One of the southern coalfield counties recently reported over 46% of their school-aged children do not have a parent in the home. Following the expensive and ineffective trend of non-violent offender incarceration is that of jailing or institutionalizing children.
High poverty, at the top with illicit drug use, no treatment available puts us number 1 again and not in a good way. Serious issues that can not be fixed overnight. Hopefully the budget problem will be reolved and the Legislature will dedicate more time to study such pressing problems and work with community leaders of every county toward effective solutions.
To those who think it is all good and well for a male to be allowed to go do his business in a females bathroom, shower room or any where that is for females you are crazy. It should be the freedom of privacy of a female to feel safe, to those who do not see this way have no “common sense” “no sense of privacy” and are asking for trouble. A male has no business in my bathroom in a public place. You are allowing sexual perverts to also access our bathrooms. When you think a male can enter a females bathroom whether wearing male or female clothing you are asking for big trouble. What is wrong with the government? Stop this before someone is injured in some way. Transgenders should have a PRIVATE restroom for them in a single bathroom with a door that locks and have it marked for uni-sex or family restroom but one stall and a locking door. Females go in the females restroom, shower room, dressing rooms and males go in the men’s restroom, shower rooms and dressing rooms. Designate a separate room for any one other than a true female or male and leave the ones of us who believe this alone. What is so hard or difficult with that? It should be the majority of believers but in this administration it is if one person is offended let’s change to please them and to heck with everyone else. OK I am offended because I am not rich and I expect all of those with money to give it to me, new car, new house and all the rest. MY feelings are hurt. BOO HOO. Washington you have the ability to stop this bathroom issue. Remember you have a pen and phone. God created ADAM, a male and EVE a female. Two sexes male and female. GOD does not make mistakes so trying to add a third gender is WRONG and going against GOD. GOD HELP AMERICA!!!
More service building,gym and office area than classrooms. A whole lot of money for not much of anything to improve education. Not likely to see a fair shake from the WVBOE. Not until every available dollar is spent and that excess levy gets voted down. When the ones who treat a public checkbook as their own are in power consider yourself in trouble.
The WVBOE took precisely zero action on the Gilmer County OEPA agenda item in April.State Board members did not even vote to accept the report. It is expected it will be addressed on their May agenda.
Reporters say G. Devono made a statement to the BOE that he wanted that report changed.
Several closed door unprincipled meetings were held the day of the meeting and thereafter. One question.
Will state actions reveal the State Board of Education and the OEPA are controlled by intervention county Superintendents? Will the truth finally come out as to why the State Board fails repeatedly to improve the status of education in West Virginia? Could a large part of the failure be because of this unlawful and unethical alliance which excludes lawful,local boards of education whom they should be working with as elected liasons? Is the State Board of Ed more interested in creating a who’s who list for a silly Charleston clique than meeting the needs of the children?
Very good news about the forward movement regarding the dam removal project here in Oregon. Here in the Pacific NW, we’re very familiar with damn removal, particularly the largest dam removal project to date on the Elwa River in Washington state. Contrary to concerns, the Elwa project has increased the river delta estuary, lessoning what has been rapidly eroding. Looking forward to updates.
Good coaches are a lot like smartphones. Both can, if used correctly support and track our good qualities and bettering ourselves; both can are crucial in the area of sports (phones remind of of appointments and we receive necessary updates; both are used to make us self aware especially when things aren’t going well; both are big for encouraging and creating life skills of taking responsibility; both are very necessary in teaching how to attain goals, so important in individuals; both excel as confidence boosters and hopefully at the end are self confidence promoters; in both we become conscious of what we excel at and what we need to work on; and lastly the actual quality ultimately sets the tone our days. And coaches always effect us, both on and off the court. Big congratulations to coach Kim Stephens. Go Lady Pioneers!
You should ask Gabe Devono to make a learned community presentation at which he would review published results of valid studies done to evaluate pros and cons of middle schools in the USA.
Hucksters can make them sound good, but you know what? In general the schools did not produce as marketed. Read the education literature
If you have special “cultural” problems in Gilmer County which are not openly disclosed by Gabe Devono and other advocates for the middle school why haven’t your citizens been fully informed about them?
Say “special” cultural problems do exist, what are the options for dealing with them other than having a middle school? Surely, other options are available.
Sounds as if you may have school administration problems or ones which are manufactured to suit motives of a vested interest group.
When convincing reasons for doing something are not disclosed to the public to fail to gain acceptance by the majority there is a valid basis to suspect bogus motives.
Not one word of what the community wanted mattered when it came to closing our elementary schools. Not one word will matter now. Poor planning over and over by the state board of ed. No vision, no concern for the future. This middle school move is just a bandaid for Superintendent blunders. Now he’s dragging the sixth grade backwards with him.
Gilmer County needs and deserves a new Middle/High for 500. If it were built today we have the students to meet the required utilization scale without the sixth grade.
Our students should not have to settle for second class any longer.
Gabriel Blows His Own Horn Devono knows this. It should be an embarrassment to his handlers that he was not intelligent enough to come to such a conclusion and follow through.
