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OddlyEnough™: Roane County Doctor Facing Charges After Having His Tongue Bitten Off

The Gilmer Free Press

A Roane County doctor/minister had part of his tongue bitten off but he is the one police are charging with assault.

He also faces separate charges of brutally beating a teenager at the church he operates in Spencer.

Dr. Kenneth Seen, age 52, of Spencer, WV was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of battery, assault and child abuse creating the risk of injury. Authorities believe he stuck his tongue in an elderly patient’s mouth, and the man then bit off a “significant” portion of Seen’s tongue.

The investigation began on September 18 when Yvonne Wright came to the State Police detachment in Spencer to report a doctor at Roane General Hospital had assaulted her father on August 31, said Sgt. F.L. Hammack.

John Shafer, age 77, a long-term patient at Roane General who suffered from dementia and Parkinson’s Disease, was transferred back to the Roane County hospital from Cabell Huntington Hospital after being treated for a broken hip, according to a complaint filed in Roane Magistrate Court.

He was confined to bed and immobilized at the time, Hammack said.

Hospital workers told Wright her father bit the tongue of his attending physician, identified as Seen. Wright said the nurses on duty cleaned blood from her father’s face and removed an item, which Hammack said was part of Seen’s tongue, from Shafer’s mouth.

Seen was treated at Roane General and later Charleston Area Medical Center’s General Hospital.

Shafer, who did not want to discuss the incident at the time, suffered no injuries in the ordeal. He died October 26.

Troopers obtained a search warrant for Seen’s medical records. Seen’s statement on the incident was included in the report.

Seen told physicians that Shafer motioned for him to come close, and then grabbed his tongue, pulling Seen closer to him. After that, the doctor’s “memory fades,“ according to the complaint.

“His statement claimed he just remembered pain and blood,“ Hammack wrote in the complaint.

Dr. Jason Fincham, an emergency room doctor who treated Seen’s injuries, told authorities he doctor had a “significant portion” of his tongue bitten off.

“When presented with Dr. Seen’s statement of how it happened, Dr. Fincham stated that it could not be true,“ Hammack wrote.

Fincham said for Seen’s account to be true, Shafer would have also bitten his own finger. Shafer showed no injury. Fincham said Shafer would not have been able to pick up any item, “let alone grab Dr. Seen’s tongue and hold on to it,“ the complaint said.

Nurses who tended to Shafer and Seen said Shafer was never aggressive toward them before or after the incident. He said the nurses all agreed that Shafer was not physically able to grab the doctor.

Seen apparently told CAMC doctors a different story about the matter, according to the complaint. Details of the differing story weren’t available.

“We started investigating and four search warrants later, all of the evidence suggests Dr. Seen’s account is untrue,“ Hammack said. “Dr. Seen placed his tongue in the victim’s mouth. There is no way Dr. Seen’s account is true.“

Seen was charged with battery, a misdemeanor punishable by no more than one year in jail and a fine of no more than $500.

Hammack said the alleged crime was sexual in nature but that there was no law on the books to cover that type of crime.

Seen also faces assault, battery and child abuse charges for an alleged incident that occurred October 07 at the church in Spencer where Seen is pastor.

Spencer police asked Hammack to look into the matter because the victim, a 14-year-old boy, is the son of a city employee.

The boy told Hammack that Seen picked him and his brother up to take them to church at the Christian Society of Roane County in Spencer. He said he was sitting on a ledge over the entrance and had his knife and cellphone when Seen told him to come down.

The teen said he complied but when he went back up to get his items that Seen grabbed him and threw him to the ground. He said Seen got onto his back and began punching him repeatedly.

Seen then allegedly took the boy to a back room of the church and shoved him against a refrigerator. The boy said Seen used a profanity and slapped him across the face.

Three other teens who witnessed the incident gave Hammack the same account. No other adults were around at the time of the incident.

Seen is the father of Adam K. Seen, age 25, and Jacob T. Seen, age 23, who both were sentenced in June to federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

The brothers admitted to having more than 600 images of child porn in their possession. Adam Seen worked as an information technology specialist for Roane County Schools before his arrest.

Hammack said the investigation is ongoing.

Kenneth Seen was free on bond Thursday.

Calls to Roane General Hospital were not immediately returned.

~~  Ashley B. Craig - Daily Mail   - 11.01.12~~

Ritchie Judicial Candidate Previously Cited For Conflicts Of Interest

The Gilmer Free Press

The WV Record Reports:


Prior to the current ethical violations leveled against him, records show several times in his nearly 30-year career, a Ritchie County attorney, and candidate for circuit judge, was warned about conflicts of interest in cases he handled.

In April, the Lawyer Disciplinary Board, the prosecutorial arm of the state Supreme Court, filed a six-count statement of charges against Ira M. Haught. The statement, which acts like an indictment for disciplinary purposes, accuses Haught, a sole practitioner in Harrisville, of, among other things, deceiving investigators as to whose interest he was representing in a property transfer in Doddridge County.

A review of Haught’s disciplinary file show that at least five times the Board cautioned Haught about the conflicts of interest in his cases. Two of those came very early in his practice, and centered on legal matters involving his father.

In fact, the first one resulted in formal disciplinary action, and a warning that has gone unheeded.


Three between 2001 and 2007

Most recently, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Court’s investigative arm, opened a complaint against Haught on September 06, 2007 at the request of Keith White, a St. Marys attorney. According to the complaint, Haught represented Allen R. Lacaria and Megan Smith in a real estate purchase contract that involved Earl and Lurri Craddock.

Apparently, Earl Craddock spoke with Haught about the contract before retaining White. Though he said a review of his appointment book and time records disputed that, Haught withdrew as Lacaria’s and Smith’s attorney after the matter came up in the course of the contract discussions.

In closing the complaint on January 31, 2008, Chief Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel Rachael L. Fletcher Cipoletti expressed concern about Haught “lack[ing] an appropriate and sufficient mechanism for conducting checks for conflicts of interest in his office.” Provided he could give proof within the next 30 days he instituted a way to check conflicts of interest, Cipoletti said ODC would not refer his case to the Board.

