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Trump Admin Losing Enviro Fights in Court

The Free Press WV

The Trump administration’s efforts to weaken public health and environmental regulations are being roundly defeated in the courts, according to a new report. Its findings show that the administration is unlikely to become “tired of winning” any time soon.

The law firm Earthjustice has filed 118 lawsuits challenging a multitude of deregulatory efforts, from opening Atlantic coast waters for offshore drilling to delaying the ban of a deadly pesticide. Attorney David Baron from the Earthjustice D.C. office said of the 17 lawsuits that have resulted in major court decisions so far, the administration has won only one.

“They’re just taking a ‘slash and burn’ approach to dismantling these legal protections - without analysis, without facts and without legal support,” Baron said. “And that’s why we have courts, to hold government officials accountable when they act irresponsibly and illegally. And that’s what’s been happening here.“

The administration has claimed in many of the cases that environmental regulations hinder industries such as coal mining. But federal figures show the retirement of coal-fired power plants has actually increased under President Donald Trump.

Among the challenges ahead is Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler’s proposal to weaken the Mercury and Air Toxics rule. Baron noted that the EPA itself estimated the rule would save 11,000 lives every year.

“Now these guys have come in and they’re trying, through the back door, to dismantle those protections,” he said. “It makes no sense, it’s not lawful. And we’re going to fight it all the way.“

Mercury emitted by coal-fired power plants travels far from the original source and is absorbed by fish that are eaten by consumers.

Baron predicted the administration’s losing streak will continue, because much of the policy is based on ideology, and often ignores science showing regulations are needed and are working.

“They’re trying to blind themselves from the very facts they need to make the decisions to protect ourselves and future generations,” Baron said. “And the courts are going to see that and they’re not going to let it go forward.“

More information is available at Earthjustice.org.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Gilmer County Magistrate Court Report

The Free Press WV
Magistrate Court of Gilmer County, West Virginia
Defendant Offense Disposition
Freddie Jackson Cottrill Operation without Certificate of Inspection or Failure to Produce Certificate; Penalty for Misdemeanor Guilty Plea
Freddie Jackson Cottrill No Proof of Insurance Guilty Plea
Michael Damien Martinez Grand Larceny; Penalties Guilty Plea
Kurtis Riley Gunter Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Valid Prescription Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Sandra Clair George Malicious or unlawful assault causing bodily injury with intent maim. disfigure,... Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Sandra Clair George Domestic Battery or Assault - Third Offense Dismissed - Plea Agreement
David Michael Leggett False Evidence, Forgery, etc., of title and registration Preliminary Hearing Waived
David Michael Leggett Driving while license revoked Preliminary Hearing Waived
Waitman Larry Frederick Manufacture/deliver/possess with intent to manufacture/deliver (Schedule I, II, III) [2] Transferred to Circuit Court
Dustin Ray Hillgas Driving while license suspended or revoked Guilty Plea
Kurtis Riley Gunter Unlawful injury to or destruction of property No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Jacob Eli Shreves Driving a vehicle in an impaired state, with alcoholic concentration of < No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Angela Lea Clevenger Falsely reporting an emergency incident - initiates or circulate Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Roger A Stewart Sexual Abuse 3rd No Contest per Plea Agreement
Marjorie Stewart Vaccination of dogs and cats. A person who owns, obtain or possesses a dog or cat within Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Brandon Jacob Herron Conditional discharge for first offense of possession Guilty Plea - Deferred Sentence
Brandon Jacob Herron Expired Operators Dismissed
Sandra Clair George Obstructing officer; definitions Guilty Plea
Sandra Clair George Brandishing deadly weapons; threatening or causing breach of the peace; criminal penalties Guilty Plea
Jason Wayne Starcher Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Valid Prescription Guilty Plea
Jason Wayne Starcher Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Valid Prescription Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Eugene D Turner Battery - Making physical contact of insulting/provoking nature/causing physical harm Proceedings Deferred
Pamela Marie Hildreth Operation without certificate of inspection or failure to produce the certificate Dismissed
Pamela Marie Hildreth No Vehicle Insurance No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Benjamin Titus Reid Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Valid Prescription Guilty Plea
Benjamin Titus Reid Cell Phone Guilty Plea
David Michael Leggett Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Valid Prescription Transferred to Circuit Court
David Michael Leggett No Vehicle Insurance Transferred to Circuit Court
Boyd Allen Permitting unauthorized person to drive Guilty Plea
Michael D. Martinez Petit larceny: Penalties Proceedings Deferred
Sandra Clair George Making physical contact of insulting / provoking nature / causing physical damage Guilty Plea
Michael J. Sumpter Operation of vehicles without evidence of registration No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Michael J. Sumpter No Insurance Guilty Plea
Roger Frances Murphy Public Intoxication No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Tina M. Simms Obstructing officer; penalties: definitions No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Zxavian Deandre Martin Speeding No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Nathaniel David Montgomery Driving while license revoke - DUI No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Dion’Dre Richard Mosley Reckless Driving Dismissed
Dion’Dre Richard Mosley Failure to Obey Stop Sign Guilty Plea
Steven Lioyd Keiffer No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Steven Lioyd Keiffer Operation without certificate of inspection or failure to produce the certificate Dismissed
Jacob Ralph Deem No Proof of Insurance Dismissed
James Darren Caudill No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
James Darren Caudill Operation without certificate of inspection or failure to produce the certificate No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Mackenzie Lea McCord Use or possession of tobacco by person under eighteen year Proceedings Deferred
Nicholas David Spino Using cell phone or electronic communications device without hands-free equipment Guilty Plea
Nicholas David Spino No Vehicle Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
David William Cambell Conditional discharge for first offense of possession Guilty-Deferred Sentence
David William Cambell Underage Possession of Beer Dismissed
Evelyn Ruth Lambert Operation without certificate of inspection or failure to produce the certificate Guilty Plea
Evelyn Ruth Lambert No Seatbelt Guilty Plea
Don Thomas Sprouse No Seatbelt Guilty Plea
Craig Adam Gibson Operation without certificate of inspection or failure to produce the certificate Dismissed
Craig Adam Gibson Improper Registration No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Sara Eileen Garton Operation without certificate of inspection or failure to produce the certificate Guilty Plea
Edward Tracie Wolfe Jr. Driving while license suspended or revoked Guilty Plea
Paige Marie Thompson MVI with No Code Cite Dismissed
Paige Marie Thompson No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Kurtis Riley Gunter Speeding Guilty Plea
Kurtis Riley Gunter No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Mark Allen Husk No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Ronald Eric Crotts No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Lora Joanne Freeland Cruelty to animals Dismissed by Mag - Deft Motion
Tia Ann Lagrone Operation without certificate of inspection or failure to produce the certificate Guilty Plea
Tia Ann Lagrone No Seatbelt Guilty Plea
Brooks Ian Stover Operation without evidence of registration No Contest Plea / Nolo Contender
Brooks Ian Stover Operation without certificate of inspection or failure to produce the certificate Dismissed
Brooks Ian Stover Conditional discharge for first offense of possession Guilty-Defer; Sent.-Possession
Brooks Ian Stover No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Norman Ralph Shingleton No Seatbelt Guilty Plea
Carol Sue Quillen No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Dustin Robert Clowser No Vehicle Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Dustin Robert Clowser License to be carried and exhibited on demand Dismissed
Nasir M. Mickens Shoplifting - Conceals Merchandise Guilty Plea
Kenneth Lee Clemons Operation without evidence of registration Guilty Plea
Kenneth Lee Clemons Certificate of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Jeremy Adam Myers Cell Phone Guilty Plea
Ellis David Lilly No Seatbelt Guilty Plea
Martin L. Pritt Making Issuing Worthless Checks [2] Guilty Plea
Jeremy M. Spradley Driving Suspended/Revoked Non-DUI 2nd Offense Guilty Plea
Jeremy M. Spradley Cell Phone Guilty Plea

Gilmer County Courthouse Closed on Wednesday

The Free Press WV

Governor Justice has declared Wednesday, December 05, 2018 as a state holiday, in remembrance of the late President George Bush,  and the courthouse will be closed.

Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Uphold West Virginia’s “Sore Loser” Law

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals swiftly ruled today in Blankenship v. Warner, upholding the decision by West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner to refuse to certify Don Blankenship on the General Election ballot.

After the Court released its decision, Secretary Warner issued the following statement:

“Today’s decision is a victory for our office and all the state’s local election officials preparing for the November election. This decision puts the issue to rest and allows voters going to the polls to know with certainty who will be on the ballot.”

“The Court’s decision also validates the ‘sore loser’ law ending any chance for those candidates thinking they will have endless bites at the same apple. I want to personally thank Marc Williams and his colleagues for their dedication in defending this case to the finish.”

Read the Order from the Court HERE .

List of Candidates for Supreme Court Election

The Free Press WV

Secretary of State Mac Warner has released the official list of twenty (20) candidates who filed for two unexpired terms on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The deadline to file for either position was August 21 at midnight.  The deadline for any candidate to withdraw in person was at 5:00 p.m. yesterday.

Election to both unexpired terms on the West Virginia Supreme Court will be determined by the non-partisan vote in the upcoming November 6th General Election.  The candidate receiving the most votes will take office as soon as the election is certified.  There is no requirement that the winning candidates receive a majority of all votes cast in their Division.

The Division 1 position is to fill the vacancy of an unexpired term that will be for a period of two years.  The position will be on the ballot again in 2020. 


The candidates listed in alphabetical order for the Division 1 position are::

        Tim Armstead
        Elkview, WV

        Harry C. “Bo” Bruner, Jr.
        Charleston, WV

        Robert H. Carlton
        Williamson, WV

        Ronald H. Hatfield
        Huntington, WV

        Mark Hunt
        Charleston, WV

        Hiram “Buck” Lewis, IV
        Procious, WV

        D.C. Offutt, Jr.
        Barboursville, WV

        Joanna I. Tabit
        Charleston, WV

        Chris Wilkes
        Martinsburg, WV

        Jeff C. Woods
        Nitro, WV


The Division 2 position is to fill the vacancy of an unexpired term that will be for a period of six years.  The position will be on the ballot again in 2024. 


The candidates listed in alphabetical order for the Division 2 position are:

        Jim Douglas
        Charleston, WV

        Robert J. Frank
        Lewisburg, WV

        Evan Jenkins
        Huntington, WV

        Jeffrey Kessler
        Glen Dale, WV

        Brenden D. Long
        Hurricane, WV

        Jim O’Brien
        Wheeling, WV

        William Schwartz
        Charleston, WV

        Marty “Redshoes” Sheehan
        Wheeling, WV

        Dennise Renee Smith
        Charleston, WV

        William Stewart Thompson
        Madison, WV

A complete list of candidates running for all offices in the upcoming November 6th General Election can be found here: http://services.sos.wv.gov/apps/elections/candidate-search/.

Applicants seeking to fill Supreme Court

The Free Press WV

The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission (JVAC) has released the names of the applicants seeking to fill the vacancy on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals created by the resignation and retirement of Justice Menis Ketchum.

The following individuals have applied:

  • Timothy P. Armstead, Charleston
  • Robert H. Carlton, Williamson
  • Gregory B. Chiartas, Charleston
  • Robert J. Frank, Lewisburg
  • Evan Jenkins, Huntington
  • Arthur Wayne King, Clay
  • D.C. Offutt Jr., Barboursville
  • William Schwartz, Charleston
  • Martin P. Sheehan, Wheeling

Interviews will be conducted by the JVAC on August 23.

WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage

Articles of impeachment for every member of the West Virginia Supreme Court are now before the full House of Delegates, where they are likely to provoke much more partisan debate.

The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee approved 14 out of 16 articles, the same day they were made public. Committee Democrats, including Mike Pushkin of Charleston, had earlier proposed articles to only impeach Justice Allen Loughry, who also faces 23 separate criminal charges.

The Free Press WV
After three investigations and a month of hearings before a House committee,
articles of impeachment for all the justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court
now go to the House of Delegates.


Even as the committee was hearing evidence, Pushkin said the GOP would try to use Loughry’s crimes to stack the court.

“The Republican leadership is trying to capitalize off of this sad affair, to go after the entire Supreme Court,” Pushkin said; “thus giving Governor Jim Justice a chance to stack the court with justices that the Republicans support.“

Half of the articles deal just with Loughry. Those that include the other justices mostly focus on “lavish spending.“ The full House will take up impeachment on Monday.

The state Supreme Court administers the entire state court system, and its budget is in large part funded by court fees and similar payments. The court has been able to set its own budget and spending, and Pushkin said he agrees that should change.

He said although much of the evidence of costly office remodeling did not violate state rules, those rules are far too loose.

“Was there excessive spending? I think so. I think so in every one of their offices. I’d like to see the Legislature be in control of the Supreme Court budget, just like it is in every other state,” Pushkin said. “But what we have heard that has risen to the level of impeachment has all been about Justice Loughry.“

Supreme Court elections are nonpartisan, but Loughry and Justice Beth Walker generally line up with business interests in their decisions. Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Robin Davis more often line up with Democratic interests. Davis is married to an important trial lawyer and has been a Republican target for years.

Former Justice Menis Ketchum is typically regarded as a centrist, and avoided impeachment by retiring last month.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Warner Announces Candidate Filing Period for Supreme Court Special Election

The Free Press WV

Secretary of State Mac Warner is announcing the official candidate registration dates for a Special Election called by Governor Jim Justice to fill the unexpired term of Justice Menis Ketchum on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.  Justice Ketchum resigned effective Friday, July 27th. 

The Special Election will run concurrently with the regularly scheduled November 6th General Election.

According to Warner, candidates interested in seeking election to Justice Ketchum’s unexpired term on the Supreme Court can file with the Secretary of State’s Office from August 6th through midnight on August 21st. Justices on the West Virginia Supreme Court are now elected on a non-partisan basis.

Candidates for the position must be at least 30 years old; residents of this state for at least five years prior to election; and admitted to practice law for at least ten years prior to the election.

Due to provisions of the West Virginia Code of Judicial Conduct, individuals interested in becoming a candidate for Justice Ketchum’s position while also a candidate on a partisan ballot for elected office should consult the Judicial Investigation Commission (JIC) at (304) 558-0169.

See Special Election Proclamation by Governor Justice HERE .

For more information on this or any other elected position, please contact the WVSOS Elections Division at (304) 558-6000 or visit www.sos.wv.gov.

WV Lawmakers Get Some Answers on State Supreme Court Budget

Former Administrative Director of the Courts of West Virginia Steve Canterbury testified before the state’s House Judiciary Committee yesterday, answering important questions about the West Virginia Supreme Court’s budget.

