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Miller votes for aid to American allies; Mooney listed as ‘not voting’

Congress on Saturday passed three bills representing aid to American allies. A fourth bill passed by Congress represents foreign policy objectives such as forcing a sale of TikTok and seizing frozen Russian assets to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction, as well as imposing sanctions and other punitive measures against Russia, China and Iran.

Congresswoman Carol Miller, R-W.Va., voted yes for each as she had previously said she would do. Miller represents counties in the southern half of West Virginia.

Alex Mooney

Congressman Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., is listed by the Clerk of the House of Representatives as “not voting” on each of the bills considered Saturday afternoon.

Mooney represents counties in the northern half of West Virginia and competing is in the Republican primary race for U.S. Senate. His social media accounts showed images today from campaign events in Mercer County, Charleston and Webster County. 

In two of those posts, he accused his opponent, Gov. Jim Justice, of not debating him and “showing that he only cares about the DC establishment, swamp.”

On votes in Washington, D.C., today like one for aid to Israel, Mooney was one of just seven representatives listed as “not voting” on each of Saturday’s key bills.

Earlier this week, prior to the votes, his congressional office provided a statement indicating Mooney objected to running the bills for aid to American allies while the United States’ southern border needs greater security.

“Our border is overrun with drugs, criminals, and terrorists flooding into the U.S. President Biden is allowing it to happen. The House has already passed H.R. 2.,” Mooney said in the statement. “The focus should be on providing real border security measures before funding the border security of other nations.”

Carol Miller

Miller, speaking this week on MetroNews’ “Talkline,” said she would support each of the bills in the aid package.

“The world’s hair is on fire,” Miller said, describing urgency. “We are in crazy times. And if you are a student of history and you start looking back to what was going on in the 30s, it’s kind of spooky how this is all kind of coming back to fruition.”

The bills passed on a bipartisan basis include:

  • The 21st Century Peace through Strength Act, which includes imposing sanctions on Russia and Iran as well as regulations on TikTok, passed 360-58.
  • An $8.1 billion aid bill for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region, called the Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, passed on a vote of 385-34.
  • The Ukraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, a $60 billion aid package for Ukraine, passed on a vote of 311-112. Roughly twice as many Democrats as Republicans, 210 to 101, voted for the Ukraine aid. Most of the money goes to U.S. weapons manufacturers to build back depleted U.S. weapons supplies, and about 20 percent of that goes directly to the country in the form of a loan.
  • The Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, $26.3 billion in assistance, was approved on a vote of 366-58. This bill provides $17 billion in weapons for Israel and about $9 billion of humanitarian assistance for Gaza and elsewhere.

The bills are expected to be taken up in the Senate by Tuesday. West Virginia’s senators, Republican Shelley Moore Capito and Democrat Joe Manchin, have already expressed support for the aid.

Shelley Moore Capito

Capito, in a briefing with West Virginia reporters late last week, referenced the recent Iranian drone and missile attack on Israel that was largely neutralized.

She called Israel “our strongest ally” and described “my strong support for aid to Israel to help them defend themselves. I also believe we should continue with the aid to Ukraine for them to push back on Putin and also help with the Taiwanese/Chinese situation to make sure China does not begin to empire-build again much like Putin is trying to do.”

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Cabell Midland collects 14 hits in 10-2 win over Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Highlights from Cabell Midland’s 10-2 (6-inning) win over Morgantown in the Mon County Classic. The No. 1 Knights improved to 17-3 with the victory. MHS fell to 12-7.

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Morgantown residents express frustration towards city council over lack of city homeless policies

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — City council plans to continue to discuss the city’s homeless issue.

Several residents spoke out at a meeting last Tuesday. Council has now scheduled another meeting for May 16.

Residents are calling for additional policies.

Resident Sarah Hutson explained that a tent could be the first step to transitional housing. Allowing existing camps in the city to be removed forces those residents to lose important documents they need to access social services. For less than $1,500, the city could purchase 50 bins that could be locked and used by homeless people to store important documents and items.

“Birth certificate, social security card, and one sweep, and that’s all gone; you have nothing,” Hutson said. “So, having a place where folks can keep stuff is vital for them to move forward.”

South Park Resident Lesley Nash urged council members to develop a blueprint to establish a housing first program. The program recognizes housing as a human right, not tied to personal responsibility, substance abuse, or mental illness. The program views a community with a homeless population as one that simply does not have enough homes for the residents that live there.

“This is a program that will see huge savings,” Nash said. “Not just in terms of finances, but also in terms of quality of life, quality of community, and the willingness of people to trust their government, trust their community, and trust the people that represent them.”

Rabbi Zalman Gurevitz lives downtown with his wife and nine children. He lives downtown because he works with students, and to maintain his faith, he must be within walking distance of work. Zalman told council members the views from his windows are R-rated, and he has to inspect his yard before he lets his children go outside to play. Based on the things he has seen, he carries Narcan daily.

Zalman said one afternoon he saw what he thought was a male in his 20s injecting drugs into a female, and he said, “It shook me to my core.” As a volunteer at the federal prison, Zalman expressed his concern to an inmate looking for ways to help the people.

