The Gilmer Free Press

Two West Virginia students will be chosen to attend the unique
government education program and each will receive a $5,000 scholarship

Application deadline is September 19, 2014

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin encouraged West Virginia high school juniors and seniors interested in government and public service to apply for the 53rd Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Two applicants will be selected by the West Virginia Department of Education to attend the week-long government educational program held in Washington, D.C. on March 07-14, 2015. In addition, the delegates will each receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship to the college or university of their choice. The application deadline is September 19.

“Every year, the U.S. Senate Youth Program brings together the brightest young leaders from around our country for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to experience American democracy,” Senator Manchin said. “During the program, our students will get a firsthand look at the U.S. Senate, and they will gain an unparalleled understanding of the political processes of our government. This is a truly special opportunity for our West Virginia students to explore a future in public service, and I strongly encourage those who are interested in government to apply for this outstanding program.”

During the week-long program, the students will learn about the history and procedures of the Senate, meet with high-level elected officials and be encouraged to explore a career in public service. They will also have the unique opportunity to hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense and directors of federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S Supreme Court.

Selection to the program will be based on the students’ proven academic excellence, leadership abilities and commitment to public service. Eligible students must also be currently serving as a student officer and be a West Virginia resident. Interested students should contact their high school principal or the West Virginia selection administrator, Robert Wiseman at or 304.558.5325 x 53220.

For more information about the 53rd Annual U.S. Senate Youth Program, please click H E R E.

PAT’s CHAT - 08.31.14

The Gilmer Free Press

I hope all of you celebrated a safe and joyous Labor Day.  We enjoyed visiting with some of our out-of-town relatives from Laurel, MD.

I knew Donzella Duckworth when she went to the Burnsville school.  I saw in the paper that she and her husband, John Villers will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on September 04, 2014.  She has three children and five grandchildren.  She is now retired from Hardman’s Home Center in Glenville.  Help them celebrate this milestone by sending a card to them at 3896 Hwy 33E, Glenville, WV, 26351.  I wish I knew how many other couples have celebrated 60 years of marriage!  Congratulations to both of you, John and Donzella Villers!

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Clarksburg Exponent about having about $95 stolen from my billfold at Kohl’s one day a couple of weeks ago.  Someone from the paper called and verified my note and was to print it, but I have heard nothing.  I wasn’t expecting or asking for the money back so I am not surprised I got it taken from a shopping cart but no credit cards or other cards were missing and the billfold was there with the zipper pocked opened.  That reminded me of something that happened to Sonny, my brother, two or three years ago.  Here is what he had written to me at the time:  “I took the grandsons to MacDonald’s for a feast last evening.  There were few customers and as we were getting ready to leave, I noticed a purse hanging on a chair at the table nearby.  It had money, a lot of credit cards and I found a form with a name and phone number.  I took the purse to an employee and was going to leave it.  He said, ‘We’ll put it in the safe.’  Then, with my usual brilliance, it struck me that such a move was not the wisest thing to do.  I took it on to Aljoya where I live, called the name on the form and the owner’s husband came and got it.  Thus a happy ending.”

My happy ending is that no one took my credit cards, nor did they find the $200 that I had hidden inside the billfold.

If you haven’t read Matthew chapter 24 recently (or ever) you might be surprised to find out how timely it is.  A chapter a day will keep a lot of worries away.  Read from Psalms one day, from St. John another day.  Continue through each book, pick another book and read through it.


G-Fin™:  U.S.A.: Economic Brief – 08.29.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Personal Income and Outlays, July 2014

Personal income increased $28.6 billion, or 0.2%, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $17.7 billion, or 0.1%, in July.

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $13.6 billion, or 0.1%.

In June, personal income increased $67.1 billion, or 0.5%, DPI increased $62.9 billion, or 0.5%, and PCE increased $50.5 billion, or 0.4%, based on revised estimates.

GDP, 2nd Quarter 2014 (Second Est); Corporate Profits, 2nd Quarter 2014 (Preliminary Est)

Real gross domestic product—the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States—increased at an annual rate of 4.2% in the second quarter of 2014, according to the “second” estimate released.

In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 2.1%.

Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment (Monthly)

Jobless rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 348 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 16, and unchanged in 8.

Non-farm payroll employment was up in 327 metropolitan areas over the year, down in 41, and unchanged in 4.



Dizzy Feet Foundation: Program Grants

The Dizzy Feet Foundation (DFF) makes grants that bolster dance-education programs for children in low-income areas and disadvantaged communities.

Through its grant recipients, DFF seeks to give children the experience of dance, to educate them about the many styles of dance, and to expose them to the lifelong benefits of dance.

Maximum award: varies.

Eligibility: community organizations and other tax-exempt entities in the United States.

Deadline: September 04, 2014.

Carnegie /New York Times: I Love My Librarian Award

The Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award recognizes the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community-college, or university librarians.

Maximum award: $5,000, a plaque, and $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York hosted by The New York Times.

Eligibility: school, public, college, or university librarians.

Deadline: September 12, 2014.

AGI: Connections in My Community

The American Geological Institute is sponsoring a photography contest to celebrate Earth Science Week 2014.

The photography theme for this year is “Connections in My Community.“

Maximum award: $300, a copy of AGI’s The Geoscience Handbook, and winner’s photograph on the Earth Science Week website.

Eligibility: residents of the United States of any age.

Deadline: October 14, 2014.


The Gilmer Free Press

First Lady Tomblin announces tour of West Virginia hospitals,
part of statewide Our Babies: Safe and Sound campaign

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today joined First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin to proclaim September as ‘Infant Safe Sleep Month,‘ part of West Virginia’s Our Babies: Safe and Sound campaign, a statewide educational program to support parents and caregivers of infants with the support they need to keep babies safe while sleeping with a special emphasis on preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome.

“I’m proud West Virginia joins a number of states across the country to raise awareness of the important steps parents can take when caring for their sleeping children,“ Governor Tomblin said. “West Virginia’s Our Babies: Safe and Sound campaign is making a difference in communities across the Mountain State by working with hospitals and community partners to help parents identify unsafe sleep practices while providing resources they can use to create a safe sleeping space.“

As part of Infant Safe Sleep Month and West Virginia’s Our Babies: Safe and Sound statewide campaign, First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin also announced a tour of partner hospitals across West Virginia participating in the educational programs. The campaign is a project of TEAM for West Virginia Children and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

“Unsafe sleep conditions are a leading cause of death for West Virginia infants in the first year of life,“ First Lady Tomblin said. “By working with hospitals across the state to make parents and caregivers aware of conditions that lead to unsafe sleep and providing them with educational resources, I hope we can encourage parents to learn more about this important topic, in turn saving the lives of West Virginia children.“

This Friday, First Lady Tomblin will visit Princeton Community Hospital and Bluefield Regional Hospital and present each hospital with a proclamation recognizing their continued partnership and supporting infant safe sleep events as part of the Our Babies: Safe and Sound campaign. Upcoming awareness events include: 

  Thursday, September 11, 10 AM - Cabell Huntington Hospital, Harless Auditorium

  Friday, September 19, 10 AM - United Hospital Center, Conference Rooms 1 &2,

  Friday, September 26, 10 AM - Ohio Valley Medical Center, Main Lobby

West Virginia’s Latest News - 09.02.14

The Gilmer Free Press


West Virginia colleges are slashing payrolls and making other adjustments to compensate for losing $42 million in state funding over the past two years.

About 13 West Virginia University employees have been fired as part of a reduction in force for this budget year. WVU spokesman John Bolt said more than 100 positions have been left vacant, and departments have been restructured.

“WVU responded to the state budget reductions in several ways, always keeping in mind the need to protect the core academic mission,“ Bolt said.

Marshall University spokeswoman Ginny Painter said about three dozen positions have been eliminated through attrition, but there have been no layoffs. Some departments there have been restructured too.

“We continue to actively adjust our operations to accommodate the budget cuts,“ Painter said.

West Virginia State University has fired 10 employees and eliminated 15 already vacant positions. Also, WVU-Tech and Shepherd University officials have chosen to not fill some positions.

“These are the things we’re doing to try to deal with these reductions in state budgets. All of us are facing this same issue,“ said Valerie Owens, a spokeswoman for Shepherd. “We’re trying to be proactive and trying to preserve all of the things that we do here.“

For the past two fiscal years, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has cut state agency spending by 7.5%.

In fiscal 2014, colleges assumed a greater cut of nearly 9% to safeguard financial aid, according to Higher Education Policy Commission spokeswoman Jessica Tice. That cut resulted in a total reduction in higher education funding of more than $33 million.

For fiscal 2015, higher education institutions had to cut their budgets by about 3%, or $9.6 million.

West Virginia cut more in state funding for higher education than any other state besides Wyoming, according to a report released in May by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Jim Nelson, a spokesman for Bluefield State College — where positions also have been frozen and merged — said that despite the hardships, budget cuts force schools to re-examine the way they run things. Bluefield State has used grant money to install solar panels to light parking lots and has cut back on travel, with administrators often attending meetings via web cam.

“Formerly, we wouldn’t have even thought about hopping into a car and driving to another part of the state. But we had to get leaner,“ Nelson said.

But he said if state legislators don’t make funding for higher education a priority soon, the consequences could be significant.

“For a long time, we’ve been asked to do more and more with less and less,“ Nelson said. “At some point, that’s got to stop, because, if you continue to do that, you may be asking us to do everything with nothing.“


The head of a state board that suspended the medical license of a West Virginia doctor said she’s shocked by a judge’s move to let the doctor resume treating patients at a pain clinic where an investigation found sanitation and hygiene issues.

West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine Executive Director Diana Shepard said the decision Thursday by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Charles King “sets a terrible precedent.“

King issued a preliminary injunction that wiped out the suspension for Dr. Roland Chalifoux Jr.

King ruled that the board failed to show that Chalifoux engaged in practices at Valley Pain Management which may pose a risk to the public.

But Shepard said, “Our goal, our purpose is to protect the safety of the public and we felt we had enough evidence.“

The board will continue to review the case and may appeal to the state Supreme Court, Shepard said.

However, if the judge is prohibiting enforcement of the suspension and setting aside the determination that the board had probable cause to take action, “there’s nothing we can do,“ Shepard said. “We have no authority to do anything with this physician, and we don’t feel that’s the way the laws are written.“

Shepard said the proper outcome would be to let the board and Chalifoux present evidence before an administrative law judge.

Chalifoux didn’t return a telephone message left by The Associated Press at his clinic in McMechen, across the Ohio River from Ohio. King didn’t return a message left in his court office.

Chalifoux sought the court order because he faced having his malpractice insurance canceled by Sunday.

Health officials said an investigation last year found that Chalifoux didn’t wear a surgical mask during epidurals, that the clinic reused syringes on more than one patient and that it had other sanitation problems.

But King said no inspections were done since December, when the health bureau found the clinic had “excellent” procedures and Chalifoux was commended for his rapid response to issues raised during a previous site visit.

In July, patients who went to the clinic between its 2010 opening and Nov. 1, 2013, were advised to be tested for blood-borne infections.

West Virginia’s state epidemiologist Dr. Loretta Haddy had said a patient contracted bacterial meningitis a day after a procedure at the clinic and that health officials were notified last October.

King’s order said no additional cases of meningitis were found but didn’t mention other diseases.

Chalifoux first came before the board a decade ago when he sought a West Virginia medical license after a Texas board revoked his license there for violating standards in treatment of three patients, including the 1996 death of a 61-year-old man after unnecessary surgery was performed.

