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In The World….

The Free Press WV

►   Bolt for freedom ends for Dutch tigers on the loose

A few hours of freedom ended for two Bengal tigers that escaped from a big cat shelter in the Dutch countryside on Saturday, when police managed to sedate them and get them back in their enclosure.

Residents in the northern village of Oldeberkoop, with a population of 1,500, had been told to stay indoors while the tigers - named Radjah and Dehli - were on the loose.

“Careful work by a dog catcher and a vet appears to have tranquilised both tigers. Now checking if they’re sleeping deeply,“ said local police officer Jan Graafstra in a tweet before it was confirmed they were back home.

An initial attempt to tranquilise one of the tigers failed.

Nobody had been in any danger during the chase, said Gijsje van Bentum, spokeswoman for the Felida animal sanctuary, where Radjah and Dehli are kept. The tigers had never left the shelter’s property after escaping their enclosure, she added.

Felida receives often elderly big cats from circuses and zoos, treats them, and works to rehome some in a larger shelter in South Africa. This pair was rescued from a zoo in Germany where they were no longer being fed.

The two tigers appeared to have escaped from their enclosure through a gate that had accidentally been left open.

According to Felida’s website, its residents include two lions, eight tigers, a black jaguar and a leopard.


►   Baby Delivered After Mom Killed in Drive-By

A dangerously premature baby is clinging to life in Toronto, Canada after its mother was killed in a drive-by shooting. The child was delivered via emergency C-section after 35-year-old Candice Robb, who was around five months pregnant, was fatally shot on Sunday night, CTV reports. She was a passenger in a car that was shot at several times from a passing vehicle when the driver stopped to drop off another passenger. “It’s a travesty,“ says Mayor John Tory, per the National Post. “My heart goes out in particular to her baby. No baby should come into this world without a mother.“

“We’re all kind of in shock,“ says Toronto Police Superintendent Ron Taverner. “The whole city is outraged that this can happen.“ The baby was in stable condition on Monday, but experts say that any baby out of the womb so early faces very tough odds, the Toronto Star reports. Much will depend on exactly how old he or she is. Babies born at “less than 22 to 23 weeks don’t have a realistic shot of survival” because their lungs are so immature, says Hospital for Sick Children neonatologist Andrew James. But “each baby is an individual in her own right,“ he says. “Some babies do a little bit better than the predicted probability and other babies do worse.“


►   Search Chief Says MH370 May Never Be Found

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history—and search authorities now admit there is a strong chance it will forever remain that way. Martin Dolan, head of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, tells the Guardian that with more than 40,000 square miles of the southern Indian Ocean search zone covered as of last week, there is a “decreasing possibility” of ever finding what’s left of the Boeing 777. Only around 5,800 square miles, an area around the size of Connecticut, remains to be searched. “When we walked into this, the best advice we had from all experts is that it was highly probably but not certain the aircraft would be found in this area,“ Dolan says. “We have to contemplate now the possibility that we will not find the aircraft.“

Dolan—who predicts the search will be over by July, plane or no plane—says there is still a strong chance of success, but they are “just now contemplating the alternative.“ He says that even though pieces of plane debris have been found in locations consistent with their drift modeling, if the search finds nothing, investigators will reconsider their theory that the plane crashed after running out of fuel instead of being deliberately steered into the ocean. Dolan says that even if the wreckage isn’t found, the search, funded by the Australian, Malaysian, and Chinese governments. has at least eliminated a large area from the search and delivered “secondary results” like mapping a previously unknown part of the seafloor.


►   Canada PM’s Wife Sparks Outrage by Saying She Needs ‘Help’

Political gloves are off in Canada after the prime minister’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, said she needs “a team” to help her “serve the people,“ reports MSN.com. In a French-language interview, the 41-year-old described her difficulty answering charity requests from her dining-room table while juggling family life with her husband, Justin Trudeau, and three children. “I’d love to be everywhere but I can’t,“ she says. “I need help. ... People really lay out their suffering in some of the letters I receive.“ But in Canada, where there’s no official “First Lady” position, some are accusing Grégoire Trudeau of abusing her role while others say critics are insensitive to working mothers or simply don’t like the Trudeaus, the Globe & Mail reports. Among the reactions:

  • “It is really the hypocrisy of Mr. Trudeau at this point, always wanting more to do self-promotion, to do vanity trips,“ a Conservative MP tells the Globe & Mail. “That is where a lot of Canadians would question more [staff].“
  • A lawmaker with the left-wing NDP was no kinder, saying the interview “really speak[s] to a disconnect” about “what Canadian women face on a daily basis.“
  • But the Toronto Star notes that past PM’s wives have had at least one assistant—as Grégoire Trudeau does—and one, Mila Mulroney, had three.
  • Neil Macdonald argues at the CBC that Canadians just can’t stand having a “tall poppy” around. “In Canada, we look at tall poppies and cluck and disapprove and fervently hope somebody takes them down a peg or two,“ he writes. “Who do they think they are, anyway?“
  • An open letter on Facebook sees pure sexism: “We’re supposed to be perfect mothers, wives, friends, employees and citizens, and we’re not supposed to admit that we can’t do it without a little help,“ writes Amanda Brennan.

On a more practical note, the Prime Minister’s office tells the Globe & Mail that it’s considering giving Grégoire Trudeau a second assistant.


►   Fishermen Slaughter One of the World’s Largest Animals

People around the world have taken to social media to rant about the killing of a whale shark off the coast of China a couple weeks ago—and while two fishermen have been arrested after selling it at market, it’s unclear whether they’ll be punished, reports Fusion. The saga began when images began to appear on social media site Weibo of an “old friend” who’d been visiting the same oil rig for several years in a row, reports the BBC. Just two days later, images of a whale shark hanging lifeless from a winch also surfaced, and two fishermen identified as Liao and Huang were quickly arrested. They were allegedly caught selling the meat for roughly $12 a pound, though they claim the shark was dead when they hooked it.

Online outrage ranged from “heartbreaking” to “I would like to string up whoever did this,“ but the demand for the friendly and docile whale shark is clearly there, with a single carcass fetching as much as $30,000 on the black market. Left to their own devices, whale sharks boast a longevity similar to humans, living as long as 70 to 100 years, reports the Shanghaiist, but hundreds are killed every year and there may only be a few thousand left in the wild. The fishermen in this case face charges of “illegal acquisition of rare or endangered animal.“ (Stateside, someone’s been killing bald eagles in Maryland, amounting to the area’s largest die-off of the bird in decades.)


►   Tourists Love Beach So Much Thailand Has to Close It

An island that Time reports was voted Thailand’s most beautiful last year is being closed due to the hordes of tourists that flock to it. Koh Tachai island’s beaches closed Monday for the monsoon season per usual, but it will be indefinitely closed beginning October 15—the day they would have opened, reports the Bangkok Post. As the director of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plants Conservation explains, the island’s beauty has made it a popular destination, which “has resulted in overcrowding and the degradation of natural resources and the environment,“ says Tunya Netithammakul.

That overcrowding was reportedly extreme: sometimes as many as 1,000 tourists on a beach there, one that has a capacity of 70 people. The Guardian points to complaints of this nature on TripAdvisor; one posted in February complains about the number of divers (“8-10 boats here on most sites with circa 20 divers a boat”), which are driving away the manta rays. “Wake up national park admin ... you are losing the attraction by allowing too many divers ... it’s not all about revenue!“ the review concludes. Point taken: Closing the beach should “allow the rehabilitation of the environment both on the island and in the [Andaman Sea],“ says Netithammakul.


