www.wvgazette.com http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: July 30, 2014 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT01/307309974 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT01/307309974 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:33 -0400 Brown, Lonnie E. 10 a.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Institute.

Casto, Mary E. 11 a.m., Gatens

Coleman, Raymond 11 a.m., Heart of God Ministries, Beckley.

Dubois, Dr. E.D. 1 p.m., Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston.

Easterling, Elmer A. 11 a.m., O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Forga, Gary D. 11 a.m., Mountain View Memorial Park, Richwood.

Gilliam, Ruth A. 2 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Grooms Jones, Traci

Gunnoe, Bonnie June 11 a.m., Cunningham

Harvey, Elizabeth A. 11 a.m., Rich Creek Cemetery, Jodie.

Hodge, William E. 1:30 p.m., Shrewsbury Church of God, Shrewsbury.

Jeffrey, James 1 p.m., Wilson

Johnson, Betty J. 11 a.m., Alderson Presbyterian Church, Alderson.

McCracken, Ruth 11 a.m., Baber

Phillips, Jerry L. 11 a.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Sams, Ruth R. 2 p.m., Groves Funeral Home Chapel, Union.

Shrewsbury, Everette L. 2 p.m., Wallace and Wallace Funeral Home Chapel, Ansted.

Stadler, Sue A. 2 p.m., Lantz Funeral Home, Buckeye.

Summers, Lillian C. 1 p.m., Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.

Winemiller, Pearl V. 11 a.m., Ripley Baptist Temple, Ripley.

Linda "Lynn" G. Brown http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309983 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309983 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:27 -0400 Linda "Lynn" G. Brown, 64, of Charleston, died July 24, 2014, in Pikeville, Ky. Preston Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Ollie H. Burford Jr. http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309982 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309982 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:28 -0400 Ollie Herndon Burford Jr., 84, of Charleston, passed away July 28, 2014, at CAMC Memorial Hospital after a long illness. He was born Nov. 5, 1929, to Ollie H. Burford Sr. and Lelia Boggess Burford, who preceded him in death.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife, Elma Burford; loving son, Ollie Burford III; brothers, Alford Burford, Dorsey Burford and Clifton Burford; and sisters, Minnie Petry, Christina Fields and Ernistine Burford.

Ollie is survived by his loving daughter, Margaret Pitts and husband, Daniel "Burr" Pitts, of Charleston; brother, Delano Burford and wife, Roxie, of Charleston; sisters, Gwendolyn Good and Lillian Ferrell, both of Charleston, Nettie Hopkins and husband, Emery, of Nitro and Roberta Guthrie of Charleston; grandchildren, Danny Pitts and wife, Priscilla, and April Pitts, both of Charleston, Craig Pitts and wife, Kelly, of Dunbar and Kayla Pitts of Charleston; 10 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

Ollie will be missed dearly and was loved by so many.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home with Pastor David McCormick officiating. Burial with military graveside rites provided by American Legion Post 61, Clendenin, will follow at Shamblin Cemetery, Goldtown.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

The family will accept online condolences at cpjfuneralhome.com.

Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the Burford family.

Rosalie F. Buzzard http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309990 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309990 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:23 -0400 Rosalie Frances Buzzard, 74, of Huttonsville, passed away July 28, 2014. Mrs. Buzzard has been cremated and a memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Kimble Funeral Home, 18942 Seneca Trail, Marlinton.

Teresa L. Caldwell http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309976 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309976 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:32 -0400 Teresa Lynn Caldwell, 47, of Huntington, died July 28, 2014. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Arrangements by Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Connie L. Cochran http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309986 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309986 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:25 -0400 Mr. Connie Lee Cochran, 60, of Liberty, died at home on Monday, July 28, 2014, after a brave battle with cancer.

Connie was a devoted husband, father and member of his community. He was a Christian by faith and a devoted servant of Emma Chapel UMC. He was a longtime employee of the West Virginia Department of Highways, an avid hunter, lover of dogs and an active member of the Liberty Lions Club.

Survivors include his wife, Linda Cochran; son, Charles Cochran; daughter, Charity Cochran; brothers, Royal Starcher of Liberty and Justin Cochran of Red House; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He was loved greatly and always wanted to hear a good story.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Maxine Cochran of Liberty; nephew, Conard Cochran of Red House; and longtime friends of the community.

Mark 12:30-31: "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

The family would like to thank Holly McComas of Hospice for her care and support.

Viewing will be Wednesday, July 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral will be held Thursday, July 31, at 11 a.m. Both will take place at Emma Chapel Church, Liberty. Pastor Terri Deane will be officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Emma Chapel Church, c/o David Parkins, 1014 Clendenin Creek Road, Liberty, WV 25124.

Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.hardingfamilygroup.com.

Gatens-Harding Funeral Home, 147 Main St., Poca, is serving the Cochran family.

