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Capito Meets with Wood County Leaders Who Visited North Dakota Natural Gas Hot Spot

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) met with Wood County community leaders who recently traveled to Minot, North Dakota to learn about preparing for a surge in population and economic activity caused by the natural gas boom.  Senator Capito issued the following statement about today’s meeting:

“The natural gas boom is turning small communities around the country into hotbeds of economic growth and activity. I am excited that Wood County and the Mid-Ohio Valley may soon experience similar growth following the expected construction of the ethane cracker plant.

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“The delegation that traveled to Minot, North Dakota gained valuable insights about how to plan for a substantial boost in activity. Step one is investing in infrastructure to accommodate both population growth and downstream manufacturing opportunities. We must begin preparing now in order to seize the opportunities presented by our vast natural gas resources.”

Minot experienced significant population growth in recent years due to fracking and the natural gas industry. West Virginia officials are preparing for similar growth following the anticipated construction of an ethane cracker plant in Wood County and the expected increase of shale-driven manufacturing jobs in the U.S. over the next several decades.

BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATORS OPPOSE FUNDING CUT TO COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, along with 59 other Senators, urged support for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program, which could have its funding cut by nearly 70% in September. In a letter to U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), the bipartisan group requested continued funding from the appropriators, explaining that the potential mandatory cuts at the end of this fiscal year could result in site closures and prevent millions of people in high-need communities from accessing cost-effective, primary care services.

In 2014, 243 Health Center sites provided critical access to quality and affordable primary care services to 383,485 West Virginians, 25.5% of whom were uninsured.

The letter reads in part: “We are concerned about the scheduled expiration of the Health Center Fund at the end of this fiscal year, which would put Health Centers around the country at risk of a reduction or interruption of services, and we encourage you to work with us to ensure the fiscal sustainability of the health center program. Without access to primary care, many people, including the chronically ill, delay seeking health care until they are seriously ill and require inpatient hospitalization or care at an emergency room at a much higher cost to the entire health-care system.“


Dear Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray,

We would like to thank the Subcommittee for your continued support and recognition of Health Centers as a long-standing bipartisan solution to the primary care access shortage facing our country. During the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Appropriations process, we respectfully request that the Subcommittee continue to recognize Health Centers as providers of high quality, cost-effective primary care and that you work to ensure their continued sustainability and viability in the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies legislation.

This year marks fifty years since the first Health Centers opened their doors. Since the inception of the program, Health Centers have worked to provide primary care and a variety of support and medical services, such as dental and behavioral care, to America’s most vulnerable patients and communities. Today, nearly 1,300 health center organizations serve more than 9,000 urban and rural communities nationwide. Health Centers are the health-care home for more than 23 million patients, including nearly seven million children and more than 268,000 veterans. These centers employ more than 156,000 Americans, and generate an economic impact and overall cost savings of over $24 billion.

America’s Health Centers have continually proven to be a worthwhile investment by meeting the nation’s growing demands for quality and affordable health care.

We are concerned about the scheduled expiration of the Health Center Fund at the end of this fiscal year, which would put Health Centers around the country at risk of a reduction or interruption of services, and we encourage you to work with us to ensure the fiscal sustainability of the health center program. Without access to primary care, many people, including the chronically ill, delay seeking health care until they are seriously ill and require inpatient hospitalization or care at an emergency room at a much higher cost to the entire health-care system.

As Congress works to improve access to care and reduce health-care expenditures, we urge the Subcommittee to support Health Centers, allowing them to continue to provide cost-effective primary care. Thank you for your continued support of the vital role Health Centers play in preserving and expanding access to care in the communities they serve.

Annual GSC Literary Magazine Reading Slated for Friday, April 17, 2015 - Today

GLENVILLE, WV – Students, faculty, and staff in the Glenville State College Department of Language and Literature are celebrating the recent completion of the 2015 Trillium with the 12th Annual Trillium Reading to be held on Friday, April 17, 2015 at 4:00 PM in the Mollohan Campus Community Center Multipurpose Room (315A).

The reading, which will give the writers, poets, and artists a chance to bring their works to life in a spoken-word format, also will include an open microphone session to allow members of the audience to present poems, songs, or other literary works. The event is free and open to the public.

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Cover of the 2015 Trillium featuring photography by
GSC graduate Ashley Smallwood


The Trillium, Glenville State College’s student literary magazine since 1979, contains poetry, fiction, photographs, and drawings from GSC students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Free copies of the 2015 Trillium will be available at the reading, in the Department of Language and Literature located in the Heflin Administration Building, and other various locations around campus.

For more information about the Trillium reading, contact faculty advisor Dr. Jonathan Minton at or 304.462.6322.

WV Center On Budget and Policy: State Should Make Tax System More Fair

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV - As West Virginia lawmakers consider reforming the state’s tax code, the West Virginia Center On Budget and Policy is arguing that it needs to be made fairer to low- and middle-income families.

Over time, said Ted Boettner, executive director of the center, the state’s tax system gradually has come to favor the wealthy.

“West Virginia has an upside-down tax system,“ he said. “If you look at who pays taxes here in our state, (it) turns out that the middle-class and low-income families pay a larger share of their incomes in state and local taxes than the wealthiest households in the state.“

Republican legislative leaders have said they might consider getting rid of the state’s income tax. Boettner said that could well make the tax system even less fair by putting more reliance on the sales tax, which lands hardest on the poor.

