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Government Watchdog Groups: Pruitt’s EPA Exit “Long Overdue”

After allegedly overspending on everything from pens to lavish trips and accepting questionable deals from lobbyists, government ethics and watchdog groups say Scott Pruitt’s resignation as Environmental Protection Agency administrator is long overdue.

During his one-year tenure, Pruitt was seen by conservatives as one of President Donald Trump’s most effective Cabinet members, working relentlessly to dismantle Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing pollution.

Stephen Spaulding, chief of strategy for the group Common Cause, said Pruitt’s questionable past was widely known. His group had urged Congress to delay the confirmation when Pruitt withheld documents revealing corporate influence in his decisions as Oklahoma attorney general.

The Free Press WV
Many of the EPA regulations that Scott Pruitt scrapped or delayed as
EPA administrator had not yet taken effect before his resignation.


“He was clearly unfit for the position of public trust that he was in as administrator of the EPA,“ said Spaulding. “I think we were extremely troubled that the majority in Congress really refused to hold him accountable and, in our view, were complicit.“

Spaulding shared similar reservations about Andrew Wheeler, a former coal-company lobbyist and now EPA deputy administrator, who will take Pruitt’s place as acting administrator on Monday. Pruitt expressed no regrets in a letter submitted to media outlets on Thursday.

Environmental groups predict the Trump administration will continue its pattern of appointing the least likely candidate to head the agency. Kara Cook-Schultz, director of U.S. PIRG’s (Public Interest Research Group) toxics program, thinks the president should take time to really understand the purpose of the EPA.

“Scott Pruitt has failed in the EPA mission to protect human health and the environment, and Americans are less safe today than they should be, due to his poor decisions and leadership,“ Cook-Schultz said.

Like President Trump, Pruitt voiced skepticism about mainstream climate science. Andrew Wheeler also doubts that humans are a primary cause of climate change.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Joe Manchin: Political games would cost West Virginians with pre-existing conditions

The Free Press WV

When people ask why I voted against repealing the health care law, I always say it’s because we need to make sure those with pre-existing conditions don’t go bankrupt paying for basic health care.

I believe that every West Virginian deserves access to quality, affordable health care. I have always said that our nation’s current health care system is in need of repair, but I am very concerned our country is at risk of moving backward instead of forward.

Right now 20 U.S. Attorneys General, including the Attorney General of West Virginia, are suing to allow insurance companies to once again deny coverage to West Virginians with pre-existing conditions.

This impacts every family in West Virginia. More than 800,000 West Virginians have a pre-existing condition, including 90,600 children.

Illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease are only some of a very long list that are considered a pre-existing condition. But did you know that if you are a woman in West Virginia and get pregnant, you are at risk of losing your health care?

If you have arthritis, you are at risk of losing your health care.

If you have asthma, you are at risk of losing your health care.

If you have anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder, you are at risk of losing your health care.

It is important for everyone to have health insurance because your health can change in a blink of an eye, and West Virginians with pre-existing conditions like these are the ones that need health insurance the most.

What’s happening today is an unfortunate political move. Republicans in Congress have tried to repeal the health care law more than 50 times without once voting in a bipartisan way to preserve the good parts of the law, such as protections for the 800,000 West Virginians who, for now, can’t be denied coverage by insurance companies.

What makes this worse is we have two bipartisan compromises, which I have co-sponsored, one led by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and another one led by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). These bills include important steps that will help reduce health care costs for West Virginia families, and this agreement shows what is possible when we put people before politics. It’s shameful that Congressional Republicans refuse to bring that bill up for a vote.

On Monday, I asked West Virginians to share their stories with me, and my office has been flooded with stories. I heard from Katelyn in Elkview who has a pre-existing condition that could be used against her to take away her health care coverage.

She told me, “I am a 22 year old West Virginian who grew up in northern Kanawha County near Clendenin. I was diagnosed with anorexia when I was 13, and have struggled with it for years. I am thankful that the ACA created provisions that will allow me to remain on my parents’ health insurance until I am 26, but worry that my pre-existing condition could prevent me from getting insured in the future. Losing health insurance would mean me losing access to my mental health medication, as well as making it really difficult to access further treatment should I have a relapse. I also worry about how lack of coverage for my pre-existing condition could prevent me from affording care in the future — I hope to devote my life to public service, which is very fulfilling but does not pay well enough for me to afford to pay high medical bills. This is something that particularly worries me as I get older and am thinking about whether I will be able to afford to start a family. I hope that you will continue to defend the Affordable Care Act, particularly its provisions that protect people with pre-existing conditions and women’s health generally.”

West Virginians agree that we cannot go back to a time when insurance companies played God and decided who was insured and who was not. For a lot of West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, insurance coverage is the difference between life and death.

Supreme Court Upholds Ohio/West Virginia Voter Registration Process

The Free Press WV

This week, the United States Supreme Court handed a victory to West Virginia’s efforts to run fair and clean elections. This victory goes to our 55 county clerks and our dedicated elections staff who work day in and day out to ensure the integrity of our voter registration system.

