www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2016, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: May 29, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT01/305299977 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT01/305299977 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Champ, Charlotte 2 p.m., Alex Williams Cemetery, Camden On Gauley.

Conley, William Sr. 1 p.m., Tomblin/Fry Family Cemetery, Whirlwind/Harts Creek.

Copen, Gloria E. 2 p.m., Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Elkview.

Fields, Kenny 1 p.m., Fields Cemetery, Nettie.

Lane, Ruby 2 p.m., Wilson

Rose, Eugenia 2 p.m., Bartlett

Stevenson, Luella 2 p.m., Meadowfork Freewill Baptist Church, Hewett.

David Baxley http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299980 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299980 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 David Baxley, 53 of Washington, D.C., died May 27, 2016. Arrangements are incomplete at this time. Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home , family-owned and located at 409 Sixth Avenue, St. Albans is honored to serve the Baxley family.

Gary Bloss http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299979 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299979 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Gary Ronald Bloss, 82, of Marietta, passed away May 28, 2016, at the Arbors at Marietta.

He was born May 21, 1934, in Charleston, a son of the late Garland B. and Naomi Bailey Bloss. He was a graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School and was retired from United Bank in the Maintenance Deptarment. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, gardening and was an avid WVU Mountaineer fan. He especially enjoyed time with his companion, his dog, Jake. Gary was a Baptist by faith.

Gary is survived by three daughters, Geri Brode of Marietta, Debbie Evans (Rick) of Parkersburg and Robin (Mike) Koster of Jacksonville, Fla.; a son, Gary Boss II of Marietta; one brother, Bill (Betty) Bloss of Waverly, Ohio; six grandchildren, Nichole Brode, Seth and Tyler Evans, and Michael (Victoria), Nicholas and Lindsay Koster; two great-grandchildren, Joshua and Lakyn Ayers; brother-in-law, Jim Pritt of Winfield; sisters-in-law, Virginia Bloss of Aiken, S.C., and Marge Pritt of St. Albans; numerous nieces and nephews; and long time family friend, Jayne Tebay.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Janet R. Pritt Bloss; and two brothers, Carl Bloss and Donald Bloss; and brother-in-law, Jerry Pritt.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Tues. May 31, at Lambert-Tatman Funeral Home, 3005 Grand Central Ave. Vienna with Pastor Bill Brown officiating. Burial will follow at Evergreen North Cemetery. Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tues. at the funeral home.

An online guestbook for condolences is available at www.lamberttatman.com.

Opal A. Bumgarner http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299997 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299997 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Opal Arzella Lively Bumgarner, 84, of St. Albans, passed away Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at Hubbard Hospice House West, South Charleston.

Born March 13, 1932 in St. Albans, Opal was a daughter of the late Joseph E. and Bertha Mae Johnson Lively. She was also preceded in death by her husband, William Leander Bumgarner, and sisters, Lola Nester, Bertha Riddle and Flora Erwin.

She is survived by her son, William (Alba) Bumgarner of St. Albans; daughter, Darlene Bumgarner of St. Albans; brother, Joseph Lively of Scott Depot; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, at Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, St. Albans, with Pastor Stan Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Friends may visit with the family from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

You may share memories or condolences with the family at www.chapmanfuneralhomes.com.

Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 409 Sixth Ave., St. Albans, is honored to serve the Bumgarner family.

William Conley Sr. http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299988 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299988 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 William "Bill" Joseph Conley, Sr. of Cleveland, Ga., died Fri. May 13, 2016. The graveside memorial will be held at 1 p.m. at the Tomblin/Fry Family Cemetery in Whirlwind/Harts Creek, on Sun. May 29, 2016. Evans Funeral Home of Chapmansville, WV will be handling the arrangements. A memorial will be held at his residence in Cleveland, Ga. on Sat.June 18, 2016 at 4 p.m.

David Daniels http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299987 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299987 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 David George Daniels, 60, of Oak Hill, went to be with the Lord on Tues. May 24, 2016 at CAMC - Memorial Division in Charleston, with his loving family by his side.

Born October 24, 1955 at Beckley, he was the son of the late George and Ian Smith Daniels.

He was a Butcher for Walmart.

Surviving are his loving wife of 40 years, Anna J. Kinsler Daniels; one son, David James "D.J." Daniels and wife, Jill; and two grandchildren, Emma and Luke Daniels.

He is also survived by his mother and father-in-law, James "Otto" and Bernice Kinsler; sister and brother-in-law, Brenda and Gary Kennedy; two nieces along with their families, Alicia, Karl, Trey and Hannah Warden and Rachel, Brad, Ashley and Austin Amtower; his faithful companion, Scruffy and grand-dog, Holbrook.

A private, family graveside service was held.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com. Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, WV.

John Eagle http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299983 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299983 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 John O. Eagle, 88, of South Charleston, went home to be with his Lord on May 26, 2016.

The Eagle family has lost its beloved and respected patriarch whose unconditional love touched the lives of many. He was ever ready to reach out when a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on was needed whether it be with love and understanding, or financial help - as when a niece needed assistance for college, or a brother and his family needed a car.

