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Protect Yourself against Summer Food-Borne Illnesses - Tips For Safe Food Handling

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The outbreak of a virulent strain of E. coli in Germany has Europeans worried about their fresh produce, but the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is reminding consumers that there are a number of steps they can take to protect themselves against food-borne illness.

“Summer cookouts with family and friends are a time-honored tradition, but one thing you don’t want to share with your guests is a food-borne illness,” said West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass. “Good preparation and handling practices are an important way to keep your meals safe and healthy.”

Always wash your hands with soap and hot water before and after handling food. Keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean also. Always serve food on clean plates – not those previously holding raw meat and poultry. Otherwise, bacteria that may have been present in raw meat juices can cross-contaminate the food to be served.

If you are cooking foods ahead of time, be sure to cook them thoroughly to a safe minimum internal temperature. Beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts, and chops should be cooked to at least 145° F; all cuts of pork to 160° F; ground beef, veal and lamb to 160° F, and all poultry should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165° F.

Divide cooked foods into shallow containers to store in the refrigerator or freezer until serving. This encourages rapid, even cooling. Reheat hot foods to 165° F. Arrange and serve food on several small platters rather than on one large platter. Keep the rest of the food hot in the oven (set at 200-250° F) or cold in the refrigerator until serving time. This way foods will be held at a safe temperature for a longer period of time. Replace empty platters rather than adding fresh food to a dish that already had food on it. Many people’s hands may have been taking food from the dish, which has also been sitting out at room temperature.

Hot foods should be held at 140° F or warmer. On the buffet table you can keep hot foods hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Cold foods should be held at 40° F or colder. Keep foods cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice. Otherwise, use small serving trays and replace them.

Foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep track of how long foods have been sitting on the buffet table and discard anything that has been there two hours or more.

Bacteria can be found everywhere, but a few types in particular frequent people’s hands – such as Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens and Listeria monocytogenes. And unlike microorganisms that cause food to spoil, harmful or pathogenic bacteria cannot be smelled or tasted.

Thanks to the efforts of the WVDA and other government regulators – along with continuous safety improvements by food producers – the vast majority of food purchased by consumers is free from harmful pathogens. However, no system is perfect and sometimes people are exposed. If you think you have been sickened, be safe and contact a health professional. Some of these germs can cause serious illness, especially in the very old, very young and other at-risk populations.

Doddridge County Watershed Association – Presentation by Janet Clayton, DNR Biologist

Please join us for the next Doddridge County Watershed Association meeting, Thursday June 16, 2011, 6:00 PM at the Senior Center in West Union.

Janet Clayton, Wildlife Diversity Biologist with the WV Division of Natural Resources will be our guest speaker.

The subject will be about mussels specific to Middle Island Creek, giving some life history and address threats.

She will also speak about an upcoming, multi-year DNR project, assessing Meathouse Fork and Middle Island Creek, which is home to the endangered Clubshell and the soon to be listed as endangered, Snuffbox.

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Freshwater mussels are important to the stream ecosystem and provide many services that are critical to a streams health.

Mussels help stabilize stream bottoms, their shells provide habitat for other aquatic organisms, and mussels remove bacteria and excess nutrients from the water and then recycle those nutrients to make food available for other aquatic organisms.

They are an excellent pre-filter to water treatment facilities.  Mussels are to streams as the canary is to the coal mines.

The DNR intends to cover the full length of the stream documenting mussel populations and ultimately setting up some permanent monitoring stations that will be revisited over time to document changes in the populations.

This is an excellent time to step up and become more involved with the watershed association, which offers any assistance to the DNR for this important survey and ongoing monitoring.

This presentation is timely and important for community members, given the recent gas drilling waste spill into England Run, which also passed through Buckeye Creek and into Middle Island Creek.

All are welcome to attend.

Please check out our Facebook page also, under Doddridge County Watershed Association for frequently updated information.

WV Attorney General Warns Of Paving Scams

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West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw is warning consumers in the state to be on the lookout for unscrupulous pavers offering to sell them “leftover” asphalt at a discounted price.

McGraw’s office said the “crooks” try to prey on homeowners every spring—but this year there’s a twist to their scheme.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, someone using the name Danny Blankenship, operating as Danny Blankenship Asphalt, Paving, Sealing and Patchwork, has been going door-to-door telling homeowners that he has been sealing public streets in their neighborhood. Then, he claims that the government authorizes him to use the leftover asphalt to seal driveways in the neighborhood.

Eugene Elkins of Charleston was a recent victim of the scheme.

On May 26, 2011, Elkins agreed to let Blankenship pave his driveway. After the work was done, Blankenship and his associates pressured Elkins into signing a contract and made him pay more than $4,000 for the shoddy work.

The Attorney General’s Office said licensed contractors in West Virginia are required to provide a written contract for any home improvement project more than $250. However, contractors are not required to have insurance, to post a surety or performance bond, or to provide proof of financial responsibility.

