In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►  WV school board considering changes to nutrition standards

The West Virginia Board of Education has voted for a 30-day public comment period for proposed policy changes that would tie the state’s standard for school meals and snacks with federal minimum requirements.

The public comment period for proposed changes to Policy 4321.1 received no dissenting votes on Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a news release that he signed a proclamation last month that restores local control of guidelines on whole grains, sodium and milk.

Kate Long, co-director of Try This West Virginia, told the board that many parents in West Virginia depend on strong nutritional policies and utilize them to fight childhood obesity.

Following the public comment period, the board will vote on the proposed changes.

►  WV Legislature Passes Budget with Cuts, No Tax Increases

On Friday, both chambers of the state Legislature adopted a $4.225 billion general revenue budget without additional tax revenue for the fiscal year that starts July 01.

Lawmakers in both houses emphasized the need to get a budget adopted before the state’s new year starts in two weeks with many state workers otherwise facing furloughs and a shutdown in many state services.

That budget consequently has deeper cuts in funding for state colleges and universities than it would have with either chamber’s tax legislation. It still would preserve Medicaid and the 3-to-1 federal match for poor residents’ health care.

The Senate voted 19-8 to adopt the budget. The House followed, voting 64-25 to pass it.

“This is an immoral budget,“ said Delegate Larry Rowe, a Charleston Democrat. “It’s being balanced on the backs of young people.“

Students will face higher tuition and more debt, Rowe said.

“What would you rather have, a shutdown?“ said Delegate Michael Folk, a Martinsburg Republican. “This is the best compromise you’re going to get.“

The tuition increases will be less than they’ve been in the past, Folk said.

“This is much, much better for higher education than some of the drastic cuts that were floated out in the past,“ House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles said.

The Republican-controlled House earlier had voted 67-22 to substitute its tax plan to broaden the sales tax to cellphone service and digital products but leave the tax rate at 6 percent. It would have added an estimated $67 million in additional tax receipts. It would also have exempted military retirement pay from income taxes and Social Security for residents with annual incomes less than $100,000. It would also increase those earners’ personal exemptions by $500, to $2,500.

“This is the least offensive way to raise that revenue,“ said Dele. John Shott, a Bluefield Republican. “It allows the Senate to correct the error of its ways.“

However, the Senate met later, didn’t touch it and instead adopted again a slightly smaller budget.

The Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday night had voted 30-2 for legislation that would have raised the sales tax to 6.5 percent, cut income tax rates initially 5 percent and established tiered coal production tax rates. The Senate bill also would have exempted military retirement pay and most Social Security benefits. The Senate that night also approved a $4.33 billion budget with smaller cuts to higher education and other programs.

Governor Jim Justice, a Democrat, supported that approach. The approved budget now goes to him for signing or veto.

►  WV AG, Louisiana Lead 10 States In Fight Against Sanctuary Cities

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, along with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, led a 10-state coalition in defense of Trump’s executive order that directs the federal government take lawful actions to ensure compliance with laws prohibiting sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants.

The friend-of-the-court brief supports the federal government’s motion to dismiss three lawsuits. The coalition argues the lawsuits are premature and undermine the President’s immigration enforcement authority, an area where the Constitution gives him and Congress considerable power.

“The establishment of sanctuary cities undermines the rule of law,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We need to equip law enforcement with the tools they need to cooperate with federal law enforcement and ensure public safety.”

Sanctuary jurisdictions — cities and localities that prohibit or otherwise obstruct cooperation between federal and local officials on immigration enforcement — defy the rule of law and deprive law enforcement of the tools necessary for effective civil and criminal enforcement.

Jurisdictions such as those, especially in states bordering West Virginia, could have a detrimental effect on West Virginia and her citizens. For example, Eastern Panhandle officials have noted an influx of drugs from Baltimore, which has adopted sanctuary policies.

Upholding federal immigration laws, in these instances, will provide law enforcement in West Virginia and other states with additional and necessary tools to identify drug offenders who enter the country unlawfully.

The executive order directs the U.S. Attorney General and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that sanctuary cities, to the extent permitted by law, may not receive grant dollars from specific federal programs. The order encourages states to comply with existing federal law that promotes voluntary cooperation between federal and state officials.

Additionally, the state attorneys general argue there are ample ways Congress and the President can enforce the order while respecting the role of states in our constitutional structure.

West Virginia and Louisiana filed the brief with attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

►  Junior Conservation Camp June 19-23 at Cedar Lakes

Nearly 200 students aged 11 to 14 from across West Virginia will be at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County June 19-23 for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) annual Junior Conservation Camp.

At camp students will learn fishing, canoeing, wilderness first aid, and other outdoors lessons. Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officers will be at camp to teach firearm and hunting safety and Division of Forestry experts will teach lessons on identifying plants and trees. The Capitol Conservation District’s Soil Tunnel Trailer, which shows students how plants form their roots and how fossils are formed, will be parked at the camp for the entire week.

Junior Conservation Camp began as a program of the DNR in 1980, but is now administered by the WVDEP’s Youth Environmental Program.

