The comment coming out of Gilmer County about the shift of the WV School Baord Association to line up with the WVBOE and the WVDOE is timely.
We challenge Dr. Barbara Parsons to allow an agenda item at the next open SBA meeting for an up or down vote by the membership for confidence or no confidence in the WVBOE, WVDOE, State Superintendent of Schols and his Deputy.
The bet is that the results would be a resounding vote of no confidence all the way around.
There is State-wide attention focused on how Gilmer County continues to be mistreated by the WVBOE and the WVDOE.
Dr. Cindy Daniel’s name comes up often. Don’t expect any help from her.
The WV Association of School Administrators, comprised of school system superintendents, will go after her to protect one of its own if she gets out of line.
The WV School Board Association won’t help Gilmer County because that organization is strapped for cash to make it increasingly dependent on WVDOE money.
That renders the WVSBA toothless as an effective advocate for intervened counties.
WV’s politicians sent to Charleston won’t help because they are afraid of their shadows and cutting off of oil and gas money to keep them in office.
Things have become so bad within the WVSBA that at a recent meeting one of its officers leaped over to the WVBOE’s side as if that individual is focusing on upward mobility opportunities.
Dr. Martirano referred to high minded morality and ethics when he was involved with the Boone County intervention threat, but what have you seen him doing in Gilmer County to indicate that he practices what he preaches?
With all the impediments going against Gilmer County something admirable has happened as a result of news getting out in WV.
It is that the WVBOE’s reputation has been severely damaged from adverse attention it has garnered from its dictatorial and inept intervention policies and practices.
The growing adverse publicity has long run potential to help remove the WVBOE’s destructive strangle hold on K-12 education in WV.
For all the State’s children, thank you Gilmer County for standing up to Goliath.
You don’t have to rely on a sling shot, but you have something more powerful.
It is effective use of social media and the Internet to get truthful information to WV’s people to influence public opinion.
My board including our highly respected superintendent uses Gilmer County’s taped meetings for instructional purposes to learn what to avoid in running our school system.
We see your State-appointed superintendent micro managing your meetings, giving orders to your elected president, interfering with delegations, and even cutting in when board members want to speak to limit what they are allowed to say.
We observe extreme censorship to result in what gets on agendas and what gets into your meeting minutes.
Our superintendent comes to meetings fully prepared. When he has a slot on an agenda he provides in-depth information we have complete confidence in, and he answers all our questions when asked.
Our superintendent serves as the secretary to document what occurs during board meetings and we have excellent minutes for later reference.
All of us work together as a highly dedicated and coordinated team while exhibiting mutual respect to one another while we do our County’s business.
In three years not one word of anger has occurred against our superintendent or any board member.
Do we have spirited discussions. You bet.
Through them we learn from one another to enable us to make better decisions we can support after votes are cast.
When we watch what happens in Gilmer County we abhor the repressive treatment of your board, and we attribute your obvious leadership deficiencies to the WVBOE and the WVDOE.
Have you thought about selling your video tapes for instructional purposes? Hard to tell how much money you could make for your school system.
Wow, a lot of us showed up at 4 o’clock to find out the meeting was changed to 6 o’clock. There was a football game if you remember. Had to get there for the kids, could not stay till 6. Glenville people showed up to support Normantown. What was wrong with that? Seems a lot of “meetings” are scheduled to conflict with other events these days.
It’s simple to solve. Go watch the 9-10-15 Normantown town hall meeting video to hear the superintendent change his tune and hear his transporation director not back that up.
Read the Charleston Gazette article September 24 posted on the GFP along with multiple discussions on the Hur and GFP reporting.
BTW, would not imply imagined gender of a poster. It doesn’t work.
The meeting that was supposed to start at 4 but was put off to after 6. Now Glenville people are rabble rousers too? Guess anybody who disagrees fits the description?
G Devono said there was only a little toilet paper on the floor at the Normantown School meeting. Even his Transpotation Director was unwilling to support that much of a fabrication.
Did it get in the minutes that the Cedar Creek project was recommended against to the WVBOE at no use because there was not enough money to complete it because of inept State planning, corruption, and mismanagement? No!
Did it get in the minutes who made money off the dropped Cedar Creek project and how much they got? No!
Did it get in the minutes how much money was wasted for everything leading up to dropping the Cedar Creek project? No!
