Kanawha School District, over 60 schools. How many positions are over formula and excess levy supported is unknown. It is sad for every person who loses employment. Every position not filled means a job gone. Leaders of WV must learn to live within means. The economy has stagnated. Relatively young buildings stand empty in the inner city of Charleston. Why so many years of budget deficit repeated as they admitted revenue was on the decline?
One of the southern coalfield counties recently reported over 46% of their school-aged children do not have a parent in the home. Following the expensive and ineffective trend of non-violent offender incarceration is that of jailing or institutionalizing children.
GLENVILLE, WV—Eighteen students have completed their student teaching internships for Glenville State College and are eligible to participate in GSC’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 07, 2016.
Ben Neal, Casey Burdette, Robert Hensley, William Alderman, Ben Stingo, Chelsea Hines, Annetta Snyder, Curtis Sutphin,
Samantha Fulks, Joseph Overbaugh, Julia Stull, Cody Carnefix, Rachel Morris, Sarah Cody, Dancey Howes, Melissa Jones,
Abigail Stalnaker, Carlee Scott, Erica PerdueBen Neal, Casey Burdette, Robert Hensley, William Alderman, Ben Stingo,
Chelsea Hines, Annetta Snyder, Curtis Sutphin, Samantha Fulks, Joseph Overbaugh, Julia Stull, Cody Carnefix, Rachel Morris,
Sarah Cody, Dancey Howes, Melissa Jones, Abigail Stalnaker, Carlee Scott, Erica Perdue
William Alderman completed his student teaching in Math Education (5-adult) at Calhoun County Middle/High School and Gilmer County High School with Natalie White and Kelly Barr. Dr. Shara Curry, Dr. John Taylor, and Joseph Wood were his GSC supervisors. He is the son of Eric and Diane Alderman of Looneyville, West Virginia.
Casey Burdette completed his student teaching in Social Studies (5-adult) at Braxton County High School and Clay County Middle School with Jerry Frame and Brittany McGowen Dolly. Dr. Shara Curry was his GSC Supervisor. He is the son of Jimmy and Kristi Burdette of Clay, West Virginia and the grandson of Nancy and Jacke Cottrell of Newton, West Virginia.
Cody Carnefix completed his student teaching in English Education (5-adult) and Social Studies (5-adult) at Gilmer County High School with Michelle Raines and Lindsay Bush. Dr. Melody Wise and Donald Sheets were his GSC supervisors. He is the son of Darren and Allison Carnefix of Liberty, West Virginia.
Sarah Cody completed her student teaching in Early Education (PreK-K), Elementary Education (K-6), and Multi-Caterorial Education (K-6) at Sand Fork Elementary School and Glenville Elementary School with Leslie Campbell and Julie Perrin. Dr. Tara Cosco and Dr. Shelly Ratliff were her GSC Supervisors. She is the daughter of Kim and Joel Hypes of Summersville, West Virginia. She currently resides with her husband Johnathan in Summersville, West Virginia. Cody was also named Outstanding Student Teacher of the spring semester by the education honor society Kappa Delta Pi.
Samantha Fulks completed her student teaching in Math Education (5-adult) at Calhoun County Middle/High School and Gilmer County High School with Terry Jones and Rick Kinder. Dr. Shara Curry, Dr. John Taylor, and Joseph Wood were her GSC Supervisors. She is the daughter of Herald ‘Glen’ and Trevia Fulks (Jr.) of Millstone, West Virginia.
Robert Hensley completed his student teaching in Math Education (5-adult) at Gilmer County High School with Brittany Duelley and Tracy Ferguson. Don Sheets and Joseph Wood were his GSC Supervisors. He is the son of Carol Hensley of Dundalk, Maryland and currently resides with his wife Allegra in Glenville, West Virginia.
Chelsea Hines completed her student teaching in Health and Physical Education (PreK-adult) at Gilmer County High School and Glenville Elementary School with Amy Chapman and Diane Sharpes. Janet Bailey and Donald Sheets were her GSC supervisors. She is the daughter of Tim and Leann Kerns of Jane Lew, West Virginia. She currently resides with her husband Robert and son Parker in Weston, West Virginia.
Dancey Howes completed her student teaching in Early Education (PreK-K), Elementary Education (K-6), and Multi-Categorical Education (K-6) at Leading Creek Elementary School with Lora Chapman and Melissa Wood. Dr. Shelly Ratliff and Dr. John Taylor were her GSC supervisors. She is the daughter of Mark and Kennetha Howes of Hacker Valley, West Virginia.