Boettner said one problem is that, with inflation, tax brackets designed to apply to the rich now apply to workers in the middle class. He said the highest state income-tax rates hit a plateau and now reach fairly low into the income spectrum.

“So, more and more middle-income people are falling into that high rate,“ he said. “The higher-income people aren’t paying their fair share, even though they’re the ones that have benefited from all of the growth over this period.“

Twenty-five states now have a state version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, a policy that economists say has been very effective in helping the working poor. Boettner said he thinks West Virginia also should have a state EITC, in part because it would help children in low-income families get a better start and be more productive, long-term.

“One thing we could do on the bottom end is to have a refundable Earned Income Tax Credit,“ he said. “At the higher end, we can have higher rates on those at the very top, those that have benefited the most from economic growth over the last 30 years.“

A legislative special committee on tax reform is discussing the issues now.

More information is online at wvpolicy.org.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Did You Know?  04.17.15

The Gilmer Free Press

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


WHAT ITALIAN LEADER, OBAMA WILL DISCUSS

Matteo Renzi and the U.S. president will be comparing notes on a range of issues, including Libya, the migrant issues stemming from the chaos there, Islamic State militants and Ukraine. UNITED STATES-ITALY


FIVE YEARS AFTER SPILL, GULF IS SCARRED

Scientists say there are lingering problems that affect the marine ecosystem half a decade after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.


WHY SONY’S HACKING PROBLEMS AREN’T OVER

WikiLeaks has put hundreds of thousands of documents from last year’s cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment into a searchable online archive.


ITALY’S MIGRATION CRISIS TAKES DEADLY TWIST

Police report that Muslim migrants threw 12 Christians overboard during a recent crossing from Libya.


WHO IS MULLING A CUBAN DETOUR

Pope Francis is considering adding a stop in Cuba to his U.S. trip in September, but no decision has been made. VATICAN-CUBA


WHERE STAKES ARE HIGHEST IN FIGHT AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE GROUP

Losing Ramadi in western Iraq to the extremists would be troubling - but an even more vital battleground is Beiji, home to a major oil refinery, U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey says.


FINDING DIFFERENT METHODS TO HELP CHILDREN WITH AMBIGUOUS GENITALIA

Families of intersex kids - those born with reproductive anatomy that does not conform to standard definitions of male or female - are weighing other non-surgical options. INTERSEX CHILDREN


SECRECY SHROUDS OIL SPILL IN GULF OF MEXICO

An AP investigation finds that the barely known, decade-old leak is far worse than has been reported.


PUTIN WARNS WEST TO RESPECT RUSSIA’S GLOBAL INTERESTS

During a marathon TV call-in, he defends his move to deliver a long-range air defense missile system to Iran.


JUDGE ORDERS `SUGE’ KNIGHT TO STAND TRIAL ON MURDER CHARGE

The co-founder of Death Row Records is charged with intentionally killing a man and seriously injuring another by striking them with his truck.


THIS IS (NOT) YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING

AP’s Scott Mayerowitz finds that after the intentional crashing of Germanwings Flight 9525 by the co-pilot, one way for airlines to improve safety is to remove the pilots - a radical idea that is decades away. PLANES WITHOUT PILOTS


HOW FIDO MAKES FRIENDS

Just by gazing at their owners, dogs can trigger a response in their masters’ brains that helps them bond, a study says.


WHAT GOOGLE’S CHANGES MEAN FOR YOU

The search engine giant is changing its algorithms so that mobile-friendly sites show up first on smartphones. GOOGLE-SEARCH SHAKE-UP


CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS AGREE TO FAST TRACK TRADE PACT

The bipartisan deal allows Obama to move forward on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, involving the U.S., Japan, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico and seven other Pacific rim nations.


G-20 CONFRONTING ECONOMIC WEAKNESS

Finance officials from the world’s major economies are searching for the right mix of policies to bolster a still-weak global recovery while confronting a big drop in oil prices. GLOBAL FINANCE


WHY POOCHES ARE SNIFFLING IN THE HEARTLAND

Experts say doggie day care contributed to an epidemic of dog flu in Chicago that is spreading in the Midwest. DOG FLU-THINGS TO KNOW


GYROCOPTER STUNT RAISES SECURITY CONCERNS

The pilot “literally flew under the radar” to the lawn of the Capitol, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says.


IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL STANDS BY MEHMET OZ

Columbia University won’t remove the TV celebrity doctor from his faculty position as a group of top doctors has demanded, citing his “lack of integrity” for promoting “quack treatments.“ MEHMET OZ-COLUMBIA


BASKETBALL GALAXY MISSING BIGGEST STARS

No Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade and no Carmelo Anthony. The NBA playoffs will be missing some of the game’s biggest stars.

West Virginia News   15041701

“FPWV”

WV LAWMAKERS SET UP SITE WITH INFO ABOUT TAX REFORM PUSH

CHARLESTON, WV — The Republican-led Legislature has set up a website about their push to change parts of the state tax code.

On Wednesday, lawmakers announced the site featuring public information that will be used in reform efforts.

Currently, the site features several previous state tax studies.

The Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform met for the first time during interim meetings Monday.

Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead have called for more study and tweaks to state taxes.

Lawmakers haven’t discussed many specifics yet.

The next meetings will be May 04 and May 18.

Lawmakers are also urging the public to contact them with suggestions.


