Thumbs up ... to a $24 million federal award coming to West Virginia that will help expand high-speed Internet access in rural areas. The award from the Federal Communications Commission will support an expansion of broadband infrastructure so high-speed Internet access will be expanded to at least 40,000 rural homes and businesses in the state.
Thumbs up ... to scholarships being set up at Marshall University to remember four young black girls killed in an Alabama church bombing 50 years ago. An anonymous donor gave $2,000 to establish four scholarships. The Marshall Center for African American Students said donors asked that recipients be current black female students at the university.
Thumbs down ... to the University of Maryland for not permitting the West Virginia University Marching Band to perform on field at today’s gridiron clash between the Mountaineers and Terrapins at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Maybe it is their rule, but exceptions can be made.
Thumbs up ... to the Beckley Concert Association celebrating 75 years of bringing great performances to Beckley. It will open its anniversary season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Woodrow Wilson High School with a tribute to the legendary 1938 Benny Goodman concert at Carnegie Hall.
Thumbs up ... to West Virginia University Institute of Technology naming its 2013 Alumni of the Year. Chosen were Barry Pearson, Class of 1996, from the College of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences, and James E. “Jim” Smith, 1986, from the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences.
Thumbs up ... to 18-year-old Danese resident Colton Pack, who made it through Wednesday night’s “The X Factor” audition on FOX with four “yeses” from the judges. He is currently waiting to hear from the show’s producers for word on the date of his next performance.
Thumbs up ... to the Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. announcement that the Mine Rescue Team from the Pinnacle Mine in Wyoming County took first place at the 2013 National Coal Mine Rescue Competition. Started in 1910 by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the competition is the largest of its kind.
Thumbs up ... to G.I. Jobs Magazine naming West Virginia University a Military Friendly School for 2014. This is the fifth consecutive year the school has been honored. More than 800 veterans, military personnel or their dependents are currently studying at WVU with 188 new student vets admitted this fall.