According to Canterbury, the court padded its budget for years and built up a $29 million surplus by 2012. He said they were anticipating costs, from magistrate raises and remodeling court offices, to costs for family and drug courts.

One big item was a Unified Judicial Application Information System (UJA), which centralized all filings. The system allows every court to know if, for example, another court had filed a domestic violence protective order.

Canterbury, whose testimony was live-streamed, described UJA as expensive and behind schedule.

The Free Press WV
One reason cited for the high cost of the
West Virginia Supreme Court office renovations is
the age and historic nature of the Capitol building.


“It was pretty clear that over the next few years, certain monies would be spent, because they had approved the UJA,“ he explained. “And they were very hopeful that there would be a raise for the judges, justices, etc.“

Canterbury testified for the full fifth day of hearings on possible impeachment of the state Supreme Court justices.

The court sets its own budget, and those of all state courts. Many state legislators dislike that, saying it allows for mismanagement and extravagant spending.

Four years later, he said, the court had spent all but about $300,000 of those carryover funds, although it has built up another surplus since. Canterbury also told the committee the court started spending the money after two ranking Democratic senators had sharply criticized it during a Finance Committee hearing.

“Senators [Roman] Prezeioso and [John] Unger were just livid about the huge amount of carryover money, that there was this excess of funds that were in the court,“ Canterbury said. “The general thought was that we should bring down this carryover amount. And we did.“

Lawmakers look likely to impeach Justice Allen Loughry, who also faces 23 counts in a separate, federal criminal case.

The House committee also heard evidence about the $3.7 million renovation of the court offices in the State Capitol. Canterbury said in some cases, they had to replace the original, paper-covered wiring. He said one office was picked to go first because, as he put it, “You could smell the wires burning in the walls.“

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Impeachment Proceedings Reach Crucial Point in Loughry Case

With one investigation of three other West Virginia Supreme Court justices closing, the impeachment process against Justice Allen Loughry continues with a vital hearing Thursday, when the House Judiciary Committee hears testimony from former court administrator Steve Canterbury, which is likely to go to the heart of charges against Loughry.

The committee chairman, Del. John Shott, R-Bluefield, said the committee has to keep a careful balance.

The Free Press WV
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to
hear crucial testimony Thursday relating to the likely impeachment
of state Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry.


“We take that very seriously,“ he said. “We don’t want to set a low bar and cause the justices to be in fear of every decision they make. At the same time, they should know that they’re accountable for behavior that’s just not acceptable.“

The court as a whole faces charges of financial mismanagement and extravagant spending while remodeling the 80-year-old court offices in the historic State Capitol. Loughry also is accused of using official cars, computers and furniture during personal time. He also faces 23 federal charges, mostly for lying and witness tampering during the investigation.

The state’s Judicial Investigation Commission has just ended investigations of Justices Robin Davis, Margaret Workman and Beth Walker, saying it found no violations worth pursuing. That makes it unlikely, but not impossible, that they would be impeached.

Shott said lawmakers haven’t yet seen indications of corruption in how the justices ruled on cases, but he said the public has the right to be angry about irresponsible behavior, whether or not the offenses are impeachable.

“It’s obvious that what came out in the press was a motivation for a lot of people to look beyond the surface,“ he said. “Individual incidents that might not be enough, but a pattern that might be enough. So, our committee initially, and the House and then the Senate, will be the final arbiter of that.“

Canterbury was fired one day after Loughry took the rotating position as chief justice. Committee testimony has shown internal strife at the court, including between Loughry and Canterbury. The state Supreme Court also administers all the state courts. Canterbury was important in that system and helped direct its multi-million-dollar budget.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Lewis County Grand Jury Indictments

The Free Press WV

A Lewis County grand jury indicted 41 individuals when it convened this week with Judge Kurt W. Hall presiding.

Among those indicted are several of the 17 individuals of Lewis, Upshur and Marion counties arrested in April on drug-related charges after several months of investigation, including:

  • Joshua Alan Osborne, 29, of Farmington, on one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine and one felony count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine

  • Joshua Ryan McGuire, 31, of Weston, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school and one felony count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school

  • Steven Nicholas Lockhart, 26, of Weston, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and one felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, methamphetamine

  • Cody Allen Richards, 23, of Alum Bridge, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school and one felony count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school

  • David Lynn “Pack Rat” Pickens, 62, of Ireland, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, marijuana

  • David Neal Hicks, 55, of Weston, on four felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of a school

  • Dana Erik Anderson, 27, of Hundred, on one count of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine and one felony count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine

  • Chasity Marie Knapp, 41, of Jane Lew, on two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine

  • In relation to a January 2016 drug bust that led to seven arrests, Brent Radcliff II, 34, of Weston, was indicted on one felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, methamphetamine.

  • Also indicted was Nicholas Grant Cutlip, 54, of Weston. Cutlip was indicted on one felony count of retaliation against public officers and employees. He was previously arrested in July 2014 after 84 meth labs were discovered in his Weston home, two of which were operating at the time.

G-OpEd™: Elder Fraud Cases are a Priority

The Free Press WV

The Northern District of West Virginia was recently invited by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Sessions to highlight our prosecution of a fraud case involving elderly victims.  It was the Department’s goal to highlight that prosecution and others being done by United States Attorneys’ offices throughout the country.  It is very important work and crimes upon the elderly all too often go unreported.  I intend to vigorously pursue anyone violating federal laws where the victims are elderly citizens of our district.

One of the victims in the case highlighted by the Department was Eugene Roman, whose identity was compromised by now convicted defendants.  Mr. Roman spoke from the heart about how the crimes affected him, but the courage it took for him to speak in front of a roomful of strangers at the Department of Justice and on video being transmitted around the country did not come from just his own experience.  Instead, it was more important for him to help other future potential victims get the encouragement they needed to report the crimes. 

In addition to Mr. Roman, there were several other older victims in the case my office prosecuted, some of whom who were too frail to appear.  He spoke for them.  Many elderly victims of fraud or physical abuse are too afraid to come forward or embarrassed to do so because they felt like they should have been able to avoid being a victim.  He spoke for them.  Nearly twenty percent of West Virginia’s population is over the age of 65, and are often prime targets of those criminals wanting to take advantage of a vulnerable victim.  He spoke for them.

Assistant United States Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher prosecuted the fraud case on behalf of Mr. Roman and Assistant United States Attorney Anna Krazinski is my coordinator for elder abuse cases.  I have several highly competent and aggressive prosecutors who will prosecute those who victimize elderly citizens in our district, and if there is no federal crime, they will ensure the case is forwarded to the Attorney General’s office or a state prosecutor.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners conducted the largest, coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history that involved more than 250 defendants and over one million American victims, most of whom were elderly. The Department of Justice has now teamed with the Department of Agriculture so that the resources of that department, particularly in rural areas, can assist elderly victims.  This provides valuable and much needed resources.

Our older population represents one of our state’s greatest assets, but are also one of the most vulnerable groups to defraud.  We will not tolerate these special West Virginians being victimized.

Thank you Mr. Roman for speaking on behalf of those who could not or were too afraid to speak about their experiences.  I will do everything in my power to justify your faith in my office.

