Gilmer County C.E.O.S. Enjoyes a “Safe Tea” presentation

The Free Press WV

On Thursday, June 09, 2016 the Gilmer County C.E.O.S. enjoyed a “Safe Tea” presentation at Genesis HealthCare, Glenville Center in honor of Safety month.

The presentation included a formal tea service,  offering attendees the opportunity to taste a variety of different teas and dine on traditional tea cakes and cucumber sandwiches.

Brittany Murdoch, LSP and Therapy Manger for the Glenville Center provided the group with tips and tricks on staying safe in the home.

The Free Press WV

A few of those tips included the use of bathmats or adhesive decals in the bathtub, grab rails, and using a grabber to reach items on high shelves.

Mary Oldaker won the door prize! A special Thank you to Genesis HealthCare and Staff for inviting the Gilmer County CEOS to their Tea!

For more information about the Gilmer County CEOS or how to join please contact Lisa Montgomery, Extension Agent at the Gilmer County Extension Office: Phone: 304.462.7061 or Email:

The Free Press WV
The Free Press WV

Rising Level Of Child Poverty “Ignored” By Candidates

The Free Press WV

Given how little attention it’s getting from candidates, children in poverty is a hidden crisis, say advocates.

According to the most recent complete numbers from Kids Count, more children in West Virginia and across the nation are growing up in poverty now than during the Great Recession.

But Bruce Lesley, president of the children’s advocacy group First Focus, says in the first 10 Democratic and Republican presidential debates, only one question out of 500 was specific to the lives children in this country now live.

“Someone will say I care about terrorism and we need to do it for our children,” he relates. “That may be true but there are huge issues facing our children directly. So where’s the big debate?“

About 20 percent of U.S. children live below the poverty line, a rate sharply higher than adults.

The number of West Virginia children in poverty rose by about 7 percent between 2007 and 2014.

Folks working on children’s issues say they have trouble drawing attention to the topic during political fights and budget battles.

Lesley says even though childhood poverty is increasing, federal spending devoted to fighting it has fallen in recent years.

“If they would engage in the conversation, I think they would find a very receptive audience among the public but because kids don’t vote, they don’t have PACs, they’re not donating to campaigns, they’re not on top of mind, and so it’s a huge problem that we face,“ Lesley says.

Although the issue doesn’t always draw a lot of attention, Julia Isaacs, a senior fellow with the Urban Institute, says it can be hugely important.

“Children growing up in poverty tend not to do as well in school, which means that then when they’re adults they may be in poverty,” she points out. “And so one reason we try to break the cycle of poverty is so we don’t have inter-generational poverty. “

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What do you think that MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN means?  Making America great again will help us all and that even means our children and all of our friends and neighbors.


Action talks, bulls### walks. Having a big mouth and keep running without a plan does not mean a things. Poor will become poorer by “Making America Great Again”.

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Creston News

The Free Press WV

  • Rick Williams brought the message at the Burning Springs M. E. Church.

  • The big midsummer Creston ATV poker run will be held on Saturday, July 30 with signups up until noon.  Sausage & biscuits will be served for breakfast & riders can leave at nine o’clock.  The ride will be something over 50 miles and can be done with a two wheel drive machine although in some mud hole areas one must make judicious decisions as to what path to follow.  Garry Anderson, a seasoned rider, had to be pulled through a mud hole that a less than competent rider had just traversed.  There will be plenty of water, play areas, scenic vistas, wooded glens, flowers, wild animals and amphibians to view & enjoy.  The route does not go anywhere near the scene of the recent murder at the head of Little Creek.

  • Paul Batten, a longtime employee of Energy Corp. of America, died while fixing a gas leak last Sunday in Roane County.  The Tucker’s Creek resident was a good man and good to work with when dealing with his employer.  He will be missed by many.

  • A fellow went berry picking Saturday morning on the Asa (Ace) Haney hill between the Peach Camp Fork of Little Creek & Hardman’s Fork of Big Rowell and discovered a body lying along the road.  An investigation revealed that the man, said to be Lewis or Louis Bartlett from Texas, was shot four times Friday evening.  Earlier there had been a breakin of a Hardman Fork home and Joshua Darwin Schrader came to a residence asking for help still party tied up after having been beaten and perhaps burned & held for some days.  He ended up in Doddridge County on unrelated charges and Adam Michael Miller was charged & sent to Flatwoods.  There have been reports of other crimes and the Creston area has had lots of attention from various lawmen for several days. Those who do not routinely lock their automobiles & homed are now taking extra precautions.

  • The Creston Community Building has a new coat of paint and it looks the best it has for years.  David Bunner has done a fine job of painting & the job is a good recommendation for anyone looking for a great painter.

  • The FEMA guys (I’m from the guv’mint & I’m here to help you!) have stopped people who were repairing the flood damage on their homes and told the folks to raise the building however many feet or they will not be allowed to live there and the banks, under FEMA rules won’t be allowed to loan money & in one instance someone had the gas company pull all the gas meters to keep people away.  The folks in the flooded area now realize what Bernie Sanders was saying about it being a rigged game[just like the hacked e-mails from Debbie Washerwoman-Schultz proved].  Some years back the Junior Dam Builders (U. S. Army Corps of Engineers) came to Wirt County and told folks that if Columbus or Boston wanted the entire state of W. Va. as a water supply they would & could take us all and some years back Perfesser Gee Haw, the head honcho at the little university in Morgantown, said folks in W. Va. should be moved to a few central locations so that “government services” could be provided easier & cheaper.  Most folks would just like to be left alone, that being the reason our ancestors left the old country to seek freedom from tyranny and that is why so many were happy with how matters worked out in Cleveland last week.  Speaking of Cleveland, Ivanka Trump gave her speech in a $138.00 dress while not so long back her thighness gave a talk on “income inequality” wearing a coat that cost a mere $12,495.00 showing that she could “relate” to the peasants.  Some of the “so called former Republican ‘leaders’” have now been shown to be completely irrelevant and as in the mainstream as buggy whips, mechanical brakes on automobiles & 8 track tapes.

  • Those who follow the fortunes of Chesapeake Energy note that the firm’s finances & future took a turn for the better but Schlumbeger, the oilfield service giant laid off 16,000 men.

  • The West Virginia Farm Bureau regional meeting with legislators & other leaders will be July 30 starting at 5:30 at the Marina in St. Marys.  While meat will be provided one can bring a covered dish.

  • A significant amount of second cutting hay has been put up recently after the rainy spell ended.  Of course the excess heat helped cure the hay.

