Gilmer County: Local Emergency Planning Meeting - 11.02.10


The LEPC will meet for its quarterly meeting on Thursday, November 02, 2010 at 5:30 PM.

The meeting will be held at the Gilmer County Office of Emergency Services.

Refreshments will be served.

Is ‘Superman’ A Myth?


In The New York Review of Books, education historian Diane Ravitch writes, “Waiting for Superman is a powerful weapon on behalf of those championing the ‘free market’ and privatization. It raises important questions, but all of the answers it offers require a transfer of public funds to the private sector.“

She takes exception to a number of misconceptions about charters and about public education that she feels the film encourages, summarizing the subtext of the film thus: “At last we have the culprit on which we can pin our anger, our palpable sense that something is very wrong with our society, that we are on the wrong track, and that America is losing the race for global dominance. It is not globalization or deindustrialization or poverty or our coarse popular culture or predatory financial practices that bear responsibility: It’s the public schools, their teachers, and their unions.“

The film gives mere “acknowledgment” of the fact that only one in five charters gets the kinds of results that the film celebrates.

Moreover, the film perpetuates “the central thesis in today’s school reform discussion: the idea that teachers are the most important factor determining student achievement.“

As to the more heavily weighted factor, parents, the film says nothing of those children whose families are not available, for whatever reason, to heavily invest themselves in their child’s education, or about children who are homeless, or children with special needs.

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Bon Appétit: Fast Chicken Fajitas


2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
8 flour tortillas (6” diameter) 
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin wedges
2 green and/or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/2”-wide strips
2 cups finely shredded green leaf lettuce
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded low-fat cheddar or monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free sour cream

For a quick breakfast, scramble some eggs and heat the left-over fajitas in a microwave oven.
Wrap everything in a whole-wheat tortilla for a meal that you can take with you.
For brunch, make a Southwestern omelette by adding 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin to theeggs.
Fill with the fajita mixture and a couple tablespoons of shredded low-fat Monterey Jack.
For an easy lunch or dinner main dish, toss the fajita mixture over some cooked pasta and top with some salsa.

In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, broth, garlic, oregano, and salt.
Add the chicken.
Toss to coat evenly.
Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wrap the tortillas in foil.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until warmed through.
Turn the oven off, but do not remove the tortillas.
Meanwhile, coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray.
Add the onion and bell peppers.
Coat with nonstick spray.
Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
Remove to a bowl.
Cover loosely with foil.
Coat the skillet with nonstick spray.
Remove the chicken from the marinade.
Place in the skillet.
Discard the marinade.
Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes until the juices run clear.
Return the onion and bell peppers to the pan.
Toss for 1 minute to heat through.
Arrange the tortillas on 4 plates.
Spoon the chicken mixture over the tortillas.
Top with lettuce, cheese, salsa, and sour cream.

Lila James Fealy


Lila James Fealy
James and Ronne Dee Fealy of Weston are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter Lila James Fealy, on September 13, 2010 at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown at 3:35 AM.
Lila weighed 6 pounds 14 ounces and was 19 ¼ inches long.
She has one brother, Ian Fealy.
Her Maternal Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Turner of Weston.
Paternal Grandparents are Jacqueline Fealy and the late John Matthew Fealy of Weston.
Her mother is the former Ronne Dee Turner and is employed at Turner’s Inc.
Her father is a lobbyist in Charleston with the Law Office of Philip Reale.

Jonathon Adam Godbey


Jonathon Adam Godbey
Samuel and Martha Godbey of Little Birch announce the birth of their son, Jonathon Adam Godbey, on September 28, 2010, at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.
He weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces.
His mother is the former Martha McCourt.
His father is employed with Slurry Pavers.
Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Clifford McCourt of Sutton.
Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Roy Godbey of Roane County.

Maddyson Grace Hefner


Maddyson Grace Hefner
Ashlea Pickens and Kevin Hefner Jr. of Jane Lew announce the birth of their first child, a daughter, Maddyson Grace Hefner, at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.
Her mother is a homemaker.
Her father is self employed.
Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Patrick “Tony” Pickens of Weston.
Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Hefner of Jane Lew.

Stefan Michael King


Stefan Michael King
Stefan Michael King was the name chosen for the son born to Gary Wayne King Jr. and Christon Nicole King of Burnsville.
The little boy was born October 02, 2010, at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.
He weighed 7 pounds.
His mother is the former Christon Ayers.
His father is employed by Union Drilling Inc.
Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Meloin and Rose Ann Ayers.
Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Michael King.

