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G-LtE™: ‘BULLYING STILL GOING ON AT GCHS’

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Glenville Pathfinder. March 29th edition—

An article that should have been on the front page with much more that should have been written on this but….small write-up page four. I guess all the other stories on front page more important than students being injured at GCHC, For those who do not buy the paper, here it is:

BULLYING STILL GOING ON AT GCHS.

Reports of bullying at Gilmer County High School are still surfacing even after the Olweus Program, a prevention program to stop bullying, was put into place in all county schools.

According to one county parent, who wants to remain anonymous, her seventh grade son was being picked on, via name calling and shoving. Last week it escalated to the point that three students allegedly pushed the boy down in the hallway and kicked him repeatedly. This was purportedly done in front of a teacher who told the boy to get up and go to his special education classroom.

The victim was taken to the Dr. and there were bruises observed on his legs that measured several inches across. Currently, the student is back in school and “restraining orders” have been placed on all involved parties dictating that they stay away from each other. However, reportedly, no administrative disciplinary action was taken against the perpetrators of the violence.


My comment to this:

Does this surprise me, absolutely not.

What a shame that the GCHS Administrators, the Gilmer County Superintendent, the State Board of Education are so self-centered, unconcerned, heartless people that call themselves Educators that immediate action was not taken with the ones who are doing the bullying.

They say the Olweus Program to stop bullying has been put into place in all county schools.

Common sense tells me YOU THE ADMINISTRATORS AND EDUCATORS are responsible for following thru with this.

YOU have to make it work, YOU have to enforce it, not turn your back on the victims and let the ones responsible go scot free.

The teacher who seen all this, he/she is responsible also.

You should have had the backbone to stop it instead of telling the victim to go to his special education classroom.

To the teacher, if….this was your orders from your boss to turn your head you are still responsible for not turning them in. If…a child/student is seriously injured under your watch and I was the parent of that student your head would be mine as the old saying goes.

Had this boy been my child, there would be no way that I would have sent my child back to this school ever.

A child should not have to endure this kind of treatment.

Parents of students at the GCHS…you need to do something before a tragedy happens, and it could be your child.

This is not the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last time.

I would NOT consider sending my child to your school system under any circumstance.

I would have them home schooled and there would be NOTHING you could do.

Our children are being hurt
Author and Source on File

Upcoming Movies - 03.30.12

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Wrath of the Titans

Opens Friday, March 30, 2012 | Runtime: 1 hr. 39 min.

PG-13 - Intense Seq of Fantasy Action and Intense Seq Fantasy Violence

Sequel to the 2010 remake starring Sam Worthington as Perseus, who was born of a god but raised as a man and sought revenge for the death his family at the hand of Hades (Ralph Fiennes), the vengeful god of the underworld. A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus-the demigod son of Zeus-is attempting to live a quieter life as the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius. Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Dangerously weakened by humanity’s lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their leader, Kronos. The Titans’ strength grows stronger as Zeus’ remaining godly powers are siphoned, and hell is unleashed on earth. Enlisting the help of the warrior Queen Andromeda, Poseidon’s demigod son, Argenor, and fallen god Hephaestus, Perseus bravely embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, overthrow the Titans and save mankind.

Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Genres: Action/Adventure

 

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Mirror Mirror

Opens Friday, March 30, 2012 | Runtime: 1 hr. 46 min.

PG - Some Fantasy Action and Mild Rude Humor

One of the most beloved stories of all time is coming to life in the motion picture event for the whole family, Mirror Mirror. A fresh and funny retelling of the Snow White legend, Mirror Mirror features breakout star Lily Collins (The Blind Side) as Snow White, a princess in exile, and Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen who ruthlessly rules her captured kingdom. Seven courageous rebel dwarfs join forces with Snow White as she fights to reclaim her birthright and win her Prince in this magical comedy filled with jealousy, romance, and betrayal that will capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences the world over. The film also stars Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as the Prince, and Nathan Lane (The Birdcage) as the hapless and bungling servant to the Queen.

Cast: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli

Director: Tarsem Singh

Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Lewis County Man Sues Springfield Armory, Individuals for Gun Shot

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A Lewis County man is suing Springfield Armory for a gun shot he sustained while at a friend’s residence.

Devon McCartney and James E. McCartney were also named as defendants in the suit.

On March 05, 2010, Joshua Shane Davisson was visiting the home of William H. McCartney with his friend Vernon Groves when Devon McCartney came to visit the residence, according to a complaint filed in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Davisson claims Devon McCartney and/or James McCartney are the owner(s) of a .40 caliber Springfield Armory XD-40 Subcompact pistol.

Devon McCartney negligently and carelessly transported the loaded gun from James McCartney’s home to the home of William McCartney and negligently and carelessly handled the gun causing it to discharge into Davisson, according to the suit.

Davisson claims as a result of the defendants’ negligence, he was shot in the sternum with the bullet ultimately becoming lodged in his left thigh.

James McCartney negligently permitted Devon McCartney to access the gun without verifying that they had the requisite knowledge to handle and/or disassemble the gun in a safe manner, according to the suit.

Davisson is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest.

He is being represented by Timothy J. Manchin and Taylor B. Downs.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 12-C-148

~~  Kyla Asbury - WV Record  ~~

Traitors Unwelcomed at Home: A WV Sesquicentennial Moment

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The return of traitors pushed residents of western Virginia into action during the last week of March 1862.

Union men in Mason, Putnam and Wood counties met to express their displeasure with traitors who were coming back home.

Those traitors included a former Virginia legislator suspected of spying for the Confederacy and a man described as the most loud-mouthed and meanest secessionist from the Kanawha Valley.

Men in Putnam County passed a resolution urging Robert T. Harvey to—quote – “take himself beyond the line of the Federal army, instanter.” unquote.

The Point Pleasant Register newspaper described Harvey as – quote—“the most loud mouthed and the meanest of all of the infamous pack of Secessionists who have disgraced the Kanawha Valley.” – unquote.

That same week the Wheeling Intelligencer reported that Robert Turner was arrested and imprisoned in Wheeling on suspicions of being a spy after he had returned to his home in Gilmer County.

A resolution passed by Wood County citizens sums up the feelings of many Union supporters of the time.

It said anyone who denounced the restored government or strived to bring it into disrepute were traitors in disguise and enemies to their welfare, and as such were not to be tolerated.

~~  Beth Vorhees- WVPB and The Division of Culture & History ~~

Craft Vendors Sought for North Bend State Park May Events

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Art and craft persons looking for a venue to showcase their work are invited to consider two opportunities at North Bend State Park in May.

The park offers a rural setting and attracts a nice crowd for events.

“Pottery, sewing, jewelry, woodworking and those types of items are popular with visitors to the park for special weekends,” said Ken Zebo, activities coordinator at North Bend State Park.

Two events in May traditionally feature vendors with personally made arts and craft items: Engines and Wheels May 05 and Bluegrass Festival, May 11-12, 2012.  “At these events, the vendor and the crafter or artist is one and the same,” Zebo said.

North Bend State Park is located near Cairo and Harrisville.

It is a year-round vacation park with lodge and restaurant, cabins, campgrounds, hiking and biking trails, lake and fishing, and special events.

Zebo organizes special weekends and nature-based activities that are family oriented.

Artisans interested in being part of Engines & Wheels or Bluegrass Festival weekends should contact Ken Zebo at 304.643.2931 to make arrangements to be a vendor at either weekend.

Calhoun County: Crime Outpacing Last Year

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The number of people living in tiny Calhoun County has barely changed in the past decade, but officials say serious crimes have been soaring.

Last week, a grand jury indicted four people in three deaths, one of them a 2-month-old girl.

The unrelated death of another infant is under investigation.

During the first quarter of 2012, the number of arrests and prosecutions has been outpacing last year, Magistrate Court Clerk Gary Smith told the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

Authorities handled 86 felony crimes and 350 misdemeanors in all of 2011, he said.

By March 20, 2012 they had already handled 42 felonies and 102 misdemeanors.

“It seems to be escalating,“ said Smith, a longtime resident who until recently could recall only one murder in the county of 7,600.

In 2008 and 2009, the county had fewer than 55 felonies, he said, but during 2010, there were 70.

