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Somewhat Odd and Unusual

OddlyEnough™: Boone Schools Superintendent Is Promised Pay Raises Amid Job Cuts

The Free Press WV
The Free Press WV

In what the board president called “crappy” timing, the Boone County school board unanimously voted earlier this week to assure their superintendent future pay raises, just as individual employees were learning whether they’d be affected by the county’s planned 77 position cuts.

Superintendent John Hudson said the five-member board voted Tuesday to grant him, effective July 1, a four-year contract extension with no pay increase for next school year but annual 3 percent pay increases for the three following years. He currently makes about $131,100 annually.

The raises will equal roughly $4,000 for each of those three years, meaning he’ll be making an extra about $12,000 by the final year of his new contract.

Hudson said he asked the board to extend his current four-year contract, which also had 3 percent annual upticks.

Hudson said he’s a graduate of the Boone school system and has spent his entire 32-year career in education there, rising from teacher, to principal, to assistant superintendent, to his current role. He said the board wants leadership stability, and said his position is a 24 hours per day, 365 days per year commitment.

“If there’s an issue at 8:30 at night, 11 o’clock at night, I am involved, I am on call,” he said.

He said the raises wouldn’t jeopardize a single student program or job, and when asked whether he needed the money, he said he appreciated the pay and that the school system “gets good value.”

“I’m not ashamed of that increase, if that makes sense, and it is very typical in any superintendent’s contract that you see,” he said.

According to data from the state Department of Education, Hudson, who leads a 4,331-student school system that’s lost 268 students over the past two years and is still dropping, had the 14th highest salary among county superintendents in the state.

Manny Arvon, superintendent of the 18,877-student Berkeley County Schools, makes the most at roughly $178,500. His contract is set to increase to $187,600 over the next two years.

Hudson told the Gazette-Mail Tuesday that the board will vote on his recommended cuts to the roughly 660-person school system workforce before March 1, and the cuts would take effect next academic year.

He said the cuts are necessary due to declining tax revenue from the county’s sinking coal industry and dropping enrollment, which automatically causes the state school aid funding formula to provide counties fewer dollars.

He said the historical wealth of the coal industry is why Boone has been able to employ as many as 100 more employees than what the state pays for, and why Boone teachers and service personnel have relatively good pay.

Only Putnam County teachers — at about a $51,000 average annual salary — get paid more than Boone teachers, according to education department data that doesn’t include certain supplements that can vary from county to county, but excludes the impact of teachers’ years of experience that can skew comparisons.

Boone teachers get about $50,500, while Boone service personnel rank third for pay in the state, at a roughly $3,000 average monthly pay. Hudson pointed out he doesn’t get the years of experience and other pay raises these employees receive.

Boone school board President Mark Sumpter said the board decided not to give Hudson a pay raise next year due to the cuts, but suggested that if annual, smaller pay raises weren’t given in later years, a larger one-time increase might be necessary later to keep the pay competitive. He said many places will be looking for superintendents before the new school year and fiscal year start July 1, and he was concerned Hudson could be hired away.

But he said he’s been getting calls from many upset teachers, and is about to shut down his Facebook account because of the treatment online.

“The timing is crappy,” Sumpter said. “And if I had to do it over again, maybe I’d wait a little bit.”

Carrena Rouse, head of the Boone arm of the American Federation of Teachers union, said kids at Scott High School were crying this week when they learned their band teacher, who moved to the county in December and has a lease, is one of the recommended layoffs. She also said the county’s only French teacher and his wife, an English teacher, also are recommended to lose their jobs, and they have a baby due in this summer.

“He is trying to do the right thing for Boone County Schools,” Rouse said of Hudson. “I don’t think he rationalized or thought about the timeliness of that information or that pay bump.”

~~  Ryan Quinn - Gazette-Mail ~~

West Virginia Republican Says Rape Can Be ‘Beautiful’ if It Produces a Child

The remarks echo a string of embarrassing statements by politicians regarding women’s bodies

The Gilmer Free Press

A Republican state lawmaker in West Virginia said on Thursday that while rape is horrible, it’s “beautiful” that a child could be produced in the attack.

