Center Church, Cedar Grove, with Pastor Travis McCracken officiating. Burial will follow the service in Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens, Glasgow.

A gathering of family and friends will be one hour prior to the service at New Life Center Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bridgett Carpenter, 407 S. Carroll St., Apex, NC 27539-5360.

Cooke Funeral Home, Cedar Grove, is in charge of arrangements.

Kevin Anthony Dean http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059978 OBIT http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059978 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:02:53 -0500 Kevin Anthony Dean, 42, of South Charleston, passed away suddenly on Feb. 10, 2015 at St. Francis Hospital.

He was a longtime employee with Advance Auto and recently served as a manager.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, John and Cinda Dean, and paternal grandparent, Joslyn Beatty.

He is survived by his mother, Joyce Dean, and father, Rafael Beatty. He is also survived by a half-brother and -sisters and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins.

Memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church, 1404 1st Ave., Charleston. Visitation will be held from 12:30 p.m. until the time of the service.

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

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

Sue Ellen Dolin http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059997 OBIT http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059997 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:02:22 -0500 Sue Ellen Dolin, 68, of Elkhart, Ind., passed away March 1, 2015 at Elkhart General Hospital. Sue was born Sept. 16, 1946 in Charleston, W.Va., to the late Joe and Gail (Gibson) Pernell.

Surviving are her children, Linda Lester-Zook and Jeff Lester, both of Elkhart, Teresa (Jeff) Lester-Harris of St. Albans, W.Va., David (Jennifer) Lester of Sturgis, Mich., Tammy (Zack) Pinkard of Charleston, W.Va., and Christian Dolin of Elkhart. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and her siblings, Debbie Lester of Elkhart, Claris Paxton and Wanda Adkins, both of Belle, W.Va., Sandy Rally of Ripley, W.Va., Denny Pernell of Goshen, Ind., and Paul and Joe Pernell, both of Columbus, Ohio.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later time. Elkhart Cremation Services is assisting with arrangements.

Madelean Hamrick http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059971 OBIT http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059971 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:02:58 -0500 Madelean Bethel Hamrick, 98, of Webster Springs, died March 3, 2015. Service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs. Visitation will be 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 6, at the funeral home.

Linda Sue Harris http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059983 OBIT http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/OBIT/303059983 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:02:45 -0500 Linda Sue Harris, 68, of Wharton, died March 1, 2015 at St. Mary's Hospital, Huntington. Service will be 2 p.m. Friday, March 6, at Handley Funeral Home, Danville, with visitation beginning one hour prior. Burial will follow in Memory Gardens, Madison.

Frontier expands broadband service in South Hills http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/DM05/150309502 DM05 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/DM05/150309502 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 11:36:41 -0500 Frontier Communications has extended broadband service to scores of households in the South Hills area of Charleston.

The company said Thursday it has expanded service along the following roads the area: Bedford Road, Connell Road, Johnson Road, Mount Vernon Road and Woodvale Road.

"We want local residents to know that Frontier - unlike other providers - does not impose usage caps on customers," said Tammy Shingleton, Frontier's area general manager. "We are confident that local residents will recognize the great value and service we provide."

Residents can call 1-800-921-8101 to ask about service options. Businesses can call 1-877-501-5661 for information about the business-class packages the company offers.

WSAZ, other stations to be offered in NBC app http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/DM05/150309503 DM05 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/DM05/150309503 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 11:34:58 -0500 Gray Television Inc., parent company of WSAZ-TV, has reached an agreement with NBCUniversal that will allow viewers to watch live local programming on their computers and smartphones.

The agreement will allow users who have pay-TV subscriptions with participating distributors to stream local broadcasts using NBC's TV Everywhere service. The arrangement had previously only been offered for local affiliates that were directly owned by NBC.

"Today's agreement with Gray Television will enable local viewers in Gray's 24 markets to watch those stations' NBC broadcasts live across multiple platforms, including on a computer, tablet or smartphone, both in and out of their homes," said Rhonda Brockmann, senior vice president of business affairs for NBC Affiliate Relations.

"We are excited to join NBC in its efforts to reach our viewers on digital and mobile devices," said Kevin Latek, senior vice president of business affairs for Gray Television. "Authenticated viewers in our communities will soon be able to watch their favorite local television stations and favorite local programming live on their desktops and on their mobile devices when they want, and where they want."

Gray Television owns 24 NBC affiliates, including WSAZ in the Charleston-Huntington market and WTAP in Parkersburg.

Storm shuts schools, colleges, courts in W.Va. http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309504 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309504 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 11:19:06 -0500 CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Students are getting another break from classes across West Virginia as a late-winter storm pummels the state.

Public schools in all 55 counties were closed Thursday. At least 18 counties had sent students home early on Wednesday after heavy rains sent creeks onto roads.

Several higher education institutions also canceled classes, including West Virginia University, Marshall University, Fairmont State University and Bluefield State College.

