www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2017, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: May 19, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT01/305199975 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT01/305199975 Fri, 19 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Call, Dallas, Jr. 6 p.m., Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.

Foster, Frances 1 p.m., Fidler and Frame Funeral Home, Belle.

Hager, Samuel 1 p.m., O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Hartman, Alice 11 a.m., Franklin Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Haynes, Rev. Robert 1 p.m., First Baptist Church, St Albans.

Johnson, Charlotte Noon, Bell Creek Baptist Church, Dixie.

Knapp, Mary 11 a.m., Casto Funeral Home Chapel, Evans.

McClung, Mary 1 p.m., Dodd

McKeever, Warren J. 1 p.m., Raynes Funeral Home, Buffalo.

Morning, David "Butch" 11 a.m., Wallace Funeral Home, Milton.

Nelson, Reva Noon, Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Staats, Robert 1 p.m.,Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Thacker, Phoebe 1 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Wymer, Donald 11 a.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

William "Bill" Atkinson Jr. http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT/305199983 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT/305199983 Fri, 19 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 It is with great sadness that the family of William ("Bill") Harrison Atkinson Jr. of Poca, announce his passing after a brief illness at the age of 75. After one final prayer, he passed away peacefully on May 11, 2017, with family by his side.

Bill was born in St. Albans on October 6, 1941, the son of the late W. H. Atkinson and Ethel McNeely Atkinson. He attended St. Albans High School and retired from FMC Corporation after 34 years of service. Bill faithfully attended Tabernacle of Praise. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing, sports, music, and antique car shows. Bill loved the Mountaineers and was the Poca Dots' No. 1 fan. He was a member of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR).

Bill married his loving wife of 53 years, Dottie L. Atkinson, on August 22, 1963. They shared a love and friendship you long for your entire life. God blessed these two lovely people with many memories they cherished. A day never passed that he did not show the depth of his love for her from a kiss goodbye, telling her how nice she looked, making her coffee or just sitting on the porch on a summer day and reminiscing.

Bill and Dottie were blessed with three daughters, Annette, Kimberly and Beverly, with which he shared a close relationship. He was so proud of each of his daughters and their accomplishments. They were later blessed with a granddaughter Taylor Morris and grandsons Ryan Morris and Skyler Sigman. He never missed a dance recital, baseball game, basketball game, school function or any of their activities. He looked forward to the days Taylor and Madison would come to the house. Ryan was more than a grandson. He was like the son Bill never had. He and Ryan spent countless hours together outdoors, working on cars and their favorite time of year together was hunting season. He loved to watch Skyler play basketball. He was a wonderful role model for his children and grandchildren. He taught them many life lessons and the "Bill Way" of doing things.

On March 8, 2012, his heart was filled with joy and love when his great-granddaughter and "best friend," Madison Laine Ferrari, was born. The love he had for his little angel was undeniable. He adored her and his eyes lit up every single time he saw her. They were inseparable. If you knew Bill, you knew everything about Madison.

He had a heart of gold and will be remembered by his contagious smile, selfless nature, sense of humor, and his unconditional love for his family and friends. We were so fortunate to have this amazing man as a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Bill was one of a kind and lived life to the fullest. He never knew a stranger.

He was preceded in death by his father, W.H. Atkinson; mother, Ethel McNeely Atkinson; brothers, Kenneth Atkinson, Melvin Atkinson and Ralph Atkinson; and sisters, Rosalee Reed and June Atkinson

Bill is survived by his wife, Dottie Atkinson of Poca; daughters, Annette (Philip) Morris of Poca, Kimberly (DJ) Sigman of Ripley, Beverly (Nestor Dans) Atkinson of Washington Township, MI; grandchildren, Taylor and Ryan Morris of Poca, and Skyler Sigman of Ripley; great-granddaughter, Madison Ferrari of Poca; and brother, Larry (Marcella) Atkinson of Lawrenceville, GA, and sister-in-law, Charlotte Atkinson of Ravenswood.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, May 21, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Tabernacle of Praise, 5230 Big Tyler Mountain Road, Cross Lanes. The funeral will follow with the Pastor Bill Huddleston officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society in memory of Bill Atkinson and in honor of his daughter, Kimberly Sigman. Donations may be mailed to the American Cancer Society at P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 or made online at cancer.org.

Arrangements are in the care of Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Dallas Call Jr. http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT/305199996 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT/305199996 Fri, 19 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Dallas Franklin Call Jr., 24, of Sissonville, died May 10, 2017.

He was preceded in death by his father, Dallas Call.

Surviving are mother, Sherry DoNofrio; brother, Mike Whitt; sisters, Maria Call, Malarie Newhouse, Kayla Burdette; fiancee, Stephanie Blackshire; daughter, Ainsley Call; son, Peyton Counts.

Memorial service to be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, May 19, at Long & Fisher Funeral Home, with Robert Fauber officiating.

Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.long&fisherfuneralhome.com.

Leland Carr http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT/305199990 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT/305199990 Fri, 19 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Leland Smith Carr, 81, of Belfont, Braxton County, passed away May 16, 2017. Memorial service will be 3 p.m., Saturday, May 20, at the Simpson Belfont Church. Visitation will be one hour prior to memorial at the church. Service of Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Nina Conley http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT/305199991 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/OBIT/305199991 Fri, 19 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Nina Butler Conley, 80, of Chloe, W.Va., passed away on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Funeral service will be held at Stump Funeral Home and Cremation, Inc., Arnoldsburg, W.Va., at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 21. Visitation will be held at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.

Winfield, Bridgeport girls headed toward close finish at AA state track http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0203/170519496 GZ0203 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0203/170519496 Fri, 19 May 2017 21:08:56 -0400 Rick Ryan By Rick Ryan It isn't often you have two defending champions knocking heads, but that's the case this weekend in the Class AA girls division of the 103rd state track and field meet.

Winfield and Bridgeport, competing in virtually every event, started sizing each other up Friday as the two-day meet opened at University of Charleston Stadium.

Each side turned in a meet record during the opening events, accounting for three of six marks set in Friday's card. Winfield's shuttle hurdles team was timed in 1 minute, 3.31 seconds, and Bridgeport star sprinter McKenna Smith bettered her own state meet marks during the 100- and 200-meter dash qualifiers with respective times of 11.87 and 24.36 seconds.

Through five of the 18 final events in the girls AA team standings, upstart Philip Barbour had scored 25 points to grab the early lead, with Winfield holding a 24-22 edge on Bridgeport - the Generals having also led the meet-opening 4x800 relay.