  • While Islamic terrorists go wild world wide and police are assassinated all over the nation, John Kerry, a/k/a Jon Cary who is a friend of Jane Fondu & dealt with the enemy while still on ‘active duty’ said we should fear our refrigerators & air conditioners more than those who have vowed to “kill us all”.  One can hope that the nation remains intact until he is “put out to pasture” and can spend his wife’s ketchup fortune.

  • Melissa “Missy” & Brandon Ferrell spent the weekend visiting Mr. & Mrs. Carl Ferrell & Mary Reno.

  • Charles Russell was calling on Ray Gumm, Paris Parsons & brother Euell at the Miletree facility.  Euell seemed to be doing real well.

  • It was reported that the former Ravens plant sold to Tim Ellison for $340,000 plus 10%.

  • The Elizabeth nursing home continues to be news.  There was a meeting last Monday evening but there was a discussion about the time of the meeting.  Turns out there were two (2) meetings.  The first at 6 P. M. was a private or secret meeting or executive session of the ruling group and during that meeting they made motions, voted, etc.  Then at 7 P. M. there was a meeting for the “ordinary folks”.  While there was an effort to block tee vee coverage, Roger Shepard got in and asked questions that the grand poo bah didn’t want to answer.  Seems that the “in crowd” had known for months that the Big Eared One & his “affordable health care circus” has told them no on the nursing home & they were scheming to open up the “wonder Clinic” & make them selves look like “heros”.  As someone said, “They knew that the peasants were out side with a tar wagon and bags of feathers so they said they would try to go about making the nursing home happen using other means.  Of course it was learned that, over time, they had ignored the sound advice and counsel of those who obviously knew more than they ever thought about knowing.  While no one wants to be cast into a rest home, sometimes there is no real choice in the matter when there is no family able to assist, especially with Alzheimer’s patients.

  • Former oil & gas inspector Glen Robinson, age 76, of Lubeck passed away.  A native of Frozen Run, he grew up in Tanner was a retired Navy man with service in Viet Nam & Club Gitmo on the island of Cuba.

  • The price of local Pennsylvania grade crude dropped to $43.19/bbl. with condensate fetching $26.19, Marcellus & Utica light $37.69 & medium $43.19/bbl.

~~  Alvin Engelke ~~

Governor Tomblin Unveils ‘RISE WV’ Initiative to Support Flood-Impacted Small Businesses

Public-private program co-sponsored by
West Virginia native Brad Smith

The Free Press WV

CHARLESTON, WV – Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today unveiled a new public-private initiative, “RISE West Virginia,” aimed at strengthening flood-impacted communities by providing grants to affected small businesses. The program is being co-sponsored by West Virginia native Brad Smith, Chairman and CEO of Intuit, one of the world’s leading financial software companies. Smith and his wife, Alys, have committed a family donation of $500,000 to the program.

“As we have seen in the month following these devastating floods, it will take all of us from the local, state and federal levels, the private sector and generous individuals to rebuild homes, businesses and entire communities,” Governor Tomblin said. “That’s what the RISE program represents – an all-hands-on-deck approach to getting people back in business and back to work, and ensuring our communities rise beyond this disaster and become stronger than ever before. I thank West Virginia son Brad Smith and his wife, Alys, for their exceptional support of this program and devotion to the Mountain State.”

In addition to Smith’s personal support of RISE West Virginia, his company has committed to providing flood-impacted small businesses free products – such as QuickBooks accounting, point-of-sale devices, and merchant payment services – along with free training to help them get back up and running.

“West Virginia residents and small businesses inspire the world through their strength and resilience,” Smith shared. “So many have benefited from what our state, local communities and neighbors have invested in us over the years. This is our opportunity to show our appreciation and support by helping rebuild and strengthen these communities, being there for those who have always stood by us, and setting the foundation for an even brighter future. I hope that all West Virginia natives across the globe are inspired to participate in RISE West Virginia.” 

Governor Tomblin said the goal is for the program to reach a minimum of $2 million from a combination of private donations and state dollars that otherwise could have been part of the Racetrack Modernization Fund. Interested donors will be asked to contact the West Virginia Development Office, and small businesses will apply through the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, which is partnering with the state to make the program possible.

Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to eligible small businesses based on need and recommendations from a review committee, which may designate larger awards as special circumstances warrant. To be considered, small businesses must be located in one of the 12 counties included in the federal disaster declaration, have had a verifiable and operational business at the time of the June 2016 flooding, and be in good standing with the state. The review committee will look at each business’s commitment to retaining or creating jobs, among other considerations.

Additional information, including a link to the application, will be available online through West Virginia’s official flood recovery website,​, beginning Tuesday, July 26.

City of Glenville Meeting Minutes - 06.06.19

The Free Press WV
June 06, 2016
7:00 p.m.

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick with Council members: Fisher, Wiant, Walters, Taylor and Huffman present. 

Pledge of Allegiance

I. Call to Order

Public Comments

No public comments

A. Approval of Minutes – May 02, 2016

The minutes from the May 2, 2016, meeting were reviewed.  One correction was noted and minutes were placed on file for audit.
II. Reports


The budget is currently at 93.70% of the fiscal year.  The final budget revisions for this fiscal year must be submitted by June 17 for approval.  The book keeper requested $6000 be moved from the Police Dept with $2000 to the Street Dept and and $4000 to City Hall and $275 from Contingency fund with $125 to 410 City Council and $150 to 411 Recorder line items.

440 - City Hall $4000

750 - Street Dept $2000

410 - City Council $125

411 - Recorder $150

Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to approve these adjustments in the budget.  Councilman Walters seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to approve the financial report as presented.  Councilman Walters seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

Street Report

Mayor Fitzpatrick noted that 812 tons of black top were used to pave the city streets.  Not all streets were paved that were in need, but the worst streets were repaired at a total cost of $74,239. 

Police Report

Chief Huffman provided the police report to council.  He requested executive session to discuss personnel matters.  Council will move into executive session later in meeting.

Glenville Utility

Mayor Fitzpatrick noted there was no utility meeting in April, but attended the meeting in May.  There was a 3”water line leak on Elm Street, replaced a pump and flushed hydrants.  No leaks or problems on the sewer side.  June Evans’ term on the board will expire June 30.  The utility board requested council approve June Evans’ reappointment for another term.

Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to reappoint June Evans for another term. Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

Councilwoman Huffman complimented the water department for their time and assistance with a water leak in her home late one night.


Nothing to report at this time.

Mayor Comments

- Reschedule July meeting to July 11 at 7:00 p.m.  Council Meeting rescheduled to July 11 due to holiday.

- Paving: Update provided earlier in meeting

- Citywide Yard Sale June 17-18: Citywide Yard Sale is scheduled for June 17-18, 2016.  Participants need to submit their advertisements to City Office by June 13 in order to publish in newspaper.  Councilwoman Huffman will advertise on Facebook.