Maliki Andrew Moore


Maliki Andrew Moore
Melissa Moore of Jane Lew announces the birth of her second child, a son, Maliki Andrew Moore, on October 02, 2010, at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.
He weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces.
He has one brother, Dakota Lee Moore.
His mother is the former Melissa Hardbarger and is a stay-at-home mom.
Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Hardbarger of Weston.

Megan Elizabeth Lane


Megan Elizabeth Lane
Jeff and Jamie Lane of Weston announce the birth of their first child, a daughter, Megan Elizabeth Lane, on October 14, 2010, at Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Buckhannon.
She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces.
Big brother is Matthew Lane.
Maternal grandmother is Ms. Sandra Dryer of Romeoville, IL.
Maternal grandfather is Mr. Jay Harriman of Aurora, IL.
Paternal grandparents are Mr. Russell Hugh Lane Jr. and the late Nancy Lane of Weston.

Stargazing - 10.29.10


Pegasus, the winged horse, stands high overhead around 10 PM.

Four bright stars that form a large square mark his body.

If you hold your fists side by side at arm’s length, they will fit nicely into the Great Square.

Daily G-Eye : 10.29.10

Paving by WV Paving at GSC

~~  By Eric Squires ~~

~~  By Gary Collins ~~

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

Meditation Moment - 10.29.10


Jesus took the man and cured him and sent him away.

A healer himself by profession and an astute observer of the human condition, Luke records in today’s gospel reading one of the seven incidents in which Jesus provocatively restores health to an afflicted person on the Sabbath.
As on similar occasions, the context is one of table fellowship in which hypocritical religious leaders seek to entrap Jesus and condemn him as a law-breaker.
However, Jesus is aware, even if his enemies are not, that the law proscribing work on the Sabbath does not extend to works of love that are life-giving.
What better way could there be to celebrate on that holy day the loving-kindness of God, the creator and source of all life, than by healing the sick.
Lord, save us from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth and rashly judges others.

Philippians 1:1-11. How great are the works of the Lord!—Ps 110(111):1-6. Luke 14:1-6.

Jonathan Michael “Mike” Keener


Jonathan Michael “Mike” Keener
Age 49, of Weston, WV, went to continue his journey Wednesday, October 20, 2010.

He was born October 23, 1960, in Baltimore City, MD, a son of James Franklin Keener of Buckhannon, and the late Joan Smith Keener.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Conya E. “Connie” Cosner Keener; two daughters, Brandy Keener of Lancaster, PA, and Jesika Keener of Morgantown; one brother, Jim Keener of Weston; four sisters, Cathy Pierson of Kentucky, Mary Jean Nuzum of Weston, Judy Schrader of Walkersville, and Jodi Keener of Buckhannon; and several nieces and nephews.

Mike was Director of Operations for John W. Ebert Corporation, operating as McDonald’s, with 23 years of service.

He enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson and loved spending time with his family and friends.

Friends may call from 11 AM to Noon Thursday, October 28, at Boyle Funeral Home, 322 Main Avenue, Weston, WV, 26452. Memorial services will be held at Noon Thursday, October 28, at the Boyle Funeral Home Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to, Ronald McDonald House, 841 Country Club Drive, Morgantown, WV, 26505.

GFP - 10.29.2010
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Oma Catherine White


Oma Catherine White
Age 94, of Belpre, died Oct0ber 28, 2010 at the Arcadia Nursing Home in Coolville, Ohio.

She was born in Stumptown, WV, the daughter of the late Elliott and Violia Ann Matthews White.

She had attended the Rockland United Methodist Church.

She had worked for Fairmont Foods, Dils Department Store, Pitzer Book Store and for Firestone in Akron for a year.

Survivors include her sister, Orma Alton, of Belpre, and a nephew, Wayne Vannoy and his wife Alta, of Elizabethtown, Ky.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Ola Vannoy and her husband Thurl, Opal White, and a brother-in-law Bill Alton.

Services will be 10 AM Monday at the Leavitt Funeral Home, Belpre with graveside services at 2:30 PM at the Collins Comunity Cemetery in Stumptown.

Friends may call at the funeral home on Sunday from 2-5 PM.

Eugene K. “Gene” Bollinger


Eugene K. “Gene” Bollinger
Age 81, of Gassaway, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on October 20, 2010 at the Braxton County Memorial Hospital after a long illness.

He was a devoted Christian, husband, father and grandfather.