In the other divisions, the front-runners included: AAA boys, Hedgesville leads Woodrow Wilson 36-24; AA boys, Poca leads Bridgeport 34-33; Class A boys, Doddridge County leads Williamstown 35-29; AAA girls, Ripley leads Wheeling Park 20-18; and Class A girls, Magnolia leads Williamstown 32-23.

Much of the focus falls on the double-A girls division, as both Winfield and Bridgeport are more than familiar with recent success.

Winfield either won or shared the last two Class AAA state titles before dropping back down to AA status this season, while Bridgeport won last year's AA crown to go along with the one it captured in 2014.

All season long, in power rankings and pre-meet projections, most notably those on RunWV.com, the Generals have been given a definite edge over the Indians due to their relay strength and overall depth. Bridgeport coach Emilee Stout, however, thinks her team can squeeze out a few more points than predictions and performance charts present.

"I think a couple of our distance girls can make up quite a few points in some of the distance events,'' Stout said. "They have the opportunity, and I think they're determined enough to break up the points they're projected to score.

"And quite honestly, we're really looking forward to these sprint relays tomorrow. We're not expected to win, but I think we can pull out a win in one of those, so that can make a difference. We definitely have a possibility, but it will be difficult.''

Bridgeport holds the top times from around the state in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 this season, but those came with Smith taking a break from her normal workload of four individual events to run in those exchanges, something she's not doing this weekend. Still, Stout gives her relays a chance.

"We just have to be consistent with our handoffs,'' she said, "and that's what we've been preaching to them. The team with the fewest mistakes out of these relays, they will win.

"It's going to be close, though - I'm certain of that. It'll be a good showdown between the two teams, that's for sure. And we're excited about it. It's fun.''

Winfield's veteran coach, David Bailey, has been to state meets where he had to watch how several opposing teams were doing, but this weekend he only has eyes for the Indians in what's expected to end up as a two-team chase.

"There's no doubt,'' Bailey said. "It's going to be tough, and it's going to go down to the end. You have to watch it unfold and see how it shakes out, keep calm and have everybody do what they need to do. So far today, they've stepped up and did what I asked them to do, and that's all I can ask of them.''

From experience, Bailey recognizes the importance of every place-winner. In 1998 and 2015, the Generals claimed state titles while winning only two events in those meets.

"Everybody thinks you have to win,'' Bailey said, "but I know the possibilities and I know how important that one point is. I've walked out of the state meet and lost by one, two points in my career, too.

"We preach a lot of that to our kids because we don't have a McKenna Smith, that type of athlete. But we have kids who work hard and do what you ask of them, and you pray they get it done.''

Two unfamiliar names - both of them Mountain State Athletic Conference schools - figure to make championship runs in the Class AAA meets this weekend.

Ripley, ranked No. 1 by RunWV.com in girls AAA, seeks its first-ever state track title, and got off to a decent start when Laurel Miller won the high jump with a season best of 5-8 and Tori Starcher paced the 3,200 in 10:39.04.

Distance-heavy Woodrow Wilson, which hasn't won a Class AAA boys track crown since taking six between 1977-87, could give favored Hedgesville a run for its money this weekend, and captured the 4x800 in 7:55.98, a season-best by nearly nine seconds, and Chris Barbera added a win in the 3,200.

The first meet record of the day went to Freddy Canary of South Harrison in the boys Class A 100 dash qualifiers with a time of 10.81 seconds. He later added another mark in the 200 trials (21.50) and also won the long jump. He's a threat for high-point honors in his division.

Also, Washington's Lauren Zaglifa cleared 12-1 in the pole vault to break a 13-year-old meet mark in girls AAA.

Competition resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with field events, and the running events pick up at 10. The post-meet awards ceremonies are set for 5:25 p.m.

There were no weather delays Friday despite early predictions of an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms. Saturday's forecast calls for a high of 86 degrees with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms.

Contact Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @RickRyanWV.

State track meet notebook: Poca's Chase Dotson closes career on high note http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0203/170519497 GZ0203 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0203/170519497 Fri, 19 May 2017 21:03:17 -0400 Ryan Pritt By Ryan Pritt Poca's Chase Dotson didn't run a relay for the Dots on Friday at the state track meet at Laidley Field, but he certainly passed a baton.

Dotson closed his prep career with wins in the Class AA shot put (53 feet, 6 1/2 inches) and the discus (170-9) for the second straight year, continuing on a tradition of Poca throwing excellence.

Before Dotson's two-peat in both events, Christian Buckley, now at Louisville, won both events in three consecutive state meets, giving the Dots a five-year stranglehold in the throwing disciplines.

"We practice seven days a week pretty much, you have to practice as much as possible," Dotson said. "Watch film and spinning a lot. Practice, practice, practice - that's about the only secret I can think of."

The future of the program is certainly in good hands as well as freshman Caleb Hartley has beaten Dotson several times this year in the discus. Hartley settled in for second place with a throw of 160-11 in the event on Friday.

"I thought he had me there with a 160, but I was able to collect my thoughts and remember what I did in practice and just get it out there," Dotson said.

So much of the season is geared toward the state meet, and with his two events coming in succession right at the beginning, one may think Dotson's two wins were more of a relief than anything, especially after looming as the favorite nearly every week.

But Dotson said he didn't feel much pressure at all, instead looking at the meet as one last chance to go for broke while representing the Dots.

"There wasn't a lot of pressure," Dotson said. "I knew it was my last meet of my high school career and I just had to come out and go after it and do what I'd done all year."


While Bridgeport's McKenna Smith was setting the track on fire in girls sprinting events, South Harrison's Freddy Canary was doing the same in Class A boys. Canary broke his own state meet records in each the 100 and 200 preliminaries on Friday.

Canary torched his 200 record with a time of 21.5 seconds, beating the mark he set a year ago by \six-tenths of a second. He also came in with a time of 10.81 seconds in the 100, a record and good enough to set the fastest time by six-tenths of a second over Daniel Mullenax of Pendleton County.

But before he'd even taken to the track to start his defense of Class A championships in both of those events, Canary had already claimed an event for the Hawks, winning the long jump despite entering the meet with only the state's fourth best distance of 20-6.

As it turned out, he'd saved his best for when it mattered most, clearing 21-4 1/2 on Friday.

"That was surprising," Canary said. "Me and my coach moved my steps back two steps because I wasn't getting up to full speed. We did that, I got my full speed and I had more confidence in the long jump."

Canary had a bit of a reality check before his heat in the 100 with a false-start disqualification coming in the heat before his.

Even with breaking his state record time, Canary said an overcautious start may have cost him an even lower time. He said he'd be gunning for a time of 10.6 seconds in Saturday's final.

