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Twenty-four Teams of West Virginia Eighth Graders to Compete in Sixth Annual History Bowl

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will hold its sixth annual State History Bowl Championship on Tuesday, May 5, at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. Twenty-four teams of eighth graders from 18 schools in 13 counties will vie for the championship title. Activities begin with a general assembly at 9 AM, followed by the first round of competition at 9:30 AM.

Guest moderators, including Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, Department of Education and the Arts Deputy Cabinet Secretary Martha McKee, Senior Advisor to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin F. Raamie Barker, Counsel to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Steve Ruby, Chancellor of Higher Education Policy Commission Dr. Paul Hill, Delegate Michael Ferro (D-Marshall), Sesquicentennial Commission member Larry Swann, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, and West Virginia Division of Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, will preside over several sessions.

The double-elimination tournament includes lightning rounds and team rounds featuring questions about state and county history, culture, geography, government, heritage, sports and tourism prepared by the staff of the division’s Archives and History section.

The Archives and History staff developed more than 1,800 questions for its online Quick Quizzes. Teams preparing for the tournament use the Archives and History Daily Trivia and Quick Quizzes as helpful tools from the division’s website, www.wvculture.org/history.

Eighth graders in public, private and home-school education programs are eligible to compete on the four-person teams in double-elimination tournament play. The regional winners and runner-up teams from each district and the top eight teams from a play-in competition will compete in the tournament final.

The play-in competition was held to accommodate schools that were unable to compete in their regional round because of inclement weather and school closings. It also was open to all schools throughout the state that wanted to get a second chance in the History Bowl tournament.

Competitors include the following teams:

Andrew Jackson Middle School                       Cross Lanes, Kanawha County
Belington Middle School                               Belington, Barbour County
Cameron High School (2 teams)                      Cameron, Marshall County
East Hardy Early/Middle School (2 teams)          Baker, Hardy County
Edison Middle School                                   Parkersburg, Wood County
Fairview Middle School                               Fairview, Marion County
Frankfort Middle School                               Ridgeley, Mineral County
Independence Middle School (2 teams)              Sophia, Raleigh County
Jackson Middle School (2 teams)                      Vienna, Wood County
Keyser Middle School                                 Keyser, Mineral Couny
Madison Middle School                               Madison, Boone County
Peterstown Middle School                             Peterstown, Monroe County
Richwood Middle School                               Richwood, Nicholas County
Shady Spring Middle School (2 teams)              Shady Spring, Raleigh County
Sissonville Middle School                             Sissonville, Kanawha County
Summersville Middle School                         Summersville, Nicholas County
Taylor County Middle School                         Grafton, Taylor County
Wayne Middle School (2 teams)                      Wayne, Wayne County

For more information, contact Matt McGrew, tournament director and education coordinator for Archives and History, at 304.558.0230.

West Virginia News   15050201

The Gilmer Free Press

MASON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION FACES $17K IN ENVIRO FINES

CHARLESTON, WV —The Mason County Board of Education faces almost $17,000 in state environmental fines for sewage issues at three elementary schools.

A Department of Environmental Protection consent order signed last month cited problems at Ashton Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary and Beale Elementary.

The order says sewage treatment plants at the schools exceeded their limits of several substances discharged into waterways 65 times combined from June 2012 to December 2014.

DEP cited instances in June and September 2012 when Beale Elementary exceeded fecal coliform limits by about 15,000 and 14,000%.

The order says Roosevelt Elementary created deposits and sludge banks at the bottom of its receiving stream.

The order says equipment wasn’t properly set up and maintained at Ashton and Roosevelt.


WV TOURISM RECORDS OFFICIAL SUBPOENAED IN CHEM SPILL CASES

CHARLESTON, WV—The state tourism division’s record keeper has been subpoenaed in the criminal cases over a massive chemical spill last year.

In Charleston federal court Thursday, the subpoena says the Division of Tourism records custodian must attend the May 06 hearing for Freedom Industries officials facing federal charges.

The subpoena requires producing correspondence involving Tourism Commissioner Amy Shuler Goodwin’s office about the January 2014 chemical spill.

Goodwin is married to U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, whose office is handling the case.

Ex-Freedom officials Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell want Goodwin’s office off the case, saying some staffers are conflicted because they were affected by the spill. Prosecutors disagree.

The spill spurred a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days.


MARSHALL MEDICAL SCHOOL DEAN ESTABLISHES SCHOLARSHIP

HUNTINGTON, WV — The dean of Marshall University’s medical school has established a scholarship at the school in honor of his wife.

The university has announced that the Mary R. Shapiro Scholarship is an endowed scholarship that will be awarded to a medical student who is a poster or oral presentation winner at the annual School of Medicine Research Day. The award is renewable for three additional years pending normal academic progress.

Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro and his wife came to Huntington in 2012 when he was named the fifth dean of the medical school. Mary Shapiro is a registered nurse and the daughter of a physician.


WEST VIRGINIA UTILITY SEEKS 28% WATER RATE INCREASE

CHARLESTON, WV—West Virginia’s biggest water utility wants to increase its rates by 28%.

On Thursday, West Virginia American Water announced a $35.5 million case to increase rates with the Public Service Commission.

The company attributes the proposed increase to $105 million in system improvements since 2012 and $98 million in projects planned through February 2017.

West Virginia American Water says the increase doesn’t include costs from the January 2014 chemical spill, which sullied its water for 300,000 people for days.

If approved, the average family using 3,256 gallons per month would see their monthly water bill increase from $41.27 to $52.90.

The minimum bill for 1,500 gallons would increase from $23.20 to $30.06.

The PSC has up to 300 days for review. New rates wouldn’t be effective before February 2016.

West Virginia Arrests   15050201

The Gilmer Free Press

LEWIS COUNTY SWEEP TARGETS 13 INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN DRUG TRADE

WESTON, WV — More than a dozen people are facing drug charges in Lewis County and Upshur County after an operation led by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department Thursday.

According to Sheriff Adam Gissy, the department conducted a “drug sweep,” targeting 13 individuals who were involved in meth and oxycodone trade within Lewis County. Of those individuals, six had a Lewis County address, six had an Upshur County address and one had a Harrison County address.

Members from the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office and Buckhannon Police Department assisted with the warrant service on those individuals located in Upshur County.

“Cooperation is key in curbing crime in general,” Gissy said. “Those whom are involved in criminal activity often ignore county lines; thus the importance of multi-jurisdictional collaboration.”

The ten individuals arrested were Whitney Higginbotham, Justin Moots, Harold “Bucky” Murphy, Charles Merriman, Daniel Maxson, Dashuan Grimes, Nancy Webb, Justin Bleigh, Chance Wickline and Troi Foster.

As of 4:15 PM Thursday, according to Gissy, Theodore O’Connell, Amanda “Mindy” Ruble and Jamie Wright remained at-large.


MORGANTOWN MAN ARRESTED FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 70-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

MORGANTOWN, WV—Officers of the Morgantown Police Department began investigating a reported incident in which a 70-year-old woman was sexually assaulted on April 25, 2015.

Officers were able to identify a suspect upon an investigation.

Theodore Gibbs, 23, was confronted on May 01 near Wall Street and University Avenue in Morgantown. Police attempted to take him into custody, but Gibbs fled the scene on foot. Officers later apprehended him at the Chestnut Street Parking Garage.

Gibbs was charged with first degree sexual abuse.


WV MAN GETS 4 MONTHS IN JAIL FOR LAWN ORNAMENTS THEFTS

CHARLESTON, WV — A West Virginia man who admitted stealing expensive lawn ornaments has been sentenced to four months in jail.

Media outlets report 39-year-old Christopher Derricks of Sissonville apologized in court before being sentenced on a grand larceny charge Thursday.

Court records show yard sculptures and lawn ornaments were reported stolen last spring in Charleston, including a metal wheel valued at nearly $2,000. Dozens of confiscated items have since been returned to their owners.

A Kanawha County circuit judge sentenced Derricks to up to 10 years in prison but said he would suspend the sentence in September.


WEST VIRGINIA FUGITIVES ARRESTED AT MARYLAND MALL

LAVALE, MD — Two people wanted by West Virginia State Police were arrested at a Maryland mall.

The Cumberland Times-News reports Allegany County deputies were called due to a disturbance complaint at the Country Club Mall, where they encountered 33-year-old Tabbatha Marie Rayner and 27-year-old Donald Lee Rutler.

