Not a bad salary for a girl who never stepped in classroom, did nothing to get MBA degree from WVU just because she daughter of Joe and Gail Manchin. Now all the poor have to pay out of pocket for EpiPen.
The number of days in school is not as important as quality education, which seems to be lacking in the picture! Whether a child is taught for 100 days or 180, the result could be exactly the same or even better for the 100 days if the quality of the education is factored in. After too many days in school, riding buses, and wasting a LOT of time, students get restless, bored, and lose interest. Let’s be reasonable and not worry so much about how many days but on what the days in class are all about!!
No matter what happens, the children in this county have been totally forgotten by the “education elite” at the state level…it’s all about control…not education. Even if the money were returned to the county, just how do you make up for the rest of the debacle?? The voters were NOT consulted for any of this once they opposed consolidation. Parents and taxpayers don’t count these days! Add some of the extraneous nonsense being taught, the long hours away from home and so on, how can anyone expect children to excel under such circumstances??
GD can use Gilmer County’s school money to hire legal advice for himself.
This is something we understand from our sources to help shed light on it.
When the WVBOE removed your board’s authority for finances the last time, after you asked questions about spending for the board office move, GD was on the telephone with his lawyer before 8 in the morning the next day to speak with the WVDOE.
Were your board members involved with giving their side of what happened before you were punished by the WVBOE, and were they represented by a lawyer? Did not hear about it.
The lawyer was GD’s advocate and we believe that his input influenced the WVBOE’s decision to punish you for asking questions.
We do not like what goes on any better than the rest of you in Gilmer County.
Intervention hurt us too because WV people do not trust the WVDOE, the WVBOE, and they associate us with all the scandals just because we work here.
If our superintendent had failed to take a meaningful attempt to get $800,000 we were supposed to have received from the State, he would have been fired for failing to exercise his fiduciary responsibility to our children and our county’s citizens.
The difference is that our superintendent serves our county, not the WVBOE and the WVDOE.
Is Susan O’Brien in the WVOEPA office silent about this?
Isn’t she the main WVDOE official with oversight responsibility over your intervened county?
I would advise employees in the Board office to get copies of as many of those secret finance documents out of there as possible. It’s one thing to try and keep your job, but I doubt they pay you enough to take the fall for higher ups.
This pot is about to boil over. Make sure you have burn insurance.
Remember, there are two parties in this state now. They are investigating $4,800 in wedding supplies puchased by school personell in Logan County. That wouldn’t even register in this county.
Once again the WVBOE is withholding information from Gilmer County.
It is understood that the WVBOE permitted Lewis County’s 5th and 6th graders originally scheduled to attend the LES to go to another school in that County.
The decision was a major reason for empty classrooms at the LES.
Joe Mace knows it, the WVBOE knows it, the WVDOE knows it, the WV School Building Authority knows it, GD knows it, but as usual Gilmer County’s citizens are kept in the dark.
Worse yet Gilmer County is blamed for Charleston’s mess and there is a good chance that the WVBOE will dictate that more of the County’s children will be hauled to Lewis County to fill empty space at the LES.
Get it out in the open, Charleston, to involve common sense citizens to decide on the best option left for Gilmer County to cope with the State’s incompetency.
People would support construction of a new High School/Middle School facility.
What they won’t support is a middle school at the old Glenville Elementary School with pretense that its purpose would be to protect young girls as if our children come from a bunch of degenerate families.
That pretense was openly spread around the County by members of the so-called elite only interested in protecting the WVBOE.
The ruse began when it was evident that the new Gilmer County Elementary school was not built large enough because of incompetent WVBOE planning and its lack of adequate supervision over intervention practices.
What is not working now with the
GCHS/Middle school concept as is to blame teachers and the school’s administrators for incompetency?
The community is unaware of student misbehavior problems to merit middle school and high school students to be more isolated from one another than they are now.
This issue was supposedly resolved with one elementary school. Given its age and the CEFP that produced that situation, a new highschool/middle school should be next on the table. That document has not been modified and calls for this. If they try to go back on their word it will be time to start protesting in front of the State Legislature (House and Senate) during this session and demand resignations.
Our support and performance throughout the years have earned us the right to provide a good education to the children right here in Gilmer County.
It was interesting to hear the LCE Principal speak to the advantages of the smaller student population on channel 5 this week. Too bad we have lost that advantage here in Gilmer. Nationwide statistics confirm the positive results in educating students in smaller, more personalized settings.
A county that has always made high scores in the overall testing results is now showing little evidence of closing the achievement gap since intervention.
How very nice of the WVBE to give us proof of their mismanagement and shortcomings.
The WVBE spends time doing analysis in a futile attempt to glean some small modicum of improvement, when it is more than obvious the grading system is screaming overall total and utter failure of WVBE.
Limited Bear Firearms Season Permit Applications Available Online
SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV – Hunters are reminded that a concurrent bear season without dogs will occur Nov. 21 – Dec. 3 on public and private land in 17 counties, according to Colin Carpenter, black bear project leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
Barbour, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Harrison, Lincoln, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur, Webster and Wirt counties will be open for concurrent bear hunting during the traditional buck-gun season by permit only. Resident landowners, their resident children or resident tenants who live on the land are not required to apply for a limited bear firearms season permit or purchase a class DS bear hunting stamp to hunt on their own land.
“Timing is critical when setting bear hunting seasons, and the limited bear firearms season will occur when most hunters are in the woods,“ said Carpenter. “This is the fourth time that hunters in the majority of these counties will have the opportunity to harvest a black bear during the buck-gun season, and we hope they will take advantage of it.“
Hunters must apply for a limited bear firearms permit using the Electronic Licensing System at www.wvhunt.com. To apply, log in and select “Enter Lottery.“ Choose “2016 Black Bear Hunt” and select the county where you want to hunt. Hunters also may call their local DNR district office for help with the application process.
The deadline for applications is Aug. 15, 2016. Successful applicants will be notified by mail by the first week of October. Successful applicants can see whether they received a permit starting Aug. 22, 2016, on their online account. Neither the permit nor the class DS stamp is transferrable, and the county of hunt cannot be changed.
Hunters also are reminded that there are 16 counties in West Virginia where prior application is not required to hunt black bears during the buck-gun season. Details concerning bear hunting seasons can be found on pages 35-39 of the 2016-2017 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary brochure online at www.wvdnr.gov or available soon at all license agents.
Be sure to take the bus when visiting the nation’s capital. That’s the takeaway from WalletHub’s ranking of the worst US cities for drivers, based on gas prices, hours spent in traffic, crash deaths, car thefts, parking fees, and more in the country’s 100 biggest cities. The 10 cities drivers might want to avoid:
New York City
Los Angeles came in at No. 11. Click for the FULL LIST.
► Bostonians Seek Landmark Status for Beloved Citgo Sign
Outsiders may not realize it at first, but the Citgo sign that has stood over Boston’s Kenmore Square since 1965 is a beloved part of the city’s heritage—and Bostonians won’t let it go without a fight. After a proposed building sale put the 3,600-square foot LED sign’s future in doubt, causing a public outcry and an online petition, the Boston Landmarks Commission has agreed to investigate whether the sign should be given landmark status, NPR reports. The sign “has encouraged many thousands of Marathon runners and its gleaming red triangle has presided over countless innings at Fenway Park,“ states the petition, which calls the sign a “beacon for the region” and a landmark that “says ‘Boston’ just as much as Old North Church and the Swan Boats.“
The petition, which has been signed by more than 5,000 people, was sparked by Boston University’s plan to sell properties including 660 Beacon, the building under it, which means the sign could have been blocked or even removed, the Boston Globe reports. The commission’s decision offers the sign temporary protection, with landmark status possible after what officials describe as a “very long process.“ At Boston magazine, Kyle Scott Clauss notes that with a red-hot housing market and a construction boom chipping away at much of what makes Boston Boston, the fight over the Citgo sign isn’t just about a “big, red triangle in the sky,“ it’s a “proxy war for Boston’s soul.“
► Boy Apologizes for White Privilege in Epic Poem
A 14-year-old stood up in front of his eighth-grade class in May and delivered what is now “being celebrated as the definition of responsible self-analysis by a white American,“ per Fusion. In a viral video posted two weeks ago, Royce Mann of Atlanta begins his poem “White Boy Privilege” by apologizing to “everyone who isn’t a middle- or upper-class white boy,“ reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I have started life on the top of the ladder while you were born on the first rung,“ he says. “To be honest, I’m scared of what it would be like if I wasn’t on the top rung … and I didn’t have my white boy privilege safety blankie to protect me,“ he continues. But “there’s enough blankie to be shared … It’s time to take that ladder and turn it into a bridge.“
Royce says his first attempt at slam poetry—viewed almost half a million times and shared by Empire actress Taraji P. Henson—came from his learning about white privilege in class. “I got really passionate about how unfair it is,“ he says. People judge groups too quickly, whether it be “all black people this” or “all police that,“ he adds. “We just don’t see people as individuals. That’s at the root of a lot of our issues.“ He says he’s received some flak, but the poem was him “just trying to do my part” to bring about change. “It will be a long time, but I think within my lifetime, we’ll see a lot of progress,“ he tells HLN, per CNN. Following police shootings and the murder of officers in Dallas, Royce says he’s considering writing a second poem.
