Boos & Applause

Applause to newly appointed Barbour County Sheriff Phil Ferguson for getting off on the right foot. Having all 10 Sheriff’s Department employees renew their oaths to serve the county Friday may have been a staged photo opportunity, but at least it shows Ferguson understands his office needs to make a clean break with the past and regain the public’s trust. Former sheriff John Hawkins plead guilty to a federal mail fraud charge in February.

Applause to the American Red Cross for placing a full-time disaster program specialist, John Stormer, in Elkins. Stormer will serve Randolph, Upshur, Barbour, Lewis, Braxton and Webster counties, creating partnerships and recruiting volunteers. In light of 2012’s derecho and Superstorm Sandy, his help in our area is greatly appreciated.

Applause to George Triplett, the Elkins Middle School eighth-grader who will represent our area in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. The community is proud of him and wishes him the best of luck. Applause also goes out to John Logar, a Davis Health System emergency room physician who won the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational foot race Wednesday in Nome, Alaska. He completed the outdoor race in just under 24 days. Brrrrr – and we think it’s been a long, cold winter here.

Boo to those officials who still – in violation of the law – refuse to operate government openly and transparently. This week The Inter-Mountain participated in Sunshine Week, running editorials every day about the public’s right to know how their business – and their tax money – is being handled. We hope the local officials who persist in holding unannounced governmental meetings, and going into executive sessions without giving reasons – or entering into several executive sessions every meeting, spending more meeting time behind closed doors than in front of the public – were paying attention this week.