Harry A. Crook http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309995 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309995 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:21 -0400 Harry Anthony Crook, 57, of Statts Mills, obtained a new heavenly body, free of pain, on Friday, July 25, 2014. While he may have lost the battle to cancer, in the battle of life he was a solid victor.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry Cecil and Mary Francis Crook of Parkersburg. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Beverly Harpold Crook, and his children, Myra, Brian, Timmy, CJ, Breanna, Siera, Salena, Linzie, Alli and Johnny, as well as grandsons, Logan and Landon. He is also survived by his sister, Lou Ellen Crook, as well as his two brothers, Ronnie and Bob Crook.

Harry was a graduate of Parkersburg South High School, class of 1974, where he excelled in athletics. He was the captain of both the Varsity Football and Baseball team.

Harry was a member of the Ripley Order of Oddfellows, avid supporter of the Jackson County Junior Fair and worked with the Jackson County Special Olympics. He enjoyed spending time on the golf course with his friends and playing cards with anyone that had time for a game. While Harry had his hobbies, he would drop everything in an instant to spend time with his children. He attended more horse shows than can be counted. He went on nearly every field trip, attended nearly every class party. His dedication to his family was unsurpassed.

Harry had an infectious laugh and the most optimistic outlook on life. He brought a smile to the face of every person he met. He has made a huge impact on all of those around him, especially his family.

Funeral service was 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley. Burial will be in Harpold Cemetery, Gay.

Memories and condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.waybrightfuneralhome.com.

Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley, is serving the Crook family.

Rebecca A. Dodd http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309978 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309978 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:31 -0400 Rebecca Ann (Custer) Dodd, 74, of Petersburg, died July 29, 2014, at Winchester Medical Center, Winchester, Va. Service will be 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Schaeffer Funeral Home, Petersburg. Interment will follow in Lahmansville Cemetery. Visitation will be 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at the funeral home.

Steven R. Hamilton http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309977 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309977 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:32 -0400 Steven Ray Hamilton, 23, of Lindside, died July 27, 2014. Service will be 2 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at Broyles-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, Peterstown. Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at the funeral home.

Joseph Harless http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309997 OBIT http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/OBIT/307309997 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:02:20 -0400 Joseph Harless, 57, of Ashford, peacefully went to be with Jesus on July 27, 2014.

Born Oct. 29, 1956, he was a coal miner and a loving, caring father and grandfather. He was especially proud of his daughter and her family and what all she has accomplished through Christ Jesus. He loved being outdoors fishing, hunting and enjoying his time with family.

He is survived by his son, Joseph Smith of West Virginia; his daughter, April Holtsclaw, and her husband, Matthew Holtsclaw, of Georgia; and his loving grandchildren, Zachary and Zoey Holtsclaw. He will also be lovingly remembered by his two brothers, James and Omar Harless of West Virginia, and his four sisters, Helen Webb, Carolyn Shamblin, Sandy Wiseman and Lucille Bernotsky.

Funeral will be 1 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet. Burial will follow in Forks of Coal Cemetery, Alum Creek.

Friends may call two hours prior to the service at the funeral home.

Condolences may be sent to the family at leonardjohnsonfuneralhome.com.

Community briefs for Wednesday, July 30 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM01/140739979 DM01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM01/140739979 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 Disney Live! Mickey's Music Festival will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the CAMC Play Patch on Level One of the Charleston Town Center mall, near Zales Jewelers.

Preschool children will enjoy games and activities during the Play Patch Party. Register to win tickets to Disney Live! Mickey's Music Festival at the Municipal Auditorium, which will be at the Charleston Civic Center on Aug. 17.

Dunbar United Methodist Women will sponsor a rummage/hot dog sale from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the church, 1401 Myers Ave. in Dunbar. The rummage sale will include household items, toys, clothing and more. The kitchen will open at 10 a.m. serving hot dogs, chips, beverages and baked goods. The sale will be held indoors. All proceeds from concessions and purchases will benefit local mission projects.

All concerned West Virginians are invited to come to the Old Courtroom on the second floor of the Old County Courthouse at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, for a presentation by Angie Summers from the group West Virginians Against Common Core on the issues of the new Common Core education system that the state has adopted.

Though sponsored by the Putnam County Republican Club, the forum is a non-partisan event and will be followed by refreshments and time to discuss the issues further.

West Virginians Against Common Core is a project of WV Constitutional Advocates. For more information, visit wvagainstcommoncore.wv constitutionaladvocates.com.

The WVU Extension Service, Putnam County Master Gardeners and Town and Country Supply Inc. will host a free Putnam Summer Gardening Series beginning in August.

The topics covered will be: Improving Our Appalachian Soils, Aug. 2; Canning Your Harvest, Aug. 9; Annuals - A Seasonal Canvas of Color, Aug. 16; Native Pollinators, Aug. 23; and Perennials in Your Landscape, Aug. 30.

All classes will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays at Town and Country Supply Inc., 4400 1st Ave. in Nitro.

Reserve a space by calling Town and Country at 304-755-3520 or the WVU Extension Service Office in Putnam County at 304-586-0217.

To submit an item, send it by email to yournews@dailymailwv.com, fax it to 304-348-4847 or mail it to Community Briefs, Charleston Daily Mail, 1001 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV 25301.