The issue was whether our voter list maintenance program complied with federal law when it mandates that clerks send a postcard to registrants who have not voted for a designated time: in Ohio it is two years; in West Virginia it is four years. The circuit court in the Ohio case mistakenly held that Ohio violated federal law because it sent the postcards based solely on a person’s failure to vote, and that ultimately resulted in the names being removed from voter lists. 

The Supreme Court overturned the circuit court and found that Ohio had not acted improperly because the failure to vote merely triggered the local election clerks to send the postcard seeking verification of address and other information. When the registrant failed to respond, that is when Ohio placed the registrant on an inactive list. Then, if the registrant subsequently failed to vote in two consecutive federal elections, the Supreme Court found the combination of failure to respond to the postcard coupled with the lack of voting amounted to proper grounds to remove the registrant’s name from the voter lists. 

In Justice Alito’s opinion for the majority, he wrote that 24 million voter registrations are either invalid or significantly inaccurate in the United States, while more than 2.75 million voters are registered in multiple states. States have a compelling interest to maintain accurate voter registration lists, and the Court reiterated the 1993 National Voting Rights Act requirement that states must keep registration information current. Heading into this decision, secretaries of state were getting whipsawed by litigants:  one side saying the removal of names was disenfranchising voters, while other litigants were suing states to clean up the voter rolls. As West Virginia’s Secretary of State, my duty is to uphold West Virginia Code, and it directs me to maintain accurate voter registration lists.

In West Virginia we make it “Easy to Vote and Hard to Cheat” with our efforts to allow voters the option to register and update their registrations in many ways. When a resident moves, it is very likely that person goes straight to the DMV to get their address corrected on their license. Similarly, drivers must renew their licenses every five years, so voters can update their registration at that time as well. DMV’s involvement in the registration process keeps it easy to maintain accurate voter registration. People can also go to govotewv.com to update their voter information online or visit their local county clerk’s office to update information in person. 

As far as making it hard to cheat, everyone in West Virginia should know that the Office of the Secretary of State has changed the way we conduct investigations. We now have investigators contracted throughout the state, positioned to respond to complaints in a timely fashion. When it comes to elections, should you see or hear anything suspicious, please call our fraud hotline at 1.877.FRAUD.WV (1.877.372.8398).

When I took office, I made cleaning up elections a top priority. We began engaging a number of databases, including the U.S. Post Office, the Social Security Administration, the state Division of Corrections, and national databases such as the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to search for names that should not be on our voter registration lists. Some of these databases had not been used for voter list maintenance for nearly a decade. Working with county clerks, we have now removed 98,283 deceased, felon, duplicate, moved, or otherwise ineligible names from West Virginia’s voter registration files in just over a year. That represents about 8 percent of all registered voters in West Virginia. This cleanup not only reduces chances for fraud, it generates considerable savings to counties by reducing the number of ballots to be printed, reducing the size of poll books, and eliminating waste in precinct materials, supplies, etc.

And, counter to the failed argument that the cleanup is done to disenfranchise voters, please note that since taking office we have registered 66,871 new voters, 20,163 of whom are students from high schools around West Virginia. These new registrants are real people, ready to vote in local, county and state elections.

Another benefit of cleaning up voter rolls is that voter turnout will now be based on more accurate numbers, and confidence in elections should increase. Imagine what the bloated numbers did to lower voter turnout statistics - statistics that media often cite as an indication of lack of voter interest. Accurate rolls also eliminate frustration for candidates who try to locate voters via door knocks, campaign mailers, and get-out-the-vote efforts.

The Supreme Court decision is timely, as it reminds all of us in this very important election year for West Virginians to “Be Registered, Be Ready!” If you have moved, gotten married/changed names, or have any other significant change in your life that generates concern for the accuracy of your voter registration, check out govotewv.com, visit your county clerk, or call my office at 304-558-6000. And if you get a postcard from us in the future, please fill it out and send it back. The U.S. Supreme Court just gave Ohio and West Virginia a thumbs up to keep up our voter list maintenance procedures.


Mac Warner
West Virginia Secretary of State

U.S. Senators Manchin, Capito announce funding for rural communities

The Free Press WV

U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV, and Joe Manchin, D-WV, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $114,689 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development.

Funding will support law enforcement in the City of Spencer by allowing the city to purchase a police vehicle and various equipment, and improve energy efficiency for several small businesses in West Virginia.

“Federal investments in rural America and West Virginia help maintain a high quality of life in our communities,” Senator Capito said. “This funding will help law enforcement professionals keep our communities safe and give business owners the opportunity to save money and grow their operations. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for resources for rural communities and West Virginia.”

“Our law enforcement officials put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I fight to ensure our community law enforcement officials have access to the equipment and resources they need to do their jobs well. I’m pleased this funding will head to Spencer to enable them to purchase new equipment for police officers and also improve energy efficiency for small businesses throughout our state,” Senator Manchin said.

Preserving the Second Amendment

The Free Press WV

Americans who choose to lawfully exercise their right to keep and bear arms should be at liberty to do so.