The West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine, which was aware of the disciplinary action in Texas, granted Chalifoux a restricted license in 2004 so he could complete a neurosurgery refresher course at West Virginia University’s medical school. An unrestricted license was granted in 2005.

Chalifoux is the only license applicant since at least 2000 to apply for a license from the board after having one revoked or suspended outside West Virginia. Shepard said the board reviewed more than 1,060 files in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press.


For West Virginians already sick of political slam ads, TV will be even tougher to stomach after their Labor Day barbecues.

This election cycle, the state’s roots in retail politics have yielded to 30-second attacks with menacing narrators, headshots of President Barack Obama and generic clips of coal mines.

A decisive U.S. Senate race and two competitive House contests are attracting millions of dollars on the airwaves. Before Labor Day, the tab topped $7.5 million for ads from federal candidates and well-heeled outside interests, according to media buy breakdowns. The ads started last year.

More than $5.2 million is already set aside for a two-month fall barrage, and several candidates and groups haven’t made reservations yet. The amount could fluctuate, depending how tight races stay leading to Nov. 4.

The Senate race for the seat held by Democrat Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring, is essential as Republicans try to erase a thin Democratic majority. Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is the favorite against Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.

Some metro areas, like Charleston and Huntington, get an added dose of rhetoric in a media market shared with Kentucky. Ads from the race between Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are on constant rotation, while West Virginia viewers don’t get to vote for either.

Competitive state legislative races could also factor into the TV mix.

Whether the millions will be well-spent or blur into white noise remains to be seen. Both sides are complaining about out-of-state groups, but they have helped Democrats and Republicans.

“The West Virginia voters could simply turn off, not listen to the specific charge that outsiders are trying to buy us, and all these very expensive and slick ads that outsiders are buying,“ said Robert Rupp, a West Virginia Wesleyan College political science professor.

The president isn’t on the midterm ballot. Listening to Republican strategy here, he might as well be.

Republicans are tightly focused on tying West Virginia Democrats to Obama. Few other states rejected him as soundly in 2012, when Obama lost all 55 counties.

West Virginia’s disdain for Obama partly stems from his energy policies. The administration is pushing to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. Many West Virginians view the proposal as an affront on the state’s iconic fossil fuel industry, which already is dwindling.

Most West Virginia Democratic candidates assure voters they’ll fight Obama on energy and other policies many voters dislike. Tennant took it a step further in one ad rebuking Obama, in which she pretended to cut the power to the White House.

The Obama disconnect in a historically Democratic state has been a green light for conservative groups.

Conservatives call up the same recycled imagery in ads — Democratic U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall shooting pool with Obama in 2008, and U.S. Senate hopeful Natalie Tennant and congressional candidate Nick Casey campaigning for Obama in 2008.

Charleston resident Laura Cardinale said she’s been tuning it all out.

“I would not base any of my decisions on an ad,“ Cardinale said. “They need to stop slinging mud at each other.“

The biggest magnet for outside cash has been Rahall’s bid for a 20th term against Republican Evan Jenkins. Americans for Prosperity and American Energy Alliance, both associated with the wealthy, conservative Koch brothers, have bashed Rahall to the tune of about $2 million. House Majority PAC, a liberal super PAC, has poured in $1.3 million against Jenkins, a Democrat-turned-Republican state senator.

In mid-August, a group orchestrated by Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, entered the 3rd Congressional District mix. Crossroads GPS spent $330,000 to bash Rahall on coal.

Another Koch-related group, Freedom Partners, has booked air time this fall. So has the YG Network, which is linked to defeated Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Both sides have made claims struck down by fact checkers. PolitiFact wrote that Capito exaggerated by saying Obama’s carbon rule wouldn’t allow new coal power plants or burning of limited amounts of coal in existing plants. The Washington Post said Rahall used a flawed argument about a $6,000 increase in seniors’ Medicare costs under the GOP budget, and twisted a Jenkins quote about Medicaid to be about Medicare.

Both parties’ congressional campaign arms are also now involved. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has $1.2 million reserved this fall, while the National Republican Congressional Committee says it has booked $1.3 million.

Some of that party money could fuel the fight over the House seat Capito is vacating. Casey, a former state Democratic Party chairman, faces Alex Mooney, a former Maryland GOP chairman and state lawmaker who moved to West Virginia last year.


If you’re visiting Huntington and want to take a two-wheeled cruise around the city, your ship has come in.

Well, actually, your good, used bicycle locked up downtown will soon be ready for you to ride.

Huntington bicycle commuter Jeffrey A. Muth Jr. has teamed up with the Berlin, Germany-based group, Bike Surf, to bring bicycle sharing to the city.

A computer programmer who has been actively cycling in the city for the past five years, Muth said he’s excited to bring in the program which would keep bicycles locked up downtown for guests to use.

Bike Surf has spread to eight different countries including Germany, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Chile, Netherlands, Greece and Norway. Although bike share programs exist in most U.S. cities, Huntington is the first U.S. city to try this particular bike share program.

Known for its simplicity and low startup cost, Bike Surf allows interested users to log onto the web site , select a bike, the dates you want to rent it from and then select borrow. The person then is emailed the combination to unlock the bike that is located in a public place (like the bicycle rack at Pullman Square). The bicyclist must bring the bike back and lock it up after their time of use is finished.

The rental fee for the bicycle use is “donate-what-you-can” and reservations for now must be three days in advance.

Muth said he found out about the program from fellow cyclist and cycle activist Dan Taylor, who helped with Huntington’s bicycle map, and other bicycle events.

Muth said he thought the program with low-overhead and startup costs was a perfect way for Huntington to get a bike share going in the increasingly bicycle-friendly city.

“I feel that Huntington is poised for growth in the bicycling community,“ Muth said. “We have Critical Mass, and we have some great groups like ACE (Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts) and we have Tour de Path. It really is poised and ready, we just need to get more people on board. The donation-based only bike share will help with that.“

Bicycle sharing programs have continued to gain traction around the world. In the U.S., major cities from Minneapolis to Miami Beach have more than 700 bicycles in its share fleet, Washington D.C. has 1,100 and New York City is the largest in the U.S. when Citi Bike started with 6,000 bicycles available at 330 stations around the city.

Muth said Bike Surf Hunting ton is still in its infancy (they have one available bicycle for use), and thus need donations of bicycles, and any interested volunteers.

“Right now it is me, and Dan is helping out where possible,“ Muth said. “We need some volunteers to help with the various aspects, the maintenance, advertising and technical issues and such.“ Currently, Huntington’s only bicycle share program is Eco Cycle, which is a free bike loan program at Marshall University that now has 13 bicycles available only for students, staff and facility to check out with their MU ID and a valid debit/credit card for day usage.

As far as the general city, the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District has plans to implement a bicycle share program at some point at its locations at Heritage Station and the Ritter Park Activity Center.

Muth, a computer programmer who works for doing home network support, said he’s excited to get Bike Surf off the ground here and to get more folks out enjoying all of the benefits of cycling.

“I think there are a couple of things that it helps with, of course, the fitness level where Huntington was once declared the most obese city in the country but I also think having more bicycles helps motorists have more awareness as to the fact that there are more cyclists out there and to be more careful.“


All-terrain vehicle permit sales for the Hatfield-McCoy trail are up this summer.

Trail director Jeff Lusk says ATV permit sales have increased $10,000 compared to the summer of 2013.

He says the improvement is likely due to an increase in accommodations for trail riders.

The Hatfield-McCoy system has more than 600 miles of trails in seven counties.


Frustrated over trying to find pet-friendly rental homes, a group is working to compile a list of area landlords who allow tenants to bring along their four-legged companions.

Miguella Mark-Carew, a Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association board member, is helping with the effort. She said she was pleasantly surprised to see so many pet-friendly options.

“It is definitely going to be at least 30 to 40 landlords,“ she said of the list.

While the list isn’t yet complete, Mark-Carew is asking pet-friendly landlords to let the humane association know about their properties through an online form.

From there, she said the Humane Association will review the list to determine whether it wants to release it to the public.

Shelter workers often hear from people who want to adopt a homeless animal, but can’t because their rental lease agreement bars pets.

Mark-Carew said her interest stems from firsthand experience.

There was no shortage of rental properties when she moved to Charleston from Long Island in September 2012, but she had trouble finding a place where her dogs were welcome.

“It was really hard,“ she said. “I was worried I’d have to live in a hotel for some time.“

Eventually, she decided to buy a house, even though she doesn’t plan to stay in the area permanently.

“It was easier and cheaper and less of a hassle than to rent here,“ she said.

The experience left her wanting to help others with similar struggles.

“It’s a huge problem,“ she said. “It’s touch and go whether you find a good place.“

The issue also affects animal welfare as well, Mark-Carew said, as animals displaced by a lack of pet-friendly housing often end up at the animal shelter, contributing to crowding.

Mark-Carew said she also wants to help landlords change their perspective on housing animals, possibly opening the door to more pet-friendly rentals throughout the region.


The body of a Mingo County man has been recovered six days after he was swept off his ATV into the Tug Fork River.

Media outlets report that Roger Urban’s body was found Friday afternoon three to four miles downstream from where he disappeared near his home in Lenore. He was partially submerged in the water near Long Branch Road in Martin County, Kentucky.

Martin County Coroner Joe Mullins ruled the death an accidental drowning.

Movie Review: ‘Love Is Strange’ - John Lithgow, Alfred Molina love and learn

A common adage about great screen acting is that it’s less about doing than being. Alfred Molina and John Lithgow provide a master class in that subtle, sublime endeavor in “Love Is Strange,” a delicate, superbly crafted and deeply moving portrait of family in its many forms and emotional permutations.

Ben (Lithgow) and George (Molina) have been together for almost 40 years when they are finally able to get married. “Love Is Strange” opens on their wedding day, during which they’re toasted by, among others, Ben’s nephew’s wife, Kate (Marisa Tomei), who raises a glass to the inspiration of their commitment to each other and to how much they’ve taught her and her husband, Elliot (Darren E. Burrows), about staying together over the long haul.

It’s a moving encomium, but it will be put to the test once “Love Is Strange” gets underway. Throughout this quiet but acutely observed drama — gently spiked with moments of warm, knowing humor — Ben and George will not only find their nascent union somewhat challenged, but will confront the very limits of their loving extended clan, genetic and chosen.

The Gilmer Free Press

It’s not fair to go into much more detail about the plot of “Love Is Strange”; suffice it to say that it deals with many of the same themes and problems — with similar astuteness and sensitivity — as “Please Give,” Nicole Holofcener’s wise and funny comedy of manners set against the bemusing backdrop of Manhattan real estate. (One of the funniest running gags in “Love Is Strange” is the way Ben and George’s Manhattan friends disdainfully say the word “Poughkeepsie” when someone brings it up as a living option, as if it’s simply too outré to contemplate.)

Much as his characters do, Ira Sachs, who has directed the film from a script he wrote with Mauricio Zacharias, makes New York something of its own character here, filming affectionate shots of the city’s skyline with the same subdued tones that Ben uses in the painting he’s working on from Kate and Elliot’s rooftop.

Ben (John Lithgow) finally marries his longtime partner, George, but other family relationships show strains in “Love is Strange.” (Jeong Park/Sony Pictures Classics)

Sachs, who made the observant romantic drama “Keep the Lights On” two years ago, has both upped and deepened his game with “Love Is Strange,” somehow managing to capture life at its most quotidian, irritating and endearing while injecting the film with a subtle sense of outrage and impending unease. Although Ben and George seem rock-solid — an impression bolstered by Lithgow and Molina’s utterly convincing, two-spoons-in-a-drawer physicality with one another — viewers may well wonder where this small but pivotal chapter in their lives will lead them. The same questions surround Kate and Elliot’s son, Joey (Charlie Tahan), whose adolescent preoccupations don’t always jibe with having Uncle Ben in such close proximity.