John was born in Clay County on March 11, 1928, to the late Joseph and Louisa Mae (Davis) Eagle. He served his country in the United States Army twice, first in the 796th Military Police and was recalled to serve in the 101st Airborne "Screaming Eagles." John spent 56 years working as a barber at J & J's where he cut the hair of many State Police officers in Charleston. He also worked for the Kanawha County School Board as a bus driver for 18 years. John was a member of Grace Church of the Nazarene where he was involved in many missionary activities. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Delphia, Elsie, Tressie, Susie, Meady "Mick", Denzie, Survilla "Billie", and Phyllis; and brothers, Darcie, Denver, Oren, Joseph, Jr., and Kenneth.

Left to cherish John's memory is "the love of his life," his wife of 39 years, Jeanie (Harris) Eagle; three daughters, Vicki, Cheryl, and Gail; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Few have the privilege, in a life time, to have known such an incredible man.

The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Tues. May 31, at Grace Church of the Nazarene, South Charleston with Dr. Mervin Smith officiating. Burial will follow at Grandview Memorial Park, Dunbar. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Mon. May 30, at Grace Church of the Nazarene. 

Arrangements are in care of Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Kathy Grant http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299991 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299991 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Kathy Jean Grant returned to God on Fri. May 27, while in the tender care of Sakura House Hospice in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada.

Kathy was born in Madison, W.Va., Sept. 25, 1953. She grew up in Bob White, the daughter of Robert David Grant and Wina Cloe McClure with her two brothers, Ronald and Robert Grant who still reside in W.Va.

Kathy went to Canada 40 years ago with her husband, Ned Corbin, who predeceased her in 2012, and resided in Thunder Bay. Kathy was a loving mother to Carolina (Adam) Lansbergen; and proud grandmother of Peter, Joshua, Jonah, Serena and Dante Lansbergen.

Kathy was a familiar face at the Stratford Public Library for 25 years, working as a library assistant.

Funeral Service will be at W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford, Tues. May 31, at 1:30 p.m. Visitation will be Mon. May 30, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rotary Club of Stratford/Stratford Perth Hospice House through the funeral home. (519) 271-7411.

Gregory Hannan http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299981 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299981 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Gregory Blaine Hannan, 63, of South Charleston, went to his eternal home May 26, 2016 at his favorite spot on the front porch in his rocking chair after years long dialyses struggle. Greg graduated from South Charleston High School in 1970. He was a former social worker for WV and had worked as an insurance adjuster and enjoyed working in geriatrics. He also had a Bachelor of Science degree from WVSU and had worked for FEMA on almost all the disasters. Greg's favorite sport was golf, but his illness kept him from playing much. He made a hole-in-one when he was fourteen years old. He had many special buddies and will be greatly missed.

Surviving, Mother, Mary Lou Hannan; best friends, Kenneth Harless and Dale Haynes; uncle William Beach; and his little dog, Haley, whom he adored.

Memorial service will be 4:00 PM Tuesday at Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the mortuary.

Nancy C. Keyser http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299996 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/OBIT/305299996 Sun, 29 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Nancy C. Keyser, 71, of Cross Lanes, went to be with the Lord at home on May 26, 2016.

She was born on April 21, 1945 in Charleston, WV to the late Toddy and Hattie Crowder. Nancy graduated from Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston) with a degree in nursing. She worked for over 45 years at various hospitals throughout her nursing career in Charleston, WV and Alabama. Nancy was a Christian and attended Bible Center Church, Charleston, WV. She enjoyed gardening, going to the beach, and spending time with her family.

Nancy is survived by her devoted and loving husband of 52 years, Phillip Keyser; son, Jeff Keyser and his wife, Glaucia, of Alabama; daughters, Cheryl Englund and her husband, Mike, of Winfield, WV, and Sue Acord and her husband, David, of Charleston, WV. She will always be remembered by her ten grandchildren, Phillip Michael, Andy, Hattie, Bennett, Nicholas, Rachael, Michael, Phillip, Jennifer, and David. She is also survived by her sisters, Ruth Gallimore and her husband, Johnie, and Joyce Allenbaugh and her husband, Ralph; and sister-in-law, Marie Crowder.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Bob Crowder.

The family will have a private ceremony to celebrate her life at a later date at Gulf Shores.

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

Bulletin Board: May 30, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ01/160529513 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ01/160529513 Sun, 29 May 2016 16:24:24 -0400 Mountaineer Food Bank, Facing Hunger Foodbank, CoventryCare of West Virginia (an Aetna product), along with Remember The Miners and Little General Stores Inc. have joined forces for a mobile pantry food giveaway from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the old practice field near the Wharton Community Center in Wharton, Boone County. The Mobile Food Pantry is open to any state resident in need of food, and will include fresh food, meats, fruits and vegetables from participating organizations. For more information, call Mountaineer Food Bank at 304-364-5518.

Members of the Kanawha Valley Quilters Guild, the Moon and Stars Quilters Guild, and the Charleston Art Quilters will display their creations in a "2016 Quilt Display: The Quilts of Our Lives," all day, June through August, on the first floor of the Kanawha County Main Library. Vote for the best quilt in the guestbook at the Reference Desk on the first floor.

Entenmann's Bakery, a division of Bimbo Bakeries USA, is partnering with The Salvation Army for National Donut Day. The day's events will include free coffee and doughnuts between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Friday at the Charleston Transit Mall. Salvation Army founded National Donut Day in 1938 to pay tribute to "Donut Lassies," female volunteers who provided writing supplies, clothes-mending, home-cooked meals and donuts, for soldiers on the front lines in WWI. To learn more, visit bitly.com/EntenmannsNDD.