“We are a small, sleepy little town with a lot of stuff going right now,“ Smith said. “I don’t know what the answers are, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.“

Sheriff Alan Parsons, a resident since 1968, and Calhoun County Commissioner Bob Weaver say a stronger law enforcement presence in a region with chronically high unemployment could be driving the trend.

“After a number of years of fairly low performance, the West Virginia State Police have really stepped up to the plate,“ Weaver said. “... I am really happy with them. They are doing what they are supposed to do.“

West Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said the agency is constantly shifting resources to meet the public’s needs.

Calhoun County Prosecutor Rocky Holmes — one of only seven part-time prosecutors in West Virginia — said the Grantsville Police Department and the sheriff’s department have added officers, too.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources, meanwhile, has increased the number of Child Protective Services workers in the county.

“We used to have one,“ Holmes said. “Now we have five.“

U.S. Census Bureau figures for Calhoun County show that more than 20% of residents live below the federal poverty level, compared with a statewide rate of about 17%.

The median household income of $26,922 was lower than the state average of $38,380 between 2006 and 2010, and the unemployment rate has remained among the highest in West Virginia.

February figures put Calhoun’s unemployment rate at 13.2%, behind only Hancock County at 13.9%. Neighboring Wirt and Roane counties were at 13%.

West Virginia Court Spells Out Re-Registry Requirements

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A West Virginia appeals court has ruled that sex offenders are only required to re-register their information after a conviction, not after an arrest.

The court ruled last week that the West Virginia State Police lacked the right to arrest 30-year-old Timothy Judge of Tyler County for failure to re-register on a sex-offender list upon his release from jail in 2010.

Judge complied with re-registering after being convicted on a third-degree sexual abuse charge in 2002.

He was arrested in May 2010, on a charge of accessory after the fact to breaking and entering.

Police arrested Timothy Judge because he didn’t update his sex-offender registry entry.

The Charleston Gazette reports that last week’s opinion says the language regarding the offender-registration requirements should be rewritten to more clearly reflect the law’s requirements.

G-Comm™: Inter-County School Project Could Open Doors To More Change

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A high school English teacher years ago warned me to be careful when using the word “unique” to describe an event or even an idea. And my most memorable example of extremely poor usage of this word was a newspaper colleague years ago who described something as “very unique and quite different.“

But Executive Director Mark Manchin of the state School Building Authority was justified in his usage of the word “unique” to describe a proposed inter-county elementary school planned by the school boards of Lewis and Gilmer counties. At last week’s SBA meeting, Lewis County School Superintendent Joe Mace and Gilmer County School Superintendent Ron Blankenship presented a plan to merge two elementary schools they described as “decrepit” into a new consolidated inter-county school that would straddle the border between the two central West Virginia counties.

There are seven potential sites for the school intended to replace Troy Elementary School in Gilmer County and Alum Bridge Elementary School in Lewis County. The initial cost estimate for the new inter-county school is $11.1 million.

It is one of 23 proposed construction projects submitted to SBA for the next bond issue for new school construction that would require a total expenditure of about $170 million if all 23 were to be authorized. However, the proposed bond sale in May will only provide about $40 million for this latest round of statewide public school construction.

Lewis County’s population is more than twice that of Gilmer County and since most of the 20-acre site that is the preferred location for the new school would be in Lewis County, that county would be the financial agent for the project. But the two counties would split the cost of purchasing the property for the new school.

According to a staff member of the state Board of Education this is the only inter-county plan currently under consideration. There was one similar agreement previously between Logan and Lincoln counties.

The economics of this idea are compelling. The two counties estimate this proposal would result in an annual savings of more than $500,000 and another $500,000 in current expenses that could be avoided. That’s probably why Manchin said last week that he “fully anticipates” the SBA will award some of the $40 million bond sale planned for May to this inter-county project.

The SBA will make final decisions on which of the many deserving school construction projects will be funded at an April 23 meeting. One of the other projects is a $14 million proposal for a different elementary school to be constructed in Gilmer County.

Some people hope this is the first step toward “regional school management” and elimination of the 55 separate county boards of education, replacing them with so-called “regional school management areas.“ It’s unlikely this single inter-county elementary school project can do that. But the opportunity to be more user-friendly to youngsters and their parents along the border of these two counties is a worthwhile move.

So much for the high profile attempt to woo a $2 billion cracker plant to West Virginia by providing a property tax break of as much as $25 million to $30 million a year for the next 25 years. The plant will be built in neighboring Pennsylvania, just a few tantalizing miles from this state’s northern panhandle border.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin had the signed bill in his hand when he flew to Texas to make his pitch to Shell Oil Co. in late January but the company decided to locate the new facility in another state. There is still hope for a small cracker plant somewhere in the Kanawha Valley but it will not reach the $2 billion minimum cost required to take advantage of this lavish tax incentive.

The consolation prize may be a $300 million ethane catalytic “cracker” plant that would provide new jobs for as many as 200 people at the Institute Industrial Park in western Kanawha County by 2015.

An announcement on this project, originally planned for last week, apparently has been postponed for a few weeks, according to state Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette. But he insists that he is “very optimistic” about the smaller facility planned by Aither Chemicals. The more certain aspect is that state officials apparently can expect this company to request a similar tax break from West Virginia as a condition to make this happen.

Good grades are always appreciated, whether it’s your child or even state government. And in the case of West Virginia, the state’s ranking for providing online information about how the state’s tax revenues are spent has gone from the basement to the penthouse, according to a study released by a national public interest group’s rankings of the 50 states.

The report, entitled “Follow the Money, 2012: How the 50 States Rate in Providing On-Line Access to Government Spending Data,“ indicates West Virginia has jumped from a dismal failing score of 28 to a score of 91 in one year, which ranks the Mountain State as sixth in the country. This state’s improvement can be traced to its decision to copy the example of Texas, which ranked first both in the 2011 and 2012 reports, and set up the TransparencyWV.org website.

~~  Tom Miller - Retired State Government Reporter for The Herald-Dispatch – Huntington, WV ~~

G-Comm™: Hoppy’s Commentary - WVU Cannot Tolerate Arsonists

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“There is a little-known codicil in the Faber College constitution which gives the dean unlimited power to preserve order in time of campus emergency.“

- Dean Vernon Wormer from Animal House.

GRANTED, it’s not quite that bad at WVU, but the university, once again, finds itself fighting off the Animal House image.

Last Saturday, a nexus of unseasonably warm weather and St. Patrick’s Day fueled the party atmosphere on and near the WVU campus. By evening, some of the partiers were out of control.

Drunks set three dozen mostly street and dumpster fires. Some threw objects at police officers or their vehicles.

The excess put a strain on town-gown relations.

“I’m so angry right now,“ said Morgantown Deputy Mayor Ron Bane during a subsequent city council meeting. “(Students) need to realize that this is not a playground. This is our home.“

Even as council was meeting, a graphic video of the parties hit the Internet, and within minutes was trending on Twitter.

The video was produced by “I’m Shmacked,“ a private film company that travels from campus to campus, shooting video of partying students, putting the video to music and posting on the Internet.

The scenes in the video are embarrassing, but not much worse than you see on many college campuses. In fact, all the videos by “I’m Shmacked,“ shot at Syracuse, New York University, Michigan and other campuses, are remarkably similar.

West Virginia University has been and continues to be a school where partying plays a prominent role in campus social life. One of the differences now is that the asinine behavior is videotaped and spreads virally even before the fog of the hangover has lifted.

If an emancipated college student wants to drink himself or herself into oblivion, but otherwise stay out of trouble, there’s not much WVU can do about that.

However, when the behavior crosses the line with drunk driving, public intoxication, destruction of property, setting fires, throwing bottles at the cops or interfering with the police, then WVU has an obligation to act.

Ken Gray, WVU vice president for student affairs, promises the university will crack down.

“We’re going to take pro-active action to punish those responsible,“ said Gray of the day’s hooliganism.

That punishment, Gray said, may include expulsion from the university.

West Virginia University is a remarkably open and tolerant institution.

The campus welcomes all West Virginia high school graduates and opens its doors to out-of-state students who don’t have the grades or the means to get into other schools.

I’ve always believed that’s one of the most important attributes of WVU. This university tries hard to say “yes” to students who say they want a college education.

