Daily G-Eye™: 11.02.12
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Grus, the crane, and Phoenix, the mythical bird, creep low across the south this evening.
Look for Fomalhaut, a bright star in a relatively empty region of the southern sky.
Both constellations stand below Fomalhaut around 9:00 or 10:00 PM.
A white dwarf would seem to be one of the most innocuous objects in the universe. It’s the small dead core of a once-normal star like the Sun. It no longer produces energy through nuclear reactions, but it continues to shine because it’s extremely hot.
But give a white dwarf a companion star and things change in a hurry. Interactions between the two can trigger explosions — big ones that blast away the white dwarf’s outer layers, or gigantic ones that blast the entire star to cosmic dust. And sometimes, a single white dwarf can do both.
A research team led by Ben Dilday of UC-Santa Barbara found evidence of a double-blaster in a galaxy 600 million light-years away. A supernova flared to life there, briefly outshining its entire home galaxy. The supernova was the complete destruction of a white dwarf.
But observations revealed expanding shells of gas and dust around the supernova. The shells were produced by earlier nova explosions.
The two types of explosions are related. Both occur when gas piles up on the surface of a white dwarf. A nova is an explosion of the shell of extra gas, while a supernova is the disruption of the entire star.
To complicate matters even more, that’s only one of the ways in which a white dwarf can become a supernova. The other is when two white dwarfs ram together. Astronomers have seen evidence of a few of these collision-powered supernovae — the violent ends of otherwise quiet stars.
From my flesh I will look upon my God.
Lord, as I begin to pray, your presence seeps into my heart, like sunlight through the forest trees.
Just as those rays are filled with bright specks and living things, so your presence is filled with faces and names.
They live and move and have their being in you.
All these souls, all these people, who come to me, are alive for me, in you.
I know this truth is in my flesh and in my bones, just as I know the warmth of the spring sun in my flesh and in my bones.
Thank you, Lord, for your presence and for the loved ones who live in your love.
All the Faithful Departed. Job 19:1, 23-27 (alt). The Lord is my light and my salvation—Ps 26(27):1, 4, 7-9, 13-14. Mark 15:33-39; 16:1-6.
Janice L. Clouser (nee Gregory)
of Oberlin, Ohio, passed away Monday, October 29, 2012 following a long illness.
Janice was born May 06, 1941 in Glenville, West Virginia.
She lived in Elyria prior to moving to Oberlin 26 years ago.
Janice was a member of the Elyria AMVETS Post #32 Auxiliary and the Oberlin V.F.W. Post #6273 Auxiliary. She loved playing cards and traveling to casinos. Janice especially loved her family and grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband Gene, to whom she was married 47 years; two sons, Charles Clouser and his companion Nini of Lorain and Roger Clouser and his wife Sherry of Lagrange; one daughter, Regina and her husband Tony Belfiore of Elyria; two brothers, Raymond and his wife Janice Gregory of Weston, West Virginia, Allan and his wife Diane Gregory of Elyria; three sisters, Phyllis and her husband Don Coe of Titusville, Florida, Sandra and her husband Donald of West Virginia and Pam Wilhelm of Elyria; six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Orval and Evelyn (nee Carter) Gregory; and by two brothers and two sisters.
Friends may call Friday, November 02, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Reichlin Roberts Funeral Home, 327 Cleveland St., Elyria.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 03, 2012 at 10:00 AM in the funeral Home. Rev. Ralph Krall of the Lagrange United Methodist Church will officiate.
Burial will be in Resthaven Memory Gardens in Avon.
Memorial contributions in Janice’s memory may be given to the Lagrange United Methodist Church.
Mary Ann Hardbarger
Age 72, of Elizabeth, WV, departed this life at 8:04 AM, Wednesday, October 31, 2012 in Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital , Parkersburg, WV following an extended illness.
She was born August 03, 1940 in Gilmer County, WV, a daughter of the late Floyd and Loreeta Self Peters.
