Friday, May 20, 2011

CDC Staff Excited About New Facility 4-26-2011

    by Jeff Fox
    It seems these days that it is harder and harder to feel like a kid again. The moment of wonder and excitement of a new idea seen in an adult’s eye? Talk to Bobbie Henderson about the new Child Development Center and one can find that look.
    With construction slated to begin this summer on the new childcare facility, CDC Director Bobbie Mendenhall is excited to talk about the move to the state-of-the-art facility.  The current CDC is approximately 800 square feet, and the new center will be a spacious 5,000 square feet.  At the present facility all of the different age groups share the same room. 
    “One thing that you will notice is that you’ll see children that are eight years old all the way down to two years old, which is really a hard mixture. They just don’t belong together,” Mendenhall said. The new CDC will allow for the children to be divided into age appropriate groups and classrooms.
    Several other highly anticipated features will be allotted by the spaciousness of the new CDC. “We will have a big piazza, so we will be able to have a lot of gross motor play,” Mendenhall says. Presently the CDC utilizes the multipurpose room or the aerobics room, but those rooms aren’t always available. Each group will also have their own play area adjacent to their classrooms. Add to this a large fenced outdoor play area, and the new facility should make nap time a welcome treat.
    The new facility will also allow the CDC to serve more children. At present, CDC staff, student workers and education students help take care of the responsibilities at the center. “When we get to the new facility we will be able to enroll between 42 and 46 children at one time, so we may need some more staff, but that will come with enrollment,” Mendenhall said. Quite simply, as demand for childcare services increases, the CDC will provide the staff as required by state law.
    Parents will also enjoy the conveniences, which will come with the new CDC. The new center will have a more accessible area for dropping off and signing in their children. At present parents must find a place to park, walk to the building, and come inside the CDC room to sign in their children.
    The CDC provides breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and an evening snack to the children. Tentative plans include keeping the working relationship with AVI to provide the food for the children. Due to its new location, the CDC may need warming units for the food during transport. Details are still being worked out on the logistics of getting the food from the cafeteria area to the new CDC.
    Plans are still being discussed to provide infant care at some time in the future. The original plans called for infant care, however, the area for infant care was removed from the CDC when the size of the new building was reduced. At present the CDC will serve children two and up, but if funding increases the CDC is designed for future expansion, which could provide room for infant care.
    “The infant ratio in WV is one teacher for four infants … each teacher can watch eight two year olds,” Mendenhall said. Plus extra room is necessary for cribs and diaper changing stations.
    “It is more expensive, but it is something that is needed, plus another good thing about having infants is that you have added stability,” Mendenhall added. This stability would come from being able to enroll the child as an infant, and allowing them to stay with one childcare program.
    Mrs. Mendenhall also noted that many area day-care centers have extensive waiting lists. She was on 15 waiting lists, while she was looking for infant care. The rates at the CDC are extremely rare in the fact that they allow the parents to pay an hourly rate for their services. “Many other childcare centers in the area do not offer hourly rates, they say you pay for a weekly slot, whether the child is there or not,” Mendenhall said. Not only is the CDC affordable, but parents enrolled in college also have access to the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant, which helps pay for childcare for parents attending college. Several other state and local grants are available for parents, and the CDC can provide assistance to parents regarding the funding information.
    The new CDC will also provide greater learning opportunities for students who are enrolled in the Early Childhood and the Elementary Education programs. This field experience helps with their pre-kindergarten certifications.
    One thing is for certain; the new CDC will make the staff, students, and the children all a little bit more joyful and bring some wide eyes, when the doors open next year.