MANCHIN INVITES STUDENTS, PARENTS AND EDUCATORS TO “ACADEMY DAYS”

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and his staff will host “Academy Day” events in Morgantown, Hedgesville and Huntington to promote the U.S. Service Academies. In addition to Senator Manchin’s staff members, there will be representatives from the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on hand to answer questions and assist with the application process. Representatives from the West Virginia National Guard and local ROTC programs will also be available to address scholarship opportunities. Senator Manchin will deliver remarks at the Morgantown event.

“It is an honor to nominate our hardworking and dedicated West Virginia students to the U.S. Service Academies every year,” Senator Manchin said. “A nomination to one of our elite service academies will assist these young men and women in becoming our next generation of military leaders. These ‘Academy Day’ events will be a special opportunity for my staff to join representatives from the academies to provide students and their parents with valuable information that will aid in their decision to seek an appointment.”

The event is open to all high school students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors, and members of the community.  A nomination from a member of Congress is required for an appointment to the academies.

Senator Manchin’s “Academy Days” schedule is below:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

9 AM – Noon

Morgantown High School

109 Wilson Avenue

Morgantown, WV 26501

Note: Formal presentations by service academy representatives and remarks from Senator Manchin will begin at approximately 10 AM

Sunday, May 03, 2015

2 PM – 5 PM

Cabell County Public Library

455 9th Street

Huntington, WV 25701

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Noon – 3 PM

Hedgesville High School

109 Ridge Road, North

Hedgesville, WV 25427


MANCHIN AND CAPITO ANNOUNCE NEARLY $11 MILLION FOR HEAD START PROGRAMS IN SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced a total of $10,868,104 in funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Head Start Programs across Southern West Virginia.

The Coalfield Community Action Partnership, which serves children and families in McDowell and Mingo Counties, will receive a total of $4,217,518. Southwestern Community Action Council, which serves children and families in Cabell, Lincoln, Mason, and Wayne Counties will receive $6,650,586.

“In West Virginia, our commitments are based on our values, and that includes strengthening our families and promoting early education for all children,” Senator Manchin said. “Our kids deserve the best chances at success, and it is important to invest in educational opportunities like Head Start that will lead our next generation to a brighter future. With grants like these, our kids in West Virginia will receive the best care, education and services they need to compete in the global marketplace.”

“In West Virginia, we understand that a solid education and good health lay the foundation for the success of our next generation,” said Senator Capito. “This Head Start funding will give children in our state access to education, health and other services that are essential to their future achievements.”

Head Start is a national child-development and readiness program for low-income children ranging from birth to five years of age that helps prepare them for school from a young age. It offers eligible children and their families access to critical health, nutrition, education, and social services.


SPRING VALLEY STUDENTS SEEK ‘OPT-OUT’ ON TEST

WAYNE, WV — A group of students at Spring Valley High School are in educational limbo as district and state officials determine the validity of forms and notes from parents requesting permission for their children to opt out of standardized testing.

Nearly 200 students brought testing opt-out forms this week to Spring Valley High School, which were signed by parents and stated their children would not participate in the Smarter Balanced assessment, which is being administered at the school this week.

The students who opted out have been allowed to sit in a designated area while testing takes place, and district and state officials worked to determine whether or not those students will be forced to make up the tests before the school year ends.

The influx of opt-out requests forced Wayne County Superintendent Sandra Pertee and Director of Assessment John Waugaman to call an assembly where they explained that there were no laws stating students can opt out of the testing.

Parents against the testing stated it violates student privacy by asking questions that have nothing to do with education, is based on what they called flawed Common Core standards, and has no weight in gauging a student’s performance.

Some said they believed not being allowed to keep their students from taking the test is a violation of their personal civil liberties.

Pertee said a lot of the criticism the school administration has taken the past several days is unwarranted.

“I respect everyone’s opinion,“ she said. “I never have implied disrespect of those opinions. As superintendent, I am following code. I am to not impede student assessment as outlined by the state Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education. It is a state issue.“

Pertee said one of her main concerns is the unforeseen consequences if Spring Valley High School — or any other school in Wayne County — does not have enough students take the test.

Federal guidelines state that schools must have at least a 93 percent participation rate this year and 95 percent participation by next year to avoid receiving a poor “designation” that is based on test scores.

Schools that score poorly receive priority school status. That means that school is under more scrutiny for improvement and subject to state oversight until test scores improve.

Pertee said that Spring Valley is a “transition school,“ which is the second tier from the top, or being a “school of excellence.“

With an average student population of between 1,000 and 1,100 students, it would only take about 70 students opting out of the test to downgrade the school’s designation.

“I just do not want to see schools receive consequences for others who legally believe they are upholding their constitutional beliefs,“ Pertee said. “I support that completely, but they have to realize the whole school will be affected. It is not fair to the students who are taking the tests. I do not want to see them be forced into consequences.“

In a statement, Liza Cordeiro, executive director of communications for the state Department of Education, confirmed there is no provision for opting out in state laws.

The WVDE has every expectation that every student take part in public assessment, Cordeiro said.  ~~  MICHAEL HUPP ~~


MAILINGS SEEK OWNERS OF WV UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

CHARLESTON, WV — State Treasurer John Perdue’s office is using newspaper inserts and direct mailings this month in an attempt to locate people with unclaimed property.

The office is placing the inserts in newspapers for two weeks starting Thursday. None of the names in the inserts have been advertised before.

