Aunt Maxine was my favorite great aunt. I used to come from Akron Ohio and spend a few days with her when I was 14 and 15. I loved talking to her and Uncle Obed, riding around town with James and Jerry would come to Ohio and stay with my grandma (Aunt Allie) play games with me. I enjoyed her big breakfasts she made, and the well, and going to the cemetery behind her own house. She took us and my kids when they would come down to the Bubby hole, and she would make us laugh. She gave my kids a cat and she never ever felt sorry for her self. Such a strong willed lady. Will be missed. The Morelock Family, Allen, Debbie (Rose McBride) Wilma’s daughter) and family.
LOOKS LIKE WE WATCHED TWO DIFFERENT DEBATES. TRUMP SHOULD ASK FOR THE TAX RETURN FOR THE CLINTON FOUNDATION FUND. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FILED ON A 990 FORM WHICH SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. HELLARY ALREADY HAS TRUMPS TAX RETURN. APPARENTLY SHE SEES SOMETHING THERE THAT SHE CAN TWIST AROUND TO MAKE DONALD LOOK BAD BUT SHE CAN NOT RELEASE IT UNTIL HE OFFICIALLY RELEASES HIS RETURN BECAUSE SHE WOULD PROVE THAT SHE COMMITTED ANOTHER CRIME.
Couple things are for sure.
One, the teachers are not to blame.
Two, the taxpayers are footing a big bill.
So the 47th in education failure responsibilities rests squarely with the West Virginia Board of Education, the Joe Manchin administration, the Earl Ray Tomblin administration and their appointees, and the failed Legislators.
IE: Charleston Losers Club
The only winners are the money pocketing elites.
By poor return on tax dollars invested on 09.24.2016
The problem goes well beyond the union problems. Many teachers in many areas join the union just for the insurance protection - Not health insurance, but insurance against being sued. Of course, the union then controls a lot more than their insurance. The major problem is bureaucratic control of education rather than parent/teacher control. Teachers in small schools that I’ve known all worked together as teams…as schools became larger and larger, and mandatory “reforms” and “strategies” were put into place, what teacher has time to do what teachers do best?? Personal contact with students counts for more than all the theoretical “educationese” ever will. Yes, the unions have restricted some reforms but the curriculum isn’t set by the unions. It is set by state/local/ and federal mandates, none of which have done anything at to improve the quality of education. Good teachers with good intentions and solid curriculum guidelines, rather than “pie in the sky” mandates, make education work. Blaming teachers for the mess education is in is like blaming silverware for obesity!
The author of this column is making the problem too hard, and not addressing the real issue. If teachers truly felt as the article suggests they would dissolve their union(s) and take charge of the curriculum. They haven’t and will not.
The unions, like it or not, are the public voice of the teachers. That i to say the the union(s) speak for the teachers. When the unions start prioritizing student education above teacher pay and benefits we might see some improvement in quality if education, but not until then.
When Dr. Gary Smith came in front of the Gilmer County Board of Education to talk about finding a path to use the old Normantown Elementary for community purposes he left saying he had never experienced a more professional board. State Board member, ex County-Superintendent-long experienced Principal,Beverly Kingery came to talk with Gilmer County Board of Education around the first of the month. She said the Board asked very intelligent questions and made a point that the Board was more than capable of running the system. Dr. Cindy Daniel appeared before the Gilmer County Board of Education speaking on behalf of herself as Assistant State Superintendent and Mr. Martirano State Superintendent of Schools. She made it very clear that the Gilmer Board of Education was well prepared to have their authority returned and it was time to return Gilmer County. She further said that the State Board felt they should return control over our school facilities to the local board. That disposal actions as to real and personal property owned by the Gilmer County Board of Education should most only happen through the elected representatives of the communities. Every word was positive.
Will the OEPA Director Susan O’Brian and the WV State Board of Education do the right thing by Gilmer County? It is time to right this ship, work with the local Board of Education and return full authority back to the citizens.
By Gilmer Needs a Real Superintendent on 09.23.2016
Devano is STILL pushing to turn Glenville elementary into a Middle School.
Many people know that Cindy Daniel says that will not got on the WVBE agenda.
Devano though, still hallucinates that he can make it happen. He is suckering a select few along into believing him.
WVBE stated GC cannot afford another school. Especially with the continuing decline in enrollment. For which there is NO speculation to see any turnaround. Remember WV is actually in a population decline.
Plenty capacity in the HS to take a few kiddies without maintaining another building along with all the administrative costs and added utilities.
Devano lives in a fantasy world, denying reality. Some people will do anything to suck up to local elites.
And about a school levy. That’s a big no! Actually its a loud ‘ell no!!. The WVBE has wasted enough money. But even wasting money is beside the point.
You possibly could have made the case for an excess levy with five schools. Now that FOUR schools have been shuttered, there can be NO justification of the need for a levy to be passed.
On top of that, if the WVBE has THEIR chosen superintendent in place, then there is NO financial control locally of your tax dollars. The WVBE will just see to it that the levy money pays another $10,000.00 speaker as well as find other ways to foolishly spend the kiddies money.
Don’t get suckered into passing an excess school levy ever again. It is NOT needed. But you know government, if they have it they will spend it!
No WVBOE in total give back of our school system to local control to include a replacement superintendent who would report to Gilmer County=defeat of excess levy vote.
Money wasted, going from five schools to two, children lost to Lewis County, no accurate information on how the excess levy money was and would be spent—- what good would more tax money do for our children?
People are tired of their hard earned money going down rat holes.
No more excess levy =a financial crisis & when Devono goes it would be questionable if any highly competent % experienced person with excellent interpersonal skills and other job options would apply for his job.
