Thumbs up ... to Engart Inc., a Beckley-based business recognized as West Virginia Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Engart specializes in dust extracting equipment — particularly combustible dust — and its 22 employees conduct business in countries around the world.
Thumbs down ... to new U.S. Census Bureau figures that suggest West Virginia saw the lowest voter turnout among states in November. Survey results rank the state last for the number of 2012 General Election voters measured against citizens eligible to vote.
Thumbs up ... to Jane Marks, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, West Virginia Chapter, who was honored as Public Citizen of the Year by the West Virginia National Association of Social Workers. Nancy Cipoletti received the Rockefeller Award for her support for the cause of Alzheimer’s.
Thumbs up ... to the Raleigh County Commission and the City of Beckley for donating $5,000 each to Crime Stoppers of Raleigh County. The money will be used to pay cash rewards to tipsters whose information leads police to an arrest, recovery of stolen property or to confiscate narcotics.
Thumbs down ... to Beckley leading the state in the number of citations issued for texting or talking on a hand-held cell phone. In the first months of the law’s existence, the state had 25 convictions. The top three were Beckley with 13, Berkeley County with 12 and 10 in Kanawha.
Thumbs up ... to West Virginia University Libraries being selected to receive a collection of books, film and an online database intended to introduce the public to Islamic culture. The gift is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures Initiative.