GilmerFreePress.net

GCHS Basketball Games Schedule, Cancellation, Postponement

The Gilmer Free Press

•  The Mini-Titan boys basketball game vs. Calhoun slated for 6:00 PM tonight is cancelled.

•  The Varsity girls basketball game scheduled for tonight at Roane County is cancelled; it has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 07, 2015 at 5:30 (JV) and 7:00 PM (Varsity).

•  The Varsity boys basketball game for Saturday, January 31, 2015 against Wirt County is still scheduled to be played.  JV will begin at 5:45 and varsity at 7:30 PM.  Doors will open at 5:15 PM.

Please support your local GCHS Titan teams!!

Salary Equity System for Teachers in WV Is Questioned

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia State Department of Education officials in their meeting with WV Legislature last week, indicated that it might be time to change the system of ensuring equity among teachers’ salaries across the state.

In the department’s presentation of its budget request, Joe Panetta, the department’s chief operations officer, noted that the cost of equity adjustments increased in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year. He said that is because of a provision that requires salaries in 45 counties to be at least 90% of the average salary of the top 10 counties. Three counties in the top 10 raised salaries this year, so that raised the average, requiring an extra $3.6 million in basic salaries, he said.

That came after Martirano said West Virginia is not producing enough teachers to fill all the teaching vacancies.  “We have 12 to 13 vacancies in one particular county where teachers are not in their certified field teaching our young people core content area in high school and teachers teaching out of their field,” he said, noting that neighboring states offer higher salaries.

“It seems we may have painted ourselves into an unsustainable situation.” – Delegate Paul Espinosa

Delegate Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, wondered whether letting the salary equity line increase in the budget in the way Panetta explained is a sustainable approach. “It seems like we’ve kind of locked ourselves into a situation, where even though student enrollment is declining, we’re going to see that line-item [increase], particularly as our growth counties see the additional need to enhance salaries – it seems we may have painted ourselves into an unsustainable situation,” Espinosa said.

Panetta explained that the approach for handling salary equity resulted from the court decision on the issue by Judge Arthur Recht more than 30 years ago. He said it would be fair to ask whether equity funding is still a priority and suggested perhaps a differential funding system should be considered. But that would be a decision for the legislature to make, Panetta added.

Martirano said, “Each one of our counties has a unique set of issues.” So he advised legislators to consider changing the School Aid Formula. “We had talked about the issue of equity and how the funding formula addresses [it], but we’re at a stage now where the one-size-fits-all model may not necessarily work based upon some of the needs we’re talking about.”

When Delegate Ron Walters, R-Kanawha, asked whether he ever expected to challenge the Recht decision, Martirano said he couldn’t make that prediction and would have to confer with others. Walters then questioned the constitutionality of the equity funding process.

“With equity funding, 10 counties could cause us to spend more money, and technically, under the governmental system that we have, the legislature appropriates the money,” he said.

Panetta said the public education system has gone from an input-based model when the Recht decision went into effect to an outcomes-based model. “So I don’t know that it would be an issue now,” he said about salary equity. “It seems like the requirements have shifted from the 80s to today.”

~~  Jim Wallace ~~

G-Eye™: Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting Report - Friday, 01.16.15

The Gilmer Free Press

GILMER COUNTY COMMISSION  
REPORT of REGULAR MEETING
January 16, 2015 @ 9:00 AM
Gilmer County Courthouse – Commission Office
10 Howard Street, Glenville, WV

[xx] = The order meeting was conducted (Video)

[1]  I. CALL TO ORDER: Meeting was Called to order by President Chapman. Commissioners Kennedy, Bennett; County Clerk Butcher and County Administrator Wilson were present.


[2]  II.  PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE TO THE U.S. FLAG: Pledge to Flag of United States was conducted.


[7]  III. PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Martin Hess, the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department Chief spoke about a program for first responders, and asked the commission to consider it. The program is training at no charge for anyone who joins the first responders. The program will be a great benefit because it puts everyone on the same page. He also spoke about an incident where the natural gas was off in Sand Fork area on a very cold night from 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM. He said they had to get electric heaters for the houses involved.


IV. APPOINTMENTS

None


V. ROUTINE BUSINESS:

      Discussion and/or action on:

[4]              1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations: None

[5]              2) Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements: They were approved.

[6]              3) Board Appointments and/or Resignations: None

                    a) Board Seats remain open on the:

                          i.  ** Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency - Dekalb/Troy & Glenville Corporation

[8]              4) Budget Revisions: Rvisions were presented by Angel Ball. It was approved.

[9]              5) Budget Control Report:  NONE

[24]              6) Approve invoices for payment: Invoices totaling $180,165.50 were approved for payment.

[10]              7) County Commission Minutes for 01.02.2015: : It was approved.

[11]              8) Receipt of County Board Minutes:

                    a)  Gilmer County Public Service District 06.09; 07.14; 08.11; 09.08; 10.13; 11.10; and 12.18.14

                    b)  E-911 Addressing Report for December 2014

                    c)  E-911 Advisory Board 12.08.2014

Commission acknowledged the receipt of the minutes. These minutes are available for review if desired by any citizen.


VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

[12]              1) Right of Way on Kanawha Street, Camden Flats Subdivision as Inquired by Pat Golden-Update: No Updates. Awaiting Commission Counsel, the Prosecutor Hough for response.

[13]              2) Courthouse Basement Project – Completed with a few exceptions:  90% of the payment will be made with 10% on hold until everything is finished.

[14]              3)  Commissioner Bennett’s request for Reimbursement of Insurance Premiums: Commissioner Chapman indicated it was premature to make any decision at this time. Postponed until next meeting.

[15]              4)  2015 Schedule of Regular Meetings for the County Commission were approved as follow:

The Gilmer Free Press


VII. NEW BUSINESS:

      Discussion and/or action on:

[16]              1)  Per State Auditor’s Office - Ambulance Authority FY 2014 Audit to be performed at the cost of $3,750

[17]              2)  Schedule working session to discuss Voting Precincts: Because of school consolidation and closing, Jean Butcher, the County Clerk said new location(s) is needed. She mentioned having all the precincts at a central location, but the commissioners were not in favor of it.

[18]              3)  Courthouse Basement Project Grant Final Report and Request for Reimbursement of $ 72,621 was signed.

[19]              4)  WV Motor Fuel Tax Refund Application submitted in the amount of $1,007.10 for July – December 2014 was signed.

[20]              5)  Assessor’s PVC Budget for FY 2015-16 was received. Assessor get up to 20% of the amount for use in his office & work. Commission Chapman asked whether the assessor needed the entire amount. Commission can change this amount if necessary.

[21]              6)  A letter from Brenda Nott RE:  Introduction of Legislative Bill called “Sarah Nott’s Law” was received.

[22]              7)  “Drug Take Back” Box now located in the Sheriff’s Office: There is a prescription drug drop off box at the Sheriff’s office permanently. Sheriff Gerwig said WVDA will pick up the drugs regularly.

[23]              8)  Renewal of Office of Emergency Management Personnel Contracts: Tabled until next meeting.


VIII. OTHER BUSINESS

Jean Butcher, County Clerk said: One of her employees, Rosie has turned in a letter for resignation. no one will be hired for this position at this time.

Cindy Wilson, Administrator said: The following Friday anyone could setup at the Capitol to represent the county. It was initiated by delegate Roger Hanshaw. Those who were interested were to call Cindy Wilson by Wednesday.


IX. EXECUTIVE SESSION AS NEEDED: None


[25]  X.    ADJOURNMENT


NEXT MEETING: February 06, 2015 at 9:00 AM

 

Click H E R E to Watch the Video

WVSBDC Offers Small Business Workshop in Braxton County

The Gilmer Free Press

People who own a business or who are interested in starting their own business will find valuable help at a workshop on Business Fundamentals, scheduled for 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Tuesday, February 17, 2015 in Braxton County.

The workshop is part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC) training and business coaching program, Three Step Jump Start, which helps small business owners receive the right information at the right time. The workshop is being co-sponsored by the Braxton County Development Authority and will be held in the Braxton Technology Center, 89 Richard D. Minnich Drive, (off of Days Drive next the Braxton County Emergency Service Building).

Three Step Jump Start helps entrepreneurs and small business owners in West Virginia accelerate their potential success by learning the structure and services provided by WVSBDC. The first step is to view the Three Step Jump Start video on the agency’s website, www.wvsbdc.org.

“Sometimes it’s hard to even know where to start when thinking about owning a business,” said BCDA Program Manager Terrell Ellis. “Even after you’ve opened your business, it seems like there are always a thousand questions. A workshop like this will introduce people to the experts at the WVSBDC and what they can do to help.”

After viewing the online Three Step Jump Start video, individuals can attend the Business Fundamentals workshop, designed specifically for startups and new businesses. The workshop provides essential information on what an entrepreneur needs to know to start a business successfully. There is a $35-per-person fee for the workshop. Attendees can pay at the door the day of the event or pay online. Receipts from online payments should be printed and brought with attendees to the workshop the day of the event.

Registration is required at least two days in advance. To register, call Samuel Payne at 304.553.2805 or email .

After completing the workshop, interested entrepreneurs or business owners may schedule a no-cost appointment with WVSBDC for one-on-one coaching sessions. The WVSBDC coaches provide assistance with business plan development, financial statement preparation, cash flow analysis and other services.

“The economic vitality of Braxton County is tied to how well our small businesses are doing,” said Jeff Lilly, president of the Braxton County Development Authority. “We are pleased to help sponsor this workshop and hope that people will take advantage of this great resource. If you own a business, or are thinking about opening one, the folks at the WVSBDC can answer your questions and help you be successful.”

The WVSBDC is part of the West Virginia Development Office and creates economic impact through offering entrepreneurs and small businesses cost-effective business coaching and technical assistance. The West Virginia SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The WVSBDC is an Accredited Member of America’s SBDC network.

Gilmer County Commission Financial Statement, June 30, 2014

GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
STATEMENT OF NET POSITION
June 30, 2014
Primary
Government Component Units
Governmental Board of Parks and Health Ambulance
Activities Health Recreation Center Authority
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 740,939 $ 49,495 $ 9,331 $ 22,159 $ 19,787
Receivables:
Taxes 183,282
Accounts 797
Total current assets 924,221 49,495 9,331 22,159 20,584
Capital assets:
Nondepreciable:
Land 278,770
Depreciable:
Buildings 2,896,365
Machinery and equipment 394,704 29,836 439,139
Vehicles 336,499
Less: accumulated depreciation ( 2,359,484)
Total noncurrent assets 1,546,854 29,836 439,139
Total assets $ 2,471,075 $ 49,495 $ 39,167 $ 22,159 $ 459,723
LIABILITIES
Current liabilities payable
from current assets:
Accounts payable 41,456 ( 357) 8,253
Payroll payable 408 ( 717) ( 149,021)
OPEB payable 788,853 265,382
Noncurrent liabilities:
Leases payable - due within one year 11,577
Leases payable - due in more than one year 20,906
Compensated absences payable 26,137
Total liabilities 888,929 ( 357) 408 ( 717) 124,614
NET POSITION
Invested in capital assets,
net of related debt 1,514,371 - - 29,836 439,139
Unrestricted 67,775 49,852 8,923 22,876 ( 104,030)
Total net position 1,582,146 49,852 38,759 22,876 335,109
Total liabilities and net position $ 2,471,075 $ 49,495 $ 39,167 $ 22,159 $ 459,723



LIABILITIES, DEFERRED INFLOWS AND FUND BALANCES
Liabilities:
Accounts payable 41,456 - - - - 41,456
OPEB payable 761,287 27,566 788,853
Total liabilities 802,743 27,566 830,309
Deferred Inflows:
Unavailable revenue - taxes 127,256 28,809 156,065
Total deferred inflows of resources 127,256    
Total liabilities and deferred inflows of resources 929,999    
Fund balances:
Restricted 92 52,596 52,688
Assigned 56,652 56,652
Unassigned ( 166,309) ( 5,184) ( 171,493)
Total fund balances ( 166,309) 56,652 92 47,412 ( 62,153)
Total liabilities, deferred inflows and fund balances $ 763,690 $ 56,652 $ 92 $   $ 768,156



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
RECONCILIATION OF THE BALANCE SHEET - GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS
TO THE STATEMENT OF NET POSITION
June 30, 2014
Total fund balances on the governmental fund’s balance sheet $ ( 62,153)
Amounts reported for governmental activities in the statement of net position are different because:
Capital assets used in governmental activities are not financial resources and are therefore not reported in the funds. (Note IV.C.) 1,546,854
Certain revenues are not available to fund current year expenditures and therefore are deferred in the funds. (Note IV.B.) 156,065
Long-term liabilities are not due and payable in the current period and therefore are not reported in the funds. (Note IV.G.) ( 58,620)
Net position of governmental activities $ 1,582,146



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES
AND CHANGES IN FUND BALANCES -
GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS
For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014
Coal Small Cities Other Nonmajor Total
Severance Block Governmental Governmental
General Tax Grant Funds Funds
REVENUES
Taxes:
Ad valorem property taxes $ 1,607,055 $ - - $ - - $ 298,777 $ 1,905,832
Other taxes 22,163 5,816 27,979
Coal severance tax 26,244 26,244
Licenses and permits 5,681 12,470 18,151
Intergovernmental:
Federal 85,622 1,113,342 1,198,964
State 73,176 73,176
Charges for services 623,521 25,508 649,029
Fines and forfeits 18,226 32,383 50,609
Interest and investment earnings 3,699 49 46 3,794
Refunds 33,076 33,076
Contributions and donations 3,838 3,838
Miscellaneous 94,242 123,784 218,026
Total revenues 2,570,299 26,293 1,113,342 498,784 4,208,718
EXPENDITURES
Current:
General government 1,804,290 91,803 - - 79,791 1,975,884
Public safety 930,786 219,887 1,150,673
Health and sanitation 6,501 1,113,342 1,119,843
Culture and recreation 88,542 130,933 219,475
Capital outlay 42,064 42,064
Total expenditures 2,872,183 91,803 1,113,342 430,611 4,507,939
Excess (deficiency) of revenues
over expenditures ( 301,884) ( 65,510) 68,173 ( 299,221)
OTHER FINANCING SOURCES (USES)
Transfers in 84,994 - - - - 84,994
Transfers (out) ( 84,994) ( 84,994)
Total other financing
sources (uses) 84,994 ( 84,994)
Net change in fund balances ( 216,890) ( 65,510) ( 16,821) ( 299,221)
Fund balances - beginning 50,581 122,162 92 64,233 237,068
Fund balances - ending $ ( 166,309) $ 56,652 $ 92 $ 47,412 $ ( 62,153)



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
RECONCILIATION OF THE STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES
AND CHANGES IN FUND BALANCES OF GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS TO
THE STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES
For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014
Amounts reported for governmental activities in the statement of activities are different because:
Net change in fund balances - total governmental funds $ (299,221)
Capital outlays are reported as an expenditure in the governmental funds, but are considered an asset at the government-wide level. This is the amount of capital assets that were purchased during the fiscal year. (Note II) 109,930
Capital outlays are reported as an expenditure in the governmental funds. In the statement of activities, the cost of those assets is allocated over their estimated useful lives and reported as depreciation expense. This is the amount of depreciation expense charged during the year. (Note IV.C.) ( 131,797)
Revenues in the statement of activities that do not provide current financial resources are not reported as revenues in the funds. This is the difference between prior and current year deferred revenues. ( 22,631)
Prior year deferred revenues:  $178,696
Current year deferred revenues:  $156,065
Some expenses reported in the statement of activities do not require the use of current financial resources and, therefore, are not reported as expenditures in governmental funds. (Note IV.G.) 1,922
Change in net position of governmental activities $ ( 341,797)



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES AND CHANGES
IN FUND BALANCE - BUDGET AND ACTUAL - GENERAL FUND
For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014
Variance with
Budgeted Amounts Actual Adjustments Actual Amounts Final Budget
Modified Budget Budget Positive
Original Final Accrual Basis Basis Basis (Negative)
REVENUES
Taxes:
Ad valorem property taxes $ 1,564,807 1,571,829 $ 1,607,055 $ ( 4,867) $ 1,602,188 $ 30,359
Gas and oil severance tax 80,000 80,000 ( 80,000)
Other taxes 17,000 21,288 22,163 22,163 875
Licenses and permits 200 5,654 5,681 5,681 27
Intergovernmental:
Federal 10,000 54,884 85,622 85,622 30,738
State 50,000 60,706 73,176 73,176 12,470
Charges for services 210,594 710,956 623,521 623,521 ( 87,435)
Fines and forfeits 20,000 3,100 18,226 18,226 15,126
Interest and investment earnings 2,050 15,379 3,699 ( 3,355) 344 ( 15,035)
Refunds 10,000 47,149 33,076 33,076 ( 14,073)
Contributions and donations 55,000 35,838 3,838 32,000 35,838
Miscellaneous 79,800 89,822 94,242 94,242 4,420
Total revenues 2,099,451 2,696,605 2,570,299 23,778 2,594,077 ( 102,528)
EXPENDITURES
Current:
General government 1,848,005 2,285,247 1,804,290 45,664 1,849,954 435,293
Public safety 584,652 1,071,292 930,786 93,931 1,024,717 46,575
Health and sanitation 7,000 15,300 6,501 6,501 8,799
Culture and recreation 20,000 113,472 88,542 ( 2,410) 86,132 27,340
Capital outlay 47,565 42,064 5,217 47,281 284
Total expenditures 2,459,657 3,532,876 2,872,183 142,402 3,014,585 518,291
Excess (deficiency) of revenues
over expenditures ( 360,206) ( 836,271) ( 301,884) ( 118,624) ( 420,508) 415,763

OTHER FINANCING SOURCES (USES)
Transfers in 60,206 259,191 84,994 168,000 252,994 ( 6,197)
Total other financing
sources (uses) 60,206 259,191 84,994 168,000 252,994 ( 6,197)
Net change in fund balance ( 300,000) ( 577,080) ( 216,890) 49,376 ( 167,514) 409,566
Fund balance - beginning 300,000 577,080 50,581 526,499 577,080
Fund balance - ending $ $ $ ( 166,309) $ 575,875 $ 409,566 $ 409,566



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES AND CHANGES
IN FUND BALANCE - BUDGET AND ACTUAL - COAL SEVERANCE TAX FUND
For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014
Variance with
Budgeted Amounts Actual Amounts Final Budget
Budget Positive
Original Final Basis (Negative)
REVENUES
Taxes:
Coal severance tax $ 15,000 15,000 $ 26,244 $ 11,244
Interest and investment earnings 100 100 49 ( 51)
Total revenues 15,100 15,100 26,293 11,193
EXPENDITURES
Current:
General government 115,000 137,262 91,803 45,459
Total expenditures 115,000 137,262 91,803 45,459
Net change in fund balance ( 99,900) ( 122,162) ( 65,510) 56,652
Fund balance - beginning 99,900 122,162 122,162
Fund balance - ending $ - - $ - - $ 56,652 $ 56,652

Gilmer County Schools Newsletter - January 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville City Council Meeting - 02.02.15

The Gilmer Free Press

AGENDA
Glenville City Council
February 02, 2015
7:00 PM

Pledge of Allegiance


I. Call To Order


II. Public

      A. Approval of Minutes – January 05,  2015 - Minutes of last meeting


Recorder


III. Reports

      B. Financial

      C. Street Report

      D. Police -

      E. Glenville Utility -

      F. Recorder-  Election/January 12 – 31, 2015 file period update

      G. Mayor’s Comments :

              - Boots for the two street workers

              - Grant Update

              - Plow/lift kit

              - City Park

              - Update on Street Department Remodeling

              -


IV. Unfinished Business


V. New Business

      Ordinance 300-10


VI. Other Business to come before council


VII. Next council meeting – March 02, 2015 at 7:00 PM


VIII. Adjourn

West Virginia News   150130

The Gilmer Free Press

WALMART TO HIRE 300 EMPLOYEES FOR FLATWOODS STORE

Walmart is currently accepting applications for the position.