Charleston Gazette reporter David Gutman was on the scene when Delegate Brian Kurcaba (R) said, “Obviously rape is awful,” but “What is beautiful is the child is that could come from this.”

Kurcaba made the remarks during a House of Delegates discussion of a law outlawing all abortions in the state after 20 weeks’ gestation. At 20 weeks, anti-choice activists and lawmakers allege, a fetus can feel pain and is therefore too viable to abort.

The bill was passed by West Virginia Republicans in 2014, but vetoed by Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. Now the state GOP has revived the bill and voted to remove an exception for victims of rape and incest.

Kurcaba’s remarks echo a string of embarrassing statements by Republicans regarding rape and women’s bodies.

In 2012, Missouri’s Rep. Todd Akin said that pregnancy can’t result from rape because “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said that while sexual assaults are unfortunate, the resulting pregnancy is a “gift from God.”

Libertarian favorite Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) made statements of his own implying that women routinely fabricate rape stories in order to get abortions.

“If it’s an honest rape,” said Paul, physicians should allow the victim to abort, but otherwise, women should not be able to terminate their pregnancies just because they claim to have been raped.

Republican leaders convened an emergency meeting in 2013 urging the rank and file to stop talking about rape altogether lest it further alienate women voters, who have been abandoning the Republican Party in droves.

Nonetheless, Kurcaba — a financial advisor who was elected in 2014 — appears eager to bring discussions of rape back into the dialogue about women’s access to reproductive health care.

Principal: Students Can ‘Hurl’ Cans Of Corn at Gunmen As ‘Last Resort’

The Gilmer Free Press

W.F. Burns Middle School principal Princella Holley suggested stockpiling “cans of food such as corn and peas in classrooms” so students could grab them and “hurl” them at school attackers as a “last resort.”

Holley sent a letter home on January 09 asking each student to bring one can of food to school for this purpose.

According to the AP, Holley wrote, “We realize at first this may seem odd; however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off guard.” She believes “the canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive.”

Holley’s letter came about after school employees “received training from Auburn University’s Department of Public Safety.”

After the training, Chambers County School superintendent Kelli Hodge agreed that the cans of corn could be used in a pinch.

Hodge said teachers are taught to grab their students, lock their classroom doors, and shelter-in-place in the event of an attack. If the doors were breached the students could then throw the cans of corn “and items such as textbooks.”

Other school systems around the country have changed their policies to allow teachers with concealed carry permits to be armed in case of attack.

~~  Follow AWR Hawkins ~~

OddlyEnough™: Police Find Head on Rural Road, Seeking Body to Match

The Gilmer Free Press

An aerial search for the embalmed body of a woman whose head was recovered this month along a lonely rural road began this week.

Police in the borough of Economy, 22 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, said they were exploring a number of theories as to how the head wound up on the roadside, including the possibility of a grave robbery or that the body was intercepted on its journey from a funeral home to a cemetery.

They have received no reports of missing bodies or disturbed graves, said Chief of Police Michael O’Brien.

“This woman had been laid to rest,“ O’Brien said in a statement. “She is someone’s loved one.“

A sketch done by an Edinboro University art professor showed how the woman might have looked in life: she appeared to be about 50 years old, with short gray hair that had been styled, police said.

An Economy resident found the head in a wooded area while out for a walk, police said.

An initial search for the rest of the body using cadaver dogs was unsuccessful. The planned aerial search had been delayed by bad weather.

Local media quoted Beaver County Coroner Teri Tatalovich-Rossi as saying the head had been embalmed before it was left in the forest. S

OddlyEnough™: Cloud of Pot Smoke Puts Colorado High School on Partial Lockdown

The Gilmer Free Press

A high school in Colorado, one of the first two U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana use, was put on partial lockdown after a student’s weed pipe filled a classroom with pot smoke, the school said.

