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Local Foods and State Parks are a Healthy, Wealthy Combination

The Free Press WV

My grandmother always said, “Health is wealth”. No surprise there, healthy bodies lead to a higher standard of living, as well as more career opportunities. Without good health, physical barriers are hard to overcome, and full lives remain out of reach. But I don’t think grandma meant wealth was only achieved through physical fitness. Healthy minds are just as important to our happiness, as we look to for a balance between body and soul. Now this may vary from person to person but one way to live a more complete life is to appreciate the little things we often overlook. In such a globalized world, daily habits or familiar experiences can be taken for granted as we forget to connect with local resources in our pursuit of happiness.

A friend of mine recently said for him, good mental health can be achieved by sitting on a river bank at dusk; talk about a tranquil, picturesque scene. I challenge you to heed his advice. Take a moment and admire the old growth forests in our state. Imagine what those old trees have seen and the stories they could tell. You will then notice the small birds that have landed in those canopies for a quick rest on their great migration. Those same trees also provide shelter to animals, as well help the soil survive heavy rains and keep the rivers cool for our trout. When surrounded by nature, it is easy to forget how many Americans do not have access to such a resource.

In West Virginia, our citizens are already blessed with immense wealth. Not because of the health status of our people but because the abundant access to nature through the state park system. Our parks are treasures that many states lack and many of us overlook. Escaping the daily stresses of our lives is achievable in only a short drive from any city in the Mountain State. If you need some tranquility and peace, you can find it with a quick hike in any one of our 37 state parks. There is no doubt we can do a better job highlighting the quality of our parks, but we would be missing a great opportunity to combine our access to recreation with other healthy habits.

Healthy eating habits are one area, we as West Virginians, could do a better job of reinforcing. These habits start with eating fresh, local, healthier produce. To increase access to these products, we must teach producers and chefs to work together. We cannot promote localized eating if we do not have the capabilities of meeting increased demands. The chef and the farmer must understand the logistics of each operation. For the first time, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources and the West Virginia Farmers Markets Association are teaming up to tackle this challenge. By creating an avenue for producers and restaurants to work together, we are starting the conversation of how to increase the access of fresh foods to our citizens.

Hosting farm-to-table dinners at states parks is a clear win for the Mountain State. Combine fresh food with exploring natural treasures and you have a recipe for healthy living. Healthier citizens lead to happier, fuller lives. We believe finding this balance can only lead to great things for West Virginia. Partnerships like this can and will help West Virginia combat rising health care costs while providing some much-needed diversification to our economy. This type of out of the box thinking that will help turn our state around.

The famous America landscape architect John Nolen once said, “Simple recreation in the open air amid beautiful surrounding contribute to physical and moral health, to a saner and happier life.” Let’s follow Nolen’s advice. Let’s work towards a healthier West Virginia by utilizing the great outdoors to inspire healthier lives.

Kent A. Leonhardt
West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture

West Virginians Watch Pre-Existing Conditions Suit With Dread

Some West Virginians with chronic illnesses are dreading a federal lawsuit over the rule that insurance companies have to cover pre-existing medical conditions.

The suit was filed by the attorney general of Texas, but the U.S. Department of Justice and West Virginia attorney general Patrick Morrisey have joined it. It aims to overturn part of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits health-insurance companies from denying coverage or charging customer’s more for illnesses such as asthma, high blood pressure or diabetes.

Culloden teacher Brianne Solomon has lupus, a serious auto-immune disease. She could lose coverage for a prescription that cost $360 every 90 days.

The Free Press WV
As it stands, there are no serious proposals before
West Virginia lawmakers on how to deal with
insurance rules over pre-existing conditions.


“There is no way I could afford that. I wouldn’t be able to keep the prescriptions that basically maintain my general level of health with the disease,” Solomon said. “And people die from lupus. You can die from complications of this disease.“

The suit argues that ending the rules would let insurers offer cheaper plans. Critics say without regulation, insurers could offer what’s been called sham insurance, which looks good but actually covers very little.

By one count, 45 percent of West Virginia residents have a pre-existing condition.

According to Washington Post projections from a study by the Harvard Medical School, for every 500 people who gain health insurance coverage, one death per year is prevented. Solomon said without the insurance rules, people like her could be squeezed out of the market - forced to delay or do without medical care they need, but can’t afford.

“I’m dreading what would happen,” she said. “If pre-existing conditions were off the table, I can’t even imagine what my out-of-pocket costs would be then. I’m sure I would be what they call choked out.“

The suit has been described as a long shot, but if it fails there may be other attempts to overturn that part of the Affordable Care Act.

Without the nationwide rules, insurance regulation could return to the states. Governor Jim Justice and GOP leaders in the Legislature have said they sympathize with people who have pre-existing conditions, but none of them has put forward plans to address the issue.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Growth in FFA Programs

The Free Press WV

In response to the announcement of FFA participation reaching an all-time high in West Virginia, Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt released the following statement:

“Jason Hughes and our agriculture teachers have done a tremendous job recruiting and training our future farmers. It is evident West Virginia contains the home-grown talent needed to expand our agricultural industries. In addition to inspiring the next generation of producers, FFA programs teach invaluable life skills to our students. Those involved in FFA learn everything from leadership to public speaking. No matter their career path, these students benefit from being a member of a West Virginia FFA chapter.”

As FFA programs continue to see growth, Commissioner Leonhardt plans advocate for additional funds needed to fully repair and upgrade the Cedar Lakes Conference Center.

“The annual FFA convention showcases the importance of the Cedar Lakes to our state. As FFA membership has increased, the program has outgrown the facilities. To ensure the conference center continues to serve future generations as official home of the West Virginia FFA, we hope to work with the Governor and our Legislature to find additional funds. We will save the state money by making necessary upgrades now.”

Commissioner Leonhardt’s goal is to have the center become self-sufficient and remove the need for additional general revenue appropriations. Leonhardt believes Cedar Lakes can play a vital role in growing West Virginia’s agriculture industries. 

“Eating from a safe, affordable and abundant food supply is important to the state’s economy and the personal health of our citizens. The Cedar Lakes facilities will be critical to our mission of increasing access to fresh, healthy foods.”

There are currently 68 high schools and 10 middle schools with FFA chapters. Total membership is at 5,360 students.

Almost Half of Legislature Voted Against Every Conservation Proposal

A voting scorecard by the West Virginia Sierra Club shows record levels of opposition to conservation measures by state lawmakers.

Jim Kotcon, who chairs the Sierra Club West Virginia’s political committee, has been tracking votes on a wide range of environmental legislation for more than 20 years.

He says the worst score previously recorded was three years ago, when 11 legislators voted against every environmental proposal.

Kotcon says this year there are six times as many – far worse than any previous year.

The Free Press WV
Much of West Virginia’s self image is defined by its
connection to the state’s wilderness.
But a new voting scorecard shows record
opposition to conservation legislation.


“Unprecedented in that so many of the legislators scored a complete zero,” he states. “We always see a few people that are voting against the environment every time, but we had 70 names on our list that is almost half of the state Legislature.“

Many in the state Legislature argue that loosening environmental regulations is a way to increase economic growth.

Critics of that view argue it doesn’t actually translate into more jobs.

The annual scorecard looks at every recorded vote, including votes on support for state parks and clean water rules.

Kotcon says there are 13 state lawmakers who voted green about two-thirds of the time. He calls them the clean 13.

“There were six state senators and seven state delegates who rank above 60 percent,” he states. “But for these people, the air we breathe and the water we drink would be in much worse shape.“

Kotcon says at the federal level, 4 out of 5 members of the state’s congressional delegation scored zero.

The full list is at the Sierra Club West Virginia website.

Carmichael Claims Credit for Teacher Pay Raises He Tried to Kill

West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael now appears to be taking credit for the teacher pay raises he failed to stop earlier this year.

