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Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Announces $5.75 Million Settlement With Nationwide Insurance

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced the Office has reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Nationwide Insurance’s offering of a discount on certain insurance products to West Virginia Farm Bureau members.

“Our Office is pleased to announce that we have been able to come to an agreement with Nationwide on this matter on behalf of the citizens of West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our agreement will help to ensure that Nationwide customers in West Virginia recoup funds they may not have previously received and brings closure to this issue in the state.”

As part of the agreement, Nationwide will pay $5.75 million to settle allegations that it violated certain state laws. Roughly $3.6 million will go to the Attorney General’s Office. The judge ordered the remainder to go toward attorneys’ fees and restitution to affected consumers.

The lawsuit was filed in McDowell County in January 2013. Nationwide denies it violated state laws and the settlement does not include any admission of fault.

To read a copy of the settlement,  Click H E R E.

Remember to Keep Red, White and Blue Celebrations Green

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV – Parties, picnics, camping and fun in the water are staples of the Independence Day holiday. While the purpose of the occasion is to celebrate our freedom with family and friends, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection urges the public to also keep the environment in mind.

You can keep your red, white and blue celebrations “green” by following these tips:

• When hosting a party, provide markers and ask that each guest write his or her name on a cup. This will eliminate confusion and reduce the number of cups used.

• Try to use one fewer paper napkin. If everyone in the U.S. decreased his/her napkin use by one, the amount of napkins found in landfills would be reduced by more than a billion pounds each year.

• Consider reusable bottles or cups at your party instead of bottled water or soda bottles. Nearly 90% of plastic bottles are not recycled and take thousands of years to decompose.

• Use matches for your campfire or other fire needs rather than lighters. Since most lighters are considered “disposable,” more than 1.5 billion of them end up in landfills each year. When choosing matches, pick cardboard over wood because most cardboard matches are made from recycled paper.

• When doing the dishes, skip rinsing them before using your dishwasher. This will save up to 20 gallons of water each load. Plus, you’re saving time and the energy used to heat the additional water.

• Do not throw trash on the ground or into streams. A soda can will take 200 to 400 years to break down and a disposable diaper can take up to 500 years to decompose. Be sure to dispose of your trash appropriately and, when possible, recycle. You can learn more about recycling by contacting your local recycling center.

• If you’re in the pool, try not to splash. While splashing and diving are fun, they result in significant water loss. Keep as much water in the pool as possible.

Did You Know?

The Gilmer Free Press

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


BP AGREES TO PAY $18.7B TO COMPENSATE GULF STATES FOR DAMAGE FROM DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL

The disaster killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of crude that stained beaches, coated wildlife and polluted marshes.


GREECE PREPARES FOR CRUCIAL REFERENDUM

The country’s voters will decide Sunday on whether to accept creditors’ conditions in exchange for financial aid.


WHY OBAMA’S COUNTERTERRORISM POLICY IS FACING MOUNTING CRITICISM

Some say the current strategy, involving few troops on the ground and using drones to take out one extremist at a time, isn’t effective at keeping the United States safe.


WHO IS OPPOSED TO HAVING A U.S. AMBASSADOR IN CUBA

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doubts the Senate will confirm the nominee, and suggests his party would fight Obama administration efforts to fully lift trade and travel restrictions to the communist-led island nation.


BOKO HARAM GUNS DOWN 97 PEOPLE PRAYING IN MOSQUES IN NIGERIA

The attack on the town of Kukawa came the day after the Islamic extremist group attacked a village and killed another 48 men and boys.


WHERE TEMPERATURES ARE HITTING TRIPLE DIGITS

From Seattle to Salt Lake City, the West is baking under record heat, sending people inside looking for relief before the Fourth of July weekend.


DEBATE ON CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS SHOWS HOW MEANING OF A FLAG DEPENDS ON BEHOLDER

Raised from the smoking wreckage of the World Trade Center, planted atop a mountain on Iwo Jima, or held aloft at a sports event, a piece of cloth can symbolize struggle, heritage and perseverance.


WOMAN DIES OF MEASLES IN WASHINGTON STATE

Officials say it’s the first such death in the U.S. in 12 years and the first in the state in 25.


SURVIVOR OF LATEST SHARK ATTACK THANKS MEDICAL TEAM THAT SAVED HIM

Andrew Costello says the incident was frightening and painful, but that he feels fortunate to have survived.


