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Spend Groundhog Day with French Creek Freddie at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center

37th Anniversary Celebration Planned

For the 37th year, French Creek Freddie, the state’s official weather prognosticating groundhog, will be the star of the show on Monday, February 02, 2015 at the West Virginia Wildlife Center at French Creek in Upshur County.

Each Groundhog Day, a Wildlife Center staff member awakens the rodent and brings him out of his winter hibernation box to allow him to look for his shadow and predict the severity of the remaining six weeks of winter.

He’s usually right, but after making his forecast before an audience of hundreds of groundhog fans, including news media from around the state, he is more than happy to return to the warmth of his bed.

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“Everyone is invited to join in the fun of Groundhog Day at the West Virginia Wildlife Center, and afterward take a walking tour of the native wildlife on display,” said Rob Silvester, district wildlife biologist. “Festivities begin in the amphitheater at 9:30 AM with entertainment by Keith Buchanan. Wake-up time for Freddie is 10:00 AM. Our third annual Woodchuckin’ Contest starts at 10:30 AM. The Gift Shop will have free hot chocolate and cookies for all our guests, and we’ll have activity sheets for the kids to take home.”

The event is free.

The West Virginia State Wildlife Center is located in Upshur County in north-central West Virginia, 12 miles south of Buckhannon on State Highway 20.

From the north, take exit 99 off Interstate 79 and follow US Highway 33 east approximately 12 miles to Buckhannon and turn south on WV Highway 20.

Coming from the south, take exit 67 off Interstate 79 at Flatwoods and follow US Highway 19 and WV Highway 4 north approximately 30 miles to Rock Cave and WV Highway 20.

Follow WV Highway 20 North for 2 miles to the center.

Visiting the Wildlife Center is a convenient side trip for travelers on I-79.

For more information visit www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/wildlifecenter.shtm.

CITIZENS ARE CAUTIONED ABOUT IRS TAX REFUND EMAIL SCAM

The Gilmer Free Press

Morrisey: Scammers will be busy during tax season trying to collect consumers’ personal information.

WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning taxpayers to be aware of an email scam claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service that targets consumers’ financial information.

“Tax season is in full swing and so are scammers who are busy trying to steal your personal information,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “These emails tell consumers that they are eligible for a refund and can be very believable. Consumers need to approach any email like this with caution.”

Morrisey said the email often has a subject line that reads “Tax Refund Notification.”  The sender claims to be from the IRS and says the consumer is entitled to receive a tax refund. The consumer is directed to a third-party website, where he or she is asked to provide vital personal and financial information.

“Consumers should never share personal or financial information with anyone via email or unsolicited phone call. If the IRS needs to reach you, they will do so through official means, such as a letter,” Morrisey said. “Also it is wise to never click on a link embedded in an email unless you are absolutely sure the email and its author are legitimate.”

The IRS also is warning consumers about the scam on its website. The website states: “These e-mails usually are scams whose purpose is to ... commit identity theft. Identity thieves use the data to empty the victim’s financial accounts, run up charges on the victim’s existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services, or benefits in the victim’s name, file fraudulent tax returns and more.”

Morrisey said consumers should view any email offering prizes, rewards, or even a tax refund with a degree of skepticism.

“It’s understandable that everybody wants a tax refund, but this scam will turn a big refund into a big regret,” he said.

Morrisey said consumers and businesses should follow these safety tips if they receive an unsolicited email offering a tax refund:

•  Do not click on any links or reply to the message.

•  Completely delete the message from your inbox.

•  Run a full virus scan on your computer if you did click on any links.

•  Report your unsolicited email to .

Morrisey reminded consumers that the IRS sends millions of notices and letters to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. However, the IRS will not contact people by email or social media to ask for personal or financial information.

If you have been involved in tax refund scam, or believe you have been a victim of a different scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800.368.8808. To file a report online, go to www.wvago.gov.

Can Schools Ask for You Facebook Password?

The Gilmer Free Press

A new anticyberbullying measure in Illinois now allows schools to have access to students’ social media profiles. A necessary step or a step too far?

The conversations around data privacy and internet safety just got hotter.

A new Illinois state law can now compel students to hand over their social media login credentials to their school if school and state officials believe it can help prevent hostile online behavior – raising privacy concerns among parents and students alike.

The law, which then-Governor Pat Quinn signed in August and went into effect January 01, is an effort to curb cyberbullying and online harassment both in and out of the classroom, before it gets out of hand. Previously, Illinois schools could intervene if online bullying occurred during class hours.

“Children need to understand that whether they bully a classmate in school or outside of school using digital devices, their actions have consequences,” State Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) said in a statement. “Students should not be able to get away with intimidating fellow classmates outside of school.”

On the other hand, as Illinois mom Sara Bozarth told local Fox affiliate KTVI: “It’s one thing for me to take my child’s social media account and open it up, or for the teacher to look or even a child to pull up their social media account, but to have to hand over your password and personal information is not acceptable to me.”

The discussion in Illinois mirrors similar conversations about cyberbullying and data privacy in the United States, as cities and counties across the country struggle to find ways to protect children online.

In 2013, a school district in Los Angeles was met with suspicion and media scrutiny when it spent more than $40,000 to monitor the social media profiles of its students for any signs of bullying or self-harm, the Los Angeles Times reported. In Denver last year, the Colorado Defense Bar opposed the passage of a cyberbullying bill that criminalized using social media to cause “serious emotional distress on a minor.”  

Lawmakers in Albany County, New York also had to pare down their original bill against cyberbullying after the state Supreme Court, citing First Amendment rights, struck it down in July. And a software program in Washington County, Maryland allows school officials to monitor students’ profiles for illegal and violent activity on and off campus, much to the chagrin of privacy advocates.

There’s no doubt that cyberbullying can get bad. While definitions vary, cyberbullying is at its core online harassment – any aggressive behavior, insults, denigration, impersonation, exclusion, and activities related to hacking against a person or persons – done repeatedly over a period of time, according to the Pew Research Center. Figures vary regarding the prevalence of cyberbullying among children and young adults, but most research estimates that anywhere between 6 to 30% of teens have experienced some form of it.

The worst consequences are death and self-harm, as in the 2013 case of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick, who committed suicide after a group of middle-school students barraged her with text messages urging her to kill herself.

“Every student should feel safe from harassment, whether that’s in the school hallways or when using the internet or a cell phone,” former Gov. Quinn said after he signed the bill in Illinois. “In our technology-driven age, bullying can happen anywhere. This new law will help put an end to it.”

But others argue that there are ways to protect children besides monitoring and surveillance.

Jim Steyer, CEO of nonprofit Common Sense Media, told NPR in 2013 that his company tries to focus on informing and educating kids from a young age instead of watching their every move. The company developed a curriculum on “digital literacy and citizenship,” Steyer said, which teaches students how to use digital technology safely and responsibly.

“Our approach is teaching kids empathy,“ he said. “I think that’s much better than spying on kids.“

Recommended: Do you have a clue about teenage behavior? Take our quiz!

~~  Jessica Mendoza ~~

The Legislature Today 01.30.2015

At the legislature today, when their party took over control of the house and senate, Republicans promised tort reform.

Several bills are moving through the legislative process including one about nursing home administrators that was up for amendments on the senate floor today. And we’ll find out more about West Virginia’s prevailing wage law.

It’s a target of the majority.

West Virginia News     150131

The Gilmer Free Press

USDA, WVU AND OTHERS PARTNER TO PROTECT A WARBLER

A five-year project to conserve a threatened warbler in West Virginia and several other states has won an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The funding is aimed at providing habitat for the cerulean warbler. Once abundant, numbers of the sky-blue bird have declined by about 70% since the 1960s. Habitat loss is a leading cause.

The Appalachian Mountains are a breeding stronghold for the warbler and mountaintop mining for coal has shrunk the bird’s habitat.

West Virginia University and the state’s Division of Natural Resources are among the many partners in the effort to restore habitat for the cerulean warbler.


EX-GUARD AT US PRISON IN WV ADMITS TOUCHING INMATE

A former guard at the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson faces up to two years in prison after admitting he improperly touched an inmate.

The Register-Herald reports that 50-year-old Richard Canterbury of Lewisburg pleaded guilty Thursday to an abusive sexual contact involving a ward. The charge relates to an incident in 2014 when he touched the breasts of a female inmate.

Besides a prison term, Canterbury also could be fined $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 13.


QUILTING CALL ISSUED FOR WEST VIRGINIA EXHIBITION

West Virginia quilters are being invited to enter an exhibition of their work in Charleston.

The invitation is from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History for a quilt exhibition at the Culture Center in Charleston.

Mailed and hand-delivered entries will be accepted in April. Quilts that are selected will be on display from May 22 until September 12.

Handmade and machine-made quilts by West Virginia residents are eligible for the exhibition.

Money awards will be given for a variety of quilts.


MANCHIN BACKS PRESCRIPTION-ONLY COLD MEDICINE TO STEM METH

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is calling on state lawmakers to make certain cold medicines used to create methamphetamine available by prescription only.

In a letter Thursday, the Democrat asked the Republican-led Legislature to limit pseudoephedrine sales to people with prescriptions. It would apply to cold medicines like Sudafed.

Manchin pointed to successes Oregon and Mississippi, where the medicine is prescription-only.

Previously, Republicans have not been favorable to the change. The pharmaceutical industry has been a staunch opponent, saying the change would limit law-abiding citizens’ choices.

Under Democratic leadership last year, the prescription-only bill was watered down and eventually did not pass at all.

Manchin also wants monthly pseudoephedrine sales limited to 3.6 grams and annual sales capped at 24 grams. Currently, the yearly cap is 48 grams.


SENATE PASSES BILL APPROVING KEYSTONE XL OIL PIPELINE

The Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying a presidential veto threat and setting up the first of many battles with the White House over energy and the environment.

The 62-36 vote advanced a top priority of the newly empowered GOP, and marked the first time the Senate passed a bill authorizing the pipeline, despite numerous attempts to force President Barack Obama’s hand on the issue. Nine Democrats joined with 53 Republicans to back the measure.

This bill “is an important accomplishment for the country,“ said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “We are hoping the president upon reflection will agree to sign on to a bill that the State Department said could create up to 42,000 jobs and the State Department said creates little to no impact on the environment.“

Still the vote was short of the threshold needed to override a veto, and the legislation still must be reconciled with the version the House passed.

“We hope President Obama will now drop his threat to veto this common-sense bill that would strengthen our energy security and create thousands and thousands of new, good-paying American jobs,“ said House Speaker John Boehner.

Most Democrats framed the bill as gift to a foreign oil company that would have little benefit for the American people, because much of the oil would be exported. They tried and failed to get amendments on the bill to construct the pipeline with U.S. steel, ban exports of the oil and the products refined from it, and protect water resources.

The Senate agreed to add an energy efficiency measure, and went on the record saying climate change was not a hoax and the oil sands should be subject to a tax that helps pay for oil spill cleanups. Oil sands are currently exempt.

“This bill is a disgrace,“ said Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate environment committee. “We tried on our side to make this a better bill and they turned us away.“

TransCanada Corp., the pipeline’s developer, disputed the export argument Thursday, saying it didn’t make sense.

“Those who argue this pipeline is for export are not being factual,“ said Russ Girling, president and chief executive officer of TransCanada. “It’s time to approve Keystone XL so we can transport Canadian and American oil to fuel the everyday lives of the American people.“

First proposed in 2008, the $8 billion pipeline project has been beset by delays in Nebraska over its route and at the White House, where the president has resisted prior efforts by Congress to force him to make a decision. In 2012, Obama rejected the project after Congress attached a measure to a payroll tax cut extension that gave him a deadline to make a decision. The pipeline’s developer, TransCanada Corp., then reapplied.

The 1,179-mile pipeline is proposed to go from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the Texas Gulf coast.

Obama has said he will not be forced to make a decision on the pipeline, which requires presidential approval because it crosses an international border, until the review process concludes. Federal agencies’ comments on whether the project is in the national interest are due Monday.

Environmental groups have called on Obama to reject the project outright, saying it would make it easier to tap a dirty source of energy that would exacerbate global warming. The State Department’s analysis, assuming higher oil prices, found that shipping it by pipelines to rail or tankers would be worse for the planet. It also concluded that the project, after construction, would create only 35 permanent jobs, a figure Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., compared to a fried chicken franchise.

“The facts are clear: the Keystone XL pipeline will only create 35 permanent jobs while dumping millions of tons of carbon pollution into the air and threatening waterways and communities across the Midwest,“ said Tom Steyer, the investor and philanthropist who founded the NextGen Climate political action committee.

Supporters say the pipeline is a critical piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs during construction and boost energy security by importing oil from a friendly neighbor.

“We urge the president to make the right decision and approve KXL because it is in this nation’s best interest,“ said Jack Gerard, the president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. “The fact is that if all other infrastructure projects are delayed like Keystone XL, we are years away from approving anything that could create jobs and enhance our energy security.“

Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., a consistent supporter of the pipeline, and one of 9 Democrats to back the bill, said the pipeline had a “distorted position in the energy debate.“

“Keystone is first and foremost is an energy infrastructure project,“ Heitkamp said in a call with reporters Thursday. “It has become something bigger than what it is.“


HARRISON COUNTY COMMISSION NAMES INTERIM PROSECUTING ATTORNEY

Two days after Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Shaffer annouced his resignation, a 30-day interim prosecuting attorney has been appointed.

Susan Morris, the current chief assistant prosecuting attorney, will assume the role when Shaffer’s resignation takes effect at 2 PM on Monday.

“While [Shaffer] was here, he built an office that works well together and works effectively in the criminal justice system and I just hope to maintain that,“ Morris said.

Having previously taken on the responsibilities of the prosecuting attorney when Shaffer has needed to step away, Morris believes she has learned the intricacies of this particular staff and can help facilitate its success.

“We all have very specialized expertise that we bring to each job function that we have. That will not change,“ she said. “I expect the office will continue to function as it has and we’ll continue to deal with those unforeseen circumstances that we’re forced to deal with.“

The county commission held a special meeting Friday morning where Morris was the only nomination and she was approved quickly approved by the two commissioners.

“She’s been there 15 years. She’s been there longer than any of the other assistant prosecuting attorneys,“ Commission President Ron Watson said. “Why disrupt what’s happening?“

The commission is now responsible for appointing a long-term replacement to serve until Shaffer’s term expires, which is the end of 2016.

While he could not speak for Commissioner Bernie Fazzini or the soon-to-be-named commissioner to replace now-Senator Mike Romano, Watson said he knows who he would like to fill the role.

“My intent would be if Susan wants to continue after [the 30 days], is to support her because why disrupt the basic operation of how the prosecuting attorney’s office has been run.“

Watson did say they are not obligated to appoint a new prosecutor from the current assistant prosecutors working in the office and could pull from qualified candidates from outside the area.

Morris will be sworn into the new position sometime around when Shaffer’s resignation takes affect. The entire staff will have to be sworn in again as is required when a new prosecuting attorney takes the helm.


AUTHORITIES SEARCHING FOR SUSPECT AFTER LUMBERPORT OFFICER ALLEGEDLY FIRED UPON

A city policeman is unharmed, but authorities are searching for a suspect who allegedly opened fire on the officer late Thursday night.

According to authorities, the officer was on patrol near the Haywood bridge just before midnight when a spotlight was illuminated into the parked vehicle. Reports indicate that it was then that several rounds were fired from the other side of the West Fork River.

The officer evacuated the vehicle and took shelter in a wooded area until backup arrived on the scene. The officer was not injured in the incident.

Several agencies set up positions around the surrounding area, but the suspect was unable to be immediately located.

Early media reports claim authorities believe the shots were fired from a rifle.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and is being conducted by the Lumberport Police Department.


MAN CONVICTED IN WIFE’S HAMMER DEATH

A Martinsburg man has been convicted of killing his estranged wife with a hammer.

A Berkeley County Circuit Court jury found 31-year-old Rickie Lee Greenfield guilty of first-degree murder Friday.

Media outlets report the jury did not recommend mercy, meaning Greenfield has no chance for parole. His sentencing is scheduled for April 03.

Jill Greenfield was found dead in her bed in August 2013 with severe trauma to her face and head. A blood-stained hammer was recovered from the scene.


TOMBLIN APPOINTS SUCCESSOR TO CIRCUIT JUDGE WHO RESIGNED

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has appointed an Elkins attorney to succeed a circuit court judge who resigned after admitting having an affair with a corrections official.

Tomblin announced David H. Wilmoth’s appointment to the Randolph County judgeship Friday. Wilmoth succeeds Jaymie Wilfong, who resigned in November.

Wilmoth is a graduate of Marshall University and West Virginia University College of Law. He began his legal career in 1991 at Jory & Smith before establishing his own law firm in 1997.

Wilfong resigned after the West Virginia Supreme Court suspended her for having a two-year affair with William Travis Carter. At the time, Carter was director of the North Central Community Corrections program in Elkins. He resigned from that position in December 2013.


FORMER FREEDOM INDUSTRIES EXECS ARRAIGNED IN WEST VIRGINIA

Four former Freedom Industries executives have been arraigned on a superseding indictment stemming from a chemical spill last January that turned off tap water for 300,000 people.

The indictment contains a new charge against former Freedom President Gary Southern stemming from the company’s bankruptcy. It restates original charges against him and three other former executives.

Southern faces a new count of fraud by interstate commercial carrier. He faces up to 88 years in prison if convicted.

He, William Tis, Charles Herzing and Dennis Farrell previously were charged with federal Clean Water Act violations.

Farrell pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

In court filings this week, Southern, Tis and Herzing pleaded not guilty to the superseding indictment and waived their rights to be present at Thursday’s arraignment.


U.S.: PRISON TERM FOR KEY FIGURE IN WV-DETROIT DRUG RING

A 38-year-old West Virginia man has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for operating what the government called a Detroit-to-Wheeling drug ring.

The U.S. attorney’s office says Brian Schultz of Triadelphia was sentenced Thursday after admitting his role in the distribution of prescription painkillers and cocaine.

Prosecutors say Schultz moved large quantities of drugs to a network of associates who distributed them throughout the Ohio Valley.

Besides a prison term, he was also ordered to forfeit approximately $70,000 and fined $30,000.

An associate of Schultz was also sentenced.


MARYLAND MAN FOUND GUILTY IN FATAL STABBING OF WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY STUDENT

A Maryland man has been convicted in the stabbing death of a 19-year-old West Virginia University student.

Media outlets report a Monongalia County Circuit Court jury found Robert Hernandez Jr. of Cumberland, Maryland, guilty of first-degree murder Thursday.

The jury now must recommend to a judge whether Hernandez should be eligible for parole after serving his sentence.

The victim was Devante Waites, a freshman communications student from Fairmont. He was stabbed in the abdomen during a fight at a Morgantown bar in August. Hernandez was arrested during a traffic stop after police interviewed several witnesses and viewed video surveillance.


LEWIS COUNTY MAN REMAINS IN JAIL

A Lewis County man will remain behind bars on sexual assault charges after court proceedings.

Jude Jacob Reger denied a reduction in bond for Joseph Goldsmith.

Goldsmith is accused of third-degree sexual assault after meeting a juvenile on an app called Grindr.

Lawyers for Goldsmith asked for the bond to be reduced, saying the juvenile told him he was 18 before they ever met.

Goldsmith remains in jail on a total of $70,000 bail.

Movie Review: ‘The Humbling’

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As a fanciful meditation on art, reality, acting and aging, “The Humbling,” Barry Levinson’s adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel, bears more than a few resemblances to the Acadamy Award-nominated “Birdman.” One of Levinson’s spare, small-canvas productions, this uneven drama features a poignant leading performance by Al Pacino as an actor in his mid-60s who, after taking a literal plunge off stage, goes into seclusion at his weirdly empty country house. Ravaged, a little ragged-looking, with the constantly agape expression that has been his expressive signature for the past several years, Pacino plays Simon Axler with the knowing weariness of someone who understands too well the terrors of losing your chops — or, as Axler relates in a group therapy session, “my craft… my gift.”

Just as Axler is contemplating an uncertain future (how are you supposed to act when you can no longer act?), he’s visited by Pegeen, a voluptuous professor from a nearby women’s college who happens to be the daughter of old theater friends. The two embark on a May-December relationship made all the more unlikely by Pegeen’s having identified as a lesbian for the past 16 years. Luckily for the audience, Pegeen is played by Greta Gerwig, who injects her patented tonic of wild, ungovernable spontaneity — a spirit that is somehow anarchic and serenely self-possessed at the same time.