"I hesitated because I was scared after that false start," Canary admitted. "I backed off a little bit. My body was shaking and I was thinking, 'Wait for the gun, don't time it.' "


Elsewhere in record-breaking performances, there was Washington's Lauren Zaglifa, who bested a 13-year-old Class AAA pole vault record with a jump of 12-1, beating a record of 12-even by Capital's Jennifer Hansen in 2004.

Zaglifa was bested by the Cougars' Haley Snodgrass last year, but Zaglifa exacted her revenge in a big way this year and hopes her performace got the attention of fans and perhaps some college scouts.

"I know that there are a lot of scouts today and if they want to talk to me, hopefully I showed them something impressive today," Zaglifa said.

Her best jump of the season entering Friday had been 12-4 and she attempted 12-6, coming up a little short all three times.

But as she crossed the bar on 12-1, she let loose an audible shriek of joy and she said anything after that would've been icing on the cake.

"I could see the bar passing me as I went over it and I knew I had it," Zaglifa said. "At that point I just had to make sure everyone knew."


In the Class AAA girls team race, Ripley has emerged from nowhere this season behind some talented youngsters to place itself atop the heap according to runwv.com's latest power rankings.

But being good through the year and being good at the state meet can be a little different. Ripley, which entered with the best mark in eight individual events, needs wins in most if not all of them to claim team supremacy.

The Vikings responded well as of press time on Friday with Laurel Miller claiming a win in the high jump, Tori Starcher claiming the 3,200 and Allison Fields putting down top qualifying times in both the 100 (12.57 seconds) and 200 (25.5 seconds) to advance to Saturday's finals.

Starcher and Fields are both freshmen and have been a big part of the Vikings' swift rise to the top.

But those expectations can loom heavy come state meet time, and Fields admitted to some nerves before her events on Friday.

"For me personally, yes, because as a freshman ranked No. 1 it puts a lot of nerves on me," Fields said. "I really want my team to do good this year so I've got to run as hard as I can and try my best."

Ripley has never won a girls state track title, and the young Vikings are running with a purpose of putting the community firmly on the map in terms of running.

Getting through Saturday remains a big task, but step one at least went swimmingly on Friday.

"In middle school, Ripley dominated because of me and Tori and hopefully high school stays the same way," Fields said. "They are definitely rooting for us at our school."

Contact Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948 or ryan.pritt@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @rpritt.

Derek Redd: Proposed redshirt rule a great idea for college football http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0204/170519498 GZ0204 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0204/170519498 Fri, 19 May 2017 20:57:59 -0400 Derek Redd By Derek Redd One of the most valuable pieces of clothing in college football is one that really exists in a figurative sense.

The redshirt is gold in that sport. It allows a player to practice and train with a team for a season without losing a year of eligibility, provided that player doesn't see the field during that season. For some positions, it's a godsend. Offensive linemen can gain mass and get stronger, changing their high-school bodies into college-ready machines. Quarterbacks spend a year learning the system so, if they're forced into duty as redshirt freshmen, they don't line up under center with a scant few months of education.

It's so valuable that burning a redshirt is a risk coaches don't take lightly, and usually comes as a last resort. After all, why eliminate a year of eligibility for a couple of games' worth of action unless it's absolutely necessary?

Yet there's an idea being bandied about by college coaches - and a good idea at that - which would afford those coaches some flexibility.

The American Football Coaches Association is suggesting to the NCAA that players be allowed four games to play before a redshirt disappears, provided that player doesn't see the field again that year. That rule already exists when it comes to season-ending injuries. If a player competes in 30 percent or fewer of his team's games in a season, he can apply for a medical redshirt if he's hurt for the rest of the season.

Coaches all over the country love the idea. It can allow for four games of apprenticeship to acclimate a player to college competition. It can give teams some injury backup without penalty. It can even allow redshirt freshmen to play in bowl games.

West Virginia's Football Bowl Subdivision teams have come up against some tough redshirt questions in recent years. Injuries in the running back depth chart forced WVU coach Dana Holgorsen to tear off Martell Pettaway's redshirt on Nov. 26 against Iowa State. Pettaway rewarded Holgorsen's move with 30 carries for 180 yards and a touchdown against the Cyclones, but he registered just 19 carries for 79 yards in WVU's final two games. And now that year of eligibility is gone.

Marshall twice since 2011 had to deal with quarterback redshirt issues. In 2015, the likely hope was that Michael Birdsong could carry the Thundering Herd as its starter under center, allowing true freshman Chase Litton to serve as the backup but not lose a year of eligibility as long as he didn't play. But an injury to Birdsong led Herd coach Doc Holliday to start Litton, who won his first seven starts and guided the Herd to a St. Petersburg Bowl win. In that instance, stripping that redshirt paid off.

The situation was a little hairier for Marshall the previous time the Herd was in a St. Petersburg bowl, the 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. Reserve quarterbacks A.J. Graham and Blake Frohnapfel were out with season-ending injuries and Eddie Sullivan, rather than watch his redshirt go up in smoke, left the team in November. In that Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, Rakeem Cato was the team's starter and wide receiver Jermain Kelson was the backup. It Cato had gone down, the Herd would have been hurting.

Enact the rule the AFCA is supporting, and Pettaway keeps his eligibility year, Litton could have gone back to the bench if Holliday wanted to make that move and Sullivan wouldn't have worried about his redshirt year if he needed to be brought in. The four-game rule offers flexibility where none used to exist. And with the number of plays per game - and the number of opportunities per game to get hurt - on the rise in the sport, having some injury insurance would be nice. Plus, any college football coach or player will tell you there's no substitute for live game action. This proposed rule would afford players up to four games of it.

Some version of this rule should be adopted by the NCAA, and sooner rather than later. It's a solution that makes sense, one that would make college football players and coaches breathe easier. The fewer holes in those redshirts, the better.

Contact Derek Redd at 304-348-1712 or derek.redd@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

State track meet: Another record breaking day for Bridgeport's McKenna Smith http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0203/170519499 GZ0203 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0203/170519499 Fri, 19 May 2017 20:52:59 -0400 Doug Smock By Doug Smock McKenna Smith just couldn't wait until Saturday to start breaking records, could she?

Of course not, especially when the Bridgeport senior is attacking her own state meet marks in four events, all set a year ago.

She ran two qualifying events Friday, the 100 and 200 meters. In the 100, she finished in 11.87 seconds, topping her all-classes mark of 11.89.

Oh, she did that again in the 200 qualifying, lowering her record from 24.37 to 24.36. If she keeps that trend up Saturday, it will be one of the most outstanding state-meet performances since, well, 2016.

She already is making a poor prophet out of her coach, Emily Stout.

"Four records is going to be hard to do again," Stout said before Smith's first qualifying race. "What she did last year is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. If she gets one, that's a big enough accomplishment."