The camp is made possible through the generous donations of businesses such as Toyota, conservation districts across the state, and numerous civic organizations such as Lions Clubs and Women’s Clubs.

►  Crossings Mall Nears Reopening as Bridge Work Winds Down

Just about a month from now access will finally be restored to Elkview Crossings Mall — and not a moment too soon, says Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper.

The mall, located off I-79, has been closed since deadly flash flooding June 23, 2016 washed out the only access, the Elkview bridge.

“It’s critical,” Carper said. “(The closing) really hurt the local economy, the hundreds of jobs people lost, plus the inconvenience of having to go somewhere else (to shop). It was just an extra kick after the flood and everything else, but we’re very close to seeing the matter solved.”

Carper said about 500 people had worked in the mall community before the flood. Some businesses, such as Kroger, reassigned workers to other locations temporarily, “but others lost their jobs.”

He said the $1.1 million bridge project “should be completed and the bridge ready to utilize sometime by mid-July.”

“It’s been over a year,” he said. “This is really a bridge, not a little carriage trail. I think before, it was just a pipe, a corrugated pipe like you’d see in creeks. They’d put that in, threw some dirt and gravel on top, paved it and called it a bridge. Then it deteriorated, and it plugged the creek.”

Carper said the replacement is “a real bridge,” one that will be much more durable than the makeshift structure it replaced.

“Part of the problem in this whole thing is that some folks thought the county or state should go in and build it,” Carper said. “But it’s a private bridge. ... People understandably think it’s a bridge so it should be a government job, but there are private roads and private bridges. We did everything we knew how to do to move it along, and I believe we did.”

Carper blamed the delays on fighting between the mall’s owner, Tara Retail Group, and its lendor for control of the idled property.

“It took way too long,” he added. “It was a battle between the bank and the owner, the developer, but he’s the one who built the place, and he had a right to try and hang onto it. He utilized existing bankruptcy laws to his advantage.”

Carper expects mall business to be back, even better than before the flood. At least one store, Kroger, used the downtime to do a complete remodel — bringing in new flooring, shelving and decor, and painting the exterior. Its fuel center also will be “cleaned and freshened up,” store officials said. Kroger will be hiring an additional 15 workers for its Elkview location.

The catch: Kroger won’t reopen until August, after the bridge construction is done.

“But the mall is going to be fine,” Carper said. “That mall is in a prime location; it will be just fine.”    ~~  LINDA HARRIS ~~

►  Local lawmakers less than thrilled with state budget bill

The state Legislature finally sent a budget bill to Governor Jim Justice on Friday night, but local lawmakers aren’t exactly excited about the spending plan.

The $4.225 billion budget would reduce state spending by roughly $85 million compared to the current fiscal year.

The budget includes no tax increases, no cuts in public school funding and no reduction in Medicaid funding. The spending plan does reduce funding for state colleges and universities, but it avoids the 11 percent cut proposed in an earlier state Senate budget blueprint.

Senator Doug Facemire, D-Braxton, said lawmakers “just kicked the can down the road” with passage of the budget, doing nothing to fix the state’s fiscal troubles.

“We cut higher education, tourism and basically across the board. We’re going to go through the same thing next year, and it’s really sad,” Facemire said.

He said a proposal to raise the sales tax from 6 percent to 6.5 percent would have fixed many of the state’s fiscal problems.

“By adding half a percent of sales tax, we could’ve had a surplus next year instead of a deficit. If you had added half a percent, tax would be $5 on a $1,000 purchase — that’s how minute it is,” Facemire said.

The budget passed Friday will get the state through the next fiscal year, but it creates a “pretty big hole” that lawmakers will have to deal with when they return to the Capitol for the next regular session in January, he said.

“With the budget that was passed, we’ll be $300-350 million in the hole next year,” Facemire said. “No one wants to raise taxes, but we haven’t raised them for 16 years. We eliminated the food tax, lowered the corporate net tax, But when you’re in the minority, you voice your opinion and watch the majority decide.”

House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison, said he voted against the budget because it does “some bad things” for West Virginia.

“It makes pretty significant cuts across the board to all colleges and universities, as well as our technical and community colleges,” he said.

“The reason that’s so bad is because this is the fourth or fifth year in a row we’ve cut colleges and universities. It’s getting to the point where they are going to lay off people or reduce the programs they are able to offer,” Miley said

He said that instead of cutting funds for colleges and education, the state should be doubling down on higher education.

“The problem is with this particular budget — the Senate and House leadership couldn’t come to an agreement on where the priorities ought to be for the budget,” he said. “Another problem we will be revisiting when we return in January for the following year’s budget is the lack of political will to raise revenue.”

No one likes to raise taxes, but the state can’t cut its way to prosperity, Miley said.

He noted that at least the budget protects funding for Medicaid, which is “desperately needed” by so many West Virginians.

Delegate Danny Hamrick, R-Harrison, said it was a positive thing that the Senate and House were able to pass a balanced budget.

“It did take some time. The House and Senate were able to stand their ground in really different ways,” he said. “We were able to avoid a budge with massive tax increases that the governor was going for all along.”