Sincerely,

U.S. Attorney Bill Powell, the Northern District of West Virginia

Supreme Court Upholds Ohio/West Virginia Voter Registration Process

The Free Press WV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Mac Warner
West Virginia Secretary of State

City of Glenville Police Report

The Gilmer Free Press
City of Glenville, WV Police Report
Crime/Ordinance Violation
Officer
Disposition
Location
Active Breaking and Entering Huffman No one around the area no sign of entry and no one around the trailer the subject said people were in Sycamore Trailer Park
Vehicle unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland Plaza
Alarm Investigation Huffman Everything ok employee set the alarm off W. Main Street
Vehicle unlock Huffman Vehicle unlocked Mountaineer Mart
Theft Huffman CI started Mountaineer Mart
Vehicle unlock Garrett Vehicle unlocked Foodland Plaza
One way Street violation Garrett Warning Pine Street
Speeding Huffman Cited W. Main Street
Speeding Huffman Warnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned registration W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Cited College Street
Improper lighting Garrett Warning College Street
Defective equipment Garrett Warnings Issued for defective Equipment, Unsigned Registration, and Expired Insurance W. Main Street
Defective Equipment Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Leaving the Scene of an accident Garrett Spoke to subject CI started S. Lewis Street
Speak to an officer Garrett Subject wanted to know if there was any warrants for his arrest Glenville
Speak to an officer Garrett Advised subjects it was a civil matter Center Street
Assist another agency Garrett Assisted WVSP on a n unresponsive subject Newberne Road
Speeding Garrett Warning College Street
Driving without headlights Garrett Warning Fairground Road
Attempt to serve a DVP Garrett Negative contact Charles Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland Plaza
Animal Cruelty Huffman Unable to locate sent information to the Sheriffs Department due to the residence being out of the city Roberts Ridge
Shoplifting Huffman Spoke to manager at Family Dollar she advised they hadn’t called in a shoplifting also spoke to Dollar General and they advised they hadn’t called in either Family Dollar/Dollar General
Loud exhaust Garrett Cited for driving Suspended 1st Offense and warning issued for loud exhaust High Street
Speeding Garrett Cited College Street
Possession of controlled substance Garrett Cited High Street
Speeding Garrett Cited N. Lewis Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked N. Court Street
Trash Complaint Huffman Gave info to DNR due to them already citing once before N. Lewis Street
Trash Complaint Huffman Gave info to DNR due to them already citing once before River Street
Destruction of Property Huffman No Crime was committed Mountaineer Mart
Alarm investigation Huffman Building secure Dollar General
Mental Health issues Huffman Child sent home with mother. CI Started for Possession of knife on school property High school
Serve warrants Garrett Subject arrested Center Street
Assist another agency Huffman Assisted WVSP and GCSD on active domestic Lower Big Run
Speeding Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Loud Music Garrett Warning N. Lewis Street
Vehicle Unlock Huffman Vehicle Unlocked Foodland Plaza
Assist Another Agency Huffman Assisted another agency in attempting to locate a driver negative contact US HWY 33 E
Suspicious Activity Huffman Located both vehicles one was waiting on their child to get out of school the other subject was waiting to pick her sister up from work Foodland Plaza
Attempt to Serve a DVP Huffman Attempted to serve a DVP negative Contact Howard Street
Alarm Investigation Huffman Everything ok employee Set the alarm off Dollar General
Attempt to Serve a DVP Huffman Negative contact Howard Street
Child Custody Issues Garrett Court Order enforced Dolliver Street
Attempt to Serve DVP Garrett Negative Contact Howard Street
Parking Complaint Garrett Vehicles were moved Park Street
Suspicious Person Garrett No one in the area River Street
Assist another Agency Huffman Assisted WVSP and GCSD on an active Domestic Lower Big Run
Attempt to Serve DVP Huffman Negative Contact Howard Street
Attempt to Serve DVP Garrett Negative contact Howard Street
Assist another Agency Huffman/Garrett Assisted another Agency on a shots fired call WV HWY 47W
Speeding Garrett Warnings Issued for Speeding and Unsigned Registration W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Warning College Street
Defective equipment Garrett Warning W. Main Street
Driving without Headlights Garrett Warnings Issued for Driving without Headlights and Defective Equipment W. Main Street
Speeding Garrett Warnings Issued for Speeding and No Proof of Insurance W. Main Street
Non-Active Breaking and Entering Garrett CI Started River Street
Assist another agency Huffman Attempt to locate a fugitive negative contact Glenville
Non Active breaking and Entering Huffman CI Started Walnut Street
Non Active breaking and Entering Huffman CI started Charles Street
Possession of a Deadly Weapon on School Property Huffman Knife confiscated and juvenile petitions filed Gilmer County High School
Assist CPS Huffman Assisted CPS on a removal Glenville

U.S. Attorney’s Office recognizes National Crime Victims’ Right Week

The Free Press WV

The United States Attorney Office will speak to more than 3,000 students spanning several counties across the Northern District of West Virginia in April to recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Each year in April, the Department of Justice and United States Attorney’s Offices observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week nationwide by taking time to honor victims of crime and those who advocate on their behalf. In addition, the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s Offices organize events to honor the victims and advocates, as well as bring awareness to services available to victims of crime. This year’s observance took place April 8-14, with the theme Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims.

“In law enforcement, we are sworn to serve and protect,“ Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “We carry out this oath every day by protecting the rights of law abiding people from criminals and by achieving justice for crime victims. This week, we remember the millions of Americans who have been victimized by criminals and we thank those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their service to those victims. As we do so, we recommit ourselves to fulfilling our oath and to reducing crime in America.“

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of West Virginia has teamed up with the YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program in Wheeling to present “#SmartonSocial,” a presentation that discusses the positives and negatives of social media. The presentation discusses the importance of social media in college and employment applications. It also warns students about the dangers that lurk online, and shares the legal implications involving cyberbullying and sexting.

“Protecting our communities is our number one priority. Crime victims are often our most vulnerable citizens, and we take care in our work because of them. We will continue this work, including community education, with the hope of reducing the number of crime victims in our district,” said Powell.

According to the Pew Research Center, 88% of 18-29 year olds admit to having at least one social media account. As the prevalence of social media rises, awareness must rise, too. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to offering prevention presentations to students and parents across the district.

Presentations regarding drug prevention and human trafficking will also be offered in the month of April to expand the circle of education. The YWCA is also offering family violence prevention presentations at several local schools.

The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, within the Office of Justice Programs, leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week each year. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 to bring greater sensitivity to the needs and rights of victims of crime.

For more information on presentations, or to schedule a presentation, call the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 304.234.0100.

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Sutton man charged in wife’s death

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A man was arrested after drugs were found in his home during a search.  Braxton County Sheriff’s dep

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Braxton County woman admits to drug charge

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Weston man has been accused of beating, strangling a woman

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Readers' Recent Comments

After the ipads were purchased what measurable benefits resulted from having them at the GCHS to improve student learning? Does anyone know?

Was a formal plan followed to maximize benefits from the equipment to include provisions for measuring before-and-after results to evaluate if the equipment did any good?

Another case of throwing money at a problem and after spending it taxpayers have no idea if there were any meaningful benefits for students?

More than likely competitive bidding was not used to purchase the ipads to add another wrinkle.

By Did The ipads Improve Learning Results? on 03.13.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Where oh where did the 200 Gilmer County I-pads go?
Were they bought with federal money?
Attorney General Morrisey are you looking into this?
Someone should get the ball rolling?

