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Gilmer County Circuit Court Report - 02.22.12

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On Tuesday, February 07, 2012, Chief Judge Jack Alsop performed a marriage between Gregory Waddell and Keisha Marlatt.


He also heard 2 juvenile matters that day with further hearings scheduled for Monday, April 09, 2012 at 9:30 AM and March 07, 2012 at Wednesday, 9:00 AM.

On Wednesday, February 22, 2012:

Judge Richard A. Facemire conducted a juvenile hearing by video conference from Braxton County.

All other parties were present in Gilmer County and Sheriff Mickey Metz opened Court.

Following the hearing, Judge Facemire set the case for further hearing on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM.


State of West Virginia vs. John Gorzynski

The case was on the docket as well, but his hearing was continued until Thursday, February 23, 2012, when Judge Facemire presided over Court in Gilmer County.


He heard 4 juvenile cases and set further hearings in them for Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM, Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM, and Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM.


The case of State of West Virginia vs. John Gorzynski was heard in chambers rather than open Court.

He was represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.


State of West Virginia vs. Roseann Shelton

She was before the Court for sentencing upon her former plea.

She was also represented by David Karickhoff and was sentenced to 3-15 years in the penitentiary with credit for all time served, including 60 days diagnosis and classification she had previously undergone.

Judge Facemire suspended her sentence and gave her 5 years probation with 100 hours of community service per year.

She must pay court costs within 18 months.

She must reside with her parents and obtain full time employment or enroll in school.


State of West Virginia vs. Mark Taylor

He was before the Court for revocation of probation, which allegations Taylor denied.

Due to defects in the petition the state moved to amend their petition, to which Daniel Grindo, defense counsel, objected.

Then Prosecutor Hough withdrew his motion and moved to dismiss the petition without prejudice (allowing him to refile), and Grindo again objected.

However the Judge granted the motion.

 

Judge Facemire will return to Gilmer County on Monday, February 27, 2012 for his regular monthly motion day with hearings scheduled until Noon that day.

 

Chief Judge Jack Alsop also presided over Circuit Court on Wednesday, February, 22, 2012.

He heard 2 juvenile cases and set further hearings.


Afterwards he presided over a Calhoun case he had been appointed to hear:

State of West Virginia vs. Christopher Todd Smith.

Smith’s attorney, Bernard Mauser of Sutton and Calhoun Prosecuting Attorney Rocky Holmes were present for the hearing, along with several witnesses.

After the hearing, Deputies Gerwig and Huffman transported Smith to Central Regional Jail.

G.S.C.: Was CEFP’s Process for Selecting The Auction Barn School Site Defensible?

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The estimated range in total costs for a new elementary school may be $8,000,000 -$20,000.000 or even higher.

The actual cost will be affected by numerous factors including the purchase price of land, architectural design, site preparation, road construction, providing electricity, water, and sewage services, providing for parking space, the actual construction cost of the facility, equipping the school, etc.

Because public money must be used for the expensive project, citizens have the right to scrutinize and to comment on the process the County’s Comprehensive Educational Facility Plan (CEFP) committee used to designate the two best sites for new schools.


Accordingly, the following questions are posed to Governor Tomblin and Dr. Marple:


•  How were original CEFP committee members, including its leader, chosen to ensure that all the individuals had technical skills and experience necessary to participate in the site selection process?


•  Who was on the initial CEFP committee, who named them to serve, how many of the individuals remained active until the auction barn site and the Linn site were selected?


•  When the initial CEFP committee was supplemented with new members, how were these members chosen, and who decided afterwards that they would not be permitted to serve, and what were the reasons?


•  How were candidate sites designated and what was done to verify that all individuals on the CEFP committee involved with the designation lacked conflicts of interests to influence their decisions?


•  Can it be validated that all CEFP members, including those who voted on the auction barn site and the Linn site actually spent adequate time on all sites as part of the formal site selection process?


•  What were the exact criteria used for the selection process to comprehensively evaluate merits of each site, and did the criteria include those approved by the State for a school site selection process?


•  Did criteria adequately address safety considerations including alternate escape routes for students should a disaster occur at a site?


