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Identifying Early Spring Waterfowl

The Gilmer Free Press

Though song bird migration peaks in May, early spring is a great time to learn and review waterfowl identification. Binoculars and a field guide are the essential tools.

To find waterfowl, visit lakes, ponds, flooded meadows and rivers, especially near dams. These are the habitats ducks frequent as they head north in spring.

First, notice how a duck behaves on the water. If it feeds on the surface by tipping its hind end into the air and stretching its neck beneath the water, it’s a dabbling duck. To fly, dabblers jump directly upward off the water.

If, on the other hand, a duck dives beneath the surface of the water to feed, it’s a diving duck. To fly, divers must patter along the surface to get airborne. That’s because their legs sit to the rear of the body to facilitate diving. This leg position makes divers ungainly on land, but they are excellent swimmers.

Here’s a brief guide to the key features of some male ducks you might encounter on local waterways. Hens are duller and require a bit more experience to identify, though in the spring, they typically associate with drakes of their own species.

 

Dabblers:

Wood Duck (1.3 lb.) — conspicuous slick-backed crest; multi-colored gorgeous bird; red eye ring, red bill; white throat and cheek markings; cavity-nester.

Mallard (2.4 lb.) — green head, white collar, yellow bill, chestnut breast, curly-cue tail.

American Wigeon (1.6 lb.) — white forehead and crown; green mask; white inner wing patch in flight.

Northern Pintail (1.8 lb.) — chocolate brown head; white breast with narrow white finger extending up neck; long pointed tail.

Northern Shoveler (1.3 lb.) — green head; large spatula-shaped bill; white breast; brown sides; powder blue shoulder patch in flight.

Teal — two eastern species, both small; blue-winged teal (13 oz.) — powder blue shoulder patch in flight and wears an obvious white crescent on face; green-winged teal (12 oz.) — the smallest dabbler; chestnut head with green ear patch that extends down neck; iridescent green patch on wing.

 

Divers:

Canvasback (2.7 lb.) — dark rusty head; profile of head angular; black bill and breast; light-colored back; favors deeper water.

Redhead (2.3 lb.) — rusty head; profile of head a bit concave rather than angular; breast black, back gray.

Ring-necked Duck (1.5 lb.) — poorly named; white ring near bill tip; head may appear pointed; gold eye; dark head, breast, and back; sides gray.

Common Goldeneye (1.9 lb.) — dark head with round white cheek patch; gold eye; breast and sides white; cavity-nester.

Bufflehead (13 oz.) — small; dark head with large white bonnet; white breast and sides; cavity-nester.

Mergansers — three species; all have “toothed” bill for catching fish; common merganser (3.4 lb.) is large with green head and red bill; white body, black back; cavity-nester; red-breasted merganser (2.3 lb.) has green head with shaggy crest, wide white collar, and streaked rusty breast; hooded merganser (1.4 lb.) has black bill, black crested head; when crest is fanned, large white patch appears; gold eye; chestnut sides; cavity-nester.

Ruddy Duck (1.2 lb.) — chunky compact duck; tail often cocked upward; head dark with large white cheeks; bill blue; body chestnut.

Other waterfowl you might encounter this time of year include a variety of much larger geese and swans.

Canada Geese (6 to 12 pounds) — widespread and common. Often loaf at city parks, golf courses and athletic fields, where their droppings foul the landscape. Identified by a conspicuous white chinstrap that marks the black head and neck.

Snow Geese (5 to 8 pounds) — stocky white geese with black primary wing feathers and a pink bill.

Tundra Swans (14.4 pounds) — large and all white; usually seen flying overhead in migration. Most individuals show a bit of yellow between the eye and the base of the black bill.

Trumpeter Swans (23 pounds) — huge and white with black bill. Once quite rare in the east, their numbers have rebounded in recent years.

Mute Swans (22 pounds) — huge and white with large orange bill. Native to Eurasia. Introduced to North America to populate parks and private lands; often a pest by harassing native waterfowl and destroying aquatic vegetation.

~~  Dr. Scott Shalaway - 2222 Fish Ridge Road, Cameron, WV 26033 ~~

$600 Million Fracking Company Sues Tiny Ohio Town for Its Water

The Gilmer Free Press

A massive fracking company, Gulfport Energy, an oil and natural gas exploration and production company worth $600 million, is suing a small Ohio town for its water. Gulfport filed a lawsuit against the village of Barnesville (pop. 5,000) claiming the town violated an agreement to provide water from its reservoir.

Barnesville recently entered another contract with a company named Antero Resources. Gulfport believes the town is violating its previous contract by allowing a new company to use more water than Gulfport is allowed to.

There’s a huge problem with this argument: the town admits it cut off Gulfport’s withdrawals before, but it did so last year when Gulfport was the only company using the water, therefore it seems illogical to blame it on the new contract. The area’s Slope Creek Reservoir supplies water to all the residents of Barnesville as well as thousands of other people in nearby towns.

According to ShalePlay Ohio:

David Castle, a spokesman for a group known as the Concerned Barnesville Area Residents, said frackers had been drawing water from the reservoir until officials told them to stop last fall because the water level dropped so low.

“It’s been a tremendous source of concern for the community. We sent a petition signed by 2,500 people to Gulfport asking them to move their drilling pads farther away from the reservoir,“ Castle said.

The massive drilling boom in Ohio has increased concern about safety issues connected to fracking. 25 families were forced to leave their homes last year after a natural gas leak began at a fracking well. Attempts to stop fracking in the area have proved to be a massive challenge, as the EPA lacks authority and the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that towns can’t ban the practice through law.

~~  Michael Arria ~~

Governor and First Lady Tomblin Announce Plans for Annual Easter Carnival

The Gilmer Free Press

Carnival to be held on Saturday, April 04, 2015 at State Capitol Complex


CHARLESTON, WV – Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin announced plans for the 2015 Easter Carnival on Saturday, April 04, 2015 from 11 AM to 1 PM at State Capitol Complex.

“Joanne and I always look forward to the annual Easter Carnival, and we hope West Virginians from across the state will plan to join us again this year to kick-off the spring season in the Mountain State,” Governor Tomblin said. “The day will be filled with family-friendly activities across the Capitol Complex, including the seventh annual A. James Manchin Memorial Marble Tournament at the Culture Center.”

“The Governor and I invite all West Virginians, young and old, to join us for a fun-filled celebration of the season,” First Lady Tomblin said. “We look forward to continuing this wonderful tradition, and we hope that this year’s Easter carnival will be the biggest one yet.”

The North Plaza of the State Capitol Complex will be transformed into an Easter Carnival complete with games, prizes, food and an appearance by the Easter Bunny.  Door prizes for children 12 years old and under will be awarded at noon. 

Immediately following the Easter Carnival, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History will host the seventh annual A. James Manchin Memorial Marble Tournament.

For more information about the tournament, contact Chris Reed, cultural program specialist for the Division, at 304.558.0220 x 185.

West Virginia News   150329

The Gilmer Free Press

ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK MORRISEY REMINDS CONSUMERS OF TIPS TO PROTECT THEIR INFORMATION FROM COLLECTION AGENCIES

CHARLESTON, WV — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today reminded consumers of tips they should remember when dealing with debt and credit collection agencies. In 2014, issues with credit cards and collection agencies were among the Top 10 most common complaints received by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.

“This week is National Consumer Protection Week, and our Office wants to remind consumers that they have certain rights when it comes to debt collection,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “While consumers should always pay the debt they owe, debit and credit collection agencies must play by the rules and treat West Virginia consumers with respect.”

Collection agencies must adhere to the following additional rules as part of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:

  •  Calls before 8 AM or after 9 PM are prohibited.

  •  Debt collectors must send a written notice stating the amount of the debt, the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and a statement that the debtor has 30 days to dispute the debt, in writing.

  •  If the debt collection agency receives a written dispute letter from the consumer within the 30 day period, the debt collector must send verification of the debt to the alleged debtor. The collector may not attempt to collect the alleged debt until that proof is sent.

  •  Any and all communications, including telephone calls and letters, must immediately stop once a debt collector receives a “cease and desist” letter from you. Cease and desist letters are effective once received by the collection agency. They can be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested to establish a “paper trail.” The “cease and desist” letter has no effect if the collector is the original creditor.

  •  Debt collectors must state in the initial communication “This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.” In subsequent communications the collector must disclose it is a debt collector. Debt collectors may not use fictitious company names, but rather must use the true company name.

  •  Once a collector is told an individual is represented by an attorney all conversations, messages, letters or any other communication must immediately stop with the consumer by the collection agency. Under West Virginia law, original creditors, not just collection agencies, also must stop contacting the debtor when it appears the debtor is represented by a lawyer and the lawyer’s name and address is known or could be easily ascertained.

