In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►   Government Jobs Drop Two Percent Since Tomblin Hiring Freeze

State government jobs have dropped by more than 2 percent since Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin imposed a hiring freeze in 2013.

The number full-time positions has dropped by 917 since West Virginia’s freeze went into effect.

Tomblin spokeswoman Jessica Tice says the goal is to limit the growth in state employment while maintaining essential services of the state. She says that not all vacant jobs are left unfilled, but that a careful review is made to decide whether replacements are needed.

The biggest drop has occurred in the Department of Health, where the equivalent of about 208 full time jobs have been eliminated. Next is the Higher Education Policy Commission, with 204 fewer employees.

►   WVU is Suing Contractors Over Leaking Roof at Rec Center

West Virginia University is suing over a leaky roof.

The state’s flagship public university has filed the lawsuit in Monongalia County Circuit Court over problems with the construction of student recreation center.

According to the filing, WVU entered into contracts to build the recreation center in 1998. Those agreements called for a metal roofing system with a 30-year warranty against leaks. But once leaks and other damage were discovered in 2015, the university says the contractors refused to honor the warranty.

The university is asking for unspecified damages and for the roof to be repaired or replaced.

The newspaper was unable to reach the contractors for comment.

►   A look 1 month later at deadly flooding in West Virginia

Some facts and figures on flooding in West Virginia, where 23 people died last month:

EMERGENCY DECLARATION: Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has extended a state of emergency for 12 counties for another month, ensuring that all available state resources are provided.

FEDERAL AID: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved more than $46 million in disaster assistance grants to homeowners and renters. Nearly 7,600 households and businesses have registered with FEMA. In addition, the Small Business Administration has approved more than $13 million in low-interest disaster loans to businesses, homeowners and renters.

ROADS AND BRIDGES: The floods damaged 594 roads in at least 17 counties, and it will cost an estimated $53 million to fix them.

SCHOOLS: About two dozen public schools were damaged in the flooding. Some communities are scrambling to clean up buildings or find new places to put students when school starts in a few weeks. Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring announced Wednesday that Herbert Hoover High School was destroyed and a new school will be built. In Nicholas County, officials announced that Richwood High School and two middle schools were too damaged to reopen.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Volunteer West Virginia Executive Director Heather Foster said more than 1,000 homeowners still need cleanup assistance, primarily in Kanawha, Clay, Greenbrier and Nicholas counties. Foster also said supplies are needed for volunteers, including work boots, heavy duty gloves, respirator masks, shovels, rakes and bug spray. Anyone needing cleanup assistance or wanting to volunteer can visit

STILL MISSING: A month later, Mykala Phillips’ parents still have no word on the whereabouts of their 14-year-old daughter, who was swept away by floodwaters from her home in White Sulphur Springs and is presumed dead.

►   For West Virginia flood victims, the cleanup has just begun

A month has passed since flooding devastated West Virginia, and for some residents, the cleanup has been slow.

In the Greenbrier County community of Rainelle, Kassie Tolley was forced out of her neighborhood where floodwaters rose 8 feet in some places. She has been staying with her parents in a home crammed with 17 people.

The June 23 floods killed 23 people. While volunteers have offered cleanup support to residents statewide, Tolley says she asked for help in Rainelle but worked on it mostly alone for three weeks.

She was losing hope until she went to a church a week ago seeking help with a broken shovel. There she ran into a volunteer group that immediately went to her home to remove ruined items. The group returned again this week.

►   Homeland Security employee caught with gun, knife arrested

Authorities have arrested a Department of Homeland Security employee on charges related to entering his agency’s Washington headquarters with a gun, a knife, an infrared camera, pepper spray and handcuffs.

A seven-count indictment unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg charges federal government employee Jonathan Leigh Wienke with illegally building a silencer on an unregistered pistol and having materials to build more silencers.

He was arrested Friday in the Pennsylvania. Ashley Lough with the U.S. attorney’s office in northern West Virginia said the arrest was related to a search warrant on Wienke’s Martinsburg house.

Previous court documents allege Wienke carried weapons in his backpack into his office building the morning of June 09. The documents say the government has probable cause to believe Wienke may have been “planning to commit violence against senior DHS officials in the building.“

This month, the department’s chief security officer told a House homeland security subcommittee that there is “no indication” Wienke was planning workplace violence.

►   Ritchie County Nursing Home Evacuated Due to Flooding

According to the Ritchie County Office of Emergency Management, six to eight inches of water forced 56 patients out of the Pine View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Harrisville Thursday morning.

Ten patients, who required ambulances for transport, were taken to Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg. The other 46 patients were transported by a school bus to the Lion’s Club until they could be taken to a nursing home in Moundsville. According to the OEM director Jim White, Ritchie County Schools provided the school bus, which was vital in transporting the patients.

Harrison County EMS, the Ritchie County Ambulance Authority, the Doddridge County Ambulance Authority, Calhoun County EMS and Camden Clark Ambulance Services also assisted in transporting patients, according to White.

White said there was not a room in the facility that didn’t have water in it.

It will take some time to repair the damages and clean up after the flood, White said, and patients will be moved back after the cleanup is complete.

In USA….

The Free Press WV

►   Top 6 U.S. Cities for Young Entrepreneurs

Some cities are better than others when it comes to offering opportunities to young entrepreneurs. has ranked the best ones based on population growth, educational level, taxes, and how many of these workers are already bringing home a nice paycheck. The Lone Star State gets more than one star for dominating the top six, listed below:

  1. Austin/Round Rock, Texas
  2. Raleigh, NC
  3. Midland, Texas
  4. Houston/the Woodlands/Sugar Land, Texas
  5. Crestview/Fort Walton Beach/Destin, Fla. (tie)
  6. Odessa, Texas (tie)

See the entire list HERE .

►   4-Month-Old Baby Killed by Benadryl at Daycare

The death of a 4-month-old Connecticut boy in March has been ruled a homicide after “toxic levels” of Benadryl were found in his system, Fox 61 reports. According to the Fairfield Citizen, Carol Cardillo, who runs a home daycare, gave Adam Seagull a bottle, then put him down for a nap March 22. She called 911 three hours later when she couldn’t wake the baby. It was revealed following Adam’s death that Cardillo had been running the daycare without a license for 11 years. Adam had no apparent signs of trauma and hadn’t been sick when he died, leading investigators to originally believe he died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, People reports.

But a toxicology report found elevated levels of Benadryl in Adam’s system. The FDA warns against giving the medication to children under 2 years old as there is a high risk of overdose. Fairfield police chief Gary MacNamara calls Adam’s death a “parent’s worst nightmare.“ No charges have been filed, but MacNamara says that will change. “The consumption of the medication wasn’t accidental,“ MacNamara tells People. “I am not saying there was intent to kill the baby, but as a result of that Benadryl, this child died.” Police are trying to figure out who gave Adam Benadryl and why. Cardillo’s daycare has been shut down.

►   It’s Totally Legal to Take Pics Up Women’s Skirts in GA

It’s completely legal for people in Georgia to take photos and videos up women’s skirts without their knowledge, according to a 6-3 Court of Appeals ruling this week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the ruling stems from an incident in which a grocery store clerk was caught taking multiple cellphone videos up a female shopper’s skirt. The Court of Appeals threw out his conviction, finding his behavior was “reprehensible” but not technically illegal thanks to the current wording of Georgia’s privacy laws. It urged the legislature to fix the law, but the legislature doesn’t meet again until 2017. “So we’re going to have six months or so where these creeps can run around doing this stuff,“ Senator Vincent Fort tells WCGL.

There have been similar cases in dozens of states, Mic reports. Many privacy laws, as in Georgia, make it illegal to photograph women in private areas, such as bathroom stalls and dressing rooms, but totally fine to do it in public, regardless of how invasive the photo is. In 2014, a judge in Washington DC ruled women have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in public. A lawyer in California tells Mic the problem is that “the law can never keep up with changing technology.” Fort says he’ll move to correct Georgia’s law and stop upskirt perverts as soon as the legislature reconvenes.

►   Mormon Millionaire Planning Massive Utopia in Vermont

“Lots of things he did were stupid, but in my view, he was a sage or a seer and didn’t even understand what came to him.” So says wealthy Mormon David Hall about Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church. Bloomberg has a fascinating deep dive into Hall’s plans to build a high-tech and environmentally sound utopia in Vermont, all based on a vision Smith had in 1833. Hall believes he can use Smith’s Plat of the City of Zion to revert Vermont to two-thirds wilderness and one-third occupied farmland while increasing the state’s population to 20 million. Vermont is currently home to only 626,000 people.