•  Were architectural plans for the school available to CEFP committee members to enable all its members to have adequate information for use in evaluating the suitability of each site as related to exact specifications in the plan?


•  When values were derived for each evaluation criterion (land cost, student travel distance and time for bussing, site preparation, etc.) for the evaluation process what was done to verify completeness and accuracy of that phase of the analysis for each site?


•  After individual values for all criteria were determined for each site, how was this information weighted and summed per site to derive an overall site-specific value for the final ranking?


•  For the process was a comprehensive and accurate benefit/cost analysis, done for each site to enable that consideration to be fully addressed for the final site ranking?


•  Is there adequate documentation to verify that environmental factors were accurately evaluated, including considerations of archaeology, to affect the final ranking?


•  For the final ranking who owns the land at the auction barn site and the Linn site where the Lewis County school would be located, and was there anyone on the CEFP committee, including individuals who participated in voting, whose families would benefit financially if a school is constructed at either site?


•  When the final ranking occurred, what was the name of each CEFP committee member who participated in the meeting, how did each member vote, what was the vote count, are accurate minutes for the meeting available, and was there a publicized, pre-meeting invitation for attendance by our elected school board members and the general public?


•  If information addressed above is made available to the public, would application of the “reasonable person test” result in a consensus that all phases of the process were defensible based on full transparency, thoroughness, analytical process design, technical accuracy, objectively, and lack of personal bias, including an appearance thereof, by all members on the CEFP committee?

West Virginia Man Makes American Idol Cut

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A Point Pleasant, WV man is a semifinalist in the popular TV talent show “American Idol.“

Media reports say Chase Likens was “just awestruck” when he made the cut this week, becoming one of the final 10 semifinalists.

The 21-year-old Marshall University junior auditioned in Pittsburgh, singing Lady Antebellum’s “Love Don’t Live Here.“

Likens is no stranger to “American Idol.“

He auditioned in Nashville last year, but he did not make the final cut.

Likens is a theatre performance major.

He began singing when he was 5 and performed at his elementary school talent show.

Likens will perform in the live male semifinal round at 8:00 PM Tuesday, February 28, 2012 on Fox.

GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES - 02.27.12

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Braitmayer Foundation: Grants for innovation in education

The Braitmayer Foundation is interested in proposals utilizing innovative practices in K-12 education throughout the United States.

Of particular interest are curricular and school reform initiatives, as well as preparation of and professional development opportunities for teachers, particularly those that encourage people of high ability and diverse backgrounds to enter and remain in K-12 teaching.

In addition, the Braitmayer Foundation provides modest support of activities in Marion, Massachusetts and surrounding communities that will improve the quality of life for residents in the area.

Maximum award: $35,000.

Eligibility: Grants may be used anywhere in the United States as seed money, challenge grants, or to match other grants to the recipient organizations.

Deadline: March 15, 2012.


McGraw-Hill Companies: Harold McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education

The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education annually recognizes outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving education in this country and whose accomplishments are making a difference today.

Honorees are chosen by a distinguished panel of judges made up of thoughtful and influential members of the education community.

Maximum award: $50,000.

Eligibility: policymakers, leaders in higher education, and school-based personnel.

Deadline: March 16, 2012.


Ashoka Changemakers: Activating Empathy Competition

Changemakers is looking for innovative ideas, programs, and learning models from around the world that equip students with the skill of empathy by encouraging social and emotional development; unlocking new ways of viewing problems, opening the door to a new world of potential solutions; addressing bullying or aggression in ways that advance understanding of others’ perspectives; promoting community diversity and a respect for differences; and championing children as real-world problem solvers rather than simply bystanders.

Maximum award: cash and in-kind prizes from Ashoka’s Changemakers, Mattel, 1440 Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Donor’s Choose, and Townsend Press.

Eligibility: teachers, principals, parents, students, or other innovators with a project, program, or new learning experience that can advance empathy in education.

Deadline: March 30, 2012.


Hitachi Foundation: Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs

The Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program supports young entrepreneurs who have formed financially viable businesses that create jobs, supply goods or services, or use internal management practices enabling low-wealth individuals the opportunity to achieve greater economic security.

