Fire Damages Family Dentistry Office Thursday
Area firefighters responded last Thursday, January 22, to the Glade Street Family Dentistry office in Philippi of Gary Cunningham, D.D.S. The alarm was sounded at about 12:45 p.m. while the office was closed and staff at lunch. Several rooms on the front side of the two-story structure were damaged by fire with smoke damage throughout the rest of the building.
Local fire officials noted that there was no one in the building at the time of the blaze as “they had gone out to lunch.” Philippi VFD fire chief, Dave Utt, said that the fire started in the front entrance area of the first floor. There were several buildings near by but received no fire damage it was reported. Officials went on to say that the building is uninhabitable at present but is salvageable. A fire cause was not given.
Main Street was closed for much of the afternoon as fire crews were using the hydrant located there.
Also responding to the scene were fire departments from Belington, Junior, Nutter Fort, Stonewood and Bridgeport while Elkins and Coalton filled in at nearby fire stations. Also at the scene was the Barbour County Emergency Squad, Philippi Police Dept. and Barbour County Sheriff’s Department.
Free Classes To Be Held By The Tygarts Valley Conservation District And WVU Extension Service
Tygarts Valley Conservation District and WVU Extension Service are offering several educational programs for early 2015.
Farm Educational Dinners:
Thursday February 12, 2015, Baleage by Dr. Ed Rayburn Extension Specialist, WVU at the Parsons Senior Center 6:30 p.m.
Thursday March 12, 2015, Heifer Development by Dr. Kevin Shaffer, Extension Assistant Professor with the WVUES and the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design at Camp Pioneer in Randolph County at 6:30 p.m.
Reservations are required by the Monday before each meeting. Call the Tygarts Valley Conservation District office to make reservation at (304) 457-3026. Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. with the program starting at 7:15 p.m. The meeting itself will continue to be free of charge to farmers.
The next series of classes will be a Pollinator and Beginning Beekeeping class.
Tuesday February 12, 2015, Pollinators by Daniel Frank, WVU Extension Specialist Entomology
Tuesday February 17, 2015, Beginning Beekeeping – Honey Bee Biology and Equipment Needed by Joyce Frey, WV Master Beekeeper
Tuesday February 24, 2015, Getting Your Bees Now What Do I Do? by Joyce Frey
Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Colony Management, Common Problems and Solutions. by Joyce Frey.
Tuesday March 10, 2015, Diseases, Parasites, Pests & Predators and How to Deal with Them by Joyce Frey
Tuesday March 17, 2015, Products of the Hive – Honey Processing by Joyce Frey
The classes will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Tygarts Valley Conservation District Office. Registration is required because of limited seating. Please call the District office at (304) 457-3026 to make your reservations. The classes are free of charge.
This is a great opportunity to learn new farm management strategies and the importance of pollinators and beekeeping.
Philippi Council Meets In Regular Session
Philippi City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, January 20, at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers within the Philippi City Building.
At the meeting, the council members approved the transfer of the reserve account at the municipal bond commission funds into a reserve savings account for the sewer department. The total amount of the funds is $38,197.82. The funds will not be spent unless needed and approved by council.
In addition, City Manager Karen Weaver explained that the wastewater treatment plant is nearing completion. An open house will be planned for the spring to showcase the new water plants.
Weaver also said that the city will begin to start looking at and implementing upgrades to the electrical system at the city’s main substation and other parts within Philippi. Council and Weaver also discussed possible upgrades to the city pool.
Philippi City Council will meet again on Tuesday, February 17, at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers. There will be no meeting the first week of February as several members of council will be unable to attend.
February Draws Near...
Local residents are already tired of the winter of 2015 as the last week of January has most already looking forward to Saint Valentine’s Day (note porch flag on one Philippi house) and the arrival of spring. Monday is Groundhog Day and folks here are hoping French Creek Freddy calls for springs early coming.
The winter storm that hit the northeast the first part of this week did not have a big punch here. Schools in Barbour County were on a two-hour delay Tuesday but Monday’s official temperatures at Elkins were just about normal at 23 degrees for the low and 36 for the high.
Snowfall made highway travel its normal “difficult” but was not what would be considered as heavy. The scene above is in the center part of the county off of old Rt. 250 (note Philip Barbour High School in the background).
Temperatures are forecast to remain on the cold side today and Friday with the highs the nex not climbing out of the 20’s but some relief is expected between with Thursday’s high near 41 degrees. There is a slight chance of snow Friday morning here with heavier snowfall possible in the state’s northern mountains. Snow is also likely Sunday into Sunday night.
Alderson Broaddus Announces Petroleum Management Degree
ABU, Pierpont Community & Technical College team up to offer degree completion program
During a press conference held on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, Alderson Broaddus University and Pierpont Community & Technical College announced a joint venture for a major in petroleum management. The announcement was made at FESCO, Ltd. in Bridgeport, W.Va.
Alderson Broaddus University, working as the degree completion partner, will provide a bachelor degree opportunity for students who earn an associate of applied science degree in petroleum technology at Pierpont Community & Technical College. Building on the petroleum technology curriculum, graduates will acquire expanded skills and knowledge for success in the management and regulatory practices of the oil and gas industry.
