GCBOE: New Superintendent Forum – 04.25.11
The Gilmer County Special Olympics is now selling McDonald’s McSavings Cards.
Cards can be purchased by calling:
• Genny Kirkpatrick at 304.462.8553
• Mary Strickland at 304.462.7750
• Martin Hess
The cards can be used through December 2011. And the cost is $5.00.
Money will be used to send athletes to the Special Olympics Summer Games on June 03-05, 2011.
• Can be used at all 11 locations owned by John Ebert Bridgeport, Clarksburg, Nutter Fort, Shinnston, New Pointe, Weston, Glenville, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parsons and Philippi
• May use more than one coupon (square) during your visit
• 8 squares on back of card - each square a coupon
• Each square that states ‘limit 5’ - may use up to 5 times
• Valued at over $99.00
• Expires: 12.31.2011
Union members from across West Virginia are gathering to remember fallen workers as a new report puts the state among the 10 worst for on-the-job fatalities.
The West Virginia AFL-CIO planned to observe national Workers Memorial Day on Wednesday in Huntington at Local 317 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
The observance honors 50 West Virginia workers killed in 2010, including the 29 men who died in an explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine near Montcoal and three men killed a blast at the AL Solutions chemical plant in New Cumberland.
Wednesday also was the 33rd anniversary of a scaffolding collapse at a power station under construction in Pleasants County that killed 51 workers.
United Steelworkers Local 2911 at ArcelorMittal scheduled a service at 9:00 AM Thursday in the new Steelworker Memorial Park in Weirton. Relatives of some of the 108 steelworkers who died over the years at the former Weirton Steel Co. were expected to attend.
The national AFL-CIO issued its annual report, “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,“ to coincide with the commemorations. It’s the 20th year for the state-by-state analysis, and its rankings and death rates are based on preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2009. Numbers for 2010 aren’t yet available.
The national report says 4,340 workers - an average of 12 per day- died of traumatic injuries on the job in 2009, down nearly 900 from the 5,214 deaths reported in 2008. Tens of thousands more died of occupational diseases.
The overall rate of fatal injuries was 3.3 per 100,000 workers, the report said, down from 3.7 per 100,000 workers in 2008.
Montana had the highest death rate with 10.8 per 100,000, followed by Louisiana and North Dakota (both 7.2), Wyoming (6.8) and Nebraska (6.1).
West Virginia finished in the bottom 10 at 42nd, with a death rate of 5.4 per 100,000 workers.
The West Virginia Board of Education wants to make sure West Virginia’s schoolchildren are using 21st century tools to learn 21st century skills.
State board members at their April meeting adopted a resolution outlining 10 elements of high quality digital learning as proposed by the Digital Learning Council.
The digital learning elements provide additional guidance, including:
1.Student eligibility: All students are digital learners.
2.Student access: All students have access to high quality digital content and online courses.
3.Personalized learning: All students can customize their education using digital content through an approved digital learning provider.
4.Advancement: Students progress based on demonstrated competency.
5.Content: Digital content, instructional materials and online and blended learning courses are high quality.
6.Instruction: Digital instruction and teachers are high quality.
7.Digital learning providers: All students have access to multiple high quality digital learning providers.
8.Assessment and accountability: Student learning is one method of evaluating the quality of content and instruction.
9.Funding: Funding creates incentives for performance, options and innovation.
10.Delivery: Infrastructure supports digital learning.
The digital learning elements build upon West Virginia’s 21st century learning plan called “Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it.” Global21 establishes the 21st century learning curriculum, including core subjects as well as performance learning skills.
In the resolution, board members directed that the digital learning elements be incorporated through alignment with state code, policy changes, strategic plans, guidelines and procedures.
