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Batdorf in Service to Elkins 30 Years

June 14, 2008
By Wayne Sheets, Contributing Business Writer
    I cannot think of a better way to start this week’s column than by congratulating Capt. Jack Batdorf on his completion of 30 years of service to Elkins and its residents. Batdorf started working for the city in 1973 as a dispatcher and jailer.  During that time, he took the required tests and joined the police force on June 10, 1978. 

    “I’ve held every position on the force from the very bottom to captain and I’ve enjoyed them all,” he said. “It has been an honor to serve the people of this community and I’m thankful for having had that opportunity.”

    Congratulations Jack on a job well done.


    I’m sure by now that everyone who’s been downtown has noticed the flowers that have been planted in all the tree and flower boxes. We owe several “laborers” a debt of thanks for all their hard work in planting more than 600 flowers. Those who worked so hard in an effort to beautify our town included local residents Elaine Griesel, Sue Derbyshire and Cody Pritt. Two of the folks who helped with the beautification project were Kathy Brown and Don Clingerman from Warren, Ohio.

    Elaine asked that I pass along the thanks of all those who were laboring in the hot sun to Don Smith, general manager of The Inter-Mountain. Apparently, Don very graciously declined their invitation to help with the project, and instead provided them with cool, refreshing ice tea.  Elaine said that they appreciated his generosity very much.


    Elkins Mayor Judy Guye said at Tuesday’s Downtown Merchant’s Meeting that the street department is doing all it can to keep the streets clean.  “It’s a hard job, though,” she said, “because of all the leaves and other debris that falls from the trees along the street. It takes more than the street sweeper to get the job done. We’re doing all we can with the resources we have to work with.” 

    She is obviously very concerned with the city’s appearance because she mentioned the same thing at the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly meeting on Wednesday. Could it be she’s looking for some help from the merchants with business fronts on the streets?

    She also mentioned that all the hurdles to the installation of the new traffic lights at the intersections of Davis Avenue and First, Second and Third streets have been cleared. After all the work that was done trying to preserve the “old-time” charm and flavor of the city by keeping and updating the lights that are there, we give way to a $500,000 reinvention of the system that could have been done for $50,000, according to the folks at the Landmarks Commission.


    Jim Knicely was at Tuesday’s Downtown Merchant’s meeting. In addition to bringing attendees up to date on the July 4 car show, he had a few words regarding the economic and social affects this event has on the town and its people.

    “The cruise-in begins around mid-afternoon on Friday, July 4, which means the downtown area will see a lot of people and activity,” he said.  “We (the car show) bring many people to the city; it is up to the merchants to take advantage of their being here. Merchants may want to vary their operating hours in an effort to give our visitors more time to shop.

    “Having all these people in town is a benefit to the car show, too,” Knicely said. “Local people, being curious as we are, see all the activity and hang around to check things out. This gives the car owners more exposure of their cars and the countless hours of work they put into restoring or modifying their cars and trucks.

    “The whole event is a family affair,’” he said, adding that the occasion involves the entire city’s make up — the people, the city police department, the sheriff’s department and even the state police sometime get involved in helping to direct traffic and provide security.

    “Many of those who have come to the car show have told me that Elkins has become their vacation destination also,” Knicely said.  “They came to the show and, because of the warm, friendly hospitality extended to them during that short stay, come back to the area on vacation.

    “The car show is the largest in the state of West Virginia and obviously has a tremendous affect upon our local economy.”

    This is Jim’s 24th year of directing the car show. Thanks Jim for all your efforts in bringing the show from an event that hosted fewer than 25 cars to one that hosts more than 600 each year.  Last year’s total was 635.  He and all his volunteers are hoping to break the 700 mark this year.

    Let’s not forget the efforts of our chamber of commerce — its president, director and staff, and the many volunteers who help Jim and his crew. Brothers of the Wheel, headed up by Bud Byrd and its members, are also a major factor in the planning and execution of the event.  Thanks to everyone.


    On June 21 and 22, Elkins will once again play host to railcar owners who come to town, place their motorized “rail vehicles” on the tracks and motor up and down the tracks of the new West Virginia Central Railroad enjoy the scenic beauty of Randolph, Barbour and Pocahontas counties. I was told at the merchant’s meeting that some of the owners offer onlookers a ride now and then. I can tell you that riding on those little fellows is a real treat. If you are a nature lover, this is as good as it gets.  Don’t get me wrong, an excursion on the New Tygart Flyer or the Cheat Mountain Salamander is a wonderful experience, but when you’re on one of these little guys you can stop (if the owner wants) anytime you want and get even closer to nature.


    The Youth Empowered Solutions group, according to those at Tuesday’s merchants meeting, is working hard to compete their skate park by holding fundraisers.  It was mentioned also that they have received a supply of equipment and other accessories in the way of donations from Snowshoe and others. Hang in there kids, you’re doing a great job. Anything worth having is worth working for — you deserve well-earned thanks for all the hard work you’re doing to accomplish your goal.


    According to Mayor Guye, the city will host an open house at the newly renovated water treatment plant on June 27 at 1:30 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to stop by, take a tour of the facility, and see what our tax dollars have done for everyone.


    The Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce is hosting an Eggs and Issues with Halcyon at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Randolph County Community Arts Center.  Canaan Valley Resort is sponsoring the event and will serve breakfast.  Shana Horrigan, with Halcyon Vision Inc., will explore with chamber members the difference between driven behavior and success. She will teach attendees about a powerful tool for getting from idea to result with clarity, focus, ease and grace. All members are urged to attend and bring a guest.


    June 21 is the Tygart Valley Lions Club’s Grand Give-a-Way at the Spelunker’s Club near Dailey. Folks, this is a great event and helps the club meet many of its worthy charitable goals. I don’t know if tickets are still available or not; they get harder to obtain every year. If you don’t have one and would like to go, get in touch with a member and see if a ticket is still available. The cost is $150 per ticket and it is well worth it. It includes a dinner for two, an evening of entertainment, social networking, some of the finest filet mignon you will ever taste, an unbelievable assortment of hors d’oeuvres and desserts, corn roasted in the husks, prizes and chances to win an assortment of valuable prizes. The grand prize is $5,000.


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