Pioneer Basketball

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Women’s Basketball vs. WV State 5:30PM Lilly Gymnasium
Men’s Basketball vs. WV State 7:30PM Lilly Gymnasium

School Delays/Closings for Friday 1/30/09

Braxton County >  Closed
Calhoun County > Closed
Doddridge County > Closed
Gilmer County > Closed
Lewis County > Closed
Ritchie County > Closed

Last updated 01/30/09 7:19AM

Pioneer Victory on the Road

Women: Glenville State 77 Davis & Elkins 71
Men: Glenville State 81 Davis & Elkins 73

WV Gets a C- on Teacher Quality Policies


West Virginia gets a barely-passing grade for the way it identifies and maintains new effective teachers, but the state is still above average overall in a national teacher quality report. The National Council of Teacher Quality report evaluates state policies that impact new teachers, and those with less than five years of experience.
The report first looked how the state identifies new effective teachers. Vice President of the National Council on Teacher Quality, Sandi Jacobs, says states struggle most in this category, including West Virginia.
“One of the things that the state in particular is in a position to do much more easily than districts is to create a longitudinal data system where standardized test data is tracked over time that matches students to teachers and has demographic information so that you’re able to control for certain variables,” said Jacobs. “West Virginia actually has all the elements it would need ... but it’s not using the system in that capacity.”
West Virginia’s Department of Education is making other changes that it feels will help identify effective new teachers. Karen Huffman, West Virginia Department of Education Director of the Division of Educator Quality, says the state is revising its teacher standards.“This is more about informing teachers of the expectations, and we are using teachers to help us write those statements,” said Huffman. “We need the consensus from those people who are working in field who are expert teachers to say this is what should be expected in terms of teacher behavior and performance and these are examples of what that looks like.”
Nathan Estel, a director with state Department of Education, is working to implement the new standards. The Department is partnering with colleges and universities where future teachers are trained.
“That work is about to kick off,” said Estel. “We are looking at approximately a two-year process, so that as we look into the future we have a better pipeline of teachers that we would identify, as this report did, as effective teachers in the classroom.”
The national report also critiqued West Virginia’s ability to retain effective new teachers. The report says pay and benefits, including the state-run retirement system, hurts newer teachers and offers inadequate incentives for them to stay.
“States that have a state-salary schedule, such as West Virginia does, means that districts have no freedom to compensate teachers based on anything except the factors in the state schedule, which is traditionally years of experience and whether or not they have an advanced degree. We strongly encourage states to give that authority to districts,” Jacobs said.
Huffman says pay and benefit policies are based on state law and are more difficult for the Department of Education to address. Also, the department does not support performance-based pay increases that are linked to student test results.
“It’s really a misuse of standardized test scores to evaluate teachers using that kind of data. Again, we think that it is much better to work with our teachers and identify what is it that we want our teachers to know and be able to do,” said Huffman.
The agency plans to present the new teacher standards to the state Board of Education at next month’s meeting.
West Virginia’s overall C- ranking in the National Council of Teacher Quality report is actually above the national average of D+. The report commends the state for giving multiple annual teacher evaluations and instituting improvement plans if a teacher receives a poor evaluation.WVPB

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Do Energy-savings Outweigh Mercury Hazard?


With the issue of climate change on everyone’s mind these days, people are looking for ways to cut down on energy use. Many people are turning to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
But there is also a concern because CFLs contain a small amount of mercury. One Pennsylvania resident recently emailed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mid-Atlantic region to ask what she should do:
“The problem with CFLs,” she wrote, “is that these bulbs contain mercury and they need to be disposed of properly but the box does not give any instructions. Should we be more concerned with energy saving or mercury hazards?
EPA’s electronics recycling specialist Dan Gallo, who responded to the question, says the benefits of lower energy consumption outweigh the disadvantages but “EPA promotes and encourages the safe disposal of old CFLs to prevent the release of mercury into the environment,”
“Although CFCs do contain mercury, it is present in trace amounts—five milligrams—an amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen,” said Gallo.  “It would take 100 CFLs to equal the amount of mercury contained in older thermometers, which is about 500 milligrams.”
The good news is that old CFC bulbs can be taken to Home Depot, IKEA and Ace Hardware for recycling. And Wal-mart is piloting a CFL recycling program at its stores in the Richmond, Va. area.
Since CFLs use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs, if every American switched one incandescent bulb to a CFL, it would save more than $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 800,000 cars.
“Using CFLs is a quick and easy way for Americans to save energy and money everyday, while they also protect the environment,” Gallo said.
But if a bulb accidentally breaks, proper clean-up is necessary.
“The first thing you want to do is to get everyone out of room, including pets,” Gallo said. “Open a window to air out the room for at least 15 minutes. If you broke the bulb on a hard surface, take a piece of stiff paper or cardboard and scoop up as much of the debris and residue as you can.”
Gallo advises to use an old glove or sock to protect hands and then wipe up any remaining residue with a moist paper towel. “If you broke the bulb on a carpeted surface, you’ll want to use sticky tape to blot up any residue.  Put everything in a plastic bag or a jar that can be sealed with a lid and dispose of it with the regular household trash.”
For more information on CFLs go to:

US Postal Service Asking for One Less Day in Mail Service!


Postmaster General John E. Potter went before Congress on Wednesday asking them to consider a five day postal service workweek.
Saturday isn’t the only day the Postal Service is considering. Some say Tuesday would be a better choice because it’s considered a low-flow day.  And by keeping things running Saturday, that gives people who work through the week the chance to get to the post office.
Reason given for the request: Increase Cost and Internet mail.

GSC: Board of Governors Meeting


Date: Monday, February 2, 2009
Time: 1:00PM
Place: President’s Conference Room in Administration Building
Public is Welcome

When Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday….


When Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, as it does this year, it provides an opportunity for a whole weekend to say “Be my Valentine” with dinner, a play, a dance or a romantic getaway at a West Virginia state park lodge or cabin. Special “Sweetheart packages” are available at a state park near wherever you live, including North Bend, Cacapon, Hawks Nest, Pipestem, and Chief Logan Lodge, and reservations are highly recommended.

        Sweetheart packages, dinner theaters, and dances are some of the many West Virginia State Park’s programs and events scheduled this year. For information regarding specific Sweetheart/Valentine details, contact 800-CALL-WVA and ask for the park by name. For a complete list of activities and events at WV State Parks and Forests, go online to and click on “calendar” or call (304) 558-2764 and request a printed Calendar of Events to be mailed.

North Bend State Park, Ritchie County – Contact Gayle McGuffey (304) 643-2931

        The North Bend Sweetheart Package includes Friday evening activities and snacks, Saturday breakfast buffet, Saturday dinner and dance with the band “Stepping Stone” providing a great mix of dance favorites. The package also includes room reservations at the North Bend State Park Lodge both Friday and Saturday nights.

        “We enjoy having fun at North Bend,” says Gayle McGuffey, event coordinator. The North Bend weekend includes a “caught you being sweet” game where guests are awarded candy hearts to collect prizes at Saturday’s dance. The Tunnel of Love Hike on Friday evening may not be everyone’s idea of a romantic weekend, but those strolling through an illuminated tunnel on the North Bend Rail Trail are rewarded with a hot cocoa break at the gazebo before returning to the lodge.  ‘It’s a heart healthy activity combined with a chocolate fix,” says McGuffey. Friday evening also includes The North Bend Sweetheart Game, based on the TV game show, “The Newlywed Game.” How well do you know your sweetheart?

        Saturday includes a ‘honey’ of a breakfast and an opportunity to get outside for a short walk to see beaver habitat. McGuffey indicates the dam building activity by resident park beavers is amazing to watch.  The weekend also encourages visits to area shops and local stores, a keepsake craft activity with instruction and craft provided by Woolen Willow of Williamstown, W.Va., and more.  The Saturday Sweetheart buffet features prime rib and Chef Ingel’s dessert bar. The Sweetheart Dance, which includes finger foods and refreshments, starts at 9 p.m. with the band “Stepping Stone.”

        For more information, contact North Bend State Park, (304) 643-2931.The full weekend cost is $270 per couple including taxes and gratuities, activities, dinner and dance. Dinner/dance only options are available.

Hawks Nest State Park, Fayette County – Contact: Willa Grafton (304) 658-5212

        If your Valentine is an Elvis fan, Hawks Nest is the place for Valentine’s weekend. Event coordinator Willa Grafton says, “With the voice and moves like Elvis himself, impersonator Frankie Dee is a true entertainer.”  There are four options for Valentine weekend fun: dinner and entertainment Friday Night, February 13 at 7:30 p.m., a Saturday Matinee, February 14 at 2 p.m., Saturday Night, February 14 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday Matinee, February 15 at 2 p.m.

