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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.


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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Why was there no outrage like this when Billy Boy was doing his deed in the White House? and other places?

Oh, I forgot.  He was the media’s boy?

By HOW COME NOW ?  on  12.14.2017

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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 ~~

The Numbers on Trump’s Lies Keep Going Up

The Free Press WV

As of 3am Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, Donald Trump has told 1,628 lies since taking office. We know this because the Washington Post has been diligently watching the numbers, keeping tabs on Trump’s huge fibs and falsehoods. Over the 298 days since his inauguration, Trump has told an average of 5.5 lies every single day of the week, Monday to Sunday. While he barely works weekdays and golfs every weekend, he apparently never takes a vacation from lying.

Over the last 35 days, Trump has been even more dishonest than usual, upping his daily average to 9 lies every 24 hours. Thanks to the extra effort he’s put into misleading the country on a diversity of topics in recent weeks, he’s likely to reach “peak liar” status by January 20. “That puts the president on track to reach 1,999 claims by the end of his first year in office, though he obviously would easily exceed 2,000 if he maintained the pace of the past month,” the Post notes.

Trump tends to lie about the same things over and over again. Near the top of his greatest hits are taxes. Trump falsely stated 40 times that GOP tax reform will yield the biggest tax cut in history, and 50 times erroneously suggested the U.S. is the highest taxed nation in the world. Fifty-five times Trump has boasted about achievements he played no part in, especially when it comes to saving or creating jobs. But Trump has lied about Obamacare more than any other topic, stating some 60 times “some variation of the statement that the Affordable Care Act is dying and ‘essentially dead,’” according to the Post. That is just not true. “Indeed, healthy enrollment for the coming year has surprised health-care experts,” according to the outlet.

Trump’s lies are dangerous for reasons many have acknowledged. Obviously, the spread of misinformation and disinformation and the obliteration of truth may hold deep consequences for society and our already flawed democracy. All politicians lie, but Trump lies habitually, and with alarming frequency. The only surprise about Trump’s lying at this point is what he chooses to lie about—how easily disprovable his lies are and how unconvincing he is after so much practice. Of course, that matters little to Trump’s base and the GOP overall, for whom whataboutism and “if true”-ism are perfectly good stand-ins for what we’re constantly told are traditional values and morals.

   

Kali Holloway

Holding VA Medical Providers Accountable

The Free Press WV

Following a USA Today investigation revealing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) concealed poor care and mistakes made by its medical workers, two senators have introduced legislation to hold the VA accountable.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., introduced Monday the VA Provider Accountability Act, which would require the VA to report major adverse actions to the National Practitioner Data Bank and state licensing boards.

The bill would also prohibit the VA from signing settlements with fired or dismissed VA employees that allow the VA to conceal serious medical errors or purge negative records from personnel files.

“The vast majority of VA healthcare providers are well-trained, caring, patriots who work hard to take care of our nation’s veterans,” Manchin said in a release. “But, just like in any healthcare system, there are bad apples.”

Manchin, a member of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said the VA Provider Accountability Ace is a commonsense piece of legislation to ensure that incidences of malpractice do not go unreported to state licensing boards and the National Practitioner Data Bank.

“It also stops those who commit malpractice from receiving a settlement so they will quietly resign and become a provider outside of the VA. By imposing these oversight measures on the Department of Veterans Affairs, we are ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all Americans.”

Heller added that the USA Today investigation findings were “downright shameful.”

“We need action immediately to ensure that the VA does not hide medical mistakes or inadequate care.”

He continued, “It is our responsibility to stand up for those who put their lives on the line for this country and provide them with the world class medical care they expect and deserve. The VA lists integrity as its first core value, and VA employees make the promise to act with high moral principle and adhere to the highest professional standards. Our legislation will make sure of it by holding the VA’s feet to the fire so that the veterans the agency exists to serve have trust in their caretakers.”

House Tax Bill Would Increase The Cost Of College

The Free Press WV

The repeal or revision of higher education tax benefits in the House Republican bill would cost students and families more than $71 billion over the next decade, according to an official analysis by Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation.

In a letter obtained by The Washington Post, the committee provides specific individual scores of the education provisions in the House bill. Those that directly benefit current students, borrowers and employees seeking college credentials amount to tens of billions of dollars in revenue for the government, but lost savings for taxpayers. The committee tallied the costs at the request of Sen. Patty Murray, Wash., the ranking Democrat of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

“At a time when higher education costs are skyrocketing, it is extremely disappointing Republicans are trying to jam through a plan that will take money from students and families who are trying to send their kids to college - all to pay for a massive tax cut for corporations and the richest among us,“ Murray said. “Republicans need to stop playing partisan games with our students’ education, and start working with us to provide more opportunities for all.“

House Republicans rattled universities, graduate students and education loan borrowers with proposals to dramatically shake up the landscape of existing tax credits, deductions and exclusions.

Graduate students, for instance, mobilized to fight against the proposed repeal of an exemption from taxes on the waivers that cover their tuition. Many have argued that counting their tuition as taxable income would result in a tax burden they could not cover with the money earned from working as teaching or research assistants. Repealing that exemption would yield the federal government $5.4 billion in revenue over the next decade.

Another hotly contested House proposal involves the elimination of the student loan interest deduction, which lets people repaying their student loans reduce their tax burden by as much as $2,500. Getting rid of the deduction would cost borrowers over $21 billion in the next 1o years. More than 12 million people took advantage of the deduction in 2015, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That’s just about 3 in 10 of the 44 million Americans with student loans.

Millions of Americans also take advantage of the three higher-education tax credits - the American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit and Hope Scholarship Credit - that House Republicans want to consolidate. The government would get $24.1 billion in revenue by repealing the Lifetime Learning Credit. But that money would come at the expense of graduate students who under the proposal would be largely shut out of the consolidated tax credit.

While policy analysts agree that tax credits should be streamlined, many worry that consolidating them without a meaningful increase in funding or expansion of the criteria would prove detrimental to people paying for college. They also worry that House Republicans are discouraging workforce development by proposing the repeal of an exemption that prevents the federal government from taxing tuition assistance provided by employers. Eliminating that statute would yield $20.6 billion over a decade, which taken with the other three repeals amounts to $71.5 billion.

“The biggest losers will be students repaying their education loans, young adults seeking graduate degrees and adults seeking continuing education to upgrade their skills in a rapidly changing labor market,“ said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education. “We’re moving in precisely the opposite direction from where we should be going.“

Some within higher education are relieved that Senate Republican tax bill side steps many of the higher education proposals made in the House, including the graduate tax and interest deduction. Still, there is no guarantee that those provisions will remain off limits during reconciliation.

GOP Braces for Extended Clash in Alabama

The Free Press WV

With President Donald Trump standing on the sidelines, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his allies on the ground in Alabama are bracing for an extended conflict — not with Democrats, but with their own party in Washington.

The divide between the state and national GOP reached new depths late Wednesday as more allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Moore, an outspoken Christian conservative. Already, the Republican National Committee, the Senate GOP campaign committee and the party’s leading voices in Congress have called on the 70-year-old former judge to quit the race.

Ever defiant, Moore offered fighting words in a tweet addressed to the top Senate Republican: “Dear Mitch McConnell, Bring. It. On.”

Chris Hansen, executive director of the national GOP’s Senate campaign committee, fired back, “‘Bring It On’ is a movie about cheerleaders.”

At least three new allegations of misconduct were reported on Wednesday, including one by Tina Johnson, who told AL.com that Moore groped her during a 1991 meeting in his law office. Two others told The Washington Post they were young women when Moore courted them as a district attorney in his 30s. Three other women told the newspaper last week that they were teens when Moore tried to initiate romantic relationships. One said she was 14 when Moore touched her over her bra and underwear.

“There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children,” Ivanka Trump told the AP on Wednesday. “I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts.”

