www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2017, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: May 23, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT01/305239967 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT01/305239967 Tue, 23 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Bika, Orbit Ray 5 p.m., Rainelle United Methodist Church, Rainelle.


Byus, Terry 11 a.m., Deal Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.


Dean, Daniel 11 a.m., Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, South Charleston.


Durst, Nancy 4 p.m., Casto Funeral Home, Evans.


Ellis, Delano, Jr. 11 a.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.


Ewing, Rosalie Noon, Wilson


Goins, Tom 1 p.m., Maryetta United Baptist Church, Verdunville.


Meade, Dawnevyn 11 a.m., Evans Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Chapmanville.


Nester, Bobby Lee 11 a.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.


Norman, Warren 2 p.m., Arnet Cemetery, Tipton.


Price, Charles 10 a.m., Ellyson Mortuary Inc., Glenville.


Roberts, Yolanda 2 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.


Swiney, Rebecca 11 a.m., Matics Funeral Home Inc., Clendenin.


Thomas, Norma Noon, White Funeral Home, Summersville.

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Dennis F. Adkins http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT/305239988 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT/305239988 Tue, 23 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Dennis F. Adkins, 67, of Cedar Grove, died Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Hubbard Hospice House, Charleston.

Born May 17, 1950, in Riverside, he was the son of the late Lila Adkins Hudnall and step-father, William Hudnall. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Dennis F. Adkins II.

Dennis is survived by his two sons, William (Patty) Adkins and Arthur "Ed" Adkins (Nikki), all of Cedar Grove. He is also survived by the light of his life, his grandson, Dennis Gage Adkins, and his former wife and soulmate, Sandra Bass Adkins.

Per his wishes, he will be cremated and his ashes placed in the family plot at Holly Grove. You may share memories of Dennis with the family at AffordableCremationsofWV.com.

The family would like to thank the Cedar Grove and Kanawha County Ambulance Services, Amedisys and the staff of Hubbard Hospice House for all they have done for Dennis.

Cremation services are being provided by Affordable Cremations of WV, 413 D Street, South Charleston.

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George Adkins http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT/305239996 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT/305239996 Tue, 23 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 George Edgar (Sonny) Adkins, 85, of Rainelle, passed away Friday, May 19, 2017, in the Meadow Garden Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Rainelle.

Born February 18, 1932, in Rainelle, he was the son of the late Edgar LaFayette and Hazel Pearl Frounfelker Adkins.

George (Sonny) was a 1950 graduate of Rainelle High School. He began work at Imperial Smokeless Coal Co., Westmoreland, at the preparation plant in Levisay, August 7, 1951. He took early retirement at age 55 after 33 years of employment. During this time, he was called to serve three years in the army during the Korean War. George attended the army's foreign language school in Monterey, Calif., to learn to be an interrogator of Chinese prisoners. In his retirement, he enjoyed working on the farm and raising beef cattle and harvesting hay. Later, he and Carla raised miniature horses. He especially loved to harness one of the horses to a cart and take children and adults for rides or let them hold the reins and drive. This was a special time for the students of Rainelle Christian Academy when they would visit the farm.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his daughter, Marsha Catherine Adkins Mead; one sister, Katherine Jean Adkins Griffis; a step-son, Jeffrey Gilkeson; and a step-grandson, Steven Bailey.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Carla Thornton Adkins; two sons, Eddie Adkins (Jeff) of Washington, D.C., and Mark Adkins (Marsha) of Fayetteville; their mother, Doris Groves of Rainelle; one step-son, Larry Gilkeson (Kathy) of Mineral Wells; one step-daughter Linda Gilkeson Bailey (Buzz) of Beverly; five grandchildren, Rachel Archer Collins (Chris), Matthew Archer (Meredith), Jeannie Adkins, Laura Mead Aylor (Josh) and Zach Adkins; seven great-grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; and eight step-great-grandchildren.

The body was cremated and there will be no service at this time.

Online condolences at www.smathersfuneralchapelinc.com.

Arrangements by Smathers Funeral Chapel, Inc., Rainelle.

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Donna Andrade http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT/305239972 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT/305239972 Tue, 23 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Donna June Andrade, 63, of Rixeyville, Va., passed away May 20, 2017. Service will be held 1 p.m., Thursday, May 25, at Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton, W.Va. Friends may call one hour before the service at the funeral home.

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Orbit Ray Bika http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT/305239995 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/OBIT/305239995 Tue, 23 May 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Orbit Ray Bika, 65, of Rainelle, passed away Friday, May 19, 2017. A memorial service will be 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 23, in the Rainelle United Methodist Church. Arrangements by Smathers Funeral Chapel, Inc., Rainelle.

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Mitch Vingle: Hoops rankings, Macon and football over/under http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ020401/170529814 GZ020401 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ020401/170529814 Tue, 23 May 2017 21:22:47 -0400 Mitch Vingle By Mitch Vingle Ye olde notebook:

If you check the "way too early" 2017-18 college basketball rankings, you'll see teams familiar to Mountain State fans like Kansas, WVU, Baylor and TCU. As always, the Jayhawks are normally the first of those listed with the others mixed within.

Yet there are two teams missing that should be included. Two teams that West Virginia state sports fans should get to know now.

The first is Texas. Coach Bob Huggins and his Mountaineers won't have to worry about former Longhorns 6-foot-11 center Jarrett Allen anymore. He's hired an agent and is entering the NBA draft process.

One would think then that Texas should be a breeze for WVU after the Longhorns went 11-22 last season, correct?

Except there's a matter of coach Shaka Smart's 2017 recruiting effort. In a word, it's been stellar.

You might have read that Smart landed five-star center Mohamed Bamba. The guy picked the Longhorns over Kentucky, Duke and Michigan and, at 6-11, has a 7-foot, 9-inch wingspan. In the McDonald's All-America game, he had 15 points, including six dunks.

Yet look a little deeper. Smart also landed not one or two or three but four four-star recruits, according to 247 Sports, to go with Bamba: Matt Coleman, Jerico Sims, Royce Hamm and Jase Febres. Coleman and Sims are considered Top 50 players.

In addition, Texas guard Andrew Jones pulled a "Jevon Carter" and decided to return to school after checking out the NBA draft. Now Jones can move to his natural position of shooting guard and allow Coleman, a Jordan All-America pick, to take over the point.

The recruiting class has been dubbed No. 5 nationally by 247. Also, in the Lone Star State, Bamba, Coleman and Jones already have been referred to as the "Big Three" and the team a "national title contender."

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The second team Mountain State fans should get to know? Well, particularly if you're a Marshall fan, it's Western Kentucky.

My take, though, is any real college hoops fan should take note of the Hilltoppers. Because what coach Rick Stansbury is doing there is stunning.

You know the aforementioned recruiting rankings? WKU is No. 8. Not among Conference USA teams. Among all teams. Ahead of Louisville. Ahead of North Carolina. USA Today and Scout have the class No. 10.

Stansbury, formerly of Texas A&M and Mississippi State, is known for his recruiting chops, but no one expected him to land a Top 10 player like five-star center Mitchell Robinson, who stands 6-11. No one expected him to land another Louisianian in four-star Josh Anderson or four-star JUCO guard Jordan Brangers.

