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WVDOH Bridge Design and Build Contest open to any middle or high school students

The qualifying round for the 23rd annual West Virginia Bridge Design & Build Contest is underway.

The contest challenges middle and high school students to see who can design the lowest cost bridge using bridge design software developed for students. Finalists will also build a balsa bridge to see how much force the model will stand before collapsing.

The contest is FREE and open to every middle school and high school student who attends any public, private or home school in West Virginia. Finalists will be invited to compete for cash prizes at WVU Tech in Beckley in the spring.

WVDOH has Windows and MAC builds of the contest software so more students across the state will have the necessary computers to participate in the contest.

Students can win cash prizes and every student who participates in the contest gets a free BridgeWalk tour for themselves and their families.

Students have until Wednesday, March 1, 2024, to register, download their bridge design software and submit their bridge design. All materials for the competition, including a YouTube tutorial by Secretary of Transportation, Jimmy Wriston, are available on the website.

To register, download bridge design software, or find out more about the contest, visit https://wvbridgedesignandbuildcontest.com.

 Hollis and Tomasenia Ours

Grant County Farm Bureau recently sent two delegates/representatives to Charleston, to attend the 104th annual meeting of the West Virginia Farm Bureau. Those in attendance included Hollis Ours and Tomasenia Ours.

During the three-day event, attendees voted on important socio-political policy issues as well as attended information fairs and youth competitions. Special guests included former Miss West Virginia Elizabeth Lynch, country music artist Wyatt Turner from Pocahontas County, Carrie Walker from the American Farm Bureau Federation and Mark Haney from Farm Bureau Insurance West Virginia.

After the Saturday evening banquet, Becky Shackelford of Preston County and Bruce Loyd of Barbour County both received Distinguished Service Awards.

This award is one of the highest honors bestowed upon a member in recognition of their contribution to the establishment, development, advancement or improvement of agriculture through their service to WVFB.

Representing more than 9,000 members, the West Virginia Farm Bureau was founded in 1919 to provide leadership, education, information, training and economic services to county farm bureaus to enhance the quality of life for its membership. For more information visit www.wvfarm.org.

 Cadet Senior Airman Madisyn Porter (right), accepts an award on behalf of the Potomac Highlands Composite Squardron.

Cadet Senior Airman Madisyn Porter, a member of Petersburg’s local squadron, accepted an award on behalf of the entire squadron at this year’s fifth annual Aerospace Education Weekend held at the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center in Bridgeport.

PHCS received this award by attending multiple aerospace education events throughout the year.

Many cadets and senior members from all of the state of West Virginia attended the annual event, as well as a few members from the Pennsylvania Wing. Members from both wings spent the weekend participating in STEM activities, AE lessons and more.

All members had the opportunity to tour Pratt & Whitney Engine Services and MHI RJ Aviation Group. During these tours, Civil Air Patrol members had the chance to learn more about career opportunities that are close to home.

Throughout the weekend, cadets learned together, met new people, made new friends and accomplished new goals.

Civil Air Patrol holds high the award-winning aerospace education program which promotes aerospace, aviation, and STEM-related careers.

To learn more about all that Civil Air Patrol has to offer, you can visit the website at www.Go-CivilAirPatrol.com or you can connect closer to home with your home squadron’s contact information at www.wv114.cap.gov.

The boards of Love Memorial Clinic and E.A. Hawse Health Center, Inc. announce the joining of these two historic and highly decorated health care centers through a mutual agreement whereby E.A. Hawse Health Center will assume the management of Love Memorial Clinic on January 2, 2024.

Operations with the Love Memorial staff will continue at their current location.

Patients should see little change with no disruption to their care since all of the current providers including Dr. Michael Riggleman and staff will continue to provide the top quality health care patients are accustomed to.

The only thing changing is they will now be employees of E.A. Hawse Health Center.

“We are stronger together than separate,” says Melissa Thompson, CEO of E.A. Hawse. “In the ever changing, competitive and challenging climate of the healthcare business, we must constantly remain vigilant for ways to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare.

“Through E.A. Hawse, Love Memorial patients will now have access to a sliding fee program for all those services we provide from dental, behavioral health, medical, pharmacy, nutritional counseling with our registered dietician, diabetic education and chiropractic. It is truly a winwin for all involved.”

Andrew Funk, administrator for Love Memorial says, “Our clinic has been committed to providing quality, affordable health care to our community for over 48 years. With this new partnership, our civic organizations and representatives, clinic staff and medical providers look forward to the continued delivery of these quality services.

 Jeff Slack and Mark Holstine

Jeffrey Slack, retiring executive director of the Region 8 Solid Waste Authority, was recently recognized by Mark Holstine, executive director of the West Virginia Solid Waste Management Board for his 15 years of service at the recent state association meeting.