Gene was born March 03, 1929 to the late Leslie and Ineva Wilson Bollinger. He was also preceded in death by brothers, Kenton, Donald and James; sister, Eileen.

Gene was a member and deacon of the Elk River Baptist Church. He was retired from Monongahela Power after 41 years. He was a co-founder of the Central WV Riding Club and an Army veteran.

Surviving him are his loving and devoted wife of 57 years Mary Carr Bollinger; son, Dale and his wife, Cathy; daughters, Kathy and her husband, John, Karen and husband, Howard, Angie and husband, Mitch; 13 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren; brothers, Jack, Lowell, Bob and John; sister, Maxine; several nieces and nephews. He was also blessed with a host of great friends.

Service was 2:00 PM Sunday, October 24 at Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway with Pastor Brace Cook, Pastor Rick Hart and Rev. Linn Schiefer officiating.

Burial with military rites was in the Sugar Creek Cemetery, Gassaway.

Friends called from 6 to 9 PM Saturday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Elk River Baptist Church, P.O. Box 532 Frametown, WV 26623.

Arrangements by Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.



Today - 10.29.yyyy

Today is Friday, Oct. 29, the 302nd day of 2010. There are 63 days left in the year.

Thought for Today: “Numerous politicians have seized absolute power and muzzled the press. Never in history has the press seized absolute power and muzzled the politicians.“ - David Brinkley, American broadcast journalist (1920-2003).

Today’s Highlight in History:


On Oct. 29, 1929, Wall Street crashed on “Black Tuesday,“ heralding the beginning of America’s Great Depression.

On this date:

In 1618, Sir Walter Raleigh, the English courtier, military adventurer and poet, was executed in London.

In 1901, President William McKinley’s assassin, Leon Czolgosz (CHAWL’-gahsh), was electrocuted.

In 1923, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed.

In 1940, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson drew the first number - 158 - in America’s first peacetime military draft.

In 1956, during the Suez Canal crisis, Israel invaded Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” premiered as NBC’s nightly television newscast.

In 1960, a chartered plane carrying the California Polytechnic State University football team crashed on takeoff from Toledo, Ohio, killing 22 of the 48 people on board.

In 1966, the National Organization for Women was formally organized during a conference in Washington, D.C.

In 1967, Expo 67 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, closed after six months.

In 1979, on the 50th anniversary of the great stock market crash, anti-nuclear protesters tried but failed to shut down the New York Stock Exchange.

In 1998, Sen. John Glenn, at age 77, roared back into space aboard the shuttle Discovery, retracing the trail he’d blazed for America’s astronauts 36 years earlier.

Ten years ago:
•  The wounded destroyer USS Cole departed Aden, Yemen, towed by tugboats to a Norwegian heavy-lift ship to be taken home to repair the gaping hole in its side; 17 sailors were killed in a suicide bombing attack on Oct. 12.

Five years ago:
•  Three blasts ripped through markets in New Delhi, India, killing 62 people.
•  Hundreds of people slowly filed past the body of civil rights icon Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Ala., just miles from the downtown street where she’d made history by refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man. Saint Liam won the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Belmont Park.

One year ago:
•  President Barack Obama paid a post-midnight visit to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to honor the return of 18 soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
•  Deposed President Manuel Zelaya and his opponents agreed to a U.S.-brokered deal to end the power crisis that had paralyzed Honduras following a coup.

Today’s Birthdays:
Bluegrass singer-musician Sonny Osborne (The Osborne Brothers) is 73
Country singer Lee Clayton is 68
Rock musician Denny Laine is 66
Singer Melba Moore is 65
Musician Peter Green is 64
Actor Richard Dreyfuss is 63
Actress Kate Jackson is 62
The president of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, is 60
Actor Dan Castellaneta (“The Simpsons”) is 53
Country musician Steve Kellough (Wild Horses) is 53
Comic strip artist Tom Wilson (“Ziggy”) is 53
Actress Finola Hughes is 51
Singer Randy Jackson is 49
Rock musician Peter Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 45
Actress Joely Fisher is 43
Rapper Paris is 43
Actor Rufus Sewell is 43
Actor Grayson McCouch (mih-COOCH’) is 42
Rock singer SA Martinez (311) is 41
Musician Toby Smith is 40
Actress Winona Ryder is 39
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross is 38
Actor Trevor Lissauer is 37
Actress Gabrielle Union is 37
Olympic gold medal bobsledder Vonetta Flowers is 37
Actress Milena Govich is 34
Actor Jon Abrahams is 33
Actor Brendan Fehr is 33
Actor Ben Foster is 30
Rock musician Chris Baio (Vampire Weekend) is 26

WV Lottery - 10.28.10








West Virginia: 4G Plan Soon


West Virginia will soon be on the cusp of cutting edge technology.

