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The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
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September 26, 2013     The Glenville Democrat
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September 26, 2013
 

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More on missing youth, Aliayah; and some good squirrel proofing ideas For some reason, Aliayah Lunsford, the 5- year-old youth who mysteriously disap- peared on Sept. 24, 2011, is hitting the head- lines, once again, here in central West Vir- ginia. Most importantly, the little girl's fate needs to be discovered, so her cold case is now being resurrected to the "hot" status by area law enforcement investigators. That's good news! After writing about her sad case in my column last week, a large daily newspaper in our region, likewise, reiterated its "citizens alert" for more information about her where- abouts. As noted last week, and if ever coming back in another life, I would definitely choose to be a Child Advocate of some type, in spite of my great love of being a journalist. Really, children are our future and they all deserve to live and grow up in loving, caring and happy homes. Indeed, you should have seen their joyful faces at Glenville's McDonald's last weekend, when colorful clown Rolaald McDonald paid them a visit, cheered them up and gave them a small gift. Most of all, he showed that he "cared" about them, so these kids were on top of the world. I wish that all of our nation's children felt the same elation and safety. I know that I'm sounding like a very ideal- istic old fool, but it's the truth. No sooner than I wrote last week's column, a state news report the next day related that a newborn was placed on the steps of a Huntington home, with a note appended, "Find a good home for my child." How sad that any mother could carry a baby for nine months, and, then, after its birth, leave it out in the weather on a stranger's doorstep, hoping that someone who cares would find it, and give it the nurturing and love that it needs! Police were searching for the mother to see if she was all right, but I haven't heard if she's been located. Either she truly needs help on The Corcoran Hill Column IIIIIIII iiI By David H. Corcoran r Publisher-Editor how to care for her baby or she did her offspring a favor by surrendering her to a better homelife. After all, the mother may be , living in an abusive household, her husband may be a sexual predator, she may be penni- less with no means of supporting a child, her relatives' support system may be dysfunc- tional, or whatever. She made the decision, so who am I to judge her motives, since I don't know them. I do know that if I ever g6t that baby, he or she would get the same loving and caring upbringing that my own three children re- ceived. With a lot of attention by their mother and me, my trio of "young'uns" turned out to be mighty fine kids, eachone obtaining a good education all the way through college. I don't have to dwell on David Jr. (who is now our newspaper's eager-to-learn general manager), Catherine or Patrick, the latter two having also worked at this newspapers in past years. They all have performed vital jobs to get the news and ads out to you fine subscribers and readers on a weekly basis during those "good o1' days" when they all lived with me here in Glenville. Now, they all have fine jobs and are moving forward. For all new mothers, I recommend not only loving and caring for your newborns, but also reading to them, even in thei r cribs. The sound of words is a beneficial and beautiful experi- ence for them to hear, just like colorful sur- roundings are stimulating for them to see. I like to give.new mothers children's books to read as presents, but they don't have to seek me out for reading materials when these books are readily available at anylocal public li- brary, including our own Gilmer Public Li- brary Try it out; it's right across from the high school on Walnut Street. Right now, I'm reading Walter Prescott Webb's "Texas Rangers," which gives a good review of the Lone Star State's early history. (rm reading it, because daughter, Catherine, is now living and working in Texas. So, when I visit her, I want to know something about what rm seing.) Nevertheless, one thing about those rough and cruel early Lone Star days was when the Native American savages raided the white immigrants camps or small towns, killing all of the men and many women. On the other hand, they'd capture and take the children with them. That showed that even in the eyes of these human beasts, children were special, and worth being cared for, loved and brought up to be useful adults in those primitive prairie civilizations. Could that be Aliayah's fate? Continued on page 5A A SAD LOOKING ALIAYAH LUNSFORD A visit to GSC's Morris Stadium; kudos to Sec. Tennant &other