Local News – 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – This is finals week for students at West Virginia University, and the Carruth Center is ready to provide help and counseling for students feeling the stress of the fall semester culmination. Sara DiSimone is the interim assistant director of outreach and campus engagement, and she said many students are feeling the pressure while preparing for an evaluation of the final measure of what they’ve learned.
“The deadlines are catching up with us, and maybe we’re feeling a little nervous about going home after being on campus,” DiSimone said. “So, the anxiety is up, the stress is up, and it makes it tough for us to function.”
First, she said students should be thinking about their physical health in addition to their mental well-being and course load. Time has to be set aside to do all the things that put the brain and body in the optimum position to perform.
“Making sure you’re taking care of yourself is important,” DiSimone said. “Making sure you’re getting the rest you need, making sure you’re fueling the body like it needs. making sure you’re getting enough water and body movement—sometimes those get lost during this busy time.”
DiSimone suggests making a schedule that compartmentalizes study, recovery, and taking care of yourself. The schedule provides a guide and check to ensure students are completing the tasks, whether school-related or personal, to make the most of their performance.
“Making sure we are scheduling time for downtime is important, and I think that sounds contradictory to what we’re trying to achieve,” DiSimone said. “But if we don’t have time away from studying, we can get really burned out.”
Keeping in mind that the performance may not meet expectations is also important. DiSimone advises students to allow themselves some grace as they navigate the week because there will be some rough patches. One of the most important things for students to do is recognize and accept help.
“I like to think of it as carrying a bag of bricks on my back,” DiSimone said. “I don’t have to carry that bag of bricks on my back by myself; I can let someone take some of those and have an easier load to carry.”
The Carruth Center is located at 390 Birch Street on the second floor of the Student Health Building. Satellite offices are also located at the College of Law, the Athletics Clinic and Support Psychology, and the Health Sciences Campus. If students need to speak with someone to start the application process, call 304-293-4431.
“We are here through the break, and even until next semester, we don’t leave,” DiSimone said. “So, students can schedule an initial appointment here at Carruth at their convenience, and they can do that online or by calling here.”
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In Morgantown, University Police have immediate openings, and they’ll be talking to potential candidates Monday, December 11, at the Erickson Alumni Center from 9 a.m. until noon.
Sgt. Brock Armstrong, Training Coordinator, said campus police officers have a variety of assignments that put them in contact with a wide range of people in terms of age, ethnic background, and origin.
“You’re also affecting people from all over the country and all over the world, so you can change perceptions of police work all over the world just by being a police officer here at WVU,” Sgt. Armstrong said.
One of the nuances of campus police work is the residential component. Officers are expected to regularly patrol buildings and work among the campus community to build reports and relationships. Open communication paves the way for seamless cooperation between officers and community members in times of emergency.
“We need to be out within our community and out in the buildings so when they (students and families) see us, they feel comfortable with us,” Sgt. Armstrong said. “They should know we’re not only there when bad things happen, but we’re there day-to-day to interact as part of our campus and community.”
Potential recruits will be able to ask questions about the qualification process and participation in the state law enforcement academy. Equipment will also be on display, including opportunities to try a police simulator that tests decision-making ability in stressful situations.
“We’re hoping to have our K-9s there that are explosively trained detection dogs that work and do a lot of stuff with our stadium at the Coliseum or any kind of mass gathering and day-to-day things that keep our campus safe,” Sgt. Armstrong said.
Armstrong said the job of a campus police officer is demanding and constantly changing. Duties can range from assistance calls, investigations, security details, and working with area agencies on an as-needed basis.
“We work a lot of hours, whether it’s basketball, football, or some of the other smaller events, so we do work together a lot and become a family,” Sgt. Armstrong said. We’re a tight-knit group that makes sure we keep our community safe, and our community is the WVU campus.”
According to Armstrong, pay and benefits are competitive, and incentive bonuses are offered for candidates who come to the university as certified police officers. Officers are eligible for in-service raises, paid sick and vacation time, tuition reimbursement, and scholarship opportunities for dependents.
“The university believes in giving us enough training and enough resources to go out and do our job effectively and have those resources to do our job the right way,” Sgt. Armstrong said. “I believe all of our officers are out there to do the right thing, help our community stay safe, and set everybody up for success.”
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Public Service Commission (PSC) will receive public comment regarding the proposed Hope Gas pipeline expansion in the Morgantown area. The hearing will be held at the PSC headquarters at 201 Brooks St., Charleston at 5:30 p.m.
The evidentiary hearing in this case is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 19 at 9:30 a.m. in the same location.