- Folk Festival part time workers: Requested two part-time workers to assist the Street Dept. to work Folk Festival at 30 hours each for a total of $525.00.  Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to approve the two part-time workers for Folk Festival for 30 hours each totaling $525.00.  Councilman Walters seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

Councilwoman Huffman made a motion for council to move into executive session at 7:19 p.m.  Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

Councilwoman Huffman made a motion for council to come out of executive session at 7:48 p.m.  Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

Councilman Fisher made a motion to hire a part time parking officer at 20 hours per week at $9 per hour.

III. Unfinished Business


IV. New Business


V. Other Business to come before Council
Councilman Wiant asked about the bonfire by the river event during Folk Festival.  Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to allow the bonfire along the Little Kanawha River with the Fire Dept. on hand for control.  Councilman Fisher seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

VI. Next City Council Meeting

The next council meeting will be July 11, at 7:00 p.m.

VII. Adjourn

Meeting adjourned at 7:51 p.m.

Did You Know?

The Free Press WV


Hillary Clinton’s campaign sought to squelch a political firestorm over hacked emails that deepened dissent among Bernie Sanders’ supporters, turning to some of the party’s biggest stars to heal divisions on the Democratic convention’s opening night.


The release of hacked Democratic party emails inflames the rift between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - and gives Donald Trump ammunition. Now, the Clinton and Trump campaigns are fighting over Russia’s role in the release of thousands of internal Democratic National Committee emails.


Bernie Sanders has put Democrats on notice that he’s concerned that President Barack Obama could try to get a lame-duck Congress to approve the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal after the November elections.


At least 19 people were killed and about 20 wounded in a knife attack at a facility for the handicapped in a city just outside Tokyo.


Four attacks in a week - three of them carried out by asylum seekers - have left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism.


Mayer may have been a rare woman leader of a big tech company at Yahoo, but did little to meaningfully change the status of women in tech, which will take many years to shift.


Most of the about 20,000 evacuees from a huge wildfire north of Los Angeles will be allowed to return, the U.S. Forest Service says.


Airliners’ exhaust harms human health and adds to climate change, the government determines in the first step toward regulating those emissions.


Michael Jordan, notoriously quiet over the years when it comes to his opinions on politics or social justice issues, has finally spoken out about racial tensions in America, in hopes of easing conflicts between blacks and law enforcement.


The Solar Impulse 2 plane has landed in Abu Dhabi more than a year after its initial take off, completing the first round-the-world flight to be powered solely by the sun’s energy.

In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►   ACLU Wants to Review West Virginia Police Shooting

West Virginia’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is seeking details related to the death of a 23-year-old black man who was fatally shot by police.

Attorneys with the ACLU filed Freedom of Information Act requests last week with both Weirton police and State Police in connection with the May 6 shooting death of Ronald Williams Jr.

A State Police trooper wrote in a report that Williams was pointing a gun at officers when he was shot in the back of the head outside his ex-girlfriend’s house in Weirton.

The ACLU’s Jeff Martin says the organization wants to review whether policies and procedures were being followed by Weirton police at the time of the shooting.

Williams was from McKees Rocks, outside Pittsburgh.

►   West Virginia County Spending Hits $1M on Flood Recovery

A West Virginia county is spending at least $1 million to clean up after deadly, damaging floods last month.

The Kanawha County Commission is allocating another $500,000 to flood recovery, bringing the total to $1 million.

Most will aid in cleaning up debris. The county has moved 14,000 tons of debris from flood-ravaged areas.

The additional $500,000 will also help pay contractors for their flood cleanup services.

Commission President Kent Carper says the county is asking for some costs to be covered through the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

The June 23 floods killed 23 people and ravaged homes, businesses and infrastructure across West Virginia.

►   WV Federation of Teachers President criticizes Boone County budget cuts

The president of the West Virginia Federation of Teachers is criticizing cuts made by the Boone County School board to its budget in the face of a state takeover.

Cuts to vision and dental benefits and supplemental pay were made last week as recommended by the state Dept. of Education to avoid the WVDE seizing control of the district. Christine Campbell wanted to know how the issue seemingly arose out of nowhere.

“If the state Board of Education were truly monitoring the county budget, where were these recommendations last year? Or earlier this year, within the timelines set forth in state code?,” she asked.

Campbell contended that to cut benefits and pay so close to the school year is a breach of the contracts that were signed in the spring.

“If they (the teachers) walked away from their contracts, they would be penalized. They upheld their contractual obligations, and they didn’t create this mess,” Campbell said. “The comments that teachers and service personnel educating our children should be lucky to have a job is, quite frankly, offensive.”

The Boone County Board said they made cuts and did everything they could to avoid salary and benefit cuts, something Campbell questioned as well.

“They say they did it, but what have they actually gone through to make sure that all options have been considered and cut before they start cutting employees (salary and benefits).

For it’s part, the state school board said Boone County’s revenue shortfall situation was unfortunate, but at least the district will maintain control, no jobs were lost and the school year would not be affected. Campbell wasn’t so sure.

“We’re concerned that all of this is going to affect the actual school year, and making sure that those students have service personnel, teachers and their administrators in their buildings when they come on August 16.”

The cuts made last Monday to the Boone County School budget for Fiscal Year 2017 amounted to nearly $6 million.

The WVDE had said that the original budget submitted to the state was about $7 million short, and demanded a balanced budget be redrafted to avoid the state taking action.

►   The coolest spot in West Virginia: Summertime at Snowshoe is a hidden gem

When I heard Friday’s forecast I was excited.  The weather service issued a heat advisory with temperatures for Saturday and Sunday expected to be nearing 100 degrees with high humidity.  Why would this excite me?  I wasn’t going to be here.  My family and I were headed to the West Virginia mountains for a weekend at Snowshoe Mountain Resort.  Snowshoe is routinely the coolest spot in the state during all seasons.  She didn’t disappoint this past weekend either.  The mercury struggled to finally make 80 on top of the Pocahontas County mountain and it was mitigated by a near constant breeze which made it one of the most comfortable spots in the state.

Snowshoe is typically best known for its wintertime activities.  Ski enthusiasts and those who enjoy snow boards, tubing, snow mobiles, and other winter activities know the resort well.  However, what is less known is Snowshoe is a year-round resort.  It’s a not so well kept secret as more and more find activities on the mountain an attraction for families from all over the east coast.

I scanned the parking lot this weekend and noticed various license plates from Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Arkansas.  Yeah, I don’t understand the Arkansas connection, but hey, welcome to West Virginia Razorback.