Mary Ann had numerous jobs, the last being with Pennzoil as a secretary. She really enjoyed life, she played the piano and sang at several churches and nursing homes or wherever they needed someone; she was very talented in arts, crafts and jewelry making; and was a homemaker and mother.
She attended the Bethel Baptist Church at Elizabeth.
She is survived by her husband Roger Hardbarger who survives at their Elizabeth home.
Also surviving: a daughter, Lisa Groves and husband Carl of Elizabeth; 2 sons, James Lynn Thompson of Pullman, WV; and Eddie Joe Perine and wife Autumn of Parkersburg, WV; 3 brothers and 1 sister survive, Richard Peters of West Milford, WV; John Peters of Craigsville, WV; Mike Peters, Linn, WV and Sharon Radcliff of Jane Lew, WV.
Besides her parents she was preceded in death by 3 brothers, Carl, Lynn and Joe Peters and one sister, Nina Pyles.
Funeral services will be conducted at the Rock Grove United Methodist Church at 2:00 PM, Saturday, November 03, 2012 with Rev. James Brunty and Rev. Kenny Fisher officiating.
Burial will follow in the Rock Grove Cemetery.
Friends may call from 1:00-2:00 PM, Saturday (one hour prior to services) at the Church.
Ellyson Mortuary, Inc. is assisting the family of Mary Ann Hardbarger with arrangements.
Rosa Bell Bush
Age 87, of Massillon, Ohio, formerly of Burnsville, WV, passed away, Friday, October 26, 2012 at Hospitality House Care Center, Ohio.
Rosa Bell was born on Friday, December 05, 1924 in Burnsville, WV a daughter of the late James Thomas Barrett and Vada Agnes Tomblin Barrett.
She attended Sarah Care of Belden and enjoyed working puzzles.
Rosa Bell was preceded in death by her husband Clyde W. Bush, one brother and two sisters. She is survived by her sons; Jerry (Debra) Bush, Massillon, Ohio, Clyde Bush, Jr., Burnsville, WV and Rick (Helen) Bush of Copen, WV; daughters, Louise (Tom) Ratliff, Burnsville, WV, Barbara Smith, Charleston, WV, Connie (Jack) Posey, Flatwoods, WV and Margie (Tom) Mills, Buckhannon, WV. Surviving sisters are Elizabeth Snyder, Weston, WV and Jean (Robert) Allen of Burnsville, WV.
Grandchildren surviving Rosa Bell are Michael Bush, Amy Bush, James Bush, Daniel Bush, Jody Bush, Roberta Losh, P.J. Posey and Michaela Mills. Surviving step-grandchildren include Stephen Keener and Laura Keener. Great-grandchildren surviving are Alanys Bush, Mark and Mya Losh. Step great-grandchildren surviving are Billy and Dustin Keener, Misty Keener and Summer Jamison.
Funeral services were held for Rosa Bell on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM at Stockert-Sizemore Funeral Home, Flatwoods, WV with Rev. Ronzel Roberts officiating.
Burial will follow the funeral service in K of P Cemetery, Burnsville, WV.
Friends may call at the funeral home Monday evening, October 29, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Stark County Humane Society, Post Office Box 7077, Canton, Ohio 44705.
The family would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to Hospitality House and Harbor Lights Hospice for their excellent care and compassion to both Rosa Bell and her family.
Stockert-Sizemore Funeral Home, Flatwoods, WV is in charge of arrangements.
Bobby R. Conrad
Age 81, of Burnsville, WV, passed away, Saturday, September 29, 2012, in Stonewall Jackson Hospital.
He was born Tuesday, March 17, 1931, in Napier, WV, a son of the late Teddy Conrad and Mamie Williams Conrad.
He was retired from Penn Line. Bobby also enjoyed coon hunting.