Her father, however, dodged questions about the turmoil in the Alabama Senate race on Wednesday. President Donald Trump, who withstood allegations of sexual assault weeks before his own election, was uncharacteristically silent when faced with questions about the scandal.

Washington Republicans had looked to Trump as one of the few remaining hopes for pushing a fellow political rebel from the race.

Behind the scenes, aides described Trump as vexed by the Moore issue. Even if he should speak out, he might make an uncomfortable critic: The allegations against the bombastic former judge echo Trump’s own political problems when he was accused weeks before the 2016 election of more than a dozen instances of sexual harassment. The Trump aides would not be named discussing the matter because they were not authorized to discuss private conversations.

To a great extent, the anti-establishment forces that propelled Trump to the White House are now strongly behind Moore, and Alabama Republican leaders are reluctant to enrage his loyal conservative supporters.

The Alabama Republican Party is expected to maintain support for their embattled candidate.

The state GOP’s 21-member steering committee did not take a final vote after an hours-long meeting to discuss their options on Wednesday, which took place before new allegations of misconduct surfaced, according to three people familiar with the meeting who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

The state GOP has the power to revoke Moore’s GOP nomination and ask election officials to ignore ballots cast for him, but that would risk a lawsuit and backlash from Moore supporters. The party has little interest in alienating Moore’s followers a year before elections in which the governor’s office and entire state Legislature will be in play.

Outside the state party headquarters, Moore’s campaign chairman and personal attorney addressed reporters on Wednesday, trying to undercut the story of one of the women who has accused Moore of sexually accosting her when she was in high school.

The attorney, Phillip Jauregui, demanded that Beverly Nelson “release the yearbook” she contends Moore signed. The lawyer questioned whether the signature was Moore’s and said it should be submitted for handwriting analysis. Neither the attorney nor the campaign manager addressed the original allegations from his other accusers. They did not take questions.

Gloria Allred, Nelson’s attorney, later said her client would allow the yearbook to be examined only if Moore is questioned under oath by a Senate committee.

The unusual news conference suggested that Moore, a judge twice removed from his post as state Supreme Court chief justice, was digging in, leaving his party with two damaging potential election outcomes. His victory would saddle GOP senators with a colleague accused of abusing and harassing teenagers, a troubling liability heading into next year’s congressional elections, while a loss to Democrat Doug Jones would slice the already narrow GOP Senate majority to an unwieldy 51-49.

It’s too late to remove Moore’s name from the ballot, so fielding a Republican write-in at this point would almost certainly hand the election to the Democrats unless he should withdraw and persuade his supporters to vote for that substitute.

According to internal polling conducted by the Senate GOP campaign arm and reviewed by The Associated Press, Moore trails Democrat Jones by 12 points — 39 percent to 51 percent — in the survey conducted on Sunday and Monday. Moore led by 9 points the week before in the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s internal numbers.

National GOP leaders were openly discussing a write-in candidate, although they had not yet agreed on who it should be. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has encouraged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step up. But Sessions, whose former Senate seat is at stake, has indicated he has no interest in that.

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said that he’ll write in another name on Election Day and Sessions would be an “ideal candidate.” But he also said “I don’t see any movement” toward an effective effort with the election less than a month away.

McKinley & Thompson Stand Up for Rural Patients, Hospitals

The Free Press WV

Representatives David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) and Mike Thompson (CA-5) introduced H.R. 4392 to reverse a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule cutting $1.6B for drugs purchased by certain hospitals covered under the 340B program. These cuts jeopardize care for millions by directly reducing revenue to hospitals that care for vulnerable patients in underserved and rural communities, without addressing the underlying price of the drugs.

“Protecting access to prescription drugs for low income communities should be a priority. Unfortunately, CMS’s misguided rule jeopardizes the ability of rural hospitals to provide vital services. This would have a huge impact on West Virginia hospitals’ ability to provide affordable care. We led a bipartisan letter to CMS with nearly 250 signers, urging them to reconsider, but they didn’t listen. This bill ensures that hospitals are able to continue providing affordable services, and gives rural families peace of mind,” said McKinley.

“This rule dramatically undermines the ability of hospitals across the country to deliver care to our nation’s most vulnerable populations. I’m disappointed that CMS did not listen to hospitals, nor a majority of members in the House and Senate, and approved a rule that puts both hospitals and patients at risk,” said Thompson. “I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stop this rule and ensure the 340B program can continue to serve low-income populations as Congress intended.”

“The AHA thanks Representatives McKinley and Thompson for leading this bipartisan effort to protect patient care by preventing CMS from reducing Medicare Part B payments for some 340B hospitals,” said Tom Nickels, Executive Vice President of the American Hospital Association. “For 25 years, the 340B Drug Pricing program has been critical in helping hospitals expand access to lifesaving prescription drugs and comprehensive health care to low-income patients and other vulnerable populations in communities across the country.”

“The AAMC would like to thank Representatives McKinley and Thompson for introducing this important bipartisan bill to prevent major Medicare cuts to safety net hospitals that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program,” said Atul Grover, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President of the Association of American Medical Colleges. “This program provides savings to many teaching hospitals, allowing them to maintain vital services for patients at no cost to taxpayers.”

“We thank Congressmen McKinley and Thompson for their leadership and support for low-income Americans and their essential hospitals,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, President and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “They understand the damage this policy will cause to communities in West Virginia, California, and across the country, and we appreciate their efforts to protect patients. We urge all House members to support access to affordable drugs by supporting this critical legislation.”


Background

On November 01, 2017, CMS cut the reimbursement rate for Medicare Part B drugs purchased by certain hospitals covered under the 340B program by around $1.6B. This legislation would completely negate the effects of this rule.

Since 1992, the 340B program has used mandated discounts offered by drug manufacturers to help hospitals and other covered entities provide discounted drugs and lifesaving services to their patients. The CMS rule eliminates funding that hospitals use to support the unreimbursed cost of care for those who need it the most.

On September 28, 2017, McKinley and Thompson organized a bipartisan letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma urging the administration to withdraw its harmful proposal to cut the 340B Drug Pricing Program. This letter was signed by 228 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who understand that protecting access to affordable care is a top priority.

The Results of The October Special Election in WV

The Free Press WV

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner issued a proclamation yesterday that the results of the October 7th special election for a constitutional amendment allowing the issuance of road bonds are now certified.

Voters cast 122,419 ballots in the October 7th special election, with 72.85 percent of voters approving the Roads to Prosperity Amendment of 2017, and 27.15 percent voting against the amendment. Voter turnout was 10 percent of those registered to vote by the September 18th deadline.

“Thanks to quick work by county clerks and county commissions, we can now release the official results of October’s special election,” said Secretary Warner. “I’m thankful for those who took the time and effort to let their voices be heard. I am also thankful for the hard work put in by our 55 county clerks, their staff, and the poll workers who gave their time to ensure a smooth election process.”

County commissions, working as the Board of Canvassers, canvassed the results. Once canvassed, the county commissions sent copies of the certifications to the Secretary of State’s Office. The amendment provides for the improvement and construction of roads in the state by the issuance of bonds not to exceed $1.6 billion.

What Does the Virginia Election Say about West Virginia?

The Free Press WV

Democrats are understandably pumped after Tuesday’s elections.  Democrats won the governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey and scored additional victories across the country.  The Dems erased a 32-seat Republican advantage in the Virginia House of Delegates and, depending upon recounts, could become the majority in the House.

Democrats are crediting their victories to energized voters response to Donald Trump’s presidency.  Virginia Governor-elect Ralph Northam capitalized on Trump’s unpopularity among a majority of the voters of the Commonwealth to defeat Republican Ed Gillespie.

“Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we will not condone hatred and bigotry—and to end the politics that have torn this country apart,” Northam said in his victory speech Tuesday night.