Filmed in a series of beautifully arranged vignettes, set to a gorgeous classic soundtrack of mostly Chopin piano pieces, “Love Is Strange” wends its way to a shattering final moment, all the more stunning for the film’s most important events having happened off screen.

“Love Is Strange” turns out to be a subtle, sidelong coming-of-age and letting-go-of-age story, a lyrical ode to longing and passion that were there all along, had we only noticed. Attention is duly paid in this tender and touching film; the strangest thing about “Love Is Strange” is how completely un-strange it is, from its familiar family dynamics to its exquisite honesty and compassion.

★ ★ ★

R. Contains profanity. 94 minutes.

Sports Brief - 09.02.14

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

►   Heisman Power Rankings: Week 1: 

The opening week of action is in the books. With plenty of noteworthy performances, both from trusted preseason favorites and newcomers making a splash onto the scene, here’s the first iteration of our Heisman Trophy power rankings, a list which promises plenty of intrigue moving forward.

1. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia—Rather inexplicably, Gurley had just four carries by halftime against Clemson in a game that went into intermission knotted up at 21-21, but he made up for lost time down the stretch to carry the Bulldogs to a convincing 45-21 triumph over the 16th-ranked team in the nation. Gurley ripped off a career-high 198 yards on only 15 totes and scored three touchdowns on the ground. He didn’t stop there, however. His elite skills also were displayed on special teams, where he ran back a kickoff 100 yards for a score midway through the second quarter. Gurley was a man amongst boys, even against one of the best defenses in the country, and his rare combination of imposing size (6-foot-1, 226 pounds) and dynamic playmaking ability is something that truly needs to be seen to believe.

2. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State—The reigning winner did not get off to the most promising start to the new campaign. For just the third time in his career, Winston threw a pair of interceptions, but otherwise his performance on a neutral field against a solid Oklahoma State squad was admirable. The gun-slinger completed 25-of-40 passes for 370 yards with a touchdown in a 37-31 victory in which the Seminoles never trailed. He also added a “Heisman moment” to his reel when he hurdled his offensive lineman and juked a defender on his way to a 28-yard touchdown run. Despite the win, the end result was a bit troublesome for FSU, which won every matchup by at least two touchdowns in 2013 prior to the BCS Championship Game. But as long as it continues to win and hangs on to its No. 1 ranking, Winston’s status near the top of this list will be secure.

3. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon—Ever since losing to LSU to start the 2011 season, the Ducks have made it a habit of opening up their season with a cupcake matchup, and they barely broke a sweat in this year’s lid lifter, capturing a 62-13 triumph over FCS opponent South Dakota. Mariota was predictably outstanding. Playing just the first half, he was 14-of-20 passing for 267 yards (13.4 yards per attempt) and three touchdowns while contributing to the rushing attack as well (43 yards, TD). The junior’s skills are unquestioned at this point in his career, but he’ll need some signature performances against top-notch competition if he wants to stake claim to the No. 1 spot. Next weekend against the vaunted Michigan State defense will be a good place to start.

4. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor—The high-powered Baylor offense was in full swing in its 45-0 win over SMU, amassing 574 yards, and Petty did his part in the first half by completing 13-of-23 passes for 161 yards, rushing for 21 yards and accounting for three touchdowns without committing a turnover. Petty has now scored at least one touchdown in a school-record 14 straight games, surpassing former Heisman winner Robert Griffin III’s old mark, but the signal caller suffered a scare when a hit forced him to leave the game with an apparent lower back injury after just two quarters of work. Whether removing him from the game was simply a precaution in a lopsided affair or perhaps something more serious remains to be seen.

5. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin—The Badgers choked down the stretch of the 2014 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, allowing 21 unanswered points to LSU in the third and fourth quarters to suffer a heartbreaking, 28-24 defeat. Gordon made the most of his time on the field, rushing for 140 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries (8.8 yards per carry), but perhaps not coincidentally, LSU’s comeback coincided with Gordon’s perplexing lack of use in the second half. The electrifying tailback attempted just four rushes after halftime, with one resulting in a 63-yard gain. Meanwhile, committee partner Corey Clement plodded along for just 45 yards on 15 carries. Gordon has struggled on passing downs in the past, but it’s abundantly clear the team is at its best when he’s on the field, and Gary Anderson and the rest of the coaching staff will need to make the necessary adjustments moving forward if the Badgers want to be a contender in the Big Ten.

6. Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M—After fending off five-star freshman Kyle Allen during camp, Hill had a lot to prove heading into an opening-night bout at South Carolina in the Aggies’ first game of the post-Johnny Manziel era, and he not only shined under the prime time stage but accomplished things that Johnny Football never had. In a 52-28 romp over the No. 9 team in the nation, Hill set school records for completions (44) and passing yards (511) while tossing three touchdowns to zero picks. The sophomore has a long way to go to be considered a favorite for the award, but it’s less and less rare that an inexperienced signal caller emerges from nowhere, as three of the last four Heisman winners made their first career FBS start during the season they won (Winston, Manziel, Cam Newton). With a few more elite performances, maybe Hill can escape the shadow cast by the unfortunate “Kenny Football” nickname.

7. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA—Hundley returned to UCLA for his junior season with the hopes of leading the Bruins to championship glory, but he’ll need to perform much better than he did in the opener against Virginia if his team is to live up to lofty expectations. He completed 20-of-33 passes for 242 yards while rushing for 39 yards and a touchdown, but he was sacked five times and lost a pair of fumbles against a UVA squad that went only 2-10 a season ago. UCLA’s defense needed to bail out Hundley, with the unit scoring three touchdowns to lead UCLA to 28-20 victory. Hundley’s proven track record keeps him on the list for now, but a few more clunkers will bounce him from contention in a hurry.

8. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame—It had been more than 18 months since Golson last played a meaningful snap for the Fighting Irish, but he looked better than ever in his return to the field in a 48-17 win over Rice. He completed just 14 passes but they resulted in 295 yards and a pair a long scoring strikes, a 75-yarder to Will Fuller and a 53-yarder to C.J. Prosise. Golson added to his career day with a terrific rushing performance as well (41 yards, three TDs). If Notre Dame is to return to the nation’s elite like it was under Golson’s leadership in 2012, more performances like this will need to be in store for the quarterback, especially after the roster was crippled from the five suspensions handed down for academic dishonestly a few weeks back.

9. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska—The Cornhuskers had a soft matchup to start the season at home against Florida Atlantic, and they took full advantage with an easy, 55-7 victory behind a dominant performance from their senior running back. Even though he rested for most of the second half, Abdullah still made a lasting impression with a career-high 227 yards on 21 attempts, including a 47-yard score in the second quarter. Fresh off a 1,690-yard campaign in 2013 (good for ninth in the nation), Abdullah is a strong bet to top that number during his final year in Lincoln.

10. Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn—Marshall was suspended for the first half of Auburn’s opener against Arkansas, and he was arguably outshined by his replacement Jeremy Johnson (12-of-16, 243 yards, two TDs), but his absence caused the Tigers to head into halftime tied with the Razorbacks, 21-21. The Tigers returned to their regular offensive scheme with Marshall back after intermission, and they responded by outscoring the Razorbacks over the final 30 minutes, 24-0. Marshall’s numbers were nothing special (4-of-6, 50 yards; 19 rushing yards, TD), but he orchestrated the deadly read-option attack, which helped the Tigers pick up 302 rushing yards.

Honorable Mention: Dak Prescott (QB, Mississippi State), Christian Hackenberg (QB, Penn State), T.J. Yeldon (RB, Alabama), Derrick Henry (RB, Alabama), Cody Kessler (QB, USC), Rashad Greene (WR, Florida State).

The Gilmer Free Press

►   BEARS ADD LS CAIN:  The Chicago Bears have signed long snapper Jeremy Cain.

Cain will join the Bears for a third time. He first played for the club from 2004-05, mostly on special teams and as a backup linebacker, then again last year for two games as a long snapper.

Overall, Cain has appeared in 83 NFL games with Chicago, Tennessee (2006) and Jacksonville (2009-12). All but eight of those games came as a long snapper.

The Bears cut long snapper Brandon Hartson on Sunday.

Chicago also named its 10-man practice squad, inking wide receivers Josh Bellamy and Rashad Ross, offensive linemen Taylor Boggs and Ryan Groy, defensive linemen Brandon Dunn and Roy Philon, cornerbacks Isaiah Frey, Al Louis-Jean and Terrance Mitchell and linebacker DeDe Lattimore to the unit.

►   OFFICIALS THE STORY IN SEATTLE AGAIN?:  Baseball analysts often say a batted ball will find a poor fielder.

Over in the NFL, it seems controversy always seeks out the biggest stage.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks will kick off the 2014 season on Thursday when they host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, a rematch of the famed “Fail Mary” game of 2012 in which Seattle’s Russell Wilson found ex-teammate Golden Tate for a 24-yard touchdown on the final play of the game to give the Seahawks a 14-12 win.

That was hardly the story, however, as the game proved to be the impetus for the NFL to make up with its full-time officials, who were locked out at the time due to a labor dispute.

Then-Packer M.D. Jennings and Tate both got their hands on the ball on the game-winning play in 2012 with the replacement zebras ruling simultaneous possession, therefore awarding the TD and the game to Seattle.

Prior to the catch, though, Tate clearly shoved a defender with both hands, which the NFL later acknowledged should have drawn an offensive pass interference penalty to negate the touchdown and result in a Packers victory.

The call or non-call in this case is widely considered to have been the tipping point which finally led to an agreement being reached between the league and its regular refs.

This time around, the “real officials” will certainly be on hand, but they will bring with them a directive to put an “enhanced emphasis” on certain penalties, including illegal contact and defensive holding.

Enter the current Seahawks, who are fresh off the franchise’s first Super Bowl win, a 43-8 drubbing of Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII against a Broncos team which just happened to be the first NFL in history to score over 600 points in a season.

That meant little to Seattle’s physical defense, which helped build a 22-0 halftime lead, and a humbling 36-0 advantage before finally allowing the Broncos’ first score on the final play of the third quarter.

The Seahawks’ stingy stop unit scored a safety on the first play from scrimmage—the quickest score in Super Bowl history—before tacking on an interception return for a score from linebacker Malcolm Smith, who also recovered a fumble and made nine tackles en route to being named Super Bowl MVP.

When the carnage was finally over, the high-powered Broncos were held to nearly 30 points below their scoring average and five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning had thrown two picks.

Fast forward to the 2014 preseason and many believe that a league which believes offense fuels the popularity of its game reacted to Seattle’s dominance by cracking down on certain penalties believed to be “under- officiated,“ including the aforementioned illegal contact and defensive holding calls.

The detractors claim the mandate was a direct response to the Seahawks’ success last season, almost a warning to “The Legion of Boom,“ the ultra- physical defensive backfield which consistently beat up on opposing receivers en route to the Lombardi Trophy.

Despite being the most-penalized team in the league in 2013, the Seahawks reached the pinnacle by forcing officials to throw the flag in key moments, something head coach Pete Carroll correctly surmised most wouldn’t be willing to do.

Penalties were up to a ludicrous degree at times during the exhibition season, however. It’s something Carroll hopes won’t be an issue on Thursday.