Maximum award: $40,000 over two years, access to technical resources, and a peer learning community.

Eligibility: entrepreneurs ages 18-29 who are operating businesses that are 1-5 years old and have been generating revenue for a minimum of the last 12 months.

Deadline: March 30, 2012.

Teacher Evaluation Bill Moved On

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A bill that would require annual evaluations of teachers and principals in West Virginia’s public schools cleared two major House committees.

The measure was approved by the House Finance Committee last week after receiving the okay from the House Education Committee earlier in the legislative session.

West Virginia Department of Education and West Virginia Board of Education are planning to apply for a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind act.

One of the requirements to get a waiver is to have teacher evaluations linked, in part, to student achievement.

Teacher evaluations have been a bone of contention the last few years at the statehouse, but the idea seems to have momentum now because education officials want the federal waiver.

“We really have nailed out the details during the past year,“ Assistant State Superintendent Amelia Davis Courts told members of the committee last week. Courts has worked on a task force that has been studying the evaluation issue.

Courts says the state Board of Education would like to have the additional flexibility that getting out from under No Child Left Behind would bring.

She says there are “unreasonable expectations and labeling of schools” under the federal education act.

The evaluation bill now goes to the full House of Delegates for consideration.

Message from Gilmer County Sheriff Metz

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Sheriff Mickey E Metz
10 Howard Street
Glenville, WV 26351
304.462.7441

February 17, 2012


Dear Community Leader:

I would like to take this opportunity to identify Cindy Fair of Creative Safety Products to the various professional, religious and civic organizations serving Gilmer County.

Cindy Fair, of Creative Safety Products, is working to provide the DEPUTY PHIL Child Safety Program for our kindergarten through fourth grade students. This Program and its accompanying materials are part of an ongoing educational process. Involvement by law enforcement, teachers and parents reinforces the concepts presented therein.

Gilmer County has enjoyed the educational benefits of the DEPUTY PHIL Program for seven years and we enthusiastically look forward to continuing with this successful and valuable educational resource. In fact, in past surveys teachers have said of the DEPUTY PHIL Program: “It reaches ALL students with an important message “.

Educational resources, such as DEPUTY PHIL, are part of an effort to educate and protect Gilmer County’s most precious and promising resource: our children.


Sincerely,
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Sheriff Mickey E Metz

Official Little League Sign-Up 2012 - March 02, 2012

Click H E R E for application form from Little League Organization

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Click H E R E for application form from Little League Organization

G-Comm™: Puppets, Lackeys And The Drums Of War

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On RT (Russia Today) television the other night, it was reported that a recent poll indicated that over 50 % of the American people considered Iran to be a threat to the U.S. and felt it would be appropriate to invade them. It would not have been a surprise if Fox News, CNN or MSNBC had made such a preposterous suggestion. Intelligent viewers would assume that this was just another propaganda piece and not worth taking seriously. RT, however, ends to have honest reporting, and is not a mere mouthpiece for North America’s ruling class.

One could ponder the absurdity of believing that literally 50% of the American people are so bereft of the ability to think critically that such a poll could have any efficacy at all. A more fruitful inquiry, though, would not focus on the supposed results of the poll, but rather on the more obvious question of “Who did the poll?” Of course, one might expect that the poll was simply another example of manipulative governmental spokespeople pretending to have their bellicose agenda endorsed by public opinion. What the “poll” really points to, however, is the degree to which the American people are mislead on a daily basis by puppet institutions, mouthpieces and groups that are part of the oligarchy’s assaults on nations and people everywhere.

Rather than admitting our imperial objectives throughout the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa, the United States trots out supposedly neutral third parties to support and applaud our actions everywhere. Thus, it is NATO, and not the U.S. military that takes the lead in destroying Libya or Syria, or anywhere else we demand that it shows up. It is the Arab League that condemns Syria, and calls for the murder of Bashar al-Assad, not the Pentagon or our own government. It is Israel, and not assassins from the Navy Seals or some other clandestine Special Operations Forces from the U.S. that kills Iranian scientists…. The list is endless.

