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Spring Has Sprung 2015

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The Vernal Equinox, otherwise know as Spring, occurs when the sun crosses directly over the equator as the earth is tilted neither toward or away from the sun.

This astronomical spring begins on 20 March 2015 and runs until 21 June 2015.

The astronomical calendar determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the sun.

Both equinoxes and solstices are related to the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

It was officially ushered in at 06:45 PM EDT Friday.


The beginning of Spring also signifies many things:

——Spring Cleaning

——Spring Planting

——New Year’s Day in Iran - Eide-NoRuz

——Blossoming Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers

——Butterflies, Birds, and Bees

——Pollen and Allergies

——Spring Sports

——Easter

——Spring Breaks

——and a Whole Lot More!




Have a Happy Spring 2015


Lambs tails swinging on the willow
in the breeze and warming sun

Bare brown branches growing buds
for birds to place their feet upon

Twittering sparrows search to pair
the swan already has his love affair

The mad March hare will prance and dance
with wild abandon and not a care

Farmers plough, works, churning
and scarecrows new cloaks a warning

All new fresh with joys and smiles
for the start of this new cyclic

GSC Group Attends iLead Workshop

Glenville State College Education majors, Athena Morris and Elizabeth Musselman, along with advisor Tara Cosco recently attended the 2015 Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) iLead Workshop held at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins. Dr. Erin Brumbaugh, Associate Professor of Education at D&E, was the main presenter at the workshop.

According to Kappa Delta Pi’s website, the workshop helps members become more effective teacher leaders. Participants take part in small and large group activities designed to help them learn about transformational leadership for educators, including how to create and implement a vision for teacher leadership. In addition to hearing new ideas in leadership, attendees also develop networking and teambuilding skills.

The Gilmer Free Press
(L-R) Featured presenter Dr. Brumbaugh with GSC students Athena Morris
and Elizabeth Musselman and GSC’s KDP group advisor Tara Cosco
at the iLead Conference


“During the workshop Dr. Brumbaugh showed us a cartoon picture of a mouse and rabbit from the book ‘Good News, Bad News’ by Jeff Mack. Through discussions of the illustrations, we were reminded that, as leaders, we need to evaluate the things we are doing and to make sure we talk and listen to the other people that would be affected by those decisions. When you are a leader, you are a leader of a team and there is no ‘I’ in team. That was just one of many things I learned and was reminded of at the Kappa Delta Pi iLead workshop,“ said Morris.

KDP is an international education honor society where members are invited based on their scholarly achievement and commitment to excellence in the field.

For more information about the workshop or GSC’s KDP group, contact Cosco at or 304.462.6204.

“Today’s Catch” Photo on Social Media Results in WVDNR Citations Issued for Nearly 50 Poached

Following up complaints in person and by email that someone had been taking more than the daily creel limit of trout on Big Clear Creek along Anjean Road in Greenbrier County, Natural Resources Police Officers from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources District 4 Office in Beckley got some help from social media.

“I found that one of the suspect’s girlfriend had posted on Facebook a picture of what she was calling ‘today’s catch,’ a photo of a truck bed with approximately 48 trout on the tailgate,” said NRPO J.B. Hudson, who investigated the case. “I also obtained messages from Twitter about the catch and the time it occurred. I then began building my case.”

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Officer Hudson was able to obtain the identities of the suspects, both juveniles, and questioned them and their parents. He determined that the trout had all been caught the same day, Feb. 6, 2015, and that the fish had been dispersed throughout the community. The two suspects were each issued citations for exceeding the creel limit of trout, exceeding the possession limit of trout, and illegal possession of trout.

“This case was brought to conclusion in large part thanks to the public reporting the incident by way of email and social media,” said Col. Jerry Jenkins, chief of the WVDNR Law Enforcement Section.

Anyone who witnesses a violation of the state’s wildlife laws is asked to report it by telephone, email or online at wvdnr.gov/LEnforce/Poachers.shtm.

You do not need to give your identity to report a suspected crime.

How Sloppy Education Reporting Is Slowly Killing Our School

Most of the news media have no idea how schools run,
but they write about them like they do.


Some they DO NOT even attend meetings,
but they still write about them like they have.


Be afraid, be very afraid, any time you see a reporter in the business media turn his or her attention to education and public schools. What will likely follow is a string of truisms used to prop up a specious argument, steeped in biased notions that were themselves picked up from ill-informed conversations promoted by other clueless business news outlets.

All of this chatter would be something best to ignore were it not for the fact that reporters and pundits from these outlets are often raised to prominence, labeled as “experts,“ and lionized by political leaders and policy makers, while real authorities on education are overlooked or completely drowned out in the babble.

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When Education ‘Experts’ Aren’t

At liberal-leaning watchdog group Media Matters for America,Hilary Tone closely follows how journalists in major media outlets report on education. She unearths some startling revelations. One such discovery revealed that whenever cable news outlets such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC feature programming devoted to education, those segments hardly ever feature real educators.

Over all cable news channels, only 9% of guests in education segments were educators. This would be like CNBC reporting on the stock market and hardly ever consulting with experts on finance and investing or the CEOs of publically traded companies.

Print and online news outlets aren’t much better. Tone recently came across a study that found “education experts” often cited in print and online news stories “may have little expertise in education policy.“ The study found that the “experts” who are cited the most often are neither career educators nor scholars who’ve published and achieved advanced degrees; rather, they tend to be individuals from influential right-wing think tanks, with little to no scholarly work or graduate-level degree work in education.

Tone links to a write up of the study in ScienceDaily that explains the researchers found so-called education experts associated with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, DC, “were nearly 2.5 times more likely to be cited” than were career educators and education scholars. In the online world, experts affiliated with AEI and the libertarian group Cato Institute were, respectively, 1.5 to 1.78 times more likely to be mentioned in blogs.

The authors conclude their findings are “cause for concern because some prominent interest groups are promoting reform agendas and striving to influence policymakers and public opinion using individuals who have substantial media relations skills but little or no expertise in education research.“

In some sense, then, the Economist is following a pattern of reporting – one that tends to spread misinformation and promote shallow opinion on very important issues.

In its examination of the long-standing school voucher program in Milwaukee – now being pushed out to the rest of Wisconsin by Gov. Scott Walker – the Economist reports that results have been “mixed,“ though they impart “lessons for elsewhere.“ One of those lessons, apparently, is that a school system aided by “choice” and “competition” ensures good outcomes. “Good schools, however constituted, have good teachers, inspiring principals and respond to their surroundings,” the article states. “Some of these things are easier to achieve in private schools.“

The writer does not substantiate this conclusion with any links to research studies, citations from any research literature, or interviews with acknowledged research experts.

Yet had the Economistdone its homework, it likely would have come to a very different conclusion.


Warnings Out of Milwaukee

In fact, there is substantial research evidence that while voucher programs like the one operating in Milwaukee may help a few students and their families, generally, they damage the well-being of students overall.

For years, Julie Mead, a University of Wisconsin education professor and expert on K-12 policy, has warned that school vouchers “undermine public schools.“ Mead contends that statewide plans for vouchers in Wisconsin will put more than $210 million in tax dollars meant for public education into the pockets of private and charter schools – schools that “would not face the same scrutiny as traditional public schools.“

Mead’s fears are reflected in a recent report by author, journalist, and education scholar Barbara Miner. In an op-ed in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Sentinel-Journal, Miner explains,

“For those who worry about taxation without representation, vouchers should send shivers down your spine… Voucher schools do not have to abide by basic accountability measures such as releasing their test scores to the public or providing data on teacher pay. They also can ignore basic democratic safeguards such as open meetings and records laws or due process rights for expelled students.“

Further, a research study conducted by Duke University economics professor Helen Ladd examined the results of voucher and parent choice programs. Ladd found vouchers tend to create a “hierarchy of schools” where students with the lowest ability, from families with the lowest income (two factors that are always strongly correlated) end up in schools at the lowest level of the performance hierarchy.

Schools that are outliers – those private and charter schools that excel at educating the most disadvantaged children – tend to reach their vaunted status because of how they control the characteristics of students they serve, either by cherry-picking better performing students or having high student attrition rates. As a result, their year-to-year performance looks good, as struggling learners are winnowed out.