How many votes did the levy pass by the last time? Forty votes or so? Do the math.
Here are more gems for citizens to ponder. There are secret WVBOE meeting to discuss making the old Glenville elementary school into a middle school.
The true reason is to take care of surplus students at the new crowded GCES where some classes have close to 40 students in them.
If the WVBOE puts in a middle school to cover its tracks for incompetent planning, think of the money it will cost to get the old elementary building up to safe schools standards and costs of having two sets of administrators, lunchroom facilities, extra costs for utilities etc. What is the grand total to add to wasted money?
The million dollar taxation without representation loan the WVBOE took out for citizens to pay off was not followed with any explanations of where that money went.
The same is true for the annual $1,000,000 excess levy money we voted in for our school system. How much excess levy money was collected during intervention for the WVBOE to spend without any local say? Close to $5,000,000?
Anywhere else in the USA someone would have been fired or jailed. What do we have? The WVBOE is still bankrupting us while it escapes accountability of any kind. Oh yes, what happened was for our children as said by the WVBOE. Really?
More WVBOE wasted money. $2,000,000 surplus before intervention, down to us being on a special watch for risk of overspending, $803,000 lost because of WVBOE’s accounting error, WVBOE took out a $1,000,000 loan without County’s approval for our citizens to pay off, at least $1,000,000 wasted on LES, auction barn site and the abandoned Cedar Creek project, and GES being built too small. Totals up to about $5,000,000 give or take a little thanks to Charleston’s WVBOE common core math wizards.
If a County had done something like this the WVBOE would have taken it over pronto with charges of dysfunction of epic proportions. WV is a show piece of double standards with the WVBOE leading the parade.
There is considerable anger in the County about the upcoming excess levy vote for schools.
It will not pass if the WVBOE remains in control of finances and everything else.
The County had a surplus when the WVBOE swooped in. We understand that we are so bad off financially under WVBOE control that Charleston has us on a special financial watch.
That occurred after concern that we will go into deficit spending from over five years of the WVBOE’s absolute say over the County’s finances.
There were numerous reports of wasted money and for a recent example, citizens understand from teachers that the WVBOE spent close to $10,000 on a single appearance of a motivational speaker at the GES.
How can a spending excess like that be justified when there are numerous outstanding free speakers we could have invited? Dr. Peter Barr and Dr. Michael Martirano are just two examples.
If we cannot have any say over how our money is spent and anything else in our school system, let the the WVBOE come up with the money to pay all the bills.
There has been enough dictatorial rule and oppression by the WVBOE to include taxation without representation. Gilmer’s taxpayers are not going to take it anymore!
The WVBOE needs to leave to let us salvage the mess for the benefit of our victimized children.
GLENVILLE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
July 11, 2016
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick with Council members Fisher, Wiant, Walters and Taylor present. Councilwoman Huffman was absent.
Pledge of Allegiance
I. Call to Order
Samantha Cason – Genesis Healthcare Nursing Home
Ms. Cason requested approval to have 5K race as a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association on August 27 at 9:00 a.m. The route would begin at the nursing home to VanHorn Drive, up 33 to Sue Morris Complex, and repeat back. Mayor Fitzpatrick stated the state should be involved since this is a state road and get the county involved. Councilwoman Taylor made a motion to approve the 5K run on August 27. Councilman Fisher seconded the motion. Motion passed.
A. Approval of Minutes – June 06, 2016
The minutes from the June 6, 2016 meeting were reviewed. A correction was noted to add the line item numbers for the budget revisions. Minutes were placed on file for audit.
The City is at 100% of fiscal year budget with expenditures at 97.4% noting this has been a good year with the budget. She thanked the departments for their efforts in keeping the budget inline. The paving invoice has not been received for payment, but will come out of the street fund. Councilman Fisher made a motion to approve the financial report as presented. Councilman Walters seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Mayor Fitzpatrick reminded council to watch for street light outages in their wards and report the pole numbers to city office for repair. The city will lose the two FCI camp workers at the end of August.
Chief Huffman was absent. Mayor Fitzpatrick provided the report. The City is still looking for a third officer. There might be a part time officer working 20 hours per week at $12 per hour from County. The parking meter officer is working 20 hours per week.
Mayor Fitzpatrick attended the monthly utility meeting. They had three leaks on the water side. On the sewer side, they had to rebuild two pumps and will purchase a backup pump at $28,000. He notified the board that City Council had approved the reappointment of June Evans to the Utility Board.
Nothing to report.
- Under consideration abandonment of alley
He received a request to abandon the alley between Hale and Walnut Streets between the residences at 895 and 987 Walnut Street. Councilman Walters made a motion to abandon this alley. Councilman Wiant seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Shentel Resolution
Shentel received their renewal of the cable franchise through Shenandoah Television. Mayor Fitzpatrick read the resolution to council. Shentel pays a $250 renewal fee to the City upon approval and is good for 1 year. Resolution was adopted and approved by council on July 11, 2016 and signed by mayor.
- Folk Festival Update
Mayor Fitzpatrick has talked with David O’Dell, Folk Festival Committee President, regarding the use of the City Park for Folk Festival. The City was given park but no revenue to maintain park. He would like to establish a fee for the use of the park for the festival and other events to be used for maintenance and repairs, utilities, shelter, etc. Discussion ensued. Mayor will talk with Folk Festival Committee about pursuing a fee and will report to council next month.
- Citywide Yard Sale (poor attendance)
We found that having this event at the same time as Folk Festival is not a good time.
