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NEWS in Brief – 3/7/10

Cabell judge lifts injunction on smoking ban

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Cabell County judge says secondhand smoke’s negative effects outweigh economic losses that bars and gambling parlors claim they’ll suffer under the county’s new smoking ban.

Circuit Judge Jane Hustead on Thursday lifted a temporary injunction that had barred the Cabell-Huntington Health Department from enforcing the regulation.

The regulation expands to bars and gambling parlors a smoking ban imposed on restaurants in 2001.

The injunction was sought by 55 bars and gambling parlors that are suing the health board. They claim the smoking ban is arbitrary and denies them the economically viable use of their property.

Hustead didn’t rule on the plaintiffs’ request for a declaratory judgment in the case.

SSU on ‘honor roll’ for service efforts

PORTSMOUTH — For the second consecutive year, Shawnee State University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

“This is such an honor for us – and for our students,” Dr. Rita Rice Morris, SSU President, said.

“Last year, nearly 1,200 Shawnee students donated their time to community service. To pass on this value of service to incoming residential students, we kicked-off our fall semester with Shawnee Gives Back and about 500 of our students donated time to help with 30 different service projects and community agencies.”

Nationally, college students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector. In 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation.

Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs – the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

SSU’s selection to the Honor Roll from the highest levels of the federal government is recognition of the university’s commitment to service and civic engagement on the SSU campus.

Masters program in library science offered at Shawnee State University

PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State University will be offering a Master’s Degree program in Library and Information Science through Kent State University’s 12-12-12 Distance Learning Degree Program in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS).

The courses will be provided through interactive video at SSU beginning Fall 2010 semester and ending Spring 2012 semester. There are no residence requirements and all necessary course work can be completed without taking courses in Kent or Columbus.

“Kent State brought this program to our campus several years ago and it was very successful,” said Dr. Jeffrey Bauer, director of the Graduate Center and interim associate provost. “We are pleased to be able to offer this master’s program again and continue our strong relationship with Kent State University.”

Requirements are an undergraduate degree and a 3.0 minimum GPA. To learn more about the program, a SLIS representative from Kent State will be at SSU from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 in the Advanced Technology Center, Room 134.

In order to be admitted and registered for fall classes, potential students need to initiate the application process as soon as possible.

For more information, contact Susan Montavon at SSU’s Graduate Center, smontavon@shawnee.edu or call (740) 351-3177.

Champion reports narrower Q1 loss, credits margins

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Printer and office furniture seller Champion Industries says higher margins helped trim its first-quarter loss.

Champion says it earned $213,000, or 2 cents per share, in the period. Champion’s restated results from first-quarter 2009 were a loss of $634,000, or 6 cents per share.

The numbers released Friday reflect $300,000 in non-cash adjustments to Champion’s first-quarter 2009 results. All are related to a fourth-quarter write-down of the value of The Herald-Dispatch newspaper.

Revenue dipped to $32.4 million in the quarter, from $36.9 million a year earlier. Champion says printing revenue fell nearly 15 percent, furniture decreased nearly 11 percent and newspaper dipped just over 2 percent.

Inspirational man available for speaking opportunities

Ron Bachman knows all too well what it feels like to be bullied. Bachman was born with a birth defect that resulted in having his legs amputated up to his hips when he was just four years old.

As a child and adult, he faced adversity and knew what it felt like to be singled out or be different.

He now travels around the world to share his message and will be in the Tri-state area March 22 – 26.

Area schools and organizations have an opportunity to host a speaking engagement by Bachman during that week.

“We were just mesmerized by his entire presentation.” Allan Thacker said. “I think if he can change just one kid’s life, it will make this project very rewarding.”

Thacker is working with area schools and organizations to schedule speaking opportunities throughout the week.

There are two events scheduled to include an evening at Hillside Community Church, Wednesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. and one at Boyd County High School, with date to be determined.

Thacker invites Tri-State schools and organizations to schedule Bachman for an appearance and hear his inspirational story of tolerance and acceptance.