The Hedrick-Miller family reunion will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Wave Pool Park, Shelter No. 1. For more information, call 304-562-2526.

Charleston Rose Society will sponsor a rose exhibition from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Lowe's store in the Nitro Marketplace. Different types and varieties of roses, all grown locally, will be featured. Members will be on hand to give advice and answer rose-related questions.

Items for Bulletin Board may be submitted by mail to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301; faxed to 304-348-1233; or emailed to gazette@wvgazettemail.com. Notices will be run one time free. Please include a contact person's name and a daytime phone number.

Local UMC leaders seek unity amidst church's "deep divisions" over sexuality http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/LIFESTYLE05/160529514 LIFESTYLE05 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/LIFESTYLE05/160529514 Sun, 29 May 2016 16:18:11 -0400 Jennifer Gardner Lori KerseyLori Kersey By Jennifer Gardner Lori KerseyLori Kersey Local Methodist leaders say a decision by the denomination's rule-making body to put off potential changes to rules concerning sexuality was a "positive" move for the church, which seems to be deeply divided over the issues.

At the United Methodist Church's general conference earlier this month in Portland, Oregon, delegates voted 428-405 to accept a recommendation from the church's Council of Bishops to delay discussion about gay clergy and gay marriage. Instead, delegates decided to call a special commission to examine more than 100 rules concerning human sexuality included in the church's Book of Discipline.

The church's Book of Discipline currently does not allow "self-avowing practicing" gay ministers to be ordained. It also does not allow ministers to officiate gay marriages.

Rev. Krysta Rexrode Wolfe, an associate minister at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in St. Albans, said she's not pleased that parts of the church disagree on the issues. But she hopes members of the church can disagree and still be members of one church.

"I am glad that the bishops stepped in and made a clear move in leading the denomination into peaceful talks [about the issues]," Rexrode Wolfe said. "I think there's a good possibility if the discussions were to continue the [resolutions] would be more conservative and not less. Our denomination is growing in areas where it's more of a social taboo than it is in America."

She said she thinks bishops had good intentions when they recommended the delay.

"I can speak from privilege because I'm heterosexual; I don't have to hide who I am to be ordained," she said. "I think the bishops had the best intentions and are, leading in the way they believe is best for everyone."

The bishops suggested that they might call a special session in 2018 or 2019 to deal with the legislation, according to a report on the UMC's website.

As the general conference got underway, more than 100 ministers in the church came out as gay in what they called a "love letter" to the church. Under current church law, those ministers could be subject to having their credentials removed.

Rev. Jay Parkins, lead pastor of Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston, believes the bishops' plan to form a commission for dialog in developing a way forward is a positive one. He said it will enable the leadership from differing perspectives to work together in developing a plan for the church.

"As a pastor in the United Methodist Church I will be in prayer for the work of the Commission and follow its guidance in the months ahead," said Parkins. "Christ Church will continue offering the love of Christ to all people through our ministries in Charleston and the surrounding community. Our vision of being the hands of Christ offering hope to a hurting world will continue as they always have."

In a statement to the Gazette-Mail, West Virginia Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, said the bishops' "way forward" for the churches acknowledges "that deep divisions exist in the church about human sexuality.

"It also states that we seek the unity of the church for the sake of our mission and witness," Steiner Ball said. "The Council will lead a process to help the church move forward. This process has not yet been fully developed, however it is the intention to form a commission of persons who are able to build relationships and trust in a way that result in a different kind of conversation whereby people are invited into a prayerful, spiritual discernment process that seeks to hear where God is trying to lead the church."

The desired outcome of the process is a unified United Methodist Church, she said. Because no decisions have been made, Steiner Ball said she can't say what potential changes might mean for the local UMC church.

"No changes have been made to the Book of Discipline regarding our official positions on matters of human sexuality," she said. "The prohibitions outlined in The Discipline still exist, but we have committed to explore options to help avoid further complaints, trials, and harm while upholding the Discipline."

Rev. Monty Brown, lead pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Charleston, called the conference a "family reunion" of sorts. The conference has a difficult goal of meeting every four years to come up with a solution for every issue in two weeks, he said.

"The real [question] is are we reaching out to all God's children to let them know they're all loved," he said. "That's what makes the difference."

Brown said it's clear that not all parts of the church will agree on a resolution to the questions about human sexuality. Churches in parts of Africa are especially opposed to gay marriage and allowing gay ministers.

"Their whole cultural identity and customs are so far removed from ours," Brown said. "I don't know how there's going to be a resolution to those things."

Brown declined to say what stance he thinks the church should take on LGBT issues. As counsel for the church's West Virginia Conference, Brown would be the "prosecuting attorney" if the church were to try any of the ministers for being openly gay, he said -- a job that Brown, who is a former Marion County prosecutor, would be well suited for.

Brown has been counsel for the past five years and has not had to try any cases so far, he said. Any charges that have come up have all been resolved before getting to his desk, he said.

"I think the church is wise enough to know having trial is not a good thing," he said.

Brown said he's not worried over concerns that the Methodist denomination will ultimately split over the recent arguments.

The church, ultimately, will carry on, even if it's not under the Methodist banner, he said.

"There is some literature in the hymnal that says the church is of God and will persevere until the end of time and I believe that's true," he said. "What name that will carry, I don't know... I love my denomination, but more I love my church."

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1240 or follow @LoriKerseyWV on Twitter.

