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Poll: Don’t Rate Teachers Based on Student Tests

Many Americans, especially public-school parents, give low marks to rating a teacher based partly on how students perform on standardized tests, according to a survey. (Associated Press, August 24, 2015)

The Gilmer Free Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Many Americans, especially public-school parents, give low marks to rating a teacher based partly on how students perform on standardized tests, according to a survey.

The Gallup Poll released Sunday found 55 percent opposed linking teacher evaluations to their students’ test scores. Among those with children in public schools opposition was stronger, at 63 percent.

Standardized tests are necessary, but there’s an overreliance on them, said Joshua Starr, CEO of Phi Delta Kappa International, an association for educators, and a former schools superintendent. PDK, which supports teachers and educational research, paid for the poll conducted by Gallup.

“Parents see the work their kids bring home every night,“ Starr said in an interview. “They go to teacher conferences, and they’re more likely to judge the school and the quality of the teacher based on that, than solely using test scores.“

As many schools prepare for a return to the classroom in the coming weeks, more than 40 states are moving forward with plans to evaluate teachers and principals in part on how well their students perform on standardized tests. It’s something the Education Department has supported and encouraged through its Race to the Top grants to schools and other programs. While the department says other factors should be considered, such as student work and parent feedback, teachers, unions and others worry there’s too much emphasis on test scores.

Standardized tests in general were not popular with many in the survey, which included a telephone poll of 1,000 American adults supplemented with an online survey of nearly 3,500 more. The online survey included people initially selected at random, but only those with access to the Internet.

Nearly two-thirds of those in the online survey said too much emphasis is placed on standardized testing in public schools. Nineteen percent said they were comfortable with the tests, 7 percent said there was too little emphasis and 10 percent didn’t know.

Of public-school parents questioned in the online poll, nearly half — 47 percent — said parents should be allowed to excuse their children from taking one or more standardized tests, 40 percent disagreed and 13 percent didn’t know. More whites supported the idea of opting out of tests. Some 44 percent of whites agreed, compared to 35 percent of Hispanics and only 28 percent of African-Americans. A majority of blacks, 57 percent, said parents should not excuse their children from the tests.

In recent years, there’s been a small but growing number of parents deciding to keep their kids home or otherwise out of the classroom during state standardized tests.

New York is believed to have the largest rate of opt-outs so far. About 20 percent of the state’s third- through eighth-graders refused to take the tests this spring, up from 5 percent a year earlier. Other states have reported resistance to the tests, including Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.

People in the online poll were mostly split on the intensely debated Common Core education standards. They have been adopted in much of the country and spell out what English and math standards students should master at each grade level. Fifty-four percent of public school parents oppose teachers in their communities using the Common Core standards to guide what they teach, while 25 percent favored them.

More blacks favored Common Core — 41 percent, compared to 29 percent of Hispanics and only 21 percent of whites.

The standards were drafted by the states with the support of the Obama administration, but have become a rallying point for conservatives who want a smaller federal role in education. In Congress, the House and Senate passed separate bills last month to update the No Child Left Behind education law. The bills, among other things, would prevent the Education Department from mandating or giving states incentives to adopt or maintain any particular set of standards, such as Common Core.

The online survey found resounding agreement on vaccinations. Eighty-four percent said all children should be vaccinated before they attend a public school; 9 percent disagreed.

The PDK/Gallup poll was conducted in May. The margin of sampling error in the telephone poll is plus or minus 4.7 percentage points, and plus or minus 3 percentage points for the online poll.

Historic Preservation Survey and Planning Grants Available

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV — The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History is accepting applications for historic preservation survey and planning grants. Applications must be postmarked by October 31, 2015. Approximately $80,000 will be awarded from funding appropriated by the U.S. Congress for preservation efforts through the National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund.

State and local government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations and firms, and educational institutions are qualified to apply. Historic Landmark Commissions that participate in the Certified Local Government program will receive priority consideration.

Eligible projects may include architectural and archaeological surveys; preparation of National Register of Historic Places nominations; heritage education programs relating to preservation activities; pre-development activities; comprehensive planning documents; and development projects.

Grant funds are awarded on a matching basis, and the announcement of grantees is planned for February 2016, contingent upon receipt of an allocation from the National Park Service. Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2017.

A complete grant package, including a grants manual and application packet with program descriptions, funding priorities and selection criteria is available by contacting Pamela Brooks, grants coordinator for the SHPO, at 304.558.0240 x 720, by emailing her at , by writing: SHPO, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, The Culture Center, Charleston, WV 25305 or at the division’s website at www.wvculture.org/shpo

A competitive process is used to determine the recipients. The final decision will be made by the West Virginia Archives and History Commission, which bases its decision on projects that best meet the established priorities and criteria stated in the grant applications. Development projects will only be considered when all of the justifiable funding needs of eligible projects in other categories have been addressed. All grant monies must be administered in accordance with federal and state requirements.

G-Eye™: Gilmer County Board of Education Monthly Meeting Report - 08.17.15

The Gilmer Free Press
REGULAR MEETING REPORT
Gilmer County Board of Education
Gilmer County High School
Monday, August 17, 2015 – 6:00 PM

I. CALL TO ORDER - Roll Call by President

Meeting was called to order by President. All Members Plus Superintendent were present


II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Pledge of Allegiance was led by the President


III. DELEGATIONS

Mr. David Dennison and his wife Mrs. Dennison(teacher) express dissatisfaction about a board member inquiry [Video]


IV. CONSENT AGENDA-Board Action

    A.  Minutes: July 20, 2015

********************************************
MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
The Board of Education of the County of Gilmer
Monday, July 20, 2015 - 6:00 p.m.
Gilmer County High School

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by President, Dr. Williams Simmons.

ROLL CALL
Members present: Tom Ratliff, Dr. William Simmons, Carl Armour, Norma Hurley, Misty Pritt
and Gabriel J. Devono, Secretary.

Others Present: Nasia Butcher, Phyllis Starkey, David Dennison and David Ramezan.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Carl Armour led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance.

DELEGATIONS
Phyllis Starkey, David Dennison

CONSENT AGENDA
A motion was made by Tom Ratliff and seconded by Misty Pritt to approve all items on the consent agenda. Motion passed 5-0.

NEW BUSINESS
There was no new business.

