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.