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W.Va. Senate holds off vote on education proposal

Mar. 16, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

CHARLESTON-- The West Virginia Senate is revisiting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's proposed changes to the school calendar and teacher hiring and transfers.

Senators held off voting on the governor's bill Friday while seeking to address concerns about those changes from groups representing teachers and school workers.

A vote could come Monday as lawmakers, Tomblin administration officials and representatives of these groups discuss a possible amendment.

Tomblin seeks to rewrite teacher hiring and transfer policies. He's also proposed freeing up more days for student instruction on the school calendar.

One part of the bill would allow the nonprofit Teach for America into West Virginia classrooms for the first time

The employee organizations object to all of those provisions.

Federal board restores W.Va. town's name

CHARLESTON -- The town of Tornado is keeping its name.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the U.S. Board of Geographical Names voted Thursday to restore town's name after some modern maps had changed it to Upper Falls.

About a dozen people spoke in favor of the name Tornado at a Kanawha County commissioners meeting last month. No one favored Upper Falls.

Officials for the U.S. Geological Survey recently approved a local resident's petition to change the unincorporated town's name to Upper Falls. Local officials didn't find out about it until after the fact. Volunteer Fire Chief Greg Childress said the community has been called Tornado since 1881. He said it was once known as Upper Falls, but that was before West Virginia was a separate state.

W.Va. to address early childhood development

CHARLESTON -- West Virginia officials are teaming up with a national program aimed at helping children through age five who are considered at-risk for developmental challenges.

The West Virginia Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health is set to launch its affiliation with the national Help Me Grow program at a summit in Charleston on Friday.

The program helps states identify at-risk children and help families find community-based programs and services to address each child's needs. It was launched in 1998 and is currently used in 16 states.

Officials say between 13 and 17 percent of children in the U.S. experience developmental delays.

They say these delays can lead to learning and behavioral problems as children as well as other problems later in life.

Community leaders discuss child poverty

LOGAN, W.Va. -- Community leaders in West Virginia's coalfields are gathering to discuss solutions to child poverty.

A forum is scheduled for Saturday at Southern Community and Technical College in Logan.

At the event, parents, policy advocates, service providers, religious leaders, labor and business leaders will ask legislators to make public commitments to a policy platform to address the issue.

Officials with the American Friends Service Committee say the statewide platform was developed and voted on through a process of 47 community meetings, and outreach to more than 250 stakeholders.

The group says 30 percent of children aged six and under in Logan County live in poverty. Officials hope the forum will generate a strong commitment from both legislators and community members to champion an end to child poverty.

Voice-overs introductory session hosted March 26

HUNTINGTON -- Mountwest Community and Technical College, in conjunction with Voice Coaches, will present "Getting Paid To Talk," a one-time introductory session to the world of voice overs, on Tuesday, March 26.

Attendees will learn the basics of getting started, working in the studio, effective demo production methods, industry pros and cons, where to look for opportunities and how to land a job.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to record mock commercials under the direction of a Voice Coaches producer.

Registration is required and enrollment is limited to 25. Class fee is $35.

For more information or to register, call 304-710-3427.