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Welcome Back to School and College - Students, Teacher, and Staff - 2017-2018

The Gilmer Free Press
The Gilmer Free Press
The Gilmer Free Press



The Gilmer Free Press
The Gilmer Free Press
The Gilmer Free Press

UHC’s Three Germ-Zapping Robots Been Named

Environmental Service Employees Win $100 Gift Cards

United Hospital Center (UHC) recently announced that it has the most Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots in West Virginia. The three robots are being used to enhance environmental cleanliness by disinfecting and destroying hard-to-kill germs, bacteria, and superbugs in hard-to-clean places.

The Environmental Services team participated in a contest to name all three of the robots, as these modern marvels of technology are also included as part of the cleaning team at UHC. Each of the following contest winners received a $100 gift card to the cafeteria:

    • Brenda Morrison with the name “UHC3PO”

    • Karen Minnear with the name “Elroy”

    • Chris Owen with the name U.S.H.E.R. (Ultra Sanitation Healthcare Efficient Robot)

The Free Press WV
Pictured from left front row: Brenda Morrison, Environmental Services, contest winner; Karen Minnear, Environmental Services, contest winner; Chris Owen, Environmental Services, contest winner; Pictured from left back row:  Dr. Mark Povroznik; chief quality officer, vice president of quality; Beth Bond, MBA, BSN, RN, CIC, infection preventionist manager; Annetta Payne, RN, CIC, infection preventionist; and Brian Fijewski, MBA, director of environmental services.


“This was a great opportunity to engage with our Environmental Services staff that is responsible for the room cleaning program,” said Dr. Mark Povroznik, chairman of Infection Control at UHC. “The entire Environmental Services team, including the robots, is critical in the implementation of ultra violet room disinfection.”

Each person could submit up to three names for the contest, as a total of 30 names were submitted. The committee of judges from the UHC Personnel Action Committee (PAC) selected the three winning entries.

“If not properly cleaned some spores, such as C-diff, can live on surfaces for up to five months,” said Dr. Povroznik. “Upon a patient discharge, Environmental Services will clean the room as they would normally and then they terminally clean a room with one of the robots. These robots are just the latest step in UHC’s effort to prevent infections.”

West Virginia News

The Free Press WV

►  County board of education proposes e-cigarette ban

A West Virginia board of education is listening to public comments on a policy revision that would ban e-cigarettes and all substances containing nicotine from property that the school system owns or operates.

The Kanawha County Board of Education put the changes out for public comment Monday. School system General Counsel Jim Withrow says concerns were raised regarding e-cigarettes or vapes that don’t contain tobacco, but have nicotine.

The school system currently has a 1997 policy in place, banning tobacco. The proposed changes would add nicotine and e-cigarettes to the existing tobacco prohibition policy. It would also ban substances containing nicotine from all property that is owned, leased or operated by the school system.


►  Ex-West Virginia highway gets prison for fraud conspiracy

A former West Virginia Division of Highways employee has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to wire and tax fraud, admitting he used his position to funnel work to a South Carolina business and received secret payments of almost $200,000.

Bruce Kenney III, of Norfolk, Virginia, has admitted to his role in a conspiracy from 2008 to 2014 to bypass normal state procedures and steer $1.5 million of inspection work to Dennis Corp. of Columbia.

The 61-year-old Kenney, who pleaded guilty in federal court to two charges, worked in the Traffic Engineering Division.

Kenney was ordered to pay $34,714 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service to forfeit $162,536.

Three others have also been prosecuted in the case.


►  Postcards to 130,000 WV registered voters seek to confirm current address

More than 130,000 West Virginia voters will soon be getting a postcard from the Secretary of State’s office.

“These postcards are nothing more than a request for you to update your address,” said Donald Kersey, Director of the Elections Division and Deputy Legal Counsel for the Secretary of State.

The mailings are largely routine to bring voter registration information up to date in West Virginia.  West Virginia, as a member of a national network, receives notice from other states when it appears somebody may have moved and failed to transfer their registration information to their new home.  The mailing is an effort to help county clerks update the voter roles.

“If you have moved, confirm it and sign the card and we’ll take appropriate action,” Kersey said. “These post cards will NOT result in the immediate cancellation of any registration, with the one exception if the voter checks the box that requests cancellation of their registration since they moved out of state.”