Reach Jennifer Gardner at jennifer.gardner@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5102 or follow @jennc_gardner on Twitter.

Local organizations announce new officers http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ01/160529515 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ01/160529515 Sun, 29 May 2016 15:42:49 -0400 Several area organizations have elected officers for the upcoming term. They include:

Legal Aid of West Virginia attorney board members are chosen by district and elected by fellow members of the West Virginia State Bar. Four districts were up for election in 2016. Winners will be seated at LAWV's board meeting in Wheeling, for a three-year term.

Re-elected board members include Robert Gaudio and Bader Giggenbach. Newly-elected members are Christine Stump and Nigel Jeffries.


The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority elected board officers at its regular May meeting. Those elected were Diane Strong-Treister, chairperson; Andrew Jordon, vice-chairperson; Karen Haddad, secretary/treasurer; and Lew Tyree, assistant secretary/treasurer.

Other board members are Jack Cavender, Mary Jean Davis, Jack Harrison, Karan Ireland and Rusty Webb. All members are appointed by Mayor Danny Jones.


The Charleston Chamber Board of Directors has elected the following officers: chairperson, Steve Hedrick; vice chairperson, Greg Elliott; secretary, Chip Shaffer; and treasurer, Patrick Bond.

The new officers were selected by the Chamber's nominating committee and approved by its Board of Directors.

WVU student newspaper to stop printing daily http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ01/160529516 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ01/160529516 Sun, 29 May 2016 15:41:37 -0400 Jake Jarvis By Jake Jarvis Adell Crowe is on a mission.

She spent most of Wednesday driving from West Virginia University to Wheeling to shake hands and network with newspaper editors there.

This was just the first of many trips she hopes to take this summer to introduce herself and tell folks in the journalism world to watch out for her students.

Crowe was named the director of student media at West Virginia University in March, a new position administrators hope will revamp and re-energize the school's student newspaper and college radio station, which she will directly oversee. Already in her two months at the post, she's been at the helm of some major changes.

The Daily Athenaeum, the school's more than century-old newspaper, will finally stop printing newspapers five days a week. A message appeared recently on the paper's website noting that instead, the paper will print three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and will strive for online content every day.

"I really tried to be cognizant of coming in at the end of the year and marching in and saying, 'OK everybody, things are changing,'" Crowe said.

But things had to change.

Declining revenue from advertising and an audience that's more likely to read a story on Facebook or Twitter than a printed product meant one thing: more digital. The paper's staff will put a greater emphasis on its website and other multimedia elements to its stories.

"I don't know if I'll be hands on once everybody gets back. I view it as we're creating structure here and it will be the students here who have to make it run," Crowe said. "What we're hoping to do is not dictate in any way or interfere in any way with the choices students should make about student coverage."

Caity Coyne, a rising-senior at WVU, will have a say in those choices. She was chosen as the paper's next editor-in-chief and has been fielding questions from her staff about the changes since the announcement.

This past year, every staff member of the paper was paid. Writers received $17 a story, photographers roughly $12 a photo and editors somewhere between $25 and $45 per issue, depending on their rank.

That's changing, too.

Instead of paying every staffer, Crowe said Coyne will be given a stipend budget - the amount of which has yet to be nailed down. From that, Coyne said she will probably pay all of the paper's editors, but neither writers nor photographers will be paid at all.

Coyne said it was challenging to find students who want to write for the paper even when it was a paid job. Now that it isn't, her challenge will be to convince journalism students to work for the paper not just for some extra cash, but because of the experience they will have.

"For the most part, people who have worked here before who are not getting paid next year - they were pretty shocked," Coyne said. "But the other side of that, too, working at the [Daily Athenaeum] is an experience. It's a social atmosphere. I've met my best friends working here."

Crowe shares a similar story.

When she went to the University of Missouri in the 1970s, she said she found her "refuge" in student media. It was there that she not only learned how to be a journalist but where she found her place in a community.

As Crowe prepares for her incoming students, she outlines her three goals to them: to cover the WVU community better than anyone else, to get prepared for a job in the media after graduation and to have lots of fun along the way.

During Crowe's last job as the assistant director of student media at American University, she was there when the school's paper went from printing twice a week to twice a semester. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter for 30 years at places like Nashville's Tennessean and USA Today, according to a news release.

Changes to student newspapers aren't an uncommon thing across the United States and even in West Virginia.

This past fall, Marshall University's student newspaper, The Parthenon, underwent similar changes, deciding to stop printing four days a week and only print two times a week. "At this point, eventually we will go down toward one day a week and be more of a news magazine type format," said Sandy York, the Parthenon's adviser. "We're headed there right now."

At Marshall, there are closer ties between the journalism program and the student newspaper than there are at WVU. Marshall journalism students take a class that requires them to submit at least 28 articles to The Parthenon throughout the semester.

That keeps a constant flow of stories coming into the paper, York said. But when news breaks late at night or on the weekend, it is the editors - who get paid stipends - that are the ones to put in the late hours and cover it.

"There's actually more of our product out there than we've ever had before," York said.

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

'Next Generation' or not, science standards coming to WV schools http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ0114/160529517 GZ0114 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ0114/160529517 Sun, 29 May 2016 12:48:07 -0400 Ryan Quinn By Ryan Quinn For all the controversy involving the West Virginia Board of Education and the Legislature over the state's adoption of Next Generation Science Standards, which will take effect statewide next school year, the National Science Teachers Association doesn't recognize that West Virginia actually adopted them.