The Free Press WV

Hall’s foundation, NewVistas, aims to create “global environmental balance by building a network of environmentally and socially sustainable villages, communities, and megalopolises.” To that end, he’s spent nearly $5 million purchasing 1,200 acres of Vermont farmland, where he one day hopes to house 20,000 people through high-tech space-saving solutions like transportation pods and furniture-rearranging robots. He says he has 150 engineers working on the project and plans for 1,000 NewVistas communities around the world. But after his plan was discovered by a part-time librarian, Hall’s new neighbors in Vermont have started to organize against him. “We’re really not that interested in what religious figures 200 years ago thought about urban development,” a local professor says. Read the full story HERE .

►   NYC Sees 1st Baby Born With Zika-Related Microcephaly

New York City’s first baby with a Zika-related birth defect was born earlier this month, officials announced Friday. The New York Daily News reports the unidentified baby was born with microcephaly and subsequently tested positive for Zika. Its mother had recently traveled to an area were the virus is being spread by mosquitoes. New York City’s deputy mayor of health and human services says the city has been preparing for this eventuality for months due to New York’s many immigrants and international travelers. “We are working diligently to help both this mom and this baby,“ she says. The CDC says a dozen babies with Zika-related birth defects have been born in the US so far, according to NBC New York.

►   Boy, 12, Dies After Hiking in 100+ Degrees

A 12-year-old boy has died after he was out hiking in north Phoenix amid triple-digit temperatures, the AP reports. Phoenix police say the boy was hiking with an adult male Friday afternoon in the Sonoran Desert Preserve when he became ill. Firefighters responded, and he was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital in extremely critical condition. The boy was later pronounced dead. Detectives have begun a death investigation in the area where the two were hiking. The boy’s identity was not released. According to the National Weather Service, Phoenix reached 100 degrees by 10am Friday and hit a high of 112 just after 5:30pm. The boy’s death comes in the middle of a summer that has yielded several heat-related deaths across Arizona.

►   Attorney Held in Contempt for ‘Black Lives Matter’ Button

An “act of civil disobedience” resulted in a Youngstown, Ohio, attorney being handcuffed and sentenced to five days in jail for contempt of court. Andrea Burton on Friday morning refused to comply with a judge’s order that she remove a “Black Lives Matter” button that she was wearing, WFMJ reports. After giving her several chances to remove the button, Judge Robert Milich had Burton cuffed and taken to jail. She’s out now, pending an appeal. “I’m not anti-police,“ Burton tells WFMJ, “I work with law enforcement and I hold them in the highest regard, and just to say for the record I do believe all lives matter. But at this point they don’t all matter equally, and that’s a problem in the justice system.“

The local NAACP tells WKBN that it is keeping a close eye on the situation because it may violate Burton’s civil rights. An ACLU representative says holding someone in contempt of court for refusing to remove an article of clothing is not unheard of, adding, “Many times this has been done to retain the defendant’s right to a fair trial.” As for Milich, he says it’s just a matter of following the law. “A judge doesn’t support either side,” he tells WKBN. “A judge is objective and tries to make sure everyone has an opportunity to have a fair hearing, and it was a situation where it was just in violation of the law.“

►   Teen Dies When Lightning Strikes Personal Watercraft

A 14-year-old girl was killed and her 49-year-old stepmother injured Friday when lightning struck the personal watercraft they were riding in a Utah reservoir. Daggett County sheriff’s officials say Jayleen Reynolds and stepdaughter Brooklyn Reynolds were riding in a remote area of Flaming Gorge Reservoir around noon when the lightning struck, the AP reports. The teen was pronounced dead, and her stepmom was airlifted to the hospital with critical injuries. On Saturday, her condition was upgraded to fair. The teen’s father, who was on another watercraft, was treated at the scene for shock.

In The World….

The Free Press WV

►   Top 10 ‘Good’ Countries

Skal, Sweden! Raise a glass to the Scandinavian nation, which beat out 162 others to win the overall top spot in the “Good Country Index,“ a ranking of the world’s countries, the Independent reports. The list is based on 35 various indicators from sources such as the World Bank and the UN, separated into the categories of culture, science and tech, prosperity and equality, world order, international peace and security, planet and climate, and health and well-being. The US just missed making the top 20, coming in at No. 21. And in last place—Libya.

“A good country is one that successfully contributes to the good of humanity,“ British policy adviser Simon Anholt, who established the Good Country Index, tells the Independent. “Of course, it must serve the interests of its own people, but never at the expense of other populations or their natural resources: This is the new law of human survival.“ Here, the “goodest” 10 of the bunch:

  1. Sweden
  2. Denmark
  3. Netherlands
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Germany
  6. Finland
  7. Canada
  8. France
  9. Austria
  10. New Zealand

(The entire list is HERE .)

►   Turkey declares 3-month state of emergency after failed coup

Turkey’s president declared a three-month state of emergency following a botched coup attempt, declaring he would rid the military of the “virus” of subversion and giving the government sweeping powers to expand a crackdown that has already included mass arrests and the closure of hundreds of schools.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was accused of autocratic conduct before the insurrection, said the measure would counter threats to Turkish democracy. Possibly anticipating investor jitters, Erdogan criticized Standard & Poor’s for downgrading its credit rating for Turkey deeper into “junk” status and said the country would remain financially disciplined.

The president did not announce details, but the security measure could facilitate longer detentions for many of the nearly 10,000 people who have been rounded up since loyalist security forces and protesters quashed the rebellion that started Friday night and was over by Saturday.

“This measure is in no way against democracy, the law and freedoms,“ Erdogan said in a national televised address after a meeting with Cabinet ministers and security advisers.

The state of emergency announcement needs to be published in a state gazette and lawmakers have to approve it for it to take effect, according to analysts.

Turkey imposed emergency rule in the southeast of Turkey in 1987, allowing officials to set curfews, issue search and arrest warrants and restrict gatherings as the security forces fought Kurdish rebels. The emergency rule was gradually lifted by 2002.

The president suggested military purges would continue.

“As the commander in chief, I will also attend to it so that all the viruses within the armed forces will be cleansed,“ Erdogan said.

In an apparent attempt to calm fears that the military’s powers will be increased, the president said the military will be under the government-appointed governors’ command and work closely with the regional governors.

The pro-government death toll in the botched coup was 246. At least 24 coup plotters were also killed.

Turkey also said it would close more than 600 private schools and dormitories following the attempted coup, spurring fears that the state’s move against perceived enemies is undermining key institutions in the country.

Erdogan’s government said it has fired nearly 22,000 education ministry workers, mostly teachers, taken steps to revoke the licenses of 21,000 other teachers at private schools and sacked or detained half a dozen university presidents in a campaign to root out alleged supporters of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric blamed for the failed insurrection.

The targeting of education ties in with Erdogan’s belief that the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whose followers run a network of schools worldwide, seeks to infiltrate the Turkish education system and other institutions in order to bend the country to his will. The cleric’s movement, which espouses moderation and multi-faith harmony, says it is a scapegoat.

While Erdogan is seeking to consolidate the power of his elected government after the rebellion, his crackdown could further polarize a country that once enjoyed a reputation for relative stability in the turbulent Middle East region. It also raises questions about the effectiveness of the military, courts and other institutions being purged.

“The fact that so many judges have been detained, never mind the workload at the courthouses, will render them inoperable,“ said Vildan Yirmibesoglu, a human rights lawyer.

The education ministry said it decided to close 626 private schools and other establishments under investigation for “crimes against the constitutional order and the running of that order,“ the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The agency said the schools are linked to Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan who lives in Pennsylvania and has denied accusations that he engineered the coup attempt.

Turkey has demanded Gulen’s extradition from the United States. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Turkey must provide hard evidence that Gulen was behind the foiled coup, and that mere allegations of wrongdoing wouldn’t suffice.

The two allies cooperate in the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State group, with American military planes flying missions from Turkey’s Incirlik air base into neighboring Iraq and Syria.

Turkey’s domestic situation is increasingly a concern as the crackdown widens. Huseyin Ozev, an education union leader in Istanbul, said state education workers who were reported to have been fired had not received notices and that employees were “waiting at home or on vacation, anxiously,“ to see if they had lost their jobs.