Did it get in the minutes that the Leading Creek School was going to be overbuilt because of not enough students so scarce school money would be wasted? No!
Did it get in the minutes to disclose the total amount of the County’s money spent on the failed Leading Creek school project? No!
Did it get in the minutes that there were concerns about sweet heart no bid contracts? No!
Did it get in the minutes that there were concerns about constructing the new grade school in a flood zone vulnerable to destruction like WV had recently to wipe our Richwood? No!
Did it get in the minutes that the new County school did not have enough classrooms to handle all the students properly? No?
Did it get in the minutes to disclose what the WV fire marshal found out about arson prep at Normantown Elementary? No!
Did it get in the minutes to disclose names of the select few elites GD assigned to secretly determine the future of K-12 education in the County? No!
Did it get in the minutes those in the County’s central office who were singled out for hefty pay raises by GD and how much they got? No!
Many more examples could be cited as examples the State does not want to disclose. Enough said.
Educators know that the best way to get a point across is to make something simple as possible instead of making it more complicated than necessary.
What could possibly be more symbolic of the State’s dictatorial control over our school system than what goes on with meeting agendas and minutes for school board meetings?
It is evident that the County’s elected school board is not allowed to get important items on agendas and meeting minutes are heavily censored by the State.
There is even failure when someone is scheduled to speak to inform the public what the topic is with only a listing of a speaker’s name.
Looked at the agenda when Dr. Cindy Daniel was here as an example. Just her name and nothing more.
When something like that happens how would members of the community know if they want to attend a meeting?
The State does not want regular community members to attend meetings so it can say that citizens are not interested in what goes on and they had their chance to speak out.
When a citizen says somethings at meetings the State will not allow as little as a one sentence summary of what they said to go into minutes.
That shows that what regular citizens say is unworthy of consideration so the attitude is why waste time by going to meetings to speak out?
When something comes up the State does not like to hear, disliked speakers are shut down abruptly and those the State likes are allowed to ramble at length without being shut down.
Dr. Cindy Daniel knows what is happening.
Dr. Martirano knows what is happening.
Michael Green of the WVBOE knows.
Their failure to take corrective action for something as basic as meeting agendas and minutes proves in a nutshell their overall approval of the State’s dictatorial control of Gilmer County’s schools, and their obvious disrespect and contempt for our citizens.
What meeting were you at? What 20 people had a more important prior commitment than the safety of their children or grandchildren? From watching the video, it was clear that almost half of the participants were rabble rousers from Glenville.
Bill S has not told the truth for so long doubt he can even spell the word. He has castigated rural children and families as poverty stricken, drug addicted, ignorant and uninformed over and over. Does Devono really thinks Simmons supports him by saying if he (Simmons) had the job he could would clear out the BOE Central Office and run it from his front porch? By saying he wouldn’t read more than a one page finance report and voted for no one else to see it? Watch the videos. Simmons reported many times how Ted Mattern told Gilmer’s Board to just hold hands with the State Board and dance. Smiled when he said it. Man isn’t smart enough to understand while he is doing a poor imitation of two step the State is doing the twist with Gilmer County’s money.
Bill says if you tell a lie often enough the majority will believe it.
What meeting were you at? Did you attend the Normantown meeting where Devono denied the pictures and denied that it was a possible arson while letters from and conversations with the WV Fire Marshall say it was being investigated as an arson? Simmons didn’t say any different than the state appointed superintendent did. Don’t make up tales. Talk to the board members who did take the time to attend and ask questions and called both the local fire department and state fire marshall’s office if you want to know the truth. From what I saw there it was Carl Armour and Norma Hurley .
G. Devono tried to deny the citizens public access to that meeting. He changed the meeting time without notifying the public so the fire chief, prosecuting attorney and 20 more people who showed up and wanted to attend weren’t notified and could not stay and wait two more hours more for it to start because of prior committments.
Devono told anyone who wasn’t a parent of a child in that school they had to leave. Cindy Daniels did put a stop to that.
What about the fires at the career center and Sand Fork elementary.What about the break in and theft at Troy elementary? Some said there was an attempt at a fire there. Where was Simmons then? What happened to his and G Devono’s reports on those investigations?
We better figure out who tells us the facts whether we like it or not. Sugar coated lies are killing this county. Best thing ever happened was Simmons resigning. To bad he didn’t have the courage of his convictions to follow through.
