WV Legislative Interim: Committee on Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services seeks clarity on Senate Bill 1021
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By Autumn Shelton
WV Press Association
The clarity of a Senate Bill passed during the August special legislative session was questioned by members of the Joint Committee on Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) during their recent interim meeting.
Senate Bill 1021, which was passed during the recent special session called by Gov. Jim Justice, established two new sources of funding for certain first responders: the County Fire Protection Fund and the All County Fire Protection Fund.
As written in the bill, as well as an additional appropriations bill, a one time allocation of $3 million was placed into the County Fire Protection Fund to be distributed among counties, based on population, that have a countywide fee “dedicated to fire or emergency services.”
An additional one time allocation of $3 million was placed into the All County Fire Protection Fund for “the exclusive benefit of fire protection or emergency services.” Money from this fund is to be distributed among all 55 counties based on their population.
Both funds are to be administered by the Sec. of Homeland Security and distributed to county commissions. The county commissioners are then responsible for the distribution of those funds in their county, according to the bill.
Additionally, a one-time allocation of $6 million was placed into the state’s Fire Protection Fund to be equally distributed among all of the state’s volunteer fire departments, as long as they meet certain criteria, such as implementing the state auditor’s “Checkbook” fiscal reporting system by 2026.
During the meeting, Committee Vice-Chair, Del. Joe Statler, R-Monongalia, was the first to ask for clarification regarding the bill.
“I didn’t understand this to be one time money,” Statler said of the two $3 million allocations. “I understood it to be base-building in the budget.” He also asked for clarification on when departments will receive their money.
“As we go out and talk to our people across the state this is a big deal because, even if you look at the Fire Protection Fund, it’s roughly $14,000 additional dollars . . . that we gave to each department, again, for the year. If those departments go out and use that as collateral and then find out it’s a one time money–it’s critical.”
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DEAR PAWS: Recently, a new member joined our family: a toy poodle mix named Petey who was rehomed by an acquaintance who said they just couldn’t handle him and that he was untrainable. Petey is 4 years old, bounces everywhere, and loves to play soccer by catching a ball and then bouncing it off of his front paws back toward me. He’s incredibly smart, but training him has indeed been a challenge. I know the previous owners never made an effort to train him in basic obedience, and they left him alone for days at a time. His house-training is spotty. How can I make the training process faster and easier for both of us?
-- Doug L
DEAR DOUG: You’ve taken on a real challenge: a smart, independent and energetic dog. Petey sounds like a wonderful little guy, though, and I’m so glad you’ve added him to your family and committed to his well-being.
Building trust with Petey is important so that he knows what to expect from you and the rest of the family. Do that by adhering to a schedule: walks, feeding and training at the same time each day, with as little deviation as possible.
Obedience-training a smart and independent dog requires you to be smart about training, too. Petey needs to know the house rules, and he must want to do the things you’re asking him to do (or not do). Look into positive reinforcement methods like clicker training (https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/clicker-training-your-dogmark- and-reward/). Commit to a consistent training regimen so that desirable behaviors are reinforced and negative ones are discouraged. Work with a trainer if you are still struggling with Petey after a few weeks.
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By Leann Ray - West Virginia Watch
Have you ever seen a photo of an opossum with their mouth wide open, and it looks like they’re screaming?
That’s me, inside my head, every time I hear someone say, “I don’t follow politics. I hate politics.”
Well, yes, most people hate politics. But you have to stay somewhat informed so you know how to vote.
Right now in West Virginia, we have a Republican supermajority. Because of that, twice now this year they’ve suspended rules during the regular legislative session and the August special session to fast-track their bills for passage.
Here’s what should happen with a proposed bill: It should go through a committee, be read three times on either the House or Senate floor, be questioned by delegates and senators, and West Virginians given an opportunity to request public hearings on the bill.
With those rules suspended, legislators can just pass multiple bills and move on. In last month’s special session, the Senate voted unanimously to suspend the rules for 27 bills, which were then unanimously approved and sent to the House. The House suspended rules for eight bills, which then were sent to the Senate.
By suspending the rules, the Republican Party in West Virginia isn’t allowing for transparency. There’s no floor discussion. There’s no chance for the public to call for a public hearing to speak out against bills, even though the Republican lawmakers don’t listen when they do anyway.
This is an important part of democracy we’ve lost because one party has the numbers to do what it wants.
During the regular legislative session earlier this year, the Senate suspended rules to pass a bill clarifying that when a governor declares a state of emergency, it will expire after 60 days unless written notice is provided to the Legislature. This was in response to Gov. Jim Justice declaring a state of emergency on March 16, 2020 for the Covid-19 pandemic that did not end until Jan. 1 of this year.
Legislators also suspended rules to pass bills splitting the Department of Health and Human Resources into three agencies and to create the “The Anti-Racism Act,” which Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, called “a solution in search of a problem.”
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The Petersburg Middle School Viking football team crushed the Moorefield Yellow Jackets in last Wednesday’s home contest 34-6.
Payton Metheny led the offense with two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns, giving him over 100 yards rushing and over 100 yards passing on the night.