Trying to force a middle school into an old elementary school closed by the WVBOE because it was inadequate to meet the needs, situated next to an industrial site and has no room for expansion should get him fired.
The OEPA findings point squarely at Devono’s inability to lead. Only the Superintendent could cause a lack of communication between himself and board. Under authority of the WVBOE only he could take action to correct absolutely anything.
Only the WVBOE could take action in providing G Devono with an EFFECTIVE MENTOR. Has Ted Mattern lost his touch or did Devono go rogue?
The Superintendent’s association said nobody else would take the job. Some believe that meant nobody but their own President F. Devono’s brother.
At least one more new school is needed here. This county has waited patiently as others received SBA funding over and over while architectural firms made billions.
Whether more cost effective to build once for five hundred or create two buildings on one site is for the architects and the School Building Authority to decide. How to pay for it is another matter but wasting money to force the placement of Gilmer students back into sub par, state closed facilities is unacceptable.
By TED MATTERN SUSAN O'BRIEN WVSBA WVBOE? on 04.20.2016
Gilmer County with the decrease in state funding, declining enrollments, and the WVBOE mismanagement, cannot afford a middle school.
The WVBOE clearly stated that in the OEPA overthrow audit. Go read it people.
Now Devano and BS Simon tell us a MS will solve our problems?
Like the FIVE EMPTY CLASSROOMS at the Leading Creek Elementary? And the FIVE teachers getting paid to do nothing? That is all on the back of Lewis County who went along willingly with the BS Simon, Blankenship, and Devano.
Of course, GC tax dollars are paid to Lewis County every month. That was one of the closed door back room deals that has been kept hidden.
“I completed a general practice residency at the WVU School of Dentistry in 2009 and worked closely with the oral surgery program,” Dr. Westfall said. “My professor, Dr. Bryan Weaver, acted as a mentor to me during my residency, which greatly influenced my experience and time with the School.”
(L-R) Dr. Bryan Weaver, Dr. Chad Westfall, Dr. Peter Ngan
Dr. Westfall is also a proud graduate of the WVU Orthodontics program and calls department “one of the best in the country.” He said Dr. Peter Ngan, chair, and Dr. Tim Tremont, clinical associate professor, are both taking the program in the right direction.
“It is the support from alumni like Dr. Westfall that allow our School to keep moving in the right direction and lend support to our students, faculty, and patients,” said Dean Dr. Tom Borgia. “We are constantly striving to have WVU remain among the best dental schools in the country and appreciate any and all support from our alumni to maintain this level of excellence.”
A dedicated alum and Mountaineer, Dr. Westfall received his doctor of dental surgery degree in 2008, then completed a one-year general practice residency in 2009. He was awarded a masters in orthodontics in 2013. Dr. Westfall currently has his own orthodontic practice in Abingdon, VA where he resides with his wife, Caitlin, and son, Jack. His endowment also honors his father, Dr. John Westfall, who earned his DDS from the WVU School of Dentistry in 1975, and his mother, Patricia Westfall, who received her masters in speech pathology from WVU in 1978.
“The education and degree I received from WVU has provided me and my family a wonderful opportunity,” Dr. Westfall said. “The least I could do is to give back.”
Semi-Finalists Announced for West Virginia Scholar Program
MetroNews, in conjunction with West Virginia Wesleyan College, is pleased to announce the fifteen semi-finalists for the 2016 West Virginia Scholar Program. Semi-finalists are competing for a full scholarship valued at $125,000 to Wesleyan.
Madison Bowles, Herbert Hoover
Justin Brinkmeier, Tyler Consolidated
Erin Burks, Ravenswood
Jayson Chappell, Oak Glen
Luke Cox, Bridgeport
Zachary Halterman, Keyser
Thomas Hugart, Nicholas County
Emma Locarnini, Washington
Madison Matheny, Parkersburg South
Bailey Mcinturff, Woodrow Wilson
Madison Robinson, South Charleston
Amber Sturgill, Shady Springs
Gavin Surbaugh, Webster County
Taylor Walroth, Hurricane
Chase Webb, Roane County
These students will participate in a one-on-one interview, and finalists will be announced May 23. At that time, online voting for winners will begin.
Second place prize is a four-year, $5,000 scholarship, while third place prize is a four-year, $2,500 scholarship to Wesleyan. All awards begin with the 2017 fall semester.
In addition to MetroNews and Wesleyan, sponsors for the 2016 West Virginia Scholar Program include the Culpepper Scholarship, the West Virginia Hospital Association, the Home Builders Association of West Virginia, ZMM Architects and Engineers, the High Technology Foundation, Friends of Coal, and the West Virginia Forestry Association.
Winners will be announced during an on-campus luncheon on Wednesday, June 22.
The report, called “A Shared Sentence,“ says 34,000 West Virginia children will have had a parent behind bars during their youth, one of the highest rates in the country.
And Laura Gandee, interim executive director for West Virginia KIDS COUNT, says it could leave permanent scars.
“Having a parent who’s in prison can be as damaging to a child as child abuse or domestic violence,“ says Gandee. “It’s a very traumatic time in a child’s life.“
One in 10 West Virginia children has the traumatic experience
of having a parent incarcerated at some point during their youth.
