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NEWS in Brief – 1/31/10

Ex-youth orchestra director charged

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) – A former youth orchestra director in northeastern Kentucky has been charged with having inappropriate contact with a minor.

The Daily Independent in Ashland reports that former Russell schools orchestra director Jason D. Chapman is charged with one count of first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor younger than 16.

Greenup District Judge Brian McCloud ruled this week that there was sufficient evidence to send Chapman’s case to a grand jury.

Chapman is free on $10,000 bond. Russell School Superintendent Susan Compton says Chapman resigned as orchestra director the day before his Jan. 12 arrest.

The Russell orchestra is comprised of several hundred members from the district’s primary, middle and high schools. Under Chapman’s directorship, the group earned numerous accolades, and performed in Boston, New York, Chicago, and London, England.

Champion blames loss on newspaper

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Champion Industries is blaming the diminishing value of The Herald-Dispatch newspaper for a giant fourth-quarter loss.

Champion said Friday it lost $26.9 million, or $2.69 per share, in the period. The Huntington-based company earned $1.9 million, or 19 cents per share, in fourth-quarter 2008.

Champion says the 2009 loss stems from non-cash charges totaling $41.1 million before taxes. All involve the declining value of the paper, which Champion bought for $77 million in September 2007.

Champion says the 2008 figure has been restated because of $1.4 million non-cash adjustments associated with the purchase of the paper.

For the full year, Champion says it lost $27.5 million, or $2.76 per share, compared with $4.7 million or 46 cents per share in 2008.

Huntington Mission seeking bed sheets

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Huntington City Mission is in need of a large supply of twin sheets, flat and fitted, and pillow cases.

They do not need to be new; however new items will be gratefully accepted.

Almost 95 percent of mission beds are twin size and this is an urgent need due to the small supply currently in stock.

For more info contact Lynn Clagg at (304) 523-0293 ext. 320.

Free tax preparation VITA sites set to open across River Cities

Huntington, W.Va. — Tax season is here and the Internal Revenue Service estimates that each year West Virginians eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) leave more than 20 million EITC dollars unclaimed.

Those dollars could be used to pay down debt, open savings accounts, and improve lives in many ways.

Persons between the ages of 25 and 65 may qualify for EITC if they made less than $48,279 in 2009.

The EITC can be as much as $5,657. Individuals may qualify for both the EITC and the Child Tax Credit, but they must file for tax credits to receive the money. Eligible filers can claim EITC for three years back.

If you’re beginning to envision mountains of IRS forms, don’t worry. Free tax help is available.

The Financial Stability Partnership of the River Cities, an initiative of United Way of the River Cities, brings together community organizations and volunteers from five counties to offer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Programs (VITA).

These IRS certified community volunteers help qualifying taxpayers with special credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly for free.

The sites also offer free electronic filing (e-filing). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refund in ½ the time compared to returns filed on paper – even faster if refunds are deposited directly into the taxpayer’s bank account.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program Qualifications:

The VITA Program offers free tax help to families generally earning $49,000 and below.

You may qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on your 2009 tax return if:

You earned under $43,279 and have three or more qualifying children($48,279 if married filing jointly)

You earned under $40,295 and have two qualifying children ($45,295 if married filing jointly)

You earned under $35,463 and have one qualifying child ($40,463 if married filing jointly)

You earned under $13,440 and have no qualifying child ($18,440 if married filing jointly).

“The VITA program benefits hard working families in the river cities by giving them an opportunity to get their taxes done for free, and get the credits they deserve,” said Monica Donohoe, coordinator of the Financial Stability Partnership.

Free filing will be available beginning Monday.

For a list of all VITA Site locations, service dates and times, call the VITA Info Hotline at 304-781-1033

Site locations are Cabell County Library, Goodwill Industries, Weed & Seed Program, Marshall University, Southwest Community Action Council of Wayne Co., Southwest Community Action Council of Mason Co., Southwest Community Action Council of Lincoln Co., Southwest Community Action Council of Cabell Co., Ohio University Proctorville Center.

Hidden Treasures consignment sale set for March 26-28

KENOVA, W.Va. — Are your closets full of clothes your child can’t wear? Toys they don’t play with? Cribs they have outgrown? Need extra money?

The Hidden Treasures children’s consignment sale will be at the C-K Community Center, located at 1200 Poplar Street in Kenova.

The sale will be:

March 26 – 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

March 27 – 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

March 28 – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (1/2 off sale)

For more details or to consign visit the Web site at

www.hiddentreasuresale.net or call Melissa at 740-479-1901 or Bridget at 304-617-6949.

E-mail is hiddentreasuresale@yahoo.com.

Free healthy heart screenings Feb. 11 in South Point

SOUTH POINT — With jobs, spouses, kids and grandkids, church and other activities, the demands of daily life can be rough. Sometimes, it’s difficult to find a second to catch your breath, much less time to take care of your heart.

But just a few minutes now could head off disaster later. So this February — American Heart Month — King’s Daughters Medical Center encourages you to find time for your heart. To make it easier, KDMC is offering a free, Healthy Heart Screening from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Walmart in South Point, Ohio.

The screening includes total cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and blood oxygen levels and is sponsored by King’s Daughters in cooperation with the Kentucky Heart Foundation. Appointments are not needed.

In addition to the Healthy Heart Screening, KDMC is sponsoring Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Kyova Mall in Cannonsburg, Ky. The event takes place in the center court of the mall and includes education and activities for kids of all ages, parents and even grandparents.

Kids can participate in the Heart Challenge Course, heart BINGO and educational activities on nutrition and exercise. A special guest will be Stuffee, King’s Daughter’s super-sized doll designed to teach kids about their internal organs. Kids will be able to listen to Stuffee’s heartbeat, take his pulse, and hold soft sculpture reproductions of the heart, lungs, intestine, stomach and other organs.

Winter’s worth of reading on sale at bargain prices

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — With six more weeks or so until spring, there’s still plenty of time to curl up by the fireside and get some reading done.

If that’s your thing, you can stock up on good books at the Friends of the Library used book sale Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4-6, at the Cabell County Public Library, 455 Ninth St.

Gently used books of all type will be on sale at the great bargain prices that long have been a fixture of the group’s book sales. In addition to books, the sale also will offer magazines, audio and video tapes, CDs, DVDs and more.

Sale hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The sale is located on the library’s fourth floor. On Saturday only, buyers can fill a plastic bag with books for only $2. (Only bags provided by the sale workers can be used.)

Proceeds from the sale, one of three conducted by the Friends of the Library each year, will be used to improve library services and facilities.

Members of the public are invited to join the Friends for an annual donation of $5 or more.

Information on the book sale or on joining the Friends may be had by calling the library at (304) 528-5700 or logging on to its Web site at www.cabell.lib.wv.us.