When school employees went on statewide strike, the Republican-led Senate was blocking the higher pay they were demanding. But last week on Hoppy Kercheval’s Talkline program, Carmichael took credit for the money now showing up in public employee checks. Carmichael said he wasn’t trying to pat himself on the back, but in his words, “if we had opposed that pay raise, it wouldn’t have happened.“

Senaor Corey Palumbo, D-Charleston, called that statement laughable, given what happened after the strike began.

“The House fairly quickly passed the 4 percent increase. And then the Senate sat on it for days, not doing anything with it,” Palumbo said. “It is laughable for them to now take credit as if they were leading the charge.“

The Free Press WV
During the teachers’ strike, the West Virginia State Senate was widely
viewed as the main obstacle to meeting strikers’ demands.


When host Kercheval pushed back, Carmichael said it was “not true at all” that GOP Senate leaders opposed the raise, and the strike “made no difference.“ The record of roll call votes on the bill that finally resulted in the pay raise shows Carmichael and the committee chairs he appointed repeatedly trying to stop, slow or reduce the pay increase.

Carmichael told Kercheval the GOP was “100 percent on board with as much pay raise” as the state could afford. He said the only thing holding them back was a tight budget.

But Palumbo pointed out that it’s the first public employee pay raise to get though the legislature since Republicans took over.

“It’s been a four-year period,” he said. “And if you look back over the last 25, 30 years, there’s been no three-year period, if I remember right, where teachers or public employees had not received a raise.“

Teachers and school service personnel shut the schools down for 11 days, ending March 07, when the 5 percent pay increase passed. During regular demonstrations at the Capitol, strikers singled Carmichael out. One sign said, “Mitch better have my money.“ Others chanted - parodying a rap song - “Yo, Mitch - Get Out The Way.“

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

DNR seeks public comment on procedural rules

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is seeking public comments on proposed and modified procedural rules.

The first rule involves designating a new section of the New River where rental services area allowed. It also introduces safety qualifications for general outfitters and guides that operate and provide services in whitewater zones and increases the minimum threshold for required reporting of accidents. The rule, 58CSR12, is available here.

The second rule involves boating. Modifications include defining terms, changing language about personal flotation devices to be consistent with federal code, defining watersports, establishing personal flotation device requirements for tubing activities, updating address information for submission of accident reports, increasing the minimum threshold for required reporting of accidents, language updates to replace “Conservation Officer” with “Natural Resources Police Officer,” changes to restrict the display of flashing blue lights to authorized emergency law enforcement vessels, and reducing duplicate language already established in code. The rule, 58CSR25, is available here.

The third rule is new and involves regulating a two-year pilot project permitting ATV’s and ORV’s on designated roads and trails in Cabwaylingo State Forest. The rule, 58CSR36, was authorized by the passage of SB 498 during the 2018 regular legislative session. It may be found here.

The rules have been filed with the Secretary of State’s office and will be open for review and written comment until 5 p.m. on July 26. They will be advertised in the State Register and are available for review at the DNR South Charleston and Elkins offices. Written comments are accepted at ‘DNRComments@wv.gov’ or may be mailed to WV Division of Natural Resources, Attn: Wendy Greene, 324 4th Avenue, Room 343, South Charleston, WV 25303.

WVDA Receives Grant for Farm-to-School Program

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) announced it has received a $68,518 Farm-to-School grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The WVDA was one of 73 projects awarded funds by the USDA.

The purpose of the grant is to provide support to local farmers by facilitating additional farm-to-school programs throughout the United States.

“West Virginia was fortunate enough to receive part of this grant. Through these monies, we aim to provide better nutritional options in our schools by sourcing from local West Virginia farms,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “By doing so, we hope to help expand new market opportunities for our farmers.”

The WVDA plans to use the grant monies to develop a Farm-to-School Strategic Plan for the state.

The overall mission is to aide local farmers by creating new and cementing existing partnerships, as well as enhancing the quality of food served in schools.

Funds from the grant will be used to develop statewide resources, support existing and new operations and host trainings.

“We are excited to expand the farm-to-school initiative in West Virginia. These types of programs are great for promoting economic growth by connecting supply and demand. We hope to increase the availability of local foods to schools statewide,” said WVDA Development Coordinator Cindy Bailey.

For more information about the WVDA farm-to-school visit: https://agriculture.wv.gov/divisions/executive/Pages/Farm-to-School.aspx or contact Cindy Bailey at 304.558.2210 or ‘cbailey@wvda.us’.

School Clothing Allowance Applications Accepted through July 31, 2018

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Division of Family Assistance will begin accepting school clothing allowance applications on Monday, July 2, 2018, for eligible children enrolled in West Virginia schools. 

“Through raising our own children, Cathy and I know the importance of back to school preparations for West Virginia families,” said Governor Jim Justice. “Growing kids need new clothes and shoes. The school clothing allowance program literally helps West Virginia students begin the school year on the right foot.”

Families with school-aged children currently receiving WV WORKS cash assistance, as well as those in foster care, will automatically receive school clothing allowance vouchers for each school-age child in the home by mid-July 2018. 

Families who received school clothing allowance vouchers in 2017 and currently receive Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits from DHHR should have received an application by mail in June 2018.  Mailing address updates can be made online at wvinroads.org or by calling DHHR’s Customer Services Center at 1.877.716.1212 to ensure prompt delivery of vouchers.

Others may be eligible for school clothing allowance vouchers, but the monthly income for a family of four may not exceed $2,092. 

Each eligible child will receive a $200 voucher that may be used toward the purchase of appropriate school clothing or piece goods for families who sew clothing for their children.  Vouchers must be used by October 31, 2018.  For a list of participating stores, visit dhhr.wv.gov/bcf/Services/familyassistance/Documents/SCA%20Vendors%20_2018.pdf.

“Last year the school clothing allowance program helped more than 90,000 West Virginia children enter the new school year with confidence,” said Linda Watts, Acting Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Children and Families. “The support this program provides to West Virginia’s families allows for better educational outcomes and brighter futures.”

To learn more about eligibility guidelines or to apply, contact your local DHHR office, apply online at wvinroads.org or call 1.877.716.1212.  Verification of income for the month of July must be submitted with the application.

Applications must be received in the local DHHR office by July 31, 2018.

Governor Justice Announces Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education

The Free Press WV

Governor Jim Justice today announced the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education to study and evaluate ways that West Virginia can create a more efficient and meaningful Higher Education system. The Commission will be officially created by executive order and is expected to be signed by Monday, July 02, 2018.

The commission will be tasked with finding bold and unique solutions to a problem that West Virginia has faced for several decades. The Governor has asked the commission to give regular updates and reports and has mandated the work be completed by the December 2018 interim meetings of the West Virginia Legislature.

Governor Justice said, “Our West Virginia colleges and universities are so critical to our communities, and the continued erosion of their stability deeply concerns me. My hope is that every possible solution will be considered and evaluated, all colleges and universities will be consulted, and that the Commission will find the right solution for our higher education system in West Virginia.

“Just as my philosophy has been in opposition to K-12 school consolidation, our colleges and universities need an advocate to stand up for their continued stability and to recognize their critical importance to West Virginia communities. These colleges and universities are a lifeline for the students they serve and represent the future of West Virginia. We must find a more efficient means of ensuring that these colleges and universities stay in the communities they serve today.”


EducationNewsWest VirginiaPolitics | Government | ElectionState-WV

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

This news has great implications for GSC and Gilmer County. The College could form a partnership with the County’s school system to close the K-12 achievement gap.

For years while under State intervention it was denied that a gap existed, and the mantra was that the County was doing as well as the State as a whole.

That was like saying that we are OK with the State being ranked near the bottom for the quality of its K-12 education system and we should be content to wallow at the bottom too.

Ms. Patty Lowther, the new superintendent of schools, states that we must close the K-12 achievement gap and it is within the County’s capabilities.

She and her staff including Shelly Mason the new curriculum expert, principals, and the County’s teachers are actively involved with devising solutions to eliminate problems.

