www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2016, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: July 30, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT01/307309982 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT01/307309982 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Barker, C. "Pete" 2 p.m., Casdorph & Curry Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Brewer, Shirley E. 1 p.m., Calvary Assembly of God, Beckley.

Brown, Dorothy M. 6 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Chapman, Bernice M. 1 p.m., Jordan Chapel United Methodist Church, Canvas.

Coots, Fred W. 1 p.m., Sycamore Free Pentecostal Church of God, Colcord.

Fisher, Norman 1 p.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Flint, Kathy 2 p.m., Lookout Baptist Church, Lookout.

Gibson, Anna J. 11 a.m., Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Cedar Grove.

Good, Barbara E. Noon, Pine Grove Baptist Church, Sumerco.

Keeney, Charles 5 p.m., Teays Valley Church of the Nazarene, Hurricane.

Keller, Charles R. 2 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Lewis, Daniel A. Noon, Heart of God Ministries, Beckley.

Malcomb, Monnie B. 2 p.m., Morris Funeral Home, Cowen.

McCormick, Mae C. 11 a.m., Bartlett

McHenry, Junior L. 2 p.m., Tyler Mountain Funeral Home, Cross Lanes.

Nelson, Gregory S. 2 p.m., Waters Funeral Chapel, Summersville.

O'Brien, Rodney D. 2 p.m., Taylor

Oldaker, Steven L. 11 a.m., Foglesong Funeral Home, Mason.

Parker, Connie L. 11 a.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Richards, Steven R. 2 p.m., Evans Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Chapmanville.

Thomas, Jimmy R. Jr. 11 a.m., White Funeral Home, Summersville.

Whitlock, Albert M. 11 a.m., O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Wood, Macel L. Noon, Mount Moriah Baptist Church, Hurricane.

Diane Black http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309988 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309988 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Diane Sue Black, 68, of Charleston, died Friday, July 29, 2016. Per her wishes, she will be cremated and there will be no service. Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden is assisting the Black family.

Delores Brown http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309985 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309985 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Delores J. Brown, 82, formerly of Apple Grove, of Point Pleasant, died Friday, July 29, 2016. Service will be 11 a.m. Monday, August 1, at Beale Chapel Church, Apple Grove. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Nancy Craft http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309991 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309991 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Nancy Jane "Miss Nancy" Craft, 71, of Logan, died Thursday, July 28, 2016. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 2, at the Logan Church of the Nazarene. Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, August 1, at the Logan Church of the Nazarene. Honaker Funeral Home is entrusted with services for Miss Nancy and the care of her family.

Anita Davis http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309983 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309983 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Anita Davis, 24, died July 23, 2016. Service will be noon Monday, August 1, at Levi Missionary Baptist Church, Charleston. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the church. Preston Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Polly Dodson http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309989 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309989 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Mary (Polly) Guerrant Dodson, died July 28, 2016, at CAMC, after a short illness. She was born Nov. 5, 1922, in Algoma, Franklin Co. Va., the daughter of Harriet Denison and Samuel Saunders Guerrant. She was the youngest of ten children. Polly was raised in Va. and graduated from Mary Baldwin College in 1942. She received credits for her Masters in Social Work from the University of Richmond and spent some time in Richmond working in that field.

In Charleston, she worked many years as a Personal Shopper for Stone and Thomas. She also worked for the Charleston Union Mission with the unwed mothers' home and the Hilltop personal care home. She used her social work skills further as a volunteer for many years with the union mission and with the volunteer program at CAMC. Polly's greatest joy was working with and worshiping at the Village Chapel Presbyterian Church of which she and her husband, Elmer were charter members.

Polly was preceded in death by her husband, former Mayor Elmer Helsley Dodson.

Surviving are her children, Mary Dodson Knight (John), Raymond Guerrant Dodson (Nancy), Elmer Denison Dodson (Patti), and Nelle Dodson Howard (Jeff). Her seven grandchildren are Raymond Scott Dodson (Kara), Elizabeth Suzanne Montgomery, Jesse Spencer Howard (Kerry), Mary Nelle Howard, Sophia Patricia Dodson, Sarah Denison Dodson, and Shaena Hope Dodson; and two great-grandchildren, Amelia Montgomery and Josephine Dodson.

Polly donated her body to the West Virginia Medical School's Gift Registry Program.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, July 31, at the Village Chapel Presbyterian Church, 39th St. and Venable Ave. Kanawha City. The Rev. Todd Wright will lead the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Village Chapel.

Denise Dotson http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309998 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309998 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Denise Marie Dotson, 37, of Summersville, died Thursday, July 28, 2016. It was her wish to be cremated and a memorial service will be held later. White Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Nicholas Graley http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309994 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309994 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Nicholas "Nick" Graley, 3, of Shrewsbury, passed away on July 25, 2016.

Nick is survived by his father Kelvin Graley, his mother Nicole Patten Hall, sister Katlyn Renea Graley, brothers, Jason Michael Graley and Donavan Scott Patten.

Services for Nick will be held on Monday, August 1, 2016 at 1:00 PM at Cooke Funeral Home, 600 Old Fort Street, Cedar Grove with Pastor Roger Goodwin officiating. Burial will follow in Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens, Glasgow, WV. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions to gofundme.com for Nicholas Kelvin Graley.

Cooke Funeral Home, Cedar Grove is assisting the Graley family and you may express on-line condolences at www.cookefuneralhome.com.