Is the ever-increasing violence perpetrated by our government on independent nations to be accomplished so facilely? Is it merely a matter of the oligarchy trotting out some supposedly neutral, non-puppet voice, to endorse whatever atrocity they propose at the moment?

Certainly these so-called international institutions and groups have some credibility and influence on a bewildered public. But, are we, as a nation, so naïve and shallow as to believe that NATO, the Arab League, or militarist fanatics from Israel are making decisions that are not directed and issued by the U.S. military-industrial complex? The onslaught brought about as a result of our aggression internationally is of monumental proportions. Missile systems strategically located on the borders of countries that refuse refuse to be vassals of the U.S., special operations assassins, drones, “contractors” who are little more than hired mercenaries are our stock and trade. The policies, practices and attitudes of those who have seized control of the U.S. go far beyond the Democrats or Republicans. The same repressive oligarchs that brought us NAFTA, the supposed “war on terrorism,” Homeland Security, and the mass incarceration of our own people feel so immune from retaliation that they need do nothing more than present us with puppets and lackeys to repeat their lies – a docile American public will do nothing to stop this madness.

We are supposedly withdrawing our troops from Iraq, after our stunning “victory” there, but nothing is said of the mercenaries, or “contractors” as our leaders would characterize them, who have replaced the troops at greater cost to the American people than our own military would incur. We are “leaving” Afghanistan, after wasting 10 years, countless lives, and billions of dollars of our taxpayer’s money, only to remain there with civilian soldiers, not directly beholden to the Pentagon. And now we are about to invade Iran, as if our involvement there is in support of Israeli aggression. Israel could not exist for 30 minutes without U.S. military support. What garbage and nonsense it is to suggest that we are not the ones making the ultimate decision regarding the invasion of Iran!

With Tea Party spokespeople, right-wing think tanks, like the Hoover Institute, with high-placed politicians and government employees such as Clarence Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas (who drew income from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank where she worked from 1998 to 2003 and from Liberty Central, a conservative political education group she co-founded in January 2009 in part to energize Tea Party activists), or AIPAC, or the other front groups for Israel, Zionism and American corporate militarism, the oligarchs and thieves who have robbed the American people blind can sit back and laugh themselves all the way to the bank.

The U.S does have its own apologists and spokespeople; i.e., those who are responsible for keeping the belligerent determined face on America. Susan Rice looked like a fool screaming her defiance toward Iran, Russia and China at the U.N., passing resolution after resolution, each more transparent than the next while trying to look credible and aggressive. Clinton continues her unbelievable tirades trying to pretend that we are outsourcing “American democracy” throughout the world. Both are as ridiculous as Khrushchev, pounding his shoe on the table at the U.N. General Assembly on October 12, 1960.

As the President travels throughout the country, seeking money from the unidentified rich, and carrying out the only campaign promise he will ever keep, namely, to raise a billion dollars to ensure his own reelection, the American people watch docilely, as the last vestiges of democracy in this country are torn asunder; yet, we need not feel isolated or abandoned — the rich have an alphabet soup full of “independent” thinkers and countries standing by, on call, to assure us that world opinion is on our side. Whatever their title, you can be sure these forces are loyal to, and on the payroll of, the U.S. ruling class.

Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law. Marti Hiken is the director of Progressive Avenues. She is the former associate director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and former chair of the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force. Read other articles by Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken, or visit Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken’s website.

~~  Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken ~~

G-Comm™: How the Earned Income Tax Credit Can Help Working West Virginians This Tax Season

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One of the least known but most important provisions in the tax code is called the EITC – the Earned Income Tax Credit.

With tax season on the horizon, there’s no better time to check and see if you are eligible for the EITC. But, you can’t claim the benefit if you don’t ask for it.

Why does it matter? Because the EITC puts money back into the pockets of hard-working West Virginians and makes taxes a little more fair for low-income workers.

I’ll give you an example of why it matters. A West Virginian in Nicholas County works part-time and has to travel a long distance from her rural home to receive chemotherapy treatments.

The extra money she gets back in taxes from the EITC helps make sure she won’t miss out on bill payments or skip a needed trip to the grocery store.

In essence, the EITC is a refundable federal tax credit for low-income working individuals and families.

