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REAP Litter Control Grants Awarded for Fiscal Year 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman recently announced the recipients of the DEP’s REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan) Litter Control Matching Grants.

There were 23 individual applicants approved for amounts totaling $54,518.

The grants were awarded to state solid waste authorities, county commissions and municipalities.

Funding for the litter control program is generated through Legislative Rule §22-15A-4; “For unlawful disposal of litter, the circuit clerk shall deposit 50% of all civil penalties into the Litter Control Fund.”


Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority - $1,500

Funding will be used for educational litter pamphlets.


Burnsville, Town of - $3,000

Funding will be used for dumpster and disposal fees for the annual cleanup event.


Clay County Solid Waste Authority - $3,000

Funding will be used for dumpster and disposal fees for the annual cleanup event.


Delbarton, Town of - $2,300

Funding will be used for supplies and disposal fees for the town cleanup event.


Fayetteville, Town of - $1,563

Funding will be used for a hydraulic winch system for the cleanup of illegal dumps.


Gilmer County Commission - $3,000

Funding will be used for Litter Control Supervisor wages.


Harrison County Commission - $2,913

Funding will be used for ash tray litter receptacles.


Kanawha County Commission - $3,000

Funding will be used for overtime for off-duty deputies to issue litter citations and work cleanup events.


Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority - $1,525

Funding will be used for educational and promotional materials, public service announcements and social media advertising campaign to address cigarette littering.


Kenova, City of - $3,000

Funding will be used for structure razing, educational materials, trash bags and litter receptacles.


Mason County Commission - $1,200

Funding will be used for fuel and supplies for the county cleanup program.


McMechen, City of - $3,000

Funding will be used for structure razing within the city.


Mercer County Solid Waste Authority - $3,000

Funding will be used for litter bags.


Milton, City of - $3,000

Funding will be used for structure razing within the city.


Monroe County Solid Waste Authority - $1,366

Funding will be used for fuel and vehicle insurance for the county cleanup program.


Nitro, City of - $3,000

Funding will be used for litter receptacles with lids.


Parkersburg, City of - $1,500

Funding will be used for gloves and safety vests for the city’s litter cleanup program.


Putnam County Solid Waste Authority - $3,000

Funding will be used for litter grabbers and labor wages for the county cleanup program.


Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority - $725

Funding will be used for safety strobe lights, litter grabbers and safety vests for cleanups.


Terra Alta, Town of - $3,000

Funding will be used for labor, driver and disposal fees for razing of dilapidated structures within the town.


Wayne County Commission - $3,000

Funding will be used for Litter Control Officer wages.


Wood County Solid Waste Authority - $926

Funding will be used for safety vests and a winch with accessories.


Wyoming County Solid Waste Authority - $3,000

Funding will be used for fuel, vehicle maintenance and uniforms for the Litter Control Officer. 

West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Premiums Projected to Decline

The Gilmer Free Press

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin says West Virginia employers will see a projected $32 million reduction in workers’ compensation premiums in the coming year.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance filed the proposed reduction with the Office of the West Virginia Insurance commissioner.

Tomblin’s office says the reduction is the 10th consecutive year.

Tomblin said savings of more than $280 million have been realized since the program was privatized in 2005.

The NCCI is West Virginia’s rating agent.

How MS Patients Can Benefit from Massage Therapy

The Gilmer Free Press

An estimated 2.3 million people worldwide live with multiple sclerosis (MS) each day, a debilitating disease that can often cause severe pain, muscle spasms, poor circulation, anxiety, stress and clinical depression. Although not a substitute for regular MS treatment, massage therapy is an effective, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that can alleviate such symptoms and in turn, help to pacify the disease.

MS develops as a result of interference between the brain, spinal cord and other areas of the body. Symptoms and treatment vary widely depending on the amount of nerves that are affected. Massage therapy is an easy and affordable complement to doctor-prescribed treatments. Massage therapy may assist MS patients in managing the stress of their symptoms and to improve their quality of life.

“Massage therapy is a well-being approach for addressing body, mind and spirit. Along with stress reduction, massage therapy can help to increase flexibility and reduce muscle stiffness caused by spasticity,“ states Doreen Ellinwood, Massage Therapist and Vice President of Regional Operations for Massage Envy Spas in Columbus. “Massage therapy is also very effective at increasing deep sleep, as touch itself has been known to create positive feelings such as comfort and care. And with more deep sleep, you have less pain,“ added Tiffany Field, Ph.D., of the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute.

A study reported in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal indicated lower pain levels of up to 50 percent across three months by those participants who received 10 weeks of massage therapy. Long known for its stress-busting abilities, massage has a powerful effect on health and overall well-being. And because stress may trigger or worsen MS symptoms, it is important for sufferers to find ways to relax.

There are many positive aspects to receiving massage therapy on an ongoing basis.

To learn more, visit www.massageenvy.com/regions/OH/dayton.aspx.

With two locations in the region, Massage Envy Spa makes it easy to start living well.

Washington Post: The BlackList - The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

The Gilmer Free Press

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

Over the years, the Obama and Bush Administrations have fiercely resisted disclosing the criteria for placing names on the databases—though the guidelines are officially labeled as unclassified. In May, Attorney General Eric Holder even invoked the state secrets privilege to prevent watchlisting guidelines from being disclosed in litigation launched by an American who was on the no fly list. In an affidavit, Holder called them a “clear roadmap” to the government’s terrorist-tracking apparatus, adding: “The Watchlisting Guidance, although unclassified, contains national security information that, if disclosed … could cause significant harm to national security.”

The rulebook, which The Intercept is publishing in full, was developed behind closed doors by representatives of the nation’s intelligence, military, and law-enforcement establishment, including the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and FBI. Emblazoned with the crests of 19 agencies, it offers the most complete and revealing look into the secret history of the government’s terror list policies to date. It reveals a confounding and convoluted system filled with exceptions to its own rules, and it relies on the elastic concept of “reasonable suspicion” as a standard for determining whether someone is a possible threat. Because the government tracks “suspected terrorists” as well as “known terrorists,” individuals can be watchlisted if they are suspected of being a suspected terrorist, or if they are suspected of associating with people who are suspected of terrorism activity.

“Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future,” says Hina Shamsi, the head of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “On that dangerous theory, the government is secretly blacklisting people as suspected terrorists and giving them the impossible task of proving themselves innocent of a threat they haven’t carried out.” Shamsi, who reviewed the document, added, “These criteria should never have been kept secret.”

The Gilmer Free Press

The document’s definition of “terrorist” activity includes actions that fall far short of bombing or hijacking. In addition to expected crimes, such as assassination or hostage-taking, the guidelines also define destruction of government property and damaging computers used by financial institutions as activities meriting placement on a list. They also define as terrorism any act that is “dangerous” to property and intended to influence government policy through intimidation.

This combination—a broad definition of what constitutes terrorism and a low threshold for designating someone a terrorist—opens the way to ensnaring innocent people in secret government dragnets. It can also be counterproductive. When resources are devoted to tracking people who are not genuine risks to national security, the actual threats get fewer resources—and might go unnoticed.

“If reasonable suspicion is the only standard you need to label somebody, then it’s a slippery slope we’re sliding down here, because then you can label anybody anything,” says David Gomez, a former senior FBI special agent with experience running high-profile terrorism investigations. “Because you appear on a telephone list of somebody doesn’t make you a terrorist. That’s the kind of information that gets put in there.”

The fallout is personal too. There are severe consequences for people unfairly labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government, which shares its watchlist data with local law enforcement, foreign governments, and “private entities.” Once the U.S. government secretly labels you a terrorist or terrorist suspect, other institutions tend to treat you as one. It can become difficult to get a job (or simply to stay out of jail). It can become burdensome—or impossible—to travel. And routine encounters with law enforcement can turn into ordeals.

A chart from the “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance”

The Gilmer Free Press

In 2012 Tim Healy, the former director of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, described to CBS News how watchlists are used by police officers. “So if you are speeding, you get pulled over, they’ll query that name,” he said. “And if they are encountering a known or suspected terrorist, it will pop up and say call the Terrorist Screening Center…. So now the officer on the street knows he may be dealing with a known or suspected terrorist.” Of course, the problem is that the “known or suspected terrorist” might just be an ordinary citizen who should not be treated as a menace to public safety.

Until 2001, the government did not prioritize building a watchlist system. On 9/11, the government’s list of people barred from flying included just 16 names. Today, the no fly list has swelled to tens of thousands of “known or suspected terrorists” (the guidelines refer to them as KSTs). The selectee list subjects people to extra scrutiny and questioning at airports and border crossings. The government has created several other databases, too. The largest is the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), which gathers terrorism information from sensitive military and intelligence sources around the world. Because it contains classified information that cannot be widely distributed, there is yet another list, the Terrorist Screening Database, or TSDB, which has been stripped of TIDE’s classified data so that it can be shared. When government officials refer to “the watchlist,” they are typically referring to the TSDB. (TIDE is the responsibility of the National Counterterrorism Center; the TSDB is managed by the Terrorist Screening Center at the FBI.)

In a statement, a spokesman for the National Counterterrorism Center told The Intercept that “the watchlisting system is an important part of our layered defense to protect the United States against future terrorist attacks” and that “watchlisting continues to mature to meet an evolving, diffuse threat.” He added that U.S. citizens are afforded extra protections to guard against improper listing, and that no one can be placed on a list solely for activities protected by the First Amendment. A representative of the Terrorist Screening Center did not respond to a request for comment.

The system has been criticized for years. In 2004, Sen. Ted Kennedy complained that he was barred from boarding flights on five separate occasions because his name resembled the alias of a suspected terrorist. Two years later, CBS News obtained a copy of the no fly list and reported that it included Bolivian president Evo Morales and Lebanese parliament head Nabih Berri. One of the watchlists snared Mikey Hicks, a Cub Scout who got his first of many airport pat-downs at age two. In 2007, the Justice Department’s inspector general issued a scathing report identifying “significant weaknesses” in the system. And in 2009, after a Nigerian terrorist was able to board a passenger flight to Detroit and nearly detonated a bomb sewn into his underwear despite his name having been placed on the TIDE list, President Obama admitted that there had been a “systemic failure.”

Obama hoped that his response to the “underwear bomber” would be a turning point. In 2010, he gave increased powers and responsibilities to the agencies that nominate individuals to the lists, placing pressure on them to add names. His administration also issued a set of new guidelines for the watchlists. Problems persisted, however. In 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office published a report that bluntly noted there was no agency responsible for figuring out “whether watchlist-related screening or vetting is achieving intended results.” The guidelines were revised and expanded in 2013—and a source within the intelligence community subsequently provided a copy to The Intercept.

 


“Concrete facts are not necessary”

The five chapters and 11 appendices of the “Watchlisting Guidance” are filled with acronyms, legal citations, and numbered paragraphs; it reads like an arcane textbook with a vocabulary all its own. Different types of data on suspected terrorists are referred to as “derogatory information,” “substantive derogatory information,” “extreme derogatory information” and “particularized derogatory information.” The names of suspected terrorists are passed along a bureaucratic ecosystem of “originators,” “nominators,” “aggregators,” “screeners,” and “encountering agencies.” And “upgrade,” usually a happy word for travellers, is repurposed to mean that an individual has been placed on a more restrictive list.

The heart of the document revolves around the rules for placing individuals on a watchlist. “All executive departments and agencies,” the document says, are responsible for collecting and sharing information on terrorist suspects with the National Counterterrorism Center. It sets a low standard—”reasonable suspicion“—for placing names on the watchlists, and offers a multitude of vague, confusing, or contradictory instructions for gauging it. In the chapter on “Minimum Substantive Derogatory Criteria”—even the title is hard to digest—the key sentence on reasonable suspicion offers little clarity:

“To meet the REASONABLE SUSPICION standard, the NOMINATOR, based on the totality of the circumstances, must rely upon articulable intelligence or information which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrants a determination that an individual is known or suspected to be or has been knowingly engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to TERRORISM and/or TERRORIST ACTIVITIES.”

The rulebook makes no effort to define an essential phrase in the passage—”articulable intelligence or information.” After stressing that hunches are not reasonable suspicion and that “there must be an objective factual basis” for labeling someone a terrorist, it goes on to state that no actual facts are required:

“In determining whether a REASONABLE SUSPICION exists, due weight should be given to the specific reasonable inferences that a NOMINATOR is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his/her experience and not on unfounded suspicions or hunches. Although irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary, to be reasonable, suspicion should be as clear and as fully developed as circumstances permit.”

While the guidelines nominally prohibit nominations based on unreliable information, they explicitly regard “uncorroborated” Facebook or Twitter posts as sufficient grounds for putting an individual on one of the watchlists. “Single source information,” the guidelines state, “including but not limited to ‘walk-in,’ ‘write-in,’ or postings on social media sites, however, should not automatically be discounted … the NOMINATING AGENCY should evaluate the credibility of the source, as well as the nature and specificity of the information, and nominate even if that source is uncorroborated.”

There are a number of loopholes for putting people onto the watchlists even if reasonable suspicion cannot be met.

One is clearly defined: The immediate family of suspected terrorists—their spouses, children, parents, or siblings—may be watchlisted without any suspicion that they themselves are engaged in terrorist activity. But another loophole is quite broad—”associates” who have a defined relationship with a suspected terrorist, but whose involvement in terrorist activity is not known. A third loophole is broader still—individuals with “a possible nexus” to terrorism, but for whom there is not enough “derogatory information” to meet the reasonable suspicion standard.

Americans and foreigners can be nominated for the watchlists if they are associated with a terrorist group, even if that group has not been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. They can also be treated as “representatives” of a terrorist group even if they have “neither membership in nor association with the organization.” The guidelines do helpfully note that certain associations, such as providing janitorial services or delivering packages, are not grounds for being watchlisted.

The nomination system appears to lack meaningful checks and balances. Although government officials have repeatedly said there is a rigorous process for making sure no one is unfairly placed in the databases, the guidelines acknowledge that all nominations of “known terrorists” are considered justified unless the National Counterterrorism Center has evidence to the contrary. In a recent court filing, the government disclosed that there were 468,749 KST nominations in 2013, of which only 4,915 were rejected–a rate of about one percent. The rulebook appears to invert the legal principle of due process, defining nominations as “presumptively valid.”

The Gilmer Free Press


Profiling categories of people

While the nomination process appears methodical on paper, in practice there is a shortcut around the entire system. Known as a “threat-based expedited upgrade,” it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to elevate entire “categories of people” whose names appear in the larger databases onto the no fly or selectee lists. This can occur, the guidelines state, when there is a “particular threat stream” indicating that a certain type of individual may commit a terrorist act.

