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Six Gilmer County Students Participate in the RESA 7 Social Studies Fair

Six Gilmer County students traveled to Fairmont, WV to participate in the RESA 7 Social Studies fair on Friday, March 27, 2015.

The students competed in both the school and county fair to advance to the regional fair.

The Gilmer Free Press
Zakya Mann placed 2nd in the RESA 7 social studies fair


Zakya Mann, a 6th grade student at Sand Fork Elementary placed 2nd in the regional fair with her project in Anthropology -“Myth or Reality: Pocahontas, Anastasia, Mulan.”

Other students participating included:

  • Emma Fox, Sand Fork Elementary - “The Holocaust”

  • Carissa Thorne, Sand Fork - “Dolphins”

  • Jack Norman, Glenville Elementary- “The WV Hills”

  • Avery Chapman, Glenville Elementary – “Gilmer Station”

  • Autumn Moyers, Glenville Elementary – “Civil War”

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(L-R)  Carissa Thorne, Emma Fox, Zakya Mann, Autumn Moyers, Avery Chapman, and Jack Norman.


Congratulations to all of the students for their hard work and representing Gilmer County in the regional competition.

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A. James Manchin Memorial Marble Tournament for Kids

West Virginia Division of Culture and History to Host
A. James Manchin Memorial Marble Tournament for Kids

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will host the seventh annual A. James Manchin Marble Tournament sponsored by the West Virginia Marble Shooters Association (WVMSA) on Saturday, April 04, 2015 at the Culture Center on the State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The free tournament is open to children from 7 to 14 years of age and all skill levels.

Interested participants may come to the Culture Center from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM to practice.

Registration will be open from 11:30 AM until 12:30 PM.

The tournament will begin at 1:30 PM.

Tournament marbles will be provided and are available for purchase.

The tournament’s marble game, Ringer, is played by placing 13 marbles in the form of an “X” in a 10-foot circle with players alternating shots.

National contest rules will apply in the competition and can be found by visiting the website www.nationalmarblestournament.org.

Pre-registration is encouraged.

For more information about The A. James Manchin Memorial Marble Tournament, contact Chris Reed, cultural program specialist for the division, at 304.558.0220 x 185.

Study of WV Online Job Listings Shows State Lags

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV - Online job listings show a ‘good news, bad news’ employment picture for West Virginia.

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce has crunched the data from online postings for its new study of U.S. job trends.

Lead author Tony Carnevale says during the recession, about two-million jobs were posted and now, he says it’s closer to five-million.

But the report says West Virginia is lagging in jobs for college graduates, and the state risks getting locked into a less competitive workforce that, compared to other states, lacks education.

“You’ve got something of a self-perpetuating problem,“ says Carnevale. “You’ve got relatively low-wage, low-skill jobs and that’s the labor force that you keep, because that’s the labor force that’s being hired.“

Carnevale says the research found that nationally, even many of the best sales jobs now require technical training.

“Two-thirds of sales reps are now people with college degrees,“ he says. “Half, roughly, are selling medical or industrial technology. You’re selling to experts, you’ve got to be one.“

The report says across the country, many of the best jobs require specialized technical degrees. So Carnevale says students need to consider their college major as carefully as they consider any other facet of their future employment.

“What you make really does depend on what you take,“ says Carnevale. “It matters less and less where you go to college. Going and getting a degree is important, but know what the job prospects are for different majors.“

The study found only about one-third of the job listings in West Virginia are for college graduates while in other states, it’s about two thirds.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Medicaid Card Changing from Monthly to Annual Card April 01, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV—The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Bureau for Medical Services (BMS) reminds members and providers that the distribution of an annual Medicaid card for members, as opposed to a monthly card, will take effect on April This move is expected to save West Virginia $2.5 million a year.

“This change is significant for both the Medicaid member and provider,” said Cynthia Beane, Acting BMS Commissioner. “In the future, Medicaid members will have an insurance card similar to private insurance cards. More importantly, this change from monthly to annual cards will significantly reduce costs to the State.”

For the first year of use, the Medicaid card will be printed on paper. BMS and DHHR’s Office of Management Information Services will consider alternative forms for future years.

New cards will be issued in January of each year.

If a member loses or misplaces their card, the member can receive a duplicate card by contacting a case worker at their local DHHR office, by calling the DHHR Customer Service Center at 1.877.716.1212 or by going online to www.wvmmis.com for a Letter of Creditable Coverage.

The Letter of Creditable Coverage is valid for the day it is printed.

Beane reminds medical providers to verify their patient is still a Medicaid member by either going online to the provider portal at www.wvmmis.com or calling 1.888.483.0793.