So do the Virginia results provide any early signs of what might happen in West Virginia next year, especially in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin and, on the Republican side, either Congressman Evan Jenkins or Attorney General Patrick Morrisey?

Virginia had been more of a purple state, although it is clearly bluer after Tuesday.  Hillary Clinton won by five points in Virginia, the only southern state to back the Democratic nominee. By contrast, Trump carried West Virginia by a whopping 42 points over Clinton.

Clinton won the Washington, D.C. suburbs and urban areas while Trump won rural areas of Virginia, including every county that borders West Virginia (except Loudoun County, which is just outside of D.C.).

The Trump counties in Virginia, especially those in Appalachia, are demographically similar to West Virginia—largely rural, white and poorer.  Gillespie carried nearly every county Trump won last November.

Gillespie was particularly strong in counties that border West Virginia. He captured an average of 71 percent of the vote in 13 of the 14 counties. The lone exception, just like last year, was Loudoun County, where Northam won with 60 percent.

Here’s another way to look at the results:

Twenty-five of Virginia’s counties are considered Appalachian.  Trump won all but one of those counties (Montgomery) last year with an average of 74 percent of the vote.  Gillespie’s results were identical. He won 24 of the 25 Appalachian counties with 74 percent.

All 55 counties in West Virginia are considered part of Appalachia and Trump won every county in the state in 2016.

Nationally Democrats need something to build on after 2016, and they should be energized after Tuesday.  However, the Virginia vote also showed Trump’s base remains strong. That’s a positive sign for Republican candidates in West Virginia next year and an area of concern for Senator Joe Manchin and the rest of the Democrats in the state.

“Patriotic Millionaires” Question Tax Cuts For The Wealthy

The Free Press WV

As details of the GOP’s tax plan take shape, a group of wealthy business leaders and investors has launched an online tool to help taxpayers see past the political rhetoric and weigh in on the new policies.

Erica Payne is president of the group Patriotic Millionaires. She said politicians often use public speeches calling for tax reform to distract voters from a tax code she said would put more than $1 trillion into the pockets of the richest people in the country.

“If these millionaire tax breaks go through, the middle class is going to pay for them,” Payne said. “They will pay for them in worse roads, worse schools, higher taxes themselves, higher local taxes. So they need to get activated, and they need to impact this tax debate.“

Payne said one goal of the Taxpayer Action Center is to help level the playing field and give voters the same access to elected officials as the professional lobbyists and powerful interests that have helped shape the tax plan so far. Proponents of the measure say all Americans will get tax breaks, and claim lowering the corporate tax rate will lead to increased wages and economic growth.

Payne said the new online resource, which taps analysis and data from a dozen think tanks and nonprofits, can help taxpayers fact-check promises made by politicians. She said the plan, giving two-thirds of the proposed tax breaks to the top 1 percent of earners and waiting for that money to trickle down, won’t spur economic growth.

She said instead, letting working families keep more of their money would boost the economy because they would spend it on essentials.

“When you give it to rich people, they do not do that,” she said. “They stick it into accounts, because they don’t need to spend the money, because they already have more money than they know what to do with. And so it does nothing economically to give tax breaks to millionaires.“

Congressional leaders delayed the release of their tax plan while working on it in secret. A version in the House is moving quickly, but is expected to slow in the Senate.

The Patriotic Millionaires’ online resource can be found at TaxActionCenter.com.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Dear Democrats: Screwing Public Schools Won’t Get You Elected

The Free Press WV

“Here we go again,” was what many left-leaning folks likely felt after seeing a recent announcement about a new effort by wealthy donors to rescue the Democratic Party from its electoral doldrums. Backed by $20 million, the “New Blue” campaign, coming from politically centrist think tank Third Way, promises to lead the party out of the “wilderness” of its minority status to a pathway to “achieving progressive majorities up and down the ballot.”

But Third Way’s offer sounds more like a continuation of the old losing ways. This is especially true on the issue of education where Third Way continues to bang the drum for a failed agenda that voters mostly reject.

Third Way was founded in 2005, mostly with the support of the financial industry and business executives, to cement the “New Democrat” centrism of the 1990s and make Bill Clinton’s presidential administration the permanent leadership of the party. The organization “championed disastrous trade accords, balanced budgets, and cutting the safety net,” writes Robert Borosage, but now swears to mend its elitist ways and “discover how to talk to working people without alienating Wall Street.”


New Blue Blinders

Any lesson Third Way is trying to learn from its outreach to the working class is likely being lost in translation according to Molly Ball of The Atlantic. Ball accompanied Third Way researchers on a foray into middle America to find out why communities in Wisconsin, Indiana, and other parts of the Midwest flipped from voting Democratic to Republican in 2016.

“It was Third Way’s vision that had been on the ballot in 2016—and lost,” Ball explains, and now the organization wants to know why working-class voters switched, and it pledges to approach that subject with “open mindedness… humility and respect.”

Ball notes that while Third Way professes to advocate for “what the plurality of Americans are thinking,” it tends to favor an agenda that doesn’t align particularly well with what the majority of Americans, or even most Democrats, seem to want.

Throughout Third Way’s history, its calls for cutting Social Security and Medicare and its reluctance to increase the tax burdens on Wall Street and the rich have not aligned with the views of most voters. While Third Way has long urged Democrats to meet conservatives “in the middle” on issues like health care, trade, a $15 minimum wage, and tuition-free college, most Democrats today want their party to move further to the left and embrace populist grassroots causes.

According to Ball, during its outreach to the Rust Belt, Third Way heard a lot about the issues dividing Americans and making compromises between Republicans and Democrats difficult, but then decided to report instead that working class Middle America “wanted consensus, moderation, and pragmatism—just like Third Way.”

While Third Way eagerly reported about “a local employer who sang the praises of automation,” Ball notes, it neglected to include the voices of “union members who worried about jobs disappearing.” Third Way reported its encounter with a technical-college instructor who called the education crises spawned by conservative governors like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Michigan’s Rick Snyder “opportunities,” but chose not to report about “public-school teachers who saw their classrooms gutted by voucher programs.”


The ‘New Normal’

In its education manifesto “The New Normal in K-12 Education,” Third Way declares that the contentious arguments over important education matters — such as charter schools, standardized testing, and how to recruit and retain teachers – are essentially over and that those who are “fighting in the trenches” just need to get with the program.

The “program,” Third Way advances sounds very much like what’s been in place for the past 15 years, especially during the Obama administration under the leadership of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The title of Third Way’s document is borrowed from Duncan’s own words to describe the need for schools to go along to get along with the “new normal” of Republican fiscal austerity coupled with ever harsher accountability mandates and more competition from charter schools.

Duncan’s calls for higher class sizes and leaner compensation for teachers didn’t sit well with parents then, and Third Way’s support for charter schools, more standardized testing, and cuts for experienced teachers is not popular now.

Support for charter schools has dropped by double digit percentages among Democrats and Republicans, according to a recent poll. Another recent survey found the public is also generally opposed to using voucher money to send students to private schools, an idea pushed by current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that Third Way completely ignores (maybe because it’s too divisive). That survey also found most of voters don’t find test scores to be the best indicators of school quality. Lack of funding continues to be the issue most often cited by voters as the biggest problem schools face. But Third Way says nothing about that either.

So if Third Way wants to understand what made Rust Belt Midwestern voters flip to Trump and how it should talk to these voters, it should start with changing the way it talks about education.


Look at Erie

If Third Ways’ researchers want to understand where the education fight fits in in a new politics for a new era, they should include Erie, Pennsylvania in their forays.

Erie had given Obama double digit victory margins in both 2008 and 2012. But in 2016, it was just one of three Pennsylvania counties that flipped to Trump. Trump won the Quaker State by 0.7, only 46,765 votes.

When I covered a story about school closings in Erie earlier this year, I found a community seething with discontent over the “new normal” embraced by Third Way and Democratic Party establishment policy-makers during the Obama years.