McGraw warned consumers to “be careful and do your research before deciding to hire someone.“

He provided the following tips to avoid being the victim of a contracting scam:

•  Always check with the Contractor Licensing Board to make sure the contractor is licensed;

•  Ask for references and be sure to check them;

•  Check with the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division to see whether complaints have been filed against the contractor;

•  Never pay money in advance for labor or materials;

•  Avoid contractors who do not provide a written contract containing all of the terms of the work before the work is started;

•  Avoid contractors who can only be reached by leaving a message on an answering machine;

•  Avoid contractors who drive unmarked vans or have out-of-state license plates;

•  Avoid contractors who pressure you for an immediate decision;

•  Avoid contractors who offer a discount for finding them other customers;

•  Avoid contractors who quote prices that are obviously too cheap;

•  Ask for proof of insurance and find out whether the contractor is bonded. Make sure the contractor takes responsibility for worker injuries; and

•  Pay by check or credit card and, if possible, avoid on-the-spot cash payments.

GSC Bluegrass Music Concert – June 16, 2011

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G-Comm™: West Virginia Race This Fall Previews 2012 Challenges

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Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, and Bill Maloney, a Republican, will line up alongside Mountain Party candidate Bob Henry in October for a special election for governor. The election is gaining national attention as the first major battle previewing the politics of the 2012 election cycle.

Tomblin, the Democrat, is the acting governor, former president of the state Senate, and “good ol’ boy” extraordinaire. “God loves coal, and so do I,“ he declared at a recent “rally for coal” to protest EPA objections mountaintop-removal mining.

Tomblin is “pro-life,“ courting the conservative Christian fringe groups. He got the top endorsement from coal industry and natural gas lobbying groups. He claims to be pro-labor but always supports roadblocks in the way of public employee bargaining rights, offering “direct” negotiations with the legislature instead.

The West Virginia labor movement thus supported challenger Rick Thompson, a strong advocate for workers rights, in the Democratic primary three weeks ago. Thompson, like every other Republican and Democratic candidate, is also a supporter of natural gas exploration of the vast Marcellus Shale, a mile or two below the West Virginia mountains, which uses the environmentally controversial “fracking” method of drilling. Most of the Democrats support fracking if appropriate inspection, taxation and regulation is legislated. That is stalled. Earl Ray Tomblin can’t be bothered to wait, however. Documented reports that water faucets in Pennsylvania’s fracking areas can be set on fire with a Bic lighter are dismissed by Tomblin as “inflammatory.“ Meanwhile, Republicans call all regulation a “job-killer.“

Claims that fracking’s very capital intensive development will spill over into much needed diversity and jobs simply belie the history of West Virginia and coal. The same claims have been made for coal here, but West Virginia is now ranking at the bottom of all states in family income.

On the plus side, Tomblin does support investments in higher education, critical for West Virginia. He supports the Affordable Care health reform act. He opposes cutting public employee benefits, retirement, and health care. He favors collecting greater revenues from coal and gas corporations.

However he is all but silent on West Virginia’s 9.6% official unemployment, or tens of thousands of youth never having useful work, or the state having nearly the lowest (53.5%) of its workforce actually even working or seeking work.

But, of course, Republican Bill Maloney is much worse. His only claim to fame is a career in the mining and gas industries, and fronting for the “tea party” vote. His solution to every issue is: shut government down, and let business “do its thing.“ In other words, a complete fraud in terms of creating any jobs or improvements for working people. All he is really interested in is cutting his rich friends’ taxes and waging war against the public workers delivering needed services to people. Here’s a candidate for governor who does not even know how a bill is passed.

The Mountain Party candidate, Bob Henry, is a nationally recognized poet and environmentalist who has led a celebrated fight against mountaintop removal mining. But he can’t seem to make up his mind about Marcellus Shale fracking, or job creation, or education. On the one hand he supports gas development as a resource for “green development,“ but on the other he supports private property rights that would effectively block any natural gas development.

Henry is against all trade agreements and all wars. He is pro-choice, and against discrimination based on sex orientation. However his only effective role will likely be as a spoiler that could help elect Republican Bill Maloney - clearly the worst outcome.

On the biggest economic issues of the national 2012 elections, Tomblin will be an ally for working class West Virginians, but a weak one.

The challenge for progressives is to find a mobilization path, beyond the governor’s race. The truth is that only grassroots and independent initiatives can overcome the weaknesses of the gubernatorial candidates and turn out the working class vote.

On local and state issues, West Virginia will be constructing its implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act right alongside the election cycle. A positive implementation can directly improve the lives of 700,000 West Virginia workers, and create more jobs than natural gas fracking at the same time. Working people can be directly organized in this process since a worker navigating the public access exchanges will greatly benefit from collective advice and bargaining power. Vermont is leading the way on how small states can break out of the wasteful, multi-payer, health care for profit paradigm.

Further, with the lowest youth workforce participation, and highest youth unemployment rate, West Virginia desperately needs a youth jobs program equivalent to or larger than the classic WPA program of the 1930s.