According to the report, more than five million children nationwide are separated from parents because of incarceration. It makes recommendations for courts, communities and states to be supportive of kids and help keep family bonds as strong as possible during this tough time.
Scot Spencer, associate director for advocacy and influence for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says nearly two-thirds of families with a jailed parent have trouble making ends meet financially.
He says not only can that make children’s lives a precarious struggle, but problems can continue after the parent is released. Felons have a hard time getting decent work, which affects their families and communities.
“The number of people who are on the streets because they cannot secure gainful employment,“ says Spencer. “And also, the lack of income in those communities from people who have not been able to gain access to work and workforce opportunities.“
And Gandee says the state’s high rate of incarcerated parents may be due to substance-abuse problems, for which there is a severe shortage of treatment slots.
“These people are ending up in prison instead of in treatment,“ says Gandee. “Away from their families, and whose ability to earn a living and be a stable parent in the future is in extreme jeopardy.“
The report recommends letting some prisoners who stay out of trouble clean up their legal record, giving them a fighting chance when looking for jobs and housing.
One of the southern coalfield counties recently reported over 46% of their school-aged children do not have a parent in the home. Following the expensive and ineffective trend of non-violent offender incarceration is that of jailing or institutionalizing children.
By This Must Change on 04.28.2016
Your-our state is falling apart.
West Virginia education has grossly failed our citizens.
Teachers can teach. The rot is at the top.
The students can and will learn. But not until the failed leadership is replaced.
Our teachers are mired in policy. Paperwork. They spend more time with paperwork than teaching.
Historic Exhibit of West Virginia-Made Longrifles at Prickett’s Fort State Park
FAIRMONT, WV – An exhibit of 24 West Virginia-made rifles and pistols is on display at Prickett’s Fort State Park in Fairmont through Nov. 11, 2016. Presented by the Kentucky Rifle Foundation (KRF), it is the first time an exhibit of West Virginia-made longrifles and accoutrements has been compiled by the KRF.
Two hundred years ago, longrifles were tools needed to provide food for the table and to defend the family, the community and the nation.
“This exhibit is a great history lesson in the craftsmanship and work of more than 20 gunsmiths who plied their trade during the late 18th and early 19th centuries in what is now West Virginia,“ said Greg Bray, director of the Prickett’s Fort Foundation. “Many of the exhibit rifles have never been seen by the general public in this type of venue. The exhibit is a firsthand opportunity for historians, students and artisans to view treasures of West Virginia’s origin.“
Located in the Pricketts Fort museum gallery in the Visitor Center, the exhibit is free to view and open to the public. Prickett’s Fort’s Visitor Center is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m.
Days and hours of the fort operation are Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays after Labor Day, Fort admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (60 and up), $4 for children 6-12, and ages 5 and under are free.
For more information about Prickett’s Fort State Park events and activities, visit www.prickettsfort.org or call 304.363.3030.
About the Kentucky Rifle Foundation
The Kentucky Rifle Foundation’s mission is to preserve the heritage of the Kentucky Rifle through educational programs and exhibits, museum assistance and the publication of books related to the history and significance of the Kentucky Rifle. This history is multidimensional and was intimately involved with the trials and tribulations of this nation’s early settlers.
The Kentucky Rifle Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c) (3) corporation and is funded by contributions, the sale of educational materials, fundraising events and endowments. Learn more at www.kentuckyriflefoundation.org.
About Prickett’s Fort State Park
Prickett’s Fort State Park is a day-use historical area located 3 miles off I-79, Exit 137, at 88 State Park Road in Fairmont. The state park features a reconstructed fort, the Job Prickett House, built in 1859, and a Visitor Center. The Visitor Center includes a research library, museum gift shop and a gallery which features an area orientation exhibit and video.
► MonPower rate increases fund continued tree trimming
A relatively mild winter meant fewer power interruptions than north central West Virginia residents are sometimes accustomed to suffering.
But, First Energy, the parent company of MonPower, is reminding customers their recent rate hikes to help pay for vegetation management are making a difference too.
“The number of outages related to trees has fallen by 21 percent. Not only that, (there has been) about 32 percent drop in total minutes interrupted from total tree related outages,” First Energy spokesman Todd Meyers said comparing 2012 statistics to more recent numbers. “That shows we’re making some pretty serious headway.”
With the potential for damaging winds in the forecast lately, Meyers said it doesn’t take long for residents or the company to flash back to the 2012 derechos.
The storms knocked out power in all but two of the state’s 55 counties. The Public Service Commission investigated prevention measures power companies could take to decrease the chances of broken lines or shorten the time residents are without power.
That’s when rate hikes and ramped up tree trimming were put on the table.
“They didn’t want to have another kind of episode where you had hundreds of thousands of customers out, some out more than once, some out for up to three weeks with us having to rebuild lots of infrastructure,” Meyers said.
Beginning January 01, the average Mon Power customer was expected to see a $9.00 increase per bill with a little more than 1/3 earmarked for tree trimming.