More recently, education professor Julian Vasquez Heilig scanned research on vouchers and found, “The effect of vouchers on student academic achievement offers no compelling evidence to justify initiating or expanding the use of school vouchers.“ Heilig cites one study that concludes, “The best research to date finds relatively small achievement gains for students offered education vouchers, most of which are not statistically different from zero.“

Heling also notes that a review of research studies conducted by trade publication Education Weekrevealed that “much of the existing research purporting voucher success was sponsored or funded by organizations that support vouchers.“

And outside the US, is the story any different (after all, the Economist has a global perspective)? In fact, a recent study of the effects of school vouchers in Chile paints an even more harmful picture of vouchers that what we see here.

Chile, the report explains, “has one of the oldest large-scale, universal school voucher programs in the world, providing vouchers to all families and students in the country to choose to study at either public-municipal schools … or private-voucher schools.“

The study’s authors, Heilig and Jaime Portales, conclude that any discernable benefits gained by vouchers are not universally distributed. “Some families and students will use and benefit from the system, while others will remain marginalized,“ they write. What more choice and competition have resulted in, in Chile, is an increasingly stratified school system where families who are the “haves” in society gain some benefit from increased mobility, while families who remain in the “have not” status are mired deeper into schools that continue to lose funding and better-performing students to voucher receiving schools.

So for all the “good schools” the Economist believes are produced by vouchers, there remain lots of “bad ones” left in the wake. Vouchers, essentially, are no more than a glorified sorting system—one that continues to expand inequities and further harm the schools that serve the highest-need children.


From Business-Minded to ‘Business Narrow-Minded’

Of course, there may be some benefit to applying a business perspective to analyses of operational effectiveness in schools, and making a sound account of how taxpayer money is being spent; systems improvement is always an admirable goal. What’s surprising, however, is how often the media fails to take into account how the economics of education actually work.

Here’s an example of the damage this does: In the article in question, theEconomist contends that “voucher schemes get similar results to the public schools but with much less money.” Setting aside, for now, the fact that is a conclusion very much in contention, wouldn’t a truly clear-eyed and tough minded view of this issue at least make some attempt to account for the costs of leaving so many students abandoned to the most dysfunctional schools, as vouchers have a tendency to do?

Furthermore, anyone with even the most basic grasp of manufacturing or marketing understands that assigning a specific cost to a single item in a systems process operating at a mass scale does not in fact reflect the true cost of the item. So assigning a specific cost to educating a child, as vouchers do, does not truly reflect what it costs to educate each child. Some students will always cost more to educate than others. And picking off students one by one from a school – as vouchers do – robs the school of the ability to scale up services to the wide variety of students it seeks to educate.

In a state or district with a voucher program, when a school loses a percentage of students in a particular grade level or across grade levels to vouchers, the school can’t simply cut its grade-level teaching staff proportionally. That would leave the remaining students underserved. So what happens instead is the school cuts a support service – a reading specialist, a special education teacher, a librarian, an art or music teacher – to offset the loss of funding. This damages the effectiveness of the school long term and causes it to slide further into the ranks of “low performing.”

That a business news outlet fails to grasp this fundamental concept about how schools run is alarming. It reflects the reality that what often passes for a “business-minded” look at education is really a business narrow-minded view, focused only on promoting the crudest measures of public education, rather than striving for deeper understanding.


Grand Echo Chamber of Garbage

Were this just an isolated occurrence, it would be easy to blow off the Economist’sfailings and move onto other topics.

But the business narrow-mindedness displayed in this particular article is echoed in the outlet’s other education related articles – including this one, touting Teach for America as a way to get more “high-flyers” into classroom teaching, when research shows that TFA teachers don’t perform any better than other teachers when measured by their students’ test scores, and often cost more than traditionally prepared teachers do.

You see this same business narrow-mindedness echoed in other outlets, too—as in the editorial board of the Washington Post’s inability to grasp that testing mandates have done little to improve education.

You see it reflected in the views of Beltway think tanks, like the influential Thomas B. Fordham Institute, whose executive director recently claimed it’s fine for charter schools to skim and retain the best students and leave the rest as so much chaff on the floor in the public school system.

You see it regurgitated by Fox News commentators who seriously assert, “There really shouldn’t be public schools.“

And you see it reinforced by education policy makers at the very top who ignore research and insist on a very narrow vision for what education in this country should be.

Over and over, we are delivered delirious pronouncements about “innovations” like vouchers and “choice,“ rather than keen insights from experts who can explain the strong evidence base for real improvements—like class size reduction, early childhood education, and rich learning environments that include the arts and music and well stocked libraries.

What we’re left with is a grand echo chamber of garbage, spewing out myth and misinformation that misdirects us from what would really be best for children and families.

And that really is scary.

~~  Jeff Bryant ~~

FAYETTE VOTERS ASKED TO PASS $66 MILLION BOND TO DESTRUCT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

FAYETTE VOTERS ASKED TO PASS $66 MILLION BOND TO DESTRUCT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Board Member Issues “Call For Blood” If Bond Fails

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia has been on a two decade roll of eliminating community schools and consolidating them, while most school systems in the nation have been going back to preserving community schools.

“School consolidation has created a chaotic, disruptive environment for thousands of West Virginia students, widening the gap between communities and school systems, and creating long bus rides,” said Carolyn Arritt President of Challenge WV and retired Meadow Bridge teacher.

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Carolyn Arritt President of Challenge WV
and retired Meadow Bridge teacher


If Fayette County voters approve a state sponsored $66.5 million bond in June, it will mean the closure of Meadow Bridge and Fayetteville high schools. Challenge WV says the bond originated from a flawed CEFP plan.

A Fayette County school board member, Leon Ivey, said “If a bond fails (changing the CEFP consolidation plan) … there should be a call for blood in every community across (Fayette) county.”

An assigned principal to Meadow Bridge school, Ed McCall, questioned Ivey’s comments in a piece written for Raleigh-Register and was fired.

Meadow Bridge has long been a school on the chopping block, although it has been designated as an “isolated school,” whose special funding related its rural nature comes and goes.

Arritt said, “This year Meadow Bridge has had a destructive musical chairs administration, with eight different principals and assistant principals, creating a lack of stability and frustration,” in addition to ever changing alleged structural problems with the building, from the school being sound to unsafe.

“The assault has been never-ending,” said Arritt.

“The Meadow Bridge community has stepped up day after day, year after year, to help the school and the students,” said retired Arritt, who had just finished making 60 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for students going on a field trip.

Fayette County, like most county system take-overs by the State Board of Education, often despite positive academic outcomes, have been over consolidation.

The original promise for school consolidation was to save money and offer expanded educational opportunities at consolidated schools, improving academic outcomes. All studies say neither have happened.

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Retired Teacher Lydia Wyandt


“Our kids scores are good, they are happy in their school, and the Meadow Bridge community has long been committed to helping them,” said retired teacher Lydia Wyandt.

“Over many years, we did what we were told good schools are supposed to be about,” said Wyandt.

“Surely there must come a time that the state board quit playing politics over buildings and focus on educating kids,” she said.

Former school administrator Randall Patterson said, “I’ve never seen a cinder block and long bus rides educate kids.”

“For the State BOE to rob the folks of Fayette County with a voice in the education of their children, decide to push harmful school consolidation, and then expect the voters to pick up the tab, is highly offensive,” said Challenge WV Outreach Coordinator Thomas Ramey.

“If the state wants wholesale school consolidation, let the state pay. Mingo and Lincoln County folks weren’t asked to pay for closing their schools through a bond, why should the citizens of Fayette?” asked Ramey.

Ramey said, “How can the state expect the people of Fayette to raise taxes through a consolidation bond, knowing that the bond will destroy their community identities and simultaneously create barriers for their children to be educated?”

The West Virginia Department of Education has more bureaucratic staff than the state of New York, and the state spends among the highest amounts of money per student for education with among the worst results in academic achievement in the nation.

~~  Bob Weaver - Challenge WV ~~

West Virginia News   150320

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LEWIS 911 DISPATCHER SENTENCED FOR TIPPING FRIEND TO PROBE

A Lewis County 911 dispatcher will spend two months in jail after pleading guilty to an obstruction charge.

Police say Ashley C. Stutler tipped off a friend that she was the target of a drug investigation.

The 25-year-old Clarksburg resident was sentenced by Lewis County Magistrate Roger D. Clem Jr.

A complaint filed by Sheriff Adam Gissy says Stutler’s actions hindered the investigation.