SUPERINTENDENT’S INFORMATION
Superintendent distributed information concerning Monthly Financial Report, Financial Statement, Accounts Payable, Curriculum and 2015-2016 board Meeting dates.
The next regular meeting of the Gilmer County Board of Education will be August 17, 2015.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by Norma Hurley and seconded by Misty Pritt to adjourn the meeting at 6:53 p.m. Motion passed 5-0.

********************************************

    B.  Student Transfers

Question was asked about number of students in each school. Superintendent promised he would have them by September meeting.

2 Kindergarten Students from Sand Fork Elementary to Glenville Elementary

1 First(1) grade Student from Sand Fork Elementary to Glenville Elementary

1 First(1) grade Student from Troy Elementary to Glenville Elementary

1 Third(3) grade Student from Normantown Elementary to Sand Fork Elementary

1 Third(3) grade Student from Normantown Elementary to Glenville Elementary

1 Third(3) grade Student from Sand Fork Elementary to Glenville Elementary

1 Third(3) grade Student from Troy Elementary to Sand Fork Elementary

1 Fourth(4) grade Student from Normantown Elementary to Glenville Elementary

1 Fourth(4) grade Student from Sand Fork Elementary to Glenville Elementary

1 Fourth(4) grade Student from Troy Elementary to Glenville Elementary

1 Fourth(4) grade Student from Glenville Elementary to Sand Fork Elementary

1 Six(6) grade Student from Troy Elementary to Sand Fork Elementary

    C.  School Volunteers

None

    D.  Field Trips

1) Cedar Creek State Park (K-6) 08.14.15

2) Gilmer County Farm Show at Recreation Center in Glenville (FFA Students) 09.09.15

    E.  Policies

None

    F.  Curriculum

None


V. NEW BUSINESS

None


VI. REPORTS/DISCUSSION/FOLLOW UP (INFORMATION)

    A.  CGCC-Dr. Carl Armour – July 21, 2015

Dr. Armour reported on the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center [Video]

********************************************
Calhoun-Gilmer Administrative Council
Official Minutes July 21, 2015

Members Present:
Mr. Timothy Woodwarcj, Presiding
Mr. Jason Hughes, State Dept.
Mr. Gabriel Devono, GilmerSupt.
Dr. Carl Armour, Gilmer
Mr. Bryan P. Sterns, Secretary

Others Present:
Mrs. Lisa Moore

Absent:
Mrs. Jenna Jett, Calhoun

ITEM I-Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Mr. Woodward at 10:52 a.m.

ITEM II Agenda Adjustments
None

ITEM III-Delegations
Mr. Gene Coulson, Executive Director of Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education was present to inform council of an opportunity they might be interested in pursuing. Schools can be recognized if they prove they provided entrepreneurship education to every student in the building within one school year. Funding from the grant will be expended helping distressed counties implement the program. Calhoun and Gilmer have been identified as such counties by ARC. The award is intended to make all students aware of entrepreneurial career opportunities.

ITEM IV- Re-Organization of Administrative Council
Mr. Devono called for nominations for Administrative Council President and Vice-President. Mr. Hughes moved President and Vice-President stay the same, seconded by Dr. Armour. Motion carried and vote was unanimous. Mr. Woodward remains President and Mr. Devono Vice President by vote of acclamation.

ITEM V - Approval of Minutes
The minutes of June 16, 2015 were presented for approval. Mr. Devono moved to approve the minutes as presented; second by Dr. Armour. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

ITEM VI - Reports
1.  Entrepreneurial Opportunities - See Delegations
2. Skilled and Professional Pathway
Mr. Sterns presented council a handout from Donna Burge-Tetrick regarding the discontinuation of the skilled and professional Pathway.

3. Acceptable Use Policy and Cyber Safety Training
Mr. Sterns let Council know that two CGCC Instructors would like to do the cyber safety training especially for all day Career Center Students. He felt that both schools would be supportive of this effort.

ITEM V- New Business
ABCD: Financial Matters: The list of bills, an additional list of bills, the financial statement, budget supplements, and the CGCC Individual School Financial Report for June were presented for approval.  Mr. Hughes moved to approve all financial items A through D, Seconded by Mr. Devono. Motion carried and vote was unanimous.

E. Personnel:

Employment:  Adult Basic Education Instructor - Linda Jones
Mr. Devono moved to approve the employment as recommended by Mr. Sterns; seconded by Mr. Hughes. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous

Math Instructor-
Mr. Sterns informed council he had 4 applicants with two top choices. He stated that only one applicant was High School certified. He then discussed references with the council. After much discussion in regards to said applicant Dr. Armour moved to employ Kari Hamric as Math Instructor. Seconded by Mr. Hughes. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

Substitute Lists Calhoun and Gilmer Counties
Mr. Hughes made a motion to allow CGCC to use the substitute lists from both counties for the 2015-16 School year. Seconded by Dr. Armour. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous. (The lists are unavailable at this time)
Postings: Mr. Sterns presented Council with Postings for Substitute Custodian and Evening ALC Instructor. (See Attachment 7 and 8) Dr. Armour moved to approve the postings as recommended; seconded by Mr. Devono. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous
Council also had before them postings for Building Construction Night Class Instructor, Welding night class Instructor, and Small Engine Repair Night Class Instructor. After some discussion, motion was made by Mr. Devono to post, pending adequate enrollment, at $18.00/hr. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.

F. General Discussion
Simulated Workplace Drug Testing Policy - The two Superintendents informed those present that they did not have a presentation from Dr. D’Antoni at their Superintendent’s Conference, nor did they have a chance to speak with her regarding the simulated drug place policy. After discussion, both felt they could get further information from other Superintendents with a policy already in place.

ALC Summer Support - Mr. Sterns mentioned the possibility of next summer employing an ALC Summer Support Instructor at an hourly rate to monitor those students working online throughout the summer.
Commercial Baking - Prostart Instructor, Annette Benson, is in the process of developing a new CTE Commercial Baking Program here at Calhoun Gilmer Career Center. Mr. Sterns informed Council members that this would be offered for 2nd year students.

NRM Modifications -Mr. Sterns discussed the SAE requirement and additional days for the Natural Resource Management Instructor. Five additional days were mentioned for the supervision and to monitor summer projects.