►   Inside an Adventurer’s Search for Son Lost in Jungle

In early 2014, the son of a biologist and legendary Alaskan adventurer took time off of school to set off on an epic trip into the depths of Central America. In July, after scuba diving with whale sharks, climbing Guatemala’s 14,000-foot Tajumulco, and surfing in Nicaragua, 27-year-old Cody Roman Dial disappeared into a Costa Rican jungle the size of 120 Central Parks and hasn’t been seen—at least by his family—since. His father, Roman Dial, has spent the better part of the past two years searching for his son in and around the Corcovado National Park, and National Geographic is airing a six-part series documenting his travails, Missing Dial, on the National Geographic Channel beginning Sunday. Entertainment Weekly reports that the elder Dial and his investigators spent eight months interviewing locals and combing the jungle, and that one week in they had, as Dial puts it, a “significant break” in the case.

The team manages to “uncover a web of lies, surprising clues and a shocking plot twist that rivals a blockbuster movie,“ as the National Geographic Channel puts it, but Dial himself won’t reveal any more than that “we know that Cody was murdered, and we know there is a suspect.“ Dial had raised his son to “survive in the wild,“ Men’s Journal reported soon after Cody’s disappearance, with the two of them enduring harsh climates and vast wilderness throughout Alaska. But Corcovado is a challenge even to local experts, with Costa Rica’s environment minister lost for days after being attacked by a tapir. Cody was up against canyons, rivers, thick foliage, venomous snakes, and roughly 400 illegal gold mines, reports Outside, the last of which may have proved most dangerous. “I’ll be bounded by a trail to the west and the coast everywhere else, so it should be difficult to get lost forever,“ Cody wrote. But in the end, the elder Dial says of the reality of living so adventurously, “The people who are going to be suffering are the people who loved you and lost you.“

Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Celebrates Seniors

A Senior Appreciation Ceremony was held at Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center on May 12, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. A reception with cake and punch was held for the 2016 seniors, post graduates, high school equivalency graduates and their guests, prior to the awards program.

The Culinary Arts/ProStart program prepared the refreshments and the Networking Technologies along with Law & Public Safety students prepared a multimedia show for the reception. The theme for this year was “Humble and Kind”.

Bryan Sterns, director of the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center welcomed seniors and their guests. Jordyn Gregory, FBLA secretary, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Faculty Senate President and Welding instructor, Carl Collins introduced the faculty members and their students. Faculty members along with Brittany Stout of Pierpont Community & Technical College presented students with Tech Prep Honor Cords and CGCC souvenirs. 

The Free Press WV
Adult Education Graduates
Instructor Linda Jones, Matthew McCumbers, Alec Richards


Linda Jones, Adult Education instructor, presented her 2016 high school equivalency graduates:  Tina Davis, Matthew McCumbers, Alec Richards and Jessica Stump.  Mrs. Jones announced the Adult Education Student of the Year was Matthew McCumbers.

Shirley Hupp, National Technical Honor Society advisor, and Administrative Council Member Dr. Carl Armour inducted the following students into NTHS: Karissa Bill, Austin Blystone, Tea Boatright, Alayna Butler, Andrea Frymier, Jordyn Gregory, Analysse Petty, Chris Thornton, Alya Young and Samantha Young.  New inductees were presented with their honor cords, tassels, pins and diploma seals. Also they received a packet with a certificate, letter of recommendation and scholarship information. Returning members were also recognized and they were: Jacob Frashure, Kassy Hickman, Makahla Morris, Ethan Settle and Skylar Summers.

Faithful and perfect attendance certificates were presented by Bryan Sterns, and Gilmer County High School Principal Nasia Butcher. The following students missed 5 or less days at the Career Center during the 2015-16 school year:  Tea Boatright, Austin Blystone, Christian Hash, Haley Knotts, Maranda King, Malachi McCumbers, Makahla Morris, Analysse Petty, Brody Springer, James Stump, Isaac Sprouse, Doug Wood and Jessica Smith. Michael Garcia and Alex White both received a perfect attendance certificate.

The Free Press WV
National Technical Honor Society Induction
Front Row: Advisor Shirley Hupp, Andrea Frymier, Tea Boatright,
Jordyn Gregory, Ayla Young, Kassy Hickman
Back Row: Chris Thornton, Skylar Summers, Alayna Butler, Austin Blystone,
amantha Young, Makahla Morris, Jacob Frashure


The Ronald Blankenship Academic Achievement Awards are given to those students achieving platinum level on the WIN Career Readiness System.  Bryan Sterns and Calhoun County Schools Superintendent Timothy Woodward presented certificates of achievement to the following students:  Austin Blystone, Jayden Cantu, Thomas Eakle, Aubrey Freeby, Michael Garcia, Jordyn Gregory, Christian Hash, Maranda King, Brooklyn Knicely, Alexis Loudin, Malachi McCumbers, Mitchell McKown, Makahla Morris, Dakota Moss, Dylan Neal, Adrea Peggs, Analysse Petty, Amber Prusack, Erin Ramsey, Destiny Riccota, Alec Richards, Dylan Snider, Isaac Sprouse, Dustin Stump and Baylee Swisher.

The 886 Foundation, Chapter 4 of Grantsville sponsored a $500 scholarship this year for a Calhoun County senior completing the Health Occupations or Law & Public Safety program. This year’s recipient was Mitchell McKown, a two-completer of the Law & Public Safety program. 886 Foundation members Gary Knight, Graham Knight, Kayla and Lucas Morford presented the scholarship.

The Free Press WV
Ronald Blankenship Academic Achievement Awards
L to R: Timothy Woodward, Amber Prusack, Jordyn Gregory, Jayden Cantu,
Austin Blystone, Baylee Swisher, Alexis Loudin, Isaac Sprouse, Erin Ramsey,
Michael Garcia, Malachi McCumbers, Destiny RIccota, Dylan Snider,
Mitchell McKown, Maranda King, Bryan Sterns


Mr. Mike Whipkey with the assistance of Mr. James Snyder, automotive technology instructor, presented the Micheal P. Whipkey, II Memorial Automotive Scholarship of a $250 Craftsman gift card for a tool set and certificate to Doug Allen Wood. Doug is the son of Doug and Kaira Wood of Normantown, WV.

Christian Kenneth Hash received the Melissa Gayle Oshoway Memorial Criminal Justice Scholarship for $1000. This scholarship was presented by Mr. and Mrs. John Oshoway, Mr. Rue Brannon, and Mrs. Patty Cain. Christian is the grandson of Timothy and Mary Templon of Grantsville, WV.

The Free Press WV
Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center $100 Scholarship Award
Bryan Sterns, Alayna Butler, Lisa Moore


Each year the Career Center presents a $100 scholarship award to graduating students who plan to pursue a career in their field of study or continue their studies.  Bryan Sterns and CGCC Secretary, Lisa Moore recognized this year’s recipient:  Alayna Brooke Butler. Alayna is the daughter of Kim Butler of Glenville, WV. She has completed the patient care technician program in Health Occupations. Alayna plans to attend West Virginia University at Parkersburg and earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing.

Brittany Stout of Peirpont Community & Technical College awarded a $1000 scholarship to Cassi Marie Dobbins for studies in nursing. Cassi is the daughter of Melinda Lamb of Grantsville, WV.

