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DOH Worker Dead after Being Thrown from Dump Truck

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A state Division of Highways worker is dead after being thrown from the back of a DOH dump truck Monday in Morgan County.

State Troopers say the 48-year-old man was with two other workers on the back of the truck making sure gravel was spread evenly on a road in Berkeley Springs that was being tarred.

Witnesses say as the truck was slowly backing up the bed of the truck suddenly raised to maximum height and threw the one worker across the safety chain and onto the pavement where he hit his head.

The man was pronounced dead at War Memorial Hospital. The body will be taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

Glenville: MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

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You are invited by the “Teen Revolution” ministry of Glenville Community Church, to join us each Thursday at 3:45 PM for free FOOD; fun GAMES; upbeat MUSIC; and positive HELP to deal with the problems and issues you face.

We promise to be a place where you can feel loved and accepted, and NEVER judged or criticized!

Come and hang out with us at the Church, which is located on Walnut Street, next to the Public Library.

Call Cindy at 304.462.4478 for additional information.

TechNews: FBI Details worst Social Networking Cyber Crime Problems

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The FBI issued a warning about scammers trying to steal your money posing as a good friend left stranded somewhere in need of quick cash. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) said it is getting reports of individuals’ e-mail or social networking accounts such as Facebook being compromised and used in a social engineering scam to swindle consumers out of thousands of dollars. Portraying to be the victim, the hacker uses the victim’s account to send a notice to their contacts.

Online scams in general continue to be the scourge of the Internet and there seems to be no end to the “imagination” of these criminals, the FBI stated in its annual look at Internet crime, earlier this year.  Annual crime complaints reported to the IC3 have increased 667.8% between 2001 and 2009.

Some the most serious social networking cybercrimes are summarized below.  They include:


Phishing
Phishing attacks on social networking site users come in various formats, including:

Messages within the social networking site either from strangers or compromised friend accounts
Links or videos within a social networking site profile claiming to lead to something harmless that turns out to be harmful
e-mails sent to users claiming to be from the social networking site itself

Social networking site users fall victim to the schemes due to the higher level of trust typically displayed while using those sites.

Users often accept into their private sites people that they do not actually know, or sometimes fail altogether to properly set privacy settings on their profile.

Social networking sites, as well as corporate websites in general, provide criminals with enormous amounts of information to send official looking documents and send them to individual targets who have shown interest in specific subjects.

The personal and detailed nature of the information erodes the victim’s sense of caution, leading them to open the malicious email.


Data Mining
Cyber thieves use data mining on social networking sites as a way to extract sensitive information about their victims.

This can be done by criminal actors on either a large or small scale.

For example, in a large-scale data mining scheme, a cyber criminal may send out a “getting to know you quiz” to a large list of social networking site users. While the answers to these questions do not appear to be malicious on the surface, they often mimic the same questions that are asked by financial institutions or e-mail account providers when an individual has forgotten their password.

Thus, an e-mail address and the answers to the quiz questions can provide the cyber criminal with the tools to enter your bank account, e-mail account, or credit card in order to transfer money or siphon your account.

Small-scale data mining may also be easy for cyber criminals if social networking site users have not properly guarded their profile or access to sensitive information. Indeed, some networking applications encourage users to post whether or not they are on vacation, simultaneously letting burglars know when nobody is home.


Cyber Underground
The cyber underground is a pervasive market governed by rules and logic that closely mimic those of the legitimate business world, including a unique language, a set of expectations about its members’ conduct, and a system of stratification based on knowledge and skill, activities, and reputation.

One of the ways that cyber criminals communicate within the cyber underground is on website forums.

It is on these forums that cyber criminals buy and sell login credentials (such as those for e-mail, social networking sites, or financial accounts); where they buy and sell phishing kits, malicious software, access to botnets; and victim social security numbers, credit cards, and other sensitive information.

These criminals are increasingly professionalized, organized, and have unique or specialized skills.


Beyond Cyber Crime
Valuable information can be inadvertently exposed by military or government personnel via their social networking site profile.

In a recently publicized case, an individual created a fake profile on multiple social networking sites posing as an attractive female intelligence analyst and extended friend requests to government contractors, military and other government personnel.

Many of the friend requests were accepted, even though the profile was of a fictitious person.

According to press accounts, the deception provided its creator with access to a fair amount of sensitive data, including a picture from a soldier taken on patrol in Afghanistan that contained embedded data identifying his exact location.

