Boos & Applause

Applause to Davis & Elkins College for extending the contract of Chris Wood, the college’s president. Wood became the school’s 15th president in August 2016, and in the past two years led the charge to the successful completion of D&E’s 10-year $100 million funding campaign. Officials say the school has experienced an increase in giving during Wood’s tenure. Wood has also become a local fixture in the community, taking part in countless Elkins and Randolph County events, always representing Davis & Elkins in a positive and upbeat manner, often with his wife, Lisa Messinger Wood, at his side. Chris Wood has become a tremendous asset to the college and the community, and it’s good news to learn that he’ll be in Elkins for years to come.

Applause to drivers following the rules of the road and staying alert now that the new school year is about to start. Classes will begin in all our public schools within the next week, and that means traffic will be a little heavier each morning and afternoon, especially around school zones. This week, please pay attention to school zone flashing beacons and obey school zone speed limits. Stop behind and don’t pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. Watch for students gathering near bus stops — and for kids arriving late — who may dart into the street. Those school buses are carrying precious cargo, and we want all our local students to travel safely to and from school each day.

Applause to the Elkins Rotary Club, which is offering funding and services to every school in Randolph County. This week, Rotarian Pat Schoonover told a gathering of county school principals about the club’s activities. The first project she explained is that in recent years the club has given every fifth-grade student in the county an atlas to both use at school and take home with them. For ninth-grade students, a program called Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) is offered to teach students about leadership roles. The third project is that Elkins Rotary Club offers grant monies to schools and libraries throughout the county. Schoonover closed her presentation by urging all schools to apply for funds and noted last year every school and library in the county received some sort of funding.

Boo to the shocking news this week that all the sitting justices on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals may be impeached. The House Judiciary Committee passed 14 of 16 articles of impeachment against the sitting judges Tuesday, one day after the Committee toured the extensive — and extravagant — renovations to several justices’ offices with media in tow. While most of the articles of impeachment were brought against Tucker County native Allen Loughry, the committee approved articles against Robin Davis, Margaret Workman and Beth Walker, the newest justice on the court. Former justice Menis Ketchum retired in July the day before the committee convened and last week pleaded guilty to an information in U.S. District Court accusing him of wire fraud over the personal use of a state vehicle. What a sad state of affairs. West Virginians are sensitive to being mocked by people from other states, but if it comes to pass, this may be a new low for us to endure: Our entire Supreme Court being swept out of office due to corruption. If it happens, that will definitely be a shameful cross for us to bear.

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