This extraordinary power for “categorical watchlisting”—otherwise known as profiling—is vested in the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, a position formerly held by CIA Director John Brennan that does not require Senate confirmation.

The rulebook does not indicate what “categories of people” have been subjected to threat-based upgrades. It is not clear, for example, whether a category might be as broad as military-age males from Yemen. The guidelines do make clear that American citizens and green card holders are subject to such upgrades, though government officials are required to review their status in an “expedited” procedure. Upgrades can remain in effect for 72 hours before being reviewed by a small committee of senior officials. If approved, they can remain in place for 30 days before a renewal is required, and can continue “until the threat no longer exists.”

“In a set of watchlisting criteria riddled with exceptions that swallow rules, this exception is perhaps the most expansive and certainly one of the most troubling,” Shamsi, the ACLU attorney, says. “It’s reminiscent of the Bush administration’s heavily criticized color-coded threat alerts, except that here, bureaucrats can exercise virtually standard-less authority in secret with specific negative consequences for entire categories of people.”

The National Counterterrorism Center declined to provide any details on the upgrade authority, including how often it has been exercised and for what categories of people.


Pocket litter and scuba gear

The guidelines provide the clearest explanation yet of what is happening when Americans and foreigners are pulled aside at airports and border crossings by government agents. The fifth chapter, titled “Encounter Management and Analysis,” details the type of information that is targeted for collection during “encounters” with people on the watchlists, as well as the different organizations that should collect the data. The Department of Homeland Security is described as having the largest number of encounters, but other authorities, ranging from the State Department and Coast Guard to foreign governments and “certain private entities,” are also involved in assembling “encounter packages” when watchlisted individuals cross their paths. The encounters can be face-to-face meetings or electronic interactions—for instance, when a watchlisted individual applies for a visa.

In addition to data like fingerprints, travel itineraries, identification documents and gun licenses, the rules encourage screeners to acquire health insurance information, drug prescriptions, “any cards with an electronic strip on it (hotel cards, grocery cards, gift cards, frequent flyer cards),” cellphones, email addresses, binoculars, peroxide, bank account numbers, pay stubs, academic transcripts, parking and speeding tickets, and want ads. The digital information singled out for collection includes social media accounts, cell phone lists, speed dial numbers, laptop images, thumb drives, iPods, Kindles, and cameras. All of the information is then uploaded to the TIDE database.

Screeners are also instructed to collect data on any “pocket litter,” scuba gear, EZ Passes, library cards, and the titles of any books, along with information about their condition—”e.g., new, dog-eared, annotated, unopened.” Business cards and conference materials are also targeted, as well as “anything with an account number” and information about any gold or jewelry worn by the watchlisted individual. Even “animal information”—details about pets from veterinarians or tracking chips—is requested. The rulebook also encourages the collection of biometric or biographical data about the travel partners of watchlisted individuals.

The list of government entities that collect this data includes the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is neither an intelligence nor law-enforcement agency. As the rulebook notes, USAID funds foreign aid programs that promote environmentalism, health care, and education. USAID, which presents itself as committed to fighting global poverty, nonetheless appears to serve as a conduit for sensitive intelligence about foreigners. According to the guidelines, “When USAID receives an application seeking financial assistance, prior to granting, these applications are subject to vetting by USAID intelligence analysts at the TSC.” The guidelines do not disclose the volume of names provided by USAID, the type of information it provides, or the number and duties of the “USAID intelligence analysts.”

A USAID spokesman told The Intercept that “in certain high risk countries, such as Afghanistan, USAID has determined that vetting potential partner organizations with the terrorist watchlist is warranted to protect U.S. taxpayer dollars and to minimize the risk of inadvertent funding of terrorism.” He stated that since 2007, the agency has checked “the names and other personal identifying information of key individuals of contractors and grantees, and sub-recipients.”


Death and the watchlist

The government has been widely criticized for making it impossible for people to know why they have been placed on a watchlist, and for making it nearly impossible to get off. The guidelines bluntly state that “the general policy of the U.S. Government is to neither confirm nor deny an individual’s watchlist status.” But the courts have taken exception to the official silence and footdragging: In June, a federal judge described the government’s secretive removal process as unconstitutional and “wholly ineffective.”

The difficulty of getting off the list is highlighted by a passage in the guidelines stating that an individual can be kept on the watchlist, or even placed onto the watchlist, despite being acquitted of a terrorism-related crime. The rulebook justifies this by noting that conviction in U.S. courts requires evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas watchlisting requires only a reasonable suspicion. Once suspicion is raised, even a jury’s verdict cannot erase it.

Not even death provides a guarantee of getting off the list. The guidelines say the names of dead people will stay on the list if there is reason to believe the deceased’s identity may be used by a suspected terrorist–which the National Counterterrorism Center calls a “demonstrated terrorist tactic.” In fact, for the same reason, the rules permit the deceased spouses of suspected terrorists to be placed onto the list after they have died.

For the living, the process of getting off the watchlist is simple yet opaque. A complaint can be filed through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, which launches an internal review that is not subject to oversight by any court or entity outside the counterterrorism community. The review can result in removal from a watchlist or an adjustment of watchlist status, but the individual will not be told if he or she prevails. The guidelines highlight one of the reasons why it has been difficult to get off the list—if multiple agencies have contributed information on a watchlisted individual, all of them must agree to removing him or her.

If a U.S. citizen is placed on the no fly list while abroad and is turned away from a flight bound for the U.S., the guidelines say they should be referred to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, which is prohibited from informing them why they were blocked from flying. According to the rules, these individuals can be granted a “One-Time Waiver” to fly, though they will not be told that they are traveling on a waiver. Back in the United States, they will be unable to board another flight.

The document states that nominating agencies are “under a continuing obligation” to provide exculpatory information when it emerges. It adds that the agencies are expected to conduct annual reviews of watchlisted American citizens and green card holders. It is unclear whether foreigners—or the dead—are reviewed at the same pace. As the rulebook notes, “watchlisting is not an exact science.”

Click H E R E for Actual Document

~~  Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux ~~

GFP - 07.25.2014
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Dead people on the watchlist? They can vote here.
Calling terrorism any act that is “dangerous” to property and intended to influence government policy through intimidation?  LOL.  Then they better get the State Board of Ed and a few locals on that list right quick.

Nobody has done more to destroy this county’s economy and push people out than them. How many have been threatened with not giving back the schools and even losing jobs if they don’t do and vote how they’re told? Watch who just goes along to get along.  It’s a short list doing a lot of damage in Gilmer County.

By Our Own Brand of Terrorism  on  07.25.2014

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G-Fin™: Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level Since Early 2006

The Gilmer Free Press

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly 8-1/2 years last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 for the week ended July 19, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

That was the lowest level since February 2006, and confounded economists’ expectations for a rise to 308,000.

The data provided further confirmation that the labor market is tightening. Employment has grown by more than 200,000 jobs in each of the last five months, a stretch not seen since the late 1990s.

Economists currently do not expect the U.S. central bank to start raising interest rates before the second half of 2015. The Fed, which is wrapping up its monthly bond buying program, has kept overnight lending rates near zero since December 2008.

While jobless claims tend to be volatile around this time of the year, when automakers shut down plants for retooling, a Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing the state level data.

The four-week average of claims, considered a better gauge of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 7,250 to 302,000, the lowest level since May 2007.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 8,000 to 2.50 million in the week ended July 12, the lowest level since June 2007.

The so-called continuing claims data covered the household survey week from which the unemployment rate is calculated.

Continuing claims fell 68,000 between the June and July survey periods, suggesting the unemployment rate could decline from near a six-year low of 6.1%.

The unemployment rate for people receiving jobless benefits was unchanged at 1.9% for the week ended July 12.

The decline in continuing claims indicates some long-term unemployed Americans are finding jobs, a key metric for Fed policymakers.

West Virginia’s Latest News - 07.25.14

The Gilmer Free Press

MORGANTOWN RESIDENTS INDICTED FOR THEFT OF GOVERNMENT MONIES

Two Morgantown, West Virginia, residents have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on charges of theft of government monies.

Carl J. Gaul, age 40 and Shawn E. Ratliff, age 35 of Morgantown were named in a two-count Indictment charging them with conspiracy to commit embezzlement, theft and conversion of government funds and one count of embezzlement, theft and conversion of government funds.

The Indictment charges that from May 01, 2013, to November 30, 2013, in Preston and Monongalia Counties, Gaul and Ratliff conspired to embezzle government monies by causing multiple credit card transactions using monies of the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Gaul and Ratliff caused to be made purchases in the amount of $13,084.58, utilizing a government-issued credit card to purchase items for their own use and benefit.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking to forfeit One Sanyo 42” LED TV; Two JBL Onbeat Awake devices;  Two IHOME devices; Three Bose SoundLink systems;  Two Beats by Dre Beat Box devices; One JBL Flip device and a $13,084.58 money judgment which constitutes proceeds from the illegal activity.


CONFLICTING COURT OPINIONS ON HEALTH CARE SUBSIDIES IN WEST VIRGINIA

Subsidies for West Virginians who purchased health insurance through the federal exchange will continue without interruption for the immediate future at least, according to federal and state officials.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia ruled the Affordable Care Act only allows for subsidies for coverage in states that run their own insurance marketplaces.

The 36 states, including West Virginia, that use the federal exchange instead of their own systems, do not qualify for subsidies, the Court of Appeals said.

“Section 36B (of the Affordable Care Act) plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states,” wrote Judge Thomas Griffith in the 2-1 decision that he said was reached “with reluctance.”

A short time later on Tuesday, though, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, VA. issued a contradictory ruling that upheld the subsidies for insurance coverage through state marketplaces along with the federal exchange at Healthcare.gov.

As of earlier this year, about 5.4 million people had signed up for health insurance on the federal exchange and 87% of those people received subsidies for that coverage. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the average subsidy this year will total about $4,410.

Without such subsidies, more people would not be able to afford health insurance and, because of that, would be exempted from the individual mandate that requires insurance coverage.

Penalties for the employer mandate on the Affordable Care Act are based on the availability of subsidies.


WEST VIRGINIA FUTURE FUND

West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall, 02) will close out the week in Arkansas where he will talk about West Virginia’s Future Fund during a briefing from the Southern States Energy Board. That briefing is being held in conjunction with the Southern Legislative Conference in Little Rock.

Earlier this year, the Legislature created the West Virginia Future Fund which will serve as a type of endowment fund for the years ahead by banking a portion of present-day severance tax collections on natural resources like coal and natural gas.

As the new law is written, it could be 2019 before the first deposits are made into that account. Any future investment income generated would be earmarked for education, workforce development, economic development, and infrastructure or tax relief projects.

Kessler will talk about the Future Fund during a Friday morning panel in Little Rock focused on legislative action in states. Florida House Representative Jose Felix Diaz (R) and Missouri House Representative Rocky Miller (R) will also be part of the discussion that Oklahoma House Representative Weldon Watson (R) will moderate.

Nearly 1,000 delegates, legislative staff members and guest are expected to attend this weekend’s Southern Legislative Conference.


COMMON CORE OPPONENT SPEAKS

An opponent of the Common Core national education standards says students do not benefit from a uniform system of requirements that must be met everywhere.

“Taking more power away from individuals and from communities actually hurts education because it takes away the ability of people to manage their own affairs,” said Joy Pullmann, a journalist and Research Fellow at Heartland Institute.

Pullmann, a former middle school and high school teacher, said she has two main issues with the Common Core standards and those issues start with academics.

“Common Core is really not a world class set of education mandates. It doesn’t really push kids to be internationally competitive, although it promises to,” she said.  ”The second one, of course, is the way that it’s put into place really takes away my voice as a citizen, as a parent, to be in the driver’s seat over what happens with my child’s education.”

Supporters of the Common Core State Standards have defended them as clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math and English language arts from kindergarten through 12th grade. The focus is on critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills.

West Virginia is one of 43 states to adopt the Common Core State Standards.


LAWSUIT FILED AFTER RUN IN WEST VIRGINIA CANCELED

A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

The Charleston law firm of Preston and Solango filed the lawsuit Wednesday that seeks class-action status in Kanawha County Circuit Court, media outlets reported.

About 2,500 had registered for the 5-kilometer run Saturday at Cato Park and paid entry fees between $65 and $95, depending on when they signed up. The run for women of all ages involves obstacles and mud pits. Events are held throughout the year across the country.

Named as defendants were Delafield, Wis.-based Dirty Girl, owned by 100 LLC, and Louisville, Colo.-based entertainment company Human Movement Management, which was producing the Charleston event.

The Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau said the race producers missed a Tuesday afternoon deadline for a payment to a shuttle company that was to provide transportation to the event.

The lawsuit alleges that failing to refund registration fees violates state consumer protection laws. Dirty Girl issued a statement before the lawsuit was filed that refunds will not be issued “under any circumstances.“

A Dirty Girl spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a telephone message Thursday seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Human Movement President Jeff Suffolk said Thursday his company is on a list of vendors to whom 100 LLC owes money.

“Besides being a vendor for them, we empathize with the runners because before anything else, we’re runners,“ Suffolk said.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said his office had been inundated with calls related to the race.

“This is an issue that has come up very fast,“ he said.

Sonya Beard of Charleston said she filed a claim dispute with her bank to seek a refund. Beard said she is “so upset with them. I just wanted my money back.“

Jamie Cox said she and some friends participated in the event last year at Coonskin Park. She registered for this year’s event in May.

“Just last week we went out and bought T-shirts and coordinated our outfits, so we invested more money in it that way,“ she said.


MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING POLICE INFORMANT

A Kanawha County grand jury will be the next stop for murder charges against a Charleston man who allegedly killed a police informant.

Marlon “Ice” Dixon, age 37, waived his preliminary hearing Thursday in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

He allegedly shot and killed Branda Basham July 12, 2014.

Her body was found along the railroad tracks on Charleston’s West Side.

Basham, age 22, was a police informant.

Charleston detectives allege Dixon found out and blamed Basham for heroin charges against him.

Dixon remains in the South Central Regional Jail without bail.


JOURNEY OF HOPE

Members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity from colleges and universities across the nation committed themselves to bike across the nation, 50 to 75 miles a day, in honor of those who suffer from disabilities.

The project is called the Journey of Hope and is organized by the Push America Foundation.

The route goes from Seattle to Washington DC for total of 4,270 mile.

Their goal is to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.

Each rider commits to the ride, but also commits to raising a minimum of $5,500. Along the route the bikers stop each day at various camps or other events to visit with and spend time with people who have disabilities.

