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The Voice of West Virginia

WV adds 54 COVID deaths over the weekend

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia reported 54 new COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, bringing the total number of deaths to 3,424, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

The state continues to see a decline in active cases from 25,074 on Sunday to 21,490 on Monday.

Hospitalizations; however, are trending upward. There are 961 hospital patients. The number of patients in intensive care stands at 287 patients and 160 are on ventilators, a slight drop since Friday when there were 292 people in the ICU and 170 people on ventilators.

According to the state DHHR’s COVID-19 Dashboard, a little more than 52 percent of all West Virginians over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.

The 54 deaths on Monday came after the state reported no new deaths on Sunday.

The DHHR has confirmed the deaths of a 65-year old male from Raleigh County, a 75-year old male from Harrison County, a 65-year old male from Cabell County, an 87-year old female from Lewis County, a 49-year old female from Mingo County, a 72-year old female from Putnam County, a 63-year old female from Mingo County, a 78-year old female from Fayette County, a 60-year old female from Cabell County, a 54-year old male from Kanawha County, a 69-year old female from Monongalia County, a 57-year old male from Jackson County, a 65-year old female from Kanawha County, a 96-year old female from Lewis County, a 59-year old female from Cabell County, a 70-year old female from Ritchie County, a 58-year old male from Ritchie County, a 68-year old male from Lewis County, a 73-year old male from Cabell County, a 47-year old male from Wood County, a 23-year old female from Kanawha County, a 65-year old female from Kanawha County, a 77-year old male from Hancock County, a 51-year old female from Wood County, a 45-year old male from Lewis County, an 85-year old male from Mingo County, an 81-year old female from Raleigh County, a 68-year old female from Barbour County, a 52-year old female from Hampshire County, a 77-year old female from Jackson County, a 61-year old female from Kanawha County, an 82-year old male from McDowell County, a 76-year old male from Wayne County, a 37-year old male from Taylor County, a 68-year old male from Wyoming County, a 41-year old male from Mineral County, a 64-year old male from Upshur County, a 76-year old male from Kanawha County, a 91-year old female from Hardy County, a 58-year old female from McDowell County, a 58-year old male from Mineral County, a 67-year old female from Cabell County, a 68-year old male from Wood County, an 85-year old male from Jefferson County, an 81-year old male from Hancock County, a 54-year old female from Berkeley County, a 60-year old female from Morgan County, a 93-year old male from Wood County, a 69-year old male from Nicholas County, a 74-year old male from Wyoming County, a 50-year old female from Webster County, a 61-year old male from Grant County, a 55-year old female from Jackson County, and a 59-year old male from Raleigh County.

“As we continue the fight against this pandemic, we are devastated by the loss of more West Virginians and extend our deepest sympathy to the families,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch in a news release Monday. “I urge you to schedule your COVID vaccine today.”

DHHR reports as of September 20, 2021, there are currently 21,490 active COVID-19 cases statewide. There have been 54 deaths reported since the last report, with a total of 3,424 deaths attributed to COVID-19. https://t.co/mDbvCeLR6X pic.twitter.com/Q3YD8aA7wU

— WV Department of Health & Human Resources • 😷 (@WV_DHHR) September 20, 2021

Below is a list of active COVID-19 cases per county:

Barbour (116), Berkeley (909), Boone (317), Braxton (240), Brooke (186), Cabell (1,480), Calhoun (144), Clay (125), Doddridge (108), Fayette (542), Gilmer (49), Grant (255), Greenbrier (420), Hampshire (242), Hancock (273), Hardy (255), Harrison (1,025), Jackson (323), Jefferson (466), Kanawha (1,584), Lewis (167), Lincoln (181), Logan (555), Marion (680), Marshall (421), Mason (303), McDowell (308), Mercer (862), Mineral (452), Mingo (450), Monongalia (415), Monroe (205), Morgan (164), Nicholas (393), Ohio (396), Pendleton (86), Pleasants (108), Pocahontas (50), Preston (470), Putnam (832), Raleigh (964), Randolph (188), Ritchie (201), Roane (153), Summers (151), Taylor (191), Tucker (52), Tyler (146), Upshur (450), Wayne (542), Webster (57), Wetzel (261), Wirt (73), Wood (1,072), Wyoming (432).

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Source: WV MetroNews

Video, updates: Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 3 p.m.

