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WV Investigates School Skin Herpes Outbreaks

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Outbreaks of skin herpes have been reported at schools in several counties.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the state Department of Health and Human Resources is investigating the outbreaks of herpes gladiatorium.

The DHHR didn’t identify the schools but the agency expects more cases in the next few weeks.

Last week, the Bureau for Public Health said five members of a high school wrestling team contracted the virus. Health officials have warned that wrestlers who competed in the recent state tournament may have been exposed to the virus, which is spread by skin-to-skin contact.

The virus is the same strain that causes cold sores.

Symptoms include lesions on the face, head and neck.

Volunteer Firefighters Hopes Up In Smoke

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Volunteer firefighters aren’t getting as much as they wanted out of this legislative session and it may be because of the upcoming special election for governor.

West Virginia Firefighters Association spokesman John Holstein says the 60-day regular session will likely end at midnight Saturday without significant legislation addressing the issues VFDs have with workers’ compensation costs and recruitment and retention of firefighters.

Holstein says with candidates running for governor from both the House and Senate—-their bills got caught in the middle.

“If someone’s in the position to help then someone that’s going to be running against them in the governor’s race doesn’t want them to get the limelight,“ Holstein said. “So they bounce back and forth between these and nobody can get anything done for us.“

A proposal from acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to put $2.5 million in the new state budget to help pay for workers’ compensation has the best chance for survival, but Holstein says that will only help the worse case scenarios.

“What we’re going to receive is enough to cover the increases that are going to be occurring just for the departments that are in financial trouble already,“ Holstein said.

The firefighters association supported a more comprehensive plan to address the workers’ comp issue and the group backed various bills that would give incentives to recruit and keep firefighters. But none gained the necessary momentum.

Holstein again points to the upcoming special election.

“We have a lot of people jockeying for position when it comes to this governor’s race and we think we’re caught in the middle,“ Holstein said.

The firefighters say their concerns won’t be going away anytime soon, in fact, they fear things will get worse with finances and numbers before they get better.

AT&T or Verizon: Who Has The Better Data Network? Well, It Depends

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The analytics firm Metrico is the latest to weigh in on the fight to determine whether AT&T or Verizon has the better iPhone. Like many other tests, the findings indicate that each phone has its strengths and weaknesses.

In tests from Metrico, the firm found that the AT&T model downloaded twice as fast as its Verizon counterpart , but the mean load time for a Web page was about the same on both phones. AT&T also won the race when it came to completing download sessions while in a moving car, completing about 10% more of the tests when mobile.

When stationary, however, Verizon took the prize with—you guessed it—about a 10% better success rate. Other tests found that the Verizon iPhone ranked high in noise-canceling tests and about average on the quality of voice calls, but its data download speeds were below average when compared to other phones on its network. As for AT&T’s iPhone, its call performance and Bluetooth quality are below average, though it topped the list of data performers.

The disparity between the Verizon and AT&T download speeds are much greater than other tests have indicated, but the results are generally in line with the other speed tests already out there. When Wired conducted speed tests in February, it found that AT&T iPhones were clear winners when it came to speed, but that Verizon was far more reliable.

Unsurprisingly, it also depends on where you live. Different regions of the country have different coverage issues. For example, AT&T is notorious for poor coverage in San Francisco but is great for most of D.C. Despite these disparities, local testers in Minnesota, Michigan and Denver have all found that there’s no clear winner in the fight. Generally, these tests have also held that Verizon is better when it comes to reliability, but AT&T wins the speed test.

G-OB™: CGCC: Employment Opportunity

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Proposed WV Retiree Bonus Climbs to $2,400

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What was a $600 bonus proposed for lower-income West Virginia public retirees is now a $2,400 payment.

The House Finance Committee voted Wednesday to increase the payment meant for retired state workers and teachers.

The bonus was $600 when the House initially passed the bill last month. The Senate doubled that amount before sending the measure back last week.