Regarding GSC, Dr. Pellett is on record with definite innovations to improve the College’s standing.

He has an unique opportunity to guide the College to contribute to Gilmer County having the best school system in WV as a model to emulate throughout the State and Appalachia.

In the past the typical Charleston trap has been to collect achievement data without expending successful efforts to interpret its meaning for use in solving under-achievement.

Dr. Pellett, Ms. Lowther, and Shelly Mason, with the help of other professionals in our schools can jettison that long standing road block to make Gilmer County a K-12 education standout.

Dr. Pellett in particular has an unparalleled opportunity to make his mark on guiding the College to improve K-12 education in the County and to let successes spread as examples throughout Appalachia.

There would not be a better way to justify the necessity of the College’s continuing existence for Gilmer County, central WV, and the entire State.

By Good News For WV  on  06.29.2018

Word is that officers on the County’s school board have changed with Doug Cottrill becoming the new president and Shackleford the VP.

Voters request to know what the new board’s plans are for improving the County’s standing with the quality of K-12 education for math, reading, science, and other subjects, and correcting remaining problems at the new grade school contractors have not fixed.

Why not publishing monthly progress reports to cover the new board’s accomplishments? That job would be a good assignment for the new president.

By Voters Watching  on  07.03.2018

We must be wary of how County K-12 achievement information is presented.

From the outset the new school board should focus on exactly how well our students are performing with mastering subjects, and not to fall victim to news unrelated to demonstrated student learning.

For one example the GCHS was awarded for its high graduation rate, but it ranked in the bottom 10% among WV high schools for college and career readiness of seniors.

This is not to say that graduation rates are unimportant, but they cannot be interpreted as fact of a direct relationship with how well students are prepared for college and careers.

For some schools an unusually high graduation rate could be a function of enforced “everyone passes” policy.

The point is that there is need for vigilance when student performance information is disclosed to the public so school board get all of it out so voters can decide where the County’s school system really stands.

By Give All Facts  on  07.03.2018

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DHHR to Begin Phase Two of Federal Waiver to Treat Substance Use

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Bureau for Medical Services today announced Medicaid recipients will begin receiving the second phase of new services under the West Virginia 1115 Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Waiver beginning July 01, 2018. The new services for Medicaid enrollees are part of an ongoing effort of Governor Jim Justice’s Administration to provide a continuum of care designed to treat substance use issues.

Phase two services beginning on July 01, 2018 expand coverage to include:

  • Adult Residential Treatment: West Virginia will add Medicaid coverage of adult residential treatment levels adhering to the American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria. These are comprehensive programs for adults ages 18 and older who have a diagnosis of substance abuse and/or co-occurring substance abuse/mental health disorder.

  • Peer Recovery Support Services: West Virginia will implement peer recovery support services delivered by a trained and certified peer recovery specialist who has been successful in their own recovery process and can extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into a member’s community and home environment.

  • Withdrawal Management Services: West Virginia will now offer coverage of withdrawal management services. This licensed program provides short-term medical services on a 24-hour basis for stabilizing intoxicated members, managing their withdrawal, and facilitating access to SUD treatment as needed by a comprehensive assessment.

“The addition of adult residential treatment, peer recovery support services and withdrawal management services expands the Medicaid benefits package to build a comprehensive statewide strategy to combat drug misuse and substance use disorders,” said Cindy Beane, Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Medical Services. “Governor Justice’s Administration continues to support the expansion of high quality SUD care and the expansion of SUD provider networks to serve the State’s Medicaid population.”

Phase one services, which became effective January 14, 2018, included:

  • Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT): Implemented statewide use of the widely-accepted SBIRT tool to identify SUD treatment needs among the Medicaid population.

  • Methadone treatment and administration: Added Medicaid coverage of methadone as a withdrawal management strategy, as well as the administration and monitoring of themedication, and related counseling services.

  • Naloxone Distribution Initiative: Implemented a statewide initiative to make naloxone widely available and increase awareness of the benefits of naloxone in reversing the effects of an overdose.

For more information, visit: www.dhhr.wv.gov/bms/CMS/Pages/Waiver-Approvals.aspx.

Consumers Should Be Smart When Planning Summer Vacations

The Free Press WV

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminded consumers to protect their identity and finances when making travel arrangements.

Scammers know summer is a popular time for travel. They will actively watch for and take advantage of any consumer who appears to be rushed and unknowingly or inadvertently fails to take adequate precautions.

“It’s very important for consumers to make sure they are dealing with legitimate people or agencies when making their travel arrangements,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “They also must ask adequate questions and read the fine print because the last thing anyone wants is to have their rest and relaxation interrupted by the unexpected.”

Fortunately, there are several things consumers can do to ensure a stress-free vacation:

  • Deal with an established company.
  • Never underestimate the value of reviews from family members, friends or reputable travel websites.
  • Be wary of scams that advertise spectacular deals on rental houses, condos or hotels. Sometimes, the listing is for a property that doesn’t even exist.
  • Paying with a credit card provides certain protections that enable consumers to dispute certain charges for services not provided.
  • Do not give credit card information unless ready to be charged for a product or service. Any company that asks to be paid via money order or pre-paid debit card should raise a red flag.
  • Carefully read the fine print of any offer. Be wary of those that sound “too good to be true” or offer little detail.
  • Know cancellation and refund policies.
  • Confirm reservations before departure.
  • Keep a close eye on banking and credit card statements during and following travel.
  • Be careful when posting to social media while away. It lets potential intruders know your home is vacant and an easy target.

Anyone with questions or concerns about smart vacation planning should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1.800.368.8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304.267.0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

Legislative Auditor is Wrong on RISE

The Free Press WV

The Legislative Auditor today released their report on the audit of the RISE WV Program. The report concluded that “the Legislative Auditor questions whether any individual homeowner has received full assistance from the Rise West Virginia flood recovery program.”

The Legislative Auditor got it wrong. The Justice Administration stands by the numbers released Friday by the National Guard, which show that out of the 451 cases in the program, 324 have been reviewed, and 106 assigned. As of today, eighteen families have been handed keys to new homes, and five are ready for final inspection this week.

On Friday, Governor’s staff offered updated information to a representative from the Legislative Auditor’s office. Evidently, he chose not to use the updated information and instead published the report with old information from before General Hoyer took over. General Hoyer has also offered to let a member of the Legislative Auditor’s office share office space with the RISE program, to ensure they are getting the most accurate information, but they have not agreed to do so.

The report does get several things right. Numerous illegal contracts were entered into by the West Virginia Development Office, and the RISE program was mismanaged from the beginning. These facts verify why the Justice Administration had to step in and clean up the program. Now that General Hoyer is overseeing RISE, progress is being made quickly and families are being taken care of.

Hoyer said, “I am confident that the numbers my staff have generated and provided to the Governor’s office are accurate. Families are being helped, and the process is moving quickly. We wait to put out information publicly until the entire case process is complete because we don’t want to cause confusion.”

On Tuesday at 9 a.m., he will give an update on RISE to the Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding.

Medical Marijuana Proposed As Partial PEIA Solution

The Free Press WV

Stats from states that have legalized medical marijuana suggest legal weed could be a big help to West Virginia’s strained Public Employees Insurance Agency.

Striking teachers recently demanded better funding for their health insurance. And by one estimate, a working medical marijuana program could save PEIA $18 million to $30 million a year in pharmaceutical costs.

Rusty Williams is the patient advocate on the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. He said a survey of states that have legalized medical marijuana showed a sharp drop in Medicaid drug spending.

“They’re seeing a collective annual savings of $156 billion,” Williams said. “People are opting to pay out-of-pocket for cannabis rather than have their insurance pay for pharmaceuticals.“

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, and is still regarded as a dangerous drug by many in state politics.

Advocates say PEIA needs at least $50 million a year. Gov. Jim Justice is expected to put forward a PEIA proposal any day.

