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WV’s 2017-2018 Seasons Set for Mourning Dove, Woodcock, Common Snipe, Sora and Virginia Rails

West Virginia’s 2017-2018 hunting season dates and bag limits for mourning dove, woodcock, common snipe and sora and Virginia rails have been set. These seasons are set within the annual guidelines established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Species

Dates

Daily Limit

Possession Limit

 Mourning Dove
 (3-way split)

September 01 – October 14
October 30 – November 18
December 18 – January 12

15

45

 Woodcock
 (2-way split)

October 14 – November 18
November 27 – December 05

3

9

 Common Snipe

September 01 – December 16

8

16

 Sora & Virginia Rails

September 01 – November 9

25

25

The dove season is split into three segments with this first segment running from September 01 to October 14. Shooting hours on September 01 are noon to sunset. For the remainder of the season, it is one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is 15 birds.
 
The woodcock season is split into two segments. Both the snipe and rail seasons are a single segment. Shooting hours for woodcock, snipe and rails are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
 
All licensed migratory bird hunters, including lifetime license holders and senior citizens, must have a valid Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration card. HIP cards are available online at www.wvhunt.com and license agents.
 
“All harvested, banded birds should be reported online at www.reportband.gov because the 1.800 phone number has been discontinued,” said Mike Peters, game bird biologist for the Division of Natural Resources (DNR). “Biologists use the reported band information to help set hunting regulations, so it is vital to report harvested banded birds.”
 
West Virginia’s 2017-2018 Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations brochure is available online at www.wvdnr.gov. Printed copies will be available in late August at license agents and at DNR offices.

Packed Lunches: Cutting Corners, But Not Food Safety

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As a working mom of four boys, ages 8 and under, I’m asked on a near-daily basis: “how do you DO it?!” It’s a carefully orchestrated dance: keeping my family fed, healthy, dropped off at school and daycare at the appropriate times, with their respective accompaniments, whether homework, snacks or lunches. And then in the evening, allowing opportunity to focus on homework and dinner, without sacrificing quality family time. Making this happen on a daily basis takes a keen attention to detail, a little luck and some advanced planning.

I’m game to try anything to help our daily routine run smoothly, and will cut any corners I can. However, one corner I won’t cut is safe food handling and preparation. Because let’s face it—a houseful of children in the throes of foodborne illness is no one’s idea of a good time.


Advanced Planning

To keep our household running as efficiently as possible, I prep the boys’ lunches a few days in advance. I pre-portion snack size bags of baby carrots for two to three meals and place those in the fridge with the other vegetables. On a clean and separate cutting board, I make enough ham sandwiches for two to three lunches. The prepped sandwiches go back into the fridge in a designated spot.


The Morning Of

In the morning, I pack each soft-sided cooler lunch bag with a napkin, cold sandwich, cold baggie of carrots, any other non-perishable sides and either a frozen water bottle or a frozen tube of yogurt. I also slide an ice pack on top of the lunch contents so each bag has two cold sources that keep the contents out of the Danger Zone (temperatures between 40°F and 140°F at which bacteria grows most rapidly) until lunch time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has great resources on safe food handling, particularly for bag lunches.


After Lunch

We’ve taught our boys to throw out their leftovers and not eat anything from their lunches later in the day. When they arrive home from school, they promptly discard anything that didn’t make it into the trash can in the cafeteria. I wipe out their lunch bags with a disinfectant wipe and leave to air dry overnight. 

By prepping a few days of lunches in a session, I save quite a bit of time. Mornings run smoother because there’s no shuffling and rummaging for something to eat. Knowing that the food was safely prepared, stored and packed in their lunch boxes gives me the peace of mind that I’ve reduced the risk of foodborne illness in my kids, while carving out a little more quality time to spend with them in the evenings.

Good Credit Practices Among Students

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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminds college students to make wise choices when using credit cards this upcoming school year.

Many take the opportunity to sign up for their first credit card to establish credit and for convenience.

“Credit cards are an easy and convenient method of payment,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “However, it’s important to manage them properly so your financial and credit history isn’t damaged.”

Students who may have difficulty attaining approval based on credit history can open an account with a small limit and pay the balance as soon as possible.

Additionally, co-signers may be necessary for students under 21 and without an income. Becoming an authorized user on a parent’s account is another option. Both provide extra monitoring that reduces the risk of the student accruing unmanageable debt.

Students should use credit cards responsibly and only when necessary, establish a budget, monitor usage, pay the required balance each month and know all expenses and fees.

Also, students should be aware of the fine print and any penalties associated with late or missed payments.

Billing statements should be shredded and card information kept in a secure location.

The Attorney General’s Office issues this advice as part of its fourth annual Off to College Consumer Protection Week.  To learn about consumer protection efforts in West Virginia, visit http://www.ago.wv.gov/consumerprotection.

Anyone with questions should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at http://www.wvago.gov.

Parkersburg Homecoming Fireworks 08.19.17, Includes Blennerhassett Island State Park Events

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Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park is offering two ways to enjoy the Parkersburg Homecoming Fireworks on August 19, 2017. Guests may watch the fireworks from the park or from the Island Belle sternwheeler.

Those who wish to watch fireworks from the park’s riverbank seating area can take a Family Fireworks Adventure to Blennerhassett Island. Guests will be transported to the park at sunset from Civitan Park in Belpre, Ohio. The island snack stand, gift shop and restrooms will be open all evening. No alcohol is permitted. Boarding begins at 7:45 p.m., and passengers will be transported back to Civitan Park following the fireworks at 11 p.m. The Family Fireworks Adventure fee is $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3 to 12. Reservations are required.

“Adventurers are encouraged to bring a flashlight and a lawn chair or blanket and join the fun,” said event coordinator Pam Salisbury.

A Family Fireworks Cruise allows guest to watch fireworks from the Island Belle sternwheeler. Boarding is at Civitan Park at 8:15 p.m. Passengers will cruise along the Ohio River, enjoy the sunset over Blennerhassett Island and finish the evening by watching the fireworks extravaganza. Light concessions will be available on the boat. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $18 for children ages 3 to 12. The Island Belle will return to Civitan Park between 10:30 and 11 p.m. Reservations are required. Passengers will remain on the sternwheeler and will not stop or unload on the island.

To purchase tickets for Family Fireworks Adventure or Cruise, call 304.420.4800 or email “blennerhassettislandsp@wv.gov”.
Related social media hashtag: #wvstateparks

West Virginia News

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►  West Virginia medical marijuana program board set to meet

A board that will help develop a medical marijuana program in West Virginia is holding its first meeting.

The advisory board is set to meet Wednesday at the University of Charleston. Among the topics for discussion is a work plan for the program’s first year. The meeting is open to the public and will include a comment period.

Governor Jim Justice signed a law April 19 making West Virginia the 29th state to allow the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions.

The law permits doctors to recommend marijuana be used for medicinal purposes and establishes a regulatory system. The law states that no patient or caregiver ID cards will be issued until July 2019.


►  West Virginia county to allow students out early for eclipse

Students in at least one West Virginia county will be allowed to get out of school early to watch next week’s solar eclipse.

Cabell County Schools Superintendent Ryan Saxe said at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday that parents will be allowed to pick up students up to one hour early next Monday as an excused absence. The county’s school system will operate on a regular schedule that day.

A small part of the United States will experience a total solar eclipse. About 90 percent of the sun will be covered in West Virginia. The eclipse will peak about 2:33 p.m. locally. That’s around the time most elementary schools in Cabell County begin dismissing for the day.

Some schools have eclipse glasses for distribution to students.


►  “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to get into that”

On June 14, at the most frustrating point of a long slog to pass a state budget in special session, Governor Jim Justice invited reporters in for one-on-one interviews about the situation.

The state Senate had just abandoned Justice’s preferred revenue plan and passed a budget with cuts to higher education and Medicaid.

Justice generally blamed Democrats, then the members of his own party and in the minority of both the House and Senate, for failing to generate enough votes to pass his proposal.

One at a time, reporters visited the governor’s office. Chief of Staff Nick Casey and spokesman Grant Herring — now both departed after the governor’s party switch this month — sat in on the discussions.

In each interview, the governor told a version of Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” in which Justice was a fisherman struggling to get a prize catch — the budget plan — into his boat. But, he said, Democrats cut the line.

Late in the interview with MetroNews, Justice was asked if he was frustrated enough to switch parties.

At the time, he blamed both Republicans and Democrats. He said he did not want to consider a party switch at the moment, saying he had too much on his plate. But he didn’t rule it out either.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to get into that. You know, I have real issues with what the Republicans are doing as well,” Justice said then.

“All I’m saying from the Democrats’ standpoint is, to stand back and say ‘Well, we can’t do anything because we’re the minority and the majority really and truly rules the day,’ well in this situation the majority really wasn’t ruling the day. They had the key to Emerald City, and that was horribly disappointing to me. And that was horribly disappointing to me.

“But as far as switching parties, doing this and that and everything, I’ve got real issues going on with both sides of the coin on that.”

This August 03, at a rally for Donald Trump in Huntington, Justice announced that he would, in fact, switch parties.

“With lots of prayers and lots of thoughts, today I tell you as West Virginians I can’t help you any more being a Democratic governor,” Justice announced to cheers. “So tomorrow, I will be changing my registration to Republican.”