Google—studies of police officers in grade schools to get information to use to make up your own minds.
For one example from studies, a nationally known criminologist at the U. of Maryland concluded from studies that it “increases the number of behavior problems that are referred to the police, pushing kids into the criminal system.“
The same expert concluded that there is no evidence that officers in schools improves safety.
The WVDOE’s push for law enforcement at our new grade school, as usual, is based on reliance on personal opinion and emotion instead of defensible facts.
Every third Sunday of June, Americans celebrate Father’s Day.
The origin of Father’s Day began in 1908 at a church service in West Virginia. Grace Golden Clayton, a member of the Williams Memorial Methodist Church, had recently lost her father in a mining accident.
Her father was one of 362 men, 250 who were fathers, who lost their lives at the Fairmont Coal Company in Monongah, West Virginia, when a series of explosions occurred.
About 1,000 children were left fatherless.
Clayton suggested holding a service in remembrance of those fathers.
From this beginning, Father’s Day slowly gained popularity and spread.
In 1911, President Woodrow Wilson attempted to make Father’s Day a national holiday but faced opposition in Congress due to its perceived commercial nature.
President Calvin Coolidge likewise made an attempt but failed.
President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation to honor fathers in 1966, and President Richard Nixon finally made the holiday official in 1972.
Father’s Day is an excellent opportunity to honor our father for his influence and direction in our life.
In Exodus 20, the nation of Israel was given the Ten Commandments.
The fifth commandment in verse 12 states, “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
Practicing this commandment is reasonable for all people in every generation.
Perhaps your father did not live up to your expectations. Maybe he neglected you, abandoned or abused you.
Consider then your heavenly father who promises, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” it says in Hebrews 13:5.
This heavenly father loves us. I John 3:1 declares, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”
God the father promises to be with us in times of trouble and trial, even through death.
This is why David could write in Psalms 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Our heavenly father is always there and loves you greatly.
May you have a happy Father’s Day.
Here is some practical advice, from” The Fatherhood Project: 10 Facts About Father Engagement.“
Children benefit directly from a dad’s parenting.
Spending time together means greater academic success.
Lending emotional support means more positive social behavior.
Giving everyday assistance results in fewer conduct problems.
Monitoring children’s behavior makes for greater self-esteem.
Providing clear boundaries equates with reduced contact with the juvenile justice system.
► Camp allows visually impaired children to express themselves
MORGANTOWN, WV — Everyone calls her Miss Becky.
She squeals when something finally clicks with a student, and when a new person comes around, she whips out a phone and scrolls past a stream of photos showing the children she has all-but adopted.
But when the kids are mad at her, they very formally call her Miss Rebecca. She doesn’t particularly care either way — they’re all family, after all.
“I get these kids as babies and you know, sometimes we think it’s the kids who have a hard time adjusting,“ said Rebecca Coakley. “But more often than not, it’s the parents — the parents shed more tears than the kids do. When a kid is born blind, it’s all they know.“
This week is Miss Becky’s favorite time of year. As the director of outreach at West Virginia University’s Eye Institute and head of the Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program, she spends her days meeting new blind and visually impaired children from across the state. For one week of the summer, a group of those students here come to Morgantown’s Benton Grove Bed & Banquets for a week-long camp called the Summer Institute.
There, they don’t stick out.
The kids hold hands as they walk together up the stairs, counting each step along the way. And when it’s time for dance class, they spin around and around as fast as they can knowing that hands will be there to catch them if they fall.
This year’s Summer Institute is special. Coakley has brought in Blessing Offor, a 2014 contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,“ to teach her students how to sing. He will spend the entire week with them, coaching them in preparation for a special concert Friday night at WVU’s Creative Arts Center.
“Guys, you being blind or not being blind doesn’t have anything to do with singing,“ Offor says, perched behind a piano. “If you want to do something, you go out and you do it.“
Offor and Coakley met at a conference last year. He has never been a teacher like this before, but he slips easily into the role. When a kid doesn’t understand some of his instructions, he invites them over to touch his throat and feel how he sings something a certain way. That’s the kind of special attention Coakley has cultivated at the Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program.
“I work with doctors who have no idea about kids and blindness. Because after a kid is blind, they don’t need to see them anymore,“ Coakley said. “What are they going to do for them?“ If the blindness or vision impairment is permanent, constant doctor visits aren’t common.