Lack of funding, persistent segregation, and the incursion of charter schools were bankrupting the district, while federal mandates on testing and accountability labeled the schools “failures,” which further accelerated their slide over the edge. Charter schools competing for education funds received federal dollars to expand, costing Erie schools $23 million annually, according to the most recent count.

Erie’s education crisis was inextricably entangled with the economic crisis of the community. Trade and labor policies supported by the federal government for years had helped encourage most large-scale employers to downscale employment or move factories to more profitable labor markets. Most recently, the local GE plant issued another round of layoffs, taking a payroll that once topped 20,000, down to 4,500 workers. After a previous layoff at GE in 2013, one worker hung himself from a factory crane.

“When you think about what happens when industries pull out of towns, the tax base implodes, schools [are] not well funded, and the death spiral continues,” Princeton University’s Anne Case tells a reporter for Vox.

Policies pushed by Third Way and other centrist Democrats not only don’t interrupt the death spiral, they hasten it.
A New Movement

If Third Way’s New Blue initiative is ever going to amount to any serious recalibration of the Democratic party’s message, its researchers should not only talk with white laborers but should also talk with Democrats.

What they would learn is that today’s party members are “unimpressed with party leaders whose main claims to leadership are their lengthy résumés as members of the ruling elite,” writes Richard Eskow.

In examining the same polling data I cite above, Eskow notes how out-of-step Third Way and the rest of the Wall Street wing of the Democratic party are with the party’s grassroots momentum. “The party’s voters are looking to movements to bring them new leaders and a leftward shift,” Eskow notes, “something broader and deeper, something that infuses its members’ lives with purpose and meaning.”

Those Democrats “in the trenches” fighting to save public schools are part of that movement looking for something more meaningful than the new normal Third Way promotes. They, and not Third Way, represent the only viable future the Democratic party can hope to have.

~~  Jeff Bryant ~~

Trump’s Declaration on Public Health Emergency - Opioid

The Free Press WV

Statement by Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), regarding Donald Trump’s Declaration of a Public Health Emergency:

“Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Legislature have worked diligently to ensure the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has the support necessary to fight substance abuse.  My hope was that the President’s declaration would’ve resulted in additional resources and an even better partnership with Washington to combat this devastating crisis.  West Virginia has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country (41.5 per 100,000 residents in 2015, age-adjusted) which is more than double the national average.  We are losing a generation of West Virginians to drug abuse, and in some cases, two generations.  The Department is working across its bureaus, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, Bureau for Medical Services, Bureau for Children and Families, and the Bureau for Public Health, to address this issue.  Any additional resources that could be directed toward this fight are critically important in our efforts to slow the progression of a problem that is devastating so many families and communities in West Virginia.”

The War on Coal Is Over… Sort of

The Free Press WV

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has announced that his agency is beginning the formal process to repeal the Clean Power Plan.  “The war on coal is over,” Pruitt said Monday during a visit to Hazard, Kentucky, to announce the policy change.

Well, not exactly.  It won’t be as easy as it sounds for the agency to abandon the Obama Administration’s plan for putting coal out of business as a way of mitigating climate change.

According to the New York Times, “In order to repeal regulations, federal agencies have to follow the same rule-making system (requiring periods of public notice and comment) used to create regulations, which can take about a year.”

Of course there will be a showdown with the greens who promise court challenges. “But neither the EPA nor President Donald Trump can repeal the Clean Power Plan by fiat, however, much as they might like to pretend they can,” writes Paul Rauber in the Sierra Club magazine.

That’s rich, since the anti-carbon crowd expressed no such outrage when the Obama Administration bypassed Congress and used executive powers to force the draconian rules on the coal industry.

The EPA’s legal rationale for CPP was suspect from the start.  The agency took an element of Section 111 of the Clean Air Act and twisted it to comport with its agenda of remaking the country’s energy portfolio. The stretch was so egregious that when challenged, the U.S. Supreme Court took the unusual step of blocking the rule until it could be adjudicated in a lower federal court.

The agency consistently played fast and loose with the supposed benefits.  As the Wall Street Journal points out, “social costs were compared against global climate benefits,” and even those were minute.  By the EPA’s own models, the CPP would have reduced global temperatures by less than 0.01 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy tried to sidestep the contention that the rule would make it impossible to build a coal-fired power plant in the future by arguing on behalf of viability of carbon capture technology. “We believe carbon sequestration is actually technically feasible,” she testified before Congress.

But technically feasible and commercially viable are distinctly different.  Mississippi Power Company’s Kemper County power plant was supposed to be the shining example of how the Clean Power Plan could work with carbon sequestration, but that has turned into a boondoggle. The operators have abandoned coal and turned to natural gas.

Natural gas and alternative fuels that are increasingly market-viable are the biggest competitors to coal.  For decades, coal provided cheap, reliable energy for a growing economy.  It still plays a critical role and will for years to come, although the marketplace is much more rigorous and coal will never been what it once was.

But at least now that the Trump Administration is righting the wrong of the previous administration, coal’s chief competitor will no longer be the federal government.

Health Consequences from Carbon Pollution Rollback

The Free Press WV

Doctors are warning that the Trump administration’s intent to roll back the Clean Power Plan will mean more respiratory illness, especially in vulnerable neighborhoods.

In a long expected move pushed by the coal industry, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has announced plans to end Obama-era rules limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

But according to federal projections, by 2030 the Clean Power Plan would prevent 90,000 asthma attacks and 3,600 premature deaths a year.

Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, says poor and minority communities are being hit the hardest.

“The children’s data has definitely shown that, in those areas that have more carbon pollution, young people in our communities are really disabled, and our families are spending much more time and money and effort on asthma than ever before,“ she states.

Pruitt predicts ending the Clean Power Plan will be good for mining communities and will mean the so-called war on coal is over.

But Rios points out the real war is on poor children’s health, as coal-burning power plants most often put soot into the air in poor white and minority communities.

She says even if the nation ignores the issue of climate change and the extreme weather it causes, cutting power plant emissions would have total health benefits of $14 billion to $34 billion.

The EPA itself has estimated those health benefits at $54 billion annually.

“The government’s number one responsibility from a public health perspective is to help all people, and that’s why we think President Trump and his administration really should not go backwards in cutting back on environmental health standards,“ Rios stresses.

The Clean Power Plan calls for a one-third reduction in carbon pollution from 2005 levels by 2030, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration says the power sector is already almost there.

When the plan was proposed, Americans filed 8 million favorable comments with the EPA – the highest number ever in support of an EPA proposal.

The agency is now taking comments on the plan to reverse it.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

The Agonizing But Necessary Gun Debate

The Free Press WV

The mass shooting in Las Vegas has rekindled the gun control debate, as happens every time a homicidal maniac targets innocents, but we never get very far with the discussion.

Fox News Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt said the extreme elements demagogue the issue before there’s an opportunity to have a rational conversation.  “So now we know the cycle: Gun control advocates and politicians who seek their support exploit the shock of the moment to rile existing supporters. Gun control opponents, in turn, exploit the gun-grabbing talk to keep their people anxious and angry.”

Stirewalt said the politicians who are supposed to be developing policy “wince their way through an awkward week or so and then, nothing happens… until next time.”

The polarization of the debate, while not conducive to compromise, is reflective of a country divided over gun control.  Pew Research reported in 2017 that “51 percent say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 47 percent say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns.”

However, those positions do not have to be mutually exclusive, as the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made clear in his 2008 majority opinion in District of Columbia v Heller. The 2nd Amendment does mean an individual has a right to a gun, but Scalia also cautioned that it is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

That clearly left the door open for public policy makers to impose limitations without infringing on the Constitutional protection.  But what should those limitations be and, more importantly, will they be effective in reducing the threat of gun violence and mass killings?

