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State-Junior-Conservation-Camp-Scholarships-Still-Available

The Free Press WV

Scholarships are still available for West Virginia Junior Conservation Camp, where kids ages 11-14 can learn about environmental science from the state’s most knowledgeable forestry, wildlife and preservation experts. Scholarships cover the full cost of camp, which is $172, and are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Scheduled June 20-24 at Cedar Lakes in Ripley, the overnight camp offers classes in wildlife, archery, recycling, fishing, canoeing, and more, inspiring over 200 campers to protect the state’s natural resources. The camp is sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Each day, campers have the opportunity to learn about environmental preservation in engaging new ways, outside of a classroom setting. Past presentations have explained energy efficiency and air quality, demonstrated the work of fire dogs in forestry, and displayed the operation of mechanical deer and turkey used to protect out-of-season animals.

Campers also swim, play volleyball, run relay races, and engage in many other activities with their peers. After the day’s festivities, campers gather around a campfire, creating fellowship with one another. The camp concludes with an assembly on Friday morning.

Many dedicated experts from the DEP, Division of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, and WVU Extension Service serve as camp counselors, presenters, and leaders. For more information about Junior Conservation Camp or to inquire about scholarship availability, contact camp Director Diana Haid at 304.926.0499x1114, or . The deadline to register for camp is May 02.
The DEP also would like to remind youth ages 14-18 that the 75th annual West Virginia State Conservation Camp at Camp Caesar in Webster County is scheduled for June 13-18. That camp is organized by the WVU Extension Service, West Virginia Conservation Agency and several more state and federal agencies.

For more information about that camp, go to www.wvconservationcamp.com or call Allen Miller at 304.293.9425.

Key Things To Know About Federal Land Ownership In The West

An armed group occupying the headquarters of a national wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon wants the federal government to relinquish the land to local officials so it becomes more accessible for ranching, mining and other uses.

Less visible efforts to wrest control of federal lands date back more than a century in the West, where the U.S. government manages most of the land in some states.

The Free Press WV


HOW MUCH LAND DOES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OWN?

It controls about a million square miles, mostly in the West, according to the Congressional Research Service. It owns 81 percent of Nevada, 66 percent of Utah, 62 percent of both Idaho and Alaska, and 53 percent of Oregon.

Most of the land is managed by U.S. agencies including the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

The federal government also owns significant portions of California and Wyoming, at 48 percent each; Arizona, at 42 percent; Colorado, at 36 percent; New Mexico, at 35 percent; Montana, at 29 percent; and Washington state, at 28 percent.


HOW DID THE GOVERNMENT ACQUIRE SO MUCH LAND?

As the country expanded West, the federal government sought to protect some areas, such as Yellowstone National Park in 1872, and took control in the 1900s of unclaimed areas that were generally too harsh and difficult for homesteaders to make a living.

For example, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management administers much of the sagebrush steppe of the Great Basin, which is habitat for the imperiled sage grouse but unsuitable for farming.


IS THE LAND-CONTROL CONFLICT NEW?

No. The debate over management of federal land has spanned decades. Some state officials and others contend that state control would mean less regulation and greater freedom for ranchers, miners, recreationists and others, boosting state income.

Critics of that view say the land would be too expensive for states to maintain and would be sold off to private interests, cutting off access to the public.

Congress approved a law in 1976 saying that remaining public land would stay under federal control.


WHAT EFFORTS ARE STATES MAKING TO CONTROL FEDERAL LAND?

State lawmakers, notably in Utah and Idaho, have sought a legal way to take control of federal land. However, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has said the state’s constitution gave up claims to the land when Idaho joined the union.

Congress has the authority to turn over federal land to the states, but efforts to pass such a law have failed so far.


WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THE LAND IN OREGON?

President Theodore Roosevelt created the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 1908. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 300-square-mile refuge is partly a marshland that’s a key rest area in the Oregon high desert for migrating birds.

The number of migrating shorebirds qualifies the refuge as a Regional Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve, the wildlife service says. It also supports more than 20 percent of the state’s breeding population of greater sandhill cranes, as well as many other species.

Birding is a popular pastime at the refuge, which also draws anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers.

Passage of Sportsmen’s Act OF 2015

Legislation will increase public lands access for sportsmen and promote West Virginia’s outdoor recreation economy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, applauded the bipartisan passage of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. The legislation will enhance hunting, fishing and recreational shooting opportunities by increasing access to federal lands. It also includes the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill passed the ENR Committee by a voice vote.

“As a lifelong, avid sportsman, I know firsthand that our hunting, fishing and outdoor heritage is so important to who we are as West Virginians and as Americans,” Senator Manchin said. “In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along, from one generation to another, a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer. I believe that we should protect these traditions that help define who we are. This bipartisan bill will boost West Virginia’s economy while expanding hunting and fishing rights and allowing people a greater ability to enjoy the outdoors.”


Senator Manchin’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

As an avid sportsman, I believe that hunting and fishing are an integral part of the American culture and a powerful force of good protecting and preserving the natural world around us.

In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along – from one generation to another – a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer.

One of my top priorities is to make sure that the people I represent can carry on that tradition by ensuring they have access to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on our nation’s public lands.

In my home state, we have more than 1.6 million acres of public land open to hunting with 28 shooting ranges on these lands.

We have a year-round fishing season, with more than 20,000 miles of streams and more than 100 public fishing lakes.

But this is about more than heritage and family tradition – hunting and fishing are big business in the Mountain State.

In 2011 alone, sportsmen and women spent $870 million on hunting and fishing in West Virginia and paid $81 million in state and local taxes.

Title II of this bill establishes an important precedent that seems pretty common sense to me – Federal land should be open to hunting and fishing, within existing laws, unless there is a reason for it not to be.

Nothing in the bill opens any sensitive areas that are already closed to these activities.

It merely establishes the precedent that our public lands should be open to the public so that people can enjoy them.

I think it’s a shame that we all too often get caught up in debates between environmentalists and sportsmen – both of whom want to preserve and protect the great outdoors.

Gale Norton, Secretary of the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush, once said:

“Dating back to Teddy Roosevelt, hunters have been the pillar of conservation in America, doing more than anyone to conserve wildlife and its habitat.”

I’m a firm believer that introducing someone to the great outdoors through hunting and fishing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to show them why conservation matters.

I was also very pleased to see that the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was included in this bill.

In West Virginia, LWCF has helped maintain and expand access to some of our State’s natural treasures for the benefit of all.

Access projects funded by LWCF, in places like the Monongahela National Forest, Canaan Valley, and the Gauley River, not only keep public lands public for sportsmen, but also promote West Virginia’s thriving and growing outdoor recreation economy.

A Section 6 habitat grant was the centerpiece of a project up in Cheat Canyon that leveraged state, local, and private funds to protect another incredible river that provides outdoor recreation in the northern part of the state.

A different type of grant protected key battlefield areas around Harper’s Ferry last year. 

