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WV Lottery - 02.28.13

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WV Spring Forest Fire Season Starts Friday, March 01, 2013

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As spring approaches, so does the threat of forest fires. The West Virginia Division of Forestry reminds residents that the state’s spring forest fire season starts on March 01, 2013, and runs through May 31, 2013. During these three months, daytime burning is prohibited from the hours of 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Outdoor burning is permitted only between the hours of 5:00 PM and 7:00 AM.

State law requires a ring or safety strip around outdoor fires to keep the fire from spreading into the woods. This safety strip must be cleared of all burnable material and be at least 10 feet wide completely around the debris pile.

Additional requirements of the state’s fire laws include staying on-site until the fire is completely extinguished, and only burning vegetative materials like leaves, brush and yard clippings.

If you allow a fire you have started to escape and it causes a wildfire or forest fire, you will be subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000. An additional civil penalty of $200 also will be assessed against you.


The Division of Forestry offers these tips for safe outdoor burning:

•  Burn only after 5:00 PM — it’s the law — and put your fire out completely by 7:00 AM.

•  Put debris in several small piles instead of one large one

•  Never burn on dry, windy days

•  Select a safe place away from overhead power lines, phone lines or other obstructions and where the fire cannot spread into the woods or weedy or brushy areas

•  Clear at least a 10-foot area around the fire and make sure the area is clear of all burnable material

•  Have water and tools on hand to extinguish anything that may escape the burn area

•  Be conscientious of neighbors and don’t burn debris that produces a lot of smoke at times when smoke does not rise. If the smoke spreads out near the ground instead of rising, put out the fire and burn another time.

•  Stay with the fire at all times until it is completely out. Leaving a fire unattended for any length of time is illegal.

•  Call 911 immediately if a fire does escape


Commercial burning permits may be obtained by public utilities and people burning in conjunction with commercial, manufacturing, mining or like activities.

These burning permits cost $125 each and are issued by local Division of Forestry offices.

A permit is required for each site where this type of burning takes place.

‘Finding Faith’: A Film about the Dangers of the Internet

The West Virginia State Police took part in a film that was released earlier this year and will be showing at several locations across the state in the next week.

The film is called “Finding Faith.” It’s based on actual events and the career of Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, VA. He was one of the first in the country to set up an Internet Crimes Task Force. He helped the West Virginia State Police set up theirs.

The Gilmer Free Press


Sgt. Mike Baylous with the West Virginia State Police says it was an honor for the Department to be part of a film that focuses on Internet crimes against children.

“It’s a proactive attempt to reach these children before they’re exposed to these types of crimes,” says Baylous. “What it’s designed to do is create an open conversation between parents and children and communities on the dangers of the Internet.”

Starring as Sheriff Brown is Erik Estrada, best known for his role as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello on the 70′s TV series “Chips.”

The plot focuses on a girl who befriends a man on the Internet and is abducted and taken to a home in West Virginia. That’s where you’ll see members of the West Virginia State Police portraying themselves as they help find the girl.

Baylous says while the scenes are set in West Virginia, it could just as easily have been any state in the country.

“Sometimes we think [internet predators] are a problem that’s unique to West Virginia. It’s not,” says Baylous. “It’s a worldwide problem.”

“Finding Faith” will have one of its second viewing in West Virginia on Saturday at the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Hurricane at 5pm. Estrada will be there to talk about his role and the dangers of the Internet.

To find out where you can see the film, log on to www.findingfaithfilm.com.

~~  Jennifer Smith – WVMN ~~

Calhoun County Judge Orders Evaluation for Woman Charged with Murdering Her Infant

Imprisonment Status:  Pre-Trial Felon
Full Name: Kreh,  Ashley  Nicole
Height: 5’  3"
Weight: 160 lbs.
Birth Date: 04.05.1990
Gender: Female
Booking Date: 02.22.2012
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Imprisonment Status: Pre-Trial Felon

Offender Court Order Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location
12F-26 CALHOUN COUNTY - Bail Amount: $750,000.00
12M-169 BRAXTON COUNTY - Bail Amount: $5,000.00
13M-50 BRAXTON COUNTY - Bail Amount: $25,000.00
Calhoun County woman was indicted for the death of her infant daughter earlier this year.
Calhoun County judge ordered a 60-day evaluation instead of sentencing on Monday, February 25, 2013.
she was charged with murder and child abuse resulting in the death of her 2-month-old girl.
Autopsy results showed the infant died of blunt force trauma to the head in February 2012.
The infant had sustained a skull fracture and a broken arm.
The infant died a couple of days later.
If convicted, she could face between 10 and 40 years in prison.
She told the Calhoun County judge that she was sorry!

More WV Fisheries to Be Featured on Outdoor Channel Show

The Gilmer Free Press

“Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming”

More of West Virginia’s best fishing waters are scheduled to be showcased on episodes of the Outdoor Channel’s program, “Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming.” The 2013 season premiere, which aired January 01, 2013, featured trout fishing at Pipestem Resort State Park.

“Fly Rod Chronicles” is shown each week, Tuesdays at 11:00 AM, Fridays at Noon, and Saturdays at 6:30 PM.


The schedule for the rest of this season includes these shows featuring West Virginia themes:
•      Week of March 10, 2013 – West Virginia Grand Slam

•      Week of March 17, 2013 – Cast ‘n’ Blast at Lodge of Chama (New Mexico) Part 1, featuring West Virginia coal miner Sonny Fleming

•      Week of March 24, 2013 – Cast ‘n’ Blast Part 2

•      Week of April 14, 2013 – WVU Basketball Coach Bob Huggins and his daughter Jacque fish the Potomac with Curtis and his daughter Laken; it’s a father/daughter show.

•      Week of April 28, 2013 – Eastern Panhandle Fishing

•      Week of May 05, 2013 – Cast ‘n’ Blast on the Greenbrier River

•      Week of May 12, 2013 – Elk Springs Resort (Randolph County)

The West Virginia Department of Commerce has made the state a presenting sponsor of the 2013 broadcast season of the program.

The sponsorship includes 13 original 30-minute episodes. Six shows have been or will be taped on streams, rivers or lakes in the state.

West Virginia will be integrated into the other seven shows. Primary Commerce agencies contributing to the sponsorship and show content are West Virginia Development Office, Division of Tourism and the Division of Natural Resources State Parks and Forests section.

“The show shines a national spotlight on West Virginia’s scenic beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities,” said West Virginia Department of Commerce Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette. “By touring our towns and talking to our people, the program will help viewers learn about the attractions, culture and heritage that make West Virginia ‘almost heaven.’”

A native of Bridgeport, WV, Fleming travels the world to find and experience the best hunting and fishing.

The Outdoor Channel is known to sportsmen across the country and around the world for its programming on all aspects of the sporting life. Now in its 10th season, “Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming” boasts a viewership of nearly 1 million viewers per episode.

To learn more about “Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming” visit www.flyrodchronicles.tv.

To find out more about West Virginia State Parks click www.wvstateparks.com.

Bill Aims to Better Evaluate Troubled West Virginia Kids

Groups that work with troubled West Virginia children want lawmakers to support a bill requiring all state agencies to use a standardized evaluation tool that they say could help ensure more effective placements and treatments while also improving inter-agency communication.

Supporters say the West Virginia Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths assessment has already been tailored to meet the needs of the largely rural state and will help ensure the many agencies that deal with kids in crisis are working from the same playbook.

Kathy Szafran, chief executive officer of Crittenton Services Inc. in Wheeling, wrote the legislation that grew from meetings of the West Virginia Child Care Association last year. It will help ensure children get the care they most need, she said, whether they’re in residential treatment, foster care or a juvenile justice facility.

It will also generate data for a statewide database that West Virginia University would maintain to help policy makers, colleges and universities, and others spot trends then identify what resources are needed in different regions.

The Gilmer Free Press


Troubled children come into state care through many different channels, she said, yet agencies have no uniform method of communicating or evaluating their needs.

“And these kids don’t fit into the silos we’ve developed,” she said, noting many have suffered previously unreported trauma that affected their behavior and put them on a path to the child-welfare system

The CANS tool, developed by the Illinois-based Praed Foundation, is a functional assessment that looks at the child holistically. It evaulates what’s happening in the home and many other aspects of their environments, Szafran said, “not just the child’s IQ or personality traits.”

Last year, a national study found that children are dying from abuse and neglect at a higher rate in West Virginia than any other state, a problem that judges, social workers and others say is fueled by rampant substance abuse in families.

But communities, particularly in the most rural and least populated areas, typically lack a sufficient safety net of foster care, adoptive families, in-home services and community-based prevention and treatment programs for addicted parents and their children. 

Cases of abuse and neglect clog the criminal court system, their numbers doubling in less than a decade. Troubled kids often skip school, use drugs, become violent and commit crimes, further burdening the justice system.

Sen. Donald Cookman, D-Pocahontas, was for years chief judge of the 22nd Judicial Circuit covering Hampshire, Hardy and Pendleton counties, and saw those cases firsthand. Now he’s the lead sponsor on the legislation.

“That’s true in just about every aspect of the court system ... there’s very little community support,” he said Wednesday.

Judges often struggle to choose the best placement for a child, relying on the subjective recommendations of guardians, social workers and others. The CANS tool will provide more comprehensive, objective information, he said.

“It’s not an end-all, obviously,” Cookman said, “but I think it’s a good assessment tool and would give us a lot more information than the parties have actually ever had before. And they’re all reading off the same page.”

The state Department of Health and Human Resources supports a universal assessment tool, said agency spokeswoman Marsha Dadisman. But she said DHHR has not evaluated the possible costs of the bill, which must first go through the Senate Judiciary and Finance committees.

Szafran says the costs would be minimal because Crittenton already has people ready to train others.

The CANS tool is used in several other states, she said, including Illinois and Maryland, and in Allegheny County, Pa., which includes the city of Pittsburgh.

“We’ve had it developed for our population, not urban New York City kids but West Virginia kids,” Szafran said.

WVU will store the data that’s collected, which could help give policy makers a better idea of what services are needed and where.

“Right now, we have patterns. We’ll do community focus groups, but maybe 20 people show up for town meetings,” Szafran said, “so we’re not really getting a clear picture of the trends.”

The database would also help colleges and universities customize educational programs to meet the state’s needs, perhaps offering more master’s degree programs in social work, for example.

“Historically, we bring in consultants to come into our state and tell us how to do behavioral services. They provide a beautiful report in a beautiful binder, and we all promptly stick it on the shelf,” Szafran said. “This will give us hard data to see what’s really going on with West Virginia kids.”

WV Governor Targets Online Sales for Tax Revenues

The Gilmer Free Press

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin wants online retailers to start collecting West Virginia’s sales tax on purchases by state residents.

Legislation introduced Wednesday follows the lead of several other states as brick-and-mortar businesses complain of an unfair tax burden.

Tomblin proposes requiring retailers located out-of-state to start applying the sales tax if they or a subsidiary has a physical presence in West Virginia.

That would appear to apply to e-commerce giant Amazon.com, which recently opened a customer service center in Huntington. A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

West Virginia has long pursued e-retail revenues through the multi-state Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.

Congress has also weighed the online sales tax question, with the latest version of the proposed Marketplace Fairness Act introduced February 14, 2013.

WV Tops in Income Recipients with Disabilities

The Gilmer Free Press

U.S. Census figures show West Virginia leads the nation in the%age of adults receiving federal government income assistance who have disabilities.

The Census report released shows that of the 46 million adults who received income-based government assistance in 2011, 30.4% of them had a disability.

In West Virginia, the rate is 41.7%.

Arizona had the lowest rate at 25.1%.

Twenty-two states had disability rates above the national average of 30.4% and 15 were below that.

The Census report defined disabilities as people having vision, hearing, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care or independent living difficulties.

The report also found that of those people with disabilities in West Virginia, 26.8% reported having severe difficulties walking or climbing stairs, compared with the national average of 18.2%.

G-otcha™: Two Men Arrested on Drug Charges in Lewis County

Imprisonment Status:  Pre-Trial Felon
Full Name: Barnette,  Robert  Vaughn
Height: 5’  9"
Weight: 165 lbs.
Birth Date: 09.23.1985
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 02.25.2013
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Imprisonment Status: Pre-Trial Felon

Offender Court Order Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location
13F-38, 39 LEWIS COUNTY - Bail Amount: $250,000.00 
Operating Nine meth labs in and around Barnette’s Weston, WV area home.
Two of those labs were actively cooking meth when discovered.
Charged with operating a clandestine drug lab and face other charges.

 

 

Imprisonment Status:  Pre-Trial Felon
Full Name: Sellers,  Mathew  Paul
Height: 6’  5"
Weight: 135 lbs.
Birth Date: 06.22.1986
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 02.25.2013
Facility: Central Regional Jail
Imprisonment Status: Pre-Trial Felon

Offender Court Order Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location
13F - LEWIS COUNTY - Bail Amount: $250,000.00 
Operating Nine meth labs in and around Barnette’s Weston, WV area home.
Two of those labs were actively cooking meth when discovered.
Charged with operating a clandestine drug lab and face other charges.

 

 

WV Superintendent of Schools to Participate in Statewide ACT Conference

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia Superintendent Jim Phares joined other state education leaders Wednesday during the ACT State Organization 2013 Annual Conference.

About 700 people from K-12 and higher education participated in the annual event. This year’s theme is “Engage for Change!”  Other keynote panelists were Cabinet Secretary Ketih Burdette of the West Virginia Department of Commerce; Chancellor Paul Hill of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; Chancellor Jim Skidmore with the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education. Kanawha County Test Coordinator Bill Mullet will serve as moderator.

“About 68% of our high school graduates in the Class of 2012 took the ACT college entrance exam, which is a record for West Virginia,” Phares said. “Still, West Virginia students continue to have a composite score below the national average. We know we must do better if our students are to be successful on the ACT, in college and careers.”

The conference brought together higher education and K-12 representatives to address ways to better prepare students for the ACT and post-secondary education. Topics discussed during the day-long conference included best practices at middle, secondary, and post-secondary institutions; updates about state and national initiatives and changes; effective programs to maximize work force and college readiness; planning for the future; expanding career technical education to middle schools; financial aid; ACT Compass to aid with college placement; ACT work force assessments; college applications and exploration week; retention; ACT Explore career planning for eighth graders; ACT Plan career tool for 10th graders; Common Core State Standards; and other issues.

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test made up of four separate exams in English, reading, mathematics and science, plus an optional writing test. The ACT is scored on a scale of one to 36. The test is administered in all 50 states and is the predominant college entrance exam in 25 states, including West Virginia. ACT also assesses a student’s ability to succeed in college.

To better prepare for the ACT, students can use free ACT practice tests, study guides and preparation tools available at www.cfwv.com, West Virginia’s college- and career-planning website.

Fight to Bring Jobs Back to the United States

The Gilmer Free Press

Senator Jay Rockefeller today announced that he cosponsored a bill to encourage American businesses to stop moving jobs overseas, and incentivize them to bring those jobs back home and hire American workers.

“Our country has a long, proud history of manufacturing with deep roots in West Virginia’s mills and factories,” said Rockefeller. “American workers give it their all each and every day, and they deserve a level playing field, good benefits, and the full support of their government. That starts with making sure we do all we can to keep their jobs here at home. This bill puts Americans back to work, gives businesses an incentive to bring outsourced jobs home for good, and shows our workers that we have their backs.”

The Bring Jobs Home Act would stop tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs overseas, and instead provides a 20% tax credit to businesses that bring jobs back to America.  Businesses can use the tax credit for costs associated with moving a production line, trade, or business located outside the country back to the United States.  The bill also stops the deduction companies can currently take for the costs associated with outsourcing.


Background:

As part of his longstanding commitment to creating jobs in West Virginia, Rockefeller has worked for years to promote manufacturing and spur new economic opportunities in the state and across America.  In addition to this bill, Rockefeller:

Introduced and cosponsored several bills recently that will help protect existing jobs and create new ones.   The bills will level the playing field for American companies with foreign competition, incentivize companies to keep jobs in the U.S., and encourage job training programs.

•      Demanded Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits be extended and expanded to include the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) for steelworkers and other American workers hit hard by unfair trade. Most recently, Rockefeller has fought for RG Steel workers and retirees who were laid off last year after RG Steel filed for bankruptcy.

Held a series of “Making it in America” roundtables across West Virginia. He heard from industry and labor leaders, as well as business owners and government officials, on how to strengthen West Virginia’s manufacturing sector.  Rockefeller continues to hold discussions with West Virginians about this issue.

Held two Commerce Committee hearings in Washington, in addition to a hearing in West Virginia. The hearings focused on the future of manufacturing in America and ways in which the government and industry can promote job growth.

Led the Congressional effort to create the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. Passed into law in 1988, MEP established a network of federal, state, and industry advisors to improve the productivity of American manufacturers.

Spearheaded the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (COMPETES). COMPETES underscores the need to support not only advanced and innovative manufacturing processes, but also the preparation of future generations of highly-skilled American workers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

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