Consider one small example that may be relevant to the Las Vegas shooting: Multiple reports say at a number of Stephen Paddock’s guns was modified with a “bump stock.” That’s a legal accessory that enables a semi-automatic gun to operate like an automatic weapon. That would explain how Paddock was able to fire off hundreds of rounds in a short period of time.

The bump stock-equipped rifle is not classified as an automatic weapon and subject to far more restrictive federal regulations because the trigger is pulled multiple times by way of the modification rather than just once like a machine gun.  However, the effect is the same.

Alex Yablon of The Trace, an independent newsletter that covers the gun issue, wrote in 2015, “Bump fire enthusiasts on YouTube often laugh when they begin shooting, as if to say, ‘Can you believe we’re getting away with this?’”

Yablon says add-ons such as the bump stock are part of the fast-growing “tactical segment” of the gun industry.  Many gun enthusiasts want more military-style weapons and the market is meeting that demand and developing after-market accessories

Is equipment that modifies an AR-15 so it can perform like a machine gun slipping through a loophole in the 1986 law (signed by President Reagan) that basically outlawed the manufacture of new machine guns or is it protected by the 2nd Amendment?

The gun debate is complicated on micro and macro levels, and these are not easy discussions, especially in the emotional aftermath of mass murder. But if not now, when?

~~  Hoppy Kercheval ~~

For YOU...By YOU

West Virginia

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From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages

The Free Press WVCan anyone still doubt that access to a relatively free and open internet is rapidly coming to an end in America?

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National

Politics

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Trump and Elizabeth Warren

The Free Press WVThe dark history of Pocahontas, whose name Trump keeps evoking to slam Elizabeth Warren

I Am President Trump, and I think Women Are Very Special

The Free Press WV“Women are very special. I think it’s a very special time, a lot of things are coming out, and I think that’s good for our society and I think it’s very, very good for women, and I’m very happy a lot of these things are coming out. I’m very happy it’s being exposed.“  — President Donald Trump

Reading Trump

The Free Press WVDon’t watch Trump. Don’t listen to him. Read him.

Harassment Allegations

The Free Press WV Trump often condemns Democrats, defends Republicans on harassment allegations

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Hey, Congress – #metoo means you, too

The Free Press WVA spirited back and forth this week with Councilwoman Catherine Moy on abortion, #metoo and Congress got me thinking.

Judiciary chairman says 2 Trump picks not moving forward

The Free Press WV The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says two of President Donald Trump’s nominees for federal judge are going nowhere.

Justice official defends Mueller, sees no cause for firing

The Free Press WVDeputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, facing congressional questions about anti-Donald Trump text messages exchanged between two FBI officials assigned to the Russia probe, defended special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday and said he had seen no cause to fire him or received encouragement to do so.

Democrat Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset

The Free Press WVIn a stunning victory aided by scandal, Democrat Doug Jones won Alabama’s special Senate election, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump, who urgently endorsed GOP rebel Roy Moore despite a litany of sexual misconduct allegations.

Trump’s tweets about Gillibrand sexist, crude?

The Free Press WVPlowing into the sexual harassment debate in a big way, President Donald Trump laced into Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday, tweeting that the New York Democrat would come to his office “begging” for campaign contributions and “do anything” to get them. Democrats accused the president of making crude insinuations.

Tax bill won’t matter when it’s time to vote

The Free Press WV“There’s nothing wrong with supply-side economics that division by 10 wouldn’t cure.“

Trump to pitch tax plan; Treasury offers rosy estimate

The Free Press WV Donald Trump on Wednesday will try to sell the American people on an unpopular Republican tax overhaul that his administration claims will generate about $1.8 trillion in new revenue — a figure that a top Democratic lawmaker dismissed as “fake math.”

Trump Accusers Banding Together to Demand Investigation

The Free Press WV 3 women will speak to Megyn Kelly; press conference will follow

3 Trump accusers speak out, call for congressional prob

The Free Press WVThree women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment shared their stories on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today.”

WV Legislative Update

imageDelegate Brent Boggs - Minority House Finance Chairman

Have A Minute?‏

The Gilmer Free PressSenator Capito’s Weekly Address to West Virginians

The McKinley Capitol Report

The Gilmer Free PressEPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Comes to the Hill

Trump a no-show in fight against opioids

The Free Press WV

FACT CHECK: Trump off on black homeownership, trade

The Free Press WVIn his Alabama-ish rally, President Donald Trump falsely stated that black homeownership has hit a record high under his stewardship and made the dubious claim that he set Canada’s prime minister straight on the state of trade between the two countries.

McKinley Praises EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

Pruitt Makes First Appearance Before Energy and Commerce Committee

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Readers' Recent Comments

Why was there no outrage like this when Billy Boy was doing his deed in the White House? and other places?

Oh, I forgot.  He was the media’s boy?

By HOW COME NOW ? on 12.14.2017

From the entry: 'Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct'.

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Wanna bet that in green counties when results sag there is no hesitancy to make administrative changes when needed? In Gilmer County the approach has been to hide facts and to manufacture rosy ones to report to citizens.

By Moore on 12.11.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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This is basically the process for an improvement plan. A school board specifies student achievement standards and it assigns a superintendent to work with central office staff and school administrators to produce a comprehensive plan for making needed changes. After putting a plan in place results are closely monitored by a school board while holding a superintendent personally accountable for achieving the standards.

By School Board Member In A Top Performing County on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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Did I miss the County Commission Agenda for the December meeting?  The GFP site is displaying a little differently and I can’t seem to find it.  Do they still meet on First and Third Fridays??

By Searching on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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The no excuse rate for Gilmer County is 59% and there are only three other WV counties worse off. This alarming information flags dire need for the County’s school board to do its job by implementing an improvement plan.

By Gilmer Students Ripped Off on 12.08.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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“We’re going to see a sea change in American agriculture as the next generation gets on the land,“

Yeah, right.  That will last about as long as it takes to discover exactly how hard farming is, and the amount of work it takes to make even a minimal living.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 11.30.2017

From the entry: 'A Growing Number Of Young Americans Are Leaving Desk Jobs To Farm'.

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I always thought a Harvard education was something special.  Well, I guess it is.  Just a week ago they had ‘sex week’.  One of the course offerings was analsex101.  That’s right.  Google it.  Plenty of coverage. True story.

By Harvard 'taint what it used to be? on 11.23.2017

From the entry: 'Feds Threaten To Sue Harvard Over Asian-American Admissions'.

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This is nothing new.  It has been happening for years and no attempt to stop it.  Just quiet it down when word leaks out.  The court system thumbs their noses and laughs at ‘their hillbillies’.

Remember the hub-bub about $100,000.00 bathrooms in the Capitol building a few months ago?

Think they have them all remodeled so those whom you elected can krap in style the next legislative session?  lol

By Web on 11.18.2017

From the entry: 'Legislators Turn Focus on Supreme Court Spending Following Report on Luxury Purchases'.

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The justices are part of the aristocracy. Does anybody think that they care what the peons think?

By Skip Beyer on 11.18.2017

From the entry: 'Legislators Turn Focus on Supreme Court Spending Following Report on Luxury Purchases'.

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Why are Gilmer’s voters kept in the dark about activities of the two LSICs in the County? No published agendas before meetings, no published meeting minutes, and plans with details for school improvements are not disclosed. Violation of WV’s open meeting laws? To top it off memberships of LSIC’s and who selected the individuals are kept secret from voters.

By Gilmer Voter on 11.16.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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LSIC plans are short on specifics for measurable academic improvements to be achieved. That way no matter what happens extraordinary successes can be proclaimed. The strategy is designed to make meaningful accountability impossible for school system administrators.

By More Of Same For WV Schools on 11.15.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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A food pantry opens at Marshall University?

For students I can understand.
But its also for faculty and staff?