The cards will be directed to voters who have relocated from the voting precinct where they originally registered.

“What we’re doing is making sure our voter roles are as accurate as possible,” Kersey explained. “So on Election Day when the poll clerk checks the poll books, they’ll know the person is eligible to vote and can feel confident that person should be eligible to vote.”


►  Governor says he has “no regrets” after changing registration back to Republican

Governor Jim Justice said Wednesday on MetroNews “Talkline” he is “perfectly comfortable with the staff” after his decision last week to switch his registration from Democrat to Republican.

Justice said he doesn’t expect wholesale turnover but there will likely be some casualties beginning with administration Press Secretary Grant Herring.

“Grant has done a great job and he’s a good young man but Grant’s personal feelings are entrenched in the Democratic Party through and through. I do not think Grant is going to survive with me,” Justice predicted.

Herring joined Justice during last year’s gubernatorial campaign as the campaign spokesman and then was hired to stay on with the administration.

Justice said Chief of Staff Nick Casey, a former West Virginia Democratic Party chairman, is not in the office this week but that was time off that was previously planned. Justice did not offer a guess Wednesday on what Casey’s ultimate decision would be.

Justice said he gave similar messages to his staff and cabinet in separate meetings after the party switch announcement.

“I said, ‘If you feel the least bit uncomfortable in the direction we are going–because I know exactly what direction we’re going here. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable in your loyalty to me then you’ve got to go,‘” Justice said.

Justice said state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Austin Caperton stood up and pledged his support.

“Austin’s family has been Democrats forever and Austin stood up and said, ‘Listen governor, I truly believe the people of West Virginia elected you to get something done and I understand totally what you’re doing and I’m with you 100 percent. I’m not going anywhere,‘” Justice said.

Justice also said Wednesday there’s been very little “backlash” from his decision.

“I don’t have any regrets whatsoever. I’m excited about working with the Republicans and I’m hoping I can still work with some of the Dems. What I’m hearing from everybody is good stuff,” Justice said.

Justice announced his decision last week during a rally in Huntington featuring Donald Trump. He signed the papers Friday. Justice was a registered Republican until 2015 when he switched to Democrat. He ran the following year for governor.


►  Justice companies settling suit for flood cleanup

Three businesses owned by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and his family have agreed to settle for $551,420 a lawsuit that claimed they had not paid for $771,268 of cleanup work after the Greenbrier resort was hit by severe flooding last year.

The consent judgment filed Monday in federal court says the Greenbrier Hotel Corp., James C. Justice Companies Inc. and Justice Family Group LLC will pay post-judgment interest of 7 percent until it’s paid in full.

The December lawsuit by Texas-based BMS CAT followed a mechanic’s lien against the Justice companies in October for the unpaid bills.

The flood remediation was done on the resort’s chapel, ballroom, PGA tournament office and other buildings following the June flooding.

Company officials said last year they were awaiting compensation from their insurance carrier.


►  West Virginia state fair opening Thursday

West Virginia’s State Fair opens Thursday and fair officials say they will offer various admission discounts during its 10-day run in Lewisburg.

On opening day, gates open at 2 p.m. with $5 admission tickets and $20 ride passes until 11 p.m.

Other specials include $1 admission from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, August 16.

Children 12 and under can enter free every day. Daily adult tickets at the gate cost $11.

The fair’s concert series begins Thursday evening with Aaron Lewis. Other shows include Martina McBride and Josh Turner on Friday.


►  DOH Assessing Flood Damage in Twelve Counties

The West Virginia Division of Highways continues to make repairs and assess damages in twelve counties hit by heavy rains and flooding July 28-29.

July 28-29 Flooding

Update: 08.09.2017

District

County

Estimated Damage Costs

4

Doddridge

$60,200

4

Harrison

$585,700

4

Marion

$458,212

4

Monongalia

$776,500

4

Preston

$343,500

4

Taylor

$288,883

6

Marshall

$3,482,000

6

Ohio

$2,059,025

6

Tyler

$154,500

6

Wetzel

3,829,705

8

Randolph

$125,000

8

Tucker

$686,000

Total

$12,849,225

►  County Democratic Chairman Resigns Following Justice Switch

A Democratic Party executive committee chairman from Greenbrier County has resigned following Governor Jim Justice’s flip from Democrat to Republican.