- Bicycle Collection
Mayor has already collected eight bicycles to date. He will work with CRI and FRN to find families with children to give the bicycles to.
- Curb painting and hot patching
The Street Dept. did some hot patching in Camden Flats on Whiting Ave., corner of 3rd and Dolliver Streets.
- Congratulations to Sada Wright and Nathan Stout
Mayor Fitzpatrick extended congratulations to Sada Wright and Nathan Stout for representing Gilmer County in the National Junior Olympics.
- Library Board
Bridgette Ryan, Library Director, stated they had received resignations from two board members, Betty Smith and Wanda Reed, and requested replacements for these two positions. Their Recommendations for replacements to finish board members terms are Judy Meads to replace Wanda Reed with her term expiring on 6/30//2018 and Mary Bland Strickland to replace Betty Smith with her term expiring 6/30/2020.
Councilman Walters made a motion to approve Judy Meads to finish Wanda Reed’s term expiring on 6/30/2018. Councilman Fisher seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Councilman Fisher made a motion to approve Mary Bland Strickland to replace Betty Smith to finish her term expiring 6/30/2020. Councilman Wiant seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Ms. Ryan also extended their thanks to the two board members for their many years of service to the Gilmer County Public Library.
Councilman Wiant made a motion for council to move into executive session at 7:32 p.m. Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Councilman Wiant made a motion to come out of executive session at 7:39 p.m. Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Councilman Walters made a motion to approve an increase in pay for Officer Garrett to $14 per hour. Councilman Wiant seconded the motion. Motion passed.
III. Unfinished Business
IV. New Business
V. Other Business to come before Council
Councilman Walters noted the GSC Athletic Department, along with GCHS, would like to request permission to use the City Park on August 25 at 6:00 p.m. for a meet and greet of all the fall sports. They would like to block off the street between bank and park and will serve hamburgers, hotdogs, etc. and give out t-shirts. Councilwoman Taylor made a motion to approve the request to use the city park for the athletic meet and greet event on August 25. Councilman Fisher seconded the motion. Motion passed.
VI. Next City Council Meeting
The next council meeting will be August 01, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.
West Virginia’s waterfowl seasons are set for 2016–2017. These seasons are set within the guidelines established annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“With the new Federal Regulatory Process, we are able to get these dates out to hunters earlier than in previous years,” said Mike Peters, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Migratory Game Bird Coordinator.
01 – October 08
07 – November 12
14 – January 28
01 – September 10
Goose & White-fronted Goose
01 – October 15
07 – November 12
01 – January 28
& Blue Goose
01 – October 15
07 – November 12
01 – January 28
30 – January 28
The bag limit for the youth days is the same as
the daily limit of the regular duck and goose seasons.
The daily bag limit of six can include only two
pintails, four long-tailed ducks, two scaup, one black duck, three
wood ducks, two redheads, four scoters, two canvasback and four
mallards of which only two may be hens. The duck possession limit
can include only three times the daily bag limit.
The daily merganser bag limit can include only
two hooded mergansers, with a possession limit of six.
Federal regulations require all licensed migratory bird hunters,
including lifetime and senior citizens, to register with the Migratory
Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) and carry proof of registration
while hunting. HIP cards are free and available from DNR offices, all
hunting license agents and online at www.wvhunt.com.
In addition, all waterfowl hunters age 16 and older must possess a
federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp or “Duck
Stamp.” Duck Stamps can be purchased from U.S. post offices
or by calling 1.800.782.6724.
Hunters must report harvested banded birds online at www.reportband.gov,
now with a mobile version, or by calling 1.800.327.2263.
WV’s 2016-17 Seasons Set For Mourning Dove, Woodcock, Common Snipe, Sora and Virginia Rails
West Virginia’s 2016-2017 hunting season dates and bag limits for mourning dove, woodcock, common snipe, and sora and Virginia rails have been set, according to Paul Johansen, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the Division of Natural Resources (DNR). These seasons are set within the annual guidelines established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
01 - October 15
October 31 – November19
December 19 – January 12
15 – November 19
November 28 – December 06
01 – December 16
and Virginia Rails
01 – November 09
Shooting hours for dove are from noon to sunset September 01, 2016 (opening day of the first segment) and from a half-hour before sunrise until sunset for the remainder of season. Shooting hours for rails, woodcock and snipe are from a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. The possession limits for doves and woodcock are three times the daily bag limit.
Johansen also noted that the woodcock season is split into two segments this year. Typically, the season runs continuously; however, because it goes through the buck gun season, bird hunters were losing three days. State law prohibits small game hunting during the first three days of the buck gun season.
“We hope that this will provide additional opportunities for hunters to harvest more birds before their southern migration,” Johansen said.
All licensed migratory bird hunters, including lifetime license holders and senior citizens, must also have a valid Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration card. HIP cards are available at www.wvhunt.com, license agents and DNR offices.
► Governor Tomblin Unveils New Division of Motor Vehicles in Self-Service Kiosks
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today unveiled the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) self-service kiosks at the West Virginia State Fair. Governor Tomblin requested the development of the kiosks in 2015 to provide more convenient options – in addition to the online application – for state residents to renew vehicle registrations without visiting a DMV office.
“These kiosks will be another innovative way to provide West Virginians expanded access to basic state services,” Governor Tomblin said. “I applaud DMV Commissioner Pat Reed and her team for working to provide this convenient alternative for vehicle registration renewals, and I look forward to seeing even more options at these kiosks in the near future.”
Beginning at the end of September, the kiosks are slated to be placed in easily accessible locations, including grocery stores and shopping centers. With touch-screen monitors, the kiosks will be able to complete a vehicle registration renewal in less than two minutes through debit or credit card payments, and will print a registration card and decal during the transaction. According to the DMV, by November West Virginians also will be able to renew drivers’ licenses at the kiosks.
