Roush Selected as GSC Pioneer Mascot for a Second Time

Matthew Roush, a junior from Beverly, Ohio, has been named the Glenville State College Pioneer Mascot for the 2017-2018 school year. Roush also severed as the Pioneer Mascot for the 2015-2016 school year making him the only person in GSC history to have served two nonconsecutive terms as the Pioneer Mascot.

“What I’m looking forward to the most is helping lead the Pioneers to victory in all sports, and help with school spirit by energizing Pioneer Nation,” said Roush. “I was more nervous during the selection process this time because there was more competition. I made sure that I came in with high energy and the right attitude to embrace the school spirit,” he continued.

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2017-18 GSC Pioneer Matt Roush

The land surveying major is a member of the Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams at GSC and a Hidden Promise Scholar Mentor. He says that he hopes to add more school spirit around campus and get students involved in events all around campus. He is the son of Robert and Carrie Roush.

“I’m very excited for Matt to represent Glenville State College as the Pioneer for the 2017-2018 year! His excitement and enthusiasm are overwhelming, and I believe he will bring an infectious Pioneer spirit to the campus,” said Director of Student Activities Jodi Walters.

As the GSC Pioneer, Roush will attend GSC football and basketball games, tournaments, and other school events. The Pioneer is charged with working with GSC students, faculty, and staff to positively promote and support the college. The official uniform of the GSC Pioneer mascot is a set of buckskins, a coonskin hat, and a musket. The Glenville State College Pioneer Mascot first began rousing the spirit of the student body during the 1933-34 school year. It has been an ongoing tradition for over 80 years.


The Free Press WV

There has been considerable angst in the County because of proposed riffs and transfers of school system employees by the Superintendent and Personnel Director.

It is understood that ten employees were on a riff list and ten were slated for transfers.

At a special meeting at 4:00 PM, Monday evening, April 24, 2017, the Gilmer County Board Of Education refused to approve any riffs and transfers, and jobs believed to have been lost were restored.

Members of the school board made it evident that with full authority restored they will watch out for the County’s children and school system employees too.

Thank you GCBOE members.

You gave a highly-needed morale boost to employees after all we have suffered through during the long years of the State’s intervention.

It is a proven fact that high morale is one of the most important ingredients for having high performance schools, and that is what the County’s children deserve.

Employees at all levels will continue to look to the GCBOE to set exemplary leadership standards as demonstrated at the special meeting.

With all of us working together as a dedicated team, from the GCBOE on down, Gilmer County can be a trend setter to have one of the best school systems in WV.

~~  An Observer in the Meeting (Identity on File)  ~~

Secretary Warner Announces the Elimination of More than 47,000 Outdated Voter Files

1,170 Ineligible Felons Among Group Removed from Voter List

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Secretary of State Mac Warner announced today that working with county clerks in all 55 counties they have now removed more than 47,000 outdated or ineligible voter files from the state’s voter registration system.

“In just 93 days, we’ve proven that we can make great strides in cleaning up our voter files when we work together with our county clerks. We still have a lot of work to do and I’m confident that we’ll get the job done,” Warner said.

Since taking office, Warner has encouraged his Elections Division staff to explore reliable and accurate ways to eliminate outdated files from the county voter rolls. One such strategy is working with the state Division of Corrections (DOC) to eliminate convicted felons who are ineligible to be registered vote while incarcerated. Over the last three weeks, county clerks have eliminated 1,170 felons from voter files.

Warner said the list of felons was long for the first round of eliminations. Moving forward, county clerks will receive a monthly report from the DOC delivered in the Statewide Voter Registration System where the list is convenient to manage by the clerk and their staff. Future lists should be smaller, and may have just two or three names per county per month.

“Once we start, it’s much easier to stay on top of the list and to keep every county voter file up-to-date. That’s one of the best ways to instill confidence into our elections,” Warner continued.

Other strategies include using previously unavailable data comparisons of voters in-state as well as out-of-state to eliminating those who are deceased, have duplicate registrations due to name variations, or those who are filed in more than one county.

“Being mistakenly registered in more than one county is not illegal. The additional registrations are problematic because they create the opportunity for voting errors and unnecessarily clutters the rolls. Voting in more than one county is illegal,” Warner said.

The next step for the Secretary of State’s Office will be to do a national review of deceased voters whose death records have not have been accessible to county clerks with prior technology. The Office has a long term goal to work with other states to eliminate duplicate registrations. People who used to live and were registered in West Virginia but moved to other states without notifying their county clerk to cancel their registrations could number in the tens of thousands.


Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon, West Virginia

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The Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon, West Virginia congratulates its grant awardees for the 2016 – 2017 grant cycle.  In its initial grant cycle, the Foundation selected twelve organizations to help continue their dedicated work serving the healthcare needs of their communities in Barbour, Lewis, Randolph, Upshur, and Webster counties.

“The Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon sought partnerships with non-profit organizations with the potential to inspire healthier choices for the communities of Barbour, Lewis, Randolph, Upshur, and Webster counties,” stated Executive Director, Janell E. Ray. “We are excited to be partners with these outstanding organizations serving the health needs of the community”.

• Central West Virginia Center for Pregnancy Care
• Catholic Charities West Virginia
• Heathy Bodies Healthy Spirits
• Webster County Family Resource Network
• Try This West Virginia
• Randolph County Child Advocacy Center
• Marshall University Research Corporation
• Mountain CAP of WV Child Advocacy Center
• Upshur County Family Resource Network
• Committee for Aging for Randolph County
• Highland Community Builders
• Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council
• West Virginia VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster)

The Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon, WV provides grant funding for qualified 501(c)(3) organizations in Barbour, Lewis, Randolph, Upshur and Webster counties in West Virginia that serve healthcare and healthcare related needs of the community. Learn more about the Foundation.

In West Virginia….

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►  Task force reopens 1981 murder of Beckley teacher

A 35-year-old murder in Beckley will be one of the first focuses of Crime Stoppers of West Virginia’s new cold case task force.

