JoAnn in Real Life

Jackson Star News Updates and Other Nonsense

Archive for April, 2009

Jackson Star News Update 4/30/09

Posted by JoAnn on April 30, 2009

Not sure if it’s just me, but the number of arrests for drug-related offenses in Jackson County seems awfully high these days. 

* Courtney Defrietas, of St. Albans, and Mark Province, of Parkersburg, were arrested earlier this month after a routine traffic stop in Ravenswood revealed the duo were in possession of Oxycontin AND marijuana. Because one drug isn’t enough. They were also found to be in possession of other drug paraphernalia including several scales. Don’t guess they were metering mail in their vehicle. They were arrested and charged with felony drug possession. 

* The NYA Hall got some good news last week. The building, which is in desperate need of a little TLC, is about to get an updated look. University of Charleston interior design student Tashina Angus has created a design plan for the upstairs rooms of the community building that include Earth tone pallets and complementary colors. Angus, a Ravenswood native, focused her design on the walls, floor surfaces and windows. City officials liked Angus’ designs so much, they’ve decided to secure funding to make them a reality. A timeline has not yet been set for starting the project. Kudos to Miss Angus!

* Shelter fees at Riverfront are being raised from $25 to $50. You’re supposed to pay for those?? Huh. Who knew!

* In reunion news, there are three RHS classes gearing up for reunions. 

  • Class of 1979 is planning a 30-year reunion. Class of 79ers can contact Kathy McKown Keffer at for more information.
  • Class of 1989 is gearing up for its 20th reunion which will be during Labor Day weekend. If you’re an 89er, you can contact Chris Ballard at
  • Class of 1994 is rounding up folks for their 15-year reunion. Now the class of ’94, I remember all you guys. Has it been 15 years already? Really. Shew! Anyway, Scott Hunt is leading the charge, so for all you people who were nice to me when I was a freshman just because you were friends with my sister,  you can e-mail Mr. Hunt at

* In celebratory news, the beautiful miss Jessica Scritchfield, class of ’04, will be wedding her beau, Mr. Jeremy Wooten, this September in Hawaii. CONGRATS!

* Cory Colley, class of 99, is wedding the lovely miss Christian Michelle Houser, of Texas. A summer wedding is being planned and the couple plans to reside in Nasville, TN. CONGRATS all around!

* In honor of the Class of ’94’s upcoming reunion, we are bringing back the “Where Are They Now?” segment. In this issue, we’re putting out an APB on Elizabeth Adams, class of ’94. Have you seen her? Talked to her? Or know anything about Ms. Adams since she graduated 15 years ago, leave a comment and let us know. And don’t forget, if there are RHS grads you would like to locate, send me an e-mail at and I’ll list them in an upcoming post. There are no guarantees information will turn up, but the readers usually turn up something. 

Until next time, stay classy San Diego.


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Meet MyAMI

Posted by JoAnn on April 22, 2009

I’d like to introduce you to a new topic here at JoAnn In Real Life called MyAMI, which which will feature all things I love in my adopted home. Not that I’m any kind of authority on South Florida, but I do love to voice my opinions so for visitors, residents and anyone interested, these are the things and places I love and recommend.  Welcome to MyAMI.


Taste Bakery - 900 Alton Rd., Miami Beach, FL

Taste Bakery - 900 Alton Rd., Miami Beach, FL

In our inaugural MyAMI post, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite, yet lesser known, eateries in Miami Beach called Taste.  Located at 900 Alton Road, this bakery serves breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday with a menu that features a great variety of healthy, yet tasty offerings. Even better, it’s totally affordable. You can grab a sandwich, with a side of bagel chips, fruit salad or potato salad, and a drink for $10. They have muffins almost as big as your head, the food is always fresh and they have a great coffee selection. So next time you’re headed to South Beach, stop by Taste.  It’s tasty!


Jo’s Pick:  The Pesto Chicken Panini with fruit salad. YUM!

Posted in MyAMI | 5 Comments »

Jackson Star News Update 4/21/09

Posted by JoAnn on April 21, 2009

* In an update to the meeting story confusion, it turns out the stories were referring to two different meetings and the armory meeting went off without a hitch. Apparently, Mayor Lucy scheduled a town hall-type meeting for the same day as Adjutant General Tackett’s meeting on the armory. The story in the rail on last week’s front page simply presumed that anyone reading it was aware that Mayor Lucy had previously scheduled a meeting, which confused this easily-confused blogger. Basically a sentence referring to the armory meeting led me to believe she was referring to the armory meeting as if it was the one being rescheduled. That was not the case. Alas, mystery solved!  Regardless, in the case of Mayor v. Adjutant General, the Adjutant General wins and Mayor Town Hall meeting gets moved to April 30. Shew! Glad that’s cleared up. Special thanks for JSN Insider Jared Hunt for keeping us in the know.