The permanent reauthorization of the LWCF is another one of my top priorities, and I commend my colleagues for working together, across partisan lines, to include it in this bill.

For the past two Congresses, we have tried and failed to pass a Sportsmen’s package through the Senate despite strong bipartisan support.

I commend Senator Murkowski and Senator Heinrich for their leadership on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act this Congress, and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill.

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council hosts Campfire at WV Governor’s Mansion

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council hosted the ultimate campfire at the WV Governor’s Mansion with special guest and Girl Scout Alumna, First Lady Joanne Tomblin on Tuesday evening.

The First Lady lead the fun as the girls sang songs and listened to stories of her Girl Scouting experiences growing up and how they shaped her into the strong leader she is today.

Over 44 Girl Scouts from across the state of WV were in attendance at this unforgettable event.

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About Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership organization for girls, with 2.8 million girl and adult members worldwide. Working in partnership with nearly 4,000 volunteers, Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council serves about 12,000 girls in 61 counties in West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. For more information on how to join, volunteer, or donate to Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council, call 1.800.756.7616 or visit our website at www.bdgsc.org. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

THIS YEAR WILL BE THE FIRST YEAR FOR “JAMBOREE AT THE SUMMIT” FOR GIRL SCOUTS IN GRADES 4-12

CHARLESTON, WV — Girl Scouts will take over the home of the National Scout Jamboree this July.

The Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council is hosting “Jamboree at the Summit” on July 22 – 26 at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette County, one of four high-adventure bases the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America manages nationwide.

The event is open to groups of Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors in grades 4-12 from West Virginia and across the U.S. Girls who are not yet Scouts can also pay a $15 fee to join the organization and attend the Jamboree.

“There are14 different high adventure activities for girls to participate in while they are there and we’re just so excited to be able to do this event at a world-class facility right here in West Virginia,” said Beth Casey, CEO of Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council.

The Council is made up of Scouts in 61 counties in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Maryland.

The Gilmer Free Press


This year is the first year for “Jamboree at the Summit” which will include ziplining, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, skateboarding, kayaking and more. Participating Girl Scouts will earn four badges.

Of the site, “I have been so impressed every time I’ve been there, just the quality of the facilities and how beautiful it is and the support staff there have been really great also,” said Casey who participated in “Girl Scout Day” at The Summit last August.

The cost to attend this year’s “Jamboree at the Summit” is $300 per girl.

More information about the event is available by calling Suzanne Goralczyk or Kathy Storage at 304.345.7722 or by clicking H E R E.

Looking ahead, the 2017 National Scout Jamboree will be the second one held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

The Summit will host the World Scout Jamboree in 2019, the first time the event will be held in the U.S. in more than 50 years.

This year’s World Scout Jamboree is scheduled for July 28 – August 08 in Yamaguchi, Japan.

Junior Conservation Camp Scholarships Available

The Gilmer Free Press

Campers Learn Valuable Environmental Lessons, Useful Outdoor Skills

RIPLEY, WV – Hundreds of children from across West Virginia will converge at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County next month to learn how to protect our environment at the 35th annual Junior Conservation Camp.

The camp, being held June 15-19, is open to West Virginia children ages 11 to 14 and includes activities designed to teach participants about forestry, wildlife, archery, recycling, hunter safety and fishing, canoeing and other outdoor activities. The classes are outdoors, very hands-on, and engaging. They are taught by dedicated and knowledgeable instructors from agencies that include Department of Environmental Protection, the Division of Natural Resources, the Division of Forestry, and the WVU Extension Service. There are multiple scholarships available to cover campers’ lodging and meals.

“Junior Conservation Camp is important for many reasons,” said Camp Director Diana Haid, who heads up the DEP’s Youth Environmental Program. “The campers learn good environmental management practices and become stewards of our natural resources. Most importantly, they’re having fun outside. Each year there are several children who’ve never been to a camp before, never fished or shot a bow and would not have been able to without the financial assistance provided by our camp sponsors. I am very proud to say that Junior Conservation Camp provides a very positive camping experience full of fun and environmental learning to about 200 West Virginia children each year.”

Several camp sponsors have requested that scholarships be made available to children from certain areas of the state. Parents with children interested in attending camp can request these scholarships if the children reside in the following counties: Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Harrison, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Mercer, Nicholas, Raleigh, Ritchie, Summers, Tyler, Wayne, Webster and Wood. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The scholarship requests should be emailed to Diana Haid at .

For general information about camp or to obtain an application form, go to www.dep.wv.gov and click on the “Junior Conservation Camp” link on the right side of the screen under the “Events” heading. The application deadline has been extended to May 20. The cost for children without scholarships is $172 each. To apply, mail the application and a check to DEP, Attention Diana Haid, 601 57th St. SE, Charleston, WV 25304.

This year’s Junior Conservation Camp sponsors, to date, are: Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia; Appalachian Power; Antero Resources; the shareholders of West Virginia American Water; the Braxton, Doddridge, Fayette, Harrison, Jackson, Lincoln, Marshall, Putnam, Taylor, Upshur, Wetzel and Wood county solid waste authorities; the Region VIII Solid Waste Authority; Jackson Resources Co. of Hamlin; the Berk-Mar, Forest Ridge, Hill and Hollow, Kanawha Estates, Lubeck Acres, Quiet Dell, St. Albans, Salem and Vienna garden clubs; the GFWC woman’s clubs of Bridgeport, Capitol, Charleston, Clarksburg, Clendenin, Cross Lanes, Elizabeth, Elkins, Grafton, Huntington, Mannington, Montgomery, Ronceverte, Shady Spring and South Parkersburg; the Parkersburg and Philippi Lion’s clubs; the Newark Shining Stars 4-H Club; the Hancock County 4-H Foundation; the Capitol, Elk, Little Kanawha, Tygarts Valley, Upper Ohio and Western conservation districts; the Pink Chucks Studio of St. Albans; the Moundsville Tuesday Arts Club; Weyerhaeuser of Braxton County; S&S Engineers of Charleston; OPB&E Rentals LLC of Fairmont; Guy’s Buick GMC of Ranson and the West Virginia Breeders Classic Ltd.

Contact:
Jake Glance
304.926.0440

G-Eye™: Playground…

Campground at Burnsville Lake
Burnsville, WV

The Gilmer Free Press

The world is a looking glass and gives back to
every man the reflection of his own face.
~~  William Makepeace Thackeray ~~

The Gilmer Free Press

The best and most beautiful things in the
world cannot be seen or even touched
—they must be felt with the heart.
~~  Helen Keller ~~

The Gilmer Free Press
Nature will bear the closest inspection.
She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf,
and take an insect view of its plain.
~~  Henry David Thoreau ~~

Gilmer County Recreation Center Trail Rider

The Gilmer Free Press

This was the trail ride that took place at the Gilmer County Recreation Center two weeks ago.