FOUR SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING CRIMES

Four individuals were sentenced on drug trafficking charges by Chief U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey.

Jeremiah Dustin Dean, age 34, of Moorefield, was sentenced to 37 months in prison for oxycodone trafficking in Grant County after he pleaded guilty in November to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Oxycodone.

The plea came after an investigation by the West Virginia State Police and the Potomac Highlands Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

Dennis Lynn Smith, age 56, of Upper Tract, was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $9,990.50 for his role in manufacturing methamphetamine in Pendleton County after he pleaded guilty in March to one count of Maintaining a Drug-Involved Premise.

His case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police.

Terry J. Sutter, age 51, of Mill Creek, was sentenced to five years of probation for marijuana trafficking in Randolph County during the month of June. He pleaded guilty in November to one count of Manufacturing and Possessing with Intent to Distribute and Distribute of Marijuana following an investigation by the National Forest Service and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.

Arnold Lee Mayle, age 72, of Canton, Ohio, was sentenced to two years of probation for distributing clonazepam, an anti-anxiety medication, in Randolph County after he pleaded guilty in September to one count of Aiding and Abetting in the Distribution of Clonazepam.

The plea followed an investigation by the United States Forest Service.


GUS DOUGLASS DEAD AT 88

Former West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass died Thursday following a fall at his home Wednesday in Mason County. He was 88.

His family released the following statement:

“Earlier this morning, Gus R. Douglass, longtime Commissioner of Agriculture for the State of West Virginia, passed away after a fall at his home. During this difficult time, the Douglass family is asked that they are given time to grieve the loss of their loved one and make the necessary arrangements.”

Douglass served two separate stints as agriculture commissioner from 1965-1989 and from 1993-2013. He was the longest serving Commissioner of Agriculture in U.S. history.

“Joanne and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Gus Douglass,” Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said in a statement. “He dedicated his life to serving the people of West Virginia and growing the state’s agricultural community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”


COMMISSIONER AND RITA HELMICK OFFER CONDOLENCES ON THE PASSING OF FORMER AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER GUS DOUGLASS

Rita and I offer our condolences to the family of former West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass upon learning today of his passing.


UNLAWFULLY POSSESSING A FIREARM RESULTS IN PRISON TIME FOR HARRISON COUNTY MAN

Nearly six years in prison is the punishment for a Harrison County man who admitted to unlawfully possession a firearm.

Clarence Thompson, age 36, of Clarksburg, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley Wednesday.

Thompson was previously convicted of the felony offenses of Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Marijuana), Uttering and Burglary. As a result of those convictions, he is not permitted to possess a handgun.

Thompson was subsequently discovered in Harrison County in possession of a .22 caliber pistol and pleaded guilty in August to one count of being a Felon in Possession of Firearm.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case, while Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Morgan prosecuted on behalf of the government.


UPSHUR COUNTY MAN SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT FOR WITNESS TAMPERING

An Upshur County man is facing additional prison time after pleading guilty to witness tampering.

Tobias Lynn Bennett, age 41, of Buckhannon, was sentenced to 37 months.

An investigation by the West Virginia State Police revealed that, while incarcerated at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail in Belington, Bennett discouraged two potential witnesses from testifying at a fellow inmate’s sentencing hearing.

He pleaded guilty in December to one count of Aiding and Abetting Witness Tampering.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Cogar prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.

Chief U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presided.


GOVERNOR TOMBLIN ISSUES STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE PASSING OF GUS DOUGLASS

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issued a statement following the passing of Gus Douglass, former Commissioner of Agriculture.

“Joanne and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Gus Douglass,” Governor Tomblin said. “He dedicated his life to serving the people of West Virginia and growing the state’s agricultural community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”


HEALTH SCIENCES SERVICE PROGRAM MAKES AWARDS TO HEALTH PROFESSION STUDENTS COMMITTED TO PRACTICING IN WEST VIRGINIA

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) announced today that 14 outstanding health profession master/doctoral students from across the state are the newest recipients of Health Sciences Service Program awards, which are granted to students committed to practicing for at least two years in an underserved area of West Virginia.

“This program is a win-win for our students and our state,” said Paul Hill, the Commission’s Chancellor. “This year’s remarkable student recipients represent the next generation of health professionals who will fill the critical role of serving in West Virginia’s high-need areas.”

The Health Sciences Service Program, which was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 1995, has supported more than 175 health professionals who have given back to the state through their service.

Eligible students must be enrolled in the final year of a health profession program at a college or university in the state, training to become dentists, primary care doctors, physician assistants, family nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nurse midwives, pharmacists, physical therapists, doctoral level psychologists, or licensed independent clinical social workers.

This year’s awardees were selected based on academic excellence, their commitment to serving West Virginia, and a strong connection to underserved communities. The students will receive awards ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.

This year’s recipients are:


Dentistry

  Leah Berkhouse from Spencer (West Virginia University)
  Tyler Crowe from Princeton (West Virginia University)
  Ariel Mooney from West Milford (West Virginia University)
  Patrick Noland from Middleway (West Virginia University)


Medicine

  Michael Bledsoe from Chapmanville (West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine)
  Darby Mullen Ford from Logan (West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine)


Nursing

  Dena Barker from Chapmanville (West Virginia University)
  Emily Galeota from Morgantown (West Virginia University)
  Angel Johnson from Cowen (Wheeling Jesuit University)
  Heather Weaver from Meadowbrook (West Virginia University)


Physical Therapy

  Rachel Biesecker from Gallipolis Ferry (West Virginia University)


Physician Assisting

  Heather Eye from Porterwood (Alderson Broaddus University)


Psychology

  Briana McElfish from Scott Depot (Marshall University)
  Kelcey Perkins from South Point, Ohio (Marshall University)


BRIDGE DAY PANEL GIVES JUMPERS OPTION TO FINGERPRINT SCANS

Bridge Day organizers have approved an optional security measure to address privacy concerns about fingerprint scans.

The Bridge Day Commission plans to require BASE jumpers, rappellers and vendors to submit to the scans. The fingerprints will be checked against a terrorism watch list.

The commission on Wednesday added the option of a paid background check. The fingerprint scans will be free.

Commission chairwoman Sharon Cruikshanks says background checks would be conducted by a third-party security company.

Bridge Day is the only time that BASE jumping is allowed from the New River Gorge Bridge. Some jumpers have said they will skip this year’s event because of the fingerprint scans.

BASE stands for building, antenna, span and Earth, the fixed objects from which jumpers leap with parachutes.


HARRISON COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES GROUP HOME PERMIT, REVERSING PREVIOUS DECISION

A group home for eight individuals with disabilities has been given the approval to be constructed after the Harrison County Commission voted to reverse the county’s initial decision to deny a permit.

“Since the county doesn’t have zoning, this particular developed community has covenants and restrictions,” Commission President Ron Watson said. “There was some reason to think that [the group home] was in violation of the covenants and restrictions, so we turned it over to our legal…We will be issuing out the permit.”

Ohio-based Scioto Properties submitted the building permit to construct the eight-person facility and then lease the property out to ResCare, which would provide the in-home services, but was denied in December on the grounds that the current developer created a restrictive covenant for the property between I-79 and Mount Clare on Rt. 25, which prohibits businesses from operating in the area.

“There are specific statutes relating to this issue that do state that group residential facilities, regardless of whether there’s in-home care provided that requires money, they are to be deemed as a residence. They’re not to be deemed as a business,” Prosecuting Attorney Rachel Romano said. “Basically, it says it’s against public policy.”

Fair housing advocates from the Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living and the Fair Housing Partnership of Pittsburgh attended the commission’s meeting on March 13, pleading for a reversal of the denial.

Even though the commission took no issue with potential residents and was only focused on the business aspect of the facility, they warned of the potential consequences of violating the Fair Housing Act.

“I didn’t look as far into [penalties] as I probably could have, because my determination was the law basically states you can’t characterize it as a business, it needs to be characterized as a residence,” Romano said. “It was pretty clear. There wasn’t even case law interpreting it because it was that clear.”

Before receiving Romano’s legal opinion and approving the permit at Thursday’s meeting, the commission wished to represent the interests of the homeowners, should the issue go to court.