Hamrick said the governor did get approval for his plan to fix the state’s roads. And the budget and revenue bill won’t make it harder for the state’s low-income families to get by he added.

“Overall, I think it’s a positive thing,” Hamrick said. “There are some increases in DMV fees and an increase in the gas tax, but I voted against that bill.

“I did vote for the budget. It does hurt when you have to make cuts, but that’s what the Republican majority was elected to do — to live within our means and spend the money we have.”

Delegate Richard Iaquinta, D-Harrison, said the funding cuts to higher education point can only hurt the state.

“We have made cuts to education for the last several years that’s hurt our college attendance and our community colleges and technical schools,” he said. “As we’re looking to build a better state, those are the areas that we have to emphasize more so because of the economics and cost of going to school and furthering education.”

Iaquinta said that although lawmakers made compromises on revenue and spending, there’s still not enough money to do what’s needed to make the state more economically competitive.

“You can’t cut your way into financial security. Cuts hurt the state, and we need to do a better job at increasing revenue wherever we possibly can,” he said. “It’s frustrating for everyone involved to reach an agreement that could’ve been reached at 60 days.”  ~~  Victoria L. Cann ~~

►  Memorial, Parks Honor Victims of 2016 West Virginia Floods

Rain falling like it would never end has changed the meaning of summer in this tiny corner of Appalachia.

When the downpour finally stopped in White Sulphur Springs on June 23, 2016, five lives had been lost along one road alone — Mill Hill Drive. And 23 people were dead statewide in West Virginia’s worst flooding since 1985.

As the floodwaters receded, a muddy landscape of ruined homes and businesses, wiped-out roads and bridges and devastated lives emerged in hard-hit Greenbrier County. Then there followed an army of volunteers, donors and government workers, rallying to help.

On the anniversary of those rains, a memorial wall, museum and a series of parks linked by sidewalks around Mill Hill Drive will be dedicated Friday on behalf of victims and the community. It’s a place where nearly a dozen businesses have re-opened, and few here are untouched by tragedy.

“It’s a time of celebration and rebirth,” said City Council member Audrey Van Buren, who lost her mother-in-law and sister-in-law in the disaster. “It’s about everyone in our town, and how the volunteers have flocked into town to help us to rebuild. It hasn’t been hundreds. It’s been thousands of people since day one who have poured into the city. We’ve been so blessed.”

Teenager Cameron Zobrist pitched a memorial wall as an Eagle Scout project. It was built with donated material and labor. Now on Mill Hill Drive, a sidewalk leads to a rose garden on the property of Debra Nicely, who lost her husband, daughter and grandson. The bodies of Hershel Nicely, 68; Nataysha Hughes, 33; and Dakota Stone, 16, were found nearby.

Further along Mill Hill Drive, a playground honoring 14-year-old victim Mykala Phillips sits beside a garden memorializing Belinda Scott, 54. Scott’s home exploded after a gas leak and she clung to a tree for hours above the floodwaters, dying three days later. The tree is now surrounded by flowers and ornaments depicting her love for butterflies and bees.

“Her name was Belinda,” Van Buren said. “But everybody called her Bee.”

James and Becky Carter Phillips moved their two sons into a new home not far from the one where Mykala was last seen. Their daughter’s body was found weeks later.

With memories still too vivid, James Phillips isn’t interested in revisiting his old neighborhood. His wife likes the idea of the museum and memorial, especially since she wouldn’t have to repeat the story of the flood to curious guests at the Greenbrier, where she works. The luxury resort also saw damage to its golf course, since repaired.

“I get asked so many questions all the time,” she said. “I could direct them right there and they can just look.”

Not long after the floods, ground was broken on Hope Village, a 42-home community for residents whose homes were destroyed.

Belinda Scott’s husband, Ronnie Scott, plans to move in with his dog, Dancer, adopted after the disaster. Debra Nicely was there for the groundbreaking. One of the streets is named Nicely Way.

In February, Nicely shared on Facebook an unknown author’s post about coping with grief by pretending life is fine. Last month, another post hinted at a return to normalcy after she assembled a backyard grill by herself, writing “GO ME!!!”

Elsewhere in Greenbrier County, the town of Rainelle, population 1,500, lost five residents and dozens of homes. And in nearby Kanawha County, where six people died, movement has been slow to patch destruction in two communities including Elkview, where a washed-out bridge made a mall inaccessible. Now the bridge is being replaced and two anchor stores are returning to the mall.

So many low-income homes in Rainelle were abandoned that some worried the community could lose its tax base. But now a Tennessee-based Christian ministry is building at least 50 homes and fixing others.

“The difference the volunteers are making in the lives of the homeowners is a powerful thing,” said Krista Williams of Rainelle, an AmeriCorps VISTA program volunteer, “and it’s creating a movement in this community like we’ve never seen.”

The state’s conservation agency is removing sediment from Rainelle’s flood-control channels. The nearby city of Lewisburg sent a street sweeper to clean Rainelle’s streets, once piled high with debris.

