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$20 MILLION SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH GRANT

State has received more than $60 million in EPSCoR funding since 2001
The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV - Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, along with Representatives David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins, today announced the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a highly-competitive $20 million grant to West Virginia’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to boost academic scientific research and upgrade infrastructure at West Virginia University (WVU), Marshall University (MU), West Virginia State University (WVSU) and other state institutions. EPSCoR is facilitated by the state Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research.

“Our higher education community is to be commended for competing - and winning - time and again on the national stage to bring much-needed research funding and opportunities to West Virginia,“ Governor Tomblin said. “This funding will help to strengthen our state’s STEM workforce, which is critical our ongoing efforts to grow our economy.“

Through a match partnership with participating universities, this $24 million project begins immediately and will continue for five years. The project is being led by Principal Investigator Dr. Jan Taylor, Director of the Division of Science and Research.

“When we support our universities and colleges with the tools and resources they need to provide quality and affordable education, we lead our students to successful careers and ensure our future will be bright,“ said Senator Manchin. “Enhancing STEM programs and upgrading infrastructure at our colleges and universities will open doors for our students and is crucial for West Virginia to remain competitive in the global marketplace. I am happy this grant will enable our higher education institutions to better prepare students in STEM and improve our workforce, our economy and our great state.“

“As a huge proponent of both EPSCoR funding and attracting more West Virginia students to STEM fields, I am so pleased that the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission is receiving this highly competitive grant. West Virginia’s higher education institutions continue to make our state proud, and I cannot wait to see the work they accomplish with the help of this funding,“ said Senator Capito.

“Congratulations to our state’s research institutions for earning this grant. Cutting-edge research and innovation are the future of West Virginia’s universities and this award will help draw the best and brightest to the area. We need to transition our economy into new industries, and building our STEM workforce is an important step along that path,“ said Rep. McKinley.

Rep. Mooney said, “This award is the well deserved recognition of the hard work that is happening in the colleges and universities in our state. The research produced through the program will help prepare the next generation of workers to better leverage technology and enhance our nation’s science and engineering research.“

Rep. Jenkins said, “I served on the board of EPSCoR in West Virginia and saw firsthand the difference these programs make in our schools. EPSCoR brings together partners like Marshall University and West Virginia University, harnessing their collective resources to promote research and innovation. I fought successfully to preserve funding for EPSCoR as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, helping to defeat an attempt to completely eliminate this important program.  This grant is critical to preserving EPSCoR in West Virginia and maximizing its impact in our universities. By working together, we can make a difference in advancing scientific breakthroughs and developing an interest in the sciences and engineering in future generations.“

According to Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission, with this new funding West Virginia has now received more than $60 million from the NSF for the state’s EPSCoR program over the past 14 years.

“West Virginia’s competitiveness has improved markedly over the years,“ said Chancellor Hill. “Today, we are recognized as a growing research state. That is indeed something to be proud of - especially as we work to build a new economy through scientific research.“


Background on new award

West Virginia’s winning proposal titled, Gravitational Wave Astronomy and the Appalachian Freshwater Initiative, will support basic and applied research in water resources and gravitational wave astrophysics.

The gravitational wave research will focus on early universe cosmology and galaxies, along with relativity, gravity and compact objects in the local universe. The tools and models developed through this project will provide valuable inputs towards solving astrophysics challenges related to low-frequency gravitational waves and electromagnetic models. The water resources research, coordinated through the Appalachian Freshwater Initiative, will investigate water quality in West Virginia as it relates to certain stressors.

The project also will bolster the STEM workforce in the state by providing specialized training in data mining, water quality monitoring, signal processing and electronics design techniques.


Background on EPSCoR

EPSCoR is a program designed to fulfill the NSF’s mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide. Twenty-four states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam are currently eligible to compete for EPSCoR funding. Through this program, NSF establishes regional partnerships with government, higher education and industry that effect lasting improvements in a state’s or territory’s research infrastructure and research and development capacity, and its academic competitiveness.

In 2010, West Virginia was awarded a $20 million RII grant, the largest award in state history at the time. It was matched by an additional $4 million from the state and has supported research at WVU, MU, WVSU and other institutions for the past five years.

FlashBack™: HAS ANYTHING CHANGED????‏

Charleston Journal; Corruption Cases Leave State in Search of Ethics
~~  B. DRUMMOND AYRES Jr., Special to The New York Times ~~
Published: September 18, 1989
The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV — Government corruption was not invented in the state of West Virginia.

But there are people here who contend that West Virginia officials have done more than their share over the years to develop state-of-the-art techniques in vote theft, contract kickbacks, influence peddling and good old bribery, extortion, fraud, tax evasion and outright stealing.

Consider recent developments. Since mid-July, five of the state’s leading political figures, including the Treasurer, the Attorney General and the president of the State Senate, have become ensnarled in serious legal difficulties, sometimes in the line of duty, sometimes in their personal lives, sometimes in both. Hardly a day passes that the West Virginia public is not served up still another embarrassing example of official or unofficial malfeasance by an elected or appointed official, often with a bit of titilating scandal thrown in.

On Thursday, for instance, the former president of the State Senate, Dan Tonkovich, pleaded guilty to extorting $5,000 from a business group wanting help on legislation.

‘'It’s hard to tell whether West Virginia is a state of mind, a state of chaos or just a good soap opera,‘’ said the Rev. Robert Hall, an Episcopal priest who heads the state branch of Common Cause, the citizen’s lobby.

Governor Gaston Caperton concluded in January when he took office that West Virginia was in an ‘'ethical crisis.‘’

At the time, Robert McCormick, a leading member of the State House of Delegates, the lower house of the Legislature, had just been convicted of extorting money from doctors seeking to change medical licensing laws, while in notorious Mingo County in the state’s poverty-wracked coal country, investigators and prosecutors were closing a case that many West Virginians felt was a classic example of Mountaineer corruption.

No fewer than 40 of the county’s police officers, firefighters and administrators, even some of its school officials, had been convicted or were facing trial for crimes including vote buying, setting fire to houses to collect insurance, theft of antipoverty funds and running a drug market that was so busy buyers had to stand in line to make their purchases.