Melissa Jones completed her student teaching in English Education (5-adult) at Braxton County Middle School and Braxton County High School with Judith Boyce and Sharon Desper. Dr. Melody Wise and Frances Fry were her GSC Supervisors. She is the daughter of Roger Hypes and Marie Pierson of Summersville, West Virginia. She currently resides in Summersville, West Virginia with her significant other Allen Walton and her son Ben.
Benjamin Neal completed his student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Arnoldsburg Elementary School, Pleasant Hill Elementary School, and Liberty High School with John Bugby and Tom Day. Dr. Shara Curry, Dr. John Taylor, and Dr. David Lewis were his GSC Supervisors. He is the son of Timothy and Patricia Neal of Mount Nebo, West Virginia.
Rachel Morris completed her student teaching in Early Education (PreK-K) and Elementary Education (K-6) at Glenville Elementary School with Nicole Moyers and Tamera Moore. Connie Stout O’Dell and Don Sheets were her GSC Supervisors. She is the daughter of Bill and Kendi Morris of Bidwell, Ohio and is engaged to Aaron Parsons of Harrisville, West Virginia.
Joseph Overbaugh completed his student teaching in General Science (5-adult) at Braxton County High School and Braxton County Middle School with Shawn Crow and Jenny Miller. Dr. Shara Curry was his GSC Supervisor. He is the son of James and Ada Overbaugh of Mount Zion, West Virginia.
Erica Perdue completed her student teaching in Early Education (PreK-K) and Elementary Education (K-6) at Burnsville Elementary School with Patty Montgomery and Joyce Stump. Frances Fry was her GSC Supervisor. She is the daughter of Eric and Vicky Perdue of Clay, West Virginia. She currently resides in Burnsville, West Virginia with her fiancée Lucas Smith.
Annetta Snyder completed her student teaching in English Education (5-adult) at Braxton County Middle School and Braxton County High School with James King and Janis Collins. Her GSC Supervisors were Frances Fry and Dr. Melody Wise. She is the daughter of Mike and Charlene Snyder of Stouts Mills, West Virginia. She currently resides with her son Sebastian in Stouts Mills.
Abigail Stalnaker completed her student teaching in Early Education (PreK-K) and Elementary Education (K-6) at Glenville Elementary School with Leigh Kinder, Teresa Skinner, and Amber Frashure. Dr. Shelly Ratliff, Connie Stout O’Dell, and Don Sheets were her GSC Supervisors. She is the daughter of David and Judy Stalnaker of Glenville, West Virginia.
Benjamin Stingo completed his student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Calhoun County Middle/High School and Glenville, Sand Fork, and Normantown Elementary Schools with Logan Rhodes and Judy Leggett. Dr. Shara Curry and Dr. David Lewis were his GSC supervisors. He is the son of Kevin and Elizabeth Stingo of Buckhannon, West Virginia.
Julia Stull completed her student teaching in Early Education (PreK-K) and Elementary Education (K-6) at Summersville Elementary School with Jill Sweeney and Erin Thomas. Frances Fry was her GSC Supervisor. She is the daughter of Kenneth and Diana Barnett of Summersville, West Virginia. She currently resides with her children Bryer and Ellie Stull and Kenneth Sales Jr. in Summersville, West Virginia.
Curtis Sutphin completed his student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Roanoke Elementary School, and Leading Creek Elementary with Jermiah Smallridge, Garrett Friend, and Whitney Ballard. Dr. John Taylor and Dr. David Lewis were his GSC Supervisors. He is a native of Van, West Virginia.
Senior teacher education students take part in an internship during their final semester at GSC. At the conclusion of their internship students must complete a presentation illustrating their mastery of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards as well as the standards of their particular area of study.
For more information about the Teacher Education Program at Glenville State College, contact 304.462.4119.
May 03, 2016 – Today is the day to Give Local MOV! The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) is again hosting Give Local MOV, a unique 24-hour online fundraising event that encourages local giving and raises money for local nonprofit organizations.
With over $120,000 available in matching funds and incentive prizes, making a secure, online donation through GiveLocalMOV.org allows donor’s gifts to multiply in various ways and make a huge impact for our community! Individuals wishing to make a donation to their favorite participating nonprofit organization(s), minimum $10, are to visit www.GiveLocalMOV.org today before 11:59pm and submit their donation.