REELZ TV CHANNEL WILL BROADCAST MISS USA PAGEANT, DROPPED BY NBC DUE TO DONALD TRUMP’S COMMENTS

The company said the show and the women who compete in it “are an integral part of American tradition.“

West Virginia News

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DHHR Announces Funding for Cabell County Syringe Exchange

CHARLESTON, WV—The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today announced $10,000 in funding, as well as $10,000 in technical support, to the Cabell-Huntington Health Department (CHHD) to launch the state’s first-ever Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) pilot project.  DHHR has partnered with the City of Huntington and the CHHD to assist with the reduction of illness/infection within the intravenous drug use population in Cabell County.

“This pilot program highlights the partnership of DHHR, the City of Huntington and the Cabell Huntington Health Department coming together to not only acknowledge the seriousness of intravenous drug use, but to take action in helping to reduce the spread of infectious diseases in our communities caused by sharing needles,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling.

Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) are considered part of a Harm Reduction Program to reduce the risk of spreading diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

“As the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy set forth an aggressive effort to defeat the epidemic of hopelessness and addiction, our intent was to challenge the traditional inclinations of our community to be transformed into thoughtful, nontraditional initiatives,” said Huntington Mayor Steve Williams. “I commend the DHHR and the Cabell-Huntington Health Department for boldly embracing the challenge. Our community is setting a public health standard that will likely be emulated across the state.”

Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health, echoed the Mayor’s comments adding “While this is the first Syringe Exchange Program in the State of West Virginia, the DHHR is funding this project as another innovative approach to addressing the challenges associated with intravenous drug use.  We look forward to a thorough evaluation that will help guide other communities looking for a similar evidence-based approach.” 

The one-year pilot project is expected to launch by late summer to early fall.

CHHD’s Physican Director Dr. Micahel Kilkenny touted the SEP as one part of the health department’s Harm Reduction Program.  “The Cabell-Huntington Health Department will work hard to reduce the harm to all our citizens from this epidemic of drug abuse.”

ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK MORRISEY URGES CONGRESS TO PROTECT RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS’ TAX-EXEMPT STATUS

CHARLESTON, WV – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and 14 other state Attorneys General announced today they have sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to take steps to protect the tax-exempt status of nonprofit religious organizations.

The letter, sent to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, was prompted by statements before the U.S. Supreme Court by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. during oral arguments in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. When asked if religious-affiliated institutions could have their tax-exempt status revoked if they opposed same-sex marriage, Verrilli said “it’s certainly going to be an issue.”

The letter asks that Congress modify the Internal Revenue Code to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from revoking the tax-exempt status of nonprofit religious organizations that disagree with the decision in Obergefell.

“Under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, citizens have the right to exercise their religion freely without government pressure to change their minds or penalties for unpopular beliefs,” the letter states. “We take very seriously the religious freedom of our States’ citizens and believe that Congress should take action now to preclude the IRS from targeting religious groups in this way.”

The letter says stripping the tax-exempt status of religious organizations would be “an unprecedented assertion of governmental power over religious exercise.”

“We need to ensure that citizens’ religious freedom is protected,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “I urge Congress to take action on this issue quickly.”

Attorney General Morrisey was joined in the letter by Attorneys General from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.


Suspended WV teacher pleads guilty to gun charge

CHARLESTON, WV — A suspended high school math teacher has pleaded guilty to buying a gun for a felon.

The Charleston Gazette reports that 39-year-old Jennifer Napier pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Charleston on Wednesday.

According to court papers, when Napier bout the gun she filled out a federal form and falsely stated that she was the buyer even though she knew the true buyer was a convicted felon. Tracy Chapman, victim/witness coordinator for the federal prosecutor’s office, said Napier admitted in court that she had given the gun to her boyfriend.

Napier, who was suspended from her job at George Washington High School after being charged, faces up to five years in prison when she is sentenced October 14.


Study: Drill waste in landfills unlikely to get in water

CHARLESTON, WV — A study by state regulators says it’s unlikely that significant amounts of untreated natural gas drilling waste in landfills will impact groundwater or surface water.

In the event that the waste’s runoff did hit nearby water untreated, however, the material would likely exceed chemical limits for drinking water and be toxic to plants and invertebrate life, the study concludes.

In a report released Wednesday, the Department of Environmental Protection looked into the runoff from drill cuttings dumped into landfills. The report studied four of the six West Virginia landfills that accept drilling waste, and compared them to two others that don’t.

The report says most groundwater near the studied landfills isn’t used for public water supplies, but is likely used for some private water supplies.