So nobody stepped forward with a serious challenge to the Governor’s declaration of an ethics crisis. In fact, the Legislature hastened through a request from Mr. Caperton for a tough new ethics-in-government bill.

But, as developments over the summer have proved, the crisis continues. In the latest round of scandal, the first to fall was the colorful Treasurer, A. J. Manchin. He resigned in early July rather than face an impeachment trial on charges that his office had grossly mismanaged an investment fund. An audit found almost $300 million missing.

Next, in late August, State Senator Si Boettner resigned and pleaded guilty to a charge that he had failed to list on his tax form that a lobbyist and a businessman gave him $3,900.

The next day, the state’s Attorney General, Charlie Brown, resigned. In return, prosecutors halted a grand jury investigation into whether he lied at a child custody hearing. The grand jury was also looking into allegations that one of Mr. Brown’s former secretaries had asked for $50,000 to keep her from revealing that she had become pregnant by him.

On September 7, there was still another resignation and guilty plea, this time from Larry Tucker, the Senate president, who extorted $10,000 from a lobbyist pushing for a change in gambling legislation. Then came Mr. Tonkovich’s plea. ‘'The whole thing is starting to crumble, and we’re going to see a stronger state government,‘’ Michael W. Carey, the United States Attorney here, said after Mr. Tonkovich’s trial. Joseph W. Savage Jr., an assistant United States Attorney, said that until now the state had not been ‘'inclined to do much about corruption.‘’

Governor Caperton agrees. Yet even he finds himself in a legal mess. The Governor’s wife, Dee, a former Miss West Virginia and runner-up in the Miss America pageant, is suing him for divorce and, what is more, for $12 million in damages.

She alleges that he made up his mind to leave her well before he ran for Governor last year but did not tell her because he felt that her popularity was important to his campaign. She also alleges that the Governor, who made a fortune in insurance, conspired to defraud her of her interest in the insurance business.
The Governor denies all.

08.04.2015
FeaturesHistory | WayBackWhen™ | FlashBack™NewsWest Virginia(2) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Intervention is a chapter in itself. Anytime there is severe secrecy like we have had in Gilmer County that is always bad news.

The State has not disclosed how much was spent on botched planning leading to the Cedar Creek flop, why the Cedar Creek disaster was permitted to happen, and how much was spent at Cedar Creek to use up our money.

Linn is something else. We don’t know how much of our money was spent on site studies, the architectural plan, and payment on the slip because of poor site planning. There are probably other expenses being hidden from us.

Human costs are tremendous. There were promises that no jobs would be lost at Linn which turns out not to highly suspect

If Drs. Martirano and Daniel want openness why not begin with full honesty about the County’s school finances under the State’s control?

While they are at it they should go out to the new school site along the river to understand for themselves how politics and abuse of power work in the County in the name of innocent children.

Then too, they should disclose how many school system jobs will be lost when the new school opens.

By Bill White  on  08.04.2015

Do not forget to mention Arch Moore’s three years in federal prison. And what about the ones not prosecuted like Big Joes router debacle?

By The Beat Goes On  on  08.04.2015

Leave a CommentPrint This Article


New CEO Named for William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital

The Gilmer Free Press

WESTON, WV — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has announced a new Chief Executive Officer for one of the state’s mental facilities.

Patrick W. Ryan will take over the role at William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Weston, effective August 17, according to Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling on Monday.

“Pat is a well-respected behavioral health professional in our state,” Bowling said. “His working knowledge of the issues facing the field and his established regional and state relationships will greatly benefit him in this position.”

Since 2008, Ryan has served as Regional Director of Operations for Diamond Healthcare and Director of Behavioral Medicine at Fairmont Medical Center, which included administrative oversight of psychiatric inpatient and outpatient programs at 7 facilities in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

His 25 years of health care service includes work at Horizon Health-Camden Clark Memorial Hospital, United Summit Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Valley Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center, and the former Weston State Hospital.

“My start in behavioral health was at the old Weston State Hospital many years ago,” Ryan said. “The patients we cared for and the people I worked with provided the foundation of my professional career. I feel blessed to be able to, in a sense, ‘come home’ and be in a position to work with many of the same folks as we overcome the challenges that the system currently faces.”

Ryan holds an MA in psychology from Marshall University and a BA in psychology from Elon College.

He replaces Kim Walsh, Deputy Commissioner of Programs for the DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, who has served as interim CEO since December 04, 2014.

“I greatly appreciate Kim’s leadership and dedication to the staff and patients of William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital during this transition period,” Bowling said.

Additionally, Randy Housh was named Assistant CEO of William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital effective July 16, 2015.

For the past 12 years, Randy has been an employee of Seneca Health Services Inc. in Summersville and has worked in the field of social services, behavioral health and non-profit management. In 2011, he was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse.

Gilmer County Schools Bus Schedules 2015-2016

The Gilmer Free Press

Work Study Works, But for Whom?

The Gilmer Free Press

Students who participate in federal work-study are more likely to graduate and get a job after college. But those who get the biggest academic benefits from the program—low-income students at public colleges who would have worked anyhow—are the least likely to receive the federal grants.

Those are the primary findings from a newly released study by two researchers at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

While the research found generally positive impacts of the federal work-study program, it also found one surprising downside—participants take on substantially higher debt compared to non-participants with similar characteristics, including income, gender, institution type and other factors.

Students in federal work-study are 21 percentage points more likely to borrow during their first year of college, found the study, which is based on a national sample of 12,200 students. Participants also had a cumulative undergraduate debt load that was $6,263 higher than similar students who were nonparticipants.

A possible explanation for the increased debt is that college financial aid officers typically package loans and work-study grants together, said Judith Scott-Clayton, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor of economic and education at Columbia.

That means students who participate are much more likely to also take out loans, the study said.

Scott-Clayton called the finding alarming, adding that it “could ultimately undermine the positive effect of the program.”

Roughly 700,000 students, or 1 in every 10 full-time, first-year undergraduates, receive federal work-study subsidies each year, according to the study. With an annual cost of about $1 billion, the grants cover up to 75 percent of the wages of student employees who typically work on campus 10 to 15 hours per week.

To be eligible, students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to demonstrate that their expected family contribution is less than the total cost of attendance at their institution. However, the federal work-study money goes to colleges, which then decide how to distribute it to eligible students. Work study is one of three federal programs that are designed this way, along with the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Perkins Loan Programs.

