The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Local News

June 29, 2013

Scouts answer questions from Fayette residents

MOUNT HOPE — Seriously, there is no bunker.

That was the running joke at a community meeting held by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Thursday in Mount Hope.

As the BSA’s Summit Bechtel Reserve was being built in Fayette County, rumors were rampant about the construction of a secret underground bunker on the site, similar to that formerly located at The Greenbrier resort. A Cold War-era fallout shelter was constructed under the Greenbrier County facility to which Congress could relocate in case of a disaster.

But now it’s official — the BSA says there’s no bunker. The rumor represented the most extreme of locals’ fears about the Summit facility and its potential impacts on their daily lives.

The BSA hoped to put some of those fears to rest during Thursday’s meeting, the second of two held by the organization to provide an over-view of 2013 National Scout Jamboree activities and potential impacts, as well as reassure locals that plans are in place to deal with traffic, medical emergencies and other issues.

Michael Stone of Mount Hope came into the meeting with concerns that local communities weren’t being treated fairly by the BSA and the government agencies supporting them. He has been following the BSA’s request for an amendment to the state constitution to expand their tax-free status, for example. And he’s worried about traffic on his local roads.

“Up until this point, I’ve felt like the BSA really has taken advantage of our state and my big-gest concern was to make sure we got our fair shake,” he said.

He asked the BSA about who will get the priority for traffic control during the Jamboree — Scouting visitors or locals? And he wanted to know how much notice the public would receive if President Barack Obama decides to attend the Jamboree.

By the time he walked out of the meeting, Stone was feeling a lot better about the whole situation.

“They answered all my questions, and I’m pretty comfortable with their answers,” said Stone, who is the project manager for one of the Reaching the Summit Community Service Initiative projects being carried out by Scouts in Mount Hope.

“I’m prepared for (the Jamboree) to be an inconvenience, but I wanted to make sure it’s not going to be an end-of-the-world inconvenience.”

The meeting at the former Mount Hope High School attracted about 150 attendees, who peppered Scouting staff with questions after several informational presentations.

One wanted to know whether private boaters would be able to get into the water during the Jamboree, when 2,500 Scouts per day will make their way down the New River. Jeff West of the National Park Service compared the volume to a “busy Saturday on the river” but said no Scouts would be on the water during weekends or after 4 p.m.

Another wondered whe-ther a loud sound system he heard being tested recently was going to keep him up at night. The system is only for emergencies, the BSA assured him.

Will there be food on site? Will there be wheelchairs? Will gay rights activists protest at the event? Is there a backup plan for heavy storms? Will I be able to see the fireworks from my front porch? These were some of the other questions for which the public wanted answers.

Larry Pritchard, Jamboree director, urged the public to learn more about the event at the BSA’s various web and social media sites, including, and TheBechtelSummit/.

“I can’t even begin to tell you what everything is like out there,” said Pritchard. “I do know it’s worthwhile for you to see what’s in your backyard.”

Tickets for the Jamboree can be purchased at www.summit.scouting. org.

So far, 5,000 advanced visitor passes have been sold.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Local News
  • Jury trial set in Bob Graham case

    Robert E. “Bob” Graham, the former executive director of the Wyoming County Council on Aging and All-Care Home and Community Services Inc., will be back in U.S. District Court in Bluefield this October for a trial to recover consequential damages for aggravation and inconvenience from National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., the insurance company that provided him coverage when he served as director of the two agencies.

    July 25, 2014

  • Calendar — Friday, July 25, 2014

    July 25, 2014

  • Kids drama camp dips into the acting bug

    Some kids growled and grumbled. Others complained about the stories they heard. A few wore pig noses. Grandpa nearly fell asleep.

    July 25, 2014

  • Sewage treatment plant project clears another hurdle

    Ronceverte’s planned construction of a new sewage treatment plant cleared another regulatory hurdle with the expiration Wednesday of a 20-day waiting period at the state Public Service Commission.

    July 25, 2014

  • Saints arrive 1 Saints march into ‘Almost Heaven, W.Va.’

    At 3:54 p.m. Wednesday afternoon the New Orleans Saints’ chartered flight touched the ground at the Greenbrier Valley Airport, and Greenbrier County officially became “Who Dat?” Country. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Broadband panel eyes access to rural areas

    The West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council met far outside its typical Charleston venue Wednesday to hear issues about Internet speeds in some of the state’s most rural regions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg official says fuel spill contained, drinking water safe

    Lewisburg’s public works director is confident that a Tuesday afternoon fuel spill 60 miles upriver from the city water system’s intake has been contained and the water is safe to drink.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg keeping eye on gas spill

    Mayor John Manchester said Tuesday night it was in the city’s best interest that officials proceed with caution to reports of a diesel spill farther up the Greenbrier River because “we wouldn’t want to run into an Elk River challenge here."

    July 24, 2014

  • NCCC team brings its skills to work in Hinton

    William Custus, 20, of Washington, and Sabree Koonce, 21, of Leavenworth, Kan., have spent the summer making West Virginia beautiful.

    July 24, 2014

  • Cyclist injured in accident

    A cyclist was injured on a trail near the Gauley River when she fell from her bike to avoid a tree branch.

    July 24, 2014