The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

March 27, 2013

Guidelines for athletes’ return-to-play OKd

CHARLESTON — Concussion hasn’t become just a byword in the NFL.

That ugly word has filtered all the way down to the scholastic ranks, and the West Virginia Senate agreed Tuesday to legislation to protect volunteers and student teachers in return-to-play decisions.

Based on an interims study undertaken last year, Education Chairman Robert Plymale, D-Boone, said SB336 directs the Secondary School Activities Commission to set up protocols to treat concussions and other head injuries.

Minimum guidelines are to raise awareness among coaches, administrators, parents and athletes on the risks at stake with head injuries, he explained.

Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, the lead sponsor, noted the SSAC has implemented return-to-play rules.

“This will educate people that are involved in the process — parents, students, teachers and coaches — about how important it is not to play with a concussion,” he said.

What’s more, it spells out that team physicians are covered by the Board of Risk and Insurance Management.

“This was really kind of vague before, that they were covered,” Stollings said.

“And they are covered up the limits of BRIM, and there’s not going to be any out-of-pocket costs of that. Whatever BRIM covers, the rest is limited.”

Head injuries have become so common in the professional ranks that referees have assessed an abundance of penalties, and the NFL followed with fines, for taking head shots against offensive players.

And the incidents have been occurring at the high school level, as well, Stollings said.

“I think they’re more common than we realize,” he said.

“What used to be ‘oh, you got a little ding,’ could really be a serious thing. It’s pretty common. And it’s not just football.”

Senators passed 10 other bills in the same floor session.

SB445 lets the tax commissioner divert lottery prizes to pay the unpaid liability of winners and creates a mechanism so the commissioner and tax department can swap information, Finance Chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, said.

Prezioso pointed out this will put an additional $250,000 into the general revenue account each year.

The chairman noted that SB496 would remove $89,000 from the state’s revenues to pay claims against the state.

Another bill, SB584, permits the creation of pre-trial release programs as part of a community corrections effort in any city or county, explained Judiciary Chairman Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha.

A pre-trial committee must be arranged in any jurisdiction made up of stakeholders, along with the prosecutor and sheriff, and the panel would meet weekly to review risk assessments and recommend release of some defendants, he said.

The ultimate decision would rest with the judge or magistrate, Palumbo noted.

Palumbo said the idea, inaugurated in the Northern Panhandle, could product a “significant” reduction in regional jail bills counties face.

Senators also passed legislation that would permit a pilot reverse auction program, relieve local, county and state law enforcement agencies of the requirement to maintain confidential domestic violence orders, since there now is a statewide database, Palumbo pointed out.

Government Organization Chairman Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, said SB158, creating the Complete Streets Act, means towns must work in tandem with the Division of Highways to protect the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Based on a bill Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wanted, Prezioso said SB187 is aimed at having an impact on the economy, allowing him, the Senate president and House speaker to ask the Development Office to prepare an impacts statement.

When such a request is made, the office would have 20 days to prepare a statement, detailing the number of jobs created, retained or eliminated.

“Whether or not the jobs impact statement is prepared in a timely fashion would not have an effect or restrict consideration of this legislation,” Prezioso said.

Other bills would allow a hunter or angler buy a license at the courthouse and let the Tax Department provide otherwise confidential information on tobacco producers to the attorney general for use in litigation in the master tobacco settlement.

Text Only
Local News
  • Human remains found near White Sulphur Springs

    Law enforcement officials are investigating human remains discovered by a local resident near White Sulphur Springs on Friday afternoon, according to Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill.

    April 20, 2014

  • knine Beckley officer and K-9 partner Ciro win award from WVPCA

    They say every dog has his day, but a local pooch and his handler have had about 365 days of success.
    Cpl. Jamie Blume of the Beckley Police Department and his K-9 partner Ciro have won the 2013-2014 Officer and K-9 of the Year award from the WVPCA, according to a press release from the Beckley Police Department.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting at Quality Inn injures one

    A shooting took place at the Quality Inn in Beckley on Friday night, according to Raleigh County dispatchers.

    April 20, 2014

  • Area 911 dispatchers report several fires

    Fire departments from all over Raleigh County and its surrounding areas dealt with fires Friday night, according to dispatchers.

    April 20, 2014

  • High court overturns Raleigh ruling

    An audio recording between a confidential informant and a Beckley attorney accused of selling cocaine will now be allowed into evidence, according to a West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruling.

    April 20, 2014

  • Calendar — Sunday, April 20, 2014

    April 20, 2014

  • State agency announces new WIC income guidelines

    The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Nutrition Services has reported new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) income eligibility guidelines for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

    April 20, 2014

  • mthope Good Friday scene

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Service workers want voice in choice in Raleigh County Schools superintendent hiring

    The president of the Raleigh County School Service Personnel Association has asked Raleigh County Board of Education members to choose a school superintendent who will hear the concerns of service workers in the school system and involve them in the decision-making process.

    April 19, 2014

  • Two internal candidates will interview for superintendent position Monday

    Two current administrators at Raleigh County Schools will be interviewed for the position of superintendent Monday, Raleigh Board of Education members verified Friday.
    Raleigh Schools Director of Secondary Education Miller Hall and Raleigh Schools Assistant Superintendent David Price were chosen from a pool of six applicants, BOE members said.

    April 19, 2014