ITEM VI - Adjournment and Scheduling of Next Meeting

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Administrative Council will be Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. With no further business occurring, the meeting was adjourned.
Mr. Tim Woodward, Presiding
Mr. Bryan P. Sterns, Secretary

********************************************


    B. RESA 7- Dr. William Simmons


VII. SUPERINTENDENT’S INFORMATION [Video]

    A. Monthly Financial Report

    B. Financial Statement

    C. Accounts Payable

    D. Curriculum & Summer School

    E. Strategic Plan Meeting


The next Regular Board Meeting is Monday, September 21, 2015.


VIII. ADJOURNMENT

08.27.2015
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleLinnNormantownSand ForkTroyEducationEvents | AnnouncementsMeeting | Forum | Conference | WorkshopFeaturesG-Eye™News(3) Comments

Permalink - Link to This Article

~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Thank you GFP for posting minutes for the Calhoun Gilmer Career Center. Comparing those minutes to ones for Gilmer County’s Board meetings is a study in contrast.

At the CGCC there is a focused mission everyone understands and supports, nothing including finances,  personnel, and details about instructional programs is kept secret from citizens, the meetings are structured to keep parents and everyone else fully informed, and you can tell from the minutes that emphasis down there is that every student is important to be treated accordingly.

No meaningless lip service. Demonstrated Center commitment to performance and student success instead.

Why the differences? They pertains to superior leadership and lack of censorship at the CGCC.

The later is one of the WVDOE’s intervention trademarks as Dr. Martirano peddles his community involvement pillar throughout WV.

You can’t have effective citizen involvement, support, and trust for common core or anything else, Dr. Martirano,  when information is purposely withheld from people.

By CGCC Student's Parent  on  08.27.2015

Too bad the Troy parents weren’t smart enough to send their kids to the new school instead of an overcrowded one.

By Ryder  on  08.27.2015

CGCC student parent has succeeded in showing everyone the difference.

The CGCC minutes professional and very well written.

Cannot say same for GC under state control.
Poor agenda.  Vote to approve what?  Then BS with the ever famous, no discussion, consent agenda ramrodded through.

The GCBOE meetings led by the state shill and state anointed superintendent Debone0h, its so dang plain.  The State Boys in Charleston have to be leading, planning, condoning these actions?

If not, why is it still happening?

The local board leader always talks, but never says anything?
Reminds of the old, once popular, soy-burgers.  Filled you up but left a bad taste in your mouth?

By Crooked County Crooks from Charleston  on  08.27.2015

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Trooper Eric Workman Foundation Donates Electro Anesthesia Gloves to Division of Natural Resources

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV - The Trooper Eric Workman Foundation recently provided gifts to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section (WVDNR) to honor the life of the late Eric Workman and his dedication to fish and fishing in West Virginia.

The Foundation purchased minnows used for muskellunge production in the state’s fish hatcheries and Smith-Root electro anesthesia gloves to help safely handle large fish like muskies.

West Virginia State Trooper Workman and Corporal Marshall Bailey tragically were lost in the line of duty in 2012.

The Gilmer Free Press


Trooper Workman was an avid and accomplished angler and the Foundation works to support fishing and fisheries management work in the state.

The Foundation also promotes drug-free awareness and supports local educational scholarships.

“We appreciation the gifts from the Foundation and look forward to future cooperative projects in Eric Workman’s name and honor,” said Bret Preston, WVDNR assistant chief for warmwater fisheries.

West Virginia News

The Gilmer Free Press

WV state workers file grievances over payday switch

CHARLESTON, WV - A change in pay periods for West Virginia state employees has prompted grievances from workers who say they won’t receive their full salaries during the switchover.

The state began switching pay periods in June from twice monthly to biweekly. Pay periods will increase from 24 to 26.

Gordon Simmons with the West Virginia Public Workers Union tells the Charleston-Gazette Mail that some employees discovered that they will receive 25 paychecks in the switchover year. Overall, he says the change could cost employees millions of dollars.

The grievances include one filed by David Harper Gardner Jr. and 23 other Department of Transportation employees. Gardner says he discovered that he’ll lose about $212.

State Auditor’s Office spokesman Justin Southern says it’s his understanding that no one will lose pay because of the change.


WVU implements plan to raise suicide awareness on WV campuses

MORGANTOWN, WV—The West Virginia University Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services is in the process of implementing a comprehensive communication and outreach plan equipping students with the necessary resources and support to cope with depression as a result of the passage of Jamie’s Law during the 2015 legislative session requiring middle, high schools and universities to offer suicide awareness and prevention programs to students, faculty and staff.

Incoming WVU students will be provided with these resources as they begin their college careers, according to a press release. The press release continues by stating suicide is the second-leading cause of death among the 10-24 age population in West Virginia.

Assistant Vice President for Student Wellness Cathy Yura said WVU is well-positioned to comply with Jamie’s Law thanks to receiving a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services grant in 2013. The goals of the HelpWELL program align closely with initiatives set forth in Jamie’s Law.

Some of the goals include increasing collaboration among campus and community partners in regard to suicide prevention efforts and increasing the amount of suicide and mental health promotion training and informational materials available to faculty and staff who are positioned to interact with high-risk students.

A 30 minute online interactive role-playing game module in which participants learn to recognize signs of distress, practice having conversations with students of concern and how to direct those students to the appropriate campus resources is available to help educate WVU faculty and staff about the importance of Jamie’s Law and suicide prevention support, the press release states.

Yura said additional work is also underway.

“We will also be developing and implementing a comprehensive social marketing campaign to increase help-seeking among students, reduce negative attitudes for seeking care and increasing the promotion of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline,“ she said in a prepared statement. “We are proud to provide these tools to our WVU community and we hope that others will adopt the mindset that even one death by suicide is one to many.“

Jamie’s Law was named for Jamie Toman, who died as a result of suicide 21 years ago in Ritchie County. Jamie’s sister, Michelle, has since worked to raise suicide awareness and reduce the rate of suicide statewide.

For students who feel depressed and/or are having thoughts of suicide, WVU encourages them to talk to someone and seek support, whether on-campus through the Carruth Center or via one of the national suicide hotlines:

• Carruth After Hours: 304.293.4431; call any time to reach a counselor.
• National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255).
• Military Veterans Suicide Hotline: 1.800.273.TALK (Press 1).
• Trevor Project Hotline (LGBTQ): 1.866.4UTREVOR (1.866.488.7386).