The fight against coup plotters “should not be turned into a witch hunt,“ Ozev said.

In other moves, Turkey demanded the resignations of 1,577 university deans and halted foreign assignments for state-employed academics. A total of 50,000 civil service employees have been fired in the purges, which have reached Turkey’s national intelligence service and the prime minister’s office.

The government has also revoked the press credentials of 34 journalists because of alleged ties to Gulen’s movement, Turkish media reported.

Authorities have rounded up about 9,000 people — including 115 generals, 350 officers, 4,800 other military personnel and 60 military high school students — for alleged involvement in the coup attempt. Turkey’s defense ministry has also sacked at least 262 military court judges and prosecutors, according to Turkish media reports.

Saban Ceylon, a taxi driver in Istanbul, said he expected his income to drop because of the state of emergency.

“Nothing is going to happen if I don’t take money home during three months,“ Ceylon said. In a reference to the coup plotters, he said: “I just want this country to be rescued from those dishonorable people.“

►   61 Killed in ISIS Attack on Kabul Protest

At least 61 people were killed and another 207 wounded in Kabul on Saturday, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed clothing among a large crowd of demonstrators, officials and witnesses say. Officials say many of the injured are in very serious condition and the death toll is likely to rise. In a statement issued by its news agency, Aamaq, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on a protest march by Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras. The marchers were demanding that a major regional electric power line be routed through their impoverished home province, the AP reports. Most Hazaras, unlike most Afghans, are Shiite Muslims, and they were especially persecuted during the extremist Sunni Taliban 1996-2001 regime.

The government had received intelligence that an attack could take place, and had warned the march organizers, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says. Witnesses say roadblocks set up to keep the marchers out of the center of Kabul delayed emergency vehicles. Footage on Afghan television and photographs posted on social media showed a scene of horror and carnage, with numerous bodies and body parts spread across the square where the bomber struck. The commander of US and NATO armed forces in Afghanistan, US Army Gen. John Nicholson, condemned the attack. “Our condolences go out to those who are affected by today’s attack,“ he said in a statement. “We strongly condemn the actions of Afghanistan’s enemies of peace and remain firmly committed to supporting our Afghan partners and the National Unity Government.“

►   Teen Munich Gunman ‘Lured People to McDonald’s’

Police investigating Friday’s mass shooting in Munich have identified the gunman who killed nine people before shooting himself as a German-Iranian 18-year-old with no criminal record or known links to extremists. Police say the teen—named in some reports as Ali Sonboly—hacked a young woman’s Facebook account to lure people to a McDonald’s opposite a mall, promising a free giveaway of something “not too expensive,“ the AP reports. In other developments:

  • Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae says the teen’s motive, at this point, remains “completely unclear” and a search of his home hasn’t revealed links to ISIS or any other terror group. He says the teen grew up in Munich and there is “absolutely no” link between the shooting and the recent influx of refugees.
  • Police say they have found evidence that the teen was obsessed with mass shootings, including a book called “Rampage in Head: Why Students Kill.“ He is also believed to have been obsessed with Norwegian mass killer Hans Anders Breivik and may have timed his attack to coincide with the fifth anniversary of Breivik’s rampage.
  • The teen was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after he opened fire at the McDonald’s and then moved to the crowded mall, the Telegraph reports. Transport was shut down and people were ordered to stay in their homes for hours before police concluded the teen had acted alone. He was found with a 9mm Glock pistol and 300 rounds of ammo, police say.
  • Video has surfaced of the gunman on the roof of a parking lot being shouted at by another man on a balcony. “I am German,“ the gunman shouts at one point as the man on the balcony swears at him. “Your head isn’t on right,“ the bystander shouts, according to the Guardian‘s translation.
  • Authorities say all nine victims were Munich residents. Seven of them were teenagers. A 20-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman were also killed. Three victims were ethnic Albanians originally from Kosovo, where President Hashim Thaci has declared Sunday a day of mourning.

►   Corpse Spends Weekend at Fast-Food Restaurant

The crew over at Hungry Jack’s on Wanneroo Road in Westminster, Western Australia, might want to step up the restroom maintenance. Case in point: A dead man sat in a bathroom at the fast-food restaurant for three days before he was discovered on July 18, the AFP reports. Police have attributed the death to a drug overdose and say it isn’t suspicious, according to the ABC. It is believed that the man entered the restroom on Friday night and remained there until being found on Monday morning, per the BBC. City health and compliance officers were investigating.

To be fair, the bathroom has a floor to ceiling door. Nonetheless, customers are a little unnerved by the lack of routine cleaning sweeps. “Three days is a long time for somebody to be locked in a toilet cubicle and for it not to be cleaned,“ one diner tells the ABC. The fast-food chain, which is Australia’s version of Burger King, says in a statement that it is cooperating with authorities regarding “the matter,“ adding, “Our thoughts are with all concerned.“ However, the ABC reports that Hungry Jack’s HQ was mum on the topic of the bathroom cleaning schedule.

►   Scores Dead, Missing in Massive China Floods

Torrential rains that have swept through China have killed at least 154 people and left 124 missing, officials said Saturday, with most of the casualties reported from a northern province where villagers complained about lack of warning before a deadly flash flood. The rains, which began on Monday, have flooded streams, triggered landslides, and destroyed homes across the country. Most of the fatalities were reported in the northern province of Hebei, where the provincial Department of Civil Affairs said 114 people were killed and 111 others were missing, the AP reports. More than 300,000 people were evacuated in Hebei, and the province made another round of appropriations of tents, blankets, rain boots, and generators, the department said.

In the Hebei city of Xingtai alone, 25 people were killed and another 13 were missing. The Xingtai village of Daxian was swamped by a flash flood early Wednesday as residents were asleep. Eight people, including three children, were killed and another was missing in the flood, according to the Xingtai government. But the tragedy did not surface until Friday, when accounts, purportedly by local residents, began surfacing on Chinese social media of angry villagers blocking roads, accusing the local authorities of failing to notify them in time for evacuation when an upstream reservoir discharged the floodwaters. The online posts — accompanied by photos of drowned victims — also accused local officials of covering up the tragedy by lying about having no deaths in the area. State media later confirmed that a local official had said Wednesday afternoon that the flash flood caused no fatalities.

►   10 Dead in Shooting at German Shopping Mall

At least 10 people are dead, including the suspected shooter, following a shooting at a mall Friday evening in Munich, Germany, the AP reports. The shooting started around 6pm local time at a McDonald’s inside Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall. According to CNN, witnesses reported seeing three people with guns near the mall. But police now believe one shooter acting alone was responsible for the violence, the AP reports. “People started running. I went outside as well; more people (were) running outside,“ a mall employee tells CNN. “I saw ... somebody lying on the floor, presumably dead, I don’t know. Or badly hurt. And there’s a woman over them, crying.“

In addition to dead police say at least 10 people have been hospitalized. Other reports say 20 people were wounded. Munich police believe the shooting was a terrorist attack, Reuters reports. Authorities shut down the Munich transportation system and authorities asked people to stay in their homes as they searched for the shooter or shooters. However, police now believe the lone shooter killed himself following the attack. Authorities in Germany had been warning of more attacks this week following a stabbing on a train Monday, according to the BBC.

National Weather Service Had Heat Advisories Posted In 23 Counties For Saturday Afternoon

The Free Press WV

The heat that has hung heavy over parts of the Midwest this week was pushing into the Mountain State for what was expected to be a hot and humid weekend, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service.

Meteorologists said a combination of heat and humidity would make it feel like it was more than 100 degrees at times through the Mid-Ohio Valley and West Virginia’s lowlands.

Isolated afternoon thunderstorms were also a possibility.

In Marshall County and Wetzel County, a Heat Advisory was posted from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday when heat index values were expected to near 100 degrees due to temperatures in the lower 90s and dewpoints in the lower 70s.

The heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with air temperature.

In the following counties, Heat Advisories were posted from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday: Wayne, Cabell, Mason, Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Lincoln, Putnam, Kanawha, Roane, Wirt, Calhoun, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mingo, Logan, Boone, Clay, Braxton, Gilmer.

Meteorologists said head index values in those counties could get up to 103 degrees.

An NWS Heat Advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity could potentially create situations in which heat illnesses are possible, meteorologists said.

The advice from emergency officials was to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned spaces if possible, avoid the sun and check on relatives and neighbors.