Examples of unclaimed property include forgotten utility deposits, a final paycheck from an employer or safety deposit box contents.

Residents who see their name in the bulletin can call 800.642.8687 or go to www.wvtreasury.com to find out how to claim the property.


MCKINLEY RAISES $154K IN CAMPAIGN CASH, GOV QUESTION LOOMS

CHARLESTON, WV - While considering a bid for governor, Republican Congressman David McKinley added almost $154,000 to his federal campaign account to start the year.

On Wednesday, McKinley and West Virginia’s freshman Republican congressmen posted six-figure hauls from January through March.

McKinley raised the least, but ended with the most in his account.

Evan Jenkins raised more than $201,000, while Alex Mooney yielded $185,000.

McKinley’s federal account has almost $523,000. But he can’t transfer all that money to a state campaign account for a possible gubernatorial bid.

He has other options to get the money into the governor’s race, including giving it to political party committees or a third-party group like a super PAC.

Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, also considering running for governor, has the same options with his $1.4 million account.


WV COUNCIL OKs 4 NEW COMMUNITY COLLEGE TECHNICAL PROGRAMS

CHARLESTON, WV - Three community and technical colleges have received state approval to develop new technical programs.

The West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education announced the new programs on Thursday.

Chancellor James L. Skidmore says in a news release that the programs will provide training in energy, advanced manufacturing and health care.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College will develop two associate degree programs, instrumentation technology and EMI/mechatronics technology.

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College will develop a renewable energy systems certificate program.

The council also approved development of a health informatics associate degree program at Mountwest Community and Technical College.


COURT SKEPTICAL OF CHALLENGE TO OBAMA’S CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two out of three judges on a federal appeals court panel are expressing doubts about a legal challenge to the Obama administration’s far-reaching plan to address climate change.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments Thursday in two cases challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to cut heat-trapping pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants.

Judges Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh seemed to agree with lawyers defending the EPA that the lawsuits are premature because the agency has not yet made the rule final.

The lawsuits from a coalition of 15 states and a coal mining company are part of a growing political attack from opponents who say the rule will kill jobs, cripple demand for coal and drive up electricity prices.

G-Eye™: Sink Hole Progress…

Work on the Sink Hole in Downtown Glenville, WV
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Crites Named UHC Associate of the Quarter

The Gilmer Free Press

Bridgeport, WV – Zachary O. Crites, operating room scrub tech, recently received the designation of United Hospital Center Associate of the Quarter for January, February and March.  Crites began his career at UHC in 2011.

“Zach is a valuable resource to the surgeons with whom he scrubs and to other members of the OR staff,“ said Adam Hansen, MD, thoracic surgeon at UHC Thoracic Surgery.  “He is an experienced assistant in surgery and always thinks a few steps ahead.“

Crites has won the admiration and respect of many, having been nominated by two physicians and a colleague. 

“Zach cares about the patients,” Lucas Wiegand, MD, said, “He shows up early and stays late to make sure that everything is in place.“

Lora Corathers, a colleague, said that Crites was instrumental in helping her to improve her technique to better assist with robotic surgery.  “He always goes the extra mile to help and stays until the work is done.“ Corathers said.  “He even comes to work on his days off to assist.“

Crites is certified as a surgical technologist and belongs to the Association of Surgical Technologist. He is a graduate of the Monongalia Technical Center and East Fairmont High School.

“Zach always steps up to fulfill any request and to assist,“ said Loria A. Helmick, director of the operating room.  “He has demonstrated great skill and he is a resource to many.“

Crites resides in Fairmont with his wife Rachael and daughter Avery.

West Virginia Arrests   15041701

“FPWV”

TWO CONVICTED OF OXYCODONE TRAFFICKING

ELKINS, WV – Keyara Peters, 21, of Rivesville, West Virginia, and Ryan Brooks, 28, of Morgantown, West Virginia, were convicted in federal court today for oxycodone trafficking, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

An investigation by the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Mon Valley Drug and Violent Crime Task Force revealed that Peters and Brooks participated in a drug distribution operation designed to transport heroin and prescription painkillers across state lines from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Morgantown, West Virginia for redistribution and sale.

The defendants each pled guilty today to one count of “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Oxycodone.” They each face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.00. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda Wesley prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John S. Kaull presided.


KANAWHA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO KILLING DAUGHTER, WOUNDING SON

CHARLESTON, WV - A Kanawha County man faces up to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of killing his daughter and wounding his son.

Media outlets report that 70-year-old Roy Roger Pittman pleaded guilty on Thursday to second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. A malicious wounding charge was charged as part of the plea deal.

Pittman is scheduled to be sentenced June 08 in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Police say Pittman fatally shot 15-year-old Brittany Pittman and wounded 18-year-old Matthew Pittman with a shotgun on May 24, 2013, at the family’s home. He shot himself in the face when confronted by deputies.


MOM ACCUSED OF PUTTING FECAL MATTER IN SON’S IV MISSES HEARING, WARRANT ISSUED

CINCINNATI, OH - A West Virginia woman accused of deliberately making her 9-year-old son sick by contaminating his IV at a Cincinnati hospital is being sought on an arrest warrant after she missed a court hearing.

A Hamilton County court official says 35-year-old Candida Fluty, of Kermit, West Virginia, was scheduled for a hearing Thursday in Cincinnati. She is charged with felonious assault and child endangering.

The judge says he will withdraw the warrant if Fluty attends a hearing now set for Friday. A court official says the defense attorney indicated Fluty apparently was attending another court hearing in West Virginia on Thursday.