The group rode through West Virginia Thursday.

They lunched with some of those individuals at Charleston’s Children’s Therapy Clinic.


WESTON COUNCIL OKS ACQUIRING OLD SCHOOL PLAYGROUND

Weston City Council approved to purchase an old school playground toward improving recreational opportunities in the city.

City Council voted 3-1 to pay $1,500 to lawyer Hunter Bennett for the playground at the former Polk Creek School.

Volunteers have donated playground equipment and offered to build half a basketball court.

There are also plans for a natural playground consisting of rocks and wooden beams to climb.

Improving recreational opportunities in each of Weston’s four wards is part of the city’s comprehensive plan.


ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney are vying for the seat that GOP Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito is vacating to run for the Senate.

Both Casey and Mooney appeared at a Charleston forum Thursday where they each spoke of defunding parts of the Environmental Protection Agency.


NC MAN ADMITS TO FIRING SHOTS NEAR WV SCHOOL

A Charlotte, North Carolina, man has pleaded guilty to firing a gun near a school in Charleston.

Media outlets report 20-year-old Aric Adams entered a guilty plea Wednesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court to wanton endangerment and brandishing.

Adams had been indicted in federal court, but as part of his plea agreement, the federal case will be dropped.

Prosecutors say Adams fired eight times on March 25 shortly after students at J.E. Robins Elementary School were released at the end of the school day.

Adams faces up to six years in prison. Sentencing has been set for August 22, 2014.


HEROIN ABUSE IN WEST VIRGINIA

A task force seeking to tackle the problem of rising heroin abuse in West Virginia is meeting in Charleston.

The growing use of heroin is a statewide problem.


LAWSUIT AGAINST GENERAL MOTORS

A Princeton, West Virginia, man has filed suit against General Motors, claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

The suit by Jason Vest says 26-year-old Keisha Vest’s car failed to stop at an intersection and collided with a tractor-trailer in North Carolina.


COPPERHEAD KILLED ON WV CAPITOL GROUNDS

A state Capitol police officer has killed a copperhead snake on the Capitol grounds in Charleston.

West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina said Thursday the officer borrowed a shovel from construction workers on the north edge of the complex Wednesday to kill the snake, which was then taken elsewhere and buried.

The copperhead was killed in an area near where an employee had spotted a snake while walking to her car Tuesday. Messina says the officer had been patrolling the area for the snake Wednesday.

He says he was not sure if it’s the same snake, so officers will keep watch for additional sightings.

West Virginia is home to two venomous snakes, the copperhead and the timber rattler.


HUNTINGTON WITHOUT A POLICE CHIEF

Huntington remains without a permanent police chief four months after Skip Holbrook announced his resignation.

Mayor Steve Williams says the selection process for Holbrook’s replacement has gone slower than he anticipated.


GILMER COUNTY MAN BEHIND BARS

David Eric Bailey, age 34 from Gilmer County is behind bars at Central Regional Jail on Charges of assault and wanton endangerment with weapon and domestic battery.

His bond set at $40,000.


BRAXTON COUNTY MAN BEHIND BARS

Marshall Lee Bailey, age 25, from Braxton County is behind bars at Central Regional Jail with $30,000.00 bond.

He has been charged with distributing or displaying obscene material to a minor.


ARREST OF WESTON MAN IN DODDRIDGE COUNTY

Gage Anthony Stout, age 21, is accused of having sex with an 18-year-old girl who is mentally impaired.

The girl told deputies that Stout asked if she wanted to watch a movie and then began sexually assaulting her.

Following the incident, the girl told deputies that Stout asked her not to tell her mom what they had done.

Stout is charged with third degree sexual assault and is being held in Central Regional Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Movie Review: ‘Me and You’

“Me and You” opens with a counseling session in which sullen 14-year-old Lorenzo Cuni (Jacopo Olmo Antinori) seems to answer every question that his therapist puts to him with the same shrugged-off rationalization: His misbehavior, his resentment — everything he does or feels — is completely “normal.”

“Can you explain what ‘normal’ means to you?” asks his doctor (Pippo Delbono), with a tone halfway between professional concern and amusement.

It’s a good question. Even by the standards of teenage rebellion, the protagonist of Bernardo Bertolucci’s engaging tale of awkward adolescence is a bit of a weirdo, not to mention a recidivist one. A mere 20 minutes into the film, Lorenzo has, apparently not for the first time, run away from home.

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He doesn’t go far this time. Instead of traveling out of town with his class for a school trip, Lorenzo uses the cash for it to buy a week’s worth of junk food, setting up a cozy if somewhat claustrophobic encampment in a basement storage unit of the apartment building that he lives in with his divorced mother (Sonia Bergamasco). When she calls her son on his cellphone the next day to check up on him, Lorenzo regales Mom with tales of how much fun he’s having, even though he’s only a few floors away from her, listening to MP3s and eating Nutella sandwiches on a ratty mattress.

His only other entertainment in this subterranean retreat is, appropriately enough, a copy of the novel “The Vampire Lestat” and a recently purchased ant farm.

All that changes with the arrival of Olivia (Tea Falco), Lorenzo’s 25-year-old half-sister by Lorenzo’s father (who, although he never appears in the film, seems to have at least a couple of ex-wives). Looking for a place to crash while she kicks a heroin habit, the foul-mouthed Olivia tumbles onto Lorenzo’s lair quite accidentally, though she quickly leverages the situation, forcing her brother to take her in lest she expose his hideout.

Their relationship — brief but intense — unfolds with surprising tenderness in this adaptation of Niccolo Ammaniti’s 2010 novel. Olivia’s detox is a painful one, and Lorenzo must help her through it, calling upon previously unrecognized reservoirs of compassion. At the same time, the film is unsentimental. Though the setting is a retreat from the world, where not terribly much happens, within its confines Lorenzo gets an eye-opener about both human frailty and interconnectedness, courtesy of someone even more troubled than he is.

Ironically, it’s Olivia’s effort to withdraw — not just from drugs, but from her past — that compels Lorenzo to engage with the present in a way that he hasn’t previously been capable of, or willing to attempt. Prone to shutting himself off from commitment with headphones, hoodies or his own hostility, Lorenzo discovers a bond with his half-sister that’s both empowering and healing.

“Me and You” isn’t exactly a coming-of-age story. By the end of his week with Olivia, it’s clear that our hero still has a lot of growing up to do. But over the course of a few short days underground, one other thing becomes clear. By trying to live off the grid, Lorenzo discovers how inextricably tethered to each other we all are.

★ ★ ★

Unrated. Contains coarse language, drug content, brief nudity and underage drinking. In Italian with subtitles. 96 minutes.

Sports Brief - 07.25.14

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►   TEXAS WRS CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT: 

Two University of Texas wide receivers were arrested Thursday and charged with felony sexual assault.

Texas coach Charlie Strong said in a statement that Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander were suspended indefinitely and would no longer be participating in any team functions.

Sanders and Meander were both charged with second-degree felony sexual assault after they were accused of raping a woman last month inside a university dorm room.

According to an arrest affidavit, the woman, who said she has known both men for over a year, ran into Meander while she was out with friends the night of June 20.

Early the next morning, she accepted a ride back to a dormitory from Meander and went to his room, where she agreed to have consensual sex with him after taking a shower, according to the affidavit.

After several minutes, there was a knock at the door and Meander got up to let Sanders in. After Sanders undressed, he forcibly penetrated her vaginally and anally, according to police.

Meander re-entered the room and joined in the assault after the alleged victim “withdrew her consent to penetration by Meander,“ according to the affidavit.

The woman “asked Meander why he was doing this and he did not reply, he just stared at her,“ the affidavit says.

University of Texas Police Chief David Carter said at a news conference that the incident “is clearly similar to a national problem and concern related to sexual assaults on campus.“

Carter cited surveys saying as many as one woman in five is sexually assaulted during their college years.

“This case follows that pattern,“ Carter said. “It does not involve strangers but rather students who knew each other. ... This case involves the issue of initial consent from one person and not the other, and then the initial consent withdrawn.“

Strong said he’s “been monitoring and addressing the situation” since it was brought to his attention.

“It’s been made clear to everyone on our team that treating women with respect is one of our core values, and I’m extremely disappointed that two young men in our program have been accused of not doing that,“ Strong said. “With the recent charges against them, they have been suspended indefinitely from our football team and will no longer participate in any team functions.“

According to the affidavit, the woman asked to leave and Sanders replied that she “could leave after I’m done.“ The woman “closed her eyes and tried to emotionally remove herself from the situation.“

“At that time she was not able to discern who was doing what to her,“ police said.

The woman told police she saw a flash and suspected one of the men had used a cell phone to take a picture or video of her.

Sanders was charged with improper photography or visual recording, a state jail felony, after detectives found at least one photo of the woman on his phone while he was being questioned.

Police said Sanders and Meander exchanged texts about what each one was saying while they were being interviewed separately at the University of Texas police station.

Bail for both men was set at $75,000 on the sexual assault charge. Bail for Sanders’ other charge was $20,000. Both men were booked and released pending an upcoming court date.

Sanders had 37 catches for 361 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore last season. Meander was a redshirt freshman.

 



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►   RAVENS RB RICE SUSPENDED 2 GAMES:  Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been suspended two games without pay by the NFL for his offseason arrest on assault charges.

Though Rice avoided prosecution after he was arrested in February and charged with simple assault-domestic violence following an incident with then-fiancee Janay Palmer at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, the NFL said Thursday he was in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.

Rice was also fined an additional game check. His suspension will begin Aug. 30 and he will be eligible for reinstatement on Monday, Sept. 12, following the Ravens’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is eligible to participate in all aspects of training camp and preseason games.

He can appeal the decision within three days.

Surveillance video posted online by TMZ.com showed Rice lifting a motionless Palmer out of an elevator and onto the floor, though there was no footage of any physical altercation between the two.

In May, Rice was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avert prosecution and avoid serving any time in jail. The charges against him will be expunged from his record upon successful completion of the one-year program.

Rice and Palmer have since been married and Rice issued an apology in May.

The NFL released the following letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell to Rice:

“As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL.

“The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.

“You will be expected to continue to take advantage of the counseling and other professional services you identified during our meeting. As you noted, this additional assistance has been of significant benefit to you and your wife, and it should remain a part of your practice as appropriate.

“I believe that you are sincere in your desire to learn from this matter and move forward toward a healthy relationship and successful career. I am now focused on your actions and expect you to demonstrate by those actions that you are prepared to fulfill those expectations.“

Rice played in 15 games last season and tallied 660 yards and four touchdowns on 214 carries while adding 321 yards receiving. Over his career, the three- time Pro Bowl selection has rushed for 6,180 yards and 37 touchdowns and caught 369 passes for 3,034 yards and six scores.


►   FALCONS, WHITE AGREE TO 4-YEAR EXTENSION:  With training camp about to begin, the Atlanta Falcons announced Thursday that they agreed to terms with wide receiver Roddy White on a four-year contract extension.

The deal will keep White tied to the franchise that drafted him through the 2018 season.

White, 32, battled injuries last year and caught 63 passes for 711 yards, his lowest totals since 2006.

Selected with the 27th overall pick in 2005, White owns club records for career receptions (685) and career receiving yards (9,436). The four-time Pro Bowler has 55 touchdown receptions in 141 career games.

The Falcons open training camp on Friday.


►   SUSPENDED BLACKMON ARRESTED FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION:  Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday night in Edmond, Oklahoma, according to a Tulsa television station.

The news outlet reported Edmond police officers stopped Blackmon for a traffic violation and could smell marijuana coming from his vehicle.

Police searched the car, found marijuana and took Blackmon into custody. He has since posted bail and been released.

Blackmon is currently serving an indefinite suspension for repeated violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

The fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Blackmon was previously arrested twice for drunk driving.


►   COWBOYS PLACE SPENCER ON PUP LIST:  Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list Thursday.

Spencer continues to recover from microfracture knee surgery. He played in only one game last season.

Spencer has 363 tackles, 32 1/2 sacks and one interception in 91 games for the Cowboys since they drafted him in the first round in 2007.

In other team news, the Cowboys placed defensive tackle Amobi Okoye on the active/non-football illness list. He signed with the club in the offseason after missing all of last year due to personal issues.

Guard Ronald Leary also landed on the PUP list.


►   RAVEN’S ROSS TEARS ACHILLES:  Baltimore Ravens cornerback Aaron Ross tore his Achilles Thursday during conditioning testing.

Ross, a former first-round pick of the Giants and member of New York’s Super Bowl champion teams during the 2007 and 2011 seasons, has started 52 games over a seven-year NFL career.

Ross played in the first four games of the 2013 campaign before the Giants placed him on injured reserve with a back problem.

He was signed by the Ravens in late June.

 



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►   LEBRON JAMES SENDS 800 CUPCAKE APOLOGIES TO HOMETOWN:    NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy in the small town where he has a home, sent sweet apologies to the community in the form of 800 cupcakes.

The Bath Township police department received five dozen of the desserts, along with a note apologizing for “chaos” in the neighborhood, bearing the names of James, his wife, Savannah, and their two sons.

“We are all on a sugar high here,” Police Chief Michael McNeely said. “There are cupcakes galore and they are the best I’ve ever eaten.”

LaKisha Williams, co-owner of Baker Blvd. Decadent Cupcakes in Akron, said it took her staff most of Tuesday to deliver the cupcakes, a dozen at a time, to 65 homes.

The note accompanying the cupcakes read: “Dear Friend, We know things have been hectic in our neighborhood these past few weeks and we are sorry for the chaos. We are so thankful to live in this wonderful community and we are so blessed to have understanding neighbors like you.“

Police and residents of Bath, a suburb of Akron where James went to high school, had to put up with hordes of fans and media flocking to his home in the days before the July 11 announcement that he was signing a free agent contract with the Cavaliers.

James, a four-time winner of the NBA’s most valuable player award, started his career in Cleveland in 2006 but broke fans’ hearts five seasons later when he signed as a free agent with the Miami Heat. The Heat won two NBA titles in four seasons with James and Cavs fans hope he can bring a championship to Cleveland.


►   MAGIC SIGN MARBLE:  The Orlando Magic signed guard Devyn Marble on Thursday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Magic acquired the draft rights to Marble (56th overall pick), along with guard Evan Fournier, from Denver in exchange for Arron Afflalo on June 26.

Marble played in 136 career games during four years at the University of Iowa, averaging 12.5 points per game.

As a senior, Marble played and started in 33 games, averaging 17.0 points per game and earning First Team All-Big Ten honors.

Marble is the son of Roy Marble, a former NBA player and the all-time leading scorer in Iowa history.