The officers checked police records and found outstanding warrants on Rayner and Rutler for theft, forged documents, receiving stolen property and related offenses.

The two were arrested and taken before an Allegany County court commissioner, who ordered both to be held without bond pending extradition back to Mineral County in West Virginia.

It is unclear if Rayner or Rutler has a lawyer.


EX-WV LOAN OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO BANK FRAUD

MARTINSBURG, WV - A federal prosecutor says a former loan officer has pleaded guilty to bank fraud.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld says 39-year-old Kimberly Haslacker of Romney entered the plea Friday in federal court in Martinsburg.

Haslacker was a loan officer at The Bank of Romney. Ihlenfeld says she used her position to submit fake loan applications in her name and those of friends and relatives to obtain nearly $170,000.

She faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine at sentencing.

U.S.A. News   15050201

The Gilmer Free Press

MANCHIN AND CAPITO URGE REVIEW OF OIL VOLATILITY TRANSPORTATION BY RAIL

Washington, D.C. – As U.S. railroads have increased crude oil shipments by more than 3,300% in just the past few years, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) remain concerned that additional safety measures to transport volatile energy products must be implemented in a timely manner. Following today’s release of a new Department of Transportation rule on tank car standards, the Senators sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz applauding the new regulations unveiled that enhance the safety of crude oil transported by rail, but also urged administration officials to expedite a comprehensive study on oil volatility by rail transportation.

“Domestic production of crude oil is projected to rise through at least 2020, and most of it will continue to move by rail. We have seen four major accidents already this year involving trains carrying crude oil - including the February train derailment and explosion in Fayette County. We must improve these safety conditions,” Senator Manchin said. “Although I am pleased that new tank car standards have been unveiled, we also need to improve our understanding of the chemicals and flammable materials being transported along our railways. As a member of the Committee on Commerce, Scienc e and Transportation, I urge the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy to work together to quickly complete a joint study on how we can make these volatile materials safer to transport.”

“This long-awaited rule will give the American public assurances about the increasing safety of rail cars and will give manufacturers certainty about next steps. With crude oil shipments by rail on the rise, safely transporting these resources must remain our top priori ty,” said Senator Capito, who is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works and Energy and Natural Resources Committees. “Now that the rule has been released, I urge Secretaries Foxx and Moniz to join forces and work quickly to enhance the safety of crude oil transported by rail.”

Dear Secretary Foxx and Secretary Moniz:

We recognize and appreciate the independent efforts of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to enhance the safety of crude oil transported by rail and further encourage you to increase collaboration and coordination between your two departments. The revised tank car and operating standards for trains carrying crude oil provide important details for car owners/operators, repair shops, and car manufacturers, but they only address part of the problem. In addition to making stronger and smarter tank cars, we must also improve our understanding of the unique chemical elements of crude oil and other flammable materials.

On April 01, 2015, the State of North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources began requiring operators to condition Bakken crude oil to a vapor pressure of no more than 13.7 pounds per square inch (psi). While we appreciate Secretary Moniz’s recent commitment to complete a two-year joint study with DOT on the unique properties of crude oil that contribute to its combustibility in rail accidents, we simply cannot afford to wait that period of time. We urge you to complete a comprehensive study on oil volatility as soon as possible and provide our offices with specific recommendations about how we can make this material safer to transport.

Since 2009, U.S. railroads have increased crude oil shipments more than 3,300%, and most industry experts project domestic crude production to continue to increase through at least 2020. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) initiative known as “Operation Classification” has been collecting data and evaluating the specific characteristics of Bakken crude for well over a year now, but it has produced nothing to inform our debate in Congress about how to improve the safety of crude transported by rail. We appreciate your immediate attention to this matter and look forward to working together to find a solution.

Sincerely,

Joe Manchin III

United States Senator


Shelley Moore Capito

United States Senator

World News   15050201

The Gilmer Free Press

WORLD NAKED GARDENING DAY: AS NATURE INTENDED?

WASHINGTON, D.C.—For those waiting for a reason to spend time in nature au naturale, wait no more: World Naked Garden Day is almost here.

Since 2005, the odd holiday celebrating gardening “as nature intended,“ came about on the first Saturday of May. This year, it falls on May 02.

Why naked? The holiday’s website says: “First of all, it’s fun!“ and second, it’s apparently the second activity families would consider doing together in the nude—swimming is the first.“

“Our culture needs to move toward a healthy sense of both body acceptance and our relation to the natural environment,“ the website reads. “Gardening naked is not only a simple joy, it reminds us—even if only for those few sun kissed minutes—that we can be honest with who we are as humans and as part of this planet.“

Observers around the world are encouraged to find an opportunity to strip and tend to whatever garden they have access to—even if it’s public! Then, it asks them to share their experience with someone close.

Today News talked to World Naked Gardening Day’s co-creator, Mark Storey, 52, who said: “We figured that if people tried gardening naked once, they would smile. Not only would they smile, but they’d see that nudity is actually a pleasant and inherently good thing.“


91-YEAR-OLD WOMAN GETS $122 TICKET FOR ROCKING CHAIR NOISE

SAGUENAY, Quebec—A Quebec lawyer says police overreacted when they issued a $122 ticket to a 91-year-old woman for making too much noise with her rocking chair.

Lawyer Charles Cantin said the Saguenay woman’s downstairs neighbor complained to police April 17 about the noise from the woman’s TV and rocking chair. Officers responded by issuing the ticket.

Cantin said it was “embarrassing” how officers handled the situation and he alleged they used unnecessary intimidation against the woman.

“I don’t think it’s a good way to settle that matter,“ Cantin told CBC News.

The lawyer said he is trying to find a way to have the fine overturned.

Saguenay police spokesman Bruno Cormier said the complainant insisted officers take action against the woman. He said police officials are looking into whether a warning should have been issued instead of the ticket.

GSC ROTC Cadets Participate in Spring Leadership Development Exercise

GLENVILLE, WV - Held annually in April, the spring Joint Leadership Development Exercise (JLDX) typically takes place among the three West Virginia college Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) battalions.

The Gilmer Free Press
Cadets of the Yellow Jacket Battalion visit the Gettysburg National Military Park
as part of their Joint Leadership Development Exercise in spring 2015


Those being the battalions from West Virginia University, Marshall University, and the ‘Yellow Jacket Battalion’ which is comprised of units from West Virginia State University, Glenville State College, the University of Charleston, and West Virginia University Institute of Technology. The JLDX typically is held at Camp Dawson, but was held in Pennsylvania this year. Using Fort Indiantown Gap as a launching pad, the Cadets and Cadre conducted a Staff Ride at Gettysburg and made visits to the United States Army War College and Heritage Center in Carlisle.

As part of the Staff Ride, the three ROTC battalions broke down research of the Gettysburg conflict by focusing on a single day of the battle. They then had an opportunity to train and highlight the more significant details such as logistics, political events surrounding the conflict, technology and tactics, and more. A Staff Ride is an opportunity for members of a military organization to study historic operations and apply current principles, all while fostering a sense of camaraderie with soldiers of the past. During the field phase of the event, participants travel to the site and apply their military knowledge to what they learned from research conducted in the Staff Ride’s earlier phases. The Battle of Gettysburg was the critical three day conflict which served as the turning point for the Civil War in July 1863.

 

 

The Gilmer Free Press
Yellow Jacket Battalion Cadets with a Park Guide in a replica Civil War Era Union Uniform


The Cadets also were afforded an opportunity to visit the U.S. Army War College where a board of Colonels briefed the future Lieutenants on everything from expectations of a newly commissioned officer to current events within the Department of Defense. A portion of the briefing that elicited much interest was a question and answer session between the Cadets and the Colonels. Following this, the Cadets made their way to the Heritage Center and learned how the Army is preserving critical documents, uniforms, and displaying military artifacts for all to appreciate.

“This was by far one of the best learning leadership exercises that I’ve done in my ROTC career and it has truly shown me a better explanation of mission command,“ said GSC cadet Travis Nesbitt. Fellow cadet Caitlin Gwinn agreed. “Being at Gettysburg was a great experience. It’s one thing to read about it and study it in books, but is a completely different experience to be there in person and apply what you’ve learned. To be on the same field where so many men gave their lives for what they believed in was humbling,“ she stated.