“Our Office hopes that these tips will be helpful in educating consumers and that they will be armed with the knowledge and tools necessary to not fall victim of a scam,” Morrisey said. “The Consumer Protection Division often gets complaints from consumers who are simply trying to pay their debt and get rid of their financial trouble but are having to deal with harassing and high-pressure calls.”

For consumers who already have debt problems, Morrisey reminded them that debt collectors, including original creditors under West Virginia law, may not:

  •  Contact you repeatedly by phone with the intent to abuse or harass you.
  Use obscene or threatening language with consumers.

  •  Tell others how much debt you have, either verbally or in writing.

  •  Contact you at work if you or your employer has told them not to.

  •  Refuse or fail to identify themselves and for whom they work.

  •  Threaten to add additional fees, seize property or file criminal charges for failure to pay within a set timeframe.

  •  Threaten physical harm if you do not pay a debt.

  •  Contact you if you have a lawyer.

“It is important for citizens to not panic if they receive a suspicious debt or credit collection call,” Morrisey said. “The consumer should get as much information possible from the caller and let us know.”

Consumers who believe they may have been a victim of a scam or have been taken advantage of by a business should call the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Hotline at 800.368.8808 or the Eastern Panhandle field office in Martinsburg at 304.267.0239. To file a report online, go to www.wvago.gov.

VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR WV SPRING HIGHWAY CLEANUP

CHARLESTON, WV — The state Department of Environmental Protection is accepting registrations for the Adopt-A-Highway Spring Statewide Cleanup.

Officials say volunteers have until April 10 to register for the event that takes place on April 25. The event is co-sponsored by the DEP and the state Division of Highways, the Adopt-A-Highway.

Individuals, families, churches, businesses, schools, civic organizations, government agencies and communities can register to pick up trash on almost any state-maintained road, back road, or main route.

Volunteers must be at least 12 years old to participate. They will be provided garbage bags, work gloves and safety vests. The state also takes care of disposing of collected trash.

Officials say more than 4,800 volunteers turned out for the spring 2014 Adopt-A-Highway spring cleanup and cleared over 1,500 miles of West Virginia roadways.

HEATING BILL AID AVAILABLE FOR LOW-INCOME IN WV

CHARLESTON, WV - Low-income West Virginians can get help paying heating bills through a state program.

The Department of Health and Resources will begin taking applications on Monday for the Emergency Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

Officials say households must meet all program guidelines to qualify and be in an emergency situation that will disrupt the primary heating source if not met.

Residents must go to their local DHHR office to apply. The program will operate until funds are exhausted.

Officials say those whose primary source of heat is either gas or electricity must provide their cut-off notice when applying.

Residents using other primary heating sources or bulk fuel may qualify for assistance if their heating fuel is at a low level during the application period.

WV AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT SEEKING TO HONOR CONTRIBUTIONS

CHARLESTON, WV - The state Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations for a program honoring contributions by women to the agriculture, forestry and specialty crop industries.

The West Virginia Women in Agriculture program has recognized dozens of women since it began in 2010. Previous honorees have been involved in a variety of fields including beef, dairy, education, specialty crop production and forestry.

Nominations are due by June 01. Forms can be obtained by contacting 304.585.2210 or on the department’s website at www.wvagriculture.org.

Biographies of honorees will be featured on department displays during the State Fair of West Virginia.

West Virginia Arrests   150329

The Gilmer Free Press

MINERAL COUNTY MAN TOOK AIM AT TROOPERS AFTER A 90 MINUTE STANDOFF

KEYSER, WV — West Virginia state police shot and killed an armed man overnight after a 90-minute standoff.

Police identified the victim as Harvey E. Oates, age 42.

Troopers said the incident began Friday night near Keyser upon receiving a call concerning a distraught man in possession of a gun.

Police were familiar with Oates, who had outstanding warrants for trespassing and driving on a license that had been revoked for DUI.

Oates fled the scene in a vehicle a short distance before running off the road, state police said.

He left the vehicle, threatening to shoot officers and himself. After negotiating with him for about 90 minutes, police said he became “extremely agitated” and began moving toward a trooper, aiming his weapon.

The trooper was forced to fire at Oates, who was killed, according to a state police news release.

COURT ACCEPTS MOTION TO MOVE ZUCCARO TO SOUTH CAROLINA

WELLSBURG, WV - The Brooke County Circuit Court issued an order to return Rocco Zuccaro to Sharpe Hospital in Weston, the same facility he escaped from, for the next three months for treatment in order to attain competency to stand trial for murder.

But late Friday afternoon, the court accepted a motion to change that order.

“So, what we are doing, is there is a separate facility that is actually located in the state of South Carolina that is a more secure facility that we believe is more appropriate for the placement of Rocco Zuccaro given his recent escape. That will provide better security measures that under West Virginia Law, Sharpe Hospital is not able to provide,“ said Brooke County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Barki III.

Barki cited multiple pieces of evidence in the motion in order for it to be passed, one being Zuccaro still needed to reach competency for trial, and that even though the court’s order Thursday night would’ve required Zuccaro to wear leg shackles, but by law, Sharpe Hospital cannot enforce that.

The Bureau of Behavioral Health and the Department of Health and Human Resources worked with the Brooke County Prosecuting Attorney’s office on this motion, but say they would have been prepared to properly handle Zuccaro and treat him back to a proper state of mind for trial.

“We are not concerned about being able to provide the highest level of quality care which meets the needs of this individual, and we were prepared should we be court ordered to receive this patient, we are prepared to abide by that court order,“ said Vickie Jones, Commissioner with the Bureau of Behavioral Health Facilities.

Sharpe Hospital began installing security cameras and other new security measures Friday.

Zuccaro faces a murder charge out of Brooke County, and a felony escape charge in Lewis.

MAN ARRESTED BY HUNTINGTON POLICE AFTER A HIT-AND-RUN

HUNTINGTON, WV - On Saturday March 28, 2015 around 11 AM a driver in a white car hit a black SUV near the Halgreer Boulevard exit on WV Highway 10 south.

Huntington police, Barboursville police, and the Huntington Fire Department all arrived on scene.

According to Huntington police the driver that caused the wreck got out of his car and ran on foot.

The man was caught and arrested by Huntington police.

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The Gilmer Free Press

U.S.A. News   150329

The Gilmer Free Press

FEDERAL WORKER TAX DELINQUENCY REACHES HIGHEST POINT IN PAST DECADE

Federal employees have fallen further behind on their taxes, with their combined overdue debt to the government rising last year to its highest level in a decade.

Civilian federal personnel owed more than $1.14 billion in back taxes in 2014, according to Internal Revenue Service data that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released this week.

Despite the higher dollar amount, fewer federal employees were tax delinquent last year compared with 2013. The number dropped 2% to 113,800 workers, representing about 4% of the U.S. government’s 2.85 million-strong civilian workforce, including postal personnel.

“It is disconcerting that federal civilian employees owe more than one billion dollars in back taxes,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chairman of the committee, said in a statement Tuesday. “These employees are not exempt from their civic responsibility to fulfill tax obligations and those who refuse to pay what they owe should be held accountable.”

Among executive departments, Housing and Urban Development finished last year with the highest rate of delinquency, with 4.7% of the agency’s personnel owing back taxes. Veterans Affairs had the second-highest rate at 4.4%.

The Treasury Department fared best, with a delinquency rate of 1.2%. The Energy Department followed with a rate of 2.1%.

Many congressional employees also have struggled to pay their taxes. The data shows that about 5% of House staff and 3.5% within the Senate were delinquent last year.

Additionally, 1.4% of active-duty military personnel and 2.4% of reserve troops owed back taxes in 2014.

The latest numbers come less than two months after Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) proposed legislation to end bonuses for federal employees who owe outstanding federal tax debt. The measure would allow exceptions for personnel who have experienced economic hardship or have agreed to payment plans.

An inspector general’s report in April revealed that the IRS had doled out more than $1 million in financial awards to hundreds of tax-delinquent IRS employees in recent years.

FEDERAL WORKERS COULD PAY MORE FOR HEALTH CARE, GET LESS FOR RETIREMENT UNDER GOP PLAN

The federal budget proposed by House Republicans would reduce the amount of money that government employees earn through a popular retirement fund and potentially increase the amount they have to contribute to their health-care plan, according to newly released details.

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) last week unveiled the spending blueprint — which aims to achieve several hundred billions of dollars in savings through measures affecting federal employees — but did not initially release the specifics.

After those become known, groups representing federal workers blasted the House Republican budget, saying it calls for the most drastic cuts for U.S. government employees in recent history.

Richard Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, criticized the plan as a “grossly unfair and misguided budget.” He added that the changes amount to “nothing more than a pay cut for federal employees and broken promises to federal retirees living on fixed incomes.”