Cool and comfortable temperatures are just the beginning of why summer is my favorite time at Snowshoe.  I can’t ski and the consideration of me on a snowboard is more than laughable, it’s downright dangerous.  So wintertime at Snowshoe isn’t my thing. But summer and fall are incredible.  The resort offers much more to do than one might think.  There’s plenty of lodging since the crowds aren’t nearly as big as a ski weekend so getting nice accommodations is easy.  The resort features a unique swimming pool which allows one to go outdoors or indoors without leaving the water. The pool is also open during the winter–and since it’s heated that’s an unusual attraction in a different season.

There are lake activities which include swimming with an array of inflatable toys for kids and their parents alike.  Shaver’s Lake in the winter time is where the resort draws water to make snow when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.  During the summer, the lake becomes a playground.  You can choose a canoe, jon boat, kayak, or paddle board for an afternoon of entertainment–and cool off in the mountain water.  The lake features the highest beach east of the Mississippi.

Mountain biking isn’t my thing, but it is for a lot of folks and they flock to Snowshoe.  Many were there just to take trip after trip down the various downhill bike courses established on the now snow barren ski slopes.  It’s as challenging a downhill course as any in the east from what I’m told and once you’re at the bottom, the ski lift is retrofitted to carry you and your bike back to the top.

Other attractions include zip lines through the center of the Snowshoe village, a tour of the mountain on those unusual Segue machines, off roading in an ATV, or sporting clays (now we’re talking my language).

The most unique experience, and one I highly recommend, is dinner at the wilderness hut.  Groups of up to 20 each Saturday night travel via UTV to a remote cabin on the resort’s mountain property where the staff prepares a fantastic dinner which you can enjoy in the solitude of the West Virginia back country.

The name may say Snowshoe, but even when the snow is gone, it’s a great weekend destination for anyone in West Virginia wanting to relax and cool off.  ~~  Chris Lawrence ~~

►   HealthNet has safely transported more than 70,000 patients since 1986 and celebrates 30 years of medical helicopter service in WV

It’s been 30 years since HealthNet Aeromedical Services began operating in West Virginia.

The not-for-profit critical care transport system, in partnership with the Charleston Area Medical Center, Cabell-Huntington Hospital and West Virginia University Healthcare, was formed in 1986.

“There are people that are alive today because 30 years ago these hospital administrators had the foresight to have this service available,” said Clinton Burley, president and CEO of HealthNet. “It makes a huge difference in Appalachia.”

An anniversary celebration was held Monday on Charleston’s landing pad at CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital where Thomas Reed, a HealthNet flight paramedic, was recognized for his 30 years of service.

“You just can’t separate yourself from it,” Reed said of his time at HealthNet. “I’ve had an opportunity to get additional education and go elsewhere, but it keeps drawing me back.”

Reed, 60, began working out of Charleston’s base where HealthNet operated two air crafts. Fast forward 30 years later and the organization now operates nine helicopters in Ripley, Beckley and Lewisburg, and in Kentucky and Ohio. Reed has served nearly 5,000 patients over the last three decades.

“I could say that my office window is constantly changing. I’m always outside in the environment, so those are all things that appeal to me, but the real thing that feeds my soul is being able to touch somebody in their hour of moment of need and to make a difference in their lives,” he said.

HealthNet has changed since its early beginnings, specifically with technology and equipment advancements, Reed said.

“The things that have changed is better equipment, faster aircraft, better radio communication. All of that can’t be summarized in just a few words, but it is huge,” Reed said.

Burley said those advancements have played a key role in serving West Virginia — an area that is typically a difficult state to get around in due its mountainous terrain.

“The geography does not lend itself to get anywhere quickly,” Burley said. “When you have a medical helicopter that can respond to an accident scene or a small, rural community hospital and quickly stabilize a patient and move that patient into a facility like CAMC or Cabell-Huntington or WVU, that’s where lives are saved.”

HealthNet has safely transported more than 70,000 patients since 1986.

►   Lincoln County ready to launch student drug testing program

Lincoln County Students will find a new drug testing policy in place when they return to school for the fall semester next month.  The policy, which was approved in the spring by the Lincoln County School Board, targets students who drive to school or participate in athletics or other extra curricular activities.

“Everyone knows we have a major drug problem.  It’s destroying families.  Hardly anybody you talk to does not have somebody in their family affected and it destroys them,” said Assistant Lincoln County School Superintendent Bill Linville.

Additionally, Linville said parents could ask for their child to be added to the list of those subject to random drug screening if they don’t drive or don’t participate in extra curricular activities or sports.

It’s the first year for the drug testing policy at Lincoln County High School.  Last year the county’s vocational and technical education center implemented a program called “Simulated Workplace’ in which the school is run just like a job site and random drug testing was implemented.  Under the program 20 students would be tested a month.

“We want to let everybody know right up front, this is not a punitive thing,” Linville said. “The number one reason we’re doing this is to try to help children who may sample drugs so they won’t get hooked on them and get them some drug education.”

If a student tests positive the first offense results in a suspension of driving privileges or participation in athletics or extra curricular activities until the parents produce documentation the child has undergone a certified drug education program.  The second offense will result in a 90 day suspension of driving privileges.  A second offense for athletes will result in a 14 day suspension and a third offense for athletes will result in a calendar year prohibition on participation.

“It has nothing to do with our school code of conduct,” said Linville. “They’re not going to be suspended form school if they test positive unless they are under the influence of something at school or have possession.  It’s not punitive, we’re just trying to help.”

Linville added another positive aspect of the drug testing program is to give teens another excuse to say “No” when around friends and other peer groups.

“Somebody might say, ‘Let’s drink this beer or smoke this joint,’ and they would be able to say, ‘No no, they may drug test on Tuesday,‘” Linville explained. “It gives kids another out when they’re out with their peers to not use drugs or alcohol.”

Linville said the reaction from Lincoln County residents has been largely positive, with a few complaints.  He said overall he expected it would be a worthwhile effort and a first step toward finding a solution to the ever growing drug problem in the county and in society as a whole.

►   West Virginia offering millions for flood-damaged businesses

The state is making millions of dollars in minigrants available for small businesses damaged by deadly floods last month.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced Monday that grants up to $10,000 will be awarded to small businesses through the RISE West Virginia public-private partnership.

Tomblin set a minimum goal of $2 million through private donations and state money.

Tomblin plans to use some of the $4.5 million in state money usually earmarked for casinos.

Brad Smith, CEO of software company Intuit, is donating $500,000 and offering free software for affected small businesses.

Prospective donors can contact the West Virginia Development Office. Small businesses can apply for grants through the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

The June 23 floods killed 23 people and ravaged homes, businesses and infrastructure.

In USA….

