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The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va., Local Briefs

Sep 30, 2007

By The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.

Oct. 1--West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane L. Cline warns motorists to be wary of wildlife now that the fall season has arrived.

Fall brings an increase in the number of auto-related accidents involving deer and other wildlife, especially during October, November and December -- both hunting and mating seasons.

Cline's office recently conducted its annual study of the top auto insurers with 5 percent or more of the state automobile insurance market. The study estimates that just more than 21,000 deer-vehicle claims were presented last year to insurers of West Virginia drivers.

"Based on information from the study, the average automobile insurance claim resulting from deer-vehicle crashes is nearly $1,900," Cline said. "The cost of comprehensive claims paid out by insurers annually is estimated at over $40 million."

West Virginia's wildlife is a great resource for the state. However, for many West Virginia motorists, it can be a daily threat to life and property.

Motorists are urged to be aware of deer crossing signs, stay alert and always wear a seatbelt. Deer tend to move in groups, so if you see one, there is likely to be more.

Bless your pet this week at Fairmont church

The Greater Clarksburg Evangelistic Association is encouraging area churches to conduct blessing of the animal services for pet lovers and, on that day, collect donations for their local animal shelter.

At 4 p.m. Sunday, a blessing will be conducted at Gateway United Methodist Church, 302 Diamond St., Fairmont.

These services were originally in honor of St. Francis, but local shelters need funds and donations every day.

"Since God blessed all the animals in Genesis 1, we think it's appropriate to bless our own once a year," said Barbara Grigg, GCEA director of media development. "Human beings were given stewardship over all creation. The local animal shelters pick up a lot of slack for their fellow man's poor care of domesticated animals. Shelter workers need to know the community appreciates their dedication, and this is one way to show them."

GED registration

Tuesday for test

The Monongalia County Technical Education Center's monthly GED test will be given Oct. 13. First-time testers must attend a two-hour registration at 10 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The entire test is $50, cash or money order only. Partials are $3 per section. Info: 291-9226.

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Copyright (c) 2007, The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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