Supporters of the GOP plan say that it achieves important savings across the government and that the changes in the retirement and health-care plans would bring federal employees more in line with local and state civil servants.

The House GOP budget would lower the rate of return for the most popular fund within the Thrift Savings Plan, a retirement program available only to federal employees and members of the uniformed services. The savings would result from offering a lower interest rate on the G Fund, which invests in short-term U.S. Treasury securities. The fund has offered relatively high interest rates on par with those for long-term bonds.

Financial experts cite the Thrift Savings Plan as a model for 401(k) plans because of its simplicity, low fees and diverse investment options, among other benefits.

The House Republican plan would also require federal employees to contribute more toward their retirement plans, but it does not specify an amount. Instead it refers to the recommendations of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles committee, which called for the government and its workforce to pay an equal share toward the cost of the benefit.

Under that proposal, federal employees’ contributions would increase by about 6% of their salaries. Their current rates are generally about 7% of pay, including Social Security deductions for workers who must pay into the system.

On health care, the House GOP budget would tie the government’s share of federal employee health-care costs to inflation, ditching a formula based on the annual rates of change within the available plans. The proposal would save the government an estimated $39 billion over 10 years, but critics say it would effectively increase federal worker contributions, because overall inflation rises slower than health-care cost inflation.

Additionally, the plan would base federal retirees’ health benefits on length of service, reducing premium subsidies for those who had “relatively short” careers with the government to achieve a projected savings of $1.2 billion over a decade.

Price’s office declined to comment Monday, but he defended his proposals in a statement last week. “By demanding Washington live within its means, we are forcing government to be more efficient, effective and accountable, providing our local communities the freedom and flexibility to improve the delivery of vital services and assistance to those in need, and saving and strengthening vital programs for America’s seniors,” he said.

Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, sent a letter to House lawmakers on Monday calling on them to oppose the Republican plan. “Balancing the budget on the backs of federal workers is unacceptable,” she said.

Federal employee groups argue that the federal workforce has already shouldered too much of the burden for deficit-reduction measures during the Obama administration, citing more than $110 billion in savings realized through pay freezes and increased retirement contributions for new employees.

J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in a statement Monday that the latest proposals from House Republicans represent a “direct assault” on the government’s workforce.

House Republicans have touted their plan as a way to save more than $5 trillion on projected spending over the next decade without increasing taxes.

House Democrats have proposed an alternative budget that would raise taxes on the wealthy, expand benefits for the working poor and fund federal agencies at rates closer to what President Obama proposed in his 2016 fiscal plan. It would not cut federal worker pay or benefits.

“The House Democrat budget helps federal employees by providing robust funding to all agencies to perform agency operations,” said a Democratic aide for the House Budget Committee, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the plan.

World News   150329

The Gilmer Free Press

WHY WELL-EDUCATED WESTERNERS ARE JOINING THE ISLAMIC STATE

In the past few months, we have heard dozens of stories of Jihadi Johns and Janes who left their comfortable Western lives to join the Islamic State. One surprising fact about them is their level of education. These recruits don’t come from low-income, low-education backgrounds. For the most part, they’re college graduates. Some even have advanced degrees.

For example, Jihadi John, the frontman in the Islamic State’s beheading videos, is believed to be Mohammed Emwazi, a naturalized British citizen with a computer science degree from the University of Westminster.

This is particularly troubling, because we think of education as insurance against radicalism. Higher learning, the theory goes, makes us more humane, and it offers us opportunities and advancements that keep us happy in our Western lives.

But a slew of research suggests that’s not the case. After studying the genocide in Rwanda for more than a decade, Rakiya Omaar, director of the Governance and Justice Group, discovered that well-educated professionals, including doctors and teachers, were as ruthlessly inhumane as others. Those who rescued others at enormous personal risk, on the other hand, were “almost universally peasants.”

Omaar abandoned the long held belief that education alone prevents horror. “It was very shocking to me that education isn’t … the answer,” she said in a Newsweek article from 2008.

Other researchers have reported similar findings. Samuel Oliner, a 12-year-old boy who witnessed his entire family killed by Nazis, was rescued by an extraordinary Catholic woman who took him in, taught him the catechism and changed his name to save his life. Much later, in honor of his brave rescuer, Oliner and his wife worked to identify what distinguished people who commit atrocities from those who resist such evil. Surprisingly, their pioneering research into World War II rescuers revealed that education level did not predict which individuals would commit physical atrocities, nor would it identify those who would rescue people from brutality.

A sense of autonomy, or independent thinking, was an essential characteristic the Oliners identified as associated with rescuers. Few rescuers felt that obedience was a core value in their childhood home. In contrast, those who commit atrocities, along with bystanders or observers of evil, were 9-to-12-times more likely to cite obedience as a core family value. Early education that included critical thinking and a respect for universal humanitarian principles and rights made all the difference in the choices rescuers made.

At this time, many teachers are pressured to teach to the test — focusing solely on math and reading while missing opportunities to nurture students’ character, compassion and ability to cooperate. This is a devastating loss: The ability to cooperate may be the most important skill for students to navigate the challenges of the future in a diverse world.

But there is a solution. Decades of research by David and Roger Johnson, Robert Slavin and others have shown that cooperative learning environments reduce prejudice, enhance cross ethnic group friendships and nurture independent thinking. In a cooperative learning classroom, students use techniques such as dialogue, structured cooperative interaction and task sharing, debate and other higher order thinking strategies as modes of learning. In contrast to rote memorization, cooperative strategies enable students to construct deeper understanding through memorable social interactions. Students who are able to cooperate and think independently are more likely — not less — to stand up for what they believe is right. Research by the Heydenberks has shown that increased cooperation enhances moral reasoning. Students are more likely to extend basic human rights to others regardless of in-group or out-group status.

Luckily, the same educational strategies that cultivate independent thinking, autonomy and empathic reasoning also raise academic achievement levels. More than 200 education studies led by David Johnson and Roger Johnson from the University of Minnesota show that cooperative interaction in classrooms significantly increases academic comprehension for all students.

In short, cooperative education that encourages critical thinking from multiple perspectives plants the seeds of a civil, diverse society while increasing academic achievement, cooperation and creativity. Moral reasoning and empathy develop when all children have opportunities to learn the essential lessons of cooperation, and conflict resolution — respectfully exploring different perspectives, finding common ground and discovering their common humanity through day-to-day academic and social interactions. Only then do respect, empathy and reverence for others become characteristics of the school culture. Cooperative education offers an important opportunity for reaching our academic goals while paving the path toward preserving our humanity.

REPORTS: DESPERATE PILOT USED AX ON LOCKED COCKPIT DOOR OF DOOMED PLANE

In a last-ditch attempt to enter the cockpit, the pilot of doomed Germanwings Flight 9525 used an ax to try to break down the reinforced door moments before the plane slammed into the French Alps, reports said Friday.

The accounts added another dramatic and tragic image as Tuesday’s tragedy unfolded: passengers crying out in terror as they realized the plane was on a collision course with the peaks, and the pilot desperately trying to override the apparent lockout measures of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz and regain control of the Airbus A320.

The Gilmer Free Press


The reports, in French and German media outlets, could not be independently verified. Typically, however, the ax is located inside the cockpit of an A320, pilots familiar with the aircraft said, and it was unclear how the locked-out pilot would have had access to the tool.

French prosecutors said the cockpit flight recorder was peppered with the sounds of the increasingly frantic banging on the cockpit door. And – as a chilling counterpoint – there was only the subtle sounds of Lubitz breathing after apparently setting the plane on a gradual descent into the mountains of southern France with 150 people aboard.

“Andreas, open that door! Open that door!’” the pilot yelled before reaching for an ax, France’s private television channel Métropole 6 reported, citing French investigators.

The German newspaper Bild, citing security sources, also reported the pilot tried to slice into the door with an ax, which is part of the normal cockpit safety equipment aboard an A320 for uses such opening gaps in walls to extinguish a fire.

An ax, however, would likely be insufficient to splinter current cockpit doors, which have been made near combat-grade strength since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The doors now have complex locking systems and reinforced materials that can include Kevlar, a fiber-weave built to resist gunfire.

On Friday, the parent company of Germanwings, Lufthansa, joined the growing list of airlines around the world adopting rules requiring two crew members in the cockpit at all times. The rules were imposed for U.S. carriers after the 9/11 attacks, but not followed by all airlines around the world.

Glenville: Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser - 03.29.15 - Today

The Gilmer Free Press

The Glenville State College Honors Program is hosting a Spaghetti Dinner on Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 11:30 AM until 5:00 PM at the Gilmer County Recreation Center.

Donations will cover salad, spaghetti, and desert. Carry-out orders will be welcome.