In chronological order in the 2016 meet, Smith finished the 400-meter run in 55.25 seconds, the 300 low hurdles in 44.03, the 100 in 11.89 and the 200 in 24.37. The only runner in any class with a better record time is Huntington's Safiyyah Mitchell, who ran the 300 hurdles in 43.10 last year.

Smith's margins of victory may be more eye-popping: She won the 100 by .92 seconds, the 200 by 2.4, the 300 hurdles by 2.85 and the 400 by 4.63 seconds.

The West Virginia University signee counts teammate Isabella Bowen as perhaps her closest rival. A sophomore, Bowen is odds-on favorite to complete a 1-2 finish for the Indians in the 100, 200 and 400.

But Smith's biggest obstacles could be the hurdles in the 300, her second event of Saturday.

"Probably 300 hurdles [is my toughest event], just because I'm not very good at the form," she said. "I think the hardest event is the 400, but my 300 form isn't pretty."

The taxing 400 race is Saturday morning's first event, with the girls Class A going off at 10 a.m. The 1,600-meter runs come next, and then the 300 hurdles, scheduled to start about 11:35.

Obviously, Smith handled the turnaround well last year, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

"It's about an hour," Stout said. "Maybe a little less because of her having to cool down, and then go right back to warming up again. It is a fast turnaround, but she can handle it."

The Indians need Smith's 40 points to compete with Winfield and the rest of the Class AA field, but Stout said she brings a lot more to the Indians' program.

"She had a little motivational speech today before we started," Stout said. "It's really nice to have a team leader and they respect her, and they get along really well," Stout said.

Contact Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsmock@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougsmock and read his blog at http://blogs.wvgazettemail.com/dougsmock/.

Short takes: May 20, 2017 (Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/DM0402/170519500 DM0402 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/DM0402/170519500 Fri, 19 May 2017 20:45:19 -0400 An anti-gluten craze villainizing wheat has become so prominent that it spawned a $16-billion-a-year industry, defenders of old-fashioned wheat say.

Gluten, a composite of storage proteins found in wheat and related grains, was a word essentially unknown to most English speakers until a few years ago. It has since became branded as the enemy of good health, says Dr. John Douillard, author of "Eat Wheat."

"Wheat was found guilty without a fair trial," Douillard said. Not including those with celiac disease, Douillard blames processed foods, not gluten, for disrupting people's digestive system and emphasizes that wheat-based foods can help fight diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's disease.

If going wheat-free isn't the answer, what can you do to begin to improve your digestive system?

n Eat more fiber. Make half your plate green vegetables, one-fourth starch and another one-fourth protein.

n Drink water between meals. When people are dehydrated, the signals to the brain often get translated as hunger signals.

n Don't overeat. No offense to your Mom, but you don't have to eat everything on that big plate. Stop when you are full.

Now go out and buy a loaf of bread.

Hay! Don't get scammed

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture warns West Virginians about a scam by people who say they have hay for sale. The WVDA has received alerts from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture about scammers contacting hay sellers.

The supposed hay buyer will send the seller a check for more than the amount the hay is being sold for and then ask the seller to wire the extra money somewhere else.

The scammers say the overpayment is needed to cover taxes or shipping costs, but the check bounces and the scammer already has the money wired to them. The hay seller is then left to pay the money back to the bank.

"We have seen scams like this in the past in West Virginia, so our goal is just to make sure the public is aware that these scams do exist," stressed Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt. "If you do believe someone is attempting to scam you, please contact the department at 304-558-3200."

The WVDA says be sure to reach out to your local law enforcement agency and the state Attorney General's Consumer Protection Agency if something seems fishy about a transaction. Because, once a scammer gets his money, trying to find that crook is about as likely as finding a needle in that haystack you thought you sold.

Welcome to the Vandalia colony

As most everyone learned in grade school, the United States was born from 13 British colonies. What is not as widely known is that a 14th colony was under consideration that would have included almost all of present-day West Virginia and much of Kentucky.

The name was a gesture to Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, who proudly claimed descent from the Vandals through her birth to German nobility. The plan almost came to fruition in 1772-74, until the deteriorating American political situation made the British government back off.

Still, the word Vandalia is rich in West Virginia heritage, synonymous with the desire for a free government in the mountains.

And Vandalia is a gathering that takes place every Memorial Day weekend at the Capitol Complex in Charleston. The Vandalia Gathering presents traditional music, dance, crafts and food to keep the old ways alive in young minds.

Simply walk around the grounds and take in the music and the food, and go into the Culture Center for several events in the air conditioning, including the annual Liars Contest.

In addition to the Vandalia Gathering, next weekend is the FestivALL preview. It includes the first of the season's Live at the Levee concerts Friday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Haddad Riverfront Park, and the popular Taste-of-ALL Charleston at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel Saturday, featuring 19 local restaurants and vendors, live music and lots of fun.

Free power delivered to your roof

Have you always wanted to go solar but didn't know where or how to start?

There is an information session for you on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Charleston Alliance building, 1116 Smith Street (near Capitol Market).

Yes, the sunlight delivered to your rooftop is free. Capturing it, converting it to solar power and distributing it within your home, however, will take some investment.

But you can reduce those expenses by joining with other like-minded folks in the local solar power co-op, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council West Virginia and WV SUN. Learn more at the Monday session or check out wvsun.org/charleston/.

Nanya Friend: Ah, the insatiable thirst for a bargain (Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/DM0404/170519501 DM0404 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/DM0404/170519501 Fri, 19 May 2017 20:37:53 -0400 The FBI director loses his job. Computers are hacked worldwide. The state budget battle wages on.

Those have been the big headlines in May, but another story hits closer to home.

This coming Tuesday will be the last senior discount day at Kroger, as reported recently by Gazette-Mail business writer Max Garland.

This is not all bad. Perhaps the parking lot won't be so jammed on subsequent Tuesdays, and maybe the shelves won't be cleared of the specials before I can get there. Older shoppers home in on the good deals.

Truthfully, I gave up on senior day some time ago and settled on more peaceful Mondays. Semi-retirement also lets me avoid aisles jammed with working stiffs on weekends.

While I could sustain the loss of the 5 percent discount, some retirees will feel the pinch. Kroger counters that it's cutting prices all week long. Let's hope that lasts.

An internet search indicates the company's senior discount has already ended elsewhere. In Texas, people have speculated that abuse of the program led to its demise. Older shoppers reportedly let younger relatives use their Kroger ID numbers.

Perhaps like taking pens home from the office, it didn't seem all that wrong. Little misdeeds add up over time.

Still, cost-conscious consumers are up against powerful forces in today's marketplaces. Getting the best price can seem like the search for the holy grail.