TOWN OF SAND FORK VETERAN’S MEMORIAL

The Gilmer Free Press

THE TOWN OF SAND FORK WOULD LIKE TO INSTALL A THIRD PLAQUE ON OUR VETERAN’S MEMORIAL WALL FOR BOTH GILMER COUNTY AND SAND FORK AREA VETERANS …. …

TO DO THIS WE NEED YOUR HELP…. … ADDITIONAL NAMES ARE NEEDED TO FILL THE PLAQUES….. 52 NAMES MAKE A FULL PLAQUE…

OUR ORIGINAL PLANS WERE TO INSTALL THE NEXT PLAQUES ON VETERANS DAY 2014, HOWEVER TO DATE WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED ENOUGH NAMES TO FILL THE PLAQUES AND THE ORDER FOR THE GRANITE PLAQUES MUST BE PLACED IN ADVANCE TO ALLOW TIME TO HAVE THEM IN STOCK AND ENGRAVED …WE ARE NOW LOOKING AT MEMORIAL DAY 2015.

IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER, FRIEND OR NEIGHBOR YOU WISH TO HONOR THIS WOULD BE A VERY SPECIAL WAY TO SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION FOR THEIR SERVICE…DONATION OF $20.00 PER NAME IS REQUESTED, APPLICATION FORMS ARE

AVAILABLE AT SAND FORK POST OFFICE, PICK ONE UP FROM ANY TOWN COUNCIL MEMBER OR AT   GILMER COUNTY SENIOR CENTER…..

QUESTIONS CONTACT ANY TOWN COUNCIL MEMBER OR CALL THE OFFICE AND LEAVEA MESSAGE 304.804.2177 AND SOMEONE WILL CONTACT YOU

West Virginia News   150331

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ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK MORRISEY JOINS OPPOSITION TO RADIOSHACK’S PROPOSED SALE OF CUSTOMERS’ PRIVATE INFORMATION

CHARLESTON, WV — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced he joined 32 other states and the District of Columbia in objecting to RadioShack’s plan to sell customers’ personal, private information as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

On March 20, the Texas Attorney General’s Office filed a limited objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to RadioShack’s plan to sell personally identifiable information of 117 million customers. Since then, numerous other states have sent letters supporting Texas’ objection. Additionally, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee filed separate objections.

“Customers were told when providing information, such as their names, email addresses, and telephone numbers, that the data would never be sold,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We believe companies should abide by the promises they make to consumers, including the promise to not divulge or sell personal information.”

In a letter to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Morrisey said RadioShack’s desire to sell customer data runs counter to the company’s privacy policies and would violate the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act’s provisions against unfair or deceptive acts.

RadioShack has 27 stores in West Virginia, according to its corporate website.

West Virginia joins Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin in voicing opposition to the sale.


WV STUDENTS TO TAKE NEW ONLINE STANDARDIZED TEST

CHARLESTON, WV — West Virginia students will take a new online standardized test this year that’s based on the national Common Core standards.

The testing window for the Smarter Balanced Assessment begins next week and runs through June 24. Counties and schools will set their own testing schedules.

State Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano says the test will evaluate how well students have learned under new education standards.

The new test doesn’t have any multiple-choice questions. Instead, students will work through problems in each subject and show how they arrived at their answers.

Martirano says the Department of Education won’t use the test’s results to determine teacher and school grades until 2016. That will allow two sets of results from the same test to be analyzed.


ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK MORRISEY URGES CONSUMERS TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHEN HIRING HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS

CHARLESTON, WV — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today urged consumers to be on alert when considering contractors for home improvement projects.

As colder temperatures begin to give way to warmer weather, many homeowners will consider sprucing up their homes for spring. Armed with a list of to-dos, a vision for getting them done, and a projected budget, now all you need is someone to do the work; it’s time to hire a contractor. And while most contractors operate legitimate, trustworthy businesses, there are a few who are looking to prey on the unsuspecting.

“It is important that you know your rights as a consumer. Be sure you read and understand any contract before entering into it,” said Attorney General Morrisey. “Do your research, obtain trusted testimonials and get several written estimates before deciding on someone to hire. Home repair and remodeling services are one of the most common areas for consumer complaints. Since this week is National Consumer Protection Week, we thought it would be beneficial to highlight steps consumers can take at the front end of a project to protect themselves.”

Beyond the contract itself, it is important to remember to not pay cash or money up front for any material, contact the Consumer Protection Division beforehand to see if any complaints have been filed against a particular contractor or company, and check for a valid contractor’s license.

The West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board can confirm if a contractor is licensed and if the license is in good standing by calling 304.558.7890.

Morrisey also offered consumers several steps to protect themselves against home improvement scams:

  •  Avoid door-to-door work crews, who often pose as contractors from another job with leftover materials

  •  Be suspicious of contractors that can only be reached by leaving a message on an answering machine or cell phone.

  •  Do not give into pressure for an immediate purchasing decision.

  •  Be skeptical of discount offers for referrals.

  •  Avoid a contractor who says that you have won a prize, but in order to get your prize, you must buy a home improvement product or service.

  •  Be wary of prices that seem too good to be true.