“It’ll be up to the homeowners from here on out if they want to contest the value of their covenants and restriction,” Watson said.  ~~  Aaron Payne ~~


WV SECRETARY OF STATE FILES EARLY RE-ELECTION PAPERWORK

Natalie Tennant is eyeing another term as West Virginia’s secretary of state.

On Tuesday, the Democrat filed pre-candidacy paperwork to run for a third term as secretary of state.

In a crushing 2014 election for Democrats across the state and country, Tennant lost a U.S. Senate bid against Republican Shelley Moore Capito.

With Governor Earl Ray Tomblin hitting term limits, Tennant’s name had popped up in discussions about next year’s open governor’s race.

In a 2011 special election, Tennant came in third in the Democratic primary for the governorship.

Filing for pre-candidacy lets someone start raising and spending money for the election. On pre-candidacy forms, people can pick an office or remain undeclared.


MANCHIN STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF FORMER AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER GUS DOUGLASS

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) issued the following statement on the passing of former Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass.

“Gayle and I are sorry to learn of the passing of our dear friend Commissioner Gus Douglass,” Senator Manchin said. “I always enjoyed working with Gus. He was enthusiastic about his job. Each year at the West Virginia State Fair, Gus and I would eagerly walk the fairgrounds, stopping to admire the very best of West Virginia. Whether it was award-winning pies, the spirited animals or the beautiful, talented quilts, Gus and I enjoyed our time catching up and visiting with fellow West Virginians. As the longest serving Commissioner of Agriculture in West Virginia and in our country, Gus will always be remembered for his true understanding and appreciation of farming and 4-H and how he encouraged West Virginia youth to get involve with agriculture. While we will dearly miss Gus, we take some solace in knowing that he is now reunited with his devoted wife, Anna Lee. Our hearts and prayers are with the entire Douglass family as they go through this very difficult time.”


CAPITO MOURNS THE PASSING OF FORMER WEST VIRGINIA AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER GUS DOUGLASS

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R.-WV) issued the following statement about the death of Gus Douglass, the former Agriculture Commissioner of West Virginia:

“Gus Douglass brought an unwavering passion and love for life to his decades of work on agriculture policy.  As the longest-serving Agriculture Commissioner in the history of the United States, Gus was tireless advocate for West Virginia’s farmers, agriculture and rural communities. He always put the values of West Virginians before politics and, as a result, was able to accomplish great things for the Mountain State.”


FAYETTE SCHOOLS HOLD PUBLIC MEETING CONCERNING BOND ISSUE

The Fayette County Board of Education held a public meeting Thursday night to address plans to seek approval of nearly $39 million from voters for a school construction bond issue.

The voting would occur June 13. The bond would be worth $66.5 million and $25.1 million would come from the state School Building Authority.

Engineers reported several Fayette County school buildings were in poor condition. Collins Middle School in Oak Hill was closed in January with 7th and 8th grade students now attending other schools.

West Virginia State School Superintendent Michael Martirano said they have outstanding facilities throughout the state, but saw several school buildings in Fayette County that concerned him.

“My concern is that the young people, in that particular county, need the best facilities to be educated in, but right now they have great challenges. The community has to come together to address that,” said Martirano.

Martirano said the state board will be listening to the community as they move the plan forward at Thursday night’s meeting.

The bond issue was posted on the school system’s website Tuesday. The projects listed on the bond call includes $12.7 million toward Mount Hope elementary school, $28 million toward Collins Middle School, $2.6 million toward renovations to Oak Hill High School, $1.3 million toward HAVC replacement at Ansted Middle School, $2.7 million to renovations to athletic fields at Valley High School, and $650,000 toward a classroom addition at Fayette Plateau Vo-Tech.

The closings of both Fayetteville and Meadow Bridge high schools are also on the plan.

Martirano said students should not have concerns about the facility when they go to school. He said it effects the learning process.

“I’ve been in buildings where they are less than desirable and it creates challenges. It takes a whole level, in terms of, people just aren’t committed at that highest level,” said Martirano.

Maritirano said the Fayette County school system needs a safe orderly environment in order for quality instruction to occur.

The Fayette County school system is currently under the direction of the state Board of Education. The meeting was Thursday at 5 PM in Fayetteville to give residents a chance to respond to the bond call.    ~~  Carrie Hodousek ~~


ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK MORRISEY ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF GUS DOUGLASS

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued the following statement on the passing of long-time Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass:

“Gus Douglass was a legend in West Virginia and the state’s politics. He was always upbeat and positive about the state and promoting the importance of farmers and West Virginia’s agricultural sector. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”


LAWMAKERS APPROVE STATE BUDGET SEND TO GOVERNOR

Members of the state legislature finished their work in Charleston when they passed the 2015-16 budget bill at the state capitol. The House-Senate bill, which will go to the desk of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, takes nearly $23 million out of the state’s “Rainy Day” fund to balance the spending plan.

Several delegates said they voted against the bill because of the “Rainy Day” decision. Other delegates, like Delegate Jim Morgan (D-Cabell), continued to call for lawmakers to make tough decisions about raising revenue through raising taxes.

“What I wonder is—what would have happened if we would have chosen to invest in a better West Virginia,” Morgan said.

Delegate Don Perdue said running the state like a business too many times skips over those who need the most help.

“(We say) ‘we must live within our means’ while the statement is imminently logical it begs the question of what exactly do we do with all the human inventory shelved because it’s either damaged, past its expiration date or not commercially appealing,” Perdue said.

The House approved the plan 84-14. The Senate, which had no discussion after the bill was presented by Finance Committee Chair Mike Hall (R-Putnam), approved the bill 25-8. It next heads to the governor who has line-item veto power.

Tomblin’s budget cut higher education by $12 million, but the legislature restored $7.3 million. The legislature’s plan also adds $11.5 million for road repairs.

The biggest difference is in the “Rainy Day” fund where Tomblin’s proposed budget is closer to taking approximately $15 million out to balance the next budget, making the plans about $9 million apart.


WVU EXTENSION’S INTERIM DIRECTOR GETS PERMANENT JOB

The interim director of the West Virginia University Extension Service has been given the job permanently.

Provost Joyce McConnell announced Steven Bonanno’s appointment Wednesday.

Bonanno has served as interim director since July 2011. He has spent his career working for Extension, beginning as a faculty Extension agent in Pleasants County in 1982 and as a member of the Extension Service administration since 2005.

Bonanno is a graduate of Potomac State College and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture education from the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.


WV SENATOR KESSLER FILES EARLY PAPERWORK FOR GOVERNOR BID

State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler has filed pre-candidacy paperwork for an open governor’s race.

The Marshall County Democrat changed the office he’s seeking Thursday in the early paperwork from “undeclared” to “governor.“

In a 2011 special election, Kessler placed fifth in the Democratic primary for governor.

He would be up for re-election in the Senate in 2016, and can’t run for both.

Kessler served as Senate president before Republicans took control of the Legislature this year.

He has criticized policies pushed by the Republican majority.

Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is also considering a run at governor, a job he held for two terms.

Several Republicans are considering runs.

Pre-candidacy filing lets someone start raising and spending money for the election.

03.20.2015
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West Virginia to Consider Health Impacts of Mountaintop-Removal Mining

In what could mark a significant shift, the state of West Virginia says it now will take into account studies showing health impacts tied to mountaintop-removal mining.

For years, regulators have resisted considering studies showing elevated coalfield health problems. This week the directors of the state health and environmental departments said that would change. Environmentalists and researchers say the shift is welcome, but long overdue.

Rob Goodwin, a technical mining analyst, says there now are about two-dozen peer-reviewed studies showing health impacts of mountaintop-removal mining.

“In southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia birth defects, respiratory and heart diseases are much higher than the national average,“ says Goodwin. “There’s even studies out there about mental well-being.“

The mining industry argues the health issues have other causes. But Goodwin points out those health problems don’t show up in areas within those same regions that do not have the mountaintop-removal mines.

Researchers have been hesitant to say how mountaintop-removal mining causes the health problems. But Goodwin says now they are focusing on tiny particles of rock thrown into the air by the massive explosions at the strip mines.

“These particulates, silica and heavy metals, have been found at greater levels in areas where this type of mining is occurring,“ he says. “And at lesser levels where it’s not.“

The Gilmer Free Press


Goodwin says it’s well-known that breathing these extremely small particles can cause all sorts of health problems. He says it could be similar to the silicosis that killed hundreds of workers who drilled the Hawks Nest Tunnel in the 1930s.

