Reading Vacation
May 29, 2016 | 4031 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
download Summer Reading

Goal:  Provide book sets to those students who do not have books or a limited number of books at home to read over the summer.  Additionally, Gilmer ISD will provide “Book Buddies” for students to engage in enjoyable and meaningful conversations about the books that are read.  The target population is the lowest 100 students per grade level, grades K-5.  Select students in grades 6-11 will have the opportunity to choose a book from amongst 18 different novel titles to read and discuss over the summer. 

Objective:  Have students enjoy reading, not suffer from the “summer slide”, and return to school in the fall at or above the reading level in which they were performing at the end of the previous school year.


Sponsors are needed to purchase book sets for students.  Sponsor levels are as follows:

Platinum Level sponsors 20 children for $500

Gold Level sponsors 12 children for $300

Silver Level sponsors 6 children for $150

Bronze Level sponsors 2 children for $50

Orange Level sponsors 1 child for $25


Employees can have sponsorship amounts deducted from their paycheck. Additionally, employees that are also sponsors will receive a special pin or ID card indicating summer reading sponsorship.  Sponsors will receive store front window signs or yard signs recognizing them as a “Reading Vacation” sponsor.  

Book Buddies are also needed to read and/or review readings with students.  This can be done at school, at the public library, or over the phone.  Book Buddies receive gift cards to local merchants for sponsoring a child.  Book Buddies will receive yard signs recognizing them as a “Reading Vacation” Buddy.

Sponsors and Buddies will be recognized with a luncheon during the August in-service and Buddies will share testimonials with sponsors about the child’s progress.  Both will also be recognized in the Gilmer Mirror and recognized on the field at a Buckeye game.  

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2016 Primary Runoff Runoff Results
May 29, 2016 | 1109 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Larry Webb and Luana Howell won runoff elections for Upshur County Sheriff and Tax Assessor-Collector.


Upshur County:


Keven Ellis and Bryan Hughes won runoff elections for State Board of Education and State Senate:

Member, State Board of Education, District 9          
  Mary Lou Bruner REP 12,794 44.88% 20,924 41.23%
  Keven M. Ellis REP 15,711 55.11% 29,824 58.76%
        -----------   -----------  
    Race Total   28,505   50,748  
    Precincts Reported   335 of 428 Precincts   78.27%
State Senator, District 1          
  Bryan Hughes REP 10,443 69.40% 20,314 67.34%
  David Simpson REP 4,604 30.59% 9,851 32.65%
        -----------   -----------  
    Race Total   15,047   30,165  
    Precincts Reported   141 of 175 Precincts   80.57%


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RUSTY FENNELL of Hiway 80 Rescue Mission speaks to Gilmer Kiwanians.
RUSTY FENNELL of Hiway 80 Rescue Mission speaks to Gilmer Kiwanians.
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
May 29, 2016 | 1661 views | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print


One minute my doctor was telling me he was giving me a nitroglycerin pill and that if it stopped the pain in my chest, it would mean we had an emergency on our hands.  The next moment my pulse was dropping like a rock and I said "I think I'm about to pass out."

When I awoke there were four EMS guys in the room, all tending to me.  I didn't know how long I'd been out or what had happened.  They quickly got me on a gurney and loaded me into an ambulance as I mumbled incredulously "I've never been in an ambulance before."

The whole scene was surreal.  I could barely believe this was actually happening as the ambulance made its way five miles to the hospital.  There was an IV in my arm and several people hovering over me as we made our way there.

I was unloaded and wheeled into the ER, as doctors, nurses, and technicians quickly came to my side.  Some were talking with Medics, others with me, to the extent I could answer questions.

After blood was drawn for various tests, an ultrasound was performed on my heart.  The bad news came quickly.  My blood contained high levels of an enzyme which the heart produced when it was fighting off damage.  There was a high stakes battle going on inside my heart, and I was losing.

The surgeon walked in to see me and said bluntly "you have one artery in your heart on the left side which is 99% blocked and a second artery in your heart on the left side which is 70% blocked."  He explained that very soon I would be prepped for a procedure which would involve placing a catheter into an artery in my arm. He would guide the catheter up my arm and into my heart, where he would repair the 99% blocked artery with a stent.  If time allowed, he would attempt to deal with the 70% blockage.  

