Thumbs up ... to Beckley artist Rebecca Peterson. The sixth in the series, Peterson’s work was chosen from a selection of posters designed by artists throughout the state as Bridge Day 2010’s commemorative poster. A New York native, Peterson moved to West Virginia in 1995. This official commemorative poster is available for $10 at the Fayette Chamber of Commerce visitor center in Oak Hill.
Thumbs up ... to the 2009 census estimates which show an increase in Beckley’s population for the first time since 2000. Census estimates from last year put Beckley’s current population at 16,758, an increase of nearly 200 residents. West Virginia’s population is up by 4,900.
Thumbs down ... to whoever is responsible for several thousand dollars in vandalism to Stratton Elementary School. The suspects targeted several rooms, broke items and used paint and fire extinguishers throughout the building, police say. In another incident, some items were apparently stolen.
Thumbs up ... to a $25 million overhaul of the Glen Ferris hydroelectric plant on the Kanawha River that’s been shut down for several years. Brookfield Renewable Power plans a 21-month overhaul that will create 30 construction jobs. The plant’s eight turbine units will generate enough electricity for 4,500 households.
Thumbs up ... to Oak Hill city officials, along with civic and community leaders, for a plan to create a state-of-the-art amphitheater/green space on the lot adjacent to city hall. The site will offer seating, landscaping and a stage with lighting, sound and screen and television capabilities.
Thumbs up ... to Lois Graham of Forest Hill for her quilting skills. A quilt by Graham will again be raffled to raise money in the fight against cancer. For 16 years, Graham’s quilts have been used to raise funds for cancer victims or research. Proceeds from the July 9 event will benefit Access Health.
Thumbs up ... to golfer Kenny Perry, competing in the Greenbrier Classic. Perry has pledged to donate $2,000 for every birdie he makes in the tournament to the families of the 29 miners killed in the Upper Big Branch disaster in April. Greenbrier owner Jim Justice said he will match Perry’s pledge.
Thumbs up ... to West Virginia being one of only 12 states in an education pilot project. The program combines a college-ready academic core with intellectually demanding career/technology courses at the high school level.