There were over 60 riders they came and stayed at the Gilmer County Recreation Center for two days.

The ride was sponsored by Rob Lowther and Ronnie Williams.

A great time was had by all .

Stonewall Resort to Host Second Annual Cardboard Boat Race- August 16, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Stonewall Resort is “Calling all Captains” to participate in the Second Annual Cardboard Boat Race, to be held Saturday, August 16, 2014 on Stonewall Jackson Lake and presented by the Stonewall State Park Foundation and the Stonewall Jackson Lake Boaters Association, resort officials announced.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director at Stonewall Resort, said, “Gather your crew, build your cardboard boat and join us on Stonewall Jackson Lake for this unique and fun event.”

Norris said teams are to construct their vessels out of cardboard, following the rules on the registration form.

On race day, teams are to have their “boats” at the launch site by 9:00 AM Boaters will meet in the boat loading parking lot, located behind the Roanoke Activity Plaza.

The area will be marked with signs directing participants where to go.

The race begins at 9:30 AM.

Trophies will be awarded for first through third places, for best overall design and also for the most spectacular “sinking”.

There is a small fee per boat and all boat crews will receive a t-shirt.

For event rules and registration, please visit StonewallResort.com and click on the Calendar of Events tab or call the marina at 304.269.8895.

To ensure the desired t-shirt size, participants are encouraged to register as quickly as possible as the event is only a few days way. There will be late registration at 8:00 AM the day of the event at the Roanoke Activity Plaza.  All registered participants must meet at the Roanoke Activity Plaza, no later than 9:00 AM.

Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in the boat.

“This will be a great event for participants and spectators and we encourage all groups – Boy, Scouts, Girl Scouts, school groups, 4-H groups and others – to register and compete in the race,” Norris said.

Stonewall State Park Foundation to Host Children’s Nature Camp July 14-17, 2014

Stonewall State Park Foundation will host a four-day, hands-on Nature Odyssey camp July 14-17, open to all children going into grades 2-7.

The foundation conducts a variety of special programs each year at Stonewall Resort State Park.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director for Stonewall Resort, said, “Stonewall Resort State Park offers many educational and recreational opportunities for children. Nature Odyssey campers will have the opportunity to learn about area wildlife, hike throughout our trail system and explore the nature around them.”

The Gilmer Free Press


Norris said the day-camp runs from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM and will be led by Barbara Tucker, a skilled education professional with many years of experience. Tucker is a longtime resident of Lewis County who currently teaches at Jane Lew Elementary school.

Campers will be divided into groups by age – second through fourth graders and fifth through seventh graders – and will spend the day working within their groups. Lunch will be provided and is included in the cost of the camp.

The cost is $35 per child per day with a $5 discount (per day) for those who complete early registration for the entire week. Registration will include all supplies needed for the educational and recreational activities.

All registrants must complete a liability waiver, emergency contact form, and a medical overview of special needs.

This camp was made possible by donations from BrickStreet Foundation, ACCESS Midstream Partners, CONSOL Energy, Lewis County Commission, Central Supply, GAI Consultants, Jane Lew Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Weston.

To register or for more information, visit www.stonewallresort.com or contact Samantha Norris at 304.269.8820.

GSC Women’s Basketball: Kids Day Camp 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Outdoor Adventure Weekends at North Bend State Park Feature Mountain Biking and Kayaking

The Gilmer Free Press

North Bend State Park helps people get interested in outdoor recreation by offering hikes, swimming and games on a daily basis. However, physical activity options are being cranked up with mountain bike and kayak clinics scheduled over three summer “Outdoor Adventure Weekends.”

Mountain bike clinics include three sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours. “It’s a get-started program to encourage biking as an outdoor pursuit, said Steve Jones, North Bend State Park superintendent. “However, the clinic also caters to intermediate bikers.” Participants must bring their own equipment. Topics covered include “your bike,” “ride safely,” “basic maintenance,” “motor efficiency” and “skill development.”

The adventure weekends expand to include kayak clinics that include one training session lasting two hours and one future free rental. Equipment is provided. Basic instruction for flat water kayaking is the dominate focus. Topics include “boats and equipment,” “getting started,” “skill development,” and “different points of view.” Kayaking is conducted on the 305-acre North Bend Lake. Kim Coram is the lead instructor with other qualified instructors assisting. Class size is limited and small groups are welcomed.

Outdoor Adventure Weekend dates are July 05-06, August 16-17 and September 06-07, 2014, at North Bend State Park.

The program is open to day visitors or overnight guests.

The registration fee is $30 per clinic (bike or kayak) or $50 for both clinics.

Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling 304.643.2931.

Blennerhassett Island Frolic and Picnic Meal - A Different “Out-to-Eat” Experience June 28, 2014

The summer season’s first of three “Island Frolic and Picnic Meals” is set for Saturday, June 28, from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at Blennerhassett Island State Park.

“If you’re looking for something out-of-the-ordinary to do with your family, try a relaxing evening on Blennerhassett Island, complete with sternwheeler ride, horse-drawn wagon ride, Mansion tour and dinner,” said Pam Salisbury, activities coordinator for Blennerhassett Island State Park.

The Island Belle sternwheeler will depart for the island from Civitan Park, in Belpre, Ohio, at 6:30 PM.

The cost of the Island Frolic is $27 for adults and $22 for children ages 3-12.

The Gilmer Free Press


The picnic-style meal starts around 7 PM and features hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, fresh fruit cup and a beverage.

Bicycles will be available (at no charge) for visitors to ride.

The island gift shop and snack stand will be open throughout the evening.

After an evening of frolicking on the island, visitors will return to Civitan Park at about 9:30 PM.

Tickets are sold at the Blennerhassett Museum in downtown Parkersburg and must be reserved in advanced.

Other dates for “Island Frolic and Picnic Meals” events are July 26 and August 23, 2014.

Learn more about Blennerhassett Island State park at www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com or call 304.420.4800 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Stonewall State Park Foundation to Host Children’s Nature Camp July 14-17, 2014

Stonewall State Park Foundation will host a four-day, hands-on Nature Odyssey camp July 14-17, open to all children going into grades 2-7.

The foundation conducts a variety of special programs each year at Stonewall Resort State Park.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director for Stonewall Resort, said, “Stonewall Resort State Park offers many educational and recreational opportunities for children. Nature Odyssey campers will have the opportunity to learn about area wildlife, hike throughout our trail system and explore the nature around them.”

The Gilmer Free Press


Norris said the day-camp runs from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM and will be led by Barbara Tucker, a skilled education professional with many years of experience. Tucker is a longtime resident of Lewis County who currently teaches at Jane Lew Elementary school.

Campers will be divided into groups by age – second through fourth graders and fifth through seventh graders – and will spend the day working within their groups. Lunch will be provided and is included in the cost of the camp.

The cost is $35 per child per day with a $5 discount (per day) for those who complete early registration for the entire week. Registration will include all supplies needed for the educational and recreational activities.