According to advocates, decriminalization also would boost the economy and state revenues. On a human level, they point to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finding states with legal medical cannabis saw an average 25 percent reduction in opiate overdoses.

Williams said there are patients in desperate need of relief.

“I hear from people all the time - parents with kids with epilepsy, senior citizens who would love to be getting off of some of these pharmaceutical pain-management drugs,” he said. “We have patients in the state of West Virginia that will be dead before this is implemented.“

Banking rules are actually the bottleneck. To get a medical marijuana program under way, West Virginia would have to find a bank or credit union willing to work with marijuana businesses. But the U.S. Department of Justice has threatened any bank that does so with money-laundering charges.

Supporters call that an empty threat, saying Congress has passed protections against such actions.

More information on the state’s medical cannabis program is available at medcanWV.org.

~~  Dan Hayman ~~

Senate and House Democratic Leaders Renew Call for Immediate Legislative Action on Justice Loughry

The Free Press WV

Following yesterday’s indictment of Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry, Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso (D-Marion), House of Delegates Minority Leader Tim Miley (D-Harrison) and other members of the Democratic Caucuses of the Legislature renew their call upon Governor Jim Justice and Republican leaders of the Legislature to take immediate action to allow the Legislature to begin impeachment proceedings of Justice Loughry.

“As we stated in our June 8th letter to the Governor, President Carmichael and Speaker Armstead, our citizens deserve to be protected against corruption- and the Legislature must stand strong against Justice Loughry’s abuse of power,” Senator Prezioso said.

“The announcement today of the federal indictment of Supreme Court Justice Loughry is not surprising,” Delegate Miley stated.  “The Governor and Republican leadership must take immediate action- and I am hoping that perhaps today’s news will prompt them to finally initiate an impeachment proceeding,” he added. “Continued delay reflects tacit indifference to his behavior.”

“There are some things included in the indictment, as well as in the Judicial Investigation Commission report, that are not in dispute- like the fact that Justice Loughry took state furniture home and used a state car for personal trips,” Miley stated.  “Any other state employee would have been charged with larceny,” he commented.  “Impeachment proceedings are designed to remove an elected official from public office if he/she has engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of the office,” Miley continued.  “What more do Republican leaders need to know for them to decide that Justice Loughry has undermined the integrity of the judiciary?”

“As U.S. Attorney Stuart stated, the state Supreme Court stands in judgement of all West Virginians, and those justices’ conduct must be above reproach,” Senator Prezioso stated. “This saga has gone on long enough, and the Governor must call a special session to help restore the trust of all West Virginians in the justice system by allowing the impeachment process to begin so that the people can elect a new Supreme Court Justice in November,” Prezioso added.  “Time is of the essence.”

Democratic Legislators from around the state voiced support for immediate action by the Legislature.

“Democrats in the Legislature have for many months spoken about the overwhelming evidence of Justice Loughery’s corruption, and have demanded an impeachment hearing because it will allow our state to begin to put the torrid affair behind us,” Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha) stated. “This politically inspired procrastination has only prolonged the long shadow of corruption,” Delegate Pushkin continued.  “We need to act now to begin to restore normalcy and confidence in the state judiciary.” Delegate Pushkin introduced legislation during the 2018 Legislative Session to begin impeachment proceedings and repeatedly tried to bring the issue to the attention of legislative leadership.

“It is beyond time for the House to impeach Justice Loughry,” Senator Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) said.  “I called for actions months ago and this Republican leadership just stalled and ignored it in order to protect one of their own. The Governor and House must act now,” he urged.

“Things that happen in the dark will always find a way to shine,” Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio) stated.  “Democratic legislators tried to shine light on this months ago,” he continued, “but Speaker Armstead and President Carmichael laughed it off as business as usual.”  Delegate Fluharty stressed that it was time for them to finally act and begin impeachment proceedings. “Our state deserves transparency and the truth, not continued weak leadership.”

“This situation is not like a normal criminal investigation, which takes months if not years to resolve,” Delegate Jason Barrett (D-Berkeley) said.  “The Legislature cannot wait on the slow wheels of the federal judicial system to do our jobs for us.  The impeachment process is not to pursue criminal charges and we do not need a guilty conviction to act,” Barrett stated.  “We need to act now- the people of West Virginia deserve a quick resolution and a corruption-free Supreme Court,” he added.

“Although the evidence is overwhelming, the impeachment process is an opportunity for him to defend himself, and to shine light on his actions and provide accountability,” Delegate Sean Hornbuckle stated.  “I look forward to the opportunity to investigate his actions in a public forum, do our constitutional duty and provide good government to the people of West Virginia,” Hornbuckle said.

“I hope the Governor is in town today and at work- as we are presented with a serious situation that requires immediate action,” Delegate Isaac Sponaugle (D-Pendleton) stated.  “If the Governor does not act immediately to call the Legislature in session, I am prepared to circulate a petition to call the Legislature into session- and I’m sure many of my colleagues will be eager to sign on,” Sponaugle said.


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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

This does not rise to the level of impeachment. “Slick Willy” got a head job in the peoples oval office, and dripped semen on the peoples carpet then lied about it, and according to the democrats back then, that did not rise to the level of impeachment.

By The Silent Majority  on  06.21.2018

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West Virginia Board of Education Approves Five Policies Following Public Comment Period

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) met today for its monthly routine business meeting. During the meeting, five policies were discussed and approved. A brief description of each policy can be found below.

 

  • 2444.4 – Insurance of the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma and Option Pathway: This policy, formerly titled West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma, was repealed and replaced to expand scope and clarify procedures for acquiring a high school equivalency diploma, the implementation of an Option Pathway in the high school/Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy and the use of high school equivalency assessment for credit recovery. The policy will be effective July 16, 2018.
  • 2322 – West Virginia Accountability System: Policy 2322, formerly titled Standards for High Quality Schools was repealed and replaced to include the accountability system outlined in West Virginia’s Consolidated Plan for Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015). The new accountability system was approved by the U.S. Department of Education on January 10, 2018, and will be applied to all public schools in the state beginning with performance data from the 2017-18 school year. A total of nine comments were received; all related to section 4.1.b. Academic Progress, resulting in the reduction of student testing time with added language to compare the benchmark from the beginning of the year with the General Summative Assessment. The policy will be effective July 16, 2018.
  • 2340 – West Virginia Measures of Academic Progress: This policy was repealed and replaced to reflect changes in state code that no longer requires the state to administer statewide assessments to students in grades 9 and 10. Students in grade 11 will be administered a college- and career-readiness exam and will also receive their science score, which was previously administered in grade 10. Additionally, the WVDE will no longer administer a retake of the grade 11 college- and career-readiness test to seniors who did not meet the acceptable benchmark scores. Comments received during the 30-day comment period resulted in the addition of a fixed form test. This policy will go into effect July 16, 2018.
  • 2520.5 – West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards for Wellness Education: This policy, formerly titled Next Generation Health Education 5-12 Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools, was repealed and replaced to incorporate Policy 2520.6: 21st Century Physical Education 5-12 Content Standards and Objectives for WV Schools and Policy 2520.55: 21st Century Wellness Pre-K -4 Content Standards and Objectives for WV Schools, making the policy more comprehensive. Comments received resulted in the addition of clarification regarding emotional changes that occur during puberty and adolescence. Policy 2520.6 and Policy 2520.55 will be repealed, and the more comprehensive Policy 2520.5 will go into effect July 16, 2018.
  • 2520.9 – West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards for the Arts: Policy 2530.9, formerly titled 21st Century Dance Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools, was repealed and replaced to incorporate and replace Policy 2520.10: 21st Century Music Education Content Standards and Objectives for WV Schools, Policy 2520.11: 21st Century Theatre Content Standards and Objectives for WV Schools, Policy 2520.12: 21st Century Visual Arts Content Standards and Objectives for WV Schools, creating a more comprehensive policy and reducing duplicative language. This policy will go into effect July 16, 2018.