“Global21 is helping our public schools move beyond outdated instructional models,” said state Board of Education President Priscilla Haden. “The 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning will help our schools focus their efforts on providing today’s digital learners with the tools and resources they need to succeed.”
|“Although it is hard to predict where the drone infrastructure will grow, if other defense contracting projects are a reliable guide, the drone-ification of America will probably continue until there is a drone aerodrome in every state and a drone degree program to go with it.”—Richard Wheeler, Wired (February 28, 2011)|
The U.S. government has a history of commandeering military technology for use against Americans. We saw this happen with tear gas, tasers and sound cannons, all of which were first used on the battlefield before being deployed against civilians at home. Now the drones—pilotless, remote controlled aircraft that have been used extensively in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (at least 600 civilians have been killed in drone attacks in Pakistan since the United States started targeting insurgents in that country) and were most recently approved by President Obama for use in Libya—are coming home to roost (and fly) in domestic airspace.
As USA Today reports:
|Police agencies around the USA soon could have a new tool in their crime-fighting arsenal: unmanned aircraft inspired by the success of such drones on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Local governments have been pressing the Federal Aviation Administration for wider use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs—a demand driven largely by returning veterans who observed the crafts’ effectiveness in war, according to experts at New Mexico State University and Auburn University. Police could use the smaller planes to find lost children, hunt illegal marijuana crops and ease traffic jams in evacuations of cities before hurricanes or other natural disasters.|
Attached as an amendment to the “Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Act” (S.223), the legislation allowing drones to fly in general American airspace has already cleared Congress, thanks to support from military contractors and a lack of opposition from those who should know better—including an American populace preoccupied with rising gas prices, a dismal economy and endless wars abroad. The only thing lacking is Obama’s final stamp of approval, which is expected at any moment.
Of course, there’s been a lot of predictable political chatter about how the introduction of drones equipped with weapons and surveillance devices into general airspace will help with national security and in the domestic fight against terrorism. But the real motivator, as is usually the case in Washington, is money—to be exact, money in the form of job creation (which ultimately translates into electoral votes) and campaign contributions from military contractors. In total, Boeing spent $2.57 million and Lockheed Martin spent $2.4 million in campaign contributions to those running for Congress in 2009-2010.
Indeed, elected representatives on both sides of the aisle benefit equally from the push for more widespread use of drones. For example, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), a sponsor of the amendment who, by the way, received $10,000 from Lockheed Martin (a manufacturer of drones and missiles used by drones) during his 2010 re-election campaign, is looking to preserve 1,215 jobs at a base in Mattydale, N.Y., while also potentially creating “millions of dollars in radar research contracts for local defense companies.” In other words, Schumer is hoping he can get enough donations and win over enough voters to maintain his seat in Congress.
On the House of Representatives side, Reps. John Mica (R-Fla.) and Candice Miller (R-Mich.), the driving forces behind the drone amendments that ended up in the House bill, didn’t hesitate to talk up the advantages drones would bring to national security and the economy. They also didn’t hesitate to take campaign contributions from companies involved in the production of drone technology. In his 2010 re-election campaign, Mica received contributions from Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon amounting to $10,000 each, while Miller received $10,000 each from Honeywell and Ford, and $8,500 from General Dynamics. Maurice Hinchey (D – NY), a member of the 43-person drone caucus, received $10,000 each from Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Honeywell, as well as $9,500 from L-3 Communications in 2010.
Unfortunately, there are few in Congress who are not complicit in helping to advance the agenda of the military industrial complex. Even President Obama, ironically enough the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize who received $870,165 from defense contractors during his 2008 campaign and yet was expected by many anti-war protesters to rein in George Bush’s run-away war machine, has marched in lockstep with the war hawks, essentially maintaining the status quo in the war in Iraq, ramping up the war in Afghanistan, and interjecting America into the conflict in Libya. And in fact, Obama’s 2012 military budget provides strong funding for drones with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, with $4.8 billion set aside just “to develop and procure additional Global Hawk Class (RQ-4), Predator Class (MQ 1/9) and other less expensive, low-altitude systems.”