Freda Handley http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309992 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309992 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Freda M. Handley, 88, of Hurricane, passed away, Thursday, July 28, 2016. Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 3941 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane is honored to serve the Handley family.

Barry Hodges http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309993 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/OBIT/307309993 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Barry Lloyd Hodges, 74, of Hurricane, passed away on July 27, 2016, at his home.

He was a Graduate of Trottwood High near Dayton Ohio, attended Cedarville College and was a veteran of the U.S. Airforce. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service after with more than 30 years of service. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Hurricane and a longtime fan of the Cincinnati Reds.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Ruth Hodges; and sister, Dreama Yeoman.

He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Judy McKenna Hodges; brother-in-law, Trevor Yeoman; niece, Janelle Niedermyer; nephews, Jeremy, Jared and Josh Yeoman; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Monday, August 1, at Allen Funeral Home with Rev. Jerry Losh officiating. Burial will follow in Valley View Memorial Park. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at Allen Funeral Home. Please visit allenfuneralhomewv.com to share memories and condolences.

Work is still a struggle for WVU researchers who discovered Volkswagen emissions scandal http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0114/160739941 GZ0114 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0114/160739941 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 20:43:43 -0400 Jake Jarvis By Jake Jarvis MORGANTOWN - Every bit of space in Dan Carder's world has its own purpose. Sometimes, it has two.

At the Vehicle and Engine Testing Lab, the newest space for West Virginia University's Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, every inch of the 13,000 square foot facility will be used.

The researchers began moving into the facility just off of Green Bag Road in February. Here is where they'll have engine dynamometers to test heavy-duty trucks and personal cars alike.

And just inside the lab are three faux-leather tables that sit low to the ground and hug a large wooden table. In Carder's world, this space could be used for something else. Another desk area, perhaps, for another enterprising faculty member to stack his or her papers and empty soda cans on.

This makeshift conference room is crucial. It's here where Carder and his staff sit for interviews with the New York Times. It's here, after squeezing into the tiny space, that they retell their story to dozens of reporters. How their lab cracked open the secret that Volkswagen had installed devices to fool emissions tests. How their work would lead to a huge settlement (potentially worth $15 billion) to buy back some Volkswagen cars.

"There were many times at two, three in the morning that we were answering calls or scheduling for the next day. They were coming from all over the world," Carder said. "But, I think that we've made a difference long before this story. A lot of it's really nerdy and no one would have ever heard of it."

With everything that has happened, with all of the headlines and all of the attention, it would be easy to assume that business is booming at CAFEE.

Those assumptions are wrong.

Carder, the director of CAFEE, still worries about meeting his payroll obligations. He and other researchers still come in to work on the weekends and regularly work 16-hour days. They still keep doing the kind of work that affects transportation in America that goes unnoticed too often.

And they are still struggling for cash.

"Back in the old days, we were able to take what [funds] we had that was maybe not as contractually obligated, and divert some of those funds to grow this program," Carder said.

About eight or nine years ago, the lab started losing some of the earmarks it had been receiving from Congress. Carder doesn't know the exact number, but he thinks the lab took in about $25 million from Congress, a significant portion of its budget during that time.

Their phones starting ringing off the hook when the world realized this tiny lab exposed Volkswagen, a colossus in the auto industry. So they dealt with all that attention for a while, and they didn't really grow the number of students involved in their program.

For a while, it seemed the lab's work was put on hold.

They have always had an off-campus lab. At first, it started in an old garage. Then, they moved to the Westover Industrial Park for a few years. The electrical grid there wasn't strong enough to handle the kind of work CAFEE did.

While waiting to move into their new lab, and dealing with all of the attention they received, they didn't have as much time to secure grants or contracts to work for the private sector.

Greg Thompson, associate professor of mechanical engineering, said they didn't have time to return all the emails they got from international students asking to work for the lab as graduate students at the university.

And honestly, Carder said, there were times when they weren't sure there would be a job around for those students if they came over.

There are two branches of CAFEE, really. The one branch devoted solely to research, and another branch, housed in the new lab still under construction, that works to fund the research.

WVU has a media training course for its professors and staff members to help them figure out how to handle questions from reporters in the event that the work they do grabs the attention of a newspaper or TV station. After all, fuel emission researchers don't often talk to reporters. (In case you're wondering, the guys from the CAFEE lab never took this course).

"This case study, what happened at CAFEE, is now what all researchers at WVU are terrified of happening to them," said April Kaul, WVU spokeswoman. "We use this as the, 'See, this could happen to you.'"

That's WVU's hope, anyway.

In the meantime, Carder and his crew will keep working. If you ask them about all the attention they've received, they'll say sure, it has been nice to be recognized by the world. But it's nice, too, to work with your friends in a field that you love.

And maybe, if they play their cards right, the Volkswagen settlement will provide the lab with enough money to endow the program.

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

Workshop teaches "first aid" for mental health http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0115/160739942 GZ0115 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0115/160739942 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 20:43:15 -0400 Erin Beck By Erin Beck Sometimes hurting people are surrounded by friends and family who love them, but no one knows how to stop the bleeding.

Some don't try. Some clumsily attempt to assist and fail. Some make unhelpful, accusatory comments about the cause of the injury.

If the blood is gushing from an injured person, you remove any visible dirt, bandage the wound and raise the body part while you wait on professional help to arrive.

There are also ways to stop the bleeding when a loved one is hurting due to mental illness.

