Thumbs up ... to Tim Kesecker for recently being named to Popular Mechanics’ list of “10 Innovators Who Changed the World in 2013,” for his work on the X-47B, an unmanned aircraft that can take off and land on aircraft carriers at sea. Kesecker earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from West Virginia University in 1985.
Thumbs up ... to Beckley Stratton Middle School students who chose the Beckley Raleigh County Humane Society as a class project. The students collected $462 in cash and 560 items such as dog and cat food, kitty litter, cans of food, treats and toys for the animals housed at the shelter.
Thumbs up ... to everyone who helped the Woodrow Wilson High School Band with its recent fundraising event. The band will be one of four taking part in the nationally televised Chick-fil-A Bowl game, also known as the Peach Bowl. The band will march down Peachtree Street, Atlanta’s main thoroughfare, New Year’s Eve. At 7:30 p.m. they will perform in Mass Band during the pregame show. At half-time they will again take part in a multi-band half-time show which will be televised across the nation by ESPN.
Thumbs up ... to Just for Kids Child Advocacy Center recognizing four southern West Virginians for going above and beyond to help children and families in the community. Dan Bickey, a local businessman and philanthropist; Andy Dimlich, Raleigh County assistant prosecuting attorney; Micheal Cochran, Wyoming County prosecuting attorney; and Jeff Mauzy, Fayette County assistant prosecuting attorney, have been named “Champions of Children” and will be honored at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Black Knight Country Club.
Thumbs up ... to Beckley Police Department Sgt. Frankie Shelton, who was named Officer of the Year for the 15th consecutive year at the annual Southern Regional Highway Safety Program banquet. Many other officers from around the region were also recognized for their work.
Thumbs up ... to a $10,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to the Lewisburg Festival. The one-day music event July 26 will celebrate artists who embody American roots music styles such as country, folk, bluegrass, R&B, blues and rock.