Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Business Class Attends FBLA State Leadership Conference
The CGCC Business Students attended the FBLA State Leadership Conference at the Civic Center in Charleston, WV on April 20-21, 2015.
FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) is a national organization with more than 200,000 members nationwide. During the conference, students attended workshops on various business related issues like Communication Skills, Frauds and Scams, Fundraising, Chick-fil-A’s Marketing Strategies, Money Matters with the state auditor’s office and many more.
Some students gave presentations at the conference. That evening students were treated to a nice dinner and various other forms of entertainment.
(L-R) Thomas Eakle Brandy Dobbins, Dearra Stull, Gwen Jones, Joseph Thomas,
Advisor Sarah Dennison, Dylan Snider, Ayla Young, Samantha Young and Alec Richards
The awards ceremony, Keynote Speaker address and installation of new state officers was held on Tuesday morning.
The Keynote Speaker for the Conference was Joshua Miller, a former All-American baseball player form Ravenswood, WV who is now an independent film maker.
His first film a documentary called “Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey”, was inspired by personal tragedy within his family and local community in Ravenswood, WV after a major factory was shut down.
At the rewards ceremony, our Game Design Group Alec Richards, Thomas Eakle and Dylan Snider won 3rd place for their game and presentation.
Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center FBLA Students win 3rd place in
Game Design Competition at the State Leadership Conference in Charleston
(L-R) Thomas Eakle, Alec Richards and Dylan Snider
They are now invited to attend the National Competition at the National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Ill. on June 29-July 02.
The FBLA students and advisor would like to thank all those businesses that have supported FBLA in any way this year.
And a special thank you to the Minnie Hamilton Health System, Calhoun Banks, J & B Drug Store and Houchin Construction for their generous donations.
This trip to Chicago is going to be very expensive and we are hoping we can raise enough money to attend.
At this time, we are planning a car wash on May 30 at Advance Auto in Glenville and hope everyone will come out and support us.
G-Eye™: Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Report - 03.16.15
Gilmer County Board of Education
Gilmer County High School
Monday, March 16, 2015 – 6:00 PM
I. CALL TO ORDER - Roll Call by President
II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
IV. CONSENT AGENDA-NEW BUSINESS
A. Minutes: February 25, 2015
B. Budget Supplements & Transfers
C. Financial Statement/Treasurer’s Report
D. Accounts Payable
E. Student Transfers
F. School Volunteers
G. Field Trips
We apologize for lack of report. We have asked for this information in person, in meetings, and in writing multiple times, but still we are not getting the information ALL previous Superintendents provided. Instead, we receive several blank pages with heading for each line items.
V. REVIEW & CONSIDER REVISIONS OF DELEGATION POLICY
VI. MASONIC CORNERSTONE - GILMER COUNTY ELEMENTARY
VII. SUPERINTENDENT’S INFORMATION/ACTION
A. 2015 Spring Break & Calendar
B. Request for Purchase-Technology
C. LIREC Grant AND Policy 2512
VIII. REPORTS/DISCUSSION/FOLLOW-UP ACTION
A. C-GCC - Dr. Carl Armour – February 26, 2015
B. RESA 7- Dr. William Simmons
Video of 04.20.15 Meeting will be published on Thursday
Only the kids who have a computer at home can go home and finish what they started. How many families have it at home is the real question? The school doesn’t pay for them to have internet or a computer.
By Pscilla on 04.28.2015
Right out of the gate Mr Devono’s person can’t or won’t tell how the tax collections compare to last year? Doesn’t know? Is she kidding? No doubt you already went and found out for yourself Mrs. Hurley, they’re down. Watching this gives little hope Gilmer won’t wind up in the red by the end of this year just like the Commission. Why is it that board can’t get an answer to any questions? Seems a small thing but a prime example that you have a Superintendent with no experience. He should have been ready with the answer to that question. How on earth can they do a good budget without it? No board member should have to struggle the way Gilmers people do for the even the most basic information.
By Sam K Clarksburg on 04.28.2015
= The state board of education has known for years they are a failure.
= Parents also know the Manchin led educators have failed West Virginia children.
= The Governor knows it because he requested the audit that shows it.
= Seemingly the elected legislature is well aware.
= Obvious in this meeting the board cannot obtain information, even something as simple and basic as an equipment inventory.
= Pretty obvious that state superpuppet dances and gyrates when direct questions are asked, giving meaningless responses.
= We are watching the continued unraveling of the Charleston board of education. This is what happens when politics takes control. Can we expect the problem to have the solution?
