THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN

To a ceremony honoring the 55th anniversary of the New River Company Siltix Mine explosion. During a special ceremony, a highway marker recognizing the disaster was unveiled. In an investigation, the blast was found to be caused by the ignition of built-up methane gas. Seven miners died and …

To area Purple Heart recipients being rightfully honored for their valor and service during a recent reception at Concord University. The CU Office of Veterans Services hosted the event in the Rahall Technology Center Veterans Lounge. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the… Read more

To municipalities in the western part of Fayette County that are continuing to align with each other and provide various services to their residents and the surrounding communities. The City of Smithers officially introduced the River Cities Urban Walking Trail recently, which is part of the… Read more

To the recent dedication of the Fallen Bluehawks War Memorial in Sophia. John Collins, Eric Fritz and Roger Butterworth worked long hours to get this monument and have it erected. They are to be commended, along with everyone who donated to this worthy cause. Sophia High School and Junior Hi… Read more

To Chief Justice Warren McGraw of the 27th Judicial Circuit who recently announced his retirement after 55 years of service to Wyoming County as well as the State of West Virginia. In his retirement announcement, he wrote, “It is with great regret and sadness that, after 55 years of service … Read more

To the annual F.O.P. Lodge 118 Police Memorial event held May 14 at the Fayette County Courthouse. The guest speaker, Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Ciliberti Jr., termed it a “privilege and honor” to address those assembled on the lawn of the Fayette County Courthouse in honor … Read more

To Zora “Big Mama” Stroud, the first woman to retire after 20 years of service in a West Virginia coal mine. Stroud, now 83 and living with a son in North Carolina, was recently honored at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, where a new exhibit is paying tribute to the contributions of female miners. Read more

To the West Virginia Alzheimer’s Association for offering dementia training for the state’s first responders to help in their interactions with the elderly. The free series of educational programs will deal with effective communication strategies and dementia behaviors. In West Virginia, 39,… Read more

To West Virginia University School of Medicine’s Carmen Burrell, D.O., chosen by The American College Health Association’s Awards Advisory Committee as the recipient of the Ollie B. Moten Award for 2021. This award, established in 1982, honors ACHA members who have made a significant impact … Read more

To West Virginia receiving $1.88 million from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to track the spread of new Covid-19 variants. The state has so far confirmed cases of virus variants from the U.K., California and Brazil, mostly concentrated in the northern part of the state and th… Read more

o the commitment of local first responders. Recently they took part in mock disaster training at Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beaver. Raleigh County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staged a plane crash with 12 victims inside. First responders put out a fire, rescued victims, administ… Read more

To a $100,000 check from the Carter Family Foundation to help out with the YMCA phase II project to install an elevator with service to all three floors. The Carter Family Foundation offered a two-for-one challenge for the project, and the YMCA jumped on the opportunity and was able to recei… Read more

To West Virginia receiving nearly $2.4 million from the federal government to fund HIV prevention and treatment. The state is wrestling with one of the nation’s highest spikes in HIV cases related to intravenous drug use. The surge, clustered primarily around Charleston and Huntington, is be… Read more

To news from Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin that the new federal stimulus package will include $677 million in funding to local governments in West Virginia. The money is broken up into $176 million for metropolitan cities, $153 million for smaller cities and $348 million for the state’s 5… Read more

To Crab Orchard resident Kathleen Bishop, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Bishop was born in 1921 in Kimball to Floyd and Pearl Richards. And although Bishop made sure her four children had a fun life – because she said they “wasn’t kids but one time” – she stayed busy with work … Read more

To the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system for a record-breaking year of trail permits. In 2020, the attraction sold nearly 65,000 trail permits, which represents the highest number of annual permits ever sold, and the system’s 20th consecutive year of growth in ridership. Despite an eight-week clos… Read more

To two food companies that are contributing cash and other items to the student food pantry at West Virginia University. Kroger Mid-Atlantic contributed more than $50,000 in cash and equipment, and Kraft Heinz donated more than $10,000 in cash, food items and coolers for The Rack, the school… Read more