To reduce heat risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommended scheduling frequent rest breaks.

Additional advisories for heat were expected again Sunday in parts of West Virginia.

Somewhat cooler weather was in the forecast for early next week.

This Is What a Broken Party Looks Like

The Free Press WV

America saw a divided party Wednesday night, though what it was divided over wasn’t evident if you haven’t been paying close attention.

What everyone saw was Ted Cruz humiliating the Republican Party’s nominee Donald Trump by ignoring the chants from delegates of “endorse Trump” after cheekily telling the audience to “vote your conscience.”

But Cruz made that historically unprecedented declaration after delivering a speech that was perfectly in line with Donald Trump’s campaign. He backed building a border wall, refusing Syrian refugees, and “trade policies that put the interests of American farmers over the interests that are funding the lobbyists.”

Cruz doesn’t disagree with Trump. He thinks Trump is a pretender to the cause, or he remains angry at how Trump personally insulted him, his wife and his father – or both.

The person who really disagrees with Trump is his vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence, who said in December that “calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.” In 2006 he concluded “it is not logistically possible to round up 12 million illegal aliens.” He supports NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). And he disavowed negative campaigning 25 years ago.

Pence swallowed hard and sucked up. In his nomination acceptance speech, he used artful language to cut loose his old views. Trump’s not a negative campaigner, he’s just “a little rough with politicians on a stage,” which is fine because “I’ve seen this good man up close.” He promised Trump would “secure our borders” but he left out Cruz’s embrace of the wall. And he’s skipped over the whole trade thing, and the whole banning Muslims thing.

Pence joined the ticket despite these major difference because he concluded it served his interest. Either he becomes VP now or, more likely, he positions himself as a Trump-friendly party leader who can pick up the pieces of a broken party after a stinging defeat. Cruz wants to pick up those same pieces; he just thinks he’s better positioned if he hugs Trump’s right-wing populist views, while keeping his hands clean of the Trump campaign train wreck.

Up until Cruz, we haven’t seen disunity in the hall. We’ve seen a unity of hatred: the denouncement of “Black Lives Matter,” the disparagement of immigrants as murderers, and the mob chants of “Lock Her Up.”

The party is mostly divided between those inside the hall and those who refused to come to Cleveland. They are mainly divided over whether the party should accept America’s multiculturalism or fight it. The latter choice is electoral suicide, but that’s the choice that the bitter and bigoted in the Republican ranks – like Rep. Steve King – have made.

Cruz leaves Cleveland with his self-respect because he refused to kiss Trump’s ring. But by echoing Trump attacks on immigrants, Cruz is on the wrong side of demographic history. If the Republican Party passes its baton to him in 2020, the party wouldn’t dig out of its current hole. Same with Pence having allowed himself to be infected by Trump.

There is definitely political space to be seized by a Republican anticipating a Trump loss. But the leader who can pick up the pieces in December, while leaving the bigoted ones on the ground, is the leader who can actually fix what’s broken.

~~  Bill Scher ~~

In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►   West Virginia girl still missing 3 weeks after floods

During the little rest James Phillips gets since his daughter vanished, his mind rumbles with flashes of horror.

In his nightmares, Phillips imagines himself as his 14-year-old daughter, Mykala. There are trees. There’s a wall that she’s trying to see under. There’s water.

His sleep never lasts long and he wakes up to a reality far worse: his daughter hasn’t been found since she was torn from her brother’s grip and an extension cord keeping them together after a raging floodripped their home off its foundation June 23.

He heard her screaming as the water washed her away.

Hope that the family will ever see her again seems to be slipping away, too.

“I have come to terms with the fact that we might not find her at all,“ her mother, Becky Carter Phillips, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “It’s all still shock.“

Mykala Phillips is the only person still unaccounted for from the floods that killed 22 others inWest Virginia. That includes 14 in Greenbrier County, where an estimated 9 inches of rain fell over a 36-hour period.

Search teams have scoured a seven-mile area along Howard’s Creek. The effort has involved hundreds of National Guard members, police and fire units, volunteers and even employees of the local Greenbrier resort. County Sheriff Jan Cahill said Wednesday that they have used divers, canoes, boats, helicopters, drones and cadaver dogs.

A 44-year-old woman was found elsewhere in the county more than 30 miles from her home earlier thismonth, more than a week after the flood. It was a bleak reminder of the scope of the flood’s devastation and the challenge that authorities face to bring closure to families.

On June 23, the floodwaters poured into the Phillips’ small home. It rose at least 6 feet, forcing the father and his three children to climb out a window while their mom was at work.

Phillips tied the children together with extension cords that he held onto, and the one brother gripped his siblings, too. But the water’s power snapped the cord and slipped the brother’s grip, sending Mykala into the current. She went in one direction, her brothers ages 15 and 7 went another.

“We could hear her hollering,“ James Phillips said. “But we couldn’t see her anymore. When my daughter wasn’t there, that’s the scariest part of my life.“

Phillips said he was forced underwater by the current and felt himself bump into the hood of his car. They eventually grabbed a gutter and held onto it until the floodwaters began to recede.

At midafternoon, Becky Carter Phillips started heading home on foot from her job at the resort. The 15-minute walk to her street took two hours. The floodwaters prevented her from going any further.

“You couldn’t see the road. It wasn’t nothing but water,“ she said.

James Phillips and the boys were in the waters nine hours before being rescued.

While the boys only had scrapes, Phillips sustained fractures in his right foot, hurt a knee, reinjured his back and knocked out multiple teeth. He counted the ones that are left — 11 — and most of those are cracked. He didn’t seek medical help until the next day.

Phillips’ injuries prevented him from helping in the subsequent search for his daughter.

“I can’t go look myself,“ he said. “That’s the worst part of all of this.“

The Phillips family lost everything in the flood. They found another home they intend to buy but are struggling to come up the money to pay for it. James Phillips has been out of work as a certified mechanic due to his chronic back problems. He describes his working wife as the “rock” of the family who takes care of most needs in the household.

On the day of the floods, Mykala posted a selfie photo on her Facebook page. That photo has since been reposted on multiple tribute pages.

She loved music, talking on the phone, drawing artwork and was willing to help anyone in a time of need.

“She would try to do anything, even if she didn’t know how. She would try to do it,“ said Amy Morrison, whose son, Joshua, was dating her. “She was here on Father’s Day. I was on a walker. She said, ‘well, if you tell me how, I can make the biscuits for the meal.‘“

James Phillips said his daughter was going to be a teacher at a Bible school this year. He said he wants the public to “pray and keep hoping that they find her.“

For now, Phillips consumes energy drinks to stay awake “and put on a face to stay strong” for his sons.

“You never want them out of your sight, I can tell you that,“ he said.

►   Consumer Protection Officials Visiting Clay and Kanawha

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s flood relief mobile office will visit Clay and Kanawha counties this weekend.

Morrisey says in a news release that the mobile visits will give residents easier access to the state’s Consumer Protection Division.

Consumer representatives will be available to answer questions about things like sham charities, storm-related home repair and cleanup scams, and what to do about price gouging.

In Clay County, the mobile office will be at H.E. White Elementary School on Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from noon to 5.

In Kanawha County, it will be at the junction of Reunion Rd. & North Pinch Rd. from noon to 5 on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Consumer Protection Division can be reaches at 1.800.368.8808 or online at

►   Three Nicholas County Schools Won’t Open on Time, If Ever

Three Nicholas County schools will not reopen this upcoming school year because of flood damage.

The Nicholas County Board of Education announced Thursday evening at a special meeting that Richwood High School, Richwood Middle School and Summersville Middle School received too much damage to reopen on August 19.

Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick says she doesn’t know if the schools can be reopened at all.

Burge-Tetrick says she’s still aiming to have all three schools’ students start on schedule. That may require using portable classrooms or sharing other school facilities between two separate schools’ students.

Charleston-based ZMM Architects and Engineers had determined that Richwood Middle has $1 million to $1.5 million in structural damage and that Summersville Middle has more than $500,000 in structural damage.

►   WV Democratic nominee for governor will skip convention

CHARLESTON, WV - Gubernatorial nominee Jim Justice says he won’t attend the Democratic National Convention next week in Philadelphia.

A campaign news release Friday says the billionaire businessman is focused on creating jobs and holding the New Orleans Saints’ training camp at his hotel, The Greenbrier.

Justice, a Democrat, says he has never attended a national convention. He says people are tired of political theater.