“Absolutely, the easiest one to understand is the silica dust,“ says Goodwin. “There’s silica in just about every mountain in West Virginia. It may not be as severe as what they encountered in the Hawks Nest tunnel, but it’s there.“

In what could mark a significant shift, the state of West Virginia says it now will take into account studies showing health impacts tied to mountaintop-removal mining.

For years, regulators have resisted considering studies showing elevated coalfield health problems. This week the directors of the state health and environmental departments said that would change. Environmentalists and researchers say the shift is welcome, but long overdue.

Rob Goodwin, a technical mining analyst, says there now are about two-dozen peer-reviewed studies showing health impacts of mountaintop-removal mining.

“In southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia birth defects, respiratory and heart diseases are much higher than the national average,“ says Goodwin. “There’s even studies out there about mental well-being.“

The mining industry argues the health issues have other causes. But Goodwin points out those health problems don’t show up in areas within those same regions that do not have the mountaintop-removal mines.

Researchers have been hesitant to say how mountaintop-removal mining causes the health problems. But Goodwin says now they are focusing on tiny particles of rock thrown into the air by the massive explosions at the strip mines.

“These particulates, silica and heavy metals, have been found at greater levels in areas where this type of mining is occurring,“ he says. “And at lesser levels where it’s not.“

Goodwin says it’s well-known that breathing these extremely small particles can cause all sorts of health problems. He says it could be similar to the silicosis that killed hundreds of workers who drilled the Hawks Nest Tunnel in the 1930s.

“Absolutely, the easiest one to understand is the silica dust,“ says Goodwin. “There’s silica in just about every mountain in West Virginia. It may not be as severe as what they encountered in the Hawks Nest tunnel, but it’s there.“

~~  Dan Hayman ~~

U.S.A. News   150320

The Gilmer Free Press

GOP OFFERS $3.8T BUDGET THAT BOOSTS DEFENSE, CUTS ELSEWHERE

House Republicans launched a boldly conservative 10-year budget plan on Tuesday that would favor the Pentagon, partially privatize Medicare and rely on deep cuts in other social programs to help wipe out deficits at the end of a decade.

A little more than four months after winning their largest majority in 70 years, Republicans promised an overhaul of the federal tax code and called for repeal of two of the top legislative achievements of President Barack Obama’s tenure in office. Those are the health care law known by his name and a measure enacted to crack down on Wall Street after the economy’s near-collapse in 2008.

Republicans said their balanced-budget promise came with no tax increases, though the fine print assumes the expiration of about $900 billion in breaks for business research and development and other items.

“The new normal of slow economic growth and low expectations is unacceptable. We know we can do better,” the House Budget Committee, chaired by Representative Tom Price of Georgia, said in a report accompanying the proposal.

It promised “greater prosperity, opportunity, security and freedom” if enacted.

Projected spending for the budget year that begins on October 1 was $3.8 trillion, rising to $5 trillion in 2025.

Obama countered Republican claims instantly. He said the GOP prescription “is a failure to invest in education, infrastructure and national defense — all the things we need to grow, to create jobs, to stay at the forefront of innovation and to keep our country safe.”

The president’s own budget calls for about $2 trillion over 10 years in higher taxes on corporations, wealthy individuals and smokers of all income levels as part of a plan to increase spending and give tax breaks to the middle class.

Rhetoric aside, the release of the tax and spending plan in the House begins a rite of spring as reliable as the appearance of daffodil shoots on the Capitol grounds.

Senate Republicans intend to outline their own plan on Wednesday, and each house is expected to ratify its own version next week.

After that comes the harder challenge of forging a compromise between the two versions, a task that Republicans acknowledge will mark a test of their ability to govern now that they control both houses of Congress.

An even more difficult challenge follows, the translation of policy objectives into legislation that would be sent to Obama to sign or — more likely — veto. The budget also is certain to become an issue in the still-early race for the White House in 2016.

The House budget relies heavily in some areas on previous plans put together by Price’s predecessor as committee chairman, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

It also adapts to changing political circumstances, most notably by offsetting a looming automatic budget cut in national security accounts.

The proposal would allow spending in the coming budget year of $36 billion more than Obama recommended for overseas military and diplomatic efforts.

Less than half of the $36 billion would be guaranteed, and the rest would depend on offsetting spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Some Republicans and outside groups bristled at the prospect of so large an increase, tucked into the budget in an account for overseas operations that is not subject to spending caps designed to hold down deficits.

“I’m tired of seeing gimmicks in the budget process,” said Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, a conservative and frequent critic of his party’s leadership.

At the same time, the added funds could gain support for the budget from pro-Pentagon lawmakers for whom military spending is a top priority.

As in prior budgets, the House GOP budget calls for transforming Medicare into a voucher-like program for seniors who join the health care program beginning in 2024. They would receive a subsidy to purchase coverage, a step that Democrats say would effectively end the current guarantee of services pegged to a pre-determined level.

In all, Republicans said they would cut spending by nearly $5.5 trillion over the next decade.

By far the largest portion of that, $2 trillion, would come from repeal of the health care law that the administration said last week has meant coverage for 16.4 million previously uninsured people. Republicans pledge a replacement, but so far have offered no specifics.

An additional $900 billion would come from other health care programs including Medicaid, which provides health care for the low-income. As in prior years, Republicans proposed transforming Medicaid and food stamps into state-run programs that receive lump sum funding from the U.S. Treasury.

An estimated $1 trillion in savings would come from other benefit programs, but the committee detailed none of them.

Much of the balance of the savings would be derived from general government programs that have borne the brunt of other deficit-cutting efforts in recent years, and from lower interest costs resulting from a decline in projected deficits.

Yet Republicans also estimated an additional $147 billion in tax revenues if their policies were enacted, an amount that allows them to project modest surpluses in 2024 and 2025.


WHO COULD WIN AND WHO COULD LOSE IF THE FED HIKES RATES

Interest rates could soon rise in the U.S. for the first time in almost a decade, and that’s shaking up financial markets.

If you own stocks of Coca-Cola or Procter & Gamble, you may already see the impact in your 401(k). And if you’re making plans to visit Europe, you’ve probably noticed the dollar has surged against the euro.

These shifts can all be traced back to the Federal Reserve and what it decides to do with rates.

Since December 2008, the central bank has held its benchmark rate close to zero to support the economy by encouraging borrowing and spending. It’s been even longer since the Fed actually raised the cost of borrowing. That was back in June 2006.

The Fed wraps up a policy meeting Wednesday and investors will be watching closely for any hints about whether the central bank is weighing a rate hike. Areas of the economy appear to be stuttering, but the jobs market has strengthened, and some analysts think the Fed could lift rates as soon as June. Higher rates are meant to combat inflation, which is a risk if wages and prices start to edge higher along with the jobs market.

But investors aren’t waiting for the Fed to move. They’re already favoring stocks they think will do well under an improving economy — and the higher rates that come with it. They’re also steering away from investments they think will suffer.

Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at Blackrock, the money manager, says investors should expect “bigger drops and bigger swings” in the market as people scramble to adjust their portfolios after six years of near-zero rates. “This is going to be a change in the environment.”

Here’s how the prospect of higher rates is shaping stocks, bonds, borrowing and saving:

STOCKS:

— LOSERS

People holding utility stocks have suffered losses this year. Utilities as a group have slumped 7.1% in 2015, the biggest loss among the 10 industry sectors that make up the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

These stocks typically pay dividends that are high relative to their companies’ share prices. They were in demand last year, when government bond yields fell, and investors wanted them for the level of income they were no longer able to get from bonds.

Now, as yields on those ultra-safe bonds have edged higher, these stocks are less attractive. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which had dropped as low has 1.64% in January, has climbed to 2.06%. Dividend-rich stocks, which carry more risk than Treasurys, look less attractive.

Other stocks that traditionally pay big dividends to investors, such as telecommunications companies, have also started to struggle. Telecoms have fallen 3% this month.

Possibly the biggest impact on stocks has been from the currency market, where the dollar has surged.

The dollar index, which measures the strength of the U.S. currency against a basket of others, is up 10% this year.

As the U.S. currency climbs, companies that rely on overseas sales for a large portion of their revenues have seen their stocks slide.