        “Our two shows last year had folks asking for more,” according to Grafton. ‘‘’That’s all right,’ if ‘you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’,’ our weekend at Hawks Nest is sure to rekindle ‘young love’ or maybe just help you remember Elvis and some great songs from 1953-1977. What better weekend to ‘put on your blue suede shoes’ and bring your sweetheart, friends, group or family for the fun we have at Hawks Nest dinner theaters?”

        The event is packaged with dinner, entertainment, overnight lodging and breakfast, or choose dinner and entertainment only.  All dinner theaters at Hawks Nest are listed on the park’s Web site, and click “events.”


Stonewall and Canaan Valley resorts and Blackwater Falls also offer weekend options.

        Canaan Valley in Tucker County is introducing American Mountain Theater, a Branson-style production Valentine’s Day weekend and at other dates this winter. Contact Canaan Valley at (304) 866-4121 for information.

        Stonewall Resort, located in Lewis County, offers a package that includes lodging, dinner and champagne and spa options. Call Stonewall at (304) 269-7400 for information and to make reservations.
          The restaurant for Blackwater Falls in Tucker County will feature a Valentines theme and the park offers room and cabin options. Call Blackwater Falls at (304) 259-5216 for weekend options and reservations.

        West Virginia State Parks restaurants that are open year-round with full-service include: Stonewall, Pipestem, Cacapon, Canaan Valley, and Twin Falls resorts, North Bend, Hawks Nest, Blackwater Falls, and Chief Logan Lodge.

School Closings/Delays for Thursday, January 29th 2009

Calhoun County > 2-Hour Delay
Doddridge County > 2-Hour Delay
Gilmer County > 2-Hour Delay
Lewis County > 2-Hour Delay
Ritchie County > Closed

Last Updated 01/28/09 8:47PM

Sand Fork Council Meeting

Date: Monday, February 2, 2009
Time: 7:30PM
Place: Sand Fork City Hall

Honeybee Expo 2009


Hosted By: Mid-Ohio Valley Beekeepers Assoc. & WVU Ext. Service
Date: January 31, 2009
Time: 8AM-4PM
Place: WVU-Parkersburg
City: Parkersburg, WV
Contact: Teresa, 375-4919

WV Wesleyan Announces American Scholar Finalists

Twelve seniors from nine area high schools have been selected as finalists in the third Magic 106.5 FM West Virginia Wesleyan American Scholar competition.
Online voting is currently under way and will continue through Jan. 30 up to 11:59PM. The final results will be announced on Feb. 5.
The American Scholar winner will receive a four-year tuition and fees scholarship to attend Wesleyan, valued at more than $90,000. The first runner-up will receive $5,000 and $2,500 will be awarded to the second runner-up. These awards will be combined with other Wesleyan scholarship programs. The American Scholar program is also sponsored by U.S. Cellular, Mountain Valley Bank and Mission West Virginia.
Finalists for the scholarship competition include: Ashley White from Buckhannon-Upshur, Kaleb Wilfong from Tucker County, Ellis Wyatt from Harman, Joel Abraham from South Harrison, Skylar Alonso from Liberty, Arielle Baker from Fairmont Senior, Brandon Cochran from South Harrison, Cora Freeman from Gilmer County, Nolan Harvath from East Fairmont, Gabrielle LaFata from Morgantown, Marissa Pulice from Fairmont Senior and Kayla Rose from Braxton County.
Freeman is a member of the National Honor Society at Gilmer County High School and was one of her school’s representatives at Rhododendron Girls State. She is the class treasurer and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Freeman is an active member of the Church of God of Prophecy where she creates, plans and implements the Kid’s Praise Program and serves as the children’s church teacher. In addition, she volunteers her time at the Sunbridge Nursing Home and works 16 to 25 hours per week at a local restaurant. She is the daughter of Velma and Larry Freeman of Sand Fork and plans to pursue psychology or English.
The scholarship winners are selected through a scoring system that includes evaluations from the scholarship committee members and online votes at

Books: Best Selling Fiction




Plum Spooky Janet Evanovich, St. Martin's1


The Host Stephenie Meyer; Little, Brown33


Black Ops W.E.B. Griffin, Putnam2


Scarpetta Patricia Cornwell, Putnam5


Cross Country James Patterson; Little, Brown7


Fire and Ice Julie Garwood, Ballantine2


The Story of Edgar Sawtelle David Wroblewski, Ecco29


The Hour I First Believed Wally Lamb, Harper8


Running Hot Jayne Ann Krentz, Putnam2


Eclipse Richard North Patterson, Henry Holt1

GCHS: Basketball Game Cancelled

Varsity Girl’s Game at Wirt has been cancelled on January 28

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