The PACF invests in a secure website and underwrites event costs, enabling all donations to reach the participating nonprofits. Gifts made on the Give Local MOV website are matched 1:1 (finite amount of matching funds per nonprofit available given resource limits) and also help participants obtain hourly incentive prizes. Funds earned by the nonprofits are swiftly distributed following the event for their current needs. The PACF will also match up to ten gifts (given by ten unique donors) of $100 or more with a gift of $100 to boost the nonprofits’ permanent charitable fund.
To learn more regarding available matching funds and details of the event, visit www.GiveLocalMOV.org or contact PACF’s Development and Communications Officer, Julie Boyce, by calling 304.428.4438.
West Virginia’s worsening budget problems are about to be felt in the state’s massive health care delivery system. The state Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau of Medical Services has sent letters to hundreds of health care providers that their Medicaid payments MAY be delayed.
Medicaid is the state-operated health care program for lower income residents that pays for doctor and clinic visits, hospital and nursing home stays and other medical needs. The letter to about 24,000 providers from Acting Commissioner Cynthia Beane says, “Absent an upward trend in revenues or a funding solution identified, the Bureau for Medical Services (BMS) will be unable to continue to process claims at the same consistent level that has been maintained.”
Providers are being told that, for example, a clinic or hospital bill that would normally be paid by the state in 20 days may now be delayed up to two weeks, depending on the ever-changing status of state revenue collections and budget plans for next fiscal year beginning July 1st.
“We want to make sure they’re aware of the situation in case they would have a hardship created by receiving a payment a couple of weeks late,” said DHHR Deputy Secretary Jeremiah Samples on Metronews Talkline this week.
West Virginia has about 535,000 people on Medicaid.*
West Virginia Hospital Association President and CEO Joe Letnaunchyn said delays in reimbursements could cause cash flow problems. “When you go from a couple of days to a week then you get into payroll periods, and then you get into trying to find cash to make payroll.”
The West Virginia State Medical Association was more pointed in its comments, calling the possible slowdown in payments “disappointing and totally unnecessary.” The association, which represents 2,700 physicians, says the problem could have been averted if the Legislature had passed a $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax.
“Politics ultimately won out over a common sense solution,” said executive director Brian Foy.
The Medicaid predicament is the latest, but certainly not the last, associated with the economic downturn in our state. Passing a cigarette tax increase or cutting “the fat” from government will not change the more long-term structural challenges as a result of the accelerated deterioration of the coal industry, the slump in natural gas prices and the subsequent impact on business and individual tax collections.
Barring a rapid rebound, the letter to Medicaid providers serves as a harbinger which should cause policy makers to think seriously about all the functions of state government to determine the services taxpayers can afford to provide.
*(DHHR says the cash flow issues are not related to the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. The services for the newest Medicaid recipients under the Affordable Care law are paid for entirely with federal dollars this fiscal year.)
► Don’t Even Think of Taking a Selfie in a WV Voting Booth
If you want to share your voting experience on social media, you’ll have to find some way other than taking a photo in the voting booth in West Virginia: Natalie Tennant, the secretary of state there, says such selfies are forbidden, the AP reports. The Charleston Gazette-Mail points out that, per the West Virginia election code, “No person may enter a voting booth with any recording or electronic device in order to record or interfere with the voting process.“ Punishment for violating this rule could result in up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. The law was reportedly put in place to prevent candidates from “buying” votes (meaning a voter would snap a picture proving he or she cast a vote for a particular candidate, then be compensated by the candidate).
Tennant says signs are posted in every West Virginia precinct, and poll workers have been instructed to tell people not to have devices out while voting. (It’s not clear how strictly this will be enforced and whether people will have to surrender the devices before entering the booth.) A rep from Tennant’s office advises people who want to prove they voted to simply take a snapshot outside a voting precinct or early voting site instead of inside the booth. Still, a professor at the West Virginia University College of Law tells the Gazette-Mail he wonders how practical the rule is. “It’s just so easy to take a picture now.“
► Outside groups outspend 5 West Virginia high court hopefuls
CHARLESTON, WV — In a crowded West Virginia Supreme Court contest, third-party groups are outspending the five candidates.
Campaign finance reports show that outside groups have spent $1.8 million, while candidates have spent $1.6 million combined through late April.
The Republican State Leadership Committee has bought $1.4 million in ads attacking Darrell McGraw and Bill Wooton, and supporting Beth Walker.
Just Courts for West Virginia PAC, a trial lawyers group, has spent $229,000 in ads attacking Walker.
Walker has spent $530,400 after receiving $500,000 in loans from her husband and raising $200,000.