Radioactive levels in landfills that accept the drilling waste sometimes exceeded state limits for radioactivity in waterways. Treatment facilities that took in the drilling material had radioactive discharges similar to ones that didn’t handle its treatment.

The study says a new landfill for the material could take five or more years to build and cost the oil and gas industry $80 million. At least two new landfills would be needed to ensure drill operators didn’t have to drive further to dump their material than they currently do, the report says.

The study outlined some risks of the material ending up in waterways untreated: heavy precipitation events, overflow of piping systems connecting landfills to treatment facilities, cracks in piping systems handling the fluids, treatment system failures and landfill liner failures.

“It cannot be determined if or when landfill leachate might impact groundwater in the long-term,“ the report says.

The report found that the drill cuttings were not suitable for road building, or capping of brownfield sites.

But it also says parts of the material could potentially be used in a mix to fill abandoned underground mines and keep them from collapsing, or to fill other unused structures, including underground storage tanks, sewers or abandoned basements.

Environmental officials collaborated on the report with the state Division of Highways, branches of Marshall University and Glenville State University, and Research Environmental & Industrial Consultants.

The study was sent to a state legislative committee Wednesday, as required by a 2014 law.

U.S.A. News

The Gilmer Free Press

Court rules Apple violated antitrust laws

NEW YORK, NY — Apple violated antitrust laws by colluding with publishers to raise electronic book prices when it entered a market in 2010 that had been dominated by Amazon.com, a divided federal appeals court panel said Tuesday.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled 2-to-1 that a lower-court judge correctly found Apple Inc. violated the law to upset Amazon.com Inc.‘s control of the market.

The appeals court also agreed that U.S. District Judge Denise Cote was right in 2013 to order injunctive relief to ensure the Cupertino, California-based company didn’t commit additional violations of antitrust laws.

In a statement, Apple said the ruling did nothing to change the fact that it did not conspire to fix e-book pricing.

“We are disappointed the court does not recognize the innovation and choice the iBooks Store brought for consumers,“ it said. “While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values. We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing next steps.“

Cote had ordered the technology giant to modify contracts with publishers to prevent price fixing and appointed a monitor to review the company’s antitrust policies. The appeals court last month upheld the appointment of the monitor.

In a majority opinion written by Judge Debra Ann Livingston, the 2nd Circuit said Cote’s finding that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among publishers to raise electronic book prices was “amply supported and well-reasoned” and that her remedy was “lawful and consistent with preventing future anticompetitive harms.“

In a dissent, Judge Dennis Jacobs defended as “eminently reasonable” the actions Apple took as it fought to raise the price of e-books when Seattle-based Amazon controlled 90% of the market while selling the most popular books online for $9.99. Afterward, its share of the market dropped to about 60%.

He said it was a mistake by Cote and his fellow appeals judges to assume “competition should be genteel, lawyer-designed, and fair under sporting rules, and that antitrust law is offended by gloves-off competition.“

“Apple took steps to compete with a monopolist and open the market to more entrants, generating only minor competitive restraints in the process,“ Jacobs wrote.

In the majority opinion, though, Livingston said it was “startling” that Jacobs would agree Apple intentionally organized a conspiracy among publishers to raise e-book prices and then say the company was entitled to do so because the conspiracy helped it become an e-book retailer.

Joining the majority, Judge Raymond J. Lohier Jr. agreed with much of what Livingston wrote, though he noted that the publishers may be more culpable than Apple after using the company as “powerful leverage against Amazon and to keep each other in collusive check.“

And he said there was “surface appeal” to Apple’s argument that the e-book market needed more competition.

“But more corporate bullying is not an appropriate antidote to corporate bullying,“ he wrote.

The U.S. Justice Department and 33 states and territories originally sued Apple and five publishers. The publishers all settled and signed consent decrees prohibiting them from restricting e-book retailers’ ability to set prices. Two publishers joined Apple’s appeal.

In settlements with lawsuits brought by individual states, Apple has agreed to pay $400 million to be distributed to consumers and $50 million for attorney fees and payments to states, though it will pay nothing if it ultimately wins on appeal. Lawyers for the states say the $400 million combined with $166 million already turned over by publishers represent double the maximum amount consumers lost in the conspiracy.

In a release, Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said the government was gratified with the ruling.

“The decision confirms that it is unlawful for a company to knowingly participate in a price-fixing conspiracy, whatever its specific role in the conspiracy or reason for joining it. Because Apple and the defendant publishers sought to eliminate price competition in the sale of e-books, consumers were forced to pay higher prices for many e-book titles,“ he said.


