Thumbs up ... to reports that fewer U.S. adults are smoking. Health officials are analyzing the 2012 findings and have not yet concluded why the rate dropped, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The nation’s smoking rate generally has been falling for decades, but had seemed to stall at around 20 to 21 percent for about seven years. In 2011, the rate fell to 19 percent, but that might have been a statistical blip.
Thumbs up ... to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Family Assistance, for continuing the School Clothing Vouchers program. Each eligible child will receive a $200 voucher that may be used toward the purchase of appropriate school clothing or piece goods for families who sew clothing for their children.
Thumbs up ... to Greenbrier West wrestling coach Jeremy Tincher, recognized as the Wrestling Coach of the Year by the West Virginia Coaches Association during a half-time ceremony at the recent North-South All-Star Football Classic in Charleston. This is his second coach of the year award in four months. After Greenbrier West won the state’s Class AA-A wrestling championship in February, crowning three individual title winners in the process, Tincher was named the Dix Manning Class AA/A Coach of the Year.
Thumbs up … to University of Charleston President Ed Welch, who was presented with the Francis Asbury Award from the United Methodist Church at its recent West Virginia Annual Conference. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in supporting, strengthening and promoting the church’s higher education ministries. Dr. Welch led UC’s efforts over the last year in replacing Mountain State University and providing a teach-out opportunity for more than 500 students who faced uncertain and bleak futures. He was also recognized for the strong leadership he has provided for higher education as a whole in West Virginia during the last 24 years.