And Stansbury kept rolling, landing graduate transfers Darius Thompson of Virginia and Jared Savage of Austin Peay. The latter must sit out a year.

If you're wondering how Stansbury signed Robinson, who had committed to A&M, well, there was the legwork put in first as an associate head coach in College Station - plus the coach hired Shammond Williams, a former UNC teammate of Vince Carter who happens to be the player's godfather.

In case you're wondering, WKU rep Zach Greenwell said the IAWP (Individual Associated With a Prospect) legislation doesn't apply there, only to someone in a non-coaching staff role.

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Western Kentucky isn't the only eye-opening school to land a Top 25 2017 recruiting class. According to 247, Alabama is No. 6, Missouri is No. 7, UNLV is No. 14 and Virginia Tech is No. 15. And the No. 1 class, at this point, for 2018? Arkansas.

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WVU's 2017 class, by the way, was rated No. 38 overall by the service and sixth in the Big 12, right behind - wait for it - Kansas. Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa State and TCU all have classes rated higher. In 2018, however, West Virginia's one-man class consisting of 3-star recruit Jordan McCabe is ranked No. 22.

Go figure.

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Marshall? Well, its 2017 class has been ranked No. 10 among C-USA teams and No. 167 overall. I did, however, reach out to Hargrave Military Academy coach A.W. Hamilton on Tuesday to ask about signee Iran Bennett, a potential impact player for the Thundering Herd.

Hamilton said there's "no word yet" on Bennett's eligibility, but the player "finished very strong." Stay tuned.

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So a collection of NFL owners got together on Tuesday and approved end-zone snow angels and increased the chance games will end in ties. Whee!

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Best wishes to now ex-WVU basketball player Elijah Macon as he moves to the next chapter of his life. We sketched out the possibility of his departure in this space April 18, saying "Macon could graduate and decide to pursue a pro career overseas. His mother tragically passed away in 2014 and family concerns could come into play."

Truth be told, though, the scenario was privately a possibility even before last season began. Good luck to a young man that grew both on and off the court.

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And finally ...

A taste of college football.

Las Vegas' CG Technology released its early over/under win projections for the upcoming season with about 50 schools listed.

Within the Big 12, Oklahoma is at 9.5, Oklahoma State is at 9, Kansas State and Texas are at 7.5 and WVU and TCU are at 7. Marshall was not mentioned.

Enjoy your day.

Contact Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827 or mitchvingle@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @MitchVingle.

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Power getting plenty of experience on the road http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0209/170529815 GZ0209 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0209/170529815 Tue, 23 May 2017 21:19:20 -0400 Derek Redd By Derek Redd When the West Virginia Power comes off the field Wednesday night against the Augusta Greenjackets, it will mark a needed break within a long streak.

Of the 18 games the Power will play following its May 17 off day, 14 of them will be on the road. The Power played four games in Columbia, South Carolina, then zipped to Augusta, Georgia, for three. Then they'll journey from Augusta on Wednesday back to Charleston to start a four-game series with Hagerstown on Thursday. Then the Power boards the bus again after Sunday's final home game for another seven road games - three in Charleston, South Carolina, and four in Rome, Georgia before, mercifully, another day off.

That's a lot of miles, a lot of days spent in close quarters and a lot of nights spent away from the Power's own beds. Most of these players have done road trips before as members of the West Virginia Black Bears, but the trips weren't as long in terms of both time on the road and distance from home. An odyssey like this is a new experience.

Yet the players say long trips are no nightmare.

That doesn't mean they're paradise. Those bus rides are hours long with everyone within a couple feet of each other. Left fielder Ty Moore said even if there is any tension within those cramped arrangements, it doesn't last very long.

"At the end of the day, whatever happens on one day, you go into the next day with a clean slate," Moore said. "We're pretty even keel."

Center fielder Clark Eagan said there are some pluses to the trips. It's a chance for the players to get a tour of the Mid-Atlantic and southern parts of the United States, areas they may not have seen before. They experience different cities and different ballparks. And it's an opportunity for the team to bond. There is no escaping the rest of the roster on those excursions, so the players get a chance to really find out about one another.

"You come together on the road because you're together all the time. You're in the hotel together, getting food together. You're always in the clubhouse together. Being on the road is definitely a good time to be with your teammates and really mesh. I think we have a close team this year and the more time we spend together, the better it's going to get."

There also can be a respite from one of the other tried and true aspects of minor-league life - the cramped quarters at home. The players often load themselves into apartments to save money, putting five guys in a three-bedroom space. Road trips can give them the chance to stretch their legs.

"When you're on the road, sometimes you have a better bedroom," Eagan said.

If road trips like this are grueling for the Power, the team doesn't show it. Entering Tuesday's doubleheader at Augusta, West Virginia had one of the South Atlantic League's best road records at 12-5. It was 9-16 at home.

Moore said, because of that, the team doesn't look at such trips with dread. It actually can be exciting.

"I don't know why that [road record] is," Moore said. "But there's something about this team that ... I don't know if it's the extra challenge of going into someone else's house and taking a 'W,' but I feel we thrive and are our best on the road. I'm excited to see if that continues. I know that it can continue if we play the way we play on the road."

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

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Hurricane, GW, Hoover carry different traditions into state softball tournament http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0203/170529816 GZ0203 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0203/170529816 Tue, 23 May 2017 21:18:09 -0400 Ryan Pritt By Ryan Pritt Three Kanawha Valley teams are searching for state softball championships beginning Wednesday at Jackson Park in Vienna, and all three couldn't bring any more differing backstories and traditions along with them.

There's Hurricane, the dominant state power; Herbert Hoover, the former power trying to regain its place at the top; and George Washington, the team just starting to put itself on the softball map.

Yet no matter where they've come from or what the past may be, all three have one goal in mind.

That's the theme as Hurricane and GW chase a Class AAA crown and Hoover tries to win the Class AA championship.

GW will get it started, playing the opening Class AAA game at 10 a.m. against John Marshall, with the Redskins taking on Washington after the conclusion of that game.

Hoover will sit back and watch as Wyoming East and Oak Glen do battle at 10 a.m., with the Huskies taking on defending champion Chapmanville just after.

Hurricane will seek its third straight championship and fourth in five years. Herbert Hoover is looking for its first title since 2014 and second overall. GW, by all accounts, had never even won a sectional before, but don't tell a lineup full of five sophomores, three juniors and a freshman that it doesn't belong.

In fact, one of GW coach Kim Darby's biggest concerns is that her team may be too young to realize the magnitude of the moment.

"That's kind of the feel I get at practice, it's almost worrisome for me because I don't know if they understand how big this is," Darby said. "They have been loose. We've talked to them about nerves, but it doesn't seem to be big on their minds."

With such a young lineup, it can feel like at times the Patriots are even a year ahead of time in their first trip to Vienna, but since Darby has coached them in middle school, the current group has had success. However, middle school and the high school state tournament are drastically different things, and Darby said it will be a huge effort to keep her team away from the distractions and possible overconfidence that can come with being a state tournament team.