As prior research also has shown, the study said an “arcane” funding formula provides much more money per student to older, more expensive institutions— particularly private colleges. In 2012 fully one-quarter of students attending private four-year institutions received federal work-study funds, compared to just 6 percent of students at public four-year institutions. Student advocates have called on the feds to change the funding formula.

“Federal work-study is not allocated in an equitable way,” said Scott-Clayton.

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators agrees. A committee the association created last year released a report calling for changes to the funding formula.


Benefits of Better Jobs

Participating in federal work-study is not the same as having a job while attending college.

For starters, a slight majority of participants would have worked during their first year of college anyhow, according to the new study, which Veronica Minaya, a senior research assistant at CCRC, co-wrote. The study determined whether students would have worked by comparing the participant group with a much larger comparison group—using detailed comparisons based on students’ characteristics to gauge the likelihood of whether a student would have worked outside of federal work-study.

The jobs for students in the program, however, are substantially different from the ones students would have had if they didn’t participate. They pay somewhat less (61 cents less per hour), but are much more likely to be located on campus (52 percentage points more likely), which means less commuting and more flexible scheduling, said Scott-Clayton. The jobs also are more likely to be related to the student’s major.

“Students don’t work as many hours as they would in a job off-campus,” she said. “It’s a more supportive environment.”

For example, participants averaged 11 hours of work per week compared with 18 hours per week for working nonparticipants. And 80 percent of federal work-study students work on campus.

The primary benefits of what Scott-Clayton calls a “much better job” are academic. Participants in federal work-study are 3.2 percentage points more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree after six years, and 2.4 percentage points more likely to be employed after graduation.

The positive effects are substantially larger for lower-income students and for those who attend public institutions, the study found.

However, the findings are a tad complex. For example, participants’ grade point averages dip in their first year. But that impact does not carry over to their longer-term persistence and graduation rates, according to the study.

The additional work experience appears to outweigh the impact on grades, Scott-Clayton said.

Besides the debt findings, federal work-study does not appear to have substantial drawbacks for participants. But some of the payoff depends on whether students would have worked anyhow.

Those who would have had a job saw a bigger graduation-rate benefit, which isn’t surprising given that their work-study gigs typically are less disruptive to their academics.

Likewise, students who would not have worked during college without participating in the federal work-study program were more likely to be employed after college, at least when compared to similar, nonworking students. But that difference was insignificant when the employment of work-study students was compared to that of similar working students, according to the report.

The researchers’ overall working hypothesis was that lower-income students and those who attend public institutions may be more likely to work anyway and to have less desirable student jobs in the absence of federal work-study. And the new study’s results back that hypothesis.

“The effectiveness of federal work-study funds might be increased by modifying the allocation formula—which currently provides disproportionate support to students at elite private institutions—to better target lower-income students,” the study concludes.

~~  Paul Fain - Inside Higher Ed ~~

Did You Know?

The Gilmer Free Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:


U.S. STEPPING UP COMBAT ROLE IN SYRIA

The American military has begun armed drone flights in defense of coalition-backed rebels, with manned missions planned.


WHAT OBAMA’S DELEGATING TO HIS SUCCESSOR

Most of the president’s new rules intended to cut power plant emissions would have to be implemented by whoever’s elected in 2016.


SENATE BLOCKS GOP DRIVE TO HALT PLANNED PARENTHOOD FUNDING

The derailed legislation follows secretly recorded videos showing Planned Parenthood officials dispassionately discussing how they sometimes provide researchers with tissue from aborted fetuses.


HOW DELTA IS RESPONDING TO DEBATE OVER KILLING OF LION

The Atlanta-based airline says it will no longer ship hunting “trophies” - lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros or buffalo.


REPUBLICAN HOPEFULS SQUARE OFF IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

All but three of the party’s 17 major candidates for president take part in a warmup for Thursday’s nationally televised debate.


WHO’S LAUNCHING POLITICAL COMEBACK

Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s bid to return to office in Iran could pose a challenge to moderates behind the country’s nuclear deal.


BOBBI KRISTINA BROWN LAID TO REST

The only child of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown is buried in a New Jersey cemetery next to her famous mother.


SEVERE STORM TOPPLES CIRCUS TENT

The accident at a fairgrounds in northern New Hampshire kills two people and injures numerous others.


MORE AMERICANS BUYING CARS THAT SAY `LOOK AT ME’

Acuras, Audis and Lincolns drove off dealer lots at a furious pace in July.


GWEN STEFANI, HUSBAND SPLITTING UP

The judge on NBC’s “The Voice” and Gavin Rossdale have filed for divorce after almost 13 years of marriage.

West Virginia News

The Gilmer Free Press

Wheeling Jesuit to pay $2.3M to end grant probe

WHEELING, WV - Wheeling Jesuit University has agreed to pay $2.3 million to the federal government to settle claims that it misused grant funding.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II announced the settlement Monday. He said the agreement ends an investigation into allegations that the university misused funds from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Science Foundation from 2003 to 2010. A NASA audit led to the allegations.

Ihlenfeld said settlement does not preclude criminal charges.

The university said in a statement that it operated in good faith in dealing with “highly complex and divergent” regulations. Wheeling Jesuit said the settlement will be paid with operating funds and will not affect other federally funded programs at the university.


Ribbon cutting held for WV’s first inter-county school

LINN, WV - School officials are preparing to open West Virginia’s first inter-county school.

Leading Creek Elementary School is located in Linn near the Gilmer-Lewis county line. The $10 million school consolidates Alum Bridge Elementary School in Lewis County and Troy Elementary School in Gilmer County.

A ribbon cutting was held on Saturday. There also was an open house to allow the public to see the new school.

Leading Creek principal Kim Freeland says she looks forward to bringing the communities together and creating a new school family.

Classes begin August 13. Leading Creek will have about 240 students.


Alpha files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

ABINGDON, VA — West Virginia’s largest coal company became the latest to seek protection from creditors with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Monday morning.  Alpha Natural Resources filed for the bankruptcy protection in the Federal Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond.