The practical impact of these drones, which can range in size from 15 ounces to 34,000 pounds with a wing span bigger than a Boeing 737, will be felt by all members of society, regardless of how law-abiding one might be. Certainly these unmanned vehicles could be used for legitimate purposes, such as search-and-rescue missions, etc., but living as we do already in a semi-surveillance state with our constitutional rights in peril at every turn, these drones, which can be armed with surveillance devices, as well as weapons, are yet another building block in a total control society.
Drones have already been used in a limited capacity domestically to patrol the border between the U.S. and Mexico and at peaceful political rallies to intimidate and track protesters. However, researchers at Auburn University, charged with studying the risks associated with unmanned aircraft, predict that drones will be used by police departments in 5-10 years.
Unfortunately, drones are not foolproof gadgets. In fact, they have a history of malfunctioning in mid-air. As David Zucchino reported in the Los Angeles Times, “The U.S. military often portrays its drone aircraft as high-tech marvels that can be operated seamlessly from thousands of miles away. But Pentagon accident reports reveal that the pilotless aircraft suffer from frequent system failures, computer glitches and human error.” For example, the first drone sent to the Texas-Mexico border in the summer of 2010 experienced a communications failure which led to “pilot deviation.” UAVs had to be temporarily grounded while technicians received more training. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
The U.S. military was on the verge of launching fighter jets and even entertained ideas about a possible shoot-down when an errant Navy drone veered into restricted airspace near Washington, DC, in August 2010. The incident only served to reinforce concerns about drones let loose in American skies. “Do you let it fly over the national capital region? Let it run out of gas and hopefully crash in a farmer’s field? Or do you take action and shoot it down?” said Navy Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., head of Northern Command. “You don’t want to shoot it down over a populated area if you can avoid it.” Even so, Winnefeld is pushing to get more drones into the air, citing the need for a slower and lighter aircraft that could be used to monitor events such as outdoor sports games, political conventions or inaugural activities.
Apart from the safety concerns, of which there are many, the widespread use of drones domestically also poses certain security and privacy risks. As one blogger notes, “One has to wonder if the cost of these high tech machines would be balanced by their potentially limited uses or if departments would be forced to expand the uses in order to even employ the drones. Like SWAT battering rams and armored vehicles, would departments feel compelled to use the drones more often than necessary simply to justify their cost?”
There’s also the problem of drones being hacked into and potentially hijacked. After all, it’s happened before. In 2009, it was discovered that Shiite insurgents had hacked into Predator drones with a software program that cost only $26 and gained access to video footage shot by the spy planes. One can only imagine what a technically proficient hacker in America might be able to do with the wealth of information he could potentially take from these drones, not to mention what a terrorist could do with a fully-armed, remote-controlled airplane. If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that these drones will be equipped with weapons. In fact, the Pentagon actually wants some drones to be able to carry nuclear weapons. The destruction brought about by a mid-air collision or sudden communications failure with a drone carrying weapons would be devastating.
This is not a problem that’s going to go away quickly or quietly. Indeed, the government is making sure that drones will be around for some time to come. As Wired magazine points out:
|Federal education and stimulus money is being used to create nonmilitary drone education programs. The Department of Aviation at the University of North Dakota, located in Grand Forks and the operator of the test and training site at Grand Forks AFB, now offers the first Bachelors of Science program in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations. The Aviation Maintenance Technology program at Northland Community and Technical College, located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota just 40 miles east of Grand Forks, will soon offer courses in the repair of UAVs.|
Added to that, an amendment to the House version of the bill legalizing drone testing in American airspace set September 30, 2015 as a deadline by which to have general use of drones. The University of North Dakota is also offering a 4-year degree in piloting drones in what is soon expected to be a $20 billion industry.
Clearly, Congress, the Defense Department, the Obama administration and the military contractors who drive the wars all have strong financial interests in having drones crisscrossing the skies of America. They know that this spy technology will be the next big money-making scheme for those who profit from war and the machinery of war. But you can rest assured that the introduction of drones into American airspace will not only further fuse the American government, the American economy and the military industry, perpetuating needless foreign interventions at the expense of civilians abroad and Americans at home but it will serve as yet another nail in the coffin for American civil liberties.