Verizon has chosen the Mountain State as one of 39 markets in the country to launch a 4G LTE or Long Term Evolution wireless network.  The announcement was made Wednesday in Charleston with Senator Jay Rockefeller and Governor Joe Manchin on hand.

Verizon Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Tony Malone says, in just a matter of weeks, 4G will be a reality.

“We’re going to start the 4G ball rolling right here in Charleston and we’re going to launch this network in portions of downtown Charleston within the next six to seven weeks,” he said.

All of Charleston will be 4G-capable by the summer of 2011 and, by 2013, so will Huntington, Parkersburg, Wheeling, Weirton, Beckley, Clarksburg, Morgantown, Fairmont and Martinsburg.

Malone says the decision will open up a whole new world for the state.

“It’s going to redefine the way customers here in West Virginia live their lives, execute business, etc…“

Senator Jay Rockefeller, who went to Verizon three years ago asking that the state be part of the initial 4G push, says the decision to include West Virginia is monumental.

“This is a game-changer what we’re talking about here, a real game-changer about how the way people lead their lives,” the senator said.

Verizon is making $100 million investment in West Virginia alone.

“The advanced 4G wireless network puts our state into a position that we’re not always accustomed to and that is we’re actually ahead of the curve on a national basis,” Senator Rockefeller said.

What will 4G do for you?

You can see a doctor without ever traveling to his office by using 4G’s remote capabilities. Businesses will be able to complete transactions in a fraction of a second because of the high speed connection.

Malone stresses that rural West Virginia will not be left out of the 4G loop, but it will take more time to connect those areas to the wireless network than the ten metropolitan areas announced on Wednesday.

Verizon will be working closely with Frontier Communication on the construction of the wireless network.

Verizon also plans to expand its 3G coverage along I-79 from Charleston to Clarksburg. That alone is a $10 million investment.  It will allow for continuous calling along the corridor and should be complete in one year.

~~  WVMN ~~

GCVFD News: Computer Program

The Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department Computer Lab Center is now OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Our hours are Mondays 4:00-9:00 PM ... Wednesdays 4:00-7:00 PM ... Thursdays 4:00-6:00 PM.



This coming Monday, November 01, 2010 we will be having a class titled ... “COMPUTER BASICS”



This course is designed to help beginners learn a lot of interesting skills to get started on the computer.






~~  Report and Photos by ERIC SQUIRES ~~

Thank You – Benefit Dinner


The family of Charles and Ciana Greenlief would like to thank everyone for all the help and donations when we lost our home in a fire at Troy.

We especially want to thank the Glenville, Troy and Sand Fork Fire Department for risking their lives and doing all that they could possible do to save our home.

We appreciate everything that they did.

We would also like to thank the Red Cross, Denna Burke, Best Western, and all of the churches and organizations that have helped us in our tragic and traumatic time.

Also we want to thank the Staff at Troy School for all their help and Larry Barton, the principal, for helping with the fire.

There will be a Benefit Dinner for the family of Charles and Ciana Greenlief due to the loss of all their belongings from a house fire.

The dinner will be Sunday November 14, 2010 from 11:00 AM.-3:00 PM at the new Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department Station 1 at 606 W. Main Street in Glenville.

We will be serving a Spaghetti Dinner with a Salad, Garlic Bread, Dessert, and Drinks.

We will be taking donations.

Carrie Cole 304.462.8878
Jessica Frymier 304.462.4741

HealthBeat: Kids and Nicotine Tabs


New dissolvable nicotine tablets and sticks are being sold like cigarettes – although they’re marketed as a substitute for smoking in times and places where a smoker can’t light up.

But researchers say these products – which may be the size of a breath mint – can pose big problems for small children, who could eat them like candy. They’re flavored with cinnamon or mint.

The researchers computed how many pellets it would take to sicken a child. At the Harvard School of Public Health, Greg Connolly gives the result for a 1-year-old:

“Based on a review of the scientific evidence, if a child ingests 10 pellets, in all likelihood they are going to have serious neurological problems.’’