Justice hasn’t made a presidential endorsement.

Hillary Clinton lost the state’s Democratic primary to Bernie Sanders.

Clinton has faced criticisms for saying she would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.“

She said the comments were taken out of context. She says she was talking about bringing new economic opportunities to the suffering coalfields.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Cole has endorsed Donald Trump.

►   media CEO’s $250k check to GOP group draws Democratic outcry

CHARLESTON, WV - A West Virginia media executive is drawing Democratic scrutiny after contributing $250,000 to the Republican Governors Association.

Bray Cary, president and CEO of West Virginia Media Holdings, made the donation in April.

The Republican association has spent almost $1.1 million to aid GOP state Senate President Bill Cole’s bid for governor against billionaire Democrat Jim Justice. The group is involved in governor’s races nationwide.

Cary hosts the TV show Decision Makers. Cole has made some appearances.

The state Democratic Party wants Cary banned from discussing the governor’s race on Nexstar/West Virginia Media airwaves. Nexstar is acquiring four West Virginia Media television stations.

Democratic U.S. SEnator Joe Manchin encouraged Cary to give $250,000 to the Democratic Governors Association to show balance.

Cary didn’t respond to phone and email messages for comment.

AUCTION: Paul/Glenna Fleming Estate - 07.23.16

The Free Press WV
Paul/Glenna Fleming Estate
Saturday July 23rd 10:00 AM


From I79: Take Big Otter Exit (Exit 40) and go north on Rt. 16 19 miles to Arnoldsburg. Turn left on Rt 119 West, go 1 mile and take a right on Altizer Rd. Auction is at first house on the left.

From Spencer: Take 119/33 east 13.1 miles, turn left on Altizer Rd. Auction is at first house on the left.

From Glenville: Take 119/33 west 26.1 miles, turn right on Altizer Rd. Auction is at first house on the left.


39 Ford Flathead W/ GE Generator Welder – reserve; Beam Mounted Drill Press – reserve ;Hand Drill Press; Valve Grinding Machine; Miller Stick Welder; Ford 2 Ton Chain Hoist Patented 1914; Sears Air Compressor; Head Light Adjuster; Water Pump; Willard Battery Charger; Bumper Winch; Tool Bits; Large Vise; Shop Vac; Turn Buckle; Misc. Tools; Chains; Auto Manuals


Sato-Beaver 3 Cyl Diesel Tractor W/ Backhoe & Front End Loader – reserve; Allis-Chalmers Lawn Tractor; Shindaiwa Generator; Tractor Chains; Oil Field Drill Bits; Oil Field Slips; Oil Well Swab; Push Reel Mower


Couch; End-tables; Drop-leaf Table w/ 4 chairs; Blonde Bedroom Suit; TV Console; Bassett Pine Mahogany 4 Piece Bedroom Suit; Wheel Around Table; Tall Chest; Office Desk/Chairs; Corona Livingroom 4 Piece Suit; White 3 Piece Bedroom Suit; Cedar Chest; Dresser; End Tables; Chairs; Rockers; Lawn Furniture


TV; Lamps; Kitchenware; Books; Ward Double Door Refrigerator; Tefal Juice Master; Coffee Grinder; Chest Freezer; Pots/Pans; Like-New Whirlpool Washer/Dryer; Vintage Tappan Deluxe Gas Stove; Canning jars; Bakers Rack; Servel Natural Gas Refrigerator; Gas Stove; Microwave; King Wood Stove


WWII Envelope; WWII Grease Can; Vintage Typewriter; Crock; Cream Can; Husky Antifreeze Can; Red Handled Kitchen Cabinet; Radio/Record Player Cabinet; Roadmaster Bike; Vintage Western Electric Telephone; Old Wooden Boxes; Old Car Radios; Malsbary Oil Filled Steamer; Lighted Double Sided Coke Sign(Country Road Auto Sales); Quaker State Barrel; Flathead 6 Crank Engine; Natural Gas Lights; Crank For Sheep Shears; Wooden Snatch Blocks; Buzz Light Jr Bike; Old Chairs; Washtub; Old Water Cooler; Chimney Stone; Crosley Radio; Hastings Thermometer; Riveted 30 Gallon Boiler Tank


Pictures; Christmas Items; Electric Grill; Tomato Cages; Cage Wire; Pipe fittings; Wooden Ladder; Metal Cabinets; Roll Of Cable; Cedar Logs; Chicken Feeder; Metal Posts

Option of Buying Large Barn



In USA….

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►   Oldest Person in U.S.: A No-Nonsense 113-Year-Old Named Adele

A 113-year-old New Jersey woman is the new holder of the title of oldest American, the AP reports. Adele Dunlap became the country’s oldest person earlier this month following the death of Goldie Michelson of Worcester, Mass., per the Record. She’s also the 10th oldest person in the world, according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which tracks supercentenarians (people 110 or older). Dunlap lives at the Country Arch Care Center in Pittstown, where she first arrived just shy of her 100th birthday. Asked how it feels to be the oldest American, she tells the newspaper, “I don’t feel any different.“ Asked what it means to be an American, she says, “Well, I’ve never been anything else.“

Dunlap taught school before marrying and settling down to raise the couple’s three children. Her husband worked for an insurance company and died in 1963. She doesn’t give an explanation for her longevity, and her 86-year-old son, Earl, is also at a loss to credit any particular thing for his mother’s long life. “It’s hard to say,“ he says. “She never went out jogging or anything like that. She’s not really thin, but she never weighed more than 140 pounds. She smoked, and when my father had his first heart attack, they both stopped. I think she ate anything she wanted.“ Despite the fact she was born December 12, 1902, in Newark, she often gives a younger age when asked how old she is. “Last year, when we were telling her it was her 113th birthday, she said, ‘No, no, no, I’m only 102,‘“ recalls Susan Dempster, the care center’s activities director. Dempster says Dunlap is a passive participant in daily activities and socializes minimally, but she looks forward to when the Girl Scouts come to sing Christmas carols.

►   Judge Orders Heroin Dealers to Pay for Antidotes

Fatal drug overdoses have jumped about 40% in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area in recent years, a trend one judge hopes an unusual punishment will help reverse. In two cases this week, Judge Anthony Mariani ordered drug dealers to pay $50 to local EMS for each brick of heroin they were convicted of possessing with intent to distribute to fund naloxone or Narcan kits in the hope that they’ll reverse overdoses from opiates, perhaps the very ones sold by the dealers, reports the Tribune Review. However, the men won’t have to pay until they’re out of prison, which will be years away. “A couple of weeks ago a man stood in front of me who overdosed on heroin twice in 48 hours and was brought back by Narcan,“ Mariani said of his inspiration, per WTKR. “I told him he will reimburse EMS who saved him.“

Andy Buxton, sentenced to seven to 14 years in prison, must pay $2,650 to local EMS agencies, while Larry Richardson, sentenced to five to 10 years, will pay $1,250, Mariani said. “Ordering the defendant to provide funds for naloxone to the relevant agency will help to rehabilitate him and change his thinking,“ he added in delivering Richardson’s sentence on Tuesday. A single naloxone kit costs about $75, according to Pennsylvania health officials. “The fact is that naloxone is saving lives,“ says a judge overseeing a court drug program. “Having it in more hands is all the better.“ The director of a local drug overdose task force adds he’s never heard of a judge taking such an approach, but “I’m sure it could have a positive effect,“ he says. “Anything that will save a life is worth considering.“

►   Michelle Obama Spits Rhymes in Carpool Karaoke

It’s been almost eight years since Michelle Obama was able to sit in a passenger seat and sing along to the radio, so it’s a good thing James Corden stopped by the White House recently. In the latest edition of Carpool Karaoke, Corden drives Obama repeatedly around the White House driveway as they belt out tunes from Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, and Missy Elliot, who makes a surprise appearance. A few takes:

  • “It’s official: we, the people, have the most viral First Lady ever,“ writes Laura Bradley at Vanity Fair, noting Obama knows Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” “by heart, complete with hand-waving choreography.“

  • Obama “doesn’t have a bad singing voice” and “can really spit some flow too,“ writes Brian Moylan at the Guardian. He compares her to Jackie Kennedy and wonders what we’ll all do without her come January.
  • Meanwhile, Elliot tells CNN that she thought she was dreaming throughout. “I know for a fact that it was all over my face like, ‘Wait, is she rapping this?‘“ she says of the moment Obama started spitting her rhymes. “But that goes to show you just how cool she is. People hold her in such a high regard—as you should—but she’s so down to earth.“

The video—in which Obama reveals her and her hubby’s Secret Service code names—even drew a shout out from the agency. “Thank you @JKCorden and the @latelateshow for bringing @FLOTUS home safe and sound after #CarpoolKaraoke. We were watching,“ it tweeted.

