Boos & Applause

Applause to the Pendleton County Relay For Life. A total of $33,614.21 was raised to fight cancer during the event at the Franklin Firemen’s Carnival Grounds. This year more than 30 survivors were introduced and took a lap walking around the park. At dusk more than 1,000 luminaria, spelling out the word “HOPE,” were set up at the end of the field. The luminaria were then changed to spell out the word “CURE.” Today, the Relay for Life of Upshur County will be held from 6-11 p.m. at Jawbone Park, featuring the theme “Mountaineers Dream Big. Hope Big and Relay Big.”

Applause to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and Monongahela National Forest for hosting a Culture Camp during this week at Horseshoe Leadership Center in Tucker County. Twenty tribal youth and elders gathered with USDA Forest Service employees for a shared experience focused on reciprocal education, outreach and training. A number of the Culture Camp activities were opened up to the public this week.

Applause to the Davis & Elkins College Art Club for lending support to the Midland Elementary School playground project with a recent donation of a portion of the proceeds from its annual Color Run. Art Club President Cassidy Conner presented a $2,500 check to Midland physical education teacher Todd Price to aid in the project.

Boo to snafus that inconvenience taxpayers, and sometimes cost them money. This week two such situations surfaced locally. In Elkins, it was discovered that four businesses outside Elkins city limits are improperly charging the city’s new 1 percent sales tax. Meanwhile in Upshur County, officials admitted that some residents have been mailed the wrong tax statements. The Upshur problem has been blamed on a malfunctioning machine. Elkins City Clerk Jessica Sutton said the sales tax being charged by the wrong stores may have resulted from the companies’ confusion over which businesses in the 26241 zip code area are actually located within city limits. Although the mistakes may be explained away, they have resulted in problems for local residents that officials in both Upshur and Elkins are working to make right (with the help of the state Tax Department, in Elkins’ case). It’s still unclear when the people who were improperly charged the sales tax will get their money back — if ever. Here’s hoping our local governments can learn from these unfortunate situations, for the sake of the taxpayers who live in their communities.