The study in the journal Pediatrics was supported by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

GSC Football: Pioneers vs. Bobcats - 10.30.10


Glenville State (4-4, 3-2)
West Virginia Wesleyan (6-2, 3-2)
Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 12:00 PM
Buckhannon, WV

•  Head Coach: Alan Fiddler (44-30, 7th season)
•  Formations: Offense: Spread; Defense: 4-3

Stat Leaders:
•  Rushing: DeAndre Johnson (109 for 411 yds, 3 TD)
•  Passing: Darold Hughes (119-224-11, 1388 yds, 11 TD)
•  Receptions: Jordan Griffin (37 for 464 yds, 3 TD)
•  Tackles: Donald Marshall (69 TT, 8 TFL)


•  Head Coach: Dennis Creehan (79-64-1 overall, 14th season; 8-10 at WVWC, 2nd season)
•  Formations: Offense: Spread; Defense: 4-3

Stat Leaders:
•  Rushing: Trey Massey (113 for 528 yds, 6 TD)
•  Passing: Adam Neugebauer (201-288-6, 1997 yds, 20 TD)
•  Receptions: Jon Meadows (66 for 694 yds, 6 TD)
•  Tackles: Jesse Robertson (56 TT, 5 TFL)


West Virginia Wesleyan leads 42-28-1.

Last Season’s Meeting:
•  Glenville State (5-4, 4-2) scored the game’s first 28 points and made the old grads happy with a 54-30 homecoming triumph over rival West Virginia Wesleyan (1-7, 1-5).

•  The Pioneers owned a 288-83 rushing edge and got four touchdown passes from an efficient James McCants.

•  McCants completed 13 of 19 passes for 141 yards, while four different Pioneers chipped in 48 or more yards rushing.

•  Joe Mesaidue led GSC with 80 yards on one rush, a fourth quarter long-distance touchdown scamper.

•  Wesleyan’s Adam Neugebauer hit on 19 of 35 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns.

•  Jon Meadows caught eight of those passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns.

•  Lavaughn Hughes accounted for 87 yards on four receptions.

The Last Ten Meetings:
•  2009: GSC 54-30
•  2008: GSC 40-14
•  2007: GSC 45-41
•  2006: GSC 39-14
•  2005: GSC 38-10
•  2004: GSC 34-30
•  2003: WVW 21-14
•  2002: WVW 14-7
•  2001: GSC 37-14
•  2000: GSC 24-21.

•  Glenville State has won the last six in the series and has scored at least 34 points in each of the meetings.

•  Wesleyan has dropped two in a row after entering the D-II Top 25 following a 6-0 start.

•  The Bobcats allowed season highs in points and rushing yards (272) during last week’s 45-14 setback to Fairmont State.

•  Bobcat QB Adam Neugebauer is completing a WVIAC-best 69.8% of his passes.

•  Glenville State RB Joe Mesadiue averages 8.9 yards per rush and rambled for a career-high 203 yards last week during his first start of 2010.

~~  WVIAC ~~

G-InMyOpinion™: Character Assasination?‏


Dear Ms. Rosenburg:

Thank you for your civic mindedness as expressed by your post on this website. I pay taxes on personal property in Gilmer County. Otherwise I would not be able to buy a license for my truck. The home I share is in another’s name. She purchased the property prior to my return to WV. I contribute to paying the real estate taxes. The name on the property is important only in that we both have children from previous marriages. Maintaining her name on the property insures that her children will inherit the property

Owning property does not automatically provide someone with the ability to research complex issues, or perform financial analysis, or the ability to work with others to develop solutions to problems, or write grants (not seek grants), or dispatch the duties of a commissioner.

I believe that merit should be the criteria used for selection for a job whether you are male or female. Landownership as a requirement for voting or holding office is a discriminatory process that was removed long ago in our country.

Let’s talk about commitment.

Current commissioners apparently take home between $50 and $250 per hour based on their hours of work for the county. I am committed  to work at least 2000 hours per year on the county’s behalf if elected to earn the $25,000 per year salary. Neither of the other candidates can do that since one operates a full time business and the other works a part time job that he will continue if elected.

Of all the current commissioners and candidates, I’m the only one that is a grant writer. For that reason I can effectively work to bring in money for projects in Gilmer County that neither Congressman Mollohan nor Senator Byrd will be able to fund in the future. If elected as a commissioner,   I will commit  to write grants that will benefit organizations in the county including the recreation center.

I am the only active  volunteer firefighter among the candidates and the current commissioners. Over the years I have responded to fires and other incidents throughout the county. That requires undergoing training each year. I’ve attended five classes this year that required weekends and nights for a total of 90 hours of classroom time.   That is commitment.