Two months prior to the complaint in the Lacaria-Smith-Craddock real estate case, William E. Edwards alleged Haught created a conflict of interest in taking his ex-wife, Janet, as a client in their divorce despite first speaking with him. According to his complaint, William first spoke with Haught about representing him in the divorce the previous January, but didn’t have enough money to retain him.

After he obtained the necessary funds, Haught told William to return, and he would file his divorce. Before he could do that, William says Janet retained Haught.

Despite having no notes or recollection of ever speaking with William, Haught, in response to the complaint, filed a motion to withdraw as Janet’s attorney. In closing the complaint on August 22, 2008, Cipoletti reminded Haught “of his obligation to perform appropriate conflict check procedures when accepting new clients” and warned him “that failure to do so in the future may result in appropriate disciplinary action.”

More than six years earlier, John W. Martin of Waverly accused Haught of failing to timely disclose a potential conflict of interest in defending him in a property damage lawsuit filed in 2000 by Drilco Oil Products in Wood Circuit Court. When Drilco refused to cap a well on property he purchased, Martin removed the well’s pumping unit, and placed a barricade around the well.

After Judge George Hill ruled in Drilco’s favor following a one-day bench trial on October 25, 2001, Martin the following December filed his complaint against Haught. In it, he alleged Haught neglected the case, failed to return phone calls and omitted telling him he received royalty payments from a leasehold interest Drilco had in Gilmer County.

In response to Martin’s complaint, Haught admitted to receiving the royalty payments from Drilco’s Gilmer County interest. However, he added that he completely explained that to Martin prior to the trial, and it did not effect his representation of him.

Though it did determine Haught receiving royalties from Drilco while fighting against the company in court a conflict of interest, the Board’s investigative panel said it was “limited in nature” and Martin was not harmed by it. However, in closing the complaint on March 27, 2003, Allan N. Karlin, the panel’s chairman, warned Haught about potential conflicts, and encouraged him to obtain waivers in writing to avoid misunderstandings.


Two Involving Dad

A decade earlier, Haught, while serving as the county prosecutor, apologized for his behavior in a case involving his father, Warren.

According to the complaint, Haught on August 29, 1991, moved to dismiss a speeding ticket against Warren in Ritchie Magistrate Court. When the magistrate’s assistant refused to accept his motion without specifying the reason why, Haught wrote on the form “because I want to.”

Later, he said then-Judge Sam White said he would not appoint special prosecutors to cases in magistrate court, and the magistrates informed him if a prosecutor failed to appear for a hearing on misdemeanor a case, they would not hesitate to dismiss it. Along with his apology, Haught assured the Board should a potential conflict arise, he would disqualify himself from the case, and seek the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Two years after he was admitted to the Bar, Jeannette E. Kincaid of Wheeling filed a complaint against Haught accusing him of helping his brother, Barry, to prepare “deeds and other transfers to defraud her and her creditor rights against the brother’s property.” According to the complaint, Kincaid obtained a judgment against Barry on June 17, 1983.

In response to Kincaid’s complaint, Haught admitted he made the transfers, but at the request of Warren. The transfers, he said, were conducted to “‘clean up some loose ends remaining from the [business] merger,’ of the family businesses.”

According to the complaint, a subsequent lawsuit was filed by one of the banks that held the note to some of the property. Because of an apparent conflict he had by representing Warren while serving as a bank trustee, Haught was named as a co-defendant.

In closing the complaint on November 04, 1988, the Board determined there was insufficient evidence to prove Haught committed fraud by transferring the property. However, because he committed a technical conflict of interest in helping his father do it while serving as the bank’s trustee, the Board admonished him for his actions, and warned him “to avoid future violations of ethical rules.”

A hearing on the statement was tentatively scheduled for October 31. However, it was continued on a motion by Haught so his new attorney could become familiar with the case.

Previously, Haught was represented by former Wood County Prosecutor Ginny A. Conley. Now, he is represented by Ancil Ramey, a former Court Clerk, now with Steptoe and Johnson.

In Tuesday’s general election, Haught, age 53, a Republican, is seeking to fill the unexpired term of Judge Robert Holland, who died two years ago. Former Pleasants County Prosecutor Tim Sweeney, age 55, who was appointed to fill the vacancy by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, is his Democratic opponent.

The Third Judicial Circuit includes Pleasants, Ritchie and Doddridge counties.

A hearing has been rescheduled for December 05 and 06 at ODC’s office in Kanawha City.

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals case number 12-0528

~~  Lawrence Smith - WV Record  ~~

GSC Hosting West Virginia Marching Band Invitational - 11.03.12 - This Saturday

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville State College’s Ike & Sue Morris Stadium will be filled with the sound of music on Saturday, November 03, 2012.

That will be the site of the inaugural West Virginia Marching Band Invitational (WVMBI) sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) and Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Glenville State College for this statewide marching band invitational. The response from high schools around the state has been phenomenal, and we know that this program can continue to grow,“ said the Commissioner.

Twenty-seven high school marching bands with approximately fifteen-hundred musicians, color guards, twirlers, majorettes and drum majors from across the state will be performing at the first WVMBI.

Competing bands will be organized into four classes (A-4A). These classes will be grouped into two divisions (A and 2A in Division II and 3A and 4A in Division I). Bands will be organized into classes based on school size, not band size.

Awards will be given to schools for performance within their respective classes, divisions, and overall. Both divisions will have a Division Grand Champion who will be eligible for Overall Grand Champion.

The Overall Grand Champion and First and Second Runners-Up will receive cash prizes. This is one of the largest invitational in the state and the only statewide invitational.


The bands competing in Division I are:

•  Brooke
•  Cabell Midland
•  Capital, Elkins
•  Greenbrier East
•  Hampshire County
•  Parkersburg
•  Princeton
•  St. Albans


Division II bands include:

•  Bluefield
•  Gilmer County
•  Harman
•  Liberty-Harrison
•  Magnolia
•  Nicholas County
•  Phillip Barbour
•  Poca
•  Ravenswood
•  Richwood
•  Ritchie County
•  Roane County
•  Scott
•  Sherman
•  Sissonville
•  Tygarts Valley
•  Valley-Wetzel
•  Wahama


The GSC Marching Band will be an integral part of the festival.

