The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 29, 2012

Thumbs — Saturday, Oct. 29, 2012

— Thumbs up ... to everyone who participated in the state Department of Environmental Protection’s recent free electronics recycling event. By the end of the day, more than 70,000 pounds of electronics (35 tons) had been stuffed into tractor-trailers and sent off for recycling. Devices included televisions, computers, printers, copiers, zip drives, video game devices, electronic cables, laser and multifunction scanners, fax machines, laptops, mice, keyboards, speakers, Webcams, monitors, cables, hard drives, circuit boards, cell phones, CD players and tape players.

Thumbs up ... to Cook’s Manufacturing, under the direction of Larry Cook, for building and donating a bridge crossing Black Fork River in Twin Falls Resort State Park. The bridge will become part of the Great Eastern Trail, a multi-state hiking trial. Cliffs Natural Resources and the Wyoming County Commission also helped support the project.

Thumbs up ... to the continued support for Breast Cancer Awareness. Tamarack is hosting the world’s longest pink ribbon scarf — measuring more than 4,000 feet. David Hill Concrete has a pink ribbon on the drum of a concrete truck, and Fayette County residents are raising scholarship money for children who have lost a parent to breast cancer.

Thumbs up ... to New River Community and Technical College for receiving a $3 million federal grant to enlarge its nursing and allied health care program. The funds will allow New River to expand and improve its current programs and offer new associate’s degrees for Registered Nurse, Medical Laboratory Technical, Occupational therapist Assistant and EMS/Paramedic certifications.

Thumbs up ... to students at Independence and Rainelle middle school receiving new instruments through a partnership between the West Virginia division of Culture and History and VH-1 Save the Music. The VH-1 Save the Music Foundation has placed more than 700 instruments with students in 35 middle and K-8 schools across West Virginia during its three-year initiative.

Thumbs up ... to West Virginians continuing to break the stereotypes associated with the state. Jim Justice and Chris Cline are again among the wealthiest people in the United States. Justice, 61, is a resident of Lewisburg while Cline, 54, is a Raleigh County native now living in Florida.

Thumbs up ... to Michael and Donna Wikel of Mullens, honored by the Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Actions as the Compassionate Family of the Year. The couple was recognized for their consistent efforts to volunteer their time to a variety of causes in an effort to improve their community.

Thumbs up ... to $1.5 million in funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission Investment Program for phase one of a water extension project. The effort will extend water service to 130 new residential and commercial customers in the Barkers Ridge area.

Thumbs up ... to Greenbrier County Schools Chief Mechanic Jack Defibaugh, honored as the recipient of the 2011-12 Greenbrier County Schools Service Employee of the Year Award at the Sept. 11 meeting of the Board of Education. Defibaugh’s award-winning expertise and exemplary dedication to maintaining the school system’s fleet were commended by Superintendent Sallie E. Dalton and Transportation Supervisor George Brooks II. Defibaugh has also received recognition from the National Association of Pupil Transportation as America’s Best School Bus Inspector National Champion 2011, and most recently accepted first place honors in the West Virginia Association of Pupil Transportation Competition — School Bus Inspection Division.

Thumbs up ... two West Virginia community colleges — New River Community and Technical College and Bridgemont Community and Technical College — that will receive federal funding to develop and expand training programs for students and for American workers who lose their jobs because of outsourcing to foreign countries. Bridgemont will get $760,000 while New River will see $3,000,000.