The Free Press WV

►   U.S. Cities With Most-Educated Workers—and the Least

WalletHub notes that the fall semester is right around the corner—and that those who boost their brains with higher education tend to nab better jobs and bring home higher salaries. The site looked at 150 US metropolitan statistical areas, examining nine different criteria to see which cities claimed the most-educated (and least-educated) working citizens. The five metropolitan areas with the highest brainiac status:

  1. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-WV
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
  4. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
  5. Madison, Wis.

And the five least-educated cities:

  1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
  2. Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas
  3. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.
  4. Bakersfield, Calif.
  5. Modesto, Calif.

►   AP Poll: Support grows among Americans for stricter gun laws

Americans increasingly favor tougher gun laws by margins that have grown wider after a steady drumbeat of shootings in recent months, but they also are pessimistic that change will happen anytime soon, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents expressed support for stricter laws, with majorities favoring nationwide bans on the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons such as the AR-15 and on the sale of high-capacity magazines holding 10 or more bullets.

The percentage of Americans who want such laws is the highest since the AP-GfK poll started asking the question in 2013, a survey taken about 10 months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 children and six educators.

High-profile shootings also appear to have taken a toll on Americans’ sense of safety. Strong majorities of those polled expressed some degree of concern that they or a relative will be a victim of gun violence or a mass shooting.

“If you live in the United States in these days right now, you have to be concerned,“ said Milonne Ambroise, a 63-year-old administrative assistant from Decatur, Georgia. “You could be on the street somewhere. You could be at a shopping mall thinking there will be a mass shooting and you will be in the middle of it. You can’t not think about it.“

Ambroise, a native of Haiti who moved to the U.S. nearly 50 years ago, said she is now much more alert and on guard whenever she is in public.

“I’m looking for exits. This isn’t something I did before,“ she said. “What if I have to run? Where’s the exit? Where would I go?“

The level of concern about being victimized is not uniform, however. Nonwhites are significantly more likely to be very or extremely concerned.

Alonzo Lassiter, 66, of suburban St. Louis worries that his autistic 17-year-old son could be the victim of gun violence, either by a robber or the police.

“If somebody told him to get on the ground and put his hands up – or told him to give up his headphones – he wouldn’t readily identify those instructions,“ said Lassiter, who is black. “He may be an easy target.“

He said straw purchasers who buy and then resell guns to ineligible felons and teenagers have flooded some urban neighborhoods with firearms and need to be stopped.

The poll was conducted July 07 to July 11, shortly after a string of high-profile shootings. That included the Orlando nightclub massacre that left 50 dead, including the gunman, and 53 others wounded, and the fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. Most interviews took place after the sniper attack that killed five officers in Dallas.

A majority of respondents expressed a desire for a national approach to gun laws, rather than a patchwork of state laws or local regulations, even though Congress has thus far failed to act on many of the initiatives the poll showed Americans support. Yet less than half of respondents said they believe gun laws will indeed get tougher in the coming year.

By a 55 percent to 43 percent margin, respondents said laws that limit gun ownership do not infringe on the constitutional right to bear arms. But the responses also revealed a partisan divide: 87 percent of Democrats support stricter gun laws compared with 41 percent of Republicans.

Gender and geography are other dividing lines, the poll found. Women and those who live in cities and suburbs are more likely to support gun restrictions than men and those who live in rural areas.

Americans find common ground on other issues. Strong majorities of Democrats and Republicans said they support requiring background checks for people buying firearms at gun shows and through other private sales. They also back a ban on gun sales to people on the federal terrorism watch list even if they have not been convicted of a crime.

“Why should it only be the dealers that have to do the background checks? At gun shows, individual sellers should be required to do the background checks so they don’t end up selling them to the criminal element,“ said John Wallace, a disabled Vietnam veteran and former gun dealer who lives in Limestone, Maine, and owns several guns.

Despite the support for tighter gun laws, majorities oppose banning handguns, imposing an Australia-style gun buyback program or making gun manufacturers or sellers liable if guns are later used in a crime.

While 70 percent of people in gun-owning households favor universal background checks, there were stark differences in how gun-owning households and gun-free households view efforts to limit access.

Just 42 percent of those who live in gun-owning households, for example, support bans on assault-style guns and banning high-capacity magazines.

Kimberly Huebner is an exception. The 43-year-old high school special education teacher from San Marcos, Texas, grew up in a household with guns and learned firearms safety. She also believes some restrictions should be imposed, including a ban on AR-style firearms and high-capacity magazines.

Her opinion has been shaped in part by recent mass shootings, she said.

Huebner believes the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to protect themselves against the government, but not necessarily the right to possess any firearm they choose, especially when it comes to AR-platform long guns. Those types of firearms, she said, “just are not necessary. Nobody is using them to hunt deer.“

Instead, she said, some people have a skewed view of the Second Amendment.

“Like the Bible, they use it for their own arguments,“ she said. “You can manipulate and twist arguments for your own benefits.“

She believes current laws need to be better enforced, specifically citing gaps in enforcing background checks.

►   Georgia News Anchor Swept Over Waterfall

The station 41NBC in Macon, Georgia is mourning news anchor Taylor Terrell, who was swept over a waterfall to her death the day before her 25th birthday. A US Forest Service spokeswoman says Terrell fell 160 feet over Rainbow Falls in Transylvania County, North Carolina on Thursday after she slipped on an algae-covered rock while wading, CBS reports. Transylvania County Chief Deputy Eddie Gunter tells the Macon Telegraph that a Terrell was in a “real dangerous spot” that claims two to three lives every year. Terrell’s is the seventh waterfall-related death this year, Gunter says, adding: “Transylvania County has a lot of waterfalls.“

Terrell, an avid hiker, anchored 41NBC News at Daybreak and 41Today and had taken Friday off for her birthday. “To say that this loss is devastating for us here at 41NBC and to her family is an understatement,“ the station said Friday. “Taylor was scheduled to be off today to celebrate her 25th birthday. Instead, we’re remembering her spirit, her optimism, and her work.“ News director Brandon Long said in a statement: “Taylor was a hard worker with a bright smile. She rose through the ranks from intern to reporter, to weekend anchor, to morning anchor and was eager to prepare for her next chapter.“ The US Forest Service is investigating the death.

►   Moviegoer Pulls Gun After Kid Kicks His Seat

Many of us have been annoyed by kids kicking the back of our seats during a movie—but not many have endup up pulling out guns because of it, like an irate moviegoer in Kentucky did. Police say that at a Saturday screening of Star Trek Beyond in Paducah, a man got up and swore at the boy behind him, asking him if he was going to keep kicking his seat. “The boy’s father interceded and a fight broke out between the two men, police said in a Facebook post, per the Hollywood Reporter. “As the father got the upper hand in the fight, witnesses said, the other man pulled a gun and said, ‘What the (expletive) are you going to do now?“

Police say other moviegoers ran for the exit when they saw the gun. Three men, including theater employees, escorted the man outside and waited with him until police arrived. He was not arrested at the time, but police say they plan to seek charges and will present their evidence to the McCracken County Attorney’s Office on Monday. The man is banned from Cinemark property. The Paducah Sun reports that the rest of the audience was allowed back into the theater, where the movie was rewound and they were offered free tickets.