Last week, Andrea St. Clair, assistant program director at HELP4WV, and Hope Siler, southern regional director for Prevent Suicide West Virginia, held a free "mental health first aid" training at First Choice Health Systems in Charleston. HELP4WV refers to the 844-HELP4WV substance abuse and mental health hotline, a project of First Choice Health Systems and the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

"Mental health first aid is the help offered to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis," Siler explained, referring to the definition in a manual they had passed out. "The first aid is given until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis resolves."

"You're there to help until help arrives," she added.

Group members ranged from social services workers to Jason Favor, a threat preparedness coordinator from the Fayette County Health Department who wanted to learn to better assist flood victims.

Favor knows how to design disaster plans. But he realized after the flood hit that he didn't know how to talk to people about their trauma symptoms, and his six years in the Navy had not prepared him well.

"As bad as it sounds, it's almost the opposite of mental health," he said. "The military attitude is just suck it up and go on."

The group established their own ground rules, such as "be respectful" and "take care of self." They were told to leave the room if they needed to take a moment, but to give the thumbs up first to show they were OK.

The direction was necessary because the group, many of whom knew people with stories or had experiences with mental illness themselves, was about to begin eight hours spent on sensitive topics.

And some of the activities, meant to build empathy, could be disconcerting.

It's one thing to learn that the symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations and delusions. It's another to try to carry on a conversation while someone whispers "Don't trust him," or, "Why would she want to talk with you?" in your ear, in an effort to provide a glimpse into the lives of people with schizophrenia.

Other activities were educational. The group learned how to follow the "ALGEE" method of responding to a suffering friend or other loved one.

ALGEE stands for:

n Assess for risk of suicide or harm

n Listen non-judgmentally

n Give reassurance and information

n Encourage appropriate professional help

n Encourage self-help and other support strategies

They learned helpful questions to ask, such as, "What helped you when you've been in this situation before?" and "Do you plan to kill yourself? (if so, then get medical help right away). They also learned about those unhelpful comments, like, "Snap out of it," and those that can seem accusatory, such as, "You're never happy," or, "You've always been this way."

It was also educational because the course provided a basic overview of some of the most common and the most serious mental illnesses, although many of those attending were already well-versed.

The course is supposed to be aimed at a general population. But it's difficult to find someone who hasn't been affected, especially in West Virginia.

Even those who didn't work in social services had personal stories. They all knew someone, or had experienced mental illness themselves.

Jack Runion's father died by suicide. Runion, a middle school teacher, already watches for signs of mental illness in his students, but took the course because he wanted to learn more.

"For me, it's not wanting anyone else to experience that pain," Runyon said. "It's worth it if it helps someone else."

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2014 Survey on Drug Use and Health, about one in five adults had a mental illness in the previous years.

West Virginia has a higher rate of adults who have mental illness with more severe symptoms. In 2012-2013, the last time period from which state-level statistics are available, about 5.2 percent of West Virginia adults had a severe mental illness, compared to a national rate of 4.1 percent, also according to SAMHSA.

Mental health care providers in flood-ravaged areas have also predicted that the problem could get worse after a catastrophic flood hit West Virginia.

It's been more than a month since the flood. During the part of the training that focused on trauma, Siler said that means if survivors are still feeling upset and fearful, it could be time to seek professional help.

She said because of the flood, it's an ideal time for more people to participate in upcoming trainings.

"That could be considered a massive traumatic event because it impacted so many people and it was so severe," Siler said.

The Mental Health First Aid program is a project of the National Council for Behavioral Health and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

President Barack Obama has touted the program as a tool for fighting against gun violence. SAMHSA has given grants to educators who wanted to participate in the training in an effort to prevent school shootings. Some states and Congress have also appropriated money toward implementing the program.

To find a training in your area, visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org and click on Find A Course.

Continuing education credits are available.

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

Committees aim to coordinate long-term flood recovery efforts http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ01/160739943 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ01/160739943 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 20:42:54 -0400 Daniel Desrochers By Daniel Desrochers As state and federal relief programs begin winding down, people from counties that were hit hardest by the June floods are beginning to prepare for the long-term recovery process.

In Greenbrier County, the county arguably hit hardest by the floods, the community has already set up the Greater Greenbrier Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC), an organization designed to coordinate volunteer efforts from non-profits, private businesses and faith-based groups.

On Friday, Kanawha County created its own LTRC, followed by Clay County on Saturday.

"After [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] exhausts all their resources and the state exhausts theirs, there is still going to be a need," said Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, who has been helping counties set up the LTRCs.

The purpose of the committee is to connect flood victims with people in the community who can help them.

"It allows us to bring groups together that are all doing great things and it allows us to spread resources rather than duplicate them," said Gen. James Hoyer, the adjutant general of the National Guard.

If someone was able to get some funding from FEMA, but still needed help rebuilding, that person can reach out to West Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. WV VOAD would then reach out to the local recovery committee.

The committee could connect the person with a volunteer organization like Habitat for Humanity.

If Habitat for Humanity needed supplies, the committee could help get them from local businesses.

If the victim needed clothes or appliances, the committee could connect him with faith-based groups that made donations.

"We can do this, we've got everything we need," Unger said. "And when we don't have it, we know who to ask."

Unger and Hoyer are trying to expand those long-term efforts in the other counties affected by the floods as well.

In the upcoming weeks, Fayette, Nicholas, Summers and Webster counties will join Kanawha, Clay and Greenbrier in setting up committees.