Citizens can view more tips on hiring contractors in the Office’s brochure, “Measuring Up: A Consumer’s Guide to Hiring Contractors for Home Repairs at www.ago.wv.gov/consumerprotection.

If you have been involved in a home improvement scam, or believe you have been a victim of a different scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800.368.8808 or the Eastern Panhandle field office in Martinsburg at 304.267.0239. To file a report online, go to www.wvago.gov.


NAACP RENEWS CALL FOR PROBE OF MARTINSBURG POLICE SHOOTING

MARTINSBURG, WV — Local NAACP leaders have renewed their call for federal authorities to investigate the fatal shooting of a Virginia man by Martinsburg police.

The organization’s leaders in Berkeley County recently sent a letter to U.S. Attorney William J. Ihelnfeld II seeking an investigation.

Martinsburg-Berkeley County NAACP president Hubert J. Smith says the organization will continue to voice its concerns.

Fifty-year-old Wayne Arnold Jones of Stephens City, Virginia, was shot on March 13, 2013. Police have said Jones drew a knife after the officers stopped him as he was walking on a street. One officer was stabbed during a scuffle.

An autopsy found that Jones was shot 23 times.

NAACP leaders had asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder several months ago to conduct an investigation.


BAYER CROPSCIENCE TO SELL INSTITUTE PARK TO UNION CARBIDE

INSTITUTE, WV - Bayer CropScience says it plans to sell its Institute Industrial Park to Union Carbide. But the company will continue to operate its thiodicarb unit at the site as a tenant.

Terms of the transaction announced Monday weren’t disclosed.

Bayer says in a statement to media outlets that the plant’s operations, including utilities and security, will be transferred to Union Carbide in a phased turnover. Union Carbide is expected to assume full operation of the site by mid-2016.

The Institute site’s head, Jim Covington, says it is no longer economically viable because of a decision in 2011 to close units dedicated to carbamate chemistries.

Bayer took over the site in 2002 as part of its acquisition of Aventis CropScience.

Covington says about 150 Bayer employees work at the site.


WEST VIRGINIA STATE TO CO-HOST HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE

INSTITUTE, WV - Human rights is the focus of a conference this week at West Virginia State University.

The second annual Conference on International Human Rights will be held Thursday and Friday at the Erickson Alumni Center on the university’s campus in Institute.

Topics include social justice, violence against women and children, elder abuse and human trafficking.

The College of Business and Social Sciences and the National Center for Human Relations will co-host the conference.


19 BRIDGES ALONG I-64 IN CHARLESTON TO BE REHABILITATED

CHARLESTON, WV - State highways officials plan to rehabilitate more than a dozen bridges in Charleston.

The Division of Highways says the work will include replacing expansion joins and applying a latex modified concrete to bridge decks. Systems that control erosion of metal in bridge decks will be replace on several bridges.

Nineteen bridges will be rehabilitated. The $18 million project will begin at the Eugene Carter Memorial Bridge and end where the Brooks Street on-ramp enters the interstate.

Construction work is expected to begin in early April and be completed by October 28, 2015.


FAMILY SUES OVER WV SCHOOL’S USE OF WALKING AS DISCIPLINE

MARTINSBURG, WV - A student’s family is suing Berkeley County Schools over a school’s use of walking as a form of discipline.

The lawsuit says Mountain Ridge Intermediate School’s policy violates state law prohibiting corporal punishment.

According to the lawsuit, the practice involves requiring a student to walk from one light pole on campus to another, usually for 15 to 30 minutes.

Neva Savage and William Savage filed the lawsuit in February in Berkeley County Circuit Court. It has since been moved to federal court. Also named as defendants are the Board of Education, the superintendent, the school’s principal and a teacher.

Attorneys representing the school officials have asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit.

West Virginia Accidents     150331

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ONE MAN DEAD AFTER ONE VEHICLE ACCIDENT IN OHIO COUNTY

WHEELING, WV (MN) – The Ohio County Sheriff’s Department responded to a fatal car accident Sunday afternoon in Wheeling.

Pat Butler, the Ohio County Sherriff, said a 43-year-old man was killed after a one-vehicle crash happened just after 12 PM on Short Creek Road.

The man’s father was taken to a nearby hospital for minor injuries.

Butler said speed may have been a factor in the crash, but it is still under investigation.

The Wheeling Police Department Scene Recreation Team was also on the scene to assist in the accident. The victims’ names have not been released.


MAN FATALLY HIT BY A CAR IN CABELL COUNTY

HUNTINGTON, WV (MN) – A man was killed early Sunday morning after being hit by a car while walking along a road in Cabell County.

Cabell County Sherriff Tom McComas said the man was hit just before 5 AM while walking on Green Valley Road just off of WV Hwy 10 near Huntington.

The victim was already dead when first responders arrived at the scene. After viewing surveillance video in the area, investigators said the man appeared to be walking alone.