"I think the biggest thing is just to try to keep away from all of the hype," Darby said. "Everything that goes along with being there ... I just don't want them to get too caught up in that. I want them grounded and thinking of it as just another game."

Though young, the Patriots (19-8) certainly have the numbers to back up the berth. Sophomore shortstop Emma Groe (.505, four home runs, 17 doubles, 36 RBIs), sophomore center fielder Katy Darnell (.458, 13 stolen bases) and freshman pitcher Brianna McCown (11-4, 1.00 ERA, 136 strikeouts) all were Gazette-Mail All-Kanawha Valley first-team selections, as released on Tuesday.

Talent is one thing. Many talented teams have succumbed to nerves and mistakes once the stage lights are at their brightest.

Darby said for her team, it's just about doing what it's done all year.

"I think that as long as we play like we are capable of playing, we'll be fine," Darby said. "As long as our pitching stays the way it has been and our hitting is even at 85 percent, we should be OK."

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While the feeling couldn't be any fresher for GW, there will likely be some nerves, especially for a team that is so young and relatively inexperienced at this time of year.

That couldn't be further from the truth for Hurricane (33-1), which enters ranked No. 10 in the country according to MaxPreps.com's national rankings.

The Redskins were not only expected to be in Vienna, they were expected to arrive as the favorite, and they've done just that, being able to put the pressure of facing every team's best shot aside.

Along the way, Hurricane has yet to give up more than five runs in a game while scoring five or more 27 times.

And if any team knows its way around Vienna, it's Hurricane.

"I think we're a lot more comfortable in big situations because we've been to sectionals, regionals and states multiple years now and I think we're more in our comfort zone now than other teams that haven't been there," senior catcher Katie Adams said.

"I think we feel the pressure, we just don't like to think about it," added junior third baseman Jayme Bailey. "We like to put it to the side, have fun and do what we do."

Adams and outfielder Paige Scruggs are the team's lone two seniors in the starting lineup.

They and Bailey, a junior, are now at their third state tournament in three years, with Bailey getting the rare opportunity to chase a fourth trip next season.

Since winning the Kanawha Valley Freshman of the Year award in 2015, Bailey has consistently posted some of the best numbers in the state and enters this state tournament batting at a .495 clip to go with five home runs, 10 doubles, two triples, 44 RBIs, 47 runs and 19 stolen bases.

But Bailey says even in the midst of all the success, she still takes the time to take in the moment and will again as soon as play begins on Wednesday.

"It's a huge deal," Bailey said. "No girl gets this chance so many times. It's a great opportunity to be with these girls. I love every minute of it and I have to savor every minute of it until it's over."

Adams and Scruggs bring with them the memory of 2014, a season in which Hurricane was the favorite but fell in the sectional round to eventual Class AAA champion Lincoln County.

That early lesson has been a continuous source of motivation, Adams said, and one she's used to help propel Hurricane to its success over the past two seasons.

"I think sophomore year,we were definitely refocused, and every year after that we know we have to be focused because freshman year could happen again," Adams said.

Despite Hurricane's bevy of experience, freshman Harlie Vannatter will have a lot to do with whether Hurricane can achieve a three-peat or not.

Vannatter hasn't shown the first bit of nerves so far in pitching the Redskins to Mountain State Athletic Conference, sectional and regional championships, all while compiling a record of 20-1 with a 1.09 ERA and 141 strikeouts in 128 1/3 innings.

"Just have faith," Redskins coach Josh Caldwell said. "She pounds the strike zone, she doesn't walk anyone typically and she lets the defense help her out. She's been big in big situations and when we've needed her, she's come through."

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The more things changed, the more they stayed the same for Herbert Hoover this season.

Even though the Huskies were moved from the brutal Region 4 into Region 2, Hoover kept its Cardinal Conference schedule and played the majority of its slate against Region 4 rivals.

That includes a pair of games against Chapmanville, resulting in 5-1 and 1-0 losses for Hoover.

The Tigers are gunning for their seventh state title and are hardly a stranger to the Huskies. The two teams have done battle over the years in several big games, but it's hard to imagine any have been bigger than the one they'll play on Wednesday around noon, with the loser being pushed to the brink of elimination.

"They should be the team to beat right now," Smith said of Chapmanville. "They're the defending state champions and they got their pitcher back, which is a huge deal in high school softball and everybody knows it. They haven't done anything to lose that spot yet and we haven't beaten them yet."

The Tigers returned six starters from a year ago, including first-team all-state pitcher Kenzie McCann, a player who's held Hoover to just one run in two games this season.

The job for the Huskies and Smith is to somehow find a way to scratch across a couple of runs on Chapmanville's flame-throwing junior.

"We've got to hit her curveball," Smith said. "She's got a nice little curveball and riseball and we have to be able to distinguish between them and not chase balls off the plate. If she's getting strikes on pitches thrown in the left-hander's batter's box, she's going to make us look pretty foolish."

Meanwhile, Smith has options in the circle with senior Dellani Fix (11-1) and freshman Delani Buckner (9-2) each posting outstanding numbers this season.

Buckner has continued to excel as the season has gone along, with her ERA steadily dropping (1.07 currently) and her strikeout total slowly rising (126). She and Fix have complemented each other nicely, and Smith said it's never a bad thing to have options.

"It's a luxury not all coaches have," Smith said. "I'm a teacher at Elkview Middle School so I've been pretty familiar for a few years, and I was definitely looking forward to getting [Buckner] and this freshman group. She has really come into her own as the year has gone on. This is the first year I started calling pitches and she and I and Fix and even Presley McGhee, all of us have grown together, working batters and pitch selections - it has been fun."

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In Class A, Fayetteville and defending champion Wheeling Central will play the 10 a.m. game with Sherman and Moorefield following.

The two losers in each class will come back for elimination games - 4:30 p.m. for Class A, 4:45 p.m. for Class AA and 5 p.m. for Class AAA - with the winners brackets playing 30 minutes after the conclusion of those games, leaving three teams to advance to Thursday.

There, the two teams in each class with a loss will play Thursday morning - 9:30 a.m. for Class A, 9:45 a.m. for Class AA and 10 a.m. for Class AAA - with the undefeated team awaiting the winner of that game. The championship round of games starts at 2 p.m. for Class A, 2:15 p.m. for Class AA and 2:30 p.m. for Class AAA. If a second game is needed, it will happen right after the first game of the championship round.

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

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Guest editorial (Wheeling): Essential services a blueprint for cuts http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/DM0402/170529817 DM0402 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/DM0402/170529817 Tue, 23 May 2017 22:00:00 -0400

Reprinted from The Intelligencer, Wheeling News Journal.

Perhaps we should worry about a West Virginia "government shutdown" more frequently. Concern over the potential for one this year may spawn one of the most productive bureaucratic exercises seen for some time.

As Gov. Jim Justice and legislators were haggling about a state budget earlier this week, the governor's chief of staff, Nick Casey, decided it would be wise to do some precautionary planning. Casey sent state cabinet secretaries a memo, instructing them to be ready with contingency plans should a budget not be in place by July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

Much of Casey's memo was predictable. He told agency heads to identify essential and non-essential state government services. As an example of work that cannot be interrupted, even if there is no budget in place, he cited state corrections institutions. One cannot simply walk away from a prison full of inmates, after all.