“I hope that the league office will be open to the conversation,“ the veteran coach said earlier this preseason. “It doesn’t seem quite right. It seems like there are too many calls being made and too many incidental calls that seem to be affecting the game. So, we’ll see—It’s obviously different. So, the question is: Is it better? I don’t know.“

For now, the league insists the renewed emphasis on these particular penalties will remain and continue throughout the regular season.

“We’re not going to change how we’re calling the games once the regular season starts,“ NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino told

Blandino’s belief, however, is that teams will adjust to the stricter rules and play accordingly, meaning the extra flags will disappear, a scenario the NFL has tried to sell from the beginning of this process.

“The way the game’s being officiated now is the way it’s going to be officiated when the season begins,“ Blandino said during the preseason. “We have to remain consistent. I knew we’d see a spike in calls when we put out these points of emphasis.

“But coaches adjust, and players adjust. They have to, and they know it. And we’ll correct our officials when we feel they’re being overzealous with certain calls.“

Carroll’s not about to conform, though, and the Seahawks’ plan will remain the same as it was last year—beat up the opposing receivers and force the referees to make a decision.

Perhaps no quarterback in the history of the game throws the back-shoulder fade better than Rodgers which will put the league’s intent to pay closer attention to illegal contact and defensive holding—as well as offensive pass interference for that matter—under the microscope immediately.

Tune in Thursday to see if “Fail Mary” morphs into “Flag Football.“

►   TITANS, SUCCOP AGREE TO 1-YEAR DEAL:  The Tennessee Titans and kicker Ryan Succop have agreed to terms on a one-year contract.

The Tennessean was first to report the news on Monday, revealing that Succop traveled to Nashville to meet with Titans officials, took a physical, and apparently made enough of an impression to be signed.

Succop, at 27 years old and heading into his sixth professional season, connected on 22-of-28 field goals and all 52 of his extra-point attempts in 16 games last season for Kansas City.

He departs the Chiefs after five seasons having converted 119-of-147 field goals and each of his 160 extra points over 80 games.

In additional roster moves, the Titans agreed to terms on a contract with linebacker Quentin Groves, waived linebacker Patrick Bailey and added cornerback Ri’Shard Anderson, linebacker Dontay Moch and tight end Orson Charles to the practice squad.

►   BEARS ADD LS CAIN:  The Chicago Bears have signed long snapper Jeremy Cain.

Cain will join the Bears for a third time. He first played for the club from 2004-05, mostly on special teams and as a backup linebacker, then again last year for two games as a long snapper.

Overall, Cain has appeared in 83 NFL games with Chicago, Tennessee (2006) and Jacksonville (2009-12). All but eight of those games came as a long snapper.

The Bears cut long snapper Brandon Hartson on Sunday.

Chicago also named its 10-man practice squad, inking wide receivers Josh Bellamy and Rashad Ross, offensive linemen Taylor Boggs and Ryan Groy, defensive linemen Brandon Dunn and Roy Philon, cornerbacks Isaiah Frey, Al Louis-Jean and Terrance Mitchell and linebacker DeDe Lattimore to the unit.

The Gilmer Free Press

►   ASTROS FIRE BO PORTER:  The Houston Astros have fired manager Bo Porter.

Porter was in just his second season with the Astros, who are 59-79 this year and sit fourth in the American League West. Houston has already eclipsed last year’s win total of 51 and will likely end a three-year run of 100-loss seasons.

“Bo’s passion and energy are unparalleled, and his desire to win unquestioned,“ said Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow in a statement Monday. “This decision was not made because of our current level of competitiveness in the Major Leagues. I recognize that our win-loss record is largely a product of an organizational strategy for which I am responsible. Rather, I made this decision because I believe we need a new direction in our clubhouse.“

Luhnow’s decision comes amid speculation of a deteriorating relationship with Porter. The Houston Chronicle reported last week that Luhnow and Porter have been at odds, primarily over the manager’s in-game decisions.

“What we will seek going forward is a consistent and united message throughout the entire organization,“ Luhnow’s statement continued. “It is essential that as an organization we create an atmosphere at the Major League level where our young players can come up and continue to develop and succeed. Ultimately, I am responsible for creating that culture, and I will do everything in my power to do so—even when it means making difficult moves like the one we made today.“

Bench coach Dave Trembley was also relieved of his duties.

Tom Lawless will take over as interim manager for the remainder of the season, while Adam Everett will join the staff as bench coach.

Luhnow said a managerial search will begin immediately.

“I am optimistic about the direction of our team,“ Luhnow concluded. “Our young core continues to progress, and I believe wholeheartedly that our plan—while at times challenging—is working and will bring a consistent winner to Houston in the very near future.“

The Astros suffered through the worst season in franchise history in 2013—their transition to the American League—at 51-111 and have not been to the postseason since reaching the World Series for the only time in 2005.

“This was not an easy decision to make,“ said Astros owner Jim Crane. “We wish Bo nothing but the best in the future. Jeff has my full support moving forward. Our goal to bring a championship to Houston remains.“

Porter, who played three seasons in the majors with the Cubs, Athletics and Rangers from 1999-2001, had never been a major league manager before taking the Houston job. He was the Washington third base coach in 2012 after also serving as third base coach with the Marlins and Diamondbacks.

Lawless has close to 35 years of experience in baseball as a big league player, minor league manager and coach. He served as the manager for Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this season while Tony DeFrancesco was on medical leave, then returned to his role as roving infield instructor.

Everett spent seven of his 11 major league seasons as a shortstop with the Astros, then rejoined the club in 2013 as a minor league infield instructor.

►   MARINERS SUSPEND MONTERO FOR REST OF SEASON:  The Seattle Mariners suspended Jesus Montero for the rest of the season on Monday after he was involved in an altercation with a team scout last week.

General manager Jack Zduriencik had already said Friday that Montero wouldn’t play for the Mariners again this season. The team has placed Montero on the suspended list to make that official.

Montero and scout Butch Baccala were involved in an incident during a Class-A game on Thursday night in Boise, Idaho, after Baccala reportedly sent Montero an ice cream sandwich in the dugout.

An angered Montero took a bat into the stands and threw the frozen dessert at Baccala, according to widely reported accounts of the altercation.

Zduriencik said last week that the team was still investigating the incident, but “it is clear that both Jesus Montero and Butch Baccala engaged in behavior that is far below what we expect from members of our organization, including bad judgment at nearly every stage of this incident.“

Once a prized catching prospect, Montero appeared in just six games for the Mariners this season after showing up for spring training a reported 40 pounds overweight.

He was called up briefly in June and then again for one game last month and was rehabbing a strained oblique with Everett of the Northwest League when the altercation occurred.

The Mariners re-signed Montero to a one-year contract in February and he appeared as a first baseman and designated hitter for the team this season.

►   BREWERS’ GARZA NEARING RETURN:  The Milwaukee Brewers activated starting pitcher Matt Garza from the 15-day disabled list Monday, one of five players added to the team as rosters expanded.

Garza, sidelined since August 3 by a strained left oblique, is slated to start Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.

The right-hander has put together a solid first season in Milwaukee, compiling a 7-7 record with a 3.58 earned run average over 23 starts.

Milwaukee also recalled pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who will take the ball for Monday’s opener of a three-game series with the Cubs, from Single-A Brevard County. Outfielder Logan Schafer also rejoined the team after being recalled from Triple-A Nashville.

Additionally, pitcher Wei-Chung Wang was activated from the 15-day DL and catcher Matt Pagnozzi had his contract selected from Nashville.

Wang, a Rule 5 draft pick by the Brewers during the offseason, has not pitched since July 10 due to tightness in his left shoulder.

►   A’S ACTIVATE LOWRIE:  The Oakland Athletics reinstated shortstop Jed Lowrie from the 15-day disabled list on Monday and added a trio of players from Triple-A Sacramento.

Lowrie went on the DL in mid-August with a fractured right index finger. He went 2-for-9 during a brief two-game rehab assignment with Sacramento over the weekend.

Lowrie is hitting .238 with five home runs and 42 RBI in 110 games this season.

Oakland also recalled pitchers Fernando Rodriguez and outfielder Billy Burns, and selected the contract of catcher Bryan Anderson from Sacramento.

►   DIAMONDBACKS TAKE ROSS, HUDSON OFF DL:  The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Monday they have activated outfielder Cody Ross from the 15-day disabled list and reinstated pitcher Daniel Hudson from the 60-day DL.

Hudson, a 16-game winner for the Diamondbacks in 2011, will be on an active major-league roster for the first time in over two years when Arizona plays in San Diego on Monday. The right-hander has undergone two Tommy John surgeries to his elbow since last pitching in the big leagues on June 26, 2012.

Arizona manager Kirk Gibson has said that Hudson, who has allowed one run over six innings in six rehab appearances between the D-backs’ Rookie League affiliate and Triple-A Reno, will be used as a reliever over the season’s final month.

Ross has been out since July 21 due to a strained left calf. The veteran is hitting .238 with two home runs and 11 RBI over 66 games this season.

►   RAYS ACTIVATE DEJESUS:  The Tampa Bay Rays activated outfielder David DeJesus off the 15-day disabled list Monday.

DeJesus had been sidelined since suffering a broken left hand on a check swing June 18. He just completed an eight-game minor league rehab assignment and went 5-for-23.

The 34-year-old veteran was batting .269 with five homers and 17 RBI in 62 games before the injury.

Tampa Bay also made a few more moves with rosters allowed to expand, adding catcher Curt Casali and pitchers Brandon Gomes and Steve Geltz from the minors. Catcher Ali Solis was outrighted off the 40-man roster and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Durham.

►   INDIANS ACTIVATE GIAMBI FROM DL:  The Cleveland Indians activated designated hitter Jason Giambi from the 60-day disabled list on Monday amid a flurry of moves as major league clubs expand their rosters.

Giambi hasn’t played since June 11, but hit an anemic .128 with two home runs and five RBI over just 15 games before he was sidelined.

Cleveland also reinstated catcher Chris Gimenez from the paternity list, recalled pitchers Austin Adams, Bryan Price and infielder Jesus Aguilar from Triple-A Columbus.

Gimenez returned to the club after son Jaxon was born on Sunday night.

Adams failed to record a decision in three appearances with Cleveland from July 12-August 01, while Aguilar hit .188 and drove in two runs during an eight- game stint from May 15-31.

Price will see his first taste of big league action.


Final Score: Philadelphia 7, Atlanta 0

In an otherwise forgettable season, Cole Hamels and three relief pitchers gave Philadelphia Phillies fans something to remember on Monday. Hamels struck out seven in six no-hit innings and the bullpen took it from there as Philadelphia pitched a combined no-hitter during its 7-0 rout of the Atlanta Braves. Philadelphia’s ace lefty labored through five walks and a high pitch count, forcing manager Ryne Sandberg to remove Hamels for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh inning. Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon preserved the no-hitter, each tossing a clean inning out of the bullpen. Hamels (8-6) became the first pitcher since Seattle’s Kevin Millwood on June 8, 2012, to be pulled after six no- hit innings. Millwood, who threw a no-hitter with the Phillies in 2003, left that game with an injury. That was also the last time a major league team threw a combined no-hitter, as five relievers pitched no-hit ball behind Millwood. Ben Revere had a career-high five RBI for the Phillies, while Jimmy Rollins moved into first place in franchise history with his 658th multi-hit game. Rollins singled, doubled and tripled and drove in a run to pass Richie Ashburn.