 

 

The Gilmer Free Press
Yellow Jacket Battalion Cadets at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania


For more information about this event or the Glenville State College ROTC program, contact Staff Sergeant James Brewer at or 304.462.6285.

Google: Most Racist Places in America

Where do America’s most racist people live? “The rural Northeast and South,“ suggests a new study just published in PLOS ONE.

The paper introduces a novel but makes-tons-of-sense-when-you-think-about-it method for measuring the incidence of racist attitudes: Google search data. The methodology comes from data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. He’s used it before to measure the effect of racist attitudes on Barack Obama’s electoral prospects.

“Google data, evidence suggests, are unlikely to suffer from major social censoring,“ Stephens-Davidowitz wrote in a previous paper. “Google searchers are online and likely alone, both of which make it easier to express socially taboo thoughts. Individuals, indeed, note that they are unusually forthcoming with Google.“ He also notes that the Google measure correlates strongly with other standard measures social science researchers have used to study racist attitudes.

This is important, because racism is a notoriously tricky thing to measure. Traditional survey methods don’t really work—if you flat-out ask someone if they’re racist, they will simply tell you no. That’s partly because most racism in society today operates at the subconscious level, or gets vented anonymously online.

The Gilmer Free Press


For the PLOS ONE paper, researchers looked at searches containing the N-word. People search frequently for it, roughly as often as searches for “migraine(s),“ “economist,“ “sweater,“ “Daily Show,“ and “Lakers.“ (The authors attempted to control for variants of the N-word not necessarily intended as pejoratives, excluding the “a” version of the word that analysis revealed was often used “in different contexts compared to searches of the term ending in ‘-er’.“)

It’s also important to note that not all people searching for the N-word are motivated by racism, and that not all racists search for that word, either. But aggregated over several years and several million searches, the data give a pretty good approximation of where a particular type of racist attitude is the strongest.

Interestingly, on the map above the most concentrated cluster of racist searches happened not in the South, but rather along the spine of the Appalachians running from Georgia all the way up to New York and southern Vermont.

Other hotbeds of racist searches appear in areas of the Gulf Coast, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and a large portion of Ohio. But the searches get rarer the further West you go. West of Texas, no region falls into the “much more than average” category. This map follows the general contours of a map of racist Tweets made by researchers at Humboldt State University.

So some people are sitting at home by themselves, Googling a bunch of racist stuff. What does it matter? As it turns out, it matters quite a bit. The researchers on the PLOS ONE paper found that racist searches were correlated with higher mortality rates for blacks, even after controlling for a variety of racial and socio-economic variables.

“Results from our study indicate that living in an area characterized by a one standard deviation greater proportion of racist Google searches is associated with an 8.2% increase in the all-cause mortality rate among Blacks,“ the authors conclude. Now, of course, Google searches aren’t directly leading to the deaths of African Americans. But previous research has shown that the prevalence of racist attitudes can contribute to poor health and economic outcomes among black residents.

“Racially motivated experiences of discrimination impact health via diminished socioeconomic attainment and by enforcing patterns in racial residential segregation, geographically isolating large segments of the Black population into worse neighborhood conditions,“ the authors write, summarizing existing research. “Racial discrimination in employment can also lead to lower income and greater financial strain, which in turn have been linked to worse mental and physical health outcomes.“

05.01.2015
FeaturesStudy | Report | Audit | Survey | ResearchNewsUnited States(1) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

All of the conclusions and the map that is generated is based on the Google search for one word that she is too PC to write. Yeah, that’s science. Wonder if she could do a map based on the number of Google search for the “C” word, you know, cracker. I guess that the only race that matters to her is African-American in that the “N” word only refers to them. How about Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians? Don’t people have racist feeling toward them, also. I think that his “research” is flawed and at the very least needs to be qualified that it ONLY refers to African-Americans.

By Skip Beyer  on  05.01.2015

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Community Foundation Event to Benefit Local Nonprofit Organizations - May 05, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press


On Tuesday, May 05, 2015, Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) will host Give Local MOV, a 24-hour online giving challenge that encourages local giving throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley.  This event supports important local causes to help meet needs in the Foundation’s 11-county service area.  Give Local MOV is part of Give Local America, a national crowd-funding day started in 2014.

PACF is partnering with the region’s nonprofits to meet their needs and help connect people in the community with the causes they care about. Current partners for Give Local MOV include 43 local programs, causes and organizations with missions supporting animals; arts and culture; community improvement; education; environment; health; human services; and youth development.  Local nonprofits invited to participate in the Give Local MOV event are those with a charitable fund associated with PACF’s family of funds.  (For a complete list of participating nonprofits, visit www.givelocalmov.org)

“Give Local MOV is a great opportunity for everyone in our community to get involved and contribute to the greater good of our area,” said Julie Boyce, the Foundation’s Development and Communications Officer.  “Last year we raised over $115,000 for our local participating nonprofits and we look to surpass that amount this year!  With over $30,000 currently available in immediate match funds for this event, this is an excellent time to support these area nonprofits. Gifts raised by the nonprofit organizations during the online giving day, as well as the immediate match funds and hourly prize monies will be distributed shortly after the event for the agencies’ current charitable purposes.  In addition, as it did last year, PACF is further matching each gift of $100 or more (up to a designated maximum per agency) made through the online platform on May 5th with PACF’s match applied to build the agencies’ permanent charitable funds.  We urge others to help sponsor this great event by offering additional match funds available during this day of giving.”

The Community Foundation is encouraging everyone in the community to be a philanthropist.

Individuals wishing to make a donation, minimum $10, are to visit www.givelocalmov.org on May 05, 2015 and submit their donation.

“Every donation makes a big difference for our local organizations; when you give where you live, you can see the impact right in your own hometown. Please consider being a sponsor – every sponsor dollar is multiplied and reinvested in our community.” said Boyce.

To help sponsor Give Local MOV or to learn more, contact Julie Boyce by calling 304.428.4438 or emailing .

Mine Safety Issues at Heart of WV Workers Memorial Day

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV - Mine safety - and recent changes to mine-safety laws - came up at West Virginia’s Workers Memorial Day observance.

As part of the annual ceremony, state AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Josh Sword read aloud the names of 17 miners, utility workers and others who died on the job, as a bell rang for each.

“Gary Hensley (ring) ... Robert Jewel (ring) ... Rocky Keener (ring) ...“

In West Virginia, on-the-job accidents often take place in the mines. Coal miner David Jackson, president of United Mine Workers of America Local 1713, said he’s been frustrated about safety rollbacks passed with the support of many lawmakers this year.

“They asked me, ‘Is it actually dark underground, or do you have lights?‘ Those are the people making the laws for coal mining,“ he said. “Not that they’re evil, but they’re just uneducated when it comes to coal mining.“

Supporters of changing the mine-safety laws argued that the industry needs the help as demand for coal falls. Jackson said the changes were made with mine company profits in mind and threaten to set mine safety back by decades.

Lawmakers voted to let mines have more distance between the end of tracks that carry equipment and the active coalface where the mining takes place. They also voted to allow potential barriers to line-of-sight around some underground equipment - changes made over the objections of mine union officials such as Jackson.

Looser rules could make an even more dangerous difference at nonunion mines such as Upper Big Branch, Jackson said, adding that he lost friends there five years ago when 29 men died in that mine.

“Those boys didn’t have the opportunity to speak out because of retaliation of losing their jobs or the mentality of nonunion mines,“ he said. “And you just cannot speak out if you want to keep your job.“

According to federal figures, union mines have about one-third of the rate of deaths and serious accidents as nonunion mines.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Culinary Experts Named Friend of ProStart

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV - Chef Lawrence Perry and Chef Isabel Cross, instructors from Mountwest Center for Culinary Arts, have been named the 2015 Friend of ProStart by the West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) Hospitality Education and Training (WVHEAT) program. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to hospitality and restaurant education by professionals.

The ProStart program is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships and to be mentored by industry managers. Students that meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies, and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement. The certificate signifies a student is well qualified to enter the industry workforce.