Justice said he drew inspiration from Trump, with whom he is close.

And he again blamed legislative Democrats, taking a similar line to what he’d stated two months earlier, but this time leaving out criticism for Republicans.

“Let me just say it as bluntly as I can say it. West Virginia, at the altar when we had it done — like it or not like it — the Democrats walked away from me,” he said.

The day after that, August 04, in an appearance on MetroNews’ “Talkline,” Justice said he told chief of staff Nick Casey — a former state Democratic chairman — as far back as a month earlier that he was planning to make a party change.

Justice, however, said he had hired his staff based on their skillset rather than party affiliation. He said those who felt comfortable staying could stay.

Then this Monday at midday, Justice called Casey to fire him. Justice alluded to disappointment over what happened in the Legislative session, but Casey has now said several times it was all about party affiliation.

Casey, in an email sent today, confirmed that the governor had talked of a party switch weeks ago but didn’t firm up the decision until it was announced at the Trump rally.

“He talked about it both during and after the session,” Casey wrote in the email.

Casey added, “He talked about it but never took action until that Trump for America rally.”


►  West Virginia leaders come out against Charlottesville violence

Governor Jim Justice and the state’s United States Senate delegation condemned the violence in Charlottesville, Va. that occurred over the weekend.

“The tragic events that took place in Charlottesville are deplorable and totally unacceptable” Justice said in a statement released Sunday, August 13. “There is no place for hatred and bigotry in our society. Three people lost their lives and many others were injured, and that’s heartbreaking. We will not tolerate violence like that here.“

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV, and U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV, also released statements about the incidents that left three people dead.

“Gayle and I extend our deepest sympathies to those who lost their lives this weekend in Charlottesville,“ Manchin said. Heather Heyer died standing up against the forces of evil and hatred, and Troopers (Berke M.M.) Bates and (H. Jay) Cullen died serving the highest ideals of their community, state, and country. I condemn in the strongest possible way the hatred and bigotry carried out by white supremacists this weekend.

“This hateful ideology has always contradicted the very foundation our country was built on,“. I denounce white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis, their ideologies and their allies. West Virginia was founded in the fight against slavery, and I know my neighbors join me in denouncing cowardly acts meant to divide our country with bigotry and hatred.”

Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 other people injured on Saturday, August 12, when a man attending a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville drove his car into a crowd of people protesting the rally. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the incident.

Bates and Cullen were flying to the scene of the rally on Saturday afternoon when their helicopter crashed, killing both men.

“The hate and violence expressed by Neo-Nazis and other white nationalists groups in Charlottesville this weekend has absolutely no place in America,“ Capito said in a statement. “This tragedy was domestic terrorism and should be treated as such. It is incumbent upon all of us to reject this type of racism and bigotry.”

In Charleston, dozens of people attended a vigil at the state capitol complex in Charleston to show support for those opposing the white nationalists in Charlottesville, and to call for the removal of a statue of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson from the state capitol grounds. Jackson was born in Clarksburg.


►  Geocaching for the Mothman, August 19-20

Geocache fans will be swarming to Point Pleasant next week for the annual Mothman Geotrail event, set for August 19 – 20.

The event begins with a night trail Friday at the West Virginia State Farm Museum, and ends Saturday evening after a day of geocaching in downtown Point Pleasant.

Starting Friday at 9 p.m. at the farm museum, the night trail will go into TNT along the Mothman Trail, where several geocaches have been stationed. This event will offer participants a special geocoin, one of two available at this year’s event. After the night trail, event members will be invited to the Coffee Grinder on Main Street at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, will be CITO, which stands for cache in, trash out. This will have geocachers picking up trash in downtown Point to help give back to the community. The main event will start at the Riverfront Park at 10:30 a.m., with the Daytime Trail kicking off at noon. A special geocoin will also be given out to those completing this trail as well, with 200 in total being given out for the event.

Preregistration is also available, with a variety of packages available. Admission is free, however packages range up to $145 including meal tickets, VIP specific geocoins, special access, and many other items. A basic package starts at $8 including admission to the Mothman Museum and a nametag.

To sign up for the event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mothman-geotrail-2017-tickets-32658811384?aff=erelexpmlt#tickets or visit their Facebook Page by searching “MothMan GeoTrail 2017”.

This event is organized by Jacob Farley, a student at Point Pleasant High School who is a fan of geocaching.

“It takes you places you never knew were in your hometown,” said Farley. “I’ve found a lot of really awesome places.”

He and his family organized the Mothman Geotrail last year, which saw 300 people come from out of town for the event. Mason County Tourism Director Denny Bellamy explained that this group was one of the first to be surveyed for tourism purposes. He explained that they all came from out of town, enjoyed the city and community, and spent money in the local economy.

“Why not do something fun in Point Pleasant? Other places do it, so why not here?” Stated Farley.


►  Report Harvested Banded Game Birds to USGS Bird Banding Laboratory

Hunters who harvest leg-banded game birds should report them online at www.reportband.gov. The United States Geological Survey’s Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL), the federal agency in charge of overseeing all migratory bird banding, has discontinued the 1.800 number used to report banded birds.

“While this band-reporting method has been discontinued, bands inscribed with the 1-800 number could be encountered for several years,” said Mike Peters, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) game bird biologist. “We ask hunters to continue to report those bands through the website because we still need the valuable information those bands provide.”

If the 1.800 number is called, an automated answering system will direct callers to report the band through the www.reportband.gov website.

Bands can still be reported by mail to: Bird Banding Lab, 12100 Beach Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708. Hunters must provide their contact information and the leg-band number, and indicate when and where the bird was harvested. Hunters can keep the band.

Migratory bird biologists from state and federal wildlife agencies use banding data to develop models to predict harvest impacts and understand environmental factors affecting migratory bird populations. These models are used to set annual migratory game bird regulations, including season lengths and bag limits.

“We rely heavily on hunter cooperation in reporting banded birds to help in their management, and we thank them for their continued support in this effort,” Peters said.


►  Hearings in September on West Virginia power station plan

The public will have a chance to comment on two power companies’ proposal to purchase the Pleasants Power Station in West Virginia from Allegheny Energy Supply.

The Public Service Commission is holding three hearings next month. The first will be September 06 in Parkersburg, followed by September 11 in Martinsburg and September 12 in Morgantown. An evidentiary hearing on the $195 million deal will be September 26 to 28 in Charleston.

Monongahela Power Co. and the Potomac Edison Co. propose purchasing the coal-fired plant, which is located on the Ohio River near Belmont, northeast of Parkersburg.

Did You Know?

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WHAT CHARLOTTESVILLE MOTHER SAID ABOUT FALLEN DAUGHTER

The mother of the young woman mowed down while protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, urges mourners to “make my daughter’s death worthwhile” by confronting injustice the way she did.


WHERE FOUR CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS WERE QUIETLY REMOVED

Baltimore dismantles four Confederacy-related monuments, as similar ones around the U.S. are vandalized or set for removal.


HOW TRUMP’S CORPORATE COUNCILS DISBANDED

Donald Trump abolished two of his White House business councils- the latest fallout from his combative comments on racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump’s relationship with business leaders was already fraught.


WHO THE ANTIFA COUNTERPROTESTERS ARE

The anti-fascist movement’s members, often wearing black clothing and bandannas, have been a regular presence at protests around the U.S. in the last year.


WHY TRUMP’S SUPPORTERS STILL BACK HIM

Trump’s unflinchingly loyal base says his handling of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville has not lessened their support.


WHY MINORITIES FIND TRUMP’S REMARKS TROUBLING

Many say President Trump’s response to the violence only fanned racial flames, and revived a painful past for minorities and the activists who once led the civil rights movement.


WHO’S MORE TRUSTED THAN TRUMP AROUND THE WORLD

Vladimir Putin is more trusted than the president to do the right thing for the world among citizens of numerous U.S. allies, including Japan, South Korea and seven European NATO members, according to a new survey.


EXPRESS SCRIPTS TO LIMIT OPIOIDS

The nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager will limit the number and strength of opioid drugs prescribed to first-time users as part of an effort to curb an epidemic affecting millions of Americans.


HOW JAPANESE WORKERS REVERE AUTOMATION

The debate over machines snatching jobs from people is muted in Japan, where birth rates have been sinking for decades, raising fears of a labor shortage.


SONG OF SILENCE QUIETLY TOPS CHARTS

An unusual tune has found its way onto the top 50 on the iTunes chart. “A a a a a Very Good Song” costs 99 cents for just under 10 minutes of dead air. It’s designed to be the first song that a car stereo automatically plays when you plug in your smartphone.

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Wine-Singleton Reunion

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Please bring a covered dish and join us.

Lunch served at Noon.

Burnsville Community Building.


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The Gilmer County Board of Education Office will be moving to 454 VanHorn Drive on August 21, 2017.

There may be an interruption in telephone and internet service on August 18 and August 21 while the technology transition is made.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please feel free to contact the Gilmer County Board Office at 304.462.7386 prior to August 18 or after August 21 should you have questions or need directions to the new office.

Thank you in advance for your patience and support.




An Uber engineer secretly texted former chief executive Travis Kalanick about Elon Musk, saying: “We’ve got to start calling Elon on his s—-. I’m not on social media but let’s start ‘faketesla’ and start give physics lessons about stupid s—- Elon says”

The texts related to Musk’s comments about self-driving cars and emerged during Uber’s legal battle with Google’s Waymo.