On overall national issues, the best alternative is to sign up now for the Obama presidential campaign.

Granted, this does not address the sharp divide on the state’s environmental issues. But, we are the poorest state in the nation, and other things will have to come first if the serious challenge from the right is to be defeated.

~~  by John Case ~~

G-Comm™: Falling US Birth Rates Are Not Connected to Genetically Modified (GM) Foods

Current speculation that falling US birth rates are connected to genetically modified foods is debunked by a historical review of US birth rates. We cannot tie GM foods to falling US birth rates, yet anyway, since a look at the rate over the past 100 years shows much sharper drops than the one seen since 1996 when GM foods were deployed.

Spermicidal corn has been developed, as William Engdahl points out, and likely deployed somewhere (he suggests in Latin America or other “Third World countries”). If deployed in the US, its effects cannot be teased out from other environmental and cultural factors that contribute to a nation’s birth rate, given lack of GM food labels and subsequent safety testing.

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Faulty assumptions about vaccine safety aside, Bill Gates’ advice to use GMO vaccines to reduce population is based on his thinking that women will not feel the need to keep reproducing if child survival rates improve.

The following charts were prepared from crude birth rate data supplied by the Centers for Disease Control. The first one of relevance comprises the entire 100 years since records have been kept (1909-2009). Prior to 1970, birth rates were estimated. Since then, the CDC uses data legally required to be submitted from all 50 states.

The peak occurs in 1910: 30.1 live births per 1,000 residents; and the nadir occurs in 2009: 13.5 live births per 1,000 residents.

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From 1909 thru 1933, the birth rate dropped a whopping 39% (from 30.0 to 18.4).

During the Great Depression, the birth rate hovered around 18.8 from 1933 thru 1940.  Once the depression officially ended in 1941, and women entered the workforce in mass numbers (as in Rosie the Riveter), the birth rate climbed to its next major peak of 26.6 in 1947. For the next decade, the US birth rate hovered around 25.2 — the “baby boom” years.

From 1957 thru 1976, the birth rate plummeted again — this time, by a shocking 42%. There were a couple slight upticks in there, but in 1975 and ’76, the crude birth rate was 14.6, the lowest it had ever been. And this is 20 years before the commercialization of GMO foods.

We then see a slight rise thru 1990 when the rate peaked at 16.7, and next a general decline thru 2009 when it bottomed at 13.5 live births – the lowest it’s ever been in 100 years of record keeping, but a drop of only 1.1 from the 1976 rate — the previous all-time low.

It might be easier to see 100 years of data if we just look at ten-year increments.

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Now let’s consider whether 15 years of GM foods have reduced the US birthrate. Without labeling and follow up testing, we may never know. We do know that many factors contribute to infertility, including cultural factors, agrochemicals and other industrial pollutants – many of which are endocrine disrupters that affect reproduction, as well as parental health, and perhaps vaccines and pharmaceuticals, most of which contain GMOs.

Keeping all this in mind, let’s look at the US birth rate since its last peak in 1990 (16.7 live births per 1,000 residents):

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From 1990 thru 2009, the birthrate dropped 19%. Of course, the effects of spermicidal food would not be immediate, and 2009 does show a serious drop when the birthrate fell to 13.5.  As has now been shown, though, this latest decline (from 1990) is not the biggest drop since records have been kept. In fact, the rate of decline has slowed since GMO deployment.

I’m not saying mass sterilization isn’t underway (I have no evidence either way), just that GM foods cannot yet be tied to declining birth rates. Toxic aerial sprays and industrial pollutants cause infertility, as well, and hasn’t deregulation of pollutive industries proceeded swiftly the past several years? Wasn’t it in 2004 that the EPA said fracking posed no health risk, and so exempted the drilling industry from the Clean Water Act?


An important aside: The idea that increased wealth reduces the birth rate is contradicted by US numbers. Once the Great Depression officially ended in 1941, the US birth rate climbs. Also, since the late 1960s when real personal wealth declined for most Americans, the birth rate also declined. In fact, maternal education level may be a more significant factor.

By comparing the US to other nations, we can begin to tease out the impact of GM foods — by analyzing the birthrates of other nations and the number of years (and to what extent) they’ve been eating GM foods, if any.  While some experts estimate that 70% of the foods we eat in the US contain GMOs, that percentage is not as high in other countries with lower birth rates.

At the international level, of the 196 nations whose 2009 birth rates were reported by the World Bank, 57 had lower birth rates than the US, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and the UK.  Of those 57 nations with lower birth rates than the US, 44 do not permit GMO crops (see list of GM nations at the pro-GM group, ISAAA).

US teen birth rates are probably even more important to watch, as some of these kids have been ingesting GMOs their entire lives, from the moment of conception. Comparing that to other nations’ teen birth rates might be most revealing, especially when factoring how much GM food those teens are eating and for how long.