"People are hungry for it," Unger said. "And it has given them hope, given them a second wind."

Hoyer said LTRCs can last long after the flood recovery is finished and can help towns reinvent themselves.

"It's not just recovery from a flood," Hoyer said, "It's, 'How do we empower ourselves to be something?' "

Unger is hoping that the committees might allow people to learn from skilled laborers that come in, as a way of retraining people who are out of work.

"We're looking at unemployed miners," Unger said. "Reconnecting them in this effort so that we create jobs."

While Unger helps set up committees that will tackle long-term issues, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services will perform health assessments of homes in Greenbrier and Kanawha County hit by the floods.

The assessment will take place in the form of a survey asking about mental and physical health. It will also serve as a way for the DHHR to evaluate their response efforts.

Reach Daniel Desrochers at dan.desrochers@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4886 or follow @drdesrochers on Twitter.

J.D Vance: How the white working class lost its patriotism http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0409/160739947 GZ0409 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0409/160739947 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 19:52:49 -0400 By J.D. Vance By By J.D. Vance

In my culture, love of country used to be a civic religion. Our ancestral homeland in Appalachia - the birthplace of the grandparents who raised me - was Breathitt County, Kentucky, nicknamed "bloody" Breathitt. I knew little about the southwestern Ohio county in which I was actually born, but I did know that Breathitt allegedly earned its name because the county filled its World War I draft quota entirely with volunteers - the only county in the entire United States to do so.

I once interviewed my grandma - we called her Mamaw - for a class project. After 70 years filled with marriage, children, grandchildren, death, poverty and addiction, the thing about which Mamaw was unquestionably the proudest and most excited was that she and her family did their part during World War II. We spoke for minutes about everything else; we spoke for hours about war rations, Rosie the Riveter, her dad's wartime love letters to her mother from the Pacific, and the day "we" dropped the bomb. Mamaw always had two gods: Jesus Christ and the United States of America. I was no different, and neither was anyone else I knew.

Mamaw taught me that we live in the best and greatest country on earth. This fact gave meaning to my childhood. Whenever times were tough - when I felt overwhelmed by the chaos and instability of my youth - I knew that better days were ahead because I lived in a country that allowed me to make the good choices that others in my neighborhood hadn't. This wasn't just an abstraction in our family: Like millions of their generation, my grandparents found good work and economic mobility in the factories of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Mamaw came by her patriotism honestly; with a little hard work, she reasoned, anyone could expect to live a comfortable, happy life.

The culture that incubated this patriotic faith goes by many names. We called ourselves hillbillies, but it was an insider's term: If Mamaw heard anyone without Appalachian roots utter the word, she would instinctively reach for one of her 19 handguns. Commentators call it the white working class.

I noticed, shortly before I began studying at Yale Law School in 2010, that my culture had begun to change. We feel trapped in two seemingly unwinnable wars, in which a disproportionate share of the fighters came from neighborhoods like ours, and in an economy that failed to deliver the most basic promise of the American Dream - a steady wage. The factories that took to the hollows of Kentucky and West Virginia to recruit my grandparents' generation refused to hire mine, or closed down altogether. Our thoroughfares became ghost towns, with pawnshops or cash-for-gold traders in place of family businesses. Polls suggested that, unique among all subpopulations in the country, the white working class expected its children to live less prosperous lives.

This economic cynicism brought with it a feeling that the country we believed in could no longer be trusted. We had no cultural heroes. Barack Obama was then the most admired man in America, but even at a time when the country was enraptured by the president, most of my neighbors viewed him suspiciously. George W. Bush had few fans in 2010, thanks to a sluggish economy that many blamed on him. Many loved Bill Clinton, but many more saw him as the symbol of American moral decay, and Ronald Reagan was long dead.

We loved the military but had no George S. Patton figure in the modern army. I doubt my neighbors could have even named a high-ranking military officer. The space program, long a source of pride, had gone the way of the dodo, and with it the celebrity astronauts. If Mamaw's second God was the United States of America, then many people in my community were losing something akin to a religion.

In its place were grim statistics: evidence that our children - more than the children of other racial groups - were using and abusing heroin at record rates; that we were losing years off our life expectancy, even as others gained; that our suicide rate had increased inexplicably. An entirely new belief system - mistrustful of American and resentful of its political elites - gained currency.

Significant percentages of white conservative voters - about one-third - believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. In one poll, 32 percent of conservatives said that they believed Obama was foreign-born and another 19 percent said they were unsure - which means that a majority of white conservatives aren't certain that Obama is even an American.

I regularly hear from acquaintances or distant family members that Obama has ties to Islamist extremists, or is a traitor, or was born in some far-flung corner of the world. In my new life, as an uncomfortable member of what folks back home pejoratively call the elite, my friends blame racism for this perception of the president. There is, undoubtedly, some truth to that theory. But most of the people I know dislike Obama for reasons that have nothing to do with skin color. They think of him as an alien because, compared to them, he is.

At my high school, ranked for a time in the bottom 10 percent of public schools in the state, none of my classmates attended an Ivy League college. Barack Obama attended two of them and excelled at both. He is brilliant, wealthy and speaks like the law professor that he is. Nothing about him bears any resemblance to the people I admired growing up: His accent - clean, perfect, neutral - sounds almost foreign; his credentials are so impressive that they're frightening; he made his life in Chicago, a dense metropolis; and he conducts himself with a confidence that comes from knowing that the modern American meritocracy was built for him.