Thacker will be scheduled 6 – 8 events during that week. Anyone interested in hosting Mr. Bachman can call Allan Thacker directly at 606-329-8616 ext. 500.

ACTC now offering financial aid help

ASHLAND, Ky. — If you are planning to enroll at Ashland Community and Technical College next fall, now is the time to apply for financial aid.

Even though ACTC has lower tuition rates than other colleges and universities in the region, many students qualify for financial aid based on family income.

Financial aid can be in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, or work study which can help you pay for the tuition and expenses of attending college. Some forms of financial aid have special criteria for eligibility.

Scholarships are monetary awards that do not have to be repaid. ACTC offers a variety of scholarships for students who have high academic achievement, special talent or financial need.

Grants are monetary awards that do not have to be repaid under most circumstances. Pell Grants are offered by the federal government to individuals who qualify based upon earnings and other information entered on the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA).

If needed, students can also apply for loans which must be repaid with interest. A student must be enrolled in at least six credit hours to be eligible Some student loans are subsidized, with no interest accruing on them while a student is enrolled. Unsubsidized loans are also available, but students will need to pay the interest while they are in enrolled.

The federal work-study program allows students to be paid for work on campus as a way to earn money to help with the expense of attending college. Students must qualify based upon earnings for this type of financial aid.

Carey honored as ‘watchdog’ for Ohio taxpayers

COLUMBUS —State Sen. John Carey (R-Wellston) recently received the United Conservatives of Ohio’s Watchdog of the Treasury award for his dedication to fiscal responsibility and conservative voting record during the 127th General Assembly. The award is given on a biennial basis.

Carey currently serves as chair of the Senate Finance & Financial Institutions Committee, which helps write the state operating budget every two years. He also served multiple terms as chair of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, making him one of only a few lawmakers in Ohio history to chair both finance panels.

“I am honored to receive this important award, and I will continue to be a watchdog for taxpayers in the 17th Senate District and across the state,” said Carey. “Now more than ever, it is critical that state leaders work to keep the size of government in check and ensure that Ohioans’ taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and in a way that works to improve economic opportunities in all parts of the state, create jobs and improve the quality of life in our local communities.”

The UCO advocates for public policy that promotes free enterprise, low taxes and greater efficiency in government.

Landmark hardware store set to close

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A 100-year-old hardware store in downtown Huntington is closing its doors.

C.M. Love Hardware’s owners announced the store’s closure Thursday. Liquidation of products, fixtures and equipment will begin Saturday and the store’s last day is expected to be April 10.

Owners Gary and Nancy Pommerenck say a local law firm plans to renovate and occupy the three-story building.

Charles Marion Love established the store in 1910.

Sue Wills of Huntington has been shopping at the store for 40 years. She says it offers unique gifts that can’t be found anywhere else.

Valley Health CEO honored as advocate

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Valley Health Chief Executive Officer Steve Shattls has been recognized as one of the National Association of Community Health Centers’ 2010 Betsey K. Cooke Advocacy MVPs.

Shattls was honored at the NACHC award ceremony Feb. 25, for his commitment toward health center advocacy throughout 2009. Having worked for more than 30 years, he has helped Valley Health grow to be one of the largest networks of community health centers in the nation, reaching more than 68,000 patients each year.

The NACHC looks to Shattls for input on national healthcare policy. As chair of the public policy and government relations committee for the Primary Care Association, Shattls is a leader in West Virginia healthcare policy. Each year the NACHC recognizes recipients who exemplify extraordinary achievement in promoting community health centers in Congress.

“Community health centers have initiated numerous great changes within the healthcare industry since their establishment, and I feel extremely grateful to have the opportunity to act as a voice for a cause that helps so many throughout our area as well as the rest of the nation,” Shattls said.

The NACHC works with organizations like Valley Health to combat the lack of affordable, quality healthcare, particularly in underserved areas of the country.

As a network of community health centers, Valley Health has 28 locations throughout southwestern West Virginia and southern Ohio, providing primary and preventive healthcare services.