Pastor who helped negotiate end to Philip Barbour hostage situation believes student was bullied

PHILIPPI, WV — The 14-year-old student that held a classroom hostage with a gun at Philip Barbour High School Tuesday afternoon was described by his pastor that helped negotiate a nonviolent end to the situation as a kid who felt pushed too far by bullying.

“He doesn’t have a history of violence, he doesn’t have a history of being crazy. He’s just a quiet kid with some normal teenage issues,” Pastor Howard Swick with Haven of Hope Ministry in Philippi explained on Wednesday’s “MetroNews Talkline”, but said that the boy felt he had to do something “When normal teenage issues meet extreme everyday bullying and fearing for his life to got to school because he’s going to get stabbed in the hallway or something.”

No one within the youth ministry that the student participated in was quite aware he was being bullied until the day before when Swick’s daughter –a senior at PBHS– physically stood between him and a group of students who were “getting a little rough” and threatening him.

The Gilmer Free Press


The next day, the student attended his normally scheduled class at approximately 1:30 p.m. with 27 other students and one teacher when he allegedly pulled out a gun and began pointing it at different individuals.

“He had a .380 caliber pistol and he retrieved it from home,” Lt. Michael Baylous with State Police said. “I don’t know how it was secured if it was secured at the house, but it was accessible to him.”

The school was immediately put on lockdown as the staff went through the set protocol of evacuating the remainder of the 724-member student body to the football field.

The teacher being held hostage was reportedly able to keep the student calm until authorities arrived.

Negotiators from the Philippi Police Department and State Police were able to talk the student into releasing the hostages after 45 minutes and then began working over the next hour and a half to diffuse the situation without violence, as he was threatening to harm himself.

A major factor into the resolution was when Cpl. Harmon made an appeal to the student’s religious background.

“He started taking it into the spiritual realm at one point and the suspect wanted to talk to his own pastor,” Baylous said. “His own pastor came in and that is when he decided to surrender.”

It was then that Swick was called in and escorted to the door. He began encouraging the boy and telling him even though he had made a mistake, it wasn’t going to get any worse on his watch.

“Finally, I just told him, I said ‘This is how it’s going to end, you put the gun down, I will come in, I will give you a hug and I will personally walk you into an ambulance.’ The FBI guy behind me is like, he says ‘We will honor what the pastor just said. You do what he said and we’ll honor it.‘”

The student removed the clip from the gun, placed it on a desk, opened the door, put his hands up as Swick gave him a hug and escorted him to an ambulance after police put handcuff on the boy.

Swick described the moment as surreal and felt it was “divine appointment” that he be on the scene.

The student was transported to the hospital by ambulance to be evaluated and students were released to their parents and afternoon buses.

Lt. Baylous praised the effort of all those involved to bring the situation to a nonviolent conclusion.

“This really was a team effort,” he said. “Everyone from law enforcement, first responders, fire departments, even the community members there, parents and school personnel. Everyone there responded in an awesome manner.”

Charges against the student are being pursued, according to Barbour County prosecuting attorney Leckta Poling.

After appearing in a special hearing before Barbour County Circuit Court Judge Alan Moats on a juvenile petition, he was initially charged with 28 counts of wanton endangerment, one count of making terroristic threats and one count of possessing a firearm on school premises.

“I really pray that this isn’t the end,” Swick said. “I pray that he gets the punishment that he deserves but also the help he deserves. He is a juvenile and I’m hoping that 10 years down the road this isn’t going to plague him the rest of his life.”

The boy is being held at the J.M. “Chick” Buckbee Juvenile Center in Hampshire County awaiting further action by the court.

The investigation into the incident is being conducted jointly by State Police, the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office and Philippi Police.


$200,000 FOR Williamson Health and Wellness Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today announced that the Williamson Health and Wellness Center will receive $200,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Care Coordination Network Partnership Program to enhance physical and psychosocial (psychological and social) health care services for individuals living with diabetes, congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“Coordinating health care activities to address both the physical and mental aspects of health and wellness is vital for people living with chronic conditions, especially in our rural areas where access to health care can be more challenging,” Senator Manchin said.  “With this grant funding, Williamson Health and Wellness Center will be able to provide more comprehensive health services that West Virginians need and deserve.”

The goal of the Rural Health Care Coordination Network Partnership Program is to provide more effective care for rural patients living with chronic conditions by integrating behavioral health care into primary care. The rise of chronic diseases along with the cost of health care has brought treatment of the whole person to the forefront, especially given the connection between psychosocial issues and chronic diseases; for example, there is a link between diabetes and depression. This care coordination program deliberately organizes patient care activities to meet patients’ needs and preferences and tailors treatment to the resources and challenges of rural communities.


Ocean City police rescue puppy stolen from West Virginia

OCEAN CITY, MD - Maryland’s Ocean City Police Department Animal Control Unit has rescued a puppy that had been stolen from a foster home in West Virginia.

Ocean City police say animal control officers began investigating reports of a stolen puppy after being contacted by an animal shelter in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

Police say shelter staff informed officers that a woman had stolen the dog known as “Foxie” from a foster home, and gone toward the Ocean City area.

Authorities located the unidentified suspect and the dog at a home in Ocean Pines. Police say Animal Control Officers deemed the home and the suspect unsuitable for a pet and took the dog into their custody.

Ocean City Police Department spokeswoman Lindsay Richard says the agency believes the dog is a German Shepherd-Chow Chow mix.


Authorities: Teacher calmed teen who held classmates hostage

PHILIPPI, WV - Authorities say that with 29 terrified students looking on, a West Virginia high school teacher managed to calm a 14-year-old student who pointed a gun at her in her classroom, giving a police chief time to arrive and convince the boy to free his peers and surrender.

No one was hurt Tuesday in the hostage-taking that rocked Philip Barbour High School high school in Philippi, a small West Virginia town some 115 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

State Police Lt. Michael Baylous wouldn’t say what spurred the hostage-taking, citing an ongoing investigation.

Barbour County Prosecutor Leckta Poling said she plans to pursue unspecified charges against the suspect, but the court process is closed because the unidentified student is a juvenile.


Charges Against Wayne County Assessor Sent To Grand Jury

WAYNE, WV – A Wayne County magistrate bound over charges against the county assessor, accused of misusing a county credit card and making terroristic threats, to a grand jury.