The GSC Drum Line and the entire GSC Marching Band will be performing at 2:45 PM.

Members of the band will serve as hosts for each of the high school bands, allowing the college students to talk with the high school students about college, music education, and their experiences at GSC.

The Glenville State students will, where possible, be paired with their high school alma maters.

“The GSC Department of Fine Arts is very appreciative of Commissioner Smith’s dedication to this great event and for the opportunity to host. This is a wonderful opportunity for the music students of West Virginia. It is also a fantastic learning opportunity for the GSC Music Majors as they will be with the bands all day and will ‘wear many hats’ the day of the event to help make sure it flows and is a success” stated Lloyd Bone, GSC Assistant Professor of Music, Marching Band Director, and Fine Arts Department Chair.

The WVMBI is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM and last until approximately 7:30 PM.

At 6:30 PM there will be an all bands finale.

The awards presentation will begin at 6:45 PM with West Virginia First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin presenting the awards to the winning bands and individuals.

The WVMBI will also help promote the division’s educational ‘VH1 Save the Music Foundation’ program which provides free music instruments to middle schools throughout West Virginia.

“One of the most important missions we have at the Division of Culture and History is to encourage our young West Virginians to appreciate and participate in the arts. We want them to know the personal satisfaction they can find in discovering their own creative spirits and to become lifelong supporters of the arts.

I believe that it is vital for us to encourage young students to find an art form that they enjoy. Studies show that students with arts background are more confident and have more self-discipline. These traits, which help improve their overall scores and commitment to education, are invaluable tools for their future success. More than that, a love of art – whether it is performance or visual art – enhances a person’s appreciation of their environment and the world,“ said Reid-Smith.

Admission for the event is $6.00 for ages 12 and up and $3.00 for children 11 and younger.

The official West Virginia Marching Band Invitational program, featuring photos of all high school bands and the GSC Band, will available for be $4.00.

For more information about the 2012 West Virginia Marching Band Invitational including the performance schedule visit www.wvculture.org/agency/wvmbi/2012wvmbi.html or call Bone at 304.462.6341.

Gilmer County Recreation Center: Bluegrass Sing - 11.10.12

The Gilmer Free Press

The GSC Bluegrass Band will be performing at the Gilmer County Recreation Center on Saturday November 10, 2012.

Doors will open at 5:00 PM.

The band will play from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM.

Food will be prepared on the grill and be available for purchase.

There will also be drawings for door prizes.

Come on out and enjoy the evening with us.

All proceeds will go to the Gilmer County Recreation Center for general cost, repairs, and maintenance.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

Any questions regarding the event can be made to Lisa K Smarr by calling 304.266.0020.

G-Comm™: Hoppy’s Commentary - Storm Throws Campaigns a Curve

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The final days before an election are critical, especially in close races.  Candidates make their final, frenzied push while voters cast their ballots through early voting or make up their minds for Election Day.

However, Hurricane Sandy has thrown a curveball into this election.

The historic storm has blanketed large swaths of the state (particularly the eastern mountains) in heavy snow, and the snow continues to fall.  As of Tuesday, an estimated quarter-million power company customers were without electricity. 

Roads are treacherous; many schools and businesses are closed.

No doubt tens of thousands of West Virginians are more worried about the electricity than the election. Candidates will have trouble getting the attention of voters in the hardest-hit communities.

A dent in turnout would hurt Democrats more than Republicans. Democrats have a decided edge in registration and a large turnout typically helps Democratic candidates pull ahead of their Republican challengers.

Governor Tomblin has suspended his campaign activities because of the storm, but perhaps ironically, he’s in the media far more now than he was before.  He’s been all over radio and television (even the Weather Channel) with storm information.

And it’s certainly appropriate for the state’s Governor to take the lead during times like these.

It will be interesting to see how voters respond.

Some voters may see Tomblin as being “in charge” during a time of crisis.  Voters tend to migrate toward leaders, men and women who step up and take responsibility when there are challenges.

However, this is the second time in four months that West Virginia has been hit by a devastating storm.  The June derecho left thousands of West Virginians frustrated over how long it took to restore electricity and basic services.

If it’s a tough slog back to normalcy this time, voters could take it out on the Governor.  It won’t be the Governor’s fault if the power is not back on by Election Day, but his name is the one on the ballot. 

That’s the other side of the double-edged sword of responsibility during a crisis.

Political candidate appearances are typically associated with smiles and handshakes.  After all, campaigns are supposed to be about optimism and the future. 

That’s a tougher sell right now, since thousands of West Virginians will spend the time between now and Election Day cold, wet and tired.

Upcoming Movies - 11.02.12

The Gilmer Free Press

Flight

Opens Friday, November 02, 2012 | Runtime: 2 hrs. 18 min.

R - Intense Action Sequence, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Language and Sexuality/Nudity

Commercial airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) has a problem with drugs and alcohol, though so far he’s managed to complete his flights safely. His luck runs out when a disastrous mechanical malfunction sends his plane hurtling toward the ground. Whip pulls off a miraculous crash-landing that results in only six lives lost. Shaken to the core, Whip vows to get sober—but when the crash investigation exposes his addiction, he finds himself in an even worse situation.

Cast: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, Melissa Leo

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Genres: Drama

 

 

The Gilmer Free Press

Wreck-It Ralph

Opens Friday, November 02, 2012 | Runtime: 1 hr. 41 min.

PG - Some rude humor and mild action/violence

Arcade-game character Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is tired of always being the “bad guy” and losing to his “good guy” opponent, Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer). Finally, after decades of seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides to take matters into his own hands. He sets off on a game-hopping trip to prove that he has what it takes to be a hero. However, while on his quest, Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade.

Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk

Director: Rich Moore

Genres: Animated, Comedy, Family

 

 

The Gilmer Free Press

The Man with the Iron Fists

Opens Friday, November 02, 2012 | Runtime: 1 hr. 36 min.