Some stores offer credit cards that award 5 percent discounts for running up your bills. Pay those off each month or thwart yourself by incurring interest charges.

At other stores, enter without a coupon and feel like a chump.

Recently I walked up to a checkout counter with a small item that had been priced at $4.99 on the shelf.

"Should I be using a coupon?" I asked the clerk.

"Yes," she replied. But she didn't offer one up.

I pulled out my phone, called up the store's website and handed it over. She tapped once and aimed her price gun at the barcode on the screen.

The price plummeted to $1.71. Victory!

However, I also felt sheepish and probably irritated both the clerk and the person behind me in line.

Americans are hooked on discounts and apparently with good reason. A piece by Kaitlyn Sestak on the website priceintelligently.com says retailers use "promotional pricing, fake pricing and price anchoring to form a comprehensive psychological pricing strategy ..."

Yup, they're plotting against us.

Sestak continues: "For instance, when faced with a 60 percent off, 12-hour-only coupon that reduces a $1,200 winter coat to $400, you can't help but rush to the store to buy it, even if it is 95 degrees out.

"... the $1,200 acts as an anchor price that psychologically forces you to realize you're getting an enormous deal at the $400 price point. Plus, the promotion limiting the time the offer is available forces you into an impulse. In actuality, you're not that special, because these sales never truly end. Almost no one ever pays full price."

I get the point. I'm not that special. However, I have never paid anything close to $400 for a coat.

The loss of the Kroger senior discount may cause more grocery shoppers to check out Aldi, which now has two stores in Kanawha County and one in Putnam.

If you haven't been there yet, it will take a trip or two to get the hang of the place. You'll need a quarter to get a shopping cart, but you'll retrieve it when you leave. Take your own bags.

I have found it to be an additional stop, not a substitute for a big grocer. Aldi addresses that on its website:

"While a typical supermarket carries about 30,000 items, we sell only the weekly must-haves - most of which are our high-quality brands. Smaller inventory means smaller stores, which leads to lower rent and electricity costs. This allows us to pass the savings on to you."

Yes, the prices are lower, but they can come at the cost of more time.

And therein lies the modern struggle. We still hunt and gather, but not just for sustenance. For discounts.

Nanya Friend is retired editor and publisher of the Daily Mail.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael: WV's tax structure not working (Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/DM0403/170519502 DM0403 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/DM0403/170519502 Fri, 19 May 2017 20:36:33 -0400 There has been much speculation and concern expressed over the budget situation in West Virginia since the day Gov. Jim Justice vetoed a budget the Legislature produced and delivered within the 60-day regular session.

All of us are aware that these are difficult financial times in our state. The decisions that we as a society make during these trying times will define the future direction of the great state of West Virginia.

Simply stated, the current tax structure in West Virginia will not support the spending levels that have been included in either the current or previous versions of the budget bill. Such a pattern is unsustainable. Expenditures cannot exceed revenue. Just like every family in West Virginia, our state must live within its means.

The solution is simple, but politically difficult. The state must either cut programs or raise taxes.

Unfortunately, too often, we encounter situations where some legislators are unwilling to vote for cuts to government programs while at the same time refusing to vote for funding mechanisms to support those programs. From a political perspective, this is the equivalent of having your cake and eating it, too.

West Virginians can be proud that the majority of their senators took the bold and decisive step during the regular 60-day session of drafting and passing a budget that lived within our means. The Senate took the politically difficult action of cutting funding to a variety of government programs.

We passed a budget that did not raise taxes. It took absolutely no money from the state's Rainy Day Fund. The bottom line: the Senate made the hard decisions that are necessary to live within our means.

As the current budget discussions have evolved, an exciting opportunity has developed that will enable working families to keep more of their hard-earned income.

Studies from renowned tax foundations reveal that a substantial reduction of personal income tax rates will result in larger growth rates, more jobs and increased family income for West Virginia citizens. This tax reform proposal, which has been endorsed by Justice, will provide funding to support a budget that spends no more than last year's budget, while placing West Virginia on a path to lower and eventually eliminate the personal income tax.

I support this proven concept. The evidence reveals, and I am convinced, that the best and most efficient, quickest and economically proven method to revolutionize our state's economy is to substantially reduce the personal income tax that is levied on our citizens.

This is the path that has been traveled by states with successful economies, such as Tennessee, Texas, Florida and others. Presidents from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan recognized the value of low income taxes and took corresponding action to dramatically reduce those rates nationally, which resulted in amazing job growth.

What does this mean for the average West Virginian? I believe it means great things. Currently, President Donald Trump is pursuing a similar course to reform and lower federal personal income tax rates. If West Virginia can ride a wave of both state and federal tax reform, I believe it can provide the jobs and opportunities our citizens so desperately need.

I truly believe that West Virginia can be the most prosperous and best state in America simply by holding the line on government spending and reducing personal income tax rates to stimulate jobs and growth.

Most economists believe that a slight increase in the sales tax rate when coupled with a reduction in the personal income tax rates will benefit the economy. Overall, the plan the Senate has created is a significant tax reduction for our citizens. In my opinion, the less the government takes from your paycheck, the more our state economy will prosper.

The goal of comprehensive tax reform and responsible budgeting is to create an environment that provides incentives to the private sector to create jobs and opportunities for West Virginia citizens.

One thing is certain: The current tax structure in West Virginia is not working. Let's take bold action to revitalize our economy and put money in the pockets of working families.

Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, is president of the West Virginia Senate.

Manchin: Russia/Trump investigations no 'witch hunt' http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0101/170519503 GZ0101 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0101/170519503 Fri, 19 May 2017 19:20:03 -0400 Jake Zuckerman By Jake Zuckerman Ten days after the ouster of FBI Director James Comey, Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election are no "witch hunt," despite President Donald Trump's claim.

Manchin, who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said whether it be through the recent appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller to run a special counsel investigation or probes in the U.S. House and Senate, the truth will come out.

"The Russian investigation is extremely serious, it is not a witch hunt. Everyone that I know involved in this in any committee is not talking about any witch hunt whatsoever," he said. "We just want to get the facts. We don't want Russia casting doubts about our government, our democracy, our election process. We don't want them - we don't need them involved."

Trump's decision to fire Comey on May 9 renewed calls for the start of an independent investigation.

Between February and this week, national news outlets have reported on communications between administration members and Russian officials.

As of Friday, the Justice Department is leading the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, while intelligence committees in the House and Senate are looking into alleged Russian intervention in the election, and the Senate Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees are looking into the conduct of Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and the circumstances of Comey's firing, according to a list curated by Vox.

Internal documents are suggesting Trump fired Comey as a means of alleviating pressure on his administration regarding the Russia investigation. A memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released publicly the day of the firing states that the decision was made because of Comey's mishandling of protocol regarding the investigation of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while conducting State Department business.