The person who created the fake social networking sites, when asked what he was trying to prove, responded:

“The first thing was the issue of trust and how easily it is given
The second thing was to show how much different information gets leaked out through various networks.“

He also noted that although some individuals recognized the sites as fake, they had no central place to warn others about the perceived fraud, helping to ensure 300 connections in a month.

The FBI’s director, Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI’s response to growing cyber crime threats begins with its cyber squads in each of the FBI’s 56 field offices with more than 1,000 specially trained agents, analysts, and digital forensic examiners. “The FBI has also led the development of the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, which now includes 17 intelligence and law enforcement partners working side-by-side to identify the source of national security threats and significant Internet schemes. In support of victims of Internet crime, the FBI has expanded the IC3, which continues to receive, track, and refer for prosecution the ever-increasing wave of Internet crimes, from child exploitation to fraud,“ he stated.

Evenings Set for Parents to Activate Edline Accounts at GCHS

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Gilmer County High School has set aside evenings for parents/guardians to activate Edline accounts.

The Media Center Computer Lab will be open from 4:00 to 5:30 PM on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 and on Thursday, September 23, 2010 from 5:00 to 6:30 PM.

No reservations are necessary.

If you need additional information, please call the GCHS office at 304.462.7960.

Early Fall: A Time for Preseason Scouting‏

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In just a few short weeks the cool, crisp mornings will make the hot, sticky days of summer just a memory.

With that in mind, sportsmen and women should note the fall hunting season is fast approaching.

Now is the perfect time to hit the field and do some preseason scouting, according Curtis Taylor, Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

“Exploring favorite hunting areas in September and early October can provide hunters with a wealth of valuable information,” Taylor said.  “Just being in the woods during this time of year is truly a great experience as change is taking place everywhere.”

Many species of wildlife change their behavior and daily movement patterns in response to the availability of food. Hunters who take the time to search out and find abundant sources of hard and soft mast may greatly increase their odds of tagging the “big one.“ As oak mast begins to drop to the forest floor, bear, deer and turkeys start to spend more time in the oak forests.

During the 2009 fall season, much of the state experienced a mast failure and this caused deer and other wildlife to spend much more time feeding in clearings and food plots. Acorn mast is much more abundant this fall. Deer in particular will change their feeding patterns and almost seem to disappear, as they spend much more time back in the forest cover feeding upon the highly nutritious acorn crop. This year’s hickory crop is very scattered, and squirrels will also be found in oak stands feeding upon the abundant acorn mast.

“Fall is a beautiful time to spend a relaxing Saturday or Sunday afternoon walking the hillsides of West Virginia,” Taylor said. “These weekends also provide a great opportunity to take a youngster into the woods to learn about nature. Identifying trees, shrubs and other sources of food for wildlife is a great way to teach young sportsmen and women about wildlife, including their natural history, behavior and habitat requirements. The sign left behind by a big buck can stir the hearts of young hunters and seasoned veterans alike. Keep in mind that fall scouting can be enjoyed by the entire family. It may also pay off by helping you put the buck of your dreams above your mantle.”

Glenville Utility Commission Board Meeting – 09.22.10

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The Glenville Utility Commission Board will meet on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 12:00 Noon.

The meeting will be held at the Glenville Utility Office, 603 West Main Street.

The general public is invited to attend.

Gilmer County Historic Landmarks Commission Meeting - 09.23.10

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The Gilmer County Historic Landmarks Commission Meeting will be on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 10:00 AM.

Meeting will take place at the History Center, 302 E. Main Street, Glenville.

For information, call 304.462.7507.

Little Kanawha Independent Church Special Sing - 09.25.10

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LITTLE KANAWHA INDEPENDENT CHURCH
ROUTE 5 , BURNSVILLE WV

THE GRACEMEN FROM BARBAROURVILLE WV

SEPTEMBER 25, 2010 @ 7:00 PM

PASTOR: RONZEL ROBERTS

EVERYONE WELCOME

Bon Appétit: Thai Chicken

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Ingredients:
Rotisserie chicken (deli or prepared foods section)
Canned light coconut milk
Bottled red curry paste
Fresh basil

Directions:
Pull meat from a rotisserie chicken in large pieces.
Spoon a few tablespoons from the top of a 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk into a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of curry paste.
Add 4 teaspoons of sugar, remaining coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a simmer, add chicken, and warm through.
Stir in a cup of fresh basil leaves.
Serve with rice and lime wedges.

Daily G-Eye : 09.21.10

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Submit photos for this daily feature. You may select to have your name listed as well.
Send your photo(s) to “tellus@gilmerfreepress.net”

Stargazing - 09.21.10

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The planet Jupiter is brightest for the year, and is in view all night.