So instead, the rehabilitation program brings together parents, teachers and vision specialists to try and fill in the gaps. They lay out a program for the children to follow as they progress through school, and Coakley said she’s almost always on call to offer advice.
Before the Summer Institute started, Coakley would watch her students graduate from high school and go on to college. She said most of them would come home after one semester because they didn’t have the social or independent living skills they needed to be successful.
Enter Summer Institute.
Besides the fun and games, kids at the camp learn how to read recipes, how to interact with new accessible technology and other things they’ll need after they finish school. Coakley has seen the program work firsthand with Josh Brown.
“He was the biggest, most unruly child. I’ve had him since he was 6 and he was the only kid I almost kicked out of camp. Look at him now,“ Coakley said, wrapping her arm around his side. “He helped me plan this whole music thing, because I didn’t know anything about stages or lighting or sound equipment.“
Brown, now 22, of Clarksburg, is a counselor at the Summer Institute. He loves every minute of the camp, but that wasn’t always the case.
He didn’t want to be different from the other kids at his school. He didn’t want to have to use special equipment to read his teacher’s writing on the white board. Using that equipment would require admitting his vision wasn’t get any better.
“When I was younger, I fought my impairment,“ Brown said. “I thought, ‘I don’t need nothing.‘ I tried to use as little help as possible. I didn’t go to regular doctor’s appointment like I should have, but as I got older, my eye condition got worse. I developed glaucoma, which made my vision a lot worse.“
Tatyana Tolliver, an 11-year-old from South Charleston, is new to camp. She has been in the rehabilitation program since she was a baby, but only came to camp this year after a retinal detachment worsened her vision. She had to have four surgeries before fixing the problem.
“I couldn’t paint my nails before, but now I probably could. I found a life hack for it,“ Tatyana said. “You put Elmer’s glue around your fingernail, and then you just paint your nails. And if you get any paint on your finger, you can just peel the glue off. It’s just anything to make life easier.“
Tatyana has learned other things, too, like how to talk about her vision impairment. She doesn’t mind when her peers at Dunbar Middle School ask about her eyes — she has coloboma, which means her iris isn’t closed entirely, giving her eyes a cat-like appearance.
At the Summer Institute, other kids don’t usually ask Tatyana questions about her eyes. If they do, it’s a short conversation between a song they are rehearsing.
“People at my school, they would kind of get annoyed if I ask what was going on in class because I can’t see,“ Tatyana said. “Now at camp, I can help people and they can help me and it’s no problem.“
► Justice accuses Republican leadership of wasting taxpayer money, Cole accuses Justice adviser of trying to obstruct budget negotiations to reflect poorly on GOP
CHARLESTON, WV — A special budget legislative session that lasted over three weeks long has led to a disagreement between the the two candidates running to be West Virginia’s next governor.
Democratic nominee and Greenbrier owner Jim Justice criticized the legislature on Wednesday, accusing his opponent in November, SEnator President Bill Cole, and Republican leadership for wasting nearly $600,000 on the special session.
“I am too impatient to watch the politicians bicker for months and months and see nothing get done,” said Justice in a release. “The budget mess in Charleston proves that we need to impose a tighter timeline on the legislature because they wasted too much money and created uncertainty for our families. On the farm, I’ve put in many 18-hour days, and I think lawmakers should do the same.”
Justice called for a series of reforms, including limiting pay to five days for any special budget session, and banning any fundraising while the legislature is in session. Cole fired back at Justice on MetroNews “Talkline” on Wednesday, accusing him of indirectly trying to sabotage the session.
“His senior adviser to his campaign (Larry Puccio) went and ran (to) the House Democratic caucus and told them to obstruct the process to make Republicans look bad,” Cole told Hoppy Kercheval.
Cole also said that Justice’s comments showed that he doesn’t know how the legislature pay scale works.
“It shows that they don’t really know what goes on. We get paid $20,000 a year whether we’re in special session for 300 days or two days,” he said. “The salary doesn’t change; now, granted, we get per diems, but that pays for your motel bill and your food presumably.”
Justice’s release included a list of things that could have been funded with the money “wasted” on the special session. Cole argued that the legislature has in actuality done quite a lot to cut costs.