National Science Teachers Association Executive Director David Evans, whose organization helped develop the standards, said that's because of West Virginia's change to just one "performance expectation" in the standards.

Performance expectations - such as "ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century" - are the leading portions of the standards that tell teachers what students must learn to do.

The only alteration to the Next Generation performance expectations the state school board settled on, after retracting previous changes that received even more criticism, was to alter the word "rise" to "change" in that global warming performance expectation, which is for West Virginia sixth graders.

The board also added the words "natural forces" to the previous draft of a performance expectation that now reads "debate climate change as it relates to natural forces, greenhouse gases, human changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and relevant laws and treaties." But that was a West Virginia-only standard for elective high school environmental science courses.

Evans said not labeling West Virginia a Next Generation-adopting state "doesn't mean that we're really finding fault with the new West Virgina standards." He called the state's new science standards a "terrific improvement" over its current standards, which aren't based on Next Generation.

He said the modification won't change the services his organization provides to Mountain State science teachers, nor will his group develop any Next Generation materials that "wouldn't be 100 percent appropriate for the teachers of West Virginia."

"I can't imagine that it will really make a difference in what teachers teach," Evans said of the performance expectation change.

As of February, his organization recognized 17 states plus Washington, D.C., as Next Generation standards adopters, and he said West Virginia is one of several more states that have science standards fairly close to Next Generation.

He said his group requires states that want to be labeled Next Generation adopters to adopt all the performance expectations as written, though he noted Michigan is considered an adopter even though it added to some performance expectations to make them more locally relevant. While he said the labeling requirement may seem arbitrary, he said it's applied uniformly.

How teachers actually teach the standards - and whether the one word changed in that one performance expectation will have any impact - could depend on how much standards training they get, where that training comes from, what's tested, whether anyone continues to monitor their teaching and what textbooks and other instructional materials they're using. West Virginia's standards document itself doesn't include all the information supporting how the standards were intended to be taught.

The new science standards will be the first to require West Virginia students to learn about climate change in mandatory courses.

Nearly unreported in the national media attention that West Virginia received during the debate over its changes to the global warming performance expectations is the fact that the state school board left much of the Next Generation standards out of the version it adopted.

The state school board put only the performance expectations into its policy, and among the states actually considered Next Generation adopters, there are at least two, Iowa and Michigan, that also only included the performance expectations.

The Next Generation standards blueprint, available online at nextgenscience.org, includes "clarification statements" for each performance expectation, shown in red.

The clarification statements better explain what the performance expectations mean, but in doing so some include language that could raise even more opposition from fossil fuel supporters and those who deny the overwhelming scientific consensus that human greenhouse gas emissions from energy sources like coal are warming the planet. The clarification statement for the performance expectation about the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures - the performance expectation West Virginia changed - states:

"Examples of factors include human activities (such as fossil fuel combustion, cement production, and agricultural activity) and natural processes (such as changes in incoming solar radiation or volcanic activity). Examples of evidence can include tables, graphs, and maps of global and regional temperatures, atmospheric levels of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and the rates of human activities. Emphasis is on the major role that human activities play in causing the rise in global temperatures."

Not only are the clarification statements missing from West Virginia's policy, but so are the paragraphs of information under the three headings that comprise the Next Generation Science Standards' so-called three-dimensional learning: Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts. Evans called the "three-dimensional learning" the "heart" of the Next Generation standards.

"The way you demonstrate completing those performance expectations is intimately tied to all three of those legs of the Next Generation Science Standards stool, if you will,"

One of these Disciplinary Core Ideas under West Virginia's altered performance expectation reads, in part, "Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth's mean surface temperature (global warming)." The Disciplinary Core Ideas on the Next Generation website are clickable, this one linking to the online Framework for K-12 Science Education by the National Research Council, another partner in creating the Next Generation standards.

Such clarification statements and three-dimensional learning components are missing not just from the controversial global warming standards - over which some lawmakers this year tried to block implementation of all the standards - but from all the science standards in West Virginia's policy, down to the kindergarten level performance expectations like "Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs." (Missing clarification statement: "Examples of plants and animals changing their environment could include a squirrel digs in the ground to hide its food and tree roots can break concrete.")

"We try to keep our standards format in alignment with all of our content area policies," read an email sent in response to the Gazette-Mail's questions about why the department put only performance expectations in the policy it submitted for the state school board's approval. Robin Sizemore, science coordinator for the state Department of Education, and Joey Wiseman, the department's executive director of middle and secondary learning, signed the email.

"The additional items you are speaking [about] are available to assist teachers with the understanding and implementation of the standards and can be found on the NGSS website as a resource," the email stated.

The department denied the Gazette-Mail's request for phone interviews. Betty Jo Jordan, executive assistant to State Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano, wrote in an email that department staff had provided several responses to a reporter's questions and "we believe our previous responses are sufficient and have no further comments."

A January 2015 Gazette-Mail open records request for communications surrounding changes to the science standards showed that former state school board member Wade Linger, who said he didn't believe human-influenced climate change is a "foregone conclusion," asked education department officials to remove the standards' references to the Framework for K-12 Science Education because it included what he called "social justice" concepts.

"I hope that stuff is not in the standards," he wrote in an email dated Oct. 1, 2014, to former board President Gayle Manchin, current Vice President Lloyd Jackson, board Operations Director Donna Peduto and Clayton Burch, who's now the education department's chief academic officer. "It would be fine for social studies, but not as a science standard."

