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In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►   West Virginia professor speaking to Congress this week

MORGANTOWN, WV — A West Virginia University professor who has been researching the experience of black soldiers in World War I will speak to Congress about the time period’s similarities to the nation’s current racial climate.

Associate Professor Joel Beeson of the Reed College of Media has spent the past decade researching the topic. He is one of three professors invited to the special briefing on Thursday in honor of Black History Month.

The university says speakers will focus on the contributions of African-Americans during World War I.

Beeson says the past contains valuable lessons about how social and economic problems divide people.


►   West Virginia lawmakers kill local health rule proposal

CHARLESTON, WV — West Virginia lawmakers have voted down a proposal that would have let county commissions approve or reject local health rules, including smoking bans.

A Republican-led House of Delegates panel rejected the bill in a 12-10 vote.

The original bill would have applied to rules implemented by a local health board. Local commissions could then approve, amend or reject existing or new health rules.

Delegates accepted a Democratic amendment that would have made the bill apply only to new health rules.

The committee then voted against the bill as a whole, and voted against a follow-up motion to revive the bill.


►   WV Senate calls for constitution convention

CHARLESTON, WV — The West Virginia Senate took Mountain State one step closer to becoming the sixth to pass a resolution calling for a convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution.

The Senate voted 18-16 to approve the resolution Tuesday afternoon. The resolution will advance to the House of Delegates for consideration.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 calls on Congress to call a convention of the states in order to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government and limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government while limiting terms of office for federal government officials and members of Congress.

The U.S. Constitution requires Congress to call a convention if 2/3 of states, or 34 states, call for it.

The movement for the states convention has been ongoing since 2014, when lawmakers in Tennessee, Georgia and Alaska passed similar resolutions. Legislators in Alabama passed such a resolution in 2015, and lawmakers in Tennessee passed a similar resolution earlier this month.

Such measures failed in Kansas and Nebraska on Monday.


►   Court Won’t Answer Hate-Crime Question in Ex-Player’s Case

The West Virginia Supreme Court has chosen not to rule on whether a former Marshall University football player accused of assaulting two gay men after he saw them kissing on a city street can be charged with a hate crime.

The order was issued February 9 in Steward Butler’s case.

Butler has pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony civil rights violations and two counts of misdemeanor battery stemming from the alleged April incident.

In December, the court was asked to decide whether state code protects an individual’s civil rights if the crime is based solely upon the victim’s sexual orientation.

Prosecutors contend the violation is based on the victim’s sex, not sexual orientation.

Cabell County prosecutor Sean Hammers says the charges will remain unchanged.


►   Lawmakers OK Raw Milk Bill After Veto Last Year

After a veto last year, a bill that would let West Virginians drink raw milk through animal-sharing agreements is heading back to the governor.

The state House approved the raw milk bill by an 88-11 margin Tuesday, sending it to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.

The bill would let people strike agreements to share milk-producing animals and drink raw milk. It would maintain a ban on selling or distributing raw milk.

People would have to sign a document acknowledging the health risks. Animals would need to have passed health tests within the last year.

In his veto message last year, Tomblin wrote that the bill would pose a serious risk to public health, since raw milk can contain particularly dangerous bacteria for children, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.


►   Teacher’s group backs Jim Justice

CHARLESTON, WV —  The West Virginia Education Association teachers union has endorsed Jim Justice for Governor in the May primary.

“Jim Justice expressed a vision for our state and an assurance that West Virginia’s education professionals would help shape public education for the future,” said WVEA-PAC Chairman Dale Lee.

Justice is battling with Booth Goodwin and Senator Jeff Kessler for the Democratic nomination.  A MetroNews West Virginia Poll released last week had Justice leading the pack with 32 percent, 25 percent for Goodwin and 23 percent for Kessler with 21 percent undecided.

Lee said the WVEA Steering Committee made the decision after interviewing all three.  “Each of these candidates made strong points and they care deeply about the future of our state,” Lee said.

The WVEA is one of two teacher unions in the state with over 13,000 members.

Justice was pleased with the news. He issued the following statement Tuesday:

“I trust our teachers, and I will get the politicians out of their way,” said businessman Jim Justice. “I am fed up with our state being 50th in everything, and I want West Virginia to be known as an education powerhouse. We can do it if we’d just remove all the politics from the classroom, start listening to our teachers more and create new jobs. I am honored that so many teachers are as fired up as I am to turn around West Virginia.”

How to Make America Great Again

Noam Chomsky has frequently argued that not only do we not have a capitalist system, no capitalist system has ever survived.

“What we have is a state capitalist system with the state playing a substantial role in American history, in economic development, production and research to keep the private sector viable,“ Chomsky said in one of his classic interviews.