The smoke from the device, known as a “gravity bong” or “bucket,“ was released into a classroom at about 9:45 AM. at Adams City High School in Commerce City, a northeastern suburb of Denver.

“As a precautionary measure, our students were placed on a modified lockdown to limit movement throughout the school,“ the school said in a statement, adding that teenagers who had been near the device were examined by medical personnel.

“As always, students’ safety is our number one priority,“ it said. “All students were fine and the school is resuming business as usual.“

The school said it was working with the proper authorities to resolve the issue, and that it would provide more information when available. It did not give details on the student who brought the pipe to class, nor possible disciplinary measures.

Colorado voted in 2012 to allow recreational marijuana sales to adults aged 21 and older beginning this year. But consumption of the drug by minors, or by anyone in public settings such as schools, parks and on the street, remains illegal.

The tale of the partial lockdown received widespread attention on social media, with some Denverites describing it as the story of the day and an “only in Colorado” moment.

A gravity bong or bucket uses the force of gravity, normally by releasing water from a chamber, to suck a large amount of pot smoke into a container, from where it is inhaled by the user.

~~  Reuters ~~

UFOs in West Virginia: 10 Witnesses, 4 Low-Flying UFOs, 3 Big as Football Fields

A UFO sighting in southern West Virginia has been reported that not only presents multiple witnesses of the objects in question but also the witnessing of multiple unidentified flying objects during the sighting. Open Minds reported October 17 that ten men working at a coal plant in Marmet, West Virginia, saw the four flying objects as a collective. Three of the UFOs were massive, the size of football fields. They were all flying extremely low to the ground—and deathly silent.

Originally reported on the Mutual UFO Network website, the actual sighting took place at 10 p.m. on October 12, 2014. It was quiet all around, according to the reporting witness. The plant had shut down. The guys had just finished some pipe repairs and were leaning against their vehicles.

One of the guys pointed at the sky. “What is that?“ he asked.

Everyone looked up. The first of what would be three huge flying objects was headed toward them.

The Gilmer Free Press

“We all looked up and saw a triangle-shaped object outlined in white lights the size of a football field coming up the hollow from the southwest [Beckley, WV area],“ the witness reported. “It might have been 300 to 500 feet above us. It was moving very slow and made no noise. We watched for about 3 or 4 minutes as it disappeared over the trees.

“A few minutes later another one showed up behind it – the same shape and size and no noise. Another one showed up after that, same as before.

“After these three went by a small object with lots of red flashing appeared at the end of the line formation. They were all headed northwest towards Charleston, WV.”

The reporting witness said that all the guys were “amazed” that there was absolutely no sound, no noise whatsoever coming from the UFOs—especially “as close as they were, and their sizes.“ And it all took place in the space of 15 minutes.

So what did the ten men see? Could it have been a case of group or mass hallucination as some will surely suggest? Or is there a reason UFOs—whether manmade, alien, or faux—were traveling between Beckley and Charleston, West Virginia in mid-October?

In the comments section on the MUFON web page, the question was posed that, given so many witnesses, why did not one of them capture an image with a cell phone camera? Karen King of the Appalachian UFO Research Society suggests that in many areas of West Virginia cell phone reception is limited and/or sporadic, which might account for the absence of phones and, therefore, photos of the four UFOs.

Two weeks prior to the Marmet UFO sighting, a couple in Elkins, West Virginia, reported a low-flying massive triangular-shaped UFO, according to International Business Times. Flat black, it blocked out the stars in its passage. It had three lights, a dim white one and two orange hourglass-shaped lights. The couple that filed the report with MUFON noted that the UFO had no distinguishing control features (like a canopy or windows) and as they moved toward it, it seemed to move toward them. The reporting witness said it was not military or a regular aircraft, because he was familiar with their general characteristics. And most remarkable of all, instead of flying away, the UFO simply disappeared, as if using “a cloaking device,“ the witness said.

