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WVSports – West Virginia LB Cutter making gains, growing

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WVSports  –  West Virginia LB Cutter making gains, growing


Ben Cutter found out a lot about himself and his game as a true freshman.

The North Carolina native was thrust into a large role than perhaps he might have initially expected due to the depth of the position.

Cutter played in 11 games and saw a total of 464 snaps but understands that even despite that experience he has a lot of learning still to do.

“I’m glad it happened though because I got a step forward on what I need to fix. I made a lot of mistakes but also did some good things. The mistakes are what I’m trying to focus on,” he said.

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One of the biggest areas of focus for Cutter has been improving in the pass game. The 6-foot-0, 225-pounds, wasn’t asked to do much in pass coverage at the high school level with it basically restricted to dropping to the hash when the offensive lineman pass blocked.

At this level, linebackers are asked to understand route concepts and what’s happening on a play. And the faster that you can recognize what is unfolding, the faster it will allow you to play on the field.

It’s something that Cutter had to learn first hand in his first experience at the college level against Duquesne when he was playing the boundary and had to take wide receiver Tedy Afful in man coverage and carry him to the end zone. But at the start of the play, Cutter made a step toward the line of scrimmage and the Dukes’ wide receiver was able to get step on him and haul in a touchdown.

It’s not that Cutter played him all that bad, but it’s a wake-up call for how fast things happen at this level and the smallest mistake can lead to points for the opposition.

“Knowing route combinations, knowing where I need to be to affect the quarterback and bait them up. Just playing fast and playing comfortable,” he said.

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Some of that is simply putting more effort into his film study in order to prepare and understand exactly what the opposing offense is trying to do on every play. That allows him to play faster.

Cutter has made leaps with his strength as well as a better understanding of how to use his hands. He also learned that taking care of your body in the weight room is something that is a necessity at this level in order to play at your best.

Cutter also has been working on his angles to the ball and avoiding some of the situations that occurred last season with his hips turned out and trying to tackle a running back with his hips squared to him. Mistakes are going to happen but it’s about growing from them.

“When you make the mistakes more than once you realize it and need to fix it,” Cutter said.

And that’s a good thing because the competition and depth in the linebacker room is as good as it’s been in recent years with a group that is hungry and fighting for reps. Cutter is hoping to make a sizeable leap forward and has been preparing as if he is going to be a starter, so he is ready for whatever role.

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Cutter was a lower-rated three-star prospect coming out of high school and uses that to help propel his preparation in the off-season. He might not be the most talented option at all times, but he’ll make up for it in other areas that he can control.

“I wasn’t going to be outworked,” he said.



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West Virginia

West Virginia Department of Health Facilities joins with lawmakers for next tour of hospitals in the state

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West Virginia Department of Health Facilities joins with lawmakers for next tour of hospitals in the state


CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Lawmakers from the West Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate visited and toured two more state establishments as part of the West Virginia Department of Health Facilities’ (DHF) effort to improve patient care in the state.

Participants in this tour included:

  • Chair of the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability (LOCHHRA) Delegate Amy Summers
  • Delegate Bob Fehrenbacher
  • Delegate Ric Griffith
  • Delegate Heather Tully
  • Senator Michael Oliverio
  • Delegate Joey Garcia
  • Delegate Phil Mallow
  • Delegate Mike DeVault
  • Delegate Michael Hite
  • Delegate D. Rolland “Buck” Jennings
  • Delegate George Street
  • Senator Jay Taylor
  • Delegate Matthew Rohrbach

The group was led by DHF Cabinet Secretary Michael J. Caruso where they went and visited John Manchin Sr. Health Care Center in Fairmont, before visiting and touring Hopemont Hospital in Terra Alta. Both establishments have a four-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for providing some of the best quality care to their patients.

“I am so grateful our dedicated public servants were able to see the passion the hospitals’ staff have in caring for some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens. I look forward to future partnerships as we work to overcome challenges and celebrate successes together,” Caruso shared.

“We appreciate the DHF coordinating these site visits to allow legislators the opportunity to view the care residents are receiving, as well as the facilities themselves,” Chairwoman Summers added.

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LOCHHRA members visited Jackie Withrow Hospital in Beckley in May. Before that tour, they visited Mildred-Mitchell Bateman Hospital in Huntington and William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Weston. 



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West Virginia Department of Health Facilities announces significant progress on staffing

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West Virginia Department of Health Facilities announces significant progress on staffing


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health Facilities (DHF) is pleased to announce the hiring of more than 80 new employees at its state-run facilities, following the implementation of new recruitment and retention initiatives launched in January. These efforts have resulted in new state employee hires, converted 40 contracted staff to state employees, and decreased the vacancy rate by eight percent.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Michael J. Caruso, DHF Cabinet Secretary. “We are committed to providing excellent care for our patients, while also ensuring our staff are fairly compensated.”