Magistrate John Cavins on Wednesday at preliminary hearings sent both charges against Assessor Eric Hodges to the grand jury. Hodges is accused of misusing two county credit cards and ringing up more than $50,000 in charges for personal use. He also is accused of making a terroristic threat after he allegedly threatened to bring a gun into the Wayne County branch of Huntingtonized Federal Credit Union after he was denied a $2,000 loan.

At a preliminary hearing on the terroristic threat charge, employees of the credit union said they felt threatened by Hodges when he allegedly made the threat.

The magistrate denied a defense motion that a $250,000 bond be set for Hodges under the conditions that he surrender his county keys and not set foot in the assessor’s office.

Hodges, whose bond was revoked on Monday, was sent back to the Western Regional Jail.

Did You Know?

The Gilmer Free Press

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


ON-AIR KILLINGS OF 2 JOURNALISTS GRIP MILLIONS IN SOCIAL MEDIA STORM

Unlike so many crimes, which have to be pieced together in reverse, this one plays out in real time on Twitter and Facebook.


WHY TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN STRUCTURE IS SPECIAL

His operation fields less than a tenth of Hillary Clinton’s 350 paid staffers and has no pollster or media consultant, upending the conventional electoral wisdom.


WHO IS HEADED TO NEW ORLEANS

Obama is marking 10 years since Hurricane Katrina by celebrating the revival of the city, which suffered the worst of the storm’s devastation.

4. ARGENTINE MOM PINS HOPES ON POPE

Lidia Guerrero, whose son has been on death row in Texas for 19 years, is praying that Francis, who opposes the death penalty, will advocate for him in the U.S. in September.


FOR MIDEAST WAR-WOUNDED, JORDANIAN HOSPITAL HELPS RECOVERY

Among its patients is a 14-year-old Syrian girl whose lower legs were torn off by a shell.


CALIFORNIA TAX DONATIONS LOST IN BUREAUCRACY

Millions of dollars is unspent or lost in bureaucratic mazes established by lawmakers looking to help worthy causes without committing state dollars, the AP learns.


CHINA DETAINS 11 OVER WAREHOUSE EXPLOSION

A notice on the national prosecutor’s website says they include officials in the port city of Tianjin, along with others working for the company that runs the port.


WHAT COMPLICATES THE JOB OF FIRE CREWS IN WASHINGTON

Smoke from big wildfires burning east of the Cascade Range grounds helicopters and airplanes that have been battling the flames.


CHINESE STOCK INDEX JUMPS 5.3 PERCENT

Markets also rise in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Sydney and elsewhere across the Asia-Pacific region.


MORE NCAA ATHLETES SEEK OWN TRADEMARKS

The association forbids its players from cashing in on their success in sports, but by gaining legal ownership of their nicknames or slogans, they can secure future lucrative deals.

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U.S.A. News

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Hawking: ‘Black Holes Ain’t as Black as Painted’

“If you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There’s a way out.“ So says Stephen Hawking in claiming to have resolved the so-called information paradox—the seemingly irreconcilable problem of two well-accepted tenets involving black holes. Quantum mechanics dictates that the information of the physical state of objects that fall into black holes cannot be lost, while general relativity argues that it can’t survive a black hole’s overwhelming gravitation. Hawking contends that a third perspective could allow both theories to be simultaneously true, reports the Wall Street Journal. “Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted,“ he said, per Al Jazeera. “They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly come out in another universe.“

Information doesn’t actually reach the black hole’s interior, Hawking posits, but rather is stored on its boundary, the event horizon, essentially sitting on the surface as holograms (2D afterimages of a 3D object), reports Engadget. “The information about ingoing particles is returned, but in a chaotic and useless form,“ Hawking adds. “This resolves the information paradox. For all practical purposes, the information is lost.“ Hawking had maintained for decades that information could not possibly be lost, but eventually revised his assessment when his own calculations found that information appears to leak out. But not everyone is applauding. Fellow physicist Gerard ‘t Hooft, who won the Nobel Prize in 1999, says he published a paper in 1996 with a similar finding. “I claim he is now where I was 20 years ago,“ he tells the Journal. “If he announces this as a new idea, I won’t be thrilled.“ (GFP: Details Under TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCE section)


Wine Train Sorry for Kicking Black Women Off Tour

NAPA VALLEY, CA— Rarely has a train gone into reverse as abruptly as the Napa Valley Wine Train. After initially defending its decision to kick a mostly black women’s book club off the train mid-journey for being too noisy, the company has issued a statement saying it was “100% wrong in its handling of the issue.“ Napa Valley Wine Train’s CEO says he has offered the club 50 free passes and will give employees extra cultural sensitivity training, the AP reports. He admits it was “insensitive” to march the 11 women, the oldest of whom is 83, through several cars of the train before they got off at a station, where they were met by police. He also apologized for an “inaccurate” Facebook post that accused the women of abusing train staff, reports the Oakland Tribune.

Free passes or not, the leader of Sistahs on the Reading Edge club says she can’t see the group joining another tour through California’s wine country. “You can apologize, but you can’t take away the experience we had,“ author Lisa Renee Johnson tells the Tribune. “We were still marched down the aisle of the train car to waiting police officers. I’m still traumatized by the whole experience.“ She believes racism was behind the ejection, and Slate reports that at least one other group had a similar experience: Nursing student Norma Ruiz says her all-Latino group was moved and told to quieten down or be kicked off the train during an April trip, even though she had seen all-white groups making just as much noise on a previous trip.


Dad’s Survival Tip Kept Lost Boy Alive

UTAH—A 10-year-old boy found safe after more than a day alone in remote eastern Utah backcountry says he remembered the survival skills his father taught him and curled up between rocks still warm from the sun to survive the cold mountain night. “It was weird not having anybody with me, but I just kept going. I knew I had to make it back or my family would be really sad,“ Malachi Bradley says. Malachi had been learning about wild mushrooms and wandered deep into the woods searching for new specimens after a hike with family to a mountain lake. “I went way too far,“ he says. When he realized he was lost, he tried looking for a road so he could flag down a driver, but the area about 200 miles east of Salt Lake City was too remote.