But WVU went ahead with student elections. Voting was held Thursday as scheduled in the Mountainlair in Morgantown.

The state Supreme Court and more than a dozen county courts were closed due to heavy snow. The state Legislature was in session.

Federal appeals court throws out Blankenship gag order http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/GZ01/150309505 GZ01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/GZ01/150309505 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 10:47:30 -0500 By Ken Ward Jr. A federal appeals court today threw out a gag order that had sealed from public view most of the filings in the criminal case against former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

In an unsigned order, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a petition sought by The Charleston Gazette and a coalition of other media organizations that argued the gag order was an unconstitutional violation of their First Amendment right to cover the case and gather news about it.

"Although we commend the district court's sincere and forthright proactive effort to ensure to the maximum extent possible that Blankenship's right to a fair trial before an impartial jury will be protected, we are constrained to conclude that the order entered here cannot be sustained," the 4th Circuit said in its seven-page order. The 4th Circuit granted the media petition and directed U.S. District Judge Irene Berger in Beckley to enter an order vacating gag order.

Berger had entered the gag order -- without any request for such an order from either Blankenship or U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin -- the day after an indictment was issued charging Blankenship with mine safety and securities crimes related to Massey's Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 miners died in an April 2010 explosion.

Along with the Gazette, the gag order was challenged by The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, National Public Radio, and the Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

The 4th Circuit case was heard by Judges Roger Gregory, James Wynn, and Andre Davis. The appeals court scheduled an expedited oral argument that was held on Monday in Richmond, Virginia.

It was not immediately clear when court filings in the case would be unsealed. Blankenship's lawyers are hoping to keep at least one set of court briefs -- those concerning the former Massey CEO's request for a change of venue -- confidential, regardless of the appeals court ruling on Berger's gag order.

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

Rain, snow cause minor to moderate flooding in W.Va. http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309506 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309506 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 10:42:40 -0500 CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Heavy rains followed by snow have pushed streams and rivers out of their banks across West Virginia.

Flood warnings are in effect through Thursday evening for much of the state.

The National Weather Service says the Bluestone River was 5 feet above flood stage at Spanishburg at 6 a.m. Thursday and could rise another foot before receding later in the day. Moderate flooding was reported between Spanishburg and Pipestem.

In Monroe County, moderate flooding was reported along Indian Creek near Red Sulphur Springs.

The weather service says minor flooding was occurring along the Guyandotte River. The river was more than 3 feet above flood stage at Branchland at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Co-defendant in ex-Bridgeport mayor's drug case sentenced http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309507 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309507 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 10:42:01 -0500

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A co-defendant has been sentenced in a drug case involving a former Bridgeport mayor.

Angela Davis of Bridgeport received an eight-month prison sentence on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg. The Exponent Telegram reported that U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley rejected a defense request for probation or a split sentence of house arrest and incarceration.

The 51-year-old Davis had pleaded guilty in September 2014 to an oxycodone/oxymorphone possession and distribution conspiracy. She was accused of conspiring with former Bridgeport Mayor Mario Blount to possess and distribute prescription painkillers.

Blount was sentenced in February to three years in prison for illegally distributing prescription drugs. He formerly worked as a pharmacist at a Bridgeport pharmacy.

Another co-defendant, Davis' 24-year-old daughter, April Davis of Bridgeport, is serving five years' probation.

Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad to buy 1926 locomotive http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309508 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309508 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 10:41:40 -0500 ELKINS, W.Va. - The Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad is acquiring a 1926 steam locomotive from the North Carolina Transportation Museum.

Railroad president John Smith told WBOY-TV that the locomotive operated in West Virginia for nearly five decades on the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad.

The railroad has reached an agreement to buy the locomotive from the museum. Smith said the railroad plans to restore the locomotive and hopes to return it to service.

The locomotive will be moved from North Carolina to Cass in the spring.

State's unemployment rate unchanged at 5.9 percent http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/GZ01/150309509 GZ01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/GZ01/150309509 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 09:10:09 -0500 The Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.9 percent in January.

WorkForce West Virginia says the number of unemployed state residents dropped by 100 last month.

Since January 2014, total nonfarm payroll employment has risen by 3,200 in the state.

Among the employment gains last month were 1,100 in educational and health services and 600 in manufacturing. Employment losses included 1,200 in government and 300 in leisure and hospitality.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7 percent in January.

Co-defendant in ex-Bridgeport mayor's drug case sentenced http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/GZ01/150309510 GZ01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/GZ01/150309510 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 09:00:46 -0500 The Associated Press CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - A co-defendant has been sentenced in a drug case involving a former Bridgeport mayor.

Angela Davis of Bridgeport received an eight-month prison sentence on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg. The Exponent Telegram reports that U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley rejected a defense request for probation or a split sentence of house arrest and incarceration.

The 51-year-old Davis had pleaded guilty in September 2014 to an oxycodone/oxymorphone possession and distribution conspiracy. She was accused of conspiring with former Bridgeport Mayor Mario Blount to possess and distribute prescription painkillers.