The Free Press WV
886 Foundation $500 Scholarship
Gary Knight, Mitchell McKown, Kayla & Lucas Morford, Graham Knight


Outstanding CTE Students were announced and given a $100 award.  They were Phillip Michael Garcia, Automotive Technology; Tea Shae Boatright, Business Technology: Christopher Lee Thornton, Carpentry; Alexander Michael White, Networking Technologies; and postgraduate student, Jacob Travis Frashure, Networking Technologies. Also, Jacob was recognized for receiving a gold medal at the WV SkillsUSA Competition in Kingwood, WV in April. He will be traveling to Louisville, KY to compete in the National SkillsUSA Competition this June.

The Free Press WV
Pierpont Community & Technical College $1000 Scholarship
Brittany Stout, Cassi Dobbins, Shirley Hupp


The Earl J. Gainer Career and Technical Education Student of the Year Award was established in 1990 to pay tribute to Mr. Gainer and to honor the student who best exemplifies career and technical excellence.  In selecting the recipient of this honor, the committee attempts to award an individual who demonstrates the same outstanding qualities possessed and utilized by Mr. Gainer. 

The Free Press WV
Micheal P. Whipkey, II Memorial Automotive Scholarship
Jim Snyder, Mike Whipkey, Doug Wood




The Free Press WV
Earl J. Gainer Career and Technical Student of the Year Award
Bryan Sterns, Analysse Petty


CGCC Director Bryan Sterns presented a certificate, commemorative clock, and $500 scholarship to Analysse Nikole Petty.  Annie is the niece of Danielle Cottrill of Normantown, WV.  She is a graduating senior from Gilmer County High School. While attending CGCC, Annie successfully completed the patient care technician program in Health Occupations, the ProStart/Culinary Arts program, and the Option Pathway program. Annie’s honors include: 4th place at WV SkillsUSA Competition in commercial baking and 1st place in the student division of the Blennerhassett Gingerbread House Contest. Annie plans to pursue her nursing career while in the US Navy.

The Free Press WV

Access to Quality Pre-K in West Virginia Outpaces Other States

The Free Press WV

CHARLESTON, WV – Many 3- and 4-year-olds still lack access to high-quality preschool education despite modest gains in enrollment, quality, and funding, according to an annual report by the nonpartisan National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. While several states made significant progress through a concerted effort to increase enrollment and funding and improve quality, progress is slow and uneven nationally and quality standards are particularly low in some of the nation’s largest states such as California, Florida and Texas. Despite the relatively good news this year, the rate of progress is so slow that it will take 150 years for the nation to reach 75 percent enrollment in state pre-K even at age 4.

In West Virginia, enrollment was 16,622, down by 212 children in 2014-2015. However, the state serves 70 percent of 4-year-olds in the state and ranks 5th in the nation in access for 4-year-olds. West Virginia also saw gains in terms of quality standards – meeting all 10 of NIEER’s minimum quality standards benchmarks with the new requirement for assistant teachers to have at least a Child Development Associate credential. Only 5 other states meet all 10. The passage of SB 146 (2016) helps move West Virginia forward in the provision of equitable services for all children, serving as a model for other states by requiring a minimum of 25 hours of weekly instruction.

“West Virginia recognizes that the state’s economic future depends on early investment in its youngest citizens,” said NIEER Director Steve Barnett. “Ensuring that every child has access to high-quality preschool can help pave the way for their success in school, on the job, and in West Virginia communities,” he said.

The State of Preschool Report for the 2014-2015 school year, which includes objective state-by-state profiles and rankings, indicates that urgent action is needed from lawmakers at all levels of government to ensure that every child – particularly those from low-income families – have access to high-quality early education. For the first year, NIEER also analyzed states’ early education workforce and Dual Language Learner (DLL) policies, which reveal West Virginia stands out as a leader in policies to support DLLs. Teachers are required to have qualifications specifically related to DLLs, recruitment and enrollment materials must be in the family’s home language, and the state provides professional development around DLLs. West Virginia has more work to do regarding policies to support the pre-K workforce. While state policy does mandate salary and benefit parity between pre-K teachers who are employed by the LEA and primary school teachers, it is not mandated for those pre-k teachers who are employed by a collaborative (Head Start or childcare) program.

The report finds that total state spending on pre-K programs across the nation increased by 10 percent, or $553 million, since the previous year, bringing state spending in 2014-2015 to over $6.2 billion. The number of children served by state-funded pre-K increased by 37,167 in 2014-2105, bringing the total to almost 1.4 million children – the largest number of children ever served by state-funded pre-K. With an average of $4,489, states also made one of the most significant increases in spending per child in recent history.

Despite these gains, the report’s findings underscore that those states like California, Florida, and Texas with the largest populations of young children are falling behind—they were among the states that met the fewest quality standards benchmarks, and Texas and Florida also reduced enrollment and spending in 2014-2015. Nationally, enrollment has risen by just one percentage point for both 4- and 3-year olds over five years. The sluggish pace of change disproportionately impacts low-income families.

“We’re encouraged to see several states increasing in enrollment and improving quality, but access to high-quality pre-K in the United States remains low and highly unequal,” said Barnett. “Expanding access to quality pre-K programs is one of the best investments we can make, and it’s critical that we raise and standardize salaries for early education teachers and have strong Dual language Learner policies in states with large Hispanic populations. State governments should increase and stabilize funding for pre-K and raise standards for the benefit of all children.”

The State of Preschool report reviews state-funded pre-K programs on 10 benchmarks of quality standards, including the presence of a qualified instructor, class size, teacher-to-student ratio, presence of an assistant, and length of instruction per day.

For more information on The State of Preschool 2015 yearbook and detailed state-by-state breakdowns on quality benchmarks, enrollment and funding, please visit nieer.org/research/state-preschool-2015.

Normantown Christian School Holding Follow-Up Meeting

The Free Press WV

College Students Come Together To Promote Student Leadership On Campus

The Free Press WV

WESTON, WV – College students from across West Virginia are meeting at Jackson’s Mill this week to learn new ways to strengthen their campus communities. More than 75 student representatives from West Virginia’s public two-year and four-year colleges and universities are participating in the annual West Virginia Student Leadership Conference, which kicks off today and continues through Wednesday. The conference is sponsored by the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS), the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and Shepherd University. 

During the conference, students will attend breakout sessions focused on helping them inspire and engage their classmates and mobilize groups in support of community goals. Students also will work together to identify the unique needs facing their campuses and share ideas for addressing these issues.

“Higher education is not a product that our faculty and administrators hand down to students,” Dr. Paul Hill, chancellor of the Commission, said. “It’s about creating a learning environment where students are collaborators in the experience. I commend the students who are participating in this year’s Leadership Conference for their commitment to that ideal.” 

“Leadership, problem-solving, and social networking skills are essential for succeeding in today’s workforce,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, WVCTCS chancellor said. “These students are working hard to develop their qualifications for future employment, and to put those lessons to use for the benefit of our campus communities.”

Did You Know?

The Free Press WV

WHAT MAY HAVE TRIGGERED DEADLY AMTRAK WRECK

Radio transmissions distracted the engineer whose speeding train crashed in Philadelphia last year, killing eight people, an official familiar with the investigation says.


WHOSE DISREGARD FOR VOTER DATA IRKS GOP LEADERS

Donald Trump says studying detailed voter data is “overrated” and he plans to continue campaigning on the strength of his personality.