The Gilmer Free Press


Levinson, working with a script by Buck Henry and Michal Zebede, tries to introduce his own version of spontaneity in “The Humbling” with lots of naturalistic lighting, shadow play and edgy jump cuts; the result is a hallucinatory, sometimes amusingly antic slice of an actor’s life that keeps the lines fuzzy between what Axler is fantasizing or actually experiencing firsthand. Although Pacino and Gerwig are always game for whatever scene they’re in, Levinson never seems to find the story’s organic pacing: What should snap, crackle and pop too often flits and fades into indeterminate nothingness.

Then again, maybe that’s the point. Propelled by reversals, masks and gender games of Shakespearean proportions, “The Humbling” is shot through with wistful ambiguity worthy of the Bard. As the characters come into sharper focus, it’s clear that Axler’s ebbing ambition and desire reveal only more unexamined regrets — and, to his horror, dawning self-awareness.

Even the most uneven elements of “The Humbling” pay off in a part-traumatic, part-triumphant third act, which features the added bonus of a hilariously pitch-perfect commentary by Charles Grodin as Axler’s agent. What’s more, Levinson, Roth and the filmmakers are, in Axler’s own words, gloriously committed to their own toughest instincts: The only art worth doing, “The Humbling” humbly suggests, leaves blood on the floor.

R. Contains sexual material, profanity and brief violence. 112 minutes. Available through iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Sony Playstation, Vudu, Xbox, Target Ticket and on-demand cable.

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Lady Pioneers Win Thrid Straight, Down UVa-Wise 63-54

The Gilmer Free Press

Keyanna Tate scored a game high 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds finishing with a double-double as the Lady Pioneers went on the road and defeated UVa-Wise, 63-54.

Glenville State would find themselves down early to UVa-Wise, 9-3, at the 16:17 minute mark of the first half. However the Lady Pioneers would tie the game up at 14 all at the 12:11 minute mark. Then Glenville State would take their first lead of the game at the 10:34 minute mark as they led the Lady Cavaliers, 18-17.

The Lady Pioneers would then end the first half on a 7-0 run as Glenville State led at halftime, 35-26.

The Lady Pioneers would start the second half on a 9-2 run as they took a 15 point lead over UVa-Wise, 44-29, with 13:50 left in the game.

UVa-Wise would try and make several runs throughout the second half but the Lady Pioneers would prove to be too much for the Lady Cavaliers as Glenville State won by nine, 63-54.

Glenville State shot 35 percent from the floor and 30 percent from behind the three-point line while UVa-Wise shot 29 percent from floor and only 20 percent from behind the three-point line.

The Lady Pioneers won the rebounding battle as they out-rebounded the Lady Cavaliers by seven, 53-46.

Keyanna Tate had a double-double as she scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Briana Smythe scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench.

Paige Tuttle dished out a team high three assists to go along with her five points.

UVa-Wise was led by Kayla Carey as she scored 14 points and had 15 rebounds for a double-double.

The Lady Pioneers (9-8, 7-6) are on a three game winning streak and will return to the court this Saturday, January 31, 2015 (Today) when they travel to Shepherd University, tip-off is set for 2:00 PM.

Official Basketball Box Score
Glenville State vs UVa-Wise
01.29.2015 5:30 PM at Wise, VA (Prior Center)
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
VISITORS: Glenville State 9-8, 7-6

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Katrina Salins…... *  1-5    0-3    0-0    0  2  2   0   2  2  5  0  0  18
03 Tayana Stewart…... *  0-1    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   1   0  1  0  0  1  11
04 Keyanna Tate…..... *  6-11   0-0    5-6    5  8 13   2  17  2  2  0  1  23
20 Briauna Nix…...... *  1-3    0-0    0-0    0  6  6   4   2  1  0  2  0  18
35 Julie Bishop…..... *  2-8    2-6    0-0    1  0  1   0   6  2  1  0  0  20
02 Paige Tuttle….....    1-8    1-4    2-2    1  1  2   2   5  3  3  0  0  21
10 Skyy Lewis….......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  1  0  0   2
12 Kayla Tibbs…......    2-9    2-6    0-0    1  1  2   1   6  0  1  0  1  18
13 Chanice Lee…......    0-0    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   0   0  0  1  0  0   1
21 Kristin DesRocher…    2-4    2-3    0-0    1  3  4   0   6  1  1  0  0  18
22 Angenay Williams….    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
24 Madison Martin…...    1-3    1-3    0-0    2  1  3   1   3  0  1  0  1  19
25 Briana Smythe…....    7-10   0-0    0-0    3  6  9   3  14  1  0  0  1  15
32 Brittany Jackson….    0-2    0-1    0-0    1  1  2   2   0  1  2  0  0   6
34 La’Shaughn Jones….    1-3    0-0    0-0    0  3  3   5   2  0  1  0  0   9
   TEAM….............                         1  3  4
   Totals…...........   24-67   8-26   7-8   18 35 53  21  63 14 19  2  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-33 42.4%   2nd Half: 10-34 29.4%   Game: 35.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  7-19 36.8%   2nd Half:  1-7  14.3%   Game: 30.8%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  0-0   0.0%   2nd Half:  7-8  87.5%   Game: 87.5%    1

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
HOME TEAM: UVa-Wise 6-13, 5-8

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
03 Taylor Sandidge….. *  1-8    0-1    1-2    3  3  6   3   3  2  1  0  1  33
20 Blair Harding….... *  4-17   1-10   3-7    3  2  5   0  12  3  3  0  1  37
23 Katie Jo Dockery…. *  2-10   2-7    0-0    3  4  7   4   6  2  3  0  0  33
25 Kehana Grayer….... *  1-7    0-0    2-5    4  1  5   1   4  2  3  1  0  29
42 Kayla Carey…...... *  6-18   0-0    2-5    5 10 15   1  14  2  2  0  1  32
11 Naya Williams…....    0-1    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   1   0  1  0  0  3   6
24 Allison Ball….....    5-7    1-2    2-2    1  2  3   1  13  1  5  0  1  22
30 Megan Smith…......    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  0  1  0  0   8
   TEAM….............                         2  2  4
   Totals…...........   20-69   4-20  10-21  22 24 46  11  54 13 18  1  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-33 30.3%   2nd Half: 10-36 27.8%   Game: 29.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-11 27.3%   2nd Half:  1-9  11.1%   Game: 20.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-8  37.5%   2nd Half:  7-13 53.8%   Game: 47.6%   3,1

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Officials: Dwight Ford, Ben Smith, and Kim Crabtree

Technical fouls: Glenville State-None. UVa-Wise-None.

Attendance: 227

Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Glenville State…............   35   28  -   63
UVa-Wise…...................   26   28  -   54

AC650xxx002

The Gilmer Free Press

#24 Pioneers Down UVa-Wise 75-57

The Gilmer Free Press

The #24 Glenville State Pioneer basketball team outscored the UVa-Wise Cavaliers 37-21 in the first as the Pioneers cruised to a big road victory.

In the first half Glenville State would see UVa-Wise take a 5-0 lead at the 17:45 minute mark however the Pioneers would then go on a 7-3 run as they took their first lead of the game at the 14:30 minute mark, 9-8.

After that Glenville State would not look back and take a 16 point halftime lead, 37-21.

In the second half it would be all Pioneers as they rolled to an 18 point victory, 75-57.

There was one tie and three lead changes in the game all coming in the first half. The Pioneers biggest lead of the game was 26 points.

The Pioneers scored 36 points in the paint while the Cavaliers only scored 14 points in the paint. Glenville State’s bench outscored UVa-Wise bench 24 to 12.

The Pioneers had four players score in double figures with Brett Morris scoring a game high 18 points. Sedric Nady scored 14 points while Donte Morales and Juwan Wells both chipped in with 10 points each. Wells also grabbed nine rebounds and handed out a team high four assists.

Brien Winston grabbed a team high 11 rebounds and scored nine points.

UVa-Wise was led by Brian Sydnor as he scored 16 points.

The #24 Pioneers (15-4, 11-2) are on a three game win streak and travel to Shepherd University for a showdown with the Rams. Game time is set for 4:00 PM.

Official Basketball Box Score
Glenville State vs. UVa-Wise
01.29.2015  7:30 PM  at Wise, VA (Prior Center)
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
VISITORS: Glenville State 15-4, 11-2

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Sedric Nady…...... *  5-9    4-6    0-0    1  1  2   2  14  2  0  0  0  27
03 Donte Morales….... *  3-8    1-3    3-4    1  5  6   3  10  1  3  3  0  29
11 Reggie Williams….. *  2-5    0-3    1-2    0  3  3   3   5  3  0  0  1  26
12 Luke Campbell….... *  2-8    0-6    0-0    0  4  4   1   4  3  0  0  0  31
23 Brett Morris…..... *  6-10   2-4    4-4    0  3  3   1  18  3  0  2  0  21
00 Brien Winston…....    3-7    0-1    3-4    5  6 11   2   9  2  3  0  3  24
22 Hunter Given….....    0-3    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  1   6
32 Juwan Wells…......    4-7    0-1    2-2    3  6  9   2  10  4  2  1  2  24
33 Alonzo Molina…....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  4  4   1   0  0  0  0  0   3
50 ED Newell…........    2-3    0-0    1-2    2  2  4   1   5  0  3  0  0   9
   TEAM….............                            1  1
   Totals…...........   27-60   7-25  14-18  12 35 47  16  75 18 11  6  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-32 37.5%   2nd Half: 15-28 53.6%   Game: 45.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-16 31.3%   2nd Half:  2-9  22.2%   Game: 28.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  8-10 80.0%   2nd Half:  6-8  75.0%   Game: 77.8%    2

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
HOME TEAM: UVa-Wise 1-17, 0-13

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
02 Philip Owens II….. *  5-13   3-6    1-2    0  4  4   2  14  6  4  0  0  37
20 Tyler Maggard….... *  0-3    0-3    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  0  20
22 Oliver Thompson….. *  3-9    2-7    0-0    1  5  6   3   8  2  0  0  1  34
32 Brian Sydnor…..... *  5-11   2-3    4-5    3  1  4   1  16  0  2  0  0  29
33 Matt Day…......... *  2-11   1-7    2-2    0  9  9   5   7  0  3  0  0  33
01 Charles George…...    1-4    0-0    2-3    1  1  2   2   4  3  1  0  1  23
03 Jordan Smith….....    3-7    2-6    0-0    0  1  1   3   8  1  0  0  0  15
14 Corey Dick….......    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  1  0   9
   TEAM….............                         2  1  3
   Totals…...........   19-59  10-32   9-12   7 23 30  16  57 13 10  1  2 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-29 27.6%   2nd Half: 11-30 36.7%   Game: 32.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-15 20.0%   2nd Half:  7-17 41.2%   Game: 31.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  2-3  66.7%   2nd Half:  7-9  77.8%   Game: 75.0%    1

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Officials: Lewis Foreman, Greg Howard, and Austin Jones

Technical fouls: Glenville State-None. UVa-Wise-None.

Attendance: 247

Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Glenville State…............   37   38  -   75
UVa-Wise…...................   21   36  -   57

Sports News   150131

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►   WVSSAC executive director Gary Ray retiring

The executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission is retiring.

Gary Ray will step down next January after more than eight years as head of the agency that oversees interscholastic athletics, cheerleading and band activities among its member schools.

The SSAC board of directors accepted Ray’s retirement at a meeting Wednesday. A search will begin soon for Ray’s replacement.

Ray has been with the SSAC since 2001. Before that he served in several capacities in the Fayette County school system. He currently serves on the board for the National Federation of State High School Associations.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Roger Goodell on a season of ‘soul-searching,’ Deflategate and state of the NFL

As the NFL prepares for a Super Bowl that will cap a season marred by controversies, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that he’d had a year of “soul-searching” over how he and the league handled issues of domestic violence and sexual assault and, as it addresses its latest issue, he promised “a thorough and fair” investigation in his first comments about Deflategate.

Goodell also commented on Marshawn Lynch’s reluctance to speak to the media in an annual “state of the game” press conference that had an odd vibe Friday in Phoenix. Curiously, he chose to lead off with comments about point-after touchdowns, streaming games and business matters rather than the elephants in the room: domestic violence, sexual assault and Deflategate. Although his leadership was at times questioned during the season, Goodell reiterated that he, as the NFL’s $44-million-a-year chief executive, could envision no circumstances in which he would be bounced from his job.

The Gilmer Free Press


“No, I can’t,” he said to laughter. “It has been a tough year, a tough year on me personally. It’s been a year of humility and learning. We obviously as an organization have gone through adversity, but more importantly it’s been adversity for me. That is something we take seriously. It’s an opportunity for us to get better, it’s an opportunity for our organization to get better, so we’ve all done lot of soul-searching, starting with yours truly. We have taken action. A lot of the concerns that we had back in August where we didn’t have a policy to address a very complex issue–we didn’t have answers for that. We didn’t fully understand those issues. Well, now we experts in the field, they’re in our office, they’re helping us understand this.”

As for Deflategate, Goodell refused to say much while outside counsel Ted Wells investigates how footballs used by the New England Patriots in the first half of the AFC championship game became deflated. He noted that the investigation focuses on two questions: Why were some footballs used not in compliance with NFL rules and was this the result of deliberate action.

“I want to emphasize, we have made no judgments on these points and we will not compromise the investigation by engaging in speculation,” Goodell said. “When Ted Wells has completed the investigation and made his determination based on all available evidence, we will share his report publicly.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a man considered so close to Goodell as to be called an “assistant commissioner” according to a new GQ article, opened Super Bowl week with a salvo at Goodell, saying he expected an apology from the NFL if no evidence of a deliberate act turns up in Deflategate. Goodell was asked about that comment and it was noted that Kraft was not in attendance. Typically, the owners of the two Super Bowl teams attend the press conference.

“My thoughts are this is my job. My responsibility is to protect the integrity of the game. I represent 32 teams,” Goodell said. “All of us want to make sure that the rules are being followed and if we have any information where the potential is that those rules were violated, I have to consider that and I have to pursue that aggressively. This is my job. This is the job of the league office. It’s what all 32 clubs expect and I believe our partners and our fans expect. We will do it vigorously and it is important for it to be thorough and fair.”

Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks running back, has made headlines for what he wouldn’t say and for how he wouldn’t say what he wouldn’t say during league-mandated sessions with the media. Lynch, who was fined $100,000 last fall for dodging the media, was available for the allotted time, but may be fined because he wore gear that is not sanctioned by the league. Goodell wouldn’t address whether there will be another fine.

“I’ve been very clear that when you’re in the NFL, you have an obligation, an obligation to the fans,” Goodell said. “It is part of your job and there are things that we all have to do in our jobs that we may not necessarily want to do. I think Marshawn understands the importance of the Super Bowl, the importance of his appearance and the importance of him as an individual in this game. Fans are curious. Fans want to know. The media would like to make that story clear to our fans. I understand it may not be on the top of his list, but everyone else is cooperating, everyone else is doing his part because it is our obligation. … It comes with the territory and the privilege of playing.”

In other comments, Goodell said the NFL would be hiring a chief medical officer and would look at making the extra point after touchdowns more difficult for kickers. In addition, the league will consider the expanded use of instant replay and rotating officials on crews.

Goodell bristled at the idea that he was usually unavailable to the media and at the idea that he and the league were more often reactive than proactive. When questioned just how independent Wells is, Goodell in a flat joke that seemed to contradict the claim of increased humility, responded to CNN’s Rachel Nichols by flippantly saying she didn’t seem to be “volunteering” to pay for the investigation. And he was asked bluntly if he deserved a pay cut based on his performance this season.

“That’s up to the owners. They evaluate my performance. They evaluate my compensation every year and I don’t argue,” he said with a smile.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Texas Tech comes to Morgantown after historically bad beatdown

Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith, struggling to explain his squad’s 81-36 cave-in at Oklahoma, found comfort in a cliche.

“You are never as bad as your worst loss,” he said.

He hopes they don’t come any worse than what transpired Wednesday night in Norman.

While the Red Raiders have rarely looked crisp offensively this season, the 36 points represented the fewest points ever in a Big 12 game. After producing only 11 baskets and shooting 21 percent, Texas Tech faces another difficult road trip Saturday at No.17 West Virginia.

“Knowing Tubby the way I know Tubby, he’ll have them ready,” said Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins. “The Oklahoma game—that’s probably never happened to him in his career. I think they went 1 for their first 18 (shooting), and that makes it hard to win.”

West Virginia won 78-67 in Lubbock earlier this month, shooting 47 percent (its fifth-best outing this season) and placing five players in double figures, led by Juwan Staten’s 16 points.

West Virginia’s point guard admitted it was strange watching Texas Tech cut-ups from the past week, when the Raiders upset then-No. 9 Iowa State before being embarrassed by Oklahoma.

“That’s just the makeup of our league,” Staten said. “The same thing sort of happened to us—we beat Oklahoma (by 21) and then we went out and lost to Texas (by 27).”

Fellow guard Gary Browne found deeper evidence as to why WVU can’t overlook Texas Tech:

“They beat Iowa State and Iowa State beat us, so we’ve got to come out ready.”


No. 17 WEST VIRGINIA (17-3, 5-2) vs. TEXAS TECH (11-10, 1-7)

Tipoff: Noon at Morgantown (ESPNU)


Scouting the Red Raiders:
Texas Tech has an 0-7 record away from Lubbock this season and stands just 6-43 the past four years. … Junior college transfer guard Devaugntah Williams (10.6 points) is the lone double-digits scorer, though he is 1-of-10 shooting in his past two road losses. … Senior guard Toddrick Gotcher, a career 5.4-point scorer, has averaged 15.3 in his last three meetings against West Virginia. … Robert Turner (9.2 points), … Tech’s primary bigs are freshmen, 6-9 Norense Odiase (6.6 points, 4.5 rebounds) and 6-10 Isaiah Manderson (4.3 points, 2.2 rebounds). “We have to remember that we have seven new faces on our team that are adjusting to Division I basketball in the toughest league in the country,” Smith said. “There is a learning curve.” … From 351 Division I teams, the Red Raiders rank 307th in field-goal percentage, 312th in assist-to-turnover ratio and 275th in scoring.

Coaching the Red Raiders: The 63-year-old Smith (536-254 in his 24th season) is the Big 12’s oldest head coach. After taking Tulsa and Georgia to the NCAA tournament, he won a national championship at Kentucky in 1998 and most recently enjoyed six years of moderate success at Minnesota.

Mountaineers musings:
West Virginia tops the nation in forced turnovers (22.1) and steals (12.6) and benefited from 22 Tech turnovers in the first meeting. … Forwards Devin Williams (11 points, 7.9 rebounds) and Jonathan Holton (9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds) and guard Daxter Miles (6.1 points, 2.3 rebounds) have started every game this season. … Despite ranking 270th in field-goal percentage, WVU ranks 23rd in scoring (77.1 per game). … Staten ranks fourth in the Big 12 in scoring (14.9), third in assists (4.3) and he’s tied for second in free-throw attempts (119). … The Mountaineers have won all five regular-season meetings since joining the Big 12 three years ago, while Texas Tech claimed the lone postseason matchup in the 2013 conference tournament. … Huggins owns a 757-303 record in 33 seasons, including a 167-94 mark at West Virginia.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Area High Schools Boys Basketball Game Results

(Friday, January 30)

Sherman 70     South Harrison 69

Parkersburg 63     Propel Charter, PA 56

Williamstown 88     Parkersburg Catholic 48

Wood County Christian 61     Teays Valley Christian 54


►   Area High Schools Girls Basketball Game Results

(Friday, January 30)


#10 Bridgeport 53     #10 Buckhannon-Upshur 43

#3 Fairmont Senior 66     Liberty 22

Wood County Christian 74     Teays Valley Christian 59


►   Big Atlantic Classic

Monday’s Results

Game 1 — Greater Beckley Christian 82, Moorefield 51 (boys A)

Game 2 — Gilmer County 71, Sherman 59 (boys A)


Tuesday’s Results

Game 3 — Westside 81, Wyoming East 67 (boys AA)

Game 4 — Scott 70, Liberty Raleigh 46 (boys AA)


Wednesday’s Results

Game 5 — Moorefield 78, Sherman 33 (boys A consolation)

Game 6 — Liberty Raleigh 48, Wyoming East 46 (boys AA consolation)

Game 7 — Oak Hill Academy (VA) 81, Blue Ridge 39 (boys national)

Game 8 — St. Albans 64, Wyoming East 59 (girls)


Thursday’s Results

Game 9 — George Washington 76, Brooke 34 (girls)

Game 10 — Morgantown 67, Huntington 57 (girls)

Game 11 — Greater Beckley Christian 81, Gilmer County 57 (boys A championship)

Game 12 — Greenbrier East 75, Oak Hill 39 (girls)


Friday’s Results

Game 13 — Wyoming East 72, Oak Hill 42 (girls co-consolation)

Game 14 — Parkersburg South 83, Princeton 76 (boys AAA)

Game 15 — Martinsburg 57, Shady Spring 49 (boys AAA)

Game 16 — Greenbrier East 80, Hampshire 64 (boys AAA)

Game 17 — Woodrow Wilson 56, Washington 36 (boys AAA)


Today’s Games

Game 18 — Brooke vs. Huntington (girls co-consolation), 9 AM

Game 19 — Princeton vs. Shady Spring (boys AAA co-consolation), 10:40 AM

Game 20 — Hampshire vs. Washington (boys AAA co-consolation), 12:20 PM

Game 21 — Westside vs. Scott (boys AA championship), 2 PM

Game 22 — St. Albans vs. Greenbrier East (girls co-championship), 4 PM

Game 23 — Parkersburg South vs. Martinsburg (boys AAA co-championship), 5:40 PM

Game 24 — George Washington vs. Morgantown (girls co-championship), 7:20 PM

Game 25 — Greenbrier East vs. Woodrow Wilson (boys AAA co-championship), 9 PM



<The Gilmer Free Press

►   Top-25 College Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Friday, January 30)


Final Score: (6) Arizona 57, Oregon State 34

T.J. McConnell’s solid all-around effort helped No. 6 Arizona avenge a recent loss to Oregon State with a 57-34 victory on Friday. McConnell finished with seven points, eight steals and six assists, Brandon Ashley scored 12 points with six rebounds and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson netted 11 for the Wildcats (20-2, 8-1 Pac-12), who won their sixth straight game since a 58-56 loss to the Beavers in Corvallis on Jan. 11. Olaf Schaftenaar paced Oregon State (14-7, 5-4) with eight points and six boards in the team’s second straight loss.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Cousins to replace Bryant in All-Star Game

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins will replace injured Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on the Western Conference All-Star team, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Friday.