Jeff started his tenure in 2008 and has led the Region 8 SWA through stabilization of its financial condition and developed interagency relationships with DNR, DEP and local governments.

He instituted multiple changes on the operations side of the authority’s two transfer stations to allow for no increases of the disposal rates for the last 10 years, all the while modernizing the handling of solid waste at both facilities with equipment upgrades and changes to the secondary transport of solid waste to the Tucker County Landfill.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced a representative from his office will meet with area residents in December to discuss consumer-related issues and answer any potential questions.

“These public events are a great way for consumers to talk one-on-one with our consumer representatives,” Morrisey said.

Richard Dennis, a consumer outreach and compliance specialist with the office, will host the events as scheduled below:

Dec. 6: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Hardy County Senior Center, 409 Spring St., Moorefield

Dec. 15: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Grant County Senior Center, 111 Virginia Ave., Petersburg

Dec. 19: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Pendleton Senior and Family Services, 231 Mill Road, Franklin

For more information, attendees are encouraged to contact Dennis at 304-539-6999.

A Maysville woman is facing charges after allegedly attempting to flee from officers on foot down Virginia Avenue in Petersburg.

The incident began on Nov. 8, when officers with the Grant County Sheriff’s Department received a call to a home located along Virginia Avenue.

When they arrived, they met with the resident of the home who explained that Elizabeth K. Lafollette, 29, of 186 Dusty Apple Ln., Maysville, was trespassing on the property despite being asked to leave multiple times.

The caller told officers that Lafollette had showed up at the home and appeared to be under the influence of an illicit substance.

When the caller asked her to leave, Lafollette refused. The caller said Lafollette had returned to the home multiple times, despite being told to leave, leading them to call 911.

According to a police report filed on the incident, as the officers began to speak with Lafollette, she began to move away from them until she started walking away down the street.

The officers noted that Lafollette appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine, based on their training and experience in drug interdiction and detection.

The officer advised Lafollette to stop walking, however, she did not comply and eventually began to run. The officers pursued. During her attempt to flee, Lafollette crossed South Grove Street but was soon caught and arrested near the old Alt’s Furniture Store.

She was then taken to the Grant County Magistrates Court Annex and later transported to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.

Lafollette was ultimately charged with obstructing an officer, fleeing from an officer and trespassing.

An investigation is ongoing into a deadly structure fire in Cabins that claimed the life of a Grant County man.

According to information shared by the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company (PVFC), the department was alerted to a residential structure fire in Cabins at 3:04 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 30.

Once on the scene, the firefighters confirmed a working structure fire with a possible entrapment. The responders then began an initial offensive attack on the blaze. However, the scene was soon deemed unsafe and the firefighters withdrew and a more defensive response began.

Once the fire was under control a search was started and a fatality was confirmed.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s office was contacted and their investigation into the fire and the resulting death began.

“Maysville Volunteer Fire Company, Moorefield Volunteer Fire Department, Seneca Rocks VFD, and Grant County Ambulance operated on scene and we are thankful for their help,” the PVFC stated in the release.

Also operating on scene were the Grant County Medical Examiner, Potomac Edison and the Grant County Public Service District.

“Thank you also to Grant County OEM [office of emergency services] and 911 and our social members for the help on the call,” the PVFC said. “Thank you to Sheetz and 7-11 for their donations as well. Our prayers are with the family.”

At this time, an unofficial source has confirmed that the death was Grant County resident Ken Boucher, who also lived at the residence. The fire is currently under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The Petersburg City Park may soon have a new attraction, one aimed at encouraging young people in the community to enjoy the outdoors and stay physically active.

JoAnna Kuhn of the Eastern Regional Family Resource Network (ERFRN) appeared before the Grant County Commission last week to request funding assistance for a small skate park that will be constructed in the city park.

Kuhn, who had first appeared before the commission in May to discuss the project, returned to the commission during the regularly scheduled Nov. 28 meeting to request $2,500. She explained she had recently met with the Petersburg City Council, who also supported the project.

During her visit in October, the city council told Kuhn they would permit the skate park to be built on an existing concrete pad located in the park.

“This particular layout is 35x50,” Kuhn told the commission. “The concrete pad is the one in the back of the park, near the circle and behind the Little League Baseball field, so it is attached to another pavilion there. The goal would be that if the park is popular, it can be expanded and there is certainly enough space for that.”

During that meeting, the council approved $2,500 of Kuhn’s $5,000 request, urging her to appear before the commission and request the other half of the balance.

Kuhn presented a proposed layout for the skate park, featuring six small ramps and additional rails. She said the intention was for the park to be usable for everything from skateboards and bicycles to roller skates and wheelchairs.

Kuhn also told the commission that the project would feature multiple pieces of artwork done by muralist Kelson Thorne. She said that the artwork would feature prevention-based themes, encouraging kids to stay in school, avoid drugs and not to use vapes.

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