Chomsky is not a big fan of modern times. One of his favorite periods of American history wasn’t even in the past century.

“The Industrial Revolution was the period of the freest press ever in the United States,“ Chomsky explained. “There were lots of different newspapers representing different classes and ethic groups.“

The working-class press was expressing the people’s point of view. It reacted to the wage labor idea that became a major issue of the Republican Party.

“[By participating in] wage labor, you are renting yourself, which is not that different from being a slave except that it will end sometime,“ says Chomsky. Self management and institutional control of an organization are perfectly feasable alternatives.

“[The only problem is that they] conflict with the structure of existing power systems] and therefore the educational and cultural system tries to drive them out of your minds and make them seem insane or crazy or unthinkable, but there’s nothing unthinkable about them.“

Watch the full segment below:

Did You Know?

The Free Press WV

TRUMP’S FOES CONCEDE THEY’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME

The election calendar suggests that if the New York billionaire’s rivals don’t slow him by mid-March, they may not ever.


WARRING SIDES SIGN ON TO SYRIAN CEASE-FIRE

The Syrian government and the main umbrella for opposition and rebel groups accept the proposed U.S.-Russian cease-fire - albeit with conditions.


GOP UPS ANTE IN PARTISAN STRUGGLE

Majority Leader McConnell rules out any action this year in the Republican-led Senate on whoever Obama nominates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.


DETAILS EMERGE ON SCALIA’S SUDDEN DEATH

A doctor says the justice suffered from coronary artery disease, obesity and diabetes, among other ailments that probably contributed to his unexpected demise.


WHICH FALLBACK STANCE OBAMA MIGHT TAKE ON GUANTANAMO

The president has not ruled out the possibility of again trying to close the prison through executive action.


FIDEL AND RAUL CASTRO’S OLDER BROTHER DIES AT 91

Ramon Castro preferred tending crops and livestock to the political life embraced by his younger siblings.


WHERE SEVERE WEATHER IS TURNING DEADLY

Suspected tornadoes rip through the Deep South, killing at least three people.


U.S. SCRUTINIZING POSSIBLE ZIKA CASES

The 14 cases all involve men who visited areas with Zika outreaks, and who may have infected their female sex partners, who had not traveled to those areas.


WHAT CAN LEAD TO OSCAR NOMINATIONS

Among other things, how a movie is released - at a prominent film festival, for instance - can pay big dividends at awards time.


HILTON HOTELS APOLOGIZES TO KYRIE IRVING

The mea culpa comes after the Cavaliers guard says he was bitten by bed bugs during a weekend stay in Oklahoma City.

G-Vine™: Heard It Through G-Vine™

G-Vine™: Heard It Through G-Vine™

The Gilmer Free Press

Community Talk Heard Through The G-Vine™:

Sale of Elementary Schools

•  Where does Gilmer board of education president Bill Simmons stand on the plan to sell all the elementary schools in Gilmer County?


•  Does he really care what effect it will have on Gilmer County children to lose all opportunity to play organized sports since he has no grand children in our system.


•  Why won’t those who experienced his reign of terror and mismanagement at glenville state college years ago speak up and say now what they said then?


•  Bill Simmons was never the right choice to be a leader when it comes to education in Gilmer County.


•  If he wasn’t the one for GLENVILLE STATE COLLEGE THEN, HOW CAN HE BE THE ONE FOR GILMER COUNTY SCHOOLS NOW?

CON JOB:  SIMMONS OUTSMARTS ED TOMAN SUPPORTERS AND GILMER ELECTORATE TO BECOME GILMER COUNTY BOE BOARD PRESIDENT

•  Public School Superintendent Toman’s contract was not renewed by the Gilmer County Board of Education March 2009 upsetting for Glenville State College elite who felt Toman was leading the public school system in a superior manner.


•  After an interim the Gilmer Board members replaced Mr. Toman with excommunicated former President of Glenville State Dr. William Simmons upsetting the Glenville State College elite even more.  The very thought of Simmons replacing Toman as Superintendent and gaining a seat on the GSC Board of Governors was not palatable!


•  The West Virginia Board of Education stepped in preventing Simmons from taking over the school system.


•  What does Simmons do?  He deceives the lot of us in Gilmer County. Fooled us into believing he didn’t stand for state intervention and had the backing to stop it.  Wins Board election, is appointed President then unilaterally decides to support WVDOE’s consolidation plans for all four of Gilmer Elementary schools to one.


•  Simmons is waiting in the wings to become Superintendent of Gilmer County school system.


•  Gabe Devono, better watch his back.

Is It True?

•  Rumor has it that Devano has been given the “go ahead” to pay off friends by giving out taxpayer bought equipment.  Cutters, slicers, grinders and other very expensive equipment is said being given to a select few.  Normally surplus school equipment is sold at auction and the money put into the local school system for the kids benefit. 


•  Not under intervention in Gilmer County.  Dr. Martirano and WVBOE Board President, and Dr. Cindy Daniel are wrong to condone actions like this.


Communicate through G-vine™ via “tellus@gilmerfreepress.net” or 304.462.8700
G-Vine™ information IS NOT the opinion of The Free Press

02.24.2016
EducationFeaturesG-Vine™NewsGilmer CountyGlenvilleNormantownSand Fork

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In USA….

The Free Press WV

►   White House considering Republican governor of Nevada for Supreme Court vacancy

Brian Sandoval, the centrist Republican governor of Nevada, is being vetted by the White House for a possible nomination to the Supreme Court, according to two people familiar with the process.

Sandoval is increasingly viewed by some key Democrats as perhaps the only nominee President Obama could select who would be able to break a Republican blockade in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday pledged “no action” on any Supreme Court nomination before November’s election, saying the decision ought to be left to the next president.

The White House declined to comment Wednesday for this story. White House press secretary Josh Earnest has emphasized in recent days that the president has not arrived at a short list of potential nominees.

The nomination of a GOP governor — albeit one with a bipartisan record — could break that resolve.

Sandoval met Monday with Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid, a fellow Nevadan with whom he enjoys cordial relations.

A person familiar with the conversation said that while Sandoval told Reid he had not made a final decision on whether he would accept a Supreme Court nomination, he would allow the vetting process to move forward. Another person in Nevada familiar with the process confirmed that the process is underway.

Sandoval could not immediately be reached for comment.

It is unclear how many potential nominees are undergoing White House vetting for the high court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Obama was seen last week carrying a thick binder of materials on potential picks to review.

Obama outlined his thinking in a guest posting on SCOTUSblog Wednesday: “A sterling record. A deep respect for the judiciary’s role. An understanding of the way the world really works. That’s what I’m considering as I fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court.”

Some Democrats believe that nominating Sandoval could fracture the front of Republican opposition and force McConnell to take up the nomination in this contentious election year. It would also put on the spot a handful of Senate Republicans who are up for reelection in blue states in November.

The Senate unanimously confirmed Sandoval as a district court judge in 2005 after he was nominated by President George W. Bush. The Nevada Republican stepped down from the bench in 2009 to run for governor and is now counted among the most popular governors in the nation. He also represents a swing state with a heavy concentration of Latinos who will be important in the presidential race.

One Republican who is considered likely to support Sandoval if nominated is Nevada’s junior senator, Dean Heller.

Heller suggested in a statement last week that the “chances of approving a new nominee are slim” but he did not discourage Obama from putting forth a nominee.

“[W]ho knows, maybe it’ll be a Nevadan,” he said — a comment widely interpreted as signaling his support for Sandoval.

But nominating Sandoval would carry risks for Obama. Sandoval is aligned with Democrats on some key issues, including abortion rights and the environment. As governor, he has moved to implement the Affordable Care Act, and has said he considers same-sex marriage to be a settled issue.

But Sandoval is not seen as labor-friendly — potentially alienating a swath of the Democratic base. His legal credentials are also lacking compared to some of the other names under consideration who are mainly sitting federal judges.

A Senate confirmation of Sandoval through this year could deny a Democratic successor to Obama, whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, the opportunity to nominate a more orthodox liberal to the court and cement an ideological shift in its jurisprudence.

Asked by The Morning Consult in a brief interview Saturday about a potential nomination, Sandoval said, “It would be a privilege,” calling the Supreme Court “the essence of justice in this country.”

In a parallel storyline that could significantly affect any confirmation battle if Sandoval is nominated, Reid and Sandoval have long had a symbiotic political relationship that sometimes defied logic.

Elected as the state’s attorney general in 2002, Sandoval quickly became one of the more popular Republicans in Nevada. In early 2005, Reid began pushing the governor to take a seat on the state’s U.S. District Court – a move that political insiders viewed as a savvy bid by Reid to take Sandoval off the potential field of rivals who might run against him in his 2010 Senate race.
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Sandoval was nominated and then confirmed as a federal judge in October 2005 without any opposition, clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee by a voice vote and then winning full Senate confirmation by an 89-0 vote. Four years later, as then-Republican Governor Jim Gibbons’s popularity was imploding amid a variety of scandals, the state’s GOP elites convinced Sandoval to bail them out and challenge Gibbons in a June 2010 primary.

Sandoval outsted Gibbons and then in the November 2010 general election, he routed Rory Reid, 53 percent to 41 percent, knocking off the Senate leader’s son.

Harry Reid –who is retiring in 2016 — won his own re-election that year in a bid that left some surprised by the senator’s seeming reluctance to help boost his son’s campaign against Sandoval.

As governor, Sandoval alienated many conservatives by accepting the Medicaid expansion that was a cornerstone of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and one of his recent budgets, passed over the opposition of many Republicans in the legislature, included tax hikes designed to boost funding for the state’s notoriously under-performing public schools.

As the 2016 election cycle got underway a year ago, Republicans in Washington set their sights on Sandoval as their top recruit to try to challenge Reid. However, in public and private, the governor made clear that he had little interest in running in a competitive primary and then challenging Reid in the general election. Reid is retiring in 2016, leaving a competitive open Senate seat behind him.

All this occurred while Reid repeatedly praised Sandoval for his positions on health-care, taxes and education, and when the Senate leader announced in late March 2015 that he would not run for re-election, Sandoval returned the favor by praising his onetime patron for the federal judgeship.

“From humble beginnings in Searchlight to the United States Senate, Senator Reid’s story is one that represents the Nevada and American dream,” Sandoval said.


►   Guy Pulls Shark Ashore for Pictures

A man was captured on video in Palm Beach, Florida, pulling a shark out of the water and holding it down so he could be photographed with it. WPTV reporter Ashleigh Walters posted video of the incident on Facebook, noting that passersby put the shark “farther into water after end of video,“ and “it did not resurface for several minutes.“ The Orlando Sentinel reports that it’s not clear what type of shark this was (or what happened to it after the video was taken), but notes that the AP recently reported thousands of blacktip sharks are in the area due to a winter migration.

“Let’s pose while a creature who lives in water feels like it is drowning in our air… I am sorry, I feel this is cruel,“ reads one comment on the Facebook video. But others argued that the “catch and release” was perfectly legal, or noted that no one would be complaining if the shark was caught and killed by a fisherman. Patch notes that the shark does appear to have been captured originally by a “hook and line,“ so a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rep says it’s unlikely any laws were broken. But, he notes, “removing a shark entirely from the water could cause damage to its internal organs.“


►   After Cheesy Garlic Knots Disrespected, Brawl Ensues

Don’t mess with Jessica Conti’s garlic knots. That appears to be one of the lessons from an incident that took place in a Florida pizzeria Friday night after a woman apparently took issue with how the staff prepared her dish, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Per a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office report, 25-year-old Contiordered at Palm Coast Pizza, but when her order was up, she was peeved the knots came coated in cheese, got “verbally argumentative,“ and demanded her money back—which received from one of the clerks in what she perceived as a disrespectful way, the Orlando Sentinel notes. Enter Vincent Conti, 23, Hareem Jones, 26, and Shawn Cody, 32, who then allegedly rushed in to help Conti trash the place.

Employees told police the foursome shoved a cash register and fax machine onto the floor, threw food and pizza boxes everywhere, and, in what may have been a final act of rebellion against the cheese, lobbed a glass Parmesan cheese container at a TV, amounting to what workers estimated to be less than $1,000 in damages. The suspects took off afterward, but they apparently were regulars: Witnesses IDed them for cops, who caught up with them at a nearby residence and arrested them all on burglary and criminal mischief charges. Jones got hit with an additional charge of marijuana possession after cops say they found a joint in his pocket during his arrest.


►   WWII Hero’s Dog Tag Will Finally Return Home

Dorothy Hollingsworth was just 7 when her brother Tom left the family farm in Indiana to join the Army a few months before the US entered World War II. She never saw him again. Now, more than 70 years after Pfc. Thomas E. Davis was killed in one of the war’s final, major battles, a tangible reminder of her beloved sibling has been found on the Pacific island of Saipan—one of his Army dog tags. Cultural historian Genevieve Cabrera found the discolored metal tag sticking out of the soil of a farm field on Saipan in early 2014. It was embossed with Davis’ name, serial number, hometown, and other information. Cabrera recently gave the tag to members of Kuentai, a Japan-based organization that has found the remains of soldiers on Saipan. The group notified the AP this month, and the AP tracked down Davis’ family.

Davis joined the Army in September 1941 and served in the 165th Infantry Regiment of the 27th Infantry Division. He earned the Silver Star on Saipan in June 1944 for risking his own life to rescue a wounded comrade. He died on April 30, 1945, after he was shot by a Japanese sniper while again helping a wounded soldier, according to what Hollingsworth says military officials told the family. Four years later, his body was brought back for reburial in his hometown. While it is relatively common to find canteens, weapons, and even unexploded shells on Saipan, dog tags remain a rare find, Cabrera says. Kuentai representatives say they’ll arrange to meet the Davis family in the US to hand over the tag. Hollingsworth, 82, says a 57-year-old nephew named after Davis will likely get it.


►   6 Cities With Fastest-Rising Crime Rates

Is there something in the air in San Luis Obispo? The number of violent crimes including rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, and murders, spiked 58% in the metropolitan area from 2010 to 2014, making it home to the fastest-rising crime rate of any US city. Interestingly, the crime rate 30 miles away in Santa Maria fell 35% during the same time period, reports 24/7 Wall St. Other areas where violent crimes have jumped, per 100,000 people:

  1. San Luis Obispo, Calif., 58%
  2. Sioux Falls, SD, 41%
  3. Green Bay, Wis., 39%
  4. Milwaukee, Wis., 37%
  5. Madera, Calif., 34%
  6. Grand Junction, Colo., 31%

In The World….

The Free Press WV

►   20-Foot Sculpture Moved After Texters Kept Bumping Into It

Walking while texting can be dangerous—a fact that was recently reconfirmed in England. A 20-foot-high sculpture of two clasped hands that formed an archway over a path on the grounds of the Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire had to be relocated because walkers kept bumping into it (despite the 6 feet, 4 inches of clearance beneath the center of it), the BBC reports. In a Facebook post last week that showed “The Kiss” being moved by crane, artist Sophie Ryder wrote the galvanized steel wire sculpture was moved “because people were walking through texting and said they bumped their heads! Oh well!!“ A cathedral official didn’t specify texting as the issue, but said “during the hours of darkness” there were some incidents. The sculpture was installed earlier this month as part of an exhibit on the cathedral lawn, reports the Telegraph; the show runs through July 03.

The dangers of texting while walking are well documented. See: the woman who took an unintended dip in a frigid canal in Birmingham, England (her surname, ironically, was Safe), and the lady in Pennsylvania who took a header into a shopping mall fountain. In 2014, more than 2,500 pedestrians ended up in the ER for accidents related to cellphone distraction, Fortune reports. That happened fewer than 250 times in 2006. Rather than pocketing their smartphones, however, pedestrians have developed a protective gait, according to NPR. Researchers found that while navigating an obstacle course and using a smartphone, “people actually slowed down and engaged in a more protective or cautious walking pattern,“ says an author of the study.


►   Mayor’s Facebook Post Reveals His Porn Browsing

It was only research. So says a German mayor who, via a post on his town’s official Facebook page, inadvertently busted himself for checking out online porn. Thomas Koppl of Quickborn, in the course of a political debate, posted a screenshot of the German constitution to Facebook. He neglected to crop out the tabs at the top of the browser, though. Among the pages shown in the now-deleted screenshot were “Punishment Porn Videos,“ “BDSM porno videos,“ and “German slut punished.“ The “cringeworthy mistake” was covered by German-language newspaper Bild; the Telegraph reports a Facebook user shared that Bild story, and Koppl commented on it.

In his comment, Koppl reportedly ‘fessed up to looking at the porn sites (according to the Local, he first tried to deny he took the screenshot). In an effort to make clear the intent of his XXX Web browsing, Koppl wrote that he wanted to get “clued-up” on BDSM after hearing two guys talking about it recently while waiting for a ski lift. “I wasn’t so up-to-date about that,“ he says, “which annoys me.“ But he says he didn’t actually watch any porn, per the Telegraph: His Internet connection was too slow. Instead he read a Wikipedia entry on Fifty Shades of Grey. The verdict? Koppl says he’s sure BDSM is fine and dandy if you’re into it, but “I find it rather disturbing.“ One commenter had a question for the mayor of Quickborn: “Are you going to change the signs in the town to Quickporn?“


►   Ticket for Burping Spawns ‘Loud Belch Flashmob’

Vienna visitors beware: Burping too loud could come at a price. Edin Mehic, a bartender in the Austrian capital, found that out when fined the equivalent of $77 after belching in the proximity of a policeman while enjoying the scene at the Prater amusement park. The ticket notes that Mehic violated “public decency with a loud belch next to a police officer.“ A police spokesman confirmed on Monday that Mehic had been fined for the offending burp. Though it was emitted earlier this month, the belch continues to resonate: By Monday, 118 people said they will attend a flash mob posted on Facebook and planned for next Saturday near the scene of the crime. Another 298 were “interested” in the “Loud Belch Flashmob.“


►   Prison Grave May Hold Real Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Thomas Hardy fans, prepare to geek out. Archaeologists may have uncovered the remains of a woman whose execution is said to have inspired the death of the main character in Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Back in 1856, a 16-year-old Hardy was among a crowd of 4,000 that gathered to watch Martha Brown’s public hanging at Dorchester prison in Dorset, England. The prison has since been closed to make room for a housing development, and archaeologists conducting a routine survey because of the site’s history turned up the still-unidentified remains, including a skull. Only eight convicts were executed and buried at the prison before 1878, reports the Telegraph. “I don’t think it would be too difficult to establish if any of the remains are those of a woman,“ a Dorset-based filmmaker tells the Guardian. “If they are, they are almost certain to be the remains of Martha.“