Cousins was not one of the seven Western Conference reserves named Thursday, but a spot opened up when Bryant had season-ending shoulder surgery this week.

Cousins, who will make his first NBA All-Star Game appearance, has averaged 23.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 blocks in 32 games this season.

The 24-year-old Cousins is the first Kings’ All-Star since 2004.


►   Kings give Miller another 10-day deal

The Sacramento Kings have signed forward Quincy Miller to a second 10-day contract, the team announced prior to Friday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Miller inked his first 10-day deal with the Kings on January 17 following a successful run with the NBA Development League’s Reno Bighorns, in which he led the D-League with averages of 26.3 points and 3.7 blocks over 14 games.

The 22-year-old has played in two games with Sacramento, totaling 14 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks over 40 minutes.

A second-round pick of Denver in the 2012 NBA Draft, Miller made 52 appearances and 16 starts with the Nuggets last season and averaged 4.9 points and 2.8 rebounds.


►   Knicks sign Amundson for rest of season

The New York Knicks have signed forward Lou Amundson for the remainder of the season.

Amundson is averaging 6.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in seven games (six starts) with the Knicks since signing the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts on January 10.


►   Nothin’ but Net: Explaining All-Star snubs

Outrage comes with the territory when the All-Star reserves are announced.

This year, DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks were the poster children for the snubbed.

The reason these gentlemen didn’t make their respective team is clear. They don’t carry the name recognition of the fellas who will be headed to New York City in a few weeks.

Cousins has a great argument to make the West team. He’s sixth in the league in scoring, third in rebounding, sixth in Player Efficiency Rating and 12th in blocked shots. Those numbers stop traffic, but Cousins had a few things going against him.

First, the Kings own a losing record. To make an All-Star team with a sub-.500 record a player needs other-worldly stats. Or, be a member of the Miami Heat. Ugh.

Cousins is very close to having those marks. Not close enough.

Secondly, coaches check familiar boxes way too often. Kevin Durant played about the same number of games as my mailman, but got the nod. Why? Well, he is an All-Star caliber player no matter how many games, but mostly the reason is, he’s Kevin Durant.

Angry Tim Duncan is on the team over Cousins? Same principals apply, but at least the San Antonio Spurs are a playoff team.

But here’s a more specific explanation why Cousins has Valentine’s weekend off and Duncan will be in the Big Apple. It was articulated much better than I could have by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News Friday morning on Twitter.

“All things being equal, I think coaches tend to vote for players they would most like to coach. Duncan over Boogie Cousins, for example.“

There it is. Now, to be fair, numbers aren’t remotely close to equal, but the point is Cousins still suffers from a bad rap. He’s worked hard at changing that, but the perception exists. Duncan is a saint. There are probably shrines dedicated to his very existence. It’s easier to vote for that guy, than the one who causes havoc and not necessarily in a good way.

Lillard was something of a surprise in missing out. I had him on my ballot at the expense of LA Clippers’ perennial All-Star Chris Paul, but Cliff’s twin got the nod.

Winning can’t be the argument against Lillard’s shunning. The Blazers are 32-14 and have been near the top of the standings for almost the entire season. They’ve fallen on hard times of late, losing seven of nine, but the Trail Blazers share the fourth-best record in the NBA.

Can you name the two teams the Blazers share the fourth-best record with? The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers, so, for those who feel Paul didn’t deserve it, LA’s record can’t be the reason.

Let’s look at the numbers. Paul is averaging 17.5 ppg, 9.7 apg and 1.9 spg, while shooting 47% from the floor, 39% from long range and is seventh in PER.

Lillard averages 21.8 ppg, 6.2 apg and 1.3 spg. He shoots 43% from the field, 36.7% from 3-point land and is 20th in PER.

Let’s put it this way - Paul’s inclusion at Lillard’s expense is not as tragic a miscarriage of justice as say Nick Offerman never being nominated for an Emmy for “Parks and Recreation.“

No need to bother with Korver’s absence. It was a coin flip with Wade, and superstar won out. Wade also has All-Star numbers, just a hideous record in a hideous conference.

Superstardom trumps all and it always will. Plus, if Wade can’t go because of a hamstring injury, Korver is the only logical replacement in the East.

I don’t believe it’s a total laziness by the coaches. McDonald’s point is a great one. Coaches will always vote for the great player whose legacy is pristine.

My advice to Cousins is keep putting up those numbers, keep staying out of trouble with the attitude-related stuff and hope Sacramento improves in the standings.

For Lillard, it was five guys for four spots. The least-tenured got passed over. It’s disappointing, sure, and he may get in as a replacement for Kobe Bryant. Same goes for Cousins.

These young guys can’t overcome politics. Keep it in your mind and use it for motivation. They are both young enough to make plenty of All-Star games in the future.

The coaches aren’t going to change the way they vote. Their philosophy isn’t terrible, but it’s just boring to see the likes of Duncan and Durant go when they aren’t most deserving.

Not a thing we can do about it, so it’s probably just been a waste of 100 lines.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

- Not a bold prediction, but after a snub at the All-Star Game and a snub for the US World Cup team, Lillard is going to go on a second-half tear. I’m serious. I think it’s going to be an MVP-type push.

- The Atlanta Hawks do something really cool with their Twitter handle. For every game during this winning streak, they add a “W” in the Hawks name. So many teams do hilarious work on Twitter, including, but not limited to the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers.

- Per Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Jacque Vaughn will coach the Orlando Magic on Saturday, but that could be it. There really has been no significant improvement during his tenure. There are a lot of puppies on that roster, but there should have been some growth.

- Movie moment - “Wedding Crashers” might go into my top-five all-time comedies. Back in the day when Richard Roeper worked on TV with Roger Ebert, he singled out Vince Vaughn’s performance as worthy of a Supporting Actor nomination. He’s right.

- TV moment - Not many people watched “Parenthood,“ but I did. Admittedly, I’m behind on this final season, but this was just solid, honest entertainment and apparently people don’t like that.    ~~  Jim Brighters ~~


►   NBA Game Results

(Friday, January 30)


Final Score: Philadelphia 103, Minnesota 94

Michael Carter-Williams scored 17 points with 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his fifth career triple-double, helping the Philadelphia 76ers to a 103-94 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Luc Mbah a Moute paced the Sixers with 18 points, while Nerlens Noel contributed 14 points, six rebounds and a career-high six blocks in the win. The Sixers, who have won two straight home games since taking the first two at home last season, snapped their season-opening 17-game losing streak with a win over Minnesota on Dec. 3. Kevin Martin had 19 points, Nikola Pekovic tallied 18 points with seven rebounds and Gorgui Dieng posted 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who looked to win two straight games for the first time this season.


Final Score: Atlanta 105, Portland 99

Atlanta’s All-Stars came through again. Paul Millsap, Al Horford and Jeff Teague had plenty of help as the Hawks pushed their franchise-record winning streak to 18 games. Millsap scored 21 points, Horford had 17 and Teague scored six of his 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks held off LaMarcus Aldridge and the Portland Trail Blazers for a 105-99 victory on Friday night. Kyle Korver added 16 points and Kent Bazemore had 12 points in 40 minutes off the bench as the Hawks won without injured forward DeMarre Carroll, who sat with a left Achilles strain. Millsap, Horford and Teague were all named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Thursday, the first time since 1980 that three Hawks made the game. Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer will coach the East in the Feb. 15 game at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Hawks haven’t lost since Dec. 26 in Milwaukee. And at 39-8, they surpassed last season’s win total (38-44). They could secure a perfect 17-0 month with a win Saturday against Philadelphia, which will end a seven-game homestand. Aldridge scored 37 points for Portland a day after he was named to the Western Conference All-Star team. Wesley Matthews added 16 points and Damian Lillard scored 13 with 11 assists.


Final Score: Houston 93, Boston 87

In the absence of Dwight Howard, Donatas Motiejunas had a career night to keep the Houston Rockets’ winning streak alive. Motiejunas scored a career-high 26 points with 12 rebounds to lead the Rockets to a 93-87 win over the Boston Celtics. Howard missed his third straight game with a knee injury. The team revealed earlier in the week that Howard is suffering from edema in the knee caused by fluid build-up in body tissues. Josh Smith deposited 15 points and James Harden added 14 with seven assists and six rebounds for Houston, which has won four straight both overall and in the series with Boston. Brandon Bass and Marcus Thornton each scored 17 points for the Celtics, who have lost three of their last four.


Final Score: Toronto 127, Brooklyn 122 (OT)

DeMar DeRozan finished with 26 points and nine assists as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 127-122 for a thrilling overtime victory on Friday. Lou Williams netted 25 points, Amir Johnson had 24 points and seven rebounds and Jonas Valanciunas supplied 14 points and 11 boards for the Raptors, who won their fifth straight win. Jarrett Jack scored a career-high 35 points with 13 assists and Brook Lopez also had 35 and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Nets, who have dropped their last four games.


Final Score: Cleveland 101, Sacramento 90

LeBron James returned to the Cavaliers lineup and scored 19 points, and Cleveland used balanced scoring to top the Sacramento Kings 101-90, extending its season-long winning streak. Kevin Love had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Kyrie Irving scored 21 points with six assists. Irving carried the load offensively in Cleveland’s win over Portland on Wednesday, netting a career-high 55 of the team’s 99 points. James, who missed that game with a wrist injury, also contributed seven assists and four steals, and J.R. Smith added 16 points. The Cavs have ripped off nine straight wins since a six-game skid. DeMarcus Cousins led Sacramento with 21 points and 13 rebounds just hours after it was announced that he would make his first appearance in the All-Star game. Cousins will replace injured Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who had season- ending shoulder surgery. Rudy Gay chipped in 20 points in Sacramento’s eight straight setback.


Final Score: Dallas 93, Miami 72

The Dallas Mavericks made three shots in the first quarter, scored 33 points in the first half and beat the Miami Heat by 21. How? With a 39-3 run. Charlie Villanueva scored 20 points and the Mavericks held the Heat to just three points over a nearly 14-minute span in the third and fourth quarters on the way to a 93-72 win on Friday night. Miami’s stale finish—which came after Dallas started the game ice-cold from the field—tempered what was a career night for Hassan Whiteside, who set a franchise record with 14 rebounds in the first quarter. The 7-foot center ended with 16 points and a career-high 24 rebounds for the Heat, who were without Dwyane Wade because of a hamstring strain the All-Star guard suffered Tuesday against Milwaukee, which could sideline him for weeks. James Ennis added 15 points off the bench, All-Star Chris Bosh scored 12 and Mario Chalmers had 10 in Miami’s fourth loss in six games.


Final Score: New Orleans 108, LA Clippers 103

Eric Gordon scored a season-high 28 points to lift the New Orleans Pelicans to a 108-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. Ryan Anderson netted 24 points and went 5-of-11 from 3-point range, while Alexis Ajinca supplied 17 points and nine rebounds off the bench and Tyreke Evans had 11 points and 12 assists for the Pelicans, who have won five of their last six games. Chris Paul finished with 24 points, Blake Griffin scored 19 and DeAndre Jordan contributed 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Clippers, who had their six-game winning streak come to an end.


Final Score: Utah 110, Golden State 100

Gordon Hayward’s career game led the Utah Jazz to an improbable 110-100 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday. The Jazz improved to 12-10 on the season when Hayward scores at least 20 points, compared to 5-20 when he nets 19 or fewer. He finished with 26 in this one to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds and six assists. Utah also got a boost from its reserves, who had just nine fewer points between them than the starters. Trevor Booker scored 17 points, Trey Burke had 15 with seven assists and Rudy Gobert had 10 points and 10 boards for his sixth double-double in January. The young 7-footer had just two double-doubles in his career before this month. Steph Curry filled it up with 32 points, seven rebounds and six assists in Golden State’s second straight loss, but his running mate Klay Thompson contributed just 12 points and did not connect from deep on three tries. Curry and Thompson will both represent the Western Conference in the All-Star game on Feb. 15.


Final Score: Phoenix 99, Chicago 93

Eric Bledsoe scored 23 points, including the final four for Phoenix, to help the Suns pull away from the Chicago Bulls and cap an eight-game homestand with a 99-93 win. Goran Dragic scored 21 points for the Suns, who finished the homestand 6-2. Markieff and Marcus Morris both scored 12 points, with Markieff also contributing a season-high 14 rebounds. Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Aaron Brooks combined for 66 of Chicago’s 93 points and Pau Gasol had 19 boards in the setback. Rose’s struggles from the floor continued on Friday despite scoring 23 points. He shot 8-of-23 and 0- for-6 from behind the arc. Rose is shooting 28-of-82 (34 percent) from the floor and 5-for-25 from 3 over his last three games.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Brewers sign Cotts

The Milwaukee Brewers signed reliever Neal Cotts to a one-year contract on Friday.

The deal is reportedly worth $3 million.

Cotts had a career year in 2013 for the Texas Rangers, going 8-3 with a 1.11 ERA in 58 appearances. He regressed last season, posting a 2-9 record with a 4.32 ERA in 73 games.

The 34-year-old will replace Zach Duke as a second left-handed option alongside Will Smith in Milwaukee’s bullpen. Duke signed a three-year deal with the Chicago White Sox this offseason.

Cotts is 20-24 with a 4.05 ERA in 415 career games (five starts) with the White Sox, Cubs and Rangers. He won a World Series with the White Sox in 2005.

He did not pitch in the majors from 2010 through 2012 because of injuries.

To make room on a full 40-man roster, the Brewers designated utilityman Elian Herrera for assignment.


►   Rockies acquire Hale from Braves in four-player trade

The Colorado Rockies have acquired right- handed pitchers David Hale and Gus Schlosser in exchange for catchers Jose Briceno and Chris O’Dowd.

Hale and Schlosser are the only players in the deal with major league experience.

After allowing just one earned run over two starts in 2013, the 27-year-old Hale went 4-5 with a 3.30 ERA in 45 games—six starts—for Atlanta last season.

Schlosser was roughed up for 16 runs—15 earned—over 17 2/3 innings over 15 appearances with the Braves in 2014.

Briceno, 22, has spent the past two seasons at Single-A Asheville, while the 23-year-old O’Dowd split 2014 between High-A Modesto and Double-A Tulsa.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   NHL Game Results

(Friday, January 30)


Final Score: Pittsburgh 2, New Jersey 1 (OT)

Simon Despres scored with 2:39 remaining in overtime and Pittsburgh rallied to post a 2-1 victory over New Jersey at Prudential Center. Holding the puck near the right-wing boards, Brandon Sutter passed to Kris Letang, whose own backhanded dish landed on the stick of Despres at the point. His harmless flip to the net beat a screened Cory Schneider to complete a comeback from one goal down late in regulation. Chris Kunitz registered a power-play goal with 3:11 remaining for the Penguins, who won for the second time in their last seven games. Marc-Andre Fleury needed to make only 13 saves. Steve Bernier tallied for the Devils, who had won two in a row. Schneider ended up with a season-high 41 saves in defeat.


Final Score: St. Louis 3, Carolina 2 (SO)

Kevin Shattenkirk scored the winner in the shootout to lead the St. Louis Blues in a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Shattenkirk was the second shooter for the Blues and he buried a wrister past Cam Ward, while Jake Allen stopped Eric Staal’s wrister for the win. Allen made 26 saves, while David Backes and Ryan Reaves scored in regulation for the Blues, who have won four straight. Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Ward stopped the 29 shots he faced through overtime in relief of Anton Khudobin, who was pulled from the start after allowing two goals on three shots.


Final Score: Colorado 3, Nashville 0

Semyon Varlamov posted 23 saves for his fourth shutout of the season to lead the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday. Maxime Talbot, Gabriel Landeskog and Jarome Iginla scored for the Avalanche, who had lost three of four coming into the game. Colorado avenged a loss to Nashville in its last game on Tuesday. It wasn’t a home-and-home series because the Predators played in St. Louis on Thursday. Marek Mazanec made 25 saves for the Predators, who have dropped four of their last five.


Final Score: Vancouver 5, Buffalo 2

Ryan Miller faced his former team for the first time and his 20 saves helped the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Miller played against the team he won a Vezina Trophy with for the first time since being traded to St. Louis last February. He had a chance to play them late last season while with the Blues, but opted to sit out. His strong game saw his former team drop its 14th straight game, all in regulation, as the team is suffering through a franchise-record losing streak. Bo Horvat, Radim Vrbata, Chris Higgins, Nick Bonino and Yannick Weber all scored for the Canucks, who had lost two straight coming in. Chris Stewart had both the goals for the Sabres, who have also lost 14 straight games on the road. Matt Hackett allowed four goals on 37 shots in the loss.


Final Score: Chicago 4, Anaheim 1

Patrick Kane scored two goals and set up another in helping the visiting Chicago Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Friday night. Patrick Sharp had four assists, and Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith also scored for the Blackhawks. Rickard Rakell’s power-play goal midway through the third period spoiled the shutout bid for Corey Crawford, who made 21 saves as Chicago notched its third straight victory at Honda Center. Frederik Andersen stopped 29 shots for the Ducks, who have dropped two in a row following a six-game winning streak.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Djokovic outlasts Wawrinka to reach Australian Open final

Novak Djokovic battled to a five- set win over defending champion Stan Wawrinka to reach his fifth Australian Open final.

The world No. 1 Djokovic dismissed the fourth-seeded Wawrinka 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 on Friday.

The 27-year-old Djokovic joins Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg as the only men in the Open Era to make five finals at the Aussie Open. He has won all four of his previous finals here, including two against Andy Murray.

Djokovic will meet Murray in Sunday’s final. Murray advanced to his fourth final in the year’s first major with Thursday’s 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 semifinal victory over seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych. Djokovic holds a 15-8 record over Murray.

Djokovic and Wawrinka met for the third year in a row at Melbourne Park. Two years ago, Djokovic denied Wawrinka 12-10 in the fifth set of a fourth-round clash, but last year the Swiss got his revenge with a 9-7 fifth-set victory in the quarterfinals.

Wawrinka captured his first Grand Slam title here a year ago by stunning Rafael Nadal in the final.

Fans packed Rod Laver Arena on Friday in anticipation of another epic five-set match between Djokovic and Wawrinka. Their previous three grand slam encounters had all gone the distance.

“Yeah, well, I’m sure everybody who came to watch the match live and watched it on TV were expecting a five-set match,“ said Djokovic. “It’s what we delivered for them. Of course, it was not intentional from our side to play five sets, I’m sure. But, again, very, very few details, very few points, very few shots can decide a winner of these matches. That’s what happened tonight.“

Wawrinka broke serve in the seventh game—prompting a racquet bash from Djokovic at the change of ends. But Djokovic was able to break right back to love for 4-4. The set progressed to a tiebreak, where Wawrinka’s game fell apart.