A message was left for Fluty’s attorney.

Authorities say fecal matter put in the boy’s IV while he was in a Cincinnati hospital caused his fever to spike.

FD650xxx03F

The Gilmer Free Press

U.S.A. News   15041701

“FPWV”

PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS OVERHAUL OF HOW MEDICARE PAYS DOCTORS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama has signed legislation permanently changing how Medicare pays doctors, a rare bipartisan achievement by Democrats and Republicans.

The bill overhauls a 1997 law that aimed to slow Medicare’s growth by limiting reimbursements to doctors. Instead, doctors threatened to leave the Medicare program, and that forced Congress repeatedly to block those reductions.

Obama signed the legislation Thursday in a Rose Garden ceremony. The Senate passed the bill two days ago; the House approved it in March.

The bill blocked a 21% cut in Medicare payments that was due to take effect this month. It also revamps how physicians will be paid in the future.

The new law provides financial incentives for physicians to bill Medicare patients for their overall care, not individual office visits.

World News   15041701

“FPWV”

JAPAN WANTS VISITORS TO EXPERIENCE ITS WORLD-CLASS TOILET CULTURE — AND BUY SOME TOILETS

Japan is trying an unconventional way to impress visitors to their country with both their technology and their gracious hospitality — a toilet “gallery” where it’s just fine to touch, and sample, the exhibits.

Toto, Japan’s leading toilet manufacturer, plans to soon open a high-tech bathroom “gallery” in the departures section of Tokyo’s Narita international airport.

“Gallery Toto” will feature four stalls each for men and women, so departing visitors can try out the company’s famous Washlet models, complete with all the features that come in an upscale Japanese toilet — bidet, seat-warmer, sterilizing and deodorizing functions, and electronic flushing.

The gallery, with its futuristic illuminated walls, features murals of Mount Fuji and other iconic landscapes of Japan.

Toto says the display will provide an opportunity for travelers to experience “Japanese toilet culture” and technologies, hoping that it will also help boost international sales.

And Japanese toilet culture is something to behold.

Almost every train and subway station in Japan, and many of its parks, boasts a spotless public restroom.  It’s not uncommon to find a public restroom where the toilets feature all these impressive technologies, plus additional conveniences like a special seat for your baby while you do your business (which doubles perfectly as a bag-holder) and a flip-down board that you can stand on while you get changed so you don’t dirty your socks on the bathroom floor.

Nor is it unusual to find little toilets and wash basins for children, or hooks to hang your umbrella on while you wash your hands. Accessible stalls with plenty of handrails are standard in this rapidly aging society.

And that’s just in public places. Many Japanese homes have similarly fancy toilets, which allow users to adjust the temperature of the seat and the water pressure and temperature from the bidet.

What must Japanese think when they travel abroad?

While the Toto gallery will be available for viewing and use from next Friday, potential customers won’t be able to buy products on the spot. Instead, Toto officials hope foreign visitors, flushed from the experience, will buy its toilets after they get home.

In Japan, customers can buy only the seat component for $1,100 (although the company’s top-of-the-line Neorest goes for $3,500). In the United States, the full Washlet, Toto’s signature product, retails for $3,000.

There’s one person who might not be impressed with Toto’s attempts to showcase its products to foreigners: Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist party, earlier this year lashed out against Chinese tourists who were returning from Japan with the high-tech toilet seats after reports that Chinese tourists spent $1 billion in Japan during a holiday season, a good chunk of it on toilet seats.

“Such news makes a mockery of China’s boycott of Japanese goods over the past two years,“ the newspaper said. “Some Chinese people feel ashamed about this and have criticized their compatriots’ obsession with foreign goods,” the paper said in an editorial entitled “Popularity of Japanese toilet seats overstated.”

“That Chinese tourists swamp Japanese stores at a time when the country is facing a sluggish domestic demand is certainly not something to be proud of,” it said.

The Pony Express at Troy Elementary School

The Troy Elementary Kindergarten class led by Lora Chapman(teacher) and Tammy Loudin(Aide) studied the Pony Express.

They created their own and delivered mail throughout the building.

Here are some photos from that learning adventure:
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The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Clerk: Notice to Creditors and Beneficiaries - 04.16.15

image

 

CLERK OF THE COUNTY COMMISSION OF GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
NOTICE TO CREDITORS AND BENEFICIARIES

The administration of the estates(s) of the following deceased is pending before the Clerk of the County Commission of Gilmer County, 10 Howard Street, Glenville WV 26351.

The names and addresses of the personal representative and the personal representative’s attorney are set forth below.

Notice is hereby given that the estate(s) of the following has been opened for probate.  Any interested person objecting to the validity of the will, the qualifications of the personal representative or the venue or jurisdiction of the court, shall file notice of an objection with the County Commission within ninety days after the date of the first publication or within 30 days of service of notice, whichever is later.  If an objection is not timely filed, the objection is forever barred.

All persons having claims against the estate(s) of the said following deceased, whether due or not, are notified to exhibit their claims, with the voucher thereof, legally verified, to the undersigned, at the County Clerk’s Office on or before July 15, 2015  otherwise they may by law be excluded from all benefit of said estate(s).  All beneficiaries of said estate(s) may appear on or before said day to examine said claims and otherwise protect their interests.

Claims against the estate must be filed in accordance with West Virginia Code 44-1-14a.