To Black alumni efforts to expand opportunities for minority students – specifically Black, Indigenous and people of color – through the Horace and Geraldine Belmear Scholarship at West Virginia University while the university works to ensure social justice on campus. Established in 2008 by … Read more

To Chief Deputy Clerk Cecilia “Sally” Chapman who, today, is spending her last day of 31 years of service to Raleigh County. Chapman will be retiring at the end of her shift and plans to focus on serving her church, Beckley Praise Church, which her husband Paul Chapman pastors. Given all the… Read more

To the New River Gorge National River being redesignated as New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. The new name highlights the park’s features and other national park qualities as well as its traditional recreational opportunities. A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through de… Read more

THUMBS UP to Beckley Common Councilwoman Janine Bullock, Ward V, who was presented with the 2021 Living Legend Award during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration by the Raleigh County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The award is given each year to some… Read more

To Brig. Gen. William E. “Bill” Crane, who has officially assumed the duties, roles and responsibilities as the adjutant general for the West Virginia National Guard. Crane is taking over command from Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, who is retiring from active service after 37 years in uniform. In… Read more

Thumbs up to West Virginia University and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources for teaming up to create a new Covid testing laboratory at the Health Sciences Center. The WVU Rapid Development Laboratory was established to provide the technical and professional support t… Read more

To the City of Beckley placing welcoming signs at city entrances to honor a local hero who still gives back to his hometown. Tamar Slay, a native Beckleyan who played professional basketball for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets), honed his skills while playing for… Read more

THUMBS UP to the Shady Spring High School girls volleyball team for turning the disappointment of a frustrating loss into the elation of winning a state championship. Coming off a runner-up finish in the 2019 state tournament, the No. 1-seeded Lady Tigers swept Philip Barbour 3-0 to take hom… Read more

THUMBS UP to the Wyoming County Toy Fund, the Wyoming County Firefighters Association and the county office of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources for joining forces this year to make Christmas brighter for children in need. Due to the Covid-19 issue that is affecting … Read more

THUMBS UP to an operation, called Autumn Hope, that led to the recovery of 45 missing children, 13 of whom were recovered as a result of the efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service here in the Southern District of West Virginia in conjunction with the Cops United Felony Fugitive Enforcement Div… Read more

To Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, in partnership with the community of Lansing and the Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents of West Virginia, for hosting a parade and granted the wish of 3-year-old Axel Perdue recently at the New River Gorge Visitor Center in Lans… Read more

THUMBS UP to an announcement by Gov. Jim Justice that he has committed $6 million of CARES Act funding to ensure the continued support of child care providers and families through the end of the year. Federal funding for it was set to run out at the end of the month. The state’s investments … Read more

THUMBS UP to staff members of the Gauley District of Monongahela National Forest who have been working this summer on repairs to a 680-foot section of the boardwalk at the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area. Repairs include re-connecting and raising parts of the boardwalk and fixing uneven walk… Read more

THUMBS UP to fulfillment of a long-ago promise made to residents of a predominantly African American neighborhood. A 1941 deed discovered several years ago in a Lewisburg file merged two parcels of land – one owned by the town and the other by a council formed to promote the “welfare and int… Read more

To the city of Smithers, which gave a nod to some of its veterans recently with new entries on the Smithers War Memorial. Located across from the Smithers Post Office, the memorial was originally unveiled in November 2002. Names of veterans both living and dead are placed on the monument. Th… Read more

To Southern Appalachian Labor School working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to distribute personal protective equipment. The masks, which were delivered to the Historic Oak Hill School, will be utilized to assist in public health efforts in the area as part of Project:… Read more

To Dr. Nicole Pride, chosen by the West Virginia State University Board of Governors to become the 12th president of the University. Pride currently serves as the vice provost for academic strategy and operations at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She earned bache… Read more

To former Beckley native Cleo Gore-Hinton who recently celebrated her 110th birthday with family and friends. Her birthday parade attracted more than 300 people and 50 family members and was led by a police car, a police van and an officer on an ATV. Neighbors stood in yards and across the s… Read more

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