►   Aliens or Bombs? Town Plagued by Mystery Booms

“You just hear these booms, they’re very low, you know, you almost feel them.“ That’s how one resident of Sonora, Calif., describes a resounding noise heard in the mountain town every summer weekday between 11am and 2pm, per the Inquisitr. What’s going on? Well, no one seems to know for sure. Perhaps the ghosts of long-lost miners are still at work in the town, once a hub of the California gold rush, though some suspect aliens are simply alerting residents that it’s time to break for lunch, reports ABC10. Others put the noise down to bombs and grenades. Local geologist Glen White suspects the sounds are coming from an Army depot, where old munitions are regularly detonated in the same hours that residents hear the booms. But it’s more than a hundred miles away in Nevada.

An officer at the depot in Hawthorne doubts whether the explosions can be heard from such a distance. “It doesn’t feel right that what we’re doing here would be heard 200 miles away when there’s a mountain range in between us,“ he tells ABC News. “My office is 27 miles from where they detonate the old munitions, I only hear it here maybe one time a month, and just barely.“ White admits it’s odd that “people fairly close to the source of the energy, the explosions, aren’t hearing it,“ but he says that doesn’t disprove his theory. In fact, he says the detonations can also be heard 75 miles north of Sonora in Placerville, Calif. “I can’t explain all the physics involved, but the atmosphere is bouncing in response to the energy and it’s reflecting and bouncing [the sound] back down,“ he says.

►   This May Be the Largest Lobster You’ll Ever See

Larry the Lobster lives another day, thanks to a group of rescuers who saved the 15-pound crustacean from ending up on Florida diners’ plates, the Miami Herald reports. Even more astounding: Although figuring out a lobster’s age is an inexact science, the owner of the restaurant that acquired Larry estimates, based on the lobster’s growth indicators, that the crustacean is about 110 years old. Tin Fish owner Joe Melluso tells ABC News that the lobsters he buys from vendors usually top out at 5 pounds, which is why Larry was such a shocking find. “You can pull in hundreds of thousands of pounds [of lobster] and never see a lobster this size,“ he notes. A picture of Larry circulated on social media, and a local family reserved him for Tuesday night’s dinner—until a group of other locals caught wind of Larry’s plight. Real estate lawyer Brooke Estren (she’s the one who named him) and some friends pitched in the $300 it cost to buy him, plus shipping costs to send him to the Maine State Aquarium, where he’ll be examined and either housed permanently or put back in the sea.

The Free Press WV

The group wrapped Larry in a saltwater-soaked towel, packed him in a special shipping container, and mailed him to Maine Wednesday; he’s expected to arrive at the aquarium sometime Thursday, a Maine Department of Marine Resources rep says. “If you’re going to live 110 years, you deserve to live and not be someone’s dinner,“ Estren tells the Herald. And even though Larry may not be quite as ancient as Melluso guessed he is (the executive director of Maine’s Lobster Institute pegs him as probably somewhere between 60 to 80 years old), the restaurant owner got “choked up” contemplating all the effort put into saving the lucky lobster, the Herald notes. “My whole life’s been about fish and seafood,“ Melluso says. “[Larry’s rescuers are] looking to protect and serve the species in a responsible way. I should be thinking like that.“ As for the family expecting to eat Larry for dinner: They chowed down on a 14-pound fish instead.

►   Worrying Finds After Woman Vanishes While Biking

Authorities in Fulton County, Ohio, are asking for the public’s help after making some worrying finds in the search for a 20-year-old woman who disappeared Tuesday evening. University of Toledo student Sierah Joughin was last seen out riding with her boyfriend before they went different ways near a high school in Metamora at around 6:45pm, NBC News reports. She was reported missing when she didn’t come home that night, and police searching for her found her purple bike several rows into a cornfield, along with signs of a struggle. The FBI has joined the search, as have police in Michigan. Investigators say a “ping” from the missing woman’s phone came from near the border with Michigan, a few miles from where the bike was found.

Police, who have cleared the boyfriend as a suspect, say Joughin is about 5 feet 5 inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes; she was last seen wearing yellow shorts and a yellow tank top. They are trying to track both her phone and a Fitbit she was wearing when she disappeared. Family members say they’re in a living nightmare and that there’s no way Joughin would have run away or gone anywhere with somebody willingly. “We are struggling and trying to stay hopeful,“ her aunt tells People. “We just want her to come home safe and [whoever has her] to just leave her where she is and let us have her back.“

►   Paramedics Used Incapacitated Patients in ‘Selfie War’

Authorities say two paramedics in Florida engaged in a “selfie war” by taking pictures with incapacitated patients, the AP reports. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office says 24-year old Kayla Renee Dubois was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of interception and disclosure of oral communications. Authorities have issued arrest warrants for 33-year old Christopher Wimmer on seven counts of the same charge. The sheriff’s office says Wimmer also faces a misdemeanor battery charge for holding open the eyelid of a sedated patient.

The sheriff’s office says the selfies included 41 patients, only three of whom apparently agreed to the photos. The sheriff’s office began investigating in May following complaints from three other emergency workers. Dubois was fired a week later, and Wimmer resigned the same day.

►   ‘You Don’t Wanna Look’: Bodycam Video From Pulse Shooting

No one wants to imagine what went on inside Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in the early morning hours of June 12, but now you can see some of it. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has released a deputy’s bodycam video that offers a glimpse into the bloody chaos and confusion that officers walked into that night, CBS News reports. The Sun Sentinel has also received 20 pages of reports providing new details about the response to the attack, including how deputies had to comb through bodies to look for the living. News 6 aired an edited portion of one bodycam video and noted the “sense of urgency” that could be felt as deputies tried to plan how they were going to go in to rescue survivors. The screen sometimes goes completely dark, which means that portion of the clip was redacted as deputies passed by victims who didn’t make it, a News 6 reporter explains.

At one point, deputies scramble back from the club as they’re told over the radio to take “hard cover,“ the AP notes. “Let’s go! Let’s go!“ one officer can be heard yelling to survivors on the video taken from Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Rutkoski’s bodycam. On Rutkoski’s video, which the Orlando Sentinel notes lasted more than an hour, clubgoers can be heard crying, with at least one pleading with deputies to go inside for more people. As the deputies stand around waiting for their next orders, one officer can be heard saying, “It’s pretty bad in there. You don’t wanna look.“ After a break in the tape, it picks up again with a radio call informing the officers there are at least 42 dead. “Damn,“ Rutkoski can be heard saying. “That’s, like, more than any active shooter I can remember.“ News 6 has more clips.

►   Video Shows Violent Arrest of Texas Schoolteacher

Twenty-six-year-old elementary school teacher Breaion King was pulled over for driving 15mph over the speed limit in Austin, Texas, NBC News reports. Moments later, she was being pulled from her car by officer Bryan Richter and thrown to the ground—twice. According to the Austin American-Statesman, the incident happened in June 2015, but video of it didn’t surface until this week. King had gotten out of her car during the stop, but Richter told her to get back in and close the door. Seconds later, King was being violently arrested. In his report, Richter said King had an “uncooperative attitude” and may have been reaching for a weapon. But King tells KVUE she was in fear for her life. “I didn’t know what was going to happen,“ she says. “I literally didn’t understand what was happening.“

But that wasn’t the end of King’s ordeal. On the way to jail, another white officer, Patrick Spradlin, told King, who is black, that police are nervous around black people because of their “violent tendencies.“ Spradlin said black people can be “very intimidating” in their “appearance” and he doesn’t blame white people for being afraid of them. Police chief Art Acevedo apologized to King on Thursday. He says he is “highly disturbed and disappointed” by her treatment and called Spradlin’s comments racist. An investigation has been launched into the incident, but because it has been more than six months since it happened, Spradlin and Richter can only be punished with a written reprimand. King had been charged with resisting arrest, but those charges were later dropped.

In The World….