In sum, the US crude birth rate has generally declined since 1909 when records were first kept. There have been two substantial plummets in our birth rate: from 1909 thru 1933, when it dropped 39%; and from 1957 thru 1976, when it dropped 42%. Between these two dips is the baby boom era.

Since more accurate records were kept starting in 1970, the US crude birth rate has fallen 26%. From 1996, when genetically modified foods were deployed, to the present, the birthrate has fallen 6%.

From this data, we can derive no information about the birth rate impact of any spermicidal GM foods that the US may have ingested.

~~  Rady Ananda ~~

Fishing Report - 06.09.11

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BEECH FORK
The reservoir level is at summer pool.  The water is starting to clear.  Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304.525.4831 for more information.  Bass and panfish fishing is good right now with bluegill on the nest.  Try jigging around submerged trees for both black and white crappie.  Channel catfish can be caught throughout the lake on chicken livers and cut-bait.  Hybrid-striped bass and white bass can be found chasing school of shad in the lower lake and Miller’s fork Arm.


BLUESTONE
Fishing on the lake is good as some fish are still on the spawning beds.  Anglers should try their luck around any downed trees or weed beds using worms, small minnows or jigs for sunfish.  Bass anglers should concentrate their efforts along areas with good structure such as downed timber, rocky drops or weed beds.  Top water baits such as rapalas, tiny torpedoes and sluggoes are excellent choices.  Because some bass and sunfish are still in spawning mode, anglers may expect somewhat higher success rates and also chances to catch larger fish.  Bluegills can provide anglers with some fast action.  Best baits are worms and small jigs.  Anglers can have a blast fishing for sunfish.  Channel catfish are also hitting in the lake primarily at night on chicken livers and worms.  Carp and channel catfish are hitting in the tailwaters with best baits being corn and nightcrawlers, respectively.  Occasionally anglers have been catching some other species such as smallmouth bass and hybrid stripers in the tailwaters on jigs and minnows.  For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304.466.0156.


BURNSVILLE
The lake is at summer pool.  Fishing is good.  The water temperature is in the 70’s.  Bass are in shallow water in post spawn mode.  Most are being caught in and around cover.  Bluegill and crappie are also starting to hit live bait.  Trout were stocked in the tailwaters on May 24.  For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304.853.2398.


EAST LYNN
The reservoir is near summer pool with clear water near the dam getting progressively murky as you travel upstream.  For more information call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304-849-9861.  Bass fishing should be good.  Bluegill and other sunfish can be found actively nesting in 1 to 6 feet of water.  Musky will be found near bush piles and fallen trees as they have dispersed from their spawning grounds.  Crappie fishing will be heating up near fallen trees and fish attractors.  Channel catfish and flatheads are abundant in the lake and can be caught with a variety of baits.  Walleye and hybrid-striped bass will be following schools of shad.


R.D. BAILEY
Some spotted bass should be hitting.  The bass will be found along the rocky drops with points another good spot to try.  Good baits are plastic jigs in black and chartreuse colors or live shad.  However, with some bass still on the spawn, anglers may experience higher success rates and also chances to catch larger fish.  Bluegills are providing consistent action in standing timber.  Best baits are worms and small jigs, respectively.  Hybrid striper and channel catfish fishing is good off of shallow points at night.  Best baits are chicken liver and softshell crayfish.  Anglers should concentrate their efforts early and late during periods of extreme heat.  Carp are also providing a lot of fun for night anglers.  Best baits are corn and dough balls.  Some trout are still being creeled in the tailwaters.  For more information call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304.664.9587.

STONECOAL LAKE
The lake is at summer pool.  Fishing is good.  The water temperature is in the 70’s.  Bass in shallow water in post spawn mode.  Most are being caught in and around cover. Bluegill and crappie are also starting to hit live bait and jigs.  Channel catfish are being caught in the upper end of the lake.  Also, a few walleyes are being caught.


STONEWALL JACKSON
The lake is at summer pool and milky.  Fishing is good.  The water temperature in the lake is on the rise.  Bass are in shallow water in post spawn mode.  Most are being caught in and around cover.  Bluegill and crappie are also starting to hit live bait and fishing is great.  A few large musky have been reported caught in the 50 inch range.  Trout were stocked in the tailwaters on May 24.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.269.7463.


SUMMERSVILLE
The lake is at summer pool.  Fishing is good.  The water temperature is in the 70’s.  Bass are in shallow water in post spawn mode.  Most are being caught in and around cover.  Bluegill and crappie are also starting to hit live bait.  A few walleye are being caught at the mouth of McKee’s Creek.  Trout were stocked in the tailwaters and five miles downstream by helicopter on June 7.  If you are looking for a back country trout fishing experience, hike down in the tailwaters and enjoy.  For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304.872.5809.


SUTTON
The lake is at summer pool.  Fishing is good.  The water temperature in the lake is warming fast.  Bass are in shallow water in post spawn mode.  Most are being caught in and around cover.  Bluegill and crappie are also starting to hit live bait.  Trout were stocked in the tailwaters on May 24.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.765.2705.