This year, Meyers said the company will spend $75 million to trip along 4,500 miles of transmission and smaller distribution lines.
If residents haven’t seen them already, contracted companies will be out in full force across the region this spring.
First energy is 2 years into a 5-year vegetation management effort. The results, Meyers noted, will appear to be pretty drastic opening the space around lines more than ever before.
“We have to take into account the climate of West Virginia, how much is going to grow back in those five years. We have 20 to 30 thousand miles of line to clear. We can’t be coming back every year to revisit things.”
► Board upholds chemical tank designations after 2014 spill
CHARLESTON, WV — The West Virginia Environmental Quality Board has upheld decisions by state regulators regarding which chemical storage tanks would be covered by new safety standards passed to try to prevent a repeat of a massive 2014 spill that fouled a drinking water supply.
Board members said in an order Tuesday that the state Department of Environmental Protection had legal authority to make the designations.
Attorneys for the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia and three related companies, C.I. McKown and Son Inc.; Pocono Energy Corp.; and Tempest Energy Corp., had appealed the designations.
The new safety standards were passed after a tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston leaked chemicals into the drinking water supply for 300,000 people in January 2014.
► Prosecutors: Ex-coal chief should be in prison during appeal
CHARLESTON, WV — Prosecutors are urging a federal appeals court not to allow former coal company executive Don Blankenship to remain free while the court considers an appeal.
Government lawyers say allowing the ex-Massey Energy CEO to continue his $1 million bail would be contrary to federal law. They say the law allows appeals to delay jail sentences only in “exceptional circumstances.“ Blankenship is scheduled to report to prison May 12.
He was sentenced April 06 to a year in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.
The coal mine exploded in 2010, killing 29 men.
Blankenship’s attorneys say he could serve much, or all, of his sentence before a decision is reached.
► Mobile app to give self-guided tours of scenic byway
BECKLEY, WV — An organization has created a mobile app that will give people self-guided tours of a 44-mile scenic byway near Beckley.
The Paint Creek Scenic Trails Association has created the app to give people access to 10 audio pieces with information on the Paint Creek Scenic Byway.
The byway features historic points of interest as well as places to fish for trout, ride bikes, view wildlife and paddle kayaks. The app will include information about Native Americans, coal mining and watershed restoration.
The app was developed by i-Treks of Lewisburg, West Virginia. Project director Catherine Moore says visitors will have a chance to learn about the area.
Samantha Bee dedicated a segment of Full Frontal last night to the discussion of money—or as Bee helpfully explains, “for those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s like Venmo for old people.” The centerpiece of the discussion? Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, and right-wing freakouts about a black woman “making a white man move to the back.”
“Look—I know that change is difficult,” said Bee, in faux empathic tones. “I still haven’t gotten over Roseanne replacing the original Becky with Becky with the good hair.” (Double points for sneaking in the Beyoncé reference.)
“When we make such a dramatic change to something no one ever looks at, we have to consider the fragile of white men who—tragically—only appear on seven out of seven bills currently in production,” Bee added.
From there, she took down Fox and Friends’ Brian Kilmeade and anyone else confusing Jackson with a Founding Father. As always, it’s absolutely worth a watch, below.
Relatives who went to check on a San Jose, Calif., couple on Sunday found a disturbing scene: The shot bodies of Golam Rabbi, 59, and Shamima Rabbi, 57, along with a chilling note. The message in ink on the hardwood floor near the bodies read, “Sorry, my first kill was clumsy,“ reports the San Jose Mercury News. Police say they’ve spoken to the couple’s 17-year-old son and he is not a suspect, but they are still seeking another son, who is 22 years old. Detectives “are attempting to locate him for questioning,“ police said in a statement. “At this time he is not considered a suspect but may have information regarding this incident.“
Relatives hadn’t heard from the Rabbis for several days before the bodies were found, and it isn’t clear when the killings took place. Police have not discussed a motive for the murders, but they say it “was not a random act of violence” and they believe the killer was “familiar to the family,“ the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The couple, who moved to the US from Bangladesh decades ago, were active members of the local Islamic community, which has been stunned by the murders. “It’s so difficult to reconcile ... the tragic, violent end to such simple, gentle souls,“ a family friend and fellow Evergreen Islamic Center member tells ABC7.
► 8-Year-Old ‘Little Miss Flint’ Gets Obama to Visit
An 8-year-old girl who says she’s known as “Little Miss Flint” around her troubled Michigan hometown wrote to President Obama to tell him she’s “one of the children that is effected” by the water, and the president is coming to see for himself. “I’ve been doing my best to march in protest and to speak out for all the kids that live here,“ wrote Amariyanna Copeny. She told Obama she was planning to travel to Washington, DC, to watch Michigan Governor Rick Snyder testify in front of Congress, and she wanted a chance to meet the president while there. “I am so proud of you for using your voice to speak out on behalf of the children of Flint,“ Obama wrote in his response, letting her know he would be visiting her city next Wednesday. Read both letters at Fox 2 Detroit.