We’ll provide updates here about how West Virginia is dealing with the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

State officials have directed members of the public to a landing page dedicated to information about coronavirus in West Virginia.

Additional information can be found at CDC’s Situation Summary or at DHHR’s COVID-19 information hotline, 1-800-887-4304.

10:10 a.m. Justice to lead pandemic briefing at noon, following summit with health advisers

Gov. Jim Justice is hosting a “breakfast roundtable summit” with his pandemic leadership team this morning at the Governor’s Mansion. The team will discuss and decide ways to keep West Virginians safe and protect hospital system stability as the state nears or crosses the peak of the surge from the COVID-19 delta variant.

This meeting is closed to the public and the media. However, all West Virginians are encouraged to watch the governor’s covid-19 media briefing immediately following the meeting.

7:39 a.m. 9/17/2021 Justice to lead 3 p.m. briefing about pandemic response

10:23 a.m. 9/15/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing about pandemic response 

7:41 a.m. 9/13/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

8:24 a.m. 9/10/2021 Justice to lead 10:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

9:52 a.m. 9/8/2021 Justice to lead 10:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

6:25 a.m. 9/6/2021 Justice to lead 10:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

9:14 a.m. 9/3/2021 Briefing at noon over West Virginia pandemic response 

9:08 a.m. 9/1/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing

9:51 a.m. 8/30/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing

7:52 a.m. 8/27/21 U.S. Education Secretary joins Justice at briefing 

WHO: Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team.

United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch will also join the briefing.

WHAT: Governor Justice will provide an update on West Virginia’s COVID-19 response efforts, and make a back-to-school vaccination initiative announcement.

10:14 a.m. 8/25/21 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

https://youtu.be/72OqtOj3cIIhttps://youtu.be/72OqtOj3cII

10:10 a.m. Governor leads coronavirus media briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m. Governor leads coronavirus media briefing at 11:00 a.m.

8:17 a.m. Governor leads briefing about pandemic response at 11:30 a.m. 

7:36 a.m. Governor leads pandemic briefing at 11:30 a.m. 

8:56 a.m. Governor Justice to lead 11:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic 

9:44 a.m. Governor Justice to lead noon briefing about pandemic

10:54 a.m. Governor Justice to lead 11 a.m. pandemic briefing

8:12 a.m. Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:30 a.m. Superintendent Burch and SSAC chief Dolan join Justice for 11 a.m. briefing

WHO: Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch, WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan, West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team.

WHAT: Gov. Justice will provide an update on West Virginia’s COVID-19 response efforts and provide an update on back-to-school plans for West Virginia.

LATER: At 2 p.m. the West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will host a press conference to provide details on back-to-school guidance for the 2021-22 school year.

Burch, WVBE Vice President Tom Campbell and Dolan will address the media following Governor Jim Justice’s briefing earlier in the day.

10:15 a.m. 8/02/2021  Governor provides update about covid response at 10:30 a.m. 

8:35 a.m. 7/29/2021 Governor provides update about covid response at 11 a.m.

8:29 a.m. 07/27/2021 Justice provides update about pandemic response at 11 a.m.

11:03 a.m. 07/22/2021 Governor Justice scheduled for 11 a.m. pandemic briefing

12:38 p.m. 07/20/2021 Governor Justice to lead pandemic update at 1 p.m. 

10:06 a.m. 7/16/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 1 p.m.

11 a.m. 7/13/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

10:35 a.m. 7/8/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30

11:25 a.m. 7/6/2021  Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11:30

9:24 a.m. 7/1/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

8:53 a.m. 6/29/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30

12:20 p.m.  06/24/2021   Justice pandemic briefing set for 12:30 p.m. 

10:55 a.m.  06/22/2021   Justice pandemic briefing set for 11:30 a.m.

10:50 a.m. 6/17/2021  Justice pandemic briefing set for 11 a.m.

11:05 a.m. 6/15/2021 Justice pandemic briefing scheduled for 11 a.m. 

7:40 a.m. 6/10/2021 Justice waits outside development announcement because of covid exposure

Gov. Jim Justice offered video greetings from his vehicle at an economic development announcement in Morgantown on Wednesday with the governor saying he’d had an unanticipated covid-19 exposure.