TYGART LAKE
The lake is at summer level and fishing is good.  Crappies, sunfish and black basses are all being caught.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass are spawning.  Crappies will be concentrated around the fish shelters near the marina.  Look for concentrations of white bass in the upper end of the lake.

The tailwaters are very fishable and should be loaded with walleyes and trout.  Recent high flows have resulted in plenty of walleyes moving through the dam to the tailwater.  Walleye fishing is best at flows above 1,500 cfs and trout fishing below 1,500 cfs.  Call the Corps of Engineers telephone hotline at 304-265-5953 for the current lake elevation and tailwater conditions.

NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

OHIO RIVER
(New Cumberland, Pike Island and Hannibal pools and tailwaters): Success has been very good this week for all species of fish in the lock and dam tailwaters.  Minnows are always a good bait but plastic grubs and spoons have also been effective.  The water level will be dropping as most upstream reservoirs are near their summer levels.  Water temperatures are increasing and fish are actively feeding.  Fishing should be good everywhere on the river.


MONONGAHELA RIVER
The river is finally at a normal level and fishing in the lock and dam tailwaters is finally possible.  A fish survey this week found lots of smallmouth bass and saugers between the Morgantown Dam and Deckers Creek.  Water temperatures are increasing and this may be one of the best months for river fishing.


CHEAT LAKE
Water levels do not fluctuate drastically at Cheat Lake since it is not a flood control lake.  Therefore, fishing is not significantly affected by high water conditions.  The two embayments by the Cheat Lake Park may be the best place to fish during these recent periods of high rainfall.  Water temperatures will be warmer than in the main lake and sunfish and largemouth bass will be more active than in the main lake.

Fishery surveys last week showed lots of channel catfish and white bass in the lake upstream of Mt. Chateau.  Large sunfish can be caught in the area of the I-68 Bridge and smallmouth upstream.  Yellow perch are being caught from Canyon to the bridge.  The summer pool level started May 1 and the lake level will only fluctuate 2-feet until November 1.  The winter ramp at Cheat Lake Park is closed and the Sunset Beach ramp is in service.  The Cheat Lake Park is a convenient place for shoreline anglers.  Recent high discharges will have caused more fish to move up to the dam from the Monongahela River.  Try the tailwater fishing pier for walleye, sauger and many other species.

EASTERN PANHANDLE

South Branch and Cacapon Rivers
Flows in most streams and rivers throughout the eastern panhandle are near normal flow and dropping.  Water temperatures are in the upper 70’s and it’s a great time for fishing.  Many anglers caught 50-70 smallmouth bass per float trip on the South Branch.  Many smallmouth bass in the South Branch have been tagged as part of a fish movement and fish health study, so if you catch a tagged fish, please clip off the tag and return it to DNR for a reward.

The 2011 spring trout stocking season is complete but lots of holdover trout remain in most streams and river.  A new fishing guide is now available for the Eastern panhandle which includes a steam map.  The new fishing guides can be obtained free of charge from any of our district offices.


Shenandoah River
The flows in the Shenandoah River are near normal and dropping.  The Shenandoah is in great fishing condition and smallmouth bass can be caught in riffle areas at the head of pools.  Try topwaters or crankbaits for smallmouth bass.


North Branch River
The flows in the North Branch are currently near 300 cfs and a great time for trout fishing.  No additional whitewater events are scheduled for the North Branch this year.


Small Impoundments
Small impoundments are currently in great fishing condition.  Bass, bluegill and catfish are biting in small impoundments.  Anglers have been doing extremely well fishing for largemouth bass and biological surveys have recorded bass in the 8 pound range.  Trout stocking in small impoundments have ended for the season but check the 2011 fishing regulations to determine which impoundments were stocked with trout.  Lots of holdover trout can still be caught.

New Creek Lake (Dam 14) has been drained to conduct required safety repairs.  This is a great time to fish in New Creek since fish from the lake migrated downstream.  New Creek Lake is expected to be refilled late this fall if construction proceeds as planned.


Jennings Randolph Lake
Jennings Randolph Lake level is currently at conservation pool and dropping slowly.  Both the WV and the MD ramps are open for the season.  Anglers have been doing well fishing for smallmouth bass, walleye and trout.  Don’t forget you can buy a season boat launch pass for Jennings Randolph Lake and the pass is honored at both the MD and WV ramps.  Some anglers are starting to catch legal sized walleye.  Jennings Randolph Lake has a dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information 304.355.2890.


Mt. Storm Lake
Anglers at Mt. Storm should target striped bass, black bass and walleye.  Anglers have been doing well catching both bass and walleye.  Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges.  Recent fishing tournaments caught both smallmouth and largemouth bass.

CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

Water levels are normal and clear.  June is a great months to introduce a child to fishing.  Free fishing weekend is here (June 11th and 12th).  Anyone can fish on Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th without a fishing license.  If you are looking for a place to go, please check the fishing regulations and the WVDNR website for a list of public access sites or call your local WVDNR district office for some advice and a place to fish.  Lots of trout remain in area lakes, rivers and streams from stocking season.  Channel catfish were stocked in various locations throughout the state last week.  If you are going alone, always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.

SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

The New and Greenbrier rivers are providing some good fishing for smallmouth bass.  Anglers should try white spinner baits, white plastic grubs, or small rapalas in black and silver or live bait such as minnows.  Spots below or above shoals are good spots to try your luck.  Fishing is still good in all of the small impoundments in southern West Virginia and you should catch some fish and have a great time but as the waters begin to warm, the bite may slow and anglers may want to concentrate on the early and late hours.  Try spots at the end of points, weed beds or fallen timber.  Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom, spinnerbaits are also good choices.  Lakes such as Plum Orchard, Stephens, Horse Creek, Hawks Nest and Pipestem will all provide good bass fishing. Channel catfishing is good in areas like Hawks Nest Lake and some of the other small impoundments.  Best time to fish is late night and very early morning with chicken livers or softshells.  This is a prime time to take a child fishing!  There is no better way to introduce a child or novice to fishing than to take them out for an evening of carp fishing.  Try chumming with creamed corn upstream of where you are fishing and use shredded wheat doughball or whole kernel corn for bait.  Make sure your rods are anchored down with a rock or a carp may take it!!!  Good spots to catch a carp are Bluestone and R.D.Bailey lakes; New and Kanawha rivers.  Bluegills are spawning all around the state and they make an excellent quarry for a young fisherperson.

SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA

Lower Ohio and Kanawha Rivers
Fishing around dawn and dusk is the way to go to beat the heat and slay the fish.  Skipjack fishing is really heating up with a new state record being caught in the R.C. Byrd tailwaters this week.  Try small jigs with minnows or white grubs, shad darts, or shad imitating lures.  Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are actively feeding and can be caught on a variety of soft plastics and crankbaits.  Sauger and walleye are being found in the tailwater section along with white bass, hybrid striped bass and drum.  Catfish are still biting though soon they may reduce feed as they enter the spawning period.


Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk, and Mud Rivers
Smallmouth, spotted and largemouth bass are actively feeding and can provide some great days on the water this time of year.  Panfish and rock bass are spawning and can be easily caught by dragging a worm or retrieving a lure across their nest.


Small Impoundments
Fishing for Channel Catfish should be excellent in area small impoundments that received catchable sized stockings.  Panfish and bass will be actively feeding.

WEST-CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

This is an excellent time to fish Ohio River tail-waters.  Anglers fishing below the Belleville and Willow Island dams are catching white bass, hybrid striped bass and a few other species.  Lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), which are fished along the bottom, are the lure of choice.  Clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows.  Fishing for white bass can be quite good this time of year and medium-sized white spinners work well also.  Hybrid striped bass are being caught on the surface and agitator bobbers and large surface plugs work well for these top water feeders.  Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections and anywhere that river flows are unusual.

Also along the Ohio River this year, fishing for black bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass) has been excellent.  Bass anglers are using spinner-baits, rubber worms, jig-and-pig type combos, and shad colored crank baits.  Largemouths are being caught along embayments and the smallmouth and spots are being taken from the river.

Fishing for largemouth bass in area lakes has been very good.  Slowly fished rubber worms or jig-and-pig combos, and spinner baits are good terminal tackle choices.  Area lakes with good angling opportunities include Mountwood in Wood County, Conaway Run in Tyler County, Charles Fork in Roane County, North Bend Lake in Ritchie County, and Elk Fork, Woodrum and O’Brien lakes in Jackson County.  Fishing for bluegill in our small lakes is also good this time of year.  Small baits and lures work well for these panfish.

This is also a good time to fish for catfish in area waters.  Most public lakes have good channel catfish populations.  Night crawlers, chicken liver or prepared catfish baits fished along the bottom are always a good method for catfish.  Adult catfish were recently stocked into several area lakes.  These include Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County; Cedar Creek State Park Lake in Gilmer County; Mountwood Lake and Fort Neal Pond in Wood County; North Bend State Park Pond in Ritchie County, Turkey Run Lake in Jackson County and Wirt County Pond.  Also, the slowly moving and muddier water that is found in the upper portions of lakes, just after rain events are great places to find channel catfish.

Larger stream and rivers hold channel catfish but flathead or mud catfish are also available to catfish anglers.  Tactics used in lakes work well for channels in these streams but flatheads prefer live bait.  Large minnows that are fished along deeper areas are the trick for these large catfish.

Musky streams are expected to be fishable this weekend.  Hot spots this time of year include areas both upstream and downstream of fast moving water and along downed trees.  Musky anglers should try medium to large lures.  Middle Island Creek, the major streams in the Hughes River system and the Little Kanawha River are good area musky waters.