Spunky 70-year-old Mayor Andy Pendleton has dubbed Rainelle “Noah’s Ark” because of the rebuilding, but doesn’t want it to stop just yet.

“There’s so much more to do,” said Pendleton, who walked tearfully through the town’s devastated streets a year ago. “People need jobs. We need to make it ‘Why would people come to Rainelle to visit?’ I want a purpose for Rainelle.”

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Readers' Recent Comments

Nice information. I think CANADA is also a very good place to live.

By Rahul on 03.22.2018

From the entry: 'The 10 Best Cities to Live In on Planet Earth'.

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I am so sorry and shocked to learn of Mike’s passing.  I think he would have liked he words printed here about him. Always a good man with a smile on his face and it didn’t take much to tickle him. West Virginia lost another good one. RIP Mike.

By Marlea Cottrill on 03.19.2018

From the entry: 'John Michael “Mike” Peters'.

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Yes, it would appear that Gayle M. has lost some of her ‘luster’ ?

The question now.  Will she pop back up somewhere else like that Whack-a-Mole game?

By Charleston Reader on 03.18.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Brian and Montie send their condolences to Gary’s family, especially to Nancy and Sharon for the death of a husband and father.  Nothing can really prepare us for such a loss as this. We are thinking about you at this sad time.

By Brian and Montie VanNostrand on 03.17.2018

From the entry: 'Gary Don Williams'.

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The centerpiece of nationally reported fake news pertained to Gayle Manchin’s plan for making WV’s southern coal field area a model for school system turn-a-rounds.

After the intense trail of high profile TV appearances to tout Manchin’s plan and pouring in money down there, nothing worked out as promised. 

The lesson from this sad saga is to focus on facts instead of what politicians try to pull over on voters.

The chronic problem in WV is that facts are routinely hidden by some politicians to keep voters misinformed.

By Bill Williams on 03.16.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Gilmer County has long memories. We recall the hill crest fund raiser out along Mineral Road to raise money for the Manchin political machine.

That was followed by Gayle’s insulting rant against the County leading to the damage of our school system and outlying communities during the State’s six years of iron rule intervention.

The good news is that Gayle is gone along with all other members of the WV State Board of Education responsible for our County’s intervention and the waste and mismanagement it wrought. Karma is alive and well WV!

By B. Jones on 03.16.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Brad got it all mixed up.
Gayle Manchin’s *resignation*....?

T-V, radio, newspapers across the state and beyond, even national news sources, all reported
that Governor Justice FIRED Gayle Manchin.

Brad, your effort to smooth that puts you squarely in concert with the rest of the BS fake news world.

By Brad got it mixed on 03.15.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Interesting.  Yet not so long ago, Gilmer local police weren’t interested when informed an out of state convicted felon was in possession of a trunk full of stolen guns.

By BangBang on 02.14.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County man sentenced for illegal possession of a firearm'.

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Great guy, who would do anything to help you. He would have probably got a kick out of having some strange woman’s face plaistered on his obituary. He would have had something smart to say about it I’m sure. smile

He had a great sense of humor. I saw him a little while back. I stopped by his house and visited with him a couple hours and as I went in I told him I stopped by to see if I could borrow his fancy car parked out front, expecting to meet with some resistance to that idea. Without missing a beat he said “Sure, just don’t let any of my kids drive it!“ We had a really nice visit that day - talking about cars and reminscing.

Our prayers are with the family.

By Connie Turner on 02.10.2018

From the entry: 'Kenneth Lee Page Jr.'.

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Justice, do you lay awake at night thinking up this stuff?

Can’t we West Virginian’s have some woodland that has not been molested by humans?

Keep the saws out of our state forests!

West Virginians are being raped once again.  The new generation of robber barons have bought off the governor and elected.

By Another Clueless Politician's Scheme on 02.10.2018

From the entry: 'Former Administrator: State Park Logging Plan Numbers Don’t Add Up'.

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so sorry to hear this news.  He took over Steve Grossmann’s mail route and we sure did appreciate his getting the mail delivered in all kinds of weather.  Slipping and sliding all the way. I loved his little dog that would look for snakes in the Normantown P.O.

By Cookie Setty on 02.09.2018

From the entry: 'Kenneth Lee Page Jr.'.

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Would it be possible for our new college president to involve Mr. Gallagher and student Evan Merical to attempt a revival of the defunct GSC Main Street Small Business Center? 

The community sure could benefit from it.  New management might just be what it needs?

By Question for Pres. Pellett on 02.07.2018

From the entry: 'GSC Student Speaks at One Stop Business Center Grand Opening'.

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Not surprised the Board of Ed supporting employees for raises and insurance. These people show they care about good employees over and over.
Just after they got our school system out from under state control they stood unanimously against the state appointed superintendent and his hand picked lawyer who tried to take away jobs from 8 professionals including Teachers and 4 service personnel. Can’t even count the number of transfers.  Gilmer’s Board of Ed just said no to that hit list. They stand up for this county and the kids..

By And we Appreciate It on 02.02.2018


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The state of WV overall has a dismal record of salaries and finance.