Shark Attacks in Carolinas

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World News

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Will pope chew coca leaves in Bolivia? ‘Wait and see,‘ Vatican says

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis will decide for himself if he chews coca leaves in order to ward off altitude sickness when he lands next week at La Paz, Bolivia, the highest international airport in the world, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

A Bolivian minister said on Sunday that Francis had told government officials that he would like to chew coca leaves - the major ingredient of cocaine - when he visits..

But spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, responding at a briefing on the trip where several questions revolved around the Argentine pope and the Andean coca leaf, said he did not know if any such request had been made.

“I am not aware of that,“ he said. “The pope will do what he thinks is most opportune.“

At just over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) above sea level, La Paz airport, appropriately called “El Alto”. The city is below the airport, at about 3,650 meters (11,975 feet).

Local people for centuries have chewed coca leaves to ward off the effects of altitude.

“There are popular customs that people use. Some drink coca tea and others chew coca leaves. Let’s see what he decides to do. You can do it too (chew coca leaves), if you want to,“ Lombardi told reporters.

The coca leaf debate prompted one Hispanic reporter to interject out loud: “Hey, it is not a hallucinogen.“

The unprocessed leaf is legal to use and still widely chewed in Bolivia and other Andean countries. Many indigenous people, including Bolivian President Evo Morales, defend its use and consider it a sacred plant.

For health reasons, the 78-year-old Francis, who lost part of one lung to disease when he was a young man, will be in La Paz for only about four hours before moving on to Santa Cruz.


Iran nuclear talks extended; Iranians meet key obligation

VIENNA, SWITZERLAND — Pushing past a Tuesday deadline, world powers and Iran extended negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement by a week as the U.N. nuclear agency prepared to announce Tehran had met a key condition — significantly reducing its stocks of enriched uranium that could be used for atomic weapons.

Iran’s failure to comply would have severely undermined the negotiations, which are aimed at curbing the Iranians’ nuclear program for a decade in exchange for tens of billions of dollars in relief from international economic sanctions

The State Department announced the extra days of talks only hours before the expiration of the target date for their completion. Thoughts of meeting the deadline had been long-abandoned, but the extension has added significance as it holds in place nuclear restrictions that Iran agreed to some 20 months ago as well as slightly eased conditions for Iranian business with the world.

Those preliminary measures have been prolonged to next Tuesday “to allow more time for negotiations to reach a long-term solution,“ spokeswoman Marie Harf said.? The statement came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a day of meetings in Vienna with the foreign ministers of Iran and Russia, and other key officials.

The day originally had been envisioned as the culmination of almost two years of secret and then public negotiations aimed at assuring the world Iran cannot produce nuclear weapons and providing the Iranian people a path of out of their international isolation. But officials said over the weekend they were nowhere near a final accord, and Iran’s foreign minister had flown back to his capital for further consultations amid increased signs of backtracking by his country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said Tuesday there will be no nuclear deal with Iran if inspections and verification requirements are inadequate.

“I will walk away from the negotiations if, in fact, it’s a bad deal,“ Obama said during a news conference with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Obama said it’s still unclear whether Tehran can meet the commitments made in a preliminary deal struck in Switzerland in April.

“There has been a lot of talk on the other side from the Iranian negotiators about whether in fact they can abide by some of the terms that came up in Lausanne,“ Obama said. “If they cannot, that’s going to be a problem.“

As for Iran’s reduction in its stockpile of enriched uranium, diplomats said the country had removed a potential hurdle that nuclear experts had been watching closely over the past several weeks.

Uranium can be used to generate energy, or as the fissile core of a nuclear weapon, depending on its enrichment level. Under the preliminary deal from November 2013, Iran agreed to cap its stockpile of lower-enriched uranium at a little more than 7.6 tons and transform any remainder into a form that would be difficult to reconvert for arms use.

Although amounts were permitted to fluctuate, Iran had to come under the cap by Tuesday. And as of only a month ago, the U.N. nuclear agency reported the stockpile at more than 8 tons.

Iran’s compliance will be officially made public Wednesday in a report by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said the diplomats, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the still-confidential report and demanded anonymity.

The weeklong extension has political overtones as well. An agreement by July 07 would give the Obama administration time to submit the deal to Congress by July 09. Congress would then have 30 days to review it, during which time President Barack Obama would not be able to ease sanctions.