Ron Paul: Scottish Referendum Gives Reasons to be Hopeful

The Gilmer Free Press

Even though it ultimately failed at the ballot box, the recent campaign for Scottish independence should cheer supporters of the numerous secession movements springing up around the globe.

In the weeks leading up to the referendum, it appeared that the people of Scotland were poised to vote to secede from the United Kingdom. Defeating the referendum required British political elites to co-opt secession forces by promising greater self-rule for Scotland, as well as launching a massive campaign to convince the Scots that secession would plunge them into economic depression.

The people of Scotland were even warned that secession would damage the international market for one of Scotland’s main exports, whiskey. Considering the lengths to which opponents went to discredit secession, it is amazing that almost 45% of the Scottish people still voted in favor of it.

The Scottish referendum result has done little to discourage other secessionist movements spreading across Europe, in countries ranging from Norway to Italy. Just days after the Scottish referendum, the people of Catalonia voted to hold their own referendum measuring popular support for secession from Spain.

Support for secession is also growing in America. According to a recent poll, one in four Americans would support their state seceding from the federal government. Movements and organizations advocating that state governments secede from the federal government, that local governments secede from state governments, or that local governments secede from both the federal and state governments, are springing up around the country. This year, over one million Californians signed a ballot access petition in support of splitting California into six states. While the proposal did not meet the requirements necessary to appear on the ballot, the effort to split California continues to gain support.

Americans who embrace secession are acting in a grand American tradition. The Declaration of Independence was written to justify secession from Britain. Supporters of liberty should cheer the growth in support for secession, as it is the ultimate rejection of centralized government and the ideologies of Keynesianism, welfarism, and militarism.
Widespread acceptance of the principle of peaceful secession and self-determination could resolve many ongoing conflicts. For instance, allowing the people of eastern Ukraine and western Ukraine to decide for themselves whether to spilt into two separate nations may be the only way to resolve their differences.

The possibility that people will break away from an oppressive government is one of the most effective checks on the growth of government. It is no coincidence that the transformation of America from a limited republic to a monolithic welfare-warfare state coincided with the discrediting of secession as an appropriate response to excessive government.

Devolving government into smaller units promotes economic growth. The smaller the size of government, the less power it has to hobble free enterprise with taxes and regulations.

Just because people do not wish to live under the same government does not mean they are unwilling or unable to engage in mutually beneficial trade. By eliminating political conflicts, secession could actually make people more interested in trading with each other. Decentralizing government power would thus promote true free trade as opposed to “managed trade” controlled by bureaucrats, politicians, and special interests.

Devolution of power to smaller levels of government should also make it easier for individuals to use a currency of their choice, instead of a currency favored by central bankers and politicians.

The growth of support for secession should cheer all supporters of freedom, as devolving power to smaller units of government is one of the best ways to guarantee peace, property, liberty — and even cheap whiskey!

OddlyEnough™: Mysterious Fake Cellphone Towers Found Across U.S.

Seventeen fake cellphone towers were discovered across the U.S. last week, according to a report in Popular Science.

Rather than offering you cellphone service, the towers appear to be connecting to nearby phones, bypassing their encryption, and either tapping calls or reading texts.

Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, used ESD’s CryptoPhone 500 to detect 17 bogus cellphone towers. ESD is a leading American defense and law enforcement technology provider based in Las Vegas.

With most phones, these fake communication towers are undetectable. But not for the CryptoPhone 500, a customized Android device that is disguised as a Samsung Galaxy S III but has highly advanced encryption.

The Gilmer Free Press


Goldsmith told Popular Science: “Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated. One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found eight different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”

The towers were found in July, but the report implied that there may have been more out there.

Although it is unclear who owns the towers, ESD found that several of them were located near U.S. military bases.

“Whose interceptor is it? Who are they, that’s listening to calls around military bases? Is it just the U.S. military, or are they foreign governments doing it? The point is: we don’t really know whose they are,“ Goldsmith said to Popular Science.

