The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 27, 2013

Thumbs — Saturday, July 27, 2013

— Thumbs up ... to Darrell Helton, a reference librarian at the Raleigh County Public Library. Helton is retiring after 30 years of service — something he described as a “30-year treasure hunt.” After a two-week break, Helton has projects in mind that continue in the library field, as well as a possible book about the Civil War.

Thumbs up ... to Boy Scouts who not only clocked over 250,000 hours of community service, but donated more than 25,000 pounds of food to eight local food pantries at the end of the recent Jamboree at the Summit. Mountaineer Food Bank and the United Way worked together to determine how the food should be distributed.

Thumbs up ... to Deborah Martin, business office supervisor at The Season Senior Living Community in Lewisburg. Martin was recently honored with an Assisted Living Federation of America 2013 Hero Award, which honors extraordinary individuals who serve older adults in senior living communities. Martin was one of six heroes honored by former first lady Laura Bush at the 2013 ALFA Conference and Expo.  

Thumbs down ... to the growing difficulty of finding suitable places to hunt, especially in southern West Virginia, as the trend toward leasing large tracts to members-only clubs is growing. Division of Natural Resources director Frank Jezioro and DNR’s wildlife chief Curtis Taylor spoke to a legislative panel about a study on how to open up more land to hunting and other outdoor pursuits.

Thumbs up ... to Leo A. Vecellio Jr., chairman, president and CEO of the Florida-based Vecellio Group, Inc. Vecellio is a recipient of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s highest honor, the 2013 ARTBA Award. Established in 1960, the “ARTBA Award” recognizes individuals from the private and public sectors for outstanding contributions that have advanced the broad goals of the association.

Thumbs up ... to a report noting more is being spent per capita in West Virginia than any other state to promote public awareness of the new health care reform law. Data compiled by The Associated Press from federal and state sources shows $17.1 million in outreach spending in West Virginia. That amounts to $9.23 per resident. The next-closest state is Arkansas at $8.28 per resident.

Thumbs up ... to the University of Charleston for receiving a gift in support of fitness. The money is earmarked for a campaign to improve the Sports and Fitness Center. Combined with a gift of $250,000 from  H.B. (Bernie) Wehrle III and his wife, Cecilia, and Wehrle family members, the total contribution was over $1.5 million. Recently BB&T’s West Virginia Foundation announced a $250,000 gift to the Sports and Fitness Center.