Boos & Applause

Editor’s note: During the course of a week, issues are covered that might not lend themselves to full editorial comment, but they are worthy of The Inter-Mountain weighing in – pro, con or neutral.

Applause to Brandon Simmons, an Elkins High School senior, for taking the initiative to raise funds to purchase a bullet-proof vest for Macy, the Elkins Police Department’s K9 officer. The city police go above and beyond in their duty to protect and serve the residents of Elkins. Officer Macy is a vital cog in the department and deserves the same protection afforded to the her two-legged counterparts.

Applause to Corridor H Authority Chairman Steve Foster, who spoke at a press conference at the Upshur County Regional Airport Authority earlier this week. Foster announced economic impact analysis figures showing that a completion date of 2020 would introduce $1.25 billion in new revenue to the Mountain State. The current completion date for the project is 2036, partly because of federal funding limitations. We urge the federal government to accelerate the completion date nearer to 2020. The $1.25 billion in revenue could go a long way in revitalizing not only the seven-county region the highway passes through, but also the entire state.

Applause to the local Cub and Boy scouts who are scouring the area today collecting food items for area pantries and soup kitchens. This annual drive goes a long way in helping the area’s less fortunate residents – especially during the holiday season. We urge the residents of Elkins and select surrounding communities to give generously to this worthwhile cause. The Scouting for Food program is just another example of local people helping other locals – a sentiment that has deep roots in our community. Scouts will be out all morning collecting donations. Items can be places in grocery bags and left in plain view for pickup.

Boos to the West Virginia Head Start Collaboration Office and the federal government for eliminating the much-needed Head Start program in Tucker County. State officials axed the initiative because of a lack of federal funding. Due to automatic federal spending cuts, 461 classroom spots were eliminated in the Mountain State. Both federal and state governments stress the importance of education, but when it comes right down to it, learning always is sacrificed to support frivolous programs that carry little or no impact.

Applause and congratulations to the city of Philippi on the opening of its new police headquarters on South Main Street. The police department is looking into the possibility of expanding the number of officers employed, which will ensure the city remains a safe and prosperous community.

Boos & Applause

Editor’s note: During the course of a week, issues are covered that might not lend themselves to full editorial comment, but they are worthy of The Inter-Mountain weighing in – pro, con or neutral.

Applause to Davis & Elkins College, which is celebrating a milestone this weekend with the dedication of two completely refurbished athletic facilities. D&E has made amazing strides during the last five years, and these activities are further proof that the school is a treasure of our community.

Applause to the many employees and officials of the Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad and the Elkins Train Depot, who kept the local tourism train industry running smoothly this week following last Friday’s tragic wreck in southern Randolph County. The crash, involving a logging truck and the Cheat Mountain Salamander excursion train, resulted in the death of the truck driver and 23 injuries. It’s difficult to keep spirits up after such an event, but these workers did just that this week, helping passengers on and off the trains with a smile. That kind of positive attitude is essential to continuing Elkins’ growth as a tourism destination.

Applause – or at least a half-hearted “Way to go … finally” – to the Congress and President Barack Obama for working together to end the 16-day federal government shutdown Wednesday night, just before the midnight deadline. We’d like to think this will usher in a new spirit of cooperation among our elected officials, but who are we kidding? Like most Americans, we’ve become cynical about our leaders and their ability to govern. We can, however, at least breathe a sigh of relief that the government can continue to pay its bills … on credit … for now.

Boo to forecasts of snow next week. We booed the same thing last weekend and look what happened – no snow this week! So we’re going to boo the arrival of winter once again, hoping that somehow it will help ward off the snow for a little while longer. Like the commercial says, “It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work.”

Boos & Applause

Applause to every individual who took part in the tremendous rescue effort at the scene of a tourist train’s collision with a logging truck on Cheat Mountain Friday afternoon. Longtime emergency workers said they had never seen such a strong spirit of cooperation among a huge group of law enforcement agencies, fire departments and emergency medical service agencies. Everyone involved deserves our gratitude and deep respect.

Applause to the Elkins Youth Football and cheerleading teams, who are hosting a fundraising event for the family of South Harrison High School football player Dylan Jeffries today. The teams and cheerleaders will be at Wimer Stadium from 1 to 9 p.m. with fundraising jars. Money collected will go to the Jeffries family to offset medical costs for Dylan, who passed away Sunday night after collapsing during a game on Sept. 27. Individuals interested in making a donation and unable to do so in person can send checks made out to Elkins Youth Football in care of Jim Poyner, 15 Locust St., Elkins.

Boo to those who made things difficult for all of us during the Mountain State Forest Festival this year, creating needless litter and leaving trash on the streets for the city of Elkins to clean up. In conjunction with this boo, we applaud all the city workers who so quickly transformed downtown Elkins from an unsightly mess last Saturday evening to a sparkling-clean city by Sunday morning. They pull off this quick-change trick every October, and all Elkins residents appreciate their efforts.

Boo to Mother Nature, who blessed us with fine weather during the Forest Festival but now has turned fickle. This week we experienced the first seriously cold temperatures of this fall, giving us a small but unwanted taste of winter. There are even whispers of predictions of snow for late next week. Boo, hiss!