We will also raffle Longaberger gift baskets and Vera Bradley purses.

The GSC Honors Program is hosting the dinner and raffle to raise money to send some of its students to study abroad in London in May, 2015.

The trip is being sponsored by Dr. Sallie Anglin and Dr. Megan Gibbons in the GSC Department of Language and Literature through EF (Education First). The trip is designed for students who have taken at least one 200 level English course in order to further their studies of English literature and theater in London, Oxford, and Stratford, England. The trip will include walking tours of literary sites, including the birthplace of Shakespeare, the site of his famous Globe Theater, acting workshops, and theatrical performances.

This trip will give GSC students a direct, hands-on learning experience, and exposure to international culture.

Please contact Dr. Jonathan Minton at 304.462.6322 or for more information about the dinner and raffle.

Spaghetti Dinner - Sunday, March 29, 2015 - Today

The Gilmer Free Press

NATIONAL and Local FEEDER & STOCKER CATTLE SUMMARY - WEEK ENDING 03.27.2015

The Gilmer Free Press
RECEIPTS:    Auctions     Direct    Video/Internet     Total
This Week     215,800     52,600         2,400        270,800 
Last Week     265,700     32,100        25,600        323,400 
Last Year     224,300     70,600        35,200        330,100

Compared to last week, yearling feeder cattle traded firm to 5.00 higher with instances 6.00-8.00 higher.

Direct sales were very active this week and posted the full advance on feeder cattle.

Steer and heifer calves sold mostly steady to 5.00 higher.

Buyers flexed their muscle in pursuing all classes of feeder cattle this week.

Improvements in the weather across the country also did its part in adding to the feeder cattle market, especially on calves and stocker cattle that are in suitable condition for immediate turn-out and compensatory gain on greening pastures.

The Southern Plains received rain and warm weather to help improve wheat crop conditions, and boost summer grazing interest on very good buyer demand.

With “grass fever” in full swing following the warmer temperatures, market signals from late last week started finding confidence as most major salebarns noticed higher prices as farmer feeders and local backgrounders entered the mix.

Cattle feeding can be frustrating at times with expensive overhead, fluctuations in feed prices and volatile market prices but grazing cattle on grass can be just as satisfying and rewarding.

Inexpensive growth and gains are what backgrounders receive on pasture and what motivates cattlemen and farmer feeders to assemble their stockers each year.

At the St. Joseph Stockyards on Wednesday sold a string 105 head of fancy black steers weighing 828 lbs. settled on a bid of 234.00 with a part load of lighter steer mates in thin condition weighing 710 lbs. dropping the gavel at 266.00.

Demand continues to remain very good for popular weight steer calves weighing 400-650 lbs., with many areas selling 500-550 lb. steer calves selling near or above the 3.00/lb. level.

Cattle futures busted out of the gate on Monday with sharp triple-digit gains after the fat cattle market closed 2.00-3.00 higher last Friday with most live prices trading from 163.00-165.00.

Open interest for Live and Feeder cattle contracts has increased with this rally.

Live and feeder cattle markets are starting to see prices that many analysts thought we might not see for a while or so soon.

Cattle feeders are finding confidence with tight supplies and seeing some bullish momentum on the board as boxed beef prices received a shot in the arm at Midweek with sharp gains as Choice product closed above 250.00.

This week’s reported auction volume included 56% over 600 lbs. and 41% heifers.

AUCTION RECEIPTS:  215,800   Last Week:  265,700   Last Year:  224,300

Buckhannon Livestock, Buckhannon, WV
Weighted Average Report for Friday March 27, 2015

Cattle Receipts:  317

Feeders made up 100% of the offering.

The feeder supply included 21% steers, and 79% heifers.

Near 100% of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers                Medium and Large 1 - 2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
   30    775-775    775       186.00         186.00
   35    825-825    825       186.00         186.00

Feeder Heifers                Medium and Large 1 - 2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
   30    775-775    775       186.00         186.00
  222    800-825    805    185.00-186.00     185.18

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South Branch Livestock, Moorefield, WV
Weighted Average Report for Wednesday March 25, 2015

Cattle Receipts:  106 

Slaughter cows made up 50% of the offering, slaughter bulls 13%,
replacement cows 2%, other cows 7%, and feeders 29%.

The feeder supply included 38% steers, 38% heifers, and 25% bulls.

Near 6% of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    435-435    435       282.00         282.00
    1    450-450    450       250.00         250.00
    1    575-575    575       268.00         268.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    370-370    370       237.00         237.00
    1    565-565    565       260.00         260.00
    1    590-590    590       199.00         199.00   Yearlings

Feeder Heifers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    395-395    395       229.00         229.00
    1    565-565    565       222.00         222.00
    1    655-655    655       189.00         189.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    340-340    340       236.00         236.00
    1    430-430    430       220.00         220.00   Exotic
    1    505-505    505       229.00         229.00

Feeder Bulls                Medium and Large 2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    290-290    290       278.00         278.00
    2    470-475    473    225.00-233.00     228.98
    1    530-530    530       211.00         211.00

Bred Cows                  Medium and Large 1 - 2 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    795-795    795       795.00         795.00   Per Head  7-9 Months Bred

Slaughter Cows                Breaker 70-80% Lean
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    6   1405-1870  1567     87.00-94.00       91.16
                               Boner 80-85% Lean
    5   1210-1390  1288     85.50-93.00       91.25
    4   1110-1225  1145    104.00-113.00     109.75   High Dressing
    2   1425-1430  1428     88.00-93.00       90.50
                                Lean 85-90% Lean
    6   1130-1365  1263     83.50-93.00       87.06
    2   1095-1125  1110    107.00-113.00     109.96   High Dressing
    2    965-1090  1028     74.00-83.50       79.04   Low Dressing
    1   1430-1430  1430        96.00          96.00

Heiferettes                  Medium and Large 1 - 2 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    2    625-810    718    124.00-131.00     127.05   
    1   1155-1155  1155       116.00         116.00   
    1   1215-1215  1215       121.00         121.00   

Slaughter Bulls                Yield Grade 1-2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1105-1105  1105       131.00         131.00
    4   1740-1990  1841    119.00-130.00     124.72
    2   1870-2165  2018    109.50-113.50     111.65   Low Dressing

Baby Calves
 Head				Beef		Dairy
    2  Newborn to 4 weeks   290.00-350.00

Slaughter Lambs
 Head 	Wt Range	Price Range
   14   90-100		185.00-199.00 
			mostly 199.00	
Goats
 Head			Sel1		Sel2		Sel3
   14  20-40lb		94.00	    73.00-74.00		51.00
    9  40-60lb	    119.00-138.00  105.00-109.00   
    5  60-80lb          155.00		122.00	       106.00
    1  SM Billy     191.00-195.00
    1  SL Wether	240.00
    2  BG Nannies   140.00-180.00

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Weston Livestock Marketing, Weston, WV
Weighted Average Report for Saturday March 21, 2015

Cattle Receipts:  228

Slaughter cows made up 21% of the offering, slaughter bulls 5%,
replacement cows 2%, other cows 1%, and feeders 71%.

The feeder supply included 50% steers, 37% heifers, and 12% bulls.

Near 19% of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers                Large 1 - 2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    385-385    385       300.00         300.00
                             Medium and Large 1 - 2
    1    235-235    235       235.00         235.00
    4    370-373    372    250.00-282.50     268.13
    1    440-440    440       205.50         205.50   RED
    7    450-490    472    250.00-267.50     263.00
   21    510-545    531    220.00-292.50     276.45
    1    545-545    545       210.00         210.00   RWF
    1    535-535    535       200.00         200.00   RED
   31    557-585    565    242.00-272.50     266.98
    8    608-610    608    222.00-235.00     233.37
    1    695-695    695       195.00         195.00   RWF
    1    670-670    670       195.00         195.00   SMOKE
    2    738-738    738       218.00         218.00
    1    805-805    805       181.00         181.00

Feeder Heifers                Medium and Large 1 - 2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    2    260-270    265    200.00-250.00     225.47
    6    303-340    315    225.00-240.00     228.59
    1    315-315    315       252.50         252.50   SMOKE
    6    355-395    370    200.00-265.00     240.07
    1    390-390    390       200.00         200.00   RWF
    1    390-390    390       225.00         225.00   SMOKE
    4    405-435    423    235.00-257.50     249.31
    1    400-400    400       162.50         162.50   SMOKE
    2    410-440    425    242.50-247.50     244.91   RED
    6    455-473    464    210.00-240.00     233.47
    1    470-470    470       225.00         225.00   SMOKE
    1    535-535    535       235.00         235.00
    1    500-500    500       217.50         217.50   RWF
    1    540-540    540       215.00         215.00   SMOKE
    7    573-595    584    202.00-214.00     208.19
    1    595-595    595       150.00         150.00   SMOKE
   10    611-615    612    216.00-218.00     216.40
    1    640-640    640       218.00         218.00   SMOKE
    5    675-675    675       217.50         217.50
    2    720-720    720       197.50         197.50

Feeder Bulls                Medium and Large 1 - 2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    225-225    225       295.00         295.00
    2    360-395    378    220.00-225.00     222.38
    1    390-390    390       297.50         297.50   RED
    1    420-420    420       211.00         211.00
    5    460-495    482    225.00-250.00     237.07
    2    535-545    540    242.50-257.50     249.93
    1    545-545    545       230.00         230.00   SMOKE
    1    580-580    580       204.50         204.50
                             Small and Medium 1 - 2
    5    300-300    300       310.00         310.00
    1    560-560    560       212.50         212.50

Bred Cows                  Medium and Large 1 - 2 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1575-1575  1575   999.00-1750.00    1750.00   Per Head  4-6 Months Bred
    1   1125-1125  1125   999.00-1435.00    1435.00   Per Head  7-9 Months Bred
    1   1220-1220  1220   999.00-1800.00    1800.00   Per Head  7-9 Months Bred
                            Medium and Large 1 - 2 Middle Aged
    1   1210-1210  1210       111.00         111.00   Per Head  4-6 Months Bred
                            Medium and Large 1 - 2 Aged
    1    945-945    945   999.00-1225.00    1225.00   Per Head  4-6 Months Bred

Slaughter Cows                Breaker 70-80% Lean
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1505-1505  1505       107.00         107.00   Low Dressing
                               Boner 80-85% Lean
   14    945-1375  1146    100.00-110.00     105.07
    5   1185-1390  1290    111.00-116.00     113.21   High Dressing
    4   1055-1275  1153     91.00-97.00       94.62   Low Dressing
    5   1465-1715  1554    108.00-114.00     110.16
    1   1540-1540  1540       109.00         109.00   High Dressing
    2   1410-1535  1473     96.00-98.00       97.04   Low Dressing
                                Lean 85-90% Lean
    8    970-1280  1126     87.00-98.00       93.83
    1   1175-1175  1175       123.00         123.00   High Dressing
    6    900-1175  1061     70.00-84.00       76.09   Low Dressing
    2   1435-1495  1465    118.00-122.00     119.96   High Dressing

Other Cows                  Medium and Large 1 - 2 Middle Aged
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    2   1205-1240  1223    121.00-123.00     122.01   Per Head

Slaughter Bulls                Yield Grade 1-2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1060-1060  1060       108.00         108.00
    6   1680-2395  1902    112.00-119.00     116.27
    3   1760-2090  1920    121.00-129.00     124.44   High Dressing
    1   1920-1920  1920       105.00         105.00   Low Dressing

Heiferettes 	Medium and Large 1-2 Young
 Head 	Wt Range 	Price Range
  3	940-1255	140-110

Baby Calves			Beef
Head Age range			Avg Price
 2   Newborn to 4 weeks		385-400

Cow/Calf Pairs
Head Age Rage             	 Price Range
 1  over 8 w/calf under 250lb   1875

Bulls By the Head

Head Wt Range  Price Range
 2   1600-1620  1150-1976

Goats 
Head	Type  		  Sel2
 8	 Big Nannies	20-135
 4       Big Billies    20-140
 1	 Sl Wethers     82.5
 3	 Kids under 20lb 12.5-75

Ewes
Head 	Wt Range	Price Range
 1	215		81

Feeder Lambs
Head  wt range	Price Range
 6	85-100	100-200

Feeder Pigs 
Head  Wt Range 	Price Range
 20   165-285    70-45

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JACKSON COUNTY REGIONAL LIVESTOCK, RIPLEY, WV
Weighted Average Report for Saturday March 21, 2015

Cattle Receipts:  267

Slaughter cows made up 15% of the offering, slaughter bulls 3%,
replacement cows 6%, other cows 2%, and feeders 73%.

The feeder supply included 41% steers, 36% heifers, and 23% bulls.

Near 23% of the run weighed over 600 lbs.


Feeder Steers                Medium and Large 1 - 2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    4    250-295    274    247.50-280.00     269.99
    2    325-325    325    271.00-295.00     283.00
    2    350-390    370    265.00-267.50     266.18
    1    355-355    355       290.00         290.00   RED
   10    405-425    414    242.50-320.00     301.35
    1    415-415    415       290.00         290.00   RED
    5    465-485    477    235.00-281.00     268.70
    8    510-540    524    243.00-267.00     254.67
    1    540-540    540       197.50         197.50   RWF
    2    580-590    585    245.00-247.00     245.99
    3    622-625    623    239.00-241.00     239.67
    6    665-688    679    206.00-224.00     221.00
    6    725-745    732    208.00-215.00     213.81
    1    750-750    750       205.00         205.00
    3    825-825    825    179.00-186.00     181.33
    5    862-875    870    174.00-186.00     181.24
    1    930-930    930       174.00         174.00   RED
    1   1135-1135  1135       143.00         143.00

                             Small 1 - 2
    1    470-470    470       227.50         227.50   RED

                             Medium and Large 2
    1    260-260    260       220.00         220.00
    2    330-330    330       257.50         257.50
    1    360-360    360       250.00         250.00
    1    445-445    445       222.50         222.50
    1    435-435    435       240.00         240.00   SMOKE
    2    450-465    458    237.50-255.00     246.11
    1    720-720    720       127.00         127.00

                             Holstein Large 2
    1    510-510    510       124.00         124.00
    7    571-576    573    151.00-161.00     156.69


Feeder Heifers                Medium and Large 1 - 2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    200-200    200       265.00         265.00
    1    275-275    275       267.50         267.50
    4    300-325    314    250.00-271.00     256.04
    4    370-395    387    250.00-257.50     254.99
    1    375-375    375       170.00         170.00   RWF
    1    360-360    360       227.50         227.50   SMOKE
   14    400-440    422    240.00-267.50     255.72
    8    450-495    471    230.00-262.50     252.47
    2    482-482    482       220.00         220.00   RED
    9    515-545    522    225.00-255.00     238.16
    1    500-500    500       255.00         255.00   SMOKE
    6    555-585    574    237.50-245.00     240.12
    2    610-625    618       217.00         217.00
    3    675-690    685    182.00-184.00     183.34
    2    722-722    722       169.00         169.00   Fleshy

                             Medium and Large 2
    3    325-330    328    222.50-237.50     232.55
    2    367-367    367       260.00         260.00
    1    445-445    445       210.00         210.00
    1    525-525    525       204.00         204.00

                             Medium and Large 3
    1    315-315    315       185.00         185.00   SMOKE
    1    450-450    450       190.00         190.00
    1    550-550    550       151.00         151.00
    1    615-615    615       131.00         131.00


Feeder Bulls                Medium and Large 1 - 2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    270-270    270       300.00         300.00
    1    355-355    355       260.00         260.00
    3    405-430    418    250.00-317.50     293.21
    1    445-445    445       250.00         250.00   RED
    6    450-495    472    217.50-260.00     242.74
    4    505-520    515    221.00-245.00     238.61
    1    535-535    535       219.00         219.00   SMOKE
   10    555-595    574    216.00-242.50     234.97
    2    580-580    580       217.00         217.00   SMOKE
    3    600-645    628    220.00-241.00     233.18
    1    630-630    630       181.00         181.00   SMOKE
    1    690-690    690       216.00         216.00
    2    930-935    933    141.00-142.00     141.50
    1   1040-1040  1040       137.00         137.00
    1   1050-1050  1050       140.00         140.00

                             Small 1 - 2
    1    430-430    430       167.50         167.50   SMOKE
    1    545-545    545       210.00         210.00
    1    620-620    620       220.00         220.00

                             Medium and Large 3
    1    260-260    260       215.00         215.00
    1    530-530    530       177.50         177.50
    2    570-595    583    152.50-160.00     156.33
    1    645-645    645       150.00         150.00



Bred Cows                  Medium and Large 1 - 2 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    2    880-880    880   999.00-1150.00    1125.00   Per Head  1-3 Months Bred
    5   1050-1130  1098   999.00-2100.00    1731.83   Per Head  1-3 Months Bred
    2   1350-1385  1368   999.00-1800.00    1775.32   Per Head  1-3 Months Bred
    2    940-1015   978   999.00-1900.00    1671.61   Per Head  4-6 Months Bred
    1   1115-1115  1115   999.00-1535.00    1535.00   Per Head  7-9 Months Bred

                            Medium and Large 1 - 2 Middle Aged
    2   1000-1130  1065   999.00-1450.00    1423.47   Per Head  4-6 Months Bred
    1   1235-1235  1235   999.00-1875.00    1875.00   Per Head  4-6 Months Bred
    2    925-1025   975   999.00-1750.00    1644.87   Per Head  7-9 Months Bred


Slaughter Cows                Breaker 70-80% Lean
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1605-1605  1605       118.00         118.00   High Dressing

                               Boner 80-85% Lean
    1    895-895    895       102.00         102.00
    2    760-850    805     78.00-84.50       81.43   Low Dressing
   10    985-1335  1176     96.00-105.00     101.45
    9   1000-1345  1211    106.00-119.00     111.64   High Dressing
    6   1000-1385  1215     83.50-95.00       90.42   Low Dressing
    3   1425-1490  1467    106.00-115.00     109.59   High Dressing
    4   1455-1640  1536     82.00-98.00       91.94   Low Dressing
    1   2125-2125  2125       104.50         104.50

                                Lean 85-90% Lean
    1    855-855    855        97.50          97.50
    1   1085-1085  1085       105.00         105.00   High Dressing
    1    900-900    900        90.00          90.00   Low Dressing
    1   1485-1485  1485        40.00          40.00   Low Dressing


Slaughter Cattle
 Head
    4   1085-1475.00     131.00-145.00


Heiferettes                  Medium and Large 1 - 2 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    735-735    735       143.00         143.00   Per Head
    2    975-980    978    125.00-138.00     131.52   Per Head

                            Medium and Large 1 - 2 Middle Aged
    1    805-805    805       115.00         115.00   Per Head
    1   1200-1200  1200       117.00         117.00   Per Head



Slaughter Bulls
 Head
    6
    1   1295-1295  1295       115.00         115.00   Low Dressing
    1   1545-1545  1545       130.00         130.00
    2   1580-2050  1815    136.00-138.00     136.87   High Dressing
    4   1670-2035  1849    120.00-128.00     123.37   Low Dressing


Cow Calf Pairs
 Head
          2-8yrs old w/calf under 250lbs        1700.00
          2-8yrs old w/calf over 250lbs      2400.00-2500.00
          Over 8 w/calf under 250lbs            1650.00
          Over 8 w/calf over 250lbs

Baby Calves
 Head
    6    Newborn Beef   250.00-450.00
         Newborn Dairy   45.00-200.00


Goats                        Sel 1          Sel2
 Head     Sm Billies       97.50-135.00
          Bg Billies      140.00-240.00
          Sm Nannies      100.00-142.50
          Big Nannies     110.00-210.00
          Wethers         125.00-142.50
          kids             20.00-75.00
          
Ewes
 Head
    6    65.00-110.00



Feeders Lambs
 Head
    8   10    60-75lbs    110.00-215.00

Slaughter Hogs
 Head
    10   200-250  60.00
         250-300  62.00-67.50
         300 & up 72.50

Feeder Pigs
 Head
    5   30.00-40.00

Sows
 Head
    2   42.50-52.50

.
.
.

Greenbrier Valley Livestock Market, Caldwell, WV
Weighted Average Report for Friday March 20, 2015

Cattle Receipts:  146

Slaughter cows made up 19% of the offering, slaughter bulls 1%,
other cows 1%, and feeders 79%.

The feeder supply included 39% steers, 51% heifers, and 10% bulls.

Near 23% of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    265-265    265       277.50         277.50
    1    365-365    365       302.50         302.50
    5    451-451    451       280.00         280.00
    1    496-496    496       260.00         260.00   SMOKE
   10    502-540    506    255.00-256.00     255.89
    6    601-601    601       244.00         244.00
    4    675-690    680    177.50-231.00     214.44
                             Small 1
    1    945-945    945       133.00         133.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    315-315    315       285.00         285.00
    2    390-390    390       278.00         278.00
    4    435-435    435       260.00         260.00
    4    455-495    473    220.00-262.50     246.55
    1    510-510    510       220.00         220.00   SMOKE
    1    575-575    575       212.50         212.50
    1    625-625    625       160.00         160.00   EXOTIC
    1    700-700    700       162.50         162.50   EXOTIC
                             Medium and Large 3
    1    465-465    465       245.00         245.00   RED

Feeder Heifers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    2    415-445    430    240.00-245.00     242.41
    5    457-457    457       244.00         244.00
   14    505-537    530    227.50-238.00     229.64
   19    555-595    570    198.00-226.00     221.86
    1    565-565    565       222.50         222.50   SMOKE
    2    641-641    641       210.00         210.00
    1    640-640    640       200.00         200.00   SMOKE
    1    650-650    650       207.50         207.50
    1    785-785    785       157.50         157.50
    1    870-870    870       150.00         150.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    370-370    370       232.50         232.50
    1    435-435    435       200.00         200.00
    5    510-530    519    210.00-230.00     221.15
    1    665-665    665       186.00         186.00
    1    656-656    656       142.50         142.50   SMOKE
                             Small 2
    1    410-410    410       210.00         210.00
                             Medium and Large 3
    1    290-290    290       230.00         230.00
    1    680-680    680       120.00         120.00

Feeder Bulls                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    415-415    415       290.00         290.00
    3    560-565    562    247.00-250.00     248.01
    1    680-680    680       158.00         158.00   SMOKE
    1    735-735    735       195.00         195.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    445-445    445       260.00         260.00
    2    625-625    625       227.00         227.00
                             Small and Medium 2
    1    460-460    460       225.00         225.00
                             Small and Medium 2 - 3
    1    730-730    730       143.00         143.00   BWF

Slaughter Cows                 Boner 80-85% Lean
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    9   1110-1385  1263    103.50-107.00     105.20
    2   1270-1330  1300    112.00-117.00     114.56   High Dressing
    5   1400-1750  1575    105.00-110.00     107.31
    1   1465-1465  1465       115.00         115.00   High Dressing
                                Lean 85-90% Lean
    9   1055-1370  1227     80.00-98.00       92.05
    2   1410-1500  1455     96.00-104.50     100.38

Other Cows                  Medium and Large 1 - 2 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1135-1135  1135       120.00         120.00   Per Head

Slaughter Bulls                Yield Grade 1-2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   2160-2160  2160       145.00         145.00   High Dressing
    1   1715-1715  1715        95.00          95.00   Low Dressing

Heiferetts   Medium and large 1-2 Young
  Head      Wt Range 		Price Range
  5        1125-1305            121-140

Baby calves			Dairy		Beef
Head	Age Range 		Avg Price
 3	Newborn to 4 weeks	275-325		375

Goat 
Head Type 		Sel1	Sel2
 1   Big Nannies	210
 1   SL Wethers                  210
 1   Kids Under 20lb             52.5

Ewes
Head Wt Rage    Price Range
 7   100-115     45-65

Rams
Head Wt Range   Price Range
 1    200     

  80

Feeder Lambs
Head Wt Range Price Range
  4   55-90 82.5-240

Slaughter Lambs
Head Wt Range Price Range
13 103 170

Feeder Pigs
Head Wt Range   Price Range
4   110       103

Slaughter Barrows & Gilts
Head Wt Range   Price Range
3   275-345     60-67.5

GOVERNOR TOMBLIN SIGNS SB 423, AMENDING THE ABOVEGROUND STORAGE TANK ACT

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV - Governor Earl Ray Tomblin tsigned Senate Bill 423, amending the Aboveground Storage Tank Act on Friday:

“Today I signed Senate Bill 423, which amends the Aboveground Storage Tank Act passed in 2014,“ Governor Tomblin said. “The changes in this bill represent reasonable steps to ensure protection of our drinking water resources by focusing on the tanks that pose the most risk. Inspections will focus on the tanks closest to water supplies and those containing the most hazardous chemicals. During the past year we have gathered valuable information, registering tanks across the state and identifying the contents. I appreciate the hard work of all involved as we work to protect our drinking water resources.“

West Virginia Democratic Party Releases 2016 Delegate Selection Plan for Comment Period

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Democratic Party has released the Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Please Click H E R E to view our plan

DHHR Announces Emergency Energy Assistance Program for Low Income Residents

The Gilmer Free Press

Charleston, WV - West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling today announced applications for the Emergency Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) will be accepted beginning Monday, March 30, 2015 until funds are exhausted. The federally funded program assists eligible state residents in paying home heating bills.

“This has been a very cold winter and many West Virginia families are struggling to keep up with high heating costs,” Bowling said. “This emergency assistance will help residents facing a loss of utilities due to an inability to pay.”

Residents whose primary source of heat is either gas or electricity must provide their shut-off notice when applying for Emergency LIEAP.  Those using other primary heating sources or bulk fuel may qualify for assistance if their heating fuel is at a low level during the application period.