More tech firms are refusing service to white supremacists, after the violent march at Charlottesville in the U.S.

PayPal has pulled its payment services from neo-Nazi sites, while WordPress banned the site of a fascist group, according to Fast Company.


Amazon has launched a better version of the vending machine with a new service called Amazon Pickup

Customers can order essentials like phone chargers, snacks, and drinks, and pick them up from a physical location within minutes.


Uber shareholder Shervin Pishevar has claimed another investor, Benchmark Capital, wants to get rid of advisor Arianna Huffington, who has been the firm’s public face since chief executive Travis Kalanick stepped down

In a letter obtained by Axios, Pishevar wrote that Benchmark had made “quite derogatory comments” about Huffington.


The British security researcher arrested for allegedly creating the Kronos banking malware, Marcus Hutchins, is back online under his Twitter handle MalwareTech and making jokes about his arrest

Hutchins has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was originally barred from using the internet.


Microsoft bought a cloud computing firm called Cycle Computing to take on Amazon’s AWS

The firm lets companies run large-scale computing jobs across multiple clouds.


The man in charge of Netflix’s content, Ted Sarandos, has bashed Amazon’s efforts in film saying: “I frankly don’t understand their strategy”

He made the comment based on the fact that Amazon sticks to a traditional “windowing” strategy with film, whereas Netflix releases come out at the same time they’re in theaters.


Bill Gates gave away his biggest wad of money since 2000, with a $1.46 billion donation

A filing revealed the donation, which equates to 5% of his fortune, but not where it will go.


Ex-Googler and former chief scientist at Baidu Andrew Ng is raising his own AI fund

Ng is raising $150 million.


Trump launched another attack on Amazon, this time claiming it was “doing great damage” to “tax paying retailers”

The firm’s stock fell 0.5% in pre-market trading after the tweet.

ETC.

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  • The double down. A day after bipartisan political pressure prompted Trump to speak out against white supremacy and clarify his initial statement blaming “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Trump on Tuesday returned to his original stance, adding that he believed there were “very fine people on both sides.”    The New York Times

  • Trump, the pugilist, goes off the prompter.  National Review

  • ‘Rhetorical ricochet’ offers insights into Trump’s character.    The Washington Post

  • Impeach-o-meter: 65%  Slate

  • A documentary goes behind the hate with cameras embedded among the torches.  Vice


  • Maybe Next Time Stick to the Notes:  Trump lost his #### so badly he may never get it back.    ESQUIRE


  • AFL-CIO president, business leaders quit Trump’s advisory councils:  Donald Trump on Tuesday ripped into business leaders who resigned from his White House jobs panel — the latest sign that corporate America’s romance with Trump is faltering — after his equivocal response to violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia… After his remarks, a fifth member of his manufacturing panel resigned: AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who said in a statement, ‘We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism.‘”    Associated Press


  • Lincoln Memorial vandalized with profanity:    “The vandals appear to have used red spray paint to write ‘[expletive] law’ early on Tuesday morning, the National Park Service said in a statement… U.S. Civil War memorials have become a lightning rod in the US race debate. Other ‘undecipherable graffiti’ was found written in silver paint on a nearby sign directing tourists to the Smithsonian Institution on Washington’s National Mall public park. President Lincoln led the northern Union government to defeat the secessionist Confederacy and ordered African-American slaves to be freed in 1863. He was assassinated in Washington only five days after southern General Robert E Lee surrendered, effectively ending the war.”    BBC


  • Back to Charlottesville. Don’t be surprised Jeff Sessions is taking the prosecution of the suspect in Charlottesville killing seriously.  Buzzfeed

  • Sessions embraces role.  Politico

  • Backed by police unions, legislators stand by laws to protect drivers who kill protesters.  The Intercept

 




New School Year Brings Over 400 New and Transfer Students to Buckhannon

The Free Press WV

More than 400 new and transfer students are set to arrive on West Virginia Wesleyan College’s campus on Saturday, August 19 for orientation activities.

Students will arrive on campus August 19 for check-in beginning at 8 a.m. for Orientation. The College will also be hosting its BOOT Camp (Bobcat Outdoor Orientation Trip) activities at Seneca Rocks.  This is the sixth year for the Bobcat Orientation Outdoor Trip.  The trip runs from August 15 to August 17 and includes opportunities for rock climbing, canoeing, hiking, caving, cave floating/swimming, and team building exercises.

During Orientation, students will move in to their new residence halls and participate in numerous campus activities, including the Bobcat Street Fair, which includes over 30 businesses from the Buckhannon area to welcome Wesleyan students to town.  President Joel Thierstein will welcome students and their families at a picnic lunch on the Agnes Howard Lawn from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The afternoon brings many more activities for students and parents.  Line-up for the New Student Walk will begin at 3 p.m. in front of the Administration Building, and new students will process to opening convocation, which begins at 3 p.m. in Wesley Chapel.  Following the service, families are welcome to join their students for a final campus picnic from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Campus Center Plaza before saying their farewells.

“We are so excited to welcome over 400 new undergraduate students for Orientation 2017,” stated John Waltz ’01, vice president for enrollment management.  “This class hails from 21 states and nine countries and has talents in the arts, athletics, service and leadership, and in many other areas.  They come eager to learn with tremendous academic preparedness.  Fifty-eight percent of the class has a 3.5GPA or higher, and over half of our West Virginia students are Promise Scholars.  I am thankful for the work of the enrollment team and campus community in welcoming this incredible group of students.”

Classes begin Monday, August 21.

For more information, please contact the Office of Admissions at 304.473.8510 or 800.722.9933.

National News

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►  Charlottesville victim’s mother: Channel anger into action

The mother of a woman killed while protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville urged mourners at a memorial service Wednesday to “make my daughter’s death worthwhile” by confronting injustice and channeling “anger into righteous action,” stirring applause from the hundreds of people who packed into a downtown theater wearing the victim’s favorite color, purple.

“They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her,” said Susan Bro, pointing a defiant finger as her audience gave her a standing ovation.

The white nationalists who had pledged to show up and potentially disrupt services for Heather Heyer were nowhere to be seen among the residents, clergy people and out-of-town tourists who gathered outside the Paramount Theatre to remember her.

Heyer was among the hundreds of protesters who had gathered Saturday in Charlottesville to decry what was believed to be the largest gathering of white nationalists in a decade — including neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members. They descended on the city for a rally prompted by the city’s decision to remove a Confederate monument.

Counter-protesters had converged for a march along a downtown street when suddenly a Dodge Challenger barreled into them, hurling people into the air. The Ohio man who police say was driving, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., was described by a former high school teacher as an admirer of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. He was quickly taken into custody and has been charged with second-degree murder and other counts.

Heyer’s family members and friends said her death would only inspire them to fight harder for justice.

“This is not the end of Heather’s legacy,” Bro said. “It was just the beginning of Heather’s legacy.”

Bro urged those who wanted to honor her daughter to “find in your heart that small spark of accountability.”

“You poke that finger at yourself like Heather would have done, and you make it happen,” she said. “”You take that extra step and you find a way to make a difference in the world!”

Heyer’s grandfather said his 32-year-old granddaughter always wanted fairness, even from a young age.

Elwood Shrader said Heyer showed her passion for equality and swiftly called out something that wasn’t right. He said she wanted respect for everyone and believed “all lives matter.”

Mark Heyer, her father, said his daughter wanted to “put down hate.”

Donald Trump tweeted for the first time Wednesday about Heyer, calling her “beautiful and incredible” and a “truly special young woman.” He said “she will be long remembered by all!”

Trump told reporters Tuesday that he planned to reach out to Heyer’s family. The White House did not respond to questions Wednesday about whether Trump has contacted Heyer’s family.

Heyer was a Charlottesville resident and legal assistant. She grew up in nearby Greene County and worked as a legal assistant at a law firm. Her boss, Larry Miller, said the young woman was active in the firm’s bankruptcy practice and was like a family member to him.

“She’s very compassionate, she’s very precise, got a big heart,” Miller said. “She wants to make sure that things are right. She cares about the people that we take care of.”

Also killed Saturday were two Virginia State Police troopers who were aboard a helicopter that was providing video of the event before it broke off to lend support to a motorcade for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. The helicopter crashed outside of Charlottesville. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

A funeral for Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates has been set for Friday and a funeral for Lt. H. Jay Cullen, the helicopter’s pilot, is scheduled for Saturday.


►  Report: Higher premiums if Trump halts ‘Obamacare’ subsidies

Premiums for a popular type of individual health plan would rise sharply, and more people would be left with no insurance options if Donald Trump makes good on his threat to stop “Obamacare” payments to insurers, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

The nonpartisan number crunchers also estimated that cutting off payments that now reduce copays and deductibles for people of modest incomes would add $194 billion to federal deficits over a decade. That head-scratching outcome is because a different Affordable Care Act subsidy would automatically increase as premiums jump, more than wiping out any savings.

“Ending the payments to insurers would introduce more chaos into an unsettled market, and perversely end up costing the federal government more in the end,“ said Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan group that found similar results.

At issue are the ACA’s “cost-sharing” payments, totaling about $7 billion this year, which reimburse insurers for subsidizing out-of-pocket costs for people with modest incomes.