As part of the new initiative, Beckley Police are seeking information about the 1981 murder of 27-year-old teacher Cynthia Miller.

Register-Herald archives show that on August 26, 1981, Miller was preparing for her wedding the next morning at her home. When her fiance, ex-police officer Gary O’Neal, couldn’t reach her by phone, he went to her home to check on her. O’Neal found Miller shot to death on her living room floor.

Information can be submitted by calling 304.255.STOP (7867).

Crime Stoppers announced the cold case task force last week. The initiative offers up to $10,000 to solve decades-old unsolved cases.

►  College presidents sign pact to address alcohol, drug abuse

The presidents of most West Virginia colleges and universities have signed a pact to address alcohol and drug abuse on their respective campuses.

At a conference Monday at West Virginia University, the pact was ceremonially signed.

It commits public and private college presidents to work at preventing alcohol and drug misuse and promote recovery support as priorities of student life and campus health.

The pact says drinking and drug abuse “is responsible for many of the most serious academic, personal safety and legal problems our students face.“

So far 21 of 29 college presidents have signed.

Identifying at-risk behaviors and trauma in sexual assault cases are among the topics at the conference attended by 200 higher education professionals, local and state policymakers, state agency employees and mental health practitioners.

►  Local businessman offers reward for evidence of stolen, defaced campaign signs

A Morgantown businessman has offered a cash reward for evidence leading to the successful arrest and conviction of anyone stealing or defacing campaign signs for the current Morgantown city council election.

George Papandreas has offered a $10,000 cash reward to anyone with evidence of such theft or vandalism of candidates signs.

The majority of the signs that have been stolen or vandalized belong to Bane, Callen, Bonner, Nugent and Redmond.

►  Public comment period begins Tuesday in closure of 14 Fayette County schools

Permanent school closure hearings have a tendency to get heated from time to time–a fact that Fayette County School Superintendent Terry George recognizes.

“The emotions can run over and spill over,” George said. “Any time that you are talking about taking a school out of a community or moving students to a new community to attend school, emotions sometimes get a little heated,”

George said that statement is particularly true when it comes to closing a high school, and Fayette County has plans to close five high schools by 2019.

“There’s always that potential for that community to be extremely upset because they are no longer going to have a high school in that community,” he said. “Those are the ones that tend to get a little frustrated–when you move a high school out.”

That statement will likely apply directly to the hearing on May 2 to accept public comment on the closure of Meadow Bridge High School. When the dust settles, only two high schools will remain in Fayette County. In total, the Fayette County Board of Education will hear public comment on the closure of 14 schools through May 16.

These can be meetings that run long when emotions run high. Any meeting that doesn’t conclude by 11 p.m. must be suspended and resumed the following day. George said the board has scheduled two meetings on the same day every other day for the next four weeks to prepare for that possibility. The first meeting at Midland Trail High School is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 at 4:30 p.m.

“Whatever time that meeting would end at Midland Trail High School, there has to be an hour in between the closure of that hearing and the opening of the Ansted Middle hearing,” he said.

In theory, the next meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. George expects Ansted Middle School to draw particular interest on Tuesday.

“That will move that school and that will effectively take the current Ansted Middle School off-line,” he said. “We are currently running individual room heaters there because of the heating system that failed there several years ago.”

Construction on the replacement for Ansted Middle School is expected to begin in 30 days. George said bids are set to be accepted on the earliest construction projects Tuesday afternoon.

The following is the schedule of public hearings. At this time, each school hearing will be held at the school in question unless otherwise noted.

Midland Trail High School, 4:30 p.m., April 25.

Ansted Middle School, 6:30 p.m., April 25.

Valley Elementary School, 4:30 p.m., April 27.

Valley High School, 6:30 p.m., April 27.

Meadow Bridge Elementary School, 4:30 p.m., May 02.

Meadow Bridge High School, 6:30 p.m., May 02.

Oak Hill High School, 4:30 p.m., May 04.

Fayetteville High School, 6:30 p.m. May 04.

Fayetteville Elementary School, 4:30 p.m., May 08.

Gatewood Elementary School, 6:30 p.m., May 08.

Collins Middle School, 4:30 p.m., May 10, to be held at Oak Hill High School.

Mount Hope Elementary School, 6:30 p.m., May 10.

Rosedale Elementary School, 4:30 p.m.. May 16.

* New River Elementary School, 6:30 p.m. May 16.


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  • Here’s Why So Many Popular Cartoon Characters Are Yellow:  It’s science!  ESQUIRE

  • Antonin Scalia and Annie Dookhan.  The Massachusetts crime lab scandal demonstrates how the late justice was right about the right to confront witnesses.  Bloomberg

  • Political Outsiders Face Off for French Presidency:  It’s a battle for Europe. Centrist Emmanuel Macron, whose pro-business bonafides and independent En Marche! party wooed pro-Europe voters, will go head-to-head with Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right anti-immigration National Front. Neither of France’s major parties has a candidate in the runoff for the first time in decades, but both have asked their voters to support Macron. Meanwhile, hundreds of young people clashed with police during demonstrations in central Paris after the vote. Macron is predicted to win the May 7 runoff.  France 24

  • Trump already is winning his border war.   Illegal border crossings continue to drop, precipitously even, despite opposition to his law enforcement policies.    Politico

  • Technology Use: Wisconsin police say they won’t misuse the new drones they are using. Privacy advocates (and citizens) aren’t so sure.  Isthmus

Did You Know?

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Disputes over health care and President Trump’s border wall throw must-pass spending legislation into jeopardy days ahead of a government shutdown deadline.


An AP analysis finds President Trump isn’t keeping the big promises he made for his first 100 days in office.


The department faced a storm of ethics criticism for its promotional posting about Donald Trump’s private Florida resort, which it described as the “winter White House.“


The state is preparing for another lethal injection in what would be America’s first double-execution since 2000.


Chinese President Xi Jinping urges restraint in a call to President Trump, as the world braces for a possible North Korean nuclear test.


Marine Le Pen’s appearance in the country’s final round of presidential voting shows how deeply her anti-establishment, nationalist rhetoric has become ingrained in France.