“While a difficult decision, this voluntary Chapter 11 filing is the right strategy at the right time for the future of our business,” said Alpha Chief Operating Officer Kevin Crutchfield. “It will enable us build on the significant steps we’ve taken over the past several years to restructure our debt and protect our operation.  I’m confident Alpha will emerge from the process a stronger company with a diversified resource base in better position for the future.”

Alpha becomes the fourth major coal producer in the past 12 months to file for bankruptcy. Patriot Coal , James River Coal, and Walter Energy all previously filed for Chapter 11 and are going through restructuring currently.

The filing comes the same day the Obama Administration was set to announce stiffer emission rules for existing coal fired power plants in the United States.  Critics say those new rules will be another blow to the coal industry.

“The change and challenges the U.S. coal industry has experienced over the last several years are greater than any in the past three decades,” Crutchfield said. “No doubt there is more uncertainty ahead, but also transformational opportunity for those in the coal sector who make proactive strategic decisions.”

Crutchfield said they weren’t the first and won’t be the last to go through the bankruptcy protection to restructure their company.  He believes it’s the right stop and remained confident Alpha can survive and become a stronger company on the other side after emerging from the experience.

Alpha is the largest coal producer in West Virginia and the largest supplier of metallurgical coal in the United States.


GOVERNOR TOMBLIN ISSUES STATEMENT FOLLOWING ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES BANKRUPTCY FILING

CHARLESTON, WV - Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today issued the following statement after Alpha Natural Resources announced it has filed bankruptcy:

“Today’s announcement by Alpha Natural Resources is heartbreaking for our miners, their families and the communities in which they live. The bankruptcy filing affects more than just those directly employed by Alpha - it affects suppliers, support services and retailers whose businesses are dependent on these companies and their employees.

“We recognize market forces play a role in these decisions; however, today’s announcement by Alpha also demonstrates the negative impacts the EPA’s irresponsible mandates continue to have on our state. For years, we have tried to warn the EPA of the devastating consequences of these regulations, and this is another example of the real-life impacts those decisions can have.

“I spoke with Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield this morning and am pleased that operations will continue while the company restructures and agree with him that our coal industry should not be thought of in the past tense. I will continue to work with the industry to maintain mining operations while we also find ways to diversify southern West Virginia’s economy.“


ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK MORRISEY DENOUNCES EPA’S ILLEGAL, OVER-REACHING CLEAN POWER PLAN

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined with other state Attorneys General Monday afternoon to denounce the Obama administration’s finalized “Clean Power Plan.”

“The final rule announced Monday blatantly disregards the rule of law and will severely harm West Virginia and the U.S. economy,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This rule represents the most far-reaching energy regulation in this nation’s history, drawn up by radical bureaucrats and based upon an obscure, rarely used provision of the Clean Air Act. We intend to challenge it in court vigorously.”

President Barack Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday unveiled the final version of their “Clean Power Plan,” which unreasonably mandates states to cut their carbon emissions by an average of 32% by 2030. This goal would be accomplished through a drastic reduction in coal-based energy generation in the coming years.

Attorney General Morrisey had already teamed up with a bipartisan coalition of 14 other states to challenge the preliminary version of the rule, which contained serious legal flaws. While the administration made some changes in the final rule, Attorney General Morrisey and his fellow Attorneys General still believe the final version is fundamentally flawed and illegal.

Attorney General Morrisey and his counterparts have argued for more than a year that the proposed rule is illegal because it is not limited to merely requiring power plants to install pollution technologies, which is all the Clean Air Act permits. Rather, the vast majority of the rule’s emissions reductions come from mandating that the States fundamentally alter their energy economies to consume less coal-fired energy.

“This final rule adopts a radical, unprecedented regime, transforming EPA from an environmental regulator into a central planning authority for electricity generation,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “With this final rule, the administration is doubling down on a proposal that would force states to fundamentally reorder their energy economies, which will lead to fewer jobs, higher electricity rates and put stress on the reliability of the power grid.”

The rule is also illegal because it seeks to require states to regulate coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, even though the EPA already regulates those same plants under the hazardous air pollutant program, or Section 112 of the Act. Amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990 expressly prohibited such double regulation. The administration is relying on a drafting error in a portion of the 1990 amendments to claim it has the authority to follow through with these onerous regulations.

Attorney General Morrisey and the broader coalition of Attorneys General announced Monday they intend to file legal actions challenging this final rule.

“Our coalition, in short order, will comprise of many states, consumers, mine workers, coal operators, utilities and businesses who are united in opposition to this radical and illegal policy,” Attorney General Morrisey said.


GOVERNOR TOMBLIN ISSUES STATEMENT FOLLOWING FILING OF FINAL CLEAN POWER PLANT RULE

CHARLESTON, WV - Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed its final Clean Power Plan rule:

“After an initial review, it appears the Environmental Protection Agency has made some changes to the proposed Clean Power Plan rule; however, those limited changes still leave us with proposed regulations that are unreasonable, unrealistic and ultimately unattainable for our state. While those who employ our hardworking miners have urged us to refuse to submit a compliance plan, at this point West Virginia still has not determined whether it will submit any plan to the EPA.

“As required by House Bill 2004 passed by the Legislature this year, our Department of Environmental Protection will develop a detailed report for the Legislature that includes ‘a comprehensive analysis of the effect of the Section 111(d) rule on the state.‘ In accordance with the new law this analysis, which could not begin until the EPA released its final rule, will be completed within 180 days.

“While the DEP works on the report required by the Legislature, we continue to review our legal options and are working to determine what a federally developed state implementation plan would involve. I appreciate the ongoing work of DEP Secretary Randy Huffman and his staff, who like me, are committed to putting the interests of West Virginians first.“


Electric vehicle charging station installed at Hinton center

HINTON, WV - Development officials say downtown Hinton is expected to benefit from a new electric vehicle charging station at the Hinton Technology Center.

A recent announcement by the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority says the station is within walking distance of retailers and restaurants.

There is no cost to use the station.

The authority says the Summers County Planning Commission expects usage of the station to begin gradually. Demand is expected to increase as the electric vehicle community becomes aware of the station.

The authority says the planning commission will consider additional electric vehicle charging stations in the downtown area as demand increases.


Monongalia adds propane-powered school bus to fleet

MORGANTOWN, WV - Monongalia County Schools is adding a propane-powered school bus to its fleet.

