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 U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), both members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announce a $2,600,000 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Recovery Assistance grant through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser, for the construction of a new, 12,000-square foot medical training facility.

 The new facility will offer state-of-the art equipment, including broadband connectivity, to expand student training opportunities for in-demand healthcare jobs. The grant, to be matched with $638,800 in local funds, is expected to create 265 jobs, retain 370 jobs, and generate $203 million in private investment.

“As we move into 2022, there will be a continued need for a prepared workforce within the health care field,” Capito said. “Today’s grant not only creates new jobs, but it is also truly a game-changer for Potomac Valley Hospital because it will enable more students to be trained for good-paying jobs that are so critical to the future health and well-being of our communities.”

 By Camille Howard

 Saturday was another testament to the generosity of the people of the Mountain State, particularly here.

Before Elf Denver ever arrived to take his usual place above Petersburg Electronics, bags of toys and over $800 had already been donated. In just a few hours time the 650 toys quota was met and by noon the total had climbed to 850. Not only were we met with donations but smiling faces from all those who gave.

 A very big thanks to Petersburg Electronics’ Pete and Adam Peters, who volunteer their building/parking area and time every year for the event; WELD’s Chip Combs, who gave live reports and stories from inside the store throughout the morning; Grant County Little League’s Buddy Alt, Bob Smith, Becca Hott and Shannon Sites; and our own Erin Camp to photograph the event.

 We enjoyed good weather and have turned over the proceeds to Shari Taylor and the Jordan Run CEOS for the next step in the project - to sort and then fulfill wishes.

 None of us alone could have made Toys for Happiness the success it is. God bless each of you for giving.

 Since 2014 WV Living magazine has been honoring West Virginia Wonder Women, women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good.

 The magazine is to celebrating these Appalachian mothers, millennials and mavens proving that in a time full of uncertainty, divisiveness and hate, love for one another is what is really needed. No need for bulletproof bracelets or a golden lasso of truth—these women are creating a better West Virginia with their can-do attitudes and Mountain State spirit.

 Grant County resident Carla Kaposy was in Charleston Nov. 30, to receive well-deserved recognition for her outstanding efforts of service to the community and the state.

“With each class of Wonder Women, I get more and more inspired. These women give me great hope for the future of our state,” says WV Living publisher and editor-in-chief Nikki Bowman Mills. “After reading about each of these strong and influential women, one thing is for sure—we get things done. These women are movers and shakers, decision-makers, givers, and doers and they are moving our state forward. We hope this issue of WV Living inspires more women to step into leadership roles, reach back and bring others along.”

 Kaposy’s West Virginia roots run deep, a native of Randolph County, she has lived in Petersburg for two decades. She is the executive director of the Grant County Convention and Visitors Bureau, a founding member of Project Equip, serves on the Grant County Board of Education and she and her husband own Heritage Hearing, a multi-county hearing health care practice.

“After college, I moved to Pittsburgh, but I always knew I wanted to come back to West Virginia. I’ve been back for about 20 years. My husband and I just decided to take a chance on some things, and we purchased our own business and have been business owners since then—we just have that sort of drive and like taking risks. I love seeing people excited about coming to West Virginia because I love the place that we live and all the people of West Virginia. We have so much natural beauty here, and it’s just exciting to show that off to people.”

 Reviving one of its seasonal traditions, West Virginia Theater East will be staging a production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”, Dec. 10, 11 and 12, at Petersburg’s Landes Arts Center.

 WVTE previously presented “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in 1991 and 2010. One of this year’s actors, Ryker Harvey, is the offspring of a participant in the 1991 show, Medea (Thompson) Harvey.

 Show times are 7 p.m. On Dec. 10 and 11, plus 2 p.m. on Dec. 12. Tickets are available at the door, or in advance at EventBrite.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” follows the shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a heartwarming tale involving a broken leg, burned up applesauce cake, gossiping ladies and six rowdy kids.

 Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claudia, Ollie and Gladys Herdman are an awful bunch. Among other things, they set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s toolshed, smoke cigars in the ladies room and steal classmates’ school snacks. Lured by the promise of free treats, the Herdmans show up at church and suddenly take over the Christmas pageant, complicating things for stand-in pageant organizer, Grace Bradley (Kristina Fox Goldizen). It’s obvious that they’re up to no good. But yuletime magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in. The Herdman children are played by Tabitha Goldizen (Imogene), Caroline Anderson (Gladys), Jacy Riggleman (Ralph), Summer Twigg (Ollie), Jameson Rafferty (Leroy) and Leanna Thorne (Claudia).

