The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 12, 2013

State News Briefs — Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother charged after toddler found wandering

A Charleston woman has been charged with felony child neglect after her 2-year-old son was found wandering outside alone for the second time in as many days.

Police didn’t file charges after the first incident Friday, when the toddler wandered off after his uncle fell asleep. The Charleston Gazette reports that the child was living with his grandmother, who asked the uncle to babysit while she was in the hospital.

The boy’s mother, 20-year-old Freda A. Gilmore, picked him up after seeing him on the news Friday night. Police say she told them she drank two 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor and asked a man to watch her son. Both adults fell asleep, and the child unlocked the door and walked out.

Child Protective Services took custody of the boy.


Student threats prompt evacuation at Fairmont

Campus life is back to normal at Fairmont State University, which was evacuated for about six hours because of what officials described as a potentially dangerous situation involving a student.

According to media reports, university police asked all students and employees to leave the main campus around noon Friday. Police said a student had threatened to harm himself and others and might be armed.

However, the 17-year-old was unarmed when he was taken into custody late Friday afternoon at Valley Falls State Park. Police did not release his name because he is a minor.

Some area elementary, middle and high schools also were locked down Friday as a precaution.


Funds to help centers with insurance signups

More than $2.4 million in federal funds is being made available to help West Virginia health centers enroll uninsured individuals into health insurance coverage.  

The federal health officials said funding of about $150 million nationwide will expand efforts of community health centers to provide in-person help to enroll in Affordable Care Act coverage.

Officials say the funds will allow health centers to hire new staff, train existing staff, and conduct community outreach events and other educational activities.  

Health centers will help consumers understand their coverage options, determine their eligibility, and enroll in new affordable health insurance options.


Unveiled: college for undeclared majors

MORGANTOWN (AP) — West Virginia University is starting a centralized college to help students with undeclared majors.

University College dean Elizabeth Dooley says one goal of the program expected to begin July 1 is to improve WVU’s student retention and graduate rates.

WVU says the University College will serve as an “academic hub” for general studies, exploratory and nontraditional students, among others. About 7,800 WVU students will be served through the college.

The college’s ultimate goal is to have students focused on a particular path by their sophomore years.

The college will partner with the Career Services Center, which offers career counseling and career development programs. Dooley says the college’s main hub will be in the Student Services Center in Morgantown.


Donation aids Lewis students at WVU

MORGANTOWN (AP) — Some graduates of Lewis County High School will be receiving scholarships at West Virginia University thanks to a donation from a judge’s estate.

WVU says Judge William Fury and his wife, Elizabeth, had no children of their own and both mentored youth in the county. William Fury was a founder and coach in the county’s Little League baseball program, while Elizabeth Fury was a teacher for more than 25 years in Lewis County.

More than $541,000 will be used for undergraduate and graduate scholarships at WVU for Lewis County graduates. The scholarships were made available through a bequest in William Fury’s will.

WVU says the first recipients are freshman journalism student Mari Phillips and freshman animal and nutritional sciences major Jacqueline Jones.


University’s PRT system shut down

MORGANTOWN (AP) — Morgantown’s monorail, the Personal Rapid Transit system, will be closed for the next few weeks while workers conduct system maintenance.  West Virginia University says the repairs will include a variety of electrical projects and non-critical structural repairs.

In the meantime, WVU will offer free bus shuttle service starting the week of May 20. It will connect to all campuses and provide pickup and drop off at current PRT stops.

The shuttle service will operate Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The PRT will resume a summer schedule on June 3.