It will be a good day when this county has a superintendent of schools who understands how to work with people using a non threatening method of communication which only keeps people upset and nonproductive.
There is no “look” or “appearance” that gives absolutely any indication of a person’s sense of ethics or morality or ability for service above self. That’s on the inside and your super is not a good judge of character not having any himself.
Neither, it would seem, do the yes Gabe” puppets he travels with. We know the names.
Gabe Devono was ready to stab the employees on his personally hand picked RIFF and transfer list in the back. That was all too clear.
Then when he gets in a Board meeting and sees he won’t get his way he flips. Trying to tell the ones he was fine with hurting that he was really on their side all along. Who on earth would be fool enough to fall for that?
The Devono script has always read he’ll do what he pleases when he pleases and if you don’t agree with him you don’t matter to him.
This time, it didn’t happen. Thank heaven Charleston BOE had the good sense to give back control. Professionals and Service personnel alike have reason to feel their hard work is appreciated.
A game changer is about to happen. New blood as Superintendent, backed by our elected board members, who are our friends and neighbors, and have the best interest of students, staff, and community in their heart.
Yes, our elected board members will correct six years of intervention. They will need some time to access and repair issues, but they will do their job.
Many of us have faith that issues like this will be dealt with in a fair and professional manner.
Great article from BREITBART NEWS. So good of Senator Manchin to show his support of Planned Parenthood. Joe is supported by anti-gunner Mayor Bloomberg who held a fund raiser for him. We know Joe is pushing gun control. He has also stated to the effect that he can work with President Trump to facilitate gun control. Now we know he supports abortion, loud and clear for all to see. I personally do not think West Virginians support gun control or abortion. We will find out for sure when Joe runs for election again.
It is about time that Charleston came out with clear language about seriousness of school boards and individuals on them being legally liable for overspending.
Nothing like it went to the public during intervention while the GCBOE was stripped of all its power.
No wonder now why all along some GCBOE members have asked probing questions about finances and they were not answered. More power to those conscientious individuals who tried hard to do their jobs and we support them 100%.
There must be a full accounting of every dollar spent during intervention with no local oversight and no accountability at all for State-appointed superintendents.
We need a complete accounting of spending for the Linn school, the loss of public money at the top of the hill on Arbuckle property, spending at Cedar Creek, unplanned spending at the GCES, the BOE office move to the Minnie Hamilton building, the scandal from the new GCES being built too small, and much more. Citizens have tracked the waste and mismanagement for years and we are outraged.
Unless a full accounting is done for public disclosure another excess levy will never pass in the County although we understand that there will be a major reset on July 1.
Thank you GFP for getting Paine’s letter out to Gilmer County.
The fix could be simple. First, everyone pay 10 percent federal, 3 percent state, and 1 percent local taxes on all income. Straight forward, no arguments, taken from pay checks and paid to the proper authorities (that is if we can get good ones elected that will use the money properly for education, infrastructure, defense, aid for the true disabled/welfare, etc). Second, there are no deductions(sorry accountants). Third, no taxes on corporations so they are free to reinvest into their business and hire more people to work(that is if you can find qualified people not on drugs these days). Fourth, get people off government support that don’t belong there(sorry again druggies and lazies). Now if you find someone taking advantage of the current tax laws, don’t blame them for wanting to keep their own money. That’s correct, their money, not yours. We have elected the people and keep doing that who make these laws. The Clinton’s and the Bush’s and the Kennedy’s, life long politicians. If you get rich being a politician, then you need to go. At least Trump got rich first and then became a politician. Sort of did it backwards didn’t he. Each and every person that wants Trump to produce his tax returns, it is time for all of them to produce theirs. The world is full of them. Me, I can care less what he makes. Good for him. Good for me. Get over it, the left lost the election, just like the right did 8 years ago. The reason Trump is president is because the last 8 years the left didn’t get it done and Clinton was a horrible candidate. Too much baggage and ran a horrible campaign also. I think she thought she couldn’t lose but she did. Now the left is acting like babies that they can be at times and it doesn’t look good. Instead of trying to run Trump(who used to be a democrat) down, why not give him a bit of support so our country will come back stronger. It seems the media is completely against Trump, all we see is negative articles. Never positive articles so the media is losing support from the people. Sorry for the long post but it is what it is. Thanks.
What a deal we have to badger our elected representatives to do what is good and right for West Virginia! Isn’t it a no brainer to be doing the right thing for your state? Obvious money means more to our legislators than the voice of the people!
Here is another way the WV School Building Authority is failing Gilmer County by refusing to provide proper oversight.
There could be ways to use available space at the new GCES more efficiently to avoid the necessity of sending students to other locations.
By failing to get involved the SBA is not contributing to solving the crowing problem to eliminate need to use hall ways at the new school for instruction space.
This is a disgrace after spending $14,000,000 of public money, and the complete story of waste, mismanagement, and abuse of authority during intervention and its aftermath would make a great story for the New York Times to print.
Parkersburg Couple Form Scholarships to Support GSC Pioneer, Education Students
Ronald V. and Kathryn J. Stoops, of Parkersburg, West Virginia, have recently funded a dual scholarship program that will allow for $1,000 awards to be made annually to the Glenville State College Pioneer Mascot as well as an upperclassman education major from Wood County, WV who graduated from Parkersburg High School, Parkersburg South High School, Williamstown High School, or Parkersburg Catholic High School.
Ronald and Kathryn Stoops
Ronald, who graduated in 1962 from Glenville State, served as the Pioneer for the 1961-1962 school year. In making the Pioneer award, he fondly remembers the hours of work and dedication he put in to make sure that school spirit was fostered by his example. GSC junior Matthew Roush of Beverly, Ohio was recently selected as the Pioneer Mascot for the 2017-18 year.
The education awardee will be selected by the Chair of the Education Department in concert with the teaching staff of the department and will be awarded to an upperclassman with financial need who also shows strong academic success. Both Ronald and Kathryn spent their careers in education in Wood County in faculty and administrative capacities.