By where oh where? on 03.12.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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They is not no flood plane there the water dont get up there i know i catch musk rats in the river

By THE TRUTH WATCHER on 03.08.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Gilmer County’s school board has full authority to demand a comprehensive accounting for every dime spent on everything leading up to site selection and construction of the LCES and the GCES.

Where did the money go and who got it to include naming names and companies on the receiving end?

Stop hiding behind the excuse that the State “did it to us” and assemble the true facts for taxpayers!

What is the defensible rational for failure of the school board to follow up on this?

By Disclose Financial Facts on 03.07.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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What was in the school board’s 451 resolution? As important as education is more effort should be taken to flesh out what actually happens at school board meeting. Bare minimum information and lack of transparency skirt accountability. Who is responsible for writing up the minutes?

By Transparency and Accountability Needed on 03.07.2019

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

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The new Gilmer County Elementary school was built
in a flood plane.  Education fail.

By YOU FORGET on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Roads are a mess.
Population continues the 50+ year decrease.

But for deep gas, no new employment.

Education system total failure.
Legislature impotent.

Grand finale in Charleston.
We have a brawl in the Capitol Building.

That out-of-control delegate needs to resign!

By WV continues the slow death on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Broadband coming?  Think we heard this before?
How many times?  I’ve lost count.  You remember?

This will be like JimmyBoys “roads to prosperity” program?
Take the citizens money?  Give ‘em nothing.

Republicans. Democrats. All the same political bs from both.
Voters believe them.  Keep bringing back the old mules so they can give us a repeat performance.

By Just More Dog n Pony Show 4 U on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Jimmy D, Gilmer County needs a full accounting for every dime spent on school site planning and studies, site preparation, all school construction work, and purchases while the State had us intervened.

For one example of many we do not have an itemized accounting for how our funds were spent on the botched LCES project.

How much more was wasted on the auction barn site, the dropped Cedar Creek site, and the GCES in comparison to what could have been done with our money with full transparency, competent planning, competitive bidding, and proper project oversight?

The fact that the GCES was built too small and the LCES was built too large is one facet of the waste and mismanagement that occurred.

Do not expect valid investigations because WV’s standard approach is cover up when the State is involved.

By Jimmy D--Don't Expect Sunshine on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Saw the GFP video (citizens refer to it as the ambush video) at the school board meeting at which the pitch was made for the new computers.

The GCHS principal and staff talked about wonders to expect if the 200 computers would be purchased.

Promises were made that if the kids got them they would learn to do advanced math and to make other marvelous learning advances. Any evidence of the promises being kept?

Were the computers purchased through competitive biding? Wanna bet that they were not?

Is this another example of throwing money at technology with no meaningful plan for how to use the equipment to maximize learning benefits without evidence of any before-and-after testing to accurately determine if they did any good?

Could the 200 computers be located and what condition are they in if they could be found?

The new school board is encouraged to check on the issues and to report on the findings.

By Accountability For New GCHS Computers on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Since the local prosecutor is good for nothing, why doesn’t the federal prosecutors look into all the theft by Gabe DeVano and his buddies during the time Gilmer county was under state control? They stole money, equipment from schools which closed, as well as technology equipment. for example where did the 200 iPads go which gilmer county paid for?

By Jimmy D on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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A major cause of WV’s dismal record with K-12 education is the lack of choice regarding a parent’s right to decide on the school for a child to attend.

The elite get around that by using private schools for their kids.

Under existing conditions what chance do the rest of us have? The answer is none!

Our kids are victimized because competition and accountability do not exist and that is exactly what WV’s entrenched education establishment and the unions want.

By Save WV's School Children on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pennybaker is correct.
WV educators keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Whats the definition of insanity?

By Gilmer on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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An off grid system works great if you want to live like a hippie. One can cover their entire roof and it will barely power your lighting and a few electronics, let alone our transportation and industrial needs. The humaniacs now complain that the giant windmill blades kill the little birdies, and they have never solved the overpass problem in putting windmills on out autos.

By Vern Windsong on 03.01.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It amazes me that the so-called “experts” think more and more centralization will improve anything.  Public school education is in terrible condition and doing more consolidation will only make it worse and more expensive.  With all the technology today, there is NO reason for busing children for miles and miles, spending more and more hours under the control of public schools.  The idea that parents are not capable of deciding how to educate their children is insulting.  There was never any good reason for governments to get involved in education.

By Karen Pennebaker on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pat, your information is outdated. Solar and wind are increasingly outcompeting fossil fuels, despite the heavy subsidies fossil fuels (and nuclear power) get. They also are getting steadily cheaper, while fossil fuels can be expected to rise as supply diminishes—the pipelines are going in so fast because of the NEED of the gas companies to get their product out to where they HOPE to find better prices—the drillers have been steadily losing money for the whole decade of the fracking “miracle.“ Wall Street is becoming skeptical. The thing about solar and wind is that once they’re built, the fuel keeps arriving, free. Of course, there isn’t much of a wind resource in our area. But there is in the mountain heights, and off the Virginia coast. And solar works fine here—I’ve had an off-grid system for ten years, works great.

By Mary Wildfire on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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Yes, West Virginia spends a LOT of money on education.
But where does it go?  Is it wasted?  Down the drain hole of bureaucracy?

We spend 7th highest per student and what to show for it?
Being 49th or 50th in ratings?

By where does the money go? on 02.27.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Seeing the president of the WV AFT shaking his raised clinched fist in disrespect for the WV legislature tells it all.

WV’s teacher unions are allowed to function as separate branches of government with veto power over WV’s elected officials and their only role is to get more benefits for their members.

Where is the evidence that unions have done anything recently in any WV school system to help create an educational show piece? Can anyone cite an example?

Furthermore what have unions done to develop innovative plans for moving the State’s k-12 education system forward to pry us off our bottom rung rankings? The answer is—nothing exists. 

Conditions will not change for the better until the day our legislators quit pandering to unions to end k-12 decision-making driven by mob rule and raw emotions.

By Unions Failed WV's Children on 02.26.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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The principal reason for opposition to 451 is fear by union chiefs that public charter schools could outshine performances of non-participating schools to embarrass WV’s entrenched K-12 education establishment.

To attempt to scare the public, there were claims that the underlying motive for opposition to charter schools is the sinister plan to privatize them to permit the rich and powerful to make money off education at the expense of WV’s children.

It is alarming that unions failed to propose comprehensive plans, inclusive of meaningful accountability mechanisms, designed to improve WV’s schools.

Their objective seems to be to protect the status quo instead of being effective partners in improving education for the State’s children.

There are examples in the USA where charter schools resulted in significant K-12 education improvements. Of course some failed.

Why is it irrational to establish a limited few charter schools in WV as demonstration projects to incorporate approaches applied in highly successful charter schools while avoiding mistakes of the schools that failed?

Nothing else has worked in getting WV out of being near the bottom with K-12 education quality—-so why continue with business as usual while expecting better outcomes?

By Unions Failed WV Education on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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If passed when will this take effect? I’m a single mother who has a drug felony from another state. I can’t get food stamps to help me because I a drug felon. I work so my income is to much for one person. I have a son whom him and I barley survive. Cause of my record. I’ve held the job I am at now for 5 years. But since they can’t use me. They use my income. But not me and doing it that way I make to much money.

By Kayla on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'Bill to Let Drug Felons Get Food Stamps Passes WV Senate'.