Ryder Nazelrodt and Garrett Dolly were on the receiving side of Metheny’s two touchdown passes.
Evan Tawney added to the offense with a rushing touchdown and racked up over 100 yards rushing.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings stayed strong holding the Jackets to only one score during the game. Most of the defensive plays included multiple Vikings working together and stopping the Jackets’ movement.
Conner Wess did have a fumble recovery and Ryder Nazelrodt had a sack.
The Vikings will travel to East Hardy to take on the Cougars Wednesday. After that, they match up against Romney at home Sept. 27.
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2023 Lady Viking Soccer Team
# - Position - Player - Grade
00 GK Khloe Haslacker 10
1 F Ryen Sites 12
2 MF Cassandra Wilson 12
3 MF Skylar Raredon 12
4 D Ireland Gray 9
6 MF Ava Gray 9
7 D Callie Sites 10
8 MF Summer Moyers 10
9 D Klarissa Kuhn 12
10 F Abigail Alt 12
13 D Angela Willis 9
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SENIOR GOLF - 9/13
Team #1 - Bobby Parsons, Jerry Crites, Gary Koontz, Mike Cosner; -12, 2-hole card off.
Team #2 - Don Baker, Darwin Simmons, Phil Vance, Dick Riggleman; -12.
Team #3 - Jim Burton, Delmas See, Donnie Coby, Larry Eye; -11, 6-hole card off.
Pin winners: #3 Tom Kelly, #6 Gary Koontz, #13 Mike Ryan, #15 Johnny Garza, #17 Delmas See.
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ODD COUPLES MIXED LEAGUE
TEAM STANDINGS: Split Happens 11 – 1, Empire Strikes 9 – 3, NKPOTB 7 – 5, Vetter’s Guns & Ammo 7 – 5, Terminators 6 – 6, Lucky Strikes 6 – 6, Country Cars & Trucks 5 – 7, Outlaws 5 – 7, WELD 4 – 8.
HIGH GAME MEN (SCRATCH): Cohan Kesner 267, Larry Walp 258, Terry Wratchford 236, Jerry Propst 231. (HANDICAP): Jerry Propst 305, Brandon Ketterman 279, Larry Walp 276, Cohan Kesner 271.
HIGH SERIES MEN (SCRATCH): Terry Wratchford 672, Richie Burgess 643, Cohan Kesner 641, Troy McGreevy 631. (HANDICAP): Jerry Propst 798, Terry Wratchford 774, Floyd Shepard 769, Trey Wratchford 766.
HIGH AVERAGE (MEN): Richie Burgess 220.78, Troy McGreevy 211.11, Larry Walp 208.78, Terry Wratchford 202.78.
HIGH GAME WOMEN (SCRATCH): Carissa Michael 245, Dee Anna McDonald 201, Sarah Earle 194, Denise McGreevy 182. (HANDICAP): Carissa Michael 304, Flecia Brockway 267, Sue Earle 251, Dee Anna McDonald and Sarah Earle 248.
HIGH SERIES WOMEN (SCRATCH): Carissa Michael 648, Dee Anna McDonald 524, Denise McGreevy 498, Sarah Earle 464. (HANDICAP): Carissa Michael 825, Flecia Brockway 770, Sue Earle 718, Denise McGreevy 693.
HIGH AVERAGE (WOMEN): Carissa Michael 181.44, Dee Anna McDonald 176.44, Sarah Earle 165.20, Denise McGreevy 160.
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3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Immunizations Clinics: By appointment only on Tuesday afternoons.
By Appt. Only Vaccines, blood pressure screenings and family planning supplies. New patients, please bring your immunization records. All patients need to bring all insurance card information with them on every visit. Free or minimal charge for vaccines and family planning supplies. • PCV20/Prevnar, Shingles/Shingrix can be given if your insurance does not cover it to eligible adults.
By Appt. Only - Confidential testing and treatment for HIV and STDs/Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
Covid-19 - For Covid-19 information, visit the website dhhr.wv.gov/covid-19. NEW UPDATED COVID VACCINE HAS BEEN APPROVED, HOWEVER THE VACCINE HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED. Information will be posted and announced when the vaccine is available.
13 & 20 Women’s Health Clinics (Family Planning Program & BCCSP/Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program) - Free or reduced rates on pap smears and breast exams with Alicia VanMeter, FNP-BC.
CHANGE Food Handlers’ Training: Grant County Board of Health voted to accept any online ANSI Food Handler certified courses or a WV state approved food handler’s card from other West Virginia counties. To access approved ANSI onine courses, search ANSI certified food handler certificate. If you want your card to be used in any other county in West Virginia, make sure that the online course has a WV STATEWIDE food handler’s card option.
PATIENTS ARE ASKED TO BRING IN THEIR INSURANCE CARD(S) INFORMATION FOR ALL VISITS.
Office hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. but closed between 12 - 12:30 p.m. Phone: 304-257-4922
View www.gc.westvirginia.com for clean air regulations, food inspection reports, etc.