Bobby is preceded in death by his wife, Sylvia Conrad; two brothers, Earl Conrad and Gene Conrad; two sisters, Retha Conrad and Ollie Lloyd. He is survived by one brother, Harley Conrad, Camden-on-Gauley, WV, and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Bobby were held at Stocker-Sizemore Funeral Home on Wednesday, October 03, 2012, at 2:00 PM with Reverend Ronzel Roberts officiating.
Burial followed the service in Little Kanawha Memorial Gardens, Heaters, WV.
Friends called at the funeral home one hour prior to the funeral service.
Stockert-Sizemore funeral Home, Flatwoods, WV, was in charge of the arrangements.
Barbara Jane Floyd Taylor
Age 73, of Hardy, VA reached up to take her heavenly father’s hand on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM at her home with family and friends by her side.
She was born in Sutton, WV on July 04, 1939, a daughter of the late Dorothy Skidmore Floyd and Von Floyd and was a retired court reporter with the United States Federal Courts for 40 years.
Surviving is her loving husband of 38 years, Donnie O’dell Taylor; three sons, Carlos Taylor and wife, Jean, Donald Taylor and wife, Teresa, Jimmy Taylor and wife, Monica; Seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A nephew, Herbie and wife, Judy; a niece, Nancy Jo and husband, Larry and also her beloved pets, Wendy, Lee Jackson, Gidget and Carley also survive her.
Funeral services were conducted at 12:00 Noon Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at Oakey’s Roanoke Chapel with Dr. F. Tupper Garden officiating.
Interment followed in Evergreen Burial Park.
The family received friends from 5:00 to 7:00 PM Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at Oakey’s Roanoke Chapel (540.982.2100).
Today is Friday, Nov. 02, the 307th day of 2012. There are 59 days left in the year.
Thought for Today:
“Drop the question what tomorrow may bring, and count as profit every day that Fate allows you.“—Horace, Roman poet (65 B.C.-8 B.C.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 02, 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered a brief statement to the nation in which he said that aerial photographs had confirmed that Soviet missile bases in Cuba were being dismantled, and that “progress is now being made toward the restoration of peace in the Caribbean.“
On this date:
In 1783, Gen. George Washington issued his Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States near Princeton, N.J.
In 1795, the 11th president of the United States, James Knox Polk, was born in Mecklenburg County, N.C.
In 1865, the 29th president of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, was born near Marion, Ohio.
In 1889, North Dakota and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states.
In 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued a declaration expressing support for a “national home” for the Jews in Palestine.
In 1936, the British Broadcasting Corp. inaugurated “high-definition” television service from Alexandra Palace in London.
In 1947, Howard Hughes piloted his huge wooden flying boat, the Hughes H-4 Hercules (derisively dubbed the “Spruce Goose” by detractors), on its only flight, which lasted about a minute over Long Beach Harbor in California.
In 1948, President Harry S. Truman surprised the experts by winning a narrow upset over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey.
In 1959, former game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to a House subcommittee that he’d been given questions and answers in advance when he appeared on NBC’s “Twenty-One.“
In 1963, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dihn Diem (noh ding ZEE’-em) was assassinated in a military coup.
In 1979, black militant JoAnne Chesimard escaped from a New Jersey prison, where she’d been serving a life sentence for the 1973 slaying of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster. (Chesimard, who took the name Assata Shakur, is believed to be living in Cuba.)
In 1992, movie producer Hal Roach died in Los Angeles at age 100.
Ten years ago:
President George W. Bush called Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein a “dangerous man” with links to terrorist networks, and said that U.N. inspections for weapons of mass destruction were critical.
Five years ago:
Speaking at a graduation ceremony at Fort Jackson, S.C., President George W. Bush said U.S. military deaths had fallen to their lowest levels in 19 months and the Iraqi people were slowly “taking back their country” in the wake of the American troop buildup there.
Michael Mukasey drew closer to becoming attorney general after two key Senate Democrats, Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (FYN’-styn), said they would vote for him despite his refusal to say whether waterboarding was torture.