Sure, some of that is just good business, but it’s also part of the university’s mission.

Coincidentally, this week Nobel Prize-winning-physicist John Mather came to campus for a lecture and InterContinental Hotels executive Lara Hernandez, who is also a WVU graduate, was a guest speaker on campus.

Like any major university, WVU is loaded with opportunities for students who want to take advantage of them.

But the miscreants, who believe that their college experience is a chance to run wild without consequences, don’t belong here.

WVU doesn’t need Faber College’s “little known codicil” to keep order. It already has the authority in the student code of conduct to discipline students for bad behavior and send the worst of the lot packing.

GSC Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble to Perform in Europe

The Glenville State College Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble has been invited to perform at the 2012 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference (ITEC) June 23-30, 2012, at the Brucknerhaus in Linz, Austria.

The group is one of about twenty collegiate ensembles from around the world that has been invited to this bi-annual conference which is the largest conference in the low brass discipline in the world.

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The GSC Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble will visit Austria this summer.
(L-R FR) Ryan Deems, Stephanie Sumner, Brittany Lott, Matt Sumner (not going on trip)
(L-R BR) Seth Stemple, Josh White, John Reid, Chris Baber, Jonathan Bailess, Ethan Hacker, Travis Truax, and Leon Hart


“This is a major opportunity as this is a very prestigious invite and a wonderful performing and learning experience for our students. Our students and alumni have worked hard for over six years to get to this point. I am incredibly proud of them and for the opportunity to showcase Glenville State College on an international level,“ said Lloyd Bone Jr., GSC Assistant Professor of Music and Fine Arts Department Chair.

This will be the third consecutive ITEC performance by the GSC Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble. The group was also invited to the 2008 ITEC in Cincinnati, Ohio and 2010 ITEC in Tucson, Arizona.

The Glenville State College Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble is comprised of undergraduate Music Education majors and undergraduate Bachelor of Music majors.

The ensemble has performed in a wide variety of brass chamber music concerts on the Glenville State College campus and around West Virginia.

In addition to their performances at the ITEC, the group also was invited to the 2007 United States Army Band Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Washington, D.C.  Bone is in his eighth year conducting the GSC ensemble.


Members of the GSC Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble who will be heading to the 2012 ITEC in Linz, Austria are:

•  Alumni Ryan Deems of Clarksburg, Harrison County West Virginia

•  Alumni Stephanie Sumner of Glenville, Gilmer County West Virginia

•  Junior Jonathan Bailess of Edmond, Fayette County, West Virginia

•  Alumni Travis Truax of Saint Marys, Pleasants County West Virginia

•  Senior Chris Baber of Craigsville, Nicholas County West Virginia

•  Junior Leon Hart of Parkersburg, Wood County West Virginia

•  Sophomore Brittany Lott of Petersburg, Grant County West Virginia

•  Sophomore Seth Stemple of Fairmont, Marion County West Virginia

•  Sophomore Ethan Hacker of Exchange, Braxton County West Virginia

•  Freshman Josh White of Waverly, Wood County West Virginia

•  Freshman John Reid of Clear Creek, Raleigh County West Virginia

•  Junior Brittany McGuire of Beckley, Raleigh County West Virginia

•  Sophomore Ryan Spangenberg of Madison, Ohio


The GSC Fine Arts Department is undertaking a fundraising campaign to raise money to cover expenses for this wonderful opportunity for these GSC students. The department will be holding car washes, bake sales and concerts as part of their efforts. The GSC Fine Arts Department is asking for financial support from GSC alumni, students, faculty, staff, family, friends, and local residents. “The Glenville community has always been very gracious and helpful when we have had to fundraise for big trips and honors. Because of the massive distance of the trip, our need is great to cover all the expenses. Any help of any kind will be hugely appreciated,“ said Bone.

Those wishing to help defray the cost for the ensemble may send donations to Sheri Skidmore, GSC Department of Fine Arts, 200 High Street, Glenville, West Virginia 26351.

To make a donation for the trip or for more information, contact Bone at “Lloyd.Bone@glenville.edu” or 304.462.6341.

G-Comm™: Please Stop Apologizing

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THIS week, Robert De Niro made a joke about first ladies, and Newt Gingrich said it was “inexcusable and the president should apologize for him.” Of course, if something is “inexcusable,” an apology doesn’t make any difference, but then again, neither does Newt Gingrich.

Mr. De Niro was speaking at a fund-raiser with the first lady, Michelle Obama. Here’s the joke: “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?”

The first lady’s press secretary declared the joke “inappropriate,” and Mr. De Niro said his remarks were “not meant to offend.” So, as these things go, even if the terrible damage can never be undone, at least the healing can begin. And we can move on to the next time we choose sides and pretend to be outraged about nothing.

When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like? In the last year, we’ve been shocked and appalled by the unbelievable insensitivity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, Hank Williams Jr., Cee Lo Green, Ashton Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super Bowl halftime show and the ESPN guys who used the wrong cliché for Jeremy Lin after everyone else used all the others. Who can keep up?

This week, President Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, described Mitt Romney’s constant advertising barrage in Illinois as a “Mittzkrieg,” and instantly the Republican Jewish Coalition was outraged and called out Mr. Axelrod’s “Holocaust and Nazi imagery” as “disturbing.” Because the message of “Mittzkrieg” was clear: Kill all the Jews. Then the coalition demanded not only that Mr. Axelrod apologize immediately but also that Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz “publicly rebuke” him. For a pun! For punning against humanity!

The right side of America is mad at President Obama because he hugged the late Derrick Bell, a law professor who believed we live in a racist country, 22 years ago; the left side of America is mad at Rush Limbaugh for seemingly proving him right.

If it weren’t for throwing conniption fits, we wouldn’t get any exercise at all.

I have a better idea. Let’s have an amnesty — from the left and the right — on every made-up, fake, totally insincere, playacted hurt, insult, slight and affront. Let’s make this Sunday the National Day of No Outrage. One day a year when you will not find some tiny thing someone did or said and pretend you can barely continue functioning until they apologize.

If that doesn’t work, what about this: If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.

The answer to whenever another human being annoys you is not “make them go away forever.” We need to learn to coexist, and it’s actually pretty easy to do. For example, I find Rush Limbaugh obnoxious, but I’ve been able to coexist comfortably with him for 20 years by using this simple method: I never listen to his program. The only time I hear him is when I’m at a stoplight next to a pickup truck.

When the lady at Costco gives you a free sample of its new ham pudding and you don’t like it, you spit it into a napkin and keep shopping. You don’t declare a holy war on ham.

I don’t want to live in a country where no one ever says anything that offends anyone. That’s why we have Canada. That’s not us. If we sand down our rough edges and drain all the color, emotion and spontaneity out of our discourse, we’ll end up with political candidates who never say anything but the safest, blandest, emptiest, most unctuous focus-grouped platitudes and cant. In other words, we’ll get Mitt Romney.

~~  Bill Maher – NYT ~~

From A Small Michigan Newspaper in Tawas City, Michigan

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Upcoming Movies - 03.23.12

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The Hunger Games

Opens Friday, March 23, 2012 | Runtime: 2 hr. 22 min.

PG-13 - Intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister’s place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she’s pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland

Director: Gary Ross

Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama

Click H E R E to View the Trailer

G-FYI™: Little Action Taken in Clay Man’s FOIA Suit against County Development Agency

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The WV Record Reports:

A year after it was filed, a Clay County man’s Freedom of Information Act suit remains at square one.

Since he filed it on Feb. 17, 2011, Michael Boggs’ suit in Kanawha Circuit Court to compel the Clay County Business Development Authority to disclose three years’ of records has seen little action. The most recent was a motion filed Dec. 9 by his attorney David R. Karr Jr. to file an amended complaint.

Karr’s motion came in response to a combined answer, and motion to dismiss filed by the state Development Office which was named as co-defendant in Boggs’ suit. The WVDO is the reason the suit is in Kanawha Circuit as after Boggs filed his original suit in Clay Circuit Court two years ago against the BDA and the Clay County Commission, Judge Jack Alsop dismissed it finding WVDO had an interest in determining some of the funds it gave the Authority.

Kanawha County has original jurisdiction in lawsuits involving state agencies.