However, Manchin said if this were the case, the window has passed for this as a viable rationale for the firing.

"To let this thing go clear from January, for four months, and then all of a sudden, knowing that this Russian investigation is very serious, and making the decision at this time was just wrong," he said. "The timing was just wrong. But he's the president, that's 'will-and-pleasure,' he makes those decisions, and I respect that. But now, they have to answer for that."

At this point, Manchin said, a key role of investigators will be to figure out if Trump's decision to fire Comey was done in the best interest of the country or as a means to stifle a troubling investigation and protect himself.

As the investigation has progressed, the public has remained clued in because of a heavy focus on the matter by The New York Times and The Washington Post, often relying on anonymous sources.

For instance, The Post published a report Monday, which relied on anonymous sources, claiming that Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador.

Although Manchin said the information Trump shared is "pretty potent," the president and his executive branch ultimately have the authority to declassify material as they please.

On Tuesday, The Times reported that Trump asked Comey if he could drop the investigation regarding Flynn and his allegedly improper communications with Russian officials, also relying on anonymous sources.

In reference to these leaks, Manchin said the president has acted as his own worst enemy and needs to stop reacting to every blow he's hit with and tamp down his public responses, which will curb the steady trickle of leaks.

"It starts at the top, and I would ask the president to just tone down, maybe not tweet for a while, and go out and get to learn your intelligence community," he said.

Manchin called leaks "dangerous" and "serious," as a general concept, but he said the leaks appearing in the papers have been more political shots than any threat to national security.

"I haven't seen a leak that was classified information that would make us susceptible or vulnerable to an attack or something along those lines," he said. "It's been basically political or personal, if you evaluate it."

Despite the special investigation, Manchin said, the Senate Intelligence Committee will continue to put the facts together, as well.

"Whatever they do doesn't change our job," he said. "The Senate Intel does its job."

Reach Jake Zuckerman at jake.zuckerman@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4814 or follow @jake_zuckerman on Twitter.

WV's Rosie the Riveters to be honored in Charleston http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ01/170519504 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ01/170519504 Fri, 19 May 2017 17:19:39 -0400 Kayla Asbury By Kayla Asbury Buddie Curnutte learned how to use a drill and a riveter in 1942. She was 19 years old when she went to work at Curtiss-Wright, building airplanes for nearly three years during World War II.

"It was pretty hard," she said. "The women just didn't do that."

Curnutte is one of many surviving West Virginia Rosie the Riveters who are being honored at a Charleston ceremony, "Celebrating West Virginia's Rosies," next week.

Rosies were the women who went to work in the factories when the men went off to war.

"It is past time that we are honoring these women who helped us win the war," said Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer, D-Monongalia, the chairwoman for the event.

"Although we justly gave medals to the men who risked their lives, we haven't done all that we should to honor and recognize the sacrifices of the women who worked in the war," Fleischauer said. "So that's why we're here today."

State Sen. Sue Cline's mother was a Rosie.

"These women are so brave, and they had so much courage to do that on their own." said Cline, R-Wyoming. "We just need to honor them and do this before they're all gone."

Fleischauer said she is proud that the Rosie event is a bipartisan effort.

"The Rosies have a wonderful message of unity that we need now, more than ever," Fleischauer said. "Their slogan was 'We pull better if we pull together.' We need to hear that in West Virginia, they need to hear that in Washington, D.C."

The event is in partnership with Thanks! Plain and Simple, a Rosie the Riveter awareness program.

"People do not know that they even exist," Cline said. "We need to get that out there and get the story told."

Thanks! Plain and Simple creates educational materials, like documentary films and interviews with Rosie the Riveters, and is led by Anne Montague, a Huntington native whose mother was a riveter.

The project is in its eighth year.

"We need these women to be involved in the community, and the community involved in them," Montague said.

There have been hundreds of Rosie the Riveters discovered in West Virginia, thanks to the project.

Next week's event will feature a program and reception. There will be a panel discussion featuring Rosies and a presentation by Katherine Antolini, a professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

The event will be held from 6-8 p.m. May 25 at the Woman's Club of Charleston, 1600 Virginia Street E. The event is free and open to the public.

Reach Kayla Asbury at kayla.asbury@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5100 or follow @kasbury_ on Twitter.

WV House passes revenue bill, but gap remains with Justice plan http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0101/170519505 GZ0101 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0101/170519505 Fri, 19 May 2017 16:55:10 -0400 Phil Kabler By Phil Kabler On the seventh day of the special session on the state's 2017-18 spending plan, the West Virginia House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed its version of a revenue bill Friday. The plan would raise slightly more than $100 million in new tax revenue - or less than half the $224 million sought by Gov. Jim Justice to balance the budget.

Proponents of the legislation (House Bill 107) described it as not so much the final answer to the state's budget shortfall but a starting point to break the budget impasse and reopen negotiations with the Senate and the Governor's Office.

"We want to work with the governor and we want to work with the Senate," House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, said after the 74-17 passage vote Friday afternoon.

"We have now had the House Republicans and House Democrats, and Senate Democrats, that have sent this message," Armstead said, referring to the House plan's rebuke of a Senate/Justice compromise that relied on a nearly 1 percent increase in sales taxes, but ultimately would have cut income tax rates by 20 percent, creating a $380 million hole in future state budgets.

The House proposal would primarily raise tax revenue by eliminating several sales tax exemptions in existing law, the largest being an exemption for telecommunications services - largely cellphone plans - that would raise about $60 million a year.

Proponents of the House plan call it "broadening the base," as opposed to the Senate plan to increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 6.95 percent, in the latest version.

While the proposed income tax cuts made the tax increases palatable to Senate Republicans (Senate Democrats unanimously voted against the plan Tuesday, a rejection that Justice called "despicable" and "terribly disappointing"), the House plan sweetens the deal by eventually making Social Security benefits and military pensions exempt from state income taxes. It also raises the personal income tax exemption from $2,000 to $2,500, for those with incomes under $100,000.

Delegate Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, said the House proposal would give tax breaks to the people who need them, not to "millionaires and billionaires."

"We're going to take care of people making less than $100,000, the people who are struggling," he said, foreshadowing bipartisan support for the bill, with Delegate Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier, being the lone Democrat to vote against it.

"This is progress. This is momentum. This is a simplified approach to solve our problem," House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, said of the proposal.

The bill goes to the Senate, which did not meet Friday, except for a two-member quorum call.