It’s a financial break that can cut a deductible of $3,500 down to a few hundred dollars. Nearly 3 in 5 HealthCare.gov customers qualify for cost-sharing help, an estimated 6 million people or more. But the money is under a legal cloud because of a dispute over whether the Obama-era law properly authorized the payments. Trump has been threatening to end the monthly payments.

The 14-page report lays out consequences if that happens, some counterintuitive:

— Consumers who now qualify for tax credits to offset their monthly premiums would be largely shielded from the estimated 20 percent jump in the cost of a standard “silver” plan, because of the automatic increase in the ACA’s premium subsidies. Solid middle-class households who make too much to receive help for premiums could avoid a big hit by looking for coverage outside the government marketplace.

— Depending on factors like their income and age, some subsidized customers would be able to take their higher premium tax credits and buy a generous “gold” level plan for about the same money, or a skimpy “bronze” plan for much less or nothing.

— Some insurers would decide to exit the market rather than re-jigger premiums for 2018 at the last minute. That would leave areas of the country that are home to about 16 million people with no insurers on the health care marketplace for individual policies. Rural communities are at greater risk.

—About 1 million people would become uninsured right away, but within a few years that slippage would reverse and more people would be covered.

The White House immediately dismissed the report, saying that the president is still weighing options. Insurance industry groups say they have seen no sign that payments due at the end of August will be halted.

“Regardless of what this flawed report says, Obamacare will continue to fail with or without a federal bailout,“ White House spokesman Ninio Fetalvo said in a statement.

No final decisions have been made about the payments and “we continue to evaluate the issues,“ he said.

Insurers say they need a decision from the government now, before they lock down their rates for 2018.

Leading Republican lawmakers have called for continuing the payments, at least temporarily, to ensure market stability. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is working on such legislation. He and the top Democrat on the committee, Senator Patty Murray of Washington, plan bipartisan hearings.

For months, Trump has been raising the prospect of terminating payments as a way to trigger a crisis and get Democrats to negotiate on a health care bill.

After the GOP drive to repeal “Obamacare” collapsed, the president tweeted: “As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!“

Trump elaborated in another tweet, “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies…will end very soon!“

The subsidies are snared in a legal dispute over whether the Obama health care law properly approved the payments to insurers. Adding to the confusion, other parts of the law clearly direct the government to reimburse the carriers.

The disagreement is over whether the law properly provided a congressional “appropriation,“ similar to an instruction for the Treasury to pay the money. The Constitution says the government shall not spend money unless Congress appropriates it.

House Republicans trying to thwart the ACA sued the Obama administration in federal court in Washington, arguing that the law lacked specific language appropriating the cost-sharing subsidies.

A district court judge agreed with House Republicans, and the case has been on hold before the U.S. appeals court in Washington.


►  Driver isn’t the only one who should lawyer up

All law students taking a First Amendment course, or even a constitutional law survey course, learn the rule of Brandenburg v. Ohio, a case that grew out of a 1964 Ku Klux Klan rally near Cincinnati. The defendant, Clarence Brandenburg, was convicted under a Buckeye State statute aimed originally at criminalizing communist conduct.

Five years later, when the case found its way to the Supreme Court, the per curiam opinion struck down the Ohio law, holding “that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.“

The Commonwealth of Virginia is, of course, governed by Brandenburg and also has a felony homicide statute that provides that the “killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act other than those specified in [sections] 18.2-31 and 18.2-32, is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five years nor more than 40 years.“

From far away in California, and after a day of air travel during which I observed the events in Charlottesville only in bits and pieces, in snatches online and two minute reports from gates, it seems to me that a great number of people are at risk of being charged with felony homicide beyond the driver of the car that killed one person during Saturday’s protests.

Anyone who incited the driver, indeed anyone whose actions obliged the state troopers to be airborne in defense of the public’s safety, should lawyer up.

And that’s a good thing.

I celebrate Brandenburg when I teach it each year. The speech at the core of that case was every bit as odious as that used by the bigots in Charlottesville this weekend. But those bigots in 1964 lacked the present ability to incite violence. Those in Charlottesville had that ability to incite violence, and they used it. Now three are dead, including two state troopers. Others are severely injured. The investigation should be careful and professional but also resolute. Lots of people should be charged if they contributed to the mayhem that led to these deaths.

Only when criminals are held responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their hatred and the violence they incite will the peddlers of bigotry and barely disguised violence coursing through the country reconsider their assumed immunity from consequence.


►  Judge blocks 176-million ton coal mine expansion in Montana

A federal judge has blocked a proposed 176-million ton expansion of a central Montana coal mine in a ruling that criticized U.S. officials for downplaying the climate change impacts of the project and inflating its economic benefits.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy issued an order Monday barring Signal Peak Energy from mining in the 11-square mile expansion area at the Bull Mountain coal mine pending a new round of environmental studies.

Molloy says the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining must consider the environmental effects of shipping the fuel to customers in Asia and from the greenhouse gases and other pollutants emitted when the fuel is burned to generate electricity.

Courts in Colorado and Montana previously have issued similar rulings about greenhouse gas emissions from mine expansions. In those cases, the expansions ultimately were allowed to proceed following further environmental revieMoves to national green + business wires. s.

Molloy’s ruling stems from a 2015 lawsuit filed by the Montana Environmental Information Center, Sierra Club and Montana Elders for a Livable Tomorrow. The groups argued that the government did not look closely enough at the effects of the expansion on waterways, air pollution and the health of people who live along the coal’s shipping routes.

A Signal Peak spokesman said Tuesday that the company was reviewing the ruling, which was not expected to immediately affect operations.

Federal mining officials said the proposed expansion would contribute almost $24 million annually in tax revenues.

They also said there would be no additional environmental impacts from burning more coal from Bull Mountain because its customers would simply go somewhere else if the expansion were not approved.

But Molloy rejected the claim.

“This conclusion is illogical, and places the (Interior Department’s) thumb on the scale by inflating the benefits of the action while minimizing its impacts,“ the judge wrote.

A representative of one of the plaintiffs in the case, the Montana Environmental Information Center, said Molloy’s ruling underscores the need to address the “real costs that are hidden in the fossil fuel world.“

“It doesn’t help (mine) workers to ignore the inevitable — that coal is on a downward slide whether it’s in this country or overseas,“ said the group’s deputy director, Anne Hedges.

Bull Mountain, located near Roundup, is a major employer in central Montana with more than 250 workers at the underground mine and a coal preparation plant on the site. As much as 95 percent of its coal has been exported in past years, to South Korea, Japan and the Netherlands, according to court volumes.

The mine’s production volumes dropped sharply in recent years as overseas coal markets have been in decline. Signal Peak extracted 5.6 million tons of coal last year, down by 35 percent since peaking at 8.7 million tons in 2013, according to company filings with the U.S. Mine Health and Safety Administration.

Under the proposed expansion, the company anticipated mining up to 12 million tons annually.

Office of Surface Mining spokesman Chris Holmes referred questions on the ruling to the Department of Justice, where a spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


►  Grab your bonnet and musket: It’s a 19th-century getaway

Perhaps it was the intrigue of a straw bed or the chance to finally shoot a gun, but when asked to spend a night living like a farmer in the 19th century, I jumped at the opportunity.

I like to think I’m always up for adventure — I’ve taken overnight trains across India and smoked Cuban cigars in Havana. So this experience sounded fun in a campy sort of way. But I soon learned I was hardly cut out for old-timey life — in short, it was hard.

I wrangled a friend, who packed a cooler of wine, and we set out for Old Sturbridge Village, a living museum that recreates rural New England life from 1790 to 1830. It’s a place where chickens run freely, men wear tall hats and women don bonnets. Costumed pioneers greet visitors with a hale and hearty “Good day!”

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We were part a program, called “Boarding with the Bixbys,” where guests stay overnight in a house built in 1808 and once owned by the Bixby family in Barre, Massachusetts. It was later donated to Old Sturbridge Village and moved the 25 miles (40 km) there more than a century later.

The $325-per-person cost to board with the Bixbys includes a night in one of the home’s three straw beds and food. Many furnishings and structural details are exactly as they were when the Bixbys inhabited the wooden house.

The museum’s costume seamstress fitted me with a floor-length cotton skirt, petticoat and long-sleeved blouse.

None of the fabrics matched, she explained, because people of that era used whatever they had. The clothes were utilitarian. Clothing was meant to protect the skin from a day’s labor in the sun and from biting bugs.

I was given two bonnets — a petite version for indoors and a wide-brimmed beast that inhibited peripheral vision in the same way blinders do on a horse. Any modern accoutrements I had packed — my iPhone, flip-flops and camera — were put in a cloth bag.

When you participate in the Bixby program, you choose a period activity: typically knitting or watercolor painting for the women, musket firing or blacksmithing for men. But I chose musket firing because I’d never held a gun.

The musket was surprisingly heavy, at least 10 pounds (4.5 kg), and the trigger was difficult to budge. I quickly lost interest in toting around the anachronistic firearm in the 90-degree F (32 C) heat along with my bag of modern contraband, all while wearing head-to-toe garb. In the end I loaded it with a blank because the thing was sending me into an overheated panic.