All registrants must complete a liability waiver, emergency contact form, and a medical overview of special needs.

This camp was made possible by donations from BrickStreet Foundation, ACCESS Midstream Partners, CONSOL Energy, Lewis County Commission, Central Supply, GAI Consultants, Jane Lew Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Weston.

To register or for more information, visit www.stonewallresort.com or contact Samantha Norris at 304.269.8820.

West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officers Preparing for Operation Dry Water 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Concentrated effort to curb drinking and boating scheduled for June 27-29, 2014

The Law Enforcement Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will be participating in Operation Dry Water June 27-29, 2014, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI).

The mission of Operation Dry Water also brings awareness and education to recreational boaters about the dangers of alcohol and drug use on the water.

During Operation Dry Water, being held the weekend of June 27-29, officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the state limit of .08.

This weekend will include increased patrols as well as boater education on impaired boat operations. Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties.

“We are dedicated to keeping boaters safe on our waters. Boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime when people stay alert and follow the rules,” said Lt. Tim Coleman state coordinator of the WVDNR’s boating safety education program. “You will see our officers out on the water looking for boaters who are operating a vessel under the influence.”

Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to be a major problem across the nation. U.S. Coast Guard data reveals that alcohol is the primary contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities. Intoxicated boat operators and passengers run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident.

Operation Dry Water is a nationwide education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Operation Dry Water 2014 is a joint program of West Virginia, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, visit www.operationdrywater.org.

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Consequence of the Shutdown: Poop Problems

The Free Press WVSome parts of Yosemite have had to close down due to human feces, urine   [ .... ]  Read More

Meet the FBI of the National Park Service

The Free Press WV There are 33 agents assigned to the Investigative Services Branch and they handle the tough cases that arise on land most of us visit for only a few hours or days at a time [ .... ]  Read More

North Bend State Park to host 51st Nature Wonder Weekend September. 21-23, 2018

The Free Press WVNorth Bend State Park’s Nature Wonder Weekend, North America’s premier and longest-running wild foods even [ .... ]  Read More

New River Gorge National River gets grant for activities

The Free Press WV The New River Gorge National River in West Virginia will receive a grant to bolster a partnership aimed at getting local residents involved in recreational activities [ .... ]  Read More

Aiming to increase outdoor sportsmanship, conservation

The Free Press WV With six national parks, dozens of state parks and a national forest that spans nearly a million acres, West Virginia has plenty of woods [ .... ]  Read More

State Parks look to cater to top outdoor activities

The Free Press WV Although accommodations for most popular outdoor pursuits are good, parks chief wants to make them better [ .... ]  Read More

National parks draw 1.7M visitors to West Virginia in 2017

The Free Press WV The spending supported 1,080 jobs and $28.8 million in labor income [ .... ]  Read More

West Virginia State Parks anticipate a great camping year in 2018

The Free Press WV Campsite reservations began February 15, 2018 [ .... ]  Read More

WV Legislation Would Support Healthy Forests and Expanded Recreational Opportunities in WV

The Free Press WVRestoring and improving the health of West Virginia’s state park lands while creating expanded public recreational opportunities are the goals of West Virginia Senate bill SB270 and its House companion HB4182 [ .... ]  Read More

Tests for Natural Resources Police Officer positions

The Free Press WV The tests are scheduled for February 02-03 at the South Charleston Community Center, starting at 9 a.m. Walk-ons are accepted. Applicants are required to take a written exam at the West Virginia State Police Academy, either day at 12:30 p.m. Interviews for successful applicants are scheduled February 14-16. Times and a location will be announced at the PAT [ .... ]  Read More

Last Native American village in Yosemite being rebuilt

The Free Press WVThe last Native American village in Yosemite Valley, destroyed 40 years ago, is being rebuilt in the same spot so that Miwuk Indian youths can learn about their culture…  Read More

U.S. national parks to slash number of free days for visitors

The Free Press WVNational parks in the U.S. will sharply drop the number of days they allow visitors to get in for free, a move that was criticized by opponents of the parks’ plan to raise entrance costs at other times of the year.

Gift Idea….

The Free Press WVGifts for avid hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen

Fire Claims Life of a Camper

The Free Press WV  A person was killed in a camper trailer fire near the town of Dixie close to the Fayette/Nicholas county line.

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Readers' Recent Comments

Progress is being made with writing up school board meeting minutes to keep citizens better informed.

For too long the State’s information embargo kept citizens in the dark because information releases of all types were sketchy by design to prevent accountability for officials in charge.

Because more information is being released to citizens there will be enhanced community support for activities in the County’s schools to get our kids career and college ready.

Thank you Gilmer County School Board members. Keep up your good work with making information access improvements.

By Kudos To School Board on 03.21.2019

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Special & Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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Thanks Mr. Boggs for bringing attention to the Rt 5 roller-coaster just west of Burnsville.
At least someone finally made an attempt to smooth it up a bit!  Good job that time.

By Gilmer on 03.21.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Big In-Justice Jim and his “roads to prosperity” program is high grade bs.
You all stole our money.  Fed us bs and lies.

Now Injustice Jim wants to repeat the deal he got away with once all ready!!??  That takes a lot of gall.

And the best is…..30% of road repair funds were not spent last year!!  Shame on the legislature for not being a watchdog.

Shame on Whopper Teller Jim too…for wanting more money!
Shame, shame, shame on Charleston inept management and politics.

By WV are tired of having the wool pulled over our ey on 03.21.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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“All of the research tells us that the formerly incarcerated do not commit violent crimes, or more workplace-related crimes, than people who have no criminal background,” he said.“

This is a patently false statement.  Heyman does this frequently.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 03.19.2019

From the entry: 'In Tight Labor Market, Some Major Companies to Drop Criminal Check'.

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So sorry Jerry. Would love to see you.  I am now at family farm.  Please stop by

By Phyllis Grove on 03.18.2019

From the entry: 'Doris “Geneva” Case'.

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We keep hearing exciting news about GSC’s opportunity for starting a new teacher education academy to train WV’s teachers.

The unique program would provide state-of-the-art preparation for classroom challenges WV’s teachers face.

Based on reported information the prestigious program would be designed to be a WV show piece and graduates would earn a master degrees after five years.

The program would be an Appalachian trend setter to benefit the College, Gilmer County, Central WV, the State, gifted students selected for the program, and most of all the State’s children.

What do you say GSC’s Board of Governors? Citizens want to hear from you. What does the College have to lose?

By GSC Teacher Ed. Academy Needed on 03.18.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Improving teacher quality in West Virginia'.

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After the ipads were purchased what measurable benefits resulted from having them at the GCHS to improve student learning? Does anyone know?

Was a formal plan followed to maximize benefits from the equipment to include provisions for measuring before-and-after results to evaluate if the equipment did any good?

Another case of throwing money at a problem and after spending it taxpayers have no idea if there were any meaningful benefits for students?