Editorial: Is there no solution to senseless overdose deaths? http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/ARTICLE/140739980 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/ARTICLE/140739980 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 Charleston's Dr. Dan Foster and other compassionate reformers want to require prescriptions for cold remedies containing pseudoephedrine, to stop criminals from buying cartloads of the over-the-counter pills and "cooking" them into devastating "meth" narcotics.

This cleanup attempt is noble - but there's a flipside, as follows:

The Drugs Inc. series on the National Geographic channel recounted July 23 how Oregon required such prescriptions, and it wiped out virtually all of Oregon's homegrown meth labs. However, with the local supply gone, Mexican drug cartels swooped into the vacuum, flooding Portland with Mexican-made meth and heroin, producing endless overdose deaths and human misery.

Sometimes it seems that America's drug curse is utterly insoluble. Why do so many people want dope that wrecks their health, cripples their careers, lands them in jail and damages their families? What's the point of this senseless self-destruction?

Grotesquely, West Virginia leads the nation in overdose deaths. Last fall, the Trust for America's Health reported that the Mountain State's drug death rate soared sixfold from 1999 to 2010, reaching 29 per 100,000 population, more than the number killed in highway crashes.

"The rate of increase is dramatically higher than most states," the trust's director told Statehouse reporter Eric Eyre. "People in rural communities are about twice as likely to die from a prescription drug overdose as those living in urban areas."

Despite state efforts to reduce this menace, West Virginia is plagued by news reports of hopeless "pillbillies" in dwindling coal regions destroying themselves through addiction. For example, McDowell County is notorious for overdose deaths. Many in southern counties can't pass drug tests to get jobs.

Recently, cheaper heroin has replaced expensive pain pills as the foremost drug of choice.

The 2014 Legislature failed to pass two bills designed to ease the crisis. One would have let police and paramedics administer lifesaving naloxone, which prevents overdoses from becoming fatal. Although the state Senate approved it unanimously, it died in the House Judiciary Committee - presumably because trial lawyers felt it might curb their ability to file lawsuits. A "Good Samaritan" bill to shield people who report overdoses died for the same apparent reason.

"It's absolutely ridiculous," Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, protested. "There was no downside to these [policies]. The overdose problem is getting worse, not better, because of heroin."

The two bills would have been Band-Aids offering a bit of help, while the entire narcotic curse remains huge. The Centers for Disease Control says America suffered 41,340 overdose deaths in 2011, adding:

"Deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Every day in the United States, 113 people die as a result of drug overdose, and another 6,748 are treated in emergency departments."

It's tragic that West Virginia leads this ghastly spectacle.

Vickie Shaffer: Is it too much to ask that we get the high-speed Internet we pay for? http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/ARTICLE/140739981 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/ARTICLE/140739981 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 By Vickie Shaffer We have access to Internet service in Randolph County provided by Frontier Communications. We do not have access to high speed Internet. We live near Valley Head in a hollow surrounded by mountains.

We have no alternative to Frontier as the satellite Internet services provided by Hughes Net and Exede are inaccessible. Their satellites are too low in the sky and are blocked by the mountain. The DSL service here is via copper wire. We hear rumors that Frontier will extend fiber optic service to our road. The rumors are all we have gotten.

In May, the Charleston Daily Mail reported that broadband speeds across West Virginia have increased 56 percent over the past three years. The article went on to say that "a preliminary analysis of more than one million broadband speed tests indicates the average broadband download speed in West Virginia has increased from 9.21 megabits per second (mbps) in 2012 to 14.41 mbps as of March 2014." Where we live, our download speed is 1.08 mbps and upload speed is .17 mbps, if we are lucky. It is much more common for download speeds to be 0.51 to 0.60 mbps.

For instance, I used Google to find the names and addresses to send a letter to the state Public Service Commission. It took 25 or 30 seconds for the search results to display. I clicked the link to contact Frontier at 12:08 p.m. As I sat and watched the connection grind away, I refreshed the link at 12:09 p.m. It took until 12:10 p.m. for the page to fully load.

Back in March of 2013, The Charleston Gazette reported that the state Broadband Deployment Council voted to propose legislation that would raise the state's minimum acceptable download speed to 6 megabits. The reaction by Frontier executive Dana Waldo was that Frontier Communications would fight the legislation because "the change could stifle service to homes in rural areas." That would be all fine and good if the homes that already had Internet service could use it. We just fight for the Internet at download speeds of 0.61 mbps.

In July 2011, Waldo said, "Frontier also is continuing to upgrade landline equipment and facilities in the state." In June 2011, Frontier had asked the PSC to allow it to use $13.8 million in an escrow fund account the PSC ordered Verizon to establish in May 2010 for landline service improvements. It's no wonder the PSC's staff and its Consumer Advocate Division questioned the request, saying the company "has done little to improve service quality, despite spending millions on upgrades." Waldo's response was that problems were being fixed correctly so they don't recur. "It's going to be steady progress. It's not going to happen overnight." Is it too much to ask that something happen over three years?