Really now?  Their salaries are that poor they need access to a food pantry?

Times area really tough in West Virginia.  Really are.

By Tough Times at Marshall University on 11.14.2017

From the entry: 'West Virginia News'.

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LSIC=Local School Improvement Council. Each WV school has one. Google to learn what each one is supposed to do to improve a school. Ask for plans for your schools.

By POGO on 11.13.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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What is this “LSIC” commenter speaks about?
Who and what is that all about?

By reader on 11.12.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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Fellow West Virginian’s.  What is being seen here is Paine’s return to ‘power’ and the continued 20 years charade by the WVBOE.

They spend your tax dollars.  They do their best to cover their failed efforts.  They cheat our children of a good education. 

They play (think manipulate) with the grading system every couple years, making it impossible to follow students upward or downward progressions.

Don’t expect any good, any progress, any improvement to happen in West Virginia.  It’s not in the cards.  Well, that is not in the ‘administrators’.

By 20 years of WVBOE 'playing' school on 11.12.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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All high schools in WV have ACT Profile Reports for each graduating class.

The only performance information typically cited in school districts is average ACT scores for graduating classes.

If you can get copies of Reports for your high schools read them to independently evaluate testing results for career and college readiness, science, technology engineering and math (STEM), and other categories.

Chances are that your local administrators gloated that average ACT scores for graduating classes are commendable to give your high schools passing marks, but other testing outcomes in the Reports may show otherwise.

It is doubtful if LSIC members for your high schools know about the Reports to be grounds for demanding academic improvement plans. Check Reports for high schools in your school district to make up your own minds.

By WVDOE Fact Checker on 11.11.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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Policy 2510 is an admission by the West Virginia Board of Education of their own failure.

Dumb down the standards in order that students can get a passing grade.

You grand pooh-bahs in Charleston BOE should be ashamed of yourselves!  But you have no shame. Obviously so.

Steve Paine, leading the failure of education in West Virginia.

By # 2510 policy--WVBOE ADMITS OWN FAILURE on 11.10.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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With a deal like this—WHY—are we selling road bonds and—WHY—were all the motor vehicle fees INCREASED on West Virginia’s citizens?  WHY ! ?

Thanks for nothing Jim Justice and the WV legislators.

By WEST VIRGINIA TAXPAYER on 11.10.2017

From the entry: 'WV Signes $84 Billion Shale Gas Deal with China Energy'.

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The Rosie Bell will be a nice addition to the Park !

A thank you to Donna Waddell and her leadership and the FRN for making the Park happen !

By Thank America's Rosie's ! on 11.10.2017

From the entry: 'What This Bell Means to Gilmer County'.

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Aren’t they supposed to have agendas AND minutes for each and every meeting, by law?  They put it right there on the agendas that there were None. And months’ go by without even Seeing an Agenda.  It’s a citizen’s right to go in and ask to see them ALL.  Someone needs to look into this.  Especially with all the speculation that goes on around legal issues in the county!

By GilmerCountyCommission? on 11.03.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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The grade 7 spike in math in comparison to lowered performances in higher grades begs the question about reasons. What is being done to ensure that math skills will not drop by graduation time? Has anyone looked at adverse effects of block scheduling and other factors?

By Answers Needed on 11.03.2017

From the entry: 'SEEING MATH IN NEW WAYS'.

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We’ll.  It’s a step forward to see the Commission AGENDA - but what about the minutes?  The last two agendas have said “ Approve County Commission Minutes-None”      Aren’t there supposed to legally be minutes for the public to read?????  This makes NO sense unless things are going on that the Commission doesn’t want the public to know.  Obviously.  SHOW THE MINUTES Jean Butcher, do your job!

By 304 More Issues on 11.02.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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This posting is very informative and it documents what can be done with innovative approaches to teaching math. For too long we were fed the party line that all was well in our schools for math and everything else. That myth prevailed because facts were hidden to hold down the County’s demands for accountability. Hats are off to Kelly Barr and Traci DeWall.

During intervention it was commonly known that school board members made repeated requests for all kinds of student progress information, but it was kept from them. That era has ended and the County’s school board is expected to focus on its top priority responsibility that is to continually improve student learning in our schools. Our kids can perform if they are given the chance.

By Gilmer County Parents on 11.02.2017

From the entry: 'SEEING MATH IN NEW WAYS'.

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Gilmer look at this Did You Know. If you look at the State’s data on Zoom Dashboard to review changes in mastery of math and reading for the GCHS’s 11th grade for the 2011 and 2017 testing years it is clear the you have a problem with your math program. In 2011 the math pass rate was 36.92 compared to 37.29% in 2017. Progress with reading was truly commendable. The pass rate went from 26.98 in 2011 to 64.41% in 2017. Why the lack of progress for math? We know that your school board members are trying to get information about plans for improvements for math and science, but is full disclosure of details any better than it was under intervention? Let us know.

By B. Cummings on 10.30.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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Lots to learn kids. By the way,  How’s the Commission coming along with the September meeting minutes?

By 304 on 10.30.2017

From the entry: 'GSC Criminal Justice Students Take Part in Scenario-Based Training with RJA'.

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Most of America lives in denial of toll the government approved ‘life-style’ that is shortening everyone’s lives.

We are living in an era where the government has been lobbied (think bought) in approval of many, many things that are destructive to life.

This article shows the result of a cumulative toll effect that vaccines, pesticides, GMO foods, chemtrails, and other poisons are taking on the American population.

This is likely the globalists dream of “depopulation” coming true.  Enjoy what time you, your children, and grandchildren have left.

By Your Government Taking Care of You on 10.25.2017

From the entry: 'Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between'.

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I don’t care Who or What he killed.  He shouldn’t be doing it in a West Virginia Police hat.  It sends a bad message to do it with a Police hat on.

By Hunter on 10.24.2017

From the entry: 'Special Antlerless Deer Season Opens October 21 and December 26-27'.

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Your outrage is misplaced Hunter. He killed Bambi, who will no longer will frolic through the forest.

By Democrats Against Deer Hunting on 10.23.2017

From the entry: 'Special Antlerless Deer Season Opens October 21 and December 26-27'.

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It doesn’t seem like Gilmer County Law Officials seem to care about the murders in the area. In my opinion. We don’t hear anything from the law on Any of the pertinent local situations.  Why IS that?  We know MUCH more about national news that we know about the goings on in Gilmer. Crimes, drug busts, investigations and Answers to those investigations.  Why don’t we Ever hear any news from the Sheriff’s Department??  Still wondering why Deputy Wheeler was reassigned to school patrol officer and who took over his murder investigative duties.  Can’t get anyone to pick up the phone or an answer when I call.  Maybe someone on the Gilmer Free Press can shed some light?

By Where is the Law? on 10.23.2017

From the entry: 'Governor Justice, DOT Sec. Smith Announce First GARVEE Bond Sale for Roads, Bridges'.

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“We should welcome refugees and immigrants to the United States because it’s good for our society, for our economy, and for our nation.“

WRONG - Diversity in populations has been proven to be, not helpful to society, but harmful.  Immigrant groups who refuse to assimilate are a problem not a benefit, and will remain a problem until they do assimilate.

It’s understood that not all Muslims are terrorists, but for practical purposes all terrorists are Muslims.  And please spare me the Timothy McVey arguments.  McVey and his ilk were loners.  Muslim terrorists are part of an organized movement.

I think almost all immigration should cease until the present immigrant population can be dealt with, through assimilation or otherwise.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 10.22.2017

From the entry: 'Trump’s Muslim Bans Impoverish Us All'.

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Will the persons involved in Poor Fred’s murder ever be held accountable?  Ever?  Yet they walk among us every day?

Did not realize it has been 7 years since poor ol’ Willard met his fate?  There is plenty dirt kicked around there to cover the wrong doings too?