Like Tess, Brown was executed for murdering a man who had wronged her: in Brown’s case, her violent husband. “I remember what a fine figure she showed against the sky as she hung in the misty rain, and how the tight black silk gown set off her shape as she wheeled half-round and back,“ Hardy said of her execution some 70 years later. “Hardy is well-known for storing up experiences and using them decades later,“ says a rep for the Thomas Hardy Society. “When he wrote Tess, I’m sure he had in mind Martha Brown.“ The housing developer is resisting requests to allow a more thorough dig that might definitively answer the question about the remains, and the government’s senior archaeologist in the county will make the final call on whether it’s necessary.murder.)


►   Toddler in Egypt Receives Life Sentence

An Egyptian court has handed down a life sentence that would be longer than most if carried out: The alleged criminal is all of 4 years old, max. The strange case involves little Ahmed Mansour Qorany Sharara, reports CNN. A military court this month found him and 115 others guilty of killing three people and damaging state property during a protest in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in 2014. Ahmed would have been 16 months old at the time. After the verdict and the ensuing uproar over Ahmed’s fate, the military admitted a case of mistaken identity, reports the BBC. But it adds that Ahmed’s fate is unclear, and his parents are worried because police have been inquiring about his whereabouts.

Reports differ, but authorities apparently included the child’s name in the case in error, confusing him either with his uncle or a teenager. When police first showed up to arrest him and saw how young he was, they detained his father instead for four months. His dad went on Egyptian TV this week to plead for his son not to be taken from him, reports Egyptian Streets. A military official promised that won’t happen, but critics of Egypt’s justice system say it’s so inept that anything could happen. For example, a defense attorney in the mass trial tried to clear things up by presenting the child’s birth certificate, but “it appeared that the court did not transfer the material,“ reports the Jerusalem Post.

Common Core Creator: Subtract Parents from Math Education Equation

The Free Press WV

One of the three lead writers of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a national initiative with roots in No Child Left Behind and other federal government education programs, recently told a Columbia University education magazine parents should avoid helping children with their math homework.

Jason Zimba, co-author of the CCSS math standards, told a reporter for The Hechinger Report, Columbia University Teaching College’s trade magazine, parents should not help children with their homework because government school teachers are trained professionals who are better equipped than parents to help students learn.


Uneducated Experts

Ze’ev Wurman, a former senior policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Education and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution, says Common Core’s expert authors aren’t really experts.

“Common Core math standards have been written by three people: two mathematicians with very limited educational experience and one English major, and it shows,” Wurman said. “Its recommendations have no empirical support, and many professional mathematicians and professionals using math object to them. Further, the objections to parents teaching their kids with different and more efficient ways to do math are akin to complaining about telling teenagers that they can use bikes or cars, rather than walking everywhere.”

Parental involvement in the education process facilitates learning, Wurman says.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a given, but all studies indicate that children do much better when parents are involved,” Wurman said. “If parents are discouraged from helping, their involvement, by definition, gets lower. The general effects are bound to be more disengaged children, many of whom will come to dislike the unnecessarily convoluted math taught in the classroom. Teachers will become the gatekeepers to knowledge, since parents will not be able to mitigate teacher failures, and we know that many teachers are not very strong in math.”


Fuzzy Math

Barry Garelick, cofounder of the U.S. Coalition for World Class Math and a math teacher in the California government school system, says Common Core math homework, which can be confusing to parents, is a sign of a problem in education.

“Common Core math homework is not the problem; it is a symptom of the problem,” Garelick said. “That problem is the math reform agenda that has been active for more than 20 years and thus predates Common Core. The Common Core math standards lend themselves to interpretations along math reform ideologies. The words ‘explain’ and ‘understand’ crop up in many of the content standards and serve as code words to have students as young as 1st graders ‘explain’ math problems so simple as to defy explanation.”

Garelick says government school officials are pursuing trendy education fads, instead of using proven methods to educate children.

“Schools and districts are quick to tell parents, both suspicious and unsuspecting, that such circumvention strategies are part of a deeper understanding of math facts,’” Garelick said. “In those derided eras, the standard algorithms were taught first and alternative strategies were taught later as a side dish, not one of an endless supply of main dishes.”

Garelick says parents should be included in the education process.

“Parents, to the extent they can, should teach their children the standard methods, as well as what they need to do to comply with what’s required of them at school,” Garelick said. “As far as expanding options for students and their families, [schools] should drop the dictates that parents not teach their kids the standard methods and allow students the option to learn them and use them if they so desire.”