► Firefighter Saves Plane Passenger, Again
Austin Bleiweiss has helped to save the life of one of his fellow plane passengers not once, but twice. Most recently, the firefighter and paramedic was on his way home to Florida from Puerto Rico last Tuesday when he was awoken by a flight attendant screaming for help. A man had lost consciousness and didn’t have a pulse, so Bleiweiss started giving him CPR. Three years ago, on his way to Las Vegas, he’d done chest compressions on another man who lost consciousness, so when he heard the screaming last week, he thought to himself, “This can’t be happening two times in my life,“ he tells the Naples Daily News.
But, since he’d done it before, he knew what to expect: He got an oxygen mask from the plane’s medical kit, and after about four minutes of CPR, he used the plane’s defibrillator on the man. His pulse came back and he started breathing on his own, while the pilot made an emergency landing. “He had basically just died,“ Bleiweiss says of the passenger. “He went into cardiac arrest. I tried to remain calm and tell him what happened” after he woke up. Passengers clapped for Bleiweiss after paramedics took the man off the plane, and he was also commended by the acting fire chief and city officials in Naples.
► These Look Like a Popular Painkiller. 14 Who Took Them Are Dead
Illicitly bought prescription drugs have killed more than a dozen people in California who were expecting something much weaker. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released on Tuesday warns that hospitals in the Bay Area have recently treated at least seven patients who overdosed after taking what they thought was Norco, a medium-strength opioid painkiller. The pills actually contained fentanyl, a far more powerful drug that is 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the CDC. The Bay Area patients survived but Sacramento County officials have reported 12 deaths linked to fake Norco in recent weeks, with another two fatal overdoses in neighboring Yolo County.
Health officials obtained one of the fake pills from a Bay Area patient and discovered that it was an exact replica of a Norco pill, Medical Daily reports. Finding the source of the fakes “is our number one priority based out of San Francisco,“ a DEA special agent in the city tells the AP. “We definitely want to connect the dots where we can.“ The CDC report says fake medicine containing fentanyl is an “emerging and serious public health threat” and it is vital for the general public to realize the “significant risks to life and health when purchasing what appears to be prescription medications from any source other than a reputable pharmacy or health care provider.“
► Vet Who Killed Cat With Bow Fights to Keep License
The veterinarian who was fired after boasting about killing a cat with a bow and arrow is trying to keep her license—and she promises she won’t do it again. Dr. Kristen Lindsey appeared before state administrative judges Tuesday for the second day of a hearing about revoking her license, KAGS reports. Lindsey has testified that the cat had a foul odor and fleas, leading her to believe it was feral and possibly rabid, though witnesses have testified that the cat was their pet, Tiger. Lindsey told the board that she hasn’t been able to find work since her Facebook post about killing the cat went viral last year, reports KBTX. The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners filed a complaint and is seeking to revoke her license.
The Facebook post that led to Lindsey’s firing included a picture of her holding a dead cat with an arrow through its head, the Dallas Morning News reports. “My first bow kill LOL,“ she wrote. “The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through its head!“ She told the hearing that using a bow and arrow was an “efficient” way to kill a cat, but admitted it was inappropriate. “No, God no,“ she said when asked if she would shoot another feral cat. A decision on her license will not be made until next month at the earliest. An attorney for Tiger’s Justice Team tells KBTX that “many, many people” want to see her license revoked, which would be “appropriate justice.“
► Cancer Survivor to Ride Horse 2,200 Miles to HS Reunion
A cancer survivor has embarked on a roughly 2,200-mile journey on horseback for his 50th high school reunion, the AP reports. Vern Herrst, 67, began his trip Friday from the Methow Valley in northern Washington in hopes of reaching Howell, Michigan, before the reunion in August, the Livingston Daily Press & Argus of Howell reported. He plans to ride his 12-year-old horse, Nikki, through Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. “I always wanted to do something like this—and who knows how many more chances I’ll have,“ he said. The trip is also a fundraiser to support agencies that helped in Herrst’s fight against myeloproliferative disease, a blood disorder similar to leukemia. Herrst hopes to bring in $1 or more per mile.
Herrst expects to travel between 20 and 25 miles per day until he enters Michigan sometime in July at a point near Iron Mountain in the western Upper Peninsula. But he’s still not quite sure how he’ll make it across the Mackinac Bridge to get to the Lower Peninsula. As a former long-haul trucker, Herrst has seen thousands of miles of countryside, but he’s looking forward to seeing the country from a different perspective as he passes through mountains, plains, and farmlands on horseback. At night, he plans to roll out a sleeping bag and sleep under the stars or climb into a tent if it’s raining. Herrst will post updates from the road on his Facebook page, 2016 Great Northern Horse Adventure, so friends, family and anyone else who’s interested can keep up with his adventure.
► 5 Worst Airlines for Customer Satisfaction
Spirit Airlines may not be flying high after seeing the results of this year’s American Customer Satisfaction Index travel report. Although the airline scored 15% higher than it did last year, it still came in dead last, with a score of 62 out of 100, per CNNMoney. The rankings are based on responses from about 7,000 airline, hotel, and travel industry customers, with satisfaction measured in a dozen categories, including staff interactions, in-flight services, and seat comfort, the Washington Post notes.