House Finance doubled it yet again before returning it to the full House.

The bonuses would go to retirees with 20 or more years of service and annuities that do not exceed $7,200.

Officials estimated nearly 1,400 retired teachers and nearly 800 retired workers or their beneficiaries would qualify. The latest version may end up costing around $4.8 million.

WV: Couple Facing Charges of Felony Child Neglect over Squalor in Their Home

Police charge a St. Albans couple with child neglect after finding their home in filthy conditions.

St. Albans officers went to the home of Jason and Moriah McCormick Tuesday to serve the couple with a citation.

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When the door was answered, officers observed trash piled up, the smell of rotting garbage, and roaches crawling on the floor.

Four children live in the home.  The couple refused to allow officers in to search the home—so they returned later with a search warrant.

Officers say the home was sickening.  Mounds of garbage littered the room and a number of insects infested the home feeding on the material.

 

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The St. Albans Building Inspector condemned the home and Child Protective Services took custody of the McCormicks’ four children, ranging in age from 23-months to 10-years.

The McCormick’s face four counts of felony child neglect.

~~  WVMN ~~

G-Comm: Private Bradley Manning: A Victim of the Military Empire?

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“It is indispensable to our success in this war that those we ask to fight it know that in the discharge of their dangerous responsibilities to their country they are never expected to forget that they are Americans, and the valiant defenders of a sacred idea of how nations should govern their own affairs and their relations with others—even our enemies.”—John McCain, “Torture’s Terrible Toll”

Depending on your view of the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and America’s role in them, Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, the 23-year-old Army soldier who is accused of “aiding the enemy” by leaking classified military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website, Wikileaks, is either a courageous whistleblower or a traitorous snitch. Manning is alleged to have leaked over 250,000 United States diplomatic cables, as well as footage of an American Apache helicopter airstrike in Baghdad from July 12, 2007, in which 18 people were killed, many of them civilians. Two of those killed were Reuters journalists. If convicted, Manning could face the death penalty.

There can be no doubt that Manning’s inhumane treatment by the U.S. government is intended to send a clear warning to all those who would challenge the military empire—“DON’T EVEN CONSIDER IT.” Manning, a slight, 5’2”, 105-pound intelligence analyst, has been held in maximum solitary confinement (his escape would supposedly pose a national security risk) at the Marine Corps Brig in Quantico, Virginia, since July 2010—treatment normally reserved for the most violent or dangerous of criminals.

As Glenn Greenwald of Salon observes, Manning has been “subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything. And as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.”

Imprisoned in a windowless, 6 x 12 foot cell containing a bed, a drinking fountain and a toilet, Manning has been kept under Suicide and/or Prevention of Injury (POI) watch during his incarceration, largely against the advice of two forensic psychiatrists. Under suicide watch, Manning has been confined to his tiny cell for 24 hours a day and stripped of all clothing with the exception of his underwear. His prescription eyeglasses were taken away, leaving him in essential blindness except for those limited times when he is permitted to read or watch television, at which time his glasses are returned to him. A guard is stationed outside Manning’s cell at all times. In a thinly veiled attempt to harass the young man, guards check on Manning every five minutes, asking if he is ok. He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets, but he currently has a mattress that has a built-in pillow and two blankets.

Things are not much better for Manning under POI watch. As his attorney, David Coombs, points out, he is forced to remain in his cell for 23 hours a day. He is not allowed to have personal items in the cell, and is only allowed to have one book or one magazine at any time to read in the cell. He is not allowed to exercise in his cell and if he attempts to do push-ups, sit-ups or any other form of exercise, he will be forced to stop by the brig guards. He gets one hour of exercise outside of his cell daily, so his exercise routine consists of him walking around in figure eights in an empty room for an hour. When he goes to sleep, he must strip down to his underwear and surrender his clothing to the guards. If he falls asleep with a blanket over his head or curled up toward the wall, the guards wake him up.