~~ By John W. Whitehead ~~
Opens Friday, April 29, 2011 | Runtime: 2 hr. 10 min.
PG-13 - Sexual content, intense sequences of violence, language and intense sequences of action
Ever since ex-cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) broke her brother Dom (Vin Diesel) out of custody, they’ve traveled border to border to evade authorities. In Rio de Janeiro, they must do one final job before they can gain their freedom for good. Assembling their elite team of car racers, Brian and Dom know they must confront the corrupt businessman who wants them dead, before the federal agent (Dwayne Johnson) on their trail finds them.
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Matt Schulze, Kang Sung
Director: Justin Lin
Genres: Action ThrillerChase MovieAction
Opens Friday, April 29, 2011 | Runtime: 1 hr. 43 min.
PG - Mild language and a brief fight
At ‘Prom,‘ every couple has a story and no two are exactly alike. Several intersecting stories unfold at one high school as the big dance approaches. ‘Prom’ portrays the precarious passage from high school to independence as some relationships unravel and others ignite. For Nova Prescott, it’s a battle of wills as she finds herself drawn to the guy who gets in the way of her perfect prom. Fellow seniors Mei and Tyler harbor secrets, while others face all the insecurity and anticipation that surrounds one of high school’s most seminal events. There are hundreds of nights in high school, but there’s only one ‘Prom.‘
Cast: Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonell, De’Vaughn Nixon, Danielle Campbell, Yin Chang
Director: Joe Nussbaum
Genres: Comedy DramaTeen Movie
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil 3D
Opens Friday, April 29, 2011 | Runtime: 1 hr. 31 min.
PG - Some mild rude humor, language and action
While away training with a mysterious covert ops group known as the Sisters of the Hood, Red (Hayden Panettiere) gets an urgent call from Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers), head of the top-secret Happily Ever After Agency. A wicked witch (Joan Cusack) has kidnapped Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler), and Red’s the only one who can save them. Accompanied by Wolf (Patrick Warburton) and Wolf’s pal, Twitchy (Cory Edwards), Red sets out to bring the children back.
Cast: Hayden Panettiere, Patrick Warburton, Joan Cusack
Director: Michael D’Isa-Hogan
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
Opens Friday, April 29, 2011 | Runtime: 1 hr. 47 min.
PG-13 - Creature action, sexual references, language, creature violence and some drug material
Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh) is a world-famous private detective who specializes in the affairs of the walking dead. Armed with silver, wooden bullets and a razor-sharp wit, Dylan works his latest case: Track down a dangerous missing artifact. If he fails, the results will be dire: War will break out among the werewolves, vampires and zombies who prowl the monster-infested streets of New Orleans. Based on the popular graphic novel by Tiziano Sclavi.
Cast: Brandon Routh, Anita Briem, Sam Huntington, Taye Diggs, Kurt Angle, Peter Stormare, Kent Jude Bernard, Mitchell Whitfield, Michael Cotter, Laura Spencer, James Hebert, Dan Braverman, Marco St. John, Kyle Clements, Douglas M. Griffin, Kevin Fisher, Garrett Strommen, Brian Steele, Tiffany Reiff
Director: Kevin Munroe
Genres: Horror ComedyHorror
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, small diced
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups cauliflower florets
3 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR CHICKEN AND PAN SAUCE:
12 fresh sage leaves
4 (6-ounce) organic boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded slightly
4 thin slices high-quality prosciutto
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons lightly packed fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
PREPARE THE CAULIFLOWER MASH:
Place a large saucepan over medium high heat.
Add the oil to the pan and saute the shallots for 1 minute.
Add the garlic.
Add the butter and cook until the butter is golden brown.
Stir in the cauliflower, milk, and cream.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Decrease the heat to low and simmer very gently until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
Pour off the liquid and reserve it.
Mash the cauliflower in the pan with a potato masher.