At the Bixby house, we were offered potted cheese, a mixture of cheese, butter and spices, and crackers. Then, guided by a staff host, we started the four-hour process of making dinner. Inside, the hearth blazed. I walked to the water pump, which was connected to town water supply. I wanted to put on my flip-flops and drive back to Boston.

Dinner chores were split between my friend and me and another couple staying the night. We skewered chicken and hung it above the fire. Sides included cooked parsnips, cooked greens, biscuits and rhubarb pie. Pies were served at every meal as an easy way to pack in calories. And most food was cooked. Even the tomatoes were cooked to death and stuck in a pie.

We dined at a white-cloth table by candlelight. We drank apple cider, a popular beverage of the times. After the meal, exhaustion from the day’s labor set in. We passed on the offer of 19th century games, too tired even for our wine.

The straw bed — supported by rope — wasn’t great. I fell asleep at 5 a.m. out of exhaustion, but I am, admittedly, a finicky sleeper.  Some in the group had a better night’s sleep.

There was no morning shower. We used the park’s restrooms, a small luxury.

Breakfast was leftovers from supper, which helped cement one of my biggest takeaways: People of this time rarely wasted anything. Bones and leftover scraps fed the animals. Egg shells could be used to make coffee. Human urine was used for household cleaner after it turned to ammonia.

Since the Bixby trip, I find myself cherishing the comforts we mostly take for granted — a dishwasher, air conditioning, flip-flops, bug spray, indoor plumbing. I returned relieved to be in my modern clothes. I appreciate the crunch of fresh vegetables.

Living like a Bixby was tough, but it made me grateful for my modern life.

If You Go…

OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE: https://www.osv.org/. About 60 miles (96 km) southwest of Boston. Peter Pan Bus has limited service to the village from Providence, Boston and other cities. “Boarding with the Bixbys” costs $325 a person and covers admission to the museum, farm and other 19th century buildings. Without the overnight program, admission is $28 for adults (discounts for seniors and students; children 3 and under free).

OTHER ATTRACTIONS: Options include boat tours of the Quinebaug River, which runs through Old Sturbridge Village, and rides on a reproduction of an early 19th-century stagecoach. Sturbridge Townships, comprised of 11 communities, offers beautiful places to hike, stroll and explore nature, with orchards, maple sugar houses and farms.


►  LeBron blasts Trump, calls him ‘so-called president’

LeBron James went after Donald Trump in an emotional speech on Tuesday night, calling him the “so-called president” while calling for unity in light of the Charlottesville tragedy.

Standing on stage before students, parents and families connected to his foundation at the end of a daylong event at Cedar Point Amusement Park, James said he wanted to spend a moment addressing the weekend’s violent protests, where a woman was killed amid ugly clashes between far-right extremists and protesters out to stop them.

While holding his baby daughter, James turned his thoughts to the violence.

“I know there’s a lot of tragic things happening in Charlottesville (Virginia),“ James said. “I just want to speak on it right now. I have this platform and I’m somebody that has a voice of command and the only way for us to get better as a society and for us to get better as people is love. And that’s the only way we’re going to be able to conquer something as one. It’s not about the guy that’s the so-called president of the United States, or whatever the case.“

Earlier in the day, the NBA superstar blasted Trump on Twitter after the president appeared to equate the actions of white supremacists and those protesting them.

James has been outspoken on his political beliefs in the past — he endorsed Hillary Clinton in last year’s election, introducing her at a rally in Cleveland just two days before she lost to Trump — and took advantage of his first public appearance since the NBA Finals to call out Trump’s actions.

“It’s not about a teacher that you don’t feel like cares about what’s going on with you every day,“ James continued. “It’s not about people that you just don’t feel like want to give the best energy and effort to you. It’s about us. It’s about us looking in the mirror. Kids all the way up to the adults. All of us looking in the mirror and saying, ‘What can we do better to help change?‘ And if we can all do that and give 110 percent, then that’s all you can ask for.

“So, shout out to the innocent people in Charlottesville (Virginia) and shout out to everybody across the world that just want to be great and just want to love. Thank you, and I love you all.“

James was joined on stage by his three children, singers Usher and Jordin Sparks, who performed during the event, and Cavaliers teammate J.R. Smith.

The three-time champion flew to New York earlier Tuesday to play in pickup games with Warriors star Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.

This isn’t the first time James has used his status to take on social issues — or take a swipe at Trump.

During the season, James was asked if the All-Star voting was “goofy” because players were involved in the balloting.

“There’s always goofy votes,“ James quipped. “I mean, Donald Trump is our president.“

He has taken a far more serious tone on other matters. When he was with Miami, James and his teammates wore hooded sweatshirts to protest the deadly shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin. He also wore an “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt when the Cavaliers were in Brooklyn as a tribute to Eric Garner, who had been choked to death in a struggle with police.

During last year’s ESPYs, James stood on stage with Anthony and fellow All-Stars Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade to demand social change.


►  ‘Please don’t let her be dead’: man who saved fiancee

With tires screeching and bodies flying, Marcus Martin shoved his fiancee out of the way of a car charging through a crowd of peaceful protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Marcus Martin was promptly hit and upended by the car as it plowed through the crowd. Flat on his back with a broken leg, he says he experienced several minutes of terror.

“The only thing running through my mind was: please don’t let her be dead,” Martin, 26, told The Associated Press in an interview. “Please don’t let her be dead.”

Marissa Blair was OK, and Martin’s body was captured in a photograph as he tumbled over the crashing car that fatally hit Heather Heyer, a friend who had been marching with Blair and Martin. Nineteen others were injured.

Martin’s mother, Kimberly Martin, was terrified as she watched the scene replayed on television.

“I’m thanking God, because after seeing that photo and then I’m seeing videos and I’m seeing my son behind this car and then when I see the car backing back up the street, it was nobody but God that got him out of the way, you know? And it was just a cruel, cruel, act because those peaceful people: it was like going to a battleground without any protection from anybody,” she said.

While her son survived, Kimberly Martin said she’s pained by Heyer’s death.

“As a mother it hurts, you know, because I could have lost my child, but somebody else did and, like I said, it just hurts,” she said.

James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Ohio man who was said to idolize Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in high school, has been charged with second-degree murder in Heyer’s death. Authorities say he drove into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally on Saturday after the crowd had moved from a nearby park to downtown. Fields has been held without bail.

Blair said she has never had a close friend pass away. She saw Heyer every day at work at a local law firm and on weekends. They had met up in Charlottesville on Saturday to march as counter-protesters against participants in the white nationalist rally. Even when distraught by her death, she brightens at the thought of Heyer, who was 32.

“I just smile when I think about Heather,” Blair said Sunday night after attending a vigil at the spot of the crash now covered with flowers. “She always spoke with so much conviction and she stood up for what she believed in, and she liked to make you laugh and she didn’t care what she said. It was Heather. She cared about people. She wanted the best for everyone. She stood up for equality. She didn’t want hate. She just wanted everybody to be equal.”

Blair said the crash was an “act of terror,” a hate crime that she believes should be treated as such.

“The group that was here, the alt right, the neo-Nazis, they stood for hate, and he knew what he was doing. It was a deliberate act,” Blair said.

Martin said he attended the march in a peaceful response to the white nationalist rally, at a time when he is focusing on turning his life around. He pleaded guilty to robbery in 2013 and was released last summer in July. He said in an interview he is a “100-percent” different person.

Martin, who may have surgery this week on his ankle, said the crash shouldn’t have happened. He doesn’t think the white nationalist rally should have been allowed near the city. Other cities should consider what happened in Charlottesville before allowing similar rallies, he said.

A total of three people died as a result of Saturday’s violent protests. As the violence of that day’s rally waned, a state police helicopter deployed in a large-scale police response to the violence crashed outside the city. Both troopers on board, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates, were killed. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

“Is not one life enough?” Martin said. “Do you need more of that?”


►  Teacher let son sell LSD and allowed teens to use it

An Ohio elementary school teacher faces charges she let her 15-year-old son sell LSD and allowed teenagers to use it in her home.

Forty-year-old Amy Panzeca, of Springboro, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Warren County to charges including permitting drug abuse and endangering children. She was freed on bond.

Prosecutors say Panzeca’s son sold LSD to at least 20 high school students. He faces felony drug charges and is being held in a juvenile detention center.

A drug task force found LSD and marijuana during a search of the family’s home in May.

Panzeca teaches fifth grade. The Springboro school district has placed her on paid leave.

Panzeca’s attorney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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►  Pence won’t take questions from press in Chile

Mike Pence’s isn’t expected to take questions from reporters after meeting with Chile’s president — even though Pence’s public schedule had listed a “joint press conference” with Michelle Bachelet (bah-cheh-LET’).

Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen tells reporters traveling with Pence that the leaders had never intended to take questions, at the Chileans’ request.

That means Pence won’t face more questions about Donald Trump’s response to violence between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. On Tuesday, Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence.

Pence is on a weeklong trip to Latin America to build ties with the region and speak out against the growing crisis in Venezuela.


►  Pentagon prepares for a war game on the Korean Peninsula

The U.S. military is preparing to launch a major military exercise with South Korea in coming days, and faces a dangerous balancing act: How do you reassure allies in the region that you are ready for a war with North Korea without provoking an actual conflict in the process?

The annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise is scheduled for 10 days beginning August 21, and will include about 25,000 U.S. troops along with tens of thousands of South Koreans. The exercise focuses on defending South Korea against an attack from the north, and each year triggers threats and rebukes from North Korea. But it comes at an especially sensitive time now, following the exchange of a series of threats between Donald Trump and North Korea.

U.S. Forces Korea, the command that oversees some 28,500 American military personnel on the Korean Peninsula, has no current plans to change the size, format or messaging for this year’s exercise, said Army Col. Chad G. Carroll, a military spokesman in South Korea. The mission is planned well in advance, considered defensive in nature and allows both military forces and civilian officials to strengthen their readiness for a crisis, he said.

“We will see increased numbers [of troops] on the peninsula, but no more than we see every year,“ Carroll said in an email. “Our messaging will remain consistent. . . These exercises are necessary to maintain readiness in the face of provocative acts threatening the [Republic of Korea] and the U.S. Our job is provide our leadership with viable military options if called upon, and exercises like this hone our ability to do that.“

North Korea denounced the exercise Monday, warning that even an accident in the midst of it could trigger a nuclear conflict. But the war game also has drawn scrutiny this year from Russia and China, which have suggested cancelling the operation to alleviate tensions. The United States has rejected that option, saying the exercise is needed to deter North Korean aggression as Washington seeks peaceful means to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons development.

“This is why we have military capability that undergirds our diplomatic activities,“ said Marine General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during an appearance Monday in Seoul. “These threats are serious to us, and thus we have to be prepared.“

On Tuesday, North Korea appeared to ease up on a threat to shoot missiles toward the U.S. island territory of Guam. A state-run media outlet reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would watch the United States “a little more” rather than responding quickly, but would “make an important decision, as it already declared,“ if the “Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean peninsula and in its vicinity.“

The report came hours after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that if North Korea hits the U.S. island territory of Guam with a missile, it would be “game on,“ meaning war.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declined to respond directly Tuesday to Kim’s decision to pull back from his threat to launch missiles toward Guam, but said the door to talks remains open.

“We continue to be interested in finding a way to get to a dialogue, but that’s up to him,“ Tillerson said at the State Department.

Tillerson and Mattis jointly host their Japanese counterparts in Washington on Thursday, with North Korea at the top of the agenda.

Army Col. Robert Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said that he would not discuss specific scenarios involved in the training exercise. It remains focused on making sure that American and South Korean forces can work together well, he said. About 2,500 additional U.S. troops arrived on the Korean Peninsula temporarily last year for the exercise, according to a Pentagon news release at the time.

Manning said that the United States and South Korea have “made a lot of progress” in the last couple years to prepare against any North Korea threat. Ulchi-Freedom Guardian is a big part of that, with two other related exercises - Foal Eagle and Key Resolve - in the spring serving as the other significant combined training events, he said.

The U.S.-South Korean military exercises have exacerbated tensions in the past. In March, the beginning of Foal Eagle prompted North Korea to test-fire four ballistic missiles, which in turn prompted the Pentagon to announce that it was assembling a missile defense system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on the Korean Peninsula with approval of the government in Seoul.

In 2015, Ulchi-Freedom Guardian came shortly after an August 4 attack in which two South Korean soldiers stepped on landmines in the heavily militarized border region with North Korea. ironically known as the Demilitarized Zone. South Korea vowed to retaliate, and the two Koreas exchanged artillery and rocket fire over the border during Ulchi-Freedom Guardian after South Korea began broadcasting propaganda messages over the border to the north and North Korea responded by turning on its own loudspeakers.

The exercise itself has changed several times, and dates back to 1968, when South Korea and the United States created a war game called Focus Lens. That occurred after North Korea hijacked a U.S. Navy intelligence ship, the USS Pueblo, and launched a bloody Special Operations raid on the Blue House, the center of the South Korean government, with plans to kill South Korean President Park Chung-hee.


►  How Trump can avoid another arms race

Several parts of the U.S.-Russia arms-control and nonproliferation architecture are cracking due to a combination of Russian misbehavior and American neglect. The question is whether the Trump team has the will and skill to repair those cracks before that structure comes crumbling down.

Complicating the effort is the fact that U.S.-Russia relations are at a historic low point, following Russian interference in our presidential election, the Russian intervention in Ukraine and an escalating cycle of sanctions and diplomatic retaliation. The arms-control community is urging the Trump administration to work with Russia to address big problems with our cooperation before it’s too late.

Some Republicans in Congress, however, are eager to confront Russia on arms control, ramp up U.S. retaliation and even push for withdrawal from these agreements. For Donald Trump, who views the agreements as bad deals struck by his predecessors, saving them is a hard sell. But he should carefully consider the benefits of these deals before throwing them away.

“The ongoing tensions with Moscow have increased the risk that the nuclear and arms control architecture built up by Bush, Reagan and Obama will collapse,“ said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. “We have to be careful not to cut off our nose to spite our face because we are upset with Russia.“

One such troubled agreement hit the newspapers last week when unarmed Russian air force jets flew over the Pentagon, CIA and other sensitive national security sites, alarming many Americans. Even in Washington, most are not familiar with the Treaty on Open Skies, which has allowed the United States, Russia and 32 other countries to fly over each other’s territory since 2002.

Russia has been violating the treaty for years, according to the State Department, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the Senate. Russia doesn’t allow flights over key parts of its territory and takes other steps to keep the United States and other countries from realizing their treaty rights.

Some in Congress want the U.S. government to place tit-for-tat restrictions on Russian flights. Some military leaders would prefer to see the treaty go away altogether, because of the information Russia is able to collect, given technological advances.

“I would love to deny the Russians having that capability,“ Marine Lt. General Vincent Stewart, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a House committee in March.

Trump administration officials are looking at the Open Skies Treaty as part of their overall interagency nonproliferation policy review. They should keep in mind that it provides transparency on Russia not just for the United States but for America’s allies as well.

Congress is also planning to soon confront Russia on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or the INF. Russia has been violating the INF for years, according to the U.S. government, by developing and deploying a new cruise missile that violates the treaty’s range limits, threatening Europe.

Both the Senate and House versions of the defense authorization bill would provide tens of millions of dollars for the United States to develop its own new cruise missile, potentially putting America in violation. Senate Democrats are planning to fight that provision when the bill hits the Senate floor next month.

In November, Barack Obama’s State Department met with Russia on the INF treaty. The talks were fruitless, but now efforts to reestablish U.S.-Russia negotiations are underway. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov in Washington on July 18 and agreed to hold “Strategic Stability Talks” in the near future.

Thomas Countryman, the State Department official responsible for the issue until January, told me that if Congress put the United States in violation, or if Trump pulled out of the treaty, the country would lose out.

“For the United States to terminate the treaty would do nothing to enhance our national security,“ he said. “It would be a public relations victory for Moscow, and we should do everything possible to pursue a less radical solution.“

Shannon and Ryabkov also pledged to continue consultations under the New START treaty, which limits deployed long-range nuclear weapons. That agreement, up for extension in 2021, is also at risk. Agreeing to extend it now would bolster long-term confidence in the treaty and help to stabilize the relationship, Countryman said.

In their first phone call after Trump’s inauguration, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a New START extension but Trump refused and called it a bad deal, after he paused to ask his aides what it was.

Our current low point in relations was not caused by Russian misbehavior on arms control; it was caused by Russia’s interference in our democracy. But dealing with arms-control issues using tough diplomacy in conjunction with allies could provide Trump a way to achieve what he claims to want most – a path toward improving relations. In the process, he could also avoid another arms race.


►  German pol slams Trump’s ‘downplaying of Nazi violence

A leading German politician has branded U.S. Donald Trump’s comments on the events surrounding a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia as “highly dangerous.”

Martin Schulz, who is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s main challenger in next month’s election, said Germany has to “do everything to avoid things here going the way they are in America.”

Schulz was asked in an interview with German media group RND about Trump’s comments that “there’s blame on both sides” for the weekend violence in Charlottesville.

In extracts of the interview published Wednesday, Schulz was quoted as saying that “the downplaying of Nazi violence in Trump’s incoherent comments is highly dangerous.”

Schulz, who leads Germany’s center-left Social Democratic Party, said it was important to “stand decisively against those who sow hatred. Always. And everywhere.”


►  China tells U.S., North Korea to ‘hit the brakes’ on threats

China is telling the U.S. and North Korea to “hit the brakes” on threatening words and actions and work toward a peaceful resolution of their dispute, in a sign of growing concern over the standoff on the part of Pyongyang’s only major ally.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that the two countries should work together to contain tensions and permit no one to “stir up an incident on their doorstep,” according to a statement posted on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website.

“The most important task at hand is for the U.S. and North Korea to ‘hit the brakes’ on their mutual needling of each other with words and actions, to lower the temperature of the tense situation and prevent the emergence of an ‘August crisis,’” Wang was quoted as saying in the Tuesday conversation.

The ministry quoted Lavrov as saying tensions could rise again with the U.S. and South Korea set to launch large-scale military exercises on August 21.

“A resolution of the North Korea nuclear issue by military force is completely unacceptable and the peninsula’s nuclear issue must be peacefully resolved by political and diplomatic methods,” Lavrov was quoted as saying.