It looks like a brilliant ivory star.

Tonight, it is low in the east at nightfall, well to the lower left of the Moon, and climbs high across the sky later on.

Meditation Moment - 09.21.10

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‘I did not come to call the virtuous but sinners.’

Lord, your words must have given comfort and hope to the shady characters at Matthew’s conversion party, and to Matthew himself, and they encourage me today.
Were you smiling, I wonder, when you singled out sinners for special care?
For in calling sinners, and assuring them of mercy and forgiveness, you call us all, offering us also the loving pardon of God.
Yet we must never allow God’s ready forgiveness to be confused with indifference to sin.
A glance at the crucifix show us the vastness of God’s love for us and of his longing for our salvation, but shows us also the hatefulness and horror of deliberate sinning.
The gospels are more than accounts of one who lived long ago.
They are words of and about the risen Christ speaking to us now.
May Christ risen help us to respond to him as Matthew did, and may we, like Matthew, help others to the Lord who loves all.


Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13.Their message goes out through all the earth—Ps 18(19):2-5. Matthew 9:9-13.

Melba B. Spaur Powell

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Melba B. Spaur Powell
Age 90, of Sutton, WV Passed away Saturday September 18, 2010 at her home after a short illness.

She was born on December 19, 1919 near High Knob a daughter of the late James L. and Olive Bowers Spaur.

She was formerly employed by Braxton County Senior Citizens and a homemaker.

She was a member of Burnsville United Methodist Church.

She is preceded in death by her parents and daughter, Deborah M. Powell and son, John M. Powell. Melba is survived by two son’s; Rupert D. Powell of Falls Mill and James L. Powell of Sutton.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 AM Tuesday September 21, 2010 at Stockert-Sizemore Funeral Home in Flatwoods, WV With Rev. Jim Burrough officiating.

Burial will be in K of P Cemetery in Burnsville, WV.

Friends may call from 6-8:00 PM Monday evening at the funeral home.

Douglas Bee Underwood

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Douglas Bee Underwood
Age 58, of Center Point (Broad Run) passed away on Sunday, September 19, 2010 at his residence.

He was born on June 23, 1952 in Clarksburg a son of the late Arden “Monk” and Dora Welch Underwood.

On June 25, 1994 he married Rosa M. Booth Underwood who survives.

Also surviving are four daughters, Jennifer Henline and companion Stanley Chipps, Salem, Cheri Shahan and husband Brian, Salem, April Harper, Center Point, Darla Underwood and companion, Eddie Davis, Clarksburg, one step daughter, Rose Davis, Charleston, nine grandchildren and 3 step grandchildren, two sisters, Pamela Sue Keyser, Amissvile, VA, Joyce Foy, Gowanda, NY, one brother, Arzey Underwood, Bluefield, VA, several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Underwood retired from the West Virginia Department of Highways as an equipment operator with 30 years service. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and playing bluegrass music. Douglas was a member of the Pleasant Baptist Church. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and will be sadly missed by his family.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 1:00PM in the Spurgeon Funeral Home 212 Front St. West Union with Pastor Paul Flanigan presiding. Interment will follow in the Underwood Cemetery on Rt. 23 North. The family will receive friends in the funeral chapel on Tuesday September 21, 2010 from 4-8PM and after 9AM on Wednesday until time of service.

Spurgeon Funeral Home is privileged to serve the Underwood family.

Mildred Greye Campbell

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Mildred Greye Campbell
Age 71 of Grantsville, WV went home to be with her Lord on Friday, September 17, 2010 at Minnie Hamilton Health System.

She was a Baptist by faith.

She was born March 25, 1939, a daughter of the late Howard and Bertha Deems Jones Wilson.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by brothers, Bennie, Everett, Frank, Harley, Troy, Clifford and Willard Jones; and sisters, Ruth Elder and Virgie Sidwell.

She is survived by sons, Melvin Howell, Jr., Mark (Kathy) Howell of Grantsville, and Jerry (Emma) Howell of Orma; daughters, Donna Capps (Silas Frame), Sandy Bunner (Donald Tallhammer) all of Grantsville, and Jennifer Howell (Randy Minney) of Parkersburg; grandchildren, Aaron, Ethan and Hannah (Miracle) Waggoner, Christopher Howell, Bobbi Jo Elswick, Justin (Amber), Brandon and Jordan Bunner, John, Gary and Timothy Miller, Joshua Capps, Carrie Frame, Randy Jones, Casey Hall; great grandchildren, Lexie, Madison, Trenton and Kennedy Bunner, Maliki Miller; one brother, Chester Jones of Grantsville; one sister, Freda Twoey of Ohio, and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside rites were held Monday, September 20, 2010 at the Saunders Cemetery at Big Springs with Rev. William Law officiating.