Justice has been very public about his full vaccination but said he wanted to set a good example by remaining in the vehicle. Otherwise, he said, he would have needed a rapid test and a mask.

He appeared via streaming video and offered remarks at an announcement for an artificial intelligence company getting established in Morgantown. Clay Marsh, West Virginia University’s executive dean for health sciences, made the opening remarks as a substitute for Justice.

Dr. Clay Marsh

“He would be here standing in my place had it not been for a very unexpected exposure that he had recently to somebody who tested positive for covid-19,” said Marsh, who is also the state’s coronavirus response coordinator.

“And even though the governor is aware that he is fully vaccinated, he is really 100 percent protected against having any kind of problem with this — even with that understanding, and he does understand that well, given his experience we’ve all had with covid-19, he wanted to make sure he was working with an abundance of concern.”

Justice then appeared on a screen for everyone to see, wearing a checked shirt and leaning over to talk into a camera, with the interior roof of the vehicle as his backdrop.

“I landed here about an hour ago. I’m sitting out in the parking lot in front of you right now. I mean, I could throw a rock and hit all of you,” Justice said. “I hate like crazy that I’m out here in the parking lot. Believe me be.”

Offering some background, Justice said he had experienced a covid exposure on Friday and was informed about it on Wednesday.

“When I landed they told me I was exposed on Friday evening to someone. They told me they felt like I needed to be tested. And if that be the case, I don’t think I need to be in there until we know the results of the test. But I’m sure it’s fine. I feel fine, and I hate like crazy I’m not with you.”

7:37 a.m. 6/10/2021 Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 2 p.m. 

10:20 a.m. 6/8/2021  Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:23 a.m. 6/3/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:22 a.m. 6/1/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

1:59 p.m. 5/27/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 4:30 p.m.

10:20 a.m. 5/25/2021  Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

12:30 p.m. 5/20/2021 Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 1:20 p.m. 

12:19 p.m. 5/17/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at 1 p.m.

10:32 a.m. 5/14/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at noon

11:45 a.m.  5/12/2021  Justice leads pandemic update

10:25 a.m. 5/10/2021  Justice leads pandemic update 

9:29 a.m. 5/7/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at 11:30 a.m.

9:16 a.m. 5/5/2020 Justice leads noon briefing about covid response

8:04 a.m. 5/3/2020 Justice provides latest on pandemic response at 11 a.m.

8:04 a.m. 4/30/2020 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

11:05 a.m. 4/28/2021 Pandemic briefing by Justice at 2:45 p.m. 

12:45 p.m. 4/26/2021  Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 1 p.m.

7:59 a.m. 4/23/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

11:55 a.m. 4/21/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at noon

11:55 a.m. 4/19/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at noon.

10:25 a.m. 4/16/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

10:25 a.m.  4/14/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

11:54 a.m. 4/12/2021 Justice to address pandemic response at noon 


11:35 a.m.  4/09/2021  Justice to have back to back briefings beginning at noon (income tax/COVID)

10:15 a.m.  4/07/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  4/05/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  4/02/2021   Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  3/29/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m.  3/26/2021  Justice briefing at 9 a.m.

10:30 a.m.  3/24/2021  Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  3/22/2021  Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:20 a.m. 3/19/2021  Justice briefing 10:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m. 3/17/2021  Justice briefing 10:45 a.m.

11:15 a.m.  3/15/2021  Justice briefing at 11:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m. 3/12/2021 Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:30 a.m. 3/10/2021  Justice briefing set for 11:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m. 3/8/2021  Justice briefing set for 10:30 a.m.

10:55 a.m. 3/5/2021  Justice briefing set for 11:00 a.m.

This briefing was originally scheduled for 10:30 a.m. but now has been shifted to 11

;

10:32 a.m. 2/19/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

6:52 a.m. 2/17/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

9:30 a.m. 2/15/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 

9:03 a.m. 2/12/2021 Justice to lead briefing at noon

9:30 a.m. 2/10/21 Justice to lead briefing at 11 a.m.

11:58 a.m. 2/8/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon 

9:48 a.m.  2/5/21 Justice to lead briefing at 11:30 

11:05 a.m.  2/3/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon 

9:34 a.m. Justice to lead briefing at noon 

10:34 a.m. 1/29/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon

9:39 a.m. 1/27/21 Manchin applauds federal effort to increases vaccine supply

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released a statement about the announcement from the Biden Administration about increasing the weekly supply of COVID-19 vaccinations to states and territories next week. The administration will also increase transparency by giving states a three week forecast of vaccine supplies.