In its answer, and motion to dismiss filed July 19, Assistant Attorney General Mary Downey denied Boggs’ allegations. Also, she asserted a defense WVDO “acted within its legal rights and within the proper standard of practice in the conduct of all activities.“

In response to Downey’s motion, Karr stated the amended complaint corrected the “perceived flaws in the original complaint argued by the West Virginia Development Office to exist, as per the West Virginia Development Office’s motion to dismiss previously filed herein, which has yet be heard by the Court.“ Among the language omitted in the amended complaint is Boggs’ claim WVDO is not only CCBDA’s funding source, but it also “has an interest in the determination of various receipts and disbursements.“

Boggs’ amended complaint contains all the original claims he made against CCBDA and the Commission that include the Authority holding meetings, and making decisions without the minimum number of members, failing to publish its quarterly and annual reports from 2008-2010 and re-appointing him as member on a month-to-month basis instead of a three-year term. Also, the amended complaint continues to aver Boggs’ termination from the Board in July 2010 was due to his refusal in “remaining quiet about the above-mentioned statutory violations”

Records show, Judge Charles E. King Jr. has yet to rule on any of the motions including another one made by Karr seeking default judgment against the Commission and the Authority for failing to answer Boggs’ suit after 30 days of receiving notice of it.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 11-C-269

~~  Lawrence Smith – WV Record ~~

GFP - 03.21.2012
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OddlyEnough™: People Are Stealing Tide Detergent and Using It to Buy Drugs

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So say the latest reports about a “crime wave” sweeping the nation. According to multiple news sources, theft of Tide Detergent is soaring across the country, forcing retailers like CVS to consider placing alarms on each bottle as cities establish special task forces to put a halt to the thefts.

The popular detergent has apparently become a kind of currency on the black market. Tide, which sells for about $12 for a 100-oz. bottle and around $18 for 150 oz., reportedly goes for about half that on the streets. Some thieves have resold stolen bottles to stores, and the detergent has supposedly even been showing up in the homes of busted drug dealers.

One law enforcement official in Maryland told The Daily: “We sent in an informant to buy drugs. The dealer said, ‘I don’t have drugs, but I could sell you 15 bottles of Tide.’ … Upstairs in the drug dealer’s bedroom was about 14 bottles of Tide laundry soap. We think [users] are trading it for drugs.”

Another policeman in Oregon said that Tide thieves buy heroin and meth with it.  In one drug raid, more Tide than cocaine was found, and one man reportedly stole $25,000 of the detergent over a 15-month period before he was finally busted.

The detergent is described as “liquid gold” by the authorities who are pursuing the thieves, which has so far proved difficult. “There’s no serial numbers and it’s impossible to track,” a Kentucky police officer told The Daily. “It’s the item to steal.”

And those thieves are brazen. Some simply walk into a supermarket, fill up their carts and then dart toward a getaway vehicle outside. In one incident, a security video showed a man who had made off with a cart full of Tide reselling the detergent hours later.

So far, it appears that it’s just Tide that’s the focus of the thefts and not other brands like All or Wisk, apparently because of Tide’s popularity and recognizable color and logo.

The story of the Tide detergent thieves has been widely reported, but still appears to have been at least partly exaggerated. While anecdotal evidence abounds that this is truly occurring, there are little to no hard statistics backing up the claim of a crime wave.

Fox News quoted a handful of police officers and retailers who disputed that the thefts are widespread. “We are not experiencing a ‘wave’ of Tide thefts,” a CVS/pharmacy public relations director said. He did confirm that the retailer does have security devices on Tide bottles in a few markets but said the thefts are nothing new.

~~  Josh Sanburn – TM ~~

Election 2012: Why Ron Paul May Cut a Deal with Mitt Romney

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For Ron Paul, victory is finally in sight. No, not a swearing-in ceremony next January 20 or even a single statewide win. Halfway through the primary season, Paul has won only a preference poll in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and he is running dead last in delegates among the four GOP candidates for President. He has spent a lot, if not always wisely: the $31.55 he has dropped per vote (more than even Mitt Romney) is a sum that might shock even a Democrat.

But winning the presidency was never Paul’s foremost goal, and as he nears the end of his last presidential crusade, he has one more chance to promote his ideas. The Republican race is a muddled mess. Even after Romney’s Southern losses, only he has a real shot at amassing the 1,144 delegates required to wrap up the nomination, and he would then face the task of unifying the GOP’s warring factions. Which is why Paul’s campaign has sent discreet signals to Camp Romney that the keys to Paul’s shop can be had for the right price.

History suggests the two men are already in cahoots. Throughout the primary, Paul has been Romney’s secret weapon. During the 20 GOP debates, Paul attacked Romney’s rivals a total of 39 times while sparing Romney entirely, according to an analysis by the liberal group ThinkProgress. Paul leaped to Romney’s defense when his tenure at Bain Capital and his taste for firing insurance companies came under attack, and skewered a series of Romney antagonists in TV ads. “He is our deputy campaign manager,” jokes one Romney ally.

Paul’s advisers bristle at suggestions that the libertarian icon is in league with the GOP front runner. They say Paul still has a shot at the nomination if he can hold Romney beneath the delegate threshold until Tampa and then force a floor fight that sends delegates fleeing to Paul on a secondary ballot. This may be the company line, but the scenario is improbable enough that even Paul has conceded his “chances are slim.”

Even as they tamp down rumors of a pact, Paul’s advisers concede that the friendship between Paul and Romney is the initial step toward a deal. And behind the scenes, discussions between the two campaigns — as well as initial discussions with the Santorum and Gingrich camps, according to one Paul adviser — are slowly taking shape.

An alliance could benefit both camps. Paul’s support would go a long way toward helping Romney with a bloc of young Republicans who have been turning out in huge numbers for Paul and who otherwise might stay home in November. It might also help Romney grab all of Paul’s delegates. Such an arrangement would help Paul get what a Romney ally called “an important speaking role at the convention.”

Paul’s camp contends he will exceed the 270 delegates Romney garnered in 2008, which earned him an undercard slot on the penultimate evening in St. Paul. Josh Putnam, a political scientist at Davidson College who studies delegate allocation, notes that Paul’s campaign hasn’t furnished evidence to back up those claims. But he says there is a chance Paul could “completely exploit the system and take delegates from caucus states where there’s no written rule to how delegates are allocated.” Paul’s aides say they expect to win a plurality of delegates in a batch of blue-to-purple caucus states where Paul failed to win the popular vote, including Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, Nevada and Washington.

Paul’s acolytes insist their man cannot be bought. “Romney wants the ring of power. He wants it so bad,” says Doug Wead, a Paul senior adviser. “Negotiating with Ron Paul is very difficult because he doesn’t want anything. If he got the ring, he would throw it into Mount Doom.”

Maybe so, but at 76, Paul is understandably concerned about the future of his movement. Aides say if Paul can’t win the nomination, four legislative priorities would top the Texas Representative’s wish list: deep spending cuts that lead to a balanced budget; the restoration of civil liberties; a commitment to reclaim the legislative branch’s right to declare war, which it abdicated to the executive branch in recent decades; and reforms that shore up the U.S. monetary system, such as an audit of the Federal Reserve or competing-currency legislation. Paul might also be enticed, says campaign chairman Jesse Benton, by the prospect of serving as a presidential adviser, a Cabinet position for someone in his orbit or “perhaps a vice presidency.”

Not for himself, but rather his son. Rand Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky and a Tea Party icon, is expected to launch his own White House bid in 2016. Being on the ticket now — or even being mentioned for it — would be a helpful step. Says one Paul adviser: “If you’re talking about putting Rand on the ticket, of course that would be worth delivering our people to Romney.”

Romney is unlikely to go for that. At the same time, Paul’s backers recognize that selling supporters on an alliance with Romney carries special risks, since Paul’s bond with his backers is predicated on his record of principled stands. A pact would have to be done “very cautiously,” says Benton. “We wouldn’t ask our people to do that if we worried they were just being co-opted or that we were in some way selling out.”

But it may soon be time for Paul’s army to decide if it wants to win or lose in the fall. “There’s clearly something going on between the two of them, and that’s a very good thing,” says David Adams, a Kentucky Tea Party strategist who helmed Rand Paul’s Senate primary campaign. “The main goal is stopping this lurch to the left. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul can go a long way toward healing what ails our nation.”