Incumbent Justice Brent Benjamin has spent $481,300 and Wooton has spent $530,000. Both are using public campaign financing.
McGraw has spent $8,100 after raising $72,200. Wayne King has spent about $15,000.
The race is nonpartisan and will be decided on May 10.
► Democrat Hillary Clinton making campaign stops in Appalachia
ASHLAND, KY — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is making campaign stops in Appalachia this week, starting in Kentucky and West Virginia.
Her campaign says she plans to talk to voters about her ideas to raise incomes for people in overlooked or underserved communities. The region has been economically devastated by the decline in the coal industry.
Stops were scheduled in Ashland, Kentucky, and Williamson, West Virginia, on Monday, with visits in West Virginia and Ohio on Tuesday.
Republicans criticized Clinton for earlier comments that her policies would put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. Clinton said later she was mistaken and that she is committed to coalfield workers and communities.
Her husband, ex-President Bill Clinton, is set to attend public events Tuesday in Morehead, Lexington and Louisville.
► More doctors may decide to stop treating Medicaid patients
CHARLESTON, WV — The Affordable Care Act and the significant increase in Medicaid patients in West Virginia could have a major impact on medical providers with the state’s budget problems, according to some members of the medical community.
Health care providers in West Virginia received letters last week from the state Department of Health and Human Resources telling them there may be delayed Medicaid payments from the state in the future. The agency called it a proactive move.
“This may be just the beginning,” said Dr. Larry Dial, head of internal medicine at Marshall University, Monday on MetroNews “Talkline”.
With the Affordable Care Act and the decision by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to take the Medicaid option doctors are treating more Medicaid patients, Dial said.
“What it’s done is placed us in a position where we are much more at risk for these type of actions. So if our volume has went up and subsequently they are going to start to delay payments, I think it’s going to impact the bottom line,” Dial said.
Marshall University’s clinics have seen a 30 percent increase in Medicaid patients in the last two years.
The DHHR maintains the cash flow problem is in no way connected to the expansion. The state will begin allocating approximately $15 million to the expansion next fiscal year, DHHR Deputy Secretary Jeremiah Samples told MetroNews last week.
West Virginia Medical Association past-president Dr. Hoyt Burdick said on “Talkline” Monday some doctors may decide to stop treating Medicaid patients.
“There is a risk. If the practice business model is failing tough decisions have to sometimes be made,” Burdick said. “It’s not what we as physicians want to do but that’s the reality, the economic reality.”
Both Burdick and Dial support a $1.00 increase in the state cigarette tax. It would provide much needed revenue but also reduce health care costs, Burdick said.
“For every dollar spent on purchasing tobacco there’s $8 in health care costs,” Burdick said.
The Medicaid payments were made on time for April. Burdick said the payments are usually a little slower in the summer months.
John Oliver Perfectly Sums Up the Last 17 Years in Three Minutes
Apparently, it’s going to be a big summer for cicadas, whose unusually long reproductive cycle means the ones emerging this summer were conceived in 1999. Cicadas won’t be here for long—two to six weeks on average. But if they’re anything like humans, they’re going to need some catching up on what they missed while they were gestating. And Last Week Tonight’s host John Oliver is here to help bring them up to speed.
In a funny video made directly for YouTube, Oliver divulges that, “We voted in second President Bush by a narrow margin, and rejected a third President Bush by an enormous margin.“
In 1999, the internet was still pretty much in its infancy, and “scream[ed] in agony as you dial[ed] into it,“ recalled Oliver, who also described YouTube, which came into existence in 2005 as the “a video distribution platform where teenagers become famous for playing video games and opening boxes.“
As for sports, “Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player ever, is now someone we mostly make fun of because he cried one time,“ Oliver said. In terms of pop culture “Dr. Dre is a multimillionaire electronics mogul and the lead singer of Destiny’s Child is our queen.“ Oliver did allude to the menace that Trump poses to the next generation of cicadas.
► Human Remains Found Under 100-Year-Old Music Venue
Workers renovating a century-old performance hall discovered human remains under the orchestra pit and now archeologists are planning to analyze the bones, the AP reports. The property under Cincinnati Music Hall was a public burial ground in 1818, and bones have been popping up since construction began for the building in 1876, including a skull and other bones during a major renovation in 1969. Then crews uncovered the latest find while removing asbestos in late March, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Heavy excavation hasn’t yet started on the venue’s $135 million renovation project. Gray & Pape, a firm that conducts archaeological and historical investigations, concluded the arm and leg bones are believed to belong to four adult bodies.