R - Language, Brief Drug Use, Bloody Violence and Strong Sexuality

In 19th-century China, a stranger (RZA) settles in a jungle village and becomes its blacksmith. Radical tribal factions force him to fashion elaborate tools of destruction, and the clans’ conflict soon erupts into a full war. Knowing he must take action, the blacksmith channels an ancient energy to transform himself into a human weapon. Fighting beside iconic heroes, the blacksmith harnesses this incredible power to defend his adopted people from an army of soulless villains.

Cast: Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, RZA, Cung Le, Byron Mann

Director: RZA

Genres: Action/Adventure

Trillium 2013: Call For Submissions

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The Trillium, GSC’s literary arts journal, is open for submissions for the 2013 issue.

All GSC students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members are invited to submit visual art, poetry, fiction, or song lyrics.

The deadline for submissions is December 07, 2012.

All submissions should be sent as an attachment (.doc, .rtf, or .pdf) to “Trillium@Glenville.edu”.

All submissions should include an official Trillium submission form, sent as an attachment along with the work.

Copies of this form can be found at www.glenville.edu/life/trillium.php, or by request from “Trillium@glenville.edu”.


We are looking forward to viewing your creative work and we hope that you will be able to join us in the spring for our annual Trillium reading!

To those submitting lyrics, we hope you will perform your song at the reading as well!

We hope you’re as excited as we are,

Megan-Lynnette Rollins
Editor

GSC Theatre: Night of The Living Dead - This Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

The Gilmer Free Press

GSC Hosting West Virginia Marching Band Invitational - 11.03.12

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville State College’s Ike & Sue Morris Stadium will be filled with the sound of music on Saturday, November 03, 2012.

That will be the site of the inaugural West Virginia Marching Band Invitational (WVMBI) sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) and Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Glenville State College for this statewide marching band invitational. The response from high schools around the state has been phenomenal, and we know that this program can continue to grow,“ said the Commissioner.

Twenty-seven high school marching bands with approximately fifteen-hundred musicians, color guards, twirlers, majorettes and drum majors from across the state will be performing at the first WVMBI.

Competing bands will be organized into four classes (A-4A). These classes will be grouped into two divisions (A and 2A in Division II and 3A and 4A in Division I). Bands will be organized into classes based on school size, not band size.

Awards will be given to schools for performance within their respective classes, divisions, and overall. Both divisions will have a Division Grand Champion who will be eligible for Overall Grand Champion.

The Overall Grand Champion and First and Second Runners-Up will receive cash prizes. This is one of the largest invitational in the state and the only statewide invitational.


The bands competing in Division I are:

•  Brooke
•  Cabell Midland
•  Capital, Elkins
•  Greenbrier East
•  Hampshire County
•  Parkersburg
•  Princeton
•  St. Albans


Division II bands include:

•  Bluefield
•  Gilmer County
•  Harman
•  Liberty-Harrison
•  Magnolia
•  Nicholas County
•  Phillip Barbour
•  Poca
•  Ravenswood
•  Richwood
•  Ritchie County
•  Roane County
•  Scott
•  Sherman
•  Sissonville
•  Tygarts Valley
•  Valley-Wetzel
•  Wahama


The GSC Marching Band will be an integral part of the festival.

The GSC Drum Line and the entire GSC Marching Band will be performing at 2:45 PM.

Members of the band will serve as hosts for each of the high school bands, allowing the college students to talk with the high school students about college, music education, and their experiences at GSC.

The Glenville State students will, where possible, be paired with their high school alma maters.

“The GSC Department of Fine Arts is very appreciative of Commissioner Smith’s dedication to this great event and for the opportunity to host. This is a wonderful opportunity for the music students of West Virginia. It is also a fantastic learning opportunity for the GSC Music Majors as they will be with the bands all day and will ‘wear many hats’ the day of the event to help make sure it flows and is a success” stated Lloyd Bone, GSC Assistant Professor of Music, Marching Band Director, and Fine Arts Department Chair.

The WVMBI is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM and last until approximately 7:30 PM.

At 6:30 PM there will be an all bands finale.

The awards presentation will begin at 6:45 PM with West Virginia First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin presenting the awards to the winning bands and individuals.

The WVMBI will also help promote the division’s educational ‘VH1 Save the Music Foundation’ program which provides free music instruments to middle schools throughout West Virginia.

“One of the most important missions we have at the Division of Culture and History is to encourage our young West Virginians to appreciate and participate in the arts. We want them to know the personal satisfaction they can find in discovering their own creative spirits and to become lifelong supporters of the arts.

I believe that it is vital for us to encourage young students to find an art form that they enjoy. Studies show that students with arts background are more confident and have more self-discipline. These traits, which help improve their overall scores and commitment to education, are invaluable tools for their future success. More than that, a love of art – whether it is performance or visual art – enhances a person’s appreciation of their environment and the world,“ said Reid-Smith.

Admission for the event is $6.00 for ages 12 and up and $3.00 for children 11 and younger.

The official West Virginia Marching Band Invitational program, featuring photos of all high school bands and the GSC Band, will available for be $4.00.

For more information about the 2012 West Virginia Marching Band Invitational including the performance schedule visit www.wvculture.org/agency/wvmbi/2012wvmbi.html or call Bone at 304.462.6341.

GSC Theatre: Night of The Living Dead - 10.31.12 - 11.02.12

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Recreation Center/GSC Bluegrass Band - 11.10.12

If you missed the concert for the GSC Bluegrass Band, we have you covered.

The Bluegrass Band will be performing again on November 10, 2012 at the Gilmer County Recreation Center.

Doors will open at 5:00 PM and the band will be play from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.

It is a great way to spend a Saturday night.

The Gilmer Free Press
Members of the GSC Bluegrass Band
(L-R) Robbie Mann, Toni Doman, Jordan Young, Laiken Boyd,
Ryan Spangenberg, and Richie Jones


Admission for the concert is $5.00 per person, $8.00 for two tickets, and free for children under five.

This is going to be a fantastic night.