► ACLU Sues Baton Rouge Police Over Protests
Civil rights groups and activists sued Baton Rouge law enforcement agencies over their treatment of protesters rallying against the police shooting death of Alton Sterling, saying officers used excessive force and physically and verbally abused peaceful demonstrators, the AP reports. The lawsuit was announced Wednesday by the ACLU of Louisiana. Authorities arrested about 200 protesters over a three-day period, often taking to the streets in riot gear or riding in military-style vehicles. The governor and the Baton Rouge police chief have defended the response, with the chief saying Tuesday that authorities discovered an alleged plot against police over the weekend. “We have been questioned repeatedly over…why we have the tactics that we have. Well, this is the reason, because we had credible threats against the lives of law enforcement in this city,“ Police Chief Carl Dabadie said.
The lawsuit blames law enforcement for escalating the situation. “Plaintiffs have engaged in this peaceful speech, association, and protest on the streets, sidewalks, and medians of Baton Rouge,“ the lawsuit read. “Unfortunately, this exercise of constitutional rights has been met with a military-grade assault on protestors’ bodies and rights.“ In the first few days after Sterling’s death, police took a reserved approach to enforcement, keeping a low profile as hundreds gathered outside the convenience store where Sterling died. But protests escalated during the weekend as demonstrations moved away from the store and into other parts of the city, marked by a show of force by law enforcement that included police wielding batons, carrying long guns, and wearing shields.
► Online Threats Against Cops Lead to Numerous Arrests
People around the country are being arrested for anti-cop social media posts in the wake of last week’s violence, and that’s raising questions about the limits of free speech. A Connecticut man was charged with inciting injury when he called for the killing of police in a Facebook post, the Intercept reports. An Illinois woman was charged with disorderly conduct for a Facebook post that claimed she would shoot any officer that pulled her over. A New Jersey man was charged with cyber harassment after saying on social media that he’d destroy police headquarters. A Louisiana man was charged with intimidation for a video threatening a police officer. And four men in Detroit were arrested for Facebook posts calling Micah Johnson a “hero” and advocating to “kill all white cops,“ according to the Detroit News.
“If someone threatens to kill the president, that person would be arrested and prosecuted,“ Detroit Police Chief James Craig tells the News. “How is it any different when someone threatens to kill white cops?” A Detroit law professor counters: “Posting that kind of thing on social media is a bad thought, but having a bad thought isn’t necessarily a crime.” The Supreme Court says prosecutors must prove online posts are intended as threats and would be seen that way by reasonable people. “Arresting people for speech is something we should be very careful about,” a security technologist at Harvard tells the Intercept. Cops are also getting in trouble on social media after the killings in Dallas. “The only racists here are the piece of #### Black Lives Matter terrorists and their supporters,“ one Detroit detective posted on Facebook. The Detroit Free Press reports he was demoted to officer and reassigned in response.
► Judge: No, Your Cellphone Can’t Be Used to Track You
A surveillance device that “tricks” cellphones into revealing their location has been a civil rights concern since it debuted. Now, for the first time, a federal judge agrees that using such a tool to ID a suspect’s home without a warrant is an “unreasonable” violation of the man’s rights, Reuters reports. US District Judge William Pauley ruled Tuesday the DEA shouldn’t have used the “stingray” to find Raymond Lambis’ NYC apartment during a drug-trafficking probe and, therefore, that the narcotics and drug-related items found at his home can’t be used as evidence. “Absent a search warrant, the government may not turn a citizen’s cellphone into a tracking device,“ Pauley wrote in his decision. The charge against Lambis happened just before a September Justice Department mandate that now requires a warrant “supported by probable cause before using a cell-site simulator,“ the New York Times notes. The stingray mimics cellphone towers and fools phones into transmitting pings to the fake tower, allowing authorities to track where the pings are coming from.
In Lambis’ case, the DEA had a warrant for numbers called from a phone suspected in the drug investigation, as well as for records of the cellphone towers that phone was hooking up to. But the agency went a step further and used the stingray, finding an apartment building (and then Lambis’ apartment) where the pings were especially strong—a step not covered by the original warrant, which led Pauley to insinuate the DEA had simply been lazy in not acquiring a second warrant, the Register notes. Lambis concedes he consented to the search of his bedroom, where the evidence was found, but he says in a court filing that’s only because he didn’t want his family’s entire home “trashed” by a search if he didn’t acquiesce, Ars Technica reports. “A federal court has finally held the authorities to account,“ a move that “strongly reinforces the strength of our constitutional privacy rights in the digital age,“ a staff lawyer for the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project tells the Times. Lambis’ lawyer says he’s not sure if his client’s conspiracy charge will be dismissed.
► For a Female Trucker, Life on Road Can Be ‘Poisonous’
Being a trucker is by all accounts a tough job. Among other things, it comes with all kinds of related health risks, from heart disease to depression, which is why turnover is an astronomical 90% in the first year. Tougher still is being a female trucker: As an investigative story at the Mary Review makes clear, women in the industry have to deal with the same problems as their male counterparts while up against an oppressive, sexist culture in which their complaints are largely shrugged off. And it’s probably worse than you think: “Many of them describe a poisonous atmosphere where they’re subjected to on-the-job sexual harassment ranging from catcalling to rape,“ writes Mary Pilon. “A review of legal documents, as well as interviews with dozens of drivers, lawyers, and industry experts, reveals a broken structure of accountability that creates few incentives for taking their claims seriously and, in many cases, leaves women in danger.“
By most industry estimates, men make up 95% of truckers, which means women entering the field—often in their 40s or 50s when the kids are grown—are paired with male instructors when training and male drivers while on the road if their company uses a team-driving approach. The cramped quarters and isolated roads set up a situation in which “if you’re a harasser, it’s almost ideal,“ says one sociology professor who has studied the issue. The EEOC has logged 414 complaints between 2005 and 2015, which the Mary Review notes is striking given the relatively low number of female drivers. Worse, about two-thirds of those women say they experienced retaliation as a result, while companies are generally reluctant to get rid of veteran male drivers. The story catalogues several specific cases and related lawsuits—including a class-action case—in the works. Click to read the FULL PIECE.
► Caught in Lie, Brock Turner’s Probation Terms to Change
The former Stanford University swimmer who got six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman will be required to attend drug and alcohol counseling on top of random testing after he was caught lying about his high school habits. Brock Turner, 20, will have the counseling requirements added to his probation before his September 2 release, according to internal probation department communications obtained Tuesday through a public records request. Turner denied using illegal drugs in his first interview with a probation officer in May and said he began drinking only after arriving at Stanford in September 2014. But text messages that investigators retrieved from his phone and released after his June 2 sentencing showed otherwise, the AP reports.
He again denied drug and alcohol use in high school during a June 14 jailhouse interview, probation manager Jana Taylor said in a June 15 email. After he was told his texts discussing drug use had been publicized, Turner conceded he was lying. He said he used LSD on three occasions and frequently smoked marijuana and drank alcohol in high school. Turner will go back to court and be ordered to attend counseling sessions, said the email. Taylor said Turner needs counseling and the department doesn’t “want to be placed in a position in the event we violate him for positive tests and his attorney argues we never modified probation to include counseling.“ The emails also show that Turner asked for protective custody in jail after receiving threats.