Justice himself was preparing for budget failure. He asked legislators to approve a bill to protect state employees from losing benefits such as health insurance if they have to be furloughed because no spending plan has been approved.

But Casey went another step. He suggested in his memo that even if a budget is enacted before July 1, identifying essential and non-essential tasks of state government could be useful.

Such a list could help state officials consolidate services and make government more efficient, Casey noted.

Indeed it could.

Casey's memo puts at least some state bureaucrats in the position of admitting that there may actually be ways of saving money in Charleston. In case you had not noticed, state government has been united in its insistence that, to any meaningful degree, it cannot be done.

Legislators should insist on receiving copies of the responses Casey gets from the agency heads. The documents could well serve as a blueprint for making state government live within taxpayers' means.

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Christian Brand making progress on Web.com Tour http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ02/170529818 GZ02 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ02/170529818 Tue, 23 May 2017 21:12:52 -0400 Doug Smock By Doug Smock The way Christian Brand sees it, there is no reason to expect his first top-25 finish on the Web.com Tour to stand as the highlight of his season. He believes he can turn that performance into much, much more.

The Capital High and Marshall University graduate had the door cracked open to him last week in the form of a sponsor's exemption in the BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greer, South Carolina. That is a large-field event played on three courses in the first 54 holes, with the final round at the Thornblade Club.

Brand finished with a 54-hole score of 203, but the tournament was stopped at that point. Inclement weather washed out the final round Sunday, so he was stuck with that result - not that it was a bad thing, as he was tied for 17th.

Then again, he said, "I played three and a half holes, and I was playing well. I had a birdie, a couple of pars and I had a good look for birdie on the fourth."

But that's OK. With his top-25 finish, he qualified for the next event on that tour, no questions. He confirmed that he will play in the Rex Hospital Open at TPC Plantation Wakefield, June 1-4 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Brand has conditional status, with a capital "C," on the Web.com Tour, having finished tied for 89th in the qualifying tournament at the end of last year. The top 45 and ties received full status, and Brand was well below that in the pecking order.

With few opportunities there, he played on his familiar SwingThought Tour, often considered the top tour behind the Web.com. Brand had played well on that tour, but kicked up his game this year, winning the tournament earlier this month at Wilmington, North Carolina. That win and his persistence, he said, won him a sponsor's exemption for last week's Web.com tournament.

If he can keep getting into tournaments and keep making cuts, he'll climb up the Web.com's money standings. Last week's $6,872 check lifted him to 129th place from a dead zero, so that's a fair amount of progress.

Whatever he can get from the Raleigh event, plus tournaments he can gain entrance in the next two weeks, can help him in the next "reshuffle," giving him a better spot in the tournament qualifying order.

Brand said he will play the Greenbrier Classic if he receives a sponsor's exemption; otherwise, he hopes to be in a Web.com event that week in Findlay Lake, New York.

As the tournament's sponsor, The Greenbrier resort receives four unrestricted exemptions. One has been given to the West Virginia Amateur winner, and another has been awarded to John Daly, the charismatic winner of two majors who has played all six Classics.

"I've met with the tournament director [Habibi Mamone] a couple of times, and she knows I'm having a great season and I'm a West Virginian who can compete at that level," Brand said. "She's looking my way and we're supposed to meet this week, so hopefully it's good news.

"If I don't get an exemption, I'm not sure I'll Monday-qualify because I should be at the Web.com that week."

The 29-year-old said he has hired some quality help to get him to what for now is the top of his game. He brought on Billy Winters at The Greenbrier as his swing coach and Natalie Cooke as his trainer. Cooke is a sister of 2016 West Virginia Amateur winner Alan Cooke.

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Speaking of Cooke, a WVU graduate, he'll play in the Classic, as the tournament is making amends for the cancellation last season.

"We were actually at our [Big 12] conference tournament in Kansas," Cooke said. "I'd been e-mailing back and forth with the tournament director, off and on, for a couple of weeks. She gave me a call and she said she had a meeting with Mr. [Jim] Justice [Greenbrier owner and the state's governor], and he was going to extend it into this year, so it was good news."

Cooke played 26 rounds in 10 events, averaging 73.23 points and recording a best finish of fourth. He said he didn't do well in the Big 12 tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas.

"It was blowing 20, 30, 40 [mph] all the time, it was unreal," he said. "I don't ever want to go back to Kansas, honestly. That place is brutal."

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One of the five West Virginia Amateur qualifiers is in the books, with 23 places awarded Monday at the Bridgeport Country Club.

Jeff Ferrell, once a State Am runner-up and Greenbrier Classic participant, led the pack with a 5-under 67, two shots ahead of Chris Stansbury.

Qualifiers are scheduled Friday at Greenhills Country Club in Ravenswood, May 30 at the Cobb Course at Glade Springs, June 2 at Riverside Golf Club at Mason and June 5 at Sleepy Hollow. The Glade Springs event is the largest qualifier, with 72 entrants battling for 26 spots.

Brad Ullman, Executive Director of the West Virginia Golf Association, said nearly 300 golfers entered the tournament. With The Greenbrier's courses under reconstruction, the event is being held June 12-15 at the Cobb Course.

Ullman said that allows the event to expand a bit, with a field of 120 instead of 100. The top 60 and ties will make the 36-hole cut, up from the top 40 and ties.

Ullman said the WVGA plans to return to The Greenbrier after this year. "Gov. Justice, Burt Baine [the resort's director of golf] and the folks have been supportive of amateur golf," Ullman said. "We want to work out some details to get it back to The Greenbrier."

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Eight-time West Virginia Open winner David Bradshaw finished as an alternate at a U.S. Open local qualifier at Bermuda Dunes, California. Bradshaw has been playing professionally in the San Diego and other southern California areas.

Closer to home, perennial State Am contender Davy Jude and Mason Williams won the two spots at the Pete Dye Golf Club near Bridgeport. They will play in one of the 10 36-hole sectional tournaments on Monday, June 5 - also known as "The Longest Day in Golf."

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/.

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Guest editorial (Beckley): WV must increasing 'college-going' culture http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/DM0402/170529819 DM0402 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/DM0402/170529819 Tue, 23 May 2017 21:10:40 -0400

Reprinted from the Register-Herald, Beckley.

The "college-going rate" is one of the key measures of educational improvement for West Virginia, and there is good news.

After dipping for a couple of years, the percentage of Mountain State high school graduates who enrolled in community colleges and four-year colleges increased last year. The statewide percentage is still low in comparison with other states - 55.6 percent - but at least it is heading in the right direction.

The high-water mark for West Virginia was 2009, when 62 percent of high school grads enrolled in college, but the lean years of the recession and higher tuition costs likely took their toll. The average steadily declined over the next few years, hitting 55.4 percent for the fall of 2015.

That meant almost 45 percent of the state's graduates faced the difficult challenge of finding a living wage job with only a high-school degree. Combine that with the 20 percent of the class that dropped out before graduation, and you have almost two-thirds of the state's young workforce lacking the skills most good jobs require today.

The situation is even more severe in many counties of southern West Virginia, where the college-going rates are even lower, according to a recent report by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Community and Technical College System.