Choreographer Igor Moiseyev, who transformed folk dance into a legitimate art, died in Moscow at age 101.
One year ago:
The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to some 19,000 Japanese-Americans who’d served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Earl “Speedo” Carroll (The Cadillacs; The Coasters) is 75
Singer Jay Black (Jay and the Americans) is 74
Political commentator Patrick Buchanan is 74
Actress Stefanie Powers is 70
Author Shere (shehr) Hite is 70
Rock musician Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 68
Country-rock singer-songwriter J.D. Souther is 67
Actress Kate Linder is 65
Rock musician Carter Beauford (The Dave Matthews Band) is 55
Singer-songwriter k.d. lang is 51
Rock musician Bobby Dall (Poison) is 49
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage is 48
Actress Lauren Velez is 48
Actor David Schwimmer is 46
Christian/jazz singer Alvin Chea (Take 6) is 45
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is 45
Rock musician Fieldy is 43
Rock singer-musician John Hampson (Nine Days) is 41
Rhythm-and-blues singer Timothy Christian Riley (Tony Toni Tone) is 38
Rapper Nelly is 38
Prodigy (Mobb Deep) is 38
Actor Danny Cooksey is 37
Rock musician Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) is 37
Country singer Erika Jo (“Nashville Star”) is 26
Actor-singer Kendall Schmidt is 22
Normantown Elementary School Honor Roll, Grades 4-6, 1st Grading Period 2012-13
Eve Mohr (4.0)
Grace Welllings (4.0)
Madison Mohr (4.0)
Ohio’s Auditor Dave Yost wrapped up the first part of his investigation into attendance fraud in 100 of Ohio’s schools, and found evidence of scrubbing at five of those districts.
There were problems at several other districts, though they weren’t found to be pervasive. Let’s break down the auditor’s report.
SO WHAT DID HE FIND?
Yost determined that there were five districts that had “questionable practices” with regards to their attendance-data reporting. Those districts are Campbell City Schools, Cleveland Municipal Schools, Columbus City Schools, Marion City Schools, and Toledo Public Schools.
Another 28 schools had errors in their attendance data, but according to the report those were “not believed to be pervasive.” That basically just means the errors can be chalked up to human error. The investigation into another 15 buildings isn’t done yet, and 21 buildings were found to have clean data.
WHAT IS DATA SCRUBBING ANYWAY?
Data scrubbing is often used to mean cleaning up data with mistakes and other outliers. That’s a pretty innocent definition of the word. But Yost says his office created a new definition for the sake of this investigation.
“Scrubbing is the practice of removing students from enrollment without lawful reason regardless of the purpose or purported motivation. The term scrubbing does not always imply mal-intent.”
WHAT DID THOSE FIVE SCHOOLS DO WRONG?
The auditor did say was that many of these schools inappropriately “rolled up” students test scores to the state, thereby possibly improving their report card grades.
WHAT’S ROLLING UP?
Rolling up is the bureaucratic term for when a student’s test scores do not count toward determining the overall school building or school district’s state report cards.
A big part of school report cards in Ohio is based on students’ test scores. But not all scores are counted when the state calculates a district’s report card.
For example, a certain number of special education students’ scores are not included in the test scores on which report cards are largely based. Same thing happens if a student misses too many days of school. The idea is that schools shouldn’t be penalized for certain students who may drag the average score down. So, if a student misses too much class time, the school didn’t have the opportunity to educate that student, therefore his or her score shouldn’t count.
According to the auditor’s report, Cleveland City Schools has 19,633 students whose data is rolled up to the state. Chief Deputy Auditor Robert Hinckl says those are students who, because of a break in attendance or some other reason, are “pushed to the state for attendance reporting.”
Of those, 12,235 students took the state tests, but their scores were not included among the scores used to assess the district for the state report card. More 7,000 of those students didn’t even take the state test.
The most common reason student test scores aren’t included in a district’s report card is if a student misses too much school, known formally as withdrawal due to truancy or nonattendance. There are all kinds of rules a student can be considered truant, including how many days they missed.