► Mile From Where Boy Died, Disney Firefighters Fed Gators
Firefighters at Disney World were warned to stop feeding alligators two months before a gator killed 2-year-old Lane Graves, according to employee emails. Emails from employees of Reedy Creek Emergency Services—which operates inside the park—show firefighters had been feeding at least one of two gators apparently living in a pond near their fire station, less than a mile from where Lane was killed, reports the Orlando Sentinel. One alligator was believed to be four or five feet long, and the other was a juvenile. In one email to the fire station’s commanders, a communications rep said an alligator had been spotted near the station where communications staff parked their cars, and some “expressed concern of becoming alligator food. ... (C)ould you ask your crews to stop feeding the gator.“
A Reedy Creek dispatcher later complained about two gators in the parking lot. “They are not docile gators, they are mean and they are out looking for food because people are feeding them,“ he wrote. “It’s getting uncomfortable.“ A Reedy Creek district administrator says firefighters received “just a talking to"—though feeding gators is illegal in Florida. It’s not clear whether these gators have any connection to Lane’s death. The administrator is skeptical because they would have had “to travel across a couple roadways” to get to the Seven Seas Lagoon near the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where the June 14 incident took place. Still, notes the Washington Post, trying to avoid such attacks is “one reason it is illegal to feed alligators in Florida.“ The resort area has since added signs warning people about feeding them, reports People.
► Truck slams into revelers in Nice, at least 80 dead
NICE, France — A truck loaded with weapons and hand grenades drove onto a sidewalk for more than a mile, plowing through Bastille Day revelers who’d gathered to watch fireworks in the French resort city of Nice late Thursday. At least 80 people were killed before police killed the driver, authorities said.
Nice prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre described a horrific scene, with bodies strewn along the roadway, and Sylvie Toffin, a press officer with the local prefecture, said the truck ran over people on a “long trip” down the sidewalk near Nice’s Palais de la Mediterranee, a building that fronts the beach.
Wassim Bouhlel, a Nice native who spoke to the AP nearby, said that he saw a truck drive into the crowd. “There was carnage on the road,“ he said. “Bodies everywhere.“ He said the driver emerged with a gun and started shooting.
France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 80 people were killed, including children, and 18 were in critical condition, and the Paris prosecutor’s office announced an investigation for “murder, attempted murder in an organized group linked to a terrorist enterprise.“
“We are in a war with terrorists who want to strike us at any price and in a very violent way,“ Cazeneuve said.
The ranking politician of the Alpes-Maritime department that includes Nice said the truck plowed into the crowd over a distance of 1.2 miles. Many of those on the ground were in shorts and other summer clothing.
Eric Ciotti said on BFM TV that police killed the driver “apparently after an exchange of gunfire.“
The president of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur regional council, which includes Nice, said the truck was loaded with arms and grenades. Christian Estrosi told BFM TV that “the driver fired on the crowd, according to the police who killed him.“
Images being broadcast across French media showed revelers running for their lives down Nice’s palm tree-lined Promenade des Anglais, the famous seaside boulevard named for the English aristocrats who proposed its construction in the 19th century.
Video footage showed men and women — one or two pushing strollers — racing to get away from the scenes. And, in what appeared to be evidence of a gun battle, photos showed a truck with at least half a dozen bullet holes punched through its windshield.
It was not immediately clear who would have been behind an attack, but France has recently seen a spate of dramatic assaults by jihadist groups, including the Islamic State group which straddles Iraq and Syria.
President Francois Hollande said in a televised statement that all of France was under an “Islamist terrorist threat” and extended by three months a state of emergency that has been in place since the November attacks that killed 130 in Paris was to end July 26. The decision needs parliamentary approval.
“The terrorist character (of the attack) cannot be denied,“ he said.
Hollande said he was calling a defense council meeting Friday that brings together defense, interior and other key ministers, then heading to Nice. He listed several measures to bolster security in France after two waves of attacks last year that killed 147 people. Besides continuation of the state of emergency and the Sentinel operation with 10,000 soldiers on patrol, he said he was calling up “operational reserves,“ those who have served in the past and will be brought in to help police, particularly at French borders.
President Barack Obama condemned what he said “appears to be a horrific terrorist attack.“
European Council president Donald Tusk said it was a “tragic paradox” that the victims of the attack in Nice were celebrating “liberty, equality and fraternity” — France’s motto — on the country’s national day.
Writing online, Nice Matin journalist Damien Allemand who was at the waterside said the fireworks display had finished and the crowd had got up to leave when they heard a noise and cries.
“A fraction of a second later, an enormous white truck came along at a crazy speed, turning the wheel to mow down the maximum number of people,“ he said.
“I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. Heard noises, cries that I will never forget.“
Graphic footage showed a scene of horror up and down the Promenade, with broken bodies splayed out on the asphalt, some of them piled near one another, others bleeding out onto the roadway or twisted into unnatural shapes.
“Help my mother, please!“ one person yells out amid a cacophony of screaming and crying. A pink girl’s bicycle is briefly seen overturned by the side of the road.
The origin and authenticity of the footage could not immediately be verified.
Kayla Repan, of Boca Raton, Florida, was among the hundreds gathered on the promenade to watch fireworks.
“The whole city was running. I got extremely frightened and ran away from the promenade,“ she said. “It was chaos.“
► Why U.S. Troops Were Just Sent to the World’s Newest Nation
It’s a mere five years old, but South Sudan is on the brink of civil war. What’s more, the situation is so dire that the US just brought in 40 additional troops to protect the US Embassy in Juba. Some coverage to explain what’s happening:
The fight is between forces backing President Salva Kiir and those backing Vice President Riek Machar, and the DW has a primer on their long rivalry for power, one that got violent soon after the country’s independence from Sudan in 2011. Read this and understand why it’s SPLA-IG vs. SPLA-IO.
Adding to this web: A post at the Conversation suggests that a third man, Paul Malong, might hold the real power in the country.
Kenya’s ambassador says the latest fighting was set off by a bogus Facebook post by Machar’s spokesman saying Machar had been arrested, even though the VP actually was in a security meeting with the president. The Star of Kenya explains. The spokesman, however, says he made the post after violence had started, fearing that a plot to detain or harm Machar was underway.
The US has ordered non-essential employees to evacuate, and several other countries were doing the same. The BBC has details.
Few details were released on the new US troops, but they’re from the US Africa Command’s Crisis Response Force, reports the Marine Corps Times. They’ll protect employees staying and help those leaving do so safely.
In addition to reports of more than 200 people killed, the renewed fighting has displaced about 36,000 people, says the UN. Worse, even before this, “the humanitarian situation in South Sudan was already dire.“ Read the plea for help from a UN humanitarian official here.
Aid workers in the nation face huge problems, but a 28-year-old from San Diego hasn’t lost hope. See NPR.
► 5-Year-Old Missing After Mom Killed
Police are searching for a missing 5-year-old girl after her mother was found dead in their apartment Monday in Canada, the Calgary Herald reports. Investigators believe Sara Baillie was killed, though a cause of death hasn’t been given, and an Amber Alert for her daughter Taliyah Marsman was issued early Tuesday. According to the Canadian Press, Taliyah was last seen by family on Sunday morning. The girl’s aunt and uncle describe her as a “vivacious, wonderful child.“ “She’s always dancing and loving and caring,” a babysitter tells the Herald. “She likes to love people, and she’s really good at making friends.”
Taliyah’s father and Baillie’s estranged common-law husband, Colin Marsman, asked for anyone with information regarding his daughter’s whereabouts to come forward. “With all my heart, I love her sooo much; she is my light! Please allow her to come home to her family,“ CBC quotes a statement issued by Marsman Wednesday. “Those who know me best, know the person and kind of father I am, and know more than anything, I just want my baby girl back.” Authorities say there is some history of domestic violence between Marsman and Baillie. Marsman is cooperating with police, but they aren’t ruling out anyone as a suspect.