U.S., ALLIES OK ARMS SALES TO LIBYAN GOVERNMENT

The weapons shipments, which require an exemption to a U.N. arms embargo, are aimed at shoring up Libya’s fragile government and countering Islamic State advances.


HILLARY PROMOTES ‘2-FOR-1’ CLINTON PRESIDENCY

The Democratic front-runner says husband Bill will be “in charge of revitalizing the economy” if she wins the White House.


WHERE CIGARETTE TAX COULD SKYROCKET

In California, the price of a pack of smokes might hit $7.50 if a campaign is successful in convincing voters to tack on $2 more in taxes, for anti-smoking efforts and cancer research.


SECOND MEXICAN JUDGE APPROVES ‘EL CHAPO’ EXTRADITION

The jailed Mexican drug lord faces charges from seven U.S. federal prosecutors.


CANCER PATIENT RECEIVES FIRST PENIS TRANSPLANT IN U.S.

The groundbreaking operation may eventually help accident victims and veterans maimed by roadside bombs.


SINEAD O’CONNOR ‘SAFE, NO LONGER CONSIDERED MISSING’

Police in suburban Chicago say the Irish singer-songwriter has been located a day after she did not return from a bike ride.


TOURISTS CAUSE BISON CALF’S DEMISE

Some Yellowstone visitors caught what they thought was a lost calf, but park officials later had to euthanize the newborn because the herd would not take it back.


TIGER WOODS SAYS HE’S ‘PROGRESSING’ AFTER BACK SURGERIES

“The plan is to get well, and whether that’s by next week or it’s a year from now, I don’t know,“ says the world’s former top golfer.

In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►   West Virginia Officials Investigate Coal Miner Death

West Virginia officials are investigating the death of a coal miner.

State Department of Commerce spokeswoman Leslie Smithson says preliminary information suggests the miner at the Leer Mine in Grafton may have suffered a medical condition.

She says a full investigation is under way by the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training.

An emergency call to the Harrison-Taylor 911 Center was made at 4:15 a.m. Monday.

The miner’s name wasn’t immediately released.

It marks the second reported death at a West Virginia coal mine this year. A miner died in an accident at a Wyoming County mine on January 04.


►   West Virginia Creating Trail of Haunted Sights to See

West Virginia tourism officials are creating a trail that will highlight the state’s haunted history.

The state Division of Tourism is taking suggestions for places to include on its list of paranormal attractions, events and destinations.

The inventory could highlight legends like Mothman or the Greenbrier Ghost, and include places like the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park or the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

To be considered for the trail, locations must be open or accessible to the public. It also must be promoted as being haunted by the property owners or, if on public land, by local officials.


►   WV Mom Dies After Florida Plastic Surgery

A West Virginia mom who traveled to Florida to undergo cosmetic surgery died Thursday after police say she suffered medical complications during the procedure, WSVN reports, and a death investigation is underway. Heather Meadows, 29, who has a 6-year-old and a newborn, was rushed to a Hialeah ER from Encore Plastic Surgery and pronounced dead after something went wrong, the Miami Herald reports. It’s not clear what Meadows was having done at Encore, which offers everything from butt lifts and liposuction to a “Mommy Makeover” (a combo tummy tuck/breast lift/breast augmentation deal). Per the New York Daily News, although there aren’t any active complaints against Encore, two doctors listed as working there, Orlando Llorente and James McAdoo, are also tied to a practice called Vanity Cosmetic Surgery, where a 51-year-old woman died in 2013 after a breast augmentation.

A third doctor listed in Yelp reviews for Encore has been deemed “an immediate serious danger” to public health by state health officials and banned from performing lipo and fat transfers to the buttocks after four patients were reportedly badly injured as he performed those procedures. A woman set to have surgery at Encore and standing outside its Hialeah office tells WSVN, “I’m not having surgery here. Are you kidding me? This is a chop shop.“ (The station says she got her $4,000 back, while NBC Miami notes she said it could have cost up to $12,000 at another practice.) Meadows’ autopsy has been completed, and the medical examiner’s office says results suggest “an accidental death during a medical procedure.“ Meanwhile, comments on Encore’s Facebook page demanding answers, cited by the Daily News, appear to have been scrubbed.


►   State Attorney General concerned by EPA’s new methane rules

CHARLESTON, WV — A preliminary analysis of the final version of new methane rules from the EPA concerns West Virginia’s Attorney General.

Patrick Morrisey said on “MetroNews Talkline” the EPA’s cost-benefit analysis is likely overestimating the amount of money companies will save compared to what new regulations could potentially cost.

“Our initial analysis shows that, once again, the Obama Administration EPA is imposing rules that are very burdensome and this is another example of federal overreach,” Morrisey said.

The EPA estimates that the rule changes could lead to a net benefit of $160 million dollars for oil and gas companies while lowering methane emissions by 510,000 tons in 2025.

“I know that there are a lot of people that are deeply disturbed with the burdens of these regulations and of the cost estimates,” Morrisey said. “Many of the estimates the EPA has put out in the past have never come to fruition.”

The United States pledged to reduce it’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent of 2005 levels by the year 2025 as part of the Paris climate agreement signed last year.

“These are pretty ambitious goals,” Morrisey said. “They are trying to cut methane emissions from oil and gas by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels to 2025. To do that, you’d have to rely on a lot of new technologies. We have to really dive deep into that to see if those technologies are, in fact, demonstrated.”

The rules, announced last week, did draw immediate criticism from the oil and gas industry while receiving praise from environmentally conscious.

Morrisey said the additional burden could be a problem for oil and gas companies–citing some that have been reducing harmful emissions since the early 1990s.

“They’ve dropped by 73 percent since 2011 even as production increased,” Morrisey said. “We see some pretty significant numbers. That does call into question why they’re stepping forward to do these regulations.”

The rules on methane are considered to be extremely vital to successfully fighting the effects climate change. The EPA considers methane to have 25 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide.


►   West Virginia holding state government career fair

CHARLESTON, WV — West Virginia is holding a state government career fair this week.

The state Division of Personnel and WorkForce West Virginia are sponsoring the event Wednesday at the Culture Center in Charleston. It is open to the public.

The event will provide job seekers information on full-time state government employment opportunities and benefits. Nearly 20 state agencies will be represented.

The Department of Administration says in a news release that officials will be searching in particular to fill critical need fields, including nurses, physicians, social services, engineering, corrections and law enforcement, natural resources, environmental protection, human resources, and information technology.

In addition, information will be given to college students interested in the Governor’s Internship Program.

For more information, contact 304.558.3950.


►   Deadline for West Virginia State Worker Health Plans Ended Sunday

The deadline for state employees, retirees and teachers to sign up for or change health insurance plans ended on Sunday, May 15, 2016.

Sunday marked the last day to adjust Public Employees Insurance Agency benefits.

The plans offered for the 2017 fiscal year include $120 million in cuts, including higher copays, premiums and other costs for employees.

The cuts result from a budget shortfall. They could be at least partially restored if a state budget is passed. There would be another open enrollment.

Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has called the Republican-led Legislature into budget session Monday. The next budget year begins July 01.

Tomblin and lawmakers are negotiating tax increases, cuts and use of reserves to cover a $270 million gap.

House Speaker Tim Armstead says the budget will fully fund PEIA.


►   Trial Delayed Involving Lawsuit in West Virginia Chem Spill

A federal judge is delaying the trial involving a lawsuit filed against a water company and a manufacturer that sold a chemical to a company involved in a massive spill in Charleston.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver told attorneys during a monthly status hearing last week he would need more time to review and rule on several motions. The trial had been scheduled to start July 12.

