— Thumbs up ... to more than 450 tons of cast-offs being collected by nearly 14,000 volunteers during West Virginia’s annual spring cleanup. Sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection, the litter collection was the result of two programs: Make It Shine and Adopt-a-Highway. Volunteers for the Adopt-A-Highway cleanup removed 474,250 pounds of trash from 1,626 miles of state road. More than 438,000 pounds of litter were collected as part of nearly 150 Make it Shine projects.
Thumbs up ... to Beckley resident Hazel Horwath, who began a weekend celebration recently with a 100th birthday party at Little Beaver State Park. The weekend’s celebration continued the next day with a party at Memorial Baptist Church in Beckley. She is the widow of fallen Beckley firefighter Steve Horwath, who suffered a fatal heart attack from smoke inhalation in 1961 at Pinecrest Sanitarium Nursing Home during a call. She was honored with a plaque from the Beckley Fire Department for “Appreciation of the ultimate sacrifice that you and your family made in the service of the citizens of Beckley.”
Thumbs down ... to about a third of West Virginia homes not having computers, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Even at 64.6 percent, that’s the second lowest rate in the nation. Mississippi had the lowest rate of households that do not own a computer, 35.5 percent. West Virginia also had the eighth-lowest Internet adoption rate. About 59 percent of West Virginia households subscribe to high-speed Internet.
Thumbs up ... to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for awarding more than $3 million to organizations in West Virginia to address veteran homelessness. Nonprofits and consumer cooperatives will use the funding to connect veterans with the VA for mental health care services. Temporary assistance will be offered to veterans as they transition to permanent housing.
Thumbs up ... to Brandon Reece, who shot a 1-under 71 during the final round on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs to win his third BNI championship. His 8-under 208 for the tournament was six shots better than Kelly Shumate, who finished at 2-under. Alan Wharton, the 2008 champion, finished third with a 1-under 215 after an even-par 72 Monday, winning a tiebreaker over Derek Brooks, who posted the round of the day with a 69 to finish 1-under, as well.
Thumbs up ... to the Scouts at the Summit. Construction of the permanent home for the national Boy Scout Jamboree has pumped nearly $170 million in income in the southern West Virginia economy over the past four years, according to an economic-impact report by SYNEVA Economics of Asheville, N.C. Another $48 million came from indirect constructions pending. The project also helps support some 850 jobs.