►   CAVS SIGN NO. 1 PICK WIGGINS:  The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins to a rookie contract.

The deal, announced Thursday, starts at $5.5 million according to reports and would prevent the Cavaliers from trading the former Kansas wing for at least 30 days.

Wiggins, 19, was taken first overall by the Cavaliers last month, plucked at the top of a draft class widely seen as one of the most talented of all-time.

But reports have surfaced since then that Wiggins could be part of a potential trade to acquire All-Star big man Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The deal means the earliest Wiggins could be dealt is Aug. 24.

The Cavaliers also signed guard Joe Harris, their second-round pick out of Virginia.

Wiggins was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year after averaging 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his only season for Kansas, helping the Jayhawks win the regular-season conference championship.

He was the fourth No. 1 overall pick by the Cavaliers in the last 12 years, beginning with the selection of LeBron James in 2003.

James, of course, announced this month that he was returning to Cleveland after four seasons with the Miami Heat.


►   MAVERICKS SIGN VETERAN PG JAMEER NELSON:  The Dallas Mavericks have signed veteran point guard Jameer Nelson, who was waived last month by the Orlando Magic.

Terms of the deal, which was announced Thursday, were not disclosed.

Nelson, 32, ended a 10-year run as the Magic’s all-time leader in assists and second in team history in games played.

The Magic saved a reported $6 million by waiving Nelson, who had re-signed with the team on a three-year deal in July 2012 amid swirling speculation about Dwight Howard’s future with the team.

Nelson posted 12.1 points and 7.0 assists in 68 games this past season and has averaged 12.6 points and 5.4 assists in his NBA career. He made it to the NBA Finals with the Magic in 2009, the same year he was an All-Star for the only time.

The former Naismith Award winner was selected by Denver in the first round of the 2004 draft out of Saint Joseph’s but traded to Orlando on draft night for a future first-round pick.

As a senior in 2004, he led Saint Joseph’s to an undefeated regular season, a No. 1 national ranking and into the regional final of the NCAA Tournament, drawing widespread attention for the Philadelphia school and landing him on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

 



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►   A’S DFA FORMER CLOSER JOHNSON:  The Oakland Athletics designated former closer Jim Johnson for assignment on Thursday.

Johnson has struggled since being acquired in an offseason trade with the Baltimore Orioles. He was removed from the closer’s role earlier this season.

The right-hander was 4-2 with two saves, one blown save, and a 6.92 ERA this season. Opponents were hitting .353 against him in 38 relief appearances and his ERA is the highest among major league relievers.

Johnson allowed 12 runs on 13 hits in 4 1/3 innings over his last five games.

Johnson was replaced on the active roster by right-handed pitcher Evan Scribner, who was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.

Scribner was on the A’s Opening Day roster and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in two appearances before he was optioned to Sacramento April 07. He returned for a second stint June 17 but did not appear in a game before he was sent back to the River Cats on June 20.

The 29-year-old Scribner is 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA and .243 opponents’ batting average in 31 games with Sacramento and ranks fourth in the Pacific Coast League with 14 saves.


►   WHITE SOX PLACE PUTNAM ON DL:  The Chicago White Sox placed pitcher Zach Putnam on the 15-day disabled list and recalled pitcher Andre Rienzo from Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday.

Putnam has been sidelined due to right shoulder inflammation. The 27-year-old right-hander is 3-2 with a 2.35 earned run average and three saves in 33 appearances this season.

Rienzo started 11 games and took part in 14 from mid-April to the All-Star break, racking up a 4-5 mark and 5.87 ERA. The 26-year-old righty pitched to a 1-2 record and 3.60 ERA in five contests for Charlotte.


►   ORIOLES ACQUIRE PAREDES FROM ROYALS:  The Baltimore Orioles on Thursday acquired switch-hitting utility man Jimmy Paredes from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations.

Paredes, 25, was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

He batted .200 in 10 at-bats over nine games for the Royals this season after spending the previous three years with Houston. He is a career .233 hitter in 127 major-league games.

The Orioles are in Seattle for a four-game series against the Mariners.


►   MARINERS ACQUIRE MORALES FROM TWINS:  The Seattle Mariners acquired first baseman Kendrys Morales from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday for reliever Stephen Pryor.

In 39 games with the Twins, Morales hit .234 with one homer and 18 runs batted in. He spent last season with the Mariners, hitting .277 with 23 homers and 80 RBI.

Pryor made one appearance for the Mariners this season, allowing one unearned run in 1 2/3 innings. In 28 minor-league games, he went 2-2 with a 5.71 ERA in relief.

Pryor was sent to Triple-A Rochester, while the Twins recalled infielder Jorge Polanco from Rochester.

 



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►   CANADIENS RETAIN ELLER ON 4-YEAR DEAL: 

The Montreal Canadiens agreed to terms with restricted free-agent forward Lars Eller on a four-year contract Thursday.

No financial terms were disclosed, but multiple reports state the pact is worth $14 million for the duration.

“We are very pleased to have agreed upon a long term agreement with Lars Eller. He is an important part of our group of young veterans. He has a tremendous work ethic and a great attitude,“ said Habs general manager Marc Bergevin.

“He is the type of player you can rely on for his play at both ends of the rink. Lars can play big minutes against the opponents’ top players and still be an offensive threat. We are confident he will reach his full potential and become an impact player who will compete at a high level for many years to come.“

The 25-year-old completed his fourth season with the Canadiens with 12 goals and 14 assists over 77 regular-season appearances. He struck for career bests in goals (five), assists (eight) and points (13) over 17 playoff games as the Habs reached the Eastern Conference finals.

In 286 career NHL games with St. Louis and Montreal, the native of Denmark has collected 45 goals and 58 assists to go along with 231 penalty minutes.


ISLES REACH DEAL WITH G POULIN:  The New York Islanders signed goaltender Kevin Poulin to a one-year, two-way contract on Thursday.

By reaching the deal, the two sides avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Poulin, 24, appeared in a career-high 28 games for the Islanders last season, going 11-16-1 with a 3.29 goals-against average and .891 save%age.

A fifth-round pick of the Islanders in 2008, Poulin has played in 49 career NHL games.

 



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►   NIBALI EXPANDS TOUR LEAD WITH STAGE 18 WIN:  Italian Vincenzo Nibali captured Stage 18 of the Tour de France on Thursday and increased his overall lead in cycling’s most prestigious race.

Nibali finished the 145.5-kilometer trek in a time of 4 hours, 4 minutes and 17 seconds for his fourth stage win of this year’s Tour.

The finale in the Pyrenees took the riders from Pau to Hautacam and featured two ascents of the highest category. After climbing the Col du Tourmalet, the stage ended with a push to the top of the Montee du Hautacam.

France’s Thibaut Pinot was 70 seconds behind in second place, while Poland’s Rafal Majka, the Stage 17 winner, was another two seconds back.

Nibali, who won Stage 13 in the Alps, began the day 5 minutes and 26 seconds ahead of Spaniard Alejandro Valverde and now owns an advantage of 7:10 over Pinot.

Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud was fourth in Thursday’s stage and moved into third place in the overall classification, 7:23 behind Nibali. Valverde is another two seconds off the yellow jersey’s pace after a 10th-place finish.

Friday’s Stage 19 is a 208.5-kilometer ride from Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour to Bergerac.

 



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HORSEY LEADS BY 1 IN MOSCOW:  David Horsey fired a 7-under 65 on Thursday and grabbed a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Russian Open.

Horsey has two European Tour wins with the last coming at the 2011 Trophee Hassan II. He is coming off three straight missed cuts.

Scott Jamieson and Peter Whiteford are tied for second, one stroke off the lead after they opened with 6-under 66s.

Rikard Karlberg posted a 5-under 67 and he was joined in fourth place by Jack Doherty, Maximilian Kieffer, Oliver Bekker, Louis De Jager, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Jack Wilson and Thomas Pieters.

Horsey opened with a birdie on the first at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club, then he ran off six pars in a row from the second. He converted his second birdie try on the par-5 eighth.

Around the turn, the Englishman birdied the 10th and 13th to move to minus-4. Horsey birdied 15th to join the group of leaders at minus-5

Horsey made it two in a row with a birdie on the 16th. He followed with a 6-foot birdie putt on 17 and birdied the last to close out a bogey-free round.

“It was very solid,“ Horsey said. “I birdied the first and then had a few shaky holes where I managed to scramble pars with eight- to 10-footers. After that it was flawless and probably could’ve been a few better. It was a bit breezier this afternoon, but I was just trying to concentrate on giving myself opportunities to make birdie.“

Jamieson started with six pars in the first seven holes to go with a birdie on the third. He jumped to minus-3 with an eagle on the par-5 eighth.

Last year’s Nelson Mandela Championship winner birdied the 10th and followed that with four pars in a row. He climbed into a share of second with birdies on the 16th and 18th.

Whiteford birdied three of his first five holes to get off to a quick start. However, he stumbled to a bogey on the seventh. Whiteford bounced right back with a birdie on No. 8.

The Scotsman faltered to another bogey on the 11th. Whiteford erased that mistake with a birdie on the 12th. He birdied the 14th to move to minus-4. Whiteford birdied 16 and 18 to share second place.

NOTES: Morten Orum Madsen is the highest ranked player in the field this week at world No. 154 ... Madsen opened with a 1-under 71 and is tied for 35th ... Last year’s winner Michael Hoey is not playing this week after hurting his foot at the Open Championship last week.


LANGER TAKES FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT SENIOR OPEN:  In tough, windy conditions, Bernhard Langer carded a first-round, 6-under 65 on Thursday and he holds a 2-shot lead over Bob Tway at the Senior Open Championship.

Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has also won three major titles on the Champions Tour, including this year’s Constellation Senior Players Championship. He also won the U.S. Senior Open and the Senior Open Championship in 2010. Langer went wire-to-wire to win this event in 2010.

“I hope so,“ Langer said about whether he thinks he can go wire-to-wire again. “It’s been done before. I’ve done it before, so hopefully I can do it again.“

The 56-year-old is looking for some redemption at this event after letting a 2-shot lead slip away on the 72nd hole last year. Langer wound up losing to Mark Wiebe in a playoff at Royal Birkdale.

Tway is two shots behind Langer after a 4-under 67. Right behind Tway is England’s Chris Williams, who fired a 3-under 68 at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club.

Andrew Oldcorn is four shots off the pace following his 2-under 69. Pedro Linhart and Rick Gibson were the only other players to finish their first round under par. The duo is tied for fifth at 1-under 70.

This year’s Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open Championship winner Colin Montgomerie is tied for 16th at 1-over 72. Defending champion Wiebe finished the day at 5-over 76 and is 11 shots back.

Langer, who was chasing Tway’s 67 all day, started his front nine off strong with two pars at one and two followed by back-to-back birdies at three and four.

Two more birdies at six and eight had Langer at 4-under for the day as he made the turn bogey-free. Langer rattled off three straight pars from No. 10 before making his fifth birdie of the day at the par-5 13th hole.

Langer’s first blemish of the day came at No. 16, but he responded in a big way with back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18 to close out his round.

“Whenever you’re under par on a course like this, it’s a good round, and to be 6-under is very satisfying,“ Langer said. “I played smart. I played pretty good. Not everything was great, but there was a lot of good and some great in it, and I didn’t make too many mistakes and that’s what it comes down to at the end.“

Tway held the early lead after a bogey-free round. Tway made just two birdies on the front nine, but he avoided bogeys as he made the turn at 2-under. It was more of the same on the back nine as he poured in back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13. The other seven holes resulted in pars.

“I just think this golf course is great,“ said Tway. “We don’t get to play this type of golf ever, especially when the ball’s running this fast. So it was a pleasure just to play a nice round of golf on a fantastic course.“

NOTES: Tway has not won on the Champions Tour and his best finish on the year came at the ACE Group Classic, where he ended tied for 11th ... In 13 events this season, Langer has finished outside the top 10 just once, and he has won three events ... Williams’ round included three birdies at two, four and six, with the rest of his round resulting in all pars, 12 straight to end the day.


U.S. BLANKED ON FIRST DAY OF INTERNATIONAL CROWN:  Chinese Taipei’s Yani Tseng drained a birdie putt at the par-4 18th to defeat the United States’ Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson, 1-up, and steal two points.

Earlier on Thursday, Chinese Taipei’s Candie Kung and Teresa Lu beat Americans Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, 4 & 3. As the No. 1 seed, the United States was the only team to finish the first day of four-ball play at Caves Valley Golf Club without a point.

“Doesn’t matter who we play with on this team. It really doesn’t,“ Creamer said about Thursday’s pairings. “We all mesh well together. We just didn’t get the job done.“

The eighth-seeded Chinese Taipei led the way in Pool A with four points with help from Tseng and her partner Phoebe Yao.

Right behind them was No. 5 Spain, which picked up three points after a win and a draw against No. 4 Thailand. Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz defeated Pornanong Phatlum and Onnarin Sattayabanphot, while Spain’s Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari halved their match with Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn.

No. 3 Japan ended day one in first place in Pool B, also earning three points. Japan’s Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine won, 2-up, over No. 6 Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg and Mikaela Parmlid. Mamiko Higa and Mika Miyazato halved their match with Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall and Anna Nordqvist.

No. 2 Korea and No. 7 Australia each won one match against each other to earn two points apiece. Korea’s Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu got two points for their country with a 3 & 2 win over Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright. Australia’s Minjee Lee and Karrie Webb won, 2-up, over Na Yeon Choi and I.K. Kim later on.

Lewis and Thompson’s match with Tseng and Yao was the last match on the course and it was the United States’ last chance to at least collect one point heading into the second day.

With things all-square through 12 holes, Tseng and Yao picked up a win at No. 13, which did not look good for the Americans. Lewis, the No. 1 player in the world, came up huge at the par-5 16th as she put her third shot just feet from the pin. She tapped in for birdie to square things up again.

Thompson made a mess of the last hole, so it was up to Lewis to make birdie with Tseng within about 10 feet of the hole. Lewis narrowly missed her long birdie putt and Tseng knocked hers in for the 1-up win.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a Yani of old, but she just made putts,“ Lewis said. “She didn’t hit it perfect, she hit some bad shots, she hit some good shots. But she’s just made putts. And in best ball, that’s what it comes down to.“

NOTES: With Lewis at No. 1 and Thompson at No. 5, that United States pairing contained two of the top-3 players in this week’s event. Korea’s Park is No. 3 in the world ... Friday’s matchups include: United States vs. Spain, Korea vs. Sweden, Thailand vs. Chinese Taipei and Japan vs. Australia.