The jail system has issues.  Has for years.
The highway department.  Yup, them too.
The school system.  Ditto.

One per cent per year for 5 years?  That’s a real insult to any employee.

Teachers.  If you don’t get something that’s good, wait until warmer weather and strike.  Stand your ground !

The legislature and governor seem to have plenty $$$ to spread around Kanawha County.  Make sure they spread some towards teachers and staff salaries!!

By Give 'em some $$$ ! on 02.01.2018


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Rumor mill is saying that teachers and possibly other state employees will have to wear a wrist bracelet to track their lifestyles? 

Or pay higher insurance premiums?


By is it true? on 02.01.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Sorry to hear. He was a classmate at Sutton High School class of 1956.

By Nancy Rose Westfall on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Franklin D. “Frank” Conley'.

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A call to all candidates for all seats:  You can submit the information about yourself to us and it will be published at NO COST.

By Free Press on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County: List of Candidates for 2018 Election'.

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Long list of candidates for the School Board. It would help voters decide if each candidate would publish a write-up of their personal backgrounds to include special qualifications for serving on the school board, and to include detailed goals for what they would like to achieve as a board member. The information would be far more useful to voters than signs plastered all over the County.

By Active Voter on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County: List of Candidates for 2018 Election'.

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How about the new superintendent of Gilmer’s schools giving a progress report on her accomplishments so far in improving the quality of our schools to produce better prepared HS graduates for college and careers, plans for continual upgrading of academic achievements by our students, and how results will be accurately measured and reported to be convincing that our County is moving ahead? Doesn’t sound too much to ask for by bill paying citizens.

By Gilmer Parents For Accountability on 01.29.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Gilmer County must set its own standards for student learning and to do what is necessary to achieve them with full involvement of highly motivated teachers.

We know that major improvements are needed to make our kids more competitive, but we have not heard details for what is planned in our school system to make critically needed changes.

Ignore what the State does with is long history of failure and let’s go ahead on our own.

Top down management in education has never worked in WV with its crippling grip of politics to emphasize the importance of making improvements through local initiatives.

By Glenville Teachers on 01.29.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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This is just another failure by the West Virginia State Board of Education!

It does NOTHING to improve education!

Just one more attempt to make everything “look nice”.

The State Board members are too far removed from the classroom.

That board needs populated with 4 or 5 of our better teachers who are not afraid to speak up.

By Troy Parent on 01.28.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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The question for the County’s sitting School Board is what is being done with corrective actions to get the County’s HS graduates out of the worst prepared bottom group for college and career preparedness as the State has reported?

Because more students graduate it does not mean that they mastered key subjects to promote success in the modern work place. Can anyone say grade inflation?

By B. Beckett on 01.26.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Reduce requirements.
Lower teacher standards.

Produce less educated students.
Continue WV’s downward education spiral.

The current State Board of Education is less prepared to lead than back in the Gayle Manchin
days of failure.

Do not fool yourselves. Realize Paine is pain.
Do not expect WV educational leaders to improve education.

They have been showing us for years that goal is
out of their reach.

By Failed State BOE on 01.18.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Does anyone know the County’s plan for getting us out of the State’s bottom group for college and trades ready after high school?

What are the causes for our being at the bottom for being ready and what is being done to solve them?

Causes never cease by themselves and the only solution is top quality leadership pushing a highly focused corrective program.

By Rusty Moore on 01.16.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Example of a yes/but situation. Just because kids are pushed through does not mean that they are college and career ready. Read past comments about Gilmer’s being in the failing category for academic preparation. The way WV info is reported allows selective use of results to bloat up claims of how well a high school does in preparing students for the real world.

By R. Wells on 01.16.2018


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Sunday’s Charleston Gazette-Mail had a warning that just because a high school has a high graduation rate that does not mean that its students are college ready. Gilmer County is one of them to put us in the State’s bottom category for readiness, but you won’t hear about it locally. Kids call it dumbing down.

By Give Citizens The Facts on 01.14.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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What about all the septic in the hollers that is draining into the creeks??

By Ugly on 01.10.2018

From the entry: 'PSC Investigates Impact of New Corporate Tax Law on Utilities'.

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This point should be kept in mind i.e. “The Commission has directed all privately owned electric, gas, water, sewer and solid waste facilities to track the tax savings resulting from the 2017 Federal Tax Act on a monthly basis beginning January 01, 2018. “.

By Michell J. Hill on 01.07.2018

From the entry: 'PSC Investigates Impact of New Corporate Tax Law on Utilities'.

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Troyan advocates for competition among schools with survival of the top performers. Her point is that the lack of accountability for county school system administrators must change to be similar to the way corporate America functions. Failure must have consequences!

By Accountabilty Needed on 01.03.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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Gilmer singled out again in article by Jessi Troyan for our being at the bottom for preparing high school grads for college. We know we have a serious problem. We await on top school system leadership to devise a workable remedial plan for the County. Denial of having problems cannot be used anymore to cover up

By B. Post on 01.02.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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You were in my life for what seemed like a short time but will be in my heart forever. I’ll see you at the family reunion one day again.