By reader5 on 04.28.2015
The information available is that about 50% of Gilmer County families with school children have Internet.
By Ray Prichard on 04.28.2015
We don’t know how many computers we have in Gilmer County’s schools, we don’t know where there are for sure, we don’t know what condition they are in, but we are buying 225 more of them?
Mr. Devono had already put bids out for the computers when the local board voted to purchase them and all the members knew that, and Mr. Devono prevented a local business from bidding on the computers to have a chance to save the County money?
Where I am wrong.
By James J. Trace on 04.28.2015
Does anyone have the time-date-place for the new home schooling group meeting?
By Troy parent on 04.28.2015
Mr. Simmons says IBM and other companies will not hire graduates because they can’t write but at the same time he’s all for getting the laptops. By putting a computer in the students hands that takes away from the time they learn to write. Being a former English professor that should be the last thing he wants.
By Jr.73 on 04.28.2015
Who is running this meeting? Certainly not the president! The way this meeting is conducted is in violation of parliamentary procedures and Robert’s Rules of Order.
E-cigs, Flavored Tobacco Use Spreads Among Teens, ‘Tweens
CHARLESTON, WV - E-cigarettes are increasing in popularity, and new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicate some of the growth is being driven by middle and high schoolers. The new National Youth Tobacco Survey says e-cigarette usage tripled among ‘tweens and teens from 2013 to 2014.
CDC Director Tom Frieden says the increased popularity of the product is working against other progress made in the fight against cigarette smoking.
“Big picture is we’re seeing a striking increase. It’s very concerning,“ says Frieden. “It more than counterbalances the decrease in cigarette smoking, which we’ve seen occurring over the last few years.“
The C-D-C estimates last year, there were two-point-four million youth users of e-cigarettes, and an estimated one-point-six million young people who used hookahs, the large pipes used to smoke flavored tobacco. The agency says those numbers have tripled since 2011.
Brian King, deputy director for research translation with the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, says the many flavors offered with e-cigarettes and hookah tobacco make them interesting options to young people.
“Hookah, like e-cigarettes, are not regulated, although they have proposed to be regulated, and they’re still available in flavors, and particularly kid-friendly flavors that can increase appeal and access,“ King says.
This is the first time since the government began collecting data on e-cigarettes in 2011 that e-cigarette use surpassed usage figures for every other type of tobacco product, including conventional cigarettes.
Though politicians and reformers have fixated on teacher performance, many overlook a key element for student achievement—principals, writes Will Miller of the Wallace Foundation in The New York Times.
Currently, great principals rarely work where they’re needed most: in low-income schools.
A generation ago, good principals were efficient managers who oversaw budgets, bus schedules, and discipline.
Today’s principals must focus on teaching quality.
Most begin as teachers and earn master’s degrees in educational administration, but university principal-training programs are often inadequate.
New principals are frequently thrown into tough jobs with little assistance from districts, quitting within three to four years before they can turn things around, less than the five to seven years recommended by the Wallace Foundation’s study of school leadership. As lawmakers debate reauthorization of the ESEA, they should make principal training a priority.
Federal policy should improve preparation and mentoring of principals, and require equitable distribution of those who are effective.
States should toughen principal-training accreditation and principal-licensing requirements.
Universities should selectively admit outstanding candidates to programs, and districts should groom school leaders through proper training, matching principal strengths to school needs.
Great teachers are essential, but not enough.
They must be led and developed by great principals.
Want Reform? Principals Matter, Too
POLITICIANS and education reformers are fixated on the performance of teachers, but they often overlook another key ingredient for improving student achievement: principals. The problem is that great principals often don’t end up in the schools that need them most — those with poor and minority students. School districts, states and universities need to do much more to get outstanding principals into these schools.
A generation ago, good principals were efficient middle managers. They oversaw budgets, managed complicated bus schedules and delivered discipline. That started changing in the mid-1990s. Today’s principal needs to be much more focused on the quality of teaching in the classroom.
Take Clayborn Knight, principal of Nesbit Elementary School in Tucker, GA, where more than 90% of his 2,100 students live in poverty. Mr. Knight arrives by 6 AM to form his game plan for the day and handle administrative matters so he can help teachers improve instruction during the rest of the day. He roams from classroom to classroom to observe teachers, give them informal feedback and present model lessons.
Dewey Hensley, the former principal of the J. B. Atkinson Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Louisville, KY, where nearly all of the roughly 400 students were living in poverty, used data to get teachers to own their students’ performance. He lined a wall in the staff room with photos of teachers and color-coded charts showing whether their students were at grade level, below grade level or significantly below grade level. Once one of Kentucky’s lowest performers, his school doubled its proficiency in reading, math and writing.