“As recognized industry leaders in West Virginia, Chef Perry and Chef Cross have been instrumental in growing our ProStart program and educating the next generation of industry leaders,“ said State Superintendent of Schools, Michael Martirano. “I commend these top-notch chefs for their excellence in preparing students to be college and career ready.“

“Chef Perry and Chef Cross have been supporters of ProStart from the very beginning of its conception in West Virginia,“ said Kathy D’Antoni, Chief Officer of the WVDE’s Division of Career Technical Education. “It is undeniable that ProStart today would not be enjoying its level of success without the contributions of these dedicated chefs.“

Did You Know?    05.01.15

The Gilmer Free Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:


WHO IS TASKED WITH FREDDIE GRAY CASE

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s new chief prosecutor, will decide whether evidence supports criminal charges against police officers.


EX-CHRISTIE ALLY TO PLEAD GUILTY

Source tells the AP David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official, will be the first person to admit to committing a crime in causing a series of politically motivated traffic jams in 2013.


AFTERMATH OF HISTORIC TEMBLOR TAKES TOLL

Nepal earthquake victims trek from remote mountain hamlets to pick up aid and temporary shelters after sleeping out in the open for days.


WHY RURAL HOSPITALS ARE CLOSING THEIR DOORS

AP’s David Lieb finds some of the reasons are changing demographics, medical practices, management decisions and federal policies.


KOBANI STILL A GHOST TOWN, MONTHS AFTER LIBERATION FROM IS

Thousands are still stranded in Turkey, reluctant to return to collapsed buildings and at a loss as to how and where to rebuild their lives.


A NEW TWIST ON REMOVING OFFENSIVE MONIKERS

Activists in South Dakota are working to rename sites named after men whose acts harmed Native Americans.


HOW PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT DRONE ATTACKS

Nearly three-quarters of Americans say it’s acceptable for the U.S. to use an unmanned aerial drone to kill an American citizen abroad if that person has joined a terror organization, an AP poll finds.


WHERE SCIENTIST ARE CONDUCTING RED PLANET RESEARCH

A rocky corner of Utah bears such a resemblance to Mars that it’s become a hot spot to run the imaginary 140-million-mile missions to Earth’s neighbor.


HOW HOLLYWOOD IS CREATING BUZZ

Studios are trying to court young super fans who blog about movies and in the process, help build excitement among other youngsters ahead of a movie’s debut.


BUCCANEERS GET THEIR QB

Tampa Bay selected Heisman Trophy-winner Jameis Winston with the first pick in the NFL draft.


HOW U.S. IS RESPONDING TO SHIP SEIZURE

Navy ships will begin accompanying American commercial vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran detained a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship this week.


BALTIMORE POLICE STILL MOSTLY MUM ON FREDDIE GRAY DEATH

Legal experts and the Gray family lawyers say secrecy is appropriate at this point in the probe, when it’s still possible that some witnesses haven’t been questioned, or even found.


NEPALESE TEEN RESCUED AFTER BEING BURIED ALIVE BY QUAKE

Pempa Tamang, 15, was trapped for five days in a hole at the bottom of what was once a seven-story building in Kathmandu. Then, “all of a sudden, I saw light,“ he says.


STAR QBS TAKEN WITH FIRST TWO PICKS IN NFL DRAFT

Florida State’s Jameis Winston goes No. 1 to Tampa Bay while Tennessee grabs Oregon’s Marcus Mariota with the second overall selection.


OBAMA CHOOSES UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO TO HOST PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY

The University of Hawaii and Columbia University were the other two schools on the short list.


GOVERNMENT RELEASES FIRST-TIME DATA ON DRUG SPENDING

The figures show that Medicare’s top expenditure for a prescription drug in 2013 was $2.5 billion for AstraZeneca’s heartburn medicine Nexium.


WHY JEB BUSH FLEW TO PUERTO RICO

As his young political operation takes shape, he’s strengthening ties with Hispanic voters who will be important in the head-to-head contest for the presidency in 2016.


AUTOMAKER TESLA EXPANDING INTO HOME BATTERY MARKET

The company’s announcement is part of an elaborate plan to reshape the electric grid with a combination of rooftop solar panels and home batteries.


WHICH SPACECRAFT HAS ENDED FOUR-YEAR MISSION

NASA’s Messenger - the only craft ever to orbit Mercury - plunges from orbit as planned and slams into the sun’s closest planet.


RED-HOT MUSICAL COMMANDING TOP DOLLAR AT BOX OFFICE

As the rap- and hip-hop infused “Hamilton” ends its off-Broadway run, some theatergoers have been paying well over 10 times the usual $120 ticket price.

West Virginia News   15050101

The Gilmer Free Press

ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK MORRISEY, WV HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TO MOVE FORWARD WITH ACTION AGAINST MONONGALIA COUNTY LANDLORD

CHARLESTON, WV — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today said the Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission can now move forward in an enforcement action against a Monongalia County landlord.

Gary Walden 64, pleaded guilty in Monongalia County Circuit Court on April 22 to felony charges of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of conspiracy, and a single count of burglary. He could face up to 35 years in prison when sentenced.

His plea in that matter will enable Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and the West Virginia Human Rights Commission to proceed with enforcing a consent decree they entered into with Walden several years ago. In the consent decree, Walden admitted to violating the West Virginia Human Rights Act, agreed to stop working as a landlord, and not participate personally in the management of his rental properties.

The Office alleges Walden violated terms of the consent agreement multiple times between 2008 and present. Some of the violations alleged in the petition to enforce formed the basis of at least three of the charges to which Walden pleaded guilty If found to have violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act, Walden could be penalized as much as $5,000 per incident.

“The Office of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division has asked the court for a hearing date to vigorously pursue this enforcement action,” Attorney General Morrisey said.


GOVERNOR TOMBLIN APPOINTS STEVEN SHAFFER TO REPRESENT THE 52nd DISTRICT IN THE WEST VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES

CHARLESTON, WV - Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announces the appointment of Steven Shaffer to represent the citizens of the 52nd District in the West Virginia House of Delegates. Shaffer’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Larry Williams. Shaffer’s appointment is effective immediately.

“Steven is a longtime resident of Preston County who, while serving as Tunnelton mayor and as a member of the Board of Education, has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving his community,“ Governor Tomblin said. “I’m confident Steve’s community involvement, as well as his knowledge of local government, will give him a unique perspective to serve the people of Preston County in his new role.“

A former coal miner, Shaffer was elected as the mayor of Tunnelton in 1980. He was later elected to the Preston County Board of Education in 1996, serving a total of four years.

In 2000, Shaffer received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Fairmont State University. He graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 2003.

Shaffer served as the assistant prosecutor for Preston County from 2003 to 2005, and currently is a partner at Estep & Shaffer, L.C. Attorneys at Law.


WV GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES $250K STATE GRANT FOR PIPELINE

HAZELTON, WV - A Preston County natural gas pipeline project is receiving a $250,000 state grant.

On Thursday, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin visited the Allegheny Wood Products location in Hazelton to announce the grant.

The money will help extend a natural gas pipeline to the Allegheny Wood Products site.

The West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council grant will go to the Preston County Economic Development Authority.


WV COLLECTS $29.5M IN DEBTS THROUGH FEDERAL PROGRAM

CHARLESTON, WV - A new report shows West Virginia has collected more than $29 million in delinquent debts through a partnership with the federal government.

The report shows West Virginia’s collections for fiscal 2014 included about $11 million in state income taxes and more than $14 million in delinquent child support. West Virginia collected the debts through the Treasury Offset Program.

States submit debts to the program. It’s then used to intercept federal and state payments to the debtors.

The report shows states collected a total of more than $3 billion through the program in fiscal 2014.

The program is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which released the annual report on Thursday.


BRIDGEPORT AIRPORT BOARD OPPOSES MORGANTOWN RUNWAY EXPANSION

BRIDGEPORT, WV - The Morgantown Municipal Airport’s plan to extend its runway is drawing opposition from another airport in Bridgeport.

The Benedum Airport Authority voted Wednesday to submit a letter opposing the project to state and federal officials. The authority is the North Central West Virginia Airport’s governing body.

The Bridgeport airport is about 37 miles southwest of the Morgantown airport.

Authority member Mike Romano and North Central director Rick Rock said expanding the Morgantown airport’s runway would be a waste of resources.

Morgantown is partnering with the Air Force Reserve on the runway extension project. The city said earlier this month that Air Force Reserve engineers could begin work in the spring of 2016.


MARSHALL BOARD APPROVES SIMPLIFIED TUITION, FEE STRUCTURE

HUNTINGTON, WV - Marshall University is simplifying its tuition and fee structure.

The university Board of Governors on announced the move Wednesday.