Paul Moya has resigned, telling the Charleston Gazette-Mail that Justice’s change back to the Republican Party is indicative of weak party leadership at the state level.

Moya says he won’t give up, but he’s out and he’s tired of it.

He announced his resignation on Facebook, where he calls Justice’s claim that the party left him a “lame a—excuse.“

The party leadership backed Justice in the Democratic primary he won in 2016 against state Senator Jeff Kessler and former federal prosecutor Booth Goodwin.

Moya says he believes the party leadership should be neutral in primaries.

Public School Start/End Dates for 2017-18 Across the Area

The Free Press WV

Barbour County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Tuesday, August 15

Last Day of School for Students: Wednesday, May 23


Braxton County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 10

Last Day of School for Students: Wednesday, May 16


Calhoun County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Tuesday, May 22


Clay County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Wednesday, May 30


Doddridge County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, May 25


Gilmer County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Tuesday, May 22


Harrison County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Tuesday, August 15

Last Day of School for Students: Thursday, May 24


Lewis County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Tuesday, May 22


Nicholas County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 21

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, May 25


Pleasants County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Thursday, May 31


Ritchie County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Thursday, May 31


Roane County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Wednesday, August 16

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, June 01


Tyler County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, June 01


Webster County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, May 25


Wetzel County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 21

Last Day of School for Students: Thursday, June 07


Wirt County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, June 01


Wood County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Wednesday, August 16

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, June 01

GSC Jazz Students to Perform with Award-Winning Musician

The Free Press WV

On Saturday, August 05 from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. award-winning pianist Dr. Monika Herzig and her fusion band, Time Flies will perform at Washington Square in Clarksburg, West Virginia. At the conclusion of the concert Glenville State College Jazz Band members will join Herzig and her band on stage for an end-of-evening jam session.

The evening will focus on fusion which is the blending together of different styles and genres of music for an improvisational expression. The show is sure to please rock, jazz, and general fans of music.

This opportunity for GSC students sparked after Jason Barr, GSC Director of Jazz and Commercial Music, shared the stage with Herzig and her band in April 2017 while she was playing in Bridgeport, WV. After the performance, Barr was hopeful for an opportunity for his students to work with Herzig. With the help of the West Virginia Jazz Society’s America’s Jazz Crossroads Fund, which the Glenville State College Foundation and the Dominion Foundation contribute to, Herzig and The Time Flies Band will be able to stay in the area for another performance during their summer West Virginia tour.

Attendance to the Washington Square event is free of charge but reservations are required and can be made by emailing or by calling 304.622.7100. If you are unable to attend, the event will be streamed live on the GSC YouTube channel. For more information, contact Barr at or at 304.462.6350.

NWS Puts Most of State Under Flash Flood Watch Through Friday Evening

The Free Press WV

The National Weather Service in Charleston has issued a Flash Flood Watch for its entire coverage area in West Virginia through Friday at 8 p.m.

“Rounds of showers and thunderstorms with very heavy rain are expected through Friday,” the NWS message said. “This rainfall, coupled with rain that has already fallen, could produce flash flooding, especially along small streams, creeks, low spots and poor drainage areas.”

Counties under the watch include: Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Jackson WV, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Mingo, Fayette, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Randolph, Webster, Pleasants, Putnam, Ritchie, Roane,Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming.

The National Weather Service Office in Pittsburgh issued a similar Flash Flood Watch for the Northern Panhandle, Eastern Panhandle and north central counties from 6 a.m. Friday through 1 a.m. Saturday.

Sunday Storms Could Cause Flash Flooding

The Free Press WV

More than two dozen counties in West Virginia are under a Flash Flood Watch through Sunday evening, the National Weather Service said.

Additional rounds of thunderstorms containing very heavy rain could cause flooding along small streams and poor drainage areas, meteorologists said.

The counties under the watch include: Mason, Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Putnam, Kanawha, Roane, Wirt, Calhoun, Ritchie, Doddridge, Clay, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Harrison, Taylor, Upshur Barbour, Fayette, Nicholas, Webster, Pocahontas, and Randolph.

