Thumbs up ... to the recent Prescription Drug Take-Back day. Federal officials in southern West Virginia say they collected nearly 21⁄2 tons of unwanted and expired drugs. The collection set a record at 4,976 pounds of prescription drugs. The previous record was the 4,642 pounds of drugs collected in April.
Thumbs up ... to researchers from Ohio State and West Virginia universities who won a combined $2 million grant to study microbial biodiversity in underground shale-gas formations from the National Science Foundation. WVU gets $351,000 to study chemical and isotopic biomarkers that micro-organisms leave behind during their growth.
Thumbs up ... to Food Lion in Beckley, recognized as the Beckley District Employer of the Year by West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services. Distinguished Employer awards were also presented to Wobo Used Motor Sales & Repairs Inc., Oak Hill; Wendy’s, Summersville; Kmart, Bluefield; and IGA (formerly Foodland), Marlinton, for their progressive attitudes that empower people with disabilities by providing them with job opportunities.
Thumbs up ... to Fayette County, which has been chosen to receive $15,627 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. The county has distributed emergency funds previously with Fayette County Emergency Food Assistance Center, EnAct WV, Women’s Resource Center and Southern Appalachian Labor School participating. The agencies were responsible for providing 4,855 meals and rental or utility assistance to 30 families.
Thumbs up ... to Cliffs Natural Resources, which sponsored the recent Guyandotte River cleanup near Mullens, completed by a dozen students and faculty members from Wyoming East High School. The group filled more than 15 bags, removing metal, PVC pipe, buckets and other debris from the river banks. Participants were treated to lunch and a drawing for gift certificates.
Thumbs up ... to Oak Hill High School students giving back to the community by helping four-legged members of society. Tana Higginbotham’s freshman Learning Individualized Needs Knowledge and Skills class members each needed to complete 25 hours of community service, a requisite for high schoolers in Fayette County. The students made blankets for dogs at the New River Humane Society animal shelter.
Thumbs up ... to Beckley VA Medical Center for its mobile health clinic that will be used for outreach efforts in Mercer County. A physician and ancillary care staff are being recruited, and the nursing staff has been selected, according to a written statement from the Beckley VA. Services could begin in late January 2014.