Investors who own Coca-Cola, which derives more than a third of its sales from outside the U.S., have seen the stock slump 4.2% this year. Procter & Gamble, owner of the Gillette and Crest brands, is down 9%. The S&P 500 index is flat over the same period.

— WINNERS

Stores, restaurants and media companies should be among the better performers this year as the U.S. economy continues to strengthen and hiring picks up. Low gasoline prices will put more money in people’s pockets, also helping consumer-focused stocks.

Consumer discretionary stocks are the second-best performers of the sectors that make up the S&P 500. The industry group is up 4.5% since the start of 2015.

Americans’ willingness to spend “isn’t going to be much affected by the rise in interest rates, it will be more impacted by the fact that the economy is getting better,” says Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist at Voya Investment Management. “It’s a better economy, it’s a better job market, and that’s why the Fed is raising rates.”

BONDS:

— LOSERS

The biggest threat to investors from rising rates could come from the investment considered the safest, namely U.S. Treasurys, says Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist & economist at Wells Capital Management.

Prices for Treasury notes have rallied since the start of 2014, sending their yields lower. The trend surprised many analysts who expected bond prices to fall as the Fed wound down a massive bond-buying program that was part of its effort to boost the U.S. economy. But as economies in other parts of the world struggled or slowed, investors bought more ultra-safe Treasurys, and drove prices higher.

Treasury prices are “very, very much out of line,” given the relative strength of the economy, says PaulSenator The unemployment rate has fallen to a seven-year low of 5.5%, and most economists expect the economy to grow around 3% this year. At 2.06%, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note is lower than 3% level from six years ago, during the recession.

“The message from the bond market, supposedly, is that the world today is worse than it was than at any point during the Great Recession, which is nonsense,” says PaulSenator

His expectation is that Treasury prices will fall sharply, pushing the yield on the 10-year note as high as 3.25% by the end of this year.

— WINNERS

Of course, not all bonds are the same.

Junk bonds, riskier securities that pay higher yields than Treasurys, traditionally do well in a rising rate environment, says Rob Waldner, chief strategist at fund manager Invesco.

The bonds are issued by companies that have a relatively high amount of debt compared their earnings. The earnings of these companies typically rise when the economy is improving, and that offsets the impact of higher interest rates.

Junk-rated companies also tend to lock in their borrowing costs for a couple of years when they sell bonds, says Martin Fridson, chief investment officer at Lehmann Livian Fridson Advisors LLC. That means they are protected from the impact of higher rates, at least initially.

Since the start of the year, junk bonds have handed investors a 2% return, according to the Barclays US High Yield index, which tracks the performance of the securities.

Municipal bonds, issued by local governments, also tend to do well for the same reason as junk bonds.

“In a rising rate environment, you have good growth going on and you have good credit quality,” says Invesco’s Waldner. “High yield almost always outperforms.”

IMPACT ON CONSUMERS:

—SAVERS

If you’re relying on savings, you’ll probably welcome higher interest rates. The best rates on one-year certificate of deposits are about 1.2%, according to Bankrate.com. That means for every $1,000 you save, you will make $12 a year. Higher rates will boost your income.

— BORROWERS

As rates rise, people with large credit card balances may face higher payments. So could those looking to buy a home.

Mortgage rates, which are linked to Treasury yields, will climb should bond yields start to rise. The average 30-year mortgage rate is at about 3.7%, according to Freddie Mac. That compares with about 5.9% a decade ago and 7.9% in 1995.

Dave Roda, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank, says that consumers should assess their finances and try to lock in their borrowing costs now while rates are still low.

“We probably won’t see rates this low again, maybe in our lifetimes,” he says.


KRAFT RECALLS MORE THAN 6 MILLION BOXES OF MACARONI AND CHEESE BECAUSE THEY MAY CONTAIN METAL

Kraft is voluntarily recalling thousands of cases of its original-flavored macaroni and cheese due to a concern that some boxes may contain pieces of metal.

According to Kraft, eight consumer complaints have been logged about the product, but there have been no reported injuries. “We deeply regret this situation and apologize to any consumers we have disappointed,“ Kraft said in a statement on Tuesday.

The recall affects 242,000 cases of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner that have been distributed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and some South American nations. The Associated Press reported that it amounts to about 6.5 million boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, one of the Kraft Foods Group’s signature brands.

Consumers are warned not to prepare and eat macaroni that comes in the original flavor, 7.25-ounce sized box sizes carrying a “best when used by” date between September 18 to October 11 and a code “C2” below the expiration dates. The code shows the specific factory line where the potentially tainted boxes were produced.

Some of the dinners also come in packs containing multiple boxes made at different facilities. Consumers should check the individual boxes, and return potentially tainted boxes to stores for an exchange or refund, according to Kraft.

The Food and Drug Administration has posted the recall alert on its website. “The agency has been working with the company as it gathers additional information concerning the scope of the recall,“ a spokeswoman said.

A full list of the affected boxes can be found here.

In August 2014, Kraft voluntarily recalled more than 7,000 cases of its American Singles cheese slices after a supplier didn’t properly store an ingredient. And in September 2011, Reuters noted, Kraft recalled more than 135,000 cases of single-serve Velveeta Shells & Cheese because of wire bristle pieces in some packages.

Kraft, which launched its iconic macaroni and cheese product in 1937, has dominated the market for decades. Recently, smaller companies have begun competing with mac and cheese made with more natural ingredients. Still, Kraft has said it generates more than $500 million in annual sales of macaroni and cheese products, Reuters has reported.

Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting - 03.20.15 -  Today

The Gilmer Free Press
GILMER COUNTY COMMISSION  
AGENDA for REGULAR MEETING
March 20, 2015 @ 9:00 AM
Gilmer County Courthouse
Commission Office – 10 Howard Street, Glenville, WV

I. CALL TO ORDER


II.  PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE TO THE U.S. FLAG


III. PUBLIC COMMENTS


IV. APPOINTMENTS

              9:15 Angel Ball – RE:  official approval to pay utility bills if due before next commission meeting.


V. ROUTINE BUSINESS:

      Discussion and/or action on:

              1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations

              2) Approve Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements

              3) Board Appointments and/or Resignations: 

                    a) Board Seats remain open on the:

                          i. ** Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency - Dekalb/Troy & Glenville Corporation

              4) Budget Revisions

              5) Budget Control Report:  NONE

              6) Approve Invoices for Payment

              7) Approve County Commission Minutes for 03.06.2015 and 03.13.2015

              8) Receipt of County Board Minutes: 

                    a) Lewis-Gilmer E-911 Advisory Board 12.17.2014

                    b) E-911 Addressing Report February 2015

                    c) Lewis-Gilmer E-911 Dispatch Report February 2015

                    d) Region VI LEO Board Meeting December 12, 2014


VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

              1) Renewal of Office of Emergency Management Personnel Contract

              2) Letter from Little Kanawha Transit Authority in Reference to FY 2015-16 Financial Support

              3) Receipt of Proposed Letter of Agreement for E-911 and Dispatch Services for 2015-2016 Fiscal Year


VII. NEW BUSINESS:

      Discussion and/or action on:

              1) Set Date for Hearing for Contest of the Last Will and Testament of Richard Wells Reed

              2) Court Security Grant Update

              3) Renewal of Postage Machine Lease

              4) Sign WVU Cooperative Extension Service Memorandum of Understanding for FY Beginning July 01, 2015

              5) Sign Red Cross Grant “Financial Report/Request for Payment” in the amount of $1,500

              6) Sign Red Cross “Certification of Grant Completion” form

              7) Sign Jailhouse Boiler Grant “Financial Report/Request for Payment” in the amount of $ 10,000

              8) Sign Jailhouse “Certification of Grant Completion” form

              9) Set Date to Finalize and Adopt FY 2015-16 Budget


VIII. OTHER BUSINESS


IX. EXECUTIVE SESSION AS NEEDED


X.    ADJOURNMENT


NEXT MEETING: April 03, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

G-TechNote™: Windows 10 Shaves Off Gigabytes With Selective System File Compression

With the Windows 8.1 Update, Microsoft shrank the Windows 8.1 install footprint to make it suitable for low-cost tablets with just 16GB of permanent storage, a reduction from the 32GB generally required for Windows 8. Windows 10 will shrink the disk footprint further, potentially freeing as much as 6.6GB of space on OEM preinstalls.

Microsoft describes two sources of savings. The first is the re-use of a time-honored technique that fell out of fashion as hard drives grew larger and larger: per-file compression.