“These awards are another example of alumni of the college recognizing the unique niche that Glenville State College occupies in central West Virginia and paying back for the opportunities their education here has rendered,” says Dennis J. Pounds, Vice President for College Advancement and Executive Director of the GSC Foundation.
Health Officials Celebrate National Infant Immunization Week
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today celebrated National Infant Immunization Week at My Family Preschool and Child Care Center in Hurricane to encourage parents of infants to schedule an immunization check-up for their child.
“National Infant Immunization Week provides a valuable opportunity to inform parents and the health care community about the importance of ensuring our children are timely and age-appropriately vaccinated,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, West Virginia State Health Officer and Commissioner for DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “Childhood immunization is the best way for parents to protect their children against serious vaccine-preventable diseases.“
Immunizations offer security to others in the community including protection to vulnerable populations such as young children, immunocompromised individuals, and the elderly through herd immunity. The more people that are vaccinated, the more protection there is from preventable, and sometimes fatal, diseases. Scientists estimate that vaccines given to infants and young children in the U.S. over the past 20 years will prevent more than 300 million illnesses over the course of their lifetime.
There are 14 vaccine preventable diseases that children can be protected from before the age of two: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Influenza, Measles, Rotavirus, Haemophilus Influenzae type B, Tetanus (Lockjaw), Mumps, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Pneumococcal Disease, Polio, Rubella (German Measles) and Varicella (Chickenpox).
This year’s theme, “Immunization - Power to Protect,” reminds parents of their ability to protect their child from disease by getting their children vaccinated. Dr. Gupta touted the importance of the role of health care providers in helping keep infants up-to-date on their immunization by using patient reminder recall systems.
“There remains more work to be done to help ensure more of West Virginia’s most vulnerable residents amongst us are vaccinated on time,” Gupta encouraged. “The recent resurgence of whooping cough, measles, hepatitis B and other vaccine preventable diseases is proof that we are not vaccinating enough young children, adolescents and adults.”
For more information on how vaccinations can protect your family, please contact the West Virginia Division of Immunization Services at 304.558.2188. You can also find immunization information and vaccine schedules online at www.immunization.wv.gov.
Shrine Clubs to Sponsor Orthopaedic Screening for Children at UHC
The Central WV Shrine Club, the Lewis County Shrine Club and United Hospital Center are sponsoring the 21st Annual Shriners Hospital local Orthopaedic Screening Clinic on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The purpose for the clinic is to identify any child who might benefit from treatment in a Shriners Hospital.
Approximately 1,000 children have been treated from past clinics.
Shriners Hospitals for Children® is a health care system of 22 hospitals providing high quality pediatric and other specialty care to thousands of kids each year.
All care is provided without any financial obligation to the patient or their family.
Shriners Hospitals treat problems such as: club feet, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, scoliosis, hand and back problems, bowed legs, rickets, dislocated hips, spinal cord injuries, burns, and cleft lip and palate. The age range for children who may be assisted includes newborns to age 18.
The Saturday, April 29, clinic will be held in the Family Medicine Center, 5th floor of the Physicians Office Building, on the campus of UHC, I-79 at the Jerry Dove exit.
To schedule an appointment, call 681.342.3646, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
May 01 Deadline Approaching for West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program Applications
Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) today reminded students that May 1 is the deadline to apply for the Higher Education Grant Program (HEGP), the state’s need-based financial aid program. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the only application required to be considered for the grant, can be completed at https://fafsa.ed.gov.
“We always encourage students to complete the FAFSA to see if they are eligible for this grant program, which helps cover the cost of tuition and fees at two- and four-year colleges and universities across the state,” said Paul Hill, HEPC Chancellor. “And if students qualify for both the Higher Education Grant and the PROMISE Scholarship Program, they are in a strong position to have their tuition covered in full – and perhaps leave college with no debt at all.”
The West Virginia Higher Education Grant is designed to ensure West Virginia students with financial need are given an opportunity to pursue postsecondary education. This year, HEGP will provide up to $2,700 per year to help eligible students attend approved two-year or four-year colleges.
“The Higher Education Grant is a lifeline for many of our students,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, CTCS Chancellor, said. “Anyone planning to enroll in college within the next 12 months should apply — and that includes older first-time students or adults returning to college to retrain.”
This year, HEPC and CTCS have extended the deadline for HEGP from April 15 to May 1 in response to a technical issue with the federal FAFSA form. Last month, the U.S. Department of Education and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an outage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which allows students and parents to electronically access, review and transfer tax information required for the FAFSA. Federal officials are working to correct the issue but estimate the tool will be unavailable until at least next fall.
Like in previous years when the IRS Data Retrieval Tool was not an option, students and parents can estimate their income information on the FAFSA and correct the information later, if necessary, in order to meet financial aid deadlines.
If students or their parents do not have a paper or electronic copy of the necessary tax form available – which for this year is the 2015 tax return – they can access it online at www.irs.gov/transcript. A hard copy can be requested by calling 1-800-908-9946 and a transcript will be delivered to the address on record within 5-10 days.
For help completing the FAFSA or applying for financial aid, West Virginia students and families can call the HEPC and CTCS financial aid office at 888.825.5707 or visit the agencies’ free college-planning website at www.cfwv.com.
West Virginia’s Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says the Senate backs permanently extending health benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire after April.
Manchin says Wednesday the permanent fix will be included in the Senate measure to continue government funding with a vote likely Friday.
He says it will cost $1.3 billion.
Republican U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito says she’s confident the Senate will back a long-term fix.
Both say it doesn’t include miner pension benefits, while House Republican leaders are pushing a 20-month health care extension.
In West Virginia, about 8,500 retired miners and their families face loss of benefits if Congress does not act.
Other states affected include Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia and Alabama.
► State Makes Sharing Explicit Images a Crime
Governor Jim Justice has signed new laws to criminalize “revenge porn” and to establish a mechanism for reducing criminal records for non-violent felonies down to misdemeanors.
The new crime laws are among dozens of measures the governor has signed so far this week following the Legislature’s 60-day regular session.
Other new laws will eliminate wage bond requirements, increase fines for littering, raise prison penalties for trafficking in fentanyl and set a $150 limit on fees charged by health care providers for patient records.