 



The Gilmer Free Press

CIRSTEA OUSTED; SVITOLINA INTO BAKU QUARTERS:  Top seed Sorana Cirstea was a second-round upset victim, while reigning champion Elina Svitolina moved into the quarterfinals at the Baku Cup tennis event.

Swiss Stefanie Voegele whipped the Romanian Cirstea 6-1, 6-1, while the second-seeded Svitolina of Ukraine subdued Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa 7-5, 6-2 on the hardcourts at Baku Tennis Academy.

Svitolina won her first WTA title at this event last year by beating Israeli Shahar Peer in the final.

In other second-round action on Day 4, France’s Kristina Mladenovic overcame Croat Donna Vekic 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 and Italian Francesca Schiavone topped Israeli Julia Glushko 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).

Friday’s quarterfinals will pit Svitolina against Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier; fifth-seeded Serb and 2012 Baku champion Bojana Jovanovski versus Japanese qualifier Misa Eguchi; Mladenovic against the former French Open champ Schiavone; and Voegele versus the aforementioned Peer.

The 2014 Baku champ will claim $43,000.


FOGNINI INTO UMAG QUARTERS:  Top seed and 2013 runner-up Fabio Fognini reached the quarterfinals at the Croatia Open tennis event on Thursday.

The fiery Italian got past Spaniard Albert Montanes 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 on the red clay at ITC Stella Maris.

Fognini, who lost to Spain’s Tommy Robredo in last year’s Umag finale, will meet little-known Croatian wild card Borna Coric on Friday.

Day 4 second-round upsets came when Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili overcame fourth-seeded Portuguese Joao Sousa 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 and Uruguayan qualifier Pablo Cuevas tackled sixth-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-1.

One other round-of-16 result saw the 17-year-old Coric take out Argentine qualifier Horacio Zeballos 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

The other quarters will pit a second-seeded Robredo against fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, third-seeded Croatian crowd favorite Marin Cilic versus fifth-seeded Czech Lukas Rosol and Gabashvili against Cuevas. Cilic captured his home event in 2012 and was the runner-up here in 2011.

The 2014 Croatia Open titlist will collect $105,000.


YOUZHNY REACHES GSTAAD QFS: 

Top-seeded and defending champion Mikhail Youzhny was an easy second-round winner Thursday at the Swiss Open tennis event.

The Russian veteran moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 handling of Frenchman Kenny De Schepper on the red clay at Roy Emerson Arena.

Youzhny will meet Dutchman Robin Haase on Friday in a rematch of last year’s final, which was won by the Russian. A seventh-seeded Haase moved on with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 victory over Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen on Day 4 in Gstaad.

Also on Thursday, Serbian wild card Viktor Troicki vaulted past Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev 6-3, 6-4. Troicki rejoined the tour this week following a one- year doping ban.

Fourth-seeded Spanish left-hander and 2011 runner-up Fernando Verdasco of Spain was tied with German Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6, 6-3, 1-1 when play was suspended because of rain. The winner will meet Troicki in the quarters.

Some other quarterfinal matchups on Friday will pit second-seeded 2011 champion Marcel Granollers against fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar and Argentine Juan Monaco versus two-time Gstaad titlist Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil.

The 2014 Swiss Open champ will earn $105,000.

 



The Gilmer Free Press

UNTAPABLE VERSUS EIGHT BOYS IN 47TH HASKELL:  Leading three-year-old filly Untapable heads a field of nine for Sunday’s 47th edition of the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Untapable will try to duplicate her trainer’s 2009 accomplishment when he sent out eventual Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra to victory in the 1 1/8-mile race versus male 3-year-olds.

Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Untapable has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite versus her eight male rivals and will start from post 7 with Rosie Napravnik back riding the filly.

“I think it’s an excellent draw considering the field,“ Asmussen stated.

Untapable is perfect in four starts this year by a combined 31 lengths. The filly won both the Rachel Alexandra and Mother Goose Stakes by better than nine lengths and also posted decisive victories in the Fair Grounds Oaks and Kentucky Oaks.

“When the year started our goal with her was the Kentucky Oaks,“ Asmussen said concerning the start in the Haskell. “Once, with the performance she did in the Kentucky Oaks and how she has trained since, this was the right time to give this a chance.“

Untapable has earned $1,304,725 in eight lifetime starts with six wins.

Trainer Bob Baffert will send out 5-2 second choice Bayern for an attempt to gain his seventh Haskell victory. Bayern will be ridden by Martin Garcia from post 2.

“He’s a speed horse so no matter where he is he’ll have to go,“ Baffert noted.

The colt’s big win this year came in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day, winning by more than seven lengths. He finished first in the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs but was disqualified to second and two weeks earlier was third at Oaklawn Park in the Arkansas Derby. He has won half of his six career starts for $477,680.

Here is the field for the Haskell in post position order: Encryption, Paco Lopez, 20-1; Bayern, Martin Garcia, 5-2; Albano, Kerwin Clark, 6-1; Irish You Well, Jose Lezcano, 12-1; Just Call Kenny, Joe Bravo, 10-1; Social Inclusion, Edgar Prado, 8-1; Untapable, Rosie Napravnik, 2-1; Wildcat Red, Luis Saez, 10-1 and Medal Count, Robby Albarado, 8-1.

The Haskell will be televised live on NBC with an approximate post time of 5:44 PM ET. For the first time it’s part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” series, with the victor getting an automatic berth to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on November 01.


GOLDENCENTS RETURNS IN BING CROSBY STAKES:  Breeders’ Cup champ Goldencents returns to the races Sunday in the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar. The six- furlong sprint has drawn a field of eight.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, Goldencents will make just his second start of the year and first since finishing second to Palace Malice in the Met Mile at Belmont Park on the Belmont Stakes program.

The 4-year-old colt, owned by W. C. Racing, will break from post 2 in the eight-horse field with Rafael Bejarano, coming back from injury, riding.

Goldencents captured the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last November 2 at Santa Anita. After winning the Sham Stakes to begin 2013, Goldencents was fourth in the San Felipe but won the San Anita Derby.

He finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Preakness Stakes. The colt reeled off consecutive seconds in the Bing Crosby, Pat O’Brien and Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Four weeks after winning the Dirt Mile, Goldencents was seventh as the 3-1 favorite in Aqueduct’s Cigar Mile.

Here is the field from the rail out for the Bing Crosby: Indexical, Mario Gutierrez; Goldencents, Rafael Bejarano; Declassify, Mike Smith; Pablo Del Monte, Victor Espinoza; Seeking the Sherif, Edwin Maldonado; Big Macher, Tyler Baze; Kobe’s Back, Joe Talamo and Wine Police, Elvis Trujillo.

 

The Gilmer Free Press


FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014


Major League Baseball - National League
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs, 4:05 PM - FS-Midwest, WGN (America), DSS
Arizona at Philadelphia, 7:05 PM - FS-Arizona, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Washington at Cincinnati, 7:10 PM - MASN, FS-Ohio, DSS
San Diego at Atlanta, 7:35 PM - FS-San Diego, South, DSS
NY Mets at Milwaukee, 8:10 PM - SNY, FS-Wisconsin, DSS
Pittsburgh at Colorado, 8:40 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, Rocky Mountain, DSS
Los Angeles at San Francisco, 10:15 PM - SportsNet LA, NBC Bay, DSS


American League
Toronto at NY Yankees, 7:05 PM - SNET, My9, MLB Network, DSS
Boston at Tampa Bay, 7:10 PM -  NESN, SunSports, MLB Network, DSS
Oakland at Texas, 8:05 PM - CSN-California, TXA21, DSS
Cleveland at Kansas City, 8:10 PM - SportsTime Ohio, FS-Kansas City, DSS
Chicago WSox at Minnesota, 8:10 PM - CSN-Chicago, FS-North, DSS
Detroit at LA Angels, 10:05 PM - FS-Detroit, West, DSS
Baltimore at Seattle, 10:10 PM - MASN2, ROOT-Northwest, DSS


Interleague
Miami at Houston, 8:10 PM - FS-Florida, CSN-Houston, DSS


Canadian Football League
Winnipeg at British Columbia, 10:00 PM - TSN


WNBA
Tulsa at Washington, 7:00 PM - CSN-DC, NBA TV
Chicago at Atlanta, 7:30 PM - WCIU
San Antonio at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - FS-Southwest, North+


Golf
EUROPEAN - Russian Open, 8:00 AM - Golf Channel
LPGA - International Crown, 11:30 AM - Golf Channel
CHAMPIONS - Senior British Open, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
PGA - Canadian Open, 4:00 PM - Golf Channel


Tennis
Atlanta Open, 4:00 PM - ESPN 2
Atlanta Open, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2


Tour de France
Stage 19, 8:00 AM - NBCSN


Auto Racing
NATIONWIDE - Indiana 250 practice, 10:30 AM - FS1
SPRINT CUP - Crown Royal 400/Brickyard practice, 11:30 AM - FS1

Steer Creek Church of Christ School Supplies Giveaway - 07.25.14 Today

The Gilmer Free Press

Central WV Hospital Challenge - 07.26.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville First Baptist Church Vacation Bible School - July 27-31, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Arnoldsburg: Basket Bingo - 07.25.14 - Today

The Gilmer Free Press

There will be a basket bingo held on Friday, July 25, 2014 at the Arnoldsburg community building.

Doors will open at 5:00 PM bingo beginning at 6:00 PM.

there will be a raffle for a savage axis 243 rifle as well as other raffles and silent auctions

concessions and early bird drawing

Early bird tickets are available through contact of:
Tammy Houchin at 304.655.7664 or Natasha McCumbers at 304.514.3655

All proceeds go to the building fund for cornerstone praise and worship

Kinley Maryee Twigg

The Gilmer Free Press

Robert Twigg and Jennifer Toms of Weston, WV announce the birth of their daughter, Kinley Maryee Twigg.

She was born Sunday, July 13, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little girl weighed 6-pounds, 8-ounces

She is the couple’s third child.

The mother is the former Jennifer Wilfong and is a nursing aide and monitor technician.

The father is licensed respiratory technician.

Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Michael Messenger of Linn, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Robert Twigg of Bridgeport, WV.

Cecilia Reid Whitt

The Gilmer Free Press

Cecilia Reid Whitt is the name chosen for the daughter born to Vinson Whitt and Keri Woofter of French Creek, WV.

She was born Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Buckhannon.

The little girl weighed 7-pounds, 10-ounces.

She is the couple’s first child.

Maternal grandparents are William Woofter of Chaumont, NY and Robin Smith of Clarksburg, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Whitt of Weston, WV.

Emmitt Michael Clark

The Gilmer Free Press

Edward and Allison Clark of Weston, WV announce the birth of their first child, a son, Emmitt Michael Clark.

He was born Friday, July 11, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little boy weighed 8-pounds, 14-ounces.

The mother is the former Allison Hefner and is a journalist at the Weston Democrat.

The father is a Sheriff’s Deputy in Lewis County.

Maternal grandparents are Michael and Traci Hefner of Weston, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Edward and Anita Clark of Lost Creek, WV.

Bryson Matthew Harrison

The Gilmer Free Press

Marcus Harrison and Bridget Wilson of Alum Bridge, WV announce the birth of their son, Bryson Matthew Harrison.

He was born Tuesday, July 08, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little boy weighed 6-pounds, 15-ounces.

He has one sibling, Sophia.

Maternal grandparents are James and Janet Horner of Weston, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Arnett and Loretta Wiant of Weston, WV.

Nathan Allen Paters

The Gilmer Free Press

Nathan Allen Paters is the name chosen for the son born to Cody and Diana Peters of Weston, WV.

He was born Wednesday, July 09, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little boy weighed 6-pounds, 14-ounces.

He has one sibling, Kailee.

Maternal grandparents are Tim Berkousky and Sharon Riggs of Yoakum, Texas.

Paternal grandparents are Roy and Louise Peters of Cuero, Texas.

Aaliyah Ann Marie Riley

The Gilmer Free Press

Charles and Jamie Riley of French Creek, WV announce the birth of their daughter, Aaliyah Ann Marie Riley.

She was born Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little girl weighed 8-pounds.

She is the couple’s first child.

The mother is the former Jamie Tenney.

Maternal grandparents are Arthur and Jennifer Tenney of French Creek, WV.

Paternal grandparents are John and Gladys Riley of Crawford, WV.

Francis David Keyton Novak

The Gilmer Free Press

Francis David Keyton Novak is the name chosen for the son born to Frank and Chelsey Novak of Weston, WV.

He was born at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little boy weighed 9-pounds, 10-ounces and has one sibling, Keylee.

The mother is the former Chelsey King of Weston, WV and is a homemaker.

The father is employed by Multi-Chem of Jane Lew, WV.

Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. David King of Weston, WV.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Novak of Weston, WV.

Adreona Rae Cadell

The Gilmer Free Press

Travis Caddell and Tiffany Snyder of Weston, WV announce the birth of their daughter, Adreona Rae Cadell.

She was born Sunday, July 06, 2014 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital of Weston.

The little girl weighed 6-pounds, 11-ounces.

She is the couple’s second child.

Maternal grandparents are Sheila Taylor of Weston, WV and Mark Zebley.

Paternal grandparents are Scott and Sheila Reddon of Weston, WV.

G-OB™: Gilmer County Schools Employment – Technology Support Specialist

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Title:
Technology Support Specialist (230 days)

Description:
Plan, design, install, deploy and maintain Local Area Networks (LANs) and/or Wide Area Networks (WANs) as required in each facility operated by the Gilmer County Board of Education throughout the county. 
 
Provide technical support as required for on-line grading reporting applications and non-instructional software including Ed-Line and the West Virginia Education Information System (VSEIS) and Primero. 
 
Install and provide technical support for stand-alone and network software applications. 
 
Assist the County Test Coordinator with the on-line testing process. 

Repair computers and peripherals. 
 
Manage Windows server Active Directory environment. 

Monitor systems daily and perform back-ups and restoration as necessary to maintain a secure and current communication and data network throughout the county in all facilities operated by the Gilmer County Board of Education throughout the county. 
 
Assist in the development, revision and implementation of technology-related security policies and procedures. 

Manage and maintain users’ permissions and security access levels. 
 
Manage and maintain anti-virus and risk-management applications. 
 
Lead investigations of suspected misuse and abuse of computers, network applications and network access. 
 
Maintain comprehensive, accurate and current records such as inventories, warranty information, installation dates, training dates, etc. 
 
Provide technical support and expertise to teachers, administrators and service employees upon request. 
 
Provide technical assistance and support for security camera networks and operations. 
 
Serve as member of the County Technology Council and as a resource for school technology teams as needed. 
 