And as president, his term started just as so many in the white working class began believing that the modern American meritocracy was not built for them. We know we're not doing well. We see it every day: In the obituaries for teenagers that conspicuously omit the cause of death (reading between the lines: overdose), in the deadbeats we watch our daughters waste their time with, and in the fast food jobs that offer little money and even less pride.

Obama strikes at the heart of our deepest insecurities: He is a good father while many of us struggle to pay our child support. He wears suits to his job while we wear overalls, if we're lucky enough to have a job at all. His wife tells us that we shouldn't be feeding our children certain foods, and we hate her for it - not because we think she's wrong but because we know she's right.

It is a far cry from the patriotism of my youth. Our faith in our country fell so far, so fast, that many support a man whose very slogan - "Make America Great Again" - implicitly argues that a central tenet of my childhood was false. Our mistrust of those in power has swelled to the point that many will support Donald Trump, who offers a slogan about greatness with little substance to support it.

It's not entirely clear how Trump plans to bring factory jobs back to southern Ohio, or rid eastern Kentucky of the prescription drug epidemic, or cure western Pennsylvania's teenagers of their heroin addiction. Yet for people who no longer believe in the American Dream of their parents and grandparents, slogans may be enough. "Making America Great Again" may sound trite to some, but to a people reeling from the loss of a civic faith, it's music to their ears.

J. D. Vance is the author of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis." He wrote this for The Washington Post.

Peter Cole: Should Hillary move left? It was right for FDR http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0409/160739948 GZ0409 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0409/160739948 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 19:52:09 -0400 By Peter Cole By By Peter Cole

It behooves us to look back at the Democratic Party's last visit to Philadelphia, in 1936. Then, too, the United States found itself in a time of incredible economic stress and inequality - in fact, the Great Depression was far worse than recent troubles.

The mid-1930s also saw the first rising of global fascism in Japan, Italy, and Germany, the latter two supporting Spanish General Franco's military overthrow of the democratically elected Socialists and plunging Spain into civil war in 1936. In that time of domestic and global unrest, the Democrats' standard-bearer, none other than Franklin D. Roosevelt, embraced an increasingly radical and leftist message.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton continues following the playbook of her husband Bill Clinton, staying close to the center. Her relative conservatism partially explains the success of Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, in the Democratic primaries. How, in fact, does a 74-year old Jewish man with a thick Brooklyn accent from the tiny state of Vermont win primaries in 21 states? Clearly, his message resonated - and still does - with a huge percentage of Democrats and other Americans.

Hillary Clinton would do well to read and consider the powerful convention speech Roosevelt delivered in Philadelphia. After all, FDR won in a landslide as his New Deal ushered in two generations of progressive politics with Democratic majorities for most of that era.

First some statistics. Americans know about the Great Depression but most are aware of only the slightest of details. The worst economic crisis in U.S. and global capitalist history, official unemployment reached as high 33 percent in the USA and underemployment was closer to 50 percent. "Real" wages dropped nearly 20 percent. Millions of house owners and renters were expelled from of their homes. Homelessness skyrocketed. The Gross National Product plunged 30 percent in four years. Construction sunk by 75 percent, manufacturing by 50 percent, investment by 98 percent. Thousands of banks collapsed, taking nearly ten million savings accounts with them.

In this sinking ship, FDR quickly changed course with his New Deal after his election in 1932. First he shored up the financial system and restored confidence. Banking and finance, after all, are the lifeblood in a capitalist body and when the blood does not flow, the body dies. The goals of his "first" New Deal were short-term, stimulating an economic recovery and providing relief to millions in desperate need. Despite the many short- and even long-term benefits of the first round of legislation passed in 1933, the Great Depression continued. As a result, in 1935 FDR adopted more radical and sweeping policies.

FDR's "second" New Deal had much broader goals: to eradicate unemployment and poverty, grant rights and protections for workers interested in joining unions, and reduce inequalities of wealth that hindered democracy itself. Roosevelt's underlying philosophy was that, by enlarging the middle class, all of society benefits.

The ideal bears repeating: when inequality is greater, a society is less democratic. Conversely, the most democratic nations are the ones with the broadest distribution of wealth. To achieve these sweeping goals, FDR continued expanding the role and authority of the federal government.

Here are the "greatest hits" of this second New Deal, all passed in 1935:

n Social Security, which some call Roosevelt's signature achievement, guaranteed that no elderly or other dependent person would be destitute in a nation as wealthy as America.

n The Wagner (or National Labor Relations) Act "gave" workers the right to organize unions and go on strike. It also compelled employers to recognize these rights. Strengthened by these measures, unions arguably did more than anything else to ensure the rise of a large middle class by empowering workers to demand higher wages and more benefits, essentially redistributing wealth downward.

n The Works Progress Administration, a jobs program on an unimaginable scale, employed nearly nine million people and, in the process, built the nation's infrastructure that ably served the nation's people and economy for three generations. A list of WPA projects would fill a book and includes the Lincoln Tunnel, San Francisco Bay Bridge, Midway Airport in Chicago, Boise High School, Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio, Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, S.C., and Dealey Plaza in Dallas.

This historian cannot help but note the WPA also created a Federal Writers Project that employed authors, historians, playwrights, and poets, including Saul Bellow and Ralph Ellison. Among other contributions, they created historical guides for each of the 48 states and the District of Columbia. Another project, the WPA Slave Narratives, conducted "more than two thousand interviews with former slaves, most of them first-person accounts of slave life and the respondents' own reactions to bondage."