The mash should be rustic and chunky.
Add enough of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm until serving.
PREPARE THE CHICKEN:
Place 2 to 3 sage leaves on top of each chicken breast.
Wrap 1 slice of prosciutto around each chicken breast.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
COOK THE CHICKEN:
Place a large nonstick saute pan over medium high heat, add the oil, and place the chicken breasts in the pan.
Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
Transfer the chicken to a plate.
MAKE PAN SAUCE:
Remove the chicken from the pan and add the butter and shallot.
Cook for 30 seconds swirling the pan, then add the wine and simmer until reduced by half.
Add the chicken stock and parsley and simmer until reduced by half.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Divide the cauliflower evenly among 4 serving plates.
Slice the chicken breasts in half on a sharp diagonal.
Lay the chicken breasts next to the mounds of cauliflower then spoon the pan sauce over each chicken breast and serve.
New 1945 Normantown High School State Basketball Championship Banner
On Normantown Elementary School Gym Wall - 04.27.11
~~ Photo by Gary Collins ~~
LATER IN THE DAY, they would secure themselves a niche in West Virginia sports lore. But for the moment, the Normantown High School basketball players simply wanted to sing a few songs as they sat in a West Virginia University dormitory, awaiting their next game in the state tournament.
Maybe they sang to ease the tension or maybe to pass the time. Or maybe they just liked to sing. A Mountaineer football player who served as their host later described the songs as “hillbilly” and said the players sang them well.
Once they satisfied their musical urges, the Normantown players departed Men’s Dormitory - later to be renamed Boreman Hall - and ate their pregame meal at Communtzi’s Restaurant at 368 High St. in Morgantown. From there, they made their way to the WVU Fieldhouse for the semifinals - and finals - of the state high school basketball tournament.
It was Saturday, March 24, 1945, and the Normantown Vikings were on their way to completing a David-vs.-Goliath journey to the state high school basketball championship in an era that preceded enrollment-based classifications, forcing the tiny high school in Gilmer County to compete against the state’s largest schools.
If Hollywood had not made “Hoosiers,‘’ it might easily have made “Normantown.‘’
The Vikings represented a community of just 300 residents and a school that would graduate only 20 seniors that year. Nevertheless, they found a way to defeat Morgantown 37-35 in the Saturday afternoon semifinals and then slipped past Logan, the pre-tournament favorite, 50-49 in the Saturday night title game, making them the champions of West Virginia. The victory also ended the Wildcats’ 26-game winning streak.
Many of the 4,500 fans in attendance, like their exuberant counterparts in later generations, then stormed the Fieldhouse floor to celebrate.
The Vikings had downed Bluefield 42-33 in Friday’s quarterfinals of the eight-team tournament.
In Normantown’s five previous postseason games that year, the Vikings defeated the Tanner Bulldogs 64-36, the Glenville Red Terror 31-30, the Spencer Yellow Jackets 37-36, the Cairo Pharaohs 54-37 and the Washington Irving Hilltoppers 35-34. Four of the eight victories came by a margin of one point, and another was by two points, capping a 25-1 season marred only by a regular-season loss to Spencer.
It was an era that preceded enrollment-based classifications and a time when every West Virginia community, it seemed, had its own high school, which served both academic and social needs.
The Vikings played in a gymnasium that seated only a few hundred and had wooden backboards. Because it lacked an electrical scoreboard, a scorekeeper would update the score in large numbers on a chalkboard after each basket.
Quaint-sounding teams such as the Sand Fork Lions, the Gassaway Elks, the Sutton Blue Devils, the Burnsville Bruins and the Widen Buffaloes competed in central West Virginia at the time.
The Normantown faculty consisted of just eight teachers, including the two basketball coaches, Eugene “Bootjack’‘ Williams and Hadsel Ball.
Williams had been an athlete at nearby Glenville State College and, as Vikings coach, reportedly never raised his voice to his players. Newspaper accounts of the state tournament described the Normantown players as cool and composed, perhaps reflecting their coach’s personality.