While the House plan is more than $120 million short of the revenue increase Justice has said is needed to avoid "devastating cuts" to state programs and services, Armstead said he is hopeful an upturn in the state economy will close much of that gap. He noted the Senate/Justice revenue plan banks on about $94 million in new revenue in the 2017-18 budget year from growth in the economy.

Armstead said he would like to see the House and Senate leadership come up with a compromise through informal negotiations, but conceded Friday that the bill likely would end up in a House-Senate conference committee that will try to come up with an agreement while the rest of the Legislature would be sent home.

"I would love nothing more than to get back early next week with something we can take back to the House and Senate," he said.

During Friday's floor session, delegates rejected a number of amendments to the bill, including two that would have raised caps for tax credits for restoration of historic buildings.

The bill would raise the credit from 10 percent to 25 percent of costs, but caps the credit at $3.75 million per project, and sets an annual statewide cap of $20 million in tax credits.

House Finance Chairman Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, argued it is prudent to maintain the caps, noting that a recent tax credit on purchases of alternative-fuel vehicles ended up costing the state more than $100 million.

Delegates did adopt an amendment exempting from proposed sales taxes contracting work for damage caused by declared natural disasters.

The House recessed until Tuesday, while the Senate is scheduled to reconvene at 11 a.m. Monday, after having not met for the past two days.

Each day in special session costs about $35,000 in pay and expenses for members, but the past two days will be lower, since most of the Senate was not in attendance.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1220 or follow @PhilKabler on Twitter.

Boil-water advisories: May 20, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0112/170519506 GZ0112 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0112/170519506 Fri, 19 May 2017 16:46:46 -0400 n Gilbert Water Works has issued a boil-water advisory for above the tunnel on Mingo 13. The advisory follows a line repair.

n West Virginia American Water has issued a boil-water advisory for the Civil Air Building at Yeager Airport in Charleston. The advisory follows a water main break.

n West Virginia American Water has issued a boil-water advisory for customers located in the following blocks of Kanawha City: 54th Street from MacCorkle Avenue to Noyes Avenue, Noyes Avenue from box 5301 to 5315, and the odd numbered homes along Staunton Avenue from box 5401 to 5415. The advisory follows a water main break.

n West Virginia American Water has issued a boil-water advisory for approximately 120 residential customers in the Indian Head Subdivision, Windy Hill Lane, Tyree Circle, Bryce Street, Limerick Drive, Baltic Drive, Ney Drive, Trinity Way and Indian Creek Road from box 3920 to 4000 in the Pinch area. The advisory follows a water main break.

Customers in these areas are urged to boil their water for at least one full minute prior to use until further notice.

n The boil-water advisory has been lifted for the McDowell County Public Service District - Berwind System.

n Beckley Water Company has lifted the boil-water advisory for 4-H Lake Road from Daniels Elementary to the end of the system, including all side streets.

Man in clown mask charged with drug possession in Belle http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0118/170519507 GZ0118 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ0118/170519507 Fri, 19 May 2017 16:02:09 -0400 Staff reports By Staff reports A man was arrested by State Police in Belle Thursday night after allegedly wearing a "scary" clown mask and jumping out and scaring motorists as they passed on Witcher Creek Road.

Kevin Hancock, 45, of Belle, was charged with wearing a mask, public intoxication and possession of a controlled substance, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

A passerby alerted a trooper at an Exxon gas station of Hancock's actions, prompting the trooper to drive up Witcher Creek Road, where he witnessed Hancock, still masked, "running around the roadway," the complaint reads.

When the trooper turned on his emergency lights, Hancock removed his mask and stopped. According to the complaint, Hancock acted "extremely fidgety," sitting and standing repeatedly and unable to focus on the trooper.

Hancock was "too impaired" to say why he was wearing the mask, only providing that "he was going to try and borrow some money," the complaint states.

The trooper found crystal methamphetamine, oxycodone and marijuana on Hancock after a pat down.

Hancock was taken to South Central Regional Jail where he remained Friday on $5,000 bail.

Gazette editorial: The 24-hour chaos cycle http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ04/170519508 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ04/170519508 Fri, 19 May 2017 14:46:30 -0400 The erratic, narcissistic personality of President Donald Trump keeps Washington in chaos. Look at the past couple of weeks:

May 8 - Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified before Congress that Trump waited 18 days before firing national security adviser Michael Flynn after learning that Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about Russian contacts. Her testimony contradicted White House statements.

May 9 - Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, claiming it was because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein blamed Comey for being too harsh in the Hillary Clinton email probe. This was senseless, because Trump constantly said the probe should have resulted in criminal charges against Clinton.

May 10 - The White House flip-flopped and said other factors led to Comey's firing. News reports said the FBI director was dismissed because he probed possible Russian collaboration with the Trump election campaign and because he wouldn't support Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

May 11 - In an interview with The Economist, Trump showed great ignorance of economic issues and his own policies. Later that day, Trump told NBC News anchor Lester Holt that the Russian probe was a factor in Comey's dismissal.

May 12 - Trump tweeted that Comey "had better hope there are no tapes" of their private talk before his firing.

May 15 - Politico revealed that White House staffers give Trump simplistic "fake news" articles to pacify him. Later that day, The Washington Post revealed that Trump had spilled classified information to Russian diplomats.

May 16 - The New York Times revealed that Comey wrote a memo saying Trump asked him to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn.

May 17 - McClatchy news service revealed that Flynn, while national security adviser, blocked a U.S. military plan to join Turkey's Kurds to attack ISIL Turkey's government, which had paid Flynn $500,000, opposed U.S. cooperation with Kurds.

An Atlantic Monthly report says Trump's actions seem to be "the work of a man who simply has no idea what he's doing. He doesn't understand the gravity of Flynn's duplicity. He didn't think firing James Comey would be a big deal."

What a bizarre defense of a U.S. president - that he can't be blamed for his messes, because he doesn't know what he is doing.

Fareed Zakaria: Trump vs. Comey is he said, he said (Gazette) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ04/170519509 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ04/170519509 Fri, 19 May 2017 14:36:22 -0400 NEW YORK - For most of his life, Donald Trump has found words to be his friends. He has used them to build his business, dramatize his achievements and embellish his accomplishments.

As important, he has used them to explain away his missteps and to paper over his problems. He built a 58-story building in glass and steel, but through his wordplay, it became 68 stories tall. He actually owns an 11,000-square-foot apartment in Manhattan, but in his telling, it's 33,000 square feet. Trump has used words extravagantly and cleverly to serve his ambition. He has called his method "truthful hyperbole," and oftentimes it is not even truthful. But it has worked - so far.

The White House understands the gravity of the allegation that President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end the Michael Flynn investigation. That's why the administration has vigorously denied the charge. And perhaps it's not true.