No new trial date was set. Copenhaver set another status hearing for June 10.

The class-action lawsuit was filed by residents and businesses against Eastman Chemical, West Virginia American Water and its parent company, American Water Works, over their roles in the January 2014 spill.

Eastman produced the coal-cleaning agent that leaked from a Freedom Industries tank.

In USA….

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►   Pot Lover’s Twitter Exchange With Cops Goes Viral

“Who’s in Sarasota, Florida, and has weed?“ That was the question posed via Twitter earlier this month by a high school senior from South Dakota who was visiting Florida, The Frisky reports. (OK, more correctly, she wrote, “WHOS IN SARASOTA FLORIDA AND HAS WEED.“) While she was ultimately unable to hook up, as Mashable discovered later, @preznixon16 did get a response to her call for weed … from the Sarasota Police Department: “If you’d like to stop by our HQs, our Narcotics Detectives would be more than happy to talk. #SayNoToDrugs.“ The police department spokeswoman who wrote the response tells WFLA that the weed tweet “popped up on our radar and I happened to be with our chief and deputy chief and we thought, ‘You know, that deserves a response.‘“ While recreational marijuana is legal in several states, in Florida it “is definitely not,“ Mashable notes.

Despite the special attention from cops, @preznixon16 didn’t hunker down and let things blow over. Instead, she retweeted the police department’s message. Then she retweeted a meme inspired by the exchange that features a portrait of a police officer and the words: “Drugs can ruin your life. So if I catch you with them I’m sending you to jail and running your life.“ And finally, she noted in a tweet, “Alright guys, my tweet does have a good message. There needs to be more weed in Florida. That #### shouldn’t even be illegal.“ In a message to WFLA, @preznixon16 says, “I think it’s crazy … how something so irrelevant and unharming became so big.“


►   Someone Just Bought 14 Strands of Thomas Jefferson’s Hair - For $6,875

A lock of hair from Thomas Jefferson has sold at auction in Texas for $6,875, nearly 190 years after the former president died, the AP reports. Heritage Auctions in Dallas said Saturday’s sale involved 14 strands that were snipped by Jefferson’s personal physician at the time of the statesman’s death on July 4, 1826. A Heritage Auctions statement says the pre-auction estimate for the hair was $3,000. Company spokesman Eric Bradley says the buyer wished to remain anonymous. The seller was collector William F. Northrop, who purchased the lock in the early 1980s from an autograph scholar. The documentation includes a letter confirming the lock as part of a limited number of Jefferson’s hair samples known to exist.


►   ‘Blind Man’ Getting Disability Caught Driving Around

John Caltabiano was collecting disability benefits for a workplace accident that he said left him blind when investigators caught him on video reading, driving, and holding a door open for someone, ABC News reports. The 49-year-old New York man had said in his benefits application that he couldn’t do basic things like cook for himself, exercise, shave, or get around the house. “I sit in the dark and listen to TV,“ he wrote. But based on a tip, US Attorney Richard Hartunian and investigators at the Social Security Administration gave Caltabiano a closer look. He had indeed lost sight in one eye in a workplace accident, they found, but video evidence showed he wasn’t homebound.

Aired Friday on Nightline, the evidence helped authorities in October convict Caltabiano and girlfriend Colleen J. McCarten, 43, of fraud and theft in faking an on-the-job-injury, the New York Daily News reports. In April, he was sentenced to 57 months and McCarten to three years’ probation, per a press release; his lawyer says he plans to appeal. Caltabiano also has a previous conviction, of sexual assault for trying to kidnap teenage girls. As for his attempted fraud, it’s not all that unusual. “It costs the county a lot of money—a lot of money,“ Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple tells ABC News 10. “And then if you start thinking about having to hire all these investigators to investigate it—paying their salary and benefits—people wonder why their taxes are so high. Well, here you go.”


►   Supreme Court Punts on Big ObamaCare Ruling

The Supreme Court is ridding itself of a knotty dispute between faith-based groups and the Obama administration over birth control, reports the AP. The court on Monday asked lower courts to take another look at the issue in a search of a compromise. The justices issued an unsigned opinion in a case over the arrangement devised by the administration to spare faith-based groups from having to pay for birth control for women covered under their health plans. As NPR explains, the law allows such groups to skip providing contraceptive coverage provided they write a letter to the feds explaining their objections. Their insurance provider would then provide the coverage. The faith groups, however, say the workaround makes them “complicit in sin.“

Monday’s ruling means that a major confrontation over an element of President Obama’s health care law is ending with a whimper and with no resolution of the issue the court undertook to decide. The case almost certainly would not return to the Supreme Court until after the 2016 presidential election. The outcome suggests the court lacked a majority for a significant ruling and is perhaps another example of how the court has been affected by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.


►   After 7 Decades With Same Orchestra, She Dies on Stage

Jane Little began playing with the brand-new Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at age 16. On Sunday, 71 years later, she died while performing with the same group, reports CNN. “Truly unbelievable,“ says a spokesperson for the ASO. The 87-year-old bassist collapsed on stage during a performance and died later at the hospital. Earlier this year, the Guinness World Record book recognized her as having the longest tenure with a single orchestra. Little had planned to retire after this season and form a jazz band for seniors, she had told 11Alive in an interview before her death.

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution pointed out in a February story about the world record, the feat is “even more remarkable when you consider that she plays an instrument more than a foot taller than she is.“ That story quotes Timothy Cobb, principal bassist with the New York Philharmonic, who calls it “mind-boggling” given the “brute force” required to play the instrument on the symphony level. What’s more, Little weighed 98 pounds, was battling cancer, and had recently fallen and cracked a vertebrae. “It takes so much, to push those metal strings down against the fingerboard,” she said. “I just kept on.“


►   Teen Gets 9 Years for Kidnapping His Great-Grandma

An 87-year-old Washington state woman had some advice for her great-grandson as he was sentenced Thursday for abducting her in 2015 in what the Tri-City Herald calls an “apparent murder plot” to steal her car. “Behave yourself in prison and maybe some day you will have a good life,” said Hazel Abel of Kennewick. A judge sentenced 17-year-old Dyllan Martin, Abel’s great-grandson, to 9½ years in prison. In a separate hearing, accomplice Billy Underwood, 16, got 10½ years. Both were charged as adults. The teens abducted Abel from her home in November, tying her hands and putting her in the trunk of her Dodge Neon with her Chihuahua. They drove some 200 miles to Multnomah County, Ore., but she escaped when they parked at a Walmart to buy toiletries.

“The only thing I have to say is I’m sorry. This was the worst decision I have ever made,“ Martin said during the hearing, per the Oregonian. The judge said that Underwood “physically executed more of the plan, but Mr. Martin offered up his great-grandmother.” Defense attorneys for both teens argued their clients had mental health issues. “I can’t begin to tell you boys how sorry I am for what you’ve all been through these past few months,” Abel said in a statement. “It could have ended so much worse than it did if you’d carried out the plans you had for me.” A third co-defendant, who was 14 at the time, previously received 2½ years in a juvenile facility, the Oregonian reports.