Most recently, it was revealed that Manning was stripped and left naked in his cell for seven hours, after which time he was made to stand naked outside his cell during an inspection—allegedly part of an effort by the government aimed at pressuring Manning to identify others involved in the WikiLeaks case. The tactic is certainly not a new one. Indeed, as one investigative news source pointed out, the forced nudity recalls “how the Bush administration used nudity and other abusive tactics to break down ‘war on terror’ detainees. In 2004, the CIA told President George W. Bush’s lawyers how useful forced nudity was for instilling ‘learned helplessness’ in prisoners.”

The American government, of course, insists that such treatment does not rise to the level of torture. In fact, Col. T. V. Johnson, a Quantico spokesman, characterized charges that Manning has been mistreated as “poppycock.” After all, Manning is not being starved, beaten or waterboarded. He’s merely been denied human interaction and the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment. Yet as surgeon Atul Gawande points out in a 2009 article for the New Yorker, solitary confinement rises to the level of torture: “A U.S. military study of almost a hundred and fifty naval aviators returned from imprisonment in Vietnam, many of whom were treated even worse than [John] McCain, reported that they found social isolation to be as torturous and agonizing as any physical abuse they suffered.”

There was a time in our nation’s history—long before the abuses at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib and before we were reprogrammed to think of such practices as waterboarding as benign forms of legalized torture—that even solitary confinement was frowned upon. The United States Supreme Court even came close to declaring it unconstitutional in 1890 and went so far as to compare it to “[t]he rack, the thumbscrew, [and] the wheel” in its 1940 decision in Chambers v. Florida. Unfortunately, that perception of solitary confinement as torture changed with the rise in popularity of American supermax prisons, designed specifically for mass solitary confinement, in the late 20th century. As Gawande writes:

Public sentiment in America is the reason that solitary confinement has exploded in this country, even as other Western nations have taken steps to reduce it. This is the dark side of American exceptionalism. With little concern or demurral, we have consigned tens of thousands of our own citizens to conditions that horrified our highest court a century ago. Our willingness to discard these standards for American prisoners made it easy to discard the Geneva Conventions prohibiting similar treatment of foreign prisoners of war, to the detriment of America’s moral stature in the world. In much the same way that a previous generation of Americans countenanced legalized segregation, ours has countenanced legalized torture. And there is no clearer manifestation of this than our routine use of solitary confinement—on our own people, in our own communities…

Which brings us back to Bradley Manning, a young man who hoped to “change something” by exposing what he saw as widespread government corruption. Whether or not Manning is shown to be the source of the leaks, there can be no denying that the information made public by Wikileaks has painted a damning picture of a U.S. government operating in a way that is completely at odds with everything this nation once stood for.

Yet the key here is that Manning, an American citizen entitled to every protection afforded by the U.S. Constitution, has yet to be convicted of anything, which makes his pre-trial incarceration that much more troubling. Moreover, not only does such cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment violate a long list of international human rights treaties, but as Greenwald points out, “[s]ubjecting a detainee like Manning to this level of prolonged cruel and inhumane detention can thus jeopardize the ability of the U.S. to secure extradition for other prisoners, as these conditions are viewed in much of the civilized world as barbaric.”

In fact, John McCain, who experienced torture and solitary confinement during his imprisonment in Vietnam, noted in a 2005 Newsweek editorial, “We are American, and we hold ourselves to humane standards of treatment of people no matter how evil or terrible they may be. To do otherwise undermines our security, but it also undermines our greatness as a nation. We are not simply any other country. We stand for something more in the world—a moral mission, one of freedom and democracy and human rights at home and abroad… It is indispensable to our success in this war that those we ask to fight it know that in the discharge of their dangerous responsibilities to their country they are never expected to forget that they are Americans, and the valiant defenders of a sacred idea of how nations should govern their own affairs and their relations with others—even our enemies.”