“Today’s announcement by the Biden Administration shows that help is on the way. I thank President Biden for staying true to his word and delivering more vaccine so quickly and will continue to work closely with him to further increase our allocation. West Virginia is leading the country in efficiently and safely distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinics across our state have been operating below capacity because of the vaccine shortage. Now President Biden will ship out at least 10 million doses each week to get more shots in arms as soon as possible. Today’s announcement from the Biden Administration is another step closer to ensuring every West Virginian who wants a vaccine can get one, restoring our economy, and getting back to life as usual. In the last week, I have spoken with President Biden and multiple White House officials who have assured me the number one priority for the Administration is quickly producing and efficiently distributing the vaccine. I’m glad to see them put their money where their mouth is and ramp up vaccine distribution.”

9 a.m. 1/25/21 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

12:07 p.m. 1/21/21 Justice plans noon briefing 

9:56 a.m. 1/19/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

8:51 a.m. 1/13/2021 Justice plans 10 a.m. briefing

here is the livestream https://t.co/i4kQb1qU8N

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 13, 2021

8:49 a.m. 1/11/2021 Justice plans noon briefing

here is the livestream https://t.co/Dw7fbZbuev

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 11, 2021

11:31 a.m. 1/8/2021 Justice plans noon briefing 

livestream here https://t.co/jN45H6LHG6

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 8, 2021

7:54 a.m. 1/6/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

here is the livestream https://t.co/Khcw32yYBv

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 6, 2021

6:59 a.m. 1/4/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing

here is the livestream https://t.co/6YB4IooQpY

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 4, 2021

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Jury seated in McCauley trial

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — A second jury has been chosen in connection with upcoming murder trial in Morgan County.

Andy McCauley

According to reports, a 12-member jury was chosen Friday in the case of Andy McCauley.

McCauley, 43, of Berkeley Springs, allegedly killed Riley Crossman, 15, also of Berkeley Springs, in May 2019. He’s charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a body and death of a child by a custodian by child abuse.

The trial was originally set for April but postponed because of COVID-19 concerns. A jury had been seated for that trial but a new jury was chosen for the trial that is set to start next Monday, Sept. 27.

Riley Crossman

A motion to change the location of the trial was previously denied.

McCauley was the boyfriend of Crossman’s mother at the time of Riley Crossman’s disappearance on May 8, 2019. Her body was found eight days later in a secluded area near Martinsburg. Investigators said drywall mud found on the girl’s body matched drywall mud found in McCauley’s work truck.

McCauley has been in jail without bail.

 

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Week 5 Power Rankings: Poca new No. 1 in Class AA
Source: WV MetroNews

Driver of Hedgesville football charter bus arrested for DUI

CUMBERLAND, Md. — A charter bus driver driving Hedgesville High School football and cheerleading team members home from a game in Morgantown early Saturday morning was charged with DUI.

In a message to parents, Hedgesville High School Principal Ron Lyons said school officials on a second bus noticed the erratic driving on Interstate 68 in Cumberland, Maryland.

“The teams were traveling east through Allegany County, Maryland on I-68 on two buses chartered by Varsity Travel Company, when members of our coaching staff noticed the driver of the lead bus was driving erratically and at a high rate of speed. Coaches called law enforcement from the bus as they travelled through Allegany County. The trailing bus was able to signal the lead bus to stop at a Love’s Travel Center just east of Cumberland, Maryland. The Cumberland City Police Department met the buses at the Love’s Travel Center. After the buses were stopped safely at approximately 1:30 a.m., all members and coaches of the teams on the bus in question were safely removed from the situation. The Cumberland Police have charged the bus driver with driving under the influence of alcohol and have also cited him with numerous other traffic offenses.”

The students were consolidated onto the remaining bus and headed home.

.@HedgesvilleF experienced a frightening situation while going home on I-68. @MatthewFairclo4 explains what occurred while heading back to Hedgesville to @HoppyKercheval. WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/wOhRjLWqA2

— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) September 20, 2021

Hedgesville coach Matt Faircloth said Monday on MetroNews “Talkline” the driver was weaving in and out of lanes and even going off the highway.