None of these new laws was perfect. Many people were exempted from Social Security and new workplace rights - especially agricultural and domestic workers who, not coincidentally were disproportionately women and people of color. Millions still were unemployed and without federal assistance.

Still, the New Deal helped the nation at the time and ever since, particularly for its poor, working, and middle classes.

FDR headed into his first re-election, fast on the heels of his most ambitious year, and continued moving leftwards.

The Democratic Party held its convention in Philadelphia June 23 to 27, 1936. Then, socialism very much was on the agenda. An increasingly progressive President Roosevelt forcefully laid out a vision undeniably more ambitious and leftist than any president before him or since.

(Coincidentally, the Republican Party held its 1936 convention in Cleveland.)

Like Bernie Sanders, FDR regularly was attacked for being a socialist, his programs constituting "creeping socialism." Alfred "Alf" Landon, his Republican opponent and the governor of Kansas, said, "National economic planning - the term used by this Administration to describe its policy - violates the basic ideals of the American system... The price of economic planning is the loss of economic freedom. And economic freedom and personal liberty go hand in hand."

The National Association of Manufacturers suggested New Deal laws protecting workers "constitutes a step in the direction of communism, bolshevism, fascism, and Nazism."

When he addressed the convention, Roosevelt acknowledged the suffering of the nation and world: "But I cannot, with candor, tell you that all is well with the world. Clouds of suspicion, tides of ill-will and intolerance gather darkly in many places." His speech is so fascinating and instructive it deserves to be quoted extensively.

FDR squarely attacked economic inequality that he clearly laid at the feet of corrupt, greedy rich people and corporations, suggesting that the extreme concentration of wealth of the Republican-dominated 1920s actually was both anti-democratic and un-American. He labeled them "economic royalists who complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America."

He contended that, while the Constitution privileged political and legal rights (e.g. free speech, due process) to economic and social ones, economic rights must be protected, too: "Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place."

Roosevelt continued: "An old English judge once said: 'Necessitous men are not free men.' Liberty requires opportunity to make a living - a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for."

In this ideal, Roosevelt harkened back to the Revolutionary era ideal of "republicanism": that no person who was economically dependent - meaning slaves but, more generally, those who worked for someone else - truly could be free. FDR was quite right that the birth of the USA began a grand experiment in striving to make the vast majority economically independent as well as politically equal and free.

FDR also understood that times had changed from the late 18th century. "The age of machinery, of railroads; of steam and electricity; the telegraph and the radio; mass production, mass distribution - all of these combined to bring forward a new civilization and with it a new problem for those who sought to remain free."

More specifically, industrial capitalism permanently altered the economy: "For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things." The economic system, without sufficient checks by the government (to protect ordinary citizens), was problematic.

Worse, the moneyed class sought to undermine the democratic republic: "It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man."

Corporations, then (and now), dictated how people lived and toiled: "The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor - these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship."

Ultimately, Roosevelt asserted, "Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise."

There was only logical conclusion to draw, declared FDR: "For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor - other people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness."

In such dire straits, what force could help the people? "Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of Government."

He also fully appreciated the reality of a conservative backlash: "These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike."



How was Roosevelt's socialistic message delivered at the Democratic convention received? In 1936 he won the presidency in the biggest electoral landslide in US history (523 to 8) with among the biggest margins in the popular vote, 61 percent to 37 percent. (Only LBJ, who very much modeled his own domestic policies - and even his nickname - after FDR, won by a greater margin in the popular vote.)

Not only did FDR win in a landslide, he expanded the Democrats' already-large hold over both houses of Congress, too. Subsequently, Roosevelt and the Democratic Congress passed several more major pieces of legislation. Most importantly, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 finally created a minimum wage for many hourly workers and established maximum hours (8-hour day, 5-day workweek) along with overtime; the act also abolished child labor. Other signal policies included the creation of the U.S. Housing Authority to ensure that no one went without decent shelter and Farm Security Administration that sought to root out rural poverty and aid small, landless farmers.

What else FDR might have done, domestically, is speculation as fascism in Europe and Asia engulfed the world in the worst war the world has ever seen. Roosevelt proceeded to lead the Allies to victory in the "good war" but passed away near its close.

In 2016, what might Hillary Clinton take away from this history lesson? Clinton could learn a great deal from Roosevelt, who ironically was accused of both being a socialist and "saving capitalism." After all, Sanders repeatedly invoked the legacy of FDR and the New Deal and nearly upended Clinton's effort to win the Democratic nomination.

As Roosevelt noted in his convention speech, "Philadelphia is a good city in which to write American history. This is fitting ground on which to reaffirm the faith of our fathers; to pledge ourselves to restore to the people a wider freedom; to give to 1936 as the founders gave to 1776 - an American way of life."

What could Clinton learn? Well, in 1936, Roosevelt moved Left which proved good for the Democratic Party but, far more importantly, good for the nation and its people.

Peter Cole (@ProfPeterCole on twitter) is a professor of history at Western Illinois University and author of "Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive Era Philadelphia." He wrote this for the History News Service.

Denise Giardina: Dems deserve share of blame for Trump's rise http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0405/160739954 GZ0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0405/160739954 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 18:30:33 -0400 By Denise Giardina By By Denise Giardina

The Republican National Convention is history, and Donald J. Trump is the nominee. The Washington Post, in a rare front-page editorial, said, "The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament."