"We had both Robin and Teresa comb the policy and the standards - could not find social injustice at all - only mention was in the framework which we are not adopting," Burch wrote back to Linger around 1 p.m. Oct. 6, 2014.

"Thanks," Linger wrote in a reply several minutes later. "The term is 'Social Justice.' Please ensure that the standards do not reference 'Social Justice' through the Framework. I realize that we are not adopting the Framework, but if we leave a reference to it in the standards, the damage will still be done."

West Virginia's policy regardless references the framework, though not as extensively as the Next Generation standards online.

When the standards became an issue during this year's legislative session, Linger said the state school board had already "fixed" the standards regarding climate change.

But Erin Tuttle of the American Principles Project - a think tank that opposes the Common Core standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, gay marriage and other issues - was advising West Virginia lawmakers who wanted to block the standards. She took issue with parts of the standards that aren't in West Virginia's policy, noting West Virginia was one of the "lead partners" in developing the standards and, according to its application to aid in the process, allocated state resources toward adopting them before they were finished.

"That's someone who is die hard wanting to do whatever is going to come out of there," Tuttle said. "... It's not that preposterous, you know, that they would implement your Next Generation Science Standards like the rest of the country is implementing the Next Generation Science Standards."

Tuttle, who said coal states perhaps may not want to "indoctrinate" students with these standards, said, "West Virginia was a partner on it. It's not like they have a different idea, those were their ideas when they helped write those standards."

Deb Hemler, a professor who trains science education teachers at Fairmont University and is co-executive director of the state branch of the National Science Teachers Association, said one can't teach the science standards very well without going to the Next Generation website and viewing the parts of the standards West Virginia's policy doesn't include.

She said her organization and Sizemore have been directing teachers to the full version of the standards on the Next Generation website as part of training sessions, and her group and Sizemore have been promoting a "crosswalk" document that helps educators match up the state's performance expectations with the additional information on the Next Generation website.

"All of that is available online, we just have to do another click to get to it," Hemler said. "... All of our training does include the three-dimensional learning, we focus all of our professional development and training on that, and so does the state department."

Hemler, who said she's helped draft four iterations of science standards for the state since the 1990s, said the trimmed-down version of the standards the state adopted "never ever made me raise an eyebrow" because the state's always been particular about its standards formatting requirements, something that used to frustrate her.

"It's not that the state department is trying to withhold," she said. "It's not a conspiracy, it's a formatting thing."

However, she said she didn't know why the clarification statements were omitted from the science standards. West Virginia's math and English language arts standards do include additional clarifying information under many standards.

When asked about what oversight exists to ensure teachers actually teach the standards, state Office of Education Performance Audits Executive Director Susan O'Brien said school principals are supposed to check lesson plans and provide feedback to teachers "on a fairly regular basis." As for her office, which periodically does reports on schools, O'Brien said the review teams that go into schools are mostly comprised of school principals who can tell when standards aren't being taught.

Earlier this month, Kanawha County Schools, the state's largest school district, adopted Discovery Education online-only "techbooks" for middle school science courses next school year. The techbook includes the three-dimensional learning facets - though Rosalie Rhodes, Kanawha's science curriculum specialist for the middle and high school levels, said she couldn't recall seeing the clarification statements -and puts the one changed West Virginia performance expectation under the theme of Earth and Space Science, in the unit of "Weather and Climate," and under the concept of "Anthropogenic Changes."

"All over the Earth, human ("anthropo") activity contributes to climate change," the section reads. "In this concept, you will learn how emissions from the cars we drive, the furnaces or fires that heat our homes, and even the gas passed by the cattle we raise all contribute to the mix."

And a video teachers can use informs students about the sources of acid rain, smog and the greenhouse effect:

"All three problems have similar sources: the burning of fossil fuels for energy. The United States bears special responsibility for these problems. While the United States only has about 5 percent of the world's population, U.S. citizens consume 25 percent of all the energy used. Americans are also the source of 17 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere."

It then explains what state and national governments can do to protect the environment.

Reach Ryan Quinn at


Facebook.com/ryanedwinquinn, 304-348-1254or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.

2 schools in Barbour County under consideration for closing http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ0114/160529518 GZ0114 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ0114/160529518 Sun, 29 May 2016 12:38:53 -0400 The Associated Press By The Associated Press PHILIPPI, W.Va. (AP) - Two elementary schools in Barbour County are being targeted for closure next year due to declining enrollment.

The Exponent Telegram reports the Board of Education is looking at the possibility of closing Mount Vernon and Volga-Century schools.

County schools Superintendent Jeffrey Woofter says Mount Vernon has 57 students and Volga-Century has 37 students.

Last week Woofter was authorized to prepare documents to close the schools and bring them to the school board for consideration. Woofter says hearings on the closings could be held as early as July.

If the schools are closed, the children would attend Philippi Elementary School.

Board member Dana Stemple says enrollment numbers have dropped this decade as families have left the area due to a decline in the coal and oil and natural gas industries.

Parkersburg Art Center honors artists, Byrd with displays http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/ARTS/160529519 ARTS http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/ARTS/160529519 Sun, 29 May 2016 12:31:27 -0400 By Brett Dunlap The Parkersburg News and Sentinel By By Brett Dunlap The Parkersburg News and Sentinel PARKERSBURG, W.Va. -The work of artists from around the state as well as the life and times of one of West Virginia's most prominent politicians will be on display at the Parkersburg Art Center for the next month.