“Anybody that travels down 68 at night knows that when you’re traveling down these hills and going up those hills at a high rate of speed it can get very bad, very quick,” Faircloth said.

He said they lost the game earlier at that night to Morgantown High but that ended up being not that important.

“This thing could have gone south very quick. We’re blessed that are kids were able to get home safe,” Faircloth said.

The team arrived back at the school at around 4:30 a.m.

Faircloth said he’s proud of the players, cheerleaders and staff.

“Our kids and coaches were faced with an unfortunate situation but they handled themselves very well,” Faircloth said.

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Motorcycle crash claims life

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Saturday afternoon crash on Buck Hill has claimed the life of a motorcyclist.

West Virginia State Police tell the Panhandle News Network it happened around 4 in the afternoon in the 1330 block of Buck Hill Road.

Their report indicates Matthew Neal, 28, of Hedgesville, crested the hill on his Harley Davidson and swerved to miss a wide ‘acreage raking’ piece of farm equipment coming in the opposite direction that was being pulled by a Super Duty truck operated by Jacob Yates, 42, of Hedgesville.

State Police say the farm equipment ‘exceeded the width of the lane.’ Neal was reportedly knocked off his motorcycle and ‘struck the farm equipment in a head on manner of collision.’ according to the report.

Neal was pronounced deceased on scene by EMS.

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Almost To The Halfway Point…….

I seemingly say every year, “the high school football season flying by”!  And, 2021 is no different!  Case in point, it seems as if we just started the 2021 season and a lot of teams will play game #5 of their 10 game schedule this weekend.

And then there is Richwood…..you honestly have to feel for the Lumberjacks!  Head Coach Gary Roach and his group of gridders have yet to play a game!  Think about that….a lot of teams in the mountain state will kick off game number five of the season and the Lumberjacks have yet to turn the game scoreboard on!  But, the great news is, Richwood is trying….and they are trying hard!  Think about this – beginning this week, Richwood will try and play Tuesday and Friday…..they will also try and play games next Tuesday (Sep 28th) and Friday (Oct 1st) and they will do it at least one more time this season as they have games scheduled for Tuesday (Oct 19th) and Friday (Oct 22)!  Three different times, the Richwood Lumberjacks will try and play two games a week just in order to get ten games in the books for their kids!  Big time congratulations go out to the administration and Head Coach Gary Roach for going that extra mile for their kids!  The Lumberjacks are a prime example of what Covid can do to a group of young men who are just wanting to compete on the gridiron!

As the 2021 season rolls along, we have several teams that have started their season in fine style.  In fact, we have a total of twenty (20) teams that are still undefeated!  We have seven teams in Class AAA, seven teams in Class AA and six teams in Class A.  And, just in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, I did include Richwood in my list of Class A teams that are still undefeated!  They have yet to play a game (as of Monday, September 20th) so obviously they have yet to lose a game!

Looking ahead to games of interest this week, we have a couple of games featuring undefeated teams in Class A as Cameron (3-0) travels to Weirton to take on Madonna (4-0) and Ritchie County (3-0) is on the road at (2-0) Doddridge County.  In Class AA, Robert C. Byrd (2-1) will try and rebound from their first loss of the season last week (Flying Eagles lost 35-13 at Keyser) as they host rival Bridgeport!  The Class AAA Indians are undefeated at (3-0).  Also in Class AA, Lincoln County (3-1) will make the trip to Point Pleasant to battle the (3-1) Big Blacks.  In Class AAA, undefeated South Charleston (3-0) will travel to Huntington to take on the (3-1) Timberwolves of Spring Valley and in North Central WV, the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears will continue an unbelievable stretch of very tough road games as Head Coach Nick Bartic boards the buses with his team to make the short trip north to Morgantown to battle the very talented Hawks of University.  Head Coach John Kelly’s ballclub is (4-0) after defeating a very good Wheeling Park team 35-14 this past Saturday night.

If you have a chance this weekend, support your local high school team and head out to their football game….I promise it will be a couple of hours well spent.  And then after the game, make sure you tune in to High School GAMENIGHT  with Dave Jecklin and me.  The show is heard on over 40 radio stations around the state and the live audio and video is available at www.wvmetronews.com!

Talk with you Friday night!

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Every Day Should Be Constitution Day

I missed Constitution Day.  It was last Friday, September 17, the anniversary of the final meeting of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, when they signed the document they had debated and created.