The 29-year-old Wawrinka won the second set in just 36 minutes. It was the first set that Djokovic had lost at this 2015 fortnight.

Djokovic jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set, but Wawrinka found a way back to 3-3. A double fault by Wawrinka at 40-15 in the 10th game helped Djokovic win the set.

The world No.1 appeared to have the match in hand when he went up a break early in the fourth. But yet again, Djokovic failed to put Wawrinka away. The Swiss came all the way back to win the set this time.

Djokovic dominated the fifth set to record his 49th-match win at the Australian Open. Only Federer (75-12) and Edberg (56-10) have more victories at the hard-court major in the Open Era.

“Getting to the finals is already a great achievement, as I mentioned before,“ said Djokovic. “But now this is the match for which you have worked for now two months. This is where you want to be. This is why you put all these hours on and off the court, trying to get yourself in a position to win Grand Slam trophy, because that’s what matters the most. I’m going to give my best, of course.“

In addition, Djokovic won his ninth straight match against players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. His last loss to a member of the elite came against Federer in the 2014 Shanghai Rolex Masters semifinals.


►   Mattek-Sands, Safarova win women’s doubles title

American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova made the most of their first Australian Open together, besting Chan Yung-Jan and Zheng Jie to win the women’s doubles title at the year’s first major.

Mattek-Sands and her Czech partner entered the tournament unseeded and only advanced to the final after Julia Goerges retired due to an illness in the semis.

They took the first set from the 14th-seeded duo with a break of serve and won a second set tiebreak to come away with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) victory at Rod Laver Arena.

The prize for capturing their first major title is splitting $575,000.

China’s Zheng was an Aussie and U.S. Open doubles champ in 2006, while Chan of Taipei was an Aussie and U.S. Open doubles runner-up in 2007.


►   Australian Open Men’s Tennis Update – January 30

Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

Total Prize Money: $14,000,000

FRIDAY’S SEMIFINAL MATCHES

Novak Djokovic (1) defeated Stan Wawrinka (4), 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0
SUNDAY’S FINAL MATCH

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Andy Murray (6)


►   Australian Open Women’s Doubles Tennis Update – January 30

Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
Total Prize Money: $2,600,000
FINAL MATCH

B.Mattek-Sands/L.Safarova defeated Y.Chan/Z.Jie (14), 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
SEMIFINAL MATCHES

Y.Chan/Z.Jie (14) defeated M.Krajicek/B.Zahlavova Strycova (13), 6-3, 6-2
B.Mattek-Sands/L.Safarova defeated J.Goerges/A.Groenefeld (16), 6-0, Retired
QUARTERFINAL MATCHES

B.Mattek-Sands/L.Safarova defeated E.Makarova/E.Vesnina (3), 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-2
M.Krajicek/B.Zahlavova Strycova (13) defeated R.Kops-Jones/A.Spears (5), 3-6, 6-3, 7
Y.Chan/Z.Jie (14) defeated K.Jans-Ignacik/A.Klepac, 6-1, 6-2
J.Goerges/A.Groenefeld (16) defeated K.Bertens/J.Larsson, 6-2, 7-5
THIRD ROUND MATCHES

J.Goerges/A.Groenefeld (16) defeated S.Errani/R.Vinci (1), 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
E.Makarova/E.Vesnina (3) defeated S.Soler-Espinosa/M.Torro-Flor, 6-1, 6-2
Y.Chan/Z.Jie (14) defeated M.Hingis/F.Pennetta (4), 6-3, 6-3
R.Kops-Jones/A.Spears (5) defeated A.Kudryavtseva/A.Pavlyuchenkova (12), 6-4, 6-4
B.Mattek-Sands/L.Safarova defeated C.Garcia/K.Srebotnik (7), 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
K.Jans-Ignacik/A.Klepac defeated A.Hlavackova/L.Hradecka (9), 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (6-8),


M.Krajicek/B.Zahlavova Strycova (13) defeated G.Dabrowski/A.Rosolska, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
K.Bertens/J.Larsson defeated S.Kuznetsova/S.Stosur, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
SECOND ROUND MATCHES

S.Errani/R.Vinci (1) defeated M.Barthel/M.Minella, 6-0, 6-2
G.Dabrowski/A.Rosolska defeated S.Hsieh/S.Mirza (2), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
E.Makarova/E.Vesnina (3) defeated D.Cibulkova/K.Flipkens, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
M.Hingis/F.Pennetta (4) defeated D.Hantuchova/K.Knapp, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2
R.Kops-Jones/A.Spears (5) defeated V.Diatchenko/M.Niculescu, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5)
K.Jans-Ignacik/A.Klepac defeated G.Muguruza/C.Suarez Navarro (6), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4
C.Garcia/K.Srebotnik (7) defeated S.Rogers/D.Vekic, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
A.Hlavackova/L.Hradecka (9) defeated M.Adamczak/O.Rogowska, 6-3, 6-2
B.Mattek-Sands/L.Safarova defeated T.Babos/K.Mladenovic (10), 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4
K.Bertens/J.Larsson defeated A.Medina Garrigues/Y.Shvedova (11), 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
A.Kudryavtseva/A.Pavlyuchenkova (12) defeated A.Panova/H.Watson, 6-0, 6-2
M.Krajicek/B.Zahlavova Strycova (13) defeated J.Gajdosova/A.Tomljanovic, 7-5, 6-3
Y.Chan/Z.Jie (14) defeated L.Arruabarrena/I.Begu, 6-4, 6-3
J.Goerges/A.Groenefeld (16) defeated Z.Diyas/C.Scheepers, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
S.Kuznetsova/S.Stosur defeated A.Rodionova/A.Rodionova, 6-2, 6-4
S.Soler-Espinosa/M.Torro-Flor defeated P.Shuai/X.Yi-Fan, 7-5, 6-2
FIRST ROUND MATCHES

S.Errani/R.Vinci (1) defeated K.Pliskova/A.Schmiedlova, 6-2, 6-0
S.Hsieh/S.Mirza (2) defeated M.Irigoyen/R.Oprandi, 6-2, 6-0
E.Makarova/E.Vesnina (3) defeated M.Keys/A.Riske, 7-5, 6-1
M.Hingis/F.Pennetta (4) defeated B.Bencic/K.Siniakova, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2
R.Kops-Jones/A.Spears (5) defeated K.Birrell/P.Hon, 6-3, 7-5
G.Muguruza/C.Suarez Navarro (6) defeated V.Lepchenko/A.Tatishvili, 6-3, 6-2
C.Garcia/K.Srebotnik (7) defeated A.Petkovic/M.Rybarikova, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
S.Kuznetsova/S.Stosur defeated H.Chan/K.Peschke (8), 6-3, 6-2
A.Hlavackova/L.Hradecka (9) defeated L.Kichenok/O.Savchuk, 6-0, 7-6 (7-4)
T.Babos/K.Mladenovic (10) defeated B.Jovanovski/K.Piter, 6-1, 6-3
A.Medina Garrigues/Y.Shvedova (11) defeated I.Falconi/P.Martic, 6-3, 6-3
A.Kudryavtseva/A.Pavlyuchenkova (12) defeated S.Aoyama/R.Voracova, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
M.Krajicek/B.Zahlavova Strycova (13) defeated M.Erakovic/M.Puig, 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (8-
Y.Chan/Z.Jie (14) defeated K.Koukalova/S.Voegele, 6-3, 6-0
P.Shuai/X.Yi-Fan defeated K.Date-Krumm/C.Dellacqua (15), 6-4, 5-7, 6-5
J.Goerges/A.Groenefeld (16) defeated M.Inglis/A.Nancarrow, 6-4, 6-1
K.Bertens/J.Larsson defeated M.Lucic-Baroni/L.Raymond, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3
S.Soler-Espinosa/M.Torro-Flor defeated T.Bacsinszky/Y.Beygelzimer, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
Z.Diyas/C.Scheepers defeated D.Jurak/M.Moulton-Levy, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
L.Arruabarrena/I.Begu defeated Z.Yang/Q.Ye, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
D.Hantuchova/K.Knapp defeated C.Chuang/Z.Shuai, 6-3, 6-3
A.Rodionova/A.Rodionova defeated N.Bains/S.Tomic, 6-2, 6-2
B.Mattek-Sands/L.Safarova defeated T.Maria/R.Olaru, 6-3, 6-2
A.Panova/H.Watson defeated A.Beck/S.Peer, 2-6, 7-5, 3-1, Retired
J.Gajdosova/A.Tomljanovic defeated J.Moore/A.Myers, 6-0, 6-0
D.Cibulkova/K.Flipkens defeated C.Vandeweghe/Y.Wickmayer, 6-3, 6-4
M.Barthel/M.Minella defeated O.Kalashnikova/K.Nara, 6-3, 7-5
S.Rogers/D.Vekic defeated A.Cornet/P.Parmentier, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
K.Jans-Ignacik/A.Klepac defeated J.Jankovic/A.Parra Santonja, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-6 (7
M.Adamczak/O.Rogowska defeated D.Gavrilova/S.Sanders, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
G.Dabrowski/A.Rosolska defeated C.Black/Z.Saisai, 6-1, 6-4
V.Diatchenko/M.Niculescu defeated L.Davis/C.McHale, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3


►   At the Net: The time is now for Madison Keys

Madison Keys may have lost the biggest match of her young career on Thursday ... but she sure made a believer of the great Serena Williams.

The world No. 1 superstar, Serena, prevailed in a semifinal showdown at the 2015 Australian Open, which might be remembered as the tournament where a new American star—Keys—was born.

Serena doesn’t dole out compliments to her opponents too often, but she thinks Keys “can be the best in the world.“ She also said, “The way she [Keys] played today, I definitely think she has potential to be No. 1—and win Grand Slams.“

Prior to this week, Keys had never advanced beyond the third round at Grand Slam event (her 11th), but this year’s Aussie marked many firsts for the 19-year-old from Chicago.

“Did I think it was going to happen here? Not particularly. But I’m very happy it did,“ said Keys, who won over fans with her infectious smile, sense of humor, and humble self-confidence ... not to mention her great tennis.

Under advisement from new coach Lindsay Davenport, the three-time Grand Slam champion and Tennis Hall-of-Famer, Keys stayed off Twitter and focused on her tennis at this fortnight. The advice appeared to pay off.

For the first time in her blossoming career, Keys overcame the psychological boundary of reaching the second week at a major.

En route to the final four in Melbourne, she stunned two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova in the third round and seven-time Grand Slam titlist Venus Williams in the quarterfinals to set up back-to-back matches with the veteran Williams sisters, whom Keys idolized as a youngster.

Going up against Serena marked the first time Keys had ever faced a No. 1 player—and she made the 18-time Grand Slam champ work for her supper.

Their semifinal was staged on a windy, chilly day at Melbourne Park and was the most-hyped women’s match of the tournament. The up-and-coming American teenager against her compatriot and one of the greatest champions of all-time. This time around, the great champion came out on top, in straight sets, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, but the score did not tell the whole story.

Keys was gritty, fearless, and demonstrated powerful strokes, including a big serve. She was cool enough to stave off seven match points.

“This week has definitely shown me that I can play the top players, and I can do well against them,“ Keys said. “I can play the No. 1 player in the world in a pretty close match.“

Onlookers at Laver Arena were memorized, as tennis balls zoomed back and forth during hotly contested rallies with great speed and force.

Keys described Serena’s shots like this: “It comes hard; it comes deep… she’s one of the few who can hit like that.“

And Serena described Keys’ hitting in much the same way: “She hits a very, very hard ball, but she also hits it very deep. I wasn’t ready really for that.“

Keys said she’ll probably save most of her $510,000 prize money but will probably allow herself one extravagant purchase, like a Louis Vuitton purse.

She will move up in the world rankings from No. 34 to No. 20 as a result of her stellar Aussie run.

Keys was asked what makes her a good tennis player (or her Keys to success), and she chalked it up to her fighting spirit.

“For me, even this week, as great as it is, I still want more,“ Keys said. “For me, it’s just never being satisfied with what I’ve done and always wanting more and more.“

Keys was asked if she could sum up her two-week stay in the ‘Bourne with an emoji, which one would it be?

“I think pretty much just the smiley face,“ she said smiling, of course. “Can’t go wrong with the plain old smiley face.“

I think Keys is going to be doing a lot of smiling on the WTA circuit.  ~~  Scott Riley ~~



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Marathon champ Jeptoo banned 2 years for doping

Three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo has been handed a two-year ban from competition after testing positive for blood doping.

Athetics Kenya announced Friday that Jeptoo, who has won the last two Boston and Chicago Marathons and is the world’s top-ranked female long-distance runner, was found to have used the prohibited blood-booster EPO in two separate samples.

The suspension became effective as of October 30 and will run until October 29, 2016. Jeptoo can appeal the penalty to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Jeptoo will have to forfeit her title at the most recent Chicago Marathon, which took place on October 12. The International Track Federation told the newspaper that her suspension affects all results after September 25.

Jeptoo also will have to give back her $500,000 purse as the winner of the 2013-14 World Marathon Majors series if the suspension is upheld.

The 33-year-old, one of Kenya’s most recognizable athletes, set a course record of 2:18:57 in winning the Boston Marathon this past April.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Tiger Woods ties his worst nine-hole score ever at Phoenix Open

Tiger Woods struggled early in his first round of the year on Thursday at the Phoenix Open. He needed to scramble on his final nine holes just to reach 2-over-par 73, which was nine shots off the pace set by opening-day leader Ryan Palmer.

The Gilmer Free Press


His first nine holes in Friday’s second round were worse. Much worse.

Starting out on the back nine, Woods bogeyed the 11th, 17th and 18th holes, double-bogeyed the 14th and triple-bogeyed the 15th. He didn’t have any birdies.

Through 12 holes Friday, Woods stood in a tie for 131st place. That would be last place.

The Twitter wags were out in force.


►   McIlroy’s 64 gives him lead in Dubai

Rory McIlroy fired a second-round, 8-under 64 on Friday and that vaulted him into the outright lead heading into the weekend at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

McIlroy, who earned his first professional victory here back in 2009, finished 36 holes at 14-under-par 130 and he leads Marc Warren by one stroke. The No. 1 player in the world has nine career victories on the European Tour, including four last year, two of which were major championship wins at the British Open and PGA Championship.

“I’m in a great position, obviously. But there are so many people that are close to the lead and it’s so bunched up there,“ said McIlroy. “Even though I’m in the lead, there’s so many people still in with a chance if they shoot a good round tomorrow. I’ve just got to go out there, stay aggressive, stick to the game plan and try to make as many birdies as I can.“

Warren also used a big day on Friday to move into sole possession of second place. Warren carded a 7-under 65 on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club and he is right behind McIlroy at 13-under. Graeme McDowell (65) and Seve Benson (66) are one shot further back at 12-under.

First-round leader Bernd Wiesberger shot a 3-under 69 in his second round and he is now tied for fifth with two-time defending champion Stephen Gallacher (67), Danny Willett (66), Lee Westwood (68) and Andy Sullivan (68).

McIlroy, who began his day two shots behind the leader Wiesberger, was consistent throughout his round and was able to finish with a string of birdies to take the outright lead.

After making a par at the first, the 25-year-old Ulsterman drained three birdies in a four-hole stretch on Nos. 2, 3 and 5. McIlroy finished up his front nine with four pars from No. 6 and he made the turn at 3-under.

There was still much more to come from McIlroy as he began the back side with a pair of birdies on 10 and 11 before another set of four pars from No. 12 preceded McIlroys strong finish.

With Warren leading at 13-under at the time, McIlroy still sat two shots behind. He then ran off three straight birdies from No. 16 and McIlroy’s third straight birdie at the par-5 last put him in the lead at the end of two rounds.

“I couldn’t ask for much more. Bogey free, made birdies and set myself up for a good run over the next couple days,“ McIlroy said. “I didn’t play my best, but I definitely improved from tee to green out there and was able to make some putts. It was a great round and I’m going to need something similar over the next couple of days to stay in the position that I’m in.“

Warren used a hot start and a strong finish to take the lead before McIlroy caught him later on. Warren was even through three holes when he traded a birdie on 10 for a bogey on 12, but then he went on a big run by rattling off five birdies on his next six holes from No. 13.

After a pair of pars on one and two, Warren again traded a birdie on three for a bogey on four. He later finished things up with birdies on seven and nine to take the lead at the time.

McIlroy’s compatriot McDowell, playing the back nine first like Warren, made three birdies on his opening nine at 10, 13 and 16. McDowell then poured in five birdies over six holes from No. 2 to go along with a bogey on No. 6.

Benson had a hot start with four birdies on his first five holes from No. 10. A double-bogey on No. 18 tripped Benson up a bit, but he responded with a birdie on four and three straight gains from six to finish his round just two shots back of McIlroy.

NOTES: Over his last 28 rounds on the European Tour, McIlroy has shot in the 60s 24 times. He is 117-under par in those 28 rounds ... McIlroy has finished runner-up in each of his last four professional starts dating back to last season. He also came in second at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship two weeks ago ... Warren’s last victory was at the inaugural Made in Denmark last season. He has three total wins on tour ... Warren also finished runner-up at last week’s Qatar Masters ... Julien Quesne was disqualified in the second round ... With the cut falling at 2-under 142, 75 players advanced to play the weekend.


►   Golf Course Review - Poipu Bay Golf Course

FACTS AND STATS: Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1991, 2011). Year Opened: 1991. Location: Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii. Slope: 128. Rating: 74.5. Par: 72. Yardage: 7,123.

Hole-by-Hole:

1 - Par 4 428 Yds 10 - Par 4 429 Yds

2 - Par 5 524 Yds 11 - Par 3 193 Yds

3 - Par 3 209 Yds 12 - Par 4 435 Yds

4 - Par 4 380 Yds 13 - Par 4 384 Yds

5 - Par 4 355 Yds 14 - Par 5 537 Yds

6 - Par 5 573 Yds 15 - Par 4 427 Yds

7 - Par 3 179 Yds 16 - Par 4 501 Yds

8 - Par 4 374 Yds 17 - Par 3 225 Yds

9 - Par 4 420 Yds 18 - Par 5 550 Yds

Par 36 3,442 Yds Par 36 3,681 Yds

Awards Won: Premier Resort by Golf Magazine (1994, 1997-2000, 2004, 2014-15), Rated one of Best Golf Courses in Hawaii - Hawaii Magazine (2013), Top 100 Greatest Courses in North America - Golf Digest (2013), Ranked #13 by Golf Digest - Best in State, Hawaii (2013-14), Top 125 Golf Resorts by Conde Nast Traveler (2012), Golf Week’s America’s Best Golf Resorts (2006-07, 09, 2011-12), Rated #7 Best Courses You Can Play in Hawaii (2011-12), Rated 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play.

Key Events Held: PGA Grand Slam of Golf (1994-2006), U.S. Women’s Amateur sectional qualifier (2014-15), USGA Senior Amateur qualifier (2014), U.S. Amateur Public Links qualifier (2011).

Course Record: 59 (Phil Mickelson, 2004).

Website: poipubaygolf.com.

HISTORY: Built near the site of the ancient Hawaiian village of Kaneiolouma, with remains of Hawaiian heiaus (place of worship), Poipu Bay Golf Course is a wonderfully crafted design by Robert Trent Jones II.

The Gilmer Free Press


Often considered Kauai’s father of golf, Jones II designed four of the nine venues on the island, with Poipu Bay being his last on the Garden Island.

With more than 270 courses in over 40 countries on six continents to his credit, RTJ II boasts more than 100 courses to have hosted tournaments on every major golf tour in the world. It will include the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay (Washington).

Poipu Bay features four archaeological sites on the course dating back over 500 years. The first of these special areas is on the ninth hole, which includes a lava rock heiau located to the right side of the fairway.

The final three areas where the remnants have been incorporated into the course are on holes 16-18. The 16th features a heiau, just short of the green on the left side, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, while the 17th hole sports another ancient structure next to the elevated tee and a stone wall down the right side of the cart path and through to the 18th tee.

“When we came upon a heiau, we obviously respected it and went around it, specifically on 16 and 17,“ Jones said. “In some cases, we worked with the historical society and rebuilt part of the heiau wall in the old-fashioned way. It wasn’t difficult, it was interesting and it added a cultural story to the course.“

The layout is built on the south shore on the island of Kauai, on 210 acres of breathtaking land, featuring rocky cliffs 150 feet above the mighty Pacific. Not only does the course possess ancient archaeological significance, it sports beautiful tropical foliage and flora, not to mention its mix of design strategy, making Poipu Bay Golf Course a unique, golfing experience.

What started out as a 6,959-yard venue has been stretched to over 7,100 yards with room to grow! The challenge and adventure of Poipu Bay is all about the design. RTJ II used the lay of the land to create a precise layout, not only to challenge the best players in the world, but to make for a most enjoyable visit by the resort golfer.

“Poipu Bay is on the dry and arid part of the island, and it’s more exposed to the wind,“ Jones said. “So our challenge at Poipu Bay was to lay it out as a continuous 18 that reaches way out and way back. This is similar to St. Andrews and Pebble Beach, so once you start playing golf, you have to play golf, you’re committed.

“The pillar of our design philosophy is that every project is site specific,“ Jones added. “We listen to the land and work with it to create the best golf design possible on every unique site.“

As with most courses in Hawaii, the elements can play havoc on your game and Poipu Bay is not without its share of weather, especially when discussing the trade winds, which whip throughout the layout.

“The course finishes along the coast and we laid it out in that direction, rather than in reverse of that, to take advantage of the prevailing winds finishing, so the winds are at your back,“ Jones continued. “The winds are a form of a hazard, so you can either learn to use it as a player or be abused by it. As a designer, we like you to finish happy, so we wanted you to play downwind.“

But Jones II did not create just up and back holes. His layout features holes that play with the wind, into the breeze and across, just enough to keep you guessing on each and every shot.

The word Poipu literally means “crashing waves” in Hawaiian and the final four holes run alongside and well above the Pacific Ocean’s mighty bounty.

Just under one mile in length, the closing four holes are without a doubt the signature grouping at Poipu Bay, with the world’s largest water hazard on the left. The 16th is what many consider RTJ II’s autograph. In fact, he considered this gem as “the Pebble Beach of the Pacific.“

It comes as no surprise that Poipu Bay Golf Course has received the accolades and awards that it has, such as one of Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses,“ and since 2000, Conde Nast Traveler considers the course and the Grand Hyatt Resort as one of the top resorts in the United States.

“We wanted to distinguish Poipu Bay from the other courses, so the greens are generally smaller and somewhat rounded on the edges,“ Jones said. “They’re a little like a Donald Ross concept, like an inverted concept and that’s pretty tricky in the wind. It’s a shorter course and compact and a real golf experience. It’s produced a lot of excitement and a lot of history and fun when the Grand Slam was here.“

After just three years of opening its tee boxes, the powers that be at the Professional Golfers Association of America decided to bring its premier after-season event to Poipu Bay.

The PGA of America was certainly pleased, as from 1994 through 2006 Poipu Bay hosted the Grand Slam of Golf, which features the winners of the four majors in that calendar year.

The champions during this time frame read like a who’s who of World Golf Hall- of-Famers, led by seven-time winner Tiger Woods. In addition, other HOFs who captured the Grand Slam at Poipu Bay were Greg Norman, Ben Crenshaw, Ernie Els and course record-holder Phil Mickelson. Two other winners, Tom Lehman and Jim Furyk, can possibly reach this pinnacle in the near future.

When Norman captured the 1994 event, he became the first alternate in the history of the event to win the title. Norman capped off his final round 66 with a 5-foot eagle on the last hole to win by three shots over Nick Price, who had recorded wins that year in the PGA Championship and the British Open.

A more dramatic finish came the next season, when Crenshaw holed his 50-yard approach on the last for an eagle to clip Steve Elkington and Corey Pavin by a shot. It should be noted that John Daly also eagled the closing hole by reaching the green in two and making the putt. According to Daly lore, the long-hitting lad from Arkansas leaped over part of the sacred ground (stone wall), but still made eagle. Call it irony or karma, but Daly has not won again on the PGA Tour since.

Els set a tournament record in 1997, as he finished the two-day event at 11- under-par 133, besting Woods, then a first-time participant, by three shots.

Woods started his streak of five consecutive wins at the Grand Slam of Golf by defeating Vijay Singh 2-up in match play as the PGA of America changed the format.

Following another match-play win the following year over Davis Love III, the PGA of America returned the format to stroke play, and Woods edged Singh again, this time in a playoff. Woods made eagle in regulation to force the playoff and then eagled the 18th hole again in the extra session.

In 2002, Woods obliterated the field by carding a 36-hole total of 127, which included a final-round 61 for a whopping 14-stroke win over Davis Love III and Justin Leonard.

Making his first appearance at the Grand Slam, Furyk cruised to an eight-shot win over Masters champion Mike Weir. Furyk, who captured his only major at the U.S. Open in 2003, had 11 birdies in the two-day event and needed just 55 putts.

Playing in the event for the first time, Mickelson made history when he carded a course-record 59 to win by five shots over three-time runner-up Singh in 2004. Mickelson played flawless golf during his record run, as he tied Woods for the lowest 36-hole total in event history. In his round, he made 11 birdies and an eagle and needed only 24 putts. The round could have been better if he had only made a 9-foot eagle putt on the last!

Woods returned to Poipu Bay for the final two seasons of this event in Hawaii and did not disappoint, as he captured the 2005 and ‘06 events. In all, Woods recorded seven wins and one runner-up finish in his eight appearances at Poipu Bay. Over the years, Woods recorded 87 birdies and eight eagles for a scoring average of 66.75 and earnings of $3.15 million. It’s hard to argue with success and Woods certainly has had his share. “This facility here, the Hyatt, is absolutely fantastic, all of the amenities that they have. It’s a pretty great place,“ said Woods.

In 2010, Poipu Bay underwent a facelift of sorts, as the greens were transformed from traditional Bermuda to the eco-friendly Seashore Paspalum. In addition, several of the bunkers and tee boxes were upgraded.

“The main thing we changed were the greens,“ said Chad Dusenberry, head golf professional at Poipu Bay. “Initially we had Tid Dwarf Bermuda, which wasn’t a consistent putting surface for the weather that we have. After researching to find the best product to fit our conditions that we have, such as ocean breeze, we settled on Seashore Paspalum. We were looking for more consistency, quality and something we could speed up more, so that in the future we might be able to host another event here.“

HOLE-BY-HOLE REVIEW: The opener is a pretty straightforward hole, playing uphill from tee to green. Bunkers guard both sides of the landing area off the tee, but with the trade winds at your back, a solid tee ball will certainly avoid the trouble. A medium to short iron should remain to a fairly large putting surface that slopes toward the front and to the right. Stay below the hole, avoid the bunker on the left and you’ll get off to a good start.

The second is a boomerang par-5 that stretches 524 yards from the back markers. Playing uphill from the tee to the fairway, the key here is to avoid the bunker down the right side of the landing area. Cut the corner if you dare, but missing the short grass might eliminate your shot at getting home in two. If you’re forced to lay up, this shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you stay left of the grouping of bunkers down the right. With a wedge in hand, the player should be able to stick one close to the flag and set up a great chance at birdie.

Although the yardage does not suggest that the third hole will be the longest of the par-3s, trust me, it is, as it plays directly into the wind. The trouble here is pin placement and club selection. The green wraps around a deep bunker on the right side of the putting surface, so when the flag is tucked, stay away and play toward the center. A gentle, left-to-right shot, riding the breeze is the play here. This is not the time to be heroic. Make your par and move on.

The fourth hole is an average par-4 of just 380 yards in length. Simple, right? Not so fast. At first blush, it might appear to be a real birdie chance, but with the elements in your face and a cross-bunker staring at you, you’d better be careful. With a successful tee shot, you’ll have a medium iron remaining and don’t forget to take enough club, as sand short of the green is not the place to be. The green is fairly simple, but if you miss right, you’ll finish in a tightly mown chipping area.

The shortest par-4 on the course, the fifth is just 355 yards in length, but it requires pinpoint accuracy off the tee as fairway bunkers tighten the landing area. Missing the fairway will most likely end in bogey, but a quality tee ball can produce a birdie.

From the shortest to the longest, as the Z-shaped sixth is a monster par-5 of 573 yards from the gold markers. One large fairway bunker guards the right corner of the first dogleg. Usually downwind, this hole can be had despite its length. A successful tee ball can set up a shot at the green in two, but a more sensible effort would be to lay up just past the bunkers on either side of the landing area, thus setting up a simple run to the pin. Your hardest choice will be what club to play to the putting surface, as this is one of the longest on the course with a huge slope splitting the green. Place your approach in the proper spot and you’ll have a great shot at birdie.

One of the prettiest holes on the course, No. 7, is also the shortest of the par-3s at 179 yards. Club selection is critical in more ways than one, as a large pond protects the entire right side of the hole and with a back-right pin placement, you’ll need to be spot on, otherwise a double-bogey or worse might mess up your scorecard. I know first hand of this!

A critical juncture of the golf course, the eighth, although short, is generally played back into the breeze, making this one of the more difficult par-4s. Two fairway bunkers squeeze the landing area off the tee and with the wind in your face, it would be best to avoid them at all costs. Your slightly uphill approach gets even more difficult with the fact that the putting surface is guarded by a dozen bunkers and is the smallest green at Poipu Bay. Let’s not forget the undulating and tiered surface and you have one diabolical hole.

The closing hole on the outward nine is rated as the most difficult on the course. A par-4 reaching 420 yards from the tips, this bad boy is also the first hole on the course to feature historical sites dating back over 500 years. Playing back into the trade winds, the ninth requires an accurate tee shot, as the bunkers lining the undulating landing area, crimp the fairway to just 24 yards. From here it’s a guessing game, as your approach plays uphill to an elevated green, so take an extra stick. To top it off, the first rock heiau (ancient worship site) is located on the right side of the hole and is a culturally sensitive area, where players are not allowed to enter or play from.

The back nine opens with the fourth-most difficult hole on the course. A long, 429-yard par-4, the 10th features fairway bunkering that narrows the landing area, so much so that many players will use 3-metal off the tee for accuracy. Now you’re faced with a 200-yard approach to a very tight putting surface, guarded by deep bunkers. Miss right of the green and you’ll be faced with a difficult up-and-down from a tight chipping area.

Number 11 is a slightly downhill par-3, just under 200 yards in length. A pond guards most of the green, from the center to right, while a pair of bunkers protect the left. The winds generally blow left to right, so play out to the left for your best chance at par, especially when the pin is tucked to the right behind the pond. Any shot long will end up in a deep, chipping area, so your best play is middle of the green.

Playing away from the ocean and toward the mountains, the 12th is a straightaway par-4 that reaches 435 yards in length. The large fairway bunker on the left side of the landing area off the tee pinches the short grass and must be avoided. Your approach to the green will be uphill and into the breeze, so choose the right club to bypass the bunker that fronts the putting surface. The green itself runs from front to back and is quite narrow, which will test your skill level. Missing the putting surface might result in bogey, as several bunkers lay in wait. This hole concludes a stretch of five holes that rank in the top 10 of most difficult on the course.

If there ever was a chance to get a stroke back, the 13th is certainly that chance. The final of four par-4s under 400 yards, No. 13 can be had, especially with a good tee shot. Playing back toward the water, the trade winds will once again blow from left to right, so avoiding the bunker left and the trees right will be important to your success. The difficulty will be with your approach. Although you’ll have a short iron, the tiered putting surface is protected on the left by sand and the right by another pond. Another back- right pin can spell doom, especially since the water wraps around the green, so be careful not to go long. Half of the green is encased beautifully by a surrounding rock wall, from the front-center to behind the green. Adjusting your ball flight will serve you well.

The final stretch of holes, starting with the 14th at Poipu Bay, are as rock- solid and as exciting as many of the courses in Hawaii. This par-5 is only 537 yards long, but plays longer than all of the three-shotters due to the uphill climb from tee to green and the fact that the wind blows against you. The landing area is one of the largest on the course, so let it fly off the tee. Your second shot, most definitely a layup, must avoid the long fairway bunker that stands right-center of the landing area. With a short iron in hand, your approach, again uphill, must be struck with precision, as the green is long with plenty of undulations.

The 15th is a dynamic par-4 of just 427 yards. Dynamic because of the huge water hazard to your left, the Pacific Ocean. From an elevated tee, this hole plays down breeze and does not play as long as the yardage indicates. It does, however, require an accurate tee shot, as three fairway bunkers down the right, tighten the landing zone. A successful tee ball with leave a short iron to a green that features a bunker on either side and a severe slope on the left. Don’t be cute, play toward the center of the putting surface and trust your putter. The final four holes play atop a 150-foot cliff overlooking the ocean.

Many believe the 16th is the signature hole at Poipu Bay, and with good reason. Stretching 501 yards from the back markers, this par-4 is as difficult as it is breathtaking. Again with the Pacific down the left, your tee ball must favor the right side, avoiding the fairway bunker. Although this hole also plays down wind and slightly downhill, it will plays almost as long as its yardage. Called “the Pebble Beach of the Pacific,“ by Jones II, since it hugs the coast and bends to the left, similar to its counterpart in California. Number 16 stifles the best of players, especially with your approach, which is played uphill from the fairway. With the ocean crashing down below and an ancient rock wall squeezing the fairway by the green, your target looks as small as a thimble. Toss in a back-left pin placement and you’ll be begging for bogey.

At 225 yards, the final par-3 on the course - the 17th - is outstanding and difficult, to say the least. Although downhill and down breeze, you’ll need a long iron or fairway metal to reach the putting surface. Be careful to avoid the heiau to the right of the green and, of course, the bunkers guarding the left and right portions of the putting surface. Take time to take a look back from behind the green at the wonder of the Pacific Ocean. Trust me, it’s worth it.

From the back tee, the closing hole plays like a dogleg right, as it bends around a stand of trees. Although it has been reached in two, No. 18 is really a three-shot, par-5 of 550 yards in length. Although the tee shot is important, it is the second shot that’s crucial, as it must play short of the pond fronting the green and the bunker to the right. Roughly 100 yards will remain to a putting surface that runs from middle to back, so land soft to set up a birdie chance. If you played your cards right, you will be rewarded.

FINAL WORD: Poipu Bay Golf Course is another Robert Trent Jones II classic on the island of Kauai, complete with rolling terrain, awesome elevation changes, dramatic views of the Pacific (as much of the golf course sits almost 90 feet above the ocean and 150 feet in some places), several water holes, over 85 bunkers and, yes ... the elements.

The trade winds blow on an average of 15-20 miles per hour each and every day, making Poipu Bay quite a challenge. Jones laid the golf course out so that the wind direction is diverse throughout the layout. In doing so, Jones made club selection and strategy crucial in playing the course. As if you didn’t have enough problems to worry about!

The average player should not be overly concerned, however, as Poipu Bay is for all levels of golf.

“The playability, depending upon what skill level you are, and the different tees, makes it enjoyable for all different player types,“ Dusenberry said. “From the high handicapper to the low handicapper, depending upon what tee boxes you play, it will provide a challenge. There are not a lot of forced carries, and you can miss it left and right and still keep your golf ball in play.“

Poipu Bay is a great mix of holes, such as three par-3s over water, with the quartet of one-shotters ranging from 179 to 225 yards. There are four par-4s under 400 yards in length, five over 420 yards and one over 500. Finally, the spectacular par-5s are all laid out in different directions, presenting their own set of problems.

“Our philosophy also calls for the creation of courses that combine playability for the average golfer with sufficient difficulty from championship tees to challenge the world’s best players,“ Jones said. “Providing alternative lines of play adds another crucial strategic component to our courses.“

Although not as flamboyant as The Prince Course on the north shore, Poipu Bay is itself quite unique, with its several archaeological sites that boast Heiaus and ancient stone walls.

The one aspect of the course that really stands out is the natural beauty of the layout. The conditioning of the layout is top notch and the flora and fauna throughout the course are stunning. From tropical flowers, such as the beautiful pink blossoms by the 18th green or the thick vegetation and timeless palms scattered throughout, make Poipu Bay a visual delight.

As mentioned before, the fact this course is playable for all levels makes it a favorite amongst the locals and, of course, the resort guests. The forward tees are 5,372 yards in length and are followed up by the white markers (6,127 yards), the blue (6,612 yards) and finally, the gold tees at 7,123 yards.

The inexperienced player, not to mention the medium handicap player, will enjoy the course, while the best of players will be extremely tested on a course that at times plays as difficult as any. You’ll be forced to play shots that you normally don’t on the mainland, such as knock-down shots with a 6- iron from 150 yards away or putting from 10 yards off the green.

So pick a spot or mix and match and you’ll have the time of your life. The fairways are generous, the greens are undulating and slick and the course as a whole is a top-caliber venue that will bring you back, time and time again.

Hey, if the golf doesn’t bring you back, then the dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean, the waves crashing down below, the seals sunbathing and the surfers hanging loose will.

Did I forget to mention the 21,000 square foot clubhouse, with a fully stocked pro shop, complete locker room facilities, a restaurant and a lounge.

To top it off, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is just a short walk from the first tee, so take advantage of this beautiful resort and its 602 luxurious rooms.

As with all the courses on Kauai, Poipu Bay is a must play and should be on everyone’s proverbial bucket list.

Aces, pars or bogeys.  ~~  Phil Sokol ~~



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Jeff Gordon may be retiring, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still having ‘fun’

One week ago, the world of NASCAR suffered a blow when Jeff Gordon announced that this year would be his last as a full-time driver. On Thursday, the circuit got just about the best news possible: Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

Earnhardt was engaging with the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway when he made some expansive comments, indicating an optimism about possibly racing for another decade. That’s music to the ears of NASCAR fans, as Earnhardt is easily the most popular driver going.

Gordon, of course, is also one of circuit’s top stars, a four-time Sprint Cup champion who helped the sport grow by breaking the mold of the traditional, Southern-boy stock-car ace. But the 43-year-old driver has been struggling with back ailments and grappling more with all the time he’s had to spend away from his two young children.

Earnhardt isn’t much younger, having turned 40 last year, but he has no children and said Thursday that he feels “like a 30-year-old.” Another thing the 16-year Sprint Cup veteran does not have is a championship, unlike Gordon, not to mention Earnhardt’s legendary father, who won seven Winston Cup titles.

                              “I’d love to win a championship,” Earnhardt told Fox Sports. “We try every year to win that championship. It’s either in the cards for me or it’s not. I don’t know that I will be affected by it — should it not happen to me — for a long time after my career. But that’s definitely one of the things I’d love to accomplish.

                              “Jeff made his decision based on factors in his life, whether it be his health or his kids. And factors in my life will affect the way I look at retirement or look at making a change in my career. Right now I’ve never had more fun driving a race car than I have in the last five years. I didn’t even know I could have this much fun.”

Earnhardt racked up four Sprint Cup wins in 2014, his most since 2004 (six). He finished eighth in the standings, notching consecutive top-10 seasons for the first time since 2003-04.

So there’s no doubt that Earnhardt can still compete with the best. And as long as that’s the case, it appears that he’ll be delighted to get out there and trade paint.

                              “I want to race as long as I am healthy and as long as I’m in cars that I feel like are competitive, and as long as I feel competitive,” Earnhardt told Fox Sports. “I think I’ll stop racing when my health is an issue or I don’t feel like I’m in a competitive car or I feel like that I’ve lost a step.

                              “Like a cornerback or wide receiver loses his step as they get into their mid-30s or get older, if I start to feel like I’m not carrying my weight out on the racetrack, I think that you’ll have to take a look at yourself.

                              “You don’t want to waste anybody’s time out there. You don’t want the team carrying you on the racetrack out there. I feel like this past year we had some really good success and I feel like that I’m getting better in some areas as a driver each year, and my health’s been great.

                              “I’ve really had the most fun that I’ve had in a long time in consecutive years. It’s not just because we won four races. I’ve had so much fun driving cars, and I think with that happening, it’s going to be very hard to consider doing anything different.”