“I wouldn’t have the words in my vocabulary to describe what a great man he was,‘’ forward Eugene Bennett said in a 2002 interview.
An Associated Press story said the Vikings’ style of play “sometimes seemed stodgy.‘’ The words “Sportsmanship Always’‘ were emblazoned in big letters on the Normantown gymnasium wall.
It helped that Normantown had height and a strong inside game. Bennett stood 6-foot-3, and two other starters, Glennard Vannoy and Earl “Tex’‘ Gainer, were 6-2, giving Normantown good size for that time, especially for such a small school. The other starters were 5-11 Ernest Duskey and 5-8 Blaine Wright. Sixth man was 5-11 Carl Conrad. Those were the only six players used in the semifinals and finals.
Normantown’s starting five of 1945, along with coach Eugene Williams (L), consisted of:
(L-R) Glennard Vannoy, Earl “Tex’‘ Gainer, Ernest Duskey, Dick Bennett and Blaine Wright - Courtesy Photo
On March 18, four days before the start of the tournament, state basketball officials met at the Hotel Morgan in downtown Morgantown to determine the tourney pairings in a random drawing.
The state’s sportswriters, meanwhile, concluded overwhelmingly that Logan, which entered the tournament at 24-0 and was considered the fastest team in the eight-team field, was the favorite.
In a poll of 22 writers, Logan received 12 votes, Morgantown four, Warwood three, Beckley two and Stonewall Jackson one. No one voted for Normantown, of course, or the two other tournament teams, Bluefield and Kingwood.
One writer, W.F. “Dutch’‘ Tolbert of the Williamson Daily News, seemed especially high on the Logan County school, saying, “Coach Joe Pease’s mighty Wildcats will waltz off with honors at the Morgantown tournament, and on the basis of the season’s performance should encounter no great trouble in bagging the state’s championship.‘’
The Huntington Herald-Dispatch’s Duke Ridgeley also picked Logan and supported his conclusion with a World War II reference. “The Logan Wildcats, of course,‘’ he told the AP. “They’re hotter than the fires burning following the bombing of Tokyo.‘’
Prior to the Logan-Stonewall Jackson quarterfinal game on the tournament’s opening day, WVU athletic director Roy “Legs’‘ Hawley chatted with reporters and offered a prediction. Hawley, a Bluefield native and former Mountaineer basketball player who had once scored 66 points in a high school game, said the Logan-Stonewall winner would go on to win the state championship.
The tournament atmosphere was much as it is today. The Morgantown High band played at halftime of each game and between games, and WVU basketball coach John Brickels, a former Huntington High coach, was a familiar figure, carrying a notepad and looking for potential Mountaineers.
After starting postseason play with an easy victory over Tanner, Normantown struggled against Glenville on the Red Terror’s home floor and needed Vannoy’s 20-foot basket with five seconds left in overtime for a 31-30 victory.
In a tense three-minute overtime, neither team attempted a shot or scored until Glenville took a 30-29 lead on a free throw with 12 seconds remaining.
Spencer, which had defeated the Vikings 38-35 in the regular season, nearly did so again in the sectional title game that year. With every seat filled and fans standing three rows deep along the wall at the Glenville State College gym, the Vikings held a 37-36 lead with two seconds left in the game, but a foul sent a Spencer player to the line with two free throws. The player missed both shots, leaving Normantown with its one-point victory.
After a more comfortable victory over Cairo of Ritchie County, the Vikings trailed Washington Irving by a point through three quarters but rallied for a one-point victory, earning them a visit to Morgantown for the state tournament.
Against Bluefield in the state quarterfinals in Morgantown, the Beavers led 31-30 through three quarters, but the Vikings outscored them 12-2 in the final period.
In a back-and-forth battle with Morgantown the next afternoon, Normantown built a 37-32 advantage in the final minute, but the Mohigans gave them a scare, scoring a basket and a free throw to cut the deficit to two and missing a potential game-tying shot with five seconds left. Normantown rebounded and killed the clock.