Those who wrote the Constitution knew the importance of protecting core values, defending their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This was of such significance that the founders ensured the right to bear arms was enshrined into the Bill of Rights.

West Virginians and many who visit our state also cherish the right to carry a concealed handgun. Our office not only respects this personal freedom, we have been and remain committed to expanding the reach of the state’s concealed carry licenses.

We share this respect for the Second Amendment with a growing list of more than 35 states that recognize our traditional concealed handgun licenses.

Since 2013, approximately two dozen states have either recognized West Virginia’s concealed carry license for the first time or enhanced their agreement.

This represents real success and accomplishment – the product of our determined effort to protect the Second Amendment rights of West Virginia gun owners.

That same perseverance drives our office to maintain the broad recognition that West Virginia license holders enjoy, while constantly looking for new avenues with other states.

Our office’s tenacity underscores the benefit of having a concealed carry license, even though West Virginia’s constitutional carry law allows residents and visitors alike, ages 21 and older, to carry concealed without a permit.

Younger West Virginians, ages 18 to 20, may lawfully carry a concealed handgun by obtaining a provisional concealed handgun license. Those permits are recognized by 20 states.

Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand.

Traditional and provisional license holders are required to undergo basic firearm safety training. Such permits are granted only to applicants who are U.S. citizens with a clean criminal record and no addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Those wishing to obtain a concealed handgun license can do so by contacting their local sheriff’s office.

Those traveling with a concealed weapon should contact any state they will enter. It is the license holder’s responsibility to know and understand each state’s recognition status, its applicable laws and any local restrictions.

Mountaineers are always free and the Second Amendment is paramount.

We honor and protect this precious liberty as a matter of utmost importance because responsible gun ownership is a right, whether a person is from West Virginia or possesses a concealed handgun license from another state.

Self-defense, constitutional rights and personal freedoms will always be respected in West Virginia. A population that is free is best equipped to reach its full potential.

Patrick Morrisey is the Attorney General of West Virginia

National Police Week 18

Attorney General Sessions and U.S. Attorney recognize law enforcement service and sacrifice during national police week

The Free Press WV

FBI Releases 2017 Statistics on of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted


Attorney General Sessions and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia Bill Powell recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal police officers on the occasion of National Police Week, and commented on the FBI’s 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report.

West Virginia lost one officer in 2017. Lieutenant Aaron Crook of the Bluefield Police Department was killed in a vehicle crash while involved in a vehicle pursuit of a suspected drunk driver last May.

In recognition of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney Powell will recognize those lives lost and offer words of encouragement and gratitude at the Wheeling Police Department’s Law Enforcement Memorial Service this Wednesday, May 16 at Wheeling’s Heritage Port. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

“One officer death is too many,” Attorney General Sessions said.  “While we are inexpressibly grateful to have had a decrease in the number of officers killed in the line-of-duty last year, the number is still far too high.  At the Department of Justice, we honor the memories of the fallen and we pray for their families.  We are also following President Trump’s Executive Orders to back the women and men in blue, to enhance law enforcement safety, and to reduce violent crime in America. Those priorities will help keep every American safe, including those who risk their lives for us.  As always, we have their backs and they have our thanks.”

“Every loss is significant. The men and women in law enforcement choose to put their lives on the line every day in the name of safety and security for their fellow neighbors. It is many times a thankless job involving long hours away from their loved ones. There are no words that can truly express our gratitude for their service and sacrifice,” said Powell.

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 93 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2017 – a 21 percent decrease from 2016 when 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents.

Additionally, in 2017 there were 46 law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts – this is a 30 percent decrease from 2016, when 66 law enforcement officer were killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts.

For the full comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks and selected assaults resulting in injury, please see the 2017 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, released this week.

In October 1962, Congress passed and President Kennedy signed a joint resolution declaring May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.  The resolution also created National Police Week as an annual tribute to law enforcement service and sacrifice. 

During Police Week, which is observed from Sunday, May 13 to Saturday, May 19, 2018, our nation celebrates the contributions of police officers from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment in keeping our communities safe.

For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit www.policeweek.org.

To access the FBI’s 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, please visit www.fbi.gov.

EARLY VOTING

The Free Press WV

EARLY VOTING started WEDNESDAY and here are a few things you need to know:

1. It’s easy to vote during the Early Voting period, you can vote on your own schedule and the dates go from April 25 to May 5! That includes two Saturdays that you can make it to vote in this year’s Primary Election!

2. Call your County Clerk to find your polling place! The link can be found by clicking here.

3. Voter ID laws have changed, but don’t worry it’s simple. You can take either photo I.D. or non photo I.D. or you can take a friend to vouch for you. See below for a list of options and choose what is easiest for you!

The Free Press WV

WVDE to Provide Funding through USAD Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Free Press WV

West Virginia day care providers seeking ways to serve nutritious, healthy meals may qualify for funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program administered by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). The program offers cash reimbursements for meals served to children and USDA donated foods.