 

The Board also voted to place the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) proposals on a 30-day public comment period. Twenty-eight proposals were submitted for consideration: 20 proposals removed the 9th grade from middle school; proposal 4 prevents acquiring temporary residence in another school zone for athletic eligibility; proposal 5 allows students coming from another sport to practice two less days; proposal 6 adds a new Emergency Action Plan to the Rules and Regulations handbook, proposal 7 allows physical exam to be completed earlier; proposal 9 allows schools to choose to play up to challenge their student-athletes and compete on a more competitive playing field; proposal 14 ensures that younger/inexperience student-athletes get game experience, and, proposal 25 allows eligibility participation limits to be counted by weigh-ins not matches. The Board chose to remove proposal 8, which would have created an all-private “AP” classification of schools.

To review WVBE policies, visit: http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.

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The lipstick comment deserves special attention. The State’s testing results verifies that too many students are not proficient in science, reading, and math. WV remains in the lower 10th among the 50 states for those areas.

Google WVZOOM Dashboard and look at State assessment scores for the GCHS. According to reports a decision was made to hire one more math teacher over there to help improve future results.

Nothing is known about what is being done to help Gilmer’s HS students with reading and science. The new Board president must get detailed information out to the public.

Assurances that everything is OK won’t work anymore. There has been too much of that type of hokum. The public knows how to access achievement information from the Internet to impose increasing accountability for our school system.

By R. J. Myers on 07.17.2018

From the entry: 'State Superintendent of Schools Delivers the State of Education'.

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Maybe it is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. GSC is designated responsibility for serving seven counties in central WV.

SAT scores for students entering GSC are the lowest in the State with large numbers of students coming from the seven counties. This suggests that education needs to be upgraded in the counties.

Why not focus on using the College to train teachers for central WV and to do what is necessary to improve pre-K-12 education in the seven counties?

Looks to be a natural winner for GSC. What about it Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors?

By Watching Alumni on 07.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Thanks you for honest comments, Mr. Boggs.

Its a sad state when volunteers can be credited with a better job than paid WV employees.

No wonder we have financial, legislative, highway, issues at every turn in the road. 

And to think, that the governor has to burden the National Guard with administration of a flood recovery program? 

Obvious we have incompetent individuals in many positions throughout the state bureaucracy. Are there ever, ever any state employees actually fired, for unacceptable job performance or plain incompetence?

Look at route 5 west of I-79 for a wonderful example of DOH failure.  The DOH county office is a mile from the ‘rollercoaster’ ride. All those state employees have to ride it 10, maybe 20 times a week just doing their jobs.  How can they not see it?

This rollercoaster is the ‘welcome center’ to Braxton and Gilmer county.
Its been a mess for over 20 years.  The rough, bumpy railroad tracks too.

Yes, that’s what the Gilmer Federal Prison employees who commute deal with.  It’s a great welcome, great first look, for prospective Glenville State College students and staff as well.

By A failed state of the state report. on 07.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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What a glowing report.

Just because you say or print something, doesn’t make it true.

With a report like this, you would think WV had moved up the list from 47th in outcomes.

A few people don’t have the wool down over their eyes.

By wasted lipstick on the pig. on 07.17.2018

From the entry: 'State Superintendent of Schools Delivers the State of Education'.

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Wiseman’s suggestion is an opportunity for the new School Board officers, Mr. Cottril and Mr. Shakleford.

Both members campaigned on improvements they would make if elected. The most important improvement would be outstanding results with student learning outcomes in the County.

Quarterly progress reports from Mr. Cottril and Mr. Shackleford are requested.

By Voters For Accountability on 07.16.2018

From the entry: 'State Superintendent of Schools Delivers the State of Education'.

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Excellent meeting minutes I wish we could see more local news like this..  Where can I find information on the recent lawsuit between the Gilmer County Commission and Prosecutor Hough?  I understand Judge Alsop issued a decision?

By Reader on 07.14.2018

From the entry: 'GLENVILLE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES'.

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Praises go to Governor Justice, Dr. Paine, and the entire State Board for producing this outstanding report.

For the first time in memory comprehensive information is included in one source for the public and it is written in an understandable
style.

A request is made to the Gilmer County Board of Education and Superintendent Lowther to produce a similar report by this fall for the specific status of our school system.

We could celebrate achievements for which we excel and we could profit from our weak points as opportunities for corrective measures to take.

Forget about what other counties are doing—we are competing against ourselves.

The often cited excuse that we are just as good as other counties with WV ranking near bottom should no longer be tolerated.

By fall results of recent SAT testing would be available to Superintendent Lowther and the County Board to include in the report.

One advantage of the suggested County report and ones in successive years would be a basis for the public to use to judge effectiveness of Gilmer’s Board of Education and Superintendent Lowther.

The GFP is applauded for its role in being a leader in WV for making education news accessible on the Internet.

By Frank Wiseman on 07.14.2018

From the entry: 'State Superintendent of Schools Delivers the State of Education'.

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Dr. Pellett, you attacked accuracy of the NCHEMS report in your Gazette article today.

It would be informative for you to give an Internet link to the report to permit it to be read and for you to publish a detailed critique of errors in it with backup evidence as proof.

By GSC EMPLOYEE on 07.13.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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A basic truism for a highly successful start up business is to offer a new top quality product in high demand at a price consumers can afford.

Why do Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors reject the concept? Specifically, as printed in the Democrat there is a proposal to establish a premiere five year teacher education program at the College with grads to receive a masters degree in teaching. A program of that type is desperately needed in WV and it is not offered elsewhere.

Word circulating is that Dr. Pellet, the Board of Governors, and dominant members of the County’s elite have summarily rejected the idea.

One excuse heard is that local power brokers do not want WVU involved with the College. Yet, in the Democrat Dr. Pellett is quoted saying that he is working on a new nursing program with WVU’s involvement.

Is the true reason of veto of the innovative teacher education program because Dr. Pellet and the Board of Governors were not originators of the idea to automatically cause its rejection?

Dr. Pellett is invited to explain to the public and concerned alumni why the program would not be in GSC’s long term best interests.

By Why Dr. Pellet and GSC BOG? on 07.13.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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The Glenville mayor is doing an excellent job and the town is lucky to have him on the job. Getting old houses torn down was a kept promise and the town looks much better at those places. Let’s have more of it.

By Citizen on 07.11.2018

From the entry: 'GLENVILLE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES'.

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Why is it that when tax dollars were spent on the higher education reorganization study by the Colorado NCHEMS group it is being keep secret from the public? Mr. Boggs how about helping out by informing voters how to get a copy of the report to read and decide for themselves?

By Voters Watching on 07.10.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Oops! Bay of Pigs not Figs. Shows that college profs are not immune to embarrassing gaffs.

By WVU Prof. on 07.09.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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There are two examples in Janis’ book regarding the Kennedy presidency. The first one deals with the group think Bay Of Figs disaster.

Those in Washington associated with invasion decisions considered themselves to be infallible world class thinkers. That mistake prevented critical and constructive review from anyone outside that tight group of political operatives.

The other example covers the Cuban Missile Crisis as an example of masterful diplomacy and planning to prevent a nuclear holocaust. President Kennedy deserved credit because he avoided group think traps from Bay Of Pigs lessons learned.

Higher education decisions in WV are made by individual tight knit Boards of Governors with excessive autonomy and no meaningful oversight.

Also, board members are there through political appointments at local levels. Governors traditionally rubber stamp the recommended appointments.

When serious group think mistakes occur at colleges and universities Boards are conditioned to assume that State bail outs will cover damages.

If private businesses are group think practitioners they never last unless they change strategies to avoid brutal market place penalties.

By WVU Political Scientist on 07.08.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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“Governance Changes Needed at GSC” is 100% correct.

Basically GSC Board of Governors and other leadership positions, have been a result of nepotism and crony friend choices.

Those two ‘tools’ rarely, if ever, give the best persons available to whatever the position requires.