 Other members of the Bradley family are Jason Redman (father), Jakob Rohrbaugh (Charlie) and Gabby Goldizen (Beth/narrator). Beth Bradley’s stuck-up friend, Alice, is played by Madelyn Cook.

 The Grant County Sheriff’s Department assisted in a series of investigations that involved a man traveling from Georgia to Hardy County to distribute drugs to multiple other drug sellers in the area. The final guilty plea in the multi-defendant case was entered in late October with sentencing currently underway.

 Kaleb Joseph Beals, of Silver Creek, Ga., admitted to helping distribute methamphetamine, also known as “crystal meth” or “ice,” in the area from 2018 to 2019.

 According to a report from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Beals trafficked crystal methamphetamine from Georgia into Hardy County via Interstate-81 and then across Corridor H into Hardy County. Beals then met with four West Virginia residents to help traffick the drug in Hardy and the surrounding counties.

 Accused along with Beals were Jennifer Ann Howell, 41, Richard Allen Howell, 42, and Kenneth Allan Evans of Moorefield and Kelly Marie Talbert, 36, of Keyser.

 Since then, all four have pleaded guilty to their involvement.

 J. Howell and Talbert pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine (aiding and abetting) while R. Howell and Evans pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

 According to newly audited financial from Grant Memorial Hospital (GMH), the facility is continuing to weather the storm that is Covid-19 as well as showing overall growth.

 Last week, the GMH board of trustees reviewed and approved their audited financial statements for 2021. The meeting marked one of the first reports made to the board by new chief financial officer (CFO) Nick Mezza. The meeting was preceeded by a meeting of the GMH finance committee.

 During his presentation, Mezza reported a positive growth at the hospital over the past year and has shown significant growth in the past two years.

“If you go from a two-year period, our assets have increased 70% and our retained earnings have increased 2%. That is really outstanding from a corrospondingly operating revenue perspective and from an income perspective, as the auditors indicated, that is a 14% growth.”

 Mezza said that, when compared to other hospitals, GMH’s financial performance is very positive, with most hospitals averaging a 2-3% growth.

 He also clarified that these growth numbers are not due to Covid or the funds from Covid. Mezza explained that this growth was purely patient revenue numbers, which have also increased.

“This is a positive,” Mezza said. “This is a testament to management and the progress that has been made, especially in the middle of a pandemic. That’s not to say we still don’t have a long way to go, but it is tremendous.”

 Mezza then presented the board the internal financial for the period ending 2021. Overall, he told the board that the hospital showed a net gain of approximately $244,000. He also reported that the overall net revenue of the hospital was slightly down between September and October; however, he said the hospital had very cautiously controlled spending which resulted in a net gain. Compared to last year, inpatient days have increased 32%, emergency room visits have increased 30% and surgeries have increased 23%. He also clarified that this increase was a progression from 2020.

 By Josiah Cork

West Virginia News

 CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WV News) — After the first day of the much-awaited firearm buck season, the deer harvest seems to be running about the same as last year.

“We had a little over 11,000 bucks checked in, and that’s running pretty consistent or pretty close to what we saw last year,” Paul Johansen, chief of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources section, said Tuesday.

 He noted that the first day’s total is not complete and will continue to increase.

“Hunters have 72 hours to check their deer from the time of kill. So we still have numbers coming in from the first day’s kill,” Johansen said.

 Last year’s first-day total was about 12,265 deer after the count was completed.

“We’re running pretty close to last year, because I expect that number to go up as more hunters check their deer in,” Johansen said, referring to the 11,000 or so bucks checked in as of Tuesday.

“We had estimated that the kill was going to come in pretty close to last year. Of course, this is all preliminary. Things could change with weather and everything,” he said.

 Despite subfreezing temperatures in the mornings, the weather so far has been mostly favorable for deer hunting, according to Johansen.

“Monday was a pretty decent day. We had reports of some pretty high winds in some areas of the state. That’s less than ideal. But other parts of the state reported really good weather. And cool temperatures, that’s not a bad thing, that’s a good thing,” Johansen said.

 The cold weather is good for hunting in part because of hunter behavior rather than deer behavior.

 Clearway Energy Group (“Clearway”) is pleased to announce the hiring of five recent graduates of the Wind Energy Technology program at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College (“Eastern”) in Moorefield, WV.

 The five new wind techs will support the operations and maintenance of Clearway’s new 115-megawatt Black Rock Wind Farm near Elk Garden, WV, and its 54-megawatt Pinnacle Wind Farm near Keyser, WV, re-powered just this year with new turbine technology. Along with Clearway’s 240-megawatt Mount Storm Wind Farm, Clearway is now the largest owner-operator of wind farms in the Mountain State, having invested nearly $460 million this year alone.