The NTFS filesystem used in Windows has long allowed individual files and folders to be compressed, reducing their on-disk size at the expense of a small processor overhead when reading them. With spinning disks getting so large as to feel almost unlimited, per-file compression felt like a relic from a bygone age by the mid-2000s. But with the rise of solid state storage and ultra-cheap devices with just a handful of gigabytes available, per-file compression has gained a new lease on life.

When installing Windows 10 from scratch, it will assess the system’s performance to figure out if the system processor is fast enough that it can decompress system files without any noticeable performance impact. If it’s fast enough (and it’s hard to imagine a system built in the last decade that wouldn’t be fast enough, though Microsoft doesn’t appear to have disclosed the exact requirements) then a selection of system files will be stored compressed on disk. Store apps are also eligible for compression.

The Gilmer Free Press


To enable high performance decompression, Microsoft has added a number of new compression algorithms to the NTFS filesystem that are designed for compressing executable files. These all appear to be variants of algorithms already well used and tested in other Windows software; three are variants of the “Xpress” algorithm used for hibernation files, Windows Updates, and the Windows Imaging Format (WIM) files used by the Windows installer. The fourth algorithm, LZX, is used in Microsoft’s CAB archives, and it’s also an option for WIM. The different algorithms each offer different size/space trade-offs. These join the LZNT1 algorithm that’s more suitable for general data compression.

In total, Microsoft reckons that compression can save 1.5GB on 32-bit systems and 2.6GB on 64-bit ones. These savings extend to Windows 10 for Phones, too.

The second set of savings come from eliminating something that takes up a ton of disk space: the recovery image. OEM systems have a hidden partition containing a fresh image that’s used for system recovery. At a bare minimum this will usually take about 4GB of space; with a ton of pre-installed software (or just sloppy sizing), it can take much more. With Windows 10, the entire thing is eliminated.

This isn’t Microsoft’s first attempt to reduce the space required for recovery. Windows 8.1 Update introduced a clever space-saving technique to save the recovery partition space; instead of duplicating the recovery files onto the working Windows install (and thereby doubling the amount of space required), the working install just contained pointers to the files on the recovery partition. This is what enabled the use of 16GB drives. However, the technique was complicated to administer and setup, so Microsoft has gone back to the drawing board in Windows 10.

Windows 10’s recovery will simply use the system files from the working operating system. Windows already knows which files belong to Windows and which ones don’t; to reset the PC, it simply needs to delete everything that isn’t Windows and restore the registry and other settings files to sensible defaults.

The savings from eliminating the restore image won’t apply to Windows 10 on phones, because they already use a similar mechanism for their reset process.

As well as reducing the disk footprint, this should make restoring faster, because it will remove the need to download security updates and operating system patches after recovery: the Windows system files used for recovery will already be the up-to-date patched versions. This addresses one of the biggest problems with recovery partitions: they’re essentially unserviceable, and every time a system is restored using one, it becomes immediately susceptible to security flaws.

We do wonder if it will offer the same robustness as a recovery partition, however. Although deleting system32 is harder to do than it used to be—much to the chagrin of 4chan trolls everywhere—the in-use operating system files still feel more immediately vulnerable to damage or destruction at the hands of malicious or broken software.

Windows 10 will still be able to recover from such scenarios, provided that you make recovery media of your own.

The only sticking point, currently, is those 16GB Windows 8.1 Update machines using its clever space-saving recovery image technique. To ensure that a failed upgrade can be safely rolled back, upgrading those machines to Windows 10 requires enough space for both operating systems to exist side-by-side. Microsoft isn’t yet sure how to handle these machines, but it’s apparently evaluating “a couple of options” to allow them to upgrade.

~~  Peter Bright   ~~

World News   150320

The Gilmer Free Press

THE WORLD’S LONGEST NON-STOP FLIGHTS, MAPPED

Kvetching about your five-hour flight from New York to Los Angeles? Some passengers have it a lot worse, as the map below by Vizual Statistix’s Seth Kadish shows. You could be flying from Sydney to Dallas, a 8,578 mile journey, or Johannesburg to Atlanta, 8,439 miles. Both of these flights take upwards of 15 hours, non-stop.

Kadish has mapped the world’s 20 longest non-stop flights, and some of them are brutal. The color key at the bottom of the map indicates how long the flights are, ranging from 7,500 miles in blue to 8,500 miles in yellow. Many of the longest flights involve traveling from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere or vice versa, as in the Sydney to Dallas or Johannesburg to Atlanta flights.

The Gilmer Free Press


Flights between North America and Dubai, Doha, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong or Mumbai also measure as some of the longest, as well as Dubai to São Paulo. (Pro-tip: The Earth is round, so the straightest path between many of these destinations is over the North Atlantic. On a flat map these flight paths look like big arcs, but on a globe they would be straight lines.)

Kadish used a Robinson projection for the map; as a consequence, some flights that go over the Arctic Circle appear longer than they are. Kadish also did this visualization last March, so some of the commercial flight paths may have changed slightly since then.

BASIC DISASTER BIRTH SUPPORT WORKSHOP®  - 03.20.15 - Tonight

The Gilmer Free Press

CGCC Offers Welding Technology Night Classes for Adults - Register by 03.20.15 - Today

image

Welding Technology Class:  The class would be an evening welding course.

The class will run 3 hours per week for 10 weeks.

A minimum of 5 students is needed.

The following areas of study may be available:

•  SMAW (Stick)
•  GMAW (Mig) Steel
•  GMAW (Mig) Aluminum
•  FCAW (Mig) Steel
•  GTAW (Tig) Steel
•  GTAW (Tig) Aluminum
•  Oxy-fuel Cutting
•  Oxy-fuel Welding
•  Oxy-fuel Brazing
•  Plasma Arc Cutting
•  Air Carbon Arc (gouging)
•  Computer assisted plasma Cutting

The program also offer training and testing for WV State Certification in plate and pipe welding.

The cost of the class will be $250.

If you are interested in any of these areas of Welding Technology and would like to enroll in the course please call Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center at 304.354.6151 by March 20, 2015.

Classes would begin the following week.

All fees need to be paid at the beginning of the first class.

The Class Title: Basic Adult Welding Class

All fees are paid to Calhoun- Gilmer Career Center

First Baptist Church: Baked Steak Dinner - 03.22.15 - Sunday

The Gilmer Free Press

Baked Steak Dinner

A Baked Steak Dinner will be held on Sunday, March 22, 2015 to support the FBC Cancer Fund for Gilmer County.

The dinner will be held at the First Baptist Church of Glenville from 12:00 to 3:00.

Take out orders will be available at 11:30.

If you have any questions or want to call to place an order, call the church at 304.462.7015.


The dinner consists of:

Baked Steak

Mashed Potatoes / Gravy

Green Beans

Salad

Hot Rolls

Dessert

Drinks


The cost of the dinner is by donation.

(All proceeds go to the FBC Cancer Fund for Gilmer County)

Bon Appétit: Skillet Roast Chicken with Fennel, Parsnips, and Scallions

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

Servings: 6

  3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  1 3½–4-lb. chicken
  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1 fennel bulb, sliced lengthwise ½” thick
  2 large parsnips, peeled, sliced ½” thick on the diagonal
  1 bunch scallions
  3 wide strips lemon zest
  Lemon wedges (for serving)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Season chicken inside and out with salt and pepper and cook, breast side down, until a beautiful golden brown. Use tongs to gently rotate chicken, being careful not to tear skin, and brown on all sides, 12–15 minutes total; transfer to a plate. Reserve skillet.

Toss fennel, parsnips, scallions, and lemon zest in skillet with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Place chicken, breast side up, on top of vegetables. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken thigh registers 165°, 35–40 minutes. (You can also check doneness by cutting into thigh meat right at the joint. If the juices run clear, the bird is ready.) Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Serve chicken and vegetables with pan juices for spooning over and lemon wedges.