In West Virginia, it will be a misdemeanor to intentionally display publicly, distribute or threaten to disclose sexually explicit or intimate images of someone else without their consent.
A first offense is subject to a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and up to a year in jail.
► West Virginia Increases Autonomy of Universities
Governor Jim Justice has signed a law revamping state oversight of West Virginia’s colleges and universities, giving some schools more autonomy from West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission.
Institutions exempted from certain regulatory requirements are West Virginia University, including West Virginia University Potomac State College and West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Marshall University and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
The measure, proposed by his administration and approved by the Legislature, gives the experts at the institutions more power to make decisions instead of state officials, Justice said. It gives the academy a larger role in devising policy, he said.
“My belief is just this, we’ve got real expertise if we’ll just listen, if we’ll just stop and listen,“ Justice said after the signing Tuesday. “Because these people on the front lines, they’re not doing it for fun. And they’ve got real knowledge. And a lot of times we just think we’re higher than their knowledge.
WVU President Gordon Gee told The Associated Press it will save his university $2.8 million it will no longer pay to the commission plus other costs from state administrative requirements.
“It returns autonomy to set policy and manage the university to the board of governors,“ Gee said. “All three schools have the bandwidth to be able to manage their own affairs.“
The amendment to current law also specifies that three members of the 10-member commission will be designated as higher education representatives, appointed by the governor with Senate confirmation.
► State Won’t Charge to Enter 7 State Parks, Forests
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has stopped a pilot project to start charging entrance fees at seven West Virginia state parks and forests.
Justice called the decision to charge a $2 daily fee starting Memorial Day weekend an error made without his approval.
He says with West Virginians struggling financially at this time, “there is no way I can go along with charging a fee to enjoy our state parks.“
The Division of Natural Resources announced Monday the estimated $1 million generated from the pilot project was to be used for park maintenance and upkeep.
Passes would have been required to enter Babcock, Blackwater Falls, Cacapon Resort, Coopers Rock, Little Beaver, Pipestem Resort and Valley Falls.
An annual vehicle pass would have cost $12, a day pass $2.
► Officials: Potent Heroin Blamed for 14 Overdoses in 1 Day
Officials are adding up the numbers after 14 people overdosed from a bad batch of heroin in one day.
Mason County Emergency Medical Services responded to 20 overdoses in total last week.
Emergency Management Director Dennis Zimmerman says they saw a huge increase in volume in a short period of time, indicating that potent heroin was in use.
Emergency Medical Services Director Dylan Handley says officials worry over the supply of Narcan, an overdose reversal drug. He says that each of the four units covering 400 square miles of the county experienced outages at numerous times. A reimbursement grant for the drug will expire in September.
Officials say no one died in any of the 20 overdoses.
► Wheeling Island Stadium to Open in September After Repairs
The Ohio County Board of Education has voted to move ahead with a repair project at Wheeling Island Stadium.
The board cast a 5-0 vote to accept bids Monday after M&G Architects and Engineers provided an analysis of the building.
Officials say crew removed a concrete panel from the top seating section on April 17 when its adjacent panel fell in uncontrolled fashion onto the facility’s surrounding fence.
Eric Matyskiela of M&G Architects and Engineers says the panel failure isn’t something that could’ve been easily noticed.
Superintendent Kim Miller says the stadium will open in mid-September and will not be ready for the OVAC All-Star game. She says required repairs will cost $700,000 and she hopes Wheeling Park High School’s insurance policy will cover some costs.
► West Virginia makes sharing explicit images a crime
Governor Jim Justice has signed new laws to criminalize “revenge porn” and to establish a mechanism for reducing criminal records for non-violent felonies down to misdemeanors.
The new crime laws are among dozens of measures the governor has signed so far this week following the Legislature’s 60-day regular session.
Other new laws will reduce wage bond requirements, increase fines for littering, raise prison penalties for trafficking in fentanyl and set a $150 limit on fees charged by health care providers for patient records.
In West Virginia, it will be a misdemeanor to intentionally display publicly, distribute or threaten to disclose sexually explicit or intimate images of someone else without their consent.
A first offense is subject to a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and up to a year in jail.
This version corrects that a new law will reduce wage bond requirements, not eliminate them.
► WVDOH reports there have been nearly 2,000 work zone crashes in West Virginia over the last five years.
Over the last five years, there have been nearly 2,000 work zone crashes in West Virginia.
“Over that five year period, we’ve had 15 fatalities. It’s just completely unacceptable. We have to do better,” said state Transportation Secretary Tom Smith.
The state Division of Highways is working with State Police, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the West Virginia Contractors Association to reduce work zone crashes. Representatives from those organizations kicked off the state’s Work Zone Safety campaign Wednesday morning at the state Capitol.
The message this construction season, again, is “Just. Slow. Down.”
“We really want motorists to understand that they have a real responsibility to help keep our workers safe. They have a responsibility to stay observant in work zones,” Smith said.
Lt. Michael Baylous, State Police spokesman, said if motorists speed through the zones, he or she may see the flashing blue lights behind them.
“If it’s not enough incentive to not cause injury or death to someone else, then maybe it’s enough incentive to realize that they may lose some cash out of their wallet when they have to go pay these traffic citations,” Baylous said.
According to the DOH, 65 percent of work zone related crashed across the nation happen during daylight hours.
It’s an offense that troopers take very seriously, Baylous said.
“We will be out there and we will be enforcing the traffic laws through these work zones, so people better take notice,” he said.
The most common work zone crashes are rear-end collisions. Baylous said speed and cell phone usage are the most common violations.
“Distracted driving — that seems to be a problem,” he said.
The DOH puts out bright orange signs, flashing lights and wear protective bright-colored vests to alert motorists of a work zone area, Smith said.
“This is intended to get the attention of drivers. If drivers pay attention, we can prevent these crashes,” he said.
DOH workers put their lives at risk every day, Smith said.
“The folks that we have out there working in work zones are your neighbors,” he said. “It’s a dangerous environment they work in. The drivers that we have going through our work zones can really play a role in helping us keep those folks safe.”