Family and friends bid farewell to the former NFL star at a private service, and a judge orders that three suicide notes he left be turned over to his fiancee by the time he is buried.


The passenger seen sobbing in a viral video has the same attorney as the Kentucky doctor who was dragged from a United Express flight.


Around Oregon, agriculture business owners have begun lobbying politicians to get them to deal with immigration in a way that minimizes economic harm.


Robert M. Pirsig’s philosophical novel “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” became a classic after more than 100 publishers turned it down. He died at age 88.

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Still Time to Sign up for GSC’s Land Resources Golf Tournament
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The green fairways of Bel Meadow Golf Club in Clarksburg, West Virginia are calling area golfers to the 19th Annual Glenville State College Department of Land Resources Golf Tournament. The tournament will be held on Friday, April 28 beginning at 1:00 p.m. Proceeds from the event will be used to enhance student learning within GSC’s Natural Resource Management programs.

Funds received from the golf tournament will help provide extra tools and equipment for students studying environmental, forestry, land surveying, land management, and other natural resource management programs at GSC.

Multiple prizes are available, including two hole-in-one prizes of $10,000 cash and a STIHL Homeowner’s Package (package consists of a MS170 Chainsaw with 16-inch bar, BG 86 Handheld Blower, and FS70R Trimmer) and a closest second shot prize of a STIHL MS251 Chainsaw. The top three teams will receive cash awards and trophies including $400 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. Prizes also will be awarded for Closest to Pin, Log Driver Champion, Longest Putt, and Longest Drive.

Participants can enter the scramble golf outing for an entry fee of $80 per person or $320 per team of four. The entry fee includes green fees, cart rental, and lunch. Organizations and individuals are also welcome to sponsor a hole, starting at $100. Sponsors will be recognized in a GSC Department of Land Resources newsletter and will have the name of the person or organization displayed during the event. Checks can be made payable to GSC Land Resources Fundraiser and sent to Glenville State College Department of Land Resources, 200 High Street, Glenville, WV 26351.

For more information and to register, contact the Land Resources Department at 304.462.6370.

Apple CEO Tim Cook once personally threatened to kick Uber out of the App Store

He told Uber CEO Travis Kalanick that the Uber app violated Apple’s privacy rules.

Uber has delayed releasing the findings for its internal investigation into sexual harassment until the end of May

The delay was referred to in an internal memo sent by board member Arianna Huffington.

Amber Heard has confirmed her relationship with billionaire Elon Musk following months of rumors

The US actress, 31, posted a photo of the pair together on her official Instagram account on Sunday, appearing to confirm their romance.

Angry customers who gave smart credit card company Plastc $9 million in pre-orders and then abruptly shut down are hoping to sue the company

Venture capital investors had also sunk a reported $4.3 million into the fintech startup.

The New York Times examined whether it’s time to break up Google

The Californian tech giant has an 88% market share in search advertising.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick hired his own private driver after a videotaped argument with an Uber driver went viral

The detail was published in a New York Times’ exposé on Kalanick.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained his crazy vision for what comes next after the smartphone

It involves a world without screens.

Binge-watching Netflix shows can actually be good for you

That’s according to a communications professor.

The new “Silicon Valley” season exposes a common dilemma in the tech industry known as “pivoting”

During season four, the act of pivoting and what to pursue become central.

MIT Technology Review called out Elon Musk for saying that telepathy technology will be available in a few short years

The Tesla founder has set up a new company called Neuralink and its mission is to use brain implants to directly link human minds to computers.

In USA….

The Free Press WV

►  New Orleans Starts Taking Down ‘Aberration’

Workers in New Orleans began removing the first of four prominent Confederate monuments early Monday, making it the latest Southern city to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as representing racism and white supremacy. Trucks arrived to begin removing the first memorial, one that commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, around 1:25am in an attempt to avoid disruption from supporters who want the monuments to stay, the AP reports. City officials say some monument supporters have made death threats. Workers who were inspecting the statue ahead of its removal could be seen wearing flak jackets and helmets.

The first memorial to come down was the Liberty Place monument, an 1891 obelisk honoring the Crescent City White League. Three other statues, to Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and PGT Beauregard and Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis, will be removed in later days now that legal challenges have been overcome. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu tells the AP the memorials are an “aberration” that don’t represent his city as it approaches its 300th anniversary next year. The mayor says the city will remove, preserve, and store the monuments until an “appropriate” place to display them is determined.

►  Hash Browns Recalled Over Chance of ... Golf Balls?

McCain Foods USA is recalling frozen hash browns from stores in nine states because the potatoes may have been “contaminated with extraneous golf ball materials,“ reports the AP. The recall notice said the golf balls apparently were “inadvertently harvested with potatoes used to make this product” and chopped up. “Consumption of these products may pose a choking hazard or other physical injury to the mouth,“ reads the recall, per CNN. No injuries have been reported.

The company is recalling 2-pound bags of Harris Teeter Brand Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, and Maryland. It is also recalling Roundy’s Brand Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns from Marianos, Metro Market, and Pick ‘n Save stores in Illinois and Wisconsin. The hash browns being recalled have the production code B170119 on the back of the bag.

►  Lawyers: 2 Arkansas Inmates Too Unhealthy for Execution

Two Arkansas inmates scheduled to be put to death Monday in what could be the nation’s first double execution in more than 16 years asked an appeals court on Sunday to halt their lethal injections because of poor health that could cause complications. Lawyers for Jack Jones and Marcel Williams asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sunday to grant them stays of execution, the AP reports. Jones’ lawyers say he suffers from diabetes and is on insulin, has high blood pressure, neuropathy, and had one leg amputated below the knee. They say he may be resistant to the lethal injection drug midazolam because of the drugs he is taking for his maladies and could suffer a “tortuous death.“

Lawyers for Williams say he weighs 400 pounds and it will be difficult to find a vein for lethal injection, so the drugs are unlikely to work as intended. The state said the appeals are just delaying tactics and should be denied. It is not clear when the appeals court will rule. Arkansas originally wanted to execute eight inmates in 11 days by the end of April when its supply of midazolam expires. It put to death Ledell Lee last week in the state’s first execution since 2005. But four of the eight inmates have had their executions blocked by the courts. Jones and Williams are scheduled to die on Monday and another inmate, Kenneth Williams, is set for execution Thursday.

