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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
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February 23, 2008     Mountain Messenger
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February 23, 2008
 

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" www.mountain messeneer.com II II II Rupert Law Enforcement Office and Tax Office moving Sheriff Roger L. Sheppard is pleased to announce that the Rupert Sheriffs Law Enforcement Office and Tax Office will be moving to Rupert City Hall on Main Street in Rupert: They will be at their new location on Monday, Mar. 3. Tax Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. ::Study praises education iipolicy, but slams outcomes ~-~ By Shaya Tayefe Mohajer "Unfortunately, we have to Associated Press Writer CHARLESTON, W.'Va. (AP)-- A new national study praises ;:West Virginia's education poli- cies with an A grade, but gives the state's schoolchildren an F for classroom achievement. Though the state is succeed- ing in setting high standards, students aren't yet achieving high academic marks, accord- ing to Education Week's "Qual- ity Counts 2008" report re- ;;leased Wednesday. " Nationally, the state's eighth- graders rank 47th in math and 43rd in reading, while fourth- graders rank 40th in reading and math. Those rankings are based on cumulative student scores on the National Assess- ment of Educational Progress test from 2003-2007. Overall, the state's grade of B-minus topped the national average, a C. High marks in standards, assessment, ac- countability and the state's policy of financial equity pro- vided a counterbalance to the low achievement numbers. "West Virginia is very low- performing when you look at K- 12 achievement, and that's not going to surprise a lot of ;,*~people," said Christopher ",~wanson, one of the study s , ~authors and director of the edi- i ,torial project at the Education i ,Research Center. be patient if we want to see wholesale and very visible im- provements to achievement. It can happen, but it takes time." In five years, West Virginia's schools may be substantially improved if they follow current policy mandates, Swanson said. State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine said im- provements in NAEP scores should be seen even sooner. Paine noted that the school board's high marks for educa- tional policy were a result of more rigorous curriculum stan- dards implemented after he took office in 2005. He also noted that higher state stan- dards for students will go into effect in the fall of 2008. "We have fixed the problem from our policy standpoint," Paine said. "Now, what we ab- solutely need is a professional development structure in this state to help teachers teach to the standards that we now have put in place, standards that are going to make our kids globally competitive." Paine says he will urge leg- islators during the 60-day leg- islative session that kicked off Wednesday to fund an initia- tive to help provide one-on-one training and online resources for the state's teachers. ous ng Devel economic s m On Thursday, Feb. 21, Gov. Joe Manchin asked the West Virginia Housing Development Fund directors to put together a stimulus plan that would en- courage more first-time home- buyers in West Virginia and help to prevent the housing slump here that has plagued the overall U.S. economy the last several months. The governor said that al- though West Virginia hasn't suffered the same dramatic drop in housing values and in- creased foreclosures as have many areas across the coun- try, state "officials must take action now to ensure that the state's growing economy isn't slowed as creditors clamp down on mortgage lending and ad- justable rate mortgage rates swell. "Fortunately, for West Vir- ginia, our housing market didn't suffer the same level of over-inflated values for homes and sub-prime mortgage fi- nancing that has put our na- tional economy into a tailspin," Manchin said. "But at the same time, we need to give the indus- try a boost--an incentive plan --to encourage more West Vir- ginians to buy homes through affordable mortgages, and to help those residents who've gotten into a bad situation with mortgages they can no longer afford because of skyrocketing adjustable rates." Joe Hatfield, executive direc- tor of the Housing Development Fund, said the mortgage Indus- try is under extreme pressure and more conservative