Horoscopes: March 20, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

The new moon, the total eclipse of the sun and the spring equinox today are a fresh start, a “get out of jail free” card and a naming ceremony all in one. By the way, if you had to choose a different, more adventurous name for yourself, what would it be? Even if you only use this name when talking you-to-you, it could change your life.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You get a blast of cosmic sunshine and will continue to grow in vitality and power in the weeks to come. Already you may feel that you have the ability to see the potential in everything.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). When traffic lights aren’t working, the intersection becomes an every-man-for-himself situation. This illustrates the importance of clear communication. Be the functioning traffic light.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Face-to-face meetings will be extremely effective and well worth the trouble taken to make them happen. What you do for them may soon fade from memory, but what you do with them will stick.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). It’s like you have a velvet sack full of money, only it’s not money. It’s actually something much more valuable because it’s a currency that translates in every country without conversion. It’s love.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). A young Walt Disney once claimed to love Mickey Mouse more than any woman he’d known. Similarly, you’re falling in love with one of your own creations, and it will bring you great joy.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). You’ll use your natural comedic powers for good, helping people laugh at the absurd, the hypocritical and even at the painful experiences that go along with just being human.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Making people feel comfortable is a talent of yours, and you can put it to good use today, especially considering that one nervous person can ruin the vibe of the whole party.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). In a way, you’re an avenger ready to balance the scales of justice, though you’re not sure yet which methods and weapons are likely to work best for the situation.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Because you enjoy the ordinary, you are more likely to observe and experience extraordinary events. You’re headed into a cycle in which life will delight you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). The journalist Wes Izzard said, “If a man wakes up famous, he hasn’t been sleeping.” The hard work you do to gain attention for your cause, talent or project will pay off later.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). All relationships thrive on measured pacing. Reveal too much too soon, and the mystery is spoiled. Build anticipation instead. Make getting to know you a kind of adventure.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). As the sun leaves your realm, simple efforts may seem to take too much energy. When you don’t feel like it, do it anyway. Show up strong. Consistency will give more than it takes.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. Your equinox birthday is an omen for high energy, self-creation and self-declaration. You’ll lead others by being relatable and vulnerable and by connecting on the deeper levels that inspire true loyalty. Loved ones celebrate and spoil you in April. A professional win in July may inspire a new business later in the year. Scorpio and Gemini people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 4, 1, 22, 39 and 16.

WEEKEND LOVE FORECAST: ARIES: Confrontation can be loving or unnecessarily hurtful – make a heartfelt judgment call. TAURUS: If you compare everyone to an ideal, no one will be good enough. GEMINI: You’ll enjoy a well-matched volley of lighthearted argument – proof of a good match. CANCER: Your powers of observation are your most important dating tool now. See what the others don’t, and you’re golden. LEO: It is possible to enjoy the company of a totally self-absorbed person if you are also absorbed in this person. Otherwise, it’s a pain. VIRGO: You’ll either be holding out for someone of character or asking the one you’re with to rise to the occasion. LIBRA: Be careful what you say, write or send, as it could go on record for all to see. SCORPIO: Whether you get the social graces right or wrong, you’ll have an adventure. SAGITTARIUS: They’ll compete for you whether or not you realize you’re in a position of choice. CAPRICORN: Your compassion is luminous; your selflessness, heroic. AQUARIUS: With your best match, you can do more together than the sum of what each of you could do alone. PISCES: The ambivalence of people around you inspires you to commit fully to love.

COUPLE OF THE WEEKEND: The sun and the moon in Aries punctuated by an exciting total solar eclipse begs the question: Are two Aries a good match? These fiery, passionate, ever-young energies meld into a spectacular blaze that just might burn bright and then burn out. But if they stay together, it will never be boring. The couple can be saved or ruined by their love of competition, ala Brad and Angelina in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

Pauline Mae Ratliff

The Gilmer Free Press

Pauline Mae Ratliff

Age 77, of Glenville, WV passed away on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at the Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV following an illness.

She was born in Braxton County, WV on April 03, 1937.

Pauline is survived by her husband, Arnold “Whiz” Ratliff; daughter, Janice Ratliff of Glenville; son, Dave Ratliff of Gilmer Station. Also surviving are grandchildren, Kenny Ratliff, Jennifer Ratliff, David Ratliff, Jr., and Brittney Burros and husband Jonah. Pauline was also blessed with great-grandchildren, London, Madison, and Lincoln. Pauline also left behind two beloved canine companions, Daisy and Josie.

Pauline was proceeded in death by one sister, Karen Workman.

Pauline loved her family and her dogs; she enjoyed caring for them and spending precious time with them. She also loved her church, going to yard sales, sewing, keeping a clean house and visiting with friends. Pauline was loved and cherished by her family and friends and will be missed by all.

Family received friends at the Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home 378 Flatwoods Corner Road, Flatwoods, WV 26621 on Sunday, March 15, 2015 from 12-2 PM.

Funeral services followed visitation and was held in the Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Bryan Groves officiating.

Interment followed services in the Little Kanawha Memorial Gardens in Heaters, WV.

The Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home of Flatwoods, WV will be serving the Ratliff Family.

Sarah Lou Daugherty

The Gilmer Free Press

Sarah Lou Daugherty

Age 74, of Harrisville, WV, departed this life on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, at Eagle Pointe Nursing Home in Parkersburg, WV.

Sarah was born October 11, 1940 in Ritchie County, WV (Mahone Community) a daughter of the late Alva H. and Marcella J. (Martin) Sinnett.

Sarah spent her life as a loving and caring homemaker for her family. She was a graduate of Harrisville High School with the class of 1959 and greatly enjoyed the annual HHS Alumni and class reunions. She greatly enjoyed writing poetry and was an avid walker who met many friends while walking at the Harrisville Town Park.

She was a former member of the King Knob United Methodist Church and attended St. Luke’s United Methodist Church of Harrisville.

Sarah was also a big part in the lives of her grandchildren who she loved dearly.

She is survived by her children, Cheryl Ann Marshall of Ripley, WV; Terry Wayne Daugherty (Melissa) and Roger Lee Daugherty (Dorothy), both of Harrisville, WV; grandchildren, Chad Prunty (Becca) & Chase Marshall, both of Mineral Wells, WV; Trace, Emily, Tangi, & Ryan Daugherty, all of Harrisville, WV; sisters, Ernestine Cowan of Parkersburg, WV; Betty Hart of Millersburg, OH; Vieva Massie of Massillon, OH ; Barbara Whitehair; Nancy Timmons of Harrisville, WV; Brinda Price of Washington, WV; Margaret Wright of Petroleum, WV; brother, Alva H. Sinnett, Jr. of Millersburg, OH, and her great grandchildren, Asher & Abel Prunty of Mineral Wells, WV.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Alfred Wayne Daugherty and her half brother, Wilber “Babes” Martin.

Funeral services will be 1 PM Saturday, March 21, 2015, at the Raiguel Funeral Home, Harrisville, WV with Rev. John Frum officiating.

Burial will follow in the Harrisville IOOF Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 4 PM - 8 PM Friday, at the funeral home.

Comics - MARCH MADNESS OTHER MADNESS

The Gilmer Free Press

Sand Fork Elementary School February 2015 Winners

February Citizenship Winners

The Gilmer Free Press
(FR, L-R) Treyven Sturms, Jada Brenwald, Unnamed Student, Dalton Freeman

(BR, L-R) Morgan Putnam, Bryon Wiant


February Improvement Winners

The Gilmer Free Press
(FR, L-R) Matthew Montgomery, Colton Bush

(BR, L-R) Alex Conrad, Bryan Hardman, Kaden Putnam


February Student of the Month

The Gilmer Free Press
(FR, L-R) Alyssa Wells, Ethan Godfrey, Reidyn Dennison

(BR, L-R) Lucas Young, Hunter Taylor, Josh Taylor, Kyle Moss


February Attendance Winner

The Gilmer Free Press
(FR, L-R) Meadow Marks, Keara Swanson, Olivia Collins, Alden Rollyson, Shawn Carder, Ryan Sumner

(BR, L-R) Grace Adams, Treyven Sturms, Alex Conrad, Mrs. Grogg,
Donald Jenkins, Braeden Wine, Jason Steele



February Box Top Winners

The Gilmer Free Press
(FR, L-R) Kaitlyn Hess, Seth Wine, Elijah Facemire

(MR, L-R) Carissa Thorne, Taylor McHenry, Trinity Bancroft, Alex Conrad, Adam Stewart, Trey Langford

(BR, L-R) Mrs. Facemire, Dakota Taylor, Emma Fox, ZaKya Mann, Unnamed Student,
Kyle Moss, Karma Towner, Warren Helmick , Brittany Talbott

The Gilmer Free Press

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