The driver stayed on the scene. Dispatchers said no charges will be filed and that the incident remains under investigation. The victim’s name has not been released.


TRACTOR TRAILER OVERTURNS IN BUCKHANNON, SPILLS LOAD OF PAPER RESIDUE

A tractor trailer overturned in Buckhannon Monday afternoon.

At approximately 2 PM, Donald Layfield, age 62, of Clarksburg, lost control of the truck as he approached the A&O railroad crossing on Sago Road off WV Hwy 20.

The truck’s load, which was paper residue, spilled onto the railroad tracks, according to police.

Layfield sustained no injuries in the accident, and a preliminary investigation revealed a blown tire on the truck.

The West Virginia State Police Buckhannon Attachment, railroad personnel, officials from the West Virginia Public Service Commission, the West Virginia Department of Environment Protection and the West Virginia Department of Highways responded to the incident.

West Virginia Arrests   150331

The Gilmer Free Press

CALHOUN COUNTY MAN BEHIND BAR ON DRUG CHARGES

GRANTSVILLE, WV—Everett Franklin Lane, age 55, from Calhoun County has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marihuana.

He is in Central Regional Jail with $5,500 bond.


ARREST IN LINCOLN COUNTY DEADLY SHOOTING

COAL RIVER, WV — WV State police have made an arrest following a double shooting in Lincoln County that left a woman dead and man injured early Monday morning.

WV State Troopers said the victims were shot along Coal River Road at about 2:30 AM.

The victims were in a car that was stopped near the St. Albans Fire Department in Kanawha County.

The woman was pronounced dead and the man rushed to the hospital.

WV State Troopers identified the woman who died after being shot in a car on Coal River Road as Katie Toler, age 29, of Branchland.

Chad Mays, age 36, also of Branchland, was wounded and remained hospitalized at Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital on Monday.

A suspect, identified as Andrew Staggs, age unknown, of Alum Creek, was charged with murder and malicious wounding for allegedly shooting the two from outside of a home after 2 AM Monday.

Mays, who was reportedly covered in blood, was driving at that point.

Initially, Ms. Toler had driven a short distance and that’s when Chad Mays had attempted to get some help from a house. Naturally, the residents didn’t understand what exactly had just happened. That is when Mr. Mays then put himself in the driver’s seat.


ROANE COUNTY MAN BEHIND BARS ON ASSAULT CHARGES

SPENCER, WV—Gary Wayne Burdette, age 27, from Roane County is behind bars on charges of domestic battery and domestic assault 1st and 2nd by threats.

Burdette is in Central Regional Jail.

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U.S.A. News   150331

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HOPE FOR ALZHEIMER’S ACT

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat Alzheimer’s disease and support those suffering or caring for a family member with this devastating illness.

The Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act would provide Alzheimer’s patients and their families with much-needed information about the disease and possible treatment options. The bill creates a new care management planning session for newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients under Medicare. Senators Capito, Stabenow, Collins and Markey worked closely with the Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, on the bill.

The Gilmer Free Press
Senator Capito with members of the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association

“Alzheimer’s is a disease close to my heart, and we must work to improve its diagnosis and educate Americans about the treatment options available to them,” said Senator Capito. “By expanding Medicare payments to assist newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients in obtaining medical services through The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, we can work to effectively combat this tragic disease.”

The bill would ensure patients and their families have access to a care planning session with their doctor to help them understand the diagnosis, treatment options, and what medical and community services are available. Over the years, studies have shown that providing patients and families with a full range of information and support results in better outcomes for those living with Alzheimer’s, including higher quality of care, increased use of needed community services, reduced patient behavioral and psychiatric symptoms and reduced caregiver stress and depression.


MCDONALD’S CONSIDERS OFFERING BREAKFAST ALL DAY

OAK BROOK, IL—The world’s largest hamburger chain is toying with the idea of selling hash browns and Egg McMuffins all day long, industry reports said Monday.

McDonald’s will reportedly test the all-day breakfast menu in one U.S. market, beginning in the next month or two. If all goes well and demand is high enough, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based franchise will keep it going.

The news was reported by CNBC Monday, which cited an industry source via Janney Capital Markets.

If true, the reports indicate an increased competition among fast food chains to capture a share of the morning consumer base. Subway introduced breakfast items a few years ago and Taco Bell just began offering its own products last year.

“Our industry sources inform us that McDonald’s US plans to test all-day breakfast—breakfast items for sale throughout the 24-hour day—in one domestic market, with the test set to begin within the next month or two,“ Janney Capital Markets said in a research note, reported by Business Insider.

Breakfast items at McDonald’s have long been popular with consumers and include staple items like the McMuffin and breakfast burrito, but those foods have only been available until about 10:30 AM, when the chain opens up its regular menu.

The biggest obstacle the chain faces isn’t demand, though, it’s kitchen space. McDonald’s itself says there isn’t enough space on its grills to make both breakfast and dinner items, which is why you can typically only order items from one menu or the other.

