JoAnn in Real Life

Jackson Star News Updates and Other Nonsense

NFL Reflections

Posted by JoAnn on September 22, 2009

With a few good games under our belt, here are some thoughts …

Dolphins Owner Misses Mark

Stephen Ross,  the new owner of the Miami Dolphins, has no clue how to nurture and grow a loyal fan base. After enduring last night’s home opener against the Colts, the live Jimmy Buffett concert on the plaza  is the only positive addition of all the superficial changes.  The “Orange Carpet” where celebrities enter the stadium divides the plaza and creates an annoying traffic issue. The new “Fins Up” signal where celebrities tell us to put our hand up to rayour forehead looks more like a rooster than a dolphin. And while I love Buffett and think his new Fins song is great for games, it’s a lousy fight song. (Nevermind the fact that the cameras are always zooming in on Landshark Stadium employees to give the appearance that everybody is doing the Fins dance.) I’m glad they ditched the T-Pain remake of the real fight song, but now Ross needs to listen to the fans and restore the original fight song. It’s sad when your team scores and a laid-back song immediately quiets the crowd. Yes, the old fight song is hokie. But it’s tradition and football fans like tradition. Apparently, these changes are designed to fill seats. In an interview with the Miami Herald, Ross said he realizes that winning games would fill the stadium, but he’s designing a game-day experience that will fill the seats even when the team sucks (paraphrasing, of course.) To me, that is a horrible statement to make. He’s so focused on walking in the celebrity circles, he basically told the fans he’s not worried about building a winning program. The one good nugget in all of this is that Ross is smart enough to leave the football up to Parcells and Coach Sporano. Ross may not care about winning, but these guys do. And while the first two games of the season have ended badly for the Fins, the heartbreaker against the Colts showed some very promising signs. The offense controlled the ball for 45 minutes of the game and the running attack was phenomenal. Unfortunately, Ted Ginn continues to show that he can’t catch a ball, even when it hits him in the hands … twice … in the end zone! And, the defense gave up 27 points to the Colts, whose offense was only on the field for a total of 15 minutes. They have some serious work to do there. I can’t wait to see what adjustments they make this week. Go Fins!

What’s in a Name

In watching the score updates on the CBS crawl on Sunday, I had to laugh every time I saw C. Ochocinco stats run across the screen. I can’t help it. I like this guy.

Burress’ Barney Fife Routine Lands Him Excessive Sentence

Plaxico Burress drew the short end of the sentencing stick. I think what he did was stupid. But two years? Really, New York?  Michael Vick got 23 months for his dogfighting activities, which I thought was on the mark. He acted with malice and showed a grotesque lack in judgment. Donte Stallworth got a whopping 30 days in jail for manslaughter after driving drunk and killing a human being. Granted, it was an accident and the victim was improperly crossing a very busy causeway, but a human was killed. And Stallworth was driving drunk!  Burress broke the law by illegally carrying a handgun. His accident was in shooting himself in the leg. He didn’t hurt anyone else. I think he should be punished, but believe his penalty should have fallen somewhere between animal killer and manslaughter. But I guess that’s the difference between committing a crime in Miami and committing one in New York.

Jerry Jones is Acting Like Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones

Yes, the new Cowboys stadium is very cool. You know what’s even cooler? The fact the the inaugural game was a loss. There are three teams in the NFL who have really annoying, arrogant and outlandish owners. The Bengals, the Raiders and the Cowboys. Nothing personal Cowboys fan, but I love the shots of Jones whenever his team is about to lose. And I hope the kickers of every opposing team that plays in that new stadium this year make an effort to hit that jumbotron. It’s a great feature, but it clearly needs to be raised. The NFL isn’t asking for anything unreasonable. Jerry Jones is just being Jerry Jones.

Rex Ryan is OK in My Book

I’m not a Jets fan, but I like their new coach. NFL coaches have become way too politically correct, which is going to make for some really lame Coors Light commercials down the road. Glad to see some old schoolers are still making the rounds.

Favre Continues to Unimpress

Brett Favre is still annoying me. Did I mention he took himself out of Sunday’s game for a bent fingernail. *sigh* Granted, they were winning and it happened toward the end of the game, but still, it’s a fingernail. Keep it up and he won’t be able to do his rugged Wrangler commercial anymore. I guess he has Sears to fall back on. At least those commercials are funny.


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JSN Update – 09/09/09

Posted by JoAnn on September 9, 2009

Happy day of 9s, folks!