“We’ve saved $500,000 a year by reducing the amount of interims, we have cut staff, cut salaries since the Republicans have been leading the legislature. We brought the printing in-house to save $300,000 a year,” he explained. “To act like we’ve gone and blown a bunch of taxpayers’ money is a misstatement, disingenuous at very least.”
The special session concluded Tuesday evening with a budget heading to the desk of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
Joe Manchin Lets Mask Slip: ‘Due Process Is Killing Us’
During the June 16 airing of MSNBC’s Morning Joe,
gun control Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) let his mask slip by expressing frustration
that due process is preventing the pursuit of more gun control.
Manchin made a name for himself by opposing the NRA and pushing new gun controls for law-abiding citizens in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He spent months pushing for an expansion of background checks, even though he admitted the checks would not have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy.
During his appearance on Morning Joe, Manchin pushed for more gun control via terror watchlists and other such mechanisms, but said due process stands in the way.
Manchin talked about his hopes that there could be bipartisan support for gun control, then said:
The problem that we have, and really the firewall that we have right now, is due process. It’s all due process. So we can all say we want the same thing, but how do we get there? … The shooter in Orlando was brought in twice by the FBI. They did everything they could … but there was no way for them to keep him on the NICS list or keep him off the gun buy list. So can’t we say if a person’s under suspicion there should be a five-year period that we have to see good behavior [before they can buy a gun]? Maybe we can come to that kind of agreement. But due process is what’s killing us right now.
Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele was on the show and asked what Manchin plans to do for people who already own guns but “may appear on the list” in the future? Manchin talked about honoring the Second Amendment right to own a gun, then suggested a confiscation mechanism to take guns away from people who come under suspicion.
~~ AWR Hawkins - Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio ~~
► Former Soldier: Civilians Shouldn’t Own Assault Rifles
Nate Bethea served as an infantry officer in the US Army from 2007 to 2014, and during that time, he fired thousands of rounds from assault rifles. “These weapons are intended for the battlefield. I don’t want an assault rifle, because I don’t want to think of my home country as a battlefield,“ he writes in the New York Times. “I don’t want civilians to own assault rifles, because I think the risks outweigh the rewards. If people really do believe that they need them, maybe it’s because they see a battlefield where others don’t.“ He notes that he’s seen the effects the weapons have, and he doesn’t want to think the US is such a dangerous place that we need such weapons.
He quotes a friend, an Army Special Forces officer with multiple combat deployments: “People who say they need an AR for hunting or home defense often don’t understand the weapon’s ballistics or overpenetration. ARs cause horrific damage to humans; that’s why the military developed them. If you want to shoot an AR so bad, please feel free to join the fight against ISIS in the military.“ And, Bethea begs, please don’t get hung up on the semantics. Yes, there are slight differences between assault weapons used by the military and the types of assault rifles civilians can buy, but the truth is, a civilian would be able to buy basically the same rifle Bethea carried in Afghanistan, and the same accessories, with little difficulty—and that’s not right. Click for his FULL PIECE.
► Stanford Case Wasn’t ‘Rape,‘ but That Could Change
Brock Turner has become known as “the Stanford rapist” since he was convicted of sexual assault against a now 23-year-old woman and sentenced to six months in prison. But technically Turner, 22, wasn’t convicted of rape: He was convicted of three counts of sexual assault—assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object—and California lawmakers now want to modify state laws so that all sexual penetration without consent is deemed rape, the Independent reports. This initiative comes via the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, some of whose members believe the state’s current definition of rape—“an act of sexual intercourse without consent involving penile penetration"—is too limiting.
How these lawmakers think California should define rape: the same way the FBI does, which is: “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.“ This definition wouldn’t allow for “wiggle room,“ wrote Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, the caucus’s vice chair, in a blog post at Time. “Sexual penetration without consent is rape,“ she asserted. “It is never invited, wanted, or warranted. Rape is rape, period.“ She says that by tying the act of rape strictly to an act of “sexual intercourse” (meaning penile penetration), we’re doing a disservice to victims. “Hopefully, being able to properly label the crime will ensure more survivors will see justice done.“
► Houston 3-Year-Old Climbs Into Hot Car, Dies
A tragedy in Houston—and a reminder that almost a third of children who die in hot cars do so after finding their own way in. Police in Houston say that 3-year-old Evan Trapolino died Thursday after apparently walking out of his house and climbing into a car parked in the front yard, possibly while looking for a toy, KHOU reports. After crawling into the back seat, he became trapped because of the car’s child locks. The city’s fire department says Evan’s heart stopped before he was found at around 2pm, having been in the car for up to 45 minutes on a day when temperatures hit the 90s, the New York Daily News reports.