On June 2, the Register-Herald in Beckley reported that since 2010, Frontier has spent nearly half a billion dollars in the state, "connecting" rural residential and small business areas and providing services to the growing health care, education and financial sectors in West Virginia. None of those millions ever made it to our home.

I understand that Frontier has broken West Virginia down into seven markets, with general managers of those markets identifying local needs and making local spending decisions. According to Frontier, the market breakdown allows general managers to become connected to their communities and be familiar with the concerns of their local customers. No one from Frontier is ever around here except the service technicians, who know our frustrations all too well. Poor fellas, they must get tired of listening to us.

Is it asking too much for the PSC to help us get high-speed Internet service that is worth what we pay for it? Before state and federal taxes, we pay $54.02 a month to Frontier for what our bill labels "High Speed Internet." High Speed it is not.

Beyond our hollow, our state is still struggling to find a solution for building a high-speed Internet infrastructure that will create jobs and improve the lives of our fellow citizens. We can maintain the status quo and watch West Virginia fall further behind other states or we can take care of the problems to ensure the state's economic growth for years to come. The West Virginia Public Service Commission is at the crossroads for making this problem go away.

Vickie Shaffer lives in Monterville.

Business people, July 30 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM05/140739983 DM05 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM05/140739983 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 CONSTRUCTION

n Daniel Flesher, president of Trimble Engineers and Constructors Inc., of Morgantown, was elected president of the Contractors Association of West Virginia at the association's Annual Meeting held earlier this month at The Greenbrier.

Flesher replaced Phil Weser, president and CEO of March-Westin Co., of Morgantown, who will serve on the association's board of directors as immediate past president.

Also elected as officers were Dan Cooperrider of West Virginia Paving, Inc. in Dunbar as senior vice president; C.R. Neighborgall IV, president of The Neighborgall Construction Co. in Huntington, as vice president; Scott Pierson, president of Pipe Plus, Inc. of Nitro, as treasurer; and Roger Thomas, area manager of Kelly Paving, Inc. in Williamstown, as secretary.

Elected to the board of directors were Doug Meeks, president of Brewer and Company of West Virginia, Inc. in Charleston; Michael Gianni, president of The James White Construction Co. in Weirton; and Nathaniel Orders, president of the Orders Construction Co. in St. Albans.

Members also elected the following people as chairmen of the association's four occupational divisions:

n Jamie Ridgeway, vice president of operations at March- Westin Company, Inc. of Morgantown, as building division chairman.

n John Boyle II, president of Mountaineer Contractors Inc. in Kingwood, as highway/heavy division chairman.

n Tim Spradling, vice president of Triton Construction Inc. in Nitro, as utilities division chairman.

n Christopher Slaughter, member of the Steptoe & Johnson law firm's Huntington office as associate division chairman with Eric Ramey, general sales manager of Walker Machinery Co. in Belle, as associate division vice chairman.


n Brian Bracey has been named an associate vice president for development with the Marshall University Foundation.

Bracey, who enjoyed a successful career in pharmaceutical sales and marketing, earned a master of business administration from Marshall in 2009. He has held multiple leadership positions throughout his career and has received numerous awards, recognitions and certifications.

n Jennifer Carriger, co-founder of the Appalachian Reading Center, has been named the full-time reading and learning consultant at Mountaineer Montessori School in Charleston.

Carriger, a past president of the West Virginia Learning Disabilities Association, received degrees in international studies, secondary education and special education from West Virginia University and is certified in the Wilson Reading System with additional training in Handwriting Without Tears. She taught in the public school system for nine years at the elementary, middle and high school levels.


n Dr. Mohammed Al-Ourani, a board-certified internal medicine physician and fellowship-trained lung specialist, has joined the medical staff at Cabell Huntington Hospital and Marshall Health.

Al-Ourani completed fellowship training in pulmonary diseases at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. He also completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Jordan and Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine after earning his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery Certificate at Cairo University in Egypt.

n Dr. Nadim Bou Zgheib, a board-certified and fellowship-trained gynecologic oncologist, has joined the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center to provide care for women with gynecologic cancers.

An assistant professor at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Bou Zgheib has completed extensive training in gynecologic cancer diagnosis and treatment and minimally invasive surgery, including daVinci surgery, at the University of South Florida and Moffitt Cancer Center.

n Dr. Ashish Koirala, has joined Thomas Health System Physician Partners, specializing in pulmonology and critical care.

Koirala is a board-certified pulmonologist specializing in treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), black lung, asthma, lung infections and intensive diagnostic testing of lung masses and interstitial lung disease. He is also trained in critical care and well versed in the management of critically ill patients under intensive care.

n Dr. M. Amin Kadoura, specializing in nephrology, has joined the practice of Drs. Abdul Zanabli and Amr El Toukhy at Charleston Nephrology, Hypertension & Transplant.

Their main office is located at 4610 Kanawha Ave. SW, Suite 402 in South Charleston, with additional offices in Hurricane, Montgomery and Ripley.


n Attorney Staci Criswell has joined Spilman Thomas & Battle as counsel in the firm's Private Client Services Industry Group. Her practice will focus on estate planning, trust and estate administration and litigation.