►   Coast Guard Hunts Hoaxer Who Cost It $500K

The US Coast Guard says it’s looking for a man who has cost the service about $500,000 after responding to nearly 30 of his fake distress calls, reports the AP. In a press release published Friday, the Coast Guard says the 28 calls have originated from around the area of Annapolis, Maryland. Each call involved the same male voice and used an emergency radio channel. He’s been making the calls since July 2014. The two most recent calls were made on the night of July 21 and the early morning of July 22. “A hoax call is a deadly and serious offense,” a Coast Guard rep tells NBC4, which notes that such calls are a felony that carry six years in prison, $10,000 civil fine, $250,000 criminal fine, and reimbursement to the Coast Guard. “Calls like these not only put our crews at risk, but they put the lives of the public at risk.”

►   Alaskan Put Dead Hubby on Ice, Went on Traveling Wake

A woman who drove her husband’s body on a days-long traveling wake in Alaska and used ice from canneries to keep him cold is not accused of breaking any laws, reports the AP. Officers responded to a call last week to find the body of a 78-year-old man inside an aluminum transport casket. Ketchikan Police Chief Alan Bengaard told the Ketchikan Daily News that the woman stopped at canneries for ice to put in the truck bed during the “rolling wake.“ The man had died of natural causes.

A mortuary took custody of the body after the authorities were called. The family can make further arrangements. Bengaard said hopefully the woman won’t take her husband back out on the road, but that he wasn’t aware of any laws she had broken.

►   2 Dead, Up to 14 Hurt in Florida Nightclub Shooting

Police in Fort Myers, Florida, are searching for suspects after at least two people were killed and about 14 hurt in a shooting outside a nightclub hosting an event for teenagers. Police responding to reports of shots fired in the parking lot of Club Blu around 12:30am found victims with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening, WBBH reports. Three people remained hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, reports WINK. Three suspects were taken into custody as police searched two other scenes, including one a few blocks away where houses and a car were shot at. Witnesses say there were at least 30 shots from multiple guns fired outside the nightclub, which was hosting an event called the “Swimsuit Glow Party.“

No age ID was required for entry. “It was a young teen event,“ witness Tatianna Nouhaioi tells ABC News. “There were kids. The kid I was holding in my lap, he was 14 years old that got shot. And then there was a little girl who also got shot and she was 13. One of the security guard’s daughter got shot, so I mean there was kids 13, 14, 15, 16. It was a young kids event.“ Those injured range in age from about 12 to 27. Details about the two people killed were not released, but both were males. The shooting comes about a month after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

►   Man Busted in Decades-Long Secret Life That Fooled His Wife

When Richard Hoagland fled Indiana in 1993, leaving behind four children from two families, he was considered missing and in 2003 declared dead. In reality, he was alive and well, living in Florida as Terry Jude Symansky, an unmarried Florida fisherman with no kids who drowned in 1991—and who Hoagland knew about thanks to having met the dead man’s father. Hoagland, who Fox 13 Tampa Bay reports is 63, has spent more than 20 years in Florida disguised as Symansky, marrying again, raising a son, working odd jobs, and buying real estate. But it all came to a head when the real Symansky’s nephew was doing research on and discovered a marriage license associated with his dead uncle’s name, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

But it doesn’t stop there. Hoagland’s second wife in Indiana is telling deputies that he said he had to disappear because he was wanted by the FBI for stealing millions, a claim local officials are currently investigating, while Hoagland himself says he was just trying to avoid divorce proceedings, reports WLTX 19. Hoagland’s Florida family appears to be in shock, with Mary Symansky saying she has now found his real identification docs in a briefcase in the attic, as well as the deed to property her husband bought in Louisiana in 2015 and a key to a storage unit. “This is a selfish coward,“ the sheriff said. “This is a person who has lived his life destroying others.“ One law professor calls the case “beyond fascinating” and “so different than your normal identity theft cases” because most identity thieves steal names to commit new crimes.

In The World….

The Free Press WV

►   police charge two eight-year-old girls who tore down pink lists

Two 8-year-old girls in Thailand have been charged for violating campaigning rules ahead of a contentious referendum next month after tearing voter lists off a wall because they liked the pink paper they were printed on, police said on Sunday.

The military government has clamped down on dissent ahead of the August 07 vote on a military-backed constitution that it says will ensure stability in a country rocked by political turmoil for more than a decade.

The girls were charged with obstructing the referendum process and destroying public property after tearing down the lists posted outside a school, said Damrong Phetpong, police commander in the northern province of Kamphaeng Phet.

“They confessed to tearing down the voter lists because they liked the color pink,“ Damrong told Reuters.

He said they would not face punishment because they were so young.

The referendum will be the first big test of the public’s opinion of the military government since it came to power after a May 2014 coup.

Critics, including major political parties, say the draft charter would give the military too much power over elected governments, and would not resolve differences between populist political forces and the military-dominated establishment.

The government, which appears increasingly jittery ahead of the vote, has brought in a law banning discussion of the constitution and lobbying, both for and against, with a 10-year prison sentence for anyone who breaks it.

►   Russian pranksters call heads of WADA, U.S. anti-doping agency

Russian media published on Friday calls by two comedians to the heads of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) pretending to be Ukrainian Sports Minister Ihor ZhdaNovember

Pranskters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov separately called WADA President Craig Reedie and USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, according to recordings published online by Sputnik, a Russian state-owned news agency.

Sputnik said the two callers “managed to trick” the two anti-doping officials “into revealing the truth behind the doping scandal”. They made the calls for a comedy show on Russia’s NTV channel, which was shown on Friday evening.

WADA said it was aware of the “scam”.

“The agency was targeted given the high profile of anti-doping just now,“ a spokeswoman said in an email.

“It involved Russian phone pranksters impersonating Ukraine’s minister of sport and engaging the true WADA president [Reedie] on topics related to anti-doping and impersonating the WADA president and engaging Ukraine’s true minister of sport.“

There was no immediate response from USADA.

Publishing the calls ahead of the program, Sputnik said they had been made on May 28, before the results of a WADA-backed investigation into doping allegations were published.

Kuznetsov asked Reedie whether he thought the results of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics should be revised in light of the doping scandal. Reedie said that he didn’t yet see proof of Russia’s wrong-doing and advised the caller, believing him to be Zhdanov, to await the results of the investigation.