Spirit offers super-cheap prices thanks to its “bare fares"—meaning passengers pay a fee for nearly every option and service other than the seat itself—but “[it doesn’t] spend the money on customer service,“ says ACSI’s managing director. The two airlines that tied for first: JetBlue and Southwest, both cruising to the top of the list with scores of 80. The airlines that were in the bottom five (starting with the worst) and their corresponding scores out of 100:
► Bus Driver Asked Child to Move Downed Power Line
A Pennsylvania school bus driver is facing multiple charges after allegedly asking an 11-year-old student to move a downed electrical wire earlier this month, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. On April 15, a goose flew into a transformer, bringing down electrical lines and trapping the bus. Authorities say the driver, 60-year-old Patricia Ryan, asked if one of the five students onboard would get out and move a power line off the bus. The 11-year-old, identified by WTAE as Tyler Cunningham, volunteered. But when he grabbed the power line, it burned his hand. “It shocked me,“ he says. “It got me like right there, on the thumb.“
Tyler got back on the bus, and Ryan asked him multiple times if he was OK. But when authorities arrived to free the bus, Ryan allegedly kept mum on the student’s injury. The school district later learned of the incident. which was caught on security video and by the bus’s radio, from the other students who had been onboard. The school removed Ryan as a bus driver, and she has since been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment. Tyler’s parents want her license taken away, as well, the New York Daily News reports. “I never intended to hurt anyone,“ Ryan tells the Tribune-Review.
► Ohio Murder Victims May Have Put Up a Fight
While authorities say some of the victims of Ohio’s “execution-style” killings died in their sleep, others may have put up a fight. Autopsies show some members of the Rhoden family had soft tissue bruising, suggesting they resisted their killer or killers, the Pike County Medical Examiner said Tuesday, per NBC News. A 911 caller who reported “blood all over the house” noted it looked like someone had “beat the hell out of” at least one victim. The autopsies confirmed all eight victims—three women, four men, and a 16-year-old boy—were fatally shot; one victim was shot once, one was shot twice, and the remaining victims were shot three or more times, including one person who had nine wounds.
Authorities have yet to present a motive, though marijuana-growing operations were found at three of the four crime scenes. Sources say 200 plants recovered were worth about $500,000, reports CBS News. Birds were also found in “small, segregated cages,“ which is “consistent with cockfighting,“ says a rep for the Ohio attorney general, per NBC New York. A prosecutor tells the Columbus Dispatch that the family was previously known to police for “altercations with people, that sort of thing ... nothing like this.“ Police have received 300 tips, sent 79 pieces of evidence for analysis, and are still serving search warrants, reports the AP.
► Big Problem in California: Massive Whale Carcass
The massive carcass of a whale was rotting Tuesday at a popular California surfing spot while authorities were deciding whether to tow it out to sea or cut it into pieces and load them on trucks, the AP reports. Meanwhile, crowds braved the overpowering stench to pose for photos in front of the adult gray whale that’s about 40 feet long and weighs up to 60,000 pounds. Either option for removal will be a difficult, messy process, said Rich Haydon, state parks superintendent at San Onofre State Beach. “I don’t think the carcass could have landed on a worse stretch of beach,“ he said, citing its limited access for vehicles and the popularity of the beach known as Lower Trestles south of San Clemente.
Using a boat would require “just the right wave” to make it out to sea during high tide, he said. There’s also a growing risk that the decomposing whale, which is spilling bodily fluids onto the sand, could rupture or pull apart while being dragged back into the water. Loading pieces of the carcass onto trucks would require a team of workers and would be hampered by a railroad trestle that provides a vertical clearance of just 12 feet for vehicles passing beneath it. Burial on the beach isn’t feasible because the stretch is mostly cobblestones, Haydon said. A decision on what to do with the carcass isn’t expected for a day or two. The whale likely died of natural causes and was discovered Sunday on the beach.
► Jury Blames Cops, Clears Fans in Soccer Disaster That Killed 96
The families of 96 Liverpool soccer fans who were crushed to death at a crowded stadium in 1989 declared they had finally won justice Tuesday after a jury found that police and emergency services were to blame for Britain’s worst sports disaster. The jury exonerated the behavior of the crowd, saying it did not contribute to the tragedy at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, and that the victims were “unlawfully killed.“ Relatives who had waged a tireless campaign to protect the reputation of their loved ones leapt to their feet outside a specially built courtroom, cheering and weeping, when the verdicts were announced. They chanted, “Justice for the 96!“ and sang the Liverpool soccer club’s anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.“
The Hillsborough tragedy unfolded on April 15, 1989, when more than 2,000 Liverpool fans were allowed to flood into a standing-room section. After the tragedy, a false narrative that blamed drunken, ticketless, and rowdy Liverpool fans was created by police and spread by a local lawmaker. David Duckenfield, the police chief superintendent in charge of policing the game, testified at the inquests that he told a “terrible lie” by saying fans had rushed through gates into the stadium, rather than admitting to authorizing the gates to be opened. “The disgrace is that we’ve been faced by police slander upon slander, insult upon insult,“ says Hillsborough campaigner Trevor Hicks, who lost two daughters in the crush. “Now, truth has won out.“ Police plan to conclude a separate criminal investigation into wrongdoing by authorities in the disaster.