Evan was the youngest of four children, and neighbors say they are devastated by the death of the little boy they remember as an “energizer bunny” who was always active. “A complete freak accident. Little boy was out playing around. Nobody saw him or heard him go outside,“ neighbor Chris Johnson tells KHOU. “Anything having to do with a kid, especially a 3-year-old, it hurts.“ Authorities say 30% of such deaths in the US involve a child climbing into an unlocked car and parents should always lock doors and make sure everybody is out of the vehicle before exiting. KTRK reports.
► Fliers React Incredibly to Orlando Victim’s Grandma
The grandmother of Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo—at 20, one of the youngest victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre—flew to Florida on Tuesday to be with her family and attend her grandson’s funeral. When JetBlue employees realized she was on their flight, and flying solo, they pulled out all the stops, writes flight crew member Kelly Davis Karas in a Facebook post that’s been shared more than 79,000 times since Tuesday. Flight attendants and gate agents were “by her side” at all times, making sure she was “as comfortable as possible.“ And then they got the other passengers involved.
During beverage service, the flight crew passed a piece of paper around to everyone on board so they could sign it for the grieving woman. Instead of just signing it, though, people wrote long notes—so long that flight attendants passed out multiple pieces of paper, which they presented to the grandmother, along with a few cash donations. With her permission, the crew asked for a moment of silence in her grandson’s memory after the plane landed. And then, while deplaning, every single passenger stopped to give their condolences. “Not a single person was impatient at the slower deplaning process,“ Karas writes. “In spite of a few hateful, broken human beings in this world ... people ARE kind. People DO care.“ JetBlue confirmed to CNN that the story is true.
► Fire Chief Killed on 9/11 Finally Gets His Funeral
New York Fire Department battalion chief Lawrence Stack was laid to rest Friday—nearly 15 years after he died when the World Trader Center collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Times reports. Stack was helping an injured business man from Iowa when the north tower collapsed, killing him. His family had been holding off on a funeral in the hopes his remains would eventually be found. Only 65% of the remains recovered in the wake of Sept. 11 have been identified—the rest are too damaged—and a Catholic funeral Mass requires some part of the deceased to be present. According to CBS New York, that problem was finally solved when a vial of Stack’s blood was found in storage in Minnesota. Stack had donated it during a bone marrow drive for a boy with cancer 18 months before 9/11.
The vial of Stack’s blood was buried with his casket Friday after a service on Long Island, WABC reports. He received a full FDNY sendoff, complete with bagpipes and a procession. In attendance were Mayor de Blasio, the FDNY commissioner, and thousands of firefighters. It was the first funeral for a firefighter killed on Sept. 11 in a decade. “This is all about never forgetting—15 years later, never forget,” a firefighter at the funeral tells CBS. The 58-year-old Stack was a Navy veteran who served in the Vietnam War. He was with the FDNY for nearly 33 years before his death, and both his sons are now firefighters. He was one of 343 members of the FDNY killed on Sept. 11.
► Chicago Man’s $245 Pants ‘Too Street’ for Pizza Place
Chicago’s Parlor Pizza isn’t the kind of place where you’ll find crisp white tablecloths and chandeliers. In fact, its patio consists of several wooden picnic tables. Even so, Antar Jackson says he was turned away, apparently because of his $245 pants. In what he claims was a case of racial discrimination, Jackson says he visited the restaurant with his wife on June 5 only to have an employee say his black herringbone wool trousers were “too street” for entry, reports the Chicago Tribune. A manager backed up the decision, citing the restaurant’s dress code. The eatery’s website notes athletic wear including sweatpants and lounge wear is prohibited after 5pm—Jackson’s pants are described by the maker as “joggers"—but Jackson says other patrons were admitted wearing yoga pants, cargo shorts, and baseball caps, per NBC Chicago.
