Thumbs up ... to Jonas Blixt, who won the 2013 Greenbrier Classic. Battling to finish his round before the daylight disappeared after a three-plus-hours weather delay for rain and thunder, the 29-year-old Swede overcame bogeys on the 11th and 13th holes, and a birdie on the par-4 16th helped close the door on his second PGA TOUR victory. Blixt took home $1,134,000 for the winner’s share of the $6.3 million purse, and he moved from 139th to 39th on the FedEx Cup points list.
Thumbs up ... to a report that U.S. mining operations had the lowest death and injury rates in their history last year. The Mine Safety and Health Administration said there were 36 on-the-job fatalities. MSHA director Joe Main credits the improvements to tougher enforcement measures and to actions taken by industry. That said, efforts to make mining safer must continue.
Thumbs up ... to the West Virginia Board of Education as one of three states, along with Georgia and Michigan, chosen to receive grants to revise and implement new state student discipline policies that limit the use of out-of-school punishments. The grants from the National Association of State Boards of Education are part of a project on Examining and Reforming State Disciplinary Policies from a State-Level Perspective so that more children remain in school.
Thumbs up ... to One Voice, a faith-based group fighting drug abuse, for getting a $100,000 boost for its efforts from the Legislature. One Voice founder Debra Curry-Davis said the money will be spent on office needs and supplies, programs, informational dissemination, consultative services in local, regional and national workshops and training, transportation and maintenance, building capacity statewide, nationally and globally.
Thumbs up ... to Monroe and Nicholas counties, which are sharing $1.5 million in federal money for their respective Head Start programs. The Nicholas Community Action Partnership in Summersville is getting $781,236, while the Monroe County school board in Union is targeted for $641,355. Head Start is a national development program for low-income children that gets them ready for the education process at an early age.
Thumbs up ... to West Virginia’s starting to turn around the epidemic of childhood obesity. More than 27 percent of the state’s fifth-graders were considered obese in 2011. But at a recent Voices for Health Kids Conference, officials said that’s a decline from 2005. That makes West Virginia one of only five states showing a reversal. The Voices for Healthy Kids initiative aims to reverse the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.