►   Bite Victim Hospitalized With Shark Still Attached

A Florida woman hospitalized for a shark bite Sunday didn’t need to describe the shark that bit her—because it was still attached to her arm. The 23-year-old woman had been bitten on the right arm by a small nurse shark that wouldn’t let go even after a bystander killed it, the Palm Beach Post reports. A Boca Raton Regional Hospital spokesperson tells the AP the woman was treated and released on Sunday afternoon, having presumably had the 2-foot shark removed from her arm. Witnesses say before the bite, the shark had been antagonized, possibly by the woman and her companion, who were seen near a submerged rock pile where nurse sharks are known to hang out.

People were “holding the shark by its tail. They were messing with it,“ 11-year-old Nate Pachter, who had been snorkeling nearby, tells the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The species has a strong bite and large numbers of very sharp teeth, but it is so laid-back it is “considered the ‘couch potato’ of the shark world,“ according to the National Park Service. “Attacks on humans are rare but not unknown, and a clamping bite typically results from a diver or fisherman antagonizing the shark with hook, spear, net, or hand,“ an NPS fact page states. “The bite reflex is such that it may be some minutes before a quietly re-immersed nurse shark will relax and release its tormentor.“


►   This Is the Priciest Single Firearm Ever Sold at Auction

An 1886 Winchester rifle that once belonged to a man who helped capture Apache leader Geronimo has sold for $1.2 million at an auction, the AP reports. The Rock Island Auction Co. of Illinois says it became the most expensive single firearm ever sold at auction when it was presented for sale in late April. The gun, which was in impeccable condition, went to an undisclosed buyer. George Albee was working for Winchester and was able to secure serial No. 1 of its newest rifle design in 1886.

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Albee presented the rifle as a gift to a Civil War buddy, US Army Capt. Henry Ware Lawton, who had just led the operation that captured Geronimo. American Rifleman notes that the engraving and wood are good, but “probably wouldn’t turn too many heads"—perfect for Lawton, since a man leading troops in the rugged West would not want a firearm “fancy enough to attract longing stares.“ The auction company says other guns have sold higher as a pair, but the Winchester brought in the highest price for a single firearm.


►   Gun Goes Off at High School Graduation, Hurts 2

Two people were shot and injured after an accidental discharge at a high school graduation ceremony in southern Kansas, the AP reports. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Butler County Sheriff’s Office says the shooting happened around 2pm Sunday at the Augusta High School ceremony. Per KWCH, a man’s concealed gun accidentally went off, wounding his foot, and he drove himself to the hospital. A woman also suffered a serious leg injury, either because the bullet ricocheted or because she was hit by shrapnel, and she was transported to a nearby hospital via ambulance.


►   Pastor Who Sued Whole Foods Over Cake Admits Hoax

The Texas pastor who sued an Austin Whole Foods over an “extremely offensive and humiliating” cake now admits the grocery story “did nothing wrong.“ Pastor Jordan Brown alleged a homophobic slur was written on his cake in icing beneath the words he had requested—“Love Wins.“ Whole Foods immediately counter-sued, noting store surveillance video shows an unperturbed Brown paying for the cake, which had a UPC label stuck on top, on April 14. Brown said he never opened the box, and pointed to the UPC label—affixed to the bottom and side, in his video —as proof. The New York Times story on the about-face notes that Brown’s original claim roused “armchair detectives, including at least one icing expert,“ who suggested there’s no way Brown wouldn’t have seen the slur through the cake’s clear-plastic box top.

Now, the openly gay pastor admits there was nothing wrong with the dessert. “I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story,“ he said in a statement, per the Austin American-Statesman. Whole Foods released a statement of its own: “Given Mr. Brown’s apology and public admission that his story was a complete fabrication, we see no reason to move forward with our counter suit to defend the integrity of our brand and team members.“ KEYE notes that Brown apologized to more than just the chain at large: He also expressed that he was especially sorry about the “terrible position ... the bakery associate ... was put in. ... I apologize to the LGBT community for diverting attention from real issues. I also want to apologize to my partner, my family, my church family, and my attorney.“


►   Dad Leaves Baby in Running Car, Car Gets Stolen

A Detroit dad is lucky to have his infant back after he made a stop at a convenience store early Monday and left the baby in the car, engine running and doors unlocked, while he ran inside, the Detroit Free Press reports. When he came back out around 1am, his 2006 Chevy Impala was gone, with three men suspected of taking off with it and his daughter, 3-month-old Dakota Grimes. An Amber Alert was put out, and Dakota was found later Monday morning, with a blanket and a bottle, on the porch of a local home, WXYZ reports. A contractor picking up his friend to go to work around 7:15am nearly fell over Dakota as he approached the house’s door, per the Detroit News. “You know there’s a baby on your porch?“ Gary Zielinski said to his friend, Ray Harper, who tells the News that, being the dad of 18 kids himself, his “fatherhood instinct kicked in” and they brought Dakota inside.

It was then they saw the Amber Alert and called 911. The search for Dakota was originally held up because her dad gave police the wrong license plate number and ditched the scene “out of frustration,“ Detroit Police Chief James Craig tells the Free Press. He adds the department’s own procedures slowed things down as well and that they’re trying to figure out what caused those delays. The dad isn’t a suspect, Craig notes, but he says he chastised him for being out so late with the baby and leaving her in the car alone. “That’s a recipe for what? A bad situation,“ Craig says. Dakota didn’t appear to be suffering from trauma, but she was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution; the car and suspects still haven’t been tracked down. Harper, meanwhile, is glad he and Zielinski were able to help. “There she goes, that’s our baby,“ he said while watching a news report later Monday morning.

In The World….

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►   Dying CIA Agent Admits Sending Mandela to Jail

In an interview recorded two weeks before his death, a former CIA agent claimed he had prevented a war by giving South African authorities a tip that led to the arrest of the “Black Pimpernel"—better known as Nelson Mandela. In March, 88-year-old Donald Rickard told film director John Irvin that when he was the US vice consul in Durban in 1962, African National Congress informants told him Mandela was visiting the city and he shared that information with police, leading to Mandela’s arrest at a roadblock as he tried to return to Johannesburg, the Times of London reports. The ANC leader spent the next 28 years in prison. An unrepentant Rickard said he and his CIA handlers saw Mandela as “a toy of the communists” who was completely controlled by the Soviet Union.

Rickard—who retired in 1978 and died on March 30, according to an obituary in the Pagosa Springs Sun—claimed Mandela was preparing to incite a communist rebellion against apartheid, which could have led to Moscow’s involvement. “If the Soviets had come in force, the United States would have had to get involved, and things could have gone to hell,“ he said. “We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.“ Irvin’s movie about the months before the arrest, Mandela’s Gun, will debut at the Cannes Film Festival this week, the Guardian reports. An ANC spokesman called the news “a serious indictment” and accused the agency of interfering in South African politics to this day, reports the Telegraph. The CIA has declined to comment.


►   8 Tons of Coke Seized in Colombia’s Biggest Bust Ever

Colombia’s Defense Ministry has announced what it says is the country’s biggest cocaine bust ever, with 17,500 pounds of coke seized from the nation’s most notorious trafficking gang, CNN reports. The multiday operation targeted Clan Usuga, which has been described by the US Justice Department as Colombia’s “largest and most influential [criminal group].“ Per the AP, the more than 8 tons of coke was taken from a banana plantation in the northwestern department of Antioquia, with at least 50 commandos swooping into the compound, backed up by choppers. The drugs were said to be found in an underground tank buried 8 feet deep, covered by wood and cement, RT.com reports. At least three people were arrested in the sting; the BBC reports three suspects escaped.