~~  Katy Steinmetz - TM ~~

WV Legislature: Magistrate Pay Still Topic of Discussion

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West Virginia Supreme Court Administrator Steve Canterbury says the pay raise issue for 38 county magistrates could come up in a special legislative session later this year.

The bill died in the final days of the regular legislative session.

The measure passed the House of Delegates and the state Senate Judiciary Committee but did not gain approval in the Senate Finance Committee.

Canterbury says the climate was not kind during the legislative session for anyone looking for pay raises.

“Even though in the scheme of things this was pretty minor,“ Canterbury said. “It was about 583-thousand (dollars). I’m not going to sneeze at that but that’s not a multi-million dollar raise for all state employees or something.“

Canterbury says he’s heard it could be part of a special session but that’s not certain.

The pay issue began when it was learned magistrates in four counties, Wetzel, Wyoming, Lewis and McDowell, would drop back into the lower pay category beginning next year because of a decrease in population.

The bill would have raised the pay of those magistrates and 28 others in smaller counties by $6,400 a year to equalize salaries no matter the population of a county.

The bill would have also provided raises for the magistrate staff members in those counties.

Canterbury says the state Supreme Court had the nearly $600,000 in its budget to cover the increase but couldn’t get the bill onto the Senate Finance Committee’s agenda.

Canterbury says magistrates in rural counties are required to do as much as magistrates in more populated counties.

He says in some cases it’s more because a magistrate in a smaller county may be on call every other week while a magistrate in a larger county may be on call once every 10 weeks.

“The idea of having a higher caseload in a county versus a lower caseload in another county—-while that’s true—- a magistrate has to be on duty certain hours and a certain time, whether anything comes through the door or not,“ Canterbury said.

Opponents say the magistrates have gotten several raises since 2003 and approval of the latest plan would have given them nearly $27,000 more in pay in the last nine years.

Some lawmakers were hoping to freeze the pay for the next year and study the caseload issue.

WV House of Delegates Welcomes Glenville State College Bluegrass Band

On Friday, February 24, 2012, House Majority Leader Brent Boggs welcomed a very special group to the Capitol.

Accompanied by Program Director Megan Darby and former Director Buddy Griffin, the Glenville State College Bluegrass Band performed “The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia.”

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Buddy Griffin, Glenville State College Bluegrass Band performing in the House Chambers


The House of Delegates also recognized the Glenville State College Bluegrass Music Degree Program, founders Buddy Griffin and John McKinney, program director Megan Darby, alumni and students of the program and the Glenville State College Bluegrass Band with a citation.

The Glenville State College Bluegrass Music Degree Program was the nation’s first bluegrass music degree program.

The Glenville State Bluegrass Band was a natural outgrowth of the Glenville State College Bluegrass Music Degree Program and consists of a core group of students who are enrolled in the certificate and/or degree programs and other students who wish to participate in the group.

“I am excited that the Glenville State College Bluegrass Band could play in the House Chambers for members and guests at the Legislature,” Boggs stated.

“This was a great way to showcase the band and the unique bluegrass degree program on the campus of Glenville State.”

Delegate Boggs applauded the band for their performance and was pleased the Legislature could recognize the band, the program and the visionaries who made both possible with the citation presentation.

G-Comm™: Hoppy’s Commentary - Cracker Decision Has Political Implications

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The news release from Shell Chemical announcing that it has chosen a site in western Pennsylvania for a giant ethane cracker plant reached my in box at 12:48 Thursday afternoon.

Seven minutes later, a release from the West Virginia Federation of Young Republicans arrived. “Tomblin botches cracker plant,“ read the headline.

By 1:37 PM, I had an advisory from the Bill Maloney campaign saying a statement from the Republican Gubernatorial candidate was on its way, but the Maloney official planted this seed: “Earl Ray Tomblin has failed to achieve his #1 goal.“

At 3:22 PM, Maloney was out with his statement: “This administration has done nothing to fix the fundamental problems that job creators face in West Virginia, but unfortunately West Virginia families continue to pay the price for the failures of the career politicians, special interests, and lobbyists in Charleston.“ Clearly, Maloney and the Republicans believe they have found themselves an issue.

Efforts by the Tomblin Administration to land the multi-billion dollar investment were well documented… perhaps too well documented considering the end result.

The press followed closely the progress of the bill providing a tax break for the cracker.

Media also reported in detail Tomblin’s trip to Houston to meet with Shell officials.

Press-friendly Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette was willing to talk with media, even when he didn’t have much, if anything, new to report.

Inevitably, expectations were raised. I got the feeling a few weeks ago that Tomblin’s people were trying to bring those expectations down a couple notches.

It was suggested that West Virginia could have some site specific issues that were difficult to resolve, and that notion was confirmed by Tomblin Thursday when he said the Hancock County site just wasn’t big enough. “They needed around 500 acres and the site they were looking at in West Virginia was more in the 250-acre range and they were going to have to buy additional property,“ Tomblin said.

Meanwhile, Burdette’s mantra over the last several weeks was that if the cracker were in Ohio or Pennsylvania, the project was so big that West Virginia would still benefit.

Still, the bell had been rung, so when Shell announced that West Virginia was NOT the pick, the news was disappointing for West Virginia and potentially politically damaging for Tomblin.

If West Virginia landed the facility, it would have been hailed as a major victory for the state and the Tomblin Administration. Tomblin might have been able to ride the cracker announcement to re-election this year.

But by the same token, now that the plant is going to Pennsylvania, Tomblin’s critics can paint it as a significant defeat.

I suspect, as Tomblin said, Shell’s decision has more to do with site issues than the state’s business climate or how hard Tomblin worked the deal, but the fact remains the cracker isn’t coming here.

This is how Maloney characterized it in his release: “For months, Earl Ray Tomblin has said that this was his number one priority as Governor. Well, he failed.“

It looks like Maloney has a sound bite for his future campaign speeches. It’s not as incendiary as his comment earlier this week that the Tomblin Administration and the Legislature would “pull down our pants to get a cracker,“ but it may have more staying power over the course of a long campaign.

Guitars, Getaways, Quilts, and Running – A Spring Mix at West Virginia State Parks March 23-25

Guitar Workshop at Twin Falls State Park

Kessinger, Ritchey, and Shafer return as instructors for the Twin Falls State Park Guitar Workshop.  The weekend focus is on instruction and includes guitar electronics and sound, chords, flat-picking, and licks. Combined sessions with all attendees and instructors include jam etiquette, stories, questions and answers and discussion. Individual instruction is also a key element during the weekend.

Robin Kessinger is one of the country’s leading flatpick guitarists. He’s been featured on PBS and BBS television, is a National Flatpicking Champion and has won multiple-state flatpicking contests, multiple times.  An accomplished guitarist, his passion is to teach and to pass on his heritage to others to preserve the music.

Robert Shafer has played guitar professionally since 1981 and also a multiple-time winner of National flatpicking contests as well as multiple-state contests, multiple times.  He has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry.  His talent on the electric guitar has also receives rave reviews from Guitar Play Magazine, The Washington Post, Vintage Guitar Magazine and others.

Jim Ritchey is a recording engineer, published songwriter and touring musician. His songs have been recorded and performed by numerous artists including Kenny Rogers, Jim Messina and B.W. Stevenson.

“There are few places a person will find three more qualified musicians and teachers than at Guitar Workshop at Twin Falls,” said Scott Durham, park superintendent.  “If you’re just learning guitar or have been playing for years, this weekend is a must.” A two-night package including meals and instruction is available. Call 304.294.4000.

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Massages, pedicures, and facials – Oh My! at North Bend State Park

The Women’s Getaway 2012 at North Bend State Park is girlfriend weekend.  Lee’s Studio provides a variety of spa treatments beginning Friday through Sunday.  Sessions and classes include the newest techniques in the art of make- up application. Dr. Alex De Souza returns to the weekend bringing his tips, tricks, and professional knowledge. His Anti- Aging Luncheon will teach participants, course by course, about super foods anyone can take advantage of to improve their health and appearance. Throughout the weekend, enjoy sessions and classes that will inspire your creativity and interests. Several classes will be offered, including scrapbooking, cooking instruction, new trends in fashion and cosmetics, and diverse exercise classes.