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John & Family,  Sorry to hear of Nyla’s passing!  GOD will take care of you!!  GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU IN THIS SAD TIME !!!  RIP Nyla !

By Anita L. Adams - New Concord, Ohio on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Nyla Leah Frymier Poole'.

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“But Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said utility filings in those states now show the outlook has changed dramatically - in part because of competition from cheap, renewable energy.“

That is utter rubbish.  There is no “cheap, renewable energy.“  Solar and wind are more expensive, even taking subsidies into consideration.  Hydro is more expensive, nuclear is more expensive.

Claiming otherwise is at best fake news, and at worst deliberate misdirection and lying.  Merely claiming renewable energy is less expensive doesn’t make it so.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It was brought to my attention there was an article published in the Gilmer Free Press under Reader’s Comments dated 2-11-19.
This was written by Tammy White which many think it was me (Tammy Foster).  Twenty years (or more) “White” was my last name.
My son does take daily medication at the high school (which somehow this is quite a coincidence).  I want to clarify that I DID NOT write that article!
Now that I have straighten this out….. please read what I have say about this situation at Gilmer County High School:
The secretary or secretaries that were mentioned have never been rude to me or my son in person or by phone.  It is actually the opposite!  They are kind, caring, professional and thorough with distributing my son’s meds.
Not only do they make sure he gets the correct dosage daily but they keep a close inventory on the meds and call me when I need to restock them.
It broke my heart to read the negative article written last week and I was appalled my (old) name was on it.
My son and I trust and depend on these wonderful ladies.  We would like to take this opportunity to THANK them for taking excellent responsibility and care of our child and other students.

By Tammy Foster (not White) on 02.13.2019

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

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I’m sorry for your loss.

By Danny Nicholson on 02.12.2019

From the entry: 'Vera Marlene Lyons'.

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There is some issues going on at GCHS. I’m starting here in Hope’s that it will be addressed and corrected.  The secretary was rude when I turned in medicine for my son to be taken on a daily basis. Nor is it her business why he takes it, or how often. Anyway, is she certified in giving meds out.  I thought that the school employed a nurse. Maybe she should answer the phone or should I say message on her cell. She had no idea how many I handed in she didnt count them. Talks about her co workers. Then she gets upset nobody talks to her. She is 2 face. Talking about them is very unprofessional.
I hope this is taken care of or my next step is to the state department. Your choice

By Tammy white on 02.11.2019

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

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It is welcomed news as reported in the Democrat that Gilmer’s GCES students are making progress in learning math and English Learning Arts.

The principal, teachers, and all staff deserve high praise for the progress. Let’s not forget efforts of students too plus their parents who encourage them at home.

In addition to rates of increase for learning progress it would be helpful to be informed of percentages of students in the different grades who are at grade level for math and ELA.

Nothing was reported about learning progress at the GCHS and the LCES bi-county school. When are reports for those schools going to be given?

By Positive School News on 02.08.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The lights are up at the Linn school.
Often flashing nights and weekends when NO ONE is on school property.

And you expect lights to work….???
when the WVDE, the WVBE built the school with FIVE TOO MANY CLASSROOMS !!??

*** The WVBE is incapable of meaningful education.
Why do you think the WV Legislature created the current ‘education overhaul’ bill without consulting the WV State Board of Ed? ***

By you are joking I guess? on 02.07.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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“The Environmental Protection Agency issued regular updates for about 100 water pollutants almost four years ago ... “

That would have been the Obama EPA, and the intention wasn’t to provide better water, it was an attempt to control business activity through the use of regulation.

In other words, a power-grab by a politician obsessed with it.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pay McGroyne on 02.06.2019

From the entry: 'One Charleston Manufacturer Pressing for Delay of Water Rules'.

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Would the County’s school board take action to help improve safety conditions at the LCES?

The way it is now it can be uncertain if children are present at the school to require a reduction of speed to 15 mph while on Rt. 33.

It would eliminate uncertainty if a flashing lights system were to be installed so the lights could be turned on when children are present.

By LCES Safety Concern on 01.31.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Why is it that on Gilmer County’s school system web site biographical information including education backgrounds for all school board members and their pictures are not posted?

Other counties have the information. Why not us?

By School Board Member Backgrounds? on 01.23.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The only reason for our not using a version of the goal-driven Kentucky method would be a veto by controlling elitists opposed to establishing meaningful accountability for Gilmer County’s school system.

Without using the method it would be easier to continue to pawn off information that cannot be used to accurately document progress with student proficiencies for reading, math, science, and college and career readiness.

By School System Accountability Needed on 01.20.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The KY approach would be valuable to Gilmer County for use in disclosing progress of our two schools in contributing to better lives for our children.

For goals for which progress would be off schedule, the tracking approach would be an objective basis for making mid-course adjustments in our school system to get better results.

By using the approach school board members could be more effective with goal-driven governing, and getting results would be the responsibility of the County’s Superintendent of Schools and school principals.

Overall,the approach would establish meaningful accountability which is sorely lacking in WV’s school systems.

By Establish School System Accountability on 01.18.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Accomplished communicators have a knack for reducing complex information to its simplest form for effectiveness in getting messages across.

WV’s convoluted strategic plans for schools must follow the State’s rigid guidelines. The plans are confusing and inadequately designed for establishing accountability for getting results.

Kentucky is making progress with improving K-12 education outcomes and one reason is the clarity of specific goals for its schools and the job being done with tracking results.

Google—-2018 Prichard Committee Update to glean what is being done in Kentucky. The approach could be used for Gilmer’s two schools with a single sheet of paper for each school.

The beauty of the Prichard approach is that instead of relying on confusing and lengthy written out material with undefined abbreviations, technical jargon, and head scratching generalities, specific goals and annual results in achieving them are presented graphically.

Perfect real world example of a picture being worth a thousand words.

Board of Education members why couldn’t the Prichard approach be used for Gilmer County? It would be inexpensive, it could be updated easily on an annual basis, and everyone in the County would know how the school system is being administered to achieve measurable results.

Perhaps Mr. David Ramezan could post Prichard material on the GFP to show its simplicity.

By Advocate For Clarity on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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The scandal of the too small school?
Don’t forget…
The scandal of the too big school is half of the whole state intervention mess.  FIVE rooms more than needed at the Linn, Lewis County school.

Results are from nepotism, cronyism, and educational stupidity….as well as scoffing at those who attempted to sound the alarm.

Bloated egos was the frosting on the Litter Box Cake Mix.

By School Truth is in the Litter Box on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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During intervention the State had dictatorial control of our school system to include all decisions related to the GCES.

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

An investigation is needed to determine who was responsible for the bad decision, and what role the no-bid architectural firm had in designing and constructing the school.

Something major happened to cause the GCES to be built too small. Was something dropped at the expense of adequate class room space as a result of having to spend extra money because a poor site was selected?

Minimally, gross incompetency on the State’s part is the explanation for the disaster foisted onto the County.

A question pertains to the new gym. Lots of effort was taken by the State to try to convince the public that a competition gym instead of a regular gym was needed.

Did the competition gym cost extra money at the expense of needed classroom space? If the answer is affirmative who was responsible for deciding on the more expensive gym?

What about the enormous pit at the GCES? Was money spent on it at the expense of classrooms because something was wrong with the school’s site that was selected by the State?

Nothing similar to the pit has been seen at other sites where new WV schools were built.

Why has there been a failure for a thorough investigation to have occurred to expose the facts?