Blount was sentenced in February to three years in prison for illegally distributing prescription drugs. He formerly worked as a pharmacist at a Bridgeport pharmacy.

Another co-defendant, Davis' 24-year-old daughter, April Davis of Bridgeport, is serving five years' probation.

Ringling Bros. to eliminate elephant acts http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309511 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150305/ARTICLE/150309511 Thu, 5 Mar 2015 08:47:31 -0500


Associated Press

POLK CITY, Fla. (AP) - The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will phase out the show's iconic elephants from its performances by 2018, telling The Associated Press exclusively that growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision.

Executives from Feld Entertainment, Ringling's parent company, said the decision to end the circus's century-old tradition of showcasing elephants was difficult and debated at length. Elephants have often been featured on Ringling's posters over the decades. The decision was announced Thursday.

"There's been somewhat of a mood shift among our consumers," said Alana Feld, the company's executive vice president. "A lot of people aren't comfortable with us touring with our elephants."

The circus is set to make its annual appearance at the Charleston Civic Center April 23-26.

Within two hours of the announcement, animal rights groups took credit for the decision, saying that the pressure put on the circus ultimately led to Feld's decision.

"For 35 years PETA has protested Ringling Bros.' cruelty to elephants," Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote in a statement. "We know extreme abuse to these majestic animals occurs every single day, so if Ringling is really telling the truth about ending this horror, it will be a day to pop the champagne corks, and rejoice. ... If the decision is serious, then the circus needs to do it NOW."

Feld owns 43 elephants, and 29 of the giant animals live at the company's 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida. Thirteen animals will continue to tour with the circus before retiring to the center by 2018. One elephant is on a breeding loan to the Fort Worth Zoo.

Another reason for the decision, company President Kenneth Feld said, was that certain cities and counties have passed "anti-circus" and "anti-elephant" ordinances. The company's three shows visit 115 cities throughout the year, and Feld said it's expensive to fight legislation in each jurisdiction. It's also difficult to plan tours amid constantly changing regulations, he said.

"All of the resources used to fight these things can be put towards the elephants," Feld said during an interview at the Center for Elephant Conservation. "We're not reacting to our critics; we're creating the greatest resource for the preservation of the Asian elephant."

The circus will continue to use other animals - this year it added a Mongolian troupe of camel stunt riders to its Circus Xtreme show. It will likely showcase more motorsports, daredevils and feats of humans' physical capabilities. Ringling's popular Canada-based competitor, Cirque du Soleil, features human acts and doesn't use wild animals.

"There are endless possibilities," said Juliette Feld, another executive vice president of the company and a producer of Feld's Marvel Universe Live, Disney on Ice and Monster Jam shows, among others.

Feld owns the largest herd of Asian elephants in North America. It costs about $65,000 yearly to care for each elephant, and Kenneth Feld said the company would have to build new structures to house the retiring elephants at the center, located in between Orlando and Tampa on a rural, ranchlike property.

Kenneth Feld said initially the center will be open only to researchers, scientists and others studying the Asian elephant.

Eventually, he "hopes it expands to something the public will be able to see."

"I want everybody's grandkids to be able to see Asian elephants," he said.

The center's youngest elephant is Mike, who will be 2 in August, and the oldest is Mysore, who is 69. One elephant, 6-year-old Barack, was conceived by artificial insemination. Since the center opened in 1995, 26 elephants have been born there.

Ringling's elephants have been at the center of lawsuits and ongoing complaints from animal rights activists.

In 2014, Feld Entertainment won $25.2 million in settlements from a number of animal-rights groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, ending a 14-year legal battle over unproven allegations that Ringling circus employees mistreated elephants.

The initial lawsuit was filed in 2000 by a former Ringling barn helper who was later found to have been paid at least $190,000 by the animal-rights groups that helped bring the lawsuit. The judge called him "essentially a paid plaintiff" who lacked credibility and standing to sue. The judge rejected the abuse claims following a 2009 trial.

Kenneth Feld testified during that trial about elephants' importance to the show.

"The symbol of the 'Greatest Show on Earth' is the elephant, and that's what we've been known for throughout the world for more than a hundred years."

When asked by a lawyer whether the show would be the same without the elephants, Feld replied, "No, it wouldn't."

This week, Feld said, "Things have changed."

"How does a business be successful? By adapting," he said.

Feld noted that when his father bought the circus in 1967, there was still a human sideshow featuring acts such as the bearded lady and other human oddities. His father did away with that, he said.

"We're always changing and we're always learning," he said.

In 2008, Feld acquired a variety of motor sports properties, including monster truck shows, motocross and the International Hot Rod Association, which promotes drag races and other events. In 2010, it created a theatrical motorcycle stunt show called Nuclear Cowboyz. Roughly 30 million people attend one of Feld's 5,000 live entertainment shows every year.