Thumbs up ... to everyone involved in the Raleigh County Relay for Life. The yearend wrap-up showed, after expenses, a total of $107,546 raised to help fight cancer. This amount exceeded the goal of $104,000. The Raleigh County Regional Cancer Center team raised nearly $12,000, the highest total for any participating team.
Thumbs up ... to McDowell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for presenting the American Cancer Society’s McDowell County Relay for Life with support for community events, charities and programs.
Thumbs up ... to the YMCA of Southern West Virginia, partnering with the Raleigh County Board of Education, to offer seventh-grade students a one-year complimentary membership through the Active 7 program. The program not only provides social opportunities but a start to healthy habits. This is the fifth year for the Active 7 program.
Thumbs up ... for the state’s expanding role in the film industry. The latest example is a production by Newfoundland Films called “Hollow Creek.” The historic Itmann Company Store building will serve as a major location in the project, according to producer/director Guisela Moro.
Thumbs up ... to West Virginia native Morgan Spurlock for a new weekend series on CNN called “Inside Man.” The documentary filmmaker will take a close look at areas of American life that don’t normally get much attention. Expected to debut in April 2013, the show will look at gun lovers, marijuana growers, end-of-life caregivers and migrant farmworkers.
Thumbs up ... to more than $541,000 in federal money given to social agencies across the state to help hungry and homeless West Virginians. In this area, Fayette County received $14,658, Greenbrier, $11,966; Mercer, $18,429; Nicholas, $9,124; Raleigh, $22,190; Summers, $4,097; McDowell, $7,502; and Wyoming $6,770.
Thumbs up ... to Rainelle for re-naming its Main Street as “Major Jackie W. Sanford Street.” Sanford joined the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after World War II but was discovered to be only 17. Months later, he joined the Army and later served in Korea. He died on a search and rescue mission when his helicopter was shot down in Vietnam in 1965. He received four purple hearts and several other decorations during his many years of service.
Thumbs up ... to Senior Trooper R.A. Marsh of the Beckley Detachment of the West Virginia State Police. Marsh received the State Police Superintendent’s Award for his notable accomplishments in 2011. During the year, he was responsible for 89 felony arrests, 222 misdemeanor arrests and six DUI arrests. He also took 176 criminal investigative reports totaling 668 criminal offenses.