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Boos & Applause

Applause to everyone throughout our region who took part in ceremonies Wednesday marking the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Mayor Van Broughton asked first responders, veterans and members of the community to gather around the flagpole at Elkins City Hall at noon Wednesday. At Davis & Elkins College, scores of campus and local community members attended a 9/11 ceremony Wednesday. Buckhannon Mayor David McCauley read a proclamation at Buckhannon City Hall Wednesday memorializing the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Ceremonies like this ensure that we never forgot the tragedies of that sad day.

Applause to the unveiling of the renovations of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, some of which were designed by WVWC students. Lauren Hatcher, president of the student body, said she worked with a group of students, architects and others in the Wesleyan community to alter the space to the needs of current and future students.

Applause to the local officials who took part in a special class offered by the West Virginia Ethics Commission in Elkins this week. Andrew Herrick, staff attorney for the Ethics Commission, presented to public officials and members of the community information about the Ethics Act and the Open Meetings Act. Herrick explained how government officials should avoid private gain, solicitation and nepotism in their activities.

Applause to an initiative led by teachers and staff from Randolph County Schools that offered a special reading program for young learners this summer. After great success last year, the Mobile Feed and Read Program in Randolph County invited youngsters and their parents to enjoy a good book over the summer. Randolph County Schools Director of Federal Programs and Curriculum Amy Rowan Smith said the statewide campaign — with the goal of ensuring students have access to books and other educational opportunities — may help to prevent learning loss over the summer.

Applause to a heartwarming moment in Upshur County this week. Many students at Tennerton Elementary and a certain 6-year-old thought they were dedicating new playground equipment, but the school had a more patriotic celebration in mind Monday. As principal Tristen Gray said a few words about the playground, he referenced someone who would discuss safety protocol with the students. That person turned out to be Captain Michael Hildreth, father of first-grader Kara, who turned with the rest of the students in time to see her father coming towards them. Kara’s mouth opened in surprise, she waved and moments later she ran with arms wide open flinging herself into the arms of her father who she had not seen since March. Hildreth, who serves with the West Virginia Army National Guard 1092nd Engineer Battalion, returned to Buckhannon about last weekend after a six-month deployment in Romania.

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