Counties in the northern part of the state have the best college-going rates, led by Ohio County at 71.5 percent, Mineral County at 66.3 percent and Monongalia at 66 percent. Cabell, Wayne and Logan moved up to close to 60 percent for 2016, and Putnam was at 63 percent. But other area counties were in the 50 percent range with several in the 40-45 percent range.

No wonder, our region has so many young people who are neither working nor in school - 18 to 25 percent in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, according to a recent Measure of America study.

In his last two years, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin put a particular focus on urging high school students to pick a post-secondary education path, and Gov. Jim Justice, in his first few months, also has made education a central part of his agenda. The Higher Education Policy Commission also launched its innovative GEAR UP program to help high-schoolers see the importance of college. We hope those efforts will continue.

"These gains, while subtle, represent a solid step in the right direction," said Dr. Paul Hill, HEPC chancellor. "Now that the economy is beginning to stabilize, we're more confident that the small strides we're witnessing represent genuine progress in creating a college-going culture in West Virginia - a process that takes time and occurs student by student, community by community."

Building that "college-going culture" is critical for the Mountain State - whether the coal industry rebounds or not - and leaders, educators and families need to keep the momentum going.

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Alex Mooney: CHOICE Act will help business growth(Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/DM0403/170529820 DM0403 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/DM0403/170529820 Tue, 23 May 2017 20:28:33 -0400 While most of the country was focused on the Obamacare repeal and replace bill, the House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, on May 4. This important bill repeals many onerous Obama-era regulations harming job creators and businesses.

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, continuing the tradition of my predecessor Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, I was proud to vote for this major piece of legislation.

While most of the media was fixating on distractions like Russia, my Republican colleagues and I were passing a significant regulatory reform bill that will bring relief to West Virginians.

After the financial crisis of 2007, Democrats in Congress passed sweeping legislation that fundamentally changed the way our economy works. Their legislation, called the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, was sold to the public on a variety of promises that never came to fruition.

Dodd-Frank is to the financial industry what Obamacare is to the health care industry. They said it would end taxpayer bailouts of big banks, but it didn't. They said it would restore faith in banks and boost economic growth, but the economy continued to grow at a sluggish pace.

The Democrat bill also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an unelected federal agency that has become one of the most powerful, least accountable in history. Don't let the clever name fool you, the CFPB has harmed the very consumers it was chartered to protect.

Under these so-called reforms, the big banks have gotten bigger and the small community banks, like many in West Virginia, have gotten fewer. Instead of lifting our economy, small-business lending from banks has declined, and the rate of new business startups is near a 20-year low.

The Financial CHOICE Act will remove power from out-of-touch Washington bureaucrats and return financial decision making to individual consumers and small-business owners. The bill ends the notion of "too big to fail" and will prevent future taxpayer bailouts of major financial institutions.

Under President Barack Obama and the CFPB, it became harder for community banks to make loans to small businesses. Even worse, young families have been unable to navigate the myriad of federally mandated paperwork required to purchase a home. I hear these stories repeatedly as I meet with constituents all across West Virginia.

Even simple things like free checking have disappeared under the mountain of regulatory red tape passed down from Washington onto local bankers.

The Financial CHOICE act gives consumers more choices and opportunities to access credit and loans. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and it is time we allow our small banks to begin loaning again to help these businesses grow and thrive.

When I became a member of the House Financial Services Committee earlier this year, I vowed to work hard to create jobs in West Virginia and roll back burdensome Washington regulations. Passing this bill out of committee is the first step to fulfill that pledge.

The bill now advances to the full House of Representatives for consideration and a vote. I hope we will quickly pass the bill and send it to the U.S. Senate for their consideration.

I know that President Donald Trump is committed to supporting these reforms, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to bring much-needed relief to West Virginia consumers and small-business owners.

You can count on me to continue to advance a free-market, job-creating agenda in Congress.

The Financial CHOICE Act rolls back Obama's harmful policies and replaces them with a better plan that will unleash investment in our economy, grow jobs and put West Virginians back to work.

U.S. Representative Alex Mooney is a Republican representing West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District.

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White House spending plan boosts military, hurts poor http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0113/170529821 GZ0113 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0113/170529821 Tue, 23 May 2017 20:21:24 -0400 By Andrew Taylor and Martin Crutsinger The Associated Press By By Andrew Taylor and Martin Crutsinger The Associated Press WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Tuesday sent Congress a $4.1 trillion federal spending plan that promises faster economic growth and steep cuts to programs for the poor in a bid to balance the government's books over the next decade.

The proposed 2018 budget immediately came under attack by Democrats, and even some GOP allies deemed it a non-starter. The proposal is laced with $3.6 trillion in cuts to domestic agencies, food stamps, Medicaid, highway funding, crop insurance and medical research, among others.

At the same time, the blueprint boosts spending on the military by tens of billions and calls for $1.6 billion for a border wall with Mexico that Trump repeatedly promised voters the U.S. neighbor would finance. Mexico emphatically rejects that notion.

Budget experts, Democrats and Republicans challenged the economic assumptions of the White House and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

During the campaign, Trump attacked the weak economic growth of the Barack Obama years, and pledged that his economic program would boost growth from the lackluster 2 percent rates seen since the recovery began in mid-2009. Trump's new budget is based on sustained growth above 3 percent, sharply higher than the expectations of most private economists. Without more than $2 trillion in such "economic feedback" over the coming decade, the budget would never reach balance and would run a deficit of almost $500 billion.

"Three percent, I'm not seeing how you get there mathematically," said Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C. "I think realism in the way we forecast numbers is part and parcel to a constructive budget process."

The proposal projects that this year's federal deficit will rise to $603 billion, up from the actual deficit of $585 billion last year. But the document says if Trump's initiatives are adopted the deficit will start declining and actually reach a small surplus of $16 billion in 2027. However, that goal depends not only on the growth projections that most economists view as overly optimistic but also a variety of accounting gimmicks, including an almost $600 billion peace dividend from winding down overseas military operations.

The government hasn't run a surplus since 2001, and deficits spiked during former President Barack Obama's first term in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

"Through streamlined government, we will drive an economic boom that raises incomes and expands job opportunities for all Americans," Trump said in his budget message. His budget is titled, "The New Foundation for American Greatness."

Democrats had an opposite interpretation.

"In the America of President Trump's budget, children, working families, seniors and people with disabilities will be 'fined,' while the wealthiest Americans will get a 'bonus.' What's so 'great' about that America?" asked Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Food stamp cuts would drive millions from the program, while a wave of Medicaid cuts could deny nursing home care to millions of elderly poor people.

"Isn't it reasonable to at least ask the question, 'Are there people on that program who shouldn't be on there?"' Mulvaney asked.

The budget does feature a handful of domestic initiatives, including a six-week paid parental leave program championed by Trump's daughter, Ivanka. Some $200 billion in federal infrastructure investments are promised to leverage another $800 billion in private investment.

Trump would keep campaign pledges to leave core Medicare and Social Security benefits for the elderly alone, but that would translate into even deeper cuts in programs for the poor such as Medicaid and food stamps.

Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor and many disabled Americans, would be cut by more than $600 billion over 10 years by capping payments to states and giving governors more flexibility to manage their rosters of Medicaid recipients. Those cuts go on top of the repeal of Obamacare's expansion of the program to 14 million people and amount to, by decade's end, an almost 25 percent cut from present projections.

Likewise, a 10-year, $191 billion reduction in food stamps - almost 30 percent - far exceeds prior proposals by Capitol Hill Republicans. The food stamp program serves about 42 million people.

"These cuts that are being proposed are draconian," said veteran GOP Rep. Harold Rogers, who represents a poor district in eastern Kentucky. "They're not mere shavings, they're deep, deep cuts."

Other cuts in Trump's budget include reductions in pension benefits for federal workers, in part by requiring employees to make higher contributions. In agriculture, the proposed budget would limit subsidies to farmers, including for purchasing crop insurance, a move already attacked by farm state lawmakers.

On taxes, Trump promises an overhaul that would cut tax rates but rely on economic growth and erasing tax breaks to avoid adding to the deficit. There would be three tax brackets - 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent - instead of the current seven, and there's a promise to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.

But the budget has virtually no detail to prove it would deliver on Trump's promise for "massive" tax cuts.

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Kanawha school board picks architects for new schools, OKs 2017-18 budget http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0114/170529825 GZ0114 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0114/170529825 Tue, 23 May 2017 19:44:23 -0400 Ryan Quinn By Ryan Quinn Kanawha County school board members voted Tuesday to choose architects and engineers for a new Herbert Hoover High and a new "Clendenin Elementary."

The architect and engineering services were generically approved for a "Clendenin Elementary," but Charles Wilson, the Kanawha public school system's executive director of facilities planning, said that's just a working name referring to a proposed consolidated Bridge/Clendenin elementary.

Tuesday's vote on the firms came despite the board not yet holding legally required public hearings for the consolidation. Following the hearings, both the Kanawha school board and West Virginia Board of Education must vote on the consolidation.

The board also approved Tuesday a general fund budget for next fiscal year with about $228.6 million in expenses. The expenses could change based on possible changes to state funding - the state Legislature hasn't yet passed a state budget for next fiscal year.

Fiscal years for county public school systems and for the state run from July 1 to June 30, so they each contain a single school year.

The 2017-18 budget has $5.1 million less revenue than this fiscal year's budget. Lisa Wilcox, the Kanawha public school system's treasurer, said that's mostly due to automatic state funding decreases for next school year triggered by the loss of 731 students this school year.

Tuesday's votes were 3-0 after no discussion from the board members in attendance.

Pete Thaw and Ryan White were the only two board members not in attendance for the votes. Thaw started talking on the teleconference call just as the board was about to adjourn, and White started talking on the teleconference call shortly afterward, but the noon meeting had only lasted about seven minutes.

Board President Jim Crawford said a majority of board members didn't discuss the proposed Bridge/Clendenin consolidation outside of publicly noticed open meetings.

"They have given no indications they wouldn't support it," Crawford said Tuesday, when asked whether he knows that a majority of the board members support the consolidation. "Three board members voted for the firms today, so that's an indication to me that they support the whole thing."

Hoover High and Clendenin Elementary closed following the June 2016 floods, while Bridge Elementary remained open, housing Clendenin Elementary's students for this whole school year.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to fund 75 percent, if not more, of flood recovery projects, like work on the new schools. The state is expected to pick up the remaining tab on the school system's behalf.

Crawford said FEMA said it would fund the services approved Tuesday, and he wanted FEMA's approval of such work before the public hearings were held. He said he also wanted the hearings to take place "when everybody will be in town."

He said he doesn't believe the services will be a waste of federal and state money because he believes the consolidation will ultimately be approved. He noted Bridge's declining enrollment and he believes people in the affected area have accepted the consolidation idea.

"The climate in this Kanawha Valley right now, jobs are not very plentiful and we're losing students," Crawford said. "The last two years we probably lost 1,200 students, and the only way this system can survive and stay viable like we are right now is for us to look at these consolidations and do them."

Tuesday's meeting agenda didn't list the amounts the various firms chosen for the school design and engineering work will be paid, and it included a note saying "Fee structure and scope to be determined by [School Building Authority]/FEMA guidelines."

Wilson said he expects the total cost of building a new Herbert Hoover High and a consolidated Bridge/Clendenin elementary to be around $100 million, including purchasing land. He said he expects the payment for the various firms combined to total about $4 million to $5 million, an amount based on a percentage of construction not including land purchasing.

Board members selected Charleston-based Williamson Shriver Architects for design services for Hoover and Charleston-based ZMM Architects & Engineers for design services for the consolidated elementary.

For both schools, the board chose West Virginia-based Terradon Corporation for environmental services. The board chose Charleston-based Potesta & Associates Inc. for geotechnical services, which Wilson said meant testing the soil to make recommendations on what kind of foundations to build for the schools.

For commissioning services at Hoover, the board chose Engineering Economics Inc., and for commissioning services at the consolidated elementary, the board chose ZDS Design/Consulting Services, which is in Putnam County. Wilson said he didn't know where Engineering Economics was based.

Wilson said commissioning services means testing systems in the schools, particularly the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

Reach Ryan Quinn at ryan.quinn@wvgazettemail.com, facebook.com/ryanedwinquinn, 304-348-1254 or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.

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Trump wants to slash financial assistance frequently used in WV http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ01/170529826 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ01/170529826 Tue, 23 May 2017 19:30:48 -0400 Erin Beck By Erin Beck West Virginia has the highest disability rate and one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

President Donald Trump's proposed budget, made public Tuesday, would slash billions in funding meant to assist people who struggle to get by, while cutting business taxes and increasing spending on defense, immigrant deportations and border security, including $1.6 billion for a border wall the president once promised Mexico would finance and anti-immigrant groups say isn't enough to pay for it.

The president introduced a draft budget proposal in March, which Congress largely ignored in a spending bill funding the government through the end of 2017.

Among other things, Trump's proposal would slash funding for people who don't make a lot of money to buy food, go to the doctor, take their children to the doctor or pay heating bills during the winter, for college students to get help paying for school, and for people with disabilities.

The budget also proposes to eliminate $119 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission, which the Gazette-Mail noted in March had sent $24.1 million in funding to the state from October 2015 to January of this year, including $13 million meant to diversify and strengthen the economy and $5.5 million on critical infrastructure. That would leave the commission with $27 million in funding.

The budget would, over 10 years, cut the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, which used to be called food stamps) by $191 billion; cut $48 billion from the Social Security disability insurance program, adding work requirements; cut Medicaid by $800 billion; cut the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by $5.8 billion; and cut $21 billion from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. It would also eliminate low-income heating assistance and federally subsidized student loans.

According to the Department of Health and Human Resources, CHIP served 30,829 West Virginia children in 2016, and 333,938 West Virginians used SNAP. About 61,000 households use low-income heating assistance.

In 2014, 19.5 percent of the non-institutionalized population in West Virginia reported a disability - the highest rate in the nation, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Nationwide, 12.6 percent of people reported a disability.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act Participatory Action Research Consortium, 8.9 percent of the population in West Virginia receives SSDI, the highest rate in the nation.