► This Haircut Costs France $11K a Month
A satirical French magazine recently printed a barber’s tab that indicated Francois Hollande pays around $11,000 each month to maintain the modest amount of hair on his head—except the tab was no joke, Bloomberg reports. “Everyone needs their hair done, no?“ a government rep confirms. “I can understand people’s questions, I can understand their judgments. He’s not just anybody, that’s all.“ But while Hollande may not be just anybody, he is somebody who promised austerity and that he’d be a “normal” president compared with former “bling-bling” President Nicolas Sarkozy. It’s also a stunning amount for the stylist—identified by the BBC only as “Olivier B,“ required to be on call 24/7 and Hollande’s travel companion on most of his foreign junkets—when noted next to base salaries for European Parliament members, who just received a raise in January to about $9,150 a month.
A source who talks to the Express appears to defend Mr. B’s compensation by noting that the hairstylist has had to sell his personal salon to tend to Hollande, and that frequent trips have even caused him to “[miss] the birth of his children.“ Still, most other reaction has been cutting, with mane-centric memes flowing aplenty, many accompanied by the #CoiffeurGate hashtag and some even floating the idea of balding candidates for the next election to save taxpayer money, News.com.au reports. A good number of tweets are in French, but even those who can’t read the language will be able to appreciate Photoshopped images of Hollande done up with a mullet, channeling mid-‘80s George Michael, and even imagined as Princess Leia. The Zero Hedge site, which refers to the revelation as “shampoo socialism” amid “record unemployment, painful labor reforms, economic collapse, and the most serious social unrest in decades,“ wryly notes, “Vive la revolution.“
► As the Bulls Run, Another Kind of Violence in Pamplona: Rape
Bulls goring humans in Pamplona isn’t the only form of violence making headlines at this year’s San Fermin festival. At least 15 cases of sexual assault, including four rapes and one attempted rape, and 15 arrests have been reported since the festival started July 6, drawing attention once more to the sexual violence that’s been prominent on organizers’ radar since the 2008 beating death of a young woman, the Guardian reports. Five of the suspects are being tied to one alleged attack: the rape of a 19-year-old woman that was reportedly filmed on a cellphone, the New York Times reports. One of the men is said to be a recent grad of Spain’s military police corps, while another is also reportedly a service member. A female police officer says she was molested; a 22-year-old French woman said she was raped in a parking lot bathroom, per the Local.
Thousands have already taken to the streets in protest, demonstrating against what San Fermin Mayor Joseba Asiron last year called an “intolerable … black stain on San Fermin.“ The Telegraph notes that last year’s event saw only four sexual assault reports total, making this year’s increase alarming. But the councilor of Pamplona’s public safety program says that rise in numbers is only because the city is working so hard to combat sexual violence, making it easier for women to report it and therefore upping the number of attacks cited in the media. “I don’t think what’s happening in Pamplona is different from what’s happening in other cities at festival time,“ he tells the Guardian. “It’s just that we’ve opened up the channels of communication” and have 3,400 officers on the streets.
► See the Calmest Way Possible to Foil an Armed Robbery
The owner of a New Zealand kebab eatery kept calm and carried on as a robber-wannabe waved his gun and demanded money—as in, the owner carried on serving his customers while ignoring the gunman, the BBC reports. In a video posted by the Canterbury Police on Facebook, Said Ahmed can be seen working behind the counter at his Christchurch takeout joint when the masked suspect comes in, and Ahmed even appears to smile as the perp asks him for the restaurant’s cash. But, as Ahmed explains, “I am a businessman. I hadn’t finished with my customer and my priority was to finish serving him.“
And so he works around the guy holding the gun at his counter, instead handing a bagged order of chicken souvlaki to a waiting customer, who nervously grabs the bag and exits. Ahmed then casually strolls back to the kitchen, where he calls the cops as the confused, defeated robber leaves the eatery, per the Guardian. “My heart was beating quickly,“ says Ahmed, who came to New Zealand from Egypt 20 years ago. “I was scared, but I wasn’t going to show him that.“ Canterbury cops are still looking into the robbery attempt.
► Britain’s New Top Diplomat Has Offended a Lot of People
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, President Obama, the people of Papua New Guinea, and many others around the world have something in common: They’ve all been insulted at one point or another by Boris Johnson, Britain’s new top diplomat. The colorful former mayor of London and prominent Brexit supporter was appointed as foreign secretary by new Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, Reuters reports. The move was greeted with disbelief by critics who noted that over a long career in politics and journalism, Johnson has offended many of the people and countries he will be dealing with in his new role. A partial list, per the Atlantic, Slate, and the Washington Post:
President Obama. In April, Johnson responded to Obama’s suggestion that the UK would be better off staying in the EU by noting that a bust of Winston Churchill had been removed from the Oval Office, possibly because it was “a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire.“
Hillary Clinton. “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital,“ Johnson wrote in his Telegraph column in 2007.
George W. Bush. In the Spectator in 2003, Johnson described the president as “a cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who [epitomizes] the arrogance of American foreign policy.“
Donald Trump. “The only reason I wouldn’t visit some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump,“ Johnson said late last year.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Johnson not only insulted the Turkish leader, he won first prize in a contest to compose an offensive poem about him. “There was a young fellow from Ankara, Who was a terrific wankerer. Till he sowed his wild oats with the help of a goat, But he didn’t even stop to thankera,“ Johnson wrote.
Papua New Guinea. Conservative Party members “have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing,“ he wrote in 2006, a decade before the party turmoil that put May in power.
Liverpool. Johnson denounced the British city’s “mawkish sentimentality” and “unattractive psyche” in 2004 after it held a two-minute silence to mourn a resident kidnapped and killed by insurgents in Iraq.
The Guardian reports that reactions around the world to Johnson’s appointment range from amusement to bemusement to anger. His support for Brexit has made him particularly unpopular in EU countries. “There’s justice after all. As foreign minister, Boris Johnson now has to lie in the bed he made himself,“ tweeted the deputy editor of Germany’s Bild tabloid.
GLENVILLE, WV – Since the early stages of Glenville State College’s Hidden Promise program, both college officials and public school administrators have had the same common desires for students in the Mountain State: increase the high school and college graduation rates, better prepare them for college enrollment, encourage increased college attendance, and improve their overall success in pursuits of higher education.
The Hidden Promise Consortium has flourished in the years since the initial 13 district superintendents signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GSC in June 2007. The Consortium has grown to include all 55 school districts across West Virginia from which over 2,000 8-12th grade Hidden Promise Scholars (HPS) hail. The Consortium quickly adopted HPS as a signature program to identify and mentor 8-12th grade students with undiscovered promise. These students are identified by the district and recognized by Glenville State College as Scholars.
The growth of the program is not unexpected in light of the Consortium’s success; the specialized attention 8-12th grade Scholars receive has produced a college-going rate 33 percent greater than the statewide college-going rate.
Hidden Promise Scholars attending a recent summer camp
Thinking back on when he first began conversations with officials in the original 13 Hidden Promise Consortium counties, GSC President Dr. Peter Barr recalls finding several recurring themes. “I found welcoming educators committed to overcoming the hurdles faced by K-12 students who often come from low to moderate family incomes and reduced educational expectations,” he said. “Those local leaders were seeking to create best-practices in the classroom and to heighten educational aspirations against the formidable odds of sometimes-dire rural circumstances. I found myself admiring these superintendents and their high ambitions for both teachers and students and that theme has certainly presented itself again and again as we have worked to add the rest of West Virginia’s school systems to Glenville State’s Hidden Promise Consortium.”
Still today, county school leaders recognize the importance of this unique program. Kanawha County Superintendent Ron Duerring says he sees the benefits of the program as soon as students find out they have been chosen to participate. “They’re excited. That child is getting an opportunity they may not have had otherwise and they can see their future opening up,” he said.
Tucker County Superintendent Eddie Campbell says he is excited by the idea of the program and the opportunities that it gives to students from his county to get a college education at a school that isn’t that far away from home. He also appreciates the peer mentoring aspect that goes along with it. “Going to college is a new experience and it can be an overwhelming culture-shock for these students, even at a smaller school. Having that connection between the student and their mentor creates such an important level of support and encouragement,” he said.