Final Score: Miami 9, New York 6

Six errors did in the New York Mets on Monday as the Miami Marlins took a back-and-forth series opener, 9-6, from their NL East rivals. The game was tied at 6-6 entering the bottom of the eighth, but more sloppy play from the Mets sealed the outcome, as three errors and a wild pitch sent New York to its fourth loss in six games. Casey McGehee and Marcell Ozuna each had two hits and two RBI while Giancarlo Stanton belted a solo homer for the Marlins, who were coming off a disappointing 3-9 road trip. A.J. Ramos (6-0) pitched a perfect eighth and Steve Cishek did the same in the ninth to anchor a solid relief effort after Miami starter Henderson Alvarez exited with a left oblique strain in the third inning.

Final Score: St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4

Matt Holliday came through in the clutch yet again on Monday, helping the St. Louis Cardinals take down the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-4, in the opener of a three-game series that could help determine the National League Central playoff picture. The Cardinals trailed 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh when pinch-hitter Kolten Wong, who didn’t start the game after injuring his head on Sunday, hit a two-run homer to right to tie the game. Jon Jay then tripled, spelling the end of Gerrit Cole’s outing. John Axford took his place on the mound and walked Oscar Taveras to bring up Holliday, who ripped a grounder through the hole on the left side to plate Jay. The base hit gave Holliday his third RBI of the contest. The slugger drove in five runs in Saturday’s rout of the Cubs and four more on Sunday, including the game-winning two-run single in the eighth. He has 16 RBI in his last eight games.

Final Score: Chicago 4, Milwaukee 2

The Brewers’ elongated stay atop the NL Central is over, as Welington Castillo’s home run and three RBI led the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 win over Milwaukee in the opener of a three-game series. The Brewers had been alone or tied for first place every day since April 5, but Milwaukee’s six-game losing streak coupled with the Cardinals’ win over the Pirates on Monday has vaulted St. Louis into the division lead. Luis Valbuena added a solo homer for Chicago, while Jacob Turner (5-8) struck out seven over 6 1/3 solid innings to pick up the win, the Cubs’ third in five games. Back-to-back home runs by Khris Davis and Gerardo Parra in the seventh provided the only offense for the Brewers, who had starter Jimmy Nelson (2-6) allow three runs on nine hits over six frames.

Final Score: San Diego 3, Arizona 1

Cory Spangenberg hit a two-run single in his major-league debut and the San Diego Padres beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 on Monday in the opener of a four-game series. Spangenberg, selected Monday from Double-A San Antonio as part of San Diego’s September callups, made a diving stop with runners at first and second base in the first inning to potentially save a run. Alexi Amarista also drove in a run for the Padres, who were coming off a 7-1 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday after winning their previous three games with walk-off hits in extra innings. Tyson Ross (13-12) threw six innings and gave up one run in his 14th straight quality start, extending his Padres record. The right-hander struck out eight, walked two and surrendered six hits.

Final Score: San Francisco 4, Colorado 2 (Game 1) Final Score: Colorado 10, San Francisco 9 (Game 2)

Charlie Blackmon’s single in the ninth lifted the Colorado Rockies to a 10-9 win over the San Francisco Giants on Monday. After LaTroy Hawkins blew his second save of the season in the away ninth, Michael McKenry singled up the middle off Sergio Romo (5-4) to lead off the home half, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Josh Rutledge and advanced to third on Rafael Ynoa’s infield single with two outs. Blackmon stepped in and served the first pitch he saw into right to win the game. Ben Paulsen homered in the win, while Blackmon, Rutledge and DJ LaMahieu each had two RBI. The two teams concluded a suspended game from May 22 prior to the regularly scheduled matchup, with Hunter Pence’s double highlighting a two-run eighth as the Giants grabbed a 4-2 win. Pence, who homered in the setback, and Brandon Crawford each had three RBI. Gregor Blanco, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval had an RBI apiece for the Giants, who had their season-high seven- game winning streak snapped.

Final Score: Washington 6, Los Angeles 4

Denard Span homered twice to lead the Washington Nationals to a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday in the opener of a three-game set. Asdrubal Cabrera also homered in the win, while Jayson Werth homered and stole two bases. Gio Gonzalez (7-9) snapped a career-long nine-start winless drought after he allowed three runs on three hits over six-plus innings. The southpaw hadn’t won since July 5. Roberto Hernandez (8-10), who gave up just one unearned run against the Nationals in his previous two starts this season while with Philadelphia, surrendered five runs on five hits—four home runs—over 4 1/3 innings. Matt Kemp homered among his two hits and drove in two for the Dodgers, who lead San Francisco by two games in the NL West.


Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Boston 3 (10 innings)

Matt Joyce collected the game-winning hit with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, and Tampa Bay posted a 4-3 victory over Boston in the finale of a four-game series. Burke Badenhop (0-3) allowed a leadoff double to Ryan Hanigan, then issued an intentional walk to Kevin Kiermaier before Ben Zobrist’s sacrifice bunt moved pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez and Kiermaier into scoring position. Wil Myers also drew a free pass ahead of Joyce’s long fly to left which sailed over the head of Yoenis Cespedes to end the game. Grant Balfour (2-6) gave up a hit in an otherwise scoreless top of the 10th. Evan Longoria drove in two runs, and Myers ended up with three hits and an RBI for the Rays, who earned a split in the set. Mike Napoli homered, with Cespedes and Mookie Betts knocking in a run each for the Red Sox, who have dropped three of their last five.

Final Score: Minnesota 6, Baltimore 4

Joe Mauer had three hits and four RBI, two of which came on a tie-breaking single in the eighth inning, as the Minnesota Twins avoided a four-game sweep by the Baltimore Orioles with a 6-4 victory. Minnesota’s three-run eighth helped Phil Hughes (15-9) join the Angels’ Jered Weaver and Detroit’s Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello as the American League’s lone 15-game winners this season. The right-hander fired eight strong innings and allowed just five hits and three runs, all of which were unearned after an error in the seventh preceded Nick Hundley’s game-tying homer. Glen Perkins served up a solo homer to Nelson Cruz in the ninth before holding on to record his 33rd save. Mauer delivered a two-run triple earlier in the day, while Kennys Vargas went 2-for-3 with two RBI in only Minnesota’s second win in its last nine. Kevin Gausman (7-7) struck out seven over 7 1/3 innings for the AL East- leading Orioles, who had won four straight coming in, but was dealt the loss after being charged with five runs—four earned.

Final Score: Detroit 12, Cleveland 1

Miguel Cabrera finished 4-for-4, homered twice, scored four runs and drove in three to fuel Detroit’s 12-1 decision over Cleveland in the opener of a four-game series. Tyler Collins hit a three-run shot, Victor Martinez slugged a two-run homer and J.D. Martinez added a solo blast for the Tigers, who collected 20 hits en route to posting their seventh win in their last 10 games. David Price (13-10) scattered eight hits and walked two while allowing one run and fanning eight over seven innings. Carlos Santana knocked in the only run, while Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Bourn added two hits each for the Indians, who lost for the second time in their last eight. Corey Kluber (13-9) lasted just 2 2/3 frames, charged with seven hits and five runs.

Final Score: Oakland 6, Seattle 1

It didn’t take long for Adam Dunn to give the Oakland Athletics’ sputtering offense a much-needed boost. The veteran slugger belted a two-run homer in his initial at-bat with his new team, sparking a five-run first inning that carried the A’s to a 6-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a three-game series. Geovany Soto added a two-run single during the big opening frame and Jason Hammel turned in his best start in an Oakland uniform to help the A’s bounce back from this past weekend’s four-game sweep at the hands of the AL West-leading Angels. Oakland mustered a paltry one run total over its three most recent defeats. Hammel (2-5), meanwhile, limited the Mariners to three hits—including a solo homer to Brad Miller—over eight innings in his sharpest effort since coming to Oakland in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in July. Seattle’s Chris Young (12-7) wasn’t nearly as effective, recording only two outs while being rocked for five runs on four hits and two walks.

Final Score: Kansas City 4, Texas 3

Salvador Perez went 3-for-4 with a two- run homer and three RBI as the Kansas City Royals held off the Texas Rangers, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game series. Mike Moustakas added two hits and an RBI for the Royals, who remained a half-game ahead of the Tigers for first place in the AL Central. Detroit beat the Indians earlier Monday. Yordano Ventura (11-9) allowed three runs—two earned—on five hits with seven strikeouts and four walks over 6 1/3 innings for Kansas City, which snapped a three-game skid. The right-hander returned to the mound after missing his last start because of a back issue. Michael Choice, Tomas Telis and Adrian Beltre each drove in a run for the Rangers, who had just five hits. Texas starter Colby Lewis (9-12) gave up four runs on nine hits while striking out five over seven innings. The right-hander was coming off a complete game performance at Seattle last Wednesday, as he allowed four runs and seven hits in a 12-4 victory.


The Gilmer Free Press

►   ERNST JUMPS 71 SPOTS IN WORLD RANKINGS:  Austin Ernst, who parred the first playoff hole to defeat I.K. Kim and win the Portland Classic on Sunday, jumped 71 spots in this week’s world rankings.

After capturing her first victory on the LPGA Tour, Ernst is now among the top 100 in the world at No. 74. She was No. 145 last week.

There was no change to the top 11 players in the world. Stacy Lewis remained the top player, and she was followed by Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, Suzann Pettersen, So Yeon Ryu, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson, Shanshan Feng, Karrie Webb, Anna Nordqvist and Cristie Kerr.

Azahara Munoz jumped two spots to No. 12, knocking Lizette Salas back a spot to 13. Na Yeon Choi and Paula Creamer both moved up one to 14 and 15, while Angela Stanford fell three spots from 13 to 16.

Amy Yang stayed put at 17, while Sun Ju Ahn and Jessica Korda swapped spots and are now 18 and 19, respectively. Hyo-Joo Kim took over Catriona Meadow’s spot at No. 20, while Meadow fell one to 21.

Trish Johnson, who won the Ladies Scottish Open on the Ladies European Tour last week, also made a big move from No. 195 to No. 120 in the world. At 48 years old, Johnson became the oldest winner on tour.

The Gilmer Free Press


Group B: Final - Senegal 77, Croatia 75

Group A: Final - Serbia 83, Iran 70

Group B: Final - Argentina 85, Philippines 81

Group A: Final - France 94, Egypt 55

Group B: Final - Greece 90, Puerto Rico 79

Group A: Final - Spain 82, Brazil 63

The Gilmer Free Press


Major League Baseball - National League
Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:10 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, SportSouth, DSS
NY Mets at Miami, 7:10 PM - SNY, FS-Florida, DSS
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 PM - FS-Wisconsin, CSN-Chicago+, DSS
Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 8:15 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, FS-Midwest, DSS
San Francisco at Colorado, 8:40 PM - CSN-Bay, ROOT-Rocky Mountain, DSS
Arizona at San Diego, 10:10 PM - FS-Arizona, San Diego, DSS
Washington at Los Angeles, 10:10 PM - MASN2, SportsNet LA, DSS

American League
Detroit at Cleveland, 7:05 PM - FS-Detroit, SportsTime Ohio, DSS
Boston at NY Yankees, 7:05 PM - NESN, YES, DSS
Toronto at Tampa Bay, 7:10 PM - SNET, SunSports, DSS
Texas at Kansas City, 8:10 PM - FS-Southwest, Kansas City, DSS
Chicago WSox at Minnesota, 8:10 PM - CSN-Chicago, FS-North, DSS
LA Angels at Houston, 8:10 PM - FS-West, CSN-Houston, DSS
Seattle at Oakland, 10:05 PM - ROOT-Northwest, CSN-California, DSS

Cincinnati at Baltimore, 7:05 PM - FS-Ohio, MASN, DSS

WNBA - Playoffs
Minnesota at Phoenix, 10:00 PM - NBA TV

U.S. Open, 11:00 AM - ESPN
U.S. Open, 7:00 PM - ESPN

World Cup Basketball
New Zealand vs. United States, 11:30 AM - ESPN 2

Webster County Fair – 08.31.14 to 09.06.14

The Gilmer Free Press

The 95th Webster County Fair will begin on Sunday August 31, 2014 and will continue through September 06, 2014.