More than likely competitive bidding was not used to purchase the ipads to add another wrinkle.

By Did The ipads Improve Learning Results? on 03.13.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Where oh where did the 200 Gilmer County I-pads go?
Were they bought with federal money?
Attorney General Morrisey are you looking into this?
Someone should get the ball rolling?

By where oh where? on 03.12.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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They is not no flood plane there the water dont get up there i know i catch musk rats in the river

By THE TRUTH WATCHER on 03.08.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Gilmer County’s school board has full authority to demand a comprehensive accounting for every dime spent on everything leading up to site selection and construction of the LCES and the GCES.

Where did the money go and who got it to include naming names and companies on the receiving end?

Stop hiding behind the excuse that the State “did it to us” and assemble the true facts for taxpayers!

What is the defensible rational for failure of the school board to follow up on this?

By Disclose Financial Facts on 03.07.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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What was in the school board’s 451 resolution? As important as education is more effort should be taken to flesh out what actually happens at school board meeting. Bare minimum information and lack of transparency skirt accountability. Who is responsible for writing up the minutes?

By Transparency and Accountability Needed on 03.07.2019

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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The new Gilmer County Elementary school was built
in a flood plane.  Education fail.

By YOU FORGET on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Roads are a mess.
Population continues the 50+ year decrease.

But for deep gas, no new employment.

Education system total failure.
Legislature impotent.

Grand finale in Charleston.
We have a brawl in the Capitol Building.

That out-of-control delegate needs to resign!

By WV continues the slow death on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Broadband coming?  Think we heard this before?
How many times?  I’ve lost count.  You remember?

This will be like JimmyBoys “roads to prosperity” program?
Take the citizens money?  Give ‘em nothing.

Republicans. Democrats. All the same political bs from both.
Voters believe them.  Keep bringing back the old mules so they can give us a repeat performance.

By Just More Dog n Pony Show 4 U on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Jimmy D, Gilmer County needs a full accounting for every dime spent on school site planning and studies, site preparation, all school construction work, and purchases while the State had us intervened.

For one example of many we do not have an itemized accounting for how our funds were spent on the botched LCES project.

How much more was wasted on the auction barn site, the dropped Cedar Creek site, and the GCES in comparison to what could have been done with our money with full transparency, competent planning, competitive bidding, and proper project oversight?

The fact that the GCES was built too small and the LCES was built too large is one facet of the waste and mismanagement that occurred.

Do not expect valid investigations because WV’s standard approach is cover up when the State is involved.

By Jimmy D--Don't Expect Sunshine on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Saw the GFP video (citizens refer to it as the ambush video) at the school board meeting at which the pitch was made for the new computers.

The GCHS principal and staff talked about wonders to expect if the 200 computers would be purchased.

Promises were made that if the kids got them they would learn to do advanced math and to make other marvelous learning advances. Any evidence of the promises being kept?

Were the computers purchased through competitive biding? Wanna bet that they were not?

Is this another example of throwing money at technology with no meaningful plan for how to use the equipment to maximize learning benefits without evidence of any before-and-after testing to accurately determine if they did any good?

Could the 200 computers be located and what condition are they in if they could be found?

The new school board is encouraged to check on the issues and to report on the findings.

By Accountability For New GCHS Computers on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Since the local prosecutor is good for nothing, why doesn’t the federal prosecutors look into all the theft by Gabe DeVano and his buddies during the time Gilmer county was under state control? They stole money, equipment from schools which closed, as well as technology equipment. for example where did the 200 iPads go which gilmer county paid for?

By Jimmy D on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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A major cause of WV’s dismal record with K-12 education is the lack of choice regarding a parent’s right to decide on the school for a child to attend.

The elite get around that by using private schools for their kids.

Under existing conditions what chance do the rest of us have? The answer is none!

Our kids are victimized because competition and accountability do not exist and that is exactly what WV’s entrenched education establishment and the unions want.

By Save WV's School Children on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pennybaker is correct.
WV educators keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Whats the definition of insanity?

By Gilmer on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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An off grid system works great if you want to live like a hippie. One can cover their entire roof and it will barely power your lighting and a few electronics, let alone our transportation and industrial needs. The humaniacs now complain that the giant windmill blades kill the little birdies, and they have never solved the overpass problem in putting windmills on out autos.

By Vern Windsong on 03.01.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It amazes me that the so-called “experts” think more and more centralization will improve anything.  Public school education is in terrible condition and doing more consolidation will only make it worse and more expensive.  With all the technology today, there is NO reason for busing children for miles and miles, spending more and more hours under the control of public schools.  The idea that parents are not capable of deciding how to educate their children is insulting.  There was never any good reason for governments to get involved in education.

By Karen Pennebaker on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pat, your information is outdated. Solar and wind are increasingly outcompeting fossil fuels, despite the heavy subsidies fossil fuels (and nuclear power) get. They also are getting steadily cheaper, while fossil fuels can be expected to rise as supply diminishes—the pipelines are going in so fast because of the NEED of the gas companies to get their product out to where they HOPE to find better prices—the drillers have been steadily losing money for the whole decade of the fracking “miracle.“ Wall Street is becoming skeptical. The thing about solar and wind is that once they’re built, the fuel keeps arriving, free. Of course, there isn’t much of a wind resource in our area. But there is in the mountain heights, and off the Virginia coast. And solar works fine here—I’ve had an off-grid system for ten years, works great.

By Mary Wildfire on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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Yes, West Virginia spends a LOT of money on education.
But where does it go?  Is it wasted?  Down the drain hole of bureaucracy?

We spend 7th highest per student and what to show for it?
Being 49th or 50th in ratings?

By where does the money go? on 02.27.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Seeing the president of the WV AFT shaking his raised clinched fist in disrespect for the WV legislature tells it all.

WV’s teacher unions are allowed to function as separate branches of government with veto power over WV’s elected officials and their only role is to get more benefits for their members.

Where is the evidence that unions have done anything recently in any WV school system to help create an educational show piece? Can anyone cite an example?

Furthermore what have unions done to develop innovative plans for moving the State’s k-12 education system forward to pry us off our bottom rung rankings? The answer is—nothing exists. 

Conditions will not change for the better until the day our legislators quit pandering to unions to end k-12 decision-making driven by mob rule and raw emotions.

By Unions Failed WV's Children on 02.26.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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The principal reason for opposition to 451 is fear by union chiefs that public charter schools could outshine performances of non-participating schools to embarrass WV’s entrenched K-12 education establishment.

To attempt to scare the public, there were claims that the underlying motive for opposition to charter schools is the sinister plan to privatize them to permit the rich and powerful to make money off education at the expense of WV’s children.

It is alarming that unions failed to propose comprehensive plans, inclusive of meaningful accountability mechanisms, designed to improve WV’s schools.

Their objective seems to be to protect the status quo instead of being effective partners in improving education for the State’s children.

There are examples in the USA where charter schools resulted in significant K-12 education improvements. Of course some failed.

Why is it irrational to establish a limited few charter schools in WV as demonstration projects to incorporate approaches applied in highly successful charter schools while avoiding mistakes of the schools that failed?

Nothing else has worked in getting WV out of being near the bottom with K-12 education quality—-so why continue with business as usual while expecting better outcomes?

By Unions Failed WV Education on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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If passed when will this take effect? I’m a single mother who has a drug felony from another state. I can’t get food stamps to help me because I a drug felon. I work so my income is to much for one person. I have a son whom him and I barley survive. Cause of my record. I’ve held the job I am at now for 5 years. But since they can’t use me. They use my income. But not me and doing it that way I make to much money.

By Kayla on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'Bill to Let Drug Felons Get Food Stamps Passes WV Senate'.

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John & Family,  Sorry to hear of Nyla’s passing!  GOD will take care of you!!  GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU IN THIS SAD TIME !!!  RIP Nyla !

By Anita L. Adams - New Concord, Ohio on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Nyla Leah Frymier Poole'.

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“But Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said utility filings in those states now show the outlook has changed dramatically - in part because of competition from cheap, renewable energy.“

That is utter rubbish.  There is no “cheap, renewable energy.“  Solar and wind are more expensive, even taking subsidies into consideration.  Hydro is more expensive, nuclear is more expensive.

Claiming otherwise is at best fake news, and at worst deliberate misdirection and lying.  Merely claiming renewable energy is less expensive doesn’t make it so.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It was brought to my attention there was an article published in the Gilmer Free Press under Reader’s Comments dated 2-11-19.
This was written by Tammy White which many think it was me (Tammy Foster).  Twenty years (or more) “White” was my last name.
My son does take daily medication at the high school (which somehow this is quite a coincidence).  I want to clarify that I DID NOT write that article!
Now that I have straighten this out….. please read what I have say about this situation at Gilmer County High School:
The secretary or secretaries that were mentioned have never been rude to me or my son in person or by phone.  It is actually the opposite!  They are kind, caring, professional and thorough with distributing my son’s meds.
Not only do they make sure he gets the correct dosage daily but they keep a close inventory on the meds and call me when I need to restock them.
It broke my heart to read the negative article written last week and I was appalled my (old) name was on it.
My son and I trust and depend on these wonderful ladies.  We would like to take this opportunity to THANK them for taking excellent responsibility and care of our child and other students.

By Tammy Foster (not White) on 02.13.2019

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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I’m sorry for your loss.

By Danny Nicholson on 02.12.2019

From the entry: 'Vera Marlene Lyons'.

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There is some issues going on at GCHS. I’m starting here in Hope’s that it will be addressed and corrected.  The secretary was rude when I turned in medicine for my son to be taken on a daily basis. Nor is it her business why he takes it, or how often. Anyway, is she certified in giving meds out.  I thought that the school employed a nurse. Maybe she should answer the phone or should I say message on her cell. She had no idea how many I handed in she didnt count them. Talks about her co workers. Then she gets upset nobody talks to her. She is 2 face. Talking about them is very unprofessional.
I hope this is taken care of or my next step is to the state department. Your choice

By Tammy white on 02.11.2019

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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It is welcomed news as reported in the Democrat that Gilmer’s GCES students are making progress in learning math and English Learning Arts.

The principal, teachers, and all staff deserve high praise for the progress. Let’s not forget efforts of students too plus their parents who encourage them at home.

In addition to rates of increase for learning progress it would be helpful to be informed of percentages of students in the different grades who are at grade level for math and ELA.

Nothing was reported about learning progress at the GCHS and the LCES bi-county school. When are reports for those schools going to be given?

By Positive School News on 02.08.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The lights are up at the Linn school.
Often flashing nights and weekends when NO ONE is on school property.

And you expect lights to work….???
when the WVDE, the WVBE built the school with FIVE TOO MANY CLASSROOMS !!??

*** The WVBE is incapable of meaningful education.
Why do you think the WV Legislature created the current ‘education overhaul’ bill without consulting the WV State Board of Ed? ***

By you are joking I guess? on 02.07.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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“The Environmental Protection Agency issued regular updates for about 100 water pollutants almost four years ago ... “

That would have been the Obama EPA, and the intention wasn’t to provide better water, it was an attempt to control business activity through the use of regulation.

In other words, a power-grab by a politician obsessed with it.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pay McGroyne on 02.06.2019

From the entry: 'One Charleston Manufacturer Pressing for Delay of Water Rules'.

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Would the County’s school board take action to help improve safety conditions at the LCES?

The way it is now it can be uncertain if children are present at the school to require a reduction of speed to 15 mph while on Rt. 33.

It would eliminate uncertainty if a flashing lights system were to be installed so the lights could be turned on when children are present.

By LCES Safety Concern on 01.31.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Why is it that on Gilmer County’s school system web site biographical information including education backgrounds for all school board members and their pictures are not posted?

Other counties have the information. Why not us?

By School Board Member Backgrounds? on 01.23.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The only reason for our not using a version of the goal-driven Kentucky method would be a veto by controlling elitists opposed to establishing meaningful accountability for Gilmer County’s school system.

Without using the method it would be easier to continue to pawn off information that cannot be used to accurately document progress with student proficiencies for reading, math, science, and college and career readiness.

By School System Accountability Needed on 01.20.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The KY approach would be valuable to Gilmer County for use in disclosing progress of our two schools in contributing to better lives for our children.

For goals for which progress would be off schedule, the tracking approach would be an objective basis for making mid-course adjustments in our school system to get better results.

By using the approach school board members could be more effective with goal-driven governing, and getting results would be the responsibility of the County’s Superintendent of Schools and school principals.

Overall,the approach would establish meaningful accountability which is sorely lacking in WV’s school systems.

By Establish School System Accountability on 01.18.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Accomplished communicators have a knack for reducing complex information to its simplest form for effectiveness in getting messages across.

WV’s convoluted strategic plans for schools must follow the State’s rigid guidelines. The plans are confusing and inadequately designed for establishing accountability for getting results.

Kentucky is making progress with improving K-12 education outcomes and one reason is the clarity of specific goals for its schools and the job being done with tracking results.

Google—-2018 Prichard Committee Update to glean what is being done in Kentucky. The approach could be used for Gilmer’s two schools with a single sheet of paper for each school.

The beauty of the Prichard approach is that instead of relying on confusing and lengthy written out material with undefined abbreviations, technical jargon, and head scratching generalities, specific goals and annual results in achieving them are presented graphically.

Perfect real world example of a picture being worth a thousand words.

Board of Education members why couldn’t the Prichard approach be used for Gilmer County? It would be inexpensive, it could be updated easily on an annual basis, and everyone in the County would know how the school system is being administered to achieve measurable results.

Perhaps Mr. David Ramezan could post Prichard material on the GFP to show its simplicity.