A reception was held May 22 for the opening of the West Virginia Allied Artists 70th Annual Exhibit and for the traveling exhibit "Robert C. Byrd: Senator, Statesman, West Virginian."

"We got two shows opening and they will both be here for a month," said art center director Abby Hayhurst.

The West Virginia Allied Artists exhibit, in the Main and Boll Galleries, features the work of 63 artists from around the state of West Virginia.

"This group has been around for a while and they have this juried exhibit every other year were they have a juror, Robert Peppers from Ohio University, came in and picked out these works," Hayhurst said. "It really is a great show.

"We get artists from all over the state for this show. It is great to have these people here."

Lauri Reidmiller, of Shady Spring, W.Va., was the winner of Best of Show with her acrylic painting "Cut So Deep." Reidmiller said the work came from her dreams.

"I was very ill for a couple of years and I had lost my dreams," she said. "When my dreams came back, they came back in images of animals."

The colors and symbols in her painting represented something in her life from starbursts representing her children to round circles representing family and generations of women and snakes hidden within the painting represent surgeries she had.

Reidmiller has been interested in art all of her life since she was a child with crayons. She has only been doing acrylic painting over the last three years. This is her fifth piece in that medium.

"I wanted to challenge myself and get into a media that I haven't tried since college," she said. "I really challenged myself to create this body of work."

Reidmiller has been involved with the Allied Artists for the last five to six years.

"It is a very strong organization in West Virginia with many artists doing high quality work," she said. "This was a show I definitely wanted to get into and have been in the past."

West Virginia Allied Artists is one of the oldest and largest arts organization in West Virginia, said President Sandra King who was also the chairperson for the show.

"We have members all over the state," she said. "We try to put on one or two shows a year to display and promote the artists that are members and artists in general across the state."

The juried show is held bi-annually and includes work from all artists across the state. Many times, there are more artists in the show than there are members because they bring in a judge from outside the state to make the selections.

Pieces in the show include photography, two-dimensional work, three- dimensional, pottery, fabric, wallhangings and more.

King wants people who come to the exhibit to realize the amount of talent in the state.

"We believe that West Virginia artists and craftspeople are our main natural resource," she said. "We believe these people are so talented and it showcases what the people in West Virginia are actually doing.

"We hope the people get a feel for this."

On the art center's mezzanine, the Byrd exhibit will also be on display through the next month. Parkersburg is the first stop in a statewide tour for the traveling display on the life and times of Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va.

The exhibit will be traveling around the state until November 2017, said Ray Smock, director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education.

"It is an exhibit about his life, from his childhood and his 60-year career in politics," Smock said. "We will tell stories about his contributions to West Virginia and the nation.

"We will tell what kind of senator he was, a very special guy. His story needs to be remembered."

Smock said they have Byrd's papers which provide insights into the history of the state and into the nation for more than half a century. The papers filled two tractor trailers and have taken four years to go through.

"We are still going through his papers and still discovering things," he said. "This exhibit is a small sample of some of the things we are discovering as we go through this collection."

The exhibit, which is displayed on 18 panels, details Byrd's life from growing up in the coalfields of West Virginia to being elected to Congress and his rise to the leadership of the U.S. Senate. It includes images of documents, photographs, newspaper clippings and more detailing what Byrd faced during his time in office.

It also details Byrd's faith, his work as a historian and his skill as a musician.

"He was not just a country fiddler, he was a master at it," Smock said. "We tried to show a range of his personality besides his legislative career."

The exhibit also addresses Byrd's more controversial stances, including helping to pass the Panama Canal treaties which were not popular in West Virginia and his positions against civil rights in the 1960s which he later expressed regret over "and apologized for many years," Smock said.

"The exhibit contains many of Senator Byrd's own quotes," he said. "He gets the final word and says what he needed to say about his own career."

Both exhibits offer visitors a unique experience, Hayhurst said.

"We have two cool shows," she said. "Both are very different."

Martinsburg woman charged in fatal shooting of boyfriend http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ0118/160529520 GZ0118 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ0118/160529520 Sun, 29 May 2016 12:26:10 -0400 The Associated Press By The Associated Press MARTINSBURG, W.Va - Police have charged a Martinsburg woman in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office charged Jennifer Pendias, 31, with murder Saturday.

Sheriff Kenny Lemaster says in a news release that the body of Harald Martinson, 35, was found in the bathroom of her home with a single gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at Berkeley Medical Center.

Media outlets report Pendias told police the shooting that occurred during an argument was an accident.

Pendias was being held Sunday in the Eastern Regional Jail pending arraignment. Jail records didn't indicate whether she has an attorney.

A $400 emergency could KO nearly half of Americans http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ03/160529521 GZ03 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ03/160529521 Sun, 29 May 2016 10:26:36 -0400 By Ylan Q. Mui The Washington Post By By Ylan Q. Mui The Washington Post WASHINGTON - Technically speaking, America's economic recovery from the Great Recession is in its seventh year, making it one of the longest expansions on record. The unemployment rate is falling, businesses are hiring and there are finally some signs that wages are rising.

But for so many households, that progress still feels painfully remote.

The Federal Reserve surveyed more than 5,000 people to determine whether their personal situations were improving along with the economy. The results, released Wednesday afternoon, found that though households showed "mild improvement" overall, their perspective depended on their income, race and education.