 The five new Clearway wind techs are: Andrew Cosner, 20, of Petersburg, Ian Guckavan, 22, of Moorefield, Austin Locklear, 22, of Petersburg, Logan Reel, 24, of Keyser and Tyler Simmons, 21, of Keyser.

 One of the new wind techs, Logan Reel, was hired through Clearway’s West Virginia Wind Energy Apprenticeship Program, which helps workers displaced from the coal industry (as well as their family members) find new employment opportunities in renewable energy. “I grew up looking at the turbines on the mountains in the area and found them inspirational,” said Reel, who grew up in Moorefield. “Wind turbines are a step in the right direction towards a better future. Working in the renewable energy field has given me the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

 FirstEnergy Corp. has applied to build five solar energy projects throughout its West Virginia service territory.

The Akron, Ohio based utility company estimates that the projects, if approved by West Virginia regulators, would generate 50 megawatts of power, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

 The plans comply with a 2020 bill passed by the state legislature that permits electric utilities to own and operate up to 200 megawatts of renewable generation facilities. They would not displace the company’s current coal-fired generation capacity, the newspaper reported.

 The application was submitted through FirstEnergy’s two subsidiaries, Mon Power and Potomac Edison.

Construction could begin as early as 2022, with all projects expected to be completed by 2025.

 The sites include a 26-acre reclaimed ash disposal site in Berkeley County, a 51-acre site adjacent to a Mon Power substation in Hancock County, a 95-acre site in Monongalia County and a 44-acre reclaimed strip mine property in Tucker County. A fifth location is under review.

“The Pen Pal: A West Virginia Mystery” is a mystery thriller based in New Martinsville, W.Va., written by West Virginia author Storm Young.

The recently released book follows the story of Shiloh Ray, who is a military wife, new mother, and college student.

 Shiloh also suffers from postpartum depression and overall loneliness from living in rural Alaska far away from any family or friends. Shiloh then breaks out of her comfort zone and signs up for a pen pal.

 Weeks pass and she is matched with Penelope Young; this is where her whole life will change. Shiloh and Penelope become the best of friends and write letters every week. Until one day the letters just stop.

 Penelope had vanished. Shiloh cannot handle the thought of losing her best friend, so she flies across the country to figure out what she did wrong, or what happened to Penelope. Once she gets there, she finds out from Penelope’s husband that she is missing.

 Shiloh takes matters into her own hands, finding out the truth of what happened to her friend. She will follow clues and figure out the truth no matter what the cost. She also meets a few unexpected friends along the way to help her.

 Shiloh and her friends will face many challenges and have to race against the clock to find out the truth before someone else covers it up.

“The Pen Pal” can be found on Amazon and is currently ranked 73 in the top 100 new releases there.

 Usher in the holiday season as Highland Arts Unlimited welcomes back Bayfield Brass for a Christmas concert at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5 at the Keyser Presbyterian Church.

 Bayfield Brass was founded in 1989 when all five of the members of the group comprised the United States Naval Academy Band Brass Quintet.

 Their partnership grew so that when some of its original members went on to other full-time endeavors, the ensemble remained together to perform in the Baltimore-Washington region in their “off-duty” hours.

 Blessed with the talents of five brass players who enjoy performing music of both classical and jazz styles, the Bayfield Brass began playing at various venues during the holiday season in 1993.

 They have grown to become a holiday favorite, maintaining an active holiday schedule and performing for various public and private events throughout the year.

 The group has recorded two CDs “Swingin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Songs of a Lost Generation.” Both CDs contain many arrangements by C. Rhoades Whitehill, formerly of Keyser, one of the founders of Bayfield Brass Quintet.

 Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance for a reduced price at the Candlewyck Inn, Ace Hardware and Reed’s Drug Store (Keyser); Allegany Arts Council, (Cumberland, Md.); Anderson’s Corner (Romney) or online www.eventbrite.com

 Admission for the upcoming concert is free to Highland Arts Unlimited members and Potomac State College students. Area students under 18 are admitted free and young children are admitted free with a paying adult.

 For tickets and information please call 304-788-3066 or 304-788-9465.

 

Editor - Camille Howard;
News Editor - Erin Camp;
Advertising Manager - Tara Warner Pratt; 
Print Shop Manager - Richard Knight; 
Bookkeeping - Peggy Hughes;
Circulation - Mary Simmons

© 2017-2018 Grant County Press

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