Stump Funeral Home of Grantsville was in charge of arrangements.

09.21.10

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Today - 09.21.yyyy

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2010. There are 101 days left in the year.

Thought for Today: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.“ - Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (born 1788, died this date in 1860).

Today’s Highlight in History:

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On Sept. 21, 1893, one of America’s first horseless carriages was taken for a short test drive in Springfield, Mass. by Frank Duryea, who had designed the gasoline-powered vehicle with his brother, Charles.

On this date:

In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.

In 1897, the New York Sun ran its famous editorial that declared, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.“

In 1931, Britain went off the gold standard.

In 1937, “The Hobbit,“ by J.R.R. Tolkien, was first published.

In 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.

In 1948, Milton Berle made his debut as permanent host of “The Texaco Star Theater” on NBC-TV.

In 1970, “NFL Monday Night Football” made its debut on ABC-TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.

In 1982, Amin Gemayel, brother of Lebanon’s assassinated president-elect, Bashir Gemayel, was himself elected president. National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.

In 1987, NFL players called a strike, mainly over the issue of free agency. (The 24-day walkout prompted football owners to hire replacement players.)

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo, packing sustained winds up to 135 mph, crashed into Charleston, S.C. Twenty-one students in Alton, Texas, died when their school bus, involved in a collision with a soft-drink delivery truck, careened into a water-filled pit.

Ten years ago: An Iranian appeals court reduced the prison terms for ten Jews convicted of “cooperating” with Israel in a case that had drawn international criticism.

Five years ago:
•  Hurricane Rita swirled toward the Gulf Coast as a Category 5, 165-mph monster as more than 1.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana were evacuated.
•  A JetBlue Airbus circled Southern California for hours, crippled by a faulty landing gear, while inside the cabin, passengers were able to watch the drama unfold on live television; the plane landed safely at Los Angeles International Airport.
•  Japan’s Parliament re-elected Junichiro Koizumi (joon-ee-chee-roh koh-ee-zoo-mee) prime minister.
•  Former National Organization for Women president Molly Yard died in Pittsburgh at age 93.

One year ago:
•  Record flooding hit the Atlanta area, leaving neighborhoods, schools and even sections of roller coasters submerged in several feet of water.
•  Deposed President Manuel Zelaya (zuh-LY’-uh) of Honduras defied threats of arrest and returned to his country, three months after he was forced into exile. (Zelaya took shelter at the Brazilian Embassy for four months until he was allowed to fly to the Dominican Republic.)

Today’s Birthdays:
Actor Karl Slover (“The Wizard of Oz”) is 92
Actor Larry Hagman is 79
Poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen is 76
Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 66
Author Stephen King is 63
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 63
Musician Don Felder is 63
Retired NBA All-Star Artis Gilmore is 61
Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 60
Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye is 59
Rock musician Philthy Animal is 56
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is 53
Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 53
Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 51
Actor David James Elliott is 50
Actress Serena Scott-Thomas is 49
Actress Nancy Travis is 49
Actor Rob Morrow is 48
Retired MLB All-Star Cecil Fielder is 47
Actress Cheryl Hines is 45
Country singer Faith Hill is 43
Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 43
Country singer Ronna Reeves is 42
Actress-talk show host Ricki Lake is 42
Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 42
Actor James Lesure is 39
Actor Alfonso Ribeiro is 39
Actor Luke Wilson is 39
Actor Paulo Costanzo is 32
TV personality Nicole Richie is 29
Actress Maggie Grace is 27
Actor Joseph Mazzello is 27
Rapper Wale (WAH’-lay) is 26
Actors Nikolas and Lorenzo Brino (“7th Heaven”) are 12

WV Lottery - 09.20.10

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5-3-8

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4-0-1-6

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03-12-15-21-22-24

Doddridge County Circuit Judge Dies

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The state Supreme Court says Doddridge County Circuit Judge Robert L. Holland Jr. has died after suffering a heart attack.

He was 57.

Holland was taken to a Clarksburg hospital Sunday after suffering the attack at his Greenwood home. He was transferred to a Pittsburgh hospital, where he died Monday morning.

Holland was the only judge in the Third Judicial Circuit, which covers Doddridge, Pleasants and Ritchie counties.