It is too bad that Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the conscience of the Senate and a faithful guardian of the Constitution, is not still alive to remind us. Byrd would stare you in the eye, reach into the breast pocket of his suit jacket, pull out a well-worn copy of the Constitution and start quoting with stern reverence.

We could use more of that kind of devotion today at all levels of our society.  The Constitution is not just for politicians and history professors, it is for all of us.  The document provides the essential framework for our government of, by and for the people, yet it is not always well understood.

The annual Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey of Americans finds that most of us do not really know much about our government.  We can sure complain about it, rail on social media and gripe to our friends and family, but do we know what we are talking about?

Only 56 percent of adults could identify all three branches of government. (For the record, they are the Executive, Judicial and Legislative, but since you are reading this, you already know that.)   That number is startling, until you realize that 56 percent is the highest since the survey began in 2006!

One in five adults could not name any of the branches of government.

Only one out of every three people know that a U.S. Senator serves for six years, while only 36 percent correctly answered that members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms.

We Americans are fond of saying, “I know my rights,” and perhaps on a more encouraging front, many do.  Three-fourths of those surveyed could name freedom of speech and freedom of religion as two of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

However, if we were truly dedicated to understanding our government and were faithful guardians of our freedoms, the five essential rights (religion, speech, press, assembly, petition) guaranteed in the First Amendment would be engrained in our conscience.  (For the record, I had to double check!)

But then again, naming the rights is only a first step.  Do we understand them?  The survey found that half of Americans said that arresting those who entered the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to disrupt the certification of the presidential election violated their Constitutional rights.

It is a threat to the stability of our democracy when individuals can somehow justify illegal activities as a freedom exercise.

The Constitution and  civics should be as essential to our education as reading, math and science.  A society–and that includes me–well versed about the legitimate functions, as well as the limitations, of government would be better able to rationally debate the issues of the day rather than relying on pure emotion or misconceptions.

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Photo gallery: WVU women’s soccer wraps non-conference play with win over Kent St.

(Photo gallery by Teran Malone)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The WVU women’s soccer team defeated Kent State 2-1 Sunday afternoon in the Mountaineers’ final non-conference match of the regular season.

Jordan Brewster put the Mountaineers on the board in the 28th minute, scoring on a penalty kick. Lauren Segalla doubled the Mountaineer lead in the 61st minute, scoring her third goal of the season.

WVU (6-2-1) outshot Kent State 19-9. The Mountaineers will open Big 12 play Friday at home against Iowa State.

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Boone County senator excited the Rock Creek project is back on track

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Three years after it appeared the Justice administration was going in a different direction, a southern West Virginia economic development project is back on the front burner.

The state Division of Highways recently announced the awarding of a multi-million dollar contract for work to construct an intersection and enhance access to the former Hobet mining site in Boone County. A second contract is in the process of being awarded for another key part of the project to build a bridge over the railroad and Coal River to the site from Corridor G near the intersection with Route 3.

Ron Stollings

State Senator Ron Stollings of Boone County says it’s nice to have the Rock Creek Development Project back at the forefront.

“We’re very excited. It’s not as timely as we had hoped for. We’ve lost several yeas, but there are companies interested,” he explained.

He couldn’t name any of the companies at this point. In recent years the area had been eyed up as potential military training center.

Converting the 12,000 acre reclaimed mountain top mining site into the development was a project of former Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s Administration. Initially, it appeared the Justice Administration was also on board, but the idea dried up.

Stollings said it’s unclear exactly what moved the project back up the priority list with the awarding of the road contracts, but he said the whole region needs it.

“The site is huge and it would impact the economy of all of southern Wiest Virginia including Charleston and Kanawha County in a very positive way,” he said.

Stollings said his chief concern now is to make sure as the roads are built—the infrastructure is built along with it. He suggested installing sewer, water, power, and any other service lines needing to be buried would be best installed during the road construction phase.

“Take the infrastructure with you up there as you build the road, so you don’t have to come back and do it later,” he said.

Stollings said companies have shown an interest, but was not specific about which companies or a timeline for their development. The road construction contract are expected to take about three years to complete.

“Things in economic development move very slowly. Thad’s very frustrating at times, but we’re at the point of being excited again,” Stollings added.

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Source: WV MetroNews