“They can do whatever they want as a business,“ says Jackson’s lawyer. “They can have a dress code that says nothing purple, but you can’t discriminate.“ Jackson says he decided to go public after he told the story at a local barbershop “and every single [black patron] said that this has happened to them at one point in their lives.“ He filed a discrimination complaint with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations on Monday and is asking for a public apology and for Parlor Pizza to get rid of the dress code “if they’re not able to enforce it for everyone the same way.“ In a statement, the eatery says that its policy is uniformly enforced and that Jackson was wearing sweatpants. “We are very sorry to hear of the recent accusation and take these situations very seriously,“ it says. This was “in no way discrimination,“ a spokesperson tells the TV station.
► Wife’s Attempt to Keep Tabs on Her Man Ends Poorly
It wasn’t a bomb, but a GPS tracker planted by a suspicious wife kind of blew up: A retired military member called police in Leeds, UK, Tuesday when he noticed what he considered to be a “viable device” in his vehicle. Fearing he was a target of terrorists, authorities evacuated nearby homes as a bomb squad investigated, reports Sky News. An hour later, the man’s wife admitted she planted what was actually a GPS tracker she’d hoped to use to keep tabs on her hubby, per the Yorkshire Evening Post.
► Watch Prince William Get Reprimanded by the Queen - That’s gotta be embarrassing
An amusing (but somewhat grainy) video making the rounds on the internet shows Prince William getting scolded, very publicly, by his grandmother, the queen. As Vanity Fair explains, the royal family was standing on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Trooping the Colour ceremony to celebrate the queen’s birthday over the weekend. Such events are “planned down to the second,“ and William was bending down to speak to his toddler son during a moment he should have been upright. Hence the queen’s tap on his arm and “Stand up, William!“ The video shows an abashed William. The BBC cut the moment from its footage, but ITN News aired it, Us reports.
► ‘Ashamed’ Auschwitz Guard Gets 5 Years
A 94-year-old former SS sergeant who served as a guard at Auschwitz has been found guilty of more than 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for helping kill 1.1 million Jews and others at the Nazi death camp. The state court in Detmold, Germany, sentenced Reinhold Hanning to five years in prison, though he will remain free while appeals are heard, reports the AP. Hanning showed no reaction as the judge read her justification for the verdict and sentence, describing his “important function” at the camp. “You were part of a criminal organization and took part in criminal activity,“ she said. Some 58 Auschwitz survivors or their families were co-plaintiffs in the case and several testified during the four-month trial.
Hanning admitted to joining the Hitler Youth at age 13, volunteering for the SS in 1940 at age 18 and serving as an Auschwitz guard from January 1942 to June 1944 after becoming injured in Kiev in 1941. “It disturbs me deeply that I was part of such a criminal organization,“ he said in April. “I am ashamed that I saw injustice and never did anything about it and I apologize for my actions.“ Prosecutors sought a six-year sentence, while Hanning’s defense had called for an acquittal, saying there is no evidence he killed or beat anyone. An Auschwitz survivor says he doesn’t want Hanning to go to prison but had hoped that he would provide more details about his time in Auschwitz for the sake of educating younger generations.
Before the rhetoric gets out of hand about “gun control,“ here are some facts to ponder.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were 2.6 million deaths in 2013 from disease, accidents, natural causes, suicide and murder.
Gun-related: 33,169. That equates out to 1.28 percent.
Total murders: 12,253.
Total murders with a gun: 8,454.
With handgun: 5,782.
With rifle: 285.
With miscellaneous gun: 2,387.
There are approximately 310 million guns legally owned in America, which makes the murder-by-gun death rate 0.003 percent.
We don’t have a “gun problem,“ we have a problem with people who have a proclivity toward criminal violence problem, including terrorists who seem to hate everyone, coupled with a serious mental health problem.
USDA Maple Survey Releases West Virginia Numbers for the First Time
Charleston, WV – For the very first time, West Virginia has been included in the National Maple Survey, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA- NASS). West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick and the year-old West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association have been working towards this goal.
“We are excited to see another agriculture commodity expanding its production and marketing,” said Commissioner Helmick. “A former Massachusetts Maple Syrup Association executive was in our state last month and he was very impressed by what West Virginia is doing and, more importantly, the industry’s potential. Maple production could become a significant economic driver in our state.”