Walmart has set up a temporary hiring center at 273 Skidmore Lane in Flatwoods.

They are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You can also apply online.

About 300 jobs are available.

According to store manager Bobbi-Jo Mealey the store will be hiring both full- and part-time associates. “We look forward to meeting energetic applicants to help build our team,“ said Mealey.

The majority of new associates will begin work this April to help prepare the store for its grand opening.

Through Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, they will offer a job to any qualified veteran who has been honorably discharged within the past 12 months.


WEST LIBERTY PRESIDENT ACCUSED OF VIOLATING ETHICS LAW

West Liberty University President Robin Capehart faces allegations that he violated state ethics law by using university resources to promote his film company.

Media outlets report that the allegations are contained in a complaint released Wednesday by the West Virginia Ethics Commission. The commission has scheduled an April 16 hearing.

The commission’s Probable Cause Review Board alleges that Capehart used a state purchasing card for expenses related to promoting “Doughboy,“ a 2011 movie produced by his company, Flyover Films. Capehart also is accused of using university computer equipment for the film’s production and promotion, and of using the school’s television station to promote the film.

Capehart denied the allegations in a statement to media outlets.

West Liberty’s Board of Governors says it will take any necessary action when appropriate.


WV DELEGATE APPEALS FOR DONATIONS FOR VETERANS’ PROGRAM

Delegate Joshua Nelson is seeking donations of farm equipment for a program that gives a hand to veterans getting into farming.

The Boone Republican is making the appeal for the Veterans and Warriors Agriculture Program. Nelson says the programs rents the equipment at a low rate so veterans can start farming and make a living for themselves.

The donations are eligible for tax write-offs.

The program’s director is James McCormick, who led a similar non-profit with the similar goal of getting veterans into farming.

Nelson served with the U.S. Marines from 2006 to 2011 and currently serves with the West Virginia Air National Guard.


CENSUS: 1 IN 5 CHILDREN ON FOOD STAMPS

Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation’s economy tumbled in 2008.

Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring.

The number of people receiving food stamps — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — spiked through the recession and has stayed at a higher level since. In the 2007 Census survey, 9 million children received SNAP assistance.

Participation and spending appear to be going down, though. The Congressional Budget Office said this week that the government spent $76 billion on SNAP last year, down 8% from the year before. That was the first time spending went down since the beginning of the recession.

Around 46.5 million people received food stamps last year, according to the Agriculture Department, which oversees the aid, up from around 26 million in 2007. Participation is expected to decrease over the next 10 years, though higher food costs could keep spending up.

Half of the children receiving food stamps in the Census survey — 8 million — were living only with their mothers. Around 5 million children receiving food stamps lived with married parents.

The spike in food stamp spending has caught the attention of Congress, and House Republicans tried to cut the program by around $4 billion a year in 2013. In an eventual compromise, Congress agreed to cuts of around $800 million a year, policy that was signed into law by President Barack Obama early last year as part of a larger farm bill. Since then, many states have found ways to get around the cuts.

The SNAP program will still be under scrutiny in the new Republican Congress. The new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, and the new chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, are both expected to take a look at food stamp spending in the coming year.

Billy Shore, the founder and CEO of Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger group, said childhood hunger doesn’t get enough attention. His group is pushing Congress to leave the food stamp program untouched and to find new ways to end childhood poverty.

“These kids are the most vulnerable and the least responsible for the situation in which they find themselves,“ he said.


2010 HARRISON COUNTY CONVICTED MURDERER SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON

A man convicted of a 2010 murder in Clarksburg was sentenced to life in prison.

Ennis Charles Payne II, age 39, of Clarksburg was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit burglary by a jury in November.

Judge James Matish ruled that Payne be sentenced to life in prison with mercy on the murder charge and 1-5 years on the conspiracy charge. The sentences will run consecutively.

Before the sentencing, the victim’s family members spoke in favor of Payne being locked away while the victim’s daughter, who was eight-year-old at the time of the murder, spoke in hope of the result bringing closure. The state argued Payne should recieve the maximum sentence due to the fact he should be considered a threat to society, citing his criminal history which includes three other felonies.

In January of 2010, Payne, along with codefendant Darnell Bouie, age 37, of Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, planned to rob Jayar Poindexter, age 30, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, of drugs and money at his Clarksburg residence in the Quarry Apartments while he was not at home. However, when it was discovered that Poindexter was in the residence, Payne shot Poindexter in the chest, killing him.

Additionally, Matish ruled Payne pay restitution in the amount of $11,516.80, with $7,000 being paid to the state crime victims compensation fund and the remaining money to be paid to Poindexter’s mother to help cover funeral and other costs.

Bouie received a similar life sentence in March with similar requirements for paying restitution. Should Bouie be unable to pay his restitution, Payne would assume the responsibility.

Payne has the right to appeal the decision if he submits a request within 30 days.

With the mercy ruling, he will be up for parole 15 years after the date of his incarceration, September 18, 2012.


WV GOP WANTS ELECTION CHANGES IN POSSIBLE MANCHIN GOV BID

As U.S. Senator Joe Manchin considers a 2016 return bid for governor, Republicans hope to block him from handpicking his Senate successor for two years.

If he reclaims his old job, the Democrat will have served enough of his Senate term that he, as new governor, could name the next senator through 2018.

With majorities in the House and Senate for the first time in more than eight decades, Republicans can stymie Manchin’s ability to name a potential replacement.

Republican House Speaker Tim Armstead said his party has already drafted an election law change requiring special elections, not appointments, in cases like Manchin’s.

Manchin first won his Senate seat in a special election after Democratic Senator Robert Byrd died in 2010. There was debate then about special elections versus appointments.


HUNTERS KILL 105 DEER DURING MORGANTOWN’S 2014 URBAN HUNT

Hunters killed fewer deer during Morgantown’s 2014 urban archery hunt than they did the previous year.

The city said Thursday that 105 deer were killed during the four-month hunt that ended December 31. That’s down from 137 deer killed in 2013.

Local shelters and kitchens received 853 pounds of ground venison from 35 deer donated during the 2014 hunt.

Registration for a lottery for new hunters will begin March 01 and run through March 31.


EX-WVU PARKERSBURG EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO TAKING MONEY

A former West Virginia University at Parkersburg employee faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to using school funds for personal expenses.

Kevin Francis Offenberger is scheduled to be sentenced in April. He pleaded guilty this week in Wood County Circuit Court to felony fraudulent scheme and felony use of a purchase card.

Assistant prosecuting attorney Patrick Lefebure says Offenberger used a university-issued purchase card for about $54,000 in personal expenses between January 2009 and October 2013.

WVU-Parkersburg spokeswoman Katie Wootoon declined to comment on the case.


CHARTER SCHOOLS IN WV SENATE

The West Virginia Senate Education Committee has started work on legislation opening West Virginia to public charter schools. Committee members heard a detailed discussion of SB 14 Thursday afternoon, but put off discussion until next week.

Bill supporters argue West Virginia school students continue lag behind the rest of the nation.

They want to give parents, teachers and community leaders the option to create schools that operate independently of local boards.

In return for the flexibility, charter schools are expected to produce better results, especially with minority students and children from poor families.

Under the bill, charters would be issued to schools for five year terms. They would be publicly funded, open to all students and governed by a nine-member board of parents, teachers, the school principal, a school service worker, a representative of business and a person with knowledge of finance.

Charter schools would be subject to the same student assessment and accreditation requirements as non-charter schools.

The proposal is controversial. At a public hearing Wednesday night speakers were split down the middle on the merits of charter schools. The state’s two teacher unions are adamantly opposed to the bill.

West Virginia is one of eight states that do not allow charter schools.


PRESTON COUNTY CHIROPRACTOR CONVICTED

A Preston County chiropractor was convicted Thursday on 12 criminal counts in connection with a former patient.

Stephen Herto, age 48, sent explicit emails to a 16-year-old girl.

He admitted in testimony Wednesday that he’d been foolish.


CTC CHANCELLOR ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION

The only chancellor the West Virginia Community and Technical College System has ever had announced his resignation Thursday.

Skidmore was named chancellor of the system in 2004 not long after the legislature created it. His community and technical college career in West Virginia has stretched for 29 years.

“Jim has devoted most of his professional career to the advancement of community and technical college education in West Virginia,” Community and Technical College Council Chairman Clarence “Butch” Pennington said in a prepared release. “Our council appreciates his commitment, professionalism, and dedication in serving as our Chancellor.”

The council will establish a search committee.


DRIVER KILLED IN GREENBRIER COUNTY ACCIDENT

A Greenbrier County man was killed Thursday morning in a single-car crash on Interstate 64.

Greenbrier County sheriff’s deputies said Travis McClung, age 27, of Clintonville, lost control of his car and slammed into a guardrail. McClung was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

The wreck took place place at around 8:30 AM.

GFP - 01.30.2015
NewsPolitics | Government | ElectionState-WV(2) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~


What % of children in Gilmer County’s schools are on food stamps and how does this compare to prosperous parts of America? We are not comparing us to poor foreign countries. The same question could be asked for family and per capita incomes in the County.

By Food Stamp Family  on  01.30.2015

Hungry children do not learn well or preform well.  Any teacher will confirm.
The outcomes are even worse when the same children are forced into an through a failed education system such as ours.
Recently an article appeared in a publication that simply stated: 
***public school education plus 2 years of college equal a high school education of 25 years ago”
One might suspect this is true, especially with all the remediation we keep hearing about.  Our future generation is being cheated, hence the futures of mankind.

By it matters  on  01.30.2015

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Report: What You Have to Earn to Be in the 1% in Every State

The Gilmer Free Press

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute says that the benefits from the economic recovery are being enjoyed by the nation’s top 1% of income earners while the rest of us still languish with relatively stagnant, even falling, wages.

Overall income grew by nearly 37% since 1979, but growth for “1 Percenters” was some 181%. When factoring the 1% out, the 99% saw their income grow only by 2.6%. Moreover, after the recovery from the Great Recession, the top 1% have enjoyed “an alarming share of economic growth.”

According to University of California/Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, who is cited in the report, the top 1% captured 95% of the total income growth between 2009 and 2012.

“In previous recoveries, the majority of income growth was accounted for by the bottom 99%,” said Mark Price, a labor economist who co-authored the study.

Price says several factors, including a minimum wage that hasn’t kept up with the rate inflation, declining union membership, and an extremely slow recovery from the Great Recession, are the primary factors why a vast majority of Americans haven’t seen their incomes rise over the past several years.

The Institute’s report, “The Increasingly Unequal United States of America,“ details the disparity in wealth, not only for the nation, but in every U.S. state. It’s based on tax data collected every year by the Internal Revenue Service.

Added to the report is a map that details income inequality by state, and shows how much income it would take to be a 1 Percenter in each state and the District of Columbia.

So, what does it take to make it into the 1% of earners? In Arkansas, you’d need to pull in $228,000 a year. In Connecticut, the threshold is $678,000, which also happens to have the greatest income disparity of all states. The Nutmeg State’s 1% makes 51 times more money than what the rest of the wage earners average in the state. By comparison, Hawaii’s 1% make just under 15 times the  amount as other wage earners there.

Look at the Economic Policy Institute’s map, below, to see how bad income disparity is in your state.

The Gilmer Free Press

Movie Review: ‘Cake’

A wintry pall enshrouds even the sunniest Los Angeles locales in “Cake,” a drab, dramatically inert redemption story enlivened by a sharp performance by Jennifer Aniston.

This quiet, dressed-down turn shouldn’t be considered much of a departure for the former “Friends” star, as she has already delivered similarly impressive performances in such indie films as “The Good Girl” and “Friends With Money.” Here, playing a deeply scarred woman coping with chronic pain, unresolved trauma and an alarming fascination with the suicide of an acquaintance, she proves that her comic gifts of timing and delivery serve her well, even in the most dire of circumstances.

The Gilmer Free Press


We meet Claire Bennett, Aniston’s walking-wounded heroine, just as she’s being kicked out of her chronic-pain support group for “anger issues.” Spiky, brutally frank and heavily addicted to a cocktail composed of Percocet and vodka, she could be Nurse Jackie’s smart, sardonically inclined younger sister: a grimacing, darkly funny tell-it-like-it-izzer with the uncanny ability to get a bead on everyone except herself. She may possess a quick wit, but it’s a biting one — figuratively and literally, when she spontaneously takes a household employee to bed after eyeing him working next to the pool.

“Cake” is structured as something of a mystery as far as the source of Claire’s psychic and physical wounds, but viewers will suss out the situation within minutes. That could be a testament to Aniston’s expressive talents, but it also suggests that screenwriter Patrick Tobin and director Daniel Barnz have created a schematic tale of overcoming grief and guilt that ultimately feels more calculating than genuinely bold or new, even with a few touches of magical realism. The same goes for the series of encounters that spur Claire along a bumpy journey that veers between hope and self-annihilation, from her loyal, patient housekeeper (played with graceful authority by Adriana Barraza) to a handsome widower played by Sam Worthington.

“Cake’s” supporting ensemble — including Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Anna Kendrick and Chris Messina — adds to the feeling that, more than anything else, this bleak, feel-good exercise has been machined primarily as a vehicle for Aniston’s bid for seriousness, a gambit that has paid off with Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations. (She serves as an executive producer of the project.) There’s no doubt that Aniston deserves more roles like this one but, with luck, in less maudlin, more surprising movies.

★ ½

R. Contains profanity, substance abuse and brief sexuality. 102 minutes.

The Legislature Today 01.29.2015

At the legislature today, lawmakers were updated on a bill that passed two years ago and its effect on overcrowding in the state’s jails and prisons.

But correction officials say it will take more money to continue implementing the new law.

And does the state Public Service Commission have too much control over your local water utility?

Some small public service districts say yes.

These stories plus a look the education issues facing lawmakers on The Legislature Today.

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The Gilmer Free Press

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The Gilmer Free Press

G-Eye™: Knoxville, TN

From a Traveling Mountaineer
Gasoline Regular $1.68 in Knoxville, TN

The Gilmer Free Press
As always, the people in West Virginia are getting the shaft

Sports News   150130

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►   Redskins’ RGIII says he wasn’t healthy last season and ‘it sucked’

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III joined ESPN 980′s Chris Russell on Wednesday to talk about his Family of 3 Foundation, recent changes to the coaching staff and the team’s dreadful 2014 season. Griffin said he can’t wait to work with new quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh and “add more knowledge to the bank.” He’s also looking forward to being fully healthy again.

“Last year I wasn’t healthy, and it sucked, so there’s no other way to say it other than that,” Griffin said. “When you dislocate your ankle in the second week of the season, when you and your team have big things in mind. It’s just getting healthy, getting the mental break getting a chance to spend time with family, and then formulate my plan going forward for this year and we can go out there and win games and be playing at this time next year.”

Griffin opened up more about the ankle injury he suffered in Week 2 and Coach Jay Gruden’s decision to bench him before the Redskins’ Week 13 game at Indianapolis.

“For me, I rely heavily on my faith, and I feel like God allowed that to happen to me for a reason,” Griffin said of his injury. “It was to show me something, and yeah, it sucked. Nobody wants to have those things happen to them and we felt like we were going to be able to get on a roll after Jacksonville and put some wins together and have a much better season than we did. But the days after that, I had never suffered an ankle injury to that severity before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. And it just became more and more tough with the more games that we lost, because you know how hard the guys work and you want to get out there and help them win games. I could have sat out the rest of last year with as bad as the ankle was, but I felt like I could play, and I wanted to get out there and play with my guys and help them win games.

“And that didn’t happen when I got back out there, and coach made a decision. And that’s an unfortunate decision, and something we all had to go with because that was coach’s choice. But, at the end of the day I got to go back out there with my guys, we had a little bit of fun, we beat Philadelphia and the season didn’t close the way we wanted it to, but at the end of the day, we all know what we can do and we gotta go out there and do it, and there’s nothing that we can say that’s going to change what happened last year.”

Griffin said there’s no simple answer to how he can become a more consistent quarterback, but staying healthy, as much as a player can control that, is a start.

“For me, what I’ve learned is, at times like these you have to focus in on yourself a whole lot harder and that’s what I’ve tried to do,” Griffin said. “I’ve tried to figure what I can do to be more consistent, go out there and play the game that you love, the way that you know how to play it. Also for me, it’s to stay healthy so I don’t have to fight back from these injuries, because I know, as of late, I’ve made a habit of coming back from these injuries faster than other people. But that’s not by design, that’s because God has allowed me to do that. So stay healthy, go out and have fun and play the game, and the rest will fall into place. I think with the moves that we’ve made, that the coach and the GM have made, it will allow us to be in a better position to go out and win games, and I think all the guys are excited about that.”

Russell asked Griffin how he handles the speculation about his future in Washington.

“I’m indifferent to it, because if you’re riding those emotional roller-coasters based on what people say, it can really affect you and how you play all the time,” Griffin said. “For me, the way I put it is, I’m a Washington Redskin until they tell me I’m not. That’s all I can focus on, that’s all I’m going to focus on. Take care of my family, be there for my teammates, be there for the city. I know the city wants us to win just like we did in 2012, and we want that too, and we’re going to go to work to make sure that happens. We just have to put the work in and not really talk about it. I know we have to talk to the media, and that’s just part of what it is for us as players in the NFL, as you can see with Marshawn Lynch. But at the end of the day, we just have to go out and play, have fun, and not have any worries about anything else.”

Griffin also weighed in on the two biggest topics of Super Bowl week — Marshawn Lynch’s media appearances and Deflategate. Unlike teammate DeAngelo Hall, Griffin said he “can totally see where Marshawn’s coming from just from my own experience and just talking about myself.”

“I know they pump up the balls and they get inspected before every game, but I wasn’t aware that the ball had to be at a certain limit or higher, which is interesting,” Griffin said of Deflategate. “I think it’s very interesting. I think it could be something that we look at going into the future about how much we pump up the ball. But at the same time, for me, going this far in my career, all we worry about is can we grip the ball, not how much air is in it. We have our guy Pat rub the balls down with mud, and get the ball to where it’s not brand new, because a brand new ball is very slick. Other than that, we just make sure when we throw it that it feels good, and if it feels good, great, and if it doesn’t feel good, you throw it out.”

Finally, Griffin was asked whether he can take anything from watching Super Bowl quarterbacks Tom Brady and Russell Wilson to improve his own game.

“They are one of the greatest scramble drill teams in the league, broken play, second-reaction play, whatever you want to call it,” Griffin said of Wilson’s Seahawks. “They do a great job of that. I think it just comes with the organizational support that [Brady and Wilson] have as well to be the players that they are, to understand that this is our guy no matter what. I think the [NFC Championship] game with the Packers shows that more than anything. When a guy goes out there and throws four interceptions and then leads them to a victory, I think that guy knows in the back of his head that his entire team has his back, and the entire organization has his back. And I think that’s important, and I think it’s been the same way for Tom Brady. I can take different pieces of their game, but I also understand the situations that they’re in, and try to take that as well, and know that this is how you build a winner, this is how you build a family-like atmosphere. And that’s what we’re trying to do with the Redskins, and that’s what I want to be a part of.”


►   Eagles promote Marynowitz to VP of player personnel

Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly decided to go with youth over experience when picking his new vice president of player personnel on Thursday.

Ed Marynowitz, 30, is now Kelly’s right-hand man.

Marynowitz joined the Eagles in 2012 as the team’s assistant director of pro scouting and was promoted one year later to assistant director of player personnel.

“Ed is someone who has really impressed me going back to my interview process with the Eagles two years ago,“ said Kelly. “He’s very bright, detailed, organized and his vision was aligned with what we want to accomplish. I spoke with a lot of people outside of our organization over the past few weeks and in the end, Ed was the most impressive.“

The position opened up when the Eagles and Tom Gamble parted ways on December 31. A few days later owner Jeffrey Lurie did some more front-office reshuffling.

Howie Roseman, the Eagles’ general manager since 2010, was elevated to the role of executive vice president of football operations.

Kelly, who has led the Eagles to 10 wins in each of his first two seasons, took over full control of the player personnel department and led the search for a new personnel executive.

Marynowitz was part of the search team led by Lurie that brought Kelly to Philadelphia in 2013.

Prior to joining the Eagles, Marynowitz worked at the University of Alabama under Nick Saban as the school’s director of player personnel from 2008-11. The Crimson Tide won two BCS national championships during his time there.

“This is a great opportunity for Ed and I think Philadelphia made an excellent decision in terms of expanding his role and responsibilities in the organization,“ said Saban.


►   Patriots begin prep with Brady under the weather

They downplayed it but the New England Patriots conducted their first practice since arriving in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX with a quarterback feeling under the weather.

Tom Brady was a little worse for wear at Tuesday’s Media Day and copped to a cold a day later when he spoke to the media at the Pats’ team hotel in Chandler, Ariz.

“It’s been lingering,“ Brady told the assembled reporters before the team’s practice at the Arizona Cardinals facility. “I’m just trying to get some rest, and a lot of garlic. An old remedy, so I’m trying everything I can.“

Brady said his kids were first struck by the illness, followed by his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and he arrived in Arizona with the bug.

“It will be good to be back on the field,“ he said. “There is a lot that goes with Super Bowl week, so it will be good to get on the field and re-focus. We have our game plan set, so now it’s refining it and making sure it’s where we want it to be.“

New England coach Bill Belichick said Brady “took all the snaps” at a two-hour session on Wednesday and claimed he wasn’t worried about his QB’s condition.

According to a pool report, after extensive individual drills, the Patriots’ work included third-down situations, red-zone snaps and a series of down-and- distance tests.

“There’s always things to work on, but we’re grinding away,“ Belichick said.

On the injury front, starting center Bryan Stork, who wasn’t able to practice when drills began last week due to a knee injury, was a full participant.

With 75 degree weather it’s no surprise Belichick called the field conditions “great,“ and went with a Chip Kelly-like environment with music pumping during a large portion of the team drills, an effort to keep the players energized and also help with communication.

“In this game, you know, it’s kind of a neutral field, so you’ve got to be ready for (a loud crowd),“ Belichick said.

The Seahawks also started their preparation at Arizona State University with a full deck. All 53 Seattle players and its 10-man practice-squad were healthy enough to practice on what coach Pete Carroll calls “Competition Wednesday.“

“Terrific work,“ Carroll said. “Terrific day. The energy was there, and guys got good work in. This was an unusual day for the guys, with the media stuff in the middle of the day. We had meetings in the morning, then the media, then more meetings to prepare for practice, and then came out here. But the guys worked hard.“

Star cornerback Richard Sherman, who is dealing with a hyperextended elbow suffered in the NFC Championship Game against Green Bay, had his arm wrapped but worked regularly with the defense and made a leaping interception.

All-Pro safety Earl Thomas suffered a dislocated shoulder against the Packers but was also showing no real ill effects on Wednesday, while offensive guard J.R. Sweezy alternated with the first-unit due to a balky ankle.

“We’re really fortunate to be this healthy,“ said Carroll. “If we can make it through practice (Thursday), we’ll be in great shape.“


►   Broncos bring back Phillips as defensive coordinator

The Denver Broncos have filled their vacant defensive coordinator position with a familiar face as they agreed to terms with Wade Phillips.

Phillips has ties both to new head coach Gary Kubiak and the Broncos. He served as Houston’s defensive coordinator under Kubiak starting in 2011 and took over as interim head coach in 2013, his last post in the NFL.

In his first season with Houston, Phillips inherited the league’s 30th-ranked defense and transformed it into a unit that finished second in total defense (285.7 ypg).

Phillips served as Denver’s defensive coordinator from 1989-92 and then took over as head coach from 1993-94. He led a third-ranked defense to a Super Bowl appearance in 1989.

The 67-year-old was also the defensive coordinator for Buffalo (1995-97), Atlanta (2002-03) and San Diego (2004-06). He was also the Bills’ vice president of football operations/head coach (1998-2000).

Phillips got his start under his father Bum Phillips, who was head coach of the Houston Oilers. He served as the Oilers’ defensive line coach from 1977-80 linebackers coach in 1979.


►   U.S. activists keep domestic violence in Super Bowl spotlight

As fans gather for Sunday’s Super Bowl in Arizona, billboard trucks are expected to travel around Phoenix with messages reminding revelers of what critics see as an inadequate NFL response to domestic violence involving star NFL players.

Dispatched by an anti-sexism group to the airport, hotels and other venues, the trucks will bear slogans including “55 Cases of Domestic Violence Unanswered” and call for commissioner Roger Goodell to resign.

“Plain and simple: The NFL doesn’t have the leadership to fix their violence against women problem, and Goodell needs to go for that to change,“ said Nita Chaudhary, cofounder of the group UltraViolet, which claims Goodell has ignored 55 incidents of domestic violence involving NFL players.

The NFL has faced criticism for its handling of domestic violence after Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked out his then-fiancee in an elevator. Rice last year was first suspended for two games and later suspended indefinitely.

The initial punishment drew fire for being too soft. That criticism has echoed in Phoenix ahead of the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, even as the most popular U.S. sports league continues to court female fans.

“The NFL is big business, I get that,“ said Pat Riegel, a Philadelphia woman who flew to Phoenix for the Super Bowl with a fellow female Eagles fan.

“But you can’t cover up something like that,“ she said. “They probably could’ve done a bit better ... In the end they did, but they were pressured.“


‘BIG BUSINESS’

Over a generation, women have turned from casual NFL fans to an important demographic, and females now comprise about 45% of the NFL audience on TV and at stadiums. That is important for a league that aims to boost annual revenue from $9 billion now to $25 billion by 2027.

The league has had some success attracting women in recent years, creating NFL clothing designed for women and sending players to charity events on women’s issues.

Compounding the challenges the NFL faces in growing its female fan base, the league saw a slight dip in the number of women viewing televised games this season even as male viewership rose, according to Nielsen data.

The data, which did not pinpoint a cause, showed male viewers of regular 2014 season games rose by some 230,000 to an average of 11.56 million per game, while women viewers fell slightly to 6.06 million from 6.09 million the year before.

To be sure, annual viewership fluctuations have been common, but 2014 marked the first time in four years that men and women’s viewership have not trended in the same direction. NFL officials did not immediately respond to queries about the numbers.

Mary Jo Kane, a University of Minnesota sports sociology professor, said the dip in women viewers could have many causes, including publicity over head injuries and drunken driving cases.

“One could argue that the whole issue of concussion and being concerned about their sons and not watching it could also be an issue,“ Kane said. “... You have a lot of negative issues going on,“ Kane said.

Some 20,000 former players have brought a class-action lawsuit against the NFL that accuses it of having encouraged them to continue playing with brain injuries. The league denies concealing information related to head or brain injuries that might occur while playing.

In addition, at least nine NFL players have been arrested for DUI since the start of last year, according to media reports.


‘NO MORE’

Goodell has unveiled a tougher discipline policy for off-field misconduct, and has hired four female senior advisers to help shape domestic violence policies.

Among them is Lisa Friel, who led the New York County Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit for more than a decade.

“He is not just looking for the media attention to go away or for this to die down and then go back to business as usual,“ Friel said of Goodell.

But after the Rice incident, one notable sponsor, Procter & Gamble Co’s Crest, said in October it would no longer offer pink mouth guards to players for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Other sponsors have expressed concerns to the league, underlining the risk to the NFL, which has almost maxed out its U.S. male audience, from any perception among women it has mishandled domestic violence cases.

Marti Barletta, author of “Marketing to Women,“ said the league stumbled early on, but she hailed a “No More” campaign against domestic violence launched in October.

A chilling “No More” ad, featuring a 911 call from a domestic violence victim who pretends to be ordering pizza because her attacker is with her, will air during Sunday’s game.

“If women see Roger Goodell is making a good faith effort to get caught up on the norms of 2015 culture, I think they will come around,“ Barletta said. Football “is just too much a part of American culture.“


►   Browns’ Josh Gordon defends himself in letter to Charles Barkley and his other critics

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is facing a one-year suspension after again violating the NFL’s drug policy, this time following a positive test for alcohol. This latest misstep — Gordon missed 10 games last season stemming from a DUI arrest and a previous suspension for a failed marijuana test; he also was suspended for Cleveland’s final game for violating team policy — drew substantial criticism and worry from a number of commentators.

“This is very personal to me,” Charles Barkley said on ESPN’s “His and Hers.” “I have a brother who’s dead … Josh Gordon is going to die if he keeps going on this road he’s going.”


ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, meanwhile, said he was “done” with Gordon. The network’s Cris Carter, who also faced problems with substance abuse during his NFL career and previously said the Browns should cut Gordon, also expressed concern for him following the latest incident.

Now Gordon is firing back at his critics. In a letter posted on The Cauldron, he apologized for recent events while also condemning Barkley and the others for not knowing the full story:

                          First, words cannot express the remorse and regret I feel over this latest incident. I acknowledge that the repeated transgressions that have led up to this point have damaged my credibility, and for that, the only person to blame is me.

                          I have let down many in Cleveland — my Browns teammates, our hard-working coaching staff, the team’s ownership, and the loyal fan base that wants nothing more than to win. Playing there is different than in many other cities. We feel the fans’ pain. We know how important this is to them.

Gordon then went on to describe his harsh upbringing in a poor section of Houston called Fondren. His father wasn’t around much, and his family moved around constantly. When his older brothers moved out, “I started hanging out with the wrong kind of people,” Gordon wrote, continuing:

                          The kind who would think nothing not only of carrying guns, but using them. Back then, smoking marijuana wasn’t an addiction for any of us — we were still boys, basically. It was just what everyone did. It was everywhere, just like alcohol was.

                          So Charles, Stephen A., Cris — you judge me now, but what if you came from where I come from? Heck, maybe you did experience similar upbringings, but I wouldn’t know, because I do not know you. Each of you have dealt with more than your fair shares of self-inflicted controversies, though, that I do know.

Gordon went on to describe the events that led to his latest failed test:

                          On January 02 of this year, just days after our season ended earlier than we all had hoped — and yes, my actions during the prior offseason definitely contributed to our failure to make the playoffs; it killed me seeing our guys fight so hard when I wasn’t out there with them — I boarded a private flight to Las Vegas with several teammates. During the flight, I had two beers and two drinks. It was the first time I had consumed so much as a drop of alcohol since July 4, 2014, the day of the DWI.

                          Anyone who knows me knows that I am not much of a drinker. Even calling me a social drinker would be an exaggeration, but at that moment, on that flight, I made a choice. The wrong choice, as it turned out.

                          Upon landing, I received the all-too-familiar notice by phone that I was to report to a testing location within four hours. I failed the test, obviously, and the rest is history … colored by media speculation and faux outrage.

                          In the end, of course, I failed myself.

                          It doesn’t matter if I thought that the league-imposed restriction on drinking had expired at the end of the regular season; what matters is that I didn’t confirm whether or not that was the case. Now, that oversight has further jeopardized my relationship with my team and our fans, my reputation, and maybe even my career.

►  



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Area High Schools Boys Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, January 29)


#3 Greater Beckley Christian 81     #5 Gilmer County 57

Roane County 56     Braxton County 51

Clay County 64     Calhoun County 51

Lewis County 76     North Marion 38

Tyler Consolidated 52     Wirt County 47

#5 Robert C. Byrd 75     Grafton 46

#2 Bridgeport 57     Buckhannon-Upshur 47

#3 Fairmont Senior 84     Liberty 50

Philip Barbour 69     East Fairmont 61


►   Area High Schools Girls Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, January 29)


#4 Williamstown 69     Ritchie County 59

#7 Notre Dame 48     Parkersburg Christian 22

Parkersburg 89     Capital 49

Parkersburg Catholic 58     St. Marys 51


►   Big Atlantic Classic

Monday’s Results

Game 1 — Greater Beckley Christian 82, Moorefield 51 (boys A)

Game 2 — Gilmer County 71, Sherman 59 (boys A)


Tuesday’s Results

Game 3 — Westside 81, Wyoming East 67 (boys AA)

Game 4 — Scott 70, Liberty Raleigh 46 (boys AA)


Wednesday’s Results

Game 5 — Moorefield 78, Sherman 33 (boys A consolation)

Game 6 — Liberty Raleigh 48, Wyoming East 46 (boys AA consolation)

Game 7 — Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 81, Blue Ridge 39 (boys national)

Game 8 — St. Albans 64, Wyoming East 59 (girls)


Thursday’s Results

Game 9 — George Washington 76, Brooke 34 (girls)

Game 10 — Morgantown 67, Huntington 57 (girls)

Game 11 — Greater Beckley Christian 81, Gilmer County 57 (boys A championship)

Game 12 — Greenbrier East 75, Oak Hill 39 (girls)


Today’s Games

Game 13 — Brooke vs. Huntington (girls co-consolation), 2 PM

Game 14 — Parkersburg South vs. Princeton (boys AAA), 4 PM

Game 15 — Shady Spring vs. Martinsburg (boys AAA), 5:40 PM

Game 16 — Greenbrier East vs. Hampshire (boys AAA), 7:20 PM

Game 17 — Woodrow Wilson vs. Washington (boys AAA), 9 PM


Saturday’s Games

Game 18 — Wyoming East vs. Oak Hill (girls co-consolation), 9 AM

Game 19 — Game 14 loser vs. Game 15 loser (boys AAA co-consolation), 10:40 AM

Game 20 — Game 16 loser vs. Game 17 loser (boys AAA co-consolation), 12:20 PM

Game 21 — Westside vs. Scott (boys AA championship), 2 PM

Game 22 — St. Albans vs. Greenbrier East (girls co-championship), 4 PM

Game 23 — Game 14 winner vs. Game 15 winner (boys AAA co-championship), 5:40 PM

Game 24 — George Washington vs. Morgantown (girls co-championship), 7:20 PM

Game 25 — Game 16 winner vs. Game 17 winner (boys AAA co-championship), 9 PM



The Gilmer Free Press

►   MEC Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, January 29)


Concord 66, West Virginia Wesleyan 61 | Final Stats

Concord held off West Virginia Wesleyan late and picked up a 66-61 win over the Bobcats at the Carter Center.

The Mountain Lions (12-6, 8-5) saw its 12-point second half lead dwindle to a basket at 63-61 with 1:38 to go. WVWC (8-11, 6-7) had a chance to tie the game with a three-pointer in the final seconds, but it wouldn’t fall, and CU added two more free throws to ice the game.

Aaron Miller led the way for Concord with 18 points. Mike Boyd scored 17 points and Jametrius Wade finished with 10.

West Virginia Wesleyan’s Taylor Price led the Bobcats with 21 points and seven rebounds. Tanner McGrew recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.


Charleston 71, Shepherd 54 | Final Stats

Charleston pulled away from Shepherd in the second half to claim a 71-54 win over the Rams at the Butcher Center.

Jevonte Hughes led UC (14-5, 9-4) with 18 points. Cameron Dozier added 13 points for the Golden Eagles.

Shepherd (11-8, 6-7) was led by 13 points from Austin Cunningham. Morgan McDonald added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. 


#10 West Liberty 108, Notre Dame 74 | Final Stats

West Liberty shot a tidy 58 percent from the field, committed just eight turnovers and out-rebounded Notre Dame 12 in a 108-74 win over the Falcons at Murphy Gym.

Seger Bonifant scored 27 points to lead the 10th-ranked Hilltoppers (16-2, 11-2). Devin Hoehn added 17 points, while C.J. Hester scored 15 and added six rebounds. Zach Grossenbacher had 13 points off the bench and pulled down a team-best eight rebounds for WLU.

Notre Dame (10-9, 6-7) was led by 21 points from Lawrence DeArmond. Tyree Gaiter had 14 points, and Will Vorhees had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists. 


Glenville State 75, UVa-Wise 57 | Final Stats

Glenville State took an early lead and never looked back in a 75-57 win over UVa-Wise on the road at the Prior Center.

Brett Morris scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Pioneers (15-4, 11-2). Sedric Nady scored 14, while Juwan Wells had 10 points and nine rebounds. Donte Morales also scored 10 points, and Brien Winsten had 11 rebounds to go with nine points.

UVa-Wise (1-17, 0-13) was led by Brian Sydnor’s 16 points. Philip Owens had 14 points, all of which came in the game’s final 20 minutes. 


Fairmont State 92, West Virginia State 75 | Final Stats

Nick Harney and Thomas Wimbush each poured in 24 points to lead Fairmont State to a 92-75 win over West Virginia State at Joe Retton Arena.

FSU (13-6, 10-3) shot 48 percent from the field and 10-of-20 from three-point range. Shammgod Wells added 13 points and six rebounds and Jamel Morris finished with 11.

Dominic Phillips scored 17 points to lead WVSU (3-17, 3-9). Tyrie Elliott scored 15, while Damion Harris added 14.


Wheeling Jesuit 87, Urbana 77 | Final Stats

Wheeling Jesuit continued its winning ways with an 87-77 win over Urbana at the Grimes Center.

The Cardinals, winners of four straight, improved to 10-7 overall and 6-6 in the MEC. Urbana dropped to 4-15 overall and 1-12 in conference play.

Justin Fritts led all scorers with 24 points for WJU. Tim Goff added 14 and Kyle Ritz scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Eric Seifert had 10 rebounds, eight assists and seven points.

Matt Csuhran led the Blue Knights with 19 points. Myles Busby and Ognjen Rebic each scored 14, and Rodney Clark Jr. scored all of his 13 points in the second half. 


►   MEC Women’s Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, January 29)


Charleston 71, Shepherd 62 | Final Stats

Charleston outscored Shepherd 17-3 in the final six minutes to claim a 71-62 win over Shepherd at the Butcher Center.

With the win, UC (15-4, 10-3) forged a tie at the top of the MEC standings with the Rams (13-6, 10-3).

A close game throughout, Shepherd took a 59-54 lead on an Alex Weakland free throw with 6:18 left. UC went 3-for-5 from the field and 10-of-15 from the free throw line to close the game, while Shepherd managed just one field goal and commited four turnovers in the final six minutes.

LeAnne Ross led the way for UC with 23 points, while Monet Saunders had a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Ashley Milligan added 11 off the bench, and Nichole Perry had 10.

Rachel Johnson had 17 points for Shepherd. Cara Mason contributed 15 points and a game-high eight assists. 


West Virginia Wesleyan 57, Concord 56 | Final Stats

Kiki DeVane’s with seven second left capped a 15-point second half rally as West Virginia Wesleyan defeated Concord, 57-56, at the Carter Center.

The Bobcats (2-14, 2-11) trailed by 15 with 15:10 to go, but chipped away over the next 11 minutes to cut the lead to just one at 47-46 with 4:03 left. Tied at 50-50, CU’s Rachel Artrip and WVWC’s Allie Browne traded threes, and then Browne added two more free throws giving the Bobcats a 55-53 lead. Atrip hit again from three putting the Mountain Lions up by a point, but DeVane’s jumper in the waning seconds fell, and WVWC held on for the win.

Mari Stewart led West Virginia Wesleyan with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Browne finished with 13 and Adrian Cunningham had 12.

Artrip led CU (5-12, 5-8) with 15 points. Kylie Molisee had 14 and Olivia Morgan scored 13.


Notre Dame 77, West Liberty 68 | Final Stats

 Martha Nagbe’s 33-point effort led Notre Dame to a 77-68 win over West Liberty on Thursday at Murphy Gym.

Notre Dame (12-7, 8-5) closed the game on a 10-1 run over the final two minutes that broke a 67-67 tie. WLU (12-7, 9-4) was just one for its last seven from the field in the game.

Lauren Langenderfer added 17 points for NDC. Kelsey Miller scored 10.

Kailee Howe paced the Hilltoppers with 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Hillary Southworth and Liz Flowers each scored 14, and Kierra Simpson had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. 


Glenville State 63, UVa-Wise 54 | Final Stats

Glenville State picked up its third-straight win with a 63-54 victory over UVa-Wise at the Prior Center. 

Keyanna Tate led GSC (9-8, 7-6) with a double-double scoring 17 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Briana Smythe had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Pioneers.

UVa-Wise (6-13, 5-8) was led by 14 points and 15 rebounds from Kayla Carey. Allison Ball came off the bench to score 13 and Blair Harding had 12.


Fairmont State 78, West Virginia State 64 | Final Stats

Fairmont State shot 54 percent from the field in the second half to claim a 78-64 win over West Virginia State at Joe Retton Arena.

The Falcons (15-4, 9-4) were led by 24 points from Hailey Garrett. Hallie Gunnoe scored 14, Emily Lohr had 11, and Emily Puskarich and Deidra Combs each finished with 10. 

Shealyn Shafer led WVSU (5-12, 3-9) with 17 points and eight rebounds. Deyahnna Styles had 16 points to go with four assists.


Wheeling Jesuit 71, Urbana 61 | Final Stats

Wheeling Jesuit closed the first half on a 14-3 run that propelled it to a 71-61 win over Urbana at the Grimes Center.

Breanna Butler led all players with 25 points for WJU (11-5, 8-4). Jaila Bryant added 14 and Lydia Hyburg came off the bench to score 12 points and grab nine rebounds.

Urbana (1-18, 1-12) was led by 21 points from Kate Francisco. Kennedy Boggs scored 19 and Katy Barkley finished with 10.



<The Gilmer Free Press

►   Top-25 College Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, January 29)


Final Score: (1) Kentucky 69, Missouri 53

Andrew Harrison scored 15 points and No. 1 Kentucky stayed unbeaten with a relatively restrained 69-53 win over Missouri on Thursday. The Wildcats (20-0, 7-0 SEC) made only two 3-pointers, blocked just one shot and recorded a mere eight assists. Still, they trailed for just 59 seconds, in part because of their 27-13 free throw advantage, but largely from their seemingly impenetrable defense, which forced 15 turnovers. Aaron Harrison scored 11 points, Devin Booker added nine, and Dakari Johnson chipped in eight points and seven rebounds for the victors. Kentucky is off to its first 20-0 start under John Calipari and sent Missouri (7-13, 1-6) to its first six-game losing streak since the 2005-06 season. Wes Clark led the Tigers with 19 points, while Johnathan Williams III added 10 points in a losing cause.


Final Score: (3) Gonzaga 64, Portland 46

Domantas Sabonis had 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench and No. 3 Gonzaga pulled away in the second half to defeat Portland 64-46 on Thursday night. Przemek Karnowski posted 10 points and 11 boards for the Bulldogs (21-1, 10-0 WCC), who have won 14 straight games since their lone loss at Arizona on Dec. 6. Volodymyr Gerun pulled down 15 rebounds to lead Portland (12-10, 3-7), which didn’t have a single player reach double figures in scoring.


Final Score: UCLA 69, (11) Utah 59

Norman Powell scored 23 points to help UCLA remain unbeaten at home in Pac-12 play and knock off No. 11 Utah, 69-59. The Bruins lost three players to the first round of the NBA draft in 2014 and haven’t been able to replace the productivity that Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Zach LaVine provided. They are in the midst of one of the worst seasons in recent memory, though Thursday’s upset over Utah was certainly a step in the right direction. Bryce Alford had 14 points and seven assists and Isaac Hamilton scored 11 for UCLA, which exacted revenge from an embarrassing 71-39 loss to Utah on Jan. 4. Alford went scoreless on 0-for-10 shooting in that game. UCLA (12-9, 4-4 Pac-12) snapped its two-game losing skid. Delon Wright and Brandon Taylor gave 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Utes (16-4, 6-2), who may have lost more than a game. Freshman center Jakob Poeltl, one of the best young 7-footers in college basketball, left the game with an apparent foot injury.


Final Score: Ohio State 80, (16) Maryland 56

Ohio State continues to pile up wins at home. Thad Matta’s Buckeyes and star freshman D’Angelo Russell beat another ranked opponent at Value City Arena. Russell had 18 points, 14 rebounds and six assists as Ohio State easily knocked off No. 16 Maryland 80-56 on Thursday night for its 103rd win at home since 2009. That’s the most in the country by a healthy margin over national powerhouses Kentucky and Syracuse. Russell continued to impress, making half of his 12 shots and four 3-pointers on the heels of being named Big Ten Player of the Week after scoring 55 points in wins over Northwestern and nationally-ranked Indiana. Marc Loving led the Buckeyes (17-5, 6-3) with 19 points, making all five of his 3s, and Jae’Sean Tate scored 16. Dez Wells scored 12 points to lead Maryland (18-4, 6-3) and Jake Layman had 10.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   NBA Game Results

(Thursday, January 29)


Final Score: Indiana 103, New York 82

Rodney Stuckey scored a game-high 22 points, Roy Hibbert recorded a double-double, and the Indiana Pacers cruised past the New York Knicks 103-82 on Thursday. Hibbert totaled 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who snapped their three-game home losing streak by dominating the second and third quarters. Solomon Hill and David West each scored 10 points for an offense that connected on 53 percent of their shots and owned a 50-26 edge in the paint. Not even a surprise start by Carmelo Anthony could keep the Knicks close. The All-Star forward was questionable on the second game of a back-to-back and finished with 18 points, but New York’s defense did not duplicate its efforts over the past two weeks. During a five-game stretch that saw them go 4-1, the Knicks allowed just 91.4 points per game—more than 10 points fewer than their season average. They reverted back to their sieve-like ways against the Pacers, who scored 67 points during the second and third quarters on 63 percent shooting.


Final Score: Milwaukee 115, Orlando 100

Brandon Knight tallied 16 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals and the Milwaukee Bucks ended a 10- year winless drought in Orlando with a 115-100 victory over the Magic. Jerryd Bayless led seven Bucks in double figures with 19 points. Khris Middleton and Jared Dudley added 17 apiece and John Henson posted 12 points and 11 rebounds in Milwaukee’s first win in Orlando since Dec. 29, 2004, a stretch that included 17 straight losses. The win is fitting considering the Bucks had won six of seven road games against Eastern Conference opponents coming in, and the Magic were mired in a six-game losing skid. Nikola Vucevic had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Victor Oladipo scored 21 points in the setback. Orlando also fell to 0-16 this season when allowing 100-plus points at home.


Final Score: Memphis 99, Denver 69

Fresh off an All-Star snub, Zach Randolph continued to let his game speak for itself. And another double-double followed. Randolph had 15 points and 17 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies routed the Denver Nuggets 99-69 on Thursday night. It was Randolph’s 11th straight double-double. Jeff Green netted 13 points, while Marc Gasol added 10 points and seven rebounds for Memphis, which has won eight of its last nine games since Green was traded to the Grizzlies from the Boston Celtics two weeks ago. Mike Conley, who was another snub on the Western squad, sat for a second consecutive game due to a wrist sprain. Kenneth Faried posted 10 points and seven boards for the Nuggets, who have dropped eight of their last nine contests.


Final Score: LA Lakers 123, Chicago 118 (2-OT)

The Los Angeles Lakers spoiled Pau Gasol’s return to Staples Center. It turned out to be a lot harder than it should’ve been. Jordan Hill had 26 points and 12 rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Chicago Bulls 123-118 in double overtime on Thursday night. The Lakers squandered a 15-point second half advantage and a nine-point cushion late in regulation. Chicago didn’t take it first lead until the early moments of the first overtime when Derrick Rose knocked down a 3-pointer at the 4:42 mark. Hill, though, sent the game into another extra session with a late jumper from the left wing in overtime and LA pulled away in the second OT. Gasol, who helped the Lakers win two NBA titles during his six-plus seasons in the City of Angels, received a standing ovation from the crowd following a video tribute during his introduction. Gasol then walked out to halfcourt and waved to the fans. The spectators were given T-shirts that said “Thanks Pau” on the front with a list of his accomplishments with the Lakers on the back. Gasol, whose tip-in tied the game at 98-98 with 11 seconds left in regulation, finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Wayne Ellington posted 23 points and five rebounds for the Lakers, who snapped a nine-game losing streak. Jimmy Butler netted a career-high 35 points to go with seven boards, while Joakim Noah pulled down 17 rebounds and dished out nine assists for Chicago, which had won three of its last four games coming in. Derrick Rose, who was 7-of-26 from the floor, poured in 17 points to go with six helpers in defeat.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Former Mets GM Minaya joins MLBPA

Former New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya is joining the Major League Baseball Players Association staff as a senior advisor to executive director Tony Clark.

Minaya spent the past three years with the San Diego Padres as a senior vice president of baseball operations.

The 56-year-old Minaya will focus on the areas of domestic game development and international affairs and play.

“I have long considered myself a players’ administrator with a complete belief that the players are not only the face of the game, but they provide the sport with its heart and soul,“ said Minaya.

“I share the players’ and Tony’s views on the state of the game, especially as they relate to what active and inactive players are doing to help develop the game, widen its appeal and excite the next generation of players, while ensuring the integrity of the competition on the field is maintained.“

After injuries ended his playing career, Minaya joined the Texas Rangers’ scouting team in 1985, where he helped sign Sammy Sosa.

Minaya became baseball’s first Hispanic general manager when the Montreal Expos hired him in 2002. From 2005-10, he was the Mets’ GM.

“We feel fortunate to be in a position to hire someone with Omar’s experience and reputation,“ said Clark. “His vast and diverse knowledge of all aspects of the sport will afford the union and our members an unprecedented and invaluable level of expertise in any of a growing number of issues of importance to players, domestically and abroad.“

Minaya joined the Padres in 2011.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   With 12th goal this month, Alex Ovechkin overtakes NHL’s lead

Wednesday night, for the first time all season, the NHL’s leading goal-scorer received his team’s most prestigious internal honor. Forward Alex Ovechkin already had vaulted himself past Tyler Seguin and Rick Nash, the latest monstrous effort in a torrid January. Now, when the time came for forward Jason Chimera to pass along the beard and stovetop pipe hat bestowed upon the team’s designated Honest Abe, something he had waited to do through four straight losses, he offered a simple explanation for his choice.

“Leaders lead,” Coach Barry Trotz recalled Chimera saying. “And he led today.”

The scene for Wednesday night seemed to conspire against the Washington Capitals, with them limping home after falling to Columbus and their rivals starting a rested all-star goaltender in Marc-Andre Fleury. They had won only one of eight games in the tail sections of back-to-backs this season too. Ovechkin’s hot streak, with six points in his previous four games, boded well, but what good was it if the Capitals had lost all four?

A 4-0 romp over the Pittsburgh Penguins offered the best of both worlds. Ovechkin redirected Karl Alzner’s point shot past Fleury early into the first period, then blasted his typical power-play one-timer in the second, his 28th and 29th tallies of the season, respectively. The Capitals attempted 52% of the even-strength shot attempts with him on the ice, according to hockeystats.ca, and Ovechkin alone hammered nine pucks at Fleury.

This happened one night after Columbus all but left him alone on the power play, daring him to score, withstanding a first-period barrage and holding him without a goal.

“I just think when Alex is determined, the way he is, lately, he creates much good offense,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “He’s dangerous. Every night you look at the stat sheet. If he scores or not, he’s got 10 shots. There’s guys in the league who go a month without 10 shots sometimes. I think he’s having fun … He’s been doing a really good job.”

Parse the statistics any way you please. His plus-12 rating leads all Capitals forwards. Whenever he skates at even strength, Washington records 54.1% of the total shot attempts, most among any skater with at least 500 minutes, per stats.hockeyanalysis.com. He should be regarded as a front-runner to win his third straight Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, and now leads all NHL skaters with 12 goals (and 15 points) in 12 games this month. No one his sniffing him either; Columbus’ Ryan Johansen ranks second, with eight goals in 11 games.

His scores against Pittsburgh came in wildly different ways. With the top line welcoming Jay Beagle into its midst, promoted there to replace Andre Burakovsky, the group adopted a cycle-heavy style that promoted its strength, and Ovechkin’s deflection reflected just that. After Beagle worked the puck into the offensive zone, somehow kept it alive while stumbling to his knees and dished to Nicklas Backstrom, Ovechkin circled around into the crease.

A cross-ice pass found Karl Alzner at the opposite point. Meantime, Ovechkin saw the sequence developing and moved into position. He boxed out defenseman Simon Despres, bending over and extending his stick forward. The puck hopped up and past Fleury.

“Ovi’s a big man, and Backie’s stronger than anybody even thinks, and Beags is one of those guys that’s really determined and he can keep pucks alive,” Trotz said. “I thought their cycle game was tight. It wasn’t 85 feet away. They were tight, they had good close support and they were working it right. They weren’t falling off the pile.”

The net-front deflection was Ovechkin’s first this season, a so-called greasy goal atypical of someone armed with his shooting precision, but his second goal came in more familiar fashion. Backtstrom to Mike Green to Ovechkin, right on his tape for a one-timer. A one-knee slide, a kiss of the hand, a two-goal lead.

“I was just trying to read their PK there,” Backstrom said. “I was just waiting. Sometimes that’s paying off. Good feed by Greener over to Ovi too, and obviously a good shot. Big goal.”

Still, the lingering image of Ovechkin’s Wednesday night might have come in the meaningless moments, when he and defenseman Christian Erhoff careened together toward the boards. Ovechkin reached the puck first, so Erhoff crunched him into the glass. Ovechkin extended his arms, bracing for impact and trying to shake the hit off him, but caught Erhoff in an awkward position. It must have looked, at first blush for the official who raised his hand, like Ovechkin crushed Erhoff backwards, his head bouncing off the ice, so two minors – roughing and holding – were called.

The aftermath, while Erhoff needed help standing up and leaving the ice, netted a two-minute roughing for Zach Sill, and the Capitals eventually killed off the difference.

“Probably naturally, the puck’s there, you’re pushing him off and going for the puck,” Trotz said. “Just Ovi’s so strong, the young man went down harder. The referee came over, said that’s a judgment call, I thought he pushed him hard and got injured there. Called a penalty. Use your arms, there’s a little bit of judgment. There’s nothing malicious. It’s just a hockey play. Unfortunately the young man got hurt a little bit.”

Had the penalty mattered more in the overall context, Trotz may have expressed a different opinion. But it didn’t. Ovechkin had scored twice. He had tied Peter Bondra for the franchise record with 93 multi-goal games. The leader had led.


►   NHL Game Results

(Thursday, January 29)


Final Score: Boston 5, NY Islanders 2

Tuukka Rask made 43 saves, Milan Lucic and Reilly Smith tallied three points each and the Boston Bruins beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Thursday. Lucic and Smith each had a goal and two assists to help Boston win for the seventh time in its last nine games. Patrice Bergeron, Kevan Miller and Torey Krug also scored for the Bruins. The Islanders got goals from John Tavares and Michael Grabner but had a two-game winning streak snapped. Jaroslav Halak allowed four goals on 32 shots.


Final Score: Montreal 1, NY Rangers 0

Carey Price made 24 saves for his third shutout of the season, and the Montreal Canadiens blanked the New York Rangers 1-0 on Thursday. Max Pacioretty scored the lone goal with 4:17 remaining in the third period, helping the Canadiens extend their win streak to four games. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 25 saves for the Rangers, who have dropped two straight following the All-Star break. They had been on a 16-3-0 tear prior to the hiatus.


Final Score: Philadelphia 5, Winnipeg 2

Nick Schultz picked up the game winner in the second period, while Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier scored in the third, as Philadelphia topped Winnipeg by a 5-2 count on Thursday. Wayne Simmonds and Chris VandeVelde also tallied for the Flyers, winners of three in a row and four of their last five. In his first start since Jan. 8, Steve Mason picked up his second straight positive result thanks to 36 saves. Mathieu Perreault potted both goals for the Jets, who have lost two straight since a five-game win streak. Michael Hutchinson took the loss despite 27 stops.


Final Score: Arizona 3, Toronto 1

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored a short-handed goal five seconds into the third period—yes, five seconds—to kindle a rally that lifted the Arizona Coyotes to a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. The Coyotes snapped a seven-game losing streak and extended Toronto’s skid to eight games. Ekman-Larsson’s goal, which tied a franchise record for quickest to open a period, came from beyond center ice after Lauri Korpikoski won the faceoff. Martin Hanzal netted the go-ahead goal 3:42 later and Sam Gagner scored on a power play later in the period as Arizona broke out of an 0-5-2 slump. Mike Smith had 24 saves in the win, which also stopped a five-game road losing streak for the Coyotes, who are in the midst of an eight-game trek. It was their first win away from home since Dec. 23 in Edmonton.


Final Score: Dallas 6, Ottawa 3

John Klingberg snapped a tie in the latter stages of the third period before Trevor Daley and Jamie Benn added empty-net markers, and Dallas topped Ottawa by a 6-3 score on Thursday. Benn added a first-period goal, with Colton Sceviour and Ales Hemsky also lighting the lamp for the Stars, who put a two-game losing streak to rest. Kari Lehtonen provided a 25-save effort to back his offense. Mika Zibanejad, Bobby Ryan and Alex Chiasson scored once each for the Senators, who have lost seven of their last 10. Robin Lehner allowed four goals on 39 shots in the setback.


Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Detroit 1

Cedric Paquette notched his first career hat trick to power the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Steven Stamkos and Mark Barberio also scored, Jonathan Drouin and Alex Killorn both tallied two assists and Ben Bishop made 27 saves for the Lightning, who set a franchise record with their ninth straight win at home. Darren Helm supplied the Red Wings’ lone goal as their six-game winning streak came to an end. Petr Mrazek allowed five goals on 15 shots, while Tom McCollum stopped all 17 shots he faced in the third period.


Final Score: Florida 3, Columbus 2

Sean Bergenheim’s goal with 6:52 remaining in the third period lifted the Florida Panthers to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. Jonathan Huberdeau and rookie Aaron Ekblad both scored in the second period for the Panthers, who got 30 saves from Roberto Luongo. Florida ended a 10-game losing streak to the Blue Jackets, a six- game home skid and a five-game slide overall. Jack Johnson and rookie Alexander Wennberg had second-period goals for Columbus, which has dropped six of its last nine games. Curtis McElhinney gave up three goals on 31 shots.


Final Score: St. Louis 5, Nashville 4 (SO)

Brian Elliott made 33 saves and came up with three key stops in the shootout to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Nashville Predators, 5-4, on Thursday. On his 26th birthday, Kevin Shattenkirk scored the decisive goal in the shootout and added an assist in regulation. Jaden Schwartz, T.J. Oshie, Steve Ott and Ryan Reaves all tallied goals for the Blues in their third straight win. Mike Fisher scored twice for the Predators, who have lost three of their last four games. Filip Forsberg and James Neal also scored for Nashville, but Neal could not convert in the shootout to extend the game. Carter Hutton allowed four goals on 35 shots.


Final Score: Minnesota 1, Calgary 0

Devan Dubnyk stopped all 30 shots fired his way and made several big saves down the stretch for his third shutout of the season as the Minnesota Wild beat the Calgary Flames 1-0 on Tuesday. Zach Parise continued his solid offensive play with the lone goal for the Wild, who ended a two-game skid. Parise now has six goals in his past six games. Jonas Hiller turned aside 31 shots for the Flames, who entered the game with wins in five of their previous six games.


Final Score: Edmonton 3, Buffalo 2

In a game that could be key in determining draft lottery odds between teams at the bottom of their respective conferences, the Edmonton Oilers prevailed over the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, on Thursday. Allowing two goals on 20 shots, Ben Scrivens was not particularly busy in net for Edmonton in its third win in its last four games. Oscar Klefbom and Anton Lander each scored their first goal of the season for the Oilers, and Lander also tallied two assists. Matt Fraser scored Edmonton’s first goal. Jonas Enroth stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced as Buffalo dropped its 13th game in a row. Defensemen Tyler Myers and Rasmus Ristolainen each scored and Brian Gionta picked up assists on both goals.


Final Score: San Jose 6, Anaheim 3

Antti Niemi made 25 saves and six different Sharks scored as San Jose used a five-goal second period to ease past the Anaheim Ducks, 6-3, on Thursday. Patrick Marleau, Barclay Goodrow and James Sheppard each tallied a goal and an assist and Brenden Dillon, Matt Irwin and Joe Pavelski also scored for the Sharks, who have won seven straight home games against the Ducks. Andrew Cogliano, Patrick Maroon and Matt Beleskey all lit the lamp for the Ducks, who had their six-game winning streak come to a screeching halt. Ilya Bryzgalov gave up all six goals on 25 shots and Frederik Andersen turned aside all eight shots fired his way in relief.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Williams, Sharapova set to meet in Aussie Open final

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will meet in Saturday’s women’s Australian Open final after both women cruised to straight-set victories on Thursday.

Williams, looking to win her sixth Aussie Open title, took out fellow American Madison Keys 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to reach the final.

With the first set all even at 5-5, Williams was on serve when Keys went up 30-15 in the 11th game, but Williams took the next three points before Keys smashed a backhand down the line to knot it up at 40-all. Williams ended up taking the next two points to win the game, then Keys kept the back-and- forth affair going with an ace to force a tiebreak.

Williams had set point, up 6-3, in the tiebreak when the 19-year-old Keys fired two aces to close within one, but Williams countered with an ace on her next serve to take the stanza.

Williams pressured her opponent from the onset of the second set, taking the first game and breaking Keys in the process. However, Keys maintained composure and went up 40-15 in the next game. But Williams ended up grinding her way back and taking the game. After the two maintained serve over the next two games, Williams broke the unseeded Keys again and eased her way to the finish line.

This was the first career meeting between Williams and Keys.

The 33-year-old Williams is seeking her 19th Grand Slam singles championship and 65th career title overall. She is a perfect 5-0 in Aussie Open finals.

Williams is tied with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for the second- most women’s Grand Slam titles in the Open Era behind Steffi Graf’s 22.

“I didn’t expect to get to the finals of this tournament when I first got here because I wasn’t playing great,“ Williams said after reaching her first Melbourne Park finale since 2010.

“I didn’t play well at Hopman. I was so off. I felt like I wasn’t moving well. I just wasn’t feeling great on the court.

“It’s been so long since I’ve even been in a final here. I was kind of like, ‘oh, let me just try’ (and) my theory now is to relax and play the match as best as I can.

“When I step on the court and hear the announcer, I don’t have to win anymore. I can just relax and have fun.“

Meanwhile, Sharapova reached her 10th career Grand Slam final by beating Russian countrymate Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets.

The former world No. 1 Sharapova, seeded No. 2 here behind Williams, rolled to a 6-3, 6-2 win over the left-handed 10th seed Makarova in 87 minutes.

The former Aussie Open champion double-faulted seven times, but tallied 23 winners, including three aces in the win.

Sharapova has won 22 of her last 23 matches against fellow Russians and improved to 6-0 lifetime against Makarova, including 3-0 at the Australian Open following quarterfinals wins in 2012 and 2013.

“It’s been a strange road for me to get to the finals, but I’m happy,“ said Sharapova. “Came from behind in a few, really behind in one—saving match points. I felt like I was given a second chance. I just wanted to take my chances.“

The 26-year-old Makarova appeared in her second straight Grand Slam semifinal. She lost to Williams at last year’s U.S. Open.

The 27-year-old Sharapova is chasing her sixth career Grand Slam championship and 35th overall WTA title.

She’s 5-4 in Grand Slam finals, including 1-2 at the Australian Open. Sharapova titled here in 2008 and lost in Melbourne in 2007, to Serena, and 2012, to Victoria Azarenka.

Sharapova has yet to lose in 2015, going 10-0, including a title run in Brisbane a few weeks ago.

The powerful Williams is 16-2 lifetime against Sharapova, who has gone winless in their head-to-head series since 2004. The American is 4-1 in their Grand Slam matchups, including 2-0 in Melbourne. Sharapova beat Serena in the 2004 Wimbledon final.


►   Murray advances to fourth Aussie Open final

Andy Murray is back in the Australian Open final.

This time, he’ll hope for a better result.

Murray advanced to his fourth final in the year’s first major with Thursday’s 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 semifinal victory over seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych.

After losing a tight opening set, which lasted 76 minutes, Murray gave himself a stern talking to at the sit down and proceeded to largely dominate. He converted six of his 10 break points and benefited from 56 unforced errors from Berdych.

Berdych snapped a 17-match losing run against Rafael Nadal in a straight- sets quarterfinal win over the Spaniard. His first-set victory over Murray marked his 16th successive set won in the tournament. It is the second year in a row that the Czech has fallen at the semifinal stage in Melbourne, having lost to Stan Wawrinka last year.

The 29-year-old Berdych, working with Murray’s former coach Dani Vallverdu, was trying to reach his second Grand Slam final after finishing runner-up to Nadal at Wimbledon in 2010.

Murray is now 5-6 lifetime against Berdych, who fell in 3 hours, 16 minutes at Rod Laver Arena. The Brit also topped the Czech in the 2012 U.S. Open semis.

Murray is coached by former women’s world No. 1 star Amelie Mauresmo.

“A lot of people criticized me working with her and I think so far this week we’ve shown that women can be very good coaches as well,“ Murray said. “Madison Keys, who reached the semis here and had her best tournament, is also coached by a woman in Lindsay Davenport. And I see no reason why that can’t keep moving forward in the future. So I’m very thankful for Amelie for doing it. It was a brave choice for her to do it and hopefully I can repay her in a couple of days.“

The sixth-seeded Scot, though, has yet to win in Melbourne, falling in the 2010 title match to Roger Federer before losing to Novak Djokovic in both 2011 and 2013. On Sunday, he could again face the world No. 1 Djokovic, who will meet the fourth-seeded defending champion Wawrinka on Friday in the other men’s semifinal.

Murray is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era to win the Australian Open title after losing three finals.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist will play in his eighth career Grand Slam title match. He is 2-5 in such finals, winning the 2012 U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 2013.

The 27-year-old Murray is 31-14 overall in his career finals.

Berdych, meanwhile, was beaten in the Australian Open semis for the second year in a row. He lost to Wawrinka last year and has just one Grand Slam final on his resume—a loss to Nadal at Wimbledon in 2010.

On Friday, fans will be hoping for another epic when the four-time Aussie Open champ champion Djokovic faces Wawrinka for the third year in a row at Melbourne Park. Two years ago, Djokovic denied Wawrinka 12-10 in the fifth set of a fourth-round clash, but last year the Swiss got his revenge with a 9-7 fifth-set victory in the quarterfinals.

Djokovic is 16-3 lifetime against Wawrinka, including a 3-1 record at the majors.

The 27-year-old Djokovic is bidding to become the second man in history to win the Australian Open for the fifth time, joining Aussie great Roy Emerson. The Belgrade native won his first major title in Melbourne in 2008 and followed with three successive victories in 2011-13. He has a 48-6 match record at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic still has yet to drop a set in his ruthless run at this 2015 fortnight. He is through to his 25th Grand Slam semifinal, one behind Andre Agassi for the fourth most in the Open Era.

Wawrinka captured his first Grand Slam title here a year ago by stunning Nadal in the final.


►   Fognini reaches dubs final in Oz

Top-20 singles star Fabio Fognini will appear in the men’s doubles final at the 2015 Australian Open.

Fognini and fellow Italian Simon Bolelli upset a sixth-seeded tandem of Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer and Romania’s Horia Tecau 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 at Melbourne Park.

Thursday’s other semifinal saw Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert outlast and upset a fourth-seeded duo of Croat Ivan Dodig and Brazilian Marcelo Melo 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5).

Mahut, who was a French Open doubles runner-up two years ago, is best known for playing in the longest-ever tennis match when he lost to John Isner in 11 hours, 5 minutes in five sets over a three-day span, including a mind-boggling 138-game fifth set, in the first round at Wimbledon back in 2010.

Saturday’s winning team will split $575,000.


►   Australian Open Men’s Tennis Update – January 29

Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

Total Prize Money: $14,000,000

THURSDAY’S SEMIFINAL MATCH

Andy Murray (6) defeated Tomas Berdych (7), 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5
FRIDAY’S SEMIFINAL MATCH

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Stan Wawrinka (4), not before 3:30 AM ET


►   Australian Open Men’s Doubles Tennis Update – January 29

Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

Total Prize Money: $2,600,000

THURSDAY’S SEMIFINAL MATCHES

P.Herbert/N.Mahut defeated I.Dodig/M.Melo (4), 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5)
S.Bolelli/F.Fognini defeated J.Rojer/H.Tecau (6), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
SATURDAY’S FINAL

S.Bolelli/F.Fognini vs. P.Herbert/N.Mahut


►   Williams sisters, Keys to play Fed Cup next week

Serena and Venus Williams and teenage Australian Open semifinalist Madison Keys were selected to play Fed Cup tennis for the United States next week.

Team USA is trying to return to the World Group for 2016.

U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez announced that the 18-time major champion Serena and seven-time Grand Slam titlist Venus will be joined by Keys and 30th-ranked Varvara Lepchenko on a team that will face host Argentina in Buenos Aires from February 7-8.

The 19-year-old Keys upset Venus at the Aussie Open to reach her first major semifinal, where she lost to the top-ranked Serena on Thursday.

The Americans fell out of the Fed Cup’s World Group for just the second time since the current format was introduced back in 1995. They must defeat the Argentines then win another series in April to return to the top group next year.

Serena last played in the Fed Cup in 2013, the previous time the U.S. needed to win to get back into the World Group.

Former top-ranked junior Taylor Townsend will also join the team in Buenos Aires as a practice player.


►   Australian Open Women’s Tennis Update – January 29

Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

Total Prize Money: $14,000,000

THURSDAY’S SEMIFINAL MATCHES

Serena Williams (1) defeated Madison Keys, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
Maria Sharapova (2) defeated Ekaterina Makarova (10), 6-3, 6-2
SATURDAY’S FINAL

Serena Williams (1) vs. Maria Sharapova (2)



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Ocean Knight gets nod as Sam F. Davis Stakes favorite

Ocean Knight, who will be making just his second career start, is the 5-2 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

The 1 1/16-mile Davis Stakes is the final local prep for the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 07 and has drawn a field of 12 3-year-olds.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Ocean Knight will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. from post 11 for owner Stonestreet Stable. Ortiz was aboard when the colt won his debut start at Aqueduct December 13 as the 2-1 favorite.