A leading attorney in trust and estate matters, she has extensive experience guiding clients through wealth transfer, planning and preservation procedures, as well as state and federal tax matters. Criswell earned both her undergraduate and law degrees from West Virginia University.

Compiled by Jared Hunt

Email announcements regarding new hires, promotions, or awards at your business to business@dailymailwv.com. Attach headshots in JPEG format.

New Edgewood school a learning tool in itself http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/GZ01/140739984 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/GZ01/140739984 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 By Mackenzie Mays CHARLESTON, W.Va. - While Kanawha County's newest school, Edgewood Elementary, is still under construction, exposed parts of the walls that show the building's inner workings won't be covered up when the school officially opens its doors in August. They're supposed to be that way.

Sections of the ceiling are missing tile, and instead are covered in an array of colorful cords and pipes. The sprinkler system is orange, hot water pipes are red, cold water pipes are blue and air supply ducts are purple - which will make it easy for students to identify them.

Interactive dashboards along the school's hallways monitor real-time data about energy usage, including heating and cooling and water levels. A schoolwide competition of which wings of the building saved more energy will be part of instruction once Edgewood's inaugural class enters on Aug. 11.

"One of the themes of the school is that the school itself is a learning tool. They're able to see what's going on in the building and learn from it," said Chuck Wilson, facilities director for Kanawha County Schools. "It's like a museum. It's supposed to be more hands-on."

The $21 million "school of the future" is filled with these "conversation starters" - many of which are geared toward environmental health. A green light will pop on in the classroom if CO2 levels rise, and students will then be instructed to prop open low-hanging windows - barely off the ground so the smallest students can reach them.

Reflective aluminum tubes shoot natural light through the ceiling, and water fountains have filtration systems attached.

For the most part, there are no traditional classrooms. Instead, dozens of students at a time learn in large, open "exploratoriums" where teams of five teachers are available for instruction and students break into groups or work individually to focus on several different parts of one lesson.

A "performance area" connects the second/third grade center and fourth/fifth grade center and provides a stage where students will be expected to present their projects and practice public speaking in front of large groups.

Teachers have been training for the unique curriculum for years, Wilson said.

"The whole idea is project-based learning so kids get assigned a project that involves all different disciplines to study and then go in different areas to do that," said Ben Ashley, an architect with the state School Building Authority, which helped fund the project. "They'll get the whole experience in one area. Instead of going to different classrooms, it's all in this pod."

The 52,000-square-foot school on a scenic hilltop on Edgewood Drive in Charleston is among the nicest and most expensive in the state, Ashley said.

"We haven't done this to this extent before - to use the rooms as a learning tool like this," Ashley said. "It's the most technologically advanced school, and the kids will benefit from that."

The school will be filled with iPads and Apple TVs, along with expansive wireless connections. A TV production room sits in the computer lab so that students can make quality morning announcements.

Several patio areas are attached to the building, allowing students outdoor workspace and a view of the forest and the plentiful deer that roam the secluded hillside.

While officials like Wilson and Ashley are proud to boast the school's unique features - there's even a tricycle path outside for the youngest students - and its high-tech safety features - including a mantrap and plenty of sight lines to outside - there's hope that the building's core mission can turn around historically low student achievement in the area.

"That's exactly why the authority funded the project a couple of years ago. We wanted to give every kid we can who may not have an advantage at least a fair shot," Ashley said.

The school will consolidate the student bodies of Watts and J.E. Robins elementary schools on Charleston's West Side, both of which closed earlier this year.

Most of the students in the Edgewood attendance zone come from low-income families and live on the West Side, which is infamous for drug-related crime.

Edgewood Elementary will have an in-house Prestera Center, which will offer mental health services to students and also provide on-site counselors. The center will even have a room with one-way glass so that counselors can observe how at-risk students interact with others.

"The demographics here are unique to the state," Wilson said. "There are other cities in West Virginia that have similar things going on, but not on the scale of what's going on here. There are some kids that have had traumatic things happen to them. They have behavior disorders. There are lots of sad cases. So this is a way they can get a lot of specialized one-on-one counseling and training.

"Getting children out of the environment of the West Side, it'll take their minds off of some of the problems and issues they faced walking to school previously," he said. "Now we're bringing them outside of that area into more natural surroundings and maybe they can concentrate more on what they're learning."

While work on the school building is ongoing, Wilson said it will mostly be finished in time for the first day of class, and an official groundbreaking ceremony is slated for September.

Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.mays@wvgazette.com, 304-348-4814 or follow @MackenzieMays on Twitter.

Letter to the editor: Larry Medley: A vote for Casey is a vote for Pelosi http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739985 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739985 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 In the past, young aspiring politicians in West Virginia looked at voter registration numbers and decided if they were going to be elected to office they had to run as a Democrat. Thus, they cast their lot with the Democratic Party.

As time passed, the political landscape in America changed.