Survey results include:
· 83 maple syrup producers participated in survey, 75 responded, yielding a 90 percent response rate
· 48,000 taps were reported in 2016 in West Virginia
· Each tap produced on average .125 gallons of syrup
· 6,000 gallons of maple syrup were produced by those responding to the survey
· This year’s maple season in West Virginia ran from February 9 through March 12
“A huge thanks goes out to the participants who completed the survey. The response rate was exceptional,” said West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association President Ed Howell. “In addition to recognizing West Virginia as a maple producing state, the survey results will be used to monitor our production compared to other states. West Virginia has a terrific group of dedicated syrup makers with a very bright future in the Mountain State for developing this pure, healthy and delicious product from our forest resources.”
The 2015/2016 maple season was a challenging one for West Virginia producers. Unseasonably warm weather through the end of December delayed the start of sap flow. Two weeks of 70-degree weather in early March ended the season early. Despite the weather conditions, West Virginia maple syrup producers were able to make quality products.
The maple survey was conducted from April 28 - May 17, 2016 through. Most producers received a questionnaire in the mail. Others responded over the Internet and the phone. Some of the questions included the number of taps, the amount of syrup produced, sap flow temperature, the color of the sap, sales and the length of sap collection.
For more information on the survey, contact WVDA Communications Officer Buddy Davidson at 304.558.3708 or
► Tuition, Fees Going up at West Virginia University
Tuition and fees are going up at West Virginia University in the fall.
The university Board of Governors approved the increases Friday.
Resident undergraduate tuition and fees will increase 4.7 percent on the Morgantown campus to about $4,000 per semester, while nonresidents will pay 4.9 percent more to $11,244.
For graduate students, tuition and fees will rise 5 percent to $4,500 for residents and 4.96 percent to $11,619 for nonresidents.
The board also approved an increase in housing and meal plans.
► West Virginia governor signs budget bill
CHARLESTON, WV — Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a budget bill for the next fiscal year that averts a state government shutdown.
Tomblin announced the move on his Twitter feed Friday.
He has said the budget addresses the state’s finances “in a responsible manner during difficult times.“
After a budget veto and a 17-day special session that cost taxpayers $595,000, lawmakers Tuesday sent the Democratic governor a budget that heeded his advice to increase taxes on cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The tax increase would produce $98 million a year. Together with program cuts, money retrieved from agency accounts and $65 million from the state’s savings, that should close a $270 million budget gap, caused largely by steeply declining revenues.
The government had faced a July 01 shutdown without a budget.
► GOP Attorney General PAC Spending $208k in West Virginia
A political group backing Republican attorneys general has spent more than $208,000 supporting West Virginia incumbent Patrick Morrisey.
Mountaineers are Always Free PAC reported spending most of the money on TV, radio and online ads since mid-May.
The PAC is funded by the Republican Attorneys General Association. Some of the association’s larger contributors this year include Koch Industries, the Judicial Crisis Network, Reynolds American, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Pfizer, Anthem and Ariel Corporation executives.
Morrisey is seeking a second four-year attorney general term. He faces Democratic state House Del. Doug Reynolds.
Reynolds has put $225,000 of his money into the campaign and has spent $192,200 on TV ads. He has $27,100 remaining.
Morrisey is using $250,000 of his own cash, but has spent little. He has about $668,000 left.
► River Cleanups This Weekend in 6 States Along Ohio RIver
Cleanup day is coming this weekend for the Ohio River as well as the Kentucky River.
River Sweep 2016 is Saturday.
For the Ohio River, the event covers the entire river, from its origin in Pittsburgh to its end in Cairo, Illinois. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission says that includes nearly 3,000 miles of shoreline and many tributaries.
The commission is an interstate water pollution agency for the Ohio River Valley. It organizes the River Sweep, along with environmental protection and natural resource agencies from:
The commission also sponsors the Kentucky River event, along with the city of Lexington and the Kentucky River Authority.
► Ex-WVU, NBA Star Jerry West to Visit University
Former West Virginia and NBA star Jerry West will be at West Virginia University next week as the school dedicates a collection of his personal memorabilia.
West will be at a book signing from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday at the WVU Visitors Center.
On Monday, the university says the West Virginia Day Forum and Jerry West Collection Dedication will begin at 10 a.m. in the Milano Reading Room with the exhibit opening immediately afterward. The exhibit includes artifacts from West’s personal collection, including his NBA championship ring, trophies and uniforms.
A Jerry West website will also be launched, featuring clips from oral history interviews with West’s NBA peers through the years, including Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal.