GSC Brass and Woodwind Concert April 16, 2015 - Tonight
GLENVILLE, WV—The annual Glenville State College Brass Ensemble and Woodwind Ensemble Concerts will be held on Thursday, April 16, 2015 beginning at 7:00 PM in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium.
Groups scheduled to be featured include the brass, woodwind, saxophone, clarinet, flute, and trumpet ensembles under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music and Fine Arts Department Chair Lloyd Bone, Assistant Professor of Music Jason Barr, and Professor Emeritus Harry Rich.
“This concert always features a very wide array of musical styles. It is a unique concert as it is the only concert of its type that features so many different chamber music ensembles,” said Bone.
Admission is free to all GSC students and general admission is by donation.
For more information, call 304.462.6340.
West Virginia Colleges Working Together to Support Students with Disabilities
SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV – Representatives from West Virginia’s public colleges and universities met in South Charleston today to discuss strategies to support students with disabilities. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) hosted a one-day workshop focusing on policies, communications practices and environmental and learning resources to encourage a campus-wide culture that supports diversity and accessibility.
“Ensuring access for all students is critical to fulfilling our mission of providing high-quality education and training programs to meet the needs of West Virginia’s communities,” James Skidmore, Chancellor of the WVCTCS, said. “Compliance with regulations is merely the baseline. Our goal is to ensure that our campuses exemplify an environment where all students feel welcome, supported and capable of fulfilling their highest potential.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 11% of college students have some form of impairment, such as a learning disability, visual handicap, hard of hearing or deafness, speech difficulties, or mobility or other physical disabilities. Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, said meeting the needs of these students is a priority for West Virginia’s higher education system.
“The Commission’s five-year master plan for higher education, ‘Leading the Way: Access, Success, Impact,’ sets forth a bold vision for expanding higher education opportunities for students of all ages, incomes and backgrounds” Dr. Hill said. “Today’s workshop highlights our campuses’ commitment to increasing diversity, advancing equity through equal access to education and addressing the unique needs of students to support their long-term success.”
Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting - 04.17.15 - Friday
GILMER COUNTY COMMISSION
AGENDA for REGULAR MEETING
April 17, 2015 @ 9:00 AM
Location: Gilmer County Courthouse
Commission Office – 10 Howard Street, Glenville, WV
I. CALL TO ORDER
II. PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE TO THE U.S. FLAG
III. PUBLIC COMMENTS
9:15 Barbara DeMary-Region VI Workforce Development
9:30 Rick Sypolt-Unsafe Lands and Building Enforcement Agency
9:45 Darrell Ramsey-Gilmer County Recreation Center
V. ROUTINE BUSINESS:
Discussion and/or action on:
1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations
2) Approve Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements
3) Board Appointments and/or Resignations:
a) Board Seats open on the:
i. ** Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency - Dekalb/Troy & Glenville Corporation
ii. **Recreation Center-DeKalb/Troy
4) Budget Revisions
5) Budget Control Report:
6) Approve Invoices for Payment
7) Approve County Commission Minutes for 03/27/2015 & 04/03/2015
8) Receipt of County Board Minutes:
a) Gilmer County Health Department-November 18, 2014
b) Lewis-Gilmer E-911 Advisory Board March 09, 2015
VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1) Renewal of Office of Emergency Management Personnel Contract
2) Presentation of Proposed WV Counties Risk Pool Property, Casualty, and Workers Compensation Policy for Fiscal Year 2015-2016
3) Letter from Hayden Harper Energy-RE: Sale of Recreation Center Oil & Gas Lease Rights to K. Petroleum, Inc. (KPI)
VII. NEW BUSINESS:
Discussion and/or action on:
1. Receipt of Gilmer County Commission Audit for Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014
2. Receipt of Management Letter from State Auditor’s Office – RE: Recommendations for internal controls
3. Notification from Region VII Planning & Development Council’s Revised By-Laws (FYI)
4. Need New Air Conditioner for Probation Office – His doesn’t work
VIII. OTHER BUSINESS
IX. EXECUTIVE SESSION AS NEEDED
NEXT MEETING: April 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM.
U.S. Is ‘World Leader’ in Child Poverty
The callousness of America’s political and business leaders is shocking once you start looking at the numbers.
America’s wealth grew by 60% in the past six years, by over $30 trillion. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60%.
Financier and CEO Peter Schiff said, “People don’t go hungry in a capitalist economy.“ The 16 million kids on food stamps know what it’s like to go hungry. Perhaps, some in Congress would say, those children should be working. “There is no such thing as a free lunch,“ insisted Georgia Representative Jack Kingston, even for schoolkids, who should be required to “sweep the floor of the cafeteria” (as theyactually do at a charter school in Texas).
The callousness of U.S. political and business leaders is disturbing, shocking. Hunger is just one of the problems of our children. Teacher Sonya Romero-Smith told about the two little homeless girls she adopted: “Getting rid of bedbugs, that took us a while. Night terrors, that took a little while. Hoarding food..“
America is a ‘Leader’ in Child Poverty
The U.S. has one of the highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world. As UNICEF reports, “[Children’s] material well-being is highest in the Netherlands and in the four Nordic countries and lowest in Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the United States.“
Over half of public school students are poor enough to qualify for lunch subsidies, and almost half of black children under the age of six are living in poverty.
$5 a Day for Food, But Congress Thought it was Too Much.
Nearly half of all food stamp recipients are children, and they averaged about $5 a day for their meals before the 2014 farm bill cut $8.6 billion (over the next ten years) from the food stamp program.
In 2007 about 12 of every 100 kids were on food stamps. Today it’s 20 of every 100.
For Every 2 Homeless Children in 2006, There Are Now 3
On a typical frigid night in January, 138,000 children, according to the U.S. Department of Housing, were without a place to call home.
That’s about the same number of households that have each increased their wealth by $10 million per yearsince the recession.
The US: Near the Bottom in Education, and Sinking
The U.S. ranks near the bottom of the developed worldin the percentage of 4-year-olds in early childhood education. Early education should be a primary goal for the future, as numerous studies have shown that pre-school helps all children to achieve more and earn more through adulthood, with the most disadvantaged benefiting the most. But we’re going in the opposite direction. Head Start was recently hit with the worst cutbacks in its history.
Children’s Rights? Not in the U.S.
It’s hard to comprehend the thinking of people who cut funding for homeless and hungry children. It may be delusion about trickle-down, it may be indifference to poverty, it may be resentment toward people unable to “make it on their own.“
The indifference and resentment and disdain for society reach around the globe. Only two nations still refuse to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: South Sudan and the United States. When President Obama said, “I believe America is exceptional,“ he was close to the truth, in a way he and his wealthy friends would never admit.
West Virginia News 15041601
ANGLERS CAN EARN CAMPING, CABIN DISCOUNTS IN WV
SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV — The Division of Natural Resources is encouraging families to go fishing and visit West Virginia’s state parks through a rewards program.
Those who catch tagged trout at one of five state parks will earn a certificate good for $100 off a weekly cabin rental. Catching a tagged catfish will earn the holder a free night of camping.
The tagged fish were stocked at Tomlinson Run, Watoga, Cacapon, Cedar Creek and Pipestem state parks.
With some restrictions, the cabin rental discount is for Lost River, Cass Scenic Railroad, Beech Fork, Greenbrier State Forest, Holly River, Pipestem, Cacapon Resort and Bluestone state parks.
The camping offer is at one of the following state parks: Cedar Creek, Chief Logan, Little Beaver, Moncove Lake, North Bend, Pipestem, Tomlinson Run, Watoga Berwind and Coopers Rock.
HOMEMADE BOMB DISCOVERED AT MINGO COUNTY HEAD START FACILITY
WILLIAMSON, WV – Wesy VirginiaState police discovered a homemade explosive device outside the Cinderella Head Start program in Williamson
Spokesman Michael Baylous said the device looked as if it was made of several aerosol cans taped together and had wires soldered to it. It was taken to another location and detonated.
Baylous was unsure if the Head Start program was a target, someone just tried to get rid of the cans, or whether it was meant for apartment buildings nearby.
The intentions of the homemade weapon are still under investigation.
MINGO BECOMES SECOND COUNTY TO LAYOFF WORKERS BECAUSE OF REVENUE DECLINES
WILLIAMSON, WV — The Mingo County Commission voted to furlough 12 employees and cut the salaries of five others, becoming the second county in West Virginia to enact layoffs after a sharp decline in coal-related tax revenues.
With coal tax revenues declining, Mingo County is furloughing 12 workers and cutting salaries for five other employees.
Mingo County Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith told MetroNews affiliate WVOW radio in Logan that a 50-percent drop in coal severance revenue forced cutbacks.
“It’s not only coal severance tax, but our real estate (property) tax collections are extremely low because people are unemployed and don’t have the money to pay their taxes,” Smith said.
The commission laid off six general laborers, a humane officer, two court marshals, a mechanic, a maintenance worker and a funeral escort patrol.
“It’s heartbreaking to sit across the desk and look at people that have done a good job and are struggling from paycheck to paycheck, and to tell them you can no longer afford to keep them employed,” Smith said.
The Nicholas County Commission announced layoffs earlier this year because of declining coal-related revenues. Those cuts affected a few dozen workers, including sheriff’s deputies.
Smith warned Mingo County may face other cost-cutting measures.
“I am optimistic that things will improve, however, I’m a realist in the fact that I believe our condition is going to get worse before it gets better,” he said. “I’m afraid this is only the beginning of the cuts.”
Smith called for the legislature to allow coal-producing counties to keep more of the coal severance taxes that originate there. He said lawmakers could also approve a system that would allow Marcellus shale counties to share tax revenues with other counties.
“They should subsidize southern West Virginia the same way we have subsidized northern West Virginia throughout the years,” Smith said. “We should receive some benefit and share in those taxes.”
THE SEARCH FOR A NEW CAPITAL HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL BEGINS
CHARLESTON, WV – Capital High School is in need of a new principal, after former principal Clinton Giles resigned back in February.
A misdemeanor charge against Giles was dismissed last month for not immediately reporting a January sexual assault crime at the school. Since then, Kanawha County Board of Education member Pete Thaw said “the school is in trouble.”
Dr. Ron Duerring, the Kanawha County school superintendent, will be conducting interviews Thursday with six principal candidates.
Thaw said Capital High School is a big school, with many students, and a lot of parent involvement.
“They need a top notch principal. We’ve got to get that school back on track,” he said.
Thaw said the principal position is very unique and demanding, especially because the school is transitioning after the Giles incident.
“It (the school) needs a strong leader who has experience in building up schools,” Thaw said.
Ordinarily, Thaw said he turns his cheek away from voting to hire someone from outside Kanawha County; however, this situation is different.
“In this incidence, I am very open to somebody from outside because it could very well be that an outside person, who has no previous connections, might be the best person,” he said.
The board is hoping Duerring will select a preferred candidate and bring him or her for approval at the next board meeting Thursday night.
The qualified applicants include three current Kanawha school administrators: Jonathan Anderson, principal of Horace Mann Middle School; Cathryn Carena, assistant principal of John Adams Middle School; and Angela Cruikshank, assistant principal at Capital High.
The other three applicants are David Tupper, principal of Bruceton School, a Pre-K through eighth-grade school in Roane County, David Pastrick, principal of Preston High School, in Preston County, and Larry Bailey, principal of J.B. McNabb Middle School, in Montgomery County, Kentucky.
Did You Know? 04.16.15
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
CLINTON CHARITY TO LIMIT DONATIONS TO 6 COUNTRIES
In spite of criticism over accepting money from foreign governments, the Clinton Foundation will continue to look abroad for millions of dollars.
AFTER MURDER CONVICTION, MORE LEGAL WOES FOR AARON HERNANDEZ
The former New England Patriots star tight end is facing separate murder charges in a 2012 double slaying and civil lawsuits.
WHY FLORIDA POSTAL WORKER LANDED TINY AIRCRAFT ON US CAPITOL LAWN
He says he wanted to deliver letters to all 535 members of Congress to draw attention to campaign finance corruption.
PILOT’S FRIEND ALERTED SECRET SERVICE
A friend of the Florida postal worker who landed a gyrocopter onto the U.S. Capitol’s lawn says he feared the man would get shot down.
FAMILIES UNMOVED BY SOUTH KOREAN LEADER’S REMORSE
Angry relatives of 304 passengers who drowned in a ferry sinking snub Park Geun-hye on the disaster’s anniversary, even as she pledged to salvage the ship.
ISLAMIC STATE GROUP LAUNCHES ATTACK IN WESTERN IRAQ
The militants’ push toward Ramadi comes after they were dealt a major blow when Iraqi troops routed them from Tikrit.
EFFORTS TO FIND FLIGHT 370 TO INTENSIFY
The search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner will be expanded by another 23,000 square miles in the Indian Ocean if it is not found by May.
CANINE FLU BREAKS OUT IN MIDWESTERN U.S.
The virus has sickened at least 1,000 dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana, experts say.
WHO PROVIDED A SURPRISE IN WASHINGTON
The compromise between Obama and Congress on the proposed Iran nuclear deal marked a rare moment of political cooperation.
SURGE IN MIGRANTS CROSSING MEDITERRANEAN RAISES ALARM
The number is only likely to grow, with summer weather encouraging even more people fleeing poverty and conflict to make the perilous journey.
WHICH COMPANY’S STOCK IS TRENDING UP
Netflix shares soar after the company reports robust subscriber numbers.
`FIGHT FOR $15’ PROTESTS GROW BEYOND FAST-FOOD WORKERS
Airport employees, Walmart workers and adjunct professors are among those joining the latest day of demonstrations.
BOSTON MARKS SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF MARATHON BOMBINGS
On Boylston Street, people openly weep and hug as church bells toll at 2:49 PM, the time the first bomb went off at the race’s finish
CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN FACES HIGH-PROFILE LEGAL TEST
Obama’s order to address climate change is still months away from being finished, but critics want to halt the process in its tracks.
SUPEMODEL GISELE BUNDCHEN RETIRING FROM RUNWAY
The 34-year-old mother of two, who’s married to NFL quarterback Tom Brady, says she wants to spend more time with her family.
WELFARE RULES TIGHTEN IN KANSAS
A bill before the governor would prohibit poor families from using cash assistance from the state to attend concerts, get tattoos, see a psychic or buy lingerie.
HOW A PHILIPPINES EATERY IS ADDRESSING A DISORDER
Manila’s Puzzle Cafe aims to help people with autism by giving them a job with the hope that they may improve their social skills.
WHAT COUNTRY HAS BEEN DESERT SET FOR HOLLYWOOD
Morocco has served as the Baghdad of “American Sniper,“ the Tehran seen in “Homeland” and the Mali of “American Odyssey.“
WHO MADE HER FINAL CATWALK
Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, 34, completed her final fashion show in Sao Paulo, ending a 20-year career.
West Virginia Arrests 15041601
PENNSYLVANIA TEACHER CONVICTED OF TRAVELING TO HAVE SEX WITH MINOR
CLARKSBURG, WV – Daniel S. McGarvey, 44, a teacher from Uniontown, Pennsylvania, was convicted in federal court after he admitted that he traveled to West Virginia with the intent to engage in sexual conduct with a minor, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
McGarvey admitted to using internet-based websites and text messaging to communicate with a minor female who he believed to be 15 years old. In October 2014, he travelled to Bridgeport, West Virginia for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with the aforementioned minor female.
McGarvey pled guilty today to one count of “Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct” following an investigation by the Bridgeport Police Department and the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He faces up to 30 years in prison and fine of up to $250,000.00. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Vogrin prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John S. Kaull presided.
HARRISON COUNTY, WV WOMAN SENTENCED FOR SELLING BATH SALTS
CLARKSBURG, WV – Nioka Lynn Wriker, 34, of Anmoore, West Virginia, was sentenced to 33 months in prison for selling bath salts, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
Wriker sold bath salts known as “Power X Energy Soak” in Harrison County. The bath salts contained a controlled substance known as “α-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone” or “α-PVP.”
Wriker pled guilty in November 2014 to one count of “Distribution of Controlled Substance Analogue – Aiding and Abetting,” following an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Morgan prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.
U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley presided.
MAN AND WOMAN FACE DRUG CHARGES
OAK HILL, WV–An Oak Hill man and woman are wanted by Fayette County Police on drug and neglect charges.
39-year-old Kenneth Allan Batey and 36-year-old Mary Jeanette Smith face charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and gross child neglect creating the risk of bodily injury.
Deputies seized more than 30 grams of marijuana packaged for sale, $1,000 cash, and multiple sets of scales while executing a search warrant at an Oak Hill Home Monday. They also found drug paraphernalia in the bedrooms of two teenagers who live there.
The home was searched after deputies went to the home and noticed a strong odor of marijuana. They obtained a search warrant shortly after.
BERKELEY COUNTY MAN CONVICTED OF UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF NINETEEN FIREARMS
MARTINSBURG, WV – Timothy James Fisher, 48, of Bunker Hill, West Virginia, was convicted in federal court of unlawful possession of firearms, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
In response to reports that a patient at a local hospital had suffered a gunshot wound, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office searched Fisher’s house and discovered nineteen firearms. Fisher was previously convicted of the felony offense of “Second Degree Murder” in the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County, Maryland in 1996. As a result of that conviction, Fisher is prohibited from possessing the aforementioned firearms.
Fisher pled guilty to one count of “Felon in Possession of Firearms.” He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Camilletti prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.
ELKINS MAN CONVICTED OF MARIJUANA TRAFFICKING
ELKINS, WV – Mark Wesley Lambert, 39, of Elkins, was convicted in federal court of marijuana trafficking in Randolph County, West Virginia, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
Lambert pled guilty to one count of “Distribution of Marijuana.” He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Warner prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, the Mountain Region Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, investigated.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John S. Kaull presided.
West Virginia Accidents 15041601
1 DEAD, 3 INJURED
KINGWOOD, WV – One person is dead and three others injured in a head-on crash along Veterans Memorial Highway in Preston County.
Police said Elizabeth Renshaw, 83, of Kingwood, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident Tuesday evening.
The two-vehicle accident involving a pick-up truck and sedan occurred Tuesday evening around 5:00. Elizabeth Renshaw was a passenger in the car being driven by Thomas Renshaw, Jr., 64, of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. HealthNet was called in to fly Thomas Renshaw to Ruby Memorial Hospital for injuries he sustained in the accident.
The two people in the pick-up truck were also injured and transported to Preston Memorial Hospital.
MAN FATALLY STABBED OVER FACEBOOK POST
KENOVA, WV – A man was fatally stabbed in Kenova Tuesday morning, likely over a Facebook post and a woman, according to police.
26-year old James Parsons was attacked across the street from his home in the 1800 block of Sycamore Street. Police say that he was the aggressor in the confrontation and the stabbing may have been in self-defense. Parsons later died at a Huntington hospital.
Police Chief Ray Mossman said posting incendiary things on Facebook and other social media can be deadly.
“People really have to be careful what they post on Facebook and what they like,” Mossman said. “You have to be careful what you are putting on other people’s Facebook. It can make people irate.”
Mossman said that Parsons was found on the sidewalk outside the house, having been stabbed one time.
The case is still under investigation, but there have been no charges as of yet. According to Mossman, it was 2015’s first violent death in the town of Kenova.
STATE POLICE SEARCH FOR MAN WHO SHOT GAS COMPANY WORKER
SUMERCO, WV – West Virginia State Police are on the hunt for a man who shot a gas company employee in Lincoln County Monday afternoon.
It happened at around 1:30 PM on Ridgewood Drive near Sumerco.
Mark Miller, 39 of Spurlockville, is believed to be employed by HG Energy LLC on Joe’s Creek in the Sod area, according to police.
Miller said a man dressed in camouflage with black face paint approached him in his truck along a dirt road. The suspect then stuck a gun through Miller’s passenger window and shot him in the left hand.
The suspect fled on foot and Miller than drove back to the office at HG Energy in Yawkey.
Police continue to investigate the incident.
Fifteen West Virginia counties are operated by HG Energy. According to their website, the company owns and operates 1,300 oil and gas wells in West Virginia and Ohio.
DRIVER KILLED; PASSENGER CRITICALLY INJURED
GAULEY BRIDGE, WV — A Nicholas County woman was killed in a collision Monday after police said her car sped through an intersection in Fayette County.
State police said the car driven by Tabitha Blankenship, 20, of Swiss, was broadsided as it went through the intersection of state Routes 9 and 16 at a high rate of speed. Blankenship died after the driver-side collision.
A passenger identified as Brian Withrow was in critical condition at Charleston Area Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon. Troopers said neither Blankenship or Withrow was wearing a seat belt.
State police did not release the name of the other driver, who was treated and released from Montgomery General Hospital.
The accident occurred at around 9:15 AM Monday.
ANOTHER CLOSE CALL FOR A DOH CREW
BUCKHANNON, WV — For the second time this spring a state Division of Highways crew had to jump out of the way of a vehicle speeding through a work zone. The latest incident happened Tuesday afternoon in Buckhannon.
Police said a car being driven by William David Workman, Jr., 30, of Buckhannon, went past a flagger on Marion Street and into the work zone where crews were filling potholes in preparation for the upcoming Strawberry Festival. Workers jumped out of the way and Workman slammed the car into a tree.