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2015
National Basketball Association
Sacramento at Indiana, 7:00 PM - CSN-California, FS-Indiana, DSS
Dallas at Orlando, 7:00 PM - FS-Southwest, Florida, DSS
Toronto at Washington, 7:00 PM - SNET-360, CSN-DC, DSS
Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:30 PM - TCN-Philadelphia, SportSouth, DSS
Houston at Detroit, 7:30 PM - ROOT-Southwest, FS-Detroit, DSS
Oklahoma City at Memphis, 8:00 PM - FS-Oklahoma, SportSouth, DSS
Cleveland at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - FS-Ohio, North, DSS
Portland at Milwaukee, 8:30 PM - CSN-Northwest, FS-Wisconsin, DSS
Charlotte at Denver, 9:00 PM - SportSouth, Altitude, DSS
LA Clippers at San Antonio, 9:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, KENS, ESPN
Phoenix at Golden State, 10:30 PM - FS-Arizona, CSN-Bay, DSS
National Hockey League
Washington at Montreal, 1:00 PM - CSN-DC, RDS, NHL Network, DSS
NY Islanders at Detroit, 2:00 PM - MSG+, FS-Detroit, DSS
Arizona at Ottawa, 3:00 PM - RDS2, TSN5, DSS
Florida at New Jersey, 7:00 PM - FS-Florida, MSG+, DSS
Toronto at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - CBC, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Carolina at NY Rangers, 7:00 PM - FS-Carolina, MSG, DSS
Los Angeles at Boston, 7:00 PM - FS-West, NESN, NHL Network, DSS
Dallas at Winnipeg, 7:00 PM - TXA 21, CITY, DSS
Columbus at Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM - FS-Ohio, SunSports, DSS
Edmonton at Calgary, 10:00 PM - CBC, TVA, DSS
Chicago at San Jose, 10:30 PM - CSN-Chicago, California, DSS
College Basketball
Auburn at Tennessee, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, 12:00 PM - ACC Network, WTAE, ESPN3.com
Xavier at Seton Hall, 12:00 PM - FS1
NC State at Georgia Tech, 12:00 PM - ACC Network, ESPN3.com
Texas Tech at West Virginia, 12:00 PM - ESPN U
Boston College at Clemson, 12:00 PM - NESN, RSN, YES
Providence at St Johns, 12:00 PM - FOX
Wisconsin at Iowa, 12:00 PM - ESPN
Tulane at Temple, 12:00 PM - CBSSN
Davidson at Saint Josephs, 12:00 PM - NBCSN
South Florida at Tulsa, 1:00 PM - ESPNews
Penn State at Illinois, 1:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Arkansas at Florida, 1:00 PM - CBS
Lipscomb at Stetson, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Kennesaw St at Jacksonville, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
LSU at Miss State, 2:00 PM - SEC Network
Virginia Tech at Wake Forest, 2:00 PM - MSG, ROOT-NW, PIT, SportsTime Ohio
Green Bay at Cleveland State, 2:00 PM - Time Warner, ESPN3.com
Mount St Marys at Sacred Heart, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Illinois State at Loyola-Chicago, 2:00 PM - FS-Midwest, CSN-Chicago, ESPN3.com
Kansas State at Kansas, 2:00 PM - ESPN
TCU at Iowa State, 2:00 PM - ESPN U
Villanova at DePaul, 2:00 PM - FS1
Georgetown at Creighton, 2:00 PM - CBSSN
Butler at Marquette, 2:00 PM - FS-Florida, Ohio, Prime Ticket, San Diego
Vermont at Hartford, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Richmond at VA Commonwealth, 2:00 PM - ESPN 2
Boston Univ at Lehigh, 2:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Valparaiso at Ill-Chicago, 3:00 PM - MASN, CSN-Chicago+, Altitude
Idaho State at North Dakota, 3:00 PM - MidcoSN
Loyola-Maryland at Army, 3:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Evansville at Drake, 3:05 PM - MC22
Rutgers at Indiana, 3:15 PM - Big Ten Network
Ball State at Miami-Ohio, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Winthrop at Radford, 4:00 PM - RUTV, Big South Network
North Carolina at Louisville, 4:00 PM - ESPN
George Washington at Rhode Island, 4:00 PM - Ocean State Network
Massachusetts at Saint Louis, 4:00 PM - CBSSN
Long Island at St Francis-NY, 4:00 PM - MSG
Loyola Marymount at Pacific, 4:00 PM - Time Warner, CSN-California, ROOT
William & Mary at James Madison, 4:00 PM - CSN-Baltimore, New England, TCN-Phi
Ole Miss at Missouri, 4:00 PM - SportSouth, SunSports, FS-Midwest, Det, Wisc
Wichita State at Northern Iowa, 4:00 PM - ESPN 2
Georgia at South Carolina, 4:00 PM - ESPN U
Eastern Ky at Morehead State, 4:15 PM - This TV, CW Lexington
Campbell at UNC-Asheville, 4:30 PM - Big South Network
Vanderbilt at Texas A&M, 4:30 PM - SEC Network
Ohio at Central Mich, 4:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Detroit at Milwaukee, 5:00 PM - Time Warner Sports, ESPN3.com
Western Carolina at UNC Greensboro, 5:00 PM - SoCon Digital Network
Idaho at Eastern Wash, 5:05 PM - SWX
Houston Baptist at Sam Houston St, 5:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Louisiana at Texas State, 5:30 PM - KBVO
Marshall at Louisiana Tech, 5:30 PM - ASN, MASN2, Altitude, CSN-Chicago+
Denver at South Dakota St, 5:30 PM - MidcoSN, ESPN3.com
Western Ky at Southern Miss, 6:00 PM - FCS
Texas at Baylor, 6:00 PM - ESPN 2
Nebraska at Minnesota, 6:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Purdue at Northwestern, 6:00 PM - ESPN U
Pepperdine at St Marys-CA, 6:00 PM - CSN-Bay
Dartmouth at Princeton, 6:00 PM - Ivy League Digital Network
Nevada at Wyoming, 6:00 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain, Northwest
Fresno State at Colorado State, 6:00 PM - CBSSN
Duke at Virginia, 7:00 PM - ESPN
Char Southern at Liberty, 7:00 PM - LFSN, MASN
Harvard at Penn, 7:00 PM - Ivy League Digital Network
Lafayette at Navy, 7:00 PM - Patriot League Network
La Salle at St Bonaventure, 7:00 PM - Time Warner Sports
Saint Peters at Iona, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Mercer at Wofford, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Colgate at Bucknell, 7:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Hawaii at Long Beach State, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Alabama at Kentucky, 7:00 PM - SEC Network
Northern Ky at Fla Gulf Coast, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
USC Upstate at North Florida, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
San Francisco at San Diego, 8:00 PM - Time Warner Sports
Rice at North Texas, 8:00 PM - American Sports Network
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, 8:00 PM - ESPN 2
UCF at SMU, 8:00 PM - ESPN U
Toledo at Northern Ill, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Towson at Hofstra, 8:00 PM - SNY, American Sports Network
San Jose St at New Mexico, 8:00 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain, Northwest
Utah State at San Diego St, 8:00 PM - CBSSN
Southern Ill at Missouri State, 8:05 PM - CSN-Chicago+, WDKA, ESPN3.com
Stanford at Washington St, 8:30 PM - Pac-12 Network
Santa Clara at BYU, 9:00 PM - BYUtv
Chicago State at Grand Canyon, 9:00 PM - COX 7
TX-Pan American at New Mexico St, 9:00 PM - FS-Southwest, Arizona+
Air Force at UNLV, 10:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Cal Poly at UC Davis, 10:00 PM - ESPN U
Memphis at Gonzaga, 10:00 PM - ESPN 2
UMKC at Utah Valley U, 10:30 PM - MASN, American Sports Network
Colorado at UCLA, 10:30 PM - Pac-12 Network
Women’s College Basketball
Mount St. Mary’s at Sacred Heart, 11:30 AM - ESPN3.com
UTEP at Middle Tennessee, 12:00 PM - SportSouth, FS-Florida, Ohio, Southwest
Ohio at Central Michigan, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
UNC Greensboro at Wofford, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Presbyterian at UNC Asheville, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Houston at Cincinnati, 2:00 PM - American Network
North Florida at USC Upstate, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Jacksonville at Kennesaw State, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Milwaukee at Youngstown State, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
South Florida at Memphis, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Houston Baptist at Sam Houston State, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
East Carolina at Tulane, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Washington State at Stanford, 3:30 PM - Pac-12 Network
UCLA at Oregon, 3:30 PM - Pac-12 Network
Kansas State at Texas Tech, 4:00 PM - FS-South, Southwest, West
UCF at Tulsa, 4:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Marist at Iona, 4:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Cleveland State at Oakland, 4:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Stetson at Lipscomb, 5:00 PM - ESPN3.com
USC at Oregon State, 5:30 PM - Pac-12 Network
Washington at California, 5:30 PM - Pac-12 Network
Penn at Harvard, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Princeton at Dartmouth, 6:00 PM - Ivy League Digital Network
Florida Gulf Coast at Northern Kentucky, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Southern Utah at Northern Arizona, 7:30 PM - FS-Arizona
Green Bay at Illinois-Chicago, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
CS Fullerton at Long Beach State, 9:30 PM - ESPN3.com
College Hockey
New Hampshire at Notre Dame, 6:30 PM - NBCSN
Army at RIT, 7:00 PM - Time Warner
Minnesota at Wisconsin, 8:00 PM - Big Ten Network
North Dakota at Nebraska Omaha, 8:00 PM - FCS
National Lacrosse League
Calgary at Toronto, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
NBADL
Sioux Falls at Westchester, 7:00 PM - MSG2
International Soccer
Brentford FC vs. Middlesbrough FC, 7:10 AM - beIN Sports
Hull City vs. Newcastle United, 7:45 AM - NBCSN
Real Madrid vs. Real Sociedad, 9:55 AM - beIN Sports
Manchester United vs. Leicester City, 10:00 AM - NBCSN
Genoa vs. ACF Fiorentina, 11:55 AM - beIN Sports
Chelsea vs. Manchester City, 12:30 PM - NBC
AS Roma vs. Empoli FC, 2:40 PM - beIN Sports
Golf
EUROPEAN - Dubai Desert Classic, 4:00 AM - Golf Channel
PGA - Phoenix Open, 3:00 PM - CBS
LPGA - Coates Golf Championship, 3:00 PM - Golf Channel
Tennis
Australian Open (Women’s Final), 3:00 AM - ESPN
Horse Racing
Sam F. Davis Stakes, 3:30 PM - TVG
Track and Field
Armory Track Invitational, 4:30 PM - NBCSN

G-Comm™: Hoppy’s Commentary - Let’s give public charter schools a chance in WV

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The debate is underway under the Capitol dome over public charter schools. This could turn into a nasty fight, since both teacher organizations—the West Virginia Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers West Virginia—oppose charter schools.

Public charter schools receive state money, but they don’t have to play by the same rules as traditional schools. They provide greater flexibility and freedom to teachers, administrators and parents to create what they believe is the strongest learning environment, while raising expectations for higher achievement.

The teacher groups argue that the state should put more resources into improving traditional public schools to generate better results. And they point out the state is already experimenting with “innovation zones” designed to give more local control to schools.

Their frustration is understandable. Teachers get blamed for marginal test scores and failing students, while some of those critics of the status quo point to charters as a panacea, which they are not.

Even the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, which has a representative at the Legislature lobbying for charters, admits their student outcomes vary significantly, depending on how they have been created by the states.

But Stanford University’s 2013 study of charter schools in 27 states found a number of positive results. For example:

—Charter school students show more gains in reading than traditional public schools (TPS) and made the same gains in math.

—Charter schools are especially helpful for some students, “particularly students in poverty, black students, and English language learners, all of whom post significantly higher gains in both reading and math.”

The Stanford study concluded, “We see slow and steady progress in the performance of the charter sector. The dialogue as a community of educators, policy-makers, community members, and a growing faction of parents and students has affirmed the predominant value of the charter school enterprise to academic quality.”

Charters are not the sole solution to what ails public education, but they are a viable option for frustrated parents and educators, especially in high poverty areas where charters tend to perform better.

Bon Appétit: Black Bean Nachos with Red and Green Salsas

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

Servings: 4-6

Pico de Gallo

  3 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  ½ red onion, finely chopped
  1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Black Beans

  1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  ½ red onion, finely chopped
  1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed
  2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

  1 cup chopped tomatillos, husked, rinsed (about 4 medium)
  1 avocado, chopped
  ½ cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
  1 jalapeño, chopped
  1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Chips and Assembly

  6 ounces restaurant-style tortilla chips
  1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  Thinly sliced radishes (for serving)


Directions:

Pico de Gallo

Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and let sit at least 1 hour. Stir in cilantro and oregano just before serving.


Black Beans

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a food processor and add black beans, lime juice, and ¼ cup water. Season with salt and pepper and process until smooth.


Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

Combine tomatillos, avocado, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice in a food processor and purée until mostly smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


Chips and Assembly

Preheat oven to 425°. Arrange half of chips on a 9½-by-13” foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Top with half of beans, then half of each cheese. Repeat layering with remaining chips, beans, and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Serve nachos topped with tomatillo avocado salsa, pico de gallo, sliced jalapeño, and radishes.

GFP - 01.31.2015
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G-MM™: Meditation Moment   150131

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Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.


Proverbs 18:2

A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.


Exodus 3:1-6

Moses and The Burning Bush

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.

And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
Burning bush

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.


Notes on the Scripture

Moses, who would become the greatest prophet of God until the coming of Christ Himself, is different from most of the holy figures in the Bible, because he is an ordinary man, ridden with faults. His early life was unusual but not necessarily supernatural. Unlike almost every other Old Testament prophet, his early life was characterized by neither great righteousness nor signs of a great destiny. God has, in fact, been silent for centuries.

And now, at a fairly advanced age, he is happy to live out his life as an escaped criminal, in the mean prosperity of a shepherd, grazing his father-in-law’s herd in the margins of the civilized world.

Perhaps it is related to Moses’ worldliness, but compare how God presents Himself to Moses as opposed to, say, Abraham or Mary, whom He approaches as a warm friend. Moses is contacted by a rather terrifying vision, not in human form; the burning bush does not come to him, but commands him to approach in humility and reverence. If you consider the rude “Hello” Paul got on the road to Damascus, it seems that the way in which He approaches people has much to do with their godliness.

But Moses is no Saul/Paul; he is not horrendously sinful, just a bit slack. He has simply been living his life as if God did not exist. Unlike Adam, when God calls him, he does not try to hide; he is not a purposeful sinner, trying to avoid God. When the Lord calls him, Moses says “Here I am” and obeys in fear and wonder. Fear of God, as Proverbs tells us, is the beginning of all wisdom, and Moses is at the beginning of his relationship with God.

The bush is symbolic; for like the bush, Moses is touched by God’s firey hand, but not destroyed. And similarly, the Hebrews will suffer God’s wrath, but He will not destroy them. The bush foreshadows God’s treatment of Moses and the Hebrews.

Harlan Junior Starcher

The Gilmer Free Press

Harlan Junior Starcher

Age 78, of Normantown, WV passed away on January 28, 2015 at his home.

He was born August 14, 1936 in Calhoun County, WV, the son of the late Harlan and Lona Mae Starcher.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years Betty Jean: his children Calvin Lee and his wife Cheryl, Mark Blaine and his wife Amy; his grandson Timothy Joseph and his wife Tara; and his great granddaughter Alexandria Nicole.

He is also survived by two sisters Ruby and Janet and one brother, Darrell.

He is preceded in death by 1 brother Leo Starcher; 4 sisters Ruth, Lena, Reda, and Emogene; one grandson Jeremy Victor Starcher.

He was a retired lumberman and truck driver. In his spare time, he loved hunting and fishing and spending time in the woods. He was the happiest when he was with his family whom he loved more than anything. He was an avid cat lover.

Services will be held at 2:00 PM Monday February 02, 2015 at Stump Funeral Home, Grantsville with Rev. Lewis Villers officiating.

Burial will follow in the Gibson Cemetery.

Friends may call at the funeral home from 12:00-2:00 PM prior to the services.

 

Eloise Davis Meads

The Gilmer Free Press


Eloise Davis Meads

A long-time resident of Spencer, WV, was transferred to heaven on January 29, 2015.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, James Henry Meads.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Bill Greenleaf in Spencer, WV, and her son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Judy Meads in Glenville, WV; two granddaughters and their husbands; and four great-grandchildren also survive her, Rachael Meads and husband, John Meeker, and children, Flora Louise and Lucy Meeker of Shepherdstown, WV, and Sarah and Jeff Dodson, and sons, Samuel Dodson and Nathaniel Dodson of Bridgeport, WV. She also had two step-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren, Bill and Chris Greenleaf, and daughter, Rachel Greenleaf in Summerville, SC, and Denise and Randy Howard, and son, Michael Headley in Ripley, WV. Surviving brothers and their spouses are Bob and Betty Davis in Eugene, Oregon, and Gary and Allene Davis in Camano Island, Washington; and sister-in-law, Jan Davis in Burien, Washington.

Her brothers and sister who preceded her in death were Gene Davis of Port Lucie, Florida, Dwight Davis of Buren, Washington, and sister, Pauline Crosby of Bellingham, Washington.

Eloise Davis Meads was born in Gardner, Kansas, the daughter of the late Ben and Olive Davis. Her father was a Methodist minister who was transferred to Billings, Montana, when Eloise was a girl. She graduated from high school in Billings and began college courses to become a teacher.

Eloise first started her teaching experience at McLeod Elementary School in McLeod, Montana, from September 1943 to January 1944. She was the only teacher in a one-room school and taught grades one through eight. During World War II, Eloise enlisted in the WAVES - a branch of the U.S. Naval Reserve. Having served in World War I, her father, Ben Davis, was too old to enlist, and her brothers were too young, but she felt someone in their family should help the war effort, so she enlisted. On February 07, 1944, she left Livingston, Montana by troop train to start her career in the WAVES with training in Stillwater, Oklahoma. She completed additional training in the Bronx, NY, and was then assigned to Camp Elliott, San Diego, California. There she met her Navy husband, Jim Meads, at a dance near the end of the war. They were married in their Navy uniforms with the service performed by her father. Their marriage lasted 44 years until his death in 1989.

Because her husband was from West Virginia, they made their home there. He became a WV State Policeman. They lived in several places including Cabin Creek, East Bank, Ward, Grantsville, and Spencer. Eloise worked as a substitute teacher in Calhoun, Kanawha, and Roane Counties. While her children were in school, she went back to college at Marshall University and finally earned a Board of Regents Degree from Glenville State College. She marched in the same commencement with her daughter, Judy Meads Greenleaf, who received a BA in Education, and her son, Jim Meads, who marched as a GSC faculty member. Eloise became secretary of Spencer High School where she worked for four years. In 1965, she moved to the Roane County Board of Education Office where she became Bookkeeper and Head Financial Secretary, and held those positions until her retirement in 1984.

She was an active member of the St. Johns Methodist Church

She was also a member of the Susanna Wesleyan Circle, and played in the bell choir. For many years she was president of the Roane County Retired School Employees. Eloise was involved in the Committee on Aging activities and worked to get the old Spencer Elementary School remodeled into the current Senior Center. She also worked to gather furnishings, books, and displays for the one-room school house at Heritage Park, and frequently served as a hostess there during community celebrations. Other community service included working with Helping Hands. In addition, she enjoyed the fellowship of her friends in the Novelty Club. She was proud to represent Roane County as a Belle at the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville.

When she was in her late eighties, Eloise was interviewed about her military service as a WAVE for the WV Veteran’s Legacy Project which was to document and preserve experiences of WV veterans. Her interview was videotaped and her words and pictures given the last four pages of the book Heroes Among Us, a collection of veterans stories.

Eloise played the piano by note and by ear. Her repertoire often included a medley of hymns followed by World War II era songs and the boogie woogie. She frequently recited the lengthy poem “Little Orphan Annie”, an 1885 poem written by James Whitcomb Riley. She recited the poem from memory and enjoyed entertaining her children, grandchildren, and school children with verse. She always enjoyed visiting with friends and family, and loved watching the birds and other animals that came to her yard.

A funeral service will be held at 2 PM on Sunday, February 01, at the St. Johns United Methodist Church in Spencer, with Pastor David Hall officiating.

Burial will follow in the Eventide Cemetery in Spencer.

Visiting will be from 5-8 PM Saturday at the Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home in Spencer.

Mae M. (McClain) Johnson

The Gilmer Free Press

Mae M. (McClain) Johnson

Age 97, went to be with the Lord Wednesday, January 28, 2015.

She was born on December 30, 1917 to the late Schuyler and Lovie (Greathouse) McClain.

Mae was retired from the UNINYS Corporation of Los Angeles, CA with 30 years of service.

She is also preceded in death by her husband, Given Johnson, and brothers, Pat, Bert, Earl, Delbert, Roy and Steve McClain; sister, Glenda Conley.

She is survived by sister, Eleanor L. Reese of Burnsville; brother, Sammy (Betty) of Lakemore, OH; several nieces and nephews.

Mae was protestant by faith.