He found river water to drink during the day and tried unsuccessfully to catch a fish by fashioning a spear from a stick. Meanwhile, dozens of search and rescue workers were combing the area on horses and ATVs and in the air, but they couldn’t spot Malachi in the wooded terrain. The next day, Malachi heard a police helicopter flying overhead. He knew he couldn’t be seen through the trees, so he started walking again until he found a clearing. He stayed there, briefly falling asleep, until a search plane spotted him from the air and a helicopter landed to pick him up Monday. Medical staff on the scene declared him cold and hungry but otherwise fine. Malachi said he’ll go camping again, but next time he’ll stay close to other people. “I’ll learn from my mistakes,“ he says.


Teen Took 29 Students, Teacher Hostage in WV

PHILIPPI, WV —A 14-year-old boy held 29 students and a teacher at gunpoint in a West Virginia high school classroom yesterday afternoon before he released them after negotiations and surrendered, authorities say. No injuries were reported. The student took a pistol into a second-floor classroom at Philip Barbour High School, police say. It was the ninth day of the new school year in Philippi, a town of some 3,000 residents located about 115 miles south of Pittsburgh. Authorities say the episode began after 1pm and police had brought the situation under control by about 3:30pm, though they didn’t immediately say just how long hostages were held.

Barbour County Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Woofter praised the teacher for maintaining control when classes were about to change. Woofter says the teacher talked the boy into not allowing the next group of students to enter the classroom and “did a miraculous job, calming the student, maintaining order in the class.“ Woofter says Philippi Police Chief Jeff Walters negotiated the release of the students from the classroom and eventually got the suspect to surrender. Walters “did an awesome job negotiating with this very troubled young man,“ Woofter says. The county prosecutor says she plans to pursue unspecified charges against the suspect, who was taken to a hospital for evaluation.


Two Virginia television journalists fatally shot in on-air attack

VIRGINIA—The suspect in the fatal shooting of two television journalists during a live broadcast Wednesday in Southwest Virginia who reportedly shot himself after a chase on a highway west of Washington has died after the dramatic and fast-changing incident unfolded on national television and social media.

The suspect was identified as Vester Lee Flanagan, 41. He also goes by the name Bryce Williams. He allegedly shot and killed television reporter Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, a cameraman, videographer and photographer, as they were doing a live scene at a tourist destination celebrating its 50th anniversary for CBS affiliate WDBJ7 in Roanoke, VA.

Brian Moran, Virginia secretary of public safety, said the shooter was pronounced dead at an area hospital at 1:26 p.m., according to state police.


Flanagan is believed to have posted on social media videos showing him shooting the two television reporters. Screenshots taken before the video was removed from the Internet showed a gun pointed at Parker as she interviewed an official — Vicki Gardner — who helps run a local chamber of commerce group and asked her about tourism.

The incident began about 6:45 a.m. The station they worked for said Ward and Parker had worked together before and were killed as they were doing a live shot at Bridgewater Plaza — a shopping and entertainment center near Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County to commemorate the its 50th anniversary.

Video of the shooting shows Parker interviewing Gardner. Shots rang out and screams are heard. The shooting was captured on camera by Ward before he apparently dropped the camera. Another news anchor who was in the newsroom can be seen in shock and disbelief as she tried to figure out what happened on live television.

Several social media outlets took down the video showing the shooting.

The incident was caught on video, and screams can be heard after the shots rang out.

Jeff Marks, the station’s general manager, said the two were on the scene, reporting live when “someone with a gun barged into where they were.” He said it is believed that the gunman fired six or seven shots.

“We heard screaming and then we heard nothing,” he said on air. “The camera fell.”

Gardner — the chamber official — was taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where she underwent surgery. She is expected to recover. Jessica Gauldin, vice chairman of the chamber of commerce and was in the hospital with Gardner’s family and friends, said Gardner had suffered some “internal damage, but she’s stabilized right now and it looks good.”

Colleagues at the station turned their broadcasts throughout the day into news updates and tributes of their two colleagues.

Parker and Ward were both involved with two other people who worked at the station. It was supposed to be a day of celebration because Ward’s fiancee Melissa Ott, who was working in the station’s control room when the shooting happened and saw the incident unfold, was having her last day there. She was taking a job at a station in Charlotte, NC, and Ward was expected to follow her.

It had turned into a day of tragedy for those at the station as they tried to report the news and hide their tears.

Jeff Marks, the president and general manager of WDBJ7, said Flanagan had worked at the station but was let go. It was not clear exactly why he left.

After the shooting, authorities launched a large-scale manhunt for the suspect and it was not immediately clear who they were going after or why.

By mid-day, several law enforcement agencies were chasing Flanagan in a greyish-colored Ford Mustang along Interstate 66 near the Fauquier and Warren County lines. They tried to stop him but he refused and sped away. Minutes later, he ran off the road and crashed.
Vester Lee Flanagan, also known as Bryce Williams, was named as the suspect in Wednesday’s shooting. (WDBJ) Vester Lee Flanagan, also known as Bryce Williams, was named as the suspect in Wednesday’s shooting.

When troopers approached the car they found the man suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and has life-threatening injuries.

Flanagan said in his LinkedIn profile — under the name Bryce Williams — that he had worked at several TV stations, mostly in the South since the mid-1990s. He also had jobs in marketing and customer relations.

He said he joined WDBJ in March 2012 and left the station after less than a year, in February 2012. Marks — the station’s general manager — said that after months of disruptive behavior Flanagan was fired and ushered out of the station by police. He did not give details as to what the behavior problems involved.

Flanagan “did not take that well,” he said from his station’s studio at the anchor desk. Marks described him as “an unhappy man.”

“We employed him as a reporter, and he had some talent in that respect, and some experience, although he had been out of the business for a while when we hired him here,” Marks said. “He quickly became — gathered a reputation as someone who was difficult to work with…

“He was sort of looking out for people to say things that he could take offense to,” Marks recalled. “And eventually, after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him. And he did not take that well. We had to call the police to escort him from the building.

“Since then –well, he then fired an action with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in which he made all kinds of complaints. And there may have been one about Alison and/or Adam – I frankly don’t remember – but about members of the staff making racial comments. He was African American. And none of them could be corroborated by anyone. We think they were fabricated.” The EEOC claim was dismissed, according to Marks.