By Advocate For Clarity on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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The scandal of the too small school?
Don’t forget…
The scandal of the too big school is half of the whole state intervention mess.  FIVE rooms more than needed at the Linn, Lewis County school.

Results are from nepotism, cronyism, and educational stupidity….as well as scoffing at those who attempted to sound the alarm.

Bloated egos was the frosting on the Litter Box Cake Mix.

By School Truth is in the Litter Box on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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During intervention the State had dictatorial control of our school system to include all decisions related to the GCES.

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

An investigation is needed to determine who was responsible for the bad decision, and what role the no-bid architectural firm had in designing and constructing the school.

Something major happened to cause the GCES to be built too small. Was something dropped at the expense of adequate class room space as a result of having to spend extra money because a poor site was selected?

Minimally, gross incompetency on the State’s part is the explanation for the disaster foisted onto the County.

A question pertains to the new gym. Lots of effort was taken by the State to try to convince the public that a competition gym instead of a regular gym was needed.

Did the competition gym cost extra money at the expense of needed classroom space? If the answer is affirmative who was responsible for deciding on the more expensive gym?

What about the enormous pit at the GCES? Was money spent on it at the expense of classrooms because something was wrong with the school’s site that was selected by the State?

Nothing similar to the pit has been seen at other sites where new WV schools were built.

Why has there been a failure for a thorough investigation to have occurred to expose the facts?

The obvious explanation is that powerful elitists in control do not want tracks leading to them, and they have veto power over a meaningful investigation including one done by a leading newspaper.

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Pat McGroyne is spot on.
High speed internet is simply another failure of WV state government.

If the elected in our state, were doing the job expected by voters….we should have very few problems or issues?

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Muddling has another distinct symptom. It is the tendency for administrators in control to emphasize processes and procedures while avoiding disclosure of progress, or the lack thereof, in achieving learning results.

The purpose is another way to avoid personal accountability for school system failures.

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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West Virginia is number one!
Our politicians are the best that can be had.
They are also the lobbyers dream come true.
No one—-can out-muddle our elected reps !

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Suggestion after reading strategic plans for the GCHS and the GCES.

How about the school board requiring that for each school an informative executive summary be written to include——where each school stands on reading, math, and science proficiency, what the term proficiency means to eliminate the confusion, student proficiency goals for the two school, target time to expect goals to be achieved, and a statement to commit to keeping the public informed of progress in achieving the goals at designated intervals (e.g. quarterly) during a school year.

Omit confusing abbreviations and technical terms understood only by a select few in the education field, and written for comprehension by reasonable persons.

Leave it up to the County’s professional educators to determine how to get the job done with continual laser-like focus on getting results.

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Muddling infects federal, state, and local government entities where personal accountability for top officials to get measurable results rarely exists.

Muddling practitioners are famous for passing off information unrelated to measurable proof that effective problem-solving has occurred. A common example is emphasizing how much public money is being spent to attempt to convince tax payers that magnitudes of expenditures are always directly correlated to levels of problem-solving successes.

Muddling by an organization is characterized by the existence of thick planning documents replete with vagueness and lack of clarity, undefined technical terms, and mysterious acronyms.

Muddling thrives on intentional ambiguity and confusion designed to protect muddlers and their organizations.

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Gilmer County is not the only place in the USA that has been faced with its students failing to meet proficiency standards for science, reading, and math.

The difference here is that evidence is lacking to conclusively demonstrate that Gilmer County’s officials in control have exerted proper efforts to profit form powerful lessons learned elsewhere to use that knowledge to help solve learning deficiencies in our schools.

In fact, a convincing argument could be made that the approach in the County has been the one professional planners designate as muddling through.

Classic symptoms of muddling through include failure to thoroughly analyze categories of causes contributing to problems followed up by using the information to develop a comprehensive plan to do the most good in getting better results by treating key causes instead of symptoms.

Muddling typically involves officials assigning blame for lack of progress to outside forces e.g., the “culture”, the State did it to us, and poverty. Haven’t we heard plenty of that?

Muddling must be eliminated if we want progress in solving non-performance problems within the County’s school system. Does anyone disagree?

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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It is unclear after reading school board meeting minutes what progress if any is being made by GCHS and GCES principals in improving student proficiency in reading, math and science.

Why not allocate a few sentences in the minutes to summarize what the two principals reported to the school board?

All it would take to get the critical information out to citizens would be for the new school board to act on this.

Does anyone have a problem with the suggested change to keep Gilmer’s bill paying public informed?

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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“High speed broadband – a necessity for today’s homes, businesses and other institutions – remains a huge unmet need for rural residents, despite promises by a succession of Governors from both parties (a contributing factor in why we’re losing population at a rate higher than any other state).“

I disagree with much of what Mr.Boggs believes.  That said, high-speed broadband is the single most important step the State of WV could take to improve the business climate and provide more opportunities for its citizens.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Conversation at local eatery.
Shortly after election.
Individuals were educators.

‘You think we have school problems now, wait until these new folks take the steering wheel’.

‘Students, parents, staff are all going to be in the soup’.

Sounds as if Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving vacation-deer season times have all taken a big hit.  If that is true, the union teachers need to come together, stand their ground, along with parents, and hold this new board accountable.

Have a local strike if need be.
Request resignations.
Vote of no confidence.

Schools employees can win.
You have done it before.
Just stick together.

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Scholarship must be the most important focus in Gilmer County’s schools.

Brought up the ZOOMWV Data Dashboard site to review the most recent State achievement test results for GCHS’s 11th grade.

Folks, Gilmer is in serious trouble. Proficiency for math=24%, reading=41%, and science=24%.

On an A through F grading scales the GCHS gets an F for all three subject areas.

What does the new school board have to show for inroads it has made since last July to make critically needed proficiency improvements at the HS? Citizens deserve answers to the question.

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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A thorough accounting for where all the public money went could be easily achieved by a competent accountant.

Isn’t there a special account at the County’s school board office for expenditures related to all bills paid and who got the money?

Following the money trail always gets results along with verification of means, motives, and access.

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If central office financial records for all public money paid out for everything from site planning, site studies and development, and everything else to get to completion of the GCES and the LES—- what is the reason?

It is known that money was spent on the Arbuckle site and Cedar Creek, and public money was paid out for the LES too.

Were County records for the spending purged and if that happened who ordered the action? The records are either in the County’s central office or they aren’t.

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Hasn’t the time come to finally start naming names and making people accountable?

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

For 3 or 4 months now we keep hearing about the millions of dollars of tax revenue collected.

Millions and millions above ‘estimates’.  Were those ‘estimates’ honest, or fudged to begin with, so as to request higher tax rates?

Well, Justice and the Legislature now have our dollars, what will become of this windfall? Will we see tax rates lowered?  Doubt full, but we should.