Rides start on Wednesday September 03, 2014 at 6:00 PM.

Exhibits will be accepted on Sunday August 31, 2014 thru Monday September 01, 2014.

For information on non-commercial booth set up at the Webster County Fair, call Ralph Carpenter at 304.226.5944.

Camden Flats Baptist Church Block Party - 09.06.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Farm Show 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Meeting - 09.04.14

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer County LEPC will hold its regular quarterly meeting at the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department Building at 606 West Main Street in Glenville on Thursday, September 04, 2014 beginning at 5:00 PM.

For more information please call LEPC Chair Martin Hess at 304.904.8786 or LEPC Vice-Chair Eric Squires at 304.997.5281.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you there.

Gilmer County Tire and Recycling Event - 09.13.14

The Gilmer Free Press


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Gilmer County Health Department 9th Annual Health Fair - 09.17.14

The Gilmer Free Press

WV Legislative Update: Delegate Brent Boggs - Chairman of the House Committee on Finance - 09.01.14


With this week’s column, we give thanks to the hard working men and women of our nation that we honor on Labor Day.  At the same time, it’s hard to believe we’re already moving quickly from summer onto the glide path to autumn.  Football is officially here and the excitement that it brings in West Virginia for our middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities is long anticipated for players, parents and fans.  And, as I write this week on Labor Day eve, it’s the first time in three weeks that I’ve been composing my column from home.  Meanwhile, I’m still enjoying the memory of Saturday morning’s excitement of my five year old grandson, Carson, landing a big smallmouth bass while fishing on Elk River….and when you see me I’ll show you the picture of one happy boy.  Justin was as excited as Carson.

This was a terrific weekend for community events.  I want to thank the Mayor and town council of Sand Fork for the great community cookout Friday evening.  It was a time to enjoy outstanding food and music, visit and catch up with friends of all ages, all on the grounds of Sand Fork Elementary School with beautiful weather and a fireworks display that evening.

Likewise, on Saturday afternoon, we headed to Cedarville for the annual Cedarville Homecoming Celebration, with a great crowd, excellent local music, homemade food and fellowship.  Again, the weather was perfect for everyone to enjoy the afternoon and evening of family fun.  Thanks to the community and members of the Cedarville Community Association for the hard work and great event.

Thanks to all those that worked, donated and participated to make each event a huge success and a great time of family entertainment and community pride.

It appears that we’re getting closer to Governor Tomblin calling a special session to make some needed changes to Senate Bill 373.  While the original bill as introduced in the Senate dealt with the circumstances surrounding the Freedom Industries/WV American Water crisis in January, the bill morphed into much more that has overreached into areas not associated with the chemical spill.  While there has been no official gubernatorial call issued as of this writing, it is a distinct possibility for the September interim meetings later this month.

I am also calling on Governor Tomblin to add to a special call a bill addressing the unborn pain capable legislation (HB 4588) that he vetoed after the session adjourned.  In a letter to the Governor, I am respectfully requesting that he introduce a bill that is deemed constitutional so we can obtain protections for the unborn while we work toward more protection moving forward.  This should not be a politicized issue.  I hope those that truly want to protect the unborn will also support a bill that the Governor is willing to sign.  A bill vetoed or one that is tied up in court for months or years provides no protection for the unborn whatsoever.

Last week’s interim meetings, held in Bridgeport, turned into some of the most productive and informative off-site meetings in recent memory.  Harrison, Marion and Monongalia Counties jointly hosted the meetings with the Bridgeport Conference Center as the base.  However, members traveled throughout the region to separate meetings and events that helped inform on events that are on the forefront of state issues.  The energy related meetings were especially timely.  A site visit to the Fairmont base of Pierpont Community and Technical College and an overview of their programs to train for quality, high paying jobs in the growing natural gas drilling and production industry was most informative.  Two year associate degrees are yielding jobs with an average starting salary of $60 thousand per year.  Also visits to drilling sites and energy production complexes in Harrison, Doddridge and Monongalia Counties.

Please send your inquiries to the Capitol Office at:  Building 1, Room 462-M, Charleston, WV 25305.  Or, call the Finance Committee office at 304.340.3230; or Jennifer McPherson at 304.340.3942; or, fax to 304.340.3388.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is: .

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

Delegate David Walker - 08.29.14


Coal. It has long been the lifeblood and economic backbone of West Virginia. Coal and the people in the industry who risk their lives to mine it so that the state and nation has the energy to fuel our country have long provided a good living for so many people.

As many of us know, coal is being hampered by a market right now that has turned against the type of coal prominently found in West Virginia, bituminous, while a cheaper alternative in a growing natural gas industry is being widely utilized.

But the fact remains that coal occurs in 53 of West Virginia’s 55 Counties with only Jefferson and Hardy in the eastern panhandle having no coal and the nation still primarily uses coal to produce its electricity.  Coal is still this state’s biggest industry and we must remember the thousands of people working in and around the coal fields whose livelihoods depend upon it.

As if the natural free market forces moving toward natural gas weren’t enough, government regulations continue to chip away at the cost effectiveness of coal mining. Regulations by themselves are not necessarily bad things, they help balance industry, citizen, environmental and safety concerns for the best, ultimate conclusions, in most cases.  However, what we have seen with this administration and the Environmental Protection Agency is akin to changing the rules of football, at halftime.

To set rules regarding already existing coal powered power plants and force them to cut emissions using technology that either is cost prohibitive or doesn’t exist is not only unfair but will simply bankrupt an industry already fighting for its life.

Recently, I joined with hundreds and thousands of supporters of the coal industry from all around West Virginia to travel to Pittsburgh, PA to speak out against EPA proposal that aims to cut carbon emissions from power plants that are already in operation by an average of 30 percent from 2005 levels before 2030.

I was proud to stand with as many as 5,000 members of the United Mine Workers of America and their families who were rallying against the proposed regulations.

The reason behind this type of proposal is supposedly tied to cutting greenhouse gases and combating climate change, which is another topic all together and a discussion for another time.  However, if the United States is the only country proposing these cuts, it is merely a symbolic gesture and wouldn’t result in the world wide greenhouse gas cuts that are desired and simply hurts the communities in the coal fields.

The EPA is holding a series of public hearings regarding this proposed rule in various locations around the country but, curiously, didn’t plan a meeting for West Virginia, the state with the most resting on this rule and whose economy would be most damaged.

I was so proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with people from all walks of life, not just the miner both active and retired, but the people from the communities who would be so harmed by this rule.  This isn’t a political issue, this issue crosses all aisles and affects real people, hard working men and women and their families who the coal industry has supported for decades in West Virginia.

I will continue to stand with these folks and fight for the coal industry, we mine it responsibly in West Virginia and just need the government in Washington, D.C, to understand how this proposal will undermine so many communities and let us do best what we know best to do, supply the power for the nation.

If you should have any questions or comments regarding any issues or bills before the legislature please feel free to contact me. To write me, my address is Delegate David Walker, State Capitol, Building 1, Room 203-E, Charleston, WV 25305. Or you may call me at 304.340.3135. I encourage all my constituents to remain active and become part of the legislative process..


The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia is a state with a story around every scenic turn, and our people are known for sharing tales of generations past from countries all over the world. West Virginia is a melting pot of diverse cultures and traditional heritage, and I can’t think of a better way to share our history than the variety of fairs and festivals held in the Mountain State each year.

In the tiny town of Helvetia in Randolph County, a community comes alive each year for Fasnacht, where townspeople and their guests drive away ‘old man winter’ with a traditional Swiss costumed parade and dance in the community’s Star Band Hall. In Berkeley Springs, festival-goers warm the cold winter days with its internationally-known Taste of the Waters event.


As the seasons change from winter to spring, ramp festivals pop up across the state. Community town halls, churches and schools celebrate spring weather with country dinners, music and fun. The city of Lewisburg tempts everyone with its annual Chocolate Festival. And, while not technically a festival, the annual Spring Quilt Shop Hop brings together quilters from around the state to meet and share quilting stories.

The annual Vandalia Gathering on Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer festivals and fairs. West Virginia fair fans could spend nearly every weekend at a different gathering in almost every county throughout the summer. Clarksburg hosts the Italian Heritage Festival. Shepherdstown serves up fresh theater performances at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. The Mountain State Arts and Craft Fair sparks creative energy every Fourth of July. Music and dance share center stage at the annual Augusta Heritage Festival, and folk life traditions are everything at the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville. Charleston becomes a work of art with FestivALL, and Huntington’s River Days spark fun along the Ohio River. Historic Camp Washington Carver at Clifftop hosts the Appalachian String Band Festival, where traditional musicians from around the world compete for awards and pass their love of music on to West Virginia’s youth.

Summer might unofficially come to a close on Labor Day, but here in West Virginia, it goes out with a bang at our State Fair in Fairlea, Greenbrier County. But, don’t count all of West Virginia’s festival fun out yet.

Enjoy Bridge Day in Fayetteville and the Pumpkin Festival in Milton. Hit the road for Oktoberfest in Bramwell and the Leaf Peepers Festival in Tucker County. Pageantry reigns supreme at the annual Forest Festival in Elkins, as Queen Silvia and her court parade through town.

As the year draws to an end, holiday light shows brighten parks and towns around the state. Oglebay Park’s Festival of Lights in Wheeling draws in cars full of families and buses full of tourists every year to explore the historic trail of lights and the Olgebay holiday gift shops. You can also stop by other light festivals and holiday home tours in St. Albans, Bramwell and Parkersburg.

If you find yourself with a free weekend, I encourage you to stop in and experience all that our celebrated traditions have to offer - you can’t go wrong! For more information on this year’s fairs and festivals schedule, visit

“Who Speaks for Earth?”

The Gilmer Free Press

Few people remember them today, but there were significant global leadership initiatives in the 1980s against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The dawn of the nuclear era had coincided with the beginning of the Cold War. People in the United States and their leaders viewed the world through the lens of East-West cold war superpower tensions, reinforced by the rigid dualistic convictions of officials like John Foster Dulles, U.S. Secretary of State from 1953 to 1959.  A quarter century further into the cold war era, nearly 200 less powerful nations came to realize that a superpower nuclear exchange was potentially just as life threatening to them as to the superpowers themselves.

The leaders of six non-aligned countries on five continents, India, Sweden, Argentina, Greece, and Mexico, formed the Five-Continent Peace Initiative to advocate for a decrease in tensions among the nuclear super-powers. Julius Nyerere, representing Africa, asserted that “peace is too important to be left to the White House and the Kremlin.” Indira Gandhi, before she was tragically assassinated, introduced the initiative in 1984 by saying in words that should haunt us today: “I am deeply distressed and also astonished at the apathy which one sees, almost a resignation or acceptance of such a horrifying event [as nuclear war].” At the same time, respected public intellectuals like Carl Sagan obtained access to diplomats at the United Nations, and, warning them for the first time about the phenomenon of nuclear winter, asked “who speaks for Earth?”