* In exciting news, that means we now know more about the planned armory to be built in Millwood. The facility will be constructed on a 250-acre site and will serve as a readiness and training center for the West Virginia National Guard. It will maintain 20 full-time jobs and serve as a station for the current Ripley Reserve unit and as many as 100 soldiers currently stationed in Spencer.  To make it even better, the facility will offer some availability to the public including meeting rooms, distance learning facilities, and a multi-purpose center that could accommodate up to 2,000 people. My favorite quote in the story comes from General Melvin Burch who was apparantly trying to alleviate any concerns about noise at the armory: “We’re not going to set off bombs.” Check. No bombs. Good to know.  However, not everyone is happy. Apparantly the folks at McCoys are worried about a fancy, new center opening up that could infringe upon their conference and event business. But Adjutant General Tackett pointed out that the National Guard is not in the event business and won’t be seeking out events. Construction will begin this fall and is planned for completion in spring 2012 — same time schedule as the new Marlins ballpark. But I digress. I think this is a great thing for the county. What do you think?  Time to sound off.

* In other news, an oxycontin sting led to the arrests of a whole heap of folks. Last week, police worked with a “cooperating individual” to place a call to Justin Williams, 21, of Millwood, who apparantly had been identified as someone wanting to purchase oxy for resale. Williams agreed to buy 10 tablets, allegedly for someone else. Williams, accompanied by two other fellas, arrived at the “sale location” in Ripley, and one of the guys allegedly paid $650 in cash for the tablets. The three were arrested on site. Another man, identified as the trio’s driver, was also arrested. On the same day, another staged buy was set up, leading to two additional arrests.  All in a day’s work for the local police force.

* In Associated Press news, unemployment is up throughout West Virginia, with the biggest jump being in Jackson County. The closure of the Century Aluminum plant is the primary culprit, having laid off 650 workers. To make matters worse, AEP is seeking a 43 percent rate hike which Alcan says could cause serious problems for their rolled aluminum operations in Ravenswood. Alcan and several other manufacturers have filed formal letters of opposition with the state Public Service Commission for what is reportedly the largest rate hike ever requested in West Virginia’s history.  I know times are tough, but that certainly seems steep. Asking for a historic rate hike at a time when families and businesses are having to stretch every dollar seems wrong to me. It’s very possible that it’s merited, but still seems harsh given the economic circumstances. AEP is conducting their quarterly earnings meeting this Friday. It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers come out of that.

Until next time, stay classy San Diego.

Posted in JSN Updates | Leave a Comment »

Jackson Star News Update 4/20/09

Posted by JoAnn on April 20, 2009

Hold on to your seats, kids!  The school lunch menu is back.

* In news I just don’t understand, the Jackson Herald published a story last week on the front page with the headline that reads “Public Meeting Set Thursday for Armory” and by Thursday, it’s referring to April 16.  But on the SAME front page, there’s a story in the side rail with the headline “Ravenswood Town Meet Rescheduled.”   *Jo scratches her head in confusion*  Could there be two different meetings? Possible. But both stories refer to a meeting about the National Guard armory being planned for Millwood. And the story about a meeting being rescheduled to April 30 says the meeting was originally scheduled for April 16. Are you following me here?  Is it possible there were two different meeting scheduled for April 16 about the proposed armory and only one is rescheduled? It’s certainly possible. But it’s also possible that it’s going to snow today in Miami. Now let’s consider probability. Regardless, I think Jackson Newspapers could do a little more proofreading. If there are two meetings, then that should be spelled out somewhere to alleviate confusion. And if there’s only one meeting we’re dealing with here, then proofread the front page!  I mean the stories appear right across from each other. To make matters worse, The Jackson Star News published the same item about the armory meeting two days later with a headline that reads “Armory Meeting Tonight.”  Was it really? Did the meeting happen? Who knows. But I look forward to finding out!

Silverton VFD and their spiff new truck.

Silverton VFD and their spiffy new truck.

* The Silverton Volunteer Fire Department has taken ownership of a pretty spiffy new fire engine that should help the local VFD better serve northern Jackson County. The $330,000 vehicle was paid for with state and county funds as well as a loan and money raised by the VFD. It comes with all sorts of neat features including a Compressed Air Foam system. Basically, the foam subdues a fire quicker by cooling the fire while sucking the oxygen right out of it. This means less water is needed in fighting fires, which in addition to improving firefighters’ abilities to fight fires, also makes this fire engine more eco-friendly. Congrats to Fire Chief Jason Baltic, class of ’97, and all the hardworking volunteers on the new toy. Best of luck in all the hard work you do!