Jim’s Promise Tour Launches

Justice: New roads, new jobs, and hope are on the way

The Free Press WV

Governor kicked off the Jim’s Promise Tour to highlight specific road construction projects that fulfill Governor Justice’s pledge to fix the state’s roads and bring tens of thousands of jobs to the Mountain State.

Justice and Transportation Secretary Tom Smith visited Hurricane, WV to discuss the new work that’s going to occur on I-64 between Hurricane and Milton, and then they went to Clarksburg to give an update on the action happening on local roads in North Central West Virginia.

Transportation Secretary Tom Smith said, “Jim’s Promise Program is historic because it’s the most significant investment West Virginia’s ever seen in its roads and will make such a difference for our state.”

“This is only the start of immediate jobs, immediate opportunity, and immediate hope,” said Governor Justice.  “These road projects that are going on now are just the beginning of West Virginia making a real comeback. It’s the first step to bringing West Virginia the greatness we deserve. Let’s roll!”

Smith added, “In just three months, we’ve already leveraged $350 million worth of work thanks to the Governor’s plan and it’s one and a half times larger than the Obama stimulus spent on West Virginia’s roads. This is just the beginning of a new chapter for West Virginia’s infrastructure. Jim’s Promise means fixing roads in every corner of our state and thousands and thousands of new jobs.”

UHC to Transfer to EPIC System, Offer MyWVUChart

Starting next month, United Hospital Center patients will be able to manage all of their medical information from the convenience of their smartphone.

On August 01, 2017, UHC will switch to the EPIC computer system that provides patients with access to MyWVUChart, WVU Medicine’s online patient portal.

Once the transition is complete, all of UHC’s information will be in one place, said Stephanie Smart, vice president of nursing at UHC.

“The entire hospital will be on the same system, and, right now, that is not true,” she said. “We have a couple of different electronic systems that we use, so the systems don’t always talk and communicate the way we want them to or need them to.”

The EPIC software system is a vast improvement over the hospital’s current system, Smart said.

“We currently are on an electronic medical record system, but it is slightly outdated,” she said. “EPIC is on the forefront of technology for electronic medical records. It’s kind of an exciting time for us to be able to participate in this and be involved.”

The Free Press WV
Beginning August 01, you can access many MYWVUChart features via the mobile app. With the implementation of MyWVUChart (the online patient portal for all of WVU Medicine), in conjunction with the new EPIC computer system, UHC will achieve an even higher standard of care coordination through electronic health records for the thousands of patients UHC serves in North Central West Virginia.


The biggest advantage of the new system is that it allows UHC to communicate with and stay connected to the other facilities in the WVU Medicine network, said Brian Cottrill, assistant vice president and assistant chief information officer of WVU Medicine.

“Right now, if you come in here as a patient, they can only see your UHC record,” Cottrill said. “After we go live on EPIC, we’ll be able to see your records from throughout our health system. If you had something done from a specialist in Morgantown or at WVU Hospitals, that’s all available.”

Patients who take advantage of the MyWVUChart mobile app or website will be able to access their medical information and manage their medical care conveniently, Cottrill said.

“Through MyChart, patients will be able to see all aspects of their care and even message their physicians, see their appointments, see what’s due on their bill and see their lab results,” he said. “It’s all available online in a much more compressive way than what United has today.”

To access MyWVUChart, patients will need to visit the website and request an activation code. After receiving the code, patients will have 30 days to activate their accounts, Cottrill said.

Medical information stored on MyWVUChart is secure, and patients don’t need to worry about their data being compromised, he said.

The Free Press WV
Pictured is Brian Cottrill, assistant vice president and assistant CIO of WVU Medicine, accessing many MYWVUChart features via the mobile app that will be available August 01 when UHC will offer MyWVUChart, the online patient portal for all of WVU Medicine. With the implementation of MyWVUChart, in conjunction with the new EPIC computer system, UHC will achieve an even higher standard of care coordination through electronic health records for the thousands of patients UHC serves in North Central West Virginia.