“Rabbi, I know you’re not going to want to hear this, but this is the truth,” Rabbi Zalman said. “The only way to help them is to make it harder for them to be addicted to drugs than it is to go into recovery.”

Seventh Ward Councilor Brian Butcher said he has meetings with the Fairmont Morgantown Housing Authority to find ways to expand the Section 8 voucher program and improve the available housing stock. Butcher learned that when a house is taken off the list due to repairs, it may not return if the owner decides to make the repairs and remove it from the program. In many cases, the housing stock left to add to the voucher program is substandard, according to Butcher.

“They feel the only people deserving of them are houseless people,” Butcher said. “So, our unhoused neighbors end up living in substandard housing in certain instances.”

Morgantown Immigration Attorney Amy Lewis represents many homeless clients who face extra obstacles in Morgantown. Some are being rejected from Bartlett House because they don’t have the proper immigration documentation, and some agencies do not accept forms in any language other than English.

“Our city needs to do better to remove barriers and hurdles to get people into housing, including immigrants, non-English speakers, and illiterate individuals,” Lewis said. “Everyone should be able to access shelter regardless of their national origin.”

Fifth Ward Councilor Danielle Trumble wants to begin planning for the seasonal warming shelter now and look at options for the 28-bed space formerly operated by the Bartlett House at Hazel’s House of Hope. Trumble wants to work with the county commission, other municipalities, and other agencies to solve the warming and the overall shelter issue.

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Rutherford goes the distance as No. 7 Jefferson bests No. 4 Morgantown, 4-3

GRANVILLE, W.Va. — Cohen Rutherford tossed a complete game as Jefferson collected their second win at the Mon County Classic, 4-3 over Morgantown at Kendrick Family Field.

Rutherford allowed six hits and collected two of his four strikeouts in the seventh inning to pick up the victory.

Jefferson (13-7) scored the first two runs and the last two runs of the game, sandwiched around a three-run fourth inning for the Mohigans (15-5). Liam Healy and Riley Morgan collected RBIs in the sixth inning where the Cougars surged ahead. Serf Guerra, Cole Smith and Nayan Dominguez each had two-hit games for JHS.

Noah Fields’ solo home run in the fourth inning gave Morgantown a 4-3 lead. Mason Bowers and Caleb Nutter each had multi-hit games for MHS.

The Mohigans conclude the Mon County Classic with a game against Musselman. Jefferson will face Bridgeport at 2 p.m.

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West Virginia improves on early childhood education numbers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state of West Virginia has moved up two positions for preschool enrollment among 4-year-olds.

According to a recent report from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), the state went from 6th to 4th in the nation and met 9 out of the 10 NIEER research-based quality benchmark standards.

“West Virginia continues to be a leader in early childhood education, creating foundational learning opportunities for our most precious resources,” said State Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt. “Early learning has a vast impact on the growth and development of our children and the future of the Mountain State.”

Michele Blatt

The West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) Universal Pre-K system provides programs in all 55 counties for all 4-year-olds as well as some 3-year-olds at no cost to families. Universal Pre-K enrollment is open in all 55 counties.

“Access to pre-K education provides families and students an introduction to lifelong learning,” said Blatt.

According to the 2023 State of Preschool Yearbook, West Virginia served 67% of 4-year-olds and 7% of 3-year-olds in state-funded preschool. This year’s total enrollment increased to 13,731 students.

Total state spending was $96,556,175, an increase $4,097,211. An additional $289,520 came from federal COVID-19 relief funds. Per child spending equaled $7,053 in 2022-2023, which is a slight increase from the previous year.

More details about these free programs are listed at WVDE’s Universal Pre-K website. To learn more about the national report, visit the NIEER website.

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Annual Truck Driving Championship featured in Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The West Virginia Trucking Association’s Annual Truck Driving Championship will feature the state’s best tractor-trailer operators competing this weekend.

The event is happening Saturday at Old Dominion Freight Line in Parkersburg.

Professional West Virginia truck drivers from FedEx Freight, XPO Logistics, Old Dominion Freight Lines, Pitt Ohio, ABF, DHL and Walmart Transportation will get a chance to test their driving skills and knowledge of the trucking industry. The Truck Driving Championships (TDC) are also designed to promote safety in the industry. Each driver will take part in a series of tests that include a written examination, pre-trip inspection test and a field test.

Drivers will compete for a chance to go to the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championship, also known as the Super Bowl of Safety, in Indianapolis on August 21-24.

Saturday evening, the West Virginia Truck Association will host a banquet to present their driving competition and annual safety awards. There will also be honors for “Driver of the Year” and “Driver of the Month.”

Officials of the event say the best time to photograph the tractor-trailer driving competition will be between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Old Dominion Freight Line is located at 208 Bosley Industrial Drive in Parkersburg.

Traci Nelson is President of the West Virginia Trucking Association. For more information visit www.wvtrucking.com.

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Martinsburg’s Reid to receive 2 major awards, Huff memorabilia at Victory Awards Dinner

— By Doug Huff, WVSWA

WHEELING, W.Va. — An honoree at the 77th annual Victory Awards Dinner will receive a bonus reward during the event on May 5 at River City in Wheeling.