The newspaper went on to enumerate such Trump flaws as his insults and bullying, his lack of knowledge about the government, the Constitution, and the world, his thin skin and volatility. Indeed, Trump's nomination has caused consternation not only among Democrats but among many traditional conservative Republicans as well. No living Republican former president or candidate, except Bob Dole, attended the convention.

The media has by and large been quick to point fingers of blame at the Republican Party as it has evolved over the past 60 years. Ever since Richard Nixon's so-called Southern Strategy, the Party has successfully rallied its base with subtle and not-so-subtle appeals to racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia. Fear has been a powerful weapon for the GOP, which has sent the message that blacks, foreigners, gays - whichever is the group of the moment to hate - are coming after your neighborhoods, your jobs, your children. "Those people" are attacking "you." The corporate wing of the party tolerated this as a way to maintain power. Now, say the pundits, this fear mongering has come back to haunt in the form of Donald Trump, and has in turn bitten the GOP establishment in the butt. This is all true.

But what you will not read, except in a few progressive publications, is that the Democratic Party is equally culpable in the dangerous "gift" that is Donald Trump.

In the 20th century, Democrats were the party of the middle class, the working class, and the poor. Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson gave us Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, equal rights and voting rights, and strong unions. Until the 1990s. After the Reagan-Bush years, the Democratic Party had a chance to move the country back to the days of caring for people other than the wealthy. Then Bill Clinton came along.

Instead of taking the Democratic Party back to its roots, Clinton and the organization he identified with, the Democratic Leadership Council, moved the party toward the right, where moderate Republicans once resided. The party identified with Wall Street instead of labor. Policies were enacted that gutted the industrial heart of this nation. We now call some places the "Rust Belt" because of these policies.

Fast-forward to 2016. We have a Republican candidate for President who is a dangerous demagogue. We have a Democratic candidate for President who has made millions giving speeches to Wall Street, who has chosen a Vice-Presidential candidate who is also a friend of big banks. They are both corporate Democrats.

West Virginia is suffering, and the coal industry whipped up a frenzy against the Obama administration's supposed "War on Coal." In fact, the war is nonexistent. Coal is dying a natural death it would have faced no matter who was president. But it also must be said that this was foreseen a while ago. And nothing was done. Like the factory workers in Pennsylvania towns whose factories have been gutted, like the Carrier air conditioner employees whose jobs have shipped to Mexico, and the Hershey workers whose plants have gone south of the border, Democrats have not helped West Virginia coal miners.

West Virginia's approval rating of Donald Trump is estimated at around 70 percent. Why? Much of the liberal commentary I see is condescending - oh, when they lose their government benefits, they'll think again. Oh, they're just ignorant.


That 70 percent are the folks I see every day, everywhere I go. They are the salt of the earth. They are not stupid, or ignorant. They have been screwed over and they are scared and desperate. The middle and working classes are collapsing into the poverty class. The Democratic Party that has become a creature of the Clintons has done nothing to help them.

I think of people who fall into a deep well and can't get out. They hope someone will come by and drop them a rope so they can climb out. They know they can climb out if there is only a rope. But there is no rope.

Then a voice cries from a great distance. "We'll have so much winning, you'll get bored with winning." Of course the people in the well feel hopeful again. They crane their heads toward the light. Perhaps now a rope will be dropped.

Of course it won't be, for Donald Trump is only interested in his own megalomania, not in dropping ropes to the desperate. However the election turns out in November, it will be a brutal time for the people in the well unless the Democratic Party, or some new party, can recover itself and come up with some ropes.

Denise Giardina, of Charleston, is the author of "Storming Heaven," among others.

Kansas company to put trains back on Norfolk Southern lines in WV http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ01/160739955 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ01/160739955 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 15:28:03 -0400 Phil Kabler By Phil Kabler After being mostly silent for months, the sound of steel wheels on steel rail and the wail of train horns will return to Norfolk Southern railroad tracks in the Kanawha Valley next week.

"It's going to get noisy again around here real soon," said Steve Wilson, a manager for the Kanawha River Railroad, a new short line railroad that will operate a route from outside of Mullens in Wyoming County, through the Kanawha Valley, and on to Columbus, Ohio.

In February, as part of system-wide cost-cutting efforts, Norfolk Southern suspended operations on most of the Ohio portion of the route. While the portion of track through West Virginia from Point Pleasant through the Kanawha Valley and on southeast, technically remained open, traffic on the line plummeted.

That's when Pittsburg, Kansas-based Watco Companies stepped in, leasing the 309 miles of rail line and creating the Kanawha River Railroad.

The KRR will take over the route at 12:01 a.m. today, with trains set to begin runs early in the week.

Watco spokeswoman Tracie VanBecelaere said the KRR will be Watco's 36th short line railroad and its first in West Virginia.

"At 309 miles, that would also be one of our longer short lines," she said.

Watco operates short line railroads in 17 states, from Washington state to the East Coast, she said.

VanBecelaere said Watco uses a customer-first philosophy that has helped it grow businesses on the other lines it operates.

"We're hoping to see the same growth in West Virginia as well," she said.

"We want to bring life back to the railroad industry in this area," said KRR general manager Derrick Jackson.

In addition to multiple local trains daily, Jackson said KRR will run coal trains approximately every other day, as well as a daily mixed freight manifest that make runs the length of the route, departing from outside of Columbus one day, and returning from Maben, outside of Mullens, the next day.

