Monday, July 28, 2014
Senator John Edwards with and Laura Kate Bender and Stuart Tousman (right) and Beth O’Connor (left)
Roanoke asthma and allergy suffers may be wondering why they have suffered a little more misery this past year. That’s because the Roanoke Valley sniffed up more pollutants this year – primarily as a result of a warmer summer.
At a press conference Monday morning Laura Kate Bender, Virginia coordinator of the American Lung Association’s Healthy Air Campaign revealed that Roanoke’s pollution grade ticked down a notch from an “A” to a “B” this year.
“Carbon Pollution is the main driver of climate change. Climate change is the greatest health th
Brian McGinn, Public Affairs Specialist at the United States Attorney Office for the Western District of Virginia said that the Department Of Justice is in the midst of a hard hiring freeze. “When that freeze lifts the Community Outreach Coordinator position that Gwen Mason held will be advertised and filled,” he said.
McGinn emphasized that the position has not been eliminated and Mason made a choice to leave the position but was not forced to leave due to elimination of funding. He stressed “that this change in personnel is not related to the success of the program or its funding, it’s simply a personal choice by a departing employee.”
Community Outreach Coordinator Gwen Mason will resign the position on May 5 and join U.S. Senator Tim Kaine’s staff as Roanoke Regional Director.
See Gwen Mason becomes part of Tim Kaine’s staff
“The Coordinator position has not been unfunded or eliminated. In fact, the Executive Office of United States Attorney’s (our regulating body) has actually extended funding for the position through the end of FY13. In addition, all indications point to this position becoming a permanent, full-time post within our district,” said McGinn.
The program was started as a pilot project three years ago and has proven successful, both here and across the country. There are dozens of community outreach coordinators in US Attorney’s Office’s throughout the nation and we fully expect to have a full-time, permanent community outreach coordinator here in the WDVA in the near future explained McGinn.