The auditor pointed out that “without a court order, a child is not truant.”
But, in some districts Yost says he couldn’t find any records showing the local juvenile judge was notified of truant students. For example, some 1,700 students were withdrawn from Cleveland schools in 2010-2011, but according to the Plain Dealer, the local juvenile judge’s office has received no notifications of withdrawals for truancy in the past 10 years.
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The interim report recommends that the state create independent oversight of districts’ attendance data, saying that there’s a conflict of interest now: Districts are responsible for reporting their data, but also have an interest in making sure their data is presented in the best possible light. The current reporting system allows districts to see a projected report card score when they submit their data, which could then lead them to choose to “scrub” data to improve that score. To discourage that from happening, the auditor’s report recommends that districts not have access to the projected score.
Yost has also been advocating for the state to have access to individual students’ data. The current system, which divorces student traits like name and age from the identifying student number, aims to protect students’ privacy but can lead to confusion—and, Yost says, has hampered his investigation.
Some of the Ohio schools involved do receive financial incentives for improvement or high performance on the tests, according to the interim report, though it does not say which ones. This story on cheating scandals remains good background reading on the drivers that lead people to manipulate student data.As far as any legal action is concerned, the auditor says, “there’s always been the possibility of criminal referrals.”
But, he added that this investigation is “necessary for criminal prosecution, but is not sufficient.”
The report also contains a list of policy recommendations to avoid the possibility of attendance data scrubbing in the future. Yost says part of the problem is that the Ohio Department of Education “relies on the honor system.” The report recommends greater oversight of school and district data on behalf of ODE.
Click H E R E for Complete Report
~~ Ida Lieszkovszky ~~
West Virginia State Police is investigating a break-in at a State Police detachment.
It happened late Tuesday night, October 30, 2012 at the Harrisville site in Ritchie County.
WV State Police says the person or people involved took a number of items from the evidence room at the detachment.
Records helped troopers identify what was taken.
Those with State Police are said to be in touch with Ritchie County Prosecuting Attorney Judi McCullough as part of the ongoing investigation.
As of Wednesday afternoon, no arrest was made.
Tips can be called into State Police or submitted online at www.wvcrime.com.
A West Virginia University researcher is examining potential sources of pollution that could result from natural gas drilling.
The Morgantown school says that assistant professor Shikha Sharma has received $265,000 from the National Science Foundation to support the Stable Isotope Research Laboratory.
Officials say the lab advances research and training in earth sciences with a primary focus on energy and environmental topics.
The grant will fund the purchase of new equipment to analyze compounds, including dissolved natural gases.
The research could help find areas where gas is likely to be more abundant and help identify sources of gas and pollutants entering groundwater and streams.
Officials at the Mountaineer Food Bank in Gassaway, WV say they have received few requests for help amid the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s snowfall in West Virginia.
“We provided food to one shelter in Braxton County,“ food bank director Carla Nardella said Wednesday. “But that’s it for now. It’s hard to know what the rest of the day or tomorrow will bring since we’re just getting into this.“
The food bank’s shelves were depleted in the June 29, 2012 Derecho and ever since the facility has been attempting to recover.
A drive to restock the food bank was recently launched, but Nardella suspects the storm will be a setback to that effort.
“I would imagine it will be,“ she said. “People don’t know yet how this storm is going to affect them.“
Nardella says the weather has delayed their normal deliveries to other food pantries around the state.
They hope to resume those later this week.
Federal officials say 18 West Virginia hospitals, doctor’s offices and clinics received drugs from a pharmaceutical manufacturer linked to a multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, only one of those facilities received the steroid shots linked to the meningitis outbreak that has killed 28 people nationwide.
That facility was Pars Interventional Pain in Parkersburg. The rest of the facilities received other products compounded at New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.
The other product included eye drops and numbing gels.
While those products are not linked to the outbreak, the federal agency advised pharmacists and doctors to pull the products from their shelves and notify affected patients.