If negotiations drag on past July 09 without a deal, that congressional review period would extend to 60 days. If lawmakers were to build a veto-proof majority behind new legislation enacting new economic sanctions or preventing Obama from suspending existing ones, the administration would be prevented from living up to an accord.

Iran, for its part, warned about consequences if the West fails to hold up its end of the bargain.

The official IRNA news agency reported that President Hassan Rouhani cautioned Tuesday that Iran will intensify its nuclear activities if it detects violations from the countries negotiating the deal.

Talks in Austria’s capital restarted Tuesday after a one-day interruption, with Iran’s chief diplomat returning from Tehran and insisting he had a mandate to finalize a nuclear agreement. The promise came despite statements by supreme leader Khamenei in recent weeks that appeared to renege on a framework that his representatives agreed to three months ago in Lausanne.

The diplomacy has reached a “very sensitive stage” but progress is possible, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. Asked by a reporter about his day of meetings at home, he said: “I already had a mandate to negotiate, and I am here to get a final deal and I think we can.“ He returned with Iranian atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi, who missed earlier sessions due to illness. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov joined the gathering later Tuesday.

Significant disagreements persist, not least over the level of inspections on Iranian sites, how quickly the West would roll back sanctions and what types of research and development Iran would be permitted to conduct on advanced nuclear technology.


Meditating Portuguese actor mistaken for terrorist on Paris plane

LISBON,  Portugal —A Portuguese actor humming a prayer as he meditated to a sacred Tibetan text onboard a plane awaiting takeoff from Paris was mistaken for a terrorist by alarmed passengers and taken off the flight by police.

“Police told me that I had been denounced as a terrorism suspect aboard the plane because I was reciting the Koran aloud, that I was reading a text involving words ‘death’ and ‘bomb’,“ the man, Heitor Lourenco, said in remarks aired by SIC television on Thursday.

Lourenco, 47, said his text, which he was reading on a tablet device, contained Tibetan characters and the device had the timer on to tell him how long he had meditated, which probably caused associations with a bomb.

He was released after six hours of questioning during which police watched videos of him on the Internet showing that he is a theater and television actor, and checked his profile on Wikipedia, which states that he is a Buddhist.

More ADA Access Upgrades to the Gilmer County Recreation Center Pool

The Gilmer County Parks and Recreation Center Board is pleased with all the upgrading being done to the facility for people with disabilities.


The Gilmer Free Press

The park board thanks the FCI Gilmer inmate program for helping with these upgrades, for without their help these upgrades could not have been available this year for two camps that are held here each year with over 20 wheelchair campers.

Again the Gilmer County Parks and Recreation Center Board and Director Darrel Ramsey thanks FCI Gilmer for their help in making our facility a little more user friendly for the disable.

Gilmer County Residents Graduate from GSC

The Gilmer Free Press

GLENVILLE, WV—Ten Gilmer County students were awarded their degrees during the 141st Glenville State College Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 09, 2015.

The GSC Class of 2015 is made up of students who completed their degree requirements in May 2015 and who hail from throughout West Virginia, other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Serbia.


    •  Keith A. Cummings of Glenville graduated with a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree.


    •  Samuel J. Dennison of Glenville graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with concentrations in Corrections and Law Enforcement.


    •  Meghan N. Luzader of Sand Fork graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with a minor in Criminal Justice.


    •  Robert T. Nicholas of Glenville graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science with minors in Psychology and Sociology.


    •  Andrea E. Osborne of Glenville graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree in Elementary Education (K-6) and General Math-Algebra I Education (5-9).


    •  Jodie L. Parsons of Normantown graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree in Elementary Education (K-6) and Multi-Categorical Education (K-6).


    •  Heather C. Patterson of Glenville graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with a minor in Studio Art.


    •  Amber D. Shackleford of Glenville graduated with a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree.


    •  Tiffany A. Tomey of Glenville graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphics & Digital Media.


    •  Ashley D. Woodford of Cox’s Mills graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Accounting, Computer and Information Systems, and Management.


Founded in 1872, Glenville State College is a public liberal arts institution located in Glenville, West Virginia. The college offers many four-year degree programs and 13 NCAA Division II athletic teams.

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West Virginia News

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State opens road over new pedestrian underpass at WV fair

FAIRLEA, WV — The state has opened a section of U.S. 219 that runs over a new pedestrian underpass at the State Fair of West Virginia.

Traffic had been detoured through the fair’s free parking lot since May 17 to allow for construction of the underpass.