Ultra liberals captured the Democratic Party; coal-hating environmentalists, pro abortion, those pushing for repeal of the Second Amendment, people who want freedom from religion as opposed to freedom of religion, and those who believe America is not an exceptional country and should lead from behind while advocating government welfare programs grow into infinity.

These people now control the Democratic Party.

The problem for West Virginia Democrats is that the above folks supply the money and muscle to get Democrats elected, but most West Virginians are not ultra liberals.

Thus, you see Nick Casey dancing on the head of a pin, trying to convince voters he is not "that kind of Democrat" yet looking to that kind of Democrat for resources necessary to win an election.

The fact is, Nick Casey says one thing, but when push comes to shove, he will always side with the likes of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

He has to, after all these people control the modern day Democratic Party.

If Casey really were not that kind of Democrat he would become a Republican or Independent.

It is time for West Virginians to remove the scales from their eyes.

A vote for Nick Casey and Natalie Tennant is the same as a vote for Pelosi and Reid who are rabid Obama supporters and enablers.

Send the national Democratic Party a message, and not support their agenda.

The best way to do this is to vote for Alex Mooney, David McKinley, Shelley Moore Capito and Evan Jenkins.

Larry Medley


Robert J. Samuelson: Are we ready for the next financial crisis? http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739986 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739986 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 WASHINGTON -- Four years after Dodd-Frank became law, the question being asked is whether the country is safe from another financial crisis.

It's the wrong question.

It presumes that major financial crises are routine events. They're not. What happened in 2008-09 was the first in the United States since World War II. This sort of calamity requires much stupidity, incompetence and bad luck. With or without Dodd-Frank, the next one might be many years or decades away.

The right question is: When a crisis occurs -- as it probably will -- does Dodd-Frank better prepare us to handle it?

Unfortunately, no.

It may even make us more vulnerable. To see why, you need to understand Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act and its role in the last crisis. It's the sleeper issue in judging Dodd-Frank.

By their nature, financial crises are unexpected, fast-moving and chaotic. Government's goal is to defeat panic: the terror-driven rush to sell stocks and bonds or withdraw funds from financial institutions and markets.

Panic becomes self-fulfilling. Less wealth and more fear depress spending and raise unemployment.

In 2008-09, the Fed -- aided by the Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. -- arrested panic by lending huge amounts to besieged markets and institutions.

At its peak, the Fed's loans totaled about $1.5 trillion.

Much of this lending couldn't have occurred without Section 13(3).

Normally, the Fed lends only to deposit-taking commercial banks.

In the crisis, it also lent or supported money-market funds, commercial paper markets, investment banks and a major insurance company (AIG).

It could do so because Section 13(3), enacted in 1932, said that "in unusual and exigent circumstances" the Fed could lend to almost anyone -- individuals, industrial companies, non-bank financial institutions.

Section 13(3) enabled the Fed to serve as a true "lender of last resort." Many economists believe this may have prevented a second Great Depression. And how did Congress, via Dodd-Frank, reward the Fed's good deeds? It handcuffed (maybe gutted) 13(3).

Dodd-Frank's restrictions on 13(3) loans include: (1) the treasury secretary must approve any lending; (2) loans can't be focused on an individual firm (example: a wobbly money-market fund) but must be open to a broad class of borrowers; (3) the names of borrowers must be disclosed to Congress within a week; and (4) there are stricter standards for loan collateral.

"I'm concerned that the restrictions ... limit more than is wise," Donald Kohn, the Fed's vice chairman during the crisis, said at a recent Brooking Institution conference. Other commentators agreed.

It's easy to see why.

Suppose that temporarily propping up that one wobbly money-market fund might prevent a general panic affecting all money-market funds.

Shouldn't the Fed have the power to do that? Under Dodd-Frank, it doesn't.

The curbs on the Fed reflect a general resentment that the Fed could deploy so much money without first getting approval from Congress, which controls the government's purse strings. But creating money is what modern central banks do.

If Congress objects, it should revert to the gold standard.

In a crisis, the Fed's ability to respond quickly is what gives it the potential to stop a panic.

(Note: Most of the Fed's loans have been repaid with interest.)

The insistence on detailed oversight would, if applied to the military, require generals during wars to clear every tactical change with Congress. This sounds impractical, because it is.

The anti-Fed backlash also stems from the belief that it is an agent of the "too big to fail" doctrine -- protecting the big financial institutions that caused the meltdown.

These institutions, the theory goes, took big risks because they would reap big profits if they succeeded and would be rescued by the government if they failed.

With this implicit government guarantee, they could borrow more cheaply than rivals to finance their speculative investing.

This beguiling theory fails on the facts. Yes, some big financial institutions (AIG, Citigroup) were protected. But many failed or were forced to sell out at low share prices: Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia, Washington Mutual.

There was no blanket protection for "big" players. Nor was their interest-rate advantage large. Studies suggest it averaged about 15 basis points, reports the International Monetary Fund.

That's a difference between 4 percent and 4.15 percent -- a slim margin on which to hang the entire financial crisis.

It ultimately originated in an orgy of optimism, reflecting a quarter-century of solid economic growth, which spawned reckless lending and borrowing.

