Boos & Applause

Applause to the announcement Wednesday, by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., that the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area will be designated as a National Heritage Area. Dozens of local officials and residents attending the announcement at the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center applauded their approval Wednesday afternoon. Local resident Phyllis Baxter, an AFHA official who has been working toward the designation for the past 18 years, said, “Today we’re celebrating a huge step towards our National Heritage Area bill. Now that it has passed in the Senate, it will move forward to the House of Representatives and be signed, and once that happens we will have achieved our once-unreachable goal of passing our bill through Congress.” “God bless you for what you’ve been able to do here,” Manchin said to Baxter. Manchin also met with students at West Virginia Wesleyan College and with Elkins business leaders on Wednesday.

Applause to the eight young adults who were honored during the 2019 graduation of the YouthBuild of North Central West Virginia program. Officials, family and friends gathered at the Phil Gainer Community Center to celebrate the accomplishments of the students and wish them well as they embarked on the next chapter of their lives. Karen Jacobson, executive director of the program, noted the Randolph County Housing Authority has sponsored YouthBuild for more than 20 years. Projects this year’s graduates have worked on included building skate ramps for Glendale Park in Elkins; building picnic tables for Camp Pioneer; and building sheds for the United Way of Randolph County.

Applause to Elliot White for setting a new Elkins High School record. In the third quarter of Thursday night’s win at Tygarts Valley, White became the all-time leading scorer in EHS history. During his career, the sharp-shooting guard passed such Tiger legends as Scott Shepherd, Roy Simms, Nick Patella, Logan Phillips, Nic Hammond and Brad Bennett — all 1,000 career point scorers. He now sets atop of that group of legends with 1,297 points after moving ahead of Clint Crosston, who netted 1,292 points during his career in the orange and black from 1990-93.

Applause to the Randolph County Parks and Recreation Board’s announcement that Sarah Cunningham is the new executive director of Camp Pioneer at Beverly. Cunningham will provide leadership at Camp Pioneer in all aspects, including maintenance of the grounds, scheduling, hiring, organizing events, getting donations and obtaining grants for the facility along with handling everyday situations. Cunningham said she is very excited to be a part of the Camp Pioneer family and expects to see tremendous growth in the coming years.

Applause to the statewide teachers strike ending after only two days this week. However you felt about Senate Bill 451, the education reform omnibus package which was ultimately killed this week, no one wanted the state’s children to be out of school for a prolonged period. Here’s hoping both the teachers’ and service personnel unions and the GOP-controlled state Legislature can work together more smoothly — and productively — in the coming years.