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St. Paul , Virginia
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January 15, 2009     Clinch Valley Times
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January 15, 2009
 

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, January 15, 2009 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax..by Ann Young Gregory What makes them Best? Information I considered to be extremely interest- mg was contained in the results of the most recent evaluation of public education by U.S. News & World Report and School Evaluation Services. The study was conducted on a national basis, and was far more extensive than being a mere reflection of scores on state achievement tests, such as Virginia's Standards of Learning. The specialists who devised the inno- vative methodology ultimately used in the study had as their goal not only how well the nation's high schools serve the "best and brightest" students, but also how well they serve ALL students. This is the second year that the evaluation has been conducted. Results of the first were posted online on November 30, 2007, while the new list appeared online De- cember 5, 2008. Now, in case you haven't already run across the information from that study relevant to our own area, let me share some of it with you. The product of the study was a list of America's Best High Schools, listed by state. Virginia's list of 45 high schools represents 14.4 percent of all the high schools in the state (that total is 312'according to the Virginia High School League 2008-2009 Directory). Among the 45 schools were 15, or one-third, from far Southwest Virginia. These Best High Schools included, and I've listed them alphabetically by school division, Virginia High from Bristol City; Council, Grandy, Hurley and Twin Valley High I Schools from Buchanan County; Ervinton and Haysi from Dickenson County; Thomas Walker from Lee County; Castlewood and Lebanon from Russell Coun-  "ty; Rye Cove and Twin Springs from Scott County; 1, and--guess what--Appalachia, Pound and St. Paul l>from Wise County. Glaringly absent from the Best High Schools list are Powell Valley, J. J. Kelly, Coe- -o the website, is applied to determine if the' school: "Attains performance levels that exceed statistical expectations given the school's relative level of student poverty, as measured by state accountability test scores for all the school's students in the core subjects of reading and math; "Achieves proficiency rates on state tests for its latest advantaged student groups (e.g., black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students) that exceed state averages; and" "Prepares its students for college, as measured by student participation in and performance on Advance Placement (AP) exams and/or International Bacca- laureate (IB) exams." In addition, these indicators (also quoted from the website) were used: 1) Overall performance of students on state tests. 2) Performance of the least advantaged students on state tests. 3) Performance on college-levvel Advanced Place- ment (AP) exams or International Baccalaureate (IB) exalns. (Each of those indicators employs several sub- topics to arrive at a conclusion.) According to the US. News & Worm Report website, schools from 48 states (the ones with suffi- cient data to be analyzed) were included--the total exceeded 21,000 high schools. No monetary awards are attached to the "Ame- rica's Best High Schools" designations, but the results are posted online and can be published. At this point, U.S. News & Worm Report plans to repeat this evaluation annually. Do the results mean that schools not chosen aren't good? Certainly not, nor do I mean to imply that non- "Best" high schools aren't dedicated and productive. :burn, Lee High, Gate City and Clintwood. But of Without all the educational jargon and scientific course the ones which immediately caught my eye methods used to arrive at the "Best High Schools" and have held my interest are the three from Wise results, a personal analysis just uses common sense. County which ARE on the list: Appalachia, Pound ' The schools which have achieved the status of "Best" and St. Paul. I also looked at the Kentucky list-,I have some interest in that state, since it's where I acquired all of - my formal education. I have Often compared my high school, Paintsville High School, to St. Paul High School in that PHS has been known statewide for years for the academic excellence of its overall program. Letcher County High, a relatively new con- solidated school which has generated considerable more_tha=n likely have: ............. dedicated, well trained and committed adminis- trators and teachers; a solid curriculum based on the essentials, with lots o(mathematics and science; parents who are committed to seeing that their children are given a quality education; an educational atmosphere which provides the optimum level for high expectations--administrators interest in Wise County, is not on the list, by the way. for teachers, administrators and teachers for students, _While I was at it, I checked the Tennessee Best High and high expectations by students that their admini- Schools List, and while there were 29 schools on the strators, teachers and parents are solidly behind them; list, I couldn't find Tennessee High, Science Hill or * an environment as well as an academic base Dobyns-Bennett, Three Greene Courtty schools, two which provide the maximum oppommities for each of in Hawkins County, and University School in- the students who are part of it--the school can't make :Washington County were the onlyclose,to-us Schools the child learn, but it can make learning so attractive : I could find. . and relevant that students WANT to learn! i  The question that came to my mind first after To get to my immediate point, I know that St. ::hecking the lists of schools in these three states was, Paul High School exhibits these qualifications, "how did they choose these schools?" Fortunately, because my children are SPHS graduates and I know ii:ithe U.S. News & Worm Report