"These folks are not going to go away, so something has to happen for them and it's going to fall on the states," said Ann McDaniel, executive director of the West Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council, in reference to cuts to Medicaid and disability payments. "You know what shape our state is in financially right now."

Her organization is charged with making sure services for West Virginians with disabilities are adequate.

"People are still going to get sick and need health care," she said. "If they don't have supports, they're going to end up in a nursing home on the state's dollar. They're going to end up in an emergency room with uncompensated care, which increases the costs for everybody. It's not going to just disappear because it's cut out of the budget. The needs are still going to be there. The people are still going to be there, until the lack of care threatens their existence, and they die."

Trump's budget assumes that the American Health Care Act, repealing the Affordable Care Act, would be enacted, eliminating the Medicaid expansion that has brought coverage to 180,000 people in West Virginia as well as reducing funding for other Medicaid patients. State officials have said the repeal of Medicaid expansion could lead to a $500 million annual increase in total uncompensated care sought by providers in 2019.

According to the State Health Reform Assistance Network and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, federal Medicaid funding - $2.8 billion in 2015 - made up 79 percent of all federal funding in West Virginia's budget, the largest share of any state in the country.

Ellen Allen, executive director of Covenant House, said her agency has helped about 300 people sign up for health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

"When you combine the power of safe, affordable housing with access to health care, you're extending someone's life," she said. "I really think about someone who is HIV positive. Can you imagine trying to do that from your backpack under a tarp, living outside, trying to take an HIV medication? Their medications get wet. They get ruined."

Her agency also helps people find housing and access to medication.

Mary White, chief operations officer of the Children's Home Society, predicted the cuts would lead to children going without treatment, and more abuse and neglect. She said she often hears the argument that "people should be sustaining themselves."

"We're hard working people but you know there aren't a lot of jobs for people to immediately go out and find," she said. "I think for West Virginians, we want to do that. There are reasons why we can't. Maybe it's the elderly grandparents that are caring for four children that can't go back into the workforce. Somebody needs to help them, or else those children are going to end up in the foster care system. What a shame that is."

Joyce Yedlosky, team coordinator for the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, noted that perpetrators of domestic violence have often blocked victims from becoming financially independent.

"All of those are safety nets that helps survivors leave abusive relationships," she said.

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

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Scattered logs shut down I-79 near Elkview http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0118/170529828 GZ0118 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0118/170529828 Tue, 23 May 2017 19:18:31 -0400 Staff reports By Staff reports Both northbound lanes and one southbound lane of Interstate 79 were shut down Tuesday evening near the Elkview exit after an incident involving a log truck, a dispatcher said.

The truck's logs spilled out across the interstate, blocking cars from being able to be continue driving.

The incident happened near mile marker 9 around 6:30 p.m.

No one was taken to the hospital for injuries, according to the dispatcher. The road will re-open once the logs are cleared.

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WV Sens. Manchin, Capito concerned about Trump's budget http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0101/170529830 GZ0101 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ0101/170529830 Tue, 23 May 2017 18:37:34 -0400 Jake Zuckerman By Jake Zuckerman West Virginia's U.S. Senators voiced concern Tuesday over the White House's budget proposal, which revolves around heavy cuts to social safety net programs relied upon by thousands around the state.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., offered a range of adjectives describing the budget, such as "demoralizing," "alarming," "ridiculous" and others in a conference call with reporters. He said the budget calls for added defense spending on the backs of the country's most vulnerable people.

"To utterly gut programs Americans have not only come to depend on but, basically, are needed for any type of a life, doesn't make sense," he said. "You've got to find a balance. How they can call this the 'Foundation for American Greatness' makes it pretty difficult to accept."

The cuts announced in the "A New Foundation for American Greatness" budget plan range from slashing $190 billion over 10 years from Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program funding, which nearly 334,000 West Virginians receive aid from, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, along with cuts to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, aid for low-income families to pay utility bills in the winter, after-school programs in poor communities and other programs.

While more measured, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she has reservations with the bill, as well. She said cuts to programs such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, Community Development Block Grants, Federal Emergency Management Agency state grants, the Economic Development Authority, National Endowment for the Arts and other programs are concerning to her, especially in light of the budget's tilt toward military spending.

"Many of the things that he [President Donald Trump] has discontinued, in my view, have a high priority, as well, and add just as much to the quality of life, the safety and security of our families in West Virginia as a military budget," she said.

However, Capito pointed out that an executive branch's budget proposal is just a wish list, and it's ultimately up to Congress to write the budget. She added that there are upsides to the budget, as well, such as prioritizing bringing broadband access to under-served areas, changing mandates for paid parental leave from work and bringing back funding for combating illicit drug use.

When asked about cuts to safety social net programs, such as Women, Infants and Children [WIC], which provides federal grants to states to help needy pregnant and nursing women and their families, Capito said Congress is likely to institute some changes.

"I think you're going to see ... in some of these areas, it will be quite different," she said. "The WIC program will be one of those. Also, the after-school program is another one. I've visited a lot of those sites and, for some families, that's the only option for children as they're done with school, waiting for their parents to come home."

Two of West Virginia's Republican representatives, Alex Mooney and David McKinley, did not respond to numerous interview requests for this report. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., through his staff, declined an interview request.

Jenkins' communications director, Rebecca Neal, did issue a statement critical of the budget proposal.

"While I appreciate the president's aim to cut wasteful spending, this budget goes too far in critical areas for West Virginia," the statement for Jenkins reads. "The proposed cuts to our safety net programs, including Medicaid and SNAP, would hurt too many of our state's most vulnerable citizens, and I cannot support this budget proposal."

Jenkins' statement goes on to condemn the $119 million cut to the Appalachian Regional Commission.

In his briefing on the proposal, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney called it a "taxpayer-first budget," written through the eyes of a taxpayer, not a program recipient. He went on to share a general philosophy behind it.

"We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs," he said. "We're going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we get off of those programs and get back in charge of their own lives. We're not going to measure our success by how much money we spend, but by how many we actually help."

In an internal memo on the budget obtained by Politico, as a talking point on welfare reform, officials wrote that the budget "strives to replace dependency with the dignity of work through welfare reform efforts," such as the $21 billion cut to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program over 10 years.

Also, in a reversal from its preliminary budget, released in March, Tuesday's proposal includes funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Earlier this month, Manchin sent a letter to Trump urging him not to cut the office. Other state elected officials issued statements to the same effect.

The budget also proposes other cuts, including a $72 billion cut to the Social Security disability insurance funding, a $5.8 billion cut over 10 years to the Children's Health Insurance Program and more cuts to Meals on Wheels, which provides meals to the elderly.

Other programs, for helping students pay off their loans, scientific research, economic development and environmental services, also are on the chopping block.

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

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Mark A. Sadd: What's in a name of a city street? (Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/DM0404/170529831 DM0404 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/DM0404/170529831 Tue, 23 May 2017 18:23:47 -0400

Confederate General P.G. T. Beauregard has fallen

More than 150 years after a brutal conflict lost for the cause of secession that he championed, the city of New Orleans last Wednesday removed a statue of Beauregard astride his horse from its long place of prominence.

