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 the Woodrow Wilson High School Flying Eagles. Four signs – near the old Dr. Pepper plant on Robert C. Byrd Drive, on Mabscott Hill, on U.S. 19 at the Beaver city limit and on W.Va. Route 3 near Harper Park Drive – now notify visitors that Beckley is Slay’s hometown.

 

To Dr. W. Franklin Evans, chosen by the West Liberty Board of Governors as the university’s 37th president. Evans will be the first black president in the 183-year history of the university. He will assume the presidency on Jan. 2, 1021.

 

To community efforts that helped a Monroe County woman get work finished on a well and a new indoor bathroom for her home, located just north of Peterstown. The small farmhouse is more than 200 years old and has not changed much from the time the original logs behind the walls were still visible. This is the first time in 48 years she can take a hot shower and not have to use an outhouse.

 

To $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to help the state meet Covid-19 protective efforts. The funds will be used to help with the purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment such as respirators, medical gloves, face shields and sanitizer kits.

 

To the Daily Athenaeum, as a student-led, independent print and online publication at West Virginia University, which is far more than just a workspace that incubates journalism’s next generation. It’s an epicenter of community for students and advisers alike. Founded as a literary magazine at WVU in 1887, The Daily Athenaeum, also called the “DA,” has a 130-year legacy with 100 years of faculty and student involvement.

 

To retired Register-Herald publisher and community supporter Frank Wood, who will always be the face of Beckley Newspapers. Now, during the holiday season, he will also be the radio voice of Francis Pharcellus Church, a New York editor who authored the timeless editorial “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” in 1897. Wood recently recorded a reading of the veteran newsman’s classic column for Theatre West Virginia’s “Twelve Holiday Readings,” a series that will feature readings by well-known local voices, including Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Baker, singer Landau Murphy Jr., author Homer Hickam and radio personality Keith Thompson.

Mountain Stage Musical Director Ron Sowell and state musicians developed and deliver the musical scores for the series.

The series was recorded with help from WJLS, and it is being offered to all radio stations throughout the state.

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