Logan, led by Charley Porter, led the Vikings 28-24 at halftime and increased the lead to 37-28 late in the third quarter of the Saturday night title game. But Normantown rallied, outscoring the Wildcats 16-1 and taking a 44-38 edge early in the final quarter. The Wildcats countered with six straight points for a 44-44 tie with 4:45 left, but the Vikings responded with six straight of their own for a 50-44 lead with 2:30 remaining.
Although they didn’t score again, the Vikings survived for a 50-49 victory. Gainer led the Normantown scoring with 19 points, and Bennett added 15. The 6-foot-2 Porter, who had scored 60 against Big Creek that season, led the Wildcats with 27.
The Logan Banner was not yet willing to concede state superiority to the tiny Gilmer County School. In a nod to hometown boosterism, the newspaper ran an eight-column headline that read: “Logan Wildcats Still Rated No. 1 Team.“
The story said, “The general opinion of fans who witnessed little Normantown’s victory at Morgantown Saturday night is that the Logan Wildcats are still the best team in the state.‘’
Logan Banner sports columnist Charlie Hylton, noting that three Normantown players stood 6-foot-2 or taller, attributed the state championship, in part, to the Vikings’ size. “That’s a lot of height for a high school ball club,‘’ he wrote, “and if the sports scribes throughout the state had known about it, they might have been on the Normantown bandwagon in the pre-tournament poll.‘’
Hylton admitted he hadn’t attended the state tournament but assured his readers the Wildcats were a better team than the Vikings.
Not that Hylton’s assessment was met with unanimous agreement. At about the same time, 300 Normantown residents gathered in town to greet the Vikings upon their return home. They wanted to congratulate the team they overwhelmingly believed to be the best in West Virginia.
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Alphecca, the brightest star of Corona Borealis, the northern crown, is in the east-northeast at nightfall, and climbs the eastern sky later on.
Alphecca consists of two stars.
One is similar to the Sun, while the other is much larger and brighter.
The Sun is an impressive star. It’s brighter and more massive than probably 90 percent of the stars in the galaxy. It lights and heats our entire solar system all on its own.
But imagine a system where the Sun is the weak sister—where a second star puts it to shame.
That’s the case with Alphecca, the brightest star of Corona Borealis, the northern crown. It’s in the east-northeast at nightfall, and climbs the eastern sky over the next few hours.
Although the eye alone sees a single point of light, Alphecca actually consists of two stars. One of them is quite similar to the Sun—a bit smaller and fainter, but the same general type. Its companion, though, is much more impressive. It’s about two-and-a-half times the Sun’s diameter, and almost 70 times brighter than the Sun. And the two stars are quite close together—much closer than the Sun and Mercury, the innermost planet in our solar system.
At that range, it’s unlikely that planets orbit either of the individual stars. But it is possible that planets could orbit both stars.
From an orbit far away from these mismatched twins, the Sun-like star would look pale and puny, like the beam of a headlight next to a searchlight. So in this system, a star that’s a lot like the Sun is little more than an afterthought.
Look for Alphecca at the center of the northern crown, a semicircle of stars that’s in the eastern sky at nightfall, and crowns the sky in the wee hours of the morning.
What are we that you are mindful of us?
The eyes of the soul see mysteries that are not understood by this world.
Today’s readings help us to take that leap to faith.
The man healed by God’s mercy through Peter and John knew immediately that he had received his cure through the power of Jesus.
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus knew him immediately in the breaking of the bread although they had not recognised Jesus in the flesh.
The psalm invites us to see the glory and majesty of God in the wonders of nature around us as a sign of his loving care for us.
Dear Lord, please give us the inner eyes of faith, especially today as we continue the Easter celebrations.
May we come to life with our spiritual hearts and minds wide open, ready to receive all the blessings that you promise.
Acts 3:11-26. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!—Ps 8:2, 5-9. Luke 24:35-48.