“Today, we will sign an articulation agreement that will forge a partnership that begins with the Pierpont Community & Technical College petroleum technology program, and allow students to complete a Bachelor of Science in petroleum management at Alderson Broaddus University,” said Dr. Richard Creehan, Alderson Broaddus University President. “The program will launch next fall, and we are recruiting and accepting students—effective immediately.”
The petroleum technology program at Pierpont Community & Technical College includes 60 credits of study; 15 credits in general education courses and 45 credits specific to the petroleum industry. Alderson Broaddus will accept the credits from Pierpont Community & Technical College, and provide additional 61-64 credits of study to round out the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum management.
“Colleges and universities must be sensitive to the demand of twenty-first century, market-driven programs,” said Creehan. “For the past three years, the Alderson Broaddus University faculty has been hard at work making significant revisions to academic programs and developing new initiatives. This partnership will have a positive impact on both college campuses and the business industry.”
Justin Findley, representing the Findley family who started FESCO commented that FESCO was formed in 1949 by William E. (Bill) Findley in Alice, Texas and has grown to more than 23 district offices servicing more than 20 states.
“FESCO is proud to employee 47 full time West Virginia residents, 75% of whom were born and raised locally,” said Findley. “Additionally, nearly 25% of Team Appalachia are veterans, including Regional Manager, Jack Cooper, who is a native of Bolt, W.Va.”
Cooper stated that this type of vision and initiative coupled with West Virginia’s natural gas, oil, coal, and wind power generation capabilities further proves that “the Mountain State is America’s Energy Independence.”
The Honorable Natalie E. Tennant, West Virginia Secretary of State, showed her support and also addressed the audience of more than 100 guests including representatives of several oil and gas and energy companies, school officials from both Alderson Broaddus University and Pierpont Community & Technical College, and many local business owners and chamber of commerce members.
“This is an exciting day for our state,” said Tennant. “West Virginians have a right to feel ownership over these natural gas jobs that are being created in our backyards. I am thrilled that steps are being taken to properly train our students for management positions in this burgeoning industry.”
Tennant echoed the pride in training West Virginia students for West Virginia jobs.
“Not every college major has a guaranteed job waiting for them after graduation, but students focused on petroleum technology in West Virginia certainly have a better chance of lucrative employment than many of their peers,” said Tennant. “I hope this announcement will attract more students to a potential career in oil and gas that they perhaps had previously not considered.”
Dr. Ross Brittain, Dean of the College of Science, Technology and Math at Alderson Broaddus University explained the importance of the bachelor’s degree as well as the courses students would take.
“Today, Alderson Broaddus University and Pierpont Community & Technical College are joining the forces of industry to educate a new generation of leaders with the technical expertise to ensure the Petroleum Industry has a sustainable future of energy stewardship,” said Brittain.
The petroleum management major at ABU is not only multidisciplinary, but also multi-institutional.
“It is designed to provide petroleum technology graduates from Pierpont Community & Technical College with the regulatory and managerial knowledge and ethics to maintain profitable energy production while providing sustainable stewardship thru regulatory compliance,” said Brittain. “Students enrolled in the petroleum management program will not only gain the liberal arts education critical to effective leadership, but also develop their technical skills as environmental scientists and business managers.”
Students will take classes in ecology, hydrogeology, risk analysis and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the environmental sciences, as well as management, human resources, accounting and operations as part of their education training.
Each graduate is also required to take classes on the federal and state environmental regulations for the industry and an environmental ethics course to aid in their understanding of personal and social conflicts often involved with environmental issues. The program is capped by an internship with an existing business that can be tailored to their specific interests in either business management or regulatory compliance.
“We are excited to be partnering with industry leaders, such as FESCO, to provide these internships and help us educate effective managers,” said Brittain.
Petroleum management graduates will have the technical expertise to navigate important regulations from the Clean Water Act to the Oil & Petroleum Act, and other landmark regulations such as the Endangered Species Act and Superfund. They will be able to assess the health and safety risks associated with industry practices and implement best management practices to prevent or mitigate unacceptable risks. Most importantly, they will also be able to prevent expensive mistakes of regulatory noncompliance by the industry and increasing the efficiency of site location, pipeline location and water analyses.
“All of these skills will make them far more competitive in the current job market and give them greater future opportunities to climb the corporate ladder,” said Brittain. “Job options for graduates of the petroleum management program are abundant in a variety of disciplines within the industry.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job market growth ranging from 10.4% for Industrial Production Managers up to 47.5% for Environmental Science and Protection Technicians. Compliance Officers are projected to have 14.6% growth and Extraction Workers up to 28.8%.
During his remarks, President Creehan also talked about the articulation agreement as a great example of how public and private colleges can work together, as well as a great example of how higher education and business and commerce can work together to accomplish a mutually beneficial objective.
“It is mutually beneficial because the energy sector today is looking for college graduates who are prepared to deal with regulatory, compliance, and entry-level management positions,” said Creehan. “Energy is the fastest growing field in our region and certainly in our great State of West Virginia. It is also mutually beneficial as it gives us the opportunity to fill the void of needed workers in the public sector. The hope and dream of most college students is to find employment in a field of their interest, and in high paying jobs. Pierpont and Alderson Broaddus are pleased to join forces to satisfy the growing demand for well-educated college graduates in the energy field.”