Between July 2015 and July 2016, online vehicle registration renewals through http://www.dmv.wv.gov reached 100,000 transactions. Similar to the online application, self-service kiosks are designed for renewals. New vehicle registrations still must be obtained by visiting a DMV office.
The DMV has partnered with West Virginia Interactive and Intellectual Technology, Inc. on the kiosk launch.
► Home-Building Project for Flooded Residents
A group building homes for flood-ravaged residents in White Sulphur Springs is joining a similar effort in hard-hit Rainelle.
Homes for West Virginia says in a news release it’s partnering with the Appalachia Service Project. The goal is to build at least 50 homes in Rainelle and fix others in need of repairs.
Johnson City, Tennessee-based Appalachia Service Project is a Christian ministry dedicated to repairing homes for low-income families.
In White Sulphur Springs, ground was broken earlier this month on a 42-home community for residents whose homes were destroyed in June.
Homes for West Virginia is a newly created partnership with local stakeholders and New Orleans-based SBP, a disaster recovery nonprofit group founded after Hurricane Katrina. The partnership’s total fundraising goal is $20 million.
► West Virginia County Appeals Ruling Against Frack Waste Ban
Fayette County commissioners are appealing a federal court ruling that rendered the West Virginia county’s ban on fracking waste disposal invalid.
Appalachian Mountain Advocates filed the notice of appeal on behalf of the commission with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week.
In June, U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver in Charleston sided with Pennsylvania-based EQT Production against the county. EQT sued the commissioners to nullify the ban.
Copenhaver ruled that parts of the county ordinance that attempt to supersede state or federal permits and let resident sue violators are unenforceable.
EQT has one of two underground control injection wells in Fayette County.
Commission President Matt Wender has said the commission has increasing concerns over health and safety impacts from the wells.
► West Virginia group adds 7 schools to teach pre-K parents
A West Virginia early learning partnership is more than doubling its impact by adding seven schools for families of pre-kindergarten children.
Toyota, The Education Alliance, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and the United Way announced the additional Born Learning Academies at the Capitol on Thursday.
The schools are free and teach parents and caregivers of children up to five years old to use regular daily moments as learning opportunities. The program includes six monthly workshops.
The additional academies will be in Boone, Lincoln, Kanawha, Hancock, Putnam Marion and Raleigh counties. That brings the total statewide to 13 academies, including two others in Putnam, and one each in Mason, Preston, Cabell and Wayne.
Toyota gave the program $52,000 Thursday, bringing its investment to $130,500. The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation gave $38,200.
Looking to invest in real estate? Be careful where you buy. Here are the five cities where house prices are growing and shrinking the fastest, based on average price changes for a single family home over 12 months ending this June, per 24/7 Wall St.:
More than 500 passengers and crew were evacuated from a burning ship about a mile off Puerto Rico’s north coast on Wednesday, and many required medical care, though there were no reported fatalities or life-threatening injuries. The fire, which erupted in the engine room, burned as hundreds slid down emergency slides from the Caribbean Fantasy, a combination cruise and ferry ship. US Coast Guard boats then carried passengers into San Juan’s harbor as helicopters whirred overheard. Other agencies and even private vessels joined in the effort as firefighters were ordered to abandon the ship for their safety.
“It was like something out of a movie,“ said Maria Prensa, a 64-year-old Dominican passenger, tells the AP. “You panic when you see that. You’re in the middle of the ocean and there’s a fire. Imagine that.“ The mostly Dominican passengers included dozens of school-age athletes headed to competitions in Puerto Rico, including a cycling team, a girls’ volleyball team, and a boys’ baseball team. Federal authorities are interviewing the captain, says Angel Crespo, director of Puerto Rico’s Emergency Management Agency. He says 105 people were treated at the scene, mostly for heat stroke, shock, and dehydration, and 24 others were hospitalized, including a man who broke his leg while going down the emergency slide.
► City Struggles to Respond to 27 Overdoses in Just 5 Hours
Twenty-seven people overdosed in less than five hours Monday in one West Virginia city, USA Today reports. “It was basically like a mass casualty event,“ Cabell County EMS director Gordon Merry tells CNN. The first reported overdose in Huntington came in around 3:30pm, and ambulances and other emergency resources were quickly stretched to their limit. “It really taxed the system,“ Merry tells USA Today. Shockingly, only one of the 27 died, though it took three doses of noloxone to revive one person. Huntington—a city of 50,000—typically sees 18 to 20 overdoses per week. Police chief Joe Ciccarelli calls Monday’s rash of overdoses “remarkable.“
Police believe the overdoses were due to a batch of heroin laced with something else, WSAZ reports. “When something like this hits the streets, it draws like flies to sugar,“ Ciccarelli says. Most of the overdoses occurred within a mile of each other, with seven happening in one location. While police suspect the heroin was laced with fentanyl, they won’t be sure for months. It will take about 10 weeks to get toxicology reports back. According to the CDC, West Virginia had the highest rate of overdose deaths in the US in 2014.
► Tripping Nebraska Dad Insults Family Cat
A middle-aged Nebraska dad who found himself accidentally tripping on pot brownies this week was apparently finally feeling free enough to tell his cat how he really feels. The Omaha World-Herald reports the unnamed 53-year-old man’s adult children left their marijuana brownies in the back of his car. He found them Tuesday night and—unaware they were special—ate four. He started getting “bad anxiety” while watching TV, and his wife called 911.