The bus will join the school system’s fleet this week.

Representatives of school bus manufacturer Blue Bird gave a presentation on the new bus to the county Board of Education last week.

Transportation director Jeff Meadows said he would like to see the entire fleet eventually converted to propane. But he said that will depend on the first bus’ performance and feedback.

Kanawha County Schools tested propane-powered buses in June as a pilot project.

A 2013 report by a state task force estimated West Virginia could save $3,100 a year for each school bus that runs on propane.


Kraft recalls cheese slices for choking risk

The Kraft Heinz Co. is voluntarily recalling about 36,000 cases of Kraft Singles cheese products because some of the packaging film may stick to the slices and pose a choking hazard.

The company said Monday that there have been 10 consumer complaints to date about the packaging, including three reports of consumers choking.

The recall applies to 3-lb. and 4-lb. sizes of Kraft Singles American and White American pasteurized prepared cheese product. The products being recalled have a “best when used by” date of December 29, 2015 through January 4, 2016, followed by the manufacturing code S54 or S55.

No other sizes, varieties or code dates are included in this recall.

The products being recalled had been shipped by Kraft Heinz to retailers in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Grand Cayman.

Consumers who purchased this product should return it for an exchange or full refund. Consumers can also contact the company at 1-800-432-3101 for a refund.

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U.S.A. News

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9-Year-Old Bat Boy Killed in Freak Accident

A 9-year-old boy in Kansas died last night after being hit in the head with a baseball bat on Saturday afternoon while “doing something he loved.“ Kaiser Carlile was a bat boy for the amateur team the Liberal Bee Jays. He was retrieving a bat after an out when he “[strayed] into the on-deck circle” and was struck in the head by a player taking a practice swing, NBC News and the Wichita Eagle report. Kaiser was wearing a helmet at the time, and an umpire with EMS experience cared for the boy until first responders got to the scene. “Right before he fell, the umpire and the base player both rushed up and caught him before he hit the ground,“ a witness tells KWCH. “They all clustered around him quickly. It was really silent.“

The team announced his passing “with the permission of the family, and with much sorrow and a very broken heart” in a Facebook post made today just after midnight. The Bee Jays created a GoFundMe page to help offset expenses for Kaiser’s family, and about $10,000 has been raised so far. In a statement, the National Baseball Congress wrote that while the NBC “has experienced tragedy many times in 84 years ... it’s difficult to remember a day that is darker than this one. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense and this accident certainly is a memorable example. Kaiser was simply doing something he loved.


FDA clears first 3-D printed prescription drug

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first prescription drug made through 3-D printing: a dissolvable tablet that treats seizures.

Aprecia Pharmaceuticals said Monday the FDA approved its drug Spritam for adults and children who suffer from certain types of seizures caused by epilepsy. The tablet is manufactured through a layered process via 3-D printing and dissolves when taken with liquid.

The Ohio-based company says its printing system can package potent drug doses of up to 1,000 milligrams into individual tablets. It expects to launch Spritam in the first quarter of 2016.

The FDA has previously approved medical devices — including prosthetics — made with 3-D printing. An agency spokeswoman confirmed the new drug is the first prescription tablet approved that uses the process.

Aprecia said in a statement it plans to develop other medications using its 3-D platform in coming years, including more neurological drugs. The company is privately owned.

Doctors are increasingly turning to 3-D printing to create customized implants for patients with rare conditions and injuries, including children who cannot be treated with adult-size devices. The FDA held a workshop last year for medical manufacturers interested in the technology.


Obama heralds impact of power plant greenhouse gas limits

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Calling it a moral obligation, President Barack Obama unveiled the final version of his plan to dramatically cut emissions from U.S. power plants, as he warned anew that climate change will threaten future generations if left unchecked.

Touting the plan at a White House event on Monday, Obama said the unprecedented carbon dioxide limits are the “the single most important step” America has ever taken to fight climate change. He warned that because the problem is so large, if the world doesn’t get it right quickly, it may become impossible to reverse, leaving populations unable to adapt.

“There is such a thing as being too late when it comes to climate change,“ Obama said.

Opponents immediately announced they would sue the government to stop the rules from taking effect. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, speaking at a summit of Republican state attorneys general, said West Virginia would be among a group of states “launching an aggressive legal campaign.“

“Their legal foundation is very, very shaky,“ Morrisey said of the Obama administration. “We are confident that we will prevail.“

Power plants account for roughly one-third of all U.S. emissions of the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming, making them the largest single source. Already Obama has curbed greenhouse gas emissions from other major sources, including cars and trucks.

The final version of Obama’s plan imposes stricter carbon dioxide limits on states than was previously expected: a 32% cut by 2030, compared with 2005 levels, the White House said. Obama’s proposed version last year called only for a 30% cut.

It also gives states an additional two years — until 2022 — to comply, yielding to complaints that the original deadline was too soon. States will also have an additional year to submit their implementation plans to Washington.

Obama was joined in the East Room by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and by parents of asthma patients. The Obama administration has sought to draw a connection between climate change and increased respiratory illness in vulnerable populations.

“This is an especially wicked-cool moment,“ said McCarthy, wielding a colloquialism from her hometown of Boston.

As they prepared to sue the government, states and energy companies asked the EPA to put the rules on hold while legal challenges play out — a notion that White House press secretary Josh Earnest dismissed. In the absence of a voluntary delay, opponents planned to ask the courts to issue a stay.

Many Republican-led states have said their states simply won’t comply. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has encouraged GOP governors to take that step, vowed to use legislation to thwart the president’s plan.

The pollution controls form the core of Obama’s ambitious and controversial plan to drastically reduce overall U.S. emissions, as he works to secure a legacy on fighting global warming. Yet it will be up to Obama’s successor to implement his plan, which has attracted strong opposition from the field of Republican presidential candidates.

The Obama administration estimated the emissions limits will cost $8.4 billion annually by 2030. The actual price won’t be clear until states decide how they’ll reach their targets. But energy industry advocates said the revision makes Obama’s mandate even more burdensome, costly and difficult to achieve.

Another key change to the initial proposal marks a major shift for Obama on natural gas, which the president has championed as a “bridge fuel” whose growing use can help the U.S. wean itself off dirtier coal power while ramping up renewable energy capacity. The final version aims to keep the share of natural gas in the nation’s power mix at current levels.