President and Mrs. Barr with the first group of GSC Hidden Promise Scholars
More than 100 Glenville State students receive scholarships for mentoring 8-12th grade Hidden Promise Scholars. They complete a federal background check and are trained and supervised by the Hidden Promise staff. The HPS program also hosts age-specific summer camps that bring Scholars from across the state for multi-day residential college-like experiences. These camps are available to the Scholars at no cost, including transportation to and from their home counties if they need it.
Wirt County Superintendent Mary Jane Pope Albin agrees that participation in the Hidden Promise program is significant for students. “It’s not just a one-time thing, it is sustained contact and support toward making a college choice which is invaluable. The program certainly helps students and their families make important educational and social choices,” she said.
After students are inducted into the program, they can keep in contact with their mentor and communicate with HPS staff in a number of ways. In addition to being invited to campus for athletic events, theatrical, and musical performances, receiving phone calls from their mentor, and being linked to the social media pages for the program, the students and their families also can attend community gatherings that are planned by Off-Campus Coordinators in the Hidden Promise office. The events, which take place in the schools and at local restaurants, are informal meetings with the Scholars, their families, county school principals and counselors, and Hidden Promise mentors and staff.
HPS Coordinator Stacy Adkins meets with an on-campus scholar
Currently, over one hundred and fifty Scholars are enrolled at Glenville State. They receive not only specialized support from Hidden Promise staff, but also an annual scholarship of $1,000 renewable with standard academic progress.
“It’s a great program that has a strong mission and it stays true to that mission. That’s why it’s been successful,” added Duerring.
For more information about the Hidden Promise Consortium at Glenville State College, contact 304.462.6100.
Parkersburg, WV—The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) of Doddridge and Ritchie Counties and the Little Kanawha Area is currently accepting applications for grants for the fall cycle of its Community Action Grants Program.
The Foundation’s application process is online; the application deadline is midnight on September 15, 2016.
Organizations apply for grant support from the PACF and/or any of its affiliates on a single, online application.
To be considered for a Community Action Grant, an applicant must be a private, nonprofit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a public institution.
Either the applicant or program to be funded must be located in the Foundation’s eleven-county geographic service area (Wood, Wirt, Doddridge, Ritchie, Pleasants, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Jackson, and Mason counties in West Virginia, and Washington County in Ohio).
The PACF provides grant support for capital and equipment projects, program development, and technical assistance, training, and capacity building projects, and, under special circumstances, operating support.
Submitted applications are considered for support from a wide variety of charitable funds established at the Foundation by local, caring citizens.
The Foundation’s grantmaking guidelines provide additional information on eligibility and priorities for all types of grants.
To access the grantmaking guidelines and the online application, visit the Foundation’s website at www.pacfwv.com/grants.
For more information, contact Marian Clowes, the PACF’s Senior Program Officer, at 304.428.4438 or
Gilmer County Clerk: Notice to Creditors and Beneficiaries
CLERK OF THE COUNTY COMMISSION OF GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
NOTICE TO CREDITORS AND BENEFICIARIES
The administration of the estates(s) of the following deceased is pending before the Clerk of the County Commission of Gilmer County, 10 Howard Street, Glenville WV 26351.
The names and addresses of the personal representative and the personal representative’s attorney are set forth below.
Notice is hereby given that the estate(s) of the following has been opened for probate. Any interested person objecting to the validity of the will, the qualifications of the personal representative or the venue or jurisdiction of the court, shall file notice of an objection with the County Commission within ninety days after the date of the first publication or within 30 days of service of notice, whichever is later. If an objection is not timely filed, the objection is forever barred.
All persons having claims against the estate(s) of the said following deceased, whether due or not, are notified to exhibit their claims, with the voucher thereof, legally verified, to the undersigned, at the County Clerk’s Office on or before September 12, 2016 otherwise they may by law be excluded from all benefit of said estate(s). All beneficiaries of said estate(s) may appear on or before said day to examine said claims and otherwise protect their interests.
Claims against the estate must be filed in accordance with West Virginia Code 44-1-14a.
Robert B. Chapman
Larry B. Chapman
PO Box 357
Glenville, WV 26351
Helen Radcliff James
Gregory Clark James
PO Box 411
Glenville, WV 26351
ALura Lou Barnett
3129 Fairway Dr.
Morgantown, WV 26508
Claud R. Coberly
Kay C. Yohey
556 E Main Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
145 Summit Ridge Road
Hurricane, WV 25526
Evelyn Gay Spaur
145 Joes Run Road
Burnsville, WV 26335
Clerk of Gilmer County Commission
10 Howard Street
Glenville, WV 26351
The date of the first publication of this Notice is : July 14, 2016
► State BOE votes to seize control of Boone County system
CHARLESTON, WV — The state Board of Education voted Thursday to seize control of the Boone County school system on Monday unless the county’s board of education approves a balanced budget before then.
The move was recommended by state School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano who said he could not in good conscience approve a budget that doesn’t guarantee full funding for Boone County school workers and full funding for student instruction for the entirety of the current budget year.
“We cannot ignore the economic realities faced by Boone County, and we must act now to ensure the students of Boone County are in school are teachers are paid for the entirety of the 2016-2017 school year,” Martirano said.
The Boone County school system has lost more than $10 million in tax revenue from coal during the past year and the local school board has cut its budget including layoffs and the closings of schools but it’s not enough, Martirano said.
The approved budget was $7 million short and money would run out next spring, Martirano said.
The Boone board rejected two sets of directives from Martirano including cuts in supplemental salary and vision and dental insurance benefits along with other measures.
State board members said Thursday the Boone board has left them no other choice.
“The State Board has no desire to intervene in Boone County,” said State Board of Education President Mike Green in a news release. “The Boone County Board of Education left the State Board with no other option but to intervene to provide a mechanism that allows for a full instructional term for our students and ensures sufficient funds to pay employees for the entire school year.”
Green and other board members are urging the Boone County School Board to hold a special meeting between before Monday and pass a balanced budget.
► FEMA Securing Mobile Homes for People Displaced by Floods
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it’s securing an unspecified number of mobile homes to house some of those displaced by West Virginia’s deadly floods.
The temporary homes will be used to shelter flood victims in hard-hit Kanawha and Greenbrier counties. Flooding in late June claimed 23 lives and devastated numerous homes and businesses.
FEMA spokesman Scott Sanders says the mobile homes are being used as a last resort after authorities were unable to find enough rental properties and other housing options for the displaced.
Officials say they’re still unsure exactly how many mobile homes will be used or where they’ll be located.
Eligible flood victims will be allowed to live rent free for 18 months in the one- or two-bedroom units, which come fully furnished.
► Marshall Expands Beer Sales at Home Football Games
Marshall University is expanding beer sales at home football games.
The university Board of Governors on Tuesday approved the sale of beer in six sections on the west side of Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The university says in a news release that security measures will be increased in those sections.
Beer had been sold since 2005 in the stadium’s Big Green Room and could not be taken outside.
Marshall opens the season September 10 at home against Morgan State.
► WV State school board puts off decision on Boone County
Boone County school system employees could go from some of the best paid school workers in the state to the worst if cuts proposed by state Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano go through, some workers told members of the state Board of Education Wednesday.
State board members, who discussed the issue for more than an hour without making a decision, said there were a lot of questions about the Boone County budget and a possible state takeover. Some kind of vote is expected Thursday.
Boone County American Federation of Teachers President Carrena Rouse told the state board her county will become a ghost town if salaries and benefits are cut.
“My fear is that we will lose our best teachers—Boone County is currently seeing this exodus,” Rouse said. “My fear is that Boone County will become another McDowell or Lincoln county and this is not what this board wants.”
Employees would lose as much as $6,000 individually if supplemental pay is cut along with dental and vision coverage, Rouse said. The number would double for family coverage.
The WV-AFT is asking the state board to not rush to a decision and have further discussion.
State School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano told the board a lot of good points are being made but the bottom line is because of the downfall of the coal industry Boone County no longer has the money to operate the system as it has in the past.
“As teachers and as staff and community we need to understand that there’s a problem–there’s not enough money right now to sustain the educational delivery to meet the instructional term and the employment term of our students and our staff,” Martirano said.
If something isn’t done the Boone County system could run out of money by next April, Martirano said.
The Boone County Board of Education has rejected two sets of directives from Martirano to balance the system’s budget.