Children enrolled at childcare centers or other facilities participating in the child and adult care food program receive free meals. The reimbursement rate to providers depends on the number of children eligible for free or reduced price school meals. Participants may be reimbursed for up to three meal types including breakfast, lunch, snacks or supper.

Eligible childcare centers are licensed or approved public or private non-profit facilities. For-profit child care centers also are eligible if they receive compensation under Title XX of the Social Security Act for at least 25 percent of the children enrolled, or if at least 25 percent of the children they serve are eligible for free or reduced price school meals.

Licensed or registered family day care home providers also may participate in the program under the auspices of an approved family day care sponsoring organization.

There are 9 approved sponsors throughout West Virginia. Additionally, homeless shelters providing services for families and after-school programs located in low-income areas can participate. Program sponsors provide meals at no extra charge to all enrolled participants or participating facilities.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800.877.8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information reques0ted in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866.632.9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) MAIL: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) FAX: 202.690.7442; or

(3) EMAIL: .

Secretaries of State in West Virginia & Kentucky Arm Candidates with Cybersecurity Playbook

The Free Press WV

To mark their states’ candidate filing deadlines, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic Secretary of State of Kentucky, and Mac Warner, the Republican Secretary of State of West Virginia, are distributing the “Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook” to candidates in their states seeking to be on the ballot in 2018.

The Playbook was created by Defending Digital Democracy (DDD), the bipartisan initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School.  The document was originally released in print and online formats in November 2017 with the goal of providing political campaigns, candidates and their staff with the basic information to prevent digital attacks. 

West Virginia’s filing deadline was Saturday, Jan. 27th, while Kentucky’s is Tuesday, Jan. 30th.  Election officials are distributing the Playbook via email. 

“Election officials are constantly on guard to protect our election infrastructures from those who seek to undermine our democratic process. And campaigns and political organizations are targets, too,“ Secretary Grimes said. “I’m proud to partner with Secretary Warner to provide candidates in our states with the Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook. It is a fundamental resource to help them defend their campaigns in an environment of unprecedented cyber risks.“

“The Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook is an important tool for all candidates and their campaigns. It’s a good introduction to cybersecurity. As feedback is provided to DDD, the Playbook will become even more effective. It should be highly recommended reading for all campaign staff members,“ said Secretary Warner.

“From the outset, our goal at Defending Digital Democracy has been providing practical tools to help candidates in both parties reduce the risk of foreign interventions in campaigns,“ said Deborah Plunkett, former Director of the NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate, who led DDD’s effort to draft the Playbook. 

“Election officials in the states are on the front lines in the struggle to secure our elections, and we are pleased they are working alongside us in this important mission.“

“It’s going to take all of us working together in a bipartisan fashion to prevent foreign adversaries from interfering with our elections,“ said Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, and Matt Rhoades, Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign manager, who are Harvard Fellows and co-leaders of DDD. 

“The 2018 midterms are right around the corner, and our team is working hard to provide practical tools to candidates and election officials.“

The Playbook can be accessed online free of charge here: https://www.belfercenter.org/CyberPlaybook

It is a living, breathing document that is updated as technology and threats change. These are baseline recommendations, not a comprehensive reference to achieve the highest level of security possible. Next month, Defending Digital Democracy will be releasing similar tools for election officials.  

Since launching in July 2017, DDD has held multiple tabletop exercises with a bipartisan group of election officials to help prevent and prepare for cyber attacks.

In addition to Mook and Rhoades, DDD has bipartisan senior advisory group made up of leaders in technology, cyber security, and national security, including:

     
  • Heather Adkins, Director, Information Security and Privacy – Google
  •  
  • Dmitri Alperovich, Co-Founder and CTO – CrowdStrike
  •  
  • Chris Collins, Co-Founder, First Atlantic Capital
  •  
  • Siobhan Gorman, Director, Brunswick
  •  
  • Yasmin Green, Director of Research and Development, Google Jigsaw
  •  
  • Stuart Holliday, President and CEO – Meridian International Center; former United States Ambassador for Special Political Affairs at the United Nations
  •  
  • Kent LuCken, Managing Director, Citi Private Bank
  •  
  • Nicco Mele, Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy – Harvard Kennedy School
  •  
  • Debora Plunkett, former Director – National Security Agency’s Information Assurance Directorate
  •  
  • Suzanne E. Spaulding, former Under Secretary – National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) at the Department of Homeland Security
  •  
  • Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer – Facebook

Secretary Warner Announces the Start of Candidate Filings for 2018 Primary and General Election

The Free Press WV

Secretary of State Mac Warner says his Office is ready for the 2018 primary and general elections, starting with the January filing period for candidates.

On Monday, January 8th, candidates planning to run for office in the May primary and November general elections will need to file their certificate of announcement with the Secretary of State’s Elections Division or the county clerk’s office, depending on the office sought. Candidates have between January 8th and midnight Saturday, January 27th to file their paperwork.