~~  Kenneth Artz ~~

02.23.2016
EducationNewsUnited States

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Memorial Presentation on Buffalo Creek Disaster Planned at GSC

The Free Press WV

GLENVILLE, WV - Billy Jack Dickerson of Man High School will visit Glenville State College to give a presentation about the Buffalo Creek Disaster on Tuesday, February 23 at 12:20 p.m.

The presentation will take place in GSC’s Heflin Administration Building Presidents Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

The tragedy occurred in 1972 when a dam failed and flooded the community of Buffalo Creek in Logan County, West Virginia within minutes.

The flood waters destroyed everything in its path and took the lives of over 100 people.

For more information about the Buffalo Creek Disaster presentation contact Bob Baber at or 304.462.6331.

Men Are Helped to Prevent the Most Serious Form of Cancer—YOURS!

Bridgeport, WV — Men are less willing than women to be screened for cancer, even though men have higher cancer death rates.  One of the potential benefits of screening certain types of cancer (like prostate cancer) is that it can be found early when treatment may be more effective.

On Friday, March 18, the Cecil B. Highland, Jr., & Barbara B. Highland Cancer Center at United Hospital Center will hold a Men’s Cancer Screening at Family Medicine from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., located at 527 Medical Park Drive on the fifth floor of the Physician’s Office Building.

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“As health educators, physicians and medical professionals at UHC, we want to make a concerted effort to educate men on exact screening procedures, explain how cancer is detected and communicate what to expect during the screening,” said Linda Carte, RN, MSN, AOCN and vice president of cancer services and post-acute care.  “We hope to make a difference in the lives of men who live in North Central West Virginia through this Men’s Cancer Screening.”

The screening will include testicular screening, manual prostate screening, colorectal screening, patient education and PSA for High Risk Males. Men ages 15 and older should participate in this screening for testicular cancer and men ages 40 and older should have the prostate and colorectal screening. 

For more information, please contact the Cecil B. Highland, Jr., & Barbara B. Highland Cancer Center at UHC by calling 681.342.1804. Pre-registration is required for the screening, so please call 1.800.607.8888 to help prevent the most serious form of cancer—YOURS!

Did You Know?

The Free Press WV

HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO URGE DEFENSE HIKES GET MILLIONS IN DONATIONS

The 34 GOP lawmakers pressing for an $18 billion military budget increase have taken in $10 million in contributions from defense contractors.


WHOSE CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN RESIGNS

Ted Cruz tells communications director Rick Tyler to quit for suggesting rival candidate Marco Rubio insulted the Bible.


KALAMAZOO SUSPECT ADMITS TO SHOOTINGS

Jason Dalton waives his rights against self-incrimination and confesses to the apparently random shootings that left six dead.


U.S., RUSSIA AGREE ON PLAN FOR SYRIA TRUCE

The cease-fire is set to begin Saturday, even as questions remain over enforcing and responding to violations of the truce.


WHY SANDY HOOK FAMILIES SUE GUN MAKER

The families of some victims of the 2012 Newtown massacre say the AR-15 rifle made by Bushmaster Firearms is too lethal to be sold to the public.


SOME SECURITY EXPERTS SEE RISK IN FBI IPHONE UNLOCKING PLAN

Law enforcement wants Apple to write a program to break into one of the San Bernardino attackers smart phones, but some experts fear such a program could fall into the hands of hackers.


CDC: SOME LUMBER LIQUIDATORS’ FLOORING POSES HEALTH RISKS

People exposed to certain types of the company’s laminate flooring were three times more likely to get cancer than the health agency previously predicted.


WHAT STUDY SAYS IS RISING FASTER THAN ANY TIME IN 2,800 YEARS

Climate change is causing global sea levels to rise far beyond the three-inch historic average, an international team of scientists finds.


MEETING OBAMA GETS 106-YEAR-OLD WOMAN DANCING

Virginia McLaurin, an African-American grandmother born in 1909, could not contain her joy upon meeting the president and first lady at a White House reception.


LADY VOLS 31-YEAR RUN IN AP TOP 25 POLL ENDS

Tennessee falls out of The Associated Press women’s basketball poll for the first time since 1985.

In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►   Senate Approves Constitutional Carry Bill

Members of the West Virginia Senate voted 24 to 9 Monday to approve a bill allowing West Virginians over the age of 21 to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

The bill has already been approved by the House of Delegates, but Senators included changes that will now need to be reconsidered by the lower chamber before it heads to Governor Tomblin for a signature.

As approved by the Senate, the bill gets rid of the current permitting and safety training requirements to carry a concealed weapon but keeps those programs in place for citizens who want to carry their weapons in states that have reciprocity with West Virginia.