Incest often produces less than desired outcomes as well.

By PAST Time for change @ GSC on 07.08.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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Advice for GSC’s president is to read Janis’book entitled Victims of Group Think.

The theme for the book is that alike thinkers of a group of elites in control can have colossal failures because they believe that their decision-making processes are unworthy of outside scrutiny.

Think about it. Did the airport to accommodate jet traffic at the mouth of Cedar Creek work out and did the federal prison result in economic prosperity with a hefty upsurge with GSC’s
enrollment?

What about the millions of dollars of new construction at GSC? Did it result in healthy enrollments as promised.

Some elites associated with GSC were strong advocates for the ill fated ventures.

GSC has been controlled too long by members of the same families. With the undeniable track record of declining conditions a few resignations would be a positive step.

The nagging governance problem affecting GSC has been shielding elite individuals from personal accountability without penalties for bad decisions.

By Governance Changes Needed At GSC on 07.06.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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Bigger is better? Rarely.

Everyone knows that school consolidation has resulted in failed outcomes.

This is laying the ground work, for an ego driven power grab.  The big institutions have no limit to their desire for money.

Stay small, and if failure occurs, fewer people are impacted.  Too large, and management of that soon turns into a problem.

By Its just planned failure. on 07.05.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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This information including details in the referenced full Report helps put GSC’s precarious standing in perspective. More information can be accessed at http://www.collegesimply.com.

That web site provides SAT student information for WV institutions of higher learning and GSC has the lowest scores.

Inferences from the scores and material in the report are that because GSC gets a large percentage of students from poor counties including Gilmer County, school systems there need improving.

Also, with employers becoming more sophisticated in hiring the best qualified graduates they access information of the type published on the web site given above.

The reason is that institutions with the best prepared students have more rigorous academic programs and they do not have to expend valuable time on remediation.

Provision of this comment is not intended to be a slam at GSC. The purpose is to encourage Dr. Pellett and the Board of Governors to devise a viable strategy for making the College a center of excellence to improve its standing in WV. It is that simple for guaranteed survival in the future.

By GSC GRAD on 07.05.2018

From the entry: 'Report recommends merging Bluefield, Concord, Glenville, WVSU boards'.

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We must be wary of how County K-12 achievement information is presented.

From the outset the new school board should focus on exactly how well our students are performing with mastering subjects, and not to fall victim to news unrelated to demonstrated student learning.

For one example the GCHS was awarded for its high graduation rate, but it ranked in the bottom 10% among WV high schools for college and career readiness of seniors.

This is not to say that graduation rates are unimportant, but they cannot be interpreted as fact of a direct relationship with how well students are prepared for college and careers.

For some schools an unusually high graduation rate could be a function of enforced “everyone passes” policy.

The point is that there is need for vigilance when student performance information is disclosed to the public so school board get all of it out so voters can decide where the County’s school system really stands.

By Give All Facts on 07.03.2018

From the entry: 'Governor Justice Announces Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education'.

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Word is that officers on the County’s school board have changed with Doug Cottrill becoming the new president and Shackleford the VP.

Voters request to know what the new board’s plans are for improving the County’s standing with the quality of K-12 education for math, reading, science, and other subjects, and correcting remaining problems at the new grade school contractors have not fixed.

Why not publishing monthly progress reports to cover the new board’s accomplishments? That job would be a good assignment for the new president.

By Voters Watching on 07.03.2018

From the entry: 'Governor Justice Announces Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education'.

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There is no mention of the facts Jumpin Jim defaulted on a 9 million dollar loan, poor record of paying taxes, nor the mess of the RISE flood funds handling. 

No wonder the poor score.  Anyone think it was ‘earned’?

By Jumpin Jim Nose Dives on 07.03.2018

From the entry: 'Low favorable marks for Manchin, Morrisey, Justice in latest PPP poll'.

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This news has great implications for GSC and Gilmer County. The College could form a partnership with the County’s school system to close the K-12 achievement gap.

For years while under State intervention it was denied that a gap existed, and the mantra was that the County was doing as well as the State as a whole.

That was like saying that we are OK with the State being ranked near the bottom for the quality of its K-12 education system and we should be content to wallow at the bottom too.

Ms. Patty Lowther, the new superintendent of schools, states that we must close the K-12 achievement gap and it is within the County’s capabilities.

She and her staff including Shelly Mason the new curriculum expert, principals, and the County’s teachers are actively involved with devising solutions to eliminate problems.

Regarding GSC, Dr. Pellett is on record with definite innovations to improve the College’s standing.

He has an unique opportunity to guide the College to contribute to Gilmer County having the best school system in WV as a model to emulate throughout the State and Appalachia.

In the past the typical Charleston trap has been to collect achievement data without expending successful efforts to interpret its meaning for use in solving under-achievement.

Dr. Pellett, Ms. Lowther, and Shelly Mason, with the help of other professionals in our schools can jettison that long standing road block to make Gilmer County a K-12 education standout.

Dr. Pellett in particular has an unparalleled opportunity to make his mark on guiding the College to improve K-12 education in the County and to let successes spread as examples throughout Appalachia.

There would not be a better way to justify the necessity of the College’s continuing existence for Gilmer County, central WV, and the entire State.

By Good News For WV on 06.29.2018

From the entry: 'Governor Justice Announces Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education'.

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If you can’t trust judges to do the right thing…. is there any reason to trust our whole system of government?  One has to wonder.

Now we are reading a judge likely to be impeached as well as the legislature is considering impeaching the governor?

Are the any honest people running for offices?

By crooks everywhere? on 06.27.2018

From the entry: 'Auditors Seek Answers on State Supreme Court Spending'.

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This does not rise to the level of impeachment. “Slick Willy” got a head job in the peoples oval office, and dripped semen on the peoples carpet then lied about it, and according to the democrats back then, that did not rise to the level of impeachment.

By The Silent Majority on 06.21.2018

From the entry: 'Senate and House Democratic Leaders Renew Call for Immediate Legislative Action on Justice Loughry'.

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Something happening is good.
That building has been empty far too long.

Now we shall see if it workable.
Hope for all involved, that their efforts work out for GC and GSC.

By Good on 06.21.2018

From the entry: 'GSC Bluegrass Music Education Center to hold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony'.

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Numbers of new businesses is not the important factor. It is how many new jobs were created for local employees. Politicians like to cite meaningless numbers to crow about and they get by with it too often. Empty store fronts on Main Street have not diminished in numbers. Where are the jobs and what do they pay?

By New Jobs? on 06.20.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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Similar to EDA if Gilmer’s SAT results were rosy the news would be out in banner headlines. Elites see to it to keep peasants at bay.

By SAT Checker on 06.19.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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Straddlin Joe had a chance to embrace conservatism and convert to Republican, as Governor Justice and much of the state has done. Politics in the state are no longer ruled by mine union bosses. It’s time we send him back to Marion County, as we did with Natalie Tennant.

By The Silent Majority on 06.18.2018

From the entry: 'Joe Manchin: Political games would cost West Virginians with pre-existing conditions'.

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If the so called business creation were true?
Wouldn’t the EDA be having all sorts of news releases?
You would think so.

EDA used to have monthly public meetings.
Now only four times a year?

Business things that slim nothing to discuss?
Or maybe secret meetings by the insiders?

By Gilmer EDA...private club ? on 06.15.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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If we can ask Jeff Campbell questions as a Gilmer County official why can’t we get timely information from other officials too?

For an example how did the County do with recent SAT testing?

Superintendents have the information so when is it going to be made public?

Hopefully the newly elected school board will take it on as a priority to get accurate student achievement information to the public with specific plans to make improvements where needed.

By End Public Information Embargo on 06.13.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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If true, this would be great news!

The Gilmer County Economic Development Association should be telling us in press releases who/what/where those new businesses are?

How about it GCEDA President Jeff Campbell?

Lets hear from you.

By reader6 on 06.11.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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Interesting chart.