Outside under a tent you will be able to purchase, hot off the grill, Italian pepper/onion sausage sandwiches, chips, and a drink before and during the concert.

The first 25 people through the door will receive a small gift from the Recreation Center.

Come out and enjoy an evening of music, and some great food.

It is quickly becoming an evening you won’t want to miss.

Lisa Smarr – Director 304.266.0020

GSC Alum Presenting Artwork at RFK Library - 10.26.12 - Today

The Gilmer Free Press

Joseph Pettit, a 1976 Glenville State College graduate, will be presenting his oil paintings in front of the GSC Robert F. Kidd Library on Friday, October 26, 2012 from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. This showcase is one of many planned activities for the 2012 Homecoming Week.

“Homecoming is a great time for our current and past students to learn more about the artistic accomplishments of a GSC alumnus! Be sure to enter your name in the drawing to win one of Joseph’s beautiful paintings,“ said GSC Staff Librarian Virginia ‘Ginny’ Yeager.

Pettit began painting fifteen years ago but says he has really been ‘pushing the brush’ pretty hard during the last ten years. Before graduating from GSC, he served two years in the United States Army. Pettit is retired from twenty-five years of service in the saw mill industry after teaching for ten years prior. He resides in Sutton, West Virginia (Braxton County).

You can see examples of his artwork at www.alliedartistswv.org/art-gallery.html.

In the case of adverse weather, the show will be moved to the first floor of the GSC RFK Library. For more information, contact Yeager at “Virginia.Yeager@glenville.edu” or 304.462.6164.

Final Farmers’ Market of the 2012 Season

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The Gilmer County Farmers’ Market will hold its final market of the 2012 growing season on Saturday, October 27, 2012.

Vendors invite everyone to come out and load up on the final pickings of the year—squash, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, yams—and, of course, Halloween pumpkins.

Crafters will be offering special end-of-season deals as well.

Start your Christmas shopping now!

The market is open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at 720 North Lewis Street (Adjacent to Gilmer County Senior Center) in Glenville, WV.

October Square Dance in Glenville - 10.26.12 - This Evening

The Gilmer Free Press

There is a square dance Friday, October 26, 2012 at the Gilmer County Recreation Center.

The Glenville State College Bluegrass Band will be playing toe tapping dance tunes and one of West Virginia State Folk Festival’s favorite dance callers; Mack Samples will be calling four couple set square dances.

Doors open at 6:00 PM.

Dancing will kick off at 7:00 PM.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students.

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer County Extension Service will be providing refreshments.

These dances are beginner friendly. Caller Mack Samples stated, “These old dances are simple, you can learn them in no time. Everybody knows them.

That’s what you do.“ If you used to square dance but haven’t in a long time Mack Samples assures everyone that these “square figures haven’t changed much.”

The Glenville State College Bluegrass Band is believed to be Glenville’s “best kept secret.” They enjoy playing locally and can be found at the Pioneer Grille regularly. The Glenville State College Bluegrass Program is the world’s first four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in bluegrass music.

The Gilmer Free Press


On Friday October 26th their music is bound to have everyone up and square dancing in no time.

Glenville square dances are part of “The Mountain Dance Trail Project” a new cultural tourism initiative of Augusta Heritage Center of Davis and Elkins College.

The Mountain Dance Trail promotes and connects old-time square dance communities throughout the state. People can participate in or just witness an authentic West Virginia tradition: mountain-style square dancing to live string band music.

The Gilmer Free Press


A full schedule of square dances throughout the state is available in the Mountain Dance Trail brochure and online at www.mountaindancetrail.org or by calling 304.637.1349.

Mark your calendar for a square dance on Friday November 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Sutton Community Building.

This square dance is hosted in part by the Gilmer County Economic Development Association and West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

GSC’s West Virginia Veterans’ Legacy Project Photography Exhibit Hangs in Fine Arts Gallery

Glenville State College’s West Virginia Veterans’ Legacy Project’s photography exhibit, ‘A Tradition of Service,‘ is now on display in the GSC Fine Arts Gallery.

This stunning thirty-six-piece show made its debut at Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia where it hung in the baggage return area for a month.

“It has been an excellent exhibit that has had many positive comments! I know that many of our staff and travelers found it very interesting and enjoyable. Yeager Airport was proud to be the host of the exhibit’s debut,“ said Rick Atkinson, Yeager Airport Director.

The Gilmer Free Press
Medal of Honor recipient Woody Wilson(right) of Marion County West Virginia
speaks at the opening of The West Virginia Veterans’ Legacy Project
photo exhibit at Yeager Airport.


The show primarily features photos of living veterans from World War II and through subsequent conflicts up until the present.

The photos were taken by award-winning professional photographer Mark Romano, a GSC alum. Veterans from the West Virginia Veteran’s Nursing Facility in Clarksburg, the VA Hospital in Beckley, and numerous other regions of the state are featured in the show.

“I have been all over this world and have seen many tributes which were all great. I went to Yeager Airport to see this exhibit and must say that this is absolutely the most honoring display I have ever seen. Thank you for what you are doing to honor these heroes,“ said Eric Grandon of Ovapa (Clay County), West Virginia.

The grand opening of ‘A Tradition of Service’ in the GSC Fine Arts Gallery will be held on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 5:00 PM. Music will be provided by George Daugherty (The Earl of Elkview and The Duke of Dunbar), a well-known West Virginia musician and veteran who is participating in The West Virginia Veterans’ Legacy Project. Photographer Mark Romano will also be in attendance. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is open to the public.

The project’s first book Heroes Among Us, a collection of photographs, both new and old, with succinct vet quotes and short stories will be also be available for the first time at the November 05, 2012 event. The book will normally sell for $20 but will be sold for just $10 at this grand opening event.

Also featured outside the gallery will be a traveling display panel which will include photos, text, and a video loop about the project. This display will be available for smaller venues and spaces such as business lobbies, city halls, veteran meeting places, and festivals around the state that would like to feature The West Virginia Veterans’ Legacy Project.

The photo exhibit will hang in the GSC Fine Arts Gallery through December. The gallery is open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Monday through Friday and one hour prior to all special events in the Fine Arts Building.