You do not have to have children or be married to qualify – someone working a full-time minimum wage job may be eligible for the EITC.

Last year, almost 160,000 working West Virginians benefited from this tax credit, receiving approximately $328 million in returns to the state. The average of each credit is more than $2,000.

In these tough economic times where wages are stagnant for low paying jobs, a tax credit like the EITC is vital and each dollar from it makes a difference.  I have seen firsthand how helpful the EITC is to working families across the state; some are using it to catch up on bills and do necessary home repairs, pay for education and job training, or just be able to make ends meet.

At the current federal minimum wage, a full-time worker makes just below 70% of the poverty level for a family of four. According to the Center on Budget and Policy, even if a family of four has both parents working full-time minimum wage jobs, the family cannot move above the poverty line without receiving the EITC.

It also helps disabled West Virginians; one family in our state had struggled because the wife was working part-time to care for a completely disabled husband and young daughter.  This family made use of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to do their taxes and found out they were eligible for the EITC.  With their EITC refund, they were able to pay some debts, buy some badly needed household items, and put money away in a savings account in case of an emergency expense.

I want to encourage qualified working families and individuals to claim the EITC when they file their taxes this year, especially the 40,000 eligible West Virginians who did not take advantage of this credit last year.  Filing taxes can seem overwhelming, but there are volunteers willing to help with this through VITA – which uses IRS certified volunteers who can have your refunds direct deposited in your bank account at no additional cost.

Free personal help in preparing your taxes will be offered in every West Virginia County from now until April 15, 2012, but you should call early for an appointment. To find a VITA site near you, dial 2-1-1 or visit www.wveitc.com.

Don’t pay too much in taxes this year.  See if you qualify for EITC, talk to your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors about it. The EITC makes a difference, and my hope is that it will reach all who qualify this year.

Legislative Update – by – Delegate Brent Boggs - House Majority Leader - 02.27.12

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Aside from a skiff of snow on Saturday morning, this was about as weather perfect as you can get for the end of February.  It provided a full weekend of work at home and for events in both Braxton and Gilmer Counties.  I’m having a tough time explaining to Collin and Gavin in South Carolina why Papaw and Grammy are not shoveling snow, but I have a feeling we’ll be doing that before spring arrives.

Last week brought a host of visitors from the district, including our Veterans, Cub Scouts, Webelos, and Boy Scouts from Sutton; 4-H kids from Gilmer County;  a citation for Buddy Griffin and the GSC Bluegrass Music Degree program; youth serving as pages and many, many others.  It is wonderful indeed to have so many visitors and guests that take time to travel from home to visit.

As of last Friday, February 24th, a total of 2,022 bills have been introduced in the West Virginia Legislature; 1,348 in the House of Delegates and 674 in the state Senate. The House has passed 72 bills and the Senate has now passed 104. There have been 12 bills which have completed legislative action and signed into law by the Governor or are awaiting action by the Governor.

This week, we enter into the final two weeks of the regular session, which will end at midnight Saturday, March 10.  Afterwards, the budget will be completed, as it cannot be balanced until all bills that passed during the session are factored into budget consideration for their fiscal impact.

This week I want to go into an explanation of HB 4630, which makes changes to the Braxton County Recreational Development Authority.  The creation of the current day Holly Gray Park is found in the Acts of the Legislature from the early 1960’s after Camp Holly Gray (near to the present day Corps of Engineers’ Freeman Campground) was ultimately flooded upon the completion of Sutton Dam and the Holly River backwaters of Sutton Lake.

First, the bill clearly spells out that the park is, first and foremost, a 4-H camp and facility.  This is the most important component of the bill.  The Legislature has provided substantial funding for improvements in recent years and there are even more major improvements to the park in the works.  I’m pleased that our 4-H youth have such a great location for their activities and this bill reaffirms that mission of the Park.

The bill adds two additional members to the five-member Recreational Development Authority: one to be a member of the Braxton County Commission and one member from the Braxton County Board of Education.  It also will require any land transaction to receive a majority vote approval by each of the three aforementioned entities - the five members of the Braxton County Recreational Development Authority, Board of Education and County Commission.  On all other matters, the Recreational Development Authority will continue as they have in the past. After June 30, 2012, the County Commission will make Authority appointments instead of the Board of Education.