Chief Financial Officer Mary Ellen Heuton says Marshall will eliminate all off-campus and regional campus fees and most fees for courses and labs. Instead, fees will be based on their specific degree programs.

Heuton says the previous structure had numerous variables that determined how much a student paid to attend school.

Marshall says the structure will allow prospective students to compare the cost of a degree program with that of other higher education institutions.

The board is expected to consider tuition and fee amounts later.

More than 13,000 students were enrolled at Marshall last fall.

Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting - 05.01.15 - Today

The Gilmer Free Press
GILMER COUNTY COMMISSION
AGENDA for REGULAR MEETING
Friday, May 01, 2015 @ 9:00 AM
Gilmer County Courthouse – Commission Office
10 Howard Street, Glenville, WV

I. CALL TO ORDER


II.  PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE TO THE U.S. FLAG


III. PUBLIC COMMENTS


IV. APPOINTMENTS

              9:15   Melissa Peggs- RE: Proclamation to Declare May 17-23, 2015 - CEOS Day


V. ROUTINE BUSINESS

      Discussion and/or action on:

              1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations

              2) Approve Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements

              3) Board Appointments and/or Resignations: 

                    a) Receipt of Gilmer County Health Department requesting Alecia Edwards to be reinstated to Gilmer County Board of Health

                    b)  Board Seats open on the:

                          i. ** Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency - Dekalb/Troy & Glenville Corporation

                          ii. **Recreation Center-DeKalb/Troy

              4) Budget Revisions

              5) Budget Control Report:  NONE

              6) Approve Invoices for Payment

              7) Approve County Commission Minutes for 04.17.2015 & 04.21.2015

              8) Receipt of County Board Minutes: 

                    1. Gilmer County Ambulance Service Authority Minutes – January 15, & March 12, 2015

                    2. Gilmer County Health Center Operations Board of Trustees-March 24, 2015

                    3. E-911 Addressing Report-March 01, 2015-March 31, 2015

                    4. Lewis-Gilmer E-911 Yearly Totals Report


VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

              1. Restructuring of Gilmer County Office of Emergency Service

              2. Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority Grant: Basement Project Reimbursement


VII. NEW BUSINESS

      Discussion and/or action on:

              1. Receipt of Gilmer County Ambulance Authority Audit for Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014

              2. Notification from West Virginia State Auditor’s Office-Consideration of Increased Salaries for County Officials (FYI)

              3. Receipt of the Gilmer County Closing Entry and Audit Adjustment for Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014

              4. To serve Petition to Enforce-Unsafe Buildings & Lands Complaint #2014-05


VIII. OTHER BUSINESS

              1.  Receipt of letter from Edward “Bud” Adams – RE: Josephine Adams Estate


IX. EXECUTIVE SESSION AS NEEDED


X.    ADJOURNMENT


NEXT MEETING:  May 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM

West Virginia Arrests   15050101

The Gilmer Free Press

HARRISON COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR ILLEGALLY POSSESSING FIREARM

CLARKSBURG, WV —A Harrison County man has been sentenced to prison time for unlawfully possessing a firearm.

Zachary Burton Taylor, 22, of Stonewood received 18 months in prison Monday from U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley.

Taylor was convicted in December 2012 of the misdemeanor offense of Domestic Battery in the Magistrate Court of Harrison County. As a result of the conviction, Taylor is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

During a subsequent May 2014 arrest, Taylor was discovered in possession of a stolen .22 caliber pistol.

Taylor pleaded guilty in November 2014 to one count of being a Prohibited Person in Possession of Firearm – Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence, following an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod Douglas prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.

West Virginia Accidents   15050101

The Gilmer Free Press

SINGLE-VEHICLE ACCIDENT ON I-79 IN BRAXTON COUNTY KILLS 1, SENDS 7 TO HOSPITAL

BRAXTON COUNTY, WV—A single-vehicle accident along I-79 in Braxton County Thursday morning killed one girl and sent seven other people to the hospital.

A GMC Envoy was travelling south near mile marker 47 with eight people in the vehicle when it entered the median and rolled approximately four times, according to Sergeant Yost of the West Virginia State Police Sutton Detachment.

The Gilmer Free Press


One female juvenile was killed in the accident, Yost said.

The driver of the vehicle was taken by Braxton County EMS to the helicopter pad at Braxton Memorial Hospital, where she was then met by Healthnet and taken to the Charleston Area Medical Center. A male passenger was also flown by Healthnet to CAMC a couple hours after the female driver.

The other five passengers were taken by ambulance for non-life threatening injuries, police said.

All of the people in the vehicle were from Paris, Kentucky.

Sergeant Yost is the investigating officer for the accident. State Police, Braxton County EMS, and the Franktown and Servia Fire Departments responded.


TWO INJURED IN PARKERSBURG CRASH

PARKERSBURG, WV—Two people were sent to the hospital after one of them ran a red light.

The two car crash happened at 4:00 PM Wednesday at the intersection of Third and Ann Streets.

Parkersburg Police say 19-year-old Tony Pierce failed to stop at the light on Ann Street when he ran into a Buick on Third Street.

Police say Pierce and his passenger were transported to Camden Clark Medical Center.

Hospital officials say they’ve since been released.

Peirce is cited with failure to stop at a red light and for not having insurance.

U.S.A. News   15050101

The Gilmer Free Press

PIG FARMERS MORE LIKELY TO CARRY DRUG-RESISTANT STAPH BACTERIA

IOWA CITY, IA—Pig farmers are more likely to carry the drug-resistant bacteria that causes staph infections. In a recent study, drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was more commonly found on those with regular swine exposure.

Using nose and throat swabs, researchers from the University of Iowa, Kent State University, and the National Cancer Institute studied the bacteria found on some 1,342 Iowans over a 17-month study. Bacteria found in a skin infections was also analyzed.

Overall, some 26% of study participants were found to carry staph. But swine farmers and those who worked in the pig farming industry were more likely to carry MDRSA, TRSA, and livestock-associated S. aureus.

“Current swine workers were six times more likely to carry multidrug-resistant S. aureus than those study participants without current swine exposure,“ study co-author Tara Smith, now an associate professor at Kent State University, explained in a press release.

The presence of staph bacteria isn’t uncommon. It’s estimated that 30% of the public carries the infection-causing germs. But the bacteria’s presence does put a person and their immediate contacts at a greater risk of developing a staph infection. Those with diminished or compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable.

“Iowa ranks third nationally in overall livestock production and first in swine production,“ added Smith. “Transmission of staph between pigs and farmers and into the broader community could complicate efforts to control S. aureus transmission statewide, and have effects nationally due to the travel of pigs and people carrying these bacteria.“

Unfortunately, the research doesn’t offer any solutions—only highlights the risks of working with farm animals. A number of studies have shown that overuse of antibiotics in the livestock industry is linked with the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.

World News   15050101

The Gilmer Free Press

SAUDI ARABIA BANS POULTRY MEAT FROM CANADIAN PROVINCE ONTARIO

Ontario, Canada—Saudi Arabia, the world’s second-largest importer of chicken broiler meat, has banned imports of poultry meat and egg products from the Canadian province of Ontario due to the presence of avian influenza on three Ontario farms.

The market was worth about C$825,000 ($990,000) in 2014, representing 0.4% of Ontario’s poultry exports, said Patrick Girard, spokesman for Canada’s agriculture and agri-food department, on Wednesday.

The virus, known as bird flu, is the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain. In addition to Ontario, it was discovered last December in the western Canadian province of British Columbia.

This strain has also been reported this year in the United States in Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.

Another strain, H5N8, has been identified in California and also in Idaho, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Earlier this month, Mexico, the biggest buyer of U.S. chicken, halted imports of live birds and eggs from Iowa.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency previously said that Hong Kong, Uruguay, Japan and Taiwan had restricted imports over the outbreak.

JOHNNY TOWNSEND RETIREMENT CELEBRATION

Johnny Townsend, Field Foreman for Horizon Energy Corporation, in Sand Fork, WV, will be retiring on April 30, 2015.  This will complete a 39 year career in the Oil and Gas Field.  His employment began on August 01, 1976 for RoJo Industries, then Continental Petroleum Company and most recently, Horizon Energy Corporation.  He was a well tender and fieldman until July 2002, at which time he was promoted to Field Foreman.