lending requirements are decreasing the number of eligible borrowers. "Fewer borrowers means fewer home sales, which can lead to a slowed state economy. With one of the highest percentages of home ownership in the country, housing has been a significant part of West Virginia's growth the last few years, he said. "The governor asked us to "i~ut together a housing stimu- lus package to help new pur- ulus plan chasers get stable loans at ex- cellent rates, and to help fami- lies with sub-prime mortgages get refinanced into a low-inter- est program. We believe the Fund can play a strong role in helping West Virginia families --we want to get more West Vir- ginians Into their own homes and do what we can to keep existing homeowners in risky mortgages from losing their homes." The Housing Development Fund board of directors ap- proved a plan that provides the following: $20 million In Mortgage Revenue Bond funds at 4.99 percent interest for 30-year mortgages. This money would be used for families buying homes for the first time and for other qualified homebuyers. Increase the Closing Cost Assistance Program to $5 mil- lion to provide loans of as much as $5,000 to cover the larger cash contributions needed from families buying a home. * Encourage use of 97 per- cent and 100 percent financ- ing provided by federal loan guarantee programs. $350,000 In matching funds for the Affordable Hous- ing Trust Fund for borrower assistance programs. Homebuyer counseling for families with existing sub- prime loans to avoid foreclo- sure. Manchin said this is not a bailout and it does not put the Housing Development fund or state in a bad financial situa- tion. The loans would be guar- anteed either by private mort- gage insurers or through fed- oral loan guarantee programs. Loans through the program are available immediately. For more information or for assis- tance, residents may visit one of the Housing Development Fund's participating lenders, or call the Fund at (800) 933- 9843 or visit www.wvhdf.com. The ' tVeekend Papelr for the Greenbrier Valley - Mounl;ain M essenqer Feb. 23, 2008 SA Oliver Porterfield seeks re.election to Monroe Co. Commission Winner of Postman's PantS contest As we approach the end of winter, the Lewisburg Foundattion is proud to announce the winner of this year'spostman's Paints contest, Bernie Holliday. Fellow contestant and two-time- win- ner Fonzie (Steve) Fitzwater graciously backed out as wiind chills dropped below zero in January. Postmen raise funds for the Lewisburg Foundation as well as the charitable organization of the winner's choice through thleir participation in this fun, spirited competition. Merchants amd individuals are encouraged to donate on behalf of the po~st- men and support of their efforts. For more information ab ut the Postman's Pants Challenge, contact the Lpwisburg Foun- dation at p.o. Box 1755, Lewisburg, WV 24901. Anita Skeens Caldwell. Democrat of Princeton. Mercer County, seeks to return to the State Senate representing the 10th District. Caldwell served in the WV State Senate from 2000-2004. She is the daughter of the late Mayor Lewis I. and Willie Alice Farley Skeens of Princeton. She is a graduate Concord Col- lege and West Virginia Univer- sity. She has a son, Nathaniel "Chad" Caldwell, currently a councilman for the City of Princeton. While serving in the WV State Senate her committee assignments were: Education, Interstate Cooperation (Vice Chair), Judiciary, Military (Vice Chair), Trar~sportation (Vice Chair), Enrolled Bills, Inter- state Cooperation (Chair). She has been an educator for 40 years in the Mercer County School System. Caldwell has operated sev- eral business ventures. Sihe is a Baptist an(~ a member o~f the West Virginia Education .~Asso- ciaUon; American Federatiion of Teachers; /~/kRP, Presi,dent Four Seasons Rurit.an Club, Mercer County Democratic Club; FounOer, Courthouse "Players Theatrical Tro,upe, Mayor, City of Princeton, II995- 1998; Membgr, Princetont City Council, 1993-2000. Cakdwell has served as a former irnem- ber of the PTinceton Samitary Board; Pam'S Place Domlestic Abuse Task Force, and thee Re- gion One Pl nning and D)evel- opment Council. Caldwell says. "I look: for- ward of sei~ing the people of Greenbrier,Summers, Mconroe and parts of Mercer and Fayette Counties again." Nominations needed for volunteer awards Each year, Gov. Joe Manchin ognize West Virginians wh~o dis- honors outstanding individu- als, organizations and