Boos & Applause

Applause to J.C. Raffety, who was honored by the city of Elkins Thursday for his service over the past year, which included serving first as the interim Elkins Police Chief and then as special investigator for the department. Raffety took the helm of the department during a particularly difficult time, as a controversial memo circulated by the previous chief was being investigated. Raffety, whose resignation was accepted Dec. 21, deserves the praise the city heaped on him and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Applause to the current Elkins Police Chief Glenn Galloway, who is moving quickly to fill two newly created officer positions for his department. So quickly, in fact, that a patrolman was sworn in Thursday just moments after Elkins City Council approved the creation of the two positions. “We’re looking to hopefully fill the other one soon,” Galloway said. With so many residents complaining about local crime, his sense of urgency is admirable.

Applause to another former school being obtained by a group that wants to put it to use. The Randolph County Board of Education voted Tuesday to transfer ownership of Homestead Elementary School to an area group that plans to utilize the facility as a center for the community. The Tygart Valley Homestead Association gained ownership of the school and its 17 acre tract following the board’s vote. Homestead Association president Tom Rennix said the group hopes to have something to offer for everyone.

Applause to the city of Elkins and a community volunteer for being honored by the West Virginia Make it Shine program. Elkins was one of seven cities statewide to receive a 2017 Clean Community Award. Also receiving an award was Melodee Price, who has coordinated the Elkins Make it Shine program. Price has led local efforts to clean up riverbeds, ditches, roadways and illegal dumping grounds.

Boo to local residents who are illegally discarding hazardous materials at public facilities. Buckhannon City Council unanimously voted to approve an ordinance that will criminalize the depositing or attempted depositing of asbestos at any facility owned or operated by the Waste Collection Board. City attorney Tom O’Neill explained the ordinance surfaced after two incidents occurred at the transfer station, in which asbestos was dumped or attempted to be dumped. One of those cases cost the city a few thousand dollars in damages. Once asbestos is dumped in the bin, the whole bin is considered contaminated, noted O’Neill.