Paramedics determined the man was OK apart from his behavior: He was, as the World-Herald puts it, “crawling around on the floor, randomly using profanities, and calling the family cat ‘a #####.‘“ He said he felt like he was “tripping.“ Paramedics put the man to bed, and no charges were filed. Marijuana Politics points out minor marijuana possession hasn’t been an arrestable offense in Nebraska since the 1970s.
► Number of Jailed Women Skyrockets in Rural Counties
The number of women locked up in jails around the country is increasing at a level not matched by the male jail population, according to a report released by the MacArthur Foundation and Vera Institute. The Guardian reports there were 14 times more women in US jails in 2014 than in 1970. Most of the increase comes from jails in small, rural counties, where incarceration rates for women nearly doubled between 2000 and 2014, according to the New York Times. The number of women in jail in the most populous counties actually declined during that time. One of the report’s authors tells NPR the reason may be that rural counties lack resources besides jail for women with mental illnesses and other issues.
The report found about one-third of jailed women have a serious mental illness—approximately double the rate for jailed men. Women are also two-thirds of the victims of sexual abuse by jail staff despite being only 13% of the jail population. For these and other reasons, the report’s authors conclude jailed women are more vulnerable than their male counterparts. Furthermore, they are largely jailed for minor infractions that don’t impact public safety, such as failing to appear in court for a citation. There were about 110,000 women in jail on misdemeanor charges in 2014. Meanwhile, the number of men in jail—not to mention the overall crime rate—has been declining.
► So Many Babies Are Going to Be Named Simone This Year
2016 is the Year of Simone, at least as far as the Olympics and baby names are concerned. NBC News reports Google searches for “Simone baby name” are up 230% in August thanks to the Olympics success of swimmer Simone Manuel and gymnast Simone Biles. Apparently there hasn’t been this much Google interest in the name Simone since 2010. And two baby experts tell USA Today they expect to see a boom in babies named Simone over the next few months. “With a pair of athletes who are not only successful but seen as great role models, combined with a softer sound, it is like hitting the jackpot,” one expert says. Biles’ father says having a bunch of babies named after his daughter “would make me smile.“
► Teen Smacked by Mom Amid Riots Accidentally Burns Down Home
Toya Graham, the mom who gained fame after smacking her rioting son in Baltimore last year, needs help. That son—Michael, now 17—was frying chicken tenders while home alone Saturday, and while he left the room briefly to use the bathroom, a grease fire broke out. He threw water on it, which made it worse, and the rental home was destroyed, Fox Baltimore reports. A GoFundMe campaign that sought to raise $5,000 for the family, which had no renter’s insurance, has already raised more than $31,000.
► NY District Bans US Flag From Firetrucks
Firefighters in Arlington, NY, are steaming after they were asked to remove American flags from their firetrucks for fear they might distract motorists. Arlington Fire Chief Tory Gallante says the firefighters’ union recently asked to put flags on their trucks and Gallante approved the plan after the flags were properly secured and “checked by our mechanics.“ But then the Board of Fire Commissioners got word. During a Monday meeting—in which the board approved out-of-state training for firefighters, two new engines or pumpers, and new patches for uniforms—three of five board members objected to the flags “citing liability and distraction to other motorists,“ Board Chairman Jim Beretta tells the Poughkeepsie Journal.
The trucks already carry American flag stickers and “we were clear that we had no problem with them or with flags being mounted … for parades and ceremonies,“ says Beretta. But Union President Joseph Tarquinio says the board’s decision is “next to flag-burning in my mind,“ adding support for the firefighters has poured in from across the country. Beretta says he has offered to meet with Gallante and other firefighters to discuss “how we might come to a compromise, some solution,“ possibly Wednesday. Last month, firefighters in California were asked to remove an American flag in honor of fallen police officers from a truck for fear it would block its lights or make firefighters targets of violence, reports NBC Los Angeles.
► Cemetery Worker Finds Teen Missing Since 1973
After 43 years, a Mississippi mother finally knows what happened to her son thanks to the curiosity and diligence of a cemetery worker, the Sun Herald reports. Curious about an unidentified teen buried in a Texas cemetery after being hit by a car in August 1973, Chelsea Davidson started looking through missing persons databases and news stories about missing people. She came to believe the body belonged to Joseph Spears, a 17-year-old who escaped from a Mississippi youth detention center in July 1973 and hadn’t been seen since. She contacted Kristi Johnson, a Mississippi sheriff’s investigator, and the body of the unidentified teen was exhumed in February.
DNA testing on the body was a failure, but Spears’ mother, Mary Raskin, used photos from the teen’s autopsy to identify him as her son this month. Johnson says she’s happy Raskin finally has an answer to what happened to her son. It’s a moment that might never have happened. Spears wasn’t added to the missing persons database where Davidson came across him until 2013, WLOX reports. Since being identified, Spears’ body was cremated and his remains sent to his mother and family in California. “If every cemetery had an employee like Chelsea, we would be able to solve a lot more cases,” Johnson tells the Sun Herald.
► Anti-Muslim Hatred Blamed for Christian Man’s Death
The family of an Oklahoma man allegedly gunned down by his next-door neighbor is demanding to know why the suspect had been released from jail before the shooting—where he had been awaiting trial in a brutal hit-and-run that nearly killed the victim’s mother, the Washington Post reports. The dead man is Khalid Jabara, 37, and his neighbor is Vernon Majors, 61. The family says Majors had harassed and stalked the Jabara family for years, taunting them with anti-Muslim insults, even though they’re Lebanese Christians. “This suspect had a history of bigotry against our family,“ the victim’s sister, Victoria Jabara Williams, wrote on Facebook, calling them “Dirty Arabs” and “Filthy Lebanese.” On Friday, Jabara called 911 to report his concern that Majors was home and armed.