“He just sped right through the work zone,” state DOH spokesperson Carrie Bly said. “One of our quick-thinking equipment operators actually got a backhoe to kind of wedge him in so he couldn’t leave.”
Police said at least one passenger and Workman took off from the wreckage. Workman didn’t get very far before he was taken into custody. He faces a number of charges including third offense DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving and driving on a revoked license for DUI. Investigators believed Workman was high on synthetic marijuana.
“It’s something that doesn’t need to happen,” Bly said. “For someone to just ignore all of the signs and just go through—-it could have been a much more dangerous situation.”
Bly said it’s been a scary spring for DOH crews. A few weeks ago a separate group of workers had to jump out of the way of a tractor trailer in a Jackson County I-77 work zone.
U.S.A. News 15041601
CONGRESS OKs BIPARTISAN BILL CHANGING DOCTORS’ MEDICARE FEES
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legislation permanently overhauling how Medicare pays physicians won approval Tuesday from an atypically united Congress as lawmakers banded together to erase an irritant that has dogged them for years.
Adding urgency to legislators’ work, the measure headed off a 21% cut in doctors’ Medicare fees that would have hit home Wednesday, when the government planned to begin processing physicians’ claims reflecting that reduction. The bill also provides billions of extra dollars for health care programs for children and low-income families, including additional money for community health centers.
Working into the evening, the Senate approved the measure 92-8 less than three weeks after the House passed it by a lopsided 392-37.
“It’s a milestone for physicians, and for the seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare for their health care needs,“ President Barack Obama said in a written statement after the vote. He added, “I will be proud to sign it into law.“
Conservatives were unhappy that two-thirds of the bill’s $214 billion, 10-year costs were financed by simply making federal deficits even bigger, while liberals wanted added money for children and women’s programs. Eager to demonstrate his party’s ability to efficiently run the Senate they’ve controlled since January, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., defended the measure.
“It’s another reminder of a new Republican Congress that’s back to work,“ he said. “And while no bill will ever be perfect, this legislation is a sensible compromise with wide bipartisan support.“
Top Democrats also expressed support for the legislation.
“This is a significant and hard won achievement that will ensure better quality health care and certainty for millions of seniors and children,“ said Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
The bill marks a tandem effort by Democrats and Republicans at a time when the two parties are far likelier to block each other’s initiatives.
All eight “no” votes came from Republicans, including some of their most conservative members. Among presidential hopefuls, Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., voted against the bill, while Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted for it.
The bill’s chief feature was its annulling of a 1997 law aimed at slowing the growth of Medicare that has repeatedly threatened deep cuts in reimbursements to physicians and led to threats by doctors to stop treating the program’s beneficiaries. Congress has blocked 17 reductions since 2003, an exercise that invites intense lobbying and difficult choices about finding budget savings that both parties detested.
Instead, the measure would create a new payment system with financial incentives for physicians to bill Medicare patients for their overall care, not individual office visits.
While Democrats touted the legislation’s added funds for children and the poor, Republicans were claiming victory in changes the bill makes in Medicare that would have a long-term though modest impact on the huge program’s finances.
While $141 billion of the measure’s costs over the decade would come from added federal red ink, about $35 billion would come from Medicare beneficiaries, mostly by raising the medical and prescription drug premiums paid by some upper-income recipients starting in 2018. Though the affected beneficiaries already pay higher premiums than lower-earning people, Congress seldom increases costs on seniors, fearing retribution come the next Election Day from older voters.
The bill would raise another $37 billion by cutting Medicare reimbursements to hospitals and other providers.
Before passage, senators rejected six amendments, three from each party, that were all but sure to lose but let lawmakers demonstrate their disapproval of provisions they opposed.
A Democratic proposal to extend the two years of extra money the measure provided for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program to four years lost on a 50-50 vote — short of the 60 votes needed to prevail. By 58-42, the chamber rejected an effort by conservatives to force Congress to find enough savings to pay for the entire measure without increasing federal red ink.
“Honestly it’s my hope that the amendments are not approved, because we need to get this bill down to the president for signature before midnight,“ McConnell told reporters.
Senators faced conflicting pressures from lobbying groups.
The American Medical Association and other providers’ organizations were urging lawmakers to pass the bill. AARP, the senior citizens’ lobby, wanted legislators to back an amendment ending Medicare’s annual coverage limits for therapy but stopped short of urging the bill’s defeat without that change.
Conservative groups including the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America pressed lawmakers to support the GOP amendment — which lost — to require Congress to pay for the entire bill.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who crafted the compromise with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., warned senators of the impending doctors’ cuts and underscored the futility of trying to amend the bill.
“The House legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, and we do not plan to act again, so we urge the Senate to approve the House-passed bill without delay,“ Boehner said in a written statement.
The 21% cut in doctors’ fees technically took effect April 1. Citing federal law, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stopped processing those claims two weeks ago — in effect giving lawmakers time to complete the legislation. The agency processes around 4 million Medicare payments for doctors daily.
PANEL ASKS: COULD CRAMPED AIRLINE SEATS BE DANGEROUS?
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The shrinking space on airplanes is surely uncomfortable, but it might also be dangerous for passengers’ health and safety.
Planes are filled with more passengers than ever before. Fliers are older and heavier. Flight attendants warn about an increase in air rage, and experts question if having rows of seats packed closer together might make it harder for passengers to evacuate after a crash.