issues By the Hon. Brent Boggs, State Delegate & House Finance Chair I'm writing this week on the first night of fall and preparing to head to the Capitol for interim meetings this week. Despite a rainy first half oi last weekend, Justin, Carson and I spend time at the farm. I'm very happy to know that all of Our grand- kids love the outdoors and feel at home on the farm, afield or on lakes, ponds and streams with a fishing pole. After being rained out in the woods by noon Satur- day, Carson was busy pleading his case for why it was now time to go fishing instead. It's a good feeling to see our grandkids having an HON. BRENT early appreciation for the outdoors and see- BOGGS ing them choose out- door activities over video games and televi- sion. Back to state government business! One of the first steps in the annual budget process is the beginning of the Governor's office budget hearings for the agencies. These are administrative hearings and in recent years, House and Senate Finance Committee staff have been afforded the opportunity to attend. Moreover, this is an important opportunity to obtain a preview by the Legislature of the coming priorities of the constitutional offic- ers and state agencies. First up will be the Attorney General and Treasurer on Septem- ber 26; Auditor, October 2; and Secretary of State and the Department of Educatio0, Octo- ber 3. "Meanwhile, discussions are active that Governor Earl Ray Tomblin may call a spe- cial session before this year's end, possibly as early as next month. We should hear more on this during interims this week. Thanks, Gilmer Retired School folks! My thanks to the Gilmer County chapter of the West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees for inviting Jean and me to their September meeting. Held at the Gilmer County Senior Center, we enjoyed a delicious meal, lots of great conversation and an out- standing interactive program. Visiting upgraded Morris Stadium Later in the week, I traveled to Glenville after work to attend the GSC-Fairmont State football game at Morris Stadium. This great facility continues to expand and update with amenities that many Division I schools would love to have for their programs. Additionally, GSC is only a few months away from the opening of the Waco Center at Glenville State College, the new home for Pioneer basketball, land resources and com- munity medical care. If you haven't ventured out Mineral Road recently, the size and mag- nitude of this ambitions project is awe-inspir- ing and another major facility anchor to fur- ther strengthen and solidify GSC's strong, innovative and first-class higher education mission. Further, I encourage you to take the short trip often to support and enjoy some great GSC football this fall, and the men and women's basketball this winter. We have some great student athletes from around the coun- try. Kudos to See. Natalie Tennantl Finally, I want to compliment Secretary of State Natalie Tennant for returning approxi- mately $3 million dollars from her office to the State coffers. The funds were set aside to settle legal cases and also from cost saving measures that she implemented in the Secre- tary of State's office. As Speaker Miley said, it's rare that an agency or elected official voluntarily returns unused funds. And, with the needs great in the difficult budget year, there are ample opportunitiesto assist citizens with the returned funds. For instance, with the 3-to-1 federal-state match, we could nearly eliminate the waiting list for the Medicaid Waiver in home care program. As we progress toward the 2014 session and the fiscal year 2015 budget, we will have countless opportunities as we bridge this most d!fficult of budget yeai's. How to contact me! Send your inquiries to the Capitol Office at: Building 1, Room 462-M, Charleston, WV 25305. Or, call the Finance Committee office at 340-3230; or Jennifer McPherson at 340- 3942; or fax us at 340-3388. If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know. For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is still as follows: Brent. Boggs @ WVhouse.gov You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature's web site at http:// www.legis.state.wv.us/ When leaving a mes- sage, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, includ- ing agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at www. wv.gov Also, you may follow me on my Facebook site at "Brent Boggs", my Twitter account at "@DelBrentBoggs", as well as the WV Legislature's Facebook page at "West Vir- ginia Legislature" or on Twitter at: http:// twitter.com/wvlegislature In conclusion Continue to remember our troops -- at home and abroad -- and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Until next week, take care! il President Obama's leadership of USA is not 'exceptional' Dear Editor, Last week several politicians were in the news acting outraged by Vladimir