By Poor Fred is Dead on 10.21.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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Hold on Gub’ner Justiss….
The juery stil’ be outs on yer barrering’ game….

Ways to er’ly ta be countin’ hens an roosters….

By no chickens yet... on 10.21.2017

From the entry: 'Governor Justice, DOT Sec. Smith Announce First GARVEE Bond Sale for Roads, Bridges'.

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Wanna get votes for the school levy? Simply get truth out about where the County stands with low reading, math, and science scores and publicize a rational plan for fixing problems.

By Truth Will Win Levy Votes on 10.21.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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I get it that it’s a pose for the camera, but should he Really be wearing a Police hat for hunting?

By Hunter on 10.20.2017

From the entry: 'Special Antlerless Deer Season Opens October 21 and December 26-27'.

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Nice to see the Gilmer County Commission finally reveal their meeting minutes after long lapses of no information.  Can’t help but wonder if this was posted specifically because of the topic -  Sheriff Gerwig being assigned to another estate case before closing out others. Memories of Willard F. Cottrill today. d. 10/20/10 R.I.P.  The minutes should be interesting.  Let freedom ring.

By MC on 10.20.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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From WV Zoom Dash Board. GCES 6th grade student proficiency rate=20% for math and 31% for reading. Gilmer County demands a K-12 improvement plan everyone can understand and promote!!! We have had enough of the everything is just fine claims.

By School Kids Are Cheated on 10.20.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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It is a common occurrence for school administrators to carefully select one small piece of information to purposely give a school a rosy performance rating for student learning and to hide unflattering information from an LSIC and a local BOE. The way to prevent the censorship is for superintendents to routinely provide access to all testing results so performance evaluations for a school can be based on a full set of facts.

By WVDOE Employee For Complete Transparency on 10.19.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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The community has observed that there is an improved way of doing business by the GCBOE and the new superintendent after the State pulled out. One problem to solve after the State’s neglect for six years of intervention is low student success at the GCHS for math and science. There is documentation on the ZoomWV Dashboard kept by the WV Education Department. The pass rate for GCHS students for M & S is in the 30s. What is the HS’s LSIC group doing to improve those scores? Does it have a detailed improvement plan for the school and if it does it should be disclosed. M and S under achievement underscores why it is important to know what the County’s LSICs are doing to improve our schools academically.

By Gilmer Business Executive on 10.19.2017

From the entry: 'New 4-H Office in Glenville'.

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Should not have to get LSIC membership from principals. The information should be published for the public record for all interested citizens including taxpayers to know. Gilmer’s secrecy has been a long time tool used to undermine accountability and it must stop!

By Stop Secrecy! on 10.19.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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Is it true the GC Board of Education sold this to 4H for one dollar?  I should hope so!

This community has always supported our children and their 4H works.

Very good of our Board of Education to do this!
Thank all you board members!
Doing what you were elected to do!
Take care of the kids and community!

By WONDERFULL USE OF TRAILER on 10.17.2017

From the entry: 'New 4-H Office in Glenville'.

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We 4-H supporters wish to express our appreciation to Mrs. Hurley and the other board of Education members with the 100% vote to hold and sell this trailer for 4-H use/utilization.  This new office space for the very nominal fee is much appreciated.

Kudos to Hurley for staying in contact with the past 4-H director and making sure all was well and agenda requirements were met.  We had heard we were not going to get the trailer.  Thanks goodness the fake news was totally wrong.

Moving out of the old infirmary building will be a real blessing.  The group has learned a valuable lesson.

Do not take the word of ANY others about what the Board of Ed tries to do for each and every community in Gilmer County.  Go to the source.

By Thanks Mz. Hurley & Board of Ed ! on 10.17.2017

From the entry: 'New 4-H Office in Glenville'.

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smile It’s no secret that the Gilmer Board of Ed sets up a public meeting with the LSIC of each school presenting every year agenda and all. Always have.
 
If you want to know who’s on it or when it meets call your school Principal.  That’s who sets up this internal governance committee per code and will probably be glad to talk with you about it.

By Just Takes a Phone Call on 10.17.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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Why the secrecy in not disclosing names of those on the County’s LSIC councils and when they meet with published agendas and official meeting minutes?

By Transparency Suffering on 10.16.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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This information is generally unknown in Gilmer County. Google WVDOE LSIC and chick on the item for frequently asked questions about local school improvement councils. Details covers how individuals are selected to serve on councils and what councils are supposed to do to continually improve our schools with keen focus on student learning.

By How Gilmer's LSICs Should Work on 10.16.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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I love the picture of Kenny because that is a true reflection of him.  I never saw him without a smile on his face.  Even when we would speak on the phone sharing our cancer struggles, Kenny would be laughing.  He always brightened my day when times were hard for me.  Linda, God bless you for what wonderful care you took of Kenny.  When we spoke he was always eager to tell me all you had done for him & how loved & cared about that made him feel.  He always said he could never have made it without you.  God bless you & May God bring you the peace, comfort, & happiness Kenny would want you to have.  My prayers are with you.

By Sue Holvey on 10.15.2017

From the entry: 'Kenneth Jackson Foglesong'.

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Still keeping up on Gilmer County after ending of your intervention. Been reading your test score information too. Your Local School Improvement Councils are responsible for defining specific approaches for improving student performances. The WV Statute covering roles of councils is 18-5a-2. The Department of Eduction has details on its web site for how councils are selected, their responsibilities, and how elected school boards fit in. Too often the problem has been that detailed results for student performance testing were withheld from councils and their members do not know that there are student performance problems in critical need of correcting. The solution is to ensure that all council members are fully advised of testing results and the full range of their official responsibilities.

By WVDOE Observer on 10.14.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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Look at the WVDOE’s Zoom Dashboard. The State’s official results for 2017 testing are alarming. Eleventh graders tested out to be 37% proficient in math compared to 36% in science for 10th graders. Our kids can do much better than this. When will an improvement plan for the high school be developed for application with meaningful built in accountability?

By Fix GCHS' Science And Math Problems on 10.14.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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Don’t believe all the Liberal propaganda being printed as facts….fake news from the left is an epidemic…if we cared so much about pollution and respiratory illnesses, we’d have outlawed cigarettes decades ago…don’t kill West Virginia’s economy over a few objectors.

By Truth?? on 10.13.2017

From the entry: 'Health Consequences from Carbon Pollution Rollback'.

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My child graduated from the GCHS with a high GPA and an ACT exceeding 30. Sounded good at first. At WVU the child was deficient in science and math and dual credit classes taken at the HS didn’t measure up. What is the GCBOE doing to make academic improvements at the HS and when will parents and taxpayers in general be informed of the details?

By GCHS Science and Math Programs Suffering on 10.12.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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Here’s a prediction for you:

Half the money will be wasted on environmental impact statements, feasibility studies and the like.

Of the remaining half, most will go to wages and salaries, and damned few roads or bridges will be repaired.

Anyone want to dispute that?

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 10.10.2017

From the entry: 'Politics Aside, Voters Say, They Want WV’s Roads Fixed'.

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What a scoop!  One county gets 18% of pie!

Mon County wins!  Everyone else looses.

By nepotism will rule the day! on 10.09.2017

From the entry: 'Governor Justice Issues Statement on Passage of Roads to Prosperity Bond Referendum'.

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There have been repeated pleas for a detailed accounting for all the County’s education money spent on facilities and everything associated with them during State control. Why has nothing been done to verify how public money was spent? With use of modern computer records it should be relatively simple to do detailed accounting. Without one and the continuing secrecy lid suspicions are worsened. Didn’t the County have a seizable surplus before intervention and now we face going into the red?

By Where Did Gilmer's School Money Go? on 10.07.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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Positive press out of GSC is always good for the community and the College.

What is not good for the community and GSC is the ongoing telephone scam GSC has nothing to do with.