►  Artist: Muralist Swiped My Image of Michelle Obama

A mural of Michelle Obama painted in Chicago, not far from where she grew up, has generated interest both for the painting and for artist Chris Devins, who told DNAinfo on Friday he “wanted to present her as what I think she is,“ which is draped in colorful clothing and jewelry like an “Egyptian queen.“ But Gelila Mesfin, an art student from Ethiopia who now lives in the US, tells the Washington Post she’s “disheartened” that Devins won’t credit her for inspiring his mural—since she first posted this depiction of Obama on Instagram in November, and since Devins crowdfunded almost $12,000 to pay for the mural (the GoFundMe page shows a different photo of Obama on the mural, though he notes the mural shown was “preliminary”). “How can you just steal someone’s artwork,“ Mesfin wrote in an Instagram post over the weekend. “This is … so disrespectful on so many levels.“

The Post notes Mesfin’s digital rendition of Obama used a New York Times photo taken by Collier Schorr, but Mesfin gave Schorr credit. Devins tells the Post the murals he paints for free around the Windy City are based on either public domain pictures or “found” images, and that the money raised went toward the cost of painting the mural. He says he found Mesfin’s image on Pinterest and couldn’t find her, so he repurposed it like a DJ would “remix” songs. He apologized to Mesfin on Twitter (tweets now deleted) and said he’d been “sloppy,“ which spurred others to tell him he was more “lazy” and “dishonest” than sloppy. He told DNAinfo this was a “misunderstanding” and that he’s offered Mesfin a licensing fee. On Instagram Sunday, Mesfin said she’s been in touch with Devins and wants everyone to “keep this positive towards him.“

►  Fugitive Teacher Claimed Teen Was 22-Year-Old Wife

Tad Cummins turned up in a remote northern California community with a tale of misfortune to tell, according to Griffin Barry, the man whose tip led police to the fugitive Tennessee teacher. Barry tells CNN that when Cummins, 50, and 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas arrived in Cecilville last week, he said he was 44 and she was his 22-year-old wife. Barry says Cummins claimed to be from Colorado and said he was down to his last $10 and on his way to a commune after losing everything in a house fire. Barry says he gave them $40 cash and $15 in gas—and after they returned, saying the commune didn’t work out, he gave Cummins work moving rocks and a small cabin to stay in.

Barry says he became suspicious after noticing that Cummins tried to keep Thomas away from other people, and that their vehicle had no license plates. He says he called police Wednesday evening after somebody he talked to in a bar looked up the fugitive’s photo online. Cummins, who is accused of plotting to kidnap the girl for sexual purposes, was arrested early Thursday. Thomas is now “comfortable and resting” with family back in Tennessee, lawyer Jason Whatley tells the Columbia Daily Herald. She is being evaluated by mental-health experts specializing in trauma, Whatley says, adding that he was “taken aback” when he first met her, because she is a “small child” who could easily pass for 12.

►  NY Leftist Radical Denied Parole After 35 Years

New York’s Parole Board has denied the release of a former Weather Underground leftist radical who drove a getaway car in a 1981 Brinks armored car robbery that left three people dead. Judith Clark has served 35 years of a 75-years-to-life sentence for the suburban New York heist, which led to the deaths of two police officers and a security guard, the AP reports. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo commuted Clark’s sentence in December to make her eligible for parole. Nearly 10,000 people signed a petition opposing release. Opponents were led by four Republican state senators who said the 67-year-old woman should stay in prison.

Clark’s lawyer Steve Zeidman said Friday the decision ignores her record of achievement and transformation behind bars. He said more than 1,000 people have written letters calling for the release of Clark, who founded an HIV program, obtained degrees, and helped train service dogs in prison. “My mother did not kill anyone and it’s hard for me to understand who is served by making her die in prison,“ said her daughter, Harriet, per the New York Daily News. The parole board said Clark, who will be eligible to apply for parole again in 2019, remains a symbol of a “violent and terroristic crime” and her “personal growth” is not yet enough to overcome her past.

►  Tiny Oregon Town for Sale

In the tiny, dying timber town of Tiller, the old cliche is true. If you blink, you might actually miss it. But these days, this dot on a map in southwestern Oregon is generating big-city buzz for an unlikely reason: Almost the entire town is for sale. The AP reports the asking price of $3.5 million brings with it six houses, the shuttered general store and gas station, the land under the post office, undeveloped parcels, water rights, and infrastructure that includes sidewalks, fire hydrants, and a working power station. Tiller Elementary School, a six-classroom building that closed in 2014, is for sale separately for $350,000. Potential buyers have come forward but are remaining anonymous, and backup offers are still being accepted.

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The listing represents a melancholy crossroads for Tiller, a once-bustling logging outpost that sprang up after the turn of the last century deep in what is now the Umpqua National Forest, about 230 miles south of Portland. About 235 people still live in the unincorporated area around Tiller, and have long relied on the buildings now for sale along historic Highway 227 as a gathering spot and one of the only places to shop for groceries in miles. The potential buyers have said through the seller’s broker that they intend to turn the school into some type of campus and create a “permaculture” development. They want to make reopening the market a priority. Beyond that, Tiller’s future remains shrouded in mystery.

►  Pharmacist Credited With Saving Customer’s Life

“I was scared,“ Mark Davey tells CBS Chicago. “I thought, ‘This is how I go.‘“ The 57-year-old was eating lunch last month when his tongue started swelling up. Davey had never had an allergic reaction to food before, but he knew it was about to get worse, so he drove to a CVS pharmacy to buy Benadryl. Instead, pharmacist Bhavini Patel called paramedics and gave Davey an epinephrine shot. A responding paramedic says Patel probably saved Davey’s life. The pharmacist says she’s just glad she could help. Davey now carries an EpiPen with him.