By Dana Linger on 12.29.2017

From the entry: 'Kathern Fay (Cogar) Linger'.

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Concerns about urgent need to upgrade student learning have persisted for too long in the County. 

We are tired of hearing lame excuses that under-achievement is caused by uncaring parents who do not emphasize the importance of education.

Parents are keenly important for contributing to student learning, but they cannot compensate for school “culture” deficiencies linked to leadership short comings.

By Parents For Better Leadership on 12.29.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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Those who go to college perform down at the bottom in comparison to high school graduates in other WV counties. This evidence suggests that Gilmer’s students who don’t go to college are short changed too. Immediate leadership changes to straighten out under achievement are in order!

By E. Moore on 12.28.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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I am so sorry for your loss.

By Margie Shook on 12.18.2017

From the entry: 'Warren Curtis Pierce'.

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The whole child concept is admirable, but with GCHS grads being behind in proficiency for academic subjects we need to make changes to drastically improve learning to enable our kids to compete in the highly competitive modern world.

Our being the 52nd worse off among 55 WV counties for college remediation rates is undeniable proof.

Administrators must determine legitimate causes of our bottom ranking for use in improving learning instead of applying usual low payoff tinkering to be passed off as progress.

By B. K. Brooks on 12.15.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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That’s the #### dems new ploy, they can’t win on policy so they charge sexual harassment.

By The Silent Majority on 12.15.2017

From the entry: 'Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct'.

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Why was there no outrage like this when Billy Boy was doing his deed in the White House? and other places?

Oh, I forgot.  He was the media’s boy?

By HOW COME NOW ? on 12.14.2017

From the entry: 'Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct'.

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Wanna bet that in green counties when results sag there is no hesitancy to make administrative changes when needed? In Gilmer County the approach has been to hide facts and to manufacture rosy ones to report to citizens.

By Moore on 12.11.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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This is basically the process for an improvement plan. A school board specifies student achievement standards and it assigns a superintendent to work with central office staff and school administrators to produce a comprehensive plan for making needed changes. After putting a plan in place results are closely monitored by a school board while holding a superintendent personally accountable for achieving the standards.

By School Board Member In A Top Performing County on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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Did I miss the County Commission Agenda for the December meeting?  The GFP site is displaying a little differently and I can’t seem to find it.  Do they still meet on First and Third Fridays??

By Searching on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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The no excuse rate for Gilmer County is 59% and there are only three other WV counties worse off. This alarming information flags dire need for the County’s school board to do its job by implementing an improvement plan.

By Gilmer Students Ripped Off on 12.08.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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“We’re going to see a sea change in American agriculture as the next generation gets on the land,“

Yeah, right.  That will last about as long as it takes to discover exactly how hard farming is, and the amount of work it takes to make even a minimal living.


Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 11.30.2017

From the entry: 'A Growing Number Of Young Americans Are Leaving Desk Jobs To Farm'.

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I always thought a Harvard education was something special.  Well, I guess it is.  Just a week ago they had ‘sex week’.  One of the course offerings was analsex101.  That’s right.  Google it.  Plenty of coverage. True story.

By Harvard 'taint what it used to be? on 11.23.2017

From the entry: 'Feds Threaten To Sue Harvard Over Asian-American Admissions'.

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This is nothing new.  It has been happening for years and no attempt to stop it.  Just quiet it down when word leaks out.  The court system thumbs their noses and laughs at ‘their hillbillies’.

Remember the hub-bub about $100,000.00 bathrooms in the Capitol building a few months ago?

Think they have them all remodeled so those whom you elected can krap in style the next legislative session?  lol

By Web on 11.18.2017

From the entry: 'Legislators Turn Focus on Supreme Court Spending Following Report on Luxury Purchases'.

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The justices are part of the aristocracy. Does anybody think that they care what the peons think?

By Skip Beyer on 11.18.2017

From the entry: 'Legislators Turn Focus on Supreme Court Spending Following Report on Luxury Purchases'.

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Why are Gilmer’s voters kept in the dark about activities of the two LSICs in the County? No published agendas before meetings, no published meeting minutes, and plans with details for school improvements are not disclosed. Violation of WV’s open meeting laws? To top it off memberships of LSIC’s and who selected the individuals are kept secret from voters.

By Gilmer Voter on 11.16.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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LSIC plans are short on specifics for measurable academic improvements to be achieved. That way no matter what happens extraordinary successes can be proclaimed. The strategy is designed to make meaningful accountability impossible for school system administrators.

By More Of Same For WV Schools on 11.15.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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A food pantry opens at Marshall University?

For students I can understand.
But its also for faculty and staff?

Really now?  Their salaries are that poor they need access to a food pantry?

Times area really tough in West Virginia.  Really are.

By Tough Times at Marshall University on 11.14.2017

From the entry: 'West Virginia News'.

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LSIC=Local School Improvement Council. Each WV school has one. Google to learn what each one is supposed to do to improve a school. Ask for plans for your schools.

By POGO on 11.13.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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What is this “LSIC” commenter speaks about?
Who and what is that all about?