 

DECENDENT NAME PER.REP/NAME REPER.REP/ADDRESS
Kenneth Pennebaker Karen Pennebaker 228 Ivy Run Road
Troy, WV 26443
Martha Hiney Lauretta Joan Massey 5775 Lotz Road
Canton, MI 48187
Joyce Elkin John Edward Elkin 69 Parsonage Avenue
Cedarville, WV 26611
Catherine Ball Carlston Timothy B. Butcher PO Box 100
Glenville, WV 26351


Clerk of Gilmer County Commission
Jean Butcher
10 Howard Street
Glenville, WV 26351

The date of the first publication of this Notice is : April 16, 2015

GSC Brass and Woodwind Concert April 16, 2015 - Tonight

The Gilmer Free Press

GLENVILLE, WV—The annual Glenville State College Brass Ensemble and Woodwind Ensemble Concerts will be held on Thursday, April 16, 2015 beginning at 7:00 PM in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

Groups scheduled to be featured include the brass, woodwind, saxophone, clarinet, flute, and trumpet ensembles under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music and Fine Arts Department Chair Lloyd Bone, Assistant Professor of Music Jason Barr, and Professor Emeritus Harry Rich.

“This concert always features a very wide array of musical styles. It is a unique concert as it is the only concert of its type that features so many different chamber music ensembles,” said Bone.

Admission is free to all GSC students and general admission is by donation.

For more information, call 304.462.6340.

West Virginia Colleges Working Together to Support Students with Disabilities

The Gilmer Free Press

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV – Representatives from West Virginia’s public colleges and universities met in South Charleston today to discuss strategies to support students with disabilities. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) hosted a one-day workshop focusing on policies, communications practices and environmental and learning resources to encourage a campus-wide culture that supports diversity and accessibility.

“Ensuring access for all students is critical to fulfilling our mission of providing high-quality education and training programs to meet the needs of West Virginia’s communities,” James Skidmore, Chancellor of the WVCTCS, said. “Compliance with regulations is merely the baseline. Our goal is to ensure that our campuses exemplify an environment where all students feel welcome, supported and capable of fulfilling their highest potential.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 11% of college students have some form of impairment, such as a learning disability, visual handicap, hard of hearing or deafness, speech difficulties, or mobility or other physical disabilities. Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, said meeting the needs of these students is a priority for West Virginia’s higher education system.

“The Commission’s five-year master plan for higher education, ‘Leading the Way: Access, Success, Impact,’ sets forth a bold vision for expanding higher education opportunities for students of all ages, incomes and backgrounds” Dr. Hill said. “Today’s workshop highlights our campuses’ commitment to increasing diversity, advancing equity through equal access to education and addressing the unique needs of students to support their long-term success.”

Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting - 04.17.15 - Friday

The Gilmer Free Press
GILMER COUNTY COMMISSION  
AGENDA for REGULAR MEETING
April 17, 2015 @ 9:00 AM
Location:  Gilmer County Courthouse
Commission Office – 10 Howard Street, Glenville, WV

I. CALL TO ORDER


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


III. PUBLIC COMMENTS


IV. APPOINTMENTS

              9:15 Barbara DeMary-Region VI Workforce Development

              9:30 Rick Sypolt-Unsafe Lands and Building Enforcement Agency

              9:45 Darrell Ramsey-Gilmer County Recreation Center


V. ROUTINE BUSINESS:

        Discussion and/or action on:

              1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations

              2) Approve Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements

              3) Board Appointments and/or Resignations: 

                      a) Board Seats open on the:

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

                              ii. **Recreation Center-DeKalb/Troy

              4) Budget Revisions

              5) Budget Control Report: 

              6) Approve Invoices for Payment

              7) Approve County Commission Minutes for 03/27/2015 & 04/03/2015

              8) Receipt of County Board Minutes: 

                      a)  Gilmer County Health Department-November 18, 2014

                      b)  Lewis-Gilmer E-911 Advisory Board March 09, 2015


VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

              1) Renewal of Office of Emergency Management Personnel Contract

              2) Presentation of Proposed WV Counties Risk Pool Property, Casualty, and Workers Compensation Policy for Fiscal Year 2015-2016

              3) Letter from Hayden Harper Energy-RE: Sale of Recreation Center Oil & Gas Lease Rights to K. Petroleum, Inc. (KPI)


VII. NEW BUSINESS:

        Discussion and/or action on:

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

              2. Receipt of Management Letter from State Auditor’s Office – RE:  Recommendations for internal controls

              3. Notification from Region VII Planning & Development Council’s Revised By-Laws (FYI)

              4. Need New Air Conditioner for Probation Office – His doesn’t work


VIII. OTHER BUSINESS


IX. EXECUTIVE SESSION AS NEEDED


X.    ADJOURNMENT


NEXT MEETING: April 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

04.16.2015
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvillePolitics | Government | ElectionLocal(1) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Willard Cottrill estate follow up, please.  As far as I can tell, it’s in the ballpark of the Gilmer County Commission to make the next move and enforce laws that have been broken.

By Tired  on  04.16.2015

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U.S. Is ‘World Leader’ in Child Poverty

The callousness of America’s political and business leaders is shocking once you start looking at the numbers.
The Gilmer Free Press

America’s wealth grew by 60% in the past six years, by over $30 trillion. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60%.