Six other grave shafts were identified in the north carriageway, which is the space between Music Hall’s main building and the North Hall; each contained burials in wooden coffins. The property under Music Hall was once a potter’s field—or a public burial ground. According to a report by the project manager for the renovation, the bones may have been moved from an original burial ground and reburied in a single grave. Like past discoveries, the project manager says, the latest remains may end up at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, comments are popping up on Facebook from orchestra fans and musicians who say the bones may belong to previous conductors, the much-criticized viola players, or a “de-composer.“
► Confederate Monument Coming Down in Kentucky
A Confederate monument will be removed from a spot near the University of Louisville campus where it has stood since 1895. The stone monument honoring Kentuckians who died for the Confederacy in the Civil War will be moved to another location, University President James Ramsey and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said during a surprise announcement Friday. The monument is capped with a statue of a Confederate soldier. “It’s time for us to move this monument to a more appropriate place,“ Ramsey said while standing in front of the stone memorial, which sits next to the university’s gleaming Speed Art museum that just completed a $60 million renovation.
Governments and universities across the country have re-evaluated displays of Confederate symbols following the racially motivated slayings last summer of nine black parishioners at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina. The tall, obelisk-style monument will be disassembled and cleaned while it is in storage awaiting a new location, which has not been determined. It was given to the city by the Kentucky Woman’s Monument Association. Ricky Jones, a professor of Pan-African studies at the university, says he has been pushing for removal of the statue since he arrived at the university in the late 1990s. “I can’t tell you how happy I am,“ Jones said after the announcement Friday. “I think this statue being on the campus is somewhat akin to flying the Confederate flag over the (university’s) administration building.“
► Of All the Garage Doors in Alaska, Driver Hits This One
Of all the garage doors in Alaska, Alexander Oliphant allegedly hit a most unfortunate one: that currently being used by Governor Bill Walker. The Juneau Empire reports that police responded to a call Thursday night and found Oliphant and his dog in his car, which happened to be in a temporary construction fence. Police say Oliphant wouldn’t take a breath test but did allegedly let them know that he had previously hit the Governor’s Mansion door, which was indeed found “caved in,“ per a rep for Juneau police.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports that video surveillance confirmed that the person who crashed into the door “did not enter the garage or any other part of the residence”; Walker was home at the time but was undisturbed. Repairing the door is apparently no simple feat, as the expected timeline is several weeks. The 49-year-old was charged with driving while intoxicated and refusing that test, and the dog was placed with animal control.
► Ringling Bros. Elephants Perform for the Very Last Time
Elephants will perform for the last time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, as the show closes its own chapter on a controversial practice that has entertained audiences since circuses began in America two centuries ago. Six Asian elephants will deliver their final performances in Providence, Rhode Island, and five will perform in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, during several shows on Sunday. The last Providence show will stream live on Facebook and at Ringling.com at 7:45pm, reports the AP. Alana Feld, executive vice president of Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus, said the animals will live at its 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida.
Elephants have been used in the circus in America for more than 200 years. In the early 1800s, Hackaliah Bailey added the elephant “Old Bet” to his circus. P.T. Barnum added the African elephant he named “Jumbo” to “The Greatest Show on Earth” in 1882. The Humane Society says more than a dozen circuses in the United States continue to use elephants. But none tour as widely or are as well- known as Ringling Bros. It’s also getting more difficult for circuses to tour with elephants. Dozens of cities have banned the use of bullhooks—used to train elephants—and some states are considering such legislation.
► Analysis: 23 People Shot in 2016 ... by Toddlers
Last week in Milwaukee, a 2-year-old fatally shot his mom from the back seat of their car. But where a story like this may have once been a freakish anomaly, the Washington Post notes, it’s now becoming increasingly and disturbingly commonplace. A Post analysis of news reports finds 23 shootings by 1-, 2-, and 3-year-olds in the US since January 1 (last year at this time there were 18) and seven just since April 20. Eighteen of the toddlers ended up shooting themselves, with nine of them succumbing to their injuries. The state with the highest number of toddlers pulling the trigger since January 2015 is Georgia (eight such incidents), followed by Texas and Missouri with seven each.