Thirty years further on–today–only Dr. Strangelove types would continue to argue against Ronald Reagan’s sensible assertion that “a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.” Yet no one in power today seems able to muster the moral imagination to reverse the continued drift of our lifeboat we call Earth toward the inevitable nuclear Niagara somewhere down the time-stream. Resources desperately needed to prevent imminent conflicts over water and other natural resources, let alone needed to mitigate the gigantic challenge of climate change, continue to be poured into an international security system that rests upon extremely dubious premises—first and most egregious of all the assumption that no nuclear nation will ever make that fatal mistake or misinterpretation that ends in apocalypse for all.

Attaining top positions of national leadership often requires years of Machiavellian manipulation that inevitably includes compromise with agents of huge corporate and financial power.  The security bureaucracies that have sprung up in the U.S., Russia and China are vast, complex, self-perpetuating and both inter- and intra-paranoid. The mystery that clings to the assassination of the Kennedy brothers and even Martin Luther King Jr. suggests that leaders who over-indulge in the rhetoric of peacemaking and international cooperation may put their own lives in mortal danger.

A quick look at those in power at the present moment is not reassuring for citizens who are wondering what the possibilities are for creative servant-leadership based upon the interest of the planet as a whole. President Putin initially made conciliatory gestures toward the West, but the West betrayed its word and expanded NATO aggressively eastward toward Russia’s borders. Putin now operates from the heart of an enormous web of kleptocratic corruption, and identifies with a backward-looking czarist conception of the Russian empire.

President Obama reached out to the Muslim world, advocated in Prague for the abolition of nuclear weapons, wound down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, in spite of a racist, obstructionist Congress, managed to pass the Affordable Care Act.  Recently he has advocated for authentic measures against climate change. At the same time he has condoned the enormous growth of an off-the-books national security bureaucracy, rationalized his failure to bring torturers to justice, indulged in routine extra-judicial killing by drone, and continues to renew the U.S. nuclear arsenal at obscene expense (yet another $355 billion according to projections by the Congressional Budget Office).

International leaders interested in creating safe spaces for people to come together at the heart level to work on common challenges seem to be few and far between. Benjamin Netanyahu and his counterpart Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal are perfect demonstrations of exactly the obverse: they dehumanize and scapegoat each other with hyper-masculine zeal and thus perpetuate an endless round of utterly futile destruction.

Julius Nyerere refused to benefit personally from high office and consistently put the best interests of his country ahead of his own well-being. Nelson Mandela is another servant-leader who earned worldwide respect. Dag Hammarskjold, the second Secretary General of the U.N., is yet another example of disinterested international leadership. Sadly, like King and the Kennedys and Indira Gandhi, he paid with his life for his service to us all. Is it the veiled threat of individual martyrdom that makes disinterested efforts to prevent collective destruction so rare?

Another Five-Continent Peace Initiative is long overdue. The agenda: nuclear disarmament, restriction of conventional arms sales, and reallocation of resources to address climate instability. The survivors of inadvertent nuclear war—itself a source of climate disaster—would be pitiless in their condemnation of the present rot—the rationalizations, evasions, and delays that led to disaster. Only if citizens everywhere demand true servant-leaders instead of bellicose fulminators will more life-affirming outcomes become possible.

~~  Winslow Myers ~~

Congressman Nick Rahall: Helping Farmers and Rural Communities


Economic Development and Jobs, Health Care, Mining & Energy, Small Businesses, Tourism & Natural Resources

Recently, I attended public forums in Hamlin and Wayne that were organized by USDA StrikeForce, an initiative aimed at raising awareness about U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources available to bolster rural and farming communities.

USDA investments strengthen the West Virginia economy.  They not only benefit our livestock producers and farmers, but also help to maintain and build our State’s public infrastructure and community facilities – police and fire departments, health clinics and hospitals, and especially our water systems. 

I am proud of the partnership I have with our State’s USDA officials – Rural Development State Director Bobby Lewis, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Kevin Wickey, and Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Rick Snuffer. 

I work hard in Washington to ensure that USDA programs are well funded.  And our State’s USDA officials work hard with local partners to ensure the funds are well invested.
USDA Rural Development funds, for example, are helping to extend public water and sewer services to hundreds of households in counties all across our region.  Clean and reliable water from the faucet is essential to meeting households’ everyday needs and for our economy to grow and create jobs.

But, Rural Development also is helping to support our State’s diverse agricultural economy – creating jobs and expanding opportunities for West Virginia farmers.  One way, for example, is by making funds available to promote locally grown foods and provide support services for local food producers and farmers markets in the Greenbrier Valley, as well as Huntington and the surrounding counties.  The growing interest in the popular, healthy “eat local” concept is a bright opportunity for our small family farms – and USDA funds are helping to make it happen.

Over at the Farm Service Agency, with my support, the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill authorizes loans and insurance to established and beginner farmers and livestock producers in our region.  The new Farm Bill also expands programs for future farmers, such as our returning veterans looking to transition into a career in agriculture.  I am working closely with our State’s Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick, and Veterans Assistance Secretary Rick Thompson to support our returning soldiers. 

In Lincoln and Wayne Counties, the USDA Conservation Service is helping to build Seasonal High Tunnels, which are like greenhouses that extend the growing season, so that vegetables and fruits can be grown and sold year round to take advantage of high and low points in market cycles.  This new initiative, along with the work of the Farm Service Agency and Rural Development, will help give a boost to local food initiatives and farmers markets.

Through USDA efforts, we also are expanding nutrition awareness and outreach and physical education programs at our schools, as well as increasing opportunities for schools to purchase healthy foods grown locally. 

In Mercer County recently, I visited the Brush Creek Watershed, which is managed by the NRCS and where $2.5 million in USDA funds I helped to secure are being used to rehabilitate dam sites.  The USDA investments needed to rehabilitate these dam sites are incredibly important – for flood protection and managing the area’s water supply, as well as the recreational opportunities created.

The new Farm Bill is helping to strengthen and expand voluntary USDA programs that ensure farmers and private forest owners have the technical and financial resources they need to protect and manage their lands.

USDA investments in our communities are undoubtedly doing great things, which makes it all the more important to resist misguided efforts in Congress to cut back on such investments.  I will remain a vigilant advocate to keep and maintain USDA funding that benefits West Virginia’s economy and creates opportunities for farmers and rural communities. 


Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito – 08.29.14


As a member of Congress, I have the privilege of nominating a select group of individuals for admission to the United States service academies: Army, Navy, Air Force and Merchant Marine. Dozens of students I have nominated have been accepted to these academies and have served us honorably in the armed forces.

I encourage students interested in a career in the military and their parents or guardians to attend one of my upcoming Academy Days to learn more about the opportunities available at our nation’s service academies:

Sunday, September 21, 2014
2-4 PM
South Charleston High School
1 Eagle Way
South Charleston, WV 25309

Sunday, September 28, 2014
2-4 PM
Washington High School
300 Washington Patriot Dr.
Charles Town, WV 25414

The number of available appointments is highly competitive, so I encourage students interested in applying to attend one of my Academy Days or contact my Charleston office at 304.925.5964 as soon as possible for more information.

Applicants should be residents of the Second Congressional District of West Virginia and between the ages of 17 and 22. The deadline for receiving all required information is Friday, October 31, 2014.

In addition to a nomination from a member of the U.S. House of Representatives or a U.S. senator, candidates must apply to the service academy of their choice. Information on the academies’ admission requirements and standards can be obtained by contacting the admissions offices of the academies.

Serving our nation in the armed forces is an honor and a great responsibility. I wish all of our applicants well and look forward to meeting prospective candidates in South Charleston and Charles Town in September.

Thank you for reading my weekly e-newsletter, and as always, you can join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

If you will be traveling over the Labor Day weekend, I wish you and your family a safe journey.

Congressman McKinley: 04.29.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Back to School

Saturday marks the beginning of the WVU football season, with the Mountaineers taking on Alabama’s Crimson Tide in Georgia. This month also marks the beginning of school for West Virginia’s public schools, with students, parents, and teachers gearing up for another year.

This year is also exciting as the West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc. has been awarded a Department of Education grant in the amount of $200,000. The West Virginia Parent Training and Information Center, Inc are dedicated to helping parents of children with disabilities, through the concept of parents helping parents. This grant will help them make a difference in the lives of infants, toddlers, children, and young adults with disabilities across West Virginia.

The purpose of the Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities Programis to ensure that parents of children with disabilities receive training and information to help improve results for their children. All services to parents and families from the West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc. are free and are available across the state.

Meeting with Community Health Center

The August work period continued this week with a stop at CHANGE, Inc. in Weirtonwhere we discussed the work the organization is doing in the community.

CHANGE, Inc. is a community organization that provides a variety of services, including health care and housing assistance, to disadvantaged families. The group also has programs for veterans and victims of domestic abuse.

Organizations like CHANGE, Inc. play a vital role in communities across West Virginia. Their work gives hope to families who are struggling, and ensures they have a place to turn for help.

Community health centers serve thousands of patients, many of whom are low-income and might not otherwise have access to care. They provide a wide range of care, from preventative measures to dental work, to local families regardless of their ability to pay.

It’s important that we recognize the role community health centers play in providing care to those who need it most, and work together to support their mission.

Finding Solutions for the Pulp Mill Bottom Diversion Dike

During my travels this week, I went to Parsons to inspect the Pulp Mill Bottom Diversion Dike. This dike is designed to deflect the flow of high velocity flood water back into the local stream channel as opposed to letting it run through the heart of the city. The dike goes a long way to limit potential flood damage to the local area. So when officials discovered a hole in the dike earlier this year, it became imperative that agencies work together to ensure the damage is repaired and the residents are safe.

That is why I met with local county officials about possible options the city has for repairing the damage. My office is currently working to bring all concerned parties together so we can find a solution and provide relief to the citizens in Parsons.

Keeping the Lights On

This week several staff from my Washington office traveled to Grafton to go underground at Arch Coal, Inc.’s Leer Mine, to learn firsthand about the work of our coal miners. The coal industry is currently under attack from the Obama Administration and the EPA’s war on coal. At a time when millions of Americans are out of work and families are struggling, we need to work for common sense legislation to keep American working.

During my time in Congress I have been a strong proponent and the voice for West Virginia coal. Coal is our state’s lifeblood, and this war on coal must stop. This tour helped give my staff a brand new appreciation for the job our coal miners do to keep the lights on. We will continue to work to preserve our coal jobs and protect our industry.

Constituent Meetings

Throughout August I have been traveling around the First District meeting with constituents and visiting local businesses. So far I have held 34 meetings in 10 counties. I will be continuing holding meetings in the First District next week. Keep an eye out, I may be visiting your town.

If you are ever in the Washington D.C. office please drop in and say hello. If you want an appointment just give my office a call at 202.225.4172, or submit a request on my website at
                                          The Gilmer Free Press

Labor Day is a Celebration of Our Workforce, Past and Present

The Gilmer Free Press

In West Virginia, Labor Day is a celebration of the economic backbone of our country, the men and women who make up our workforce, and the labor union members who came before us and fought for the rights workers enjoy today. So many of those victories like safe working conditions, a living wage, and the 40-hour work week were hard-fought here in West Virginia and will continue to benefit Americans for generations to come.

During my time in public service, I’ve strived to honor the dedication, sacrifices and accomplishments of our nation’s workforce through fair policies. A few to mention include legislation that protects coal miners’ pensions and health care; Buy America legislation that keeps keep our steel mills running; and, legislation that makes sure women are provided equal pay for equal work.