Then-Governor Cecil Underwood appointed Holland in 1997. He won election in 1998, and in 2000 and 2008.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Jennifer Bundy says a judge will be assigned to handle cases in the district until the governor appoints a successor.

Holland is survived by his wife and two children. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

WV School Counselor Charged in Child Porn Case

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West Virginia authorities say a school counselor from Princeton has been arrested on child pornography charges.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported the charges against 31-year-old Brett David Bowyer of Princeton on Sunday. The newspaper says Bowyer, a Mercer County school counselor, was arrested Friday evening on 20 charges.

Bowyer is no longer listed as an inmate at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver. A working telephone number for him could not be located.

The newspaper says the West Virginia State Police and others seized computers, cameras and other items from Bowyer’s residence.

Mercer County School Superintendent Deborah Akers declined to release specifics about the case.

Lewis County: Father Dead; Son Charged

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Police in Lewis County allege a man murdered his father over the weekend.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Justin Sean Gum, 25, Sunday morning following the death of his father James Grover Gum.

Police say the two were in a fight at a home in the community of Camden.

The domestic dispute was reported to dispatchers at around 3:30 AM Sunday morning.

Justin Gum is still in the Central Regional Jail without bail.

DHHR Delays Coverage Shift for Medicaid Recipients

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Plans to shift 215,000 Medicaid recipients to managed care programs are being delayed in West Virginia.

The Department of Health and Human Resources had planned to move the people to three private companies this year, but spokesman John Law said the agency is going to slow the process.

“We have listened to our colleagues and partners and have agreed to move forward more slowly in order to ensure a smooth transition for our Medicaid members and health-care providers,“ Law said in a statement to the Charleston Gazette.

DHHR had planned to move roughly 55,000 recipients of Supplemental Security Income to managed care providers Carelink, The Health Plan and UniCare on December 01, 2010.

Another 160,000 recipients of cash assistance were to have their dental and behavioral health benefits shifted to the companies November 01, 2010.

“We believe this program will offer better coordination in the delivery of medical and behavioral-health services that will result in improved health outcomes and overall coordination of care for Medicaid members,“ Law said.

The companies are disappointed, but understand, said Randy Cox, who heads the West Virginia HMO Association. “We accept it.“

Gilmer County Retired School Employees Meeting - Tomorrow

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Gilmer County Retired School Employees (GCARSE) will meet on Tuesday September 21, 2010 at 11:30 AM at the Gilmer County Senior Center for lunch followed by a regular meeting.

The Dropout – Graduation Rate Crisis

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President Obama wants to lower the dropout rate. He also wants to raise academic standards. But does one come at the expense of the other?

President Obama and the U.S. Congress could raise the public high school graduation rate to 100% by fiat. All they’d need do is require that, as a condition for receiving federal aid, school districts had to give diplomas to all eighteen-year-olds, regardless of whether they had shown up for classes or learned anything. Conversely, in a quest for higher standards, policymakers could make graduating from high school so difficult that only future Nobel Prize winners would ever walk across the stage, capped and gowned.

Put in those extreme terms, the tension between high standards and high graduation rates is obvious: there’s a trade-off, wherein the higher the standards, the lower the graduation rate. How true that is in reality is harder to say. For all the talk in recent years of higher standards, students in most public high schools are still held to, at best, middling standards. There’s plenty of reason to think that, given more effective and engaging schools and teachers, American students would be perfectly capable of meeting higher standards and graduating in greater numbers. But the difficulty of making that a reality is daunting, even while the imperative that we try is unavoidable.

Today, a high school diploma is an absolute necessity yet, by itself, is insufficient for ensuring a middle-class life. President Obama and many governors, leading foundations, and business leaders all espouse the goal of graduating students who are “career and college ready” so they can go on to further their education or training. To the administration, this means that students will leave high school ready to succeed without having to take remedial classes.

But our public schools are very far from being able to meet that expectation. Only between 70 and 75% of students who enter high school graduate, and, of those who do, less than half of them are college ready. Forty% of community college freshman and 20% of students entering four-year colleges have to take remedial classes. So, if states were to impose the administration’s standard for what a diploma should mean today, the dropout rate would soar to politically untenable heights.

In fact, the likelihood of this occurring has undermined many previous efforts to raise standards. In the 1970s and ’80s, states began to require students to pass basic tests of reading, writing, and mathematics to graduate. The tests were so elementary that few students failed them, and, anyway, the results did not always affect graduation rates. In the 1990s, urged along by the federal government, states created standards for what students should know and be able to do. That led to a new era of more demanding graduation tests aligned with those standards.