The Gilmer Free Press


Under John’s supervision, Horizon Energy has received Nine (9) Reclamation Awards from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.  Five of these were 1st Place Awards and four were 2nd Place Awards, each in Horizon’s qualifying category.  This attests to John’s dedication, work ethic, and high expectations for jobs well done.  A humble man, John contributes his success to the performance of his well tenders.  “I really have a good group of men.  They seldom miss work and are so dependable.  That has made my job a lot easier.”  During his many years of employment, John was fortunate to have used only eleven (11) days of sick leave.  John will surely be missed by everyone at Horizon Energy.

John plans to do some traveling with his wife Shirley, and spend time with his two sons, Jonathan and Justin, and their families.

Bob, Judy, Rob, and Katrina Jones are hosting an afternoon gathering in the Social Room of the Sand Fork Baptist Church on Friday, May 01, 2015 from Noon to 3:00 PM.  Refreshments will be served.  Family, Friends, Work Associates, and Church Family are cordially invited to come out and enjoy the afternoon with John and his Family.  A Guest Book will be available for sign-ins and good wishes.  We hope to see you there.

G-Eye™: Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Report - 04.20.15

The Gilmer Free Press
REGULAR MEETING REPORT
Gilmer County Board of Education
Gilmer County High School
Monday, April 20, 2015 – 6:00 PM

I. CALL TO ORDER - Roll Call by President


II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE


III. DELEGATIONS


IV. CONSENT AGENDA

        A. Minutes: March 16, 2015 (Regular & Special)

———————————————————————————————————————-

MINUTES REGULAR MEETING

The Board of Education of the County of Gilmer Monday, March 16, 2015 - 6:00 PM Gilmer County High School

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by President, Dr. Williams Simmons.

ROLL CALL

Members present: Misty Pritt, Tom Ratliff, William Simmons, Carl Armour, Norma Hurley and Gabriel J. Devono, Secretary.

Others Present: Rick Kinder, Cheryl Strother, Nasia Butcher, Dave Ramezan, Kyre-Anna Minney, Bob Hardman, Michelle Raines and Kim Bonnett.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Tom Ratliff led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance.

DELEGATIONS

Rick Kinder
Michelle Raines
Dave Ramezan
Kim Bonnett (on behalf of WVEAJ)

CONSENT AGENDA

Misty Pritt moved to approve all consent agenda and new business items and Tom Ratliff seconded. Motion passed 5-0.

REVIEW 7 CONSIDER REVISIONS OF DELEGATION POLICY

Norma Hurley moved to table item and Carl Armour seconded. Motion passed 5-0.

MASONIC CORNERSTONE - GILMER COUNTY ELEMENTARY

Carl Armour made a motion to have no action on the item because the Board does not have any authority for new facilities and should the State decide to place the cornerstone, the state or the Masons should assume all financial responsibilities. Norma Hurley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

SUPERINTENDENTS INFORMATION

A. Spring break and calendar-Misty Pritt moved to approve the third option voted on by employees which is observing Good Friday and Monday as Spring Break and to utilize April 7-10 as instructional days. Tom Ratliff seconded. Motion passed 5-0.

B. Request for Purchase Technology-Mr. Devono read the following recommendation to the Board:

Gilmer County Board of Education: I am proposing for the Gilmer County Board of Education to approve the purchase of approximately 215 HP touch screen laptops, as indicated in your packet, for Gilmer County High School. Increasing one-to-one student to computer became goal #5 in our strategic plan for 2014-2015 as you know from previous presentations and sessions for our strategic plan. I met with the GCHS technology committee. The high school technology committee requested for all 7th and 8th graders to have one-to-one devices. The technology committee also indicated a need for providing both GCHS 9-12 Math teachers one-to-one instructional devices and a need to provide the 11th and 12th grade Science teacher one-to-one devices.
In the state board of education standards, our classroom teachers are required to teach standards for student technology use. Within WVDE policy 2520.14, you will find standards for grades 5-8 and 9-12 that specifically outline objectives, skills, and outcomes for technology applications in ALL core subject classrooms that cannot be met unless students have access to devices.
It is a right and responsibility of a superintendent to research and identify the need and resources to accomplish shared goals for improving the educational process. I am proposing for the Gilmer County Board of Education to approve the purchase of approximately 215 HP touch screen laptops through state approved AEPA (Association for Educational Purchasing Agencies) consortium for Gilmer County High School. The funding has been secured out of STEP 7b which is directly provided for technology integration within our school district.

Carl Armour made a motion to deny the Superintendent’s request. Motion died for lack of a second. Misty Pritt made a motion to accept the recommendation of the Superintendent on proposed technology. Tom Ratliff seconded. Motion passed 4-1. Carl Armour opposed.

C.  LIREC Grant and Policy 2512.

BOARD REPORTS

Dr. Armour reported on the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center meeting of February 26, 2015.

Dr. Simmons reported on RESA 7 and Leading Creek Elementary and HB2755.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be March 16 2015, 6:00 pm. at Gilmer County High School.

ADJOURNMENT

Carl Armour moved and Tom Ratliff seconded that the meeting adjourn at 7:53 PM. Motion carried unanimously.

********************************************

MINUTES SPECIAL MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM by President, Dr. William Simmons.

ROLL CALL

Members present: Carl Armour, Misty Pritt, Tom Ratliff, William Simmons, Norma Hurley and Gabriel Devono, Secretary.

Others Present: Kyre-Anna Minney, Nasia Butcher and Dave Ramezan.

APPROVE LEVY RATES

Superintendent distributed the levy schedule to board members.

RECESS

Norma Hurley moved and Misty Pritt seconded that the meeting be recessed until April 21, 2015 at 8:00 AM at the Gilmer County Board of Education Office. Motion passed unanimously.


———————————————————————————————————————-

        B. Budget Supplements & Transfers

        C.  Financial Statement/Treasurer’s Report

        D.  Accounts Payable

        E.  Student Transfers

        F.  School Volunteers

        G.  Field Trips

We apologize for lack of report. We have asked for this information in person, in meetings, and in writing multiple times, but still we are not getting the information ALL previous Superintendents provided. Instead, we receive several blank pages with heading for each line items.


V. NEW BUSINESS

        A.  WV School Board Assoc. Membership Fees

        B.  Adopt Embedded Credit Policy

        C.  Approve 2015-2016 School Calendar

        D.  Adopt Textbooks for Health, Reading Language Arts

        E.  Affordable Care Act


VI. Nasia Butcher, Principal, Gilmer County High School


VII. SUPERINTENDENT’S INFORMATION/ACTION
        A.  LSIC Meeting Updates

VIII. REPORTS/DISCUSSION/FOLLOW-UP ACTION

        A.  CGCC-  Dr. Carl Armour – March 17, 2015

———————————————————————————————————————-

Calhoun-Gilmer Administrative Council Official Minutes March 17, 2015

Members Present:
Mr. Timothy Woodward, Presiding
Mr. Gabriel Devono, Gilrner Supt.
Mrs. Jenna Jett, Calhoun Absent:
Dr. Carl Armour, Gilmer
Mr. Bryan P. Sterns, Secretary

Others Present:
Lisa Moore
Mr. Jason Hughes

ITEM I-Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Woodward at 11:00 AM.

ITEM II - Agenda Adjustments

None

ITEM III - Delegations

None

ITEM IV - Approval of Minutes

The minutes of January 26, 2015 were presented for approval. Dr. Armour moved to approve the minutes as presented; second by Mrs. Jett. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

ITEM V-Reports

Mr. Sterns and Mr. Woodward both reported that the OEPA exit interview was very positive. The official report will be out in May or June.

Mr. Sterns presented the Council with a Power Point of the Simulated Workplace. He also informed members that Mr. Jackson with Law and Public Safety and Mr. McCormick with Networking and Computer Repair will be participating in Pilot programs next school year and they are both attending a training on April 24 at United Technical Center.

ITEM VI - New Business

Financial Matters: The list of bills, the financial report, a budget supplement and transfers, and the CGCC Individual School Financial Report for February were presented for approval.  Dr. Armour moved to approve the financial matters as presented; second by Mr. Devono.  Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Personnel: There were no personnel matters.