It’s probably not the NSA—that agency can tap all it wants without the need for bogus towers, VentureBeat reported:
Not the NSA, cloud security firm SilverSky CTO/SVP Andrew Jaquith told us. “The NSA doesn’t need a fake tower,“ he said. “They can just go to the carrier” to tap your line.

ComputerWorld points out that the fake towers give themselves away by crushing down the performance of your phone from 4G to 2G while the intercept is taking place. So if you see your phone operating on a slow download signal while you’re near a military base . . . maybe make that call from somewhere else.

In an amazing coincidence, police departments in a handful of U.S. cities have been operating “Stingray” or “Hailstorm” towers, which—you guessed it—conduct surveillance on mobile phone activity. They do that by jamming mobile phone signals, forcing phones to drop down from 4G and 3G network bands to the older, more insecure 2G band.

OddlyEnough™: Transgender Women Claim Mistreatment at West Virginia DMVs

The Gilmer Free Press

Two transgender women say they were ordered to take off their makeup, jewelry and wigs at West Virginal Division of Motor Vehicles offices or they would not get new driver’s license photos.

In the process, they say they were belittled, and called names like “it.“

“The manager told the agent I was working with, ‘It’ needs to remove ‘its’ makeup and false eyelashes,‘“ said Kristen Skinner, a Ranson resident.

Skinner, 45, left the Division of Motor Vehicles office in Charles Town in January with a license featuring her new female name and a headshot she says looks nothing like her.

Trudy Kitzmiller, 52, described a similar experience in May at the Martinsburg office. Downtrodden, she left without a new license and kept her old one with the wrong name and an inaccurate photo.

“They dehumanized me,“ said Kitzmiller, a Mount Storm resident.

Late last month, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund wrote the state Division of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, to ask for new photos for the two women. The letter said denying them of that would violate constitutional free speech rights.

Under West Virginia law, the two women will need to see a judge first, according to the division’s acting commissioner, Steven Dale.

Like several other states, West Virginia requires a circuit court order for someone to change gender on a driver’s license. A judge has to acknowledge the person completed gender change procedures.

Skinner and Kitzmiller are both still undergoing medical treatment for their gender switches.

Otherwise, wearing makeup as a man could be construed as an attempt to conceal or disguise one’s identity. It is akin to a face-covering scarf or a hat, though the decision about what someone can wear can vary case by case, Dale said.

“Until these two drivers take the steps necessary to change their gender to the satisfaction of a Circuit Court Judge, their photographs must reflect their identities as males,“ Dale said.

Dale said he is still sorting through what happened during the two visits. He said division employees undergo sensitivity training to ensure everyone is treated with respect.

“If that was not accomplished in these cases, I will apologize,“ Dale said.

The process has been particularly problematic for Kitzmiller. She’s an out-of-work heavy equipment operator, and employers won’t consider her because her outdated ID doesn’t match up.

Skinner, an information technology employee for the federal government, said she had no problem getting her federal work badge photo switched, makeup and all.

Such issues aren’t uncommon for transgender people, said Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Fund.

In March, a 16-year-old boy in South Carolina who dresses like a girl was denied having his driver’s license photo retaken wearing makeup.

Not every state is as stringent as West Virginia about changing gender on a driver’s license, either.

In Florida, for example, a doctor needs to confirm a person is in the process of changing genders. Completed surgery isn’t a requirement.

Silverman said that’s not the main issue. He said officials are wrongly making judgment calls on gender appearance.

“It’s not the job of the DMV to decide women and men need to look a certain way to meet DMV expectations about gender presentation,“ Silverman said.

Congressman Nick Rahall: Critical Corridors of Commerce

image

The House of Representatives recently passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve our Nation’s water infrastructure, such as dams, locks, ports, navigation channels and inland waterways.  This bill will advance the modernization of America’s critical corridors of commerce that enable the efficient transport of American-produced commodities, including West Virginia coal.

As the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I had a key role in negotiating the final version of the bill.  And, along with Chairman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, I introduced the original House bill, which resulted in a bipartisan, bicameral agreement that passed the House by an overwhelming vote of 412-4.