The Register-Herald reports that the Division of Highways opened the new section of road on Tuesday. Work on the underpass is continuing.

The underpass will replace a pedestrian bridge that links two parcels owned by the fair. Fair officials have said the underpass will improve access to the fairgrounds in Fairlea for people with physical disabilities. The pedestrian bridge was built in 1975, before the Americans with Disabilities Act became law.


MANCHIN APPLAUDS NATIONAL YOUTH SCIENCE FOUNDATION’S ACQUISITION OF STEM EDUCATION CENTER IN TUCKER COUNTY

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded the National Youth Science Foundation’s (NYSF) acquisition of the $20 million Canaan Valley Institute (CVI) facilities in Tucker County. NYSF will recommission the campus as the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Center, expand and improve its national and international programs and become a focal point that encourages youth in West Virginia and across the country to pursue education and careers in STEM.

As it expands STEM education programming through the National Youth Science Camp, NYSF hopes to qualify the STEM Education Center as one of West Virginia’s STEM education hubs, which could benefit as many as 1,000 West Virginia students every year. Senator Manchin and NYSF are calling on state and federal officials to designate necessary funding to enhance STEM programming at the STEM Education Center.

“I am thrilled that the National Youth Science Foundation’s has official acquired the CVI facilities in Tucker County for its state-of-the-art STEM Education Center,” Senator Manchin said. “With the necessary state and federal funding, this new center has the potential to become a national hub for STEM education, attracting the nation’s best and brightest to West Virginia and enhancing our economy, our education programs, and our next generation of skilled professionals. I applaud the efforts of Judge Pearson and everyone at the National Youth Science Foundation, as well as the local residents, the Tucker County Commission and all those who have dedicated so much hard work and time to making this acquisition a reality.”

NYSF’s acquisition of the STEM Education Center was also made possible by the generosity of its 6,000 alumni and other supporters. Together, they have pledged funds sufficient to meet the overhead expenses of the STEM Education Center for the first five years of operation, while the Foundation seeks funding to build the staff to reach many more West Virginia students throughout the calendar year.


Teachers gather in Charleston for technology academy

CHARLESTON, WV — West Virginia teachers are meeting in Charleston to learn more about how to use technology in their jobs.

The West Virginia Center for Professional Development is sponsoring the Infusing Technology Academy. It began Monday and continued through Wednesday.

The academy features more than 40 sessions help teachers embed technology into all aspects of student learning. Teachers bring their own technology devices for the training.

A second Infusing Technology Academy is scheduled for Fairmont State University on July 21 through 23.


Former Kanawha County teacher faces five years in prsion for firearm purchase

CHARLESTON, WV — A Kanawha County woman pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to purchasing a firearm for someone she knew to be a convicted felon.

Jennifer Napier, 39, of East Bank purchased the weapon from the Trading Post in Marmet in October 2011. She falsely filled out a Department of Justice form saying that she was buying the firearm when she knew that the gun would be in the hands of someone else.

As part of her plea bargain, Napier agreed she would surrender her teaching certificate. Her sentencing is scheduled for October; she faces up to five years in prison.


WV first lady retires as community college president

LOGAN, WV - West Virginia first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin has retired as president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

Tomblin’s retirement was effective Tuesday. She had served at the college for 33 years, including the past 15 as president.

Tomblin says in a college news release that she believed the time was right for her to step down. She says the college’s board, academic and campus leaders and community supporters know what is required to achieve continued success.

During Tomblin’s tenure, the college began the Vision 2020 Major Gifts campaign, which has raised $17 million through community donations. Other projects included a new Allied Health Facility on the Logan campus and the Applied Technology Facility on the Williamson campus.

Did You Know?

The Gilmer Free Press

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


WHAT GREECE IS BRACING FOR

More chaos on the streets outside its mostly shuttered banks as the country and its creditors halt talks on resolving the deepening financial crisis until a national referendum on creditor proposals is held this weekend.


UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS TO 5.3%

U.S. employers add 223,000 jobs in June, bringing the jobless rate to its lowest level in seven years.


WHO’S IN LINE FOR TOP DIPLOMATIC POST IN CUBA

Supporters of Jeffrey DeLaurentis say his experience on the Caribbean island nation makes him the favorite to be the first U.S. ambassador to Havana in almost 55 years.


FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN TENNESSEE

At least one CSX freighter car carrying a flammable and toxic gas is off the tracks and catches fire in a town south of Knoxville, prompting an evacuation within a one-mile radius.