 

~~  Stream Conditions ~~
NORTHERN   Levels       Conditions
Ohio River (Wheeling)   Normal   Clear    
Fish Creek   Normal   Clear    
Fishing Creek   Normal   Clear    
Big Sandy (Preston)   Normal   Clear    
Monongahela River   Normal   Clear    
Buckhannon River            
Wheeling Creek   Normal   Clear    
Buffalo Creek   Normal   Clear    
Blackwater River   Normal   Clear    
  
EASTERN PANHANDLE Levels Conditions
S. Branch (Potomac) Low     Clear    
S. Branch (Smoke Hole)   Normal   Clear    
Shenandoah River   Normal   Clear    
Patterson Creek   Normal   Clear    
N. Fork S. Branch Low     Clear    
Cacapon River   Normal   Clear    
Back Creek   Normal   Clear    
Opequon Creek   Normal   Clear    
Lost River   Normal   Clear    
  
CENTRAL Levels Conditions
Elk (Sutton)   Normal   Clear    
Little Kanawha   Normal   Clear    
Elk (Clay)   Normal   Clear    
West Fork River   Normal   Clear    
Gauley River   Normal   Clear    
Cranberry River   Normal   Clear    
Cherry River   Normal   Clear    
Cherry River (N. Fork)   Normal   Clear    
Cherry River (S. Fork)   Normal   Clear    
Williams River   Normal   Clear    
Knapps River   Normal   Clear    
Greenbrier (E&W Forks)   Normal   Clear    
Little River   Normal   Clear    
Shavers Fork   Normal   Clear    
Buckhannon River   Normal   Clear    
Holly River   Normal   Clear    
Elk River (Webster)   Normal   Clear    
Elk River (Back Fork)   Normal   Clear    
 
SOUTHERN Levels Conditions
New River (Hinton)   Normal   Clear    
Greenbrier (Hinton) Low     Clear    
Greenbrier (Ronceverte)   Normal   Clear    
Anthony Creek   Normal   Clear    
Big  Creek   Normal   Clear    
Meadow River   Normal   Clear    
Turkey Creek   Normal   Clear    
Potts Creek   Normal   Clear    
Second Creek   Normal   Clear    
Pinnacle Creek   Normal   Clear    
Horse Creek Lake   Normal   Clear    
Big Huff Creek   Normal   Clear    
Indian Creek   Normal   Clear    
Glade Creek (New River)   Normal   Clear    
Marsh Fork   Normal   Clear    
New River (Gauley)   Normal   Clear    
Glade Creek (Man)   Normal   Clear    
Camp Creek   Normal   Clear    
East River   Normal   Clear    
 Fork Creek   Normal   Clear    
Dry Fork Creek   Normal   Clear    
Berwind Lake    Normal   Clear    
 
WESTERN & SOUTHWESTERN Levels Conditions
Little Kanawha River   Normal     Milky  
Ohio River   Normal     Milky  
Hughes River   Normal     Milky  

Lexi Ann Moore

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Amanda and James Moore of Frametown announce the birth of their second child, a daughter, Lexi Ann Moore, on May 17, 2011, at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.
She weighed 5 pounds 15 ounces.
Her mother is the former Amanda Wriston.
Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Ray Wriston of Richmond.

Zander Ian Haun

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Thomas and Shelley Haun of Weston announce the birth of their fourth child, a son, Zander Ian Haun, on May 20, 2011, at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.
He weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces.
His mother is the former Shelley Bragg and is a lead campus service worker at WVU Jackson’s Mill.
His father is a truck driver for Hawg Hauling.
He has one brother, Zyler Haun, and two sisters, Zenna and Zariah Haun.
Maternal grandparents are Glen and Karen Bragg of Weston.
Paternal grandparents are the late George Haun Sr. and the late Linda Snider.

Bon Appétit: Ribs

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Ingredients:
6 pounds pork baby back ribs
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch salt
1 pinch crushed red pepper
4 cups barbecue sauce
2 (12 ounce) bottles porter beer, room temperature


Directions:

Cut ribs into small portions of 2 or 3 bones each.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Season water a pinch each of salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to the water.

Boil ribs in seasoned water for 20 minutes.

Drain, and let the ribs sit for about a half an hour.

Meanwhile, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

Lightly coat the ribs with barbecue sauce.

Cook the ribs over high heat for a 5 to 10 minutes on each side to get a nice grilled look to them.

Place grilled ribs in a slow cooker.

Pour remaining barbecue sauce and one bottle of beer over the ribs; this should cover at least half of the ribs.

Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours.

Check ribs every hour or so, and add more beer if needed to dilute sauce.

Stir to get the ribs on top into the sauce.

The ribs are done when the meat is falling off the bone.

The ribs were cooked completely in the first process, the rest is about flavor and texture.

Daily G-Eye™ : 06.10.11

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~~  Eastern Kingbird - Lockney, WV ~~


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 - 06.10.11

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The Moon and two prominent companions form a bright triangle this evening.

Spica, the brightest star of the constellation Virgo, is to the left or upper left of the Moon as night falls, with the planet Saturn farther to the upper right of the Moon.