But….it shows 4 new businesses in Gilmer…..in each of the past 3 months.
That…..is TWELVE new businesses!

BUT, BUT, where are they?

By Where are they? on 06.08.2018

From the entry: '866 New Businesses in West Virginia for May 2018'.

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You will find most ticks down low on grass blades along well traveled trails, where the unfed adults and even larvae and eggs are brushed off by a passing varmint. Another myth is that ticks will jump on you, of the thousands of ticks I have picked off grass blades and dropped in a cup of gasoline, I have never had one jump at me.

By Trespasser Will on 06.08.2018

From the entry: 'Insect-related illnesses are trending up'.

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Ticks don’t go, they are carried there by host animals. They are best controlled by controlling the host varmints in your back yard. As bad as Lyme disease is, from personal experience, believe me you don’t want Rocky Mountain spotted fever either.

By Trespasser Will on 06.07.2018

From the entry: 'Insect-related illnesses are trending up'.

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NEWS FLASH !
Rural West Virginia is STILL WAITING for that high speed internet that these two have been promising for 20 years!

By Rural WV still waiting.... on 06.06.2018

From the entry: 'U.S. Senators Manchin, Capito announce funding for rural communities'.

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Dilapidated buildings seem to make the news on a regular basis.

Dilapidated buildings are nothing more than an great indicator of a ‘dilapidated’ economy.

By WV's dilapidated economy on 06.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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I don’t know how the state can say that, male bears have been known to attack for unknown reasons, and of course females will attack if they perceive their cub is in danger. The best thing to do is shut the #### up and don’t be posting on Facebook what you have done.

By Tresspasser Will on 06.03.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia man accused of wrongfully shooting bear'.

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Steve and John,
My deepest heartfelt sympathy to you at this most difficult time.
I will miss your mother, my best friend, immensely! We laughed hard together and we cried together, only as two close cousins could do! We spent many hours on the phone chatting either catching up or talking about cooking, any hour day or night,it never mattered to us.

Our words to each other every time we spoke, “I love you sweet cousin of mine”

God’s Speed until we meet again!💞💓
Rest In Peace for eternity💓

Love you dearly,

Cousin, Jo Ann xoxoxo

By Jo Ann Emrick on 06.01.2018

From the entry: 'Catherine Ann Umanetz'.

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The loss of money at Cedar Creek was only part of it. Money spent on Leading Creek, more money to fill the huge hole at GCES, money to fix land slide at GCES because of poor site design work, money spent to fix various other botches that should have been done right to begin with, uncalled for huge pay raises to select central office staff to buy them off, money for playground equipment when existing equipment could have been used, money for an unneeded payroll clerk at the central office, money for a principal at Troy when the individual did not do the work, and more to include building GCES too small and Leading Creek too large with public funds. Will anything be done about it? Of course not except to continue the cover-up. Money trail too hot to handle.

By Etched Memory on 05.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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Many kudos to both the PACF people as well as their supporters!

Hard to believe how much good they are doing for so many, in just a few short years!

Keep up the good works!

By many kudos ! on 05.31.2018

From the entry: 'Grants Support Area Charities (Little Kanawha Area)'.

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Minney was just another ‘enabler’ for the blatant, bold faced, incompetent, corruption during the West Virginia State Board of Education overthrow of the Gilmer County School System.

Thousands of dollars wasted.  Do not forget the Cedar Creek property chosen by State Appointed Superintendent Blankenship in coercion with the former, ousted, GSC President Simmons.  The money spent clearing forest, the money spent bulldozing a road, until it finally became clear, they were on a ‘fools errand’.

Then to get out of that mess, Blankenship and Simmons,  trade that property, so a school could be built in a flood plain?

‘Education’ and common sense do not always go hand in hand.

If only people were as smart as they think they are.

By Another black eye for state intervention ! on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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All this Minney stuff brings up at least 2 questions:

WHY did state appointed super Devano hire Minney?

Why did the Doddridge folks hire Minney when he doesn’t have the required financial ‘credentials’ to be a district treasurer?

Either poor hiring practices or someone pulling strings.

By questions but no answers ? on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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And to think that OUR own little Gilmer County Library ranks in the top ten of libraries in the whole state!

By WOW--WOW--WOW ! ! ! on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia Libraries Rock Out with Summer Reading Programs'.

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Didn’t Mr. Minney approve paying select employees on payroll, for the days they did not work without board or superintendent’s knowledge or approval? Fortunately, he got caught by the board.

By Ridiculous on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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If you follow the money, you can easily see where all the money went in construction of Gilmer Elementary, why the school has so many physical issues and why there have been problems to get them fixed. Thanks the board for choosing a different auditor.

By FTM on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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There were a lot of corruptions under state control and superintendent Devano. They mismanaged funds and paid off several employees to keep their mouth shut. When the local controlled board chose a different auditor from the norm, they got caught. I think the remaining paid off employees need to talk the facts, quit, or get prosecuted.

By They were bad on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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That was far from the first time Mr. DM had gotten into trouble with the auditors. In previous years, findings for mismanagement of funds were issued against him in connection with other work places leading to dismissal.
The audit which is available on state DOE site couldn’t find any justification of board approval for payments, and mismanagement of funds.

By Don LK on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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He got caught of mismanagement of public funds.

By Jeremy D on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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I hear Gilmer schools treasurer Dan Minney is leaving. Why?

By Just Curious on 05.30.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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Good to see this program return after having it gone missing under the state appointed superintendent.

It was reported there was no place for it to take place.

Thank you Gilmer County Board of Education for making it happen.

By Some remember on 05.21.2018

From the entry: 'FREE breakfast and lunch this summer for Gilmer County Kids'.

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Pam,
Sorry to read of your mom’s passing. I remember may times spent in your home with your parents and brothers. Sending love and prayers to you and your brothers.
Sherry Broggi

By Sherry Straley Broggi and Rita Straley on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'Lora Faye Tomblin'.

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Really cool project to all who volunteered and those helping financially as well!

Where’s DR? He never misses these events?

By Very nice project - great volunteers! on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'CommunityImprovement™: Pavilion'.

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The GSC retention post must relate to those beginning in 2014 who planned for 4 year degrees and they dropped out. There probably were students who began in 2014 and they earned 2 year degrees before 2018 so they were not drop outs.

By GSC RETENTION? on 05.15.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Congratulations kids!  Setting up a scholarship fund is a GREAT idea! Where can we get information on who to contact and what local needs are?

By Reader on 05.14.2018

From the entry: 'Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Celebrates Seniors'.

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How large was GSC’s graduating class of 2018 last week and what was its original size the fall of 2014?

Accurate information should be available to indicate retention. One news source reported that 100 graduated in the class of 2018.

By Alumni on 05.13.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Some interesting results.  Should shake the trees a little.

By Spring cleaning! on 05.09.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Local Election Results - May 2018'.

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So sorry for your loss.  Prayers.

By Betty Woofter on 05.07.2018

From the entry: 'Ina Mae (Foster) Clem'.

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Anyone interested in facts for graduation rates after four years of college can access information on WV’s Education Policy Commission web site.

The last time information was reported WV State was listed at 13.6% compared to WVU’s at 35.9%. GSC was at 25.1%.

Comments submitted so far flag a serious problem in WV. Student achievement information is scattered all over with it being reported by the State, the federal government, and testing organizations including ACT.

Because WV lacks an effective State clearing house to sort through the information and to interpret it for practical application in improving our pubic school systems, too much important quality control material is neglected.

When citizens take initiative to obtain the information and they cite it they are often berated to be a form of “attack the messenger”.

Then too there are the perennial apologists who say that everything is “just fine” to help confuse the issue even more to detract from school improvements.

By WVDE Career Employees on 05.06.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Too often students have to go an extra year or longer to graduate from college with under graduate degrees because they were not prepared when they got there to enable them to complete on time.