The police came and went, and minutes later, Majors is accused of shooting Khalid Jabara as he stepped outside the family’s house in Tulsa to get the mail. Police said they found Majors drunk and chugging beer and arrested him after a brief stand-off. There was no cause to detain him earlier in the day, police said, because Majors hadn’t done anything wrong. Majors had been in jail awaiting trial for allegedly plowing into Jabara’s mother with his car, then leaving the scene. The family says he never should have been allowed to post bond for what they deemed a hate crime, reports the Tulsa World. The case “is one of the most devastating and infuriating accounts of systemic failures in the legal system you are likely to read about,“ writes Jeremy Stahl at Slate.
► Family Seeks Pardon for ‘Back to Africa’ Founder
The family of Marcus Garvey is asking President Obama to pardon the black nationalist, founder of the early 20th century “Back to Africa” movement, NBC News reports. Dr. Julius Garvey, 82, used what would have been his father’s 129th birthday on Wednesday to launch a campaign to clear his name. Marcus Garvey’s 1923 mail fraud conviction still leaves “a whiff of subversion about the idea” of supporting his father’s teachings, Garvey told the National Press Club, per the AP. Garvey, who died in London in 1940, was a landmark figure in American civil rights and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in 1914. His fiery black-pride philosophy included the belief that blacks could never achieve racial justice in white America and should therefore separate and return to Africa.
Critics lined up against him, including NAACP founder WEB Du Bois, who called Garvey “the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America,“ according to NBC. Nevertheless, Garvey created the Black Star Line shipping company to bring his people—and commerce—to Africa. His efforts to solicit donations and stocks from investors by mail prompted an FBI investigation, and Garvey was convicted of mail fraud. After serving more than two years in prison, Garvey opted to be deported to Jamaica, where he was born. Julius Garvey, joined by several congressmen and NAACP officials, says it’s time his father is cleared. “Everyone stands on the shoulders of everyone who comes before.There would be no black president if it wasn’t for the Civil Rights movement,“ said Garvey, a New York surgeon. There was no comment from the White House.
► Another Victim Is Shot Dead in Phoenix
Phoenix’s Maryvale neighborhood, where a serial killer is on the loose, has suffered another shooting death. Police say a man found dead outside a home Thursday night was likely shot a short distance away then made it to the house and collapsed around 10pm, reports KPHO. Police aren’t sure where exactly the man was shot, but they did find shell casings. It’s also not clear if the murder is linked to Phoenix’s serial shooter, accused of killing seven people and injuring two others since March, per CBS News.
► 2nd-Oldest Shipwreck Found in Great Lakes
The second-oldest confirmed shipwreck in the Great Lakes, an American-built, Canadian-owned sloop that sank in Lake Ontario more than 200 years ago, has been found, a team of underwater explorers says. The three-member Western New York-based team said it discovered the shipwreck this summer in deep water off Oswego, in central New York. Images captured by a remotely operated vehicle confirmed it is the Washington, which sank with no survivors during a storm in 1803, team member Jim Kennard tells the AP.
“This one is very special. We don’t get too many like this,“ says Kennard, who, along with Roger Pawlowski and Roland “Chip” Stevens, has found numerous wrecks in Lake Ontario and other waterways. The 53-foot-long ship was carrying at least five people and a cargo of merchandise, including goods from India, when it set sail from Kingston, Ontario, for its homeport of Niagara, Ontario, on November 6, 1803. The vessel was caught in a fierce storm and sank. The oldest vessel found in the Great Lakes is the HMS Ontario, a British warship that sank in Lake Ontario in 1780. Kennard and another explorer found that wreck in 2008.
► A Fugitive Is Missing in New Jersey’s Sewers
This is one fugitive who authorities hope managed to get away. Keith Jean fled into the sewer system in Newark, NJ, two weeks ago after swimming across the Passaic River to get away from police, and there’s been no sign of him since either inside or outside the sewer system, NJ Advance Media reports. The chances of the 31-year-old having created a Penguin-style crime lair down there are slim: Officials say the outflow pipe he entered leads to a network of cramped chambers where he would find potentially deadly gases, and to a main tunnel where there’s a constant flow of human waste from Newark and 47 other northern New Jersey communities.
Robots have searched the tunnels, and cadaver dogs have sniffed sewer grates, but they haven’t found traces of Jean, alive or dead. Cops say he was a passenger in a car stopped for suspicious activity near a parking lot where there had been reports of car break-ins, the Jersey Journal reports. After he fled, they discovered there were warrants out for his arrest in two New Jersey counties. Manholes were staked out after he fled into the sewer, but police believe he may still have been able to slip away. “With any luck, he just got out,“ says the executive director of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, though he notes that a dead body probably wouldn’t disrupt the flow of sewage.
► Sources: U.S. Kept $400M Until Iran Freed Prisoners
Administration officials insist that a $400 million cash payment to Iran on the same day Tehran released US prisoners was not a ransom—but sources tell the Wall Street Journal that it was certainly treated like one. Officials and other insiders say the US held onto the cash until a Swiss Air Force plane left Iran with the freed Americans. Only then was an Iranian cargo plane with the cash allowed to take off. One official says that Iranian officials in Switzerland were allowed to take custody of the money when the other plane was “wheels up” on its way to Geneva. The administration says the payment was part of a $1.7 billion settlement over a failed 1979 arms deal, and the other $1.3 billion has now been paid.