China is North Korea’s main economic partner and political backer, although relations between Beijing and Pyongyang have deteriorated amid the North’s continuing defiance of China’s calls for restraint. In recent months, China has joined with Russia in calling for the U.S. to suspend annual military exercises with South Korea in exchange for Pyongyang halting its missile and nuclear tests as a first step toward direct talks.

On Wednesday, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, continued a visit to China following talks the day before with his Chinese counterpart that touched on North Korea. No details of the talks have been released.

Dunford on Tuesday told Fang Fenghui, chief of the People’s Liberation Army’s joint staff department, that the sides had “many difficult issues” between them but were willing to deal with them through dialogue.

On Monday, Dunford was in Seoul to meet with senior South Korean military and political officials and the local media, seeking to ease anxiety while showing his willingness to back Donald Trump’s warnings if need be.

The U.S. wants to peacefully resolve tensions with North Korea, but Washington is also ready to use the “full range” of its military capabilities, Dunford said. His visit to Asia, which also will include a stop in Japan, comes after Trump last week declared the U.S. military “locked and loaded” and said he was ready to unleash “fire and fury” if North Korea continued to threaten the United States.

North Korea’s military on Tuesday presented leader Kim Jong Un with plans to launch missiles into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam and “wring the windpipes of the Yankees,” even as both Koreas and the United States signaled their willingness to avert a deepening crisis, with each suggesting a path toward negotiations.

The tentative interest in diplomacy follows unusually combative threats between Trump and North Korea amid worries Pyongyang is nearing its long-sought goal of being able to send a nuclear missile to the U.S. mainland. Next week’s start of U.S.-South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year could make diplomacy even more difficult.

During an inspection of the North Korean army’s Strategic Forces, which handles the missile program, Kim praised the military for drawing up a “close and careful plan” and said he would watch the “foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” a little more before deciding whether to order the missile test, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said. Kim appeared in photos sitting at a table with a large map marked by a straight line between what appeared to be northeastern North Korea and Guam, and passing over Japan — apparently showing the missiles’ flight route.

The missile plans were previously announced. Kim said North Korea would conduct the launches if the “Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity,” warning the United States to “think reasonably and judge properly” to avoid shaming itself, the news agency said.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Washington on Tuesday, “We continue to be interested in trying to find a way to get to dialogue, but that’s up to (Kim).”

Lobbing missiles toward Guam, a major U.S. military hub in the Pacific, would be deeply provocative from the U.S. perspective. A miscalculation on either side could lead to military confrontation.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, meanwhile, a liberal who favors diplomacy, urged North Korea to stop provocations and to commit to talks over its nuclear weapons program.

Moon, in a televised speech Tuesday on the anniversary of World War II’s end and the Korean Peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule, said Seoul and Washington agree that the nuclear standoff should “absolutely be solved peacefully.” He said no U.S. military action on the Korean Peninsula could be taken without Seoul’s consent.

North Korea’s military said last week that it would finalize the plan to fire four ballistic missiles near Guam, which is about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang. It would be a test of the Hwasong-12, a new missile the country flight-tested for the first time in May. The liquid-fuel missile is designed to be fired from road mobile launchers and has been described by North Korea as built for attacking Alaska and Hawaii.

Women in Slacks !

Women wearing anything but skirts was “de rigueur” before WWII when they were expected to stay in the home, cooking and cleaning. But in 1941, when the war effort took the men from factory jobs, America’s women stepped in to keep the production of firepower going and win the war. “The hand that rocks the baby can also run the drill press” headlines touted at the time.

The Free Press WV


Crawling around ships and aircraft to bolt and rivet couldn’t be done in skirts and that is how women in slacks became practical - and fashionable. “Rosie the Riveter” was born, and she brought the beginning of many more changes to American women’s lives. Nineteen WV Rosies were celebrated in Charleston in May and now plans are underway for a large bell to be installed to celebrate them here in Gilmer County.

We can all endorse this project with a contribution to the matching grant for: WV Rosie the Riveter Bell, PO Box 163, Glenville, WV 26351.

ETC.

The Free Press WV

  • The NRA isn’t interested in winning.  It’s interested in fighting. How the association manipulates gun owners and the media.  The New Yorker


  • Alternative Facts:  Trump is trying to blame Barack Obama for the opioid epidemic. Here’s why that doesn’t wash.    The Washington Post


  • Anti-Trump, anti-racism rallies across U.S. draw thousands:    “Shouting ‘Shame! Shame! Shame!’ anti-Trump protesters awaited the Trump’s arrival in New York City as he returned Monday night for the first time since taking office… About 1,000 people gathered at two rallies Monday night in Salt Lake City to condemn white supremacy and racism, CNN affiliate KSL reported. The Utah League of Native American Voters and the Multicultural Engagement for Utah organized ‘the solidarity rally’ at the Salt Lake City and County Building downtown, according to KSL.’It’s about empowering the voices of many vulnerable communities,’ said Moroni Benally, co-founder of the Utah League of Native American Voters.”  CNN


  • Justice demands 1.3M IP addresses related to Trump resistance site:    “The Department of Justice has requested information on visitors to a website used to organize protests against Trump, the Los Angeles-based Dreamhost said in a blog post published on Monday. Dreamhost, a web hosting provider, said that it has been working with the Department of Justice for several months on the request, which believes goes too far under the Constitution. DreamHost claimed that the complying with the request from the Justice Department would amount to handing over roughly 1.3 million visitor IP addresses to the government, in addition to contact information, email content and photos of thousands of visitors to the website, which was involved in organizing protests against Trump on Inauguration Day.”    The Hill


  • Virginia White Supremacist Violence Prompts Hate Sites’ Demise:  They were shocked, shocked. Voice chat app Discord tweeted Monday that it had shut down one of its largest servers, AltRight.com. It’s part of its fight against “white supremacy, Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate” in the wake of this weekend’s white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The voice chat platform is the latest tech player to awaken to such use: GoDaddy, then Google booted neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, which has also lost its French server host and is apparently seeking a new safe space for its hateful discourse.    Polygon


  • Jury Rules DJ Groped Taylor Swift:  They knew he was trouble. A six-woman, two-man federal civil jury unanimously decided that the pop star was groped by Denver-based DJ David Mueller as the two posed for a photo before a 2013 concert. They’d already thrown out his $3 million lawsuit claiming he’d been fired over a false accusation, and Monday they settled Swift’s countersuit, levying the $1 she’d sought as compensation. After the verdict, the “Shake it Off” singer said she’ll donate to organizations helping other sexual assault victims, “whose voices should also be heard.”  Slate

West Virginia News

The Free Press WV

►  Fall semester could be record enrollment for Glenville State College

As many colleges in the Mountain State begin their fall semesters this week, Glenville State College’s housing is at full capacity.

Classes began Monday at Glenville State, and President Tracy Pellett said it’s great to hear the dining room filled with voices again.

“I hate to say this is a record enrollment yet, but at least the early indications are, this should be one of our better years here in the last few years,” he said. “My expectation is, we’re probably going to see the best enrollment we’ve seen here in the last three years.”

Even with so many students on campus, Pellett said things ran pretty smoothly for day one.

“We’re really excited about that, and what’s even better is we’re responding well to where the student demand is as far as classes,” he said. “Everybody is getting into classes and schedules are getting set. Yeah, we’re doing very well.”

Pellett said he attributes at least some of that high interest to Glenville’s expanding programming, which he plans to see grow even more through this academic year.

“We’re actually doing a full review of all our programs this fall to see where we can better invest in those programs that we think are giong to have the greatest student, but also employer, demand,” he said. “We’re looking at potential health science programs and looking at how we may want to do that. We’re also seriously contemplating the graduate program areas.”

Of course, some of that also comes from the news that stemmed from Glenville choosing not to raise its tuition this year, despite other schools in the Mountain State doing so.

“We’re seeing a lot of late registrants, so what’s that’s telling me a little bit is that people are actually understanding that we’re the only that has held the line on tuition,” he said. “I think they’re understanding that our focus is very aimed at students and making the experience high quality but also affordable.”

That announcement certainly put Glenville State on the map, but Pellett said there’s still room to make up for the financial struggles facing colleges today.

“You know, students are finding it harder and harder to pay for college,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way as colleges to make it more affordable for them but also, we’ve got to be better advocates to our state legislators.”

Pellett said less state and federal funding is coming to higher education, which he calls it a “trend of disinvestment.”

“It’s incumbent on colleges like Glenville State to really assist those students as much as we can, not only in financial aid and student employment and things like that, but also making college, frankly, just be more affordable,” he said. “That’s a challenge, but also a great opportunity for us because it gets us to look at things differently than we’ve ever done before.”

As that challenge continues, Pellett said he looks forward to seeing what occurs over the next few years.

“As excited as I am for this year, I’m even more excited about next year because by that time I think we’ll have a lot more to show in terms of how we’re helping students to be successful and shorten their time to degrees but also get employed,” he said. “We’re greatly excited by the number of students that are here, and we’re excited about offering greater opportunities for them not only to do better in their studies but also just be better people.”    ~~  Brittany Murray ~~


►  Woman dies in West Virginia house fire

Fire officials have released the name of a woman killed in a house fire in West Virginia.

Clarksburg Fire Chief Rick Scott identified the victim as 45-year-old Vanessa Jean McNemar.

City fire inspector Chris Magee says Sunday’s fire isn’t considered suspicious. The cause remains undetermined.

