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February 26, 2009     The Glenville Democrat
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February 26, 2009
 

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' , , . .... t! I , MllllllllllllMilWJIgNllmnllnlBmll Legislators Discuss Tax Increases By Tom Miller PressNet Reporter Prospects for a pay raise for state employees and public school teach- ers grew even dimmer here during the first l:ull week of the 2009 Legisla- ture. with the news that lawmakers are looking into a way to cover the cost of a nine percent increase in health insurance coverage for these people so they won't see a reduction in their paycheck July 1. Delegate Tim Manchin. D-Marion, was the first to suggest the move when he asked Ted Cheatham. direc- tor of the Public Employees Insur- ance Agency, during a budget hearing in the House Finance Committee last Tuesday how much it would cost for state government to pick up the total cost of the premium increase for these people outside the current 80 percent now paid out of the state budget. Cheatham said his best estimate was between six million and nine million, but he later refined that fig- ure for reporters to about $7 million. Gov. Joe Manchin has indicated he would probably be willing to use part oftheestimated $30 million of budget surplus money for this purpose. "'It will be demoralizing if we don't give them a raise and then they actu- ally see less money in their paycheck beginning in July," Delegate Manchin told West Virginia Public Broadcast- ing during an interview following the committee session. "That's why I raised the question, and employee morale is important." Meanwhile, early action in the Leg- islature has been mostly devoted to cutting taxes, rather than increasing them. Sen. Evan Jenkins. D-Cabell. and five other members of the Senate have introduced SB92 to eliminate the timber severance tax following an interim meeting shortly before the session began, where State Forester Randy Dye said West Virginia is at a disadvantage because surrounding states don't have the tax. Gov Manchin has requested that an alternative minimum income tax that has been on the books for 25 years also be abolished on Jan. I. 2010. Less than 300 West Virginia residents paid the tax in 2004. the latest year for which figures have been released, and the total collected was less than $500.000, according to tax officials. The governor also has recom- mended that the state payroll tax on employers that finances the unem- ployment compensation fund-used to pay unemployment benefits-be in- creased by. 15 of one percent, if the balance in that fund dips below $180 million. He told reporters he hopes that "trigger" to impose the tax m- crease "never happens." The fund had a balance of $213.9 at the end of January, after paying out $18.4 million in benefits. The so- called "'temporary solvency assess- ment" would only last until the fund balance climbs back to $250 million. Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne. and Sen. Roman Prezioso. D-Marion. also have said they will introduce a bill to raise the state's current tax of 55 cents per pack on cigarettes to $1.20 per pack: but the bill may never survive in the Senate. where Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, D-Logan. said he' s opposed to any tax increases this year. Another recommended tax increase by interim committees is the boost from .55 of one percent to .75 of one percent in the state's premium tax on insurance policies, to help provide some retirement benefits for volun- teer firefighters. The efforts by the Republican mi- nority in the House of Delegates to abolish the consumer sales tax on food continued last week. with intro- duction of a bill that would raise cur- rent tax rates on beer. cigarettes and other tobacco products, to offset the loss of revenue that would result by repealing the present three percent sales tax on food July 1, 2009. "We want this to be as revenue- neutral as possible," said Delegate John Ellem. R-Wood, one of five spon- sors on the bill. Others are Republi- cans Mitch Carmichael. of Jackson County; Ray Canterbury, of Green- brier County; and Craig Blair, of Ber- keley County Veteran Democrat Delegate John Doyle. of Jefferson County; is the lone Democrat sponsor of the legislation. The bill would raise the present cigarette tax from 55 cents a pack to $1.35 per pack, double the tax on other tobacco products from seven percent to 