For work zone tips and other information about the campaign, visit the DOT’s website or Facebook page.
Trial and Terror The U.S. has prosecuted 796 people for terrorism since the Twin Towers fell. The vast majority of those defendants did not commit acts of violence. The Intercept
Quote Kellyanne Conway: “Building that wall and having it funded remains an important priority to him. But we also know that that can happen later this year and into next year.” Politico
Making sense of Trump tax plan: “…it appears disjointed and haphazard … Wedged together are major corporate tax cuts, individual tax cuts, expanded deductions and even Ivanka Trump’s favored child-care tax credit … The package looks unlikely to comply with congressional budget rules, making the tricky politics even more complicated…” ABC News
Corporate lobbyists aim for paid leave exemptions: “Now big business is countering the calls [for mandatory paid leave] with a proposal of its own: Congress should establish a certain optional amount of paid leave and, if companies meet that threshold, they should be protected from state or local laws that might require more … The preemptive strike from the business community is also a response to the increasing number of states and municipalities that have taken matters into their own hands…” Bloomberg
Dem AGs criticize Betsy DeVos on student loans: “…21 state attorneys general, all Democrats, wrote to Republican DeVos decrying her decision to end the Education Department’s work on reforming loan servicing, steps intended to ensure that borrowers understand their outstanding debt and repayment options …” Reuters
The Best Wing Spot In Every State: Hooters and Buffalo Wild Wings are fine and all, but sometimes, you’ve got to break free from the chains. ESQUIRE
Trump Defiant Despite U-turn on Border Wall Promise: He’s backed down. Donald Trump reversed his demand that an upcoming spending bill include funding for his much-touted Mexican border wall, a red line that worried congressional Republicans who must pass short-term spending measures by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. Nevertheless, Trump tweeted assurances that the wall “will get built.“ Meanwhile, a federal judge ruled that Trump’s executive order denying federal grants to “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with his immigration crackdown is unconstitutional, a decision the White House lambasted as “egregious overreach.“ BBC
Now that the NFL draft is here, LSU running back Leonard Fournette is one of several college stars ready to cash in.
Uber wants to test its network of flying taxi planes by 2020
The company said electric planes could ferry passengers at 150mph through urban skies to their destinations.
Google co-founder and Alphabet president Sergey Brin is secretly building a massive zeppelin in Hangar 2 of the NASA Ames Research Center
That’s according to Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance, who says a giant metal skeleton is already in place.
Alphabet CEO Larry Page was thrust into the center of the high-profile legal drama involving Google, Uber and self-driving cars
At issue is a conversation that Page may, or may not, have had with Anthony Levandowski, the self-driving car pioneer who is accused of taking technology he worked on while at Google and bringing it to Uber.
Google’s Waymo is letting ordinary people test its self-driving cars in Arizona
Hundreds of families in Phoenix will be involved.
Rocket Internet, the Berlin-headquartered startup factory, reported losses of $807.3 million for 2016
Several companies in its portfolio are struggling to become profitable.
An Irish employee at Stripe was denied entry to the U.S. because he went to Somalia
Stripe CEO Patrick Collison tweeted about the situation.
An Uber engineer committed suicide, and his widow is blaming Uber’s stressful work culture as the cause
Zecole Thomas told the Chronicle that her husband, Joseph Thomas, “wasn’t himself” after he joined Uber.
Some Tesla factory workers are accusing the company of illegally suppressing employees’ attempts to unionize at its Fremont manufacturing plant
The United Auto Workers and three Tesla employees have each filed separate charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
Apple has delayed the release of “Carpool Karaoke” on Apple Music
It was supposed to launch in April, but an Apple spokesperson told Reuters that “Carpool Karaoke: The Series will premiere on Apple Music later this year.“
Thieves reportedly stole $24,000 worth of Apple products from an Apple Store
When volunteers appealed for someone to adopt a 2-year-old pit bull that had arrived at a North Carolina animal shelter, it was with the hope that the dog would find “a real loving forever home.“ Instead, the dog met a gruesome end last week when he was shot to death—allegedly by his owner, as cameras and laughter rolled, police tell the Fayetteville Observer. Authorities say Army veteran Marinna Rollins and her soldier boyfriend Jarren Heng took Rollins’ dog, named Cam, to a wooded area, tied it to a tree, shot it at close range, then buried it in a shallow grave, per WTVD. In an April 17 Facebook post, however, Rollins had said she’d found a new home for Cam, originally adopted by her estranged husband, because caring for him was too expensive.
“Sad he has to go, but he will be much happier where he is heading off to,“ wrote Rollins, 23, who had Cam certified as a support dog for PTSD after her husband was deployed to South Korea; she medically retired from the Army at the beginning of the year. “He’s going to have such a great new life,“ Heng, 25, added in a comment. But according to police, Rollins shot the dog five times as Heng recorded the incident, then filmed Heng firing several more shots. Both Rollins and Heng, now charged with cruelty to animals and conspiracy, are heard on video “laughing and giggling” as the dog dies, says the Cumberland County DA. As for how the crime surfaced, WNCN reports someone who knows Rollins posted video of the shooting to Facebook with the intention of police catching wind of it.
► Good Samaritan Who Lost Legs Has 5 Kids, No Health Insurance
A Good Samaritan who lost both her legs while helping a crashed motorist is now hoping for a few Good Samaritans of her own. A woman lost control of her car on the interstate shortly before 3am Sunday in Florida, crashing into a guardrail, WFTX reports. Danielle Hagmann of Fort Myers saw the accident and stopped to help. Her father, Steven Berkowitz, tells the News-Press “it’s not in her nature” to not offer help when it’s need. And despite what happened next, he says Hagmann “does not regret stopping.“ While Hagmann was helping the woman, another driver slammed into the crashed car, pinning Hagmann against the guardrail. Hagmann lost both legs—one just above the knee and the other mid-thigh—and remains in intensive care.