Former President Jimmy Carter undergoes liver operation

ATLANTA, GA — Former President Jimmy Carter is expected to make a full recovery after having an operation Monday to remove a small mass in his liver, according to a spokeswoman.

Carter Center spokeswoman Deanna Congileo called the procedure “elective” in a statement released Monday afternoon. She says the operation was completed without any issues and Carter’s “prognosis is excellent for a full recovery.“

In response to an email from The Associated Press asking how the mass was detected, what symptoms Carter had displayed, what follow-up care he will receive and what is known about the mass, Congileo said no further details would be provided.

Carter, 90, was the nation’s 39th president. After leaving the White House, he founded the center in Atlanta in 1982 to promote health care, democracy and other issues globally.

He has remained active for the center in recent years by making public appearances and traveling overseas, including a May election observation visit to Guyana cut short because Carter developed a bad cold.

He completed a book tour Saturday promoting his latest work, “A Full Life: Reflections at 90,“ according to Julia Prosser with the publisher Simon & Schuster. He has written more than 20 books since leaving office.

The native of Plains, Georgia, is also a former Georgia governor.

World News

The Gilmer Free Press

Caterpillar uses chemicals to recruit ant bodyguards

KOBE, Japan—A caterpillar species in Japan uses pheromones to turn ants into zombie bodyguards.

Until now, researchers thought caterpillars and ants were taking part in a fair exchange of goods for services. But as scientists reveal in a new paper, published in Current Biology, the transaction is stacked in the caterpillar’s favor.


Prior to the new research, scientists assumed ants were guarding the Japanese oakblue butterfly caterpillar on their own volition—and that their services were paid for with a sugary syrup-like secretion.

But recently, scientists at Japan’s Kobe University noticed that it was always the same ants guarding the caterpillar. If it was truly a free exchange, one would assume a multitude of ants would make the trek to trade a few hours of work for sugar.

Instead, the same few ants appeared to remain by the caterpillar’s side, abandoning their daily activities.


The Japanese oakblue butterfly begins its life as a caterpillar. Its life, however, is divided by the process of metamorphosis. The caterpillar becomes vulnerable to predators like wasps and spiders during its transitionary period when it wraps itself in a cocoon inside the leaves of an oak tree. Fortunately, the caterpillar’s power of chemical persuasion allows it to form a small army of aggressive bodyguards.

Researchers studied caterpillar-ant interaction in the lab and found that, indeed, ants that sipped the caterpillar’s sugary secretions were enticed to abandon their nests and stick by the side of the caterpillar.

Scientists also found that caterpillars seemed to trigger a frenzied attack behavior by inverting its tentacles. Ants that had not drank the caterpillar’s potion did not react to the signal in the same way as their zombie peers.

The observations led researchers to conclude that the caterpillar is controlling and directing its bodyguards using a combination of chemical and visual signals.

“There are glandular cells near the tentacles that could be secreting chemical signals,“ researcher Masaru Hojo told New Scientist. “It is possible that both visual and chemical signals are stimulating the ant aggression.“

“We conclude that DNO secretions of lycaenid caterpillars can manipulate attendant ant behavior by altering dopaminergic regulation and increasing partner fidelity,“ Hojo and his colleagues wrote in their paper.

But Martin Heil, a scientist at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute in Irapuato, Mexico, says that while the findings are illuminating, they’re not necessarily proof that ants are losing out.

“The benefit for the caterpillar is obvious, but we do not know whether the benefit for the ants is as minimal as the authors argue,“ he told New Scientist. “If the liquid that the caterpillars secrete is sufficiently nutritious, then it might well be that the overall balance for the ants also is positive.“

Researchers at Kobe say their work has inspired them to reexamine other biological relationships that appear on the surface to be mutualistic.


Delta says it’s banning shipment of hunting ‘trophies’

NEW YORK, NY — Delta Air Lines had a major change of heart about shipping hunting trophies, announcing Monday afternoon that it would no longer accept lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies.

As recently as May, the Atlanta-based airline had said that it would continue to allow such shipments — as long as they were legal. At the time, some international carriers prohibited such cargo.

The move comes after an American dentist killed a well-known lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe last month in an allegedly illegal hunt, setting off a worldwide uproar. The dentist, Walter James Palmer, lives in Minnesota, which is a major hub for Delta.

Delta is the only U.S. airline to fly to Africa. Several foreign airlines announced similar bans last week.

Delta would not answer questions from The Associated Press about why the decision was made now and how many hunting trophies it has shipped in recent years. The company only issued a 58-word statement noting that prior to Monday’s ban, “Delta’s strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species.“

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry consultant, noted that the airline was probably responding to pressure following the news of Cecil’s killing. The airline was the subject of a petition on change.org to ban such shipments.

“I don’t think there was much of this shipment taking place, so there is minimal revenue loss and big PR gain for them,“ he said.


Gulf Arabs welcome Iran nuke deal but seek further assurance

DOHA, Qatar — Gulf Arab states on Monday welcomed the nuclear deal negotiated between Iran and world powers but said they would like further assurances that the U.S. would help them counter increasing Iranian assertiveness in the region.

Speaking for the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, Qatar’s top diplomat said Monday that the bloc had been impressed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s presentation of the agreement and explanations of how it will be verified and enforced.

“Consequently, the GCC countries have welcomed on this basis what has been displayed and what has been talked about by His Excellency Mr. Kerry,“ said Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah, whose nation currently chairs the group.

“He let us know that there is a going to be live oversight over Iran,“ al Attiyah said of Kerry’s presentation. “This is reassuring to the region.“

Kerry had come to Doha seeking to ease such fears and said the United States would continue to expand security cooperation with the Gulf states to counter any destabilizing activities from Iran or others.

“Once fully implemented, the (Iran deal) contributes to the region’s long-term security, including by preventing Iran from developing a military nuclear capability,“ Kerry said, reading from a joint U.S.-GCC statement to be issued later.

He said that the nuclear deal might or might not affect Iran’s behavior but that the U.S. and its allies must plan as if it would not.

“Every state in the region hopes that there could be a change but we have to prepare for the possibility and eventuality that it won’t,“ he said.