Stolyarov also asked Tygart whether Sochi biathlon results should be revised, resulting in Ukrainians gaining medals awarded to Russians. Tygart said that this could potentially happen, but also said this would depend on the investigation.

President Vladimir Putin and his allies have deftly deflected the blame for the scandal by passing it off as a western Cold War-style plot to sabotage Russia’s international comeback.

Kuznetsov and Stolyarov have a history of making embarrassing calls to celebrities, notably British singer Elton John, who spoke to them last September believing he was speaking to Putin.

►   Syrian Bomber Kills Himself, Injures 12 in Germany

Police in the southern German city of Ansbach say a man killed himself and injured 12 others Sunday night when he blew himself up after being turned away from an open-air music festival, the AP reports. He was a 27-year-old Syrian who had been denied asylum, Bavaria’s top security official says. “We don’t know if this man planned on suicide or if he had the intention of killing others,“ Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters, adding that the man’s request for asylum was rejected a year ago, but he was allowed to remain in Germany because of the strife in Syria. Three of the 12 victims suffered serious injuries, Herrmann says.

A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Ansbach says the attacker’s motive wasn’t clear. “If there is an Islamist link or not is purely speculation at this point,“ he says. The three-day open-air concert was underway, with about 2,500 in attendance, when it was shut down as a precaution after the explosion. Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson was the scheduled performer. Germany—and Bavaria in particular—are on edge after a rampage at a Munich mall on Friday in which nine people were killed and an ax attack on a train near Wuerzburg last Monday in which five people were wounded. Earlier on Sunday in the neighboring state of Baden-Wurttemberg, a machete-wielding Syrian man killed a pregnant woman and injured two other people.

►   Cops Found a Head in a Bucket. Then Things Got Weird

The severed head of Llewelyn Lucas, a beloved local pastor in Belize, was on July 16 found stuffed into a bucket in the back of a truck outside a bar. But as police began to investigate, things only got weirder, reports Vice in a lengthy look at last weekend’s strange saga. William Mason—who was inside the bar and whose pickup also housed cash and firearms—and four others have been charged with the murder, and police are now investigating Mason for possible involvement in the kidnapping of a man and his wife two months ago. As 7 News Belize reports, Mason appears to be known in his community as a chef, a vet, a property developer with a mansion, and a pig farmer with a 160-acre ranch, but no one seems to know who the guy is. They only know that Mason is only one of the names he goes by.

He’s known in Guyana as Rajesh Ouellet and his nicknames include Ted, Teddy, Rajesh, Ramesh, Danny, and Raj; Vice uncovered what seemed to be fake and abandoned medical companies attached to him. Some reports have him as being born in Canada (though officials there couldn’t confirm to Vice he was a citizen), while Breaking Belize News reports that the man has claimed to be born in Belize as well as Guyana, and that he “moves carefully and creatively, ensuring that police are unable to stop him.“ Or perhaps not: The Guardian Belize alleges a smoking-gun video exists that shows a kidnapped Lucas, along with two other victims who were later released, at Mason’s home in the capital city of Belmopan on July 15. The site says Mason’s surveillance system was active at the time and cites police as saying the alleged kidnapping was captured on video. Burnt remains are said to have been recovered on Mason’s farm.

►   Can ‘Earthships’ Solve Canada’s First Nations Housing Crisis?

Could earthships be the solution to the housing crisis in Canada’s First Nations communities? US company Earthship Biotecture thinks so. “This housing that we make is made to take care of people. Feed them, keep them warm, with no utility bills,“ the company’s Michael Reynolds tells the Guardian. By contrast, he adds, “Really, all government housing is junk.“ But what’s an earthship? According to Inhabitat, it’s a “low-cost home that strives for self-sufficiency ... built primarily with recycled materials.“ Earthship Biotecture has built earthships for people in need in several countries, such as Haiti, India, and Sierra Leone. Now it is building one on Canada’s First Nations reserve. According to the Calgary Herald, the reality for many reserve residents is overcrowded, sub-standard housing.

Take Francine Doxtator, for instance. She lives in a leaky trailer, “ravaged by mice and black mold,“ with her disabled daughter and five grandchildren. Soon, however, Doxtator and her family will be the first First Nations family to move into an earthship. “I still don’t believe it’s happening,” she tells the Guardian. The $57,000 house, funded by Earthship Biotecture, contributions, and fundraising, will include solar panels, a cistern to collect rainwater, and hundreds of old tires that will “create a dense thermomass” for temperature regulation. Local volunteers will help build it. The hope is to eventually have a local team that can help others build earthships of their own. But, one of the volunteers tells the Guardian, strict building codes may be a hurdle, as well raising the money to build an earthship in the first place. As excited as she is for her new digs, Doxator does have one concern: “I just hope it doesn’t look like a Flintstones house in the end.”

►   Pokemon Go Results in Illegal Border Crossing

In their quest to “catch’em all,“ two Canadian teens were caught themselves—by the US Border Patrol, the CBC reports. “Both juveniles were so captivated by their Pokemon Go games that they lost track of where they were,“ per a Border Patrol press release. The pair was walking southbound in Coutts, Alberta, when they inadvertently crossed into the US near Sweet Grass, Mont., ABC reports. A Border Patrol agent tells the CBC that the teens, who have not been identified, were detained for a bit while mom was called. “The pair were later reunited with their mother at the nearby Border Patrol station,“ according to the release.

Compared to other Pokemon Go-related mishaps, an illegal border crossing is pretty tame. Two men in California fell off a bluff in pursuit of Pokemon. Players also have found dead bodies as they hunt for Pokemon. Myriad minor injuries have been reported. And police in Missouri say a group of teenage bandits were using the game to scout robbery victims.

►   Man Kills Pregnant Woman With Machete in Germany

A Syrian man killed a woman with a machete and wounded two others Sunday outside a bus station in the southwestern German city of Reutlingen before being arrested, the AP reports. The woman who was killed in the attack was pregnant, according to the Sun. Police say there were no indications pointing to terrorism. Police spokesman Bjoern Reusch tells the AP that witnesses say the 21-year-old asylum-seeker, who was known to police, was having an argument with the woman before attacking her about 4:30pm. The suspect, whose name was not released, wounded another woman and a man as he fled. Investigators were still trying to determine the motive behind the attack, but Reusch says “there are no indications this was a terrorist act.“

The Bild newspaper reports the woman worked at the kebab stand near where confrontation took place. One witness tells Bild. “The perpetrator was completely out of his mind,“ and says the attacker was run over by a BMW before being arrested. The attack comes as Germany is on edge following a rampage at a Munich mall on Friday night by an 18-year-old who suffered psychological problems in which nine people were killed, and an ax attack on a train a week ago that left five wounded in southern Germany, for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility. Some Germans are also fearful of any signs of a rise in crime or lawlessness after the country registered some 1 million asylum-seekers last year.