It was a refreshing change of pace to break free of the legislative gridlock that has stymied Washington for so long.  It was a real achievement to have gotten something significant done to advance our State’s and Nation’s economy.  This bill proves that bipartisanship is still alive on Capitol Hill for those of us willing to work together for the betterment of our Nation.

This bipartisan jobs bill will revitalize our inland waterway system so that bulk commodities such as West Virginia coal can be transported more efficiently.  Critically, this bill expands the Buy America requirements placed on future Army Corps projects, ensuring that more of our Nation’s infrastructure is made in America by Americans.  The Buy America provisions in particular further define this legislation as being about jobs - jobs to construct flood control projects, jobs to expand our harbors, jobs to make improvements to our waterways - and American jobs in the production of the iron and steel which goes into these works.

As our Nation’s leading coal exporter, West Virginia relies heavily on water infrastructure to reach foreign buyers.  In fact, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. waterways and ports directly support 9,890 jobs in the Mountain State and contribute $1.6 billion to West Virginia’s economy.  Commodities travel to and from West Virginia on many vital transportation links, such as the Ohio River, Allegheny River, Monongahela River, and the Mississippi River.  The Port of Huntington Tri-State alone moves 45 million tons of coal annually and supports more than 12,000 jobs.

My position on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the perennial reauthorization of the Army Corps’ work to maintain and improve our State’s and Nation’s ports and waterways and other water infrastructure, has enabled me to do much good for our region’s people and economy.

It allowed for the creation of the Army Corps Sec. 340 Infrastructure Program, which has provided tens of millions of dollars over the years to construct new water infrastructure projects in southern West Virginia, including projects for wastewater treatment and the design and construction of water supply, storage, treatment, and distribution facilities.

It allowed for the construction of flood control projects, like the Island Creek project in Logan County, and the expansion and maintenance of outdoor recreational activities at Beech Fork and East Lynn Lakes, and especially Summersville Lake, where I helped to authorize seasonal releases from the Summersville Dam for whitewater rafting.

It even has allowed for the preservation of our historical sites, such as the Jenkins House, home of Confederate Gen. Albert Gallatin Jenkins, in Lesage.

The investments made possible by this bill support jobs throughout our State and Nation on our waterways, our farms and fields, on shop floors and in our mines.

WRRDA will lay the foundation for economic growth for many years to come.
                                        image

DeVano, The Next Gilmer County Superintendent of Schools

The Gilmer Free Press

There has not been any news released from West Virginia Department of Education regarding the next superintendent of schools for Gilmer County since Ron Blankenship is leaving the position effective June 30, 2014.

However, Gabriel DeVano was approved by the West Virginia Board of Education as the next Gilmer County’s state appointed Superintendent effective July 01, 2014 last week.

Devano currently is the head of RESA 7.

OddlyEnough™, DeVano’s position will be filled with the current State Superintendent James Phares who had decided to resign from his position in order to retire.

The appointment of DeVano was a surprise to Gilmer County Board of Education members. The members were notified neither in advance nor after the fact about DeVano neither by the State Board nor by Blankenship.

Gilmer County Board of Education is having its monthly meeting today at 6:00 PM at Gilmer County High School. Perhaps, there will be an announcement at the meeting.

OddlyEnough™: Gilmer County Education Policies Repealed?

The Gilmer Free Press

According to the Gilmer County Schools total of 88 policies being repealed!

Click H E R E to See the Policies Repealed


In addition there are 44 Gilmer County Board of Education policies for public review?

Click H E R E to See the Policies for Public Review


To Ron Blankenship, Superintendent; Dr. Simmons, Board President; Phyllis Starkey, Misty Pritt, Tom Ratliff, Dr. Armour, Board Members; the State Superintendent and Board of Education:

Was the public informed?

Has there been any public announcements?

Why are 88 policies repealed?

Why are 44 polices under review?