The phone will ring, there is a GSC entry on caller ID, and a 304-462 number is given. If you answer thinking that it is a legitimate GSC call you get surprised.

The caller, usually with a strange accent, will make a pitch for money and it is obviously a scam.

It is common for the caller to try to convince a person that a grand child or another relative is in bad trouble and thousands of dollars are needed quickly for a lawyer or some other expense.

When the 304 number is called back there is nothing there. It would help if GSC officials would alert the public to the cruel scam and to involve high level law enforcement to stop the nuisance calls.

By Fed Up Glenville Resident on 10.05.2017

From the entry: 'GSC History Book Authors to be on hand for Signing'.

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So sorry.  You and your family have my thoughts and prayers. Butch, you may not remember me but you did such a wonderful job at my farm in Lewis County, dozing, ditching, etc. etc.  a few years ago.  I so appreciated your work. God Bless you and your family during this difficult time.

By Betty Woofter on 10.03.2017

From the entry: 'Florence Marie Hall'.

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West Virginia has 55 counties.

Mon County will get almost 20% of the highway money.  Actually about 1/8th.

Does that seem lop-sided to anyone? 

One county gets one-fifth.  Who gets the ‘payola’ ?

By watcher on 10.01.2017

From the entry: 'Latest Numbers on Road Bond Vote'.

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Nice letter and thought Senator Manchin.

Maybe now a letter to Milan corp, requesting Heather Bresch requesting a epi-pen price roll back?

By How About it Mr. Manchin? on 09.29.2017

From the entry: 'Manchin Letter Urges for Patient Access to Non-Opioid Painkillers'.

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That is the standard operating procedure for the Charleston Board of Ed and their mismanagement style. 

Is it any wonder the state has financial issues?

By truth seeker's answer on 09.28.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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Apparently the 5 year, GC school news embargo, by the West Virginia Board of Education has been lifted ?  Hope so.

By will we get more news? on 09.28.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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We want investigative accounting for all the County’s school money spent on facilities during intervention. We are entitled to details for planning money, money paid out to architects, all money sent on Leading Creek, everything spent on the Arbuckle land plan and Cedar Creek, what was spent to get us at the new GCES, and a complete list for all money paid out for no bid work from start to where we are today.

By Citizens Deserve Facts on 09.28.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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Can someone explain to me why in Gilmer County schools projects were given to certain companies without any bid? Even when these companies kept screwing up, they kept getting paid for fixing their own screw ups? A good example is our supposed to be brand new elementary school. I hear these all the time. What is the real truth?

By truth seeker on 09.27.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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Where are all the Obama and Clinton haters now? Why aren’t they comment about the state of the country and the world now?

By wondering on 09.27.2017

From the entry: 'National News'.

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Most likely this road bond deal, will make millionaires of elected officials, families, friends.

The WVDOT has a proven track record on spending.  One not to brag about?

The ‘assisted’ suicide of the former DOT manager has been hushed too?

By reader6 on 09.25.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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The posting about Boone is a wake up call for the Governor’s road vote coming up.

WV has a bad reputation for graft and corruption when public funds are involved. With the amount of money involved for the road building program with bond money there would be vast opportunities for waste and mismanagement.

Just look at wasted money in County school systems under WVDOE intervention while local control was eliminated. 

Governor Justice should inform voters what he would do to ensure that the new road money would be spent wisely with iron clad accountability for every penny spent.

By Money To Burn on 09.25.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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There is an epidemic of misuse of County school funds in WV. We read about it all the time. That is what happens when finances are purposely packaged in ways to make it too complicated for board members to track and proper local level oversight cannot occur. This problem is one for Governor to solve.

By Boone Is Not Unique on 09.25.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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The same is being asked of the commission.  Meeting minutes and videos used to be available until fall of last year.  Now we hardly ever see even the agenda, let alone ever seeing the follow up minutes.  WHY DID THIS INFORMATION STOP?? Is someone hiding something because it surely would seem so.  We need to know what’s going on in this town and the Free Press is one of the few ways we can do it.  PLEASE bring back the public meetings videos!!

By Watcher on 09.11.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Commission Meeting - 09.01.17'.

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Appreciation is given to the City for posting meeting minutes on the GFP to be an example of good government by keeping citizens informed.

Why can’t the same be done with school board meeting minutes? Everyone knows that during intervention what got on agendas was censored and what happened during meetings was kept to a minimum to avoid information getting into the public record.

With the State out of here a request is made to the school board to exercise its authority to ensure that citizens are kept informed.

By Why Continuing Secrecy? on 09.11.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Commission Meeting - 09.01.17'.

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Interesting.  Deputy Clerk is the same one who tells people that come with an issue - that they should “go to church” if they’re angry This discrimination issue didn’t just happen once.  This is Gilmer County.

By Fact on 09.07.2017

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: WV Same-Sex Couple'.

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With the uproar about the excess levy passing again, it does not have a chance unless it is proven that a much better job will be done in managing the County’s school money than occurred during intervention.

For an example, why was new playground equipment purchased for the new GCES when perfectly good equipment at abandoned schools could have been used?

By Concerned Voter on 09.07.2017

From the entry: 'Paine Says Educators ‘Gave Up’ Because of A-F Grading System'.

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So nice to read of this hometown hero story!

So many stories like this have likely been lost to time.

By GFP reader on 09.06.2017

From the entry: 'Rosie the Riveter Ruby Coberly from Glenville Tells Her Story'.

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So sorry to hear of the death of Karol. I was to Ill to come to funeral, but. My thoughts and prayers was with the family. Classmate 1956.

By Nancy (Rose) Westfall on 09.03.2017

From the entry: 'Leota Karol Hatmaker'.

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Read the Sept 1st Gazette article about four WV school systems with major noteworthy gains in student proficiency in mastering subjects.

The Counties were Doddridge, Mingo, Taylor and Wayne. The proficiency increases were related to factors including curriculum changes, improved planning targeted to achieving specific goals,and use of modern tracking procedures to monitor results.

If other counties can do it Gilmer can too with the smallest school system in WV. For starters our administrators should learn what the four counties did and to adapt the practices to our school system.

It was insulting for some officials to claim that Gilmer’s citizens do not understand what is going on in our school system, they do not care, and nothing can be done about it anyway because of our poverty.

Citizens know more than they are given credit for and if the excess levy gains a chance of passing changes for the better must be demonstrated to voters.

By No More Excuses Accepted on 09.01.2017

From the entry: 'Paine Says Educators ‘Gave Up’ Because of A-F Grading System'.

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This is why Gilmer County must go on its own way by setting high standards, deciding on ways to achieve them for all children regardless of their pedigrees and family net worth. Part of it must include real time, unambiguous progress reports to establish accountability for school system administrators and the County’s school board.

A-F was a hoax. A WV school could get failing grades for student learning to end up with an overall A or B. Any wonder that we were stuck at 50th place with that brand of State cover-up?

By Gilmer--Go It Alone on 08.31.2017

From the entry: 'Paine Says Educators ‘Gave Up’ Because of A-F Grading System'.

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Yes, and in another year or two the grading system will change again.

And again and again and again.

The WV Board of Ed has played this gave for years, in order to ‘look’ accountable, but to escape any long term accountability.  Just keep changing the game.

By ~the people know~ on 08.31.2017

From the entry: 'Paine Says Educators ‘Gave Up’ Because of A-F Grading System'.

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The past 2 legislative sessions, both parties have proven their incompetence equally.

Gov. Justice has frosted the cake the legislature baked.

By Kanawha Watcher on 08.30.2017

From the entry: 'GOP Leaders Predict House Departures'.

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Yeah,you’re worried about the rule of law but want the illegal aliens to be exempt from immigration laws. Makes perfect sense to me.

By Skip Beyer on 08.29.2017

From the entry: 'Don’t Let Arpaio’s Arizona Become Trump’s America'.

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