Bordas & Bordas has launched a new blog, this one covering the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, at its kind in West Virginia, covers the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals from a professional perspective, but in a way that strives to be useful to the layperson as well. It is already chock-full of interesting articles about the cases decided so far this year. Chief Editor Jay Stoneking had this to say about the new site: Every year the West Virginia Supreme Court decides hundreds of cases that are as varied as our own life experiences-cases covering contracts, torts, criminal law, family law, abuse and neglect, civil rights and constitutional law, just to name a few. These cases can have a profound impact. Federal courts tend to grab the headlines, but the reality is that the decisions of state courts probably have the most direct, day-to-day impact on the lives of ordinary Americans. All of this begs the question: who is covering our Supreme Court? Certainly, there are news outlets that cover general legal stories. But is there anyone tracking cases as they make their way through the briefing and oral argument stages? Is there anyone previewing cases and identifying the ones that should be watched most carefully? Is there anyone systematically analyzing and providing commentary on the latest Supreme Court opinions? Unfortunately, the answer to each of these questions is no.
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I attended my niece, Maria Murphy's, graduation from 8 th grade at St. Michael's Parish School on Wednesday, May 28th. There were 33 graduates. When St. Michael's graduates receive their diploma, they choose an alumni of St. Michael's, usually a family member or friend, pin them with an Alumni pin. Since her brother, Vincent Murphy, graduated last year from St. Michael's, he was the alumni performing the pinning for Maria. Seeing Vincent put the Alumni pin on his little sister was pretty special. As anyone who has the pleasure of having a brother or a sister or brothers and sisters knows, there are always the occasional arguments between siblings. Seeing them in this situation was quite unique and brought a tear to my eye. They both are growing up so fast and it seems like yesterday when they transferred to St. Michael's in first and second grade.
Last month, thanks to the courageous leadership of several state legislators, the West Virginia legislature passed a budget that included $200,000.00 in additional funding for the creation/operation of child advocacy centers (CACs) throughout West Virginia. For those who are unfamiliar, CACs provide support, therapy and protection for victims of child abuse in our state. Here in the Wheeling/Moundsville area, we are fortunate to have our own CAC, Harmony House, which serves children in various surrounding counties as well. The purpose of the proposed funding increase was, among other things, to provide for the creation of CACs in counties in which such centers do not currently exist, thus frequently leaving abused children with no source of assistance and treatment. When the budget proposal reached his desk, Gov. Tomblin was confronted with what was as close to an impossible decision as I can imagine. The proposed budget, including the CAC funding increase, required a dip into the WV "Rainy Day Fund" in order to achieve the constitutionally-mandated balance. Gov. Tomblin was concerned - and rightly so - that the amount to be taken from the Rainy Day Fund was too great. His only option to reduce the amount taken from the Fund was to make the difficult decision to veto some of the proposed budget allocations. Thus, several agencies suffered significant cuts to their projected budgets. Sadly, the $200,000.00 earmarked for CACs was cut.
Jamie Bordas and Chris Regan return after a brief hiatus with a brand-new episode of the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review. This week's edition covers the legal aspects of the NBA's promise to force Donald Sterling to sell the LA Clippers as well as another lawsuit filed against the NFL by its players. This latest suit involves the irresponsible and illegal providing of painkillers to players, as well as misrepresentation of side-effects, long-term effects and player injuries by "team doctors."
Our local Catholic grade schools are fortunate to have such a kind and caring individual to serve as their nurse. The children of our local Catholic grade schools are the true beneficiaries of precious gold. She's known as Nurse Miss Mary Ann and you can find her stationed at St. Vincent's School. She also travels to the area Catholic grade schools, for review and maintenance of student health records and actively engages in educational services for our children. One thing guaranteed, should you run into her, you will be greeted with a smile. I happen to have been blessed to be around her for the last 45 years because she is my aunt. On May 17, 2014, Mary Ann was headed to Charleston, West Virginia, with her brother, Michael, to meet up with other family members as they were about to take a vacation trip to Hilton Head. Then it happened! The sounds of screeching, grumbling, and shattering glass struck. WOWKTV posted an article about the accident, describing that it resulted in one person being sent to the hospital.