Putin's op- ed in the New York Times criticizing Barack Obama for saying the USA is an "excep- tional" nation. Looking beyond the obvious,hipocracy of Putin, the best reaction to criticism is to see if it's justified. When Obama was first elected, he went on a world tour apologizing for the U.S. claiming exceptionalism, then spent the next five years making sure we had no right to make that claim. Our economy is falling apart. Just last week, it was reported that our academic world stand- ing is down to 30th place. His foreign policy has made us the world's laughing stock. To deny accurate criticism, no matter the source or motive, does not solve the problem. It's up to us to choose a strong, experienced leader instead of a community organizer mak- ing promises we. knew he wouldn't keep. Signed, Frank Johnson, Coxs Mills 'Letters to the Editor' now being accepted! i c Attention Readers: Our 'Letters to the Editor' Policy We are in need of more letters to the editor. Feel free to send them in to us. Just Deadlines for Letters to the Editor" are Mondays at 10:00 a.m. for that week's remember our policy on the letters, paper. After 10 a.m., they can be accepted for that week as paid advertisements. Local newspapers have long been the sounding boards for political, personal, and However, it would appear for free in a future edition. patriotic views and this paper is no exception! Also, for writers who consistently send in Letters to the Editor week after week. Relative to writing responses, please keep in mind our Editorial Policy: we will these messages are constantly evaluated as to content and to purpose, so they may be accept letters on a space available basis only and.they will be subject tO the Editor's considered as an advertisement, especially if they are weekly, lengthy, and repeats of scrutiny as to content relative to libel, good taste and timeliness. A good length is previous letters. Nevertheless, you will be contacted if the latter is the case and will generally one to one-and-a-half standard typing pages, double-spaced, be charged only our regular advertising rate. The decision of the Senior Editor will be final. Letters must be signed in order to be published-e-mailedletters must include a phone number where your identity can For more information on this newspaper's editorial page policy, contact Dave be verified, but you may still be required to sign the letter via snail mail. Corcoran, Sr., Ph.D., Publisher-Senior Editor-Owner, at 304-462-7309. -- Last Issue Before Election: News, Letters, & Ads ~ The long-standing policy of this newspaper has always been that if, in the issue before an election, one candidate or citizen makes allegations about another candidate or issue, that the other party be given the right of rebuttal. Readers of this newspaper know that we editors have had this policy in effect for the past 18 years in order to make certain that the journalistic and ethical principles of fairness and equality be assured on these pages relative to both the news and advertising side. Also. all political letters or news stories submitted in the last month prior to an election are to be paid political advertisements, except for biographical sketches in an Election Guide or special section; i Editorials 'What's up'- State's Educational Audit delayed? A very pertinent question was asked during the latest Gilmer BOE meeting. When Dr. Carl Armour, a BOE elected member, recently questioned State-appointed Superintendent Ron Blankenship about the feasibility of securing a new audit of Gilmer County's schools, he brought up a significant issue concerning our county -- when will our county school system's state receivership be ended. The answer he received should be very much disconcerting to the general public, not to mention this county's educators and parents. In raising the question, Dr. Armour sadly recounted, "We were told it [the new audit] was going to happen last September. Then, we were told it would happen in February, then June. Most recently, we were told September, but September is here, and there has been no word of an audit. When are they [state's BOE educational auditors] coming back?" Responding, Superintendent Blankenship couldn't seem to answer precisely, instead stating, "The OEPA makes the recommendation, then the State Board will schedule the audit." He then suggested that the state audit might take place in October. Apparently, an up-to-date audit by the state's Office of Educational Performance Audits (OEPA) of our Gilmer County school system is the first step in regaining local control. Indeed, it was through one such audit three years ago in 2010 which led to local control being taken away from the county's duly elected board members and the Gilmer school system being placed under a state receivership. That local Board of Education meeting on Mon., Sept. 16 -- with its ambivalence of forthright