RHS Football Team Rolls Past Poca Dots

The Ravenswood Red Devils (2-0) were too much for Class AA opponent Poca Dots (1-1) this past Friday, winning 37-19 at Poca. With a strong start to the season, the Red Devils will host Roane County High School this Friday at Flinn Field. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Carter Arrested in Drug Sting

Donald Carter

Donald Carter

Four people were arrested on drug charges following a three-month-long investigation by the Ripley Police Department. Among those arrested was Donald E. Carter, class of ’96. He was charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (Hydrocodone) for allegedly selling Norco 10 mg tablets in July. He could face a sentence of one to five years in the state penitentiary for each count or a fine of up to $15,000 for each count or both. Also charged were Kermit Patrick Hammonds, 27, of Ripley; Kathleen Trawick, 54, of Ripley; and William Patrick Huft, 55, of Ripley.

Tackett Arrested Following Bar Altercation

Three men were arrested following an altercation with police officers who responded to a reported fight at Mulberry’s last week. Deputy M.D. Strobbe of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Patrolman G.C. Burnem of the Ravenswood Police Department responded to the bar at around 2:27 a.m and were told by the owner that Donald C. Tackett, class of ’96, was causing problems and he wanted Tackett removed. The officers say they observed Tackett  yelling, cursing and attempting to fight several individuals. Burnem advised Tackett to leave, but he refused. According to the complaint, Earl Lee Stoffel, 32, of Ripley, then began yelling and causing an additional disturbance. More officers were called to the scene. Burnem escorted Tackett outside, where Burnem says Tackett continued to cause a disturbance. Stoffell and several other bar patrons following them outside, which led to one of the officers pulling out his Taser and advising the group to back up. Apparently, most decided to comply with the exception of Adam LaCava, 23, of Ravenswood, who continued to yell and scream at the officers. According to the complaint, LaCava had to be restrained by other bar patrons to keep him from advancing on the officers. Tackett, Stoffel and LaCava were all arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.

Class of ’96 Grad Passes Away

Rashell (Furr) Meredith, class of ’96, died Sept. 2, 2009 at her home in Sandyville, two days before her 31st birthday. She is survived by her husband Jeremy; sons Austin, Machia and Corey; as well as her brother, parents, in-laws and grandparents. Services were Monday and internment was at Evergreen Cemetery in Parkersburg. Condolences may be expressed to the Meredith family via Roush Funeral Home at

Staats to Wed in November

Leigh Ann Staats, class of ’00, and Jason Kerns have announced their upcoming wedding on Nov. 28 at First Baptist Church in Ravenswood. Both the bride and groom are employed at Star Plastics in Ravenswood. Best of luck to the happy couple!

Hood Receives Honor for Perseverance

Dave Hood, a fixture in Ravenswood boys basketball and baseball for many years, was recently awarded the Muscular Dystrophy Association‘s 2009 Robert Muscular_Dystrophy_Association_logoRoss Personal Achievement Award for West Virginia. Hood, 52, was selected for his positive spirit and continued community involvement in spite of being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2007. He was also recently honored as WSAZ‘s Hometown Hero for his tireless work in the community.  As you may recall, Hood is the father of Kelly, class of ’95, and David, class of ’97. Many congratulations to Mr. Hood.

No Whole Wheat Today

On today’s school lunch menu, the kiddies will be dining on chicken on a bun with lettuce and tomato, potato rounds, grapes, chocolate pudding and milk.


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JSN Update — Sept. 1

Posted by JoAnn on September 1, 2009

Coach Sturm

Coach Sturm

RHS Red Devils Defeat Herbert Hoover

Football season has arrived and Ravenswood kicked off its season with a 20-12 win over Herbert Hoover. The team’s next game is Friday, Sept. 4 at Poca. Good luck Coach Fudley … err, uh … I mean Sturm!

School Board Approves Personnel Changes

Among the many personnel matters requested recently before the Jackson County Board of Education include the request for retirement by Ravenswood Grade teacher Betty Nuzum and a transfer from RMS 42-16956657to RHS by David Rader. Best of luck to both!

Cell Phones Permitted in Jackson County Schools

The Jackson County School Board has passed a cell phone policy that will allow kids to bring cell phones to school so long as students store them in their lockers and have them turned off during school hours. Students engaged in extracurricular activities may carry cell phones during those activities so long as the phone is on silent. The school board was originally considering a ban on the devices but changed directions after parents and students pointed out the benefits of cell phones for students.

It’s Never a Good Idea to Drive Drunk. It’s an Especially Bad Idea to Hit a Police Vehicle While Driving Drunk. It’s an Even Worse Idea to Hit a Police Vehicle  in Front of a Police Station While Driving Drunk.

Edward Cranfield, 40, of Cottageville, was arrested after the vehicle he was driving collided with a Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Jeep on Maple Street in Ripley. The accident occurred just a few feet from the sheriff department’s headquarters. After failing several field sobriety tests administered by a deputy not involved in the accident, Cranfield was put under arrest. He has been charged with driving on a revoked license and DUI.