Be “on-call” for emergency intervention/action when necessary. 
 
Update county technology plans and assist schools with annual school technology plans. 
 
Assist in the completion of the annual e-rate applications in cooperation with the Director of Technology. 
 
Assist with completion of the annual state grants including Tools for Schools Elementary (TFSE), Tools for Schools Secondary (TFSS), Technology Infrastructure (TI) and local share. 
 
Manage and update county website as necessary. 
 
Communicate effectively with students, parents, educational personnel,    vendors and others as needed. 
 
Provide technical expertise and training for students, faculty, service personnel and administration. 
 
Inform instructional staff and administrators of new and developing technologies that will enhance instruction and assessment. 
 
Perform other reasonable duties assigned by the Superintendent. 
 

Job Location or School Name:
Gilmer County High School

City:
Glenville, WV 26351

County:
Gilmer

Qualifications:
Hold or be qualified to obtain a Temporary Authorization for Technology Support Specialist. 
 
Possess a minimum of an associate’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education. 
 
Possess a minimum of two (2) valid Basic Level technology Certifications (A+ certification or above preferred, or equivalent job experience) OR one (1) valid Advanced Level Certification as approved by the West Virginia Department of Education. 
 
Demonstrate and practice excellent verbal communications and interpersonal skills. 
 
Demonstrate excellent written communication skills. 
 
Be able to work efficiently and cooperatively in a task-oriented work environment with competing priorities and multiple deadlines. 
 
Be able to effectively train adults in the use of technology-based software, hardware and applications. 
 
Demonstrate strong organizational and time-management skills. 
 
Be self-motivated. 
 
Be able to perform physical labor that includes lifting and/or moving boxes, equipment and furniture. 
 
Possess the knowledge, skills and ability to successfully carry out the responsibilities of the position. 
 

Salary:
Based on Gilmer County Teachers and Supplemental Salary Schedules     commensurate with educational level and years of experience.

Closing Date:
2014.08.01

Comments:
•Application for employment; Current transcripts for undergraduate and graduate work; and Letter of recommendation

•Current employees submit Bid Sheet (located on the county website). P15-001-07

Apply to:
Judith A. Stalnaker, Personnel Director 
Gilmer County Schools 
201 N. Court Street 
Glenville, WV 26351 
 
Fax: 304.462.5103

County Contact Email:
“jstalnaker@k12.wv.us”

Summertime and Wartime – Should We Celebrate U.S. War Crimes?

The Gilmer Free Press

Summer’s here and war is all around. Or, as the great Bob Marley put it, Everywhere is War. The commemorations of Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day are all presented as celebrations of our war dead, symbols of the freedoms we love so dearly and seek to export to the rest of the world and, perhaps most important, the unquestioned rightness of our cause.

In a deeper, sadder, reality, the celebrations are of imperialist war, with the talk about the hallowed dead covering the murderous nature of U.S. foreign policy. Ritualistically celebrating the dead – note that the dead celebrated are just the American dead, not any of the millions killed by U.S. aggression or by its client states – is designed to render anyone who asks the wrong questions a traitor or a terrorist. That US troops are involved in war crimes and that polished, well-educated men like Barack Obama are war criminals is unthinkable. War criminals look like Osama bin-Laden, Saddam Hussein and those other nasty people far away, over there.

It’s also the summer of the centennial of the start of what was once known as the Great War, the greatest blood-letting in history except for that of the Second Great War barely two decades later. Of one thing we can be sure, the lessons drawn from mainstream discussions of World War I will be all the wrong ones – particularly neglecting to draw any poignant conclusions between WWI and, say, our current Worldwide War. Worse, the spectacle of the intelligentsia waxing eloquent about the horrors of World War I, while unflinchingly cheering on the warmakers in Washington, will be accepted by one and all as perfectly reasonable – as beyond discussion, in fact.

In recent weeks, meanwhile, mainstream commentators have been shocked – shocked! – to discover that things in Iraq are not all right. Who knew that an invasion predicated on lies of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam’s love for bin Laden, designed to secure control of massive oil supplies, would go wrong? The political class didn’t, or at least they pretended they didn’t, but millions around the world who demonstrated against the invasion before it was launched did, underscoring that a US invasion would fuel sectarian divisions and violence, precisely as has happened. Al-Qaeda, which did not exist in Iraq prior to the invasion, now flourishes while an offshoot, the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) rampages throughout the country.

The response of many in the U.S. political class, naturally, is for more war. Apparently preferring violence over diplomacy, Obama has sent a strike force to Iraq, which grows larger by the day. Whether the people of the US can come together as we did last summer when we prevented Obama from attacking Syria remains to be seen – but we must at least try.

Also on the war front is the Veterans Affairs’ disgraceful neglect of ex-soldiers in need of medical care, as Senator Tom Coburn’s report finds bad VA care may have resulted in the deaths of more than one thousand veterans. At the same time, political elites are blocking decent benefits for veterans while happily purchasing malfunctioning F-35 aircraft from Lockheed Martin at about $200 million a pop. It is especially outrageous that those most enthusiastic about the illegal Bush-Cheney invasions, the reductions to the VA’s budgets and the tax cuts for the one percent now pretend they care about soldiers.

Last but not least is the saga of the much-vilified Bowe Bergdhal, a heroic young man who came to see the criminal nature of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Over the past 13 years of U.S. aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, roughly 59,000 soldiers deserted the military – about 378 per month. The refusal of working class youth to fight wars is a ruling class nightmare and the attacks on Bergdahl show some sense of the punishment for those in uniform who dare challenge their imperatives. A decisive aspect of the movement that ended the U.S. carnage in Southeast Asia was widespread opposition of veterans and active duty resisters. Avoiding a repeat of such resistance is central to imperial objectives. Rather than joining in the Bowe Bergdhal lynch mob, U.S. soldiers everywhere, not to mention those with loved ones in the military, would do well to support him.

As clearly delineated by the 1946 Nuremberg Judgment, a war of aggression, such as committed by the U.S. against Afghanistan and Iraq, “is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from all other crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” The same standard must apply to the United States. If the allegations of treason levied on Bergdahl are true, not only was what he did proper, it was obligatory.

So, starting now and for every summer hereafter, amidst the celebratory flag-waving and speechifying that glorify war, we should celebrate and fully support Bergdahl and prisoners of conscience like Chelsea Manning. We should demand that all services that veterans require be provided, all soldiers be returned home, bases and detention centers around the world be closed, and that the U.S. cease its campaigns of endless aggression. And as enticing as it may seem in such desperate economic times, we should counsel young people to emphatically reject the military – no matter how bleak the alternatives may be. Then, perhaps future summertime celebrations will include jubilations for the final end to global war.

~~  Andy Piascik ~~

Fishing Report - 07.24.14

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BEECH FORK

Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304.525.4831 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/bbfns.htm  for information and current lake levels.  Hybrid bass can be caught with shad imitating lures fished near the surface.  Some walleye and sauger have been reported from the tailwater area as well as stocked trout.  Catfish and bass anglers are reporting catches using various live and artificial baits.


BLUESTONE

Fishing on the lake is good as some fish are still on the spawning beds.  Anglers should try their luck around any downed trees or weed beds using worms, small minnows or jigs for sunfish.  Bass anglers should concentrate their efforts along areas with good structure such as downed timber, rocky drops, or weed beds.  Top water baits such as rapalas, tiny torpedoes, and sluggoes are excellent choices.  Because some bass and sunfish are still in spawning mode, anglers may expect somewhat higher success rates and also chances to catch larger fish.  Bluegills can provide anglers with some fast action.  Best baits are worms and small jigs.  Anglers can have a blast fishing for the sunfish.  Channel catfish are also hitting in the lake primarily at night on chicken livers and worms.  Carp and channel catfish are hitting in the tailwaters with best baits being corn and nightcrawlers.  Occasionally, anglers have been catching some other species such as smallmouth bass and hybrid stripers in the tailwaters on jigs and minnows.


BURNSVILLE

The lake is at summer pool and clear.  The surface temperatures are in the 80’s.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  We have received reports of Musky being caught in the upper end of lake.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on May 27.  For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304.853.2398 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/busns.htm.


EAST LYNN

For information on current lake levels call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304.849.9861 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/eltns.htm .  The lake is at summer pool.  Surface lures late and early have been producing for some anglers.  Try your favorite lure or bait, right now is a great time to fish due to temperature levels.  Zara Spooks, pop Rs, jitterbugs, and buzz baits are favorites to try now early and late.  Muskies have been caught recently as well using a variety of baits.


R.D. BAILEY

Some spotted bass should be hitting.  The bass will be found along the rocky drops with points another good spot to try.  Good baits are plastic jigs in black and chartreuse colors or live shad.  However, with some bass still on the spawn, anglers may experience higher success rates and also chances to catch larger fish.  Bluegill are providing consistent action in the standing timber.  Best baits are worms and small jigs.  Hybrid striper and channel catfish fishing is good off of shallow points at night.  Best baits are chicken liver and soft-shell crayfish.  Anglers should concentrate their efforts early and late during periods of extreme heat.  Carp are also providing a lot of fun for night anglers.  Best baits are corn and dough balls.  Some trout are still being creeled in the tailwaters also.


STONECOAL LAKE

The lake is at normal pool.  The surface temperatures are warming and in the 80’s.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  A few walleye have also been in about 10-15 feet of water.


STONEWALL JACKSON

The lake is at summer pool.  The surface temperatures are warming and in the 80’s.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on May 27.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.269.7463.


SUMMERSVILLE

The lake is at summer pool.  The surface temperatures are in the 80’s.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  Lots of walleye have moved to upper end of lake.  Try minnows and small crank baits.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on June 27.  Flows have been high in the tailwaters For more information contact the Corps of Engineers at 304.872.3412 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/suens.htm.


SUTTON

The lake is at summer pool.  The surface temperatures are in the 80’s.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on May 27.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.765.2705 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/suens.htm.


TYGART LAKE

The lake is still at the summer level.  The water temperature is 80 degrees from the surface to 10 feet, 79 at 25 feet, 73 at 50 feet, 68 at 75 feet, and 64 degrees at 100 feet.  Smallmouth bass can be caught using crank baits or tube jigs along the shoreline.  Fish for crappie in the fish shelters between the boat ramps at the marina.  Start fishing for walleye at dark when they move into shallow water to feed.  During the day walleyes will be in the 30 to 50-feet depths where the water temperature is around 70 degrees.

The tailwater temperature is 64 degrees.  There are a lot of trout in the tailwater.  Walleye numbers are as high as they will be for the year in the tailwater, and this is the best place in northern West Virginia to fish for them.  Walleye fishing is best during higher flows (1,500 to 5,000 cubic feet per second) and trout fishing is best at low flows (less than 1,000 cubic feet per second).  Call the Corps of Engineers telephone hotline at 304.265.5953 for daily lake and tailwater conditions.


NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA


OHIO RIVER (New Cumberland, Pike Island, and Hannibal pools and tailwaters)

There are a lot of hybrid white bass, sauger, walleye, and white bass in the tailwaters and the river is in good fishing condition.  Walleye and sauger will start feeding about an hour before sunset and then throughout the night.  Jigs with minnows are particularly good baits but 3-inch plastic grubs and deep-running crank baits are also productive.  Hybrid striped bass will also move in and out of the tailwaters and can be caught using large crank baits, casting spoons, or cut bait.


MONONGAHELA RIVER

The water temperature is still 78 to 80 degrees. The best fishing success for sauger and walleye is during low light conditions 1 to 2 hours before and after sunset.  Sauger, smallmouth bass, walleye, and white bass are always attracted to the currents in the tailwaters.  Jigs with minnows are the best baits right now.  Channel and flathead catfish are abundant throughout the river.  Carp are being caught from shore at the Ruby Park and at the Star City ramp.  Troll large crank baits for muskies anywhere on the river.  The shoreline from the Morgantown lock to the mouth of Deckers Creek is always a good place to fish from the shore.


CHEAT LAKE

The easiest way to fish the lake for all species is drifting along the shoreline with a night crawler or minnow on a hook with a couple of split shot at a depth of 10 to 15 feet.  Cast small rooster-tail spinners for large bluegills and pumpkinseed sunfish in downed trees along the shoreline across from the Sunset Beach cove to the I-68 bridge.  Channel catfish are doing well and 2 to 3-pounders are abundant throughout the lake but are particularly numerous upstream of Mt. Chateau.  Night crawlers on a number 6 hook with a ½-1-ounce egg sinker cast into 15 to 25-feet of water will catch catfish.  The best areas for shoreline anglers are the Cheat Lake Park fishing piers and the Ices Ferry Bridge Public Access Site.  Cheat Lake has the best channel catfish population in this part of the state.

Try the tailwater fishing pier for sauger, smallmouth bass, walleye and white bass.  Jigs with minnows or 3-inch power grubs are the best baits.  White or chartreuse are good colors.  Start fishing at dark when sauger and walleye begin feeding.  The pier is located entirely in West Virginia about 25 minutes from Morgantown and is lighted for night fishing and is handicapped accessible.


EASTERN PANHANDLE


South Branch and Cacapon Rivers

Most streams throughout the eastern panhandle are well below normal flow for this time of year and the water temperatures are near 80.  The water may be turbid at some locations due to localized thunderstorms especially the Opequon and Back creeks.  Anglers have been successful catching channel catfish but the smallmouth bass fishing has been slow over the past couple weeks.  Biological surveys are still indicated good channel catfish populations in the South Branch with lots of catfish over 25 inches.


Shenandoah River

Flows in the Shenandoah River is slightly above normal and the water may be milky at some locations.  Fishing plastics and topwaters near the head of pools around the bedrock ledges and in the eddy’s is always a good strategy.


North Branch River

Flows in the North Branch are currently near 220 cfs and projected to remain at that level over the next couple days.  No additional white whitewater events are scheduled on the North Branch this year.  Check the Corp or Engineers webpage for specifics or schedule changes.


Small Impoundments

Small impoundments are in great fishing condition.  Bass and bluegill are biting.  Small impoundments are stratified so anglers should fish in less than eight feet of water.  Cacapon State Park Lake, Edwards Run Pond and Fort Ashby Lake have received adult catfish stockings that can be caught throughout the summer.


Jennings Randolph Lake

Jennings Randolph Lake is currently six foot below conservation pool and will be dropping slowly.  Anglers should target smallmouth bass with crankbaits and topwater lures.  The WV ramp is open for the season and launching fees are no longer charged for the WV Ramp.  A $5 per day fee is still being collected for the Maryland Ramp. Jennings Randolph Lake has a dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information 304.355.2890.


