Boos & Applause

Applause to the approximately 70 speakers and hundreds of concerned citizen who attended this week’s public hearings on the proposed closings of Volga-Century and Mt. Vernon elementary schools in Barbour County. They let the Barbour County Board of Education know just how much they wanted the schools to stay open. The BOE?will hold another hearing on Tuesday at Philippi Elementary School, where the students will be bussed if the two schools are closed.

Applause to the Randolph County Adult Drug Court program. An opening ceremony was held Monday featuring Chief Justice Brent D. Benjamin of the West Virginia Supreme Court as the keynote speaker. The program functions as a less costly alternative to incarceration, and provides incentives for drug abusers to beat their addictions. “This is a program for people who want to take control of their lives,” Circuit Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong said.

Applause to another event at the Randolph County Courthouse this week, a performance of the historical drama “A New Home for Liberty.” The play featured West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Larry Starcher, and looked back on the 50 years following the creation of the state of West Virginia.

Boo to the trend of public officials across the state getting into trouble on the job. On Tuesday, the former sheriff of Clay County pleaded guilty to a federal wiretapping charge. Then on Thursday, we learned that the late Mingo Sheriff Eugene Crum, who was gunned down on the job in April, has now been tied to a federal conspiracy charge against suspended Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury, who already was in hot water for allegedly trying to frame his secretary’s husband. The allegations against Thornsbury and Crum, if true, are shameful. Here’s hoping our elected public servants can learn from these bad examples and conduct themselves with honor and dignity.