The public event, sponsored by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association, recognizes statewide award winners from multiple sports and is the nation’s oldest statewide sports fete.

Receiving the bonus will be Rashad Reid of unbeaten state Class 3A football champion Martinsburg who will receive two major awards — the Sam Huff Award as top defensive player in the state and the Joe Stydahar Award as top interior lineman.

Reid also will receive some Sam Huff memorabilia from Cathy Huff, daughter of the late Hall of Famer and West Virginia University icon for whom the award is named.

“When I heard there was an award in West Virginia named for my father,” Cathy Huff said, “I wanted to support it and donate some personal items.” Among the items are autographed photos and football trading cards of Huff, who is one of only 10 football players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame and the National High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Besides the two awards and special presentation to Reid, other honors include:

West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame–Kenny Griffith, Bruce Meredith.

Hardman Amateur Athlete of Year–JJ Wetherholt, West Virginia U.

Furfari College Coach of Year–Kim Caldwell, Marshall U.

Van Meter High School Coach of Year–Dave Tallman, Morgantown.

Kennedy Award (Football Player of Year)–Dom Collins, Princeton.

Kennedy Foundation Scholarships–Matt Frye, Scott; Murphy Clement, Martinsburg.

Evans Award (Boys Basketball Player of Year)–Sharron Young, Morgantown.

Ostrowski Award (Girls Basketball Player of Year)–Alexis Bordas, Wheeling Park; Ashlynn Van Tassell, Cameron.

Morehouse Award (Journalism)–Bob Hertzel, Morgantown.

Doug Huff Award (Leadership, Extra Mile)–Kyndall Perry, Nitro.

McCoy Male Track Athlete–Brayden Marshall, Winfield.

McCoy Female Track Athlete–Irene Riggs, Morgantown.

Lowery Baseball Player of Year–Noah Braham, University.

Dutton Award (Wrestler of Year)–Gage Wright, Parkersburg South.

Softball Player of Year–Mikie Lieving, Wahama.

Boys Soccer Player of Year–Joey Pinkerton, Pt. Pleasant.

Girls Soccer Player of Year–Gracie Brown, Morgantown.

Volleyball Player of Year–MacKenna Halfin, Philip Barbour.

Football Position Awards:

House Award (Quarterback)–Maxwell Molessa, Williamstown.

Warner Award (Running Back)–Zach Rohrig, Bridgeport.

Moss Award (Receiver)–Dom Collins, Princeton.

Howley Award (Linebacker)–Casey Minor, North Marion.

Lee Award (Defensive Back)–Zah Jackson, Huntington.

Walker Award (Special Teams)–Jonny Aya-ay, Huntington.

The advance ticket sales deadline is April 29. No tickets are sold at the door.

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Patriots rack up 12 hits in 8-3 win over Petersburg

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Washington collected their second win of the day in the tournament hosted by Robert C. Byrd High School at Summit Park fields with an 8-3 victory over Petersburg.

The No. 6 Patriots broke a scoreless stalemate in the third inning with a four-run frame. Washington later added a pair of runs in the fourth to build a 6-0 lead.

Petersburg cut their deficit in half with a run-scoring single from Olivia Kimble and a two-run home run from Samantha Colaw. However, Carly Constantino retired the next eight Petersburg batters to close out the game.

Anna Sedlock went 3-for-3 for the Patriots (14-3). Gabby Bibb, Kalyn Dean and Zoe Kesterson each added two hits.

Blair Loy had a pair of hits for the No. 2 Vikings (16-6).

Earlier in the day, Washington defeated Wheeling Park, 10-3 and Petersburg knocked off Robert C. Byrd, 8-0. Both teams will play a pair of games on Saturday.

Saturday schedule of games (at Robert C. Byrd H.S.)

RCB vs Wheeling Park – 9 a.m.
RCB vs Washington – 11 a.m.
Petersburg vs Wheeling Park – 1 p.m.
Lincoln vs Washington – 3 p.m.
Lincoln vs Petersburg – 5 p.m.

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Washington pulls away late to defeat Wheeling Park, 10-3

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Washington scored nine times in the final three innings to break the game open in a 10-3 win over Wheeling Park. The game was part of the tournament hosted by Robert C. Byrd High School at the Summit Park fields.

No. 6 Washington (13-3) scored four runs in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie. They later added three runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to put the game out of reach.

Washington starting pitcher Carly Constantino struck out seven batters in 3 2/3 innings of work. She allowed four hits and one unearned run. Constantino also had a pair of base hits and she drove in three runs. Taylor Decker and Addison Musser each drove in a pair of runs. Anna Sedlock added three hits for Washington.

Wheeling Park (9-14) was led at the plate by Delaney Randolph. She went 3-for-4 with a double.

Wheeling Park later defeated Lincoln, 3-1 to close the day.

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Photo gallery: Jefferson defeats Williamstown, 5-1

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Photo gallery from Jefferson’s 5-1 win over Williamstown in the Mon County Classic.

(Photo gallery by Teran Malone)

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