The obvious explanation is that powerful elitists in control do not want tracks leading to them, and they have veto power over a meaningful investigation including one done by a leading newspaper.

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Pat McGroyne is spot on.
High speed internet is simply another failure of WV state government.

If the elected in our state, were doing the job expected by voters….we should have very few problems or issues?

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Muddling has another distinct symptom. It is the tendency for administrators in control to emphasize processes and procedures while avoiding disclosure of progress, or the lack thereof, in achieving learning results.

The purpose is another way to avoid personal accountability for school system failures.

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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West Virginia is number one!
Our politicians are the best that can be had.
They are also the lobbyers dream come true.
No one—-can out-muddle our elected reps !

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Suggestion after reading strategic plans for the GCHS and the GCES.

How about the school board requiring that for each school an informative executive summary be written to include——where each school stands on reading, math, and science proficiency, what the term proficiency means to eliminate the confusion, student proficiency goals for the two school, target time to expect goals to be achieved, and a statement to commit to keeping the public informed of progress in achieving the goals at designated intervals (e.g. quarterly) during a school year.

Omit confusing abbreviations and technical terms understood only by a select few in the education field, and written for comprehension by reasonable persons.

Leave it up to the County’s professional educators to determine how to get the job done with continual laser-like focus on getting results.

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Muddling infects federal, state, and local government entities where personal accountability for top officials to get measurable results rarely exists.

Muddling practitioners are famous for passing off information unrelated to measurable proof that effective problem-solving has occurred. A common example is emphasizing how much public money is being spent to attempt to convince tax payers that magnitudes of expenditures are always directly correlated to levels of problem-solving successes.

Muddling by an organization is characterized by the existence of thick planning documents replete with vagueness and lack of clarity, undefined technical terms, and mysterious acronyms.

Muddling thrives on intentional ambiguity and confusion designed to protect muddlers and their organizations.

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Gilmer County is not the only place in the USA that has been faced with its students failing to meet proficiency standards for science, reading, and math.

The difference here is that evidence is lacking to conclusively demonstrate that Gilmer County’s officials in control have exerted proper efforts to profit form powerful lessons learned elsewhere to use that knowledge to help solve learning deficiencies in our schools.

In fact, a convincing argument could be made that the approach in the County has been the one professional planners designate as muddling through.

Classic symptoms of muddling through include failure to thoroughly analyze categories of causes contributing to problems followed up by using the information to develop a comprehensive plan to do the most good in getting better results by treating key causes instead of symptoms.

Muddling typically involves officials assigning blame for lack of progress to outside forces e.g., the “culture”, the State did it to us, and poverty. Haven’t we heard plenty of that?

Muddling must be eliminated if we want progress in solving non-performance problems within the County’s school system. Does anyone disagree?

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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It is unclear after reading school board meeting minutes what progress if any is being made by GCHS and GCES principals in improving student proficiency in reading, math and science.

Why not allocate a few sentences in the minutes to summarize what the two principals reported to the school board?

All it would take to get the critical information out to citizens would be for the new school board to act on this.

Does anyone have a problem with the suggested change to keep Gilmer’s bill paying public informed?

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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“High speed broadband – a necessity for today’s homes, businesses and other institutions – remains a huge unmet need for rural residents, despite promises by a succession of Governors from both parties (a contributing factor in why we’re losing population at a rate higher than any other state).“

I disagree with much of what Mr.Boggs believes.  That said, high-speed broadband is the single most important step the State of WV could take to improve the business climate and provide more opportunities for its citizens.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Conversation at local eatery.
Shortly after election.
Individuals were educators.

‘You think we have school problems now, wait until these new folks take the steering wheel’.

‘Students, parents, staff are all going to be in the soup’.

Sounds as if Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving vacation-deer season times have all taken a big hit.  If that is true, the union teachers need to come together, stand their ground, along with parents, and hold this new board accountable.

Have a local strike if need be.
Request resignations.
Vote of no confidence.

Schools employees can win.
You have done it before.
Just stick together.

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Scholarship must be the most important focus in Gilmer County’s schools.

Brought up the ZOOMWV Data Dashboard site to review the most recent State achievement test results for GCHS’s 11th grade.

Folks, Gilmer is in serious trouble. Proficiency for math=24%, reading=41%, and science=24%.

On an A through F grading scales the GCHS gets an F for all three subject areas.

What does the new school board have to show for inroads it has made since last July to make critically needed proficiency improvements at the HS? Citizens deserve answers to the question.

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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A thorough accounting for where all the public money went could be easily achieved by a competent accountant.

Isn’t there a special account at the County’s school board office for expenditures related to all bills paid and who got the money?

Following the money trail always gets results along with verification of means, motives, and access.

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If central office financial records for all public money paid out for everything from site planning, site studies and development, and everything else to get to completion of the GCES and the LES—- what is the reason?

It is known that money was spent on the Arbuckle site and Cedar Creek, and public money was paid out for the LES too.

Were County records for the spending purged and if that happened who ordered the action? The records are either in the County’s central office or they aren’t.

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Hasn’t the time come to finally start naming names and making people accountable?

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

For 3 or 4 months now we keep hearing about the millions of dollars of tax revenue collected.

Millions and millions above ‘estimates’.  Were those ‘estimates’ honest, or fudged to begin with, so as to request higher tax rates?

Well, Justice and the Legislature now have our dollars, what will become of this windfall? Will we see tax rates lowered?  Doubt full, but we should.

Likely this windfall, created by “over-taxation”, will simply create a “party atmosphere” of legislative spending. Watch the Charleston ‘gangsters’ get their wish lists ready this coming session.

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Yes.  The blame Does seem to fall to ‘local’ people. In small places like Gilmer County, it’s just a poker game, boys, and the deep pockets win.  Money speaks volumes where ‘officials’ stay silent.  Go ask for the records, see what they’ve got.

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Teachers and staff knew from the beginning that the GCES was going to be too small. They were ordered by the State to keep quiet about the shortfall and other serious concerns too.

A sixth grader could understood how many rooms were needed by dividing total student numbers to attend the school by how many students should be in a classroom.

Under sizing was the State’s fault and it cannot be rationalized any other way including to assign the blame to local people. Same applies to the over sized LCES.

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There will never be a full, public accounting of the gross mishandling of tax dollars during WVDOE intervention.
Too many local jobs and too many embarrassments of both elected and appointed bureaucrats.
These types cover dirt for each other.

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

One school built short 4 classrooms and another built with 5 too many.  Can it get more stupid than that?
Mr. Degree and Ms. Common Sense seldom travel together.

By Full accounting will never be revealed. Never. on 11.18.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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GCBOE when the two principals give reports at board meeting could the gist of what they said be summarized in minutes to keep the County informed?

It was a welcomed development by the Board to require principals to give reports particularly if there are required updates on progress designed to improve student learning for reading, math, and other subjects.

We still have not been informed about the status of science proficiency at the GCHS based on the latest testing. Why has the State failed to release the data? Were results too dismal?

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If it is going to cost extra money to eliminate over crowding at the GCES the financial information referenced by Do It Ourselves should be presented to Charleston and the press too.

That would help frame a solid case that crowding problems were not caused by Gilmer County because all decisions related to facilities were dictated by officials over whom the County had no oversight authority during the State’s intervention.

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is assumed that all records for spending to include money paid out for the LCES, dropped Arbuckle site, dropped Cedar Creek site, and all bills for the GCES are in the Gilmer Schools central office.