Alderson Broaddus University is continuing to work on adding more academic initiatives, which will be announced soon. For more information on the petroleum management program, visit www.ab.edu.
Elkins Army Reserve Recruitment Office Presents Plaque To Philippi KFC
Last Wednesday, Philippi KFC was presented with a special plaque from the Army Reserve Recruitment officers out of Elkins.
Staff Sergeant Travis Mitchell and his fellow recruitment officers from Elkins wanted to express their gratitude to KFC Franchisees Joe and Penny Booth for their dedication to honor our country’s armed forces by providing free meals to all active military and veterans in uniform.
“I’m not expecting this type of service, but it is nice when it’s offered,” said Staff Sergeant Mitchell. “We wanted to give something back to them for supporting us.”
Staff Sergeant Mitchell recalled the first time he ventured into the Philippi KFC. As he looked over the menu items, Mitchell was asked what he wanted to eat—and surprised when he was told he would be eating free of charge. Staff Sergeant Mitchell explained that every time one someone from his department visits the Philippi KFC, they are treated with the same unique and appreciative service.
The special plaque presented by Mitchell’s department states that the Philippi KFC is Elkins’ favorite KFC to show that the location is the Elkins’ Army Recruitment Officers favorite KFC.
“It’s the least we can do for the sacrifice our veterans and their families have made,” said franchisee Penny Booth. Booth is no stranger to the challenges faced by these families, as she has many family members, including her father, who have served in the armed forces. “We feel like it’s our duty to make sure that they are taken care of.”
Joe and Penny Booth have operated the Philippi KFC since 1996. Staff Sergeant Travis Mitchell is an Army Recruitment Officer stationed in Elkins.
New Student Registration Available At All Schools
Barbour County residents are reminded that registration for all new students, especially kindergarten, can be done at any time at all school locations. This includes locations that do not currently have kindergarten programs. Registration should be completed as soon as possible.
Parents may register children at all grade levels at any of the county’s nine schools. Parents are encouraged to register kindergarten and other students before Friday, January 30; however, students may still be registered after the January 30 date.
Blue & Gray Reunion Committee Meets
The Blue & Gray Reunion Committee met last Wednesday in Council Chambers within the Philippi City Building. As a new crew of officers takes the lead, the Blue & Gray committees are relearning the long and laborious work behind the scenes that it takes to put on the treasured reunion each year.
Newly elected officers are Ed Larry, chairman; Kenny Carder, vice chairman; Linda Proudfoot, treasurer; and Marija Ilic, secretary. Chairman Ed Larry says that the change in officers comes as the former officers decided to step back after several years of dedication to the committee. Larry stated that the previous officers are giving “150 percent” to help the new officers learn the process.
During the meeting, the officers motioned to abandon fireworks for this year’s reunion. The new officers concluded that it would be in their best interest to take it slow and steady as they learn the ropes before leaping into costly and troublesome ventures such as fireworks. The motion was thoroughly discussed and successfully passed upon a vote.
The Blue & Gray Reunion Committee will meet again tonight, Wednesday, February 28, at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Philippi City Building. The Blue & Gray Reunion Committee meets once a month on every third Wednesday.
Meet The Candidates To Be Held Feb. 17
The Belington Revitalization Committee (BRC)/On TRAC is sponsoring a Meet the Candidates Night on Tuesday, February 17, at the Belington Fire Hall for the upcoming Belington City Election. The positions being filled include: Mayor and City Council seats for each ward.
An informal “Meet and Greet” reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with light refreshments being provided by the BRC/OnTRAC. An Open Forum for the candidates will then begin at 6 p.m. with each candidate having the opportunity to give a three minute summary of why he/she should be elected to office. The evening will then wrap-up with a question and answer period.
The BRC/OnTRAC encourages all Belington residents and anyone else who wants to see Belington become a better place to come out to the Belington Fire Hall to meet the candidates on February 17. This is an important opportunity for Belington residents to learn about their candidates and be able to make an informed vote in Belington’s March 3rd election.
Candidates for Mayor include: Bobby King and Matt Ryan. City Council Candidates include: Ward 1, Jerry Phillips and Chuck Alth; Ward 2, Craig Bolton III and Dylan Costa(write-in); Ward 3, Suzanne Skidmore, Dana Booth, Heather Hart, and Sonny Moore; and Ward 4, Joey Bolyard, Arley Stout, Pam Allen, and Kelly Kittle.
For more information, Contact Terri Kittle at (304) 823-1792 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MVES Purchases Take-Home Tablets For Third And Fourth Graders
Coastal Timberlands Company purchased tablets for all of Mount Vernon Elementary School’s third and fourth grade students to take home. The students will be using these as a flipped classroom. This is one more way for the students to master the Common Core State Standards and prepare for their future. Some of the tablets will be used in kindergarten through second grade for select students. Tablets will be given to all students if and when more funds are donated.