“The biggest seizure of drugs in history. A hit against criminals,“ President Juan Manuel Santos tweeted Sunday, per NBC News. The drugs, with an estimated value of $240 million, were reportedly being prepped for transfer to the Caribbean, then the US. Although Clan Usuga, also known as Los Urabenos, is heavily involved in the drug market, it’s also faced accusations of extortion, illegal mining, forced disappearances, and murder. Security officials have nabbed about 6,700 gang members over the past five years, leaving about 2,000 active members today, per local police. The US State Department has offered a $5 million reward for info leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Dario Antonio Usaga David, one of the leaders of the gang. Colombia is said to produce about 487 tons of cocaine annually, per the United Nations.


►   70-Year-Old Rower Sets Off on Record-Breaking Quest

Norwegian doctor Stein Hoff is no stranger to challenges. The avid rower crossed the Atlantic with a partner in 1997, and in 2002 he rowed solo and unsupported from Lisbon, Portugal, to the coast of the South American country of Guyana. But now the 70-year-old who says people “spend too much time at their desk and wasting their lives watching Game of Thrones“ is hoping to become the oldest person to row across the Atlantic, reports the Telegraph. Hoff will be unsupported and unfollowed (a satellite phone can summon help if needed).

His wife Diana, who set the record for the oldest woman to cross the Atlantic when she was 55 in 2000, has prepared all his food—including homemade energy bars, cereal, milk powder, and fruitcakes—for a voyage expected to take 90 days and cover as many as 3,000 nautical miles. Hoff’s boat, Fox II, is so-dubbed in honor of the 1896 journey that sent two Americans of Norwegian descent on the first human crossing of the Atlantic by oar. Their 18-foot boat was named Fox, reports the New York Post, and their 55-day record stood for 114 years until a four-man crew beat it. Hoff will copy their route, though his Fox II boasts GPS, water filtration, and solar panels. “I realize it could be risky,“ he says, but he set off Sunday from Manhattan, bound for England’s Isles of Scilly, with his sights set high.

Two Registration Events Planned for GSC

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Glenville, WV – Glenville State College invites future Pioneers to attend two upcoming Registration Days on Saturday, May 21 and Saturday, June 18 beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the GSC campus.

The day’s schedule starts with check-in at the Land Resources area of the Waco Center followed by a welcome session at 9:30 a.m. where future students can meet members of the Admissions staff, learn about various degree programs offered at GSC, activities for students, financial aid, and more. After the presentation students can register for classes, complete housing applications, and prepare for fall.

If you plan to visit GSC on June 18, spend your afternoon exploring the WV State Folk Festival in downtown Glenville after that Registration Day event wraps up.

For more information about GSC Registration Days and to sign up, visit www.glenville/admevents or call 800.924.2010.

G-LtE™: Mountain Valley Pipeline

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With twelve (12) Counties in West Virginia affected by the Mountain Valley Pipeline route, there is still time for citizens concerned about potential impa cts to their water supplies (aquifers), streams, wetlands and rivers to write The WVDEP to request public hearings in their respective counties.

So far public comments are working! And we need more folks along the MVP Route to respond now. DEP says they will likely prioritize holding public hearings from where they’ve received the most comments which is right now Greenbrier, Monroe and Summers. We need to help get the word out to folks further up along the proposed route (Wetzel, Doddridge, Harrison, Lewis, Upshur, Braxton, Webster, Nicholas, Fayette) about weighing in now to request public hearings so they’re not left out.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Division of Water and Waste Management (DWWM) will be extending the public comment period on the State 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline project until further notice. But it only takes a few minutes to send them a letter requesting a Public Hearing in your county so you can learn and get answers to your concerns.

Originally, the public comment period, which is required under state regulation 47CSR5A, would have ended next week on 5/17, but because of widespread public interest in the proposed project, DWWM will be scheduling public hearings to discuss certification of the proposed project. Information about the dates and locations of those hearings will be made public as soon as plans are finalized.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a $3.5 billion project, developed by EQT Corp., and it involves a 42-inch-diameter pipeline that would run 301 miles south from the Equitrans L.P. transmission system near the MarkWest Energy Mobley Complex in Wetzel County to a Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co. compressor station in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

This project is one of multiple pipeline projects currently under review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission one of the other projects is the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that will run somewhat parallel and north of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

When issuing certification, DWWM’s 401 Certification Program may consider the proposed activity’s impact on water resources, fish and wildlife, recreation, critical habitats, wetlands and other natural resources. In its 401 certification application, EQT anticipates that the Mountain Valley Pipeline project will have temporary impacts to approximately 49,892 linear feet of streams and 18.9 acres of wetlands and permanent impacts to approximately 3,125 linear feet of streams and 10 acres of wetlands within the Mountain State.

 

Comments and information relating to the certification should be emailed to , with “MVP 401 Certification” in the subject line or mailed to:

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water and Waste Management

401 Certification Program

601 57th Street SE

Charleston, WV 25304


Responding now with a request for a public hearing in your county will give you and your neighbors a chance to express your concerns to the West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection.

 

John W. Cobb, Jr.

Ireland, West Virginia 26376

Report: Bullying Is A Serious Public Health Problem

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Zero-tolerance policies are ineffective in combating bullying, an independent government advisory group says in urging schools to take a more preventative approach that includes teaching tolerance to address this “serious public health problem.“

In a report released Tuesday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said bullying should no longer be dismissed as merely a matter of kids being kids. “Its prevalence perpetuates its normalization. But bullying is not a normal part of childhood,“ the report said.

Schools, the researchers concluded, should end zero-tolerance policies that automatically suspend students for bullying.

“There’s no evidence that they are impactful in a positive way,“ said Catherine Bradshaw, a professor and associate dean at the University of Virginia, and part of the committee that wrote the report. “They can actually do more harm than good and in fact don’t provide the skill training or replacement behaviors for youth that are suspended or expelled.“

The report also said zero-tolerance policies may lead to an underreporting of bullying because suspensions are perceived as too punitive.

Frederick Rivara, chairman of the committee and a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Washington, cautioned that bullying has lasting negative consequences and cannot be ignored. “While there is not a quick fix or one-size-fits-all solution, the evidence clearly supports preventive and interventional policy and practice,“ he said.

Programs that teach children how to get along with one another and what to do if they see kids who are being bullied, are more effective, Rivara said. Parents, too, can do their part, he said, by encouraging children to tell them if they’re being bullied, reporting it to the school or teacher and making sure their schools have effective anti-bullying programs in place.

Another committee member, Sandra Graham, a professor at UCLA, said schools need to be more proactive in teaching tolerance. “We need to be able to learn to live and accept and get along with people who are different from us,“ she said.

“Bullies are often very popular ... there are a lot of kids who bully to maintain their popularity and social status, so schools need to be addressing that,“ Graham added.

Bullying behavior is seen as early as preschool and peaks during the middle school years, the researchers said. The problem has morphed from the traditional bully-in-the-schoolyard scenario to newer forms of electronic aggression, such as cyberbullying on social media sites.

The report said both bullies and their victims can suffer short and long-term consequences, including poor grades, anxiety and depression.

A government report this month on school crime from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Justice Department suggested bullying is down sharply from more than a decade ago. It found the percentage of public schools reporting bullying at least once a week decreased from 29 percent in 1999-2000, to 16 percent in 2013-14.

The National Academies was more cautious about trying to gauge the extent to which bullying is a problem across the country. In its report, it said bullying likely affects between 18 percent and 31 percent of young people. It had lower estimates for cyberbullying victims, saying it ranged from about seven to 15 percent of youngsters.