TRUMP FALLOUT CONTINUES

Macy’s joins an ongoing exodus from association with the billionaire mogul and New Mexico’s governor and New York City’s mayor slam him over his comments on Mexican immigrants.


AFTER TRADE DEAL, OBAMA SEEKS TO REPAIR LABOR RIFT

The president travels to Wisconsin to try to mend fences with his labor allies, promoting his union-backed plan to make more workers eligible for overtime.


HOW PYONGYANG BECAME EVEN LESS WIRED

A limited number of foreigners who can access the Internet in North Korea with relative freedom have noticed blacklist warnings on some social media accounts and websites.


PONTIFF BRINGS `CHURCH FOR THE POOR’ TO SOUTH AMERICA

Pope Francis will address issues that are close to his heart, such as the environment and indigenous issues, during a grueling visit to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay.


PIANO MAN SETS MSG RECORD

Billy Joel sets the mark for most performances by a single artist at Madison Square Garden with his 65th show, besting Elton John.


HOOP DREAMS AS BIG BUCKS FLY

Kevin Love resigns with Cleveland and Tyson Chandler takes his talents to Phoenix as more than $1 billion worth of deals are made on the first day of NBA free agency.

Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting - 07.02.15 - Today

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GILMER COUNTY COMMISSION  
AGENDA for REGULAR MEETING
Thursday, July 02, 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 Don Bailey and Rick Sypolt-Gilmer County Recreation Center
9:20 Rick Sypolt-Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency


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)  Board Seats open on the:

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

                          ii. ** Ambulance Service- DeKalb/Troy

              4)  Budget Revisions

              5)  Budget Control Report: 

              6)  Approve Invoices for Payment

              7)  Approve County Commission Minutes – June 05, 2015 and June 18, 2015

              8)  Receipt of County Board Minutes: 

                    1. Gilmer County Public Service District Meeting Minutes- May 11, 2015

                    2. Gilmer County Parks & Recreation Board Inc. Meeting Minutes-May 19, 2015

              3. Region VI Board Meeting Minutes-March 12, 2015


VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

              1. Family Court-Reimbursement for space utilization


VII. NEW BUSINESS:

      Discussion and/or action on:

              1. Sell the 2007 Dodge Durango on Courthouse steps at 10:00 AM.

              2. Second Meeting in July

              3. Appoint Office of Emergency Management Assistant Deputy Director


VIII. OTHER BUSINESS

              1. West Virginia State Auditor’s in-service training for County Commissioners - August 10 & 11, 2015.

              2. Limited Bingo License-Glenville State College

              3.  Petition to Enforce-Unsafe Buildings & Lands Complaint #2014-05


IX. EXECUTIVE SESSION AS NEEDED


X.    ADJOURNMENT


NEXT MEETING:

U.S.A. News

The Gilmer Free Press

U.S. Girl Scouts get night under the stars at White House

WASHINGTON, D.C.—It was not your average Girl Scout campout.

There were tents, but instead of the backwoods, they were pitched on the South Lawn of the most famous address in America, the White House.

There was star-gazing. But it was led by Cady Coleman, a U.S. astronaut who spent two years on the International Space Station.

The Gilmer Free Press


And there was a campfire sing-a-long - which President Barack Obama dropped by to join.

“What are you guys doing in my yard?“ the president said, smiling, as 50 fourth-grade girls bedecked in green badge-covered vests giggled and shouted their hellos.

“We’re camping on the lawn!“ one scout shouted. “We’re making history!“

The event was the first-ever Girl Scout campout designed to spotlight first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! Outside” initiative. The First lady, who is also the Honorary National President of the Girl Scouts, sat beside the president on a bale of hay as the group clapped and sang lyrics from souvenir pamphlets. The Obamas read over the shoulders of the scouts beside them, singing along.

“Did you guys see Michelle rockin’ out a little bit?“ Obama asked at the end of the second song, “I Love Being a Girl Scout.“

Later he turned to face the makeshift campfire, a pile of lanterns arranged in the middle of the circle. “Remember to put the fire out before you go to bed,“ he said. “That’s what Smokey the Bear said.“

For the scouts, fourth graders from five troops around the country, the night was an opportunity to learn to rock climb, to pitch a tent, to tie a knot, to look through a telescope - and to get to know Obama.

“I thought he was like a serious man who only wanted to work and do business, but he actually has a really nice soft side,“ said Blaire Batista, 11, from Washington, D.C.