“After overseeing 131 municipal elections last year and October’s special election, our office is ready for the 2018 midterm elections,“ Secretary Warner said. “I will do everything within my authority as the state’s chief elections officer to ensure our elections are fair end secure.“

Candidates for federal, statewide, legislative, and judicial (excluding magistrates) offices, as well as those running for office in more than one county file their certificate of candidacy with the Secretary of State’s Office. All other offices file at their respective county clerk’s office.

Offices on the ballot this year include: U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives; West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates; county commissions; county boards of education; conservation district supervisors; Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District; political party executive committees for statewide, districts, and counties; and any vacancies that are to be filled.

Candidates can file in person at the Secretary of State’s Office in Charleston during regular business hours and from 8:30 a.m. to midnight on January 27th. Candidates can also file at the North Central Business Hub, located at 200 West Main Street in Clarksburg, and the Eastern Panhandle Business Hub, located at 229 East Martin Street, Suite 100 in Martinsburg.

Alternatively, candidates can mail their certificate of announcement and filing fee to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, State Capitol Building, Charleston, WV 25305. All mailed filings must be received or postmarked by January 27th.

Also starting Monday, candidate filings in the Secretary of State’s Charleston office will be livestreamed on our website at www.wvsos.gov.

Governor Justice Wishes all West Virginians a Happy New Year

The Free Press WV

As 2017 ends, Cathy and I wish the great people of West Virginia a safe and Happy New Year.

There is a new spirit in West Virginia this year as we enter 2018. We have hope. We have great days ahead, and great things are happening in West Virginia. So count your blessings, and say your thanks to the Good Lord.

To all West Virginians wherever you may be, Happy New Year!

Congressional Delays In CHIP Funding Bringing Chaos

The Free Press WV

Healthcare systems are now bracing for chaos as Congress failed to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

According to a new analysis by the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, half of all state CHIP programs will have to shut down by the end of next month. Five states, including Virginia, won’t even last that long.

Linda Nablo helps run the Virginia Family Access to Medical Insurance Security program. As Congress has broken repeated promises to deal with the issue, she said they may now have to tell the families of 100,000 children their health coverage could end in a few weeks.

“I may now have to mail out another letter, saying. ‘No, it’s not January 31, it’s much earlier than that.’” Nablo said. “If you’re a parent, especially if you’re a parent of a very sick child, what do you think?“

West Virginia expects to run out of funding in March.

A plan to fund CHIP by cutting preventive and other care has backing in the House. But congressional leaders set that aside to pass the big tax bill, which includes corporate and estate tax cuts.

Some House Republicans argue that CHIP funding has to be offset to avoid increasing the federal deficit. But as they debate those issues, emergency room doctors say they’re planning for when the FAMIS children start showing up after losing coverage - often much sicker than they would be with it.

Dr. Sam Bartle at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond said he expects to see those parents trying to make heartbreaking decisions about their children’s illnesses.

“‘Should I bring them in now or can I wait? Is his wheezing, his difficulty breathing bad enough yet to come in? Can I wait until later and see if it gets better?‘ For some conditions, that can be deadly,” Bartle said.

Virginia is not the only state in this situation. Alabama reduced the number of children without health coverage to 3 percent - in part by getting 95,000 kids into the CHIP program.

Alabama CHIP director, Cathy Caldwell, said many of those families are starting to panic.

“Our phones are ringing off the wall,” Caldwell said. “We have panicked families wondering what in the world they have as options.“

Caldwell and Nablo both stressed, as the funding runs low, programs start to incur long-term damage.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

The Republican gamble on tax reform

The Free Press WV

In 2010, Democratic California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi famously said of the Affordable Care Act, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it away from the fog of the controversy.”

The statement was taken by Obamacare opponents as an indication of how Democrats crafted a complicated bill remaking the nation’s healthcare delivery system without a full understanding of its impact.

Now Republicans are passing, and President Trump will sign, the biggest tax reform plan since the Reagan tax cuts of 1981.  Certainly more details are known about the tax bill than the ACA.  There are numerous websites where you can enter your tax information and see how you will be affected.

However, that does not mean the tax bill is widely understood by Americans or, even if they understand it, they may not want it.

The New York Times did a survey of people that could expect a tax cut.  It found that “even among people with more than 90 percent chance of getting a cut, about half said they did not expect to get one.”

That helps explain why the tax cuts are not popular. The statistical website FiveThirtyEight reports, “According to an average of nine surveys taken this month, 33 percent of Americans are in favor of it, and 52 percent are opposed.”  Contrast that with the Reagan tax cuts when a Gallup Poll found 51 percent approved, while 26 percent were opposed.

These numbers and others put Republicans in a precarious position heading into 2018. The GOP is already bracing for losses often suffered by the party in power in midterm elections, especially when the President is of the same party and has low approval ratings.

West Virginia’s three Republican members of the House of  Representatives—David McKinley (R-WV1), Alex Mooney (R-WV2) and Evan Jenkins (R-WV3)–along with Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito all supported the tax bill.

Capito is not up for re-election until 2020. However, McKinley and Mooney have to defend their seats next year, and Jenkins is running for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate.  They have to own the tax bill during the 2018 election cycle.