The IRS is giving taxpayers and tax preparers hit by Hurricane Sandy an extra week to file returns and make payments.
The tax agency says the relief will apply mainly to businesses in the storm-impacted Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states whose payroll and excise tax returns and payments are normally due on Wednesday.
The deadline will be extended until November 07, 2012.
No action is required by the taxpayer to obtain the extension.
The IRS says additional filing and payment relief will be granted as the Federal Emergency Management Agency makes further disaster declarations.
Details can be found on the Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page of IRS.gov.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission has granted Mountaineer Gas a 2.5% rate increase.
The increase is on the base rate component of Mountaineer’s rate and represents about 30% of the overall rate a customer pays.
The WV PSC says because it recently reduced the annual purchase gas rate for Mountaineer, customers will actually still see a rate decrease.
The average customer’s bill is going down about $5.24 a month.
Mountaineer Gas originally sought a 4.9% increase of its base rate.
The company has about 218,000 customers in 49 counties, including our area counties, representing the largest natural gas company in West Virginia.
WV State Parks and Forests Recovering from Sandy’s Wrath
West Virginia’s state parks are in the process of digging out of snow, clearing roadways and restoring electric and telephone service following widespread damage caused by Tropical Storm Sandy, according to West Virginia State Parks and Recreation Chief Ken Caplinger.
“One inch to two feet of snow has covered about 70% of our state parks and forests, depending upon the area,” Caplinger said. “Most areas also received extensive rainfall and varying degrees of wind, which in turn resulted in many fallen trees that caused even more damage. Some of the state’s parks typically close for the season on November 1, but those that are open year-round respond to guest safety first and then assess and address storm conditions and react appropriately.”
Visitors planning to visit a specific state park with lodges or cabins should call the park directly for current conditions. A phone unanswered or with a continued ring or busy signal indicates a power outage and calls should be attempted again every few hours. Park staff, volunteers and contractors are working on repairs and Caplinger anticipates all parks to be back to normal by the weekend and encourages visitation. Updates also may be seen on the West Virginia State Parks website at www.wvstateparks.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
“Parks that have had both Derecho and Sandy consequences are examples of true dedication for the maintenance and preservation of public recreational areas for the state and visitors. Two unusual major storms in less than four months is one for our record books,” said Caplinger. Conditions will change quickly at parks as the Sandy storm phases out and the parks with power outages, road closures, and tree damage will resume normal operations quickly.
Here is a survey of West Virginia state parks’ status as of Wednesday, October 31, 2012.
Audra State Park = Closed
Babcock State Park = Closed
Beartown State Park = Closed for season
Beech Fork State Park = Open, partial power
Berkeley Springs State Park = Closed
Blackwater Falls State Park = Closed
Blennerhassett Island State Park = Closed for season
Bluestone State Park = Closed
Cabwaylingo State Forest = Closed
Cacapon State Park = Closed
Canaan Valley State Park = Closed
Carnifex Ferry State Park = Closed
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park = Call
Cathedral State Park = Call
Cedar Creek State Park = Open, no power
Chief Logan State Park = Open
Coopers Rock State Forest = Closed
Droop Mountain State Park = Call
Greenbrier State Forest = Open, no power
Hawks Nest State Park = Closed
Holly River State Park = Closed
Kanawha State Forest = Closed
Kumbrabow State Forest = Closed
Little Beaver State Park = Call
Lost River State Park = Open
Moncove Lake State Park = Call
North Bend State Park = Open
Pinnacle Rock State Park = Open
Pipestem State Park = Open
Prickett’s Fort State Park = Open
Seneca State Forest = Call
Stonewall State Park = Closed
Tomlinson Run State Park = Open
Tu Endie Wei State Park = Open
Twin Falls State Park = Closed
Tygart Lake State Park = Open
Valley Falls State Park = Closed
Watoga State Park = Open
Watters Smith State Park = Call