►  Dum Dums Pays Tribute to 48-Year Employee

Al Braun started what was to be a 90-day temporary gig at a Bryan, Ohio, candy factory in 1969. It turned into something with a little more staying power. On Friday, Braun ended his 48-year career with the Spangler Candy Company, maker of Dum Dums and other popular candies. His start was making bubble gum cigarettes, but for the last 25 years he’s worked as a Dum Dums bagger operator, overseeing the machine that bags the pops. 13ABC reports the factory pumps out about 12 million pops per production day, for a total of 2.5 billion a year; Braun played a part in the production of more than 50 billion of them. WCMH reports he pulled up to a reserved spot on Friday, capping off a last week at work that was probably more memorable than most, thanks to an April 17 Facebook post from the company.

“Al has made 50+ billion Dum Dums in over 48 years at the factory, and is retiring Friday, but HE THINKS NO ONE CARES. If you have enjoyed a Dum Dum since 1969, like (and share!) this post or Hashtag #thanksAl.“ As of Monday morning it’s been shared nearly 200,000 times and has almost 150,000 reactions. WTHR rounds up uses of the hashtag from people telling stories of bringing the suckers (and joy) to kids in places like Rwanda and Guatemala. It could be the first of many such social media posts: 13ABC reports 20% of the 500-person company has been on the job at least 25 years, and 17 have logged more than 40 years. The station asks Braun the crucial question: What’s your favorite flavor? “Lemon Lime, Blue Raspberry and the mystery flavor,“ he says.

In The World….

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►  Results of Election Are a First in Modern French History

The polls closed at 7pm local time, meaning the first round of the French presidential election is officially in the books. While the official percentages are not yet known, the AP reports centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen will advance to the runoff after major opponent Francois Fillon conceded. The Guardian reports polling agency projections had put Macron and Le Pen in the one and two slots, with roughly 23.7% and 22% of the vote, respectively, though those numbers could change. Of the four candidates who had a shot, “French Bernie Sanders” Jean-Luc Melenchon and establishment candidate Fillon trailed at just below 20%, per those projections.

In conceding defeat, Fillon loudly threw his support behind Macron, saying, “There is no other choice than to vote against the far right. I will vote for Emmanuel Macron. I consider it my duty to tell you this frankly.“ The results set up a duel between a young candidate with no electoral experience and the woman who remade the image of a party tainted by racism and anti-Semitism. It marks the first time in modern French history that no major-party candidate has advanced. The runoff is scheduled for May 07.

►  Thorn in the Side of 9 U.S. Presidents: The Assads

The Assad family has been in power in Syria since a successful coup in 1970, the last of dozens that occurred after the country, which is wedged between Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq, had declared sovereignty from France in 1946. Since then, each of nine American presidents has tried in his own way to deal with the Assad family—namely its founder, Hafez al-Assad, and more recently his son, current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It’s been largely an exercise in futility for all, reports the New Yorker in a piece detailing the tumultuous history between the two countries since the 1970 coup.

As veteran reporter Robin Wright writes, the elder Assad not only no-showed all sorts of meetings and summits that hinged on his participation, but didn’t hesitate to resort to violence and terror. Tensions have only further mounted as his son, who was brought up in palaces and “pampered by privilege,“ has “killed, injured, or displaced millions more Syrians than his father did, and in a far shorter time,“ Wright writes. Now Trump, who like his predecessors first expressed a willingness to negotiate with Assad, seems to have discovered within his first 100 days that Assad, per the New Yorker, “may be his nemesis, too.“ (Press Secretary Sean Spicer even suggested that Assad is worse than Hitler in remarks that went viral and for which he later apologized.) Read the entire piece HERE .

►  Duterte on Terrorists: ‘Give Me Salt, Vinegar, I’ll Eat His Liver’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Sunday that he could be “50 times” more brutal than Muslim militants who stage beheadings and said he could even “eat” the extremists if they’re captured alive by troops. Duterte raised his shock rhetoric to a new level as president when he said in a speech what he would do to terrorists who have staged beheadings and other gruesome attacks, reports the AP. Duterte ordered troops to kill fleeing Muslim militants behind a foiled attack in the central resort province of Bohol and not bring them to him alive, calling the extremists “animals.“ “If you want me to be an animal, I’m also used to that. We’re just the same,“ Duterte said. “I can dish out, go down what you can 50 times over.“ The foul-mouthed president said that if a terrorist was presented to him when he’s in a foul mood, “give me salt and vinegar and I’ll eat his liver.“

The crowd broke into laughter, but Duterte cut in, “It’s true, if you make me angry.“ Duterte, a longtime city mayor who built an image as a deadly crime-buster, won the presidency in May last year on a promise to battle illegal drugs, corruption and terrorism. Thousands have died under his anti-drug crackdown, which has alarmed Western governments and human rights groups. He has warned he may place the southern Philippines, scene of a decades-long Muslim separatist rebellion, under martial rule if terrorism threats spin out of control. He recently offered a reward for information leading to the capture of Abu Sayyaf and other militants behind a foiled attack in the central province of Bohol. Eight militants, three soldiers, a policeman, and two villagers have died in clashes in Bohol, which lies far from the southern jungle bases of the militants.

►  Latest Salvo: N. Korea Detains a 3rd American

North Korea has detained a US citizen, officials said Sunday, bringing to three the number of Americans now being held there, reports the AP. Tony Kim, who also goes by his Korean name Kim Sang-duk, was detained Saturday as he was trying to leave the country from Pyongyang’s international airport, according to Park Chan-mo, the chancellor of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Park said Kim, who is in his 50s, taught accounting at the university for about a month. The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which minds consular affairs there for the United States, said it was aware of a Korean-American citizen being detained. Park said he was informed that the detention had “nothing to do” with Kim’s work at the university but did not know further details. As of Sunday night, North Korea’s official media had not reported on the detention.