Starting from the inside post will be 4-1 second choice Catalina Red with Daniel Centeno again riding. The chestnut colt is owned by Anthony A. Lenci and trained by Chad Stewart.

Catalina Red won his last two starts, both stakes at Tampa Bay, after failing to find the winner’s circle his first three career efforts. He won the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes at Tampa Bay by 7 1/4 lengths on December 06 and three weeks later took the $100,000 Pasco as the 3-5 favorite, setting a track record for seven furlongs in 1:21.40.

“He came out of the Pasco in good shape, and he’s ready to go,“ said Stewart. “He is just a very smart horse. He stays relaxed, he doesn’t show a lot of emotion and he likes his job.“

The 9-2 third pick is Ami’s Flatter who will be ridden again by Luis Contreras from post 3. The colt, bred in Ontario, is owned by Ivan Dalos and trained by Josie Carroll.

Ami’s Flatter won his debut race at Woodbine on November 09 and began 2015 with a second at 13-1 to Bluegrass Singer on January 03 in Gulfstream Park’s Mucho Macho Man Stakes.

Here is the field for the Sam. F. Davis from the rail out: Catalina Red, Daniel Centeno, 4-1; Royal Son, John Velazquez, 8-1; Ami’s Flatter, Luis Contreras, 9-2; Crittenden, Fernando De La Cruz, 15-1; Divining Rod, Luis Garcia, 20-1; Bandages, Ron Allen Jr., 20-1; Brother Bobo, Gabriel Saez, 20-1; G Five, Rajiv Maragh, 10-1; My Johnny Be Good, Antonio Gallardo, 6-1; Coomer, Julien Leparoux, 20-1; Ocean Knight, Irad Ortiz Jr., 5-2 and Bears Personality, Edgar Prado, 20-1.

The Sam F. Davis has an approximate post time of 5:20 PM ET.


►   Take Charge Brandi even-money for Martha Washington Stakes

Champion filly Take Charge Brandi is the even-money morning line favorite for Saturday’s $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Owned by Willis Horton and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Take Charge Brandi begins her 3-year-old season in the mile stakes and will start from post 6 with veteran jockey Jon Court riding her for the first time. Six other 3-year-old fillies will take on the champ.

“I think the mile is a logical choice,“ the Hall of Fame trainer earlier said, referring to the Martha Washington distance.

Take Charge Brandi, who is being pointed toward the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Friday, May 01, won the 2014 Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly primarily based on her 61-1 upset victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last November.

The filly finished her Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old season by taking the Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on December 13. That victory came just three weeks after capturing the Delta Downs Princess Stakes on November 22. The filly has won four of eight starts for $1,620,126.

The 7-2 second choice is Indian Annie who will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. from post 4. The filly is trained by Steve Asmussen and partly owned by Whispering Oaks Farm.

Indian Annie has won two of her three starts, reaching the winner’s circle the second time out at Fair Grounds on November 22 and claiming an allowance race at Oaklawn on January 17.

Here is the field for the Martha Washington in post position order: Perfect Fit, Cliff Berry, 8-1; Cape Town Stevie, Emmanuel Esquivel, 30-1; High Dollar Woman, Joe Rocco Jr., 6-1; Indian Annie, Ricardo Santana Jr., 7-2; Sarah Sis, Julio Felix, 5-1; Take Charge Brandi, Jon Court, even and Sweet Corinna, Channing Hill, 10-1

Post time for the Martha Washington will be approximately 5:38 PM ET.


►   Palace Malice throws shoe, bruises foot

Eclipse Award finalist Palace Malice suffered an injury Wednesday while training and bruised his foot.

Owned by Dogwood Stable and Three Chimneys Farm, Palace Malice has a bruise in the sole of his foot after throwing a shoe and did not train Thursday and will not have a scheduled workout Friday morning.

“When the bruise has dissipated, he’ll resume training and will either have another breeze here and then ship to Florida, or he will leave once he’s sound,“ Dogwood president Cot Campbell said on the stable’s website.

The 5-year-old was going have his second workout of the year on Friday and jog Saturday morning. He was then being shipped to trainer Todd Pletcher in Florida on Sunday afternoon, but that will be delayed.

Palace Malice has not raced since suffering a bone bruise during the running of the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga last August.

A five race campaign has been put together for Palace Malice. His season will begin with the Westchester Stakes at Belmont Park on May 02.

“The logic of the five-race campaign was easily determined by Three Chimneys, Dogwood and Todd Pletcher,“ Campbell said. “The Westchester is the ideal Belmont prep for an appearance in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile, in which he defeated Goldencents two-time Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner this past year. We would follow with three Grade 1 stakes - the Whitney, early at Saratoga, the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont in the fall and the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.“

Palace Malice won last year’s Gulfstream Park and New Orleans Handicaps along with the Westchester and Met Mile. The colt has seven wins from 17 career starts for $2,676,135.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Wiesberger holds early advantage in Dubai

Bernd Wiesberger used a string of birdies down the stretch on Thursday to shoot a first-round, 8-under 64 and he holds a 1-shot lead in front of some big names at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Wiesberger has won two times in his career on the European Tour, both of which came in 2012 at the Ballantine’s Championship and the Lyoness Open. The 29- year-old also played his way into the final pairing at last year’s PGA Championship, where he wound up finishing tied for 15th.

“It feels good right now,“ said Wiesberger. “I feel quite happy with what I expect out of my game. When I’m in trouble, I know I can scramble well, which is the part you don’t see right now because I’m hitting the ball quite nicely.“

Lee Westwood, a 23-time winner on tour, finished the first round with a 7- under 65 on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club and he is tied for second with this year’s South African Open Championship winner Andy Sullivan, American Peter Uihlein and Nicolas Colsaerts.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, the 2009 champion, is just two shots back of the leader Wiesberger. McIlroy is tied for sixth at 6-under 66 with two-time defending champion and fellow European Ryder Cup team member Stephen Gallacher, Maximilian Kieffer, Anders Hansen, Seve Benson, Hennie Otto and Marc Warren.

After his collapse at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship two weeks ago, Martin Kaymer rebounded with a 5-under 67 and he is tied for 13th with six others.

Wiesberger got off to a neutral start when he made par on his first five holes from No. 1 before rolling in his first gain of the day on No. 6. Following a pair of pars on seven and eight, Wiesberger drained another birdie on No. 9 and followed that up with his second straight gain on the par-5 10th.

The best was still yet to come for Wiesberger. After making pars on 11 and 12, the Austrian rattled off five straight birdies from No. 13 to come from out of nowhere and take the lead. Wiesberger finished up with a par to finish alone atop the leaderboard after day one.

“It was a solid back nine I have to say,“ Wiesberger stated. “I got on a run at the end and could have birdied my last six holes there. Once I got the pace right on the greens, which were a bit slower than I expected, it went nicely.“

Westwood, beginning his day on the back nine, started off with a birdie at the 10th before making four straight pars from 11. Westwood then made birdie on three of his next six holes on 15, 17 and one.

A trio of pars from two preceded Westwood’s fifth birdie on five, and three holes later the Englishman ran off back-to-back birdies on eight and nine to end on a high note.

Sullivan continued his strong play early on this season as he made three birdies over his first five holes on 10, 13 and 14. Sullivan finished up his opening nine with an eagle on the par-5 18th and proceeded to make birdies on one and three after the turn. Sullivan concluded his first round with six straight pars from four.

Uihlein exploded out of the gate with a trio of birdies from No. 1 and he later made five birdies in a seven-hole span from No. 7, giving him the outright lead at minus-8. Down the stretch Uihlein tripped to his only bogey on No. 17 to fall back to 7-under and he finished up with a par at the last.

Colsaerts also had a strong start to his round with five birdies on his front nine on 11, 12, 13, 15 and 18. The Belgian continued his run around the turn with three more gains on one, three and seven, but a bogey on nine also saw Colsaerts fall back to 7-under at the end of the round.

McIlroy, who finished alone in second at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship two weeks ago, is playing in his second event of the season and showed little to no rust on Thursday. McIlroy started off with gains on his first two holes on 10 and 11. After six straight pars from 12, McIlroy made the turn with a birdie on the par-5 18th.

The Ulsterman birdied four more on his closing nine at three, five, six and eight, but a bogey on nine dropped him back to minus-6 and he trails by two shots along with six others.

“I’d be disappointed if I didn’t shoot anything below 68 today, especially with the conditions and 66 is a nice start,“ McIlroy said. “I’d like to see it blow a little bit and make it more of a challenging golf course, you still need to hit the shots but it would be nice to play in some conditions that are a little different than this.“

NOTES: In two events this season, Wiesberger has finished tied for sixth in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago and he also ended in third at last week’s Qatar Masters ... Gallacher has three career victories, with two coming at this event the last two seasons ... Dating back to last season, McIlroy has finished inside the top 10 in six straight events and 10 of his last 11, including a stretch of three straight victories at the British Open, WGC- Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship ... His win here in 2009 was McIlroy’s first professional victory ... Louis Oosthuizen withdrew with a back injury prior to starting the first round and he was replaced in the field by Jason Barnes.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015
National Basketball Association
Minnesota at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - FS-North, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Toronto at Brooklyn, 7:30 PM - TSN, YES, DSS
Portland at Atlanta, 7:30 PM - CSN-Northwest, SportSouth, DSS
Houston at Boston, 7:30 PM - ROOT-Southwest, CSN-New England, DSS
Sacramento at Cleveland, 7:30 PM - CSN-California, FS-Ohio, DS
Dallas at Miami, 8:00 PM - FS-Southwest, SunSports, ESPN
LA Clippers at New Orleans, 8:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, New Orleans, DSS
Golden State at Utah, 9:00 PM - CSN-Bay, ROOT-Northwest, DSS
Chicago at Phoenix, 10:30 PM - CSN-Chicago, FS-Arizona, ESPN
National Hockey League
St. Louis at Carolina, 7:00 PM - FS-Midwest, SportSouth, DSS
Pittsburgh at New Jersey, 7:00 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, MSG+, DSS
Nashville at Colorado, 9:00 PM - FS-Tennessee, Altitude, DSS
Chicago at Anaheim, 10:00 PM - WGN, FS-Prime Ticket, DSS
Buffalo at Vancouver, 10:00 PM - MSG-Buffalo, SNET-Pacific, NHL Network, DSS
College Basketball
Harvard at Princeton, 6:00 PM - ESPN U
Marist at Niagara, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Dartmouth at Penn, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Oregon at Arizona State, 8:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Yale at Columbia, 8:00 )PM - MASN, American Sports Network, SNY
Monmouth at Fairfield, 8:00 PM - ESPN U
Oregon State at Arizona, 10:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Kent State at Buffalo, 10:00 PM - ESPN U
Women’s College Basketball
Florida State at Georgia Tech, 7:00 PM - RSN, FOX, ESPN3.com
Bradley at Illinois State, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Wichita State at Northern Iowa, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Missouri State at Drake, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Georgetown at DePaul, 8:00 PM - CSN-Chicago+
College Hockey
Army at RIT, 7:00 PM - Time Warner Cable
Massachusetts Lowell at Merrimack, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Michigan at Michigan State, 7:30 PM - FS-Detroit
Connecticut at Maine, 7:30 PM - FCS
North Dakota at Nebraska Omaha, 8:30 PM - CBSSN
Minnesota at Wisconsin, 9:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Minnesota-Duluth at Denver, 9:30 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain
Major Arena Soccer League
Chicago at Missouri, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
International Soccer
Paris Saint-Germain FC vs. Stade Rennais FC, 2:25 PM - beIN Sport
Golf
EUROPEAN - Dubai Desert Classic, 1:00 AM - Golf Channel
EUROPEAN - Dubai Desert Classic, 5:30 AM - Golf Channel
PGA - Phoenix Open, 3:00 PM - Golf Channel
Tennis
Australian Open, 3:30 AM - ESPN
Auto Racing
NASCAR Hall-of-Fame Induction Ceremony, 8:00 PM - NBCSN

Noah Michael Clay Griffith

The Gilmer Free Press

Cody and Courtney Griffith of Weston, WV announce the birth of their son, Noah Michael Clay Griffith.

He was born Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 11:58 PM.

The little boy weighed 7-pounds, 6-ounces and was 19 inches long.

Maternal grandparents are Samuel and Suzanne Taylor of Weston, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Mike and Beth Griffith of Jane Lew, WV.

G-OB™: Gilmer County Schools Employment – Auxiliary Varsity Girls Softball Coach - GCHS

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POSITION:  Auxiliary Varsity Girls Softball Coach, Gilmer County High School


JOB DESCRIPTION:


FOR THE POSITION OF AUXILIARY ATHLETIC COACH


REPORTS TO: Principal/Athletic Director/Head Coach


JOB GOAL: To assist with participating student to achieve a high level of skill, an appreciation for the values of discipline and an increased level of self-esteem.


RESPONSIBILITIES:

Professional and Interpersonal Relations,

1. cooperates with building principal,

2. cooperates with athletic director,

3. develops rapport with coaching staff within the school,

4. organizes coaching staff,

5. develops positive relationship with participants,

6. develops positive relationship with student body,

7. develops positive relationship with faculty,

8. develops positive relationship with parents and community,

9. develops positive relationship with game officials,

10. develops positive relationship with news media,

11. develops positive relationship with opponents,

12. employs appropriate conduct during games,

13. employs appropriate conduct during practices,

14. attends league, conference and WVSSAC meetings as required

15. participates in activities that foster professional growth and development,

16. motivates staff and players toward desired goals, and commands respect by example in appearance, manners, behavior and language.

Coaching and Related Areas,

17. develops high caliber and quality instruction,

18. teaches fundamental skills,

19. handles athletic injuries,

20. cares for equipment,

21. supervises participants and disciplines team appropriately,

22. designs quality organization of practice sessions,

23. designs pre-season planning,

24. supervises managers and other support personnel,

25. manages budget,

26. follows purchasing procedures,

27. initiates game organizational skills,

28. follows board of education, league, conference, and WVSSAC policies,

29. devotes time and energy to coaching duties,

30. follows end of season procedures,

31.  performs other duties as assigned by principal/athletic director.


EMPLOYMENT TERM: 2014-2015 season


QUALIFICATIONS:

* Hold or qualify for West Virginia Certificate as required under State Board Policy 5202

* Possess the knowledge, skills and ability to successfully carry out responsibilities of the position.


SALARY:  County Supplement - $1


CLOSING DATE:  February 05, 2015 - 3:00 PM


SEND LETTER OF APPLICATION AND RESUME TO:

Judith A. Stalnaker
Personnel Director
Gilmer County Schools
201 North Court Street
Glenville, WV 26351

As required by federal laws and regulations, the Gilmer County Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, marital status, disability, age and national origin in employment and in the administration of any of its education programs or activities.  Inquires may be directed to Title IX Coordinator, Gilmer County Board of Education, 201 N. Court Street, Glenville, WV 26351, phone 304.462.7386; to the Elimination of Sex Discrimination Program Coordinator, 304.558.7864; or the U.S. Department of Education’s Director of the Office of Civil Rights, 215.596.6795.

E15-501-16
Posted:01.29.15

North v. South, Republican v. Democrat, Drugs v. Education: Heated Debate in the House

A Record Number of Exonerations in 2014

An unprecedented 125 exonerations were recorded in the USA last year, and a majority of the cases involved the cooperation of an unlikely ally: law enforcement.

Prosecutors and police initiated or cooperated in reversing at least 67 wrongful convictions, also a record number, according to a report by the National Registry of Exonerations.

The report linked the law enforcement involvement to the relatively recent emergence of special prosecutorial units that examine convictions based on bad evidence, false testimony, coerced confessions and other breakdowns.

The special prosecutor units have grown in number from the first in 2002 to 15 last year. The most active last year were in Houston and Brooklyn, which assisted in a combined 39 exonerations of people wrongfully convicted of crimes, ranging from murder to drug offenses.

The Gilmer Free Press


“I think there is a seachange in the thinking related to the fallibility of the criminal justice system,‘’ said University of Michigan law professor Samuel Gross, co-founder of the registry. “It turns out that (wrongful conviction) is a much more common problem than everybody realizes.‘’

The report found that the legal system is “increasingly willing to act on innocence claims that have often been ignored.‘’

Though the use of biological evidence (DNA) has perhaps gained the most notoriety in exoneration cases, an increasing number are proved with other evidence and in cases where it has been determined no crime was committed.

In 46% (58) of the 125 exonerations last year, no crime occurred, according to the report.

Murder cases involved a substantial portion of the wrongful convictions, in 38% (48) of the cases.

Kings County, NY, which includes Brooklyn, recorded 10 murder exonerations last year as part of a sweeping review of controversial convictions, many of them involving questionable police tactics used by a New York Police Department detective. It has added one case this year.

“People are coming to the understanding that wrongful convictions are not only destroying the lives of people who have been wrongly punished, but they also are undermining the integrity of the criminal justice system,‘’ said Kings County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

Thompson has assigned 10 prosecutors to review questionable convictions. The unit started with 130 cases and has 100 left to examine.

“We are committed to this process,‘’ Thompson said.