Kimberly Washington, principal of Hyattsville Middle School in Hyattsville, MD, zeroed in on behavior that interrupted teaching and learning — students who were hanging out in the halls and coming late to class. She instituted uniforms, got extra help for misbehaving students and celebrated students’ accomplishments at rallies. Creating a positive culture helped cut suspensions by 90% from one year to the next.
Without strong principals like these, student achievement won’t improve. My organization, the Wallace Foundation, has spent a decade and a half working with states and districts nationwide, including the districts where these exemplary public school principals operate.
We also commission research on school leadership. In the largest of these studies, covering 180 schools in nine states, researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto concluded, “We have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership.”
We need a bigger pool of outstanding principal candidates; we need to get them into the schools with the greatest challenges; and we need to support them on the job. Right now, that’s not happening in enough communities.
Most principals start out as teachers. They typically earn master’s degrees in educational administration, but many university principal training programs are “inadequate to poor,” according to a study by Arthur Levine, the former president of Teachers College at Columbia University. Would-be principals take classes in general management, school laws and administrative requirements, with little emphasis on how to improve teaching and student learning. The head of the University Council for Educational Administration estimates that only 200 out of the 500 university preparation programs for principals are effective.
New principals are often thrown into these tough jobs to sink or swim with little assistance from their districts, prompting many to quit before they can turn things around. On average, principals nationwide stay at a school about three to four years. That’s less than the five to seven years recommended by the Minnesota-Toronto researchers who conducted our study of school leadership.
It’s hard to think of another profession where so little attention is paid to leadership. Organizations like the military, corporations and universities invest heavily in their leaders. If we’re going to do this in public education, a lot has to change.
In Congress, lawmakers debating reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act need to make principals a priority. Currently only 4 percent of federal dollars for improving educator performance is spent cultivating principals. Federal policy should fund improved training and mentoring for principals and require the equitable distribution of effective principals to schools with the greatest needs.
States should be much tougher about which university principal training programs get accredited and about principal licensing requirements.
Learn About Reducing Air Pollution During National Air Quality Awareness Week
CHARLESTON, WV – Pretty much everyone will occasionally use a drive-through to pick up food or prescriptions. Many of us also idle our car longer than necessary on cold mornings to warm it up. When we do these things, we’re contributing to air pollution. Everyone does in some way, most of the time not even realizing it.
In recognition of National Air Quality Awareness Week this week, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Centers for Disease Control in a national effort to make citizens aware of simple daily choices which can affect their air quality.
“Small changes can make a big impact if everyone does their part,” said DAQ Director Fred Durham. “We all benefit from good air quality and therefore we all should work to keep it clean.”
Transportation choices can play a significant role in air quality improvement. Choose alternatives to driving – take the bus, carpool, bike or walk to your destination. If alternatives are not an option, try these tips: turn off your engine instead of idling; keep your tires properly inflated for better fuel usage; combine trips; and, refuel in the evening hours when fumes from refueling won’t combine with the sun’s heat to increase ozone levels.
Any time you use energy, you contribute to air pollution. Using energy-efficient lighting and appliances not only reduce air pollution, they help save you money. Also consider buying electric or battery-powered lawn care equipment. If using gasoline-fueled devices, prevent spills and overfills. Even small gasoline spills evaporate and pollute the air and groundwater.
Visitors to DEP’s headquarters in the Kanawha City area of Charleston this week can learn about ways to reduce their contribution to air pollution at a display set up in the lobby.
The agency also encourages residents to check out videos on the topic on Our YouTube Page.
DAQ is involved in outreach throughout the year aimed at helping young people learn more about how personal decisions affect air quality.
Trip marks the 25th anniversary of West Virginia’s Nagoya Office
CHARLESTON, WV - Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today announced he will lead a business mission to Japan May 12 through 21. The trip also will mark the 25th anniversary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce’s Nagoya Office. The mission’s goals will be to celebrate and strengthen the ties the state has established with investors over the past 25 years and to attract new business investments to West Virginia.
“We understand great business is built on great relationships, and I’m grateful for the vision of Governor Gaston Caperton, who with then-U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller led the first West Virginia investment mission to the Chubu region, the center of Japan’s manufacturing hub,“ Gov. Tomblin said. “We’re proud of the strong relationships we’ve built over the years, treasure the friendships we’ve made and look forward to ongoing productive discussions to support job growth and investment in the Mountain State.“
Governor Tomblin will be joined on the mission by former Governor Gaston Caperton, who authorized the opening of the Nagoya office during his first term. Since the office opened, the state has seen millions of dollars in investments from Japanese companies. Today, 20 Japanese firms employ more than 3,000 hardworking West Virginians.