“It comes down to the sheer size of kitchen grills. They simply don’t have the room for all of our menu options at one time—especially considering we use our grill to prepare many items on our breakfast menu,“ the company’s website says.


U.S. AIR FORCE TESTS MINUTEMAN III MISSILES

VANDENBERG AFB, CA—Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles have been launched by the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command to verify the accuracy and reliability of the weapon system.

Both Minuteman IIIs were unarmed, and their test re-entry vehicles impacted within 40 minutes of each other in a pre-established test area last week near the island of Guam.

“An operational test launch requires hard work, months of preparation, and outstanding team work between personnel on both bases,“ said Lt. Col. Daniel Hays, the 341st Missile Wing Task Force Commander. “These launches are a visible reminder to both our adversaries and our allies of the readiness and capability of the Minuteman III weapon system, and without the dedication of the men and women from both the 576th and the 341st, this test could not have happened.“

“The two launches from the past week were a full team effort between the 576th, and the 90th and 341st Missile Wings,“ said Col. Kelvin Townsend, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander. “Launching multiple missiles in close proximity to each other adds an extra amount of realism to the operational test mission we fulfill here.“

The launch team was under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and included personnel from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., as well as personnel from Warren AFB, Wyoming.

The Air Force said the ICBM community—including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and U.S. Strategic Command—will use the data collected from the firings for continuing force development evaluation.


BNSF RAILROAD ADDS NEW SAFETY RULES FOR CRUDE OIL TRAINS

OMAHA, NE - BNSF railroad has started taking additional safety measures for crude oil shipments because of four recent high-profile derailments in the U.S. and Canada.

The railroad said Monday that is slowing down crude oil trains to 35 mph in cities with more than 100,000 people and increasing track inspections near waterways.

The Fort Worth, Texas, based railroad also is stepping up efforts to find and repair defective wheels before they can cause derailments.

BNSF spokesman Michael Trevino says these additional safety efforts began in response to the recent derailments. One was earlier this month near Galena, Illinois, and the Mississippi River.

The number of rail accidents remains relatively small compared to total rail traffic, but fiery accidents involving crude oil are increasing because U.S. and Canadian oil production is booming.

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World News   150331

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NORTH KOREA DEVELOPING BALLISTIC MISSILE CAPABLE OF REACHING U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—North Korea has taken additional steps in developing a long-range ballistic missile that could target the United States, National Intelligence Director James Clapper said.

Clapper addressed Congress last week with the latest findings on North Korea’s advancements in deploying a long-range, intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, known as the KN-08.

The missile, said Clapper, is capable of reaching the United States.

But because of its long range the KN-08 is not capable of attacking South Korea.

Shin In-kyun, a security analyst with the Korea Defense Network, said any deployment of THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in South Korea will not be related to North Korea ballistic missile development.

Rather, the THAAD missile defense system tracks objects from 1,180 miles and intercepts missiles at high altitude. Should THAAD be installed, it would be used to defend South Korean territory.

Shin said Clapper was sending a preliminary warning over a possible cut in the defense budget rather than making allusions to the issue of THAAD deployment in South Korea.

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo reported Clapper had said North Korea’s heavy focus on the production of weapons of mass destruction is a sign its other warfare capabilities have been undermined.

The KN-08 missile was on parade during a celebration of Kim Il Sung’s birthday in 2012, and also in a military march that observed the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in 2013.

The KN-08 is believed to have a range of 7,460 miles.


FRANCE, BRITAIN JOINTLY CONTRACT FOR NAVAL DRONES

PARIS, FRANCE—Surface and underwater naval drones for combating mines are to be developed by a European industrial consortium by 2019.

France’s Ministry of Defense said the joint Maritime Mine Counter Measures contract from France and Britain was issued to Thales, teamed with BAE Systems, and the ESA Group, through the European Union’s Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation.

“The MMCM project against naval mines is an important part in shaping the future of defense systems for the benefit of the French and British navies,“ said Laurent Collet-Billon, head of France’s Delegate General for Armaments. “It reflects the desire for innovation of both our countries to keep one step ahead in the technological, industrial and operational areas of the underwater warfare sector.“

Added British Defence Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne: “The development of naval UAV systems is a new and exciting area in the United Kingdom and France. Working together on the basis of a common vision for underwater unmanned aerial systems, we will be able to determine the benefits that the development of those capabilities could bring in the military, financial, technological and skill fields.“

The contract awarded is for the definition, implementation and qualification of two prototype systems of naval drones that would be operated from a “mother ship” or from land.

C-GCC: Adult Basic Education

The Gilmer Free Press

Adult Basic Education can do much more than prepare you for the new High School Equivalency test.

We can also help with job search, resume writing, typing, and computer literacy.

In addition, English as a Second Language and Literacy classes are offered upon demand.

Classes are available in both Gilmer and Calhoun Counties.