Among the steps under discussion are developing a ballistic missile defense capability, expediting arms transfers, special forces training, maritime and cyber security programs and a significant boost in intelligence sharing, Kerry said. Working groups on those issues will begin meeting next week in Saudi Arabia, he added.

All of those are part of a package of programs that he said would build “stronger and more enduring strategic partnership with particular focus on counterterrorism and countering the destabilizing activities taking place in the region,“ he said.

During his visit to the sweltering Qatari capital, Kerry met separately with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to discuss Syria and other regional issues. The three-way meeting is unusual, because Russia has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Saudi Arabia and the United States have called for his removal.

Lavrov gave no indication to reporters after the meeting that Moscow was preparing to shift its support for Assad as he called for dialogue between opposition groups and Assad’s government. Although he met during his trip with Mouaz al-Khatib, a former president of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group, he denied the meeting marked a shift in policy.

Lavrov also held talks with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who lives in exile in Qatar. The two leaders have met previously in Russia, in 2007 and 2010.

Al-Attiyah, the Qatari foreign minister, said the Gulf Arabs ultimately would like to see a ban on nuclear weapons in the entire Middle East — a pointed jab at Israel which is widely believed to have the bomb — and that the Iran deal could be the first step in a process to bring one about.

At the same time, he said GCC members remained concerned about Iran’s possible designs in the region.

While Monday’s talks touched on a range of topics including conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, Kerry’s main goal during the trip was to follow up on a May meeting that President Barack Obama hosted for Arab leaders at Camp David. At that meeting, Obama promised Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates enhanced security cooperation and expedited defense sales to guard against a potential Iranian threat.

“Today we made progress on what we laid out at Camp David but clearly there is more work to do,“ Kerry said.

Just last week, the State Department authorized the sale to Saudi Arabia of $5.4 billion in Patriot missiles and related equipment along with $500 million in ammunition. Saudi Arabia is the largest and most influential member of the council and has been publicly supportive of the Iran deal, albeit with reservations.

Kerry’s visit to Qatar follows one last week by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who also stopped in Kuwait and Iraq to present Tehran’s side of the nuclear deal.

In a column published Monday in Lebanon’s Arabic daily As-Safir, Zarif called on Arab countries to work with Tehran for the good of the region. He said the Vienna agreement “does not hurt our neighbors but is rather a gain for all our region by putting an end to needless tensions that lasted 12 years.“

“Permanent security cannot be achieved by endangering the security of others,“ he wrote, proposing setting up a regional gathering for dialogue whose aim would be to respect each country’s sovereignty and independence.

Leading Creek Elementary Golden Eagles “Leading the Way”: Open House and Ribbon Cutting

Linn, WV Leading Creek Elementary School is West Virginia’s first inter-county school to merge Troy Elementary School from Gilmer County and Alum Bridge Elementary School from Lewis County. (According to a historian there was another inter-county school in West Virginia back in 1940s. Union school which had students from both Summers and Raleigh counties.)

Lewis County and Gilmer County jointly undertook the task to build a state-of-the-art facility that would benefit the students and communities of both counties.

Leading Creek is designed for an enrollment of 240 students from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade and includes separate art and music classrooms.

The bright bold colors of the school’s interior were selected to help encourage the students to enjoy and appreciate the time they have as students at Leading Creek.

On Saturday, August 01, 2015 the public had the opportunity to check out the new school during a community open house, dedication, and ribbon cutting ceremony.

The School is built on Gilmer-Lewis county line in Linn, WV.

The total cost of the school was more than $10 million. West Virginia School Building Authority paid for building of the school after each county paid about $350,000 for the land.


Presentations by:

    •  Kim Freeland, (Principal, Leading Creek Elementary)

    •  Dr. Joseph Mace - Superintendent, Lewis County Schools

    •  Dr. Mark Manchin - Superintendent, Harrison County Schools - Former SBA President

    •  Mr. Gabriel Devono - Superintendent, Gilmer County Schools

    •  Special Presentation - Mr. Dan Gum, Commander, Weston Post No. 4 of the American Legion

    •  Pledge of Allegiance - Led by (Dalton DeJarnette, Matilda Arnold, Lena Frymier, Cassie

Other officials present were Dennis Fitzpatrick, Glenville Mayor; Dr. Bill Simmons, GCBOE Presient; Tom Ratliff, GCBOE member; Lewis County State Delegate Peggy Donaldson Smith as well as all the members of Lewis county Board of Education.

08.03.2015
CommunityGilmer CountyLinnTroyHarrison CountyLewis CountyEducationNews(9) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Blur the lines Mark?  What about blurring the truth? You know Lewis County agreed that school was to be in Gilmer County. When did the Gilmer County Board EVER get to have a say?  When did Gilmer County taxpayers ever have a say?
The hot air from this dog and pony show is prime example showing the state BOE and its puppets as major contributors to climate change.  Expecting severe thunderstorms any time now.

How dare any of you say Mr. West would have agreed to this.  He NEVER was in favor of closing Troy Elementary. Using his name to deflect citizens ire is disgraceful.  He was a fine man.

GABEE BABY has a lot of nerve referring to you as cousin Mark. He showed his true colors when he said he’d rather be related to Joe because he could do more for him. Isn’t that why he does whatever Charleston wants no matter what happens to Gilmer?

Why would Joe Mace even bring up AJ?  It’s not as though his reputation in this state was sterling and serves only as a distraction to what forced intervention has wrought. A school using Gilmer County money serving less than a hundred of our students could never meet Gilmers needs. Lewis County got another school plain & simple.

What about you Mayor? We know why Simmons was up front. He’s a state hand holder. Why do you suddenly show up? The courthouse reports you signed a flood plain permit for the Hays City site because the commission handed the city permits over to you just in time for that little job to get done.  Will the board of ed sue the city when that school floods?

No Hanshaw, no Facemire, no big Joe, nobody from the state board?  They don’t want to be front page for this fiasco.

Devono’s answwer to any complaint about that school is it’s Lewis County’s now.  WE don’t have anything to do with it. Just a few months ago it was a joint effort. That was true.  A joint effort between Blankenship, you and Bill Simmons to not be an impediment to whatever the state and that new committee Devono said will let the board know what direction this county is going wanted. Are you on that committee Bill? Devono put you on all the rest so why not? May be a paycheck with it?

