Thumbs down ... to continued violations found during recent federal impact inspections at U.S. mine operations in May that resulted in 172 citations and 21 orders. The Mine Safety and Health Administration conducted the inspections at 10 coal mines in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Utah. Inspections also were done at two metal and nonmetal mines in Georgia and California. The inspections began in 2010 after the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia killed 29 coal miners.
Thumbs down ... to a scam involving credit and debit cards that is targeting state consumers. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says the scammer calls people and tells them that their credit or debit card has been canceled or deactivated. The consumer is asked to give the caller the card number so the problem can be corrected.
Thumbs down ... to West Virginia receiving less funding to help support the state’s eight black lung clinics. The state will get more than $1.2 million in federal funding which will be divided between the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the West Virginia Primary Care Association. Federal mining officials say the disease has caused or contributed to the deaths of 76,000 miners since 1968.
Thumbs up ... to continued efforts of Mabscott United Methodist Church’s Operation Backpack, a community-sponsored backpack and school supplies drive, which gives out nearly 900 backpacks each year to schools in four southern West Virginia counties. The project was created 20 years ago to help students who need back-to-school essentials such as paper, pencils, backpacks, crayons and more. For more information about getting involved, call 304-252-4207.
Thumbs up ... to Main Street Ronceverte, which won a first-place award during the Main Street and ON TRAC reception and awards ceremony. The program recognizes the achievements of the state’s accredited Main Street and ON TRAC (Organization, Training, Revitalization and Capacity) communities. Ronceverte took the first place Main Street Innovation Award among small communities for its “Green Corridor Plan,” also known as “Verte Tech.” The award was accompanied by a $10,000 grant that will be used to install free WiFi connections in the downtown historic commercial district. Also honored were Board Member of the Year Kelli Bostic, Business Person of the Year Kathy King (owner of the Edgarton Inn and the Edgarton Cafe), Local Public Official of the Year Doug Hylton and Volunteer of the Year Barbara Sweetwood.