Boone County Career and Technical Center Principal Jeff Nelson told the state board the attempt to cut his pay and others was “unethical, unfair and illegal.”
“What shouldn’t happen is this burden be shackled to folks that have a contract, that have a financial agreement, have made financial plans based on that promise from the state of West Virginia and the county of Boone County,” Nelson said.
The state Board of Education will resume its meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday.
► Harrison County Magistrate reinstated following last week’s acquittal in court
CLARKSBURG, WV — The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has reinstated suspended Harrison County Magistrate Mark Gorby following his acquittal last week on a number of sexual abuse charges.
A Harrison County jury found Gorby, 62, not guilty of charges that he forced sexual intercourse on the accuser from the time she was 8 until she was 12.
Gorby had been suspended without pay since October 2014.
Gorby will receive back pay from the date of his suspension through the date of his reinstatement.
There are approximately 3,000 homeowners who are currently living in flood-damaged homes in the Mountain State some three weeks after the June 23 flood, according to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
The governor held a news conference at the state capitol Wednesday afternoon. He gave an update on flood recovery efforts and steps that are being taken in connection with long-term recovery.
Along with the 3,000 homeowners in flood damaged homes, there are approximately 1,800 homeowners or renters staying with friends or relatives. The numbers are based on FEMA registrations, the governor’s office said.
FEMA mobile homes are available in some cases but not many residents have decided to take them, the governor said.
“There’s a lot of them (mobile homes) stationed in Maryland that could be here in several hours, if necessary,” Tomblin said earlier. “It’s my understanding it’s been a small number of people so far that have requested mobile homes. They’ve ready go to an apartment or something they could move into today.”
Tomblin announced he’s appointed the head of the National Guard, Major Jim Hoyer, state adjutant general, as the state’s chief recovery coordinator. Hoyer will work with FEMA Advanced Evaluation Teams as they cover the 12-county federal disaster area. Tomblin also appointed state Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette as the state’s disaster recovery officer.
The flood damage cost has already easily topped $100 million, Tomblin said, adding he has yet to see final damage amounts from counties and municipalities. Tomblin isn’t sure when he’ll call the legislature into special session to take money from the Rainy Day Fund to pay the state’s share.
“That was one of the major reasons that fund was set up–thank goodness we have that,” Tomblin said.
On Wednesday, Tomblin would not commit using state money as direct grants to small business owners who lost everything in the flood. Part of Burdette’s job will be looking at ways to help business owners, Tomblin said.
“How much can the state afford to give back? Obviously, we want to do everything we can to get these businesses back open again. But how far can we go? That’s a question right now we are trying to find an answer to,” Tomblin said.
Other information from Wednesday’s news conference:
–Tomblin has given the the WV National Guard the authority to work directly with homeowners on debris removal and rebuild, which will help reduce the individual homeowners’ recovery costs.
–As of Wednesday morning, only four families remained in shelters in the flood zone. Arrangements were being made to move them to other living arrangements.
–Charleston-based Mountain Mission is leading a public-private partnership group called “Hope Project” that will make available free building materials to qualified homeowners in the Elk River area.
–State Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox announced road damage from the June 23 flood now totals $55 million including $14.2 million in Kanawha County, $9.6 in Clay County, $8.4 million in Nicholas County and $6.3 million in Greenbrier County.
► Public Libraries Sustain Damage in Flooding
Not only were homes and businesses impacted by flood waters last month, but public libraries suffered as well.
Five feet of flood water destroyed the Rainelle Public library’s entire print and digital collections. According to a press release from the West Virginia Library Commission, the Clendenin Public Library was declared a catastrophe. Flood waters forced out windows and left 8 inches of mud throughout the building. All books were destroyed, and the structural integrity of the facility is in doubt.
There’s a reason Nashville is known as Music City. ValuePenguin ranks Nashville as the best US city for music fans based on 15 factors, broken down into three groups: The Band (number of musicians, recording studios, and record labels, per 1,000 people), The Crowd (number of radio stations, bars, venues), and The Intangibles (number of music schools, performing arts degrees, and more). Though Los Angeles scored high in two categories, its poor showing in The Crowd put it at the No. 27 spot. The top 10:
Three men in a car in Norfolk, Va., were ambushed and shot Tuesday evening, and the phone of one of the men streamed the entire incident on Facebook Live, USA Today reports. In the video, a man IDed as TJ Williams is seen hanging out with two other men, listening to music and smoking, when a few minutes into the clip shots start ringing out, continuing for about 20 seconds, WVEC notes; around 30 shots were fired. Williams dropped the phone onto the floor, where it continued recording for more than an hour afterward. Norfolk Police say they found three men, ages 27 and 29, with gunshot wounds, NBC News reports. The police later tweeted that all three men were taken to a local hospital, two with life-threatening injuries. A police rep confirmed the Facebook video was indeed tied to a Bainbridge Boulevard shooting being investigated, per the New York Daily News.
A few seconds after the shooting (which can be partly seen in a brief WTKR news clip), a man’s voice can be heard saying, “Call the ambulance, please,“ and soon after that, another man can be heard comforting the victims. “Stay relaxed,“ he says. “Stay with me. … Keep your eyes open. Keep listening to my voice.“ Police aren’t saying yet if they have a suspect or motive. Per the Hollywood Reporter, following last week’s Facebook Live streaming of the aftermath of the shooting of Philando Castile, Facebook updated its guidelines for posting live video, noting that when people share “violent or graphic images of events taking place in the real world … context and degree are everything.“ Williams’ entire video can be viewed HERE (warning: graphic content).
► Viking Ship on Epic Journey Hits $400K Snag
It was an epic journey that was to end with the world’s largest Viking ship making a tour of the Great Lakes. Now the ship might have to make a U-turn. The Draken Harald Harfagre—which made stops in the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland while repeating explorer Leif Eriksson’s 1,000-year-old crossing of the Atlantic from Norway—was set to appear at ports across the Great Lakes beginning Thursday. But upon entering the St. Lawrence Seaway, the crew was informed it would need a $400-per-hour pilot for a total fee of at least $400,000, which it can’t afford, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The crew says it believed the ship would be exempt from such a fee—it was given free passage through Canada—but the US Coast Guard requires ships carry a pilot in international waters.
As the Draken is set to visit Chicago, Green Bay (Wis.), New York City, and ports in Ohio and Connecticut, “the fees are just not possible,“ the owner of the nonprofit project says. “The people in the harbors around the lakes are expecting us,“ the ship captain adds, per MLive. “It is a pity if we cannot pursue this expedition.“ The Draken—with an oak hull and 3,200-square-foot sail—will visit Bay City, Mich., this week, then await a possible return to Norway, per a release. A rep for a tall-ships festival in Duluth, Minn., where the ship was to appear in August, tells the Duluth News Tribune that it’s a “devastating” development. But “there are heroic efforts to save the day, and I believe the Draken will be here in Duluth,“ he adds. A petition calling for the fees to be waived has reached 8,000 signatures.
► Dallas Chief’s Stevie Wonder Speech Resonates
President Obama delivered a stirring call for unity at Tuesday’s memorial service for five slain Dallas police officers, but the city’s top cop’s soulful tribute is the one getting the most attention. Dallas Police Chief David Brown recited lyrics from Stevie Wonder’s “As,“ explaining that as a young man in the ‘70s, he used to recite song lyrics to get dates (and when it was love, he “had to dig down deep to get some Stevie Wonder to fully express the love I had”)—and he wanted to show some of that love to the officers’ families, the Miami Herald reports. “We all know sometimes life’s hate and troubles can make you wish you were born in another time and place, but you can bet your lifetimes and twice as double that God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed,“ recited the chief, who was greeted with a long standing ovation when he rose to speak.
“So make sure when you say you’re in it, but not of it, you’re not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called hell. Change your words into truth and then change that truth into love,“ the chief continued. He recited several more lines before introducing Obama, who quipped: “Chief Brown, I’m so glad I met Michelle first because she loves Stevie Wonder,“ Mashable notes. In other coverage:
The service at the Meyerson Symphony Center also included an extraordinary performance from gospel singer Gaye Arbuckle. The Dallas Morning News describes her rendition of “Total Praise” by Richard Smallwood as a “healing moment in a service that sought to heal, in whatever way it could.“
Obama delivered his remarks—which can be seen in full here—next to five chairs empty but for folded American flags as tributes to the fallen officers, ABC News reports. The White House says the president stayed up long into the night to write the speech himself, drawing on the Bible for inspiration.