The mission’s itinerary includes stops in Nagoya, Yokohama and Tokyo. Outreach efforts include exhibiting and hosting a seminar at JSAE (Japan’s largest automotive trade show), the governor speaking to the Nagoya Chamber of Commerce and nearly a dozen private meetings with both current and prospective investors. For the first time, the governor will also attend a reception with the West Virginia University Alumni Association’s Japan Chapter and its 75 members.
This marks Governor Tomblin’s second trade mission to Japan. Since his visit in 2012, Japanese companies have announced seven expansions to their operations in West Virginia totaling $144 million in new investments and 231 new jobs.
Traveling in the delegation are:
• Former Governor W. Gaston Caperton III
• Keith Burdette, Cabinet Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce
• Steve Spence, Director, International Division, West Virginia Development Office
• Hollie Hubbert, Asia Pacific Project Manager, West Virginia Development Office
• Chelsea Ruby, Director of Marketing & Communications, West Virginia Department of Commerce
• Kris Hopkins, Director, Business and Industrial Development , West Virginia Development Office
• Tom Heywood, Managing Partner, Bowles Rice LLP
• Lloyd Jackson, President, Jackson Resources Company
• Cam Huffman, President, Wood County Development Authority
• Mark Whitley, Director, Jackson County Development Authority
• Andrew Dunlap, Director, Putnam County Development Authority
• Matt Ballard, President, Charleston Area Alliance
• David Graley, Board Member, Huntington Area Development Corporation
• Mami Itamochi, Coordinator, International Education, West Virginia Department of Education
Glenville to Kick Off Abandoned Building Revitalization Program With Community Meeting - Tonight
A community-wide informational meeting on April 28, 2015 to discuss a new effort to tackle vacant, abandoned, and dilapidated buildings throughout town.
The Gilmer County Economic Development Association and the City of Glenville received a $10,000 technical assistance grant through the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center’s BAD (Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated) Buildings to address barriers to the reuse and redevelopment of abandoned and dilapidated buildings in Glenville.
The meeting will be held at the Gilmer County Recreation Center Dining Hall on April 28, 2015 at 7:00 PM.
All members of the community are encouraged to attend and discuss the challenges and opportunities Glenville is facing due to problem properties.
The meeting will kick-off the larger BAD Buildings Project, which is a yearlong effort to identify, prioritize, and begin revitalizing these properties which have been abandoned and become severely dilapidated.
Luke Elser, BAD Buildings Program Manager says, “The BAD Buildings model provides an initial stepping stone for revitalization efforts by initiating redevelopment progress and spurring community involvement. This community kick-off meeting is to get the word out about this program and start to build interest and involvement from local volunteers. This kind of community development work relies, almost entirely, on a community working together to collaboratively solve the problem.”
Glenville was one of only 9 projects awarded statewide to receive a 2015 BAD Buildings Program technical assistance grant.
The BAD Buildings Program is funded through a grant from the Benedum Foundation through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for West Virginia University.
WEST VIRGINIA STATE RACIAL EQUALITY LEADERS SPEAK OUT ON PROGRESS
CHARLESTON, WV — Leaders of two West Virginia racial equality groups agree the state has come a long way but there remains work to be done.
Carolyn Stuart, the executive director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, said people are more aware of the effects of racism today and willing to confront it.
“I think people understand that racism still exists in the 21st century,” Stuart said. “More importantly people believe that it is time to take a stand.”
Lori Jones, the executive director of YWCA Wheeling, said forms of social discrimination must be addressed.
“We have come a long way; however, social and cultural racism still exists. And if we want to change the next generation, we need to start now,” she said.
Jones and Stuart attended a rally Friday at the State Capitol sponsored by the YWCA. It was “Stand Against Racism Day” in the state of West Virginia as declared by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
Jones described the rally as a “coming together of youth leaders” to acknowledge that measures need to be taken to stop racism.
WV DELEGATE FILES BRIEF TO END SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT
MARTINSBURG, WV – West Virginia State Delegate Mike Folk filed a lawsuit with Berkeley County Court Monday to stop Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium” funding, which is a main part of the Common Core Standards in West Virginia known as “Next Generation”.
Folk feels that the law is unconstitutional, and that the testing just takes away money from school systems. He also thinks that the time used for testing could better be used for more time in the classroom learning.