But as the Center on Education Policy reported earlier this year, many of the twenty-four states that now require passage of exit exams are struggling with the fundamental tension between high standards and healthy graduation rates. Typically, the exams test eighth-grade math concepts and tenth-grade language arts skills. Nineteen of the states grant waivers to students who cannot pass the test and allow them to show they are diploma worthy in other ways.

In New Jersey, for example, it was reported that 4,500 seniors were in danger of not graduating because they had failed not only the state’s exam but also an easier, alternative test. Education Commissioner Bret Schundler told legislators that those students still had a number of other ways they could qualify to graduate. They could submit class work, complete an online credit recovery remediation class, and retake the test; show decent results on another test; or take another shot at some of the questions they’d missed—all of those could gain them a diploma.

Earlier this year, Pennsylvania began implementing a law that was supposed to put in place the standard for career and college readiness. But, fearing that too many students won’t pass, the test will be phased in over five years, school districts will be allowed to substitute other tests, and those students who fail repeatedly will be given other alternatives. John Robert Warren, a University of Minnesota sociologist and one of the nation’s leading experts on testing and high school graduation, told the New York Times that the “real pattern in states has been that the standards are lowered so much that the exams end up not benefiting the students who pass them while still hurting the students who failed them.”

Even as states are being pressured to raise their expectations, they’re also expected to increase graduation rates. By next year, states will be required by the federal government to use a method of calculating their dropout rates that many expect will cause the numbers to spike. That will give states and school districts further reason to find ways to graduate students who may not have met the official requirements.

There are examples of school districts and states that have tried to get tough. But without a plan to help struggling students, the consequences of enforcing higher standards are discouraging. In 1997, for example, Chicago school officials decided to eliminate remedial classes for entering ninth graders and require them to enroll only in college-prep classes. The idea was that a high bar would encourage students to work harder.

Researchers at the University of Chicago–based Consortium on Chicago School Research, including Elaine Allensworth and John Easton, now director of the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, tracked the progress of 25,000 freshmen who entered high school in 2004. In a 2007 report, What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools, and another released recently, they concluded that the higher standards produced no improvement in test scores or college matriculation and caused the citywide graduation rate to fall by percentage points. African American and Latino boys, who had previously been disproportionately assigned to the low-level classes, continued to struggle. The researchers reported that only 39% of the African Americans and 51% the Latinos earned diplomas. Worse, Allensworth, Easton, and their colleagues found that teachers dumbed down instruction for more advanced students when slower-moving students joined their classes.

Easton and Allensworth were among the researchers who identified the factors that seem to accurately predict which students will drop out of school. That information has enabled school districts, states, and even commercial enterprises to create early-warning systems to identify those students. If they get to struggling students early, schools can assign them tutors and mentors and closely monitor their attendances and grades. Researchers also point to another key to staving off higher dropout rates: creating a culture of high expectations in lagging high schools. When teachers and students believe in the importance of high standards and share a commitment to reaching them, much can be accomplished.

But that commitment to high standards is rare and has to be consciously created. Apathy and alienation are more common in large schools of 3,000 or more students, which have few counselors or other adults to get kids engaged. Classrooms in such schools often suffer from what the late progressive school reformer Ted Sizer famously labeled a “conspiracy of the least,” an unspoken pact between students and teachers to not demand very much of each other. External edicts, including No Child Left Behind–style accountability, aren’t enough to counter this disaffection. “Students fail mainly because they are not engaging, they aren’t doing the work,” says Allensworth. “Changing standards doesn’t make them come to class more or do their homework.”

Easton says he thinks public schools “have gotten a little better about engaging students and getting them through.” Now, he said, “we have to start thinking about how we make sure that along the way they are really learning something of value.”

We now have evidence that it’s possible to do both. When higher standards are combined with committed teachers, stronger school cultures, engaged students, and strategic responses to failing students, the result is New York rather than Chicago. The New York City school system in recent years has replaced nearly three dozen massive high schools with over 200 smaller, more personalized places, introduced early-warning systems to identify struggling students needing extra help, and brought in intensive catch-up courses in core subjects. The result has been that more students are passing the demanding New York State Regents exam and the city’s graduation rate increased from 47% in 2005 to 59% in 2009, excluding GED diplomas. This may still be troublingly low, but at least it’s an improvement.

Gilmer County Health Department: Flu Clinic This Wednesday

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GET YOUR FLU SHOT
BEFORE THE FLU GETS….
YOU!