Calhoun County classes will be held at the Career Center on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM.

Gilmer County classes will be held at St. Marks Church on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM.

Please call 304.354.6151 x106 for more information.

PAY RAISE FOR “HIGHLY-QUALIFIED” WV TEACHERS

The Gilmer Free Press

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has officially signed a bill into law that would give pay raises to certain teachers in West Virginia.

House Bill 2381 mandates an automatic $2,000 pay raise for “highly qualified,” National Board certified teachers working at low-performing schools. The teachers must also serve as a mentor to less-qualified teachers in order to receive the raise.

David Mohr, the senior policy analyst for the House of Delegates Education Committee, says, “This is one of the first attempts to really target some salary incentives to get highly qualified teachers to teach in places where we really feel we need them.”

Out of 825 nationally certified teachers in West Virginia, only 43 of them work at low-performing schools, and legislators hope that the pay raise would motivate highly qualified teachers to move to struggling schools.

However, the bill also includes a very important clause. It says that a county may use other funds, including federal and local funds, available to them to increase or provide other incentives for all teachers working in the bottom fifth of schools that the county deems “highly qualified.” Teachers do not need to be nationally certified or mentor other teachers for pay raises given by the county.

West Virginia ranks 48th out of 50 states in teacher salaries according to the National Education Association. Because of this, I caught up with you to see if you think West Virginia teachers deserve better compensation.

“They teach our kids, it’s the future of our country,“ says Richard Vance of Clarksburg. “They work hard, they sacrifice, I understand they even use a lot of their own money to help kids, so they definitely deserve more.“

“The ones out there helping the kids, in there making sure that they’re learning, so that they can go to college and become something, those are the teachers that I think need a pay raise,” adds Ronald Melchek of Preston County.

Officials like Christine Campbell of the American Federation of Teachers and Dale Lee of the West Virginia Education Association believe that while this bill is a step in the right direction, it isn’t a final solution for underpaid teachers.

03.30.2015
EducationFinancial & Economy | G-Fin™ | GrantsPolitics | Government | ElectionState-WV(2) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Lots of political hot air to make it appear that politicians are listening. We observe that here in Gilmer County with the muddle.

We have bad morale in the school system and teachers and other employees out in the schools struggle.

Think of good it would have done if at least some of that band aid computer money spent by the GCBOE for the GCHS would have gone to one time bonuses for teachers and other employees working out in the schools.

By Bess James  on  03.30.2015

The Governor and WVBOE can tell these new Legislators there’s no money to give all Teachers a raise now.  It worked.  Give them a year or so of experience and that may not go down so well. The newbies will soon discover there’s plenty of money for in the state pocket jobs and perks but none for the children.

By Watching  on  03.30.2015

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Abandoned Buildings Grant to Provide Momentum for City of Glenville

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer County Economic Development Association has received a technical assistance grant valued at $10,000 through the 2015 Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated (BAD) Buildings Technical Assistance program to address barriers to the reuse and redevelopment of abandoned and dilapidated buildings in the City of Glenville.

The BAD Buildings Program grant was awarded to The Gilmer County Economic Development Association by the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center. The program provides technical assistance and expertise to assist communities in West Virginia to create a redevelopment plan for its strategically located abandoned, vacant, and dilapidated properties.

The City of Glenville was one of only 9 projects awarded statewide to receive a 2015 BAD Buildings Program technical assistance grant. 

City of Glenville Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick said he was supportive of Mr. Campbell in this endeavor.  The award of the BAD Buildings technical assistance grant will provide the necessary tools and resources for improving planning and property utilization in the City of Glenville according to Jeff Campbell.  The Bad Buildings award and the associated planning activities will provide a forum and processes to improve planning for all community stakeholders.  An initial information meeting for all interested community stakeholders is being planned and an announcement will be made in the coming weeks.

Luke Elser, BAD Buildings Program Manager says, “The BAD Buildings model provides an initial stepping stone for revitalization efforts by initiating redevelopment progress and spurring community involvement.  The NBAC looks forward to working with the City of Glenville and its community partners on this project.”

The BAD Buildings Program is funded through a grant from the Benedum Foundation through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for West Virginia University.

Information about the BAD Buildings Program can be found at www.wvbrownfields.org.  The Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center is a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, located at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal & Energy.

Report: Little Kanawha River Water Safe after Abandoned Mine Rupture

When the abandoned mine shaft on WV Highway 5 East ruptured on Thursday morning, March 26, 2015 the water spilled into the Little Kanawha River.

The Gilmer County Public Services District, Glenville Utility, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Environment Protection Agency were contacted.

These agencies started water tests downstream to make sure it was safe to drink.