“This Common Core testing extracts around two months of time every school year from quality education our children could otherwise be receiving, and forces educators to teach to the test,” Folk said. “It is a large waste of time and resources, and is nothing less than an unconstitutional attempt on the part of the Federal Department of Education to take over our state educational system.”
During the last legislative session, a bill that would have discontinued Common Core and the SBAC standardized testing in West Virginia passed in the House, but was denied in the Senate. Folk felt that politics played a big role in the decision.
“The bill died in the State Senate due to extensive lobbying by the State Department of Education and Superintendent Martirano that was based on misleading and false information and now students in West Virginia are being harassed and bullied by school administrators when their parents choose to “opt them opt” of this burdensome testing,” he explained.
He said that they’ve been told that it would “take some time” to end the testing, but in his opinion, the opportunity to end it was wasted in 2015 and “now is the time to act”. He pointed out that data can be collected on children without permission, which isn’t right.
“If not now, when? If not us, who?” said Folk. “Parental rights are being trampled and children harassed in our schools, all so the Federal Government can track and log information about our children from the cradle to the grave.”
ENTERPRISE, WV – The victim of a fatal motorcycle accident in Harrison County has been identified.
Marcus Allen Rose, 22, of Shinnston, was on Landing Way Road near Enterprise Sunday afternoon when he lost control of his bike, went into a creek and died at the scene due to the head injuries he sustained.
According to State Police, initial investigation indicates speed played a factor.
BUILDING DAMAGED IN BERKELEY SPRINGS FIRE
BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV — A building in downtown Berkeley Springs sustained major damage in an early morning fire Monday.
Flames and smoke filled the building at 33 Fairfax Street. The website, morgancountyusa.org, reported the building houses three businesses including Portals, Awakenings Health Center and Himalayan Handicrafts. There were also apartments upstairs where it appears the fire began.
Fire crews from West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania were on the scene.
The fire began at around 4 AM Monday. There were no injuries reported.
FIRE DESTROYS DODDRIDGE COUNTY HOME
WEST UNION, WV —Fire destroyed a home off of Big Battle Road in Doddridge County just after 4:00 PM Sunday.
No one was home at the time, and there are no reported injuries.
FCI GILMER INMATE SENTENCED TO ADDITIONAL TIME AFTER ASSAULTING FELLOW PRISONER
CLARKSBURG, WV – An inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution, Gilmer, has been convicted of assaulting a fellow prisoner.
Gary Govindass, 36, pleaded guilty Monday to a criminal Information charging him with one count of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Do Bodily Harm.
In October 2014, Govindass became engaged in a physical altercation with a fellow FCI Gilmer inmate, which escalated to the point in which the victim suffered multiple stab wounds.
He was sentenced to an additional 12 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons and the FCI Gilmer Special Investigative Services Unit led the inquiry.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Montoro prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.
MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION TO FATAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT IN HARRISON COUTNY
SARDIS, WV – A Harrison County man faces charges related to a fatal vehicle accident after police allege he was driving while under the influence.
Jeffrey Scott Davis, 32, of Harrison County, is alleged to have lost control of his vehicle on Gains Hollow Road en route to Sardis after 3:30 AM, Sunday morning.
The Chevy Blazer flipped on its top into a ditch and as a result, a female passenger was killed.
The victim’s identity has not been released at this time.
Davis is charged with DUI causing death with reckless disregard and is being held at North Central Regional Jail with bail set at $50,000.
Deputies with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department are further investigating the accident.
COUPLE CHARGED WITH SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL
TURTLE CREEK, WV – West Virginia State Police have arrested a Boone County couple in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a juvenile girl.
Steven Smith, 22, and Krystal Smith, 19, of Turtle Creek are charged with two counts of third-degree sexual assault, according to a criminal complaint filed in Boone County Magistrate Court.
Troopers said the couple had sex with a 14-year-old girl in Boone County. The criminal complaint said the alleged acts occurred on April 22 and April 23, and the sex was consensual. Under state law, however, an underage person cannot grant consent.
The Smiths were arraigned in Boone County Magistrate Court and bond was set for $50,000 each.
MORGANTOWN MAN SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS FOR COUNTERFEITING U.S. CURRENCY
CLARKSBURG, WV – Barry Eugene Dragovich, 37, of Morgantown, West Virginia was sentenced today to 37 months in prison for repeatedly possessing and attempting to use counterfeit U.S. currency, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
Dragovich was discovered in Monongalia County, West Virginia in October 2014 in possession of a large quantity of counterfeit United States currency. He pled guilty in January
2015 to one count of “Possessing Counterfeit Obligations and Securities.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Morgan prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The United States Secret Service investigated.