South Korea could not confirm the detention, reports the New York Times, though South Korean media did report it. The detention comes at a time of unusually heightened tensions between the US and North Korea. Both countries have recently been trading threats of war and having another American in jail will likely up the ante even further. Last year, Otto Warmbier, then a 21-year-old University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison after he confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner. Kim Dong Chul, who was born in South Korea but is also believed to have US citizenship, is serving a sentence of 10 years for espionage.

►  Sunday’s Vote ‘Humiliated’ French Party Politics

The election results in France are now final, confirming the political earthquake that has just taken place: Centrist Emmanuel Macron took 23.8% of votes in the first round, with 21.5% for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, the BBC reports. The two candidates will compete for the presidency in a runoff election May 7—and for the first time, neither contender is from one of the country’s main parties. Conservative Francois Fillon will miss the runoff after getting 19.9%. Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon got 19.6%, while Benoit Hamon from the ruling Socialist party got just 6.4%. A roundup of coverage:

  • Reuters reports that Macron’s pro-business, pro-European Union positions made him the favored candidate of financial markets, and they reacted with sharp gains early Monday, sending the euro to its highest point against the dollar this year.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that polls suggest that Macron will easily win the second-round vote—but it could be complicated by the fact that almost 50% of voters supported anti-EU candidates.
  • The Guardian describes the result as “a humiliation for modern French party politics of left and right,“ with Macron’s first-place finish a sign of hope that he will prevail over Le Pen’s National Front party, which represents “bigotry, hatred, and nationalism of the worst kind.“
  • The BBC reports that Macron, who stepped down as the ruling party’s economics minister to form his own En Marche party, has promised to cut corporation tax and step up the move to renewable energy. Le Pen has promised to hold a referendum on the EU, cut immigration, and close “extremist” mosques. Unlike her rival, she has promised to protect the 35-hour work week.
  • The AP reports that mainstream parties are urging voters to support Macron, though Mélenchon has yet to do so, and the National Front says it believes it can win the support of some of his voters. “The voters who voted for Mr. Mélenchon are angry voters. They can be in agreement with us,“ says a party official.
  • Don’t expect a Brexit or Trump-style surprise in France, Nate Silver writes at FiveThirtyEight. He notes that polls give Macron a 26-point lead, much bigger than anything seen before the Brexit and Trump votes. “She could beat her polls by as much as Trump and Brexit combined and still lose to Macron by almost 20 points,“ he writes.
  • Vanity Fair predicts “two weeks of hell” ahead during campaigning in France as Le Pen tries to “stoke fear and division” to boost her chances.

►  Boy’s Insane Quest to Drive Across Australia Gets Shockingly Far

The journey from Australia’s eastern New South Wales coast to Perth on its west measures about 2,500 miles. A 12-year-old boy set off to drive it alone, and got ridiculously far. The Australian Associated Press reports the boy was stopped about 800 miles into the drive around 11am Saturday, having essentially traversed the entirety of New South Wales from his starting point in Kendall, near Port Macquarie, over the course of 24 hours. The New York Times gives some American perspective, saying the distance covered “is about the equivalent of making the long and annoying” round-trip drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, “with a few dozen more miles thrown in for rest stops and food.“

The child was stopped in Broken Hill due to a dislodged bumper, which was dragging on the ground. Police tell the AAP the damage suggests he was involved in some sort of accident along the way. “He’d taken the family car,“ police said Monday. “His parents reported him missing immediately after he left home” shortly after 11am Friday. The child is in the custody of his parents, but will likely face charges including driving without a license and not paying for gas; Sky News reports he fueled up around 6am in Cobar. As for how he managed to not raise suspicions for such a long period, Sky News reports the 6-foot-tall boy looks much older than 12. Indeed, the manager of the gas station the child stopped at thought he looked “19 or 20.“

►  Icelandic Language’s Problem: Computers Don’t Get It

When an Icelander arrives at an office building and sees “Solarfri” posted, they need no further explanation for the empty premises: The word means “when staff get an unexpected afternoon off to enjoy good weather.“ But the revered Icelandic language, seen by many as a source of identity and pride, is being undermined by the widespread use of English, both for mass tourism and in the voice-controlled artificial intelligence devices coming into vogue. Linguistics experts, studying the future of a language spoken by fewer than 400,000 people, wonder if this is the beginning of the end for the Icelandic tongue. Former President Vigdis Finnbogadottir tells the AP unless Iceland takes steps to protect its language, “Icelandic will end in the Latin bin.“ A number of factors combine to make the future of the language uncertain.

Tourism has exploded in recent years, becoming the country’s single biggest employer, and analysts at Arion Bank say one in two new jobs is being filled by foreign labor. That is increasing the use of English as a universal communicator and diminishing the role of Icelandic. The problem is compounded because many new computer devices are designed to recognize English but they do not understand Icelandic. It ranks among the weakest and least-supported languages in terms of digital technology—along with Irish Gaelic, Latvian, Maltese, and Lithuanian—according to a report by the Multilingual Europe Technology Alliance assessing 30 European languages. Iceland’s Ministry of Education estimates about $8.8 million is needed for seed funding for an open-access database to help tech developers adapt Icelandic as a language option.


The Free Press WV
The Free Press WV


The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV    Young people are ready, willing and able to tackle the world’s most difficult challenges, yet they are vastly underrepresented as active citizens, decision-makers and leaders. From the preschoolers in Arizona collecting canned goods to combat hunger to the high schooler in Virginia creating STEM clubs for women and girls to the middle schooler in Alabama saving the state’s monarch butterfly population, all of these remarkable youths have a common goal: to raise awareness and solve the problems facing the world today. Today’s social and environmental problems are immense; we need young people to create solutions to real-world problems now.

Global Youth Service Day, which occured from April 21 to April 23 this year. During this three-day event, thousands of community partners in the United States and 125 countries will activate millions of young people to strengthen their communities. Global Youth Service Day recognizes the solutions that young people are bringing to the world’s most pressing issues 365 days a year. When given the opportunity, young people are great assets and resources to their communities, providing unique perspectives and skills. Youths who are engaged as active community members are likelier to grow up to volunteer, vote and donate to charitable causes. Research shows that when youths engage in quality service and service learning projects, they strengthen their leadership skills, increase their academic engagement and develop vital career and workforce readiness skills. These outstanding youths demonstrate that young people are leaders and problem-solvers today, not just the leaders of a distant tomorrow.