Holly Gray Park is truly an asset to Braxton County and central West Virginia. It possesses unlimited potential, provided that sufficient planning and funding is in place to move forward with necessary maintenance, improvements and new additions for the Park. However, it is in need of a consistent level of funding to grow, attract more visitors, improve and expand the facility for the use of our citizens.  In working with all three entities, we have sought to address the concerns that each determined was important, as all parties needed to agree before moving forward.  The bill now goes to the Senate this week.  I hope it leads to improved funding for the park on the county level, strengthens its primary mission as a 4-H facility and allows for the growth and development of this wonderful facility for everyone.

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.

Bon Appétit: Spicy Black Bean Cakes

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Ingredients:

  Lime Sour Cream:
  1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
  2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  1 small fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
  salt to taste
   
  Bean Cakes:
  2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  4 green onions, thinly sliced
  6 cloves garlic, pressed
  2 fresh jalapeno peppers, finely diced
  1 tablespoon ground cumin
  2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  salt and black pepper to taste
  2 cups grated raw sweet potato
  1 egg, lightly beaten
  1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs


Directions:

To prepare lime sour cream, mix the sour cream, lime juice, 1 small minced jalapeno, and salt together in a small bowl.

Cover, and refrigerate.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.

Cook green onions until softened, about 1 minute.

Stir in garlic, 2 diced jalapenos, and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Transfer contents of skillet to a large bowl.

Stir in black beans, and mash with a fork.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix in sweet potatoes, egg, and bread crumbs.

Divide into 8 balls, and flatten into patties.

In the oven, set cooking rack about 4 inches from heat source.

Set oven to broil.

Lightly grease baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil.

Place bean patties on baking sheet, and broil 8 to 10 minutes.

Turn cakes over, and broil until crispy, about 3 minutes more.

Serve with lime sour cream.

Ask the Doctor: Can Bladder Cancer Recur?

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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: If a person has had the bladder removed, can bladder cancer recur?
My cousin’s father-in-law had bladder cancer.
His bladder was removed.
However, he eventually died. - M.C.

ANSWER: I take it he died of bladder cancer.
When bladder cancer penetrates the muscular wall of the bladder, it is usual to remove lymph nodes, adjacent tissues and the entire bladder.
If the cancer is subsequently found to be confined entirely to the bladder, the survival statistics are good.
If the cancer has spread to lymph nodes, the outlook is not as good.
Cancer cells can still be present in organs and tissues that were not removed.
The cancer can recur in those places.

Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible.

Daily G-Eye™: 02.27.12

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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 - 02.27.12

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Leo, the lion, is springing into the evening sky.

It is in full view in the east by about 8:00 PM, and its brightest stars form a pattern that does resemble a crouching lion.

Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, shines white, with perhaps a hint of blue.


Leo Rising

Leo, the lion, is springing into the evening sky. It’s in full view in the east by about 8 p.m., and its brightest stars form a pattern that really does resemble a crouching lion.

Leo’s brightest star is Regulus. It shines white, with perhaps a slight hint of blue.

All stars produce all wavelengths of visible light, from red to yellow to blue. But based on its surface temperature, each star produces more energy at some wavelengths than at others. Regulus, for example, is hotter than the Sun, so it peaks at the blue end of the spectrum. In fact, Regulus is so hot that it puts out quite a bit of light in the ultraviolet, which is invisible to the human eye.

The Sun is thousands of degrees cooler than Regulus, so it peaks at yellow wavelengths, which are in the middle of the spectrum of visible light. That’s why the Sun is sometimes described as a yellow star.

But a star’s color becomes obvious only from a great distance. At close range, the colors all blend together, generally making the star look white — just as the Sun does in our sky. If we could see the Sun from a few light-years away, though, it would show a definite yellowish tint.

Once a star gets really far away, though, so that it becomes only a tiny pinpoint in the sky, it looks white. That’s not because of a change in the star itself, but because it’s not bright enough to trigger the color receptors in our eyes — in effect, bleaching away the star’s true character.

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