► Soldier Kills 11, Disappears
A disgruntled soldier is suspected of gunning down eight other soldiers and three civilians Tuesday at a military barracks in Cape Verde, the West African country’s government says. The suspected soldier is missing but there are “strong indications” he was behind the slayings, the former Portuguese colony’s government said in a statement on its website. The statement said “personal motives” inspired the attack, ruling out an attempted coup or any connection with violence associated with drug trafficking that has recently plagued the archipelago. “People are advised to remain calm and serene,“ the statement said.
A policeman discovered the bodies around midday, Cape Verde Television said, per the AP. The three civilians killed included two Spanish technicians on assignment in Cape Verde, according to the government. The dead were all men aged between 20 and 51. The government says authorities are investigating what happened at the barracks that housed soldiers protecting a hilltop communications hub where the Spaniards and a Cape Verdean were reportedly working on repairs. The government placed security forces on red alert at the international airport in Praia, the capital, and at the island’s ports after the attack.
► Strikes Wiped Out Up to $800M in ISIS Cash: U.S.
The US-led coalition against the Islamic State is apparently hitting ‘em where it hurts, destroying between $500 million and $800 million in cash via airstrikes overseas, a US military official tells the BBC. In a press briefing, Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten said that recently acquired internal ISIS documents indicate the attacks against the group have led to a 90% increase in defections, as well as fewer recruits: Per CNN, Gersten noted that only 200 foreigners now join ISIS per month (as opposed to up to 2,000 a month a year ago) and that some members are even coming up with doctors’ notes to get out of fighting duty.
Although he didn’t spell out how the US calculated those estimates, Gersten said fewer than 20 airstrikes specifically targeting the cash stashes—including money used to pay for sex slaves—were carried out. “We’re seeing a fracture in their morale, we’re seeing their inability to pay … we’re watching them try to leave,“ Gersten said. He noted that the documents suggest ISIS has had to sell vehicles, slash fighter salaries in half, and implore members to cut down on electricity use, among other cost-cutting measures.
► Women Enter 1K-Year-Old Building for First Time
For the first time in its 1,000-year history, one of India’s oldest mosques opened its doors to women. So thousands of Muslim women flocked to the religious site in Kerala on Sunday, reports the Times of India, making their way into the Thazhathangady Juma Masjid to view its historic architecture and ancient wooden carvings: A local tourism site likens it to a “king’s palace” due to elements like an inner courtyard, an “exquisitely carved” gabled roof, and “lovely” latticed windows. The women were not, however, permitted to pray or worship and were not allowed to enter the mosque while men were inside, reports Time. A second day of visitation has been set for May 8. “Muslim women in the right attire can enter the mosque only on the two days as decided by the committee,“ chief Imam Moulauddeen Sirajjuddeen Hasni says.
The committee is entertaining the idea of permitting women to pray, India Today reports, but they would not disrupt the prayer schedule for men and so at least for now women can only visit, and there are stipulations there, too. “Outsiders cannot enter. Only Muslim women can and about women praying inside, we will discuss in future,“ the mosque committee president says. Says one woman: “I had always wanted to enter and offer worship. But I was afraid of even expressing that desire. I am happy that such an opportunity has come now.“
► Paris Suspect’s Own Lawyer Mocks His Intelligence
Suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam was on Wednesday extradited to France, with the Belgium prosecutor’s office very plainly saying he “surrendered to the French authorities this morning.“ French criminal lawyer Frank Berton will be taking on his case, reports the BBC, and Abdeslam’s Belgian lawyer seems very pleased to have dumped his client on someone else. In what the AFP describes as an “extraordinary” interview given to the Liberation newspaper on Wednesday, lawyer Sven Mary described Abdeslam as having “the intelligence of an empty ashtray.“
Mary doesn’t restrain himself to a single insult but further describes Abdelslam as a “little moron from Molenbeek, more a follower than a leader. ... He is the perfect example of the GTA [Grand Theft Auto] generation who thinks he lives in a video game. I asked him if he had read the Koran, and he replied that he had read its interpretation on the internet.“ Reuters reports that Abdeslam allegedly told investigators he had a hand in planning the November 13 attacks but bailed on his plans to blow himself up at a sports stadium at the 11th hour. He is scheduled to appear before French judges Wednesday as well.
► Venezuela’s Now Down to a 2-Day Workweek
Venezuela just cut its workweek once again, and not because someone has been reading Timothy Ferriss. Earlier this month, President Nicolas Maduro gave Fridays off to the public sector to minimize power usage in the ongoing energy crisis. Now, VP Aristobulo Isturiz has announced those same workers—numbering about 2 million—should take Wednesdays and Thursdays off, too, effectively creating a two-day workweek, the BBC reports. “There will be no work in the public sector on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, except for fundamental and necessary tasks,“ Isturiz proclaimed on national TV (though Forbes wonders why “anyone in the bureaucracy [is] doing anything at all that is not a ‘fundamental and necessary task’”). Maduro—who said Tuesday that the revised workweek would last at least two weeks, per Reuters—has blamed the energy problems on erratic weather caused by El Nino, including a drought.
