Thumbs up ... to the Fayette-Raleigh Metropolitan Planning Organization, now in its first full year of existence. FRMPO is working to solidify plans to make the metropolitan area’s public transportation in the two counties operate as smoothly as possible. It is funded in part by fees from participating counties, municipalities and federal and state funds.
Thumbs up ... to Dr. Brad Lane, recognized as West Virginia’s Young Optometrist of the Year by the West Virginia Association of Optometric Physicians for his contributions to the optometric profession, dedication to his patients and service to his community. Lane, a 1997 graduate of Mullens High School, is a partner in a private practice with locations in Princeton and Pearisburg.
Thumbs up ... to Richard “Rick” Hartzell, wildlife manager for the Little River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the Monongahela National Forest in Pocahontas County, who was recently selected by the West Virginia State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) as its Wildlife Manager of the Year. He was presented the NWTF”s “Making Tracks Award” at the annual awards banquet.
Thumbs up ... to David “Bugs” Stover, this year’s recipient of the Richard Shelton Memorial Lighthouse Award, presented annually by the West Virginia Association of Counties. Stover walked away from his teaching career to become Wyoming County’s circuit clerk — the first Republican elected to a county office since 1939.
Thumbs up ... to Mercer and Raleigh counties being among nine localities to be included in a new select program that will offer community-based substance abuse treatment to people on probation, parole and supervised release. Phase 1 of the pilot program seeks to engage behavioral health treatment providers to expand their effective substance abuse treatment services to offenders in the communities.
Thumbs up ... to Cliffs Natural Resources for making a $10,000 contribution to the Disaster Relief Fund for the Central West Virginia Chapter of the American Red Cross in support of the relief efforts following the water crisis affecting more than 300,000 residents throughout a nine-county portion of West Virginia. The donation will assist the Red Cross in replenishing monetary and material resources used to help those in the affected areas.
Thumbs up ... to Samantha Webb, a 15-year-old confirmation candidate from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church who chose veterans for her service project. Webb delivered donations of self-care items, crafts, gift cards, and cash totaling more than $1,000 to veterans who are homeless or needy or are residents of the Community Living Center at the Beckley VA Medical Center.