OddlyEnough™: 10 Live Cattle Stolen from WV Meat Processing Shop

The Gilmer Free Press

A manager of a Cabell County meat processing shop says 10 cattle belonging to customers have been stolen from the shop’s livestock pens.

Several customers had dropped off the cattle at Nelson’s Meat Market in Milton over the weekend.

Shop manager Rick Stepp discovered the thefts on Monday.

Stepp says employees determined the animals did not wander off and that a break-in occurred.

The Cabell County sheriff’s department is investigating.

The cattle collectively are worth up to $16,000.

Shop owner Andy Nelson is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those involved in the theft.

Woman Gives Birth to Quintuplets

The Gilmer Free Press

A Northeast Texas woman has given birth to quintuplets at a Dallas hospital.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that Michelle Seals of Maud had the four girls and one boy Tuesday afternoon at Baylor University Medical Center via cesarean section.

The children’s grandmother, Carole Pearce, says her daughter and all five babies are doing well.

Officials at Baylor University Medical Center declined to immediately provide details of the births, saying a hospital statement would be released later Wednesday.

Steven Seals says he and his wife have names picked out for the quintuplets but will have to decide what name fits which baby.

The Seals also have a 2-year-old son.

Maud is 150 miles northeast of Dallas.

OddlyEnough™: U.S. Mint to Sell Curved Coins Honoring Baseball Hall of Fame

The United States Mint will begin selling special curved coins this month to honor the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with a design representing the inverse images of a ball and mitt, U.S. Mint officials said on Thursday.

The $5, $1 and half-dollar coins, plated with gold, silver and alloy, are in production at the San Francisco U.S. Mint and will be sold online starting on March 27, agency spokesman Michael White said.

The Gilmer Free Press


Some 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 $1 silver coins and 750,000 half-dollar alloy-clad coins will be produced.

They will be the first curved coins - concave on the heads side and convex on the reverse - ever minted by the U.S. Mint, according to a statement on the agency’s website.

The image of a baseball glove with the words “liberty” and “in God we trust 2014” across the palm is featured on the face of the coins, which commemorate the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 75th year in 2014.

The Gilmer Free Press


A baseball is depicted on the tails side, with the words “United States of America” and the coin’s value inscribed on it. The tails side also includes the Latin words for “Out of many, one.“

Cassie McFarland of San Luis Obispo, California, submitted the winning mitt design for the coin in a 2013 competition that was judged by the Department of the Treasury. U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart designed the baseball and the inscriptions on both sides of the coins.

The Gilmer Free Press


The coins were created as part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin act of 2012 to help fund operations of the independent, not-for-profit educational institution that runs a museum in Cooperstown, New York.

Surcharges on the pieces will be $35 for each gold coin, $10 for a silver coin and $5 for each half-dollar coin and will authorized for payment to the Hall of Fame, the U.S. Mint said.

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Readers' Recent Comments

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

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

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

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

By R. J. Myers on 07.17.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Watching Alumni on 07.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Thanks you for honest comments, Mr. Boggs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By A failed state of the state report. on 07.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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What a glowing report.

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

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

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

By wasted lipstick on the pig. on 07.17.2018

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

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

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

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

By Voters For Accountability on 07.16.2018

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

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

By Reader on 07.14.2018

From the entry: 'GLENVILLE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Frank Wiseman on 07.14.2018

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

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

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

By GSC EMPLOYEE on 07.13.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Why Dr. Pellet and GSC BOG? on 07.13.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Citizen on 07.11.2018

From the entry: 'GLENVILLE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES'.

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

By Voters Watching on 07.10.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By WVU Prof. on 07.09.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By WVU Political Scientist on 07.08.2018

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

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

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

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

Incest often produces less than desired outcomes as well.

By PAST Time for change @ GSC on 07.08.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Governance Changes Needed At GSC on 07.06.2018

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

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Bigger is better? Rarely.

Everyone knows that school consolidation has resulted in failed outcomes.