and truthful answers m shows how far the state's Board of Education has traveled from Charleston to do absolutely nothing for the people, educators, parents and the students in Gilmer County and, no doubt, in other taken over school systems in rural West Virginia. All of those OEPA noted educational concerns about our Gilmer students and their supposed lack of academic achievement, the central office's disorganization, the system's financial deficiencies, and the Board's lack 0fcamaraderie now look pale in comparison with the State Board's stewardship of our county schools and its "oversight" of the timeliness of the OEPA audits. Truly, it looks like the "blind leading the blind." Educated local citizens should ask not only if the county's educational system works, but also if the state's Board of Education Js competent and forward looking. Indeed, when will we West Virginians and our leaders learn to place the welfare of our school children--our state's future -- ahead of sleazy backroom politics and self-aggrandizing political machi- nations. In the mainl and once again, if the first step of regaining local control is to have an OEPA audit of the county done, let's do it on schedule or in a timely manner! The state's BOE shouldn't drag its feet or use other delaying tactics, which are very unprofessional in any occupational circles. Really, what's the holdup? We edltors are certain that some recommendations of any OEPA audit won't please every Gilme/" County citizen. For example, the services of Superintendent Ron Blankenship should be retained, due to his close operational contact with the architects, designers, engineers and contractors who are building the two new elementary schools. That seems practical, in that both school concepts and their implementation are floundering right now. Hence, changing leadership in midstream would only create more confusion and delays. Additionally, the audit, and the State Legislature as well, should address the two-county school governance snag. Right now, the Lewis County BOE only is making all of the decisions on the new Leading Creek Elementary I School, the combined Troy and Alum Bridge Elementaries. That just isn't satisfactory, fair or in the best interests of the Gilmer County students. Sadly, why should the needs of our Gilmer youngsters be placed o/1 an equal footing with those students under the umbrella of the Lewis County Board in Weston? It doesn't make sense that if there's not equal representation on the Board of the Inter-County School that the students in both counties will be treated equally. In conclusion, the state's Office of Educational Performance Audits needs to be com- manded to get to Gilmer County and to do its duty in providing an up-to-date review of our school system. Only after that, will we Gilmer Countians know where we stand. David H. Corcoran, Publisher-Sr. Editor All about business - A couple of Gilmer County initiatives that bolster the area's economic growth: 'Business After 5' social & EDA Directory For our area's businesses, industries, governmental bureaus and civic organizations, to have a growing and even thriving commercial climate is essential for small businesses to survive and, most importantly, move forward. Moreover, if the various local organizations concerned with economic growth don't stay on the same page, and not work at cross- purposes, such commercial growth and development is impossible, Two local groups promoting business within our county spoke out last week, explaining their current commercial initiatives. They are worth looking at! First of all, the "Gilmer County Business After 5 P.M. Social Hour" organization announced that at 5 p.m. on this Thurs., Sept. 26, ENACTUS, a Glenville State Business Dept. student club, will sponsor this month's social, learning and networking session at the Alan Mollohan Campus Community Center atop College Hil ! in Glenville. It will be in the all-purpose meeting room on the third floor, which is elevator accessible and has plenty of parking spaces outside. The public, but especially businesses, are encouraged to attend. 'Secondly, the "Gilmer County Economic Development Association" (GCEDA) is planning to update its popular and handy "Gilmer County Business Guide," with this new edition adding businesses I websites and e-mail addresses. Contact Margie Colbert at 304- 462-8098 to get your new business listed or your older business entry updated. In a small county, which doesn't have a large and active Chamber of Commerce, it is essential for local businesses and other organizations to participate in these business related groups, if the county is to move ahead economically. Hence, try to cooperate with these progressive local efforts; it doesn't cost you anything! i Edt hborhood RECENT FACE LIFTS AND PROPERTY CLEANUP WOUL0 LOOK SO MUCH BETTER IF OTH5 WOU GET . DHC, Sr. by Georfle Harper WE'RE 'ALL' IN THIS