The 35% graduation rate includes incoming freshmen who do not finish in four years, and it is factual that some of our public colleges have worse records than others.

WVU does above average, but it has large numbers of-out-of state better prepared students.

By R. Page on 05.06.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Rex Page claims we have a college graduation rate of approximately 35%.

In essence that is a FAILURE rate of 65% !

Think of how many dollars are wasted, and how many students are burdened with student loans, that basically will do them little good in life.

Oh yes.  It does pump money into the flawed system.

By Wv Has a FLAWED educational system ! on 05.05.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Even with enrolling in colleges where acceptance is noncompetitive, meaning that all applicants with at least C averages are accepted, the graduation rate to get a degree is around 35%.

This fact is more evidence for WV’s failed public education system and solid proof that a major top to bottom over haul is needed.

If we accept the often cited excuse that there is a problem with kids and their families to cause under achievement in school that line of reasoning suggests that West Virginians are inherently flawed. This is untrue and the problem lies with WV’s under performing education system.

By Rex Page on 05.03.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Disgraceful that WV lacks a top quality education system to prepare more high school graduates to be eligible for acceptance into the best colleges where there is competition for acceptance.

The deficiency forces students to attend lower tier places where everyone is accepted.

Why does WV fail to make improvements? It is because education delivery in our State is designed to be void of meaningful accountability for administrators.

By WVDE Watcher on 05.03.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Little doubt the block schedule system at the high school gives GC lower scores.

This has been proven over and over in other school systems.

Its an out dated and antiquated system.  Our board of education needs to get rid of it.

Gilmer County Board of Education….are you up to the job?

By Block Schedule Supported By Blockheads on 05.02.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Hopefully this is the beginning of doing better with getting out school news to Gilmer. It is far better to read timely news than to have to go to the Cornerstone to get it.

We wish Mr. Shuff the best in improving learning results at the HS. If he tackles problems like he engaged in athletics the HS will be put on the map for academic excellence.

When he gets his school improvement plan together everyone in the County will pitch in to help him succeed. Thank you GCBOE.

By Pleased Parents on 05.02.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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Mr. Williams has it nailed down.  Solid.

America’s entire education system is a farce.
Education administrators worry about their job than worry about the children.

Youth is our future.
By creating dummies, do not expect much of a future.

The children are being short changed, robbed.
America is being short changed, robbed.

But the failed administrators keep their jobs.

By Time To Clean the Education House! on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Is this article some sort of a joke ?
Certainly would seem so!

We are almost daily bombarded with chemical spraying from above.
We rarely actually have that clear, deep blue sky that God gave us.

If it happens we do get a clear(?) day, we will have the light blue, almost whispy white cloud sky.

Set a white bowl out in the rains.  Check to see what color the water is after a rain.  You will be
surprised.  Color will vary depending what is being sprayed on a given day.

If it were winter, I’d tell you to look at the snowflakes.  No more are all snowflakes different.  Watch what falls on your clothing, you will see 1,000’s of flakes all the same shape.  Again, depends what toxic material we are being blasted with.

Asthma attacks, ER visits are on the rise.
Do some web searching, plenty of websites report this travesty.  You tax dollars at ‘work’.

By WHERE ARE THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS ? ? on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Air Quality Awareness Week is April 30 – May 04'.

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Fraud is not only rampant in education, it consumes Gilmer County..  Those who Have want to keep it any and all costs, and those that don’t, want.  Gilmer needs a good house cleaning of court and legal ‘authorities’ as well if anything is Ever going to change.

By Spring cleaning! on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Fraud is committed in Gilmer County when citizens are told that our high school grads are prepared to be highly competitive for entry into the modern world.

The misinformation conflicts with verification that our grads lag when it comes to being college and career ready.

By being disadvantaged academically too many students drop out of college when they cannot compete and they often must go an extra year at a greater expense to catch-up.

There is another type of fraud not pointed out in the posting. It relates to bragging about the “fine” ACT test scores made by students at the GCHS.

For the ACT the average GCHS score as touted by school officials is close to 20. This may be slightly higher than average State scores, but here is the rub.

Our kids could not get accepted into top quality colleges and universities with stringent academic requirements to include those for ACT scores higher than most made at the GCHS.

What do they do? They attend institutions with relaxed acceptance criteria with some not having any basic requirements for ACT or SAT scores.

As a parent with a son at the Career Center I know that there must be remedial instruction in math and English for success in chosen career fields. It is called embedded instruction.

Because teachers must be hired at the Center for the catch-up it means that tax payers are paying twice (more fraud) for instruction that should have been done at the GCHS!

What can we do? Gilmer County must determine what must be done in our schools to make necessary improvements for the better to enable our kids to be the best they can be after HS. Simple isn’t it?

By We Want Better Schools on 04.30.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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It is easy to see through the motive for avoiding application of the same assessment approach in all of WV’s school systems.

The powerful in control do not want to make achievement results available for voters to compare academic results among districts!

That way opportunities for more accountability in ways school systems are administered will be nipped in the bud.

Interesting isn’t it that for sports minute attention is paid to comparing performances of all kinds of teams throughout WV.

Unfortunately the strategy will be to keep voters keenly focused on sports so they will not ask questions about education spending and how children are doing in mastering subjects in our school systems.

By WVDOE Disgusted on 04.20.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: State might let counties switch standardized test from SAT to ACT'.

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The West Virginia State Board of Education has operated as a “pin the tail on the donkey” bureaucratic nightmare for over a generation.

Currently, it is hard to envision any positive change in their SOP?

Try this, try that.  Change this, change that.
Continual evidence that all is being run as an experiment?
The WVBOE has no real clue what to actually do, in order to fix anything.

Money wasted. Children cheated of a good education.
Parents and taxpayers cheated.  Opportunities missed.

This is the WVBOE legacy.

By State BOE - dysfunctional is an understatement? on 04.16.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: State might let counties switch standardized test from SAT to ACT'.

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Maybe Jimmy can pay some of his tax bills now?

By Justice, pay your tax bills! on 04.15.2018

From the entry: 'City to purchase club owned by the governor’s company'.

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Reread the article and see what a wonderful set of excuses have been set forward.

Taxpayers give the state the funds for education.  It is then properly squandered leaving students with substandard educations.

These people have the audacity to blame the teachers on top of it.

State BOE, suck it up, fix the problem you and your previous board members have created. 

Make President Truman’s desk saying your motto:  “The buck stops here.“

That is, if you are up to it.

By Kanawha Reader on 04.15.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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West Virginia made national news again with its spending per student to be in the top third among the 55 states.

We spend more than $11,000 on average per pupil in our public schools. For comparison Utah spends about $6,500 per pupil and it ranks in the top third for the quality of its education system.

It would be interesting to know how much Gilmer County spends per pupil counting total funding from all sources.

WV is certainly no way near the top third with getting students college, career, and jobs ready right out of high school. Where is all our money going? What could we learn from rural states similar to Utah?

The worst culprit seems to be too many high paid people on WV payrolls who are non-contributers to making better lives for our kids.

By Economist on 04.14.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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Those of us who keep close tabs on student achievement want to know reasons for unacceptable reading, science, and math scores in Gilmer County and what is being done to correct them. For something this important the problems and solutions surely have been looked into.

By R. A. Beasley on 04.14.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

By Don't bring them to Gilmer! on 04.13.2018

From the entry: 'NEW “ALMOST HEAVEN” CAMPAIGN'.

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No matter what is going on in the State our concern is Gilmer County. The State reports on Zoom that 10th graders at the GCHS perform at the 35.9% proficiency rate for science.

Proficiency for 11th graders is 37% in math and it is commendable that the rate for them for reading is 64%.

What is being done to make improvements for science and math when students are about ready to graduate from HS? We hope that scores for reading hold up and even improve.

Why do we fail to receive updates for plans for proficiency improvements in the County’s schools?

In other WV counties superintendents provide that type of information on a routine basis.

By GCHS Parents on 04.12.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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