Thresa Prunty will be reviewing several books related to women, including a special discussion on “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. A beaded jewelry workshop from Treo Treasures is also scheduled.

Weekend packages include two nights lodging, meals and activities.  Spa treatments are an additional cost. Reservations are required by calling 304.643.2931. North Bend’s Quilters Spring Retreat begins on March 25 – 30, 2012.


8th Annual Mid-Ohio Valley Quilt Show at Blennerhassett Historical State Park

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park promises a grand display for its 8th Annual Mid-Ohio Valley Quilt Show. The Museum of Regional History, located in downtown Parkersburg, will showcase area quilts and wall hangings. Prizes will be awarded for “Best of Show” and “People’s Choice.“  The display is open to the public.  Along with the quilt show, a private collection of antique and toy sewing machines, handkerchiefs, quilt blocks, and red work will also be on display. To learn more about how to display textiles for the show or about the event, please call the park office at 304.420.4800.


“Run the Rock” 10K at Coopers Rock State Forest March 25, 2012

The Coopers Rock State Forest Challenge began in the 1970s as a five-mile event and was changed to the Run the Rock 10K in 1991. The race is run on the last Sunday in March to take advantage of the final weekend of spring that Coopers Rock State Forest is closed to vehicular traffic. The course starts at the forest entrance and follows a rolling course on a paved road through the overlook and picnic areas before returning to a downhill finish.

“Run the Rock” at Coopers Rock State Forest begins at 2:00 PM. Registration begins at noon and the cost is $25 on race day or $18 pre-registration. The event is organized and conducted at the forest by the Morgantown Road Runners/WV Track Club and is open to the public to participate. This is a rain or shine event. To register to “Run the Rock,” call 304.215.9271 or email “john.snodgrass@comcast.net”.

Upcoming Movies - 03.16.12

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21 Jump Street

Opens Friday, March 16, 2012 | Runtime: 1 hr. 50 min.

R - Drug Material, Crude and Sexual Content, Pervasive Language, Some Violence and Teen Drinking

When cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) join the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances to go under cover as high-school students. They trade in their guns and badges for backpacks, and set out to shut down a dangerous drug ring. But, as time goes on, Schmidt and Jenko discover that high school is nothing like it was just a few years earlier—and, what’s more, they must again confront the teenage terror and anxiety they thought they had left behind.

Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle

Director: Phil Lord

Genres: Action Comedy, Satire, Action, Comedy, Police Comedy

West Virginia Election Law Code Book Now Available for Download to Amazon Kindle

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The West Virginia Election Law codebook is now available to download on the Amazon Kindle and devices with the free Kindle application.

Click Here to Download from Amazon.com, where you can download the codebook to your Kindle or smartphone.

The Kindle edition of the codebook costs less than a dollar is searchable, and readers can leave bookmarks at important locations.

The new codebook, which was released in print in February, is also available for sale in its paper format in the Secretary of State’s Office. The cost is $25 per paper copy.

While the Kindle version of the codebook does not include all of the case law annotations provided in the hard copy, there are features that are exclusive to the Kindle version. The Kindle version includes the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as amended, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986 as amended, the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA/Motor Voter) of 1993 (as amended), and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 (as amended).

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Maloney Hammers Away at Tomblin

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney says Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has not done enough to create jobs in the state and has agreed more than not with the policies of President Barack Obama.

Maloney was a guest Tuesday on MetroNews Talkline. He repeated his post-legislative session theme that Tomblin did not introduce one bill that created jobs while at the same time jobs were leaving West Virginia.

“I counted during this last legislative session, we’ve lost over two-thousand jobs,“ Maloney said. “You go from cabinet makers to coal mines to power plants and add them all up——that’s not what we need. We need to be creating private sector jobs.“

Maloney says those jobs would come with comprehensive legal justice reform. He says the state should be helping small businesses more than the Shells of the world who are looking at developing a cracker plant.

“If we’d fix our courts and our tort reform issues we’d stand a lot better chance of getting a cracker than we would be in passing this huge bill that we just pull down our pants to get a cracker, when everybody should be getting the same tax breaks,“ Maloney said.

The Morgantown businessman was also critical of Governor Tomblin for not fighting Obamacare, saying Tomblin was complicit with the President.

“The federal government is in way too many things telling us what we need to buy what we don’t need to buy. We need to fight back Washington and President Obama and Earl Ray’s just not doing it,“ Maloney said. “I don’t care. I’m going to fight that guy. He’s gotta go.“

Maloney was also asked about the issue in Kanawha County where West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Mike Stuart is talking about a petition drive leading to a possible re-vote on table games. Maloney says it’s a Kanawha County issue but it is about accountability. He says if the owners of Mardi Gras Casino didn’t do what they promised five years ago then the re-vote is “something that needs to happen.“

When asked about the claims that jobs would be lost if the gambling expansion is overturned Maloney replied, “They were in business a long time before they had table games—-I think they’re blowing smoke.“

G-FYI™: West Virginia Shield Law

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On March 12, 2011 the West Virginia state legislature enacted H.B. 2159, adding §57-3-10, “Reporters’ Privilege,” to the Code of West Virginia. The statute, which was signed by Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in April and took effect June 10, extends a qualified privilege with few limitations to reporters seeking to protect confidential sources of information, supplementing existing state constitutional protection.

Under the law, reporters cannot be “compelled to testify in civil, criminal, administrative, or grand jury proceedings” without “the consent of the confidential source.” Reporters also cannot be compelled “to produce any information or testimony that would identify a confidential source” without the consent of the source. The privilege may be overcome, however, when the testimony “is necessary to prevent imminent death, serious bodily injury, or unjust incarceration.”

The statute defines a reporter as “a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood, or a supervisor, or employer of that person in that capacity.” The law also extends to student journalists, “provided that [the] student reporter at an accredited educational institution … meets all of the requirements of this definition, except that his or her reporting may not provide a portion of his or her livelihood.”

The West Virginia legislation also mandates that the section not be read “to limit any existing constitutional protections afforded any person under the United States or West Virginia Constitutions,” a provision which, in an April 06, 2011 report, the RCFP called “significant … in light of [West Virginia] courts’ general acceptance of the state Supreme Court’s articulation of a qualified reporter’s privilege in Hudok v. Henry.” In Hudok, 389 S.E.2d 188 (WV 1989), reporters claimed a privilege under the free press clause of the First Amendment and under Article II, Section 7 of the West Virginia Constitution to decline to answer questions or to divulge information obtained in the course of newsgathering. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia held “disclosure of a reporter’s confidential sources or news-gathering materials may not be compelled except upon a clear and specific showing that the information is highly material and relevant, necessary or critical to the maintenance of the claim, and not obtainable from other available sources.” The original draft of the shield law contained the Hudok test, but the House Judiciary Committee ultimately omitted that language.

Media and First Amendment advocates supported the law, but not without some skepticism. In an Editor’s Log blog post on The Parkersburg (W. Va.) News and Sentinel website, News and Sentinel Executive Editor Jim Smith wrote, “the bottom line is with a strong shield law, the public gets information that may be vital to it and its understanding of events of the day or government-related activities.” But Smith also expressed concern: “It will be interesting to see how effective the law is in practice. Unfortunately, there always seems to be a broad difference between the intent and spirit of a law and how it is actually followed.”

Student Press Law Center (SPLC) Director Frank LoMonte praised the student journalist provision of the bill in a blog post on the organization’s website on March 14, saying the bill would make West Virginia’s shield law among the strongest in the nation for student journalists. In a March 10 column in the Charleston, W.Va. Daily Mail, two days before the law passed, LoMonte encouraged the West Virginia Legislature to recognize student journalists as it considered the measure. “With the ranks of full-time salaried journalists shrinking, unpaid college students increasingly are providing the news coverage that communities rely on to stay informed. Student journalists assume all of the same risks and responsibilities that professionals do, and they should be entitled to all of the same protections,” he wrote.