According to a post by the Gilmer County WV Office of Emergency Management on its Facebook: “All tests completed are confirming the water IS SAFE for consumption at this time.“

03.30.2015
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleNewsRegionPolitics | Government | ElectionLocalState-WV(1) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

They all look so helpless standing around there just watching the water run out. What can they do? The point to get from this is that prevention is the only sure way to keep our communities safe, whether it’s for coal mining, fracking for gas or oil, or installing a pipeline over steep mountain ridges. There is too much at stake to continue to abuse our state in this way. Water is not a renewable resource. We must act now to protect it.

By april keating  on  03.30.2015

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Legal Delays Could Be Problem for Huge Gas Pipelines

CHARLESTON, WV - A Virginia county court case may slow construction of big proposed natural-gas pipelines - a delay opponents say the pipelines can ill afford.

A Suffolk County court said the Atlantic Coast Pipeline did not follow the proper procedure when notifying a landowner. The company describes the decision as a technical glitch, but Rick Webb, coordinator of the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, said legal delays such as this could be a threat to the three huge pipelines he said are racing to bring Marcellus gas to southeastern markets. Webb said the pipelines are competing to lock in a changing - and maybe shrinking - market in North Carolina and other areas.

“The market conditions are changing,“ he said. “Pipelines that formerly delivered gas to the Northeast are now becoming available. So these companies have to capture the market, and the first one who does perhaps will be the winner.“

The Gilmer Free Press


Jim Norvelle, a spokesman for Dominion Resources, the parent company leading construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, said the company is not racing to claim a market. He said it already has 20-year contracts to supply the gas the pipeline would bring, and added that the Suffolk County court only said Dominion notified the landowner incorrectly.

“They’re going to get a new letter from us, and we’re going to start the process with them again,“ Norvelle said. “So we do not see this as much of a hindrance to the schedule.“

Webb said the position of the companies racing to get their pipelines in place is much more fragile than they let on.

“Any delay in the process, or even any sense of delay in the process, will perhaps convince their investors that things are not quite as certain as they had been led to believe,“ he said.

The companies behind the pipelines insist they simply are following the normal process for building projects such as this. But Webb said the large number of court cases between landowners and the pipelines is very aggressive and hardly normal. There are 100 cases over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline alone.

~~  Dan Hayman ~~

Alderson Broaddus University Announces New Major

The Gilmer Free Press

Philippi, WV—Alderson Broaddus University held a press conference at Wilcox Chapel on the University’s campus in Philippi, WV.
During this press conference, school officials announced the newest academic major which will launch in the fall of 2015.

The new Ministry and Leadership major will help connect students who are interested in going into ministry with modern day situations.
This is the third announcement of a new academic program since January.

West Virginia News   150330

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FAMILY SUES OVER WV SCHOOL’S USE OF WALKING AS DISCIPLINE

MARTINSBURG, WV - A student’s family is suing Berkeley County Schools over a school’s use of walking as a form of discipline.

The lawsuit says Mountain Ridge Intermediate School’s policy violates state law prohibiting corporal punishment.

According to the lawsuit, the practice involves requiring a student to walk from one light pole on campus to another, usually for 15 to 30 minutes.

Neva Savage and William Savage filed the lawsuit in February in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

It has since been moved to federal court.

Also named as defendants are the Board of Education, the superintendent, the school’s principal and a teacher.

Attorneys representing the school officials have asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit.


NICHOLAS COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT DEPUTY REDUCTION

SUMMERSVILLE, WV — The Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department is set to drop from 26 to 15 deputies on July 01, 2015 because of budget cuts but the county will not go uncovered.

“We’re going to be providing services whenever needed. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it’s needed, we’re going to be providing the service,” Lt. Michael Baylous, the spokespman from WV State Police said.

The reduction in deputies will essentially mean there will be no deputies on duty in Nicholas County after 4 PM each day.

Lt. Baylous said troopers cover the county now and they will continue to do so with some adjustments.

“We have detachments at Oak Hill, Richwood, Summersville and Beckley and we’ll make whatever changes we need to make, move resources and manpower around,” Baylous said.

State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers has been in conservation with NIcholas County officials including the county’s prosecutor and circuit judge. Baylous said residents need not worry about having the proper police protection.

“No, they don’t need to be concerned at all. We’ve been doing this since 1919 and doing a professional and outstanding job of providing law enforcement services and that’s not going to change,” he said.


ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK MORRISEY WARNS BUSINESS OWNERS OF FAKE INVOICE SCAM

CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today warned business owners of a scam circulating through West Virginia in which business owners are getting fake invoices for allegedly being listed in telephone directories and social media.

The invoices, some of which are for thousands of dollars, are sent by American Yellow Group Inc.’s Outsourced Accounting Department with a return address of Varna, Bulgaria. The design of the invoice includes the familiar “walking fingers” logo, which makes it appear as though the business is being charged for its inclusion in a telephone book’s yellow pages. However businesses who have received the faxed invoice said they never contracted with the company for the service.

“This is a classic example of a directory listing scam that some business owners fall for simply out of panic. The scammers imply that failure to pay the bill immediately will result in the issue being referred to credit bureaus and other authorities,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We urge businesses who receive this invoice to contact our office and their telephone provider to ensure it is not a legitimate bill.”