If you want someone as a commissioner that has shown  commitment  to the county by attending meetings for many years on issues to stay informed and to contribute, if you want someone with the educational background (a masters degree in business and a degree in civil engineering) to apply to issues plus proven involvement as a local volunteer, please consider voting for me.

For the record, I am the only candidate  committed to bringing 911 dispatch back to Gilmer County. We paid the Lewis Gilmer County 911 Center over $330,000 last year for what many consider to be inadequate service. We should use that money to hire people in Gilmer County who know Gilmer County to dispatch for Gilmer County.  As a conservative, I can assure the residents of Gilmer County that if elected I will ensure that public funds are spent wisely and judiciously.

Darren Feit

Michael Roberts: One Man Against the Surveillance State


“I don’t know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747. That’s why we haven’t put them in our airport.“—Rafi Sela, leading Israeli airport security expert, referring to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, which has some of the toughest security in the world.

Michael Roberts, a 35-year-old airline pilot from Memphis, Tennessee, is putting everything on the line for freedom. Concerned about the world his children will grow up in, this father of six young children ranging in age from 10 months to 8 years old has pitted himself against the American surveillance state as it encroaches upon personal privacy and our constitutional freedoms.

Friday, October 15, 2010, should have been a day like any other for Roberts. While most Americans were gearing up for the end of their work week, Roberts was setting off on his work commute, which takes him from Memphis International Airport to Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport, where he flies an Embraer 145 Regional Jet as a first officer for ExpressJet Airlines. It’s a commute he knows by heart, having done it roughly once a week for 4 1/2 years.

Unfortunately, Roberts never made it to work that day or any day since. In fact, he never made it past the security line at the Memphis airport, which had begun using one of the new Advanced Imaging Technology full-body scanners that are currently being deployed at airports across the nation. Using either x-ray radiation or radio waves, full-body scanners can “see” through clothing to produce images of an individual’s unclothed body, although they are unable to reveal material concealed in body cavities. Critics have likened the scans to “virtual strip searches” because of the degree to which details of the body are revealed. Indeed, the ACLU has urged Congress to prohibit this technology being used in airport screening, arguing that “passengers expect privacy underneath their clothing and should not be required to display highly personal details of their bodies—such as evidence of mastectomies, colostomy appliances, penile implants, catheter tubes, and the size of their breasts or genitals—as a prerequisite to boarding a plane.“

Unfortunately, Congress not only failed to heed the ACLU’s warning but it has actually assisted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in its ongoing efforts to install these scanners in every airport in the country. The TSA plans to roll out a total of 450 full-body scanners by year’s end, with the cost of installing the approximately $150,000-a-pop machines adding up to a whopping $67.5 million—and that’s just for the devices installed in 2010. An additional $88 million is included in the 2011 national fiscal budget for 500 more machines.

Thus, while Roberts, along with several other pilots, had voiced his concerns about the full-body scanners to his employer just a month earlier, October 15 was the first time he had actually encountered the scanners on his commute to work. On this particular day, Roberts, who was in his pilot’s uniform, loaded his bags onto the X-ray scanner belt, only to be directed by a TSA agent to remove his shoes and send them through as well. When Roberts questioned the directive, he was informed it was necessary for the full-body scanner. Roberts then voiced his objection to being scanned, believing that it invaded his privacy and violated his constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents. The TSA agent stated Roberts could keep his shoes on and directed him through a metal detector that had been roped off, calling out somewhat urgently to the agents on the other side: “We got an opt-out!“ The agent also reported the “opt-out” into her handheld radio.

It was at this point that Roberts became a “suspect.“ Despite clearing the metal detector without triggering any alerts, Roberts was informed by another TSA agent that because he had refused the full-body screening, he would have to go through secondary screening which involves a full pat-down search. Again, Roberts refused on the grounds that such searches violate his constitutional rights. After being informed by a TSA agent that, pursuant to a TSA decree, he could not pass through security without submitting to a full-body scan or a pat-down search, Roberts was subjected to further questioning and eventually escorted out of the airport. (Roberts has since turned to The Rutherford Institute for help in defending his constitutional freedoms.)