The new shield law may be applied for the first time after the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the state’s highest court, held that a trial judge erred in ordering a newspaper to reveal the identities of anonymous sources and documents in a defamation suit. Lincoln Journal v. Hustead, No. 35734, 2011 W. Va. LEXIS 25 (W. Va. May 2, 2011)


In that case, The Lincoln (WV) Journal and individual reporters petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeals for a writ of prohibition to prevent Judge Jane Hustead from enforcing a September 14, 2010 order compelling them to reveal sources and newsgathering materials. Hustead’s order stemmed from a series of articles in The Lincoln Journal that alleged illegal campaign donations by the owner of a rival newspaper and other individuals to local candidates in 2008 primary elections. The reports cited several anonymous sources and Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney William J. “Jackie” Stevens II. The stories also referred to copies of the criminal complaints that had been submitted to the paper and to Stevens. The state’s high court ruled May 02 that the lower court “was required to separately identify each allegedly defamatory article with specificity, each source therein that the plaintiffs sought through discovery, and thereupon conduct for each article a separate Hudok analysis,” rather than analyze them all together.

Because the lower court review will be conducted after the new shield law is in place, it may benefit the newspaper. David Barnette, The Lincoln Journal’s lawyer and general counsel for the West Virginia Broadcasters Association, told the RCFP for a May 09 story that when the case undergoes further review, the newspaper may avoid the Hudok analysis if the court applies the new shield law, although the law allows the reviewing judge to consider the Hudok factors if he or she chooses. By applying the Hudok test, Barnette said, “The court can go beyond what the Legislature can do.”

Since West Virginia trial judge erred when she ordered a newspaper to reveal the identities of anonymous sources and documents in a defamation suit against the paper, the state’s highest court ruled differently.

Click to Read the Ruling

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia returned the case to the lower court, which must identify and analyze each allegedly defamatory statement and the confidential source who made the statement separately.

Cabell Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead failed to undertake this specific analysis when she ordered The Lincoln Journal to reveal anonymous sources referred to in a series of articles alleging that the owner of a rival newspaper and other individuals illegally contributed money to local candidates in the 2008 primary elections, the Supreme Court of Appeals in Lincoln Journal v. Hon. Jane F. Hustead, Judge.

Click for Additional Information

Billy Burke Book Signing to be Held at GSC

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Employees at the Robert F. Kidd Library at Glenville State College are hosting a book signing event on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM with local author Billy B. Burke.

Burke is a lifelong resident of Gilmer County who recently wrote and published his autobiography, Billy B. Burke: A Man of Many Hats..

The book tells the story of how a farm boy from Stouts Mills, West Virginia rose to become the Chairman of the influential House Finance Committee in the West Virginia Legislature, and the many interesting chapters of his life.

Burke is a 1977 graduate of GSC.

The book signing will take place in the main lobby of the library.. The event is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

Copies of Billy B. Burke: A Man of Many Hats will be available for sale.

For more information contact the GSC Robert F. Kidd Library at 304.462.4109.

OddlyEnough™: US Regional Dictionary Gets In Last Word As It Wraps Up Work

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The Dictionary of American Regional English has finally reached its final word - “zydeco” - as researchers wrap up almost 50 years of work charting the rich variety of American speech.

The dictionary’s official publication date is March 20 but lexicographers and word fans have been celebrating ever since its fifth and final volume emerged earlier this year.

“It truly is America’s dictionary,“ Ben Zimmer, a language columnist and lexicographer, told a Washington, D.C. news conference on Thursday.

He said when the final printed volume was delivered to its longtime editor, Joan Houston Hall, at a meeting of fellow dialect scholars: “There were audible gasps in the room.“

The Dictionary of American Regional English’s (DARE) 60,000 entries running from “A” to “zydeco,“ a style of Louisiana Cajun music, serve as a comprehensive sample of how American speech changes from region to region.

That space between sidewalk and curb? Depending on what part of the United States it is in, it can be called “parking,“ “devil’s strip,“ “swale,“ “parkway” or “tree lawn.“

Hall, who has headed the DARE project since 2000, said she was convinced fears that American English was becoming homogenized through television and mass media were unfounded.

“I don’t buy it. Yes, language changes at different rates and at different places,“ she said. “But most of the words among our family and friends that are regional we don’t even recognize as regional.“

Although the idea of a dictionary of American dialects had been around since the 1880s, the project did not take shape until 1962, when Frederick Cassidy, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was appointed editor.

The DARE project was based on interviews carried out in more than 1,000 communities from 1965 to 1970 by University of Wisconsin researchers.

They asked Americans about their ways of talking about kitchen implements, housing, animals, diseases, food, music and more.

For the next several decades, editors sifted the 2.3 million responses and a mass of written materials including newspapers, letters and diaries ranging from the Colonial period to the present.

The dictionary, published in five volumes by Harvard University’s Belknap Press and running to over 5,500 pages, includes words from about 70 languages, ranging from Bantu to Lithuanian to Choctaw. It retails for about $545.

Hall, who took over the project with Cassidy’s death in 2000, said the last volume took longer to complete, about 10 years, because of the wealth of materials that had become available online.

“We felt that there was so much of value we didn’t dare ignore it,“ she said at the news conference at the National Endowment for the Humanities, one of the book’s main sponsors.

Dictionary entries include “bealing” for an abscess, “bear claw” and “kolacky” for types of pastries, “calf rope” for surrender in children’s games, “dew poison” for a foot rash, “Lucy Bowles” for diarrhea, “rippet” for a disturbance or fight, and “pogonip” to describe a thick, cold fog.

West Virginia Schools Encouraged Celebrating the Arts in March

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West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple is encouraging schools across West Virginia to recognize the arts during March.

The month is designated as national Celebrate Theatre in Our Schools Month, Music in Our Schools Month, Dance in the Schools Month and Youth Art Month.

“As a community, we must more effectively serve the learning needs of each of our children,” Marple said. “Arts education, including music, dance, theater and fine arts, is a fundamental structure that allows us to do just that. Research clearly tells us that an arts-rich education is closely aligned to gains in math and reading, and improves cognitive ability, critical thinking and verbal skills.”

More than 50 percent of West Virginia public school students live in poverty and a large percentage of those students suffer from chronic stress that interferes with concentration.

Research shows that arts learning can improve not only concentration, but also motivation, confidence and teamwork.

“The arts are an important part of a well-rounded education for all students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “All of the arts – dance, music, theater, and the visual arts – are essential to preparing our nation’s young people for a global economy fueled by innovation and creativity and for a social discourse that demands communication in images and sound as well as in text.”

One school in West Virginia where the arts is flourishing is Wyoming East High School in Wyoming County.

Students are eager to become members of the theater program, started by teacher Benny Mills.

The Wyoming East theater team is an eight-time state champion and is among 4,000 theater artists and practitioners studying and competing this week through Sunday at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Chattanooga, TN.

“We are one of the largest high school programs in the state,” Mills said. “About one-fifth of our student body, 100 of 500 kids, participates, boys and girls equally. It has become part of our school culture.”

Theater performances in West Virginia take center stage in March during multiple area student competitions of the West Virginia Thespians. Students compete to qualify for the state thespian festival to be held in April in Charleston.

The international group has its origins in 1929 in West Virginia, where three educators created the organization for high school theatre students.

Today, Thespian Troupe No. 2 is still in operation at East Fairmont High School in Marion County. The organization now has 3,900 middle school and high school affiliates.

Music is the focus March 15 to 17 at the West Virginia Music Educators Conference in Morgantown, where about 300 music teachers will participate in professional development and more than 800 students will participate in band, chorus, orchestra, ensembles and soloist performances.

“When we expand strong arts programs in each and every school in West Virginia, we will be better able to serve the personal needs of students and close the achievement gap that has left many children behind,” Marple said. “The arts must be valued and supported for the role they can play in our schools.”

Upcoming Movies - 03.09.12

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John Carter

Opens Friday, March 09, 2012 | Runtime: 2 hr. 17 min.

PG-13 - Intense Sequences of Violence and Intense Sequences of Action

From Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes ‘John Carter’—a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). ‘John Carter’ is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church

Director: Andrew Stanton

Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

 

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Silent House

Opens Friday, March 09, 2012 | Runtime: 1 hr. 26 min.

R - Disturbing Violent Content and Terror

SILENT HOUSE is a uniquely unsettling horror thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen as Sarah, a young woman who finds herself sealed inside her family’s secluded lake house. With no contact to the outside world, and no way out, panic turns to terror to terror as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house.

Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens, Julia Taylor Ross, Adam Barnett, Haley Murphy

Director: Chris Kentis

Genres: Art House/Foreign, Horror, Suspense/Thriller

WV Record: Gilmer Sheriff Running for Magistrate with Dubious Educational Background

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WV Record Reports:
Despite having questionable educational qualifications, a candidate for magistrate in Gilmer County is on this May’s primary election ballot.

Four candidates—Carol Wolfe, Alton Skinner, Bill Stalnaker and Mickey Metz—are seeking the Democratic nomination for one of the two seats for magistrate. Wolfe currently holds one of the seats, and the other is open following the announcement of incumbent Bob Minigh he would not be seeking re-election.

Of the four candidates, three—Wolfe, Skinner and Stalnaker—all have at least a high school diploma or GED, the minimum educational qualifications required by state law to run for magistrate. Additionally, Wolfe has a bachelor’s degree from Glenville State College in social work, and a master’s degree from Marshall University in counseling.

Metz, the incumbent sheriff who is constitutionally barred from seeking a third successive term, provided the Gilmer Clerk’s Office a diploma he received on Nov. 23 from Adison High School. The diploma contains signatures of four people purporting to be AHS’ president, superintendent, secretary of the school board and principal.

According to the Better Business Bureau, AHS is a diploma mill located in West Hollywood, Calif. It grants diplomas and GEDs to anyone who scores a 70 percent or better on its equivalency test and pays a fee of $369.

Because it failed to respond to 65 of 69 complaints lodged against it and does not possess any sort of competency license, the BBB of Los Angeles gave AHS an “F.“ Most of the complaints lodged against AHS allege its diplomas or GEDs “are not accredited, and are of little or no value to the student” and AHS “fails to disclose that the diploma is not recognized by higher learning institutions, and is not verifiable by potential employers.“

The West Virginia Record attempted to get a comment from Clerk Jean Butcher as to why Metz was allowed to be on the ballot despite having questionable educational qualifications. When contacted, she declined a comment, and referred questions to Metz.

Among the reasons he chose to get a diploma from AHS rather than obtain a GED locally Metz said, was convenience. Because the hours he puts in as sheriff did not allow him the opportunity to devote to traditional classroom study, Metz said getting a diploma via AHS “was easier to do online.“

Also, Metz said he was pleased AHS’ diplomas are “internationally accredited.“ When asked who accredits AHS, Metz couldn’t immediately recall.

On its Web site, AHS says it is accredited by the International Accreditation Committee of Online Schools. Though it maintains Web site that gives general information about itself, IACOOS does not disclose its location or the names of its staff members.

Also, a toll-free telephone number listed on IACOOS’ Web site is not in service.

Nevertheless, Metz says he’s confident the degree he received from AHS qualifies him to run for magistrate. Aside from that, both his field work and in-service training as sheriff during the last seven years makes him a qualified candidate.

“I’ve taken a lot of classes via the sheriff’s department that are from places like WVU and Marshall that give you credit for the work you do,“ Metz said.

Metz, 48, a Glenville resident, will appear second on the ballot behind Wolfe, and ahead of Skinner and Stalnaker. The top two vote-getters will then face Republican Lori Rosenburg, a political newcomer, in November.

A native of Bartow, Fla., Rosenburg graduated in December with a bachelor’s in behavioral science from GSC.

~~  03.02.2012 7:50 AM By Lawrence Smith -Kanawha Bureau – WV Record  ~~

WV: The Legislature Today - March 01, 2012

Parkerburg News and Sentinel: Gilmer Sheriff Defends Credentials

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Parkerburg News and Sentinel Reports:

The Gilmer County Sheriff running for magistrate is defending his credentials after questions were raised regarding his education.

Gilmer County Sheriff Mickey Metz is running for magistrate. To do so he had to submit proof of a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.

According to Gilmer County Clerk Jean Butcher, Metz provided a high school diploma from Adison High School, an online high school. The diploma was issued to Metz, Nov. 21, 2011.

“That is the one he gave me,“ Butcher said.

According to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, a candidate for magistrate must have a high school diploma or an equivalent.

Metz, who is serving his second term as sheriff, said he is in full compliance with the requirements for a candidate for magistrate.

“My credentials have been sent to state department and looked at by attorneys and are well within compliance with West Virginia Code,“ Metz said.

Butcher said the only qualification to serve as sheriff is a candidate must be resident of the county.

West Virginia Secretary of State spokesman Jake Glance said he could neither confirm nor deny an investigation into Metz’s qualifications. Generally speaking, Glance said investigations become public through an indictment.

“Remember that we do not have arrest powers or prosecutorial powers,“ he stated in an email. “We conduct an investigation and then hand those findings off to a prosecuting attorney.“

“I can tell you right now there is nothing for them to investigate,“ Metz said.

According to its website, Adison offers a high school diploma package for $369. To receive the diploma, candidates are required to score a 70 or better on Adison’s high school equivalency test, a four-part test covering language, math science and social studies.

According to the Better Business Bureau website, there have been 67 complaints filed against Adison High School, including 28 that allege problems with its products and service. Among the complaints are allegations the high school diplomas or GEDs awarded by the school are not accredited and are of little or no value to the student.

Metz said his credentials, along with others, are globally recognized.

“I have been sheriff for eight years and have several different credits from different classes from other colleges that are globally and internationally recognized credentials,“ Metz said.

“I believe every voter in Gilmer County has the right to vote and make their own decision on who they want to be their elected officials and not have someone pushed on them,“ Metz added.

~~  By JODY MURPHY ~~

WV: The Legislature Today - February 29, 2012

G-LtE™: My Chuckle for The Day

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I want to share a funny story in the Glenville Democrat for Feb. 29 front page, lower right hand corner under Area Briefs” for those in the county who do not buy the weekly paper.

Below is quoted word for word:


The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department announced that several campaign signs have been removed from yards. Anyone caught stealing political campaign signs will be charged with Petit Larceny, a misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to $2,500 fine. The Sheriff’s Department asks that all political candidates please ask before placing signs on private property.


Hmmmmm. Let’s see, I can commit murder, buy, sell or use drugs, lie/steal, get caught driving drunk/drugs, commit rape, break into someone’s house, commit criminal/sexual acts with a minor, bully other students, give alcohol to minors and etc. and NOTHING happens. But….if I steal a political sign, I could get up to one year in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine.

What’s wrong with this picture???

~~  Author and Source on File ~~

WV Legislature: Kid Concussion Bill Advances

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Officials with the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission (WVSSAC ) would have to develop a policy to help protect kids from sports related concussions if a proposed bill gets final approval from the Legislature.

“There is no first down, there’s no touchdown, there’s no game worth the future health and safety of our children,“ Senate President Jeff Kessler said of the legislation on Wednesday’s MetroNews Talkline.

It started with research from Dr. Julian Bailes, the former Chairman of West Virginia University’s Department of Neurosurgery.  His studies showed the long term impacts of repeat concussions.

Even minor concussions for teenagers, Dr. Bailes found, can have severe effects later in life.

“While they’re (effects of concussions) monitored fairly closely now at the professional level and collegiate level, our high school kids, middle school kids, they wanted to make sure that there were adequate protocols in place to make sure that the coaches, the teachers, the folks that might be around that activity could see the signs,“ Senator Kessler said.

With this bill, it would take medical verification for a student to return to a game after a possible concussion.

The Senate approved the bill Tuesday.  It is now pending in the state House of Delegates with just more than a week to go until the end of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session.

The last day is Saturday, March 10, 2012.

Upcoming Movies - 03.02.12

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Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

Opens Friday, March 02, 2012 | Runtime: 1 hr. 26 min.

PG - Brief Mild Language

From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, an adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

Cast: Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, Betty White

Director: Chris Renaud

Genres: Animated, Family

 

 

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Project X

Opens Friday, March 02, 2012 | Runtime: 1 hr. 28 min.

R - Crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, drugs, drinking, pervasive language, reckless behavior and mayhem - all involving teens

Three anonymous high-school seniors decide to make their mark by throwing a party that no one will ever forget.

Cast: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Dax Flame, Kirby Bliss Blanton

Director: Nima Nourizadeh

Genres: Teen Movie, Comedy

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