The Attorney General’s Office has received a dozen complaints about the invoice from businesses throughout the state, including Petersburg, Charleston, Follansbee, Terra Alta, and Delbarton. The businesses being targeted also vary. Our office has received complaints from private businesses, medical offices, an insurance firm, a public service district, and a municipal government.

The Better Business Bureau has given American Yellow Group Inc. an F rating. On its website, the BBB says the address provided on the invoice is nonexistent and the phone number provided is only sporadically answered.

“Scammers will target anyone who they think will pay, including businesses,” Morrisey said. “We urge business owners to disregard the invoice and report it immediately.”

If you believe you have been a victim of a directory listing scam or other scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or the Eastern Panhandle field office in Martinsburg at 304.267.0239. To file a report online, go to www.wvago.gov.


WV TO OFFER ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ SPECIALTY LICENSE PLATE

HARMAN, WV - West Virginia soon will begin offering specialty license plates bearing the phrase “In God We Trust.“

A Randolph County nonprofit collected the required minimum of 250 applications and fees before a May 01 deadline.

Mike Snyder of Harman and his wife, Jill, hand-delivered 300 applications to the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles last week. Harman proposed the plates and the Dryfork Recreation Center agreed to sponsor them.

The plate’s design features an outline of the state along with the West Virginia and American flags.

Delegate Denise Campbell says the plates will be ready this summer.


POLICE INVESTIGATING TWO ROBBERIES IN CHARLESTON AREA

Police are searching for two men accused of robbing a Kanawha City gaming parlor early Sunday morning.

Police say Mimi’s, in the 6300 block of MacCorkle Avenue, was robbed around 1:00 AM.

Investigators say two men walked into the business, pulled out a gun and demanded money.  They took off with the cash.

Police are trying to determine if this robbery is related to another robbery on Charleston’s West Side.

In that robbery, police say Larry “Smurf” Patterson Jr. and Lance Tyler walked into the Family Dollar on Virginia Street West.  They left and then returned 17 minutes later.  That’s when police say Tyler walked up to the register with a pack of gum.  When the cashier rang it up and the register opened, police say Patterson pulled out a gun and demanded money.  They also left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Anybody with information on these two robberies should call Charleston Police at 304.348.6480.

U.S. Education Department Considers Creating Two Ratings Systems

The U.S. Education Department, under continued fire over its planned college-rating system, is considering creating two systems.

The first ratings system would be geared toward consumers and be based on raw outcomes metrics.

The second would be geared toward policymakers and researchers, and would rely on metrics adjusted for student and institutional characteristics.



U. S. Education Department Considers Creating
Not 1 but 2 College-Ratings Systems

The Gilmer Free Press

The Education Department, under continued fire over its planned college-rating system, is considering creating two systems, an agency official said at a policy briefing here on Monday.

The first ratings system would be geared toward consumers and be based on raw outcomes metrics. The second would be geared toward policy makers and researchers, and would rely on metrics adjusted for student and institutional characteristics, the official told attendees at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s annual policy briefing. Only the second system would be used to measure accountability.

The shift appeared designed to answer criticism that the department was trying to do too much with one system. In her remarks, the official — Melanie Muenzer, deputy assistant secretary for planning and policy development — noted the “inherent tensions” in crafting a system that both guides consumer behavior and holds colleges accountable for student outcomes.

“It’s hard to develop a system that addresses both,“ Ms. Muenzer said.

In a comment on the proposed system, sent last month, a group of think tanks and advocacy groups urged the department to either “narrow the scope of the ratings to develop one system to address one purpose, or design different rating systems that use common data while being tailored to each purpose.“

But one higher-education lobbyist, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid angering the department, said a two-system approach was “a terrible solution” to the problems posed by a single system.

“What a disaster that would be,“ said the lobbyist. “You could easily see institutions doing well on one and badly on the other, and with Title IV [student-aid] eligibility attached, it would be utter chaos.“

Ms. Muenzer acknowledged the drawbacks of the approach, including that colleges could perform poorly on the consumer system but use the “adjusted” outcomes data to sell themselves to prospective students.

“You could end up with an institution that goes from a 30% graduation rate to a 70% graduation rate,“ she said, by way of example. “That could be very difficult for consumers to understand.“

“We can’t stop that institution from using 70% in its marketing materials,“ she added.

Even so, Ben Miller, a senior policy analyst at New America, formerly the New America Foundation, and another panelist at Monday’s event, said afterward that it would be a “massive mistake” not to create separate systems.

“The way consumers make choices and researchers and policy makers look at things is dramatically different,“ he said.

The department has promised a final version of its rating plan in time for the 2015-16 academic year. In December it released a draft “framework” of the plan that provided an update on metrics the department is considering using in its system.

~~  Kelly - The Field-Chronicle of Higher Education ~~

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