A consumer advisory group set up by the Department of Transportation dove into all those issues Tuesday at a public hearing as part of its role to make non-binding suggestions to government regulators.
Charlie Leocha, the consumer representative on the committee, said the government sets standards for the conditions for dogs flying as cargo but doesn’t dictate minimum space standards for passengers.
“In a world where animals have more rights to space and food than humans,“ Leocha said, “it is time that the DOT and FAA take a stand for humane treatment of passengers.“
Fliers last summer squeezed into the least amount of personal space in the history of flying. In July, U.S. airlines sold a record 87.8% of seats on domestic flights, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statics. And that figure does not include all the seats occupied by passengers who redeemed frequent flier miles or airline employees flying for free.
“Unfortunately, the days of the empty middle seat are a thing of the past,“ said Julie Frederick, a representative for the American Airlines flight attendants union.
Following the implementation of checked-bag fees in 2008, Frederick said, more and more passengers are carrying on bags, fighting for overhead bin space. That anger carries over through the flight as passengers bump elbows on armrests and bang their knees against tray tables. She said there are more cases of air rage, many of which go unreported.
Questions were also raised if the increased density of seats means passengers won’t be able to evacuate fast enough after a crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration runs various tests including how fast passengers can evacuate a plane and how fast they can put on a life preserver.
But Cynthia Corbertt, a human factors researcher with the FAA, testified that it conducts those tests using planes with 31 inches between each row of seats. Many passenger jets today have less legroom. For instance, United Airlines has 30 inches of room, known as pitch, on some jets; Spirit Airlines offers 28 inches.
“We just haven’t considered other pitches,“ Corbertt told the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection.
Before any new jet is allowed to fly, the manufacturer must prove that everybody can evacuate in 90 seconds with half of the exits blocked.
Carry-on baggage is strewn throughout the cabin, and the test is conducted in night-like conditions. However, the cabin is not filled with smoke, and all of the passengers are physically fit, dressed in athletic clothing and know that an evacuation is coming.
“We’d like to see more realistic simulations,“ Frederick testified. She added that most passengers don’t pay attention to pre-flight safety briefings, especially now that they can use electronic devices from gate to gate.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who chairs the DOT committee, noted concern that the FAA does not factor in human panic, especially parents who might take extra time to ensure their children are safe before evacuating.
“So they aren’t the average traveler, quite honestly,“ Kane said.
On long flights, there is another risk for fliers: deep vein thrombosis, where a blood clot forms, typically in a leg vein. If that clot gets lose and travels into the lungs, it can cause a blockage.
Nimia L. Reyes, a medical officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that seat size isn’t necessarily a factor in people developing the clots or not. The real issue, she said, was how able passengers are to get up, walk around and stretch. Those in window seats have twice the risk of getting deep vein thrombosis than those on the aisle seats.
Producing more legroom isn’t that simple.
After years of major losses and a wave of bankruptcies, airlines are finally profitable again after adding baggage fees and increasing the number of seats on jets. Last year, U.S. carriers earned more than a combined $11 billion.
Airlines do offer coach passengers more legroom, if they are willing to pay for it — often $50 extra each way. Many travelers aren’t.
Keith Hansen, director of government affairs for budget carrier Allegiant Air, said the No. 1 thing vacationers care about is price.
“The only way we can offer a low airfare ... is to increase the seating density so we can divide the cost of operating a flight among the greatest number of people possible,“ Hansen said.
The DOT has seen an increase in passenger complaints but few regarding seat recline or personal space, said Blane Workie, a committee member and the department’s assistant general counsel for aviation enforcement and proceedings.
David A. Berg, a member of the DOT committee and general counsel for the airline industry’s trade and lobbying group, Airlines for America, asked how airlines would respond if the government created a new rule requiring a minimum amount of legroom.
“If airlines are forced to reduce the number of seats,“ Hansen replied, “inevitably there would be an increase and it would price out part of the traveling public.“
CAPITO VOTES TO PRESERVE HEALTH CARE ACCESS FOR WEST VIRGINIANS, EXTEND CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R.-WV) voted for legislation yesterday to improve Medicare access for seniors and extend health insurance for children in West Virginia.
The bill, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which passed on a 92-8 vote last night, permanently replaces the Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, which has been patched 17 times since 2002, and ensures seniors in need of outpatient rehabilitation services have access to affordable care when they need it.
In addition to the Medicare reforms, this bill also includes several provisions that will benefit West Virginians. First, it extends both the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program for another two years. The bill also provides funding for community health centers, which offer quality health care services for many West Virginians.
“Health care access is vitally important to West Virginians. Last night I voted to provide certainty to our seniors by creating a Medicare system that improves patient choice and increases access to health care. Without this SGR fix, physician reimbursements from the Medicare program would drop significantly, impacting the ability of physicians to accept Medicare patients and limiting senior citizens’ access to their doctors. For West Virginia’s children and rural communities, this bill provides critical funding for the bipartisan State Children’s Health Insurance and Secure Rural Schools Programs.
“The new Republican-led Congress is back to work, finding solutions that move our country forward. I am pleased that the Senate followed the House to pass this bipartisan bill and take an important step toward broader entitlement reform,” said Senator Capito.