‘A Tradition of Service’ is scheduled for a stop at the Beckley Veterans Administration Hospital in early 2013. The traveling photo exhibit will be available at no cost to museums, art galleries, colleges, and all other appropriate venues.

For more information about the GSC West Virginia Veterans Legacy Project, visit www.glenville.edu/veterans or contact: Baber at “Bob.Baber@glenville.edu” or 304.462.4125 or Project Leader Jason Gum at “Jason.Gum@glenville.edu” or 304.462.6163.

West Virginia’s Poor Feel the Pinch: ‘It’s A Choice: Your Medicine or Your Food’

Inequality is one of the biggest problems in America, but is rarely mentioned during the campaign.


The Guardian from United Kingdom travelled to Richie County, West Virginia to see how residents think poverty plays in the election.

The Gilmer Free Press


In a disused supermarket stacked high with mattresses, wardrobes, clothes, secondhand fridges, toys and even a vinyl copy of the soundtrack from Grease, a former postal worker and a part-time insurance broker are fighting America’s dirty little secret: poverty.

Rose Hart and Diane Reineke run Appalachian Outreach, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to help those “who fall through the cracks” in West Virginia, both one of the most beautiful and one of the most impoverished states in America.

With limited funds, a handful of volunteers and a van with 194,000 miles on the clock they organize drop-offs for people too poor to buy toothpaste. Last Christmas one of their organizers asked a child what he wanted for Christmas only to be told that he wanted a blanket to keep out of the cold.

“We never finished the war on poverty that was started in the 1960s”, said Hart as she describes how the organization operates in half the counties of West Virginia. In some, the run-down coal towns of the south, median incomes are $16,000, barely a third of the US average. Hart says the real unemployment rate is well above 20%.

Asked how West Virginia has coped with the recession, she replied: “There wasn’t much here to start with and it’s getting worse.“

Poverty and inequality were supposed to big issues in this year’s campaign. The growing gulf between rich and poor became a hot issue in 2011 as a result of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the latest official figures show things getting worse, not better. Of the 34 rich-country members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, only Chile, Mexico and Turkey are more unequal.

But for all president Barack Obama‘s rhetoric over taxing the 1% or the brief firestorm that followed the disparaging remarks Mitt Romney made about the 47% he claimed “pay no income tax”, many feel the plight of America’s poor is being ignored.

Martin Gilens, politics professor at Princeton University, said: “Both parties are highly dependent on affluent donors to fund their campaigns. Neither party has seen it as a particularly advantageous issue to push. That’s why inequality has pretty much never been an issue either the Democrats or the Republicans has embraced in this country.“

The share of national income of the richest 1% more than doubled between 1980 and 2008, from 8% to 18%. They make an average of $1.3m in after-tax income, while the poorest 20% take home $17,700.

Richard Freeman, economics professor at Harvard, said: “It’s clearly a problem. Even conservatives would see that if the trend were to continue it would be devastating. Imagine the trend going on for another decade or two. Most people would say that would be dangerous”.

Already, the risks to the American economy have become apparent. Stagnating real incomes in the three decades leading up to the financial crash of 2007 left many U.S. citizens increasingly hooked on debt. Robert Frank, economics professor at Cornell University says American corporations have forgotten Henry Ford’s insight: workers need to be paid wages high enough for them to buy the goods they are producing.

West Virginia, the U.S.‘s second poorest state after Mississippi, has always struggled. The coal mining industry has slashed jobs as it has gone high tech, the steel industry is gone and its mountainous terrain presents physical obstacles to doing business. But in this recession it has been hit yet again.

While Romney pledges to cut entitlements, people on a minimum wage of $7.65 an hour struggle to meet even their most basic needs. At the Bread Basket, a drop-off point for Appalachian Outreach in Ritchie County, WV, people line up for food parcels. Grits, dried pasta, tinned food, basic necessities for those whose money runs out at the end of the month.

Annie Owens has been organizing the drop-off for 28 years and says now is the worst time she can remember. She has had to restrict the handout to the elderly and disabled in order to cope with the demand, “People put their pride aside and come and get it”, she said.

One of those collecting a food parcel, pensioner Barbara Smith, said: “It’s important to us. It helps us go from month to month. You have to make up your mind whether it’s your medicine or your food”.

Asked whether poverty was an issue in the election for America’s politicians, Owens was emphatic. “This is not an issue for them. If we tell them this is going on they don’t believe us. They think we are hillbillies that this is our choice that this is the way we want to live. But often it’s not choice; it’s not the way people want to live our lives. They forget about the small people.“

For some life is getting better. Fracking, the controversial method for producing natural gas, is creating jobs. Pipelines too are being built across the mountainous terrain. There are jobs blowing the tops off mountains for coal. But the majority of these jobs are short term, low paid and benefit free. Once the job is done, there is nothing to fall back on.

Hart worries about the environmental impact of allowing energy firms to rip up West Virginia’s stunning landscape. “What do you do for tourism when you blow up a mountain top? People want jobs and there’s nothing else,“ she said.

Freeman, Gilens and Frank said there were policies that could help: full employment, changes to the tax code to make it more progressive; much greater investment in education; reform of campaign financing to break the stranglehold of rich donors.

Obama’s healthcare reform apart, there has been little evidence that America’s political class is interested in this sort of agenda. Hart said she raised the plight of the people she helps with Congressman David McKinley, a West Virginia Republican.

She said his response was to say they should get a job. “He is totally clueless,“ she said.

Click H E R E to Watch the Video


~~  Guardian - United Kingdom ~~

G-Comm™: Movies and Politics: Truth in Fiction

The Gilmer Free Press

“Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectful,
and give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”—George Orwell

With Election Day right around the corner, the propaganda machines are busily spinning political webs with which the candidates can lure voters. However, no matter how badly Americans might want to believe that those running for office—especially the ones we’re rooting for—are telling us the truth, truth and politics do not make good bedfellows.