McNemar’s body was found in an upstairs bedroom. Magee says three others in the home escaped unharmed.


►  Marshall team involved in eclipse balloon project

Some Marshall University students and faculty will participate in a project to launch high-altitude balloons during next week’s solar eclipse.

Marshall says the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium chose the team to launch a helium-filled balloon next Monday in southern Illinois. The balloon will carry a video camera and other equipment to an altitude of up to 100,000 feet. The live video feed will be available on NASA’s website.

The statement says 55 teams are participating across the United States. The Marshall team chose the remote site near Cobden, Illinois, in part because it’s in the area of the total eclipse.

Marshall associate physics professor Jon Saken also says he grew up in Cobden and his parents still live in the same house, so his team will have a free place to stay.


►  Judge approves settlement for Century Aluminum retirees

A federal judge in West Virginia has approved a $23 million settlement that will provide health care benefits for retired workers at Century Aluminum.

Media outlets report U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver on Monday approved the settlement reached in February, ending a six-year court fight.

Benefits for more than 750 retirees and their families were taken away shortly after the plant in Ravenswood closed in 2009. Karen Gorrell, a spokeswoman for the retirees, says about 660 retirees are still alive.

Under the settlement, the funds will be paid by the company over 10 years into a trust fund to reimburse retirees’ medical costs.

Efforts to obtain a special electricity rate for the plant failed two years ago. The plant has been sold to a New Jersey developer, which plans to demolish it.


►  Ex-West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Cleckley, 77, dies

Franklin D. Cleckley, the West Virginia Supreme Court’s first black justice, has died at age 77, the court announced Tuesday.

The court said in a news release that Cleckley died at his Morgantown home on Monday. No cause of death was given.

A civil rights attorney, Cleckley was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court in 1994 by then-Governor Gaston Caperton. He spent 27 months on the court and decided not to run for election.

Born in Huntington, Cleckley earned an undergraduate degree at Anderson (Indiana) College and a law degree from Indiana University. He joined the West Virginia University law school faculty in 1969 and returned in 1996 after leaving the Supreme Court.

Cleckley wrote more than 100 majority opinions during his time on the court.

Current Justice Robin Davis was elected in 1996 to fill Cleckley’s seat and was invited by Cleckley to work alongside him in the six weeks afterward.

“He was an honorable and decent man who loved the law and loved the state of West Virginia,” Davis said. “I will miss him deeply.”

In 1990, Cleckley established a nonprofit group to give educational and employment opportunities to former convicts. Two years later a lecture series in his name was established at WVU featuring members of the civil rights and African-American communities.

“His belief in the basic principle that justice is a fundamental right for all people was manifested in his life, his teaching, his writings, and the significant body of judicial work he created in only two years on the court,” Justice Margaret Workman said. “His work will benefit generations of West Virginians.”

The court said funeral arrangements were incomplete.


►  Former officer pleads guilty to bribing woman with sex

A former police officer in West Virginia has pleaded guilty to bribery in an official manner for having sex with a woman in exchange for not giving her a ticket.

Marcus Slauer, a former officer with the Farmington Police Department, received a suspended sentence of one to 10 years in prison on Monday, with three years’ probation. Marion County prosecuting attorney Jeff Freeman says the state made a deal with Slauer at the request of the victim and her family, as the woman didn’t want to testify in a trial about the extracted sex acts, which the criminal complaint says took place at the police station.

Freeman says Slauer will petition the court to serve his probation in Florida, where he currently lives.


►  West Virginia funding announced for 3 drug treatment sites

Three substance use disorder programs in West Virginia are receiving $1.6 million in funding from the state.

The funding was announced by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities.

The funding includes $700,000 for a 10-bed long-term residential treatment program for women in Brooke County, $594,000 for a six-bed short-term residential treatment program for women in Mercer County and $398,000 for a recovery residence for women in the Institute area of Kanawha County.

The state said the funding supports recommendations from the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse.


►  Nick Casey out as Justice chief of staff in West Virginia

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says Nick Casey is no longer his chief of staff.

Justice issued a statement Monday announcing Casey’s departure and said he wished more had been accomplished during the legislative session. Justice said he had “given this a lot of thought and going forward I just didn’t see any pathway where it would work out.”

Casey is a former state Democratic Party chairman and congressional candidate. Justice switched parties from Democrat to Republican on August 3.

Casey is an attorney and certified public accountant and was treasurer of Justice’s election campaign. He was appointed chief of staff soon after Justice was elected last fall.


►  Senator Mike Hall gets official nod as new Justice chief of staff

Governor Jim Justice has officially announced that Sen. Mike Hall will officially be named chief of staff.

The appointment of Hall, a longtime Republican lawmaker from Putnam County, follows the governor’s party switch from Democrat to Republican, and this week’s firing of previous chief of staff Nick Casey, who has held prominent positions in state Democratic Party politics.

A statement from the governor said Hall will officially take over the position this coming Monday, which will be during a legislative interim session.

“Mike Hall has a reputation for being able to work with everybody,” Justice stated. “He has an analytical mind and knows the ins and outs of the budget and budget process. That, and the fact that there is not a more respected man in the Legislature than Mike Hall really helped me make my decision.”

Hall, 68, is generally recognized as a moderate, knowledgeable Republican with a calm demeanor. He was first elected to the Senate in 2006 and served as minority leader before Republicans took the chamber’s majority in 2014. Hall served in the West Virginia State House of Delegates from 1994 to 2004.

“I am honored that Governor Justice has placed his trust in me, and I am eager to begin serving the people of West Virginia in this new role,” Hall stated.

“While it was an incredibly difficult decision for me to leave the Senate, I could not imagine a greater opportunity to use all I have learned during my time in the Legislature than this. I am confident the Governor is putting together the pieces he needs for a strong team that will continue to advance his vision and hopes for West Virginia.”

The governor initially announced a 10 a.m. Wednesday press conference to discuss the chief of staff position but then canceled it.

In a telephone conversation Tuesday morning and then again in a news release on Tuesday afternoon, Senate President Mitch Carmichael praised the choice of Hall.

“I can truly think of no man who has more of a heart of a public servant than Senator Mike Hall,” Carmichael stated. “Governor Justice’s choice sends a clear message to those who may have had doubts about the sincerity of his desire to return to the Republican Party.

“Senator Hall is a strong social conservative, and has a proven record of being a defender of life and freedom, which are two values West Virginians hold dear. Throughout his time as our Senate Finance Chairman, he has been tremendous protector of the taxpayers’ dollars, and he will bring a fiscally conservative eye to the budget process. His knowledge of our state’s finances will make him priceless to the Legislature as we prepare to deal with another difficult budget year. I am confident he will serve our Governor well as he continues to work toward moving West Virginia forward.”

Among the possibilities to assume Hall’s Senate seat, John Musgrave is among the most well-known and experienced. Musgrave was state Lottery director for 19 years, retiring in 2015.

Musgrave lives in Point Pleasant. Senate District 4 covers Mason, Jackson and parts of Putnam and Roane counties. The seat is up for election in 2018.

Delegates Geoff Foster, R-Putnam, and Jim Butler, R-Mason, each told the Charleston Gazette-Mail they would be interested in the Senate seat.

Jeanette Riffle: Memories of First Day of School

The Free Press WV

There was no kindergarten back in 1950 when I started school. I was going to turn six the last of September so Mom started me to first grade at Normantown High School, when I was five. School started in September back then. The school bus came by about 8:20 a.m. and there was a bus house down by the Chestnut Lick bridge above Lockney, just in sight of where we lived. First day of school, Mom took me down to the bus house and talked to an older girl who lived on Chesnut Lick and asked her to help me on the bus and show me where my room was at school. Her name was Gracie May Yeager. She was in sixth grade and that worked out good because her room was next door to mine. She and her friend, Alice Jones of Lockney, would come in my room at recess and talk to me. Everything was new and I didn’t know anyone.  Charlotte James was my teacher.  I can’t remember anything about lunch time until fifth and sixth grades. We must have carried a sack lunch.  I remember a new lunch pail in fifth grade and   what Mom fixed me. I never got tired of it. I got a deviled egg sandwich, banana, snowball cupcakes and a thermos of chocolate milk.

The Free Press WV


We had a nap time every afternoon and I remember sitting at a big wooden table with my arms folded up over the top for a pillow. My favorite toy was the Chinese Calculator. It was a big square wooden thing with colorful balls strung up on wooden rods and I enjoyed moving those pretty plastic balls along the rods. Each ball had a big hole in the center which made it easy to move on the rod. My husband said about every school had those and no one could figure out how to play that game. No one explained to me that it was a game or how to play it.

I just enjoyed moving those bright colored balls back and forth and lining them up.  We had reading circle and Miss James read us stories from the Dick, Jane and Spot series. Spot was their dog.  I remember a book called, See Spot Run. I was used to story books at home but this one was simple and it taught us how to recognize the letters of words and put them together in a sentence. The pictures were colorful and interesting to look at.  Some children have already gone back to school and some will be starting tomorrow on Monday. Most of them have to get up very early to catch their bus. Many things have changed over the years. Until next time, enjoy the nice cool fall like mornings and evenings we have been having. It seems like everything has been a month early this spring and summer but I will take an early fall any time to get away from heat and humidity.

Take care and God bless!

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