MANCHIN VOTES FOR PERMANENT FIX TO MEDICARE PHYSICIAN PAYMENT SYSTEM
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today issued the following statement on the passage of the bipartisan legislation to reform the Sustainable Growth Rate and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
“The 12-year trend of Congress kicking the can down the road and voting on short-term extensions, which have cost hardworking taxpayers nearly $170 billion, has finally come to an end. I am pleased that Congress passed legislation to fix a flawed system by reforming the Medicare formula for paying doctors who see Medicare patients. In addition, this legislation will help move us away from a Medicare system based on the quantity of patients seen and number of tests ordered toward a system that will reward doctors for the quality of care patients receive. This change will help reduce long-term healthcare costs for seniors, which is a major driver of our long-term debt. In addition to these reforms, other health programs critical to West Virginians will be extended, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, and Community Health Centers.”
Key provisions of the legislation are listed below:
• The legislation prevents a 21% cut in Medicare physician payments, provides stability and ensures that seniors continue to have access to their doctors. After Congress has “patched” the SGR 17 times over the past 12 years and cost American taxpayers almost $170 billion, this legislation permanently fixes the Sustainable Growth Rate system.
• The legislation includes important incentives to shift Medicare toward value-based care delivery and away from fee-for-service.
• The legislation includes a two-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has helped almost 20,000 children in West Virginia and two million nationwide access affordable, quality healthcare.
• The legislation provides a two-year extension of other health programs that are critical in West Virginia, including the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program and Community Health Centers.
• MIECHV has been shown to reduce health care costs, improve school readiness, an increase family self-sufficiency and economic security.
World News 15041601
WORLD BANK: INDIA RANKED HIGHEST IN MIGRANT REMITTANCES AT $70B
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Indians working overseas sent more remittances back home than any other migrant population, according to a World Bank report.
India received $70.39 billion in remittances in 2014, surpassing China’s $64.14 billion. India’s total was greater than remittances to the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan combined, according to The Wall Street Journal.
India held the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row but the growth in remittances also slowed. The strength of the Indian rupee may have caused Indian workers with savings to wait until a more favorable exchange rate would allow them to send funds home.
For the first time the World Bank report, released Monday, also gave estimates of diaspora savings for different nationalities.
Mexicans own the largest pool of diaspora savings, according to the report, but Indians have the most savings, roughly $44 billion stashed away in countries such as the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
India’s Business Standard reported that Indian remittances to relatives back home varied by country.
Total remittances from U.S.-based Indians was $11.18 billion, meaning 2.25 million Indians in the United States sent an average of $4,968.88 home.
Interestingly, Indians working in the United Arab Emirates sent more money home, an average of $7,222.86 per worker, although UAE-based workers were less affluent and typically work in unskilled jobs.
According to the International Union of the Scientific Study of Population, 70% of Indian workers in the Middle East work in blue-collar or unskilled jobs. By contrast, Indians in the United States were more educated – with 30% of India-born males in occupations related to information technology.
There are a total of 250 million international migrants across all populations, according to the World Bank.
GSC Radio Back Online
GLENVILLE, WV - Glenville State College’s radio station is back online with music and news for the campus and community.
After being off the air for a few months, GSC radio is back on an updated platform.
The radio service carries music, campus events, and sports, academic, and cultural news.
GSC student DJ Jason Whitfield in the campus recording studio
The station also features a daily radio newscast.
You can listen to the station by visiting www.glenville.edu/radio.
Station manager Jennifer Wenner says listeners will soon be able to hear the radio via smartphone application.
For more information about the radio station or Pioneer Media contact Jennifer Wenner at
Gilmer County Circuit Court Report - 04.13.15
On Thursday, April 09, 2015 Judge Jack Alsop conducted Court in Glenville.
• Three fugitives from justice waived extradition to their states.
All 3 were represented by David Karickhoff. Michael Lowry waived to return to Pennsylvania and both Derrick Vanleirop and Gererd Hall waived to return to the state of Maryland.
Authorities in those states have until 4:00 PM on Monday, April 20, 2015 to pick these defendants up at Central Regional Jail or they will be released.
• A juvenile case was heard.
• In the criminal case of State of West Virginia vs. Antwoine Johnson
He was before the Court represented by David Karickhoff asking that his bond be amended to allow him to leave the State of West Virginia.
He is no longer playing football and has withdrawn as a student at Glenville State College.
Judge Alsop took the matter under advisement and said the bonding company must provide a notarized letter in support of this assuring they would pay the bond if he fails to appear when instructed to do so.
Judge Jack Alsop heard 11 juvenile cases on Monday, April 13, 2015.
In the cases of:
• State of West Virginia vs. Christopher DeBarr
Judge sentenced him to 4 years probation and he must report 3 times a week to Barbour County Community Corrections to be drug tested,
He must continue to live with his mother and must begin on May 01, 2015 paying a minimum of $300.00 per month to Lewis and Upshur County for his fines there and thereafter pay the same amount to the Circuit Clerk of Gilmer County for his court costs plus court appointed attorney fees. Christopher Moffatt of Charleston was his attorney.
• State of West Virginia vs. Julia Mollohan
She was represented by David Karickhoff was sentenced to 175 days in Central Regional Jail for the misdemeanor offense of battery and 1-10 years in the penitentiary for felony destruction of property.
These sentences will run consecutively and she will be given credit for time served.
• State of West Virginia vs. Ross Lee Miller
He was represented by Timothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg, was sentenced to 2-10 years in the penitentiary for attempting to operate a clandestine lab.