Listen and watch the body language. These guys are so busy throwing each other under the bus they don’t even know what they’re saying.

By AS THE WORMS TURN  on  08.03.2015

Paint the cinder block walls and add new tile for the floor.  Could be any of the county schools only smaller.  Is the internet even working yet? The playgrounds not in and no school zone traffic signs in site.
All show, no substance. 
No surprise for KF to praise it.  She got a job. All the kids in Lewis won’t be coming and from whats heard not all from Gilmer either.
Bill Simmons said Gilmer was going to buy half the technology too.  Where’s that money?

By Del Powers  on  08.03.2015

Seems nobody knew where the Gilmer County line was.

By Too Bad  on  08.03.2015

Show us the minute book in Gilmer County that shows any of this nonsense being done.  For that matter show us the minutes of the State Board of Education that show it.  It’s not there and if it didn’t happen in the minutes it did not happen!
Show one RIF, one transfer of any Gilmer County BOE employee in the minutes. When can we expect the grievances to start. 
Where is this information people???

By Who Passed This?  on  08.03.2015

Just like kids.  Give em a shiny gee gaw and they’ll forget all about that scraped knee.

That’s what the state board is counting on come time to vote that excess levy back in. They say people will just forget all about what they did.

By Don't Think So  on  08.03.2015

Why all the green?  Not even the school colors?
Did the planning committee pick that out?

By No Thought Given  on  08.03.2015

If I sell you 10 acres of land at that price will you put my picture on the wall?  Seriously?

By Farm Land For Sale  on  08.04.2015

Is anyone else disturbed by how little they have to say about the children?  We aren’t hearing anything about what this school will do to improve education or make things better for the students.
  Why exactly did they build it? Just to spend money? Where are the computers? Why do we see more tables than desks and chairs? School starts the 13th of August. After almost four years you would think it would be ready.  Extremely disappointing, inefficient and unnecessary use of public funds solving very few problems relevant to the need.

By Ed Isenhotte  on  08.04.2015

WV has lots of state-of-the art facilities and we are still 47th to be one of the highest spenders for education. What will count will be classroom results and not to be fooled by blow hards who pass off structures as proof of learning progress.

By Nate Barr  on  08.04.2015

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G-Eye™: New Stalls & Trail at Gilmer County Recreation Center

The Gilmer County Parks and Recreation Center Board of Directors and Director Darrel Ramsey are happy to see more improvements being done at the center through FCI Gilmer inmate program and other volunteers.

In the photos there are eight(8) new horse stalls added to the Ag Barn making a total of 18 stalls total.

Money’s to help with this project came from the Little Kanawha Trail Riders Association from Gilmer County.

The other picture is a informational stand that will hold info on the new trail being installed of what plants and trees live in this environment.

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

Again special thank you’s to FCI Gilmer inmate program and board member Rick Sypolt for all there hard work.

If your free come on out and take a look for yourself of the improvements being done to the county recreation center.

Thank you

Darrel Ramsey /Director

Glenville City Council Meeting - 08.03.15 - Today

The Gilmer Free Press
AGENDA
Glenville City Council
Monday, August 03, 2015
7:00 PM

Pledge of Allegiance


Swearing in of Councilwoman Huffman


I.    Call to Order


II. Public

      A. Approval of Minutes – July 06,  2015, Minutes of last meeting

III. Reports

      B. Financial

      C. Street Report

      D. Police-

      E. Glenville Utility-

      F. Recorder - 

      G. Mayor’s Comments :

              - August 4th Back to School Bash and National Night Out from 6:00 to 9:00 PM

              - Discuss September’s meeting which falls on Labor Day


IV. Unfinished Business


V. New Business


VI. Other Business to come before council


VII. Next council meeting – September 07, 2015 at 7:00 PM


VIII. Adjourn

Most Picky Eating Harmless But It Can Signal Emotional Woes

The Gilmer Free Press

CHICAGO, IL — Parents of picky eaters take heart: New research suggests the problem is rarely worth fretting over, although in a small portion of kids it may signal emotional troubles that should be checked out.

Preschool-aged children who are extremely selective about what they eat and dislike even being near certain foods are more likely than others to have underlying anxiety or depression, the study found. But only 3 percent of young children studied were that picky.

Less severe pickiness, dubbed “moderate selected eating” in the study, was found in about 18 percent of kids. These are children who will only eat a narrow range of foods. Kids with either level of pickiness were almost two times more likely than others to develop anxiety symptoms within two years, the study found.

More typical pickiness, including kids who just refuse to eat their vegetables, is probably merely “normal dislike,“ said eating disorders specialist Nancy Zucker, the lead author and an associate psychiatry professor at Duke University’s medical school. These are the kids who typically outgrow their pickiness as they mature.

Zucker said young children with moderate pickiness are probably more likely to outgrow the problem than the severe group, although more research is needed to confirm that.

The study was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Dr. Arthur Lavin, a Cleveland pediatrician said picky eating is among the top concerns parents bring to his office, and that the study “helps us understand who we should be concerned about.“

“There’s more going on here than just not wanting to eat broccoli,“ said Lavin, a member of an American Academy of Pediatrics committee on psycho-social issues. He was not involved in the research.

The study focused on about 900 children aged 2 through 5 who were recruited from primary care doctors affiliated with Duke’s medical center in Durham, North Carolina.

Researchers did in-home interviews with parents to evaluate kids’ eating habits and any mental health issues. Follow-up evaluations were done two years later in almost 200 children.

Compared with children who aren’t fussy eaters, depression and social anxiety were at least two times more common in kids with severe pickiness; attention deficit behavior and separation anxiety symptoms were more common in moderately selective kids.

Severe selective eating described in the study is akin to a condition called avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, added in 2013 to the latest edition of a widely used psychiatric manual, the study authors said. It can occur in all ages; some of those affected are extra-sensitive to food tastes, smells and textures.

Zucker said severe pickiness may be the first clue for parents that a child is experiencing anxiety or depression and that they may want to seek help from a mental health specialist.

Moderate pickiness is less concerning but affected kids can make family meal-times a battleground, she said. To avoid that, Zucker suggests that parents try introducing new foods at random times during the day.

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