Thumbs up ... to a team of students from West Virginia University that will put its engineering skills to the test when it competes in the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage Exploration Robo-Ops Competition. Sponsored by NASA and organized by the National Institute of Aerospace, the competition will be held in June at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This is the third time in three years WVU has been asked to compete.
Thumbs up ... to Integrated Resources Incorporated in Maben, presented the 2012-13 Outstanding Rehabilitation Small Facility Award by the West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. Currently the agency employs more than 400 people, serving clients, businesses and state and federal agencies across West Virginia.
Thumbs down ... to people calling homes and pretending to work for Publisher’s Clearing House. The person tells people they have won a $1.5 million prize and need to buy a $400 prepaid card and give up certain information if they want to get their money. If you get a call like this, the police ask that you call your local law enforcement agency.
Thumbs up ... to the women of Quota International of Beckley’s latest undertaking, “Empty Bowls.” The project is to raise funds and awareness of the hunger issue on a local level. Members of the community can make free souvenir bowls at the Youth Museum which will be given out at the soup dinner March 22. For more information, call 304-634-8367.
Thumbs up ... to the Humane Society of Raleigh County for receiving a $1,500 Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation grant to help continue the spay/neuter program. With the sale of each full-size Bearemy’s Kennel Pals friend (a collection of Build-A-Bear Workshop plush dogs), $1 is donated to domestic pet programs, including local animal shelters, stray pet rescue and rehabilitation organizations and pet education programs across the country.
Thumbs down ... to the 85 percent increase in methamphetamine lab seizures in West Virginia in 2013. Police discovered the illegal drug-making operations in 45 of the state’s 55 counties. Authorities seized 533 meth labs, compared to 288 in 2012, a State Police report says. Kanawha County led the state with 159 meth lab seizures, followed by 36 in Wood, 28 in Putnam, 27 in Upshur, 21 in Mason, 20 in Cabell and 19 in Greenbrier.