Take this one telling statistic: About 46 percent of Americans said they did not have enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense. Instead, they would have to put it on a credit card and pay it off over time, borrow from friends or family, or simply not cover it at all.

Not surprisingly, those with higher incomes were better equipped to handle an emergency. About 81 percent of people making more than $100,000 a year reported they would be able to cover the bill, compared with 34 percent of those earning less than $40,000.

At every income level, white consumers were better prepared for a $400 emergency than other racial groups. Eighty-three percent of the wealthiest whites surveyed said they could easily absorb the cost, compared with 63 percent of blacks and 67 percent of Hispanics in the same income group. Among the poorest consumers, 40 percent of whites would be able to cover the expense compared with 20 percent of blacks and 27 percent of Hispanics.

Still, the total percentage of people who would struggle in an emergency expense has improved over the past few years. This is the third time the Fed has conducted this survey, and the number has dropped from 50 percent in 2013 to 46 percent last year.

There were also other reasons to be hopeful: The survey found people are 9 percentage points more likely to say that their financial well-being has improved over the past year than to say that it has declined. And the number of people who say they have the skills to get the jobs they want has jumped from 67 percent to 77 percent over two years.

But the report also makes clear that many of the country's most vulnerable households have yet to feel the benefits of the broader economic recovery. Let's hope it doesn't take another seven years before it trickles down.

Battle inside OPEC eases as Saudi oil strategy finally pays off http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ03/160529522 GZ03 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160529/GZ03/160529522 Sun, 29 May 2016 10:26:00 -0400 By Grant Smith Bloomberg By By Grant Smith Bloomberg Saudi Arabia has been fighting with fellow OPEC members since the oil rout started two years ago. For the first time next week, it can argue convincingly that its strategy of squeezing rival producers is succeeding.

By stifling high-cost suppliers, the Saudi approach has now almost eradicated the global oversupply, spurring a price rally of 80 percent to above $50 since January. All but one of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will stick with the strategy rather than set output limits when ministers gather in Vienna on June 2.

"It might not look a victory compared with when oil was $100 a barrel, but the Saudi strategy is working as you've got significant production declines showing up in a lot of places, and prices are grinding higher," said Seth Kleinman, head of energy research at Citigroup. "Which makes the odds of them abandoning the plan even more remote."

Lower prices have taken their toll on production from the United States to Nigeria. Analysts from the International Energy Agency to Goldman Sachs say the crude glut is dissipating as supply and demand move back into balance. That shift may mean a less contentious meeting than the last gathering in December, which ended with public criticism of Saudi Arabia's position from fellow members Venezuela and Iran.

Oil production outside OPEC is headed this year for its biggest drop since 1992 as the U.S. shale-oil boom that fostered the world surplus sputters out, the Paris-based IEA forecasts. U.S. output has fallen for 11 weeks to its lowest since September 2014, and will average 8.5 percent lower this year than 2015, the Energy Information Administration estimates.

Kuwait's acting oil minister Anas Al-Saleh, said on May 18 that OPEC's policy "has been working well."

Any action that raises prices would only rescue U.S. drillers and jeopardize the return to equilibrium, said Mike Wittner, head of oil market research at Societe Generale in New York.

"The Saudis might be concerned that if prices go a little higher and sustain it, that could nip the re-balancing in the bud just when it's getting going," said Wittner. "I don't know they have a whole lot of incentive to particularly do anything."

While the economies of OPEC members such as Venezuela and Nigeria remain under strain, they are probably resigned to the course set by Riyadh, said Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University in New York.

"Countries like Venezuela have been pushing OPEC for over a year now to do something to get the prices up," said Bordoff. "They probably recognize that that's a futile effort at this point. The Saudi strategy of allowing low prices to do the work of low prices is working."

The chances of reaching any supply agreement look especially dim after OPEC failed to complete an accord with Russia and other non-members on freezing supply levels in Doha last month, according to Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of consultant IHS Inc.

The deal collapsed at the last minute when Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman insisted that political adversary Iran, which had ruled out participating, would need to join.

"The clash between Iran and Saudi Arabia makes it very difficult for OPEC to do anything," Yergin said in a Bloomberg television interview. "It's pretty hard to have any deal at this point."

Iran - a key advocate of output restraint in previous years - is unlikely to push for a new group limit as it remains focused on restoring exports previously constrained by sanctions, Societe Generale's Wittner said.

The only analyst surveyed who predicted an agreement, Phil Flynn at Price Futures Group in Chicago, expects the group to follow up on the aborted Doha initiative by deciding to "freeze" production at current levels.

OPEC's previous ministerial meeting in December ended without any agreement on a group output ceiling, abandoning the target of 30 million barrels a day that the organization had held - and mostly ignored - since late 2011.

While prices collapsed after that gathering amid OPEC's inaction, just as they had when the approach was first revealed in November 2014, the response will probably be subdued this time as the market has accepted the laissez-faire policy is here to stay, said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas in London.

The Vienna meeting will be the first opportunity to assess the stance of new Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, appointed this month when Ali al-Naimi stepped down after two decades, according to Tchilinguirian. Al-Falih is close to Prince Mohammed, who's plan to partly privatize the state oil company has sparked speculation it may further expand production capacity and market share, severing its ties to OPEC.

That change in Saudi leadership means the meeting will still be "pivotal for the cartel and its future," said Tchilinguirian.