Workbase Placement: Mr. Sterns presented two MOUs for approval. Mrs. Jett moved to approve the list as presented; second by Dr. Armour.  Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Embedded Credit: Mr. Sterns presented two Memorandums of Understanding between Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center and Calhoun County and Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center and Gilmer County to provide students an opportunity to earn Embedded English Credit. Each county board is responsible for developing their own policy. Dr. Armour moved to accept the MOUs as presented and Mrs. Jett seconded the motion. After some discussion, Mrs. Jett moved to rescind the motion, seconded by Dr. Armour. Dr. Armour moved to accept the MOUs pending Gilmer’s Board Approval of an embedded credit policy. Mr. Devono seconded the motion. Motion carried. Vote: unanimous.

LEA: Mr. Sterns presented the council with a draft of the LEA plan. Dr. Armour moved to accept the LEA as presented, seconded by Mr. Devono. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

General Discussion:

Mr. Sterns reported that Dr. D’Antoni will be visiting on April 29, 2015. This is a rescheduled visit. She will be meeting with staff and students.

Council was very complimentary of the Joint LSIC meeting. Several members spoke of how impressed they were with the students who presented that evening.

Mr. Sterns expressed concern over scheduling issues for the SY2015-16. Due to the inclement weather, Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Instructors are just now completing their presentations at GCHS and the Eighth and Tenth grade visits are not scheduled until next week. As schedules are being developed for students for the next school year, Mr. Sterns expressed that he is in hopes that students will be given the opportunity to adjust their schedules if they express an interest in attending the Career Center. Also, Mr. Devono asked Mr. Sterns if presentations could be done at various times at the High Schools not only at just one particular time. The discussion of also opening up visits with the Elementary age students was addressed as well.

It was brought to council’s attention that we are currently unable to contact Bus Driver Colin Hartshorn with our current radio. Mr. Sterns would like to contact Joe Frashure, Transportation Director in Gilmer County to see if we would be able to correct that.
Several adjustments in the School Calendar were noted regarding Early Dismissal dates and Spring Break dates. Gilmer County will be out of session on April 03 and April 06 and will be converting April 07-10th as instructional days. CGCC will follow the Gilmer County Calendar as voted on previously by this council.
ITEM VI - Adjournment and Scheduling of Next Meeting

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Calhoun-Gilmer Administrative Council will be held on April 21, 2015 at 11:00 AM. With no further business, the meeting adjourned on motion of Mrs. Jett; second by Mr. Devono. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Timothy Woodward, Presiding Mr. Bryan P. Sterns, Secretary

———————————————————————————————————————-

        A. RESA 7- Dr. William Simmons


IX. ADJOURNMENT

04.30.2015
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleLinnNormantownSand ForkTroyLewis CountyEducationFeaturesG-Eye™NewsRegion(48) Comments

Permalink - Link to This Article

~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

This is my take on the computers. Mrs. Butcher got what she wanted for the GCHS and Dr. Armour was attacked for not going along.

Dr. Armour is on record that he did not vote for the computers because he could not defend that money spent (more than $100,000) would do the most good for the County’s 900 pre K-12 students including GCHS’s students attending the Calhoun Gilmer Career Center.

He also said that the proposal to purchase the computers was not accompanied by a documented plan to use at the GCHS to measure results to determine if the computers contributed to improved academic achievement.

Accountability in schools and everywhere else is never possible if results cannot be measured accurately.

Dr. Armour had pointed out earlier that there was a failure in the County to have an inventory of how many computers there are in the school system presently, where they are, and what condition they are in. This failure has been an issue for years.

Also, for those who listened to the two tapes Dr. Armour referred to Dr. Martirano, the new head of WV’s schools, who directed that counties must have vision statements.

Then, there should be strategic plans designed to achieve the vision, and specific actions to take would be driven by that well documented planning process. Gilmer County does not have a vision statement after four years of State control.

It came across that Dr. Armour applies a business-like thought process to try to do the most good with all school money spent.

To me, he wants to try to help all the County’s 900 students regardless of where they are. That is what all school board members should be doing.

With WV being 46th in the Nation for the quality of our K-12 education while we are 6th in what we spend it is evident that throwing money at problems has not worked. Accountability for spending is the missing key.

By R. D. Bailey  on  04.30.2015

Spirited debate and honest dissent is valuable when meaningful decision-making occurs. However, there is never a place for personal attacks.

Three observations. Dr. Armour was set up and the superintendent who determined what was on the agenda was a willing party to it.

There was a breakdown in meeting management and that was Mr. Devono’s fault because he controls everything.

Lastly, it is time for a new principal at the Gilmer County High School. The existing one should retire or the State should promote the individual into another job or to reassign her.

Gilmer County needs a fresh start over there, Sirs.

By R. Maxwell  on  04.30.2015

Dr. Simmons and Gabriel how did the ambush work out for you?

By M. A. Miller  on  04.30.2015

Who was on the GCHS technology committee and who chaired it? Are meeting minutes available? Isn’t technology only part of the big picture to have good educations for students?

What is the overall big picture plan for improving the GCHS to show how everything fits together and to establish personal accountability for getting the job done?

You would expect the technology committee to be advocates for their special interests. Was there any board of education representation?

How will the committee measure what good the computers did to determine whether or not the money was spent wisely?

Without the availability of accurate measurements as proof, bureaucrats always proclaim monumental successes and they love to do business that way to avoid accountability.

By Roger Wells In Wood County  on  04.30.2015

Based on the video and information given, did Armour have the >only< logical vote?

No inventory for months.  Hurley has requested it and it never appeared.

No overall computer plan presented to the board.  Just the kiddie style wish list.  Rather reminded me of taking your children shopping in a toy store.

Superintendent did not involve all parties in the decision.  That was quite apparent.

Dr. Armour was absolutely correct in his NO vote.
What can we say about the others?
Were they not just a go along or feel good vote?

By Russ  on  04.30.2015

What a shame! Simons been friend with Armour for a long time now he is back stabbing him. What happened?

By Shame!  on  04.30.2015

Is bill trying to scores with Butchers now? Has he forgotten? If he were not hired as superintendent there would have been a takeover.

By Denny K  on  04.30.2015

It was Hurley first and Armour second for Simmons and DeVano to go after. I wonder who is next.

By Abby Carter  on  04.30.2015

An unprofessional attempted blast, a very professional response. Even stupid can see it.

By failed attempt  on  04.30.2015

When a person has something to hide he/she becomes defensive when asked any questions. Mr. DeVano is a good example. He comes to the meetings with defensive attitude.

By Jimmy D  on  04.30.2015

I am really tired of hearing all the rhetoric from president and superintendent.

By gilmer retired teacher  on  04.30.2015

Can’t a regular table be found to hold these meetings at? 

Right from the jump having all those little separate tables sends a message.  Let’s see them at a table where they can look each other in the eye and read body language while they ‘discuss’.

By First things first  on  04.30.2015

Board President walks around and bad mouth the board members all the time in public. Does a good leader ever do that? Simmons, you need to take a course in leadership.

By F.D.R.  on  04.30.2015

What happened to the delegation policy that was voted to be on the agenda for this month at the last month meeting?  It’s not there. Simmons wanted to take the Delegation down to two minutes or not have it at all but now he’s saying 3-5 minutes?  Where did that come from? There’s no minimum in any policy.
This Board has been told time and time again they can’t vote on ANY new school Lewis or Gilmer but now they can vote to spend money on text books to take to Lewis County? Lewis wll get the state formula money for every student sent over there and this comes out of excess levy money. Possibly another one of those things the state claims they can waiver? It’s not what the law says about excess levies.  It’s not what it was voted in for. There aren’t enough books for every Gilmer County student to take one home now. At this rate there never will be.

Somethings rotten in Denmark!

Is it true Lewis County voted to use Houghtono-Mifflin? Is that why the Sand Fork and Troy schools voted to use them while the High School, Normantown and Glenville wanted Pearson? Not hard to figure out that Devano is shady.
Now we are hearing the Superintendent is moving the Gilmer BOE office over in the vacated Minnie Hamilton offices on Mineral Road.  He took employees on a tour with tape measures. More going on here than your Board President is telling. Seems there’s nothing new about that.

By W T Wheeling  on  04.30.2015

Gabriel Devono name one board meeting that you told the board or the public how much the bid was for those computers or what company won the bid?  Lets check the videos.  It is not there and we watched every one.  Your word is no good The Gilmer board has absolutely no reason to trust you ..You need to be the secretary and hush up. Answer the questions put to you if you want trust.  The board will be written up on the audit when Gilmer is in the red, not you, not the Principals, not your committees.You bring the Teachers in to make it look like the the board is against them if they vote no. You are using the Teachers and Principals because you control personnel.  Stop withholding public information.