• State of West Virginia vs. Nathanielle Butler
He was represented by Moffatt and his sentence was deferred and he was ordered to complete the program at Anthony Correctional Center for not less than 6 months nor more than 2 years and I typed 10 years.
Once a bed becomes available the Sheriff will transport him and in the meantime he is to be on home confinement with electronic monitoring.
He had pled earlier to delivery of a controlled substance.
• Two other sentence hearings were continued to Wednesday, April 29, 2015 while awaiting a reports to come in.
G-Eye™: Sink Hole
Sink Hole on Powell Street, Glenville, WV - 04.14.15
Social Workers: Schools Can Reduce West Virginia Juvenile Incarceration
CHARLESTON, WV - West Virginia schools have a key role in reducing the number of kids who end up in jail – and while social workers say preventing truancy is an excellent starting place, its only part of the picture.
As the state works to reduce the number of juveniles in the criminal justice system, Morgan County school social worker Gary McDaniel says they’re already seeing good results.
He says moving truancy from a criminal issue to a counseling issue works, and that truancy is an important sign of other problems at home - including substance abuse and domestic violence.
“Truancy is always symptomatic of other problems,“ says McDaniel. “Undiagnosed anxiety disorders, undiagnosed trauma-related disorders, poverty, chaotic family systems.“
McDaniel stresses the state will need to expand the services it offers, in school and out. How to do that is a major topic at this week’s National Association of Social Workers (NASW) West Virginia Spring Conference.
NASW West Virginia president Kim White says if it’s done properly, much of this can be handled at less cost and more effectively in the public schools - but the effort must be in every school, and broadly applied.
“Early intervention on a universal scale,“ she says. “These are issues that have to be dealt with early on, otherwise students repeat those patterns.“
White says another part of the puzzle is building up outpatient treatment options, especially in rural areas.
“That’s a huge barrier right there,“ says White. “Getting people into McDowell County to offer these services, getting people into Roane County, or Mingo County.“
According to McDaniel, the good news is this effort can work to keep kids from getting chewed up in the juvenile system, and eventually, spit out into the adult prison population.
“When kids are young, the trajectory of their life can still be altered tremendously,“ says McDaniel. “We can probably prevent, in most cases, them from becoming a part of the criminal justice system.“
The annual NASW meeting in Charleston is the largest event of its kind on the country.
~~Dan Heyman ~~
UNOFFICIAL MINUTES OF GILMER COUNTY LOCAL EMERGENCY PLANNING COMMITTEE - 02.12.15
GILMER COUNTY LOCAL EMERGENCY PLANNING COMMITTEE
FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Meeting called to order at 5:10 PM by Chairman Martin Hess.
Members in Attendance: Kim Conrad Larry Chapman, Jim Gum, Gary Radcliff, John Moore, Bill Rowan, Ben Huffman, Charlotte Radcliff, Susie Kirkpatrick, Patty Thrasher, Eric Squires
Minutes from October were read and approved.
Amendment to the bylaws about meeting announcements was read for new members present
Financial Report – Motion was made to pay the Glenville Democrat $80.00 for an ad that was ran informing the public of the active shooter drill held at the high school. (Huffman/Moore m/s). Also at this time there is $875.00 in the budget unspent
Planning Committee Report – Martin spoke briefly about some upcoming training in the county and it was discussed to proceed with planning a drill to be held at the Court House. April 16, 2015 at 5:00 PM will the Initial Planning Meeting for the Court House Drill. We will also be having 2 or 3 tabletop exercises for this drill and the actual exercise will take place sometime in the summer of 2016.
CERT - Martin stated that on February 21, 2015 weather permitting there will be a Faith Based Meeting beginning at Noon at the Glenville Firehouse to try and get more CERT participation. Melissa Radcliff, Martin Hess, Gary Radcliff, and Sherman McCullough are all CERT Trainers
PSD – No report
FIRE - No report
COMMISSION – Larry Chapman was present and spoke about concerns pertaining to the Water Supply system and shut-off to the Federal Prison. Martin and John elaborated on details about the prison water supply and storage. Additional grant money is needed to supply the prison with a secondary line as backup. Chapman also questioned how Gilmer OEM got the word out about flooding and the current river reading. Kirkpatrick stated that she contacts Gilmer 911 when the river reaches 16 feet and then contacts the school when the river reaches 18 feet. Other than the scanner Kirkpatrick had no other was to broadcast the river reading for the community.
LEWIS-GILMER E911 - No report pertaining to the center. Bill did speak about an excellent training opportunity for our department officers which is the LINE OF DUTY DEATH class that is offered around the state.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT – Patty mentioned that there will be a Red Cross Disaster Training class coming up in the near future and more volunteers and help are needed within Red Cross.
DMAPS - Kim Conrad, Director of DMAPS, spoke about the organization and what all it has to offer and bring to the county. Conrad also mentioned the need for a Generator at her site so it could be used as a potential shelter if need be in the future.
EPA - No report
OEM – Susie spoke about some upcoming training being held at the Sissonville Fire School. Martin explained that he had all of that information and had distributed it out to the fireman in the county already. Kirkpatrick also had a questionnaire from Homeland Security State Annex Plan that she wanted everyone to fill out, 5 were returned that evening.
CHAIRMANS TIME - Martin in interested in Gilmer County hosting a Fire School in the coming future. This will take a lot of joint efforts and resources to make it possible. All were in favor and thought it would be a good idea.
J. ERIC SQUIRES, SECRETARY LEPC
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