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 Daily News for Ritchie County, WV, and Surrounding Areas.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Tobacco Use

Among Teens

By RCHS Journalism Class



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Well Head

Repair Fails In Sardis, OH

By Debbie Frederick

smoke, why are we surprised when so many teens do? Why do young people start using tobacco to begin with?

   Many kids start using tobacco because their friends use. One Ritchie County High School student claims she started because her boyfriend used. “It was part of our relationship; it was something we did together.”

   A senior girl shared that she started smoking cigarettes at the age of six. She claims to be addicted and struggles to make it through the school day without a “nicotine fix.” In fact, she lights up a smoke the second her car’s tires hit the access road from the school parking lot.

  The latest poll of West Virginia’s high school students found 19.6% smoke tobacco. Male students who use smokeless or spit tobacco are at 27.4%. Two RCHS boys admit to both smoking and using spit tobacco. The same two guys admitted to spending between $100 and $120 per month on their habits. Which leads one to wonder, how do they afford it?

   Some students report that they rarely have trouble getting a can of snuff. Many parents even buy some underage boys their Copenhagen. Teens users of tobacco often purchase Grizzly Straight because it is less expensive.   

  Possession and use of tobacco products at RCHS have different punishments. According to Assistant Principal Sally Ann Hinterer, there is no warning for use of tobacco because it is a “legal issue.”

  Triad Hunter and state investigators are working to determine how the company's Utica Shale well on the Stalder pad north of Sardis, Ohio, in Monroe County had a “blowout” of natural gas Saturday.

  Since the accident, residents have had limited access to their homes. On Tuesday, it was announced that no one would be allowed within a 1.5 mile radius, and that includes 30 homes in Sardis. Residents will remain evacuated until local officials get word from Triad Hunter.

  Sardis is across the Ohio River from Paden City, WV (Tyler and Wetzel counties).

  "Those who evacuated were allowed to come back Sunday," Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle said. "There is still a risk, though, so the company is bringing in Wild Well Control from Texas to mitigate the chance of explosion."

  Maintaining operations in Monroe, Tyler and Wetzel counties, driller Triad Hunter is a subsidiary of Houston, Texas-based Magnum Hunter Resources Corp.

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  Health.com reports that West Virginia has the second highest rate of smokers in the country. Which leads one to wonder, if 28.6% of WV adults

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  Marshall University President Stephen Kopp has passed away, Huntington Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli said.

  It happened Wednesday night after Dr. Kopp apparently suffered a heart attack at his home. Efforts to resuscitate Dr. Kopp at his home were unsuccessful, and he was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital where he was pronounced dead about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

  "This is a huge shock," Huntington Mayor Steve Williams said. "I was just with him this evening talking about the future of our area with legislative leaders. It's a loss certainly to Marshall University, to our city and to the entire state. I lost a dear friend this evening."

  Marshall University confirmed Dr. Kopp's death later Wednesday night.

  Dr. Kopp was Marshall University's 36th president. He began his tenure there in 2005.

  Michael Sellards, chairman of the university’s Board of Governors, said, “We have lost one of the most dedicated and long-serving presidents in the 177-year history of Marshall University. We ask that you keep President Kopp’s wife, Jane, and two children, Adam and Liz, and their families in your thoughts and prayers.”

Marshall University President Dies