The new GCBOE has authority to get to the truth by demanding a thorough accounting for all the spending.

Afterwards the financial officer in the central office could easily access existing computerized records and to use the information for a report to the GCBOE and the public.

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Notice that most of the ‘officials’ in Gilmer County also hold regular day jobs - sometimes working on more than one paying ‘job’ at a time in the same office space. This common practice is concerning for many reasons, and it needs to be talked about when so many go without.

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There are two views in the County related to the under built GCES. Although the State built the school with inadequate classrooms one group believes that we should move on to let go of the past.

Isn’t this a form of advocacy for a coverup to prevent accountability for the State’s incompetence and mismanagement?

The other group believes that there should be a full accounting for all public money spent up to the time the GCES was completed to include disclosure of recipients of the public money. 

The accounting should be done for all public money spent at the LCES, the Arbuckle site, Cedar Creek, and finally the GCES.

Reasons for the under built GCES should be fully disclosed too. When the State was in control this information was kept secret from the public with loud claims that there was adequate space at the GCES.

Now it is known that there is inadequate space at the GCES and the problem is left to Gilmer County to fix. Only in WV!

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Unprofessional issues,rude commentsand rolling eyes at the high school has become an issue. Being on cell phone talking to boyfriends,when parents etc.going into the office. Since the teachers were ask not to be on them while students in the classroom. The one in the office should not be allowed to talk personal to her boyfriend, or whoever. Also, I hope this is corrected, the personal days, etc that the board provides to staff shouldn’t be allowed to use to work or operate a second job. Let’s get the priorities straight.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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GULMER COUNTY BOE. It is time for me to let you know some issues that is going on at the High school.  I’m hoping this will be addressed at the next board meeting. 1. It should not matter if an employee has a second job or run a business. The priority job is for the board. One should not be allowed to use any time from the board to run your business. There is going on
If they want to run your business than go but not on the boards time. I would like for all employees be treated the equal. They should not be allowed to use the time the board gives them for other jobs.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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While at it there should be an investigation of why the LES was build with too many classrooms and the GCES was built with too few. At the very least what happened is a WV horror story example of the State’s waste and mismanagement.

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is obvious that the GCES has a major space problem.

What options for dealing with the State’s mismanagement to cause the serious blunder are being considered by the Board of Education?

Could the original architectural design for the dropped Cedar Creek site be compared to what resulted at the GCES to accurately determine the extent of classroom space alterations?

If the architectural design at the GCES is different than the original plan for Cedar Creek the next step should be to determine reasons for the changes and where the money originally planned for needed classrooms went.

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It’s long been known that Justice doesn’t happen in Gilmer County “because it all comes down to money”. And for those in charge of handling it and making decisions, it comes down to being competent to do the job,  keep accurate books and accounts and I’m sorry to say, that is seriously lacking in Gilmer County.

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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What is GSC’s BOG’s plan for getting money for the next payment on the $38,000,000 bond loan the Gilmer County Commission approved?

Will the State pay or will the money come from private donations?

Money will have to come from somewhere to avoid a default.

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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So sorry to hear of Kendall’s passing. I have fond memories of him at Uncle Paul’s store and the family reunions. I’m sure he will be missed greatly by those closest to him.
Please accept condolences from me and my family.

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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GSC’s present plight is no secret and its future existence is in question.

Instead of expressing attitudes that GSC is being picked on could the Blue Ribbon Commission reveal why the College “tested out” as it did to fail to get more State money?

Was the “grading system” based on student enrollment trends, retention, time taken to get a degree, academic reputation, inept governance and administration, and other factors to block more funding? Informative specifics were not disclosed.

Teachers know that concerned students who want to do better always seek advice on what needs to be done to get better grades.

Similar to concerned students GSC’s supporters should be informed of what needs to be done to position the College for improved chances for survival to include eligibility for more State funding.

Saying that GSC is being picked on does nothing to help solve its nagging problems.

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Well thank you, Details Please,  for asking!  So many problems in Gilmer and education is just one.  Look at the town, take a good look around.  Remember who runs unopposed at election time.  Vote.  Make a difference.  Hold authority figures responsible.  Allow videos, minutes and more to be shared on GFP again, for transparency.  Know your neighbors, help a friend.  Be good to each other. Amen.

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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I will truly miss my Uncle Stephen.  Telling me so much information about from gardening to canning. Just to listening to him talk with such passion for everything that he does… he had a sense of humor that always warms my heart.. listening to him play the banjo sometimes even when he didn’t feel good. he is always willing to share his recipes and his ways of doing things… his solar information he was always studying something ... I’m remember one time we asked him where he got his blackberries when it wasn’t Blackberry season and he go there’s a store down the road it’s called Walmart they have everything… He was so funny.  I love you.. xoxo.

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Sorry for your loss. He sure did look like his father.

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Reader 7, please give details for your suggested solutions to the County’s concerns you addressed.

The information would be helpful for consideration by school system administrators and the general public.

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is speculation that the plan is for GSC to convert to an education center for low risk federal inmates. Is this something the County and central WV needs?

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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Dr. Pellett’s commentary in the 10/26/2018 issue of the Gazette includes a statement that GSC is responsible for injecting $28,000,000 into the local economy.

If GSC were to close loss of the money would cause the County to have more severe poverty than it has now.

The pressing challenge is for GSC’s administrators including its Board of Governors to exercise effective leadership to prevent closure.

Why can’t GSC take action on the long standing suggestion for it to be an innovator by establishing a five year teacher education program to enable students to earn a masters degree by graduation time?

Something must be done in WV to deal with the 700 positions for which certified teachers including those for math, science and special education are not in the classrooms.

Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors why is a new teacher education program at the College not a viable option? Nothing else seems to be working.

The need exists, a similar program of excellence does not exist anywhere in the State, and GSC’s status would be elevated by having a masters degree program.

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Paine: Plan to improve math scores to focus on algebra where a third of teachers aren’t certified'.

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GSC could make a valuable contribution to WV by doing a study to report on how grade and elementary schools with excellent results in math and reading did it.

Then, other schools could use the information as guidance instead of going it alone to reinvent the wheel.

With the Ed.D. expertise at GSC it would be a natural to take on the assignment. Dr. Pellett, would you back the initiative?

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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There is reference to signing an agreement with the State for math4life for all WV school districts. What has Gilmer County agreed to do to fix our problems?

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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This important news has potential for making significant progress in improving math and reading outcomes in WV.

It hinges on how quickly advantage can be taken from lessons learned in schools that excelled.

The WVBE could do an analysis of reasons for excelling and to quickly provide guidance information to other schools.

That is the way the private sector approaches problem-solving because chronic failures have consequences and the unfit are weeded out.

Dr. O’Cull could help if the WVBE is not responsive. There could be panels of individuals from excelling schools to make presentations at WV School Board Association meetings to explain what their schools did to make the achievements.

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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A characteristic of a good strategic plan is to simplify language to enable a clear understanding of all its details.

Regarding the comment about abbreviations, a simple fix for them and terms (e.g. lexile) would be to insert an asterisk or a footnote symbol the first time one of them is used to refer readers to a section at the end of the documents where the entries are defined.

This comment is not intended to be a criticism. All specialty fields have a language of their own including the teaching profession.

Suggested clarity improvements in the plans would not be time consuming for principals at the County’s two schools.

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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