Lies, corruption and cheating have long been hallmarks of the American political scene, as our nation’s history over the last 50 years reveals (which saw one president resign and another one impeached). Unfortunately, the rest of the picture is no more pleasant. The nation is drowning in debt, crippled by a slowing economy, besieged by endless wars and a military industrial complex intent on starting new ones, riddled with corrupt politicians at every level of government, suffering from dismal literacy scores despite the fact that we spend outrageous sums on education, and on and on. Despite this, the powers-that-be—the corporations and other members of the moneyed elite—are spending vast amounts of money in an effort to persuade us to buy their particular “product”—the “candidates”—on Election Day.

Yet nothing taking place on Election Day will alleviate the suffering of the American people. The government as we have come to know it—corrupt, bloated and controlled by big-money corporations, lobbyists and special interest groups—will be largely unchanged. And “we the people”—overtaxed, overpoliced, overburdened by big government, underrepresented by those who should speak for us and blissfully ignorant of the prison walls closing in on us—will continue to trudge along a path of misery.

With roughly 22 lobbyists per Congressman, corporate greed will continue to call the shots in the nation’s capital, all the while our elected representatives will grow richer and the people poorer. And elections will continue to be driven by war chests and corporate benefactors rather than such values as honesty, integrity and public service. Just consider: it’s estimated that more than $6 billion will be spent on the elections this year, yet not a dime of that money will actually help the average American in their day-to-day struggles to just get by.

However, with television driving what we know about politics, little in the way of real truth is reaching the populace. Why? Because by way of television, politics has become a form of entertainment, dominated by money and profit, imagery and spin, hype and personality. “Politics is just like show business,” Ronald Reagan once said. And, I might add, our politicians have become astute entertainers. In fact, as professor Neil Postman recognizes in his book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, “Those who would be gods refashion themselves into images the viewers would have them to be.”

Much of the deception and corruption involved in politics has been written about in books, novels and in film. Indeed, if one really wants to understand the chicanery behind politics, a good place to start looking for it is in the movies. Not surprisingly, there have been some filmmakers who have tackled the nasty business of politics and analyzed it quite well. So maybe it’s time to turn off the tube and pop in a DVD. The following films are worth watching and studying. At the very least, you may find your time better spent.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939): In Frank Capra’s classic film, Jimmy Stewart plays the part of a naive young man who is selected to fill in for an ailing senator, only to find that Washington, D.C. is filled with corrupt politicians. Against all odds and in the face of power and greed, he takes a courageous stand for his beliefs. Idealism, something that is difficult to find these days, triumphs. A fine supporting performance from Claude Rains.

The State of the Union (1948): A multimillionaire (Spencer Tracy) seeks the Republican nomination for president. His estranged wife (Katharine Hepburn) is asked to join him to masquerade as a happy couple. But, not surprisingly, the political machine erodes Tracy’s personal convictions. Again, Frank Capra directs.

A Face in the Crowd (1957): Director Elia Kazan traces the rise and fall of an Arkansas hobo, Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith), who becomes an overnight media sensation, helped along by the gullibility of a television-watching populace. More than any other, this film speaks to the problems of politics in a television age. As one of the characters remarks, “Politics have entered a new stage, the television stage. Instead of long-winded public debates, the people want capsule slogans—‘Time for a change’—‘The mess in Washington’—‘More bang for a buck’—punch lines and glamour.” Superb performances by Griffith and Patricia Neal.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962): Written and directed by John Frankenheimer, this superb thriller—an adroit analysis of backstage political maneuvering—is one of the best films of its kind. It tells the story of an American Korean War veteran who suspects that he and his platoon were brainwashed during the war and that his highly decorated and heroic friend was programmed to be a political assassin. Loaded with great performances, including Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury, James Gregory and Frank Sinatra, this film chillingly foreshadows the Kennedy assassination, which was less than one year away.

The Best Man (1964): Two presidential contenders vie for the endorsement of the aging ex-president. In the process, personal ambitions and politics mix to trample ethics. There is an adept screenplay by Gore Vidal from his play and fine performances by Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson and Lee Tracy.

Seven Days in May (1964): Another fine film from John Frankenheimer that was written by Rod Serling. It focuses on an American general (Burt Lancaster) who plans a military takeover of the United States because he considers the president’s pacifism traitorous. This is an important film today in light of the ever-increasing presence of the military in our lives. Great ensemble cast of Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner and Fredric March, among others.

The Candidate (1972): In this film, a young, idealistic lawyer (Robert Redford) who is a product of the sixties is convinced to run for a senate seat in California and soon learns that politics means compromise. This well-written, realistic look at politics and political campaigning is supported by fine performances from Redford, Peter Boyle and Melvyn Douglas.

All the President’s Men (1976): Based on the book by Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein, this film is the purported true story of the Watergate break-in that eventually led to one of the greatest political fiascos of all time. The reporters slowly uncover the facts that ultimately lead to the criminal indictment of the Nixon Administration. Masterfully shot by director Alan Pakula and with a fine cast, including Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman and Jason Robards.

Tanner ‘88 (1988): Made for cable television by the legendary improvisational director Robert Altman, this realistic political satire centers on a long-shot politician (Michael Murphy) on the trail of the Democratic presidential nomination. The story is by Gary Trudeau of Doonesbury fame. This film caused controversy because of Altman’s documentary approach to the story. Some who watched it thought it was an actual candidate in a real political race.

Nixon (1995): This bio-epic, directed by Oliver Stone, touches all of Richard Nixon’s public life, while speculating on his private one. Stone’s interpretation of historical events—which caused so much controversy with JFK (1991)—is present here as well. But be that as it may, this movie exhibits fine cinematography, writing, directing and acting. Indeed, Anthony Hopkins is so effective as Nixon that he seems to melt into the former president on the screen. Joan Allen is also fine as Pat Nixon.

Wag the Dog (1997): A Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) is hired by White House personnel to stage a military attack against the United States to divert media attention from accusations that the president fondled a young girl. The film is a satirical look at politics as entertainment. It is also an astute commentary on the essence of politics, which is a continuing maneuver to stay in power. Fine performance from Hoffman.