By Retire ,Take Your Money & Simmons  on  04.30.2015

I wish I good talk big like Dr. Simmons, but I can’t. What is he really after? He was after: State board? No chance.  State superintendent? Taken! Gilmer superintendent? Maybe.  Whatever it is he is trying to get, he doing it at the expense of our children.

By Can't Even Pretend  on  04.30.2015

Bill is back doing what he did at GSC.

By DeJavu  on  04.30.2015

I see Ratliff and Pritt sitting through all of this. What is their position? The way it looks on the videos both of them approving what Simmons and DeVano doing?

By do something  on  04.30.2015

I heard Bill saying at grocery store he needs to get in GSC so he can fix all the mess there!!!!!

By Good Luck GSC  on  04.30.2015

Dr. Armour asked if he can interrupt to respond to what Butcher was saying. Butcher responds “No you may not because I did not interrupt you”. She then goes on to tell Dr. Armour what she said when she interrupted him which was “We did not test social studies……I’m just telling you we did not test social studies”. Being a former English teacher she should know what interrupt means.

By What is good for goose IS NOT good for gander  on  04.30.2015

The ciaos in these meeting are only the fault of the meeting president. He cannot conduct a meeting and be consistent with parliamentary procedures. Someone mentioned leadership course, he also need to learn the Robert’s Rules for conducting a meeting. I think he needs to step down and let someone else conduct the meetings. Can you see how DeVano keeps reminding him what to do? Have you seen he lets the ones he want to, talk anytime they want as long as they want?

By the time has come  on  04.30.2015

Read the agenda.  Devano didn’t go with the bid he advertised so improperly. He went with a state approved vendor. That’s why he didn’t want to talk about how much they cost. That board was never asked to approve the bids and never had a choice who it would be awarded to. There was one no vote on the payable list.
Question to Carl Armour. If you wound up in a court case against the Superintendent whose side do you think Bill Simmons would take now?

By Better Think It Over  on  04.30.2015

As far as the leader goes?

He wants to relive the old glory days before the infamous vote of NO confidence?

We understand all the devious things he has tried to pull off on the sly?

We understand what he tried to pull at the circuit clerks office?

We understand what he tried to pull in regards the last school board election?

We understand what he told the board members prior to the last election?

We understand how he used the school coalition?

We understand all the meetings Blankenship puppet-ed him?

We understand all the committees Blankenship assigned him too, with no knowledge of fellow board members?

We understand all the many, many, many documents he signed for Blankenship as board president with the rest of the board having no knowledge.

We understand that Devano is using him just like Blankenship did?

We understand he still signs anything Devano wants without the other board members knowledge?

We understand the lack of Roberts Rules that it is just his and GD Rules?

We understand he runs to meetings, to Charleston, stroking and stoking as he goes?

We understand about eliciting employees and attempting a vote at the college?

We understand how the two state superintends tell him of meetings, times, dates, and then claiming being sworn to secrecy?

We understand how that divides the board as well as being and ego feed?

By quick draw fountain pen  on  04.30.2015

The blocking of information to the board is by Devano with Simmonds backing him every step, or so it appears.  At least you NEVER see Simmonds attempting to obtain or bring requested information forward.
Bad choice to elect him.
GC didn’t learn any lesson here from GSC.
Now we see why he it happens to be likely the only WV school superintendent that never had one day on the payroll??????

By R. Butler  on  04.30.2015

The states superintendent has tried to put down every Board of Ed member who has tried to do what’s right since the takeover.  Remember how hard Mrs. Starkey had to fight?  They never stopped her from standing up for our students even when Bill Simmons accused her of trying to take over the Board!
We see who cares.  Don’t let them stop you. It must be hard but don’t let them beat you down.The ones who stand against the tax payers and parents will get sent out the door one way or the other you will see.

By Hang In There  on  04.30.2015

Yes, had heard the rumor that BS stated that Mrs. Starkey was trying to take over the board.  We would have been better off if she had!  She always looked out for the children and people of Gilmer County.

Can you say that for the accuser?  Watching these videos makes one believe the accuser has taken over the board?  He is responsible for the board agenda and its plain to see he does not put the board member requests on the agenda.

The wheels of justice sometimes grind slowly, but we know what this board president is all about and we shall not forget come another election.

By no more BS  on  04.30.2015

Watching poor next door Gilmer County and their abuse.
This is a damn sad state of affairs from the very government agency that should be helping you.
This school mess gives no confidence in the state employees at the Capitol or for that fact, no confidence in any of our elected representatives.
Can you believe the legislature is silent in this matter?
Guess we have elected a whole Capitol full of political pawns and yes men and yes women.

By Sympathy from Lewis County  on  04.30.2015

The use of a consent agenda is also a move to limit board member discussion.  Plain and simple.
Not hard to see what the states handlers have in mind for our elected representatives.
We remember too just how fast this take over happened when William Simmon was voted our superintendent.
Praise be to God that never happened.
That’s one thing that happened right.

By point of order  on  04.30.2015

Isn’t this 200k + computer bid deal actually illegal?
Would it be proper to file a complaint with the ethics commission?
Couldn’t either a citizen or a business file a complaint?

By reader3  on  04.30.2015

The story on the editorial page of this week’s Glenville Democrat needs clarification. Surely the new Linn school is not totally free to Gilmer County.

How much did Gilmer County spend for the land at Linn, did it have to pay anything to correct the landslide that occurred, did we have to pay anything to the architectural firm? It does not sound logical that the County got off totally free.

Mr. Devono, citizens deserve to be given an accurate and complete accounting for what the school has cost the County and what future costs will be. Is this too much to ask for in a democracy?

Regarding the model school reference, does that language refer just to the structure? Where is the detailed plan for making the school an educational outcome model? Don’t have one? Why should that surprise us?

Results for our children are what we want. We have had enough of the State’s “just trust” us treatment. We know what that got the County.

By J. Hawley  on  05.01.2015

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Campbell Coming to Glenville State

PROCTORVILLE — There’s something to be said for the player-coach relationship.

Fairland’s football coach last season was Rashad Jackson. He is now the defensive backs coach at Glenville State.

Tyler Campbell was a lineman for the Fairland Dragons last season. After signing a letter-of-intent on Tuesday, he is now a lineman at Glenville State.

Campbell had offers from Urbana, Heidelberg and Bethany College but opted for Glenville State due mainly to the fact Jackson was now on the staff.

“Having coach “Jack” up there won me over. Having a coach who already coached you up there just makes me want to go up there more,” said Campbell.

The Gilmer Free Press


Jackson told Campbell that he’ll fill a role at Glenville much like he did with the Dragons.

“Coach Jack said I’ll be a guard, tackle or center. Just be ready to learn them all,” said Campbell. “I prefer offense more to defense. It’s about the same (offensive system). They run the fast tempo just like we did. I should fit in good.”

The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Campbell was hoping to play at the next level, but a knee injury last summer left a cloud over his final season.

“When I hurt my knee I thought my senior year was done with and I wasn’t going to get to play. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to play me senior year,” said Campbell.

“Everybody said I was done. I worked all summer with Joe Ambiotte at Riverside Physical Therapy and he got me ready to play. I made it through football and I made it through basketball.”

Campbell will undergo knee surgery on Wednesday and is not expected to play this season.

“It’s going to be tough. I feel if I stay on top of everything and stay working I’ll be fine,” said Campbell.

“They have six linemen that are seniors right now, so that’s actually be good to sit out a year.”

Campbell said the knee didn’t give him any problems during football or basketball. He doesn’t foresee any problems after the surgery.

“Hopefully, it goes the same way. It’s been my dream to play college football my whole life. It’s finally coming true,” said Campbell.

Glenville State plays in the same league as Urbana. Campbell’s classmates and teammates Chance Short and Dylan Murphy are both headed for Urbana. He admits it will be strange going against his friends.

“It’ll be bitter sweet. We played our whole lives together. Now I get a chance to play against them.

The son of Connie and Tim Campbell, Tyler plans to major in business. He said his father has been his biggest influence.

“My dad has been at every game. He’d be nagging in my ear before the game. I said, ‘I already heard it.’ He said the same thing,” said Campbell.

~~  Jim Walker ~~

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