Shortly thereafter, they wheeled me away.  I was surrounded by a team which was well schooled for their task.  Thoroughly professional and in rapid succession, they got me up on the operating table, covered most of my body, including my face, and tied down both my hands.  As I began to receive the anesthesia and feel its effects, I heard the surgeon ask his team to agree to something.  I don't recall exactly what it was, but I knew he was exhorting them to agree that they were going to do their absolute best to treat me.

As the anesthesia overcame me, I fixed my mind on my granddaughters and my grand nieces and grand nephews.  I pictured their faces and held onto them as I slipped away.

An hour and half later, I found myself awakening, still in the operating room.  It was fifty degrees but all I could think about was "looks like I made it."  Later I would learn the doctor repaired the 99% blocked artery - the biggest one - but could not address the 70% blockage because to continue the operation beyond the hour and a half might pose a threat to my kidneys.  The 70% blockage would have to wait several weeks.  As they rolled me to my room, I counted my blessings and realized how close to the edge I had come.

Copyright 2016, Jim “Pappy" Moore.  All rights reserved.


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The View From Writers Roost
May 29, 2016 | 363 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Every small Texas town has its ‘shame’ to bear

Small Texas towns are great. There’s almost enough of everything to go around — except money, food and morals. 


One town in which I published a paper had an undertaker that also freelanced as a bootlegger. Another had a prostitute that was widely known and recognized and to my knowledge, never arrested. 

The term bootlegger may need some explanation. It’s not a term as frequently heard in the Lone Star State as it once was. A bootlegger is someone who sells alcoholic beverages without any of the federal or state stamps, tax and otherwise, and/or someone who peddles the illicit booze in areas where it is forbidden by local statute. 

Our liquor laws are such that the state has wet and dry areas that, if indicated on a map with a different color for each of the two designations, would provide something resembling the product of a quilting bee. 

There was a major change in Texas a couple of generations ago when, in addition to bars that served beer and package stores that sold wine, whiskey and all manner of strong spirits, liquor by the drink was approved. That created a whole new set of alcohol selling establishments, mostly bars and “night clubs,” which were previously merely “private clubs” for “members only” to get around the liquor-by-the-drink barriers.  

Texans tend to make fun of themselves. However, if you have an above-the-Mason-Dixon-Line accent, don’t you dare open your mouth. You will have stopped preaching and started meddling. 

Back to illicit whiskey and the aforementioned bootlegging undertaker. 

Years ago, in the days before liquor by the drink, undertakers-funeral homes also provided ambulance service in their town/county. That’s how the bootleg booze was brought into town, lights flashing and siren screaming. Oh, and the undertaker was a member of the clergy as well. You might say, The Right Reverend Digger Dunn. 

You understand, of course, that in an “expose’” such as this no one’s real name (except mine) is used. I could prove what I’m saying but at considerable expense with no guarantee any court “winnings” would cover it. Additionally, between retirement benefits from a previous employer, Social Security, Medicare and this kolyum, we manage to eat regularly, live in a modest house and drive a paid-for, nine-year-old SUV. 

Back to business. Illicit booze is only one segment of the “small town shame to bear.”

Sin and shame includes (gasp!) prostitution. 

In one place where I lived, wrote and published, the local bootlegger Calvin and the reigning hooker Minnie lived together, in sin I’m sure. Seems they had a monopoly — ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum. 

One day, after football practice, a bunch of us players were hanging at the local drug store. Actually, we were propping up the concrete posts that held up the front part of the building, sipping on chocolate malts and trying to muster enough energy to walk home when who should come strutting down Main Street but Minnie. She looked like Ronald McDonald with about 18 pounds of makeup. Her considerable posterior was moving in ways most mortals have never seen. 

A rather dipstick high school junior, who’d apparently had all his brains dashed out on the football practice field, yelled at Minnie as she wiggled by: “Hey, Minnie, $5.” 

Minnie stopped, threw both hands straight up and shook as she yelled, “$25 little boys, $25!”

I broke the handle on the drug store door as the first one inside to the soda fountain. 

And, Dipstick was left alone on the sidewalk with egg all over his very red face. 

It seems shame sometimes comes with a side of humor. That’s only one of any number “laughs” prostitution produced in my hometown. 

Willis Webb is a retired community newspaper publisher with more than 50 years experience. He can be reached by email at


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