For more information, readers can visit You can also find us on social media – @YouthService on Twitter and at — Steven A. Culbertson, president and CEO of Youth Service America

The Free Press WV    Dear Steven: When young people are given the opportunity to help their communities thrive, they thrive, too. I encourage all my young readers to celebrate Global Youth Service Day this weekend and find ways to keep shining all year long.

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV    This is regarding “Charged-Up Spouse,‘’ the aggravated man whose wife is constantly using and misplacing his phone chargers, resulting in ongoing and frustrating searches. I have, I think, the definitive solution: He should look into a “key-finding’‘ device. There are many inexpensive paging/tracking devices available today.

The receiver is typically attached to your key ring and emits a loud beep whenever the transmitter is activated. Though these are often marketed for finding keys, they can be used for any item. In this case, the receiver would simply be affixed to the phone charger instead of to his car keys. And unlike the colored tape option, this solution would not require that the missing charger be within his actual line of sight. I’ve used these devices myself, and I have found them consistently effective and reliable. — Mike K.

The Free Press WV    Dear Mike: A modern solution for a modern problem. I like it.

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV      My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago. In the beginning, it was just small stuff, such as forgetting that she had told the same story to us five times or using her lipstick as eyeliner. About a year ago, it got really bad. My dad told me that she would get up in the middle of the night and take out the car. One night, around 3 in the morning, he got a call from a gas station. The attendant said that there was a lady there who didn’t know where she was.

After the middle-of-the-night scare, my father decided it was time to put her under professional care. We researched all the facilities and found the best one. Though it is a great deal of money for us, the care the facility provides seems top-notch.

The other night, my dad and I took my mom out to dinner and then went back to the home where she is staying. She sang nursery songs the whole ride back from the restaurant and seemed in good spirits. When we were saying goodbye (not sure she remembered who I was), she began to cry. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t go home with my dad. She became very upset and said, “But he is my husband. I love him. I want to sleep next to him.‘’ My dad was holding back tears and said very calmly, “No, this is your home now. You have to go to your room.‘’ The nurses told my dad and me to leave and said they would take care of her. It was so sad to watch. Were the nurses right, or should we have taken her back with us? — Daughter in Distress

The Free Press WV    Dear Daughter: Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease, not only for the person diagnosed with it but also for all his or her loved ones. It takes no prisoners and leaves everyone around wounded; there is no doubt about that. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It sounds as if you’ve found a reputable care facility for your mom, and that’s great. Talk to her doctor and ask him or her whether there are any techniques you and your dad could use to help soothe your mom when she’s distressed. You might also talk to your insurance provider about home health care options.

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV    I’m sure you’ve been contacted by others by now, but another resource for those who may want to honor someone who died from Alzheimer’s disease is to join a local Walk to End Alzheimer’s if one is offered in their community. More information is available at I walk each year, as both of my parents have dementia. Please share this important information with your readers. — Susan B.

The Free Press WV    Dear Susan: Thank you for writing. An estimated 5.4 million Americans suffer from the disease. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association website for more information about the disease and what you can do to help make a difference in the lives of those affected.

G-FYI™: Reminder from State Superintendent to Schools Boards and Superintendents

The Free Press WV

Dear West Virginia County Board Members, Superintendents and Chief School Business Officials, As county boards of education work on their budgets for the upcoming school year, I wanted to take this opportunity to stress the importance of making sound financial decisions on behalf of the county boards of education that you represent. During these times of decreasing student enrollment and declining revenue, it is very important that county boards of education make the necessary adjustments to their budgets in order to keep the school system financially solvent. 

The West Virginia Department of Education has historically recommended that every county board of education have a general current expense unrestricted fund balance of at least three to five percent of the county’s approved budget.  The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)  recommends a carryover balance of two months of operating revenues or expenditures which equates to a 16.67% carryover balance.    As of June 30,  2016, only 10 county boards of education in West Virginia met the national recommended carryover percentage.  Without sufficient carryover reserves, county boards of education would be unable to react in the event of an emergency. 

As student enrollment declines, county boards of education are funded for fewer positions through the state aid funding formula.  It is important that county boards of education monitor their staffing levels to ensure that they are in line with available resources and funding sources.   On average,  personnel related costs comprise approximately 80% of a county’s overall budget.  County boards of education that do not adjust their staffing levels can therefore quickly find themselves in financial distress, as there are very few non-personnel cuts that can be made to absorb declines in revenue.  I recognize that eliminating positions is very difficult, as it is never easy to make decisions that will negatively impact the lives of our valued employees.  Unfortunately,  in our current financial climate,  making such difficult decisions has become a necessity for most county boards of education. 

As State Superintendent of Schools,  I am charged under West Virginia Code §18-9B-7 and §18-9B-8 to review the budgets of county boards of education to ensure that they will maintain the educational program of the county as well as meet the county’s financial obligations.  If a budget does not meet the criteria set forth in statute, I have the authority to direct the county board to make certain adjustments to the budget.    While I take this charge very seriously,  it is my hope that all local county boards of education make these difficult decisions on their own.

Please be reminded that West Virginia Code §11-8-26 indicates that county boards of education should not expend funds in excess of those available. As you have been taught by the West Virginia School Board Association, under West Virginia Code §11-8-29, county board members can be held personally liable for the amount illegally expended and under §11-8-31, county board members can even be held criminally liable for such overspending. While it is rare that these statutory provisions are utilized, the potential consequences for overspending are significant and not to be taken lightly.