They are banking on that working out for them. Their best arguments are that more than 80 percent of West Virginia taxpayers use the standard deduction rather than itemizing and those folks all get a tax break. Additionally, small businesses, which dominate the state’s economy, will also see a lower tax liability.

But a lot of things could go wrong. There could be a massive correction in the stock market.  The economy could hit one of its cyclical downturns.  What if big corporations, which stand to benefit most from the tax bill, see profits surge, but wages do not follow?  What if the deficit explodes?

The political fallout could be dramatic.  Americans, who according to surveys never saw taxes as their top issue, will take out their frustrations on the party in power, giving Democrats in West Virginia and across the country a foothold to try to regain their majorities.

Republicans said they needed the tax bill; they and President Trump had to have a legislative victory to carry them through the midterms.  We will know in a few months whether that was the correct calculus.

A Republican version of the Pelosi blunder might be, “Let’s pass the tax bill and see what happens.”

Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct

Five senators are now calling on President Trump to resign over allegations that he sexually harassed or assaulted women, and 56 House lawmakers with the Democratic Women’s Working Group are calling for a congressional investigation into the allegations.

This comes as three of the 16 women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual harassment held a press conference in New York, demanding that Congress take action.

We speak with one of them: Samantha Holvey, a former Miss USA contestant for North Carolina and from Gilmer County, WV when Trump owned the pageant.

We are also joined by Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and we play an excerpt from the Brave New Films documentary “16 Women and Donald Trump.”


The Transcript:

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Five senators are now calling on President Trump to resign over allegations that he sexually harassed or assaulted women. This is New York’s Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand speaking Monday on CNN.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: President Trump should resign. These allegations are credible; they are numerous. I’ve heard these women’s testimony, and many of them are heartbreaking.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Senator Gillibrand joins Senators Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden in calling on President Trump to step down. Meanwhile, 56 House lawmakers with the Democratic Women’s Working Group are also calling for a congressional investigation into the allegations against Trump.

AMY GOODMAN: This comes as three of the 16 women who have publicly accused President Trump of sexual harassment held a news conference in New York on Monday, demanding Congress take action. The women shared accounts in which they said Trump groped, fondled and forcibly kissed them. Monday’s news conference was held by Brave New Films, which released the documentary 16 Women and Donald Trump in November.

JILL HARTH: He groped me. He absolutely groped me. And he just slipped his hand there, touching my private parts.

TEMPLE TAGGART: He turned to me and embraced me and gave me a kiss on the lips. And I remember being shocked and—because I would have just thought to shake somebody’s hand. But that was his first response with me.

JESSICA LEEDS: It was a real shock when all of the sudden his hands were all over me. But it’s when he started putting his hand up my skirt, and that was it. That was it.

KRISTIN ANDERSON: The person on my right, who, unbeknownst to me at that time, was Donald Trump, put their hand up my skirt. He did touch my ###### through my underwear.

LISA BOYNE: As the women walked across the table, Donald Trump would look up under their skirt and, you know, comment on whether they had underwear or didn’t have underwear. I didn’t want to have to walk across the table. I wanted to get out of there.

KARENA VIRGINIA: Then his hand touched the right inside of my breast. I felt intimidated, and I felt powerless.

MINDY McGILLIVRAY: Melania was standing right next to him when he touched my butt.

JESSICA DRAKE: When we entered the room, he grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission. After that, I received another call from either Donald or a male calling on his behalf, offering me $10,000. His actions are a huge testament to his character, that of uncontrollable misogyny, entitlement and being a sexual assault apologist.

SAMANTHA HOLVEY: I’m, you know, sitting there in my robe and having, you know, my makeup and hair done and everything, and he comes walking in. And I was just like, “Oh, my goodness!” Like what is he doing back here? I saw him walk into the dressing room.

TASHA DIXON: He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked. Waltzing in, when we’re naked or half-naked, in a very physically vulnerable position.

SUMMER ZERVOS: And he came to me and started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me towards him. He then grabbed my shoulder, and he began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast. And I said, “Come on, man. Get real.” He repeated my words back to me—”Get reeeeeal”—as he began thrusting his genitals.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s an excerpt from the documentary 16 Women and Donald Trump. The women are now calling for a congressional investigation into sexual misconduct by President Trump. Last year, several Republican lawmakers distanced themselves from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign following the release of the 2005 videotape showing Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women.

Trump responded this morning on Twitter to the allegations, writing, quote, “Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia—so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!” he tweeted.

Well, for more, we’re joined by Samantha Holvey, former Miss North Carolina. She was a U.S.—Miss USA contestant in the pageant that Trump owned. She’s one of the 16 women who has accused President Trump of sexual misconduct, and she spoke out at the news conference on Monday.

Welcome, Samantha, to Democracy Now!

SAMANTHA HOLVEY: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: So, you just—we just played the video, of which you’re a part. Can you talk about your experience of Donald Trump and then what he’s saying—”I don’t know them, I never met them”?

