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Daily Mail: Short takes - May 10, 2014

Leigh Ann Zappin, 57, of Huntington began working at the Huntington Area Food Bank in 2008 as part of her community service following a criminal conviction. Steadily she rose through the ranks and within two years, Zappin was the executive director of the food bank, which serves 17 counties in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

That lasted two years, until she resigned under pressure amid allegations of embezzlement. On Monday, she pleaded guilty in Cabell Circuit Court to a single count of embezzlement after prosecutors dropped 16 other counts, WSAZ reported. The judge will sentence her in July.

Here is hoping that the judge considers her prior conviction — also for embezzlement.

It is apparent that the food bank’s board of directors did not. This is another lesson for members of these boards to keep a close watch on their executive directors.

***

For 119 years ending in 1995, the West Virginia Penitentiary was an economic powerhouse in Moundsville. Similar to the Joliet Prison in Illinois, the penitentiary is a castellated Gothic, stone structure with turrets and battlements. But a new maximum security prison in Mount Olive replaced it.

But the penitentiary will come alive this weekend as it hosts more than 1,000 participants in the 18th Annual Mock Prison Riot. The Wheeling News-Register reported the four-day event will boost the economy by $616,000 as people rent hotel rooms and visit restaurants.

The West Virginia Corrections Training Foundation hosts the event which will attract corrections officers from as far west as California, as far east as Germany and as far south as the Caribbean.

Such a deal. Officials get valuable training while the local hospitality industry gets a busy weekend. This event is similar to the Homeland Security training at the closed Memorial Tunnel once used by the West Virginia Turnpike. State officials should look for more of this type of activity.

***

Trial began this week in Athens, Ga., for former Marshall football coach Jim Donnan, who faces a 41-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and securities fraud.

Prosecutors say he was a controlling force in the demise of GLC Limited. His attorneys say he was the first victim of GLC’s Ponzi scheme. Either way, nearly 100 investors from the Huntington area lost a combined $22.9 million, the Herald-Dispatch in Huntington reported.

This is another reminder to people that get-rich-quick schemes usually result in getting poor quicker.

***

One hundred-six years ago, Anna Jarvis of Grafton honored her departed mother’s life by passing out white carnations during a memorial service at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church. Anna’s simple act of personal commemoration in May 1908 grew year after year. Just two years later in 1910, the state of West Virginia recognized Jarvis’s efforts and established an official Mother’s Day. The first state to do so, West Virginia set a precedent that many soon followed. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother’s Day.

This week, Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller proposed that the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury mint a commemorative coin for the Centennial of Mother’s Day. The coin would help fund scientific research into life-threatening diseases that often afflict children, as well as fund osteoporosis research, with proceeds from the sale of the coins to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.


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