Financier and CEO Peter Schiff said, “People don’t go hungry in a capitalist economy.“ The 16 million kids on food stamps know what it’s like to go hungry. Perhaps, some in Congress would say, those children should be working. “There is no such thing as a free lunch,“ insisted Georgia Representative Jack Kingston, even for schoolkids, who should be required to “sweep the floor of the cafeteria” (as theyactually do at a charter school in Texas).

The callousness of U.S. political and business leaders is disturbing, shocking. Hunger is just one of the problems of our children. Teacher Sonya Romero-Smith told about the two little homeless girls she adopted: “Getting rid of bedbugs, that took us a while. Night terrors, that took a little while. Hoarding food..“



America is a ‘Leader’ in Child Poverty


The U.S. has one of the highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world. As UNICEF reports, “[Children’s] material well-being is highest in the Netherlands and in the four Nordic countries and lowest in Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the United States.“

Over half of public school students are poor enough to qualify for lunch subsidies, and almost half of black children under the age of six are living in poverty.



$5 a Day for Food, But Congress Thought it was Too Much.


Nearly half of all food stamp recipients are children, and they averaged about $5 a day for their meals before the 2014 farm bill cut $8.6 billion (over the next ten years) from the food stamp program.

In 2007 about 12 of every 100 kids were on food stamps. Today it’s 20 of every 100.



For Every 2 Homeless Children in 2006, There Are Now 3


On a typical frigid night in January, 138,000 children, according to the U.S. Department of Housing, were without a place to call home.

That’s about the same number of households that have each increased their wealth by $10 million per yearsince the recession.



The US: Near the Bottom in Education, and Sinking


The U.S. ranks near the bottom of the developed worldin the percentage of 4-year-olds in early childhood education. Early education should be a primary goal for the future, as numerous studies have shown that pre-school helps all children to achieve more and earn more through adulthood, with the most disadvantaged benefiting the most. But we’re going in the opposite direction. Head Start was recently hit with the worst cutbacks in its history.



Children’s Rights? Not in the U.S.


It’s hard to comprehend the thinking of people who cut funding for homeless and hungry children. It may be delusion about trickle-down, it may be indifference to poverty, it may be resentment toward people unable to “make it on their own.“

The indifference and resentment and disdain for society reach around the globe. Only two nations still refuse to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: South Sudan and the United States. When President Obama said, “I believe America is exceptional,“ he was close to the truth, in a way he and his wealthy friends would never admit.

West Virginia News   15041601

“FPWV”

ANGLERS CAN EARN CAMPING, CABIN DISCOUNTS IN WV

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV — The Division of Natural Resources is encouraging families to go fishing and visit West Virginia’s state parks through a rewards program.

Those who catch tagged trout at one of five state parks will earn a certificate good for $100 off a weekly cabin rental. Catching a tagged catfish will earn the holder a free night of camping.

The tagged fish were stocked at Tomlinson Run, Watoga, Cacapon, Cedar Creek and Pipestem state parks.

With some restrictions, the cabin rental discount is for Lost River, Cass Scenic Railroad, Beech Fork, Greenbrier State Forest, Holly River, Pipestem, Cacapon Resort and Bluestone state parks.

The camping offer is at one of the following state parks: Cedar Creek, Chief Logan, Little Beaver, Moncove Lake, North Bend, Pipestem, Tomlinson Run, Watoga Berwind and Coopers Rock.


HOMEMADE BOMB DISCOVERED AT MINGO COUNTY HEAD START FACILITY

WILLIAMSON, WV – Wesy VirginiaState police discovered a homemade explosive device outside the Cinderella Head Start program in Williamson

Spokesman Michael Baylous said the device looked as if it was made of several aerosol cans taped together and had wires soldered to it. It was taken to another location and detonated.

Baylous was unsure if the Head Start program was a target, someone just tried to get rid of the cans, or whether it was meant for apartment buildings nearby.

The intentions of the homemade weapon are still under investigation.


MINGO BECOMES SECOND COUNTY TO LAYOFF WORKERS BECAUSE OF REVENUE DECLINES

WILLIAMSON, WV — The Mingo County Commission voted to furlough 12 employees and cut the salaries of five others, becoming the second county in West Virginia to enact layoffs after a sharp decline in coal-related tax revenues.

With coal tax revenues declining, Mingo County is furloughing 12 workers and cutting salaries for five other employees.

Mingo County Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith told MetroNews affiliate WVOW radio in Logan that a 50-percent drop in coal severance revenue forced cutbacks.

“It’s not only coal severance tax, but our real estate (property) tax collections are extremely low because people are unemployed and don’t have the money to pay their taxes,” Smith said.

The commission laid off six general laborers, a humane officer, two court marshals, a mechanic, a maintenance worker and a funeral escort patrol.

“It’s heartbreaking to sit across the desk and look at people that have done a good job and are struggling from paycheck to paycheck, and to tell them you can no longer afford to keep them employed,” Smith said.

The Nicholas County Commission announced layoffs earlier this year because of declining coal-related revenues. Those cuts affected a few dozen workers, including sheriff’s deputies.

Smith warned Mingo County may face other cost-cutting measures.

“I am optimistic that things will improve, however, I’m a realist in the fact that I believe our condition is going to get worse before it gets better,” he said. “I’m afraid this is only the beginning of the cuts.”

Smith called for the legislature to allow coal-producing counties to keep more of the coal severance taxes that originate there. He said lawmakers could also approve a system that would allow Marcellus shale counties to share tax revenues with other counties.