“Humankind cannot bear too much reality,” T. S. Eliot once said. Perhaps that is one reason we are so drawn to fiction. It is in fiction—such as that found in movies—that we can peer into the mirror of truth. And, after all, isn’t politics about fiction, anyway?

~~  John Whitehead ~~

Upcoming Movies - 10.26.12

The Gilmer Free Press

Cloud Atlas

Opens Friday, October 26, 2012 | Runtime: 2 hrs. 52 min.

R - Violence, Language, Some Drug Use and Sexuality/Nudity

“Cloud Atlas” explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future. Each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the stories move through time.

Cast: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Bae Doo-na, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant

Directors: Andy Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski

Genres: Drama, Suspense/Thriller

 

 

The Gilmer Free Press

Chasing Mavericks

Opens Friday, October 26, 2012 | Runtime: 1 hr. 56 min.

PG - Thematic elements and some perilous action

Based on the inspirational true story of surfing icon Jay Moriarty: the story of a young man’s quest to surf Northern California’s most dangerous wave, and the local legend who takes him under his wing. What begins as a mentor-ship turns into a unique lifelong bond, as the two unlikely friends discover that there is nothing more powerful than pushing your limits and chasing a nearly impossible dream.

Cast: John Weston, Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, Taylor Handley

Director: Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson

Genres: Drama

 

The Gilmer Free Press

Fun Size

Opens Friday, October 26, 2012

FUN SIZE is a funny and outrageous family ensemble comedy that all takes place on one Halloween night. A young girl’s popularity is in jeopardy when she is forced to track down her kid brother instead of going to THE party of the year. Yet her kid brother shows her what popularity is all about—and her rush to find her brother with her nerd neighbor shows her that popularity might not be exactly what she really wants.

Cast: Victoria Justice, Thomas Mann, Chelsea Handler, Jane Levy, Riki Lindhome

Director: Josh Schwartz

Genres: Comedy

 

The Gilmer Free Press

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

Opens Friday, October 26, 2012 | Runtime:1 hr. 35 min.

R - Violence, Disturbing Images, Brief Nudity and Some Language

Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) and her father (Sean Bean) have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn’t fully understand. Now on the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she’s not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever.

Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss

Director: Michael J. Bassett

Genres: Horror, 3D

October Square Dance in Glenville - Friday, October 26, 2012

The Gilmer Free Press

There is a square dance Friday, October 26, 2012 at the Gilmer County Recreation Center.

The Glenville State College Bluegrass Band will be playing toe tapping dance tunes and one of West Virginia State Folk Festival’s favorite dance callers; Mack Samples will be calling four couple set square dances.

Doors open at 6:00 PM.

Dancing will kick off at 7:00 PM.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students.

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer County Extension Service will be providing refreshments.

These dances are beginner friendly. Caller Mack Samples stated, “These old dances are simple, you can learn them in no time. Everybody knows them.

That’s what you do.“ If you used to square dance but haven’t in a long time Mack Samples assures everyone that these “square figures haven’t changed much.”

The Glenville State College Bluegrass Band is believed to be Glenville’s “best kept secret.” They enjoy playing locally and can be found at the Pioneer Grille regularly. The Glenville State College Bluegrass Program is the world’s first four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in bluegrass music.

The Gilmer Free Press


On Friday October 26th their music is bound to have everyone up and square dancing in no time.

Glenville square dances are part of “The Mountain Dance Trail Project” a new cultural tourism initiative of Augusta Heritage Center of Davis and Elkins College.

The Mountain Dance Trail promotes and connects old-time square dance communities throughout the state. People can participate in or just witness an authentic West Virginia tradition: mountain-style square dancing to live string band music.

The Gilmer Free Press


A full schedule of square dances throughout the state is available in the Mountain Dance Trail brochure and online at www.mountaindancetrail.org or by calling 304.637.1349.

Mark your calendar for a square dance on Friday November 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Sutton Community Building.

This square dance is hosted in part by the Gilmer County Economic Development Association and West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

School Arts Tour Celebrates Academic Art Achievement

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple continues to sing the praises of an arts education. On Monday Marple released the results of a new study that shows students who have earned art credits in high school score at more proficient levels in mathematics and reading/language arts on the WESTEST2.

Marple shared the results of the Cohort Study of Arts Participation and Academic Performance wvde.state.wv.us/research/reports2012/ArtsCohort2012.pdf during a theatre class at Magnolia High School in Wetzel County.

“The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has always believed that an arts education gives students a leg up but now we have research which supports the assertion,” said Marple. “The Cohort Study of Arts Participation and Academic Performance research shows that an education that includes the arts is closely linked to almost everything that we as a state and nation say we want for our children and demand for our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement and equitable opportunity.”

The study was conducted by the WVDE Office of Research. Approximately 14,500 public high school students who stayed on course for graduation from 2007 to 2010 participated in the study.

Research shows that high school students who earned two or more arts credits were 1.6 times more likely to reach reading proficiency on the WESTEST2 and 1.3 times more likely to reach math proficiency, compared to their peers who earned only one arts credit.

Those who earned two or more arts credits also were about 1.5 times more likely to have scored at or above the national average composite score on the ACT PLAN.

These findings held true among students with disabilities and students from poverty. Student who took four or more arts credits were two times more likely to reach reading proficiency.

The research also showed that special education students and students with exceptionalities who earn two or more arts credits were two times more likely to reach proficiency.

“The arts are core academic subjects so we need to ensure that every West Virginia student receives an arts-rich education,” said Marple. “The WVDE believes that a comprehensive arts education plays a key role in meeting the needs of the whole student and provides ways to personalize learning as well.”

The WVDE continues to invest in the arts, including initiatives such as committing over a half million dollars to piloting dance in West Virginia elementary schools, offering arts classes in WVDE Institutional Programs for the first time, conducting extensive professional development for West Virginia arts teachers, and strengthening partnerships with arts organizations to provide more extended arts learning opportunities for West Virginia students.

Marple will spend the week traveling across West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle promoting the arts.  In addition to Wetzel County, Marple will visit Marshall County, Ohio County and Monongalia County schools to see firsthand the art programs that have strengthened many students’ test scores.

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