14 percent and increase the tax on a barrel of beer from $5.50 to $6.35. A pair of bills that have nothing to do with taxes also surfaced here last week that seem destined to create a great deal of controversy. First. a bipartisan group of six senators intro- duced SB240. that would repeal a 1996 partial ban on the construction of nuclear power plants in West Vir- ginia. "'A ban is inconsistent with West Virginia's claim that it is an energy state?' Sen. Brooks McCabe, D- Kanawha. told The Associated Press. Then on the House floor last Wednesday, Delegate Craig Blair. R- Berkeley, said he's planning to intro- duce a bill this week to require that all people receiving food stamps, wel- tare assnstance or unemployment com- pensation submit to drug testing be- fore gettmg financial support from the taxpayers. "Let me tell you, we' ve lost the war on drug abuse," said Craig in a floor speech. 'T ve learned that there were five babies born last weekend in a Martinsburg hospital that were all addicted to drugs at birth." Members in both houses were sad- dened last Monday to learn of the death oflongtime Sen. William (Bill) Sharpe, of Weston. who was the long- est serving member of the Legisla- ture. His legislative service dated back almost 50 years, before his health forced him to retire last year. Library Lovers Needed To Woo Legislators! The West Virginia Library Asso- ciation will hold its annual legislative day at the Capitol on Tuesday. March 3, 2009. Exhibits showcasing West Virginia's public, academic, and spe- cial libraries will be on display from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.. in the Rotunda. Librar- ians and friends will be visiting their local legislators during the day. A reception will follow that evening in the Great Hall of the Cultural Cen- ter from 5 p.m to 7 p.m The recep- demic, school and public - by provid- ing electronic information resources; Implement a Construction/Main- tenance line item of $1,500,000, in the WV Library Commission's bud- get. There has not been a line item for construction for many years, and buildings built in the 70's and 80's are in need of repair and renovauon to bring them up to ADA standards; Increase WVLC's general rev- enue budget by $100,000. This would and Wood County Public Library; first Vice-President: Judy Rule. Cabell County Public Library; Treasurer: Beth Royall, WVU Libraries - Evansdale Library; Secretary: Martha Yancey, WVU Libraries - Evansdale Library; Immediate Pat President: Barbara LaGodna. WVU Libraries: Public Library Division Chair: Myra Ziegler, Summers County PL; Aca- demic Library Division Chair: Ted Nesbitt. West Liberty State College; Fhursday, February 26, 2009 -- The Glenville Democrat/Pathfinder Page 11 'Dig It! The Secrets Of Soil' "Dig It! The Secrets of Soil" will be the theme for the West Fork conser- vation District's Annual Public Speak- ing and Poster Contests. These con- tests give youth a voice to express their thoughts and feelings about our environment and the effects, good and/or bad. that we as a society have on it. The theme is taken from the Na- tional Association of Conservation Districts Annual Soil Stewardship week. The public speaking contest is open to all students in grades 4 through 12. Students will compete in school. county and district levels. All school winners receive $10.00. County win- ners receive $25.00. District first place winners will receive either a sawngs bond for $100.00 or a scholarship to a conservation camp. Teachers of county first place win- ners will be given $50.00 to be used towards classroom enhancement. Both contests are open to public and private schools, as well as stu- dents who are home schooled. If you have a student who wishes to participate in these worthwhile con- tests, please contact your local school for materials or Suzy Cotter. Educa- tion Outreach Coordinator. West Fork Conservation District at 627-2160. school contests are March 13. 2009: County Contests are March 20. 