Students Build Solar Collectors to Conserve Enviroment 4-26-2011

Roy Caplinger explaining the Drainback System.

by Jeff Bell
    The ability to cut household utility costs and conserve the planet is the desire and need of most homes nationwide. Solar thermal installation designs and ideas allow nature to handle a large portion of household heating needs; some of which are being learned at WVU Parkersburg.
    Solar Thermal Installation (Set155) students are developing a thorough knowledge of the solar water heating systems, which they have designed.  Ordered parts are arriving daily while the fabrication of various other parts is beginning in the campus fabrication class.  Whereas the basic knowledge of how each system works is crucial, the entire project from energy analysis to unit installation can be extensive.
    The installation of the collectors is very crucial in determining the efficiency of the heating system. If the solar collectors are hooked up in a series, simply one hooked up directly in line with another, the heating capabilities are greatly improved, according to Gary Thompson, class instructor. The proper angle and southerly direction of the collector will determine the heating efficiency as well.
    The collectors themselves are relatively cheap at approximately $180 each, but the rest of the material and supplies needed, depending on the setup, can quickly elevate the costs. Pumps, heat exchangers, thermal couplers and more are relatively numerous to the system and can be expensive; however, the overall savings will eventually pay for the costs.
    With the new solar collectors and other parts now physically available to them, the students have begun to perform temporary set-ups: explaining how their system will hook up to the collectors, circulate and heat the household water. “Next week, we will start mounting the hardware to the white-boards, the students will need to practice their soldering techniques and create a list of tools and expendable materials,” Thompson said.
    The finished products, the carts, will be used as trainer models. “We are creating carts that will be used by other classes to help them learn,” Ruth Wagoner, drainback team leader, said. The satisfaction of a job well done is coupled with a well-rounded training experience.
    The class also instructs students on the importance of energy conservation and the ability to perform energy consumption analysis or site surveys on a building. A site survey includes the knowledge of customization and energy needs of an individual system, the documentation needed and the ability to determine the permits required in the area. The energy conservation aspect is of growing importance to the environmentally minded.
    The damage being created by the use of fossil fuels is not irreversible, but steps need to be taken soon, according to environmentalists. “This class will make one aware of the damage that the use of non-renewable energy sources can cause,” Wagoner said. “It teaches us other ways of using energy wisely,” Wagoner continued. This skill is yet another form of marketable knowledge learned in the duration of this class.
    The sales, marketing and distribution of these new systems appear to be leading motivating factors to these students. “I want to design and build one of these for my own house, so when I begin to sell them, I will be able to show one in working condition,” John Shreve, drainback team member, said. “I have been in sales almost my entire life; I hope to use this knowledge to sell these systems,” Charlotte Fittro, drainback team member, said. The economic downsizing that has affected this area is yet another factor motivating the students.
    “With all of the plants shutting down around here, we are going to have to use our new knowledge to make it,” Fittro said. The future for solar technology is bright, relatively cheap and very environmentally friendly.

The new sizzlin' place to be in town is Hot Braza 4-26-2011

Hot Braza-The Brazilian Bar can be part of your meal.

    by Olivia Hefner
    The atmosphere within The Hot Braza leaves something to be desired at the least. The walls are plain and fake potted plants line the walls along with large televisions. It doesn’t exactly scream, “Fabulous Brazilian food sold here!”  However, they certainly do have some of the best food in town.
One of the most interesting things about The Hot Braza, which is located on Avery Street, is the fact that they have a Brazilian buffet. The buffet is served daily and it includes a full salad bar, soup of the day and a traditional all-you-can-eat Brazilian meal. The buffet is only served from 11 a.m – 2 p.m., but it only costs $7.95.
The salad bar is just a typical bar with several dressings and a vegetable plate. Be sure to try the vegetable dip – it’s fabulous. Immediately after the salad bar is the hot bar. Keep in mind that the plates for the hot bar are actually on the right side of the bar, on the other side are more salad plates, which are significantly smaller.
    Spicy smelling foods seem to be the staple at the bar, try everything. The rice and black beans, a traditional Brazilian staple, are always on the bar. They are probably the best beans and rice in the area too. The meatballs have sort of a kick to them as well and compliment the noodles perfectly.
    The bar also offers something uncommonly found in the area – fried bananas. Fried bananas are amazing. It’s half of a banana that has been fried in a sweet breading.  They turn out crunchy on the outside, while the warm banana-inside is practically melting – so delicious.
    Other than the bar, customers can order off of the full menu, which includes a variety of traditional dishes. The menu prices are a little steeper than the bar, but the portions are equal to the price.
    Finally, The Hot Braza pulls out all the stops for dessert. They offer a great caramel flan that has a really thick consistency. They also offer a passion fruit mousse and chocolate cake. However, the one dessert that cannot be missed is the blueberry cheesecake. The cake is massive and covered in perfectly tart blueberries. The reason that it is so delicious is that is doesn’t taste like a complete block of cream cheese like most restaurant cheesecakes. The cheesecake was wonderful and a perfect end to a really great, traditional meal.