One of the released prisoners, pastor Saeed Abedini, tells the Journal that the prisoners were kept waiting overnight for what Iranian authorities told them was the movement of another airplane, though administration officials say the plane was delayed because they were searching for the wife and mother of Jason Rezaian, another released prisoner. Republican leaders are planning to hold hearings on the payment this fall. “It’s time for the Obama White House to drop the charade and admit it paid a $400 million ransom to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,“ RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement Wednesday that accused Obama of putting a price on the head of every US citizen overseas, reports the Hill.
► She Saved Her Girls’ Lives; It Left Her Paralyzed
A Canadian mother is paralyzed and her life upended after she threw herself in harm’s way to save her children, CBC reports. Jessica Dicks was camping July 3 when a 30-foot tree started falling toward the tent that held her daughters—ages 6, 4, and 10 months. “I remember running for the tent and then that’s it—blank,“ Dicks says. Three weeks later, she woke up from a medically induced coma. The tree had fallen on her, leaving Dicks with broken teeth, a collapsed lung, a broken rib, 20 staples in her head, and rods and screws in her back. She was also paralyzed from the chest down. Doctors tell her she’ll never walk again.
Dicks’ uncle credits her with saving her children’s lives. “I would rather be paralyzed than one of them be dead, or them be paralyzed,“ Dicks says. But now she worries about the kind of life she’ll have with her daughters. It’s unclear how Dicks, who worked as a roofer, will be able to afford the life she and her husband had planned or the medical costs she’ll now face. “Life is a whole lot of work now,“ she says. Her uncle has set up a fundraising page in the hopes of raising $50,000 to help Dicks’ family.
► Cop Grabs Kid’s Bike to Catch Suspect
It may sound like a scene from a slapstick comedy, but it really happened in Germany: Police were chasing a suspect on a moped when he drove down a narrow road, foiling them, as their car couldn’t make it through. Undeterred, a police officer commandeered a child’s bike and rode it to continue the pursuit, the AP reports. The 27-year-old suspect, who had evaded a traffic stop and was ultimately found to be driving under the influence and carrying drugs, was successfully brought into custody, and the child’s bicycle was returned.
► This Image Sums Up the Syrian Civil War
Syrian opposition activists have released haunting footage showing a young boy rescued from the rubble in the aftermath of a devastating airstrike in Aleppo. The image of the stunned and weary-looking boy, sitting in an orange chair inside an ambulance covered in dust and with blood on his face, encapsulates the horrors inflicted on the conflicted northern city and is being widely shared on social media, the AP reports. On Thursday, a doctor in Aleppo identified the boy as 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh.
The doctor confirmed he was brought to a hospital Wednesday night following an airstrike on the rebel-held district of Qaterji with head wounds, but no brain injury, and was later discharged. In a video posted late Wednesday by the Aleppo Media Center, a man is seen plucking the boy away from a chaotic nighttime scene and carrying him inside the ambulance, looking dazed and flat-eyed. The boy then runs his hand over his blood-covered face, looks at his hands, and wipes them on the ambulance chair. Opposition activists say there were eight casualties overall from the airstrike on Qaterji, among them five children.
GSC’s President Barr Announces Final Year of Presidency at GSC
GLENVILLE, WV - Glenville State College President Dr. Peter Barr has announced that he will retire from the institution in June 2017. Barr will continue his service to GSC through the 2016-17 academic year.
The announcement was made Wednesday morning at the annual Fall Opening Meeting of Faculty and Staff.
“After extended and heartfelt discussion, Betsy and I have determined that our season at Glenville State College will end with the current school year. The past eleven years have been exceptional and could not have happened anywhere else. We have enjoyed the gracious hospitality, expansive tolerance, and generous friendship of the faculty, staff, students, and community at large. Nowhere else could we have learned so much, dreamed so much, and valued so much. Our years here have been an astonishing adventure,” Barr said at the meeting.
Glenville State College President Dr. Peter Barr in his office on campus
Dr. Barr was selected as GSC’s twenty-third president in 2006. From the outset of his tenure at Glenville State College, he was focused on increasing enrollment, improving student retention, coordinating a capital campaign with the GSC Foundation, and boosting economic development in the area.
His time at Glenville State College has seen efforts to boost enrollment even in the face of decreasing college-going rates nationwide and in West Virginia, the implementation of programs across campus to help students stay engaged, marked increases in private donations, and outreach into the community.
One of the crowning achievements of Barr’s presidency has been the implementation of the Hidden Promise Consortium, a program that seeks to increase high school and college graduation rates, better prepare students for college enrollment, encourage increased college attendance, and improve overall success in pursuits of higher education. The Consortium had humble beginnings – 13 central West Virginia counties – but is now accessible to students in all 55 counties. The program has over 2,000 participants throughout the Mountain State in grades 8-12 and approximately 200 current GSC students.
Barr holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Marshall and a Doctor of Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University. He is a Huntington, West Virginia native and called North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina home before coming to Glenville State College.
He plans to stay as busy as ever in his final year. In addition to his day-to-day job at the helm of the College, Barr will be teaching two classes through the GSC Department of Business.
The Glenville State College Board of Governors will appoint a committee to spearhead a national search for a new leader of the college. The search is expected to get underway soon.
As a follow up to the statewide assessment results released last week, the West Virginia Department of Education is releasing preliminary assessment results for each district in the state. Results reflect the aggregate percentage of students proficient in English language arts, mathematics and science for each of the 55 districts in West Virginia.
Results are considered preliminary because they do not include approximately 2,500 students who took the West Virginia Alternate Assessment and all data have not yet been certified. Final assessment results will be made available this fall and will include scores for the alternate assessment.