She loved to travel, especially to Natural Bridge and Williamsburg, VA. She loved flowers; her favorite were Irises and Azaleas. She also loved to cook, sew, and enjoyed watching wildlife, especially birds and squirrels.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home at 378 Flatwoods Corner Road in Flatwoods, WV 26621.

Funeral Services will follow visitation at 2:00 PM at Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home with Reverend Ronzel Roberts officiating.

Interment will follow in I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Burnsville, WV.

The Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home of Flatwoods is honored to be serving the Johnson Family.

Ann Bland Edmiston Nangle

The Gilmer Free Press

Ann Bland Edmiston Nangle

Age 85, of Simsbury, Connecticut passed away Saturday, January 17, 2015, at John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington, after a short illness.

She was born December 08, 1929, in Weston, West Virginia: daughter of the late Andrew and Alice Merle (Williams) Edmiston, and had lived in Newburyport and Hamilton, Massachusetts for many years prior to moving to Simsbury, Connecticut eight-years ago.

She graduated from Cornell University Class of 1952 where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in English. Nangle was a member of the League of Women Voters in Hamilton, Massachusetts and enjoyed traveling abroad, reading and socializing.

She co-owned “The Anchorage” consignment store in Newburyport, Massachusetts for many years.

She is survived by her daughter, Dana (John) Scott of Simsbury, Connecticut; three sons, John B. Nangle of Amesbury, Massachusetts, Clinton E. “Gene” Nangle of Newburyport and Theodric E. “Rod” (Elizabeth) Nangle of Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts; and three grandchildren, Sam A. Scott of Simsbury, Conn., and Jacob A. and Joshua M. Nangle, both of Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts.

There was no calling hours.

A memorial service celebrating her life was held Saturday, January 24, at 3 PM at Trinity Episcopal Church, 11 Church Street in Tariffville, Connecticut.

Another memorial service will be held for her in the spring in Newburyport, Massachusetts with a final memorial service to be held in in early July in her hometown of Weston, West Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Kenneth Lane Stalnaker

The Gilmer Free Press

Kenneth Lane Stalnaker

Age 90, Old Route 33 Weston, WV passed away on Thursday, January 29, 2015 in Crestview Manor Nursing Home of Jane Lew following a brief illness.

He was born in Lewis County, WV on September 15, 1924: son of the late Lewis Hanson Stalnaker and Virgie May (Lane) Stalnaker.

On July 29, 1949, Mr. Stalnaker was married to Haroldine Mae (Greene) Stalnaker, who preceded him in death on April 14, 2014.

Mr. Stalnaker is survived by two daughters: Sandra Jo Stalnaker and partner Mark Smith of Smithburg, WV and Joyce Ellen (Thom) Zirkle of Ft. Myers, FL, three grandchildren: Brian Wright and partner Melissa Shirley, Breeanna Wright and fiance Ernie Hall and Amy Jones, four great grandchildren: Brian Conrad, Ryder Hall, Wyatt Hall and Quinn Hall and one great great grandchild: Brendon Conrad. He is also survived by three brothers: Gary Stalnaker, Zane Stalnaker and Nelson Stalnaker, one sister: Nell Hall and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife, Haroldine, Kenneth was preceded in death by one brother: Ralph Stalnaker and two sisters: Clara Reger and Doris Smith and a special friend his dog, Oliver.

Mr. Stalnaker was a master craftsman. He built homes for a living and upon retirement he crafted wooden furniture of all types including diningroom tables, curio cabinets and many other items.At a younger time in his life, Kenneth loved to hunt, bowling and golf. He was a veteran serving as a Pharmacist’s mate Third class in the United States Navy during World War II. He loved nature including birds, wild flowers and all wild animals. Mr. Stalnaker was an avid reader, mostly non-fiction and loved to learn new things. Kenneth was a family man. He loved spending time with his children , grandchildren , extended family and friends. He was also a special man, loving, kind, and generous and a man of fortitude and integrity.

Family and friends will be received at the Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home 730 N. Main Avenue Weston on Sunday, February 01, 2015 from 1-5 PM.

Funeral services will be held on Monday at 1:00 PM from the Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home chapel with Reverend Stephen White officiating.

Interment will follow services in the Georgetown Cemetery of Horner, WV.

Full military honors will be conducted by the Lewis County Honor Guard.

Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home of Weston is honored and privileged to serve the family of Kenneth Lane Stalnaker.

Nellie “Mae” Brown

The Gilmer Free Press

Nellie “Mae” Brown

Age 91, of Sutton, WV went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Braxton Health & Rehabilitation Center, Sutton.

She was born April 04, 1923 in Sutton, Braxton County, WV, the daughter of the late James & Emma Facemire Hosey.

Mae was a homemaker and a member of Spruce Lick United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Minter Brown, sisters, Irene Lynch, Thelma Ruth Webb, Wanda Jean Long, Betty Jenkins, and infants- Dorothy, Virginia, Phyllis, brothers, infant-Robert , Homer and Gaylord Hosey.

Mae is survived by her son; James “Russell” Dennison of Sutton and sister; Judy Thayer of Sutton.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM Tuesday, February 03, 2015 at Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton with Rev. Earl Elliott officiating.

Burial will follow at Barker Ridge Cemetery, near Sutton.

Friends may call Monday, February 02, 2015 6-8 PM at the funeral home.

Greene-Robertson Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Brown/Dennison family.

Derek Steve Hogue

The Gilmer Free Press

Derek Steve Hogue

Age 31, of Pennsboro, WV (Lamberton Road Community), departed this life on Wednesday, January 28, 2015.

Derek was born October 13, 1983, in Parkersburg, WV, the son of Steve and Lisa (Griffith) Hogue of Pennsboro, WV (Lamberton Road Community).

Derek was a proud graduate of Ritchie County High School with the class of 2002. He had a great passion for working on and operating computers. Derek also greatly enjoyed RC cars, dirt bike racing, and his video games. He will always be remembered by his wonderful personality and was always there to help anyone in need. He was truly loved by all and will be missed by many.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his sister, Darci Hogue of West Union, WV; maternal grandma, Ruby Griffith of Pennsboro, WV; aunts and uncles, Norma Ridgway of TX; Linda Freeland of Pennsboro, WV; Kimberly DuLaney of St. Marys, WV (Shultz Road); Teresa Jones of Pennsboro, WV; Pam Fox of Harrisville, WV; Mike Hogue, Pat Hogue, and Johnny Mac Hogue all of Pennsboro, WV; great aunts and uncles, Keith & Jean Cronin of Harrisville, WV and John & Shirley Hogue of NC; special cousins, Kristin Schmidt of New Matamoras, OH; Devon Hammett of Pennsboro, WV; Amanda McNally of Columbus, OH; Jaden & Garrett McNally of Columbus, OH; Dustin Rogers of Harrisville, WV; Kaitlyn DuLaney of St. Marys, WV; John Ridgway of TX; Cindy Fuchs of TX; and his cat, Macky. Derek will also be missed by Kaddessa, Deliah, Cooper, Sadie, Skylar, & Arianna.

He is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Edwin & Blondina Hogue; maternal grandpa, William Griffith Jr.; uncles, Charles “Charlie” Hogue; Craig Hogue; Eddie Jones, and his cousins, Glenn Lee Rogers III and Cory Jones.

Funeral services will be 1 PM, Monday, February 02, 2015, at McCullough Rogers Funeral Home, Pennsboro.

Burial will follow in the Ellenboro Masonic Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 3 PM - 8 PM on Sunday, at the funeral home.

Comics - Paying Respects

The Gilmer Free Press

GCHS Basketball Games Schedule, Cancellation, Postponement

The Gilmer Free Press

•  The Mini-Titan boys basketball game vs. Calhoun slated for 6:00 PM tonight is cancelled.

•  The Varsity girls basketball game scheduled for tonight at Roane County is cancelled; it has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 07, 2015 at 5:30 (JV) and 7:00 PM (Varsity).

•  The Varsity boys basketball game for Saturday, January 31, 2015 against Wirt County is still scheduled to be played.  JV will begin at 5:45 and varsity at 7:30 PM.  Doors will open at 5:15 PM.

Please support your local GCHS Titan teams!!

Salary Equity System for Teachers in WV Is Questioned

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia State Department of Education officials in their meeting with WV Legislature last week, indicated that it might be time to change the system of ensuring equity among teachers’ salaries across the state.

In the department’s presentation of its budget request, Joe Panetta, the department’s chief operations officer, noted that the cost of equity adjustments increased in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year. He said that is because of a provision that requires salaries in 45 counties to be at least 90% of the average salary of the top 10 counties. Three counties in the top 10 raised salaries this year, so that raised the average, requiring an extra $3.6 million in basic salaries, he said.

That came after Martirano said West Virginia is not producing enough teachers to fill all the teaching vacancies.  “We have 12 to 13 vacancies in one particular county where teachers are not in their certified field teaching our young people core content area in high school and teachers teaching out of their field,” he said, noting that neighboring states offer higher salaries.

“It seems we may have painted ourselves into an unsustainable situation.” – Delegate Paul Espinosa

Delegate Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, wondered whether letting the salary equity line increase in the budget in the way Panetta explained is a sustainable approach. “It seems like we’ve kind of locked ourselves into a situation, where even though student enrollment is declining, we’re going to see that line-item [increase], particularly as our growth counties see the additional need to enhance salaries – it seems we may have painted ourselves into an unsustainable situation,” Espinosa said.

Panetta explained that the approach for handling salary equity resulted from the court decision on the issue by Judge Arthur Recht more than 30 years ago. He said it would be fair to ask whether equity funding is still a priority and suggested perhaps a differential funding system should be considered. But that would be a decision for the legislature to make, Panetta added.

Martirano said, “Each one of our counties has a unique set of issues.” So he advised legislators to consider changing the School Aid Formula. “We had talked about the issue of equity and how the funding formula addresses [it], but we’re at a stage now where the one-size-fits-all model may not necessarily work based upon some of the needs we’re talking about.”

When Delegate Ron Walters, R-Kanawha, asked whether he ever expected to challenge the Recht decision, Martirano said he couldn’t make that prediction and would have to confer with others. Walters then questioned the constitutionality of the equity funding process.

“With equity funding, 10 counties could cause us to spend more money, and technically, under the governmental system that we have, the legislature appropriates the money,” he said.

Panetta said the public education system has gone from an input-based model when the Recht decision went into effect to an outcomes-based model. “So I don’t know that it would be an issue now,” he said about salary equity. “It seems like the requirements have shifted from the 80s to today.”

~~  Jim Wallace ~~

G-Eye™: Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting Report - Friday, 01.16.15

The Gilmer Free Press

GILMER COUNTY COMMISSION  
REPORT of REGULAR MEETING
January 16, 2015 @ 9:00 AM
Gilmer County Courthouse – Commission Office
10 Howard Street, Glenville, WV

[xx] = The order meeting was conducted (Video)

[1]  I. CALL TO ORDER: Meeting was Called to order by President Chapman. Commissioners Kennedy, Bennett; County Clerk Butcher and County Administrator Wilson were present.


[2]  II.  PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE TO THE U.S. FLAG: Pledge to Flag of United States was conducted.


[7]  III. PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Martin Hess, the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department Chief spoke about a program for first responders, and asked the commission to consider it. The program is training at no charge for anyone who joins the first responders. The program will be a great benefit because it puts everyone on the same page. He also spoke about an incident where the natural gas was off in Sand Fork area on a very cold night from 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM. He said they had to get electric heaters for the houses involved.


IV. APPOINTMENTS

None


V. ROUTINE BUSINESS:

      Discussion and/or action on:

[4]              1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations: None

[5]              2) Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements: They were approved.

[6]              3) Board Appointments and/or Resignations: None

                    a) Board Seats remain open on the:

                          i.  ** Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency - Dekalb/Troy & Glenville Corporation

[8]              4) Budget Revisions: Rvisions were presented by Angel Ball. It was approved.

[9]              5) Budget Control Report:  NONE

[24]              6) Approve invoices for payment: Invoices totaling $180,165.50 were approved for payment.

[10]              7) County Commission Minutes for 01.02.2015: : It was approved.

[11]              8) Receipt of County Board Minutes:

                    a)  Gilmer County Public Service District 06.09; 07.14; 08.11; 09.08; 10.13; 11.10; and 12.18.14

                    b)  E-911 Addressing Report for December 2014

                    c)  E-911 Advisory Board 12.08.2014

Commission acknowledged the receipt of the minutes. These minutes are available for review if desired by any citizen.


VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

[12]              1) Right of Way on Kanawha Street, Camden Flats Subdivision as Inquired by Pat Golden-Update: No Updates. Awaiting Commission Counsel, the Prosecutor Hough for response.

[13]              2) Courthouse Basement Project – Completed with a few exceptions:  90% of the payment will be made with 10% on hold until everything is finished.

[14]              3)  Commissioner Bennett’s request for Reimbursement of Insurance Premiums: Commissioner Chapman indicated it was premature to make any decision at this time. Postponed until next meeting.

[15]              4)  2015 Schedule of Regular Meetings for the County Commission were approved as follow:

The Gilmer Free Press


VII. NEW BUSINESS:

      Discussion and/or action on:

[16]              1)  Per State Auditor’s Office - Ambulance Authority FY 2014 Audit to be performed at the cost of $3,750

[17]              2)  Schedule working session to discuss Voting Precincts: Because of school consolidation and closing, Jean Butcher, the County Clerk said new location(s) is needed. She mentioned having all the precincts at a central location, but the commissioners were not in favor of it.

[18]              3)  Courthouse Basement Project Grant Final Report and Request for Reimbursement of $ 72,621 was signed.

[19]              4)  WV Motor Fuel Tax Refund Application submitted in the amount of $1,007.10 for July – December 2014 was signed.

[20]              5)  Assessor’s PVC Budget for FY 2015-16 was received. Assessor get up to 20% of the amount for use in his office & work. Commission Chapman asked whether the assessor needed the entire amount. Commission can change this amount if necessary.

[21]              6)  A letter from Brenda Nott RE:  Introduction of Legislative Bill called “Sarah Nott’s Law” was received.

[22]              7)  “Drug Take Back” Box now located in the Sheriff’s Office: There is a prescription drug drop off box at the Sheriff’s office permanently. Sheriff Gerwig said WVDA will pick up the drugs regularly.

[23]              8)  Renewal of Office of Emergency Management Personnel Contracts: Tabled until next meeting.


VIII. OTHER BUSINESS

Jean Butcher, County Clerk said: One of her employees, Rosie has turned in a letter for resignation. no one will be hired for this position at this time.

Cindy Wilson, Administrator said: The following Friday anyone could setup at the Capitol to represent the county. It was initiated by delegate Roger Hanshaw. Those who were interested were to call Cindy Wilson by Wednesday.


IX. EXECUTIVE SESSION AS NEEDED: None


[25]  X.    ADJOURNMENT


NEXT MEETING: February 06, 2015 at 9:00 AM

 

Click H E R E to Watch the Video

WVSBDC Offers Small Business Workshop in Braxton County

The Gilmer Free Press

People who own a business or who are interested in starting their own business will find valuable help at a workshop on Business Fundamentals, scheduled for 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Tuesday, February 17, 2015 in Braxton County.

The workshop is part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC) training and business coaching program, Three Step Jump Start, which helps small business owners receive the right information at the right time. The workshop is being co-sponsored by the Braxton County Development Authority and will be held in the Braxton Technology Center, 89 Richard D. Minnich Drive, (off of Days Drive next the Braxton County Emergency Service Building).

Three Step Jump Start helps entrepreneurs and small business owners in West Virginia accelerate their potential success by learning the structure and services provided by WVSBDC. The first step is to view the Three Step Jump Start video on the agency’s website, www.wvsbdc.org.

“Sometimes it’s hard to even know where to start when thinking about owning a business,” said BCDA Program Manager Terrell Ellis. “Even after you’ve opened your business, it seems like there are always a thousand questions. A workshop like this will introduce people to the experts at the WVSBDC and what they can do to help.”

After viewing the online Three Step Jump Start video, individuals can attend the Business Fundamentals workshop, designed specifically for startups and new businesses. The workshop provides essential information on what an entrepreneur needs to know to start a business successfully. There is a $35-per-person fee for the workshop. Attendees can pay at the door the day of the event or pay online. Receipts from online payments should be printed and brought with attendees to the workshop the day of the event.

Registration is required at least two days in advance. To register, call Samuel Payne at 304.553.2805 or email .

After completing the workshop, interested entrepreneurs or business owners may schedule a no-cost appointment with WVSBDC for one-on-one coaching sessions. The WVSBDC coaches provide assistance with business plan development, financial statement preparation, cash flow analysis and other services.

“The economic vitality of Braxton County is tied to how well our small businesses are doing,” said Jeff Lilly, president of the Braxton County Development Authority. “We are pleased to help sponsor this workshop and hope that people will take advantage of this great resource. If you own a business, or are thinking about opening one, the folks at the WVSBDC can answer your questions and help you be successful.”

The WVSBDC is part of the West Virginia Development Office and creates economic impact through offering entrepreneurs and small businesses cost-effective business coaching and technical assistance. The West Virginia SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The WVSBDC is an Accredited Member of America’s SBDC network.

Gilmer County Commission Financial Statement, June 30, 2014

GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
STATEMENT OF NET POSITION
June 30, 2014
Primary
Government Component Units
Governmental Board of Parks and Health Ambulance
Activities Health Recreation Center Authority
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 740,939 $ 49,495 $ 9,331 $ 22,159 $ 19,787
Receivables:
Taxes 183,282
Accounts 797
Total current assets 924,221 49,495 9,331 22,159 20,584
Capital assets:
Nondepreciable:
Land 278,770
Depreciable:
Buildings 2,896,365
Machinery and equipment 394,704 29,836 439,139
Vehicles 336,499
Less: accumulated depreciation ( 2,359,484)
Total noncurrent assets 1,546,854 29,836 439,139
Total assets $ 2,471,075 $ 49,495 $ 39,167 $ 22,159 $ 459,723
LIABILITIES
Current liabilities payable
from current assets:
Accounts payable 41,456 ( 357) 8,253
Payroll payable 408 ( 717) ( 149,021)
OPEB payable 788,853 265,382
Noncurrent liabilities:
Leases payable - due within one year 11,577
Leases payable - due in more than one year 20,906
Compensated absences payable 26,137
Total liabilities 888,929 ( 357) 408 ( 717) 124,614
NET POSITION
Invested in capital assets,
net of related debt 1,514,371 - - 29,836 439,139
Unrestricted 67,775 49,852 8,923 22,876 ( 104,030)
Total net position 1,582,146 49,852 38,759 22,876 335,109
Total liabilities and net position $ 2,471,075 $ 49,495 $ 39,167 $ 22,159 $ 459,723



LIABILITIES, DEFERRED INFLOWS AND FUND BALANCES
Liabilities:
Accounts payable 41,456 - - - - 41,456
OPEB payable 761,287 27,566 788,853
Total liabilities 802,743 27,566 830,309
Deferred Inflows:
Unavailable revenue - taxes 127,256 28,809 156,065
Total deferred inflows of resources 127,256    
Total liabilities and deferred inflows of resources 929,999    
Fund balances:
Restricted 92 52,596 52,688
Assigned 56,652 56,652
Unassigned ( 166,309) ( 5,184) ( 171,493)
Total fund balances ( 166,309) 56,652 92 47,412 ( 62,153)
Total liabilities, deferred inflows and fund balances $ 763,690 $ 56,652 $ 92 $   $ 768,156



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
RECONCILIATION OF THE BALANCE SHEET - GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS
TO THE STATEMENT OF NET POSITION
June 30, 2014
Total fund balances on the governmental fund’s balance sheet $ ( 62,153)
Amounts reported for governmental activities in the statement of net position are different because:
Capital assets used in governmental activities are not financial resources and are therefore not reported in the funds. (Note IV.C.) 1,546,854
Certain revenues are not available to fund current year expenditures and therefore are deferred in the funds. (Note IV.B.) 156,065
Long-term liabilities are not due and payable in the current period and therefore are not reported in the funds. (Note IV.G.) ( 58,620)
Net position of governmental activities $ 1,582,146