busi- nesses for extraordinary ser- vice to their communities through his Governor's Service Awards. Nominations for the Gover- nor's Service Awards, annually coordinated by the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service, are now being accepted. The awards rec- Sonia D. Chambers, Chair of the West Virginia Health Care Authority, an- nounced on Feb. 11 that the Authority has issued a Cer- tificate of Need to Genesis Genesis Tenant LLC, Gen- esis Subtenant LLC, OpCos, FC-GEN Real Estate, LLC and FC-GEN Leasing, LLC, CON File #07-WV-8627-A, for a change in operator and a change in leasing ar- rangements for the real es- tate and equipment for twenty-five nursing homes, and a change of ownership of the real estate and equip- ment for 17 of the Facilities. The capital expenditure associated with the project is $2,058,000. For further information, or to obtain a copy of the above-referenced decision, contact: Sonia D. Chambers, Chair WV Health Care Authority 100 Dee Drive Charleston. WV 25311-1600 Telephone: (304) 558-7000 Toll Free: 1-888-558-7002 play enduriqg commitment for the bettern}ent of the state through volunteerism. "West Virginia is bless~ed to have an abundance of cittizens at every age level who have made a positive impact im our state." Manchin said.""I en- courage West Virginiams to take the time to nominmte an outstanding individual, o~rgani- zation or business that dissplays enduring commitment fcar the betterment of the Moumtain State. Without these no~mina- tions, we will miss a womderful opportunityto honor thos~e who give so much and expect so little in retqrn," Recipient~ of the Governor's Service Awards will receiwe rec- ognition from Gov. Manc!hin in a special banquet at th~ state volunteerism conference, Faces of Leadership, in Charlestton on July 16. VolUnteer West Vflrginia Inc. will also use private funds to donate ~500 to a We,st Vir- ginia charitable organizattion of the recipient's choice. T?he or- ganization must be a regiistered 501c3 in ~o0d standin~g with the Secretary of State. "Volunteers are not just the heart of activities; they alre also the heart of each commtunity," Manchin said. 'q'his is our op- portunity ~o recognize ttiose who have made the grceatest mark across our state." Nomination forms are avail- able on the West Virginia Corn- mission for National and Com- munity ~ervice web~ site, www.volunteerwv.org, or by calling (80(~ulV~-HELPS Nomi- nations sh be postimarked by Apr. 3. County Commissioner Oliver Porterfield plans to seek re- election to the Monroe County Commission representing the Western Magisterial District. Porterfield, a Democrat, was first elected in 1996 and re- elected in 2002. He plans to file his Candidacy papers on the first day of candidate filing just as soon as the Clerk's Office opens. "I'11 be at the Court- house first thing Monday morning when the candidate filing begins," said Porterfield, "I want to send a message to the voters of this county that I am eager and excited in seek- ing re-election." He said, "I have supported and been directly involved with many projects, including: the development of Fountain Springs Industrial Park near Peterstown and M-Rock, a stone manufacturing business located in the park that em- ploys approximately 30 people. The Greenbrier Valley Eco- nomic Development Council. of which Porterfleld is a member, is seeking funding to construct a second multi-tenant building on adjacent property in an ef- fort to create additional jobs. Another project Porterfield has supported is the Farmer's Market held on Fridays in Union. Infrastructure, such as water and sewer projects, are also important to Porterfield. He supported the upgrade of the Lindside Water and Sewer Project which was just com- pleted. In addition, he strongly supported the upgrade of the Red Sulphur PSD sewer sys- tem, the Bozoo water project and the upgrade of the Ballard water system. Porterfield con- tinues to support the efforts in obtaining funds to extend pub- lic water to Gap Mills, Red Sul- phur Springs and other areas of the county. The County Com- mission, under Porterfield's leadership, continues to seek immediate funding to extend public water from Colture's Oliver Porterfield Chapel to Wikel and on to Greenville. Porterfield serves as the Chairman of the Monroe County Solid Waste Authority. Under his leadership, the au- thority has created a func- tional recycling program. "The County Commission. under Porterfield's