The 30-year-old massage therapist didn’t qualify for health insurance at work and hadn’t signed up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Berkowitz estimates that his daughter’s medical bills and prosthetic costs will total $1 million over the next year and $2 million for the rest of her life. Hagmann and her wife also have five children, including three foster children, and her future as a massage therapist is very much in doubt. Her family has set up two GoFundMepages to raise money for her medical care. As of this writing, they’ve received about $18,000 in total donations. The other two people involved in the crashes escaped with minor injuries. An investigation into the second crash is ongoing.
► Robot Gets Revenge After Drunk Guy Picks Fight
A crime-fighting robot wasn’t able to prevent a drunk guy from attacking it—but it did get the last laugh, er, whistle, according to police. Authorities say Jason Sylvain, 41, knocked down the 5-foot-tall, 300-pound Knightscope K5 security droid—which is equipped with a camera, per Ars Technica, and whistles and spins in a circle when it detects a crime—as it was patrolling Knightscope’s parking lot in Mountain View, Calif., last Thursday. The robot, which suffered some scratches, was the clear loser in the fight, though it was a rather one-sided affair since K5 doesn’t have any arms. The droid got its revenge, however, by sounding its alarms, reports CNET.
Knightscope rep Stacy Dean Stephens says Sylvain tried to flee when the alarms sounded, but was restrained until police arrived. A police rep says he was charged with prowling and public intoxication after officers noted he “appeared confused, had red, glassy eyes and a strong odor of alcohol emitted from him.“ According to Stephens, “the robot did exactly as it was supposed to do—the ‘assault’ was detected and immediately reported.“ The fact that Sylvain was arrested is “a testament to the technology,“ the company adds, per ABC 7. While the Verge wonders if this marks the start of “robo-human wars,“ Knightscope notes K5 recovered quickly and is back on patrol.
► Chobani Yogurt Just Sued Alex Jones, Infowars
Conspiracy peddler Alex Jones has another lawsuit to handle. Greek yogurt maker Chobani has sued Jones’ Infowars for publishing what it calls fake and defamatory stories related to the company’s plant in Twin Falls, Idaho, reports BuzzFeed. Two examples: One video headlined, “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists” and a story blaming Chobani for a “500% increase in tuberculosis in Twin Falls.“ Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya wants the stories pulled and $10,000 in damages, but Jones says he isn’t budging. “I’m never giving up, I love this,“ he said in an audio statement, per the Washington Post. “They have jumped the trillion-pound great white shark on this baby.“ Jones accused billionaire George Soros of being behind the suit, just weeks after accusing him of staging a chemical weapons attack in Syria.
The migrant rape story stems from an incident in June 2016 in which three refugee boys, ages 14, 10, and, 7, sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl in a laundry room, reports the Idaho Statesman. Details remain sealed, but prosecutors said one boy admitted touching the girl while the others filmed on a phone. The assault later was conflated by right-wing sites into a gang rape at knifepoint by Syrian men. Jones previously called the Sandy Hook shooting a hoax and said the government staged the 9/11 attacks, though in a recent court hearing in a child custody case, his lawyer argued that Jones’ public persona is merely performance art. Ulukaya is a Turkish immigrant who has drawn national attention, both praise and scorn, for his advocacy of refugees. He employs more than 300 refugees at the Idaho plant and another in New York.
► Scores of Teens Rush Onto Train, Rob Riders
Bay Area Rapid Transit riders were robbed and assaulted by up to 60 teens in an attack that lasted just seconds Saturday night. Police say at least seven people were robbed and two suffered injuries that needed medical attention after the juveniles swarmed a BART train at Oakland’s Coliseum Station, with some teens holding the train’s doors open while others confronted the passengers inside, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Police say they were on the scene within minutes, but the teens, who’d jumped the fare gates before rushing the train, had already disappeared into the surrounding neighborhood.
Police say there have been recent incidents involving juveniles running onto trains and robbing people before fleeing, but nothing on this scale. “I’ve been there 24 years and this is the first time I’ve heard of anything like this happening,“ says Keith Garcia, president of BART’s police union. Police patrols at Oakland stations have been stepped up. Since the suspects are juveniles, security camera images of the teens won’t be made public, a BART spokeswoman says, but they will be given to police, the local school district, and the Oakland Housing Authority. CBS San Francisco notes that BART is still in the process of replacing decoy security cameras on trains with real ones.
► Dying Words of Teen Trapped by Fire Played in Court
In the last moments of his 14-year life, Joe Phillips called his friend’s cellphone, cursing in panic. He was trapped by flames that had gotten out of control during what had been a summer afternoon of mischief inside a vacant New York building. “I’m really stuck, dude, I’m (expletive). I’m (expletive) going to die,“ Joe shouted into the voicemail of the 13-year-old who’d been with him moments earlier at the tire recycling complex. Then panting, with resignation in his voice, “Sorry, dude. I love you, man,“ the call ended. “I never thought I’d die this way.“ On Tuesday, the surviving teen, whose name has not been released because of his age, will learn his fate in Family Court. He could be sentenced to 18 months in a juvenile detention facility after pleading guilty in March to arson and burglary, reports the AP.
Joe’s mother, Ann Phillips, won’t say what punishment she thinks the now-14-year-old, who never called 911, deserves. Along with the phone message, video found on the surviving teen’s phone offered a view into the building on August 10, 2016. It shows a fire escape the teens used to get inside High Tread International in Lockport. They walk through darkened rooms using a lighter to ignite papers and watch them burn. When one of the fires spread too quickly, defense attorney A. Angelo DiMillo said, the surviving teen ran outside to get water as Joe used his shirt to try to tamp down the flames. The surviving teen has been in and out of the hospital with mental health issues and has tried to harm himself, a probation officer testified this month.
► Student’s Tweet Perfectly Calls Out Cynical Stepfather
In a moment of reflection on the eve of graduating from Eastern Michigan University, student Daivon Reeder struck a chord on social media with a tweet that has since gone viral. Alongside a photo in his cap and gown, Reeder wrote Thursday: “My step dad told me it was pointless to go to orientation, I wasn’t going to graduate…..4 years later he in jail & I’m well….,“ followed by a line of laughing emojis. Hours later, the tweet began trending in Detroit, catching the attention of Twitter as well as the media. Local Detroit station WDIV 4 featured a segment on Reeder, who graduated Saturday with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in military science. He told the station that after losing his academic scholarship, those words pushed him even harder to succeed.