“Until I die…I’m going to have this memory not in the back of my head, but right in the front,“ she said.

After two songs, Obama turned to the girls to say goodbye. “Unfortunately, I’ve gotta go back to work,“ he said. “But we can have a group hug.“

The girls rushed toward him, wrapping their arms around his waist, each one clamoring for a chance to embrace the president.

Outside the circle, the Secret Service stood with their hands clasped, looking around at each other.

Then they started to laugh.


Man in wheelchair robs New York bank, gets away

NEW YORK, NY—Police on Tuesday were searching for a man in a wheelchair who is suspected of robbing a New York bank and rolling out of the building with $1,200 cash to make a clean getaway.

The man, who wore a gray hoodie and appeared to be about 30 years old according to surveillance video, is accused of passing a note to a Santander Bank teller in the New York City borough of Queens on Monday afternoon and demanding money, a New York Police Department spokesman said.

Despite never showing a gun to bank workers, the man was not intercepted as he exited the bank in his wheelchair with the loot. No arrests have been made.

The New York incident is not the first time a person in a wheelchair has robbed a bank.

A 60-year-old Idaho man in a wheelchair was arrested last year for holding up a First Federal Bank, stopped by police while attempting to flee the robbery scene in a taxi cab.

In 2010, a terminally ill California man in a wheelchair hoping to get medical care in prison held up a Chase Bank with a BB gun. He was arrested outside the building and was sentenced to 21 years’ incarceration.

Leetonia’s Shar to Continue Gymnast Career at Glenville State College

LEETONIA, Ohio (WKBN) – Jenae Shar, a recent graduate of Leetonia High School, has signed a letter of intent to continue her athletic career with Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia. She will compete on the Acro & Tumbling team.

The Gilmer Free Press


Jenae spent her senior year competing as a level 10 gymnast in multiple events across the country.  Her accomplishments include:

    •  Universal Galaxy: 3rd place on floor

    •  Circle of Stars in Indianapolis: 3rd place on vault, 3rd place on bars, and 3rd place on beam.

    •  Excalibur in Virginia Beach: 5th place on vault.

    •  All Around Gymnastics Challenge: 2nd place on vault, 1st place on beam, and 2nd place in All Around.

    •  Arnold Gymnastics Challenge: 5th place on vault, 6th place on bars, 1st place on beam, and 4th place in All Around.

NINE-STATE COALITION ASKING COURT TO STRIKE DOWN BURDENSOME ‘WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES’ RULE

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced he is leading a bipartisan coalition of nine state Attorneys General in a lawsuit challenging a new rule from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency that unlawfully expands the federal government’s regulatory reach over small streams, land and farms.

“This rule is a staggering overreach by the federal government and violates the very law it claims to enforce,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “It will have dire consequences for homeowners, farmers and other entities by forcing them to navigate a complex federal bureaucracy and obtain costly permits in order to perform everyday tasks like digging ditches, building fences or spraying fertilizers.”

The rule, known generally as the “Waters of the United States” rule, would extend the EPA and Corps of Engineers’ regulatory jurisdiction to an untold number of small bodies of water, including roadside ditches and short-lived streams or any other area where the agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years.

“The way this rule is written creates a series of absurd scenarios for which people can be fined,” Morrisey said. “If you dump a wheelbarrow of dirt in the creek bed behind your house, and you don’t get a permit first, you could be fined, even if that creek was never previously subject to federal regulation. This rule expands a scheme whereby property owners have to ask the EPA for permission to do yardwork – it’s regulatory lunacy.”

Failure to comply with the new regulations could result in fines of up to $37,500 a day.

In the complaint filed Tuesday morning in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, the Attorneys General of West Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin argue the final rule put out by the EPA and Corps of Engineers violates the Clean Water Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the U.S. Constitution, and usurps the States’ primary responsibility for the management, protection and care of intrastate waters and lands.

While the Clean Water Act gave the EPA and Corps authority to regulate “navigable waters” – defined as “waters of the United States” – Congress made sure that states would retain their constitutional, sovereign responsibility over non-navigable, intrastate lands and waters. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice rejected the agencies’ attempts to expand their authority (in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. Army Corps of Engineers and Rapanos v. United States). However, this latest rule written by the two administrative agencies gives them virtually limitless power over these waters.

The complaint asks a federal judge to declare the rule illegal and issue an injunction to prevent the agencies from enforcing it. It also asks the judge to order the agencies to draft a new rule that complies with the law and honors States’ rights.

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