KRR initially will have 35 employees, Jackson said.

"We anticipate bringing the business back to the area, and bringing jobs back," he said, adding, "We feel like it's good for the local economy all the way around."

Keith Burdette, secretary of commerce and executive director of the state development office, said he's thrilled Watco is taking over operations of the Norfolk Southern line.

"We're pleased to see it happen because rail is having a more and more important role in offering a complete transportation infrastructure in West Virginia," he said.

"We're hopeful they generate enough business, and we can help them generate enough business to be successful," Burdette added.

Jackson said the KRR will operate engines with yellow and black color schemes, and it will lease Norfolk Southern engines.

"We do have plans to paint out one of our local switcher locomotives, and our goal is to get WVU colors on it real soon," he said.

Reach Phil Kabler at


304-348-1220, or follow

@PhilKabler on Twitter.

State to exempt homeless from SNAP requirements http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0115/160739956 GZ0115 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0115/160739956 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 15:14:05 -0400 Lori Kersey By Lori Kersey Homeless people in West Virginia will not have to find work or training to receive food-stamp benefits, the state Department of Health and Human Resources has decided.

The state plans to exempt homeless people by October from a requirement in nine West Virginia counties stating a person must work or train 20 hours per week, or lose food stamps after three months, said Allison Adler, a spokeswoman for DHHR.

"This issue has been discussed with the USDA [Food and Nutrition Service] and the homeless population is expected to be exempted from the changes in SNAP for Able Bodied Adults without Dependents," Adler wrote in an email to the Gazette-Mail.

The DHHR announced late last year it would reinstate a federal requirement that recipients of the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program meet a monthly work or training requirement of 20 hours per week, or lose benefits after three months.

The work or training requirement took effect in January and affects recipients in counties with the lowest unemployment: Berkeley, Cabell, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, Monongalia, Morgan and Putnam. It affects those who fall into the category of "able-bodied adults without dependents" - those who are between the ages of 18 to 49, are not disabled, don't have dependents and don't qualify for an exemption.

SNAP recipients who don't comply with the guidelines after three months are removed from the program.

Adler said Wednesday the state will exempt those who are residents of homeless shelters and those who don't stay at the same place for more than 90 days. The state does not have an estimate for how many homeless people will regain SNAP benefits because of the exemption.

The exemption follows an April request from legal advocacy group Mountain State Justice. In the letter, attorney Sam Petsonk noted that 10 other states had exempted their homeless populations.

"The homeless population - especially in a predominantly rural state like ours - faces high structural barriers to participating in the workplace or in E&T programs, and should be included among the categorical exemption from the SNAP work requirements," he wrote, in part. "By definition, homeless individuals do not have a secure place of their own in which to store their personal possessions. This means that participating in an E&T program or holding a job will necessitate that they leave their belongings unsecured for extended periods of time."

The letter was also signed by Ted Boettner, director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy; Ellen Allen, director of Covenant House; and Betty Rivard, a volunteer advocate.

"DHHR has made the right decision," Boettner said Thursday. "For most homeless people, SNAP is the only form of public assistance they receive. They also face a difficult job market, where full and part-time jobs are hard to come by, and where work training programs are scarce.

"Taking away food from homeless adults is not going help them fund full-time work or stable housing," he said. "It only increases hunger and hardship."

Allen agreed.

"I think anything that takes down a barrier for vulnerable citizens, particularly around food security, is a really good thing," Allen said.

Reach Lori Kersey at


304-348-1240 or follow

@LoriKerseyWV on Twitter.

Two missing children found safe in Jackson County http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0118/160739957 GZ0118 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0118/160739957 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 14:59:40 -0400 Staff reports By Staff reports Two Kanawha County children reported missing earlier this week were found safe in Jackson County Saturday, and their mother has been charged in connection to their disappearance, according to police.

Brothers Hunter and Ryder Smith were found safe by Jackson County Sheriff's Deputies, and their mother, Jennifer Renee Smith, 33, of Charleston, has been arrested and charged with violation of a court order, according to Kanawha County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Brian Humphreys.

Smith is being held at the South Central Regional Jail. The two children have been placed in the custody of family members.

Officials believe no survivors in Texas balloon crash http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0113/160739958 GZ0113 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160730/GZ0113/160739958 Sat, 30 Jul 2016 13:29:39 -0400 By Jim Vertuno By By Jim Vertuno The Associated Press

LOCKHART, Texas (AP) - No one appeared to survive a hot air balloon crash in Central Texas, authorities said Saturday.

At least 16 people were on board the balloon, which Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said caught fire before crashing into a pasture shortly after 7:40 a.m. Saturday near Lockhart.

The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that investigators are determining the number of victims and their identities.

The FAA is investigating, Lunsford said. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss said that his agency's investigative team should arrive later Saturday. Weiss said the safety agency knows "very, very little right now" about what happened.

The land near the crash site is mostly farmland, with corn crops and grazing cattle. Cutting through that farmland is a row of massive high-capacity transmission lines about 4 to 5 stories tall. The site of the crash appears to be right below the overhead lines, though authorities haven't provided further details about what happened

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked in a statement that "all of Texas to join us in praying for those lost."

Lockhart is about 30 miles south of Austin.

Associated Press writers Jamie Stengle in Dallas and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar in Washington contributed to this report.

This story has been corrected to show that the accident happened about 7:40 a.m., not 8:40 a.m.