Snopes even fleshed out a meme in December, sourced mainly from an October 2015 Post article, that claimed more Americans were killed by toddlers than by terrorists in 2015 (the site ultimately found this assertion to be true). Correlating these shootings to factors such as population or gun-storage laws isn’t so simple, the Post notes. The people-dense states of New York and California, for instance, only saw a combined three toddler shootings since January 2015, while Chicago’s high gun-violence rate didn’t translate into any reported incidents. The paper speculates that “cultural factors” may cause some areas to have higher numbers of incidents, but it concedes that at this point, figuring out what areas are more prone is still a “guessing game,“ hampered by Congress’ stymieing of gun research. See what your state’s count is at the Post.
► CIA Defends Its ‘Live-Tweeting’ of bin Laden Raid
The CIA decided to relive one of its greatest hits on Sunday by “live-tweeting“ the raid that killed Osama bin Laden to mark its fifth anniversary—but social media users turned out to be a tough crowd. “Stop trying to be cool on twitter and get.on with your job,“ tweeted “Lame Monk” as the CIA tweets began, the Telegraph reports. “2 helicopters descend on compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. 1 crashes, but assault continues without delay or injury,“ read a typical entry as the CIA recounted the 2011 raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, starting with its approval by “POTUS, DCIA Panetta, & JSOC commander Admiral McRaven” and continuing until the body was identified.
The agency, which calls the al-Qaeda leader “Usama bin Ladin,“ used the hashtag #UBLRaid. “This is grotesque and embarrassing. You should fire your web team,“ tweeted another user, per the BBC. Others described the effort as “unprofessional” and “totally unnecessary.“ The CIA rejected suggestions that the “victory lap” was inappropriate. “The takedown of bin Laden stands as one of the great intelligence successes of all time. History has been a key element of [the] CIA’s social media efforts,“ a CIA spokesman tells ABC News. “On the fifth anniversary, it is appropriate to remember the day and honor all those who had a hand in this achievement.“
► Detroit Teachers Call In Sick: 94 of 97 Schools Closed
Detroit Public Schools’ finances are in such bad shape that teachers were told over the weekend they won’t be getting paid past June 30, barring emergency funds from the Michigan Legislature, the Detroit Free Press reports. Most of the district’s 2,600 or so teachers aren’t taking this news sitting down—at least not behind their desks at their schools, thanks to a mass sickout Monday urged by the Detroit Federation of Teachers the day before. Ninety-four of the district’s 97 schools were unable to open their doors Monday to students (46,000 total in the district), and hundreds of teachers called for an independent audit and the “pay we have earned,“ as the executive VP of the union puts it, at a Monday rally.
About two-thirds of the district’s teachers participate in a plan that distributes paychecks throughout the entire year, instead of just during the school year—and they say they were told there’d be enough money to cover their summer checks out of the $48.7 million the Legislature directed to the district last month. Governor Rick Snyder, meanwhile, called the sickout “not constructive” on Monday, per the AP, echoing Sunday’s sentiments from Judge Steven Rhodes, the district’s appointed emergency manager. Rhodes says although he understands the teachers’ “frustration and anger,“ he also thinks the sickout was a “drastic” and “unfortunate” decision, as he’s sure that lawmakers working on a $720 million bailout plan will come through, CNN reports. Strikes for teachers, cops, and other city workers are technically illegal in the state under the 1947 Michigan Public Employment Relations Act, though the Free Press notes they happen anyway.
► Ready, Steady, Mow! British lawnmower racing season gets under way
Behind a start line in a field in southern England, a group of drivers rev their engines, raring to open the throttle on noisy machines more used to cutting grass than racing across it.
For a few dedicated motor sport lovers, Sunday marked the start of the British lawnmower racing season, in which participants drive laps around a track in slightly souped-up sit-down mowers with the blades removed.
The championship, dreamt up in a countryside pub in 1973, runs from May to October and features three categories: roller-driven mowers; wheel-driven mowers and wheel-driven lawn tractors.
“It’s a little unusual, it’s not like jumping in a car and turning the wheel and peddles and gears,“ said Dean Fuller, British Champion on the wheel-driven variety, at the season’s first meeting in Surrey.
“You have got to learn how you lean, how you brake, the different types of surfaces ... So it really does take three or four years before you get the hang of (it).“
► Dutch ‘horror dentist’ sent to jail for eight years in France
A Dutchman dubbed the ‘horror dentist’ by French media was sentenced to eight years in jail on Tuesday for mutilating patients’ mouths and defrauding social security services.
The verdict was delivered by a court in Nevers, in central France, where local media relayed gory tales, some from old-aged pensioners who spoke of having as many as eight teeth pulled out in one sitting, infections and bills of tens of thousands of euros.