Members of the public can attend the event and make comments or provide comment in real time via the PSC’s YouTube channel. Comments can also be submitted by phone, online or by mail to 201 Brooks St., Charleston 25301.
Those who elect to offer comment via the internet or phone are asked to register up to the time of the event by calling Karen Hall at 304-340-0836 or Andy Gallagher at 304-340-0820.
Hope Gas has requested clearance to build a new and uprated 30-mile pipeline from Wadestown in western Monongalia County to the east. The purpose of the project is to maintain reliable natural gas service to existing customers in the area.
Hope officials have said there will be no changes to rates or any additional charges. The costs of the project will be recovered in a future base rate case, and to recover the costs for a new upstream pipeline firm transportation service agreement through future gas purchase agreements.
The case number for this project is 23-0773-G-CN-PW.
FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Fairmont State University now has a new group of Falcons that will call themselves alumni.
Students from seven programs walked the podium on Saturday in two separate ceremonies hosted at the Feaster Center. Families and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates from the College of Education, Health & Human Performance, the College of Nursing, the College of Science & Technology, the College of Business & Aviation, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Regents Bachelor of Arts with an appearance by the founder of Sqwire LLC, financial editor and Fairmont State alumni Danijel Velicki, who addressed graduates in both ceremonies.
“We celebrate not only your academic accomplishments but the profound personal growth each of you have had and undergone,” said Velicki during the keynote speech of the first ceremony.
Graduates from the College of Education, Health & Human Performance, the College of Nursing, and the College of Science & Technology walked the podium first as part of the Saturday morning ceremonies. Before the names of the students were announced, Velicki and Fairmont State President Michael Davis each addressed the graduates, acknowledging the hard work each soon-to-alum endured to get their college degree.
“Knowing full well that each and every one of you represents a story of success because you made it here today,” said Davis as part of his first commencement as President of Fairmont State University.
The Fairmont State University College of Business & Aviation, the College of Liberal Arts, and Regents Bachelor of Arts each celebrated their graduates as part of the afternoon ceremony. A combination of in-state, out-of-state, and international students each walked the podium and greeted Fairmont State teachers and administrators who have guided them through their educational journey. Velicki, who graduated from Fairmont State after moving to the United States from Croatia, discussed the growth of graduates as part of his keynote speech.
“You’re not the same individuals who walk through the doors of Fairmont State University, you are now equipped with the skills, knowledge, and most importantly, the invincible spirit to face the challenges that are ahead,” said Velicki.
Among the graduates who walked the podium during commencement weekend were the second-ever graduating class from Fairmont State’s police training academy. The College of Nursing also recognized graduating nurses as part of the time-honored “pinning ceremony,” which took place Thursday. Students from all seven Fairmont State University colleges are expected to find work immediately within the Mountain State as part of collaborative programs between the university and private and public sector partners. As the new Falcon alumni prepare to move into the workforce, Fairmont State University staff, administrators, and fellow graduates are happy to celebrate the occasion.
“Remember that success is not measured solely by personal achievements but by the positive impact you can have on the lives of others,” said Davis. “Be leaders who inspire, collaborators who empower, and individuals who embody principles of integrity and compassion,” he said.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – American Federation of Teachers Union (AFT) members in Monongalia County are reacting to premium increases approved by the Public Employee Insurance Agency (PEIA) finance board.
AFT President Sam Brunett said the 10.5 percent increase, the second in two years doesn’t reflect the financial standing lawmakers tout. The increase comes as members continue recovering from the more than 20 percent increase last year.
Brunett said they don’t see or feel the record budget surplus numbers.
“It always seems to be that we have this great financial situation in the state, but none of our employees see any benefits of that,” Brunett said.
Members share stories with Brunett of still earning $800 to $1,000 less annually due to plan increases. A similar situation exists for the estimated 200,000 state workers and families that depend on PEIA coverage.
“The offsetting of the governor’s proposal of a cost of living increase isn’t even touching what teachers and state employees are taking out of pocket in order to afford their health insurance,” Brunett said.
The annual increase negotiation followed by a reactionary cost of living increase has reduced the value of PEIA as a benefit to teachers, according to Brunett. Pay and benefit issues continue to reduce the number of certified teachers in classrooms, and in some cases, this results in districts turning to uncertified replacements.
“I would like to see our legislators take a close look at how they can attract teachers and keep them in the classroom,” Brunett said. “Because it’s obvious we have a mass exodus right now.”
The governor, who promised no PEIA increases for teachers, has given raises in the past to cover the increases and has committed to doing it again, but that doesn’t mean the state legislature would pass it.
“You have to take care of your own and our governor and our legislature are not taking care of those people who they employ and we are state employees,” Brunett said.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University (WVU) has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the Benedum Foundation to develop a strategic plan to support youth entrepreneurship statewide.