Stewart to Wed

Jake Stewart, class of ’97, plans to marry Keiah White, 19, of Sandyville. Congratulations!

School Lunch Menu Returns

With school back in session, we have the triumphant return of the School Lunch Menu. Today, the kiddies will be dining on chicken strips, mashed potatoes, peas, rolls and milk. Interesting that the menu no longer refers to that dastardly whole wheat rolls and simply lists them as rolls. To all my Jackson County teacher friends, does this switch indicate a return to the fabulous hot rolls or is it just some fancy language trickery by the whole wheat roll to hide the truth?

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Favre, 0 for 2 in Retirements

Posted by JoAnn on August 18, 2009

brett-farve-funny-t-shirt-we-will-never-forget-you-brentIt’s official. Brett Favre is dead to me.

There were three stories I was dreading heading into this football season, knowing the media would saturate the insanity with useless commentary and less than insightful reports. The first is the new Dallas stadium. The second is the criminal trifecta of Vick, Stallworth and Burress. Third is Brett Favre and the ‘will he or won’t he retire’ drama.

I thought we would dodge the third one, but alas, Favre has pulled … well … a Brett Favre by signing with Minnesota.

So now we have another football season where we will hear uninspiring and ignorant commentators constantly speculating as to whether Brett Favre will retire at the end of the season. (The answer is yes and he will re-unretire at the end of the 2010 training camp.)

Meanwhile, somewhere in a locker room in Philadelphia, Michael Vick is heaving a hearty sigh of relief. The NFL media circus has a new idiot to fill the preseason doldrums.

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JSN Update 8/6/09

Posted by JoAnn on August 6, 2009


RHS Band Director Abruptly Resigns, Recent College Grad Hired to Fill Post

Just days before Ravenswood High School‘s band camp was set to begin, band director Chris Kellermeyer unexpectedly resigned. Not wasting any time, school officials hired Nathan Corathers, a Clarksburg-native and 2009 music education grad from Alderson-Broaddus College. He had a whopping four days to prepare for band camp, which started Monday. Prior to his snappy hiring, Corathers taught private music lessons in Clarksburg.  The number 22 must be a lucky one for Mr. Carothers. He’s 22-years-old and will have 22 kids marching in the band this year. That includes four majorettes. The numbers just keep dwindling. Maybe a fresh face can turn things around. Best of luck to Mr. Corathers!

Teachers Join Forces to Publish Children’s Book

Lola Smith and Violet Smith

Lola Smith and Violet Smith

Ravenswood Middle School art teacher Lola Smith has illustrated a children’s book written by her sister-in-law, Violet Smith, a kindergarten teacher in Ravenswood. The book, “Welcome to Kindergarten” teaches the alphabet while easing kids’ anxieties about starting school. The teachers will conduct book signings in the Mid-Ohio Valley region during the next several weeks including August 14 at the Wood County Library and August 22 at the Borders in Vienna. The book will be featured at the Family Literacy Day celebration Sept. 21 at the Culture Center in Charleston.

Benford to Run in Italy

Former RHS standout athlete Andrew Benford has been named to the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team that will compete in the 25th World Mountain Running Championships on Sept. 6 in Campodolcino, Italy. Benford will compete in the senior men’s division. Many congrats on a mighty achievement. 


Melvin Lee Page

Melvin Lee Page

Man Arrested for Drive-By Shooting in Southern Jackson County

A Charleston man was arrested last week and charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment in connection with a drive-by shooting that occurred in June in southern Jackson County. Allegedly, Melvin Lee Page, 39, decided to drive by his estranged wife’s house, pull out a gun and fire at a car parked in front of the house. An adult male and juvenile were in the parked car. No one was injured in the drive-by and no word as to why the two were just hanging out in a parked car in front of this woman’s house. Regardless, Mr. Page’s mugshot is a doozie! You’ll be happy to know this guy is out on bond while he awaits his preliminary hearing.

Woman Arrested for Biting Aunt

In sick and twisted news, Megan Skeen, 18, of Ravenswood, downed a few alcoholic beverages and then assaulted her aunt by hitting her, spitting on her and eventually biting her in the breast. Skeen was charged with domestic battery, assault and underage consumption.

Posted in JSN Updates | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

In a follow-up to “Really? I mean … really?”

Posted by JoAnn on August 3, 2009

3737021384_a7c00e1372Newport News postpones ‘celebration’ for Michael Vick

And just like that, someone in the Vick camp grows a brain.  After much planning and a weekend’s worth of backlash, Michael Vick suddenly remembers he can’t attend a “community celebration” in his honor because he has a prior date with the Humane Society in Atlanta.  A photo op is a photo op … the city is not important.

Original Post:  Really?  I mean … really?