It’s outrageous that any American would be subjected to this kind of treatment, but it’s particularly absurd that a credentialed pilot—who is clearly not a terrorist—would be treated this way. As a friend who is also a former pilot shared recently, “If you have all of the credentials of a pilot to get through security, your weapon is waiting for you on the other side—tons of metal and jet fuel. At a minimum, you have your selection of crash axes. For the life of me, what do they expect to find on your person that would equal what you have access to on the aircraft?“

Indeed, while Michael Roberts’ security clearance as a pilot gives him a unique perspective to object to the TSA’s heavy-handed tactics, his outrage over the mishandling of his Fourth Amendment rights is universal. In recent weeks, I’ve been contacted by a number of Americans who have had their own TSA horror stories to share.

For example, one mother shared that her 17-year-old daughter was subjected to a full pat-down when flying from Boston Logan due to the new scanner malfunctioning. “Even when she began to cry, the TSA agent continued the pat down. My daughter felt molested and humiliated and as a parent I was helpless to stop this violation. These measures are not making it safer to fly. They are just arbitrary measures being done to make us believe it is safer; at the same time, it is taking advantage of law abiding citizens.“

Another traveler had this to share:

I recently had my first experience with TSA’s “whole body imager,“ and cannot express in terms strongly enough how absolutely violated I felt. Despite having complied with all of the instructions being barked at nobody in particular by a TSA employee—I removed my shoes, I removed my belt, I removed ALL contents from my pockets (right down to the lint), I removed my jacket. I entered the scanning unit, raised my hands like an apprehended criminal, and stepped out. I was then directed to stop by a male screener, with NO explanation that he was to receive a radio transmission from a person reviewing my near-pornographic image in a separate area. The TSA employee then ordered me to hold my hands out, again like an apprehended criminal. He then inserted four fingers of both hands INSIDE my trousers and ran his fingers all the way around my waist, his fingers extending at least 2-3 inches BELOW my waistline. He then used his palms and front of his hand/fingers to FIRMLY press into my buttocks and slide down each side—again, despite the fact that my pockets were COMPLETELY empty. Additionally, I was wearing a suit that day as I was on a business trip, and suit trousers are EXTREMELY lightweight, especially compared to denim.

I am a 50-year-old Air Force retiree and felt completely and totally humiliated, and yet my experience pales in comparison to some of the horrid stories heard of what is happening to females. The balance of security and civil liberties is nowhere to be seen. Whereas the courts have ruled that x-ray screening of carry-on bags is not overly invasive and so not a violation of one’s Fourth Amendment rights, TSA has now gone WAY across the line in these new procedures which are clearly a violation of passengers’ personal and private space to which each individual MUST have an expectation of privacy if the United States is to continue to be viewed as a “free society.“ The US government sometimes appears to have lost its collective mind. I’m fed up with being treated like an unindicted suspect.

Had more Americans been willing to stand up for their freedoms early on, we might not have had to endure such a long list of abuses since 9/11. Unfortunately, few did and the list of abuses has continued to grow. In fact, it got substantially longer in the wake of the bumbling underwear bomber’s December 2009 attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight. In the months that followed, the government’s knee-jerk embrace of full-body scanners as a miracle fix rapidly evolved into a headlong and expensive rush to implement scanners in all airports—a program with few guarantees of success and numerous pitfalls, not the least of which is the harrowing toll it is taking on our civil liberties and the risks it poses to our health.

Increasingly, travelers are complaining about being subjected to ogling and inappropriate remarks by airport officials. Yet this almost pales in comparison to the retributive, harsh treatment and excessive full-body searches being meted out to those who decline a full-body scan, which is still optional.

The x-rays themselves have prompted concerns about their health risks. For example, David Brenner, head of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, asserts that X-ray scanners may emit 20 times more radiation than previously thought and may pose increased cancer risks. Radiologist Dr. Sarah Burnett warns of possible health risks to pregnant women and fetuses, while other physicians have recommended that pregnant women and children, who are the most susceptible to radiation, steer clear of the scanners altogether.

So why, in light of the incursions into our privacy, risks to our health, and the admitted shortcoming of the scanners’ inability to disclose material hidden in the groin area and body cavities, does government demand for the x-ray technology remain high? If you follow the money trail, which leads straight to private corporations all too willing to exploit national security fears by peddling security technology and equipment via lobbyists and influential Washington figures, this resolute march towards a surveillance state starts to make a little more sense.