direction, imple- mented a "Litter-pick and com- munity service program" for the county. Commissioner Porterfield has been a leader in working with the WV Department of Transportation and the VA De- partment of Transportation in getting the bridge replaced in Peterstown, on the West Vir- ginia/Virginia border. "The bridge no longer meets the needs of our residents," said Porterfield, "with approximately 10,000 vehicles crossing the bridge daily, the structure needs to be wider and straight- ened. A tentative construction date has been scheduled." Commissioner Porterfield is married to Betty Porterfield. They are the parents of three children; Charles, a practicing physician; Keith, a Deputy Di- rector of the WV Environmen- tal Protection Agency; and Rhonda, chairperson of the Art Department and a teacher at Giles High School. They have four grandchildren and two great-grandsons. Alderson Municipal Court Report January 2008 The following defendants appeared before Chief Municipal Judge Travis L. Copenhaver or Assistant Judge Jacki Villars during the month of January 2008. The dollar amount reflects fine and cost. The name in parenthesis reflects the officer issuing the citation or making the arrest. Jonie Lambert, 24, Alderson, expired registration, (Smith), not guilty plea. Continued until March term. Crystal Gomez. 43, AIderson, driving suspended 1st (Miller), no con- test plea, $140 Carl Lephew, 24, Alderson, driving suspended and failure to appear, (Hinkley), no contest, driving suspended. Failure to appear dis- missed, $140 Bobby Baker, 40, AIderson, battery, (Williams), dismissed upon re- quest of the victim. Thomas Biggs, 23, Alderson, shoplifting 1st, (Martin), found not guilty at bench trial. Shannon Bender, 30, Alderson, theft of public utilities, (Miller), con- tinued until March term per request of defendant's attorney, Dewitt Daniels. A bench trial will be held in March. Silas Brown, 43, Alderson, battery, (Smith), not guilty plea. Contin- ued until March term for bench trial. Amanda Kyle, 24, AIderson, failure to comply with court ordered sen- tencing, (Prosecutor Ziegler). Continued pending plea agreement. Harold "Pete" Johnson, 51, Alderson, theft of public utilities/tamper- ing, (Miller), not guilty plea. Bench trial March term. Becky Gladden, age and address unavailable, theft of public utilities, (Miller), continued until March term. Chris Holliday, 19, AIderson, speeding, (Martin), guilty plea, $125 Bettye Phillips, 34, Alderson, expired motor vehicle inspection sticker, (Miller), guilty plea, $65 Ruth Lephew, 51, Alderson, driving suspended 1st. (Miller), no con- test, $400 Debora Winn, 46, Farmington, NM, speeding and no proof of insur- ance, (Smith), no contest $425 Lisa Brookman, 18, Alderson, speeding, (Martin), guilty plea, $75 Sheldon Bowyer, 30, Alderson, improper motor vehicle inspection and no proof of insurance, (Hinkley), guilty plea, $430 April Thayer, 40, Alderson, Obstructing an officer, (Williams), no con- test plea, $80 and 7 days jail suspended pending completion of 56 hours of community service. Justin Ambler, 26, AIderson, driving suspended 1st, (Williams), guilty plea, $500 Chief Municipal Judge Travis Copenhaver issued an order for a jury trial to be held 4-1-08 for John Hopkins due to procedura stan- dards of criminal cases being heard in the court of jurisdiction as cited by Greenbrier County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hanson. This case will be heard in the Municipal Court of the Town of AIderson since it is a criminal case and not a civil case. Juq.~ selection will begin 2-12-08 by the jury commissioners. This order revokes the past order of removal from Municipal Court to Circuit Court. The case is back on the docket and set for trial as outlined above, The clerks collected $1,377 in fines and costs during the mouth. Alderson Police Dept.- January Activity Calls for service Traffic stops Accidents investigated Warning citations Written citatic ns Misdemeanor arrests Felony arrests Domestic incidents Fugitive from justice Stolen property Calls for service - 21 9-1-1 calls, 58 office calls, total of 79 calls 79 for service. Information ob- 34 tained by reviewing officer's 2 monthly activity sheets. 10 Misc~emeanor arrests - 3 misde- 6 meanor arrests made for the of- 3 fenses of obstructing an officer, 0 driving suspended - 2nd of- 6 fense, and failure to comply 0 with court sentencing. 3 Hours worked - 363 Miles traveled - 1,642