“[I have] the average, typical, inner-city Detroit boy story,” Reeder, 22, says. “I grew up constantly moving houses.“ The eldest of four, Reeder said his mother struggled to make ends meet for his family, and his stepfather was not always in the picture. After his stepdad made the comment about graduating, “I kind of heard that and I was like OK, I’ll show you,“ Reeder tells Fox 8. “I’m just a first generation college kid from Detroit trying to beat the odds,“ he tells BuzzFeed News. “I guess people can relate to a humble beginning.“ The tweet has more than 600,000 likes and 148,000 retweets so far.
► Nebraska Tragedy: Boy Dies After Car Window Closes on Him
Authorities say a 3-year-old Nebraska boy has died after a power car window closed on his neck, reports the AP. Colfax County Attorney Denise Kracl said Monday that 3-year-old Everton Isay Romero Romero was pronounced dead Friday at an Omaha hospital. Everton never regained consciousness after the rear window closed on him April 15 outside a store in Schuyler, where he lived. Kracl says no autopsy was performed because there’s no evidence any law was violated. She says the boy’s mother “acted appropriately the entire time.“ It was unclear how or when the window closed.
► ‘Unlawful Dental Acts’: Pulling Tooth While on Hoverboard
What falls under the category of “unlawful dental acts” in the state of Alaska? Pulling a sedated patient’s tooth while on a hoverboard, per an investigation that involved the FBI, DEA, and a couple of state departments, the Alaska Dispatch News reports. Clear Creek Dental’s Dr. Seth Lookhart—Alaska’s “most xtreme dentist,“ per Gizmodo—told investigators business had been lagging, which may explain why he’s been charged with Medicaid fraud, allegedly billing almost $2 million for what appears to be unnecessary sedation for his patients.
But it’s not clear what caused him to pull the tooth of one of those sedated patients while riding a hoverboard, videotaping it, then circulating it to people he apparently thought would enjoy seeing what he joked was a “new standard of care.“ The patient told the authorities she had no clue what had transpired while she was under. Lookhart’s office manager, Shauna Cranford, was also hit with charges, including pulling two teeth herself and filming it without patient knowledge because “[Lookhart] let me do it,“ she allegedly texted employee.
► Man Hangs Baby Girl on Facebook Live Then Kills Self
A 20-year-old man streamed himself hanging his 11-month-old daughter on Facebook Live before killing himself Monday evening in a vacant hotel in Thailand, the AP reports. According to the New York Times, a four-minute video shows a crying Wuttisan Wongtalay tying a noose around his daughter’s neck and dropping her over the side of the hotel in Phuket. Family members—including the baby’s mother—saw the video and called police, the BBC reports. Officers arrived to find Wongtalay having hanged himself as well. Police say Wongtalay was jealous and upset with his wife, who he had accused of being with another man.
The video of Wongtalay killing his daughter was on Facebook for about 20 hours before the company removed it. Facebook sent condolences to the family, calling the incident “appalling.“ “Our hearts go out to the family of the victim,“ Facebook said in a statement. The company had already promised to review its Facebook Live procedures this month after a man in Cleveland streamed himself killing an elderly man. Facebook Live has also seen live-streamed sex abuse, rape, suicide, and child abuse this year.
► Pope Blasts ‘Culture of Waste’ in Surprise TED Appearance
Pope Francis had a message for the powerful in an unexpected talk aired at the TED conference Tuesday. “The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly,“ he said, per Reuters. The 18-minute talk, recorded in Vatican City and broadcast at the Vancouver conference, was in Italian with subtitles available in more than 20 languages, the BBC reports. “You will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness,“ Francis said. “Through humility and concrete love, on the other hand, power—the highest, the strongest one—becomes a service, a force for good.“
The pontiff called for an end to a “culture of waste” that considers people as well as goods to be disposable. “How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion,“ he said. Francis said many people seem to believe that “a happy future is something impossible to achieve,“ but their fears can be overcome “when we do not lock our door to the outside world.“ TED international curator Bruno Giussani says it took several trips to Rome to make the talk happen—and not many people in the Vatican knew about it. Other speakers this week will include Serena Williams and Elon Musk.
► Venezuela Threatens to Pull Out of OAS
Venezuela is threatening to pull out of the Organization of American States as the government’s response to political unrest that has been blamed for 26 deaths in recent weeks draws rebuke from the hemisphere’s major powers. Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said late Tuesday that she had been instructed by President Nicolas Maduro to initiate withdrawal from the Washington-based OAS if the region’s foreign ministers hold a meeting on the country’s crisis without his backing, the AP reports. She spoke hours before envoys to the OAS were scheduled to debate a proposal by Mexico, Brazil, the US, and 13 other nations to convene a special meeting of foreign ministers to discuss Venezuela’s “situation.“
“We’re not going to continue allowing legal and institutional violations that are arbitrary and surpass any moral, ethical and licit boundary that nations in this regional organization should respect,“ Rodriguez said. International pressure on Venezuela to schedule delayed regional elections and free political activists has been mounting at the OAS amid the country’s worst unrest since 2014. Venezuela’s chief prosecutor put a spotlight on the extent of the violence Tuesday, saying more than 400 people had been injured and nearly 1,300 detained since anti-Maduro protests began in response to a Supreme Court ruling last month that stripped the opposition-controlled congress of much of its powers. OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro has called on the group to suspend Venezuela but he has so far been unable to rally two-thirds support among the group’s 35 members to carry out such a threat.