“You have to login or use your TouchID,” he said. “To get your account, we have to verify that it’s you. If you want to see anybody else’s, it’s the same process we’ve always had with medical records. Those secure medical records standards are still in place. It’s just easier to get to now.”

Being part of the WVU medical system allows UHC to implement EPIC without having to bear its cost, Cottrill said.

“EPIC only goes to big academic medical centers,” he said. “The only reason we have an opportunity here to use EPIC is because we’re part of the health system. Ruby already had it, and we’re being added onto their system.”

Cottrill said almost 2,000 of the hospital’s employees are being trained to use the new system.

The training varies from position to position, he said.

“It depends on your job; it’s very specialized,” Cottrill said. “There are a lot of different modules to be trained in. If you’re a physician, you get trained in placing physician orders for patients. If you’re a biller, you get trained in how to go through those financial statements.”

For more information on MyWVUChart, visit www.MyWVUChart.com or call 866.982.4278.

Central WV Community Action, Inc. Works to Get People Back On Their Feet

The Free Press WV

Central West Virginia Community Action, Inc. has just under 100 staff members with 8 locations serving Lewis, Harrison, Gilmer and Ritchie Counties.

Shannon Cunningham-Snead, the executive director, said the agency plays a critical role in the community through its anti-poverty mission.

“The agency is specifically charged to work in collaboration with existing efforts of government services and other non-profits and to avoid the duplication of services,” she said. “The agency conducts a community needs assessment every three years and uses that information to design or re-design its work, especially to fill the gaps where needs are not currently being met.”

The agency’s largest program is Head Start which helps more than 360 low-income families and other at-risk 3 to 5-year-olds in the four country region, Cunningham-Snead said.

“Children participate in pre-school and follow a curriculum designed to prepare them for a successful transition to kindergarten,” she said. “They receive free transportation, meals and other support services, and all children receive medical and dental exams.”

Children with special needs are also provided access to addition services, Cunningham-Snead said. The program is operated in strong partnership with each county’s Board of Education.

“Head Start is unique in that it focuses on the well-being of the child’s whole family, and family coordinators work with the parents and caregivers to ensure that they have access to adequate housing, food, employment opportunities and more,” she said.

Many know the agency for the Family Services program it offers in Lewis County, Cunningham-Snead said. Services are designed to meet unique needs of families in effort to obtain financial self-sufficiency.

“Case managers work with low-income customers on creating a household budget, accessing available resources such as SNAP benefits, housing vouchers, job training opportunities and providing direct assistance to support individuals obtain or maintain employment,” she said.

The agency can also provide job-specific clothing, testing fees, license renewals and more in order for individuals to be successful with employment, Cunningham-Snead said. Through an AmeriCorps program, they also offer free tax preparation services for low-income individuals.

“The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is specifically geared to ensure that qualifying individuals receive the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Care Tax Credit,” she said. “Additionally, opportunities to create a household budget and open a savings account are provided as well.”

Central WV Community Action, Inc. recently received a grant for the No Heat Emergency Program. The initiative provides free repair or replacement of heating systems for qualifying households, Cunningham-Snead said.

“To qualify, individuals should own their own home, and their heat source must not be in working condition or not considered a safe method of heating the home,” she said. “The agency provides assistance, as it is available, for those struggling to keep up with utility bills.”

Vonda Berry, the program director, said the Family Services offered are vital for the communities in Lewis County. They are able to assist those who are employable.

“If for some reason someone has lost their job or have been on a leave, they can see a Family Services specialist,” she said. “They will assist in setting goals, create a budget together and appoint them to other available resources if they need it.”

Berry said they like to call what they do a “hand up” instead of a hand-out because they are teaching people how to become self-sufficient and independent.

“It can be hard for those who don’t have a support system and encouragement to get the help they need,” she said. “When someone’s living paycheck to paycheck, it only takes one crisis to set them back.”

The agency works closely with the Department of Health and Human Resources as well as the Family Resource Network, Berry said. They are stronger by pulling everyone together because not one agency can do it all and have all the answers.

“It’s good to have a place to go where someone knows what’s available in the community and can help you set goals, short and long-term,” she said. “I think that’s what hurts people, they get so overwhelmed by a crisis they can’t see what’s next.”