2009: District Contests are March 27.2009. State Park Cabins Offer Affordable Spring Vacation Options Cabins at West Virginia state parks and forests are already affordable options for vacation and getaway des- tinations, but 12 areas have put on their "getaway fun" hats and decided to take it a step further, by knocking offan additional $100 on some weekly rental times. Reservations must be made by February 28. "For those who have a week to get away in April, May, and early June. we offer this as an incentive with a deep price cut at some areas and an unusual price reduction at other ar- eas." said Ken Caplinger, Chief of West Virginia State Parks. "April and May are prime months for fast-emerg- ing deciduous foliage and wildflow- ers. and fishing opportunities abound statewide this time of year." For many years, system managers have asked park superintendents to be creative and entrepreneurial in pro- motions, packages and special events designed to provide fulfilling experi- ences for state residents, as well as out-of-state visitors, while increasing occupancy at times when the cabins may not be at or near full capacity. Participating parks and forests in- clude: Beech Fork: Blackwater Falls: Bluestone: Cacapon Resort: Canaan Valley Resort; Cuss Scenic RR: Lost River: Twin Falls Resort: Tygart Lake and Watoga state parks: and Green- brier and Kumbrabow state forests. "It's a nice opportunity for an off- season get-away," said Matt Yeager, superintendent at Beech Fork State Park in Wayne County. "For Beech Fork, this offer is about getting people to think outside the summer vacation come to Blackwater in wintry times to ride the sled run as much as they travel here to take summer and au- tumn photographs of the falls. We offer a lot of special events, like our Murder Mystery Weekend in March and some long-term package options. but getting $100 offofa weekly rental is a nice price Cut during a very pretty timeofyear here in Tucker County." Parks and forests may have other packages. . weekend events or dis= counts to consider. Additional infor- mation is tvailable online at www: wvstatepa rks. corn or by calling 800 CALL-WVA and asking for the specific park. Discount Details: Visitors get $100 off a weekly cabin reservation for any seven consecutive days (weekly rental rate) in the month of April, May or June 1-16. 2009. The rate reduction will only be applied to res- ervations made before February 28. 2009. as available. The WV Spring Getaway offer s applicable to any weekly rental of bungalows, standard Imountain cab- ins and deluxe cabins at Cacapon Resort: any type cabins or cottages at other participating parks: and the two- story company houses at Cuss Scenic Railroad. as available. Ask the reser- vation clerk to post "WKI00" as a reference when confirming the reser- vation. The standard reservation guidelines apply:half of the deposit in advance, with the remaining balance due upon arrival. The $100 reductions will be subtracted from the pre-tax balance. The participating area is respon- Hospice Sponsors Cinderella Project at GSC Hospice Care Corporation will be sponsoring the Cinderella Project for area girls who wish to purchase prom gowns at thrift store prices The event is being hosted by Glen- villc State College on Frida?, March 20. from 6 pm - 9 pm and on Satur- day, March 2 I. from 10 am- 12 noon in the Mollohan Campus Commu- nity Center (Ballroom - 3rd Floor). A varicty of displays and informa- tion is available to those in atten- dance, and parents are encouraged to attend with their teen. For details, contact Julie Beckner at 304-517-8868 or Kipp Colvin at 304-462-7361 Proceeds benefit Hospice Care Corporation's Indigent Fund and Camp Nabe Bexeavcmenl Fund for WV Children. The First Anniversary Of The Weston Arts Council The Gallery, 128 Main Avenue. Weston. will be celebrating the firsl anniversary of the Weston Arts Coun- cil on Saturday, February 28. from 4 to 8 PM. Come enjoy the celebration. meet members of The Gallery and the Arts Council. and take a look at the fine art and crafts produced by mem- bers of The Gallery. Winter hours at The Gallery are l 1 to 5 PM. Wednes- day through Friday and I 1 to 4 PM. on Saturday. Duo Divertido. with Eduardo Canelon on guitar and Elizabeth Segessenmen on flute, will perform Latin-styled traditional and original compositions in an intimate setting at the Gallery, 128 Main Avenue. from 5 PM to 5:45 PM. on Saturday. Febru- ary 28. Later in the evening, the duo will join the band. Comparsi at the Jazz and Tapas dinner in West Hall. This event is the culmination of a weekend of jazz and the arts in Weston. State Flags Lowered in Memory tion will be catered by Wellington's of , c!glet ,ks.T.,kets.fgr this recep. tion are,S25-and are available from , your local public library. If you are unable to attend these events, please contact your local legislators and en- courage them to support all libraries in West Virginia by passing WVLA's legislative goals. WVLA's 2009 