“They should subsidize southern West Virginia the same way we have subsidized northern West Virginia throughout the years,” Smith said. “We should receive some benefit and share in those taxes.”


THE SEARCH FOR A NEW CAPITAL HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL BEGINS

CHARLESTON, WV – Capital High School is in need of a new principal, after former principal Clinton Giles resigned back in February.

A misdemeanor charge against Giles was dismissed last month for not immediately reporting a January sexual assault crime at the school. Since then, Kanawha County Board of Education member Pete Thaw said “the school is in trouble.”

Dr. Ron Duerring, the Kanawha County school superintendent, will be conducting interviews Thursday with six principal candidates.

Thaw said Capital High School is a big school, with many students, and a lot of parent involvement.

“They need a top notch principal. We’ve got to get that school back on track,” he said.

Thaw said the principal position is very unique and demanding, especially because the school is transitioning after the Giles incident.

“It (the school) needs a strong leader who has experience in building up schools,” Thaw said.

Ordinarily, Thaw said he turns his cheek away from voting to hire someone from outside Kanawha County; however, this situation is different.

“In this incidence, I am very open to somebody from outside because it could very well be that an outside person, who has no previous connections, might be the best person,” he said.

The board is hoping Duerring will select a preferred candidate and bring him or her for approval at the next board meeting Thursday night.

The qualified applicants include three current Kanawha school administrators: Jonathan Anderson, principal of Horace Mann Middle School; Cathryn Carena, assistant principal of John Adams Middle School; and Angela Cruikshank, assistant principal at Capital High.

The other three applicants are David Tupper, principal of Bruceton School, a Pre-K through eighth-grade school in Roane County, David Pastrick, principal of Preston High School, in Preston County, and Larry Bailey, principal of J.B. McNabb Middle School, in Montgomery County, Kentucky.

Did You Know?  04.16.15

The Gilmer Free Press

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


CLINTON CHARITY TO LIMIT DONATIONS TO 6 COUNTRIES

In spite of criticism over accepting money from foreign governments, the Clinton Foundation will continue to look abroad for millions of dollars.


AFTER MURDER CONVICTION, MORE LEGAL WOES FOR AARON HERNANDEZ

The former New England Patriots star tight end is facing separate murder charges in a 2012 double slaying and civil lawsuits.


WHY FLORIDA POSTAL WORKER LANDED TINY AIRCRAFT ON US CAPITOL LAWN

He says he wanted to deliver letters to all 535 members of Congress to draw attention to campaign finance corruption.


PILOT’S FRIEND ALERTED SECRET SERVICE

A friend of the Florida postal worker who landed a gyrocopter onto the U.S. Capitol’s lawn says he feared the man would get shot down.


FAMILIES UNMOVED BY SOUTH KOREAN LEADER’S REMORSE

Angry relatives of 304 passengers who drowned in a ferry sinking snub Park Geun-hye on the disaster’s anniversary, even as she pledged to salvage the ship.


ISLAMIC STATE GROUP LAUNCHES ATTACK IN WESTERN IRAQ

The militants’ push toward Ramadi comes after they were dealt a major blow when Iraqi troops routed them from Tikrit.


EFFORTS TO FIND FLIGHT 370 TO INTENSIFY

The search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner will be expanded by another 23,000 square miles in the Indian Ocean if it is not found by May.


CANINE FLU BREAKS OUT IN MIDWESTERN U.S.

The virus has sickened at least 1,000 dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana, experts say.


WHO PROVIDED A SURPRISE IN WASHINGTON

The compromise between Obama and Congress on the proposed Iran nuclear deal marked a rare moment of political cooperation.


SURGE IN MIGRANTS CROSSING MEDITERRANEAN RAISES ALARM

The number is only likely to grow, with summer weather encouraging even more people fleeing poverty and conflict to make the perilous journey.


WHICH COMPANY’S STOCK IS TRENDING UP

Netflix shares soar after the company reports robust subscriber numbers.


`FIGHT FOR $15’ PROTESTS GROW BEYOND FAST-FOOD WORKERS

Airport employees, Walmart workers and adjunct professors are among those joining the latest day of demonstrations.


BOSTON MARKS SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF MARATHON BOMBINGS

On Boylston Street, people openly weep and hug as church bells toll at 2:49 PM, the time the first bomb went off at the race’s finish


CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN FACES HIGH-PROFILE LEGAL TEST

Obama’s order to address climate change is still months away from being finished, but critics want to halt the process in its tracks.


SUPEMODEL GISELE BUNDCHEN RETIRING FROM RUNWAY

The 34-year-old mother of two, who’s married to NFL quarterback Tom Brady, says she wants to spend more time with her family.


WELFARE RULES TIGHTEN IN KANSAS

A bill before the governor would prohibit poor families from using cash assistance from the state to attend concerts, get tattoos, see a psychic or buy lingerie.


HOW A PHILIPPINES EATERY IS ADDRESSING A DISORDER

Manila’s Puzzle Cafe aims to help people with autism by giving them a job with the hope that they may improve their social skills.


WHAT COUNTRY HAS BEEN DESERT SET FOR HOLLYWOOD

Morocco has served as the Baghdad of “American Sniper,“ the Tehran seen in “Homeland” and the Mali of “American Odyssey.“


WHO MADE HER FINAL CATWALK

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, 34, completed her final fashion show in Sao Paulo, ending a 20-year career.

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