Boos & Applause

Applause to Mountain State Street Machines and organizer Tammy Dolly for bringing back the annual Independence Day weekend car show to downtown Elkins. The event, which began with a cruise-in last Friday evening and culminated with grand prizes being presented Sunday, drew crowds each of the three days to the downtown area. Here’s hoping the Auto Extravaganza will be a holiday fixture in Elkins for years to come.

Applause to Miss Elkins Area Madeline Collins, who was named Miss West Virginia 2018. She was the second runner-up in last year’s pageant. Collins will represent West Virginia in the Miss America Pageant Sept. 9 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Applause to the Elkins Babe Ruth 15-year-old All Stars, who won the state championship in Huntington last weekend. The squad will now move on to the Ohio Valley Regional Tournament, which takes place July 27-30. Applause also to the 11-12-year-old Elkins Little League All-Stars, who are heading to Huntington to compete in the state tourney July 20.

Applause to the Emma Scott Garden Club for bringing back eight awards to Elkins from the West Virginia Garden Club’s state convention. President Patricia Mayes said eight of the 10 projects the club submitted were honored during the event.

Applause to Circle No. 5 of First United Methodist Church in Elkins for presenting gift baskets to the mother of a baby born on the Fourth of July each year. On Wednesday, Circle No. 5’s Toni Herron and Carrie Wetsch presented gifts to mother Mozella Marks and her baby, Alexander Reed Conti, who was born Wednesday morning in Davis Medical Center and weighed 7 pounds and 6 ounces.

Boo to the mismanagement revealed in the Legislative Auditor’s Office’s report on how disaster relief funds were handled after one of the worst floods in West Virginia history. The report shows that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the state millions of dollars after the flooding in June 2016. The West Virginia Department of Commerce took the lead in handling the funds, but that agency had no experience with flood recovery. What followed became a bureaucratic swamp of illegal contracts. The report even questions whether any homes have been constructed under the RISE Housing Restoration Program. It’s no surprise that Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher and other state officials resigned in the aftermath of this boondoggle. Gov. Jim Justice’s administration is working to correct the problems, but one wonders if federal funds will be quite so accessible to West Virginia the next time disaster strikes.