I am now a full-fledged, bona fide empty nester. But, in truth, there has been a lot of coming and going in my "nest" through the years. My daughter, Jayme, was the first to leave, heading off to WVU in 2004. She hated how big and impersonal WVU was and ended up returning to Wheeling six months later. For the next three and a half years, she lived with us again and commuted to West Liberty University, where she completed a nursing degree. Then she got married and became the first one to fully and finally leave the nest. Meanwhile my other daughter, Stacey, left for college. Unlike Jayme, Stacey found WVU to be a good fit. Stacey came home often on weekends and during the summer so it didn't seem like she had quite parted ways with the nest. Then she graduated and began working fulltime in Morgantown.
Our freedoms aren't free. The men and women of our armed forces who defend us make many sacrifices so you and I can go on about our daily lives without a second thought. Our military members are apart from family for great lengths of time. They miss births, deaths and milestones in the lives of those they love. They work in extreme conditions and, sometimes, must see, do and endure things that you and I could never fathom. There are times they face disease, debilitating injuries and mental anguish because they protected us. Yet, we've found out in recent weeks that those who have given of themselves for our freedoms, once they return home, are not always being taken care of as they should.
Debt collection practices continue to come to our attention. Many of our clients have experienced harassing phone calls, demands for payments not truly owed, illegal threats of bogus consequences for failing to pay, up to and including imprisonment, or lawsuits to collect stale debts that are barred by the applicable statute of limitations. These abuses are disturbingly common - in fact, a great many debt collectors built their business on these practices. Abusive debt collection practices can take a terrible toll, emotionally and practically. Beyond the fear, stress and embarrassment, families can have their bank accounts frozen, making it impossible to pay for their most basic needs. Debt collectors frequently place incorrect information on people's credit reports, impairing their ability to secure credit, housing and even employment on some occasions.
Last month, a truck carrying a large load crashed into the I-70 overpass bending one of the major support beams at the Dallas Pike exit. The same day a runaway dump truck crashed into a garage after destroying several residential fences in Moundsville. Last Saturday, one of Moundsville City Councilmen, Phil Remke, had to use his car to physically obstruct a truck from taking an unauthorized route through Moundsville. Damage to property, danger to people, and wear and tear on our roadways are all becoming increasingly frequent problems throughout the Ohio Valley. Whether it's through handling large construction equipment, as was the case in Dallas Pike and in Moundsville, or all of the associated "ordinary" truck traffic related to oil and gas drilling, the infrastructure in this area is taking a beating. The number, weight and trip frequency for trucks in the area is way up, and in some cases it's beyond what the roads can take. That can be good news for business and a good sign for the economy, but it can also mean serious problems if trucking outfits are not running right and taking the appropriate time and the appropriate rest to maintain a margin of safety for the people who live here. Many people are already being hurt when their lanes become impassable, riven with potholes and broken shoulders or choked with traffic they aren't designed for.
During the summer of 1941 the attack on Pearl Harbor was still several months away. While Americans from all over the Country threw themselves into the war effort after December 7, 1941, many American men had already joined the military before that attack. My grandfather, Marvin "Jack" McGraw enlisted in the U.S. Army July 12, 1941. Jack had always been the adventurous, if not ornery, type. As a young child he, on more than one occasion, would jump trains and actually once made his way from West Virginia to the Pacific North West where he visited family. When he enlisted in the Army he was initially assigned to the Quartermaster Corps and after basic training was sent to Milwaukee, WI for training to be a vehicle mechanic. The training he received was actually through a program run by Harley Davidson. While in Milwaukee he had the good fortune of meeting a young woman named Lois Witteman. Lois and Jack began a relationship and would later be married, but not before Jack was deployed overseas and volunteered for service that would take him on thirty missions in the air over the Europe. The U.S. Army Air Corp, the predeceasor to the U.S. Air Force, reformed and expanded dramatically during World War II. The army asked its ranks for volunteers for this service. In June of 1942 Jack volunteered for that service. He was discharged from the Army and subsequently re-enlisted into the Air Corps. Within only a few weeks of joining the Air Corp., he was in the air.