These Are The 10 Best West Virginia Cities and Towns to Work
While everyone hates going to work, there are at least some towns in West Virginia that offer a better experience than others.
These are the places that have a manageable commute, nice weather, and a good deli that doesn’t break the bank.
At Zippia, we aim to help you through all parts of your career, including finding the best places to spend eight hours of your day, five days a week, for over forty years.
With that in mind, we set out to determine which places in West Virginia are the best of the best when it comes to offering quality working conditions. We looked at the numbers and were left with this set of the ten best places to work in West Virginia:
How the Results were Detemined
There are certain things that everybody dislikes about work, not the least of which is the time it takes to get there.
So after some research into what people identify as the worst parts of their day, we decided upon the following set of criteria to determine places that provide the ideal work conditions:
• Commute time (Shorter is better)
• Cost of living (Lower is better)
• Crime (Lower is better)
• Weather/Comfort Index (Higher is better)
Basically, if it’s a short commute to work, your lunch doesn’t hurt your wallet, you don’t need to wear rain boots, and you feel safe, then it’s a nice place to have an office.
We got the data for the 100 biggest places in the satate and then ranked each place from one to 100 for each criteria, with one being the best in any given category.
Finally, we took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the lowest overall score taking home the title “Best Place In West Virginia To Work”.
► Ohio, Monongalia counties tops in English, math test scores
Preliminary results of 2016 standardized tests show students in Ohio and Monongalia counties led the way in English and math.
The scores released Wednesday by the state Department of Education show 58 percent of Ohio County students were proficient in English language arts, compared with 57 percent in Monongalia County. The state average was 47 percent.
In math, Monongalia County students were best with 43 percent proficiency, compared with Ohio County’s 40 percent. The statewide average was 30 percent.
Jefferson and Grant counties had the top science proficiency scores at 47 percent. Doddridge County was next at 46 percent. The average statewide was 36 percent.
Science tests were administered to students in grades 4, 6 and 10. Math and English tests were administered to students in grades 3 through 11.
► Chemical plant expected to bring 60 jobs to Kanawha County
A chemical manufacturing startup is planning to build a methanol production facility in Kanawha County next year.
News outlets report Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday that California-based US Methanol will move a production facility to Institute and create more than 60 permanent positions when the plant begins operations in July 2017.
CEO Brad Gunn says his company plans to deconstruct a methanol plant in Brazil and install it next to the Dow-DuPont chemical plant. Officials say the facility would also create about 300 temporary construction positions beginning in November.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail (http://bit.ly/2bmekSq ) reports the plant will use a chemical process to turn methane into pure methanol, a base solution used in paints, plastics, windshield washer fluid and other chemicals, such as formaldehyde.
► July state unemployment rate lowest since December 2008
According to a release from WorkForce WV, the Mountain State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.7 percent in July 2016, the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state since December 2008.
The number of unemployed state residents decreased 2,100 to 45,000. Total unemployment was down 9,400 over the year. The national unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent.
West Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell six-tenths of a percentage point to 5.5 in July.
► CRUCIAL FUNDING FOR HIDTA AND HEROIN RESPONSE STRATEGY PROGRAM IN WEST VIRGINIA
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today applauded the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) for granting $17 million in additional funding for designated High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) to address the recent surge in prescription drug, fentanyl and heroin trafficking.
There are 19 counties in West Virginia that are currently designated as HIDTAs: Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Hancock, Harrison, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh, Wayne and Wyoming.
“The heroin response strategy program is imperative to ending the drug abuse epidemic and protecting the health and safety of our families and communities,” Senator Manchin. “This program fosters important partnerships between 15 states that are being devastated by the rising heroin epidemic, and it will focus on the growing number of heroin overdoses and drug trafficking cases. I am committed to doing everything I can to curb this devastating trend in our state and our communities.”
Background on the HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy:
In August 2015, the Office of National Drug Control Policy announced an unprecedented partnership among regional HIDTA programs to address the heroin threat facing those communities through public health-public safety partnerships. The HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy now covers 20 States in eight HIDTAs: Appalachia, Atlanta/Carolinas, Michigan, Ohio, New England, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia/Camden, and Washington/Baltimore. This HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy is fostering a collaborative network of public health-public safety partnerships to address the heroin and opioid epidemic from multiple perspectives.
Background on the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program (HIDTA):
Through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program (HIDTA), the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) provides support and financial resources to law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. There are currently 28 HIDTAs located in 48 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.
► Free medical clinic planned in October in West Virginia
A two-day free medical clinic for West Virginia flood victims and others in need is being planned this fall in Kanawha County.
Organizers announced the clinic Wednesday at a news conference in Charleston.
The clinic will be held October 22 and 23 at Elkview Middle School.
It is being hosted by Charleston-based West Virginia Health Right, which provides free medical, dental and vision health services. Remote Area Medical, a nonprofit group based in Rockford, Tennessee, will run the clinic.
RAM says on its website that patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis and must choose between dental or vision services at the same visit.
Organizers say volunteers are being sought to assist at the clinic and food will be provided.
► West Virginia Ranks 3rd in Enrolling AmeriCorps Members
The agency that administers the AmeriCorps program says West Virginia residents rank third among states in enrolling volunteers in the program.
The Corporation for National and Community Service says West Virginia has produced 12,000 AmeriCorps members since the organization was formed more than 20 years ago. The organization said in a news release that the members have given more than 18 million hours of service and received more than $28 million in scholarships.
The organization says it’s investing more than $12 million in national service projects for West Virginia, including funding for more than 1,000 AmeriCorps members currently there.
AmeriCorps members serve through nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations at 21,000 locations.