website provided a the school. I feel quite sure that Pound and' : wealth of information, inelud, il]g the steps which were Appalachia High Schools also offer these qualities. | taken to determine the Best designation. Bottom line: these three schools are to be closed. | i The following progression of steps, quoted from/Go figure, li ::'?U_'2"A 27 ) :. / 7: ......... " i:' .... i ...... ,__ i ' : t Letters to the editor Q$O. Readers are invited to write ieRers on matters of general interest to. the public. Letmrs do not necessarily reflect the philosophy or editorial policy of this newspaper, which reserves the right to edit letters. The Clinch Valley Times will not I hope that the powers in Wise County will read this column with an open mind. Good job, Ann. incerely, Blake Whitenack S.t Paul January Happenings at the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library January Happenings at the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library include: Storytime ages 3-5 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00 a.m.; Toddler Time 2 year olds p.m.; Family Fun for all ages Thursday, January 22 at 6:30 p.m. Snuggle with a Book; Family Fun for all ages Saturday, January 17 at 11:30 a.m. Snuggle with a Book; GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE BY DONATING BLOOD January is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month Every day, more than 39,000 units of blood are needed to treat patients with life-threatening conditions. Patients undergoing surgery, accident victims, cancer patients, and hemophiliacs are among the many who receive life-saving blood. These patients and their families depend on the generosity of donors to save their lives. I encourage able individuals to volunteer an hour of their time this month to donate at a regional blood center or during local blood donation drives. Blood donation is important all year but is increasingly important at this time because of critically low blood supplies reported by the American Red Cross during the holiday season when fewer individuals take the time to donate blood. As a result of the decreased donations during the holiday season, many areas are now facing blood shortages which may affect elective surgeries or the amount of blood available to recuperating patients or accident victims. The American Red Cross, which supplies approximately one-half of the nation's blood supply, works with more than 4.5 million donors and 3,000 hospitals through its national network to receive nearly six million volunteer donations annually. To donate blood, one must be healthy, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Persons who are older than 65 and in good health may usually donate with the approval of the blood bank physician. The majority of donors can donate blood as often as every eight weeks. Additionally, the Red Cross reminds donors that donating blood is quick, usually taking less than one hour, relatively pain-free, and safe. Donations can be made at many locations throughout the Ninth District. Bloodmobiles travel to high schools, colleges, churches and other community organizations. To find a bloodmobile location, call 1- 800-GIVE-LIFE or visit the American Red Cross online at www.redcross.org. Individuals may also contact their local chapters to inquire as to area blood drives. The chapters serving the Ninth District and their phone numbers are: Montgomery-Floyd County Chapter: 540- 443 3606 Mountain Empire Chapter: 276-645-6650 Greater New River Valley Chapter: 54ff- 639-2140 Martinsville-Henry County Chapter: 276- 632-5127 or 276-694- 3505 (Stuart Office) Roanoke Valley Chapter: 540-985-3535 Happenings at Natural Tunnel Looking for something to do on a cold winter Sunday afternoon? Natural Tunnel State Park has the answer for you. Join the Cultural Arts Council as they present the "Candlelight Series" Sunday, January 25. To help kick off this month's event join Gary Varner, a local storyteller, and Men of Notes, a barbershop quartet, as they perform for everyone located in the Cove Ridge Center. Performance starts at 3 pm and ends at 5 pm; starting at 2 pm local artists work will be on display. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for students. Season tickets can be purchased for $20. Are you in the process of cleaning out the closets to get ready for spring? Do you have too much "stuff' and do not know what to do with it? The Friends of Natural Tunnel State Park has a solution to your problems. They would like tO collect your "stuff' for their April 17 & 18, 2009 Earth Day Rummage Round and Sale. Now until P April you carl drop off your donations at the Park's main office Monday- Friday 8:00 am-4:00 pm. No appliances or mattresses please: Pick up available for Scott County residents only. Please call (276) 940-2674 to arrange : pick up times. Trails at Natural Tunnel State  :- : Park are currently open. Chair Lift, Visitor Center, Blockhouse; Campground and Pool are closed for the season. Wise County The Wise County Sheriff's Office reports the following activities for the period of 12/29/2008 through 1/4/2009. Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,185 calls for this seven- day period. Of the total calls received 266 were dispatched to the Sheriff's Office. Total num- ber of Domestic calls for this period was 13. Criminal Process for the-same period served 9 Felony Warrants, 19 Misdemean- or Warrants, issued 11 Traffic Summons and worked 0 Traffic Sheriff's Report Accidents. Civil process for this: period served 326 Civil Papers.? During this seven-day period 14  additional Criminal Investiga- tions were initiated and 16 were cleared by arrest. The Sheriff's Office provided 80 man-hours of TM Court Room Security for the: three courts. The Sheriff's Office tran-' sported 1 adult in state, 0 adult'. out of state, 1 mental patient, and' 5 juveniles for a total of 7  transports, involving 20 hours. The Sheriff's.Office unlocked' 6 vehicles and escorted 10' prim unsigned letters. To the Editor: To the Editor: St. Paul Elementary School I would like to commend would