By reader on 11.12.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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Fellow West Virginian’s.  What is being seen here is Paine’s return to ‘power’ and the continued 20 years charade by the WVBOE.

They spend your tax dollars.  They do their best to cover their failed efforts.  They cheat our children of a good education. 

They play (think manipulate) with the grading system every couple years, making it impossible to follow students upward or downward progressions.

Don’t expect any good, any progress, any improvement to happen in West Virginia.  It’s not in the cards.  Well, that is not in the ‘administrators’.

By 20 years of WVBOE 'playing' school on 11.12.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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All high schools in WV have ACT Profile Reports for each graduating class.

The only performance information typically cited in school districts is average ACT scores for graduating classes.

If you can get copies of Reports for your high schools read them to independently evaluate testing results for career and college readiness, science, technology engineering and math (STEM), and other categories.

Chances are that your local administrators gloated that average ACT scores for graduating classes are commendable to give your high schools passing marks, but other testing outcomes in the Reports may show otherwise.

It is doubtful if LSIC members for your high schools know about the Reports to be grounds for demanding academic improvement plans. Check Reports for high schools in your school district to make up your own minds.

By WVDOE Fact Checker on 11.11.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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Policy 2510 is an admission by the West Virginia Board of Education of their own failure.

Dumb down the standards in order that students can get a passing grade.

You grand pooh-bahs in Charleston BOE should be ashamed of yourselves!  But you have no shame. Obviously so.

Steve Paine, leading the failure of education in West Virginia.

By # 2510 policy--WVBOE ADMITS OWN FAILURE on 11.10.2017

From the entry: 'Board of Education Takes Action on Policies to Provide Flexibility to Counties'.

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With a deal like this—WHY—are we selling road bonds and—WHY—were all the motor vehicle fees INCREASED on West Virginia’s citizens?  WHY ! ?

Thanks for nothing Jim Justice and the WV legislators.


From the entry: 'WV Signes $84 Billion Shale Gas Deal with China Energy'.

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The Rosie Bell will be a nice addition to the Park !

A thank you to Donna Waddell and her leadership and the FRN for making the Park happen !

By Thank America's Rosie's ! on 11.10.2017

From the entry: 'What This Bell Means to Gilmer County'.

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Aren’t they supposed to have agendas AND minutes for each and every meeting, by law?  They put it right there on the agendas that there were None. And months’ go by without even Seeing an Agenda.  It’s a citizen’s right to go in and ask to see them ALL.  Someone needs to look into this.  Especially with all the speculation that goes on around legal issues in the county!

By GilmerCountyCommission? on 11.03.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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The grade 7 spike in math in comparison to lowered performances in higher grades begs the question about reasons. What is being done to ensure that math skills will not drop by graduation time? Has anyone looked at adverse effects of block scheduling and other factors?

By Answers Needed on 11.03.2017

From the entry: 'SEEING MATH IN NEW WAYS'.

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We’ll.  It’s a step forward to see the Commission AGENDA - but what about the minutes?  The last two agendas have said “ Approve County Commission Minutes-None”      Aren’t there supposed to legally be minutes for the public to read?????  This makes NO sense unless things are going on that the Commission doesn’t want the public to know.  Obviously.  SHOW THE MINUTES Jean Butcher, do your job!

By 304 More Issues on 11.02.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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This posting is very informative and it documents what can be done with innovative approaches to teaching math. For too long we were fed the party line that all was well in our schools for math and everything else. That myth prevailed because facts were hidden to hold down the County’s demands for accountability. Hats are off to Kelly Barr and Traci DeWall.

During intervention it was commonly known that school board members made repeated requests for all kinds of student progress information, but it was kept from them. That era has ended and the County’s school board is expected to focus on its top priority responsibility that is to continually improve student learning in our schools. Our kids can perform if they are given the chance.

By Gilmer County Parents on 11.02.2017

From the entry: 'SEEING MATH IN NEW WAYS'.

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Gilmer look at this Did You Know. If you look at the State’s data on Zoom Dashboard to review changes in mastery of math and reading for the GCHS’s 11th grade for the 2011 and 2017 testing years it is clear the you have a problem with your math program. In 2011 the math pass rate was 36.92 compared to 37.29% in 2017. Progress with reading was truly commendable. The pass rate went from 26.98 in 2011 to 64.41% in 2017. Why the lack of progress for math? We know that your school board members are trying to get information about plans for improvements for math and science, but is full disclosure of details any better than it was under intervention? Let us know.

By B. Cummings on 10.30.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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Lots to learn kids. By the way,  How’s the Commission coming along with the September meeting minutes?

By 304 on 10.30.2017

From the entry: 'GSC Criminal Justice Students Take Part in Scenario-Based Training with RJA'.

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Most of America lives in denial of toll the government approved ‘life-style’ that is shortening everyone’s lives.

We are living in an era where the government has been lobbied (think bought) in approval of many, many things that are destructive to life.

This article shows the result of a cumulative toll effect that vaccines, pesticides, GMO foods, chemtrails, and other poisons are taking on the American population.