CALL TODAY TO SET UP AN APPOINTMENT 304.462.7351

Gilmer County Health Department
Mineral Road, Glenville
Lower Level

Clinic Date:  Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Alcohol-Drug Arrests Dominate WV Regional Jail Population

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More than 41% of the total commitments at West Virginia regional jails last fiscal year were on alcohol or drug related charges.

Regional Jail Authority Chief of Operations John King says there were approximately 44,000 commitments last fiscal year.

He says more than 27% were on alcohol-related charges and almost 14% on drug charges.

King says statistics show that as much 75% of all crimes committed have a connection to alcohol or drug abuse.

The most drug arrests last year, nearly 2,500, were on the charge of possession of a controlled substance.

The Regional Jail Authority had total expenditures topping $75 million last year and about $10 million had to do with those in jail for alcohol or drugs.

GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES - 09.20.10

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Target: Field Trip Grants
Target Field Trip Grants are available to fund scholastic outings in situations where monies are otherwise lacking.
Maximum award: $700.
Eligibility: teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and classified staff in K-12 public, private, or charter school in the U.S.
Deadline: September 30, 2010.


French American Charitable Trust Challenge
The French American Charitable Trust Challenge seeks to identify and support innovative projects that leverage web and/or mobile technologies around social justice issues.
The challenge theme this year is “Collaborate for Social Justice.“
Specific technologies could include but are not limited to leveraging the use of wikis, social networking platforms, and citizen journalism and reporting.
Maximum award: $5,000.
Eligibility: nonprofits, individuals, social entrepreneurs, and legally defined not-for-profit entities, anywhere in the world.
Deadline: October 04, 2010.


VFW: National Citizenship Education Teachers’ Award
The VFW’s National Citizenship Education Teachers’ Award recognizes the nation’s top elementary, junior high, and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America’s history and traditions.
Maximum award: $1,000.
Eligibility: teachers K-12.
Deadline: November 01, 2010.


Lexus/Scholastic: Eco Challenge
The Lexus Eco Challenge program is designed to inspire and empower middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it.
Maximum award: $30,000 in scholarships and grants.
Eligibility: middle and high school teams comprised of five to 10 students and one teacher advisor.
Deadline: Challenge One (Land/Water)—November 03, 2010; Challenge Two (Air/Climate)—January 19, 2011.

Legislative Update – by – Delegate Brent Boggs - House Majority Leader - 09.20.10

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Personal Note
Sometimes the plans we make turn out much differently than expected.  Due to an emergency situation with Jean’s father, we spent most of the time since Friday at CAMC – Teays Valley.  At this writing on Sunday evening, he is much improved.  While testing is ongoing, we appreciate all the calls and prayers.

When Jean’s brother arrived from Lexington Saturday afternoon, we were able to return home to have Collin and Gavin spend the night before heading back to South Carolina on Sunday morning.  Having them for a time was a real joy and provided us some much needed fun with the grandkids.

Interim Meeting Conclusion
Interim meetings concluded last Wednesday, where the pace has certainly quickened since earlier this year when we experienced near back-to-back special session called by the Governor.  As a result, schedules are packed and many members have overlaps that create unavoidable conflicts.

DEP and Injection Well
Last Wednesday, myself and Senator Facemire conducted a follow up briefing with the WV Department of Environmental Protection, WV Geological and Economic Survey, WV Bureau for Public Health, and Chesapeake Energy related to the injection well located at Frametown.  A representative of EQT (former Equitable) was also in attendance.

At my initial meeting in August, I requested WV DEP to authorize and conduct water testing samples in areas surrounding the Frametown injection well to provide a base sample to use as a comparison for future water tests. I also asked Mr. Hohn to provide me with costs and logistics associated with obtaining, installing and monitoring seismic detection devices at strategic locations in Braxton County to pinpoint the exact location of any future tremor activity. I was informed during this meeting that instruments outside of the state were used to triangulate the epicenter of the previous earthquakes as there is only one detection device within West Virginia (located at WVU) but was inoperable during this time period. Based on the frequency of these events with no previous record of multiple earthquake activity, I believe it warrants installation of these devices.

I am waiting for a recommendation from DEP on water testing, including costs and what agency would handle the logistics.  Additionally, Mr. Hohn with the WV Geological and Economic Survey informed us that the seismic monitoring devices that he recommends has a cost estimate of $2,000.  Senator Facemire and I informed Mr. Hohn that should funding be required to fast track the purchase of these devices to inform us as soon as possible so that we may work to obtain the funding through the state budget or supplemental appropriation.  Further, I would expect any and all costs be refunded to the State.