Sadly, we in America have conveniently forgotten that we once stood for something more than a warring military empire. Indeed, in our once-stalwart defense of human rights, our adherence to a moral code that was rooted in a respect for human life, and our willingness to lead the world by example through innovation and progress in science and the arts, we were the antithesis of all that America—now the largest international exporter of weapons and war—has come to stand for today.

~~  By John W. Whitehead ~~

 

Upcoming Movies - 03.11.11

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Red Riding Hood
Opens Friday, March 11, 2011 | Runtime: 1 hr. 49 min.
PG-13 - Violence and creature terror, and some sensuality

Young Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) feels torn between two men. She loves Peter, but her parents intend that she marry wealthy Henry. Valerie and Peter plan to run away together, but before they can put the plan into action, her sister is killed by a werewolf. The villagers call in Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), a famous monster hunter, to help, but when Solomon warns that the beast takes human form by day, Valerie begins to suspect that the werewolf is someone she loves.

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Julie Christie
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Genres: Fairy Tales & LegendsHorror

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Battle: Los Angeles
Opens Friday, March 11, 2011 | Runtime: 1 hr. 56 min.
PG-13 - Sustained and intense sequences of war violence and destruction, and for language

For years, there have been documented cases of UFO sightings around the world - Buenos Aires, Seoul, France, Germany, China. But in 2011, what were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces. As people everywhere watch the world’s great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It’s up to a Marine staff sergeant and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they’ve ever encountered before.

Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodríguez, Bridget Moynahan, Ne-Yo, Michael Peña
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Genres: Sci-Fi ActionAlien FilmScience Fiction

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Mars Needs Moms 3D
Opens Friday, March 11, 2011 | Runtime: 1 hr. 28 min.
PG- Sci-fi action and peril

Take out the trash, eat your broccoli—who needs moms, anyway? Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she’s nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Produced by the team behind “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” and “The Polar Express,” “Mars Needs Moms” showcases Milo’s quest to save his mom—a wild adventure in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their leader (Mindy Sterling). With the help of a tech-savvy, underground earthman named Gribble (Dan Fogler) and a rebel Martian girl called Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), Milo just might find his way back to his mom—in more ways than one. Based on the book by Berkeley Breathed.

Cast: Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Elisabeth Harnois
Director: Simon Wells
Genres: Animated

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Jane Eyre
Opens Limited Friday, March 11, 2011 | Runtime: 2 hr. 1 min
PG-13 - Some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content.

In the story, Jane Eyre flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester. As she reflects upon the people and emotions that have defined her, it is clear that the isolated and imposing residence - and Mr. Rochester’s coldness - have sorely tested the young woman’s resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. She must now act decisively to secure her own future and come to terms with the past that haunts her - and the terrible secret that Mr. Rochester is hiding and that she has uncovered.

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Tamzin Merchant
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Genre: Drama, Romance

WV House and Senate 2011 - 03.09.11

Bon Appétit: Slow Cooker Meatballs

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 egg whites
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 sprig thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 jar (26-28 oz) marinara sauce
1 cup water

Directions:
Coat 4-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray.
Mix wheat germ, egg whites, half of the garlic, half of the onions, and basil in large bowl.
Add beef and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Mix well. Cover and freeze 20 minutes for easier handling.
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
Saute remaining garlic and onions 3 to 4 minutes, or until translucent.
Add bell pepper and cook 5 to 6 more minutes, or until slightly softened.
Stir in remaining ingredients and transfer to cooker.
Roll meat mixture into about 20 meatballs, 2” in diameter.
Add meatballs to cooker in batches.
Cover.
Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 4 to 6 hours, or until meatballs are cooked through.

Daily G-Eye : 03.10.11

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Submit photos for this daily feature. You may select to have your name listed as well.
Send your photo(s) to “tellus@gilmerfreepress.net”

Stargazing - 03.10.11

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The Pleiades star cluster, which looks like a tiny dipper, stands just above the Moon this evening.

The cluster represents the shoulder of Taurus, the bull.