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

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

By Its just planned failure. on 07.05.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GSC GRAD on 07.05.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Give All Facts on 07.03.2018

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

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

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

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

By Voters Watching on 07.03.2018

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

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

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

By Jumpin Jim Nose Dives on 07.03.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Good News For WV on 06.29.2018

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

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

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

Are the any honest people running for offices?

By crooks everywhere? on 06.27.2018

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

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

By The Silent Majority on 06.21.2018

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

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

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

By Good on 06.21.2018

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

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

By New Jobs? on 06.20.2018

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

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

By SAT Checker on 06.19.2018

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

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

By The Silent Majority on 06.18.2018

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

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

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

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

By Gilmer EDA...private club ? on 06.15.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By End Public Information Embargo on 06.13.2018

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

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If true, this would be great news!

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

How about it GCEDA President Jeff Campbell?

Lets hear from you.

By reader6 on 06.11.2018

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

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Interesting chart.

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

BUT, BUT, where are they?

By Where are they? on 06.08.2018

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

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

By Trespasser Will on 06.08.2018

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

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

By Trespasser Will on 06.07.2018

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

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

By Rural WV still waiting.... on 06.06.2018

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

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

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

By WV's dilapidated economy on 06.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Tresspasser Will on 06.03.2018

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

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

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

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

Love you dearly,

Cousin, Jo Ann xoxoxo

By Jo Ann Emrick on 06.01.2018

From the entry: 'Catherine Ann Umanetz'.

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

By Etched Memory on 05.31.2018

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

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

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

Keep up the good works!

By many kudos ! on 05.31.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Another black eye for state intervention ! on 05.30.2018

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

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All this Minney stuff brings up at least 2 questions:

WHY did state appointed super Devano hire Minney?

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

Either poor hiring practices or someone pulling strings.

By questions but no answers ? on 05.30.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Ridiculous on 05.30.2018

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

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

By FTM on 05.30.2018

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

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

By They were bad on 05.30.2018

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

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

By Don LK on 05.30.2018

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

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He got caught of mismanagement of public funds.

By Jeremy D on 05.30.2018

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

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

By Just Curious on 05.30.2018

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

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

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

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

By Some remember on 05.21.2018

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

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

By Sherry Straley Broggi and Rita Straley on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'Lora Faye Tomblin'.

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

Where’s DR? He never misses these events?

By Very nice project - great volunteers! on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'CommunityImprovement™: Pavilion'.

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

By GSC RETENTION? on 05.15.2018

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

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

By Reader on 05.14.2018

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

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

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

By Alumni on 05.13.2018

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

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Some interesting results.  Should shake the trees a little.

By Spring cleaning! on 05.09.2018

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

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So sorry for your loss.  Prayers.

By Betty Woofter on 05.07.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By WVDE Career Employees on 05.06.2018

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

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

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

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

By R. Page on 05.06.2018

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

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

In essence that is a FAILURE rate of 65% !

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

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

By Wv Has a FLAWED educational system ! on 05.05.2018

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

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

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

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

By Rex Page on 05.03.2018

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

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

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

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

By WVDE Watcher on 05.03.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Block Schedule Supported By Blockheads on 05.02.2018

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

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

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

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

By Pleased Parents on 05.02.2018

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

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Mr. Williams has it nailed down.  Solid.

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

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

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

But the failed administrators keep their jobs.

By Time To Clean the Education House! on 05.01.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By WHERE ARE THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS ? ? on 05.01.2018

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

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

By Spring cleaning! on 05.01.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By We Want Better Schools on 04.30.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By WVDOE Disgusted on 04.20.2018

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

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

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

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

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

This is the WVBOE legacy.

By State BOE - dysfunctional is an understatement? on 04.16.2018

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

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Maybe Jimmy can pay some of his tax bills now?

By Justice, pay your tax bills! on 04.15.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is, if you are up to it.

By Kanawha Reader on 04.15.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Economist on 04.14.2018

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

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

By R. A. Beasley on 04.14.2018

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

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HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

By Don't bring them to Gilmer! on 04.13.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GCHS Parents on 04.12.2018

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

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