No one plans a financial collapse. Dodd-Frank's provisions, even if they work as hoped, can't permanently shield us from unforeseen problems.

In a crisis, we need a competent first responder.

The Fed, though hardly infallible, is the best choice. A farsighted and wise Congress -- not now in evidence -- would restore its flexibility.

Fred Hiatt: An aloof president's disengagement from the world http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739987 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739987 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 A stunning unfolding of international crises, from Iraq to Ukraine to Syria to Gaza, has prompted some less-than-edifying Washington debate: It's all President Obama's fault. No, it's not his fault at all.

It would be a pity if partisan fervor kept us from learning from recent events, because in fact the available lessons are stark: We have witnessed as close to a laboratory experiment on the effects of U.S. disengagement as the real world is ever likely to provide.

Obama openly and deliberately adopted a strategy, not of isolationism, but of gradual withdrawal, especially from Europe and the Middle East.

He argued that America should concentrate on "nation-building here at home."

He espoused a pivot to Asia, on the grounds that the Pacific region was the world's most dynamic and deserving of U.S. military and diplomatic attention.

("Here, we see the future," Obama told Australia's parliament.)

Many policies followed:

* All U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq.

Whether this was at the insistence of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as Obama's defenders argue, or because Obama offered so few troops, and so half-heartedly, that Maliki was bound to reject the offer matters less than this: Obama was content with the zero option and, as he made clear at the time, sanguine about Iraq's prospects without a U.S. presence.

* As Syria descended into civil war, Obama decided that the risks of providing air support, weapons or training to moderate rebels outweighed any potential gains.

Again sanguine, he confidently predicted that Syrian President Bashar Assad would be overthrown anyway.

* After bombing Libyan forces to depose Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Obama declined to send trainers or other support to the new government.

* Obama declared that Assad, in gassing 1,400 civilians to death, had violated civilized norms and crossed his, Obama's, red line.

He asked for congressional approval for a military response; then he shelved that request in favor of a deal, brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, for Assad to hand over his chemical arsenal.

What are the results?

Obama's determination to gear down in Europe and the Middle East, regardless of circumstances, guaranteed that the United States would not respond strategically to new opportunities (the Arab Spring) or dangers (Putin's determination to redraw the map of Europe).

When ordinary citizens in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world unexpectedly began agitating for democracy, the West might have responded as it did after World War II (with the Marshall Plan) or the fall of the Berlin Wall (with a commitment to a Europe whole and free).

If the United States had taken the lead, Europe and America together could have offered trade, investment, exchange and cultural opportunities to help bring the region into the modern, democratic world.

But for Obama the tumult in Egypt and elsewhere was a distraction, not a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

The West responded timidly and inconsistently, and the moment was lost.

For Russia, Obama offered Putin a "reset" strategy of improved relations.

But when it became clear that Putin wasn't interested -- that he wanted to re-create a Russian empire while blocking the achievement of a Europe whole and free -- the West again had no strategic response.

Obama could have bolstered a unified Europe with military, diplomatic and trade measures. Instead, as Putin wrecked democracy in Russia, annexed Crimea and fomented war in Ukraine, Obama and his European counterparts were reactive and divided.

In Iraq and Syria, Obama's predictions proved wrong. Without the 15,000 or so troops that U.S. generals hoped to station in Iraq for training and counterterrorism, the United States had no leverage as Iraq's armed forces devolved into sectarian militias.

When challenged by al-Qaida, the army and the state itself quickly shattered.

Without Western backing, the moderate rebels in Syria are in retreat. Assad did not fall, and extremists -- with a far more capable arsenal than the moderates have -- established a state that Eric Holder finds "more frightening than anything I think I've seen as attorney general."

Libya's government, until recently spurned in its requests for help, gradually lost control. The country is now so dangerous that on Saturday the United States had to evacuate its embassy.

Syria did hand over the chemical weapons Assad acknowledged possessing, but the dictator was strengthened in the transaction.

Even in Asia, the supposed pivot notwithstanding, allied leaders express doubts about U.S. commitment - and the reason they cite most often is Obama's retreat from his red line in Syria.

To be sure, there are no true laboratory experiments in international relations.

Even with different U.S. policies, the Arab Spring might have fizzled and the Iraqi army might have crumbled.

No one can say for sure what would have happened if the United States had not signaled its exhaustion with foreign affairs, downgraded its interest in Europe and the Middle East, abandoned Iraq and stayed aloof from Syria.

But we can see what followed each of those strategic choices. Obama thought he could engineer a cautious, modulated retreat from U.S. leadership. What we have gotten is a far more dangerous world.

Hiatt is the editorial page editor of The Washington Post.

Don Surber: What? A non-citizen is unpatriotic? http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739988 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739988 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 Merriam-Webster Online's Dictionary defines a patriot as "a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion."

It's second usage defines patriot as "a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government."

A person.

This is interesting in light of the Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and the decision by Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan Inc., to incorporate her company in the Netherlands because U.S. corporation taxes are the highest in the world.