SAMANTHA HOLVEY: So, the first time I met Donald Trump, we were in New York City doing a media tour, all 51 of the Miss USA contestants. And we were at Trump Tower. They lined us all up, and so he could meet all of us. And I’m thinking this is going to be a meet and greet, you know, lots of eye contact. That was not the case at all. He walks by, and by every one of us, or at the very least me. He just looked me up and down like I was a piece of meat. There was no “Hi. How are you doing? Are you excited to be here?” None of that. I was just a piece of meat that was his property. And I thought, “Oh, goodness. I hope I never have to deal with him again. I don’t want to be around him.”

And then finals night rolls around. And I’m, you know, in hair and makeup. I’ve got curlers in my hair, nothing but a robe on. I’m just 20 years old. And he comes waltzing in to hair and makeup and is just looking around, not talking to us, asking us how we’re doing. And by the way, you know, Miss USA was not my first pageant. I’ve been—I’ve competed in other pageants. And the directors, no men were ever backstage. So this is not something that happens.

So, I see him walk in to hair and makeup, and he’s looking us all over. And then he waltzed right into the dressing room, where we have two big security guards making sure that nobody but female contestants and chaperones are allowed in there. But he walks right on in.

And to hear him talking about he’s never met any of us—you know, this is what happens every year. It wasn’t just 2006. He bragged about this on Howard Stern. And silly me, I should have been watching Howard Stern, because he bragged about it the year before I competed at Miss USA. So this was a known thing that he did. And so, it’s just amazing to call me a liar, when I’m just verifying his own words.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders responded to the allegations against Trump during Monday’s press briefing. This is what she said.

PRESS SECRETARY SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: As the president said himself, he thinks it’s a good thing that women are coming forward. But he also feels strongly that a mere allegation shouldn’t determine the course. And in this case, the president has denied any of these allegations, as have eyewitnesses. And several reports have shown those eyewitnesses also back up the president’s claim in this process. And again, the American people knew this and voted for the president, and we feel like we’re ready to move forward in that process.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Samantha, your response to Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ statement? Also, you initially raised these allegations, as did many of the women, last year during the campaign. What’s the change now, the decision now to come to this press conference yesterday?

SAMANTHA HOLVEY: You know, it was a tough decision to come back out, because I did get a lot of backlash last year when I spoke out, and so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through all of that again. But when the—the idea was that all of us would come together, that all 16 women would come together, and seeing us as a group, seeing us there supporting each other, as well as telling our stories, there’s power in numbers. And that’s what I was just hoping, that maybe this year it would be different, since the climate is different.

AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday, I went to the news conference, Samantha. You were there, along with Jessica Leeds, a woman who says Donald Trump attacked her, sitting next to her in first class in a plane, groping her, until she got up and left. And this is Rachel Crooks, who also spoke at the news conference with you, who said Trump forcibly kissed her, against her will, in 2005.

RACHEL CROOKS: About 12 years ago, as a young receptionist in Trump Tower, I was forcibly kissed by Mr. Trump during our first introduction. Mr. Trump repeatedly kissed my cheeks, and ultimately my lips, in an encounter that has since impacted my life well beyond the initial occurrence, in feelings of self-doubt and insignificance I had.

Unfortunately, given Mr. Trump’s notoriety and the fact that he was a partner of my employers, not to mention the owner of the building, I felt there was nothing I could do. Given this hostile work environment, my only solution at the time was to simply avoid additional encounters with him.

I do realize that, in the grand scheme of things, there are far worse cases of sexual harassment, misconduct and assault. But make no mistake: There is no acceptable level of such behavior.

That some men think they can use their power, position or notoriety to demean and attack women speaks to their character, not ours, which, believe me, is a tough lesson learned. In my case, I only felt the redemption of knowing it was not my own flaws to blame, when I read the account of Temple Taggart, whose story had so mirrored my own that I finally felt absolved of the guilt that I had somehow projected an image that made me an easy target. Instead, this was serial misconduct and perversion on the part of Mr. Trump.

AMY GOODMAN: Rachel Crooks. Now, Donald Trump has just fired back this morning on tweet. Five senators have called for him to resign. He fired back at New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, after she joined the four other senators and at least 56 lawmakers in the House who have called for a congressional investigation into the sexual misconduct accusations against him. This morning, Trump tweeted, “Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”

I want to bring—I want to bring Cecile Richards into this conversation, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, CEO of the organization, as well. As you listen to Samantha and Rachel, some of the 16 women who have accused Donald Trump, and then see what he is tweeting today, attacking the senators, particularly the female senator, of the five—

CECILE RICHARDS: Correct.

AMY GOODMAN: —who are calling for him to resign, with sexual innuendo in his tweet, your thoughts?

CECILE RICHARDS: Well, first, I just think Samantha is extraordinarily brave, and the other 15 women, because you can see now why women don’t come forward. I think, obviously, it’s time for an investigation of Donald Trump. And the fact that he is in fact going after women, I think, is going to embolden women. I mean, you know, as difficult as this is to experience, the outpouring of women now supporting each other and telling their stories is like nothing I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, including women that we see at Planned Parenthood.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And the impacts across the spectrum in terms of Washington itself, in terms of lawmakers now, as more and more calls for investigations of individual lawmakers are occurring.