The committee also looked at the relationship between bullying and school shootings, but concluded that the data are unclear on the role of bullying as a factor or cause in the shootings. It also found no causal link between being bullied and suicide.

GLENVILLE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES - 04.04.16

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GLENVILLE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
April 04, 2016
7:00 p.m.

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick with Council members Huffman, Wiant, Walters and Taylor present.  Councilman Fisher was absent.


Pledge of Allegiance


I. Call to Order


Public Comments

Joseph Neal

Joseph Neal came before council representing GSC’s Pioneers for a Cause requesting permission to conduct a 5K run on April 19..postponed until May 2, same times, as a fundraiser for autism research and requested the streets be closed at 5:00 p.m. for this event.  The route will begin at the top of Court Street to Main Street, College Street, and back through the North Entrance to the College.  A City officer will block traffic for this event.  A motion was made by Councilwoman Huffman to approve the 5K race with traffic blocked during this event.  Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion.  Motion passed.


A. Approval of Minutes – March 07, 2016

The minutes of the March 07, 2016, meeting were approved and placed on file for audit.


II. Reports


Financial

We are currently at 76.23% of the fiscal year budget.  The transfer of funds approved last month were accepted by the state auditors.  With the street department line item 750 at 98.26%, it was suggested we move additional money to cover through the fiscal year.  Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to move $3000 from Contingencies line item 699 the Street Department line item 750.  Councilman Wiant seconded the motion.  Motion passed.  The Auditor’s office has received the budget for next year and will return their response soon regarding approval.  Council will meet on Tuesday, April 19, at 6:00 pm to Lay the Levy.

Mayor Fitzpatrick requested an increase of $10,000 for paving to include all streets listed as needing repair.  Council had approved a budget of $65000 for paving at the March 07, 2016, meeting.  The Street Dept workers will replace the culvert near the bus garage before paving that area.  Councilman Walters made a motion to increase the budget for paving all city streets identified from $65000 to $75000.  Councilwoman Huffman seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

Mayor Fitzpatrick also noted that he has received notification from the WV Division of Highways stating they will begin activities for the new roundabout involving Mineral Road, College Street, and US 33/119.  Activity on this project will begin in Fall 2016 with construction beginning in late 2017 or early 2018. 

Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to approve the financial statement as presented.  Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion.  Motion passed.


Street Report

The Street report was provided to council.  The City is now in charge of the City Park.  There has been an issue with people walking their dogs in the park and using as a litter box.  Four signs have been placed in the area prohibiting dogs in the park area.  Banners are back up around the city.


Police Report

Chief Huffman provided the police report to council and included the citation summary report for the fiscal year.  He announced we now have the new police cruiser and are currently installing equipment with plans to have it operational by April 18.  He provided a revised policy draft for the employee handbook for random drug testing and alcohol screening for council review.  Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to approve the policy for random drug testing and alcohol screening revision for the employee handbook.  Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion.  Motion passed.


Glenville Utility

Mayor Fitzpatrick attended the March 22 utility board meeting.  Repairs were made to a small water leak and a plugged 4” sewer line.


Recorder

Nothing to report at this time.


Mayor Comments


- Municipal Fees

Would like to revise the current ordinance regarding municipal fees and will meet with the prosecutor to review potential changes.


- Make it Shine – April 09

April 01-14, 2016 – Statewide Make it Shine

April 09 has been set for the Glenville cleanup day beginning at 10:00 a.m.  The GSC football team as well as other volunteers in the community assisted with this project.


- Thank You (Recognition of Lady Titans)

Thank you to all who participated in the Recognition of the Lady Titans basketball team.  This effort was very well received and appreciated with approximately 150 people in attendance including two delegates and one senator. 


- Paving Update

Discussed earlier in the meeting

- Requested mileage reimbursement to attend the Floodplain Management Training session in Buckhannon.  Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to approve mileage reimbursement for this training.  Councilman Walters seconded the motion.  Motion passed.


III. Unfinished Business

None


IV. New Business

None


V. Other Business to come before Council

The street light in Camden Flats is still not working properly.  An officer will get the pole number to request repair.


VI. Next City Council Meeting

The next council meeting will be May 02, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.
Council will meet on Tuesday, April 19, at 6:00 p.m. to Lay the Levy.


VII. Adjourn

Meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

Exhibit about Hatfield-McCoy Feud to Display at United Hospital Center

Bridgeport, WV — The West Virginia Humanities Council traveling exhibit, The Hatfields & McCoys: American Blood Feud, spent much of 2015 touring southern West Virginia. Now people in the North Central West Virginia region will have an opportunity to see the exhibit May 13 through June 24 during its display at United Hospital Center, located on the first floor.

Using text, photographs, maps, illustrations, and quotes, the exhibit of four free standing three-sided kiosks examines the history of the Tug Valley region, origins and events of the feud, as well as its historical and cultural significance including related scholarly books, plays, television shows and products.

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Pictured left is Denise Steffich, coordinator for the Auxiliary to United Hospital Center,
standing next to the Devil Anse section of the Hatfields & McCoys Exhibit that is on display at UHC now through June 24.
The exhibition is a program of the West Virginia Humanities Council and is brought
to you locally by the Auxiliary to UHC and the Harrison County Historical Society.
 


The exhibit previewed in January 2015 at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center. “The Humanities Council has created our traveling exhibits in collaboration with graphic arts students at West Virginia University, so they get first crack at showing them off,” according to Humanities Council program officer Mark Payne.

Since previewing in Morgantown the exhibit has traveled to Williamson, Bramwell, Athens, Matewan, Logan, and two sites in Huntington, as well as Pikeville and Ashland, Kentucky. “Considering the special nature of the story, we had interest from venues in Kentucky and decided to share this one across the state line, which is not something we typically do,” Payne said.

In 2016 the exhibit is moving on to other parts of the state. It has already shown in New Martinsville, Ripley and Parkersburg and after Bridgeport it travels to Morgantown, Petersburg, and Ravenswood. Previous traveling exhibits developed by the Humanities Council about West Virginia statehood and John Henry displayed at 65 different locations in the Mountain State.

The West Virginia Humanities Council’s Hatfields & McCoys traveling exhibit is funded in part by ZMM Architects & Engineers of Charleston. For information about the exhibit while it is in Bridgeport call Denise Steffich, volunteer coordinator with the Auxiliary to United Hospital Center, at 681.342.1640.

Groups interested in bringing the exhibit to their communities should contact Humanities Council program officer Mark Payne at 304.346.8500 or

Click It or Ticket Effort Returns to West Virginia Beginning Today

The Free Press WV

Beginning Monday, police officers across West Virginia will be reminding drivers and their passengers to buckle their seat belts as part of the “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

The Metro Valley Highway Safety Program along with the Governor’s Highway Safety Program are kicking off the effort with several law enforcement agencies statewide.

Officers will be checking if drivers and their passengers are buckled up and child safety seats are properly installed in the vehicle to avoided being ticketed. They say buckling your seat belt may also save your life.

In 2014, over 90 unbuckled West Virginians were killed in crashes, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 28 of those lives may have been saved if every person was wearing his or her seat belt.

Seat belt usage has increased in West Virginia. From 2010 to 2015, usage jumped more than eight percent from approximately 82 percent to 89 percent.

In West Virginia, violation of the seat belt law is a primary offense and carries a fine of $25. Violation of the child passenger safety seat law carries a $10 to $20 fine.

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