Likely this windfall, created by “over-taxation”, will simply create a “party atmosphere” of legislative spending. Watch the Charleston ‘gangsters’ get their wish lists ready this coming session.

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Yes.  The blame Does seem to fall to ‘local’ people. In small places like Gilmer County, it’s just a poker game, boys, and the deep pockets win.  Money speaks volumes where ‘officials’ stay silent.  Go ask for the records, see what they’ve got.

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Teachers and staff knew from the beginning that the GCES was going to be too small. They were ordered by the State to keep quiet about the shortfall and other serious concerns too.

A sixth grader could understood how many rooms were needed by dividing total student numbers to attend the school by how many students should be in a classroom.

Under sizing was the State’s fault and it cannot be rationalized any other way including to assign the blame to local people. Same applies to the over sized LCES.

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There will never be a full, public accounting of the gross mishandling of tax dollars during WVDOE intervention.
Too many local jobs and too many embarrassments of both elected and appointed bureaucrats.
These types cover dirt for each other.

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

One school built short 4 classrooms and another built with 5 too many.  Can it get more stupid than that?
Mr. Degree and Ms. Common Sense seldom travel together.

By Full accounting will never be revealed. Never. on 11.18.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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GCBOE when the two principals give reports at board meeting could the gist of what they said be summarized in minutes to keep the County informed?

It was a welcomed development by the Board to require principals to give reports particularly if there are required updates on progress designed to improve student learning for reading, math, and other subjects.

We still have not been informed about the status of science proficiency at the GCHS based on the latest testing. Why has the State failed to release the data? Were results too dismal?

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If it is going to cost extra money to eliminate over crowding at the GCES the financial information referenced by Do It Ourselves should be presented to Charleston and the press too.

That would help frame a solid case that crowding problems were not caused by Gilmer County because all decisions related to facilities were dictated by officials over whom the County had no oversight authority during the State’s intervention.

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is assumed that all records for spending to include money paid out for the LCES, dropped Arbuckle site, dropped Cedar Creek site, and all bills for the GCES are in the Gilmer Schools central office.

The new GCBOE has authority to get to the truth by demanding a thorough accounting for all the spending.

Afterwards the financial officer in the central office could easily access existing computerized records and to use the information for a report to the GCBOE and the public.

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Notice that most of the ‘officials’ in Gilmer County also hold regular day jobs - sometimes working on more than one paying ‘job’ at a time in the same office space. This common practice is concerning for many reasons, and it needs to be talked about when so many go without.

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There are two views in the County related to the under built GCES. Although the State built the school with inadequate classrooms one group believes that we should move on to let go of the past.

Isn’t this a form of advocacy for a coverup to prevent accountability for the State’s incompetence and mismanagement?

The other group believes that there should be a full accounting for all public money spent up to the time the GCES was completed to include disclosure of recipients of the public money. 

The accounting should be done for all public money spent at the LCES, the Arbuckle site, Cedar Creek, and finally the GCES.

Reasons for the under built GCES should be fully disclosed too. When the State was in control this information was kept secret from the public with loud claims that there was adequate space at the GCES.

Now it is known that there is inadequate space at the GCES and the problem is left to Gilmer County to fix. Only in WV!

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Unprofessional issues,rude commentsand rolling eyes at the high school has become an issue. Being on cell phone talking to boyfriends,when parents etc.going into the office. Since the teachers were ask not to be on them while students in the classroom. The one in the office should not be allowed to talk personal to her boyfriend, or whoever. Also, I hope this is corrected, the personal days, etc that the board provides to staff shouldn’t be allowed to use to work or operate a second job. Let’s get the priorities straight.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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GULMER COUNTY BOE. It is time for me to let you know some issues that is going on at the High school.  I’m hoping this will be addressed at the next board meeting. 1. It should not matter if an employee has a second job or run a business. The priority job is for the board. One should not be allowed to use any time from the board to run your business. There is going on
If they want to run your business than go but not on the boards time. I would like for all employees be treated the equal. They should not be allowed to use the time the board gives them for other jobs.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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While at it there should be an investigation of why the LES was build with too many classrooms and the GCES was built with too few. At the very least what happened is a WV horror story example of the State’s waste and mismanagement.

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is obvious that the GCES has a major space problem.

What options for dealing with the State’s mismanagement to cause the serious blunder are being considered by the Board of Education?

Could the original architectural design for the dropped Cedar Creek site be compared to what resulted at the GCES to accurately determine the extent of classroom space alterations?

If the architectural design at the GCES is different than the original plan for Cedar Creek the next step should be to determine reasons for the changes and where the money originally planned for needed classrooms went.

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It’s long been known that Justice doesn’t happen in Gilmer County “because it all comes down to money”. And for those in charge of handling it and making decisions, it comes down to being competent to do the job,  keep accurate books and accounts and I’m sorry to say, that is seriously lacking in Gilmer County.

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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What is GSC’s BOG’s plan for getting money for the next payment on the $38,000,000 bond loan the Gilmer County Commission approved?

Will the State pay or will the money come from private donations?

Money will have to come from somewhere to avoid a default.

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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So sorry to hear of Kendall’s passing. I have fond memories of him at Uncle Paul’s store and the family reunions. I’m sure he will be missed greatly by those closest to him.
Please accept condolences from me and my family.

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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GSC’s present plight is no secret and its future existence is in question.

Instead of expressing attitudes that GSC is being picked on could the Blue Ribbon Commission reveal why the College “tested out” as it did to fail to get more State money?

Was the “grading system” based on student enrollment trends, retention, time taken to get a degree, academic reputation, inept governance and administration, and other factors to block more funding? Informative specifics were not disclosed.

Teachers know that concerned students who want to do better always seek advice on what needs to be done to get better grades.

Similar to concerned students GSC’s supporters should be informed of what needs to be done to position the College for improved chances for survival to include eligibility for more State funding.

Saying that GSC is being picked on does nothing to help solve its nagging problems.

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Well thank you, Details Please,  for asking!  So many problems in Gilmer and education is just one.  Look at the town, take a good look around.  Remember who runs unopposed at election time.  Vote.  Make a difference.  Hold authority figures responsible.  Allow videos, minutes and more to be shared on GFP again, for transparency.  Know your neighbors, help a friend.  Be good to each other. Amen.

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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I will truly miss my Uncle Stephen.  Telling me so much information about from gardening to canning. Just to listening to him talk with such passion for everything that he does… he had a sense of humor that always warms my heart.. listening to him play the banjo sometimes even when he didn’t feel good. he is always willing to share his recipes and his ways of doing things… his solar information he was always studying something ... I’m remember one time we asked him where he got his blackberries when it wasn’t Blackberry season and he go there’s a store down the road it’s called Walmart they have everything… He was so funny.  I love you.. xoxo.

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Sorry for your loss. He sure did look like his father.

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Reader 7, please give details for your suggested solutions to the County’s concerns you addressed.

The information would be helpful for consideration by school system administrators and the general public.

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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