“We are requesting international help, technical and financial aid to help revert the situation,“ he said, per the BBC. “We are managing the situation in the best possible way while we wait for the rains to return.“ Opposition members, though, blame “mismanagement and corruption,“ CNN notes, and the New York Times reports an electoral panel has started the process to allow Maduro to be removed from office. “Maduro says that ‘we in government don’t stop working for a second.‘ Of course. Except for Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!“ an opposition newspaper columnist wrote. Venezuelans are enduring ever-increasing blackouts, spoiled food, problems getting running water, and uncomfortable temperatures. “We can’t go on living like this,“ a man tells CNN. “We Venezuelan people deserve much better.“ And a shop owner started to cry when asked how difficult things have been, replying, “This life is killing us.“
Pioneer Defense Prevails Over Offense in Annual Spring Game
Glenville, WV – The Glenville State Pioneer Defense (White Team) defeated the Pioneer Offense (Blue Team) 36-30 in the Annual Blue and White Spring game at I.L. and Sue Morris Stadium on Thursday night.
The Pioneer offense would find the endzone on their second possession as Quarterback Dante Roberts hit Isiah Scott for a 25 yard touchdown pass to take a 7-6 lead. Roberts would end up having a great day as he finished the game 12 of 15 for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Running Back Isiah Scott also had a good game as he rushed the ball nine times for 64 yards and a touchdown catch.
Also on the offensive side of the ball Austin Ratliff led the team in receiving as he hauled in six catches for 65 yards. Tight end Kareen Watson caught four balls for 32 yards while Eric Kyle caught two balls for 26 yards and Dante Absher hauled in one pass for 13 yards.
Kicker Chandler Carrera hit a 15 yard field goal for the offense in the game.
On the defensive side of the ball defensive end Javon Webster had several big plays he finished with four tackles and two sacks. Also upfront for GSC Austin Hill had two tackles for loss while Alex Robinson had three tackles on the night. Linebacker Tony Vasquez had several tackles on the night while safety Earon Settles had several good plays in the game.
The GSC football team also collected donations from the fans and all the funds raised during the game the Pioneers donated to the Gilmer County Fire Department. On the night the Pioneer football team helped raise $450.00.
The Pioneers open up the 2016 season on Thursday, September 1st at home against Urbana with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m.
Voters will start going to the polls for the May primary election as soon as Wednesday in West Virginia when the early voting period begins in the Mountain State ahead of the May 10 primary election.
“If you’re ready to go, go vote then in West Virginia’s election,” said Secretary of State Natalie Tennant who is a fan of the early voting option.
“It allows a voter to determine themselves when Election Day is and fit it into their schedule.”
Early voting first launched in West Virginia during the 2002 primary election. That year, 14,000 people cast ballots ahead of Election Day.
By the 2014 midterm primary, early voting was up above 44,000, according to information from the Secretary of State’s Office.
During an appearance on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Tennant did not make any predictions about how early voting would go ahead of the 2016 primary.
This year, West Virginians are nominating candidates for president, U.S. House of Representatives, governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, agriculture commissioner, attorney general, state Senate, state House of Delegates
For the first time, judges are being elected on nonpartisan ballots.
Races for Supreme Court, circuit court, family court and magistrates will be at the end of the May ballots. The judicial races are split up by divisions and there is no nominating process. The judicial candidates elected will take their seats on January 01, 2017.
On Republican ballots, delegates to the Republican National Convention are also being selected. The judicial races come after the more than 200 possible GOP Presidential delegates.
At the local levels, there are also board of education races, which are nonpartisan, along with mayoral, city council and county levy elections in parts of West Virginia.
“Remember, this is a longer ballot. All of our offices are on the ballot except for U.S. Senate, so you really need to be doing some research right now,” Tennant advised.
As for unaffiliated or independent voters who are not registered with any particular political party, “When you go into the polling place, you have to ask for a ballot. You have to ask for Democrat, Republican or Mountain Party,” Tennant explained.
The poll workers cannot offer you a party ballot, she said. “You have to ask for a ballot otherwise you only receive (the ballot for) the nonpartisan election.”
The ten-day early voting period continues through May 07.
In addition to regular weekday hours, early voting is an option on two Saturdays, April 30 and May 07, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Early voting locations vary by county and are either at county courthouses, courthouse annexes or at other community voting locations.
On Tuesday, May 10, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Throughout the election season, violations of election law can be reported to the Secretary of State’s Office at 304.558.6000.
Tennant, who was first elected in 2008, is again seeking renomination during the primary election. She is facing a primary challenge from Delegate Patsy Trecost (D-Harrison, 48), a former member of Clarksburg’s City Council.
The Republicans seeking the Secretary of State nomination are Mac Warner, a U.S. Army veteran, military officer and lawyer, and Barry Holstein, a Kanawha County native, U.S. Army veteran and operations management worker.