We all Scream for Scream 4 4-26-2011

by Sami Daggett

    It has been ten years since the ghost face killer has haunted Sidney Prescott and those around her.
    “Scream” fans everywhere have all been anticipating the release of the newest addition to the horror franchise, and they will not disappoint with “Scream 4.” The film, directed by Wes Craven, made over $18 million at the box office during opening weekend.
    Just like most “Scream” films, number four hosted several celebrities, including the inevitable return of Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox. Along with the veterans, were newcomers Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettierre.
    There are many similarities in the newest film compared to the three previous Craven directed slashers. The story line is based around Sidney’s hometown of Woodsboro, which starts facing tragedy again after Prescott’s return home. The plot is comparative to other scary movies and often pokes jokes at the predictable scenes.
    With each new film comes at least one new killer. And with each new killer comes several murders. Sidney’s younger cousin, played by Emma Roberts, takes over the role of the high school girl struck by tragedy and made famous by Sidney in the first film.
    The rules of a horror film are broken because of the new decade. No longer are people safe because they’re a virgin or simply because they didn’t say, “I’ll be right back” when leaving the room.  Anyone and everyone is a target for “Scream 4.”
    It’s up to the viewers to decide if the newest movie matches up with or surpasses the others, in my opinion, it most certainly does. “Scream 4” is fantastically entertaining and at times, even a little scary.
      Viewers can catch “Scream 4” in theaters now, along with, “Rio The Movie 3D,” “Arthur,” “Hanna,” “Soul Surfer,” “Your Highness,” “Hop,” “Insidious,” “Source Code,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” and “Limitless.”

The Summer Cycle 4-26-2011

by Kurt Klettner

        Life is filled with cycles that come in many different forms and can bring about a variety of changes and challenges.  In both nature and college we are approaching the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the summer cycle; a time that often brings with it an opportunity to start anew. 
        Those of you who are preparing to take that long awaited walk of achievement that results in your receiving a degree or formal completion of an academic program are at the beginning of a new cycle in your life that will be marked by an accomplishment that is forever yours to take pride in.  Others who are preparing to take the summer off from college may be taking advantage of the opportunity to work so as to replenish bank accounts, spend time with children or possibly take some time to travel and have fun.  Still others are preparing to use this summer cycle to take classes and thus get a few more credits entered on their transcript.
        A change in life cycles can have a significant affect our emotional and mental wellbeing.  Depression, for example, can run in cycles.  In the case of those who may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the increase in sunshine found in the summer cycle can bring much desired relief from feelings of depressions.  Certain times of the year, such as holidays, can spark an emotional response.  Participating in summer related activities can allow for a diversion which may temporarily lesson feelings of depression; while other traditional summer activities such as family reunions and having the children at home all summer can add to the stress factor.   
        I hope that you have a joyful, relaxing, productive and safe summer; however in the event you find yourself desiring counseling support you may contact the Student Counseling Center during regular office hours throughout the summer semester and we will arrange for a time for you and I to talk.

