Newspaper industry video program offers residents digital news on their schedule
WVPA Press Staff Report
CHARLETON, W.Va. — Residents interested in details of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources’ plan for managing state parks — including timbering in some areas of the parks — can get the information online as they personal schedule allows.
WVDNR Director Stephen McDaniel and Forestry Director Barry Cook discussed the plan on InDepth with Don Smith, the interview segment of the state newspaper industry’s online video program, West Virginia Press InSight, a weekly 30-minute news report looking at the top stories around the state.
To assist residents around the state, the newspaper industry offers viewers the opportunity to see the interview on their local newspaper’s website or Facebook page, or visit wvpress.org or the West Virginia Press Association’s Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/wvpress/videos/1951058041589099/ — and YouTube channel — https://youtu.be/fCFW_gRnPUA.
McDaniel and Cook outline the goals, the scope, the limitations and other details of the proposed legislation: Senate Bill 270 and HB 4182.
McDaniel said timbering on state park land is part of a sound “silvicultural management plan.” Any state park timbering would not exceed an average of four trees per acre per tract to be harvested and would not involve more than one-half of the marketable timber volume per acre. Only trees with a diameter of at least 16 inches would be harvested.
Proceeds from such timber sales would to be spent “exclusively for the purposes of maintaining, improving and operating state parks.”
McDaniel and Cook noted that some residents oppose the plan. There is opposition to the legislation under the Save Our State Parks banner, #SOSParks. Groups such as Kanawha Forest Coalition and West Virginia Rivers Coalition oppose the plan. Their position is outlined at https://wvecouncil.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/SB270_Booklet.pdf
In other segments of WV Press Insight, hosts Tom Hunter and Betsy DeBord look at the following topics:
— West Virginia legislative leaders review session’s progress and issues:
Brett Dunlap of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and Jim Workman of the West Virginia Press Association report on the comments of state leaders during the West Virginia Press Association’s 2018 Legislative Breakfast.
House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead, House Minority Leader Tim Miley and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso reviewed the current legislative session, addressing several issues.
— Teacher pay questions lead to unrest, negotiations:
Newspapers across the state have been reporting on how teachers are responding to Governor Jim Justice’s proposed 1 percent pay raise.
Justice and legislative leaders say that’s all the state can afford at this point. They promise 1 percent raises in each of the next four years for teachers, and 1 percent this year and each of the next two years for other state employees.
That hasn’t gone over well with most educators, however, with hundreds of teachers from Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties coming to the Capitol in early February to make their voices heard. Since then teachers from Mercer County to Mason County to Marshall County have either held votes on a potential strike or had ‘walk-ins’ prior to the start of the school day.
In addition to being unhappy about pay, teachers have expressed frustration with increasing PEIA premiums while benefits are being reduced. They say it amounts to a pay cut, and they want changes to stabilize the program for the long-term.
— Abortion proposals bring out supporters, opponents:
A pair of abortion proposals brought dozens of speakers and large groups on both sides of the issue to the Capitol.
Taylor Stuck reports in the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington that nearly 50 people spoke about House Bill 4012 during a public hearing in the House of Delegates chamber. That proposal would prohibit the use of Medicaid funds to pay for abortions unless it would save the life of the mother.
That bill, modeled after a federal restriction, is aimed at reversing a 1993 West Virginia Supreme Court ruling that Medicaid must cover medical services, including abortion.
— Officials say road projects, Marcellus Shale energizing West Virginia:
Highway construction and the energy sector have the potential to create jobs and economic opportunities throughout the state. That’s according to multiple speakers at the West Virginia Press Association’s annual Legislative Breakfast, held recently in Charleston.
Brett Dunlap of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel has the story.
Dunlap reports that State Transportation Secretary Tom Smith equates road construction with jobs, and the $1.6 billion bond issue that passed last fall with create tens of thousands of new jobs.
Mike Clower, executive director of the Contractors Association of West Virginia, says the past five years have been tough for his members. Now, they’re excited to be hiring people. A Job Fair is scheduled for February 16th at Bridge Valley Community and Technical College in South Charleston, and more will be set as summer approaches.
WVU Reed College of Media chronicles ‘100 Days in Appalachia,’ tackles fake news:
In this week’s segment from WVU Today, WVU Reed College of Media Dean Maryanne Reed talks about the “100 Days in Appalachia” project.
The college wants to help students be better news consumers in a changing environment.
— Black History Month:
West Virginia started its observation of Black History Month with the 3rd Annual Celebration of Diversity recently at the WV Culture and History Great Hall.
Coordinated by the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, the celebration reflected upon the progress West Virginians have made toward equality.
There are numerous Black History Month activities across the state.
— Skiing in February and March in all ski areas:
In this week’s tourism segment, Dave Lavender of The Herald Dispatch of Huntington reports that recent snow and cold weather has all 5 of West Virginia’s downhill ski resorts offering prime skiing and boarding conditions in February.
Snowshoe Mountain, Timberline, Canaan Valley, Winterplace, Oglebay Park, and state’s largest cross country ski area, White Grass, are all offering excellent conditions.
Joe Stevens, executive director of the West Virginia Ski Areas Association, said the West Virginia ski industry is excited for one of its biggest weekend of the year: Presidents Day weekend.
But Stevens also reminds West Virginians that March is one of the best skiing months in the state.