► Girl, 8, Describes Escape From Sinking Car as Family Drowned
Chloe Kabealo unbuckled her seatbelt after the car her mother was driving slid off a muddy Australia road into a flooded river and tried to “go up for air,“ then “just kept floating up out.“ That’s how the 8-year-old survived the crash as the car sank, a harrowing experience she relived at a fundraising event this week, the BBC reports—but her mother, 11-year-old sister, and 7-year-old brother all drowned. “I’m not holding up,“ Chloe’s dad, Matt, who was not in the car, said at the event. “I’m just being strong for my daughter.“
Chloe ran to a nearby farmhouse to get help, but rescuers couldn’t save Stephanie King, 43, who was found to have died while trying in vain to save her other two children. “The mother was trying to get one of her children out of the car when she passed away,“ the local police superintendent told 7 News after the crash three weeks ago. “She was with the child, holding the child. I have no doubt she would still be alive if she wasn’t trying to save her children.“ The fundraising event raised more than $10,000 for the family, news.com.au reports.
► World’s Loneliest Guy Gets Help From Tinder
There’s just one male northern white rhino left in the world, and he’s getting some help from Tinder. A Kenyan wildlife conservancy is teaming up with the dating app for a campaign called “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World,“ focusing on the rhino named Sudan, reports the AP. They are raising money for research to save the species from extinction.
The 43-year-old Sudan and his last two female companions are unable to breed naturally because of issues that include old age. The campaign by the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Tinder aims to raise $9 million. The money will be used for ongoing research into methods, including in-vitro fertilization, to assist the rhinos in breeding.
► A Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card for Rapists May Be Eliminated
Jordan’s Cabinet took the first steps to undo a loophole protecting rapists on Sunday by revoking Article 308, a law that allows the criminals to escape punishment by marrying their victims and staying in that marriage for at least three years. Activists are celebrating this victory, with one calling it “a dream that has come true” when a royal committee recommended such a move two months ago. It still must undergo a vote in Parliament to be passed, reports the BBC. It’s not an infrequently invoked loophole, according to government stats cited by the Independent: 159 rapists reportedly used the law to avoid jail between 2010 and 2013, with an average 300 rapes being reported each of those years (activists believe underreporting occurs due to the taboo nature of rape in Jordan).
Supporters of Article 308 say it preserves the honor and reputation of the victim, but critics believe the opposite occurs in most cases. The BBChas one such story, that of Noor, the pseudonym given by a woman who at age 20 was drugged and raped by her employer. She says she reported the rape only after discovering she was pregnant. “With all the hatred I have in my heart, my family forced me to marry him so as to save the ‘family’s honor,‘“ she says. They decided to divorce, but she has been unable to register the child in his name, which would allow for the recognition of the child, as she desires. Similar protections for rapists have been abolished in Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia, while activists in countries like Lebanon and Bahrain are currently seeking solutions to repeal such laws.
► Trump, Trudeau Talk, and Readouts Are Very Different
The United States is in an escalating dispute with ... Canada? The two nations have been clashing over trade policy in regard to the lumber and dairy industries, with the US slapping tariffs on timber from its second-largest trading partner and Trump sounding off on what he views as unfair practices. A look at what’s going on:
Trump and Trudeau spoke by phone Tuesday, and the US and Canada then issued two very different readouts, notes Business Insider. The US deemed it “amicable” in a short synopsis, while Canada’s went into more detail and complained about “unfair” American actions and “baseless” accusations.
The Washington Post explains the wonky dairy dispute. It notes that Canada’s industry “is one of the world’s most highly protected,“ and US farmers think it unfairly freezes them out. One recent sticking point revolves around a cheese-making product called ultrafiltered milk. It was a money-maker in Canada for US farmers until the Canadian government reclassified it and made it subject to heavy import taxes, reports Slate. Canada, for its part, thinks the US floods the global market with too much milk.
As for lumber, one key difference explains the problem, per the Atlantic: US lumber companies generally harvest trees on private land, while Canadian companies do so on public land. US companies say this amounts to a subsidy that allows Canadian firms to flood the US market with cheap wood.
A post at the Canadian site Maclean’s thinks Trump is going to go after wine sales in British Columbia next, arguing that the Canadian product has an unfair advantage over US wine because of grocery store rules.
These disputes actually go back decades, flare up occasionally, and generally are worked out quietly, explains the New York Times. This public flap, however, sets the stage for upcoming NAFTA negotiations.
A story at Politico suggests that Canada is an easy target because it can’t retaliate. Plus, Trump “has a chance to look tough and decisive on the international stage as he tries to renegotiate NAFTA, one of his big campaign promises.“
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross describes the problems from the US point of view in this video.
Canada’s foreign minister suggested that instead of imposing retaliatory tariffs, Canada would take the US to international court, reports CNN. “When it comes to defending Canada’s economic interests, we’re going to play hard,“ said Chrystia Freeland.
Bloomberg interviews Trudeau about all this and his dealings with Trump, and he compliments Trump for being a good listener. “He has shown that if he says one thing and then actually hears good counterarguments or good reasons why he should shift his position, he will take a different position, if it’s a better one, if the arguments win him over.“
Another piece at Bloomberg notes that the US might want to worry about Mexico. It spends $1.2 billion a year on US dairy, twice as much as Canada, and it appears to be looking for new trading partners as relations with the US sour.
► ISIS Militants Fatally Attacked by Wild Boars
An apparent ambush of ISIS militants is making headlines, if only because those who overpowered them were reportedly wild boars. A tribal leader in northern Iraq tells the Times of London the animals killed three members of the Islamic State and injured five others on Sunday. His best guess is that the militants were preparing to launch an ambush of their own near a Kurdish checkpoint some 55 miles from Kirkuk. “The area is dense with reeds, which are good for hiding in,“ he says, but he speculates the men’s movements disturbed the boars.
Refugees fleeing fighting in the area spotted the bodies, and a Kurdish intelligence official floats an alternative theory—that the militants were near the checkpoint because they intended to defect and surrender, reports the Telegraph. Either way, ISIS responded by killing as many wild boars as they could in the area, he says.
My parents don’t care about whether I’m happy; they only care about whether I’m successful. That basically says it all. They always complain about my grades and compare me with the other kids, talking about how jealous they are that the other parents have honor-roll kids they can brag about. And even though my grades have been mostly bad, I do occasionally do well, but they have very rarely told me that they are proud of me – especially my dad. I don’t think I have ever heard him say the word proud in any context.