The agency works with the individual to see a vision and then help them get there step-by-step, Berry said.

Individuals seeking assistance can contact the agency’s main number at 304.622.8495 to find the service location nearest to their community. The agency’s Family Services programs are operated at 468 Main Avenue in Weston, and 108 South 3rd Street in Clarksburg.

~~  Victoria L. Cann ~~

Five Tips that Will Protect Your Eyes from Sun Damage

The days are longer, the sun is hotter, the beach beckons, and out comes the sunscreen. “Summer revelers looking forward to sizzling hot fun in the sun shouldn’t overlook their eyes when it comes to protecting themselves from damaging ultraviolet rays,” warns David A. Faris, M.D., ophthalmologist in Bridgeport.

In support of UV Safety Month in July, Dr. Faris joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in sharing information on how to keep eyes safe from sun damage. Excess sun exposure can put people at risk of serious short-term and long-term eye problems.

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“If eyes are exposed to strong sunlight for too long without protection, UV rays can burn the cornea and cause temporary blindness in a matter of hours,” says Dr. Faris. “Long-term sun exposure has also been linked to an increased risk of cataracts, cancer, and growths on or near the eye.”

Here are five things Dr. Faris recommends that you can do to cut your risk of eye damage from the sun:

  • Wear the right sunglasses – Look for those labeled “UV400” or “100 percent UV protection” when buying sunglasses. Less costly sunglasses with this label can be just as effective as the expensive kind. Darkness or color doesn’t indicate strength of UV protection. UV rays can go through clouds, so wear sunglasses even on overcast days. And while contacts may offer some benefit, they cannot protect the entire eye area from burning rays.

  • Don’t stare at the sun – Sun worshippers take note: directly gazing at the sun can burn holes in the retina, the light-sensitive layer of cells in the back of the eye needed for central vision. This condition is called solar retinopathy. While rare, the damage is irreversible.

  • Check your medication labels – One in three adults uses medication that could make the eyes more vulnerable to UV ray damage, according to a sun safety survey by the Academy. These include certain antibiotics, birth control and estrogen pills, and psoriasis treatments containing psoralen. Check the labels on your prescriptions to see if they cause photosensitivity. If so, make sure to protect your skin and eyes or avoid sun exposure when possible.

  • Put a lid on it – In addition to shades, consider wearing a hat with broad brim. Hats have been shown to significantly cut exposure to harmful rays. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

  • Don’t drive without UV eye protection – Don’t assume that car windows are protecting you from UV light. A recent study found that side windows blocked only 71 percent of rays, compared to 96 percent in the windshield.i Only 14 percent of side windows provided a high enough level of protection, the researchers found. So when you buckle up, make sure you are wearing glasses or sunglasses with the right UV protection.

Flash Flood Watch in Effect For Several WV Counties

The Free Press WV

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for nearly two dozen West Virginia counties through Friday evening.

According to NWS meteorologists, “A frontal system is expected to pass through the region Thursday afternoon and Friday. Storms associated with it could produce excessive rainfall. This rain coupled with the wet soils across the area could produce flash flooding, especially along small streams, creeks, low spots and poor drainage areas.”

Counties named in the watch include:

  • Barbour
  • Braxton
  • Calhoun
  • Doddridge
  • Gilmer
  • Harrison
  • Jackson
  • Lewis
  • Mason
  • Pleasants
  • Pocahontas
  • Randolph
  • Ritchie
  • Roane
  • Taylor
  • Tyler
  • Upshur
  • Webster
  • Wirt
  • Wood

West Virginia Library Commission Announces Grants to Public Libraries

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Library Commission has presented $110,093 in state grants to 30 public libraries in the state. 

The grants were awarded in June, based on facility and technology proposals from each library.