Like many rural states, West Virginia struggles to find ways to stem the outbound flow of young people from the state.
“Youth entrepreneurship is important because, in West Virginia, we know our students are leaving to pursue employment in other states,” Lauren Prinzo, WVU Extension specialist and Chair of the Youth Workgroup for the West Virginia Ecosystem said. “We see entrepreneurship as a solution for students to remain in their communities, pursue their passions and contribute to their local economy while giving themselves the chance to have meaningful employment in the place they want to be.”
Funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the group included the WVU Extension, WVU Morris L. Hayhurst Launch Lab, WVU Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, WVU Chambers College of Business and Economics, and the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (YEE) Workgroup was formed through the collaboration that will work with the West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem to bring other adults into the fold to work with youth to expand entrepreneurial opportunities.
The group will provide professional development, planning, and support to engage middle school students and educators with events and conferences like the West Virginia Bridging Innovation Conference, the WVU Impact Challenge and county and statewide 4-H camps.
They will also have the opportunity to participate in the Young Innovators Club, a free after-school program that teaches them about key entrepreneurial concepts and skills. Participants will have mentors to develop a community-based entrepreneurship project using the “My Hometown is Cool” program and produce a pitch to sell it. The student teams will also have access to mini-grants to turn their ideas into reality in their hometown.
WVU Extension agents Ami Cook, Cheryl Kaczor, David Roberts, Lauren Weatherford and Dana Wright are facilitating the program.
“The Benedum grant provides our team the opportunity to continue to drive the idea of youths creating real solutions to problems that exist within the communities that they live and work in,” Wright said. “Entrepreneurship is important for the entire state. For small rural towns, one great entrepreneurial idea could be the catalyst for generating economic growth that affects an entire region.”
Youths from Braxton, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, Mingo, and Nicholas counties will participate.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Human Rights Commission will hold their annual Human Rights Day Award Dinner Sunday at the Monongalia Arts Center at 107 High Street. The event begins with a reception beginning at 4 p.m.
This year, Morgantown attorney Amanda Ray and the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness will receive the Morgantown Human Rights Commission’s annual Human Rights Day Awards.
The Morgantown Human Rights Commission began observing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2016 that was recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in Dec. of 1948.
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A former inmate from United States Penitentiary Hazelton has been convicted of the murder of another inmate following a five-day jury trial.
The jury found Stephen C. Crawford, 44, guilty of assault of voluntary manslaughter, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault resulting in serious bodily harm. Court documents said Crawford used a prison-made weapon to stab ther victim multiple times. The inmate later died of his injuries.
Crawford faces up to 15 more years in federal prison for the manslaughter charge and faces up to 10 years for each of the assault charges. A federal district court judge will carefully determine the sentence.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Libraries and the Teaching and Learning Commons reorganization details were released Friday.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed said within the Libraries there will be nine voluntary separations and seven other worker who will either work until the end of the 2023-24 academic year or the 2024 fiscal year, depending on their eligibility. The adjustment will save 5.8 percent of the annual budget or an estimated $790,000.
Reed said students and faculty will not experience a drop in service due to the reorganization.
“The resources and support provided by our Libraries are critical to the success of students, faculty, staff and the community, so we worked closely with Dean Karen Diaz as she and her team created a plan that reflects our continued commitment to quality services,” said
The mission of the Teaching and Learning Commons will shift slightly to focus on the development and support of teaching across all modes of instruction, continuous faculty training and training for graduate teaching assistants in the delivery of instruction and assessment of student learning, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
As a result, nine non-classified staff members will move to WVU Online to begin support functions and instructional design and micro credentialing efforts. Seven non-classified staff members will transition to WVU Information Technology Services to support classroom and other technology functions. One classified staff member will transition to Academic Affairs to provide support to the Testing Center and nine other non-classified staff members will be employed through the end of the current fiscal year.
Reed said Academic Affairs, faculty will design the new unit and manage its operations.
“With strong faculty engagement and an emphasis on the classroom experience, the redesigned center will focus on the comprehensive promotion of excellence in teaching and student learning — with the ultimate goal of improving student success outcomes,” Reed said.
Next, a faculty committee, chaired by Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Culture Melissa Latimer will determine the functions of the reimagined unit, leadership and staffing structure. The new unit will launch by the Fall 2024 semester.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Multiple units were called to a structure fire on Old Cheat Lake Road late Friday afternoon.
Heavy smoke was reported visible from portions of the Morgantown area late Friday afternoon.
Details about the incident have not been released, but at least three departments were called to the scene.
Details will be added as they become available.