Higher than North Korea.

Democrats are apoplectic over the Citizens United decision. In it, the Supreme Court ruled the First Amendment allows you to pool your money to pay for an advertisement for the showing of a documentary critical of a sitting U.S. senator before an election.

In so doing, justices neutered the Draconian campaign reform legislation of 1974.

Democrats have used this decision to raise money. They contend that the court bestowed personhood upon corporations.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is basing his re-election effort on his exaggerated interpretation of the decision.

"Look, Citizens United was a disaster. The question is, what are we going to do about it? How are we going to stuff this corporations are people, elections are auctions, democracy is for sale mess into the Dumpster of Bad Ideas?" Franken wrote online.

"Here's how: A constitutional amendment that puts power back in the hands of the people. The actual, human people."

Corporations are not people.

Which brings us to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's reaction over the decision by Bresch, daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin, to incorporate elsewhere.

Unpatriotic, he says.

"What we need as a nation is a new sense of economic patriotism, where we all rise or fall together," Lew recently wrote. "We should not be providing support for corporations that seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes."

Wait a minute.

If corporations are not people -- as Democrats said in response to Citizens United -- then how can they be patriotic?

You must be a person to be a patriot.

And for the past few years, Democrats have mocked the idea that corporations have any rights by saying they are not persons.

Corporations include all those tax exempt non-profits that keep calling for ever higher corporate taxes.

Lew's career has been spent working for groups that pay no corporate taxes: federal and state governments, college and the Center for Middle East Research at Harvard.

Finally in 2006, he went to work for Citigroup, On his watch, he increased the number of Citigroup subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands to 113.

That's some patriot we have as our treasury secretary.

Oh and Lew also oversaw a hedge fund that bet on the housing market to collapse.


Now what is this noise about Mylan 1.) not having rights and 2.) being unpatriotic?

When the Center for Middle East Research starts paying corporate taxes, then I'll let its former executive director define patriotism.

Till then, I'll stick with Merriam-Webster.

Thomas Sowell: Cease the cease-fire http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739989 DM04 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140730/DM04/140739989 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:01:00 -0400 Many years ago, on my first trip around the world, I was struck by how the children in the Middle East -- Arab and Israeli alike -- were among the nicest looking little children I had seen anywhere.

It was painful to think that they were going to grow up killing each other. But that is exactly what happened.

It is understandable that today many people in many lands just want the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians to stop. Calls for a cease-fire are ringing out from the United Nations and from Washington, as well as from ordinary people in many places around the world.

According to the New York Times, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping for a cease-fire to "open the door to Israeli and Palestinian negotiations for a long-term solution."

President Obama has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have an "immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire" -- again, with the idea of pursuing some long-lasting agreement.

If this was the first outbreak of violence between the Palestinians and the Israelis, such hopes might make sense.

But where have the U.N., Kerry and Obama been during all these decades of endlessly repeated Middle East carnage?

The Middle East must lead the world in cease-fires.

If cease-fires were the road to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful place on the planet.

"Cease-fire" and "negotiations" are magic words to "the international community." But just what do cease-fires actually accomplish?

In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives, by lowering the cost of aggression.

At one time, launching a military attack on another nation risked not only retaliation but annihilation.

When Carthage attacked Rome, that was the end of Carthage.

But when Hamas or some other terrorist group launches an attack on Israel, they know in advance that whatever Israel does in response will be limited by calls for a cease-fire, backed by political and economic pressures from the United States.

It is not at all clear what Israel's critics can rationally expect the Israelis to do when they are attacked. Suffer in silence? Surrender? Flee the Middle East?

Or -- most unrealistic of al -- fight a "nice" war, with no civilian casualties? General William T. Sherman said it all, 150 years ago: "War is hell."

If you want to minimize civilian casualties, then minimize the dangers of war, by no longer coming to the rescue of those who start wars.

Hamas attacked Israel, not only by vast numbers of rockets but also Hamas invaded -- underground -- by mazes of tunnels.

There is something grotesque about people living thousands of miles away, in safety and comfort, loftily second-guessing and trying to micro-manage what the Israelis are doing in a matter of life and death.

Such self-indulgences are a danger, not simply to Israel, but to the whole Western world, for it betrays a lack of realism that shows in everything from the current disastrous consequences of our policies in Egypt, Libya and Iraq to future catastrophes from a nuclear-armed Iran.

Those who say that we can contain a nuclear Iran, as we contained a nuclear Soviet Union, are acting as if they are discussing abstract people in an abstract world. Whatever the Soviets were, they were not suicidal fanatics, ready to see their own cities destroyed in order to destroy ours.

As for the ever-elusive "solution" to the Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East, there is nothing faintly resembling a solution anywhere on the horizon. Nor is it hard to see why.

Even if the Israelis were all saints -- and sainthood is not common in any branch of the human race -- the cold fact is that they are far more advanced than their neighbors, and groups that cannot tolerate even subordinate Christian minorities can hardly be expected to tolerate an independent, and more advanced, Jewish state that is a daily rebuke to their egos.

Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.