FAIRMONT MAN SENTENCED ON DRUG AND WEAPONS CHARGES
CLARKSBURG, WV — A Marion County man will spend 3 years and ten months in prison for drug and weapons charges.
Police found Timothy Wayne Ferrell, Jr., 33, of Fairmont, in possession of pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make methamphetamine in May 2014. In September 2014, police discovered Ferrell in position of rifle. He pleaded guilty to a possession of pseudoephedrine and of a firearm by an unlawful user or drug addict.
Ferrell was sentenced Monday to 46 months in prison for the drug possession charge and 21 months in prison for the firearm possession charge. The sentences will run concurrently with each other for a total of 46 months in prison. Ferrell will receive credit for time served since October 2014.
THE NSA HAS A CHILDREN’S WEBSITE WITH GAMES AND CARTOON CHARACTERS
FORT MEADE, MD—The National Security Agency (NSA) has a website entirely devoted to children.
The website is called America’s CryptoKids. It includes games, cartoons and information on how kids can become NSA agents in the future. The site’s cartoon characters—from Sergeant Sam of the Central Security Service to Decipher Dog of Cryptanalysis—are animated animals with complete backstories.
Dan Raile of Pando Daily recently discovered an America’s Cryptokids coloring book at a cryptography and information security conference.
Last week the NSA made animated character news with 3D character Dunk, a talking trash can meant to encourage recycling.
The NSA is best known for being the agency that conducts massive surveillance on American citizens, as exposed by former employee Edward Snowden.
EL PASO, Texas—About 60,000 fewer immigrants were caught crossing the United States’ southern border illegally in the last six months than in the same period of last year, Obama administration officials said.
The U.S. Border Patrol caught about 152,000 undocumented immigrants during that time, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said. That’s a drop of nearly 30%.
Officials attribute several factors for the decline, but say the primary reason is a substantial drop off in immigrants coming from Central America.
“The word’s gotten out that it’s now harder than it used to be to cross our southern border,“ Johnson said, also noting that fewer immigrants are coming because they know they won’t be able to stay—and deduce it’s not worth the price to travel north.
The number of unaccompanied children caught at the border saw an even steeper decline—slightly more than 15,500, a drop of 45%.
Two thirds of allundocumented immigrants crossing the southern border are captured in Texas, and about a quarter are apprehended in Arizona. The rest are mostly caught near the Tijuana point of entry in San Ysidro, Calif.
Last summer, immigrants flooded the U.S.-Mexico line trying to escape crime and poverty in Central American nations, officials said, and created a border crisis. Johnson credited the government’s efforts in recent years—like boosting border security and building more than 600 miles of new fence—as a big factor in the decline.
“Investments in every aspect of border security—from personnel, to border surveillance technology, to air and marine assets, to fencing—have more than doubled since the beginning of the last decade, and in some cases more than quadrupled,“ Johnson said in a report by the Houston Chronicle.
PUTIN: U.S. HELPED ‘TERRORISTS’ IN FIGHT AGAINST MOSCOW YEARS AGO
MOSCOW, RUSSIA—Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that U.S. intelligence once sought out and supported separatist rebels in his nation’s North Caucasus region in an effort to spur regime change in Moscow, a new documentary revealed Sunday.
Putin made the remarks in a retrospective program that aired in Russia Sunday to mark his 15 years in the Kremlin. In the broadcast interview, he said the U.S. involvement was detected by Russian intelligence officials via intercepted phone calls during the early 2000s.
“Once, our special services registered direct contact between fighters from the North Caucasus and representatives of U.S. special services in Azerbaijan,“ he said in the interview, the Financial Times reported. “Ten days later, [Russian officials] got a letter from their colleagues in Washington saying ‘We have maintained relations with all of the Russian opposition in the past and we will continue to do so.‘“
Shortly after Putin became prime minister in 1999, he sent Russian troops to secure the runaway Chechnya region in the North Caucasus after an earlier military campaign failed to do so. Putin claims that during the struggle U.S. intelligence operatives made direct communications with the insurgents, whom he called “terrorists,“ in an effort to help them fight Moscow.
“One should never use terrorists to solve short-term political or even geopolitical objectives,“ he said. “They were actually helping them, even with transportation.“
The Russian president said he also called attention of the alleged collaboration to then-President George W. Bush, who promised to punish those responsible but never did.