The bill also establishes a provisional license for 18 to 21-year-olds to carry concealed. Those provisional licenses include safety training requirements.

House Bill 4145 was amended in the Senate to remove a $100 tax credit for those who go through the permitting process even though it would not be required by code. Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump explained during a Saturday floor session such a credit would leave a millions of dollars hole in the state budget.

The Senate’s version also creates three new felonies related to carrying concealed when they are prohibited by law or use a weapon while committing a crime.

In a speech on the chamber floor, Democratic Senator Corey Palumbo explained his no vote shows he stands with law enforcement officers and a majority of his constituents who opposed the relaxed concealed carry rules. Republican Senator Kent Leonhardt argued that the bill will increase the safety of the state’s citizens.

House Bill 4145 could be taken up by the House of Delegates as soon as Tuesday.


►   Cabell School Board to Vote on Personnel Layoffs, Transfers

The Cabell County Board of Education will consider several personnel layoffs and transfers at a special meeting.

The Herald-Dispatch reports board members will vote Tuesday on a list of 48 reductions in force, or RIFs, and over 55 transfers of professional personnel.

These RIFs and transfers stem from an expected loss of over $800,000 in state funding for professional personnel for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which begins July 01.

The proposed budget was first released at a meeting February 02.

During that meeting, Todd Alexander, assistant superintendent of leadership for Cabell County Schools, said they were already in the process of notifying people that would be let go or transferred for the upcoming school year.

Board members also will vote on 14 transfers and 13 RIFs for service personnel.


►   Chemical Spills in Wetzel County, Pine Grove Residents Told Not To Use Water

A hazardous chemical was spilled just upstream from the pubic water intake for Pine Grove, West Virginia.

Oil and gas company MarkWest owns the tank from which the chemical leaked.

The company took water samples Saturday, but it’s not clear where those samples were taken from.

Calls to the town of Pine Grove are directed to a MarkWest employee, who said state and local officials are working closely with the company to determine the best course of action.


►   Officials Propose More Liberal Hunting Seasons

Wildlife officials in West Virginia have proposed regulations to allow hunters to kill more white-tailed deer, black bears and turkeys in the fall.

Division of Natural Resources biologists made the proposal Sunday in South Charleston during the quarterly meeting of the state Natural Resources Commission, a panel responsible for setting season lengths and bag limits.

If approved, the proposal would allow hunters to kill more antlerless deer and more female bears to control deer and bear populations.

The proposal would make deer bag limits more liberal in 21 counties or parts of counties, more restrictive in two and would remain the same in 33. It would also set more liberal regulations to 13 counties for bears.

Constitutional Convention “Risks Unintended Economic Consequences”

CHARLESTON, WV – Civic and economic watchdog groups are warning state lawmakers not to join the call for a new constitutional convention.

Five different bills at the legislature this year would add West Virginia to the states calling for a convention. Proponents want a balanced-budget amendment - making any kind of federal deficit unconstitutional. Economists, including many conservatives, say that would tie the government’s hands in a crisis.

Helen Gibbins, on the board of the League of Women Voters of West Virginia, agrees that in a recession, a balanced-budget amendment could have a terrible impact.

“It would depress the economy rather than helping the economy,“ says Gibbins. “So then, it would be hard to grow, to be able to pay the taxes to support the government. It’s just kind of a snowball.“

The Free Press WV
Helen Gibbins and other members of the League of Women Voters of West Virginia
oppose calls for a new constitutional convention.


By one count, 27 state legislatures have called for a convention, although some did so years ago and it’s unclear if the resolutions still apply. West Virginia could be among the seven more states that might be needed to reach two-thirds and trigger a convention.

However, Gibbins points out the rules for the process are all but unwritten. She says, for example, a convention could be called to pass a balanced-budget amendment – but decide to do something else, even something as radical as getting rid of the Bill of Rights.

“That’s one of the problems,“ she notes. “We like the idea of a single-issue convention for that reason. But everything is unknown, because we haven’t had one before, since the original.“

Gibbins says tinkering with the Constitution can have unintended consequences, and points to Prohibition as an example of an amendment that had to be undone later. She adds some of the language in the bills now before the West Virginia Legislature could have a drastic impact on the federal government.

“They couldn’t do anything for stimulating the economy. They couldn’t provide funds for infrastructure, for instance, that we badly need, and that would have jobs,“ she says.

The bills are HB 4449, HB 2424, SCR 4, SCR 10 and HCR 36. They can be read and tracked on the West Virginia Legislature’s website.

Proponents say the nation needs a balanced-budget amendment to stop out-of-control spending. Critics of the idea point out that the federal deficit has shrunk by nearly three-quarters from its peak. They say that’s typical as an economy recovers from a recession.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

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