This is likely the globalists dream of “depopulation” coming true.  Enjoy what time you, your children, and grandchildren have left.

By Your Government Taking Care of You on 10.25.2017

From the entry: 'Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between'.

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I don’t care Who or What he killed.  He shouldn’t be doing it in a West Virginia Police hat.  It sends a bad message to do it with a Police hat on.

By Hunter on 10.24.2017

From the entry: 'Special Antlerless Deer Season Opens October 21 and December 26-27'.

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Your outrage is misplaced Hunter. He killed Bambi, who will no longer will frolic through the forest.

By Democrats Against Deer Hunting on 10.23.2017

From the entry: 'Special Antlerless Deer Season Opens October 21 and December 26-27'.

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It doesn’t seem like Gilmer County Law Officials seem to care about the murders in the area. In my opinion. We don’t hear anything from the law on Any of the pertinent local situations.  Why IS that?  We know MUCH more about national news that we know about the goings on in Gilmer. Crimes, drug busts, investigations and Answers to those investigations.  Why don’t we Ever hear any news from the Sheriff’s Department??  Still wondering why Deputy Wheeler was reassigned to school patrol officer and who took over his murder investigative duties.  Can’t get anyone to pick up the phone or an answer when I call.  Maybe someone on the Gilmer Free Press can shed some light?

By Where is the Law? on 10.23.2017

From the entry: 'Governor Justice, DOT Sec. Smith Announce First GARVEE Bond Sale for Roads, Bridges'.

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“We should welcome refugees and immigrants to the United States because it’s good for our society, for our economy, and for our nation.“

WRONG - Diversity in populations has been proven to be, not helpful to society, but harmful.  Immigrant groups who refuse to assimilate are a problem not a benefit, and will remain a problem until they do assimilate.

It’s understood that not all Muslims are terrorists, but for practical purposes all terrorists are Muslims.  And please spare me the Timothy McVey arguments.  McVey and his ilk were loners.  Muslim terrorists are part of an organized movement.

I think almost all immigration should cease until the present immigrant population can be dealt with, through assimilation or otherwise.


Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 10.22.2017

From the entry: 'Trump’s Muslim Bans Impoverish Us All'.

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Will the persons involved in Poor Fred’s murder ever be held accountable?  Ever?  Yet they walk among us every day?

Did not realize it has been 7 years since poor ol’ Willard met his fate?  There is plenty dirt kicked around there to cover the wrong doings too?

By Poor Fred is Dead on 10.21.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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Hold on Gub’ner Justiss….
The juery stil’ be outs on yer barrering’ game….

Ways to er’ly ta be countin’ hens an roosters….

By no chickens yet... on 10.21.2017

From the entry: 'Governor Justice, DOT Sec. Smith Announce First GARVEE Bond Sale for Roads, Bridges'.

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Wanna get votes for the school levy? Simply get truth out about where the County stands with low reading, math, and science scores and publicize a rational plan for fixing problems.

By Truth Will Win Levy Votes on 10.21.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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I get it that it’s a pose for the camera, but should he Really be wearing a Police hat for hunting?

By Hunter on 10.20.2017

From the entry: 'Special Antlerless Deer Season Opens October 21 and December 26-27'.

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Nice to see the Gilmer County Commission finally reveal their meeting minutes after long lapses of no information.  Can’t help but wonder if this was posted specifically because of the topic -  Sheriff Gerwig being assigned to another estate case before closing out others. Memories of Willard F. Cottrill today. d. 10/20/10 R.I.P.  The minutes should be interesting.  Let freedom ring.

By MC on 10.20.2017

From the entry: 'Did You Know?'.

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From WV Zoom Dash Board. GCES 6th grade student proficiency rate=20% for math and 31% for reading. Gilmer County demands a K-12 improvement plan everyone can understand and promote!!! We have had enough of the everything is just fine claims.

By School Kids Are Cheated on 10.20.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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It is a common occurrence for school administrators to carefully select one small piece of information to purposely give a school a rosy performance rating for student learning and to hide unflattering information from an LSIC and a local BOE. The way to prevent the censorship is for superintendents to routinely provide access to all testing results so performance evaluations for a school can be based on a full set of facts.

By WVDOE Employee For Complete Transparency on 10.19.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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The community has observed that there is an improved way of doing business by the GCBOE and the new superintendent after the State pulled out. One problem to solve after the State’s neglect for six years of intervention is low student success at the GCHS for math and science. There is documentation on the ZoomWV Dashboard kept by the WV Education Department. The pass rate for GCHS students for M & S is in the 30s. What is the HS’s LSIC group doing to improve those scores? Does it have a detailed improvement plan for the school and if it does it should be disclosed. M and S under achievement underscores why it is important to know what the County’s LSICs are doing to improve our schools academically.

By Gilmer Business Executive on 10.19.2017

From the entry: 'New 4-H Office in Glenville'.

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Should not have to get LSIC membership from principals. The information should be published for the public record for all interested citizens including taxpayers to know. Gilmer’s secrecy has been a long time tool used to undermine accountability and it must stop!

By Stop Secrecy! on 10.19.2017

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted'.

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