►   Munich Shooter Plotted 1 Year, Lurked on Dark Internet

Investigators looking into Friday’s mass shooting in Munich say the gunman spent more than a year preparing his attack, reports the AP. Bavarian investigator Robert Heimberger said the 18-year-old shooter, whom the BBC identifies as David Sonboly, “received inpatient (psychiatric) treatment in 2015 for two months and after that received outpatient care,“ said Thomas Steinkraus-Koch, spokesman for Munich prosecutor’s office. “The suspect had fears of contact with others” and also depression. Sonboly visited the site of a previous school shooting in the German town of Winnenden and took photographs.

Heimberger said Sonboly, who likely got his illegal weapon through the internet’s “dark net” market, was an avid player of first-person shooter video games, including “Counter-Strike: Source.“ Steinkraus-Koch said there is still no evidence of any political motivation to the crime, nor that the shooter killed specific victims. The number of injured has now risen to 35, notes the BBC.

►   Mom Killed Trying to Rescue Daughter From Tiger Attack

Siberian tigers killed a woman and seriously injured her daughter Saturday after the pair left their vehicle in a drive-thru wildlife park in China. Surveillance video from Badaling Wildlife World, located near a section of the Great Wall of China in Beijing, shows the younger woman exit the car’s front passenger seat, then walk to the opposite side of the vehicle. She speaks to the driver, identified as her husband, through an open door for a few seconds before a tiger pounces and drags her out of the camera’s view. Her husband chases after her, followed by her mother. Authorities now say the 57-year-old mother was killed by a second tiger while trying to help, reports the South China Morning Post. Her daughter, in her 30s, was listed in serious condition at a hospital after surgery on Sunday.

China’s Legal Evening News initially reported that the younger woman left the vehicle after an argument with her husband, though family members deny that, per the New York Times. Colleagues of the male driver say the family simply thought they had left the wildlife park, per the Morning Post. The tragedy isn’t the first at Badaling Wildlife World: An 18-year-old man was killed by a tiger in 2009 after he jumped an enclosure fence. In 2012, an elderly woman was severely injured by a tiger on the way to a washroom. A security guard who exited a vehicle was also killed by a tiger in 2014. Authorities say the woman who left the vehicle Saturday ignored various warning signs, as well as repeated warnings from a patrol vehicle on the scene. The park has been closed while police investigate.

►   Mayor in Drug-Ridden Mexican Town Shot to Death

The mayor of a town in one of Mexico’s most violent drug corridors was shot to death, the second mayor killed in Mexico in two days, the AP reports. Ambrosio Soto was mayor of a township that includes Ciudad Altamirano, a known haven for drug traffickers in southern Guerrero state. A spokesman for southern Guerrero state said Sunday that gunmen blocked a highway just over the state line in neighboring Michoacan state with pickup trucks and opened fire on the mayor’s vehicle late Saturday. The spokesman said two federal officers serving as Soto’s bodyguards were wounded in the attack. Soto had received threats and was under protection from federal police. A local drug gang had reportedly threatened him because he refused to turn over part of the city budget as a protection payment.

In recent years, business owners in Ciudad Altamirano say they’ve been forced to pay extortion to the Knights Templar drug cartel. The leftist Democratic Revolution Party says the mayor had taken “special protection measures after he dared to file complaints and complained that the security patrols had abandoned the area.“ The party said 75 mayors have been killed in the last decade. On Saturday, a mayor and four others were shot to death in the town of San Juan Chamula in southern Chiapas state.

►   At least 19 killed, about 20 injured in knifing near Tokyo

At least 19 people were killed and about 20 wounded in a knife attack Tuesday at a facility for the handicapped in a city just outside Tokyo in the worst mass killing in generations in Japan.

Police said they responded to a call at about 2:30 a.m. from an employee saying something horrible was happening at the facility in the city of Sagamihara, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Tokyo.

A man turned himself in at a police station about two hours later, police in Sagamihara said. He left the knife in his car when he entered the station. He has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and trespassing.

Officials in Kanagawa prefecture, which borders Tokyo, identified the suspect as Satoshi Uematsu, and said he had worked at the facility until February. Japanese media reports said he was 26 years old.

He entered the building about 2:10 a.m. by breaking a glass window on the first floor of a residential building at the facility, Shinya Sakuma, head of prefectural health and welfare division, said at a news conference.

Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa expressed his condolences to the victims.

The Sagamihara City fire department says that 19 people were confirmed dead in the attack. The fire department said doctors at the scene confirmed the deaths.

The death toll could make this the worst mass killing in Japan in the post-World War II era.

A woman who lives across from the facility told Japanese broadcaster NHK that she saw police cars enter the facility around 3:30 a.m.

“I was told by a policeman to stay inside my house, as it could be dangerous,“ she said. “Then ambulances began arriving, and blood-covered people were taken away.“

Japanese broadcaster NTV reported that Uematsu was upset because he had been fired, but that could not be independently confirmed.

The facility, called the Tsukui Yamayuri-en, is home to about 150 adult residents who have mental disabilities, Japan’s Kyodo News service said.

Television footage showed a number of ambulances parked outside, with medical and other rescue workers running in and out.

Mass killings are relatively rare in Japan, which has extremely strict gun-control laws. In 2008, seven people were killed by a man who slammed a truck into a crowd of people in central Tokyo’s Akihabara electronics district and then stabbed passers-by.

In 2001, a man killed eight children and injured 13 others in a knife attack at an elementary school in the city of Osaka. The incident shocked Japan and led to increased security at schools.

More recently, 14 were injured in 2010 by an unemployed man who stabbed and beat up passengers on two public buses outside a Japanese train station in Ibaraki Prefecture, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.

A man who lives near the site of the latest attack said he was astonished such an attack happened in the quiet, semi-rural area near Mount Takao, a mountain popular with hikers.

“Serious crimes happen around the world,“ said Chikara Inabayashi, who was tending his watermelon patch. “We have to lock up the house when we go out, even in the countryside.“

Congressman McKinley Meets with Mayor Fitzpatrick in Glenville

The Free Press WV

Last week, Congressman McKinley traveled to Glenville in Gilmer County and met with Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick to discuss local infrastructure projects, the economy, and how best to combat opioid abuse and drug addiction.

He had a good conversation with Mayor Fitzpatrick.

He looks forward to visiting Glenville again soon.

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Nice American flag display.

By Gilmer resident  on  07.25.2016

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