The two-hour documentary, titled The President, chronicled Putin’s achievements and reflected what analysts say is his constant suspicion of the United States and other nations—whom, he claimed, wanted to see Russia wiped off the map.
“My counterparts, a lot of presidents and a prime minister told me later on that they had decided for themselves by then that Russia would cease to exist in its current form,“ he said in the interview, reported by the Moscow Times.
In October, Putin accused Washington of upsetting global security through international “dictatorship” and “blackmail” of world leaders.
Last year, Putin led the Russian charge to annex Crimea in Ukraine, which subsequently triggered widespread violence and more than 6,000 deaths in the fighting between pro-Russian troops and separatist forces. In response to the annexation, President Barack Obama levied economic sanctions against Moscow—an action Putin believes wasn’t punishment as much as it was simply part of the West’s continual crusade to prevent Russian development.
“This is a policy we have been familiar with for centuries,“ he said, adding that his move to acquire Crimea was done to satisfy the will of his people and restore “historic justice.“
“I believe we did the right thing and I don’t regret anything,“ he said.
Relations between the United States and Russia are currently at the lowest point they have been since the Cold War ended in 1991, analysts believe. The U.S. Department of State has not yet responded to Putin’s allegations, the Financial Times reported. But given the inflammatory nature of some of Putin’s remarks, the Obama administration is expected to address the accusations, possibly Monday.
“Some people, particularly special forces of western countries, think that if someone works to destabilize their main geopolitical opponent—which, as we realize now, in their minds has always been Russia—that this is overall to their advantage,“ Putin said in the documentary. “It turned out that that’s not true.“
After a short stint as prime minister in 1999, Putin was elected president and served between 2000 and 2008 before taking on four more years as prime minister. In 2012, he won a third presidential term that analysts say has been accompanied by a wave of anti-Western propaganda and a nostalgic aspiration to return to the Soviet glory years.
Putin is up for reelection in 2018 but has not yet decided if he will run again. He has said previously that he won’t be Russia’s president for life.
GLENVILLE, WV – Students, staff, and administrators at Glenville State College teamed again this year to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault.
Members of GSC’s Army ROTC program, various student organizations, individual students, and several GSC offices partnered with the college’s Human Resources Department Director during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), which occurs throughout April, to educate and inform the campus as a whole about the issue.
Some of students, staff, and administrators who took part
in the walking relay pose for a group photo
The main SAAM event, a mile-long relay walking race, included many participants in boots; emphasizing the theme of ‘stomping out violence.‘ The event, which took place at the Waco Center’s indoor walking track, highlighted relay racers walking to show their support for victims of sexual abuse.
“Glenville State is committed to raising awareness to the issue of sexual violence on college campuses,“ said GSC Title IX Coordinator and Chief Human Resources Officer Krystal Smith. “Our goal for these awareness events is to ensure institutional commitment towards maintaining a campus atmosphere for all students to learn and develop free of discrimination and harassment.“
A student adds her signature to the ‘Stomp Out Violence’ board
while other participants wait for the relay to begin
Sexual violence is a serious public health problem that affects millions. In the United States one in five women are rape survivors and one in two women and one in five men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives; most occurring before the victim is 25.
For more information about SAAM events at Glenville State College, contact Smith at
Victims of sexual assault should contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.4673 for resources and information.
Participants of the SAAM walking relay complete a lap at the Waco Center
BUCKHANNON, WV – Twenty West Virginia high school juniors have been named as semifinalists for the 2015 MVB Bank West Virginia Scholar Program.
The 20 will now be interviewed as part of the process that will result in a four-year, $125,000 scholarship for undergraduate study at West Virginia Wesleyan, located in Buckhannon, that includes tuition, fees, room and board.
Up 10 finalists will be named May 24. Between then and June 14, votes for the finalists will be cast online.
Beyond the grand prize, there are additional scholarship awards for finalists. The second prize is a four-year, $5,000 scholarship at Wesleyan, while the third prize is a four-year, $2,500 scholarship there.
The winners will be announced during a June 16 luncheon on the Buckhannon campus.