Students at WVU Parkersburg Run Top-Simulated Business 4-26-2011

Pam Braden (center) talks to students about the Glo-Bus course during one of their simulated business meetings.

by Susan Moore
    The Business Policy class at WVU Parkersburg is the “capstone” course for those seeking a bachelor’s degree in business. 
    The capstone experience is designed to both assess what students have learned during their academic program and to put the “icing on the cake” of students’ knowledge bases. 
    A major part of the Policy course is the online simulation called “Glo-Bus.”  This enables students to virtually “run” a camera manufacturing company.  Each week of the course is a year of the simulation.  The students make decisions about how many workers to employ, how much to pay them, how many cameras to make, what features are on the cameras and how much they want to charge for the cameras. 
    This semester there are 12 teams competing and they are broken into two competing industries.  It is noteworthy that five of the 12 teams scored in the top 100 globally over the past few weeks.  This is the first time the college has ever had that many teams scoring so successfully on the simulation. 
    Accounting major and member of Team E Southwest, Brian Allman, explains that it is the team’s responsibility to decide how to distribute their inventory to box stores, online companies and small independent retailers.
    “Since I enjoy numbers and research, this course follows my career and was a good fit,” Allman said.
    The analytic data that is available through the online software, provides information that helps students track their companies’ return on equity, revenues, and earnings per share, stock price, etc.  They are able to follow their progress and see where their company ranks among the other colleges that participate.
    Allman feels that experience is the key to his team’s success.
    Team Golf member, Jeremy Davis, feels that “being able to apply the knowledge gained during college,” has been the factor that has put his team on the Glo-Bus map.
    “It is all about accounting and where to apply your resources,” said Davis.
    Through the Glo-Bus simulation, students are able to put their education into practical application.
    “Trial and error has contributed to our success,” Davis said.
    Student Lora Zseidler member of Team A feels “it is good to work as a team when you have reliable people to count on.” 
    Zseilder is originally from the Ukraine and moved to the United States eight years ago.  She feels that this simulation has helped her gain an understanding for how businesses run in the U.S.
    Cassey Bell from Team Adidas added that this has been a very challenging experience for her. But due to her team’s hard work and dedication, Team A has made great improvements over the last few weeks, improvements that put her team 81st overall for team return on investment.
 WVU Parkersburg students are competing with teams from both domestically and internationally, including University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Clemson University, campuses of Penn State University and State University of New York. 

Donny Jones Shares His Love for Civil War 4-26-2011

by Jeff Bell
    A battle-hardened veteran of the Civil War walks the halls of WVU Parkersburg. Donny Jones, a current sophomore studying Political Sciences and History, faces the tiring schedule of student life and also spends several weekends portraying 1st Sergeant Jones of the 36th Virginia Infantry, Company A, also known as the Buffalo Guard.
    The Buffalo Guard was originally formed in Buffalo, West (ern) Virginia in 1859 and was accepted into the Confederate States service in July 1861 according to Jones.
    “The Buffalo Guard has battle honors including Carnifex Ferry, Kessler’s Cross Lanes, Fort Donnellson and Fayetteville. The Guard was disbanded in April 1865,” Jones said. Jones’ fascination with the Civil War started at a very young age.
    As a child, Jones would accompany his grandfather while hunting for Civil War relics in area encampments and other sites. “I saw my first reenactment when I was 12 and joined the 36th Infantry when I was 14, working my way up through the ranks,” Jones said. Jones was promoted to the rank of 1st Sergeant Sunday, Mar 27.  “As a re-enactor, my goal is to portray the average confederate soldier, recreate battles for the public to see, and live as the boys of 1865 lived for weekends at a time,” Jones said. The schedule keeps Jones busy, averaging one event a month between Mar and Nov.
    “We travel all over this somewhat local area of W.Va., VA., Tenn. and Ky.,” Jones said. This may sound exciting, but this hobby is not for the faint of heart.
    “You need to have a love of the Civil War or at least of US History,” Jones said.
    The Buffalo Guard has the proud honor of being the best Confederate impression in the state and maintains a very strict uniform regulation, but the complete uniform of the re-enactor can be compiled over time.
    With plenty of veteran re-enactors available, the uniform kit of a new recruit will quickly become authentic.
    “Achieving a good impression does take a little time,” Jones said.
            According to Jones, the regiment is always interested in meeting new Civil War re-enactors. Contact Jones via e-mail at or on facebook for more information