Mt. Storm Lake

Anglers at Mount Storm Lake should target striped bass, black bass and walleye.  Recent biological surveys indicate good bass and walleye populations.  Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges.  Anglers and biological surveys have been reporting good catches of striped bass.


CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

Water levels are normal and clear.  If you are looking for a place to go, please check the fishing regulations and the WVDNR website for a list of public access sites or call your local WVDNR district office for some advice and a place to fish.  Trout stocking season has concluded but holdover trout should be available throughout summer months at some locations as long as stream flow remain normal.


SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

The New and Greenbrier rivers are providing some good fishing for smallmouth bass.  Anglers should try white spinner baits, white plastic grubs or small rapalas in black and silver or live bait such as minnows.  Spots below or above shoals are good spots to try your luck.  Fishing is still good in all of the small impoundments in southern West Virginia and you should catch some fish and have a great time but as the waters begin to warm, the bite may slow and anglers may want to concentrate on the early and late hours.  Try spots at the end of points, weed beds, or fallen timber.  Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom, spinnerbaits are also good choices.  Lakes such as Plum Orchard, Stephens, Horse Creek, Hawks Nest, and Pipestem will all provide good bass fishing.  Channel catfishing is good in areas like Hawks Nest Lake and some of the other small impoundments.  Best time to fish is late night and very early morning with chicken livers or soft shells.  This is a prime time to take a child fishing!  There is no better way to introduce a child or novice to fishing than to take them out for an evening of carp fishing.  Try chumming with creamed corn upstream of where you are fishing and use shredded wheat dough ball or whole kernel corn for bait.  Make sure your rods are anchored down with a rock or a carp may take it!!!  Good spots to catch a carp are Bluestone and R.D. Bailey lakes, New River and Kanawha River.  Bluegill are spawning all around the state and they make an excellent quarry for a young fisherperson.


SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA


Lower Ohio and Kanawha Rivers

Reports of nice catfish boated.  Hybrids are biting behind locks along the Kanawha and Ohio, try shad type lures.


Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk, and Mud Rivers

Anglers are reporting catches of game fish during float trips.  Try surface lures early and late for bass and muskie, and go to subsurface lures during the day.  Some bass anglers are having luck using various soft plastics.


Small Impoundments

A number of small impoundments have been stocked recently with catchable channel catfish, some are very large, give them a try.  Laurel and Chief Logan lakes are two waters in district 5 recently stocked.  Krodel Lake in Point Pleasant also received a stocking of catchable sized channel catfish.


WEST-CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

Summer is an excellent time to fish Belleville tailwaters of the Ohio River.  Anglers are catching white bass, hybrid striped bass, and a few other species.  Lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), which are fished along the bottom, are the lure of choice.  Clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows or shad.  Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual.  Schools of hybrid striped bass will periodically move up to the surface to ambush prey, so keep a look out for this activity.  When this activity is seen, agitator bobbers fished with rubber minnow imitations or fresh bait fished with surf casting equipment, generally provides the best result.  Fresh bait (small skipjack) can be caught from these areas using “Sabiki” rigs.  Fishing along the Willow Island tailwaters is restricted due to hydro-power development.  Anglers now have access only to a point approximately 150 yards below the dam, and flows have changed significantly.   

Elsewhere on the Ohio River fishing for catfish has been good.  Channel catfish anglers should use night crawlers, chicken liver, or prepared catfish type baits.  Live fish should be used for flatheads.  Good fishing sites for catfish include deep areas along islands and tributary mouths.

Fishing has been good for largemouth bass in area lakes.  Spinner baits, rubber worms, crank baits, and surface lures are producing bass in areas of good cover.  Good choices for area lakes include Mountwood in Wood County, Conaway Run in Tyler, Charles Fork in Roane, North Bend Lake in Ritchie County, and Elk Fork, Woodrum, and O’Brien lakes in Jackson County.  Best fishing times will be early in the morning and during the evening hours.  These lakes can also supply good bluegill fishing.  For these sunfish use trout magnets or spinners, small jigs, or small worms.

Summer is a good time to fish for channel catfish in area lakes and streams.  Chicken livers, night crawlers, and prepared catfish bait work well.  Remember fishing at night is generally better than fishing during the day for catfish in the summer.

Local musky streams should be fishable this weekend.  Summer musky anglers use large crank baits or jurk baits and best spots are usually around fallen trees or riffle areas.  Fishing has been quite good this year for musky along Middle Island Creek, the Little Kanawha River, and on the Hughes River and its forks.


Stream Conditions
LOW NORMAL HIGH CLEAR MILKY MUDDY
NORTHERN Levels Conditions
Ohio River (Wheeling)   Normal   Clear    
Fish Creek Normal     Milky  
Fishing Creek Normal     Milky  
Big Sandy (Preston) Normal   Clear    
Monongahela River Normal     Milky  
Black Water Creek   Normal     Milky  
Wheeling Creek   Normal     Milky  
Buffalo Creek Normal     Milky  
EASTERN PANHANDLE Levels Conditions
S. Branch (Potomac) Low     Clear    
S. Branch (Smoke Hole) Low     Clear  
Shenandoah River   Normal   Clear  
Patterson Creek Low     Clear    
N. Fork S. Branch Low     Clear  
Cacapon River Low     Clear  
Back Creek   Normal   Clear    
Opequon Creek   Normal   Clear  
Lost River Low     Clear  
CENTRAL Levels Conditions
Elk (Sutton)   Normal   Clear  
Little Kanawha   Normal   Clear  
Elk (Clay)   Normal   Clear  
West Fork River   Normal   Clear  
Gauley River   Normal   Clear  
Cranberry River   Normal   Clear  
Cherry River   Normal   Clear  
Cherry River (N. Fork)   Normal   Clear  
Cherry River (S. Fork)   Normal   Clear  
Williams River   Normal   Clear  
Knapps River   Normal   Clear  
Greenbrier (E&W Forks)   Normal   Clear  
Little River   Normal   Clear  
Shavers Fork   Normal   Clear  
Buckhannon River   Normal   Clear  
Holly River   Normal   Clear  
Elk River (Webster)   Normal   Clear  
Elk River (Back Fork)   Normal   Clear  
SOUTHERN Levels Conditions
New River (Hinton) Low     Clear    
Greenbrier (Hinton) Low     Clear    
Greenbrier (Ronceverte) Low     Clear    
Anthony Creek Low     Clear    
Big Creek Low     Clear    
Meadow River Low     Clear    
Turkey Creek Low     Clear    
Potts Creek Low     Clear    
Second Creek Low     Clear    
Pinnacle Creek Low     Clear    
Horse Creek Lake Low     Clear    
Big Huff Creek Low     Clear    
Indian Creek Low     Clear    
Glade Creek (New River) Low     Clear    
Marsh Fork Low     Clear    
New River (Gauley) Low     Clear    
Glade Creek (Man) Low     Clear    
Camp Creek   Normal   Clear  
East River   Normal   Clear  
Fork Creek Normal   Clear    
Dry Fork Creek Normal   Clear    
Berwind Lake Normal   Clear    
WESTERN & SOUTHWESTERN Levels Conditions
Little Kanawha River Normal   Milky  
Ohio River Normal   Milky  
Hughes River Normal   Milky  

Bon Appétit: Cilantro Goddess Dressing

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

  12 ounces silken tofu, drained
  1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
  1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
  2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  1/4 cup peanut oil (may substitute vegetable or canola oil)
  1 Tablespoon peeled, chopped fresh ginger root
  1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste


Directions:

Combine the silken tofu, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, oil, ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor bowl as needed. Taste, and add salt if needed. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid; use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 16 servings (makes about 2 cups).

Flashback: What Happened on July 25, ....

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•  1960 Governor Cecil Underwood addressed the Republican National Convention in Chicago, in a nationally-televised speech.

Ask the Doctor: Blood Clot in Lung Can Be Lethal

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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a 50-plus-year-old male.
Recently I had a scare.
I suffered from blood clots in my left leg and was hospitalized for them.
Then about a week before Christmas, I found myself unable to catch my breath.
I felt like I was dying.
I called an ambulance, and they took me to the hospital.
They found blood clots in my lungs.
I was put on blood thinners.
It took 11 days to feel better.
Is there a reason for concern because this happened too many times?
What medicines can the doctors prescribe? - R.W.

ANSWER: Blood clots in the leg veins that are buried deeply in leg muscles can cause great trouble.
Pieces of the clot or clots can break loose and be swept in the circulation to the lungs.
A large clot in the lung - a pulmonary embolus - can cause the death of the part of the lung where it lodges, and, if really large, can cause the death of the involved individual.
Causes of clots in the deep leg veins include recuperation from surgery, prolonged bed rest, old age and birth-control pills.
Sitting for a long time in a car or airplane also promotes the formation of leg-vein clots.
That’s why it’s important on a long car trip to take some walking breaks, and on an airplane to contract the leg muscles many times every hour or so.
Those contractions keep blood flowing in the veins. Stagnant blood clots.
You’re a relatively young man.
Repeated episodes of leg-vein clots at your age are unusual.
You might have a condition that disposes you to forming clots.
Two of these conditions are deficiencies of protein C and protein S, substances that keep blood in the fluid state.
A similar condition is factor V (Roman numeral 5) Leiden, another protein that favors clot formation.
Your doctors probably are checking your blood for these conditions.
At any rate, doctors prescribe anticoagulants to prevent recurrent episodes of clot formation.
People with repeat episodes have to stay on those medicines for a long time, some even for life.


DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Please clarify something for me.
I believe hand-washing should be done with soap and water, and the washing should last through one verse of “Happy Birthday.“
My husband believes a quick splash of water and no soap is sufficient.
Who is right? - D.R.

ANSWER: You are.
The length of washing ought to be 15 to 20 seconds, about two verses of “Happy Birthday,“ unless you’re a slow singer.

Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

G-MM™: Meditation Moment - 07.25.14

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Paul sees the suffering he bears on account of his faith as a sharing in the death of Jesus.

Paul contrasts this with the light of faith which brings joy to the Corinthians to whom this letter is addressed. Evidently, some of them were failing to perceive that the light of the knowledge of the glory of God was not due to their own efforts or talents. The mother of the sons of Zebedee and, indeed, all the apostles, seem to see the kingdom of God as mirroring the patronage, rivalry, favoritism and corruption of the state they already knew: the same old troubles only with them in charge. How often, even today, does Jesus find in his followers the failure to understand his message about the place of suffering and self-denial in those who are working to establish the kingdom of God on earth?


2 Corinthians 4:7-15. Those who sow in tears, shall reap with shouts of joy—Ps 125(126). Matthew 20:20-28.

Verdis Ray White

The Gilmer Free Press

Verdis Ray White

Age 88, passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 23, 2014.

Verdis was born in Gilmer Station, Gilmer County, WV and grew up in Sand Ridge, Calhoun County, “West by-God Virginia” as he always called it.

During World War II, he served as a machine gunner in the infantry, was captured in the Battle of the Bulge, and received a Purple Heart.

After the war he moved to Akron, married, raised his family, and worked at Babcock and Wilcox until he retired in 1990.

He was very active in his sons’ Pee Wee football leagues in Kenmore, and manager of the Bantam football team in East Akron.

He was also an active church member, most recently at Tallmadge United Methodist Church.

Preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Allie Dolores, and his brother, Clarence, Jr., Verdis is survived by his sister, Mildred Simmons, sons Gene and Jerry, grandchildren Aryeh, Jessica, and Melissa, and daughter, Karen Booth.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, 10 AM at NEWCOMER FUNERAL HOME, 131 N. Canton Road, Akron, Ohio with visitation from 9:30 AM until the time of the service.

Interment will take place at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Verdis’ memory to Tallmadge United Methodist Church, 207 North Munroe Rd, Tallmadge, OH 44278.

Anyone who knew Verdis, knew he was always around to lend a helping hand. He will be greatly missed.

Elvy Underwood, Jr.

The Gilmer Free Press

Elvy Underwood, Jr.

Age 88, of Underwood Lane, West Union, WV departed this life on Thursday, July 24, 2014 in his residence.

He was born May 06, 1926 on Ralphs Run, West Union, WV a son of the late Elvy and Roxie. L. Ball Underwood.

On November 15, 1946 he married Mary “Betsy” Underwood who survives.

Also surviving are one son, Greg Underwood and wife Nancy, Perry, Ohio, one daughter, Malia “Midge” Ignat and husband Dan, Painesville, Ohio, one sister, Lucille Adams, NC, two grandchildren, Chad Underwood and wife Melissa, Amber Ignat, and two great granddaughters, Rachel and Sarah Underwood. He was preceded in death by brothers, James Parley Underwood, Shirl “Dick” Underwood, Burl Underwood, Earl Underwood and sister, Edith Carroll.

Mr. Underwood had been employed at IRC Fibers and retired from Morton Salt. He was a World War II United States Army veteran and had been a special guard during the Nuremberg Trials. He enjoyed being outdoors and spending time with his family

Funeral services will be conducted at1 PM on Saturday, July 26, 2014 in the Spurgeon Funeral Home, 212 Front St., West Union with Pastor Denver Burnside presiding.

Full military rites will be accorded by the combined Doddridge County Veterans Organizations.

Family will receive friends in the funeral home chapel on Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 11 AM – 1 PM.

Spurgeon Funeral Home is privileged to serve the Underwood family.

Robert B. Tucker

The Gilmer Free Press

Robert B. Tucker

Age 90, formerly of Grantsville, WV and Mineral Wells, WV passed away July 23, 2014 at his residence in Greenwood, WV surrounded by his son Roger L., daughter-in-law Cheryl and Berna K. Ankrom, all of Greenwood.

Born July 19, 1924, in Alum Bridge, WV, he was the son of the late Samuel Tucker and Janie Virginia Hayhurst Tucker.

He was a World War II Veteran, a retired Hope Gas Company employee.

He was a devoted member of the World Wide Church of God.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Irene Moore Tucker; a brother Samuel Tucker Jr.; and a sister Freida Canterna.

Surviving are daughter Louana Tullis; son Roger Tucker; grandchildren Eric Tucker, Janie Harduk, Amy Fricke and Scott Tullis; great grandchild Carson Fricke.

Funeral services will be held Sunday July 27, 2014, 2:00 PM at the Stump Funeral Home in Grantsville with Rev. Lyle Welty and Eric Tucker officiating.

Burial will follow in the Mt. Zion Cemetery with military graveside rites.

Friends may call at the funeral home Saturday from 5:00-8:00 PM.

Robert T. “Ted” Hauman

The Gilmer Free Press

Robert T. Hauman

of Butler, PA, (formerly of Chicora, PA) went to be with God on July 20, 2014.