Jeff Blackburn, chief counsel for the Innocence Project of Texas, said that as each “failure” of the criminal justice system’‘ has been identified, it has become “more politically acceptable to fight this fight.‘’

“Everybody knows now that innocent people get locked up,‘’ Blackburn said. “Prosecutors are figuring out that they need to get on the right side of this.‘’

~~  Kevin Johnson - USA TODAY ~~


More Information: The Rise of “Conviction Integrity Units” Helps Explain the Sharp Increase

Area Closings and Delays on Friday, January 30, 2015

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Status of Area Closings and Delays on Friday, January 30, 2015
Glenville State College  
Gilmer County Courthouse
Gilmer County Senior Center
Gilmer County Schools 2 Hour Delay  >>To>> All Closed
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay
Calhoun County Schools All Closed
Doddridge County Schools2 Hour Delay  >>To>> All Closed
Lewis County Schools 2 Hour Delay  >>To>> All Closed
Ritchie County Schools All Closed
Barbour County Schools All Closed
Clay County Schools 2 Hour Delay
Harrison County Schools 2 Hour Delay
Nicholas County Schools All Closed
Pleasants County Schools 2 Hour Delay  >>To>> All Closed
Roane County Schools 2 Hour Delay  >>To>> All Closed
Tyler County Schools 2 Hour Delay  >>To>> All Closed
Upshur County Schools All Closed
Webster County Schools All Closed
Wirt County Schools 2 Hour Delay  >>To>> All Closed
Wood County Schools 2 Hour Delay  >>To>> All Closed


The Gilmer Free Press      The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press      The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

Bon Appétit: Spinach Artichoke Dip

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

Servings: 6

  1 bunch spinach, thick stems trimmed
  Kosher salt
  1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1 large shallot, finely chopped
  1 garlic clove, finely grated
  Freshly ground black pepper
  4 ounces cream cheese
  ½ cup sour cream
  ½ cup mayonnaise
  1 10-oz. package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, chopped
  ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  Crackers, chips, or toasted baguette (for serving)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Cook spinach in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain spinach, squeezing out excess liquid, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel and use the towel to wring out as much liquid as possible. Be thorough and use some muscle; water from the spinach will make the dip thin and runny (not what you want). Transfer spinach to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until pan begins to look dry, about 2 minutes; season spinach with salt and pepper. Let cool.

Pulse cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a food processor, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until combined and smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and fold in artichoke hearts, Parmesan, and spinach mixture; season with salt and pepper.

Scrape mixture into a 1-qt. baking dish and bake until golden brown on top, 20–25 minutes. Let dip cool slightly. Serve with crackers, chips, toast, or—dare we say it?—a vegetable.

GFP - 01.30.2015
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G-MM™: Meditation Moment   150130

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Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

The Christian Magna Carta

Galatians is beyond question one of the most important books in the New Testament. No other sets forth the doctrine of justification by faith so concisely or more convincingly. Most fittingly has it been called the Magna Carta of Christian Liberty. . . . And the epistle has lost nothing in force and pivotal importance with the passing of subsequent generations.

~ from “Galatians and You” by Norman Bartlett


Acts 13:1-4, 13-16. 42-43

Introduction to Galatians

Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon . . . and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
      *      *      *
Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand [explained the Gospel to the Jews in the synagogue].
      *      *      *
As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.


Notes on the Scripture

In Acts 13, we see Saul, who has spent three years in the deserts of Arabia before going to Jerusalem to meet Peter, and then finding his way to Antioch; he has been completed by his period of meditation and revelation. The Holy Spirit moves among the church at Antioch and informs them that Saul and Barnabas are to be set apart for some special work. But, what “special work”? The Bible is short on the details of how it all came about, but it will show us what it has not told us: Saul and Barnabas sail to Cyprus and from there, to GalatiaGalatia was not a permanent, well-defined region and often overlapped with specific provinces. Here, Paul traveled in areas that could be called, correctly, either Cilicia or Galatia., the central area of modern-day Turkey.

It is Jack Kerouac informed by the Holy Spirit: two men setting out for parts unknown, without any real training or background, that will become known as Paul’s first missionary journey. At this point, without any explanation, the Bible begins to refer to him as “Paul”, the name by which we know him, rather than his given name, “Saul”. He does what is natural to him, for he is a trained Pharisee. He goes to synagogue, stands up, and speaks God’s Word as it has been revealed to him.

This is the background for Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. Nobody is sure whether it was written before or after 1 Thessalonians; opinion is divided about 50-50 on which came first. But, aside from the underlying bedrock of the Gospel message, the two letters could not be more different. The Thessalonian epistles were written to a specific church; Galatians was written to all the churches of an entire region. Where the Thessalonian epistles are full of congratulations, prayers for continued success, and a sense of fraternity, Galatians is chewing-out fueled by restrained fury.

We infer from the letter itself that Galatia was a hotbed for proponents of pseudo-Christian sects, who flooded the towns with a variety of manmade theological systems; and unfortunately, many of those whom Paul had converted were taken in by these tinpot apostles. They corrupted the churches and perverted the Gospel. Some of it may seem foolish to us today, but it is human nature and typical of what happens when we depend on our thought process, rather than the Gospel, to steer our faith. When we consider the amount of blood shed in Russia over such issues as how many fingers a person should use to make the sign of the cross, it makes the situation in Galatia more understandable.

When Paul learned of the situation, he wrote Galatians to defend his apostolic authority, as opposed those who created theologies by supposition, intuition, or logic; and having established his bona fides, he reiterated a correct understanding of Christ. He set down for posterity the fundamental truths of Christian belief: the unique importance of Christ and his redemptive sacrifice on the cross, the freedom that Christians enjoy from the old burdens of the law, the necessity of faith in Christ as the means of justification before God, and the beauty of the new life of the Spirit. Galatians effectively comprises a first draft of Pauline theology, upon which he will amplify and build upon in his later years.

Beulah A. Yeaples

The Gilmer Free Press

Beulah A. Yeaples

Age 93 of Dayton, Ohio passed away January 23, 2015 at Maria Joseph Living Care Center.

She was born June 16, 1921 in Gassaway, Braxton County, WV to the late Henry Clay and Mary Elizabeth (Priddy) Smith.

Beulah was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Yeaples; son, Lawrence McNerney; siblings, John Smith, Virginia May Smith-Pierce, Fred Byrle Smith, James Alvin Smith and Thelma Ruth Smith-Muchmore.

She is survived by her children, Donna June Meyers, Douglas Randolph, Cheryl Miles, Marsha Lynn McNerney; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Beulah served during WWII in the Woman’s Army Corps (WAAC) where she was awarded the Victory Medal.

Visitation was held from 9:30-10:30 AM on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Newcomer Funeral Home, North Chapel, 4104 Needmore Road, Dayton, Ohio where a funeral service will begin at 10:30 AM.

Interment followed at 12:00 Noon at Dayton National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Maria Joseph Living Care Center, in Beulah’s memory.

Comics - In The Minority

The Gilmer Free Press

Schedule Set for Sixth Annual West Virginia History Bowl Competition

The Gilmer Free Press

The dates are set for the sixth annual West Virginia History Bowl regional and state competitions. Sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, all eighth- grade history buffs are invited to showcase their knowledge of West Virginia and participate in the 2015 History Bowl.

Designed to test students’ knowledge on all things West Virginia including culture, geography, government, history, literature and sports, the eight regional matches are scheduled to take place from February 06 to March 07.

Eighth-graders in public, private and home-schooled education programs are eligible to compete on the four-person teams in double-elimination tournament play. The winner and runner-up teams are invited to the tournament championship at the Culture Center in Charleston on Tuesday, May 05.

Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith said, “This competition has grown exponentially with both students and teachers expressing their enjoyment and enthusiastic support. The students learn new and interesting facts about our state that they can apply to other fields of study.”

During the competition, students will answer questions compiled by the division’s Archives and History Section staff members. In preparation for competition, teams are encouraged to review the Daily Trivia, Quick Quizzes, and Golden Horseshoe study guides. These can be found on the Archives and History Section’s website, www.wvculture.org/history.

The regional tournament dates and sites are as follows:

•  Friday, February 06, at West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling, Ohio County. Region VI includes schools in Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, and Wetzel counties.

•  Saturday, February 07, at Sandy River Middle School, Avondale, McDowell County. Region I includes schools in McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties.

•  Friday, February 13, at The Culture Center, Charleston, Kanawha County. Region III includes schools in Boone, Clay, Kanawha and Putnam counties.

•  Friday, February 20, at Summersville Middle School, Summersville, Nicholas County. Region IV includes schools in Braxton, Fayette, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Pocahontas and Webster counties.

•  Saturday, February 21, at Milton Middle School, Milton, Cabell County. Region II includes schools in Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo and Wayne counties.

•  Friday, February 27, at Romney Middle School, Romney, Hampshire County. Region VIII includes schools in Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton counties.

•  Saturday, February 28, at Edison Middle School, Parkersburg, Wood County. Region V includes schools in Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties.

•  Saturday, March 07, at Bridgeport Middle School, Bridgeport, Harrison County. Region VII includes schools in Barbour, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker and Upshur counties.

•  Saturday, March 21, Play-In Tournament at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, Buckhannon, Upshur County. The Play-In Tournament is held to accommodate schools that are unable to compete in their regional round because of inclement weather and school closings.  It also is open to all schools throughout the state that want a second chance.

General information about the History Bowl can be found at www.wvculture.org/history/historybowl.html or by contacting Matt McGrew, tournament director and education coordinator for archives and history, at or 304.558.0230.

Energy Conservation Project Underway at GSC

Glenville State College has partnered with Energy Systems Group (ESG) to implement comprehensive energy efficiency and building improvements that have reduced energy costs, modernized building systems and technologies, and enhanced the overall campus environment. These improvements are anticipated to result in annual savings over $176,200 during the 15-year term of the contract with ESG.

A wide range of energy conservation and infrastructure improvement measures were implemented in 13 campus buildings. Some of those improvements included: indoor and outdoor lighting, upgraded controls, HVAC improvements and replacements, window replacements, fire suppression system installation, pool operations upgrades, implementation of a campus energy policy, and computer-based power management.

“This collaboration has allowed us to do a variety of different things. Not only were we able to recognize the economic savings by making the improvements, but it gave us an opportunity to be one of the first central West Virginia higher education institutions to partner in this way,“ said Glenville State College President Dr. Peter Barr.

The Gilmer Free Press


Physical Plant Director Tom Ratliff oversaw the project, which has been called the largest campus wide initiative undertaken to improve all campus facilities. “Now we’re able to monitor and adjust power usage in real-time and we can make those energy savings every day. The facilities are not only more comfortable to be in but the aesthetics of the Physical Education Building and the Heflin Administration Building show a dramatic change with just their window replacements. This project has been a multifaceted approach on how to make our campus better,“ said Ratliff.

By implementing these key energy conservation measures, Glenville State College will save $2.6 million in total energy costs, 1,425,000 kilowatt-hours in electric energy, and 130,000 therms in natural gas over the term of the contract with ESG. Glenville State College will reduce its carbon footprint by 1,676 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That footprint reduction equates to generating enough electricity to power 153 homes, removing emissions from 353 passenger vehicles, or planting 1,374 acres of forest.

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“One of the huge benefits of this undertaking was the way that the awareness spread across campus. Students, faculty, and staff have seen that we are taking proactive steps to be sustainable and they have echoed that all around the campus. We have seen an interest in conservation and recycling that may not have been there before,“ added Barr.

The partnership with ESG to become more energy efficient joins sustainability plans GSC already had implemented. Some of those initiatives included installing occupancy sensing lighting controls, trayless dining in the college cafeteria, the use of fuel saving mini pickups by the maintenance department, and a campus-wide recycling drive for plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

For more information about the project with ESG, contact Ratliff at 304.462.4112.

Martirano Wants Rapid Rise in Graduation Rate

The Gilmer Free Press

State Superintendent Michael Martirano has told legislators that it might take just five years to move West Virginia to a high school graduation rate of 90%, that the policy of state takeovers of county school system is being reconsidered, and that it might be time to reconsider the policy of salary equity that has been in place since the Recht court decision in the 1980s.

Martirano and other Education Department officials addressed those and other issues when the department had a budget hearing before the House Finance Committee this week.

Since he took over as state superintendent in September, Martirano has emphasized that the graduation rate is the most important metric for measuring a public education system, and he has set 90% as the goal.

West Virginia’s current graduation rate is about 83%.

House Finance Chairman Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, asked him what the timeframe for reaching 90% might be.

“Everything is based upon all working together to achieve that goal to ensure that all children are college and career ready,” Martirano said. “I firmly believe that that can be done over a five-year period, working again starting at the elementary level, moving to middle school and working to the high school level. This is not something that is just relegated to our high school principals. It starts at the early level. And we know the primary reason why students drop out. There are a variety of reasons, focusing on those early literacy interventions, all working together to ensure that children stay in school.”

~~  Jim Wallace ~~

GFP - 01.29.2015
EducationPolitics | Government | ElectionState-WV(8) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~


Yes a state takeover policy needs to be reconsidered when the Superintendents organization takes over a county that was neither financially nor academically bankrupt when they walked in.  Please justify how this can continue.

By Gilmer Is Waiting  on  01.29.2015

Dr. Martirano’s statement about the State’s policy of take overs of county school systems being reconsidered is a long time in coming. This is an official admission of failure from Charleston. Why did it take this long for them to catch on?

What happens next is important for Gilmer County. The County, the teachers and staffs, all its students, and its elected Board of Education have been punished severely for 3+ years.

What about cancelling the Hays City project and to start over to determine what is best for our school system? That would show good faith intent by the WVBOE.

By Fresh Start WVBOE?  on  01.29.2015

According to the State’s recent Dashboard Zoom data only 51.46% of the students at the high school met grade-level expectations and only 35% are on track to meet expectations in the future. Yet, the State boasts that everything over there is just fine.

Gilmer County’s citizens are the ones who should decide if performances are OK. They deserve to be informed why the State has not managed the school better, and what is being done to make needed improvements.

It is feared that real improvements won’t be made at the HS and graduation rates will rise as more under-prepared graduates are produced for college and careers.

By Mel Murphey  on  01.29.2015

Graduation is a good thing.
Too much emphasis in one area usually means other areas are overlooked.
There does seem recognition finally that the old crew in the WVBOE has done their fair share of harm.
The larger question will be what do they know upon graduation.  The jury will out yet a while for that verdict.

By just saying  on  01.29.2015

Supposing Mel Murphy/dashboard zoom data is correct?
Over 48% of high school did not meet grade level?  Would that be considered a failing grade for education?
Also that 65% of high school are not on track to meet future expectations?  Another ‘F’?
I can’t help but think that raising the achievement level is more important that just getting the students ‘out the door’?
Is the graduation rate the correct target here?

By Clowser  on  01.29.2015

My wife worked in economically disadvantaged schools for many years.  Their approach was to increase parental involvement as children entered the school system.  Involved parents will often consider teachers as partners rather than a workday babysitter.  Unfortunately, that approach takes around 12 years to see defined results.

By Jim V  on  01.29.2015

The point about GCHS students not making grade level brings up a larger issue.

Local communities must set standards not the State. Use of the State’s grading system puts the GCHS in the success category. Really?

How many know about percentages of our GCHS graduates who must take make up courses in college? The figure is about 40%. Is this good enough for Gilmer County?

What has the State done the past three years to improve the GCHS’s performance? Does it have an improvement plan in place? If it does let the community hear about it.

By GCHS Truly A WV Success School?  on  01.30.2015

When test scores and graduation became more important than students grasping basic concepts, education and literacy went downhill.  Passing students from one grade to another in elementary school when they can’t read, write or do math is criminal.  It is much more important for students to master basic skills than to get a diploma that has no value!  Parents are partially to blame for this mess as they didn’t want “their child” to be held back as they saw it as a mark of failure on their part.  What too many of them failed to realize was passing the children on to the next grade was the worst failure of all.  Children deserve better than worthless diplomas!

By Karen Pennebaker  on  01.30.2015

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College Grads, Potential Employers Disagree

It turns out that college students are being well-prepared for their future careers—at least in their own minds.

Ask employers, and it’s a very different picture.

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Well-Prepared in Their Own Eyes

It turns out that college students are being well-prepared for their future careers—at least in their own minds. Ask employers, and it’s a very different picture.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) asked groups of employers and college students a series of similar questions about career preparation. They could be scary reading for many students and the college educators who are trying to prepare them for careers. AACU is releasing the survey results today, in advance of the annual meeting at which the group will mark its centennial.

Consistent with past AACU surveys, this one found that employers are concerned about new graduates having a range of skills in areas like communication and team work—and that employers aren’t as obsessed as some governors with questions about students’ choice of major. This year, AACU did a companion survey of college students—613 students at public and private two-year and four-year colleges. The employer results come from 400 respondents whose organizations have at least 25 employees and report that 25% or more of their new hires hold either an associate degree from a two-year college or a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college.

As shown on the bar chart below from AACU, students consistently rank themselves as prepared in areas where employers do not agree. The area where students and employers are the closest to being aligned is in staying current with new technologies, where 37% of employers think students are well-prepared and 46% of students think that. But in a number of key areas (oral communication, written communication, critical thinking, being creative), students are more than twice as likely as employers to think that students are being well-prepared. And these are the kinds of qualities that many colleges say are hallmarks of a liberal education.

The Gilmer Free Press

“When it comes to the types of skills and knowledge that employers feel are most important to workplace success, large majorities of employers do NOT feel that recent college graduates are well prepared. This is particularly the case for applying knowledge and skills in real-world settings, critical thinking skills, and written and oral communication skills — areas in which fewer than three in 10 employers think that recent college graduates are well prepared. Yet even in the areas of ethical decision-making and working with others in teams, many employers do not give graduates high marks,“ the AACU report says.

Other parts of the employer survey may be more encouraging to many college educators, especially those who endorse the AACU view that there is more to college education than picking a major in a hot career field.

Employers were asked whether it was more important for new hires to have training in specific skills for a job, a “range of knowledge” or both specific skills and a range of knowledge. “Both” was the clear winner at 60%, followed by range of knowledge with 25% and specific skills at only 15%.

Further, the survey found that large majorities of employers at least somewhat agree with statements that suggest support for general education and a curriculum that extends beyond job training.

Employers Who Strongly or Somewhat Agree With These Statements

Statement Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree
All college students should have educational experiences that teach them how to solve problems with people whose views are different than their own. 59% 37%
All college students should gain an understanding of democratic institutions and values 32% 55%
Every college student should take courses that build the civil knowledge, skills and judgment essential for contributing to our democratic society. 33% 53%
Every college student should acquire broad knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences. 29% 49%
All college students should gain intercultural skills and an understanding of societies and countries outside the United States. 21% 57%

~~  Scott Jaschik ~~

The West Virginia Department of Education Champions Student Data Privacy

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will serve as a Data Privacy Day Champion as the world recognizes Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28, 2015. Data Privacy Day, observed annually on Jan. 28, is an international awareness effort to encourage Internet users to consider the privacy implications of their online actions and motivate all companies to make privacy and data protection a greater priority.