The new system, a classification and compensation system created by the Office of Shared Administration’s Office of Human Resources Management, is designed to boost recruitment and retention initiatives and is based on recommendations from a market study conducted by Korn Ferry.

The initiative includes:

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  • New pay rates: This accounts for employee tenure. 
  • Flexible work schedules: This caters to employee preferences. 
  • Increased incentives for difficult shifts: This recognizes the additional challenges associated with certain shifts.
  • Targeted funding for hard-to-fill positions: This addresses specific recruitment needs. 
  • Appointment incentives: This allows for the recruitment of critical need positions, such as those in the nursing field. 

Since implementation, DHF has also reported success in converting 40 contract nurses to state employees, resulting in cost savings for taxpayers. 

The new system ensures employees retain their existing benefits package, including health insurance, dental, vision, and life insurance. To learn more about employment opportunities within DHF, visit Career Opportunities (wv.gov)



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Ways to celebrate West Virginia Day in 2024

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Ways to celebrate West Virginia Day in 2024


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — There are several events and special activities happening over the next week for West Virginia’s birthday on June 20. Here’s a few weekend and day-of events to check out.

Morgantown’s WV Birthday Party

This free, family-friendly event is held every year in downtown Morgantown. According to a press release from Main Street Morgantown, the party is happening on Saturday, June 15 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s party will include a beer garden, Kids’ Zone, vendors, a vintage market and live music by Ryan Cain & the Ables, Grace Campbell, and Adrian & the Soul Miners. The event is free, but beer garden tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance online here. Additional information is available on Main Street Morgantown’s website.

Official West Virginia Day Celebration

In a West Virginia Day celebration in Charleston on June 20, Gov. Jim Justice and his wife, Cathy, will announce the winner of the Great West Virginia Hot Dog Sauce Cook-Off. Additional details about the event have not been released as of June 13.

WV Coal Festival

The West Virginia Coal Festival in Madison runs from Thursday, June 19 to Sunday, June 22. It will have live music, vendors, a cornhole tournament, Mullet Showdown, pet contest and pie eating contest. Although not specifically a West Virginia Day event, what’s more West Virginian that a festival celebrating an industry the state was built from? Additional details are available on the event website.

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Meagher’s WV Day Cocktails

If you’re not looking for a specific event, Meagher’s Irish Pub in Bridgeport is celebrating West Virginia Day throughout the month of June with special cocktails, including the Mothman Old Fashion with Mothman simple syrup and walnut bitters, the Apple Butter Fizz made with apple butter syrup, the Strawberry Festival Sangria, the Mountaineer Mule made with blueberry puree, The Kanawha, the Almost Heaven Martini, the West VirGINia and Tonic made with blueberry rosemary syrup, and the Black Bear Fizz made with blackberry puree. For more details, check out Meagher’s Facebook page.

WV State Folk Festival

This festival in Glenville celebrates West Virginians’ pioneer history and culture from Thursday, June 20 to Sunday, June 23. Activities will have a small town West Virginia feel and include Appalachian craft shows, gospel sings and banjo and fiddle contests. Click here for more information.

WV Birthday Train Trip

The Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad in Romney, West Virginia is celebrating both West Virginia Day and National American Eagle Day on June 20 with short, one-hour train trips for $13. The trip promises “engaging and memorable experience for participants of all ages.” Lucky riders might even see a bald eagle or other West Virginia wildlife. To reserve a ticket or for more information, visit the Potomac Eagle website and click “Book Now.”

Cass Scenic Railroad in Pocahontas County is also offering train rides through the West Virginia Mountain Rails on June 20, but they are just the usual trips.

Blenko WV Day Pieces

Blenko Glass’ 2024 West Virginia Day pieces: The Wavelength charger inspired by the Green Bank Telescope (left) and the “Space Age” visitors decanter which is inspired by the extraterrestrial life that the telescope helps search for (right) (Courtesy: Green Bank Observatory)

If you’re looking for an exclusive piece of West Virginia art, this year’s West Virginia Day pieces by Blenko Glass Company are inspired by the Green Bank Telescope, including a limited edition white charger that looks like the largest movable radio telescope, an alien-inspired decanter and a Green Bank Telescope suncatcher. The 161 “Wavelength” charger pieces will be sold in an online auction at noon on Saturday, June 15, and the decanter and suncatcher can be preordered online here.

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