Legislative Goals are: Increase Grants-in-aid by $1.000.000. This would move librar- ies from $4.62 to $5.16 per capita; our goal is $6.50 per capita: Increase Digital Resources by $280.008. This would bring the line item to $5000,000. This request ben- efits all West Virginia Libraries- aca- be used to help with staff, utilities, and' travel expenses for training and development: Require school libraries and li- brarxans in every school. Schools should be required to have a certified librarian, with the ratio of students to librarians being 250- to- one. School libraries have been proven to improve student learning and achievement, and West Virginia should support having a school librarian in every school. without being assigned other teach- ing responsibilities. The Executive Board for the West Virginia Library Association (WVLA) has been announced for 2009. President: Brian Raitz, Parkersburg Check out the Glenville Demo- crat & Pathfinder's new advertising initiative at: www. wvyourway, com Try it for tourism, business, etc. SOUTHERN STATES I 22 Oak St. Weston 269-4300 HOT B UYS J US T ARRIVED Vegetable Seed and Fruit Trees 40# Pellet Lime $3.49 50# 5-10-10 $ 9.49 20# Statesman Turf Grass Seed Blend $19.95 lowest price in 5 years Premium Lawn Food w/Crabgrass Control $39.99 treatsl6,000 sq ft Long Handled Tools $6.99 ea shovel, rake, or hoe NOW THRU FEBRUARY 28th School Library Division Chair: Celene months and more toward spring. Seymour, Marshall University Gradu- Spring and earl June are some of the ate College..(Sou!d Charleson);. prettiest times of the year at state Trustee Division Chair: CeCeHarris. parks. Beech Fork has six deluxe cabin units that are open year-round." "You can pick just about any day to visit Blackwater Falls State Park for seasonal interest," says Robert Gilligan, park superintendent. "People Ronceverte Public Library; ALA Councilor: Linda Blake, WVU Li- braries; Roundtable Representative: Heather Campbell, WV Library Comm.: South Eastern Library Asso- ciation: Steve Christo. Cabell Count PL: Federal Relations Coordinator: Betty Gunnoe, Martinsburg - Retired: Editor. WV Libraries: Pare Coyle, Martinsburg Public Library; State Dept. of Education Representauve: Julia Benincosa. IT Coord.: Secretary of the West Virginia Library Com- mission: J.D. Waggoner. Men are made stronger on real- ization that the helping hand they need is at the end of their own arm. --Sidney J. Phil Thanks for your patience while we interrupt your electric service to improve our facilities in your area. sine for quotation of rental rate at the time reservations are made fiideo l2qN,d 0 are s ject to change and do not include applicable taxes. Other discounts can- not be applied to the WV Spring Getaway rate reductions. The offer expires on February 28.2009. When: Saturday, March 7, 2009 Tim e- 7: 00 a.m. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try. --Beverly Sills of Fallen West Gov. Joe Manchin ordered all state flags displayed at state facilities low- ered to half-staff the entire day of Tuesday, February 24. in commemo- ration of the distinguished life and service of volunteer firefighters Johnnie Hammons and Timothy Nicholas. Hammons. 49. and Nicholas. 26. died while battling a fire last Thurs- day near Craigsville. in Nicholas County. Both men were Nicholas County nati yes. Kniceley's Insurance Agency (Estimated Time of Restoration) Time: 10:00 a.m.on March 7, Location: Glenville Town, Rt. 33 W to Stumptown, Rosedale Rd., Cedar Creek St. Park, Normantown, Rt. 5 W to the Calhoun County Line, Rt. 5 E to and including Duck Run Rd., Third Run Rd., Tanner, Bull Fork Rd., to Doddridge County Line, Conings, Rt. 33 E to Linn, Rt. 47 from Linn to Cox's Mills, Troy, Rt. 74 to address 2499 WV Hwy 74 Rd., and Rt. 18 to and includ- ing St. Claire Road. Allegheny Power an Allegheny Energy company ALL LINES OF INSURANCE With Offices at Sutton Rupert Marlinton  TOLL FREE 1-866-794-8791 ' ;i.3i'  THE CALL IS FREE IN WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE TAKE THAT WINTER CHILL OPP A T YO llR L OCAL GLENVILLE MCDONALDS PLEASE CLIP OUT Purchase any extra Value Meal and Receive a Free Hot Apple or Cherry Pie They go great with our new line of Specialty Coffees Which include Mochas, Lattes, Iced Coffees And Our New Hot Chocolate * COUPON MUST BE PRESENTED WHEN ORDERING At Glenville McDonald's, REMEMBER TO KEEP WARM WITH OUR NEW LINE OF HOT SPECIALTY COFFEES INCLUDING LATFES, MOCHAS AND OUR NEW HOT CHOCOLATE