The bull’s baleful eye, Aldebaran, is to the upper left of the Pleiades.


M87 Black Hole

No one has ever seen a black hole. That makes sense, because black holes are completely black—nothing escapes from them, including light. Yet astronomers have discovered hundreds of them—including some monsters that are bigger than our solar system. They use a variety of techniques to find the black holes—they just don’t actually see them.

The biggest and most massive black hole for which astronomers have a good measurement is at the heart of the galaxy M87.

GEBHARDT: The black hole mass we measure is 6.6 billion times the mass of the Sun—it’s the biggest black hole in the nearby universe.

That’s Texas astronomer Karl Gebhardt, who led a team that measured the black hole’s mass. The team measured the motions of stars not far from the black hole, which are accelerated by the black hole’s powerful gravity.

M87’s black hole is so large that one day astronomers should be able to take a picture of its event horizon—what makes the black hole black; anything that crosses the event horizon is gone for good. That would offer the final proof that black holes really exist.

GEBHARDT: It’s about three times the size of Pluto’s orbit—just the event horizon alone. And it could swallow our solar system whole if it happened to wander too near to us—that’s not going to happen. But it is the best candidate we have for trying to observe the event horizon. We don’t know whether black holes are black holes. To actually determine if an object is a black hole, you need to have some type of proof of an event horizon—that’s the defining property of the black hole. And that doesn’t exist yet.

Meditation Moment - 03.10.11

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Happy are they who hope in the Lord.

Jesus speaks of forgetting ourselves to follow him and of losing ourselves to gain the world.

It is ironic that we must forgo so much to have our dreams met: fighting for our self interests, securing a place for ourselves in the world, jostling for a place in the boardroom; doing everything at any cost to get our goals met.

We hear people say, ‘Isn’t it great!’

‘It must be good luck!’ ‘It’s fate.’

‘The stars must be in alignment and pointing at you.’

However, it is through Jesus, our giving of ourselves for him and to others, through our prayers and petitions, and through listening to our hearts instead of our heads, that Jesus gives us what we need.

Isn’t it through giving and giving up that we receive more than we ever wanted?


Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Happy are they who hope in the Lord—Ps 1:1-4, 6. Luke 9:22-25.


In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service. -Steve Jobs

Marjorie R. Woizesko

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Marjorie R. Woizesko
Age 62, of Glenville, WV went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 03, 2011.

She was born in Baltimore, MD on March 20, 1948, to the late Robert and Thelma Brooks Rohde.

She is survived by her husband Jeffrey Woizesko of Glenville, aunt; Betty Myers of New Oxford, PA and several cousins.

There will be no service upon her request.

Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton, WV is humbled to serve the Woizesko family.

Betty Lou Garton

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Betty Lou Garton
Age 74, of Jane Lew, died March 05, 2010, at the United Hospital Center.

She was born December 08, 1935, at Weston, the daughter of the late Charles Harrison and Mildred Swisher Rollyson.

she was married to Jack N. Garton April 06, 1957, who survives.

Also surviving are two sons, Rick Nelson Garton and wife Nancy Ann of Weston, and Jackie Ray Garton and special friend Dee of Pennsylvania; grandsons, Brent Nelson and Matthew Brooks Garton of Jane Lew, and Eric Thomas Garton and wife Sara Eileen of Alum Bridge; great-grandson, Brayden Nelson Garton of Buckhannon; three brothers, Tom Swisher and wife Dottie of Florida, Larry Rollyson and wife Linda of Ohio, and Jerry Rollyson and wife Sandy of Ohio; one sister, Diane Shultz and husband Joe of Ohio; and several half-brothers and half-sisters.

Mrs. Garton was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, sister and a friend to all. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary No. 166 and a Protestant by faith.

Friends were received at the Morris Funeral Home of Jane Lew Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Funeral services will be held Thursday morning at 11:00 AM with Rev. Ron Brown and Pastor Sharon Carr officiating.

Burial will follow in the Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.

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