Thumbs up ... to Twenty-Eighth Judicial Circuit (Nicholas County) Judge Gary Johnson, honored recently by the West Virginia Child Care Association for sustained, forceful leadership for the protection of children. Johnson received the Steward of Unity Award, an honor the association gives only every few years, for his ability to bring people together to improve the lives of children.
Thumbs up ... to Eric Ewing, of Fayette County, being named West Virginia Division of Agriculture Plant Industries Division director. Ewing, of Pax, will assume director responsibilities after current Director Sherrie Hutchinson retires after 35 years of service. He plans to continue the division’s work to combat native and nonnative plant pests and diseases through surveillance, regulatory and control programs.
Thumbs up ... to the NASA Committee at West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Department of Physics and Engineering, which selected 11 students for this year’s NASA Fellowships. Winners are chosen for their academic record and commitment to a discipline of interest to NASA. Named from this area were John Bair of Shady Spring, a music education major, and Shane Hypes, a physics major of Powellton. Winners can apply for NASA summer research fellowships and internships at a NASA facility such as the NASA Langley Space Flight Center.
Thumbs up ... to First Baptist Church in Beckley for continuing its Operation Christmas Child. The church is collecting shoeboxes filled with small, new gifts that will make Christmas special for a child in Africa, South America, Asia or Europe. Boxes must be dropped at First Baptist Church on Neville Street in Beckley, across from Jim Word Memorial Park, along with a $7 check made payable to Samaritan’s Purse, between Nov. 18 and Nov. 22. The boxes will be hand-delivered to children across the world at Christmastime by Samaritan’s Purse volunteers and staff.
Thumbs up ... to West Virginia’s Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center, which has earned three awards from the Washington, D.C.-based Justice Research and Statistics Association. The center won awards for a study to improve methods for estimating crime statistics, for an online interactive data analysis tool, and for its website’s appearance, content and technical quality. The center offers statistical and data analysis to criminal justice system professionals, policymakers and the public.