“So we had an unhappy former employee. But this happens. And usually they move on. Sometimes they’re just not suited for the work, and they move on and get a job somewhere else. But he remained in town, because every now and then someone would run into him at the grocery store or someplace like that.

“But,” Marks said, “I don’t recall getting a report of any run-ins or difficult situations … so there was not a lot of concern.”

Marks added, “You can never imagine someone would come back and act on those.”

The Gilmer Free Press


For those at the station and the family of those who were killed it was a tough time as they reflected on Ward and Parker.

“Our hearts are broken,” said Marks, the station manager. He said the two were “just out doing a story today.”

Ward, a 2011 Virginia Tech graduate, was known to hear of news even on his way home and stop, turn around and go help report.

Parker is a 2012 graduate of James Madison University in Virginia, according to the station. She grew up near Martinsville. Before joining WDBJ7, she worked in Jacksonville, NC.

Chris Hurst, an anchor at WDBJ7, tweeted shortly after the shooting that he and Parker had “just moved in together,” and had been dating for about nine months. “We wanted to get married,” he wrote.

Fellow reporters at the station described Parker as kind, friendly and a “rock star reporter.”

Marks said Ward’s fiancee also worked at the TV station and was in the control room when the shooting happened.

“This was going to be a day of celebration,” Marks said.

Ott said on her Facebook page that she and Ward got engaged on Dec. 20, 2014. Photos she posted show the smiling couple enjoying sporting events and tailgating. Ward is seen wearing gear from Virginia Tech.

According to his LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, Ward joined the WDBJ staff in 2011. He had graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in communication and media studies. He enrolled at Virginia Tech in 2007 — the same year of a shooting at the campus there that left 32 people dead and more than two dozen wounded. This past April, eight days before the eighth anniversary of the campus massacre, Ward changed his Facebook profile picture to an image of the school’s logo and a black ribbon.

In a statement, officials with the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce asked for Gardner to be kept in prayers.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe noted that his family had just vacationed at Smith Mountain Lake and used the tragedy to repeat his support for tighter gun control.

“What a tragedy, he said. “We just finished a family vacation standing literally on the dock area, where we rented out boats. Such a beautiful site.”

“There are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns,” he said. “That is why I’ve long advocated for background checks. … We’ve got, in America, we’ve got to come together. There’s too much gun violence in the United States of America.”

Smith Mountain Lake is a reservoir and lies about an hour southeast of Roanoke. It was created in the 1960s with the construction of the Smith Mountain Dam. The lake has become a popular vacation spot for fishing and boating.

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) said on Twitter that the incident is “just heart-wrenching.”

The killings are the 7th and 8th journalists killed in the U.S. since 1992.

World News

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French Prosecutors Don’t Buy Train Gunman’s Story

FRANCE —French prosecutors apparently aren’t buying the story that Ayoub El-Khazzani was just a hungry man who stumbled upon a bag of weapons in a park and planned to rob people for food money. The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed today that the Moroccan suspect in the foiled attack on a high-speed train was hit with terrorism charges overnight. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins has said El-Khazzani, 26, watched a jihadi video on his cellphone moments before the attack and that—although he claimed to be homeless—he used a first-class ticket. Molins said the suspect’s explanations became increasingly incoherent until he stopped speaking altogether to investigators.

Among the terrorism charges he faces are multiple counts of attempted murder, possession of weapons, and conspiracy. Meanwhile, an American hero is back on U.S. soil. Sacramento State student Anthony Sadler, who helped subdue El-Khazzani, arrived in Sacramento around 7pm last night. While the Sacramento Bee reports that he didn’t speak to media, KCRA notes Sadler hasn’t entirely avoided the spotlight: He hit the red carpet in Paris on Monday for the Straight Outta Compton premiere. It’s unclear when pals Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos will return home.


Mother and Her Child Were Born From the Same Womb

SWEDEN

More than three decades after she was born out of her mother’s womb, a Swedish woman gave birth to a child of her own—a child who was also born out of that same womb. The new mom, whose baby is now nine months old, lost her uterus to cancer years ago, and her mom—who is now in her mid-50s—immediately agreed to donate her own uterus to her daughter. “I was crying and told her I loved her and thank you for doing this,“ the new mom, who wishes to remain unnamed, tells the AP of the transplant procedure. After four attempts to transfer embryos into the new uterus via IVF, the young woman got pregnant, and had no complications.

“Feeling him against my cheek was the most wonderful feeling ever,“ she says. “Hopefully when he grows up, uterus transplantation (will be) an acknowledged treatment for women like me and he will know that he was part of making that possible.“ Dr. Mats Brannstrom’s work with womb transplants—“this was impossible until Brannstrom did it,“ says one doctor, and Brannstrom has now overseen four babies born out of transplanted wombs including this one—has been called the biggest fertility medicine breakthrough since IVF. He says this birth was particularly special: “It’s one uterus bridging three generations of a family.“


Kid Trips Into $1.5M Painting

Taiwan—Elsewhere in the world, terrorists threaten art and antiquities, but in Taiwan tween boys holding beverages are the threat. A 12-year-old taking a guided tour with his mom at an art exhibit in Taipei lived out what was probably his (and his mother’s) worst nightmare when he tripped next to a painting worth about $1.5 million, putting his fist right through it as he tried to break his fall, Focus Taiwan reports. He left a large gash in the bottom right of Paolo Porpora’s Flowers, an oil on canvas said to be about 350 years old, the Guardian notes. There were between 200 and 300 visitors at the exhibit when the mishap occurred, per Focus Taiwan.

Video footage from the exhibit at Huashan 1914 Creative Park shows the boy strolling past the ropes that separate the painting from the public, drink in right hand—until he loses his balance and falls over the ropes and into the painting. He appears stunned, looking for reaction from other spectators until he walks away with a woman who appears to be a museum worker. The exhibit organizer, however, isn’t going to make the boy’s family pay for the damages—the painting, the only one signed by Porpora, is insured, the Guardian notes. A post on the exhibit’s Facebook page reads, per the paper: “All 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces and they are very rare and precious. Once these works are damaged, they are permanently damaged.“ Another Facebook post, however, thanks a restorer for fixing the painting up as best as he could. “The restoration of the painting … was possible because of the high skills and talent of Mr. Leo Tsai,“ it read.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Gilmer Free Press

Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire was in Gilmer County on Friday, August 21, 2015.