As James Ridgeway, author of The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11, notes, “Airport security has always been compromised by corporate interests. When it comes to high-tech screening methods, the TSA has a dismal record of enriching private corporations with failed technologies.“ Thus, it should come as little surprise that in the days following the underwear bomber’s foiled attempt, share prices for security imaging production companies skyrocketed and competition for security imaging government contracts turned into a veritable “feeding frenzy.“

Indeed, it doesn’t take too much digging to reveal a semi-incestuous relationship between mega-corporations and the government. The full-body scanner lobby and their private security corporation employers are a chummy group made up of former TSA personnel, as well as former members of Congress and former congressional staff. A perfect example of this is Rapiscan Systems, which retains the Chertoff Group, a security business consultant headed by former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Using the underwear bomber’s failed terrorist attempt to great advantage, Chertoff almost immediately started making the rounds of various TV news shows to promote Rapiscan’s full-body scanners. Unless specifically asked, Chertoff did not mention his associations within the security industry—despite the fact that these associations date back to his stint in the Bush administration, when the first Rapiscan scanners were procured by the government, and have resulted in exponential pay-offs for Rapiscan. In 2009, for example, the TSA bought $25 million worth of full-body scanners from Rapiscan with finances supplied by the tax-funded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Ironically enough, what this means is that we the taxpayers are paying to erect our own electronic prison. Obviously, corporations such as Rapiscan, aided and abetted by the government, were waiting in the wings for some half-baked terrorist to give them a reason to spring this on us. And when that happened, corporations did not hesitate to make a killing at taxpayer expense.

The bottom line is this: forcing Americans to undergo a virtual strip search as a matter of course in reporting to work or boarding an airplane when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing is a gross violation of our civil liberties. Indeed, putting yourself through the full-body scanner is the same as subjecting yourself to a strip search. It completely undermines one’s right to privacy and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents.

The Constitution does not allow blanket strip searches or full-body pat downs of American citizens unless there’s some reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. If we allow the government to reverse the burden of proof so that we have to prove our innocence, then we might as well give up on the Constitution altogether. At that point, we are all suspects in the surveillance state.

Right now, this is one man’s battle against the surveillance state, but it should be every American’s battle. This is our fight, now, before it’s too late. Our country is rapidly moving toward a surveillance state where no one’s privacy or freedoms will be recognized anymore. A lot is at stake. It’s time to resist the ever-growing encroachments on our freedoms.

~~  By John W. Whitehead ~~



The City of Glenville will accept sealed Bids at City Hall, 20 North Court Street Glenville, WV 26351, until 4:00 PM on Friday, December 03, 2010 to provide “Basic Bookkeeping Services” to the City of Glenville.

Interested persons are to bid a monthly rate for the described services.

The Bookkeeper’s contract is for one year.

Click to See the Printable Description of the Position.

Bids must be sealed and clearly marked:
Sealed Bid
Bookkeeping Services

It is anticipated that Bids will be considered at the December City Council meeting on Monday, December 06, 2010.

The Glenville City Council has the right to reject any and all Bids.

Questions can be directed to: Mayor Tashua Allman,304.462.8040 or “”

Glenville Halloween Night: Receive a Free Conservation Kit!


Gilmer County Senior Center: Veteran’s Program

Please Join Us!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010 Beginning at 10:00 AM


The Gilmer County Senior Center will be holding a Veteran’s Program

Help us honor those who have served

If you are a Veteran or know of a Veteran who would like to participate in this Year’s program

please contact Devin at the Center 304.462.5761

Gilmer County Superintendent of Schools Asking Citizens to Vote for New School Bond

A spike in Complaints


The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received nearly 7,000 complaints this fiscal year, an 11% increase and the largest jump in at least 10 years, The Associated Press reports.

Russlynn Ali, director of the OCR, said the reason for the increase is unclear, but proposed that students, parents, and administrators now had more faith that officials would take action.

Gerald Reynolds, head of OCR for the Bush administration from 2001 to 2003, said the increase more likely reflects a different approach. Republicans ran the office “as a law-enforcement shop,“ but Democrats are focusing on social change.

Information on the reports, which was provided to the Associated Press under a Freedom of Information Act request, highlights issues that have long been documented, such as widely differing discipline rates for black and white male students.

Others issues reflect new challenges, such as changing demographics, and rising numbers of students with diabetes and food allergies, now considered disabilities.

Ali said that in some cases, administrators don’t know they are discriminating.

“There’s not a superintendent or a school official or a teacher I’ve met anywhere that says, ‘I go to work every day wanting to violate students’ civil rights’,“ Ali explained. “The problem is, in far too many cases they actually don’t understand what their responsibilities are.“

Click to Read the ENTIRE Report in USA Today

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