The New York Times reports that Obama’s speech was, for the most part, welcomed by law enforcement officials, as was that of George W. Bush. “Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions,” Bush said to applause. “And this has strained our bonds of understanding and common purpose.“
► Beauty Queen Forced to Return Crown
From scandal to lawsuits to a dethroning, it is safe to say that the inaugural year of the Corpus Christi Latina beauty pageant was not an unqualified success. Miss America Latina national director Acirema Alayeto says Caitlin Cifuentes has had her crown revoked and she has been replaced by runner-up Valeria Barrera, Action 10 reports. Barrera was one of six runners-up from the June 11 pageant who sued the pageant’s local director, saying the 25-year-old Cifuentes should not have been allowed to compete because of issues including her deferred adjudicated probation on a 2013 charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She is also on probation for a misdemeanor DUI stemming from the same incident in 2013, a car crash that injured four.
Cifuentes and local pageant director Kayla Alvarez had argued that Cifuentes technically had no convictions and no pending charges, which made her eligible to compete, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports. Alayeto countered that Cifuentes has to complete the probation to avoid a conviction, so the assault charge—which she pleaded guilty to—should be considered pending. Cifuentes will no longer be eligible for the national pageant, reports the Houston Chronicle, which notes that the organization’s motto is “more than a model ... a role model.“ In a Facebook post, Cifuentes thanked supporters and described herself as a positive role model. “Everyone makes mistakes but what you do after is what counts,“ she wrote.
► 33 Sickened in NYC Mass Overdose
More than two dozen people were sickened in an apparent mass drug overdose on a New York City street corner, sparking warnings from police and health officials about the dangers of using K2, also known as synthetic marijuana. Calls started coming in Tuesday morning that numerous people appeared to be overdosing in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, the AP reports. Witnesses reported seeing victims lying on the sidewalk, shaking, and leaning against trees and fire hydrants. At least 33 people were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, police say. It was not immediately clear what drugs the victims had ingested, but police say some of the victims had been smoking K2.
The Health Department issued a statement saying it “recorded a spike in K2-related emergency room visits” connected to the incident in Brooklyn. The department says it is investigating and monitoring emergency rooms across the city. “We remind New Yorkers that K2 is extremely dangerous,“ the Health Department said in its statement. “The city’s public awareness efforts and aggressive enforcement actions over the past year have contributed to a significant decline in ER visits related to K2.“ The drug affects the same area of the brain as marijuana, but it contains chemicals made in labs and sprayed onto dry leaves. These chemicals are not derived from the marijuana plant, according to the Health Department.
► Baton Rouge Police: Suspects Stole Guns to Murder Officers
“This was an actual, credible threat,“ says Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson of an alleged plot to kill police officers that officials say they foiled in Baton Rouge. NOLA.com and ABC News report three of four suspects who broke into the Cash America Pawn Store on Saturday afternoon—days after Tuesday’s police shooting of Alton Sterling—and stole eight guns have been arrested; the fourth remains at large, along with two stolen handguns.
Police say the first suspect, who was quickly arrested, gave up details of the alleged plan: to source guns and ammunition and go after police. The pawn shop owner says no ammunition was taken. With one suspect and some of the guns still at play, the threat is considered active.
► You Might Need to Dump Your Betty Crocker Cake Mix
General Mills Inc. is recalling two flavors of Betty Crocker cake mix sold in the US and one flavor sold in Canada because they use flour that was recalled earlier because it could contain E.coli. The flavors include Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix, which is called Betty Crocker Super Moist Rainbow Bit Cake Mix in Canada. A General Mills supplier used Wondra flour implicated in a July 1, 2016, recall to make the flavor chips used in the recalled cake mix flavors, the AP reports. No illnesses reported to date have been connected to cake mix. A full list of products included in the flour recall can be found HERE .
In the US, the mix carried a Package UPC 000-16000-40997 and “better if used by dates” including 25MAR2017, 28MAR2017, 27APR2017, 28APR2017, 23MAY2017, 24MAY2017, and 25MAY2017. The US recall also includes Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix with UPC 000-16000-40987 and “better if used by dates” including 12APR2017, 13APR2017, 14APR2017, 28May2017, 29May2017, 30MAY2017, 07JUL2017, and 08JUL2017. In Canada, the Super Moist Rainbow Bit Cake Mix has a Package UPC of 000-65633-46589 and “better if used by dates” of 27AL2017, 08JN2017, and 09JN2017. US consumers with questions or requesting Betty Crocker replacement product should call General Mills at 1.800.230.8103. Canadian consumers should contact General Mills Canada at 1.800.526.4579.
► Woman Posts Photo at Grand Canyon Edge, Falls to Death
The last photo Colleen Burns posted to Instagram shows her sitting at the edge of the Grand Canyon. “That view tho,“ she captioned it. Hours later, the 35-year-old fell 400 feet to her death when she slipped off a ledge Friday morning. Park officials announced her death Monday, the AP reports. “She was, like, stepping out of the way for another gentleman to kind of squeeze in, and unfortunately Colleen just kind of got tripped up on her own feet and fell backwards, fell into the canyon,“ a friend who was with Burns on the sunrise hike tells WESH. “That was the longest, strangest, craziest two seconds of my life.“
Burns, who was a regional marketing director for Yelp in Orlando, fell from Ooh Aah Point, about a mile down the popular South Kaibab Trail, and rangers found her body about 400 feet from where she fell. “To say we’re heartbroken is a severe understatement,“ a Yelp spokesperson tells the Orlando Sentinel.
ISIS, which measures success in the number of people its followers kill in bloody atrocities around the world, says it had a very successful Ramadan. In the latest issue of its al-Naba magazine, the group boasts that it killed or injured 5,200 people in 14 “military operations” during Ramadan, including the Orlando nightclub massacre, the murder of a police officer and his wife near Paris, and a particularly heinous bombing in Baghdad, reports Vocativ. The group also claims attacks in countries including Afghanistan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Turkey, saying its victims included 285 non-Arab Christians and almost 2,000 Shiite Muslims.
But while ISIS brags about far-flung attacks, its “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria is steadily shrinking and analysts say the group appears to be bracing for the possible loss of all its territory, the Washington Post reports. A recent al-Naba editorial insisted that the group would survive as an underground organization even if the physical caliphate collapsed, and an ISIS operative who spoke to the Post on the condition his location was not revealed says the transition has already begun. “We do have, every day, people reaching out and telling us they want to come to the caliphate,“ he says. “But we tell them to stay in their countries and rather wait to do something there.“ He adds: “There is a message to all members of the coalition against us: We will not forget, and we will come into your countries and hit you.“
► 1930 Sketch May Reveal Truth of van Gogh’s Mutilation
An amateur historian says a secret detail about Vincent van Gogh has for decades sat in the archives of the writer who tackled the artist’s life in the acclaimed 1934 fictionalized biography Lust for Life. In what a press release describes as “seven years of meticulous research,“ Bernadette Murphy uncovered a 1930 meeting between author Irving Stone and van Gogh’s physician, Felix Rey. During their visit, Rey sketched an illustration of the injury van Gogh inflicted on his left ear on December 23, 1888, a wound that Rey treated a day later after police found van Gogh and brought him to the hospital, reports the BBC. The Globe and Mail reports “scholarly consensus” has long held that van Gogh sliced off his earlobe and later gifted it to a prostitute named Rachel. Quite the opposite, holds Murphy.