As a DPD Champion, the WVDE’s Data Governance Office recognizes and supports the principle that organizations, businesses and government all share the responsibility of being conscientious stewards of personal information by respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust.

The West Virginia Board of Education and WVDE have taken several actions to protect student data. For example, there are multiple protections in place that outline the roles and responsibilities of educational staff across the state. In addition to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - the federal law that all State Education Agencies, districts and schools must follow - West Virginia has three other formal layers of protection for students. In March of 2014 the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act (also called the Student DATA Act, introduced as HB 4316) was passed, which outlines rules and responsibilities of the WVDE, districts and schools with regard to managing student data and privacy. The WVBE’s Policy 4350 also outlines the state’s responsibilities, and the WVDE Data Access and Management Guidance describes the standard operating procedures followed with regard to protecting student data.

The WVDE joins the growing effort among organizations, corporations, educational institutions, government entities and municipalities globally to raise awareness and educate individuals about how personal information may be collected, the benefits and risks of sharing personal information as well as the nature and scope of online data usage. Through collaborative efforts and unified, consistent messaging about data privacy, all DPD Champions will work toward the goal of improving awareness and empowering everyone to safeguard their privacy.

Spearheaded by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day recognition in Europe. The day, January 28, commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty addressing privacy and data protection.

Collaboration Seeks to Improve Care for Medicaid Beneficiaries

The Gilmer Free Press

A unique partnership was launched on January 01, 2015 to provide additional help to Medicaid beneficiaries in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Medical Services and Partners in Health Network, Inc. will address the special needs of Medicaid beneficiaries who are frequent visitors to hospital emergency rooms. By sharing resources, health care providers and West Virginia Medicaid staff will seek interventions to improve outcomes for these individuals.

“This partnership was developed through the Health Innovation Collaborative which provides a forum for developing public and private relationships to improve the health and well-being of the citizens of West Virginia,” said West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling. “We are delighted to find providers who are interested in working with us to improve the care and efficiency of high-need Medicaid beneficiaries.”

Similarly, Doug Bentz, CEO of Roane General Hospital and Chairman of the Board of Partners in Health Network, added, “The non-profit providers of Partners in Health Network and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources share a mission to improve care and make the State’s dollars spent on Medicaid programs go further. We are pleased to work with them to make these improvements.”

Health care providers and Medicaid will begin identifying beneficiaries who might benefit from additional or alternative health care resources.  Interventions will then be designed to improve outcomes and progress will be measured through West Virginia’s care database.  Managed care organizations will also be included in order to provide a seamless implementation across different Medicaid populations.

State officials and partner clinicians envision a three-year program to target those most in need of help; to provide care as needed; and, ultimately, to document improvements in outcomes and demonstrate the care efficiencies achieved.

Partners in Health Network, Inc. is a nonprofit, rural health network covering twenty counties in central and southern West Virginia.  The network includes a teaching hospital, community hospitals, a psychiatric hospital, community health centers, a free clinic, primary care providers, community mental health centers, a quality institute, EMS providers, and a long terms care facility.

Congressman McKinley Calls for Restoration of Mail Service

The Gilmer Free Press

Congressman David B. McKinley, R-WV,  introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to the postal slowdown and a return to prior service standards.

On July 01, 2012 the United States Postal Service (USPS) initiated an aggressive plan to cut costs by closing rural post offices, mail processing facilities, and reducing First Class Mail delivery. This has had a disproportionate impact businesses and families in rural areas.
“We’ve heard from hundreds of West Virginians – newspapers, businesses, and individual postal customers negatively impacted by these delivery changes. By restoring prompt and reliable service, we can rebuild trust in the postal service and give rural Americans peace of mind” said McKinley, Representative for the state’s 1st District.
The fall 2013 closure of the USPS Mail Processing Facility in Bridgeport, WV has required mail to be shipped to Pittsburgh or Charleston for processing, resulting in delays, increased costs, and unreliable service. This month, USPS announced it would end overnight delivery of First Class Mail in further efforts to cut costs.
“The recent changes implemented by the United States Postal Service are having a dramatic and negative impact on all businesses and residents living in rural parts of the United States,” said Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association. “This recent USPS decision is a national issue that is impacting the entire country. The newspaper industry across America is just one segment of the national economy that will suffer as a result of these changes. We hope other members of Congress will support his resolution and join in the discussion.”
“This postal slowdown is causing real harm across West Virginia as credit card bills are delayed, consumers cancel unreliable newspapers, and timely medicine deliveries are threatened. The Post Office should reconsider these changes and work with Congress to develop an alternative model,” McKinley added.
The bipartisan resolution, H. Res. 54, was co-sponsored by Reps. Paul Tonko (NY-20), Don Young (AK At-large), Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Doug LaMalfa (CA-1), Richard Nolan (MN-8), David Joyce (OH-14), Linda Sanchez (CA-38).

West Virginia News   150129

The Gilmer Free Press

TEEN AT CAPITAL HIGH SCHOOLCHARGED IN SCHOOL SEXUAL ASSAULT

A teenager is charged with second degree sexual assault after an incident Monday morning at Capital High School. Charleston police made the arrest at about 10 PM Tuesday.

“What I can confirm is a juvenile has been arrested and charged with second degree sexual assault,” said Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Miller.

“The law prohibits us from releasing any other information about juveniles such as their name and identity, but I can confirm a juvenile has been arrested.”

The alleged incident happened under a stairwell inside the school on Monday morning during school hours.  The victim went to a counselor and reported the incident.  Capital administrators immediately notified police and an investigation was launched.

Miller confirmed the victim was a girl, age 15, and the boy arrested is 17.

Miller said there is only one known witness, but there may be more evidence to help the state’s case.

“Obviously the victim is a witness,” Miller said. “There is video surveillance of at least a portion of the incident.”


FIRSTENERGY CORPORATION SAYS IT INVESTED $198M IN WV UTILITY

FirstEnergy Corporation says it invested $198 million last year in the Mon Power service area.

The investments included building new transmission lines and substations and installing remote-control equipment to reduce the number and duration of power failures.

Approximately $65 million of the total was spent on transmission-related projects owned by the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company, a FirstEnergy transmission company.

Holly Kauffman is president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia operations. She said the investments are intended to enhance day-to-day service reliability for its customers.

Mon Power serves about 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties.


NEW EAGLE PAIR TAKES UP RESIDENCE IN NEW RIVER GORGE NEST

A new pair of bald eagles has taken up residence in a nest in the New River Gorge.

The nest was built several years ago by another pair of eagles nicknamed Whitey and Streaky by birders. Streaky, the female, was euthanized in April 2014 after she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle. Whitey is believed to have died after he was hit by a train in 2013.

Three Rivers Avian Center director Wendy Perrone says that the new pair are mating and adding new materials to the nest.

Perrone and her husband, Ron, are inviting people to submit nicknames for the new eagles through Three Rivers’ Facebook page. The winning pair of names will be selected Friday.


JUDGE: BLANKENSHIP CAN VIEW JURY SELECTION TRANSCRIPT

A federal judge is letting ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship see the jury selection transcript from a case where another Massey official was convicted.

Tuesday in Beckley federal court, Judge Irene Berger ordered that Blankenship can access the document from Hughie Elbert Stover’s case.

In 2012, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a conviction that Stover lied to investigators and destroyed documents after the 2010 explosion that killed 29 coal miners at Upper Big Branch mine. Stover was a Massey security chief.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety and health standards at the mine. He faces up to 31 years in prison if convicted.

Blankenship’s lawyers want the case moved out of southern West Virginia, saying he can’t get a fair trial there. Federal prosecutors disagree.


MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE PROJECT PLAYS HOST TO INFORMATIONAL MEETING IN HARRISON COUNTY

The companies promoting the construction of a proposed natural gas pipeline held one of its last open house for its current project status Tuesday night in Harrison County.

Natalie Cox, EQT Corporate Director of Communications and Spokesperson for Mountain Valley Pipeline, along with the experts in attendance at the meeting claim public interaction over the past 12 events has had an impact on their decision making.

“Definitely we take people’s thoughts, concerns and questions into consideration when we come up with alternative routes,“ she said. “I think it’s important that people take the time to come to these meetings and learn and ask their questions.“

The Mountain Valley Pipeline—which is in the pre-filing stage with the Federal Energy Regulation Commission—would run 300 miles from Wetzel County to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, would be up to 42 inches in diameter meriting 75 feet of permanent easement and is estimated to provide at least two billion cubic feet per day of firm transmission capacity.

If approved by FERC, the pipeline would be operational sometime in 2018.

As promoted, through the joint venture between EQT Corporation and Next Era Energy, Inc., natural gas could be transported on a scale not possible presently.

“The current pipeline infrastructure that exists just isn’t enough to be able to satisfy the supply that we’re now producing and then the demand,“ Cox said. “One of the primary reasons for Mountain Valley Pipeline project is to take that prolific supply from the Marcellus and Utica down to the southeast region of the U.S.“

She said demand is growing in that area due to the fact that as more individuals retire, they relocate to the region.

As with similar open house meetings for other proposed pipeline projects, experts on pipeline construction, engineering and safety were available to take question from the public. They promoted the estimated economic impact which they claim would come with the pipeline’s construction and what having the pipeline could mean for natural gas production jobs with a quicker way to supply the demand.

Also similar to other open house meetings was the presence of organizations opposed to this and all pipeline projects such as the Greenbrier River Watershed Association and the Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance. They handed out information to those in attendance related to their concerns regarding landowner rights, reduced property values and environmental impacts.

Both proponents of the pipeline and opponents continued the debate which has been going on since an increased number of pipeline projects in the area began to be proposed.

“It’s not a matter of them getting to come to our side, it’s a matter of educating them and allowing them to understand the facts,“ Cox said. “Maybe they have some misunderstanding, so that’s the best we can do. We certainly appreciate their concerns.“

She hoped the public would take note of the numerous pipelines of various length, sizes and purposes—more than 210 natural gas pipeline systems running 305,000 miles in 2008—and believe industry and safety can co-exist.

The 14th and final open house meeting for the pre-filing on the Mountain Valley Pipeline project was held Wednesday from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the Jacksonburg Fire Department in Wetzel County.


YEAGER AIRPORT REPORTS DROP IN BOARDINGS IN 2014

Passenger boardings at Yeager Airport were down 4% in 2014.

Officials at the Charleston airport blame the decline on severe winter weather last January and February and the water crisis involving a chemical spill that turned the taps off to 300,000 people.

239,852 passengers boarded commercial aircraft at Yeager in 2014. That’s down from 250,350 passengers in 2013.

United Airlines canceled half of its scheduled flights in and out of Charleston during the first two months of last year. The cancellations were because of inclement weather affecting Yeager or its hub at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Airport executive director Rick Atkinson said the airport is on track to at least match 2013 boardings.


CHARLESTON AREA MEDICAL CENTER FINED FOR WASTE VIOLATIONS

State regulators have fined Charleston Area Medical Center $48,049 for hazardous waste violations at its three hospitals.

A consent order says the violations include failing to keep containers closed when not adding or moving hazardous waste, failing to properly package broken lamps containing mercury and accepting and storing hazardous waste off-site without a permit.

The order says the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection discovered the violations during inspections of CAMC’s Memorial Hospital, General Hospital and Women and Children’s Hospital in June 2014.

The DEP has approved a corrective plan submitted by CAMC.


COMMENT SOUGHT ON PIPELINE SURVEYS IN MONONGAHELA FOREST

Federal officials are seeking the public’s input on whether surveys for a proposed natural gas pipeline should be allowed in the Monongahela National Forest.

The proposed 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline would run through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Its path includes about 17 miles through the national forest in Pocahontas and Randolph counties in West Virginia.

The U.S. Forest Service says in a news release that the project’s developers are seeking a special use permit to conduct environmental surveys in the forest. The surveys would include wetlands, water, soil and habitat suitable for sensitive species.

The public comment runs through February 13.

The pipeline is a joint venture between Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources.


NO ARREST MADE AFTER RAVENSWOOD SCHOOLS PLACED ON LOCKDOWN

After a school employee saw a man walking down the street with a gun, schools in Ravenswood were locked down Wednesday morning.

The man was detained and questioned by police, but he was not arrested. Ravenswood police said the man was carrying a single shot shotgun, but was not on school property.

The man, whose name has not been released because he was never arrested, had just bought the gun at a pawn shop in Ravenswood.

He walked out of the shop, and was going back to his house with the gun when an employee at Ravenswood High School saw the man close to the school’s campus. That’s when police were called.

Ravenswood High School and Ravenswood Middle School were on lockdown.

Police said the man had all the right paperwork for the gun, and was not arrested.

“We have no open carry laws here, it was perfectly legal to be doing that,” Lt. H.M. Parsons said. “Just the way things have been going lately with school shootings and other things, it’s just purely precautionary.”

Parsons said the gun was not loaded.


WV BILL WOULD ELIMINATE STRAIGHT-TICKET VOTING

Straight-party voting would no longer be an option in West Virginia under a bill moving through the state Senate.

“The right to vote is so important and this freedom that we have to elect people who will govern and represent us is so important,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Trump (R-Morgan, 15), one of the bill’s five sponsors.

“It’s not unreasonable to expect that voters should actually look through the ballot and consider the candidates in both parties, all the parties, for each office.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, West Virginia is one of 11 states still offering straight-ticket voting, also called straight-party voting. The others are Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

Straight-ticket voting has been declining in popularity nationally during the last decade. Rhode Island was the latest to eliminate the option with legislation that took effect this month.

“West Virginia is an outlier on this,” Trump told MetroNews “Talkline” on Wednesday. “We’re one of only a few states that permit a person to make one mark and vote for all the candidates in one party or the other.”

The proposal would prohibit straight-ticket voting on paper and electronic ballots.

Straight-ticket voting has longed been favored by Democrats who still hold a state majority in voter registrations. Yet Trump said he’s also hearing from Republicans who are against a repeal.

“There have been some concerns expressed because in West Virginia there were apparently more Republican straight-ticket votes cast in the last election than there were Democratic (straight-ticket) votes cast,” Trump said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 249 unanimously during a meeting Wednesday afternoon at the State Capitol.


LAWMAKERS TO CONSIDER MULTI-YEAR PAY RAISE PROPOSAL FOR TEACHERS

Bills that would raise the starting salaries of West Virginia teachers to $43,000 within the next five years were scheduled to be introduced in the state Senate and House of Delegates, possibly this week.

“We made a promise to our educators last year that we would get them to a competitive level of pay by 2019, so that’s part of our goal,” said House Education chair Amanda Pasdon (R-Monongalia, 51).

The proposal, if approved, would raise teacher salaries by $500 in the coming year and by $2,500 in each of the following four years, Pasdon said.

Last year, lawmakers approved $1,000 across-the-board raises for teachers.

Currently, first-year teachers in West Virginia earn about $33,000 annually.

The new pay bills that are being drafted have the support of West Virginia Education Association president Dale Lee: “It doesn’t put us above the surrounding states, like Pennsylvania and Maryland, but it does make us, at least, competitive.”

A legislative cost analysis, called a fiscal note, was not available Tuesday morning.

Lee estimated the proposal price for West Virginia would be $12.5 million the first year and $62 million in each of the four subsequent years.

“Our children should be our No. 1 priority and the most important aspect to any kid’s education is that quality teacher in front of them,” Lee said. “When we have more and more people leaving the state or not coming in the profession because they can make more money in anything else, then we have to make our salaries competitive.”

Pasdon admitted the success of the proposal would likely come down to identifying state funding for the raises in already tight budgets.

“We’re still working through that,” she said. “I want the most we can get for our teachers because I think we are in a real crisis. If we don’t do something, then we’re really going to look back in five years and regret the opportunities that we had in front of us.”

House Speaker Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha, 40) said funding the proposal would be difficult, “but not necessarily impossible.”

“We’re not where, at this point, I think we can say we’re going to be able to start spending money, but that’s something we want to look at,” Armstead said. “I think all of us would like to get to that point, whether we do that this year or not still remains to be seen.”

Pasdon and Lee were guests on MetroNews “Talkline” that originated from the State Capitol during the ongoing legislative session. It continues through March 14.

The Legislature Today 01.28.2015

At the legislature today, there was confusion in the House Government Organization Committee this morning as lawmakers discuss a bill about an airport located in West Virginia but apparently governed by officials in Maryland. We continue to meet the new leaders at this legislative session.

WVU Extension Service to Offer Program on Making Quality Baleage

The Gilmer Free Press


The WVU Extension Service will host an educational dinner meeting on February 11, 2015 at Jackson’s Mill.

The speaker this month will be Dr. Ed Rayburn, from WVU-Extension Service.

Dr. Rayburn will be discussing making quality baleage.

The dinner will be at 6:30 PM at the Dining Hall and the program will follow at the Assembly Hall.

The dinner will cost $5.00, which will be collected at the door.  The balance of the cost is being sponsored by Cargill.

Reservations must be made by Wednesday, February 04, 2015 at the WVU Gilmer County Extension Office, 304.462.7061.

In WV good grazing management can provide 250 days or more of grazing.  However, in most parts of the state some conserved forage is required to feed cattle on days when snow or ice cover prevents grazing. This winter feed is usually dry hay but plastic wrapped haylage a.k.a. baleage is frequently used.

Baleage allows farmers to make hay when the weather does not allow making dry hay. Early made baleage can have higher nutritional quality than late cut dry hay. Also, baleage has less storage loss than dry hay that is not stored in a barn.

However, when baleage best management practices are not followed, baleage can be low quality, not providing adequate returns to pay for the equipment and plastic used in its production. This talk will report results of on-farm research conducted in WV showing the effects of baleage best management practices for making quality winter feed.

Ed is an Extension Specialist at West Virginia University. He works with other specialists, county agents, farmers, and NRCS staff in developing and implementing on-farm research and educational programs to support pasture-based livestock production and to help landowners develop improved pasture production systems on their farms.

He previously worked for the USDA-Soil Conservation Service in western New York as a RC&D Grassland Specialist serving dairy, beef and sheep producers in the western counties of New York. Ed, his wife Sue, their three border collies, and 30 cows manage a pasture-based farm in Preston County West Virginia.

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