The 20 semifinalists and their high schools include:
• Caitlin Murphy-Tygarts Valley
• Margaret Lohmann-Bridgeport
• Adreanna LeMasters-Wheeling Park
• Johnnie-Jo Hovis-Buckhannon Upshur
• Abigail Chaffins-Spring Valley
• Hannah Daniels-Elkins
• Mateah Kittle-Bridgeport
• Brianna Ritz-Magnolia
• Khori Lowther-Lewis County
• Katherine Rexroad-Notre Dame
• Breunna Haynes-Parkersburg South
• Hayden Nichols-Herbert Hoover
• Kathern Keith-Gilmer County
• Kathryn Gerbo-University
• McKenzie Whitehair-Ritchie County
• Kia Barnhart-Tyler Consolidated
• Ashley Grace-East Fairmont
• Noah Taylor-Clay County
• Savannah Kite-Moorefield
• Sadie McCartney-Elkins
In addition to MVB Bank, West Virginia Wesleyan and MetroNews, the sponsors for the 2015 West Virginia Scholar Program, now in its 7th year, are the West Virginia Homebuilders Association, West Virginia Forestry Association, the West Virginia Hospital Association and Friends of Coal.
LOS ANGELES, CA — With the evidence coming in from one study after another, scientists are now more certain than ever that oil and gas drilling is causing hundreds upon hundreds of earthquakes across the U.S.
So far, the quakes have been mostly small and have done little damage beyond cracking plaster, toppling bricks and rattling nerves. But seismologists warn that the shaking can dramatically increase the chances of bigger, more dangerous quakes.
Up to now, the oil and gas industry has generally argued that any such link requires further study. But the rapidly mounting evidence could bring heavier regulation down on drillers and make it more difficult for them to get projects approved.
The potential for man-made quakes “is an important and legitimate concern that must be taken very seriously by regulators and industry,“ said Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.
He said companies and states can reduce the risk by taking such steps as monitoring operations more closely, imposing tighter standards and recycling wastewater from drilling instead of injecting it underground.
A series of government and academic studies over the past few years — including at least two reports released this week alone — has added to the body of evidence implicating the U.S. drilling boom that has created a bounty of jobs and tax revenue over the past decade or so.
On Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey released the first comprehensive maps pinpointing more than a dozen areas in the central and eastern U.S. that have been jolted by quakes that the researchers said were triggered by drilling. The report said man-made quakes tied to industry operations have been on the rise.
Scientists have mainly attributed the spike to the injection of wastewater deep underground, a practice they say can activate dormant faults. Only a few cases of shaking have been blamed on fracking, in which large volumes of water, sand and chemicals are pumped into rock formations to crack them open and free oil or gas.
“The picture is very clear” that wastewater injection can cause faults to move, said USGS geophysicist William Ellsworth.
Until recently, Oklahoma — one of the biggest energy-producing states — had been cautious about linking the spate of quakes to drilling. But the Oklahoma Geological Survey acknowledged earlier this week that it is “very likely” that recent seismic activity was caused by the injection of wastewater into disposal wells.
Earthquake activity in Oklahoma in 2013 was 70 times greater than it was before 2008, state geologists reported. Oklahoma historically recorded an average of 1.5 quakes of magnitude 3 or greater each year. It is now seeing an average of 2.5 such quakes each day, according to geologists.
Angela Spotts, who lives outside Stillwater, Oklahoma, in an area with a number of wastewater disposal wells, said the shaking has damaged her brick home. She pointed to the cracked interior and exterior walls, and windows and kitchen cabinets that are separating from the structure.
“There’s been no doubt in my mind what’s causing them,“ Spotts said. “Sadly, it’s really taken a long time for people to come around. Our lives are being placed at risk. Our homes are being broken.“
Yet another study, this one published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, connected a swarm of small quakes west of Fort Worth, Texas, to nearby natural gas wells and wastewater disposal.
The American Petroleum Institute said the industry is working with scientists and regulators “to better understand the issue and work toward collaborative solutions.“
The Environmental Protection Agency said there no plans for new regulations as a result of the USGS study.
“We knew there would be challenges there, but they can be overcome,“ EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Thursday at an energy conference in Houston.
For decades, earthquakes were an afterthought in the central and eastern U.S., which worried more about tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. Since 2009, quakes have sharply increased, and in some surprising places.
The ground has been trembling in regions that were once seismically stable, including parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.
The largest jolt linked to wastewater injection — a magnitude-5.6 that hit Prague, Oklahoma, in 2011 — damaged 200 buildings and shook a college football stadium.
The uptick in Oklahoma quakes has prompted state regulators to require a seismic review of all proposed disposal wells. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, has ordered dozens of disposal wells to stop operating or change the way they are run because of concerns they might be triggering earthquakes, said spokesman Matt Skinner.
“There are far more steps that will be taken,“ Skinner said.
Last year, regulators in Colorado ordered an operator to temporarily stop injecting wastewater after the job was believed to be linked to several small quakes.