Households that received direct payment of regular LIEAP benefits must verify that the payment was used for home heating by submitting a current receipt with the Emergency LIEAP application.  Failure to submit verification of payment may result in a denial of the application.

Eligibility for LIEAP benefits is based on income, household size and whether or not the household is responsible for paying its heating bill.  Income must be at, or below, 130 percent of the federal poverty guideline for the household size. In situations where a heating emergency exists, applicants must be seen by a DHHR worker.

To qualify, households must meet all program guidelines and be in an emergency situation that will disrupt the primary heating source if not met. 

The maximum allowable gross income levels for LIEAP FY 2015 are listed below:

                                           
HOUSEHOLD SIZE   MONTHLY ALLOWABLE INCOME  
1 Person $1,265
2 Person $1,705
3 Person $2,144
4 Person $2,584
5 Person $3,024
6 Person $3,464
7 Person $3,904
8 Person $4,344
9 Person $4,784
10 Person $5,224

For each additional person, add $440.

The Emergency LIEAP program will operate until funds are exhausted.

To apply, residents must go to their local DHHR office.

A list of local offices may be found at www.wvdhhr.org/bcf/county/ or by calling 304.356.4619.

West Virginia News   150328

The Gilmer Free Press

SINGLE-VEHICLE ACCIDENT IN UPSHUR COUNTY KILLS RALEIGH COUNTY MAN

A Raleigh County man has died after a single-vehicle accident in Upshur County.

According to a release from the Buckhannon City Police Department, Mikal Avis, age 27, of Mabscot, was travelling west on WV Highway 33 at approximately 5 AM in a 2003 Ford Ranger.

Just as the vehicle passed the Morton Ave intersection, the vehicle left the roadway and entered the median. Avis then overcorrected, causing the vehicle to roll multiple times in the median before coming to a rest near the Rt. 20 exit on its top.

Avis died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time and is being investigated by Buckhannon Police.

During the initial investigation, one west bound and one east bound lane of WV Highway 33 were shut down for approximately three hours.

KENTUCKY MAN CHARGED IN WV WITH $800K VA FRAUD

HUNTINGTON, WV — A Kentucky man has been charged in West Virginia with defrauding the federal Veteran’s Affairs Disability Compensation Program.

An indictment issued Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Charlottesville alleges 50-year-old Army veteran Phillip M. Henderson of Olive Hill, Kentucky, exaggerated his vision loss to receive benefits. The indictment says Henderson fraudulently received about $800,000, including money for installation of a swimming pool and a vehicle, over the last 20 years.

Henderson faces nine counts of wire fraud. Each count is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Court records do not list an attorney for Henderson.

WV WOMAN GETS PRISON FOR BOGUS WATER QUALITY REPORTS

CHARLESTON, WV — A 60-year-old McDowell County woman has been sentenced to federal prison for filing fraudulent water quality reports.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Thursday Bonita Witt-Hird will serve one year and one day in a federal prison.

Witt-Hird was formerly employed as the office manager for Richmorr Associates Inc., an environmental engineering firm in Elkview. The company provides water sampling services to wastewater treatment plants throughout West Virginia.

Witt-Hird admitted that from April 2012 to June 2013, she filed approximately 80 false reports with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

The false reports made it appear that water quality sampling had been performed for the wastewater plants when in fact the test results had been copied from previous years.

WV SHERIFF’S OFFICE BUYING K9 VESTS WITH DONATED DOLLARS

CHARLESTON, WV — Like their human counterparts, the canine members of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office now have protective vests.

About $5,000 in donations were received for the ballistic vests for the department’s nine service dogs. Cpl. Brian Humphreys says five vests have been purchased for the department’s five patrol K9 units.

The department’s two Bloodhounds and two bomb-detecting dogs will be outfitted as well.

Kanawha Sheriff John Rutherford said he hopes the vests are never needed. But he said the dogs deserve protection on the front lines just like human police officers.

WV GETTING $5.6 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS FOR SIDEWALKS, TRAILS

CHARLESTON, WV — More than $5.6 million in federal funding is headed to 42 alternative transportation projects in West Virginia.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said the funding is from programs administrated by the Federal Highway Administration.

The money will pay for a variety of projects. They include sidewalk improvements, train depot restoration, bicycle signage, and recreational trails.

WV GOVERNOR NIXES ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ BILL, CITES TECHNICAL ERRORS

CHARLESTON, WV—Citing technical errors, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has vetoed a bill letting public entities accept private donations to display the phrase “In God We Trust” on their buildings.

The bill would have required the State Building Commission to develop guidelines for displaying the national motto and the POW-MIA flag.

In his veto message, the Democratic governor wrote that the commission hasn’t existed since 2000.

Tomblin has made 14 technical vetoes this year. Lawmakers reworked and passed 13 of them, and Tomblin has already signed many.

The “In God We Trust” bill is the first technical veto lawmakers aren’t able to immediately fix, since the Republican-led Legislature is no longer in session.

WV WOMAN GETS YEAR IN JAIL FOR CRASH THAT KILLED MARYLAND GIRL

HAGERTOWN, MD - A West Virginia woman is going to jail for knowingly driving an uninsured vehicle in a crash that killed a 5-year-old Maryland girl.

Thirty-four-year-old Karen See of Ranson, West Virginia, was sentenced to one year Thursday in Hagerstown. She was convicted in January in a June crash that killed Bryer Hendricks of Knoxville, Maryland.

The girl was in the back seat of her great-grandmother’s Buick when See’s SUV rear-ended the car on Route 67 in southern Washington County, Maryland.

Her lawyer says See was distracted by her crying infant son in her own car. He says she plans to appeal the conviction.

See told the court she wishes she could turnback time.

She pleaded guilty in November to two traffic violations in the crash and was fined $410.

BODIES OF MISSING PITTSBURGHERS FOUND IN WEST VIRGINIA RIVER

PITTSBURGH, PA - Pittsburgh police say two separate missing persons cases have been solved as their bodies surfaced downstream in a river in West Virginia in recent days - and one is now being treated as a homicide.

Police say the cases aren’t related, except by the coincidence that their bodies each surfaced in recent days, likely because of the spring thaw.

Police announced late Thursday that the body of 34-year-old Andre Gray was found Wednesday in the Ohio River in Brook County, West Virginia. He had been shot and police have charged a man already jailed on other crimes in his death. He had last been seen October 25.

The other body found March 20 is that of 22-year-old Paul Kochu (KAW’-choo) who was reported missing December 16. The cause of his death is still being investigated.

YOUNG GIRL FOUND WALKING ALONE; PARENTS CHARGED WITH NEGLECT

Saint Albans, WV—People driving along Coal River Road near Saint Albans, West Virginia found a 5-year-old girl walking alone.

Deputies with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) picked up the girl. She told deputies that she was left alone and decided to walk to her grandparent’s house. Deputies were able to find the girl’s home.

Katasha Logsdon, the girl’s mother, and William Aliff, Jr., her step-father, were found at the home. According to a release from the KCSO, both parents were intoxicated.

Logsdon and Williams will both face charges of child neglect.  Both were arrested on March 26.

U.S.A. News   150328

The Gilmer Free Press

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DELAYED $11 BILLION IN MAINTENANCE LAST YEAR BECAUSE OF BUDGET CHALLENGES

Washington, D.C.—The National Park Service is increasingly neglecting its trails, roads and visitor centers because of recent budget constraints, according to a report from the agency this week.

The park service said it delayed an estimated $11.5 billion worth of needed maintenance projects last year due to funding shortages, with the total growing nearly 2% compared to 2013. The backlog has reached its highest point since President Obama took office, expanding nearly 13% during that time.

Rising construction costs have heightened the agency’s budget challenges, with upkeep growing more expensive as park facilities fall further into disrepair, according to the report. (Here’s a list of deferred projects by state and by park).

The mounting maintenance concerns come as the National Park Service prepares to celebrate its 100th year in August 2016.

“As we invite more Americans to discover the special places in the National Park System during our centennial celebration, we need to have facilities that can accommodate them and provide the best possible experience,” agency director Jonathan Jarvis said in a news release on Monday.

The National Park Service has asked Congress for $243 billion in new funding over the next 10 years to restore its non-transportation facilities to good condition. President Obama’s 2016 budget proposal requests an additional $150 million to pay for major transportation projects on federal lands, including national parks.

Park roads and bridges accounted for about half of the backlog last year, according to the report.

Craig Obey, senior vice president for government affairs with the National Parks Conservation Association, said Congress needs to take “immediate and substantive action” to prevent further maintenance delays.

“Failing to provide for the system’s basic maintenance needs has eroded our most treasured landscapes and historical sites,” Obey said in a statement on Monday. “Next year’s centennial of the National Park System is the perfect opportunity for Congress to renew its commitment to protecting America’s most special places.”