The Free Press WV

►   10 Most Peaceful Countries on Earth

Congratulations, America: You sit 103rd on a list that ranks countries by their peacefulness, in a report compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The ranking is based on 23 factors including involvement in conflicts at home and abroad, crime, terrorist activity, political stability, levels of militarization, and relations with other countries in general. MarketWatch reports that latter factor dinged us, citing US-Russian relations. The fight against ISIS further dragged down America’s score. The 10 most peaceful countries:

  1. Iceland
  2. Denmark
  3. Austria
  4. New Zealand
  5. Portugal
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Switzerland
  8. Canada
  9. Japan
  10. Slovenia

Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Syria bring up the rear. Click for the FULL REPORT.

►   Syrian Children Hold Pictures of Pokemon to Get Found: Report

Children in war-torn Syria are holding pictures of Pokemon in the hopes the rest of the world, currently obsessing over Pokemon Go, will take notice, the Independent reports. According to Vocativ, photos of the children started circulating online Wednesday, the same day airstrikes in the city of Idlib killed more than 50 people. In addition to pictures of Pokemon, the children’s signs bear messages like “I am here, come save me” along with their location. Most of the children appear to be near Idlib and another city, Hama, the Guardian reports. Those cities have seen years of fighting between the Syrian government and opposition forces. “I never imagined we would like to become a game in order to gain the world’s attention,” Vocativ quotes a Twitter account called Children of Syria.

The photos originally appeared on a Facebook page belonging to the Revolutionary Forces of Syria, and they bear that opposition group’s logo. They have also been circulated by other groups connected to the opposition against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. It’s possible they are simply meant as propaganda. If that’s the case, they are effective attention-getters. “The world is buzzing with this game,” Vocativ quotes a Syrian artist who is also using Pokemon Go to draw attention to Syria. “They are looking for the Pokemon, but the Syrian people are looking for how to live right now.” Syria’s children are in a desperate situation. UNICEF says 35,000 children are trapped in the city of Manbij alone and dozens more have been killed there in recent weeks.

►   Mystery of Woman Gifted Van Gogh’s Ear Solved: Paper

A recently uncovered pre-World War II sketch purports to show that Vincent Van Gogh cut off most of his left ear, not just a small part of it—and while that fact is still being debated among historians, the name of the woman who supposedly was given that ear is now being revealed, the Guardian reports. The original legend has it that the troubled artist gave his severed body part to a prostitute named Rachel. But now, in what the BBC is calling “Eargate,“ author Bernadette Murphy’s new book, Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story, includes documentation about a young, unnamed daughter of a farmer who lived near Arles, France, and who was supposedly the recipient of the ear. Murphy writes that the girl was too young to be a prostitute and may have been a brothel maid. Van Gogh reportedly gave her his ear to make her feel better after she had been bitten by a dog and treated for rabies, instructing her to “keep this object carefully.“

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Murphy had promised the girl’s descendants she wouldn’t reveal her name, and she kept that promise in the book, but the Art Newspaper did a little sleuthing and says it can ID her as Gabrielle Berlatier, an 18-year-old whose medical records it found at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Berlatier was said to have been bitten by the rabid dog on January 8, 1888 (Van Gogh cut his ear off in December of that year), and her life was saved by a vaccine. The paper also discovered clues that suggest Berlatier worked as a cleaner at a local cafe, which so happened to be owned by two of Van Gogh’s friends. He’s said to have lived in a room there in 1888 from May to September, making it possible he knew the young Berlatier, who the Art Newspaper paints as “an innocent victim of a rabid dog and the temporarily deranged artist within the same year"—and who allegedly kept the Van Gogh secret away from others for the rest of her own life.

►   A Diary of Trying, Mostly Failing, to Find Food in Venezuela

Venezuela is in dire straits, and plenty of stories catalog how the nation’s political crisis is setting off a humanitarian crisis as well. (Like so.) But for a more personal look, check out the diary kept by reporter Fabiola Zerpa at Bloomberg as she remains on a constant hunt for food and other necessities for herself, her two kids (ages 8 and 10), and her husband, Isaac. The first entry on June 9 notes that Venezuelan adults are assigned two days a week to shop for regulated staples at government-set prices based on their national ID numbers. Hers are Thursday and Sunday, though “Sundays are useless” because stores pretty much gave up selling goods on the weekend a while ago and Thursdays “are only marginally more useful” given the hours-long wait at supermarkets with no guarantee of finding anything. After doing a drive-by and determining the lines were prohibitively long, she doesn’t even try that day.

Five days later, she does manage to buy vegetables, but meat is nowhere to be found. “And I pay about twice as much as I had just five months earlier.“ On June 25 she heads to a farmers’ market, “a luxury I know that millions of Venezuelans can’t afford” (the free-market pricing is illegal but flies all the same). “After spending an hour picking out fruit, vegetables and meat, I get in line to pay, (but) the Internet system that links the debit-card scanner to the banking sector crashes. ... A half-hour goes by. There are now 30 of us waiting to pay. ... A couple of elderly men give up. They put down their grocery bags and walk off. A few minutes later, I join them.“ She gives up once more on July 07—again her day for staples—this time after waiting a couple hours in line, never even making it inside her local supermarket. Click to read the FULL PIECE.

►   Fury Greets School’s Ban on Clapping

Feel free to “punch the air, pull excited faces, and wriggle about on the spot” at Australia’s Elanora Heights Public School—but whatever you do, don’t clap. The public primary school in Sydney has banned clapping at assemblies in favor of “silent cheering” for the benefit of students who are “sensitive to noise,“ according to a newsletter released Monday, per “When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed,“ it reads, noting it’s also “a great way to … reduce fidgeting.“ If you’re rolling your eyes, you’re not alone. “Australia, a country with many great attributes, seems to be slipping into some sort of South Park-ian police state,“ writes Lauren Larson at GQ. “This is some Jane Eyre bull——, I tell you what.“

In response to criticism, a school district official tells the Educator that the rule was implemented to “minimize discomfort to a teacher with a hearing disability that causes acute sensitivity to loud noise.“ But points out several other controversial school rules in Australia. Just this week, an all-girls school told teachers to use gender-neutral terms only—like “students” in place of “ladies"—to respect children that are transgender. Other schools have banned hugging and encourage students to instead give high-fives or “a knuckle handshake.“ Some have even banned the term “blackboard,“ apparently over racial concerns, Susie O’Brien writes at the Herald Sun. The clapping ban “is one more sure sign that the world is going mad,“ she adds.

►   10 Dead in Shooting at German Shopping Mall

Ten people are dead after a shooter or shooters opened fire at a mall Friday evening in Munich, Germany, the AP reports. The shooting started around 6pm local time at a McDonald’s inside Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall. According to CNN, it’s unclear how many shooters there were, but witnesses report seeing three people with guns near the mall. “People started running. I went outside as well; more people (were) running outside,“ a mall employee says. “I saw ... somebody lying on the floor, presumably dead, I don’t know. Or badly hurt. And there’s a woman over them, crying.“

In addition to the eight people killed, a number of others were wounded. Munich police believe the shooting was a terrorist attack, Reuters reports. As of yet, the shooter or shooters haven’t been apprehended and are still on the loose. Munich shot down its transportation system, and authorities are asking people to stay in their homes. Authorities in Germany had been warning of more attacks this week following a stabbing on a train Monday, according to the BBC.

►   MH370 Decision Could Leave Mystery Unsolved

The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will be suspended once the current search area in the Indian Ocean has been completely scoured, the ministers of the three countries conducting the operation announced Friday, possibly ending all hopes of solving aviation’s greatest mystery. In the absence of new evidence, Malaysia, Australia, and China have collectively decided to suspend the search upon completion of the 120,000-square-kilometer (46,300-square-mile) search area,“ Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said after a meeting with his Australian and Chinese counterparts, the AP reports. He said the current search is being hampered by bad weather and damaged equipment, but it will still end by December.

The minister said suspension of the search does not mean an end to it. “Should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given in determining next steps,“ he said, reading from a joint statement. But it was clear that the searchers have given up hope of finding the jetliner with less than 3,900 square miles left to be searched. In their statement, the ministers acknowledged that “the likelihood of finding the aircraft is fading.“ As Liow and the other two ministers were addressing the news conference, representatives of the passengers’ families stood outside the building holding placards. “Find the plane, ease our pain,“ read one sign.