like to express a thank you Ann Gregory on her column on to the local businesses and Economics and Common Sense churches who provided published in the Clinch Valley assistance during the 2008 Times on Thursday, January 8, Christmas season. Thank you for 2009. This opinion is shared by your on-going support and many residents of St. Paul and kindness. the surrounding communities in Sincerely, both Wise and Russell County. St. Paul Elementary School accompanied by an adult Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.; Mother Goose 0-23 months accompanied by an adult Fridays, 11:30 a:m.; Homeing Around Homeschool Children K-12 Thursday, January 15 at 2:00 p.m.; Book Buddies grades K-7 Thursdays from 4:00-4:45; Teen Scene ages 12-17 Thursday, January 29 at 6:30 Winter safety for children and adults " "With winter once again 15oh" us, a few reminders about ".dangers related to cold weather imd winter activities are in rder," said Nora Murphy, Safe ids-LENOWISCO Area Coal- ion:Coordinator. "Hypothermia nd frost bite are very real .concerns when outdoors in cold :temperatures," she continued. -'-.'Children lose heat more quick- y than adults and are at a greater -risk," Murphy said. "Addition- :lly, both children and adults -loose 50-60% of body heat from covered heads, hands and feet. : The Coalition and the health ;lepartments of the LENO- :3YlSCO Health District suggest he following safety tips.  Dress in layers to allow for .removal/adding of layers to keep 31ae body warm and dry. Wear ,hats, gloves and proper footwear :- flat soled shoes or boots. ,Know the signs of frostbite - :kin becomes pale, gray or blistered, and burning or numb- .aess is experienced. If this ::9ccurs, do not rub or use hot ,ater on affected area. Use ',kewarm or cool water and seek iedical care. Signs of hypo: thermia are shivering, extreme tiredness, confusion, and a body temperature below 95 degrees. Go indoors to warm up and change into dry clothing. Alcohol and certain medications cause one to be even more susceptible to hypothermia; check with your doctor or pharmacist about medications and do not consume alcohol when outdoor activities are planned. Murphy offers additional winter safety advice including don't ride head first on a sled/tube, Wear a helmet to sled, inner tube, snow board or ski. Don't ride behind a truck, ATV or car - deaths and serious injuries have resulted from doing so as the rider has little control when the vehicle stops, or turns and the sled/tube may swing into the towing vehicle, stationary objects or oncoming vehicles. Sled/tube in a clear area away from cars, fences, walls or other people, Adults please supervise children and have a means to call for help in case of emergency. Winterize your car by topping off windshield cleaner fluid and gas tank. Keep a car emergency kit in each vehicle, including de-icer, ice scraper, jumper cables, nonperishable food, bottled water, a blanket, a working flashlight and cat litter/newspaper for traction if stuck in the snow. Have a cell phone and money for a pay phone for emergencies. Drive less than the speed limit in winter conditions to maintain control. Keep more than the standard 3 seconds distance behind the car in front of you. At home keep portable heaters and kerosene heaters at least three (3) feet away from other objects in the room. Clean the chimney once a year. Keep doors closed to the fireplace/in- sert. Keep a window open to vent when using kerosene, coal, wood or gas. Use pet friendly products to keep steps, porch and sidewalks cleaned of snow and ice. Before shoveling snow, check with your doctor if you have a medical condition. For local safety information call Nora Murphy at (276) 328- 1915. it Motorists: "Stop for any school bus loading or unloading children! I New Book Club for Adults" every 4 th Thursday beginning 6 January 22 at 6:00 p.m. All children's programs will run by the Wise County School schedule. If Wise County schools are closed all children's programs will be cancelled that day. Guidebook from The National Arbor Day Foundation The National Arbor Day ilq-usmii the specific shapes and Foundation has a resource textures of different leaves, available to help an average needles, acorns, berries, seed person identify trees in a simple, pods, cones, and other ident- step-by-step process, ifying features. What Tree Is That? is a ,l6obtama-treeidentiflcation useful 72-page pocket guidebook guide, -sena your name and that helps distinguish different address and $3 for each guide to characteristics of many species of trees in Virginia and the What Tree Is That?, The National Arbor Day Foundation, Eastern and Central regions of 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska the United States. The book also City, NE 68410. " includes dozens of detailed . drawings which accurately    NOW OPEN Copper Creek Stone Located on Rt. 71 7.5 miles South of Lebanon 1 mile North of Rt. 58 (Dickensonville) Open Monday- Friday 7 am til 5 pm Saturdays 7 am til 3 pm or later if necessary Pick Up or Delivery Call 276-794-9009 for ravel needs funerals during this seven-day period. "lclineh IV.alley I Times MEMBER VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 24283, by the CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC. The Clinch Valley Times serves the four-county area of Wise, Russell, Dickeuson and Scott, with offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES building, 16541 Russell Street. Perio- dicals postage is paid at the Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283. Ann Young Gregory Editor Allen Gregory Advertising Susan Trent Adv./Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and Russell eoumies; $30.00 in other 24- zip codes; elsewhere, $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, 'P.O. Box 817, St. Paul, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY - 50c Classified Advertising: Minimum charge, $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance; 25e per word after 20 words. Display Advertising rates on application. Periodicals publication Postal ISSN: 767600