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF THE $6 BUS RIDE TO WORK, $7 JUICE NOT INCLUDED

San Francisco, CA—The new venture-backed private transportation service Leap began offering rides in San Francisco last week in a swanky shuttle meant to feel “more like a living room than a bus.“ A ride with the service, which costs $6 one-way or $5 in bulk, comes with WiFi, USB ports, a laptop bar and locally made pressed juices (for sale on board, that is).

Most of the passengers on-board at first appeared to be skeptical journalists. Private mass transit is a touchy topic in San Francisco, where many fear the tech industry is creating parallel amenities — private campuses, private transportation, private cafeterias — where tech workers don’t have to bump into the masses. With this latest twist, Leap and a few other startups, are offering up-scale rides to anyone in the public with a smartphone, although the intended clientele here still seems to lean toward tech. Leap so far is running one route that collects and drops off commuters around a hub of tech offices downtown.

Services like this, though, raise some broader issues that are not particularly unique to San Francisco, nor to the tension the tech industry has created there. Public transit is ripe for disruption — that’s why investors are backing these ideas. If you were to look around any city and try to identify a problem in need of lucrative new solutions that emerging technology might provide, the dreaded commute is an obvious one. Public transit can be inefficient, unpredictable, slow, crowded, or on its worse days downright broken. Transit needs a shakeup.

But as private providers increasingly offer what looks like a first-class alternative, the risk isn’t that companies like Leap will eventually replace public transit; it’s that they’ll turn it into even more of a ride of last resort used primarily by the poor. If Leap is successful — and it’s entirely likely it won’t be, because a transit system is incredibly costly to operate — San Francisco and other cities could wind up with one public bus system for all the people who need a $2 ride, and one private bus system for the people who want to sip a $7 iced coffee on the way.

This would siphon needed fares from transit systems. But it could also sap public willingness to invest in them. The answer isn’t that higher-income riders should have to use poor public transit because lower-income riders do, too. It’s that we should throw innovation at the problem of public transit itself, not simply at the promise that some people could afford a work-around.

In other parts of the world, we already know what this might look like:

CAPITO APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF RESPONSIBLE, BALANCED BUDGET

“For too long, the U.S. Senate has failed to pass a budget that balances without raising taxes. It is an honor to be a part of this new chapter in the U.S. Senate, one that is focused on creating a stronger and more prosperous nation for American families.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) released the following statement after passage of the Senate Budget Resolution:

“American families must live within a budget, states must adhere to a budget, and it is time for the federal government to do the same. Earlier today, the U.S. Senate passed a responsible, balanced budget that funds a strong national defense, invests in our nation’s transportation and energy infrastructure and promotes job growth - all without raising taxes.

“According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Senate’s balanced budget will boost economic growth by $500 billion and create more than 1.3 million jobs over the next 10 years. The benefits will be felt by hard-working American families, including in West Virginia where Mountaineers will see an increase of more than 7,300 jobs by 2025.

“I applaud Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Enzi for allowing an open amendment process throughout the budget negotiations. I was proud to put forward several amendments that will create a stronger future for West Virginia and the nation as a whole.

“For too long, the U.S. Senate has failed to pass a budget that balances without raising taxes. It is an honor to be a part of this new chapter in the U.S. Senate, one that is focused on creating a stronger and more prosperous nation for American families.”

Two of Senator Capito’s amendments were included in the budget proposal passed by the Senate:

Amendment 416: Deters EPA from issuing any regulation that would reduce the reliability of the electricity grid. This amendment will strengthen our energy security, allow our economy to benefit from America’s vast energy resources and protect West Virginia’s vital energy jobs.

Amendment 420: Helps to combat the increase of heroin and methamphetamine use.  West Virginia is one of the states severely suffering from this drug epidemic, and this amendment is an important step toward reigning in the growing drug problem.

FD650xxx004SA

The Gilmer Free Press

World News   150328

The Gilmer Free Press

70 YEARS LATER, THE WORLD IS STILL FIGHTING WORLD WAR II

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, but, in some ways, the epochal conflict is far from over. A host of commemorations are opening up old wounds in parts of the world, or have become staging grounds for current geopolitical disagreements. Here’s how the global legacy of World War II remains very much a source of tension. (Not unlike the war seven decades ago, Russia plays a big part in the story now.)

A demand for German reparations

Greece’s economic woes, which include a crippling $300 billion debt, are very much a problem of the present, but their new leftist government has decided one solution lies in seeking redress for the past. Greece’s justice minister recently said he’d be willing to allow authorities to seize millions of dollars in German assets in Greece in compensation for war crimes carried out in World War II. Germany already paid reparations to Greece as part of an agreement in 1960, as WorldViews outlined here, but Greeks contend that the millions paid did not account for all the damage the Greek state incurred during the Nazi occupation.

As the main engine of the European economy and a bulwark of the E.U., Germany has played a prominent role in the international project to keep Greece in the eurozone, and is blamed by many Greeks for foisting destructive policies of austerity on Athens.

“It’s not a material matter, it’s a moral issue,“ said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, at a meeting Monday with German officials.

Putin avoids the Auschwitz commemoration

On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered what was left of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Its soldiers were the first to encounter the horrors of the facility, where more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, had been killed by the Nazis. Yet when world leaders staged a memorial earlier this year, Moscow’s top politician was nowhere to be seen. The absence of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the event in Poland was a consequence of Russia’s power play in Ukraine, which has led to a severe deterioration of relations with other Baltic and Eastern European countries wary of Putin’s ambitions, including Poland.

The specter of fascism in Ukraine

And what about Ukraine? Ever since a political crisis exploded a year ago, the legacy of World War II has cast a huge shadow. After Moscow annexed Crimea, Putin repeatedly grandstanded on the sacrifices Soviet soldiers made defending the strategic Black Sea peninsula from invading Nazi forces. Some 27 million people in total from the Soviet republics perished during the war.

Meanwhile, Russian media and politicians have frequently accused the newish government in Kiev of harboring neo-fascists and Nazi sympathizers. That’s because a segment of Ukraine’s nationalist right-wing, active in anti-Moscow street protests a year ago, embraces controversial Ukrainian heroes such as Stepan Bandera, a guerrilla who fought the Russian and Polish occupation of what’s now Ukraine and won Nazi patronage.

Moscow’s critics say the real fascism lies in the neo-imperial ideology supposedly motivating Putin.

Forgotten in Central Asia

Last week, authorities in the city of Angren, Uzbekistan, demolished a tall, spire-like statue of a Soviet soldier bearing a rifle. It had been erected in 1970, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II. Uzbek authorities aren’t as sanguine about the war’s history as their Russian counterparts appear to be—tens of thousands of Uzbek soldiers were drafted to fight and die in battles far from their homeland. The Soviet Union may have been in the frontlines of the war against the Nazis, but it is still remembered as an occupying power by many in countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

According to Radio Free Europe, authoritarian Uzbek leader Islam Karimov changed the name of the May 09 holiday that marks the war’s end—known as “Victory Day” in Russia—to the Day of Remembrance. Official media have been discouraged from referring to the conflict as the Great Patriotic War, the term used in other parts of the former Soviet Union.

East Asia’s endless disputes

For Japanese, Chinese and Koreans, the war bubbles up each time a Japanese leader visits the controversial Yasukuni shrine, which honors Japan’s war dead, including 14 individuals convicted of war crimes by an Allied tribunal in 1948. Beijing and Seoul frequently fume about the supposed revisionism found in some Japanese school history textbooks, which downplay the atrocities carried out by Japan’s military during its occupations of parts of Asia. This includes the widespread use of “comfort women,“ or sex slaves forced to serve Japanese soldiers.

The planned World War II speech of hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is expected to express “remorse” over the conflict, has been the source of months of scrutiny in the region. A commentary published by China’s state news agency Xinhua this week condemned Abe’s “attempts to mitigate or deny” Japan’s war guilt—a longstanding Chinese grievance that surfaces during far more current territorial disputes.

“To be a responsible political leader,“ Xinhua advises, “[Abe] should at least resist the urge to do so as history may repeat itself unless lessons are learned.“

A special visitor in Moscow

On May 09, Moscow will mark Victory Day with a grand military parade, attended by a host of international dignitaries. Its current acrimonious relationship means that a number of prominent leaders, including President Obama, will not count among the at least 26 heads of state expected to attend.

A more likely guest? Kim Jong Un, portly despot of North Korea, a closed, hidden land still frozen in the Cold War.

As WorldViews reported earlier, it’s not totally clear Kim himself will arrive in Moscow or, instead, may be represented by a top figure within his regime. If so, it will be the first official foreign visit Dennis Rodman’s North Korean best friend has made in the three strange years since he came to power.

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