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Really? I mean … really?

Posted by JoAnn on August 3, 2009

GYI0050751573.jpgIt appears, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is hosting a — and I quote — Michael Vick Community Celebration day.

***scratches head***

So what exactly does a Michael Vick Community Celebration day entail? Apparently, face painting, pony rides, music and other kitschy activities. Vick plans to speak at the event and spread Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of non-violence. So how does such a fun-filled day for the whole family to enjoy come about? It seems the shin-dig was Vick’s idea. One of the event’s organizers told the Associated Press — and again, I quote — “Vick wanted to give back to the community, like he always does.”


Look, I think what Vick did was atrocious, grotesque and maniacal. But he was convicted, sentenced and served his time. He should be given a chance to redeem himself.  HOWEVER … Michael Vick Community Celebration day? Really?  Shouldn’t he … ya’ know … actually redeem himself  … before celebrating himself?

I smell a publicity stunt … and one that may produce the exact opposite reaction that Vick’s camp is hoping for. If he really wants to get out and endorse an event that promotes non-violent solutions, perhaps he should have elected to keep his name out of it. If he wants to rebuild the public’s trust, he needs to earn it.

Right now, Michael Vick is not a role model. He is a rehabilitated convicted felon. There is nothing about that which merits a community-wide celebration. Maybe over time that will change. Maybe he really has learned from his criminal behavior and he will lead a life worth celebrating someday. Only time will tell. But when the people of Newport News get together and celebrate a day of pony rides in his name, I can’t help but think that in a jail cell somewhere in North Carolina, Rae Carruth is planning Rae Carruth Day at the local women’s shelter … to take place in five to 10.

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JSN Update 7/31/09

Posted by JoAnn on July 31, 2009


Plane Crashes Near Skull Run Road

A man died last night after his single engine plane crashed near Skull Run Road just north of Ravenswood.

The plane, which took off from Nebraska, was headed for Indiana but veered seriously off course. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) scrambled F-16 figther jets in an attempt to intercept the plane after the pilot failed to respond to air traffic controllers.

The military pilots dropped flares and tried to contact the pilot, before making visual contact with the small plane’s cockpit and determining the pilot was unconscious. No other person was in the plane. The plane ran out of fuel near Henderson, W.Va. and crashed a short time later in Jackson County. As of this morning’s news reports, Skull Run Road continues to be shut down.

Posted in JSN Updates | 2 Comments »

JSN Update 7/29/09

Posted by JoAnn on July 29, 2009

Library - 4493Headline Fail

Now typos are just a part of life, and as hard as you try in journalism to avoid them, they sometimes slip through. However, when you’re writing a headline for the front page of the newspaper that deals with education, it’s probably best not to misspell the principal’s name. For the record, the new RHS principal’s last name is Hendricks, with a d.  Remember Jackson Herald, proofreaders are your friend.

Fair Rakes in Serious Cash

The Jackson County Junior Fair was a big success this year, bringing in nearly $340,000 in the market livestock sale. The total is the second highest in the fair’s history. Not too shabby!  And that’s during a recession. Congrats to all the kids who made the fair a success.

Class of ’84 Plans Reunion

The class of ’84 is gearing up for a 25-year reunion scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5. The activities begin at 11:30 a.m. with lunch at the NYA Hall. Later that evening, there will be a mixer of sorts featuring a live band, also at the NYA Hall. The following Sunday, classmates are invited to a day of golf of food at Green Hills Country Club. Information is available by contacting Mark Yencha at 304-512-9166.

Matics and Foltz

Matics and Foltz

Matics Announces Engagement

Many congrats go out to Scotti Matics, class of ’00, and her fiance, Wesley Foltz. The lovely couple recently announced their engagement. They are planning an October wedding in Ravenswood. Scotti is currently employed by the WVU School of Medicine and her husband-to-be is employed by the WVU School of Dentistry. They will reside in Morgantown. Congratulations!

Roush Welcomes Baby Girl

Heather Clay-Roush, class of ’97, and her husband Billy Roush recently welcomed a baby girl into their growing family. The little tike, which they named Reese, joins big brother, River. Many congrats!

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A Minor Housekeeping Note

Posted by JoAnn on July 23, 2009

22619_yellow_man_wearing_a_tie_using_a_mop_while_mopping_a_hard_floor_to_clean_up_a_mess_or_spillI’ve been asked twice now in the past month about whether or not you can comment directly to my blog posts. The answer is yes. If you’re on the main page and see a post you’d like to comment on, simply click on the “comments” link at the bottom and it will take you to the post with a comment box at the bottom. You are required to enter in your e-mail address (WordPress rules, not mine), but it does not publish that with your comment so no worries. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Housekeeping | 4 Comments »