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Leaf Peepers receives funding

September 13, 2012
By Casey Houser - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

The Tucker County Commission on Wednesday heard a plea for Leaf Peepers Festival funding.

Several new expositions will be included in this year's festival, including the Jackson's Mill "History Hitting the Road" and Appalachian Glass exhibits, said Kim Bennett, who addressed the commission.

"We really want to build on this festival," Bennett said. "It can be a big boost for the county."

Specifically, she sought funds to help transport children from their schools to the festival.

A trip is planned for children at Tucker Valley and Davis Thomas elementary middle schools for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. On Sept. 28, they will visit the Jackson's Mill and Appalachian Glass exhibits.

"I see this as being an educational issue," said Commissioner Michael Rosenau. "The school system should be spearheading it."

The Tucker County Board of Education has backed the event in word but has not provided any funding. A funding request was not submitted directly to them, commissioners were told.

"It would be a good investment for us to give $500," responded James Carr, a fellow commissioner.

Carr said the investment would be recouped in festival visitors paying for lunch, dinner and other various purchases throughout their stay in the county.

The other commission members agreed and suggested that the money be given under the condition that the money not be used for student transportation.

The commission feels that it is the board of education's responsibility to fund the trip.

They approved a motion for provide $500 for that purpose.

Diana Hinkle spoke about the upcoming Run For It race, which is part of the festival on Sept. 29.

Hinkle said there are 80 sponsors for this year's event, which is up from approximately 40 sponsors in previous years.

"We wanted to thank you for your continued support," said Hinkle, praising the commission.

Past races have generated around $200,000 in donations to Tucker County businesses and organizations.

Norva Warner of the West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees also addressed the commission. The WVARSE is a volunteer organization that boasts 28,000 retirees and operates in 52 counties in the state.

Warner reported Tucker County has 110 retirees who have completed more than 1,000 hours of volunteer work.

In honor of them, the commission proclaimed the last week of September 2012 to be West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees Week.

Other business from this week's meeting included:

Dustin Luzier of North Central Community Corrections stated that 22 parole offenders completed 148 community service hours in August.

Cathy Parsons of the Tucker County Animal Shelter reported receipt of 22 donated kennel beds. The shelter also received a $10,000 donation from Julie Seeseley of Virginia.

The Cogeco cable company has acquired Atlantic Broadband, a major cable provider for Tucker County. The commission officially recognized the transfer of ownership.

Contact Casey Houser by email at



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