CECILE RICHARDS: Right. Well, I think this is—I mean, the story that Amy refers to this morning of now women in Congress finally saying, who have been—you know, have basically suffered this kind of treatment for their entire careers, are now saying it’s time to investigate this, and holding people to a standard, is incredibly important. I don’t think any of us saw this happening. And ironically, I believe the president is actually encouraging more women to now stand up and come forward, particularly—and I’m sorry that he said this about Samantha—the fact that he’s actually saying that he doesn’t even know who these women are, trying to essentially erase them in every way. And it’s because women are saying “Enough” and standing with each other that I think we’re going to see change.

Reading Trump

The Free Press WV

Writing about politics for a living means I must think about President Trump more often than is healthy to think about any person who does not live in my own household.

The man is inescapable. As Andrew Sullivan put it at New York shortly after the inauguration, Trump is always “barging into [my] consciousness.“ Like George Orwell’s Big Brother, “His face bears down on you on every flickering screen. He begins to permeate your psyche and soul; he dominates every news cycle and issues pronouncements — each one shocking and destabilizing — round the clock.“

So sometime in 2016, trying to create some mental distance from Trump for the sake of my own sanity, I stopped watching and listening to him almost entirely. Sure, there are occasional exceptions — if, for example, I’m tasked with covering a speech in real time, or if a bit of Trump happens to appear in some late-night TV clip I watch — but for the most part I avoid all video and audio recordings of the president.

Instead, I read him.

Transcripts are available so quickly and easily online these days that this is ever more feasible. And in the process of making this switch, I’ve found its benefits go well beyond clearing my mind of Trumpian clutter. Perhaps most notably, it makes it possible for me to fairly recognize when Trump gets something right.

Readers of my work here at The Week and elsewhere will know that, as a Christian and a libertarian alike, I rarely find common ground with this administration. And I confess — whether as a result of something unique about Trump, or my own lack of charity, or simply this incessant familiarity breeding an instinctive hostility — my default at this point is to assume I will disagree with whatever Trump says. When I watch Trump’s words coming out of Trump’s mouth, I often struggle to assess their policy content independent of the president’s personal manner and history of ethically gross behavior.

Reading him helps to level my mental playing field, to evaluate what he says dispassionately and on its own merits rather than those of its source. For instance, as messy as Trump’s messaging on NATO burden-sharing tends to be, I’ve argued that he is right to raise the question of rethinking how the United States relates to this alliance. Reading his speeches on the subject helped me see the value in what he said.

Lest this seem like an exercise in giving Trump more benefit of the doubt than he is due, let me now add that reading Trump is also worthwhile for those whose default reaction to him is the opposite of my own. You see, Trump is in a narrow sense an excellent salesman. He is something of a one-trick pony in this regard — his sales shtick does not work on every audience, not by a long shot — but when he’s talking to his people he has this down to a science.

But here’s the thing: It’s a package deal. I’ve found when talking to older relatives who reflexively like Trump that the fastest way to get them to seriously assess whether something the president said is good and sensible is to help them hear the words without Trump himself being involved. Because reading the president (particularly if you watch him regularly) can result in hearing his words in his voice in your head, I do this by reading aloud for them a Trump statement, ideally at least one paragraph long.

As it turns out, encountering a Trump comment divorced from Trump’s salesmanship changes the experience enormously. Gone is the staccato rhythm of speech, the pregnant pauses, the evocative gestures, the crude imitations of people he doesn’t like. Instead, I read Trump’s words out loud with normal inflection and all the enthusiasm of an 11th-grader tasked with reading the part of Brutus for the class. Granted, my sample size is small, but so far I’ve found this practice is universally successful at negating Trump’s personal appeal and forcing my listener to examine what he says as they would if they heard it from anyone else.

Consider, for example, what may be Trump’s single most famous sentence, a 285-word run-on monstrosity:

Look, having nuclear — my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, okay, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart — you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, okay, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world — it’s true! — but when you’re a conservative Republican they try — oh, do they do a number — that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune — you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged — but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me — it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right — who would have thought?), but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners — now it used to be three, now it’s four — but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years — but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us. [President Trump]

Watching and hearing Trump say this, if you’re a Trump supporter, may not raise any red flags. But try reading it out loud in a normal voice, making sure not to include pauses for the nonexistent sentence breaks in the middle, and any persuasive power goes out the window. It’s just the rambling of a sleep-deprived man who should have given up boasting of his college career half a century ago. It includes no articulate policy statement about the subject at hand, which is ostensibly the Iran nuclear deal.

The third advantage I’ve found in reading Trump is it has encouraged me to do the same thing with other politicians and public figures. I especially suggest this method when evaluating women, as it helps us sidestep petty considerations about voice and manner that too often distract from the real questions of women’s competence in and contribution to the public square. I am no supporter of Hillary Clinton, for example, but I never want to see her lose elections because of something as inconsequential as her voice.

~~  Bonnie Kristian ~~

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Readers' Recent Comments

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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