Moon and Companions

The Moon and a couple of prominent companions form a bright triangle this evening. Spica, the brightest star of the constellation Virgo, is to the left or upper left of the Moon as night falls, with the planet Saturn farther to the upper right of the Moon.

If you look closely, you’ll see that Saturn looks like a double point of light. That’s not a case of double vision—there really are two objects there. Saturn is the brighter one. The other is another star of Virgo, known as Gamma Virginis or Porrima—the name of a Roman goddess of the future.

And Porrima itself is also two points of light, although lately it’s been hard to separate them.

The star is a binary—two stars locked in a mutual orbit around each other. They’re so far away, though, that you need a telescope to see them as individual stars.

The distance between the stars varies by billions of miles. They were closest together about six years ago—so close that it was hard to see them as two separate stars. They’re starting to move away from each other again, but it’s a slow process—they won’t reach their greatest separation for decades. But as they move apart, it’ll get easier to see Porrima as two stars, not one.

For now, look for Porrima huddling about a degree from the planet Saturn. In fact, they’re at their point of closest approach right now. After tonight, Saturn will start to move eastward—leaving Porrima to face its future alone.

G-MM™: Meditation Moment - 06.10.11

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Three times Jesus asked Simon Peter if he loves him. Three times Simon Peter told Jesus that he does.

Jesus went on to explain that when you grow old someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.

Jesus was referring to his own death.

Is it difficult to follow Jesus, to bear his cross?

Is it difficult to stand up for what we believe, to walk against the flow of society, to think differently from parents, friends, colleagues and peers?

What do we do in times like this?

What do we say?

Do we take the easy option and agree with the status quo or do we speak our heartfelt truth?

Jesus asks us to be honest as we try to bear his cross.

He promises to help us and love us as we follow in his ways.


Acts 25:13-21. The Lord has set his throne in heaven—Ps 102(103):1-2, 11-12, 19-20. John 21:15-19.

Honorable Larry Willis Border

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Honorable Larry Willis Border
Age 60, died on June 08, 2011, of a stroke.

He was born in Parkersburg, WV, to Willis and Helen Border, originally from Ritchie County, WV.

Graduating from Parkersburg High School in 1970, he then attended Parkersburg Community College, then West Virginia University-graduating from WVU School of Pharmacy in 1975. He worked as a pharmacist for over 35years, most recently with CVS pharmacy in Parkersburg. He trained many WVU pharmacy students over the years.

Larry was an active member and trustee at Word of God Ministries Church.

He sang, along with his wife, Anna, in the “Friends” gospel quartet. He devoted himself to the Parkersburg and Davisville communities, to Wood and Wirt counties, and to the state of West Virginia in numerous ways over the years as a charter member of the Eastwood Lions Club, where he was a Melvin Jones Fellow recipient, and in the Wood County Planning Commission, Wood County Republican Committee, and as a member in the West Virginia State Legislature in the House of Delegates for 21 years.

Delegate Larry Border was instrumental in legislation to provide hepatitis B immunizations to all WV firemen, cosponsored legislation to protect unborn citizens and the restriction of gambling in the state of West Virginia, and numerous other legislation and committees to benefit all West Virginians. Most recently, Delegate Border composed legislation to decrease crystal meth by restricting the availability of its precursor, pseudoephedrine, by making it a Schedule II drug. This last bill did not pass the WV Senate, but he was not going to give up, and we hope that his fellow delegates will continue his work.

He mentored many new delegates to the WV Legislature and was affectionately known as their “Den Mother.“ Delegate Larry Border also served as Minority Whip - a position to unify the Republican delegates continuously since 2005.

He was the Minority Chairman of the House Health and Human Resources Committee, a member of the House Finance, Rules, and Agriculture Committees. Delegate Border was appointed to be a board member for the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices whose focus is to keep prescription drug prices affordable.

Larry is survived by his wonderful wife of 38 years, Anna Lois Adams Border, who was his love and confidant. He is also survived by his parents, Willis and Helen Border, of Davisville, WV, and his children: Heather Border Mullens, D.O., her husband Scott, and three children, of Cary, NC; Rebecca Border Dimit, C.P.A., her husband, Brad, and two children, of Williamstown, WV; Christopher Border, PharmD., his wife Naddine, and two children, of Williamstown. He is also survived by an aunt, Wandalee Watkins, of Morgantown, WV; an uncle, Lloyd Border, of Davisville, and numerous cousins.

Larry was preceded in death by his sister, Charlene Border.

Visitation hours will be today, from 3:00 - 9:30PM at Leavitt Funeral Home, and again Saturday, from 1:00 - 2:15 PM at Vienna Baptist Church.

Funeral service will be held on Saturday, 2:30 PM at Vienna Baptist Church with graveside service and burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery following.

Family would like memorial contributions made to Word of God Ministries, P.O. 3471, Parkersburg, WV 26104, and Parkersburg Area Community Foundation in Memory of Larry Border for the Honorable Larry W. Border Scholarship for WVU School of Pharmacy, P.O. Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

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