“This is a massive relief. We must be very careful from now on when we get practitioners from abroad,“ said Nicole Martin, the head of a group of patients who took legal action against Mark Van Nierop, who had fled to Canada but was extradited back to France.
► Beleaguered Venezuela Moves to New Time Zone
“This is not life.“ That’s what a fed-up resident of the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo tells Vice News. Residents of that country, which is being ravaged by an economic downturn and serious energy shortage, have already had their workweek slashed to two days (at least the 2 million public sector employees have), endured rolling blackouts, and had their school week reduced. In the latest effort on the energy front, President Nicolas Maduro had the country move its clocks forward a half hour on Sunday, the BBC reports. Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza noted that nighttime lighting and AC use were a major drain on the national power grid and gave the “simple” directive a pleasant spin: It “will allow us to enjoy more daylight, and it won’t get dark so early.“
Plunging global oil prices and a prolonged drought have pushed the oil-rich country, which relies heavily on hydroelectricity, to the brink. Residents in some areas have been experiencing four-hour daily blackouts since March, per Vice. One man, who lives in the state of Barinas says he initially thought using candles for light was romantic; now he’s over it. Rain in Venezuela has decreased some 40% in recent years. Nonetheless, critics of Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez, accuse his government of mismanagement, and the BBC reports political opponents amassed almost 2 million signatures in their push to secure a referendum to oust him. In another blow, Venezuela’s largest brewer of beer shut down operations Friday, leaving just enough beer to dull the pain of existence for one more week, the Wall Street Journal reports.
► 2 U.S. Missionaries Murdered in Jamaica
Jamaican police said Sunday that two US missionaries were found slain in a rural area of the Caribbean island that has long struggled with high rates of violent crime. The Jamaica Constabulary Force identified the two men as Randy Hentzel, 48, and Harold Nichols, 53, the AP reports. Their battered bodies were found in bushes in separate areas of St. Mary Parish. There have been no arrests, and investigators made no comment about a possible motive. Both missionaries lived and worked in Jamaica for a Pennsylvania-based religious organization called Teams for Medical Missions. The two men and their families did evangelism and Bible ministry and built homes.
“We do not know who would do this or what their motivation was. These men greatly loved the people of Jamaica and were greatly loved in return,“ says the executive director of Teams for Medical Missions. On social media, a fellow missionary says he was told the two men were killed on their way to check on the foundation of a house they were building for an impoverished family. The men were last seen riding rented motorcycles on a trail in the Albion Mountain area, reports the Jamaica Observer. The US Embassy in Jamaica says officials are in touch with the victims’ families, and the ambassador has contacted the leadership of the island’s security establishment.
► Selfie With Loaded Gun Ends in Teen’s Death
An Indian teen is dead after accidentally shooting himself in the head while taking a selfie as he posed with his father’s handgun, the Telegraph reports. Ramandeep Singh, 15, “was clicking a selfie with a loaded gun at his house when the incident happened,“ the police superintendent of Pathankot, Punjab, tells the India Times. Per the Telegraph, Ramandeep was posing with his sister Friday night and accidentally pulled the licensed .32-caliber pistol’s trigger instead of taking the photo; the safety wasn’t on, reports Mashable. After neighbors alerted the teen’s parents, he was rushed to a private hospital and died on Sunday.
There were 27 documented selfie-related fatalities in 2015, and about half of them happened in India. Residents and tourists in the country, for instance, died saying cheese in front of an approaching train, aboard a boat that capsized, and on a ledge that gave way, among other incidents. After two people drowned in the ocean during a selfie gone bad in January, police in Mumbai established 15 no-selfie zones, per the Times.
GSC Business Students Take Top Spots at PBL Conference
GLENVILLE, WV - Three Glenville State College students have taken top places at the West Virginia Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Leadership Conference. The students are now eligible to travel to the PBL National Leadership Conference that is being held in Atlanta, Georgia in June. PBL is the collegiate counterpart of the Future Business Leaders of America organization found in many high schools.
In competitions ranging from global business to job interviews, the Glenville State College team excelled. Dr. Gary L. Arbogast, co-advisor to the GSC PBL Club, said, “These students worked hard all year and it was no surprise of their accomplishments in the competitions.”
Glenville State College students Nathan Kincaid, Gracen Samples, and David Malcomb
David Malcomb, a Strange Creek, West Virginia resident, placed first in International Business and Retail Management. “This was my first year competing and it was exciting to place in two things having never done it before,” said Malcomb. The management major is on track to graduate in December 2016.