But the challenge for the administration is that in the court of public opinion, this is likely to turn into a case of "he said, he said" - unless there are, in fact, tapes. On the one side, you have James Comey, a distinguished civil servant with a history of speaking truth to power. While his critics feel that he has made several bad judgments over the last year, most people believe he is honest and sincere. On the other side, you have Donald Trump.

The Washington Post's reporters Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee describe Donald Trump as "the most fact-challenged politician" they have "ever encountered." They pointed out that, after having received a whopping 59 "Four Pinocchio" ratings during the campaign, Trump in his first 100 days made 492 "false or misleading claims," at an average of 4.9 a day. These fact checkers clarified that "those numbers obscure the fact that the pace and volume of the president's misstatements means that we cannot possibly keep up." By their count, there were only 10 days in the first 100 days where Trump did not make a false or misleading claim.

And his fibs are not over small matters. Prior to being elected, Trump claimed that Barack Obama was not born in America; that he met Vladimir Putin, who "could not have been nicer"; that he opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq "from the beginning"; that he watched Arabs in Jersey City cheer when the World Trade Center was attacked; that America's unemployment rate (just last year) might be as high as 42 percent; and that its murder rate was the highest in 45 years. Since his election, he has claimed that his electoral vote margin was larger than anyone's since Ronald Reagan, that China stopped manipulating its currency in response to his criticism, and that Obama had his Trump Tower phones tapped. Every one of these claims is categorically false, and yet Trump has never retracted one of them.

Trump's approach has never been to apologize because it wouldn't make sense to him. In his view, he wasn't fibbing. As his sometime rival and now friend Steve Wynn (the casino tycoon) put it, Trump's statements on virtually everything "have no relation to truth or fact." That's not really how Trump thinks of words. For him, words are performance art. It's what sounds right in the moment and gets him through the crisis. So when describing his economic policy to The Economist, he explained that he had just invented the term "prime the pump" a few days earlier. Never mind that the phrase was actually coined a century ago, has been used countless times since, and was in fact used by Trump repeatedly in the past year. At that moment, it seemed the right thing to say.

But Trump is now more than just a real estate developer, a franchise marketer, or a celebrity TV star. He is president, and he is dealing with matters of war and peace, law and justice. Words matter, and in a wholly different way than he has ever understood. They build national credibility, deter enemies, reassure allies, and execute the law. In high office, in public life, words are not so different from actions. They are everything.

It would be the ultimate irony if Donald Trump now faces a crisis in which his lifelong strength turns into a fatal weakness. His rich and checkered history of salesmanship, his exaggerations, fudges and falsehoods, leave him in a situation now where, even if he is right on this one, people will have a hard time believing that this one time Donald Trump is finally telling the truth.

Fareed Zakaria is a syndicated columnist.

WV DHHR in early stages of medical marijuana planning http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ01/170519510 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170519/GZ01/170519510 Fri, 19 May 2017 14:14:18 -0400 Erin Beck By Erin Beck The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is "in the preliminary stage" of developing a plan for implementation of West Virginia's medical marijuana law, according to state officials, and has devoted a section of its website to frequently asked questions and more information.

Only one agency responsible for nominating a member to the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board has publicly announced the nominee - Joe Hatton, deputy commissioner for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

Gov. Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 386, permitting doctors to recommend marijuana be used for medicinal purposes and establishing a regulatory system in West Virginia, into law on April 19. The law states that no patient or caregiver ID cards will be issued until July of 2019.

Lawmakers gave DHHR's Bureau for Public Health oversight and tasked the bureau with creating an online source of public information.

The section of the website, found at www.dhhr.gov/bph/Pages/Medical-Cannabis-Program.aspx, links to frequently asked questions for patients and caregivers, growers and processors, potential dispensary owners, and physicians.

It also links to a 2013 announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that was written in response to states' medical marijuana laws and lists enforcement priorities for the department. The memo states that "in jurisdictions that have enacted laws legalizing marijuana in some form and that have also implemented strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale, and possession of marijuana, conduct in compliance with those laws and regulations" is less likely to threaten federal enforcement priorities. The memo also cites previous guidance, which stated "that it was likely not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement resources on seriously ill individuals, or on their individual caregivers."

The website states that the Bureau for Public Health remains "in the early stages of the development of the program." DHHR is currently engaged in rule-making, which means the process of agencies writing the specific plans for implementing laws the Legislature passes.

Allison Adler, spokeswoman for the DHHR, said via email that the Bureau for Public Health's commissioner's office "is in the preliminary stage of developing an implementation plan, including a legal interpretation of what rules will be necessary to fully implement the Act."

"Those rules will begin with requirements for growers/processors so that those entities can come online and begin to produce products, then detailing requirements for dispensaries and physicians, followed closely by the requirements for the registration of caregivers and patients," she wrote.

"There are many considerations such as program operation, and how applications are to be submitted by growers/processors, dispensaries, patients and caregivers, and physicians," she added.

The law also established a Medical Cannabis Advisory Board within the Bureau for Public Health. The bill says that its members will include: four physicians to be appointed by the State Medical Association; a pharmacist appointed by the Board of Pharmacy; a horticulturist appointed by the Agriculture commissioner; a person designated by the West Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Counselors; and a prosecuting attorney appointed by the Prosecuting Attorney's Institute. The governor is tasked with appointing a pharmacologist, an attorney knowledgeable about medical cannabis laws, and a person who is a patient, a family or household member of a patient or a patient advocate. The advisory board will also include the commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health and the superintendent of the State Police or a designee.

The Department of Agriculture is the only entity, so far, that has selected its representative on the board and responded to an email with the name of that person.

Crescent Gallagher, Agriculture spokesman, said that Commissioner Kent Leonhardt selected Hatton, a certified crop advisor and certified grassland professional.

"As a lifelong farmer, I think this is a great opportunity to show what we can do in agriculture," Hatton said, in a phone interview.

He noted that West Virginia will have to look to other states such as Colorado, since West Virginians have experience, "but not with the legal variety." He noted that "this can't be grown out in the middle of an open field."

He also has unanswered questions.

"It has to be profitable," he said. "We haven't talked about the structure ... who's going to own the crop? Who's going to own the marijuana? Will it be the farmers or the pharmaceutical companies or the state of West Virginia?"

House Judiciary Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, whose committee made several amendments to the medical marijuana bill, has said that if the DHHR was ready sooner, the law could become effective before July of 2019.

Asked about that, Adler would only say that "Under the Act, the Bureau may not issue patient and caregiver identification cards necessary to obtain medical cannabis until July 1, 2019 (passed by the Legislature.)

It would take legislative action to change the bill.

Reach Erin Beck at erin.beck@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5163, Facebook.com/erinbeckwv, or follow @erinbeckwv on Twitter.