* The Ravenswood pool is getting a new diving board as well as some other new trinkets for the 2009 swimming season. Pending no major issues, it appears the pool will open as scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

* Robin Wise, former Ripley High School financial secretary, has waived a preliminary hearing in magistrate court and should be headed for a grand jury in the near future. Wise, as you may recall, is said to have stolen more than $52,000 in 2008 from the high school while working there. The Board of Education is currently considering a financial audit that examines more than a year, considering Wise worked for the high school for nearly 10 years.

Kay, Huffman and Tribett

Kay, Huffman and Tribett

* In today’s offender search, I bring you Ronald Lee Kay, 41; Tracie Lynn Huffman, 21; and Brooke LeAnn Tribett, 19. The Jackson County trio was traveling along I-77 when a police officer noticed Mr. Kay driving and knew that said driver had a revoked driver’s license. Sad when cops don’t even have to look anything up on a guy … they just already know. Anyway, our observant officer pulled the vehicle over and Kay decided to offer up the fact that he was in possession of a clandestine meth lab. A search of the vehicle turned up a plastic baggie of red phosphorus, an improvised gas generator in a Gatorade bottle, a trash can containing matches, a box of Rite Aid pseudoephedrine (note to JSN spellcheckers, it’s not sudafederine) and other items consistent with a clandestine lab. Needless to say, the trio has been charged with felony possession of methamphetamine lab components and operating or attempting to operate a clandestine methamphetamine lab.

* On tomorrow’s school lunch menu, the kiddies will be dining on turkey noodle soup, whole wheat roll (grrrr!), tossed salad, grapes, crackers, milk.

Until next time, stay classy San Diego.

Posted in JSN Updates | 5 Comments »

Jackson Star News Update 4/13/09

Posted by JoAnn on April 13, 2009

The kiddies are on Spring Break this week. Next week, keep an eye out for the triumphant return of the school lunch menu!  *SPOILER ALERT*  I hear the whole wheat roll is up to its old tricks.

  • A Ripley High School freshman girl was expelled this month after getting into a fight that resulted in a teacher being injured. Gym teacher Tess Gump was on before-school duty when the fight broke out between two girls in the gymnasium. Gump attempted to break up the fight, and one of the girls shoved the teacher off the bleachers. She struck her head on the gym floor and was knocked unconcious. Under the state’s safe schools law, when a student’s malicious conduct results in an injury to a teacher, the penalty is expulsion. The student will be allowed to return to public school in April 2010.  So do you think such an action should result in an automatic expulsion? Sound off in the first-ever JSN Update Poll!!!
  • Vanessa McClung, 44, the former treasurer of the Ravenswood High School Band Boosters who stole more than $4,800 from the bandies, has pleaded guilty to reduced charges and paid restitution to the band boosters. She was sentenced to one year of probation.
  • The Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce is experiencing a resurgence with a new president and a new focus on community involvement. One of its first items of business was to conduct a food drive to help stock the local food pantry, a project developed by T.J. Moore of Cope’s Supermarket fame, a class of ’97 grad and member of the chamber. Congrats to the chamber for a great project and best of luck in your future ventures.
  • There’s going to be a public meeting April 16 at Ravenswood High School to discuss plans for a National Guard Armory planned for Millwood. This is news to me, but sounds exciting. If anyone knows anything about this armory, please share with us in the comments section.
  • In happy news, Brad Stephenson, class of ’95, and his lovely wife Gayle, welcomed a baby girl into this world over the weekend and named her Sadie Rose. As Brad so aptly put it, he is now a legitimate answer to the question, “Who’s your daddy.” Congrats to the lovely family!
  • In this week’s offender search, I bring you Robert Orville West, 24, and Jonathan Dan Isom II, also 24. The pair of thieves dumped a Plymouth Breeze stolen in Michigan at Jackson General Hospital earlier this month after a collision on I-77. They then broke into and hot-wired a hospital employee’s van to make their escape and were nabbed on the West Virginia Turnpike by State Police Troopers. The duo faces grand larceny charges here in addition to charges in Michigan. Enjoy their mug shots below.




Until next time, stay classy San Diego!

Posted in JSN Updates | 5 Comments »

Where does one find 1,052 red and white striped shirts in New Jersey?

Posted by JoAnn on April 3, 2009

Rutgers University broke the Guinness World Record for The World’s Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Where’s Waldo?.  In total, 1,052 students were in attendance April 2 at the historic State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. 

Rutgers University broke the Guinness World Record for The World's Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Where's Waldo?. 1,052 students were in attendance April 2 at the historic State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ.

1. This is something I’d expect from a Big East school.

2. Why is this a category in the Guinness Book of World Records?

Posted in Smack Talk | Tagged: | 1 Comment »