New Orleans also removed revered monuments to Confederacy President Jefferson Davis and its top general, Robert E. Lee.

"If we don't want to be forever held back by our crushing history of institutional racism," Mayor Mitch Landrieu wrote to explain his decision, "it's time to relegate these monuments to their proper place."

My house is on Beauregard Street. It is a short and unnoticed road in the Ruffner Addition in Charleston's East End where I have lived for 25 years.

I announce my address to clerks and utility companies: "Bow-ruh-guard." I often am asked to repeat slowly the name of a Louisiana military tactician who had absolutely nothing to do with my city.

Yet, his memory is attached to a street within a grid of the city's thoroughfares whose names were chosen from antebellum landowners, postbellum politicians and Civil War soldiers, most of whom advocated or fought and sometimes died to retain the vilest of institutions, slavery.

To illustrate this fine point of history, on a map beyond Lee and Jackson Streets is the northern border of the East End, notably marked by Dixie Street.

This arcana isn't odd when understood that Kanawha County was a stronghold of slavery and secession amid a stronghold of abolition and unionism in Virginia's troublesome western counties.

Charleston was largely sympathetic to the Southern cause while the rest of the state was not. Charleston was a contradiction within a state of contradiction.

Abraham Lincoln fought, arguably to his death, to preserve the union and in the war's aftermath to embed the rights of due process and equal protections into the Constitutional foundations of the republic. He was the Great Emancipator and a true father of freedom. In the course of it all, Lincoln created the state of West Virginia in a masterful geopolitical move.

Where in Charleston are the memorial tributes to Lincoln? Not a single road or place in Charleston is named for him. The site of the former Lincoln Junior High School on the West Side is now a supermarket. His ethereal likeness, the sculpture "Lincoln Walks at Midnight", was commissioned not by the city but by the state, installed on state property in the plaza before the Capitol's front portico.

It was erected in 1974.

More than 20 years later, there was, at first, grumbling when, as chairman of the Charleston Human Rights Commission, I first proposed renaming Broad Street after Leon Sullivan.

Sullivan was a Baptist minister who became a global champion for civil rights and oppressed people. If ever there was a native Charlestonian who merited the honor of a vianym, it was Sullivan.

In an era of civil-rights battles, he pioneered using economic forces, apart from political engagement, to empower African-Americans. He authored the Sullivan Principles as an almost first-of-its-kind code of moral conduct for businesses, designed solely to break the brutal system of apartheid in South Africa.

It could be easily argued that Sullivan has been the most consequential business leader ever to come out of Charleston.

To be clear, that grumbling, to my knowledge, had nothing to do with honoring Sullivan. The complaints were about the necessity of abandoning the street's historical name, Broad Street, which couldn't have had a more uninspiring provenance. Still, there were the traditionalists and the cranks.

A fellow commissioner was Mary C. Snow, one of the kindest and most inspirational people I have ever met. She had been a renowned teacher and principal. In her quiet, humble, forceful way, Snow became a proponent of my renaming proposal. After Snow died, the Kanawha County Board of Education, facing a truly popular groundswell, agreed to dedicate a new elementary school to her memory.

Mary C. Snow boldly graces the building, somewhat contrary to her own humility. Given her role in the Sullivan matter, it is a small but beautiful irony that she has been honored so.

After the war, General Beauregard was pardoned and later restored to his right to vote, reversing a condition that surely must have been jarring to him. Perhaps his experience of deprivation is what moved him in empathy to become a vocal defender of the rights and the franchise of newly freed African-Americans.

A little street once honored his military glory. Perhaps we can imagine that it now marks the human capacity to have a change of heart.

Daily Mail columnist Mark Sadd is a Charleston attorney and former Daily Mail business editor.

He can be reached at msadd@lgcr.com.

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Zimbabwean educator travels US to build support for global initiative http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ01/170529832 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ01/170529832 Tue, 23 May 2017 18:20:45 -0400 Jake Jarvis By Jake Jarvis Patrick Makokoro grew up in Zimbabwe, the eighth child in a family of 16 children.

Food was sometimes scarce. He said he remembers reaching over his brothers and sisters to get another handful of food. Makokoro's father, who died four years ago Tuesday, had always wanted him to get an education to ensure he had a better life.

"My dad managed to put us through basic education, but I never had access to pre-school education," Makokoro said.

He eventually would go on to get an undergraduate degree. On Thursday, 10 years after founding his own organization to promote early childhood education in his country, Makokoro plans to submit his thesis and earn a master's degree.

"I feel a sense of liberation, because I've taken my journey through education," Makokoro said.

Makokoro visited the Charleston Gazette-Mail Tuesday, rounding out his trip to cities across the United States. He visited cities in states like Texas, Kansas and Missouri to share his story of how education has transformed his life.

Makokoro also hoped on his visit to convince people of the importance of the federal government's continued funding of education initiatives around the world, including the Global Partnership for Education.

His pitch is simple - by investing in education in developing countries, the United States will combat poverty, improve healthcare and increase the number of countries businesses can trade with.

The GPE, which was established in 2002, takes donations from rich countries like the U.S., United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and puts the money toward improving education in developing countries like Zimbabwe, Haiti and Kenya.

"The U.S. has steadily increased its contributions to GPE since 2012, including in the 2017 budget," said Allison Grossman, a senior advisor with RESULTS, a non-profit that advocates for global education, among other things. "That's a trend we've been really excited about. It's something we're worried about as we look to the future."

Makokoro worries that, under President Donald Trump's "America First Foreign Policy," the United States won't contribute as much money to global education initiatives.

The United Kingdom has donated more than $1 billion to the GPE since its founding, while the United States, the government with the ninth highest donations to the group, donated just under $200 million during that time.

Later this year, donor countries will gather together to decide how much they will donate to GPE for 2018-20.

The GPE hopes to receive $3.1 billion through that time. That would mean 19.9 million more children around the world would complete primary school, 6.6 million more children would complete lower secondary school, and as many as 23,800 new schools could be built.

Makokoro said once many of Zimbabwe's young people come of age, they get passports and leave the country to find better economic opportunities.

"I've got to go back home. I've got to show people that we have to develop our own country, to help our own kids in our own communities," Makokoro said.

The name of Makokoro's organization, the Nhaka Foundation, stems from a shortened word for inheritance. It's to remind him that, despite worldly possessions, the lasting impact of education can't be taken away.

"You can take my house, you can take my car," Makokoro said. "But you can never take the things that I have learned."

Reach Jake Jarvis at jake.jarvis@wvgazettemail.com, Facebook.com/newsroomjake, 304-348-7939 or follow @NewsroomJake on Twitter.

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PHOTO: Barrels of fun http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ01/170529833 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170523/GZ01/170529833 Tue, 23 May 2017 18:18:18 -0400 The city of Charleston and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection held a workshop to show people how to make a rain barrel at the Capitol Market on Tuesday, one of several such workshops scheduled in the coming days. Other workshops are scheduled at the DEP offices in Kanawha City on Wednesday and June 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and at the Capitol Market on May 31 from noon to 1 p.m. and on June 4 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $10. To register, email your name and the workshop date to Tomi.M.Bergstrom@wv.gov.

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