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West Virginia’s chief election official is requesting the recension of an executive order issued by President Joe Biden directing federal agencies to make plans to conduct state-level voter registration services unauthorized by state law.

Over the last five years, W.Va. Secretary of State Mac Warner has been a frequent visitor to Capitol Hill to discuss the role and responsibilities of state election officials. He’s been a vocal critic of the administration’s attempts to take federal control of state election processes beyond the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Warner’s advice and counsel has been sought by members of Congress and he has testified twice before committees of the U.S. Senate.

But this time, Secretary Warner is directly speaking to the White House to voice his concern over Executive Order #14019 issued by President Biden. The executive order, like other federal laws and regulations, has the misleading title, “Promoting Access to Voting”. In reality, it’s a directive to put plans into place whereby the federal government duplicates state voter registration activities.

The Intelligencer - Wheeling

With a boost from a federal government grant, it looks as though West Virginia is well on its way to being able to launch its three-digit system for giving those with mental health issues or suicidal thoughts quick access to help.

When the state Department of Health and Human Resources launches 988 on July 16, it will truly be a lifeline.

Right now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center based in Charleston answers West Virginia calls to (800) 273-TALK (8255).

“Coming in July, that number is going to be even more accessible,’’ said Sheila Moran, communications and marketing director for First Choice Services. “People will be able to dial simply 988 to reach someone 24 hours a day. So, anyone who is feeling suicidal, or any kind of mental health crisis, can call that line.’’

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) has announced new local mobile office dates during May.

Members of Sen. Capito’s staff will be available to provide constituents one-on-one assistance with casework and other issues they may be experiencing with federal agencies.

Appointments are not required but are encouraged, and they can be made by visiting Sen. Capito’s mobile office page on her website capito.senate.gov

Thursday, May 19: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Senior Center, 111 Virginia Ave., Petersburg

Ten students from Petersburg High School formed four teams and competed in the “Breakthrough Revolutionary Innovation Technology Excitement” (BRITE) Challenge on May 6. They were joined by 16 other teams from Hardy, Mineral and Tucker counties.

The BRITE Challenge was hosted through a collaboration between Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College and the National Youth Science Center called Makerspace that is funded by a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Makerspace aims to provide equipment and tools to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education for students across the Potomac Highlands.

This year’s Outstanding Student of the Year started her own nonprofit, excelled academically as well as on the field, and discovered her passion while on a mission trip.

Marissa Earle, from Petersburg, was recently named the Outstanding Student of the Year for 2022 at West Virginia University Potomac State College. As the Outstanding Student, Earle delivered the graduation message to fellow students as well as introducing the keynote speaker during commencement ceremonies.

Earle graduated May 6, with a bachelor’s degree in business management and has been named to the president’s list for all semesters that she’s attended Potomac State College.

This past fall, she was a recipient of the prestigious Catamount’s Climb Higher award which recognizes students for resiliency; exemplifying an outstanding work ethic; practicing kindness and for displaying a positive attitude.

The Petersburg middle school and high school bands will be performing their end-of-year concerts this Friday at 7 p.m. in the Landes Arts Center Harr Theater.

Both bands, under the direction of Faith Smith, traveled to Philip Barbour High School for ratings, where both received all 2s.

The high school band also participated in the Spring Mountain Festival parade and National Day of Prayer.

Along with the bands, the PHS Chorus will also be performing.

The community is welcome to attend the event at no cost.

The Petersburg City Pool is looking a bit more beautiful thanks to the combined efforts of the city and local artist Kelson Thorne.

Last week, Thorne put the finishing touches on a new piece of artwork on the pool floor. The city pool also added new poolside furniture for the season as well as upcoming plans to add a new splash-pad and similar updates.

The Petersburg City Pool is scheduled to open for the season on May 28 at noon.

According to a report released by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), Grant County has one of the highest elementary school reading proficiency rates in the state.

The report gave the findings of the third grade West Virginia Summerative Assessment, which included testing results from students across the state.

This report is a massive improvement from 10 years ago, when the county ranked 46 out of 55 for reading proficiency.

“I think this feedback really speaks to the strength of our early education programs,” said Vanessa Harlow, the county’s director of federal programs. “Starting from the early age of pre-kindergarten (pre-k) and following them as they are going into kindergarten and later in first and second grade. We have a solid curriculum and good teachers so that we can have kids reading at grade level by third grade.”

Grant County’s recreation areas will be seeing some positive updates, with the county being awarded two grants worth more than $40,000 for projects in both Mount Storm and Petersburg.

The first grant, worth $25,000, will be used to pave the Mount Storm Walking Trail located behind the Allegheny Mountain Top Public Library.

The idea to pave the trail was suggested by the commission during the effort to install a walking trail along the Petersburg levy. However, while the funding was not awarded for the walking trail in Petersburg, the Mount Storm project is now funded. It is important to note, there will be additional grant applications submitted for the Petersburg project. The Mount Storm grant, which was announced during the May 9 meeting of the Grant County Commission, comes from the Local Economic Development Assistance and will also cover any repairs necessary to the walking trail during the paving process.

Primary election results

After all the votes were tallied on the night of the 2022 Grant County Primary Election, a single vote separated multiple candidates for the Grant County Board of Education, meaning this unprecedently close contest remained undecided until after county canvassing was completed yesterday morning.

According to the West Virginia Secretary of State, canvassing is a proceeding required by law in which the materials, equipment and results of an election are reviewed, corrected and officially recorded prior to the certification of that election. This process was held Monday morning beginning at 9 a.m.

One aspect that could have played an unusually high role in the results this year were provisional ballots.

Provisional ballots are special paper ballots cast when a voter’s registration is uncertain, this can happen if they very recently moved to the area or if they are attempting to vote in the incorrect precinct. And, in the case of the Grant County Board of Education race, the actual results nearly came down to these often-misunderstood voting protocols.

Over the past decade, West Virginia CEOS members performed more than 5.6 million hours of service for communities in need.

WVCEOS is a voluntary, nonprofit organization functioning in cooperation with the West Virginia University Extension Service. It is one of the largest educational organizations in the nation.

CEOS program areas of emphasis include preserving the environment, building family strengths, and increasing awareness of our global interdependence. Through dedicated service, continued education and leadership development, CEOS members strengthen individuals, families and communities across West Virginia.

In West Virginia, the first club (then a Farm Women’s Club) was established on Dec. 14, 1914.

Editor - Camille Howard;
News Editor - Erin Camp;
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Bookkeeping - Peggy Hughes;
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© 2017-2022 Grant County Press

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