Nathan Kincaid, who hails from Summersville, West Virginia and is a senior sport management student, placed first in Cyber Security and second in Marketing Concepts. “Being in PBL for three years has definitely helped me build my resume and prepare for my future in business,” he said.
Gracen Samples, a freshman who is majoring in criminal justice and minoring in business, placed first in Job Interview. The Clay, West Virginia native also was elected as the state PBL treasurer. “This marks my sixth year participating in FBLA-PBL and it was exciting to compete at the college level. I was also really happy to run for and be elected to the position of treasurer for the state PBL. I’m pleased to get to represent GSC and the state through this organization,” said Samples.
The GSC group was in attendance with students from ten other colleges, universities, and community and technical colleges from around the Mountain State.
Malcomb and Kincaid took online tests before attending the conference to enter their areas of competition. Samples submitted a resume and cover letter for review and participated in a 15 minute interview with judges at the conference for her category.
The students urge other GSC students who are interested in being a part of the premier campus business organization to contact Arbogast and plan to attend a meeting in the fall.
Rev. Dr. Randy Flanagan ’76 to Present Baccalaureate Message
Rev. Dr. Randy Flanagan ’76 will present the message at the Baccalaureate ceremony during West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Commencement week. The service will be at a new time this year, starting at 5 p.m. in Wesley Chapel on Friday, May 06, 2016.
The Rev. Dr. Flanagan received his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and Bible and religion from Wesleyan in 1976, his Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1979, and his Doctorate of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1986. He has served as an appointed pastor for the past 43 years serving six rural churches in the Adrian Charge; at Palatine First United Methodist Church (UMC) in Palatine, IL; King’s Way UMC in Elkins, WV; Elkins Easy UM Charge in Elkins, WV; St. Mary’s UMC in Beckley, WV; and Simpson UMC in Moundsville, WV.
The Rev. Dr. Flanagan also served as the Director of Connectional Ministries for the West Virginia Annual Conference of the UMC, as well as lead pastor at both Christ Church UMC in Charleston, WV and Wesley UMC in Morgantown, WV, his current position.
He is married to wife Janet L. (McCloud) ’76, with whom he has a daughter, Kathryn.
“Show How You Care About the Air” During National Air Quality Awareness Week
CHARLESTON, WV – As the weather warms and we begin spending more time outside, some people may start thinking about the air we breathe and how to protect it. You might be surprised to learn that using the correct light bulbs, properly inflating your vehicle tires and reducing vehicle idling time are all ways to reduce air pollution and “Show How You Care About the Air.”
In recognition of National Air Quality Awareness Week – May 02 through May 06 – the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is teaming up with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a national effort to make citizens aware of simple daily choices that can affect their air quality.
“While things like using different light bulbs and checking the air in your tires may seem insignificant, all of these small things add up when we all join together,” said DAQ Director Fred Durham. “If we work together, we can reduce our footprint and save money in the process.”
Any time you use energy, you contribute to air pollution. Using energy-efficient lighting and appliances not only reduce air pollution, it can help save you money. Also consider buying electric or battery-powered lawn care equipment. If you do use gasoline-fueled devices, try to prevent spills and overfills. Even small gasoline spills evaporate and pollute the air and groundwater.
Transportation choices can play a significant role in air quality improvement. Choose alternatives to driving such as taking the bus, carpooling, biking or walking to your destination. If those alternatives are not options, try these tips: turn off your engine instead of idling; keep your tires properly inflated for better fuel usage; combine trips; and, refuel in the evening hours when fumes from refueling won’t combine with the sun’s heat to increase ozone levels.
Visitors to DEP’s headquarters in the Kanawha City area of Charleston during National Air Quality Awareness Week can learn about ways to reduce their contribution to air pollution and check the daily Air Quality Index (AQI) at a display set up in the lobby. The agency also encourages residents to check out videos on the topic on our YouTube page at this link.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) for nine areas in West Virginia can be obtained by visiting DEP’s DAQ page here. The AQI is reported for Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Moundsville, Parkersburg, Weirton and Wheeling year round. The reported index is the calculated value for the past 24 hours and is updated Monday through Friday. During ozone season, April 1 through Oct. 31, Greenbrier County and Martinsburg information is also reported.
DAQ is involved in outreach throughout the year aimed at helping members of the public learn more about how personal decisions affect air quality. A video of some of the agency’s outreach displays can be seen on YouTube here. For more information on Air Quality Awareness Week, visit www3.epa.gov/airnow/airaware.