17 grants were awarded for facility maintenance and 14 for technology enhancements.  The following libraries received grant funding: 

  • Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Public Library
  • Brooke County Public Library
  • Burnsville Public Library
  • Chapmanville Public Library
  • Clay County Public Library
  • Craigsville Public Library
  • Gassaway Public Library
  • Hamlin-Lincoln County Public Library
  • Kingwood Public Library
  • Logan Area Public Library
  • Lynn Murray Public Library
  • Marion County Public Library
  • Mason County Public Library
  • Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library
  • Mountaintop Public Library
  • Nutter Fort Public Library
  • Paden City Public Library
  • Pendleton County Public Library
  • Philippi Public Library
  • Raleigh County Public Library
  • Roane County Public Library
  • Rupert Public Library
  • Shepherdstown Public Library
  • Summers County Public Library
  • Summersville Public Library
  • Sutton Public Library
  • Swayne Memorial Public Library
  • Valley Head Public Library
  • Wayne Public Library
  • Webster Addison Public Library


“These grants emphasize the important needs in West Virginia’s public libraries,” said Karen Goff, Executive Secretary of the WVLC.

“These dollars will allow libraries to make basic improvements to their facilities, as well as enhance computer access for their patrons.”


West Virginia Library Commission encourages lifelong learning, individual empowerment, civic engagement and an enriched quality of life by enhancing library and information services for all West Virginians. WVLC is an independent agency of the Office of the Secretary of Education and the Arts.

To learn more about the WVLC, please visit www.librarycommission.wv.gov or call us at 304.558.2041.

Pediatric Nurse Celebrates 50th Anniversary at UHC

This year marks the 50th anniversary that Sharon Norman, RN, has been a priceless asset to the United Hospital Center pediatric nursing staff. “I never became a nurse for the praise; I did it for the children and for the sense of achievement,” said Norman.

Sharon Norman has had the caregiving gene running through her since she was a little girl. “I can’t remember ever wanting to be anything but a nurse,” said Norman. “I used to practice on animals, dolls, and even my sisters whenever they would get a cut or scrape.”

After graduating St. Mary’s Nursing School in 1967, Norman hit the ground running with her devoted career in pediatrics. Over the years, she has seen it all. She recalls seeing all types of patients from kids coming back for repeat treatment to kids having surgeries or broken bones fixed.

Norman recollects a time when she cared for a child who had a broken elbow and had to hold the young girl’s arm so the doctor could position a pin to fix the break. Sometime after, the child encountered Norman again and excitedly cried, “That’s my nurse!” Norman said that it feels good to know that she might be impacting her patients as much as they impact her.

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Not only has she dealt with a wide variety of patients from cancer to asthma to broken bones, but she has also watched her profession as a whole evolve and advance. Norman says that when she first started she had to prepare and sterilized things by hand. Today, the supplies already come prepackaged or sterilized.

During her career, she has watched technology slowly take its place in both medical techniques and something as basic as medical records. However, these changes have never slowed her down. “I always try to keep an open mind. If I were ever faced with an obstacle, I would just remind myself to stay positive and be patient,” said Norman.

She said that her favorite part of the job by far was all of the wonderful children with which she encountered. “It was easy to get attached to them, especially the ones I would see repeatedly,” said Norman. Through her warm smile, she recounted how in the evenings the nurses would pop popcorn and gather with the parents and patients for a movie before tucking them into bed. Some of her fondest memories consist of birthday parties and holidays for the pediatric patients.

Not only does Sharon Norman dedicate herself to the children during work hours, but she also volunteers her extra time as well. A long-time volunteer of Camp Catch Your Breath, a UHC summer program for asthmatic children, Norman goes above and beyond for these kids. “At camp, I am a nurse in the med room. When the kids get a cut or scrape, they’ll come see me,” explained Norman. “My favorite part about camp is watching the kids that return year-after-year grow up.”

Norman said that she could go on for ages about all the cherished memories she has made at UHC. In fact, a fellow colleague and she have considered writing a book about their careers. When asked what she would include in the book Norman said, “I have so many stories about the kids, the experiences, and the friendships I’ve built here. I would just tell my story and everything that made me who I am.”

Norman made it a point to note that the person she owes all of her success to was her mother. She considered her the best supporter, cheerleader, and friend. “She was always there for me. My mother would tell everyone she met that her daughter was a nurse and that she was so proud.”

However, Norman never did it for the glory. She notes that this milestone was an accomplishment for her and the pride she takes in her profession. When asked what advice she would offer to young nurses, she replied, “Just keep an open mind because you can learn something new every day. Nursing is such a rewarding profession and it gives you a chance to make an impact on someone’s life.”

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