And that’s not just true with respect to my classes. I’m also in the school band, on the football team and a Boy Scout, and they refuse to acknowledge my accomplishments in any field. I understand that as a sophomore in high school, I need to prepare for my future, but it’s as if that’s all they care about, and they don’t care at all about how I feel. I’ve started to have frequent suicidal thoughts because of it. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Any advice you could give me on how to talk to them about this would be appreciated. — Not Good Enough
Dear Not: I’m proud of you for taking the time to write and ask for help. Whatever you do, do not hurt yourself. Please discuss the thoughts you’re having with your parents, a guidance counselor or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (which offers totally confidential support). If you ever feel as if you’re a serious danger to yourself, dial 911.
Your parents seem to have their priorities out of order, but that doesn’t mean you’re not good enough or that they don’t love you. I’m sure that they really believe the pressure they’re piling on is ultimately in your best interest and will motivate you to do better. Their idea of success may always be different from yours, but there are ways (especially once you’re older and out of the house) you can make peace with that. Life is much bigger than it looks right now.
After reading the letter from “Brokenhearted Mom’‘ – who followed her adult child to a new city, only to be left out in the cold and dumped on – I was heartbroken for her. This woman’s children should be ashamed of themselves!
You only get one mom, and when she’s gone, that kind of unconditional love will be gone, as well. You just can’t replace her. If she lives anywhere near me, I would be delighted to come over on a weekend and put together her furniture. I can just hear my mom saying it’s just the right thing to do. I lost her six years ago. My mother never met a stranger. If this woman is nearby, I would really be willing to help her. I live in Louisville, Kentucky. — Missing Mom
Dear Missing: Thank you for your sweet and concerned letter. Unfortunately, I don’t think “Brokenhearted Mom’‘ is anywhere near Louisville, but I’ve passed your note along so she knows that others are thinking of her. Please keep sharing your generous heart with the world.
Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve known exactly what I want to name my future children. Wedding plans, career goals, possible boyfriends, even where I’d want to live – none of these was as clear to me as the names of these future kids. When I played with my Barbies, Barbie and Ken were always renamed “Jane’‘ and “John.‘’ (These are pseudonyms. I don’t want to share the real names for privacy reasons.)
Earlier this year, I married the love of my life, “Keith,‘’ after three very happy years together. Though we’re in no rush to have children, we do want to have a family eventually. Family is important to both of us, and we are lucky to have good relationships with my small nearby family and Keith’s family of two brothers and three stepsisters, all of whom live across the country. Keith’s eldest brother and sister-in-law are expecting a boy, and they just told us that they are thinking of naming him “John.‘’
Though I’m thrilled for them, I am also crushed. Years ago, I mentioned to the soon-to-be parents in passing how I liked the name, and I can’t help thinking they “stole’‘ it from me. I do understand that I don’t have a claim on this name. However, I’m having a tough time letting go of the resentment, and each time I hear people compliment the name choice, it’s like a twist of the knife. I wouldn’t want to be seen as copying them if I were to have a son of my own. What can I do? — What’s in a Name?
Dear WIAN: Get out the book of baby names and start perusing the millions of other choices available to you. I guarantee you’ll find one that you like even better. And at the end of the day, there’s nothing in a person’s name more important than what’s in his character.
This is in regard to “Trapped,‘’ who was preparing to leave her emotionally abusive husband.
“Trapped’‘ should be able to work with an attorney to follow the statutes of the state in which she lives regarding how to serve her husband with a petition for dissolution and perhaps simultaneously get an order for protection. There should be no need for “Trapped’‘ to meet with her husband face to face. Law enforcement or a process server could personally serve her husband. Of course, “Trapped’‘ will have to make arrangements for an alternative living situation once her husband has been served. — Retired Attorney
Dear Retired: Thank you for bringing to attention that important point. Though “Trapped’‘ wanted to tell her husband in person, it is, as you said, not necessary or even advisable.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, there is help. Call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.7233.
HB 2815 gives more flexibility to schools under the HEPC
Governor Jim Justice visited West Virginia University to sign House Bill 2815, legislation that will give greater freedom and flexibility to West Virginia University, including West Virginia University Potomac State College and West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Marshall University, and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
The reform legislation will give more autonomy to these institutions and realign the role of the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC). Justice was joined by WVU President Gordon Gee, Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert, and WVSOM President Dr. Michael Adelman for the bill signing. Gee, Gilbert, and Adelman voiced their strong support for the legislation.
“Our bigger schools need the freedom to continue to innovate and grow,” said Governor Jim Justice. “As the campuses evolve it’s clear that more decisions should be made by the boards of governors at WVU, Marshall, and the School of Osteopathic Medicine. This bill allows greater flexibility and allows HEPC to focus its efforts.”
The bill preserves the HEPC to serve its core function as a coordinating body and to oversee and undertake regional and statewide higher education policy initiatives for the public good.
Gordon Gee, President of West Virginia University:
“We are very appreciative to the governor and the legislators for their leadership on this issue. This new governance structure will help us be nimble and innovative enough to overcome our state’s challenges, and we look forward to working together as we continue to do great things.”
Jerome A. Gilbert, President of Marshall University:
“I applaud the governor for signing this bill. This is good legislation that will give Marshall University more opportunities to reward exemplary employee performance and productivity. It also will allow us to do strategic financial planning, and will let us spend more time on programs and services for our students and less on bureaucratic reporting requirements.
“We appreciate the legislature and Governor Justice’s support of this bill to support excellence in higher education in West Virginia.”
Michael Adelman, D.O., D.P.M., J.D., President of WV School of Osteopathic Medicine:
“I truly appreciate the work of the Governor and the legislature during this past legislative session to provide the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia University and Marshall University with more autonomy as state institutions during the state’s difficult budget times. We are grateful for the leadership Governor Justice has taken with House Bill 2815 and the efficiency and flexibility this legislation gives to WVSOM as we continue to fulfill our mission by training well-educated osteopathic physicians to meet the health care needs of West Virginia.”