The actions I’ve taken in the Senate, and before that as Governor of West Virginia, are rooted in my time as a VISTA worker in the small coal mining community of Emmons. That’s where I first met coal miners who, like so many of the men and women who make up West Virginia’s workforce, are hardworking, honest, and caring people. They took me in, fed me, and shared their personal stories with me. From then on, I promised West Virginians and our coal miners that I would always fight for them.

One of the most important steps we’ve taken in recent years, on behalf of the nation’s coal miners, has been the establishment of new rules to prevent Black Lung disease. Unfortunately, this debilitating and deadly disease, which some have considered a thing of the past, is again on the rise in coal mining communities, including those in West Virginia. The new rules, which I was proud to announce alongside Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez in Morgantown in April, will help save lives and improve the quality of life for current and future generations of miners.

Protecting our miners from Black Lung disease is a significant achievement that I have been fighting for, for several years. But, like so many of the workplace rights and protections that we enjoy today, it would not have been possible without the sacrifices of those who came before us. Well before I was elected to the Senate, West Virginia was ground zero in the battle to protect miners from Black Lung disease. Strikes by coal miners in West Virginia, along with their demands for safer, healthier conditions, were instrumental in pushing Congress to pass major legislation in 1969 that combats the disease and compensates miners who are suffering.

Such important milestones are what Labor Day is meant to celebrate – rights that were fought for, and won, by employees who joined together and said “enough is enough”.  Labor Day is also a reminder that we still have so much more to accomplish for our workers.  We can’t take for granted the rights they have, and we must always work together to strengthen and expand them for current and future generations of workers.  That’s one of the reasons I’m continuing to work on legislation to make sure that miners are treated fairly in the Black Lung claims process and they’re awarded the benefits they need and deserve.

During Labor Day weekend, I hope all West Virginians will join me in honoring the achievements and contributions of our workforce. One of the best ways to do this is to stand up for our workers and make sure we are giving them the protections they need and deserve.

Just as I promised the people of Emmons more than 50 years ago I would be a champion for them, I promise that I will continue to be a champion for all of West Virginia’s workers. Our world-class workforce deserves nothing less.

Ron Paul: Obama Has No Middle East Strategy? Good!

The Gilmer Free Press

Last week President Obama admitted that his administration has not worked out a strategy on how to deal with the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a dominant force in the Middle East. However, as ISIS continues its march through Syria and Iraq, many in the U.S. administration believe it is, in the words of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a threat “beyond anything we have ever seen.”
Predictably, the neocons attacked the president’s speech. They believe the solution to any problem is more bombs and troops on the ground, so they cannot understand the president’s hesitation.
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon made it clear that fighting ISIS is going to cost a lot more money and will bring U.S. forces back to Iraq for the third time. The post-Iraq, post-Afghanistan peace dividend disintegrates.

Mr. McKeon said last week:

ISIS is an urgent threat and a minimalist approach, that depends solely on FY15 funding or pinprick strikes that leave fragile forces in Iraq and Syria to do the hard fighting, is insufficient to protect our interests and guarantee our safety in time.

What does this mean in practice? If the neocons have their way, the Federal Reserve will “print” more money to finance another massive U.S. intervention in the Middle East. In reality this means further devaluation of the U.S. dollar, which is a tax on all Americans that will hit the poorest hardest.

A new U.S. military incursion will not end ISIS; it will provide them with the recruiting tool they most crave, while draining the U.S. treasury. Just what Osama bin Laden wanted!
McKeon and the other hawks act as if they had only recently become aware of the ISIS. Or if they noticed it, they pretend U.S. policy had nothing to do with its rise.
McKeon also said last week, “ISIS threat was allowed to build and fester over a period of time.”
In fact, U.S. regime change policy in Syria was directly responsible for the rise of ISIS over these past three years. As journalist Eric Margolis observed recently, the emergence of ISIS is the “mother of all blowback.” The neocons who want us to get tougher on ISIS, including a US attack on Syria, are the same ones who not long ago demanded that we support groups like ISIS to overthrow the Assad government in Syria. U.S.-trained and funded “moderates” from the Free Syrian Army joined the Islamist militias including ISIS, taking U.S. weapons and training with them.
Three years of supporting any force that might overthrow the secular government of President Assad has produced a new monster in the Middle East that neocons insist the U.S. must slay.
Why can’t they just admit they were wrong? Why can’t the interventionists just admit that their support for regime change in Syria was a terrible and tragic mistake?
If ISIS is as big a threat as they claim, why can’t they simply ask Assad to help out? Assad has never threatened the United States; ISIS has. Assad has been fighting ISIS and similar Islamist extremist groups for three years.
Why does the U.S. government insist on aligning with theocracies in the Middle East? If there is anything that contradicts the U.S. Constitution and American values it is a theocratic government. I do not believe that a majority in the Middle East wants to live under such a system, so why do we keep pushing it on them? Is that what they call promoting democracy?
A lack of strategy is a glimmer of hope. Perhaps the president will finally stop listening to the neocons and interventionists whose recommendations have gotten us into this mess in the first place! Here’s a strategy: just come home.

Flashback: What Happened on September 02, ....


•  1872 Shepherd College, a branch of the State Normal School opened in Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, under the direction of the following trustees: Dr. C. W. Andrews, Colonel Alexander R. Boteler, Samuel Knott, and Henry Shepherd. This later became Shepherd State College.

•  1912 Governor William Glasscock proclaimed martial law at Paint Creek and Cabin Creek on September 2, 1912 to put down striking coal miners, after a deputy sheriff was killed at Ronda.

•  1921 Federal troops arrived at St. Albans, Kanawha County and began trip up Coal River as fighting continued in Logan County. Bombs were dropped at Blair.

•  1983 The Charleston Charlies Triple-A baseball team played their last game in Charleston. The team was sold by owner Carl Seinfeldt to a group from Maine.

•  1992 A federal judge sentenced former Logan County Sheriff Earl Tomblin to fifteen months in prison and fined him $10,000 for bribing a public official.

•  1992 The State Supreme Court ruled that Republican Sam Cravotta of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, must be placed on the ballot to oppose Democrat incumbent Bob Wise of Charleston, Kanawha County, in the first First District race for the United States House of Representatives. Ron Foster had been elected in the Republican primary, but withdrew from the general election.

Ask the Doctor: Hepatitis Isn’t Always an Infection


DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am very worried about my 50-year-old daughter.
She’s hospitalized with hepatitis, which I thought always came from an infection.
My daughter’s hepatitis didn’t come from an infection.
It’s immune hepatitis.
Please tell me what this is and what it involves.
Is it deadly?
My daughter is the single mother of three children.
Her husband died in an auto accident three years ago.
I don’t know how I can take care of these children.
I am 85.
- M.M.

ANSWER: When people hear “hepatitis,“ they immediately think of viral infections of the liver - hepatitis A, B and C.
“Hepatitis” indicates liver inflammation and liver cell death.
Autoimmune hepatitis isn’t an infection.
The body’s immune system suddenly targets the liver as though it were a foreign invader and needs to be put out of commission.
Why this happens isn’t clear.
The immune system is one of our chief protections against invading germs and materials that do us harm.
Here, it has gone rogue and is bent on destroying the liver.
The signs and symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis are similar to hepatitis from infections and from other causes.
The person feels quite ill and must go to bed.
Jaundice is common.
Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
It indicates that the liver isn’t functioning.
Untreated, the mortality rate from autoimmune hepatitis is quite appalling.
It’s as high as 40%.
Treatment makes it a much less dangerous illness.
The 10-year survival rate of treated patients approaches 90%.
Your daughter’s chances of living a long life are quite good.
The cortisone drugs prednisone and prednisolone are the medicines used for controlling this malady, and they work well.
They calm the inflamed liver and put an end to its destruction.
Other medicines that rein in a misbehaving immune system are also available.
Your daughter’s chances for surviving and remaining her children’s caretaker are very high.

G-MM™: Meditation Moment - 09.02.14


Living with Purpose

Gracious God, at times my days run together into weeks, into months, into years without any conscious thought on my part. Then, suddenly, I come to myself in the space of a moment and realize how unaware and without purpose I have been. Yet, when I try to define my purpose, it seems strangely elusive. What did you have in mind when you breathed the breath of life into me? I ask that you will give me clarity of purpose; that you will reveal to me my own reason for existence; that you will give me the sure and certain assurance that even when I have lost track of myself and my life, your purpose, though unknown to me or forgotten by me, is still being lived out through me. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Margalene Mae Wright Johnson

The Gilmer Free Press

Margalene Mae Wright Johnson

Age 85 of Parkersburg, West Virginia, formerly of Grantsville, West Virginia, departed this life Sunday night August 31, 2014 in the Cedar Grove Assisted Living Facility, in Parkersburg, WV;  following an extended illness.

Born May 19, 1929 in Grantsville, WV, daughter of the late John and Scottie Plant Wright.

Margalene was a Baptist by faith.

She was a homemaker, and loved to attend all functions at the Grantsville Senior Citizens Center.

In 1951 she was united in marriage to Harold Johnson, who preceded her in death in September 2000.

Surviving is 1 daughter, Kathryn Ferrell and husband Russ of Surfside Beach, South Carolina, 2 grandchildren, Ruscee Ferrell and companion Michael Duckworth of Surfside Beach, SC, and Joshua Ferrell and companion Crystal Greathouse of Big Springs, West Virginia.

There are also 6 siblings surviving, Pat Pickens of Williamstown, West Virginia, Oleta Boyce and husband Cleon of Parkersburg, WV, Guenivere Lesley and husband Carl of South Carolina, Betty Westfall of Parkersburg, WV, Wayne Wright of Florida, and Jean Crispin and husband Ardell of North Carolina.

Along with her parents and husband Margalene was preceded in death by 1 sister, Juanita Richards.

At Margalene’s request her remains will be cremated and burial will be held at the discretion of her family.

Memorials may be made to the Cedar Grove Assisted Living Facility, 110 Nicolette Road, Parkersburg, WV, 26101 or the Grantsville Senior Citizens Center, Market St, Grantsville, WV 26147.

Ellyson Mortuary Inc., Glenville, West Virginia is honored and privileged to serve th,e family of Margalene Mae Wright Johnson.

Gail Collins Hardbarger

The Gilmer Free Press

Gail Collins Hardbarger

Age 96, of Harrisville, WV, departed this life on August 30, 2014, at Camden Clark Medical Center, Parkersburg.

She was born March 10, 1918, at Prunty, WV, the daughter of the late Alvin and Hattie Ash Collins.

Gail was a devoted homemaker and was a seamstress for 26 years at the former Economy Industries.

She was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church.

She enjoyed gardening and flowers, and loved music and to dance.

She is survived by children, Leon Hardbarger, Leavittsburg, Ohio, Frances Lockaby, Canton, Ohio, Wilma Ross, Harrisville, WV, Dorothy Cowan (Jack), Massillon, Ohio, Harold Hardbarger (Alice), Harrisville, WV, Edna Saunders, Ashland, Ohio, Rella Ankrom, St. Marys, WV, Melvin Hardbarger (Melanie), Canton, Ohio, and Carolynn Hodge (David), Harrisville, WV; 19 grandchildren; and several great- and great-great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Howard Blaine Hardbarger; two sons, Charles and Loran Hardbarger; brothers, Jessie, Wayne, Marion and Delford Collins; sister, Bertha Hardbarger; two infant sisters; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services will be 11 AM Wednesday at Raiguel Funeral Home, Harrisville, WV, with burial to follow in Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Friends may call from 4-8 PM Tuesday at the funeral home and after 9 AM on the day of the service.


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