Murphy’s suspicion that the sketch remained in Stone’s archive proved correct, and it shows the ear was nearly entirely severed, with only a bit of lobe remaining. In comments to the New York Times, van Gogh biographer Steven Naifeh describes the sketch as “not credible,“ saying his own research surfaced a “very detailed etching” of van Gogh’s ear made in 1890 by another doctor; though more than the lobe was missing, the entire ear was not gone. A reproduction of the Rey sketch, done on a prescription pad, is featured in Murphy’s book, Van Gogh’s Ear, which was published Tuesday. Her book upends the long-held Rachel story as well, with Murphy saying her research led her to a 19-year-old brothel maid named Gabrielle who had suffered a serious dog bite as a child and who was given the ear to “alleviate what [van Gogh] perceived as her suffering.“
► Judge’s Sentence for Road-Rage Charge: You Will Knit
When Amanda McCabe was accused in court of assaulting another Scottish woman after a road-rage incident in Dundee, she had a most unusual reaction: She bragged about what a terrific knitter she was, noting she could whip up a sweater in just a few days, Mashable reports. Clare Smith alleged that McCabe had tailed her for miles before cutting her off, yanking her out of the car, and punching her in the face. But McCabe says she wasn’t following Smith, she was simply headed in the same direction—toward a local wool shop, due to her being a “keen knitter.“
The judge took what she said into account and handed down an appropriate punishment for the January assault, which she admitted to. “If you are a skilled knitter, then I am sure that you could produce some goods for charity,“ the judge said, per the Courier. “You will bring to court several items that you have knitted that you are prepared to donate to a charity shop.“ He gave her until December 14, because apparently he’s expecting her to knit enough to supply a small boutique. “It will not be a meager amount,“ he added. “You have committed a serious offense.“
► Workers Con Time Clock With Boxes Over Heads
A good percentage of 30 town hall workers in Boscotrecase, Italy, located just outside Naples, have absenteeism issues, with some resorting to ridiculous measures to game the time-clock system by signing in, then leaving, or even punching each other’s cards. But while cops recently arrested more than two-thirds of the workers for fraud, there’s a new workplace wrinkle: There may not be enough municipal employees to keep the town running, Reuters reports. “I’ll probably have to shut down the town hall,“ Mayor Pietro Carotenuto laments, noting that four departments were shuttered Tuesday. The arrests, which nabbed the town’s accounting chief and the head of the traffic police, among others, come during a continuing countrywide sting against what the Local calls “public sector shirkers.“
Some of those shirkers weren’t exactly inconspicuous: A police video shows at least one man fiddling with a security camera, then putting a cardboard box over his head before running two timecards through the machine; the Local says at least two people were caught on tape going the cardboard-box-on-head route. Twenty-three Boscotrecase employees in total were busted, with six placed under house arrest, four suspended for six months, and 13 suspended for an entire year. And the other handful of employees who (so far) haven’t tried any funny business? The Local notes they can get in trouble if they pretend they don’t see what their colleagues are doing.
► Mom Who Miscarried Could Do More Time for ‘Homicide’
When Maria Teresa Rivera, a 28-year-old factory worker in El Salvador and single mom of a young boy, began to bleed heavily and collapsed, her family called an ambulance. She had just miscarried a baby she didn’t even know she was pregnant with, and the next thing she knew she was in jail, accused of aggravated homicide. Rivera was sentenced to 40 years in prison and had to leave her son behind, reports Mother Jones. “I was forced to abandon him for four and a half years, and he suffered greatly during that time,“ she told Rewire in May. (Mother Jones notes that 19,000 illegal abortions were reported in El Salvador, which has the world’s strictest total abortion ban, between 2005 and 2008, nearly a third of them on adolescents. The World Health Organization reports that 9% of maternal deaths in Central America are from illegal abortions.)
But a judge who reviewed her case four years into her sentence ordered her release this past spring, and she enjoyed an entire month of freedom—“To hug my son again after four and a half years…It was the happiest feeling that I could have felt, something I will never forget"—before El Salvador’s attorney general challenged the decision in what Fusion is calling “an act of mustache-twisting nastiness.“ And while Rivera awaits a three-judge panel’s decision this week, there is increased attention on “the 17,“ a group of women serving 12 to 40 years for having miscarriages or spontaneous abortions. While three women have been released since the group formed in 2014, another dozen have been locked up. “I have to fight for them,“ Rivera says.
National College Access Network: How Three Cities Plan to Boost FAFSA Completion
In May, NCAN announced the 22 U.S. cities we chose to receive up to $55,000 each for the FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant. Through this project, generously supported through a $1.6 million grant from The Kresge Foundation, NCAN is challenging the 22 cities to increase FAFSA completion rates by at least 5 percent for the graduating high school class of 2017.
Two significant changes to the FAFSA coming this fall will make applying for aid easier and better-timed than ever for low-income students. The grant funding will support the planning and execution of citywide, cross-sector FAFSA completion efforts for the 2016-17 school year, with strategic efforts to help students navigate the new changes and timing.
Our nearly two dozen grantees are already thinking big, as evidenced by their applications for the funding. College access advocates in Charleston, West Virginia; Bakersfield, California and Detroit, Michigan—the location of our upcoming national conference—exemplify just a few of the exciting ways in which communities are creating broad partnerships to increase FAFSA completion rates, ultimately helping more low-income and underrepresented students apply to, enter and succeed in college.
The Motor City has experience with such things: It is also part of the Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnership for Attainment network, whose members work closely with Lumina and national thought leaders to develop a customized action plan to increase the percentage of high-quality credentials held by residents. But collaborative college access and readiness work in Detroit dates back to the spring of 2013, when a group of cross-sector organizations assembled to increase FAFSA completion rates—and did so, in impressive numbers. The momentum led to the creation of the Detroit College Access Network, which is supported by the Michigan College Access Network.
And now, they’re aiming even higher: Detroit’s goal for the FAFSA Completion Challenge is to raise the citywide FAFSA completion rate from 58 percent for the class of 2015 to at least 65 percent by June 2017 (with an intermediate target goal of 40 percent by mid-December) and up to 75 percent within the next five years. DCAN will lead the data-driven effort, working with a so-called Action Team comprising partners from education, college access and success organizations and community groups. Among the team’s guiding principles: “The purpose is to strengthen our community and improve the outcome of children. We will use a student-centric lens … Team determines WHAT to accomplish (measurable outcome), but utilizes community engagement to determine HOW to reach it.”
The team will designate a “College Access Champion” at each Detroit high school and relevant community organization, who will convene their own action teams aimed at increasing their site’s FAFSA completion rates by at least 7 percent.
The effort is aptly named—the 2016-17 Detroit Drives FAFSA Campaign—and that’s just the beginning of what we’ll see from the Motor City in the coming year. Stay tuned for more—and if you haven’t already, consider registering for our 21st annual national conference in Detroit, where MCAN is eager to connect and collaborate.
Community engagement is at the heart of the FAFSA Completion Challenge strategy proposed in Bakersfield, California, where the Kern Community Foundation aims to use “a whole cadre of resources provided by the state and local partners, to maximize impact and effect change.”
The plan includes engaging high school seniors in a comprehensive financial literacy curriculum, coordinating a community-wide FAFSA awareness campaign, and creating a districtwide FAFSA Completion dashboard (modeled after the Florida FAFSA Finish Line’s trail-blazing version), along with a supporting toolkit.
The goal: To raise FAFSA completion rates among area seniors by 9 percentage points next year, to 60 percent, and after expanding the outreach, to increase rates to 75 percent county-wide within two years.
That will involve a slew of partners, but to name just a few: Kern High School District; community leaders and policy makers; the College Futures Foundation; several California State University offices, including the California Academic Partnership Program and the Educational Talent Search Program; social service groups, and of course, the media.
Onward, to West Virginia: The “multifaceted approach” in Charleston aims to boost FAFSA completion rates by six percentage points in 2016-17 and each year thereafter, until 78 percent of Kanawha County Schools seniors complete a FAFSA in 2019-20.
The proposal by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission encompasses three main strategies: increasing communication aimed at informing students and families of the FAFSA’s significance and reducing informational barriers to on-time completion; increasing access to professional support in applying for financial aid; and building schools’ staff capacity to assist students and families in navigating and completing the process.
Signs of the collaborative approach will be visible all around—at “FAFSA Friday” events before high school football games, in weekly progress reports at the superintendent’s office, and in Wi-Fi-equipped school buses bringing “mobile FAFSA labs” into metro-area grocery stores, churches, libraries and other community gathering places. Frequent and consistent use of personalized text messaging and automatic dialing systems will keep students and families in the loop.
NCAN looks forward to sharing additional strategies and results from more of our 22 FAFSA Completion Challenge grantee cities as their campaigns unfold.