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES
AND CHANGES IN FUND BALANCES -
GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS
For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014
Coal Small Cities Other Nonmajor Total
Severance Block Governmental Governmental
General Tax Grant Funds Funds
REVENUES
Taxes:
Ad valorem property taxes $ 1,607,055 $ - - $ - - $ 298,777 $ 1,905,832
Other taxes 22,163 5,816 27,979
Coal severance tax 26,244 26,244
Licenses and permits 5,681 12,470 18,151
Intergovernmental:
Federal 85,622 1,113,342 1,198,964
State 73,176 73,176
Charges for services 623,521 25,508 649,029
Fines and forfeits 18,226 32,383 50,609
Interest and investment earnings 3,699 49 46 3,794
Refunds 33,076 33,076
Contributions and donations 3,838 3,838
Miscellaneous 94,242 123,784 218,026
Total revenues 2,570,299 26,293 1,113,342 498,784 4,208,718
EXPENDITURES
Current:
General government 1,804,290 91,803 - - 79,791 1,975,884
Public safety 930,786 219,887 1,150,673
Health and sanitation 6,501 1,113,342 1,119,843
Culture and recreation 88,542 130,933 219,475
Capital outlay 42,064 42,064
Total expenditures 2,872,183 91,803 1,113,342 430,611 4,507,939
Excess (deficiency) of revenues
over expenditures ( 301,884) ( 65,510) 68,173 ( 299,221)
OTHER FINANCING SOURCES (USES)
Transfers in 84,994 - - - - 84,994
Transfers (out) ( 84,994) ( 84,994)
Total other financing
sources (uses) 84,994 ( 84,994)
Net change in fund balances ( 216,890) ( 65,510) ( 16,821) ( 299,221)
Fund balances - beginning 50,581 122,162 92 64,233 237,068
Fund balances - ending $ ( 166,309) $ 56,652 $ 92 $ 47,412 $ ( 62,153)



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
RECONCILIATION OF THE STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES
AND CHANGES IN FUND BALANCES OF GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS TO
THE STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES
For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014
Amounts reported for governmental activities in the statement of activities are different because:
Net change in fund balances - total governmental funds $ (299,221)
Capital outlays are reported as an expenditure in the governmental funds, but are considered an asset at the government-wide level. This is the amount of capital assets that were purchased during the fiscal year. (Note II) 109,930
Capital outlays are reported as an expenditure in the governmental funds. In the statement of activities, the cost of those assets is allocated over their estimated useful lives and reported as depreciation expense. This is the amount of depreciation expense charged during the year. (Note IV.C.) ( 131,797)
Revenues in the statement of activities that do not provide current financial resources are not reported as revenues in the funds. This is the difference between prior and current year deferred revenues. ( 22,631)
Prior year deferred revenues:  $178,696
Current year deferred revenues:  $156,065
Some expenses reported in the statement of activities do not require the use of current financial resources and, therefore, are not reported as expenditures in governmental funds. (Note IV.G.) 1,922
Change in net position of governmental activities $ ( 341,797)



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES AND CHANGES
IN FUND BALANCE - BUDGET AND ACTUAL - GENERAL FUND
For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014
Variance with
Budgeted Amounts Actual Adjustments Actual Amounts Final Budget
Modified Budget Budget Positive
Original Final Accrual Basis Basis Basis (Negative)
REVENUES
Taxes:
Ad valorem property taxes $ 1,564,807 1,571,829 $ 1,607,055 $ ( 4,867) $ 1,602,188 $ 30,359
Gas and oil severance tax 80,000 80,000 ( 80,000)
Other taxes 17,000 21,288 22,163 22,163 875
Licenses and permits 200 5,654 5,681 5,681 27
Intergovernmental:
Federal 10,000 54,884 85,622 85,622 30,738
State 50,000 60,706 73,176 73,176 12,470
Charges for services 210,594 710,956 623,521 623,521 ( 87,435)
Fines and forfeits 20,000 3,100 18,226 18,226 15,126
Interest and investment earnings 2,050 15,379 3,699 ( 3,355) 344 ( 15,035)
Refunds 10,000 47,149 33,076 33,076 ( 14,073)
Contributions and donations 55,000 35,838 3,838 32,000 35,838
Miscellaneous 79,800 89,822 94,242 94,242 4,420
Total revenues 2,099,451 2,696,605 2,570,299 23,778 2,594,077 ( 102,528)
EXPENDITURES
Current:
General government 1,848,005 2,285,247 1,804,290 45,664 1,849,954 435,293
Public safety 584,652 1,071,292 930,786 93,931 1,024,717 46,575
Health and sanitation 7,000 15,300 6,501 6,501 8,799
Culture and recreation 20,000 113,472 88,542 ( 2,410) 86,132 27,340
Capital outlay 47,565 42,064 5,217 47,281 284
Total expenditures 2,459,657 3,532,876 2,872,183 142,402 3,014,585 518,291
Excess (deficiency) of revenues
over expenditures ( 360,206) ( 836,271) ( 301,884) ( 118,624) ( 420,508) 415,763

OTHER FINANCING SOURCES (USES)
Transfers in 60,206 259,191 84,994 168,000 252,994 ( 6,197)
Total other financing
sources (uses) 60,206 259,191 84,994 168,000 252,994 ( 6,197)
Net change in fund balance ( 300,000) ( 577,080) ( 216,890) 49,376 ( 167,514) 409,566
Fund balance - beginning 300,000 577,080 50,581 526,499 577,080
Fund balance - ending $ $ $ ( 166,309) $ 575,875 $ 409,566 $ 409,566



GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES AND CHANGES
IN FUND BALANCE - BUDGET AND ACTUAL - COAL SEVERANCE TAX FUND
For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014
Variance with
Budgeted Amounts Actual Amounts Final Budget
Budget Positive
Original Final Basis (Negative)
REVENUES
Taxes:
Coal severance tax $ 15,000 15,000 $ 26,244 $ 11,244
Interest and investment earnings 100 100 49 ( 51)
Total revenues 15,100 15,100 26,293 11,193
EXPENDITURES
Current:
General government 115,000 137,262 91,803 45,459
Total expenditures 115,000 137,262 91,803 45,459
Net change in fund balance ( 99,900) ( 122,162) ( 65,510) 56,652
Fund balance - beginning 99,900 122,162 122,162
Fund balance - ending $ - - $ - - $ 56,652 $ 56,652

Gilmer County Schools Newsletter - January 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

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The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville City Council Meeting - 02.02.15

The Gilmer Free Press

AGENDA
Glenville City Council
February 02, 2015
7:00 PM

Pledge of Allegiance


I. Call To Order


II. Public

      A. Approval of Minutes – January 05,  2015 - Minutes of last meeting


Recorder


III. Reports

      B. Financial

      C. Street Report

      D. Police -

      E. Glenville Utility -

      F. Recorder-  Election/January 12 – 31, 2015 file period update

      G. Mayor’s Comments :

              - Boots for the two street workers

              - Grant Update

              - Plow/lift kit

              - City Park

              - Update on Street Department Remodeling

              -


IV. Unfinished Business


V. New Business

      Ordinance 300-10


VI. Other Business to come before council


VII. Next council meeting – March 02, 2015 at 7:00 PM


VIII. Adjourn

West Virginia News   150130

The Gilmer Free Press

WALMART TO HIRE 300 EMPLOYEES FOR FLATWOODS STORE

Walmart is currently accepting applications for the position.

Walmart has set up a temporary hiring center at 273 Skidmore Lane in Flatwoods.

They are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You can also apply online.

About 300 jobs are available.

According to store manager Bobbi-Jo Mealey the store will be hiring both full- and part-time associates. “We look forward to meeting energetic applicants to help build our team,“ said Mealey.

The majority of new associates will begin work this April to help prepare the store for its grand opening.

Through Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, they will offer a job to any qualified veteran who has been honorably discharged within the past 12 months.


WEST LIBERTY PRESIDENT ACCUSED OF VIOLATING ETHICS LAW

West Liberty University President Robin Capehart faces allegations that he violated state ethics law by using university resources to promote his film company.

Media outlets report that the allegations are contained in a complaint released Wednesday by the West Virginia Ethics Commission. The commission has scheduled an April 16 hearing.

The commission’s Probable Cause Review Board alleges that Capehart used a state purchasing card for expenses related to promoting “Doughboy,“ a 2011 movie produced by his company, Flyover Films. Capehart also is accused of using university computer equipment for the film’s production and promotion, and of using the school’s television station to promote the film.

Capehart denied the allegations in a statement to media outlets.

West Liberty’s Board of Governors says it will take any necessary action when appropriate.


WV DELEGATE APPEALS FOR DONATIONS FOR VETERANS’ PROGRAM

Delegate Joshua Nelson is seeking donations of farm equipment for a program that gives a hand to veterans getting into farming.

The Boone Republican is making the appeal for the Veterans and Warriors Agriculture Program. Nelson says the programs rents the equipment at a low rate so veterans can start farming and make a living for themselves.

The donations are eligible for tax write-offs.

The program’s director is James McCormick, who led a similar non-profit with the similar goal of getting veterans into farming.

Nelson served with the U.S. Marines from 2006 to 2011 and currently serves with the West Virginia Air National Guard.


CENSUS: 1 IN 5 CHILDREN ON FOOD STAMPS

Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation’s economy tumbled in 2008.

Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring.

The number of people receiving food stamps — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — spiked through the recession and has stayed at a higher level since. In the 2007 Census survey, 9 million children received SNAP assistance.

Participation and spending appear to be going down, though. The Congressional Budget Office said this week that the government spent $76 billion on SNAP last year, down 8% from the year before. That was the first time spending went down since the beginning of the recession.

Around 46.5 million people received food stamps last year, according to the Agriculture Department, which oversees the aid, up from around 26 million in 2007. Participation is expected to decrease over the next 10 years, though higher food costs could keep spending up.

Half of the children receiving food stamps in the Census survey — 8 million — were living only with their mothers. Around 5 million children receiving food stamps lived with married parents.

The spike in food stamp spending has caught the attention of Congress, and House Republicans tried to cut the program by around $4 billion a year in 2013. In an eventual compromise, Congress agreed to cuts of around $800 million a year, policy that was signed into law by President Barack Obama early last year as part of a larger farm bill. Since then, many states have found ways to get around the cuts.

The SNAP program will still be under scrutiny in the new Republican Congress. The new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, and the new chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, are both expected to take a look at food stamp spending in the coming year.

Billy Shore, the founder and CEO of Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger group, said childhood hunger doesn’t get enough attention. His group is pushing Congress to leave the food stamp program untouched and to find new ways to end childhood poverty.

“These kids are the most vulnerable and the least responsible for the situation in which they find themselves,“ he said.


2010 HARRISON COUNTY CONVICTED MURDERER SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON

A man convicted of a 2010 murder in Clarksburg was sentenced to life in prison.

Ennis Charles Payne II, age 39, of Clarksburg was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit burglary by a jury in November.

Judge James Matish ruled that Payne be sentenced to life in prison with mercy on the murder charge and 1-5 years on the conspiracy charge. The sentences will run consecutively.

Before the sentencing, the victim’s family members spoke in favor of Payne being locked away while the victim’s daughter, who was eight-year-old at the time of the murder, spoke in hope of the result bringing closure. The state argued Payne should recieve the maximum sentence due to the fact he should be considered a threat to society, citing his criminal history which includes three other felonies.

In January of 2010, Payne, along with codefendant Darnell Bouie, age 37, of Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, planned to rob Jayar Poindexter, age 30, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, of drugs and money at his Clarksburg residence in the Quarry Apartments while he was not at home. However, when it was discovered that Poindexter was in the residence, Payne shot Poindexter in the chest, killing him.

Additionally, Matish ruled Payne pay restitution in the amount of $11,516.80, with $7,000 being paid to the state crime victims compensation fund and the remaining money to be paid to Poindexter’s mother to help cover funeral and other costs.

Bouie received a similar life sentence in March with similar requirements for paying restitution. Should Bouie be unable to pay his restitution, Payne would assume the responsibility.

Payne has the right to appeal the decision if he submits a request within 30 days.

With the mercy ruling, he will be up for parole 15 years after the date of his incarceration, September 18, 2012.


WV GOP WANTS ELECTION CHANGES IN POSSIBLE MANCHIN GOV BID

As U.S. Senator Joe Manchin considers a 2016 return bid for governor, Republicans hope to block him from handpicking his Senate successor for two years.

If he reclaims his old job, the Democrat will have served enough of his Senate term that he, as new governor, could name the next senator through 2018.

With majorities in the House and Senate for the first time in more than eight decades, Republicans can stymie Manchin’s ability to name a potential replacement.

Republican House Speaker Tim Armstead said his party has already drafted an election law change requiring special elections, not appointments, in cases like Manchin’s.

Manchin first won his Senate seat in a special election after Democratic Senator Robert Byrd died in 2010. There was debate then about special elections versus appointments.


HUNTERS KILL 105 DEER DURING MORGANTOWN’S 2014 URBAN HUNT

Hunters killed fewer deer during Morgantown’s 2014 urban archery hunt than they did the previous year.

The city said Thursday that 105 deer were killed during the four-month hunt that ended December 31. That’s down from 137 deer killed in 2013.

Local shelters and kitchens received 853 pounds of ground venison from 35 deer donated during the 2014 hunt.

Registration for a lottery for new hunters will begin March 01 and run through March 31.


EX-WVU PARKERSBURG EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO TAKING MONEY

A former West Virginia University at Parkersburg employee faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to using school funds for personal expenses.

Kevin Francis Offenberger is scheduled to be sentenced in April. He pleaded guilty this week in Wood County Circuit Court to felony fraudulent scheme and felony use of a purchase card.

Assistant prosecuting attorney Patrick Lefebure says Offenberger used a university-issued purchase card for about $54,000 in personal expenses between January 2009 and October 2013.

WVU-Parkersburg spokeswoman Katie Wootoon declined to comment on the case.


CHARTER SCHOOLS IN WV SENATE

The West Virginia Senate Education Committee has started work on legislation opening West Virginia to public charter schools. Committee members heard a detailed discussion of SB 14 Thursday afternoon, but put off discussion until next week.

Bill supporters argue West Virginia school students continue lag behind the rest of the nation.

They want to give parents, teachers and community leaders the option to create schools that operate independently of local boards.

In return for the flexibility, charter schools are expected to produce better results, especially with minority students and children from poor families.

Under the bill, charters would be issued to schools for five year terms. They would be publicly funded, open to all students and governed by a nine-member board of parents, teachers, the school principal, a school service worker, a representative of business and a person with knowledge of finance.

Charter schools would be subject to the same student assessment and accreditation requirements as non-charter schools.

The proposal is controversial. At a public hearing Wednesday night speakers were split down the middle on the merits of charter schools. The state’s two teacher unions are adamantly opposed to the bill.

West Virginia is one of eight states that do not allow charter schools.


PRESTON COUNTY CHIROPRACTOR CONVICTED

A Preston County chiropractor was convicted Thursday on 12 criminal counts in connection with a former patient.

Stephen Herto, age 48, sent explicit emails to a 16-year-old girl.

He admitted in testimony Wednesday that he’d been foolish.


CTC CHANCELLOR ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION

The only chancellor the West Virginia Community and Technical College System has ever had announced his resignation Thursday.

Skidmore was named chancellor of the system in 2004 not long after the legislature created it. His community and technical college career in West Virginia has stretched for 29 years.

“Jim has devoted most of his professional career to the advancement of community and technical college education in West Virginia,” Community and Technical College Council Chairman Clarence “Butch” Pennington said in a prepared release. “Our council appreciates his commitment, professionalism, and dedication in serving as our Chancellor.”

The council will establish a search committee.


DRIVER KILLED IN GREENBRIER COUNTY ACCIDENT

A Greenbrier County man was killed Thursday morning in a single-car crash on Interstate 64.

Greenbrier County sheriff’s deputies said Travis McClung, age 27, of Clintonville, lost control of his car and slammed into a guardrail. McClung was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

The wreck took place place at around 8:30 AM.

GFP - 01.30.2015
NewsPolitics | Government | ElectionState-WV(2) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~


What % of children in Gilmer County’s schools are on food stamps and how does this compare to prosperous parts of America? We are not comparing us to poor foreign countries. The same question could be asked for family and per capita incomes in the County.

By Food Stamp Family  on  01.30.2015

Hungry children do not learn well or preform well.  Any teacher will confirm.
The outcomes are even worse when the same children are forced into an through a failed education system such as ours.
Recently an article appeared in a publication that simply stated: 
***public school education plus 2 years of college equal a high school education of 25 years ago”
One might suspect this is true, especially with all the remediation we keep hearing about.  Our future generation is being cheated, hence the futures of mankind.

By it matters  on  01.30.2015

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Report: What You Have to Earn to Be in the 1% in Every State

The Gilmer Free Press

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute says that the benefits from the economic recovery are being enjoyed by the nation’s top 1% of income earners while the rest of us still languish with relatively stagnant, even falling, wages.

Overall income grew by nearly 37% since 1979, but growth for “1 Percenters” was some 181%. When factoring the 1% out, the 99% saw their income grow only by 2.6%. Moreover, after the recovery from the Great Recession, the top 1% have enjoyed “an alarming share of economic growth.”

According to University of California/Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, who is cited in the report, the top 1% captured 95% of the total income growth between 2009 and 2012.

“In previous recoveries, the majority of income growth was accounted for by the bottom 99%,” said Mark Price, a labor economist who co-authored the study.

Price says several factors, including a minimum wage that hasn’t kept up with the rate inflation, declining union membership, and an extremely slow recovery from the Great Recession, are the primary factors why a vast majority of Americans haven’t seen their incomes rise over the past several years.

The Institute’s report, “The Increasingly Unequal United States of America,“ details the disparity in wealth, not only for the nation, but in every U.S. state. It’s based on tax data collected every year by the Internal Revenue Service.

Added to the report is a map that details income inequality by state, and shows how much income it would take to be a 1 Percenter in each state and the District of Columbia.

So, what does it take to make it into the 1% of earners? In Arkansas, you’d need to pull in $228,000 a year. In Connecticut, the threshold is $678,000, which also happens to have the greatest income disparity of all states. The Nutmeg State’s 1% makes 51 times more money than what the rest of the wage earners average in the state. By comparison, Hawaii’s 1% make just under 15 times the  amount as other wage earners there.

Look at the Economic Policy Institute’s map, below, to see how bad income disparity is in your state.

The Gilmer Free Press

Movie Review: ‘Cake’

A wintry pall enshrouds even the sunniest Los Angeles locales in “Cake,” a drab, dramatically inert redemption story enlivened by a sharp performance by Jennifer Aniston.

This quiet, dressed-down turn shouldn’t be considered much of a departure for the former “Friends” star, as she has already delivered similarly impressive performances in such indie films as “The Good Girl” and “Friends With Money.” Here, playing a deeply scarred woman coping with chronic pain, unresolved trauma and an alarming fascination with the suicide of an acquaintance, she proves that her comic gifts of timing and delivery serve her well, even in the most dire of circumstances.

The Gilmer Free Press


We meet Claire Bennett, Aniston’s walking-wounded heroine, just as she’s being kicked out of her chronic-pain support group for “anger issues.” Spiky, brutally frank and heavily addicted to a cocktail composed of Percocet and vodka, she could be Nurse Jackie’s smart, sardonically inclined younger sister: a grimacing, darkly funny tell-it-like-it-izzer with the uncanny ability to get a bead on everyone except herself. She may possess a quick wit, but it’s a biting one — figuratively and literally, when she spontaneously takes a household employee to bed after eyeing him working next to the pool.

“Cake” is structured as something of a mystery as far as the source of Claire’s psychic and physical wounds, but viewers will suss out the situation within minutes. That could be a testament to Aniston’s expressive talents, but it also suggests that screenwriter Patrick Tobin and director Daniel Barnz have created a schematic tale of overcoming grief and guilt that ultimately feels more calculating than genuinely bold or new, even with a few touches of magical realism. The same goes for the series of encounters that spur Claire along a bumpy journey that veers between hope and self-annihilation, from her loyal, patient housekeeper (played with graceful authority by Adriana Barraza) to a handsome widower played by Sam Worthington.

“Cake’s” supporting ensemble — including Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Anna Kendrick and Chris Messina — adds to the feeling that, more than anything else, this bleak, feel-good exercise has been machined primarily as a vehicle for Aniston’s bid for seriousness, a gambit that has paid off with Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations. (She serves as an executive producer of the project.) There’s no doubt that Aniston deserves more roles like this one but, with luck, in less maudlin, more surprising movies.

★ ½

R. Contains profanity, substance abuse and brief sexuality. 102 minutes.

The Legislature Today 01.29.2015

At the legislature today, lawmakers were updated on a bill that passed two years ago and its effect on overcrowding in the state’s jails and prisons.

But correction officials say it will take more money to continue implementing the new law.

And does the state Public Service Commission have too much control over your local water utility?

Some small public service districts say yes.

These stories plus a look the education issues facing lawmakers on The Legislature Today.

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The Gilmer Free Press

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