He was born in Lubbock, TX on July 22, 1943, the son of the late Lena Ruth Rymer Hauman Higgins and Robert T. Hauman, Sr.  He was the beloved step-son of Robert E. Higgins.

Ted was an active member of Zion Church of Petroleum Valley in Karns City, PA, where he served cheerfully in any capacity to which he was asked.

Ted grew up in Glenville, WV.

Having completed his doctoral degree at the University of Pittsburgh, he went on to become a licensed psychologist who worked at a variety of jobs during his career:  teacher in Kingwood, WV; school counselor at Mt. Lebanon Schools, Pittsburgh, PA; instructor at Duquesne University; executive director of Clarion County Mental Health Center; psychologist for Armstrong County Area Agency on Aging; and psychologist in private practice in East Brady, Cowansville, Petrolia, and Leeper, PA.

Outside of work and during retirement Ted was an avid golfer, woodworker, hunter, and fisherman who also enjoyed reading western fiction, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Ted left behind his loving wife, Patricia Yearick Hauman of Butler; his cherished children, Robert T. (Susan) Hauman of Culpeper, VA; Kristin L. Hauman of Pittsburgh, PA; and Andrew R. (Lynda) Hauman of State College, PA; his grandson, Marshall Hauman; an uncle, William (Mary) Rymer of St. Albans, WV; two cousins, Michael (Samata) Sturm and Stephen Sturm both of Morgantown, WV; and several nieces and nephews.

The family of Robert T. Hauman received friends at their residence at 108 Crabapple Drive, Butler, PA.

Celebration of life and interment followed at Penn Forest Natural Burial Park in Verona, PA.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggested donations be made to Glenville High School Alumni Scholarship Fund, c/o John D. Gainer, Treasurer, 20 Cabern Drive, Hurricane, WV 25526.

Geneva M. Rexroad Tallman

The Gilmer Free Press

Geneva M. Rexroad Tallman

Age 63, a lifelong resident of Pennsboro, WV, departed this life on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at her residence, following an extended illness.

Geneva was born September 25, 1950, in Pennsboro, WV, a daughter of the late Olin and Margaret (Grose) Rexroad.

She graduated from Pennsboro High School with the class of 1968. After graduation, Geneva began working at the former Laura Mae Life of Pennsboro and later joined the former Economy Industries of Harrisville before becoming a homemaker after the birth of her daughter.

She was a member of the Pennsboro United Methodist Church where she served as the secretary/treasurer of the Builder’s Class.

Geneva has also served as the treasurer for the Pennsboro Alumni since 1997 and greatly enjoyed reading and crossword puzzles.

She is survived by her daughter, Margaret Jean Tallman of Pennsboro; sister, Rebecca Props (Jim) of Pennsboro; nephews, Adam Props of Pennsboro; David Smith of Harrisville; Jason Smith of Newport, OH; nieces, Kayla Props of Parkersburg; Sheri McDonald of St. Marys, WV; 2 great nieces; brother in law, Darrell Tallman (Linda) of Vienna, WV; sister in law, Donna Summers of Newport, OH, and her only surviving aunt, Evelyn Doll of Pennsboro.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Emerson “Frankie” Tallman in 2005; along with several aunts & uncles.

Funeral services will be 11 AM, Saturday, at the McCullough-Rogers Funeral Home, Pennsboro, WV with the Pastors Kelly Martin and Bill Durst officiating.

Burial will follow in the Spring Hill Cemetery, Joseph’s Mills, WV.

Visitation will be from 4-8 PM on Friday, at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests the donations be made to the Ritchie County Humane Society, 2220 Pullman Road, Harrisville, WV 26362.

04.25.14

The Gilmer Free Press

2014 >>  WayBackWhen™: July 25

Today is Friday, July 25, the 206th day of 2014. There are 159 days left in the year.


Thought for Today:

The Gilmer Free Press

“Life is not a matter of milestones, but of moments.“ — Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890-1995).


Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 25, 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein (hoo-SAYN’) signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries’ 46-year-old formal state of war.


On this date:

In 1554, Queen Mary I of England married Philip II, future King of Spain.

In 1814, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, one of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812, took place in present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario, with no clear victor.

In 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot (bleh-ree-OH’) became the first person to fly an airplane across the English Channel, traveling from Calais (kah-LAY’) to Dover in 37 minutes.

In 1934, Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated by pro-Nazi Austrians in a failed coup attempt.

In 1943, Benito Mussolini was dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III, and placed under arrest. (However, Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and re-asserted his authority.)

In 1944, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters recorded Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In” in Los Angeles for Decca Records.

In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.

In 1956, the Italian liner Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm off the New England coast late at night and began sinking; at least 51 people were killed.

In 1960, a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina, that had been the scene of a sit-in protest against its whites-only lunch counter dropped its segregation policy.

In 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the first “test tube baby,“ was born in Oldham, England; she’d been conceived through the technique of in-vitro fertilization.

In 1984, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya (sah-VEETS’-kah-yah) became the first woman to walk in space as she carried out more than three hours of experiments outside the orbiting space station Salyut 7.

In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.


Ten years ago:

Israelis formed a human chain stretching 55 miles from Gaza to Jerusalem to protest Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Gaza Strip withdrawal plan.

Lance Armstrong won a record sixth Tour de France.


Five years ago:

President Barack Obama continued his full-court press to pass health care reform legislation, citing a new White House study indicating that small businesses were paying far more per employee for health insurance than big companies, a disparity the president said was “unsustainable” as well as “unacceptable.“

Protesters across the world called on Iran to end its clampdown on opposition activists.


One year ago:

Pope Francis, dubbed the “slum pope” for his work with the poor, received a rapturous welcome from one of Rio de Janeiro’s most violent shantytowns and demanded the world’s wealthy end the injustices that had left the poor on the margins of society.


Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Barbara Harris is 79

Folk-pop singer-musician Bruce Woodley (The Seekers) is 72

Rock musician Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) is 71

Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) is 63

Singer-musician Jem Finer (The Pogues) is 59

Model-actress Iman is 59

Cartoonist Ray Billingsley (“Curtis”) is 57

Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is 56

Actress-singer Bobbie Eakes is 53

Actress Katherine Kelly Lang is 53

Actress Illeana Douglas is 49

Country singer Marty Brown is 49

Actor Matt LeBlanc is 47

Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson is 47

Rock musician Paavo Lotjonen (PAH’-woh LAHT’-joh-nehn) (Apocalyptica) is 46

Actor D.B. Woodside is 45

Actress Miriam Shor is 43

Actor David Denman is 41

Actor Jay R. Ferguson is 40

Actor James Lafferty is 29

Actress Shantel VanSanten is 29

Actor Michael Welch is 27

Classical singer Faryl Smith is 19

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U.S. Plans Refunds to West Virginians under Affordable Care Act

The Gilmer Free Press

More than $900,000 in refunds from insurance companies are headed to 8,300 consumers in West Virginia.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced the payments Thursday, crediting the Affordable Care Act.

Burwell said the refunds in West Virginia will average $177 per family.

The payments are being made under a provision of the act that requires insurers to make the refunds if they spend an excessive amount on red tape and bonuses for executives.

Virginians entitled to a refund will get the money through a check in the mail or in a reduction in future premiums, among other ways.

GFP - 07.24.2014
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Harris Poll Examines Amount of Free Time for Kids

The Gilmer Free Press

What’s the ideal mix of scheduled and free time for a developing mind? Is there one? And what sort of mix today’s children experiencing? Well, with parents of K-12 students reporting their children spend an average of 38.4 hours per week on scheduled activities during the school year (including school time, extra-curricular school activities and other scheduled commitments), while maintaining an average of 19.1 hours of free time, this finds America’s school-aged children with a roughly 2:1 ratio of scheduled to free/leisure time.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,241 adults (of whom 457 have school-aged children) surveyed online between June 11 and 17, 2014. (To see the full results including data tables, click here)

Of course, every average has its outliers. Looking at hours per week spent on “other” school activities outside of normal school hours, the average weekly commitment is 8.1 hours. However, parents of one in ten elementary students (10%) and those of nearly two in ten secondary students (17%) say their child spends no time on such commitments in a typical week. On the other end of the spectrum, similar percentages (12% and 18%, respectively) report their children spend 15 or more hours on such pursuits.

As for other scheduled activities, parents report their school-aged kids spend an average of 4.2 hours on activities such as lessons, tutoring, and non-school sports. Looking again to the extreme highs and lows, a fourth of elementary parents (25%) and nearly four in ten secondary parents (37%) say their kids spend no time on such endeavors in an average week, while over one in ten report their children spend 10 or more hours on such activities (12% elementary, 15% secondary).

As for free time, there is quite a variety of experiences evident in American schoolchildren’s lives. 19.1 hours is the average amount of weekly free/leisure time parents report, but four in ten elementary parents (40%) and over half of secondary parents (53%) report their children have 20 or more hours of free time per week. Meanwhile, a third of elementary parents (33%) and a fourth of secondary parents (26%) say their child has less than 10 hours of weekly leisure time.


The Kids Are All Right

We hear a lot in the news these days about the issues facing children growing up today, but, overall, strong majorities of parents believe their child is happy (94%) and that their child is very imaginative (85%).

In one finding of interest – those parents whose children have more free time in a typical week are more likely to report both that those children are happy (82% among those whose children have under 10 hours of free time, 100% 10-19 hours, 98% 20+ hours) and very imaginative (74%, 90% and 89%, respectively).

Nine in ten parents also think it is important that their child be exposed to a broad variety of experiences (91%), while nearly as many believe their child has enough free time to do things they want to do (88%).

While minorities report struggles with their children’s scheduling and free time, they are nonetheless notable percentages of American K-12 parents. Specifically, one-fourth feel pressured to put their child in activities that other children are doing (25%) and over two in ten worry that their child is over-programmed, without enough free time (23%), and feel their child’s schedule is difficult for their household to balance (22%).

Perhaps not surprisingly, parents whose children have 15 or more hours per week of combined extracurricular and other “scheduled” time are much more likely than those whose children have under 15 hours to report feeling pressured to put their child in activities that other children are doing (21%


Balancing Act

Looking at related issues among the general population, nearly nine in ten Americans (87%) believe undirected play is important to a child’s development, while three-fourths believe it is important that children be kept busy (75%).

Over three-fourths of U.S. adults (77%) believe that parents today tend to “over-program” their children’s time; this opinion is especially strong among Baby Boomers and Matures (81% and 84%, respectively, as compared to 69% of Millennials and 76% of Gen Xers). Moreover, six in ten (60%) believe children have less free time today than when they were in school.

One factor in this perceived over-scheduling could be a desire to keep up with the Joneses, as eight in ten Americans (79%) believe parents today often schedule activities for their children just because all the other parents are doing the same thing.

However, where some see a crowded calendar, others see the opportunity for new experiences, and nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) wish they had the opportunity to have as many different experiences as children do today. This sentiment is significantly stronger among those with school-aged children (73%) than among those without (62%).

West Virginia to Receive Federal Funding for Studies on Long-Term Health Effects

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia will receive federal funding to understand the health effects of the January 09 chemical spill, which tainted the water supply for hundreds of thousands of people.

On Wednesday Senator Joe Manchin met with federal, state and county officials to discuss long-term studies.

Those in attendance included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute of Health (NIH), WV Health and Human Resource Cabinet Secretary Karen Bowling, Dr. Letitia Tierney and Dr. Rahul Gupta of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

According to Manchin’s office, this is the first time all parties have met together.

The NIH and the CDC will be conducting the studies. They are estimated to take a year and cost between $750,000 and $1.2 million.  Studies will include model predictors & animal testing to determine developmental & gene effects.

The CDC and the NIH have agreed to do animal testing to see effects of MCHM at very low levels. They believe this will help them determine whether it will have any long term impact on people.

For months state and county officials have lobbied for money to study crude MCHM, the chemical that tainted the water supply for 9 counties.

In February, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin asked for additional tests to determine the health effects of consuming, breathing of coming in contact with the chemical.

The CDC responded with a letter in March, saying long-term effects were “unlikely.“ The agency described plans to only track trends with pre-existing resources, such as birth defects surveillance, cancer registries and health systems data.

The CDC, National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Toxicology Program, and NIH’s National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences will work with state officials to design and conduct the testing, including bringing a team of experts to West Virginia.

Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV, hosted the meeting between CDC and top officials in Washington, D.C. on July 23.

Those in attendance included Dr. Tom Frieden, director of CDC; Dr. John Bucher, Associate Director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Toxicology Program; Dr. Robin Ikeda, Acting Director of the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Mary Gant, program analyst at the NIH’s National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences; Secretary Karen Bowling, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources; Dr. Letitia Tierney, Commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health and State Health Officer; Dr. Rahul Gupta, Health Officer and Executive Director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Manchin said he was pleased with the cooperation from federal partners.

“We have all agreed that it is necessary to conduct additional scientific testing to rebuild West Virginians’ confidence that the water they use and drink every day is safe for themselves and their children, and to ensure there is a clear understanding of any potential long-term health impacts,” Manchin said in a news release July 23. “These tests should be completed within a year, at which point we will come together to assess the findings and determine what additional steps we will need to take. In the meantime, I thank the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, Secretary Bowling, Dr. Tierney, and Dr. Gupta for coming together to continue to monitor the health effects of exposed West Virginians. I am very confident we are moving in the right direction and I am truly grateful all relevant parties came to the table today.“

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said he is working closely with the DHHR on receiving the funding.

“My administration, particularly DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling, has worked with local, state and federal partners to secure funding for additional MCHM tests and long-term medical surveillance to assess any potential health implications for our residents as a result of the Jan. 9 Elk River chemical spill. We appreciate the assistance of the CDC and NIH and look forward to moving forward with the process,“ Tomblin said.

Gupta said he was surprised by the call to go to D.C., but pleased with the results.

“I was excited to meet in Washington, D.C., this morning with Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Senator Joe Manchin to discuss toxicological testing relating to the July 09 chemical spill,“ Gupta said. “Dr. Frieden committed to providing further surveillance measures based on findings of toxicological testing. The National Institute of Health committed to these tests during this morning’s meeting. In addition, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences also committed to continuing studies. After all these months, it’s positive we are moving forward, particularly with developing independent studies which will give our citizens more confidence in their outcomes. I am glad Karen Bowling, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, and Dr. Letitia Tierney, state health officer, were present, so we can have a unified front moving forward to solve this problem. I am also grateful to Senator Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for being persistent in seeking broad-ranging national solutions to the chemical spill problem.“

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