My staff in the Office of School Finance stands ready to assist all county boards of education with financial questions.  That office already maintains a Financial Watch List where monthly budget to actual analysis is performed for 13 county boards of education that have been identified as being financially at-risk.  However, just because a county may not currently be on the Financial Watch List does not mean that a county shouldn’t be closely monitoring their own finances and making the necessary adjustments to their spending. If you have financial questions regarding your county board of education,  please do not hesitate to contact Amy Willard,  Executive Director of School Finance at 304.558.6300 or at

Thank you for your commitment to ensuring the financial stability of your county board of education in order to best serve the students of West Virginia.

Steven L Paine, Ed. D.
State Superintendent of Schools

EducationFeaturesG-FYI™NewsWest Virginia(3) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

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.

By GCBOE Observer  on  04.24.2017

Now it is clear why some board members always probed for answers and their questions were ignored. The members were simply trying to do their jobs. 

During intervention while the board was stripped of power it is understood that if overspending occurred individual members could still have been sued.

What a travesty!!!!

By Cannot Wait Until July 1  on  04.24.2017

For SIX years we have heard from our local board members, watched videos request for financial information, only to be STONEWALLED by the West Virginia State Board of Education.

Now this gent wants to tell us how important finance is?  We are well aware, the WVBOE provided little to no oversight of *anything* that happened under their 6 year run with lack of leadership.

Over built school in Lewis County.  Wasted funds in Gilmer County.  Undersized school in Gilmer.

WVBOE.  All politics.  No common sense.  Crummy leadership.

By INEPT WVBOE  on  04.24.2017

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Underground Apps Used By Students Which Are Hidden From Schools

The Free Press WV

Technology is nearly ubiquitous in classrooms, and it holds extreme importance in the lives of today’s children.

But with technology comes responsibility, and many ed-tech stakeholders emphasize the importance of teaching students about digital citizenship, being aware of their digital footprint, and being responsible and safe online.

Despite the best efforts of parents and educators, children can–and do–get into sticky situations with technology. And as everyone knows, things you post online, in group chats, or send in text messages don’t disappear if you delete them.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of apps adults might want to know about, not in an effort to alarm parents and teachers, but rather to inform them of the threats that accompany technology ownership and use.

1. Whisper: The app states users must be 17 years old to download the app. Even if children followed that age restriction, high school students can download and use it. The app lets users share their thoughts or opinions via text that is placed on top of an image. Users also can connect directly with one another. It has the potential for cyberbullying and online harassment.

2. ASKfm: This app lets users ask anonymous questions (they also can choose to not be anonymous). Kids might use it for cyberbullying and to unfairly target certain classmates.

3. Private Photos (Calculator%): According to the app, “anyone who starts this application will see a calculator but if you put in passcode it will open up a private area.”

4. HiCalculator: The app’s description indicates it “ can hide your photos and videos behind a calculator.” Parents, teachers and other adults are likely to pass over the app without realizing it.

5. Hide It Pro: Users can hide pictures and videos behind a lock screen and can create multiple photo and video albums and email them to others from inside the app. The app automatically locks when users exit it, and it also includes a code-enabled feature that makes the app appear empty if someone, like a parent or teacher, finds it and knows what it does.

6. Yik Yak: This location-based app lets users post text-only messages that are visible to users who are closest to the original poster’s location. The app’s iTunes description says the app contains frequent and/or intense sexual content or nudity, frequent and/or intense alcohol, tobacco or drug use references, crude humor, fantasy violence and more–all of which could be problematic in any kind of environment where bullying and cyberbullying or sexual assault or harassment are concerns.

G-OpEd™: Legislature & Secretary of State

Legislature Addresses Elections, Business Filings and Efficiencies for Secretary of State’s Office
The Free Press WV

The day I took office we began meeting with legislators to swiftly draft proposed bills to deal with the difficulties encountered in this office. I asked our employees to tell me the problems they confront on a daily basis while doing their work for the companies and voters we serve. We reached out to county clerks and business leaders to find solutions to issues they face.

I was astonished by the input we received and the coalitions we ultimately formed to work toward common goals. During the legislative session, we closely monitored and participated in the progress of legislation shaping our state. I would like to specifically highlight key legislation passed to assist in streamlining the office and eliminating waste of taxpayer’s money:

Cutting the red tape for businesses:

The Legislature required the Secretary of State to create a “One-Stop” call center, website and tax collection mechanism for businesses of the state. I am very encouraged to move this project forward.

The Legislature has allowed our office to create uniformity in the fees charged to corporations and limited liability companies. It also enables our office to provide a fee for expedited services rendered through “One-Stop.“ These voluntary fees for expedited services are currently in place in 31 states, and will allow us to move at the speed of business.

Increasing transparency and eliminating waste:

In the first days of taking office, our Business and Licensing experts presented to me a burdensome procedure for repackaging and re-mailing undeliverable Service of Process filings to circuit courts, which resulted in our office spending around $27,000 in added costs to taxpayers. We developed a change in code streamlining the inefficient process.

House Bill 2767 was drafted by our office, introduced by lead sponsor Delegate John O’Neal, and passed the House of Delegates 98-0 and the Senate 34-0 to eliminate this inefficient process. In discussions with parties involved in the June 2017 flood recovery, our office was made aware of issues of sole proprietors operating under “fictitious names” that do not get registered in a searchable public location. This created problems for flood victims that were looking for reliable help in a hurry, but could not verify a business name.

In conjunction with the county Clerks Association, we drafted legislation that would have all sole proprietors file in the Secretary of State’s Office and we would create a uniform database to search all registered sole proprietors in West Virginia. State Senator Craig Blair took the lead on the bill and it passed 34-0 in the Senate and 96-0 in the House of Delegates.

Elections updates:

  • For elections held past the beginning of July in 2017, the electioneering prohibition near a polling location will exist for election day voting locations and now also for early voting locations;
  • Legislators now have additional disclosure requirements on fundraising activities during legislative session;
  • Judicial races will be placed on the ballot along with their respective districts of state and county elections

We accomplished a great deal of work in a 60-day session. Of course, there is much to be done in perfecting a fair elections process, to do the work of our state and to grow our economy by lifting the bureaucracies from business. I am looking forward to taking on these tasks to move West Virginia forward.

Mac Warner
WV Secretary of State

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