►   Friends, Family: Iran May Be Holding San Diego Man

After graduating from San Diego State University in May, Gholamrez “Reza” Shahini, known to most as Robin, headed to Iran to visit his mom and other family. But the 46-year-old San Diego man hasn’t been heard from in more than 10 days, and friends and family back in the States fear the US citizen may have been detained by Iranian authorities for his vocal online criticism of his native country’s human rights record, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. “He just disappeared off the face of the planet,“ says friend Denera Ragoonanan. A woman who says she’s Shahini’s girlfriend, requesting anonymity to protect her own family in Iran, tells the AP Shahini’s sister told her intelligence agents came to their mother’s home on July 11 and whisked him away.

The last post on the Facebook page he keeps in Farsi was dated July 11; another FB page the Union-Tribune says he maintained in English has since become inaccessible. Shahini left Iran in 1998, lived in Germany for a short time, and then moved to San Diego, which he’s called home for 16 years. With a degree in international security and conflict resolution under his belt, he was set to begin an SDSU master’s program in homeland security in the fall. “His passion involves peace and justice, human rights,“ his girlfriend tells the AP, and Ragoonanan notes that’s what she and others believe may have got him into trouble overseas. “Robin has been known for his advocacy of human rights on social media,“ she wrote Tuesday in a Facebook post. “This advocacy, unfortunately, has not sat well with the Iranian government.“

Governor Tomblin Extends State of Emergency

Twelve counties will remain under State of Emergency until August 22
The Free Press WV

CHARLESTON, WV - Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today extended the State of Emergency for 12 counties, allowing for continued state resources to aid in flood cleanup and recovery for affected residents and communities.

“As we move from response efforts to long-term recovery following the floods that devastated our state one month ago, we must continue a strong level of support to help West Virginians get back on their feet,” Governor Tomblin said. “I have extended the State of Emergency to ensure all available state resources are provided to those in need as we rebuild our homes, businesses and communities.”

Because emergency conditions still exist in Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Roane, Summers and Webster counties, the State of Emergency originally declared on June 23, 2016 will remain in effect for these 12 counties until 5 p.m. on Monday, August 22, 2016.

To read the State of Emergency proclamation in its entirety, click HERE.

West Virginians needing assistance or wishing to help those impacted by flooding are encouraged to visit​, West Virginia’s official source of information on flood recovery and volunteer efforts.

Wesleyan to Host West Virginia Inaugural 2016 Summer Policy Institute

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy (WVCBP) will be holding the West Virginia Inaugural 2016 Summer Policy Institute (SPI) at West Virginia Wesleyan College July 29-31.  SPI will give participants a chance to learn about vital policy issues affecting all West Virginians, network with fellow students and statewide policy leaders, and prepare for a future in a policy-related field.

During their three-day stay on the Buckhannon, WV campus, participants will have the opportunity to sit in on numerous forums on topics including budget and taxes, legislative and policy process, West Virginia’s health policy, policies on how to build West Virginia’s middle class, and race and public policy.  Panel discussions will be held on moving to an intervention and prevention model for better youth outcomes, health care in West Virginia, and careers in public policy and administration.

The first evening of the SPI is open to the public with a panel and movie screening on improving the state’s juvenile justice system.

6:30PM: Panel discussion - Moving to an Intervention and Prevention Model for Better Youth Outcomes. Panelists include Stephanie Bond with the Division of Juvenile Services; Eli Baumwell with the WV chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union; Kathy Szafran, President and CEO of Crittenton Services; Cindy Largent-Hill with the WV Supreme Court; Trudi Blaylock with PSI-Med; and Jason Nicholas with the WV Public Defenders’ office. The panel will be moderated by Circuit Court Judge Joanna Tabit. The panel will discuss how West Virginia can move more toward an intervention and prevention model instead of an institutional model when dealing with adverse youth experiences.

9:00PM: Screening of the film Paper Tigers. Paper Tigers is an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth. Set amidst the rural community of Walla Walla, WV, the film intimately examines the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities, a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).

Both events are free of charge and will take place in the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts.

SPI is open to students accepted to and currently enrolled in their junior/senior undergraduate programs and graduate degree programs at accredited public or private colleges and universities.  The application period for the 2016 SPI is currently closed, but please visit for information regarding future programming.

For more information, please contact Tara Martinez, policy outreach coordinator, at .

42nd Annual Jackson’s Mill Jubilee Featuring Antique Tractors Show, Parade

The Free Press WV

WESTON, WV — If you’re a fan of antique tractors, put the 42nd Annual Jackson’s Mill Jubilee on your calendar. Tractor 1

“Mark your calendar for September 02, 03 and 04, 2016,” said Debora Garrett, president of the 42nd Annual Jackson’s Mill Jubilee.

Garrett hopes to offer a large display of tractors and is inviting all antique tractor owners to displaying their tractors at this year’s Labor Day event.

“This year, the entire left side of of the livestock barn will be used for the tractor display, throughout the weekend, as musical entertainment will be held in the arena of the barn.  Awards will be given for the oldest tractor, the most tractors, President’s Choice, longest distance traveled, and more. On Saturday, Sept. 2, there will be a parade of tractors around the Jackson Mill Campus grounds allowing visitors to view these beautiful old machines,” Garrett said, “To the tractor owners, thank you for your interest and continued support of this historical American presentation.”

Interested owners can complete the attached application and return before August 01 , 2016. Any questions who be addressed to Garrett at 304-269-6131. Leave a message and return phone number).

Jackson’s Mill Jubilee Antique Tractors Show Application

Transport trailers are to be parked for the weekend in front of the red building on the Airport. Arrival times are Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Other times of arrival must be approved. Departure time is after 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Tractor owners and one guest will be admitted free for the three-day Jubilee.

The Free Press WV


The Free Press WV

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced that $1,188,108 will be awarded to the CAMC Health Education and Research Institute, Inc., Roane County School District and Pocahontas County Board of Education. This funding will establish a new telemedicine network that will connect clinical specialists to rural hospitals in central and southern West Virginia and medical and educational experts to school districts in rural communities.

“Through telecommunications, West Virginians living in rural communities will now have access to healthcare and educational services they deserve,” Senator Manchin said. “I’m glad this funding will help CAMC Health Education and Research Institute, the Roane County School District and the Pocahontas County Board of Education expand these important services to those living in rural areas.”

“West Virginians living in small, hard-to-reach communities throughout the state often find it difficult to access quality care due to a lack of resources,” said Senator Capito. “I am pleased to support efforts that make it easier for our medical and educational experts to expand their services to rural communities, so residents are able to receive the quality services they deserve.”

Individual Awards Listed Below:

    •  $188,206 – CAMC Health Education and Research Institute, Inc.

    •  $499,951 – Roane County School District

    •  $499,951 – Pocahontas County Board of Education

Hunting Season Changes in West Virginia Explained

Hunting Season Changes Explained In
New 2016–2017 West Virginia Hunting And Trapping Regulations Summary

The Free Press WV

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV - Several important changes in the state’s fall hunting seasons for squirrel, white-tailed deer, black bear and wild turkey are included in the new 2016–2017 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary brochure.

The publication is now available at all West Virginia hunting and fishing license agents, DNR district offices, the Elkins Operation Center and the South Charleston Headquarters. The 2016–2017 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary also is available at

Hunters and trappers are encouraged to carefully review these regulations due to the numerous changes in hunting seasons. Major changes for 2016–2017 include:

  • The statewide squirrel season will open September 10, 2016, and will close a month later than last year on February 28, 2017.

  • The posting of private lands has expanded to include the use of purple paint as a method of posting private land.

  • Changes for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management will be in effect November 21 and 22, 2016, in Hampshire and Hardy counties. All adult deer harvested by hunters November 21–22 within the CWD Containment Area of Hampshire and Hardy counties will be required to be brought to a designated CWD sampling station.

  • Hunters killing a black bear are now required to submit a first premolar tooth by January 31, 2017.

  • The black bear Archery and Crossbow Seasons in Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties will not close during the buck firearms season and will be open September 24–December 31, 2016.

  • Black bear hunting firearms season in 2016 includes four counties open September 03–10; 15 counties or parts thereof open September17–23; four counties open October 01–07; 33 counties (some of which are by permit only) open November 21–December 03 during the Buck Firearms Season; and all 55 counties open December 05–31.

  • The definition of baiting for the purposes of black bear hunting has been expanded.

  • Fall wild turkey hunting season has been expanded this year with all 55 counties open October 08–15; seven counties open October 24–29; and 14 counties open October 24–November 12.

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