•  He heard 7 juvenile cases.


•  He also granted an adoption.


•  One case involving an insurance settlement had to be rescheduled.


•  The case of State of West Virginia vs. Kristin Clowser will now be heard on Friday, September 11, 2015 at 9:00 AM in Braxton County.


•  In the case of State of West Virginia vs. Andrew Taylor his bond was reduced to $15,000.00 and he must reside with his sister if he makes bond.

Taylor was represented by Christopher Moffatt of Charleston.

More U.S. Colleges Drop Standardized Tests

The Gilmer Free Press

Hey, high schoolers, scared of bombing on the SATs and not getting into college? Don’t worry, a growing number of U.S. schools are scrapping standardized test scores as part of admission.

Washington, D.C.‘s George Washington University last month joined more than 850 U.S. colleges and universities that no longer require applicants to take the SAT or ACT, tests that have been a feature of American student life for decades.

Proponents of making the tests optional say the switch can help schools become more diverse and admit students who will thrive even though they may have lagged other applicants on scores.

“It was really about making sure that the right students, students for whom GW would be a great place, were not discouraged from applying,“ said Karen Stroud Felton, George Washington’s dean of admissions.

The test-optional trend has accelerated in recent years, with more than two dozen schools dropping the requirement since the spring of 2014, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, which advocates for test-optional admissions. They include Wisconsin’s Beloit College and Temple University in Philadelphia.

But defenders of the SAT and ACT tests of math, reading and writing say they level the playing field for applicants and provide an objective measure for scholarships.

Cyndie Schmeiser, chief of assessment at the College Board, the non-profit that administers the SAT, said research had repeatedly shown it was a strong predictor of academic success.

The SAT is relied upon by thousands of U.S. colleges and universities. It also gives low-income and minority students access to higher education by stripping out subjective factors such as grade inflation, she said.

“The bottom line is that more knowledge is better than less, and especially information like the SAT that is captured under comparable conditions for all kids,“ Schmeiser said.

About 1.7 million students took the SAT in 2014, up almost 60 percent in 20 years, and 1.8 million took the ACT, according to College Board and ACT numbers.

The United States had 3,026 four-year colleges in the 2012-13 academic year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.


DROPPING THE TEST

Natalie Casimir, an 18-year-old from Troutman, North Carolina, is among the college students who were helped by the new trend away from test scores.

Even with a high school grade point average of 4.0, she said, her SAT score of 1580 out of 2400 had driven her to despair about getting into college. That score would have put her in the 60th percentile of students taking the SAT in 2013, the College Board said.

“I didn’t feel like my SAT scores adequately depicted how I perform as a student, because I did really well in the classroom,“ Casimir said.

But she applied to North Carolina’s Wake Forest, which dropped the standardized test requirement in 2008, and got in. Now she is looking at English and political science as areas of study and sees Wake Forest as home.

“I’ve absolutely loved it,“ said Casimir, now a sophomore.

A 2014 study of test-optional admissions involving 123,000 students at 33 schools found no major difference in college grade point averages or graduation rates between those who submitted test scores and those who did not.


GPA RULES

William Hiss, the study’s main investigator and a former head of admissions at Bates College in Maine, said high school grade point average turns out to be an excellent indicator of college success.

“The fact that they are not a great test taker is maybe the only thing that’s out of whack” for strong high school students applying to college, he said.

About 30 percent of students at the schools examined did not submit test scores. They tended to be the first in their families to go to college, minorities, women, from low-income families or recipients of federal Pell Grants, which do not have to be repaid, Hiss said.

Some data raises doubts, however, about whether test-optional admissions boost minority enrollment and diversity.

An analysis for the American Educational Research Association and Sage Publications published last year showed that colleges made no progress in improving diversity after adopting test-optional policies.

But the number of applications went up after schools dropped the test requirements, which also eliminates some of the costs of applying to college. Taking the SAT or ACT can cost up to $56.50 for a U.S. student, and many applicants take the test more than once.

A test-prep industry has also cropped up to coach high schoolers, with IBISWorld market research estimating annual revenue for tutoring and test prep businesses at $9 billion.

The number of test preparation companies soared to 8,777 in 2013 from just under 2,900 in 1998, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. Major test prep companies include Kaplan Inc, a unit of Graham Holdings Co, and Princeton Review, part of IAC/InterActive Corp.

Community Members Invited to BAD Buildings Discussion at GSC - 08.27.15

The Gilmer Free Press

GLENVILLE, WV - The Glenville State College Land Resources Department will play host to a presentation on the implementation of a Brownfields, Abandoned, & Dilapidated (BAD) Buildings Model. The event will take place on Thursday, August 27 at 12:15 PM in room 227-228 of GSC’s Waco Center.

The BAD Buildings Model is part of a program through the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center which provides technical assistance and site analysis tools to help communities develop and enhance local abandoned/dilapidated buildings programs they may already have in place. The discussion at this meeting will show how this model provides a step-by-step plan for local volunteers and elected officials to begin making improvements to their communities.

Center officials define ‘BAD Buildings’ as structures and properties which are vacant, uninhabited and in a state of disrepair, whose owner is taking no active steps to bring the property back into functional use.

Presenters at the event will be Patrick Kirby, Director, and Luke Elser, Project Manager, from the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center.

The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers, which includes offices at Marshall University and West Virginia University, were created in 2005 by the West Virginia Legislature to empower communities to plan and implement brownfields redevelopment projects. Brownfield sites are defined as properties on which expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

The two centers promote economic development and environmental and public health protection through innovative redevelopment of brownfield sites. The centers also promote and coordinate the development of brownfield property by providing training and technical assistance, facilitating site preparation efforts, engaging community involvement, as well as by helping communities with grant writing and leveraging project funding.

The Thursday event at GSC is open to the public, free of cost, and will include light refreshments at 12:00 PM.

GSC Volleyball Team 2015-16

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Story under SPORTS

Gilmer County Family Court Report - 08.19.15

The Gilmer Free Press

On Wednesday, August 19, 2015 Family Court Judge Larry Whited heard cases in Gilmer County.

•  One hearing on relocation was heard.

•  One domestic violence hearing was continued, 2 were granted and a parenting plan was filed in another allocation petition.

•  One contested divorce was heard, but no order has yet been entered.

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