The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

February 24, 2013

W.Va. news briefs



State is 46th in Advanced Placement test rankings

CHARLESTON (AP) — More high school students in West Virginia are taking Advanced Placement examinations to earn college credit.

But the College Board’s annual AP report ranks the state 46th for the number of students who pass the tests.

An annual report released Wednesday by the board says only 9.8 percent of 2012 graduates in West Virginia earned a score of 3 or higher on at least one AP exam. The national average is 19.5 percent.

About 3,700 West Virginia students took the AP tests in 2010, up from about 1,800 in 2002. The number of students succeeding on the exams rose from 886 to 1,631 during the same period.

Center for Professional Development CEO Dixie Billheimer tells media outlets that her department is working on expanding access to AP courses.


Ky., Va., W.Va. nonprofits awarded health grants

CHARLESTON (AP) — Three nonprofit health organizations in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia are receiving grants to improve cardiovascular health in Appalachia.

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation announced the grants Thursday.

The Delaware-based foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program awarded $210,000 to the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department in Ashland, Ky., for a program aimed at reducing childhood obesity.

St. Mary’s Health Wagon in Clintwood, Va., received $239,500 for an initiative to prevent, detect and treat heart disease. The program also works to reduce cardiovascular health disparities in southwest Virginia for the uninsured and under-insured.

West Virginia Health Right in Charleston received $185,025 for a program designed to improve at-risk patients’ health through sustainable lifestyle changes and continuity of health care.


W.Va. in line for $56 million in mine-reclamation funds                                                               CHARLESTON (AP) — The federal government is making $56 million available to West Virginia to eliminate environmental hazards caused by past coal mining operations.

The funding was announced by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The federal dollars are intended to improve water quality by treating acid mine drainage and restoring water supplies damaged by mining, among other things.

Officials say the total funding approved for 28 coal-producing states has been slashed by 10 percent in anticipation of the automatic budget cuts kicking in March 1.

The mining reclamation grants are awarded annually. They are funded in part by a per-ton reclamation fee levied on all coal produced in the U.S.


Putnam preschool teacher receives statewide award

CHARLESTON (AP) — A Putnam County preschool teacher has been recognized for her work.

The West Virginia Universal Pre-K Collaborative on Thursday honored Buffalo Elementary teacher Pamela Smith as its teacher of the year.

Smith was selected over more than a dozen other finalists.

The award was presented at the West Virginia Department of Education’s Pre-K Leadership Summit in Charles-ton.

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