We will be conducting a follow up meeting again in mid-October during the legislative interims to obtain updates from each party including any new information received and an action plan on how they intend to proceed.  I will continue to keep you informed of my findings.

It is important to note that these informal briefing are being conducted in order to glean any and all information available and to seek possible options that, first and foremost, assess and appropriately address the local situation in the Frametown vicinity.

No member of the Legislature has any direct authority to force any party, agency or department to take specific action.  However, the Legislature does have the authority and responsibility to address areas of interest and importance to our State, citizens and industry through the Legislative process.  I am pleased that agencies and industry continue to work to address the questions that we have raised.

How to Contact
Please send address your inquiries to the Capitol Office at: Building 1, Room 226-M, Charleston, WV 25305.  Or, call the Capitol office at 304.340.3220 or my Assistant to the Majority Leader, Mr. Tom Bennett at 304.340.3262 or fax to 304.340.3213.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.

For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is “Boggs34@aol.com”. You also may obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and other information from the Legislature’s web site at www.legis.state.wv.us/.  If you write or leave a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide.  Additional information, including agency links and state government phone directory may be found at www.wv.gov and on the Facebook site of the West Virginia Legislature.

Conclusion
Remember to thank a veteran for their service to our nation and continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

Women in Agriculture Day - Tuesday 09.28.10

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The WVU-Calhoun County Extension Office and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency serving Gilmer and Calhoun Counties are conducting a “Women in Agriculture” event on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at the Grantsville Fire Hall in Grantsville, WV from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

This event is free and open to the public.

Farmers from Calhoun, Gilmer, and the surrounding counties, male and female alike are encouraged to participate.

The event will celebrate women’s vital role in agriculture by focusing on farm record keeping and education and will include guest speakers from local producers to state and federal agencies and local and state organizations discussing programs available to help landowners and farmers.

Topics to be presented include loan and conservation programs, Extension programs, assistive devices available to make farming easier for aging and disabled farmers, and farm tax preparations.

“We are excited to bring this event to Calhoun County. Similar events have been held across the state including events in Roane and Nicholas Counties last year,” says Extension Agent Brandy Brabham.

“Each event has its own theme, but we felt that record keeping was a vital theme for our event considering the importance of records to the financial health of the farm. Good records do not ensure the farm will be successful; however, success is unlikely without them.” Melodie Bailey, County Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency serving Calhoun and Gilmer Counties and event co-organizer adds, “Besides use as a management tool, farm records are essential for preparing income tax reports. Most banks require extensive records from farmers to formulate credit ratings and they are needed to establish eligibility for participation in government programs, as well.”

Participants will receive a free tote bag filled with information and items provided by the participating organizations. Snacks and refreshments will also be provided.

Individuals interested in participating are asked to pre-register by Friday, September 24, 2010 by calling the USDA Service Center in Glenville at 304.462.7171x2 or the WVU-Calhoun County Extension Office at 304.354.6332.

Pre-registration for the event is recommended, but not required for participation.

Parking space is limited; so carpooling is strongly suggested.

For more information about the programs, organizations, or loans discussed during the event, individuals can contact the WVU Extension Office at 304.354.6332 or the USDA-FSA office at 304.462.7171x2.

Bon Appétit: Tropical Pork Salad

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Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sliced natural almonds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup chicken broth
12 ounces pork tenderloin, cut into 1” strips
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/4 cup apricot nectar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks or juice-packed canned pineapple, drained
1/2 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
4 cups (about 1 large bunch) torn watercress or spinach

Directions:
In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, toast the almonds, tossing frequently, for 4 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Place on a plate; set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium.
Add the cumin to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes, or until the cumin is toasted and fragrant.
Place half of the cumin in a large bowl.
Pour the broth into the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat.
Add the pork to the skillet.
Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes, or until the pork is no longer pink.
With a slotted spoon, remove the pork to the bowl with the cumin; toss to coat well.
Increase the heat to high and bring the cooking liquid to a boil.
Boil for 3 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup.
In a cup, combine the cornstarch and water.
Stir into the skillet and return to a boil, whisking constantly (the mixture will be extremely thick).
Remove from the heat.
Place the thickened liquid in another bowl and whisk in the apricot nectar, cilantro, lime juice, honey, black pepper, and red-pepper flakes; continue whisking until smooth.
Add to the bowl with the pork, along with the pineapple, papaya, and mango.
Toss to coat well.
Place the watercress or spinach on a large platter.
Top with the pork salad and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

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